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


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Thanks Heidi13.
 

Ive just spent an hour on the phone to Viking USA as Viking AUS closed for the long weekend here and no local emergency contact. Long story short, we didn’t get any notification of this change in itinerary, not even via email which I think was pretty poor. I only found out through this thread.
 

Viking confirmed the change and said that there are a number of passengers arriving into Bali on our flight ex SYD on the 9th at 8pm (local) and that they will meet us on arrival and transfer to ship which will wait for us. 
 

Fairly stressful morning here!
 

 

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https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/03/06/bali-follows-east-java-in-turning-away-mv-viking-sun-cruise-ship-over-coronavirus-fears.html

 

Anyone currently onboard know if this is actually the case?  I'm going to be on the Orion from Sydney to Benoa on the 20th, and this would impact my decision making process on whether to actually get on board.  Thanks.

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Yikes...we start flying from Seattle via Dubai in 20 hours (32 hour trip)...and then what...we land with nowhere to go?!

Maybe they can ferry us out to the ship???

Also looks like the ship is now skipping the Maldives and Sri Lanka and heading to the Andaman Islands and Chennai.
(per latest email today from Viking)

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These decisions by local authorities are ridiculous! They deny entry to 800 cruise ship passengers who have been scanned multiple times with no problems while simultaneously allowing thousands of airline passengers to arrive from all around the world with only a temperature check?

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1 hour ago, Carraig said:

https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/03/06/bali-follows-east-java-in-turning-away-mv-viking-sun-cruise-ship-over-coronavirus-fears.html

 

Anyone currently onboard know if this is actually the case?  I'm going to be on the Orion from Sydney to Benoa on the 20th, and this would impact my decision making process on whether to actually get on board.  Thanks.

As is normal with the media, especially the Jakarta Post, actual fact checking is rarely practiced. We refer to it as the lying Jakarta Post.

 

Facts

  • The Viking Sun is currently anchored off the harbour
  • The vessel has received "Free Practique", which is health clearance
  • A tender has just departed to the shore, with crew only
  • We await arrival of the Indonesian Immigration authorities, to complete the clearance process
  • Early tours have now been re-scheduled for mid-morning

The ship's Master, Senior Officers and no doubt Viking Corporate are working diligently to answer/respond to all requirements to expedite our clearance into Bali. The Cruise Director has already provided 2 updates this morning prior to 10:30.

 

Rather than posting links to rubbish media articles above, may I suggest checking with any of us currently aboard the ship. Please remember our problems in the previous port were caused by somebody not onboard this spectacular ship posting in social media that we had the virus because he saw photos of us wearing masks in Komodo.

 

The media articles even list ports we have NOT visited.

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It is almost 18:00 and we are still anchored off the port of Bali. Negotiations with local authorities have been taking place throughout the day, with Viking having sent an Executive from Head Office.

 

We expect an announcement in about 1/2 hr, but a potential good sign is the tenders, which were stowed just before a thunderstorm, are again being lowered.

 

Will post an update after dinner.

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The health officials have finished with the passengers and are now seeing all crew beginning at 8 PM.  The port talk said we'd depart here on Monday at 6 PM local time for unknown ports but with lots of sea days.  Time schedules seem to be fluid and subject to change.  More to follow after the officials finish.  Our cruise director has been over the top wonderful keeping us informed every so often, even when the news was no news.  We now use our excursion tickets as bookmarks.  Eat, drink, read, nap, repeat.  By the time our sea days are over, we'll be so relaxed that we'll be comatose.  Kudos to Viking for keeping us sane during the chaos.

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We’ve just had a phone call from Viking telling us that we won’t be able to join the cruise in Bali as they have made the decision to “relocate the ship from Asia”. They have offered full refund plus FCV and also offered to cover all of our airfares. 


We’re disappointed that we won’t be going on our vacation but couldn’t ask anymore of Viking. Hope everyone on board enjoys the rest of your cruise and we look forward to redeeming our cruise vouchers and perhaps meeting some of you in the not too distant future.

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1 hour ago, eff1dude said:

We’ve just had a phone call from Viking telling us that we won’t be able to join the cruise in Bali as they have made the decision to “relocate the ship from Asia”. They have offered full refund plus FCV and also offered to cover all of our airfares. 


We’re disappointed that we won’t be going on our vacation but couldn’t ask anymore of Viking. Hope everyone on board enjoys the rest of your cruise and we look forward to redeeming our cruise vouchers and perhaps meeting some of you in the not too distant future.


so if they’re relocating from Asia, where might they end up apart from Australia or India (albeit still considered South Asia)?

sounds to me like between refunds being offered, future cruise credits and repatriation flights this is going to cost them massively

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Well Viking Air called early this morning...don't go to the airport as cruise has been cancelled and ship is being re-positioned out of Asia and sent to Europe...Called Viking and they don't have any info on "cancellation"...have been passed around for over an hour...worried if we are no shows for flight we'll be stuck.  Anyone else have any new info?  Marine Traffic still still shows the Sun anchored in in the bay...

