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We choose this cruise because we loved our Viking river cruise on the Danube the previous year and also because I've always wanted to explore the Amazon river and rain forest since I was young. We have sailed on RCL 4 time and Princess once. This was our fist Viking ocean cruise and more than likely our last. The staff on board was excellent. Every single member of the crew was friendly and helpful. They felt like family to us. The ship was very nicely appointed in Scandinavian design. The Explorers lounge and Mamsens were particularly nice common areas. The spa with the steam and cold rooms we used frequently. Our room was acquitted but could have had more storage space. Dining was hit or miss. We had some excellent meals at the Chefs Table restaurant. We also ate some under done steaks and over done fish at the restaurant and the buffet. The musicians and entertainers we professional. Typical of the entertainment you would find cruise ship. The Brazilian female singer was wonderful. Snorkeling in Saint Thomas and sailing on a catamaran Saint Lucia were wonderful. The shore excursion in Brazil were as good they could be is the best way I can describe it. Our focus was to see as much natural beauty in the Amazon region. The city tours were a bit underwhelming and struck me as typical cities you would find in many developing countries. We could have skipped Belem all together. We never got off the bus probably for good reason. We enjoyed the Pink Dolphin encounter, the survival trek, piranha fishing, and the search for caimans excursions. I wished we saw more wildlife. It's my understanding the best time to see animals in the area are at dawn or after dark. The caimans excursion was at night so we did see what we were looking for. The other excursions were during the day so the animals were not active. Our tour guides did their best to find what they could though which we appreciated. Our biggest complaint about the cruise was the lack on activities. We had 8 days at sea and we were not big on catching up on reading so we really started to go stir crazy. The few activities they did offer like the lectures (which were great!) felt mobbed. If you didn't arrive 30 minutes early to the theater you had trouble finding a seat. The atmosphere generally speaking felt a little sedate on the ship. This is what many people on the ship enjoyed, but it just wasn't for us. I think we need a little more excitement. It seemed like Viking I using the minimalist activity model which works on the river cruises but does not for a ship this size. Our next complaint is that it seemed like we had to wait in long lines more than I would expect. Wait in a line for a table for dinner. Wait in line to get into the Theater. Wait inline to get out of the Theater. Wait in line for the excursions. Wait in line for crab legs! We didn't feel this way on larger ships we've been on. Lastly, We purchased the premium drink package and the ship started running out of our preferred beverages 2 weeks into our 3 week cruise. We talked to others who were having the same issue. Viking should plan better for this or ask us what we like prior to departure. All this being said, we are going on another Viking river Cruise this summer. All the issues I have with Viking Sea seem fixable. I'm hopeful Viking figures it out. Matt Note: we had to conserve water while in the amazon river since the ship could not desalinate fresh water. Not a big deal but something I didn't know prior to the cruise.

Nice....but not for us.

Viking Sea Cruise Review by MatthewT

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We choose this cruise because we loved our Viking river cruise on the Danube the previous year and also because I've always wanted to explore the Amazon river and rain forest since I was young. We have sailed on RCL 4 time and Princess once. This was our fist Viking ocean cruise and more than likely our last.

The staff on board was excellent. Every single member of the crew was friendly and helpful. They felt like family to us.

The ship was very nicely appointed in Scandinavian design. The Explorers lounge and Mamsens were particularly nice common areas. The spa with the steam and cold rooms we used frequently.

Our room was acquitted but could have had more storage space.

Dining was hit or miss. We had some excellent meals at the Chefs Table restaurant. We also ate some under done steaks and over done fish at the restaurant and the buffet.

The musicians and entertainers we professional. Typical of the entertainment you would find cruise ship. The Brazilian female singer was wonderful.

Snorkeling in Saint Thomas and sailing on a catamaran Saint Lucia were wonderful. The shore excursion in Brazil were as good they could be is the best way I can describe it. Our focus was to see as much natural beauty in the Amazon region. The city tours were a bit underwhelming and struck me as typical cities you would find in many developing countries. We could have skipped Belem all together. We never got off the bus probably for good reason. We enjoyed the Pink Dolphin encounter, the survival trek, piranha fishing, and the search for caimans excursions. I wished we saw more wildlife. It's my understanding the best time to see animals in the area are at dawn or after dark. The caimans excursion was at night so we did see what we were looking for. The other excursions were during the day so the animals were not active. Our tour guides did their best to find what they could though which we appreciated.

