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963 Baltic Sea Senior Cruise Reviews

We flew from Sydney, Australia, to visit the Baltic region for the first time. We have cruised once before on NCL (Rome to Spain round-trip). We choose NCL usually because it offers a variety of entertainment and similar standard of ... Read More
We flew from Sydney, Australia, to visit the Baltic region for the first time. We have cruised once before on NCL (Rome to Spain round-trip). We choose NCL usually because it offers a variety of entertainment and similar standard of service that we like. We would be happy to travel again on this ship. Here are some observations. DINING Good: Variety of dining options. O'sheehans is often a favourite. We had 4 additional choices as part of our package. Le Bistro, Cagneys and Moderno are always winners (usually an add on). Needs tweaking: The garden cafe is good for all but close table seating made it difficult to move around when necessary. This can be managed by choosing to dine in Savor or Taste restaurants. Sometimes in the garden cafe, there were dishes that were cold by the time you sat down to eat at the table. For example, scrambled eggs, meat dishes that are meant to be hot, and Indian dishes. I imagine that could cause food to be wasted. I prefer hot food to be eaten at that same temperature. Specialty restaurants did not have this problem. Service: All good during our stay and in all areas of the ship. Entertainment: We love listening to live music. The Syd Norman Pour House had a band with a variety of vocalists that really worked hard to sing and engage the crowd. Definitely a winner for me to sing along with 70,80,90's music. The venue was often crowded. Burn the floor was a good show too. Any longer would have been repetitive. Their energy is amazing. Ancora was an opera/classical group of 4 that were simply fantastic. The range and quality of their voices was breathtaking. I didn't go to see the Cirque show. The additional cost was not the issue. I'm just not into the circus theme. There were other entertainment options too. I liked the interactive games on level 6 that engaged the audience. Nothing complicated, but amusing Room: We had a mini suite on deck 9 forward. While close to level 8 entertainment venue, we slept soundly. Fixtures and fittings are beginning to show some signs of age but, this did not impact on our comfort. Recommendations: Based on personal preference. More ping pong tables so that adults can play, not just the kids. Maybe more area in the gym for stretching, cooling etc in peak time. Also, a big thank you to Mario who was helpful in meeting the needs of the Cruise critic team when docking in Russia. Thanks to Tammy and Patrick (friendly cruise critic cruisers) too. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We visited Stockholm, St Petersburg, Tallinn and Helsinki. This was a beautiful cruise that is very well organized in every aspect. I think it also gives you a great sense of Italy and their way of life and partying. The only bad ... Read More
We visited Stockholm, St Petersburg, Tallinn and Helsinki. This was a beautiful cruise that is very well organized in every aspect. I think it also gives you a great sense of Italy and their way of life and partying. The only bad thing that I have to point out is that they have VERY small swimming pools on the ship, and this is a real problem when 3000 people want to swim at the same time. I loved the food, Italian cuisine is famous worldwide and I think there is something to eat for everyone. :))) And they have a WONDERFUL entertainment team which made me dance and stay awake every single night till God knows which hours. Important to know: - You can link your credit card to your ship card and then don't have to worry about payment. - They have totems now, so you can book your excursions there. - Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and without any crowds and problems. I will definitely travel with Costa again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Just completed a 14 day cruise to Norway and Iceland. It was our best cruise yet, the stops were great, especially in Iceland. We met some great folks and as usual the staff were top quality. From the point we arrived in Southampton ... Read More
Just completed a 14 day cruise to Norway and Iceland. It was our best cruise yet, the stops were great, especially in Iceland. We met some great folks and as usual the staff were top quality. From the point we arrived in Southampton everything ran like clockwork, its so easy to embark. The food on board is excellent wherever you decide to eat. we mostly went to Horizon. The bars on board are great, we used Churchill's mostly, its like being in your local at home, it tends to be quieter than the other bars. We did our on exploring in all ports, this is made easy as all stops had a tourist centre, and with some planning beforehand. The Platter and the Destination Expert Videos are very helpful. If I have any disappointment, then it was the last 3 days at sea. It was good to relax, but another stop on way home would have broken up the time. Next years cruise booked on board, another good deal. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We’ve recently returned from a trip to Scandinavia that included the 22 night Majestic Fjords and Vibrant Russia cruise. We started the trip in Finland and southern Sweden before joining the cruise in Stockholm. We also extended the ... Read More
We’ve recently returned from a trip to Scandinavia that included the 22 night Majestic Fjords and Vibrant Russia cruise. We started the trip in Finland and southern Sweden before joining the cruise in Stockholm. We also extended the cruise with the Bergen to Oslo rail trip plus extra time in Oslo. There are things about the cruise that were very good. The boat is small, only about 900 passengers, and the decor is neutral (somewhere between modern Scandi and neutral high end nursing home). The gym and jogging deck were great and we made good use of them. The service is fantastic. Daisy and Ronal, who looked after our room, provided a higher standard of cleaning and organisation than any 5 star hotel I’ve stayed in (and I’ve stayed in a lot of 5 star hotels on five continents). There were a couple of experts who provided lectures and held post lecture discussions. Some of these were excellent. And travelling by ship gave us some spectacular views. There were things that fell short of our expectations. The food fell way short of my expectations. There are a number of dining options including the World Cafe, which is essentially a cafeteria, Mamsen’s, a cafe open at breakfast and lunch with a number of Nordic inspired options, The Restaurant, which is open for breakfast and dinner and is described as the premium dining option, Manfredi’s, an Italian themed restaurant, and The Chef’s table which offers a degustation experience. We had