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Canadians Cruising Without Luggage This first part has everything to do with our accepting Viking’s free airfare offer. And I believe by telling about all these experiences, future ocean voyage passengers might learn and avoid similar problems. The big mistake was to accept that offer, something that will never happen again. I will try all my best to be brief. We left Ottawa on an Air Canada flight very late due to bad weather at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. We arrived too late for the connection to Miami. So, knowing that we already missed Miami’s ship departure, we decided to re-route to the next port of call which was luckily Key West; an Air Canada representative was able to find a flight there via Air Canada to Atlanta and then connecting with Delta Airlines to Key West. Once in Atlanta we boarded the Delta plane but because of mechanical problems we all had to leave the plane with the plan to soon re-board a similar plane, same seating arrangements etc. By the time they were ready to re-board the new plane, Key West airport reported that by the time our flight arrived (around 10 PM) the runway lights would be off as they always shut them down at 9 PM. So we overnighted in Atlanta and were told to be back at the airport no later than 5 AM The following morning we left Atlanta and arrived in Key West in the mid-morning of Feb. 5th. We were happy we got there early because it would be very easy to get to the ship before the 4 PM departure. Unfortunately, once in the baggage terminal we learnt that our two suitcases were missing. Regardless how hard they tried it was not possible to locate where they were. In a rush, we went all around Key West buying clothes, e.g. shirts, pants, swim suits, socks, running shoes and of course an extra suit case as we only had small carry-ons. Once on board, Guest Service staff took over and we cannot say enough for the great effort they put to try and locate our luggage but with no luck. From then on plus our will power, everything went great and if our spirits went down all the staff of the Viking Sky did their best to pick us up. Without any hesitation, they were the best staff ever of any cruise line or ship we have sailed on! Extraordinary! This was our first ocean cruise with Viking, so we were very much looking forward to this cruise, unfortunately we couldn’t enjoy it in the way we know very well how to do so. But wait, there was more trouble in storage for us. The first being a very early morning disembarkation from the ship. There is a regulation that ‘late joiners’ to any cruise must be the first off the ship and that meant at 7 AM. We ended up on the pier sidewalk in the open air with no transport available until 9:30. According to a Customs official late joiners were to pay a $700 penalty but in our case it seems that Viking will get the charge. There was no assistance from the on-shore Viking staff, so we had to arrange our own transportation to the J. M. Marriott hotel downtown where Viking had a hospitality suite for those passengers leaving Miami late in the day. Now comes our next nightmare. Another flight interruption between Miami and LaGuardia. LaGuardia incoming flights were all backed up and our 6 PM flight ended up leaving at 10 PM. Adding to the situation, our direct Delta Airlines flight ended up with a stop-over once again in Atlanta. The reason was to get a fresh crew of pilots. So all this resulted in our LaGuardia/Ottawa connection being missed. Once again an overnight stay in a hotel found on our own. The following morning, Feb. 12 we left towards Montreal with a connection to Ottawa, arriving around 3 PM. We checked for our lost luggage and they knew nothing about it. Finally, on Feb. 13th both suite cases were delivered to my home, in perfect condition. As you can realize, this was a real nightmare and something I would never wish to anyone, not even an enemy (if there is one around somewhere) Now to the good news! The ship is sensational, clean and ample with understated elegance. Our Penthouse Veranda was very spacious, a good sized veranda, no lounge chairs, just stiff wicker chairs; great bathroom with ample shower and good storage. The beds were comfortable and the TV system was sensational with many choices of music, movies and documentaries. One can check their room account at any moment. And for once, the computer access was very fast, free as well as printing stations. There were four terminals located on deck 1 very close to Guest Services. The room storage, although not a problem for us this time, was adequate being the closet a bit tight but the drawers were wider and deeper than any other cruise line taken. The fridge was replenished every day including snacks and miniature alcoholic beverages of your choice. The whole penthouse exudes elegance and the details of the furniture and fixtures were perfection. The carpet was in very good shape with a fantastic design. And last but not least, our cabin attendant Darius (Philippines) was a human being who radiated much happiness and hope. We could not have had anyone better than him to be assigned to our cabin. Please do not miss the Spa and the Ice Room, you would never know that you were on a ship. Very relaxing and peaceful indeed! Something else to be sure not to skip is purchasing the Silver Premium Spirits Beverage Package, it’s a bargain at $19.95 pp/day. Tea time was disappointing, the Winter garden was very pleasant with the three beautiful girls playing flute, violin and cello. Playing not only classic music but also some contemporary songs too. Food wise in general it was very good with the usual ups and downs. The Restaurant had very good choices and fantastic staff. Of the specialty ones our preferred one was Manfredi’s on both visits; the Chef’s Table first visit was very good but the second was a flop. Please check menus before reserving a table as they change every 3 days. The Waves Grill had a varied menu but concentrated on burgers and hot dogs with a good small salad bar. I guess it was popular as there were often quite long lines waiting to give their orders and the seating area was very small with tables too close to each other. The World Café, where brunch is served daily has a very good choice of items and the adjacent out door Aquavit Terrace that has the “so called” infinity pool was good. You can sit and have drinks served there but must go to the World Café or Waves Grill to pick up your food choices. It’s not very enjoyable while having your lunch to have bathers walk by dripping wet from the pool and different views of them some of which were quite intrusive. Again, whatever fault or problem we found, the staff made everything look and feel perfect. So be forewarned and choose your table carefully! If we were so happy with all the staff, we cannot say enough about our fellow passengers. They were polite, funny, warm, and most importantly respectful. The best passenger behaviour than on any other ship so far travelled. All tours taken were included and they were all worthwhile. More details and comment can be found in the excursions section. The entertainment was quite good. What was very appealing was the seating arrangements. You had your individual swivel armchair with a small table in between the next armchair and there is a large bar at the entrance so you can pick up your own drink or be served at your table in the theatre very quickly, The highlight of the night life was Torshavn! A kind of night club ambiance with two awesome singers (Joven and Angelica) a place where everybody was feeling free to dance and sing! Really, really a must! Are we thinking to cruise again with Viking Ocean Lines? Indeed!! But it will be without Free Air!!! That is unless it’s possible to do it on our terms!!! Please have that in mind especially if you coming from Canada during the winter season. But, please do not feel sorry for us because in time what will stay present in our minds will be the fantastic people we met and the good times we had during that cruise with Viking. The ugly and disheartening moments will slowly disappear for good. Have a great and safe trip, a good life and be happy!!

