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18 Europe - All Repositioning Cruise Reviews

This has been on our bucket list and didn't disappoint! The staff was very attentive and professional. Smiles everywhere! We didn't have to lift a finger. Our dining room stewards couldn't have done a better job. ... Read More
This has been on our bucket list and didn't disappoint! The staff was very attentive and professional. Smiles everywhere! We didn't have to lift a finger. Our dining room stewards couldn't have done a better job. It's a thrill to anywhere on board and be attended to so well. Breakfast- cranberry juice is waiting along with your favorite baked good. At the bar, your favorite drink arrives by the time you find your seat. We're taking another Viking cruise this year and are concerned... will they do as well as our first cruise. The standard on this cruiseline is very high! Couple the onboarding experience with the cities, towns and sites we saw and you have a memory that won't be erased. If you're looking for a more intimate travel experience, the Viking River Cruises fit the bill. Much more personal than the big ocean liners. You really can't miss! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our first ocean cruise with viking. We had 2 days in madrid, spain prior to the cruise. The hotel, tours, services, and transfer were excellent. Embarkation in barcelona went smoothly. The ship was very beautiful. The room was ... Read More
This was our first ocean cruise with viking. We had 2 days in madrid, spain prior to the cruise. The hotel, tours, services, and transfer were excellent. Embarkation in barcelona went smoothly. The ship was very beautiful. The room was a standard veranda. It was nicely appointed and comfortable. We liked the world cafe for dinning. It had a wide variety of foods each meal. The restaurant was very good. Similar food to that served in the world cafe. We ate once in the chef’s table. The service and food were excellent. Great wine selection. Service on the ship was excellent. All the staff did their best to make our cruise comfortable. There was an issue with the ship staying in barcelona overnight so we had to move down the coast. This caused several of the shore excursions to be canceled or you had to ride a bus back for the excursion. The excursion to london required an 1.5 hour bus ride each way along with a ride around the highlights of city. Too much time on the bus and not enough time on foot at a destination. The foodie walking tour in copenhagen was excellent. The guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
They focus on nature and making a difference. I don't like cities on water. I don't like nightclubs and casinos. I like focus on nature, stillness, away from the city. Of the beaten track. Hurtigruten offers this. I like to leave ... Read More
They focus on nature and making a difference. I don't like cities on water. I don't like nightclubs and casinos. I like focus on nature, stillness, away from the city. Of the beaten track. Hurtigruten offers this. I like to leave a small carbon footprint when travelling. I enjoy travelling with older people or retired people. They make for better conversation. The group on this trip was smaller and it made the ship less crowded. The shore activities were great but quite costly. Dining was good with a good buffet and menu in the evenings. The ship does not include wifi and I did not know this beforehand. It cost NOK 1600 for wifi throughout the cruise. It was an unforeseen cost. There should be more clarity on that . I also prefer an all inclusive full board which should include tips etc. No surprises. I loved the entertainment. It was heartfelt and interesting Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was a last minute booking. Oceana is perhaps smaller than her sister ships but she is friendly & her crew seek to look after the passengers. I have to say having read a few of the preceeding reviews I really do wonder just people ... Read More
This was a last minute booking. Oceana is perhaps smaller than her sister ships but she is friendly & her crew seek to look after the passengers. I have to say having read a few of the preceeding reviews I really do wonder just people expect, the crew are fantastic, the food good to very good and the overall experience excellent. We flew from B’ham having travelled from the SE and waved goodbye to our bags to be reunited with them once onboard. Boarding and checkin was very efficient and we were in our cabin within 30 mins of getting off the coach at Valetta Cruise Port. Our bags were with us within a further 10 mins. Food was good to very good, but always a good choice and the waiting staff attentive and as the cruise went on becoming friends in our adventures. One evening my wife and I were doused in baileys from a passing waiter and the immediate response could not have been better. Accidents happen and the issue is how they are resolved, thank you everyone, you did