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We are not your typical cruisers. Cruising is not on our top list of ways to take a vacation. We are typically independent travelers on land. We were talked into this by our brother and sister in law and decided to go because it is a new ship, a relatively small ocean cruise ship, and the focus was on the ports and cities, not hanging out doing stuff on the ship. Ironically, half way through the cruise, we wanted a break from the go, go, go of all the port excursions and just spent a delightful day relaxing on board the ship. We had a deluxe veranda stateroom on the 4th deck. The accommodations were roomier than expected. We had enough drawer space and the layout was very efficient. The bathroom was lovely, super clean, and roomy with plenty of room for 2 weeks worth of clothes. The bed was very comfy and we enjoyed having a nice sitting area, plus the desk and chair, and the outdoor balcony with table and chairs. There were also plenty of electrical outlets for charging phones and computers. Lighting was also good. Internet was pretty reliable--though it sometimes got a little slow. But not enough to be annoying. This was January, but the weather was mild and the crowds were small in all the ports. It was a great time of year to travel. Having a launderette on board on each deck was convenient and they provide the laundry soap. But finding a time when the machines were available was tricky--they were in use most of the time. Only thing is you can't adjust the water temp--we put it on cold for delicates, but the water ran hot anyway. We really enjoyed all the little nooks and crannies to relax in throughout the ship. The Explorer's Lounge was a favorite. The décor was so beautiful all over and everything was designed for comfort, style, and having nice conversations or playing board games or cards , or reading while relaxing with cocktails and snacks. The main theatre was nice for various lectures, shows, and port talks. We enjoyed the special guests they had give educational lectures on art and architecture. We also enjoyed the outdoor facilities--shuffle board, Jacuzzi, infinity pool. Eating outside in winter was great--temps in the high 50s and low 60s with plenty of sun was perfect. We loved afternoon tea in the Wintergarden, although we were gone most days on shore excursions. The gym was also really nice and we used it regularly. We also took advantage of the Spa--very nice. With regard to excursions--we did 13 excursions. We learned that the local excursion guide really makes or breaks the excursion experience. Most were very good, but some were not because guudes had poor command of English language and couldn't understand questions people asked, and repeated the same things a lot because they didn't know what else to say in English. Hard for Viking to tell which are the best--to their credit they ask for formal feedback after every excursion and we know they listen. They actually refunded our money for 1 excursion that we thought had little value (we could have done much better on our own or on the included tour, rather than the optional excursion). The Viking Explorer desk where several staff help you plan excursions or adjust excursions were great. Although we had chosen our excursions beforehand, we did make several adjustments once we got on board. The Port Talks preceding each day's excursion are really useful to understand what to expect. The talks are recorded so if you miss the live version, you can watch the recording in your room at your leisure. Food and restaurants were fabulous. We had several meals at Manfredi's and Chef's Table. We traveled with another couple and were able to coordinate most of our dinners together onboard. It wasn't possible to do that beforehand. We also found The Restaurant menu and food to be great with lots of variety and we enjoyed the focus on local cuisine in each port. There really is something for everyone--they are extremely accommodating for all palates. And you can also take your meals in your room or in one of the less formal areas on deck 7. In terms of entertainment, there were wonderful classical musicians playing every day at cocktail hour and later in the evening. Plus a group of young people who sang and danced and offered a variety of performances in the theatre and on the pool deck. There were also organized trivia games, parlor games, and special guest performers (like opera singers) brought on board in some ports. We were very glad there was no casino onboard. It would have given a different atmosphere that we wouldn't have liked. In conclusion, being nontraditional cruisers, we were really extremely happy on the Viking Star. And we are already considering what our next adventure might be with Viking. We thought the value was terrific with high-quality service all around. We rated the excursions as average because some were fabulous and others not so.

Beautiful Ship, Great Crew, Great Service, and Small Crowds

Viking Star Cruise Review by Notyourusualcruiser

24 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We are not your typical cruisers. Cruising is not on our top list of ways to take a vacation. We are typically independent travelers on land. We were talked into this by our brother and sister in law and decided to go because it is a new ship, a relatively small ocean cruise ship, and the focus was on the ports and cities, not hanging out doing stuff on the ship.

Ironically, half way through the cruise, we wanted a break from the go, go, go of all the port excursions and just spent a delightful day relaxing on board the ship. We had a deluxe veranda stateroom on the 4th deck. The accommodations were roomier than expected. We had enough drawer space and the layout was very efficient. The bathroom was lovely, super clean, and roomy with plenty of room for 2 weeks worth of clothes. The bed was very comfy and we enjoyed having a nice sitting area, plus the desk and chair, and the outdoor balcony with table and chairs. There were also plenty of electrical outlets for charging phones and computers. Lighting was also good. Internet was pretty reliable--though it sometimes got a little slow. But not enough to be annoying.

This was January, but the weather was mild and the crowds were small in all the ports. It was a great time of year to travel. Having a launderette on board on each deck was convenient and they provide the laundry soap. But finding a time when the machines were available was tricky--they were in use most of the time. Only thing is you can't adjust the water temp--we put it on cold for delicates, but the water ran hot anyway.

We really enjoyed all the little nooks and crannies to relax in throughout the ship. The Explorer's Lounge was a favorite. The décor was so beautiful all over and everything was designed for comfort, style, and having nice conversations or playing board games or cards , or reading while relaxing with cocktails and snacks. The main theatre was nice for various lectures, shows, and port talks. We enjoyed the special guests they had give educational lectures on art and architecture. We also enjoyed the outdoor facilities--shuffle board, Jacuzzi, infinity pool. Eating outside in winter was great--temps in the high 50s and low 60s with plenty of sun was perfect. We loved afternoon tea in the Wintergarden, although we were gone most days on shore excursions. The gym was also really nice and we used it regularly. We also took advantage of the Spa--very nice.

With regard to excursions--we did 13 excursions. We learned that the local excursion guide really makes or breaks the excursion experience. Most were very good, but some were not because guudes had poor command of English language and couldn't understand questions people asked, and repeated the same things a lot because they didn't know what else to say in English. Hard for Viking to tell which are the best--to their credit they ask for formal feedback after every excursion and we know they listen. They actually refunded our money for 1 excursion that we thought had little value (we could have done much better on our own or on the included tour, rather than the optional excursion).

The Viking Explorer desk where several staff help you plan excursions or adjust excursions were great. Although we had chosen our excursions beforehand, we did make several adjustments once we got on board. The Port Talks preceding each day's excursion are really useful to understand what to expect. The talks are recorded so if you miss the live version, you can watch the recording in your room at your leisure.

Food and restaurants were fabulous. We had several meals at Manfredi's and Chef's Table. We traveled with another couple and were able to coordinate most of our dinners together onboard. It wasn't possible to do that beforehand. We also found The Restaurant menu and food to be great with lots of variety and we enjoyed the focus on local cuisine in each port. There really is something for everyone--they are extremely accommodating for all palates. And you can also take your meals in your room or in one of the less formal areas on deck 7.

In terms of entertainment, there were wonderful classical musicians playing every day at cocktail hour and later in the evening. Plus a group of young people who sang and danced and offered a variety of performances in the theatre and on the pool deck. There were also organized trivia games, parlor games, and special guest performers (like opera singers) brought on board in some ports. We were very glad there was no casino onboard. It would have given a different atmosphere that we wouldn't have liked.

In conclusion, being nontraditional cruisers, we were really extremely happy on the Viking Star. And we are already considering what our next adventure might be with Viking. We thought the value was terrific with high-quality service all around. We rated the excursions as average because some were fabulous and others not so.
Notyourusualcruiser’s Full Rating Summary
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