We hadn't been in this area of the world ever and enjoyed our river cruise with Viking previously so were confident we would like it. We were not disappointed although we both agree that we liked the river cruise better. It was more relaxed which suited us better, but Viking did a remarkable job of making a much larger ship seem uncrowded and intimate with many sitting areas scattered around the ship and lots of eating places.There were several fine restaurants you could choose from, all of them having wonderful food. We liked The World Café best, buffet style, lots of lovely sitting areas, great selections, great service. The Restaurant was every bit as good, a sit-down restaurant, again lovely dinner ware and wonderful food and service. We also liked Manfredi's Italian restaurant, another sit-down restaurant with excellent food and service.
We spent two extra days in Venice and arranged a trip out to Murano and Burano, and of course we took a gondola ride which we arranged ourselves, much cheaper than the one Viking offered. It's a nice way to unwind from the plane trip and explore this unique city of water.
I was bit put off when we first entered our cabin because it was smaller than the one we had on the river cruise, but I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of storage space. As it turned out, how much time do you actually spent in your cabin anyway? It had everything you would receive from a 5 star hotel and more.
The entertainment offered was first-rate. We didn't go to everything but did go to most of them and the only one we weren't too crazy about was the cabaret night. Nice talent, but just not to our taste.
Almost all the included tours were great except the one in Rome. We went by bus and just rolled by everything. Pompeii was very disappointing. Italy has taken out almost everything and put it in the museum and replaced it with nothing, much of it was fenced off, and there were some truly horrible metal sculptures they put in the square that had absolutely nothing to do with Pompeii. We wish we had taken the Herculaneum tour instead. Loved Pisa. Really awesome. Loved Dubrovnik. Were bored by Toulon. Corfu was beautiful and interesting. Skip the Vatican Square tour unless you get tickets to get inside the Vatican. Otherwise, you'll be sitting around for 2 hours people watching.
We loved Barcelona and spent two extra days there also. We weren't able to take advantage of the full two days because of the inability of the Viking to dock there. We cruised to Tarragona and then were bussed back to Barcelona the next day, and that little episode was probably the only negative of the entire trip.
When we first arrived, I thought it looked awfully small compared to our river cruise cabin, but it had much more storage room and turned out to be absolutely perfect.