My wife and I had never taken a cruise before but were always intrigued by the ads for Viking. We never thought a cruise was something we would enjoy but we called Viking to ask some questions. Our agent, Roman O’Brien, was very helpful and convinced us that Viking was the cruise for us. I think the most important things for us was the small number of passengers, no gambling, no children and no photographers. We booked the Viking Homeland cruise on the Viking Sea for May 2019.
After booking the cruise we experienced their web site. It is one of the most professional sites I have used. All the information was there and it made our planning very simple. We booked our own flights but booked with Viking to pick us up at the airport when we arrived as well as transporting us to the airport when the cruise was over.
Upon arriving on board, a member of the housekeeping staff introduced himself and walked us through everything in the cabin. Every time we saw him and his partner during the cruise they would greet us and call us by name. Soon we found that when we went to dinner the maître d' also greeted us by name. We soon realized that staff was treating us like royalty everywhere we encountered them. Our cabin was like new when we returned from a shore excursion or an outing. If we ever needed something the answer was always yes. Again, they treated us like royalty.
All of the shore excursions were fantastic. Viking did an amazing job of coordinating everything. We were informed each night of all the events for the next day. And there was virtually no waiting in line disembarking and embarking for shore excursions. That had been one of the horror stories we heard from friends on their cruises. Again, one of the great things about the Viking Sea cruises is the limited number of passengers (950). The only time we had to wait in line was returning from Berlin. The majority of passengers went on that excursion so it was understandable that it would take time going through customs. One of the exciting things about that excursion was that Viking rented a train for us to travel to and from Berlin. On the ride back they offered refreshments, beer and wine. And when we arrived back to the ship, the whole crew was there, forming a runway for us, to welcome us back home.
The onboard dinning was like eating in a 5-star restaurant. Every meal was unparalleled and the service was excellent. Another great thing about the meals was that they always had selections on the menu relating to the country we were visiting. All the restaurants were first class. We ate twice in the two alternative restaurants, The Chef’s Table and Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant, which were available at no extra charge. Another wonderful benefit on Viking Sea cruises.
The entertainment was very good and the “Port Calls” each day prepared us for the excursion as well as historical insight. There was something for everyone.
Finally, I would like to summarize our trip by saying we had one of the best adventures of our lives. And being treated like royalty was icing on the cake. We had such a good time we recently booked our second cruise on Viking.