Canadians Cruising Without Luggage

Viking Sky Cruise Review by Canadianvoyager

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2018
  • Destination: Caribbean
Canadians Cruising Without Luggage

This first part has everything to do with our accepting Viking’s free airfare offer. And I believe by telling about all these experiences, future ocean voyage passengers might learn and avoid similar problems. The big mistake was to accept that offer, something that will never happen again. I will try all my best to be brief.

We left Ottawa on an Air Canada flight very late due to bad weather at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. We arrived too late for the connection to Miami. So, knowing that we already missed Miami’s ship departure, we decided to re-route to the next port of call which was luckily Key West; an Air Canada representative was able to find a flight there via Air Canada to Atlanta and then connecting with Delta Airlines to Key West. Once in Atlanta we boarded the Delta plane but because of mechanical problems we all had to leave the plane with the plan to soon re-board a similar plane, same seating arrangements etc. By the time they were ready to re-board the new plane, Key West airport reported that by the time our flight arrived (around 10 PM) the runway lights would be off as they always shut them down at 9 PM. So we overnighted in Atlanta and were told to be back at the airport no later than 5 AM

The following morning we left Atlanta and arrived in Key West in the mid-morning of Feb. 5th. We were happy we got there early because it would be very easy to get to the ship before the 4 PM departure. Unfortunately, once in the baggage terminal we learnt that our two suitcases were missing. Regardless how hard they tried it was not possible to locate where they were.

