We booked this cruise over 2 years ago and was seriously thinking about cancelling it and rebooking for a later date. We didn't due to no availability until 2023. Hind site is 20/20 and we should have canceled. We embarked in Barcelona and disembarked in Venice. This was first ever once in a lifetime cruise. We had high expectations due to great Viking reviews.
Viking was being very cautious and rightly so however, they went over board and treated us like children. The daily Covid testing, mask waring and had washing was welcomed. The ship is spotless and the service crew were wonderful. Shore excursions were disappointing. It was almost as if this was Vikings first cruise. They didn't run smoothly. Yes people were complaining we weren't able to shop, at some ports we were given the opportunity to shop at certain stores for 15 to 30 minutes depending upon the tour guide.
The biggest issue was were weren't allowed to be off on our own, we had to stay tethered to the tour guide like we were in grade school. It was so depressing to pull into a port and go into a town to watch the smiles on the town peoples faces fade away because we weren't allowed to intact with them or buy anything. The economy was hit hard during COVID and Viking was the first boat to arrive in Sete France and the people were so excited to see us coming and all we did was walk around town with a guide and leave. That's not a shore excursion. Learning about the town, interacting, immersing your self in the culture is key. That didn't happen except in Croatia.
Response from VikingS, Community Team