2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We just returned from "Along Africa's Western Shore" where we found ourselves joining (unwittingly!!) the last 4 weeks of a World Cruise, with a major impact on our experience! I have looked at many negative reviews of ... Read More
We just returned from "Along Africa's Western Shore" where we found ourselves joining (unwittingly!!) the last 4 weeks of a World Cruise, with a major impact on our experience! I have looked at many negative reviews of this cruise on cruise critic and I can assure everyone that they are all true!! This is a lengthy review but it's only a summary of the key issues we faced.: there is much more I could say! Although elements of our experience were first class, there were issues with the management of the cruise that fell very short of our expectations. The ship we sailed on, Viking Sun, is beautiful and the crew are excellent. The service experience on board is first class. Our issues mainly relate to the arrangement and subsequent management of the cruise itself. The cruise was not marketed to us as the final leg of a world cruise, which is very significant. We did not appreciate this at all until late in the booking process. Initially this meant that we were unable to book the excursions we would have liked, as all the really exciting ones were long since fully booked when we were allowed access!! It also meant that we found ourselves joining a cruise where most passengers were already starting to look forward to leaving when we got on board; where aspects of the passenger experience had become a bit stale; and where many passengers were very set in their routines and relationships (with other passengers, with the crew and with the cruise director, who barely acknowledged guests who were not ‘world cruisers’). A further issue in relation to the marketing of the cruise was the number of sea days, which was hidden in the correspondence. To exacerbate this, we then experienced additional sea days due to missing calls into Luderitz and Casablanca (see later) making a total of 16 sea days out of 28 days on the cruise - that's 60% of the time and nearly twice what we expected. Whilst it’s very nice to be on the ship, we did not expect to be sat around it quite as much as this! I laugh at the current Viking radio ads talking about how they spend ‘more time in port and less on the ship’! To expand on the on-board experience, many passengers exhibited a 'sense of entitlement' above those passengers joining in Durban for the final leg. Additionally the daily activities were really focused on an elderly American world cruise audience and we expected a far better on-board schedule. The daily schedule always included 3 sessions of bridge, 3 sessions with knitting or crafting, and several other 'non-events' that were all for the world cruisers. This is very poor: well below our expectations, and what we have experienced elsewhere. The cruise itinerary looked good when we booked, but it was only really the time in South Africa that met our expectations. There were issues all along after leaving S Africa: we were unable to land in Luderitz due to slightly rough seas; Walvis Bay was OK but there really isn't much to see there at all; in Dakar, Senegal we were told it was perfectly OK to take the shuttle bus into town, so that's what we chose to do. This could not have been further from the truth. A frightening experience!; Santa Cruz, Tenerife is a nice place but we managed to dock there on a holiday when 99% of shops were closed; Casablanca. Well what can I say! The Captain chose not to travel here due to a potential storm in the Bay of Biscay a few days later and he wanted to travel through the bay ahead of the storm. Whilst I understand this, in fact the risk appeared quite low and, as far as I could ascertain, the storm moved far to the north west by the time we would have travelled through the bay. This seemed to be an extraordinary and extremely ‘risk averse’ decision. In place of Casablanca the on-board team added Portsmouth into the itinerary!!! This caused ructions on board and I am not surprised. I truly suspect this decision was a 'lazy' one based around the fact that Viking Sun uses this port of call anyway, so it was easy to arrange a tour schedule, and because it was no doubt easy to find a berth in such a large port. Further, when we challenged this decision on board, there was a sense that the entertainment staff felt it would appeal to the largely US passenger base. But for the British passengers on board this was a poor decision again. We live around 90 minutes from Portsmouth and have been there many times: why would we go there on a cruise? We almost decided to leave the ship in Portsmouth and I believe some Brits did so. The outcome of the above change is that, as well as missing out a key port on the cruise, we then ended up with nearly 2 full days of excess time to 'lose' in the English Channel before the ship was due into Greenwich. At times we were barely moving. There are so many ports we could have called at along the French coast - in fact we could have easily managed 2 ports of call north of the Bay of Biscay in the time we had available. This would have taken a lot more work to arrange of course, but vastly improved the cruise experience! So, we spent the last 5 days of our cruise travelling only a few hundred miles, very close to the UK! Summarising the itinerary overall, the time in South Africa was great, but the rest of the Western Africa experience was a big let-down and for about the last 10 days of our cruise it felt like the ship was operating a ‘close down’ routine. We loved the ship and the core Viking experience, but we did not receive what we expected. As a British passenger on this cruise we were definitely second-class citizens overall, which is not what you expect at this huge cost! I am a few weeks from our return home when posting this note. That’s because I took the trouble to write directly to Mr Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises, because I felt there were a large number of issues that the company should be aware of in planning future cruises. Having taken the time to write personally to an executive of the company (at the US head-quarters) I did not expect to receive a letter from a customer services agent a full month later. The response made light of the very serious concerns that we raised, IGNORED the key issues, and had the audacity at one point to refer to ‘force majeure’. I wrote again the chairman and, a few weeks later, received a further letter from customer services basically telling me to go away! Viking cruises have an astounding inability to listen and respond the like I have not come across with any other company. They are not listening to their customers and will thus not achieve their very high ambitions for the business! Responding to concerns should not be an exercise in ‘customer relations speak’: it’s an opportunity to turn a concerned customer into a real advocate, but right now they have succeeded in creating a significant detractor. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have cruised on Seabourn for our previous 7 cruises, but we liked the Viking itinerary from Durban to London because we have dear friends that live in Durban, whom we visited a couple of days before our cruise. A few days after booking ... Read More
We have cruised on Seabourn for our previous 7 cruises, but we liked the Viking itinerary from Durban to London because we have dear friends that live in Durban, whom we visited a couple of days before our cruise. A few days after booking this cruise, we got a flier from Viking offering the same cabin on the same itinerary for $1000 less/pp. We called our travel agent as we do when that happens with Seabourn to get the best price guarantee. What? Not only do you not get a best price guarantee, Viking made us cancel our existing booking, pay a significant cancellation fee and rebook the same cabin. Not cool and definitely not Seabourn. Oh well, price is less expensive than Seabourn......or not. Tips are included in the price of your cabin with Seabourn. Not so with Viking. Only later after you have booked do they offer you the privilege of pre-paying your tips at close to $900/pp. Embarkation was a breeze- faster than Seabourn. The Viking Deluxe Veranda suite was significantly smaller than Seabourn’s standard Veranda Suites.