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Clay Clayton

Sky Transatlantic March 6 2020 Almost Live

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Just boarded Viking Sky in Miami for the 14 night transatlantic to Barcelona. I’m going to be posting in my blog (link in my signature) but will post The Viking Daily here and anything else of interest. If anyone has any questions just let me know. 
 

Embarkation was a breeze. Absolutely no line at checkin when we arrived at 12:40. There were at least five folks in red scarves begging us to come to their station. The medical questionnaire included questions about visiting Asia or Italy and then a nurse checked  our temperatures.

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How wonderful!  I've just followed your blog and can't wait to hear about your journey.  I have been looking at doing this cruise in reverse in the fall.  Best of luck with everything.  You've definitely got an adventure ahead of you!

 

We completed our first Viking Ocean cruise in February, and we were SO impressed by the beautiful ship and incredible staff.  Enjoy! 😃

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Glad to have you along. If you want to read about our previous Viking Transatlantics look In the blog archives at March 2018 and 2019.  
 

We are eyeing the Dec 3rd Lisbon to Miami for our return.  Is that the one you’re looking at?

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26 minutes ago, Clay Clayton said:

Glad to have you along. If you want to read about our previous Viking Transatlantics look In the blog archives at March 2018 and 2019.  
 

We are eyeing the Dec 3rd Lisbon to Miami for our return.  Is that the one you’re looking at?

Exactly!  Plans are on hold until our daughter finds out if she can study abroad in Australia next winter.  If she does, our travel budget will all go towards touring the land down under! 

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24 minutes ago, albertamom said:

Exactly!  Plans are on hold until our daughter finds out if she can study abroad in Australia next winter.  If she does, our travel budget will all go towards touring the land down under! 

Nice! We were there in the early 90s for three weeks.  I want to go back but for three months!

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Interesting to see that they asked about travel to Italy prior to boarding considering that some people booked this voyage to end up in Venice.  Curious to hear over the next few days to see if they address this as we're schedule to board the ship that day.   Trust you will end up with a beautiful sailing out of Miami albeit a bit chilly.  Weather an hour north is bright and sunny.  

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Just boarded Viking Sky in Miami for the 14 night transatlantic to Barcelona. I’m going to be posting in my blog (link in my signature) but will post The Viking Daily here and anything else of interest. If anyone has any questions just let me know. 



Bon voyage!
Stay healthy.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

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Looking forward to following your adventures once again. Thoroughly enjoy your Instagram postings! We leave on our fourth Viking Cruise in September....counting the days! Safe...and fun travels!

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5 hours ago, cruisebug722 said:

Interesting to see that they asked about travel to Italy prior to boarding considering that some people booked this voyage to end up in Venice.  Curious to hear over the next few days to see if they address this as we're schedule to board the ship that day.   Trust you will end up with a beautiful sailing out of Miami albeit a bit chilly.  Weather an hour north is bright and sunny.  

You know, I may have been wrong about Italy now that you mentioned it.  Sorry. 
 

Weather turned beautiful for sailaway!

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15 hours ago, Clay Clayton said:

Glad to have you along. If you want to read about our previous Viking Transatlantics look In the blog archives at March 2018 and 2019.  
 

We are eyeing the Dec 3rd Lisbon to Miami for our return.  Is that the one you’re looking at?

Hi Clay, So glad to see you blogging and posting your travels on here again.  Just the breath of fresh air I need at the moment amid all the doom and gloom.

Hoping you go for the Lisbon-Miami one... we're booked onto that (plus the Miami-LA one that follows it).  ☺️

Janet

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Hi Clay,

 

so happy to see your live blog from the Viking Sky Transatlantic.  We will be boarding the Sea on March 12th heading in that same direction to Barcelona.  I have to ask you where in the heck did you get that yummy looking sushi, crab and shrimp extravaganza?  This will be our first Viking Cruise and the anticipation is getting even greater after reading your blog.  We also wonder how full (or empty) our ship will be.  Best of luck on the upgrade.  Let us know the details once you get “the offer”.  Thanks again.  

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3 hours ago, Jammy Bun said:

Hi Clay, So glad to see you blogging and posting your travels on here again.  Just the breath of fresh air I need at the moment amid all the doom and gloom.

Hoping you go for the Lisbon-Miami one... we're booked onto that (plus the Miami-LA one that follows it).  ☺️

Janet

I hope we will. Going to chat with the onboard sales rep but if past is prologue we will probably wait for an emailed promo from Viking. We are too cheap to pay full price. LOL 

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2 hours ago, airtana said:

Hi Clay,

 

so happy to see your live blog from the Viking Sky Transatlantic.  We will be boarding the Sea on March 12th heading in that same direction to Barcelona.  I have to ask you where in the heck did you get that yummy looking sushi, crab and shrimp extravaganza?  This will be our first Viking Cruise and the anticipation is getting even greater after reading your blog.  We also wonder how full (or empty) our ship will be.  Best of luck on the upgrade.  Let us know the details once you get “the offer”.  Thanks again.  

