Sail Date: February 2018
The itinerary looked great, the ship itself was beautiful. The decoration of the public areas is perfect, very modern and fresh. There is loads of space and no shortage of places to sit and read. The food was good, not a Oceania ... Read More
The itinerary looked great, the ship itself was beautiful. The decoration of the public areas is perfect, very modern and fresh. There is loads of space and no shortage of places to sit and read. The food was good, not a Oceania standard but good. There lacked a certain amount of variety. The food in the special Italian Restaurant was focused I’m thinking on the US market - heavy on cheese and steak with huge portions. The cabin was poor. It was spacious enough however the balcony door did not work, it was stiff and creaky and the noise of the door internal mechanism and creaky walls kept us up 2 nights ! Customer service on board were very nice but ineffectual. Eventually one of the guest relations staff moved us to a better cabin but the 2 nights lost were shrugged off. The entertainment was woeful! There were great musicians on board and the classical music was very nice but .... the production shows were ok but no more than that. The Assistant Cruise Director told a friend of mine that “ th3 Cruise was nearly over “ on night 6 out of 11 !!! Port of Antigua was missed. Captain said he couldn’t get into port despite 3 other Cruise ships being in harbour that morning. The replacement entertainment was awful ! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We choose Viking because we have been on them before. The ship, service and food has always been excellent. The staff is very friendly and do their best to acomodate all of your wants and needs. The entertainment, though not as glitzy as ... Read More
We choose Viking because we have been on them before. The ship, service and food has always been excellent. The staff is very friendly and do their best to acomodate all of your wants and needs. The entertainment, though not as glitzy as some of the Big ships is very good and there was ample tie to meet many of the performers. We will definately go on future Viking ocean and river cruises. there were many excursions available. We signed up late, within a month of the ship departing so some of the excursions were full, but we still werea able to partake in a lot of the activities available. ths is a very relaxing setting for adults, It yo are not interested i a lot of glitz or glamour, or young children running around, i would suggest that you look ing Viking. This is a top notch company that has great employees. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
My wife and I enjoyed this cruise for the most part, in spite of the numerous issues encountered, and were able to achieve our fundamental goals of relaxing and reconnecting during this much-anticipated, 25th wedding anniversary trip. ... Read More
My wife and I enjoyed this cruise for the most part, in spite of the numerous issues encountered, and were able to achieve our fundamental goals of relaxing and reconnecting during this much-anticipated, 25th wedding anniversary trip. However, much of this relaxation was achieved irrespective of Viking, and NOT because of them, and the experience was overpriced for what was delivered. This candid review is designed to assist others who are researching Viking Ocean cruises, are not biased, and are inclined to thoroughly research a vacation provider and weigh all available options prior to committing scarce leisure time and discretionary dollars to milestone events such as anniversaries. 'TIPS' for Viking corporate are interspersed throughout this review. It is said one never gets a second chance to make a first impression, but this advice is perhaps lost on Viking, primarily due to its 'loyal following' of 'low-budget' travelers. So if you are new to Viking, you had better be prepared for some not-so-standard ways of doing things. Otherwise you will feel like you have been left out of a good thing. And you very likely will be, left out that is. The first little discomfort occurred when we arrived at the airport in San Juan. We collected our luggage without delay or incident by the first of many 'red shirts', and then were directed to a motor coach for the included airport transfer (a result of paying for the Viking Air Plus). Because we wanted to have a carry on with us for when we arrived in our state room we had to travel on the motor coach with a very large carry on in our lap, as the motor coach driver made no attempt or offer to allow us to stow the carry on suitcase UNDER the bus, and there was no way anyone was going to fit a carry on in the overhead of the bus. We were not the only ones who had to do this. Hey Viking, there is really no excuse to treat a guest like this, and had we known how impersonal and uncomfortable this first experience would have been, we would have gladly paid for a private transfer. But it gets better ... read on. Arriving at the cruise port we were greeted by what could accurately be described as subtle disorganization. The security folks had their situation in order, but the red-shirted Viking folks appeared to not be completely ready for our bus to arrive. They were scurrying about and having personal conversations. My wife and I were directed to approach a table where a seated man took our booklet without so much as any eye contact, handed us two room cards and mumbled, "Welcome to Viking." We had to ask him where to go next, and he simply motioned with his arm in a gesture that implied, "Go over there now, that way ..." We proceeded out of the dirty and dilapidated security building to the ship, up the boarding ramp, and received a more proper greeting with both smiles and eye contact, but not one person indicated how we would locate our cabin, or seemed interested in helping us to locate it. We moved through the area and found the elevator foyer, then selected