21 Istanbul to Mediterranean Viking Ocean Viking Star Cruise Reviews

This was our first 'ocean' cruise. We had avoided cruises because of the size of the ships and the impression we had of people being herded. The Viking Star was a great size - only about 800 people on our cruise. We began with ... Read More
This was our first 'ocean' cruise. We had avoided cruises because of the size of the ships and the impression we had of people being herded. The Viking Star was a great size - only about 800 people on our cruise. We began with the pre-cruise extension to Gallipoli and Troy. First class accommodations and an excellent guide. We were unable to go back to Istanbul. Viking had made the wise decision not to have guests go into Istanbul as it was only a few days after the bombing in the main street. Instead the Star travelled to Cannakale where we were and we had an additional day in the area. The itinerary was interesting - Ephesus was amazing and we enjoyed Santorini, Kotor and Dubrovnik. I especially liked that in all ports except Athens and Santorini that we docked in the city. This reminded me of the river cruises. The excursions were well done. On board the lectures were fascinating - a professor from Oxford on ancient civilizations and one from the US navel defense college on topics such as the Syrian civil war and the rise of ISIS. The entertainment was well done. Food was excellent as was the service. All the cabins have balconies. I loved being pampered and we booked another cruise on the Viking Sea before we landed in Venice Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
As a history buff, my husband had a desire to visit Troy and Istanbul. I was not comfortable visiting that part of the world. When I saw the Viking cruise from Istanbul to Venice, I knew that would be the way to get him where he wanted to ... Read More
As a history buff, my husband had a desire to visit Troy and Istanbul. I was not comfortable visiting that part of the world. When I saw the Viking cruise from Istanbul to Venice, I knew that would be the way to get him where he wanted to go. We booked almost 2 years in advance. Unfortunately, our trip was scheduled about a week after the bombing in the market in Istanbul. So, the ship did not overnight there as planned. We did not have the time to go to the market or the Blue Mosque. But, they added a stop where we were able to go to Troy. We had never sailed with Viking, but we had sailed with Royal 3 times and Carnival once. There is no comparison. Viking was much better. While they are somewhat more expensive, port excursions are included, wifi is free and beer and wine is included with lunch and dinner. Service was impeccable and staff were all friendly. We let Viking handle our air travel arrangements and it was fortunate that we did. An engine problem in Dulles resulting in our 2 hour layover in Frankfort evaporating. Viking had a bus meet us at the plane, walked us through customs and bussed us directly to our connecting flight. There were about 25 of us in the plane. Our luggage was on the next flight. Viking personnel made sure that our luggage made it to the ship before we sailed that night. The cabin was great, with a king size bed and wonderful shower. We enjoyed our balcony. As we left on Easter Sunday, there was a Godiva chocolate bunny on our bed that evening. The food was great, with regional specialties every night as well as some standard fare. I loved the afternoon tea time. The ports of call were all great with the exception of Athens. It did have history with the Acropolis and the Olympic stadium, it was mostly like any other big city. Santorini was probably our favorite. We are looking forward to a river cruise, probably next year. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We have taken Viking River cruises and been impressed by their quality. We expected (and received) the same great experience at sea. The ship was a perfect size for us. We have been put off by the cattle call style of the regular cruise ... Read More
We have taken Viking River cruises and been impressed by their quality. We expected (and received) the same great experience at sea. The ship was a perfect size for us. We have been put off by the cattle call style of the regular cruise lines and appreciated the extra attention and space the Viking Star and its staff provided. It was much closer to a small boat experience than the larger cruise lines. Our previous ocean experience has been with Norwegian (about which we have nothing negative to say), but the smaller ship was a big positive for us. The attention provided by staff on board seems much more personal than the other ocean cruises we have been on. The food was superior to any other cruise we have been on--including the Viking river cruises, our previous touchstone for quality. This applies to the specialty restaurants, the regular restaurant and especially the casual buffet line. Viking's approach to a near all inclusive experience at first can seem more expensive than other cruise lines, but once one totals up the included excursions, complimentary beverages at lunch and dinner, free restocking of the cabin minibar and free access to the specialty restaurants, I expect that the actual cost difference is minor. We had a slightly upgraded cabin and the amount of space allotted to us was amazing. We had packed for an extra ten days after the cruise and still couldn't fill all the drawers. We needed more hangers and they were instantly supplied by the cabin staff. The size of the bathroom and particularly the shower was as good as a lot of hotels. In short we had all the space we could want. The quality of the bed was the best we have ever had on a cruise. The room was amply supplied with outlets, both European and American--good for charging phones, tablets and computers. The public spaces on the ship were amazing. Superior to any we have experienced on other cruise lines. It seemed to us that if the staff to passenger ratio wasn't better than other lines, they worked a lot harder to take care of us in the restaurants, bars and other venues. The enrichment activities (in our case lectures on the history of the places we were visiting) we beyond compare. They were one of the most enjoyable aspects of the voyage. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was our first cruise and we were not disappointed. What a fabulous ship! We had not really been interested in cruising in the past as most ships looked more suited to younger cruisers, or like floating clubs, but Viking has changed ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we were not disappointed. What a fabulous ship! We had not really been interested in cruising in the past as most ships looked more suited to younger cruisers, or like floating clubs, but Viking has changed all that. This ship embodies the best of Scandinavian design. Rooms were quite spacious....even heated floors in the bathrooms, and all rooms have balconies. The various restaurants on board were great with no trouble booking tables. Even the main restaurant was an eye opener with a resident sushi chef, beautiful fresh seafood and even gelato made on board. Wine is included free with lunch and dinner. It's not first growth Bordeaux but pleasant quaffing wine. The movement on and off the ship was slick and very security conscious. The included shore excursions were wonderful and quite comprehensive. We particularly enjoyed the evening port talks.....you even had historians on board to give you informative backgrounds to places such as Ephesus. Value for money, this tour with Viking was worth every cent. We would love to do another tour in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We heard about Viking through other people and that they had a great experience. Everyone we talk to would choose Viking over any other Cruise Lines. They were right. We had a great trip. We went on a 50 day cruise and never regretted ... Read More
We heard about Viking through other people and that they had a great experience. Everyone we talk to would choose Viking over any other Cruise Lines. They were right. We had a great trip. We went on a 50 day cruise and never regretted going on that long of a trip. Some of our friends thought we would get bored but it was just the opposite. Trip went by fast with all the activities and we didn't think once of going home until day 48. Service and employees were helpful and friendly. The food was great and we had to make sure we got enough steps in for the day to help with the weight. The excursions were interesting. Some of the tours guides went above and beyond. Smooth sailing when we went on excursions. Very well organized and always left in a timely matter. Entertainment was great and relaxing after a day out on the town. The only thing is on a 50 day cruise I wish they had different performances. Our cabin was spacious and always clean. Our cabin maid always made sure I had ice in our cabin at the end of the day because I needed to ice my knee. Over all we would recommend Viking Cruises to anyone. They wouldn't regret the experience, service, excursions, and the friendly staff. Going go a River Cruise with Viking in another month. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We chose the Catalonia to Constantinople cruise based on the ports that we would be docking in. There were only a few disappointments...one which Viking had no control over. The state department didn't want tourists in Istanbul. ... Read More
We chose the Catalonia to Constantinople cruise based on the ports that we would be docking in. There were only a few disappointments...one which Viking had no control over. The state department didn't want tourists in Istanbul. Understandable for sure, disappointing most definitely. Some day when it is safe to go, we will see it on our own. There were two other ports we were less than happy about. One was our tour in Athens. We took the included tour which did not bring us to Acropolis and the Pantheon. It was not made clear on the description. Also, in Italy the only way we could have gone to Florence was to take an add-on trip. I'm glad we had been to Italy before! One more thing. We wished we could have stopped in Cicily instead of Dubrovnik twice. All in all though, it was an excellent trip. The ports we did go to were different and exciting. Santorini and Kotor were my favorites. Of coarse Monte Carlo was very special. Not at all what I expected. The people were wonderful, the room was excellent, the food was terrific and it was nice not being on a gigantic cruise ship. The lectures were wonderful, very informative. The pool was wonderful and it was nice that it had the retractable roof. It allowed for much more flexibility. The lounge areas were very relaxing and I would highly. It was nice to have the background music. I would absolutely recommend Viking to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Past positive experience on Viking River Cruises led us to sign up for the Ocean going Viking Star..The cabin set-up was excellent. The food service was very gracious and was able to properly prepare my husband'sspecial diet (Celiac - ... Read More
Past positive experience on Viking River Cruises led us to sign up for the Ocean going Viking Star..The cabin set-up was excellent. The food service was very gracious and was able to properly prepare my husband'sspecial diet (Celiac - Gluten Free). The Food Service Manager and his staff were the very, very best.The public areas of the ship were grandly furnished. The swimming pools, hot tub, sauna, and "work out" area were relaxing and enjoyable. The afternoon tea was delightful. It again provided special service for my husband's gluten -free needs The shore excursions were quite professional. The highest rating goes to Dobrovnik, Kotor and Ephesus. There were very high winds on the island of Santorini that detracted from a complete experience. The guide in Athens spent too much time in the Museum, leaving little time in the area of the Temple of Zeus and the view of the Acropolis. Viking reacted well to incidents in Istanbul and Brussels and re-routed us to Troy-Gallpolli. And our quick departure from Istanbul was without incident. We enjoyed the "Viking Star" so much that we booked the same cabin on the Repositioning Cruise (San Juan PR to Barcelona, Spain) for February, 2017. An excellent "On Board" Discount was available. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Being new to cruising, this experience was beyond my expectations in every way. The stateroom was roomy and luxurious and having a veranda with table and chairs was delightful. The food was gourmet, no matter where we dined. Having ... Read More
Being new to cruising, this experience was beyond my expectations in every way. The stateroom was roomy and luxurious and having a veranda with table and chairs was delightful. The food was gourmet, no matter where we dined. Having choices as to where we wanted to dine was very nice - sometimes we just wanted to grab something at the World Cafe, sometimes we wanted to go to the smaller restaurants and order off a menu, and other times we wanted to go to the cutting edge venus -and at each choice, the food didn't disappoint! The ship was very comfortable and well appointed with no crowds. There were plenty of spaces for people to find and relax, all with views. Viking was very good at moving people seamlessly, we knew where to go and when to be back. The local guides were knowledgeable and the tours were small enough so we could talk with the guide and glean lots of local information. The staff was incredible - everyone was friendly and helpful. Very well trained, they made us feel welcomed and comfortable everywhere we went. We are already looking forward to picking another ocean cruise and are confident that Viking will help make the experience rewarding and enriching. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We wanted to see new destinations in Turkey, Greece and the European eastern Adriatic, and follow it with areas of Italy and the Riviera ending in Barcelona. We have enjoyed Viking River Cruises and thought the small ocean cruise ship was ... Read More
We wanted to see new destinations in Turkey, Greece and the European eastern Adriatic, and follow it with areas of Italy and the Riviera ending in Barcelona. We have enjoyed Viking River Cruises and thought the small ocean cruise ship was right for us. The ports were beyond our expectations and the included shore excursions were very informative and allowed ample time for further exploration on our own. The crew was friendly and ready to meet every need. The ship was a beauty and beyond state of the art. We had a penthouse Veranda stateroom which was spacious with ample dresser drawers, and closet space to meet our needs. The self service laundry and complimentary pressing service we were nice extras and the daily restocked beverages and snacks were more then we expected. All in all it was a very relaxing cruise, in a beautiful ship, with an outstanding staff, and great amenities. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our first time on a large ship. Our past 12 or more cruises have been on rivers...mostly with Viking. The Viking Star was a beautiful ship and easy to get to everything. I was worried about being with 900 other passengers ... Read More
This was our first time on a large ship. Our past 12 or more cruises have been on rivers...mostly with Viking. The Viking Star was a beautiful ship and easy to get to everything. I was worried about being with 900 other passengers -thinking that there would be long lines for every activity. My fears were assuaged very quickly. From the minute we were greeted onto the ship, to the personal attention we received at meals and excursions. We ate at all of the restaurants without any delays. We mostly picked a table for 2, but often chatted with others who were next to us. I really felt that my husband and I were on a very special vacation. The excursions were well planned out and we picked both included and optional tours. When we changed our minds about taking a tour, the shore excursion desk did everything to help us choose another option. We enjoyed going to several of the evening shows onboard. Thanks to the extra efforts by the guest services manager, Martha Hanley, our stay on the Viking Star was one of the best experiences imaginable. We loved our accommodations and experiences so much that we booked another trip on the Viking Star - the Eastern Seaboard Explorer - Montreal to New York (10/2/2016). Kudos to Viking for making our (apprehensive) transition from river cruising to ocean cruising exceptional. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
The new ship was outstanding. All of the amenities were great - we loved the heated floor in the bathroom. The veranda was plenty big and was well used by U.S. We were away from home for twenty eight days and never had a snivel. Outside of ... Read More