Edited by shadowfox7
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20 minutes ago, shadowfox7 said:

Well Viking Air called early this morning...don't go to the airport as cruise has been cancelled and ship is being re-positioned out of Asia and sent to Europe...Called Viking and they don't have any info on "cancellation"...have been passed around for over an hour...worried if we are no shows for flight we'll be stuck.  Anyone else have any new info?  Marine Traffic still still shows the Sun anchored in in the bay...

What exactly did Vikingn Air say about your flights? did you look  on MYViking page of your reservation page on web site.

Looks like  Viking  is  figuring a way to get cruise  out of Asia and get the folks who are still on cruise off  somewhere  on the  journey to London.... no new passengers as others have posted above.

Edited by Azulann
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Yes checked the MyViking page still shows our flights out of Seattle...It's middle of the night in Bali so it will be quiet for while from anyone on board...talking to Viking Air again...need something in writing...

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24 minutes ago, shadowfox7 said:

Well Viking Air called early this morning...don't go to the airport as cruise has been cancelled and ship is being re-positioned out of Asia and sent to Europe...Called Viking and they don't have any info on "cancellation"...have been passed around for over an hour...worried if we are no shows for flight we'll be stuck.  Anyone else have any new info?  Marine Traffic still still shows the Sun anchored in in the bay...


oh, I just feel so sorry for you!  This is just agony!!  It seems no Matter what one does It  is going to be wrong.  We are agonizing over our trip next month.  The cruise can be canceled, but not our very expensive flights.  I do hope it all gets worked out for you, and I would believe Viking air, who has saved us from disaster before!

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Im not on the ship but my parents are and I texted with them earlier today. They haven’t been told of a cancellation at all. They actually have been told their excursions in Bali are on as long as everyone passes temp check. They haven’t heard anything of relocating out of Asia straight to London. 

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5 hours ago, Captain_Morgan said:


so if they’re relocating from Asia, where might they end up apart from Australia or India (albeit still considered South Asia)?

sounds to me like between refunds being offered, future cruise credits and repatriation flights this is going to cost them massively

I think it is safe to say Viking are no longer making any money on this WC.  All the items you mentioned in addition  there would be a lot of "over budget" items like fuel burn, extra dockage where available, increased shipping costs for supplies.  Andy could speak more accurately to the extra incurred costs.  This will pass of course, like every epidemic in history has passed.  Cruise travel will take a big hit short term and some will fold or be absorbed and you might see some ship layups but it will come back.  As others have stated, Viking is in better shape than others so lets hope for a sooner rather than later solution to this problem.

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6 hours ago, eff1dude said:

We’ve just had a phone call from Viking telling us that we won’t be able to join the cruise in Bali as they have made the decision to “relocate the ship from Asia”. They have offered full refund plus FCV and also offered to cover all of our airfares. 


We’re disappointed that we won’t be going on our vacation but couldn’t ask anymore of Viking. Hope everyone on board enjoys the rest of your cruise and we look forward to redeeming our cruise vouchers and perhaps meeting some of you in the not too distant future.

I don’t know from where you are flying, however if in the states, then call Biking, and ask to speak to someone in the states, and not the Philippines.

I had to do this today, because an AirPlus individual in the Philippines  could not log into the AirPlus system & told me to call back on Monday. 
Please, I don’t lack respect for people in other Countries, however sometimes they only have limited access to what you need to find out. 
 

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6 minutes ago, Jim Avery said:

I think it is safe to say Viking are no longer making any money on this WC.  All the items you mentioned in addition  there would be a lot of "over budget" items like fuel burn, extra dockage where available, increased shipping costs for supplies.  Andy could speak more accurately to the extra incurred costs.  This will pass of course, like every epidemic in history has passed.  Cruise travel will take a big hit short term and some will fold or be absorbed and you might see some ship layups but it will come back.  As others have stated, Viking is in better shape than others so lets hope for a sooner rather than later solution to this problem.

 

Although i don't disagree with your assessment that the WC might be a bust financially due to the added changes and unforeseen added costs, I would argue that Viking is in a worse position than the major players because they don't have the backing and support of a larger corporation.  Add to the fact that Orion being repositioned to Alaska with presumed lost revenue from the cancelled itineraries and i think there's got to be an enormous number of Alaska/Caribbean/Norway cruises that need to be sold to make up for the shortfall...

