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I am sure this must have been discussed, but I am sure not finding. 
 

We have travelled on several cruise lines over the years. After trying some mainstream lines We found a good niche with HAL on their small ships for a couple trips, but those ships are gone and we are not interested in larger ships. Several years ago we experienced Viking and have since sailed several times with them. We very much enjoyed their service, food, included wine/beer, specialty restaurants, free spa visits (not services), the ships, and itineraries. 

In researching options Oceania has several itineraries that are very interesting to us. Reviews on CC are really very positive and I am seeing a lot of aspects that are inviting.A few things about is - we are mid 60’s and early 70’s. We rarely do ship excursions preferring to explore independently or private/small group. We don’t need casinos, shows, art sales, photographers. We enjoy good wine - as well as a higher end cocktail or two. we enjoy a relaxed meal in the evening with very good food. Balcony relaxing is a pleasure as well as a couple sea days to relax. We enjoy visiting lesser travelled ports amd longer port days. While most of those boxes are checked with Viking, what we do not like is their payment policy. It is ridiculous how far in advance they require payment in full. It works for them, but not so much for us. We also see continued steep pricing increases, and that combination has me looking. 

If anyone has travelled on Viking and would kindly provide some comparisons as well as insights and suggestions/recommendations, I would very much appreciate hearing your experience. Thank you 

 

 

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Have not been on Viking

Oceania has   no free wine/beer with meals (unless you take the O life perk)

 no photographers

no art auctions

not sure what free spa visits are on Viking  but  if you mean the steam/sauna room/showers/gym  they are open to all guests

Spa deck has free access  for  A cabins & above

They do have a casino & evening show  ..you are not forced to go to either 😉

 

 Maybe if you have more specific questions  it would be easier to answer

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25 minutes ago, Vineyard View said:

I am sure this must have been discussed, but I am sure not finding. 
 

We have travelled on several cruise lines over the years. After trying some mainstream lines We found a good niche with HAL on their small ships for a couple trips, but those ships are gone and we are not interested in larger ships. Several years ago we experienced Viking and have since sailed several times with them. We very much enjoyed their service, food, included wine/beer, specialty restaurants, free spa visits (not services), the ships, and itineraries. 

In researching options Oceania has several itineraries that are very interesting to us. Reviews on CC are really very positive and I am seeing a lot of aspects that are inviting.A few things about is - we are mid 60’s and early 70’s. We rarely do ship excursions preferring to explore independently or private/small group. We don’t need casinos, shows, art sales, photographers. We enjoy good wine - as well as a higher end cocktail or two. we enjoy a relaxed meal in the evening with very good food. Balcony relaxing is a pleasure as well as a couple sea days to relax. We enjoy visiting lesser travelled ports amd longer port days. While most of those boxes are checked with Viking, what we do not like is their payment policy. It is ridiculous how far in advance they require payment in full. It works for them, but not so much for us. We also see continued steep pricing increases, and that combination has me looking. 

If anyone has travelled on Viking and would kindly provide some comparisons as well as insights and suggestions/recommendations, I would very much appreciate hearing your experience. Thank you 

 

 

There are many threads here on CC comparing other lines to Oceania. 
FWIW, Oceania has a very regular following of savvy travelers who appreciate a terrific quality/value ratio and enjoy what several top food magazines (Bon Appetit, Saveur, Condé Nast, et al)  have agreed is “the finest cuisine at sea.”™️
Add that to your list of preferences and the choice is easy. 

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46 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

There are many threads here on CC comparing other lines to Oceania. 
FWIW, Oceania has a very regular following of savvy travelers who appreciate a terrific quality/value ratio and enjoy what several top food magazines (Bon Appetit, Saveur, Condé Nast, et al)  have agreed is “the finest cuisine at sea.”™️
Add that to your list of preferences and the choice is easy. 

I noticed that about the food magazines and was probably the first hook - along with ship size. Thank you Flatbush Flyer

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1 hour ago, LHT28 said:

Have not been on Viking

Oceania has   no free wine/beer with meals (unless you take the O life perk)

 no photographers

no art auctions

not sure what free spa visits are on Viking  but  if you mean the steam/sauna room/showers/gym  they are open to all guests

Spa deck has free access  for  A cabins & above

They do have a casino & evening show  ..you are not forced to go to either 😉

 

 Maybe if you have more specific questions  it would be easier to answer

Viking spa has thermal pools, steam and snow rooms, etc that are available without booking services. Sorry that was an attempt to keep a long post short. 
 

