10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Due to engine trouble on a Cuba cruise we missed the port of Santiago. Things happen OK. However, on a 7 day cruise that left us with 2 1/2 days in Cuba and the rest of the time on the ship. Viking has offered a 30% credit on a future ... Read More
Due to engine trouble on a Cuba cruise we missed the port of Santiago. Things happen OK. However, on a 7 day cruise that left us with 2 1/2 days in Cuba and the rest of the time on the ship. Viking has offered a 30% credit on a future cruise if you book within a year or $500.00 cash to sign a settlement agreement to keep your mouth shut. Considering that our cabins cost 10k for two people I think the 30% should be a cash refund not a ploy to get you to book another cruise. In addition there was a NORO outbreak , our shower door leaked and flooded the bathroom floor. Also the day trip to Havana involved 7 hours on a cramped Chinese made bus. The bus was clean but be prepared to have your knees butted against the front seat for that time. Tour guide Manny was very good though. Take something from the ship to eat for lunch because you may not want the mystery meat lunch at the state owned tourist restaurant in Havana. Went on two of the river cruises and had other problems . We are done with Viking. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
food was never served hot... dining hours were awful... ALL dining venues closed at 9:30 for breakfast and 10 pm at night..even the upstairs buffet... wanted a cookie at 10:00 ..everything was put away... upstairs, downtstairs, all over ... Read More
food was never served hot... dining hours were awful... ALL dining venues closed at 9:30 for breakfast and 10 pm at night..even the upstairs buffet... wanted a cookie at 10:00 ..everything was put away... upstairs, downtstairs, all over the ship.. i was told to call room service... got up late one morning at went upstairs for breakfast... it was closed... nothing avail until 11:30.... crew were nice but most were new..hadnt been on board long. didnt understand english well.. espcially at the pool grill... ordered a burger that was varied from the menu , they were confused... it was our first viking and will be our last... the river may be better but we usually do river with Uniworld and after this Viking experience i dont think i would try them again... excursions were HORRIBLE. car ride in havana was good thing but 7hr bus ride was the pits... bathrooms didnt work well... Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We liked the ship, the Star, very much -- size, etc. We had a suite and it was great -- large and very comfortable. We were very disappointed with the food and the service. The food was just average -- like a Princess or Royal Caribbean ... Read More
We liked the ship, the Star, very much -- size, etc. We had a suite and it was great -- large and very comfortable. We were very disappointed with the food and the service. The food was just average -- like a Princess or Royal Caribbean cruise ship. Certainly nothing special. The service in the restaurants and buffet was very spotty -- sometimes good but sometimes very lax. The staff seemed inexperienced and not able to attend to the guests properly. The entertainment was below par -- second or third rate. We docked in Cienfuegos, Cuba and had to take tenders for all tours and then had to take very long bus rides to get anywhere. My husband took the Caribbean Cold War History tour (Bay of Pigs) and was very disappointed with the museum (they closed the bathrooms when they saw the bus pulling up and told everyone they would have to use the restroom on the bus). And he said the restaurant was terrible. The tour to the Botanical Garden and Laguna Guanaroca included, again, a long bus ride. The Laguna Guanaroca was a waste of time -- really nothing to see. The Botanical Garden was my favorite and if the Laguna Guanaroca visit was eliminated, it would allow more time there. Our guide at the Botanical Garden was informative and did a wonderful job. The Day in Havana was interesting -- seeing the old cars and our lunch was nice. The ship was able to dock in Santiago de Cuba -- so no tenders. The The included Panoramic Santiago de Cuba tour was okay but walking through the business/store area was crowded and unnecessary. All the tours were expensive and not worth the money. Cuba is really not yet ready for tourists. Wonderful having wi-fi and free internet and it worked well. The TV was a little iffy but better than other cruises we have taken. We took the cruise because it was round trip Miami and just visited Cuba. We thought it would be interesting to finally be able to visit Cuba -- but there really wasn't a whole lot to see. Perhaps if we didn't have to take such long bus rides we would have seen more. Cuba is a very poor island. Our tour guides on the buses were informed and did a good job. Personally, I would not recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We wanted to see Cuba without having to experience the land based hotels which all of our friends who had traveled there said were not pleasant. And so we figured we would try a Viking Ocean experience based on several of their river ... Read More