The new ship was outstanding. All of the amenities were great - we loved the heated floor in the bathroom. The veranda was plenty big and was well used by U.S. We were away from home for twenty eight days and never had a snivel. Outside of the main dining areas were a pair of right silver wash basins - great idea. The food was excellent. There were two specialty restaurants (no extra cost and Igor who ran the Chef's Table was fun and concerned with your every desire. I literally but my wallet in the safe and pretty much left it there - wine and soft drinks were included. The cabin staff was especially friendly and efficient. Can you believe free wifi in your roo that worked? The workout room was nice with workout pool, a large hot tub/pool, a steam roo, sauna and room with snow. The entertainment good with several opera people coming to the ship to perform while we were in Rome. Overall the entertainment was fun and good. The ship small enough to get to know new friends. The ports were great although I could have skipped Corfu and Toulon. Neither city had a " spark" to it. I had wondered how it would be to be away from home for a month - no problem. The only complaint I would lodge were several of the excursions. Carefully rated each one. I rated several the best I have experience and several that I think should be eliminated. The best included Rome, Naples, Ephesus, Santorini, Kotor, Dubrovnik (Preserving Old Dubrovnik), Pisa and Barcelona (take the Gaudi excursion. Several of the guides were not up to Viking standards and when a diner or lunch was included, they ranged from marginal to just plain bad. We found the included excursions to be quite good. We had a great time and are looking at several next voyages. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was a trip that exceeded our expectations. The room was lovely and the bath very nice with heated floors! The staff were wonderful, the service top notch and the food was excellent in all restaurants. The fact that dining at all ... Read More
This was a trip that exceeded our expectations. The room was lovely and the bath very nice with heated floors! The staff were wonderful, the service top notch and the food was excellent in all restaurants. The fact that dining at all but one restaurant (I think The Chef's Table) was included at no extra cost was a great perk! All but one excursion was wonderful with great tour guides. Athens was a bit of a problem. Our evening excursion was not what we thought it would be and the restaurant was the same one used for lunch on the day excursion. There was no cable car to see the beautiful panoramic view and we did not see the sun set as promised. We were at the top of an hotel with not enough seating. The entertainment on the ship was very good. The Viking Star is beautiful! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Prior to 2015, the most advanced cruise ship we had been on was Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam which was launched in 2009. That ship was very nice, but it’s as different from the Viking Star as a new Lexus is from our old Honda ... Read More
Prior to 2015, the most advanced cruise ship we had been on was Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam which was launched in 2009. That ship was very nice, but it’s as different from the Viking Star as a new Lexus is from our old Honda Accord. Viking Star’s maiden voyage was last spring. At that time, she was named “Best New Ocean Ship” in the 2015 Cruise Critic Editor’s Picks Awards, and also received a 5-star rating from that publication. Here are some of the features that make this state-of-the-art cruise ship special. The Guy Stuff: Viking Star has a very sleek outer profile. That’s because she has a hydrodynamic optimized streamlined hull which allows her to use fuel very efficiently. Moreover, she has a platform (a “ducktail”) that sticks out the back at water level to smooth her wake and lower resistance to her passage. Viking Star has been designed to have minimal vibration when in motion. Moreover, unless the sea is very stormy, there is little roll. Most of the time, you don’t realize the ship is moving unless you look out the window. Viking Star is small compared to most other cruise ships. Built to hold just 928 passengers, she can cruise into ports that are unavailable to many of her competitors. In fact, she could sail up the Thames River to London. What you don't see in a photo of Viking Star is that the Rolls Royce propeller almost touches the rudder, --- an industry first that saves on fuel. This same propeller is lubricated by sea water, an innovation that cuts down on pollution. Viking Star derives her power from several hybrid engines and solar panels. There are large engines that can be used when speed is essential, and smaller ones that consume less power when employed in differing conditions. All of these engines are cooled by sea water that runs through them. The heat that is transferred to this sea water from the engines is used to warm the cabins and galley and is then returned to the ocean at the same temperature at which it entered the ship. Staterooms: When you look at Viking Star from the side, you see hundreds of balconies. Every stateroom has one. Inside, the rooms are larger than the industry average. That’s especially noticeable in the bathroom where there is a glassed-in shower stall big enough to hold yourself and two friends. And when you step out of the shower, your feet are warmed by in-the-floor heating. The stateroom walls are made of sound-proof materials. Rarely did we hear noise from the hallway or adjoining rooms. Even the toilets have been designed to reduce noise. They have a turbo-powered vacuum system flush. A two-second air blast finishes the job. The large screen TV in our stateroom was really useful. Not only did it give us 9 live news channels and a host of movies and TV programs, it also showed our personal shore excursion schedule, our account information, TED talks, re-runs of all past ship lectures and port talks, the daily itinerary, and information about all other Viking cruises. Around the ship: The main pool is sheltered by a retractable roof. When it’s closed, the area stays pleasantly cool and dry because of a high efficiency ventilation system. An infinity pool is located aft on the top deck and its glass end wall is cantilevered over the back of the ship so that pool water and ocean seem to blend together. The back third of deck 2 houses the main, full-service restaurant. Its floor-to-ceiling windows are really sliding glass doors that are pushed back on warm days to create an open-air venue. The outside edge of deck 