This was our first time on Viking Ocean. We have cruised 4 times before with Viking River, and about 35 other ocean cruises. My review is in comparison with Azamara, Princess and Celebrity cruises.
The Ship: Very clean, modern and well maintained. Staff was always walking around with a basket of cleaning supplies, looking for any spot to clean. Lots of areas to sit and read, play games with others or chat. In the atrium they have electronic game tables. Decks 1,2 and 7 are public areas so it was easy to find things. Interactive electronic boards by the elevators helped you out if you couldn't find something.
Cabin: We had a basic cabin that was comparable to most other cruise line veranda rooms. The bed was comfortable and the room was relatively quiet, but often times that depends more on your neighbors. It only had 3 drawers for clothes, which was a drawback. On the positive side, the desk had a lighted compartment and storage area for cosmetics and the bathroom floor is heated. It got too warm sometimes and there is no way to control the temperature.
Dining: My expectations were probably set too high since friends had said the food was great. The speciality restaurant, Manfredi's, was superb. I had higher hopes for the Chef's table with the paired wines. The Asian dinner was good, the Mexican wasn't like Mexican food I've had before and the restaurant was only half full for that menu. I could always find something that I liked in the main restaurant, but not the fish except salmon. I sent the sea bass and red snapper back because it was basically tasteless. Portions are small, but that was a good thing for us.
Entertainment: Absolutely superb. A cast of 4 singers plus the cruise director were wonderful. They had more shows than most cruise lines we've been on. Only one entertainer brought on for the last show which we missed.
Activities: There were 4 lecturers and I attended 2 sessions. They were OK bu if you had a special interest in the wildlife, for instance, you may enjoy it more. They need more things to do during days at sea e.g. group zumba classes, etc. There's no casino, no bingo. Each day there was a 45 minute talk on the next port led by the cruise director. It was short, to the point, and most importantly no discussion on which shops to go to. The shore excursion manager would also give a brief overview of available tours, and how to get around the port.
Service: Outstanding. Everyone on the ship was friendly, smiling, and willing to help. The service was attentive in all the restaurants.
Ports and shore excursions: We had 4 ports in Iceland, one in Faroe Islands and 4 in Norway. We picked this cruise because of the itinerary and were not disappointed. These are small ports that offer natural beauty and geological wonders. We used private tour companies for most of our excursions because we like smaller tour group sizes, they cost less, and you have control over the itinerary. The included tours are full bus loads, 2 hours of driving, pointing things out and 2-3 stops for photos. I would have liked longer times in port so we would have time to explore on our own after our tours. The ship always arrived around 8:00 and left by 5:00 or 6:00. Azamara stays in port usually until 8:00 - 10:00pm.
We booked a future cruise with Viking Ocean as well as River, so that validates our experience with them.
We had a basic cabin that was comparable to most other cruise line veranda rooms. The bed was comfortable and the room was relatively quiet, but often times that depends more on your neighbors. It only had 3 drawers for clothes, which was a drawback. On the positive side, the desk had a lighted compartment and storage area for cosmetics and the bathroom floor is heated. It got too warm sometimes and there is no way to control the temperature.