1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Viking Ocean Cruises
  4. Viking Ocean Cruises Cruise Reviews
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
A few months before we travelled i had worries as all the tables for 2 had been reserved straight away on line and didn't have much success with customer services. Anyway, we arrived In Barcelona, lots of Viking staff to greet us but ... Read More
A few months before we travelled i had worries as all the tables for 2 had been reserved straight away on line and didn't have much success with customer services. Anyway, we arrived In Barcelona, lots of Viking staff to greet us but also lots of standing around at the airport. When we did arrive, ship was as to be expected, very Scandanavian - different to others we have travelled on but refreshing in some ways. Cabin very plain and basic, poor quality furnishings, good cabin steward, always clean and tidy. Interactive is quite good for films / TV. Free Wifi and free pressing - that was great. The dress code of elegant casual was not enforced so the overall feeling on the ship was very scruffy - people in ripped jeans, t shirts and trainers going in to dinner. Makes the ship look and feel cheap and it was not cheap!! Entertainment on the first night was great as they brought in a Flamenco act from Barcelona, after that next to nothing, a couple of poor singing shows, dismal classical trio another dismal guitar player. New years Eve was something else, no thought whatsoever, 'PARTY' in the atrium ! 1 bar, 900 people, no additional seating brought in so nowhere to sit. People sat all over stairs and others trying to wind there way through meant falling people and spilled drinks as we were at sea to. We left to go back to our roomat 11.10 as it was so awful. When the weather was bad and people stayed on the ship there were no activities. The food was the worst I have ever had and I have done 50 + cruises over the years. The menus did not change in speciality, except for Chefs table which was a 7 course set menu. I have a fish allergy so it was certainly not the ship for me, so much raw fish, all the same in the snack/ small bites areas, same everyday, even the cookies and muffins didn't change. Same things on main restaurant menu and self service. Officers were creased and scruffy and miserable when they were seen. Bar staff miserable, a bit hit and miss there as some staff were lovely but most not so. Room service arrived cold, only tried once, breakfast room service dreadful as was self sevice so we didn't bother having any and ate on shore. Overall the experience was poor and I would never travel with Viking again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
The ship was superb and the staff magnificent They always had a smile on their face and had time to speak to you be at about how we had spent our day etc The food was excellent in all the restaurants and and we never had any trouble ... Read More
The ship was superb and the staff magnificent They always had a smile on their face and had time to speak to you be at about how we had spent our day etc The food was excellent in all the restaurants and and we never had any trouble being seated The public areas were spacious and were never crowded We booked 5 tours with Viking, 3 included and 2 optional tours (a day in Tuscany and Lucca on your own) These tours were fabulous especially the day in Tuscany which we will always remember. The 3 included tours were very disappointing. Barcelona consisted of a drive around the city centre with a brief stop at the cathedral. We did not even see the Sagrada Familia, possibly the No 1 tourist attraction in Barcelona Marseilles was a waste of time very disappointing San Tropez again very disappointing Our journey home proved to be very stressful We were transported by Viking to Rome international airport and the Viking rep on the coach was very good and answered any questions we had but at the airport she handed us over to the Viking rep who was very poor and did not even direct us correctly to the check in desk We checked in for our flights to Manchester via Amsterdam but were not given seats on the Amsterdam to Manchester leg and were put on standby because the flight was full even though viking air services had booked all the flights We managed to get on the flight but were separated. On our return I have complained to Viking and have been told that we should have checked in. But we had checked in in a the Rome airport Please be aware. Does this mean that the contract we thought we had with Viking air services only applies as far as Amsterdam ?? We are very disappointed with Viking customer service and will thing twice before bookeg another Viking cruise Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Here is my review and comments for our cruise on the Viking Star from December 28, 2017 to January 4, 2018. This was the “Iconic Western Mediterranean” from Barcelona to Rome. All the following are only my opinions and are ... Read More
