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8 minutes ago, Myrtle Ave. Mayhem said:

Trans Atlantic crossings on Viking Ocean are the best! All those sea days to enjoy shipboard. My two VO sailings were TA's. Enjoyed dining breakfast, lunch, & dinner in TR. For me, Viking Sky was the destination!

Welcome!   We are just up the road (101) from you (well, about 200+miles 🙂 )!   Grew up in Pasadena.

This will be our 5th Viking Ocean cruise and yes, we absolutely love the ship life.   As such we have had booked a Transatlantic for Nov 2021 this fall from Barcelona to San Juan.  We really think that one will get cancelled which helped us decide to jump on this Bermuda Cruise!   Join us.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, CCWineLover said:

Welcome!   We are just up the road (101) from you (well, about 200+miles 🙂 )!   Grew up in Pasadena.

This will be our 5th Viking Ocean cruise and yes, we absolutely love the ship life.   As such we have had booked a Transatlantic for Nov 2021 this fall from Barcelona to San Juan.  We really think that one will get cancelled which helped us decide to jump on this Bermuda Cruise!   Join us.

 

Hello CCWineLover & thank you! I come through your neck of the woods frequently as I am a sleeping car train attendant aboard Amtrak on the Coast Starlight. You live in beautiful country! I was also concerned about the November TA canceling. Have you been to Bermuda before? Absolutely stunning in every way. It will be interesting to experience what all entails not being able to do ports independently. I'm guessing that will include a simple trip to the beach. We shall see. 

Edited by Myrtle Ave. Mayhem
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20 minutes ago, Myrtle Ave. Mayhem said:

Hello CCWineLover & thank you! I come through your neck of the woods frequently as I am a sleeping car train attendant aboard Amtrak on the Coast Starlight. You live in beautiful country! I was also concerned about the November TA canceling. Have you been to Bermuda before? Absolutely stunning in every way. It will be interesting to experience what all entails not being able to do ports independently. I'm guessing that will include a simple trip to the beach. We shall see. 

Wow !  How fascinating.  It has always been on our bucket list to do the Coast Starlight from Paso or SLO down to San Diego! 

We've been to Bermuda 4 times before and love it!  But that was years ago.  We picked the Bermuda cruise because we are not too concerned about the excursions.  A little disappointed not to wander into Hamilton though.  Hoping the included walking tour gives time to go in a couple shops. 

Hope as well they offer the Caves excursion from St. George - that was quite interesting and would do it again.  They show it on the Viking Web Site under the itinerary and click "more"  for Bermuda Escape.

Which cruise date are you going on the Orion?

FYI - the CC in my handle stands for Central Coast!  We are proud of this area.

Kent and Pam

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, CCWineLover said:

Which cruise date are you going on the Orion?

FYI - the CC in my handle stands for Central Coast!  We are proud of this area.

Kent and Pam

Kent and Pam nice meeting you here! Of course I thought CC was Cruise Critic, but Central Coast makes sense. Fantastic wine region "up" there! I'll be sailing June 29. The thought is by this third sailing most of the kinks should be ironed out. My goal is to have at least one beach day, otherwise I'll be happy to stay on-board. Myrtle Ave. Mayhem is an homage to my time in the Glendale section of Queens, NY.

Vincent 

Edited by Myrtle Ave. Mayhem
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8 minutes ago, Myrtle Ave. Mayhem said:

Kent and Pam nice meeting you here! Of course I thought CC was Cruise Critic, but Central Coast makes sense. Fantastic wine region "up" there! I'll be sailing June 29. The thought is by this third sailing most of the kinks should be ironed out. My goal is to have at least one beach day, otherwise I'll be happy to stay on-board. Myrtle Ave. Mayhem is an homage to my time in the Glendale section of Queens, NY.

Vincent 

Fantastic, Vincent!  We will indeed get to meet as we are also on the June 29th Bermuda cruise.  We also figured by the 3rd cruise they might have things figured out a bit.  Will be good to connect!!!

