On April 11 my husband and I boarded the Viking ocean cruise ship, the Viking Star, for the trip of a lifetime--50 days of cruising from Istanbul to Stockholm. We were taken to our room, 8003, which proved to be a jewel-- a sleeping area along with a sitting area, TV, large bathroom with shower, and a wonderful balcony. There was plenty of space for our clothes. This room was on the upper part of the ship so our view was fantastic. This was the maiden voyage for the Viking Star so we were aware that there would be glitches, as there were. The big complaint was that the television didn't work very well. Pretty weak complaint as far as my husband and I were concerned.
As the trip proceeded the glitches seemed to be getting smaller. The staff in every area were determined that this was what was expected of them, and they worked their hearts out so that every complaint was met. The restaurants were very good, some better than others, according to your tastes. There was always a buffet that you could go to if you did not want to use a menu. This was especially nice in the evening, as it was unnecessary to dress up for the meal in the buffet restaurant. The dress was country club casual in the other restaurants and a reservation is required, Some dressed up more but it was not necessary. The ship was designed absolutely beautiful--very subdued and yet elegant. It was very easy to move around the ship, with the elevators strategically located. The wait was not long at all. I believe the trip was divided into 4 distinct sections, so there were people coming and going at each of those stops.
Each port was wonderfully chosen by Viking. It was a masterpiece of stops, with the ports that one has always dreamed of seeing. The ports each had an included shore excursion. These were so well planned, with knowledgeable guides, and the history of the town, city, etc., of utmost importance. Additional tours were available for a charge. Some did many extra while my husband and I only added approximately 4 extras. This left lots of time in the afternoon, early evening, for us to socialize with the locals. Wonderful. The team that handled the excursions, organizing us all to leave the boat, etc., were very efficient. Their goal was to make this as smooth as possible for the guest, and this was very evident!!!