We were looking for a special trip to celebrate our 50th anniversary. This cruise exceeded our expectations. We've cruised a number of times before but have never experienced the quality provided by Viking. One of the main selling points for this cruise was the small size of the ship, only 930 passengers. After cruising on ships that carried as many as 3,600 passengers, the small ship experience was great. Another feature we liked was the fact that a complimentary shore excursion was included at each port. Optional excursions were available at extra cost, but we found that other than the two-day excursion in St. Petersburg which we paid for, most of the included excursions met our needs. The guides for the excursions were some of the best we've experienced.
While the cost of a Viking cruise is higher than many other cruise lines with similar itineraries, the amenities that are included such as the free shore excursions, the free beer or wine with lunch and dinner, the no extra cover charge for the outstanding alternative restaurants, the free mini bar stocked with sodas and snacks daily, complimentary Wi-Fi, make the cost difference minimal.
The quality and variety of the food in all of the restaurants including the buffet was exceptional. The port talks where you actually learn about the port, not just the place to get the best deal on diamonds or tanzanite, were a welcome change from previous cruises we've taken.
Nice sized cabin, plenty of room, large sized bathroom with a shower you could actually turn around in. Free movies. Free Wi-Fi. Free 24 hour room service.