Kent

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2 minutes ago, CCWineLover said:

Fantastic, Vincent!  We will indeed get to meet as we are also on the June 29th Bermuda cruise.  We also figured by the 3rd cruise they might have things figured out a bit.  Will be good to connect!!!

Kent

Wonderful Kent, that will be great!

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On 4/9/2021 at 10:55 AM, CCWineLover said:

 

Yes indeed!  Our TA let us know that right now there are not many flights from US Mainland to Bermuda each day - like maybe 5.   If we have 400-500 just cruise passengers on those Tuesdays, no wonder the flights are full!!    We managed last night to get flights from SFO-CLT-BDA and return but seat selection is poor!  And they will not be ticketing until 55 days ahead of time, so upgrades (on your own) will likely be gone.  But to us it is worth it!  Viking Air will take care of the whole COVID requirements on either end and that's a big plus in my mind.

If you read the Bermuda government policy for entry, there is a form + &75 fee that they must have 1-3 days before entry and a COVID test take up to 5 days before travel sent directly to Bermuda. Look on their website. Viking only said we would all get COVID test when leaving for home so we could enter the US. I think Viking is still to give us entry into Bermuda requirements 

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1 minute ago, Respbj said:

If you read the Bermuda government policy for entry, there is a form + &75 fee that they must have 1-3 days before entry and a COVID test take up to 5 days before travel sent directly to Bermuda. Look on their website. Viking only said we would all get COVID test when leaving for home so we could enter the US. I think Viking is still to give us entry into Bermuda requirements 

Yes, respbj, I saw that as well.  The $75 definitely caught my eye.

I did a quick check on getting a COVID test near where we live and unless you are deathly sick or in health care or already have major symptoms, it will cost you $140.  Yikes - how do all these people get tested for free?

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13 hours ago, CCWineLover said:

Yes, respbj, I saw that as well.  The $75 definitely caught my eye.

I did a quick check on getting a COVID test near where we live and unless you are deathly sick or in health care or already have major symptoms, it will cost you $140.  Yikes - how do all these people get tested for free?

I think people get tested for free (or paid for by insurance) if they have a prescription for testing because of exposure?  Just wanting the test for travel will cost you I guess.

So it looks like we'll have to somehow upload our test results before we go?  I saw that Costco has partnered with Bermuda for this, and got excited until I read the reviews elsewhere on the Costco website.  I guess the tests aren't always getting back in time and several people missed their flights:  Costco Covid Test.  The timing of the testing seems to be tricky.  Also, they have two different versions of this test (one you buy in the store, and one you order up I think) and one of the versions is only good for arrival in Bermuda Thursday through Monday, which cuts us out.  

I saw this morning that Bermuda is going back into lockdown today because they're having a surge.  They've found several cases that came in on the AA and DL flights despite the negative tests.  Just goes to show how slippery this virus is.  Also, their Premier has Covid even though he's vaccinated, though he says he feels fine:  Bermuda lockdown.  I had hoped that Bermuda would get rid of their testing requirement for vaccinated people like Iceland has, but maybe with this they won't.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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1 hour ago, Cienfuegos said:

Sail-GP reports on the lock down, and the Government's predicament

 

https://www.sail-world.com/news/236641/SailGP-Bermuda-goes-into-seven-day-lockdown

Thanks, both of you.

We always knew this was a 50/50 possibility (going to Bermuda), but worth the chance.

Sadly to me it again proves that these COVID tests don't really help.  Like driving while looking backwards in a mirror.  But it seems to make people feel safer even if not.  

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We had to book flight our our own because we needed business class (passenger of size) and it was not available through viking air... but we decided to book the transfer through viking to help with logistics... I wonder how that will work with entry testing and the like....

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16 minutes ago, angelhelly said:

We had to book flight our our own because we needed business class (passenger of size) and it was not available through viking air... but we decided to book the transfer through viking to help with logistics... I wonder how that will work with entry testing and the like....

Our traveling companion also booked her own flights with miles and bought the transfers.  I think our T/A told her that it should work for her just like those of us with Viking Air.  Maybe she will pop in later and say for sure.

