3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I will start my review by saying my wife and I are 60, a little plus and minus. We have been on about 30 cruises with most of our time spent on Celebrity ships. Except for the Paul Gauguin, this was our first entry in what I expected to ... Read More
I will start my review by saying my wife and I are 60, a little plus and minus. We have been on about 30 cruises with most of our time spent on Celebrity ships. Except for the Paul Gauguin, this was our first entry in what I expected to be the high-end cruise market. I have to start by giving the crew of this ship the highest possible praise. Not sure how Regent makes it happen, but I believe that every crew member we ran in to actually loved their job and wanted you to feel 100% pampered. The service was absolutely fantastic in every way and everyone was so nice. The other thing that made the cruise nice was the all inclusive nature of the cruise. If you stay out of the spa and shops there is really no reason to spend one dime on the cruise. They even have a tremendous selection of movies on demand in the room for those times you just want to kick back. I will say that although there is no tipping required, with the level of service you get, you will want to tip and we gave money to numerous people around the ship in addition to our normal room stewards and bartenders. In general the ship is old, but it does have a level of elegance that we enjoyed. It was like going back in time a bit when we first started cruising. I will say that the vibration that everyone talks about was worse than expected. Read my comment under room for that piece, but I would never take this ship across the big oceans again. I did like the layout of the ship and it was unusual with the main dining room in the middle of the ship and everything else at the back of the ship to include the show lounge. It had some nice touches like a putting green on the front of the ship and ping pong table on one floor. The pool is a salt water pool and since the ocean was cold, no one used the pool. My wife and I and maybe one other couple used the hot tub which are fresh water and were nice. My wife enjoyed two massages in the spa and liked those. They are a little pricey so watch for the specials. Internet was OK for email and messaging, but not for streaming or sending pictures. Entertainment was good, but just let me say that with the average age of passengers at or above 70, most of the entertainment was like being stuck in an elevator for 16 days. Need I say more so practice up on your ball room dancing. Ports were great and the shore excursions were on par with what you would normally pay for except these were free. The groups seemed smaller as well which was nice. This may be a result of the mobility of many of the passengers. Embarkation was easy, but debarkation was supposed to start at 7:00 AM, but did not start until around 8:15 AM. So what are my complaints? First, except for the service I mentioned, everything was average to poor. This would be fine except when you put it in the value for your money category the price is way too high for what you get. Even in the Prime 7, reservations required restaurant the food was average at best and the lobster and crab tasted old and watered down from being frozen for so long. They missed the mark on many normal recipes. My wife planned to send them in a couple because we were not sure what they were making in some cases. My advice is to try things you have never had so you have no preconceived expectation. Finally I am going to end with my pet peeve, “Water Quality”. Every ship I have been on has said that the water out of the tap is better then water out of the bottle. After the brown and yellow water that came out of our taps we were told to not drink it. How can you pay this kind of money pour a bath that looks like diarrhea water? They did make it better by replacing filters twice outside our room, but really? They go through so much bottled water that they literally have pallets of water stored on the back decks where passengers should be able to go, but I assume for safety they are limited to crew only. So in the end, if you want a cruise to snooze, read a book or two and eat average food, this is the one for you. For me and the money spent, I think I will try something else because I do not see Regent as an upscale cruise line, just an all-inclusive one. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We are just back from our third Azamara voyage in about 18 months- this time on the Pursuit for an eight day Italy Intensive voyage from Rome to Venice. For background purposes, our earlier travels with Azamara did not give us a good ... Read More
