10 Viking Ocean Viking Sun Cruise Reviews

There are really two parts to this review. The first is about the awful virus that spread unchecked that ruined our trip. The second part is about what the ship is like if I don't factor in how sick so many of us were. My husband ... Read More
There are really two parts to this review. The first is about the awful virus that spread unchecked that ruined our trip. The second part is about what the ship is like if I don't factor in how sick so many of us were. My husband and I both became extremely ill on exactly the same evening about ten days into our trip-- we are both in excellent health and among the very youngest on the ship. We went from feeling fine to minutes later having fever, chills, nauseated, extreme disorientation, dizziness, terrible hacking cough. We were in our room for three days, I literally was so ill I didn't have the energy to order room service. When we finally were well enough to leave our room, we heard that half the ship had the same virus, there were lines at the doctor's office, you could hear the same hacking cough everywhere. I tried twice to see the doctor to see what the virus was and if we needed antibiotics-- the first time office hours were cancelled because "he had been up for 36 hours straight" and the second because during his office hours there was an emergency medical evacuation. It was getting to the end of the cruise and I thought we would be feeling better soon. Everyone we talked to had a story about either being sick themselves or listing all the people onboard who had the same virus, and people in our trivia group dropped out due to the virus. When I found out the virus had been going around the ship the whole time we were there with people onboard from the previous segment, I was so bothered that it had not been communicated sooner and that precautions had not been taken by the ship-- they were shaking hands with passengers regularly! Had I known I would have disinfected the room, never shaken hands, avoided the buffet, taken the immune building supplements I carry for travel whenever there is sickness spreading, etc. After we left the ship, whenever I tried to do anything for the remainder of our trip I became ill all over again, I couldn't eat, etc. Once we returned and I wasn't getting well (I was so dizzy I couldn't drive, could only eat soup and bread, couldn't concentrate on work, etc.) I called my doctor who wanted any background information on the Virus. I contacted Viking who said they didn't have to tell me because there were far fewer than 20 cases reported! Now, I literally spoke with more than 20 people who had had the virus. The customer service person was belligerent and accusatory, implying I wasn't really sick and said in a sarcastic tone that if I was sick he was sure I would have reported it. I told him we told the housekeepers we were too sick to leave the room and he said that didn't count. I also told him about trying to see the doctor twice and being prevented one time because of the emergency medical evacuation-- and he told me in a triumphant tone that there was no emergency medical evacuation during my cruise. I replied that it was pretty frightening that hundreds of people onboard were ill with the same severe virus and there was an emergency medical evacuation that hundreds of people watched since it was by the coast guard in open ocean and lasted hours-- yet Viking had a record of neither. I finally told him that since they have no record of this illness I was reporting it now, and he said that didn't count. After spending a fortune on this cruise, being so ill and trying to get information for my doctor, it was so dispiriting to be treated this way. I contracted this virus about a month and a half ago and not only have only started getting completely well in the last two weeks (after taking powerful antibiotics), but I'm still having all kinds of medical tests because of concerns that it was so severe it might have caused a mini stroke and other permanent damage. Now, if I had not gotten a horrible virus that I think could have been prevented, and not been treated so dismissively by Viking customer service? On the positive side, I would say the food was the best I've ever had on a cruise ship (and we are foodies used to high end cruises). As one example, they serve a full traditional tea daily, complete with tiered plates of mini sandwiches and sweets, plus scones every afternoon, just like a fancy tea you might pay for. On Oceania, the tea is from teabags with paper napkins with a few things passed around. Most notably, the general restaurant was as good as specialty restaurants on other ships. I'll compare again to Oceania where the general restaurant was so bad we couldn't eat there and you had to fight for reservations in the specialty restaurants. Another Viking plus was that you could get as many reservations in the free specialty restaurants as you wanted. Service overall was the best we've ever experienced on a ship. Loved that there is no corkage fee in the restaurants and they are delighted to open and pour what you bring-- while basic wine was free, we loved to pick up special bottles as we traveled and really appreciated this benefit. The cafe and main restaurant are also really well designed so that you can often get a window seat, and never get the sense of an overwhelming sea of people. They also did a lot of special things that were nice-- bringing local specialty foods aboard, etc. We enjoyed the trivia