We chose Viking having been on two of their river cruises . We actually booked this cruise as soon as it became available in 2014 because the Fjords had long been on our wish list of places to visit but also because of the interesting add on of the Shetlands, Orkneys and Edinburgh. Also important to two ocean cruise virgins was only one trip across the North Sea. In the event even that proved not to be a problem at all with such a splendid new ship which made light of it!
The Viking Sea is just beautiful and the sleek Scandinavian interior designs were restful to the eye. We were surprised that with 930 guests the ship never seemed in any way overcrowded and there were many places other than our spacious stateroom to find a quiet place to sit and have a rest, a read or a drink.
Although we weren't able to spend time in Bergen in advance of the cruise we were able to get a flavour of the place in the time available and would recommend visiting Grieg's birthplace if you are a music lover. Most of the shore excursions we chose were included in the price paid and were interesting and with quality guides. What we did not enjoy was the tendering to shore in Edinburgh when we had been informed in a separate letter before travelling that we would be docking at the new Newhaven Ocean Terminal. A satisfactory explanation for this was sadly never obtained. My husband actually asked the captain why we were anchoring mid-river and he expressed his own surprise but said it was beyond his control.
Our stateroom was spacious and comfortable and only lacked one item ... a kettle! We couldn't make a decent cup of tea in the coffee maker. One generous feature was complimentary room service; most helpful for breakfast when going on an early morning shore excursion. It was useful to be able to catch up with port talks and enrichment lectures via the TV and watch one or two of the recent films available too.
The choice of dining was excellent and the food beautiful in all the different restaurants. We ate most often in the World Café as small tasters of several dishes that caught our eyes and taste buds were an attractive option. We also enjoyed The Chef's Table; themed meals with wines designed to complement each course. Having tried the Restaurant for breakfast on one occasion we chose to use the World Café for the rest of the cruise because we preferred the self service option and did not like to have to wait to be served at our table.
We were very impressed with the high standard of entertainment provided by the six main singers who were so versatile and a real pleasure to watch and listen to. The specialist digital effects in the theatre were amazing and really enhanced the shows. The two guest entertainers were also spectacular. Not all the entertainment took place in the Star Theatre, some was by the pool and the classical trio, pianist and guitarist were to be found playing about the ship at different times and venues. Thank goodness there was no casino!
The service in the staterooms was excellent, nothing was too much trouble for our stewards and indeed the same went for all the staff who were friendly and helpful throughout.
It was a pity we had to disembark at Harwich, but we couldn't fault the organisation of our final morning. At least from next year the port of Greenwich will be ready to use.
We would definitely love to go on another Viking Ocean Cruise and would highly recommend them.
Excellent. Spacious with plenty of storage and hanging space. Heated bathroom floor and night lighting were other good features. Bed was comfortable and TV system good.