302 Viking Ocean Viking Star Cruise Reviews

Beautiful countries. Some wonderful excursions especially Montenegro. A couple stops were extremely congested. Dubrovnik and Corfu crowds were massive. We missed Santorini due to high winds. Staff and crew on Viking Star were great. Room ... Read More
Beautiful countries. Some wonderful excursions especially Montenegro. A couple stops were extremely congested. Dubrovnik and Corfu crowds were massive. We missed Santorini due to high winds. Staff and crew on Viking Star were great. Room steward Virginia was fantastic! Food on board and ashore was incredible. We would probably not repeat this itinerary but only because we would like to experience different locales. One of our travel companions had a minor medical issue and the medical and restaurant staff combined to resolve that very satisfactorily. At all times we felt that passenger safety and security were a priority for staff and crew. The cabin was very comfortable and much roomier than we expected. This was our second Viking cruise among the six we have taken. Viking does as well as any of them and better than most. We will definitely consider Viking for future vacations. Thanks to all involved from Viking Star and also from Viking Braggi on our previous cruise. Manfreddi’s was stupendous!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The cruise hit several locations we wanted to visit. We were glad we started in Greece then Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia and went to Italy. We did extend our trip 2 days in Venice which was a must. The locations seemed to improve as we ... Read More
The cruise hit several locations we wanted to visit. We were glad we started in Greece then Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia and went to Italy. We did extend our trip 2 days in Venice which was a must. The locations seemed to improve as we headed north. The food was outstanding and the daily wine choices were great. We should have taken more advantage of the onboard entertainment. The crew were outstanding. They were very attentive and funny. We appreciate their efforts and service. The excursions were great we did upgrade a few. The history and culture were amazing. Great cultural enrichment and wine! We overpacked. Having the onboard washers and dryers were great to recycle and bring less. We recommend being self aware as a traveler. We were disappointed by the rudeness of some of the other travelers. When something did not go perfect the ship crew always worked hard and quickly to correct it. Be patient. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We liked the venue: Athens to Venice. The accommodations were good. Cabin nice and clean. Balcony and pools were great. Food wasn’t what I expected is all. I’m not fond of cafeteria style. We ate at The Restaurant was good. As was The ... Read More
We liked the venue: Athens to Venice. The accommodations were good. Cabin nice and clean. Balcony and pools were great. Food wasn’t what I expected is all. I’m not fond of cafeteria style. We ate at The Restaurant was good. As was The Chef table. Manifrdis was ok. The Explorer bar was our favorite! Great bartenders and view! We felt service was slow even with so many employees mulling around. Many times we would have to go find someone. Excursions were excellent, though places were extremely crowded especially Dubrovnik. Too many cruise ships allowed at a time so guided tended to rush you through so other guides could get in. We would of signed up for our third cruise but thought down payment was high. We want to go on another river cruise possibly Portugal/Spain. Hopefully in 2 years. We loved the river cruise Paris to Zurich 2 years ago. More personal. See you in 2 years Viking! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have cruised over 25 times on various small ship cruise lines. Have river cruised with Viking 3 times and wanted to try their new ocean ships. We were very happy with the Viking Star. It has beautiful public spaces, we were always ... Read More
We have cruised over 25 times on various small ship cruise lines. Have river cruised with Viking 3 times and wanted to try their new ocean ships. We were very happy with the Viking Star. It has beautiful public spaces, we were always able to find a spot by the pool and the outside decks. Poolside service was a little slow. Our Explorer Suite was perfect. Love being on the back of the ship with expansive views as we sailed away. Because this was a relatively short cruise, 12 days, we only dined in the main restaurant once. It didn't impress. Food and ambiance were just a little above average. We really enjoyed the Chef's Table restaurant with wine pairings. The Italian restaurant didn't disappoint either. Entertainment was just average, some evenings only a movie was offered. Overall service was very good and the ports were great. It's really makes a big difference to have the quiet boxes during a shore excursion. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had gone on the Rhine River Cruise in 2017 and were so impressed with Viking - the food, the excursions, the staff and accommodations - we knew we would travel with Viking again. Italy and Greece were two destinations on my bucket ... Read More
We had gone on the Rhine River Cruise in 2017 and were so impressed with Viking - the food, the excursions, the staff and accommodations - we knew we would travel with Viking again. Italy and Greece were two destinations on my bucket list so when we found the Emperors of the Mediterranean we know that was the cruise we needed to book next. The ship was beautiful, the options and the guides for each excursion were exceptional. The pre- excursion in Tuscany was wonderful - the billa accommodations and meals prepared at the villa were phenomenal and Roberta, our guide, was amazing! The deluxe suite on the ship was beautiful and spacious. I loved the afternoon in Winter Garden and all the beautiful sitting and lounge areas throughout the ship were great. We really enjoyed the spa and Harri was amazing for my massage and we participated in the Nordic Bathing Ritual with Harri as well. The snow grotto was a fun addition to the spa area. I was, unfortunately, disappointed with the food. We felt the food - variety and quality - on the river cruise was far superior to the ocean cruise. There seemed to be a lot of repetition each night and many items lacked flavor. The river cruise did a better job of tailoring each dinner to the port/ region we were visiting. The port talks were a bit too early, often missing them because we were just getting back from an excursion or cutting into the tea time. The other suggestion to consider is the amount of free time built into the excursions. While I understand we are on a tight time table we did not feel there was enough free time to explore the area on our own. Typically we had 20 30 minutes of free time at the end of the excursion which was not enough time to grab a drink or cup of coffee let alone do any shopping. Over all the ocean cruise was good however I think our next Viking trip we will return to the river options. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have cruised with Viking in the past, while this was our first Ocean Cruise (Mediterranean) with them. Loved the small ship size, which really helped to not be overwhelmed by what is already over tourism at most European destinations. ... Read More
We have cruised with Viking in the past, while this was our first Ocean Cruise (Mediterranean) with them. Loved the small ship size, which really helped to not be overwhelmed by what is already over tourism at most European destinations. The Viking Star ship is large enough to provide for perfect sized accommodations with ample room/balcony space, plenty of onboard amenities and a nice smooth ride for Med cruising. There was no issues/ queues for dinning in either the sit down restaurant nor the buffet style restaurants. With two pools and two hot tubs, plus other gathering places, spread the guests out so you did not feel crowded. The smaller ship allows for docking at multiple ports that the larger ships cannot enter or have to tender; this allowed for awesome sail-ins and sail-outs at beautiful ports like Monte Carlo. Viking really provides for all of your needs and most of your wants in its included cruise fair; most included tours are a good start to experiencing each port (while Viking should vet some of the local guides a bit more, one or two were a bit laborious to the point of us bowing out of our included tour early on). The included drinks at meals were most generous, they provide for several added excursions and ample courtesy shuttles from ports to downtown destinations. The house keeping staff was amazing, providing for your every convenience (extra hangers, ice morning and night, extra bottled water, etc), as well as the restaurant staff, very friendly and inviting. The only area we felt was lacking, was the sit down restaurant meals (we primarily participated in the evenings) which did not live up to our expectations. We have had finer meals on other cruise lines (RC) as well as Viking River cruises, while we felt they did step up the game towards the end of the 13 day cruise. We believe they could do a better job of providing better destination meals considering the ports of call we made (Rome, Naples, Corfu, Venice, etc). Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Had previously gone on a Viking river cruise and had an excellent experience. My husband and I wanted to do an ocean cruise, but also wanted the opportunity to visit places we had never been to. The number of "stops" on our ... Read More
Had previously gone on a Viking river cruise and had an excellent experience. My husband and I wanted to do an ocean cruise, but also wanted the opportunity to visit places we had never been to. The number of "stops" on our cruise gave us the opportunity to revisit some of our favorite cities in Europe as well as explore some new ones. While the included excursions were interesting, the crowds - which were explained as common when so many ships were in port - made it less appealing and difficult to explore the cities. The excursions that we selected, a wine-tasting in Marseille, cooking class in a Tuscan castle, and the UNESCO site at Herculaneum were excellent. The service on the cruise was excellent. Our room steward, Ronel, went above and beyond to accommodate us. And since I have a medical condition which requires daily injections, I was very impressed by the medical staff who were always available when needed. We did dine in all of the restaurants and enjoyed them all. The "feast" that was served on our day at sea was amazing! And, the entertainment in the evening was great....a nice selection of music and just right the length of time. The only criticism of the cruise was the fire drill while in Barcelona. We sat in our area for an hour waiting for the final passengers to board.... I would recommend the Viking experience highly and without hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Friends suggested an Ocean Cruise in the Mediterranean. We had not been on an ocean cruise before so we really had no expectation. We had completed two river cruises (one with AMA and one with Viking) and enjoyed the rivers. Viking Ocean ... Read More
Friends suggested an Ocean Cruise in the Mediterranean. We had not been on an ocean cruise before so we really had no expectation. We had completed two river cruises (one with AMA and one with Viking) and enjoyed the rivers. Viking Ocean was a much bigger ship that I expected, however, it is spacious. Viking designed the ship in such a way that there are various sitting/bar/game areas. You almost never feel overwhelmed by volumes of people except for two nights when there was standing room only in the Star Theatre. Value was excellent. Accommodations were comfortable. Bathroom provided great storage for your toiletries. The staff were friendly and helpful. Unlike the river cruises you rarely meet the ships Captain, Hotel Manager, Cruise Director and Chef. A bit less intimate but I think understandable. Food was good although the buffet gets old. A couple of stops along the route had so many ships in port that the town was over crowded (Monte Carlo, Split, Croatia). Shore excursions were good. We paid for three or four excursions along with the included excursions and all were quite good. The highlights were Croatia (the Falconry and Krka National Park). My only real negative comment is the volume of the music in the Atrium Bar. It was just too loud for before dinner cocktails or game play (we play cribbage so daily we frequented the Atrium Bar to play cards. . Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My wife and I wanted to see Italy and this cruise seemed like the perfect fit. It allowed my wife and I to travel from Venice to Rome with several stops in between. We purchased some optional excursions that were truly great, but most ... Read More
