We left from San Juan, Puerto Rico. We were among the group that flew in overnight, and Viking put us up in a hotel from about 6 AM to noon before transferring us to the ship. We really appreciated that. We did the Viking Homelands cruise on the Viking Sea with them last year, so we knew what to expect as far as the ship goes. It's just a beautiful ship, understated elegance everywhere in Scandinavian modern. There are a lot of cozy nooks and crannies for privacy and relaxation. It was a particularly nice ship to do a transatlantic cruise on because of that.
We enjoyed all of the ports: St. Martin, Funchal, Casablanca, and then in Spain, Cadiz, Valencia, and Barcelona. We stayed on for two nights in Barcelona.
Dining was outstanding in all venues. We're not fond of buffet restaurants, but we are pretty satisfied with the World Cafe. We generally only eat there for lunch if The Restaurant isn't open. Because this wasn't a full ship (about 700 instead of 930, we were told), it was easy to get extra reservations in addition to the ones we did ahead.online at the two specialty restaurants, Manfredi's and The Chef's Table. Both of them are excellent. We hadn't gone to The Chef's Table on the first trip, but decided to try it and really enjoyed it. It's a fixed menu with paired wines. Wine and beer is included at lunch and dinner in all venues, although you can buy a special package if you choose above that.
We were very happy with this stateroom. There was more storage than I could use with a dresser and other drawer space. The shower and bathroom are nice, with a heated floor. There was a small couch in a nice sitting area. In this category, a bottle of champagne and alcohol is included. I really appreciate this stateroom after the Deluxe Veranda on a sister ship last year.