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First Viking Cruise: Need guidance please

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33 minutes ago, Jim Avery said:

they were great fun and quite the social organizers.  Any idea what they were going to do after the Ultimate WC got shortened?  They had told us they rented their home and were traveling for a year or so.  Last we heard their plans were to spend the summer in Europe after arrival in London.  

 

Jim - David & Roger left us in Dubai on the first night, flying back to Sydney, I believe. Everything happened so quickly, I never had a chance to chat with them regarding plans on getting home.

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The galley will also prepare special meals for groups. We had a curry night once per month, which had reached 90 attending. We met in Torshavn for pre-dinner drinks, then the group headed to the MDR, where they had a section set aside. They curries were served family style.

Sounds fabulous!


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A few more points. The Torshavn bar is a nice, smaller venue that hosts late night music and other smaller events. Open to anyone. Also, PV cabins (and I think some "below" that) have booze in the minibar. It's not high end, but you can request which you want to have, including the sodas/mixers. Then you can carry that drink anywhere on the ship. They are accustomed to people mixing their own, either from the minibar or bottles they bring on board. No shame or problem doing that. We took G&Ts to Explorer's a lot, and they provided the wasabi peanuts while we enjoyed the views. 

 

The indoor pool is kept pretty warm -- too warm for people who like to exercise in it, IMO (like me). I'd guess it's upper 80s. 

 

As for activities, on our 93-day Grand Pacific Voyage on Viking Orion, we also saw some hilarious (but well-done) dance classes run by the vocalists (a TERRIFIC group of young performers), Dancing Under the Stars (Live band playing 50s/60s music with a dance floor by the pool in the evening),  various small-cast "shows" with talented singers and band, and some funny sea day stuff like a Viking Cook-Off (crew competition), Trivia, etc. Note that our cruise was 93 days, but many people were getting on/off the ship in 14 day intervals, so none of these was because it was a "long" cruise.

 

As for expensive drinks. If you order something that uses three shots, you can get an $18 drink. I did. And it was fully worth it, and no gratuity added.

 

Viking --You'll love it. Can't WAIT to get back on board. Praying for next June...

 

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3 hours ago, eaglewatchers said:

Also, PV cabins (and I think some "below" that) have booze in the minibar.

 

Booze in minibar is PV and higher. Minibar is complimentary/gratis/free and is refilled daily in every category except V, where you have to pay for refills. HOWEVER, you can always snag an extra can or two of soda at every meal and do your own refills.

 

 

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On 8/14/2020 at 9:42 PM, DrKoob said:

Best parts for us are all the things they don't have: 

  1. Kids
  2. Smoking
  3. Casinos
  4. Photographers
  5. Art auctions 
  6. The aforementioned caste system that other lines are pushing more and more. 

DrKoob stated it well.  Be prepared however, if you go on one Viking cruise, you need to be financially prepared to make it your second home.  No other cruise line will have our business from here out.  We aren't into trivia, and we don't drink, so I cannot add to anything about those things, but there was a lot of the type of music you were talking about especially in Torshavn Lounge.  We love PV with the extra room.  We totally agree with the person who mentioned going home with suitcases full of clean clothes.....oh wait a minute, I don't want to give that secret away as I don't want to have to wait in line for a washer!  If you do not like seafood, your food selections will be a bit less, but if you are a seafood fan, you'll be delighted with the offerings.  

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3 hours ago, Sunflower & The Scientist said:

DrKoob stated it well.  Be prepared however, if you go on one Viking cruise, you need to be financially prepared to make it your second home.  No other cruise line will have our business from here out.  We aren't into trivia, and we don't drink, so I cannot add to anything about those things, but there was a lot of the type of music you were talking about especially in Torshavn Lounge.  We love PV with the extra room.  We totally agree with the person who mentioned going home with suitcases full of clean clothes.....oh wait a minute, I don't want to give that secret away as I don't want to have to wait in line for a washer!  If you do not like seafood, your food selections will be a bit less, but if you are a seafood fan, you'll be delighted with the offerings.  