My wife and I wanted to see Italy and this cruise seemed like the perfect fit. It allowed my wife and I to travel from Venice to Rome with several stops in between. We purchased some optional excursions that were truly great, but most the the included excursions were a little unstructured for our liking. Previous experience from an excellent Viking River cruise left us with an expectation that was not met with the Ocean cruise experience. Overall still a great cruise. The food was great and we upgraded to a junior suite room on board which felt like a full size hotel room. A little odd that very few traditional Italian meals were prepared. Accommodations were excellent and viking staff was super attentive. We added a 3 day extension when we got to Rome and that was a true highlight. We did not add extension with Viking as only a 2 day was available and we wanted at least 3 days. Staying on our own was less than half the cost anyway. Not sure why Viking charged so much for an extension when it only included transportation from the boat and the room. Overall Viking is a high quality cruise with lots of attention paid to passengers. Ship had great entertainment and created a fun environment. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The itinerary appealed and I wanted to see what others found special about Viking. It was nice but no better than others that are far less expensive. The ship was pleasant, and the food was good. There was not enough space for clothing ... Read More
The itinerary appealed and I wanted to see what others found special about Viking. It was nice but no better than others that are far less expensive. The ship was pleasant, and the food was good. There was not enough space for clothing in our deluxe veranda cabin. The entertainment was lacking and mostly consisted of the same group of vocalists every night. Daytime programming was practically nonexistent. The included shore excursions were limited in scope and variety, and were scheduled to preclude participation at all if more interesting excursions were purchased. There was far too much “free time” on excursions, which translates to being unexpectedly abandoned in a foreign city without even a map. There was such poor advance communication on what to expect that it was impossible to know how to prepare. Example: the full day excursion to Rome was described as a motor coach tour but we were taken to St. Peter’s square and left for five hours. We were not even informed of the existence of hop on-hop off buses but were simply pointed in the general direction of taxi stands some blocks away. I might try a river cruise with Viking but will probably use a different line for our next ocean cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I choose the Mediterranean Ocean cruise to take my mother to the Vatican and Europe for the first time. We enjoyed the wine at lunch and dinber and the restaurant and in room dining options on the Viking Star. The King size bed cabins were ... Read More
I choose the Mediterranean Ocean cruise to take my mother to the Vatican and Europe for the first time. We enjoyed the wine at lunch and dinber and the restaurant and in room dining options on the Viking Star. The King size bed cabins were modern and comfortable as well as the bathroom which had a fairly large shower. Even the public bathrooms were always spotless with calming cheerful bird sounds. Our steward room service was wonderful, the bartenders were very friendly and most all the staff fantastic. We also enjoyed the excursions and itinerary for the the ports in Italy, France and Spain. Sete was lovely, Monaco was fun and we needed more time in Barcelona. We even had time to watch one movie under the stars and the lounge band for dancing was so much fun. I would definately choose Viking again someday to try a river cruise next. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My wife and I were anxious to try the much touted Viking Ocean. We booked a one week Rome to Barcelona cruise with a three-day pre-cruise Umbria extension. We made our own flight arrangements in order to assure only direct flights to and ... Read More
My wife and I were anxious to try the much touted Viking Ocean. We booked a one week Rome to Barcelona cruise with a three-day pre-cruise Umbria extension. We made our own flight arrangements in order to assure only direct flights to and from. We were, however, obligated to arrive on the day our extension began. Would have preferred to arrive a day or two earlier and meet the Viking guides at the airport but we were told this could not be done. I have since found out that there is a way around this by booking private transportation to the extension hotel for the first night there. Another couple in our group did this. The Umbria extension was outstanding. I have reviewed this elsewhere. Transportation from the extension to the ship was flawless though we didn't arrive until 5:00 PM with only a half hour until muster drill. As for the cruise itself, I must say that I readily understand the high marks given by the vast majority of its guests. The spotless ship, its gracious crew, its many amenities and very comfortable accommodations validate the acclamations. For me, however, there is one very prominent deficiency. This is dining. Let me hasten to say that the majority will probably disagree with me. I add this note in hopes of dissuading the many Viking defenders from venting. Folks, it's just a matter of some like chocolate while others prefer vanilla. Dining on Viking tends to be casual, and is meant to be. Of the various venues, The Restaurant (main dining room) is the only one with table linens. All others use plastic place mats. The World Cafe is the “buffet” which is cafeteria style self-service for everything except beverages which are served. This is very popular for a variety of good reasons. Guests who are in a hurry, who prefer to wear more casual clothes than suggested for other venues, who like to fill their plates with a variety of offerings, love this place. The World Cafe is always open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are two “specialty” restaurants, Manfredi's and The Chef's Table. Manfredi's has a very interesting menu with an Italian theme. The offerings are delicious and portions tend to be large. Service is as helter-skelter here as it is in all other service venues. I'll explain later. The Chef's Table offers a set menu which changes every several days. These two alternative restaurants serve dinner only and only by reservation. The remaining three food outlets are the Living Room bar, Mansen's (a Norwegian deli), and the Pool Grill. All with very good but limited menus. Of course, there is always the 24-hour option of room service which arrives promptly, on a tray, and must be consumed from your lap or shagged to the balcony table, unless you have a suite which includes a dining table. So what's my beef? Service! Everyone, in every mentioned venue and in every other part of the ship, is as gracious, friendly and accommodating as possible. It is the method obviously prescribed for them in the restaurants that troubles me. In all restaurants, one's server will introduce himself, or herself, and state that they will take care of you. That may be the only time you see him or her. Someone else may take your order, another to ask about wine, still another to bring the first course and so on. If you stick to three courses as shown on the menu this is OK. However if you veer from this, confusion and unwarranted delay result. Requesting a salad to be served after the main course, asking for a small serving of a main for a starter, or a large serving of a starter for a main just doesn't work when dealing with multiple servers. Asking one if San Pellegrino is available and being told yes, and later being told no by another, just doesn't work. This MO was very much more evident in Manfredi's and The Chef's Table than in The Restaurant. For this reason I preferred The Restaurant. We had two reservations in Manfredi's and two in The Chef's Table. We canceled one in each to return to The Restaurant. We would have been delighted to take all three meals every day in The Restaurant. Unfortunately The Restaurant serves lunch only occasionally when at sea, and does not serve breakfast before 8:00 AM which means you must dine elsewhere in order to make a early morning tour. With that off my chest, let me say that we enjoyed our first Viking cruise and would not be adverse to taking another. I am old but still a pretty fast learner and can work around the dining issues. I do want to offer special kudos to Natalie, the charming young lady who manned the desk at the entrance to The Restaurant, who always greeted me by name and “two chairs” as I preferred any table so long as it had two chairs (no banquet seat); and to Gregory from Armenia who took good care of us at the Living Room bar and saw to it that I had my breakfast oatmeal cookie in the morning and my Maker's Mark in the evening. I score our Viking cruise a 9 out of 10. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We had never cruised and wanted a new experience. Also wanted to see homeland of my grandfather, Croatia. Nice to be on a ship and never feel crowded. Food was good not as great as we were expecting. Food in specialty restaurants were ... Read More
We had never cruised and wanted a new experience. Also wanted to see homeland of my grandfather, Croatia. Nice to be on a ship and never feel crowded. Food was good not as great as we were expecting. Food in specialty restaurants were just ok. The Restaurant was the best. We had very little time to use the pool and when we did have time there was no room with shade so we didn’t use. Understood things are not perfect but in trying to use ship facilities and tours sacrifices have to be made. Net-net Viking runs a good experience and the “bar” has been set. Great experience yet expensive. We are Marriott owners and working to plan vacations on Viking are additional costs which is an expensive proposition. The Marriott opportunities to cruise with Viking are Not good values as a Marriott owner. We would love to cruise again but being on fixed income makes it even more difficult. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Wanted to see that part of the world and Always used Viking. Beautiful ship,excellent cabin,size and amenities . Extremely knowledgeable speakers and guides who knew their area. Embarkation and disembarkation were well organised ... Read More
Wanted to see that part of the world and Always used Viking. Beautiful ship,excellent cabin,size and amenities . Extremely knowledgeable speakers and guides who knew their area. Embarkation and disembarkation were well organised especially when compared to other ships close by. Having an EU passport helps as well! Food and staff in dining area superb and they are always so polite and helpful. Particularly enjoyed lunches in the small restaurant where choice limited but fantastic. Not so happy with extension in Athens, not Vikings fault although I did feel it was quite expensive. We would always prefer to travel with Viking and having done seven rivers previous to this I think it speaks for itself. The only disappointment were the crowds in some ports, this is happening more as more ships take to the water. When we started cruising it was much quieter . Would I go again? Of course but want and prefer areas in Europe but waiting for Brexit to be solved . I am an ardent remainer. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We left Venice May 6th on Viking Star on the "Empires of the Mediterranean".....a long anticipated trip which turned out to be almost as wonderful as we imagined! Our cabin (6087) was spacious and we did spend a lot of time ... Read More
