We chose this cruise because of Viking's excellent reputation for river cruising and hoped it carried over to the ocean. It did - everything about this brand new ship is beautiful. The artful design of every space is stunning. The amenities are all you can ask for and the service is warm, friendly and efficient. Mark the cruise director could not be more pleasant. The excursions have all been very informative and enjoyable. The included excursion in Crotone (the only port where we did not book an optional excursion) was just OK. My favorite excursions were the olive grove in Bari, and Pompeii in Naples.
The one place where they FAILED MISERABLY is the specialty restaurant reservations that are "guaranteed" with certain cabin levels. We attempted to book them online within 2 hours of when they opened (in August) but were told that all tables for 2 were already booked and we could not book a seat at a shared table online - that would have to be done onboard. While frustrating, we were assured we could book any time once onboard. When we arrived at the ship the first day we were ushered to lunch upon arrival. When we finished lunch we went to the cabin and immediately called for our shared table reservations. The line just rang and rang for several attempts. We went to guest services and they said that you could only make dinner reservations during breakfast and lunch hours (which were now over for the day). The experience of trying to reach someone by phone and just hearing it ring was very frustrating and could have easily been avoided by adding a message stating the hours that reservations are accepted and not making me walk to guest services to find that out. The next morning we had an early excursion and didn't get to attempt to book our two "guaranteed" reservations until early afternoon on the first day of the cruise. At that time we were told that all reservations in the specialty restaurants were already taken and we would be put on the waitlist. I explained that we had booked a better cabin on the ship so that we would be guaranteed reservations in Manfredi's and the Chef's Table and they just said sorry - they are already all booked. We were put on the waitlist and on the last night were finally given a time slot at the Chef's Table restaurant. It was very good and I would have loved to try Manfredi's as well. Maybe next time.
Brand new and beautiful in every way - there is enough space, however the small table between the desk and sofa sometimes gets in the way. The heated bathroom floors are a nice touch and the shower is very roomy. The mattress on the bed was very comfortable. The room was cleaned twice daily and was always immaculate. The balcony was roomy with two chairs and a small table for our drinks.
Excellent performance, beautiful venue, however tour guide getting to the venue ran and did not walk; left several people behind, even a woman who fell on the way back to the ship.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Tour of olive oil farm was excellent and historical. The tasting was good and the prices for organic olive oil were excellentView All 2 Culinary Tour Reviews
Toured the bar where the Godfather wedding scene was shot - very scenic. Some on the tour also walked up the steep hill to the church, but we had seen so many churches at this point we chose to stay back and bought some biscotti from a local selling from his home. The second town was also very scenic and we sat and enjoyed a pizza and cannoli's overlooking the stunning views.View All 9 Tour of Corleone Homeland Reviews
Pompeii was larger than I had imagined and also much better preserved. Our guide was knowledgable and very helpful in understanding what we were looking at. One of our best trips of the week.View All 504 Pompeii Walking Tour Reviews
Sorrento was one of the prettiest parts of Italy we visited and we enjoyed the wood working shop and shopping.View All 165 Sorrento Reviews