floor '5' and were up and away towards our assumed floor. It was then a long walk down a hallway to our cabin. We swiped the key, but the door would not open. We tried the second key. No joy. We looked around for Viking staff to help, but saw no one. So off we went back down the long hallway toward the elevator where we encountered a staff person who was cleaning, and who indicated we would have to go back down to 'guest services' to have them give us a new key. "Where is that?" we wondered as he quickly disappeared into a nearby cabin. So we waited and waited for the elevator. No joy. We then decided to take the stairs down five flights to guest services, where a crowd of folks were waiting to be served by one of two Viking staff (one desk was empty). As we waited a third staff member showed up and asked if they could help. We explained that our room key did not work, and the woman simply smiled and stated, "We just wanted to make you come down here to get a new key." She seemed joking but also slightly and sardonically serious. It was not the last time we would encounter this type of staff behavior on the Viking Sea. We had now been on the ship for 15 minutes, and we were dehydrated, hot, tired, and in need of a rest room, but we were headed back up to our cabin for a second attempt at entry. This time we were greeted by a steward (one of two who worked this section of the ship cabins) who seemed clueless that we had already been to the room once before. So we played along. He began to hurriedly explain everything about the room and the ship in a very thick accent and also a very rapid speech pattern. At this point my wife's bladder was about to burst, so I interrupted his auto-pilot talk to let him know that we were both exhausted and my wife needed to use the bathroom. But he just kept going like the energizer bunny. So we let him play himself out. Ten long minutes went by. He finally left. To be honest we did not catch much of what he attempted to convey, and so he may very well have discharged his 'duty' to greet the guest and tell them about the ship and the room. We will never know. But this little introductory charade set the tone for the entire cruise. TIP - Viking needs to do a better job of teaching staff who greet guests and introduce them to their room to: A. Make sure that cabin staff are available when the guest is coming to open their room for the first time. Had this individual been anywhere near when we first arrived on our floor, he could have let us in the room when our key did not work - and then gone to get a new key for us. But he was nowhere to be found. B. Learn to read a guest's body language (or at the very least recognize when a guest tells them they are fatigued or need to use the rest room), to ask the guest if they can come back later to give their 'talk.' He honestly had no clue how to do this, and even when told made no effort. He just wanted to get his talk done and check it off of his 'to do' list. Mission accomplished. One of the first things that our cabin steward told us that we did comprehend, in spite of our pee-pee dance, was that our first shore excursion had been cancelled. Yep, you read that right. He got that one taken care of immediately. He explained that we could call the 'Excursion Staff' to find out more, but then did not know the extension to use to reach them on the phone. But we could just call down and someone would help us, or so we thought. After he left, and we used the rest room, I called down to guest services and was transferred to shore excursions. But no one answered, and so I went back down a second time to the same area as I had been for the key fiasco. Another line of folks - the very line I had predicted would be present, and for that reason, had researched and 'pre-booked' all, and I mean ALL, of our shore excursions IN ADVANCE of the cruise. Yet here I was standing in line on my $18,000, eleven-day vacation. After ten minutes a third staff member appeared to fill one of the unused desks, and asked how they could assist me. I told them that my wife and I understood they had cancelled the first night shore excursion in Puerto Rico due to lack of sign up. We were going to learn to 'salsa dance,' make 'monfongo' and make 'mohitos.' This was also to be our first dinner and so we had not made any dinner reservations on the boat that night. (Strike four at this point, but who likes to count on vacation?... Side Note: no reservations were available that night, of course.) "Yes, it is unfortunately beyond our control." (Voice of Chekov on Star Trek - Another Side Note: This proved to be an often-used excuse on this cruise.) I asked the shore excursion staff member if they could recommend a restaurant in Puerto Rico where my wife and I could at least experience some of the same cuisine that was advertised on the cancelled shore excursion. "I am not sure because I am not familiar with this port." (Wow, but he was serious.) "Is anyone in shore excursions available that might know?" I asked. "Let me make a call." More waiting. No joy. "The tour operator we use for this excursion is closed today as it is Sunday, so I am afraid that I can not help you. But you can walk back off the boat and through port security to the front of where the bus left you, and ask someone on the street who is wearing a red viking shirt." Yep, those were almost his exact words. (A concierge at any four star hotel would easily know more than this.) And so that is what we did, walk back out to the street and look for a red shirt. Luckily we did find a restaurant that first night in port, and had some delicious Monfongo, albeit on our own, with almost no help from Viking, save for the lady at the bus stop in the red shirt who gave us the wrong directions to the restaurant, but whom we did tip. Hurray! We were now on our first, and last, Viking cruise... So that was our first impression of the Viking Sea. But more surprises awaited ... Here's a snap shot of some: SHIP ENTERTANMENT - Little effort on the part of Viking to advertise the ship entertainment to 'new cruisers' or really make individuals aware of the 'what', the 'how' and the 'when' IN ADVANCE, so that they might more fully enjoy the cruise. Because of this, we did not find out about any of the specialty shows, save for one that we discovered from talking with another guest) until after the 'professional cruisers' had scooped up all the available shows. Shame on Viking for operating the shows in this manner. Really, shame on you. ES1 cabins should have priority booking of these shows. That's a no-brainer Viking, and it is definitely WITHIN YOUR CONTROL. A show was the one thing my wife really wanted to do, and Viking dropped the ball big time on this one. Another thing Viking should do is make the port talks available via LIVE BROADCAST from within your cabin. We missed almost all of them. Shame on Viking for not having this piece of techno in 2018 on a boat built in 2015. No excuse for that except they don't care to THINK about the guest experience FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE GUEST. The DINING EXPERIENCE - We used all six of our allowed reservations at the two premium restaurants on the boat, and were allowed a seventh reservation thanks to the FANTASTIC maître d of the CHEF's Table. Our first reservation meal was at Manfredi's. It was a disaster. I had to send back two steaks, before receiving a lecture from Hector on how brown sugar caramelized and appears to both look (and somehow oddly TASTE) like a BURNT mess. (This dish is the acclaimed "Bistecca Fiorentina-a prime, aged and well-seasoned rib eye.") However, it seems I was not alone in having this experience, as numerous other steaks were sent back by others we spoke to, including one that was served at the next table on our second night at the Manfredi's. Lots of similar disappointment from others were expressed to us about Manfredi's. Anyway, our first meal at Manfredi's was also served with COLD potatoes and COLD asparagus. Or perhaps this was because I had to wait for the third stake to be served. All I can say is that the massively overweight men who eat stake at this restaurant may not actually be chewing or tasting their food, and that is why you read those rave reviews about steak at this restaurant. Your best bet at Manfredi's is to order ITALIAN food, and go with what they recommend (which will never be the steak). That is what we did the last two reservations we were allowed, and they got it 100% perfect. Good recovery Hector! But it would have been nice if you would have allowed us an extra reservation to make up for the disaster on the first night there. We were told by the maître d at Manfredi's said that he would NOT do that even after we explained how disappointed we were with the first experience. Hey 'Bagus' or whatever you name is, there's an old Italian saying, "You make your bed, you sleep in it." TIP: Viking should re-assign the maître d at Manfredi's. He's lost his give a damn. The CHEF's TABLE was amazing, and the maître d (who is from Latvia) is the MOST professional maître d I have ever experienced, and I was trained as one in my youth. He is genuinely friendly with EVERY guest, makes an effort to know your name, and is a consummate gentleman in every way. He actually CARES about your experience and wants you to be comfortable and satisfied. Viking is lucky to have this man at the helm of the Chef's Table. The food is creative, fantastic, perfectly proportioned and the service is first rate. You will only be disappointed if you A. Are morbidly obese and are used to shoveling huge portions in your trough. B. As a kid you were very picky about your food, your clothes, your friends, everything in general it seems you were somehow, or in some way not satisfied with, just because you needed extra attention - You won't like it. Stay away. C. You are used to eating at a 'fast-paced' eating establishment (not a restaurant), and need to have your food served rapidly because your blood sugar might get dangerously low and/or your cell-phone addiction has made it impossible for you to spend more than five minutes in an unoccupied time zone (otherwise and formally known as 'life.') You won't like it. Don't eat there. That way folks that don't like burnt stake from Manfredi's can have a heavenly meal at the Chef's Table, since all the fat cats will be on the Italian side of the boat. I wonder if the captain has to compensate for the inevitable list that might occur? The SPA - This is THE reason to sail with Viking, but sadly many guests are too cheap to book a treatment. Those that do are in for a treat, and we were not disappointed, save for one experience at the Spa counter, as all of our massages and facials were amazing and professional. My wife and I had five treatments each, probably more than most. We attempted to upgrade one of our treatments and were met with some skepticism and a hint of condescension from the counter staff member 'Liesel.' She kept having to go to a side room and confer with a faceless colleague, who apparently eventually decided that she would not allow us to PAY MORE for an upgraded treatment. "I'm sorry but it is not possible" (AKA "it is beyond our control.") You would think they would go the extra mile for repeat customers, but Viking appears to be more interested in getting new customers in the Spa, than folks that are already booked. Oh well, they will find out the hard way what happens when one ignores the loyal customer base. We had the same issue with the Spa during pre-booking before the cruise, as the website would NOT allow us to book spa treatments for each of the cruise days, only allowing a block of 3-4 days for spa booking. When we called to inquire why, we were told we could simply sign up once on the ship. Booking spa treatments is further complicated by the fact that spa staff may not be able