Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
zltm089

Viking Ocean vs Oceania

Recommended Posts

5 hours ago, chrismch said:

Looks like Viking has a Philippino lounge band like many of the other cruise lines, too. We love listening to live music and my husband always enjoys chatting with the band afterward as he's a musician. 

On Viking, band musicians and singers are very approachable. We could  request any song we liked and they played it/sung it the same night or if they were not familiar with it, they will study it and try to perform it on the next occasion. The Philippine singer remembered most names of the passengers in his audience after only asking it once, days earlier. The Philippine guitar player even allowed a passenger to play music (harmonica) with him, live on stage in Torshaven bar. I’m sure your husband will like this!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not sailed with either line, but have researched them both quite a bit in preparation for eventually booking. A lot of us fit into a sector where it comes down to these two companies: not snooty, not too dressy, but with exceptionally nice amenities, quiet, serene and beautiful environment, personalized service, not mass-market or party ship or kid-oriented or rock-wall-roller-coaster intense.

 

One difference that jumps out at me is that the Oceania website uses words like "exclusive," "luxury," "elegant," and so on. They're not a true luxury line, but are perhaps meant to appeal more to those who want an old-world cruising feel and a slightly exclusive-feeling experience. I imagine there are more Oceania travelers who get their hackles up if someone underdresses for dinner (though of course the vast majority wouldn't judge), and the dress code is indeed probably a little fancier on Oceania. Viking markets itself more to the Road Scholar type: curious, educated, not there to be seen, a little more down to earth, focused more on the destination than their outfits or the carpeting.

 

But these are just self-images that the companies are trying to tap into. It's largely the same people in the same comfortable but not exceedingly wealthy financial bracket able to take trips on either line; most everyone showers daily and speaks at an appropriate volume; and both lines are most attractive to their customers for the same reasons. While the value systems of the customers each company is trying to attract strike me as a little different, and while the environments are commensurately a little different, I'm not sure the actual travelers are so different. The same customers would probably find like-minded and kind souls on a cruise with either company, and could feel comfortably themselves most of the time with either company.

 

Viking ships are newer with better bathrooms, though, and Oceania's food is a cut above. I'm partial to Viking for whatever reason.

Edited by LazyDonkey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Viking checks every box for us. Since I first cruised in 2009 with Viking River in China, I have been so impressed with their organization of everything! I have cruised on many NCL, Cunard, Costa and Windjammer in the past & loved each one for different reasons. I worked on several, teaching tennis & arts & crafts staying in many different type staterooms. The Viking Ocean ships are spectacular and feel like home immediately...as all are the same identical decor & layout. We just completed our 5th Viking cruise of 22 days Crossing of the Southern Atlantic, and half of those were sea days. Never once did I feel "bored" or scared! In fact I was sad to disembark! Heather Clancy, very talented cruise director said that "we are travelers not tourist" which means we learn & appreciate the people and culture as well as the wonderful ports, and take a little part of that away with us in a positive manner. Viking is truly for the person who wants to learn & be enriched. To sum it all up...cruising with Viking means feeling like you have royalty status!

Edited by gma1
insert a word

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, LazyDonkey said:

They're not a true luxury line, but are perhaps meant to appeal more to those who want an old-world cruising feel and a slightly exclusive-feeling experience. I imagine there are more Oceania travelers who get their hackles up if someone underdresses for dinner (though of course the vast majority wouldn't judge), and the dress code is indeed probably a little fancier on Oceania. Viking markets itself more to the Road Scholar type: curious, educated, not there to be seen, a little more down to earth, focused more on the destination than their outfits or the carpeting.

May I suggest you actually cruise on a cruiseline before you categorize what it is or isn't.  I don't know how you define a "luxury" line. If you're only looking at brochures, then I'd think  you'd say every cruise line other than RCL and Carnival were all luxury lines as the people they portray in ads are slim, tanned, and dressed like all their clothes are hand tailored. Most rankings for luxury cruiselines are by price point and both Viking and Oceania fit that category. 

 

In regards to getting hackles up about dressing down, every board on this site, no matter the cruiseline, has people complain about not dressing properly for dinner. And I don't understand your calling Oceania "old-world cruising. That's definitely off the mark unless you call "country club casual, which is their suggested style of dress in the evenings, as "old school" Check the wording from the mass market cruiselines about evening attire and you'll find it's similar language.