our first two meals, and indeed most of our meals during the cruise, in the World Cafe. I was quite shocked to see that the offerings included pasta and pizza kept warm under lights (probably reflecting my inexperience with cruises). The Cafe has plenty of options, some of which change from day to day, but generally the options were a bit ordinary and the steamed vegetables were invariably cold and soggy (I like to eat a lot of vegetables). We had one breakfast in The Restaurant and the food was okay but the service was chaotic. This was on our first morning on the cruise and my partner declared he wouldn’t have another breakfast there (a point he was willing to concede after two weeks of breakfasts in the Cafe). We also had a few dinners in the Restaurant and on each occasion some part of the meal would be okay to good but invariably other parts of the meal were substandard. Overall we felt it wasn’t worth changing out of jeans to dine in the restaurant. While we were offered two dates to dine in The Chef’s table, we only dined there once. Two of the courses were excellent, one okay and one unpleasant. The Mexican theme seemed a bit at odds with both the Baltic location and summer season. We cancelled our second dining option. We had a few breakfasts and perhaps five lunches at Mamsen’s but became bored with the food. We also had about seven meals in an additional dining option, The Pool Grill, but hot dogs and hamburgers weren’t really my idea of summer holiday dining and I pulled the plug on further meals at the Grill. We did have two meals at Manfredi’s and some of the courses were good but others not (my partner described them as cafeteria food delivered by a waiter). I should add that the coffee and tea on board are abysmal. A good point about the dining options was that there was seldom a wait. I can’t believe we paid $2,000/day for a cruise with such disappointing food. On top of the food, after booking the cruise that was inclusive of wine with lunch/dinner, we received an offer to upgrade our alcohol options at a cost of about $60/day for the two of us. I was so angry at the suggestion we pay extra just to have decent wine that I refused to consider it. All of the wine we had was drinkable but few wines were good. The logistics for the excursions were stunningly poor. A number of excursions required guests to meet in the theatre. On several occasions the wait in line and subsequent wait in the theatre, before disembarking, were more than 45 minutes. The line to get into the theatre went past lifts which mean people leaving the lifts were joining middle of the line, often to the audible concern of people further back in line who were afraid they would miss their excursion. The information for meeting onshore for excursions was often vague or downright wrong. This is frustrating, because it wastes precious time, and was actually quite stressful for excursions in Russia where the trip through immigration is quite intimidating. I’d add that on one occasion, early in our cruise, I asked a question of one of the more senior, public facing, staff about the meeting place for an excursion. Instead of answering me her reply was ‘didn’t you have an excursion yesterday?’. I’ve only fired a couple of people in my career but I’ve had fired her on the spot for that. I really resented, and on occasion was infuriated, every moment I spent waiting or following poor instructions. Viking needs to bring in design thinking and behaviour economic experts to work through these processes. I was also very aggravated that Viking didn’t contact us after the Sky’s incident off Stavanger earlier in the year and only replied to my queries when pressed and then with a really insulting response. Had we not paid for our cruise, I’d have cancelled, even though I’d have lost the deposit, because of the way Viking handled this. I can’t comment much on the entertainment because we weren’t interested in attending performances. Several times we encountered the pianist or the guitarist. Both were very talented but the easy easy listening selection they played held no appeal. I have a list of quibbles but my overall feeling is that Viking isn’t a luxury experience. It is aimed at middle America (and while I live in Australia, I grew up in middle America). I couldn’t recommend the cruise to anyone among our Australian family or friends without a lot of qualification (i.e. I don’t know anyone who I think would be happy with the cruise). It appears to me that Viking is trying to appeal to customers from a wider range of countries. I think they have a lot of work to do for that to be a success. I also don’t understand how they have been rated so highly as a luxury cruise. I suspect this is largely driven by the large middle American client base which biases feedback. For us, we have two or three holidays each year but I can’t imagine that we’d look at Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Fellow passengers were very friendly and the staff catered to our every need as if we were the only ones on the boat. The tours were run amazingly well considering the combined logistics of boats buses and hydrofoils connecting with each ... Read More
Fellow passengers were very friendly and the staff catered to our every need as if we were the only ones on the boat. The tours were run amazingly well considering the combined logistics of boats buses and hydrofoils connecting with each other seamlessly. There was little waiting or downtime. The tour guides were energetic entertaining and informative. They knew their stuff and enjoyed imparting their wisdom. The ship was immaculate and maintained fastidiously . The same can be said for the buses. The food on the ship was wonderful and without limitation. The coffee was not particularly to my taste but I guess you can’t have everything . I indulged on the steaks of which I truly enjoyed. On final departure we were surprised and delighted by members of the Viking staff walking us through the check in at the Copenhagen airport turning what is sometimes a confusing experience into a pleasant one. Its details like this that want to make sail with Viking again. To be totally honest l have to offer one small criticism - the maps of the ports of call issued by the concierge were pretty useless but we always managed to find a good one in the respective towns. All in all it was a great trip. Dw Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My cousin's wife picked the tour because of the itinerary. We have traveled Norwegian many, many times and always had a good experience. We are senior citizens and felt that due to the size of the ship we missed a lot of things. VERY ... Read More
