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
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
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise due to the high Viking reviews. The Star ship was a great ship, but the ports in Cienfuegos and Santiago De Cuba are horrible. We took a private tour to Havana, and Havana is a great city, but it was a 3 hour plus ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the high Viking reviews. The Star ship was a great ship, but the ports in Cienfuegos and Santiago De Cuba are horrible. We took a private tour to Havana, and Havana is a great city, but it was a 3 hour plus drive. We would recommend you finding a cruise ship that ported in Havana before choosing the Cultural Cuba Itinerary. What we loved about the ship were: 1) The well appointed junior suite staterooms with large bathrooms 2) The room attendant Janice was fantastic 3) The bartenders Eddie and I Made 4) The Chef's Table restaurant 5) The drink package for mixed drinks 6) The large spa 7) The free laundry and dry cleaning with the junior suite 8) The piano player and guitarists The improvements that need to be made: 1) A better itinerary for ports 2) The free excursions were very lame. I wonder if anyone on the Viking staff actually took the excursions 3) The TV signal kept freezing up 4) The wine list had wines that were 2 years younger than the list 5) Need a larger pool area as seating was very limited 6) Some of the staff had an attitude of indifferance 7) Better communication 8) Softer beds, but they will give you toppers upon request 9) Better entertainment as the Viking band singers were not very good 10) Room service was late many times and the food was always cold Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We are currently on the cultural Cuba cruise, and I would not advise anyone to take any cruise to Cuba unless you can be in Havana for 3 days. The Cienfuegos and Santiago ports are very lame. Havana was fantastic but the drive is over 6 ... Read More
We are currently on the cultural Cuba cruise, and I would not advise anyone to take any cruise to Cuba unless you can be in Havana for 3 days. The Cienfuegos and Santiago ports are very lame. Havana was fantastic but the drive is over 6 hours on very poor roads. We will try to plan another trip to Havana only in the future. The ship is beautiful, but seems to shake more in the ocean than other cruise ships we have been on. We had a junior suite that was very roomy with great bathrooms. The beds are very hard, but they gave us a topper to make it more comfortable. The internet was very slow and movies kept freezing up at night when more users were on. The premium wine selection was not good but the drink package was worth it for great mixed drinks. A big miss was not showing the college football National Championship game and it could not be watched anywhere on the ship. The food in the 2 specialty restaurants was excellent and the pool side grill had a great hamburger and tuna burger. The other restaurants were just ok. Room service seemed to run behind schedule most days for breakfast, so order at least 30 minutes early. The fitness center is small and we would have liked to see more weight machines but it seemed to work for us. On the plus side, Janice our cabin steward was excellent and we had fantastic bartenders in I Made and Eddie. The spa staff that did the pedicures were fantastic. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I’m currently on a 21 day Cuba, Panama and the Pacific Cruise on the Viking Star. This is our 5th cruise, we have been on Celebrity Infinity and Reflection, Crystal Symphony and a Uniworld river cruise. The Viking Star is nice but lacks ... Read More
I’m currently on a 21 day Cuba, Panama and the Pacific Cruise on the Viking Star. This is our 5th cruise, we have been on Celebrity Infinity and Reflection, Crystal Symphony and a Uniworld river cruise. The Viking Star is nice but lacks some of the luxury touches found on other ships in this rather expensive price range. Perhaps I prefer a different design aesthetic. We are in a Penthouse Veranda, which we paid to upgrade to in order to have enough storage space. Thanks to previous CC reviewers I was warned of the limited drawer space in the regular veranda cabins. We opted not to purchase the Silver Spirits package and feel that it was a smart financial move. Most of the included wines have been fine, on days when we don’t care for the offerings we purchase a bottle and have come out ahead. The wine list to purchase from is fairly limited, so if you are very particular I suggest bringing your own wines. Cocktail prices are very fair at $5-8. Finally, by not having the package I don’t feel motivated to drink my moneys worth! Dining on the ship has been mixed, I’ve been surprised that some of my best meals have been in the World Cafe. The menus have been very good with a nice variety to choose from. I can control my portions and not waste food. The Restaurant has had