to view your excursion or dinner reservation schedule, making it very difficult to book spa treatments unless you carry around a current copy of your activity schedule with you. The Spa also seems to suffer from the same malady as the ship entertainment philosophy, and that is to 'keep it secret.' Why? Really why is that? It serves no purpose other than to frustrate your guests. In order for my wife and I to find out about the spa we had to insist that someone explain the spa to us, and this was AFTER our first treatment. We were then told that we could sign up and pay for a $39, one hour tour that was limited to only 10 guests so that we could learn more about the Spa. TIP: Hey Viking Spa Staff, Its 2018. We spent over $1,800 in your spa and we tipped 20%! You would think that you could tell us how to use the spa at no charge, but yet you want another $39, per person. What does that say about you? Seriously. Also, there should be no need to restrict advance bookings for spa treatments, and your booking software is wholly inadequate for planning purposes. I do NOT want to spend my vacation PLANNING my vacation WHILE I AM ON MY VACATION by standing in line at a spa counter or a shore excursion desk to be told that it is now too late to accommodate me. Förstå? The Included Shore Excursions - We booked three and went on two. The first was a walking tour of Puerto Rico with head sets. It was very good, but the tour guide got behind schedule - waiting for all the morbidly obese (or waddlers is what we called them). So we missed several sights that would have occurred at the end of the tour. The tour guide kept going even though she was over time, but we had to leave the tour to get back to the boat for a spa treatment we had booked. The second included excursion was terrible, with the open-air van transport having a non-working, glitchy speaker, so none of us could clearly hear the tour guide, who did not seem to care that the speaker was on the fritz. Total waist of time which took us to a few VERY crowded vista view points and a tourist shop with banana coladas. The viking excursion staff actually told us to skip the third tour we had scheduled stating we could see it on out own due to the town being so small, so we did. But she neglected to tell us the town closed early the day we were in port, so by the time we went down to spend an hour in town, ALMOST ALL OF THE TOWN WAS CLOSED UP INCLUDING THE FORT MUSEUM, save for one tee-shirt/dive shop. Thanks for the tip, Viking Shore Excursion Staff. They really should fire most all of you as you are clueless, except for Daniel. Seriously. The OPTIONAL Shore Excursions - We booked ALL of the expensive excursions on every day of the cruise because they sounded so amazing. Sadly, Viking Ocean in the Caribbean appears to be heavily patronized by British loyalist who have a penurious affinity for thriftiness, and are too cheap to sign up for anything that cost them one extra cent. This suspicion was also confirmed by one of Viking's staff members, in confidence of course. And so four of our optional excursions were cancelled on this cruise due to lack of sign up. Yep, four of them. "It is beyond our control," says the voice of Chekov. Judy, the shore excursion lady said that Viking would try to have one optional excursion make that we were looking forward to, and so Viking appeared to 'come through'. But it was the 'how' they did it that was the EPIC fail. This was supposed to be a 'LUXURY' cruise by catamaran to the famous Ladera resort on St. Lucia. The way Viking made this happen was to cram us (what was to be 14 but luckily turned out to be only 8) on an already FULL and OLD catamaran, so that we could make it to the island where Ladera was located. When we arrived at Ladera it was raining (no stunning views), but this is 'beyond Viking's control.' However the excursion description stated that we would get to tour the beautiful resort and see the incredible botanical gardens. After a drink with a seat to view the enveloping fog, followed by our protracted lunch, our red-shirt Viking guide informed the eight in our small group that "well it seems the resort is full, so there will be no tour, and we will go back to the ship now." I said, "Wait a minute, what about the botanical gardens?" The tour guide actually had this look which conveyed a "How dare you ask about that ..." She went away to inquire and came back to tell us that we could quickly tour the garden. And thank GOD I asked, because the small and kind gnome of a man from the resort that gave us the garden tour was incredible and so passionate, and for ten meager minutes shared his knowledge of the garden and the herbal medicine with us, lovingly allowing us to sample many plants. We were all amazed. But the entire hour we sat starring out into the fog waiting for lunch could and should have been spent with this marvelous master gardener. But alas, Viking was only trying to 'make the tour happen' and 'get us back to the boat on account of some light rain.' Mission accomplished Judy. Tell me how it is that you do not know of this gardening-demi god of a man at Ladera? Isn't Viking supposed to be all about the 'unique, signature experience?' What a crock. Judy, if you ever get tired of pretending to be an excursion director, I hear prison's are looking for help on almost every continent. This wasn't the first sour experience we had with Ms. Judy, the excursion director. Two other incidents are worthy of note. Once such occurrence was whilst (ooh I used a British word) we were queueing (ooh another one) for a shuttle bus to an excursion. It was lightly raining and she was wearing a red Viking rain coat. One of the guest commented on the jacket, and she stated boldly "Well they don't really work and on our salary we can't afford ones that do." I thought this was an incredible statement to make in the presence of guests, but everyone seemed to just chuckle and laugh it