Sail Date: May 2018
This cruise had a lot of ports that were on our bucket list. We enjoyed the three over night port stops. Our room was nice and kept very tidy by our room steward Anton and his team. It could use some more storage for clothes such as ... Read More
This cruise had a lot of ports that were on our bucket list. We enjoyed the three over night port stops. Our room was nice and kept very tidy by our room steward Anton and his team. It could use some more storage for clothes such as shelves or a few more drawers. (That’s my only complaint). The ship is beautiful. The spa with the thermal suite and snow grotto is so cool. We went as often as we could. Nice gym that we used only a few times unfortunately. The 2nd deck is great for walking laps. The food was excellent as well as the service. We ate at the Chef’s table twice and Manfredo’s twice. Both very good. I really enjoyed the outside seating at breakfast and for lunch. The pool grill was very good for burgers and sandwiches. The included beer and wine with meals was an added bonus and plentiful. The included excursions are ok. I prefer private tours with smaller group. Some where better than others. We hired private guide in ast Petersburg. TJ Travel was excellent. We also had a private guide in Berlin who was also very good. We loved our cruise so much we booked a river cruise while on board. Viking has excellent customer service. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Chose this cruise because of the itinerary and pre/post Reykjavik optional add on. It was a packed itinerary but we enjoyed it. We did the pre Reykjavik add on. Overnight flight. Nothing scheduled for day 1 & room wasn’t ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the itinerary and pre/post Reykjavik optional add on. It was a packed itinerary but we enjoyed it. We did the pre Reykjavik add on. Overnight flight. Nothing scheduled for day 1 & room wasn’t ready so we took a cab in to town. Cab driver was a mini tour guide and drove by and pointed out sights on the drive. Viking guide (Peter) was great! He provided tons of info on all the Iceland excursions. Note: wish we had done Reykjavik on the back end as we had very little time in Stockholm. We would have flown to Stockholm a day or 2 early. We mostly enjoyed all the ports. Weather was perfect. We were the only 2 people in the infinity pool watching our departure from Stockholm as all the islands rolled by. Berlin: I did not want to the included train ride to Berlin. But we did. Honestly- nice to see some of those historic sites - but way too long a train ride and the train was hot. I would have done the Friends of Dave tour from the port instead. Overall- all Viking guides were top notch - especially Janelle in Copenhagen. We used Alla tours in St. Petersburg. Small group (12) and Anna was an Art History major and provided a well versed tour of the Hermitage masterpieces. Short time in a couple of ports :( But that’s how it is. Ship was beautiful. Never felt crowded. Food was excellent. Chefs table was unremarkable. Manfredi’s was much better. Dining room was the best. Room steward was great. We had a PV cabin. Stocked mini fridge. Be forewarned: the liquor choices in the mini bar are limited. My hubby likes whiskey- sorry no whiskey. Onboard launderette was appreciated. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
A friend recommended cruising in the Baltic Sea. The only time we could go was this two weeks and Viking had a cancellation so we booked it. The logistics of our trip were superb from booking to transferring us to the airport to return ... Read More
A friend recommended cruising in the Baltic Sea. The only time we could go was this two weeks and Viking had a cancellation so we booked it. The logistics of our trip were superb from booking to transferring us to the airport to return home. Every shore excursion was impeccably organised and the general standard of the included tours was very good. We had good advice on board and were able to change one excursion to a more suitable one. The Shore excursion talks were well worth attending. The stateroom, public areas, Star Theatre, the talks and musical entertainment were all excellent. The standard of hygiene and cleanliness was immaculate, the staff friendly and always ready to help. We ate in the Restaurant, World Café, and Mamsen’s snack bar which we found very good generally and did not eat in the à la carte restaurants, which incur an extra charge. We did not feel it necessary for us. All in all a wonderful trip! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We were very disappointed with our 2 week British Isles cruise on Viking Sun. Viking pricing and advertising would lead one to expect a premium, e.g. Crystal, Silversea, Seabourn, cruise experience. Not even close. Viking offers a ... Read More
