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Excursions sold out early. How?


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Tomorrow is the first day we are allowed to book excursions for our September 26th cruise on Viking Sky. We began looking at possible excursions three days ago in preparation for booking them. We found it a little perplexing that two excursions for Sicily are shown as “sold out.” How is that possible if tomorrow is the first day to book? Does Viking have a special class of travelers who are eligible to book early?

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I found out the answer to my question. We are in a deluxe veranda cabin, which allows us to book excursions 68 days out. Those in penthouse verandas and suites are able to book even earlier. This is our first Viking cruise. This excursion scheduling is a little bit of a bummer as the higher category cabins sold out every excursion in Dubrovnik except the included excursion and cable car. Hopefully, we will be able to book private excursions. 

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Also, in the "before times,"  Viking would often add buses to popular excursions, and the helpful folks at the Explorer's Desk onboard can help you find an empty spot if there has been a cancellation or addition to the excursions listed in MVJ.  You also might try emailing the equally helpful folks at tellus@ vikingcruises.com now with your plea.  

All that said, just walking around the wall in Dubrovnik, and possibly stopping at Buza Bar, perched outside the wall on a cliff overlooking the sea (!) , would make for a fine day ashore!

I hope you two have a wonderful day in Dubrovnik!

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4 hours ago, Poulsbo Cruisers said:

are shown as “sold out.” How is that possible if tomorrow is the first day to book?

 

In Viking speak, SOLD OUT has multiple meanings. It can mean what it says or can mean, "we aren't ready to open this for booking" or "even though, it is on the list, we won't be offering it on this sailing." 

 

1 hour ago, Cienfuegos said:

You definitely want to get on the wait list.

 

Viking does not keep a wait list prior to sailing -- and even if they do, seats are sold first come first served, so check MVJ everyday (or even twice a day) for openings. People change their minds. People have to cancel the trip.

 

If worst comes to worst, once you board the ship, there should be a wait list for shorex.

 

 

 

 

 

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And, my apologies to my fellow Washingtonians from across the Sound - I forgot that these days we are not free to roam around walls, bars, or anywhere without a Viking group! I imagine Viking will be working hard to be certain everyone who wants an excursion will be able to take one.

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2 hours ago, soundcruiser said:

And, my apologies to my fellow Washingtonians from across the Sound - I forgot that these days we are not free to roam around walls, bars, or anywhere without a Viking group! I imagine Viking will be working hard to be certain everyone who wants an excursion will be able to take one.

I’m sure things will work out for us. I was surprised that in some of the ports even the included excursions were sold out. And those are part of the fare. Those in regular veranda cabins will have a tough time booking anything when it’s their turn. When I spoke with Viking today they stated that currently this cruise didn’t have restrictions regarding going it on your own in the ports. But, said that could change anytime. We may look at booking private tours and hope we won’t have to cancel them. We’ve been to Dubrovnik before and look forward to going again on our own if necessary. Thanks to all for your help. 

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12 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

In Viking speak, SOLD OUT has multiple meanings. It can mean what it says or can mean, "we aren't ready to open this for booking" or "even though, it is on the list, we won't be offering it on this sailing." 

 

 

Viking does not keep a wait list prior to sailing -- and even if they do, seats are sold first come first served, so check MVJ everyday (or even twice a day) for openings. People change their minds. People have to cancel the trip.

 

If worst comes to worst, once you board the ship, there should be a wait list for shorex.

 

 

 

 

 

We had that shut out excursion experience with Viking in Cuba. My wife snagged a canceled spot just before sailing. I got on the wait list at the ShoreEx desk. Many people dropped off as it was an exceptionally hot and humid day. Even the Cuban guides mentioned the weather.

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I feel Viking is being very prejudice to those in the lower class.  I also booked a DV4 for 9/26 and on the website it states 67 days out.  When I tried to book, it was locked.  I called and was told that I have to wait 4 additional days 63.  Today is 63 and everything is SOLD OUT.  What happens to those that are in the lower cabins - are they forced to stay on board??

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1 hour ago, pflorio994 said:

I feel Viking is being very prejudice to those in the lower class.  I also booked a DV4 for 9/26 and on the website it states 67 days out.  When I tried to book, it was locked.  I called and was told that I have to wait 4 additional days 63.  Today is 63 and everything is SOLD OUT.  What happens to those that are in the lower cabins - are they forced to stay on board??