some serious fails with slow delivery, mixed up orders, cold soups, sauces and gravies. We’ve dined in Manfredi’s twice and the food is good, but portions are huge. I learned to ask for half portions. Feeling a bit under the weather today, I ordered room service. I was hoping for a nice hot cup of soup, unfortunately it was barely lukewarm. On a positive note, the waitstaff are the friendliest and most professional I’ve ever encountered on a cruise. We have not dined at Chefs Table yet so I cannot comment on that. Regarding the excursions, We have only done the included excursions so far and most have been disappointing, somewhat unorganized, very limited as to what you see and two ran quite late. I would suggest if time permits that you plan your own excursions. Many offered by Viking were overpriced compared to arranging our own. I understand the risks involved in doing so. Finally, big kudos to our stateroom attendants Sam and Borche. They are the sweetest gentlemen and have kept everything in immaculate condition. We are still undecided if we would cruise with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We enjoyed a previous Viking Ocean cruise and wanted to see Cuba. The major drawback was that the ship did not dock in Havana. There was a 12 hour, rather expensive, excursion into Havana. We enjoyed that excursion but thought that it ... Read More
We enjoyed a previous Viking Ocean cruise and wanted to see Cuba. The major drawback was that the ship did not dock in Havana. There was a 12 hour, rather expensive, excursion into Havana. We enjoyed that excursion but thought that it should have been an 'included' excursion since most people visiting Cuba want to see Havana. Both ports required 'tendering' so this cruise isn't for the 'disabled'. We usually cruise with Crystal cruises so our evaluations may be biased. Viking Ocean uses the river boat model....basic entertainment, etc., assuming that you will be in port most days anyhow. Our cabin was noisier than on our previous cruise (newer ship), but I understand that that will be corrected when the SKY is refitted in 2020. The dining is very good in all of the restaurants and reservations were not difficult to obtain. The wine selection is limited...a white and a red each day. On our previous cruise with Viking, they would serve one of the wines from another day if you found one that you particularly liked. The staff on this cruise weren't willing to do that. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We spent a few days ahead of this cruise "doing" New York city -- seeing a couple of outstanding plays and touring the 9/11 Memorial. Ironically enough, that time became even more memorable and enjoyable in some ways than the ... Read More
We spent a few days ahead of this cruise "doing" New York city -- seeing a couple of outstanding plays and touring the 9/11 Memorial. Ironically enough, that time became even more memorable and enjoyable in some ways than the cruise on Viking Star itself. Embarkation was a hassle only because the precise location of the ship was not made known to us, so our Uber driver had to drop us a quarter-of-a-mile away and we had to drag our luggage to the check-in location. I chose this cruise because it would take me back to where I grew up -- spending the first eighteen years of my life on the island of Aruba (part of the then Netherlands Antilles). I also wanted to share more with my wife what it was like to live on one of those islands in the southern Caribbean. As with every cruise that we've made with Viking (and this was our third -- the last through Europe and the Mediterranean on this same ship), our time aboard ship was enjoyable and the ship's staff were extraordinary in their service and care of us. One glaring exception, however, were the ways in which passengers, themselves, laid practically permanent claim to lounges around the pool area -- even when they were not there -- by leaving pieces of their clothing or miscellaneous properties on or around the lounges. They effectively made whole areas around the pool extensions of their staterooms which the rest of us, then, could not use. The food aboard was delicious and the serving impeccable. For those two reasons, alone, I'd sail with Viking again. I've rate our overall experience of this cruise as "Average," then solely because of the very poor port excursions that Viking chose for us. Except for our time on Aruba (where I rented a car and drove us around on our own because I grew up on that island), all of the other excursions/tours were of poor quality and largely a waste of time and money. For this reason alone, I doubt that I'll ever take a Viking Cruise to the Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise just to relax after an illness and it fit the bill. The service staff were all very helpful and the World Cafe (buffet) was excellent, with very attentive staff and plenty to choose from. The quality of food here was ... Read More