yourselves proud in this respect. Entertainment was variable but I expect no more, when at home we select what we go and see. We did the same onboard and enjoyed the piano recitals, the sax player, but were less enamoured with the Headliners group who whilst enthusiastic lacked polish in some areas. That said many did enjoy these show and we do not feel that we have been shortchanged due to our preferences. A highlight was the art shop, the display changed regularly and there were some interesting pieces, so much so we now have one hanging at home. Overall, the ambiance is good, we are not great ones for sitting around the pool and listening to the music but there are plenty of other spaces on the upper decks to go and enjoy the sun. Many thanks all, we appreciated all your effort and enjoyed our time with you. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
As the cruising industry keeps making ships bigger, we abandoned that venue. It couldn't deliver the experience we needed. We started river cruising and found that smaller ships, smaller number of passengers, more focus on the ... Read More
As the cruising industry keeps making ships bigger, we abandoned that venue. It couldn't deliver the experience we needed. We started river cruising and found that smaller ships, smaller number of passengers, more focus on the educational experience matched our needs. Now Viking has re-invented the ocean cruise experience and delivered beyond our expectations. The ship is perfect. It had the right number of passengers. The open areas were spectacular. The food was terrific. The room was luxurious. The ability to be with a group balanced with being in a quiet one on one area was perfect. The crew addressed our every need. In conversations with them you know that Viking was treating them well and they were loyal to the company. The educational programs was outstanding. Dr Laurie gave us unbelievable insights. The cruise director was informative, engaging and funny. Matching the route to historical events was enlightening and enriching. It seems that every attention to detail really made a difference. We highly recommend this ship and diving back to the ocean cruising experience. Now we can go beyond the rivers and venture back to the seas. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I have been on several Viking River Cruises and have always found the staffs to be very warm, welcoming and inviting. The Viking Sun was no different. The entire staff went out of their way to make our voyage one of the most exciting of ... Read More
I have been on several Viking River Cruises and have always found the staffs to be very warm, welcoming and inviting. The Viking Sun was no different. The entire staff went out of their way to make our voyage one of the most exciting of a lifetime. Viking does it right! My husband and I were on the Viking Sun World Cruise for 4 months. Between the interesting ports of call, enrichment lectures, shore excursions and the dining options, I can honestly say that we never got bored. I can't say enough about the staff. They would go above and beyond to get you whatever you asked. Everyone on the staff was accessible, from the captain on down. In four months of dining aboard ship I can honestly say that I never walked away from a meal feeling disappointed. While we are not planning any further cruises in the near-term, you can be sure Viking will be the one we contact when we're ready to cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Locations visited and length of cruise was perfect. The staff was exceptional, and the food was delicious and plentiful! The wait staff kept the wine glasses filled as requ at both lunch and dinner. Although we weren’t on the optional ... Read More
Locations visited and length of cruise was perfect. The staff was exceptional, and the food was delicious and plentiful! The wait staff kept the wine glasses filled as requ at both lunch and dinner. Although we weren’t on the optional drink plan, the wine selections were very good. It was a very comfortable journey...not rushed, and we enjoyed the actual cruise alng the rivers. Seeing the scenery of vineyards, small villages, old castles, windmills and large cities lit up at night was an unexpected delight and it was glorious. On our last evening in Budapest, the captain took the boat out on the river to see the glorious lighting on all the buildings. It was beautiful! Because of the smaller size and fewer passengers, we had time to meet, chat with and relax at the lunches and dinners with other guests. We would sit with some several times at both lunch and dinner, as well as see them on the daily walking tours. We exchanged contact information with some of them. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
i am just back from Carnival Horizon ship. this is my fourth cruise with Carnival and the ship is amazing. the atmosphere was so happy and cool, the service all over the ship was fantastic, food was great in the buffet as well as in ... Read More