We wanted to see Cuba without having to experience the land based hotels which all of our friends who had traveled there said were not pleasant. And so we figured we would try a Viking Ocean experience based on several of their river cruise trips. To tell you the truth is was truly a mixed experience. The ship was very manageable, clean and convenient. The cabin was great. Well stocked, king size bed, heated bathroom floors, great ventilation and temp control and the cabin steward was a 10+. The tours were mixed - some good, some bad - but it's always based on who your guide is. What was truly disappointing was one of the "included" tours which the ship's staff advised us not to take. Say what? You put us on a tour that's no good? Well then change it - don't advise us to pay more for an optional one. The dining room was not ready for prime time. There is a big difference between "unhurried" dining and SLOW. One night we sat at the table for 15 minutes waiting to be approached and nothing happened. Had to raise my hand and ask who had our table and one could tell by the looks on the faces that no one had a clue. But every night the service was that way. Alternate dining room reservations were simply put, a pain and not worth the effort. The buffet was good though and never disappointed. When the staff was asked how long they had been on board or with Viking the lack of experience was astounding. We really felt we were providing on-the-job- training and it was annoying. Entertainment was a mix of lectures and some shows. Lectures were great and shows were okay but in fairness it is a smaller ship and lacks some facilities We're booked to be on that same ship next year for an extended voyage but we are seriously rethinking it. I don't want to suffer more Viking growing pains. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the amount of time visiting Cuba. We toured Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Havana and Santiago de Cuba. All the tour guides were extremely knowledgeable and cautious for our safety. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the amount of time visiting Cuba. We toured Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Havana and Santiago de Cuba. All the tour guides were extremely knowledgeable and cautious for our safety. The ship was spotless, the crew always friendly and sincere no matter when and where. Embarking the ship's tenders was done with ease. The were more concerned for our safety and we felt comfortable with their assistance. We enjoyed the lectures offered. There were no big production shows. However, the singers and dancers were superb including the Cruise Director and his assistant. The fact that the Viking Star passenger load is less than 1,000 people, you get to know most of the entertainers, officers and other crew members personally. Meeting for the tours was handled very smoothly with hardly any wait time. The public rooms including quiet areas were decorated in good taste and very comfortable. The cappuccino was adequate, but most of the time it was machine made. I would like to have had it otherwise. Overall, I recommend Viking Ocean Cruise to Cuba. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
It was an opportunity to travel to Cuba, which hasn't been readily available and may not be in the future, who knows! Traveled with my husband, my mother, and my sister. We stayed in Key Biscayne for 3 days prior to the cruise, and ... Read More
It was an opportunity to travel to Cuba, which hasn't been readily available and may not be in the future, who knows! Traveled with my husband, my mother, and my sister. We stayed in Key Biscayne for 3 days prior to the cruise, and got to the ship terminal 2 hours prior to our 3:00 pm embarkation time. But very few people were there, and we breezed through. We were given our room key and our luggage was there when we arrived. Disembarkation was equally as smooth. Our overnight trip to Havana was marred by the tornado, so we didn't see the Tropicana show. But friends of ours were there the previous night, and said it was fantastic. The Melia Hotel was quite nice (we were expecting worse). And the CARS!!!! The tour guides were very knowledgeable. The tour to Trinidad was a long bus trip, and not as interesting as we anticipated. In Santiago de Cuba, we decided we couldn't stand to be on another bus, so we went out on our own. We (my sister, my mother, and I) passed through customs, and were kind of standing around considering our options, when a man came up to us and asked if we needed a guide