3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We picked this cruise line based on reviews and reputation. We picked this cruise for the its itinerary and excursions. Viking missed the mark all too often, then when they had the opportunity to offer some accommodation for their error - ... Read More
We picked this cruise line based on reviews and reputation. We picked this cruise for the its itinerary and excursions. Viking missed the mark all too often, then when they had the opportunity to offer some accommodation for their error - chose to pour gasoline on the fire. Save your money and your sanity - sail another cruise line. I will acknowledge that the ship is lovely, but that is where the good news both starts and end. Our bed was like concrete and the towels were worn. The sheets were heavenly. Finally after a week, they had added enough mattress toppers and foam that we could sleep with waking up with aches and pains everywhere. Our pre-cruise extension to Victoria Falls, advertised as 4 days/3 nights was really 2 days as 2 days were spent in airports and on planes. The specifics of the travel arrangements were not disclosed until we arrived at our Johannesburg hotel. The transfers were to include all portage, yet we had to manhandle our luggage from the airport carousel to the bus for transfer to the ship. Daily activities: This cruise was 50% sea days. Normally, I am fine with that. But, this ship had very little to do day-to-day. There was one 30 minute exercise class at 8AM - go figure. Or you could sit with the knitting instructor for 2 hours in the morning, then repeat in the afternoon. Or you could make dolls from wood spools. If you played bridge - have at it for 3 or 4 hours a day, Repeat on every sea day! The food: Well, the starting ingredients are high quality. But the preparation is bland, tasteless and insanely inconsistent. The Chef's Table served tasty, hot food. But the main dining room, Manfredi's and World Café all failed on both those counts. We ordered the gnocchi at Manfredi's 4 time and it was different every time, proving that the kitchen didn't care about consistency or quality. And what should have been light, fluffy potato-based pillows where instead dense, lead pellets - they went back. Hot food was almost never served hot and we eventually gave up and simply ate from the cold tables. We spoke to all levels of kitchen and restaurant staff, each listened intently and empathetically and yet over 28 days - NOTHING CHANGED. If you have dietary restrictions, specifically Celiac disease, you will be hard pressed to stay healthy. We travelled with several people afflicted with this disease and can testify to the facts that wait staff and sometimes kitchen staff could not accurately provide ingredient information and no one took care to prevent cross contamination of gluten-free items as serving utensils were moved from platter to platter by uninformed passengers and crew. Excursions: This is where Viking really blew it. There was a nice selection of optional excursions including many opportunities to see the native animals of Africa, which frankly is the only reason we picked this itinerary. I spoke at length to the Viking representative about the tours and pricing prior to booking the trip. Unfortunately, every one of those excursions was sold out long before we were able to book any excursions, getting a waiting list was a challenge for us and Viking told my travel agent that there were no wait lists - which turned out to be a lie. Our segment was the last one of World Cruise and even all of them didn't get the excursions they wanted. Viking's response - a sharp stick in the eye and a terse "take the included excursion". Well, excuse me, but no one flies half way around the world and spends their hard earned money to sit on dirty buses, ride around filthy cities and look at buildings whose better days were decades ago. That Viking responded in that way illustrates a basic lack of customer service skills and no understanding of their customer base. In talking to on ship personnel who bore the brunt of wide spread discontent, there were approximately110 slots for safari and safari-like excursions across all African ports for 950 passengers. Really, Viking thought it reasonable to have capacity for just over 10% of passengers?? On cruises with Crystal, Regent and Oceania, we were rarely locked out of an excursion or suffered through a bad meal. For Viking this was the norm and at this class of service it is simply unacceptable. IN SUMMARY, SPEND YOUR MONEY WITH A CRUISE LINE THAT UNDERSTANDS AND VALUES YOU AS A CLIENT. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
The main idea of my post is that I strongly recommend you to refrain from taking Viking Cruises. I was dreaming of a round-the-world cruise and decided to a 3-month journey with Viking Cruises. It turned out into a total ... Read More
The main idea of my post is that I strongly recommend you to refrain from taking Viking Cruises. I was dreaming of a round-the-world cruise and decided to a 3-month journey with Viking Cruises. It turned out into a total disappointment. Beautiful website descriptions and vivid manager speeches have nothing to do with reality. I have huge experience in sea journeys and have traveled with almost all well-known companies, thus I have a lot to compare with. Personnel qualification level is very low and does not correspond with the one declared by the company. The crew is occasionally rude and careless. Throughout the whole journey I felt discriminated against basing on age and nationality. From my personal observations, the company focuses its services on aged clients but there is nothing to learn this information from and managers will not inform you about that. The quality and variety of meals is very poor: the menu barely differs from day to day and it’s not tasty at all. Meal courses are mean and thrifty, quality of service is very very low. Here’s an example, we were given an apple (a single one) and were constantly stared at, harassing us and signaling us to leave. Here’s my story: My acquaintance with company started with my personal manager almost ignoring me shortly after I purchased the voyage. Later on, he totally disappeared. It turned out occasionally that he quit the company and forgot to hand over me to another manager. It was almost impossible to verify the status of my special requests before the start of the journey. And that’s what they call and individual approach to every client. The first day on board ended up with room service team breaking all the buttons on my new suit, which was quite expensive and purchased exactly for the trip. My friend faced the same situation. The