We left Venice May 6th on Viking Star on the "Empires of the Mediterranean".....a long anticipated trip which turned out to be almost as wonderful as we imagined! Our cabin (6087) was spacious and we did spend a lot of time there enjoying the view from our balcony. The Star is a beautiful ship from one end to the other and we quickly discovered our favorite spot was the Explorer's Lounge with wide windows and comfortable seats and a great bar (be sure to get the Silver Spirits package!). We enjoyed our meals in the speciality restaurants much more than the World Cafe which is pretty much a buffet with lots of choices but it became not as special after a few days. However, our time on the Star was compared at every turn to our River Cruise last year on the Viking longboat, Mani. WE LOVED THAT CRUISE! Having a small number of people on a ship certainly makes it easier to make friends which makes for a much happier time! We met three couples almost immediately and we bonded for the whole trip and still are in contact. I hear a lot of people saying the same thing about making friends on a River Cruise. The Ocean ships have over 900 people and not as much opportunity to make friends as there are so many options available for activities and dining. We truly love anything Viking though! Hope for more cruises but the trip over the pond is getting harder and harder. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
On board crew exceeded ! We enjoyed them more than the passengers- professional, kind and attentive The local tour guides lacked sensitivity to older passengers especially in the Venice airport -speeding through and we stayed to help ... Read More
On board crew exceeded ! We enjoyed them more than the passengers- professional, kind and attentive The local tour guides lacked sensitivity to older passengers especially in the Venice airport -speeding through and we stayed to help guide the seniors through the chaotic airport After watching these elders become frustrated we had to step in and help Some guides cut tours short and or discussed their own business- disappointing - not 60 but 90 as promised would meet the stated tour time The three days of no pool, spa or gym due to a virus also disappointed tho we understood the situation The folks in the jewels shop used pressure tactics to sell, but we refrained The musicians, bartenders and restaurant staff made us feel at home and happy The quality of musicians impressed us each night- each fabulous Food and service and management scored high each day. Torshavn bar became our sanctuary- the guys there welcomed us each night with warmth and familiarity Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We are incredulous about the service on this ship: friendly, attentitive, and conscientious. Each person we see greets us warmly and with authenticity. The waiters learn your names within a day or two and treat you like royalty. After ... Read More
We are incredulous about the service on this ship: friendly, attentitive, and conscientious. Each person we see greets us warmly and with authenticity. The waiters learn your names within a day or two and treat you like royalty. After five days of being at sea, there is no let up in the attention to detail and graciousness. The food is generally quite good; the sushi bar is excellent and Manfredi's is uniformly delicious. We regret getting the silver spirits package however because one of us drinks only wine and the included wines listed are sub-par. The hard liquor choices on the other hand are wide-ranging and more than sufficient! Silver Spirits runs about $20/day and covers drinks up to $15, which is the price we normally pay for a single servings of wine so we thought we'd be okay, but were quickly disappointed. Next time we'll know or bring our bottles onboard which they permit. Love the ship, the room to spread out and the wifi has been terrific! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Wonderful cruise. Great staff, great food, excellent wines, good excursions, well-informed guides. All good except they cancelled the Santiago de Cuba stopover at the last minute, claiming that they might be able to get into the Santiago ... Read More
Wonderful cruise. Great staff, great food, excellent wines, good excursions, well-informed guides. All good except they cancelled the Santiago de Cuba stopover at the last minute, claiming that they might be able to get into the Santiago bay, but not get out due to "winds".... Well, we were not convinced. Viking did provide a $500 credit we can apply to a future cruise, but you know what, what if we redo the Cuba cruise and they again cancel Santiago, which we really wanted to see? What's the point then? Viking should get more serious about its stopovers because it was a deciding factor in our choice of this cruise. And if Viking can't keep to its itinerary, why bother. On the plus side, the staff of the boat was truly lovely, the food truly delicious, the indoor spa great and luxurious. The ship was the right size - not too big, not too small, blissfully free of casino and photographers. We enjoyed the promenade deck. It was possible to do a mile or so on it every day, which we really liked. Excursions were well organized, informative and fun, with enough free time to do a little shopping/exploring on our own. Guides were well-informed and pleasant, without overdoing it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Wanted to try Viking Ocean and Cuba was on my list. Had been on Viking River Cruise so was curious about the Ocean Cruises. The look and feel if the ocean ship was similar to the River but bigger. Also the inclusion of the Thermal Spa ... Read More
