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Jim Avery

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

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2 minutes ago, Jim Avery said:

Thanks Andy.  I really don't know how they do it.  I suspect many cruisers have no maritime background so it is understandable that they don't realize the effort involved.  As you know, you can't just show up in a port and say I want a space to park my cruise ship.  And as Azulann says, just trying to get adequate supplies to a moving target.  All thanks and respect for all the hard working people ashore and afloat at Viking.  Y'all are sailing on a World Cruise like no other.🍸

So true Jim. These little changes are all part of fun of gallivanting around the world at sea. Sure beats a boring Caribbean or Meddy cruise.😁🍻

 

Every day, we turn up in port and surprise, we are in .............

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In normal circumstances we favor booking our transcontinental flights through Viking Air (using Air Plus) if only for the convenience of Viking staff to greet us for the included transfers between airports and the ship, but this and other similar scenarios confirms my preference for Viking Air. For our 2021 Alaska cruise we will likely book our own flights between PDX, ANC, and YVR because we are frequent Alaska Air flyers. Barring a deviation to Siberia or the Orient, we should be fine arranging our own flights for this itinerary. But, to fly to the east coast for any cruise that is scheduled to visit foreign ports (like for a Miami to Miami itinerary), I am more inclined to book flights through Viking Air. About the last thing I want to have to deal with during a significantly disrupted cruise itinerary is to have to re-arrange my flights home while on the ship. Convenience comes with a price, but its rewards can be priceless.

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Expected it wouldn't be a unanimous acceptance of the itinerary changes, so wasn't surprised when very first thing this morning we met our first whiner in the lifts.

 

Complaining that they took away way better ports than they are providing. Well that is totally subjective, but regardless it is driven by what's available.

 

Certainly didn't buy into the rhetoric, so he didn't get the response he was hoping for.

 

We have already moved on, the itinerary is changed, so enjoy the new ports. Are we disappointed, obviously yes, will it ruin the cruise - NEVER. I spent hundreds of hours of researching ports, which is now negated, but I am already looking forward to the new ports.

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4 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

We have already moved on, the itinerary is changed, so enjoy the new ports. Are we disappointed, obviously yes, will it ruin the cruise - NEVER. I spent hundreds of hours of researching ports, which is now negated, but I am already looking forward to the new ports.

 

What a great attitude. As they say, "ship happens".  And in this case, Viking is trying to keep you out of harm's way, and making tough decisions in the process.  Enjoy those new ports, and stay safe!

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6 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

Expected it wouldn't be a unanimous acceptance of the itinerary changes, so wasn't surprised when very first thing this morning we met our first whiner in the lifts.

 

Complaining that they took away way better ports than they are providing. Well that is totally subjective, but regardless it is driven by what's available.

 

Certainly didn't buy into the rhetoric, so he didn't get the response he was hoping for.

 

We have already moved on, the itinerary is changed, so enjoy the new ports. Are we disappointed, obviously yes, will it ruin the cruise - NEVER. I spent hundreds of hours of researching ports, which is now negated, but I am already looking forward to the new ports.

You have the best attitude.
Someone should write a book on the keg-work that Viking is doing to accommodate the passengers on the ship, as well as any that were supposed to board.   I can’t even imagine the logistics involved, with making this look “seamless“.  
Everyone knew when they Signed on, that this would be an adventure, and it certainly is.
For r “the whiners“ I say, I’m sorry for you. Viking is only trying to keep you safe & healthy. Change  is difficult for many, and getting upset over it does not help.  
Viking did not create this situation. It is a result of our world becoming “smaller”. 
I regret that we were HoHo’s & left in Puerto Rico.  

