I was looking for a getaway from the daily stresses of life in Northern VA. Decided to book this cruise because the price was excellent, most reviews were positive, and the port was only 1.5 hours from home.
The ship was in terrific shape, you can tell the ship is older and does not have all the bells and whistles that the newer larger ships have. That being said, it was well cared for, the staff obviously works hard to maintain it and it certainly had more than enough amenities for most Americans to enjoy total fun and relaxation. The decor is elegant and understated.
I especially enjoyed just laying by the pool, and loved that they brought out the live music on the pool deck, as well as the DJ. The ship was completely at capacity, and yet the 3 pools, plus the splash area for little ones were more than enough for everyone to get wet. The pool in the solarium is also lovely, and much quieter as there are no kids in there. If you are looking to get some sun and restore your spirit a bit, this ship is very fit for that purpose.
The crew was phenomenal, so friendly and ready to meet your every needs. A shout out to some special crew who made the trip really good: Catarina in the spa - wow that was the best stone massage ever! And I loved that she wasn't too pushy with upselling of the products. She did make recomendations, but I have been given a hard sell on other cruises, and its a huge turnoff. She presented this in a very consultative non pushy way. Glenn at table 99 in the dining room was fantastic, and really felt that he was concerned about our enjoying the foods, and bringing out alternative selections if we wanted to taste something else, or weren't sure about our choice. Placid- my bar server on the pool deck was so funny and always had a smile . When I was feeling sea sick he even brought me a ginger ale with bitters and lemon to try to help settle my stomach.
Port & Shore Excursions
I took the shipwreck snorkeling trip. The water was very rough on this particular day and I felt VERY seasick. Not a reflection on the tour, as they cant control that. The ship and crew were really lovely. The boat had a minor technical issue that they had to pause and fix which took about 15-20 minutes, but when you are seasick and just wanting to get back on land, that seems like an hour. The snorkeling and the shipwreck were really lovely, and I recommend this to anyone, but especially to beginners as its really fun and pretty easy.
I had an inside cabin. The storage was fantastic. The room was lovely and very clean. Sadly I have to complain and say the mattress was worn out and needs to be replaced. I didnt get such good sleep as a result.
I didnt really care for the Windjammer cafe too much, except the omelettes which are made to order - delish! That being said I am just not a big buffet person. I ate most meals in the dining room. The food there was really very good. They also had buffet on the pool deck and bbq on the pool deck. Overall I was really impressed with the food.
Danced until closing almost every night in the Viking Crown Lounge. Made some friends on the cruise and we had a blast getting down. The DJ was awesome and really new how to mix, and I really got the sense that he was catering to the crowd each night, so it wasnt the same thing night after night. The club was also really sexy and gorgeous. If you like to drink/dance and get down, this is the place to go. It was a blast!
The embarkation and disembarkation were as smooth as silk. I just cannot get over how painless the whole experience was. Good job to all at port of Baltimore, they really have their act together.
Had such a good time, I am trying to figure out when I can go again. Next time I am going to book the eight day. If you want to relax, getaway and recharge your battery, I highly recommend this trip. If you are looking for a "four seasons" type experience, then I would say this ship is likely not for you.