- No walk in closet, no sofa, no capacity to close off seating area from sleeping area. If you order room service, you must eat your food hunched over a coffee table because there is no room for the food cart and two chairs that you get on Seabourn. In other words it is not really a suite on Viking unless you spend more money for a Junior Suite. Dining on Viking was inconsistent, with Chef’s Table and Manfredi’s Special restaurants usually being very good to excellent. The Restaurant main dining offerings varied from excellent to inedible. The World Cafe had excellent sushi, sashimi, soups and breakfast omelettes. The dishes on the buffet varied from very good to terrible. You had to order the deluxe wine package to get wines comparable to the standard wines on Seabourn. Some of the Viking included wines were good, but many of the white wines were undrinkable ( 2 Buck Chuck ). Standard “Champagne” was a Viking brand- use your imagination. Service from our room steward, Ferdy, was the best we have ever had. He was thoughtful, personable an anticipated our every need. The restaurant and bar staff were very friendly and usually very good. Too many, however exhibited a lack of training. You would ask for a refill ( seldom have to even ask on Seabourn) and some would spend 5 minutes talking to other cruise passengers, completely forgetting about your refill. Sometimes we’d have to ask 3 different service persons before we got something we wanted. Some would take your plate without asking if you are finished. Entertainment was very good to excellent with virtuoso guitarist, string duo, pianist and talented singers. Did not see ballroom dancers like Seabourn has. The shore excursions were fun, well organized and informative. The ports of call were excellent, but wish we had more time in the beautiful Canary Islands and Cape Town. The Viking Sun itself was the best part of the cruise. It gave us a very smooth ride for the size of the ship. It was pristine, has a sliding cover for the pool for use in any weather, has a jogging track and many quiet places to read a book or just relax on sea days. The two level Explorer Lounge and bar is amazing and offers wonderful views. The Viking Sun is more casual than Seabourn with no formal ( tuxedo ) nights. Overall, I’d have to say that the Viking Ocean ships are as nice or even nicer than some of Seabourn’s. However the Veranda Suites, food, standard wines and restaurant service are not in the same class as Seabourn. You could pay extra and get a junior suite and premium wines on Viking. My preference is the 5 star floating hotel, restaurants and royal treatment experience that we get every time on Seabourn. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The GOOD: Kudos to Ahmed, Restauant Supervisor, who personally extended himself to be sure my dietary restrictions were met . The spa, gym, Meet & Mingle, cooking class, all outstanding! The cabin, crew, Wi-Fi and amenities on the ship ... Read More
The GOOD: Kudos to Ahmed, Restauant Supervisor, who personally extended himself to be sure my dietary restrictions were met . The spa, gym, Meet & Mingle, cooking class, all outstanding! The cabin, crew, Wi-Fi and amenities on the ship were great. The BAD: Only a few hours in most ports so not enough time to really see or do on Turquoise Caribbean. The Ugly: The excursion.vendors frantic to get you back to the ship on time so we felt herded, elementary school field trip, not a travel experience. Key West was a joke, suggest you just walk off the ship and grab a taxi. The snorkeling in Belize was disappointing; Coral was bleached, very few fish, and then forced to go to the port in wet bathing suit instead of directly back to the ship, very wired. Celestun only spent 9 minutes seeing the flamingos; nice lunch at a pretty beach, the stop at the park should be omitted. Many people embarked in Key West and Belize because their travel connections did not work. Be sure you arrive a day or two before the ship departs to be safe. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have cruised previously with both Seabourn and Silversea, as well as Viking River and we chose this cruise because we had read superb reviews and we were curious about Viking Ocean. The Viking Sun is a beautiful ship with absolutely ... Read More
We have cruised previously with both Seabourn and Silversea, as well as Viking River and we chose this cruise because we had read superb reviews and we were curious about Viking Ocean. The Viking Sun is a beautiful ship with absolutely stunning common areas. Housekeeping and cabin service is superb. Everything is clean and shiny and new. The problem is that service elsewhere on the ship is inconsistent. In the specialty restaurant, Manfredis, service was flawless. But elsewhere, it certainly was not. Buffets are often the only option and lines are long and slow. The buffets are set up so that there is a very small serving area resulting in a single line for all. If the main restaurant is closed (or full, as it was for us on a few occasions), the lines get very long. Pool service was downright poor. It seems there are not enough staff members to provide nearly the same level of service you get on Seabourn or Silversea. While the entertainment systems in the cabins ofter lots of choices, the other amenities in the higher end cabins are disappointing in comparison to similar cabins on Seabourn and Silversea. The mini bar Viking advertises in many of their pricier cabins consists of a few airline bottles of cheap liquor, a few beers and sodas, and not much else. There are only a total of two glasses of any kind available in the cabin. There are things that Viking does very well, but overall, if you have sailed on Seabourn or Silversea, Viking really doesn’t compare. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We had done a Viking River Cruise and we were looking for a Viking cruise close-by. We drove down from Orlando, everything went well getting on board and of course the customer service was wonderful. The entertainment was also ... Read More
We had done a Viking River Cruise and we were looking for a Viking cruise close-by. We drove down from Orlando, everything went well getting on board and of course the customer service was wonderful. The entertainment was also surprisingly good. What it was lacking was: 1)variety at the locations/islands, like an included day at the beach would have been nice, the 3 included tours were all of ruins, and maybe a little more time in Cozumel, we were hardly there, 2) a little better with the communication and care of us when we are off the boat, when we were on Viking River it was amazing how well they took care of us, but on this trip, the first tour was during lunch and it wasn't made clear that no lunch was being provided and there was no real place to grab lunch, which was a real issue since my mother and I are diabetic, luckily I had enough snacks to keep us from having a sugar crash, but it was really close, 3) on the Viking river cruises the do a few meals to celebrate the locations we were visiting, but there wasn't anything like that on this cruise, 4) the shops on the boat, I would think you would have at least one shop with things that match with where the cruise is going, like items for a Caribbean cruise. I will have to say you can't beat the rooms, the balconies, and the customer service on a Viking boat, but the rest of the trip was a bit of a bust. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I recently returned from the Lisbon to Miami December 2018 Mid-Atlantic Crossing on the Viking Sun. And, while Viking claims to be the Number One Cruise Line in the premier 600-2199 passenger ship category, I do not completely agree. ... Read More
I recently returned from the Lisbon to Miami December 2018 Mid-Atlantic Crossing on the Viking Sun. And, while Viking claims to be the Number One Cruise Line in the premier 600-2199 passenger ship category, I do not completely agree. Why? Because too many of the Viking passengers sole ocean experience is on Viking after having taken one of their river cruises. These first time cruisers are quite impressed, as they should be, because the Viking Sun and its sister ships are very classy vessels. The Sun was launched in 2017 and is the fourth of five ships currently in the fleet, although there are plans to have ten ships in the fleet by 2027. However, once you have sailed on Regent, Crystal, Azamara, Silversea, Oceania or Seabourn, you have a point for comparison and can determine for yourself how Viking compares in different ways to these lines. Some of these competitor ships are smaller than Viking and some are larger, but each company has a niche and their customers are happy with that offering. Regent is fully inclusive offering air, food, accommodation, tours, alcohol and personnel tips in their price whereas Viking offers just food, accommodation, tours, plus a limited selection beer and wine with lunch and dinner. Viking does offer a reasonably priced air option but does not include tips which are added to your bill as is done by Princess, Holland America, and Celebrity which have larger ships and cater to a somewhat different clientele. Here are some of my observations about the Viking Sun during my voyage. The positive observations: The “lobby” of the Sun is a stunning three stories high with a two story electronic billboard on which they display notes of local historical interest such as events, birthdays, etc. and also photos of birds, stamps, coins, flowers, artwork, etc. Overlooking the lowest level are public seating areas on the two higher floors that afford the passengers an opportunity to watch or listen to what is going on below (piano or string duo) or to play games at electronic tables or assemble jig saw puzzles or just relax. There is also a self-service laundry on each of the