4 Istanbul to Europe - Western Mediterranean Viking Ocean Viking Star Cruise Reviews

traveled as a single with another couple. The food was great, the tours were great, the size of the ship was great. The crew was friendly and efficient, My only issue was that as a single person who had paid double I had hoped to find ... Read More
traveled as a single with another couple. The food was great, the tours were great, the size of the ship was great. The crew was friendly and efficient, My only issue was that as a single person who had paid double I had hoped to find other single on the cruise but did not,as a result iI did feel awkward and I am sure that it did flavour my enjoyment of the trip. The included airfare was very difficult to manage as a single, I was initially booked with my friends on both flights to and from Europe but 2 weeks before the flight was to have left Vanguards airfare department put on different flights, we had to cancel those flights at a group rate and replace them with higher priced tickets in order to travel together. I supposed that had I been a seasoned traveler I might have decided to take a different trip. all in all it is a nice trip for a couple but not that comfortable for someone traveling solo, at least not for me as a widower. The educational presentations and tours I would recommend. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was our fourth trip with Viking, and we had been a little apprehensive about taking an ocean cruise because we love the intimacy of the relatively small river cruise ships. Our fears were soon set aside. The ship was filled to ... Read More
This was our fourth trip with Viking, and we had been a little apprehensive about taking an ocean cruise because we love the intimacy of the relatively small river cruise ships. Our fears were soon set aside. The ship was filled to capacity but never felt that way at all. We never felt crowded or had to wait in lines. The choreography of moving people on and off the ship for in-port excursions was seamless. The decor of the Viking Star is absolutely beautiful, and we found the layout to be very functional. We used most areas of the ship, with the exception of the top deck. The weather was not quite warm enough for that. The service was outstanding, which is typical for Viking. We greatly enjoyed knowing our cabin steward, the servers in the dining room and the spa personnel. The dining experiences were quite enjoyable: the cuisine was varied and representative of the areas we visited. We were never rushed through a meal. We enjoyed the cultural lectures and really appreciated Vikings' efforts to keep us informed on current events in the Middle East and to put them into perspective by engaging a retireed State Department diplomat as a lecturer. Our one regret was that there were no exercise classes offered. We'd been told there would be yoga classes, but apparently the contract with the vendor who provided those classes was cancelled just before our trip. That said, we were never left with nothing to do. There were always many options from which to choose in the spa, entertainment venues, public areas and restaurants. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Husband and I have cruised at least 20 times on a variety of ocean liners as well as 3 Viking River Cruises. Viking has done an amazing job on their ocean liner. The ship has been divided into lovely, intimate, inviting spaces for reading, ... Read More
Husband and I have cruised at least 20 times on a variety of ocean liners as well as 3 Viking River Cruises. Viking has done an amazing job on their ocean liner. The ship has been divided into lovely, intimate, inviting spaces for reading, chatting with new friends, enjoying a hot or cold drink, and more. The fabrics, pillows, throw blankets, were chosen with care and each space laced with understated viking luxury. Cabins were nicely appointed and the beds so comfortable with luxury linens. The crew ALL were friendly, helpful and knowledgeable and kept the ship immaculate. The dining options were all great! The Chef's Table was a special treat as Chef Hugo created really unusual and fabulous meals-we tried all three menus thanks to Igor getting us reservations. Our best excursion was the Kitchen Table with Chef Frederick, Chef Hugo and Head of Food and Beverage, Marco. The trip to the market in Kotor, chat with coffee and then the best meal ever prepared with fun and expert flare. A day and evening we will not forget!! Fun in the evenings at Torshaven bar with expert bartender Jay ended almost every day for us. We enjoyed the smaller size of the ship as compared to very large ocean liners with way too many people. Yet there was always something interesting to do. I particularly enjoyed all the reading areas and my husband enjoyed the pools, the gym and the spa. We feel that Viking wants to get the ocean cruise experience right as they absolutely want input and work hard to make things right if there is a problem of any kind. As a result we have already booked our next cruise on the Viking Star. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The interior designers of the ship deserve an A+ rating. They really gave great thought in details. Tastefully decorated decor, many secluded comfortable areas to relax and enjoy the surrounding, read a book or take a snooze. Never over ... Read More
