1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
This is the first time on a Viking Ocean cruise and will probably be the last. Have been on two previous Viking River cruises in Europe. Our cabin was 6042 (deluxe veranda). We have been on more than 24 ocean cruises and have experience ... Read More
This is the first time on a Viking Ocean cruise and will probably be the last. Have been on two previous Viking River cruises in Europe. Our cabin was 6042 (deluxe veranda). We have been on more than 24 ocean cruises and have experience with numerous cruise lines. Our favorite cruise line still remains Oceania even after trying Viking Ocean. The cruise embarkation (Jan 28, 2019) was late starting. Everyone had to wait in the common spaces until 2:35 PM before the cabins were ready because the ship had to be disinfected due to GI problems on the ship on the previous cruise. On that cruise no one could serve themselves at the World Café. We had no food problems like that on our cruise. There must have been a special deal in England for this cruise because 375 of the 913 guests were from there. The ship never felt crowded and there was never much of a wait for anything. Lots of times it felt deserted. The rule that keeps anyone under 18 from being on this ship certainly skews the age of the passengers. The average had to be in the 70's. Pregnant looking men (and women) were in abundance. The elevators were put to a strain. The entertainment wasn't much. However the guitar and piano players who circulated into different spots on the ship were excellent. The violin and cello music duo would have been more appropriate at a wake and it sounded like it. The dining was mixed. We could make two reservations prior to embarkation and we did so for Manfredi's and The Chef's Table. We were able to snag another Manfredi's reservation while on the ship. It's almost impossible to get extra speciality reservations while on the ship as they are really booked. The Chef's Table theme changes about every three days. We had the Mexican theme and the food was great. Manfredi's was a disappointment so we tried it twice to be equally disappointed. What Italian restaurant has no tablecloths? The answer is Manfredi's. So you end up with a placemat on a wooden table and when tables are cleared next to you it doesn't look too good. The food was nothing special at Manfredi's. The main restaurant lighting looks like you are eating in a very well lighted cafeteria and is way too bright. We complained and joyfully ended up at a table with less lighting. Ask for table 175/176/177 if you want it to be a little less bright. The design of the main restaurant is poor- narrow spaces running down both sides of the ship. Have they ever seen the main restaurant on Oceania Marina or Riviera? That would have been a plan to follow. The cabin design also needs help. There aren't enough drawers to put things in. The bathroom is nice however. Bring a bunch of coat hangars that you have saved from your dry cleaning and use them in the closet because there aren't too many supplied. I guess you could ask for more but the ones you being don't weigh much and you can leave them there when the cruise is over. The TV entertainment system has lots choices of things to watch but it constantly buffers and it freezes and you can't hear anything for 5-10 seconds and it happens ALL the time. Even with their own ship broadcasts the system constantly buffers. Try to listen to the shore excursions briefing on the TV and it is a real chore. Watch a movie, others have mentioned, and it buffers in the middle of it and it could never be restarted. Speaking of the free shore excursions. They aren't much! In the Caribbean they are just a 2-3 hour open bench seat bus holding about 20 people or a 20 person small bus that takes you to places to look at things. We opted for 2 paid shore excursions. One was at Saint Luicia and was a 6-7 hour tour on a catamaran that took us to a nice hotel resort for lunch and then back to beach to swim or snorkel a bit and then back to the ship. it was nice but $498 for two was a high price. Harrison Cave on Barbados was the other tour we paid for and it was nice but the cave was really nothing special if you have seen other larger, more beautiful caverns. Other complaints I have with Viking overall is that they never offer shipboard credits when making a reservation. So NEVER book directly with Viking. Our travel agent gave us a $600 shipboard credit that paid for the $30.00 per day gratuities that they add and the drinks that we had plus a purchase in the store. Also Viking charges you $100 apiece if you make a reservation and then cancel it. No other line does that I think. Also with the Viking River cruises they want their money almost a year in advance which is ridiculous. Wouldn't do it again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Main reason for choosing this cruise was the itinerary and length of cruise. First the good points. A great airy and spacious ship,never felt crowded,all crew were excellent,the cruise director Jenna and her assistant very good ... Read More
