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Pushka

Cabins on Deck 4 above the Lifeboats.

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Posted (edited)

Currently on Orion and every morning around 4am and then around 6am we are woken up by thumping noises that seem to be coming from the tenders. Not exactly what we want. 

 

Has anyone else experienced this?

 

And we are finding the whole tender process a right royal pain to be honest. Long delays to disembark if not on a Viking Excursion. We have three ports needing to tender. Way too much on a five port cruise. There’s no overnight stops and some of the port stays are short so early exit is needed. 

Edited by Pushka

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5 hours ago, moatenote said:

What cruise are you on????

Orion in Alaska. 

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 we experienced noise from tenders in early am on deck3  near the split on starboard side cabin 3057 ...we also frequently heard crew talking.  Would never stay in that room again also experienced noise from Torshaven.  Farther forward or aft on deck 3 we did not experience the noise from the tenders.

 

All of our tendering experiences have been fine ...although sometimes very hot.  Easy on and off with plenty of assistance for those who need it.  Minimal waiting times either with VO excursion or independently getting off.

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1 hour ago, deec said:

 we experienced noise from tenders in early am on deck3  near the split on starboard side cabin 3057 ...we also frequently heard crew talking.  Would never stay in that room again also experienced noise from Torshaven.  Farther forward or aft on deck 3 we did not experience the noise from the tenders.

 

All of our tendering experiences have been fine ...although sometimes very hot.  Easy on and off with plenty of assistance for those who need it.  Minimal waiting times either with VO excursion or independently getting off.

 

Its certainly not a great experience here. 75 minutes wait in a queue after port cleared isn’t the way to start. 

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We were on Deck 3 forward twice - 7-night Adriatic Sea and 10-night Baltic Sea. We were awaken by loud thumping noise around sunrise when the ship docked only once. That probably was just an isolated incident. We experienced noise from the theatre. Fortunately, evening shows always ended by 10:30, which was before our bedtime. So we were not bothered. 

 

We tendered in Kotor two years ago. It was an efficient process with more than one tender boats being utilized. 

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11 hours ago, sleepybobo said:

We were on Deck 3 forward twice - 7-night Adriatic Sea and 10-night Baltic Sea. We were awaken by loud thumping noise around sunrise when the ship docked only once. That probably was just an isolated incident. We experienced noise from the theatre. Fortunately, evening shows always ended by 10:30, which was before our bedtime. So we were not bothered. 

 

We tendered in Kotor two years ago. It was an efficient process with more than one tender boats being utilized. 

We have had three tender ports out of six total ports. When that process is managed badly it has a significant impact. 

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re. the noise it could very likely be the crew getting the boats ready in the form of either removing lashings and making them ready for a 'faster' launching or they could be loading them with all the bits and pieces required to be taken ashore (i.e tents, water, chairs, etc) as those decorations are typically taken ashore on the very first boat with the tour crew and others needing to be shore side before the first passengers land.

 

as for the lack of organization, i'd like to think by now the idea of tendering would be 'old hat' for Viking but it seems like its a case of the blind leading the blind as with the exception of Ketchikan where there's 'speed limits' for the boats, all of the other landing areas are not especially far from the anchor positions.  you'd also think as well with this being the second call to these ports they would have figured it out by now as its not exactly rocket science...

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28 minutes ago, Pushka said:

We have had three tender ports out of six total ports. When that process is managed badly it has a significant impact. 

We're looking at the Alaska cruise for June 2021.  Perhaps your itinerary is different, but I see 8 ports during this cruise itinerary.  Sorry the tendering hasn't worked well; on our previous 3 cruises, we've been very impressed with the efficiency and speed of the tendering process.