We are just back from our third Azamara voyage in about 18 months- this time on the Pursuit for an eight day Italy Intensive voyage from Rome to Venice. For background purposes, our earlier travels with Azamara did not give us a good first impression of this line. On our first trip, we had repeatedly difficulties with the online booking engine and the price promotions would not carry over to the actual booking. As I always like to book our travels directly, this caused some frustration and the response that we "need to use a travel agent" was not going to happen. After several phone calls, we did get it straightened out so we decided to proceed with the trip. On our second voyage, the front office repeatedly gave out misinformation as to where the ship was docking for embarkation (in Sydney, Australia) despite the port authority saying otherwise. Even our final documents showed the wrong location. Again, I was ready to give up. This third journey, I have to say, not only went forward without a hitch, but also convinced us that those who always state "it's the Azamara onboard experience that counts" are right. We began our trip in Rome and used Rome Cabs for a same day transfer to our hotel in Civitavecchia, the Hotel San Giorgio. Our driver was prompt, polite, and provided a very safe ride directly to our lodging. Highly recommend Rome Cabs for transfers to/from FCO. The Hotel San Giorgio is in a beautiful location right on the water front and we were warmly greeted after a long day/night of travel. The room was comfortable and quiet and we had dinner at the very good onsite restaurant. The hotel also provided breakfast and a timely transfer to the ship the next day. Embarkation for the Pursuit took literally 5 minutes- absolutely no lines or queing up. I love being greeted by smiling crew members who hand you a glass of sparkling wine and take your carry on bags so you can begin enjoying the ship. The Pursuit immediately had a very positive vibe. As the newest member of the Azamara fleet, there was still that "new car" feel to her, and everything sparkled. We were anxious to check out the new "Den" which replaced the old casino and just loved it. We spent many hours there and it became our go-to place for cocktails and relaxing. We are thrilled that this change is being made on the Quest and Journey as well. Our Club Veranda stateroom on deck 7 was exactly as we expected- small but with loads of storage and a very comfortable bed. Yes, the bathrooms are small too, but they are functional and you work with it. After our last cruise on the Quest, I commented that Azamara had definitely improved significantly in terms of food and service. The Pursuit took this one step farther. In Windows Cafe, the Patio, and Discoveries Restaurant, we found the food and staff to be excellent. We always were able to get a lovely table for two, usually by the window. Just be patient, go a bit later to the dining room, and they will do their best for you. The master of the Pursuit, Captain Antonio Toledo, and his senior staff were highly visible as was our cruise director, Amanda Poulson. The Azamara perks- White Night, AzAmazing Evening, and the Officers' barbecue, all were fantastic- well organized and fun to attend. Italy itself was a spectacular destination. Several of our ports were repeats for us, but with every trip to this country we just grow fonder and fonder of the people, the scenery, and, of course, the food. We won't go into too many port specifics here, but will add that we fell in love with Sorrento, and discovered a new part of Venice on a rainy day (which just added to the atmosphere)! The demographic of our fellow guests was similar to our other Azamara cruises with a few more younger (30-something) couples. It is always interesting chatting with other well-traveled folks who appreciate the smaller ship and less visited ports. There are two areas of Azamara which continue to cause us some discourse- the first being the included beverages vs the upgraded packages. Many passengers (and bar personnel) were confused by what is and isn't included, and the mixers used continue to be awful. No sense drinking a high end gin (like Hendricks) and mixing it with Royal Club tonic. Secondly, and more importantly, is the huge amount of plastic water bottles used each cruise. Whilst it is nice to have unlimited drinking water, seeing the bins filled with disposable water bottles everywhere is heartbreaking. With 8 million metric tons of plastic being thrown into our oceans annually (source: earthday.org), it would be so easy for Azamara to simply stop using them. Install a few refillable water bottle fountains on the ships like those now becoming commonplace in cities around the world. I think guests would appreciate an inexpensive refillable water bottle more than another tote bag. All in all, we really loved our Italy Intensive voyage on the Pursuit and did visit the Cruise Again desk to book a trip in 2020. In a world where everything seems to be getting bigger and bigger with more people, Azamara fills a niche where less is more. We look forward to many more great experiences. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
After 2 amazing days in Rome, my wife and I set out on the NCL Spirit for an 11 day adventure to Greece, Malta and more of Italy. We booked an aft facing penthouse suite with large balcony not only for the space, but the service that was ... Read More