Main reason for choosing this cruise was the itinerary and length of cruise. First the good points. A great airy and spacious ship,never felt crowded,all crew were excellent,the cruise director Jenna and her assistant very good !!.Food very good,buffet excellent (despited two/three days of G.I onboard meant highlighted hand washing and non serving yourself !) free internet good and speedy,spar (altho closed during GI) was excellent.Cabin altho smaller than expected was kept spotless by excellent steward and helper.24 hr cabin service very good and used !!! Not so good. Welcome at airport by cruise staff was poor and not well organised,they did'nt seem to know what to do and we were kept waiting for over 30 mins,When finally got to the ship no welcoming drink (after 24 hrs travelling ) and no direction where your cabin was,on other cruises i've been on both were provided (hope Viking read this !!) Service at speciality restaurant manfredis,was dire and we walked out,waited 40 mins for appetiser which never came,when I asked why the wait ? server laughed at me !! on walking out the manager was spoken to by me and he offered no reason other than bluster,contacted me the following night to explain they were having problems with the kitchen,pity he did'nt say that in the first place,felt like a poor excuse !! never went near the place,very disappointing,spoiled an evening,DIRE !! Included tours were all the same 2/3 hr run round mostly the same islands on poor transport,on very poor roads. Did three optional tours ,two whale watching which were very good as we saw whales !!,third one on St Kitts railway a complete waste of money and time,saw three bridges !!! and lots of grass,and some chap shouting at us for 2 hrs . For what I consider a expensive cruise I did'nt think I had value for money and will hesitate to use VIKING AGAIN. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We have been cruising the world since the mid '80s on many of the popular cruise lines including Princess, RCL, NCL, Celebrity, HAL, and others now defunct. While our friends have raving about Viking Ocean ships we postponed trying ... Read More
We have been cruising the world since the mid '80s on many of the popular cruise lines including Princess, RCL, NCL, Celebrity, HAL, and others now defunct. While our friends have raving about Viking Ocean ships we postponed trying them knowing that once experienced we might never go back to the others. Now we know. We have been spoiled. The Viking Sea is a beautiful small ship with about 930 passengers. We never felt crowded anywhere. It is such a serene setting compared to most of our other cruises. Some of that is the size and some the fact that there are no children onboard. The colors throughout are wonderful and add to ambiance. The cabins, while somewhat smaller than we have had in the past, are neat and continue a Scandinavian decor. Loved the shower. The food was fantastic. We enjoyed all of the restaurants although Manfredi's was our favorite. Great Italian food! The Grill produced some of the best hamburgers we've ever had. Of course wine or beer at all lunches and dinners is a plus. Drink prices are quite reasonable. Cannot really comment on the lectures as our Caribbean itinerary had us at a different island every day! No days at sea! As a result we were often off enjoying many of the included tours while the lectures were taking place. Entertainment, casinos, art auctions, etc. at sea are not important to us so we really didn't miss anything. The best of the Viking Sea, however, is the crew and staff. We had set up a "Meet and Greet" through Cruise Critic as we have done in the past. Viking set it up for a 6:00 P.M. on our second day in San Juan. FIVE of the ships Officers showed up to greet us! We have never had ANY officers show on any of our other cruise lines. Hors d'oeuvres and drinks were served as we chatted with the Officers and other passengers. It was fantastic. Smiles greeted us everywhere. We've never had such attentive and happy staff. Your wish was their command. We watched them closely .... officers, wait staff, room stewards. Their interaction with each other were happy and genuine. This was a wonderful cruise. And, I should add that we were affected by a Norovirus which closed the pool, sauna, therapy spa and ice room for most of the cruise. It required us to wash our hands every time we entered a dinning facility. Serving lines in the World Court were slower as the crew needed to serve us. Yet, the ship functioned superbly and we never really missed a beat. Yup .... we're SPOILED! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We had cruised December last year on Viking Sea to Cuba. Our friends from cold northern US wanted to go to the Caribbean and this cruise had a different island per day with no sea days. We got cabins on 5th floor near the free ... Read More
