This was our first time on a Viking cruise and we were not disappointed at all. It was close to as perfect as one could get. The reason why we picked Viking was that my wife and I will be retiring soon-ish and we love to seek out new places to go. I did a lot of research on mid-size to smaller ships, upper end, itineraries, read reviews, etc. And we thought we would try Viking. We were extremely pleased that we did select Viking. There as no one under 18 on board, there we no casinos, there was no loud pounding music, less than 1,000 passengers.
My wife and I work long hours and we needed the time to relax and and this was the perfect cruise line for us. There was never, ever any shortages of quiet places outside your cabin where you could sit and relax. At the height of the day, there was never more than a few dozen people around the main pool, one could always find a place to sit. There were always seats available to eat meals (besides the specialty restaurants where reservations are required). Our favorite place was in the Explorers Lounge where we could relax, read a book, have a cocktail, and listen to the young man playing the guitar and singing. The food was much better than I had prepared myself for. The two specialty restaurants were above average. There was so much variety that if a person could not find something they liked there was probably no hope of ever pleasing them. The staff was amazing and very personable, we really enjoyed interacting with them. Both my wife and I enjoyed the spa - awesome!!! We tried (and I think we succeeded) all that the ship had to offer and we were not disappointed. The talks and the entertainment were wonderful. Again, exactly what we expected and wanted.
The port calls were great. We signed up for a few of the optional excursions and the value for the money for what we did was solid. We signed up (when schedule allowed) for the included tour. These were okay. We enjoyed them but most of then were bus tours and a bit of shopping. We are active people so we started to skip these and just explore on our own. Viking provided at no additional cost shuttles from the ship to a point in the city/town (if it was beyond walking distance). So we would just jump on the shuttle and explore and then take the shuttle back to the ship. My only "ding" about the excursions was that either Viking or the passengers themselves need to be better on what the activity rating is for an excursion. I more than understand the average age group on this cruise was elevated and there were passengers with definite mobility challenges. People need to realistically determine what they can and cannot do and embrace it. It takes spots away from others that could enjoy it more. We spent parts of excursions following people with lower mobility because we thought there safety was a concern with them (falling, keeping up, etc.). We ended up not enjoying the excursion to the degree we wanted to or should have.
Perfect. We were in cabin 5111 at the very stern of the ship. Very quiet (well the entire ship was quiet). We had awesome views entering and leaving the ports of call. The cabin gave us everything we needed and wanted. The ship was small enough that nothing was ever that far away, we very rarely used the elevators.
Amazing - Did the Ballyknocken excursion followed by self-exploration of Dublin.