We flew direct to Istanbul [ I was not aware I could have stayed a few days prior to sailing - which I would have done as I had not visited Istanbul & by the time we got from the airport to the ship there was no time to venture out to explore before dinner].
I was not impressed with the way our transfer from the airport to the ship was handled. We were at passport control for about 2 hours altogether it was very hot - no air con.
On a previous cruise I did not see my cases until on board the ship but on this occasion our luggage was treated with no respect [ my case was put at the very bottom of an overly large pile so I requested it be removed as I feared it would buckle under the weight. We walked along side our luggage & had to cross a road & then across a large car park to get on the coach. My husband did not have wheels on his hand luggage & had to carry it for himself!! So not a great start.
However once we got to our cabin & freshened up things became so much better - we were very happy with out cabin. Deluxe balcony. Dinner was excellent [although there was a problem with our booking time - which was resolved in due course & we had to wait 30 mins]. Things dramatically improved from the next day onward & then for the whole duration of our cruise.
We enjoyed every day, the excursions, the entertainment, the food [ absolutely fab every time]. The staff were amazing - most couldn't do enough for us. I couldn't fault a thing! The Viking Star was beautiful - I was so impressed with her - a truly beautiful & classy ship. It was a pleasure to sail on her.
We were in the airport for 2 hours. Our luggage was not well cared for & my case was being crushed under the weight of many others I was afraid it would buckle. We had to walk a long distance across a car park to reach the coach [ my husband didn't have wheels on his hand luggage & had dragged it through passport control etc. now this! Then stuck in dreadful traffic in Istanbul. We then had to walk a long distance from the coach to the ship after waiting ages to go through the embarkation procedures. We were given a bottle of water but there was nowhere to sit. I was shattered by the time we got to ship it took us almost as long to get from airport to ship as it had to fly from Heathrow to Istanbul - was not impressed with transfer in any way shape or form! Think Viking could have done a lot better for their customers.