Viking Octantis Review

5.0 / 5.0
183 reviews

Great Way to see the Great Lakes

Review for Canada & New England Cruise on Viking Octantis
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VikingExplorer
10+ Cruises • Age 70s

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Sail Date: Aug 2022
Cabin: Nordic Balcony

I'm an experienced independent world traveler and this was my 59th cruise. Always wanted to visit the Great Lakes by ship, and this was my first Viking Expedition cruise. If the food had been better, I'd have rated five for the cruise. Viking's lovely advertising is about 98% true as far as the gorgeous ship and quality of the experience. There were some glitches after the initial booking contact due to new hires in customer service - calls not returned, couldn't reach my agent, did not have all the pertinent facts or information, etc. but those who knew their product were very good to work with. It took three days for me to travel from Boston to Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada via Toronto. All the horror stories about Toronto Pearson Airport are true, with three and one-half hours to pass through immigration in an overcrowded, hot, stuffy, disorganized immigration hall with just a few agents to process over 1000 people and no place to sit while waiting. Terrible welcome to usually friendly and efficient Canada. The WestJet turboprop plane ride from Toronto to Thunder Bay was fun despite very tight seating. Gorgeous rural scenery below the flight and a nice small airport at Thunder Bay. URIDE (Canada's "Lyft" or "Uber") was a pleasant, fast ride to the Delta Hotel on the marina waterfront, where most of the embarking passengers were staying. Very comfortable, nicely appointed hotel room with a fantastic view of the Sleeping Giant rock/mountain formation from my upper floor windows. Decent food, room service more or less is available, just have to pick it up yourself sometimes. Mostly nice staff, some new trainees needing reminders to smile.

Embarkation procedures took place at the Delta Hotel the next morning, with very efficient and professional Viking agents. A small Mercedes van took the guests to the ship in constant relays, about 10 minutes from the hotel. I saw the ship sail to its dock the night before, and it was a magnificent first view. Looks like a very large and exclusive yacht. Boarding went far faster than advertised, and I was on the ship by 11:30 AM, luggage arrived soon after, and my room steward and his helper were very friendly, professional and efficient. The refrigerator contained the beverages I'd requested and all my service preferences were noted by my steward.

I had a Deluxe Nordic Balcony stateroom, where the glass outside wall lowers half-way to provide a balcony experience while you remain inside your stateroom. Lovely new everything on this ship - great king size bed, good linens, lots of Norwegian decorative touches, leather furniture, a neat storage unit with a small globe, binoculars, and books on Antarctica explorations. Small refrigerator, coffee maker, and snack bar/dishes/utensils all very compactly placed in the bookshelf unit. Desk accessories, including sanitizer wipes and sprays. Lovely toiletries in big tubes. Nice wool throw on the bed and several pillows on the leather L-shaped sofa for comfortable lounging and viewing. Very efficient do not disturb electrical light signal system for the door. Smallish closets and drawers - a couple would find it a bit tight and lacking space, and the closet doors open into each other at 90 degrees, making a very tight space between closets and the bed. There are no drawer pulls or handles on anything in the stateroom, so opening things can be a bit challenging and can threaten long fingernails. There were quality wood accessories like a clothes brush and shoehorn in the closet, as well as a huge red umbrella, robes, slippers. Drying cabinet next to the closets for wet gear dried everything neatly and quickly. There is a small safe in the closet area. Carpeted floor, and the bathroom floor has a heating option. Big bathroom for a ship, with plenty of counter space, good lighting, and a big glass shower with hand-held spray. There is even a small convenient foot-stool type little seat for putting on boots or shoes. Table near the glass window wall. There is a lot of comfort and luxury packed into a relatively small space - very cozy, Nordic and comfortable. Twice-daily housekeeping, if you wish. It's all up to the guest. I prefer making my own bed, but had the bathroom cleaned twice daily. There is a carafe of fresh water on the desk daily, and bottled water is also available. Room service was right on time for breakfast, on a big tray and nicely presented. If my smallish stateroom was this nice, I can image the luxury on the upper decks where the suites are.

Cabin Review

Nordic Balcony

As mentioned above.

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