Aboard! After the longest wait ever for checking in for a Viking Cruise (8 min? LOL) we are aboard @vikingcruises Orion. I live that their ships are all the same design so it always feels like coming home! We were offered and accepted an upgrade to a Penthouse Veranda for a nominal upcharge and know we will like the extra room (see that big sofa!), the incabin booze and the ironing service! Looking forward to the next 15 days!
Three days from right now we should be pulling out of San Juan Harbor. We finished packing today, that’s probably the closest to departure we have ever done that…remember last year when we had it packed three weeks before we left? 😂
I guess the 7 months on the road helped us learn how to do it quickly. It also taught us that we didn’t need everything we packed the first time. Last year we both had our rollaboards expanded and a full backpack a piece. This year, everything is in the rollaboards and they aren’t expanded. We do have our Porto cloth daybag (it’s the beige bag on top of the suitcase just in case we discover something that should have been inside. The blue thing is a self inflating seat cushion. There is another in Mike’s suitcase. We will be flying back in economy if our upgrades to business (25k points + $350) don’t come through-I don’t have much hope they will. 😢 This will be the first time in 10 or more years flying long haul (11 hours) in economy. I had sworn I wouldn’t ever do it, but it was hard to pay for it when Viking included it in our cruise fare. So hopefully the cushions which come recommended by a bunch of frequent flyers will prove to be worth their $14 price tag….I’m really sorta hoping by toting them will cause us to be upgraded…you know how when you take an umbrella it never rains but if you forget then it pours?😁
When we booked Viking, we elected to take a guaranteed stateroom – that means that we paid the price for a certain stateroom category (in our case the second lowest since the lowest was “sold out”) but saved a few hundred bucks by not selecting a particular stateroom. We were guaranteed no worse a stateroom than the one we paid for and based on my reading on Cruise Critic, many ended up in a higher category.
One of the reasons (other than the money savings ) that we were willing to do this was because there aren’t really any bad rooms on Viking. All of their staterooms are larger than on most cruise ships, the only real difference is location…and since it is a small ship, there aren’t really any bad locations.
Of course the big hope was that they would run out of our category and have to “upgrade” us to a higher category – the next major category up comes with an in-room coffee maker and shoe shine service and the one above that comes with those perks PLUS complementary refills of the mini bar.
So we were especially hopeful of an upgrade when a few weeks back, I noticed that no longer were many of the categories “sold out” but that the prices for our category had dropped significantly. I got in touch with Viking who correctly noted that they didn’t have to honor the lower price which wasn’t what I was expecting but I was hoping they would “upgrade” us to the category that was now being sold for about what we paid. No such luck.
Only after threatening to cancel (which would have a resulted in them keeping a portion of what we had already paid) and rebooking at the lower rate, did Viking come up with an offer that we eventually accepted. They are “giving” us an onboard credit (money on our onboard account) which we can use for gratuities, alchohol purchase, excursions, massages, etc. So while it isn’t as good as the cash in my pocket would have been or even as reasonable as moving us to one of the many empty cabins now being sold for less than what we paid (can you tell I am a little incredulous that this wasn’t their go-to response?) it was good enough for us to accept. Of course it just means I will be ordering coffee from room service rather than making my own and walking around with dull shoes!
So we are ready to be in “our” cabin as shown in the photograph (look closely four in from the front of the ship on the lowest level of balconies and you will see us smiling at you). Unless of course, the upgrade fairy happens to decide that we really should be in a better category cabin….I mean after all the Owner’s Suite is still showing as available! LOL