My cousin's wife picked the tour because of the itinerary. We have traveled Norwegian many, many times and always had a good experience. We are senior citizens and felt that due to the size of the ship we missed a lot of things. VERY long lines, reservations for entertainment venues, LONG tracks up and down the docks to load. These were things we should have expected due to the huge size of this boat. Dining with all of the choices was very, very nice and we enjoyed all of the food that we were served. Our excursions were booked with Cruise Critic folks and we REALLY did like meeting the folks on these trips. The entertainment that we were able to see was generally good. We felt much lack of dancing venues and any subdued piano, etc. was very, very hard to find. The lines at customer service, excursions and anything else you really needed tended to run into half hour/hour waits and that was just not good. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I choose MSC without going through the reviews and that was a big mistake. The only high standard other than the ship is the amazing staff which I believe that they are the most valuable asset. And if they they don’t take care of ... Read More
I choose MSC without going through the reviews and that was a big mistake. The only high standard other than the ship is the amazing staff which I believe that they are the most valuable asset. And if they they don’t take care of them they will loose them all. The food is not to the standard as in other cruises I’ve been to. The same food offered in the buffet as for n the dinner seating dining. Other cruises offer water, lemonade or ice tea without any charge during the dining seating. All other drinks are charged. But with MSC you have to buy your drinks. The food in general is not very tasty. From the 11 nights. Only few nights the dinner was tasty. The pasta and risotto was under cooked. The seafood, scallops risotto with one small piece which might be a starter but not main dish. They offered butter chicken which was tasty also. The ice cream and desserts was tasty. Which you can only get for free in the dining seating. In other places you should buy them. No soft ice cream machine. One small snack bar which offers complementary cakes and sandwiches. The buffet area is the only place you can get snacks from till 2am. In the buffet during lunch and dinner only water, tea and coffee is available without charge. The pizza is very nice. All the food offered is labelled. They offered roast turkey which was tasty. But most of the food offered needs to be improved in standard and quality. Salads and dressing was nice too. The daily show was boring. One or two nights were ok. The last show was a disaster and it was what was best as they say from what was presented during the previous nights. The animation team were very good and exciting. Again all the staff were so good. They worked so hard. Some did look tired but didn’t stop smiling to the guests. The excursion were over priced. I’d like to thank all the staff if it wasn’t for them it would have been a hell of a long journey. Definitely won’t cruise with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I would like to comment on the excellent experience we had with my wife at Viking Sky. Before leaving, we had apprehensions regarding entertainment on board and the age of the passengers. We are not young (58 and 46 years old) but we ... Read More
I would like to comment on the excellent experience we had with my wife at Viking Sky. Before leaving, we had apprehensions regarding entertainment on board and the age of the passengers. We are not young (58 and 46 years old) but we knew that the average age was higher. The truth is that although the average age is higher, it was very nice for us to be on the boat without children or teenagers, without a casino, without photographers, without sellers of trinkets. the shows were of quality, the conferences very interesting, the first level gym, the extraordinary spa, the fantastic living rooms to read, the swimming pools with sun loungers available, the exceptional food both in the buffet and in the restaurant, always, and I insist, always with tables available for dinner, breakfast and dinners. This is our 15th cruise and we have used MCS, Costa, Royal, Azamara, Princess and Celebrity, and from all of the above we can say that Viking has been our best experience and best quality price ratio. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We have cruised 3 times in the past 2 years with Azamara (twice) & Seabourn and have thoroughly enjoyed all the cruises. We prefer smaller ships and we decided to cruise the Baltic with Viking due to the excellent reviews and Which ... Read More
We have cruised 3 times in the past 2 years with Azamara (twice) & Seabourn and have thoroughly enjoyed all the cruises. We prefer smaller ships and we decided to cruise the Baltic with Viking due to the excellent reviews and Which star rating. The Good points The transfer from Copenhagen Airport to the ship was excellent. Viking representatives met us in the baggage hall and escorted us to the awaiting coaches, porters assisted us with the luggage. We were soon on our way to the ship. The check in at the cruise terminal was very quick, the best we have experienced, within minutes we were on the Sky with a glass of fiz in hand and 30 mins later we were in our cabin with all of our luggage. The ship is beautiful, the interior design is exceptional with light wood and relaxing furniture in abundance. The cabin bathrooms are well equipped with an excellent shower and fog free mirror, I know people complain about the lack of cupboard space but we were fine. The cabin attendants were great and were very polite and there were some excellent members of waiting staff. The entertainment was good, the shows, the musicians, we loved the pianist. The food at the buffet was generally good. The disembarkation was painless and well managed. The Bad (or not so good) points The service in the restaurants was at best adequate but more often absolutely dreadful. Wrong orders, painfully slow service and queues to get a table. Table allocation was unfair, the same people seemed to get the best tables. We eventually complained about this and were allocated a window seat on the last night. The food wasn't great and certainly not special. I recall the scallop main course which goes down as the smallest main course I have ever received!!!!! The food & service at Manfredis was no better. The service at the buffet was often erratic with no one taking responsibility for tables. It took forever in bars to order a drink and even longer to get them. I kept asking myself Do They Have Enough Staff ?..... They say they do but our experience indicated otherwise. The TV's in the cabins are slow to respond and have a poor picture. In simple terms the ship is beautiful but the service is awful. I had great expectations about cruising with Viking but I will stick with Azamara & Seabourn and consider Saga, Oceania and Regent. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
From the moment we stepped on board, we knew we had made the correct choice. The staff could not have been more pleasant, professional and accommodating. Every staff member always had a smile and genuinely wanted to make our trip special. ... Read More
From the moment we stepped on board, we knew we had made the correct choice. The staff could not have been more pleasant, professional and accommodating. Every staff member always had a smile and genuinely wanted to make our trip special. I am lactose intolerant and was nervous. Everyone from the chef on down did everything to accommodate my food needs. When I made a request, they make it possible. I had a minor medical problem and was amazed at the quality and extensive equipment/facility that was on board. The lectures and entertainment were fabulous. We enjoyed every excursion even though some that we chose were more physically challenging than we were use to. Each excursion was well organized and extremely interesting. The room and all the common areas are beautiful and well worth the price. I can't recommend this cruise line enough. We hope to make more trips with Viking Ocean. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I saved up to take my retired parents on their first cruise. The itinerary was good, the stateroom was beautiful and spacious but the dining was slow, on average it took 2 1/2 hours to serve a soup or salad, salmon or meat and veg ... Read More
I saved up to take my retired parents on their first cruise. The itinerary was good, the stateroom was beautiful and spacious but the dining was slow, on average it took 2 1/2 hours to serve a soup or salad, salmon or meat and veg and a cold pudding. We chose anytime dining which seemed to make the service slower. We tried going early /half time /later and always had to wait a long time for a table so we missed a lot of the entertainment too. The food was edible, like a bar meal or canteen catering but it wasn't delicious. However, the food on the last night was delicious and much different to the other nights which saddened me. The service overall was hit and miss. I would say that the staff were all overstretched. The guy cleaning the cabins had 19 to take care of and easily worked a 12 hour shift, there were hardly any waiters in the dining room which contributed to slow service - about 8 waiters per restaurant, the entertainment who were excellent, also had a triple shift - singing for over 3 hours throughout the night, which is a lot for a band. The ports and shore excursions were enjoyable. We visited Bruge, Copenhagen and Oslo. We couldn't dock at Skagen due to high winds. We had a lovely holiday but it certainly didn't have the cruise wow factor we expected for that price point. I feel quite cheated and I don't feel my parents got the real cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Mostly went on this cruise for the wonderful ports we stopped in. Embarkation and leaving the ship were quick and easy. The ship was fine. The average age of the ship was very old (older than i thought and I expected the crowd to be ... Read More
Mostly went on this cruise for the wonderful ports we stopped in. Embarkation and leaving the ship were quick and easy. The ship was fine. The average age of the ship was very old (older than i thought and I expected the crowd to be old). This was fine for us as we are not the type to stay out late partying - but almost nobody showed up to parties or events. The shows were also tailored for the older crowd. The ship was our biggest so we expected entertainment to be awesome - the lead male and female singers were great but there was only one comedian the entire trip and we were unimpressed with the entertainment overall. There is not a ton to do on the ship - basketball and ping pong are outside and the wind makes them almost impossible. If you are not doing trivia, at a bar, or playing bingo, there is alot of time for hot tubs. The adults only section of pool and hot tubs were the biggest I've seen and we loved them - but they did not have access to watch the movie if you are excited about that. There were also a variety of lectures prior to the port stops. Dining was fine - very comparable to other cruise ships and companies. The service, however, was EXCELLENT. The best dining room service we have had in about 6/7 cruises. We did not try any specialty dining for the first time. Ports were great - some very small towns such as Oslo had little to do but were enjoyable. Russia did not disappoint - be sure to book excursions before hand in order to get off the ship. HOWEVER, the cruises sometimes imply or otherwise make it seem as if you can only get off the ship if you have an excursion booked through them directly. This is NOT the case. While the Royal Caribbean cruises had more time (about an hour before and a bit after) in Russia, we completed our full two day tour. I recommend SPB for small groups - the cruise had large buses with up to 45 people. Many places such as the Hermitage and Peterhof are packed and it is very disorganized in the museums so having a small group with SPB of only about 15 made things MUCH easier. Highly recommend the Ice Bar in Helskini - there are several (such as Stockholm) but Helsinki is far superior with a large indoor facility. Love the trip - once in a lifetime. PS there are not a ton of kids on this trip - we loved it. however, if we had kids there was not alot for them to do and not enough kids to get anything done Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise primarily because of its itinerary which included one or two extra ports of call and fewer cruising days. Departing from Southampton was another bonus. We hadn’t cruised with Royal Caribbean before and Explorer ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily because of its itinerary which included one or two extra ports of call and fewer cruising days. Departing from Southampton was another bonus. We hadn’t cruised with Royal Caribbean before and Explorer was the largest vessel we’d ever chosen so we were slightly concerned we might find it overcrowded, noisy and too glitzy. Nothing could have been further from the truth as we had a very positive experience. Yes it was a busy ship but it was possible to find quiet areas to relax if you needed to. Service in the dining rooms was brisk, attentive and highly efficient with a consistent range of good food. The number and good standard of entertainment and enrichment activities was another pleasing feature. Compared to other cruises we’d been on, we were also impressed with the organised way disembarkation at ports was arranged as, apart from one occasion, movement of passengers on and off the boat seemed logical, speedy and well planned. Finally we have nothing but praise for all members of staff who were unfailingly happy, professional and willing to please. Explorer wasn’t the most modern of ships and a few areas did look a bit care-worn (notably the French-style cafe) but overall we had a remarkably enjoyable time and would happily choose Royal Caribbean again for another holiday. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We wanted to return to Norway and also to experience Viking Ocean Cruises after reading the wonderful reviews. This itinerary was a great combination of both new ports and return to favorite locations. This trip lived up to our ... Read More
We wanted to return to Norway and also to experience Viking Ocean Cruises after reading the wonderful reviews. This itinerary was a great combination of both new ports and return to favorite locations. This trip lived up to our expectations. We especially valued the "grown up" ambiance of Viking Ocean ships. There were many quiet locations to read or play games or even work on a jigsaw puzzle. We could find the peace and quiet we relish while at sea. After a number of cruises we are no longer interested in casinos, hordes of people, children running around, or the frenetic busy-ness of many cruise ships. Our cabin was very comfortable.We appreciated the balcony, even though some of the days were too chilly to sit outside. We were above the Arctic Circle, after all. But we loved the views even on the colder days. We did find that there was a little less storage space than on some ships. The bathroom was awesome. It was such a treat to have a full-size bathroom and shower area rather than the cramped cubicles on many ships. The service and attention to detail was exceptional throughout the ship. The staff was friendly and accommodating and did their jobs well. Even the public bathrooms were meticulously clean, and even had the sounds of bird song as a bonus. The entertainment and on-board activities were everything we needed. Great performers--nice "young" kids who were very friendly and approachable around the ship. I felt like I wanted to take them home with me. The greeting and service on arrival at the airport was wonderful. The staff went out of their way to take care of us and our baggage. Embarkation was easy and smooth, which we really appreciated after a very long flight. Our only complaint was probably regarding the dining rooms. We found the tables to be very close together which made it quite difficult for us to have a private conversation. Also the acoustics of the dining rooms were "loud." Sounds and conversations from other guests and the wait staff became very noisy and reverberated through the rooms because of all of the hard surfaces. We utilized the buffet most of the time because we found it to be more pleasant. The selection of food was varied and delicious. We now consider Viking Ocean to be our cruise line of choice and we would love to sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
My husband and I so enjoyed our Viking river cruise from Paris to Normandy last December, we decided to splurge on a 15 ocean adventure aboard the Viking Sun. We weren't disappointed! Accommodations, food, service, and tours were ... Read More
My husband and I so enjoyed our Viking river cruise from Paris to Normandy last December, we decided to splurge on a 15 ocean adventure aboard the Viking Sun. We weren't disappointed! Accommodations, food, service, and tours were excellent. Ship was immaculate, and shows and other entertainment, fabulous. Ship's band and singers played an amazing variety of music for listening, and best of all, dancing! What can we say about the sensational food aboard the Viking Sun? OK...my husband's doctor just told him to lose the 10 pounds he gained on both the cruises. We really appreciated that (good) wine and beers were complimentary at lunch & supper. Yup, it was easy to over-indulge well-made food almost all day and well into the evening! Most interesting ports in northern Norway, Scotland, and London. Included tours were extremely good with wonderful, informative guides. We can hardly wait to be able to book another Viking cruise! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We have been home a while from our INTO THE MIDNIGHT SUN cruise on the VIKING SUN in June/July 2019 and it is past time for me to put in a review. This is our second cruise with Viking Ocean, we cruised on the Sea earlier this year in the ... Read More
We have been home a while from our INTO THE MIDNIGHT SUN cruise on the VIKING SUN in June/July 2019 and it is past time for me to put in a review. This is our second cruise with Viking Ocean, we cruised on the Sea earlier this year in the Caribbean. We actually booked this cruise first and then added the Caribbean one on afterwards. We used Viking Air for this cruise and did well with it. We certainly didn’t have a big cost savings but the efficiency was worth it. Viking representatives met us when we arrived in Bergen and also assisted us to transportation when departing the ship in London. Ground transportation to the airport after the cruise was well handled getting us to Heathrow well in advance of our departure. The entire check-in process was quick and painless without the long lines that are normal for most of the cruises we have been on previously. We were a little early for going to our room, but since we had traveled all night, we hit an early lunch and then went to the room to unpack (yes, our luggage was there already) and a quick nap. Our room stewards, Ranger and Erik, were there introducing themselves and assisting us with any issues we had. Of course, there were no issues; this is Viking! On a sailing with many sea days, they work very hard to ensure they don’t impact guests in cabin time, but get cabins cleaned. Throughout the cruise, Ranger and Erik were wonderful, always helpful, smiling and efficient. They did an outstanding job of ensuring we had everything we needed! We introduced ourselves to Corinne Bach, the cruise director. Corinne was fairly new in the job and it showed, but she did a fine job. We also met Jasna Randelovic, the Beverage Manager, always someone good to know, and Norbert Tesar, the General Manager that first day onboard. We found Norbert to be the most approachable General/Hotel Manager with which we have ever sailed. Jasna and I hit it off and we spoke often, she is very personable and informative. The wait staff onboard the Viking Sun was very efficient and their service was outstanding. Yurii Semenov the Restaurant manager was always available and often pitched right in if the restaurant staff was busy. This cruise was a bit different from our previous one because there were a number of at-sea days. During these at-sea days, there were wonderful luncheon buffets set up in the area by the pool. The food was outstanding. But then again, the food on this ship in all the venues was outstanding and the service impeccable. The Chef’s Table and Manfredi’s (my husband’s favorite) are not to be missed and we took full advantage of both. One morning, we sat with a ‘difficult’ couple and they calmed down talking to us over a delightful breakfast in the restaurant. After that it seemed like the restaurant staff went even more out of their way to say hello and ensure we were extremely well taken care of. We did some of the included tours in Norway, Scotland and London. Most were bus tours, but they were interesting and the guides were wonderful and very knowledgeable. In many instances we had PhD students or equivalent telling us about the area. We also took many optional tours and loved all of them. My husband knocked many items off his bucket list during this cruise. The scenery on the tours and even just from the ship as we sailed the fjords and coastlines was amazing. We learned a great deal about the areas we visited. The onboard lecturers were excellent as well, and my husband made it a practice to go to as many as he could fit in between shore excursions. On the additional sea days, these were always well attended. Those that we missed in person were available on the TV shortly after they completed. We also had a festive “Blue Nose” ceremony onboard when we crossed the Arctic Circle; what fun. We enjoyed the various musical interludes onboard, particularly the choral group in Tromso. The entire staff from the Captain on down worked hard to ensure our trip was enjoyable. We had a wonderful time! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise because it was offered by Viking, was a smaller ship, stayed overnight in the beginning and ending ports and visited ports in Scandinavia while excluding Russia. We did not wish to fuel the Russian economy. We had ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was offered by Viking, was a smaller ship, stayed overnight in the beginning and ending ports and visited ports in Scandinavia while excluding Russia. We did not wish to fuel the Russian economy. We had been on one Viking River Cruise so were inclined toward Viking for our first ocean cruise. Our cruise was only 11 nights but apparently the cruise continued to other ports such as Stockholm and St. Petersberg. Three weeks would have been too long for us. I had researched the ports and believed guidebooks and Viking when they described how close the dock was to town. In some cases such as Bergen, Aalborg and Stavanger it really was easy to walk into town. In others we needed a shuttle which Viking sometimes provided or taxis. In 3 ports we were beat out of the prime dock location by another ship but only once did we need to use tenders. We were really on our own in Oslo, Viking should have had shuttles there. The included excursions in Eidfjord, Stavanger and Oslo were enjoyable as well as the optional tour we took of Copenhagen. We are experienced travelers and prefered to tour on our own when possible. Guides in Oslo and Copenhagen were excellent. Sailing the fjords and visiting Bergen & Oslo were the most enjoyable locations. The main reasons we chose a cruise for this region of Europe was ease of accessing the fjords, various ports and finding food someone with Celiac disease could safely eat. We had one lunch in Oslo in a restaurant I had researched from home and that offered gluten-free options. The restaurants on the Viking Sky seemed quite good, especially the food in Manfredi's however the Restaurant or main dining room was a beautiful and reliable choice for dinner. I appreciated that the only additional costs we encountered were laundry, a spa service and an additional tip for our room steward. We may take another cruise in future but I really enjoyed our Viking River Cruise more than the ocean cruise. If they had tables for 2 on the river that would be perfect. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I choose this ship because the itinerary that was excellent, specially for the 3 day stop at St. Petersburg (Russia). The embarkation process was very smooth and quick, no more than 5 minutes to complete all process. The ship is ... Read More
I choose this ship because the itinerary that was excellent, specially for the 3 day stop at St. Petersburg (Russia). The embarkation process was very smooth and quick, no more than 5 minutes to complete all process. The ship is small and quite old but it doesn't seem old just not modern. The Ship has all what you need to expect from a RCI cruise, big atrium, pools, kids zone etc... In this trip I had 2 staterooms, one oceanview (7008) and one Balcony (8056). The cabins were normal, not big but also not very small, good for 2 or even 3 people. The bedding was nice and also the storage spaces. What I really dislike was that the only amenity Royal gives to customers in Oceanview and Balcony was a 1 in 3 Shampoo-Conditioner-Shower gel....even MSC or Celebrity gives 3 different bottles for different products! The food was ok, not specially good. The Windjammer Buffet Is ok but always the same food for a 10 day cruise is absurd. The main dinning room was also ok, the service was good and food also good. I purchase the unlimited specialty restaurants and was good because the food at Izumi, Giovannis and Chops is excellent but the ship is so small that paying the unlimited specialty restaurants is not worth it (just for Serenade), in other Royal ships you have more choices and it make sense. If you like Coffee...its horrible, even the speciality coffee. The worst thing about the entire cruise was the entertainment, the night shows were horrible, definitely Royal needs to upgrade the shows at smaller ships, the company concentrates a lot in larger ships but not in smaller. Overall, the service was good, the cabins are spacious but they have a lack on amenities. the ports of call were amazing. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
After eight river cruises on Uniworld we chose Viking for our first ocean cruise based on reviews. We were not disappointed, Every facet of the cruise appeared to be very well organized. Embarkation was accomplished in a matter of ... Read More
After eight river cruises on Uniworld we chose Viking for our first ocean cruise based on reviews. We were not disappointed, Every facet of the cruise appeared to be very well organized. Embarkation was accomplished in a matter of minutes. Debarkation took somewhat longer. The ship was spotless and was kept so throughout the cruise. The cleaning crew greeted us by name every morning. All members of the crew with whom we came in contact were outstanding - friendly and accommodating, Food was excellent with attentive service particularly in the specialty restaurants. The entertainers were very professional as were the evening shows. We participated in all of the included tours which were well organized led by knowledgable guides. We opted for one optional tour which was well worth the cost. Not part of the official itinerary was a tour of the galley led by one of the chefs and a tour of the bridge led by the second officer. The most meaningful indication of our satisfaction - we booked another Viking Ocean Cruise for next year while we we still on the ship.. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I chose this cruise because I have always had an interest in visiting Norway because of the scenic nature of the country. The scenery is really amazing from the fjords to the mountains of this great country. We saw so much in such a ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I have always had an interest in visiting Norway because of the scenic nature of the country. The scenery is really amazing from the fjords to the mountains of this great country. We saw so much in such a short time period with included and optional tours in 8 different countries. I was amazed at the beauty of Estonia and Russia. Only disappointment was not being able to dock at Gdansk Poland because of the weather conditions. I was particularly interested in Poland because of my husband's German ancestry. Everything about the 'Viking Sea' was top notch. We where spoiled by the service offered .... room service, dining, entertainment, friendly staff and general organization. We liked the size of the ship, the rooms where awesome with the balcony to slip outside and take in the view. I really enjoyed the nightly entertainment, every bit as good as taking in a theatrical production in Toronto for me. Everything was top notch. Of course I would go again & actually have already booked an Alaskan Cruise for 2020 with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our 37th cruise. Some have had spectacular destinations, some have been full of excitement and entertainment. Until this cruise, the Braemar to and through the Panama canal was overall our best ever cruise. Four days before this ... Read More
This was our 37th cruise. Some have had spectacular destinations, some have been full of excitement and entertainment. Until this cruise, the Braemar to and through the Panama canal was overall our best ever cruise. Four days before this one on Boudicca I received a phone call advising that we had a complimentary upgrade to a 7th deck cabin with terrace and wet room. When we opened the cabin door, Wow!!! So much space - the wet room was brilliant as well. We have never been disappointed with the dining rooms on any of the ships - Braemar stands out a mile in particular at lunchtime, with different flavours of diet bread and butter puddings each day! Most excellent waiters and captain waiter. There have been many cruises with great entertainment each night - one in particular (which was not a Fred Olsen). So to this cruise on the Boudicca. We were amazed by the organisation of the timings of the secret garden being open. There were a few mornings when we were too late for the normal breakfasts, but were able to break our fasts there. One day however we arrived just in time for lunch! The variety of food was most welcoming particularly for two diabetics. Our water glasses were topped up frequently and Captain Waiter seemed to take extra care with us (my wife being in a wheelchair). A big thanks there. We were on ship for the majority of the time and had plenty of options to bide away the time in the way that we wanted. Dolphin racing, bingo, quizzes, relaxing and reading and of course eating and the shows. The comedian, whose name I have forgotten was brilliant. Clean and very funny. Hope Fred Olsen has him as a regular. Stress free is a simple way of saying how enjoyable this cruise was. The place we stayed the most was in our cabin. It was excellent. We are not drinkers or pub people, but we did have our diet lemonades to take back to the cabin, where we played Cribbage. THE WATERFALLS AT goodolfusen (can't spell it) were splendiferous. Well worth a visit. I have an old friend and acquaintance who regularly cruises across the Atlantic and back again, without getting off the ship. A bit surprised at this, but now with this latest experience I can well understand why. Sorry Braemar, but you have been knocked off no.1 spot as the best ever cruise. A big thanks for the crew of the Boudicca for helping to make this one the best ever. Thanks Fred Olsen. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We booked a Haven room on the Norwegian Getaway for our Baltic Sea trip. The Haven is the luxury level on some Norwegian ships. Our room was a Family Villa - two bedrooms, which was perfect for my wife and I and our adult daughter. ... Read More
We booked a Haven room on the Norwegian Getaway for our Baltic Sea trip. The Haven is the luxury level on some Norwegian ships. Our room was a Family Villa - two bedrooms, which was perfect for my wife and I and our adult daughter. First the good: beautiful room, lots of storage, very attractive. The Haven has a restricted access pool and sun area, as well as its own dining room and concierge services. The servers and bartenders are very good in the Haven. I think the best get promoted here. The ship made all stops on time and the entertainment on board was decent, though always extremely crowded. If you are in to casino play, there is a huge casino on board, well-used. The bad: We should have figured out that family villas would mean lots of kids. We thought that sailing during the school year and the extra cost of the Haven would restrict the number of young kids. We were wrong! Crying children, tantrums, running around the dining room spoiled pretty well every meal in the Haven dining room. This dining room is undersized for the 320 people in the Haven area, and the dining room is consequently crowded. You can almost always count on waiting for a table, and the noise level was always so high that meals there were uncomfortable. We compensated by eating elsewhere most of the time. The concierge staff in the Haven were generally unhelpful unless the service you were requested brought in more money to the company. Probably the worst concierge staff we have experienced in our dozen or so cruises. They were very good at saying no. The ship itself has about 4000 cruisers and a lack of facilities for this many. All entertainment venues were overcrowded and we had to always arrive 20 minutes of so early to get a seat, except in the large theatre, which has sufficient seating, but is quite unattractive. The venue we missed most on this boat is a nice, quiet piano bar where we could dance to pleasant piano songs. In summary: The Haven rooms and facilities are quite outstanding, except for the dining room. The servers, bar staff and room stewards are outstanding, though we were disappointed with the concierge staff and the butler was OK, but not great. The specialty restaurants are decent but not great. The ship's venues are crowded and loud. We will probably not return to the Haven on Norwegian. We were the wrong people for this ship. We'll return to the luxury lines we have enjoyed in the past. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
First, sorry for such a long review.... This was our first NCL cruise and we chose it because of the itinerary. We have sailed quite a bit previously on Carnival, Celebrity and Princess. The ports we visited were excellent. ... Read More