I am seeing O Life offers that include drink packages, and airfare. 
With Viking free or reduced air,  I can upgrade to economy plus easily, but not so much to business. How is that with Oceania?  We have tons of miles. Is there a general consensus on OLife for experienced cruisers?
Are the drink packages with Oceania available all day or just at meals? Is there a good wine list?

On Viking it’s super easy to dine at tables for two. How is that on Oceania?

Are there free shuttles regularly from the port into town?

I realize that the whole excursion experience  is still very unknown with respect to required ship vs independent and that in itself will drive our decision on cruising, but hopefully that is not a forever change. Did excursions with Oceania usually involve bus loads of passengers or were small groups offered? 
 

thanks again

 

 

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1 hour ago, Vineyard View said:

We rarely do ship excursions preferring to explore independently or private/small group. We don’t need casinos, shows, art sales, photographers. We enjoy good wine - as well as a higher end cocktail or two. we enjoy a relaxed meal in the evening with very good food. Balcony relaxing is a pleasure as well as a couple sea days to relax. 
 

 

Oceania offers the OLife package with a choice of 3 excursions, a drink package, or OBC.  OLife is optional and can be excluded for a fee reduction equal to the non refundable OBC.  Like Viking, O has a very lenient policy regarding bring wine and alcohol aboard providing that it is consumed in your staterooms or in any of the dining venues with a corkage fee.  I usually bring several bottles of nicer wine than is available on board for dining enjoyment.  We have not sailed on Viking but plan to for a certain itinerary, but perceive that each Viking and O have their strong points.  I expect that the food on O is superior especially with the no extra charge specialty restaurants.  I totally agree that the Viking payment policy is a deal breaker.  

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We've done several Viking river trips, although not recently.  So I'm not going to try to compare Viking to Oceania ocean voyages.  I've read quite a few positive ocean reviews here (i.e. this Oceania board) regarding Viking.

 

Drink policy on Oceania:  there are two packages.  The one with oLife is "with meals only".  You can upgrade on  board (or perhaps even before, we never take either package so can't vouch for that) -- for $20pp a day you can upgrade to the "anytime" package.  If one of you wants to upgrade and the other doesn't, that's okay.  My objection is the package is wine:  rather than being able to order a bottle from the regular wine list, you are limited to wine by the glass.  From what I have read the choices are good but I just don't want to be limited that way.

 

So for US, we will bring on some wine for consumption in our cabin and then buy a bottle off the list. Or pay the corkage fee.  Yes, the Oceania wine list is of course price-y but I've always found wines I like.  Bear in mind that we are not oenophiles although we do prefer good wines.  We just may be more easily satisfied with the wines that more sophisticated wine drinkers are!

 

We have done ships tours in the past but are more likely to do private tours.  Sometimes I arrange them, sometimes we will join another passenger's tour.  From what I have read, given Covid restrictions it may be difficult (if not impossible) to tour on your own in the near future.

 

Good luck!

 

Mura

 

 

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Just  to add to the other comments

 airfare is not part of  OLife  nor the 1 free internet account per cabin

You can get  air with or without  O Life

 The O air  you can opt out of & take a discount

I would advise if you want bus class  book your own

With O air you fly in/out on the cruise dates  or you can pay the deviation fee & fly earlier or later

The T pool is on the spa deck for people in A cabins & above  or you can get a day pass from the spa manager for a fee

no snow room but they do have steam/sauna  & showers  open to all as I stated above

On the larger ships they have ceramic heated lounges  ..open for all to use

As mentioned  the House select  drink package is wine by the glass & beer with lunch & dinner

 

Good wine & food  are subjective

I like what I like  but other may not

 there are some drink menus on The Priesmans blog  to give you an idea of what used to be

https://www.thepreismans.com/marina19_menus.htm

 

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We have cruised on Viking ocean once and O many times (as well as several Viking river cruises).

Viking Ocean was Ok - not much to complain about. That said, it would have to be a unique itinerary or a great deal for us to choose Viking over O.

However, everyone is different. The only way you’ll know which one suits you better is to try Oceania and then decide.

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7 hours ago, Paulchili said:

We have cruised on Viking ocean once and O many times (as well as several Viking river cruises).

Viking Ocean was Ok - not much to complain about. That said, it would have to be a unique itinerary or a great deal for us to choose Viking over O.

However, everyone is different. The only way you’ll know which one suits you better is to try Oceania and then decide.

What he just said..Ditto.  Viking has beautiful ships but O has better service and food. I also prefer the larger O ships which are more similar to Viking ships. We did one Viking ocean (British Isles) due to itinerary and timing. Also, Terrace Cafe is so much better than Viking's.