i am just back from Carnival Horizon ship. this is my fourth cruise with Carnival and the ship is amazing. the atmosphere was so happy and cool, the service all over the ship was fantastic, food was great in the buffet as well as in the beautiful dining room. also recommnded to eat at Bonsai, we had a great time there and definitely go to the pig & anchor pub which offers 4 kinds of homemade draft beers. the rooms are large and bright, the casino was big and very active and fun was all over including the shows and the comdian which i highly recommend to go at least one night. the hamburgers are big wow!! the ice cream is unforgettable ... i didn't sail with kids but i saw so many features that they will love! skyride, waterslides, video games, IMAX and many more. well done to Carnival! it's definitely best value for money !!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Previous great Viking cruises. The itinerary. Value. Lifetime travel goals, Barcelona, Montserrat, Sagrada Familia, Cartagena, Roman Theater, Granada, Alhambra, Rock of Gibraltar, Porto, Land’s End, St Ives, Salisbury Cathedral, ... Read More
Previous great Viking cruises. The itinerary. Value. Lifetime travel goals, Barcelona, Montserrat, Sagrada Familia, Cartagena, Roman Theater, Granada, Alhambra, Rock of Gibraltar, Porto, Land’s End, St Ives, Salisbury Cathedral, Magna Carta,Stonehenge, Monet’s home & garden, all realized on this incredible journey! The shipboard experience was superb in all aspects, as anticipated. There were some rough seas off the coasts of Spain & Portugal, but we were not ill or uncomfortable; not true for many other guests & crew. Weather was quite good overall, at sea & in port. Tour guides were good, and for Montserrat, Grenada, Monet garden & Stonehenge, simply outstanding. Onboard dining was great & bars & restaurant drinks also. Entertainment was really fun, and entertainers were visible & approachable during the cruise. The cultural enrichment programs are Viking’s strongest point, and wonderful on this journey. Sail-away talks were great, and how special, to sit down for office hours with a high-level former British Ambassador? A fabulous experien, highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
The Viking experience covered everything! Our early morning flight to Barcelona arrived early and there was our welcoming Viking Red waiting for us at the baggage claim. Private car transfer to precruise Renaissance hotel and into our ... Read More
The Viking experience covered everything! Our early morning flight to Barcelona arrived early and there was our welcoming Viking Red waiting for us at the baggage claim. Private car transfer to precruise Renaissance hotel and into our room by 9:00 a.m. Talked with the Viking rep about the area and got great local recommendations. Transfer to ship, panoramic bus trip allowed the Sky and the hotel time to prepare for the next round of guests. Embarkation process was relatively quick and we were onboard by lunchtime. Room access was timely and met our stateroom stewards for a overview. These guys, worked hard and were always willing to get us what we needed. Dining - really looked forward to the alternative dining. Loved the ability to check the menus using the Viking Voyager app and make adjustments and additional reservations. The Chef’s Table was wonderfully imaginative, but we are the adventurous types. Manifredi’s indeed served enormous portions, asparagus become my favorite side. The dining room was good, but we found the World Cafe served the same food and ended up there more than we expected. We didn’t have the Silver Spirits package but enjoyed the included wines, paying for an occasional cocktail. Activities-cooking demonstrations, bridge tour, galley tour, movies under the stars, live entertainment, port talks were all included. Additional charges for wine tasting, cooking class in the Kitchen Table, and spa treatments. The service was wonderful, the staff doesn’t seem to know the word ‘No’, except ‘no problem’. They seem genuinely happy working for Viking. Viking doesn’t nickel and dime their employees or their guests, the staff doesn’t have to pay for their uniforms, their WiFi, or their flight home. The ports weren’t congested, probably due to the April sailing. Only occasionally, did we share the port with othe cruise ships, including the RCCL’s newest behemoth. Boy, was I happy with the 930 passengers size! Probably the reason the Sky was moved to the prime docking location near the Columbus monument instead of terminal 3 in Barcelona. The shore excursions were staggered, but even so, that’s where the congestion happened as the gangway opened and the staffed filled the tours and headed the groups out to the waiting buses. Included Shore excursions generally included bus tours with stops. The value of these was greatly affected by the individual guide. Optional excursions were as described, read the description and listen to the port talk to set expectations. The MyVikingJourney reservation process was cumbersome at times, with Sold Out tours and late additions. Mixed or inaccurate responses from the 800 customer help line added to the confusion. But overall, apprehension was wasted effort, Viking knows their successful business model. (Tellus@vikingcruises.com was much better than the 800 number.) After just a few days, we were talking to the onboard cruise consultant to take advantage of promotions to book our next Viking adventure. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was our second Viking Ocean... fantastic! We love the ship, it is port-intensive,love the 2 days in port at the start and the end, the flowing wine at lunch and dinner, the heated bathroom floors, the wonderful staff, the mostly great ... Read More
This was our second Viking Ocean... fantastic! We love the ship, it is port-intensive,love the 2 days in port at the start and the end, the flowing wine at lunch and dinner, the heated bathroom floors, the wonderful staff, the mostly great food. We had a great cruise director and mostly good entertainment-- some even great! We didn't know that this was a repositioning cruise but we believe it was...to take the ship from the Mediterranean up to the Baltic. In 14 days there were 11 great cities with 1 exception- Porto Portugal which we were in just too short a time (6 hours). B ecause it was repositioning (we think) the price was very good. As for the food, we mostly chose the Restaurant which is the formal dining room, but not one of the 2 "specialty" dining options. We loved Manfredi's and were able to get a private room 2 nights as there were 10 in our group. We were not that fond of the Chef's Table so tried it once and did not go back. That menu is limited and "foam" is used in lots of the choices! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was our first ocean cruise with Viking, although we've taken several river cruises. The Viking Sky was a beautiful ship in every way. The staff was exemplary, the food was wonderful, the excursions were terrific, and the ship ... Read More
This was our first ocean cruise with Viking, although we've taken several river cruises. The Viking Sky was a beautiful ship in every way. The staff was exemplary, the food was wonderful, the excursions were terrific, and the ship itself was wonderful. Our cabin was like home away from home, with a comfortable bed, large bathroom, and two TVs. The veranda was large and welcoming, and we enjoyed being on the veranda when we had some downtime (although we kept busy!) The specialty restaurants, Manfredi's and Chef's Table, served delicious food, and the service in both was outstanding. The excursions we selected were excellent - as usual, the Viking guides were professional and knowledgeable. Although one guide was not as good as the others, overall we were extremely pleased. We enjoyed this cruise so much, we have signed up for another one (this one to the Mediterranean) next March in 2019!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was an excellent way to get a taste of 7 countries. The Viking cruise line gives you highlights of each stop, handouts and talks. They also share their Viking history throughout the cruise. The food was local and delicious. We ... Read More
This was an excellent way to get a taste of 7 countries. The Viking cruise line gives you highlights of each stop, handouts and talks. They also share their Viking history throughout the cruise. The food was local and delicious. We dined at both specialty restaurants. The Chef's Table was very disappointing. Had we known what they were serving we probably would not have gone. The service was horrible. Everyone in our group wrote a bad review and we were invited back to try again. The food was OK but the service was much improved. We also ate at Manfredi's. The service was very good and the food was fabulous! I would eat there every night if I had a choice. The menu is huge and quite varied. We ordered small plates and sides so that we could try more items. They did not disappoint. The guides were knowledgeable, and in many cases, entertaining. It was a bit fast-paced but I guess that's the nature of this particular cruise. There was some repetition in Barcelona but we came early and had taken the tours then. We fell in love with Barcelona! I could live there and love it. The tours really needed to include free time at the end to walk around and shop a bit. The tour of Cartagena was mostly in the mountains, showing us the devastation caused by mining that started with the Romans. Granada, home of Picasso was lovely. Could have stayed longer. Porto was beautiful. The port wine is delicious. Falmouth is not really a tourist town but they are friendly. Portsmouth. We opted to see Stonehenge. It was awe-inspiring. I would love to go back. LeHarve. We opted for the Paris tour and were not disappointed. The guide was great and if I ever got the chance to return I would hire her as my