After 2 amazing days in Rome, my wife and I set out on the NCL Spirit for an 11 day adventure to Greece, Malta and more of Italy. We booked an aft facing penthouse suite with large balcony not only for the space, but the service that was promised. This ship does not offer a "Haven" experience, but suite guests get some similar perks. We have sailed in a Haven room before, so we can give an honest comparison. Without the Haven amenities on this ship there is not a dedicated dining room and lounge area to enjoy besides the steak house for breakfast and lunch. For dinner you are on your own unless you buy extra meals in the specialty dining rooms. This cruise came with 4 nights of specialty restaurants and we purchased 5 more. Before we sailed this seemed like a good idea but the only 2 good restaurants to eat in that could be reserved early was the French Bistro and Cagney's Steakhouse. The food and service was very good but grew tiresome by the end of 11 days. Other areas on the ship served decent food and didn't cost any more money. Suite guests also have the services of a concierge and a butler. This was the same service Haven guests have on other ships but there is no one specific place to go see either person. Instead you can call. Every time we called either person, they immediately answered and took care of us. In particular, our concierge Monica was simply outstanding! We had a problem with all of the amenities we had received with our cabin purchase and she took care of the issue within an hour of my call to her. We changed reservation times on more than 4 occasions and she always got us a table when we wanted it. She was the best part of our suite perks for sure. In short, we feel you cannot compare the Suite experience with the Haven experience. The exclusivity of the Haven is far above and the cost is definitely higher as well. Here are a few examples... At embarkation, we were given a #7 boarding card and had to ask if suite guests get priority. Of course our documents were checked properly and we received a #1 boarding pass. We then had to ask if there was a section in the waiting area for suite guests as well after we were told to sit anywhere and wait for # 1 to be called. This was all wrong because there is an area for Owners suite and Penthouse suite guests to check in. Unfortunately some of the staff were not aware and it did not make us feel like we were getting the exclusive treatment that was sold to us. The issues mentioned above that were fixed should never have been issues in the first place. When you book a cruise and get a price that includes all of the extras you check off, like Ultimate beverage package, Shore excursion credits, WiFi and Specialty restaurants, you should not have to go to anyone and wonder why you are being charged at the bar, dinner and WiFi. Seems like something got missed and if we didn't have a concierge to help, we would have spent a lot of time in line trying to fix it ourselves. The priority you get in each port of call is a nice perk for suite guests. If you have a booked excursion, you meet in Cagney's instead of the theater. You get off first and then wait for everyone else on your tour on the bus. Haven guests have it a little nicer in that they are escorted in a private elevator on and off the ship avoiding crowds of people. On this ship, the room we had was very nice. Some of the furniture is getting a bit dated but there was plenty of space and the bed was very comfortable. We were in cabin 9210 and a few evenings when the ship is at full throttle, the vibration and noise could be bothersome to some people. My wife and I did not mind too much. At normal cruising speed, it was fine. Current photos of this cabin are attached. We could not find any current information leading up to our cruise so we hope this helps. As far as the ports are concerned, this cruise was fantastic! Even though we did not call Santorini due to the lift not working on the island, we were able to visit some amazing places in just 11 days. Athens, Mykonos, Rhodes, Chania, Valleta, Messina, Naples and Livorno round trip from Rome. Simply amazing!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our 4th cruise on Viking and each cruise gets better and better. Service, food, friendly atmosphere, tours, the ship and rooms are all top notch. We decided to stay in a PV3 cabin and really enjoyed the extra space usually we ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise on Viking and each cruise gets better and better. Service, food, friendly atmosphere, tours, the ship and rooms are all top notch. We decided to stay in a PV3 cabin and really enjoyed the extra space usually we stay in a DV cabin. We decided to mainly take this cruise for the 3 days in Israel and we were not disappointed. We decided to do a private tour in Israel as there were 10 of us and we booked through Guided Tours of Israel who did an excellent job. We could not ask for a better tour guide and driver. My least favorite port was Naples - quite dirty. The lectures on board were very interesting - especially the ones about Israel. The lectures were well attended, the lecture ended at 6:30 pm and everyone headed for the dinning room we did not have a long wait but Viking served champagne to all waiting in line and they did this several times - this is just an example of their service. They had several lunch specials around the pool , such as grilled salmon, mussels, and a fantastic brunch on one of our sea days served from 10 am to 1 pm. Excellent food stations and they served Bloody Mary's, champagne and Mimosas! Viking is a excellent cruise line, they care about the passengers and again you can not beat the service - we have booked 2 additional cruises with Viking. Entertainment is good, we always enjoyed going to the Living Room around 6 pm for a cocktail and the music. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because we considered it would be a step up from the typical large ship pandemonium. We wanted adults, few pool games, less hysteria at food buffets and just an overall cleaner, calmer experience. We were not ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we considered it would be a step up from the typical large ship pandemonium. We wanted adults, few pool games, less hysteria at food buffets and just an overall cleaner, calmer experience. We were not disappointed. Since we wanted to spend a few days getting used to the time change in advance, we selected the pre-cruise extension - Ultimate Italy. This was three days in the Tuscan hillside with two full days of escorted tours in Florence, Sienna, and San Gimignano. It was worth every penny. It also allowed us to plan for a more relaxed visit when arriving in the Livorno port upon the ship. We would not have to repeat these cities. There were 30 of us on the pre-cruise extension. We came to know one another and were able to continue those connections on the cruise. Saturday morning we took a coach bus from our villa to the port in Civitavecchia. Arriving at the port there was a bit of a delay. The computers connecting the ship to the desks at the port were not communicating. Viking did their best processing all of us through, admitting about 20 at a time and sending us to the ship to check in at the guest services desk. It ended up working out just fine. We were very pleased with our room - a penthouse veranda category. Plenty of space for everything we needed and by far the nicest bathrooms of any cruise ship. Everything was very clean and crisp. The mini bar was stocked and remained stocked throughout the cruise. We loved all the food on the ship. Our favorite entree was the Bistecca Fiorentina (rib eye) served in Manfredi's. However, our second favorite experience was the king crab legs served every single evening in the World Buffet. We went to The Restaurant our first evening. It was great. However, we found that all the food on the menu there was also served in the World Buffet and you could be on your own schedule. They also always had two items that they made to order. For us it was frequently the New York strips. Mamsen's offers some unusual treats for breakfast and snacks. My husband fell in love with the pickled herring at breakfast there. We did not choose the Silver Spirits beverage package and found we certainly didn't need it. Beer and wine flow freely at lunch and dinner in any location where food is served. This includes the buffet and Mamsen's. And you can take what you haven't finished with you when you leave. We enjoyed the entertainment on the ship, though we are definitely not needy in this regard. The Viking band and singers performed a Beatles show and an Abba show that were fantastic. Seating in the auditorium is plentiful. And not a bad seat in the room. You don't have to dodge pillars and obstructions to your view. There is also usually light entertainment in the atrium area on the first floor. We found that a great place to hang out and watch the ocean or port activities. We enjoyed hanging out in the evenings in the Explorer's Lounge. When we were lucky enough to get seats in front of the water vapor fireplace we were delighted! The service on the ship is exceptional. These folks are definitely hard workers and eager to make your cruise enjoyable. Ports and Shore Excursions: Livorno/Florence - as mentioned, we had been to Florence on our pre-cruise extension. We took the optional excursion to the Leonardo da Vinci museum and to Lucca. This was the only disappointing experience of the cruise. The first stop in Vinci was at the childhood home of Leonardo and is nothing exceptional. The museum portion of that is just a holographic video. The second museum experience is a few miles away and is a museum of Leonardo's mechanical inventions. It is interesting, but rushed. Unfortunately, it was raining in Lucca so it put a damper on the enjoyment. That was not the tour guide's fault. Our second day in Livorno we took the included tour to Pisa. It was fantastic. The Monaco day was great. We took the included tour in the morning and Nice on your Own in the afternoon. The included tour covered a walk up the seaside with highlights of the history of the royal family and the city. It does not go to the casino Monte Carlo, but they do allow you to break off from the tour and head there on your own. We were in a bit of a hurry because we needed to get to our second tour. The trip to Nice was worth every penny. On the Marseilles day we took the included tour and then spent time on the ship. It was a great time to take advantage of the spa/steam room/snow room. Very exhilarating. Our only hiccup to the cruise itinerary came on the Sete port day. The winds prevented us from safely making port. Our captain made it a very comfortable day by taking us out to less choppy waters and giving us an unplanned day at sea. The staff got creative with a few impromptu talks and lessons. We also found an unexpected treat in the Explorer's Dome (above the Explorer's bar.) If you enjoy planetarium experiences, look for the three different shows they present in the dome. They require reservations but are easy to get on your viking app. Barcelona is a beautiful city/port. We were lucky to port at the World Trade Center so our