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14 Night Transatlantic Cruise from Lisbon

14 Night Transatlantic Cruise from Lisbon

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Viking Sky
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    Lisbon
  • Day 2
    Lisbon
  • Day 3
    Cruising
  • Day 4
    Cruising
  • Day 5
    Ponta Delgada
  • Day 6
    Praia da Vitoria
  • Day 7
    Cruising
  • Day 8
    Cruising
  • Day 9
    Cruising
  • Day 10
    Cruising
  • Day 11
    Hamilton
  • Day 12
    Hamilton
  • Day 13
    Cruising
  • Day 14
    Cruising
  • Day 15
    Miami

Viking Sky

Viking Sky - Viking Ocean Cruises

Pros

Inclusive ship that visits unique destinations

Cons

Ship lacks big-ticket nightly entertainment

Bottom Line

A beautiful ship that offers exceptional dining and spacious cabins


Cruise Reviews

We chose this trip because of the opportunity to experience the Panama Canal. It was the highlight of the trip. This review will concentrate on the excursions - mostly because I found few reviews on Cruise Critic about this itinerary ... Read More
We chose this trip because of the opportunity to experience the Panama Canal. It was the highlight of the trip. This review will concentrate on the excursions - mostly because I found few reviews on Cruise Critic about this itinerary before I took it. The staff and service were excellent. The comments are about my personal reactions to the excursions. In general, the quality was high, but I enjoyed some more than others (as reflected in the reviews) since personal taste varies. Note. The Port Talks done on the ship the afternoon prior to each new stop were excellent. They described each of the excursions and gave a lot of details about the difficulty of walking or entering the vehicles (e.g, bus, boat, train etc). We used the Port Talks to make decisions to change our reservations several times due to physical limitations, and the tour desk was able to do so even though we were doing so after the deadline to make changes. I am very thankful for their attention to our needs. Feb 22 Key West. We took the included Trolley Hop-on/Hop-off tour. (They didn’t tell us in advance it was hop-on/off.) The narration was fun. We hopped off at the stop near the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, paid the entrance fee, and greatly enjoyed the experience. I also walked a couple blocks to the spot designated as the most southern point in continental US from that trolley stop. After the butterflies, we took the trolley back to the ship for lunch. In the afternoon, I walked to the Truman Winter White House and took the hour-long tour. This was my favorite activity in Key West (I had investigated doing it on-line during my planning for the trip). I also had time for some shopping before returning to the ship. The ship was well located to allow passengers to explore the shopping and several major sites. (I was not interested in visiting Hemingway's house, but others easily did so.) My sister had planned to go on the optional glass-bottomed boat ride for that afternoon, but Viking cancelled that tour the previous evening (announcing that sea-conditions would not allow it). Feb 24 Cozumel. I took the included tour to the pre-Columbian Mayan site at San Gervasio. They split us into smaller groups to tour the ruins and learn about the history of the site. The guide did a good job on the lengthy bus ride to talk about what we were going to see and to answer general questions about life in Mexico. I don’t have much experience with Mayan ruins (except for their calendar system that made them such great astronomers), so this was essentially new for me. Feb 25 Belize. The included tour started by going ashore by tender, then a drive through the city that pointed out colonial-era buildings, and then a longer ride to the ruins of Altun Ha. There were quite a few buildings (one of which the group was invited to climb). They divided the 39 people on the bus into smaller groups with individual guides. It was a sunny day, and the bottles of water that Viking provided as we departed the ship were much appreciated since we spent over an hour walking around the ruins for the tour on a hot day. Again, the guide on the bus did a nice job of describing the town and the site, and answering questions about life in Belize. Feb 26 Roatan. We had planned to do the included tour for this day, but a few days before the cruise Viking announced that they were cancelling several tours and turning two optional ones into included tours. My sister changed to the tour that went to the rum and chocolate place, and I changed to the Gumbalimba Park excursion. This was one of my favorite excursions of the entire trip. There were lots of parrots, some macaws, resident monkeys that you could hold (who wanted to steal your earrings or buttons), and at least one sloth. They advertised a “rope” bridge to cross a pond, but it actually had wooden slats and sturdy metal “ropes”; it was a bit wobbly, but I felt quite safe. The park was quite lovely, although the walking paths were a bit rough sometimes. Again, the water bottle was appreciated. (For the monkey area, you had to remove your hat and store the bottle so that the monkeys wouldn’t steal them.) Feb 28. Costa Rica. We had signed up for two tours, the included one and the optional boat and train excursion. Viking had a letter waiting in our stateroom when we first boarded letting us know that the boat part for both tours was identical, and we might consider changing our reservations. We ended up discarding the optional boat and train excursion to do one called “All Terrain Vehicle Ride and Rain Forest Trek”. The monster bus had air conditioning and comfortable seats, and took us up to the mountains near the Banano River. It promised to lead us on foot into the rain forest, but we never actually left the roadway. I saw one tiny poisonous dart frog, and heard some birds, but there wasn’t much wild-life. The driver and the guide had built this bus themselves, and their explanation of how they did it was interesting. They had a nice “picnic” of fruit and snacks, a stop near a banana plantation where we learned a bit about how bananas are grown and harvested, and a scenic drive back to the ship along the coast. After lunch on the ship, we took the included tour that took us by bus to the Tortuguero National Park. The canal boat had a very talented guide that found various sorts of wildlife, such as howler monkeys and crocodiles. Although the description implied we would go into “heart of it all”, we were never out of view of the dock or manmade structures; that is, we didn’t go very far along the waterway/canal, and certainly never got to the point where the canals were “overgrown with jungle”. I found it a fun experience and enjoyed it more than the morning trek on the monster bus, but wished we had had a chance to go further along the canal. Again, the guide on the bus did a nice job of talking about Costa Rica. In spite of its limitations, this was one of my favorite excursions. Feb 29 The Panama Canal. Very cool experience for the ship to enter the canal, spend the day on the lake, and exit in late afternoon. The highlight of the entire trip. March 1 Panama. We did the included tour by bus to Panama City from our docked location in Colon, Panama. The guide pointed out important sites related to the canal and its administration before dropping most of us off near Casco Viejo (Old Town). Several passengers stayed on the bus rather than take the hour-long walk. We were able to enter the church and see the interior. Most of the shops were closed since it was Sunday morning. The guide pointed out some important historic buildings as we walked along cobblestoned streets, and then returned to the bus. The bus took a different set of roads back to Colon, including one through the national park where the jungle was thick. Again the guide was happy to answer questions beyond his prepared talk. March 3 Jamaica. Again we had booked two tours, one included and one optional. But after hearing the Port Talk on March 2, we cancelled the optional one we had planned (the 4X4 safari ride). We took the included trip to Rose Hall Great House, a restored Georgian mansion from the British colonial period. The tour guide spent a lot of time talking about the residents of the house and their evil actions and deaths. There were three flights of steps to enter the house, another three flights to go upstairs, and two flights to go to the basement. Some passengers skipped all the walking tour of the house. There was a shop at the house (15 minutes), and a stop at a shopping center near the house (30 minutes) before returning to the ship at Montego Bay. I really didn’t feel that we had much of an introduction to life in Jamaica or its history. For all locations, there was at least one included (no extra fee) excursion and several optional (various fees) available. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We had originally booked this as a Cuba cruise (until Trump put and end to that) but decided to stick with the booking after Viking offered some decent incentives. I love cruising having previously sailed with (Oceania x 2, Norwegian x 2, ... Read More
We had originally booked this as a Cuba cruise (until Trump put and end to that) but decided to stick with the booking after Viking offered some decent incentives. I love cruising having previously sailed with (Oceania x 2, Norwegian x 2, Celebrity x 2, Disney, Holland America, and Princess). We have sailed everything from the 4,000 passenger Norwegian Bliss to the 650 passenger Oceania Nautica, and I was excited to try a new cruise line with ships that sounded upscale and relaxed. The ship did feel upscale, and to say it was relaxed is a major understatement (more later). Unfortunately, there were some significant disappointments for us most specifically concerning the food and service in the restaurants, the entertainment, as well as the extremely older age demographic. We are in our early 40s and were easily the youngest on the ship. Average age was probably 75, with most guests between 60 and 90. We knew we would be among the youngest, but this was still a shock to us, as the age of our fellow guests was quite a bit older than other ships we have sailed on (like Oceania and Holland America) that attract an older crowd. It honestly felt like we were sailing in a very nice retirement home. That said, they were generally a very friendly, well educated and respectful crowd. Positives: 1)The ship is every bit as beautiful as photos and videos online depict. There are a multitude of quiet places to escape where you may have an entire area to yourself. We spent lots of time in the Explorer's Lounge and also on the top deck of the ship where there are comfortable outdoor sofas with unbeatable views. The aft infinity pool area was also a highlight. 2)The spa was very upscale and beautifully done. We love nordic bathing (hot and cold alternating) and while the cold aspects could have been colder, it was nonetheless a highlight. Be sure to go in off peak hours though (like 6pm-8pm) as it can be VERY noisy (I think the older age demo means lots of shouting conversations in order to be heard). 3)Relaxation. Due to combination of lack of children, very few overhead announcements, no up-selling, and the fact you only need to provide your cabin number when ordering drinks, this was the most relaxed cruise experience we have ever encountered. 4) Service (not including restaurants). Most crew were very friendly and provided great service. 5) Mamsen's. We fell in love with the fresh waffles. Definitely the culinary highlight aboard (gelato a close second). 6) The wine list we found to be pretty good compared to other cruises we have taken. 