everyday in port (vs. bingo on some ships), loved not listening to announcements all day and no junky art shows, and the hairdresser was fantastic and very reasonably priced. Generally, a very high quality, lovely experience vs. some of the constant upgrading and rules on other ships-- they seemed super flexible and customer service oriented. On the negative side, be very weary of this boat, I would try the other Viking Ocean boats because this boat does two World Cruise Trips a year and if you do a segment as we did (unbeknownst to most people booking who didn't realize they were taking part of a world cruise) there are disadvantages. First, even with an upgraded room and the paid for perk of being able to get first choice on excursions etc. what this means when you travel with world cruisers is that you get to pick AFTER that half of the boat, so no real perk for upgraded rooms and many segment people were unhappy to see the excursion they wanted sold out on the very first day they were available to book. They were also unhappy to see the world cruisers at events they were not invited to and felt like second class citizens. However, depending on your age and health, the biggest disadvantage is that the average age on the boat seemed to be 70-90. I have never been on a cruise with so many old people and they were not healthy, active old people-- it was a sea of 4 prong canes and a very slow walk down any corridor. For many world cruisers this is a bucket list item, and they frequently didn't even get off the boat, kind of like a last hurrah. We didn't take any of the included excursions because they are basically all 3 hour motor coach rides, but segment people who did said half the time was spent with the old folks getting on and off the huge busses. To be honest, I felt like I was in a nursing home at times. The rooms were a mixed bag. They functioned beautifully and were very comfortable with a nice shower, but they just weren't special, they were very plain. We got the upgraded penthouse balcony for many thousands more and it was maybe a couple of feet wider but that's it, it looked like a very standard ship room-- this was not a worthwhile upgrade. For example, with Oceania the penthouse balcony for about the same amount to upgrade is luxurious and beautiful with special touches like a dining table for two and a huge closet-- I would call it romantic. Viking just isn't romantic. One issue my husband had was that many events were held in the pool area. However, when the roof was closed the chlorine gas was overwhelming and you simply could not be in that room-- yet this is where they were serving all kinds of specialty foods, like when they went ashore for local king crab legs, you could only get them in this area. My husband had to leave the superbowl get together because he couldn't breath the fumes anymore. Finally, I will say that many seemed to like the entertainment but we were disappointed. Too many of the shows were with their in house group and in house band which were both weak-- the vocals and instrumentalists were painful at times. The few shows they brought in from the outside were generally strong. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Two weeks ago, I returned from a four-month Around the World Cruise on the Viking Sun. The ship is beautiful. However, there were many things wrong with this cruise which is why I can give it only two stars. Five ports were missed ... Read More
Two weeks ago, I returned from a four-month Around the World Cruise on the Viking Sun. The ship is beautiful. However, there were many things wrong with this cruise which is why I can give it only two stars. Five ports were missed because of "bad weather". Passengers were given NO compensation for ports missed except for one port when the ship had engine problems. The ship is two-years old and understaffed in the dining room. The service is very slow and the food is often served cold. Perpetual chaos in the dining room. Even though I complained several times to restaurant managers, the service never got better. The temperature in the dining room is often overly warm and uncomfortable. Asian food is served more often than to my liking and some foods are repeated often. Outdoor grilling is often served on the pool deck but the lines can be 15 minutes long because the cooking is slow. The passengers on the world cruise had two photo ops provided by the Viking staff on the bow of the ship. We were told that we would each receive a copy of a photo. We never received a photo. I recently learned that not only will we not receive a photo but also that the photo is posted on Facebook, and unless we have a Facebook account, we cannot see the photo nor will we receive a copy. I do not have a Facebook account and do not intend to get one. The Guest Services, Housekeeping, and bar staffs are excellent. The Shore Excursons staff does a great job of trying to accommodate passengers for their choice of shore excursions. The General Manager, Sujith, is extremely nice and does everything he can to grant requests from passengers. To sum up, I think that missing five ports on a world cruise with no compensation is unacceptable. I doubt I'll travel with Viking again. I found too many annoyances to make me want to sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We have been Viking fans for many years but this was our first sailing on the Sun. Our biggest issue was intermittent sewer odors coming through the ventilation system (not from the bathroom area). Although maintenance and Engineering ... Read More
We have been Viking fans for many years but this was our first sailing on the Sun. Our biggest issue was intermittent sewer odors coming through the ventilation system (not from the bathroom area). Although maintenance and Engineering attempted to resolve, they did not resolve, possibly because this is a design issue or requires a bigger fix than they could do at sea. Either way, Guest Services management was totally unsympathetic and offered no apologies, etc. One really nagging concern is that we were upgraded from a Penthouse Veranda on deck 4 to a Penthouse Veranda Junior Suite on deck 8. I can't help but wonder if they had previous sewer odor issues with this room and this was their attempt to get by until they could get a permanent fix? Noise level in this room was unusually loud and apparently came from doors slamming immediately below the room in crew access corridors or ? Food service often was very lacking in the World Cafe (sometimes nearly had to tackle waiters for beverages) even though they appeared to be adequately staffed. Perhaps this was a training issue related to the rapid growth. The quality of entertainment from the on board musicians poor. Again, this was very different from all our previous Viking experiences. Optional excursions ranged from poor to good (but none "great") and most of our's were expensive (more than $200 pp). With tipping and other costs included, the Viking price point and value is not what it used to be. Although I left similar comments with Guest Services and on my end of cruise survey, I have yet to hear any response from Viking Management. We will likely stick to Viking river cruises going forward and look to other small ship cruise lines for ocean cruises. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise as we have not traveled to these countries (Norway, Denmark) and were also interested in add-on to Iceland. We have done river cruises with Viking in the post and were generally very happy with the sightseeing ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we have not traveled to these countries (Norway, Denmark) and were also interested in add-on to Iceland. We have done river cruises with Viking in the post and were generally very happy with the sightseeing opportunities and excursions offered there. First of all, this trip was new to Viking Ocean and there were definitely problems. The scene at the airport was completely chaotic; the buses to take us to the ship were not at the airport, hotel assignments were a mess (some people were told their names were not on the roster), communication between the Viking reps and us completely non-existent. Finally onboard, check-in was also chaotic. No lines, just a crowd of tired passengers vying for room assignments and a bottle of water (None offered!) The ship is clean, attractive. Staterooms pleasant. Nothing exceptional. Entertainment okay. Shore excursions: poor: Optional excursions very expensive, included ones were a quick jog (1-1/2 hours) through port leaving no time for questions or photos. Best excursion was the full day train ride to Flam (pricey but enjoyable) The best thing about the cruise was the service and dining room attendants. Friendly, efficient, accommodating. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We sailed with Viking River Cruises previously and had a wonderful experience. We expected the same with Viking Ocean Cruises. What was originally a 4 port cruise to Belize, Cozumel, Key West and Cuba turned out to be a 1 port cruise to ... Read More
We sailed with Viking River Cruises previously and had a wonderful experience. We expected the same with Viking Ocean Cruises. What was originally a 4 port cruise to Belize, Cozumel, Key West and Cuba turned out to be a 1 port cruise to Cuba. This cruise line is totally unprepared for ocean cruising and kept changing the itinerary and rules. The food and service were great. There is practically nothing to do on board. 3 lectures a day; trivia contest which conflicted timewise with the afternoon tea and let's not forget the; terrible "entertainment" is not my idea of a good time. Oh, I forgot the 2000 piece jigsaw puzzle the passengers can work on when there is nothing else to do - which is most of the time. If you want nothing more to do than sleep, lay by the pool and eat this might be the cruise for you. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We have enjoyed a number of Viking cruises in the past and I especially wanted to return to Havana. This trip, however, was extremely disappointing. The food and drinks on board were under par and in some cases very bad. (Twice I was ... Read More
We have enjoyed a number of Viking cruises in the past and I especially wanted to return to Havana. This trip, however, was extremely disappointing. The food and drinks on board were under par and in some cases very bad. (Twice I was served drinks with spoiled ingredients.) The logistics of transporting us to shore and around the country were uncomfortable and unpleasant. We realize that certain Cuban restrictions dictated what Viking could and could not do, but, within those parameters, you could have done much better! Except for the totally fun ride to dinner in the 1950s convertibles, our excursion to Havana was very disappointing. Also giving us $500 shipboard credit to compensate for not being able to dock in Havana was worthless since no services were ever available nor was there much left to buy in the shops. I was never able to book a spa service and ended up buying some things I really didn’t want. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
