My wife, Sigita, and I had never done a cruise. We had heard good things about Viking cruises and as a result we chose Viking for our first cruise experience. Also the Empires of the Mediterranean Cruise afforded us the opportunity to visit two of the cities we were wanting to visit, Venice and Istanbul. Unfortunately due to world situations, Viking chose to limit the planned stay in the embarkation port of Istanbul and because of the the air arrangements made for us by Viking we did not have any time to experience Istanbul other than the ride from the Istanbul airport to the ship.
Overall we found the cruise to be very satisfying and fulfilling.The stateroom we had was very comfortable and adequate, meals fabulous, service exceptional, shore excursions excellent, informative and well organized and since we were on the Viking Sea on its maiden voyage, everything was new and pristine. . Despite the capacity of the ship being 930 passengers none of the venues - atrium, bars, lounges, restaurants, pool and other recreation areas, tec. - never were overly congested.
Our only complaint would be the flight arrangements made for us by Viking.Transfer times were somewhat tight which caused us some unnecessary stress, some of the airlines booked did no allow us to "manage our flights", e.g., make/change seat allocations, checkin online, etc. Also the flights over were on Air Italian planes which were lacking in leg room for me, a 6 footer. As an indication of our satisfaction with Viking, we have booked a Viking river cruise in 2017.