We chose this cruise line and destination for the reasons:
1. we were looking for a cruise line that limit the children
2. no "nickel and dime" cruise
3. always wanted to visit SEA but was not sure where to start, this provide on paper a great itinerary.
4. we are foodies and the "Kitchen Table" and "Chef Table" options really enticed us.
Our experience overall for this cruise was very good! This was truly a luxurious cruising experience, you cannot go wrong if you are looking for that 5 star experience! The crew is amazing and friendly and the ship is immaculate.
However I would say where it fell short are:
1. "Kitchen Table" was not offered on this cruise due to health and hygiene concerns in the region, even Singapore? which I would argue since the head chef sourced artisan ingredients from local produces for soy and fish sauce and sourced an amazing sushi-grade tuna from Singapore
2. The shore excursion were not to the quality of the cruise line, I know Viking sourced the best they could find in region but the included excursions were mostly"on and off the bus to get the photo opp...you can almost call it a bad "Instagram Tour". I understand in SEA many of the deep sea ports are an hour to 2 away from the heart of the city, maybe we can focus the excursion and not try to do such a broad stroke. Credit to the Port Talk and Enrichment Lectures on providing great insights in to the regions.
3. Jakarta! why 2 days at port? this is an important stop but we could have used the extra day in Singapore, KL, or Bali (which everyone would have loved)
4."Bangkok to Bali and beyond" was the cruise name, we arrived into Bali at 5-6pm on night before disembarkment. Even though our flight is not till the evening of the disembarkment we did not qualify for any excursion in Bali for the disembarkment day and we need to be out of the stateroom at 8 and off the ship by 9am. So we found a great tour guide with ToursbyLocals and he picked us up at 7:30am and drop us at the airport at 4pm with plenty of time to check in to our flight. We met people flying home at 1am on the morning of disembarkment and only saw the port and airport in Bali. This cruise title needs to be changed or an extra day needs to be added to include Bali in the title.
5. Why was there not more local cuisine in the region at the World Cafe? we are in SEA and there was maybe 5 chafing highlighting the region's cuisine. It is the "World Cafe" shouldn't a special section be dedicated each night to the port of call / regions cuisine? Again I understand I am not the target audience but I was extremely disappointed with the lack of local cuisine on the ship. However high marks for having fresh sushi daily on the ship.
I would definitely go on another Viking Cruise again but next time I would spend more time asking questions about the details outline above and research ToursbyLocals or AirBNB Experience for excursion for ports I really wanted to explore.
The cabin immaculate, it was well appointed and very functional and modern stylish.
The only 3 minor gripes which did not affect the cabin experience:
1. the ensuite really need an exhaust or something to remove the stale and humid air
2. the desk was great but it should be a drawer not a flip top, so many times did I had to rearrange the desk to get to the binoculars
3. the closet was too close to the bed, I can't see how an elderly or accessible person could get items in the closet next to the night stand.