We chose this cruise just to relax after an illness and it fit the bill. The service staff were all very helpful and the World Cafe (buffet) was excellent, with very attentive staff and plenty to choose from. The quality of food here was superior to the main dining room as the service was very spotty, and the menus lacking in quality and choices. Manfredi's restaurant and service were top notch with a huge menu and all the dishes we had were excellent. The ship was full on the 14 day Caribbean cruise in October, and we found the activities lacking both during the day and in the evening. It was near impossible to get a table on the deck in the shade where you could have lunch and the classical guitarist by the pool at lunchtime was out of touch with a Caribbean cruise. I was hoping for a little upbeat music to accompany the scenery. For a "Luxury" category ship, there was no concierge. no port information given nor anyone to help with questions. No shopping or sightseeing hints. You were left to fend on your own. The staff sitting at desks ( no front desk here with purser etc) were very pleasant but could not answer any questions , they had to refer to someone else then get back to you. Overall the ship was very attractive. I thought the multi level atrium was a waste. There were 3 floors of nothing but tables and chairs. unattractive to look up at. Perhaps some of that space could have gone to another lounge or small showroom. Only one craft session for a 14 day cruise, and very limited speakers. Had I gone on this cruise to be entertained or join in some activities, I would have been very upset. I was not looking for that, but I talked to many guests who were very disappointed in the lack of activities. My first Viking Ocean Cruise, and I think my only one. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We had previous experience with a 15 day river cruise in 2014 from Budapest to Amsterdam. Wanted to see if the Ocean going cruise would be as great. Had researched many cruise lines and the single most item why we choose Viking was the ... Read More
We had previous experience with a 15 day river cruise in 2014 from Budapest to Amsterdam. Wanted to see if the Ocean going cruise would be as great. Had researched many cruise lines and the single most item why we choose Viking was the previous river cruise and the fact this Viking ship did not carry as many passengers as the other cruise lines. We were looking forward to seeing many different countries in Europe. We loved the ship it was almost exactly what we expected. The staff is very simple superb, friendly and helpful at all times. Execution of all aspect of this voyage were flawless and logical. All shore excursion and returns were executed with logical sequence and always pleasant. When we made our reservation we informed my brother who also signed up for this cruise the very next day. My wife also informed her best friend in Arizona who did sign up as well. My brother and his son were able to get the cabin next to us, and my wife's girlfriend and her son got the cabin directly above us. Unfortunately the cabin was not pleasant nor conducive to good nights of sleep. The very first day we noticed that we were unable to turn the HV/AC blower off and there was a constant droning noise at 40db coming from the vent. After several phone calls to staff they were unable to resolve this issue. By the 3rd day I had a very sore throat, and at best we slept maybe 3.5 to 4 hours a night. On the 4th day a ships engineer came out to try and solve the problem. He finally figured out that our cabin environmental controls were tied to the ships hallway HV/AC and could not be shut off. The engineer solution was to bring about a 6' piece of insulation to close the vent and try to mitigate the droning noise. It helped in reducing the constant air movement somewhat but the noise at night was still very intrusive and lack of sleep was still a problem. I have pictures of this "fix" but I don't see were in this review I can attach them. We were offered a cabin on deck five but we declined. We had friends and relatives traveling with us and the move would diminish our experience even more. When we made the reservation we asked to be close together in our cabin choices, and to be on the same Buses in some of our shore excursions. In conclusion I would say that this particular cabin should never have been sold to a customer on this ship. I don't know if anyone has ever lodge a complaint about this problem cabin, but in my opinion the cabin should be converted to some thing the staff can use or maybe another laundry for the convenience of travelers on the 7th deck. I hope you can understand that we are now somewhat reluctant to plan another voyage on one of your otherwise very modern and beautiful kept ships for fear of having to put up with another insolvable problem that could ruin what was otherwise a very exiting and wonderful voyage. 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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