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As to tendering.  The problem is being brand new to Alaska.  If you want all dockage in ports take HAL or Princess.  They are by far the most established in the Alaska cruise industry.  We took 15 day Alaska southbound with Seabourn last year and had mostly tendering as well, even though Seabourn is part of the Carnival empire.  I do not get only one tender in use unless there are local ordinances to comply with.  In 120 days on the Inaugural WC we tendered often but they used a minimum of two tenders and waiting was never an issue for us.  Not sure what to say about that but if you want primo dockage in AK take the above mentioned HAL or Princess.  😳

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4 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

As to tendering.  The problem is being brand new to Alaska.  If you want all dockage in ports take HAL or Princess.  They are by far the most established in the Alaska cruise industry.  We took 15 day Alaska southbound with Seabourn last year and had mostly tendering as well, even though Seabourn is part of the Carnival empire.  I do not get only one tender in use unless there are local ordinances to comply with.  In 120 days on the Inaugural WC we tendered often but they used a minimum of two tenders and waiting was never an issue for us.  Not sure what to say about that but if you want primo dockage in AK take the above mentioned HAL or Princess.  😳

 

We’ve had tendering on other cruise lines and it’s worked out fine. 

 

Speaking last night with another couple who are in a very high end suite and have done multiple Viking cruises and they are very frustrated at the management right now. It’s not just me who is having issues, everyone is! 

 

The crew are fabulous as is the food and servers; as is the bar crew. But something is going astray up the line.  

 

Our ports have been Ketchikan, tender; Sitka, Berth; Juneau, tender; Skagway, Berth; ISP, tender; Valdez Berth. Then final Seward. Then we didn’t have a Berth for Vancouver so we couldn’t board until after 6.30pm. 

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1 hour ago, Pushka said:

 

We’ve had tendering on other cruise lines and it’s worked out fine. 

 

Speaking last night with another couple who are in a very high end suite and have done multiple Viking cruises and they are very frustrated at the management right now. It’s not just me who is having issues, everyone is! 

 

The crew are fabulous as is the food and servers; as is the bar crew. But something is going astray up the line.  

 

Our ports have been Ketchikan, tender; Sitka, Berth; Juneau, tender; Skagway, Berth; ISP, tender; Valdez Berth. Then final Seward. Then we didn’t have a Berth for Vancouver so we couldn’t board until after 6.30pm. 

I agree something is not right.  As you know there were a few glitches on the Inaugural WC, all related to management, never the on board crew.  I just don't understand using one tender for 900 passengers.  I have been frustrated with Viking's high handed management approach too.  And no berth in Vancouver is just over the top.  Poor scheduling at the very least.  I hope the onboard experience and Alaska's beauty make up for some of the aggravations.

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One thing that surprised me and not sure if it’s a general Viking thing. When we’ve arrived back to the place where you board again or get to the tender to take you back to the ship, there are always Flags and Guest services who will hand out a cool drink if hot or a warm drink if cold, as well as a towel, on the dock before you entered the ship or tender. But this hasn’t happened in any port here.  In Juneau we missed where we had to go down a hidden ramp to tender as there were no Viking signs up top, and only a Port official who was just leaning on the rail and she told us where to go. The only time we have been offered a drink is right after security and onboard the ship. Where we just want to get to the room and unload. Today there was a port official again but no Viking crew except when the tender returned. 

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1 hour ago, Pushka said:

 

We’ve had tendering on other cruise lines and it’s worked out fine. 

 

Speaking last night with another couple who are in a very high end suite and have done multiple Viking cruises and they are very frustrated at the management right now. It’s not just me who is having issues, everyone is! 

 

The crew are fabulous as is the food and servers; as is the bar crew. But something is going astray up the line.  

 

Our ports have been Ketchikan, tender; Sitka, Berth; Juneau, tender; Skagway, Berth; ISP, tender; Valdez Berth. Then final Seward. Then we didn’t have a Berth for Vancouver so we couldn’t board until after 6.30pm. 

I cruised the Alaska Inside Passage with Celebrity in 2010. The ship docked at all ports, including Ketchikan and Juneau. So I didn’t thought of tendering when I booked an Alaska cruise in 2021 with Viking. Hopefully the tendering process in this sailing will improve as Viking gains more experience in Alaska. 

