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Viking Ocean as an alternative to Oceania?


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Our next cruise, in 6/22, is with O  and I'm looking forward to it, of course. But I've also been doing some idle Googling and have been wondering about future cruises and, in particular, taking a closer look at Viking, as an alternative. It appears to have a similar "feel" to O - a relaxed onboard experience with no stuffy formalities and with a committment to good food.

 

I'd appreciate comments from folk who have experience of both lines. What might be the things that I'd miss from the O experience? And, of course, what might the things that I'd appreciate that I don't get with O?

 

TIA

 

John

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O ships are most similar in size to Viking and both are gorgeous ships. 

Viking: better internet and movie selections, 

O: better food, better speciality restaurants, bigger and better gym, Terrace Cafe, 

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The two lines are similar in many ways.  We've taken several O cruises, but we've also come to love Viking.  Viking has wonderful public spaces -- the Winter Garden and the Explorers Lounge, for example.  There is no equivalent on O.  The technology altogether is much better including free internet.  Viking's food is good, with a great Scandinavian café, but O definitely has the edge here.  On the other hand, Viking's service at dinner is more attentive in our experience and seems much less harried.  O's specialty restaurants are much better. 

Viking  includes beer and a house wine at lunch and dinner for all passengers.  Upgrading to a full liquor package is 1/3 the cost of Oceania's package.  Individual drinks without the package are a fraction of Oceania's charge, but I'm not sure they have quite as large a selection of brands.  The beer selection is great on Viking.  The décor is modern and beautiful and the staff is wonderful.  There is an included excursion in each port and it's better than average.  The optional excursions have been quite good and not as expensive as O.  And then there's the ice cave in the spa...

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Viking requests full payment months earlier than O.  We booked in August for a cruise in the following June, and full payment was due at the end of the month.  They did give us a break extending the full payment by 60 days, which was still 7 months out from the cruise date.

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We've just returned from a week on their newest ship Viking Venus, had an enjoyable cruise but on balance still prefer Oceania.

Loved the pool roof and Winter Garden, customer services nicely done with separate tables for it's staff/guests. Atrium and bar area a nice space to enjoy a coffee. 

Speciality restaurants IMHO not a patch on Jacques, Red Ginger etc but main restaurant was good and comparable to O

We normally take private tours but due to Covid took their included ones which were well organised.

All cabins have balconies.

Would certainly consider them in the future but O is still a favourite.

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4 hours ago, Glenndale said:

Loved the pool roof and Winter Garden, customer services nicely done with separate tables for it's staff/guests. Atrium and bar area a nice space to enjoy a coffee. 

 

Did they have limited capacity?

Wonder if  that is normal  seating or due to Covid protocols?

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

Did they have limited capacity?

Wonder if  that is normal  seating or due to Covid protocols?

There were only approx 1/3rd capacity on our cruise so not really a true comparison, clientele would have been more international rather than just UK cruisers.

They have their own lab on board and we had to submit saliva samples every morning for testing.

All staff and passengers had been vaccinated. 

The cruise did give us an opportunity to try Viking at a very advantageous price and it was just wonderful to be back sailing the seas again.

The seating for customer services staff and guests with queries is I believe standard on their ships. Not a long counter top as it is on O

Edited by Glenndale
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22 minutes ago, Glenndale said:

The cruise did give us an opportunity to try Viking at a very advantageous price and it was just wonderful to be back sailing the seas again.

I'm green with envy.  I was just watching a you tube video with Ben and David, the British bloggers, on Viking Venus.

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27 minutes ago, cruisingxpert said:

I'm green with envy.  I was just watching a you tube video with Ben and David, the British bloggers, on Viking Venus.

Brand new ship Catherine 😉

But would rather have been able to take our Riviera cruise last year. 😥

Who would have guessed then how long before we could cruise again?

Just so good to be back at sea.

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1 hour ago, What A Market said:

cruisingxpert:

Thanks for the mention of the recent vlog on the Viking Venus.

Beautiful!

 

@What A Market   Check back in to our Feb 7th roll call.  Looking for more people to sign up for the Aruba Sunset sail and the Calabaza cruise in Barbados.  Hoping you sign up.

