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Everything posted by cmvikinger

  1. It may not, or may. I did say very small chance rather than no chance... because the odds of anyone who actually did that work on Zhao Shang Yi Dun being the specific officer they were talking to are also fairly slim. Given the inaccuracy of the information, this doubt remains. One thing I noticed about the 'good' officers during my time aboard (although they were hotel staff... I'm assuming the same would apply across the ship though) is that they were Chinese nationals who had worked overseas for Viking - Ocean, or River in some of the case - and moved home for a contract. They could, by now, have done the reverse... but again - if that were the case, they wouldn't be suggesting that there's gambling aboard. On the coastal itineraries I'm not sure it would even sail far enough offshore for a casino to open legally.
  2. From what I witnessed onboard and have heard since, your first post was not too far off the mark either. There must be a reason the Chinese partner is willingly abandoning operations for a couple of months, in order to accommodate the Viking Ocean itineraries.
  3. There were still artworks aboard that were labelled as if they are on Viking Sun when I sailed... Respectfully to this officer on Neptune, there's a very small chance indeed they have stepped aboard since it was reflagged, so it is just (incorrect) hearsay. 1872 is not a casino. It is a bar. They changed so little that they use the Torshaven 360 view from the other ships, and nobody cares. It is Torshaven with a new sign and new menus. The offering has been modified to suit Chinese tastes, but my takeaway is that it actually extends more to what is included/not included being modified to suit Chinese spending/vacation habits, than material changes to the ship itself.
  4. There is a technical difference between your cruise(s? I guess you never made the 2B of the B2B?) and the ones offered now by Viking though: yours was, as per thread title, a cruise to China. These are cruises in China crewed not by foreign seamen but entirely by locals. That difference (and an understanding of the importance of not killing the domestic cruise market at birth, as well as the passage of time) makes the chances of what happened to you happening again fairly remote.
  5. Were you looking at the 2024-2025 one (which is the default view)? I got a bit confused by that. It's hard to spot since both start on Dec 19 of their respective years, with the same ship, and the same start/end ports 😄
  6. Mainland border control can't check your passports while on HK territory (upon boarding the bus) and you'd already be the wrong side of the border facilities at the cruise terminal (inside, not outside) if they wait until you exit. That's the puzzler! I'm actually considering a Shanghai -> Japan -> Shanghai cruise on Yi Dun this July. I'm not sold on it yet... but I think they may be having trouble filling their itineraries in the Chinese market. They already took the step of breaking up the 15day/14night itineraries into two 7-8 night legs you can book separately (one way only, have to sort the flight to or from Japan yourself)... and now have offered a "pay for one person" deal for previous customers, which is what has me tempted... Still working on the wife (and would be bringing the kids) but I have a feeling if these escorted tours China itineraries take off and the ones for the Chinese market aren't popular... who knows. Maybe Yi Dun will go back...
  7. I'm very intrigued about this, and how you would enter China (for visa purposes) in that case. You may need to get off the bus at the border, go through, and get back on at the other side. That’s going to add a bit of time for a bus load of non-Chinese/HK people.
  8. On Yi Dun there are some veterans of Ocean/River (I put this info in my ‘lost’ first post I have referenced before 😞) but you will find onboard the entire operation is Chinese, including Executive Chef. No Europeans. I’m sad that I didn’t take photos of the chef’s table menu now because maybe they were different to the 21 talked about in a different thread on here… but the good news is they came across as corporate influenced and “usual standard” regardless (I hope that makes sense). The main concern during these sailings will be how much English proficiency the dining staff have, when almost all of the guests are non-Chinese speakers. Having “a person” who is comfortable would leave them rushed off their feet. I wonder if they will bring translators on board with the tours as they wouldn’t technically be “crew”?
  9. leaving aside the "should you/would you want to" element... if you could get a table every night, would they let you eat there every night?
  10. ah yes. I just wasn’t quite sure how the approval system worked - if it maintained the original timings (as I’ve now learned it does) or updated them. and it looks like internet hiccups lost all my original contributions. Bah.
  11. Hi everyone, Currently living outside the UK, but considering cruises from the UK, with P&O (or others). Very flexible on dates, and haven't started looking much at itineraries or whats on offer, but one thing I would like to do for various reasons is avoid school holidays. Just wondering if anyone knows of a site or forum that aggregates when various schools are off so that I can try to plan around them?
  12. The ship isn't listed on either Ocean Terminal or Kai Tak Cruise Terminal schedules. http://www.oceanterminal.com.hk/en/schedule.php?f=t https://www.kaitakcruiseterminal.com.hk/schedule/2024-2/ I believe the data in your screenshot is extrapolated from the itinerary on cruisemapper, and I think it is erroneous in this case. Cruisemapper don't list these scheduled calls over the next month, because the Chinese itineraries have never been added.
  13. That's what I'm expecting too (docking in Shenzhen) since the boat isn't listed as stopping in either of the HK cruise terminals this September/October. It's a little weird to me how it is listed as Hong Kong (Shenzhen) since it arrives in Shenzhen the day before (or leaves Shenzhen the day after, depending on itinerary) - the change of destination name suggests movement, but the boat will sit in the same berth for 2 nights.
  14. Changes were minimal at best. No cabin changes, no casino (I - longtime lurker - signed up to CC to reply to you in the virtual explorers lounge but the post got lost 😞). Signage and menu language changes, for the most part. Crew changes extensive. Everyone Chinese. Some of the hotel officers we spoke to had experience with VO or River cruises overseas. I sailed twice on short cruises to nowhere, they were finding their feet and also nowhere near full... now sometimes cruises list as 'sold out' but I do wonder if they are aiming for 930 pax by now or still artificially keeping it lower so the crew can be kept smaller as they were in the summer of '22. It was very fluid as the pandemic lifted... itineraries planned and cancelled and planned and cancelled... it is only recently they started listing itineraries further out than 3-4 months. At this point they have the ships itinerary finalised up til just before these sailings. I'm wondering if they will also open up the same coastal itinerary to the Chinese market as in previous years. One concession to families with Zhao Shang Yi Dun was allowing 8 year olds on board (and 6 year olds during the holidays). If they open these itineraries up on the Chinese side without changing that policy, there may be some very surprised Viking cruisers - especially as one of the cruises lines up perfectly with the big October holiday.
  15. The ship is mostly unchanged, ie it will be very familiar looking at your signature. Torshavn was renamed but changes are so minimal they didn't bother to shoot a new 360 look around video (it has Torshavn menus pictured), and the Restaurant focuses on Chinese food. Aside from that, the biggest change is the crew. All Chinese. It's a legal requirement for sailings that don't leave China that they are all Chinese (my understanding from looking at the itineraries is that the boat won't be going to Hong Kong... Either they will be chartering a few ferries to take people from SZ to HKIA skypier directly - sensible, quick - like, 45 minutes quick - and no immigration considerations, or they'll be bussing people there)
  16. when did you post this test post? i made posts well over a day ago that remain unapproved by moderators. i see you joined 4 years ago. I hope it’s not been in the queue that long !
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