We were very disappointed with our 2 week British Isles cruise on Viking Sun. Viking pricing and advertising would lead one to expect a premium, e.g. Crystal, Silversea, Seabourn, cruise experience. Not even close. Viking offers a somewhat smaller cabin with a nice, by cruise-liner standard’s, shower. No tubs or walk in closets here. Occasionally good, but generally poor to mediocre food. You pay for liquor except for complementary beer and rather dull wines at lunch and dinner. It says a lot about the claim to be a luxury company when you end complementary wine and beer at the poolside grill when the inside dining rooms are not open. The crew is very warm and pleasant but unprepared to deliver the level of service one gets from the other mentioned cruise lines. One gets the feeling that the onboard management is more concerned with the bottom line than with passenger happiness. Profitability issues should be left at the home office. Tipping is not included, it is charged to your onboard account. Onboard entertainment is skimpy. On our voyage, a 4 man show band and 4 singer/dancers performed 2 shows on 2 evenings. There were 3 guest entertainers who each performed 1 show on 2 different evenings. Unfortunately, the show theatre cannot accommodate all the guests at one seating. At the “one performance only” shows late coming passengers stood or squeezed into seats. A classical trio, a pianist, and a guitar player perform at various onboard venues. There is no casino. 1000 piece puzzles, scrabble games, checkers, dominoes, and several other physical and digital board games can be found in an area called the Atrium. Internet access is free for all guests and lots of passengers are playing games or otherwise busy on their cell phones. The so called enrichment lectures are a tall tale. There are accomplished lecturers speaking on topics that are of very little interest to the vast majority of passengers. Lecture attendance averaged 15 to 30 people. Bottom line, unless you really want a Viking itinerary, you can do a lot better for your money by shopping elsewhere. Read Less
Viking Cruises, Community Team has responded
Welcome home, sbd3, and thank you for taking the time to provide the cruising community with your detailed post-cruise notes. We regret to hear that your Viking experience left you feeling disappointed, however we are interested in learning more about what could have made this voyage on the Baltic a five-star journey. Should you like to share more, we would welcome the opportunity to address your comments in detail at TellUs@vikingcruises.com. We appreciate this chance to respond, sbd3, and wish you a splendid day.
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Viking spends a lot of money on marketing and is indifferent to the travel experience of the guests. The only way to see the destinations is to purchase the high-priced optional excursions, as the included excursions tend to be ... Read More
Viking spends a lot of money on marketing and is indifferent to the travel experience of the guests. The only way to see the destinations is to purchase the high-priced optional excursions, as the included excursions tend to be "panoramic tours" (a drive-by in a bus--impossible for photographs!) that end up in an overpriced gift shop where guests are left to wander around for close to an hour (captive audience). The food quality is barely higher than that of a cafeteria. The ships are clean and the staff is very friendly, but we took the trip so we could see the destinations. Viking used to offer loyalty rewards that included an upgrade that permitted one to make choices about air travel, but as soon as we qualified for that it was eliminated. Viking will communicate with you like crazy until they get their money and then they leave you hanging. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose Viking because we wanted the smaller ship, & because of their reputation. We had a lovely time, but would we cruise with them again...I'm not so sure. The ship was absolutely spotless and, because of the small passenger ... Read More
We chose Viking because we wanted the smaller ship, & because of their reputation. We had a lovely time, but would we cruise with them again...I'm not so sure. The ship was absolutely spotless and, because of the small passenger numbers, there was always plenty of space to just chill out. Unlike bigger ships that we've sailed on, you could always find a secluded lounge area or a table. The cabin was the smallest we have encountered, however, we have previously had mini suites on Celebrity & Princess, so they were obviously more spacious.This is one of the areas where we are considering if it maybe more our cup of tea to get a suite on another ship for around the same price, if not cheaper? The food was delicious, but personally we didn't find the food at the specialty restaurants to be any better than the dining room. It was just good in general on the ship. Having said that, we sailed 'Aqua Class' on Celebrity, for much less, which allowed us access to 'Blu' restaurant and the food was consistently wonderful. We felt that there was less options at the buffet on Viking Sea than we have found on other ships, but simply a better atmosphere because of the fewer people, and never an issue getting a table. The smaller ship means heaps of free space & privacy. Of a morning I'd share the Explorers Lounge with about half a dozen other people. Unlike bigger ships where you often have trouble finding somewhere to relax in peace & quiet. Always plenty of spare tables at the buffet. Stayed on board one port day, & shared the spa facilities with only 2 other people. The embarkation & disembarkation were flawless, as were the transfers. The organization of the shore excursions was also very well organized, but no more than I have found with other lines. The included excursions were basic but adequate. Where it was possible, it was good to do the included guided tour in the morning, and then have the rest of the day free to poke around ourselves - one of the advantages of having the smaller ship & being able to dock in town. Having said that, in many of the ports the larger ships were also docked in town. I feel that we made a mistake in paying for the option Flam Railway excursion when we had booked the post-cruise add-on of the train trip from Bergen to Oslo. It meant that we did 2 guided tours of Bergen (one of the included tours & then another one with the add-on), and another train trip which duplicated to some extent the Flam rail trip. Our fault, but I would warn anyone else considering to do this post-cruise excursion to consider maybe not doing the Flam trip. Another issue we had was in relation to the Berlin included excursion. The description of this tour says that participants will be taken on the 3-hour traintrip to Berlin & then given an orientation & set free to explore on their own. So we organized a private tour with Matt from Berlin Experiences to meet us at the train station to do a private tour with him & a driver, & then drop us back at the station. However, the Customer Service agent on the ship said that, due to insurance issues, we were not allowed to leave the ship's tour until we had finished the orientation, which turned out to be 1.5 hour bus tour. This appears to be incorrect as even the tour guides we had on the train asked whoever was not going to do the bus tour just to let them know. We had a much more comprehensive & enjoyable day in Berlin with the very knowledgeable & friendly Matt, along with private transportation & lunch at a wonderful, authentic Berlin brewery. We were joined by 2 other couples from the ship, so the cost was minimal. Overall a great holiday, however, depending on the destination, we would seriously have to consider whether it was worth paying the extra for Viking, or perhaps going with another line and, for around the same cost, upgrading to a bigger stateroom & organizing private shore excursions. I guess it all depends on priorities: smaller ship with less people & no up-selling v bigger stateroom & private excursions for roughly the same cost. Personally we found the food to be on a par with Celebrity, and usually the other lines have specials where they include a drinks package as well as bonus on-board credit which could be put towards excursions should you opt for the ship's excursions. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I had always wanted to go to St. Petersburg and Viking Ocean offered the itinerary, Viking Homelands, which is so much more than just traveling a typical route of Stockholm to Copenhagen, you have the additional of Norway: Stavanger, ... Read More
I had always wanted to go to St. Petersburg and Viking Ocean offered the itinerary, Viking Homelands, which is so much more than just traveling a typical route of Stockholm to Copenhagen, you have the additional of Norway: Stavanger, Eidfjord, & finally Bergen. I knew nothing about Norway and aside from St. Petersburg, Norway turned out to a real highlight of the cruise for me. We have already traveled on Viking river cruises, the Danube, the Seine, & the Rhone, all absolutely wonderful experiences, but had not done Ocean yet. I know that the very first season that Viking took on ocean cruising there were some growing pains but no more! For us, having no casino, no children, & limited evening entertainment, is the way we want to cruise. Our focus is on the ports, taking interesting excursions, having extraordinary service on board, and knowing that operations will be run effectively and efficiently. I'm excited that we had already booked two more Viking cruises for 2019! Let's start w/ the ship - it is beautiful, well-designed, even w/ 930 passengers & several hundred crew members, you never feel crowded. There are lots of places to tuck away and read your iPad or book. We never even went up to the top deck or use any of the spa facilities. Every cabin has a veranda, we were in the least expensive cabin on the third deck and it is just like every other cabin except for the larger suites. I loved being on the third level except that we were all the way up front over the Star Theater and if they were playing an action pack movie, you could hear the loud scenes or if there was a loud performance you could hear it - I'm surprised that no one else has ever noted the noise but I have really good hearing and can be bothered by sound. Otherwise, it was a very quiet cabin. The ship is extremely stable, even though we were in the calm Baltic, I only needed my patch traveling from Helsinki to St. Petersburg. I think deck 4 would be better