Sail Date: February 2019
I chose this cruise because it left from Miami where I live. The ship is beautiful and is keep extremely clean in all areas. Service in all area were polite, pleasant and happy to help in any way needed. I was a single traveler so my ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it left from Miami where I live. The ship is beautiful and is keep extremely clean in all areas. Service in all area were polite, pleasant and happy to help in any way needed. I was a single traveler so my cabin was quite comfortable. For two people I think the drawers are not adequate.Shower was exceptional hot water whenever needed.The Manfredi's restaurant was the best food and service on the ship. Breakfast and lunch at the buffet and pool area had great selections of food chooses. The night time shows in the theater were very good, young and enthusiastic performers. The late night Torshavn Clubs entertainment , the Viking band and both singers and guitarist were exceptional. Shore excursion on St Martin was disappointing, too long and very depressing area. Excursion on Madeira and Barcelona were excellent. One last note traveling as a single person, the supplement charges are quite high. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We have sailed transatlantic six times, this was the best experience in many ways. The five lecturers kept us busy two or three times s day with history, ecology and sports talks. Athens crew was friendly, helpful, professional, ... Read More
We have sailed transatlantic six times, this was the best experience in many ways. The five lecturers kept us busy two or three times s day with history, ecology and sports talks. Athens crew was friendly, helpful, professional, informal, consistant. The food was excellent in all venues. There is no extra charge for the two specialty restaurants, The public spaces are comfortable with many quiet nooks, books, art, board games, etc. The cabin is large and well furnished with a great bed. The bathroom has a large shower and heated floors, there's a built in night light. Very good entertainment, it varied from classical to song and dance plus we had an exceptional magician who also gave free classes. Viking Star transatlantic fills your sea days with interesting speakers, cooking classes, bridge lessons, craft classes, all free. Overall, great value for money. We are ready to do this cruise again next year. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
My Husband and I just finished our Viking cruise to Cuba. It was amazing! We started from Newark New Jersey to Miami with no problems. We were picked up at the airport and were taken to the port with zero problems. Check in ... Read More
My Husband and I just finished our Viking cruise to Cuba. It was amazing! We started from Newark New Jersey to Miami with no problems. We were picked up at the airport and were taken to the port with zero problems. Check in took 5 minutes and went straight to our cabin 6063. Cabin was very nice and great location. One floor up to pools, pool grill, World cafe, and bar. We were greeted by our room Stewart June who was excellent. All the restaurants on the ship were excellent. The crew were all helpful and polite. Juiguian greeted us always in “The Restaurant” with her smile. I can’t understand how someone could say there were not enough choices of food. Or they didn’t like it. How much more could one eat? I am a picky eater and I always could find something great to eat. Everyone on the ship were always greeting us and asking if we needed anything. We have been on many different cruise lines, what we loved about this ship was the size. Our tours were great. Going through customs was a piece of cake. We had Judy take us around Cienfuegos. She was so well informed and explain life in Cuba. It was an extremely hot day but what do you expect from Cuba. Rather have 90 degrees than the 30’s in New Jersey. I don’t know what some people were expecting to see, we were surprised at what we did see. Our trip to Havana with George was incredible. I don’t know how he spoke from 8:00am to 8:00pm. We learned so much history, way of life, customs, etc etc We were so happy to go in the old cars . It only cost us $5.00 each to drive for a good 20 minutes. My only regret about the day trip was that I missed out of the over night stay at the Tropicana. We heard the hotel was very nice and the show was fantastic. Out last tour was a “Catamaran “ ride which really should be called a Boat ride. We were so tired from the two other tours that it was nice just to sit and take in the sight. We couldn’t go to our last port because it was going to be hard to leave the port because of high winds. Better safe than sorry. We had an extra day at sea to enjoy the beautiful weather. We didn’t exchange any money. I used euros for people at the stands and US dollars in the stores they took us to. Departure day was also very organized. Luggage, transportation, airport all went perfect. My Husband and I have no negative comments about Viking Star and Cuba travels. We are so glad to have seen a country that will hopefully change for the better. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
I really wanted to go to Cuba and a cruise was the easiest way to get there. I chose Viking because they spent the most time in Cuba and I could take a bus trip across the country and see Havana (it docks in Cienfuegos). The ship was ... Read More
I really wanted to go to Cuba and a cruise was the easiest way to get there. I chose Viking because they spent the most time in Cuba and I could take a bus trip across the country and see Havana (it docks in Cienfuegos). The ship was wonderful. Food was amazing, room was clean and well appointed (even a little spacious by cruise standards), staff was friendly and well trained, tour guides were well informed and helpful, and this ocean cruise was definitely up to the Viking standards we've experienced on our previous river cruises. Unfortunately, due to weather we were unable to cruise to our last itinerary stop (Santiago de Cuba) and ended up with an additional sea day. While this did not make us happy, they handled it very well. And...a surprise came in email the day we left giving us a $500 credit each because of the eliminate port. We already have a river cruise booked, unfortunately, we can't use it toward that trip. Perhaps we will take another Viking trip after that. It was nice not to have to call and shame them into giving us something :) Overall, a great trip! 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