 

Not necessarily. You are guaranteed one included excursion in every port. 

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31 minutes ago, DrKoob said:

 

Not necessarily. You are guaranteed one included excursion in every port. 

That may be, but in three of the ports we are visiting the included excursions are sold out and we are unable to book them. One of the things that helped us decide to try Viking was that they didn’t have areas of the ship based on class of cabins. We didn’t realize how much cabin category played into excursion and dining reservations. We are in a DV4. I have to wonder what happens to those in a V1 or V2 cabin. 

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7 minutes ago, Poulsbo Cruisers said:

That may be, but in three of the ports we are visiting the included excursions are sold out and we are unable to book them. One of the things that helped us decide to try Viking was that they didn’t have areas of the ship based on class of cabins. We didn’t realize how much cabin category played into excursion and dining reservations. We are in a DV4. I have to wonder what happens to those in a V1 or V2 cabin. 

 

Viking do guarantee that every pax can take an "Included" shore-ex in each port.

 

If they are showing as full, Viking will add additional tours. If they are not posted in MVJ, onboard the ship, the Shore-ex staff will ensure that every pax has a seat on the included shore-ex in each port.

 

Good luck getting the tours booked. You may have challenges pre-cruise, but once aboard the crews are brilliant.

 

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3 hours ago, pflorio994 said:

I feel Viking is being very prejudice to those in the lower class.  I also booked a DV4 for 9/26 and on the website it states 67 days out.  When I tried to book, it was locked.  I called and was told that I have to wait 4 additional days 63.  Today is 63 and everything is SOLD OUT.  What happens to those that are in the lower cabins - are they forced to stay on board??

 

That irritated us, too.  But, it usually works out with extra sections added on the fly. At least for the panoramic bus tours, intro to the city, etc.  In other cases, like some of the Cuba specialty tours, you were out of luck. There were 45 seats. and that was it.

 

The dining can be a hassle for some folks, especially if they like to dine early through 7.30.  We usually have dinner 7 to 8 pm, and we never had a problem with 8 pm or 8.15 at Chef's Table or Manfredi's.

 

 

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I guess the closed nature of these cruises has made it worse than usual. People cannot book other private excursions because of the bubble so they are planning extra excursions than usual.  I think Vikings system is a bit unfair at the best of times, but during these times it is really outrageous.    A more expensive cabin should only get perks with regard to that cabins benefits and service.  All passengers should be able to get slots for excursions and dining.  

 

On our first holiday on Viking we generally did not do to badly on excursions but did not try for many as it was the Caribbean where we have been many times.  However we were totally unable to get a booking in Manfredis which was sad.  We were in a V2 cabin.

 

When we booked Iceland we upped to a DV4 cabin hoping for better luck.  We got 9 pm for Manfredis much too late for our digestions.  Our top two choices of excursions was also fully booked.    Bizarrely on our Malta cruise on 2 October we got all our excursions but cannot book dining yet and are not holding our breath over Manfredis for third try.
 

We then had to transfer our Iceland cruise to a Uk one on the 14 August due to insurance problems.  Because we were transferring to a cheaper cruise we are in a PJS  cabin and of course we were able if we had wanted three bookings in Manfredis and the other special restaurant.

 

This is the one thing I hate about Viking and may well drive us back to Silversea and Oceania where we have not encountered these problems.   I know the people in the high grade cabins will be indignant about my view,

 

 

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On 7/21/2021 at 12:17 PM, Poulsbo Cruisers said:

That may be, but in three of the ports we are visiting the included excursions are sold out and we are unable to book them. One of the things that helped us decide to try Viking was that they didn’t have areas of the ship based on class of cabins. We didn’t realize how much cabin category played into excursion and dining reservations. We are in a DV4. I have to wonder what happens to those in a V1 or V2 cabin. 


I think you’ll have better luck once you’re on board.  We’ve sailed in a DV cabin on the 4 cruises we’ve done with Viking.  As others advised, check with the Explorer’s Desk and put your name on the waiting lists for the included excursions. They will find a place for you.

 

For dinner reservations, you should be able to make 1 advance reservation at both the Chef’s Table and Manfredis.  Book them and if the time is not to your liking, once you’re on board talk to the person manning the desk at that restaurant (sometimes they’re stationed in the World Cafe).  We were always able to get the times we wanted plus additional dates at the Chef’s Table.

