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The ship was elegant, a perfect size, beautifully finished, with no crowding. Free wi-fi was a huge bonus. All crew members were super-friendly, while professional and efficient; they seemed genuinely happy in their jobs – we felt Viking looked after them particularly well compared with other lines. There were too many to mention all our favourites by name but Angelo stood out as a maître d’hôtel par excellence. Give the man a promotion! There were no photographers, no art gallery, no hard-sell of anything – how refreshing. The entertainers (musicians, singers, dancers) were a significant cut above those on typical cruise ships. There were four outstanding “enrichment” speakers too. Our cabin (5043) was spacious and comfortable. The shower room was superbly fitted with plenty of storage, a large shower cubicle, powerful shower, heated mirror and underfloor heating – one of the best. And…no towel animals! Dining was memorable, especially in Chef’s Table where the menus (fixed but changing every three days), food, presentation and service were outstanding. We loved being able to choose between four venues every evening Afternoon tea was a treat, with scones and cream much superior to Cunard’s, and a vast selection of teas. It’s unfortunate that the tea was nearly always lukewarm though – when will people learn that good tea cannot be made without boiling water?! We thoroughly enjoyed the spa. Sauna to steam room to snow grotto to Jacuzzi to bucket of cold water over the head! The included excursions were very mixed and in fairly large groups of 30-something. They consisted mainly of bus/walking tours although the boat trip from Mykonos to Delos was a high point. A lot depended on the guide, of course, and they were as variable as usual. We don’t normally go for big-group guided tours, preferring to do our own thing, perhaps using a local guide or car rental, and we haven’t changed our minds. Our favourite port days were probably the day we used the Carmelit subway and walked in Haifa and the day we rented a car in Rhodes – no big group, no waiting for people to get on/off the bus, no lollipop to follow! Criticisms? Arrival at Rome airport and transfer to the ship was disorganised and chaotic. We’d have liked more quizzes (only got them on sea days), but perhaps that’s just us. Port maps/guides would have been welcome, as would a simply deck plan. Self-service tea was hopelessly slow (and, Viking, jugs of warm water don’t cut it!); all they need is a boiling water tap by the coffee machines. And it was a little too “American” at times, for non-Americans (although, to be fair, the majority of passengers were American). That’s about it. This was probably our favourite cruise to date, the low point being over-crowded, commercial Jerusalem. Viking may be pricier than the likes of Cunard and P&O but is great value. You really do get what you pay for and we’ll be back for more very soon.

How refreshing

Viking Sea Cruise Review by CCDave

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Trip Details
The ship was elegant, a perfect size, beautifully finished, with no crowding. Free wi-fi was a huge bonus. All crew members were super-friendly, while professional and efficient; they seemed genuinely happy in their jobs – we felt Viking looked after them particularly well compared with other lines. There were too many to mention all our favourites by name but Angelo stood out as a maître d’hôtel par excellence. Give the man a promotion!

There were no photographers, no art gallery, no hard-sell of anything – how refreshing. The entertainers (musicians, singers, dancers) were a significant cut above those on typical cruise ships. There were four outstanding “enrichment” speakers too.

Our cabin (5043) was spacious and comfortable. The shower room was superbly fitted with plenty of storage, a large shower cubicle, powerful shower, heated mirror and underfloor heating – one of the best. And…no towel animals!

Dining was memorable, especially in Chef’s Table where the menus (fixed but changing every three days), food, presentation and service were outstanding. We loved being able to choose between four venues every evening

Afternoon tea was a treat, with scones and cream much superior to Cunard’s, and a vast selection of teas. It’s unfortunate that the tea was nearly always lukewarm though – when will people learn that good tea cannot be made without boiling water?!

We thoroughly enjoyed the spa. Sauna to steam room to snow grotto to Jacuzzi to bucket of cold water over the head!

The included excursions were very mixed and in fairly large groups of 30-something. They consisted mainly of bus/walking tours although the boat trip from Mykonos to Delos was a high point. A lot depended on the guide, of course, and they were as variable as usual. We don’t normally go for big-group guided tours, preferring to do our own thing, perhaps using a local guide or car rental, and we haven’t changed our minds. Our favourite port days were probably the day we used the Carmelit subway and walked in Haifa and the day we rented a car in Rhodes – no big group, no waiting for people to get on/off the bus, no lollipop to follow!

Criticisms? Arrival at Rome airport and transfer to the ship was disorganised and chaotic. We’d have liked more quizzes (only got them on sea days), but perhaps that’s just us. Port maps/guides would have been welcome, as would a simply deck plan. Self-service tea was hopelessly slow (and, Viking, jugs of warm water don’t cut it!); all they need is a boiling water tap by the coffee machines. And it was a little too “American” at times, for non-Americans (although, to be fair, the majority of passengers were American).

That’s about it. This was probably our favourite cruise to date, the low point being over-crowded, commercial Jerusalem. Viking may be pricier than the likes of Cunard and P&O but is great value. You really do get what you pay for and we’ll be back for more very soon.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 5043
Cabin 5043 was spacious and comfortable. We slept very well. The shower room was superbly fitted with plenty of storage, a large shower cubicle, powerful shower, heated mirror and underfloor heating – one of the best. And…no towel animals!