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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
We went on this cruise specifically to see the total eclipse of the sun and since that was a natural phenomena I am pleased to say that it was great. However In almost every other respect the cruise was a disappointment. It was so poor ... Read More
We went on this cruise specifically to see the total eclipse of the sun and since that was a natural phenomena I am pleased to say that it was great. However In almost every other respect the cruise was a disappointment. It was so poor in fact that we complained officially to our travel agent and P&O. We wrote to P&O on April 12th, received an acknowledgement a month later, after our travel agent had chased them for a response, and received a final reply dated May 27th, which totally failed to address any specifics and read like a mission statement for P&O! So to specifics.... the ship arrived late in Southampton....no information in terminal except word of mouth from other passengers suggesting engine problems. On board late afternoon. Pretty hungry as we had not eaten since breakfast. Evening meal was to be 8.30 pm so we looked for a snack and drink. Found Conservatory. This is self service Caff/canteen. Seating was dirty. No food available! Looked over the rest of the ship. Public areas generally were scruffy and the Ladies' room I visited had one cubicle shut (out of order) and the whole area was noticeably dirty! Not a good start, but we tried to remain hopeful. Lifeboat drill....shambolic...no check on whether passengers attended, no details of lifeboat station, no checks of lifejackets. We hoped there would not be an emergency! First evening dining...soup cold and watery, hot sweet chilled (could it have been frozen?). White wine warm. We continued to remain hopeful but our optimism was misplaced. The food continued to be poor. I don't think we saw anything approaching a fresh vegetable for 2 weeks! No fresh berries (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry). The menus were pretty uninspired. The highlight one lunchtime was faggots! Worse than this the ship continued to be dirty. Our corridor outside the cabin had a thick layer of dust down each side, and the handrails were sticky underneath...ugh! The entertainment was not good. We gathered from other passengers that all P@O ships' Headliners shows are standard to all the ships so many people would look at the day's offering and say "I saw that on Arcadia". Not much originality then, and the performance was more dance school than West End. There was a good lecturer talking about the eclipse. The officers, Captain included, were not in evidence at all, and the information available from the bridge was minimal. Many passengers had joined the cruise to see the Northern Lights. There were specific excursions (pretty pricey) to do so and they were fine, but there were several occasions when the lights could be seen from the ship. It would have been helpful if there could have been announcements when that was the case, since one was unlikely to be on deck late at night in freezing temperatures on the off chance! We have been on a ship for 32 days, (with 6/7 sea days at a time) and not been bored. On this ship we found time hung heavily on sea days and in the evenings. The crew were not rude but neither were they cordial. We had been used to seeing smiling faces and friendly greetings from crew members on other lines, and to seeing cleaning, polishing, painting and maintenance going on at all times. The most we saw on Oriana was someone with a bucket of water and a cloth sloshing hopefully on table-tops (spraying the chair upholstery). This only after we had been advised that there was MORE sickness on board! The increased vigilance after that announcement seemed to involve turning off the washroom hand-driers. I'm not sure why. Our cabin was kept cleaner than some other areas of the ship, but the broken shower gel dispenser was still there when we left, and the toilet seat broke, was replaced by an old one (stained underneath) which then broke to be replaced at last by a new seat. The ship had engine problems throughout the voyage. We left the final port (Stavanger) with only the starboard engine functioning. When we reached Southampton we crashed into the wrong dock. This was because of the weather, we were told, but strangely all the other ships around had docked happily, and the bad weather had been forcast. Perhaps not having your engines working might have made the difference. We spent a further 24 hours on board. We could have left after 11pm on the day we should have disembarked, but by the time that possibility was mooted it was too late to get accommodation in Southampton, or to drive home (a 6/7 hour journey in our case). We were so glad to get home! Incidentally we had chest infections by the time we got back. Most passengers were unwell, it seemed, in one way or another. P@O have offered us a credit against another cruise. They cannot be serious! Never again! Just spent a week on Marco Polo (Cruise and Maritime) to restore our faith. They get 4/5 stars across the board. We really do enjoy our holidays normally, it takes a great deal to make us unhappy! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was our first Viking Ocean Cruise, but it will not be our last. The ship was new and very luxurious. All the small details of construction were first class from the a/c supply to the beautiful dining rooms. All cabins had an exterior ... Read More