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
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Celebrating my 25th Wedding anniversary we chose Viking because a year ago it was one of the only 5 star under 900 passenger cruise ships going to Cuba for less than 10 days and its high rating. Our last cruise was on a Crystal ship from ... Read More
Celebrating my 25th Wedding anniversary we chose Viking because a year ago it was one of the only 5 star under 900 passenger cruise ships going to Cuba for less than 10 days and its high rating. Our last cruise was on a Crystal ship from Singapore to Hong Kong so the bar was set high. I have to admit Viking was up to the challenge, outside of our room attendant the service was excellent especially at the piano area bar where we had sparkling wine included in the Silver package that was pretty good. and I took full advantage of opportunity throughout the ship pre dinner after dinner and during the shows. we met some great people on the ship and even ran into some co-workers that we had no idea were going we closed the piano bar area down several nights. The majority of the guests were well over 70 so bedtime was pretty early. but wake up time was early also. :) The ship is very modern with wi-fi throughout and touch screen directories through out the ship. all orders taken by staff were on cell phones which made things much faster. The afternoon tea was a daily occurrence as the sandwiches and deserts were delicious and the service top notch. I ordered coffee and expresso instead with a splash of Cuban rum I brought back from the Tropicana show. I would cruise Viking again the beds and suite amenities were great . No nickel and diming with photos and extras or artwork etc. The excursions were good especially the Havana one. Cuba is still a 3rd world country going there was like going into a B&W movie and returning to Miami was like returning to a Digital Film ! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
TBN hubby here: We are normally Celebrity loyalists -- Elite Plus and all that -- which means that we have spent $150,000, more or less, on cruises and now get a free coffee ;-). For this cruise we found the timing, ports of call, and ... Read More
TBN hubby here: We are normally Celebrity loyalists -- Elite Plus and all that -- which means that we have spent $150,000, more or less, on cruises and now get a free coffee ;-). For this cruise we found the timing, ports of call, and time in port to our liking, and we have friends who have raved about Viking Ocean Cruises based on their life total of two ocean cruises.So....why not? For a quick summary: we liked it! A Lot! Good food. Roomy cabin (penthouse veranda 5089). Restocked minibar daily -- no charge. A neat on-board cellphone app. Essentially unlimited soft drinks, wine, coffee, iced tea, hot chocolate. Ample sun deck area and minimal Chair hogging. A wonderful, included, warm pool, sauna, hot tub, snow-room area in the spa! Lots of open space. Guests must be 18 or older. No photographers, No casino. No formal nights. unlimited WiFi. Tasteful European-style decor with some nice historical touches. Did I mention good food! Entertainment choices in the theater were a bit thin but the cruise experience is geared toward folks that can entertain themselves and enjoy the many cultural enrichment offerings. There is nice, live music nearly all afternoon and evening in various venues and always a quiet place to relax. There was also evening dancing somewhere, but we didn't check it out. We didn't miss the lack of belly flop contests or officer/guest pool volleyball, egg drop, and so forth. And, if you are looking for a climbing wall, ice rink, or merry go round, you are in the wrong place. Trivia IS still available 'though. Price is bit of a downside because we can take nearly 2 cruises with Celebrity for the price of one on Viking, but that does not necessarily mean Viking is overpriced, just that being Elite Plus on Celebrity gives us some perks there. Many of those hose perks are available at no additional cost to the Viking guests, like we were, on the first cruise, This is based to some extent on the choice of cabin class. Unlimited WiFi, pressing service for our cabin class, guest laundry, essentially unlimited good quality house wines and soft drinks, and some other stuff I can't remember right now, are included in your first cruise with some discounts on booking on later cruises through the Explorers Club. Viking also offers an included tour of some type at every port.. Food was outstanding in the dining room, the buffet, and one of the (no additional cost) alternative dining restaurants. More on that later. The welcome aboard buffet set the tone with some of the best fish I have had anytime, anywhere, as well as delicious beef and excellent 'fixings' as we say here in the hills. For most of the cruise, the evening buffet area had king crab legs, rock shrimp, large shrimp, sushi,and varied "turf" dishes including prime rib, roast turkey, pork loin and more. Breakfast and lunch were equally impressive there. Dining room fare was also very good to excellent and service was good with a nice variety of daily menus and a standard everyday menu. We never had a long wait to be seated. For our taste the included house wine was very good and they offered refills almost instantly when your glass was low. I told my wife there must have been a large group of bird watchers in the dining room on our cruise, because several times the waiters gathered at a table with a cake and sang a rousing rendition of "Hoppy Bird Day". The ornithologists seemed appreciative, but DW only groaned at the bad joke. An evening, themed (Mexican, seafood, Cuban, etc.) buffet adjacent to the infinity pool was interesting and photogenic. Then there was Mamensen's Deli in the Explorer Lounge (gotta try the waffle), as well as the Living Room offering light fare such as snacks, deserts, and cookies depending on the time.. The pool grill offered burgers, pulled pork, and dogs and a selection of salads. Plenty of variety for our trip. The desserts in general were good but not outstanding in