 

We’ve never experienced a “class system” on Viking and have always been treated as if we’re in the Owner’s Suite.

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Just off the Viking Orion. I  was able to add a paid  excursion and cancel another once on board at guest relations. As other have said , everyone get an included excursion for each port of call. 

As to alternative restaurants, one must remember that  social distancing  includes tables . Not all tables are used in the restaurants at this time. 

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On 7/21/2021 at 12:17 PM, Poulsbo Cruisers said:

That may be, but in three of the ports we are visiting the included excursions are sold out and we are unable to book them. One of the things that helped us decide to try Viking was that they didn’t have areas of the ship based on class of cabins. We didn’t realize how much cabin category played into excursion and dining reservations. We are in a DV4. I have to wonder what happens to those in a V1 or V2 cabin. 


Viking will add buses to included tours that list as “sold out.” You are guaranteed every included excursion, no matter what level cabin you’re in. Check in at the desk when you arrive, and they’ll help you sort it out. 
 

As for the dining reservations, I’m guessing it’s a Covid thing with reduced seating? We were easily able to get reservations at both of the specialty restaurants while onboard, but this was pre-pandemic. 
 

That said, we found we preferred the World Café most of the time. No reservations required.

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On 7/22/2021 at 11:44 AM, Cienfuegos said:

The question of who gets first pick isn't unique to Viking. Airlines sort passengers by medallion status for overhead bin space, rebook on cancellations, etc.

 

On 7/22/2021 at 8:01 PM, Frenchberet said:


I think you’ll have better luck once you’re on board.  We’ve sailed in a DV cabin on the 4 cruises we’ve done with Viking.  As others advised, check with the Explorer’s Desk and put your name on the waiting lists for the included excursions. They will find a place for you.

 

For dinner reservations, you should be able to make 1 advance reservation at both the Chef’s Table and Manfredis.  Book them and if the time is not to your liking, once you’re on board talk to the person manning the desk at that restaurant (sometimes they’re stationed in the World Cafe).  We were always able to get the times we wanted plus additional dates at the Chef’s Table.

 

We’ve never experienced a “class system” on Viking and have always been treated as if we’re in the Owner’s Suite.

The people in suites pay a lot more for those suites, and if I have to eat a little later than I want or struggle to find slots open on an excursion, of course I'm disappointed.  But I see no problem with allowing those who have paid more to get first "dibs" on excursions and dining times.   And it's the same on the other cruise line we use, so I'm used to it.  The cruise lines have to use more than just stateroom size to sell their best staterooms.
 

 

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The excursions are disappointing I agree but of the two it is the dining rooms that infuriate me.   We have done 50+ cruises  on many lines of late mainly HAL, Oceania and Silversea and we have never had problems with bookings.  Possibly some of the lines we go on do allow this but no clue as to which ones as they have obviously got more capacity in those dining rooms.  I know Silversea has not in their chargeable dining rooms but there are plenty of other places to eat.  

 

Viking have not got sufficient capacity and yet their  info gives the impression they  have these two. brilliant options available to everyone.  There are no other options except the restaurant - no we do not eat dinner the buffet, although we are not in a top cabin we have paid, to us, a lot for our cabin and we think we want dinner in a restaurant.  We believe it or not are not too fussy about times.  We prefer 6 or 6.30 but are happy up to 8 but no way can either of us eat at 9 as too near bedtime.  I am really sure that with limited restaurant capacity offering 3 bookings to people is unfair if it blocks others completely.

 

We will take the later booking as recommended if necessary when we get to the Malta dinner bookings and hope we can change on boarding.   Otherwise as much as we liked Viking we will be going back to Silversea and Oceania but sadly no more HAL as their ships are now took big for us,

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Once on board you will be able to go virtually straight away to the dedicated restaurant booking desk in the atrium and will have no problem booking whatever times you want.At least this was my experience.

They will tell you the daily menus for the Chef’s Table as well so you can choose which days you prefer.

We were always able to walk straight into The Dining Room every day and get seated  immediately.

A tip, go at 6.30 or 6.00 if you want a window seat.By 7.00 they are all gone.

