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Ultimate World Cruise 245 days and all the parts. Ongoing review, questions, opinion


Jim Avery
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On 12/17/2019 at 12:17 PM, Jim Avery said:

Haha, aliens it is!  Btw, I am 6' 3"/220lbs and there was a guy larger than me onboard.  Definitely a tight fit but he could do it.  Just don't forget the pills.....  A great view if scary.😱🍸

I have to ask re: SA. Did you make any furry friends while visiting all of those ports?  They are everywhere. Woof!

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It is only a short time until Christmas and the end of the first half of the Ultimate World Cruise is in sight. The attached file is an abbreviated souvenir album to help you remember your wonderful cruise and to share with friends. Enjoy and Merry Christmas.

Connie 

Viking Sun 2019-2020 1st half World Cruise Souvenir Album.pdf

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Docked today in Manta, Ecuador in the middle of the tuna fleet.  Even Vicki in the port talk advised us not to open the balcony doors unless you like the smell of fish.  Really like the smell of fish.  And a point of curiosity.  The itinerary calls this stop Quito (Manta) Ecuador.  You have to watch those pesky parentheses as Quito is 250 miles from where we are docked.  And better, none of the tours go to Quito.  Go figure.  So, when you are looking at an itinerary, pay close attention to the parentheses.  We took a trip to a resort at a beach for a relaxing few hours.  Ok but nothing special for sure.  So, on to a sea day then Panama.  (Fuerte Amador).🍸

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We spent part of the day in Manta watching them unload giant frozen tuna from a large fishing boat into containers that were whisked away.  Very interesting.  We didn't do anything that day because we had friends come on board for unch (they live there), and we were coming back after our cruise for a few days to visit.  The best things about Manta are the beaches, the nearby rainforest, and best of all, Monte Cristi, where they make the Panama hats and where many other great crafts and fabrics are sold--wonderful for shopping.

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14 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

Jim - Welcome back to the Northern Hemisphere, just checked the webcam and noted you departing the Canal approaches.

And good it is to be back.  Panama was a real beauty compared to lots of what we saw in SA.  We took the Gamboa Aerial Tram tour and enjoyed it.  We did tender here at Puerto Fuentes marina area but not far and very calm.  We had a bit of panoramic along the canal and the Miraflores Locks on the way then had orientation on the rain forest.  Swarmed by butterflies in the butterfly house, sort of like "The Birds" but no bloodshed.😱 The tram carried 6 comfortably and got quite high up in the canopy.  Didn't see any monkeys but then have seen lots in the past.  An enjoyable ride.  When we got back to the marina we had an excellent meal at Lorna & Carbon (think that is spelled right) with lots of local food and beer.  So stuffed we skipped dinner last night.  Today is a bit gloomy but might get sunny later.  Hope so as the Northbound Shellback party is this afternoon for all the new Pollwogs on board.  Haha, Kiss the Fish!😎

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6 minutes ago, Jim Avery said:Hope so as the Northbound Shellback party is this afternoon for all the new Pollwogs on board.  Haha, Kiss the Fish!😎


“Kiss the fish”, a walk in the park compared to my crossover during my Navy days. USS Kitty Hawk, CV-63, July ‘81. Golden Dragon soon thereafter.

 

Looking forward to another crossing 38 years later. 

 

F1948DFC-46B5-4F92-BDFA-DB2B90D39945.jpeg

7507F722-0073-45B5-A5BF-5327348ADD16.jpeg

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12 minutes ago, Jim Avery said:Hope so as the Northbound Shellback party is this afternoon for all the new Pollwogs on board.  Haha, Kiss the Fish!😎


“Kiss the fish” a walk in the park compared to my crossing during my Navy days, USS Kitty Hawk, CV-63, July ‘81. Golden Dragon soon thereafter.  Looking forward to another crossing 38 years later.
 