 

And it's laughable that you say Viking cruisers would be more down to earth. Why? Because the passengers want to take a ship's excursion at every port? And I've never met anyone on a cruise (been on 35 + cruises on 9 different cruiselines) who booked a ship because of carpeting or clothes that they could wear. It's all about the destination, service, and price point. And the most down to earth passengers I've met on most of those cruiselines are those who've done multiple world cruises.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Meldrum... Thanks for the info on the band. I've always been impressed by the musicians on cruises. They are well-trained, have expansive options for playlists, and appreciative when guests become regulars and interact with them. Once on a Princess cruise, the house orchestra, in a smaller quintet version and at a lounge venue, allowed my husband to sit in for the drummer on a couple of songs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Hi, chrismch. My point was that it's the same people on both cruise lines despite differences in how they market themselves. I agree with you that Viking travelers are not actually likely any more down to earth. Study the websites as if you had never cruised with either line, and you might agree with my impressions (or maybe not, and that's okay) about whom they are trying to market to. But in actuality they mostly (mostly) appeal to the same people, and indeed many here have cruised with both repeatedly.

 

I do notice a much more welcoming and civil tone on the Viking board. The Oceania board quickly devolves into accusations on so many topics. But I suspect that's not indicative of the typical Oceania cruiser's attitude. I do still maintain the outsider's impression (rightly or wrongly) that Oceania is a tad dressier, that that matters to some cruisers, and that neither line is classified as luxury, though they are just a half tier beneath the Seabourns and such. But in the real world all cruises are luxuries, so it's all relative, and I agree with you that both Oceania and Viking provide luxurious experiences by any real-world standard. A Suburu would be a luxury car to the vast majority of the world's population.

 

I perhaps sense some outrage about my opinions and even some derision from you. I hope I'm misreading that even if I did express my opinions a bit confusingly, even if we had actually sharply disagreed. I'm not that influential and nothing I said was intended personally. I was not coming from a judgmental position. I do not view Viking cruisers as superior to Oceania cruisers. I can work on clarity of expression for sure. More gentle disagreement is always appreciated.

Edited by LazyDonkey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have sailed on both lines, although only on the larger Oceania ships. Dress is about the same. Neither has chic/formal/fancy dress nights. I think the food is better on Oceania and the grand dining room experience is better.
 

On every Viking Ocean Cruise, the Restaurant experience has been beyond chaotic for us. Both have specialty restaurants at no cost. They are ok but very crowded.

 

We found more down-to-earth passengers on Oceania. Oceania has a happy hour early and late most evenings so before dinner, we almost always had to share a table with people we did not know. They were all interested in us on our first Oceania cruise - what made us choose it, where we had cruised before, and whether we liked it. In general, we’d all cruised many times on Celebrity, Princess or Holland America and were looking for a better experience.

 

Each has beautiful ships and your favorite might be one or the other. I enjoy both.

 

Bathrooms in Veranda cabins are fantastic on both. I like Viking’s oversized shower better than the Oceania separate shower and bath tub. The heated floors on the newer VIking ships with controls in the bathroom are awesome. The original design on the older ships where they were on or off and controlled by engineering did not work for us.

 

i like the Oceania experience better and my husband gives the edge to Viking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, cruzzzinma said:

We have sailed on both lines, although only on the larger Oceania ships. Dress is about the same. Neither has chic/formal/fancy dress nights. I think the food is better on Oceania and the grand dining room experience is better.
 

On every Viking Ocean Cruise, the Restaurant experience has been beyond chaotic for us. Both have specialty restaurants at no cost. They are ok but very crowded.

 

We found more down-to-earth passengers on Oceania. Oceania has a happy hour early and late most evenings so before dinner, we almost always had to share a table with people we did not know. They were all interested in us on our first Oceania cruise - what made us choose it, where we had cruised before, and whether we liked it. In general, we’d all cruised many times on Celebrity, Princess or Holland America and were looking for a better experience.

 

Each has beautiful ships and your favorite might be one or the other. I enjoy both.

 

Bathrooms in Veranda cabins are fantastic on both. I like Viking’s oversized shower better than the Oceania separate shower and bath tub. The heated floors on the newer VIking ships with controls in the bathroom are awesome. The original design on the older ships where they were on or off and controlled by engineering did not work for us.

