The Viking Sky is indeed a beautiful ship, tastefully decorated with wonderful art. The common areas are inviting, especially the Explorers Lounge on the 7th deck, which offers fabulous ocean vistas. The ship is spotlessly maintained. We have taken several other cruises and were excited about visiting new countries We should have had the best time ever! However, Viking dropped the ball on several fronts, First, the travel department is difficult to deal with. Be forewarned, if you use a travel agent, they will not speak to you. We finally got our itinerary resolved, and then Category 5 Hurricane Irma became a major player. We were booked on Delta to leave Miami at 12:20 pm on 9/8, and a the airport was scheduled to close that afternoon. Our connection time in Atlanta was only 1 hour. Days before, we tried to change our flight to leave earlier, but were denied, unless we wanted to pay Delta a change ticket fee of $3,000 per person. We offered to drive to Atlanta and pick up the itinerary there, but Viking did not go to bat for us. Apparently, they have no pull with Delta. Finally, we called them again on 9/6 and literally begged, and spoke with someone who was willing and able to help. We got grudging approval to begin our flight in Atlanta. The next day, we drove 20 hours to Atlanta in bumper to bumper traffic, normally an 8 1/2 hour drive, and slept at an airport hotel. We noted that our original flight out of Miami was delayed and we would have missed the connection in Atlanta. Then we flew to Norway to begin the cruise.
We were exhausted. I had not really slept in 3 days and missed my tour in Bergen. Our room and bathroom were surprisingly small with no excess storage space, but again, tastefully decorated and with quality linens. The bathroom floors are heated, which was fantastic! There was a coffeemaker, but it was up too high for me to use. However, the cappuccino onboard was excellent, so we didn't mind scooting out to get it. The TV system, like most cruises, is not the best for live TV but offers a nice selection of movies. We were anxious to see news of the hurricanes. Most of the time it worked ok, but the live tv was not working the last several days of the cruise. Wifi: On previous trips, I had no problems downloading my photos from my phone to my iPad via iCloud, but the wifi was so slow that they could not download. I was surprised, given the newness of the ship. Several of my emails refused to send and I had to keep trying.
Our cruise experienced a lot of rough seas, so they canceled port docking in the Shetland Islands and also one in Greenland. We already had many days at sea scheduled on this transatlantic cruise, but we can't blame Viking for bad weather. Days at sea featured lectures, some bland music, and movies, but not much in the way of interactive or physical activity if the weather did not cooperate, which it did not. It would have been nice to go to a class in the fitness center but they were not offered to my knowledge. The daily afternoon tea is in a particularly lovely venue. Lots of reading time and looking out the windows in the Explorers Lounge. We did see icebergs and a few whales, and a lot of people, myself included, got excited about a rock that initially looked like a whale. One couple went outside one afternoon and had to be rescued because the winds were so strong.
The Faroe Islands and Reykjavik were fabulous and we enjoyed our tours there. It was great to be off the ship. Qaqortoq, Greenland was disappointing, as our private tour with Sagalands canceled without notice even though they had confirmed a just few days earlier. The town itself is not really worth a stop, especially if arriving early on a Sunday morning when the few establishments in town are closed. Quebec is a charming European style city for walking and touring.
The food on board is very good. Dinner in the restaurant is slow, often taking 2 hours for a 3 course meal, but we had nowhere to go and not much else to do. Our primary waiter was friendly and personable. Thankfully, our friends are great conversationalists! The buffet restaurant was fresh and well presented, and was a good option when we did not want an overly long meal.
Fellow passengers on the ship were generally highly educated, pleasant, and courteous.
We almost missed our flight home. For a 10 am flight, our bus left at 8:15 for a 40 minute drive to the airport. We were unable to check in to our flights onboard because the internet was too slow and it timed out. We got to the check in desk, and were told that had we arrived 5 minutes later, we would have missed the cutoff for checking luggage for an international flight. Again, unnecessary stress should have totally avoidable, ending this long cruise on a questionable note.
Do I recommend this cruise? Although this beautiful ship is 5 star rated and some people love endless days at sea, it was too sedate for me. The quality of the lectures was excellent, but I have had much more rollicking fun on other less expensive cruises where more varied and interactive onboard activities were offered. Even bingo, karaoke, disco, dueling pianos, a bad art auction, penny poker, flower arranging, Hawaiian theme night....none are great but something that makes you laugh! I also learned to NEVER book flights through a cruise line again. Maybe it was the weather.....
Location of our cabin was perfect, but the views were probably better on the other side of the ship.