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9 Montreal to Caribbean - All Cruise Reviews

We boarded the Viking Sea at Montreal on a Friday morning and oh mon dieu, such first impressions. Lined up at the quay, with its prow facing the old port, the ship projected a sleek profile, befitting a vessel built for only 930 ... Read More
We boarded the Viking Sea at Montreal on a Friday morning and oh mon dieu, such first impressions. Lined up at the quay, with its prow facing the old port, the ship projected a sleek profile, befitting a vessel built for only 930 passengers. The sense of elegance and style was reinforced in a stroll around the public spaces: clean, straight-lined Nordic design and decor with windows shooting light on the soft blue hues of the carpeting and the grains in the flooring. Nothing dark, red or tufted. Lunch in the World Cafe on deck 7 and another impression. What was that across the river? It was an intriguing cluster of gigantic concrete blocks, that looked like they had been layered, squeezed together and discarded by a giant who had been playing with his Legos. In fact, it turned out to be the creation of an architectural student who had indeed used Lego pieces to work out his groundbreaking concept for a complex of 150-odd apartments. It was to be called Habitat 67 and it was built for Expo '67. His project was in keeping with the brutalist style of architecture that apparently did not catch on, yet there it was piled 12 stories high, commanding the embankment. Montreal clearly had a lot to offer. The next day's guided, complimentary tour proved the point: insights into the influences of French, English and Scottish cultures, cobbled streets, lined with boutiques and flower boxes at every corner, and, most rewarding, the embracing spirituality of the Basilica of Notre Dame. We took a short bus ride to Mont Real and there we took in the fall colors of the maples.. Sunday morning and another arresting view: the skyline of Quebec City, looking down on the harbor. The included tour was switched from a bus excursion to a walk-around because this was the day for a marathon, which in itself was an attraction. They ran in leggings with packs on their backs over aged, weathered streets that wound from the lower town to the upper and then on to goodness knows where. It was a route our guide eschewed as she led us to the funicular, which hauled us from the Petit Quartier Champlain to the iconic Hotel Frontenac above. Farther upriver we cruised and into a fjord. Now we are in Saguenay, with little between it and the Arctic. This time our shore excursion took in a stirring community show with schoolchildren and their elders celebrating the history of the city and the resilience of its people in song and dance. From Saguenay to Gaspé, where the tour to the Forillon National Park was a disappointment. It was late in the season, nippy, and the park was closed. But we did see more fall colors. Halifax and another complimentary bus tour, which included a stop at the cemetery where victims of the Titanic disaster were buried and, even more poignantly, victims of the Halifax Explosion. On Dec. 6, 1917 two ships, one laden with explosives, collided in the harbor and at 9:04 in the morning there was an explosion that killed 2,000 and injured 9,000 in a blink. Step off the bus, visit the maritime museum and your heart will be broken. In Boston another included excursion of the historic sites but it was shivering cold when we got off the bus and waited for the shuttle. We had been to Boston before. Why hadn't we brought gloves? The next morning we sailed into New York, the Explorers' Lounge at the bow being the place to be. There a cruise ambassador served up a practiced commentary laden with anecdotes. Apparently, Alistair Cooke, the British-American journalist who hosted PBS' Masterpiece Theatre in the 1970s and 1980s, once said that he knew all would be well in the world, even after the devastation of World War II, when he sailed aboard the Queen Mary into New York Harbor in 1946. We were about to see the 2018 version of what he meant and we did. After each excursion we were always glad to return to the ship. After all, that's where the food was: the buffet in the World Cafe, the many fine choices in the restaurant, the Italian dishes in Manfredi's or the Asian cuisine in the Chef's Table. Manfredi's and the Chef's Table required reservations, but the main restaurant did not. It was open seating and there were no formal sittings timed in conjunction with the evening shows. We could enjoy our meal and casual and sometimes spirited conversations with fellow travelers. "We voted for Brexit," one woman confided, her husband nodding in agreement. "My daughter called the next day and asked how we voted, but when I told her she said, 'Oh, mother. How could you'?" We missed the ventriloquist, though we heard he was excellent; we attended nearly all the lectures on the history of the ports, plus a screening of the Metropolitan Opera's production of "Aida." On the Viking Sea you'll find books throughout the ship. There's a fine library in the Explorers' Lounge, the very best space on the ship. What you won't find anywhere is a casino, a climbing wall or a water slide or anyone wandering about looking for such. But you will find a verandah outside your cabin (every cabin has one) and a heated floor in the bathroom. Just what you want when you step out of the shower. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our third Viking Ocean cruise and the high standards of the first two were evident on this cruise too! I would rate Viking excellent in all areas--crew, ship design/decor, cabin size/layout, etc. The food was wonderful, and ... Read More
