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My wife and I have taken four Viking River Cruises in Europe, all of which we enjoyed. We wanted to visit Scandinavia, and Viking Ocean cruise seemed to be the perfect option. With only 900+ passengers, embarkation was a breeze, and the Star was able to traverse fjords in Norway, which larger cruise ships cannot. We are not interested in casinos and nightly shows. We are much more interested in visiting new places/cities and understanding the people and culture. Viking Ocean fit our desires to a "T." No children, no casinos and no Broadway. Yes, there was some entertainment and lectures on the ports and regions, but that was sufficient for us. My wife and I like to work out every day, and on the Viking River Cruises, there was no gym or opportunity to exercise. Fortunately, the Viking Star has a nice gym with machines and free weights. The only downside is that they have only one weight bench for the entire ship, in spite of lots of free weights. The food was superb. I understand that Viking uses a French pastry chef for the deserts, and it shows. Wine and beer are included with lunch and dinner, and one could have as much as they wanted. The quality was not superb (Vin Ordinaire or Tafel Wein), but they were acceptable. The only downside was that we saw many glutens on board who treated meals as an all-you-can eat buffet. The waiters are also professional, personable and helpful. We enjoyed getting to know several of them. I am not sure about all the cabins, but we were allowed to request room service, which was brought right to our door. One morning, our optional tour had an early departure, so we ordered breakfast the night before. Shortly prior to the requested time, a waiter arrived at our door with a perfect breakfast. What a treat! The World Cafe' has a wonderful array of foods at each meal, and includes made-to-order egg dishes and a WMF espresso/latte' machine available every morning. There are two special restaurants on board: Manfredi's Italian and the Chef's Table. Manfredi's was truly exceptional. There were four Italian courses every evening, with a new fish and pasta du jour. There was always something to enjoy. Even if you do not have a reservation in advance, you can book on board when space is available. The other specialty, Chef's Table, is a crap shoot. They have a fixed menu with a set theme which runs for three nights. The menu is fixed, so if you like what they are serving, you will enjoy it. If not, cancel your reservation and try three days later (you can review the menu on your room TV). A nice addition is the afternoon tea. They serve small sandwiches (cheese or cucumber) and small deserts, which you can enjoy with tea or alcohol (additional cost). There was always a piano player or trio playing during tea time, and the whole scene was upscale, relaxed and enjoyable. The on board pool was too small to really swim laps, but fun. What is really special, given that it is a Norwegian ship, is the on-board sauna. There is a dry sauna, whirlpool, steam room, and even an ice/snow room for those brave enough to dare. The ship is very modern and we only felt the sea one day while traveling during bad weather. It is very safe. Above all, Viking is very organized. When one leaves the ship, a bar code notes departure, and everyone is accounted for prior to ship departure. The included tours are basic, but always give you the lay of the land. Tour guides are decent with good English. In Germany, for example, we berthed at the port of Warnamuende, which is 2.5 hours away from Berlin. Nevertheless, Viking organized a special Deutches Bundesbahn train from the port to Berlin and back, so we were able to spend several hours in Berlin. Passengers of every age and ability are welcome on Viking, as it should be. Our only criticism is that they mixed hearty passengers who wanted to see the most on a port call, with folks using wheelchairs and walkers. We have nothing but admiration for such passengers, but Viking should provide them with their own, slower-paced tour rather than impeding everyone else. Viking is not the cheapest cruise, but given the organization, basic included tours, delicious food, and included beverages, my wife and I consider it a good deal. We like it so much, we have already booked another trip in China for next year.

A truly enjoyable and worthwhile cruise.

Viking Star Cruise Review by jonathanw.house

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
My wife and I have taken four Viking River Cruises in Europe, all of which we enjoyed. We wanted to visit Scandinavia, and Viking Ocean cruise seemed to be the perfect option. With only 900+ passengers, embarkation was a breeze, and the Star was able to traverse fjords in Norway, which larger cruise ships cannot.

We are not interested in casinos and nightly shows. We are much more interested in visiting new places/cities and understanding the people and culture. Viking Ocean fit our desires to a "T." No children, no casinos and no Broadway. Yes, there was some entertainment and lectures on the ports and regions, but that was sufficient for us.

My wife and I like to work out every day, and on the Viking River Cruises, there was no gym or opportunity to exercise. Fortunately, the Viking Star has a nice gym with machines and free weights. The only downside is that they have only one weight bench for the entire ship, in spite of lots of free weights.

The food was superb. I understand that Viking uses a French pastry chef for the deserts, and it shows. Wine and beer are included with lunch and dinner, and one could have as much as they wanted. The quality was not superb (Vin Ordinaire or Tafel Wein), but they were acceptable. The only downside was that we saw many glutens on board who treated meals as an all-you-can eat buffet. The waiters are also professional, personable and helpful. We enjoyed getting to know several of them.

I am not sure about all the cabins, but we were allowed to request room service, which was brought right to our door. One morning, our optional tour had an early departure, so we ordered breakfast the night before. Shortly prior to the requested time, a waiter arrived at our door with a perfect breakfast. What a treat!

The World Cafe' has a wonderful array of foods at each meal, and includes made-to-order egg dishes and a WMF espresso/latte' machine available every morning.

There are two special restaurants on board: Manfredi's Italian and the Chef's Table. Manfredi's was truly exceptional. There were four Italian courses every evening, with a new fish and pasta du jour. There was always something to enjoy. Even if you do not have a reservation in advance, you can book on board when space is available.

The other specialty, Chef's Table, is a crap shoot. They have a fixed menu with a set theme which runs for three nights. The menu is fixed, so if you like what they are serving, you will enjoy it. If not, cancel your reservation and try three days later (you can review the menu on your room TV).

A nice addition is the afternoon tea. They serve small sandwiches (cheese or cucumber) and small deserts, which you can enjoy with tea or alcohol (additional cost). There was always a piano player or trio playing during tea time, and the whole scene was upscale, relaxed and enjoyable.

The on board pool was too small to really swim laps, but fun. What is really special, given that it is a Norwegian ship, is the on-board sauna. There is a dry sauna, whirlpool, steam room, and even an ice/snow room for those brave enough to dare.

The ship is very modern and we only felt the sea one day while traveling during bad weather. It is very safe.

Above all, Viking is very organized. When one leaves the ship, a bar code notes departure, and everyone is accounted for prior to ship departure. The included tours are basic, but always give you the lay of the land. Tour guides are decent with good English. In Germany, for example, we berthed at the port of Warnamuende, which is 2.5 hours away from Berlin. Nevertheless, Viking organized a special Deutches Bundesbahn train from the port to Berlin and back, so we were able to spend several hours in Berlin.

Passengers of every age and ability are welcome on Viking, as it should be. Our only criticism is that they mixed hearty passengers who wanted to see the most on a port call, with folks using wheelchairs and walkers. We have nothing but admiration for such passengers, but Viking should provide them with their own, slower-paced tour rather than impeding everyone else.

Viking is not the cheapest cruise, but given the organization, basic included tours, delicious food, and included beverages, my wife and I consider it a good deal. We like it so much, we have already booked another trip in China for next year.
jonathanw.house’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 4022
Every room has a balcony. The cabin was larger than we are accustomed to on Viking River Cruises. The cleaning staff was very thorough and made the room look like new every day. Depending upon the room level, they even provide clothes pressing and shoe shine. They replenish the mini-fridge every day, but given the beer and wine available with meals, we never used it. They also provide a small pair of binoculars, which is too small and a joke. The king size bed was comfortable and spacious.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews