Viking Star – Part of its maiden voyage from Barcelona to Bergen Norway and took the Viking add on to Iceland.
The ship is fantastic – overall an excellent design, very high tech. There is plenty of space so you never feel crowded. The infinity pool is small, but seemed adequate for the amount of people that used it. State rooms are plenty big enough with quality beds and the best bathrooms of any ship we have ever been on. Bigger than many hotels including the Hilton in Iceland where we stayed after the cruise. The shower floors and bathroom mirror are heated – no cold feet or fog on the mirror.
The food was very good, and the selection was fine. The Chef’s Table was not to our expectations – we did not feel it was very special at all. Manfredi’s was fine – but the main dining room seemed just as good most nights.
Each floor has a laundromat with high speed efficient machines that auto dispense the provided soap. Their use is included in your fare so no additional expense. You do need to bring your own dryer sheets.
The shipboard entertainment really needs work. This is not to criticize the onboard singers and dancers who did a great job. The ship only had one entertainment venue per night. With 700-980 passengers on board there was no way they could all enjoy the show. Especially when they had shows in the atrium or the pool area which has extremely limited seating – passengers were seated on the stairwells and standing against the walls! A couple nights they had the only entertainment in the Lounge – looks like it seats about 50 – 60…
We ate at 6:30 PM – the port talks were at 6:15 -7:00 so we missed them – they do not record them and have them available on TV (like almost every other ship).
Viking Air was terrible – we would never use it again or recommend it. The scheduled flights got us to the ship ~9:00 PM. Embarkation began at 1:00PM. Essentially we lost a day that we paid for. We arrived in the dark, after a lack luster and inefficient check-in they told us our room key cards were in our room – the room was dark – it requires a card to turn on the lights… Fortunately we knew any card would work so I placed a credit card in the slot so we could turn on the lights to find the room keys.
We were hungry – after traveling 16+ hours from Phoenix - the room Stewart told us all the restaurants closed at 9:00 – this is unacceptable – Viking schedules you to arrive and none of the restaurants are open? We noticed others arrived even later than us. Very poor customer consideration.
The included tours are adequate to give an overview of the city / town – but many added excursions conflicted with the one provided. Most included tours are bus rides to view the main tourist sites – similar to a Hop-On Hop Off itinerary where you don’t get off.
We booked this cruise based on our experience with the Viking Riverboat cruises we have taken and the advertised itinerary. However, the Viking Star has a long way to go to match the riverboat experience for service and quality and they changed the itinerary. They gave a credit – but I sure showed poor prior planning.
The onboard shops and spa are extremely overpriced – e.g. sweaters for $1,200+.
Overall, the ship itself is phenomenal, but based on the cruise experience, quality, and value for the dollar we would not recommend it. We’ll stick with Princess even though they nickel and dime passengers with the art auctions, pictures, laundry, liquor, etc. etc. The food is just as good, the entertainment and selection is much better, and the Chef’s Table dinner experience is awesome.
If you want a library / museum experience with quiet peaceful reading areas the Star is perfect.
State rooms are plenty big enough with quality beds and the best bathrooms of any ship we have ever been on. Bigger than many hotels. The shower floors and bathroom mirror are heated – no cold feet or fog on the mirror.