Viking Mars Review

5.0 / 5.0
130 reviews

"See the world from your bus window..."

Review for Asia Cruise on Viking Mars
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2-5 Cruises • Age 70s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Nov 2022
Cabin: Deluxe Veranda Stateroom

We'd taken a Viking Ocean Cruise across the North Atlantic in 2019, and decided to break our Covid travel limitations on another, because we knew that the boats aren't overcrowded, and that it was possible to do things like wear masks and eat outside on the deck. In that regard, things worked out--we were on the boat for 28 days (Bangkok to Sydney) and didn't get sick. The room-a deluxe veranda--was great, and the staff were, without exception, the nicest and most helpful people you could image. The World Cafe had great variety, and although the quality was variable, we could always find something good to eat. We had tried the other restaurants on our prior cruise, and weren't impressed enough to try them again. The onboard lectures were all excellent. The first 14 days of our cruise they did daily Covid PCR tests to satisfy Indonesia port requirements, but this was dropped for the last 14 days in Australia (though Australia had a much higher Covid rate at the time).

Flying to Bangkok and back from Sydney was miserable. The Viking travel arrangements weren't optimal, but we didn't miss any connections and got there and back on time, at a difficult time to travel. So we'll count that as a win.

But we travel not for the boat experience; we travel to see and experience new places. We've traveled a lot--this was our fifth trip to Asia. This one, however, has probably put us off from any more ocean cruises or Viking cruises of any sort. The trips over the first half of the cruise were, except for the one in Singapore and the last one in Bali, the very worst guided tours that we have ever been on. Viking had subcontracted with a company called CruiseAsia for all trips in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. All guides, except the one in Singapore, had inadequate English skills. Only every second or third sentence could be deciphered. The guides really had no story to tell us about the places we were visiting. Every city trip--Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta, Semarang, and Surabaya, consisted of a drive through narration, an opportunity to take pictures through the bus window, and 1 to 3 stops from this list: temples, museum, monument, or market (usually a Chinatown). Six to ten Viking buses would come all at once and hoards of passengers would swarm into a small museum occupied by a couple of classes of school children. One time we visited a "newspaper office" which consisted of a receptionist, an empty building, and two restrooms. Then back to the boat for a 6 or 7 PM departure. To be honest, we weren't able to visit the most notable site on Java, the temple of Borobudur, because my spouse wasn't physically up to it. All I can say, is that after this trip it feels as if we haven't really seen Thailand, Malaysia or Indonesia, and that some day we'll have to return.

Cabin Review

Deluxe Veranda Stateroom

Cabin is just fine.

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