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New Viking Ocean Cruiser - Advice?


MarkBearSF
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2 hours ago, MSEm said:

We also keep a cork screw in a travel kit.

 

And there is one in your cabin -- in the mini-fridge.

 

While on the topic. There are no BYO rules on board. No need to smuggle potables on board. You may consume such beverages anywhere on board. No need to hide your tipple in a sippy cup or travel mug -- and the bartender will happily give you a glass. The only downside is that on the Welcome Back cruises we won't have a chance to go shopping to check out the local spirits.

 

2 hours ago, MSEm said:

The Chef's Table menu changes every 3 days.

 

And Day 1 of your cruise is not necessarily Day 1 of the rotation. The Kitchen rota is entirely independent of the comings and going of passengers. ( However, though 3 days is the standard, it is possible  on the eight day cruises that they will use a 2 day rota)

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7 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

And there is one in your cabin -- in the mini-fridge.

 

While on the topic. There are no BYO rules on board. No need to smuggle potables on board. You may consume such beverages anywhere on board. No need to hide your tipple in a sippy cup or travel mug -- and the bartender will happily give you a glass. The only downside is that on the Welcome Back cruises we won't have a chance to go shopping to check out the local spirits.

 

 

And Day 1 of your cruise is not necessarily Day 1 of the rotation. The Kitchen rota is entirely independent of the comings and going of passengers. ( However, though 3 days is the standard, it is possible  on the eight day cruises that they will use a 2 day rota)

Perhap I'm misreading this but what happens on longer cruises? When we were reserving Chef's Table on our ill fated 22 day Med cruise last year, it seemed like the rotation was on a 7 day cycle. Also - to reinforce what you've said - not only will the waiters at dinner gladly manage whatever bottle of wine you've purchased on shore they will do it with panache.  Also - when we were on a Viking River Cruise in 2019 and wanted to share the complementary bottle of champagne we had received (a perk of our cabin) with friends acquired during the cruise I simply brought the bottle with me to dinner and asked our waiter to serve it to our table. He did it with pleasure. The attitude and spirit of Viking is very different; we won't cruise with anyone else. 

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I don’t know if it will be the same in the US but here in the UK for their opening up cruises I have only been offered two alternative set times in Manfredis and only one for Chef’s Table.

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10 hours ago, CharTrav said:

When we were reserving Chef's Table on our ill fated 22 day Med cruise last year, it seemed like the rotation was on a 7 day cycle.

 

It really drives me crazy when they start messing with the system. Then I have to wait to hear about here so that I can stop spreading misinformation. 😵

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  • 2 weeks later...

I’m a complete newbie to Viking, and I don’t understand how the restaurant system works.  Is there a page of information or an overview post that someone can point me to, please? Using search brought me every thread that mentions restaurants, ashore or on a ship.  A bit overwhelming!


We’re booked on Venus for 26 June, and I’m getting pressure from my travel agent to book all the restaurants now.  We’re mostly interested in the main dining room.  Is that open seating or do we have to book a set time every night? 
 

I’ve made two bookings, but didn’t write down day, restaurant or time, thinking that there would be some way to see what I’ve booked, but there doesn’t seem to be.  Is there somewhere I should be looking for this?


Thanks in advance for any pointers in the right direction.

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A lot has changed post Covid. The restaurants are one of them. There is no overview on the Viking website.

 

Reservations are now required for dining in the MDR (called The Restaurant). You can make them online using MyVikingJourney or you can have your TA do it for you. You must book each night separately.

 

Reservations for the two "alternative' restaurants are also required. The number of reservations that you can make in advance of boarding for these venues depends on your cabin category.

 

Just be warned that at this point, all of the restaurants may be fully booked and you will have to wait until you board to make your reservations.

 

World Cafe will no longer be buffet service; it will be casual dress,  sit-down service, no reservations needed.

 

Everything you want to know about your booking is on MyVikingJourney, the Viking guest portal. If you made two reservations already, you will see them under the CALENDAR tab. 

 

If you have more questions, please ask. We are always happy to help newbies get their bearings.

 

 

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Peregrina651, thank you for that!  I’ll persevere, but I won’t panic if I don’t get it all done.  I’m sure they won’t let us go hungry. 😁

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2 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

World Cafe will no longer be buffet service; it will be casual dress,  sit-down service, no reservations needed.

 

This is the first time I have seen these details. Of course, I do understand, but would surely miss the old World Cafe. Any idea how this will work? Does it just become another restaurant with fully plated dinners? No more "May I have some of this and some of that?" as an option? No more sushi?!?!?!

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2 hours ago, lackcreativity said:

This is the first time I have seen these details. Of course, I do understand, but would surely miss the old World Cafe. Any idea how this will work? Does it just become another restaurant with fully plated dinners? No more "May I have some of this and some of that?" as an option? No more sushi?!?!?!

I have the same question.  Other cruise lines have changed buffets to crew served buffets, so the variety is still there.

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1 hour ago, JeriGail said:

I have the same question.  Other cruise lines have changed buffets to crew served buffets, so the variety is still there.


I too hope they manage to keep the World Café as a buffet. It was our favorite place to eat most days, in part because you got to eat just a little bit of this and a little bit of that. It would be a shame to turn it into the main dining room with jeans.

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We won't know for sure until we board and the description on MVJ is not clear (it looks like it has not been updated after the shutdown). So, I'll add the question to my list of questions for the live thread.

 

 

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On 5/19/2021 at 2:49 PM, Twitchly said:


I too hope they manage to keep the World Café as a buffet. It was our favorite place to eat most days, in part because you got to eat just a little bit of this and a little bit of that. It would be a shame to turn it into the main dining room with jeans.

I emailed Tellus and asked about how the World Café will operate.  I received a call today to tell me that it will remain a buffet, but will be served by the dining staff.  Yeah!

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39 minutes ago, SantaFe1 said:

I consider this a contradiction in terms.  

Several other cruise lines are doing this with buffets.  Passengers will go to the buffet (which is behind plexiglass) and tell the staff which items they wish to have.  Dining staff will place the desired items on a plate and give it to the passenger.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, JeriGail said:

I emailed Tellus and asked about how the World Café will operate.  I received a call today to tell me that it will remain a buffet, but will be served by the dining staff.  Yeah!

A process not that different from the first day or two after boarding, a routine they do already. Similar to procedures used when Norovirus was an issue. Makes sense. 

Edited by CharTrav
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32 minutes ago, JeriGail said:

Several other cruise lines are doing this with buffets.  Passengers will go to the buffet (which is behind plexiglass) and tell the staff which items they wish to have.  Dining staff will place the desired items on a plate and give it to the passenger.

I still consider this a contradiction in terms.  Not to say that it is a bad idea.  I like it!  But a buffet it is not.  And usually at dinner they have much the same as the MDR.  On the WC it was nice to get the same thing and not have to dress every night.

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1 hour ago, JeriGail said:

I emailed Tellus and asked about how the World Café will operate.  I received a call today to tell me that it will remain a buffet, but will be served by the dining staff.  Yeah!

 

Good! We can have our sushi appetizer!

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CharTrav is right.  I was on a Celebrity cruise where there was a Norovirus outbreak.  The only impact to the buffet was that instead of the passenger scooping the food onto their plates, a crew member did it for them.  (I think that still counts as "buffet".  🙂  ) 

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So explain to this Viking newbie how the MDR seating works (with the knowledge that things may be different this year).  On other cruise lines, we walk up to maitre d', who asks "would you mind sitting at a table with other pax?" and we generally say that'd be fine, and get seated at a table for 8.  A great way to meet other people.

 

The Viking reservation form gives us the choice of "table for 2" or "invite other guests".  Does that mean sitting with strangers is not an option?

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15 hours ago, JeriGail said:

I emailed Tellus and asked about how the World Café will operate.  I received a call today to tell me that it will remain a buffet, but will be served by the dining staff.  Yeah!


Excellent! Thanks for clarifying.

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15 minutes ago, Jchivers said:

So explain to this Viking newbie how the MDR seating works (with the knowledge that things may be different this year).  On other cruise lines, we walk up to maitre d', who asks "would you mind sitting at a table with other pax?" and we generally say that'd be fine, and get seated at a table for 8.  A great way to meet other people.

 

The Viking reservation form gives us the choice of "table for 2" or "invite other guests".  Does that mean sitting with strangers is not an option?

Having to make reservations ahead of time is one of the new Covid protocols Viking had implemented. What you experienced on other lines is how it was in the before times. Hopefully sometime in the future we will not have to make reservations and be able to sit with whom we want or ask to share a table as you describe. 
 

We had to use the “invite another guest” tab to get a table for the three of us traveling together (me &  my husband in one cabin, his Mom traveling solo in another stateroom). I do not know if the system will allow two staterooms whose reservations aren’t linked to book a table together. 
 

There is also great hope on all the “welcome back” rollcalls that once we are aboard, that we may be able to arrange to share tables.  It’s my suspicion that might happen if the first cruises go well and there aren’t any outbreaks...but only time will tell.  For now, I think we all will need to be very flexible as protocols and procedures are likely to change regularly. 
 

Welcome to Viking!

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Clay Clayton said:

There is also great hope on all the “welcome back” rollcalls that once we are aboard, that we may be able to arrange to share tables.  It’s my suspicion that might happen if the first cruises go well and there aren’t any outbreaks...but only time will tell.  For now, I think we all will need to be very flexible as protocols and procedures are likely to change regularly. 
 

Welcome to Viking!

Thanks Clay. I think the Welcome Back cruises will serve as the mechanism to shake down their protocols. See what works; see what doesn't. And adjust accordingly. I'm truly and sincerely grateful to those of you who are willing to serve as Viking's "guinea pigs" this Summer.  I fully expect that when we cruise next May, we will benefit from what Viking learns from you during these Welcome Back cruises. I don't think the procedures they're using now are set in stone. Should we ever meet you or others who've done these welcome back cruises when we cruise next year, I will treat you brave folks to a nice cocktail at the Explorer Lounge. 😁.

Edited by CharTrav
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12 hours ago, Jchivers said:

CharTrav is right.  I was on a Celebrity cruise where there was a Norovirus outbreak.  The only impact to the buffet was that instead of the passenger scooping the food onto their plates, a crew member did it for them.  (I think that still counts as "buffet".  🙂  ) 

Thanks. That was the process we experienced on our first and only cruise with Holland America in 2011 when Norovirus was a huge issue. They were so intent on it that you couldn't board the ship without sanitizing your hands (an officer made sure it was done). During our land based pre-extension the tour director made sure that nobody boarded the bus without getting their hands squirted with sanitizer.

 

Roll forward to our Ocean cruises on Viking in 2016 and 2018 - the same process was used with regards to the World Cafe buffet during the first two nights -  a member of the crew handed you whatever you pointed at. I'm cool with that. If they want to use that process (and dedicate extra crew to it) so be it.  As I've written in the Explorer Lounge thread, I think the procedures being used during the Welcome Back cruises this Summer are not set in stone. They will be adjusted based on what they learn this Summer. However, given how much $$$ and €€€€ they've spent to modify their ships, Viking may decide that better safe than sorry is the prudent approach going forward. Time will tell. 

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I am also new to Viking. Something in my readings led me to believe the in cabin mini bar may be complimentary. Did I totally misunderstand that or is it really complimentary? (staying in a deluxe veranda if it matters)

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