We chose this Cruise for its Itinerary of 8 counties in Scandinavia along with initial reviews of Viking Stars first year at sea.
In 2015 we cruised on CRYSTAL SERENITY from Istanbul to Venice so it was our benchmark vs Viking Star.
Let me start with the positives ,Embarkation was seamless,with Viking Star staff having my tagged bags on their way before I payed taxi. Like Crystal they greeted with champagne and sent you for lunch but in their case it was the buffet World Grille vs the Crystal's beautiful dining room.First impressions are important.
i can't say enough about House keeping ,they were very helpful,friendly and always addressed you by name.This also applies to the lounge staff.
Having said that, i must turn to the reasons i can NOT RECOMMEND VIKING!!!!
Two of the examples I will give are as follows, Unlike Crystal Viking does not have a true all inclusive program,they nickel and dime you at every turn.On my first day i noted in the room a sheet advertising a new beverage program which for $209.00 pp covered drinks of $6 max. As I am not a drinker this program was superior to their silver program or so i thought!! I signed up for it then when reviewing our account on the tv found drinks were being charged for my wife that should have been free.
I made a call to GUEST SERVICES, the woman was short and told me she would call back in an hour. Two hours later i called again to be told she is off duty, i repeated my issue and again was told i would receive a call back in an hour....again no call. At 830 pm I was left a message that charges were legitimate . The next morning i went down to guest service and asked for the manager, she was also short to me and clinged to that they did call back at 8 pm...wow, she went on to say the charges were accurate. When I asked for my money back for the program she changed her tune and looked in detail at the charges and found I was correct,promised to fix it that night. I was ok with that but i told her they are missing a major point , that being their poor communication to the customer....after all they are called GUEST SERVICES !!!! i DID NOT WANT TO BE DOING THIS MY ENTIRE TRIP ., but I did, it took 4 days each in every day checking and calling....NO EXCUSE.....not to mention their are no mixed drinks for 6$, beer and wine only. The day I returned Viking announced the option to free beverages or gratuities. DAH......Management has issues.
Then disembarkation approached and they put out instructions to guests to put bags out one full night before they actually needed to be put in the hallways, I had to call GUEST services again...they knew nothing about it. My wife spoke to housekeeping and their management looked at letter and quickly told her to withdraw all letters from rooms !!!
Food was mediocre at best, entertainment terrible, Dinners rushed as all course needed to be ordered at once. Restaurant seating staff was rude calling out your room number as you approached from 30 ft. Chastised me for shorts at BREAKFAST,guess I was supposed to change twice before a tour!
Although we were not one of the many travelers impacted by Vikings Air connections issues in Iceland, it was the talk of the ship, passengers stranded in Iceland airport with no Viking rep or pick up for hours...boy were they mad.
I could go on and on but I would like to spare others wasting time on Viking Ocean they are not ready
Very nice, great bed, bath and balcony