14 Barcelona Viking Ocean Viking Jupiter Cruise Reviews

Been on dozens of cruises on NCL, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Crystal, Regent, Celebrity, And Windstar but this was our first Viking. We had heard about river cruises with them but recently learned of their entry into the ocean voyage ... Read More
Been on dozens of cruises on NCL, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Crystal, Regent, Celebrity, And Windstar but this was our first Viking. We had heard about river cruises with them but recently learned of their entry into the ocean voyage market and heard great things. Ours was a Mediterranean trip from Barcelona to Venice - many ports we had previously visited but there were several new options if we were willing to travel a bit which we were. I’ll cover excursions later, but first the Viking Jupiter. This ship is brand new this year. It is beautiful. And they’ve worked out the kinks described in prior reviews. First, the crew is fabulous. Extremely hard working, pleasant and professional. They strike the right balance, not too aloof and not too obsequious. Friendly and attentive but mostly invisible until you need them. The Norwegian style is casual and luxurious with a living room environment rather than grandeur. We loved the cozy nooks with many gaming tables, puzzles, libraries, theme areas around opera, symphony, science ( we went to all 3 shows in the 3-d planetarium and a lecture by the resident astronomer astrophysicist). The cruise director is also a professional opera singer and WOW! There is no casino, included excursions at every port, included good wine and beer at lunch and dinner, no children programs, in fact no children, no formal nights. This isn’t for everyone. But it suited my husband and me. We are in our 50s and were definitely of the younger cruisers. The name that tune games that were hosted by the super talented 4 singers/dancers were tons of fun although a bit before our time(50s and 60s music). Buffet was top notch. tea time was not to be missed with live music in the beautiful winter garden next to the pool area every day at 4. The dining room is more intimate than the usual giant rooms on other lines. The 2 specialty restaurants are included. We liked the Italian but weren’t huge fans of French night at the Chefs Table. We aren’t big on fixed menus. We like to choose. The dining room we found to always have plenty of excellent options. Our favorite shore excursions were to Cassis France, Split Croatia, and Lucca Italy. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our first ocean cruise on Viking and we definitely would love to do another. The staff and food were amazing. Our room steward, Ferdi, was always friendly and accommodating to any request we had. Loved the small number of ... Read More
This was our first ocean cruise on Viking and we definitely would love to do another. The staff and food were amazing. Our room steward, Ferdi, was always friendly and accommodating to any request we had. Loved the small number of passengers, so it was more intimate and as a senior it was nice to have no children. Able to meet new people and saw them many times on the excursions. Our cabin was typical size, but more than adequate. Loved the heated bathroom floors and the easy to use bathroom shower controls. There was always something to do to keep busy if you want or many areas to sit and relax and enjoy the view. Wintergarden area was nice for afternoon tea. Enjoyed watching the movie under the stars on the pool deck with popcorn. The included shore excursions were a good introduction to the various ports. We did go on a few optional excursions as this was our first time in the area. In Barcelona I highly recommend the optional excursion "Gaudi Architecture & La Sagrada Familia". In Rome we did the optional excursion "Sistine Chapel & Vatican City". The entertainment was very good and we were happily surprised to hear the wonderful voice of our cruise director, Heather Clancy. My husband loves astronomy so he was happy to listen to talks by Jim Teslow. Resident historian Michael Cheshire and his wife Wendy are wonderful. Went to a couple of Michael's talks and had breakfast with them a few days. All of the port talks did a great job of describing what we should expect on the next days excursions. Sadly we had some high seas in Marseille so we were unable to take a boat trip on part of our optional excursion to Cassis. Viking gave us a credit to our account to compensate us for missing the boat trip. Due to the high seas we were unable to dock in Monte Carlo, so we had an extra day in Livorno (Florence/Pisa). This allowed us to take an optional tour "Lucca on Your Own". Enjoyed taking a leisurely walk thru this town. Our trip was from 10/20 - 11/1. We had heavy rain at times in Pisa, so that was unpleasant trying to get good photos of the Leaning Tower, but it was OK. The rest of the trip the weather was great. At times the weather was warm enough that the roof was open over the main pool area. Cloudy and about 58° in Venice, but good for site seeing. So happy that we were able to see this beautiful city before it was flooded recently. We are pescatarian (vegetarian but eat fish) and never had a problem finding food to eat. The dinner menu always had vegetarian items at the bottom of the menu. We enjoyed having the included wine with our dinner. As on other cruises we enjoyed the variety of countries represented by the staff. I would suggest that on their name tag you add their country instead of saying Viking. We especially liked the "Green" feature that the ship card had to be inserted in a slot to keep the cabin lights on and once removed the lights would automatically go off after a short period of time. The switches by the head of the bed made it easy to dim the bedside light and turn on the night light for the bathroom. It was great to have free Wi-Fi in the room. The information on the TV was informative and easy to use. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Selected this cruise because of promotional brochure indicating interesting ports of call. Promotional material didn't properly identify that many ports on this cruise were for a limited time, less than day, which made the cruise much ... Read More