 

One other thing to be prepared for...even now...is planning WAY in advance. So many Viking cruisers are so very loyal that ships get full in a hurry. Example: we were just cancelled off a Christmas Market river cruise last week. Attempted to book for next Christmas and found exactly two staterooms left on any of the boats. Same for their newer cruises like the Mississippi (the ship isn’t even built yet). We had other cruises fall like dominoes from that one that got cancelled. We booked on one of the three top to bottom 2022 Mississippi River cruises. Tried to reschedule to 2023—sold out! Three years in advance. 

 

I think that really says something about Viking. 

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yes...they deserve my loyalty!

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On 8/22/2020 at 5:16 PM, DrKoob said:

 

One other thing to be prepared for...even now...is planning WAY in advance. So many Viking cruisers are so very loyal that ships get full in a hurry. Example: we were just cancelled off a Christmas Market river cruise last week. Attempted to book for next Christmas and found exactly two staterooms left on any of the boats. Same for their newer cruises like the Mississippi (the ship isn’t even built yet). We had other cruises fall like dominoes from that one that got cancelled. We booked on one of the three top to bottom 2022 Mississippi River cruises. Tried to reschedule to 2023—sold out! Three years in advance. 

 

I think that really says something about Viking. 

Right you are about Viking passengers loyalty.  Lots of us have found our place in the cruise world.  I would say that "Sold Out" doesn't always really mean sold out.  We booked the Inaugural World Cruise 6 months out when it had shown "Sold Out" well before that.  In my experience watching Viking's website and discussing things with "our guy", lots changes as months go by.  Especially around final pay dates and 90 days out from a cruise.  Also, three times we have been put on standby for a sold out cruise.  All three times we were subsequently offered what we wanted.  Unfortunately we had already booked other plans for two of them.  Just saying, keep an eye on the website and your travel agent and/or Viking rep.   

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16 minutes ago, SuSuTrav said:

What are the hours that dinner is served?


Generally 6-9 pm.

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On 8/14/2020 at 10:19 PM, Peregrina651 said:

Under Risk-Free Cancellation policy, refund is a mix of cash and vouchers depending on when you cancel. Up to 121 days prior to sailing, you can get 100% less $100 back. It used to be that you lost the $100 completely; under the Risk-Free you get that $100 back as a voucher.  After 121 days, the cash-voucher split is per the cancellation table in the Terms and Conditions (find link in the footer of any page on the website). What would have been refunded to you comes in cash, the balance in vouchers. HOWEVER, if Viking cancels, you can ask for a full refund or you can take their offer of a 125% future cruise voucher.


@Peregrina651:

 

Would you be able to share a link where this policy is stated by Viking?  Our 2020 and 2021 Undiscovered China (along with our linked Far East and Alaska ocean cruises) were cancelled.  I spoke with Viking yesterday and the agent told me about this policy, but the Risk-Free Guarantee pdf he sent me does not include the refund prior to 120 day language.

 

Thanks,

 

Jerry

 

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40 minutes ago, MarkTapley said:


@Peregrina651:

 

Would you be able to share a link where this policy is stated by Viking?  Our 2020 and 2021 Undiscovered China (along with our linked Far East and Alaska ocean cruises) were cancelled.  I spoke with Viking yesterday and the agent told me about this policy, but the Risk-Free Guarantee pdf he sent me does not include the refund prior to 120 day language.

 

Thanks,

 

Jerry

 

 

Happy to oblige

 

The 120 day thing is Viking's standard cancellation policy, in place prior to the pandemic. It is spelled out, in full legalese, in the terms of carriage also known as the passenger ticket contract and the information is repeated in the Booking Terms & Conditions. For future reference, links can be found:

  • on the Viking main website in the footer of most pages
  • on MVJ (Booking T&C in the footer; Guest Ticket Contract in the Menu under MY ACCOUNT)
  • as part of the Viking invoice (just the matrix portion)