You are all on a true adventure.  Thanks so much for keeping the conversation going. 
I wish each of you good health & safe travels -Jeannette😌

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12 hours ago, Jukebo1x said:

You have the best attitude.
Someone should write a book on the keg-work that Viking is doing to accommodate the passengers on the ship, as well as any that were supposed to board.   I can’t even imagine the logistics involved, with making this look “seamless“.  
Everyone knew when they Signed on, that this would be an adventure, and it certainly is.
For r “the whiners“ I say, I’m sorry for you. Viking is only trying to keep you safe & healthy. Change  is difficult for many, and getting upset over it does not help.  
Viking did not create this situation. It is a result of our world becoming “smaller”. 
I regret that we were HoHo’s & left in Puerto Rico.  

You are all on a true adventure.  Thanks so much for keeping the conversation going. 
I wish each of you good health & safe travels -Jeannette😌

Thanks Jeanette,

 

Sadly, a good number of pax on here found the need to vent, I can only assume they feel risking health and safety is worth it to see a few ports.

 

I really feel sorry for the Guest Service & Tour staff, who received lots of flak, from way too many people. The staff on this ship are exceptional and do not deserve to be treated in this manner. The changes certainly weren't there fault.

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I have so much sympathy for the crew on board who were looking forward to seeing their families.  Several of the crew are from the Philippines and from having spoken with them on past cruises, those who are working on ships that travel to their home area are thrilled beyond belief to have the opportunity to see family members while the ship is docked there.  Now that opportunity no longer exists and they must carry on until their contract ends.  So for the passengers affected, please accept the changes and remember that you are traveling on a Viking cruise with a loved one.  What could be better?  Enjoy yourselves no matter where you travel.

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59 minutes ago, planterx2 said:

I have so much sympathy for the crew on board who were looking forward to seeing their families.  Several of the crew are from the Philippines and from having spoken with them on past cruises, those who are working on ships that travel to their home area are thrilled beyond belief to have the opportunity to see family members while the ship is docked there.  Now that opportunity no longer exists and they must carry on until their contract ends.  So for the passengers affected, please accept the changes and remember that you are traveling on a Viking cruise with a loved one.  What could be better?  Enjoy yourselves no matter where you travel.

We remember from the first WC that Viking had a hotel for family members who came to visit crew members in Manila.  Most family have never been on a cruise ship, so it was such a treat to see the crew giving their family members a tour of the ship.  It will be a disappointment for sure.  As for whining passengers, there are always those who look for a reason to complain.  So annoying considering this is a trip most people will never take in their lifetime.  Personally, I would love the extra ports and time in Australia; some of the ports in other countries that you'll miss were not our favorites anyway (except for Singapore, which was wonderful and worth a separate trip sometime!).  Rest assured Viking will keep you entertained and pampered the entire way no matter where you go!!

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2 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

Thanks Jeanette,

 

Sadly, a good number of pax on here found the need to vent, I can only assume they feel risking health and safety is worth it to see a few ports.

 

I really feel sorry for the Guest Service & Tour staff, who received lots of flak, from way too many people. The staff on this ship are exceptional and do not deserve to be treated in this manner. The changes certainly weren't there fault.

It is so unfair to take it out on the crew.  They are enduring much heavier work loads with all the changes plus many of them are just as disappointed as the passengers.  The crew did not create the issue and have only marginal input into the changes.  But they have to smile and be nice to some pretty ugly people.  We saw some of the same over much less significant changes on the first half.  It ultimately shows the rude passengers for what they really are.  

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Few circumstances reveal true character like adversity does. Thankfully, the Viking crews have genuine character in spades!

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Hello we are Michael and Kathleen from Sequim WA Joining ship in Bali...Sending a big thanks to Viking Air.  Spent almost an hour with a wonderful Viking rep last night and we got our air re-routed from Seattle to Bali.  As there are no direct flights we will have to leave a day early and Viking will be putting us up at a hotel for a night so we don't miss any time on the ship...complete with transfers and meals! No Charge... Big Kudos to Viking! It must be nightmare scheduling everyone let alone the logistics of supplies in the new ports.  We are so looking forward to the Maldives! What a pleasant surprise.  Haven't heard about any other confirmed ports.