Here is my review and comments for our cruise on the Viking Star from December 28, 2017 to January 4, 2018. This was the “Iconic Western Mediterranean” from Barcelona to Rome. All the following are only my opinions and are informed by five previous river cruises with Viking, but with this being our first “ocean” cruise with them. Overall impression: Fantastic. Specifically, the ship was beautiful, clean, and well maintained both in the public areas and in our stateroom. We had a Deluxe Veranda cabin on deck #4. All the Veranda staterooms are basically the same, with the location being the main difference in the category description. If you’re not going to spend much time in your cabin or out on your veranda, there is no reason to choose the pricier Veranda categories. The staff were all welcoming, helpful, and delightful to interact with. This is one thing that Viking does to the highest standard. It was enjoyable to chat with the wait staff in the restaurants while they delivered excellent service. Every request was met with a “sure, why not” attitude. “Two appetizers, one first and one to eat alongside an additional dessert? Sure!” Housekeeping staff always greeted us in the hallway. The entertainers hung out with the guests at functions as if they were newly-made friends. The food quality was amazing. In addition, no matter at which restaurant or which meal, everything was cooked perfectly. The poached eggs were exactly right. The medium-rare hamburger or steak was just that. This was true across all dining venues, from the buffets to the up-scale dining areas to the pool grill. You could also order anything and as much of it as you wished. One thing we discovered, and a delightful difference from the river cruises was breakfast at “The Restaurant.” Based on past experience, we assumed that breakfast options would be limited to the buffet. That is not a problem if you like self-service and occasionally standing in line to get your food. The quality there was excellent. However, on deck #2, The Restaurant served a menu, cooked to order breakfast that was superb and felt like a fine-dining experience. Also, at dinner, The Restaurant had an amazing selection of varied tastes (unusual and stand-bys) that you could enjoy at a relaxed pace and with much more personal service than at the buffet of the World Café. The two specialty restaurants, Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant and The Chef’s Table, were also very, very good. Service in both venues was again at the highest standards. Manfredi’s had an excellent menu and I wish we could have had a second dinner there. The tasting menu with the wine pairings at The Chef’s Table was creative and enjoyable. Several other guests commented to us that they were less than impressed with The Chef’s Table. I think, however, that they were not prepared for the type of “fine dining” experience that this restaurant provides. And, since the menu there rotates themes every two to three days, they may have just had the bad luck to have a theme not to their tastes. Guests may look at the menus ahead of time, once they board the ship. One important point about the two specialty restaurants is that you have to fight for a reservation. We were not in a stateroom booking category that allowed us any preference in restaurant bookings. Reservations were not available to us until boarding and not in advance as for some passengers. Do not wait to investigate your options here. Although the staff said they tried to manage reservations so everybody could try each restaurant, we met several passengers who were unable to get a seating at either place. Definitely, do not wait until the afternoon of your embarkation date. Get to the ship early, well before your cabin is expected to be ready and immediately try for your specialty dinner reservations. To illustrate the above point, here is our experience. With our lowly stateroom booking category we had to wait until we were on board to make these restaurant reservations. We arrived at the ship just before 11:00 am. The first staff we met said the buffet would be serving lunch from 11:30 but the dinner reservations were “open now.” We went immediately to the World Café and were told the person doing the restaurant bookings would be available at 11:15. We went back at 11:15 and found out that the booking person would be coming at 11:30, but that there was already a line for reservations. We stood in line and managed to get seatings that worked for us, but there were limited choices of dates and times. Some days were already unavailable. The staff were only allowing one reservation at each restaurant per cabin. As mentioned, we later met people who said they could not get any bookings. The sad thing was that when we ate at The Chef’s Table the restaurant was less than half full. The head waiter told us that the problem was that people who booked in advance over the Internet would no-show. However, we asked specifically if a no-show booking would be released for walk-ins after 20 or 30 minutes and were told it would be. So, if you don’t get the reservation you want, go there anyway and wait! But, it’s not just about the food. There are also the tours and activities. One thing we missed, based on our river cruising experience was any actual scenic cruising. On this itinerary the ship sails overnight and is docked in a new port each morning and until the evening. You miss the opportunities you have on the rivers to just sit in a lounge for the afternoon and watch the castles go by as you glide along. Rating the included tours is a bit more problematic. With over 900 passengers Viking has to run