We have previously taken two Uniworld River Cruises. We chose Uniworld because Viking salespeople were too aggressive for our tastes. Uniworld offers no Ocean cruises so, with some trepidation, we signed on for the Viking Baltic Sea cruise. The fact that Viking advertises so extensively, and that the ship accommodates so many more people than a river boat, led us to expect a less pleasant experience. All our fears proved totally groundless. The entire experience, from arrival to departure was marvelous.
We were met at the airport by numerous Viking representatives who helped us navigate recovery of luggage and getting on the bus to the ship. Our room (Penthouse Veranda) was beautiful, spacious and comfortable. Service on board the ship was spectacularly good. There seemed to be as many employees, all willing to help, as there were passengers. Every public space was immaculately clean, and our room was kept this way by the housekeeping staff. The ship was so large that at no time did we feel crowded. There were many restaurants, all very good, and we never had difficulty finding a table for two, which we preferred. On several occasions we ordered breakfast via room service. It was excellent and delivered precisely when ordered. The ship offered many opportunities to attend educational lectures, and evening entertainment was well attuned to an older audience (e,g,, Beatles retrospective, Broadway show tunes). The performers were first-rate. Additionally, there were cocktail hour musicians who were delightful.
One of the most impressive things about the cruise was the level of organization. Every evening we were provided with a schedule for the next day. All departures for excursions were so well executed that one had a sense of being on a much smaller cruise. All but one of the excursions were of high quality, and the staff clearly anticipated the incompetence of the one poor local guide by sending an additional person to encourage him to tell us about sights. Sadly, that didn't help. We would venture a guess that this local guide won't be used again. All the other local guides were quite good.
Lovely and roomy, with a nice sitting area, plenty of storage area for clothes, and a pleasant veranda. The bathroom was particularly nice, of a good size and with a heated floor. The housekeeping staff was excellent.
Guide was excellent. The Old City was moderately interesting.
General overview, which is necessary.