guest room floors starting on level 3. The ship wide electronic information screens allow you to catch up on news, daily activities, weather, dining menus, shore excursions, etc. and you can also get this information in your room on the tv set which is a large wall-mounted flat screen. The entertainment on the ship is very good: the speakers were almost uniformly excellent, there is a resident historian to provide salient talks on subjects of interest, and the four singers/dancers were very good. The two alternate restaurants provide a choice of Italian food at Manfredi and a rotating fixed menu at the Chef’s Table (Mexican, French, Chinese…) which can be paired with selected wines in place of the regular wine selections if you have the optional beverage package. The food is generally good and there is a nightly sushi bar in the buffet. The cruise director on this voyage, Heather Clancy, was one of the best I have encountered. In addition to doing the daily activities briefing each morning on tv, introducing speakers, and generally interacting with guests all over the ship each day, she also sang at one show and performed the Sunday church service and Christmas observance as well. Amazing! The staterooms are large compared to Holland America, Princess, and Royal Caribbean and all come with a balcony. The less than positive observations: While the lectures are generally good, there were NONE on the sea day afternoons. Instead they were offered at cocktail time just before dinner or during the 6pm dinner hour. In my opinion this is very bad for the passengers and quite disrespectful of the speakers. Viking claims to have their staff are the “best trained in the industry.” Someone at PR in Viking should travel on Crystal or Oceania if they want to see how well trained staff works with customers. While the Viking staff was always polite, in too many instances, the restaurant service was slow, the wait staff were running around seemingly confused, and they often had no idea about wines on the non-complimentary list. The ship does have a library of sorts with many books, BUT these books are spread all over the common areas. There is no way to see if they have a specific book and you have to request a print out of categories from guest services to locate a genre. Unfortunately there were no reference books on board. Although Viking does provide bottled water for shore excursions, all the other water on board is served from carafes of tap water, even in your stateroom, which speaks volumes about overall product quality! As for the crew, their name tags do not have their home country listed, so you have to keep asking them where they are from if you want to talk with them about their origin. In terms of computers for guest use, there are exactly five desktops available and oftentimes they were all occupied. This may not be a big deal when almost everyone has their own personal device (cell phone, tablet, laptop) but there is also no dedicated person to help solve computing problems as some other lines have. Moreover, the Viking internet system, while reasonably fast, only allowed you to have ONE connected device at a time. Other lines allow up to three devices. As mentioned above, the staterooms are reasonably sized but the storage is limited to seven total drawers that are not very tall and a small closet similar in size to Viking River ships. Sadly, the room lights, 110 volt and 220 volt electrical outlets and usb ports are controlled by a card slot for your room key like European hotels use. When you are out of the room the electrical outlets, lights and usb ports turn off! This makes it hard to charge things! Finally, since this was a voyage with many sea days, there was no bridge instructor or duplicate bidding boxes available to assist the numerous people who wanted to play bridge. Viking did provide cards, score pads, and a room in which to play cards, but that was all. I have seen bridge players treated worse, but I have also seen them treated MUCH BETTER on other crossings. To summarize, it was a good trip with some good and not so good things to recommend it. Viking ocean is good, but they are definitely not the best in my opinion. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The nicest part of our cruise on the Viking Sun was the polite, friendly, and very clean attention of our room steward. The stateroom is a little small, but sufficient. The veranda was nice, but that squeaking veranda door - and the ... Read More
The nicest part of our cruise on the Viking Sun was the polite, friendly, and very clean attention of our room steward. The stateroom is a little small, but sufficient. The veranda was nice, but that squeaking veranda door - and the inability to leave it open for even short periods of time without banging shut - was frustrating; needless to say, we lost some sleep due to squeaks. Food on the Viking Sun was ok. Not bad, there was always something that was at least satisfactory. Sometimes our choices were less palatable than we had hoped - and service, especially in the Restaurant, was lacking. No fault to the staff - there were too many people for limited staff to serve efficiently. Neither of the specialty restaurants were extraordinary, which we expected due to advertising and promotion and hearsay. We did manage time to relax, which was our goal. With better weather, that would have been more easily accomplished; can’t fault Viking for that. But if you are looking for elegance akin to the true luxury lines, pay the extra dollars for a first class experience. The elegant ads lured us in...to an average experience. And be prepared for crowded disembarkation and a game of “where’s our luggage.” Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Western Mediterranean Cruise, 12 nights. Traveling solo. Rome to Lisbon Shore excursions were very good. Guides knew their subject matter. Viking Sun staff needs to recognize and treat solo passengers the same as other ... Read More
Western Mediterranean Cruise, 12 nights. Traveling solo. Rome to Lisbon Shore excursions were very good. Guides knew their subject matter. Viking Sun staff needs to recognize and treat solo passengers the same as other passengers. Except for one experience, dining staff were negligent and offhand to me as a solo passenger. At one dinner I was literally taken to the last table in the dining room, past all the other empty tables (I was early). I asked what was wrong with those tables. I was told they were for "the other passengers". Obviously I did not take that table. And I won't be cruising with Viking again. Generally recommended Mediterranean ports, eastern and western: Rome - a great walkable city Florence - spend time in the museums Valencia - very pretty Greek Islands - any of them, all beautiful Istanbul - see the Blue Mosque Malaga - see the Moorish architecture Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise was in celebration of our 50 wedding anniversary. We had sailed a Viking river cruise and while the ocean cruise was considerably higher in price than other cruise lines based on our river cruise we felt at ease with spending ... Read More
This cruise was in celebration of our 50 wedding anniversary. We had sailed a Viking river cruise and while the ocean cruise was considerably higher in price than other cruise lines based on our river cruise we felt at ease with spending the additional money. With air and optional tours this cruise ended up costing $20,500. Was it worth the expense yes and no. Booking the air travel though Viking resulted in some problems but not of Viking making. Our original flight was cancelled forcing us to rebook with a less favorable schedule. Upon arrival in Stockholm we discovered SAS lost my wife's luggage. Viking did a good job of helping us to recover the luggage, they offered to wash my wife clothing on a daily basis at no charge, fortunately we got her luggage prior to our departure so all was good. Our room was small but like the river ships the bathroom floor was heated which on this cruise was a great feature. The scheduled itinerary was disrupted by bad ocean conditions forcing Viking to cancel two port of calls. We spend an additional day in Russia but were not allowed off the ship due to visa restrictions. We also had to ship a port due to heavy seas cause by gale force winds. This ship lacks a lot of standard ship board activities and normally this would not have been a problem but with three "sea" days two unscheduled time seemed to drag. The food was outstanding with lobster three days and prime rib several days. Beer and wine is included at all meals, as well as offered free several other times. There is a included tour at every port of call. They were mostly walking or bus tours narrated by a tour guide. We took a number of extra tours including one in Berlin. I would like to say they were all worth the extra money, but we were cheated by our tour guide in Berlin. He was totally unprepared walked away from some of the tour group at one point in general was not a good source of information. When we complained to Viking we never even got an apology. Basically they said Oh Well. The ship lacked keeping us informed as an example the was a scheduled event which was billed as a chocolate event. Due to heavy seas it never took place. Then two night later there it was a chocolate bonanza but because it was never announced many guests including us had a standard dessert at dinner and missed out. The cruise critic meet and greet was great they had drinks and snacks and the staff showed but they were gave any formal talks just made a appearance then left. I think they were a little confused as to what it was all about. Most days the entertainment met out expectations. The ship band and musical group did a good job of keeping us entertained. Our cruise director kept us entertained as well as he stared in one of the nightly shows as a singer and patio player. Due to missing two ports of call Viking has offered a $250 per person credit toward a future cruise, a pretty weak response to missing two ports of call. The ports of call we did visit were outstanding, the weather not so much, cold and windy. Would we go again? We booked a British Isle cruise for next summer, but not with Viking as we felt it was over priced for for a nice cruise on a new ship but lacking in the personal touch . Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
I’ve always been interested in seeing the Baltic countries. That is why we choose this cruise. We came over a day early so we could see additional sites in Stockholm. Our plan was to leave Old Towne to do with Viking since they had a ... Read More
I’ve always been interested in seeing the Baltic countries. That is why we choose this cruise. We came over a day early so we could see additional sites in Stockholm. Our plan was to leave Old Towne to do with Viking since they had a shuttle back to the boat. Well that day they didn’t have the shuttle so we totally missed touring Old Towne by foot. We were extremely disappointed and got no resolution from Viking. We also learned after the fact that everyone does NOT have the same excursion booking opportunity. Depending on the cost and location of your stateroom gives preferential excursion bookings. Even though we booked our cruise over a year an a half ahead of time we had the bottom of the barrel in excursion choices! On the river cruises this isn’t the way the excursions were done. So BEWARE! The ship and employees were great. My love of travel are the people and the sites of the countries we visit. It was the lack of the most popular excursions being available to us that was the biggest disappointment. This is why we are not really interested in the ocean cruises with Viking. We would do a river cruise because the excursions are so much more inclusive. On the ocean cruise we spent over $900 on additional excursions. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This is a brand new ship, beautifully decorated, the right size, but many design and management issues. A ship of this size, carrying over 900 guests, normally has 3 sets of elevators. Here there are 2 so that congestion, especially after ... Read More
This is a brand new ship, beautifully decorated, the right size, but many design and management issues. A ship of this size, carrying over 900 guests, normally has 3 sets of elevators. Here there are 2 so that congestion, especially after reboarding or after a show, is the norm. In some instances, such as on deck 2, there is no flow through in the corridors. On one side you come to a dead end, having to cross to the other side in order to continue to the stern area. The main restaurant is very crowded with people sitting cheek by jowl and with very little space between tables to allow waiters adequate passage. In the junior suite category, unlike on ships of the same claimed standard, there is no walk in wardrobe and so on long cruises of 14 days or more, the storage space is wholly inadequate. Whilst the food is adequate and plentiful, none of the restaurants serves outstanding or memorable meals. The greatest issue of all is a management one. There are long lines of people waiting to be alocated a table in the main restaurant, especially between 7.00 and 7.45 pm. Insistance on taking one's suite number for each couple before being offered a table holds up the lines even more. We gave up almost every night and went upstairs to the World Cafe. In the World Cafe, there is no one to show you to a table and it is therefore not uncommon to find that a couple occupy a table for 6 or 4 so that a group of 4 or 6 have nowhere to sit. The number of staff in restaurants is wholly inadequate. When returning to the ship from tours, again there are long lines of people waiting to reboard the ship. No such issues seem to arise on many ships which carry 3 or 4 times the number of guests. Afternoon tea is offered in the Wintergarden where the seats and tables are completely unsuitable for such events, with deep armchairs and distant coffee tables. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We've enjoyed Viking River cruises very much and wanted to travel to countries in the north where we've never been. This ocean cruise looked promising as it would take us to Denmark and Norway with only one day ay sea during the ... Read More
We've enjoyed Viking River cruises very much and wanted to travel to countries in the north where we've never been. This ocean cruise looked promising as it would take us to Denmark and Norway with only one day ay sea during the advertised week long sailing. This appealed to us as we are more interested in visiting new places than the amenities of a cruise ship. We also chose the optional add-on to Iceland offered by Viking. First of all, the ship, the onboard staff, the food, spa, etc. are outstanding. My husband and I travel light - one carry-on size roller bag each- so the free, self-service laundry aboard ship was a real advantage. The shore excursions however, were very disappointing. We opted for the 'included' excursions except for 'optional excursions' at two of the ports. First the 'included'; generally two-two and a half hours in length consisting of a very brisk trot through the town with no stops for photos or even time for questions for the guide who in one case explained she only had two hours to complete her tour. Needless to say, if you're interested in learning about local customs, culture or history, you won't get it on the optional tours. Viking does provide a selection of 'optional' tours at each port and depending on how much more you want to spend over and above the price of the cruise, airfare and insurance, these are available but not inexpensive by any means. We took two - one to the Kon Tiki Museum and the all-day railway excursion in Flam which was outstanding. The add-on trip to Iceland includes two full days of touring which were excellent. Fortunately, breakfast each day was included, otherwise meals are on your own. Be prepared for staggeringly high prices - a hamburger at a fast-food place was $25! Finally, logistics of trip arrival and departure, delays at airports for pickup, onboard check-in, were chaotic at best. With so many options for travel around, we will be looking elsewhere for our next trip. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
This trip was truly a bucket list fulfillment. Being a 5 time Viking cruiser (2nd ocean + 3 river cruises) I could not think of a better way to see the British Isles. I will say to begin, that the issues I had along the way will not ... Read More
This trip was truly a bucket list fulfillment. Being a 5 time Viking cruiser (2nd ocean + 3 river cruises) I could not think of a better way to see the British Isles. I will say to begin, that the issues I had along the way will not dissuade me from traveling with Viking again. I was traveling from San Francisco with my sis-in-law, meeting my travel partner and her sister in Baltimore. From there the 4 of us let Viking handle our travel and transport arraignments. I contacted Viking to determine what date we needed to be in Baltimore to connect with whatever air transport we were to be booked on. Difficulty #1 occurred because the wait is so long before getting flight confirmations and we needed to make reservations for our own trip from SF. The Viking rep said we should be prepared to fly from Baltimore on the 4th of May. I knew the cruise began on the 5th, but he suggested the 4th to be sure we would make the connections. Upon receiving our travel docs, we noticed our flight out was May 4, landing in London at 9:00 PM of that eve. The cruise beginning on May 5, and no note as to what we were to do for our overnite in London on May 4 and no transport info regarding where to meet the ship. I contacted Viking again, they accepted the fact that there was a miscommunication, made a reservation for us in Heathrow and directed me to take transportation from airport to hotel the evening of 5/4 and to the ship terminal on 5/5. I was assured I would be reimbursed for transport fares. When we got settled aboard the ship I spoke with the concierge and presented the receipts for the 2 taxi fares, amounting to 255 lbs ($325 US). This took a large hunk out of my cash spending money! The