2 is a 440 yard jogging track. Its surface looks like wood but is a composite material that is slip-proof even when it’s covered with puddles. The spa area has a Scandinavian theme and all the facilities can be used free of charge. You’ve probably heard how much Finnish people like to lounge in a steaming hot sauna, and then cool down under a bucket of water, in a pool, or with a roll in a snow bank. Viking Star duplicates all this with three saunas, a large whirlpool, a bucket shower, and a snow grotto. Technology: As you can imagine, Viking Star is a high tech ship. WiFi is available, free throughout, and it provides reliable, high-speed internet even when you're far from land. Waiters in the restaurants record each guest’s dinner order on a hand-held computer (like a cell phone) which sends the information directly to the kitchen. The little computer even has photos of every item on the menu. The theatre stage’s back wall is a giant LED screen and two pillars near the front of the stage are also screens. Graphics and videos on these three screens are the set. The neatest effect we saw was during a ballroom scene where eight dancers were on stage but a dozen other, previously filmed dancers in the same costumes, appeared on the screens doing the same routine. The result was 3D, --- and magical. Another cute use of technology involves the coffee tables that are in many of the lounge areas. Their glass tops are actually touch-screen computer monitors. They show short videos about Viking destinations and give information about future cruises. What’s included: Despite all the technology and material comforts aboard ship, what impressed us the most is Viking’s destination-focused philosophy and all the things that are included, free of charge. Our Mediterranean cruise was 22 days, yet only 2 of those were spent at sea. Moreover, the time in port averaged 10 to 12 hours. (The average for other cruise companies is 6 to 8 hours.) At every port, there was an included bus, boat, or walking tour, hosted by local English-speaking guides, many of whom had degrees in fields such as Art History, Tourism, or Archeology. Also included besides meals, entertainment and WiFi, was 24 hour room service, reservations in the specialty restaurants, wine, beer, and soft drinks during meal hours, coffee and tea all day, self-service laundry, shuttle buses from port to city centres, and use of computers and printer in the business centre. The only times you pay extra are for things such as exercise classes, dry cleaning, drinks served outside meal times, and massages and other spa services. What are the negatives about Viking Star? Cruise Critic editors list only two: 1) There is no casino. 2) There are no facilities or programs for children. However, for us retired people, these two “cons” are huge positives. Who needs gambling and children on board? In summary, Cruise Critic says that a voyage aboard Viking Star offers “one of the industry’s best value-for-money options”. We agree and have already booked Viking’s two-week Scandinavian cruise next year. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This trip on the Viking Star will make it difficult to travel on a megaship cruise again. Three siblings (and our spouses) traveled together for the first time in over 50 years. The ship, food (best of any cruises we've taken), ... Read More
This trip on the Viking Star will make it difficult to travel on a megaship cruise again. Three siblings (and our spouses) traveled together for the first time in over 50 years. The ship, food (best of any cruises we've taken), service, and especially having many included features so that we were not nickel and dimed aboard was appreciated--wifi, coffee/tea in room along with a small stocked minibar, beverages provided--even wine and beer with major meals even though we don't drink much, options for dining (Manfredi's, Chef's Table, pool grill, tea, etc.) with out additional charges, included excursions, enrichment and entertainment, in-cabin entertainment system, tips (with options to adjust), laundry facilities with complimentary detergent on each deck, 24 hour room service, spa (with warm pool with jets, hot tub with jets, "snow" room and saunas available without extra charge, music in venues around the ship. Particularly appreciate was NO HARD SELL--jewelry, paintings, even excursions.... The cabin was wonderful--all had balconies with a small table and two chairs, and king-sized beds, wonderfully laid out and larger than other cruise lines, heated bathroom floor and the stewards who were so wonderful about servicing the cabin. Appreciated the casual dress code--although some did take the opportunity to dress up a bit (but no tuxes or long ballgowns)--made for a very comfortable trip without having to bring lots of luggage. Yes, there were a few problems. Important announcements (like a change of port call) was broadcast in the hallway and public areas (had to open your door to hear) when an in-room speaker was also available which was used in a later announcement. After reading previous reviews about unsatisfactory excursions I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the guides and the itineraries that were offered in the included and optional tours. Our group size with never above 25 which was excellent. Use of room rechargeable amplification systems (QuietVox?) and small binoculars for touring was a surprise and made for an enhanced experience. Especially enjoyed being able to see the locations from the ship--Istanbul, Kotor--and the unexpected docking in Venice a day early (skipped Pula due to weather and sea conditions) resulted in a wonderful sail-through that was glorious even in slightly inclement weather. Entertainment was fun--the young cast was appreciated and Vegas quality was not expected. On an Alaska cruise, entertainment hopped on and off the (big) ship at various ports and provided more of a variety (enrichment lectures were sometimes too academic on this cruise segment, and I would have appreciated some local talent as well as a woman or two.) In-cabin offerings were fine-great selection of movies (if you wanted to spend time doing that) and rebroadcase of lectures was good. Due to time zones, current news was iffy. CNN would be nice. Wifi was fine and there were computers and printers available in the office center. Stability of the ship was good--we had one day (at sea) that was mildly rocky but not a problem for one of our party who tends to get motion sickness. When medical attention in port was needed, Viking had a staff member accompany the patient to the appointment and refused any tip--and charges were much less than what you might encounter back home. Small clinic also had basic medications and a nurse and doctor available a set hours and on call for emergencies. Good to know that they are prepared. Embarkation and disembarkation including transfers went along without a hitch--thank you. Viking Air Service did a good job with our flights. Tour booklet was helpful--might want to include information that detergent for the landerette was not needed as the machines injected a brand that was mild but also probably included a fabric softener since no dryer sheets was needed. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We were very impressed with the condition and maintenance of the ship, and the overall design of interior public spaces including the atrium, theater and dining venues...really put one at ease about cruising (this was our first ocean ... Read More
We were very impressed with the condition and maintenance of the ship, and the overall design of interior public spaces including the atrium, theater and dining venues...really put one at ease about cruising (this was our first ocean cruise). The overall Viking Star experience gave us great value for the price of the cruise. We could not have asked for more from the dedicated crew and staff who always provided us top service, whether in the dining venues or the Explorers desk or during our comings and goings from the ship while in port. We were generally very pleased with the shore experiences with the exception of the "Inside the Acropolis" excursion. While we have no accessibility issues, it seems that a significant number of those with us were not physically prepared for the climb or the terrain on the Acropolis. In addition too much time was spent by our guide with anecdotal information, and not enough in describing the plan or providing us with free time for exploring on our own. Can't say too much about our cabin in terms of comfort and design with the exception f the temperature control which we felt was not very responsive (if it worked at all!). Standouts for us were our time in Ephesus, Kotor and surrounding country side, Santorini and Dubrovnik. My wife, who is vegetarian, was very pleased with the offerings in all the dining venues. We both found the food preparation, choice and presentation all well beyond our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
What a fun trip we had on Viking Star. We are very seasoned travelers with 12 Ocean Cruises on other carriers before this cruise and 7 River Cruises on Viking. Sure wanted to see how they did on the ocean side. Beautiful ship, and great ... Read More
What a fun trip we had on Viking Star. We are very seasoned travelers with 12 Ocean Cruises on other carriers before this cruise and 7 River Cruises on Viking. Sure wanted to see how they did on the ocean side. Beautiful ship, and great crew working on getting better. The cabin was clean, and the food and dining was very very good. Like any ship, either new or older, you get speed bumps here and there. I will still give them an Excellent rating on the progress and product they handed out. Will be back for more as the schedules of the cruises work out and the other two ships come on line. The entertainment on the ship was excellent. Good verity of shows and music to listen to. Liked the selection of tours too. Service on every level vas excellent. Over all opinion is Excellent! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The Viking Star cruise "Empires of the Mediterranean " was a pleasure from start to finish. The ports and excursions were wonderful with good guides and well planned tours. The ship itself was amazing: so well designed and ... Read More
The Viking Star cruise "Empires of the Mediterranean " was a pleasure from start to finish. The ports and excursions were wonderful with good guides and well planned tours. The ship itself was amazing: so well designed and comfortable. Love the aesthetic and the many ways to relax, learn and have fun from the pool, the restaurants and bars, the theaters, talks, places to sit and read or play games. I particularly loved the Zumba class on the top deck at sunset with a fabulous teacher, Suzsanne. (sp?) The only excursion that was a disappointment was Athens: Inside the Acropolis . We paid extra for it and it was a very crowded climb to see from and distance buildings that were under repair. As we passed the fabulous museum on the bus, the guide told us how great it was and we should go someday (sigh) My husband and I both really enjoyed the cruise, the ship and the other passengers. The staff was exceptional. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Overwhelmingly most of the cruisers were Viking River alumni. This was my first time on any Viking product so I did not have anything to compare it to (Viking wise). We have several friends that rave about Viking (river) and that along ... Read More
