Viking Sea Cruise Review by Sunseeker1001
- Sail Date: March 2017
- Destination: Mediterranean
I found that dealing with them that their agents were multi-purposed. The answered questions, made the reservation for the cruise, scheduled meals at the specialty restaurants and helped with optional excursion questions and reservations. Always had pleasant exchanges and I was never put on hold waiting for an agent. This is NOT typical in the industry!
That said, those people did not alert us that there was a PROVIDED water shuttle service to take us from the port to St. Mark's Square - about as far as you would want to go away from the ship. That would have saved a lot of time and expense for many of us. I remember asking one of the agents about how far it was from the port to the sights. He told me that I would take the monorail to the transfer station then walk.
We were greeted at the airport by staff and escorted to a waiting bus that took group to the ship as they arrived; not wait until the bus was full. Embarkation was easy and speedy.
The staff on board were all very pleasant, seemed to always have a smile on their faces and were eager to help in any way.
We were really impressed with the spacious feeling of the ship. We never felt crowded and could always find a deck chair or a couch to sit on and relax. We also were happy with the lack of "hawking" cutesy photos at outrageous prices, specialty drinks, etc I'd say that the target for this ship is mature adults, especially those who are retired or nearly so.
Our room was comfortable and well appointed but not as spacious as some we've had. The bathroom was a tad small. Definitely not able to have two people in there at the sink at one time.
Storage for folding clothes was a negative. Could definitely use some more shelves. Hanging space was enough. I'd suggest they install a row of shelves in the closet.
A real PLUS is that the self-service laundry is free as is soda and snacks in the stateroom refrig. that is replenished each day.
Enjoyed the Winterhaven peaceful atmosphere. High Tea served there each afternoon is lovely.
Would have enjoyed enrichment activities. [On a HAL cruise there was a person from Microsoft who held classes almost every day on using some of the more unknown Microsoft programs]. Simple crafts,
We were impressed with the spa on the lowest deck. It had subdued lighting which made resting easy. There was a huge salt water pool with sitting ledges along the side with water jets to soothe away aches and you could also swim short laps. Also a regular jacuzzi. A snow room with actual snow where you could sit and cool off after being in the sauna or the hot tub ~ typical Norwegian.
Tour groups were small and organized very well. Groups met in the Star Theater and then led to the buses at staggered times so everyone wasn't in the same place at the same time. If multiple groups had the same itinerary, they tour guides planned their route to avoid having all the groups at the same place at the same time.
Food was good but not outstanding. We found that the main dining room was designed with extremely poor acoustics. With that many people in there in relatively close proximity, it was hard to hear table mates. In order to be hear, you tended to raise your voice so the next table raised theirs a little and soon it was very problematic. They definitely should investigate some sound absorbing material.
I did not enjoy my meal at the Chef's Table. There is a different cuisine each night and you don't know in advance what it will be. I think that should be announced prior to people making their reservations which are made up to 75 days in advance.
The included [free] were educational as well as scenic; most were a walk around the city with a local guide relating pertinent history and often time for independent investigation. The optional tours were mostly good. There were a small number which I would not take again.
We did not take advantage of much of the entertainment because after a day of excursions and dinner, we simply wanted to crawl in to bed.
A wonderful added feature was free self-service laundry. That makes it possible to take fewer clothes.
Communications on the ship was a negative. We were often told one thing in one announcement then something else in another and a third in the printed daily paper. Left us 'scratching' our heads wondering which was correct. We did not find that the staff at Guest Services were very helpful any time we contacted them. We did have contact with a staff member of management who was very helpful.
We felt that the trip was wonderful and that Viking was an obvious success in river cruising and they are really making their 'mark' in ocean cruising.
We definitely would sail with them at the next opportunity.
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It was also at the end of the hallway so we had absolutely no one passing by to disturb us.
The bathroom was nice but a bit small for 2 people to be in there at one time. The shower had a modern rain shower head and there was a seat to sit on to let the water beat on you or to shave your legs.
Bed and pillows were like clouds and the linens were super deluxe. Towels were large and fluffy and replaced, if use, morning and night. There was a nice toss-over blanket to snuggle under to take a nap.
As said above, there was not enough shelf or drawer space to store clothing. The closet was ample and I would hope that future ships would put a single row of shelves in the closet. The closet door was hard to operate and since it had an automatic 'on' light when you opened it or walked near, it awoke us a few times at night when it would slide open with the movement of the ship.
A nice feature is that there is a dim nightlight that shines at the base of the cabinets to guide you to the bathroom at night but not bright enough to keep you awake.
AAHH the floor of the bathroom is heated so never cold toes.
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