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Viking as an alternative to Oceania?


Harters
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Hi. I asked this question on the Oceania forum and had some interesting responses. I'm posting the same here as folk who follow the Viking forum may lean in a different way to Oceania followers. If you responded to my original post, my apologies (and no need for you to repeat here of course). Here we go:

 

Our next cruise, in 6/22, is with Oceania  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 Oceania - 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 Oceania experience? And, of course, what might the things that I'd appreciate that I don't get with Oceania?

 

TIA

 

John

 

 

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Been on both, more Oceania than Viking Ocean, but enough on both to feel I can help you with my observations.  But of course it's just one person's opinion.....Anyway, both are wonderful, and similar is many ways and not similar in others.  If you like a more lively cruise experience, with more activities, shows, zippier cruise director, more modern music, etc. you may prefer Oceania.   That's not to say Viking doesn't have activities/music, but they're quite low keyed in my opinion.  If you like having an included smallish excursion in each port (no charge) you may prefer Viking.  If you don't necessarily like any ship-arranged excursions, and don't drink much, you may find Viking a little overpriced, as the price has to cover the free half-day excursion in port, plus wine and beer at dinner and perhaps lunch too.  The use of the thermal pool, spas, etc. in Viking are also free versus a small charge on Oceania. 

 

The passengers on both ships are similar, with those on Oceania maybe more-traveled and perhaps a tiny bit younger on average.  But it's a good crowd on both ships.   Service on both lines is excellent; so is food.  I think Oceania's a little better with the food, but not by a large margin. Itineraries are better on Oceania, and they go all over the world, including some fairly small, lesser known ports that turn out to be fantastic. And I love Oceania's smaller ships - 700 passengers or whatever.  Decor on Viking is really nice and modern, which I love.  But Oceania recently remodeled, and they're looking pretty snazzy too.  Rooms are similar. Oceania has cheaper inside rooms that aren't bad, and the price difference is substantial compared to a room with a balcony (veranda).  Bathrooms on V are awesome.  V ship seems roomier.  It's a large ship in relation to the number of people they carry. The optional excursions offered are about the same; perhaps a bit cheaper on Viking though.  On Oceania you tend to see more people doing their own thing for excursions - arranging shared ones with people from Cruise Critic "Roll Calls" or doing private tours or group tours they've found. Both lines offer free internet, wifi, self-service laundry.  Small casino on O (spouse likes that; I could care less!)  Both have port talks and afternoon tea/cakes.

 

Honestly, we love both lines.  And yes, both definitely have a casual (but not sloppy) feel to them, and great food. Oh, one thing we really like about O is the grill at the back of their Terrace restaurant.  The Terrace (outside/inside dining) is basically an upscale buffet in which food is served on the buffet line rather than letting people get their own food.  Utensils are on tables; servers bring you water & drinks. (Actually I think Viking is doing this "we serve you" procedure now, too, because of Covid.  But O always did it.)  Anyway, there's a part of the O buffet where you can order lamb chops, steak, lobster and perhaps a few other things, cooked to order, with potato & veggies.  It's casual, but cooked to order, and there's plenty of room to eat outside if the weather's nice.  

 

Hope you get more opinions; hope this helps. You can't go wrong with either.  We pick 3/4 by itinerary.

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Harter, why don’t you book one of cruises being offered on Viking Star for UK cruisers in August and you can get a feel for Viking and make your own judgement?

Just a thought 🙂

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21 hours ago, IWantToLiveOverTheSea said:

Been on both, more Oceania than Viking Ocean, but enough on both to feel I can help you with my observations.  But of course it's just one person's opinion.....Anyway, both are wonderful, and similar is many ways and not similar in others.  If you like a more lively cruise experience, with more activities, shows, zippier cruise director, more modern music, etc. you may prefer Oceania.   That's not to say Viking doesn't have activities/music, but they're quite low keyed in my opinion.  If you like having an included smallish excursion in each port (no charge) you may prefer Viking.  If you don't necessarily like any ship-arranged excursions, and don't drink much, you may find Viking a little overpriced, as the price has to cover the free half-day excursion in port, plus wine and beer at dinner and perhaps lunch too.  The use of the thermal pool, spas, etc. in Viking are also free versus a small charge on Oceania. 

