My husband and I booked this cruise at the invitation of friends with whom we had taken a Viking River Cruise. We were excited about going because the River Cruise had been such a stellar experience -- perfect from beginning to end.
The pre-cruise organization was not up to our earlier experience though. For example, we were traveling with two other couples, one from a city not far from us and the other from another country. We all indicated to the Viking organizers that we were traveling together and would like to be put on the same excursions, but in the end, there was only one excursion in which two of the couples were put in the same group, and that was only a fluke. Constant correspondence with the "home" office people only netted frustration, especially with bookings. The website indicated that one or both of us was not booked for something one day and the next that we were exactly where we had expected. There were also two birthdays during our trip that we wanted to celebrate in one of the "specialty" restaurants, but booking was almost impossible. For both occasions, we discovered on ship that there was no record of our reservations, though we had email confirmation.
These were small issues though, and once we got on the ship, everything was perfect! The staff took care of every earlier glitch with grace and cheerfulness, and everything on ship was in perfect order. Food was excellent, service superior, atmosphere both elegant and relaxed, timing and organization exemplary, staff ALWAYS smiling, even in difficult situations, stateroom comfortable and clean, and we loved every minute. The trip schedule was well-timed and sites were breathtaking. I'd go on this very tour again just to visit Flam. The port guides varied, but were mostly excellent. Our earlier disappointment in not being together on excursions was abated by the lively conversations we had at dinner comparing tours. We especially appreciated our guide at the Hermitage, a museum we've visited twice before. We saw things we had not seen before, and the guide made sure that my husband got to see the specific items he mentioned, even those not on our planned tour.
Our cabin was more spacious than on other cruise lines, partly because the space was so very well organized. It was comfortable, well-maintained by the service staff, and altogether a pleasant place to rest, catch up on reading, watch a Ted's Talk, and just spend the 2 weeks we were aboard ship. It was wonderful not to feel cramped, and our steward was a cheerful and caring person, even when he must have been exhausted.