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We signed up for this cruise due to the unusual itinerary that also included Isreal. This was our second cruise on Viking this year so we more or less knew what to expect. We just loved the itinerary, however, the ship experience did not live up to our previous experience on the Viking Sea. The ships are beautiful and identical so we instantly knew our way around. The shore excursions were included, or at least a very basic offering was included, so we did take several of the optional tours in Isreal. As with all shore excursions, there is never enough time to see everything. I must say that excursion to Masada was terrific. We were very disappointed with the main dining room, known as The Restaurant. Service was very slow and oftentimes the food arrived cold. On one occasion we were seated at a larger table and the wait staff became rather testy with our requests for more wine, more butter, more water etc. that they poured extra large glasses of wine and produced what looked like a kilo of butter piled in a plate! It appeared that most of the wait staff were new and just learning the ropes. Service in the two specialty restaurants was perfect. We really enjoy the enrichment program on Viking and this cruise was no exception. We had three lecturers, a historian, biblical scholar, and a Geologist. All three were outstanding and very informative. We particularly enjoyed the Geologists biblical lecture which added a different perspective to many common bible stories. We also had a Viking Resident Historian as a forth lecturer. This poor man, we found out later, had to present a pretty dull company prepared lectures on subjects he was totally unfamiliar with. Add to that we are on an Israel and Greek Island cruise so why on earth is he struggling to tell us about the Bayeux Tapestry? I must admit we knew what to expect as on our previous cruise with Viking we had a similar dull and uninspired lecture on the Hanseatic league as we passed Portugal on our way to Spain. Apart from the enrichment lecturers we found the entertainment quite ordinary. Some singers doing the good old Beatles and Abba numbers, and a couple of guest entertainers that we never attended. We thought the cruise director was missing in action. On our previous Viking cruise and cruises on other lines, the cruise director was very visible and friendly. Hardly ever saw this lady around the ship. A few days before arriving in Athens were informed that the hot water temperature was going to be raised and be careful not to scald yourself in the shower. Seems we had some health issues aboard and the extra hot water was part of the cure. Departure in Athens was somewhat of a mess as all passengers had to leave by 8am, even those with afternoon flights. All in all, would I sail with Viking again? I think we will give them another try, simply because we love the ships. I do hope that they take passengers comments to heart.

Viking Star losing some of its glitter.

Viking Star Cruise Review by SussexChic50

Trip Details
We signed up for this cruise due to the unusual itinerary that also included Isreal. This was our second cruise on Viking this year so we more or less knew what to expect. We just loved the itinerary, however, the ship experience did not live up to our previous experience on the Viking Sea. The ships are beautiful and identical so we instantly knew our way around.

The shore excursions were included, or at least a very basic offering was included, so we did take several of the optional tours in Isreal. As with all shore excursions, there is never enough time to see everything. I must say that excursion to Masada was terrific.

We were very disappointed with the main dining room, known as The Restaurant. Service was very slow and oftentimes the food arrived cold. On one occasion we were seated at a larger table and the wait staff became rather testy with our requests for more wine, more butter, more water etc. that they poured extra large glasses of wine and produced what looked like a kilo of butter piled in a plate! It appeared that most of the wait staff were new and just learning the ropes. Service in the two specialty restaurants was perfect.

We really enjoy the enrichment program on Viking and this cruise was no exception. We had three lecturers, a historian, biblical scholar, and a Geologist. All three were outstanding and very informative. We particularly enjoyed the Geologists biblical lecture which added a different perspective to many common bible stories. We also had a Viking Resident Historian as a forth lecturer. This poor man, we found out later, had to present a pretty dull company prepared lectures on subjects he was totally unfamiliar with. Add to that we are on an Israel and Greek Island cruise so why on earth is he struggling to tell us about the Bayeux Tapestry? I must admit we knew what to expect as on our previous cruise with Viking we had a similar dull and uninspired lecture on the Hanseatic league as we passed Portugal on our way to Spain.

Apart from the enrichment lecturers we found the entertainment quite ordinary. Some singers doing the good old Beatles and Abba numbers, and a couple of guest entertainers that we never attended. We thought the cruise director was missing in action. On our previous Viking cruise and cruises on other lines, the cruise director was very visible and friendly. Hardly ever saw this lady around the ship.

A few days before arriving in Athens were informed that the hot water temperature was going to be raised and be careful not to scald yourself in the shower. Seems we had some health issues aboard and the extra hot water was part of the cure. Departure in Athens was somewhat of a mess as all passengers had to leave by 8am, even those with afternoon flights.

All in all, would I sail with Viking again? I think we will give them another try, simply because we love the ships. I do hope that they take passengers comments to heart.
Viking Cruises, Community Team has responded
Dear SussexChic50, We appreciate you taking the time to let us know about your most recent Viking cruise. While we regret to hear that the service provided in The Restaurant fell below expectation, please be assured that your feedback has been noted and we take all of our passengers’ comments to heart. As Viking strives to deliver attentive and personalized service to all our guests, we would appreciate the opportunity to further discuss the details of your experience. Kindly, contact us at TellUs@vikingcruises.com with your booking information and any additional comments, so that we can address your concerns directly. We thank you for being a loyal member of the Viking family, and look forward to welcoming you on board in the future. Best, Viking Cruises
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of The Independent Traveler, Inc.
SussexChic50’s Full Rating Summary
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