Selected this cruise because of promotional brochure indicating interesting ports of call. Promotional material didn't properly identify that many ports on this cruise were for a limited time, less than day, which made the cruise much less enjoyable and disappointing. Wouldn't have taken it if had known this fact. Scheduled for two days in Barcelona and left after first evening. Afternoon or morning on five other destinations. Also not clear on personal touring transportation option which were limited. If you promote a stop/city then don't have transportation for sell guided tours readily available very disappointing. Most excursions were good but a few tried to pack too much activity into too short a time in port. We have done numerous river cruises with Viking and self guided is a big plus. Ship was nice and having taken an Amazon cruise in December we were familiar with the ship offering. Staff was always pleasant and accommodating. New ship so facilities were good. Enjoyed the Restaurant and the World Cafe'. World Cafe' staff was solicitous to passengers compensating for self service format. Had two occasions in Resturant that staff wasn't good and reflected staff either overworked or focused on certain passengers Selection of items was good in the World Cafe'.. We were not fans of the Chiefs Table due to the presentation and selection of menu but that is just a personal choice. Heard lot's of compliments about Chiefs Table from others. Manfradi's was pleasant but often portions were too large. Also some staff more pleasant than others. Again just a personal choice and observation. Service was good so would recommend this to other travelers. Enjoyed Mamsens and Explorer Lounge. Staff was great and environment was great place to meet other travelers. Sorry that this cruise wasn't what we had hoped for. Compared to our Amazon Cruise with Viking, our first Viking Ocean Cruise, this was a disappointment. Undecided on future Ocean cruising with Viking but would recognize that they do a good job on board. Will always consider Viking River Cruising. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We had previously been on the Grand European Viking River cruise and loved the experience, so decided to try the top rated Viking Ocean ship next. It was even more pleasing in that there was a more space to move about, the cabin was ... Read More
We had previously been on the Grand European Viking River cruise and loved the experience, so decided to try the top rated Viking Ocean ship next. It was even more pleasing in that there was a more space to move about, the cabin was larger, we had more entertainment and dining options, and still had a "smallish boat" feel. The bonus area for us was the spa, which we visited every day in some capacity, and was so relaxing after a busy day. The itinerary proved interesting, many countries were visited, but we always wish we had a bit more time on our own to explore the ports of call. There were plenty of alternative excursions offered as well. Still it was a grand overview of the famous port cities of western Europe. The food was excellent, both in the buffet areas and the restaurant (my wife preferred the buffet, I preferred the served sit down dining experiences). Most wonderful and impressive were all of the terrific people who served us, attended our cabin and welcomed us at every embarkation and disembarkation. Entertainment was relaxed but high quality, and I enjoyed the lectures on board as well. Overall a great experience for our 40th wedding anniversary celebration! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our first ocean cruise with viking. We had 2 days in madrid, spain prior to the cruise. The hotel, tours, services, and transfer were excellent. Embarkation in barcelona went smoothly. The ship was very beautiful. The room was ... Read More
This was our first ocean cruise with viking. We had 2 days in madrid, spain prior to the cruise. The hotel, tours, services, and transfer were excellent. Embarkation in barcelona went smoothly. The ship was very beautiful. The room was a standard veranda. It was nicely appointed and comfortable. We liked the world cafe for dinning. It had a wide variety of foods each meal. The restaurant was very good. Similar food to that served in the world cafe. We ate once in the chef’s table. The service and food were excellent. Great wine selection. Service on the ship was excellent. All the staff did their best to make our cruise comfortable. There was an issue with the ship staying in barcelona overnight so we had to move down the coast. This caused several of the shore excursions to be canceled or you had to ride a bus back for the excursion. The excursion to london required an 1.5 hour bus ride each way along with a ride around the highlights of city. Too much time on the bus and not enough time on foot at a destination. The foodie walking tour in copenhagen was excellent. The guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose the cruise primarily for the itinerary - ports in Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium and Denmark. Before booking and paying for your cruise, Viking does not identify ports where you will have only a partial day to explore. A full ... Read More
We chose the cruise primarily for the itinerary - ports in Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium and Denmark. Before booking and paying for your cruise, Viking does not identify ports where you will have only a partial day to explore. A full day in Barcelona after embarkation was cancelled and we spent a day at Tarragona, a beautiful stop but not Barcelona. We only had partial days (6 hours) in Cartagena, Porto, Bruges and Copenhagen. All of these ports deserve more time. Viking provided shuttle buses in most ports but did not advise of this service before sailing. This complicated our independent preplanned tours of cities. Viking maps of ports were inadequate and we always needed to get maps supplied by local tourism kiosks. The food generally met our expectations but was very uneven ranging from excellent to meals that were not as ordered and one that was inedible and sent back. Wine choices were extremely limited. We were offered the same Chilean white wine for at least 4 days in a row. The wine was never related to ports of call despite visiting major wine producing countries. Viking creates high expectations for food, wine and local experiences through their advertising which leads to disappointment. The ship is beautiful - minimalist decor, spacious lounges and dining areas and quality art make for a comfortable relaxed ambiance. The small number of passengers made embarkation and disembarkation and dining a pleasant experience. Included and and optional shore excursions barely met expectations. Included excursions were bus tours and very slow, very limited walking tours. Optional shore excursions were neither as interesting nor as active as those advertised as "example" excursions before we booked the cruise. Each day in port as we disembarked, there was a cooler with hundreds of plastic water bottles for passengers. Given that Viking cruises on the ocean, you would think they would be more ecologically responsible. Give passengers a reusable water bottle when they board. Entertainment was limited in variety and quality. Very glad we arranged our own flights after hearing of other passengers' experience with flights arranged by Viking. The small ship experience was so good that we would travel with Viking again. We would just check all the details of the itinerary before paying and we would lower our expectations on food and drink and compare prices accordingly. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We heard others talk of the exceptional service on Viking cruises and we had sailed on Norwegian and Princess in the past. Viking is definitely at the top of our list. There was no waiting to embark. We were given a timeframe for our ... Read More
We heard others talk of the exceptional service on Viking cruises and we had sailed on Norwegian and Princess in the past. Viking is definitely at the top of our list. There was no waiting to embark. We were given a timeframe for our cabin type and went right onto the ship after checking in. Though we couldn't access the cabin immediately, we were offerred a glass of champagne and invited to dine in one of the many restaurants.Our bags were delivered within hours and our cabin attendants introduced themselves and asked if there was anything we needed. The employees were the friendliest we had encountered on any of our cruises. We enjoyed the lectures on various topics as well as the beautiful common spaces where one could sit and read or visit with others. We especially liked the included tours in every port though we did pay extra to visit Monet's Giverney and it was magical. It was such a wonderful experience that we've decided to book another Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Viking Jupiter – Western Europe – Barcelona to Copenhagen – April 25–May 9, 2019 For Context - We are in our late 60’s and this was our 3rd Viking Ocean Cruise in 12 months. We did the Caribbean in February 2019 on the ... Read More
Viking Jupiter – Western Europe – Barcelona to Copenhagen – April 25–May 9, 2019 For Context - We are in our late 60’s and this was our 3rd Viking Ocean Cruise in 12 months. We did the Caribbean in February 2019 on the Viking SEA and did the Baltics Homelands Cruise on the SKY in May 2018. We consider ourselves quite mobile and enjoy tours/activities that require lots of walking and exercise. We hope to do 5 to 10 miles walking whenever we are in ports when we take cruise vacations. We have done primarily DIY trips where I planned everything and managed traveling by train or car to different hotels or B&B’s every couple nights, combined with DIY sightseeing. As we’ve aged, this certainly takes a toll on us both in the planning and the execution – so another reason for trying out cruising again after many years. We have been on other cruise lines, but picked Viking on recommendations from friends, who really like the format and clientele makeup. We found this to be very true: focus on history, ports, education and casual but good food. Less focus on entertainment and keeping people highly occupied all the time. Viking seemed to be different and targeting a niche market which we thought we would enjoy: no kids, no formal nights, no casinos, no Las Vegas Entertainment, no flamboyant dinners, no late night parties and more – so we thought we might meet others who had the same feelings at least. Viking Jupiter is a fabulous ship! We’d been concerned about being on a new ship given how people have recommended waiting for Viking to work out kinks. However, the itinerary was just too good to pass up and we thought that with several months “shakeout”, Viking would correct most if not all of the major issues on the first several voyages – and we were correct. We observed some very good updates in the Viking Jupiter from our earlier Sea & Sky cruises. – with one major exception (the new Planetarium). For the most part, Viking has this down now and does a fantastic job. We could see, however, some small kinks, which was expected as they grow and have to add and train new staff. Simple patience and pleasant discussions with newer staff went a long ways to helping them learn. Room (see below in separate section) TV and the Viking App: We enjoyed the TV, not so much for the shows like BBC, Television, movies, and more, but for all the information you can see about the cruise itself. Viking did a great job of getting all the information into one place here – and accessible by an amazingly simple remote control! Love it! We would check the weather, look at the Bridge Web Cam live, view the port talks, enrichment lectures, and more (like Ted talks). We could also check our billing account live, view restaurant menus, make dinner reservations, and more!! The app was also well designed and easy to use. Was looking at it constantly throughout the day to check on weather, the Daily Schedule, menus, making reservations, the excursions, things we had booked, future ports, and much much more. Again – kudos to Viking here!! Entertainment We enjoyed the evening shows at 9:15 in the Star Theatre. We are not as hyper critical as others and so they were all quite good in our opinion, some better than others. The only comment is that some of the shows seem to go from ship to ship (as in ABBA, the Beatles, Songs of the Decades), but there was still a good variety. Although the shows in the evening were quite popular, we never had an issue getting a seat, as long as we arrived by 9:00 or 9:05. Probably the one disappointment (versus our previous cruises) was the Cruise Director. To be fair, she had just come over to Viking from another line – but she came across as ditsy, unprofessional, unprepared, and not knowing anything (which certainly couldn’t be true or they wouldn’t have hired her). Just not our style I suppose. Another unexpected treat was the rotation of musical entertainment around different public spaces throughout the days – we had an excellent pianist, a Classical Trio, and a Guitar player (who, sadly, had his speakers on too loud though). They would play at different locations such as Explorer’s Lounge, Wintergarden, and the Attrium – particularly at cocktail hour and after dinner. We did not go to hear the bands in Torshavn, the ship’s night club, but people did say they enjoyed it. History, Lecture, and