We had cruised December last year on Viking Sea to Cuba. Our friends from cold northern US wanted to go to the Caribbean and this cruise had a different island per day with no sea days. We got cabins on 5th floor near the free laundry (including soap) as no noise and convenient to wash clothes . I think a laundry room on all cabin floors. Needed as Hot and at itmes muggy and hit the beach several times. Cabins seem like they have little storage but ask for more hangers and you will have plenty of storage. Bathroom floor is heated so if bathroom too hot ask your steward to turn the heat off. We asked for 4 towels a day as needed to wash off after beach and in AM. AC works beautifully. Verandas big enough and if want to lounge in sun, lots of lounge chairs and towels near the aft infinity pool and central pool. Infinity pool bromine I think and the central pool a salt water pool (notice how much more boyant you are.)One end of the pool is shallower than the other so you can stand up (if not too short). Both nicely warm. No fighting over lounge chairs so no need to come early and “stake your property” Neither pool ever have many people in it and usually then only to get wet and back to their lounge chair. We only took the included tours or got a private taxi-van. Most taxis are vans. On some included tours transport was packed tight and others lots of room to spread out. Usually morning tours more packed than afternoon. AC on all except Tortola with was an open tram (nice breeze and cool enough). San Juan: nice walking tour and covers all but the Morro fortress. We were there during the San Sebastian festival so the free tram from fort to fort not running. Tortola: incl tour: open air tram with spacious seating and great views. Pro and Con: 1.5 hr at Cane Beach and no way to bail and go back. Lovely white sugar white sand beach with tourqoiuse gentle water. There are umbrellas and lounge chairs you can rent or sit on some picnic tables in the shade or up in the shaded open deck restaurant for the cost of a drink. Tour gives a free rum punch or punch drink near the picnic tables. Nice restrooms, showers and changing rooms free there. Basseterre: We walked ato the end of the pier and got a $100USD total for van private tour of the island. (Lasted 4 hrs but no time limit) .Just keep walking off pier and prices get cheaper. Romney manor and batik making, black rocks, fort and many scenic view points. Castries: awesome long beach nearby. We took tranport offered by pier. They load you up tight in vans (the drivers get one load a day and 300 vans waiting to take people). About a 5min drive (or 2-3 mi walk) to the beaches- really only one beach with mulitple names. Set fee all transport for $5USD/pp. Again sugar white beach. Multiple establishments with drinks, umbrellas etc. Umbrella and 2-3 chair rental $20. Water gentle, turquoise. Beach fills up so come early. Some of us snorkeled- some fish seen. Shipwreck put for snorkeling you can swim to but many tour boats and many many snorkelers there with glass bottom boat meandering among the snorklers. Showers, restrooms and changing room free. Get back by telling your driver when you want ot come back or just walk out and someones van will be waiting . Bridgetown: inc tour: packed tight van/bus. Views of island Roseau: got a private tour for 4 $45/pp Went to other side of island and saw multiple falls St Johns: had a reservation to go out in a boat to a reef and get into the water and feed and stingrays for 9AM.Make reservation online-no money down and pay when you show up. Need to take a taxi out there. BUT was squalling and raining so cancelled the reservation. Took the incl tour to Shirely point old fort and magnificant views and then to the Nelso shipyards- 1700’s georgian working shipywards- neat old buildings,nice quick museum and awesome awesome yahts moored there. Free rum punch or punch drink. Spit rain on us once in a while but still a great day. Nice bus where we could spread out a bit Philipsburg: I wanted to go out to Cul de Sac bay and kayak and snorkel or take a water taxi out to an island there but I got overruled by my “crew” We instead went on the included tour. Bus big enough we all could spread out. A couple got on our bus instead of an optional tour at the same time- so check carefully what you are getting on. Drove around island and stopped at some scenic sites, stopped a working carosel (adults can ride too- can buy icecream) then on to a bay and craft market. Free rum punch or punch. Charlotte Amalie: My crew off to Coki beach to snorkel then maybe the included tour. I stayed and enjoyed hte salt water pool,only a few couples spread out on the lounge chairs. Pros and cons of boat Pros: -you see lots and lots of differnet islands- some rainforest and some very dry desert like, come with mangoose so no snakes or birds, some still exporting agriculture goods and some just tourist based. -no children -wonderful friendly crew -great food. I was not impressed iwth Mandifredi’s on both of my cruises but the men love it for the rib eye steak. Chef’s reataurant-wanderful if you like the menu. We did not drink either included or optional wine pairing. World buffet great as food same as Restaurant (check the menu to see if any differences ) and