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Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: October 2018
We chose Viking Sky specifically after seeing it on TV as we loved the style & size of the ship for our first cruise. As we only wanted to try a week, the itinerary suited us as we had only visited Corfu in the past. Embarkation: ... Read More
We chose Viking Sky specifically after seeing it on TV as we loved the style & size of the ship for our first cruise. As we only wanted to try a week, the itinerary suited us as we had only visited Corfu in the past. Embarkation: We were quite impressed by the communication from the booking procedure, through to departure & on arrival in Venice there were many Viking representatives in evidence. We were aware our stateroom (3056) would not be available to us until 2pm & we were due to arrive at the ship by about midday so I asked at the airport if we would be allowed on the ship to look around etc but was told no, we would have to wait at the port terminal until our allotted time. This was not the case at all but the representative on our transfer bus didn’t offer any advice over the microphone & in fact alarmed us a little on approaching the dock as he called the ship the Viking Star twice!! There seemed to be an assumption that we were all previous Viking passengers & so we just followed him to the cruise terminal where he left us. Check-in at the terminal was efficient & we then made our way onto the ship where we were greeted with champagne & towels & took a seat in the immediate lounge area. After 20 minutes or so we realised that many of those on our coach had moved elsewhere so we asked if we could go around the ship & were then told please go & have lunch or whatever we wanted until our stateroom was available. Fortunately an announcement was made about 1.15 that all rooms were now ready so we headed to our room & our luggage was waiting outside for us. Our cabin steward arrived & introduced himself, gave us info for the room etc & he did an excellent job, along with the entire housekeeping team, all week. Stateroom: The room was quite generous in size, apart from a bit tight at the end & wardrobe side of bed, but we were generally very comfortable. Bathroom also bigger than expected but found the underfloor heating a bit stifling at times. Although the shower is reasonably powerful, the temperature fluctuates so you needed to be a bit careful. Quite pleased to find the sound proofing was very good as we never heard anybody really; just a bit of music drifting from the atrium sometimes as we were nearby. We didn’t spend much time on our verandah but it was good to be able to open the door at times On one evening we received a note to say they would require access to our verandah from 0800-1500 the following day for maintenance work. We weren’t happy with that idea & why it couldn’t be done at the end of our trip, but as soon as we spoke to Guest Services, they confirmed the work could wait. Restaurants/Bars etc: We enjoyed breakfast in the World Cafe as you could be as quick as you wanted, & had room service at one port where we were not taking an excursion so fancied a lazier morning. Dined mainly in the main Restaurant & only had to wait about 15 minutes one evening. Had some lovely food there & more than enough choice on the menu each evening. House wines also excellent & poured generously. It can be very busy in there but because the area is in smaller sections you don’t feel you’re in a large dining room. Staff deal with everything in a friendly efficient way & cope very well. Unfortunately we didn’t prebook Manfredis beforehand as we didn’t know when & where we might like to dine. However in hindsight we should have booked & then cancelled if necessary as there were no slots any time of any day. It was quite apparent that some people were dining there frequently. We were however offered the chance of the Manfredis menu in a side room on a mixed table of 12 for our last evening but we declined. Loved the various bar & seating areas, our favourite being the Explorers Lounge. A small selection of food is available in Mamsens & we felt they could have varied that more. With just 1 or 2 exceptions every member of staff was polite, friendly & efficient & we enjoyed passing comments with them. Entertainment: Some of the music was a bit of a cruising cliche so we tended not to listen to that. However, special mention of the excellent Beatles & ABBA songbook evenings by the group of 4 & also the stunning performance by Heather Clancy, the Cruise Director along with Gary Jerry on his piano. It was nice also to have members of the crew, the Captain etc introduced in various ways. Excursions: We only took 2 walking tours as our first 2 tours didn’t happen due to weather conditions affecting the itinerary. Unfortunately Venice was having their worst weather & flooding for 10 years so the Port was closed & water transport was cancelled on the day we were due to go out & about. We were also unable to leave as scheduled so were delayed until the next day & had a day at sea, having to miss out Split altogether & head straight to Dubrovnik. Sail away from Venice was still amazing despite the wind & rain!! We enjoyed the 2 tours we did but I think it’s luck with which guide you get as our two guides were completely different in their approach. Disembarkation: A huge task which they handle quite efficiently. Although you have to vacate your Stateroom by 8am, you then have time for breakfast etc. However I don’t know how they assess which group to put you in as we had to leave at 9am, getting to the airport 4.5 hours before our flight so had to just hang around for 2.5 hours until check-in opened. Summary: Overall we enjoyed our first cruising experience; we loved the ship & would possibly consider another cruise in the future. It would seem from fellow passengers that Viking compares very favourably to some other cruise lines but I guess you get what you pay for as Viking are certainly at the higher end price wise. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We took the recent repo cruise from Manhattan to San Juan. We started out with the easiest and fastest embarkation we have ever experienced. Kudos! We had heard all sorts of rave reviews about Viking Ocean and wanted to try it ourselves. ... Read More
