Initially we booked a Viking Rhine river cruise for 2020 with some other friends and naturally was canceled due to the Global pandemic. We rebooked for the spring of 2021 same cruise with Viking, yup that too was canceled. So my wife and I decided to switch to a Viking Ocean cruise for December 2021 down to South America. This was a Christmas cruise on the Jupiter however in talking with some colleagues in Argentina, they indicated that we would not be allowed into the country, due to Covid protocol. Turns out they where right, so we booking a Baltic Sea cruise for May of 2022 including a few days in Russia, what could go wrong right, forth time is the charm. In February Viking contacted us saying that understandably the itinerary would be altered given the situation in Eastern Europe. Rather than cancel we continued and a few weeks later received our updated itinerary staying away from the Gulf of Finland and adding some new destinations keeping with the theme of the Viking Homelands cruise. We arrived in Bergen, Norway and found the transfer to the ship very efficient and easy, the boarding process was also very quick and easy and soon found ourselves in our cabin 4001 on the Jupiter. Having to provide our first daily saliva PCR tests we where told to keep our masks on the first day and given instructions that if they did not contact us, then all is good. Overall, the Viking crew is fantastic, with communication, attention to detail and service. The Jupiter was in amazing shape and was very clean and smelled fresh everyday, we understood that there was about 550 passengers on board so about 400+ shy of capacity. Making the experience on board very comfortable, however I doubt that even at full capacity it would feel crowded. The layout of these Viking Ocean ships is fantastic and there are so many little spot around to sit and relax with a book or cocktail. The size of these ships was a big choice for us, having been on larger capacity cruises we wanted a more intimate vacation with great itinerary. We did elect to upgrade our cabin to an ES1 forward and really appreciate the space and privacy we had. The service again was amazing and each member of the crew is very friendly and helpful, they remember your name and greet you each time with a smile, even though they are wearing masks, you can still tell. The food and variety of choices is also fantastic given the alternate dining options included with your fare and found ourselves bouncing between the Restaurant and Manfredi’s most nights. Again, we chose Viking for the casual atmosphere more focus on the destination rather than onboard entertainment, so if you are looking for bingo, casinos and nightly shows this might not be the cruise line for you. The Spa is amazing and included for all passengers, we did take advantage of this opportunity and found it not very crowded, specially when the excursions where still out about. Not much for the organized bus tours we mostly did our own offshore activities, walking around the cities that we had been docked at and exploring the cultures. Although not exactly the original cruise we signed up for, we still had a blast and are already planning our next Viking journey. If you are looking for a 5 star hotel a sea, and waking up in a new destination everyday to explore, the we suggest Viking for sure!
The photos you see of this cabin are a true reflection of what it is, amazing. There is so much room and big floor to ceiling windows making the cabin bright and comfortable. We found ourselves moving around from the couch and chairs to the four seat dining table and the desk. Outside the veranda is really large and nice with a four top table and two comfortable loungers providing a comfortable panoramic view forward. Specifically we took advantage of using this space to setup timelapse videos or our journey and napping of course. The separate bedroom is decent in size and affords a very comfortable king size bed with another floor to ceiling window. The bathroom is so nice with dual sinks huge walk-in shower, bathtub and yes the TV in the mirror is a cool touch. In general we typically go for aft corner cabins and have enjoyed the views from that vantage, however the forward facing is really nice as well. There is a little more noise forward during docking and anchoring however it is expected on a cruise ship and small sacrifice for a fantastic cabin experience. The ride is different from the aft, with a little more sounds and vibration while underway of hitting waves. Overall if you have the opportunity to get one of these cabins do it.