multiple buses for each tour and your experience will vary based on the local guide who is assigned to your group. Here the standards varied greatly. On our first two included tours the guides were somewhat lame. They had minor language problems or accents that made them hard to follow, and their presentations were not particularly interesting. There is a big difference between a guided tour where that guide just relates facts and one where the guide actually tells you stories about history and what you are seeing. On a scale of 1-5, where our river cruise experiences averaged a 4, our first two tours in Barcelona and Marseille struggled to be called a 3. The tour in St. Tropez was not much better, but Monaco was quite good. In Florence/Pisa we did the included Pisa tour and the optional Da Vinci and Lucca tour. These were very well done. One oddity, however, was that these tours were sub-contracted out to a company called Trumpy Tours (no relation, we were assured), but the Trumpy guides were just bus guides. In the Pisa and Lucca locations they had to turn us over to “local” guides for the actual walking around. Were the Trumpy representatives not licensed guides? This was odd, because at least one of the Trumpy guides was in fact a local girl from the town we were visiting. In the end, we felt we had one extra person we had to tip. This is going on long enough. I have just a couple more quirky stories and then will be happy to answer questions. The laundry room is a great benefit. Each deck has three washers and three dryers you can use without charge, and which automatically dispense soap at no extra cost. Be aware, however, that the day before disembarkation everybody will be trying to do laundry. Waiting for washers and dryers to be available will eat up your free time. Our one strange experience in the category of Viking fails was the room service dessert and ice request. We ate dinner in The Restaurant but were so full before dessert that we asked the waiter if we could choose dessert items and take them to go. We planned to go back to the stateroom and watch TV while we had dessert. Of course, this was no problem and he offered to have room service deliver the dessert. We said, “Sure.” and also asked for some ice for the drinks we had in the room. The room service waiter showed up after 15 minutes with the dessert items we wanted, but no ice. We asked and he told us that Housekeeping was responsible for ice delivery. I called Housekeeping and asked them if they were the right people to deliver ice and they said they were. 10 minutes later there was a knock on the door and the same room service waiter was there with a duplicate order of the two desserts we had asked for, but of course no ice. He was confused and we were confused but we accepted the extra desserts. No ice ever came. Make sure you understand that the mini-bar which contains relatively few sodas, snacks, and candy bars is free. There is a price list which applies to additional items you request, but if you consume the basic stock items they will be replenished and you will not be charged. If you want bottled water Housekeeping will deliver it to your room. You can also grab bottles as you disembark for each tour off the ship. One additional odd story was the conversation we had with Joey, the guy who books future cruises for you while you are on board. His computer was down when we visited him so we just chatted. I know the incoming cruise of this ship before it arrived in Barcelona was changed at the last minute and the North Africa stops were replaced with additional stops in Italy and Spain. This was purported to be because of a State Department warning. Joey laughed at that and said it had nothing to do with the State Department. In fact, the seas were too rough meaning the ship would have to slow down and miss its scheduled dockings which would screw up the whole itinerary on shore. That was why they revised it to a sailing plan they could make work. True, or not? Overall, we are still loyal Viking supporters. The only problem now is to wait and see what offers they will send us for our next cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
My daughter and I are back home after a wonderful trip on Viking’s Star! It was our 2nd Viking Ocean cruise but our 10th trip with Viking overall. The flight out of Chicago (United) went well and although our connection was ... Read More
My daughter and I are back home after a wonderful trip on Viking’s Star! It was our 2nd Viking Ocean cruise but our 10th trip with Viking overall. The flight out of Chicago (United) went well and although our connection was tight in Newark we made the flight without having to run (always forget how spread out EWR is!). We landed in Barcelona at 9:00 AM and were promptly whisked off to the hotel by the very efficient and almost overly-solicitous transfer team. We booked the pre-extension in Barcelona to give us a chance to see more of the city and rest a little before the cruise. The hotel was nice and very well located for our plans and our room was ready! Fortunately my daughter did her homework and planned our itinerary for Barcelona which included procuring entry tickets to The Palau de la Música Catalana, Casa Batllo, Sagrada Familia, and booking a lovely walking food tour in the gothic quarter for our second