concierge informed me I needed to present a claim to my insurance to be reimbursed. This would not help me on the trip, and presenting a claim does not guarantee it will be approved. This certainly did not start the trip off on a positive note. Yes, my travel partners would split the costs, but that would have meant they too would have been short money for something we'd already paid for in our fees. Once over that disappointment and adjusting my attitude to enjoy my trip, I began the expected emersion into Viking hospitality. Thankfully, upon return home I did send a claim to our travel ins and was reimbursed in full. The ship and our accommodations were exactly as expected. No disappointments there. As my travel partner and I began introducing our sisters to the ambiance, food, drink, entertainment and tours, several things became evident to my friend and I that our 1st timers would not expect. The 1st being an underlying "disconnect" between staff. The usual up-beat attitudes and camaraderie did not seem to be there. Our cabin steward was absolutely charming & helpful throughout the trip. I wrote her name down, but sadly, am unable to find it now. The servers in the Explorer lounge were great!! However, the staff in the World Cafe and Mamson's were not what we expected. The Restaurant seemed to have their routines together and worked more smoothly. We were told that this particular cruise was the 1st following a world cruise, and that many of the staff that had worked together on that cruise were on vacation, many new ones brought in to replace. That was the excuse for them not seeming to know how to work well together. Tables in the World cafe were often not quickly bussed. We needed to ask for a clean table several times. Dirty placemats were just flipped over in front of us, partial set ups were left for some places and not completed so the need to ask for a glass or flatware or napkin to fill in needed to be requested. Just not what we expected. The food, as we had bragged about, was beautiful to look at, but was sorely lacking in seasoning. I fully understand the desire to serve all as not everyone likes or can eat salt, but so much can be done with other seasoning to make a meal special. I for 1 do not like to add salt or to have only salt & pepper to chose from. It was almost as tho nobody with a palate was testing the food. This being a major disappointment! This certainly does not pertain to the specialty restaurants. They were exemplary! Our last morning, before disembarkation, we went to Mamson's to have our favorite Norwegian Waffles. The person behind the counter was someone we had not seen before. We asked for 4 waffles with fruit, sour cream and cheese, just as they are displayed. All 4 were misshaped, and missing most of the toppings. No 2 had the same of anything and what was there was literally thrown on top. ! of the 4 of us asked for a smoothie and was told "I don't have time for that." Just an example of what was disappointing in the restaurants and this last one, unfortunately, was the last service we remember. The biggest plus to my travel friend and I, and what we expound about most, are the tours and the ability to be immersed into the people, traditions and areas we are visiting. We were very excited to see the almost overwhelming number of tours available. But, what we found was that they were seemingly abbreviated from what we had experienced before. The 1 tour that was closest to actually being introduced to the country, city, people, food, and traditions was our very last tour, A Taste of Norwegian Farm Life. During the other tours we seemed to spend a lot of time being transported to where we were going, given some information and direction then being left on our own. Not always a bad thing, we all love to shop, it just didn't seem to be that engagement with the traditions and people in our surroundings we'd grown to anticipate. The guides were all great! Still found that utilizing the people from the areas we were visiting is the best way to learn. The guides Viking uses are all wonderful. I'm sure I sound like I'm complaining about a lot and not offering any solutions. The thing is, in all but 1 of our trips, these topics were part of the whole feeling, learning and seeing of the excursions we have had our eyes and wonderment opened to. The 1 other trip was the Baltic Volga Waterways. That was a huge eye opening experience that had a few rough patches. Most understandable due to the country's lack of tourist interactions. A great trip, none the less. I am thrilled to think back on all the wonderful places we saw on this excursion. Including all the history I learned and felt a part of and all the people I met on this last journey. I guess my #1 desire would be to offer more in depth tours of a few varieties instead of so many different tours that just "touched bases". Oh, yes...and seasoning! OK...so there is one other thing that bugged me. No acknowledgement as repeat Explorer Society members. The "cocktail party" with return cruisers (only) invited was non-existent. Instead, included was everyone aboard to gather in the atrium, tripping over too many people crowded on the stairway and no where near enough room for all who showed up. There was no show of hands of those who have cruised however many times, river, ocean or combined. No spark of conversations to compare notes and connect. There was a quick toast to all who had traveled Viking before and a pitch about all new things to come. On arrival for the cruise there was no little gift, or note from the captain. All those little treatments that make those of us who have traveled with Viking, feel just a bit special. In closing I wish to reiterate, I will continue to fill my wanderlust thru Viking Cruises. The growth of your company is phenomenal. I'm hoping it is not the reason for the "issues" we experienced aboard this trip. Looking forward to booking our next adventure. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We took the 141 day cruise because it hit most of the places on our bucket list and it was in celebration of our retirement. The ship was quite nice and our cabin was spacious enough. But after 4 months we started to get bored with the ... Read More
We took the 141 day cruise because it hit most of the places on our bucket list and it was in celebration of our retirement. The ship was quite nice and our cabin was spacious enough. But after 4 months we started to get bored with the menu, it had been repeated once already. The activities were getting humdrum as well as the entertainment. At the beginning of the cruise, there was a great variety but near the end it was very drab and a lot of countrywestern music which I hate. I wanted to see more illusionists and modern music. Most of the ports were quite nice but it was very very very hot and humid. We had many people nearly pass out, including myself, from the heat. China and india were very polluted and filthy. There was garbage everywhere. Because of my asthma, it was difficult to breathe. Most of the ports we docked at were commercial ports unlike most of the other cruise line ports. That was very disappointing. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We have done 4 world cruises previously and wanted to try their first World Cruise 141 days.The ship is lovely the food was like most ships we did not as a whole enjoy the specialty restaurants the food was not the higher quality we ... Read More
We have done 4 world cruises previously and wanted to try their first World Cruise 141 days.The ship is lovely the food was like most ships we did not as a whole enjoy the specialty restaurants the food was not the higher quality we expected. The portions were small and usually too salty or strange to our taste that even though they were offered to the world cruise set free we canceled our reservations after the 5th try! The Italian restaurant was good but did not offer spaghetti or angel hair pasta without previous arrangement. The room was lovely we had a Deluxe Veranda and the heated floors and large flat screen TV was the best we had seen, even in some of the ships highest end rooms! The service was excellent the restaurant staff and bar service was top notch. Because the ship was financed by the largest Chinese Bank the serving staff had to be a large portion of the staff was Chinese and they were well trained and excellent at their jobs! They went overboard with their on board cultural experiences! Entertainment was often local and the ship usually did only one show unfortunately there was no way to display the talent properly. Their theater seating could not seat everyone on board so many had to stand or dodge the person in front or get there early to get the front row. For some reason the ship refused to do 2 shows a night even though they know neither the pool area or theater could seat everyone on board. This was something we had never run into before so if you are going for entertainment you might pick another ship. All entertainment except for 1 night a week at the disco (the dance floor will only accommodate 6 or 8 couples) the bar was the only place they had real rock and role to dance to everything else was very cultural high brow. Guitar, Chamber Music,Opera ,Piano and Violinist were the order of the day every day!!!! If this is what you like this is your ship but if you were raised on Rock and Roll like most Americans seek another ship! A once in awhile comedian or magician was a treat. Believe me this can make a lonnnnnggg World cruise! If you like musical theater and dance this is not your ship. The ports of call were standard fare and as they were new at this some mistakes were made they did not have the money to pay for us to cruise Hulong Bay as we were promised we were not happy! One of the best things on board was the large outdoor seating for meals on the stern. When the weather was good they threw all the sliding doors back and it was wonderful. The Spa is spacious and the extras they offer are great fun. The Gym is well thought out and works very well. Only it does not open early so if you want to exercise early or late you will find that it is closed to the guests and opened for the crew only! Beware we were told Cruise insurance was included of 150% when my husband became ill but they paid us less than 100%. There was no asterisk or foot note to say up to etc. even on the contract but the insurance company refused to live up to the promises that Viking made to us in their brochures so you might want to get additional insurance. In essence she is a lovely ship but would be better on a shorter cruise. Also beware the promises that Viking makes they will not pay 150% they lied! When I booked the cruise they said they had Zumba on board and they did not! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
The brand new Viking Sun, one of Viking’s many identical mid-sized ships to come, seemed ideal as it would be sparklingly new in every way. Then too, the itinerary sounded fantastic from Miami, Florida to London via the Panama Canal and ... Read More
The brand new Viking Sun, one of Viking’s many identical mid-sized ships to come, seemed ideal as it would be sparklingly new in every way. Then too, the itinerary sounded fantastic from Miami, Florida to London via the Panama Canal and Los Angeles, multiple south seas islands, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Manila, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia/IndoChina, Thailand, India, Arabian ports, Egypt, Malta, Algiers, southern Spanish ports, and Porto Spain. Many cruise ship features that are usually paid extra en route were included in the quoted cruise fares which made it feel richer and more convenient, but of course passengers are getting nothing for free. Wi-fi, for example, which has been a ripoff for many passengers for years, was “free” but very marginal and intermittent at best. For a very long cruise one was basically unable to carry on much of modern ordinary financial or communications needs with such inadequate service. Many ports were simply too far from sight-seeing and cultural destinations to make visiting them much more than very long round trip bus rides. Partly this was poor planning and port selection by Viking. Partly it was a low pecking order in port assignments for a firm new to many world ports. It also showed shallowness of knowledge about the most desirable places to visit. Many passengers were experienced and well educated and in some cases experienced comical day tours for quite a bit of extra cost. This was also true of on board entertainment, much of which was sophomoric. There was quite a bit of crew rotation which caused service of all kinds to be quite variable. About the time young crew members knew and performed their jobs well, they’d be off the ship and new ones joined. The younger crew themselves were wonderful and eager to please, so it was management’s newness to long cruising that was at fault. Cabins or staterooms were new, clean, cheerful, functional, and all had small verandas. Food service consisted of a breakfast and nearly day long buffet, three dinner restaurants, and several small bars and snack sites. One dinner restaurant was walk-in and the other two were reservation only. Good food was had, for the most part, but portions were rather meager in the reservation restaurants. The chefs in these two were quite creative, often too much so for some people. I would say food was one of the better aspects of Viking Sun. Senior crew who interfaced with the public seemed inexperienced and sometimes rather rude. Many were not very fluent in cruise languages, primarily English. There were quite a few excellent lecturers on board between many ports who added much to the amateurish shore excursions and on board entertainment. They were knowledgeable and fine teachers on many subjects. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
The Viking Sun is a beautifully designed ship. It is a combination of class and simplicity. Even with 900 plus passengers on board we found few occasions where crowding was a problem. The port selection was very good. Although we had ... Read More
The Viking Sun is a beautifully designed ship. It is a combination of class and simplicity. Even with 900 plus passengers on board we found few occasions where crowding was a problem. The port selection was very good. Although we had been around the world two years earlier, there were a lot of ports we had not visited. We loved seeing the pyramids, Shanghai, Sydney and Singapore just to mention a few of the ports. The staterooms are well designed however they are small as compared to other ships. If you need a wheelchair, walker or electric scooter, the veranda class staterooms are too small. In my case I had to lift the walker over the bed to get it out to the door. If that won't work out for you, you will have to go up a step or two for adequate room The stateroom storage is adequate for an around the world cruise. I may not bring as many clothes as Dee, however I make up for it in electronic devices. Viking understands that need by supplying a multiplicity of USB ports and 110 outlets throughout the cabin One of the untold benefits to the Viking ship is the heated bathroom floors. In colder weather it is a real boon, not to mention when you are just getting out of the shower The pool areas were great as were the hot tubs. The Infinity pool located aft is a blast. The main pool area is beautiful. There is plenty of space to lay around. One of the positive points of this area is In inclement weather the pool’s roof can be closed and that is a real blessing. The public areas are also beautifully designed. The atrium has great acoustics so you can hear the music even on the third deck of the atrium. This world cruise was unique for Viking. It was their inaugural world cruise as well as one of the first cruises for this ship. Given this, the cruise benefits were more than their usual. All world cruisers received the silver package. This added mixed and speciality drinks to their already standard wine and beer availability. Free laundry was also included for this cruise. I am told that both of these will not be available for free on subsequent world cruises. The staff was outstanding. Like all long cruises the service gets more personal the longer you are on board. In some cases it was like sailing with friends. There was some staff turnover during the cruise however aside from the new faces there was no change in the quality of service. There is little doubt that the better you know and respect the staff the more personal the service. Viking offers free WiFi on their cruises. For todays traveler this is a great benefit. I would love to tell you that it is as good or better than others, however it is not. At least three to four times a day wifi was just not available. As the trip neared its end the WiFi interruptions increased and the service became worse. Free WiFi is an included benefit but this WiFi benefit wasn’t worth even free. The same interrupted service was true with the television. On numerous occasions during the day the signal was just flat unavailable in the rooms. I include the ship board services in this category. Frankly it appears their whole IT system shuts down as everything including port talks, weather, education programs, and even the bow Camera was unavailable. They even went so far as to end 30% of the service 24 hours before the cruises final day. The food is excellent in all their venues. The World Cafe is the buffet venue. Each evening however they have destination type menus on the Aquavit Terrace related to your itinerary. The Restaurant is not only esthetically pleasant, but the food and wine are excellent as well and the staff was outstanding as well. The design of the Restaurant really may not lend itself to meeting friends or new people. The majority of tables were for two, and after a while shared tables were not offered. The specialty restaurants were excellent in variety, preparation, service and are at no additional cost. If you like Italian Manfredi’s is excellent. If you are more adventurous we would suggest the Chef’s Table. Room service was also very good. From the call to delivery it usually takes about 20 minutes to an half hour which is very reasonable. The one negative issue about their food and wine services was that they often ran out of items. It is certainly not a deal killer and may again be because of their unfamiliarity with this type of cruise and supply chain. The excursions were one of the few down sides of this cruise, in short they really need some work. They appeared to be very interesting on their face but on numerous occasions they didn’t live up to the hype. This may well be because they are new in this region of the world and they need to gain more experience. They do however offer one free excursion per port which is nice. Another thing Viking does well are the port talks. They not only introduce you to the next port, they also go over each excursion, what you will see, and the difficulty of the excursion. I would strongly encourage those with walking difficulties to listen to the port talks as what they classify as moderate may fall into the extreme category for you. The enrichment lecturers were excellent as well. There were a great variety of speakers available and their topics were timely and very interesting. Disembarkation however was very poorly handled. We were docked in the Thames River at Greenwich. For Viking it was a great PR move for getting off the ship it was a mess. Starting at about 2:00 AM they started ferrying passengers off the ship. At 8:15 AM it was our turn. Twenty minutes later they had the ferry filled and we started the 5 minute trip to the Greenwich stop. From there it was single file to the steep ramp. The steepness of the ramp caused problems for those with walking issues, in wheel chairs, or walkers with no one there to help. If it hadn’t been for a few kind locals it would have been a real trial for those in need. Once at the top of the ramp you walked into a park. 75% of the bags were sitting in the grass. Had it not been for the porters no one would have known where the bag sections were. The truth of the matter was if it hadn’t been for the porters it would have been a real mess. We have been on many cruises on a number of different cruises lines and in some cases Viking did not favorably compare to other cruise line we have traveled on. Over all Viking has the ability to give you a good ocean cruise experience but it has to do a lot of work to do before it meets it’s stated goals. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We really enjoyed the Cuban experience but were very disappointed by the cancellations/changes in itinerary. A cruise which included Cuba, Belize, Cozumel, Key west, Miami was reduced to Miami & Cuba. We were informed prior to ... Read More
We really enjoyed the Cuban experience but were very disappointed by the cancellations/changes in itinerary. A cruise which included Cuba, Belize, Cozumel, Key west, Miami was reduced to Miami & Cuba. We were informed prior to embarking that the ports of Belize & Cozumel were scraped & we were not pleased. Some of the day excursions were unavailable. Also, we were not permitted to dock inn Havana which caused us to have to take a bus from our port to Havana which was more than 3 hrs. away; not good! The specialty dining was disappointing as well. Due to weather we were unable to visit Key West which was an added disappointment. Cuba was great but our time there did not make up for the rest. We have been on a Viking River cruise & have one scheduled again but would be very wary of Viking Ocean in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We took this cruise due to the list itinerary. It included Key West, Belize, Cozumel, w days docked in Havana, and 2 sea days. It gave a test of destinations that we had never seen. We had been on the sister ship last year and loved the ... Read More
We took this cruise due to the list itinerary. It included Key West, Belize, Cozumel, w days docked in Havana, and 2 sea days. It gave a test of destinations that we had never seen. We had been on the sister ship last year and loved the cruise. 2 days before cancellation without penalty or a penalty of $100 a person, we were alerted to an extreme itinerary change. It eliminated Belize, Cozumel and instead of docking in Havana, we were anchored ( not docked) in Cienfugoes, about 150 miles or a 4 hour arduous bus trip one way to Havana. Viking tried to compensate by giving each guest who had signed up for the original itinerary, $250.00 ship board credit, included a night in a hotel and included the shore excursions. There was little to spend on the ship and all of the affordable items were gobbled up immediately. The ship was nice as was the food, service and entertainment. Had the original itinerary been in effect, this would have been an exceptional experience. Oceania had a cruise in the same time slot, but were already booked by the time we were alerted to the extreme itinerary change. Obviously the most disturbing part of this was that we did not get to dock in Havana. I had called Viking several times with questions and got a different spin on the whys of the change. The representatives were all courteous, but apparently not well informed. I checked into future Viking cruises to Cuba. Still no docking in Havana. A shame. This was our 4th Viking cruise. To cruise critic, I cannot think of anything further to add. Ship and service was good. Itinerary was disappointing. Entertainment was good. What more can I say? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
Cuba. If you decide to travel to Cuba, do not take Viking cruise. I am a big fan of Viking but they did their passengers a disservice by landing at Cienfuegos. To get to Havana, we were onboard a bus on uneven, rocky highways for almost ... Read More
Cuba. If you decide to travel to Cuba, do not take Viking cruise. I am a big fan of Viking but they did their passengers a disservice by landing at Cienfuegos. To get to Havana, we were onboard a bus on uneven, rocky highways for almost eight hours there and back. And, Havana is what you most want to see in Cuba not Cienfuegos. I loved Havana - the Hemingway House, the historic squares and churches. Havana has it all including a vibrant nightlife. I can heartily recommend a trip to Cuba just not on Viking as long as they port in Cienfuegos. The ship was beyond expectation. Great food, plenty of spaces to be by yourself, no glitzy casino, the ice grotto was lots of fun, opulent furnishings, Viking has brought a new standard to ocean cruising. However, I would recommend any other line to Cuba if their ship docks in Havana. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise because my sister in-law thought it would be fun to see Cuba. We made our reservation in September 2016, over a year before the cruise. In August of 2017 Viking informed all the passengers that they never received ... Read More
We chose this cruise because my sister in-law thought it would be fun to see Cuba. We made our reservation in September 2016, over a year before the cruise. In August of 2017 Viking informed all the passengers that they never received permission to dock in Havana. This means they sold us a cruise when they did not have permission to dock in Havana/Cuba. Viking informed us/passengers that they had permission (August 2017) to dock in Cienfuegos, Cuba and would be dropping the ports of Belize and Cozumel. As an incentive for people to keep their bookings for this cruise Viking offered us $500 ship board credit and all tours in Cuba for free. We felt that was a fair deal. We were told that the bus ride to Havana would be 2 1/2 hours, again we thought that was ok for the overnight tour. Well, we get on board and come to find out the bus ride will be 3 1/2 to 4 hours! The overnight tour to Havana was good but an exhausting schedule. We arrived at our hotel (dirty and about 2 1/2*) for the night and were informed that we had 1 HOUR to change for dinner and the Tropicana show. The show started at 10:00pm and ended at 12:00am. You could choose to miss the last half of the show and return to the hotel. You had to be ready for breakfast at 6:00am. We got 4 1/2 hours of sleep. then off to the Bay of Pigs museum (all in Spanish) then the ship. Our tour guide was not very good but that can happen with any tour. Viking had 3 shows One was good, about traveling and airlines. They other two were just ok. They had the same 6 good singers and a modern/ballet dance couple in the shows. Think of ABBA music with ballet dancing? This couple was in 2 of the shows and repetitive. Service in the restaurants was very slow. The Chiefs Table had a strange fixed menu and we chose to pass on that restaurant. We talked to other couples who felt the same. We were in the Explores Lounge one evening, it was not crowded at all, when we were ready to leave for dinner my husband went up to the bartender to cancel my order and she said the waiter forgot where I was sitting so he never brought my drink! The next day my husband saw that we had been charged for the drink, customer service did remove that from our bill. We all felt that maybe Viking Ocean Cruises is expanding so fast they are failing to train their people correctly. When you call Viking with questions you always seem to get different answers. We are booked for a cruise in 2019 and we are giving it some thought as to canceling before our big payment. The cruise is in April 2019 but they want full payment in late August 2018. Are they using our money to finance their new ships! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Itinerary: Miami, at sea, Key West, Cienfuegos 3 days, at sea, Miami Viking should stick to the European cruise market and forget about the Caribbean. If you were thinking about taking a Viking Caribbean Cruise don’t do it or at ... Read More
