888 Viking Ocean Viking Sky Cruise Reviews

Viking is not "world class cruising". I've had better service, amenities and food on carnival, norwegian and princess lines. I have never heard the word "no' so many times on a vacation. Their website displayed gym ... Read More
Viking is not "world class cruising". I've had better service, amenities and food on carnival, norwegian and princess lines. I have never heard the word "no' so many times on a vacation. Their website displayed gym equipment on the sky that was not there: is there a spin upright bike? "no". I paid for premium alcohol because their free house wine is chilean. Do you have a ca cabernet or chardonnay? "no", a french bordeaux, no, and oregon pinot nior? -no. Champagne? Not included. Their "premium" wines are from south africa and australia. Is the main dining hall "the restaurant" open for a sit down lunch? - no - just buffet or burgers and hot dogs by the pool. At the italian restaurant manfredi's do you have linguine? - no just spaghetti. Meal times are short - the dining hall opens late and closes early. Nothing for breakfast but bread and coffee after 9;30 - even the buffet closed. Room service gets orders wrong. Excursions are rushed, no time to use a bathroom or shop and then waste time on promoting local businesses like herring tastings. It was obvious a lot of the staff was being trained and new (probably because they lost traumatized crew members after march 2019 "incident") every time i was getting over being annoyed at one lie, refused request, or misinformation there was another. The manager interrupted our breakfast asking me to take time to talk to her at her desk any time. I go down to her desk 20 minutes later, she is too busy, come back later. I never saw her again. The worst by far was our last full day in port in bergen. They couldn't wait until i left the next day to set the room for the next guests. I was shooed off my private balcony by the staff who came barging in to wash it - and even worse. I find a set of sheets in my previously filled dresser drawers. The maid came into my room while i was not there, opened my drawers and found one partial empty and filled it with a new set of clean linens for the next quest. I wasn't checking out until 9 am the next day!! It was still my room, my drawers, and a stranger was rummaging through them!!! You can't trust them. What is promised on their website is not on the boat: the amenities, the dining options, the drink options all not what is described in the website. Lies, refusals, misinformation and no apologies or anything to make up for it. You can't even trust them to keep you safe. 2 nights of rough seas throughout the night was unnerving because of the "incident" which is the word the crew used to describe the previous captain of the sky sailing into a horrible storm causing air lift evacuations. They had 3 ship accidents in 3 months 3/2019-6/2019. They are the worst cruise line in the industry. My recommendation is tauck. Tauck is world class cruising and the costs include everything so the same price. Don't risk your life or your vacation on viking. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This beautiful ship with a great service crew FAILED TERRIBLY ON MULTIPLE LEVELS at sea during a storm we should never have been in. Prior to the mayday we noticed several things that we found “sloppy” or unusual for a top cruise ... Read More
This beautiful ship with a great service crew FAILED TERRIBLY ON MULTIPLE LEVELS at sea during a storm we should never have been in. Prior to the mayday we noticed several things that we found “sloppy” or unusual for a top cruise ship. The lights on the ship continually flickered and a huge banging sound continued for 30’hours prior to the engine failure. The crew was amazing, but handicap auto doors were not functioning, dining room doors slid open on their own during the storm and waves blew a door open to the dining room injuring multiple people. Prior to the engine and power failure, we noticed sloppy things that we have never seen on Disney, Cunard or Pinang - on the top level promenade stairs the crew had a makeshift and dangerously messy “fix” for slick stairs by using random carpet strips taped and towed to the stairs with twine. The makeshift stair pads were dangerous to step on and moved with every strep. Also, after refueling in Tromsø, we walked deck hours later and no one had bothered to take down the refueling signs and ropes blocking the promenade. There were also dangerous design issues in our three cabins - especially the heavy, finger-smashing closet doors that became uncontrollable during the storm, slamming to and forth with every move of the ship - eventually breaking from their track on the bottom. We were also told the ship did not have as many safety signs as other ships because management didn’t like the look of the signs. That being said, their lack of normal foresight to read the weather and reroute the ship, asking with their tragic mistake of having too little oil on the engines for high seas is unforgivable. We all love luxury, we all love great service, but we should hold cruise lines accountable for their critical decision making and putting the lives and safety of their passengers and crew first. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I choose this cruise only because it went to the Northern Lights in Norway. We didnt see them. It is a very rough ride across from London to Norway, that is ok, but the food was terrible. Only thing worth eating is in the specialty ... Read More