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8 hours ago, shadowfox7 said:

Hello we are Michael and Kathleen from Sequim WA Joining ship in Bali...Sending a big thanks to Viking Air.  Spent almost an hour with a wonderful Viking rep last night and we got our air re-routed from Seattle to Bali.  As there are no direct flights we will have to leave a day early and Viking will be putting us up at a hotel for a night so we don't miss any time on the ship...complete with transfers and meals! No Charge... Big Kudos to Viking! It must be nightmare scheduling everyone let alone the logistics of supplies in the new ports.  We are so looking forward to the Maldives! What a pleasant surprise.  Haven't heard about any other confirmed ports.

Colombo and another port in Ceylon has been mentioned, but we still await confirmation. Will post the next segment when available

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6 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

Andy, any good rumours of the next segment yet?🍸🍺😎

Jim - nothing confirmed, still suggesting Maldives and that Colombo is back on the schedule, with one other port in Ceylon. Going directly to Maldives from Bali will be a good few sea days. Expect to get confirmation within a week.

 

At present the tour staff are doing an incredible job getting tours re-aligned and also adding the new ports.

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32 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

Jim - nothing confirmed, still suggesting Maldives and that Colombo is back on the schedule, with one other port in Ceylon. Going directly to Maldives from Bali will be a good few sea days. Expect to get confirmation within a week.

 

At present the tour staff are doing an incredible job getting tours re-aligned and also adding the new ports.

Thanks Andy.  Those ports mentioned are interesting too.🍺

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On 2/14/2020 at 2:38 PM, Heidi13 said:

So true Jim. These little changes are all part of fun of gallivanting around the world at sea. Sure beats a boring Caribbean or Meddy cruise.😁🍻

 

 

Well, yeah, but many folks, due to financial limitations, would never even consider the possibility of being able to do something like a world cruise or segment thereof, so the "boring" Caribbean cruise you refer to - for lots of people - may well be the 'dream come true' that they might have saved years to afford. It's all relative in the general scheme of things. I'll be doing one of those "boring" Meddy cruises next year - have never been there and so looking forward to it (courtesy of Viking I might add... 🙂)  Those of us who have the means to travel - especially extensively - need to be ever mindful of how fortunate we truly are relative to the general world population. This was brought to my attention in the most profound manner when we were in a Catholic shop in Baltimore after after another one of those "boring" Caribbean cruises (that started and ended in Baltimore). We got talking to one of the employees, who asked us a few things about the cruise. It became quickly evident that even the idea of someday being able to get on a cruise ship was, for this guy, pretty much in the same league as planning a journey to Mars. It was quite humbling and something I never forgot. 

Edited by OnTheJourney

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Understandably some passengers are upset with the changes to the current WC itinerary and are complaining loudly about Viking. Our friends, Norma and Gary Hirsh, feel differently and sent a complimentary email to Viking regarding their handling of the situation. They boarded the ship n LA and are traveling thru to London. Neither of them are on Cruise Critic, but Norma asked that I share their positive thoughts on this thread. They were also impressed that Viking Customer Service called to thank them for expressing their appreciation:

 

   "Just received a personal thank you phone call from Viking Customer Service. They are truly appreciative of our support and sympathy.

 

    "I feel they are doing their absolute best effort to keep us safe, provide excellent service and experiences in spite of the world health catastrophe. As you know they have to instantaneously change our course , supplies, staff arrangements, port approvals, excursions , entertainment, departure flights for departing guests, and consider weather patterns each day."

 

On our Viking Sun 2018 WC some 60 of us were stranded at the airport in Siem Reap when our flights to Sihanoukville were delayed/cancelled. The ship kept to schedule and moved on to Bangkok. Viking had find lodging and meals for another night in Siem Reap and then airline tickets for the next morning to Bangkok. Corporate, the Sun's general manager, Viking's excursion rep who was with us, and the local vendor worked quickly and efficiently to make the new arrangements. The current WC situation is categorically much more complicated. So give them a break and your thanks.