off. Funny? I suppose. But telling, very telling to the astute observer. One of our best excursion days resulted from a cancelled port of call. St. Martin was removed from the itinerary due to an Atlantic swell and high waves. Viking had already cancelled the sailing excursion in this port BEFORE the cruise even left San Juan, so we had located our own charter for the day in advance at home. When St. Martin was cancelled and another day was planned to be in Antigua, we decided to make a beach day of it. But again, Shore Excursion staff excelled at being ignorant and restrictive. Case in point, our boat had to move during the night in Antigua to the 'commercial port' about 1.5 miles from town. The next morning we were told that a 'shuttle bus' (which held about 20 persons) would be available starting at 8:30 a.m. My wife and I predicted long lines of folks waiting to do the same thing we wanted to do that day, so we set off from the ship a little before 8:00 a.m. to make the 1.5 mile walk into town and grab a taxi. Why? Because the Shore Excursion staff told us that no taxis could come near to the commercial port, which proved to be FALSE. Lucky for us, within one minute of leaving the commercial port security check point we were picked up by a taxi, and paid the driver a very nice sum to be our personal transport for the day. He took us to the nicest beach available that day, "Half Moon Bay." Due to the odd storm that had closed St. Martin and was hitting the East Cost, the Atlantic was actually calm that day, while the Caribbean side of the island had roads that washed out. His decision was spot on. Bizarre weather, but it all worked out, no thanks to Viking's shore excursion staff, and thanks to us risking a 1.5 mile walk that turned out to be misinformation, and the luck of a great taxi driver. This was the best day of our cruise, and Viking had little to do with it, other than the Captain's SMART decision to remain in port in Antigua. THANK YOU TO THE CAPTAIN we never got to meet because no one told us about the opportunity to meet you. The other incident with Ms. Judy occurred when we were disembarking on the last day of the cruise. We had attempted to follow all the directions provided by Viking regarding what to do as we prepared to exit the ship, but had neglected to place our name and cabin number on the small green tag we were required to place on our luggage for transfers. My wife was in the rest room when an announcement was made for our group to exit the boat, and so we were 4 minutes late coming down the boarding ramp and into the security terminal. As we approached we were greeted by a very hectic and frantic Ms. Judy who blurted, "IS THIS YOUR LUGGAGE!?" It was the only luggage left in the area. We said yes. "WELL YOU REALLY SOULD LEARN TO PUT YOUR NAME ON IT. WE HAD NO IDEA WHO IT BELONGED TO. PLEASE PUT YOUR NAME ON YOUR LUGGAGE IN FUTURE." The chiding was so fresh and sincere, such an ungracious farewell on her part that I did not have the heart to tell her that there was a small area of the luggage where our name was stamped into a custom, riveted label, on the side seam of each piece. Probably not worthy of mention that I also have tracking devices in my luggage. Ah but the details Judy, they are of no consequence. I really wanted to tell her, "It was beyond your control," but simply chose to ignore her, and move off toward the patiently waiting, and oddly contrasting, genuinely friendly customs agents, who probably have a higher salary than she does. So ended our 25th Anniversary Viking Ocean 'Edda'. A enjoyable cruise never-the-less, but not one worth the exorbitant cost (almost $1k per person per day). We could have done something much more luxurious for this price, and with staff who were more organized, professional and genuinely caring. TIP: Viking should hire a new excursion director, forthwith (ooh another British word!!!) PS: Hey Viking, even though you were told on three occasions in advance of this trip, you did nothing to celebrate or recognize our 25th anniversary. We won't make the mistake of booking another Viking cruise because our next cruise choice will be "WITHIN OUR CONTROL." Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
This was our third Viking ocean cruise. It was a 10 day West Indies cruise. As always on Biking the foods was to die for, the service amazing. The shore excursions fantastic...but as usual the entertainment leaves much to be desired. The ... Read More
This was our third Viking ocean cruise. It was a 10 day West Indies cruise. As always on Biking the foods was to die for, the service amazing. The shore excursions fantastic...but as usual the entertainment leaves much to be desired. The shows at night were especially disappointing. I love Viking for many of the things they don't casino, no one trying to sell you picture or other crap, no kids running around and lots of peace and quiet. Even though the ship has 900 paasengers nothing is ever crowded and you never have to wait for anything. The spa is fantastic the gym is great and the pools etc are adequate. The rooms are all suites with a balcony and plenty of room. This was the first time we have used their airfare package and we were very impressed with it as well. They did a great job at making sure you were taken care of at the airport and getting you to and from the boat. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We selected this cruise as a last minute getaway from the cold weather, the itinerary was very appealing and we had heard wonderful comments about Viking. The ship is beautifully decorated, spa is outstanding and cabin very clean. We did ... Read More