We took the recent repo cruise from Manhattan to San Juan. We started out with the easiest and fastest embarkation we have ever experienced. Kudos! We had heard all sorts of rave reviews about Viking Ocean and wanted to try it ourselves. The ship was very nice with the furnishings "Danish Modern." It was not as lush as I was expecting. The public areas were kept very cold, to the point that people were wearing sweaters in the Caribbean. We had a Deluxe Veranda which was a pretty standard room, nothing special. It definitely needed more drawer space. The bathroom had a heated floor, which I am sure is a delight when cruising the Norwegian fjords, but in the Caribbean, it turned the bathroom into a sauna. We found out the last day that this could be turned off if you asked. The food was excellent, but the Main Dining Room could had a more varied menu. We usually don't go to the shows, but did see the excellent pianist. The crew was fantastic, no complaints. We did not take advantage of the shore excursions, having been to these islands many times before. The ship was very noisy, at least in our cabin in any but he smoothest of seas. It made bumping, popping and banging noises; very annoying when trying to sleep. The buffet was excellent at breakfast, with a large selection of choices and eggs made to order. The ice cream was good and a must after lunch. Overall, we enjoyed our first time on Viking, but would probably not go again. BTW, this was our 48th cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We were on the 15 night Far East Discovery cruise from Beijing to Hong Kong! SHIP - Brand new and very luxurious. The decor suits the Viking brand and the crowd that these ships attract. One never feels like there are 930 passengers ... Read More
We were on the 15 night Far East Discovery cruise from Beijing to Hong Kong! SHIP - Brand new and very luxurious. The decor suits the Viking brand and the crowd that these ships attract. One never feels like there are 930 passengers aboard. There is never a crowd anywhere. The longest line was when people are getting off the ship in the morning to catch buses for excursions. The 2nd longest line was at the ice cream counter in the World Cafe after lunch and dinner. (Ice cream is made fresh on board and the flavors change daily!) There are numerous sitting areas where you can go to be by yourself. The retractable roof above the main pool is a nice feature, but on some sea days the roof could not be opened due to weather or smoke from the ship's stack blowing back into the pool area. When the roof is closed, the pool area heats up and it becomes like a sauna and is almost too hot to lounge around the pool. The free launderette on every level is a great feature. Free soap is dispensed by pushing a button on the wall after starting a washing machine. I worked out on the stationary bike and washed my workout gear and did an additional load on every sea day. We only had to wait for a machine on one occasion and then for only 1/2 an hour. We had 20 ft swells for a couple of hours due to the remnants of typhoon Yutu and Viking Orion handled them very well. But, we were in the middle of the ship, so we did not feel the up and down movement that those in the very forward and aft cabins must have felt. Lots of people used the 1/4 mile walking track on level 2. Passengers are mostly retired folks from the US, UK and Canada. CABIN - Every cabin is bigger than average for a cruise ship and has its own balcony. The smallest cabins have 270 sq ft and this is the size of the majority of the cabins on the ship. We found that we had plenty of space. Closet space is well laid out and the bathroom is very spacious. Showers are plenty big enough for the average sized person. DINING - Food is excellent and there is plenty of it. Reservations are required at Manfredi's and The Chef's Table. Manfredi's is the Italian restaurant on board and it has excellent pasta and steaks. The Chef's Table has a set menu with smaller portions and the menu changes every few nights. Often after excursions, people are too tired to get dressed up, so If you don't have a reservation at either, just show up and ask if they have an available table and you will probably get seated. It helps if you are willing to share a table with others. We found some of the offerings in the Chef's Table to be a little strange for our taste. The Restaurant does not require a reservation and has great food, also. All of the above are supposed to be evening casual, but I did see a couple of people with blue jeans and one lady in tights. While a few gentleman had jackets and ties on, the vast majority did not. I brought a sports jacket and wore it only once. The World Cafe is the on board casual buffet and there is poolside dining that consists of hamburgers, hot dogs, salads, etc. We used the included room service when we had an early excursion and on sea days before going to the spa to workout. Room service always arrived within 5 minutes of the requested time.There is afternoon tea around the pool, but we were either busy or never had an appetite at the time it was offered. ENTERTAINMENT - We only attended 1 lecture on China, but it was excellent. People that we spoke to who attended other talks said they were all very good. There were two persons on board who gave lectures on Asian/Chinese culture and history and one person who was giving scientific talks. There was a Haloween party around the pool and the band played till 10 PM. A magician was on board and gave 2 really good shows. He was as much a comedian as a magician. The band and vocalists did a Beatles/Abba tribute one night. SERVICE - Every person on board the ship bends over backwards to meet all needs of the passengers.The entire crew has a smile on their face almost always. The rooms are cleaned top to bottom twice daily. PORTS - The ports that are visited are basically the ones where China has opened a cruise terminal that Viking Orion can get into. All of the cities are interesting and have their own offerings. We had to skip the Japanese islands of Okinawa and Ishigaki due to typhoon Yutu, so we had an extra sea day and an extra day in Hong Kong. Due to missing two ports, Viking gave us an on board credit while on the cruise of $150 per passenger and a $250 credit per passenger on all future Viking ocean or river cruises. The port talks were very informative. EXCURSIONS - This is where the disappointment is. While in China, be ready to visit a temple, a garden and a market in every city. The guides in Qingdao and Xiamen could barely speak English. They could answer only the simplest of questions. They had memorized a script and could really not offer much else. They are all very young and most of them tried very hard, but their inexperience at controlling a group and lack of language skills made it very difficult for them and frustrating for the people on the excursions. After the excellent guides we had on a Scenic Danube river cruise the previous year, this was a great disappointment. However, due to Hong Kong's association with England, the guides in Hong Kong were more mature and they spoke fluent English. Most of the included excursions had a market as one of the stops. There was NEVER enough time included in the schedule to really see these markets. In Xiamen, there is a pedestrian shopping area that we were only given 20 minutes to visit. It had hundreds of shops and stalls. I think the included excursions with market stops should be extended by an hour each to give passengers more time if they desire. On two excursions, meals were provided. On the included Great Wall excursion, the meal was in a hotel exhibition hall and was very 2nd rate. On the last night in Hong Kong, the meal was in a restaurant in a large shopping mall and again the food and service was only 2nd rate. The Peking duck was fatty and all our table got was pieces of skin. Both meals were similar to a cheap Chinese restaurant in the states. In Hong Kong, we were each allowed only 1 glass of wine or 1 beer or 1 soft drink with the meal. Not what you would expect on a 'luxury' cruise. BUSINESS DEALINGS - When we called to inquire about the cruise, the telephone sales rep informed us that since the port terminal in Dalian was not ready, Dalian had been removed from the itinerary and we would get a $150 on board credit per passenger due to this. After booking and receiving an email from Viking with our booking info, we logged into MyVikingJourney web site and immediately we got an alert telling us about the Dalian situation and again promising $150 on board credits. After we were on the ship for one week, the $150 credits had not shown up on our account, so I visited Guest Services and the young lady stated to me that since Dalian had been taken off the itinerary before we booked, we were not eligible for the credits. I informed her that we SHOULD get the credits since the sales rep had promised it to us AND we got an alert on MyVikingJourney that confirmed what he had said. It was apparent that she wanted me to just go away, but I stood my ground until she said she would look into the matter. A day later the credits did show up on our on board account, so I did not have to make a 2nd visit to guest services. Although this is advertised as a Beijing to Hong Kong trip, you won't see Beijing unless you do the extension. Upon arrival at Beijing airport, there is a 3 hour drive straight to the cruise ship terminal, which is actually in Tianjin. You never go into Beijing itself. We would definitely do another Viking ocean cruise. This was our first luxury cruise and I don't think the on board experience could be any better. I can only guess that the poor quality of the excursions is due to 1) Chinese ports just being opened up to western cruise lines, 2) these are the initial visits to these ports for Viking, and 3) experienced tour guides are non-existent since in most cities, only the youngest Chinese speak any English at all. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
This cruise covers a lot of places. Very interesting, and full excursions. We went from Madrid to Venice. With extensions on both. Madrid was a disappointment. The hotel was nice, but you had to pay for coffee after breakfast. This ... Read More
This cruise covers a lot of places. Very interesting, and full excursions. We went from Madrid to Venice. With extensions on both. Madrid was a disappointment. The hotel was nice, but you had to pay for coffee after breakfast. This should be free in the lobby. The street beggars are constantly asking you to buy their wares. Even when seated in outdoor restaurants. Very annoying. I would pass on this part again, and do more days in Barcelona. From Madrid to Barcelona we took a train. Very well organized and enjoyable. Viking did a great job here. Barcelona was beautiful. We went to Marsaille France, did the included tour. Next was Monaco. Loved seeing the palace and where Grace Kelly was buried. Warning to anyone taking this tour, it's all uphill, and quite a long walk. Next we went to Italy-Luca and Pisa. It's a very long day, but well worth the tour. You get to see a lot. And the tour guide was very informative. These were paid for excursions, and an 8.5 hour day. Our next stop Rome. Went to Vatican City and Sistine Chapel. I have to say I was disappointed, only in that it was chaos. Multiple tours, hundreds of thousands of people all going to the same place. It was beautiful, and glad I went, but be prepared for the crowds. You can not take photos in the Sistine Chapel. This was a paid for tour and a 10 hour day. Afterward we went through Rome, past the coleseum but it would have been nice to have a short stop for pictures. This excursion did include lunch at an Italian restaurant. It was very good, and offered homemade limoncello. Onto Sorrento and Pompeii. These were also paid excursions, and another long day. Sorrento is the home of limoncello (yum). Pompeii is an amazing city. Well worth the tour. It's a lot of rocky walking. Our guide was amazing, and humorous. Corfu Greece was next. Did the included tour. Much needed break from three days of long tours. Neat city, and nice tour. Dubrovnik, Croatia was also lovely, went on included tour. Can't say this tour was good. Left us to explore on our own. Town was having a huge celebration which had State dignitaries and thousands of people. Made sightseeing difficult. Our guide wasn't very good either. Split Croatia was a small walking tour, and then a paid for river boat ride. We loved the river boat ride. It stopped at a small restaurant to give us a local flare of wine and bread. Enjoyable. Guide was very good. This was also a paid tour. Last stop Venice. We were in the rain, so didn't get to see as much as we would have liked. The hotel is across the canal and you have to take a water taxi provided by Hilton. San Marco square was flooded, but still crowded. We went in the Doge Palace, it was huge, and cost $20 euro to go in. But worth it to get out of the rain. Viking dropped the ball on this part of the cruise. Leaving the ship was delayed. There was a lot of waiting. But retrieving luggage went smoothly. It all arrived at the hotel. Once at the hotel, rooms weren't ready, so you had to sit around. There wasn't enough seats for the number of guests. However, we kept checking on our room and got one early. The Viking desk in the lobby did not offer much helpful info. They have no tours except for the day from the ship. You are on your own. Leaving the hotel was very interesting. They retrieve your luggage at 9am outside your room. Take it to a ramp, you identify your pieces and then board a small water taxi with other guests and on o the airport, with your luggage. It's about 30 mins to the airport. The Viking rep there was very helpful. The airport was crazy. I suggest getting your boarding pass printed at hotel. There are two lines-boarding pass and no boarding pass. Even though I did ours electronically, the one for my husband was wrong, and it reproduced mine to him. So we had to get back in line to get him a paper one. Our cabin on the ship was 3053. DO NOT ACCEPT this cabin. It is right over the dance bar. EVERY NIGHT WE HEARD THE BAND FROM 10-12mid. Once we identified it, and complained, (Viking actually knows about this!) they couldn't move us, because the ship was full. Three days before leaving they offered us another room, but we declined because we were leaving soon. Food on the ship was amazing. But they have some buffet setup issues. Some of the offerings can't be reached, and others ran out numerous times. Wait staff wasn't always on top of things, and you would have to ask over and over for your drink. Though they were always there with beer and wine. Room was always cleaned well, and our steward Eddie was great. I would go again, but would definitely make sure my room was in a better location. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We are just off of the Viking Star...around the Caribbean Sea cruise. We left oct. 18 from Manhattan, NYC. It was a blustery warm day. This was our 1st ocean cruise after several river cruises (also w viking). It is a fabulous ... Read More
We are just off of the Viking Star...around the Caribbean Sea cruise. We left oct. 18 from Manhattan, NYC. It was a blustery warm day. This was our 1st ocean cruise after several river cruises (also w viking). It is a fabulous ship. Clean...very clean...with a tremendous staff. They always went above and beyond....from the housekeeping staff to waiters on up! We had done a guarantee cabin...which means we paid for the lowest class cabin in hopes of an upgrade...but..if an upgrade didn’t come..you got what you pay for. The main downer of this is that you don’t know your cabin assignment until days before the cruise. We were fortunate to get a category upgrade to a delux veranda...which was binoculars in room...a throw..and the fridge being restocked daily w soft drinks. The best part was that our room was mid deck midship. All rooms are balcony! Being home...one thing I miss is the heated bathroom floors!!! And the shower head. I also can’t say enough about the hot water in the shower. I love my hot showers...but they were really hot!! Love,love,love! The bed was comfy. We did have an issue with too soft of pillows...our room steward was gracious to find us a couple firmer ones by day 2! The food is unparalleled. We ate dinner in the restaurant most nights. Did Manfredi twice...to die for! And chefs table once (too gourmet for us). Breakfast in the dining room is wonderful! Always pleasant servers. Did I mention they have lamb chops on the breakfast menu? Yes..right next to the steak! Embarkation took us all of 10 minutes in Manhattan...organized and efficient staff made this an easy experience. Disembarkationin Miami at first seemed confusing...but it was the guests making the process chaotic. The staff had it down!! Once our color group was called...we were off the ship and onto waiting buses in 15 minutes. Luggage was wonderfully sorted for us. I can say how easy it all was. As stated in other reviews...the entertainment isn’t the best...but it WAS entertaining! We had a magician onboard for 2 nights and a female impressionist for 2...they were the highlights of entertainment. Our cruise director performed one evening..and there were 2 dance parties by the pool. Two movies were shown under the stars...documentaries....not a fan. This was 15 day cruise...so it is challenging at best to keep 900 passengers happy all the time. You could go to a vast number of lectures during the day. In each port there is an included tour. We participated in all of them...all showed an overview of each island. The free use of the spa was amazing. We loved the thermal pool. I have seen reviews where it is small..but at no time were there more than 4 in the thermal pool at once. My husband enjoyed the sauna, ice room and bucketOwater! Lol. The outdoor pools are nice...just deep. However there are bars to hold onto when in the pool. And plenty of room to sit around the edge of the main pool..in the water. Our weather was hot..so a refreshing dip was needed! We enjoyed the ocean cruise very much...but prefer a river cruise. Looking forward to another Viking adventure in our future. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We are a married couple (no kids) in our 40's who are early retirees and travel permanently. We added cruising as a mode of travel over the last couple of years and are no sailing around 100 days a year. Most of our cruises have been on ... Read More
We are a married couple (no kids) in our 40's who are early retirees and travel permanently. We added cruising as a mode of travel over the last couple of years and are no sailing around 100 days a year. Most of our cruises have been on the mid size ships of the major lines (Celebrity, HAL, NCL) with one cruise on Regent. We are in the midst of trying a variety of new lines. Overall we thought Viking was a beautiful ship with amazing food and service. The inclusives don't suit our style and the fellow passengers are more mature (no problem for us) and quite conservative, they felt similar to the crowds you encounter on HAL sailings. We embarked smoothly in New York, sailing down the Hudson being gorgeous. Restaurant was limited to the buffet which was a surprise, service at the outdoor tables is a problem and continued all cruise. Our cabin was available from 2pm which was good. The ship is lovely, clean Scandinavian design which makes for a comfortable atmosphere. The design leads to a feeling of space and we rarely encountered crowded spaces. The rear infinity pool is a highlight as is the atrium with its amazing screen. The double story explorers lounge is comfortable and one of the better crows nests we have experienced. Our cabin was a DV1 on the 8th floor (top floor) amongst the suites.As a DV it had a coffee machine which I loved. It was a good size with a light colour palette. The balcony had 2 chairs and a table but was only half covered on that level. Noise was rarely a problem. The smart TV was easy to use and had loads of movies and all the lectures available.The bathroom was a good size with heated floors. The bed was very comfortable. Our attendant was superb. The negatives are storage, it is really poor with so much under utilised space and a cupboard that is tight against the bed and difficult to access and led to us bumping into each other regularly. Our airconditioner was broken and we almost froze to death, after being repaired it was so noisy we had to have insulation installed to cover it. Dining - a real highlight. The restaurant did superb food, Manfredis the Italian was probably the best I have had at sea. The waiters were very good and the wine stewards were excellent.The buffet had very good quality (especially sushi and seafood at night) but the fact that you serve yourself is unhygienic and the lack of table service made it feel a little ordinary. The Chef Table was hit and miss, we thought the Asian menu was some of the worst Asian food we have eaten (we are Australian and travel to Asia frequently) the spice menu was superb. However this restaurant felt like a cafe at best and was clearly used as a training ground for staff with service patchy at best. The wine was never ready with the courses except for the cold sweet wines which were inexplicably poured half an hour early. Dress code is very relaxed and surprisingly there is no dress code on foot wear at all so it was strange seeing men wearing reef sandals and women in basic flip flops. Entertainment - average at best but to be fair we knew this beforehand. The Viking vocalists were