Our trip with Viking, our first with them, was everything it was meant to be!
Travel arrangements were clockwork precision, with little effort needed on our part. We experienced none of the confusion that often accompanies trips that we arrange for ourselves. I must say though, we did not allow for jet lag, and our first few days aboard were primarily recovering, limiting our enjoyment of Athens. We suggest an early arrival to recoup and refresh.
The ship, the oldest in the fleet, was in great shape, though there were a few glitches with the air conditioner and the toilet in the cabin. All problems that developed were immediately attended to by the engineering crew, making our concerns far less stressful than they otherwise could have been. The cabin attendants, Juan Carlos and Mark, could not have been more accommodating. They were completely on their game, gliding into the room to clean and organize with great efficiency, with minimal interruption. Room service was wonderful; prompt, hot, and delicious!
The eating venues were terrific, our favorite being the casual World Cafe, where everything was to be had and then some. We loved the choices and tastes at the Restaurant, Manfredi’s, the Poolside Grill, and the Chef’s Table, plus the casual special days put together by the chef on the outside deck. Kudos to the serving staff, from the supervisors to the servers. The smiles and conversations were as nourishing as the food!
The excursions from the ship were fascinating, most being timed to allow moments of relaxation and refreshment. The third party tour guides were locals, with wonderful insights. Favorites of our fifteen days? Hard to say, for each location was amazing. Crete, Rhodes, Cypress, Mykonos, Jerusalem and Haifa, Akko, Athens, Naples, Rome. It was a feast!
The days at sea were marvelous moments to absorb what we had seen and what we were going to see. The Med behaved for the most part, but there were a few hours of rough seas, especially a storm we headed out into from Naples to Rome. The ship handled the swells well, keeping our concerns to a minimum. Suggestion? The showers were great, but if you expect some rocking to come, get in there early and take care of business before the anticipated ups and downs.
By the way, with everything to do ashore, and with all the entertainment in the Star Lounge and theaters, it’s easy to miss some of the shipboard attractions. The thermal spa, the wintergarden high tea, the joys of relaxing with a coffee and a piece of cake from Mamsen’s in the explorer lounge can all be forgotten in the excitement if you’re not careful. Make time for all the joys!
For an amazing trip, and for living the dream, Viking Ocean Cruising comes through with flying colors!
A wonderful retreat! Terrific storage space. Amazing bathroom. Terrific service. A very comfortable HVAC. Great balcony. Linens and towels were top flight.