Enlightenment This is easily one of the best parts of the Viking Cruises. Each cruise we’ve had excelled here. Jupiter was outstanding! We had 4 or 5 guest lecturers and historians as well as an Astronomer. The depth and variety of these different lectures/presentations was amazing – we couldn’t attend each one in person, but they were always available on the Room TV shortly afterwards. True highlights! We thoroughly enjoyed Russell Lee, one of the lecturers, who was absolutely enthralling in his talks on Anne Frank, How Wool Changed early Europe, the Mona Lisa you didn’t know about, and the Tulips Bubble of 1600’s Holland. So interesting!! About the only aspect we didn’t care for that much were the port talks. They had such great promise. The issue to us is that they started out great with some good knowledge on the ports, but too little time was spent on that and it seemed that nearly two thirds of the time was then focused on selling/pushing the various tours/excursions. Since by the time you see it you are already pretty much committed in or out, what was the point? I did like however, the way they used the map graphics to show where everything was. Would have rather spent time in tips and how to see the ports or attractions, what the people are like, what to watch for and watch out for, and more things like that. Improvement needed here. Onboard the Jupiter We spent so much time in the Explorer’s Lounge (as we had done in prior cruises). On the 7th level, it has such a fantastic view, and a very small bar as well. It is adjacent to Mamsens so you can get something to eat there and carry it to the lounge are to look forward. Planetarium: The one big change we viewed as not so good: The Jupiter, as a newer ship, greatly changed the explorer’s Lounge. A Planetarium was constructed that takes over ½ of the 8th floor of the Explorer’s Lounge. This sounded good at first, but the execution is sadly lacking. You had to get tickets (at the excursion desk) to go in and they showed 3 different short films (not that good) on Astronomy and Science up on the Planetarium ceiling. A poor use of this huge dome. There are only 26 seats and you have to crane your neck to look upwards. Was not that interesting-or comfortable. So much more could have been done with this and perhaps Viking will figure it out and/or remove the Planetarium on future ships. Another fallout was that it made the Explorer’s Lounge much more crowded all the time, as most people had to jam into the 7th floor area. Not a good tradeoff in our opinion. I felt they could have used the Astronomer instead to give talks/discussions on the stars above. Again, loved the walking deck on level 2 – we used it most days we could for exercise. Only issue was there were plenty of signs telling everyone to walk clockwise, yet it seemed half the people ignored that, which caused some confusion. A nice addition from the earlier ships were additional tables and chairs on this deck at the fantail so you could watch the wake as we sailed. Amazingly, it was never busy as very few seemed interested in just taking it all in as we traveled on the seas. For us it was a perfect place to relax. The spa was another treat onboard. Only services like massages cost anything – the use of the spa area is free/included. Loved the “resistance” pool and hot tub. You can visit the snow room and then the dry sauna room. Even take a cold water dunking with a bucket! (The hot and cold Nordic routine!) But we most enjoyed lying on the heated “lounge” pads. If you wanted private space to sit and read, there were so many good nooks and crannies to curl up in! A treat not to be missed was the Viking Heritage “room” area on the 2nd level – with lots of interesting material (like a museum) on the Vikings. The wifi was excellent on the ship. A new policy that limits rooms to 2 active users at a time really has helped and certainly was not the inconvenience that many had thought would happen. Food and Restaurants: World Café: We did quite a bit of our eating here. It just fit out style so well. We liked the nice, quiet and relaxing atmosphere and ambience. There were never any lines, there were such great waiters to attend to you, and we never felt rushed. Plus the views on the 7th deck from there were the best! The food selection was great in our opinion and you could see what you were getting ahead of time so less wasted food. Absolutely enjoyed the sushi every evening – an outstanding sushi chef! You could also get some food made to order (such as steaks and other pasta, grilled shrimp, and more). Overall we thought the quality and variety of the food here was way better than we expected (and had been led to believe by many of the other reviewers who did not care for it). We liked that we could always find a table and usually always one with a nice view. We sort of got to “know” the World Café “regulars”!! We were always promptly served with drinks (wine in this case) from such a friendly staff. Since there was never any feeling of hurry or rush, we would go up and create an appetizer plate, relax, have a glass of wine, rehash the day and watch the view, and then meander back to get perhaps some hot plates…. Eventually the evening always led to: gelato! A real treat. Loved the new cooking station back by the Aquavit Terrace where you could order omelettes in the morning, pastas and other items in the lunch time, and a noodle bar in the evening. Not only did it improve the flow, but allow us to engage with the cooks! We enjoyed the Aquavit Terrace itself for sitting and having a drink or glass of wine before dinner – what a view! The tables surrounding it and extending out onto the fantail were perfect for enjoying outdoor dining when the weather was good. Chef’s Table: Now this was definitely something we could not experience at home! Our favorite place! So unique! We wound up going 4 times as they have rotating menus every several days and we wanted to experience them all. For us the atmosphere was perfect – a nice, relaxing, quieter environment, where the waiters take you through a multi-course special meal paired with various wines. Not only educational but excellent food. You actually had some time to converse with the staff! Despite comments by others, we felt we got plenty of food (and wine) and if for some reason you were still hungry you could always go to the World Café for more food. The Restaurant: We did not attend the main dining room this cruise although we went on our previous ones. As stated before, each cruise had a personality. On the Jupiter, for some reason, this was the most popular place and always had long lines to wait to get in. (It was wide open on our previous cruises). We also heard reports that it took a long time to get waited and served here. Mamsens: This small place near the Explorer’s Lounge has some interesting items. We had oatmeal and toast for breakfast once, had the many different open faced sandwiches for lunch (shrimp, roast beef, salmon), and then had their cakes in the afternoon quite often! Those were to die for, especially the almond one. The Viking CEO’s mother’s special recipe we heard. The Pool Grill: Located out by the pool, they served grilled food to order on a limited menu. The hamburgers were some of the best we have ever had. Our tried and true order, however, was the seared ahi tuna, cooked perfectly at medium rare for us! That, combined with the wonderful salads they have, made for a perfect lunch while sitting outside by the pool. On the Jupiter there are quite a larger number of tables and chairs to eat outside, compared with the earlier ships. A real treat was when the staff used the Pool Area to put on specialty meals – such as Italian night, or Seafood Grill, and in one instance on a sea day, a huge “brunch” was held with some amazing dishes and treats to choose from. My observation is that Viking is getting more creative in the presentation of various meals. Wintergarden: We had tea here just once, as it was absolutely packed every day for some reason. Wonderful scones and small sandwiches, and the choices of tea were amazing. However, for us, the cacohony and din in that room was too much to bear – couldn’t hear anyone talk!! Not a very relaxing atmosphere to have high tea!! Manfredi’s: We’d been to this place on the other cruises and went just once on the Jupiter. We actually cancelled our 2nd reservation. To us, this place was not special at all, although the food was acceptable. The environment was not our style – seemed more raucous, loud, boisterous like a large bistro with too many large parties that have had too much to drink. For us not that comfortable a place to eat. Also, it seemed short staffed and so we had to constantly wait for everything – and it took well over 2 ½ hours to get through the meal. The portions were so embarrassingly large and it seemed like such a waste of food – but perhaps they were targeting a certain audience who wants that size. However, it was indeed quite popular – especially with large groups. Yet it didn’t seem any different than so many restaurants in the USA back home – nothing special. But maybe familiarity to home is what people wanted. The Staff: We thought the staff and crew were again absolutely wonderful and beyond expectations each cruise. Not only was every single person helpful and professional, they managed to be friendly and engaging without going overboard. We used the excursion desk and customer service locations on the 1st level quite a bit and found them all quite helpful at getting answers to any questions we had. We enjoyed that even if they didn’t have the answer they were able to find someone who did. We did have some small issues during the cruise, but we also were able to get them addressed in a timely fashion. We enjoyed some of our discussions with the restaurant staff as well, and sort of got to know them, and vice versa. We liked that they were attentive (and noticing), but not overbearing or pushy, like some places. Our captain and the other officers were outstanding. They exuded a quiet confidence and trust. Much of this had to do with their communication to the passengers about things that were happening or going to happen – such as the weather precautions, changing of ports, or arrival/departure times, and what to expect. We never felt in the dark and very much appreciated the good communication. ITINERARY/PORTS/EXCURSIONS: Barcelona: we arrived a few days early. I would very much recommend “Barcelona Day Tours”. We took a private tour to Montserrat that also included Barcelona and Park Guell. Well worth it. The next day we did a Free Walking Tour of Barcelona – again quite outstanding! Good thing we did since the Jupiter wound up having to change ports the evening that we boarded (we learned this about 2 weeks before sailing). At first we were disappointed, but the added port (Tarragona) was well worth it. Tarragona: This lesser known port about 30-40 miles south of Barcelona was a real hit! We walked all around town and the ship provided free shuttle buses to and from the port. Famous for its Roman Ruins – plus it was quite uncrowded. An unexpected treat. Will be interesting to see if this becomes the norm with Barcelona forcing ships to leave early. Cartagena: One of the more disappointing tours. We did the included tour. It is luck of the draw on who you get for a guide, as we spoke to friends who were on other buses who had fantastic tours! Very inconsistent. Our guide had a difficult time with English and didn’t go much beyond what was necessary. A highlight though was the visit to the Roman Amphitheatre and Museum. Just wish we had more time there. We enjoyed then wandering around the city streets on our own, finding a nice shop to get some Spanish wine to bring onboard. The Jupiter docked right in town -easy walking distance. Malaga (Granada): We were unable to get the optional excursion to the Alhambra, even with a DV2 room, as it instantly sold out. Apparently the Alhambra only makes a limited amount of tickets available per day. We tried private tours but they were mostly sold out and one wanted over $500 pp. Sort of a blessing in disguise, as we had 2 outstanding tours in Malaga. We took the optional Nerja Caves tour in the morning. What a surprise – an exceptional trip to visit the Caves underground – very unique. Note: no one with mobility issues should do this. After quite an amazing walk down through the caves, we spent time in the city of Nerja – what a wonderful place on the Mediterranean! Would highly recommend this tour. In the afternoon we did the included tour, which was surprisingly good and well worthwhile-another good guide. Saw quite a bit of Malaga – first via a short drive around town, and then a good amount of walking all throughout the city. Again, the new terminal port is located right near town so it was easy to walk all around everywhere. Although disappointed in not going to the Alhambra, we were quite delighted with how our day turned out. Porto: We took the included tour of the city – very good guide. It is definitely a very gritty city but seemed quite real with very interesting people. The tour gave us a chance to do a lot of walking throughout the city, seeing some amazing sights, finishing down by the Douro River, where we had some free time to walk on our own. Just wish we had more time in Porto. It really grew on us! We did see the Viking River Boat on the Douro River – perhaps that might be in our future. Falmouth (Cornwall): The weather was not so good, so we cancelled our St Michaels Mount Optional tour and did the included Cornwall drive tour instead. Turned out to be a good decision. We had an outstanding guide who told us all so many great stories about Cornwall as we meandered through the countryside. One of the real highlights was stopping at the parking lot next to the ocean and having time to walk out to the causeway that goes to St Michaels Mount – that was an experience in itself! We were back on the ship for lunch and then spent the afternoon walking all around Falmouth. The ship docks right in the harbor – easy walking distance to town. We must have done perhaps 5-7 miles and it was just a wonderful, sometimes, gritty fishing village to wander around. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Portsmouth: We were fortunate to have some wonderfully clear sunny weather entering into Portsmouth harbor, although quite cold in the low 40’s (F). Glad we got up to see us come into Portsmouth – a beautiful sight to behold! You could see the famous Portsmouth Spinnaker Tower for miles! We had been before to most of the places on the optional tours (Stonehenge, Salisbury, London, Winchester) and so decided to just take the included tour. We heard from those who went to Stonehenge that they had a fabulous time. Our tour was also quite good as we had an outstanding guide (again). We got to see all around Portsmouth area, stopping at several places and getting a real feel for the area. After lunch we decided to explore on our own. The port has a free shuttle to the museums and ships. The terminal area is quite a bit under security and it takes a decent time to get in and out and to the ship. However, we took the bus down to the D-Day museum, which I wanted to see particularly given that the 75th anniversary celebrations were going to occur in a few weeks. This museum did not disappoint. Absolutely amazing place. We wound up spending much more time here than intended and didn’t get to go to the ships, but it was well worth it. We met at the museum a 95 year old British vet of D-Day and spoke with him for an hour. A true highlight and memory. LeHavre, France: It was raining when we arrived. We had booked 2 optional tours, scheduled to take up the whole day – Honfleur in the morning and Rouen in the afternoon/evening. However, a day or two earlier, we were notified that the Yellow Vests were planning a large demonstration later in the day in Rouen, and the French authorities recommended that tour groups leave before that, just to be safe. So we had to choose between Rouen and Honfleur and chose Rouen. I’m sure Honfleur was great, but our Rouen optional tour was exceptional. We had an excellent guide who made the ride to Rouen very interesting by telling us the history. This tour was an all walking tour – and quite a distance – not recommended for anyone with mobility issues. But that is why we liked it. We must have walked around nearly all of old Rouen over cobblestone streets, in alleys, and into all kinds of cathedrals and historic sites. I would very much recommend this tour. Despite the on and off rain, we loved Rouen and will have to come back. Bruges Thank goodness we had already visited Bruges for 3 days a few years ago. Unfortunately our luck ran out. We had purchased the optional Bruges Walking Tour and this was likely the worst excursion we have ever had on a Viking Cruise. The city was again magnificent – albeit very cold, windy, but sunny. Our guide was simply – incompetent. I knew we were in trouble when he was reading and searching from his many pages of notes. He really didn’t convey much of anything. We would have been better to go into town on our own again. We spoke to others on the tour who had different buses and guides – they had such a good time – so again, luck of the draw. I sort of expect that with included tours, but was quite disappointed with having to pay $59 each for this one – as were others on our bus. Win some lose some though. Go with the flow. Amsterdam: After Bruges, the gods must have taken pity on us. We didn’t have the best weather, but that’s about the only negative on our visit to this wonderful city. We’d been here many times before and it is likely our favorite European city. We had thought of just exploring it ourselves and/or doing an optional tour outside town, but the weather was bad. We decided to take the included Canal Cruise – and we were certainly glad we did. We had probably the best guide of our whole trip. He was from Amsterdam and made cruise so interesting and entertaining. Such wonderful stories and delivered with humor and audience interaction. We were all sad when the 2 hour ride ended. After lunch on the ship, we head back out on our own and walked 8-10 miles all around Amsterdam, revisiting all of our favorite places. The ship docked so close (10 minute walk) to Amsterdam Centraal Train Station! The vibe of Amsterdam, with its wonderful people, bikes traveling everywhere, the amazing shops, cheese tastings, and historical sights – was again a highlight for us. We did hear that Amsterdam is seriously considering curbing tourism as it has gotten to popular a place to visit. We’ll have to see how that all transpires. (Venice and Bruges are also considering the same thing) Kiel Canal: And now for the true unexpected highlight of the cruise. And we never left the ship. Sailing through the famous Kiel Canal in northern Germany was amazing. The shores are just so close and people on the banks would wave and shout to us as we glided, seemingly effortlessly, past small towns & container ships, bridges, roads, countryside, and more. The weather turned nice and we got to see the late sunset off the canal at nearly 10 PM, watching small pairs of swans gliding by…. Simply breathtaking! Copenhagen: We’d been here before with the Viking Sky and had taken the Included walking tour. It had been quite good and gave us lots of exercise last year – but we wanted to do something different this time. Given that we planned to spend a couple more nights here after leaving the ship, we decided to venture out. As such, we did not take any Viking tours in Copenhagen, although if we had, we would have done the Rothskilde Cathdral and Viking Ship tour. We wound up taking the free Viking shuttle bus from Langelinie