This was the sixth cruise my wife and I have taken with Viking--four river cruises and, now, two ocean cruises. We purchased the pre-cruise extension in Lisbon because we wanted to see it on the trip. Overall, the trip was excellent. We are accustomed to a very high standard of performance from Viking and our expectations, for the most part were fulfilled.
The ship was immaculate, well maintained and well operated. Most of the time in a crossing is devoted to sea days and rest. The entertainers on this ship were truly extraordinary. They presented music that stretched from classical opera repertoire to Motown. There are no dedicated "dancers" but the singers danced and sang and did so very professionally. They entertained! The crew were friendly as well as helpful and accommodating, including the members of the deck department. They all seemed dedicated to helping passengers enjoy a great vacation--and they succeeded. Stateroom attendants were amazingly thorough and helpful.
Our air arrangements were horrible however. We were booked on a United flight that operated an old Continental 737-200. Even though we booked suite accommodations on the ship, we were given some of the least desireable seats on this very over-crowded, filthy and old aircraft. On our return, free-air flight from Miami to Jacksonville we were charged $30 per bag by American Airlines and, again, assigned the very least desireable seats on the very cramped Embaer RJ-45. We could have driven from Miami to Jacksonville and arrive sooner than we did using our Viking Air booked flight. Do not use Viking Air.
Be prepared for very leisurely meals in the dining room. Plan for a couple of hours or more at dinner if you choose to take your dinner in the dining room. Service is very slow, even on this ship of only 900 passengers. Or hope that more servers are hired to provide better service. The problem is not the waiters:the problem is that there are too few of them. Afternoon tea in the Winter Garden is a highlight of each day for us.
With Viking, you also can expect a robust enrichment program presented by a "Resident Historian" as well as various "Guest Lecturers." Watch the schedule carefully to plan your days in a way that permits you to take advantage of these opportunities. They are wonderful and varied. We were particularly attracted to the presentations of a flautist who talked about music and its relationships to our trip and ports of call. We also heard from an astronomer and had the opportunity to learn about ocean sailing and rowing adventures.
Viking is a welcome newcomer to the ocean cruise market. It provides a superior experience and, knowing its careful attention to detail in all its operations, I expect the delays in dining service will be resolved before our next trip, which most likely will be on Viking (but without its air option). Incidentally, there were no children among the passengers and there is no children's program. This is not an experience for children.
One word--outstanding. Immaculate and innaculately serviced by our Stateroom Attendants.
This tour consisted of a trip around one end of the Island. We were given a native taxi driver, who shared a lifetime of knowledge about the island. Although it rained during the trip, the driver minimized its effect and provided a good, albeit brief, understanding of the essentials of Bermudean life.View All undefined undefined Reviews
This was the worst excursion I have ever taken on a cruise ship. The destinations were fogged in and could not be seen. Essentially, we rode a bus for 7 hours to see fog--mostly. There was no Plan B. The trip also to us to a Falls that could have been better constructed with a garden hose and a church that was under renovation and could not be entered. The experience was so bad that the tour operator did not bother to ask for surveys.View All undefined undefined Reviews
All day tour to Sintra, then Cascais and lunch, then back to Cascais before returning to Lisbon. Very knowledgeable guide and a beautiful trip. Next time we will take the tour to the Fatima Shrine, for which there was no time on this trip, and we will book it with Viator.View All undefined undefined Reviews