Hope you will like Viking as much as we do!  Most evenings in the World Cafe (buffet) they have a beautiful spread of sushi on one side and a similarly impressive abundance of cold seafood on the other.  I’ll take a picture of them if we get up there tonight. 
 

Had a voice mail last night requesting we come by the desk between 5-7 pm to discuss upgrade. I stuck my head in after breakfast and asked if there was anyway to find out what “might” be offered and was told not until 5. So I guess we will have to unpack a few things-I’m getting tired of my embarkation outfit!  It did appear there were other guests waiting to speak to someone, so perhaps those in Jr Penthouse Suites and Penthouse Verandas were being met with first?

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1 hour ago, Clay Clayton said:

Hope you will like Viking as much as we do!  Most evenings in the World Cafe (buffet) they have a beautiful spread of sushi on one side and a similarly impressive abundance of cold seafood on the other.  I’ll take a picture of them if we get up there tonight. 
 

Had a voice mail last night requesting we come by the desk between 5-7 pm to discuss upgrade. I stuck my head in after breakfast and asked if there was anyway to find out what “might” be offered and was told not until 5. So I guess we will have to unpack a few things-I’m getting tired of my embarkation outfit!  It did appear there were other guests waiting to speak to someone, so perhaps those in Jr Penthouse Suites and Penthouse Verandas were being met with first?

Hey Clay,

 

Gosh you are quick with your reply’s, KUDOS!!  Since this will be our first Viking experience getting to see the daily papers ahead of time is priceless.  You are a sweetheart for taking the time to attach.  Got a couple of questions for ya. . . I believe you have done this transatlantic before and we were wondering what type of clothing you packed.  Looks like it will be a mix of warm and cool.  Wondering especially what the temps will be like out there on the Atlantic.  We travel with just carry on bags so space is somewhat limited.  How about the temperatures in the public spaces, are they on the cool side or just right?  Do you have a favorite specialty restaurant?  Do you ever just have dinner in the World Cafe when you want to be casual?  Do you participate in Trivia, and if so, is it easy to find people to partner up with to make a team of 6?  We are jigsaw puzzle enthusiasts and would like to know if they have a good selection of ones to put together on the ship.  Any ship secrets you’d like to share?  Any input is greatly appreciated.  
 

And speaking of upgrades, last month on Feb. 7th we originally booked a Penthouse Veranda an then on  Feb. 17th got an email with an upgrade offer to a Penthouse Jr. Suite for $399 per person.  We liked the idea of the much larger cabin so we went ahead and accepted it.  I will be curious to see what they offer on the ship.  We were also offered an Explorers Suite for an additional $699 per person, but decided to decline that offer.  Keep us posted.  

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22 hours ago, JerryInIL said:

Can you tell if there are many cancellations?

I spoke to the purser this AM and he said 50% cancellations. The ship feels empty, lots of room for us.

 

us

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I just met with the onboard future sales person and he pulled up the actual spreadsheet with numbers of passengers and crew.  According to that there are 525 guests aboard. That’s 56.4% occupancy by my calculation. Since the ship was almost sold out (as I recall there were under 12 staterooms showing available for sale a few weeks ago so something around 40% must of taken advantage of the revised cancellation offer. 
 

Having so few aboard really does make for great service!  

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1 minute ago, Clay Clayton said:

I just met with the onboard future sales person and he pulled up the actual spreadsheet with numbers of passengers and crew.  According to that there are 525 guests aboard. That’s 56.4% occupancy by my calculation. Since the ship was almost sold out (as I recall there were under 12 staterooms showing available for sale a few weeks ago so something around 40% must of taken advantage of the revised cancellation offer. 
 

Having so few aboard really does make for great service!  

Thanks, Clay, for all your insights and factual information!  Will be very interested to hear how it goes when you reach Europe - and of course, a lot depends on the next couple weeks on what the airlines and cruises do.  I heard Oceana is cancelling all cruises to Italy.  Perhaps you'll finished your cruise in France?  or Monaco?

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2 hours ago, airtana said:

Hey Clay,


Gosh you are quick with your reply’s, KUDOS!!  Since this will be our first Viking experience getting to see the daily papers ahead of time is priceless.  You are a sweetheart for taking the time to attach.  Got a couple of questions for ya. . . I believe you have done this transatlantic before Correct, this is our third  and we were wondering what type of clothing you packed.  Looks like it will be a mix of warm and cool.  Wondering especially what the temps will be like out there on the Atlantic.  We travel with just carry on bags so space is somewhat limited.  We are also  packed in our rollaboards and have a layers.  We have never needed more than a rain jacket to stay warm. but keep in mind that we are both big boys so it takes a lot for us to be cold How about the temperatures in the public spaces, are they on the cool side or just right?  We find the ship very comfortably but as noted above

