We wanted to see all that istanbul offered ,unfortunately because of the recent bombing in the tourist section, Viking opted to substitute seeing troy and the ruins in Canakkale. It was still really interesting.
The food was outstanding and so was the service. People on board just couldn't do enough for us. We ended up purchasing a beautiful Turkish rug and a gorgeaous blue diamond ring, both from stores that Viking guaranteed. The cabin, which was on the third floor Deluxe Veranda seamed to be smaller than the Viking River Cruise room. Maybe it was just the way it was layed out. We aren't in our room very much, so I guess it doesn't really mean too much.
Most of the shore tours were right about the length of time. We were always given time to shop etc. after the tours. One of the best tours was an extra in Santorini to the ruins of Akrotiri, ruins of the volcanic eruption. We really felt special to be able to see these ruins. The tour guide was so knowledgable. The evening entertainment was for about an hour in length, which was just perfect, and extremely entertaining and knowledgeable.
The ship is outstanding in every way. I've only been on two other ships but they are pale in conparison. The dining rooms vary to your likes and dislikes. We normally don't go to Gourmet Dinners, but the dinner at The Chief's Table was really delish!! Even my husband cleaned his plate of food he normally would not order. It was nice to escape to the Explorer's lounge when it was needed. I would give the total cruise a AA++!
Our only dissappointment was that we didn't see any of Venice,Italy. We felt misled about the broucher because it included time in Venice and they swept us off directly to the airport at 9:45 A.M. and our flight wasn't till 2:45 P.M. If Viking would have scheduled us a little later, we could have seen at least 3 or 4 hours of Venice.
A little tight, but ok as it was not occupied very much.