underutilised. The guest entertainers were mixed, we loved the female vocalist but underwhelmed by the magician. The CD was an excellent performer as was the ACD. The classical trio, pianist and guitarist and Viking band were all excellent. I enjoyed the nightclub atmosphere which was quiet but fun. There were many lectures throughout the cruise on a variety of topics but with great weather throughout the cruise we missed many of them. There is a putting green and shuffleboard. Loads of board games. We loved walking the promenade or top deck for exercise. Viking includes access to the Spa which surprisingly we utilised frequently. The facilities were first class. The only problem is you have to share it with other guests the majority of which don't shower before using the facilities and even worse many leave the steam sweaty and enter straight into the spa pool (gross). Similarly at the outdoor pools we never saw one person shower before entering. Drinks - we bought the drinks package as included beverages was limited to beer and wine at meal times. We prefer more flexibility. We thought the package was good value but would rather not have to buy it and forgo wifi and shore excursions. One annoying aspect was the reluctance of the ship to provide San Pellegrino sparkling water despite having the package. It took 3 days of relentless pursuit to receive a bottle and then a complaint before it was provided without resistance. Small aspects like this hold Viking back from feeling truly luxurious. Wifi was poor, skype impossible, Facebook inaccessible. Basically limited to email and simple web pages. Not worth it as an "incusion". Service - very good overall. We had a poor experience early when a bartender yelled at my wife despite her not uttering one word, other guests left the bar in protest and several others along with 2 staff members checked to make sure we were ok. The first few days also saw us being ignored by staff to the preference of older passengers. Once we informed management these issues were corrected immediately and the rest of the cruise was generally perfect. We are fortunate to have visited many of the countries the crew are from and this led to many great conversations. I think the fact that tips are extra is cheap given how much Viking is charging. Shore excursions - as it was our first Viking we limited our excursions to the included ones. These were generally bus tours doing general overview tours. They were very average in quality (most regular passengers said they were much poorer than what is experienced in Europe). The weather was great and if we had our time again we would simply do our own thing and spend more time on the beautiful beaches. We met many great people but we also encountered many judgemental fellow passengers who seemed to be upset that "younger" passengers would be onboard. This was annoying and very strange as we are hardly teenagers. In summary, we loved the ship and service, the itinerary was fun and the weather was superb. We felt the price was high relative to their luxury competitors and the inclusions don't fit our cruising style (would prefer drinks and tips than poor wifi and excursions) however given Viking's success I think they are unlikely to change anything. Clearly more popular with the more mature crowd. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Both embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. We were always treated with a welcoming attitude by the crew in all departments. Very professional but also very personable. Having been on Holland America and Oceania, which we also ... Read More
Both embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. We were always treated with a welcoming attitude by the crew in all departments. Very professional but also very personable. Having been on Holland America and Oceania, which we also thoroughly enjoyed, Viking has made a lasting impression! Due to its smaller size and number of passengers as well as the comfortable open and inviting common areas and our relaxing cabin, we found this cruise met and exceeded our expectations! The cabins are spacious and have plenty of storage, especially in the washrooms. They were meticulously maintained and replenished daily. Restaurants and dining areas, of which there are several, provide various menus. The convenience of booking on the TV screen gives passengers the opportunity to book last minute and to check availability, which was the same procedure for booking tours. Great movie selection on the TV as well. Enjoyed all the entertainment we saw, very age appropriate. Also continuous throughout the day in different areas. We did take the included excursions which we enjoyed as well. We are looking to book future trips with Viking....but so far the ones we are interested in are booked through to 2020! Obviously says something about the product and this company! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our first Ocean Cruise on Viking. We have absolutely no complaints - everything went per plan and exceeded our expectations. We went on a few of the Viking excursions but chose to purchase private excursions for Barcelona, ... Read More
