We booked this Cruise almost one year ago and it seemed to be forever before our sail date, but we are on the ship now.
I have cruised before but my Husband has not. This is his first cruise. The ships I have been on in the past are the 3500 guest Carnival and the like. Did I enjoy them? Not really and had long ago decided not to cruise again. Then Viking Ocean popped up. 900 some odd guests. Could this be better? We did a lot of research - a lot. We read reviews, watched videos and talked and talked. Finally we decided to pull the trigger and book.
Other LARGE ships tend - in my opinion - to have overdone the decor to a point of garish mashup of colour and glitz. Not impressed.
VIKING OCEAN - SKY - is what I would call "quiet elegance" and you can immediately see that there is no expense spared to quality and every element of the decor is calm and tasteful. The wood and furniture and the upholstery and the art are exceptional. They have produced such an elegant decor that you just feel comfortable. You never turn a corner and see a Las Vegas looking room and there are no casinos or nightclubs like the big ships. This is truly a ship where you feel calm, relaxed, and feel like you are staying where quality is number one in design.
I am pleasantly surprised because I had doubts on a smaller ship whether my Husband and I would feel at home because we are a married Gay male couple from Canada. There has been no issue and I would recommend Viking to other Gay couples.
Viking Ocean is not for a "party party" kind of vacation. Yes, the average age on board is probably about 60, but there are enough younger folks that you don't feel out of place if you are in your 40s or younger. We have met now many people that are of various ages and all is great.
The Crew are exceptional. I am going to give shout outs here to some. Forgive me because these are the ones that we have had repeated interactions with but every Crew member is exceptional.
JoJo - Guest Services Manager
John - Server in The World Cafe
Darko - Server in The Chef's Table and The World Cafe
Giselle - Server in The Restaurant
Vicky - Server in The Restaurant
Romney - Server in The Explorer Lounge
Rizalina - Server in The Wold Cafe
Willy - Our exceptional Stateroom Steward (and his team)
Jesper - Therapist in the Spa
In general the staff are exceptional. They go out of their way to greet you and make you feel at home. No request is too big or too small. The staff above have in a couple of days learned our Stateroom number by heart - know our names and welcome us using our names - know that we like to start our meal with Sparkling wine and then move to red or white... This is quite refreshing when the world we live in today is not concerned with the customer experience - Viking have done an exceptional job providing an experience that you will remember and recommend.
The food - excellent. We have eaten in all but Manfredi's so far and the food is outstanding in all venues. We have our reservation tomorrow in Manfredi's and I am certain that we will be impressed there too.
We opted for all the included excursions and we have had our expectations exceeded with each one so far. The guides are knowledgable and very enjoyable to spend a morning or afternoon with.
The Spa is my favourite place to visit after each day's excursion. We do the "Nordic thing" and hop from steam to snow grotto or the sauna to the cold dipping pool... Just refreshes you before dinner. The Nordic Spa experience is exceptional and so well appointed. Again, they have thought of everything.
There is so much more that I can tell you but then I would be writing for pages!
We WILL be sailing on Viking again in the future and most probably many times!
Lots of storage, GREAT bathroom, WiFi (free) throughout the ship. Although I hope you don't need it too much - lots of movies and some live news stations in the room. Our cabin level has a Pod Coffee system that is a must for me because I need 4 cups or more first thing before I am functional. Bed is deliciously comfortable and you will not feel your Partner moving in the bed. Linens are wonderful. Exceptional in the cabin - every cabin has a balcony.
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