 

i like the Oceania experience better and my husband gives the edge to Viking.

 

I happen to prefer Viking over Oceania.  Perhaps it's because I'm part-Danish.  Or perhaps it's because I've never cruised with Oceania.

 

More seriously:  My wife and I are relative newbies to the cruising experience.  We dipped our toes in the market after taking more than 40 land-based international trips.  On the three Viking cruises we took last year, we met some very interesting and down-to-earth folks, and others who had their heads way up in the air.  (We called the latter "The Expensive People.")  I'm speculating here, but I'm sure we would have encountered the same groups on Oceania.  You're bound to meet all types when you bump into 1000 affluent passengers with different quirks and idiosyncrasies.     

 

BTW, Carolyn, we enjoyed the Golden Circle tour we shared with you in Iceland.  I hope you considered us part of the down-to-earth crowd you met on Viking!        

Edited by DaveSJ711

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, DaveSJ711 said:

BTW, Carolyn, we enjoyed the Golden Circle tour we shared with you in Iceland.  I hope you considered us part of the down-to-earth crowd you met on Viking!        


Yes, my friend, you and your wife are two of the awesome people we’ve met on Viking. Many of the crew also recognized us on the Sun from the unfortunate incident on the VIking Sky. I am certain, with the exception of the Riviera medical staff, no one on Oceania would recognize us!

 

Heading to Buenos Aires tomorrow to board Azamara Pursuit on Sunday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In cooler climates, I prefer Viking. Covered pool area and access to indoor therapy pool on the spa is ideal.  Oceania is good in warm places.  No indoor pool or hot tub.  In cooler places, the Terrace buffet closes the back patio area. Also, Waves is uncomfortable in cooler places. That creates a big demand for indoor seating at the Terrace Buffet.  On Viking, there are several indoor dining options.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have only sailed Oceania ( R and O ships) and was thinking of trying Viking but it seems much more expensive. I usually book inside or ocean view cabins( I know Viking only has balcony cabins at its lowest price point) and my question is the value between the 2 lines worth the extra expense? Again, this probably depends on a personal opinion but I have had fantastic Oceania cruises to Europe for $2700 per person( yes-inside cabin-but different port everyday) for 10 days. Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just returned 1 week ago from the Oceania Serena.  Our previous cruise was Viking.  This is our history in order over the years. Two Oceania on small ships, 6 Crystal, Oceania on Marina, one Viking and the last Oceania Serena small ship

.

The Serena cabin was small as expected but after refurbishing the bathroom was intolerable.  The shower was ridiculous, sink area minimal etc.  Some men were taking showers in the gym.  You could not fall in this shower.  You would just be wedged in. Most of the categories had this bathroom.  Viking much larger cabins.

 

The enrichment lecturer had interesting topics but very boring presentations.  He just read the screen. Viking was also a disappointment in this category.  Oceania had wonderful lectures in our first cruises.  This could have been a fluke.

 

Food was great on O.  Red Ginger the best.  A few misses in GDR. Waves great.  We are not buffet fans so cannot comment  Would say food equaled Viking.  Except Sushi on Viking had a greater variety.

 

Our TA said we would miss the personal attention on Viking but did not.  We have booked another Viking and would not return to Oceania ships. This is our opinion.  Many will disagree but please be respectful of our thoughts.

 

The final decision is yours.  Happy Cruising.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I usually sail with Celebrity but am booked on a Viking Ocean TA this October. (Loved Viking Ocean after a one week Caribbean cruise in 2018).

 

I am also booked on an Oceania TA in April 2021.

 

"They're not a true luxury line, but are perhaps meant to appeal more to those who want an old-world cruising feel and a slightly exclusive-feeling experience."

 

Now I'm disappointed.  If Oceania is not a true luxury line, what is?

 

I booked a Regent TA for April of 2022 but may now find that Regent isn't a true luxury line either. 🙂

 

Michael

Chattanooga, TN

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, basenji56 said:

I usually sail with Celebrity but am booked on a Viking Ocean TA this October. (Loved Viking Ocean after a one week Caribbean cruise in 2018).

 

I am also booked on an Oceania TA in April 2021.

