Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Wake of the Vikings: Oslo City Tour and Embarkation

Here is what I so admire about Viking Ocean Cruises and their associates who have to deal with my demographic – they put up with us. The Viking company must be making a fortune, primarily on U.S. citizens, but also British, Canadian and Australians who travel. Viking Ocean ships are adult only, there are no casinos, no photographers, no annoyances, and almost everything is included. I don’t mind at all if they make a fortune, what I love about their model is that it seems to be mostly win-win-win. They do everything in their power to satisfy their customer, and they give great value for the money.

They are dealing with a group of spoiled big children, and I say that knowing I can be one of them. We are people who want what we pay for, and don’t hesitate to make a fuss if we think something could be better. The Viking staff is a good parent to the needy, whining, tired, confused and frustrated children we become when confronted with the strange, challenging or new situations.

I love how they treat their staff. When we ask how they came to Viking, most have been with other cruise lines. Our cabin steward, Hilda, told us on Carnival she had many more rooms and often four people in each cabin. She said “I work hard for Viking, and it is like a vacation.” She also mentioned, as do others, that Viking pays for her uniforms and provides the staff with free wi-fi so they can stay in touch with their families. What a very kind, very smart thing to do! To comfort your employees, to provide them with peace of mind, and to earn their loyalty through kindness. This is so civilized. They also offer opportunities for advancement.

What we marvel at is that they hire employees from many different nationalities, and teach a kind of team approach to customer service. One wine steward today told us he was handling more than one location because several of the staff are seasick (we have hit some heavy rolling) but that he can handle it, so he does. I’ve seen the senior staff bus a table where dishes have been left, without making a big deal about it. I am betting that they have a rule “If you see something that needs to be done, do it, don’t just tell someone else that it needs doing.” I am betting that, because that is what I see, and I like it. I see the employees looking out after one another, and that is a remarkable achievement.

Before we can board the ship, we have to take a tour of Oslo. Do I sound grumpy? Viking thinks through all the details, and has implemented wonderful procedures, but sometimes I am just tired of being funneled, and like a spoiled baby, I just want to rest, or sleep. But I am compliant, I board the bus, I tour the sites. I can’t really tell you much about what I saw because my attitude got in my way. Here are some photos:

This is like a King’s hall, called the Rosenkrantz, which cracks me up because I’m sure it has some meaning but I think it sounds funny.

This was a king’s residence, and can now be hired for social events.

 

 

 

 

 

I do know this one, it is the Starbucks building, built in the old city meat market.

A great old three masted sailing ship, used to train military and other sailors.

The kind of housing Norway used to have, dense, and all white.


September 11, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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