Viking or Grand Circle??

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#1
Coastal North Carolina
5,499 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Can someone compare these two lines for me? I've been looking at both, and each has an itinerary I like, but I can't get a feel from the web sites about the differences.

Anybody cruised with both?

Thanks.
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January 2016 NCL Dawn - Western Caribbean December 2013 RCCL Freedom of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean, March 2013, Hurtigruten Polarlys Norwegian Coastal Voyage;
November 2012, RCCL Brilliance of the Seas - Repositioning from NJ to San Juan;
May 2011, Carnival Fantasy – Bahamas; January 2011, Celebrity Eclipse – Eastern Caribbean; August 2008, RCCL Radiance of the Seas – Alaska; April 2008, Louis Cruise Lines’ Cristal – Eastern Mediterranean;
January 2008 – HAL’s Westerdam – Southern Caribbean; October 2007, Celebrity Galaxy – Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea; November 2006, RCCL Brilliance of the Seas – Transatlantic;
August 2006, Norwegian Dawn – Bermuda and Bahamas; November 2005, Norwegian Majesty – Western Caribbean;
February 1998, Windjammer Barefoot Cruises’ Fantome (RIP) – Eastern Caribbean Solar Eclipse Cruise;
January 1995, Windjammer Barefoot Cruises’ Flying Cloud – British Virgin Islands


“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
#2
Coastal NC
3,257 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
I have been on Viking and am going on GC in March. I did notice that GC has a lot of optionals, Viking only had a couple. Not sure what the price difference is if everything is compared equally.
#3
Southern California
3,542 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
We are going on GCT in March also - first river cruise - but the prices seemed pretty reasonable to me - much less than Viking. But we are not using their air and haven't decided yet on which optionals we will do - so that is extra $$.

H20 - which cruise are you on. We are doing Great Rivers of Europe - March 13th.
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LAST FEW CRUISES
Queen Mary 2 - TA July 2017
Pacific Princess TA/Norwegian Fjords June 2017
Royal Princess Southern Carribean Nov 2016
Nieuw Amsterdam Malt Shop Memories Oct 2016
Crown Princess Calif Coastal Sept 2016
American Queen - Mississipi River Cruise March 2016
Celebrity Constellation - TA Nov 2015


TOTAL CRUISES: 59 AND COUNTING....
#4
Moved from NC to Summerville, SC
141 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
We're taking our third Viking cruise this spring. Obviously enjoyed the first two. No experience with any othe river cruise line.

Don
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2011 Viking Promadonna Budapest to Bucharest
2010 Viking Schumann.(River Cruise) Prague to Berlin
2009 NCL Sun, South America "Around the Horn"
2008 NCL Jade, Barcelona to Istanbul
2007 Viking Sun, (River cruise), Antwerp to Basel
2006 NCL Sun, Western Caribbean
2005 Viking Neptune (River cruise), Budapest to Amsterdam
2004 NCL Dream, Northern Capitals
2003 NCL Star, Hawaii
2002 NCL Dawn, Eastern Caribbean
2000 RCL Voyager(?) Mediterranean
1997 Celebrity Galaxy, Alaska
1994 Celebrity Horizon, Caribbean
#5
Orangeville Ontario
1,769 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by DonfromNC
We're taking our third Viking cruise this spring. Obviously enjoyed the first two. No experience with any othe river cruise line.

Don
For what it's worth, two years ago we were on a Viking cruise with a woman who had been on both. She preferred the Viking experience but was not loathe to return to GCT.

One difference is that GCT essentially works within the USA market and Viking has cruisers from Canada, UK, etc.
#6
Coastal NC
3,257 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by hillslife

H20 - which cruise are you on. We are doing Great Rivers of Europe - March 13th.

We are going on March 20th - Romance of the Rhine and Mosel.

Sharon
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Sharon

Viking, Portraits of Southern France. 2006
Uniworld, Castles Along the Rhine, 2007
Gate 1, Thanksgiving Cruise, 2007
AMA Waterways, Portugal on the Douro, 2008
Grand Circle: Romance of the Rhine and Mosel, 2010
Viking Emerald, China's Cultural Delights. 3/28/2011
Grand Circle: Old World Prague and the Blue Danube. September 7, 2011.
Viking Spirit, Paris to Normandy. 12/11/11.
Grand Circle's [i]Essence of the Elbe: 5/27/12/ to 6/11/12
Grand Circle Russia Revealed with pretrip to Helsinki and Tallinn , 2012. .
Viking Sun, Treasures of the Rhine. Nov 11, 2012.
AMACerto, Istanbul to Budapest. May 30, 2013.
Uniworld River Queen, Classic Christmas Markets, Nuremberg to Frankfurt. Dec 5, 2013.
Vantage Travel, Croatian Odyssey & Venice with Lake Bled, Slovenia pretrip. M/Y Harmony G
Grand Circle, Burma and the Irrawaddy, Thailand and Cambodia. Nov 25, 2014. RV Paukan 2012.
Grand Circle: Spain's Northern Coast & the Bay of Biscay. 4/30/2015 to 5/21/2015. Ship: Corinthian
AMAWaterways: Magnificent Europe. Aug 30 to Sept 14, 2015. AMACerto. Budapest to Amsterdam
Vantage: The Peruvian Amazon and Machu Picchu. 3/12/2016. Post trip to Lake Titicaca. Ship: RV Amazon Discovery
Grand Circle: Grand Baltic Sea Voyage. . 7/30/2016 to 8/15/2016. Ship: Corinthian
Viking: Castles & Legends. Munich to Budapest. 12/5/16 to 12/16/16. Viking Ve.
Viking Sky: Mediterranean Getaway, Rome to Barcelona, 2/25/17 to 3/4/17.

