Jump to content

Celebrity vs. Viking - Thinking of trying Viking


rvpitt
 Share

Recommended Posts

We have exclusively sailed Celebrity & Disney.  We now want to try a smaller ship experience - looking at the Panama Canal cruise in December 2022 (Fort Lauderdale to L.A.)   Looking for some recommendations on how you compare Viking Ocean to Celebrity and Disney.  We are a retired couple looking to try something different.

 

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Interested also.  We tried a Viking river cruise ( 14 night Grand European) and loved it but it was a very different experience then ocean cruising.  We too are looking for a smaller, perhaps more refined but not uptight ship and the no kids policy is fine with us.  We liked the included excursions ( the panoramic ones not so much) and found the extra ones to purchase and the silver drink package were very reasonable.  The headsets worn meant we could hear everything on a tour and not be bunched in a group.  Also love the balcony only concept.  It’s quite a bit more expensive so is it worth it?

 

The thing that puts me off the most is final payment a year out.  A lot can happen in a year.

Edited by cruiselvr04
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife and I have sailed on Celebrity for 15+ cruises.  We have the Apex booked this Jan 2022 from an earlier lift and shift actually in a S3.  We primarily book a A1 at A2 rate and we like the Blu restaurant for AQ staterooms.  Last Feb we booked a Viking Iceland/Norway 13 day cruise for Aug 2022.  So why the move, well we liked everything we read about Viking, including the ship design and capacity. We have also booked another Viking cruise this July 2021 for Bermuda. I have a purchasing background so I should be getting the lowest price for cruises.  However, as we age the value proposition becomes more important.  After reading The Viking CC forum, I am convinced I can receive more value, through more port immersion whether on ship lectures or some of the included excursions.  When our Bermuda cruise is over it will be time to pay for our Aug 2022.  Yes paying 1 year out is an adjustment.  The pricing of Celebrity vs Viking really is not such a big gap.  Our experiences on Celebrity were always positive, we just feel the smaller ships give us a better experience. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We also have been Celebrity cruisers for many years. I think about 15 or so cruises with them. We are now hooked on Viking and here is why with no particular order..,Easy on and off ship, food is much better to us, small elegant but simple intimate size, inclusive pricing, transfer with air is done well, awesome room service, never feels crowded, laundry room at no charge for those long trips, educational speakers, refrigerators in rooms that are restocked at no additional charge. I’m sure I could think of more but this is a good sampling. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm following this discussion with interest.  We've sailed on Celebrity, HAL and Princess, and have our first Viking cruise booked (fingers crossed) for this summer.  

 

If we're going to step up in service (and price) I actually think Oceania would be a better fit...I like casinos, and I like drinks with umbrellas.  Don't judge me 🙂  But we have friends who swear by Viking and we're definitely locked in now...so we'll see.  I'm sure it'll be wonderful (fingers crossed).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife and I have sailed on half a dozen or so Celebrity cruises, always balcony cabins and while we have enjoyed them, we do not like casinos, photographers, the nickel and dimming and the frequent crowds so much.  
 

We have had 2 Viking Ocean cruises so far and we loved them both.  We found the level of service and dining to be consistently excellent.  We see ourselves transitioning to Viking (or perhaps trying similar lines) for pretty much all our future cruises.  We enjoy the less busy venues and the higher level of service that Viking provides.  

 

Also, the size of the Viking ships seems pretty ideal to us.  While it might not quite provide the variety of dining and entertainment experiences, it fits our needs quite well.  Finally, the adult only passenger requirement is a nice bonus for us.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Never actually sailed with Celebrity, but have been aboard a few of their ships in Vancouver assisting the Marine Evacuation System manufacturer and Transport Canada with deployments & servicing. Enjoyed lunch aboard a couple of times. Initial impression is a step up from RCI, but about comparible with Princess (before they were excessively Carnivalised).

 

After about 40 years with Princess, we researched all Premium/Luxury Lines, short-listing to Viking & Oceania. We selected Viking, as being the best fit for our Statement of Requirements and having completed 1 World Cruise, have happily booked another.

 

The ships, crews, fellow pax and itineraries are all "Top-Notch". In addition to information on CC, I have completed daily post from the 2020 WC on our travel blog - www.AndyandJudi.com

 

Yes, payment 12 months in advance is a detriment, but the onboard experience more than makes up for that shock. Also, when booking onboard, or if you have an existing booking, you can request 6 months for subsequent bookings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't sailed X in over 10 years. After our last sailing in 2009, I decided it was time to try river cruising and we did our first with Viking in China -- and loved the whole experience. Did a second on the Dnieper River and was completely hooked on river cruising; wasn't even looking at ocean cruises.

 

Then Viking announced that it was starting up an Oceans division. My immediate reaction was that I was confident that Viking could scale up the river experience to an ocean going vessel. As soon as we saw the itinerary for "Into the Midnight Sun," we booked -- two years before sailing, on a cruise line that had not even sailed its first season on ship that was not yet under construction. We have not looked back. It was head over heels that much better for us than what we experienced on X. It was quieter and much more mellow. Food was excellent. Service was over the top. Accommodations were brand-new. And so much more. We are not going back to the mainstream lines; they are no longer the vibe we want while traveling.

 

If you want to know why you should try Viking, check out this thread.  This is the collective wisdom of Cruise Critic members:

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2381846-tell-me-why/

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been a big fan of Celebrity over the years, and I will sail them again if the price differential is big enough...but honestly with the new "inclusive" pricing that Celebrity has introduced I'm not sure that the price difference vs. Viking is all that much.  I'd been wanting to try Viking for several years, and finally was able to book a cruise for last March (I sail solo so have to wait for decent solo pricing which unfortunately is quite rare on Viking)--which turned out to be a cruise halfway across the Atlantic and back due to COVID.  And even though that cruise was quite weird because of the pandemic closing in, it was still wonderful and Viking will be my first choice going forward.

 

I have no need for casinos, or photographers bugging me to have my picture taken all the time, so I didn't miss that.

 

I rarely have a mixed drink and I'm not a big drinker in general, so I am fine with the included wine/beer with lunch/dinner, but as others have said the add-on drinks package seems well-priced.

 

I appreciate the included internet.  I only had one included shore excursion, due to COVID, but it was fine--not great but at least on par with a typical bus tour type Celebrity excursion.

 

I thought the meals were very nice, and wait times to be seated were much less.  The entertainment on board is more low-key, but I actually enjoy that more than big, crowded theaters.    I liked having my non-alcoholic beverages refilled in my room refrigerator each day if I drank any of them.  (Note that whether you get refills delivered, and whether that includes alcoholic beverages, depends on your room category.)

 

And the spa is very nice and is included in your fare--big plus for Viking.  The activities like trivia, etc. seemed as frequent, and on-par with, Celebrity.  The lectures were at least as good as on Celebrity.  And because it was a smaller ship, everything was easier to get to, and the crew-to-passenger ratio was better (it was a LOT better on my cruise, again due to COVID and people canceling in advance so we were only about half full).

 

Honestly I can't think of anything I like better on Celebrity.  But it all depends on what YOU like about cruising--maybe Celebrity is a better fit for you than Viking.  You won't know unless you try Viking, though!  🙂

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think we will miss the evening entertainment a little while on Viking.  I need some lively entertainment after dinner or I will quickly fall asleep in my chair.  Otherwise Viking will fit the bill.  
 

Celebrity has become very class oriented with exclusive dining room and deck areas for suites.  I like the idea that I will be welcome anywhere on the ship despite my cabin number.  
 

I quickly read through the “tell me why” thread.  Thank you!  Now I just have to convince the DH. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We did the Miami to LA cruise over Christmas in 2017. The Panama Canal was a bucket list item for us. It was a wonderful trip. An added benefit is the departure and arrival are both US ports. Also there are a lot more flight choices. 
One suggestion is to book a starboard cabin. It’s a long trip up the Pacific coast with only the ocean for scenery. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Jchivers said:

I'm following this discussion with interest.  We've sailed on Celebrity, HAL and Princess, and have our first Viking cruise booked (fingers crossed) for this summer.  

 

If we're going to step up in service (and price) I actually think Oceania would be a better fit...I like casinos, and I like drinks with umbrellas.  Don't judge me 🙂  But we have friends who swear by Viking and we're definitely locked in now...so we'll see.  I'm sure it'll be wonderful (fingers crossed).

No casino but you can get an “umbrella” drink it just won’t have an umbrella in it (unless you bring it) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, cruiselvr04 said:

I think we will miss the evening entertainment a little while on Viking.  I need some lively entertainment after dinner or I will quickly fall asleep in my chair.  Otherwise Viking will fit the bill.  
 

Celebrity has become very class oriented with exclusive dining room and deck areas for suites.  I like the idea that I will be welcome anywhere on the ship despite my cabin number.  
 

I quickly read through the “tell me why” thread.  Thank you!  Now I just have to convince the DH. 

There is evening entertainment-it just isn’t as glitzy as the bigger ships. Typically, four singers plus the CD and Asst CD are often entertainers.  Usually the four do a group show, then the boys, then the girls and then all of them doing a different one.  My only issue has been they shows have been the same on all our cruises-ABBA Tribute, Beatles Tribute, Rat Pack Tribute, I forget what the ladies usually do.  Anyway, I like them better because the theater is so small. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, cruiselvr04 said:

I quickly read through the “tell me why” thread.  Thank you!  Now I just have to convince the DH. 

 

Just get him to read the thread -- and if that fails, print out the list that combines all of the answers and show it to him.

 

2 hours ago, cruiselvr04 said:

or I will quickly fall asleep in my chair.

 

Try the disco (Torshavn).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We landed on Viking after 34 cruises mostly on Princess. We have tried a few luxury cruises. It just wasn’t us. Our needs are a promenade deck, a nice gym, good food and some quiet time. We outgrew Princess as the promenade deck was eliminated and the ships got larger. Over 25 years the service had declined. The luxury cruises made us feel uncomfortable. There were just too many people who felt they were entitled. That isn’t us.
 

Viking focuses on learning opportunities such as lectures and people who want a more elegant casual dining experience. I love the size of the ship and the number of passengers. The posters on this board are very helpful especially when they don’t inject their personal politics in matters. Given the growing dearth of promenade decks, Viking is our best option.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife and I have cruised on Celebrity and Viking. We prefer Viking for a few reasons. No casino, no photographers, no nickel and diming fees.. No formal night nonsense.  Viking lacks the wide range of entertainment that Celebrity offers, however.

 

On our last Celebrity cruise, the surcharges for special restaurants rankled. Followed by over priced wine. Although the food and service was delightful, the extra fees added up.

 

My sister and her husband are Blue Azure members, and they enjoy Celebrity. But, the private restaurants, credits and services do provide a different perspective.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Cienfuegos said:

are Blue Azure members, and they enjoy Celebrity. But, the private restaurants, credits and services do provide a different perspective.

 

On Viking, everyone is treated as if they had booked the Owners Suite.  The are no exclusive spaces on board, either. No private bars or restaurants.  No exclusive pools or lounges.  

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another perspective here. I tried to love my one Viking Ocean experience (Into the Midnight Sun). But I didn’t. And it’s Viking’s fault! I had been on 4 Viking River Cruises by the time I tried Ocean and I absolutely, head over heels, loved them. The small ship experience of ~200 passengers was awesome. Background: had been on a couple of mainstream cruises earlier in my life but didn’t really like them. We were do it yourselfers most of our traveling lives.  We reached a point where we appreciated having the grunt work of travel taken care of for us. So Viking River spoiled us for the intimate small ship experience. Viking Ocean was just too big for us to really feel at home on the ship. We have since been on expedition cruises with Silversea and several cruises with Windstar and have found our comfort zone with 200-300 passenger ships. We will be giving it another try with a larger ship on one of Crystal’s ships in the Bahamas in July. Here’s hoping we are ready for the new experience. And I do love that you all have found your home away from home on the Viking Ocean ships.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

On Viking, everyone is treated as if they had booked the Owners Suite.  The are no exclusive spaces on board, either. No private bars or restaurants.  No exclusive pools or lounges.  

 

Yes. That advantage is impressive, although your stateroom class does give you early picks on restaurant reservations, excursions, etc.

 

My wife and I have been shut out of Viking excursions because we don't have a sufficiently expensive lodging to be  picking while space is available.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Cienfuegos said:

My wife and I have been shut out of Viking excursions because we don't have a sufficiently expensive lodging to be  picking while space is available.

 

 

That is when I write tellus@vikingcruises.com to explain the situation and ask if they will be adding more spaces to that tour. The squeaky wheel gets the grease and sometimes with enough advanced notice, they can add more buses.

 

I have also been known to show up on the dock and ask if there any places available. There is always the chance of a last minute cancellation -- and it can all be done on the dock.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, TakingFlight said:

We will be giving it another try with a larger ship on one of Crystal’s ships in the Bahamas in July. Here’s hoping we are ready for the new experience. And I do love that you all have found your home away from home on the Viking Ocean ships.

 

Just a quick word of caution regarding Crystal. They were sold by the original owners NYK Line to Genting of Hong Kong anout 5 or 6 yrs ago.

 

Genting is experiencing financial difficulties and stopped making all debt payments in July/August 2020. They also own shipyards in Germany that are building their new ships, one of which is seriously delayed. They required a significant grant from the German Govt to keep the doors open.

 

Many Crystal pax have been waiting over a year for refunds, although I recently heard they are making some progress. 

 

Hopefully they will remain in business and you can enjoy the cruise.

Edited by Heidi13
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

 

That is when I write tellus@vikingcruises.com to explain the situation and ask if they will be adding more spaces to that tour. The squeaky wheel gets the grease and sometimes with enough advanced notice, they can add more buses.

 

I have also been known to show up on the dock and ask if there any places available. There is always the chance of a last minute cancellation -- and it can all be done on the dock.

 

Thank you, I absolutely agree, and have done this.   Inquiring regularly at the Guest Services desk helps , too.

 

Viking attempts to be equitable, and usually succeeds.  But there clearly are perks to being in the Owner's Suite, etc.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone.  After many Celebrity cruises, we have decided to try Viking, albeit well into the future.  We booked the Panama Canal cruise on their new ship (Neptune) in December 2022. Since this is one of the first cruises for this ship, we are taking a risk that there will be no delays.  

 

Thanks for all the comments and references to other topics.  We are looking forward to trying something different.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, rvpitt said:

Thanks everyone.  After many Celebrity cruises, we have decided to try Viking, albeit well into the future.  We booked the Panama Canal cruise on their new ship (Neptune) in December 2022. Since this is one of the first cruises for this ship, we are taking a risk that there will be no delays.  

 

Thanks for all the comments and references to other topics.  We are looking forward to trying something different.

You may want to read through this board to get other tips. Especially regarding booking and ways to save money-TA obc, etc. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Thank You for 25 Years - Click for Fun Stuff!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...