The interior designers of the ship deserve an A+ rating. They really gave great thought in details. Tastefully decorated decor, many secluded comfortable areas to relax and enjoy the surrounding, read a book or take a snooze. Never over crowded. The ship had a smooth, steady sailing motion, even during fairly rough waters. However, the shipbuilders must have underestimated the negative affect of the huge "ducktail" added aft of the ship. Although it supposedly helps the efficiency of the ship, it developed a terrible "bouncing" vibration, possibly created by waves from the propelling force hitting underneath the ducktail. Especially annoying when dining on the Aquavit Terrace or World Cafe or trying to sleep at night. Why wasn't this design defect noticed and corrected during the trial runs? Noticeably in most areas, Viking is going through a learning curve to become a leader in ocean cruises. We felt many times that we were the Guinea pigs helping the crew improve their areas of responsibility. Viking should have offered an "introductory price" to their maiden voyage passengers to first learn and improve from their initial mishaps. Viking is known for serving regional specialties when arriving at a new port. Dubrovnik, known for oysters, or offering at dinner time Sangria and Papaya in Barcelona or even a shot of Uso or Raki in Greece and Turkey would have been the icing on the cake. Mentioning this suggestion to the restaurant director for future reference fell on deaf ears with no response given. Every visit to the Chef's Table was a delight and we were pleased being served by Michael who definitely belongs to the most knowledgeable servers there. In general, the "working crew" was more attentative to the passengers and gave their full attention to individual needs than most of their supervisors. I found some supervisors arrogant and non committal (NOT all of them). At busy dining moments when waiters were scrabbling taking new orders cleaning off tables and resetting the service, a helping hand from the stripped supervisors would have been useful instead of wondering around in circles looking tense! At one point only plastic wine glasses were available in the restaurant. Agreed, for outdoor use around the pools they are practical and necessary. However, during lunch and dinner we prefer to drink our wines from real glasses. We were assured the glasses would be replenished from their storage, but it never happened and the excuse was too many broke or got lost. The Viking catalogue description of land tours was often misleading. We normally booked all the "included" tours and just wanted to get a general overview of the ports of call listed on the cruise. Stopping at Athens we surely expected to get a close view of the pinnacle Acropolis. Instead the bus traveled through busy, narrow downtown streets (we could have also done in NYC!) pointing out a few attractions, but the view blocked by parking busses, until finally stopping at a parking lot 5-700 yards below the Acropolis. The guide gave us 30 minutes to walk up the hill, look around, take pictures and return if we wanted a closer view. I think a marathon runner would have had problems meeting that requirement. We come to Athens to SEE the Acropolis, but not through a telescope and trees blocking our view. Total disappointment and waste of time. The included tour of Naples was a disgrace of Italy. A dirty, rundown, graffiti ladened city. Had we been informed earlier about the city conditions (by Viking?), we would have definitely opted to visit Pompeii instead. The French Riviera offers so many other beautiful small towns, Nice, Antibes, St. Tropes, Cannes, but Viking opted to stop at Toulon, which didn't seem too appealing to most passengers. In Vikings defense the smaller Riviera towns may not allow or be capable of docking and handling cruise ships? The absolute joyful stops we made in our opinion were, ancient Ephesus, Santorini (more time would have been nice when visiting Oia), Kotor, Dubrovnic, Venice, Split, Corfu, Rom, Pisa (although many passengers assumed Florence was included too on the tour after reading the Viking catalogue), Monaco (absolutely spotless and beautiful and the tour perfectly organized) and Barcelona. The Barcelona Disembarking Instructions were delivered to the cabins 5-6 days in advance. Most passengers read the instruction details only a few days before disembarking then noticed a discrepancy in the departing date, resulting in confusion and discussions. To clarify the date I talked to one of the kind ladies at the Explorer desk who said they were fully aware of the mistake "that an old lady wrote!" The lady called her cabin supervisor to clarify the situation. His response to me was "don't you also make mistakes?" YES, everyone does, but why wasn't a correction memo sent out to everyone as soon as Viking discovered the mistake? The supervisor looked befuddled at me and shook his shoulders? Furthermore, passengers were to meet at terminal "10", however the busses were staged at terminal "C"! Terminal 10 is non-existent! In closing, I have always found Viking to be fair in their dealings. Therefore, I was hoping and waiting for Viking to come through with something special after saving a tremendous amount of fuel costs from initial booking date in 2013 vs. actual sailing date late 2015. During this time period gas prices dropped an easy $1.25/gal. I'm sure, had it been the opposite way, passengers would have been confronted with a fuel surcharge fee. 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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