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Viking Sky Review

5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1021 reviews
22 Awards

A fantastic cruise even with the Covid challenges

Review for Viking Sky to the Mediterranean
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WeBeTravelCrazy
2-5 Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Cabin
Family
Embarkation
Dining
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Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Dec 2021
Cabin:
Viking Sky in port of Pireaus
Seating at the World Cafe
Outdoor seating by the infinity pool/hot tub
Success Cake from Mamsens
Istanbul Cisterns (visited on our own)
New Years Eve celebration onboard
View leaving Kusadasi from the infinity pool deck
Turkish Coffee
Gravlax sandwich at Mamsens
Sunrise over the Aegean approaching the Dardenelles
Sandwiches at Mamsens
Carpet show in Kusadasi (it gets added to the end of your excursion. Enjoy the show (and refreshments). You don't need to buy anything!)
Istanbul at night
The Grand Bazaar entrance in Istanbul
Port in Kusadasi
Turkish Delight!
Waffle in Mamsens
Buffet at World Cafe.  This was just one of three totally decked out sections of the buffet one night.

After much consideration of the challenges that may get in our way (e.g. Omicron surge, testing requirements, masking, airline restrictions), we are so glad that we took this cruise and it lived up to our expectations. My husband and I, along with our adult son and his girlfriend booked this cruise last summer when Viking was offering deals upon reopening the World, we were looking for a holiday adventure together and the Delta variant was barely newsworthy. As the date of the cruise approached, Omicron appeared, Greece imposed restrictions on ships docking from Turkey (which resulted in two of our scheduled ports to be removed from our itinerary) and airlines were cancelling flights due to staffing shortages. We decided to go-for-it anyway, knowing that just about anything could go wrong. I won't deny that traveling to our embarkation port was very challenging, but once we were onboard we were so glad we went through with it. In addition to the normal Embarkations/check-in process we had our temperature checked and our pictures taken. We were also given our tracking devices for contact tracing. It was well organized and quick - thank goodness (we were tired and very eager to get to our room!). Upon boarding the ship we all had to submit a saliva sample to be tested and could not leave our stateroom until we received the results. We were not given a timeframe for the results to be provided, which ended up being a point of frustration, mostly because we had not eaten and the restaurants were to be closing for the night. We finally decided to order room service after calling Guest Services and being told that it would take at least 4 hours for use to get results. So my advice if you are in this situation is to get comfortable, order room service and relax. Covid protocols onboard included daily testing (spitting into a tube by 9am each morning and leaving it in your cabin - no news is good news about the outcome), temperature checks, health survey (4 simple questions about how you're feeling that day) and masks just about everywhere (exceptions when eating and when in the spa).

As for the cruising part, this was our first ocean cruise with Viking, after being very pleased with two prior river cruises. While the ship capacity was just over 900, we were very fortunate that less than have of the cabins were booked for this cruise. Being accustomed to the smaller capacity on river cruises, we were very happy that this ship was far from full. I can't imagine what it would be like if it was at capacity for many reasons. Not being familiar with the availability of different dining options, the need for spa reservations, etc, we only booked one restaurant reservation in advance (for New Years Eve), but when we go on board we changed that reservation, and then as the days went along, added other reservations (often on the same day!) which afforded us so much flexibility to work around our excursions, relaxation time and how we felt each day. Some restaurants (e.g. Mamsens), have limited seating, but we were able to get tables and be distanced from others at all times.

As mentioned, two of our 'advertised' ports were eliminated from our itinerary within a month of our sailing date. At first we did consider cancelling because of this (when will we return to the Aegean to see Bodrum & Troy after all), so we were disappointed. However, it ended up to have a silver lining since we spent an extra day in Kusadasi (Epheseus) and in Istanbul (altho we had already extended our stay in Istanbul). This allowed us leisure time in these ports; not feeling rushed to get back to the ship after our excursions, so we could add our own experiences (lunch at a local restaurant in Kusadasi and time to walk around the market/seaside area, visiting the Cisterns and a Turkish/Islamic Art Museum and Topkopi Palace in Istanbul on our own) to the scheduled Viking experiences. On the extra day in Kusadasi, the excursions they made available were all 'included'. We really appreciated having this extra time and feel that it added a lot to our trip.

Cabin Review

Our cabin had just the right amount of space for us. We didn't spend much time there. There is plenty of drawer and closet space. The shower was plenty hot enough and had a strong spray. The bedding was very comfortable as was the temperature setting in the room. We were on the 4th floor near the front. I had asked for a location where we wouldn't feel the motion if things got rough, which they never did so we were good! We never heard anyone in the adjoining rooms (and we know they were occupied) or in the hall. We appreciated the quiet!

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