Jerry, remember I said that this applies when you cancel your booking. If Viking cancels the cruise, it is a different story. However, regardless of who cancels, once a voucher, always a voucher --and vouchers do not qualify for the 125% if Viking cancels. Hope this helps clarify things. If you still have more questions, you may wish to make contact with the folks at TellUs@vikingcruises.com

 

http://vikingcruises.com/passengerticketcontract

http://vikingcruises.com/terms-and-conditions

 

This is from the Booking Terms and Conditions (but you should still read the full document):

image.png.caa75fb689c4292079852bb6a5ad1e7c.png

 

This is a sample of what is included on the Viking invoice, spelling out the specific dates for each bracket for your booking:

 

image.png.787b14e363672a9c594af26e4570791e.png

 

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8 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

Happy to oblige

 

 

http://vikingcruises.com/passengerticketcontract

http://vikingcruises.com/terms-and-conditions

 

This is from the Booking Terms and Conditions (but you should still read the full document):

image.png.caa75fb689c4292079852bb6a5ad1e7c.png

 

 


@Peregrina651:

 

Super helpful.  Thanks!  I was talking to the Viking rep about rebooking our previous itinerary in 2022.  What was confusing is that the cancellation terms he told me verbally was table A, but what was printed on the provisional invoice was table B.  The Far East Horizons and North Pacific Passage itineraries for April 2022 are both available for booking now, but Undiscovered China is not yet posted for 2022;  if the China river cruise isn’t going to be available in 2022, I wanted the flexibility to cancel the ocean cruises and get our money back.
 

Thanks again,

 

Jerry

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3 hours ago, MarkTapley said:


@Peregrina651:

 

Super helpful.  Thanks!  I was talking to the Viking rep about rebooking our previous itinerary in 2022.  What was confusing is that the cancellation terms he told me verbally was table A, but what was printed on the provisional invoice was table B.  The Far East Horizons and North Pacific Passage itineraries for April 2022 are both available for booking now, but Undiscovered China is not yet posted for 2022;  if the China river cruise isn’t going to be available in 2022, I wanted the flexibility to cancel the ocean cruises and get our money back.
 

Thanks again,

 

Jerry

 

What you are booking is actually a named itinerary called "Far East & Alaska" (Hong Kong to Vancouver) and it is 37 days long, hence it is Table B (Grand Voyage).

 

I'm not sure if Viking will let you book it as separate cruises (thus giving you an extra 40 days to cancel before penalties).

 

On the other hand, I expect that Viking will know long before 180 days if its river operations in China will be running in 2022.

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4 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

What you are booking is actually a named itinerary called "Far East & Alaska" (Hong Kong to Vancouver) and it is 37 days long, hence it is Table B (Grand Voyage).

 

I'm not sure if Viking will let you book it as separate cruises (thus giving you an extra 40 days to cancel before penalties).

 

On the other hand, I expect that Viking will know long before 180 days if its river operations in China will be running in 2022.

If you can book as separate cruises you also increase the amount of onboard credit presuming you use a Travel Agent who provides the maximum Viking allows. That could be an extra $500 pp depending on the length of each segment!

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On 8/22/2020 at 5:16 PM, DrKoob said:

 

One other thing to be prepared for...even now...is planning WAY in advance. So many Viking cruisers are so very loyal that ships get full in a hurry. Example: we were just cancelled off a Christmas Market river cruise last week. Attempted to book for next Christmas and found exactly two staterooms left on any of the boats. Same for their newer cruises like the Mississippi (the ship isn’t even built yet). We had other cruises fall like dominoes from that one that got cancelled. We booked on one of the three top to bottom 2022 Mississippi River cruises. Tried to reschedule to 2023—sold out! Three years in advance. 

 

I think that really says something about Viking. 

 

I just saw your post on X regarding switching to Viking Ocean.  They'll have the pitchforks ready if I reply there.  

 

While we've switched mainly to HAL, I completely agree with your move to VO if you're moving into the premium/luxury market.  If I could afford it, I would probably do the same.  TA pricing is extremely reasonable when you consider all that is included, definitely worth sticking our foot into the water.  For now, we have a Christmas Market river cruise booked for 2022 (at pre-Christmas prices), and will hopefully book VO onboard.