 

The passengers on both ships are similar, with those on Oceania maybe more-traveled and perhaps a tiny bit younger on average.  But it's a good crowd on both ships.   Service on both lines is excellent; so is food.  I think Oceania's a little better with the food, but not by a large margin. Itineraries are better on Oceania, and they go all over the world, including some fairly small, lesser known ports that turn out to be fantastic. And I love Oceania's smaller ships - 700 passengers or whatever.  Decor on Viking is really nice and modern, which I love.  But Oceania recently remodeled, and they're looking pretty snazzy too.  Rooms are similar. Oceania has cheaper inside rooms that aren't bad, and the price difference is substantial compared to a room with a balcony (veranda).  Bathrooms on V are awesome.  V ship seems roomier.  It's a large ship in relation to the number of people they carry. The optional excursions offered are about the same; perhaps a bit cheaper on Viking though.  On Oceania you tend to see more people doing their own thing for excursions - arranging shared ones with people from Cruise Critic "Roll Calls" or doing private tours or group tours they've found. Both lines offer free internet, wifi, self-service laundry.  Small casino on O (spouse likes that; I could care less!)  Both have port talks and afternoon tea/cakes.

 

Honestly, we love both lines.  And yes, both definitely have a casual (but not sloppy) feel to them, and great food. Oh, one thing we really like about O is the grill at the back of their Terrace restaurant.  The Terrace (outside/inside dining) is basically an upscale buffet in which food is served on the buffet line rather than letting people get their own food.  Utensils are on tables; servers bring you water & drinks. (Actually I think Viking is doing this "we serve you" procedure now, too, because of Covid.  But O always did it.)  Anyway, there's a part of the O buffet where you can order lamb chops, steak, lobster and perhaps a few other things, cooked to order, with potato & veggies.  It's casual, but cooked to order, and there's plenty of room to eat outside if the weather's nice.  

 

Hope you get more opinions; hope this helps. You can't go wrong with either.  We pick 3/4 by itinerary.

Thank you for your wonderful comparison as we have been looking recently at both lines. We have not cruised with either line before but are certainly keen to try the smaller ships from now on. We have cruised many times with Princess & around 6 times with Celebrity. Unfortunately Princess disposed of their last remaining small ship, the Ocean Princess, so time to look elsewhere we think. 
Stay safe & well.

Vicki. 🙂

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32 minutes ago, Busy Mum said:

Thank you for your wonderful comparison as we have been looking recently at both lines. We have not cruised with either line before but are certainly keen to try the smaller ships from now on. We have cruised many times with Princess & around 6 times with Celebrity. Unfortunately Princess disposed of their last remaining small ship, the Ocean Princess, so time to look elsewhere we think. 
Stay safe & well.

Vicki. 🙂

Yeah, we cruised on Pacific Princess a long time ago - sister ship to Oceania's smaller ones.  At the time, Oceania didn't go to Alaska, so we gave Princess a try.  It was OK, but after being on Oceania, we were too spoiled to really love it.   We also did a Caribbean cruise on Celebrity because it was short and inexpensive.  We enjoyed the ports, but haven't sailed with them again.  Too many people.  

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The Oceania (formely R-1) ships carry 686 passengers, The newer Oceania O-class ships carry 1250 passengers.

Viking ships carry 930 passengers.

I enjoy the spicier dishes served on the Viking Ships and of course the ice cream.

We have sailed with Oceania several times. I prefer the older R-1 ships .

On our last 2 Oceania cruises Tacos were on the buffet. The trimmings for the tacos was chopped sweet peppers, avocado slices and tomato sauce.  If I sail with Oceania again I will be packing several small containers of Salsa.

There is no casino or big shows on Viking.  Viking will have several lecturers on history, culture, and other subjects.  If you cannot attend the lecture, you can always view it your cabin. After a full day ashore we do not attend the big shows on board a ship.

If the ports are the same I my preference is Viking.  If Viking does not offer a cruise to ports I want to visit I would book with Oceania.

You just need to decide what type of entertainment you want on board the ship. Sailing with either Oceania or Viking will be a big change from Princess or Celebrity.

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9 hours ago, MSEm said:

The Oceania (formely R-1) ships carry 686 passengers, The newer Oceania O-class ships carry 1250 passengers.

Viking ships carry 930 passengers.

I enjoy the spicier dishes served on the Viking Ships and of course the ice cream.

We have sailed with Oceania several times. I prefer the older R-1 ships .

On our last 2 Oceania cruises Tacos were on the buffet. The trimmings for the tacos was chopped sweet peppers, avocado slices and tomato sauce.  If I sail with Oceania again I will be packing several small containers of Salsa.

