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Tips for New Viking Ocean Cruisers


roothy123
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20 hours ago, claranda said:

Being a fan of bare-it-all European spas, I wonder if it is generally thought okay to dispense with one’s swimming costume when using the ladies sauna/plunge pool and the mixed steam room/ice room, etc?! There is nothing like saunas and steam rooms for destroying swimwear!

I’d much rather use a towel for modesty and to save other people’s possible embarrassment if it is acceptable. And I’d wear swimwear in the pool. Any thoughts?

Oh, and what are the arrangements at the moment for booking and using the spa area?

 

 

The mixed steam/snow room area is definitely co-ed, which means no nudity.  Viking provides robes and slippers in the lockers of the changing room, which you could probably wear into the co-ed steam and snow room in lieu of swimwear (but you're out of luck for the pool/jacuzzi).  In the ladies lounge, you'll want at least a towel to sit on in the sauna.

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On 8/18/2021 at 6:24 PM, Squawkman said:

Have to disagree - USB charging cables are OK, but extension cords are prohibited:

https://docs.vikingcruises.com/pdf/20190826-Prohibited-Item-List.pdf
 

 Seriously, no heating pads allowed??????  THAT could be a deal-breaker for me, especially if the beds are as hard as some have reported.  😞 

 

Edited to say that it appears that HAL and Celebrity have these exact same forbidden item lists and I have never had my heating pad questioned so guess I won't worry about it.

Edited by zelker
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27 minutes ago, zelker said:

 Seriously, no heating pads allowed??????  THAT could be a deal-breaker for me, especially if the beds are as hard as some have reported.  😞 

 

Edited to say that it appears that HAL and Celebrity have these exact same forbidden item lists and I have never had my heating pad questioned so guess I won't worry about it.

I was going to say that I didn't think any cruise line allowed a heating pad.  But now I don't have to!

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My heating pad was taken away and given back the last day aboard.  I protested as it was for treating dry eye.  No joy, no heating pads, period.  At least it was returned though it took a LONG time for them to find it.

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19 minutes ago, deec said:

I have an extra comforter put on the bottom of the bed when I first get on board!

 

I’ve done that on a cruise or two when no egg crates were available.... definitely helps.  Good to know Viking will at least do that.  Thx.

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4 minutes ago, Jazmyn49 said:

My heating pad was taken away and given back the last day aboard.  I protested as it was for treating dry eye.  No joy, no heating pads, period.  At least it was returned though it took a LONG time for them to find it.

From checked bag or carry on?

 

Edited by zelker
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I take a klymit camping sleeping pad with me on most trips. I get very uncomfortable on hard beds. It packs up very small and blows up and deflates easily. I put it under the mattress pad and it makes almost  any bed comfortable. I have the luxe version, but less expensive types are available. I think they have a double version as well. However, I think 2 luxe pads would do the job if a couple both want the extra comfort.

 

https://www.amazon.com/KLYMIT-Static-Sleeping-Camping-Backpacking/dp/B07YP9199P/ref=sr_1_7_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=Klymit+sleeping+pad&qid=1631396170&sr=8-7-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExMFhTSDBVMjhZRUJaJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMTU0MzM3MTNMV1c4MlkyUThPUiZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwOTI2MzI0OVpSWE1PRjhaSTdEJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfbXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

33 minutes ago, zelker said:

I’ve done that on a cruise or two when no egg crates were available.... definitely helps.  Good to know Viking will at least do that.  Thx.

 

 

 

54 minutes ago, deec said:

I have an extra comforter put on the bottom of the bed when I first get on board!

 

 

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2 hours ago, khm1 said:

I take a klymit camping sleeping pad with me on most trips.

That is what I had planned.  They are small and compact so take up very little room when packing.  I placed my Klymit air pad next to my luggage months ago in preparation for our VO cruise.  You can occasionally find these air pads for a reduced cost when they have a Costco road-show.  https://www.costco.com/klymit-schedule.html

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5 hours ago, zelker said:

 Seriously, no heating pads allowed??????  THAT could be a deal-breaker for me, especially if the beds are as hard as some have reported.  😞 

 

Edited to say that it appears that HAL and Celebrity have these exact same forbidden item lists and I have never had my heating pad questioned so guess I won't worry about it.

 

This is common on most cruise lines, as fire and compatibility with the ship's power are major concerns.

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10 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

 

This is common on most cruise lines, as fire and compatibility with the ship's power are major concerns.

But they’ll allow curling irons and straighteners.  Makes no sense but I’m not here to argue and it’s really not a deal breaker as we really want to try Viking.  Maybe I’ll take a hot water bottle.  😉

 

Thx

 

 

Edited by zelker
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2 hours ago, zelker said:

But they’ll allow curling irons and straighteners.  Makes no sense but I’m not here to argue and it’s really not a deal breaker as we really want to try Viking.  Maybe I’ll take a hot water bottle.  😉

 

Thx

 

 

 

The primary difference is that bed fires are one of the most difficult and time consuming fires on a ship to extinguish. Once you have dealt with one, you never forget.

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A heating pad sometimes helps relax the muscle back spasms I occasionally get.  If heating pads aren't allowed, I will probably have to resort to relaxing in the hot tub and/or alcohol.  🍺🍷🍸🥃🍹🧉  Heck, I was planning on that anyway.

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On 9/11/2021 at 4:09 PM, zelker said:

, especially if the beds are as hard as some have reported. 

hard?? I've been on both VO and VR ships .. and I wouldn't characterize their beds as hard at all.  I find them quite comfortable.  But .. will admit .. one person's "just right" is another person's "hard as rocks".😀

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When I was looking for specific info for new Viking cruisers, I would search this forum.  Click in the search box that's in the blue menu bar (not the one that says search ships, destinations, etc.), click on "This forum" under "Search in" and then click on "All of my search term words."  Then type in what you're looking for - specialty restaurants, excursions, silver spirits, etc.

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46 minutes ago, Shorex said:

Does Viking provide an umbrella in each stateroom? The lines we typically cruise provide golf size umbrellas.

Why would you want a gulf size umbrella cluttering up your cabin?

 In the past, Viking had them available as we left the ship.

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As Linda stated, they are.  Typically they are hanging in the closet over the hanging rail. We have found that if we need all the hanging space that they fit just fine (without “cluttering up our cabin) standing up in the back corner of the closet.  
 

I don’t think they are quite as large as the golf umbrella we have at home but it’s large enough for two to at least keep their heads dry though if you are larger folks like DH and me, each is likely to have a wet shoulder. 

Edited by Clay Clayton
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23 minutes ago, Clay Clayton said:

As Linda stated, they are.  Typically they are hanging in the closet over the hanging rail. We have found that if we need all the hanging space that they fit just fine (without “cluttering up our cabin) standing up in the back corner of the closet.  
 

I don’t think they are quite as large as the golf umbrella we have at home but it’s large enough for two to at least keep their heads dry though if you are larger folks like DH and me, each is likely to have a wet shoulder. 

Nice answer.

The Viking staff has always provided umbrellas at exits, in case of a weather change, or if forgotten.

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On 6/3/2017 at 12:51 PM, roothy123 said:

Since a lot of river cruise (only) passengers, I thought it might be helpful to start a "Tips" thread for new Viking Ocean cruisers to read before their upcoming ocean cruise. Ocean cruising IS, after all, a bit different from river cruising. Feel free to add your own comments, and please correct me if I'm wrong about something. It's been almost 2 years since I was on Star, so things may have changed.

 

On embarkation (arrival) day you're required to be on board the ship 2 hours pre-departure. You'll be expected to attend a short muster drill before the ship departs. There is no standardized time, but often for cruises in which the ship spends a night at the embarkation port, it is around that 2 hour mark. Almost always, from what I've heard, it does NOT affect dinner.

 

As of Sept. 2015, the "back on board" time was a half hour pre-departure time for the remaining ports. Viking will tell you every day what that time is. If you're tendering (getting on a small boat to be taken ashore) the time of the last tender will be announced as well. For us in the Med in 2015, it was a half hour pre-departure.

 

You have to take your ship key card with you when you go off the ship, as well as when you leave the room, of course. (The doors won't stay open even if you want them too - fire suppression technique, I suppose). The card will be scanned when you leave the ship and scanned when you return. You may also have to show it to get into a port area or port terminal. I carry a lanyard-type thing to hold mine (photo here): http://www.pbase.com/roothy123/image/165572124

 

You'll need to put bags through an x-ray when you return to the ship - or sometimes in a port terminal. (They are not looking for alcohol, just dangerous things.) You'll also go through a scanner.

 

It's a big ship, so when I get on board, I usually make note of what's around each elevator bank, and whether I need to turn right or left to get to my room. (They're are two banks of elevators, although I'm thinking one may be smaller than the other.)

 

If anyone mentions "port side" it's the side on the left as you're facing the water ahead. Please call the ship a ship, not a boat. These ships are 48,000 tons of ship!

 

Ocean cruises often stop in places where the dock is far from center city. Keep that in mind when making plans. Of course, in just about every place I've been, especially Europe, cabs were lined up waiting for fares, so you're not stuck. Also note that just because a cruise ship docked a particular place last year or last week, that doesn't mean it will dock there on your cruise. Dock (or tender) locations and decisions are dictated by the port, not the cruise line. (Sorry, no walking through other river ships to get to yours!)

 

Occasionally (in some ports) Viking (and other cruise lines) will keep your passport for most or all of the cruise. In many ports, you'll be told to that an ID ashore. These things are usually dictated by the countries you're visiting. Some countries require that no food be taken ashore. Remember to take the quiet vox box on tours, although occasionally the tour guides won't use them. Remember to charge them after use!

 

Don't forget there's an electrical outlet alongside the bed. There's also a coffee maker (very strong coffee in my opinion), hairdryer, and snacks and binoculars in/on the desk. (I love that desk!) Your room steward can get you more hangers if you want. If the coverlet's too hot at night you can ask for something else. We put our luggage under the bed. We usually take a few basic meds like Tylenol and Pepto Bismal tabs. However, there IS a doctor and nurse on Viking, and I think there ARE basic things like cold medicine in the ship store. However, the store isn't always open (mostly closed while in port due to country regulations). If you need something, I think you can call the nurse 24/7, though - ask at Explorer's Desk. You can view Viking info (restaurant reservations etc.) on the TV.

 

Mid-cruise Viking will send around a questionnaire asking or verifying how/when you'll be leaving the ship. Then they'll assign you a time to depart. If you have independent plans, it sounds like you can leave fairly late, at least compared to what other cruise lines do. You'll have to be out of your room by around 8, though. Viking puts all bags ashore, after you place them outside your door the night before. (Therefore you need a small carryon, or at least a bag! Keep out what you'll need in the AM. Viking will have this and more spelled out in their disembarkation information.)

 

If you have a Viking transfer to the airport, expect to get up VERY early. It's just what cruise lines have to do....

 

If you want to be outside on the deck while the ship's moving, or after dinner, you may need some warm clothing. It's always colder in the wind.

 

If you want a quiet but possibly salty place to be by yourself with a 360 degree view, the aft part of deck 2 is a winner. I'll probably be there for cruising the last half hour to Geiranger and other places where I want to do photography without a crowd. It was an excellent spot for our departure from Kotor in 2015.

 

If you tender, wear decent shoes and try to keep both hands/arms free. The tender crew like to be able to offer a hand with tendering, as steps and low ceilings can be a bit tricky. I'm pretty mobile and coordinated, but still, I usually put my arm out so they can grab it and help me.

 

Don't miss eating dinner at least once in the World Cafe. It's not an ordinary buffet - and if the weather's good, you can eat outside. Also, if you like scones, hot ones, plan to eat dinner late that evening - very filling and great.

 

If you're looking for a library, there isn't one. However, there are books scattered about in various places. Go looking...

 

Someone else can probably fill you in on the latest tips for getting additional specialty restaurant reservations, if that interests you. I'm running out of steam...

 

I have some photos and documents from our 2015 cruise that might be helpful to look at. Just keep in mind things may have changed since then. Here's link: http://www.pbase.com/roothy123/viking_star_&page=all

 

Enjoy your cruise. I know you will.

Your note was too long.

 I did not read it.😐

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