 

"They're not a true luxury line, but are perhaps meant to appeal more to those who want an old-world cruising feel and a slightly exclusive-feeling experience."

 

Now I'm disappointed.  If Oceania is not a true luxury line, what is?

 

I booked a Regent TA for April of 2022 but may now find that Regent isn't a true luxury line either. 🙂

 

Michael

Chattanooga, TN

 


I’d say it depends on your definition of luxury.  I asked the question on the luxury cruise board here on Cruise Critic and was left with the impression that, like beauty, luxury is in the eye of the beholder. For some luxury was about the food.  For others it required a butler.  Many said, “Oh on X line, they remember your name - adding that this is a sign of great service.  Quite frankly, I have not cruised on any line where they didn’t remember my name, including Carnival 🤣🤣🤣

 

The general consensus was that Viking, Oceania and Azamara are “premium” and that you had to sail with Regent, Seabourn or Crystal to experience true “luxury.”  The Europa ships (I think Hapag-Lloyd) are the pinnacle.  RCL, Carnival, NCL and MSC were deemed mainstream with HAL, Princess, Celebrity and Cunard falling into some nebulous category between “premium” and “luxury.”

 

These are not my definitions or opinion just a consensus of answers to my quest for a definition of luxury on the board here for luxury cruises.

 

I’ve never cruised Oceania, but I would consider it. I do find their O Life variations somewhat confusing.  Viking seems easier.  What you get is consistent and there are no extra packages to add, but the Silver Spirits beverage package.

 

 We have cruised on Azamara, but we like Viking better.  We would do another Azamara. We are done with the mainstream lines, though we do have a Celebrity cruise this spring in a suite.  The price, timing and itinerary worked.  We will decide after that if Celebrity works for us as well. Oddly enough we just booked a similar itinerary on Viking for March of 2021.  The timing wasn’t what we were looking for.  The price barely made the budget, so we will be in a DV1 instead of our preferred PV1, but as my husband said repeatedly when we were discussing it, “ but it’s Viking!” 😁

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it’s settled. It’s a toss up. I suggest we alternate our cruises between them to keep them competitive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/1/2020 at 4:37 AM, LazyDonkey said:

Hi, chrismch. My point was that it's the same people on both cruise lines despite differences in how they market themselves. I agree with you that Viking travelers are not actually likely any more down to earth. Study the websites as if you had never cruised with either line, and you might agree with my impressions (or maybe not, and that's okay) about whom they are trying to market to. But in actuality they mostly (mostly) appeal to the same people, and indeed many here have cruised with both repeatedly.

 

I found your analysis interesting and clear. It is fascinating to learn the impact marketing plays in shaping our views. I did have a nice chuckle about Viking targeting the Rhodes Scholar type. It may be the only time in my life I have that connection!

 

We are taking Our first Viking Ocean Cruise in December. I Look forward to seeing how it matches up with our impressions from the marketing department!

RB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, rbslos18 said:

 

I found your analysis interesting and clear. It is fascinating to learn the impact marketing plays in shaping our views. I did have a nice chuckle about Viking targeting the Rhodes Scholar type. It may be the only time in my life I have that connection!

 

We are taking Our first Viking Ocean Cruise in December. I Look forward to seeing how it matches up with our impressions from the marketing department!

RB

Thank you, rbslos18! Hope you have a great cruise. I actually meant "Road Scholar," which is the touring arm of Elderhostel. The clientele are friendly, learning-focused, down to earth, not fancy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, blacksmith said:

I think it’s settled. It’s a toss up. I suggest we alternate our cruises between them to keep them competitive.

Try one of each and get back to us!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, rbslos18 said:

Try one of each and get back to us!!

We leave in 18 days on Viking Sea. Been cruising on Oceania for years. 
Just my weak attempt at humor. Sorry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, blacksmith said:

We leave in 18 days on Viking Sea. Been cruising on Oceania for years. 
Just my weak attempt at humor. Sorry

Ok. I am officially jealous. We are newbies to Viking. Our first cruise, Viking Sky, is in December and I can’t wait. I stumbled across Viking by accident.

 

After 35+ cruises on mainstream lines and three on a luxury line, we needed a change. The mainstream lines are making larger and larger ships, often without a promenade deck—a must for my wife. We will know better after our December holiday cruise, but on paper, Viking seems perfect for us. And generally, this Board is much less contentious than many I have read—a good sign.

