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lextrvlr

Meet & Mingle, Where Were You?

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Just returned home after our first Viking  cruise where my wife and I attended the Meet and Mingle party. My wife and I, 5 officers, many trays of hors d'oeuvres and cocktails, stewards to pass them, and the entire Wintergarden all to ourselves. Sixteen were expected and we were the only two to show up! Embarrassing! Why should Viking continue this gracious welcome if invitations are ignored?

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We had the same problem on our Mediterranean Odyssey cruise in April.  Thirty-three people were signed up, only about a dozen actually showed up.  I felt bad for Viking and the effort they put into giving us a nice party.  We still enjoyed meeting some of the crew and fellow passengers.

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Agreed.  I was co-organizer for a NCL meet and mingle.  I think 60 signed up and 30-40 showed up.  So not as extreme as yours but we didn't get as many people as we expected.  They had coffee and drinks, and some pastries.

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Wow! My husband & I have been to 2 well attended M&Ms but have heard similar stories to yours. It’s incredibly rude for invited guests to no show and I’m concerned they may discontinue this very nice gathering. It’s not very often we have the opportunity to chat with the ship’s officers in a casual setting which I personally find very interesting. We have an upcoming cruise in December and was hoping for a M&M gathering.

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We attended a Meet and Mingle 3 weeks ago, but we almost missed it.  One of the members posted that she was looking forward to meeting all of us and I received an email notification about her post. We finally found the invitation, but we had to look for it. 

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On our Midnight Sun cruise (Bergen to London) they scheduled the M&M for about 30 minutes before we were expected to cross the Arctic Circle. Needless to say I was conflicted about where to be.
I went to the M&M (which was decently attended) at the beginning, but left early to be outside the Explorer's Lounge when we passed the monument, then returned to the M&M, where there were only 5 or 6 people (and no crew) remaining.

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Sometimes people don't show up because they have reservations in the specialty restaurants. 

 

Reservations can be re-arranged. If you are concerned about a conflict, make your reservations for after 6:30. That will at least give you a chance to stop by the M&M before going to dinner.

 

 

32 minutes ago, millybess said:

We finally found the invitation, but we had to look for it. 

 

There is no standard location to look for it and sometimes it is burried among all of the papers that are waiting for you when you arrive.

 

I suggest that if you don't find it by lunch on the first day, that you go to the Explorer's Desk and ask for the details. If the front desk has no idea what you are talking about, ask them to find out from a supervisor.

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53 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

There is no standard location to look for it and sometimes it is burried among all of the papers that are waiting for you when you arrive.

 

I suggest that if you don't find it by lunch on the first day, that you go to the Explorer's Desk and ask for the details. If the front desk has no idea what you are talking about, ask them to find out from a supervisor.

 

Maybe it would be easier if the invitations were placed in the same location as other notices. For example, tucked in behind the room number sign. With the excitement of embarkation, unpacking, getting to know the ship, making spa appointments and checking our excursion slips, etc., it didn’t occur to either of us to chase down the invitation. 

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3 hours ago, lextrvlr said:

Just returned home after our first Viking  cruise where my wife and I attended the Meet and Mingle party. My wife and I, 5 officers, many trays of hors d'oeuvres and cocktails, stewards to pass them, and the entire Wintergarden all to ourselves. Sixteen were expected and we were the only two to show up! Embarrassing! Why should Viking continue this gracious welcome if invitations are ignored?

 

We had three couples show up for ours.  It was embarrassing. So many staff and officers showed up. 

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10 minutes ago, H2Otstr said:

 

We had three couples show up for ours.  It was embarrassing. So many staff and officers showed up. 

 

What size ship were you on and how many signed up in advance?  Wow quite different from my experience with NCL.

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13 minutes ago, zitsky said:

 

What size ship were you on and how many signed up in advance?  Wow quite different from my experience with NCL.

 

Viking Sky, Into the Midnight Sun. I think there were 12 or 14 signed up; not a lot. 

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On our Viking Empires of the Mediterranean in May 2019 we had about 1/2 of those that signed up to show.  A few did not come because of specialty dining reservations.  A large number of the others did not receive the invitation or did not find the invitation.

When I did not find our invitation the first evening (as expected) I called guest services who said it would be delivered.  Did not show up the next evening.   Again, they said it would be delivered.

The next night it was not to be found again.  My wife just happened to look in the portfolio on the coffee table and lo and behold there it was for the next night.  There was no particular reason she looked in there except that she had not looked in it before to see what was in it.  I had looked at it the first night.

Why would it be put inside the portfolio versus somewhere that it would be easily found?  Did others not receive theirs.

 

I say if you do not receive it the first night ask guest services about it.  Keep after them each day.  Ask them if they can tell you what night it will be?  You do not have to have the invitation to attend.  You just need to know when and where.

 

Stan

 

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On our Viking Homelands cruise in May/June we had about 40 sign up and 30+ attend.  Very nice with about 5 officers who mingled with us all and had nice conversation.  I was amazed that the officers throughout the cruise remembered us and would step out of their way to "touch base" with us to see how our cruise was progressing (not just a hello, but an actual conversation).  The Cruise Director had a long conversation with us at the M&M and throughout the cruise would see us in the Café and come over and spend quite a bit of time with us.  Had a good discussion at the M&M with the future cruise person and mentioned some of my ideas that she thought were great and was going to bring them up at their next staff meeting.  She made a point later in the cruise to stop me when she saw me and give me feedback that the GM and Hotel manager thought they were great and were planning to push them up to corporate.  Very impressed with the staff!

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I just tried to change the number attending our M&M. Another couple traveling with us is not now able to, so out of courtesy I wanted to reduce. Cruise critic, from what I could determine, would not allow me to make any changes to our party number as I had already registered. 

I do believe that there are contributing issues with this process from CC that could assist not only Viking but maybe other lines?  Combine that with M&M right in the dinner hour, or no notice of many passengers, and I think there is certainly room for improvement in the end result on both sides  

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17 minutes ago, Vineyard View said:

I just tried to change the number attending our M&M. Another couple traveling with us is not now able to, so out of courtesy I wanted to reduce. Cruise critic, from what I could determine, would not allow me to make any changes to our party number as I had already registered. 

 

I thought there used to be a way of modifying one's registration. I wonder if it got lost when CC moved to the new platform. There is an e-mail address at the bottom of the page where we register; maybe writing to it can accomplish the task. 

 

Also, if your friends have had to cancel the cruise at the last minute, Viking will realize when they cannot find the names on the list of guests that they will not be attending.  Yes, I agree;  it would be more polite to be able cancel in advance but since we are given no mechanism to do so, what are we to do.

 

31 minutes ago, Vineyard View said:

 Combine that with M&M right in the dinner hour,

 

Yes, but when can they do it given that the itineraries tend to be port intensive and that Viking tries to give a full day in port and that optimally, we would like to as early as possible in the cruise? There are many things that are scheduled at this point in the day -- port talks, lectures, dinner and other events that cannot be scheduled at other times.

 

I think Viking does what they can and that they realize that there are many things going and that because people sign up before they know what those other things are, that there is going to be a certain number of no-shows no matter what.  I know that I have walked in late to the M&M because of conflicts. I did the best I could but ya can't be in two places at the same time.

 

 

It's not a perfect situation, but I don't think it ever will be.

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Same thing happened on our last cruise (Viking Sky) — 40 registered and 10 showed up.  Lots of crew, drinks, and appetizers but not much mingling.  We were pretty excited but it turned out to be sort of a non-event.  🙁

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On our last cruise we had the invitation and also received a call from guest services to confirm we had seen it.

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8 hours ago, Vineyard View said:

I just tried to change the number attending our M&M. Another couple traveling with us is not now able to, so out of courtesy I wanted to reduce. Cruise critic, from what I could determine, would not allow me to make any changes to our party number as I had already registered. 

I do believe that there are contributing issues with this process from CC that could assist not only Viking but maybe other lines?  Combine that with M&M right in the dinner hour, or no notice of many passengers, and I think there is certainly room for improvement in the end result on both sides  

 

Yes, there is no mechanism to do this yourself.  PM one of the moderators and they will take care of this.  We had to do this when we switched cruises for next year.

 

We'll be at our first M&M on Viking next January.  From the comments above, it appears they schedule this (in general) at a more appropriate time since our experience with M&Ms on Regent has been late morning timing.  While that may avoid some kinds of conflicts, not the right time for a cocktail party.

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25 minutes ago, Portolan said:

 

Yes, there is no mechanism to do this yourself.  PM one of the moderators and they will take care of this.  We had to do this when we switched cruises for next year.

 

We'll be at our first M&M on Viking next January.  From the comments above, it appears they schedule this (in general) at a more appropriate time since our experience with M&Ms on Regent has been late morning timing.  While that may avoid some kinds of conflicts, not the right time for a cocktail party.

 

We had a good time on NCL with coffee and cake.  But I believe they did open the bar for people who wanted it.

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Thank you for the suggestions. I think though that this does illustrate how easily there can be discrepancies between sign up and show up numbers.

I do not remember if there are options on the actual invitations on any cruise line, including Viking, where one can actually RSVP once on board if they discover there is a conflict in schedule. This would assist in the ship not presenting too much food to too few people. 

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Fortunately our 2 Viking Ocean cruise M&Ms were well attended. After the 1st cruise I learned to make restaurant reservations later so as not to have to rush off.  Very nice meeting the ship's department heads. Ironically, didn't have as much time as would like to meet the other M&M guests as discussions with Viking folks were long lasting.

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On each of our 3 Viking Ocean Cruises so far, the M&M's were also very well attended - in fact quite full!  On one we estimated there were actually more people there than signed up - as people had brought their friends who had not signed up.  That was OK as there were plenty of eats and drinks.  It was quite a good atmosphere and we all had fun!

The hotel manager had told us that every cruise (even on the same ship) has a different personality - much like people.  So I guess it can vary depending on the make up of the passengers on any given ship cruise.  We were fortunate!   (many of our attendees to be fair, were Viking veterans, and knew the drill - to ask Guest Services when the meeting would be and not rely on a paper invitation that may or may not be discovered in the room).   But now - all of us who read this thread will know to ask!

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25 minutes ago, CCWineLover said:

all of us who read this thread

 

And we can only hope that everyone reads it.

 

Maybe we can all link to this thread on our roll calls or share a short M&M FAQ there.

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On Viking Sun now. Signed up for M&M months ago. Have seen no invitation so far on board.  

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2 hours ago, crimmj said:

On Viking Sun now. Signed up for M&M months ago. Have seen no invitation so far on board.  

 

Talk to the Explorer's Desk immediately or check in with your roll call to see what you can find out.  M&M is usually as close to the start of the cruise as they can manage.

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