for the day. He was wearing a blue Infotur shirt and hat, and was very professional, explaining that he was with a state-run agency. It cost $40 an hour for the driver and old-car taxi, and $20 an hour for the guide. We took the taxi to the cemetary, and arrived well before the tour busses, which were arriving as we were leaving. This in itself was worth the $40! We then drove through the streets around town, and were dropped off in the city center. Our guide, Wilbert, stayed with us for over 3 hours, and only charged the $20 (I gave him a $20 tip, bought him lunch and drinks too). He took us all over, and it was a true person-to-person experience. He took us inside his home, showed us the ration book, took us to a neighborhood restaurant for lunch. My mother and sister had coffee with him in his home, and we all ate the local lunch (yes, including fresh veggies and lettuce) and didn't get sick! We brought a bag of toiletries, which he was very thankful for, and said he would share with people who needed them. Advice: Don't be afraid to interact with local people. They are very friendly and appreciate tourists. I would definitely go again, when we're able to just go as tourists, and do what we want. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise because we had heard such wonderful things about Viking River cruises. The timeframe and itinerary fit our needs. Our expectations were of luxury and perfection. Pros: The ship was beautiful and well ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had heard such wonderful things about Viking River cruises. The timeframe and itinerary fit our needs. Our expectations were of luxury and perfection. Pros: The ship was beautiful and well maintained. The staff was so friendly. We were in Explorer Suite 3095. We have been on other high end cruises, also in suites. The suite was the largest one we had been in: an actual living room, a dining table that sat 4, a bedroom (with a door), and a double sink bathroom with plenty of storage . Our cabin stewarts, Erik and Puput were so friendly and most helpful. The toiletries (constantly replenished) were wonderful. And the wrap around deck was fantastic. The enrichment programs were very interesting. Great speakers, interesting and varied topics. Cons: The food was hit or miss. When it was good it was delicious. When it was bad it was awful (Example: Twice at the World Cafe the roast beef, being carved at the station, was so tough and inedible. Heard from other people that they also had this problem.). It is a matter of opinion whether the menu was varied enough. The ridiculous: At the World Cafe (buffet) at breakfast there was sugar free syrup. However,at the main dining room (The Restaurant) we needed to ask for it. Every waiter who got it for us made sure that we knew that they had to go from the Restaurant (2nd floor) to the 7th floor (World Cafe). One time I was finished my pancakes before the syrup came. Twice..count ‘em..twice they printed the wrong time to meet for our tours. We were tendering in so it wasn’t as easy as going down the gangplank on to shore. We miraculously were early enough to make all the tenders but those two times it was by dumb luck. An example: the first time that was wrong is when they told us to be at the meeting place at 8:15. We were called for our tender at 8:01. One person on our tour actually believed the 8:15 time. We had to wait until 9:00 for our tour bus to begin driving! That was when the next tender arrived. Everyday at the same time (6-6:45) there was a program of live music with a viewing of Munch paintings. We never heard or saw it because we always ate at 6 when the restaurants opened, Unchangeable due to medical issues. The tour talks downplayed (at least one of the two) the included tours. The tour director actually downplayed two paid tours. We definitely disagreed with him on one but didn’t on the other. He said that unfortunately the description of the botanical garden that we were given in our initial information, at the time we booked it and paid for it, was too nice and it wasn’t that interesting. It wasn’t. On other lines we recieved more perks as suite passengers. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We heard so many positive things about Viking that we thought we would try them. We have been on 21 cruises with various cruise lines and we can honestly say this is the best of them all! We had originally booked a cruise with them last ... Read More
We heard so many positive things about Viking that we thought we would try them. We have been on 21 cruises with various cruise lines and we can honestly say this is the best of them all! We had originally booked a cruise with them last Jan and also booked our flights with Viking Air to go to the West Indies out of San Juan. Our flight from Toronto to Charlotte was cancelled by weather issues and when we phoned Viking Air all she would say is "I can't get you to San Juan". Thankfully our cancellation insurance refunded all of our money and we promptly booked for this cruise to Viking. 7 days is the shortest cruise we have ever done so we booked a hotel in Toronto for 1 night, 2 nights in Miami (pre cruise) and then one night in Miami and one night in Toronto post cruise to stretch out our holiday. Our experience with Viking was just so outstanding! Not one complaint about anything. The ship is fairly new (2 years old) and she is beautiful! We had a Deluxe Verandah portside. OUr embarkation time was 1 pm but because our shuttle got us there for 11 we were prepared to wait but we were ushered right on board! Very friendly happy staff on board. We had signed up for a Meet and Greet (the Viking Star board wasn't very active) and we received a card in our room with our invite. Even though only 4 of us were there the ship's officers came up and we had champagne and apps during our time with them. Food was delicious! Specialty restaurants are included and because so many passengers went to Havana for an overnight tour we ate in Manfredi's a second night. Chef's Table was an Asian Theme and we loved it. You really don't need a drink package as they are very generous with wine and beer and water during your lunch and dinner meals. We enjoyed our included shore excursion in Cienfuegos and also the one we paid for (Bay of Pigs museum). Glad there is no casino aboard and no little ones around. Loved the spa facilities (everything included except the treatments) and the pools. Service was excellent. Our port stop in Santiago de Cuba was cancelled due to high waves but we enjoyed another sea day. Love, love, love Viking!!!!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We did cultural Cuba cruise from Miami.It was our first Viking ocean cruise,but we have been on river cruises and ocean cruises with other companies.The ship is nice,nice layout,great food and good service except the main restaurant,where ... Read More
We did cultural Cuba cruise from Miami.It was our first Viking ocean cruise,but we have been on river cruises and ocean cruises with other companies.The ship is nice,nice layout,great food and good service except the main restaurant,where it took2 hours to have dinner for 2 people every time.The Manfredi restaurant is excellent,great food and service.But The cruise was very boring,because there was nothing to do in the evening.The had singers3nights and a local band.Each performance took45 min,so after that there was nothing to do in the evening.There is so much music you can listen to.There was no topical cruise games and except lectures during the day,you had nothing to do.We missed last port,because it was too windy and spent extra day at see,which was extremely boring!We didn’t docked in Havana and it was3.5 hours each way to go there on the tour.We did 1 day trip for 290$ per person,some people went on overnight trip for 790$ per person.We spent more time on the bus than in Havana.The botanical garden tour we took in Cienfuegos was complete waste of time and money,there is nothing to see there.I will definitely go on another Viking river cruise,but never on the ocean cruise,because it’s luck of entertainment and it’s boring. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Honestly, we chose this cruise because we didn’t have to do international flying to take the cruise. Along with that, it’s cold weather at home and a warm climate was appealing. We were also intrigued by stories of Cuba and it sounded ... Read More
Honestly, we chose this cruise because we didn’t have to do international flying to take the cruise. Along with that, it’s cold weather at home and a warm climate was appealing. We were also intrigued by stories of Cuba and it sounded interesting. Everything on board was top notch. Food, service, entertainment, all excellent. Excursions were ok. a lot of emphasis from the guides was on helping us buy cigars and rum. Guides were very much into promoting Us/Cuba relations as they “love Americans”. It was heartbreaking to see the areas that clearly had once been so beautiful now delapidated and in disrepair. The guides were so proud of their heritage it seemed they didn’t see it the same way. Probably the highlight of the excursion was the ride through Miramar in Havana in one of the iconic classic cars with the top down looking at the once wealthy area’s beautiful (then) homes. The weather caused us to miss a port of call so we had an extra day at sea. We already had two days of the cruise as “at sea” so there was definitely a lot of boat time. It was good to see Cuba but I would not go back again. It truly is an eye-opening trip to see what can happen to a once prosperous country when put in the wrong hands. Read Less
Viking Star Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0

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