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40 minutes ago, TrulyBlonde said:

What he just said..Ditto.  Viking has beautiful ships but O has better service and food. I also prefer the larger O ships which are more similar to Viking ships. We did one Viking ocean (British Isles) due to itinerary and timing. Also, Terrace Cafe is so much better than Viking's.

Ditto to this. I believe a comparison to Oceania’s two O Class ships, Marina and Riveria, is more appropriate than to its R Class ships. 

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Much prefer Oceania.   Viking's included tours are not that interesting for experienced travelers.  Their optional tours are more reasonably priced than O's  Food was okay on V, often outstanding on O.   

V's boutiques were unusual, not my cup of tea.   No casino on V, I never used O's anyway.  I must admit I was about to take my second V ocean cruise when my wife passed, we were first ever V ocean passengers in 2015. 

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Good topic.  Never sailed with O.  I have sailed once on Viking ocean, and thrice on Viking river, and found Viking most suitable for me.  Pro’s are excellent enrichment lectures (guest lectures, and port talks for an in-depth understanding of culture, geology, economics, and etc) and entertainment (performance by locals and special included excursions) and ship decor/stateroom size/# passengers under 1000.  Every stateroom in Viking ocean ship has a balcony.  It has no mediocre shows, casino, and kids.  Instead, it has free internet, free alcoholic drinks during meals, good food (although not as good as O’s), and good service.  It has convenient onboard laundry facility.  It’s optional excursions are “reasonably priced” and have plenty of good choices.  Another positive is that Viking is pretty generous with compensating guests.  For example, in my last river cruise, there were a slight delay in returning to ship and an inadvertent bump at the locks (neither of which was inconveniently noticeable), and we were surprisingly compensated with a $500 pp future travel credit after we returned home.  Another example is complimentary stateroom upgrade that we heard from fellow guests.

In terms of excursions, I choose a mixture of included and paid optional. I may try private tours when the occasion calls for them. The pre and post cruise extensions are where I like DIY for flexibility and variety.  Thus, Viking’s excursions are adequate for me.

Like others, I also want to explore other cruise lines for interesting itineraries.  Have visited O’s website but have not yet been convinced to try.  O’s great food is a plus, and Viking’s unusually early payment is a negative (but not a showstopper for me).  Other than itinerary, the bottom line to me is price.  Question is if the price is comparable for a verandah stateroom?

Would someone help?

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1 hour ago, dreamercruise said:

 Other than itinerary, the bottom line to me is price.  Question is if the price is comparable for a verandah stateroom?

Would someone help?

If Viking works for you stick with them  or give Oceania  a try & decide for yourself

But  if having included alcohol with meals/ free excursions  is important to you  & quality shows

You may or may not get  a FCC for  a bump  in the night 😉

O will probably disappoint

JMO

 

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9 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

If Viking works for you stick with them  or give Oceania  a try & decide for yourself

But  if having included alcohol with meals/ free excursions  is important to you  & quality shows

You may or may not get  a FCC for  a bump  in the night 😉

O will probably disappoint

JMO

 

I do not drink. I take included shore excursions only if there are no interesting optional excursions.  I would attend shows only if they add to the cultural experience.  FCC and complimentary upgrade are only icing on the cake.  Question is if the fare is comparable for a veranda stateroom?  What are O’s pros that work most for you?

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Viking vs Oceania was a heavily discussed topic, one sea day in the Spa area, on my last cruise.

 

Having only sailed Viking once, I had opined that Oceania’s food and wine selection was definitely better. More recent Viking cruisers agreed, but believed that Viking had worked hard to possibly close that gap in the last couple of years. *A point of significance on that Nautica cruise. There was significant food quality issues through out the cruise compared to other past Oceania in general and Nautica in particular sailings. * The Viking supporters were quick to point out that (a) the food on Viking was as good as or better than the food on that cruise; (b) even if better they didn’t believe that the current difference in quality justifies the difference in costs . Food is subjective, but both sides must be considered. Overall, I believe Oceania has great food. It has not been, in my opinion, a consistent product from ship to ship, therefore views of that quality can reasonably vary.

 

As I stated above, a more honest comparison between the lines is done comparing Oceania’s O Class ships, and their features, to the Viking product that the R ships. If one is a regular Viking cruiser, I would recommend they first try an O Class ship , to see if they like the overall product, before venturing to a R ship. This is particularly the case if staying in a regular veranda cabin.