 

 

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1 hour ago, OnTheJourney said:

.... I'll be doing one of those "boring" Meddy cruises next year - have never been there and so looking forward to it (courtesy of Viking I might add... 🙂)

 

OnTheJourney:

 

I can assure you the The Mediterranean Odyssey cruise with Viking was anything but “a boring Meddy Cruise!”  If it is offered on the cruise you are doing, I highly recommend the pre- or post- Ultimate Italy: Tuscany extension.  It is jam packed with included excursions and meals.  

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, OnTheJourney said:

Well, yeah, but many folks, due to financial limitations, would never even consider the possibility of being able to do something like a world cruise or segment thereof, so the "boring" Caribbean cruise you refer to - for lots of people - may well be the 'dream come true' that they might have saved years to afford. It's all relative in the general scheme of things. I'll be doing one of those "boring" Meddy cruises next year - have never been there and so looking forward to it (courtesy of Viking I might add... 🙂)  Those of us who have the means to travel - especially extensively - need to be ever mindful of how fortunate we truly are relative to the general world population. This was brought to my attention in the most profound manner when we were in a Catholic shop in Baltimore after after another one of those "boring" Caribbean cruises (that started and ended in Baltimore). We got talking to one of the employees, who asked us a few things about the cruise. It became quickly evident that even the idea of someday being able to get on a cruise ship was, for this guy, pretty much in the same league as planning a journey to Mars. It was quite humbling and something I never forgot. 

 

Well said.  I hope I never get so jaded that I think of a Caribbean or Mediterranean cruise -- on Viking -- as "boring."

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Just to say in Heidi13’s defense, I’m sure we have all said, or worse, written, things we wish we could take back or rephrase.  I know after our 2019 WC my dental hygienist who had just gotten divorced, mentioned she would like to go on a four month cruise and asked how much it was.  I told her (my bad) and just watched her face fall.  She didn’t say another word to me till I left.  It’s true, we do forget our good fortune!  It first came across to me in Western Africa last year, when we saw every man, woman, child and beast literally starving,  I was so upset, I went to Viking’s opulent buffet later that day and just couldn’t eat.  Later in the cabin, crying copiously, my husband told me, “you can’t fix this by yourself.  Even Melinda Gates can’t fix this alone.”  We just need to be aware, do what we can, and keep on going.  Besides, I think the Ultimate WC touched on both the Caribbean and Mediterranean.  And lastly, a shout out to Viking for handling this crisis in a very quick and interesting way.  A WC is just that.  See the world.  Nothing is guaranteed.  We missed Easter island,  we won’t make it back, but we saw so many wonderful things!!

Edited by SantaFe1

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5 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

Jim - nothing confirmed, still suggesting Maldives and that Colombo is back on the schedule, with one other port in Ceylon. Going directly to Maldives from Bali will be a good few sea days. Expect to get confirmation within a week.

 

At present the tour staff are doing an incredible job getting tours re-aligned and also adding the new ports.

 

I assume you mean Sri Lanka, not Ceylon.  The country renamed itself in 1972.

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2 hours ago, SantaFe1 said:

Just to say in Heidi13’s defense, I’m sure we have all said, or worse, written, things we wish we could take back or rephrase.  I know after our 2019 WC my dental hygienist who had just gotten divorced, mentioned she would like to go on a four month cruise and asked how much it was.  I told her (my bad) and just watched her face fall.  She didn’t say another word to me till I left.  It’s true, we do forget our good fortune!  It first came across to me in Western Africa last year, when we saw every man, woman, child and beast literally starving,  I was so upset, I went to Viking’s opulent buffet later that day and just couldn’t eat.  Later in the cabin, crying copiously, my husband told me, “you can’t fix this by yourself.  Even Melinda Gates can’t fix this alone.”  We just need to be aware, do what we can, and keep on going.  Besides, I think the Ultimate WC touched on both the Caribbean and Mediterranean.  And lastly, a shout out to Viking for handling this crisis in a very quick and interesting way.  A WC is just that.  See the world.  Nothing is guaranteed.  We missed Easter island,  we won’t make it back, but we saw so many wonderful things!!