the buffet. better in the dining room, and spectacular in Manfretti's. Some of the cakes were unusual but were said to be Norwegian recipes from the owners grandmother (Mamensen). I liked them, wife not so much We liked the alternative dining restaurant called, I believe, Manfretti's. We used both our reservations there and the steak (I had) and the seafood (she had) dishes were very nice. The other, The Chef's Table, appeared to have the same menu most of our trip and a second menu for the weekend. Although I thought it was fine, my wife is more of a sprouts-and-twigs kind of girl and she did not like the menus for Chef's Table at all. I understand that it changes, so your experience may differ, In fairness, as we were waiting to cancel our reservations, two people exited and were raving about how delicious it was. Personal preferences at work here! A note: reviews on Cruise Critic and some friend's personal experiences indicate some cruise lines very strongly discourage independent exploration and lead people to believe that using independent tour companies or self guided tours are not allowed. We were concerned about this but it was NOT an issue. Viking clearly states in the port briefings and in their daily that independent tour guests are accommodated. They provide very nice city maps of the ports. The Viking tour participants do get priority. as they should, but we were on some of the earliest tender boats with no issues at all. Yea Viking! Viking has some great tours but we like to avoid buses of people and enjoy the flexibility to lengthen, cancel, add or shorten stops as we see fit. The itinerary is another personal preference type thing.. We liked this one. The two night stay in Cienfuegos allowed us to venture off on our own (sort of) with a very satisfying independent tour in a classic 1957 Chevy (excellent restored body and interior, highly modified drive train, and added AC). After a short preview of Cienfuegos and approximately 2-hour drive and some side trips we arrived for our visit. We stayed overnight in Trinidad, Cuba at an AirBnB lodging dating from the 1830's and were pleased with the very hospitable owners who lived there. They were the 5th generation of the family that built the lodging. The adequate and clean room was $30 and a wonderful breakfast was only $5 each. The lodging was called CASA COLONIAL and, while underwhelming from the outside, the lobby was a classic beauty. The arrangements were made online. Our tour guide, Alejandro, and Leo, our driver/taxi owner/builder and their company are fully licensed by the Cuban Government. Their company, FER TOURS was easy to deal with when we booked online with them and they did all they promised and more. We were treated to wonderful local restaurants and they customized their standard tour to include what my wife wanted to see. We stopped by the road on the drive in and purchased some local plantino manzanas (apple bananas) and some other exotic fruit. We particularly enjoyed these small apple flavored bananas that I have enjoyed in the past but wife had never tasted. A nice surprise was that our visit coincided with the 505th anniversary celebration of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was a real experience, with seemingly a hundred restaurants, live bands fireworks all in a celebratory atmosphere. It was something that wasn't planned but very much enjoyed. A decent sleep after turning in late, and our fine breakfast in the morning and then more touring in the Trinidad area and then the drive back. As the day wound down we spent short time touring Cienfuegos before the end of our second day and our return to the ship around 6pm. Next day we did a self guided walking tour of Cienfuegos. Our guides from the previous day had given us a quick tour of the route to the central square and we simply walked off the tinder and spent a few pleasant hours on our own. Pictures of classic cars and beautiful old buildings were the order of the day. The last stop was Santiago de Cuba. Again we had arranged another licensed independent tour and met our guide, driver, and the company owner of OUT OF THE BOX TOURS at the large CUBA sign, just a few minutes walk, and easily seen from the ships tender location. My wife had a couple of sights she wanted to see. The most important (to her) and beautiful was the Our Lady of Charity, which was 'a ways' out of town. We went there first and our Guide Alex an our driver Marion (sp?) were really on the ball for us. We arrived well before maybe two hundred of our closest friends (in Government-owned tour buses) from the ship's tours crowded into the parking lot of the cathedral. The alter and church is very beautiful. Ernest Hemingway's Nobel prize is among the many interesting and worth-a-photo displays. Lucky, our visit and the beautiful photos we took were complete because, as we were leaving, they were overwhelming the interior of the church. This was a short stay for this port and we did not stop for lunch, but we did visit the roof top bar of the Casa Grande Hotel beside the town square.. A very nice setting for a lovely drink and panoramic views of the city. This time our ride was a similar quality classic, but was a 1957 Ford Fairlane instead of the Chevy. Note: no shorts allowed for men or women and shoulders must be covered to enter the church so ladies take a wrap here or other churches just in case. Final thoughts. We had a great time. The Cuban people are friendly, even though they have a different view of many world events than those of us from the USA. Immigration was a non event but you do need to keep track of your visa. The classic cars are all over and make good photo opportunities. AMERICAN credit cards are not accepted although cards from other countries are accepted. There is a 13% penalty for changing US dollars. We had a bunch of Euros so changed them. Might be worth buying Euros to use on the trip depending on the exchange rate when you take your trip. This review is based on our unique combination of guides, weather, fellow cruisers and any number of other things that make up a individual journey. Your mileage may differ. Objects are closer than they appear. This review is not intended to treat,cure, or diagnose any disease....... 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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