Our friends and we both have a bucket list of trips. We all wanted to see some of the West Indies we'd not gotten to on our other trips. It seemed perfect.
The ship size is perfect. We are not into zip lining through a shopping mall, we are more the playing canasta in the evening types. However, that being said, we all thought that the entertainment was fair; not good. The dance floor out by the pool is not nearly large enough, we thought that the dance entertainment should all be inside. More than once I was stepped on or fallen on.
Dining: well, the restaurant and its staff are wonderful. Our wait staff were very knowledgeable and helped us decided our courses based on our tastes. After two nights they even kept our table free and were smiling when we were escorted to their station. Dining in the restaurant was delightful. Our other dining experiences were as grand as expected. Manfredi's service was poor. We were kept waiting...and waiting...just for a glass of water while the wait staff were walking around straightening up tables and generally ignoring us. The food, once we were served was so-so. I have no good things to say about Manfredi's. Chef's Table...it seemed that because we didn't request the "wine pairings" we were treated less than pedestrian. The food was excellent but the wait staff snubbed us.
The World Cafe was more than adequate and the Pool Grill was excellent.
The ships service (other than our cabin stewards) was fair. And when I say fair...some wouldn't wait on us. Other groups were getting poolside service during entertainment. We ordered but were never brought our drinks. One evening while playing canasta, I was getting bronchitis (not known at the time) and I asked a waiter to bring me some tea. He said he'd send another waitress over. We waved her over at least twice but she ignored us. I went to a bar to get anything to drink but was ignored. It seems the heavy drinkers are better treated.
Cabin...I have nothing but wonderful things to say about it. Our cabin # was 4089. When we arrived it was so hot in the cabin, but our head steward had a repair person in and they did work out the difficulty. He told us to go enjoy the ship and when we returned the room would be cool. He was right. Loved the bathroom. We were also impressed by the twice daily straightening up in our cabin. It is so classy to come back after dinner and some light entertainment to find our room in order.
Now, the ports were to be expected but our excursions were not noteworthy on certain days. We understand that the ship has to stop at Dominica because of whatever legal commitments and contracts it has made, but we would have loved, loved, loved to have stayed an extra day in Barbados instead of wasting our time visiting a botanical garden that does not exist. We thoroughly enjoyed the train trip on St.Kitts . All of us pleasantly surprised by the length and charm of the ride. We took a "catamaran" trip to another local on the isle of St. Lucia We were informed that the catamaran was being repaired and another ship would be available. We were given the choice of canceling or taking the "boat". We chose the "boat" because all of the other excursions were either filled or gone already. It was fine, but getting into the water was very difficult. That excursion only left us 15 minutes of swim time. Not nearly enough to slake the heat from our bodies. The boat was very crowded.
Now I want to say that all in all I would rate the trip at 80%. My husband probably around 90% because he is more tolerant of poor or fair service. He sets his bar lower than I. Having said that, we are going on your 15 day British Isles Explorer in 2021 for our 50th wedding anniversary. Even the negatives I outlined would keep us from traveling on Viking. But, we hope that the wait staff is better trained to fulfill our needs.
I want to end by saying that the Doctor's office is wonderful. He took xrays of my chest to confirm that I had an infection. I felt both the nurse and doctor were competent and easy to talk to. He prescribed antibiotics which while they kept the infection at bay weren't strong enough for my "strain". However, when I returned home my doctor explained that ships doctors give a broad spectrum "average mg" dose. At home I got a higher dosage and survived to write this review.
Deluxe Veranda. Beautiful. Spacious enough. Loved the bathroom.