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Viking Star Cruise Review
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,878 Reviews

Wonderful way to experience the St. Lawrence and New England

Viking Star Cruise Review by Atlanta-Jim

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2016
  • Destination: Canada & New England

We were on our Viking ocean cruise from 10/2 – 10/14 on the new Viking Star. That ended up being really superb. We flew to Montreal to pick up the ship. It went to Quebec, then Saguenay. Next we went to Charlottetown, the capitol of Prince Edward Island, and then Halifax, Nova Scotia. We’d been to Montreal and Quebec before, but not the rest. After leaving Canada we headed out of the Bay of St. Lawrence to Boston, and we finally ended up in New York City. From there we flew back to Atlanta. On the way from Boston to NYC we crossed the Cape Cod peninsula through the Cape Cod Canal that we didn’t even know existed, although we’d driven across it a couple of times when we visited the cape years ago. We did see it, but we just didn’t realize it was a canal. It saved us time and a much rougher trip than what we did experience closer to the mainland. We had three at-sea days not in port during the trip, and one of them on the way to Boston was a bit rough. We spent most of that day in the room watching Downton Abbey on the shipboard TV. We’d never watched it before, but we managed to get into season 3 by the time we got off the ship.

They ask that slacks be worn to the two reservation restaurants, but late in the cruise jeans were creeping in. Jeans are the preferred dress for both of us, and we wore them most of the time. The menus for the restaurant meals were all excellent. The ship had one main restaurant, with an Italian restaurant, and a wine-pairing restaurant they called the Chef’s Table as reservation-only units. They were fun, but the main restaurant was pretty much unbeatable. There was also a Norwegian restaurant open for breakfast and lunch, a large café where you picked up items at various food stations and a pool-side sandwich and salad stop. We ate three meals ashore the whole trip. Wine or beer was included with lunch and dinner for everyone. They offered a beverage package which included upgraded wines as well as all but the most expensive drinks (ex: Armagnac) at the bar. It would have been very easy to overindulge, but I tried to keep myself in check. My wife probably doesn’t agree, but our standards are different.

We recommend Viking’s new ocean vessels without reservation. Up to now we've been small ship cruisers (under 150 passengers). The Viking ocean ships hold about 900 passengers, and we never felt crowded, even once. The cabins are all outside and I think they all have small balconies. The Star is the second of six ships that they have planned, and all six are exactly the same. Shipboard staff and service was outstanding. While onboard we signed up for a 2018 cruise to the British Isles. This was our fifth cruise in total, only one of them on Viking, and it’s the very first time we’ve ever signed up for another cruise while onboard. The cruise lines usually push for passengers to do so with extra discounts or other come-ons available only while on the cruise, but we’ve always found it fairly easy to resist before now.

Atlanta-Jim's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cabin Explorer Suite deck 5 aft

We splurged and got a suite for this trip, rather than a regular cabin. Having the extra room made it feel as though we were in a nice hotel suite. Room service and laundry were both included, so we had breakfast in our room every morning, although we went out for lunch and dinner daily. The only time we had dinner in was the last night after we took the nighttime Empire State Bldg. tour. It was rather decadent having all of the room service.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Old Montreal

Interesting Tour. Been there before.

View All 2 Old Montreal Reviews
City Tour

Good overall tour. Again, we've been here before.

View All 56 City Tour Reviews
Charlottetown Walking Tour

The walking tour gave us a good idea of both the layout and founding of Charlottetown. We actually started with a Welcome in a large tent, which included different folk music performers and a few local food items and beer at the pier.

View All 3 Charlottetown Walking Tour Reviews

We took an optional tour to the home of an oysterman. He demonstrated techniques for taking the local Malpec oysters, and then he proceeded to open and serve fresh oysters until everyone of the 25 on the tour were full. They were wonderful, and we felt as though we were actually guests at his home.

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City Tour

The city tour gave a good overview of the city, including Harvard. Lunch in an old traditional seafood restaurant was included. While good, it wasn't exceptional. Harvard was very interesting. The campus is quite special.

View All 41 City Tour Reviews
Lexington and Concord

We chose this tour because it took most of the full-day we spent in Boston. We'd seen a great deal of the city on an earlier trip, but we'd never had the time to see Lexington and Concord. After the tour we felt a lot more appreciation of the colonists in the early days of the Revolutionary War.

View All 22 Lexington and Concord Reviews
Bus Tour

The bus tour was a hop on-hop off tour. We rode all the way around in order to decide what we wanted see. We got off at the Botanical Garden and spent a couple of hours there. We left the Garden on foot, found a place to eat and then we wandered slowly back to the ship.

View All 56 Bus Tour Reviews
City Tour

Shortly after arriving we walked from the ship to Times Square and meandered about, finally walking back to the ship. Our city tour was combined with the Empire State Building tour, but it was exceptional. The bus left in late afternoon, and we went over to Brooklyn, from where we had a beautiful of NYC in the early evening. The tour guide was excellent because he obviously loved the city. We saw and learned a great deal that neither of us had seen or knew, and we've both been to New York several times.

View All 42 City Tour Reviews
Empire State Building

I'd been up in the Empire State Bldg back in the 60s or early 70s, but I didn't remember much. That visit took place in daylight. Our city tour ended there, and it was really spectacular seeing NYC at night. It wasn't as colorful as seeing Las Vegas from the Big Wheel, but it was still magnificent. My wife, who'd spent more time in New York than I had, had never visited the Empire State Bldg, and she was just bowled over. Looking out over the city at night is not to be missed.

View All 11 Empire State Building Reviews

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