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32 minutes ago, Stateroom_Sailor said:

 

I just saw your post on X regarding switching to Viking Ocean.  They'll have the pitchforks ready if I reply there.  

 

While we've switched mainly to HAL, I completely agree with your move to VO if you're moving into the premium/luxury market.  If I could afford it, I would probably do the same.  TA pricing is extremely reasonable when you consider all that is included, definitely worth sticking our foot into the water.  For now, we have a Christmas Market river cruise booked for 2022 (at pre-Christmas prices), and will hopefully book VO onboard.

 

We had a Christmas Market booked for this year but you know how that went. So we moved it to 2021. We will post a full report on my blog at https://jktravelredmond.com if you are interested in reading about where you are going the year after. Hopefully we will get to go.

 

We have what may be our last cruise on X booked for 7/4/21 on Flora in the Galapagos. 

 

We are hoping (if they open up cruising by March or April to do a 7 night on Konigsdam to the Mexican Riviera just to get on a ship. That’s me being really optimistic. When is yours? Saw it in your signature 😀. We were supposed to have done a Pacific Coastal on her with our buddy who is their Director of Communications/Brand Ambassador last April...but that was it. 

 

We have a VO cruise for 21 days Athens to Barcelona in Summer 22. Can’t imagine what it will be like...21 days and not a single sea day. We will be exhausted by the time we get to Barcelona. Three overnights though so that should help. Maybe we will run into each other sometime. 

 

Jim

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1 hour ago, Stateroom_Sailor said:

For now, we have a Christmas Market river cruise booked for 2022 (at pre-Christmas prices), and will hopefully book VO onboard.

 

Can't do that on a river cruise. There is a bonus if you book a cruise within 14(?) days of the last day of your cruise but it is minimal and nothing like the perks offered if you book while on board a VO.  Ask Viking exactly what the perks would be --I don't want to trust my memory and things may change between now and when you sail in 2022.

 

What you can do on board a RV cruise that you can't do on VO is to purchase "on board cruise certificates." Pay $100 for a $200 certificate. The drawback is that you may only use one certificate per person per booking.

 

Considering that if you book another cruise while you have a future cruise on the books, you get a pay in full date that is 6 months prior to sailing rather than whatever is currently being asked, you may want to consider booking the VO before your river cruise.  Two caveats: you may have to remind your agent about this and don't make your deposit until the PIF is set (once you make your deposit you have an iron-clad contract).

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38 minutes ago, DrKoob said:

 

We had a Christmas Market booked for this year but you know how that went. So we moved it to 2021. We will post a full report on my blog at https://jktravelredmond.com if you are interested in reading about where you are going the year after. Hopefully we will get to go.

 

We have what may be our last cruise on X booked for 7/4/21 on Flora in the Galapagos. 

 

We are hoping (if they open up cruising by March or April to do a 7 night on Konigsdam to the Mexican Riviera just to get on a ship. That’s me being really optimistic. When is yours? Saw it in your signature 😀. We were supposed to have done a Pacific Coastal on her with our buddy who is their Director of Communications/Brand Ambassador last April...but that was it. 

 

We have a VO cruise for 21 days Athens to Barcelona in Summer 22. Can’t imagine what it will be like...21 days and not a single sea day. We will be exhausted by the time we get to Barcelona. Three overnights though so that should help. Maybe we will run into each other sometime. 

 

Jim

 

I've bookmarked your blog, and will definitely keep an eye out.  We'll be embarking right about the time that the shorter of the two main Christmas market opens in Budapest, so won't miss much heading towards Passau.

 

We were happy with X from 2014 - 2018, but the food cuts and ingredient shortages, were embarrassing in April 2019.  Should they run out of pineapple while anchored in Maui, but were able to round up frozen mixed veggies?  I realize that may have been a temporary supply or cash flow problem, but at this point, I would only consider Galapagos or Antarctica.

