My wife and I had taken a Viking River Cruise a couple of years ago and were excited to find that the company had gone into the sea cruising business. We were somewhat late in signing up for this cruise but found that the rear Explorer Suite was available. The reputation of Viking and our personal experience gave us great confidence that our money would be well spent. This proved to be true in nearly every segment of the cruise.
Our early boarding was nicely done as our luggage arrived at our room in a very timely fashion. There was one problem which took time to resolve. The obligatory picture of each of us upon boarding for the first time apparently failed to register. We had to stand in a fairly long line to have that resolved which kept us from our room for about an extra hour. Once in however, we were made comfortable by our extraordinary Stewardess, Jackie.
The Suite was beautiful and comfortable as I discuss in the box below. My wife had a hip problem that caused her to be uncomfortable in the two chairs provided in the room. We saw deeper chairs in the room next door and asked Jackie about exchanging one of ours for one similar to what we saw. Ten minutes later Jackie and her partner had the new chair set up and the other one gone. We were pleased to no end. This was just a sample of the extremely courteous, thoughtful service she provided throughout our voyage.
The ship itself is the most beautiful and functional we have been on. Great care has been put into considering the comfort of the passengers and offering a different style of cruising from that of the competition.
The dining experience was one of recognizing what was great and what was ordinary. I thought the seafood was outstanding and the beef dishes to be ordinary. This might be something to look to upgrading. The specialty restaurants were mixed, I felt.Manfredi's Restaurant was superb in both food and décor. The Chef's Table was okay except for the problem that causes the passengers to pick the date they want to be at that restaurant many weeks in advance without, as we found out, any knowledge of the style of food to be served at that sitting. We were fortunate to change our sitting to a different night when we found out that reindeer was not on our list of exciting food choices. I do suggest that something be done to allow passengers to have better information prior to making a choice on the Chef's Table.
The port excursions were uniformly excellent. We loved them all. I particularly liked the trek across the headlands at Kirkwall in the Orkneys and Scara Brae. Our tour of Dublin afforded us the opportunity to see, hear and sing along with the best single day guide we have ever had. His name is Sam Ford and he is the best. Others were top notch as well.
Needless to say, my wife and I will continue to patronize Viking Cruises both on the rivers and at sea. Our experience was the best ever and it is little wonder that the latest Travel and Leisure rates Viking Sea Cruises head and shoulders above the competition and with the highest rated ships of any size. Thank you for a most wonderful time aboard the Viking Sun.
The three room Explorer Suite aboard the Viking Sun was spacious and beautifully appointed. The main living area was bright and cheerful and clearly minimal in style. It was a great place to relax both in the day and evening. The bedroom and adjoining closet were large comfortable and contained enough space for all our luggage and clothes hangings. The bathroom was particularly spectacular. There is not another like it on any cruise line we have used previously. Double sinks are a pleasure and a rarity and to have a shower and tub both was extraordinary. Every room having access to the media screen was a nice touch. Our neighbors in the room adjacent to ours upon seeing our suite stated that on their next cruise they would splurge for the same suite we had. So would we. One last comment, the deck was large and comfortable. The wrap around feature made it easy to get out of a cold wind while sailing by going either to the side or back. Obviously we loved the room.