7D7B22A1-F7F5-4873-8C2E-7C7F23D509DB.jpeg

B3800684-1AA2-409A-9ECF-C78CADCC8111.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Jim Avery said:

And good it is to be back.  Panama was a real beauty compared to lots of what we saw in SA.  We took the Gamboa Aerial Tram tour and enjoyed it.  We did tender here at Puerto Fuentes marina area but not far and very calm.  We had a bit of panoramic along the canal and the Miraflores Locks on the way then had orientation on the rain forest.  Swarmed by butterflies in the butterfly house, sort of like "The Birds" but no bloodshed.😱 The tram carried 6 comfortably and got quite high up in the canopy.  Didn't see any monkeys but then have seen lots in the past.  An enjoyable ride.  When we got back to the marina we had an excellent meal at Lorna & Carbon (think that is spelled right) with lots of local food and beer.  So stuffed we skipped dinner last night.  Today is a bit gloomy but might get sunny later.  Hope so as the Northbound Shellback party is this afternoon for all the new Pollwogs on board.  Haha, Kiss the Fish!😎

We did the same tour a few years ago when stopping at Puerto Fuentes. Got some great photos of ships in the Canal.

 

Wishing you a Merry Christmas on board.

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1 hour ago, NY Nick said:


“Kiss the fish”, a walk in the park compared to my crossover during my Navy days. USS Kitty Hawk, CV-63, July ‘81. Golden Dragon soon thereafter.

 

Looking forward to another crossing 38 years later. 

 

F1948DFC-46B5-4F92-BDFA-DB2B90D39945.jpeg

7507F722-0073-45B5-A5BF-5327348ADD16.jpeg

Dave - something else we can compare notes on. I became a shellback aboard a cadet training vessel back in 1975. Even in those days they had been forced to tone it down, but what they experience now is a walk in the park.

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Since Andy and NY Nick must still reek of dead fish and fuel oil, best wishes to their tough as nails spouses.  It is a beautiful sea day here on the Viking Sun en route to Guatemala.  A nice relaxing way to have a Christmas Day.  Yesterday, Christmas Eve, is DWs birthday so we had a bit of a special dinner with pals in Manfredi's.  Italian for Christmas?  Well why not, even if Manfredi's is unlike any of yall's favorite local Italian joints.  Not sure what it is but the venue and the service are always good.  We had a few bottles of good wine and then the triple chocolate chocolate cake for birthday.  So good we skipped the Chocolate Extravaganza assembled in the Atrium.  Another one of the special events Viking puts on so well.  Sorry, no pictures.  Too busy eating and drinking in Manfredi's.  Maybe Tom will come out of retirement long enough to post some pix?  After dinner we went to the special Christmas Show put  on by staff.  CD Vicki is a hoot and puts together light hearted, sometimes digs at Viking, and a touch of slapstick shows and this one was good too.  The highlight was the big burly Scot John Cunningham, Restaurant Manager, and Nikolai, (Baby Shark) Beverage Services Manager, prancing about in pink Tutus.🤩  Quite a fine sight to see.  

Before all this, the day started in Puntarenas, Costa Rica.  Very hot and humid.  We have been to Costa Rica before and I will just say we have other places we like much better.  Anyone else with a fun excursion please jump in and describe it.  Imho, I wish we had spent an extra day or two in Panama.  Just can't please everyone.....🍸

As we head steadily North, the weather is becoming more pleasant and less humid.  The forecast for Cabo San Lucas looks about perfect.  I can taste the tacos at Captain Tony's now....  Yum!😎

 

 

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47 minutes ago, Jim Avery said:

Since Andy and NY Nick must still reek of dead fish and fuel oil, best wishes to their tough as nails spouses.  It is a beautiful sea day here on the Viking Sun en route to Guatemala.  A nice relaxing way to have a Christmas Day.  Yesterday, Christmas Eve, is DWs birthday so we had a bit of a special dinner with pals in Manfredi's.  Italian for Christmas?  Well why not, even if Manfredi's is unlike any of yall's favorite local Italian joints.  Not sure what it is but the venue and the service are always good.  We had a few bottles of good wine and then the triple chocolate chocolate cake for birthday.  So good we skipped the Chocolate Extravaganza assembled in the Atrium.  Another one of the special events Viking puts on so well.  Sorry, no pictures.  Too busy eating and drinking in Manfredi's.  Maybe Tom will come out of retirement long enough to post some pix?  After dinner we went to the special Christmas Show put  on by staff.  CD Vicki is a hoot and puts together light hearted, sometimes digs at Viking, and a touch of slapstick shows and this one was good too.  The highlight was the big burly Scot John Cunningham, Restaurant Manager, and Nikolai, (Baby Shark) Beverage Services Manager, prancing about in pink Tutus.🤩  Quite a fine sight to see.  

Before all this, the day started in Puntarenas, Costa Rica.  Very hot and humid.  We have been to Costa Rica before and I will just say we have other places we like much better.  Anyone else with a fun excursion please jump in and describe it.  Imho, I wish we had spent an extra day or two in Panama.  Just can't please everyone.....🍸

As we head steadily North, the weather is becoming more pleasant and less humid.  The forecast for Cabo San Lucas looks about perfect.  I can taste the tacos at Captain Tony's now....  Yum!😎

 

 

 

Merry Christmas to you Jim, and the others on the Sun.  Thank you again for all of your wonderful posts.  We will miss them when you leave!    We are on the Jupiter having left Valparaiso heading south now to Punta Arena, and having some "interesting" 15 foot seas and bad weather for Christmas.  Wishing we had your calm seas and sunshine!   You had mentioned your previous Cruise Director Heather Clancy and we have her this cruise for she gets off in Buenos Aries (to another assignment?).  You are right, she is absolutely wonderful!  Have very much enjoyed her presence on board.

Our Christmas show in the Star Theatre might be cancelled due to the high seas (too dangerous for everyone).

Merry Christmas to all of us at sea~!

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3 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

The highlight was the big burly Scot John Cunningham, Restaurant Manager, and Nikolai, (Baby Shark) Beverage Services Manager, prancing about in pink Tutus.🤩  Quite a fine sight to see.  

 

HaHa!! I remember those days, this was one of 2 performances we did for the Officer's Revue show on Oriana, during Aussie Cruising. We alternated between Swan Lake & CanCan. Hopefully they received as much Brandy as we did both pre & post show for wearing a Tutu on stage.😀🍺

 

Merry Christmas to all aboard.

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7 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

HaHa!! I remember those days, this was one of 2 performances we did for the Officer's Revue show on Oriana, during Aussie Cruising. We alternated between Swan Lake & CanCan. Hopefully they received as much Brandy as we did both pre & post show for wearing a Tutu on stage.😀🍺

 

Merry Christmas to all aboard.

 

Andy, I need your help on something that came up during our Christmas dinner today - my brother and I got into discussing the Viking Sky situation and from there it led into a more general discussion on ship propulsion, specifically, azimuthing pods. I was telling him how (if I'm correct) the propeller is turning opposite from the way it usually does in the rear, fixed position. Is this right? I did say how the propeller is in the front rather than the rear, but failed to recall the concept of the ship being pulled, rather than pushed, though the water. I don't think I explained it well enough since he said it doesn't seem to make sense how sufficient forward motion is generated with the water being pushed against whatever is directly in front of the azipod system. Do does the azipod propeller turn the same direction that it would be if it were mounted aft, as in a traditional propeller / rudder set-up, or reversed direction? If the propeller is turning the same as it would be if mounted in the back of a shaft, then would it still be pulling the ship through the water? A bit confused on it...  Thanks for any clarification...