but I would happily re-book on deck 3. The cabin is good sized, plenty of closet space, ask for more hangers, suitcases fit under the bed, you have 110 outlets & USB ports by your nightstand, another set by the desk, 110 outlet in the bathroom, plenty of lighting but you don't need it w/ the floor to ceiling glass doors to the balcony. Your flatscreen TV is your portal to everything - plenty of movies, tv shows, live tv, menus for each of the restaurants including afternoon tea, recorded port talks, daily briefing, lectures, etc. I love the recorded port talks, you don't have to sit through these overviews about the next day's port when they are held. Just check the TV later & the talk is there for the viewing. Dining is fine - the food is very good, not spectacular. I thought Manfredi's was very good, not exceptional like Crystal Symphony's Prego. I thought the Chef's Table was just OK - in fact we canceled our second reservation because we didn't want to dress for dinner. We only ate in the main Restaurant twice, the first night & the night real lobster was serve, why? Because in the World Cafe which is buffet - breakfast, lunch, & dinner, you didn't have to dress up, they served almost the same entrees that main Restaurant serves, you can pick & chose what you want & there is always cold seafood, sushi, variety of desserts, and homemade gelato! We loved that there is plenty of two person seatings throughout all the dining venues. We are not overly social so the fact that we could keep to ourselves and not have to repeat our life story at every meal was so relaxing for us! You can get hamburgers, hot dogs, & other casual meals by the poolside, there Mamsen's up in the Explorer Lounge for more Scandinavian fare, there's room service, the coffee bar by the Atrium. Best of all, afternoon tea is served every day in the WinterGarden. Real petite tea sandwiches, freshly made (and different every day), tiny pastries, & delicious raisin scones - the real deal. I felt like I was going to tea at a lovely hotel each time. So much better than Crystal's tea service which is not every day and only once during a cruise is there a variety of pastries & such (which is their Mozart tea service) - otherwise it is just crustless sandwiches & such. If we had tea, we skipped going to dinner. Coffee served in the World Cafe is very good - you are given a thermos on each table so no need for the waiter to come around to fill (unless you empty the pot) - there is an expresso/cappuccino machine available to make special coffees all day & night. Service by staff is outstanding, everyone is cheery, friendly, and very enthusiastic about making your cruise experience the best. Entertainment is fine. The string trio that plays in the atrium are wonderful, the guitarist is fine. I thought the theater entertainment was so-so - they have three male & three female singers but only one pair of dancers - the best night of entertainment was when the assistant cruise director did an Elvis show - he was outstanding - we skipped most of the night shows, especially after the night they butchered songs by the Beatles. There were onboard lecturers but I only went to one - Our main focus was each of the ports and the excursions we picked in which Viking excels. We used SPB Tours to visit St. Petersburg since they had the itinerary that we wanted for the two days - the comprehensive two day St. Petersburg tour by Viking included the ballet (which we didn't want) and did not include a canal ride. A couple of the ports, Aalborg & Eidfjord, I could not find much information on but OMG, Viking finds the port that is easy to dock at, easy to get off, and so charming to visit. Even though we were over 900, I felt like we were on a Viking river cruise, getting off right by the dock & walking into the town. Embarkation was a little hectic, we got in mid-day into Stockholm, lots of Viking staff to take us to the bus (a long bus ride to the port) - the port itself was very tight & lots of passengers coming on so it took a little bit of time but we quickly got through & warmly greeted w/ hot towels & champagne. Disembarkation was extraordinary - plenty of porters to load our luggage onto the bus, plenty of Viking staff to help us check in at the self-service Bergen airport - checking into Bergen is a little confusing but we got through it and appreciated the support by the Viking staff. Regarding dining, I know that folks appreciate exceptional dining and many upscale cruise lines focus a lot of their attention on the food. However for us, we are always trying to manage what we eat and how much so we don't want every meal to be exceptional otherwise we are overdoing it big time. And yes it is our vacation, but packing on several pounds every time we cruise (and we cruise at least twice per year) makes the rest of the year tough trying to take off that weight gain. Same with alcohol, the included wine w/ lunch & dinner is more than we usually imbibe and we don't feel that we are missing out if we decide to not to have wine. Now what is hard to pass up is the gelato... Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
The old saying "you get what you pay for" does not apply to Viking. We paid for a high-end, upscale cruise and got a 3 star experience. At the price point paid I expect to get personalised service as has been experienced on other ... Read More
The old saying "you get what you pay for" does not apply to Viking. We paid for a high-end, upscale cruise and got a 3 star experience. At the price point paid I expect to get personalised service as has been experienced on other ships at this price point. It is the little things that make a big difference and Viking seem to be missing this point compared to similar cruise lines. If I had paid less I would have had lower expectations and possibly been satisfied with the service provided. On the plus side, the ship was clean and spacious with plenty of areas for you to sit and relax. Decorated in Scandinavian style with lots of light timbers and shades of blues and taupes. The no kids, no casinos is a winning combination for me. The crew were genuinely very nice people who worked hard to provide us with a great service. Disappointed the cabin steward did not get to know my preferred name in 3 weeks yet many of the restaurant staff did. This is one of the little things that make a difference. Embarkation was quick but we were not welcomed to the ship. After travelling for 37 hours I thought a welcome drink and being shown to my cabin might have been in order! Disembarkation went smoothly but I felt like they could not wait to get rid of us. I know they have a quick turnaround for the next cruise but this is the last impression you are left with and if it is not positive then you have failed your passengers. Cabin - comments are below. Restaurants - Breakfast we either had room service or ate in the World Cafe. Both were fine and service was good. Lunch was mostly taken in the World Cafe which provided a buffet style venue and once at the Pool Bar which provided burgers and hot dogs. We found enough variety in the food offered over the 3 weeks and if you didn't like/could not eat the days menu then there was the choice to have a chicken breast or prawns grilled in a minute. We dined in the restaurants of an evening. Main restaurant you could opt to dine in parties of 2,4 or 6 which was a great way to meet other passengers. Menu was varied each evening with a destination inspired menu offered as well but there was little variety offered if you could not eat what was on the given menu. My main concern was the lack of detail for someone with a life threatening allergy. This was reported prior to boarding the ship yet every day I had to check and recheck what I was being given. As is usual practice on a ship, I was asked to complete a menu 24 hours in advance but there was no evidence that this was checked by anyone with knowledge of allergies. There were several times where I was served my allergen and when I quizzed the staff they advised it was OK for me to eat. Fortunately my fellow passengers would alert me to the ingredients so I was able to narrowly avoid the use of an Epipen. This is not how I wish to spend my holiday continually wondering if I am going to stop breathing. On other cruise lines I found that my menu was checked by the executive chef who would then organise for me to have a special version of regular meals including desserts, and I felt confident with the staff knowledge. Wines were offered with both lunch and dinner. Wine was free flowing and different wines were offered each day - One red and one white - from different regions. We went to Manfredi's (specialty Italian restaurant) on several nights and had very good service (hence why we returned). There was a variety of Italian dishes to try and the staff were knowledgeable about the dishes. I would make a particular note of Lorraine who was an absolute delight. She was friendly, knowledgeable and ensured that her guests had a positive evening by popping back to the tables to check everything was in order. She would also step up and explain dishes to guests when the head waiter was busy and she could others were ready to order dessert. This level of initiative needs to be acknowledged and rewarded. The Chef's Table (specialty set course tasting menu) was a huge disappointment. I was expecting silver service and a great culinary experience but it was way short of that. We were booked into dinner for 8pm (the ship chose this time) and had not been served our final course when the staff started to clean the restaurant around us including sweeping the floor. This was totally unacceptable and we were left feeling like we had to rush our final course and get out of the restaurant. We certainly did not experience "your expert hosts will enlighten every sip and forkful with fascinating commentary as you experience a thrilling synergy of aromas and flavors" as advertised. Entertainment was average. Some shows were good and they did provide variety each evening. The pianist and the trio were good in the Atrium in the early evening and the Viking band did a fantastic job in Torshavn each evening. The Cruise Director (Drew) did not interact with passengers as I would expect from previous experiences on other cruise lines. Enrichment lectures were most interesting. We had a great variety of guest lecturers on a broad range of topics and this is Viking's strong point. Meet and Mingle - great idea and one that Viking do really well most of the time. Again it is the little things that are missing. We were invited to 3 meet and mingles - 2 for cruise critic (11th and 25th April) and 1 for Australian and NZ passengers (22nd April). Now this is where the organisers could have liaised a lot better. The Aus/NZ night was held to commemorate ANZAC Day (which is 25 April). WHY oh WHY did they not liaise with both groups so that the commemoration was done on the correct day??? Such a missed opportunity which could have been so easily fixed with a bit of thought and negotiation. Included Tours - very superficial and did not cover the major sites. For example, in Helsinki we were not even told about Temppeliaukio Kirkko (Rock Church) even though it is regarded as a main attraction. The provided tours and maps did not encourage passengers to independently explore the ports of call. Viking could learn a lot from other cruise lines in this price bracket. In St Petersburg we opted to take a private tour with TJ Travel and I am so pleased we did - this company provided a comprehensive tour for less than half what Viking were charging. This is the only ship I have been on where the officers do not greet passengers when they pass them in the hallways. All in all a very disappointing time. I think I will sail with the smaller boutique lines again as they do provide value for money unlike Viking. In this price bracket I am unlikely to use Viking again. Read Less
Viking Cruises, Community Team has responded
We appreciate the time you took to provide a detailed review of your recent voyage around the Baltic Sea, KatielouAustralia. We are delighted to hear that you found interior spaces to be exceptional, and are pleased the enrichment lecturers added value to your overall journey. It is disappointing to learn that your dining experience, as well as the onboard and onshore activities, did not meet expectation; rest assured, all of your constructive commentary has been recorded for review by management. Should you like to share additional remarks about your Viking Experience, we would be happy to hear from you at TellUs@vikingcruises.com. We hope to hear from you, and wish you a pleasant day.
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Needless to say, we love Viking. We have taken seven River cruises and this is our first ocean cruise. The ship was fantastic with a 2 to 1 ratio of crew two passengers. The food was great with a large variety to choose from. No suits ... Read More
Needless to say, we love Viking. We have taken seven River cruises and this is our first ocean cruise. The ship was fantastic with a 2 to 1 ratio of crew two passengers. The food was great with a large variety to choose from. No suits required! Even offered free room service without additional charges. The included shore excursions were a brief overview and we would often ditch the your and strike out on our own. If the boat was Park more than 15 minutes away from the city, they would offer a free shuttle service from the boat to the center of the city. We found that we often had to take the paid shore excursions in order to see the top sites in the city. In St. Petersburg, we found Alla Tours that were about half the price of the Viking tours and were very convenient and our guide Alex was very knowledgeable. They provide the Russian visa needed to tour the city and I would highly recommend them. Due to weather, we were not able to visit the Gunersy or Copenhagen but that’s the risk you take on any sea cruise. On board the ship, they offer incentives to book additional cruises and in fact we booked two new ones. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We had not been to some of the countries and we wanted an overview. The shore excursions were all very good and the guides were all very knowledgeable and friendly. It was a wonderful cruise and we enjoyed every moment. Viking Ocean ... Read More
We had not been to some of the countries and we wanted an overview. The shore excursions were all very good and the guides were all very knowledgeable and friendly. It was a wonderful cruise and we enjoyed every moment. Viking Ocean cruises are the VERY best! Lovely accommodation, fabulous crew and absolutely gorgeous ships. We enjoyed the onboard games, the sports deck and the entertainment was first class. The restaurants were all extremely good with a wide variety of food. The bar on Dack 1 was very good. Even though we had to miss Guernsey Island and Copenhagen, our extra time on board was great. The change of plan was handled extremely well. It would be hard to find a cruise line with better facilities, organization and fun. It was never crowded in any area and we never had to wait in line for anything except perhaps for ice cream! Everything was amazing! Read Less
Viking Sea 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 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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