Overwhelmingly most of the cruisers were Viking River alumni. This was my first time on any Viking product so I did not have anything to compare it to (Viking wise). We have several friends that rave about Viking (river) and that along with the itinerary prompted me to book the cruise. As an aside, I did not realize that the cruise I was on was an inaugural cruise until I was on the ship. I had never been on an inaugural cruise previously, but certainly understand that their could be hiccups with any new product. I know people told me that I should have realized that it was an inaugural cruise, but anyone who has tried to utilize the Viking website, you realize quickly it is not very very intuitive. We have been on many cruises, however lately have been moving more towards the smaller ships (e.g. Azamara, Oceania, etc.) so not the luxury ones, but above the mass market ones. The Viking Ocean was marketed to me as an upscale, five (5) star service. This was articulated both pre-cruise but also on ship by Viking Corporate and ship senior management staff. In my opinion, they have a very long hurdle ahead to become a five start cruise line. The front line staff certainly were nice, tried unbelievably hard (with quite noticeable shortages of staff) but did not appear to be trained appropriately and management was pretty much non-existent during my 21 days aboard. Once again, I do not think they know what they are (as far as level of cruise) able to do/not do. This ship was beautiful, meals were all messed up. Service in the restaurant was choppy, they tried to utilize an online ordering system via ipad/ipod type device but aborted it (as it did fixed seating times) quickly. All of our reservations (both restaurants and excursions) were wiped out somehow on the second leg of the cruise. One thing I will say they stayed on top of the wine (which was included) during lunch and dinner but if you wanted anything else (e.g. soda, iced tea) it was sometimes quite a challenge. This wine thing seemed to be quite important to many quests, some even bragging how much they were able to drink during the "free" times and they even "walked out with a glass or two." The excursions were what you paid for (included). I will say the excursions were we paid additionally for were great. Once again, you get what you paid for. The descriptions were not accurate and there were quite a number of people with ambulation problems who were challenged or abandoned. As an example, when we were in Greece one of the trips was identified as easy walking and wheel chair accessible. My wife utilizes a device that measure her physical activity (a fitbit) and on this easy/wheelchair accessible excursion we walked 4 miles and did 86 steps. The itinerary (once again one of the main reasons I choose this cruise) was great. We also did the pre (Istanbul) and post (Barcelona/Madrid) trips but they were not worth the time nor money. The bottom line as my title states, I think Viking is trying to identify itself as a five (5) star line but has a very long way (possibly impossible way) to go. It was interesting that many of the seasoned river cruises stated that they would not repeat an Oceans experience, but would do another Viking River cruise. One wonders that when they have three (3) operational ships, and they have gone through their river loyalists, what will happen. One of the funniest lines I heard was by the gentlemen staying in the owners suite (and a very seasoned traveler) who said he would probably not repeat even if Viking paid him. But not too worry, the wine and beer flowed freely during lunch and dinner :) Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I had always wanted to do a "Maiden Voyage" and this was our chance. The Viking Oceans concept fascinated us from the beginning; we hate mega-ships, we do not frequent casinos, we have zero interest in rock-climbing walls, zip ... Read More
I had always wanted to do a "Maiden Voyage" and this was our chance. The Viking Oceans concept fascinated us from the beginning; we hate mega-ships, we do not frequent casinos, we have zero interest in rock-climbing walls, zip lines, or any other "modern" ship embellishments that keep the crowds entertained, and we don't want what we call "stuffy luxury". What DO we like? Excellent food (I'm a former chef), a destination-oriented itinerary, libraries, relaxing public spaces, roomy staterooms with verandas, and friendly, professional service. Viking Star promised all this, and more. And they delivered! There were some maiden-cruise glitches, but they weren't a big deal.We couldn't have been happier with the ship and our cruise. In fact, we were so pleased that we're booked on Viking Sky next September for "In the Wake of the Vikings", and counting down the days until we embark :-) We're positive we'll have another wonderful cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
After taking three Viking River cruises with my sister, I went out on a limb and surprised my husband with a trip on Viking Ocean Star's maiden voyage for our 30th wedding anniversary. Looks like we will be celebrating another 30! :) ... Read More
After taking three Viking River cruises with my sister, I went out on a limb and surprised my husband with a trip on Viking Ocean Star's maiden voyage for our 30th wedding anniversary. Looks like we will be celebrating another 30! :) We began our trip in Istanbul and sailed to Venice, with several stops along the way. Traditional Viking excursion methods were tried, reviewed, changed, and tried again until things were flowing smoothly. Customer feedback was encouraged, considered and new traffic flow was put into practice. Comfort and style surround you all over the ship. So far, too many artist's renderings are all that are available, which is a shame. Those drawings show only a format. The care and attention to decorative pieces, books, a mini-museum, public spaces, dining spaces, now a true living space, enjoyed by many, is award winning. I wish I were eloquent enough to tell you more. I've posted a few photo's on their Facebook page. Our ports of call were stunningly gorgeous and true surprise gems. Athens and Venice were a given, but Montenegro and