Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Kingofcool1947

Oceania or Viking for Med. cruise?

Recommended Posts

We have been on Oceania one time (8 day Cuba cruise on Sirena) and it was a step above our usual Princess and Celebrity. We enjoyed the small ship experience and cuisine.

Now, we are considering a Med. cruise Barcelona for 2019.

If you have sailed on both Oceania and Viking, how do they compare?

Value, ships, balcony or ocean view staterooms, cuisines, shipboard entertainment, and shore excursions?

TIA,

King

Edited by Kingofcool1947

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just returned from my 1st Viking Ocean cruise. Have had numerous cruises on O with both O ships and R ships.

 

Viking ships are gorgeous with a very calming effect and plenty of places around the ship to get comfortable in and does not seem crowded. Our cabin was spacious and laid out well. Those were the highlights.

 

Service was hit or miss, same with food. Seem to be counting beans to possibly pay for all of the new ships? No flowers, no fruit, no chocolates at bedtime, no gifts. These small incidentals don't mean much, but it was noticed.

 

Our main issue was service. Many seemed to be new and not have a clue. Also, was taken aback by the dress code not being enforced. Jeans and sneakers allowed in main dining room. Truly ruined the ambience and I mentioned it to the Head waiter. These were not designer jeans, but really sloppy ones.

 

Anyway, other than a gorgeous ship, we were not impressed. It would have to be a really fabulous itinerary to consider again. Highly doubtful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

If you have sailed on both Oceania and Viking, how do they compare?

Value, ships, balcony or ocean view staterooms, cuisines, shipboard entertainment, and shore excursions?

TIA,

King

 

Ships (overal experience)

Viking 4.5*+

Riviera 4.0*+

Old Oceania ships 3.5*

 

Accommodation is comparable

 

Food

Viking wins in buffet

Oceania wins in MDR and Specialty Restaurants

 

Shipboard Entertainment

Both are up to below average but Viking wins.

 

Excursions totally depend on itineraries.

 

Value

Oceania wins due to much better itineraries in the Mediterranean. Both are overpriced, but Viking is more.

 

Happy cruising!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ships (overal experience)

Viking 4.5*+

Riviera 4.0*+

Old Oceania ships 3.5*

 

Accommodation is comparable

 

Food

Viking wins in buffet

Oceania wins in MDR and Specialty Restaurants

 

Shipboard Entertainment

Both are up to below average but Viking wins.

 

Excursions totally depend on itineraries.

 

Value

Oceania wins due to much better itineraries in the Mediterranean. Both are overpriced, but Viking is more.

 

Happy cruising!

 

I have to disagree on ship ratings.

Viking has a significant ventilation issue with their pool decks.

The retractable roof was mostly closed even though the weather was decent. There was no ventilation and no air flow. Multiple people complained. In reading previous trip reports, the ventilation issue is an ongoing problem.

This sounds trivial but Viking lounge chairs were cheap, metal frame and most had no padding. Uncomfortable.

The Viking poolside grill has no seating area.

 

We also disliked Viking’s self serve buffet. No thanks. I don’t want people pawing through the food. Viking is the only cruise line we’ve sailed that doesn’t keep the buffet open all afternoon on embarkation day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you had a chance to read the existing threads on this topic on both Oceania and Viking boards.

Lots of opinions there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've only sailed on Viking's riverboats and as a result of our February 2012 experience, we've decided not to do so again. So of course we haven't tried their ocean boats.

 

 

The answers from people who have tried both are SO divergent that I wouldn't be able to credit most of the answers! For example, we have Ronbe who prefers the Viking buffet as compared to Riviera. His/her opinion, of course, but even without sailing on Viking ocean ships I KNOW I would disagree. The buffet restaurants on the two "O" ships are the best I have encountered on the seas.

 

 

 

Sure, it's possible if I ventured onto one of their ships I'd change my mind. But I doubt it.

 

 

That's ONLY a comment about the buffet, nothing else about what he said. We all have our preferences and are entitled to them.

 

 

 

But I don't know how people earnestly seeking answers to the question about whether to prefer Oceania or Viking can find them here. At least NOT the posts I have seen.

 

 

Maybe that's the norm ... people who prefer one over the other will be vocal in their opinions. And until YOU have sailed on the ship, you really don't know if you will agree or not.

 

 

On another thread, the OP was asking about sailing in the Med in the fall as opposed to the summer. The majority of answers were "go in the fall", but OP decided to play it "safe" and go in the summer ... he/she didn't mind warnings about weather and crowds, but was worried about heavy seas in the fall.

 

 

And sometimes people seem to want absolute agreement -- such as 100% say "yes" or "no". I doubt that will ever happen.

 

 

Mura

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In addition to what Mura said I would add that it is almost foolish to depend on others’ advice. OP does not know these people, doesn’t know their taste in food, their expectations, preferences and so on. His opinions may be 180* opposite to someone who “loved” Viking and thus he may wind up hating it (or v.v). Just look at the recent thread about Riviera reviews - opinions all over the place from “loved it” to “never again”. How can both be true and accurate and how would one know which opinion to trust?