usually has the same food. Hamburger I got at the pool once was just so so. -drinks- only had water, hot and cold tea. My husband says the coke is the good real sugar type not the corn syrup variety. -secret- success cake in Mamsons is our favorite -Room and veranda pleasant. -in public areas or tovrasons- Guitarist was great. - Easy on and off boat even when tendering- well organized so no pushy people. -Pools- wonderful. Loved especially the central saltwater pool -record and play on entertainment system all shore talks and enrichment talks done on board -Wifi good for email. I didn’t try streaming Cons: -saltwater pool out of commission while painting for multiple days -entertainment system pauses( I timed at every 3 min), loose audio when restarts. So unpleasant to watch the shows which were actually probably very good. BBC, Ted Talks, Movie selection good but hard to watch. -entertainment limited. Music in public areas; Pianist (good), strings dueo-selections good but one of violinist strings seemed to need tuning, and acoustic guitarist- very good. Live shows in theater were only a few and even though the entertainers were cute my neices’s Boise ID high school productions had better singers. Suggestion: Seems rain is in AM and gone by 11AM. Plan accordingly. But if going to the beaches go early if not raining. Lots of lovely beaches on most islands. Do some internet searching and plan an early attack with a taxi. Feeding the sting rays (www.stingraycity.com) not on tour options and sorry we couldn’t go because of rain. You can reserve on your own but reveiws say after 10AM full from cruise ships. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
My husband and I cruised this time last year celebrating our anniversary on the Viking Sea and wanted to return to do almost the same cruise (two different islands this time) to see how the islands in Caribbean had recovered from the ... Read More
My husband and I cruised this time last year celebrating our anniversary on the Viking Sea and wanted to return to do almost the same cruise (two different islands this time) to see how the islands in Caribbean had recovered from the devastating damage from the hurricane in September 2017. This was our 35th cruise having cruised with Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America and Norwegian. The average age of cruisers on this ship is probably 65-70 years of age. We cannot begin to say enough great things about Viking Ocean Cruises.....that is why we returned. When our flight landed in San Juan, we were met in Baggage Claim by the Viking Reps. Once we collected our luggage, we had a very short wait time to board the bus that took us to the ship (included as part of the cruise). Once we arrived at the ship, Viking was very efficient in checking us in and getting us on board. Since arriving around dinner time, we found our cabin and decided to go to The Restaurant to eat. No matter where you eat, the food is always delicious and presented wonderfully. The waiters in all the restaurants and the buffet (World Cafe) are very friendly and efficient. After dinner, we toured the ship as it is very easy to find your way around and very tastefully decorated that invites you in just sit and relax, read, etc. One of our favorite places is the Explorer's Lounge especially when it is time for the ship to sale. The view is wonderful as you could step outside and watch as the ropes were pulled in and we left a wonderful day on the islands. I am sure the Captain appreciated my help in guiding the ship out !!! One evening, the officers hosted a sail away party at the front of the ship on deck 3 with drinks and hor d'oeuvres as we watched the ropes pulled in and we slowly sailed out of port. We chose a Penthouse Veranda suite this time as it is a bit larger than what we had last year with more drawer space to place our clothes. That is another thing - you do not have to carry as much clothing as they have laundromats that are free to use and they supply the laundry detergent. Our cabin was just the right amount of space for two, not feeling crowded and the bathrooms are the best I have ever been in on any ship. Part of this cruise is spending the night on board ship (instead of a hotel) and taking the included shore excursion the next day. We did the included shore excursion last year and wanted to repeat it to see what a different tour guide would say and take us. We have been to Old San Juan several times and thought we knew a lot about it...until we took these walking tours. Last year we listen to a very knowledgeable guide tell us things we did not know. Viking supplies each cruiser an audiovox to use on tours such as these so that if you are in the back of the group, you can hear the tour guide as if you are walking right next to them. This year, our guide took us to Fort San Cristobal and gave us a narrated guided to of this very interesting old fort. Because of the Government shutdown, the Park Rangers of the fort agreed to work that day as the local city government offered to pay them to work that day as several cruise