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40 minutes ago, dreamercruise said:

 FCC and complimentary upgrade are only icing on the cake.  Question is if the fare is comparable for a veranda stateroom?  What are O’s pros that work most for you?

The upgrade fairy on Oceania  is a fickle creature  so be happy with the cabin you book

If the prices are comparable I would stick with what  I know & love

Pro's for us

smaller ships, very few children (does not apply with Viking)

good food,  the ambience of the ship  which you cannot put a price on

no self serve buffet  food is served by staff

no photographers

no art auctions

nice  beds ..we always sleep well onboard

Afternoon tea  is a must for DH

 

cons   the marketing games they play

 

As said before  give them a try maybe a shorter cruise  then decide for yourself

sometimes a line  just works better for your needs/wants  than another

It is  a personal choice

 

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Been on both multiple times and have future bookings on both.

Random thoughts:

V includes one free tour at each port... generic and good if it is a destinations you don't have a "must see". Tours booked through V are well managed and monitored, O hit in miss, Florence O tour guide had a radio shack like sound box, V tours walked by with smiling guests listening to guide on their head sets. If you have a "must see" local guides are the best. Food more consistent on V  on O, for every outstanding meal  there was a bad one O. Demographics are equal. More euro pax on V. No kids on V and enforced mobility rules (bad for some) Last O cruise they no longer enforced dress code in any dining  room at any time. Senior staff more visible on O, V air includes transfers. Both have excellent guest services, More native entertainment on V. O has more varied destinations. V gives you a direct phone number to ship (big deal if your flights get messed up) . V catching up to O with flashy useless mail. V knows how to evacuate a ship. O has more things to do on sea days.V sells out faster. O atmosphere is more active in the evening. V movie nights are outdoors with blankets and high end earphones. V has sliding roof over pool, don't remember if O did. Only cruised  O class ships. V cabins bigger when compared to same priced cabin on O. Heated floors in V bathrooms. V waiters have record of what you ordered on their tablets and make recommendations based on your history. More loyalists on O who only sail O.  More experienced cruisers on V who come from various lines. O loyalty program better.

Recommendation: sail both.

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6 hours ago, LakeSideKen said:

azdrydock, would you please elaborate on what you mean that V "enforces mobility rules"?

V has restrictions on scooters.  I believe you can have them but their are size restrictions (which apparently eliminates many scooters).

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@azdrydock....You mentioned that O does not enforce dress code. I have to say that on my Viking Ocean cruise I was flabbergasted at what they allowed in the main dining room. So much so, that I mentioned it to the maitre d. Also, the sloppy T shirts in the cafe were a turn off too.  Others I spoke to thought the same. Who packs gardening clothes for a lovely cruise vacation?

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3 Oceania and 2 Viking with 2 O cruises pending:

 

Viking ships have modern Scandinavian decor with a balcony for all rooms and the best lecturers at sea on many subjects (not just the next port).   Food not quite as good as O in the past but pretty good and good Scandinavian choices.  Free excursions not the selling point V thinks it is-the walk and talk visits on their river (and sometimes land combos) used to be great but not the same when you have to bus from a port to walking site.  .  Viking has more itineraries every year but still not as many as O and less experience in some parts of the world-though they now have cruises that include China where they had great combo land and river cruises in the past(our best river cruise).   O still has better itineraries-we signed up for an Amazon cruise at a great price on V while on board (2 yrs ago), O's is better so we switched-faint hope it will still happen at the end of this year.  Still we would book with either for the right itinerary.

 

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2 hours ago, KirkNC said:

V has restrictions on scooters.  I believe you can have them but their are size restrictions (which apparently eliminates many scooters).

 On one cruise to they prohibited a guest from going on a tour that included a museum with no handicap access and would not allow her and husband to wait on the bus or in the museum lobby.  Another, a guest was stopped because they could not get on the bus without assistance from a traveling partner. Very strict on walkers and wheelchairs left in hallways. I think they also have restrictions on oxygen. A lot of cruise lines have the same policy but are seldom enforced.

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19 minutes ago, azdrydock said:

 On one cruise to they prohibited a guest from going on a tour that included a museum with no handicap access and would not allow her and husband to wait on the bus or in the museum lobby.  Another, a guest was stopped because they could not get on the bus without assistance from a traveling partner. Very strict on walkers and wheelchairs left in hallways. I think they also have restrictions on oxygen. A lot of cruise lines have the same policy but are seldom enforced.

Since Viking  do not have to  conform to the ADA rules  that  ships sailing from  US ports  do they can mandate restrictions

Wonder how they will handle  the rules when set sail in the USA ?

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