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12 minutes ago, Captain_Morgan said:

 

Although i don't disagree with your assessment that the WC might be a bust financially due to the added changes and unforeseen added costs, I would argue that Viking is in a worse position than the major players because they don't have the backing and support of a larger corporation.  Add to the fact that Orion being repositioned to Alaska with presumed lost revenue from the cancelled itineraries and i think there's got to be an enormous number of Alaska/Caribbean/Norway cruises that need to be sold to make up for the shortfall...

I think you are right.  There will be lots of ships looking for passengers.  I am as disturbed by this virus as anyone.  When we disembarked Viking Sun in LA January 4th, no one had heard of Coronavirus. Well, outside China maybe.  Viking has a large amount of backing/financing from China. Hence the big production in Shanghai on the Inaugural WC.  Will they honor the terms or will they look out for their own best interests?  Figuring out the Chinese is way above my pay grade.  Hoping for the best here..

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38 minutes ago, Jim Avery said:

I think you are right.  There will be lots of ships looking for passengers.  I am as disturbed by this virus as anyone.  When we disembarked Viking Sun in LA January 4th, no one had heard of Coronavirus. Well, outside China maybe.  Viking has a large amount of backing/financing from China. Hence the big production in Shanghai on the Inaugural WC.  Will they honor the terms or will they look out for their own best interests?  Figuring out the Chinese is way above my pay grade.  Hoping for the best here..

 

Oh yes, the Shanghai / China connection is very much a part of the financial backing there which will undoubtedly have a knock on effect not only with Viking but the general economy re. supply lines, etc.  As you accurately point out though trying to figure out the Chinese requires a great deal more skill than any of us will ever have...

On a side note, i couldn't help but notice that the original remaining itinerary for the WC includes multiple ports/countries currently affected which would make me think they won't be too keen on accepting a ship regardless of whether or not there's no confirmed cases onboard.

Hearing from friends who have cancelled future cruises with other brands, which seems to be the trend for the moment, which i would think a few hundred less people on a mega-ship wouldn't seem like a lot but on smaller ships its going to be very noticeable in more ways than one!

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3 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

I think it is safe to say Viking are no longer making any money on this WC.  All the items you mentioned in addition  there would be a lot of "over budget" items like fuel burn, extra dockage where available, increased shipping costs for supplies.  Andy could speak more accurately to the extra incurred costs.  This will pass of course, like every epidemic in history has passed.  Cruise travel will take a big hit short term and some will fold or be absorbed and you might see some ship layups but it will come back.  As others have stated, Viking is in better shape than others so lets hope for a sooner rather than later solution to this problem.

Jim,

 

I have no doubt you are correct, but while they may not be making a short term profit on this cruise, they are not reducing the standards so common on the mega ship cruise lines. Viking are looking after us extremely well, both with daily life on board and the totally unexpected compensation package. Long term, Viking are blowing the competition out of the water.

 

Late yesterday afternoon, we were advised that an agreement had been reached with the local authorities to permit pax and crew to proceed ashore. All they required was an additional temperature check from all crew & pax. They brought out a number of local officials out to the ship, with the entire compliment completed in under an hour. This was our 3rd check is 5 days.

 

Last night we were advised, provided nobody on board had a temperature, we would be provided shore leave. Upon completion of the temperature checks, we did not hear the result. At present it is 06:45 and I am starting to hear activity below our cabin at the tenders, which are currently stowed.

 

Now 07:00 and first tender is currently being lowered, which is a good sign for getting ashore.

 

Update - 07:03 - Cruise Director just advised we are cleared to go ashore and we have a briefing at 07:30

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Good news!  Andy, I didn't mean to imply Viking was cutting any corners.  In fact I would say the opposite.  They seem to be doing everything humanly possible to keep passengers safe and still proceed on the voyage.  Makes us really glad we found Viking.  Enjoy shore leave.🍺

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7 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

Jim,

 

I have no doubt you are correct, but while they may not be making a short term profit on this cruise, they are not reducing the standards so common on the mega ship cruise lines. Viking are looking after us extremely well, both with daily life on board and the totally unexpected compensation package. Long term, Viking are blowing the competition out of the water.

 

Late yesterday afternoon, we were advised that an agreement had been reached with the local authorities to permit pax and crew to proceed ashore. All they required was an additional temperature check from all crew & pax. They brought out a number of local officials out to the ship, with the entire compliment completed in under an hour. This was our 3rd check is 5 days.

 

Last night we were advised, provided nobody on board had a temperature, we would be provided shore leave. Upon completion of the temperature checks, we did not hear the result. At present it is 06:45 and I am starting to hear activity below our cabin at the tenders, which are currently stowed.

 

Now 07:00 and first tender is currently being lowered, which is a good sign for getting ashore.

 

Update - 07:03 - Cruise Director just advised we are cleared to go ashore and we have a briefing at 07:30

Yippee!!!

Enjoy, and Swishing all huge smilesJeannette😌

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