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On 7/21/2021 at 8:41 PM, mancunian said:

I guess the closed nature of these cruises has made it worse than usual. People cannot book other private excursions because of the bubble so they are planning extra excursions than usual.  I think Vikings system is a bit unfair at the best of times, but during these times it is really outrageous.    A more expensive cabin should only get perks with regard to that cabins benefits and service.  All passengers should be able to get slots for excursions and dining.  

 

On our first holiday on Viking we generally did not do to badly on excursions but did not try for many as it was the Caribbean where we have been many times.  However we were totally unable to get a booking in Manfredis which was sad.  We were in a V2 cabin.

 

When we booked Iceland we upped to a DV4 cabin hoping for better luck.  We got 9 pm for Manfredis much too late for our digestions.  Our top two choices of excursions was also fully booked.    Bizarrely on our Malta cruise on 2 October we got all our excursions but cannot book dining yet and are not holding our breath over Manfredis for third try.
 

We then had to transfer our Iceland cruise to a Uk one on the 14 August due to insurance problems.  Because we were transferring to a cheaper cruise we are in a PJS  cabin and of course we were able if we had wanted three bookings in Manfredis and the other special restaurant.

 

This is the one thing I hate about Viking and may well drive us back to Silversea and Oceania where we have not encountered these problems.   I know the people in the high grade cabins will be indignant about my view,

 

 

Interesting. Our first Viking cruise was on the 12th June in a DV2 cabin but we had no problems getting restaurant reservations due to the fact the ship was under half occupied, even though we booked within 5 days of sailing.

Our next cruise on the 14th August we have chosen a V2 and cannot book specialities.

We were not particularly impressed with The Chefs Table so would not be too bothered if we cannot get a reservation but did enjoy Manfredi's and would hope to get a reservation there.

In normal times with full occupation it sounds as if this could be a problem.

Oceania is still our favourite but not being prepared to fly in the current situation means they are out of the picture. 

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On our 2019 Trade Routes  trip, we had no problems getting reservations at Manfredi's or Chef's Table after 8 pm. Even though the ship was full..

 

The host was always accommodating. People make reservations in advance, then plans will change. Same with optional excursions.

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9 hours ago, mancunian said:

The excursions are disappointing I agree but of the two it is the dining rooms that infuriate me.   We have done 50+ cruises  on many lines of late mainly HAL, Oceania and Silversea and we have never had problems with bookings.  Possibly some of the lines we go on do allow this but no clue as to which ones as they have obviously got more capacity in those dining rooms.  I know Silversea has not in their chargeable dining rooms but there are plenty of other places to eat.  

 

Viking have not got sufficient capacity and yet their  info gives the impression they  have these two. brilliant options available to everyone.  There are no other options except the restaurant - no we do not eat dinner the buffet, although we are not in a top cabin we have paid, to us, a lot for our cabin and we think we want dinner in a restaurant.  We believe it or not are not too fussy about times.  We prefer 6 or 6.30 but are happy up to 8 but no way can either of us eat at 9 as too near bedtime.  I am really sure that with limited restaurant capacity offering 3 bookings to people is unfair if it blocks others completely.

 

We will take the later booking as recommended if necessary when we get to the Malta dinner bookings and hope we can change on boarding.   Otherwise as much as we liked Viking we will be going back to Silversea and Oceania but sadly no more HAL as their ships are now took big for us,

 

 

We never booked any of the alternative restaurants in advance and also never use the World Cafe, unless arriving late from a tour, or they had a special night.

 

Any day we fancied an alternative restaurant we checked the cabin telly and always found something before 19:00. Some nights we wandered down at 18:30 - 19:00 and walked straight in.

 

Especially post-COVID, best not to get discouraged pre-cruise, as once aboard, the experience is brilliant.

 

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I have had similar problems trying to book excursions on our Oct 3 Venice to Istanbul. Even where it showed availability it said on-line booking not possible. So rung Guest Services here in UK and Viking Rep booked some for us and also explained

- Viking only allow about 50% pre-booking of the included tours as people change mind etc. We are guaranteed the included tour

- If there is clearly demand for an optional excursion they will usually lay on more. 

So as someone has said as soon as you can after embarkation go to Guest Services and you will probably be able to get most of what you want. My chat with Viking did remind me that was our experience on 2 previous cruises with them. 

Incidentally I am sure I have seen that Croatia and Viking have agreed we can now do our own thing there - for us that would be Split and Dubrovnik. We often find great trips and guides from Trip Advisor.

 

 

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