We selected this cruise as a last minute getaway from the cold weather, the itinerary was very appealing and we had heard wonderful comments about Viking. The ship is beautifully decorated, spa is outstanding and cabin very clean. We did have a few issues, however, some of the dining was not up to par - fish overcooked, service slow, steak too tough, which are not huge issues, just disappointing. We found The restaurant to be quite loud - very hard to converse, perhaps the acoustics should be addressed. Our favorite was Manfredis - servers were wonderful and very nice menu. Entertainment that we experienced was top notch. Sad to say, the excursions were not what we had expected from Viking. A couple of the excursions were such a waste of time, taking away from the precious time you have at each island. Viking should be placing guests in tour groups according to mobility, as for those less able need to struggle to keep up and those quite able are spending a lot of time standing around. The cabin and balcony are rather small, we did not have an issue with the amount of storage, just the space. We did rearrange furniture to make the space more useable.( We do not have a lot to compare to as we have only experienced jr suite and suite on other lines) Staff were all very friendly and seemed to enjoy their positions. Is it worth the higher cruise fare? I cannot really say for sure - we did like the fact that there are no casinos and no children, no fighting for a lounger and a quiet environment. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
This was our third Viking cruise, the second one on the Ocean ship. We booked a delux veranda room and were upgraded to a penthouse veranda. It was nice to have a bit of extra space the mini bar stocked each day. We went on all the ... Read More
This was our third Viking cruise, the second one on the Ocean ship. We booked a delux veranda room and were upgraded to a penthouse veranda. It was nice to have a bit of extra space the mini bar stocked each day. We went on all the included tours and booked several additional ones. Because of the high winds, our sail and snorkel , and just snorkel excursions were cancelled. One of those was in Antiqua, where we never docked- due to the winds. Enjoyed the spa that morning, getting my exercise in the current pool. We think Viking does a great job with embarkation and disembarking. All the restaurants have fantastic food, any extras you may want, just ask. the staff is so accommodating. The specialty restaurants are excellent. Manfredi's books fast, so get your reservations in early. We took advantage of booking another cruise again, while on board, for the additional discounts. Entertainment is great too. we were glad the Cruise director show was in the theater. On our last trip, it was in the lounge, so about 50 people enjoyed it. This time several hundred could attend. If we did not want to go out after dinner, we would watch the TV entertainment. The lectures and talks play at night. A nice way to enjoy the culture and get the information for the next day. The best part for us, is the relaxing atmosphere. No one saves seats etc., or drunk dancers. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
Half -Baked We just returned from the 11-day West Indies Explorer Caribbean cruise, which sailed Feb.15-Feb. 25, 2018. As a seasoned cruiser, I was surprised at the half-baked Caribbean experience on Viking Sea. The ship itself is ... Read More
Half -Baked We just returned from the 11-day West Indies Explorer Caribbean cruise, which sailed Feb.15-Feb. 25, 2018. As a seasoned cruiser, I was surprised at the half-baked Caribbean experience on Viking Sea. The ship itself is beautiful. We stayed in the Penthouse Veranda, which was smartly designed with a chic modern Scandinavian theme. A stocked bar in the room was a plus. The King sized bed was very comfortable. I especially liked the amount of drawer space, plenty of room. Yet, the amenities did not make up for the limited experience we received on many of the port calls. The ship sailed out of San Juan. Old San Juan is up and ready for tourist. Unfortunately, we did not feel comfortable venturing outside of that area as we had initially planned when booking this trip. It would have been much better to sail out of Miami, in my opinion. At least we would have had different expectations and not have been so disappointed. The next port of call was St. Croix. The small beach adjacent to the ship was rocky and unappealing. St. Croix is still suffering from the aftermath of the hurricanes. The destruction on the island was upsetting. We certainly emphasize with the islanders, nonetheless, this was supposed to be a vacation to get away from anxiety and stress. We did not sign up for a humanitarian mission. Why not just skip the island and ask for a donation instead? We opted for the Scenic Railroad tour in St. Kitts. I am hopeful that the train met safety requirements. It was a little disconcerting when we went through a “controlled fire.” We all ducked to avoid ashes blown into our train car. St.Maarten and St. Thomas are also still recovering. The beach in Phillipsburg is fine, although we were bombarded with people trying to rent chairs and umbrellas to us. There are so many lovely beaches on the island. The famous Orient Bay Beach facilities are wiped out. The casino and beach at the Westin is still closed (one of my favorite spots on the island). The tours on both islands were riddled with destruction. We took a taxi to Sunset Beach in St. Thomas. This beach was nice, but the condominiums were vacant. The waiter was only giving out straws for drinks if you asked. Limited supplies I guess. Barbados and St. Lucia provided the best Caribbean experience. Both islands were lovely. This was more like the vacation we anticipated. We ventured out on our own in Barbados and we were so glad we did. The taxi driver outside of the port took us to a beautiful beach away from the masses. He was very knowledgeable and filled us in on the history and current events on the island. Wish we were able to dock in Barbados for two days at least. We took the Included Viking tour in St. Lucia and had a similar pleasant day. The included tour in