This was my first major cruise. After reading some reviews of earlier cruises, I understood that there could be problems. I attributed the problems others had reported to the growing pains that happen with any new venture.
I arranged my own travel from Roanoke to Stockholm and my return from Iceland. It allowed me the flexibility to travel on a great business class fare and to arrive a day early. I stayed at the Hotel Riddergatan which was well located and reasonably priced.
From the moment I embarked, the Viking experience was first rate. I was traveling solo and found the staff and other guests welcoming. Each day was an adventure from the first cup of coffee in my room to a nightcap in the Explorer Lounge at night! Timing is everything and they had it down to a science by the time I cruised. I chose to do both included and "for a fee" shore excursions. They were informative and provided a good overview of the ports of call. I'm already planning to return to some destinations so I can see them in more depth than a cruise allows.
I must say something about my dining experience. I ate meals at all the venues and found the food to be well prepared and delicious. I usually ate breakfast at the World Cafe or Mamsen's. The waffles with fruit and a drizzle of chocolate were a real treat at Mamsen's. World Cafe had all my favorite starters...yogurt, fresh fruit, and a pastry or bacon and made to order eggs on other days! Lunch by the pool, in The Restaurant, or at World Cafe offered so many choices that no two days were the same! It was so nice to relax with a glass of wine or a beer as I shared a meal with new found friends. I limited tea at the Wintergarten to 2-3 times a week. If I was going to pack on pounds this is where it would happen ...innocently. The open-faced tea sandwiches and pastries were such a treat and impossible to pass up! I enjoyed dinners at The Restaurant where they seated me at shared tables or at tables in such close proximity to other tables that it was easy to strike up a conversation with those nearby. I had the privilege of tasting all three menus at The Chef's Table. With a set menu, it isn't for everyone. Each time I was there, the food was delicious and impeccable. Manfredi's was another favorite...so much so that it was not easy to get reservations. While the food was excellent, I'll never forget watching the curtain of water that washed over the windows as we ate! The North Sea made sure we knew where we were.
The only downside was being in the group that disembarked at 5:45 a.m. and a mix-up with my flight for the post-trip in Iceland.
What would I change? I'd build ships that had some single cabins. It stings to pay for two when I only eat, drink and do the included shore excursions for moi! Thus my lower ranking on Value for Money.
Would I go again? A resounding YES!
My cabin was spacious, well organized and kept thoroughly clean.