7) Cabins. We had a Deluxe Veranda and it was one of our favourite cabins that we have ever stayed in. Negatives: 1) Restaurant experience. We didn't care for the decor in any of the restaurants, finding them to be very beige and bland overall, especially the two alternate dining venues. Worse, the food varied from decent to pretty terrible. The much raved about Manfredi's was particularly bad. We had to send the soup back as it was inedible and the pasta was overcooked and sitting in a soupy sauce. I think if you get the Ribeye steak its probably pretty good (from what we heard) but we don't eat red meat. There is also a lack of vegetarian options (maybe 3 things each night on the menu). Worst maybe of all, whenever we were asked how the food was, if we didn't say that it was amazing the staff seemed offended and became defensive. They typically wouldn't even offer to remake it or to serve something else. I would say the food is about on par with what we have had in main dining venues on Norwegian or Holland America, but nowhere close to the food served on Oceania, nor in some other lines specialty restaurants. Perhaps this is due to the palates of the older crowd on board being salt averse. Most passengers seemed to really like the food, except for those people we spoke to under 60 who shared our opinion. We definitely had higher expectations. 2) Entertainment. Now we really didn't expect much from entertainment, knowing this is a small ship and its not know for big production shows. The big shows were actually fine, but the music otherwise varied from excellent (Viking Band) to the worst we have ever heard on a cruise ship (Viking classical duo). We really thought there would be top-notch ambient live music on board but sadly there was not. I should mention though that while it was the only late-night venue, Torshavn was quite a bit of fun and the Viking Band was excellent. The pool deck "Dancing Under the Stars" party was also quite well done. Sadly "Movies Under the Stars" was presented with the pool roof closed which really missed the point (and it wasn't raining). 3) Welcome aboard. Check in was quick and efficient but when we walked on board the ship we weren't greeted at all and had to ask the staff who were chatting with each other for a glass of the prosecco that was sitting adjacent to them on the table. Where was the warm "welcome aboard!"? The ship also departed port a couple of hours late, with no explanation, making the "sail-away" party fairly awkward as the ship remained tied to the dock throughout. 4) Cocktails. We had the silver spirits package which for us provided good value. We enjoy classic cocktails (Manhattan, Gimlet, Negroni etc) and found the quality on the ship varied massively with the bartender. We had to leave multiple Gimlets untouched because they were so terrible, yet the next day might have a perfectly good one. Overall though probably some of the worst cocktails we have been served on a cruise ship. OVERALL: We enjoyed the relaxation offered by the Viking experience, but considering the cost of the cruise, the lack of above average food and entertainment, and often poor service, we don't think it was worth the price. We may consider Viking again in the future, but we will wait about another 30 years or so before booking so that we fit in a little better with the other guests. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Over the past 35 years my wife and I have been on over 25 ocean cruises. We had sailed with 4 other cruise lines, but this is the first Viking Ocean Cruise. We chose Viking as they have a ship with a great deal fewer passengers. Not ... Read More
Over the past 35 years my wife and I have been on over 25 ocean cruises. We had sailed with 4 other cruise lines, but this is the first Viking Ocean Cruise. We chose Viking as they have a ship with a great deal fewer passengers. Not that my wife and I have anything against being with a large group of people, but we were looking for a less busy, noisy cruise and we thought with less passengers that is what we would get. One of the reasons we enjoy cruising is because we love meeting folks. I must admit: YOU MEET THE NICEST PEOPLE ON A VIKING OCEAN CRUISE!!! The people we met were people that we would want to met again and even spend more time with outside of the cruise. To begin; as soon as we walked on board the Viking Sky we knew we had made a good decision. The decor was relaxing yet very up scale. The entire ship made you feel very comfortable yet special as well. We felt this way the entire cruise. The cuisine was some of the finest, it was available at each meal, and it was available not only in the Main Dinning space, and specialty restaurants but at the buffet as well. The food was not only great, but the service was excellent as well. If you have not sailed on Viking I would strongly urge you to BOOK IT now and you will not regret it!! What really sold me was that we often saw the various ships officers including the ships captain eating beside us. In addition when you sail on Viking they include an excursion, usually at each port. My wife and I took those offered and enjoyed each one. The guides who lead the tours were very informative. Last, but certainly not least is the ships crew: One of the best my wife and I have experienced on any cruise previously. I even got to speak with the head chef as well as the ships captain when they were moving about the ship. All the crew, from the cabin stewards to the captain were open and friendly as well as doing an excellent job! Bottom line: We will make Viking our number one choice when it comes time to explore the world from a ship. We are seriously looking at the Viking River Cruises as well as from most of the passengers we did meet most had also been on a river cruise and were very positive on how we would enjoy them as well! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
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