Grand Circle: Maritime Jewels of the British Isles. 7/23/17. Ship: Corinthian
Avalon Affinity: Burgundy & Provence with London, 10/2/17
Viking RA: Pharaohs & Pyramids. March 8, 2018
#7
West Virginia
337 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by hillslife
We are going on GCT in March also - first river cruise - but the prices seemed pretty reasonable to me - much less than Viking. But we are not using their air and haven't decided yet on which optionals we will do - so that is extra $$.

H20 - which cruise are you on. We are doing Great Rivers of Europe - March 13th.
We're booked for Great Rivers of Europe in July. Please post a review when you get back. I'm really interested in whatever tips you might pick up.

That being said (sorry to hijack the thread), we haven't done anything with Viking so our only real comparison is by looking at brochures. We went with Grand Circle to China--mostly because the the itinerary for that trip. It was really wonderful.
#9
Largo, Florida U.S.A.
578 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Have to agree with Joybug - we've been on three Vantage trips and taking our 4th this coming August. Check out what's included in all companies mentioned and then check Vantage. Some of the other companies have a lot of optional tours and charge extra. Willard
#10
San Tan Valley, AZ
593 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
My experience shows that even with adding all the optional tours in GCT still has the best price with included airfare when comparing to other companies with similar itineraries. Their ships may not be as new as AMA or Avalon but thier condition is topnotch. I've traveled with both GCT and AMA and will not return to AMA unles they give me a smoking deal.
#11
Southern California
3,542 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Yeah - love to hear those great reviews for GCT. Haven't done the trip yet - that comes up in March - but nice to hear great compliments.

I will write a review for sure when we return....
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LAST FEW CRUISES
Queen Mary 2 - TA July 2017
Pacific Princess TA/Norwegian Fjords June 2017
Royal Princess Southern Carribean Nov 2016
Nieuw Amsterdam Malt Shop Memories Oct 2016
Crown Princess Calif Coastal Sept 2016
American Queen - Mississipi River Cruise March 2016
Celebrity Constellation - TA Nov 2015


TOTAL CRUISES: 59 AND COUNTING....
#12
Orlando
91 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
My first "river" cruise was this year. We did the Danube Christmas markets with GCT,great cruise and we even thought about going on the identical cruise again this year,one problem though ! It was perfect this year and anything less would be a disappointment,it was around 32F-34F each day with huge snowflakes as we wandered thru the markets. Postcard perfect!!!
Anyway our boat the River Adagio was spotless,food to die for.
If the menu wasn't appealing you could always get Salmon or Chicken breast
Berthing might not be everyones "cup of tea",actually quite comfortable
Captain and crew were always highly visible and most of the time when you left the boat as a group the captain was there to "meet and greet"
After day 2 you were on a first name basis with your program director
I would not book a balcony on a winter cruise
Pretty much all river cruises stop in the same cities,tie up in same areas,and offer the same excursions(in Vienna at the concert we sat with people from 3 other cruise lines)

If you compare the money we saved going with GCT vs. some of the other lines it almost pays for another trip. Unlike ocean cruising to me the river cruises are about the "ports" and not the "journey".
JMHO
Allan
#13
Coastal North Carolina
5,499 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Thanks to everyone. Still not sure what I'll decide as I'm looking at several options for next fall. I did look at the Vantage web site, but it was a bit pricier than the others.

RET P3 FE, I particularly enjoyed your comments. When you you on your cruise so that you had all that snow? In the 1990s DH and I went on two Caribbean cruises aboard the now defunct Windjammer Barefoot Cruises' ships. I loved the informality and being on first name basis with all the captain and crew and all the passengers.
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January 2016 NCL Dawn - Western Caribbean December 2013 RCCL Freedom of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean, March 2013, Hurtigruten Polarlys Norwegian Coastal Voyage;
November 2012, RCCL Brilliance of the Seas - Repositioning from NJ to San Juan;
May 2011, Carnival Fantasy – Bahamas; January 2011, Celebrity Eclipse – Eastern Caribbean; August 2008, RCCL Radiance of the Seas – Alaska; April 2008, Louis Cruise Lines’ Cristal – Eastern Mediterranean;
January 2008 – HAL’s Westerdam – Southern Caribbean; October 2007, Celebrity Galaxy – Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea; November 2006, RCCL Brilliance of the Seas – Transatlantic;
August 2006, Norwegian Dawn – Bermuda and Bahamas; November 2005, Norwegian Majesty – Western Caribbean;
February 1998, Windjammer Barefoot Cruises’ Fantome (RIP) – Eastern Caribbean Solar Eclipse Cruise;
January 1995, Windjammer Barefoot Cruises’ Flying Cloud – British Virgin Islands


“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
#14
Indianapolis
122 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Originally posted by ILoveScotland
Thanks to everyone. Still not sure what I'll decide as I'm looking at several options for next fall. I did look at the Vantage web site, but it was a bit pricier than the others.

