Viking Sea Cruise Review by teigeng
- Sail Date: October 2016
- Destination: Western Mediterranean
1: The included tours were done by local guides and were not well organized or supervised. After trying three, we gave them up as an awful waste of time. We tried three other tours that we paid for and they were no better. Very disappointing. We had one great guide. The other five don't make the cut. Depending on where the ship is able to dock, you are/or are not able, to manage to see the sites on your own. Rome eg. is hours away on a bus ride and the tours deadly boring. We'd been to Rome so fortunately we didn't "miss" Rome but you really do not "see" Rome and several other places on this cruise.
2. Our 22 days included 11 days of "new food" and 11 days of new entertainment. After the first half, landing in Venice, we found to our dismay that the exact same menu rotated. For our taste, there was an over emphasis on beef and veal, and hardly any poultry choices. What fish we had was good. EVERY night we were offered the same vegetables medley of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and zucchini. Other vegetable choices were very limited.
The evening entertainment after we set sail was fun for the first 11 days and some of the lectures were interesting. Then they repeat. Even the Ted Talks rotated the same talks! Taking the two halves is a mistake and feels like you are being overcharged.
3. Our observation was that Viking and their staff were tone deaf to people with disabilities. We are fortunate not to be affected but it was painful to watch those who were. In all the 22 days we were on board, I did not see a single wheelchair offered, hear a single word about assistance available, see a single written notice. If you have physical challenges, beware. They seem tone deaf.
4. Everything was impeccably clean until we had been on board two weeks or so. The dishes, silverware and glasses became "gritty" with (hopefully sterilized) food particles and chairs developed stains that were not cleaned. Their sanitation and hand washing system is really good however.
The ship is beautiful and the open areas very well decorated and comfortable. Impressive. The staff relentlessly cheerful and helpful. Wonderful. If you enjoy spending $1000 a day to be indulged and pampered, this is an OK choice. If you are more curious about your destinations, looking for some adventure or a rich learning opportunity this is not for you. Many people read books...lots of books. I love books but I don't spend $1000 a day to do it. My couch at home is equally comfortable and free. If you want to know which of the two halves of the cruise to take.....Barcelona to Venice or Venice to Athens, we would suggest the latter. You'll spend a lot less money that we did and you'll see much more beautiful and interesting places.
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