Viking Sea Cruise Review by formerskygoddess
We are Viking groupies, I suppose! This was our 10th Viking Cruise---8 River and 2 Ocean, and while we have thoroughly enjoyed every one, this Atlantic crossing was the most restful of all. Sea days give one the opportunity to de-stress and and enjoy the luxury of having no absolute schedule that must be kept. We arrived a day early and had an afternoon to walk around Old San Juan and had a lovely dinner in a very small traditional l restaurant. Embarkation in San Juan went smoothly and quickly, as do all Viking embarkations. The ship is just the right size to offer a variety of restaurant and snack options, entertainment nightly in the theater, shopping for fun and necessities, a small night club for that late-night drink, entertaining band and vocalist and dancing. There were many lounging areas on board in the common areas and on deck, so after a couple of days I began to notice some of the guests had gravitated to their own little nests time after time. We especially enjoyed the educational lectures and the fact that we could catch them on the TV in our stateroom if we happened to miss one. And speaking of TV, for someone who rarely watches a movie on TV at home I found myself watching several full-length features as well as every episode of certain series (especially The Vikings, of course!) and documentaries as well. The in-room options for entertainment were excellent, including the satellite live TV (most of the time). The service by the staff, especially our stateroom attendants was wonderful. The only time we observed a little break in the usual friendly, efficient service of the staff was in the Tea Garden where some of the servers seemed inefficient and bored. We had a Junior Penthouse suite that was spacious, 2 large flat screen TV's. sofa and two lounge chairs, very comfortable bed, good lighting for reading and makeup. My husband did say he would have preferred better lighting in the bathroom for shaving. I however, was very happy with the dressing table and lighted mirror. The sleeping area could be closed off from the sitting area and outside deck by full-length drapes. The exercise equipment area could have been larger with more treadmills, as they were in great demand on sea days. The two specialty restaurants made dining a more special event, especially the Chef's Table, but all the food on board was well-prepared and well-presented. We appreciate the absence of young children on board, as well as no noisy, smoky casino! We were very pleased that an Easter Sunday religious service was held in theater (well-attended, with projected backdrop on the stage area that made it appear we were in a large church with stained glass windows. And on Easter Sunday every stateroom had a chocolate bunny placed there as a surprise. I also understand that Passover was also celebrated as well. The excursion in Madeira on the cable car and visit to the botanical garden was worthwhile. If you have never been to Tangier, the included tour by Viking is a good thing to do. We recommend visiting the Historic American Legation building--fascinating history. All the included tours give an excellent overview of the various cities. The last evening gathering of the ship's company and guests for meet and greet, entertainment and farewells on the main deck of the multi-level atrium left us all feeling that we had somehow become a family in our short time together. Disembarkation is a carefully planned and executed experience, and we highly recommend Viking's transportation to and from the airports rather than deal with expensive taxis. One other thing to note is that my husband, a 36-year career U.S. Navy Captain is ALWAYS pleased to see how well-maintained the ship is and ALWAY points out the crew cleaning, sanding, painting, etc. The cruise was everything we hoped it would be and are already planning our next Viking adventure..
As already mentioned, the stateroom was very comfortable, well-appointed and absolutely spotless, thanks to our stewardess and steward. We liked the location because it was near the explorer lounge, the theater, the fitness center and the Tea Garden. The only drawback for the location was the necessity to walk through the pool deck to go to the restaurants at the other end of the ship..
formerskygoddess’s Full Rating Summary
Nicely appointed, furnishings comfortable, everything worked properly, i.e., lights, TV, refrigerator, toilets, etc. Loved the dressing table that has fold-down mirrored top making it easy to keep cosmetics available. Shower was large and roomy, toiletries replenished frequently. Liked the curtain that could be drawn between sitting area and sleeping area---TV in each area that allowed late-night TV for one while the other could go to sleep. Ice was delivered twice a day on request. It would have been nice to have fresh flowers.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Beautiful! Would loved to have had more time. The cable car ride to the top of the island and visit to Botanical garden was well worth the time.
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Still recovering from hurricane. Local restaurant where we had dinner was in a lovely old building, looked great when we entered, then we were escorted past the locals who were seated at the good tables and into a somewhat boring and isolated room. Not a good way to treat visitors.
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Rained that day. Not a very interesting place to visit.
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Typical island, but still suffering from effects of the hurricane. if you're not into buying a lot of over-priced jewelry and souvenirs, take an excursion into the outer part of the island which is much more interesting than the port area.
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Chocked full of history. Learned much about the long-standing American and Moroccan relationship dating back to our Revolutionary War. Served tea and cakes at the conference table---what a treat!
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Beautiful city with fascinating history and a forward looking excitement about it. The very modern various arts buildings and libraries were outstanding works of architecture and were surprising to be found in such a city that also maintains its historic buildings. We were fortunate enough to be there for a festival day, complete with bands, parades and authentic local costumes worn by participants. And yes, the orange trees are everywhere!
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