Wanted to try Viking Ocean and Cuba was on my list. Had been on Viking River Cruise so was curious about the Ocean Cruises. The look and feel if the ocean ship was similar to the River but bigger. Also the inclusion of the Thermal Spa area which included the sauna, steam, snow room, cold pool and thermal pool with heated lounges chairs was an added bonus as there is not a charge to enter and use the Thermal spa like other cruise lines. The fitness center was well equipped as well. The pools were nice and nothin seemed crowed - not sure the ship was at 100% capacity. They had a nice smoking area on the top deck, which had plenty of seating and was not near any major public area such as the pools or dining areas. The ship was clean and the crew were in constant maintenance mode during the cruise. The staff were wonderful and we managed to have a few waiters that were special in that they remembered us and knew what we drank and were attentive, of course a little tip didn't hurt but was well deserved. The entertainment could be a little more varied especially in the main pool area to include so Top 40 tunes for some of the younger crowd, I had expected some latin music since this was a Cuba and Caribbean Cruise but none. Minus a casino more activities maybe would have been nice other than card and board games. Overall a very relaxing cruise even though we were unable to make our stop in Santiago Cuba due to weather. I booked another cruise while on board so overall pleased with the experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise because we were interested in seeing Cuba, as well as we were looking forward to getting away from cold winter weather. We have traveled on both Viking River and Viking Ocean and loved both. The Viking Star did not ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were interested in seeing Cuba, as well as we were looking forward to getting away from cold winter weather. We have traveled on both Viking River and Viking Ocean and loved both. The Viking Star did not disappoint. From the moment we embarked we were treated wonderfully. We stayed in a deluxe veranda, which was a nice size. Our room steward was very attentive and our room was spotless. We enjoyed our dining experiences. We ate dinner at both specialty restaurants, as well as in the main restaurant and had attentive service and found the meals to be delicious. We particularly enjoyed dining outside in the Aquavit Terrace for the Seafood Buffet. We enjoyed the chef's cooking demonstration as well as the backstage tour given by the Viking vocalists. We enjoyed the evening shows and particularly liked the late night dancing with the Viking Band in the Torshavn lounge. The evening outdoor movies were a pleasant touch. Our cruise director, Aaron, did a wonderful job. We enjoyed the infinity pool and never had difficulty finding a lounge chair. Service by the pool was excellent. We enjoyed afternoon tea. Our experiences on the ship were wonderful. We were disappointed with the short amount of time we spent in Cuba. For a one week cruise, we only were in Cuba for a little over 2 days. We also had to take a tender to get to land, which took additional time away from being in Cuba. Our stop in Santiago de Cuba was cancelled due to winds. We were informed of this as we were finishing breakfast getting ready to leave on our tour. We had hoped another port would have been substituted. Our tour in Cienfuegos was excellent and our tour guide was informative and friendly. The tour to Havana was a must. We saw a great deal and a highlight of our trip was touring in the classic cars. We enjoyed dining in an authentic Cuban restaurant. The 6 hour round trip bus ride was very long. We enjoyed the catamaran tour of Cienfuegos Bay. I was glad that I had done my shopping early in the trip, instead of waiting for the last day, in that I would have had nothing to bring back from Cuba. I have seen so much on previous Viking cruises and was surprised that in a 7 day cruise we only went to 1 port. I had thought we would have seen much more. In summary, the ship was perfect but for a seven day cruise the ports were sparse. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
After saving our money and paid time off for over three years, my husband and I were excited for our cruise to Cuba with Viking, who had shown us stellar service on their Paris to Normandy river journey in 2015. We were a little hesitant ... Read More
After saving our money and paid time off for over three years, my husband and I were excited for our cruise to Cuba with Viking, who had shown us stellar service on their Paris to Normandy river journey in 2015. We were a little hesitant at first, seeing that Viking had changed the itinerary on folks that booked in 2017 from Havana to Cienfuegos, but figured the team had it sorted out. Unfortunately, from the start we had trouble. Our airport pickup wandered away, leaving six of us who had just red eyed into Miami confused - they left the baggage area once the bags started coming, leaving us wandering until we found them quite far down the hall. Despite our stickers and luggage tags, we had to search for our rep, rather than him finding us (in Paris, our rep was there in uniform and took initiative to round up his charges, not the other way around). When we were dropped off at port, we were literally dropped off - no instructions, no guidance. An elderly woman in our group was jostled and fell to the ground. Finally, one of our fellow passengers found the correct entrance and led us in. The ship is lovely, if starting to show some wear, and the staff was delightful and polite and not too talkative. The hydrotherapy pools were spacious and stunning, especially for a ship of this size. We sometimes struggled to get drinks refilled at meals, so we started requesting two at a time so we wouldn’t be parched midway through a meal. For a larger ship than their river cruises, there was less variety in food choice - the seated restaurant and the buffet mirror on another, and since the specialty restaurants booked up fast, you essentially had the option of being brought your food or grabbing it yourself without much change in the menu. The river cruises have a small cafe that you can get American fare at, while their restaurants serve local specialties and more upscale dishes. Our free walking tour in Cienfuegos was one of the worst tours I have been on - the guide wouldn’t let us shop, he made us stand in the street as beggars circled us tighter and tighter (making me more and more nervous) while he talked about the largest travel agency in Havana (it seemed an odd thing to focus on when there was art and cigar shops and historic buildings surrounding us), and was angry people weren’t paying attention to his next long story about the optometry shop as we shifted uncomfortably in the street. At the cigar rolling demonstration, we