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Meet & Mingle, Where Were You?

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Finally decided to weigh in on this topic as we (DW and I) have experienced 6 Viking Ocean cruises on 3 of their delightful ships.  As such,  we have had a variety of experiences ranging from fair to great with M & Ms. After our 1st one, we came to the conclusion that the experience and enjoyment that you get out of the gathering has, in large part, to do with the people taking the cruise and how much they are willing to participate.

 

We decided to get more involved, even though this is not our normal behavior, because we enjoy the opportunity to meet the key members of the ship's crew and most especially getting to get acquainted with our fellow cruisers that we have come to know from online messages on Cruise Critic.  As such, we have set up a number of roll calls if they didn't  already exist as soon as we have booked another cruise.  We then proceed to starting the Meet and Mingle for the particular ship, cruise name and date.  We try to be available for any questions others may have and discussions of port destinations, ship questions etc.

 

The least successful M & M had less than 20 sign up and 11 or 12 attended. The two most successful had 72 and 75 sign up and approximately 48 to 55 attended.  One of those was so successful that it ran for over an hour and a half with cruisers still talking with each other as the clean up crew was working.

 

The Hotel Manager saw us a dinner the next night at Manfredi's and told us how impressed he and his staff were with our partipation and organization and that they had never attended one so successful (and large) on a Viking Cruise.  He said that he would like to do another one for the M & M group before the cruise was over if we would like.  We polled our group through the Viking Roll Call and it was unanimous.  It was agreed that on the evening of our last sea day we would have another and it was just as nice as the first one with almost every one attending.  It was a wonderful chance for us all to say how much we appreciated Viking and specifically its fantastic crew.  

 

Bottom line, you get out of a M & M what you put into it: Cruise Critic provides the vehicle, Viking provides the place, their key staff members, and food and cocktails. It is up to those of us cruising to provide the "entertainment" i,e; "Meet and Mingle"

 

Side note, there seems to be a fair amount of correlation between participating in the Viking Roll Call for your specific cruise and the number of people who sign up (and attend) the M & M.  The ones that were so successful had very large numbers of participants on their respective Roll Calls.

 

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I need to mention that the great success of our M and M was on the Viking Sea in March of 2018. It was a  15 day Transatlantic cruise from San Juan to Barcelona. Eight of the fifteen days were sea days.  Many of us had never done a TA cruise and wondered about being bored or not having enough to do.  That was never the case and all aboard seemed to enjoy it immensely (at least that was the feedback at our second M & M).

 

We also want to give credit to "Azulann" as she was as much responsible for the success of both the roll call and the M & M as anyone. We met aboard ship for the first time and although she is an experienced cruiser this was her first Viking Ocean cruise.  We believe she is now a Viking "convert".

 

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2 hours ago, Senior Gators said:

Bottom line, you get out of a M & M what you put into it

 

I so agree with you. If you walk in, sit down and never move from you chair, waiting for people to come over to you, you are not going to be as happy with the evening as the people who stand up and move from group to group and talk with people.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

I so agree with you. If you walk in, sit down and never move from you chair, waiting for people to come over to you, you are not going to be as happy with the evening as the people who stand up and move from group to group and talk with people.

 

 

 

Darn.  I was going to find a chair so that the 2 people who like me could sit and talk.  Sigh.  😞

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8 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

I so agree with you. If you walk in, sit down and never move from you chair, waiting for people to come over to you, you are not going to be as happy with the evening as the people who stand up and move from group to group and talk with people.

 

 

 

Ha!  Just like any other cocktail party!  You are correct!  Sadly at our 1st M&M we had a 4 some and 6 some who sat down the whole time so not many could speak to them.  

Fortunately there were lots of people to engage with who were standing and milling about among the 49 or so we had.  Each to his own.

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As an extra "bonus" of an M & M, getting to meet and know some of the key heads of departments for the ship has proved to be both interesting and beneficial. By meeting and talking to the Hotel, Restaurant, Beverage, Financial (Purser?) and Housekeeping Managers as well as the Cruise Director we have learned more about Viking ship/cruise operations and when necessary the right point of contact to get help with questions or a problem.  