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Posted (edited)

YAY!  Just booked the July 13th cruise. (Hopefully a lot of the wrinkles will be worked out by then). Our first time on Viking. (Our favorite lines are Cunard, Princess, and HAL) We've cruised to Bermuda a couple of times and have enjoyed it. It would really be great if we could just walk on and off the ship, especially in Hamilton and St Georges, but it'll be great just getting on a ship, in any event. 

I'm hoping that there will be more excursions added later. Since my husband has mobility issues, an excursion to a nice lunch somewhere in port would be great for us. (Assuming we have to do an excursion to leave the ship)

 

Viking pros - any suggestions for a first-timer?



 

Edited by MarkBearSF
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Welcome MarkBearSF - How exciting for you sailing your first Viking Ocean cruise! You being an experienced cruiser are in for a real treat to experience the differences between the other lines you mentioned & VO. As you've probably seen from photos how gorgeous the ships are, it's almost a spiritual experience to step abroad that first time & see it in person. What is apparent immediately is how seriously Viking Ocean takes their hotel department operation. The ship, food, service, & cleanliness are exactly on point. The attention to detail is near fanatical. It's a refreshing change of pace to not have the constant subtle & not so subtle revenue production pestering found on the other lines. As an experienced cruiser you already know the deal. As suggestions I'd recommend breakfast in The Restaurant & ask your server for the daily smoothie! Go up to Mamsens in the Explorers Lounge for a second breakfast. You're going to be spoiled for any other line after your first Viking Ocean cruise. You've been warned, lol.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Myrtle Ave. Mayhem
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I don't know if I could handle a second breakfast, but I'm curious about the "waffle hour."  How does dining room seating work? I assume it's a single open seating?  How important is it to get a reservation for a specialty restaurant early?

Thinking about the drink package. What are the prices of a standard martini (with a call brand gin like Bombay Sapphire or Hendricks) or a scotch on the rocks (Glenlivet, Glenmorangie, or Dewars)

Being a low-key cruiser, I'll appreciate not being nickeled and dimed. (Luckily, there's not a lot of that on our preferred lines) - but will REALLY appreciate not having to deal with being ambushed by a costumed photographer's assistant. And no kids. And I can deal with no casino, although I enjoy spending some time at a friendly blackjack table. 

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4 hours ago, MarkBearSF said:

I don't know if I could handle a second breakfast, but I'm curious about the "waffle hour."  How does dining room seating work? I assume it's a single open seating?  How important is it to get a reservation for a specialty restaurant early?

Thinking about the drink package. What are the prices of a standard martini (with a call brand gin like Bombay Sapphire or Hendricks) or a scotch on the rocks (Glenlivet, Glenmorangie, or Dewars)

Being a low-key cruiser, I'll appreciate not being nickeled and dimed. (Luckily, there's not a lot of that on our preferred lines) - but will REALLY appreciate not having to deal with being ambushed by a costumed assistant. And no kids. And I can deal with no casino, although I enjoy spending some time at a friendly blackjack table. 

 

Not exactly sure what "waffle hour" is but am guessing it is when Mamsens opens for afternoon "operations".  There is often a "rush" on waffles which are absolutely wonderful IMO.  We often split one with the fruit, cream and brunost (brown cheese).  They are made to order and topped as you like them.  Syrups are available if you are a "traditionalist" but we like them as displayed.

 

We almost always get the spirits package ... mostly a matter of convenience but we enjoy the ability to select wines from a broad selection and have a cocktail or two before dinner ... or after too!  At any rate the bar prices are reasonable.  I have attached a link to a menu below.

 

https://sandinmysuitcase.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/VikingOceanCruisesBarMenu.pdf

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On 4/14/2021 at 11:02 AM, amyr said:

Our traveling companion also booked her own flights with miles and bought the transfers.  I think our T/A told her that it should work for her just like those of us with Viking Air.  Maybe she will pop in later and say for sure.

 

On 4/14/2021 at 10:43 AM, angelhelly said:

We had to book flight our our own because we needed business class (passenger of size) and it was not available through viking air... but we decided to book the transfer through viking to help with logistics... I wonder how that will work with entry testing and the like....

