Chose this cruise because of prior experience with Viking and the desire to see and explore the ports and countries featured. The cruising part of the trip was excellent. Beautiful ship, great staff; delicious meals; very good entertainment; comfortable and relaxing with a variety of activities to appeal to almost everyone.
However, the "exploring" part of the trip did not live up to our expectations. The included tours were OK and covered the highlights of each port, but there was never enough time to explore on our own, unlike our previous experience with a river cruise. If your included tour started a couple of hours after docking, there was not time to go ashore before and explore, and little time after. Also, in St. Petersburg, we didn't understand the need for a Russian visa if you want to explore on your own and not as part of a ship tour or with a licensed Russian tour. As a result, we had 2 days in St P, but only got off the ship for a total of about 7 hours over 2 days. There were plenty of optional tours available, but the cost put them outside our budget, although we did spring for the Hermitage tour and enjoyed it.
There were a couple of instances where a free shuttle service was provided between the ship and the downtown area, and this was well organized and much appreciated. However, in some ports there wasn't enough extra time for this.
Overall, if you enjoy the cruising experience and are satisfied with a glimpse at the cities along the way, then the 14 day Viking Homelands is excellent. If you want to explore, then be prepared to pay the extra for the optional tours, or, like us, you will be somewhat disappointed.
Cabin was well appointed and comfortable. Amenities included 110V and 220V sockets so no need for a power converter; hair dryer; heated bathroom floor; veranda with 2 chairs and a table; robes and slippers; mini fridge stocked daily with soft drinks and small snacks; safe for valuables; wide screen HD TV; plenty of closet space, but not enough drawer space; two comfortable tub chairs with a coffee table; 24 hr room service.
Cabin was nicely decorated and bright. Cleaning staff were excellent.