Viking Sky Cruise Review by Deereus
- Sail Date: October 2018
- Destination: Mediterranean
We were quite impressed by the communication from the booking procedure, through to departure & on arrival in Venice there were many Viking representatives in evidence. We were aware our stateroom (3056) would not be available to us until 2pm & we were due to arrive at the ship by about midday so I asked at the airport if we would be allowed on the ship to look around etc but was told no, we would have to wait at the port terminal until our allotted time. This was not the case at all but the representative on our transfer bus didn’t offer any advice over the microphone & in fact alarmed us a little on approaching the dock as he called the ship the Viking Star twice!!
There seemed to be an assumption that we were all previous Viking passengers & so we just followed him to the cruise terminal where he left us. Check-in at the terminal was efficient & we then made our way onto the ship where we were greeted with champagne & towels & took a seat in the immediate lounge area. After 20 minutes or so we realised that many of those on our coach had moved elsewhere so we asked if we could go around the ship & were then told please go & have lunch or whatever we wanted until our stateroom was available. Fortunately an announcement was made about 1.15 that all rooms were now ready so we headed to our room & our luggage was waiting outside for us. Our cabin steward arrived & introduced himself, gave us info for the room etc & he did an excellent job, along with the entire housekeeping team, all week.
The room was quite generous in size, apart from a bit tight at the end & wardrobe side of bed, but we were generally very comfortable. Bathroom also bigger than expected but found the underfloor heating a bit stifling at times. Although the shower is reasonably powerful, the temperature fluctuates so you needed to be a bit careful. Quite pleased to find the sound proofing was very good as we never heard anybody really; just a bit of music drifting from the atrium sometimes as we were nearby.
We didn’t spend much time on our verandah but it was good to be able to open the door at times
On one evening we received a note to say they would require access to our verandah from 0800-1500 the following day for maintenance work. We weren’t happy with that idea & why it couldn’t be done at the end of our trip, but as soon as we spoke to Guest Services, they confirmed the work could wait.
We enjoyed breakfast in the World Cafe as you could be as quick as you wanted, & had room service at one port where we were not taking an excursion so fancied a lazier morning.
Dined mainly in the main Restaurant & only had to wait about 15 minutes one evening. Had some lovely food there & more than enough choice on the menu each evening. House wines also excellent & poured generously. It can be very busy in there but because the area is in smaller sections you don’t feel you’re in a large dining room. Staff deal with everything in a friendly efficient way & cope very well.
Unfortunately we didn’t prebook Manfredis beforehand as we didn’t know when & where we might like to dine. However in hindsight we should have booked & then cancelled if necessary as there were no slots any time of any day. It was quite apparent that some people were dining there frequently. We were however offered the chance of the Manfredis menu in a side room on a mixed table of 12 for our last evening but we declined.
Loved the various bar & seating areas, our favourite being the Explorers Lounge. A small selection of food is available in Mamsens & we felt they could have varied that more.
With just 1 or 2 exceptions every member of staff was polite, friendly & efficient & we enjoyed passing comments with them.
Some of the music was a bit of a cruising cliche so we tended not to listen to that. However, special mention of the excellent Beatles & ABBA songbook evenings by the group of 4 & also the stunning performance by Heather Clancy, the Cruise Director along with Gary Jerry on his piano.
It was nice also to have members of the crew, the Captain etc introduced in various ways.
We only took 2 walking tours as our first 2 tours didn’t happen due to weather conditions affecting the itinerary. Unfortunately Venice was having their worst weather & flooding for 10 years so the Port was closed & water transport was cancelled on the day we were due to go out & about. We were also unable to leave as scheduled so were delayed until the next day & had a day at sea, having to miss out Split altogether & head straight to Dubrovnik. Sail away from Venice was still amazing despite the wind & rain!!
We enjoyed the 2 tours we did but I think it’s luck with which guide you get as our two guides were completely different in their approach.
A huge task which they handle quite efficiently. Although you have to vacate your Stateroom by 8am, you then have time for breakfast etc. However I don’t know how they assess which group to put you in as we had to leave at 9am, getting to the airport 4.5 hours before our flight so had to just hang around for 2.5 hours until check-in opened.
Overall we enjoyed our first cruising experience; we loved the ship & would possibly consider another cruise in the future. It would seem from fellow passengers that Viking compares very favourably to some other cruise lines but I guess you get what you pay for as Viking are certainly at the higher end price wise.
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