I’m the traveling companion Amy referenced and yes, I booked air on my own and added the Viking transfers. My TA said that the ground staff at the airport will have a list of everyone taking the transfers, but won’t know who took Viking Air or just added transfers, so we should have the same arrival experience as those who booked air through Viking. Makes sense to me, I’m sure we will all receive more info on how the arrival testing and Bermuda-specific regulations will be handled as we get closer to sail date. Hope this helps. 

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4 hours ago, molymoo said:

At any rate the bar prices are reasonable.  I have attached a link to a menu below.

https://sandinmysuitcase.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/VikingOceanCruisesBarMenu.pdf

Thanks. Yes, it does like like the prices we saw on our river cruise a few years ago. (Not on Viking) Not bad at all!

It does remind me of one of the things I liked most about the river cruise - they treated us as adults, didn't nickel-and-dime, and everything about the experience was "reasonable."

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8 hours ago, MarkBearSF said:

Thanks. Yes, it does like like the prices we saw on our river cruise a few years ago. (Not on Viking) Not bad at all!

It does remind me of one of the things I liked most about the river cruise - they treated us as adults, didn't nickel-and-dime, and everything about the experience was "reasonable."

Hi MarkBearSF - and welcome to Viking Ocean!  and the Bermuda cruises as well.  Hoping you absolutely enjoy them.   We take the Silver Spirits Package each time - it probably works out about the same as if we paid for eachdrink - but we, like you, prefer to not think about it, and just order what we want, when we want (of course we don't do the super expensive drinks).  The bartenders tend to get to know you and what you like to order - enjoy that as well!

We are right down the road from you in California Central Coast wine country - Paso Robles.   We'll be flying out of SFO on June 28.

Kent and Pam

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At this point, for both June and July cruises, would we have to only use ship’s excursions or would we be allowed to go somewhere on our own - golf, Swizzle Inn, etc?

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10 minutes ago, PTravel said:

At this point, for both June and July cruises, would we have to only use ship’s excursions or would we be allowed to go somewhere on our own - golf, Swizzle Inn, etc?

Yes.  No leaving the Viking tether bubble.

im not sure we would even be able to shop in a store unless the whole excursion went (which is impractical).  
would go another time if you really want to experience Bermuda like the old days.  We are going simply to experience the wonderful Viking ship.

 

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Its a long story, but we have been very interested in a Bermuda cruise for a number of years. With this itinerary - "all-Bermuda, all the time" - I jumped on it immediately! However, I booked the last of these Bermuda cruises, 20 July, because we really want to see evidence that what Viking does is actually working. We are OK with the entry and other testing requirements, and sticking with Viking excursions. It will be a different experience from Viking cruises on the past, I am sure, but on the other hand we feel it will be fun and interesting, for our first VO cruise!

I booked our air separately for a few of the usual reasons mentioned above, and feel that we can handle any of the testing requirements ourselves. I am especially pleased that we got one-stop connections to/from BDA from Reno, NV, at only a slight premium.

I was not prepared for needing to make reservations at The Restaurant, but we can deal with that. I expect that once on-board, adjustments can be made as we get acquainted, or at least we hope so.

Meanwhile we are doing our best to stay healthy and are encouraging everyone we meet to get the jab. My catchphrase for 2021 is "We can live with that!"

Fred

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We are going to self quarantine prior to going.  Of course we will all have had our vaccines, but we anticipate being asked if we have had any recent exposure since that is one of the questions we are asked frequently when we got to appointments.  We do not want to take any risk of being turned around before the fun begins.  

 

Anyone else doing this? 

 

We are going to be very interested in hearing from the first couple of groups when they get back. 

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12 minutes ago, Sunflower & The Scientist said:

Anyone else doing this? 

We have not yet made a specific plan to do that but it seems prudent. We did a couple of (non-cruise) trips last year and did all that before as well as after, and sanitized everything we came in contact with - airplane seats and tray tables, hotel rooms, restaurant tables. Dr. Fauci would have been proud (except for the fact that we were - gasp! - traveling). After returning we quarantined for a few days and then got a covid test. We will probably do much the same for this cruise.

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