Viking offered enough incentives and perks to make the cruise comparable in cost to most other cruise lines and with included services the total cost was even favorable. Embarkation and disembarkation was well planned and went smoothly. Staff were abundant and helpful in all phases. The ship is beautiful and well designed. Our cabin was very nice and clean. Could have used a few more drawers, but steward provided more hangers. Included excursions were usually bus and/or walk tours. Good for first time visitors to those ports. Local guides were excellent but at times difficult to hear and sometimes difficult for me to understand their accent. Could use better mics. The cruise director informed me that Viking does not dock in any port where it has to tender. Good policy. Excursion desk staff was excellent and would cancel and reschedule excursions when they could. All meal venues were excellent. Several times during the cruise the staff set up additional food service at the pool that provided better options than the usual excellent food service. For example, one night at the pool there was unlimited lobster tail and on another there was king crab. Pool meals were so popular that people had to stand in line several minutes for popular fare. Could have used a few more tables. Some had to go in the cafe to find a seat. Manfredi's (sp?) specialty dining was excellent also. Best steak on any cruise line. One small complaint. The main restaurant food was excellent. However, the delay to order was at times longer than we thought was appropriate. Good people, just long wait at times. The wait staff was excellent. The excursion buses were always on time and the outside excursion staff was especially helpful. Judy, the outside manager was there even in the rain and cold offering a smile and help as needed. The nightly entertainment was not as big a stage productions as on some ships, but the performers were skilled and energetic. Did not miss any and all were enjoyable. My wife and I and only two other couples attended the meet and mingle. The ship sent the head chef, the food manager, the hotel manager, the head waiter, and several waiters with drinks and food. The ship staff was very disappointed in the attendance. I would encourage those who register to always attend. Viking would be cautious to provide another meet and mingle reception to that extent. Viking will continue to be a primary (but not exclusive) choice for our cruises.
Cabin was excellent except not enough storage drawers. Stewards were responsive, friendly and did a great job.