The highlight of this adventure was the the opportunity to visit the Holy Land. Exceptional service by all staff. You could really tell they enjoyed their work. I did not care for the "class" system on Viking where people who paid more for their cabins got special privileges like early choice of excursions and dining reservations. The free excursions seemed rather superficial with bus rides and few stops.My cabin was first class. The whole ship was spotless. One night I got up at 3 am to see a volcanic island erupting. I discovered a couple of the housekeepers working on cleaning chores. I enjoyed the fact that this ship was not huge. I would not care to be on a ship with thousands of passengers. The entertainment as appropriate with many fun musical evenings presented by some very talented and enthusiastic vocalists. The chamber musical duo was especially impressive: a wonderful way to end an evening listening to their music. Overall I enjoyed the food despite crowding at popular dining hours. I especially appreciated all the in-depth lectures that significantly enriched my experience and understanding of the history and culture of the areas we visited on shore. We had a significant disruption of our first landing in Israel (Ashdod) due to an Arab rocket attack. The captain and crew were quite skilled at quickly getting us back out of the port. By the time we arrived at the new port (Haifa), the shore excursion staff had re-scheduled just about all the shore excursions. Simply remarkable.
Exceptional quality in all the fixtures. Housekeepers were over the top in their diligence and personal service. Whenever I saw them, they made me feel as if I was their only client. They always were positive and had a kind word to say to me. The HVAC system was a little noisy at time that disrupted getting to sleep. On the other hand, I always felt in the midst of true luxury.