• TRAVEL NOTICE: Learn more about COVID-19
  • Newsletter
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • Cruise Tips
  • News
  • Deals

Viking Star Review

5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1883 reviews
69 Awards

West Indies Explorer Viking Ocean Cruise

Review for Viking Star to the Caribbean
User Avatar
6-10 Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Oct 2017

I had done many cruises but I really wanted to splurge on the Viking Cruise. I heard it was the best overall cruise line & the West Indies Explorer package really seemed to fit the bill for my husband & I. It was a special trip for many reasons but mainly to celebrate my retirement. The customer service while booking the cruise was great & even after Hurricanes Maria & Irma, we still decided to go (even though 3 ports of call were deleted from the original schedule & flying into Puerto Rico was very chancy). The cruise line gave us $250.00 each on board credit & 25 % off of the next cruise based on our current stateroom cost (basically nothing as I came to find out). After arriving for embarkation, we were shown to our rooms. Immediately after that, I discovered 2 things: About 250 rooms were vacant (So many cancellations-the ship holds about 940+ and there were 503 passengers on this cruise. We actually outnumbered the staff. AND virtually every one was upgraded to a higher stateroom class. The next day I went to Guest relations (oxymoron...there is no relations at all) to inquire. I was met with immediate hostility...She stated that I didn't know what I was talking about & I must have misunderstood. Then, she went on to say that for $200.00 each more, we could upgrade to a same size cabin & receive a bottle of champagne, a cashmere throw to use (not to keep), binoculars, and a mini bar. Then she said for $900 more each, we could upgrade to a bigger room, etc... I told her that seemed unfair given the fact that the rooms were empty & others received free upgrades. Then, she loudly stated in from of other guests & staff that I should be ashamed of myself because "how would I feel if I paid full price for a room & another person received a free upgrade?" I was totally embarrassed & left. Two days later we received a feedback form. I wrote what happened. The next day they told me that we could pack our room & move to the same size cabin with the small amenities if we wanted. Well...not four days into our trip. They missed a golden marketing loyalty opportunity by not offering it in the first place. The shore excursions were pretty bad except for the beach excursion (we had to pay $49 each-the rest we did were included) in Barbados. On one excursions, we had a 98 year old woman with us traveling alone. After one of the stops, the guides couldn't find her. They held up the tour for 30 minutes searching for her. Neither guide (one local & one from Viking) never physically did a headcount. They counted from the front of the bus, I suggested that go through the bus to look for her. Finally they listened & found her asleep in the very back of the bus. No engagement whatsoever. The same for the "Cruise Director" who was nonexistent. The final cap on my decision to never use this line again was when we spoke to a cruise consultant for a possible next cruise (to use our vouchers). I mentioned that I really wasn't completely sold on Viking. It seemed to lack any on board engagement, events, music, or fun. She told me that Viking is just not that kind of cruise. They are very culture driven and destination oriented. Then she stated that maybe I wasn't a "good fit" for the type of people who cruise on Viking. I guess so.

So, if you have a ton of money to spend on a very vanilla & uptight kind of cruise, then Viking is your cruise line. I saw many passengers treat the service staff as if they owned them & I guess I just don't see the world that way. I'm sure that my review will be in the minority, but if you find some of the things I mentioned unacceptable, then I hope I shed some other light on the cruise. The food was great, there was free beer or wine with lunch & dinner (you could purchase an additional spirits package for $199.00 a piece but both parties had to purchase it. If one partner does;t drink, then you're out of luck). The service staff was phenomenal & they really attended to your every need.

Cabin Review

Port Reviews

St. Kitts (Port Zante)

Be careful of vendors I almost got robbed out of $100

20 Helpful Votes
previous reviewnext review

Find a Viking Star Cruise from $3,299

Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy and Cookies Statement and Terms of Use.