This was our third sailing on the Viking Sea, and my wife and I have become very fond of this spectacularly beautiful, well-designed, and immaculately-maintained ship! The staterooms are setup just right to accommodate our needs, the public spaces are excellent and abundant, and the crew seem uniformly happy and eager to please. The food and entertainment are very good, and the other amenities (wifi, pool, spa, fitness center, sports deck, lounges, laudromat, and shops) are very good. We chose this particular cruise because of the itinerary (Caribbean and South America) included some ports that we hadn't visited previously (Santo Domingo, Cartagena, and Santa Marta), two ports that I hadn't visited for more than 60 years and was eager to enjoy again (Aruba and Curacao), two places that we are very familiar with (San Juan and St. Kitts), as well as opportunities to enjoy two At-Sea days.
Viking Cruises handled the arrangements for our air transportation, our transfers between the airport and cruise terminal prior to our embarkation, and also after debarkation. When we arrived at the airport in San Juan, it took a while for all of the expected passengers to obtain their baggage and to check-in with the Viking representatives.. The bus that was brought us to the ship had a door malfunction, and it took a long time for us to get through the San Juan rush hour traffic.. But everything fell into place as soon as we arrived at the cruise terminal -- welcome, check-in, champagne, dinner, meeting our stateroom attendant, and having our baggage delivered to our cabin.
This was our 23rd ocean cruise, and we have observed the cruise industry's trend toward increasing large cruiseships, and increasingly large numbers of passengers onboard those ships. On the mega-ships, it seems that one must spend a large amount of time waiting for elevators,.and searching for a quiet place in public areas to read or talk. But this is NOT the way things are on Viking Oceans cruises! We are impressed at the variety, beauty, and comfort of public spaces on Viking Oceans ships! The Atrium, Wintergarden, Explorer Lounge, Pool Area, and decks are superb!
Viking Oceans ships offer several dining alternatives, including The Restaurant (the ship's elegant main dining room), the World Cafe (buffet), Manfredi's (Italian food), The Chef's Table (gourmet food & drink), Mamsen;s (Scandinavian deli), and the Pool Grill (hamburgers, etc.). My wife has certain food sensitivities, and the ship's wait staff were quite knowledgeable about those issues, and very accommodating to her needs. The food was sometimes excellent, and always at least very good.
My wife and I enjoyed walking the outside decks every day, and I also worked-out in the ship's excellent Fitness Center every day! We enjoyed the musicians and singers that entertained us onboard the ship. As musicians ourselves, we appreciated the variety of musical styles that were presented, as well as the musicianship of the performers.
Comfortable, clean, and attractive accommodations. Our Stateroom Attendant was friendly, attentive to our needs, and professional.