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Viking Sun Cruise Review
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
404 Reviews

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Viking Sun Cruise Review by ConiferGardenGirl

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2017
  • Destination: the Panama Canal & Central America

This trip was everything and more that one would expect from Viking. It was our first ocean experience with them although we've done two Viking river cruises. From the time we arrived at the Port of Miami until we were loaded on buses for the LA airport, it was indeed the trip of a life time. This ship was simply spectacular! We were very hesitant to book an ocean cruise as the idea of a floating hotel of 2-3,000 passengers did not excite us. We were even skeptical of Vikings 930 passengers. That apprehension quickly disappeared, as we never felt like we had that many fellow cruisers. There are so many 'intimate' areas throughout the ship where people can read, chill out, play cards . . . We booked an Explorer suite and WOW, it was nothing short of amazing. The layout and amount of space was incredible. The dining options really appealed to us. We don't mind buffet style for breakfast and lunch but enjoy a traditional sit down with wait staff for dinner. It would be hard to chose between Manfredi's and The Chef's Table, as both offered fine dining with separate twists. The Chef's Table was SO intimate and we met the chef each time we dined there (6), which was quite special. Manfredi's offered a wonderful Italian style menu with beautiful wines - we enjoyed it almost a dozen times in our 23 day cruise. On board entertainment is not particularly important to us but we did attend about 6 evening performances, which were really quite good. Unfortunately we were looking forward to The Kitchen Table excursion but it was not available on this trip. Instead, cooking classes were offered on sea days and we attended 3. We had SUCH a good time. The classroom is state of the art and with only 8-10 participants, it's just a really interesting 3 hours. Most of the on-shore excursions were educational and interesting but there were a few duds - particularly Nicaragua. We also felt that we spent too much time in Cuba, and wish that one of the Cuba days would have been added to Costa Rica, Cabo or even Guatemala. Cienfuegos was a very disappointing first port of call. The primary reason for us booking this cruise was going through the Panama Canal and we were not disappointed. We were both very prepared for this part of our cruise, having both read the book "The Path Between the Seas." The excursion the day before cruising the canal was great as we got a local look at both sides of the canal and the actual experience of going through the locks, experiencing this enormous feat of mankind, was beyond superlatives.

We enjoyed this cruise so much that on the second day, we booked the Alaska cruise for 2019 and booked the exact same room! If we could afford it, we would have booked several.

ConiferGardenGirl's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cabin explorer suite ES-3 3000

Beyond wonderful! Incredibly spacious. I appreciated the built-in bench in the shower and everything associated with the floorplan of the bathroom, closet and dressing area. We really enjoyed all of the space and found ourselves spending a good deal of time enjoying a cup of coffee or glass of wine on our deck each day. The view from our room was straight out to the bow of the ship, which added to the feeling of spaciousness.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


We took the 8 hour trip to Havanna on Day 2. It was very interesting and we had a wonderful guide for this excursion. Cienfuegos, however, is very disappointing as it is a commercial port in a Communist country, so obviously it is not a bustling 'alive' port of call.

Dunn's River Falls

This was also disappointing as I thought it was really oversold. The falls are beautiful but it is SO commercial, it feels more like a waterpark and should have been portrayed more accurately in the description. There were several people in our group who had significant difficulty with the incline and number of steps.

View All 287 Dunn's River Falls Reviews
Panama City

My rating is based on Viking once again not doing an appropriate job of rating the amount of walking/steps/hills included in this excursion. Again, several people struggled with the steps and inclines in the city. The excursion descriptions shuld be written by someone who has experienced the excursion, not some marketing person.

View All 39 Panama City Reviews
Tram Through Rainforest

Loved it! The guide was great - the vehicle was lots of fun. Well described and delivered.

View All 26 Tram Through Rainforest Reviews

The included tour was just a waste of time. 3 hours on a bus, 1 hour in a market and 3 hours back to the ship! Someone didn't do their homework. Everyone was so disgusted that when we returned to the ship, the crew was waiting with champagne and funky music to change the mojo of the crowd. Everyone was disappointed and angered by this very ill-planned excursion.

Puerto Quetzal (Antigua)

Compared to Cortino, anything would have been good but we really enjoyed Guatemala.

Camel Ride

What a fun excursion - riding a camel along the Pacific Ocean. It was interesting, everyone had a great time and the photos with the camels are great mementos.

View All 19 Camel Ride Reviews

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