1. We chose this cruise because it was going to 4 ports including Havana. Itinerary changes made it considerably less desirable: day in Key West and 3 night stay over in Cienfuegas. Cienfuegas is worth one day. I do not fault Viking for ... Read More
1. We chose this cruise because it was going to 4 ports including Havana. Itinerary changes made it considerably less desirable: day in Key West and 3 night stay over in Cienfuegas. Cienfuegas is worth one day. I do not fault Viking for these changes, but it was not the trip we hoped for. 2. We were not docked in port but had a 15-minute tender to Cienfuegas. 3. For reasons unclear, most tours forced you to meet between 6 AM and 8 AM to meet your buses. That meant setting alarms and hurrying through breakfast and morning routines for no apparent reason. 4. Food and services were excellent as always on Viking. Manfreddi's in particular was especially good. Public spaces are beautiful and love the art and Nordic antique collections. Once again, I do not think any of this was Viking's fault, but I would not recommend taking this cruise if it remains the same as when we went. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Very poor communication during the year-long reservation period about changes in times and places. Excursions were spent riding a bus to get somewhere for a very short rather hurried view of the place. Had a jr suite that was supposed to ... Read More
Very poor communication during the year-long reservation period about changes in times and places. Excursions were spent riding a bus to get somewhere for a very short rather hurried view of the place. Had a jr suite that was supposed to allow earlier boarding—-had to inquire after original check in and finally allowed to board ahead of some. This jr suite was also to have stocked mini bar with drinks and snacks. We requested wine and were constantly resupplied with liquor and had to call to get corrected. On about the third day we ate some of the snacks—-they were never resupplied. It’s all too bad——we had booked this cruise a year ahead (to get free airfare but that didn’t go away as we were told it would if not booked by a certain date) and were so looking forward to it. I’m very sorry it and Viking were so disappointing and not the top notch cruise I was expecting. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We chose this cruise for the transatlantic crossing, seeing the Azores, and for wonderful days at sea. The vast majority of passengers where appalling, down right rude, and never out of their back yards. The ship personal and food was ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the transatlantic crossing, seeing the Azores, and for wonderful days at sea. The vast majority of passengers where appalling, down right rude, and never out of their back yards. The ship personal and food was nothing more then being at a diner on some back country road. The advertisements produced by Viking was nothing like the experience. The new vessel was beautiful, cabin wonderful, but the on board experience was appalling!! The port excursions where well conducted. The entertainment and activities where so poor and lacked any attention to detail . At tea time, in the different areas serving tea, there where passenger sleeping on the sofas, with no shoes on, dirty feet and resembling a beached whale. In many of the restaurants passenger arrived wearing flops, T-Shirts and this was at the evening meals and nothing was said for the poor dress! This Viking cruise was nothing more the a world filled with mediocrities. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
To see Cuba and several central American ports was our goal. I have been to Cuba multiple times and was indifferent to the port (my wife's first visit and she was very happy). The hotel stay purchased via Viking was a poorly kempt ... Read More
To see Cuba and several central American ports was our goal. I have been to Cuba multiple times and was indifferent to the port (my wife's first visit and she was very happy). The hotel stay purchased via Viking was a poorly kempt hotel on the older side. It was not the quality that we would choose to stay and makes us unlikely to stay at a Viking cruise choice of hotels. The Hilton property is not a fine hotel, but a worn middle class facility. The cruise was only disappointing if you expected what was advertised. The restitution was inadequate for a cruise that was far different than what we purchased. A few hundred dollars was given for a future cruise. towards the end of the cruise, I went to purchase several more Viking cruises. I went to the future cruise desk and their was no line. A approached the Viking Cruise future cruise salesperson. He looked up and said, "I.do not talk to people who do not have appoints, I am too busy to speak with you. Sign up for an appointment and we will let you know when to come back. I was incensed and said. "I do not want to talk to you, all I want to do is purchase to more cruises NOW! He backed off and us to buy to two voyages. I was very angry at the time, by wife calmed me down. Not wanting to accept our money and not wanting to sell the cruise is appalling Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
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

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