We had always wanted to go to Cuba, and when Viking said it was going, we signed up. While there were obstacles along the way (Cuba nixing port call for us in Havana, unexplained medical problems suffered by American diplomats in Cuba, ... Read More
We had always wanted to go to Cuba, and when Viking said it was going, we signed up. While there were obstacles along the way (Cuba nixing port call for us in Havana, unexplained medical problems suffered by American diplomats in Cuba, itinerary changes, U.S. Cuba travel regulation changes), we are very glad we didn't cancel this cruise. There was some extra effort in getting to Havana, but Viking outdid itself by working with a travel agency to give us a fabulous experience that was interesting, fun, and well choreographed.
Of course the ship is beautiful, as was our cabin. Dining is great. My husband loves the World Cafe, and I love eating outside if the weather is decent, so we spent a lot of time in the World Cafe. Activities were low-keyed but adequate for probably the majority of people Viking atracts. We appreciated the free internet and included excursions, and the extras Viking gave us when our itinerary was changed. Free use of the spa pool, sauna, etc. was nice too, although I'm not much of a spa person. We thought the port talks were excellent. While the entertainers didn't present the big, splashy nightly shows that some other cruise lines present, we felt the quality was high. We loved the service on the ship, and the little things as well - ship phone number on your key card, door bell, more drawers on the Sun, placement of your luggage on the bed when you embark, etc. I liked the impromptu/informal gatherings in the Atrium, and the fact that the cruise director was personable but not in-your-face friendly/accessible.
Most importantly, I think the excursions were well run, and I know how hard that must have been, given that Cuba is a new country for Viking. Yes, we spent time on buses, but hopefully Viking will gain approval to go to Havana in another year or so when Cuba feels it can handle more visits. Also, hopefully people will feel freer to arrange their own excursions and not be dependent upon ship excursions, which are usually more expensive with less quality than what can be arranged on your own. Given what Viking had to work with, I think they and Cuba Travel Services did a fabulous job. I loved Trinidad, and of course Havana was very interesting and rewarding to visit. Those classic cars everywhere make Cuba a pretty unique travel destination, and I'm glad I got to see (and experience) Cuba before it is completely overrun with American tourists. My only regret is that despite visiting Cienfuegos, I had little time and energy left over to see much of it! Read Less