I choose this cruise only because it went to the Northern Lights in Norway. We didnt see them. It is a very rough ride across from London to Norway, that is ok, but the food was terrible. Only thing worth eating is in the specialty restaurants. The spa does not look anything like the pictures. I had to go back to the salon 3 times to finally get my nail color off, as their products were sub-par. As a result, I canceled any spa treatments. There were no clocks on the ship. I never knew what time it was. Fifty percent of our excursions were canceled. I am used to Luxury Cruises, so this was a big all around disappointment. They said they were a "prime" cruise, which we do not have a category for in USA, when i asked how this was a luxury cruise I do not see how they have such a high rating, i do however see that on some websites they are listed a "luxury".....they are NOT. Entertainment was an opera singer with sound too loud, not her fault. Cabin was an odd shape, too much dining and living room, not enough closet. I used the living room as part of my closet. My stewardess was excellent. The best thing about this cruise was dogsledding i give that a 5, but will never go again on Viking Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Viking Ocean Cruises is clearly still working out the kinks. We were on a Cruise through the Mediterranean for 9 days ending with an extension in Rome, Italy. As we arrived in Barcelona and saw the filthy and vulgar graffiti on the way to ... Read More
Viking Ocean Cruises is clearly still working out the kinks. We were on a Cruise through the Mediterranean for 9 days ending with an extension in Rome, Italy. As we arrived in Barcelona and saw the filthy and vulgar graffiti on the way to the ship, we were clearly unprepared for what was about to unfold over the next several days. To sum up the time on the ship it was overall mediocre at best often being reminded by staff that this is their final cruise which reflected in the efforts to be attentive to the guests. They all appeared very exhausted and short tempered when asked to do what we simply paid a generous amount for to relax and enjoy. The best way to describe the food is recycled and nothing to get overly excited about because of the redundancy and no creativity. Concierge was extremely inconsistent causing an abundance of confusion when trying to schedule and enjoy the expensive excursions paid for in advance. We were given mixed messages on several occasions causing us to never get off the ship to experience Barcelona because the buses had flat tires and were broken down. We found ourselves overwhelmed by fumes and awoken by grinding engines porting at 6am or screaming messages over the intercom awaking us at 7am. We also had the veranda cleaned which started at 7am, and my point here is that we could never sleep in or feel rested. As we moved in to other ports, we found ourselves sitting on buses that were 100 degrees and also full of fumes from sitting idle for hours. The excursion in Florence had to be the worst! As the guide rushed through the uneven streets at a very fast pace, we had an older woman do a face plant in front of us. Because she was rushing it took some time for her to realize several of us were left behind attending to the lady that fell. My husband and I witnessed her fall and decided to stay close to her until we re-boarded the buses. The lunch served on this excursion was horrible and there are no other words to describe it. As we wrapped up the cruise portion of our trip, we had high hopes that the extension in Rome was going to make up for all the unfortunate experiences so far, but boy were we wrong! The "five star" hotel was nothing short of an average Hilton or Marriott. To sum up Rome...it is NOT safe with street peddlers grabbing you and forcing their goods on you, or it is NOT safe due to the drug dealings we witnessed in front of us walking around the Spanish steps area, it is NOT safe because the volume of people versus the police is about 1ooo to 1. We will NEVER put ourselves in this position again! The absolute worst part of the trip was trying to get home. We were so thrilled to have made it to the airport and thought this nightmare was close to over when the flight was cancelled leaving us stranded. We stood for SEVEN hours to get rerouted with no water. Again, the coordination was left up to the incompetent Viking staff to reroute luggage and several individuals, it was awful. Long and short a day and 1/2 later we had to stay in a 1-star hotel which I might add may have been nicer than the $600 a night hotel in Rome. We incurred additional costs for food, etc. This trip was to be our 10-year anniversary and a Honeymoon we never had. We have tried over the past couple months to not remember it all as bad and have tried to laugh about a few of the instances, but unfortunately, this was a VERY costly mistake. After tying to explain our experience with Viking we were offered a pathetic $500 voucher. It is obvious that Viking does NOT care about customer retention and apparently has the financial backing to STEAL from people who trusted in their brand. What I have summarized here doesn’t mention everything but highlights hopefully enough for folks to be educated prior to spending tens of thousands of dollars on an empty promise of EXPLORING THE WORLD IN COMFORT…Don’t let them pull the wool over your eyes too!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Very unhappy with service and food. Food was less than average and service was worse. Had one hot meal at dinner on a 16 day trip. Majority of staff unattentive and not well trained .Asked server at pool bar what types of beer were ... Read More
Very unhappy with service and food. Food was less than average and service was worse. Had one hot meal at dinner on a 16 day trip. Majority of staff unattentive and not well trained .Asked server at pool bar what types of beer were being offered and he replied, "I don't know." Got the same answer at one of the specialty restaurants. Neither server made an effort to find out. Cabin #6025 was spectacular. The ship is beautiful and state of the art. Attention to detail in decor was 100%.Toilet in our cabin leaked. It was fixed immediately. Shower did not work well. The problem was addressed and taken care of after two attempts. Enjoyed the excursions themselves but staff seemed very disorganized in getting them organized. Have been on two Viking river cruises. Enjoyed them very much. Food not much better on river cruises verses ocean. One night a cheese platter served with baguettes was ordered.Cheese was served with Ritz crackers! That is unacceptable! Wait staff uses hand held devices to order food. So impersonal and tacky, in my estimation. Spent a good sum of money for this trip...NOT a good value for what I spent. VERY disappointed.Came home and cancelled two future trips with Viking. I will go elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
First of all, let me start by saying that my sister and I have been cruising for 20+ years and in all those years this is the worst cruise we have ever been on. We booked this a month before sailing with vouchers from a cancelled cruise ... Read More
First of all, let me start by saying that my sister and I have been cruising for 20+ years and in all those years this is the worst cruise we have ever been on. We booked this a month before sailing with vouchers from a cancelled cruise leaving Oct 13 requiring us to fly back from hurricane devastated Puerto Rico which we felt was not safe for 2 senior ladies so we re-booked on the Oct 29 cruise flying home from safer Miami. We hired our car service which took us to the Manhattan pier only to discover that Viking "forgot" to tell us that the ship was rescheduled to leave out of Brooklyn. They called it an "oversight" on their part as we are frantically trying to figure out where the ship is in the middle of Manhattan. They admitted it was their mistake but never even apologized. What a way to start a vacation - there is nothing quite like coming to a pier and NO SHIP! Thank God for our driver who took us to the Brooklyn pier. When we complained to Guest Services the only thing they did for us was a $100 each room credit for the cost of the car to NYC. Big deal! Due to severe weather we skipped Bermuda and everyone we spoke to on the cruise received vouchers for a future cruise in the amounts of $600 to $1000 pp. Except us! We received nothing - hmmmm - little vindictiveness at the Viking Guest Services?? We kept asking, and they kept saying we got them - but we didn't. Liars. Seven days into the trip we both became severely ill with a respiratory illness. We wanted to cancel our Aruba jeep driving tour two days before because we knew we couldn't manage because we were too ill. Guest Services said they could not refund our money for the tour ($109.00 each) unless we had our tickets stamped by the medical office. We went to the medical office where the nurse confirmed we were running fevers and sold us some medicine but would not stamp our tickets for a refund unless we had an $85.00 "consultation" with the doctor. We refused, and of course got stiffed out of $109.00 each. Extortionists! Any other cruise line would have refunded that money instantly under the circumstances. We also had $20.00 each left on our vouchers which Guest Services would also not honor. All they had to do was look at our invoice and calculate the numbers but they just insisted it wasn't there - IT WAS. Thieves. Called three weeks before because we had not received luggage tags. We were told it was "too late" to send them and they don't send them over email for printing out. Techno peasants. The most appalling one of all - When we booked in Sept with our vouchers I was told that the vouchers would take 24 to 48 hours to come through (even thought they had already emailed them to me) and as a "condition" of booking, they would have to charge my credit card for the full amount. The vouchers covered more than the entire amount of the cruise. The charge was to be removed within the 24-48 hours after the vouchers "came through". Four weeks later, the charge was still on my credit card. They finally removed it, at the behest of my credit card company, the night before we sailed. Disgusting. My overall impression of Viking Ocean Cruises is that they are not an ethical company. Once they have your money - watch out. This cruise was not cheap and a total waste of our money and our time which we spent with a lot of time being aggravated. A vacation it was NOT! Do yourself a favor and book a Celebrity or a Royal Caribbean. They are far more ethical and have so much more to offer on their ships than some boring lectures, movies and lame shows. The ship is elegant, but very beige, and the housekeeping and dining staff work hard. The food is mediocre - nothing special - and the free wine is awful. Snacks in your mini-fridge are 1 tiny bag of potato chips and 1 Halloween size Trix bar and 1 Halloween size Mars bar, along with some soft drinks. Meh. Also, beware of the pools. They have very steep ladders that can be difficult to negotiate for senior citizens. They also seem to be only half full and it looks like your swimming in a deep hole. Very weird. In closing, I and my sister are not serial complainers, nor do we ask for anything that we are not entitled to. As a luxury cruise line, we expected Viking to be a cut above, but they fell short by quite a bit. As with everything in life, you win some, you lose some, and we lost big time with Viking. If Viking makes any of the above issues right, I will add that to this review. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
For us, there were two parts to this cruise. There was the very happy first part. Viking Sky is a beautiful ship, inside and out. The meals were the best we’ve experienced in 18 years of about two-week annual trips abroad every way a ... Read More
For us, there were two parts to this cruise. There was the very happy first part. Viking Sky is a beautiful ship, inside and out. The meals were the best we’ve experienced in 18 years of about two-week annual trips abroad every way a tourist can (ocean vessels, river boats, sailing craft and, of course, tour buses). The shore excursions, although generally overpriced, were very good with very high-quality guides – many possessing several degrees and most speaking at least three languages. There was a good balance between nature (fjords, mountains, rivers and streams) and locations of historical and cultural significance. On board ship, we thoroughly enjoyed the musicians performing in the atrium. They were not only gifted musically but related well to the audience. They took half-hour shifts a couple of times a day. We sat blissfully engaged relaxing on extremely comfortable plush chairs a few feet from them, usually with a drink or two. The several Off-Broadway type musicals were also spirited and genuine fun. Unfortunately, there was also a second, and wholly unsatisfactory second part to the cruise. Viking simply reneged on its offer to us. We delayed our trip two weeks at Viking's request in return for a cabin upgrade, which we got, and $2000 to spend on the ship (of which we ended up receiving less than half). As we made expenditures on the ship we confirmed them on the very useful TV monitor in our cabin. It showed the $2000 credit and then debited our respective expenditures shortly after they took place. So far, so good. We used up $1986.49 of our $2000 allotment. However, when we were leaving the ship on 8/12/17 at about 5 AM we were startled with the respective bills we received. Viking had credited all $2000 (actually $899.26) to me and credited nothing to my partner (she should have received a credit of $1087.23). The “Guest Statement” we received from Viking is addressed to two names (not simply to me). It spells out that we were to receive a $2000 credit to be used entirely at our discretion. We have sent repeated e-mails and made repeated calls to Viking California asking them to correct their error. They simply refuse – that’s simply theft. Although Viking ships have a lot going for them Viking has been less than honest with us. For us, that swamps out all the good feelings we had for Viking. We’ll never take another Viking trip. We’d advise anyone else who expects to be able to trust what you’re told in business dealings to shun Viking. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Prior river cruise experience with Viking was excellent. We wanted to visit the Baltic ports and expected the same level of experience on Viking's ocean cruise ships. There was almost a complete lack of on board entertainment. ... Read More
Prior river cruise experience with Viking was excellent. We wanted to visit the Baltic ports and expected the same level of experience on Viking's ocean cruise ships. There was almost a complete lack of on board entertainment. Most consisted of a string duet, a pianist and guitarist playing classical music. Only 5 shows in the theatre on a 14 day cruise and nothing during two deadly boaring sea days. The shows that were performed were reminiscent of karaoke. Enrichment was poor and consisted mainly of trying to pitch shore excursions. The main dining room was excellent for both the menu and service. The specialty restaurants are best avoided. Average food variety and quality with exceptionally poor service. The passenger demographic could be best described as ancient which nay have influenced the entertainment. Overall, the cruise was disappointing. At the price point, there are much better choices, even non premium lines would be superior. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We’ve recently returned from a trip to Scandinavia that included the 22 night Majestic Fjords and Vibrant Russia cruise. We started the trip in Finland and southern Sweden before joining the cruise in Stockholm. We also extended the ... Read More