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20 hours ago, sleepybobo said:

I cruised the Alaska Inside Passage with Celebrity in 2010. The ship docked at all ports, including Ketchikan and Juneau. So I didn’t thought of tendering when I booked an Alaska cruise in 2021 with Viking. Hopefully the tendering process in this sailing will improve as Viking gains more experience in Alaska. 

There was no mention whatsoever of any tender use when we booked our cruise 18 months ago. And there certainly was no mention of the extreme delay in embarkation until just 2 weeks before the cruise started. Even our checkin envelopes that contained our key cards said we could gain entry into our cabins at 2pm. Nothing like twisting the knife!  

 

I understand there is a large folder of issues being accumulated throughout the ship. Today’s tender process was better as we worked out how to get onto one quickly. As did others. And we heard someone say, as they had issues just before getting on “another day and another issue with Viking”. 

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2 hours ago, Pushka said:

There was no mention whatsoever of any tender use when we booked our cruise 18 months ago. And there certainly was no mention of the extreme delay in embarkation until just 2 weeks before the cruise started. Even our checkin envelopes that contained our key cards said we could gain entry into our cabins at 2pm. Nothing like twisting the knife!  

 

I understand there is a large folder of issues being accumulated throughout the ship. Today’s tender process was better as we worked out how to get onto one quickly. As did others. And we heard someone say, as they had issues just before getting on “another day and another issue with Viking”. 

 

I understand your frustration. Viking’s Alaska sailings are priced at premium, even after consideration of included excursions and drinks during meal time. It’s a premium that I’m willing to pay because I like the ship, food and service. 

 

Tendering in 3 out of 6 ports is not ideal. It’s puzzling why Orion is having such trouble in managing the tendering process given how it was handled efficiently in the past. 

 

Tendering process and delay in embarkation aside, how do you like the cruise thus far? Is local specialty, such as salmon, crabs, served?

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3 hours ago, Pushka said:

One thing that surprised me and not sure if it’s a general Viking thing. When we’ve arrived back to the place where you board again or get to the tender to take you back to the ship, there are always Flags and Guest services who will hand out a cool drink if hot or a warm drink if cold, as well as a towel, on the dock before you entered the ship or tender. But this hasn’t happened in any port here.  In Juneau we missed where we had to go down a hidden ramp to tender as there were no Viking signs up top, and only a Port official who was just leaning on the rail and she told us where to go. The only time we have been offered a drink is right after security and onboard the ship. Where we just want to get to the room and unload. Today there was a port official again but no Viking crew except when the tender returned. 

We've been on 3 VO cruises and when drinks/hand towels were offered, it was always after we had gone through security getting back on the ship.

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Posted (edited)

We got off the Orion before your cruise and tendering was indeed a pain - wouldn’t want to do it very often.

One time we waited 45 minutes in the lounge past our scheduled departure. As a result our tour was cut by 45 minutes as all the buses had to be back at the same time for afternoon departures - not a good thing.

Then we sat in the tender forever as it was slowly filling with arriving passengers from other tours or independents until it was almost full.

Edited by Paulchili

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2 hours ago, moatenote said:

We've been on 3 VO cruises and when drinks/hand towels were offered, it was always after we had gone through security getting back on the ship.

 

Then it’s a Viking thing. On Celebrity, Princess and Cunard there are people at the dock before you board to welcome you and are offering drinks and towels. Much prefer that especially when there is a wait for the tender or it’s really hot. 

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29 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

We got off the Orion before your cruise and tendering was indeed a pain - wouldn’t want to do it very often.

One time we waited 45 minutes in the lounge past our scheduled departure. As a result our tour was cut by 45 minutes as all the buses had to be back at the same time for afternoon departures - not a good thing.

Then we sat in the tender forever as it was slowly filling with arriving passengers from other tours or independents until it was almost full.

 

This is still happening. Paid for excursions are being cut short as a result. 

