Original cruise was to embark in Istanbul, but was changed to Athens due to unrest in Turkey. Disappointing, but understandable. New ship, large amount of space for guests. Modern, not ostentatious décor. We were in an Explorer suite ... Read More
Original cruise was to embark in Istanbul, but was changed to Athens due to unrest in Turkey. Disappointing, but understandable. New ship, large amount of space for guests. Modern, not ostentatious décor. We were in an Explorer suite which is significantly larger than standard. Amenities simple but adequate. TV with good range of shows and information. Free Wi-Fi and it worked! We dined at World Cafe for breakfast and 1 dinner. That buffet was reasonable quality and variety, but did not seem to change. The Restaurant on Deck 2 provided 3 course meals with some "Classics" offered every night and an additional varying menu with some local produce. Despite being in the more expensive suite (which was to include 3 nights dinners in the Signature restaurants of Manfredi's and the Chef's Table), we were unable to eat at the popular Manfredi's as we hadn't booked prior. The Chef's Table menu was a set menu, changed every 3 nights. The Norwegian cuisine menu seemed out of context when in Mediterranean in summer but the service and staff were excellent. Wine included with meals, extra if bought at the bars. Dress code was relaxed. Jacket optional, no ties required.
Included Shore excursions were mostly walking tours of the ports of call with wonderful guides. Groups of 30 -36 were a little large at times in crowded ports. The additional tours were good value and to varied, interesting locations (but still large group size)
We have cruised with Holland America (Alaska,1400 people), Windstar (Tahiti, 100 people),and Silverseas (Oceania Expedition cruise , 60). Viking is regarded as 'Small ship' but I found over 900 (majority Americans, some from UK, NZ and Australia) on a 10 day cruise meant it was difficult to catch up again with fellow travellers. There are so many wonderful spaces and activities.
Some of the shows, although free, had to be pre-booked and we missed these but heard they were of high standard. Captain's welcome and farewell featured some of the entertainers. Read Less