This was our first Viking Ocean Cruise, but it will not be our last. The ship was new and very luxurious. All the small details of construction were first class from the a/c supply to the beautiful dining rooms. All cabins had an exterior balcony that allowed you privacy and a beautiful view of all cities and the fjords. You never to felt crowded or pressured to buy drinks like on many cruises, but the friendly staff was always available. Everything was well organized and run very efficiently. The food and wine selections were incredible. The open seating at meals was great and allowed us to visit with people from all over the world. The Viking singers, dancers, and musicians were first class and really enjoyed their jobs. All performances were top notch and all entertainers were so helpful and easy to visit with after their performances. The entire two week cruise was like staying and eating in a five star resort. I do not think anything could have been any better. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This cruise went to the Scandinavian countries and other ports of call I wanted to see. I was interested in a cruise and liked that this was a smaller ship with fewer people. Viking offered great prices at the time so chose them. I had ... Read More
This cruise went to the Scandinavian countries and other ports of call I wanted to see. I was interested in a cruise and liked that this was a smaller ship with fewer people. Viking offered great prices at the time so chose them. I had heard great things about Viking form others that had used their river cruises. One of the best things I ever did. The ship was wonderful - the rooms had verandas for viewing, they were so clean and well equipped. The staff was great - very attentive to detail, so helpful and friendly. The food was well prepared and presented at all the different restaurants. You had such a nice variety of eating arrangements available. The excursions were very well planned and organized. They provided a variety of options for choices. They also held informative seminars aboard the ship regarding different destinations. Getting to the ship and dissembarking were very well organized and comforting when you had long trips. This was our first cruise and I would do it again with Viking. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
THIS cruise FAR exceeded our Expectations is every way. THAT is the highest of praise from people who have travelled widely over 50 years. VIKING is the BEST. Loved the trip, staff, cruise area but really LOVED the spa, spacious cabins and ... Read More
THIS cruise FAR exceeded our Expectations is every way. THAT is the highest of praise from people who have travelled widely over 50 years. VIKING is the BEST. Loved the trip, staff, cruise area but really LOVED the spa, spacious cabins and the entire lovely lovely ship! The ship is spacious with SO many little private alcoves and lounges to sit and read; high tea was informal and lovely. The Spa is gorgeous, no charge, and immaculate. The Ice Grotta was fun; the sauna and steam room so very nice and clean. The attendant in the spa was very attentive and was constantly asking us if we needed towels, a drink of water or anything at all that he could assist us with. In addition, the evening entertainment was so very nice: tasteful, relaxing and just right for the end of day soaking up the bright sunlight at midnight and seeing a new day in against the background of some of the most fantatic scenery in the world. We want to go again...and so do our friends who travelled with us. Here's hoping we can do it all over again! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
1. This cruise was booked and paid for in January 2014. January 24, 2014 – to be exact. (I still have the emails.) At that time, the booking number was xxxxxxx. Viking had email addresses for both travelers but only showed my cabin ... Read More
1. This cruise was booked and paid for in January 2014. January 24, 2014 – to be exact. (I still have the emails.) At that time, the booking number was xxxxxxx. Viking had email addresses for both travelers but only showed my cabin mate's mailing address, even though we made it clear that we were 2 singles traveling together and that we did NOT have the same address. ) At the time of booking, we specified that we wanted twin beds in all accommodations. We were told that the record showed this. I also provided my mailing address, which has not changed since the booking. I continued to receive emails from Viking regarding when final payments were due. 2. Fast-forward to 2016. Information from the Viking website stated that I needed to set up a ‘My Viking Journey’ account. When I attempted to do so, and entered xxxxxxx as my booking number, it was shown as ‘cancelled.’ ????? So I called Viking. I was told that we had been given a new booking number – yyyyyyy. I asked why I didn’t get an email about this. I was told that they only had my cabin mate’s email address on file. REALLY????? When the record was transferred over from xxxxxxx to yyyyyyy., apparently, they didn’t transfer over my email address. So I provided it again. And I provided my mailing address again. I told the representative that all of our accommodations required twin beds; we were two friends traveling together. The representative assured me that this was on the record. I was then able to set up my Viking Journey account. 3. On June 23, I contacted Viking again because I noticed in the Viking Journey account still only had one address. I needed my travel documents mailed TO ME. (I’m attaching a copy of that email.) Imagine my surprise when I finally receive my travel documents mailed to me from my cabin mate. Both sets of documents were mailed to her, so she had to turn around and mail them to me. When she contacted Viking about that, she was told it would cost an additional $50 to send me my documents to a separate address and that ‘policy’ was to mail the documents to the first address on file. Really????? Policy????? I contacted Viking about this, and received an email stating that, for our trouble, we would each receive a $100 shipboard credit (email attached). So when I got to the ship, and used the stateroom TV to look at my cabin mateChris Anderson’s account. The email (attached) clearly stated that EACH traveler would receive a $100 shipboard credit. So I contacted guest services, explained the situation, and was asked ‘do you have documentation?’ Seriously???? I told them to look up the booking number and take care of it. It was resolved. 