pier (the close pier near the Mermaid) into town, near Nyhavn Harbor. Spent the afternoon at Tivoli Gardens-an easy walk. Then took one of the Canal Cruises – the weather turned cold windy and bitter but it was still a fascinating cruise. I believe Viking optional tours has it – and it would be well worth it to be sure. That evening (our last on the ship), the Copenhagen Harbor made the Jupiter change ports to the farther out Oceankaj pier. This was because the closer pier is normally used only for ships that do not disembark/embark or stay the night. So another couple mile quick cruise. On disembarking at the end of the cruise the next day, we then took the bus from Oceankaj into town and to our hotel. Must say that Viking handled the disembarkation quite smoothly and efficiently. Post Cruise: I highly recommend that if you have not seen Copenhagen, that you stay longer. We used our extra days to 1) take some free city walking tours and walking around our own on day 1 and 2) Take an all-day sightseeing tour outside Copenhagen to see Rothskilde Cathedral, the Viking Ship Museum, Fredericksborg Castle, and Kronberg Castle. Hamlet Tours: one of the better private tours we’ve ever done. There were several other passengers from the Jupiter on this small private van tour. In summary – a wonderful time, not without some hiccups, but upon reflection, all better than expected. As stated earlier, each cruise we’ve been on has had a very different feel and personality, based on the passengers who happened to be on board, the ports, and the weather. The real consistency has been the Viking crews and service – outstanding! We will be booking future cruises on Viking. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I wanted a cruise that covered several countries over a two week period. I had never been on Viking before but the size of the ship attracted me at first. We were more than pleased with every aspect if this cruise. What stood out most ... Read More
I wanted a cruise that covered several countries over a two week period. I had never been on Viking before but the size of the ship attracted me at first. We were more than pleased with every aspect if this cruise. What stood out most was the organization of every aspect, there was always a Viking person available to guide or answer questions. Our penthouse veranda cabin was lovely, we enjoyed the balcony especially. What really took us by surprise was the on board lecturers every day. Each of them was absolute an expert with a charming personality. We even were invited to join one for diner! The food and restaurant options were perfect. The most pleasant aspect of the journey was that Viking wasn't trying to sell me anything constantly! No fancy restaurants, drinks, wi-fi, casino or art and diamond auctions! Nor was anyone taking my picture every place I turned. Viking is truly a class act. It's a cruise made for adults who want an educated and sophisticated vacation. We have booked three more cruises as a result on Viking ! The ship was kept spotless and cleanliness was a strict rule everywhere. We liked the entertainment nightly as well. The only criticism was that our cruise director was new to Viking. She had come from another line after having a off-Broadway chorus career. She honestly didnt fit the Viking mold at all and was far more suited to a Celebrity cruise. She even performed a one woman show which was really not in the best of taste or appropriate for the audience. I hope she either improves or moves on to a mass market cruise line before we return in December. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This is our second Viking ocean cruise and we have already booked our third! The ship is luxuriously appointed with comfortable seating everywhere. There is a choice of dining venues from the informal World Cafe to the Chef's ... Read More
This is our second Viking ocean cruise and we have already booked our third! The ship is luxuriously appointed with comfortable seating everywhere. There is a choice of dining venues from the informal World Cafe to the Chef's Table. Food is outstanding at each and every venue. The onboard "enrichment" (lectures, talks, films etc.) were all most interesting and enjoyable, with some outstandingly good speakers. The expeditions were also excellent, well planned and interesting. They even provide a 'shuttle bus' service for passengers wishing to arrange their own excursions. The exercise and spa facilities are just the best ever. The sauna, steam room, snow cabin, swimming pools and other installations are But the thing that really makes Viking the BEST is the staff. Every member of the ship's crew and staff wants to make their guests as happy and comfortable as possible. Any small problems that may arise are dealt with promptly and courteously. Viking are not the cheapest, but they are undoubtedly the best value for money. I'm counting the weeks until our next Viking cruise! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
A friend asked me to join her on a trip to Europe because her husband did not want to go. I suggested a Viking cruise because I had heard about Viking from another friend and had wanted to try one. I wanted Viking because of its ... Read More
A friend asked me to join her on a trip to Europe because her husband did not want to go. I suggested a Viking cruise because I had heard about Viking from another friend and had wanted to try one. I wanted Viking because of its educational experiences. We chose this particular cruise to get a good flavor of several countries in a short time since she may not get another chance to visit Europe. I had studied in Nice, France in college and was eager to re-visit. We started in Barcelona and ended in Rome, taking the two-day extension. (Side note: we used Rome in Limo as our tour service since Viking did not provide excursions on the extension. We were THRILLED with Rome in Limo!). We took advantage of the included tour of Barcelona so we got an overview in order to decide if we wanted to explore more. We were fairly tired from the long flight over so we explored the ship and spa that first evening (I loved the snow grotto!). Our cabin was on the Deck 4 port side. Honestly for this cruise, getting the port side is not critical. Only Monte Carlo had a scenic view at the harbor. The other ports were...well, ports. Very industrial. So no worries if you are starboard. Embarkation and disembarkation could not have gone more smoothly, and all our transfers were wonderfully handled. We were particularly appreciative of that being two women travelling on our own. It was nice not to have to manage logistics. The ship was spacious with plenty of fun places to relax or engage with others. We loved hanging out at the bar in the evenings, talking to our bartenders and meeting other travelers to share our experiences. The entertainment was tasteful and geared to an older adult audience which comprised most of the ships' passengers. I loved the observatory! It had great shows as well as informative lectures. I did not see any children on our cruise but a few passengers perhaps college-aged travelling with family and there were a few young couples travelling without their children for anniversaries, etc., but most of the passengers were over 50. The excursions were wonderful. We sometimes used the included excursion which usually comprised a bus tour overview of the city with a few stops to see sites and included a local, knowledgeable guide. In Marseilles we had booked our own private tour but used Viking's excursions for the others. Because we were next-to-last in booking priority based on our cabin category, we were worried about getting the excursions we wanted but we did not have any problem (although we did book the very first day we were able to!). We changed our mind on one excursion half way through the trip and made a change which was not our first choice but that was understandable. Our favorite excursion was A Day in Tuscany. The bus ride out was informative and scenic, our guide giving entertaining stories and information about the history, geography, farming, art and sites. We toured San Gimingnano, an ancient walled city and had plenty of time to explore it on our own and shop after the guide showed us the highlights and explained the meaning behind the towers and layout of the town. Then we went to a farm for a lunch. Most of the food was raised and prepared at the farm--charcuterie, cheeses, olives and yes, WINE! It was lovely and we sat at large, family-style tables so we had great conversation with fellow passengers. The proprietor gave us a tour of his winery. We found the descriptions of the excursions accurate but we did overhear a few passengers complaining about the exertion level being too much walking for them. I found their descriptions spot on, so pay attention if you don't like walking a lot. I have booked another Viking cruise (a river cruise) with my husband and we are looking forward to it. I highly recommend Viking. It is first class and a great value for the money. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We wanted to try the cruise ship and visit Rome. We were disappointed that we had to walk so far to get on the buses for the excursions. The excursions were ok, but not nearly as good as the river boats were. In fact, I can only remember ... Read More
We wanted to try the cruise ship and visit Rome. We were disappointed that we had to walk so far to get on the buses for the excursions. The excursions were ok, but not nearly as good as the river boats were. In fact, I can only remember a couple, so I guess they weren't too memorable. We stayed in Rome for a couple of days and were really disappointed in the Viking employees who were in charge. On other river cruises where we had pre/post cruise experiences, we were given opportunities for walking tours and also help in going to local tourist sights. We had to do everything on our own, and would have truly appreciated more help in this area. Needless to say, we are doubtful as to whether we will go on another cruise ship adventure. We truly love Viking, but will probably stick with the river cruises. In fact, we have one booked for March (our 5th Viking trip.. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My daughter and I really wanted to see this part of the Mediterranean. It was totally awe inspiring! A trip of a lifetime! Everything was spectacular and very well planned. The excursions were really good too. The tour guides were ... Read More
My daughter and I really wanted to see this part of the Mediterranean. It was totally awe inspiring! A trip of a lifetime! Everything was spectacular and very well planned. The excursions were really good too. The tour guides were delightful and enjoyed sharing their information and city of tour. Getting on and off the ship was very easy and efficient. Cabins are well stocked and so comfortable. Food was wonderful. Really so nice that everything is included. They make every part of the excursion wonderful and easy. We have been on other cruise lines which have been wonderful too but Viking is top of the line 5 stars all the way. We stayed an extra two days in Italy and that was so good too! Again, they do everything they can to make transitioning off the ship to the hotel easy and delightful, and, to get safely and timely to the airport for travel home. It was well worth the extra charges to stay longer to explore more of the area and know they would select excellent accommodations.. Highly recommend Viking Cruises and look forward to another one soon. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We wanted to cover a lot of territory efficiently and this cruise did that with 3 countries and 6 cities. The excursions were very well done and we enjoyed on board lectures as well as great service. The decor is in good taste and the ... Read More
We wanted to cover a lot of territory efficiently and this cruise did that with 3 countries and 6 cities. The excursions were very well done and we enjoyed on board lectures as well as great service. The decor is in good taste and the food selections were varied and of high quality. We also enjoyed meeting other passengers with similar interests. I also appreciated the efficiency of embarkation and disembarkation. There were no long lines and the staff seemed genuinely concerned about the passengers. Every conceivable amenity was provided such as hot towels upon return from an excursion. We enjoyed the cultural lectures each day before the particular ports. I also liked the credentials of the presenters such as an Art Historian from the University of Chicago. The excursions offered lots of choice which was helpful given people's varied prior experience in these cities. Overall, an excellent experience and I look forward to our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Viking Jupiter Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.9
Dining 5.0 4.7
Entertainment 4.5 4.2
Public Rooms 5.0 4.9
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.5
Family N/A 4.5
Shore Excursion 4.5 4.2
Enrichment 5.0 4.5
Service 5.0 4.9
Value For Money 5.0 4.5

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