First, sorry for such a long review.... This was our first NCL cruise and we chose it because of the itinerary. We have sailed quite a bit previously on Carnival, Celebrity and Princess. The ports we visited were excellent. Warnemünde/Rostock, Tallinn, St Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm. As with most cruises, there were good, bad, average, exceptional throughout the 9 days. The ship sailed near or at capacity, 4000+, and for the most part it always felt crowded and lines everywhere, with the exception of a few times at dinner around 7-7:30pm in Savor, Taste and Tropicana. We were new to making reservations for nearly everything in advance but were tipped off and did so several weeks prior to departing. Unfortunately twice we arrived at specialty dinners only to be told we had no reservations and they were completely sold out nothing could be done about it. Following a rather brief and somewhat rude conversation the first time, I returned minutes later with confirmation of our reservation on my iPad. Miraculously a table appeared and all was suddenly good and we’re sorry for the computer error. The first was at Teppanyaki (very rude), the second was at Cirque Dreams where they were very accommodating and apologetic. The final bad experience was at our excursion. Our tickets said to meet at 7:15pm for an evening show in St Petersburg. We exited the ship and arrived at the busses. No signs or direction for which bus and the only workers were sitting and chatting with each other. We finally found our bus after getting help from a security guard. We started to check in and a woman from either NCL or the bus company not sure which began to berate us and threatened the bus was just about to depart without us. I checked my watch and we were right on time, but decided not to engage her and just get on the bus, which by the way did not depart for another 10 min or so. We try not to let a couple of bad individuals be the face of an entire company. So much for the bad. We did enjoy the anytime very casual dining format. The many dining choices, and most of the time the food was very good. We loved Moderno and Cirque Dreams and Steam was not to be missed. Be sure to book floor seats and sit close to the stage. Burn the floor was a mixed review, my wife loved it, I thought it was just ok. Nearly every worker who came into contact with us were excellent and friendly. We had a balcony room on deck 11. It was rather small compared to other cruise lines but otherwise sufficient. We met our cabin steward the first day and only saw him once or twice more passing in the hallway. He did a good job with our cabin each day. We did have a coffee maker in the cabin with a selection of coffees and tea’s. We didn’t like having to make so many reservations in advance to be sure we didn’t miss out on things or dining times. Be sure to keep your confirmations in case there are any problems. Their internet plans are pretty expensive and only work for one device at a time. Meaning two people cannot be online at the same time. Reaching a live person at customer service prior to the cruise at times was frustrating with waits up to 30 min at times. At the end of the day, none of the bad things were enough to ruin our cruise only minor nuisances. The ship was clean, and modern. Embarkation was pretty easy and not too long, maybe 30 min. Disembarkation was pretty orderly and went as they stated. Port embark and disembark was good except for day one in St Petersburg which had some long lines. Day two was very quick since they had all of your info already. In trying to be fair, we are going to give NCL’s shortcomings a pass try them again in the future. Not judging an entire fleet and company based on one ship and one experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise for the ports. Neither of us had been to any of the Baltic ports and we were looking for an overview. We absolutely loved the ports and could have spent more time everywhere, but we knew that in advance. Cruising ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports. Neither of us had been to any of the Baltic ports and we were looking for an overview. We absolutely loved the ports and could have spent more time everywhere, but we knew that in advance. Cruising on such a large ship has its disadvantages. On a minor point, it simply takes a while to figure out the deck plans, and how get from one point to another. More serious is the issue of always being at a pier that's far from the city center. We were lucky to get to dock in Stockholm, the Getaway often has to be in a town a hour away. We shared sevel ports with an Azamara Cruise, and as a much smaller ship, they were docked right downtown. When time in port is so valuable, arranging transportation to get to the actual city becomes a drain. Although we really enjoyed the ship and Baltic cruise itinerary, if we were to take the same trip again I'd consider a different, smaller ship. Someone who uses more of the entertainment available, or traveling with active kids, might have a completely different view point. We used a private company (there are many) to tour Berlin and St. Petersburg. We were able to have a much smaller group and more flexibility than if we'd taken a ship's excursion. Luckily we were in Stockholm on a Sunday and the company Stromma has a 3 hour brunch cruise available on that Sunday only. It was actually one of the highlights of our trip. In Helsinki and Tallinn we were able to enjoy the town on our own without a tour. They are both beautiful, but very different cities. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We have been on over 40 cruises including Celebrity,,one of our favorites up until two years ago, as well as Regent, Oceania,Crystal and others. Our first Viking Ocean cruise was last year with friends and we were so impressed we booked ... Read More
We have been on over 40 cruises including Celebrity,,one of our favorites up until two years ago, as well as Regent, Oceania,Crystal and others. Our first Viking Ocean cruise was last year with friends and we were so impressed we booked the June cruise that sailed Norway to London. We thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the cruise. The ship was spotless, the entire crew more than friendly and efficient and the ports of call were outstanding. While on board we decided to book two additional cruises with Viking Ocean besides the October and this coming February cruise we had already booked previously. While the food served is very good and really nothing to complain about, the food offerings on both Regent and Oceania are a slight bit better as there is more variety offered. For us that would have never made a difference since all other aspects of cruising on Viking won us over. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019

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