We are experienced cruisers, having done a Viking Ocean in 2018 (Rome to Lisbon on the Viking Sun), a Viking river cruise in 2015 (Budapest to Amsterdam) and since 1990,, 5 other cruises on Carnival, Princess and Holland America. Each of those ships were 1500 to 2000 passengers.
On this cruise we arrived in LA a day early and met with several others who had set up the meeting through Cruise Critic.
Our ship came in and docked close to our hotel, and after embarkation we left the ship to do a museum tour of the USS Iowa, a great Battleship permanently docked within a 10 minute walk.
Our first 7 days of this cruise were at sea, as we made our way to Nuku Hiva, in the Marquesa Islands. None of our previous cruising had prepared us for the delights of several back to back days at sea. The weather was good, with a couple of lumpy days, and the activities on board were enough to keep busy. So much to do that you would need to go out of your way to get bored.
We especially liked the musical entertainment, As Roger McGuinn, front man for THE BYRDS was aboard, and had a very good set of shows , starting with "Mr. Tambourine Man" a autobiographical walk down memory lane for our age group, and others that he presented later in the cruise. Also on board for a shorter journey was Louis Shelton, Lead guitarist of THE WRECKING CREW. He did a few shows that also took our age group down memory lane. In addition to those headliners, there were several younger musicians, all very accomplished, who put on great shows. And not least were the Viking vocalists, starting with our Cruise Director.
There were also intellectual talks, put on by several lecturers well versed on the history of the south Pacific, the anthropology and the culture. All were the best I have encountered on any cruises.
Service was superb at all times. After meeting some of the bar staff on the beach in Nuku Hiva, we got to know some of them far better than had been the case on any other ship. They all strive to give the best possible service at all times.
Dining was excellent. In the "Chef's Table" restaurant, I had the best meal I have ever eaten. Manfredi's restaurant was also very good, as was the main Dining Room. Several times on the voyage a special meal was set up in one of the 7th level areas, and those were excellent as well.
Ports and Shore excursions became challenging for the crew to set up once the weather prevented us getting to the Cook Islands. We got to Tonga early and a hastily assembled set of guides was not up to the task. Tonga is a very poor country, doesn't have much to attract cruise ships, so perhaps was not the best choice of destination. Fiji, was also disappointing. Our tour took us through many very poor areas of Suva, and though we still enjoyed getting to see Suva, I won't be going back to Fiji. All of the other shore excursions were excellent. We did a small bus tour to Rotorua that was a delight. We had front row seats at a Maori cultural display after touring the Geysers while they were quite active. New Zealand will likely get us going back.
By restriction, passage to over 18s, not having a Casino, and having only a very few smokers on board, Viking has captured the essence of great cruising.
Overall, this cruise exceeded our expectations by a mile. Time to start saving for the next one.
The cabin was perfect. For our journey of 37 days, we had enough storage space and living area. The bathroom was fairly large and conveniently arranged. There are so many comfortable lounges on the ship, that we spent very little time in the cabin. All DV cabins are the same size and have the same amenities. Only the location on the ship varies.
Cabin stewards are excellent!