ships were in port. So glad they did!!! That evening, Viking hosted a Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle in the Wintergarden with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. Several of the officers and department heads along with the Cruise Director were in attendance. Wonderful to chat not only with them, but we got to meet the people we chatted with on the Cruise Critic Roll Call. We had two reservations each during the cruise with the specialty restaurants - The Chef's Table and Manfredi's. The menu at the The Chef's Table is a set menu with wine pairings that changes every three days. I was able to capture another reservation there so we could try another menu. Meals were very delicious. We definitely enjoyed Manfredi's as well as I wanted to try different items on their menu. What we enjoy most about the dining experience is there is no formal night. However, you do need to dress in business casual for the restaurants. No problem! We did dine in the World Cafe for breakfast, most lunches and several dinners. Many of the same items served in the evening at The Restaurant are served in the World Cafe as well. Viking also includes beer and wine in the restaurants at lunch and dinner as part of your cruise. Viking Ocean Cruises includes at no cost an 'included' shore excursion at each port. If you prefer to do something different, they have other shore excursions you can choose from for a cost to you. We took the St. Kitts Scenic Railway shore excursion this time and it was worth every penny we paid for it. We rode the bus to where we boarded the train and along the way, the driver, James Gardener, told us about the island and landmarks that we passed. He was great. Each railway train car had a tour guide as well that narrated the tour as we passed by landmarks. Sweet Pea was her name and she was great as well. A special treat on the train was the 'choir' (two girls and a guy) that traveled from car to car and sang several songs to us a couple of times. I highly recommend this tour. We went to the LivNordic Spa and enjoyed the pool experience there several times. Other cruise lines charge for the use of this type of experience, but not Viking. Since we have been to the Southern Caribbean many times, we went to the beach at several islands. We went to Reduit Beach in St. Lucia - a beautiful beach, but the day we were there, there were big waves and swells. At Barbados, we went to Brown's Beach which is close to where the ship docked. It is a beautiful white sand beach with clear water and no rocks. Great walking beach. This is the locals favorite. At St. Martin, we went to Orient Beach. It has slowly begun to build back as the hurricane devastated that beach. It was a little windy and rainy until the clouds passed over, then a beautiful day. We enjoyed this cruise even more than last year's, and we loved last year's. So if you are thinking about trying a cruise where there are no children (and I love my grandchildren), no casino, and no formal nights, give this one a try. You won't regret it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
After doing 5 Viking River Cruises which we loved and being almost novices to Ocean cruising, we decided to try this Cruise to see if Ocean Cruising was for us. Viking did not disappoint! The ship is truly beautiful and has so many elegant ... Read More
After doing 5 Viking River Cruises which we loved and being almost novices to Ocean cruising, we decided to try this Cruise to see if Ocean Cruising was for us. Viking did not disappoint! The ship is truly beautiful and has so many elegant and interesting aspects, it’s difficult to remember them all. All the cabins have balconies which is something you normally have to pay a lot extra for on other cruise ships and we took advantage of the 24hr free room service on several occasions to have breakfast on our balcony which was really lovely, especially if we had a very early morning tour. The Spa was truly amazing and equivalent to a 5* hotel. Facilities were excellent and the Ice Grotto was a great experience. The thermal beds were so good that I fell asleep on one occasion and was very nearly late for meeting some fellow guests for drinks before dinner. Again this is all free which you wouldn’t get on other cruises. Dining was excellent and although we did go to the Chef’s Table and Manfredi’s a couple of times, we would happily eat in The Restaurant all the time. The only disappointing aspect was that we couldn’t attend the Seafood Buffet in the World Cafe as we had a booking for the Chef’s Table that night.. if we had been aware this was the only night they had the Seafood Buffet, we would not have booked the Chef’s Table. It would have been good if Viking made you aware of this in good time to enable you to change your booking if you wished to attend the buffet. Other guests told us the food was amazing. Entertainment is understated but the classical musicians were excellent and the resident band were also excellent and very friendly. The 4 young members of the Entertainment Team were also fantastic. As usual, the whole Viking crew members were brilliant. They were all very happy and helpful and nothing was too much trouble for them. We get the impression that Viking looks after their staff and this is reflected in their attitude to the guests. We only did the included excursions and these were very good at giving you a glimpse of each Island but if you prefer a more in-depth trip or have a particular interest then you may also wish to book an optional tour in addition to the included tour or, as we did on one occasion, hire a local taxi driver in the afternoon to take us to see a part of the island we didn’t see in the included tour. This was in Roseau, Dominica and our driver was Henry whose taxi was called “Divine Intervention”. He was fantastic and gave us an insight what it was like for local residents who lost everything when Hurricane Maria struck in 2017. We can definitely recommend him if you wish to see something different on the Island. The quality of the Guides on the included excursions wasn’t consistent, the majority were excellent but some were not very good at all. We are used to the Viking efficiency, however, disembarkation seemed a bit chaotic as everyone had to be off the ship by 9.30am even though our flight from San Juan wasn’t leaving until 2pm and the airport is only a 25min drive away. On the River Cruises you have to vacate your room by 8.30/9am but can stay on board in the public areas until your transport is ready to take you to the airport. Having to spend 4/5hrs at San Juan airport is a bit of a drag. All in all we had a fantastic cruise and met some really lovely people to chat to over dinner or drinks or to enjoy dancing with in the nightclub. We loved the Cruise and ship so much that we booked another Ocean Cruise for 2020 whilst on board. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Wife and I (67 & 74) have been on some 40 cruises. Loved a Viking River Cruise some years back and thought we would give the ocean cruises a go. The ship itself is beautiful, exceptionally clean, well furnished. No part of the ship ... Read More
Wife and I (67 & 74) have been on some 40 cruises. Loved a Viking River Cruise some years back and thought we would give the ocean cruises a go. The ship itself is beautiful, exceptionally clean, well furnished. No part of the ship was ever crowded. The staff and service onboard does not get much better. Food was mostly exceptional (if it was made from a cow it was invariably a "10"), and the rest of the time it was very good+. Selections were fairly limited as compared to the Celebrity and RCCL private dining room menus. Buffet service was best I've ever had. Always a clean table available, not crowded, service impeccable, but again, I thought the menu was a bit limited. The pool-side hamburger joint serves just about the best hamburgers and hotdogs at sea. Don't forget to try the onion rings. OK, so what's not to like? There is no entertainment except for four singers a couple of nights, a couple of trivia games, a pool side dance party. If you are used to the entertainment and activities on the ships of Celebrity and RCCL, this will be a real stopper. OK, tours. This was 10 islands in 10 days. The included tours were pretty much the same thing (went to parts of the islands that were ruined by storms, generally slum-like, wrecked and abandoned cars all over. I know all of these islands have an upscale side to them, but that went undiscovered. Tour buses, for the most part, held about 22 people and except for the narrow seats (no, I am not a wide-body, but half a cheek was always hanging into the aisle) were adequate. Because of the advanced age of many of the guests, the boarding and exiting of the buses could easily take over 10 minutes each way. Not really a Viking problem, just what it was. The two extra price tours that we took were just about a total waste. One, I can't even remember, the other was a catamarine and railroad ride. Boat was crowded, and few places to be out of the sun. The big things to see on the railroad were 3 small bridges (no, I'm not kidding). Two of the five RR cars did not have working WCs which made for an uncomfortable tour for some of the guests. All of that said, the tour guides were very personable and friendly. Ok, some hints for this particular cruise: Get up early the second day in Puerto Rico and hoof it to 300 Calle San Francisco for a non-tourest local breakfast joint. Yummy, Yummy. The bathroom heated floors in your cabin can be turned off, just ask the cabin steward. Fair priced jewelry at EFFY and Ballerina in St. Maartin. Imperial Jewelers (Dynasty Dazzlers) in both Havensight and main street in downtown St. Thomas. Good-sized selection of used refurbished Rolexes that cannot be told from new, knowledgeable staff (we have been customers of theirs since 2002). Fairest prices in the islands. One or two additional comments specific to this cruise: There were no sea days, so if you like to sit and watch the ocean go by, this was not the cruise for you. Ship sailed at night only and it seemed like you were in an up-scale hotel that was magically moved while you slept to another similar island, just like the one you had been on but with a different name. Many very scenic harbors though. Onboard beers I thought were excellent and there was quite a variety. I'm no wine expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I though the house wines were great (strangely enough, even the reds). We did miss seeing younger couples, but we knew that was going to be the case when we booked. Cabin comments separetely. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our third Viking Ocean cruise.We have previously sailed on Viking Star with the same or similar Caribbean itinerary at the same or similar time of year i.e. January and also with Viking Sky to Central America and the Panama Canal ... Read More
This was our third Viking Ocean cruise.We have previously sailed on Viking Star with the same or similar Caribbean itinerary at the same or similar time of year i.e. January and also with Viking Sky to Central America and the Panama Canal over Christmas and New Year 207/18. This cruise had a slightly different Caribbean itinerary, in that we visited Dominica and Barbados. The latter is missed on a New Year cruise. We enjoyed this cruise as much if not even more than on the Viking Star for New Year 2016/17. The Meet and Mingle party enabled us to meet other cruisers from Cruise critic and also chat to the delightful Cruise Director, Jenna Beaudoin and also to the impeccable and highly efficient Hotel General manager, Tom Aberg and other officers. The ship laid on some great canapes and a selection of cocktails in the Wintergarden. A great way to start our holiday. The Captain, Johann Malmberg is refreshingly jolly and cheerful and the entertainment on board was of a high quality and to our taste. The assistant Cruise Director was another charming host. The group of singers from UK were top class and the duo in Torshavn kept us on our feet dancing. We also enjoyed dancing under the stars and the Motown evening on pooldeck. Apart from the included tours we took 2 of the ship's optional tours. The first was to Virgin Gorda, which has outstanding natural beauty and although rated as challenging was doable and very rewarding. The second optional tour we chose was the boat trip down the Indian river on Dominica. We also took a private tour to Nevis by motor launch which was exceptional. Dominica and the small capital Roseau were refreshingly unspoilt. Most nights we dined in the Restaurant and we had the Asian menu in the Chef's Table and also dined in Manfredi's as well as taking in the Indian meal in the World Cafe. There were also generous extras such as the Crepes Suzette and the Irish coffee not to mention Chocolate Heaven in the Atrium! As usual Viking were very generous with alchoholic and other drinks! All the food was delicious. At the end of this cruise we just wanted to say thankyou thankyou thankyou.( As Captain Malmberg's three times!) It more than exceeded our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Ship. Words that come to mind about the ship: refined, tasteful, understated, quiet, slow-paced. This description could also be about fellow passengers, with the addition of "very friendly" and "good company." At age ... Read More
Ship. Words that come to mind about the ship: refined, tasteful, understated, quiet, slow-paced. This description could also be about fellow passengers, with the addition of "very friendly" and "good company." At age 77 I'd guess (and it's only that) that I was younger than the median age of fellow cruisers. This is definitely not a cruise for the middle-aged or younger. By way of contrast, the Viking Sea itself is only a couple of years old, and in almost-like-new condition. Our cabin (see separate section) was excellent and Wi-Fi worked fine, as did the TV (though no CNN). One nice touch the ship has is original art hanging throughout. We used a book in our room to go around an look at all or most of it. (Unfortunately this is not a book you can buy or take with you, we were told.) A lot of the artists are Scandinavians, but not all. There's also an app you can use for your art tour, but I could not get it to work satisfactorily. Only negative was one picture in the back of The Restaurant that was hung upside down, and which I suggested they correct. For me the dining experience was top drawer. I had only one entree that was just average, though my wife had a couple in that category. We ate in the main dining room, called "The Restaurant," except for one night at the Chef's Table and two nights at Manfredi's Italian restaurant. We also ate some lunches at the Pool Grill, very good, and twice, once for lunch and once for breakfast, at Mamsen's, which I'd say was the weakest dining venue. The World Cafe was great for lunch and breakfast, and offered some theme buffets in the evening (e.g., Caribbean, Indian) that we did not visit. Overall, excellent dining -- the best cruise ship food we've ever had. The service was adequate, though sometimes harried in The Restaurant. I should add that we