Edited by OnTheJourney
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On 12/25/2019 at 7:00 PM, OnTheJourney said:

 

Andy, I need your help on something that came up during our Christmas dinner today - my brother and I got into discussing the Viking Sky situation and from there it led into a more general discussion on ship propulsion, specifically, azimuthing pods. I was telling him how (if I'm correct) the propeller is turning opposite from the way it usually does in the rear, fixed position. Is this right? I did say how the propeller is in the front rather than the rear, but failed to recall the concept of the ship being pulled, rather than pushed, though the water. I don't think I explained it well enough since he said it doesn't seem to make sense how sufficient forward motion is generated with the water being pushed against whatever is directly in front of the azipod system. Do does the azipod propeller turn the same direction that it would be if it were mounted aft, as in a traditional propeller / rudder set-up, or reversed direction? If the propeller is turning the same as it would be if mounted in the back of a shaft, then would it still be pulling the ship through the water? A bit confused on it...  Thanks for any clarification...

I have never worked with the cruise ship type Azipods, so have no practical experience.

 

The Azipods normally have the propeller towards the front of the pod, so it gets a clean water flow. When the pod is rotated and the propeller is at the rear, the water flow into the blades is disturbed by passing over the pod. Whenever the water flow is disturbed the efficiency is reduced and fuel consumption increases.

 

With respect to the actual direction the prop turns - either inboard or outboard, I'm not certain if they have any standard. On conventional twin screw ships, each propeller turns in the opposite direction - either both turning in or both out. If they both turned in the same direction it would create significant transverse thrust, which would require constant correction with the rudders.

 

Hope this helps.

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With the third of three lazy sea days in a row, I figure I should check in at least.  A sea day observation.  This segment is the first time we have seen significant chair hogging.  The loungers on the pool deck will have a book, a ball cap, or some other item on them at 8am.  Hours go by and no one shows up.  In 8 months on the Sun this is the first time this has appeared so wide spread.  We were told, before this segment, that it would be around a 100 passengers less than full but, to be honest, it feels crowded just about anywhere we go.  Maybe we have just been onboard too long but we are pretty sure we will not do a Viking world cruise again with all these segments.  Instead we will chose a longer segment, wait till the last minute, and get the deals offered to fill the ship.  Now don't take this as "blaming" those who booked the segments, we will too next time.  It just gets a bit old, after paying full fare, to hear of all the excellent deals short term cruisers have received.  And we are not the only world cruisers feeling like this.  One couple, for example, who are booked London to LA checked pricing for LA to London and report it is approximately half what they paid for the first half.  In my opinion, Viking is making a mistake and will find it hard to sell full world cruises in the future.  Additionally, more crew got off in Valparaiso than got on.  You can guess how that works.  Still, the crew works so hard to make everything ok for us.  Not their fault how Viking handles scheduling.  And as mentioned before the food quality and choice has declined markedly with the departure of Chef Tomasz.  We are looking forward to Cabo as we have been there often and have some favorite Mexican cafes near the marina area.  It is a great place for beach time for those who are interested in that too.  After Cabo two more sea days then San Diego, another good place to visit by ship.  Then on to LA and being dumped on the dock to make way for you new world cruisers.  The LA to London voyage has, again imho, much more "wow factor" than this one.  I know y'all will have a good time.   Lots of senior staff and crew supposed to join in LA as well.  😎

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That's very interesting.  Other cruise lines routinely split their world cruises up into various segments, but I have seen no similar discounts, at least not for mine, which is on Regent, granted still a year away.  The segments, taken together, split in various ways, are still significantly more expensive than the WC booked in its entirety, plus you don't get all those perks (laundry, medical, visas, luggage shipment, etc.)  Many of these segments are heavily waitlisted a year out, although some of them have GTY's available for various (lower) categories; this bodes well for the prices standing up over the next year.

 

As for the food quality, let's hope Viking gets its act together for those second-halfers!  After all, this is a trip of a lifetime.

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Just checking on Cabo, always a tender port, and see that 4!! Ships are scheduled for tomorrow. HAL, Carnival, Princess, and little ole us. Combined passenger load of approximately 10,000! This is not looking good.😳

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