We’ve recently returned from a trip to Scandinavia that included the 22 night Majestic Fjords and Vibrant Russia cruise. We started the trip in Finland and southern Sweden before joining the cruise in Stockholm. We also extended the cruise with the Bergen to Oslo rail trip plus extra time in Oslo. There are things about the cruise that were very good. The boat is small, only about 900 passengers, and the decor is neutral (somewhere between modern Scandi and neutral high end nursing home). The gym and jogging deck were great and we made good use of them. The service is fantastic. Daisy and Ronal, who looked after our room, provided a higher standard of cleaning and organisation than any 5 star hotel I’ve stayed in (and I’ve stayed in a lot of 5 star hotels on five continents). There were a couple of experts who provided lectures and held post lecture discussions. Some of these were excellent. And travelling by ship gave us some spectacular views. There were things that fell short of our expectations. The food fell way short of my expectations. There are a number of dining options including the World Cafe, which is essentially a cafeteria, Mamsen’s, a cafe open at breakfast and lunch with a number of Nordic inspired options, The Restaurant, which is open for breakfast and dinner and is described as the premium dining option, Manfredi’s, an Italian themed restaurant, and The Chef’s table which offers a degustation experience. We had our first two meals, and indeed most of our meals during the cruise, in the World Cafe. I was quite shocked to see that the offerings included pasta and pizza kept warm under lights (probably reflecting my inexperience with cruises). The Cafe has plenty of options, some of which change from day to day, but generally the options were a bit ordinary and the steamed vegetables were invariably cold and soggy (I like to eat a lot of vegetables). We had one breakfast in The Restaurant and the food was okay but the service was chaotic. This was on our first morning on the cruise and my partner declared he wouldn’t have another breakfast there (a point he was willing to concede after two weeks of breakfasts in the Cafe). We also had a few dinners in the Restaurant and on each occasion some part of the meal would be okay to good but invariably other parts of the meal were substandard. Overall we felt it wasn’t worth changing out of jeans to dine in the restaurant. While we were offered two dates to dine in The Chef’s table, we only dined there once. Two of the courses were excellent, one okay and one unpleasant. The Mexican theme seemed a bit at odds with both the Baltic location and summer season. We cancelled our second dining option. We had a few breakfasts and perhaps five lunches at Mamsen’s but became bored with the food. We also had about seven meals in an additional dining option, The Pool Grill, but hot dogs and hamburgers weren’t really my idea of summer holiday dining and I pulled the plug on further meals at the Grill. We did have two meals at Manfredi’s and some of the courses were good but others not (my partner described them as cafeteria food delivered by a waiter). I should add that the coffee and tea on board are abysmal. A good point about the dining options was that there was seldom a wait. I can’t believe we paid $2,000/day for a cruise with such disappointing food. On top of the food, after booking the cruise that was inclusive of wine with lunch/dinner, we received an offer to upgrade our alcohol options at a cost of about $60/day for the two of us. I was so angry at the suggestion we pay extra just to have decent wine that I refused to consider it. All of the wine we had was drinkable but few wines were good. The logistics for the excursions were stunningly poor. A number of excursions required guests to meet in the theatre. On several occasions the wait in line and subsequent wait in the theatre, before disembarking, were more than 45 minutes. The line to get into the theatre went past lifts which mean people leaving the lifts were joining middle of the line, often to the audible concern of people further back in line who were afraid they would miss their excursion. The information for meeting onshore for excursions was often vague or downright wrong. This is frustrating, because it wastes precious time, and was actually quite stressful for excursions in Russia where the trip through immigration is quite intimidating. I’d add that on one occasion, early in our cruise, I asked a question of one of the more senior, public facing, staff about the meeting place for an excursion. Instead of answering me her reply was ‘didn’t you have an excursion yesterday?’. I’ve only fired a couple of people in my career but I’ve had fired her on the spot for that. I really resented, and on occasion was infuriated, every moment I spent waiting or following poor instructions. Viking needs to bring in design thinking and behaviour economic experts to work through these processes. I was also very aggravated that Viking didn’t contact us after the Sky’s incident off Stavanger earlier in the year and only replied to my queries when pressed and then with a really insulting response. Had we not paid for our cruise, I’d have cancelled, even though I’d have lost the deposit, because of the way Viking handled this. I can’t comment much on the entertainment because we weren’t interested in attending performances. Several times we encountered the pianist or the guitarist. Both were very talented but the easy easy listening selection they played held no appeal. I have a list of quibbles but my overall feeling is that Viking isn’t a luxury experience. It is aimed at middle America (and while I live in Australia, I grew up in middle America). I couldn’t recommend the cruise to anyone among our Australian family or friends without a lot of qualification (i.e. I don’t know anyone who I think would be happy with the cruise). It appears to me that Viking is trying to appeal to customers from a wider range of countries. I think they have a lot of work to do for that to be a success. I also don’t understand how they have been rated so highly as a luxury cruise. I suspect this is largely driven by the large middle American client base which biases feedback. For us, we have two or three holidays each year but I can’t imagine that we’d look at Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We have cruised 3 times in the past 2 years with Azamara (twice) & Seabourn and have thoroughly enjoyed all the cruises. We prefer smaller ships and we decided to cruise the Baltic with Viking due to the excellent reviews and Which ... Read More
