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We chose Viking Ocean because of excellent experiences with Viking River Cruises, of which we have been on four in Europe. We were not disappointed. Before I write the review for this cruise, a word about the ocean: Traveling the North Sea and Bay of Biscay is a completely different animal from cruising the Caribbean, where most “past-cruisers” have gone. Here you really are “at sea,” with all that entails: waves and troughs that can easily be 20 to 30 feet high, storms, and other nasty weather. As a Navy veteran I absolutely loved the return to the open sea, but many on board seemed quite nonplussed that they weren’t on the glassy surfaces they had previously experienced. Do your homework. Travel to and from: Viking offers deals on air transportation. If you can, it is much easier to package your entire trip with them, including insurance (which we found to be quite reasonable). Once you land at your embarkation destination, worries go away as Viking takes care of everything. Once your trip is over and you return to an airport, Viking people go with you and make sure you have found your flight and gate. I find that quite impressive. They could, but do not, abandon you after you leave the ship. Regarding the Viking Sun: The ship was immaculate, as all Viking ships (ocean) and boats (rivers) are. The amenities were impeccable, from the four or five places to dine to the public spaces where, seemingly, every comfort was anticipated. There was even a jigsaw puzzle table. The crew was also wonderful. A mandatory tip is assessed to each passenger but we additionally tipped our cabin cleaning duo and a particularly fun waiter. We asked for his table every evening. There was not a single crew member who was less than helpful and accommodating. The size of the ship is perfect. Slightly less than 1,000 passengers mean relatively quick off-and-on. Personal service is possible with a ship that size, and the ports you visit aren’t inundated with your fellow shipmates (especially in off-season, which is when we travelled). Remember, though, that a somewhat smaller ship may be more difficult for passengers in rough seas. Dining was also very good. The portions are smaller than we are used to but we certainly weren't hungry after eating. There is a local menu, a chef's specialty menu, and a "standard" menu for those of more traditional taste. As mentioned above, the table service was as good as it could be. Shore excursions: Because I have a limited ability to walk, my wife and I had limited ability to enjoy excursions, me more than she. I offer this caution: if you can avoid the "Panoramic _____ (major city)." You get driven around in a bus with maybe a stop or two and can point at places you've heard of/seen before, but that's about it. Have I been to London? Well, I've been THROUGH London but saw it mostly through a bus window. For those old enough to remember: "If it's Tuesday it Must be Belgium." Attached is an image from an iPhone 8, taken through a bus window (Buckingham Palace in the distance). Amsterdam was somewhat different: there we toured canals in an enclosed boat, but the result was similar.

Elegance in the real ocean

Viking Sun Cruise Review by wrf1984

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We chose Viking Ocean because of excellent experiences with Viking River Cruises, of which we have been on four in Europe. We were not disappointed.

Before I write the review for this cruise, a word about the ocean:

Traveling the North Sea and Bay of Biscay is a completely different animal from cruising the Caribbean, where most “past-cruisers” have gone. Here you really are “at sea,” with all that entails: waves and troughs that can easily be 20 to 30 feet high, storms, and other nasty weather. As a Navy veteran I absolutely loved the return to the open sea, but many on board seemed quite nonplussed that they weren’t on the glassy surfaces they had previously experienced. Do your homework.

Travel to and from:

Viking offers deals on air transportation. If you can, it is much easier to package your entire trip with them, including insurance (which we found to be quite reasonable). Once you land at your embarkation destination, worries go away as Viking takes care of everything.

Once your trip is over and you return to an airport, Viking people go with you and make sure you have found your flight and gate. I find that quite impressive. They could, but do not, abandon you after you leave the ship.

Regarding the Viking Sun:

The ship was immaculate, as all Viking ships (ocean) and boats (rivers) are. The amenities were impeccable, from the four or five places to dine to the public spaces where, seemingly, every comfort was anticipated. There was even a jigsaw puzzle table.

The crew was also wonderful. A mandatory tip is assessed to each passenger but we additionally tipped our cabin cleaning duo and a particularly fun waiter. We asked for his table every evening. There was not a single crew member who was less than helpful and accommodating.

The size of the ship is perfect. Slightly less than 1,000 passengers mean relatively quick off-and-on. Personal service is possible with a ship that size, and the ports you visit aren’t inundated with your fellow shipmates (especially in off-season, which is when we travelled). Remember, though, that a somewhat smaller ship may be more difficult for passengers in rough seas.

Dining was also very good. The portions are smaller than we are used to but we certainly weren't hungry after eating. There is a local menu, a chef's specialty menu, and a "standard" menu for those of more traditional taste. As mentioned above, the table service was as good as it could be.

Shore excursions:

Because I have a limited ability to walk, my wife and I had limited ability to enjoy excursions, me more than she. I offer this caution: if you can avoid the "Panoramic _____ (major city)." You get driven around in a bus with maybe a stop or two and can point at places you've heard of/seen before, but that's about it. Have I been to London? Well, I've been THROUGH London but saw it mostly through a bus window. For those old enough to remember: "If it's Tuesday it Must be Belgium." Attached is an image from an iPhone 8, taken through a bus window (Buckingham Palace in the distance). Amsterdam was somewhat different: there we toured canals in an enclosed boat, but the result was similar.
wrf1984’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 3071
For those who have been on Viking River Cruises, you’ll find the cabins roomier. We had a minimally-priced cabin, which is located on the lowest cabin level. In addition to a king-sized bed there were two chair and a coffee table plus a desk and desk chair. The balcony had two wicker chairs and a small table. It appears, if you are traveling with others in adjoining cabins, you can open partitions between balconies.

The bathroom was somewhat larger than on their river boats. The shower is larger and the bathroom had a !!heated floor!!

By the way: cabins on the lower decks and nearness to the center of the ship will rerduce the effects of rough seas. REDUCE, not eliminate.

Cabins are cleaned daily with turn-down service later. The mini-bar is stocked and free (no alcohol) – another really nice amenity.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews