We wanted to see the Northern Lights and love to cruise on smaller ships (Oceania is our 'go to'). The overcast skies during most of the cruise were a disappointment for seeing the Northern Lights (we had one clear night near Narvik that allowed about 15 minutes of viewing during the 12 days on board). The temperatures were also warmer than expected which resulted in melting snow and rain north of the Arctic Circle in February. Cruising the Norwegian coast and the train from Oslo to Bergen (we spent two days in Oslo before boarding the ship) were the trip's scenic highlights.
The ship is very nice and we enjoyed our time aboard with a few exceptions. The main pros were the very friendly staff, the excellent bathroom (see below), a reliable internet connection, and the omission of a casino..Our main disappointments were the Restaurant (inattentive and slow service, high noise level due to lack of sound absorbing surfaces such as curtains and carpets, OK but not great food) and the limited variations in daily salad and vegetable options (lots of rice, potatoes, steam vegetables, and green salad, but not much else). We enjoyed Chef's Table and Manfredi's were OK but not great. We ate most of our meals in the Café but eating 2-3 meals a day in the same place for 12 days got repetitious. We were surprised that most of the food in the Café was self service which raised concerns about spreading bugs such as norovirus, but I'm not aware of anyone getting sick.
Overall, we enjoyed the cruise and would go on Viking Ocean again if the itinerary was interesting, but Oceania remains our top choice.
Bathroom was excellent - heated floors, glass enclosure shower. Nice to have coffee maker in the room but it takes up space for clothes storage. Nicely designed and maintained, but small. TV system nicely designed, but live TV was off line frequently. Cabin stewards did a great job.