I can see asking specific questions about a cruise line - such as how many specialty restaurants there are or is there a charge for them, etc. But asking which is better is very subjective.

Best thing to do is try both and then decide for yourself.

Edited by Paulchili

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

+1 Paul. You said it better than I could!

 

 

Mura

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

King, my DW and I started cruising about 6 years ago and love it. In our adventures over these past years, we have gone from having no perks and no OBC on a cruise to having all kinds of additional OBC, usually over $1,000, and other perks like free gratuities. Granted, some of it comes from TA perks, but a lot comes from cruising on a limited number of cruise lines with good loyalty perks.

 

For us we have narrowed our scope of cruise lines down to 4, Oceania (for great food and cool itineraries), Celebrity (when doing transoceanic cruises in a Sky Suite), HAL (for their super cool unique itineraries) and Princess (for their cool itineraries in a Vista Suite).

 

One reason we have narrowed our scope to 4 is because of their respective loyalty programs. The big perks come with O when you make Silver, HAL when you make 4 star, Celebrity when you make Elite and Princess when you make Platnum. After our next O cruise we will be Silver, we have reached 4 star on HAL, Elite on Celebrity and in a couple of years we'll get to Platnum on Princess.

 

We've looked at Viking and a lot of folks like it. But one thing Viking doesn't have is a good loyalty program. Now if they had some unique itineraries that go places none of our big 4 go to, we might consider them. However, since their loyalty program for the most part is non-existant other than getting $100-200 off your cruise fare, for us there really isn't any incentive to try them.

 

So, if you plan on cruising for the next couple of decades, you may want to also consider a cruise line's loyalty perks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Riviera and Oceania are excellent ships with top flight cuisine ( including a Wine Spectator restaurant), teaching kitchen, arts room, espresso bar, excellent spa, superb Penthouse Suites, fun putting green, solid service.

 

Viking has very nice ships, good food, mediocre service, unenforced ( though lenient) dress code, and someone with a great English accent doing PBS commercials.

 

As Jack Benny was asked: “Your money or your life?

 

I’m thinking....”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think that's a great English accent... it sounds very faked to me although I have been informed by someone who should know that she really is English ...

 

But I suppose that's not a reason alone to reject Viking Ocean...

 

Mura

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Riviera and Oceania are excellent ships with top flight cuisine ( including a Wine Spectator restaurant), teaching kitchen, arts room, espresso bar, excellent spa, superb Penthouse Suites, fun putting green, solid service.

 

Viking has very nice ships, good food, mediocre service, unenforced ( though lenient) dress code, and someone with a great English accent doing PBS commercials.

 

As Jack Benny was asked: “Your money or your life?

 

I’m thinking....”

 

Perfectly stated. This sums up the difference quite well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Forget ALL the past reviews on Oceania,

 

Recent events have set the company on a new course where the focus is on Charters and not on individual passengers. This new focus is disturbing and a radical change to the past.

 

They can and will cancel passengers at the drop of a hat, even after final payment if they can squeeze more money from another source

Particularly in the MED

I would not thus ever suggest booking with O as their priority has really changed in the last 90 days....

 

Dont get burned go with someone you can rely on....and as of this date It is NOT Oceania

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Forget ALL the past reviews on Oceania,

 

Recent events have set the company on a new course where the focus is on Charters and not on individual passengers. This new focus is disturbing and a radical change to the past.

 

They can and will cancel passengers at the drop of a hat, even after final payment if they can squeeze more money from another source

Particularly in the MED

I would not thus ever suggest booking with O as their priority has really changed in the last 90 days....

 

Dont get burned go with someone you can rely on....and as of this date It is NOT Oceania

 

We all saw the other thread *sigh*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have been on a few Oceania cruises and a few Viking Ocean cruises. If I had a choice between the two for a Mediterranean cruise I would choose Oceania if the cruise were on the Riviera or Marina.

 

 

That being said, we have a cruise booked with Viking for 2019 and we would not hesitate to book another cruise on Oceania (if it were on the Riviera or Marina). For us it is more about the itinerary.

 

 

I think the food is much better on Oceania. The specialty restaurants are great and so is the buffet.

 

 

I like doing my own smaller private excursions which we usually do with Oceania. We usually find other cruisers on CC from the roll call that we book with.

 

 

We hardly ever go to the shows but they are not fantastic in my opinion on either line.

 

 

Both ships are beautiful, just different.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

-Viking includes at least one free excursion at each port, Oceania doesn't.

-Viking lets you bring liquor aboard and treats like an adult. Oceania does not. And NO corkage fee if you bring your wine to dinner. Also, you can bring and consume your alcohol anywhere on the boat with Viking. Not allowed on Oceania.

-All Viking staterooms have verandas. Oceania has inside rooms and oceanview rooms as well.

 

-Viking includes wine and beer with dinner and lunch. Oceania doesn't.

With Oceana, if you add OLife, you can add either a limited number of free excursions or free wine and beer at dinner and lunch.

 

-WiFi included free on both, as are specialty restaurants.

 

 

 

I haven't as of yet been on either, but have Oceania booked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

-Viking lets you bring liquor aboard and treats like an adult. Oceania does not.

 

Untrue. Oceania does allow liquor aboard, provided that it is for in cabin consumption. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Viking has a very nice ocean product, although we thought the comfort level on the pool deck was subpar.

The included excursion in every port would be more appealing if the itinerary was new. They are rolling out some exotic itineraries that we may consider at some point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven’t been on Viking although I have considered them.

From what I can gather the included excursion tends to be a walking tour or something similar, certainly not what I would consider an excursion.

If anyone knows different please correct me.

Oceania does allow you to bring alcohol aboard, but does not include wine with lunch and dinner that is true.

Being a light drinker, maybe one glass with dinner occasionally, why would I pay for something I don’t need?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The quality of the included excursion varies. Sometimes a walking or bus ride, two or three hours. Sometimes it is more substantial but it won’t be comprehensive like an all day private tour provides. There is no credit given if you don’t take it and no credit given if you upgrade to something better. There is no question you paid upfront for the tour in the cruise price. People who like ship tours may really like Viking.

The included wine is basic house wine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The answers from people who have tried both are SO divergent that I wouldn't be able to credit most of the answers! For example, we have Ronbe who prefers the Viking buffet as compared to Riviera. His/her opinion, of course, but even without sailing on Viking ocean ships I KNOW I would disagree. The buffet restaurants on the two "O" ships are the best I have encountered on the seas.

 

 

Hello Mura,

Riviera vs Viking buffet: I am there at breakfast, lunch, and dinner time, and some time in between. The purpose: cruise ship review. I compare menus, I take pictures and do video. I did it on all (almost) 13 cruise lines I have cruised.

This allows me to say that Viking buffet wins.

Please note that I did not say that I prefered Viking buffet.

 

Another example.

My rating for Riviera vs NCL Getaway is 4*+ vs 3.5*+.

Riviera delivers a better product overall.

Does it mean that I prefer Riviera? No.

I prefer Getaway for the same itinerary.

It would be more helpful to have links to reviews. My Viking review is almost done. Unfortunately my Riviera review needs more work....

 

Happy cruising!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello Mura,

Riviera vs Viking buffet: I am there at breakfast, lunch, and dinner time, and some time in between. The purpose: cruise ship review. I compare menus, I take pictures and do video. I did it on all (almost) 13 cruise lines I have cruised.

This allows me to say that Viking buffet wins.

Reviews & opinions can be helpful to others to see if that ship may fit their needs/wants but at the end of the day it is all subjective

People need to try for themselves & decide if that cruise line or ship suits them or not

 

 

as always JMO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello Mura,

Riviera vs Viking buffet: I am there at breakfast, lunch, and dinner time, and some time in between. The purpose: cruise ship review. I compare menus, I take pictures and do video. I did it on all (almost) 13 cruise lines I have cruised.

This allows me to say that Viking buffet wins.

Of course you are allowed to say that Viking buffet wins, just as others are allowed to disagree, it is purely subjective :)

Please note that I did not say that I prefered Viking buffet

You are entitled to your opinion, but for me if Viking buffet is self service then Oceania would win for me, merely because it is served.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello Mura,

Riviera vs Viking buffet: I am there at breakfast, lunch, and dinner time, and some time in between. The purpose: cruise ship review. I compare menus, I take pictures and do video. I did it on all (almost) 13 cruise lines I have cruised.

This allows me to say that Viking buffet wins.

Please note that I did not say that I prefered Viking buffet.

 

Another example.

My rating for Riviera vs NCL Getaway is 4*+ vs 3.5*+.

Riviera delivers a better product overall.

Does it mean that I prefer Riviera? No.

I prefer Getaway for the same itinerary.

It would be more helpful to have links to reviews. My Viking review is almost done. Unfortunately my Riviera review needs more work....

 

Happy cruising!

Just curious with regards to the Viking buffet, do they offer grilled to order steak, lobster, shrimp and other meats every night? Do they have an outside eating area on the back of the ship, with a full service outside server staff, with at least 20 tables to dine at? Do they allow guests to serve themselves at breakfast, lunch and dinner rather than being served by the buffet staff like on an O cruise? Same questions about the NCL Getaway. We were just in the Getaway and experienced none of the above.

 

On the positive side what do you think makes the Viking and NCL buffets superior to the Riviera buffet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Forget ALL the past reviews on Oceania,

 

Recent events have set the company on a new course where the focus is on Charters and not on individual passengers. This new focus is disturbing and a radical change to the past.

 

They can and will cancel passengers at the drop of a hat, even after final payment if they can squeeze more money from another source

Particularly in the MED

I would not thus ever suggest booking with O as their priority has really changed in the last 90 days....

 

Dont get burned go with someone you can rely on....and as of this date It is NOT Oceania

I take a balanced approach to reviews. Filed this one away as we prepare for med '19.

 

Sent from my SM-T713 using Forums mobile app

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
      • Q&A with the Coral Expeditions Team
      • 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...