Guadeloupe was much to be desired. Most of the tour was spent riding on a tour bus to reach the points of interest. It took an hour each way to reach our destination. This four-hour excursion was not worth the payoff at the end. In conclusion, I regret not canceling this cruise after the hurricane. My partner expressed concerns in September and October through email and phone communications. We were repeatedly assured that everything would be up and running. It still baffles me why we just did not go to the islands that were not affected by the hurricane, even if we docked for more than one day. We were misled. This was far from the experience that I expected. I would not likely choose Viking for future cruises. It was unfair to lead us on and continue to make changes just weeks before departure. We deserved much more, considering the price point of Viking and the upscale experience they claim to provide. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
We decided to fly to Miami from Heathrow the day before and then on to San Juan the next morning. The package we were offered initially meant flying to Miami and then on to San Juan in one day which meant arriving at the ship late in the ... Read More
We decided to fly to Miami from Heathrow the day before and then on to San Juan the next morning. The package we were offered initially meant flying to Miami and then on to San Juan in one day which meant arriving at the ship late in the evening which we did not want to do. Unfortunately the only direct flights to San Juan only go on a Saturday! Unfortunately American Airlines at Miami lost my husbands suitcase and it was only the persistence of the concierge on the ship that managed to get my husband re-united with his bag on the 18th. Tip to all- split your contents over two cases ie not all one person's clothes in one case AND check the sticky baggage receipt that the airline gives you- we never know it has your Name on it- so check it immediately. We arrived on the ship to a nice welcome but the welcome drink or fifth of a glass of champagne was a bit of an insult. Come on Viking you are better than that- give a full glass! We made our way to the customer relations re the lost bag and they swung into action immediately and provided us with some essentials and advice of where to go to buy some clothes. Our cabin was beautiful and extremely well appointed- the best cabin we have stayed in over 22 cruises. It was a Penthouse Veranda- so a mid-range cabin. It had a fully stocked mini bar which was replenished daily at no cost; a proper bathroom with a heated floor and a huge bed. There was a large wardrobe an a lot of drawer space. The lighted vanity mirror, which I didn't find until day 5 was also great. We travelled for my husband's 60th Birthday and I am 56. Before I talk about the dining etc the USP for Viking in my opinion is not 'all about the destinations' it is actually equally about the journey of being seen as a valued passenger. Viking have created an atmosphere of respectfulness of its passengers by adopting an approach where all passengers are treated equally. There are no 'roped off' sitting areas or 'exclusive' dining rooms for suite guests and I applaud them for that. There is no 'selling' on the cruise, no casino, no photographer; no pressure to buy products at the spa (thank goodness as I find this really annoying) and no upselling of the Silver Drinks Package. Our bill at the end of this inclusive cruise was only for one spa treatment! The included drinks at lunch and dinner are very generous- they seemed to start serving at 11.30 am for lunch! The silver drinks package was included in our deal which meant we could drink any cocktails, spirits etc whenever we wanted but to be honest the drinks are cheap on this ship so it would not have been a big deal not to have it as the beer and wine flows at meal times anyway. Bear in mind also our free mini-bar in the cabin! The food in the main restaurant and the two complimentary speciality restaurant is as good as Michelin starred food- the best we have ever had on a cruise and that's saying something! With our cabin grade we were able to book 4 dates for the speciality restaurants in advance and this was good as they get completely booked out. The Italian restaurant was superb with the best pasta and steaks we have had at any top restaurant. The Chefs table has a set menu that changes every three days. Our menus were fantastic and the food was superb but some people didn't like it so check the menu before booking. The menu in the main dining room has a selection that is available every day including salmon and the best New York Strip steak we have ever had. There is also a destination menu which again I applaud Viking for- its really nice to have some local specialities on the menu. The rest of the menu changes daily with a lot of variety- all beautifully presented.The service in the restaurants was patchy. I complained the first time that we went to Chefs Table and our complaint was managed extremely well and the second visit was perfect. The lack of 'Head Waiters' may be the problem for the patchy service however with dining on demand with no booking time slots ahead was brilliant. There were no tables of eight with only two diners sitting at them which is quite usual on bigger ships. We never had to queue for anything on the ship and there was always a table for two available on demand. That's impressive. The officers are very visible on this ship and are often seen helping out in the restaurants etc. The officers are very friendly and they listen carefully to what you say and action requests as required. The Captain and Officers are often seen dining on the deck at lunchtime which is a nice personal touch. The included shore excursions are mixed. Some cruisers told us that they just abandoned some as they were not very good. This is a shame because the cruise excursion manager was really excellent. She spent as much time as necessary with each guest sometimes to reassure those who may have been worried about steps or rough ground etc She also managed the excursions very expertly shore side making the experience very easy. We went on an included four hour trip on Guadaloupe where we spent most of the time on the coach- I would not recommend it! Entertainment is managed by a young cruise director who is a very good performer himself and has a good ear for good musicians and singers. The entertainment is scarce but actually more than we were expecting. There is a show each evening; music around the ship; a quiz once a week (why only one?); a cinema and THE BEST BAND AT SEA. There is a small intimate nightclub for about 150 people where the band plays every type of music in the evening and there's a lot of dancing too. A big shout out to Speedy and Christina who are the bands singers- these really made our cruise special and we would have struggled in the evenings if it were not for this venue. We saw the Rat Pack show also in this venue which was really good. The Nordic Spa is beautiful and again free to use. The ports we had visited before. We would recommend the Tiki Boat trip to Honeymoon Beach on the last day it was really nice. The winter garden with pool and retractable roof is an absolutely beautiful area but we couldn't use it as it was unbearably hot most of the time as the roof was never opened. This area was therefore empty most of the time. We understand about the threat of rain but this is a major drawback on the ship as it isn't mitigated by air conditioning. The infinity pool outside is lovely and the sun deck although small never got crowded. Viking appears to run a very happy ship as all the staff were friendly and appeared to be relaxed. This cruise had slightly more Brits than Americans on board and a lot of the Brits had done Viking River Cruises before and were trying out Ocean Cruising. We think the average age on the ship was probably 70 - mostly people who travel a lot. Viking need to attract avid cruisers like us and we would certainly recommend Viking and may well book again but we are not ready to give up the service and added entertainment that Celebrity offer us. It was a wonderful holiday and we are very glad we picked Viking Sea for this particular celebration. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I had good friends who have traveled with Viking river cruises and spoke highly of them. They booked this and I tagged along. Apparently all the ships have the same configuration so once you know your way around, you can navigate all of ... Read More
I had good friends who have traveled with Viking river cruises and spoke highly of them. They booked this and I tagged along. Apparently all the ships have the same configuration so once you know your way around, you can navigate all of them easily. All light wood and stainless trim make for a bright, clean look. The big problem for me was the food and service. Not up to the standard I am used to. Having just come off a transoceanic trip with Oceana and before that a cruise on Silversea, I had a lot to compare it to and Viking fell short of both those cruises although price wise, they were comparable. The main dining room on our ship was far from "grand" with a low ceiling and place mats on the tables. The food and service were only fair to poor so we tried to eat in the specialty dining rooms as much as possible, never an easy get. The food in those was much better but again, some of the service was poor to say the least. My wine glass might be filled 10 minutes before my friends were which was awkward at best. Tables for 5 had to ask to have the extra chair removed which required the waiter getting an OK to do so. Simple but silly things that shouldn't have to be a problem. There also appeared to be a shortage of deck lounges and while on other ships, water and soft drinks are usually offered frequently to sun bathers, they were seldom presented here. The food at the burger and salad bar was quite good but again, if you wanted a drink, you had to go to the other side of the ship for that! Also a shortage of silverware and trash bins made it a problem to get rid of the dirty dishes and glassware especially since they might take hours to remove those things from your deck chair area. Again, a service problem. Perhaps they need more staff or at least better training for those there. The cafeteria offered a nice selection at lunch and dinner with light selections including a very good pizza, and and ice cream and pastry bar that did a big business. Again, the clearing of tables seemed to be a problem most of the time. Most of my complaints can be addressed with training and I hope they do that. As for the entertainment, I found it to be quite good and hope my comments help to improve the quality of the sea experience so it matches that of their river cruises. Read Less
Viking Cruises, Community Team has responded
Dear Edensmom, Thank you for taking the time to review your Viking Sea voyage. We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed our onboard entertainment and appreciate your feedback on the food and service. Your insights are valuable to our growth as a company, and your suggestions have been recorded. Should you like to share more, please contact us at with your booking information and we will connect you with a seasoned Customer Relations agent to address your concerns. We look forward to hearing from you soon, Edensmom, and hope you have a wonderful day. Kind regards, Viking Cruises
Viking Sea Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.8
Dining 5.0 4.7
Entertainment 3.5 4.3
Public Rooms 5.0 4.9
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.4
Family 1.0 4.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.3
Enrichment 4.0 4.4
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 5.0 4.5

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