day. Barcelona was a very busy place and we might have missed these wonderful sights or had to spend hours in line waiting to do so. We made our way around navigating the Metro system (we love to use a city’s metro system whenever we can!) and found it an efficient and easy way to get around town. After a couple of whirlwind days we were picked up at our hotel early on the morning on the 28th. We toured a bit more of Barcelona as we headed toward the ship. The check-in process was quick and efficient and before we knew it we were onboard! The buffet was set up for lunch and although things were bust, the service was great and the food delicious and plentiful. Our room was ready promptly at 1:00PM as promised and we quickly settled into our stateroom (PV), met our steward(s), and did a little exploring. As it was our second cruise on the Star we were familiar with the layout of the ship but there were still things to discover. The ship is beautiful and nicely laid out. As many have stated it never feels crowded and there are so many lovely little nooks in which to settle down with a good book … or a little nap! The service is exemplary and as my daughter noted … does anyone ever say “No”? We had dinner in the Chef’s Table the first night and again several nights later. We only booked one reservation at Manfredi’s … it is very nice but not our favorite. We enjoy the buffet at breakfast and lunch but prefer the restaurant for a more relaxing and quiet dinner. The food was consistently great in all of the venues and the service was excellent. We always enjoy the service on both the river and ocean vessels … “white glove” without pretention! We selected a mix of included and optional excursions this time and enjoyed most of them quite well. We took the included tours in both St.Tropez and Monaco. They were both nice and we finally had a chance to experience tendering in St. Tropez … here again Viking managed the task with great efficiency. We took the combination “Best of Barcelona” tour which included the Abbey in Monserrat and some city highlights in Barcelona proper. We were especially interested in Park Guell which was included in this tour. It was a nice tour and a full day … we returned to the ship tired but fortunately had a little time to rest up before dinner. From Marseilles we opted for the Aix en Provence tour and loved it! We had a nice tour of the town center and enough free time to enjoy some leisure exploring of the Christmas market which was still in full swing. Once we got to Livorno we opted for the “Merenda and Wine Tasting” and the tour of the Marble Quarry in Carrera. The Merenda excursion was great! It was lively, interactive and included lots of wine and snacking! The tour guides were awesome and the group we toured with was a lot of fun. The marble quarry was interesting but not for the faint of heart. The trip up to the quarry was a white knuckle one on a steep, winding road … of course there were few guardrails in place! Once we reached the quarry we moved to four wheel drive vehicles which we rode to the highest points in the quarry proper. The ride was another wild one on steep, one lane switchbacks; most unpaved. It was a rainy day so the “roadway” was muddy and there was slipping and sliding that had even the most stalwart of the group chewing their nails. The tour was interesting and might have been easier on the nerves had the day been dry and sunny but we all survived and were treated to a wonderful “snack” of open faced sandwiches and wine upon our return to “terra firma”. I could have used the wine before the tour! After the cruise we participated in the “Ultimate Italy” extension. It was by far the best extension we have done with Viking! We have done more than ten with our various trips and this one outshined them all! We stayed at villa in the “country” that was stunning! The rooms were all different … a lot of time was spent playing “come look at my room” before a wonderful dinner that was rustic, obviously fresh and homemade and absolutely delicious! Our two days were full with tours of Florence, Siena, San Gimignano. We had lunch at a restaurant in Florence (delicious) and a lovely farmhouse between Siena and San Gimignano (outstanding!). All meals were included and I certainly know now why people fall in love with Tuscany. Our tour escort was wonderful and catered to our every need. Several individuals in our group struggled with mobility and Emanuela spent a great deal of time and effort making sure that they were accommodated … not an easy feat in some of those medieval towns! The group we travelled with was great too! Everyone was friendly, polite, and respected time tables and assisted one another along the way! Sometimes that group dynamic can make or break a tour. All in all it was a wonderful trip! We are back to reality … and a boat-load of laundry! Getting ready to plan for our next trip this summer … the British Isles (with Viking, of course)! And the one after that which we booked while onboard … we will continue the Mediterranean theme with the Southern Mediterranean Discovery … same time next year!  Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise because of the destinations and the fact that is was a Christmas/New Years cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation in Miami went smoothly. We were told when we booked that we would not stop in Key West because it ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the destinations and the fact that is was a Christmas/New Years cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation in Miami went smoothly. We were told when we booked that we would not stop in Key West because it would be Christmas Day. Several passengers we talked to were upset that Key West was not included and had not been told about the schedule change when they booked. The Viking cruise was interesting.   This was our first Viking cruise. My husband said he felt like he was at Ikea.   There were lots of seating areas.  We enjoyed the included spa (steam room, sauna).   My massage was good and priced competitive with what I've paid on Celebrity.   Food overall was average.  The two specialty restaurants were excellent.    They served a lovely brunch buffet on New Year's Day in the Wintergarden.   The staff was friendly but inefficient.   We heard that a lot of the wait and service staff came on in Miami with us and it was obvious they weren't used to working together.   Service improved a few days into the trip.  Several of the excellent staff members are moving on to the Orion when it launches in early 2018.  Nice to see that Viking recognizes those that do good work.  One of the bar waiters is being promoted when he moves to the Orion.  We talked to several passengers who have been on the Viking Star and they all said it is a better run ship and that the food is good to excellent.  One passenger said the general manager on the Sky should be removed.  He had to teach a bartender how to make a good martini and a sidecar.     All of the entertainment was excellent to outstanding.  We thought Azamara did a much better job with the 2015 New Year's Eve party they threw.   For Christmas "gifts", we received three cookies each in a little bag with a ribbon around it.   Thought that was a little "cheap".  Azamara gave us two lovely Christmas ornaments and the Azamara jewelry store and gave out small Christmas ornaments if you attended their presentation on Christmas day.    The shore excursions (1 included, 3 optional) we took were all good - excellent tour guides, well paced.  However, other passengers were unhappy with the ones they took - especially the included excursions.  We didn't do the included one in Roatan because it was pouring rain. There was a substitute tour but we weren't told that when we cancelled the morning of the tour. We cancelled out of the 4x4 optional excursion in Jamaica because of its difficulty the night before the tour.   It was described as moderate in the write-up but when the Shore Excursion manager described it in his port talk he said it was difficult and over rough terrain.  Viking refunded the entire cost to us even though there was only one person on the wait list. The captain made the decision to not stop at George Town, Cayman Islands.   The weather (wind was over 25 mph) closed the main bay and there were three ships at anchor in the small bay (maximum allowed).  We were only going to be there 6-7 hours and had booked the included tour.  The tender ride would have been almost 30 minutes each way so we weren't upset by not getting into George Town. We booked on the December 2018 From the Caribbean to the Amazon cruise on the Viking Sea. We also booked a river cruise - France's Finest for August 2019. The onboard future cruise discounts and the onboard credit for the Sky cruise helped us make our decision to try Viking again.         Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We took the Viking Ocean Cruises “Iconic Western Mediterranean Barcelona to Rome” trip on their Viking Star ship from December 14-21, 2017. We have taken many river cruises with Viking and other companies and decided to try an ... Read More
We took the Viking Ocean Cruises “Iconic Western Mediterranean Barcelona to Rome” trip on their Viking Star ship from December 14-21, 2017. We have taken many river cruises with Viking and other companies and decided to try an ocean cruise this time. The Viking Star is new and clean with many amenities, entertainment, good food and excellent cabin and restaurant staff. That said, this cruise had problems. First off, we could not select a specific cabin. We could not even select the side of the ship we wanted. Cabins were assigned at their California headquarters just prior to departure. I wanted the left (port) side which had a better view facing land since we were traveling east. No way. Our tickets were GTY veranda– meaning we were ‘guaranteed’ a cabin with a veranda but no level indicated. Of course we could always pay more for an upgrade once on board! We got cabin 5065 on the starboard (right) side with a view of nothing but water. Walk to the other side of the ship if you want to see anything. Given global terrorism, every time we returned to ship we had to pass through an airport-like security scanner. We were late departing Barcelona’s commercial port because other ships had priority. There was a strong wind and choppy seas but certainly nothing like the 2000 disaster film The Perfect Storm starring George Clooney about a vessel lost at sea. Along the way our overly-cautious Captain Lokling decided he could not dock Viking Star at Marseille’s natural harbour and yacht