We have just returned from our first-ever cruise (Viking Northern Lights). We chose Viking because of its business model which appeared to suit our general requirement for high-end travel. Unfortunately, the reality didn’t quite meet Viking’s service-level claims. Much of what they do is good, but there are many areas that require finessing before it can truly claim to deliver a luxury travel product. It is acknowledged that Covid restrictions did adversely affect the cruise experience, which meant that we were effectively confined to the ship for pretty well all our vacation. Viking rather snuck this restriction up on us gradually over the short-time leading up to the cruise date and, maybe it was first-timer naivety, but the adverse effect wasn’t fully appreciated until we were underway. However, even taking that into account, I would advise other first-timers not to be overly influenced by the hype, particularly when uploaded by full-time cruise reviewers who are clearly not truly independent.
In addition to the following criteria I thought it also important to add:
Inclusive tours – 1* Hours sat in buses while guides tried to spin-out the time. Despite being desperate to get off the ship for a while, we gave up bothering in the end because they were so dull. Viking didn’t even include a tour showing the Northern Lights, unless you paid extra. Poor service, considering that this was the point of the cruise. We saw them for approximately 1 hour from the docked ship – that’s all.