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, Pushka said:

 

Then it’s a Viking thing. On Celebrity, Princess and Cunard there are people at the dock before you board to welcome you and are offering drinks and towels. Much prefer that especially when there is a wait for the tender or it’s really hot. 

Agree.

In fact, I usually refused the towel after security as I was eager to get to the cabin and wash my hands, etc. Towel & drinks would have been more appreciated while waiting for or before boarding the tender as is usually done on most cruise lines.

Edited by Paulchili

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10 hours ago, Pushka said:

One thing that surprised me and not sure if it’s a general Viking thing. When we’ve arrived back to the place where you board again or get to the tender to take you back to the ship, there are always Flags and Guest services who will hand out a cool drink if hot or a warm drink if cold, as well as a towel, on the dock before you entered the ship or tender. But this hasn’t happened in any port here.  In Juneau we missed where we had to go down a hidden ramp to tender as there were no Viking signs up top, and only a Port official who was just leaning on the rail and she told us where to go. The only time we have been offered a drink is right after security and onboard the ship. Where we just want to get to the room and unload. Today there was a port official again but no Viking crew except when the tender returned. 

 

I remember tendering in Juneau several years ago on a Princess cruise and at the time there was a very big labor dispute with the longshoremen's union which at times got a bit heated to say the least.  In a nutshell i know their union holds enormous power up there with respect to the cruise ships, including tender operations up to and including touching/moving any items from the ship to/from the pier.  For example, if someone was disembarking in Juneau it was the local longshoremen who took the baggage on a trolley from the gangway, not a member of the ship's staff and this was something strictly enforced.

Could be that Viking have been told not to take anything ashore (i.e. flags, tents, etc) as it would somehow upset the balance?

 

Just speculation of course  but as i say i recall there being issues specifically with Juneau in the past as it related to taking anything ashore, and having it moved by ship's staff.  Sounds ridiculous but this is what we witnessed before the nay-sayers get on their perch and start squawking.

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17 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

As to tendering.  The problem is being brand new to Alaska.  If you want all dockage in ports take HAL or Princess.  They are by far the most established in the Alaska cruise industry.  We took 15 day Alaska southbound with Seabourn last year and had mostly tendering as well, even though Seabourn is part of the Carnival empire.  I do not get only one tender in use unless there are local ordinances to comply with.  In 120 days on the Inaugural WC we tendered often but they used a minimum of two tenders and waiting was never an issue for us.  Not sure what to say about that but if you want primo dockage in AK take the above mentioned HAL or Princess.  😳

 

You've hit the nail on the head here!  If you want as close to 'seamless' when it comes to cruising Alaska, then book with those who've been there for a million years (Princess, HAL) but keep in mind in most cases you get what you pay for there.

When i saw Seabourn cruising in Alaska for the first time I was speculative as to how they would fare given the size of the ships and figured they would tender more often than not, due in large part to the port congestion but also the extreme tidal ranges in virtually all ports and their small size/height of operative decks on the fixed piers.

 

I believe i said long ago in one of the threads that Orion was sure to struggle (much to the chagrin of the die hards who think Viking is perfect in every way) due to the fact that they're comparatively late to the party when it comes to planning itineraries in Alaska, which from what i've seen has been this year inundated with monster ships from NCL and RCCL which i guarantee will get preference everywhere over Viking.  

 

Can't say for certain however why there's so many issues with the tender operations in general though as it should be basic and straightforward (like riding a bike) with the sole exception of Ketchikan having a speed limit for tenders, and I recall Juneau being a relatively short run in sheltered waters.  As has been mentioned, it sounds like management onboard are dropping the ball and its no doubt a case of too many cooks in the kitchen as i've witnessed on numerous occasions when making it to the tender area only to see multiple managers, all trying to manage despite seemingly having no sense of organization or clue as to what's happening in the lounges, etc.

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Im pleased to report noises have stopped. Very peaceful. In Yakutat Bay. 

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And last 2 nights back to mechanical noise at 3-4 am and again around 6am. 

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