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We sailed on Viking Star last March and were hooked. This year we again wanted a port intensive, educational, small ship experience without the pushy, glitzy, and somewhat pedestrian atmosphere that many other cruise lines offer. We also wanted to be a part of a more mature clientele with no children or casino. We booked back-to-back Journey To Antiquities and Iconic Western Mediterranean. The upside to a February cruise was that, in most cases, you will be the only ship in port and excursion sites will not be crowded. The downside is you are rolling the dice regarding weather and rough seas. We got lucky! What an unbelievable experience this cruise was! Jupiter, a beautiful new ship, sailed its maiden voyage without a glitch. The weather was perfect (unusually warm weather in Europe this time of year), we made every port and the itinerary was way more than we expected. The wife and I have nothing but praise for the all involved in making this trip happen. From the time we got off the plane in Athens until we boarded again in Barcelona, we were expertly taken care of. Embarkation, debarkation and transfers were all quick and flawless. There was literally a representative every 20 feet to point the way. Nearly every time you board you are greeted with a smile, warm washcloth and a glass of campaign. We found the Viking Jupiter a gem with all members of the crew going out of their way to provide exceptional service. Captain Knutsen and his wife were great ambassadors making us and everyone else feel special. Our favorite relaxing place was the Viking Bar, although the explorer lounge is a popular option. We always found the young bartenders anywhere delightful,engaging and eager to share their stories. The Drink Package (($20 per person per day) is a great deal. Entertainment is average with several musicals. We tend to the cultural side and found the young guitarist and pianist to be very, very good. The Viking Trio was simply marvelous and they were a lot of fun to interact with. Enrichment talks were outstanding. Dr. Caroline Mallory's history lectures were comprehensive and educational as were the astronomy talks by Mr. Howard Parkins, whom I found to be a very entertaining speaker. The food was very good everywhere and the main dining room equal in quality to the specialty restaurants. The snails, ceasars salad, lamb shank, steaks and vanilla ice cream were our favorites. The pasta in Manfredi's is to die for. Portions were so large, we started splitting the entrees. Just about everyone uses the World Cafe' for breakfast were there are so many food options there it is hard to choose. The gym is fantastic for a good workout. The steam room, ice grotto and hot tub (a well kept secret and our second favorite place on board) were all free and a relaxing post tour alternative. The ¼ mile track is an excellent way to walk off a meal. We took several of the included tours: Athens Archaeological Museum, Ancient Olympia (one of the best tours), Panoramic Rome, Pisa (been here before but still breathtaking), and Monte Carlo which were more than adequate if one does a little research. We selected the optional tours to Knossos (do not do this tour if port is Chania; bus ride is 5 of the 8 tour hours), Ancient City of Tindari, Pompeii, Lucca, Avignon (must see), Carcassonne (another must see) and Gaudi Architecture in Barcelona. They were fantastic with the exception of Knossos. Overall, the optional tours were well worth the time and money. Guides were professional and subject knowledgeable. Vikings provided a bus shuttles in ports of Athens, Chania and Barcelona which was a nice touch. Of course with so much praise there has to be a few warts, albeit, not many. This is a “Thinking Person's” and not an entertainment cruise. The wine choices may be limit for some, but we are not sommeliers so it did not matter. Shore excursions were “snapshots” and time of some excursions we found to be too short: Athens Archeological Museum: 1 hour 15 minutes, Knossos: 1 hour 15 minutes, Pompeii: 2 hours. You cannot do Rome by bus and the only saving grace to this excursion was our guide planning sufficient free time for us to get in to Saint Peter's Basilica (beautiful). They were still good tours, just short. If you book back to back cruises, make sure you book the same room for both legs and be prepared for some minor hiccups: have to get new ship cards, re-register your credit card, specialty dining reservations may not take when booking online, tour booking issues on mid-cruise embarkation/debarkation day, shore excursion tickets not issued until second half of cruise. If you book Viking Air, make sure you have at least 2 hours in Charles de Gaulle and 2 1/2 hours in Miami (customs is a zoo) for connections. Other than the nitpicking above we found our overall experience with Viking to be outstanding and to the highest standards throughout. They want to get it right and ask for feedback on everything. The cruise line is quality, destination focused and trying to offer customers the best value for the money in the cruise market. The wife and I will sale with them again.

Maiden Voyage of Viking Jupiter Athens to Barcelona February 16 to March 2, 2019

Viking Jupiter Cruise Review by Mullet62

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We sailed on Viking Star last March and were hooked. This year we again wanted a port intensive, educational, small ship experience without the pushy, glitzy, and somewhat pedestrian atmosphere that many other cruise lines offer. We also wanted to be a part of a more mature clientele with no children or casino. We booked back-to-back Journey To Antiquities and Iconic Western Mediterranean. The upside to a February cruise was that, in most cases, you will be the only ship in port and excursion sites will not be crowded. The downside is you are rolling the dice regarding weather and rough seas.

We got lucky! What an unbelievable experience this cruise was! Jupiter, a beautiful new ship, sailed its maiden voyage without a glitch. The weather was perfect (unusually warm weather in Europe this time of year), we made every port and the itinerary was way more than we expected.

The wife and I have nothing but praise for the all involved in making this trip happen. From the time we got off the plane in Athens until we boarded again in Barcelona, we were expertly taken care of. Embarkation, debarkation and transfers were all quick and flawless. There was literally a representative every 20 feet to point the way. Nearly every time you board you are greeted with a smile, warm washcloth and a glass of campaign. We found the Viking Jupiter a gem with all members of the crew going out of their way to provide exceptional service. Captain Knutsen and his wife were great ambassadors making us and everyone else feel special. Our favorite relaxing place was the Viking Bar, although the explorer lounge is a popular option. We always found the young bartenders anywhere delightful,engaging and eager to share their stories. The Drink Package (($20 per person per day) is a great deal. Entertainment is average with several musicals. We tend to the cultural side and found the young guitarist and pianist to be very, very good. The Viking Trio was simply marvelous and they were a lot of fun to interact with. Enrichment talks were outstanding. Dr. Caroline Mallory's history lectures were comprehensive and educational as were the astronomy talks by Mr. Howard Parkins, whom I found to be a very entertaining speaker. The food was very good everywhere and the main dining room equal in quality to the specialty restaurants. The snails, ceasars salad, lamb shank, steaks and vanilla ice cream were our favorites. The pasta in Manfredi's is to die for. Portions were so large, we started splitting the entrees. Just about everyone uses the World Cafe' for breakfast were there are so many food options there it is hard to choose. The gym is fantastic for a good workout. The steam room, ice grotto and hot tub (a well kept secret and our second favorite place on board) were all free and a relaxing post tour alternative. The ¼ mile track is an excellent way to walk off a meal. We took several of the included tours: Athens Archaeological Museum, Ancient Olympia (one of the best tours), Panoramic Rome, Pisa (been here before but still breathtaking), and Monte Carlo which were more than adequate if one does a little research. We selected the optional tours to Knossos (do not do this tour if port is Chania; bus ride is 5 of the 8 tour hours), Ancient City of Tindari, Pompeii, Lucca, Avignon (must see), Carcassonne (another must see) and Gaudi Architecture in Barcelona. They were fantastic with the exception of Knossos. Overall, the optional tours were well worth the time and money. Guides were professional and subject knowledgeable. Vikings provided a bus shuttles in ports of Athens, Chania and Barcelona which was a nice touch.

Of course with so much praise there has to be a few warts, albeit, not many. This is a “Thinking Person's” and not an entertainment cruise. The wine choices may be limit for some, but we are not sommeliers so it did not matter. Shore excursions were “snapshots” and time of some excursions we found to be too short: Athens Archeological Museum: 1 hour 15 minutes, Knossos: 1 hour 15 minutes, Pompeii: 2 hours. You cannot do Rome by bus and the only saving grace to this excursion was our guide planning sufficient free time for us to get in to Saint Peter's Basilica (beautiful). They were still good tours, just short. If you book back to back cruises, make sure you book the same room for both legs and be prepared for some minor hiccups: have to get new ship cards, re-register your credit card, specialty dining reservations may not take when booking online, tour booking issues on mid-cruise embarkation/debarkation day, shore excursion tickets not issued until second half of cruise. If you book Viking Air, make sure you have at least 2 hours in Charles de Gaulle and 2 1/2 hours in Miami (customs is a zoo) for connections.

Other than the nitpicking above we found our overall experience with Viking to be outstanding and to the highest standards throughout. They want to get it right and ask for feedback on everything. The cruise line is quality, destination focused and trying to offer customers the best value for the money in the cruise market. The wife and I will sale with them again.
Mullet62’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Cabin 4095
Our cabin was spacious and comfortable with a balcony. There was a closet and about 6 drawers as well as under bed storage for suit cases. The bed and pillows were wonderful. Spacious shower and heated floors are a plus. Our stewards were spot on in taking care of us cleaning the room at least twice daily. Tour QuitVoxs (tour audio devices) are in the room with a charger. Minibar was filled daily at no charge. Easy to navigate the interactive TV is fantastic with recent release movies, port talks and replays of any shows or lectures you may have missed.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews