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sswansen

First Viking, first Trans-Atlantic, first Christmas

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Hello, and thank you to so many of you who have provided such great information on this board.  I’ve read through the “Tips for New Viking Ocean Cruisers” and gotten so many helpful tips, and really learned a lot.

I’ve only done 4 cruises – my first was a Princess cruise in the late 90s, then I moved to Silversea and have done 3 Silversea cruises over the past 15 years.  I love the small ship, inclusive, relaxed atmosphere of Silversea and hope to try several more cruise lines over the next 5 years or so – starting with Viking 😊.

Does anyone have any experience with crossing the Atlantic (Lisbon to Miami) in December on a Viking ship?  I’m just curious what to expect as far as rough water goes.  

I’m also curious what to expect traveling during Christmas – decorations, special shipboard activities, shows, meals?  I’d love to hear some seasoned travelers’ accounts of sailing with Viking ocean during Christmas.

Thanks in advance!

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The Atlantic can be rather challenging at any time of year, but fortunately you are Westbound, so they tend to route more to the south to avoid the Gulf Stream.

 

Crossed a few times in December, in both directions, without incident. However, if you don't enjoy a little movement suggest bringing whatever remedies work for you. Will let others discuss the Christmas decorations. Enjoy

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We were on the same cruise last Christmas. The ship is decorated for Christmas, but in Viking style, the decorations are very tasteful and tend to blend in with Viking's minimalistic look.  The decorations are beautiful but not "in your face".  The shows and food are the same as they normally would be.  We did have Christmas caroling one night in the atrium with a wonderful chocolate buffet afterward.  We are currently ending 15 days on the Viking Sea and did not have the chocolate buffet and have not had it on previous Viking cruises, so I assume it was for Christmas. As far as the weather is concerned, the seas were quite rough as soon as we left Lisbon and remained that way for several days.  Things improved the further west we went. Just be prepared.  One of our cabin attendants told me to eat a green apple each night before I went to bed which apparently will calm your stomach. 

 

Although there are activities during the day, be prepared for a lot of down time.  There were several people on the cruise who were working on quilts, knitting, reading, etc but it is a very relaxing cruise. 

 

Have a a good time.

 

 

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1 hour ago, planterx2 said:

We were on the same cruise last Christmas. The ship is decorated for Christmas, but in Viking style, the decorations are very tasteful and tend to blend in with Viking's minimalistic look.  The decorations are beautiful but not "in your face".  The shows and food are the same as they normally would be.  We did have Christmas caroling one night in the atrium with a wonderful chocolate buffet afterward.  We are currently ending 15 days on the Viking Sea and did not have the chocolate buffet and have not had it on previous Viking cruises, so I assume it was for Christmas. As far as the weather is concerned, the seas were quite rough as soon as we left Lisbon and remained that way for several days.  Things improved the further west we went. Just be prepared.  One of our cabin attendants told me to eat a green apple each night before I went to bed which apparently will calm your stomach. 

 

Although there are activities during the day, be prepared for a lot of down time.  There were several people on the cruise who were working on quilts, knitting, reading, etc but it is a very relaxing cruise. 

 

Have a a good time.

 

 

Thank you planterx2 for your information.   We will be on Lisbon to Miami in 2020 on the Sky. Since the itinerary takes you from Lisbon to the Azores to Bermuda and then down to Miami, I also had a little concern about the seas with this more northern route (versus the more southerly route that began with Columbus).

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We too are looking forward to our first Viking Ocean, first transatlantic and first Christmas at sea.  We are booked on the Sky this December (2019) from Lisbon to Miami.  This will be a definite departure from our usual mega ship tropical cruise.   Really looking forward to the change of pace, but have no idea what to really expect.   

 

Any insight into what to pack would be greatly appreciated.    We're not quite sure what between the weather and what exactly is the Viking Ocean definition of "casual."  Any help from you seasoned Viking Ocean cruisers?

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Viking's casual approach is pretty inclusive, and is left largely (or maybe entirely) to the taste of the passenger.  We have always treated meals onboard, whether Viking River, Ocean, or even Carnival and NCL, as a meal 'out' and try to dress accordingly.  If it is a special occasion to us, we might spiff it up a bit.  I think the majority of people will be 'snappy casual' - nicer slacks / jeans (don't tell anyone I said that), some men in jackets and even a tie or two, and the ladies in nicer evening wear (nicer than shorts and tank tops....) for dinners.  There are some exceptions like for a late arriving excursion where passengers are starving.  For the other dining times, I still like to be wearing clothing that is acceptable for a restaurant, but you might see others who OBVIOUSLY feel differently.  <grins> . We love to have the chance to impact others' behavior in a nice way when possible, but don't want to be too 'over the top'.  

 

And frankly we just love to 'dress for dinner' on occasion, everyone should try it!

 

Have a wonderful cruise - we are booked on the Sept. 14 sailing of the Wake of the Vikings from Bergen to Montreal and have a total of 4 sea days.  Our first Viking Ocean was like the 3rd or 4th trip for the Star in their inaugural year.  It was nothing short of spectacular (even though there had been some engine problems on the first or second sailings - new ship and all).

 

Peace!

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Posted (edited)

Sorry, one other thing, the onboard laundry (not laundry service - actually washers and dryers and Viking supplies the detergent) makes it nice to not pack quite so much if you have 'laundry' clothing.  Many on this board like to comment on returning home with all clean clothes.

 

Peace

Edited by Crisismon

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On 8/19/2019 at 11:53 AM, Crisismon said:

Sorry, one other thing, the onboard laundry (not laundry service - actually washers and dryers and Viking supplies the detergent) makes it nice to not pack quite so much if you have 'laundry' clothing.  Many on this board like to comment on returning home with all clean clothes.

 

Peace

Just be prepared if you want to go home with clean clothes ... the laundry rooms get very busy the day before embarkation so apparently this is a popular idea!  On one of our first cruise we got to the laundry room to put our clothes in the dryer (and we were on time ... we set a timer!) and found that some "eager beaver" had dumped our wet clothes on the floor and put their clothes in the washer.  No dryers were available so we ended up hanging some things and wandering to other floors to find an empty dryer.  It gets ruthless at times .... we now just "bite the bullet" and send out the laundry (except for more personal items). 

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We have found that doing laundry during dinner is often the easiest way to find empty machines. 

 

We start a load as we leave the stateroom, set a timer and when it goes off, one of us will run up and move it between courses. 

 

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