This was our first Ocean Cruise on Viking. We have absolutely no complaints - everything went per plan and exceeded our expectations. We went on a few of the Viking excursions but chose to purchase private excursions for Barcelona, Florence, Rome and Venice. Due to stormy weather, our captain chose to bypass Naples so we had an additional day at sea. We only had one day (Monte Carlo) where we had to use the tender boats to shore. Our cabin was excellent but didn't have enough storage space. In the future, we would probably upgrade from the Deluxe Veranda to the Penthouse Veranda. We got most of the Viking excursions that we wanted but by upgrading I'm sure we would have been able to get them all. It was very easy to schedule additional reservations at Manfredi's while on board. I would recommend to everyone to pack light since the Viking ships have free laundry facilities and also provide inexpensive overnight laundry services. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We wanted to see Amsterdam and Barcelona and thought the other ports would be interesting. Our relatives accompanied us to celebrate their 50th anniversary. Our two days in Amsterdam were switched to our arrival day after traveling all ... Read More
We wanted to see Amsterdam and Barcelona and thought the other ports would be interesting. Our relatives accompanied us to celebrate their 50th anniversary. Our two days in Amsterdam were switched to our arrival day after traveling all night and we had to be on the boat about 5 for the emergency drill. So don't expect to see Amsterdam if you book only the cruise. I would never had booked this cruise if I knew we were not going to have time in Amsterdam. Of the nine full days of the cruise, we had three full days at sea and for two ports we were only there in the morning so the afternoon and evening were at sea. Plus, for some ports we were at sea for the evening. So we spent half of our time on the trip at sea and not in port. For example, in Portsmith we got to Portsmith about 9 and had to be back on our bus at 11:15...not enough time. Be prepared to not know anything about the tours until just a few months before your trip even though you book ten months ahead. Then you have to pay for the really good tours and, unless you have the most expensive rooms, the tours will be full when they allow you to book because they use a caste system- people who pay more for their rooms get the first choice of tours. The same is for the specialty restaurants. We had a disaster of a tour in Cartegena, one of the free tours. We went on a bus for an hour through a desert-like country side and were dropped off in a parking lot above the sea and told we had 15-20 minutes to take pictures. Then we had another hour returning with the highlights being seeing a golf course and strip mines. Finally, we got to the ruins which were walking distance from our ship! We had a short tour and had 15 minutes to explore the cute town before we had to leave and get back on the boat. Everyone was furious! We could have had the whole morning in town and instead were held hostage on a bus. Fortunately our relatives got the last two spots on the Segway tour there and they had a great experience. That tour was full when we tried to book. We could not get on the tour that had lunch at the Eiffel Tower so our Paris experience was a three and a half hour ride on the bus to get there, a walk to get lunch, a long walk, to the Eiffel Tower where we took some pictures, and then a cab back to the bus. We did have a nice hour long tour on the bus of the major sites which helped. We had hoped to see Notre Dame, but did not have time. If you can get them, the tours you pay for seem to be good. We did a cave tour and a national preserve tour in Spain and like them both. The four days at sea were very boring. Only one, maybe two days, was the weather good enough to use the pool. Other than the gym and spa, there were no indoor recreation spaces. I think they did offer yoga for a few. Other than lectures there were no activities except 3 times at lunch they offered trivia pursuit and onetime they offered a scarf folding workshop. That's the most creative they get. They offered a room to play cards and put out some decks of cards and water and coffee, but they did not organize it in anyway and people would come by and leave. We played hours and hours of cards with our relative since there was nothing else to do. There were three movies shown during the trip and I had already seen 2 of them. At night there was one show. Aside from the show, I can play cards,watch movies, listen to travel shows at home without paying over $1000 a day for the experience. On the plus side the ship was beautiful, the rooms clean (no drawer space though and very small), the food great, embarkation and debarkation ran smoothly, and the staff was wonderful. It is like seeing a play with beautiful sets and a terrible acting. So if you want to sit and do nothing on the four days at sea, this cruise is for you. I will never go on another Viking cruise. You cannot trust them to deliver what they promise. They have made no apologies about lying about Amsterdam. They act like it didn't happen. If you read reviews of their river cruises where guests spent most of the time on buses due to low water, you will see that this company has no ethics nor commitment to their customers. Read Less
Viking Cruises, Community Team has responded
We appreciate your constructive review, Troy56, and thank you for this opportunity to learn more about your voyage aboard Viking Sky. We’re glad to hear you found your stateroom and onboard staff excellent, although it is disappointing to learn of your displeasure with the onshore tours, number of sea days and other aspects. Nevertheless, should you wish to share more details about your overall experience, or connect with a member of our Customer Relations team for assistance, we would be happy to hear from you at TellUs@vikingcruises.com. Thank you for this opportunity to respond, and we hope to hear from you.