We have cruised 3 times in the past 2 years with Azamara (twice) & Seabourn and have thoroughly enjoyed all the cruises. We prefer smaller ships and we decided to cruise the Baltic with Viking due to the excellent reviews and Which star rating. The Good points The transfer from Copenhagen Airport to the ship was excellent. Viking representatives met us in the baggage hall and escorted us to the awaiting coaches, porters assisted us with the luggage. We were soon on our way to the ship. The check in at the cruise terminal was very quick, the best we have experienced, within minutes we were on the Sky with a glass of fiz in hand and 30 mins later we were in our cabin with all of our luggage. The ship is beautiful, the interior design is exceptional with light wood and relaxing furniture in abundance. The cabin bathrooms are well equipped with an excellent shower and fog free mirror, I know people complain about the lack of cupboard space but we were fine. The cabin attendants were great and were very polite and there were some excellent members of waiting staff. The entertainment was good, the shows, the musicians, we loved the pianist. The food at the buffet was generally good. The disembarkation was painless and well managed. The Bad (or not so good) points The service in the restaurants was at best adequate but more often absolutely dreadful. Wrong orders, painfully slow service and queues to get a table. Table allocation was unfair, the same people seemed to get the best tables. We eventually complained about this and were allocated a window seat on the last night. The food wasn't great and certainly not special. I recall the scallop main course which goes down as the smallest main course I have ever received!!!!! The food & service at Manfredis was no better. The service at the buffet was often erratic with no one taking responsibility for tables. It took forever in bars to order a drink and even longer to get them. I kept asking myself Do They Have Enough Staff ?..... They say they do but our experience indicated otherwise. The TV's in the cabins are slow to respond and have a poor picture. In simple terms the ship is beautiful but the service is awful. I had great expectations about cruising with Viking but I will stick with Azamara & Seabourn and consider Saga, Oceania and Regent. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My wife and I have cruised many times with Celebrity and always received 1st class service. We have completed many of the popular cruises more than once so was looking for alternative itinerary's. We booked an Explorer Suite with ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised many times with Celebrity and always received 1st class service. We have completed many of the popular cruises more than once so was looking for alternative itinerary's. We booked an Explorer Suite with Viking (similar price to a Penthouse with Celebrity) expecting a premium cruise experience but how wrong we were. We opted for the flight and cruise package just in case of any delays etc but unable to pre-book our seats so we could not sit together. Check-in was OK but the welcome champagne was an inch in a glass and no member of staff to show us our suite. The suite was as expected, sensible size decorated with furniture from Ikea. The one big issue was trying to keep the room warm as the outside temperature was as low as -18. We had all the curtains closed, all heating including an electric panel heater on full, blankets on the bed and still cold. The same for the pool area and the world café, you needed a sweater or fleece to eat your lunch. Service was very slow with many dirty tables waiting to be cleaned and members of staff just walking past. Must say food quality and variety was good. Room service was very slow to start, 1230pm and still no clean, 8.40pm no clean or turn down. After a couple of complaints this did improve. Shore excursions a complete joke, they were either cancelled or changed at the last moment and those that did proceed were poorly organised. I complained to Judi Buikman the shore excursion manager as she cancelled Northern Lights tours as not dark enough, tidal water phenomenon as it was low tide and a train and snow mobile tour as there was a road incident at 7am and she was worried the bus could not return passenger's back to the ship at 4pm. When I pointed out she failed to do her homework on the excursions, she replied "fair comment". We had arranged dinner reservations prior to sailing for the specialty restaurants but then refused to alter the seating from 2 to 4 persons as we had met new friends. After a sharp conversation with the Hotel Manager and Restaurant Manager this was changed but it should not be this way. The service in the Lounge Bar was very slow if at all, quicker to order drinks at the bar. The evening entertainment was fine for us, either a guitar or piano entertainer. One day the Cruise Director Drew Raitch performed his song book for us, it was embarrassing, the man cannot sing at all so please don't try. Viking Ocean Cruise are a new start-up cruise line (not river cruises) and it shows. The staff are not trained or experienced at ocean cruises and require constant direction from the Officers who themselves require more training. The ship itself was very well maintained but then it is only 2 years old, it is