only thing offered to us as compensation was to attach black buttons used for the crew uniform. As soon as we boarded, we informed guest service about food allergy. Despite this, kitchen crew ignored this information and served dishes with products we are allergic to during 2 months of our journey. Guest service never intervened and helped us, we were able to fix the situation only after a huge argument. Soon after leaving South America, the entire ship was left without internet. Guest service managers made up various excuses: something broke down, no signal and many else. The connection was restored only at French Polynesia islands. This information was published in daily bulletin along with new excuses for the situation. Be aware that cafe waiters are very tardy and lazy. You may spend an hour or two waiting for your order to be cooked. The guest service explained the situation in a way that cruise focuses on elderly customers and thus everything is done slowly on purpose for the convenience of aged people. That is a real problem, instead of making the crew work faster the guest service justifies their lack of action. Moreover, the waiters behave themselves very unfriendly. Another serious problem faced throughout the whole journey - dirty dishes and cutlery, in all of the ship’s restaurants and room service as well. Dirty spots and leftovers from previous clients were noticed on a daily basis. Waiters never reacted to this situation! After contacting officers, the only answer received from them was an explanation of the factors that may lead to these leftovers not being completely washed off. This is not the information that I am willing to receive as a guest. I require proper service, not the explanation why the dishes are dirty. Sanitary conditions were a very serious issue, so keep this in mind while booking a cruise. Be extremely careful while ordering chicken eggs during trips on Viking ships. It was a common issue to receive dirty eggs for breakfast while ordering room service. There were several occasions when eggs were messed up in something black or had feathers stick to it and something else, supposedly feces. Multiple complaints to guest service ended up in nothing, Ana, the manager, set it off and stated that she doesn’t know whose fault it was. Fish dishes were of low quality, the fish itself was literally old and tough, absolutely impossible to eat. It felt like fish was frozen several times killing all the taste and flavor. I faced certain problems with Australian visa. Officer pretended he was helping me. I was made to pay for new visa with no guarantees for success, and I felt that Officer wanted me and my friend leave the ship. We got lucky that my friend found a way to solve the problem and Officer had nothing to say against us. Discrimination was also present during this journey. Me and my friend felt being discriminated against every time we went for dinner. Waiters were extremely friendly and gallant with Americans and blatantly ignored other guests. Furthermore, we faced negligent attitude as we were the youngest on board. Discrimination against nationality and age is present and it is unacceptable for international company! Shame on Viking company. The entire crew of Viking’s ship turned our journey into a nightmare with constant problems arising due to their actions or inaction, and nobody except us tried to solve those issues. Financial issues are not properly solved by the personnel. As the journey started, I was told that residuals on my on board account will be refunded at the end of the cruise. The day before the journey ends, I was told that residual funds will be sent to my credit card. Two weeks later I discovered the fact that residual money will be sent to me in check via mail services. This is a total incompetence of the crew and purposely misleading. I’d also like to pay your attention to the uniqueness of cruises declared by Viking company. Small ships used for Viking’s voyages should be able to visit unique ports as it’s claimed by the company. This is a trickery. During our 3-month trip the ship often made stops far from main city ports forcing the passengers to spend 50-60 minutes each way to reach the cities. There were several occasions when the stops were made in absolutely uninteresting and empty ports. The way Viking company contacts its clients after the trip requires special description. All my inquiries are being ignored and none of my e-mails were replied. Official complaint took very long time to be replied and in the end the only thing Mr Cohen could offer me was a 250$ refund for the spoilt 3 months or discount voucher for further cruise. This sounds like mocking rather than serious approach to problem management. I encourage all readers and those who traveled with Viking to write reviews and leave comments on things thaw went wrong during your trip! Currently, the company services are just overvalued and its ratings are absolutely unreasonable! I urge all those who suffered from the actions of the Viking company to unite! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Unpacking once and being able to experience multiple ports of calls by simply stepping off the ship was wonderful. The food overall was delicious and we had many choices of cuisine and restaurants. . It was fun to taste the local cuisine ... Read More
Unpacking once and being able to experience multiple ports of calls by simply stepping off the ship was wonderful. The food overall was delicious and we had many choices of cuisine and restaurants. . It was fun to taste the local cuisine at lunch and dinner in each port of call. The guides were so knowledgeable and having the Port talks and Q&As helped tremendously. It enabled the experience of the historical sites to be all we hoped they would be. The Cruise Director gave us little tops for each stop. My favorite spot Eidfjord,Norway, was beyond spectacular as we viewed it from our balcony at sunrise. It had been a life long dream to see the Fjords and it surpassed all of my expectations.The most wonderful part overall was the total relaxation on this beautiful luxurious ship. There was nothing you could want for, from the throw blankets everywhere to the popcorn and movies at night to be taken care of at every moment by a very efficient, friendly crew. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 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
2 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 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
1 Helpful Vote
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
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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