4 Viking Ocean Viking Star Cruise Reviews for First-Time Cruisers Cruises to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean from Istanbul

Having conducted 2 Viking River Cruises we were looking forward to our first Ocean Cruise of any sort and were not disappointed. Initially concerned when we read reviews of the early cruises any problems had been sorted by the time our ... Read More
Having conducted 2 Viking River Cruises we were looking forward to our first Ocean Cruise of any sort and were not disappointed. Initially concerned when we read reviews of the early cruises any problems had been sorted by the time our cruise took place. Staff were friendly and approachable; food was excellent and so much choice; tours were well planned and ran smoothly with disembarkation and embarkation, even by boat, well timed and executed as long as people turned up at the times specified and did not try to go on tours earlier than they were supposed to! The only downside about the tours is that if you choose to go on one of the paid tours you receive no compensation for the included tour you did not take and this can work out expensive. That said the included tours were generally fine for getting a feel for the places visited and are similar in style to those included in River Cruise tours. Cabins are a good size and the veranda is lovely even in the autumn weather. Bathroom a good size and storage is good. Public areas have enough seating and the 3 pools and SPA are just great. Despite autumn we ate breakfast and lunch outside every day (though some found it cold) and had no problem dining in the evening at the times we wanted. Unlike river cruise you eat at a time that is good for you and can eat as a couple or join in with others if you wish. Embarkation was well handled though it was frustrating at Istanbul airport where porters insisted on taking luggage to the waiting coaches where it would have been quicker for those who were able to take their own. Unfortunately this is the only cruise where you do not arrive in the disembarkation port the day before so we did not have a day in Venice (we knew this so visited Venice separately earlier in the year). I believe all other cruises have a day in port either end. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our first cruise and we are looking forward to another with Viking. The size of the ship was perfect, very well run by all crew personnel in all areas of the ship. While we don't have another to compare with, I can honestly ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we are looking forward to another with Viking. The size of the ship was perfect, very well run by all crew personnel in all areas of the ship. While we don't have another to compare with, I can honestly say "why bother". It was exactly what we wanted as far as a cruise experience. It's topnotch in our view, the layout of all areas were were so well designed, it made it feel even larger than it was. The crew members were extremely efficient and polite. We loved that the dining areas provided different ambiance and all were very satisfying to our palate. We thought the excursions were very good, but perhaps needed more detail on some of them as to the demand of areas for walking, etc. We had no problems, but did help some who were having difficulty getting around. The cruise and tour directors provided exceptionally detailed information regarding the ports being visited. It was especially nice to be able to review those presentations on the TV in your room. A nice surprise was the beauty of the walled cities and harbors of Kotor and Dubrovnik. This is definitely a cruise to be taken by everyone - for the beauty and history of the sites. Finally, we loved the 'all-inclusive' aspect of the cruise. Made it so simple, yet relaxing (and no formal requirement). Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our first cruise so I do not have a comparison. However it met or exceeded all my expectations. Our cabin was well appointed with adequate storage space. The bed and chairs were very comfortable. We had access to laundry ... Read More
This was our first cruise so I do not have a comparison. However it met or exceeded all my expectations. Our cabin was well appointed with adequate storage space. The bed and chairs were very comfortable. We had access to laundry equipment which we used as we were traveling after the cruise. Our attendant, Arya was very thorough in keeping our cabin clean and well stocked. In fact we were impressed with the quality of service we received in every area. The restaurant managers, waiters, and wait staff were very friendly and attentive. All the members of the staff were helpful, courteous and accommodating. We were very impressed with the food in the World Cafe. We actually enjoyed it more than the specialty restaurants. In fact one meal at Manfredi's was unappetizing and the fish at the The Restaurant was flavorless. But otherwise the food was very good with a wide variety and some dishes were made to order. We thought the excursions were excellent with the exception of the Underground Cisterns. Although the Cisterns were unique and interesting , we only spent 30 minutes there and the rest of the tour was just wasting time. I did not think it was worth the money. The others were great. The Complimentary ones were as good as the optional. Loved Kotor and Dubrovnic. All the guides were wonderful. We were disappointed we missed Pula. We did not take advantage of visiting Venice at 5:00 pm as a replacement of Pula as we were going to stay two night after disembarking. We had made our own arrangements prior to the Cruise in Istanbul and in Venice. In Istanbul, we stayed for two nights in the old City at the Seven Hill Hotel. It is small older boutique hotel with a fabulous rooftop restaurant. We stayed at a Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel that was charming. The Cruise was an experience of a life time and we would definitely consider another Viking Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I rated this cruise as Very Good only because we had no other cruise to rate it against. The Viking Star was great. Our cabin was surprising in how spacious and comfortable it was. Embarkation and disembarkation was very ... Read More
I rated this cruise as Very Good only because we had no other cruise to rate it against. The Viking Star was great. Our cabin was surprising in how spacious and comfortable it was. Embarkation and disembarkation was very painless. The Staff were all very friendly & obliging. The service was very good, nothing was too much trouble and any little "wrinkles" were ironed out very quickly. The food onboard had only problem - it was so good you just wanted to eat more. The entertainment on board was varied, interesting and enjoyable. We only went on the included shore excursions and found them to be very informative with good and knowledgeable tour guides. Leaving the ship each day for our excursion was easy, very organised and well managed by the staff. As I said we are only novice cruisers and apart from a short Alaskan cruise and a river cruise (with a different Company) this was our first big cruise and we loved it. We loved it so much we are planning our next cruise as at this time. We would like Viking to cruise down the west coast of America, through the Panama Canal up to New York. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Viking Star Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.8
Dining 5.0 4.7
Entertainment 3.0 4.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.3
Family 1.0 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.2
Enrichment 4.0 4.3
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 5.0 4.4

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