This was our third Viking Ocean cruise and the high standards of the first two were evident on this cruise too! I would rate Viking excellent in all areas--crew, ship design/decor, cabin size/layout, etc. The food was wonderful, and there are several dining areas. We preferred the World Cafe, a buffet style restaurant for most of our meals. They have various food stations where you can custom order dishes. The wait staff were prompt, courteous, and very attentive. There is a yummy gelato station there and they make their own pizza in one area too. We ate in the other dining areas and they were fine, just not my favorites. We mostly did the free included tour in each port and most were very good. A lot depends on the tour guide and some are better than others. In NY City, we did the optional tour of the 9/11 Museum and it was excellent. Entertainment is good and attendance is high. The port talks and other talks were good too--many of these are available on your cabin TV. The cabin stewards are terrific---very friendly and willing to help in any way. They are very prompt in the daily cleaning of the rooms. We splurged a bit and moved up from the DV cabins to the PV2 for the extra space, and we were very happy with that decision. We have 2 more cruises booked and I can't even imagine cruising on any other line! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This cruise was a celebration of successful medical treatments. We wanted to get away and be together after a great deal of anxiety. Also, we wanted to be close to the USA. The timing, location and length of this cruise satisfied our ... Read More
This cruise was a celebration of successful medical treatments. We wanted to get away and be together after a great deal of anxiety. Also, we wanted to be close to the USA. The timing, location and length of this cruise satisfied our needs. Our experience exceeded our expectations that were high because of Viking's excellent reputation. From the moment of our Viking greeting after arrival at the airport in Montreal until our departure we felt comfortable with the happy, friendly and professional crew. Our cabin was roomy, comfortable and well appointed. Meals were excellent and service was superior. The dining services team were attentive, caring and empowered. The no charge for beverages was a plus even though our personal limits are one-two. Tours were well organized and added value to our experience. Lectures were excellent and presented by exceptionally well qualified professionals in their field. We were drawn to the lectures on Art, presented by a PHD from the Edinburgh, Scotland Art Institute. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Our first Ocean Cruise, having done most of the Viking river cruises throughout the world, and wanted to see if Ocean cruises were done as well. The Sky is a brand new ship, and easy to get around, our cabin had a great balcony, room size ... Read More
Our first Ocean Cruise, having done most of the Viking river cruises throughout the world, and wanted to see if Ocean cruises were done as well. The Sky is a brand new ship, and easy to get around, our cabin had a great balcony, room size was great, (Penthouse Veranda). The choices for eating were always available, and the food was always great. Excursions were organized and available for most trips. A person could make reservations for each tour, therefore there was always room available. Took cooking class on ship and really enjoyed it with 7 other people. Am booking another one on the Sky.... The cabin was great as it was located towards the middle of the ship and our room steward was always available to help with anything, including keeping the mini bar restocked. Seems like everytime we left room, someone would come by and clean up anything. Bathrooms are large enought so that 2 people can easily use at the same time. Having couch in room made it a great place to sit and watch the world go by. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We wanted to experience a Viking Ocean Cruise without going too far from home in Wisconsin. We sailed from Montreal up the St. Lawrence seaway and around to New York City. Awesome is the only word to describe the Cruise. The itinerary and ... Read More
We wanted to experience a Viking Ocean Cruise without going too far from home in Wisconsin. We sailed from Montreal up the St. Lawrence seaway and around to New York City. Awesome is the only word to describe the Cruise. The itinerary and accommodations were outstanding and the entire Viking staff were excellent without exception. Eddie and James (our room Stewards) kept our stateroom in perfect condition. If you have a chance to stop at the Explorer Bar on Deck 7, ask for the bar tender Johnny (from Bali). He’ll treat you special. We sailed during October to see the Fall Colors and celebrate my wife’s birthday. The weather was perfect and the venues we visited were as well - especially; Quebec City, Saguenay, and the Moose Parade in Gaspe’ (not to be missed, but you have to be there on the right day since it only happens once a year). Seeing Halifax, Boston, and New York in the fall were a real treat. You cannot go wrong if you want to experience your first Viking Ocean Cruise by trying the Eastern Seaboard Explorer. Check it out on the Viking website.... Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Vikings smaller cruise ships are a excellent choice for cruising. Cabins are spacious and the dining and on board staff are excellent providing outstanding service. Choice of ports are good and they always have an included tour available, ... Read More
Vikings smaller cruise ships are a excellent choice for cruising. Cabins are spacious and the dining and on board staff are excellent providing outstanding service. Choice of ports are good and they always have an included tour available, if you would rather do something else they have additional tours you can take at additional costs. Nighty activity was excellent in the star theater, along with port talks and enrichment talks provided. Transfers are provided to and from the ship with ease and comfort in the touring busses. Ship was kept very clean in side and out throughout journey. Choice of dining rooms were great with set down dining with service in The Restaurant, buffet dining in The World Café and Pool Bar during lunch. They also have two specialty dining restaurants at no additional cost that you can make reservations to for evening dining. All in all it was money well spent Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I have traveled all over the world, so when our luggage failed to arrive on time it was not unexpected, but the Viking staff did everything humanly possible to see that it was in our stateroom that night; Everything in our cabin was ... Read More
I have traveled all over the world, so when our luggage failed to arrive on time it was not unexpected, but the Viking staff did everything humanly possible to see that it was in our stateroom that night; Everything in our cabin was spotless and the service was the best that I have seen. There was something for everyone on this cruise; watching whales from the Explorer's Lounge; enjoying an excursion in Quebec City or Boston; listening to classical music while having a cocktail before dinner; or my favorite, relaxing in the steam sauna and ice cave. The biggest surprise, was the excellent caliber of the entertainment for a small ship. Good on you Viking. I especially enjoyed the afternoon historical and educational talks conducted by a variety of experts My wife and I have traveled on both the Viking River Cruises and Viking Ocean Cruises and look forward to our next trip. It is a great way to see the world and other cultures. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I wanted to see Canada. I had never been there before. The cruise was a relation for me: I was amazed at how dynamic and cosmopolitan Montreal and Quebec were. The natural scenery was stunning, especially in Sagenea.. Enjoyed ... Read More
I wanted to see Canada. I had never been there before. The cruise was a relation for me: I was amazed at how dynamic and cosmopolitan Montreal and Quebec were. The natural scenery was stunning, especially in Sagenea.. Enjoyed sightseeing Boston, where friends met us and took us to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. We also had a great time in New York, where we saw the show "War Paint". The only port we didn't enjoy was Gaspee, which was a last-minute adjustment because we could not get to Prince Edward Island. I would have preferred that we used that time to stop at Bar Harbor. On the ship, the service was superb. We enjoyed all the meals. Visited Manfredi's twice and Chef's Table twice. Very pleased with our experiences in the specialty restaurants. Overall, it was another great experience. We constantly recommend Viking to friends. We've already booked a cruise in China next year! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My family selects a cruise based on the itinerary, as we view the ship as a floating hotel. We had been on the Viking Star during part of its “maiden voyage,” the year before we booked our second voyage on the ship. We had been on ... Read More
My family selects a cruise based on the itinerary, as we view the ship as a floating hotel. We had been on the Viking Star during part of its “maiden voyage,” the year before we booked our second voyage on the ship. We had been on several Viking River Cruises. We found the Viking River Cruise line to be exceptional in quality, service, itineraries, and value. At first glance, Viking cruises are more expensive than other cruise lines. However, Viking included shore excursions and beer and wine with meals. The Viking Star cruise was titled “In the Wake of the Vikings.” It started in Bergen, Norway, which is the Viking Cruise Line’s headquarters. The itinerary included stops in Lerwick, Scotland, the Torshavn Islands, Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, Saguenay, Quebec and Montreal, Canada. The cruise is fifteen days in length, with three sea days. The sea days included lectures, sea watching, or whale watching. The Explorers Lounge is located on decks seven and eight. Passengers can sit in the Lounge and listen to lecturers discuss the Northern Lights or the Ocean, or look for whales. It was very windy on our voyage. There are entrances and exits on both sides or the Explorers Lounge. Both entrances and exits have two very heavy doors, with signs instructing everyone to close one door before opening the second door. Of course many of the passengers ignored the signs and opened one door while the other was still open, causing the very dangerous slamming of one door of very heavy doors. No one was hurt by the above unsafe door opening. It is worth noting that there is a Medical Doctor and several Registered Nurses on staff. There is an advanced Medical Center on Deck A, the bottom Deck. The North Atlantic is notorious for being very rough. Several relatives on both sides of our families came from Ireland. They came after the coffin ship era but before the cruise ship era, i.e., the late 1800s. Family verbal histories attest to the rough North Atlantic. We had visited the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, Norway prior to going to Bergen, Norway. It is amazing to see a Viking Longboat in the museum and imagine crossing the North Atlantic in such a boat. The Vikings landed in Reykjavik, Iceland ca. 870 AD. They landed in Greenland circa 986 AD and in Newfoundland, Canada circa 1000 AD. The Viking Star has stabilizers and was built for the North Atlantic. But the cruise was still very rough. The roughness of the sea would be the only “problem” noted on the cruise. The Viking Star holds approximately 900 passengers. Each cabin has a balcony with an ocean view. The cabins are all adequate in size and amenities. WI-FI is provided through out the ship. The on board meals are all very good and varied. The wine with the meals is also varied to compliment the meal. Although not advertised, champaign and / or mimosas is provided with breakfast. My only negative comment would relate to the rough North Atlantic Ocean. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016

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