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

"The Old Boat"

Viking Sea Cruise Review by johnsimion

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jul 2019
  • Destination: the Baltic Sea

Summary: This is a great ship for an old person who likes wine and doesn't care about entertainment. If this isn't you, it's not much fun. Also, by the time you add up the cost of airfare, all the excursions and gratuities, you aren't much below the cost of a luxury cruise line like Regent. IMO this ship is not a good value. Even though my wife and I did enjoy the cruise, that was because of our experiences off the ship, not because of the ship itself.


1) Ship is generally comfortable, roomy, luxurious and well-maintained - but the bathroom suffers from very poor design (see Con #4).

2) Food in all venues is outstanding. The ingredients were top-notch and the kitchen staff makes a strong effort to keep the food interesting. If wine is important to you, this may be your ship.

3) Shore excursions were pricey but excellent.


1) The average age on the ship surely must surely approach 75. At 61, I still enjoy rock and roll and laughing and being energetic. There is simply no LIFE on this ship.

2) Contributing greatly to (1) is the pervasive music aboard: You get violinists, cellists and pianists who play slow, sad, depressing music all the time. The background music could be the soundtrack for a funeral. OMG!

3) Don't expect relief in the nightly shows. All but one were done by Viking's own crew. They're talented enough, but ALL the shows were 100% singing and dancing, even the ONE show in two weeks that involved outside talent. Viking didn't bring in ANY comedians, jugglers, acrobats, or magicians. They didn't even do any game shows. This was an expensive cruise and frankly this was just crappy of Viking.

4) The shower in our cabin simply could not be adjusted to a comfortable temperature even after seeking help. There is no warm or cool. There is only "hot" or "cold." You can choose "cold" by turning the knob all the way to cold or you can choose "hot" by moving the temperature selector 1 millimeter away from "cold." Moving the selector halfway to hot would scald you. Compounding the problem is the fact that the bathroom has no ventilation fan so all that steam stays in the bathroom. Moreover, the heated floor which would normally be great becomes a problem as there is no switch to turn it off, making the bathroom hotter yet. And YES, I asked for assistance with these issues but these are engineering problems beyond the ability of the crew to make any difference.

5) Viking's web site is very poor. All excursions are selected at a specific time on ONE day, first-come, first-served. If you aren't available online at that date and time, you lose. We were flying on another trip on that date and time but thankfully our travel agent logged in for us (on Sunday!) and got most of what we wanted. That's a really poor method of selection. Furthermore, you can't even see your cruise cost or payments on the web site.

Why? Who knows! Save the e-mails they send you!

johnsimion's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cabin Balcony 4048

Cabin is very nice other than the bathroom, where the uncontrollable shower and heated floor combine to make an unpleasant experience.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Stockholm Old Town Tour

Bus tour. Not bad, just not very memorable.

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Old Town Porvoo

Visited the old town and also Malmgard Manor. The latter was more interesting than Porvoo as the Manor has a long history, the tour is conducted by the Count himself, and they give you beer samples.

View All 55 Old Town Porvoo Reviews
Catherine Palace

Great tour, unfortunately the area is clogged with too many tourists, hardly the fault of the cruise line.

View All 226 Catherine Palace Reviews
Peterhof Palace

Great tour, unfortunately the area is clogged with too many tourists, hardly the fault of the cruise line.

View All 231 Peterhof Palace Reviews
Pulpit Rock

Crowded boat but beautiful views.

View All 76 Pulpit Rock Reviews
Gdansk Old Town

Hard to understand the guide, area clogged with tourists, and the "old town" was simply rebuilt after its destruction in WWII so it's like a Disney reproduction.

View All 60 Gdansk Old Town Reviews

For some reason Cruise Critic's information is wrong even though the date of the cruise is correct. This cruise ended at Bergen. We did not visit this or the following ports.

Both hilarious and informative. The host plays the part of a Soviet officer and treats you accordingly as part of his act, then describes life in Soviet Estonia with personal and poignant examples. VERY good tour!

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Visited most important spots in Berlin, including Reichstag (with bullet holes still visible), Checkpoint Charlie, the Berlin Wall, the Cathedral and the Brandenburg Gate.

View All 100 Berlin Reviews

This was the "Flam Railway" but actually most of the tour was getting to the railway by bus. The views from the bus were as good as those from the railway.

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