Well stated. 

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3 hours ago, LeRenardrouge said:

 

OnTheJourney:

 

I can assure you the The Mediterranean Odyssey cruise with Viking was anything but “a boring Meddy Cruise!”  If it is offered on the cruise you are doing, I highly recommend the pre- or post- Ultimate Italy: Tuscany extension.  It is jam packed with included excursions and meals.  

 

 

 

 

Thanks. I can't actually recall any trip I've taken - road or cruise - as having been what I'd consider dull, uninteresting, or boring. I'm just as happy spending a few relaxing days in a cabin in the Pocono mountains of PA as I am sightseeing for two weeks on a different continent. Any chance to travel I consider a special opportunity and indeed a blessing for the good fortune and health that makes it possible. 

 

We haven't done anything with pre or post extensions yet since we're not yet sure of a date for one of the Mediterranean cruises that we'll be doing with Viking next year, but I'll certainly check out the Tuscany extension!  

Edited by OnTheJourney

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2 hours ago, SantaFe1 said:

Just to say in Heidi13’s defense, I’m sure we have all said, or worse, written, things we wish we could take back or rephrase.  I know after our 2019 WC my dental hygienist who had just gotten divorced, mentioned she would like to go on a four month cruise and asked how much it was.  I told her (my bad) and just watched her face fall.  She didn’t say another word to me till I left.  It’s true, we do forget our good fortune!  It first came across to me in Western Africa last year, when we saw every man, woman, child and beast literally starving,  I was so upset, I went to Viking’s opulent buffet later that day and just couldn’t eat.  Later in the cabin, crying copiously, my husband told me, “you can’t fix this by yourself.  Even Melinda Gates can’t fix this alone.”  We just need to be aware, do what we can, and keep on going.  Besides, I think the Ultimate WC touched on both the Caribbean and Mediterranean.  And lastly, a shout out to Viking for handling this crisis in a very quick and interesting way.  A WC is just that.  See the world.  Nothing is guaranteed.  We missed Easter island,  we won’t make it back, but we saw so many wonderful things!!

 

Thanks for sharing that...a most moving and heartfelt story about your visit to Africa. When you think about how many impoverished people could be fed by the amount of food served during just a one-week cruise, it's rather a sobering thought. Another humbling moment came while actually on a cruise. The staff member who conducted the Sunday nondenominational religious service had the most excellent homily in which he referred to the relatively minuscule percentage of the world's populace who have the means to travel on a luxury liner. Similar to what you relayed, it made me feel a tad sheepish about going back to the lunch buffet. 

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15 hours ago, OnTheJourney said:

Well, yeah, but many folks, due to financial limitations, would never even consider the possibility of being able to do something like a world cruise or segment thereof, so the "boring" Caribbean cruise you refer to - for lots of people - may well be the 'dream come true' that they might have saved years to afford. It's all relative in the general scheme of things. I'll be doing one of those "boring" Meddy cruises next year - have never been there and so looking forward to it (courtesy of Viking I might add... 🙂)  Those of us who have the means to travel - especially extensively - need to be ever mindful of how fortunate we truly are relative to the general world population. This was brought to my attention in the most profound manner when we were in a Catholic shop in Baltimore after after another one of those "boring" Caribbean cruises (that started and ended in Baltimore). We got talking to one of the employees, who asked us a few things about the cruise. It became quickly evident that even the idea of someday being able to get on a cruise ship was, for this guy, pretty much in the same league as planning a journey to Mars. It was quite humbling and something I never forgot. 

 

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