When we booked our 3rd World Cruise on 9th December 2020, it showed we had about 760 days to go before boarding. That felt like an eternity, especially with the current lack of travel, due to COVID. We had a little cheer when it hit 500 days to go and again at 400, well today that number hit 365. Yeah, only 1-year to go, not a big enough milestone to break out the Moet & Chandon, but nice to know that a year from now we will be in sunny SoCal, and then back to sea.Continue reading
OMG!!! we booked this cruise over 10 months ago, and we still have 450 days, until we board the magnificent Viking Neptune, in San Pedro, for our 3rd World Cruise. The number of days to go started at 760, so we have already passed 3 significant milestones – 700 days, 600 days and 500 days.
We booked the day the cruise was published, and immediately started contacting our many friends from previous cruises, with at least 6 other couples signing up. In adition to our Canadian & US friends, we also have friends from Sweden, who were our neighbours on the 2020 WC. We also have many of our blog readers, who followed along with our adventures on the Magical Mystery Tour (2020 WC), who have also signed up. Needless to say we are already developing a significant group on our very active Cruise Critic Roll Call.
I also produce a World Cruise Album, which is a Viking World Cruise tradition, and we already have 26 couples, who have contributed information and a photo. Please click on the link to view the album template.
Since booking this cruise, we have been busy reviewing additional cruise options, all which are with our new preferred cruise line – Viking Ocean. Rumours are circulating we may even have booked something, so check out the next posts.
Once we decided on a 2023 WC, rather than the previously booked 2022 B2B, we had another decision to make:
- 138 Days Ft Lauderdale to London, departing Dec 22nd 2022, or
- 121 Days Los Angeles to London, departing Jan 8th 2023
Judi really doesn’t like spending Christmas away from home and we have both been through Panama many times – Judi about 10 and me 25+. Only 2 of the ports were new ports for us – Cozumel, which we have no desire to visit and Leon in Nicaragua, a country we have visited a number of times.
Therefore, it was a quick and easy decision, our preference was the 2023 Viking World Journeys, departing L/A (San Pedro) on Jan 8th 2023. Read on for the detailed itinerary and some Viking links.
This is a continuation of our 2020 World Cruise Review, which is based on a similar format that I used after our 2015 World Cruise. Volume III of the 2015 Cruise covered the negatives, or areas needing improvement, but after many hours of post cruise reflection, we can only think of 1 negative – missing most of the ports, but this was completely outside the control of the cruise line. Therefore, Vol III will address even more positives:
- Ship – Viking Sun
When we were unable to disembark in Dubai, the 8 Canadians remained aboard the ship, as it sailed from Dubai on March 26th, for port or ports unknown. After a brief sojourn in Dubai, the Magical Mystery Cruise resumed.
A couple hours after sailing from Dubai, the 8 remaining passengers met with Norbert (GM) and all his Department Heads. First topic Norbert discussed was cabins, as Norbert graciously offered us all suites. It was resolved rather easily, as most of us moved to the fwd Suite on our deck and side of the ship. For Judi and I, it entailed moving from 4058 (DV 4) to 4000 (ES 1). By the time the meeting with Norbert concluded, Anna the Executive Housekeeper had arranged keys for our new cabins and adjusted the Cabin Steward assignments, so we retained our original Cabin Stewards. Extremely thoughtful.
Entering the Suite, the first impression is wow!!, this is huge and it has a great view, almost as good as the view from the Bridge, 2 decks above.
The open plan Living Room, Dining Room and Office (desk) is spacious, with the cabin having lots of natural light streaming through the large deck to deckhead windows across the fwd bulkhead and down the ship’s side. Each window has 2 curtains, a sheer that provides great slightly diffused light by day and a heavy blackout curtain for night-time. As suites are fwd facing, it is imperative that the heavy blackout curtain is closed before sunset and remains closed until sunrise. Failure to comply degrades the Bridge Team’s night vision and risks incurring the wrath of the Captain or Senior Officer of the Watch.
Unlike the Owner’s Suite with the 65″ B&O TV, the Suite TV was similar to the excellent one in our previous cabin. In addition to the size, the flooring materials on the deck are also an upgrade from regular cabins. In the Living/Dining Room, most of the flooring is laminate, with the only carpet being in the vicinity of the couch, table and chairs.
The Suites are all stocked with library books, about a couple of dozen, and some are huge and expensive coffee table publications. Each Suite had a large Atlas/Map. Although we never ordered Room Service in the Suite, the dining table would be an excellent upgrade over the low tables in the DV cabins.
The Bedroom is a separate area and can be closed off from the Living Room with the door adjacent to the desk. For us, this is an excellent feature, as I am awake about 05:00 and Judi prefers to sleep in, so having the connecting door let her sleep in peace. The bed was aligned athwartships and at the fwd end of the bedroom. This made it rather tight at the fwd end, but at the aft end there was about 8 feet of empty space to reach the bathroom.
An excellent feature was the night-light, which can be activated on either side of the bed. It has 1 light in the bedroom and a couple of lights in the bathroom, which makes it easy getting up at night, or when the curtains are closed.
The bathroom was huge with double sinks, 4 huge drawers and even a heated towel rack.
That’s only 1/2 the bathroom, as they also have a massive walk-in shower and bath tub.
As seen above, it looks like a mirror at the end of the bath tub, but it is actually another TV. The TV remote is bottom right of the above photo, at the side of the tub.
The balcony is located on the side of the ship, with deck to deckhead windows affording protection up fwd. The deck does wrap around and all the way across the fwd bulkhead, but structural beams render it inaccessible. However, we still had great views ahead and down the Port side.
As seen above, the seats were aligned outboard for our daily viewing of the moon, stars and a planet. During the Suez Canal transit, I spent most of the day on the balcony, with all Suez photos taken on the balcony.
We greatly appreciated the opportunity to try a Suite for our remaining 2+ weeks aboard the magnificent Viking Sun. The bright and spacious cabin with incredible vistas and additional features was amazing. Closing off the bedroom and living area when I got up early certainly assisted Judi in getting more sleep.
However, for Judi the extreme fwd location did not work, as the pitching motions in a seaway are extenuated this far fwd. Although she loved the spaciousness and additional features, she prefers the reduced motion of a midships cabin. The Suites are also in close proximity to the anchors, so when weighing anchor at Suez, 6 of us were wide awake by 04:00.
Our thanks to Viking Ocean and the incredible Officers aboard the Viking Sun for providing us the opportunity to experience a Suite.
2020 World Wonders – Viking Sun – 4th January to 2nd May (119 days)
Welcome to Volume 1 of our 2nd World Cruise review, which will be in a similar format to the 2015 WC Review Vol I. This is primarily a record of our travels, for Judi & I to review at a future date and reflects our personal opinions and experiences, as paying passengers. We have no prior or current connection with Viking Cruises and this was the 2nd cruise in 40 years, where I did not know the Captain, an officer or crew member before boarding.
For those interested in a Viking cruise, or even a Viking World Cruise, I encourage you to research other passenger blogs, to gain a wider and possibly more balanced review of the cruise. The other blogs that I know of are:
- Lowes Travels by Steve and Mona Liza Lowe
- The Forty Something Traveller by Wendy Addinsall, the Cruise Director’s wife.
- Cruising with Clay by Clay Clayton
- An extensive thread was maintained on Cruise Critic.
In addition, to discussing our experience, I will also provide comparisons between this and out 2015 World Cruise on a different company.
Sadly, every good thing must come to an end, and for the 8 remaining pax on the Magical Mystery Tour to Somewhere, today is that day. Slow steaming Westwards, in early morning it was “Land Ahoy”, as we spotted the Rock of Gibraltar. By Noon, we were brought up to the anchor, on the West side of the Rock.
Yes, with the ship, “Swinging on the pick” we disembarked by tender, but not a ship’s tender. Read on for our adventure, once we stepped off the ship.
OMG!!! our last full day aboard the magnificent Viking Sun and what a spectacular day, with special lunch, cocktail party, special dinner with a brilliant dessert followed by birthday cake, then an amazing show staring Viking Vocalist Tobias.
A couple of days ago, I mentioned we had completed all the behind the scenes tours, but NO, we had another one tonight, after dinner. Read on!!
Yesterday we received the shock news that we are going home, so the cruise is starting to wind down, Other than a very competitive Baggo match against Engineering, today was a rather quiet and relaxing day. Quite a contrast to tomorrow, which will be busy.
Note: above photo is one I found on the laptop when flying home yesterday that I hadn’t posted. It is from Dubai, so some participates had already left the ship in Dubai. This was after the Officers v’s pax match, which the pax won by almost 100 points.
Today we received information that changed Mystery Cruise to Somewhere, to the Mystery Cruise to Gibraltar. Yes!, we now have an end in sight, so read on to find out when and how we are all getting home.
In addition to receiving flight instructions, we participated in a thank-you message to the Hagen Family from the Officers & Crew, and participated in a Viking Crew Induction Course, we even received a certificate upon completion.