4. Pre-Oslo extension – We weren’t at the hotel referenced in our travel documents. We never received notification of this. I provided all my travel details to family members for contact in case of an emergency. This resulted in my providing incorrect details. It’s a good thing nothing happened that required my family to contact me, isn’t it? 5. Pre-Oslo extension – in spite of the fact that we contacted Viking multiple times about twin beds, our room didn’t have twin beds. The Viking representative at the Hotel Bristol told me that he worked for a subcontractor and that the hotel was full. First of all, Viking can subcontract all they want, but Viking cannot delegate responsibility. I told him that they could arrange for us to have a room at a different hotel if there wasn’t one available at Hotel Bristol. After multiple phone calls and 4-5 hours, a separate room was miraculously found for my cabin mate. Just another example of how Viking dropped the ball. 6. Pre-Oslo extension – I called Viking to get details about what was included in order to be able to make additional plans for tours and meals. The Viking representative was unable to provide me details about a) what was going to happen on each day of the extension and b) what departure and arrival times were for the train from Oslo to Bergen. I ended up making plans and then having to cancel them once I got to Oslo and Bergen because inadequate information was available up front. It was a hassle. As a result, I ended up on 2 Bergen tours that were identical. Instead of seeing the same things twice, I would have like to use my time doing something that I missed seeing because I didn’t have adequate information in the first place. 7. Based on the information from the Viking website and my travel documents, I brought a 110V curling iron, a stepdown transformer (220V to 110V), and a plug adapter. The Viking Star has more outlets for charging and small appliances than most ships, but still not enough. I have used the stepdown transformer successfully in hotels and on cruises for years. Well, I returned to my stateroom one day early in the cruise, and was handed a piece of paper from housekeeping stating that they were required to report and turn in any heat-producing devices. So down to Guest Services I go. Again – ‘Policy.’ They finally gave me back the curling iron back, but kept the plug adapter and transformer until the end of the cruise. I was not the only guest affected by this; there were multiple people at Guest Services when I went down there. My points are these: 1) If I had been communicated the ‘policy’ and known that stepdown transformers were not allowed, I would have simply plugged my curling iron into one of the 110V outlets and used the plug adapter in the 220V outlet to charge my phone or tablet, which are dual voltage devices. 2) Someone who understands electrical engineering principles needs to write the policy, 3) Policy needs to be clearly communicated on Viking’s website and in the travel documents; it was not. 4) Policy compliance and enforcement is management’s responsibility, not a housekeeping person’s responsibility. Requiring someone who interacts with guests multiple times on a daily basis to do something like this is poor policy. 8. Post-Stockholm extension - I called Viking to get details about what was included in order to be able to make additional plans for tours and meals. The Viking representative was unable to provide me details about what would happen on the bus transfer from the ship to the hotel. The guide on the bus decided that we would stop at the hotel briefly, then take a tour of city hall. Because I didn’t know what was going on ahead of time, I had already arranged and paid for private tours. I luckily was able to access my baggage at the hotel so that I could get what I needed for my private tours. 9. Post-Stockholm extension - in spite of the fact that we contacted Viking multiple times about twin beds, our room didn’t have twin beds. The hotel was able to provide us with another room with twin beds. Just another example of how Viking dropped the ball. 10. I had to contact Viking Cruises for issuance of my air reservations. The flights were ‘reserved, not ticketed.’ I wanted to be sure I kept the reserved flights, so I contacted Viking. I was asked, “Oh, do you want these ticketed?” ????? The reservations were finally ticketed on 6-23-16. But, my United Frequent Flyer number was not entered on my departing flights from Little Rock to Chicago, Chicago to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Oslo. I had to contact United when I got back to get these miles credited. Again……hassle. I made sure on the return flights that the FF# was on the reservation, but I’m expecting to have to do the same thing within 15 days to get credit for the return flights as well. Ultimately, I guess you get what you inspect, not what you expect. But it seems like a lot of effort was expended just to insure I got what I paid for. When I go on vacation, I like it to be as hassle-free as possible; otherwise, it’s no different from work. Onboard experience: Now I’ll tell you what I liked about the cruise and Viking Star. 1. I loved the ship layout. The common areas were very comfortable and welcoming and abundant. 2. The alcoholic beverage prices were quite reasonable. The gratis wine and beer offerings were excellent; no need to pay to upgrade in order to get something drinkable. 3. The stateroom and bathroom amenities were excellent. The TV information system was very good and easy to use. 4. Food in the World Café – lots of options and very good. I really enjoyed the Chef’s Table and Manfredi’s options and that there was no extra charge to book them. The Dining Room offerings were OK. 5. Embarkation was well-managed. 6. Disembarkation was well-managed. I’ve been on other cruise lines, and disembarkation was a free-for-all; they simply didn’t care what happened to you once you walked down the gangplank off the ship. Read Less

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