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Kingofcool1947

Viking compared to Oceania?

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We are not seasoned cruisers. Our lowly cruise budget allows us to only book a balcony stateroom. We cruise 2-3x per year.:( We have live a casual lifestyle, so no formal wear for us.

We recently took our first cruise on Oceania and really enjoyed everything about it. An Oceania ship with only 600 PAXs was a nice change since we usually sail on mass market Princess and Celebrity.

Now we are spoiled, and considering booking a Viking ocean cruise to compare with Oceania.

For those who have sailed on both Viking and Oceania, how do they compare?

Which one do/did you enjoy more?

Which one, in your opinion, is better value?

We’re looking for the pros and cons of a Viking Ocean cruise.

Cuisine, overall ship service, shipboard entertainment/activities, value of shore excursions, condition of ship, and demographics of PAXs.

Thanks, and happy cruising. :)

King

Edited by Kingofcool1947

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We like Oceania a lot - have cruised many lines but prefer Oceania. We prefer Oceania because of their itenararies which is our main reason we chose a cruise. They have few sea days which again we prefer. We are foodies and feel Oceania is number one in that category.

However, this past January we found a cruise on a Viking which we liked. We had read a lot about them and decided to try them. We really enjoyed Viking all around.

If I were you, I would try it so you can compare. The ships are very new so up to date. Food was wonderful. We have nothing against children but liked the fact it was adult only. We do not drink so had no problem with all inclusive on that. Also, we went to a few shows but again we are on the ship for the itenanary not entertainment.

Hope this helps you.

Any questions?

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We researched both Oceania and Viking for our next cruise, finding they were close in standards and perks offered. The biggest difference for us was the itinerary, as VO 2020 WC heads West & the Oceania 2020 WC goes most East.

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We like Oceania a lot - have cruised many lines but prefer Oceania. We prefer Oceania because of their itenararies which is our main reason we chose a cruise. They have few sea days which again we prefer. We are foodies and feel Oceania is number one in that category.

However, this past January we found a cruise on a Viking which we liked. We had read a lot about them and decided to try them. We really enjoyed Viking all around.

If I were you, I would try it so you can compare. The ships are very new so up to date. Food was wonderful. We have nothing against children but liked the fact it was adult only. We do not drink so had no problem with all inclusive on that. Also, we went to a few shows but again we are on the ship for the itenanary not entertainment.

Hope this helps you.

Any questions?

 

We researched both Oceania and Viking for our next cruise, finding they were close in standards and perks offered. The biggest difference for us was the itinerary, as VO 2020 WC heads West & the Oceania 2020 WC goes most East.

 

Thank you for your feedback..

I guess the only way we can compare is to book a Viking Ocean cruise. Can you recommend a Caribbean itinerary. Maybe 7-10 days?

Also, is it true that with Viking, full payment is due at time of booking?

Is it better to book directly with Viking or a TA for best price?

Happy cruising.

King

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Thank you for your feedback..

I guess the only way we can compare is to book a Viking Ocean cruise. Can you recommend a Caribbean itinerary. Maybe 7-10 days?

Also, is it true that with Viking, full payment is due at time of booking?

Is it better to book directly with Viking or a TA for best price?

Happy cruising.

King

 

Always use a TA to get extra OBC. We got 800 from Viking , but then TA added 650. All refundable.

We booked deposit last week and have final payment 90 days out.

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Thank you for your feedback..

I guess the only way we can compare is to book a Viking Ocean cruise. Can you recommend a Caribbean itinerary. Maybe 7-10 days?

Also, is it true that with Viking, full payment is due at time of booking?

Is it better to book directly with Viking or a TA for best price?

Happy cruising.

King

 

We like Oceania and Viking. We would book with either depending on the itinerary. For us Oceania has a slight edge. We have only been on the Marina (same as Riviera) and don't think we would like the other Oceania ships. The Viking ships are all identical. We did the West Indies Explorer on Viking and enjoyed it. I would find a travel agent who will give you OBC which Viking allows.

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Thank you for your feedback..

I guess the only way we can compare is to book a Viking Ocean cruise. Can you recommend a Caribbean itinerary. Maybe 7-10 days?

Also, is it true that with Viking, full payment is due at time of booking?

Is it better to book directly with Viking or a TA for best price?

Happy cruising.

King

 

Not sure about shorter cruises, but our final payment is due 6 months before departure. This is a little earlier than other Lines we have used previously.

 

I believe the Viking TA policy prevents TA's discounting the cruise fare below what Viking have posted on the website. Regarding OBC, our TA verified with Viking and the TA was permitted to purchase a maximum of $500 pp OBC in the currency we paid the cruise.

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We prefer Oceania , we feel the food is a couple notches better.

Viking specialties were excellent but Oceania food options are more varied.

Service is excellent on both lines. Ships are lovely on both but we did

NOT care for the Viking pool deck. Poor ventilation and uncomfortable loungers bothered us.

Viking has an included excursion in every port but you pay for it whether you take the tours or not. We don’t care for bus tours.

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We've now done 11 or 12 cruises on O and 4 on V. We like both lines pretty equally, and have no clear favorite on O as to larger or smaller ships. I find Oceania cruises in general to be a little cheaper, but then we don't drink and don't always take the included excursions, so perhaps I just don't get my money's worth with Viking. We also usually pick an inside cabin on O, which many people wouldn't want, even though it's a lot cheaper than the veranda cabins. As to cost, Viking freebies include a basic excursion in each port (other than embarkation and disembarkation ports, if you only have a day there), internet (great most of time), beer or wine at lunch and dinner, use of the spa pool and sauna, plus DIY laundry. O charges a small amount for spa area, very small amount for DIY laundry, and now gives you internet free. They have a wonderful library. Freebies usually or often include economy air fare, whereas Viking usually prices that separately. Don't expect that free air fare to be fantastic, though. It's by contract and the flights are not always non-stop as most people would like.

 

Entertainment on both ships is fairly modest, although I'd say O's is a little better. Food is a bit better on O, but not by much. Both lines have a very nice "buffet" and nice pool grill. Restaurants are similar. Some on Viking aren't crazy about the set menu in one specialty restaurant, but we didn't find it a problem. Most food was good; if it wasn't, we still didn't starve. Service might be a bit better now on Viking than O; our May cruise on O was a little disappointing in that regard. Our room steward had 22 rooms to clean (ouch!) O's service used to be absolutely fantastic - all over the ship. Now it seems to be slipping, although it's still quite good. Excursions seem to be a little cheaper on Viking; hoping that won't change! O's are a little pricey. There's a coffee bar on both lines. Think the gym is free on both, but quite honestly, don't use those on a vacation. Both lines do embarkation and disembarkation really well. Tendering, too. There's lot of communication on both lines, although sometimes the paper on O gets to be a little TOO much (drink specials, spa specials, etc.) No photographers on either line, except maybe behind the scenes. Both lines have computers and an computer guy/gal, although with Viking, you have to ask for him/her.

 

I like the "one place for everything" on Viking - don't have to think about where to go for info, return forms, etc.

 

Pool on Viking is a bit smaller than O's, but it can be covered in not-real-warm locations, which is nice. Wintergarden is beautiful, and I love the hot scones on Viking. O has tea with lots of "stuff" as well, but no hot scones!

 

Both ships have an outdoor area in which to eat, although sitting near the infinity pool to eat on Viking isn't wonderful to me; I prefer O's terrace with NO swimmers/loungers in site.

 

Demographics - seems to be changing on O. Overall I think O's crowd is a little less picky about things, and more adventuresome, than the crowd I've experienced on V. Age might be a little older on V, but probably not by much. I think the demographics, however, always change a little depending upon the cruise. For example, Caribbean cruise crowd seems different from Mediterranean crowd. Few kids on both lines. Good number of Europeans on Oceania, less on Viking. A lot of well-traveled people on both lines.

 

Difference between lowest priced cabins on O and veranda cabins is a LOT. Viking has no insides or ocean-views, and price seems to rise more gradually when you go up the category list. Of course, by the time we usually book, the cheapest V cabins are gone, sigh! Cabins on both ships are great. I love the modern furnishings of V over the more traditional stuff on O, but either's OK with me.

 

Itineraries are important to us, and until V goes more places with it's new ships, we're likely to look at O cruises before looking at V. But V does a wonderful job overall.

 

2 more specialty restaurants on O larger ships. O has a casino. Both ships have lectures and entertainment. Cruise directors on V are a little low-keyed compared to O. Some may like that; others not. Dress code is similar. With V airfare, transfers are included in price. It's a la carte with O.

 

I think you'll like Viking; give it a try and see!

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We've now done 11 or 12 cruises on O and 4 on V. We like both lines pretty equally, and have no clear favorite on O as to larger or smaller ships. I find Oceania cruises in general to be a little cheaper, but then we don't drink and don't always take the included excursions, so perhaps I just don't get my money's worth with Viking. We also usually pick an inside cabin on O, which many people wouldn't want, even though it's a lot cheaper than the veranda cabins. As to cost, Viking freebies include a basic excursion in each port (other than embarkation and disembarkation ports, if you only have a day there), internet (great most of time), beer or wine at lunch and dinner, use of the spa pool and sauna, plus DIY laundry. O charges a small amount for spa area, very small amount for DIY laundry, and now gives you internet free. They have a wonderful library. Freebies usually or often include economy air fare, whereas Viking usually prices that separately. Don't expect that free air fare to be fantastic, though. It's by contract and the flights are not always non-stop as most people would like.

 

Entertainment on both ships is fairly modest, although I'd say O's is a little better. Food is a bit better on O, but not by much. Both lines have a very nice "buffet" and nice pool grill. Restaurants are similar. Some on Viking aren't crazy about the set menu in one specialty restaurant, but we didn't find it a problem. Most food was good; if it wasn't, we still didn't starve. Service might be a bit better now on Viking than O; our May cruise on O was a little disappointing in that regard. Our room steward had 22 rooms to clean (ouch!) O's service used to be absolutely fantastic - all over the ship. Now it seems to be slipping, although it's still quite good. Excursions seem to be a little cheaper on Viking; hoping that won't change! O's are a little pricey. There's a coffee bar on both lines. Think the gym is free on both, but quite honestly, don't use those on a vacation. Both lines do embarkation and disembarkation really well. Tendering, too. There's lot of communication on both lines, although sometimes the paper on O gets to be a little TOO much (drink specials, spa specials, etc.) No photographers on either line, except maybe behind the scenes. Both lines have computers and an computer guy/gal, although with Viking, you have to ask for him/her.

 

I like the "one place for everything" on Viking - don't have to think about where to go for info, return forms, etc.

 

Pool on Viking is a bit smaller than O's, but it can be covered in not-real-warm locations, which is nice. Wintergarden is beautiful, and I love the hot scones on Viking. O has tea with lots of "stuff" as well, but no hot scones!

 

Both ships have an outdoor area in which to eat, although sitting near the infinity pool to eat on Viking isn't wonderful to me; I prefer O's terrace with NO swimmers/loungers in site.

 

Demographics - seems to be changing on O. Overall I think O's crowd is a little less picky about things, and more adventuresome, than the crowd I've experienced on V. Age might be a little older on V, but probably not by much. I think the demographics, however, always change a little depending upon the cruise. For example, Caribbean cruise crowd seems different from Mediterranean crowd. Few kids on both lines. Good number of Europeans on Oceania, less on Viking. A lot of well-traveled people on both lines.

 

Difference between lowest priced cabins on O and veranda cabins is a LOT. Viking has no insides or ocean-views, and price seems to rise more gradually when you go up the category list. Of course, by the time we usually book, the cheapest V cabins are gone, sigh! Cabins on both ships are great. I love the modern furnishings of V over the more traditional stuff on O, but either's OK with me.

 

Itineraries are important to us, and until V goes more places with it's new ships, we're likely to look at O cruises before looking at V. But V does a wonderful job overall.

 

2 more specialty restaurants on O larger ships. O has a casino. Both ships have lectures and entertainment. Cruise directors on V are a little low-keyed compared to O. Some may like that; others not. Dress code is similar. With V airfare, transfers are included in price. It's a la carte with O.

 

I think you'll like Viking; give it a try and see!

 

 

roothy123,

Thank you for the very comprehensive comparison. Just what I was looking for.

I will give Viking a try.

Happy cruising.

King

Edited by Kingofcool1947

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Having been on several of both...here are my comments

1. when you upgrade on O to a penthouse there is a butler and your gratuity doubles!

   Had the option of an upgrade but was not told about the gratuity increase

2. food quantity similar

3. rooms bigger (veranda) and much better bathrooms on V

4. nice to have no children on board. ..folks on O seem to like to bring preadolescent grandkids and have no control over them..and the kids are bored since no activities for them.

5. if you like cheap wine it is free on V at lunch and dinner, if you are a wine affectionado  

you will have to pay...cocktails are less on V with no added gratuity..o charges more with an18 percent gratuity 
6. o has trivia v does not..people were friendly on o , on v they seem to come with their friends 

7. furnishings traditional on o. Scandinavian on V  

8. access to pool is difficult on V...no stairs on outside pool only ladder. o has a nice stairway entry

 

 

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2 hours ago, PutterP said:

Having been on several of both...here are my comments

1. when you upgrade on O to a penthouse there is a butler and your gratuity doubles!

   Had the option of an upgrade but was not told about the gratuity increase

2. food quantity similar

3. rooms bigger (veranda) and much better bathrooms on V

4. nice to have no children on board. ..folks on O seem to like to bring preadolescent grandkids and have no control over them..and the kids are bored since no activities for them.

5. if you like cheap wine it is free on V at lunch and dinner, if you are a wine affectionado  

you will have to pay...cocktails are less on V with no added gratuity..o charges more with an18 percent gratuity 
6. o has trivia v does not..people were friendly on o , on v they seem to come with their friends 

7. furnishings traditional on o. Scandinavian on V  

8. access to pool is difficult on V...no stairs on outside pool only ladder. o has a nice stairway entry

 

 

I more or less agree with your comments except the one on children. We've been on quite a few Oceania cruises and never seen more than 5 or 10 children on any cruise, and absolutely none that were rowdy or objectionable in any way. Of course, the number of kids might vary by itinerary and date. But we've cruised in various seasons and to different places like the Caribbean (slightly more casual, younger, vacation - oriented crowd) and Europe, and the difference in passenger characteristics isn't large.  I prefer a small number of kids rather than lots of kids, but actually LIKE cruising with SOME. Variety is good.

 

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5 hours ago, PutterP said:

Having been on several of both...here are my comments

1. when you upgrade on O to a penthouse there is a butler and your gratuity doubles!

 

I can't compare O vs V since I haven't sailed on V, although I have an expedition cruise booked for 2022.  However, it's not quite accurate to say the gratuities double for a butler.  It's an $7 per day increase over the standard $16 per day.  Yes, there is that pesky 18% on drinks ☹️. From Cruise Critic:

 

Oceania Cruises

 

Oceania automatically adds a $16 per day gratuity to each passenger's shipboard account (any age). There is a $23 per day gratuity charge for cruisers occupying Penthouse, Oceania, Vista or Owner's suites where butler service is provided. Passengers may adjust gratuities while onboard at their discretion.

 

An 18 percent gratuity is added to all bar and spa bills, as well as dinner at specialty restaurant La Reserve.

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5 hours ago, PutterP said:

5. ...cocktails are less on V with no added gratuity..o charges more with an18 percent gratuity 

Again, I don't have personal experience with V's bar policy, but Cruise Critic lists them as charging 15% for drinks.

 

From Cruise Critic:

Viking Ocean Cruises

 

A service charge of $15 per passenger, per day is automatically added to the shipboard account and shared among wait staff, cabin stewards, buffet stewards, galley staff, laundry staff and others. A 15 percent service charge is added to bar bills.

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9 hours ago, PutterP said:


6. o has trivia v does not..people were friendly on o , on v they seem to come with their friends 

 

 

On the Sun, we had Trivia at Noon, every sea day. When we docked at Noon or early afternoon, we had trivia a little earlier.

 

In addition to trivia, on some sea days we had an additional session of brain teasers late afternoon.

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We had trivia tournaments on our Viking Trade Routes voyage in October 2019.  The ever bubbly cruise team assembled groups, we met several very nice people.

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On 6/14/2018 at 10:23 AM, Kingofcool1947 said:

Also, is it true that with Viking, full payment is due at time of booking?

 

Since this old thread has been revived, I want to point out that some of the final payment information that has been shared is out of date.

 

At the end of 2018, after a brief trial period with a more lenient final payment policy, Viking reverted to its original practice of final payments due well in advance of sailing. The current policy is calling for final payments dues 1-2 years in advance, depending on the cruise. Exceptions are made if you have a future cruise already booked or if you are booking on board, in which case, final payment will be due 6 months prior to departure.

 

In some cases, the pay in full can be negotiated with the following caveats: it must be done before you make the initial deposit and you can expect that you won't be able to do better than 12 months prior to sailing (or 6 months if you have a future cruise booked).

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On 9/3/2020 at 3:19 PM, PutterP said:

5. if you like cheap wine it is free on V at lunch and dinner, if you are a wine affectionado  

you will have to pay...cocktails are less on V with no added gratuity..o charges more with an18 percent gratuity 

 

On Viking, a fifteen percent gratuity is included in the price of drinks at the bar and services in the spa. BTW, use of spa facilities is open to all pax gratis.

 

Some folks are confused because the payment slips include a line for tips but that is only because there are people who want to tip even more.

 

On 9/3/2020 at 5:52 PM, IWantToLiveOverTheSea said:

6. o has trivia v does not..people were friendly on o , on v they seem to come with their friends 

 

Viking does have trivia on sea days and sometimes on days where arrival in port is later in the day. The games I joined were not the cut-throat tournaments that I had learned to avoid on other cruise lines.

 

As for the friendliness of fellow passengers, I have found that every cruise has its own vibe. No matter where you are, some people are good at starting conversations and others aren't. DH talks to everyone; I'm better at listening.

 

On 9/3/2020 at 3:19 PM, PutterP said:

1. when you upgrade on O to a penthouse there is a butler and your gratuity doubles!

 

There are no butlers on Viking. The per person/per day suggested gratuity is the same for all cabin categories.

 

Unless you have booked in UK/AUS/NZ where gratuities are included in the cruise fare OR you have paid the grats before sailing, gratuities will automatically be added to your on board account unless you actively opt out.  Why have they chosen to automatically add them to all accounts? Because more people want the automatics grats than don't, thus less people stopping at the customer service desk to make changes. 

 

On 9/3/2020 at 3:19 PM, PutterP said:

8. access to pool is difficult on V...no stairs on outside pool only ladder. o has a nice stairway entry

 

There are other pools on board, including the larger all-season pool beside the Wintergarden and the pools in the spa.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

Since this old thread has been revived, I want to point out that some of the final payment information that has been shared is out of date.

 

At the end of 2018, after a brief trial period with a more lenient final payment policy, Viking reverted to its original practice of final payments due well in advance of sailing. The current policy is calling for final payments dues 1-2 years in advance, depending on the cruise. Exceptions are made if you have a future cruise already booked or if you are booking on board, in which case, final payment will be due 6 months prior to departure.

 

In some cases, the pay in full can be negotiated with the following caveats: it must be done before you make the initial deposit and you can expect that you won't be able to do better than 12 months prior to sailing (or 6 months if you have a future cruise booked).

 

I wonder if this policy will hold up post covid.  Let's hope not.

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The spa pools on Going have stairs and rails. That is very helpful for folks with some mobility issues. Climbing out of the main pool involves climbing up a vertical ladder.

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3 hours ago, Wendy The Wanderer said:

 

I wonder if this policy will hold up post covid.  Let's hope not.

 

I expect that it will continue post Covid. In spite of the future's uncertainty, Viking's ships are filling quickly right now.

 

Except for a period of about 18 months  during which Viking was trying out a different policy, the cruise line has always had a pay in full date that was closer to booking than it was to departure. When we booked our first river cruise in August or September for the following May, 2010, payment in full was due at the end of the month. Viking was announcing cruises a year at a time at that point. We wanted to be sure we got the itinerary and the date we wanted and we booked as early as we could.

 

When Viking opened up its Viking Oceans division and we booked our first Oceans cruise, we booked 2 years in advance and fully expected that we would be paying in full at the end of the month. That has always been Viking's policy and that is what we expected with that booking as well. We were delighted to learn that we would have until the end of the year to pay in full, 18 months prior to departure  -- and by that time, our sailing was sold out.

 

As long as Viking continues to fill its ships two and three years prior to departure with people who are not deterred by the payment policy, it will continue.

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