Croatia's truffle's and hilltops will be in my heart forever. The views from the ship had us all taking hundreds of photos, all so slick! The crew on this maiden ocean voyage bent over backwards to accommodate those with legitimate issues, which a new ship will have, and those with not so legitimate issues. All seemed important to them and were addressed with great respect and speed. The room stewards were, as always with Viking, AmAzInG! From the Explorer Desk to the Bar, friendly and helpful staff all the way. Always so eager to please! Dining choices were all over the board. First and most important, you can get ice cream anytime! There was every type of bread, fruit, cheese, meat and a cook to get the eggs just my picky way, each morning. The coffee maker they have has spoiled me for life. True fan of the World Cafe for lunch, and then included great dinner choices at the the main restaurant, Chef's Table or Italian place kept up a variety. Late night sushi, "Hello!" Ladies can bring the party with fancy attire, but my husband was mad I encouraged him to pack a suit. The spa and pools are what I believe my Viking After Care Therapy will concentrate on. How will I ever find anything, anywhere that great again? I did however, pass on the cold bucket over the head station. No thanks for me, but Steve did it twice so I could get a good photo for the kids. Same beds and comforters we know and love. The room was huge and had so many drawers, I was shocked. Then I found out some of my fellow travelers were on the boat for 50 days. That shocked me too. I thought I had given up Envy for something better. Evidently not. They would need a lot of drawer space, naturally. I can't wait to travel with Viking again, and again. Melanie Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
After booking this cruise two years ago we were very excited to board the ship in Istanbul. Our air was booked by Viking and was actually very good, Delta flights which we were able to upgrade our seats on with good connections.The ... Read More
After booking this cruise two years ago we were very excited to board the ship in Istanbul. Our air was booked by Viking and was actually very good, Delta flights which we were able to upgrade our seats on with good connections.The price we paid for the air from Viking was excellent. We booked a Deluxe Veranda stateroom located on deck 4 . The stateroom was on the port side and toward the rear of the ship. I could smell diesel when we were going slow or at port and the engines were running. The public spaces are really beautiful and the style is danish modern, a lot of open spaces and nice sitting areas. Our cabin was very nice, the bathroom was fabulous. Very roomy, heated floor, nice glass walk in shower, to drawers for storage and a deep ceramic sink. The room it self was lacking in drawer space but had a very large closet against the bathroom wall. We requested extra hangers for the closet. A nice high tech coffee maker. A empty mini fridge, which took me three days to get filled with soft drinks of my choice and snacks (a mars and twix bar).The king bed was very comfortable.Two nice robes. In the desk a light up (not magnified) make up mirror. Very nice large flat screen TV, no channel for watching the ship's location but it didn't matter, the TV didn't work anyway. Our excursion tickets were there with out times, the times are listed in the Viking Daily. Food on board over all was excellent. The main issues are the lack of training of the servers in The Restaurant, the lack of choice in the room service menu and the hours of the World cafe. Many mornings the World Cafe would close at 930 am. One lunch at The Restaurant after one and one half hour my husband was told what he ad ordered was not available! ` A major disappointment for me was not being able to eat at the Che's table. I am a vegetarian and they can make no accommodation to the menu. The excursions also needed some work. The included excursions have way too many people, two walking ones we did had at least 45 people. The first night on board we did an evening excursion which included outside coffee in Istanbul at 930 at night when it was in the 40's, returned to the ship at 1000 pm to find out our morning excursion was to leave at 7am and we had to be at the Star Theater at 645 am. The worst excursion experience was an optional one we had booked in Santorini. The Viking Daily advised to go to The Star Theater at 0945 am for a 1015 am departure. We arrived a few minutes early, waited in line. Our turn to check in came and we were told the excursion had departed early! Never on all the cruises we have gone on has this happened. Waiting in line at the Explorers' Desk At one point during the cruise I received a letter stating that my credit card was not on file. I knew I had added it to my Viking Journey A while ago but with all the computer issues I didn't know if it was on file. I waited of 45 minutes to be told it was on file. This was a typical waiting time for the Explores' Desk or the Excursions Desk. WiFi worked well. Maple syrup issue. The only syrup on board for several days was Smuckers sugar free maple syrup. Tendering: We took the maiden tender in Pula which turned out to be sort of scary. $0 minute ride and the 3 tries to tie up the tender, at least on the way back the ride was only 20 minutes so that goes to show what some practice can do for you. Our room steward and his assistant did a great job. The spa: I had a great massage with Anna D. Not enough lockers in the Women's changing room though. We had a great roll call and met some great people. Viking Oceans is a work in progress. My husband has stated he will not set foot on another Viking ship again. Unfortunately you only get one chance to make a first impression! Read Less
Sail Date April 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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