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We are fairly new cruisers. We’ve been on one other cruise line, Crystal. Viking likes to brag that they’re a better rated brand than Crystal, so all of my views are compared to our experiences on Crystal. Ship: The ship itself is beautiful. It’s classy and well laid out. They were very diligent about cleanliness, so we had no GI issues. It’s modern, well-stated, and the spa is phenomenal. Cabin: We booked an Explorer Suite, which was lovely. It had a wrap around balcony, a lovely bathroom, walk-in closet with a sit down vanity, ample storage, and a living room. My complaint about the room is that other than being able to book our excursions early, there’s no preferential treatment for the room category. The air travel accommodations/booking process was awful, which I will address later. When we got on the ship, we had to go looking for our luggage. It was not delivered to our room. With this room category, I would have expected a higher level of service, but that was not the case. Maybe the owner’s suite has this, but don’t expect anything extra for booking the higher level room. Dining: Crystal totally beat the Viking Sea in this category. The meal quality was spotty. We had great dinners at the specialty restaurants, Manfredi’s and The Chef’s Table, but the quality of service and food was inconsistent even there. The service and food quality at the World Cafe and The Restaurant was sometimes good and sometimes poor. We had great service in The Restaurant one night and poor service the next. They seemed untrained and even the manager was pitching in to help. I felt like this whole voyage was a training voyage for much of the crew. Entertainment: I hate to be negative here, because the entertainers were clearly trying to do a good job, but someone mentioned that it was along the lines of a high school musical presentation. I think that’s a great assessment. The left handed guitarist was great, but I wouldn't book this cruise line hoping for great entertainment. Excursions: We were in the Caribbean, so we were wanting relaxing, water-themed activities. The beach excursions were WAY TOO SHORT. We would just get settled on our beach chairs and they’d say, “time to go.” My advice would be to pay a taxi cab driver to take you to the beach and bring you back. Save the money for the taxi driver. The excursion I was most looking forward to, Cruising the Anguilla Channel, was canceled the night before. I think they knew all along, because it would never show up on our TV under our “excursions booked” tab, but they didn’t tell us until the night before. And take cash! The islands are still recovering and most of the places don’t take credit cards. We booked this cruise 8 months in advance. When we booked, the website simply said, “one free excursion per port.” They really needed an asterisk that made it clear that the excursion was their brief overview of the island in a bumpy, crowded bus. We thought it meant any excursion, which was NOT the case. Shady. Service: Our cabin manager was sweet and it would be difficult for me to fault her, but I found her English to be very hard to decipher. This was the case with many of the crew members. They were just inconsistent. We ordered room service, which is offered 24 hours a day, and more than once, they shorted us one breakfast. They brought the missing items 25 minutes later, but we had to leave for en excursion. The spotty service was most notable in the dining establishments and the luggage delivery I mentioned earlier wasn’t a good sign for our first 15 minutes on the ship. The people in Guest Relations seemed stressed out, probably from the negative comments. Everyone was trying to print boarding passes at the same time and they had trouble with the paper and printer. The spa had great people and they seemed to be the most organized and professional parts of the staff. BIG NEGATIVE: I specifically asked the travel agent and Viking NOT to make us sit and wait forever at the airport for our departing flight, as we had a nine hour flight awaiting us. Viking kicked us off the ship at 6:30 am, and our flight didn’t leave until 1:00 pm. By the time we arrived home, we had been up for 20 hours. There was a flight at 8:00 am that Viking could have booked us on. BIGGER NEGATIVE: I would advise anyone taking this cruise to book their own airfare. The cruise offers airfare as an included feature, but it’s really not worth it. We were flying out of LAX (Southern California). Viking wanted us to fly north to Chicago or New York, IN THE DEAD OF WINTER, just to turn around and fly south to Puerto Rico. We tried to renegotiate different flights that didn’t have us flying into inclement weather. We finally decided to purchase our own outbound flight, but because we did this, they charged us a $100 surcharge, which they would not reimburse us for. You read this correctly, they charged US $100, even though we paid for our own airfare, so we could avoid the illogical flights they wanted us to take!!! Embarkation and Disembarkation: The people were nice, and the guy who loaded the luggage at the Puerto Rico airport was a rock star! There certainly could have been more clear instructions, but we figured it out. Your Fellow Cruisers: Most of the people on the cruise were older people. When I say older, I mean 70+. This is fine, and we expected an older crowd. I am 60 and allegedly a young looking 60, so I had more than one older woman ask me if I was old enough to be on the ship. In fact, some women were somewhat hostile about it. My husband is older than I am, and we generated a few eye rolls and disapproving looks. We were there to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary, so clearly people were jumping to some wrong conclusions. The people we enjoyed were the ones who ventured out with us on excursions. They were more active and friendly. I guess you don’t get to choose who you cruise with, but just know that it’s mostly seasoned travelers.

Beautiful Ship/Inconsistent & Disorganized

Viking Sea Cruise Review by Teachergal21

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2019
  • Destination: Caribbean
We are fairly new cruisers. We’ve been on one other cruise line, Crystal. Viking likes to brag that they’re a better rated brand than Crystal, so all of my views are compared to our experiences on Crystal.

Ship:

The ship itself is beautiful. It’s classy and well laid out. They were very diligent about cleanliness, so we had no GI issues. It’s modern, well-stated, and the spa is phenomenal.

Cabin:

We booked an Explorer Suite, which was lovely. It had a wrap around balcony, a lovely bathroom, walk-in closet with a sit down vanity, ample storage, and a living room. My complaint about the room is that other than being able to book our excursions early, there’s no preferential treatment for the room category. The air travel accommodations/booking process was awful, which I will address later. When we got on the ship, we had to go looking for our luggage. It was not delivered to our room. With this room category, I would have expected a higher level of service, but that was not the case. Maybe the owner’s suite has this, but don’t expect anything extra for booking the higher level room.

Dining:

Crystal totally beat the Viking Sea in this category. The meal quality was spotty. We had great dinners at the specialty restaurants, Manfredi’s and The Chef’s Table, but the quality of service and food was inconsistent even there. The service and food quality at the World Cafe and The Restaurant was sometimes good and sometimes poor. We had great service in The Restaurant one night and poor service the next. They seemed untrained and even the manager was pitching in to help. I felt like this whole voyage was a training voyage for much of the crew.

Entertainment:

I hate to be negative here, because the entertainers were clearly trying to do a good job, but someone mentioned that it was along the lines of a high school musical presentation. I think that’s a great assessment. The left handed guitarist was great, but I wouldn't book this cruise line hoping for great entertainment.

Excursions:

We were in the Caribbean, so we were wanting relaxing, water-themed activities. The beach excursions were WAY TOO SHORT. We would just get settled on our beach chairs and they’d say, “time to go.” My advice would be to pay a taxi cab driver to take you to the beach and bring you back. Save the money for the taxi driver. The excursion I was most looking forward to, Cruising the Anguilla Channel, was canceled the night before. I think they knew all along, because it would never show up on our TV under our “excursions booked” tab, but they didn’t tell us until the night before. And take cash! The islands are still recovering and most of the places don’t take credit cards.

We booked this cruise 8 months in advance. When we booked, the website simply said, “one free excursion per port.” They really needed an asterisk that made it clear that the excursion was their brief overview of the island in a bumpy, crowded bus. We thought it meant any excursion, which was NOT the case. Shady.

Service:

Our cabin manager was sweet and it would be difficult for me to fault her, but I found her English to be very hard to decipher. This was the case with many of the crew members. They were just inconsistent. We ordered room service, which is offered 24 hours a day, and more than once, they shorted us one breakfast. They brought the missing items 25 minutes later, but we had to leave for en excursion. The spotty service was most notable in the dining establishments and the luggage delivery I mentioned earlier wasn’t a good sign for our first 15 minutes on the ship. The people in Guest Relations seemed stressed out, probably from the negative comments.

Everyone was trying to print boarding passes at the same time and they had trouble with the paper and printer.

The spa had great people and they seemed to be the most organized and professional parts of the staff.


BIG NEGATIVE:

I specifically asked the travel agent and Viking NOT to make us sit and wait forever at the airport for our departing flight, as we had a nine hour flight awaiting us. Viking kicked us off the ship at 6:30 am, and our flight didn’t leave until 1:00 pm. By the time we arrived home, we had been up for 20 hours. There was a flight at 8:00 am that Viking could have booked us on.

BIGGER NEGATIVE:

I would advise anyone taking this cruise to book their own airfare. The cruise offers airfare as an included feature, but it’s really not worth it. We were flying out of LAX (Southern California). Viking wanted us to fly north to Chicago or New York, IN THE DEAD OF WINTER, just to turn around and fly south to Puerto Rico. We tried to renegotiate different flights that didn’t have us flying into inclement weather. We finally decided to purchase our own outbound flight, but because we did this, they charged us a $100 surcharge, which they would not reimburse us for. You read this correctly, they charged US $100, even though we paid for our own airfare, so we could avoid the illogical flights they wanted us to take!!!


Embarkation and Disembarkation:

The people were nice, and the guy who loaded the luggage at the Puerto Rico airport was a rock star! There certainly could have been more clear instructions, but we figured it out.


Your Fellow Cruisers:

Most of the people on the cruise were older people. When I say older, I mean 70+. This is fine, and we expected an older crowd. I am 60 and allegedly a young looking 60, so I had more than one older woman ask me if I was old enough to be on the ship. In fact, some women were somewhat hostile about it. My husband is older than I am, and we generated a few eye rolls and disapproving looks. We were there to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary, so clearly people were jumping to some wrong conclusions. The people we enjoyed were the ones who ventured out with us on excursions. They were more active and friendly. I guess you don’t get to choose who you cruise with, but just know that it’s mostly seasoned travelers.
Teachergal21’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin
The cabin was very comfortable. It’s the only thing that exceeded Crystal.

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