used room service for breakfast five or six days. The deliveries were on time, and the hot food arrived hot. Excellent service. Beverages. House wines are included at lunch and dinner. We tried them a time or two and they were fine for us. However, we'd ordered the "Silver Spirits" beverage package for about $20 per day per person. This gives you access to a greater variety of wines, and also all the spirits and wine you want to drink at other times (except for higher priced wines and spirits). If between the two of you (assuming a couple travelling together), you are going to drink more than six drinks a day, outside of lunch and dinner, or just want more choices at lunch and dinner, I think the package would be a good deal. It definitely was for us. Enrichment. A "historian" made some presentations, and the ones we attended I give a grade C. We went to the first "port talk," but didn't think it was worth it so never went to another. They also had a "former ambassador" as a lecturer, but we did not attend any of his talks. They also had a number of "educational seminars," which were obviously designed to sell you stuff, like jewelry, facial treatments, etc. We skipped those "opportunities." (Thankfully, there were no art auctions, no photos, and no gambling casino.) Entertainment. Weak. They had a small house band and four house singers, along with some musicians who played classical (or like) in the lounges in 45 minute sets from time to time. The performers were all very good, but variety was definitely lacking. Don't take this cruise for entertainment. However, I want to add that Cruise Director Jenna was outstanding, with a beautiful singing voice, the life of the party (so to speak), and very friendly all the time. Pool areas were fine. We did not visit the Spa. Guest Services Desk. Unhelpful and not particularly friendly. Questions normally answered "yes" or "no", with no attempt get into any details for you or go out of the way to help out. Shore Excursions. This cruise was in the Caribbean, which limits what you can do. Water activities, such as sailing and snorkeling are probably the best bet, but we did only land tours. Our expectations were low (we've spent a lot of time in the Virgin Islands), so we were not particularly disappointed. However, we did have a couple of bad experiences, once being abandoned by our bus driver (Toppers Rum and Beach Getaway excursion, which included a mediocre "lunch" at the Blue Bitch Bar) and another that ran way over time that my wife was on by herself and caused me some worry when no one could tell me why she was not back on the ship when she should have been. (Viking did give us a 50 percent refund for the former tour, but we had politely complained and I am not sure if others on the tour received the same refund.) In both cases good communications between the ships excursion desk and the tours would have made a huge difference. We did both "included" and pay-extra tours. If you take the included three hour "Tortola Scenic Tour & Beach" excursion, be prepared for an hour's rough ride in the back of a large pick-up truck on bench seats, an hour at a mediocre beach, and an hours ride back, with a brief stop at an old rum distillery. The most interesting experience we had was the "Dominican Herb & Vegetable Garden" excursion on Dominica. It was not exactly as described in the brochure, but did get us to boyhood home of the tour guide, whose mother fixed us a variety of food from their garden, and who (the tour guide) gave us a good feel for local life. Cruise Summary. This is not a cruise for those who like lots going on. On the other hand, if quiet, good food, an excellent ship, and a very laid back atmosphere are for you, I can recommend. Unlikely we'd take Viking again any time soon, but you never want to say "never". Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Overall crew and food was good Some of the excursions did not live up to their descriptions Shore excursions staff communication were an issue. Tried to book a future cruise but the logistics of process were frustrating and we ... Read More
Overall crew and food was good Some of the excursions did not live up to their descriptions Shore excursions staff communication were an issue. Tried to book a future cruise but the logistics of process were frustrating and we cancelled the trip Special restaurants outstanding both in service and quality of the food. Cabin steward was excellent and met all our needs and special requests Free laundry service was a pleasant surprise Some of the islands still show signs of devastation from the hurricanes Best tour was the catermaran sail and snorkeling to turtle cove on St Thomas. It was our last excursion and was a fine way to end our cruise I was good to be on a smaller ship that was able to dock at all the ports because we do not like to have to go ashore on a tender. That always seems to consume a lot of time 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 4.2
Enrichment 4.0 4.4
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 5.0 4.5

Find a Viking Sea Cruise