however very noisy when in rough seas and when using the bow thrusters, no pods fitted to this ship. My wife and I really wanted to like Viking as our new "go to" cruise line with different itinerary's but not a chance. Viking are now what the cruise industry was 10 years ago and customers paying premium rates for the top suites and Penthouses demand service. Celebrity have a Butler who takes care of everyday issues such as excursions, dinner reservations, laundry etc. They also have a dedicated restaurant and lounge bar with concierge for suite guests only and unlimited use of the speciality dining rooms. We are so glad we booked Alaska with Celebrity in May and not Viking, we would have been so disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Chose for Northern Lights/Arctic Circle Itinerary. Ship was beautiful and was very impressed at first. We selected a Deluxe Balcony Stateroom and it was quite small. There was not enough hanging space. Fortunately we knew enough to ... Read More
Chose for Northern Lights/Arctic Circle Itinerary. Ship was beautiful and was very impressed at first. We selected a Deluxe Balcony Stateroom and it was quite small. There was not enough hanging space. Fortunately we knew enough to bring magnetic hooks or it would have been a worse mess. The food was average and the service was average at best. Some people were great, like our room steward. The reason we didn't rate guest services and the shore excursion staff well was the following: they played the blame game. They had many, many excursion difficulties to the point of having to fully refund, or partially refund, the money back to passengers. Never once did anyone say "I'm sorry". No, they blamed the tour operators or used the excuse "this is the first time we have been to this port" or (best one!) "it wasn't listed online". Bear in mind that the tour operators complained of how difficult it was to even REACH the Viking Sky staff, much less, that Viking did not listen to the tour operators when they made suggestions and believe me, they should have listened. It was a bucket list trip for me and I refused to let anything ruin it, but the disorganized, poorly planned, not properly vetted, pricey excursions were very disappointing. And the attitude of the Viking staff really added insult to injury. I spoke to many people who were long time cruisers but first time Viking Ocean cruisers and the consensus was the same...one and done. Back to Regent. Back to Azamara. Back to Celebrity...you get the drift. I wanted to love it...I love Viking River Cruises. But it was just too disappointing. The ship was gorgeous, the itinerary was amazing, and I did see the Northern Lights. But the rest was not great, except for embarkation, which was the best I've experienced out of 25 ocean cruises. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We booked back to back Mediterranean cruises, Dec 30 2018, and Jan 6 2019. We were attracted by the itinerary, and the wonderful reviews of Viking. The itinerary turned out to be misleading, and Viking appeared to suffer from institutional ... Read More
We booked back to back Mediterranean cruises, Dec 30 2018, and Jan 6 2019. We were attracted by the itinerary, and the wonderful reviews of Viking. The itinerary turned out to be misleading, and Viking appeared to suffer from institutional disorganization and generally poor food and service.. Ports - After paying in full soon after booking, which is a Viking requirement, we discovered that the ship dropped anchor in our ports of interest, but didn't actually remain in port long enough to actually see anything. All-aboard was 1:30 PM in Cagliari, Vigo and Portsmouth. As a result, it was impossible to reach Santiago de Compostela from Vigo, and impossible to reach the Sardinian interior from Cagliari. Viking offered no excursion to Stonehenge from Portsmouth, but we arranged for a private tour which got us back to the ship in time. In Malaga, Viking offered full day tours to Granada, none of which included the Alhambra. They offered no explanation for this. We arranged a private tour.for this port also, and purchased our own Alhambra tickets. Whoever designed this itinerary doesn't understand that cruisers might actually want to see something in the ports. Viking decided that the port call in Tunisia should be canceled for safety reasons, and substituted Naples. Unfortunately, this occurred on Jan 1, and all museums and archaeological sites were closed. The following day we were to have visited Trapani, Sicily, but this too was canceled because of high winds. Instead, we stayed until 1:30 PM in Naples, and were given a bus ride to the museum. The announcement of this new tour stated that buses would leave on Jan 2 at 7:30-10:30, every half hour. We could pick up tickets on Jan 2 between 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM. This was minor, and laughable, but so typical of communications from Viking. Enrichment lecturers - excellent. Unfortunately, they covered topics like the Alhambra, and Santiago de Compostela, places unreachable because of our short port stays. Apparently, this was another example of Viking's disorganization. Even the cruise director was unaware that our schedule would not permit visiting many sites that would have been expected to be on the excursion list. Ship - The Viking Sky is a lovely, well-designed ship. Furnishings are Scandinavian. Public spaces are comfortable and roomy. There are sufficient elevators and laundromats. We could not enjoy the outdoor spaces because of the cold weather. The pool roof was kept closed, adding a strong smell of chlorine to any meal we attempted to enjoy at the pool grill. Cabin - of average size, and lacking in adequate storage space. Three small drawers under the safe - that's it. The thermostat in the cabin seemed to have little control over the cabin temperature. Soundproofing was very good - we never heard noise from the hall, or cabin doors slamming. Bathroom - large shower, wonderful heated floor, and generous storage space. We ended up storing some of our clothes in the bathroom. Bathroom materials were linoleum and Formica rather than granite or marble. Food - ranged from okay to awful. I don't remember a single dish that I would describe as wonderful. The two specialty restaurants, requiring reservations, are Manfredi's and the Chef's Table. Our restaurant reservations regularly disappeared from the computer system (no explanation given). Manfredi's has a large Italian menu. Several of our dishes were bad enough that we decided grappling with the reservation system again was not worth it, and we skipped a return visit. The Chef's Table has a fixed menu that changes every three days. Our first visit was so bad, we decided that there must have been some calamity in the kitchen, and we tried again. This was just as bad. For example - Peking Duck turned out to be a small, soggy crepe wrapped around dry, flavorless, diced duck meat. Across the top of the crepe were arranged thin, dry, slices of duck. Around the perimeter of this creation was a circle of brown gravy, completely devoid of Asian flavors or seasonings. This was typical of our experiences at the Chef's Table. The Restaurant offered an extensive menu which looked good, but dishes were usually often poorly executed. One good thing is that Viking offers dinner as early as 6 PM for those who prefer to eat early. Service - Phone calls to the home office prior to sailing were a waste of time. Customer service was completely clueless - either could not answer questions, or provided misinformation. On board, service was invariably friendly and helpful. Our cabin steward was capable and knew how to perform his job. This was not the case with the restaurant and bar staffs. They gave the impression of being inexperienced, and stretched thin. It was not unusual to sit for 10 minutes waiting for someone to take a drink order in a bar. One night, in the Restaurant, our waiter gave another waiter a lesson on deboning fish, using my entree as the teaching tool. I didn't mind that - but should they really put a waiter on the floor who doesn't know how to debone a sole? Liquor - Cocktail prices were reasonable, on average $6-$8, as were the premium wines by the glass. We had read reviews that reported that the complimentary wine was pretty awful, so we took the Silver Spirits Liquor Package, which allowed us to have the "premium" wines at dinner. These were not great, coming from bottles that sell for $10 or less in the US, but better than the complimentary wines. Liquor service in the restaurants was slow, again because of thin staffing, and getting a refill was sometimes difficult. Finally, we requested to be seated with the same wine steward every night, and he took care of us. Entertainment - I can't comment, as we didn't see any shows. The resident guitarist named Matthew, however, was excellent. The bottom line is that Viking has many good ideas of what the cruise experience should offer - medium sized ships, comfortable surroundings, no photographers or casino, good value. But - . I believe they have expanded too quickly, and cannot begin to staff the ships with a sufficient number of experienced personnel. Itinerary, food, and service are the most important parts of the cruising experience for me. Unless Viking can get these things straightened out, this will remain my first and last Viking cruise. , Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Continuous ship computer problems. Restaurant reservations repeatedly disappeared. Long wait times for bar service. We had the wine package, and at dinner, refills were tough to get. Long lines at the buffet. Items often ran out and were ... Read More
Continuous ship computer problems. Restaurant reservations repeatedly disappeared. Long wait times for bar service. We had the wine package, and at dinner, refills were tough to get. Long lines at the buffet. Items often ran out and were not replenished for many minutes. The principal training much of the staff has received is to repeat the mantra "I am so sorry. I do apologize for the problem." Staff is pleasant and friendly, but that only goes so far. Cabin has insufficient storage space. Bathroom had a heated floor, which was nice, but pitifully low water volume in the shower. Food was average, with the Chef's Table being a huge disappointment. We had back to back cruises, chosen for the itinerary. Too late, we discovered that the ship would leave port at 2pm from three stops, making it difficult to see much. We have taken over twenty cruises, on 9 lines. I realize that Viking is not aiming for the luxury market, but I cannot comprehend the rave reviews it has received from some travelers. First and last Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Viking Sky Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.8
Dining 5.0 4.6
Entertainment 3.5 4.2
Public Rooms 5.0 4.9
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.4
Family 1.0 4.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.1
Enrichment 4.5 4.4
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 5.0 4.4

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