In a rush, we went all around Key West buying clothes, e.g. shirts, pants, swim suits, socks, running shoes and of course an extra suit case as we only had small carry-ons.

Once on board, Guest Service staff took over and we cannot say enough for the great effort they put to try and locate our luggage but with no luck. From then on plus our will power, everything went great and if our spirits went down all the staff of the Viking Sky did their best to pick us up. Without any hesitation, they were the best staff ever of any cruise line or ship we have sailed on! Extraordinary!

This was our first ocean cruise with Viking, so we were very much looking forward to this cruise, unfortunately we couldn’t enjoy it in the way we know very well how to do so.

But wait, there was more trouble in storage for us. The first being a very early morning disembarkation from the ship. There is a regulation that ‘late joiners’ to any cruise must be the first off the ship and that meant at 7 AM. We ended up on the pier sidewalk in the open air with no transport available until 9:30. According to a Customs official late joiners were to pay a $700 penalty but in our case it seems that Viking will get the charge. There was no assistance from the on-shore Viking staff, so we had to arrange our own transportation to the J. M. Marriott hotel downtown where Viking had a hospitality suite for those passengers leaving Miami late in the day.

Now comes our next nightmare. Another flight interruption between Miami and LaGuardia. LaGuardia incoming flights were all backed up and our 6 PM flight ended up leaving at 10 PM. Adding to the situation, our direct Delta Airlines flight ended up with a stop-over once again in Atlanta. The reason was to get a fresh crew of pilots. So all this resulted in our LaGuardia/Ottawa connection being missed. Once again an overnight stay in a hotel found on our own. The following morning, Feb. 12 we left towards Montreal with a connection to Ottawa, arriving around 3 PM. We checked for our lost luggage and they knew nothing about it. Finally, on Feb. 13th both suite cases were delivered to my home, in perfect condition.

As you can realize, this was a real nightmare and something I would never wish to anyone, not even an enemy (if there is one around somewhere)

Now to the good news! The ship is sensational, clean and ample with understated elegance.

Our Penthouse Veranda was very spacious, a good sized veranda, no lounge chairs, just stiff wicker chairs; great bathroom with ample shower and good storage. The beds were comfortable and the TV system was sensational with many choices of music, movies and documentaries. One can check their room account at any moment.

And for once, the computer access was very fast, free as well as printing stations. There were four terminals located on deck 1 very close to Guest Services. The room storage, although not a problem for us this time, was adequate being the closet a bit tight but the drawers were wider and deeper than any other cruise line taken.

The fridge was replenished every day including snacks and miniature alcoholic beverages of your choice. The whole penthouse exudes elegance and the details of the furniture and fixtures were perfection. The carpet was in very good shape with a fantastic design.

And last but not least, our cabin attendant Darius (Philippines) was a human being who radiated much happiness and hope. We could not have had anyone better than him to be assigned to our cabin.

Please do not miss the Spa and the Ice Room, you would never know that you were on a ship. Very relaxing and peaceful indeed!

Something else to be sure not to skip is purchasing the Silver Premium Spirits Beverage Package, it’s a bargain at $19.95 pp/day.

Tea time was disappointing, the Winter garden was very pleasant with the three beautiful girls playing flute, violin and cello. Playing not only classic music but also some contemporary songs too.

Food wise in general it was very good with the usual ups and downs.

The Restaurant had very good choices and fantastic staff.

Of the specialty ones our preferred one was Manfredi’s on both visits; the Chef’s Table first visit was very good but the second was a flop. Please check menus before reserving a table as they change every 3 days.

The Waves Grill had a varied menu but concentrated on burgers and hot dogs with a good small salad bar. I guess it was popular as there were often quite long lines waiting to give their orders and the seating area was very small with tables too close to each other.

The World Café, where brunch is served daily has a very good choice of items and the adjacent out door Aquavit Terrace that has the “so called” infinity pool was good. You can sit and have drinks served there but must go to the World Café or Waves Grill to pick up your food choices. It’s not very enjoyable while having your lunch to have bathers walk by dripping wet from the pool and different views of them some of which were quite intrusive. Again, whatever fault or problem we found, the staff made everything look and feel perfect. So be forewarned and choose your table carefully!