Our biggest complaint about the cruise was the lack on activities. We had 8 days at sea and we were not big on catching up on reading so we really started to go stir crazy. The few activities they did offer like the lectures (which were great!) felt mobbed. If you didn't arrive 30 minutes early to the theater you had trouble finding a seat. The atmosphere generally speaking felt a little sedate on the ship. This is what many people on the ship enjoyed, but it just wasn't for us. I think we need a little more excitement. It seemed like Viking I using the minimalist activity model which works on the river cruises but does not for a ship this size.

Our next complaint is that it seemed like we had to wait in long lines more than I would expect. Wait in a line for a table for dinner. Wait in line to get into the Theater. Wait inline to get out of the Theater. Wait in line for the excursions. Wait in line for crab legs! We didn't feel this way on larger ships we've been on.

Lastly, We purchased the premium drink package and the ship started running out of our preferred beverages 2 weeks into our 3 week cruise. We talked to others who were having the same issue. Viking should plan better for this or ask us what we like prior to departure.

All this being said, we are going on another Viking river Cruise this summer. All the issues I have with Viking Sea seem fixable. I'm hopeful Viking figures it out.

Matt

Note: we had to conserve water while in the amazon river since the ship could not desalinate fresh water. Not a big deal but something I didn't know prior to the cruise.
MatthewT’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 409
The cabin was adequate. Nicely appointed. Felt a little cramped at times but we expected that. We could have used more storage space. We had to leave a suit case open on the couch. Watched some nice sunsets on the veranda. The bathroom was fine although it did have a slight musty smell when we first arrived.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Jeep Safari Tour
    We had some muddy fun on the back roads of Antigua. Stopped at beautiful beach on the way back.
    View All 17 Jeep Safari Tour Reviews
  • Scenic Drive
    Saw some nice shoreline and Rianna's apartment before going inland for a nice hill top view of the island and a free beer. Nice but we went out on our own afterwards and went into Bridgetown where they happened to be celebrating Their Independence day. Saw a very colorful parade and were surrounded by friendly locals. Went to the Pirates Cove's on the beach. Great Bartenders!
    View All 28 Scenic Drive Reviews
  • Alligator Sighting
    Went on the Search for Caiman excursion at night. It was great to get out on the river in a smaller boat. Our guide caught a couple of babies bare handed. Great photo opp. A fish jumped into our boat.
    View All 5 Alligator Sighting Reviews
  • Amazon Rainforest
    Went on the survival trek which was good but might have had too many people on the trail to see what our guide was trying to demonstrate. No real animal sightings.
    View All 6 Amazon Rainforest Reviews
  • City Tour
    We had a good tour guide but Manaus is not much to look at although it does have an interesting history. Highlights were driving by the opera house, the soccer stadium and the stop the river beach.
    View All 13 City Tour Reviews
  • Walking Tour of Old San Juan
    Explored Old San Juan and the fort with a knowledgeable tour guide. We went in the morning so it wasn't so hot. Walked around on our own and had lunch before taking the shuttle back to the boat. A nice way to spend one day in San Juan.
    View All 149 Walking Tour of Old San Juan Reviews
  • Santarem
    Went on the Piranha fishing excursion. On the way we saw the local meeting of waters, pink dolphins, sloths, and a number of different birds. My wife caught the only Piranha on our boat! So proud of her. We had a good time.

    We also went on the Saint Lucia Nature Walk excursion. It was nice to get into the rain forest but we really didn't see any wildlife. It was a little disappointing. We heard the city tour wasn't very good.
    View All 27 Santarem Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Santarem Cruise Port Review
  • Catamaran Day Sail
    One of our favorite excursions on this trip. Saint Lucia is beautiful by boat. Stopped at a beach and swam for an hour as well. Would do this one again.
    View All 65 Catamaran Day Sail Reviews
  • Turtle Swim
    As advertised. Saw turtles as soon as we got in the water and many colorful fish. Also went to a shipwreck too. Very nice sail back on the catamaran. Would do this one again.
    View All 84 Turtle Swim Reviews