marina. Some land excursions leaving from Marseille were cancelled. He decided instead to dock further east at Toulon, home port of the French Navy Mediterranean fleet. We sailed into the harbor at Toulon in calm water under sunny skies. Then we sailed out again. Two hours later our captain finally made an announcement to passengers that he “did not like the look of it”. All remaining land excursions were now cancelled including one of the advertised “5 guided tours”. We anchored out at sea overnight. Cruise Director Jenna had nothing for us to do. Some drank; some slept; some read. Next morning we entered St. Tropez harbor and anchored offshore. Small orange tender boats were launched from Viking Star to transport us from ship to shore for our land tour. On returning, the tender boat I was in could not manage to align itself with the open entryway into the ship. Many attempts were made. The revving engines churned the sea into white froth. Then we smashed into the side of the ship breaking a front side window on the tender. Two more tries and we were finally hauled alongside by rope. Then, later that afternoon, for two hours none of the toilets on the ship would flush. We actually did dock at Monte Carlo. Those on port side of Viking Star saw the spectacular cityscape rising up the hills. Those of us on starboard saw only water. In the evening we were two hours late departing Monte Carlo – blame that pesky wind again. Our next stop was the commercial port of Livorno which is a 30-minute drive to Pisa and a 90-minute drive to Florence for those taking tours. The Captain’s Farewell Reception was held at 5:15 PM before some of the tours had returned to ship. Our last port was Civitavecchia where we disembarked for the bus drive to a hotel or airport in Rome. But before doing so, passenger’s credit cards were charged $105 US per person gratuity. No indication if this amount goes to cabin and restaurant staff or to ship’s officers as well. No indication either of any compensation to passengers for cancelled excursions and Marseille/Toulon bypass. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose Viking due to high ratings on major sites. However, we had quite a surprise. Just completed 15-day Mediterranean cruise on Viking Star, Rome/Rome, Dec. 21 – Jan. 4. This was our first Viking experience, and while the ship ... Read More
We chose Viking due to high ratings on major sites. However, we had quite a surprise. Just completed 15-day Mediterranean cruise on Viking Star, Rome/Rome, Dec. 21 – Jan. 4. This was our first Viking experience, and while the ship was attractive and comfortable, one very troubling issue arose. Our cabin 6087 was a category Penthouse Veranda, spacious, well laid out, and expensive. Early into our first week, we heard music and dialogue coming through the speaker on our wall-mounted TV monitor, from 9:00pm onwards every evening. Specifically, we could sing along with whatever music was playing in the next cabin, or we could listen to a movie or TV episode and clearly hear the dialogue. We reported this to Guest Services, and while their attention and response was hardly one of concern for guest comfort, we were assured their IT department would investigate. With no change, our second visit revealed that Guest Services forgot to pass on our complaint. We were subsequently advised that IT visited the next cabin, 6089, and confirmed the volume level was at the correct cap. Nothing changed however, and their TV continued to send sound through our speaker. The third visit to Guest Services was so dissatisfying that we could hardly imagine a poorer response to a serious guest complaint. Guest Services indicated there was nothing more they could do; mention was made of lack of insulation, Viking being aware of this sound transference problem and ours was not an isolated incidence. And, as an indication of good faith, we were offered ear plugs. Before our journey completed, we had to listen to the movie Dunkirk in its entirety. War movies are not for everyone, and that evening’s entertainment was a particular trial. This issue was so ruinous of our experience, that we will not consider another Viking cruise. Guest Services staff were aloof, indifferent, unprofessional and incompetent. A word of warning to those who are considering a Viking ocean cruise. You too could spend $15,000 and be offered ear plugs. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise because the two ports in North Africa really appealed to us. However, they got cancelled at the last minute and were substituted by Naples and Palma de Mallorca. This meant that on Christmas Day AND the day after, we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the two ports in North Africa really appealed to us. However, they got cancelled at the last minute and were substituted by Naples and Palma de Mallorca. This meant that on Christmas Day AND the day after, we were in ports where everything was closed. Dec 26 is not a national holiday all over Spain, only in Mallorca, which therefore made Mallorca seem like a poor choice for that date. Apart from the above, we loved everything about this cruise. The cabin was beautifully appointed, and cleaned/tidied twice daily. I was glad that they don't do the silly towel "animals" which seems like a waste of someone's time and wear and tear on the towels. The food was delicious and it was never hard to find an empty table The lectures (given by the resident historians) and their "round table" talks were outstanding. Nice quality books in the library (all seemed to be about travel). The service was excellent. The sauna was wonderful. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We consider ourselves experienced cruisers, having sailed with Windstar and Crystal about twenty times over the past few years. We were hoping to find a new experience, and wanted a short December cruise which we could take with our adult ... Read More
We consider ourselves experienced cruisers, having sailed with Windstar and Crystal about twenty times over the past few years. We were hoping to find a new experience, and wanted a short December cruise which we could take with our adult children. We found a one week Viking Ocean Caribbean cruise for the week before Christmas which seemed to be ideal. We read many positive reviews about Viking. Although they are not all-inclusive, the “Silver Beverage Package” was only $19 per person per day,and even without the package, beer and wine were included with meals. We imagined that Viking would be sort of a "Crystal Lite." We were on the Crystal Serenity for their Amazon cruise in October, and at St. Kitts we docked next to one of the Viking ships. We went onto the ship, explained that we had future reservations on Viking,and asked if we could see the ship, fully expecting them to refuse on security grounds. Much to our surprise, we were warmly greeted and given a complete tour of the ship. We were very impressed with the appearance of this like new vessel, and we looked forward to our planned December Viking cruise. Our cruise on the Viking Sky was a mixed experience with a few pluses and lots of minuses. Without a doubt, the Sky is a beautiful ship. It is less than a year old, and everything looks brand new. The staterooms and the public areas are fantastic. The beds are very comfortable. Storage is more than adequate, and most staterooms have pod type coffee machines. The mini-bar was restocked daily. Unlike on Crystal, we could not order full size bottles of wine or spirits or consumption in the stateroom.The bathrooms are nice sized with a large walk in shower and heated floors. The in-room television system is amazing with a large wall mounted flat screen that gives you access to schedules, menus, movies, and live TV shows. Unfortunately, the TV system (and the wi-fi) were non-functional for one day out of the seven days of our cruise. The ship's elevators seem to arrive in seconds and are well marked with information about what is located on each floor. An audio recording tells you where the elevator is stopping. Unfortunately, that is where the positives ended. Problems started at embarkation. All of us received paperwork indicating that we would embark at Miami Cruise Terminal J. No, the ship was actually at cruise terminal F, where the signage incorrectly indicated that it was the Viking Sea. A simple email would have warned us of Viking’s error, but for some reason, they did not bother. Check in was very smooth and efficient, although one of the porters hit my son up for a tip, indicating that it was required. My son had never been on a cruise ship, and did not realize that I had already given a gratuity to the porter. Not Viking's fault? Perhaps, but a cruise line often using this terminal should have some control over the conduct of the port staff. After boarding, we went to the bar and, as suggested by a Cruise Critic posting, asked to compare the included wines with those in the Silver Beverage Package before we decided whether to purchase the package. "Sorry,the included wines are only available in the dining room." Our kids (age 30 and 36) had not been permitted to make specialty restaurant reservations, because we had reserved a standard for them, and we made our travel reservations on short notice. We were in a Veranda Penthouse and made the restaurant reservations for the two of us a month before the cruise. After embarkation, we promptly went to the World Cafe to change our reservations to a table for four. Although it was a busy embarkation day, only one of the two computer terminals there was staffed, and we were forced to wait in a long line for a half hour before being told that none of the early reservation times were available for a group of four. Bad start. We had dinner that evening at the Chef's Table, somewhat later than we wanted. That specialty restaurant has a fixed multi-course menu with paired wines for each course. The food was underwhelming, at best. The entree was called "Peking duck", but it was so dry that it tasted like cardboard. The "paired wines" were of poor quality, as were all of the wines we tried on this cruise, even with the Silver Beverage package. We are not wine connoisseurs, but these wines were just so disappointing. Some research revealed that they were available on shore for $5 to $6 a bottle. Most of our other dinners were in “The Restaurant,” where it seemed to take forever, first to find the wine steward (If there are any trained sommeliers on board, we never encountered one.), place our order, and then wait for the wine steward to find the bottle. I timed it on one occasion, and it was 25 minutes from the time we