were hustled out before we could buy anything - which made me incredibly uncomfortable when the shopkeepers had hosted us so kindly. We toured a hotel lobby, which ate into valuable time we could have been at an actual historical building. Being from Nevada, I know hotels. I don’t know 19th century Cuban mansions like Ville Palais, which we had only ten minutes in since we spent a valuable twenty minutes in a generic Hilton-like lobby instead. When we returned to the city center, it was after six and shutting down - stands were closing, shops were shuttered, and it was twilight - tourist time was obviously over. So we returned to the boat. Our Havana excursion was amazing, and the saving grace of our trip - the tour guide Jenny knowledgeable, focused on education and information and not her personal stories. The Hemingway House was closed (note, it’s always closed on Sundays, so why no one notifies us until the day before was concerning on Viking’s end and likely caused a scramble for the poor guides), so she arranged for a ride around Havana in the old school cars, which thrilled us all. She was honest about life in Cuba, and answered all of our questions on income and housing, and introduced us to multiple vendors and shops, even making sure we got proper change. This was the Viking experience I had been expecting and hoping for. Since Havana was a whirlwind of colors and sounds, we were excited for a low key day In Cienfuegos the following day - unfortunately, since the tender boats take 20 minutes each way, and everyone had to be back on the boat by noon, we didn’t get up in time to leave the boat on our third half day (our Havana day was over 13 hours with lots of walking). Which was heartbreaking when we found out that our second port stop at Santiago de Cuba was canceled due to wind. Santiago de Cuba was founded in 1515, and was something I was looking forward to so much. Being from out West in Nevada, we think somethings historic if it’s from the 1950s! But we were sure Viking would make it up to guests. We became less sure when they excitedly announced a bean bag toss to keep us occupied as we sailed past Santiago de Cuba. Okay, I thought. They’re getting things together. They need a little time. Surely the top cruise line in the world would not offer a simple bean bag toss as substitute for 50% of the Cuba port sites. Well, they also offered a trivia competition. And they also heavily suggested you pay extra fees for wine tastings and spa treatments to keep yourself occupied on a day that Viking had promised to entertain us with a port stop and free tour. My husband and I are in our 30s, and Viking cruises mean we go less often and pay more ($2,800/each in this instance), but our experience in Paris was so rosy, we pledged to be Viking customers exclusively. Having a major stop cancelled and cornhole substituted seemed laughable, and I again gave Viking the benefit of the doubt. I emailed our Viking rep, sure that something was in the works - a partial refund or credit towards our next cruise, or even a shipboard credit since they were pushing pricey services for entertainment in lieu of the port stop. Fred told me to email customer relations since he couldn’t do anything once we were on the boat. 24 hours after emailing, and 28 hours after the port cancellation, I have yet to receive an acknowledgment of my email, and my hope for a decent resolution is just about gone. To have such vastly different customer service experiences has led me to fear our stellar service in Paris was luck of the stars, and not Viking’s usual protocol. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend this cruise because you will pay premium price for average service and may not even see 50% of promised ports - and Viking will offer a game of bean bag toss as the only consolation to a lost day in Cuba. Oh, and trivia. Our 2015 Paris cruise was during the terrorist attacks - Viking stepped up to the plate in 2015 and arranged alternate excursions when we were unable to get back into the locked down city, and a staff person came to speak with us individually about safety and ensure our comfort. I’m surprised they were able to handle a very unexpected, very alarming event on the fly on that cruise, but the only solution they had for inclement weather on this cruise and a cancelled port was a bean bag toss. Oh yeah, and a trivia game. I would not recommend this cruise until Viking has figured out the Cuba logistics. From reading the other reviews, this isn’t one of Viking’s strong itineraries despite multiple years, and doesn’t appear to have the same level of professionalism and service found in their river cruises. I’m not sure we’ll do a Viking cruise again, considering the high cost and poor customer service our Cuba trip has highlighted. I expected to be a Viking customer for the next 70 years after Paris, but am beginning to realize they’re just like any other cruise line - all about that cash. Read Less
Sail Date February 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
My wife and I had already cruised to Havana, Cuba aboard the NCL Sun, which didn't give us enough exposure to the Cuban Culture, music and art. We chose to cruise to Cuba again, this time with Viking Ocean Cruises. The itinerary, ... Read More
My wife and I had already cruised to Havana, Cuba aboard the NCL Sun, which didn't give us enough exposure to the Cuban Culture, music and art. We chose to cruise to Cuba again, this time with Viking Ocean Cruises. The itinerary, which includes a visit to Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba, and which also has extensive educational opportunities and onboard lectures given by knowledgeable Cuba experts was deeply important in our choice. The Viking Star is considered a small ship at a maximum 900 passenger capacity. This was immediately appreciated upon embarkation, which went flawlessly and we were processed and onboard ship within 15 minutes. We took the Viking two-day extension in Miami, which included a five hour panoramic drive through the city, including a stop at Calle Ocho and the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens on the day of embarkation. Arriving onboard ship, we were delighted to find our cabin