Itinerary: Miami, at sea, Key West, Cienfuegos 3 days, at sea, Miami Viking should stick to the European cruise market and forget about the Caribbean. If you were thinking about taking a Viking Caribbean Cruise don’t do it or at least wait a few years until they work out the kinks. I did not appreciate experiencing their growing pains on my dollar. To start, the itinerary I paid for was Key West, Havana overnight, Belize and Cozumel. Viking marketed this cruise before they had approval to dock in Havana, so in August we were informed that they were not approved and the itinerary no longer included Havana, Belize or Cozumel. Viking attempted to make up for it by giving a $250 ship board credit per person and an included tour on each day in Cienfuegos. The credit did help ease the annoyance a little, but if I knew then what I know now I would have wanted a full refund (not that this was an option). EXCURSIONS: IT IS AN 8 HOUR DRIVE ROUND TRIP FROM CIENFUEGOS TO HAVANA. The tours included a full day in Havana excursion (12 hours) or a 1.5 day overnight in Havana to make up for the itinerary change. Viking did not inform anyone that this meant a 4 hour bus ride each way to Havana. The Trinidad excursion was a little less then 2 hours each way. Yes, there is a bathroom on the bus. The excursions were a complete cluster the first day in Cuba. We waited 2.5 hours to clear immigration, exchange money and get the tour started. So, if you were on the 12 hour excursion to Havana you spent over 2 hours waiting, 8 hours driving and less than 2 hours to actually see Havana. The Trinidad excursion was also rushed due to the late start. The lunch was good, but again very rushed. The streets were so hilly and uneven that a few people had to request a cab for the way back to the tour bus. Do not take this tour if you have mobility issues. No time to shop or explore on your own. Cienfuegos on foot also felt rushed even though we started on time. Cigar factory part of tour was not worth the stop, but overall tour was pretty good. Tour guide couldn’t get the QuietVox to work so we couldn’t hear anything. We finally had 30 minutes to shop at the end. The Ship: The ship was elegant, beautiful and spotless. No crowds and no kids. Balconies in every stateroom. This ship is EXACTLY the same as the Viking Sea. I do think all the Viking ocean ships are designed the same, but even the menu and entertainment are exactly the same. The food: I am comparing the food on the Viking Sun to the very high bar that Viking set for themselves on my Viking Sea Ocean Mediterranean Cruise. The Wintergarden service was very slow and disorganized the first couple days. Manfredi’s served us Caprese salad with frozen mozzarella and cold pasta. On the Mediterranean Cruise Viking tailored the menu to each country we visited as we were in the region. They did not put much effort into creating a Cuban cuisine. They used the same menu as the other ship. However, the sushi was amazing and the pool grill had excellent service. The drinks: On the first sea day, it was as if Viking was surprised that people drink mojitos and pina coladas and hang out at the pool on a Caribbean cruise. Everyone was complaining that the pina coladas were not that good. For the price of this cruise you expect the drinks to be done right and not made with cheap mixer. I was also surprised that Viking would pull something like being out of stock of the nicer tequila included in the drink package. I suspect the itinerary change fiasco cut into their profit margin so they tried to save money in ways they thought would go unnoticed. We noticed. If this were a cheap cruise all these things would have been forgivable and even expected, but this was a VERY expensive cruise and the value was just not there. So you might as well take the more affordable cruise from the cruise lines that are experienced in this region. I have sailed two Viking Ocean cruises and I am not sure I like the all inclusive pricing. You end up paying a premium for things you don't use or like. While I appreciate the culinary artistry of the Chef's Table it was not good enough to pay more for. You get to reserve the specialty restaurants based on price of your cabin. The higher price for first dibs is NOT worth it. The main restaurant and casual dining venue are just as good. If you don't drink wine you still pay for it. The included tours are usually just OK and you have to pay for the better ones. They purposely schedule tours so you will not be able to take the included excursion and another optional one. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
The food was great! Not the kind of food that you have to have alot of. The smell, visual and taste was enough to satisfy. There was no expensive "umbrella drink" hard sales, or casino (which was good). We were surprised that our ... Read More
The food was great! Not the kind of food that you have to have alot of. The smell, visual and taste was enough to satisfy. There was no expensive "umbrella drink" hard sales, or casino (which was good). We were surprised that our lecture speakers were all old, white men (5 of them). Is there no woman that has something interesting to speak about to (dare I say...) a ship full of women???? My largest disappointment was that the Viking bed sheets gave me contact dematitis. The soap they use and the scratchiness of the sheets surprised me! When I asked my steward if there were other sheets on board that were less scratchy she said "no"! On day 3 (after mentioning the concern each day) I was given 2 pillows that were washed without laundry soap. This helped...but I still continued to get rashes fron the sheets themselves! I would have thought that a line (like Viking) would have soft, allergy-free linens. We thoroughly enjoyed the French cooking class (extra $) worth the experience. The wine at lunch and dinner was a nice touch, except it was all French wine...and the same taste each day. It would direct you to purchase the beverage package for "the experience" of dining/pairing. If you are just looking for wine without a pricetag...it is fine. The music offered on the ship was perfect for us (guitarist, pianist and 3 piece orchestra. Evening shows were good. Loved the movie afternoon with popcorn. For us...one of the greatest things Viking offered was the cappacino bars. What a treat! So...we had the great and the missed on this trip...our expectations being met in some areas and fell wayfully short in other areas. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
The ship itself is great. Need more visible overhead hallway signage for elevators and, more importantly, REST ROOMS as these are impossible to find unless you are standing right in front of them. Need more overall bar service attendants ... Read More
The ship itself is great. Need more visible overhead hallway signage for elevators and, more importantly, REST ROOMS as these are impossible to find unless you are standing right in front of them. Need more overall bar service attendants any time passengers are on board and the ship is moving. The volume in the theater should be increased for movies and presentations. Repeat the presentations for in-cabin TV's. More American sports broadcasts, especially American football--it is a tradition on Thanksgiving Day. We were there over Thanksgiving and there were no decorations. Food in the main restaurant was fine but not so with the food on Deck 7. The food was never warm, let alone hot. Quality there was just fair. The burgers, however, were great ( this was the same situation as on our first Ocean cruise-Barcelona to Venice). Our Cuba tour guide was very difficult to understand-her accent was very heavy. Since Cuba wants more American tourists, signs with the photos in the Bay of Pigs Museum should also be in English. We did not have time to see the 20 minute film in the museum. No washcloths in the hotel (they don't have them). Hotel breakfast was great. The dinner before the show was fine and the show was spectacular! Would be good to have a "non smoking" area at the show facility, especially since they give out free cigars to all of the men. Americans are very accustomed to smoke-free areas in venues like this. Read Less
Viking Sun Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.7
Dining 5.0 4.5
Entertainment 4.0 4.3
Public Rooms 5.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.4
Family 1.0 4.4
Shore Excursion 4.5 4.1
Enrichment 4.5 4.3
Service 5.0 4.7
Value For Money 5.0 4.3

Find a Viking Sun Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise