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Viking Sea Cruise Review
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,339 Reviews

Take the submarine tour in Barbados!

Viking Sea Cruise Review by ItsAllPartOfTheAdventure

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Nov 2019
  • Destination: the Caribbean

We chose this cruise because we had credits to use up, and the time and price were right. I'd never been to the Caribbean, so seeing a new island every day appealed to me. My traveling companion had been several times, but hadn't been to all the locations on the list, and she said she was happy to revisit the others.

We signed up for the included tours for most places, but paid extra for the submarine tour in Bridgetown Barbados to see the tropical fish. Minibus from ship to tour office, short walk to boat (with a photo stop), short boat ride to loading dock, then into the submarine & down to 149 feet (they try to get as close to 150 ft as they can) and an hour of watching for fish out of our very large portholes. They announced unusual sightings, such as larger fish swimming near and a sunken ship. Cards on the wall showed pictures & names of fish we might see. I took photos & videos with my phone. It was definitely the highlight of the trip! Just watch out for the rum punch on the boat back to shore - I don't think the rum was diluted very much.

BTW, the crew is very experienced getting people onto the submarine even if they have trouble with stairs & ladders, so it's worth asking, even if you have some kind of disability. When we got our photos, they also gave each of us diving certificates, nicely calligraphied by hand.

Have to admit I missed St Lucia. We were prepared for rain, but that was a deluge. So we stayed warm & dry onboard. (My companion had been there on other trips.)

Loved the open-face shrimp sandwiches available in the galley and lounge, forward on deck 7. They had a different soup every day, but the sandwiches and yummy desserts (cakes, blueberry tartlets, raspberry tartlets) stayed the same. We ate there almost every day. Also had afternoon tea on the pool deck almost every day. Delicious!

Two sets of elevators on the ship, as well as well-carpeted stairs.

Dining room food was generally good, but the chef created several dishes that didn't match what they sounded like - usually something from Southeast Asia, such as a curry that should have been hot but was very mild. Can't remember all the others, but my companion kept trying them and telling me why they weren't what she expected. I enjoyed the food I chose to eat - and the dinner menus had lots of choices.

Interesting gelato and sorbet flavors - new ones almost every day. Yummy!

Getting from the shuttle bus onto the ship at the beginning of the trip was a long walk on uneven surfaces, dragging carry-ons. We both walk with canes, and found it extremely challenging at the end of a very long travel day. They do not provide wheelchairs or assistance there, although a ship's officer came over & helped me with my small suitcase & oversize purse. Onboard the ship, there was help. A staff member guided us to our cabin & pulled all our stuff. Good thing - because of course we were about as far away from where we boarded as we could be!

There wasn't always someone by the gangway for assistance, and the step down onto the dock was a problem for my companion. She sometimes went back aboard to ask for help.

On a couple of the islands, enterprising islanders had gotten electric carts & for $1 per person were providing rides along very long docks over to where the tour buses were waiting. Much appreciated by many of the passengers, as some of the walks were close to a half mile. The carts were also there when we were returning to the ship.

Would I go again? Definitely! The shore excursions were enjoyable and informative. The crew were always helpful onboard the ship. I recommend more islanders get into the electric cart shuttle business!

ItsAllPartOfTheAdventure's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

It's about as far forward as you can get! Plenty of room. Comfortable beds. I asked for a top sheet & got one immediately. My companion always asks for extra towels, and they were there every day. The in-room safe was at comfortable eye level - so nice! It was also big enough for a laptop, had I brought one.

Room stewards took care of everything the instant we asked. They even accommodated us sleeping in most mornings, and we got out in time for them to do up the room before they went off shift. One morning I wasn't feeling well enough to go to lunch, so I told them to please come in and work around me. I went back to bed, and they took care of everything else.

The one thing lacking was drawer space. The bathroom had a couple of nice drawers. There was shelf space above and below the safe. But no drawers. My companion was on the side by the safe, so she used the shelves. I left my suitcase under the coffee table on my side, and my small carry-on slid under the bed when I went out. I also used the armchair closest to me to pile stuff on.

Veranda had 2 chairs & a little table, and it was big enough to go out on. We didn't use it except for taking photos without glass in between. Stewards kept it nice & clean, though.

Floor to ceiling sliding glass doors to veranda, with a good lock when closed.

TV was excellent. My companion had hoped for Big Bang Theory re-runs, but they didn't have that, so she found other things to enjoy.

A carafe of fresh water was delivered every day. The mini refrigerator had a first round of free beverages & treats & room to put things (such as the rest of my steak from dinner that I'd slipped into a plastic bag in my purse - it was great for breakfast!)

Room service was excellent and prompt. We had breakfast delivered every morning, as neither of us are early risers. The last day they delivered at 3:30 a.m. so we could make our flight! The breakfast menu included eggs, omelets, bacon and attractive plates of fruit as well as the usual - more than on larger ships.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Crazy truck ride - it had 5 sets of four seats mounted on the truck bed. Very winding bouncy mountain roads - not for anyone with a bad back or motion sickness. But at the top, the driver/guide stopped where we could see a series of murals by local artists, and explained their significance. That made the trip worthwhile right there, as far as I was concerned.

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Historic House

Enjoyed the ride to Fairview Great House. Tried to figure out how a donkey had gotten over the fence at one place! Fairview had lots of stairs & we weren't feeling up to them, so the driver got a couple of chairs out of a storage shed on the property and set them up in the shade for us. Then he got one of the docents to come give us a verbal tour of the house. She was so thorough, she even described the items we would have especially noticed in each room! She said she usually did the cooking demo/tour, but she certainly knew the house well!

View All 51 Historic House Reviews
Atlantis Submarine

I wrote about this in the general review. It was the highlight of the trip - down 149 feet in a submarine with huge viewing portholes & loads of tropical fish. Put this on your don't miss list - even if you're not good with stairs & ladders. The crew is fabulous at assisting people.

View All 26 Atlantis Submarine Reviews
Island tour

Panoramic tour of Roseau - drove around the island and learned a lot about life on the island. Visited a craft center where baskets are made by the blind. Then on to the beach and more rum punch.

View All 71 Island tour Reviews
Island Tour

Scenic tour of both Dutch & French parts of the island. Driver/guide was very informative and witty. Dutch section has a carousel that was shipped piece by piece from Venice Italy and assembled. You can ride on it. It's behind a shop with superb gelato in a myriad of flavors - all the usuals, plus tropical fruits and more.

View All 437 Island Tour Reviews
Island Tour

Drake's Shipyard was the highlight of this tour. A fascinating place. Helped of course by more rum punch!

View All 291 Island Tour Reviews

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