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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Overall, this was a good cruise. However, we were in an Explorer Suite, which commands a significant price premium, on an already premium-priced line. And this is where the Viking experience began to break down IMO. I have done ... Read More
Overall, this was a good cruise. However, we were in an Explorer Suite, which commands a significant price premium, on an already premium-priced line. And this is where the Viking experience began to break down IMO. I have done approximately 20 cruises, and found myself most comfortable on Celebrity, and Holland America — traveling in Royal Suites on the former, and Neptune Suites on the latter. Both of these lines provide their higher-end suite guests with a long list of extra services and priorities that greatly exceed those available on Viking. Yet, the suites on Viking are significantly more expensive. Premium guests on Celebrity are provided a concierge lounge, on Holland a butler. In both cases, a “go-to” person is available to take care of last-minute reservations, priority departures on shore excursions, priority seating at events, etc. Perks such as these are conspicuous in their absence on Viking. Even a separate boarding line to the vessel was not provided. While our Suite was large and attractive, a number of “shouldn’t happens” in fact “did happen”. Upon arrival our door keys did not work, the ice bucket was not filled, there were (and are) no plugs in the bathroom. Small issues, yes. Avoidable at these prices, yes. While this was a fine cruise with good food and service, if I sail on Viking again (unlikely), it will not be in a premium accommodation. The “First Class” perks available for comparable classes of passage on other lines were in short supply here. FWIW, we did not come away feeling “spoiled”, despite paying nearly $2,000 per night for the space. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
Most people love the Viking Ocean ships - I am in the minority. We have been on 5 Viking river boat cruises so obviously we really like Viking river. I brought the hype for the Viking Ocean and booked the Italian Sojourn. The Viking ... Read More
Most people love the Viking Ocean ships - I am in the minority. We have been on 5 Viking river boat cruises so obviously we really like Viking river. I brought the hype for the Viking Ocean and booked the Italian Sojourn. The Viking Sky is OK but no way would I call it luxury but the prices are. I was only able to book a "superior cabin" at a much higher price but the cabin was exactly the same as a regular cabin with the only difference being a pair of very cheap binoculars and bathrobes. Ship is a bit run down, stains on the carpet, varnish on the rails faded away, lots of small things. Ship feels sterile which is supposedly the Nordic style. We are likely spoiled by the Viking river boats. The river boats have a friendlier vibe; more intimate feel. River boat crews feel, to me, more professional, more interested in being helpful. Docking on the ocean boat means you are in an industrial area and generally not close to the city; as opposed to the river boats which dock in the city and, most of the time, you can walk into town. River boats have more included tours - the ocean has few. The ocean optional tours are relatively expensive (relative to other cruise lines). One of the included tours was "on your own" - in other words nothing. Food was nothing special but OK. Buffett ran out of items and the crew seemed uninterested in restocking. For example - Good Friday - one fish dish which they had ran out of and when I asked if they had more got a blank look. Buffet staff is inadequate - understaffed. We had tables with crumbs and food on them. Cabin steward (cabin 3071) was great; he saw that I had a CPAP and, without me asking, furnished us with distilled water. We had a pre-cruise stay in Rome and a post-cruise stay in Venice. They forced us off the ship for the post at 9AM and the hotel check in was 3pm - so we were on our own. No included tours in the pre or the post. River boat cruises pre and post have, in our experience, included tours. Bottom line - I am very unlikely to book another Viking ocean but I have already booked a future Viking river cruise. When returning from tours - Viking let the private security at the terminals abuse passengers - at one port the port security were harassing passengers who beeped the metal detector. Elderly people were forced to stand with legs apart and arms outstretched while the security personal ran their wands over their body. The person in front of me was going through this ordeal and the I could not get passed - the security person (uninformed started yelling at me to move - there was no where to move to. When the ship security did the screen it was not abusive. Last thing - river boat cruises bring on more local enrichment entertainment; ocean did have one but otherwise their idea was to have a passenger give lectures. Read Less
Viking Cruises, Community Team has responded
Dear Galdenciot, We’re honored to have you as a five-time, returning river cruise guest. We are disappointed to hear that your experience on our ocean cruise was not as favorable as your river cruise experiences. We hear your feedback regarding details of the ship’s appearance, dining room staffing, and shore excursions offered. Your recognition of your hardworking cabin steward is appreciated, as are your reports of private security behaviors at the port terminal in Rome. Thank you for passing along this detailed review. Should you wish to discuss these concerns further, we welcome you to contact us at Tellus@VikingCruises.com. We hope to hear from you through that outlet, and look forward to impressing you with our signature service on your next cruise with us. Best, Viking Cruises
Sail Date: March 2018
I read the review of the same cruise that another person wrote and It is interesting the differences experienced by travelers on the same cruise. I will say that this is one of the longest critiques I have ever written on a cruise. ... Read More
I read the review of the same cruise that another person wrote and It is interesting the differences experienced by travelers on the same cruise. I will say that this is one of the longest critiques I have ever written on a cruise. We have cruised on four different cruise lines and have taken many cruises over the last few years. We are mainly destination cruisers and don't participate in many of the shipboard activities including the evening entertainment. Before the cruise, we spend time researching the ports we visit and determine the tours that provide us with the opportunity to see the best and most interesting, for us, in each port. We had friends that had booked this cruise and we decided to join them. We had never been on a Viking Ocean cruise, so we decided that this would be one to try Viking Ocean. We have been on a Viking River Cruise and had an excellent time, with great service. At this point, I will say that we currently have four cruises booked on another cruise line, but none on Viking Ocean and I doubt that we will ever go on another Viking Ocean Cruise considering the level of service we received on this trip. This ship has been in service three years, but we felt that this cruise was like a maiden voyage and that the service side of the crew had never worked together or on a cruise ship. We were totally disappointed. I’m sure some may read to this point and stop, thinking that we are just some complaining snobs, but you might want to read on. I have included many things that were excellent throughout the cruise along with problem areas we encountered. I have rated cruises before and never had service oriented complaints like this. We did opt for the three day pre-cruise tour in Tuscany. I will say that the service in the Villa was excellent and the tours and guides were also excellent. The weather wasn't great, very cool windy , and rainy, but you have to be ready for that, especially in March. Embarkation and debarkation went smoothly for us. Embarkation was very quick and efficient. Our bags were transported from the bus to the ship. As we went on board and scanned our card, we were greeted by name. Debarkation was also very smooth. When our group left the ship, all of our suitcases were in one area of the cruise terminal. After identification, bags were loaded on to the busses by porters for the trip to the airport. Viking did a nice job. We were in cabin 5087, a PV1 cabin, on the Viking Star. Since the ship came into service in 2015, it was in fantastic shape. The décor was very nice. The cabin size was very good and the arrangement within the cabin was very good. There were plenty of drawers and the closet space was adequate. The bath was nice with a heated floor and a decent size shower. The night lights in the cabin and bath were nice also. The only thing we saw in the cabin that was unusual was that the TV did not swivel and to watch anything you had to sit up in bed. The view from the sofa was at an extreme angle. The layout of the World Cafe was really nice and spread the passengers around. Also, they appeared to have one, cooked to order item, at every meal, which was nice. We selected one tour in every port using optional tours in all ports except for one. The tours were all very good and the guides were exceptional, especially in Dubrovnik and Santorini. I want to add that in Dubrovnik, the Dubrovnik by Cable Car tour not only includes the trip to the top of Srd Hill, with the fort, but also includes a nice Old Town walking tour within the city walls. After that there is ample time to do the City Wall walk on your own and spend additional time in town if you wish. Viking provides a shuttle to the ship that runs every thirty minutes. There were also shuttles in Corfu and Athens. We ended up missing three ports due to weather. Seas were running at 10' - 15' with winds at 40 - 50 mph as reported by the captain. Viking was able to add one alternative port. The weather was poor, quite cool, windy and a lot of rain the entire trip. Obviously, Viking can’t be blamed for bad weather and you need to be prepared for the conditions, which we were. From there, many service oriented things went downhill. Bad things started happening on the second day, all of which were service oriented. We made two minor requests of our cabin attendant, which were completed on day one. On day two, our mini bar had not been restocked. When the mini bar attendant showed up, he accused us of already drinking the alcohol and soft drinks that day, which we hadn’t. You would think that they would have just refilled it and if it happened again, explain that the mini bar is refilled just once a day. From then on our mini bar was stocked the way we requested and never missed. Due to one port cancellation, the alternate was set up. There was no information provided to us on the excursions that were available. Friends of ours, about 15 cabins away, received a package in their stateroom with the new information. When we finally got the information, we tried to change our tour from the one that we had at the closed port. Guest Services said that our time to change the tour had expired. He finally checked with a supervisor and they did accommodate us. Again, poor customer service telling us we were too late. We also received our disembarkation form in our cabin 3 ½ hours after it was due to be turned in. We spoke to other passengers that experienced the same problem. With all these problems in our cabin, our attendant did apologize and we had no more problems there. In The World Café, we found that the port side service was excellent and we would wait for a table on that side of the ship. The starboard side service was abysmal. Once after waiting for about five minutes, my wife got up and took our water glasses to a server to get them filled. Another time, we did not have a coffee cup and she got up to get one from one service station and was told to go to the other station since we weren’t in his section. Another instance that occurred was that I sat at a table that had just departed. When no one cleared the table, I put all the dirty dishes on the table next to us that had dirty dishes already on it and then I went around to other tables and gathered up utensils and napkins for us. The dirty dish table was not cleared the entire time we had our breakfast. Again, the port side service was excellent and we never experienced a problem. On to the restaurants... Our first evening, we had bread delivered to the table almost immediately. It took just under 15 minutes, for our water glasses to finally get filled and just over 20 minutes for our order to be taken. During the meal I asked for some additional butter. It never showed up. Service was extremely slow throughout the service. A leisurely dinner is nice but 2 1/2 hours is a bit excessive. In the specialty restaurants, things did not fare much better. In the Manfredi's Italian restaurant, we received our appetizer quickly, but the second pasta course arrived right at an hour and a half after we arrived. The reason given us by our server was that there were a lot of pasta dishes that were ordered. Huh, we were in an Italian restaurant. Wouldn't you think there are going to be a lot of pasta orders? After the lengthy wait, the risotto that I ordered looked like a big yellow blob in the dish. It wasn't like any other risotto that I have had in the past. The Chef’s Table was interesting. It is a fixed four course menu. There were some strange combinations of dishes. Also, I don’t think I’ve ever had an Asian dinner without rice until this dinner. The menu was just a bit too edgy. There should have been two options with each course that had one, more mainstream item. For the remainder of the cruise, we had our dinner in The World Cafe, on the port side with good service, where we could serve ourselves. The servers were prompt with drinks and other requests. In our on board cruise critique, we gave kudos to three of the servers that really seemed to go above and beyond. The other thing we noticed was that you had to read the daily ships' paper in detail to make sure you didn't miss some nugget. Odd things were highlighted (grayed out) while items that seemed more important weren't. We did fill out a mid cruise critique listing the problems that we had experienced up to that point. One of the restaurant mangers called and asked my wife what the problems were and she told the manager the same thing that we put in the critique. The manager said that she then knew where to address the problems. We never heard more as a follow up. We also filled out a final cruise critique and restated all the problems that we experienced. We will have to wait and see if there is any follow up by Viking. Our friends also experienced service problems throughout the cruise and also completed the critiques. Other passengers that we spoke to also experienced slow and/or poor service in the dining venues. I hope they filled out their critiques to let Viking know they experienced problems too. In conclusion, we feel that we have received a much better level of service on other cruise lines and that with the level of service that we received on this cruise, I don't think we will ever book a Viking Ocean cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
The wife and I booked a mid-March Empires of the Mediterranean on Viking Star in September, 2016. We also added the three night Tuscany pre-cruise and the Athens four night post-cruise stays. We wanted a educational small ship experience ... Read More
The wife and I booked a mid-March Empires of the Mediterranean on Viking Star in September, 2016. We also added the three night Tuscany pre-cruise and the Athens four night post-cruise stays. We wanted a educational small ship experience with time in both Italy and Greece, We encountered uncharacteristic winter weather at the front end of the trip that resulted in 3 port cancellations once on ship. Viking responded by adding the port of Split and 2 sea days (which we really needed after the Tuscany tour). The upside to a March cruise was that, in most cases, we were the only ship in port and the weather cool. I have nothing but praise for the tour guides, staff and crew throughout the trip. From the time we stepped off the plane in Florence until we boarded again in Athens, we were expertly taken care of. In Tuscany, our stay at Villa il Poggiale, hosted by Monica Cozzi, was outstanding. Our tour guide, Roberta, was a gracious individual and really enhanced our tours of Florence, Siena and San Gimignano! We boarded in Venice (do the opera excursion), we found the Viking Star a modern, well appointed and beautiful ship with all members of the crew going out of their way to provide exceptional service. The bartenders at the Viking Bar, Dejan, Destra and Iskra, were especially delightful. We had a deluxe veranda room which was spacious and comfortable. The food was wonderful everywhere and the main dining room equal quality to the specialty restaurants. If you are looking for dazzling shows, casino entertainment, art auctions and amenities for kids, this is not the ship for you. The clientele is mature, the entertainment geared to enrichment and education and the schedule port intensive all of which was exactly what we wanted. We took many of the included tours which were more than adequate if one does a little research. Viking provided a bus shuttle in Dubrovnik and Athens which was a nice touch. Consider adding the drink package; it is inexpensive and well worth it. After debarkation, we were met by George and Barbra, our host and guide, and taken to the Hilton Athens which is a beautiful facility. Three of our four days included tours the Acropolis, Acropolis Museum, Mycenae, Epidaurus and Delphi: all outstanding. During our free time, we purchased a 5 day metro ticket (9 Euros each and also good for buses) and the inclusive archeological site and museum ticket (15 Euros each) and did Athens on foot. We ate at DioDos in the Plaka at 19 Adrianou Street (across from Angora entrance) three times which had fabulous food and wine. Dimitris, the waiter, was a great ambassador, teaching us Greek and rendering fabulous service. Of course something negative albeit hard to find. Do not let Viking Air book you less than 2 hours for air transfers at Charles De Gaulle Airport regardless. We learned the hard way. I had a hard time getting clarity before the cruise and once on board exactly what tour was included during the transfer from the ship to the hotel in Athens. It is unclear on the web site and cruise guide. In all cases, representatives had to consult 1 to 2 levels above and even then were not really sure. It is the “The full Acropolis Experience” tour and sadly several couples did not seek clarity or did not know and paid for this tour the port day before debarkation. We guessed right on tours but Viking should let people know at least 90 days out what ports will have shuttles and locations as it would help in shore excursion decisions. The shore excursion to the National Museum is too short. My biggest disappointment was the cancellation of the port of Katakolon and not seeing Ancient Olympus. However, it gives us an excuse to book a future Viking cruise to the area. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
We couldn't have imagined a better cruise experience than we had on this Viking cruise. The crew was exceptional in every way. Any and all of our needs were happily taken care of . The housekeeping staff was top notch and very ... Read More
We couldn't have imagined a better cruise experience than we had on this Viking cruise. The crew was exceptional in every way. Any and all of our needs were happily taken care of . The housekeeping staff was top notch and very accommodating and extremely efficient. The food was top notch and plentiful. We never had to look very far for food or drink. Our only complaint would be that most of the tour guides on the shore excursions did not speak English well enough for us to adequately understand them to get the full benefit of the guided tours. Viking could raise their standards for more intelligible guides. This was particularly the problem with the Cajun and French accents. We heard similar complaints also from our fellow passengers. The embarkation & disembarkation was flawless & very well coordinated. We will definitely plan to sail with Viking again in the future! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
This was my first Viking Cruise. i sailed along with 12 other friends and then we stayed an additional 4 days in Italy before we departed back to the USA. i was very impressed by the cabin, accommodations, dining and general overall ... Read More
This was my first Viking Cruise. i sailed along with 12 other friends and then we stayed an additional 4 days in Italy before we departed back to the USA. i was very impressed by the cabin, accommodations, dining and general overall atmosphere. Each day we had a great selection for breakfast and lunch at the dining area on the 7th floor. Dinner was usually at the restaurant, but we did have one dinner at The Chef's Restaurant, which was great. We also had a few of the Tea Time breaks in the afternoon. While on board we also enjoyed the exercise room and cardio equipment. Overall i'd rate our cruise very high. there were two areas where we could see an opportunity for improvement. One was the amt of service people in the restaurant in the evening. We waited a long time a few nights due to too few staff. Two is the quality of the entertainment. it was more geared to 70+ not so much for 50-60 ish. While we were docked in Florence/Pisa we were guided by an excellent service called All Around Italy. http://www.allarounditaly.net. Brothers Fabrizio and Valentine manned two vans to drive the team around and we had a wonderful time listening to their history of the cities. They are very knowledgeable and very engaging to listen to while we toured. We also contracted them for four days after the boat docked and they toured us all around Positano and Rome. They took care of all of your transfers off of the ship and to our airport when it was time to depart for home. i would definitely secure their services again if i have the chance to tour Italy in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Cruise was great, but the prices are getting a bit high. Don't think I'll go on another one for a while unless it's a last minute trip for a discount. Food was varied and excellent. Service was wonderful. Room (PS1) had all the ... Read More
Cruise was great, but the prices are getting a bit high. Don't think I'll go on another one for a while unless it's a last minute trip for a discount. Food was varied and excellent. Service was wonderful. Room (PS1) had all the space we needed. We actually had a drawer we never used. Not sure why 2 TV's though. Loved that laundry and pressing were included. Room service always arrived hot,on time and delicious. Entertainment was good. Always something to do or something to see. Educational talks were informative and appropriate to the venue. Included excursions were repetitive. There's just so many bus rides in a row that a person can take. The extra excursions that I went on were great. Snorkeling on St. Thomas to Turtle Bay and the sunken ship was wonderful. Lots of fish and a great crew. Coming back with our catamaran under sail to Viking Sea after snorkeling was the perfect end to the day. Wish I was there now. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose our Mediterranean Odyssey cruise on the Viking Star because we were so impressed with our Viking Homelands cruise on the Viking Sea two years ago and two river cruises before that. Our embarkation from Barcelona was so smooth, ... Read More
We chose our Mediterranean Odyssey cruise on the Viking Star because we were so impressed with our Viking Homelands cruise on the Viking Sea two years ago and two river cruises before that. Our embarkation from Barcelona was so smooth, with no waiting in any lines! We had arrived in Barcelona 3 days ahead of embarkation. So glad as some passengers were held up in the USA with snow storms on the East Coast and cancelled flights. We met our room steward, Nareesh, as soon as we found our cabin. He gave us a tour of our cabin and was wonderful to us the rest of the trip and always called us by name. He was the best! We loved experiencing once again the wonderful meals, the beautiful and uncrowded public areas, the included shore excursions and many choices at each port of optional tours, every crew member who always had a smile and greeting for us, and the entertainment and activities on board. We would like to recognize our cruise director, Jenna Beaudoinwho we think never slept as she seemed to be out and about from early morning until late at night. Also, the young Australian fellow who had a beautiful voice and was also everywhere on the ship and smiling and having fun all of the time. And the extremely talented guest entertainer, Sally Jones, who gave two outstanding one-woman shows. We also enjoyed the Viking Classical Trio who definitely added class to our journey. We also enjoyed some of the lectures (when we had time!) by the enrichment lecturers, especially Mike Siegel who, with his wife, was very available to chat with during the entire cruise. We also chose this particular cruise because of the itinerary—all very interesting ports. Dubrovnik was our favorite city. Also, we think 7 day cruises are too short. This cruise was 12 days—much better. We are so hooked on Viking that we booked another voyage while on board—a river cruise called Passage to Eastern Europe—to places we have never been. We received some nice discounts by booking on board. We would encourage everyone going on a Viking cruise to participate in the Cruise Critic program which allows you to correspond with other people booked on your same cruise ahead of your sailing date. The best part was the Meet and Mingle Party held early in the cruise for those who had taken part in this program. It was so much fun to meet some of the passengers who we had corresponded with and great to start out with new friends on board. Also, the ship served appetizers and drinks at the party and we were able to talk to some of the ships’ officers. In all, a wonderful trip! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
This is our 2nd ocean cruise with Viking, both on the Star. We also have done 2 Viking river boats. We spent 3 days exploring Barcelona on our own prior to cruise. We stayed at the Barcelona Hilton, which was also the hotel Viking used. ... Read More
This is our 2nd ocean cruise with Viking, both on the Star. We also have done 2 Viking river boats. We spent 3 days exploring Barcelona on our own prior to cruise. We stayed at the Barcelona Hilton, which was also the hotel Viking used. Especially enjoyed visiting Montserrat. Embarkation was easy. Just a slight back up at the security line, but then on to the Viking counters which were fast. On the ship in time for some lunch prior to settling in in our cabin which was a PV1. Met our cabin stewards above arriving in the cabin. We were traveling light (carry on and back pack) and that meant we had tons of room. Really enjoyed having the larger cabin. We enjoyed the dining room, always being seated when we arrived. Manfredi’s didn’t disappoint on our 2 visits. A visit to the Chefs Table to peruse the menus allowed us to pick a night that we would like. Enjoyed it with the wine pairing. We did purchase the Silver Spirits package and felt we got our money’s worth. We also attended the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet. There was around 16 guests and 10 staff members. It was quite nice. Greatly enjoyed the singers and band and didn’t miss any of their shows. Our cruise director Jenna was outstanding. We did both included and paid excursions. The weather was iffy with temps in the 50’s and experienced rain in several ports. Arrived in Monaco to heavy rains. Chose to stay aboard rather than walking around in the downpour. Later in the afternoon it cleared and were able to walk to the palace. The captain charged the order of our port stops in Croatia due to high winds. It rained in Split, which made our paid excursion disappointing. But our stop in Dubrovnik was entertaining. Lastly our final destination was Venice. The weather was awful, high winds, rain, and snow, and we had to stay out of the port for a few hours. Most excursions were cancelled. We did the post cruise excursion to Tuscany. It was the best. Great guide, villa, food, and lots of delicious wines. The entire 3 days were jam packed with activities from the moment we left the ship in Venice to delivering us to the airport in Florence. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
We sailed on Viking in 2016 (Into the Midnight Sun) and loved the smaller ship. (We've also done 5 River Cruises with Viking) Embarkation was not a good experience....Not the usual welcome, and security people were extremely rude ... Read More
We sailed on Viking in 2016 (Into the Midnight Sun) and loved the smaller ship. (We've also done 5 River Cruises with Viking) Embarkation was not a good experience....Not the usual welcome, and security people were extremely rude (pulling things out of my carry on and throwing onto conveyor belt) and shouting directions. Not one person welcomed us until we entered the ship. Not usual Viking Standard. All tours are highly dependent upon the tour guide's knowledge and language ability, 2 bad, the rest good. A couple tours were at least 15 - 20 minute walks to the bus. People with difficulty walking were really lagging behind. Again, unusual for Viking We were somewhat disappointed in the World Cafe and Restaurant. Service excellent but many of our selections were overdone or lacked flavor (Restaurant). Waiters were helpful in replacing ordered items that didn't meet expectations. Manfredi's and Chefs table were wonderful. Entertainment was EXCELLENT, from the piano players, trios. shows, really the best we've experience on any ship!! Cruise director, Jenna, was outstanding! Enrichment series not as good as before (or other ships) Our weather was not "ideal". But that certainly is NOT the fault of Viking nor the captain....we had a couple rocky nights and lots of rain, but have had much worse on other lines. All in all, we had a wonderful time with friends. And we've booked the Mid-Atlantic Crossing cruise for Dec 2018...........and we will continue with Viking. Our friends also booked another cruise for this year! Lots of times it's attitude and flexibility that makes for a good experience. Read Less
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