We have taken Viking River cruises and been impressed by their quality. We expected (and received) the same great experience at sea. The ship was a perfect size for us. We have been put off by the cattle call style of the regular cruise lines and appreciated the extra attention and space the Viking Star and its staff provided. It was much closer to a small boat experience than the larger cruise lines. Our previous ocean experience has been with Norwegian (about which we have nothing negative to say), but the smaller ship was a big positive for us. The attention provided by staff on board seems much more personal than the other ocean cruises we have been on.
The food was superior to any other cruise we have been on--including the Viking river cruises, our previous touchstone for quality. This applies to the specialty restaurants, the regular restaurant and especially the casual buffet line.
Viking's approach to a near all inclusive experience at first can seem more expensive than other cruise lines, but once one totals up the included excursions, complimentary beverages at lunch and dinner, free restocking of the cabin minibar and free access to the specialty restaurants, I expect that the actual cost difference is minor.
We had a slightly upgraded cabin and the amount of space allotted to us was amazing. We had packed for an extra ten days after the cruise and still couldn't fill all the drawers. We needed more hangers and they were instantly supplied by the cabin staff. The size of the bathroom and particularly the shower was as good as a lot of hotels. In short we had all the space we could want. The quality of the bed was the best we have ever had on a cruise. The room was amply supplied with outlets, both European and American--good for charging phones, tablets and computers.
The public spaces on the ship were amazing. Superior to any we have experienced on other cruise lines. It seemed to us that if the staff to passenger ratio wasn't better than other lines, they worked a lot harder to take care of us in the restaurants, bars and other venues.
The enrichment activities (in our case lectures on the history of the places we were visiting) we beyond compare. They were one of the most enjoyable aspects of the voyage.