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Viking Sea Cruise Review
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,339 Reviews

A bit of a disappointment for our tastes

Viking Sea Cruise Review by West Palm Frank

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2019
  • Destination: the Caribbean

Wife and I (67 & 74) have been on some 40 cruises. Loved a Viking River Cruise some years back and thought we would give the ocean cruises a go. The ship itself is beautiful, exceptionally clean, well furnished. No part of the ship was ever crowded. The staff and service onboard does not get much better. Food was mostly exceptional (if it was made from a cow it was invariably a "10"), and the rest of the time it was very good+. Selections were fairly limited as compared to the Celebrity and RCCL private dining room menus. Buffet service was best I've ever had. Always a clean table available, not crowded, service impeccable, but again, I thought the menu was a bit limited. The pool-side hamburger joint serves just about the best hamburgers and hotdogs at sea. Don't forget to try the onion rings.

OK, so what's not to like? There is no entertainment except for four singers a couple of nights, a couple of trivia games, a pool side dance party. If you are used to the entertainment and activities on the ships of Celebrity and RCCL, this will be a real stopper. OK, tours. This was 10 islands in 10 days. The included tours were pretty much the same thing (went to parts of the islands that were ruined by storms, generally slum-like, wrecked and abandoned cars all over. I know all of these islands have an upscale side to them, but that went undiscovered. Tour buses, for the most part, held about 22 people and except for the narrow seats (no, I am not a wide-body, but half a cheek was always hanging into the aisle) were adequate. Because of the advanced age of many of the guests, the boarding and exiting of the buses could easily take over 10 minutes each way. Not really a Viking problem, just what it was. The two extra price tours that we took were just about a total waste. One, I can't even remember, the other was a catamarine and railroad ride. Boat was crowded, and few places to be out of the sun. The big things to see on the railroad were 3 small bridges (no, I'm not kidding). Two of the five RR cars did not have working WCs which made for an uncomfortable tour for some of the guests. All of that said, the tour guides were very personable and friendly.

Ok, some hints for this particular cruise: Get up early the second day in Puerto Rico and hoof it to 300 Calle San Francisco for a non-tourest local breakfast joint. Yummy, Yummy. The bathroom heated floors in your cabin can be turned off, just ask the cabin steward. Fair priced jewelry at EFFY and Ballerina in St. Maartin. Imperial Jewelers (Dynasty Dazzlers) in both Havensight and main street in downtown St. Thomas. Good-sized selection of used refurbished Rolexes that cannot be told from new, knowledgeable staff (we have been customers of theirs since 2002). Fairest prices in the islands.

One or two additional comments specific to this cruise: There were no sea days, so if you like to sit and watch the ocean go by, this was not the cruise for you. Ship sailed at night only and it seemed like you were in an up-scale hotel that was magically moved while you slept to another similar island, just like the one you had been on but with a different name. Many very scenic harbors though.

Onboard beers I thought were excellent and there was quite a variety. I'm no wine expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I though the house wines were great (strangely enough, even the reds).

We did miss seeing younger couples, but we knew that was going to be the case when we booked.

Cabin comments separetely.

West Palm Frank's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cabin PV1 6010

Beautiful cabin. Big enough, but similar upscale cabins on other lines were much bigger. Balcony sufficient, but not big enough for a chaise. Reading a book and then inevitably falling asleep led to neck cramps or even a face plant. More than adequate storage, usb ports, outlets. Wifi was very good and I don't think there was a limit on the number of devices you could have on it. The Viking iPhone App was also a very nice convenience. Can't say enough about the cabin steward, Mohammed. Wife is an ice nut and the ice bucket was continually full, never had that happen on another line, no matter what room we were in. Although, you would not get ice in your water in any of the restaurants unless you asked for it.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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West Palm Frank
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