Viking Sky Cruise Review by CBR05
- Sail Date: December 2017
- Destination: Caribbean
Pluses for the cruise were the food, service, surprisingly good entertainment, the amount of open spaces around the ship, the room, the lectures, no casino and no children.
The main restaurant was superb every night we attended. Once we were at a table for 6, the rest just the 2 of us. Like the river cruise, there is standard American fare offered every night. What makes Viking special is that they also have offerings with a local flare every night.
Manfredi's is a fine Italian restaurant, a little on the noisy side, but that's what I expect for an Italian restaurant. My only complaint is that the portions are too big, although others may think that's fine.
We did the Chef's table twice. This is a multi-course, fixed menu dinner with wine pairings for each course. Every three days the menu changes, so you can go more than once and not have the same meal. We found the portion size to be perfect. This meal venue is the most intimate on the ship.
We ate at the World Cafe for breakfast and lunch only. Unlike the cafeteria-style restaurants on other ocean cruise ships, this is a pleasant place to eat. The number of guests and the civility of Viking's clientele probably has a lot to do with this. The food here was also top notch.
If you want something different (more relaxed) for breakfast, go to Mamsen's and have the waffle with everything, including the goat cheese. You will not be disappointed.
At 4 each day there is high tea served in the Wintergarden. It is worth doing once or twice. It is very popular, so get there early if you want a prime seat.
There is live music from late morning until around midnight somewhere on the ship. All of it was much better than expected for a small ship. SInce it is Viking, much of the music is more of a classical nature. The exception was the band at Torshavn. It was an entertaining cover band for anyone between the ages of 45 and 75, which is the age range of the majority of the passengers.
The theater shows are typical for a cruise ship. That said, the talent on our cruise was very high level. If you are into comics and magicians, you will be disappointed. Only very good singers and dancers perform on this cruise.
Don't miss taking some time to visit the free parts of the spa. It is worth it. The spa is small so you will have to work around the crowds at times. If you have the courage, try the steam room/snow cave/water bucket ritual. It is refreshing and not as bad as it sounds.
Finally, do sit in on a few lectures. Our speakers were topnotch experts in native central American cultures. There are no tests and you can enjoy your favorite adult beverages while listening. Much better than college.
Minuses were the shore excursions. In Key West, we were docked at the naval base, so the only way on and off the ship was by bus. That is not convenient here since Key West is an easily walkable town. We took the included tour which was nice, but having to use the buses to/from the ship caused us to skip one of the museums to avoid the hassles.
We took the river cave tour in Belize. It was nice but there was too much standing around once we got there. The tour guide was great, which we have now come to expect with Viking.
In Cozumel, we took the tour of the ruins and the tequila plant. Here we had our best tour guide for the cruise. She was well versed in the local history and made sure everyone was accommodated, no matter what their mobility level. The one big plus for this stop was that the biggest cruise ship in the world was docked next to us. While their passengers were dragging themselves back to the ship, we were being greeted with champagne and warm towels.
Progresso was terrible. We should have stayed on the ship. This port is not ready for cruise ships. Since we had been to the Mayan ruins on previous trips (which may make a difference at this stop), we chose a Progresso excursion. Unless there are big changes, don't take the kayak/beach excursion. The kayaking could be good, but the group was too big with a wide variety of skill levels. There were guests that had never kayaked before that ran aground, ran into each other and slowed the rest of us to a crawl. The beach time was spent a local beachfront restaurant. The area was tiny and not very clean. There was an half-buried tire in front of the first row of chairs. The only bright spot was our guide.
This was Viking's first cruise to this part of the Caribbean. There is some work that needs to be done to improve the shore experiences. However, the time on the ship and the ship's crew make this cruise a wonderful vacation experience.
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The cabin service was excellent. Our room was always cleaned in a timely manner. They seemed to know when we would be out of room long enough for them to get in and get out before we came back.