guide. She gave us a grand tour upon arrival and made suggestions on how best to see Paris in the time we had. Our 4 hours was not wasted and it made us want to return to see more. The tour of the fishing village outside of Amsterdam needed work. We spent too much time walking back and forth. The guide did his best to accommodate people who truly should not have been on the tour. Bruges. We toured Gent, city of chocolate and beer! We had chocolate for lunch and were not disappointed. The city is full of history and pride. Bergen. I am glad we booked extra time in this beautiful city. The people are friendly. The food, although expensive, is fabulous. This is a vibrant country. the people never stop. Oslo. I cannot say much about Oslo because we didn't really get to see it due to changes beyond our control. We only had a brief bus tour and a very late dinner and had to fly out the next morning. I would consider going back to actually tour it right. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Love Viking & loved the itinerary! Many of the ports we had not visited before. Also loved the idea of a few sea days as this ship is so comfortable. We were just ready to enjoy all that Viking had to offer on this remarkable ship...as ... Read More
Love Viking & loved the itinerary! Many of the ports we had not visited before. Also loved the idea of a few sea days as this ship is so comfortable. We were just ready to enjoy all that Viking had to offer on this remarkable ship...as we had been on it just a year ago. However this was our 4th Viking cruise. I recommend Viking to everyone. We love the richly rewarding historic lectures on the culture of the areas we are visiting! No Casinos and picture pressure! Truly a relaxing adventure. The entire trip was so very enjoyable, from Bergen Norway to Barcelona Spain! Viking does everything to ensure your comfort & safety. We did have to forego our Falmouth England port because of weather but thanks Captain for thinking of our safety first! The employees/crew are so friendly and will go out of their way to help in any way. Need more hangers for your clothes, pillows...how many?...done! On other cruise ship I have had to pack extra hangers or layer everything! Food was for the most part outstanding! In each dining room we were treated like royalty! We didn't enjoy the Chef's Table so much and I heard the same from many other people, we were still hungry after 4 courses. The included wines served daily with meals were plentiful, excellent quality & variety. Also appreciated the plentiful water whether on ship or off! Entertainment & lectures were simply outstanding! Viking only fell short on the included tours in a couple ports. River included tours are handled much better & make provision for a "leisure" tour selection for folks who have walking issues. The free time in Knokke, Belgium was a waste, very little open, prices no one could afford in very exclusive shops that were! Couldn't wait to board the bus! I never heard a positive comment. Wish we could have just explored the historical little town of Damme, I think it was, that we drove though. Other tours were exceptional! Guess you can't win them all but I think Viking needs to re examine this aspect. These included tours makes Viking unique in the the cruise industry but that could change quickly. Also our last day in Barcelona lacked communication on the optional "An Evening of Flamenco" ( not worth the $139 pp) as we had to switch docks late in the afternoon and that caused all types of confusion. They combined our included city tour with it as we had to change the time 2 1/2 hours and we wouldn't have known this if we hadn't have ask! Thus our city tour ended up in the dark, with very low visibility, right before our dinner. Hated to disembark and head for the USA...Looking forward to cruise #5 soon! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise because it provided a diverse selection of countries since it was a relocation cruise for the Viking Sky .Our cabin was very comfortable and although the door to the balcony had a bit of a rattle the staff responded ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it provided a diverse selection of countries since it was a relocation cruise for the Viking Sky .Our cabin was very comfortable and although the door to the balcony had a bit of a rattle the staff responded quickly to our complaint. They had to come back several times because it was a problem that kept reoccurring. The 24 hour room service was excellent and the breakfast served in our cabin helped us plan our daily activities in advance. Housekeeping was excellent and the staff was always ready to assist us in all our needs. Dining was something to look forward to every day since food was prepared exquisitely in all of the dining venues throughout the ship. Shore excursions were very well carried out with plenty of time to enjoy each port of call. We were forced to skip Porto due to bad weather and that was disappointing but the rest of the cruise was delightful. Cruising the Kiel Canal was an unforgettable experience as we sat in our balcony sipping wine and enjoying the sights. I would not hesitate to do it again because Viking offers an excellent cruise with all your needs very well taken care of. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly and the crew 's assistance was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We enjoyed our impeccably clean modern cabins which were tastefully furnished and very comfortable. The bed was excellent. The ship offers a tremendous amount of enjoyable space throughout, a place for every mood, time of day, desire for ... Read More
We enjoyed our impeccably clean modern cabins which were tastefully furnished and very comfortable. The bed was excellent. The ship offers a tremendous amount of enjoyable space throughout, a place for every mood, time of day, desire for privacy or company. The food was excellent in all dining facillities, consistently fresh and of high quality. The Italian restaurant really stands out! Viking staff was very friendly, helpful and always capable. We much enjoyed being mostly in rather casual attire on a ship which offers room for every taste and fashion. On this trip we visited (or sampled) many countries from Norway to Athens, Greece. All excursions were well organized, enjoyable and informative. We probably 'overbooked' on this first cruise and will take it a little easier next time. Our airport pickup and dropoff was flawless. Viking was a really great overall experience. Our next Viking cruise in the West Indies is already booked. Go if you can! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
My wife and I chose Viking Ocean cruises because of our previous 4 sailings on their River cruises and to see if the standard was as high. Which it was. Never having done an Ocean cruise before we did not know what to expect however ... Read More
My wife and I chose Viking Ocean cruises because of our previous 4 sailings on their River cruises and to see if the standard was as high. Which it was. Never having done an Ocean cruise before we did not know what to expect however that was soon rectified from arrival at the airport by Viking reps to the embarkation at the port which was seamless. The staff mostly all young were terrific. Once on board our cabin was a deluxe veranda which was spotlessly clean as was every other part of the ship. Dining on board was very good with 2 quality restaurants Manfredis Italian and the Chef table which were excellent. I should mention there are 2 pools on board one on the 7th deck with retractable roof and an infinity pool at the stern. Both great also they have a fitness suite plus on deck 2 Entertainment on board was great with an evening show in the theatre and an classical trio, solo pianist and solo guitarist who played during the day and evening in various parts of the ship. Every member of staff you spoke to or they saw you first were pleasant, civil , polite and attentive. Nothing was a problem to them. They were always smiling, Shore excursions were varied and good. I must mention the hygiene on board it was first class they were always cleaning from first thing in the morning till last thing at night. We will be doing another probably next year. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was not my first cruise, but considering every other cruise I'd been on was courtesy US Navy it certainly rates as the best. All kidding aside, I had always dreamed of going on a ship and not doing any work. For the type of ... Read More
This was not my first cruise, but considering every other cruise I'd been on was courtesy US Navy it certainly rates as the best. All kidding aside, I had always dreamed of going on a ship and not doing any work. For the type of experience I sought Viking delivered. After an eventful year I needed some time to simply decompress. If this is the experience you're looking for I recommend Viking. The Viking Sea (and its identical sister ship the Viking Star) is ideal venue for relaxation offering a comfortable, unhurried experience. If you're looking for hustle and bustle, constant stimulation, and amusement park experiences Viking is not for you. If you're looking for a family cruise Viking is not for you. The Viking Sea has no casino, no rock wall, no waterslides, no cross branding, no shopping malls, no photographers, and no kid zone. In fact the minimum age to sail with Viking is sixteen. If, however, you're looking for adult themed activities that stimulate the intellect and enrich the soul, if you're looking for comfort, if you're looking for charm and grace Viking is just what you're looking for. The ship is elegant but not gaudy. Straight lines, wood grain, and gentle pastels dominate the decor. You embark the ship on deck 1 directly into a central atrium that Viking calls the Living Room, and with good reason. Sofas and armchairs are scattered throughout this expansive, multi-level space, some creating conversation areas, others offering intimate privacy. Bookshelves line many of the walls inviting bibliophiles like myself to simply wander the space and peruse the titles. I spent many an afternoon in a little niche with the art albums. Other public spaces are just as inviting. My favorite by far was the Explorer's Lounge on deck 7. This two level lounge looked out over the bow of the ship and was a perfect spot for whale watching (I'm happy to report that whales and dolphins were both sighted during my voyage). It, like many other public spaces aboard, was graced by bookshelves lining the bulkheads. Nearly every evening found me stretched out on a sofa reading my latest find. My previous cruise line's spa facilities were subpar (believe it or not the US Navy doesn't have much in way of creature comforts). The spa facilities aboard the Viking Sea I found to be quite luxurious. Whether hot or cold, fresh or salt water, steam or snow, the Nordic Spa had it all. Yes, they had an actual snow grotto on board (though it was closed for one day for defrosting and maintenance). After about fifteen minutes in the steam room one would think that the snow grotto would be unbearably cold but it felt quite invigorating. Just outside the spa are some small luxury shops. While it was nice to be able to browse the items I never felt pressured to buy nor did I feel like I was in a shopping mall. There was a shop that sold toiletries and other sundries which was convenient. I must admit I did not go to many of the evening entertainment shows (though I made friends with several of the performers) so I cannot comment on the quality of the entertainment but the theater itself is nicely laid out with plenty of leg room between rows. This has the added bonus of not having to embarrassingly squeeze around people (or be squeezed around) if you have to leave for any reason. The last night of our cruise, though, our cruise director performed. It turns out she is quite an accomplished mezzo soprano. Her accompanying musicians performed in the pool area every afternoon as did the classical trio and the guitarist (though in different areas at different times). All were excellent musicians but their repertoire was limited. I could tell toward the end they were getting tired of playing the same songs. Possibly the biggest difference from US Navy cruise lines was the quality of the food. There were quite a few dining options (though not, I'm sure, as many as some of the larger cruise lines) and the quality of each of them was excellent. I particularly appreciated that there was no extra charge to dine in the specialty restaurants, though reservations are required and availability depends on stateroom class. Portions look small to the eye, but the food was so well prepared and there were so many courses that I was never left dissatisfied. I ate quite often at the World Cafe on deck 7. I appreciated the convenience of the buffet style serving. Waiters were always on hand to provide you with any beverage of your choice. Another of Viking's selling points is that beer, wine, and sodas are complimentary with your meal so I never felt as I was being nickel and dimed. This was a repositioning cruise for a newly commissioned ship so the itinerary was quite unique. One of the reasons I chose this particular cruise is because it offered a good mix of days in port and days at sea. I appreciated having some extended time at sea to be able to just experience the ship and not feel that I was simply being rushed from port to port. But the ports were magnificent. We departed Bergen and were originally scheduled to debark in Istanbul. Political instability in Turkey resulted in its cancellation which was disappointing but understandable (especially since the coup happened a week before our departure). Two ports in Spain were added which more than made up for Istanbul's cancellation. Between Spain and Portugal, for a few days I felt like I had traveled back to the Fifteenth Century. Wandering the cobblestone streets of medieval villages, basking in the glorious architecture of the churches, sipping coffee (or something a little stronger) on a sidewalk cafe. It was all quite seductive. It was as slow and leisurely a pace of life ashore as it was aboard. My only regret is that there was so little time in each port. Viking's ocean ships are small ships and are able to reach smaller ports that other cruise ships can't. This results in more of a cultural experience than a "let's move the party ashore" experience. I don't recall seeing one neon sign or pink cocktail with an umbrella and I'm happier for it. This mentality carries over to the ship itself both in its apportionment and the professionalism of its crew. It is, as I state in the title of this review, elegant but understated, an experience I highly recommend for those who seek a slow pace and civilized experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016

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