Voyage of the Vikings was a dream cruise for us. After reading reviews and following prior Viking voyages on line, we decided it was time for us to take the plunge. We are so happy we did it! Not everything was perfect but we didn’t let the small issues dampen our trip or the overall experience.
MS Rotterdam is an older ship and despite reading complaints from other reviews, we felt the ship had character. There were a few water leaks on rainy days. The voice mail system was hard to figure out. Automated wake-up calls seldom rang at the requested time – either because the time change was not programmed in (one hour off) or it was programmed late (wake-up calls were 20 minutes late). One day, we had no cold water in our bathroom. A spa charge on our account on the first day was not ours and it took 3 weeks for them to remove it. I mention these only to show that problems did arise but I believe it is mostly how you handle the problems that makes for a good or bad cruise. We had a good cruise!
Embarkation in Boston was organized and did not take long. Although we were waiting at the terminal for 90 minutes, it was only because we arrived before the scheduled boarding time. Our plan was to drop our carry-on bags in the cabin, get lunch and then go sightseeing. We checked in at 1 pm and were off the ship at 1:30. We used local bus transportation to get into town. There is a bus stop near the terminal.
Cabin 2530 Large Inside Cat L for 3 people. King bed and a sofa bed. Both were very comfortable. Cabin stewards were very attentive and courteous. Cabin was well maintained twice daily. No issues. We brought along an extension cord and a multi plug outlet for additional connections. 2 USB ports available for charging phones and laptop.
Beautiful town for walking around. A few museums are worthy of a look. If you are able, climb the 408 steps to the Fjellstua viewing point – stunning views of the city and the pier. An alternate walking trail takes you back down and passed some interesting spots including the only house that did not burn in the 1904 fire that destroyed the city.
Free local shuttle to and from town. You can also walk but it’s a busy road. Get directions. Go to Tom’s Port Guide for information on the local walking trails. We spent the day on the 8 km Gorge Trail and saw Lady Slipper flowers but not much else beyond the Margaret Bowater Park (you can swim in the river here). The modern City Hall has a museum and a grass roof. Bootleg Brew Co had a choice of 8 brews. Drunken Muppet and Just The Tip were good.
Tender - No priority tendering for 4 and 5 star during the entire cruise! Half the passengers (700) were in this group. There is a free bus service within Acadia NP but you must pay to enter the park. If you have an Annual Pass, be sure to bring it with you to avoid paying the entrance fee. There are different bus routes within the park. Buses run often although you may have to wait 30 minutes for some routes. Basically, they operate as HOHO. Be sure of your timing so you get back to the ship!
Check-in began at 1pm except 5 stars, who had special area and were brought on early. After check-in, we ate in lido then exited and took a bus into Boston. Bus stop is an easy walk from Terminal 1 and 2. We were back on board at 5 pm, went to dinner in MDR and then the 8 pm safety drill for those who did not attend the 4 pm safety drill. Our departure was at 10 pm.
The big fiddle can’t be missed! You can get into town via the road or a boardwalk. There are a few places of interest near the port (house, church and Highlander museums, Tim Hortons) plus some interesting shops in town (craft & design centre). The port has some shops and free WiFi. There was a large craft show when we were there.
A sleepy little town with interesting shops and food. “The Chippy” was a good stop for fish and chips. We took a tour to Fairy Glen, Uig, Duntulm, etc for 28 GBP for 4 hours. Excellent! Some great photos.
I thought this would be a nothing stop but it turned out to be historically interesting. Be sure to pick up the free tour books – Town Trail and Historic Quarter – at the information booth. These will guide you through the town and its history. There is a lot here! Industry, religion, revolutions and sugar.
Took HAL excursion - Kayaking in the fjord. Look at the rock art and note the sculpture with the face carved inward. The face will follow you as you move from side to side! Spooky!
Small information booth at pier with free WiFi. Get directions to bigger info center. There is a map with 3 walking trails outlined. We did all of them during our walk around town. Be sure to check out the church with the clay birds behind the altar.