ready and our steward available to deliver our luggage and address any of our concerns. The in-cabin experience was enhanced by our Steward, "K," and he went the extra mile to ensure our comfort. Unfortunately, the ship's digital system, including interactive in-cabin monitor, live TV, movies and recorded lectures and entertainment given in the theater crashed during the last three days of the cruise, which we found regrettable, since we couldn't catch up with any of the events we missed during the cruise. We found the dining aboard the Star to be excellent, with an ample variety of dishes and wines that changed daily, both in the Restaurant and up in the World Cafe, the casual buffet venue. We also had dinner in Manfredi's Italian Restaurant, which is included in the cruise. The food at Manfredi's is fresh and abundant, and we ended up ordering half portions because the regular size is astronomical. The complementary wine or beer at lunch and dinner is a fantastic feature, as the house wines change each day, giving us a wonderful tasting experience. The servers at all the dining venues were eager to please, and took time to get to know our preferences. Not having children onboard Viking cruises also makes the voyage more enjoyable. On land in both Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba, we took the complementary city tours, which we found to be average and not really worth the three hours. Sitting in a bus, that travels at high speed through the city, doesn't really give one the smells, taste and feel for the people of Cuba. The mandatory stops at cigar and rum shops ate up whatever free time we had. In Cienfuegos, my wife and I went off the grid and hired a private pedicab with driver to give us a personal tour of the city. This three hour tour included many places not covered by the complementary tour, and we stopped numerous times to meet and greet the REAL people of the city. My fluency in the Spanish language helped us to take full advantage of the driver's personal knowledge of his hometown, and we were able to meet many of his associates at local haunts. This direct contact with the Cuban people was what we were after when we chose the cruise. My only advice is to settle on a price BEFORE hiring a private tour guide. This is hard to do, as many of the private tours don't have posted prices or tour descriptions. However, Jordan, our pedicab driver gave us a private tour of a lifetime, and we gladly paid him $60 for the personal service he provided. In Santiago de Cuba, we only had a few hours, but the tour of the Basilica of Our Lady of Charity, the patron saint of Cuba, was truly amazing.and well worth the time spent there. The educational lectures and round tables are exceptional. The topics covered were truly current and topical on Cuban history, culture and arts. This is a hallmark of Viking Cruises, and a good reason why Viking remains as one of the best ways to the immersion into the local ports visited. Being on a small ship makes the voyage comfortable and uncrowded all onboard venues. Even though we didn't dock at the two ports, the four tenders got us off the ship and back on very efficiently. The digital glitches were unfortunate, but, in contrast to other cruise lines, Viking delivers a good cruise value. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Love cruising with Viking so wanted to take this cruise with them. This was our 4th ocean cruise with them. The ships are spotless. The crew is friendly and polite. You can rely on them. The rooms are larger. Bathroom larger. Every ... Read More
Love cruising with Viking so wanted to take this cruise with them. This was our 4th ocean cruise with them. The ships are spotless. The crew is friendly and polite. You can rely on them. The rooms are larger. Bathroom larger. Every room has a lanai. Loved our cabin boy. Anything we needed, he got for us. The food was excellent. All freshly cooked. No preservatives. The lectures were very good but I would have liked more entertainment. Playing Trivia was not my cup of tea. A 22 day cruise needed more to do. The shore excursions were well organized. Our guides were knowledgeable and spoke good English. Not like some places. The poor countries were a little depressing but we knew that would be. We were lucky to have sunny weather. The fact that it was Central America, it was extremely hot and humid. We wanted to visit Cuba and travel through the Panama Canal. Each country was so interesting. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I have done 2 Viking River Cruises so I wanted to see what the ocean cruise with Viking would be like. I was not disappointed and my only negative comment would be the overnight shore excursion was rather expensive ($799 each) and we were ... Read More
I have done 2 Viking River Cruises so I wanted to see what the ocean cruise with Viking would be like. I was not disappointed and my only negative comment would be the overnight shore excursion was rather expensive ($799 each) and we were not advised of this cost until shortly before our sailing date. Also they didn’t allow for the fact that there was a Marathon run that day so we were delayed waiting in the hotel lobby for over an hour. Everything else was above average though. The cabin was adequate and the bathroom was the best on any ship I’ve been on. Crew were great and with my garlic allergy the dining staff went above expectations to take excellent care of my needs and even provided me with garlic free dinner in Manfredi’s. Overall I would recommend Viking and would love to cruise again with them. Being a smaller ship there wasn’t the usual night club type shows but the did have local talent come on board as well as informative lectures. The included shore excursions were well done with great guides and lots of local information. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Viking Star Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.8
Dining 5.0 4.7
Entertainment 3.0 4.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.3
Family 1.0 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.2
Enrichment 4.0 4.3
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 5.0 4.4

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