There is no casino or big shows on Viking.  Viking will have several lecturers on history, culture, and other subjects.  If you cannot attend the lecture, you can always view it your cabin. After a full day ashore we do not attend the big shows on board a ship.

If the ports are the same I my preference is Viking.  If Viking does not offer a cruise to ports I want to visit I would book with Oceania.

You just need to decide what type of entertainment you want on board the ship. Sailing with either Oceania or Viking will be a big change from Princess or Celebrity.

Thanks for your thoughts. We are certainly ready for a change of ship so I will continue to look at the itineraries & dream! Sure hope we can get to see the world again, once the world recovers & we are allowed to travel again!

Stay safe & well.

Vicki. 🙂

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I guess we are still novice cruisers, having only sailed three times, and all with Viking. Honestly, I would have no wish to branch out to other cruise lines, except I can see a time when we might be looking for new ports to visit that Viking doesn't include. If that day comes, Oceania would likely be our first option. Does Oceania offer anything like Viking's Resident Historian and guest lecturers program? I would definitely miss those!

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7 hours ago, lackcreativity said:

I guess we are still novice cruisers, having only sailed three times, and all with Viking. Honestly, I would have no wish to branch out to other cruise lines, except I can see a time when we might be looking for new ports to visit that Viking doesn't include. If that day comes, Oceania would likely be our first option. Does Oceania offer anything like Viking's Resident Historian and guest lecturers program? I would definitely miss those!

I've never sailed on Viking (yet -- we leave next Saturday!), but on Princess, Holland America and Celebrity there is always some sort of presentation on the topic of the ports of call on the trip.  The quality varies...in some cases they're just commercial plugs for where to go shopping, but others have been scholarly history & culture.

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Viking has presentations on the Ports of Call and the shore excursions.  Viking is not promoting shopping.  If you don't want to attend the presentations you can always view the presentation in your cabin. Viking normally will have a shuttle from the port to center of town.  Schedule will vary depending on distance from the city center and the port..

 

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I know Oceania had at least 1 lecturer on board for our cruises. lectures covered history, culture, and area economics. On our last Viking cruise March 2020 there were 3 lectures covering history, culture, area economics and other topics.

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, MSEm said:

I know Oceania had at least 1 lecturer on board for our cruises. lectures covered history, culture, and area economics. On our last Viking cruise March 2020 there were 3 lectures covering history, culture, area economics and other topics.

 

48 minutes ago, MSEm said:

 

Thanks, this is what I was hoping to learn. Viking does provide daily port talks with the historical/cultural background information about the next day's port, and  a review of the excursions.

The resident historian and the guest lecturers provide much more extensive content, sometimes related to the area of the cruise, but not always. Topics cover art, architecture, music, history, but in detail and related to the speaker's area of expertise. They have had scientists,  astronauts, retired military, the head of European acquisitions for Sotheby's in London, and a variety of others. There was at least one presentation every day, and on sea days usually two. This was above and beyond the port talks, and you could catch them on Viking TV if you weren't able to go in person.

Edited by lackcreativity
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7 minutes ago, bgtraveler2 said:

We have been on O and V cruises.  We are now loyal Vikings!  Remember, Viking includes an excursion at every port.  We also like that there are no kids and no casino. 

But in normal circumstances many people prefer to organise their own private tours in smaller groups.

The included tours are also pretty basic, just an introduction to a place or area.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Glenndale said:

But in normal circumstances many people prefer to organise their own private tours in smaller groups.

The included tours are also pretty basic, just an introduction to a place or area.

 

That's why there are so many different varieties of cruise vacations. Kids, no kids, big ship, small ship, all inclusive, pay as you go, etc.  In our experience, the included excursions have been introductory, but most include both a bus component and a walking tour. We usually select a few optional excursions, and combine the intro level included excursions along with extra time on our own and return by Viking shuttle. At least that's what we did back in the old days. 😢

Edited by lackcreativity
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On 7/16/2021 at 11:15 PM, Glenndale said:

 why don’t you book one of cruises being offered on Viking Star for UK cruisers in August 

Simply doesnt yet feel safe enough for us to be travelling just now. We've only just started going to a supermarket in the last couple of  weeks, since pre-pandemic times.

 

My thanks all round. The various observations here and their equivalents on the Oceania board have been really helpful.

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