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This is a long review. I've tried to be fair with my criticisms and compliments. Here goes... We just got home from our third Viking cruise (1 river, 2 ocean) sailing from Amsterdam to Barcelona on Viking Sky, departing on October 6, ... Read More
This is a long review. I've tried to be fair with my criticisms and compliments. Here goes... We just got home from our third Viking cruise (1 river, 2 ocean) sailing from Amsterdam to Barcelona on Viking Sky, departing on October 6, 2018. We booked the cruise over a year ago and were initially very excited. It seemed to hit a lot of high spots for us--2 days in Amsterdam, 1 day in Paris, 1 day in England, several days in Spain including Barcelona, and passage through the Strait of Gibraltar. A few months out we noticed that the itinerary was changing. What had originally been marketed as 2 days in Amsterdam changed to arrival day only in Amsterdam and the 2nd day was now sailing at 7:00 a.m. This meant that since we arrived from the airport at about 3:00 p.m., and we knew there would be a mandatory safety drill, we would have only that evening for touring on our own as no excursions were offered. (Interestingly enough, the Viking Daily for day 2 in Amsterdam mentioned that the best way to get around Amsterdam was on foot. Really?? We were at sea!) Our day in England had originally been marketed with as many as 13 tours including Stone Henge and a tour of London as well as a number of other tours that all sounded wonderful. Checking the website before we were able to book our tours we saw that there were only two options--a walking tour of Portsmouth Port where we would be docking (and in fairness, those who took this tour were really impressed) and a bus trip to Winchester to tour the cathedral with a second stop to see King Arthur's round table (spoiler alert--NOT!). These two changes were enough to send off alarms for us. We contacted our travel agent who contacted her Viking representative. The representative told her to have us check back daily as things were changing. We weren't the only ones to voice concerns. Needless to say, things never did change. We had expressed our desire to cancel the trip and re-book another if the cruise didn't pull more in line with their original marketing. Our travel agent contacted Viking several more times and was told the same thing. Keep looking. Tours are being added. Eventually it was too late to cancel without losing our money, and nothing changed. This trip had become almost a full-time job. These are the things we knew before we got on the ship. After we got on board there were more surprises. The day in England was only 1/2 day as we were at sea again shortly after noon. The same was true in Cartagena. So, all told, we were 4 days at sea instead of the original two days. Short days in port and long bus rides for excursions also meant there was no free time. Of course, part of that is due to the excursions we chose, but most touted "free time" and "shopping", but there was none until Barcelona on the final day. Days at sea seemed to be days to encourage spa services, gemstone lectures and booking more cruises. We felt as though everything was very hurried. Half a day here, half a day there. Hurry. Get on the ship. We're sailing again. The Strait of Gibraltar was also mentioned in the original marketing. We had no idea when we would pass through, but this was also exciting to us. My husband was a teacher, and he loves anything history or geography related. You can see both Africa and Europe from our ship simultaneously, we were told. Well, we passed through between 1:00 and 2:00 a.m. We, and about a dozen other passengers, chose a good vantage point and hoped for the best. In the end, we aren't sure what we saw. Wouldn't this have been a good time to send a crew member to point it out to us? With radar assistance they would know exactly where it is. Those were the disappointments. Of course, we did have a wonderful time overall. As always, the food sand service were quite good. The staff is very accommodating. We had a once-in-a-lifetime lunch in the Eiffel Tower (though the bus ride to Paris was almost 3 hours each way--at least it was very scenic). We toured the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. We've seen a few churches/cathedrals in our travels, but this was spectacular. We went on 2 food and wine tours that were quite enjoyable. The tour guides were knowledgeable and friendly. While we understand that many things are out of the control of the cruise line--water levels, weather, etc.--we feel that our issues could have been handled with more honesty. Since Viking didn't address our concerns and the cruise shifted significantly from the original marketing, we think we will look into other options for our next overseas visit. Read Less
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