prefer cool over hot.  I notice many folks tend to wear a light sweater or a vest. Do you have a favorite specialty restaurant?  Viking prefers that you call them alternative as they believe all their restaurants are special. We enjoy The Chef’s Table -especially the Lotus Menu there.  We find The Restaurant (Viking’s Main Dining Room) to be as good as most other ships specialty restaurants. We live the pool grill for lunch-either a burger or a piece of grilled rare tuna we put on a salad we make at the World Cafe and with both an order of the delicious onion rings. Do you ever just have dinner in the World Cafe when you want to be casual?  Often-don’t forget that many of the dishes are made to order. Do you participate in Trivia, and if so, is it easy to find people to partner up with to make a team of 6?  We do but tend to put a team together on our rollcall precruise. Today though I saw several folks team up inside the theatre. We are jigsaw puzzle enthusiasts and would like to know if they have a good selection of ones to put together on the ship.  I don’t know about their selection but I suspect so. There is always a group one out for anyone to work on -usually on the port side on Deck 2 near the aft elevators. Any ship secrets you’d like to share? Lamb chops for breakfast, pistachio bun in the Living Room, almost any seafood Any input is greatly appreciated.  

And speaking of upgrades, last month on Feb. 7th we originally booked a Penthouse Veranda an then on  Feb. 17th got an email with an upgrade offer to a Penthouse Jr. Suite for $399 per person.  We liked the idea of the much larger cabin so we went ahead and accepted it.  I will be curious to see what they offer on the ship.  We were also offered an Explorers Suite for an additional $699 per person, but decided to decline that offer.  Keep us posted.  wow! That was a great upgrade  We got the same email but it was from our DV2 to  PV and we elected to decline it.  Hoping we can snag a Penthouse Jr 🤞 

See my answers in Bold above

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13 minutes ago, CCWineLover said:

Thanks, Clay, for all your insights and factual information!  Will be very interested to hear how it goes when you reach Europe - and of course, a lot depends on the next couple weeks on what the airlines and cruises do.  I heard Oceana is cancelling all cruises to Italy.  Perhaps you'll finished your cruise in France?  or Monaco?

We are only on until Barcelona. From there we are on land in Spain, Hungary, Poland, London and Paris. Hopefully by the time we fly home in May, the virus will be a distant memory. 

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5 hours ago, Clay Clayton said:

Hope you will like Viking as much as we do!  Most evenings in the World Cafe (buffet) they have a beautiful spread of sushi on one side and a similarly impressive abundance of cold seafood on the other.  I’ll take a picture of them if we get up there tonight. 
 

Had a voice mail last night requesting we come by the desk between 5-7 pm to discuss upgrade. I stuck my head in after breakfast and asked if there was anyway to find out what “might” be offered and was told not until 5. So I guess we will have to unpack a few things-I’m getting tired of my embarkation outfit!  It did appear there were other guests waiting to speak to someone, so perhaps those in Jr Penthouse Suites and Penthouse Verandas were being met with first?

Hey Clay,

 

Gosh you are quick with your reply’s, KUDOS!!  Since this will be our first Viking experience getting to see the daily papers ahead of time is priceless.  You are a sweetheart for taking the time to attach.  Got a couple of questions for ya. . . I believe you have done this transatlantic before and we were wondering what type of clothing you packed.  Looks like it will be a mix of warm and cool.  Wondering especially what the temps will be like out there on the Atlantic.  We travel with just carry on bags so space is somewhat limited.  How about the temperatures in the public spaces, are they on the cool side or just right?  Do you have a favorite specialty restaurant?  Do you ever just have dinner in the World Cafe when you want to be casual?  Do you participate in Trivia, and if so, is it easy to find people to partner up with to make a team of 6?  We are jigsaw puzzle enthusiasts and would like to know if they have a good selection of ones to put together on the ship.  Any ship secrets you’d like to share?  Any input is greatly appreciated.  
 

And speaking of upgrades, last month on Feb. 7th we originally booked a Penthouse Veranda an then on  Feb. 17th got an email with an upgrade offer to a Penthouse Jr. Suite for $399 per person.  We liked the idea of the much larger cabin so we went ahead and accepted it.  I will be curious to see what they offer on the ship.  We were also offered an Explorers Suite for an additional $699 per person, but decided to decline that offer.  Keep us posted.  

51 minutes ago, Clay Clayton said:

See my answers in Bold above

Clay, are a wealth of information which I thank you so much for taking the time to answer all of my inquiries.  I was able to go to your website and read your blogs on your previous transatlantic which answered quite a few also.  Wow, that trip in March 2018 looks like you had some very rough weather.  Keep us posted on your weather this time as we will be following right behind you.  Our most recent cruises have been on Seabourn and we are very interested in the comparison, although I have the feeling I am going to fall head over heels with Viking, the whole serene atmosphere Just speaks to my spirit.  Speaking of lamb chops at breakfast, that was always a favorite of ours on Seabourn so it’s fabulous to know the tradition will continue.  And those Pistachio rolls sound heavenly.  Yum yum.  So glad they have the wrap around promenade to get those miles long walks in like you do and try to keep the unwanted pounds off (although I think it will be a losing battle).  LOL 

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P.S.  We are keeping our fingers crossed, too, for an acceptable upgrade offer, 5 o’clock can’t come soon enough, the suspense is intense!!

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