Have a great cruise and report back!!!

RB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks and I’m sure we’ll have a wonderful time. We too spent many years using the mainstream cruise lines and now stick mostly to the premium and luxury lines . Having said that, we spent a week on the Allure of the Seas last July (6000+ passengers) . The ship in this case was selected by our 17 year old granddaughter though. We immediately needed to book a Regent cruise to restore our sanity. 
All of us are fortunate to be able to vacation on these beautiful cruise ships and we try to never take it for granted. 
Happy cruising!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interested in this thread.  DH and I are going on our first Oceania cruise this Spring and our first Viking Sea cruise January 2021.  Looking forward to both! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

May I add that having sailed on a lengthy voyage on Oceania, Insignia, enjoyed their destinations imensley,  their spaces , food and excellent crew,a few years later we graduated to Viking on an equally lengthy journey..

Viking is simply a cut above the rest, beautiful new ships,with spaces which need to be experienced to appreciate. Look at the meaning of Hygge, its so true.!

A whole different feeling aboard a Viking ocean ship, no doubt,and very hard to go back to anyone else, except on price.! We have loved every cruise over time ,being HAL advocates for a very long time, tried Azamara, and Princess, .would never discredit any cruise line...but we cannot wait to be back on Viking Ocean,they do it impeccably , we love, their policy of no casinos, no kids ,no art auctions, no photographers, they have simply removed everything that was remotely annoying...They are a no nonsense, efficient line, which we love...

However there are always some whom it may not suit, I could not find fault,but it is a case of different strokes for different folks, so remembering how fortunate we are to be able to travel,[you will never please everyone],  honestly its fabulous.!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, travel09 said:

May I add that having sailed on a lengthy voyage on Oceania, Insignia, enjoyed their destinations imensley,  their spaces , food and excellent crew,a few years later we graduated to Viking on an equally lengthy journey..

Viking is simply a cut above the rest, beautiful new ships,with spaces which need to be experienced to appreciate. Look at the meaning of Hygge, its so true.!

A whole different feeling aboard a Viking ocean ship, no doubt,and very hard to go back to anyone else, except on price.! We have loved every cruise over time ,being HAL advocates for a very long time, tried Azamara, and Princess, .would never discredit any cruise line...but we cannot wait to be back on Viking Ocean,they do it impeccably , we love, their policy of no casinos, no kids ,no art auctions, no photographers, they have simply removed everything that was remotely annoying...They are a no nonsense, efficient line, which we love...

However there are always some whom it may not suit, I could not find fault,but it is a case of different strokes for different folks, so remembering how fortunate we are to be able to travel,[you will never please everyone],  honestly its fabulous.!

We share your opinion about Viking, but came to that conclusion in a  totally different way. We had never cruised at all, thinking we had no interest in what we had heard about mainstream cruises. At least some of what we heard must have been true, because we have seen family photos to back it up. Finally, we did take a Viking river cruise, and then learned about the new ocean division. We decided to give it a try, and were absolutely delighted. It was nothing like what we thought cruising was , and everything we hoped it would be.

My only problem now is that every time I am tempted by an itinerary on another line like Oceania that Viking doesn't yet cover, I am reluctant to switch. While I imagine that I would enjoy Oceania very much, I know I love Viking. These trips are expensive, and it seems a bit of a gamble. Now if I could only get Viking to add Malta to their travels, without having to take a World Cruise, I would be thrilled!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think one thing has not emerged on this thread about the actual ships.  I think both Viking and Oceania's Riviera and Marina are pretty equal, with Oceania having better bathrooms though Viking's are very acceptable.   However, although we have been on both Insignia and Nautica they are not a comparison to Viking and as has been said the bathrooms are very small.

 

We thought the food good on Viking in the main restaurant, Manfredo and Mamsen, but did not like the food in the buffet at all, even if roughly the same menu as the dining room at night did not look it.  We also thought afternoon tea was chaotic and not very good.   You have however options and we went for tea in Mamsens.   Afternoon tea on Oceania is very good.   We often do not have lunch if ashore so go to afternoon tea instead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter Now for a Chance to Win a 7-day Cruise for Two
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...