Second time with Viking, first time on one of their ocean cruises. We were part of a group of 22 that go on a "big trip" every two years. After a successful 15-day Viking river cruise, we decided to do a Viking ocean cruise in an area that most of us had never been. We started in Venice, had four stops down the Ionian Coast ending with various stops in Greece.
Dining was really nice. The World Café had great selection of standard and rotating items for all meals. We ate our breakfasts and lunches there. Drink service could be a little long when it was crowded, but you may also easily get your own.
The dining room was always very nice with old stand-bys, the chefs suggestion, plus five other entrees and a vegetarian three course selection always available. I think there were a total of eight deserts each night. You may order ala-carte from any section of the menu and ask for changes. Gluten free was the only items we were a little disappointed in. It was hit or miss with some meals being as nice as everyone else and some meals being very bland and unimaginative. Viking does provide a particular officer who meets every day with special diet passengers to try and make their dining experience seamless.
Embarkation was pleasant and as quick as possible. No delays and from entering the embarkation room to being on the ship was less than thirty minutes.
Enrichments activities were nice, but we did not get to many of them as we were exploring the various ports.
Entertainment was good, with a nice four-person song and dance team and a four-person band.
The spa and gym areas were exceptional, especially for a ship this size. If you work out, you will be able find everything to do your cardio or your strength and fitness. The spa is really nice and the pools and snow room have to be experienced at least once.
Overall onboard experience was great! Everyone (crew AND passengers) were so nice and easy going. Special requests were taken care of with a smile and surprisingly quick. I watched the guest services people perform minor miracles for their guests all day …. and with a big smile!
The public rooms are phenomenal. They are comfortable, relaxed, easy for groups to meet or to find a quiet nook for reading. You have to check out the upstairs of the Explorer Lounge!
I have mentioned service though-out this write up and you will not be disappointed. Sure a buss person gets busy or a barista takes a few minutes for your expresso, but everyone from guest services to security is pleasant and strives to help as best they can.
The included shore excursions are generally quite good. Many times will do one and get a general look at the port we are in and then head off on our own. We did have one excursion where the guide was not knowledgeable of their subject and kept making political remarks. Viking provides critiques forms for each excursion.
Value for the money is subjective, everyone would like to save some money here and there, but we did feel the trip was worth what we paid.
The cabin was similar to a typical modern cruise cabin, but very modern styling, clean and comfortable. There were some nice features such as the USB ports and outlets almost everywhere. The bed was very comfortable and does not transmit tossing and turning to the other sleeper. The HVAC worked well. Plenty of lighting and bed lights for reading … though they were pretty bright. TV channels and movies were good. Storage was a little tight, just as on the river boats, with a few areas not really utilized at all. However everything found a place. Don't miss the "hidden" pull up desk top. That is were your complimentary binoculars are stored. There is a safe and coffee maker.
The bathroom was extremely nice and roomy with heated floors and a large all glass shower. Lighting and storage was very nice.
The balcony was a balcony, but with a table and two chairs it was just fine a quiet spot, reading or enjoying sun rises or sunsets. Be aware your HVAC turns off if you leave your sliding door open, but their are signs to warn you of this.
House keeping was exceptional and the complimentary refrigerator stocked everyday.