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Both lines very comparable and both very good.  Neither reaches the level of the ultra-luxury lines, but you are not paying for that level of service.  One thing that Viking seems to excel at is their daily “high tea”.  A true extravagance.

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13 hours ago, WJBonds said:

One thing that Viking seems to excel at is their daily “high tea”.  A true extravagance.

Interesting.

IMO & IME nobody, including Cunard., does a better Afternoon Tea than O.

Just goes to show you - Chacun à son goût. 😀

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One disturbing thing I've noticed about the Viking itineraries is that that almost all include a 2 day stay at either the start or finish port, sometimes even both. This is a waste for me, as we expect to fly in early and see the start port on our own, and the same thing on the way out.  Combined with Viking's tendency towards 7-10 day cruises (rather than longer ones) tend to make the $/night equation skew away from them...

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I have also just returned from a week onboard the Viking Venus around the UK and agree with the comments made by Glenndale.   The main reason I have not considered Viking in the past is that ships tours are included in the price and since I prefer to explore ashore independently  I would be paying for something I do not want. However due to Covid restrictions, the only way to get ashore was on a ships tour so we chose this cruise.  The tours were good and well organised giving an overview of the area, but there was only one included tour in each port, any other tours were at extra cost. Whereas if you take the O Life Tours package you can choose which tours and in which ports you wish to take them.

Viking include wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner.  The included wines consisted of a different red and white every day plus a rose and a sparkling wine.  The quality was certainly better than Azamara's daily wine offerings but I prefer the O Life drinks package where by I can choose anything that is served by the glass. 

Oceania's specialty restaurants were very disappointing.  The Chefs Table wines that were paired with the dishes were the same wines that had appeared throughout the cruise on the daily rotation and the service was very rushed, a 5 course meal taking only 1 hour.

I was pleased I took my own books to read, as their books were scattered thoughout the ship and looked as though they were there for decoration, not to be read. I never did find any fiction.

I would cruise with Viking again if the itinerary was right for me but on the whole Oceania has the edge.

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12 minutes ago, Marmaduke said:

Oceania's specialty restaurants were very disappointing.  The Chefs Table wines that were paired with the dishes were the same wines that had appeared throughout the cruise on the daily rotation and the service was very rushed, a 5 course meal taking only 1 hour.

I was pleased I took my own books to read, as their books were scattered thoughout the ship and looked as though they were there for decoration, not to be read. I never did find any fiction.

I would cruise with Viking again if the itinerary was right for me but on the whole Oceania has the edge.

Are you sure you meant Oceania? I don't remember a Chef's Table and their books are in the library. 

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Posted (edited)

Whether there will be an accessible library with an assortment of books and magazines to thumb through, in the immediate future, remains an open question. I’m actually surprised any were available throughout the ship. They have been stripped from all offices, planes, trains, and common areas around here.

Edited by pinotlover
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The libraries around here got crazy about sanitizing returned books and quarantining them for 72 hours.  But now they are checking them in right away and putting them back in circ.  Ship's libraries shouldn't be seen as a worry spot either.

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1 hour ago, Marmaduke said:

Oceania's specialty restaurants were very disappointing. 

Can you elaborate?

 I find food a personal preference  what some people like  I may not  & vice versa

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

Can you elaborate?

 I find food a personal preference  what some people like  I may not  & vice versa

I think that Marmaduke meant to say Viking’s specialities and not Oceania’s as Marmaduke was referring to The Chef’s Table.

Edited by Glenndale
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1 hour ago, ORV said:

Are you sure you meant Oceania? I don't remember a Chef's Table and their books are in the library. 

 

20 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

Can you elaborate?

 I find food a personal preference  what some people like  I may not  & vice versa

In context I'm pretty sure @Marmaduke meant Viking's specialty restaurants.  The next paragraph clearly refers to Vikings scattered libraries, so I think the entire post was about Viking.

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On 7/6/2021 at 4:55 PM, ORV said:

Are you sure you meant Oceania? I don't remember a Chef's Table and their books are in the library. 

Apologies, yes  I meant Viking's specialty restaurants were disappointing.  Oceania's are far superior both in terms of quality, choice and service. 

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