We chose to do a repositioning cruise on the Viking Sea in March of 2018 from San Juan to Barcelona. We have sailed over a dozen times on other cruise lines, predominately Seabourn and have done four other trans-Atlantic cruises, but were intrigued by the pictures and reviews of these new ships.
First the good: The Viking Sea was a beautiful ship with spacious public areas. We loved the clean Scandinavian design and our lovely PV1 cabin.
The Mediocre: The food. Perhaps we are spoiled by the exceptional cuisine on Seabourn, but we found the dining experience on the Viking Sea to be very disappointing. With the exception of the specialty restaurants (which were limited to two visits per cruise) the food and service in the main dining room were mediocre at best. There was never enough wait staff, the food was not very good, and the tables were jammed so close together that any thought of a romantic meal for two was impossible. In general we were surprised at the poor level of service on the boat (again compared to Seabourn.) While sitting around the pool, it was rare for anyone to come offer even a drink of water, let alone something alcoholic. This meant one of us (including my handicapped husband) had to go to the bar, order a drink, and carry it back.
The Horrible: My husband suffers from Afib, a heart condition for which he has been treated for two years. Prior to leaving on this cruise, he was cleared to sail by his cardiologist in Florida. On day 9 of our cruise, he went to see the ship's doctor because he was having some symptoms related to this condition. The doctor prescribed a new drug, and he felt fine. On day 11, we took a private land excursion to Tangiers which tired him out. The next morning (shortly after we docked in Cadiz, Spain) he decided to see the doctor again, just to be sure he was okay. After running some tests (which concluded my husband had NOT had a heart attack) the doctor announced that "because the next day would be a sea day" he could not risk having us on board. We were told to summarily pack our things, leave the ship, and go to a local hospital in Cadiz. In a state of shock we complied.
We spent the next 7 days in a hospital in Cadiz (where most of the staff did not speak English.) My husband was given an IV for hydration and hooked up to a monitor. And we waited and waited and waited for 4 DAYS to see a cardiologist. When he finally arrived, he did a short test, added a beta blocker (a drug my husband had previously taken) and said we were "cleared to fly." Hurray! But no, our Viking trip insurance company "Trip Mate," now responsible for getting us back to Florida, declared we must have a "medical escort" home. This, despite the fact that all the doctors at the Cadiz hospital said this was UNNECESSARY. So...we waited 3 MORE DAYS for a nurse to fly in from Colorado to accompany us home. THEN THE REAL KICKER.......Trip Mate just sent us a bill for $2,000 for my air ticket home, because it exceeded their limit for that class of service. It was the SAME class of service we had booked for our original flight home from Barcelona.
In short...we missed the last three days of our cruise, spent seven nights in a foreign hospital, suffered considerable stress and discomfort, for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON. My husband, according to ALL the doctors in the Cadiz hospital, was medically fine to continue the cruise. He has been fine since we returned home. The Viking doctor made a mistake when he sent us off the boat. Now they want to charge us $2,000 more for his poor judgement. This is unconscionable and unacceptable. We do not intend to pay this bill, will never sail on Viking again, and have told all of our friends to beware of this cruise line.
Very nice, though we wondered why they put a wall in the middle of the windows out to the balcony. Our cabin steward was excellent and very attentive. Loved the heated bathroom floor and roomy shower.