RET P3 FE, I particularly enjoyed your comments. When you you on your cruise so that you had all that snow? In the 1990s DH and I went on two Caribbean cruises aboard the now defunct Windjammer Barefoot Cruises' ships. I loved the informality and being on first name basis with all the captain and crew and all the passengers.
Oh now those were a riot!! We sailed three times with Windjammer. No experience comparable IMO. What a shame we don't have the chance anymore.
#15
Coastal North Carolina
5,499 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by poolechick
Oh now those were a riot!! We sailed three times with Windjammer. No experience comparable IMO. What a shame we don't have the chance anymore.
Amen to that! Two years ago I was on HAL's Westerdam in Aruba, and there was the Polynesia looking all forlorn. We sailed on the Flying Cloud and the Fantome (in February 1998 before she went down in October 1998), but seeing the Polynesia looking as she did just made me very sad. Those cruises weren't for everyone, but I loved them.
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January 2016 NCL Dawn - Western Caribbean December 2013 RCCL Freedom of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean, March 2013, Hurtigruten Polarlys Norwegian Coastal Voyage;
November 2012, RCCL Brilliance of the Seas - Repositioning from NJ to San Juan;
May 2011, Carnival Fantasy – Bahamas; January 2011, Celebrity Eclipse – Eastern Caribbean; August 2008, RCCL Radiance of the Seas – Alaska; April 2008, Louis Cruise Lines’ Cristal – Eastern Mediterranean;
January 2008 – HAL’s Westerdam – Southern Caribbean; October 2007, Celebrity Galaxy – Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea; November 2006, RCCL Brilliance of the Seas – Transatlantic;
August 2006, Norwegian Dawn – Bermuda and Bahamas; November 2005, Norwegian Majesty – Western Caribbean;
February 1998, Windjammer Barefoot Cruises’ Fantome (RIP) – Eastern Caribbean Solar Eclipse Cruise;
January 1995, Windjammer Barefoot Cruises’ Flying Cloud – British Virgin Islands


“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
#16
Indianapolis
122 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Originally posted by ILoveScotland
Amen to that! Two years ago I was on HAL's Westerdam in Aruba, and there was the Polynesia looking all forlorn. We sailed on the Flying Cloud and the Fantome (in February 1998 before she went down in October 1998), but seeing the Polynesia looking as she did just made me very sad. Those cruises weren't for everyone, but I loved them.
Our travel agent still can't believe we sailed them three times. I can't make her understand what a unique experience it was. We sailed the Polynesia, Flying Cloud and Yankee Clipper. We were watching the news while vacationing in Key West when the Fantome went missing. So sad. I think that was the beginning of the end for the company.

And back on topic, we are currently researching river cruise companies in Europe too. Hoping to sail this Fall.
#17
Orlando
91 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
Originally posted by ILoveScotland
Thanks to everyone. Still not sure what I'll decide as I'm looking at several options for next fall. I did look at the Vantage web site, but it was a bit pricier than the others.

RET P3 FE, I particularly enjoyed your comments. When you you on your cruise so that you had all that snow? In the 1990s DH and I went on two Caribbean cruises aboard the now defunct Windjammer Barefoot Cruises' ships. I loved the informality and being on first name basis with all the captain and crew and all the passengers.

Dec 10-19
It snowed on day 2 as we were entering the Christmas market in Nurnberg(huge market).Day 3 at night it snowed in Regensberg,,snow on the ground in Melk.From Linz to Salzburg it snowed the whole bus trip(1.5 hrs) and there was snow on the ground in Vienna

Hindsight !! I'd do a post trip extension in Vienna
#18
Anchorville, MI
801 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Well...... Hi there Beth,

I haven't been on CC in ages but on my first venture back who do I encounter but that gal with her heart in Scotland. We were on the TA together on Brilliance. We are having the same problem (such a problem!) picking our next cruise. We're thinking of a river cruise in the south of France. We were on GCT's Rhine and Mosel River cruise and it was wonderful but we are also looking into Viking. I would highly recommend GCT they really do a good job but would like to try something different. Good luck in your future travels. mems
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#19
Spokane, WA
601 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Poolechick and ILoveScotland:

We did 4 Mandalay cruises and were really hoping to do a 5th. Unfortunately,that didn't happen. I don't think people can appreciate how special a Windjammer cruise was unless they experienced one. Because WJ was no more, our last cruise was on the Star Clipper from Athens to Venice. We had a good time but she wasn't the Mandalay. Missed hearing Amazing Grace everytime the sails were raised, and the totally casual atmosphere. But we have a lot of fond memories and pictures from our WJ days.