were seated until we received our beverages. It was that way every evening in both the main and specialty restaurants. Service in the dining room was mechanical, at best. We were seated, received menus, and then were asked to order our meals, even if we had not had the opportunity to order our wine, much less sample it. Each evening, we were expected to order our dessert when ordering our entrees, which seemed strange. We were served by multiple wait-staff at each meal and found it difficult to find any staff if there were issues during the meal. Requests for smaller portions or appetizers as entrees were often ignored. On one occasion. my son said he would like to order several appetizers for the table to share. He was told no, each person had to order a single appetizer. Some food was served lukewarm or just cold. In the Italian restaurant, lamb was ordered medium-rare, and it arrived well done. Steaks were uniformly tough. I could go on and on. Room service was no better. On one occasion, our eggs were served without salt or pepper. When we did receive salt, the shakers were always clogged, so that one could only obtain salt by removing the filler plug at the bottom of the shaker. Other passengers confirmed that they had the same problem. Orders were often incorrectly filled. On one occasion, pancakes and eggs were ordered, but only the eggs arrived. Another time, boiled eggs that were never ordered arrived with our breakfast. Beverage service in the pool area was non-existent. In one week, I was never asked if I wished to order a drink at poolside. At the bars, service was slow. I do not expect to wait ten minutes or longer at the bar before my order is taken. There were also issues with drink orders being incorrectly filled. My travel agent assured us that he had arranged for us to have a modest amount of on board credit. The staff of the ship insisted that they had no record of this. Since he had made similar arrangements for us on all our other cruises without an issue, I question who dropped the ball. We were looking for an new "favorite" cruise line, and we actually considered re-scheduling our future vacations with Viking. After this cruise,however, we would never consider another Viking vacation. It is really a shame,because they seem to have so much potential. Read Less
Viking Cruises, Community Team has responded
Dear Lobes1, We are disappointed to hear that your cruise fell below expectations, but appreciate that you have brought these details to light. Your feedback as a valued guest and experienced cruiser is greatly appreciated as it allows our company to continue growing our customers’ satisfaction. To better understand your concerns, please contact us at TellUs@vikingcruises.com to connect you to a Customer Relations Agent, or should you wish to provide additional feedback of your past voyage. Wishing you a great day. Warm regards, Viking Cruises
Sail Date: December 2017
Very new ship, luxuriously appointed. Staff service is superb. Rear of ship with a pool that has a glass rear side view of water is great; they call it "infinity pool" but it's not what I think is an infinity pool. The main pool ... Read More
Very new ship, luxuriously appointed. Staff service is superb. Rear of ship with a pool that has a glass rear side view of water is great; they call it "infinity pool" but it's not what I think is an infinity pool. The main pool is very weird and small. Cabins are nice and modern. I think the atmosphere is what I would call an attempt to be very sophisticated and snobbish which is not my cup of tea; they have tea time every afternoon with everyone trying to push their small finger out. I like the Celebrity atmosphere better. Buffet is very small compared to Celebrity's. The included flight itinerary was awful. In addition on the day of our departure, we find out during checking in for the flights, that our entire departure itinerary was changed without any communications. We had to be at the airport over four hours earlier than was already communicated and was in our cruise booklet from Viking. We had several events planned that had to be canceled. The initial passport station at the cruise terminal was also pretty bad. Everyone had to stand in very hot sun outside the building. The table to check the passport was right at the entry door. Once we got in, it was clear how unnecessary this was since the area was huge and could easily hold hundreds of people in a line out of the sun. Read Less
Viking Cruises, Community Team has responded
Dear aljudy, Welcome home from your voyage, and thank you for taking the time to provide a detailed review of your cruise on board Viking Sky. We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed your accommodations and found the service to be superb; however, we are disappointed to hear that there was a lack of communication regarding the changes to your flight schedule. We would appreciate the opportunity to discuss your comments with you directly. In order to address your concerns and valued feedback, please send your booking information to TellUs@vikingcruises.com so that we can connect you with a seasoned Customer Relations Agent via phone call. We look forward to hearing from you, and wish you a lovely New Year. Warm regards, Viking Cruises
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise