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What was that?

My First Viking River Cruise

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Although we are still 140 days from departure, my plan for our first Viking River Cruise, the Grand European Tour from Budapest to Amsterdam on Viking Lif departing 8 April 2020, is nearly complete. A great deal of thanks go to the folks on this forum (and others) whose opinions I sought, and whose ideas I have appropriated. Since this is our first with Viking, the key facet of my plan is to experience as much of the different features Viking offers, just to see how it all works together. Starting with Viking Air Plus, and including air deviations going and coming, pre- and post-cruise extensions, (mostly) all the included excursions, Silver Spirits beverage package - basically everything! For the most part, I will be relying on Viking to provide whatever I need on board and will only bring things like a toothbrush and shaver (DW will bring her usual machinery and potions, however, so don't worry). Does Viking provide everything I need? I will find out by asking on board. My mantra will be: "If you don't ask, the answer is always NO!"

 

So, I will leave the corkscrew at home along with usual cocktail equipment I like to bring, my favorite washcloth, bathrobe, slippers (Viking can fit a man's 14D foot, right?), extra hangers, etc., and rely on Viking to take care of us. And lest you think I might be leaning on Viking a bit heavily, I do know where the line is drawn. I will bring my own cane, a few of my usual pain and digestive meds, my own binoculars - personal stuff like that. Since this is our first, I want to find out all I can about Viking's ability to meet cruisers' needs. Besides, what could possibly go rong?

 

Northern Lights in 2021 on the new Viking Venus - I'll be a pro for that cruise!  😎

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Sounds like you're all set and have a plan.  I've never sailed Viking, but I will caution about the slippers.  On every ocean and river cruise line I've sailed where they offered slippers, I had to ask for men's (I'm a lady's size 11).  The men's fit fine, so I doubt a man with a size 14 foot would find them comfortable.  Your feet are going to be hanging off the back.  

 

Hope you do a review when you get back.

 

Sincerely,

 

Big Foot

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Another slipper comment.  I have no idea what kind of slipper Viking offers.  My husband and I took slippers that were more of a house shoe if you know what I mean, (mine were hard-soled felt, his more of a moccasin) and wore them to breakfast and to shuffle up for the first cup of coffee from  the machines or to the lounge when we were just cruising.   It was nice to have something comfortable but entirely presentable.  Don't worry, we wore real shoes to dinner.

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3 hours ago, What was that? said:

 My mantra will be: "If you don't ask, the answer is always NO!"

 

Good advise for any cruise line....it wasn't until the last day when I saw someone else getting cranberry juice for breakfast that I found out all I had to do was ask.  They had it out the first day, figured I was set, but that was the last I saw it!  Next time I will know!  

 

We never sailed Viking, but family has and they love it.  They have done two, and we are trying to talk them into Avalon with us while they are trying to talk us into Viking.  I would say it all depends on the crew you luck out with, as with any cruise.  Go with the attitude you are going to have a good time no matter what and you probably will.  At least with Viking and the number of ships they have available if there are any water problems, they can easily do ship swaps, unlike some other lines that don't have quite so many.

Edited by Daisi

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Thanks Roz, badtwin, and Daisi. I have just sent an inquiry off to Viking Tellus to see if they can resolve the question - I might have thought to do that without your responses, but you never know...

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We have cruised three times with Viking. First time we didn't really know the drill but speaking with fellow travellers we learned a lot.  Second cruise I left a note the first day with a 10 Euro note with it.  Came back to all we asked for andmore, lots more body wash, shampoos, extra towels etc, more wooden hangers and a full container of distilled water.  Third trip we didn't even have to ask as we received most of those items on the first night.  Perhaps we were the luckiest cruisers to have such a room steward but it sure worked for us.  Hope you look forward, with great anticipation, to your cruise and enjoy.  Don't be shy about asking others cruisers for tips and hints.  We met up with a couple who were on their 5th river cruise so they knew all there was to know!! :)

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2 minutes ago, Bake apple said:

Don't be shy about asking others cruisers for tips and hints.  We met up with a couple who were on their 5th river cruise so they knew all there was to know!! 🙂

We are totally going to count on the "veteran" cruisers - and the Viking staff, of course!

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On 11/16/2019 at 11:03 AM, What was that? said:

Northern Lights in 2021 on the new Viking Venus - I'll be a pro for that cruise! 

 

Almost pro. Even though it is Viking, there are differences in the way some things are handled on rivers vs oceans.

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18 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

Almost pro. Even though it is Viking, there are differences in the way some things are handled on rivers vs oceans.

Then I should have said: "I'll be a pro* for that cruise!"

* your results may vary...

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1 hour ago, What was that? said:

Then I should have said: "I'll be a pro* for that cruise!"

* your results may vary...

 

Actually, your results are likely to be even better than you expect.  Viking Ocean has set a high bar for itself, and they are revolutionizing mid-size ocean ship cruising by offering very high quality in every area.  In the new 2020 edition of the Berlitz Guide, the top 6 mid-size ships are all Viking [and those were the only ones eligible for this edition]

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Here is the response from Viking Social, aka Tellus:

"We appreciate your patience as we researched your inquiry and are happy to provide the specifications of the onboard slippers below for your convenience:

  • 10.8 cm by 30 cm"

That seems very large. My experience on HAL was that they had nothing close to the size of my foot - there was a lot of hangover.

Out of curiosity, I measured my left foot at 28cm long and about 10.5cm wide, so the mathematical THEORY is that they will fit. Stay tuned as I  intend to update this topic after we get aboard on 8 April 2020.

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If slippers are such a big deal, why not just bring your own?

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1 minute ago, Roz said:

If slippers are such a big deal, why not just bring your own?

That's why I come here - to get advice boiled down to the heart of the matter!

Well, I did say I wanted this to be an experience that would let me know the limits of what Viking is able to do to please the passengers. On the other hand, I do not want cold feet...

Thanks, Roz!

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16 minutes ago, What was that? said:

That's why I come here - to get advice boiled down to the heart of the matter!

Well, I did say I wanted this to be an experience that would let me know the limits of what Viking is able to do to please the passengers. On the other hand, I do not want cold feet...

Thanks, Roz!

 

 

LOL, I thought is was just because you were trying to pack light for this cruise

 

On 11/16/2019 at 11:03 AM, What was that? said:

So, I will leave the corkscrew at home along with usual cocktail equipment I like to bring, my favorite washcloth, bathrobe, slippers (Viking can fit a man's 14D foot, right?), extra hangers, etc., and rely on Viking to take care of us. And lest you think I might be leaning on Viking a bit heavily, I do know where the line is drawn. I will bring my own cane, a few of my usual pain and digestive meds, my own binoculars - personal stuff like that. Since this is our first, I want to find out all I can about Viking's ability to meet cruisers' needs. Besides, what could possibly go rong?

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

LOL, I thought is was just because you were trying to pack light for this cruise

That, too - but  the "focus" of this inquiry is to determine, as authoritatively as possible, what the known limits of Viking's service so I don't re-invent the wheel, so to speak. I would hope to be able to come back here and brief folks on what I learned that was heretofore unknown.

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8 minutes ago, What was that? said:

so I don't re-invent the wheel, so to speak

 

A noble endeavor!  Let the quest continue!

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Got back from a River Cruise with Viking. Thought we’d bee treated well on our HAL Alaska Cruise, Viking is hands down the BEST, the staff, the kitchen, Cruise director, the port stops and outings. The food was to die for. Took my mom who is experiencing early Alzheimer’s, and the staff was so super helpful & understanding.

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Dw and I both have smallish feet for our gender [I'm 8.5 B], and we have rarely found hotel or ship slippers that really work for us.  In our case, they run big – but not so big that they would stretch to size 14!  I always pack an old pair of leather slippers [that used to have a wool lining...] – they keep all of my foot warm and clean!

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One service I stumbled across is having the crew, concierge or front desk, buy and print tickets to museums, etc. for us to tour on our own.  On river used this to visit Van Gogh on embarkation day as we'd arrived shipboard at 8AM.  They fed us as we waited for our room to be ready.  It was ready before we finished.  Then we were off to tour.  I was exhausted from the overnight flight though.

 

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46 minutes ago, philw1776 said:

One service I stumbled across is having the crew, concierge or front desk, buy and print tickets to museums, etc. for us to tour on our own.  On river used this to visit Van Gogh on embarkation day as we'd arrived shipboard at 8AM.  They fed us as we waited for our room to be ready.  It was ready before we finished.  Then we were off to tour.  I was exhausted from the overnight flight though.

 

I will add this to my cruising tips. Thanks Phil!

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On 11/16/2019 at 11:03 AM, What was that? said:

 

 

Northern Lights in 2021 on the new Viking Venus - I'll be a pro for that cruise!  😎

 

Wishing you a wonderful Northern Lights trip!  Looking forward to being on the Venus for the Rome-to-Barcelona sailing in January '21 that Viking offered the Sky guests from this past March. Have never been on a new ship before, let alone one of the inaugural sailings. The northern lights trip we did was amazing...while it lasted. 

Edited by OnTheJourney

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3 minutes ago, OnTheJourney said:

 

Wishing you a wonderful Northern Lights trip!  Looking forward to being on the Venus for the Rome-to-Barcelona sailing in January '21 that Viking offered the Sky guests from this past March. Have never been on a new ship before, let alone one of the inaugural sailings. The northern lights trip we did was amazing...while it lasted. 

Wow - first a helicopter ride, and now an inaugural cruise. I'm getting jealous!

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🙂  Then also the compensation cruise...can use vouchers anytime up until 2024. As has been pointed out, though, the compensation cruise cost is uninsurable so if needed to cancel for some reason, it's gone. The vouchers have no redeemable cash value other than towards the cost of whatever trip is chosen. 

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