 

We are hopefully sailing on Koningsdam from April 24th - May 8th, and October 20th - 31st.  The Riveria portion starts October 24th.  We're looking forward to trying Pinnacle Class, and being in forward wraparound suites (especially in Alaska!)

 

21 consecutive port days, that sounds like a trip of a lifetime!  But one that you may need a couple days post-cruise to rest up from.  We'll have to lean towards the restful transatlantic or transpacific.  I even bought a future cruise credit for Azamara, onboard our last X cruise, after seeing a 2019 veranda for $2,200, Tokyo to Seward.  The foreseeable future, no such luck...

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1 hour ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

Can't do that on a river cruise. There is a bonus if you book a cruise within 14(?) days of the last day of your cruise but it is minimal and nothing like the perks offered if you book while on board a VO. 

 


Not true for us. We booked on board for a 7 night cruise and got the usual $200pp past guest plus an extra $200pp - $100 for the cruise we were on (used for tips) and $100 for the new cruise. Viking called us a few days after we came home and offered $200pp off a new cruise. This was in December, 2018.

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1 hour ago, Squawkman said:


Not true for us. We booked on board for a 7 night cruise and got the usual $200pp past guest plus an extra $200pp - $100 for the cruise we were on (used for tips) and $100 for the new cruise. Viking called us a few days after we came home and offered $200pp off a new cruise. This was in December, 2018.

 

I wanted to book on board on our March, 2019 sailing on the Rhone and could not do it. Sounds to me like folks are going to have to ask whether future cruise booking will be available on their river boat sailing.

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1 minute ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

I wanted to book on board on our March, 2019 sailing on the Rhone and could not do it. Sounds to me like folks are going to have to ask whether future cruise booking will be available on their river boat sailing.


I should have been more clear - this was a VO cruise - not River. But I still believe you can get the same discount for a river cruise. 

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16 minutes ago, Squawkman said:


I should have been more clear - this was a VO cruise - not River. But I still believe you can get the same discount for a river cruise. 

 

Now I understand.

 

However, OP wants to book a future cruise while on a River Cruise. Please ignore what I said in post #46; it is irrelevant now.

 

I stand by what I said originally: future cruises cannot be booked while on a river cruise; there is no need to double check with Viking.

 

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On 9/23/2020 at 1:55 PM, DrKoob said:

 

We had a Christmas Market booked for this year but you know how that went. So we moved it to 2021. We will post a full report on my blog at https://jktravelredmond.com if you are interested in reading about where you are going the year after. Hopefully we will get to go.

 

We have what may be our last cruise on X booked for 7/4/21 on Flora in the Galapagos. 

 

We are hoping (if they open up cruising by March or April to do a 7 night on Konigsdam to the Mexican Riviera just to get on a ship. That’s me being really optimistic. When is yours? Saw it in your signature 😀. We were supposed to have done a Pacific Coastal on her with our buddy who is their Director of Communications/Brand Ambassador last April...but that was it. 

 

We have a VO cruise for 21 days Athens to Barcelona in Summer 22. Can’t imagine what it will be like...21 days and not a single sea day. We will be exhausted by the time we get to Barcelona. Three overnights though so that should help. Maybe we will run into each other sometime. 

 

Jim

We were on the last Flora sailing this year and made it out of Ecuador the day before they closed their borders.  I think that if you like Viking, you will like the ship and the service as  throughout the whole trip ( we started with 2 nights in Quito) was excellent.  Food variety was limited as there are so many restrictions from the government as to what the ship can and cannot have on board. 

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1 hour ago, vslparis said:

We were on the last Flora sailing this year and made it out of Ecuador the day before they closed their borders.  I think that if you like Viking, you will like the ship and the service as  throughout the whole trip ( we started with 2 nights in Quito) was excellent.  Food variety was limited as there are so many restrictions from the government as to what the ship can and cannot have on board. 

 

Thanks for the update. We are scheduled for July 2 to Quito so our hopes are high. We had heard that even though choices were limited, food was awesome. I am most looking forward to the ceviche that I have heard is amazing. 

 

Jim

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