So eight of us, who'd met on a Viking River cruise and thoroughly enjoyed it, decided to do it again on the Viking Sea, Barcelona to Norway. The ship was first rate, the crew extraordinary and the food good, so why was it such a bad experience for all? For openers, sailing to beautiful Norway. The itinerary changed close to the departure date and so seeing Norway was arriving at 8 AM on morning and then being bused to the airport.....that was "Norway" in its entirety! Second most the side trip had never been evaluated by Viking staff. After the second miserable outings we met with the tour director and, thereafter, they had a crew member accompany us, but it was also the first trip for them and there were some good tours but some miserable and misdescribed ones as well. Equally important they were not well coordinated so that if you went on an excursion it might be at the expense of seeing the city at which you'd arrived. Since river cruises take you directly to these locations, most sea ports, however, required long bus rides to a destination. I'm sure this is something upon which they've improved but truth be told the reason we go on these cruises is to visit specific destinations and the mode of transportation is merely to facilitate these places. Some of the more desirable locations (e.g. London fish market early AM) filled up on day one and we were told that if sufficient persons wanted to attend they'd expand the number. The number increased exponentially but no other tour was scheduled. Also boarding some water taxis was dangerous to which a large gash in my head will attest. Overall, a very poorly planned itinerary and I suppose we were just the proverbial guinea pigs. We will definitely tray Oceana before ever considering Viking again.Ju
No complaints whatsoever!