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The cruise went to places in the Amazon that I didn’t even know existed. The ship is well maintained and quiet. Our cabin was comfortable. They could do away with the hidden makeup mirror and put a magnifying mirror in the bathroom. Not much room to put things. There are only 3 drawers in the cabin and one shelf. Dining was hit and miss. All of the food choices had strange names like “ Conchiglie Alla Boscaiola”. What?? Why not just say “Shell Pasta” with mushrooms, tomato’s, green peas, and ricotta? Anyway, it was mostly good tasting. The portions were small for a main course. I got 4 ravioli in my fancy named Ravioli in Lemon Sauce dish. It was wonderful, but I could have eaten more. In fact we went up to the buffet and got another one afterwards. They probably would have brought another one for me in the dining room, but we didn’t want to wait. The buffet usually had the same things as the restaurant. Except, when the menu said Lobster in the restaurant, the buffet would have “Lobster Vol Au Vent” which meant some chunks of lobster in a puff pastry with sauce. So not the exact same thing. The speciality restaurants were excellent. Most of the entertainment was the typical cast of singers and performers. We had a magician/ comic that was hilarious. He gave another performance a few days later and wasn’t as funny although his magic tricks were still pretty good. The lectures were good. I liked that you could watch them in your room if you wanted to stay in your casual clothes. The ports were interesting. Our first stop was Barbados. The included tour was very very good. We’ve been there many times, yet our guide told us stories and facts I didn’t know before. We missed Iles Du Salut because we waited over 6 hours for supplies. Since this trip was not a surprise, Viking should have had a backup plan. Or another supplier. We wasted money, over $200, getting our Yellow Fever shot. They should reimburse us or give us a discount on our next cruise. Santarém was sad and dilapidated. We had a private tour though that took us into the river where we saw the true life of the people. It was very enjoyable. In Parintins, the included tour was a folkloric dance performance. It looked as though the performers were all high school kids. It was wonderful. Although I didn’t understand the words, the singers voice was rich and clear. The dancers were synchronized almost to perfection. Manaus was sad and dilapidated too although not as much as we expected. The included tour was short. We did hear a lot of history and saw some sites we wouldn’t have dared to do on our own. I wish the tour would have been longer and taken us out a little further in the city. It would have been nice to have a few photo stops too. Belem was horrible. As soon as you left the pier, your nose was assaulted by the smell of rotting fish and garbage. The buildings were cracked and peeling. Tons of graffiti. Many haphazard thrown together booths selling crap were clogging the sidewalks. The sidewalks are cobblestone so it was very hard to walk on. The harbor was black muck with trash, rotting fish and other assorted smelly things. It had about 200 turkey buzzards picking at the rotten fish. A homeless man was picking up the fish to eat that the buzzards missed. We had an included tour that walked you by the market that was jam packed with various stalls. I would have liked to buy something there, but no one spoke English and my Portuguese is virtually non existent. Plus it was very dark once you went between the booths. The tour was not worth it even though it was free.

Off to ports unknown

Viking Sea Cruise Review by bonmarche

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
The cruise went to places in the Amazon that I didn’t even know existed.

The ship is well maintained and quiet. Our cabin was comfortable. They could do away with the hidden makeup mirror and put a magnifying mirror in the bathroom. Not much room to put things. There are only 3 drawers in the cabin and one shelf.

Dining was hit and miss. All of the food choices had strange names like “ Conchiglie Alla Boscaiola”. What?? Why not just say “Shell Pasta” with mushrooms, tomato’s, green peas, and ricotta? Anyway, it was mostly good tasting. The portions were small for a main course. I got 4 ravioli in my fancy named Ravioli in Lemon Sauce dish. It was wonderful, but I could have eaten more. In fact we went up to the buffet and got another one afterwards. They probably would have brought another one for me in the dining room, but we didn’t want to wait. The buffet usually had the same things as the restaurant. Except, when the menu said Lobster in the restaurant, the buffet would have “Lobster Vol Au Vent” which meant some chunks of lobster in a puff pastry with sauce. So not the exact same thing. The speciality restaurants were excellent.

Most of the entertainment was the typical cast of singers and performers. We had a magician/ comic that was hilarious. He gave another performance a few days later and wasn’t as funny although his magic tricks were still pretty good. The lectures were good. I liked that you could watch them in your room if you wanted to stay in your casual clothes.

The ports were interesting. Our first stop was Barbados. The included tour was very very good. We’ve been there many times, yet our guide told us stories and facts I didn’t know before.

We missed Iles Du Salut because we waited over 6 hours for supplies. Since this trip was not a surprise, Viking should have had a backup plan. Or another supplier. We wasted money, over $200, getting our Yellow Fever shot. They should reimburse us or give us a discount on our next cruise.

Santarém was sad and dilapidated. We had a private tour though that took us into the river where we saw the true life of the people. It was very enjoyable.

In Parintins, the included tour was a folkloric dance performance. It looked as though the performers were all high school kids. It was wonderful. Although I didn’t understand the words, the singers voice was rich and clear. The dancers were synchronized almost to perfection.

Manaus was sad and dilapidated too although not as much as we expected. The included tour was short. We did hear a lot of history and saw some sites we wouldn’t have dared to do on our own. I wish the tour would have been longer and taken us out a little further in the city. It would have been nice to have a few photo stops too.

Belem was horrible. As soon as you left the pier, your nose was assaulted by the smell of rotting fish and garbage. The buildings were cracked and peeling. Tons of graffiti. Many haphazard thrown together booths selling crap were clogging the sidewalks. The sidewalks are cobblestone so it was very hard to walk on. The harbor was black muck with trash, rotting fish and other assorted smelly things. It had about 200 turkey buzzards picking at the rotten fish. A homeless man was picking up the fish to eat that the buzzards missed. We had an included tour that walked you by the market that was jam packed with various stalls. I would have liked to buy something there, but no one spoke English and my Portuguese is virtually non existent. Plus it was very dark once you went between the booths. The tour was not worth it even though it was free.
bonmarche’s Full Rating Summary
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • City Tour
    Nice overview of the life and city. City run down, but full of bargains which kind of tricks you because there’s a 25% tax.
    View All 13 City Tour Reviews
  • Teatro Amazonas Opera House
    The outside is beautiful and well preserved. We didn’t get a chance to go inside.
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  • Santarem
    It’s a great place for a river guide. Shopping? No. Sight seeing in the forest and on the river? Yes!
    View All 26 Santarem Cruise Port Reviews
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  • St. Thomas
    If you’ve never been here, take a tour to see the island. Beautiful beaches. Last time we were here, there was a lot of dead seaweed floating near the beach. In some places it was a few niches deep and went on for 10 feet or more out to sea. In other beaches there was no seaweed at all.

    Great shopping experiences to be found downtown, but do your research first. Many shops are selling last years models. Prices are different between shops and it’s hard to keep track. If you’ve been to other islands, you’ll see St. Thomas as just another beautiful one. Although since we haven’t stopped there yet on this cruise, it may be completely different. Also hurricane Irma went through there, so I’m not expecting it to be perfect.
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