 

It has also paid off when we cross paths again on subsequent cruises to see a friendly face who actually remembers you from before. Our experience is that they genuinely enjoy meeting and talking to their guests.  The same applies to cabin stewards and wait staff. 

 

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59 minutes ago, CCWineLover said:

we had a 4 some and 6 some who sat down the whole time so not many could speak to them

 

They only came for the free booze.

 

So, how do we make more people aware of the Meet&Mingle, especially the..

  • the people who only read the roll calls
  • the people who don't even read
  • newbies

What can we do to get more people involved -- because obviously, we are the ones who want to see this happen. AKA. the trouble-makers.

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4 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

What can we do to get more people involved -- because obviously, we are the ones who want to see this happen. AKA. the trouble-makers.

Peregrina, we would never consider you a "trouble-maker"! You have been a fount of knowledge of almost all things "Viking" and we have benefited greatly from your wisdom and seemly infinite patience to answer so many questions posted here and on Viking Roll Calls. We think "sage", "oracle" or "mentor" might be more appropriate appellations. And you could add in some instances "shaker and mover".

 

But you are correct, it is a problem to get the word out to all those who either:

1. Cruise Viking Oceans and don't join or participate in Cruise Critic,

2. Aren't aware of Viking Roll Call's listing of specific cruises by ship and date,

3. Haven't figured out how to sign up for their cruise's M & M, or

4. Don't feel that it is worth their time and energy to participate.

 

We don't have any answers at the moment but face the problem of low or no participation for the two upcoming cruises we have booked for 2020. The Roll Calls have had almost no activity and the M & Ms are even worse. We seek suggestions of how to get more cruisers to participate.  

 

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Everyone needs to feel welcome, whether they are new to cruising or experienced.  The "who will I talk to" thing.  Maybe you don't have a posse of 6 people to stay with.  No cliques.

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So, how do we make more people aware of the Meet&Mingle, especially the..
  • the people who only read the roll calls
  • the people who don't even read
  • newbies
What can we do to get more people involved -- because obviously, we are the ones who want to see this happen. AKA. the trouble-makers.


I agree with SG, it's a matter of introducing more fellow cruisers to Cruise Critic. I tell everyone I know when they are considering a cruise to check out CC.
And if you meet people on your cruise (as we all do) tell them.

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2 hours ago, just_dont said:

I agree with SG, it's a matter of introducing more fellow cruisers to Cruise Critic.

 

Aw, heck! I don't want everybody on the ship to be coming to this event. Then it would be just like the Captain's Reception or the returning cruisers reception (and free drinks or not, I've been to my last one--way to crowded).

 

I'm happy to work with the existing audience. Fifty or 60 people is enough to deal with and still feel cozy.

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Aw, heck! I don't want everybody on the ship to be coming to this event. Then it would be just like the Captain's Reception or the returning cruisers reception (and free drinks or not, I've been to my last one--way to crowded).
 
I'm happy to work with the existing audience. Fifty or 60 people is enough to deal with and still feel cozy.
Haha. Not literally EVERYONE, but certainly when we meet people we LIKE on a cruise, we steer them to CC.

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The comments are:

 

* not enough people

* too many people

 

The suggestion is that 50-60 is the right size.  Based on my experience, you'd want about 75-100 sign ups since not everyone shows up.

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We agree somewhere in the range of 50 to 60 participants is a good number to strive for.  Most will be motivated to actively engage in meeting and mingling and those relative few that choose to be less active and want to sit quietly on the sidelines may do so.

 

It seems to help greatly if one or more of the attendees takes on the role of unofficial greeter and makes the effort to say hello and welcome to everyone as they arrive.  Another suggestion is to provide stick on name tags for everyone that provide space for your CC handle and actual name, last name optional.

 

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Our upcoming cruise ( our first!) on September 22 has only 22 signed up for the M and M. Thinking that the odds aren’t with us that this one will be very successful. There has been next to no conversation on our roll call, although I’ve tried a few topics and troll it constantly. It’s kind of disappointing, but I guess minor in the overall picture. Will Viking still host an event with so few enrolled?

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Our upcoming cruise ( our first!) on September 22 has only 22 signed up for the M and M. Thinking that the odds aren’t with us that this one will be very successful. There has been next to no conversation on our roll call, although I’ve tried a few topics and troll it constantly. It’s kind of disappointing, but I guess minor in the overall picture. Will Viking still host an event with so few enrolled?
Yes, they will. There were not many more than that signed up for ours, and our roll call was also pretty quiet, but we had a decent turnout. Hopefully yours will be the same. Regardless, I'm sure you'll enjoy the cruise.

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On NCL we had a sign in sheet to let the ship know who attended.  But many people didn't see it even though I was the greeter.  Some people just walked in without looking.

 

We had a few announcements but not many.  Mostly socializing.

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1 hour ago, Lorizack said:

Our upcoming cruise ( our first!) on September 22 has only 22 signed up for the M and M. Thinking that the odds aren’t with us that this one will be very successful. There has been next to no conversation on our roll call, although I’ve tried a few topics and troll it constantly. It’s kind of disappointing, but I guess minor in the overall picture. Will Viking still host an event with so few enrolled?

 

There is still time to make one last push. Time to answer the questions that are on the minds of people who haven't signed up:

 

  • You have register to get an invitation because it is not announced in the Daily
  • You have to give your full names so they know where to deliver the invitation
  • Screen names are not shared with Viking, just the list that is generated as we sign up
  • Party open to all CC members and the people traveling with them
  • You do not have to post to the roll call to attend
  • Registration closes 7 days prior to sailing
  • M&M is usually scheduled for the 2nd or 3rd evening at 6pm in Winteregarden; please make you dinner reservations accordingly (it should be possible to change then once you board if there is a conflict)

Yes, please help yourselves to my prose--and please feel free to edit.  Do include a link to the registration page and maybe even the description of the event from the registration. Viking does a nice job and the event is usually attended by high ranking crew and hotel staff members, sometimes even the Captain BUT it is still up to us to make a party of it.

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There is a friend of mine (a couple) who just happened to book the same cruise.  I don't think she knows about CC but I have tried to tell them about it.  So they are those people who I think would enjoy a M&M.  They are traveling with other people, so that's the only reason that they wouldn't attend.

 

We make our dinner reservations next week.  I will be flexible since we don't know the exact day of the M&M.

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There is a friend of mine (a couple) who just happened to book the same cruise.  I don't think she knows about CC but I have tried to tell them about it.  So they are those people who I think would enjoy a M&M.  They are traveling with other people, so that's the only reason that they wouldn't attend.  

We make our dinner reservations next week.  I will be flexible since we don't know the exact day of the M&M.

 

At least on Viking, the M&M is not "exclusive." Meaning, if you have friends (or anyone else you may meet early on your cruise), you could tell them when/where it is (after you get your invitation), and they wouldn't be turned away at the door.  

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That is good to know @just_dont !

I've signed up for mine and am going to try to get my non tech savy friend to as well. But just in case... 

Also it's nice to encourage others you meet. The more the merrier.

 

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I have signed up for my cruise 20th September .  How do I find out how many have signed up. 

By

going back in to M & M it only gives me the option of signing up again.

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I have signed up for my cruise 20th September .  How do I find out how many have signed up. 
By
going back in to M & M it only gives me the option of signing up again.
Don't have my computer right now, but there is an option somewhere to view your reservations. It will show that cruise (and any others you've signed up for).
Select your cruise, and it will show you all the usernames that are signed up.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks.  Have found it.  Only 18 signed.    Only a few from the roll call.  Have sent them a message to remember to sign up.

Edited by harbourside

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