If we were so happy with all the staff, we cannot say enough about our fellow passengers. They were polite, funny, warm, and most importantly respectful. The best passenger behaviour than on any other ship so far travelled.

All tours taken were included and they were all worthwhile. More details and comment can be found in the excursions section.

The entertainment was quite good. What was very appealing was the seating arrangements. You had your individual swivel armchair with a small table in between the next armchair and there is a large bar at the entrance so you can pick up your own drink or be served at your table in the theatre very quickly,

The highlight of the night life was Torshavn! A kind of night club ambiance with two awesome singers (Joven and Angelica) a place where everybody was feeling free to dance and sing! Really, really a must!

Are we thinking to cruise again with Viking Ocean Lines? Indeed!! But it will be without Free Air!!! That is unless it’s possible to do it on our terms!!! Please have that in mind especially if you coming from Canada during the winter season.

But, please do not feel sorry for us because in time what will stay present in our minds will be the fantastic people we met and the good times we had during that cruise with Viking. The ugly and disheartening moments will slowly disappear for good. Have a great and safe trip, a good life and be happy!!
Canadianvoyager’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 5086
Our Penthouse Veranda was very spacious, a good sized veranda, no lounge chairs, just stiff wicker chairs; great bathroom with ample shower and good storage. The beds were comfortable and the TV system was sensational with many choices of music, movies and documentaries. One can check their room account at any moment.

And for once, the computer access was very fast, free as well as printing stations. There were four terminals located on deck 1 very close to Guest Services. The room storage, although not a problem for us this time, was adequate being the closet a bit tight but the drawers were wider and deeper than any other cruise line taken.

The fridge was replenished every day including snacks and miniature alcoholic beverages of your choice. The whole penthouse exudes elegance and the details of the furniture and fixtures were perfection. The carpet was in very good shape with a fantastic design.

And last but not least, our cabin attendant Darius (Philippines) was a human being who radiated much happiness and hope. We could not have had anyone better than him to be assigned to our cabin.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Altun Ha
    Regardless the long drive to the site, we were very much entertained by the tour guide, a girl with impressive local knowledge. On site we had a new guide to walk a small group around Atun Ha and again with profound knowledge of the whole area. We were able to climb two of the pyramids, the first quite difficult and dangerous without any hand rails. The second was the tallest and fortunately, safer to climb as it had handrails up and down. Fantastic views and pictures from the top. Highly recommended.
    View All 165 Altun Ha Reviews
  • Mayan Ruins
    This tour was again to Mayan ruins and although not as extensive as Atun Ha, it was much more interesting and informative, especially as at this site there were no human sacrifice ceremonies. Specifically it was called the San Gervasio site which was dedicated to the Goddess of the Moon and Fertility. We got an extraordinary tour guide called Margarita. He knowledge and spirit was overwhelming and made the whole tour extremely enjoyable. We had a short stop to sample environmentally grown agave the plant used to make tequila, the national drink of Mexico. We tasted many varieties and purchased a bottle of tequila that was aged for 5 years at 90 $US per bottle. The 12 year old variety was priced at $150. A highly recommended tour.
    View All 372 Mayan Ruins Reviews
  • City Tour
    A boring, long ride from the port of Progresso to Merida. The tour guide was funny but not as brilliant as the pervious tour guides. Merida City was a big surprise, having ample modern boulevards (Boulevard de Paseo de Montego) lined with large elaborate homes, in fact a city of 2 million people. Very clean and orderly with many old, well kept houses, fantastic central plaza and hand made monument de la Patria. Also a very large Cathedral built in 1774. Had some time to enjoy a great local beer at a tavern of the many you can find around the Cathedral. Except for the long, back and forth ride, it was a very enjoyable tour.
    View All 16 City Tour Reviews