ship was easy to walk off/on and right into the city. On this day we took our favorite excursion - the Gaudi Architecture tour. If you want to see the INSIDE of the La Sagrada Familia, this is the tour to take. Of the 800 photos we took during our vacation, 200 of them were inside this cathedral. We then continued the tour at Park Guell, another fantastic Gaudi creation. Because of the timing of this tour, we couldn't take advantage of the included tour but feel our decision was absolutely the best. After our first night on the Jupiter, we knew that Viking was to be our future. We met with the onboard cruise consultant who was very knowledgable about all the options for future tours. The discounts and access to popular cruises early make it worth considering booking your next cruise onboard. We ended up selecting the Grand European tour for next May, 2020 to see how Viking River compares with Viking Ocean. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise to celebrate my 70th birthday. We had taken 4 Viking River Cruises previously and enjoyed them all and thought that the Ocean Cruise would also be enjoyable. We did an extension in Rome before the cruise and an ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate my 70th birthday. We had taken 4 Viking River Cruises previously and enjoyed them all and thought that the Ocean Cruise would also be enjoyable. We did an extension in Rome before the cruise and an extension in Barcelona after the cruise. We were disappointed in the quality of the hotels in both cities. We had done extensions before and found the quality of the hotels much better than those in Rome and Barcelona. The Rome hotel location was fine but the hotel in Barcelona was far from a good location to explore the city. We had to take a taxi to see anything. We did a shore excursion to the Vatican in Rome. We had to wait 1 hour in the cold to get into the Vatican. Then another one half hour to get into the Vatican Museum. Once in the Museum we could only shuffle along pushed by the wall to wall crowd unable to stop to see anything. Viking should have warned us about the conditions. Except for the extension hotels and the Vatican, the experience on the cruise was great. The ship was beautiful; the food in the specialty and general restaurants were very good; our cabin was exceptional (and we paid dearly for it); the entertainment was fine for a cruise and the service was exceptional. Shore excursions were fine except for the Vatican. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The Viking Sky was impeccably clean and was kept that way throughout the cruise. The arrival process at the Rome airport was efficient and fairly rapid. We did not stay at the airport more than about 30 minutes before we were on our way ... Read More
The Viking Sky was impeccably clean and was kept that way throughout the cruise. The arrival process at the Rome airport was efficient and fairly rapid. We did not stay at the airport more than about 30 minutes before we were on our way to the ship. At the ship the embarkation process was quick. The agents greeting were friendly and focused on getting us on board as quickly as possible. Once on board, we were greeted and told that lunch would be served beginning in about one-half hour. Until that time we were directed to the pool bar where drinks were available. This first lunch was served in the World Cafe, the ship's buffet or at a buffet pool-side; two different menus. All the food was consistently good. While we were getting to know our fellow passengers an announcement was made that all staterooms were ready for occupancy. We gladly proceeded to our stateroom for a rest after the long trans-Atlantic flight. We found our bags on the bed in our stateroom ready to be unpacked. Our stateroom was somewhat larger than the staterooms of most ships with a sitting area adjacent to the balcony. A large digital TV was on the wall at the foot of the bed which positioned it well to be seen in bed or in the sitting area. The one deficit to the room was space for storing clothes. There was a huge closet, but most of our clothes were not for hanging, and even if they were there were not enough hangers. The drawers were not in a convenient place and two of the four drawers were filled with amenities for the cabin. Most our our clothes stayed in our suitcases during the cruise under the bed. Necessitating dragging them out every time you wanted to change. There was a nice drawer refrigerator that the steward kept stocked with soft drinks and sweets. To get what you wanted all you had to do was ask. The room also had a keurig type coffee machine with various k-cups for personal use. I found his a waste of space. Coffee was always available aboard ship or through room service. The bathroom had an ample shower and was well stocked with the branded supplies for Viking, same as on the river cruises. The towels were thick and enjoyable to use. There are several complimentary laundrettes aboard which make cruising easier. Our cabin steward was efficient and eager to please. He was always available and ready to serve. There are several restaurants aboard the ship, including two specialty restaurants, Manfredi's an Itallian restaurant and the Chef's Table a restaurant with a chef determined menu and wine pairings, if you choose. The food and service is immpecable, but the availablilty is determined by class of cabin. So don't expect to get reservations more than once or twice. The other, open, restaurants are just as good and much more accessible. The "Restaurant" is the sit down restaurant with a menu that includes standards each day and a special menu from the locatiion visited and daily specials. The service is routinely attentive focused on an enjoyable meal experience. The World Cafe is the buffet. Most times the offerings mirror the menu in the Restaurant. with additional offerings from local supply. The World Cafe also has daily standards, including sushi and a rotating gelato bar. The service here can be somewhat spotty. Frequently is was difficult to find someone to stop and take drink orders. There was also a daily buffet pool side. This buffet was generally focused on seafood or smaller hand items like wraps or burritos. The drink service here is a little better, but still spotty. Drink service throughout the ship started out very efficient, but by about the third day it was difficult to find a server without waiting too long. The cruise itinerary was the big disappointment of this cruise. I booked the cruise primarily because it was published a stop in Tunis, Tunisia. I have always wanted to see Carthage. Shortlly after booking Viking announed that because of political issues Tunis would be replaced with Naples, Italy. This was not exactly what I consider a one to one exchange, but because the cruise company has a stranglehold on the carriage contract the paying customer has no recourse. I tried to get them to cancel my booking (this was about 10 months before sailing), but they would not do so. Not the best customer service. But that was not the end of the itinerary chaos. In the midst of the cruise, our less than brave captain, decided he did not want to sail into Trapani Sicily with a forecast of high winds. So we sat in Naples for an extra half day. In place of a several hour tour of Trapani we got a two hour unaccompanied visit to the National Archeological Museum in Naples. Not a real one to one exchange either, but did Viking care? No. In thirty years of cruising it is the first time I have had a cruise stop cancelled mid-cruise. Again, the carriage contract was totally in favor of the cruise line with no recourse for the paying passenger. Viking is an expensive cruise, they should find ways to accomodate the paying customer. The included excursions on this cruise had llittle depth or substance. Most of them were based in bus travel and little time on foot. This was completely different than my experience on the viking river cruises where most of the time was taken up on foot visiting local sights. They were a complete disappointment. The paid excursions were expensive and most of the time scheduled at the same time as the included excursions. The only excursion that had much foot time was in Valencia and it was really enjoyable. I don't know why they had the QuietVox listening system. They only used it twice during the week.To show how cheap the entertainment was, the cruise director, who wasn't seen directing much, had to do a show himself. The enhancement lecturers were inconsistent and less than adequate. Disembarkation in Barcelona was a breeze. While it was early in the morning for us because of a plane schedule, it was done well. the ship was elegant and well maintained. The staff was pleasant and friendly, never failing to greet when you passed them on the ship, including officers. The food was quality and enjoyable. The downside was the considerable lack of understanding that the customer should be considered first in all decisions, not the bottom line. These cruises are moderately expensive so expectations should be higher. Those expectations were not met. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We have sailed on ocean cruises for the last 19 years and this ship was hands-down the best! Even though we chose the least expensive cabin, it was glamorous and larger than some hotel rooms! We have sailed Viking River with another ... Read More
We have sailed on ocean cruises for the last 19 years and this ship was hands-down the best! Even though we chose the least expensive cabin, it was glamorous and larger than some hotel rooms! We have sailed Viking River with another couple and so expected things such as included shore excursions, wonderful service. This Ocean cruise just took the service to a higher level. The included excursions were acceptable although to be honest, we were shut out of buying any additional ones, especially in Algiers, due to demand and not being able to reserve ahead of boarding. This beautiful, off the beaten port, was a delight, so much that we want more! On the other hand, our port call of Tunis was replaced by Naples before sailing - disappointing. Due to weather, high winds, we couldn't sail to Sicily as planned which was hugely upsetting to all. Naples was a total bust, in our opinion, especially having to stay two days. Thankfully, the other ports of Sardinia, Algiers and Valencia made up for that. Gorgeous and we would return to all of these. Entertainment was ok, although there was a dynamite duo that sang upbeat dance songs in the Torshavn lounge along with the Superb Viking band. We really enjoyed all the smaller lounges, gathering areas, and of course, lovely afternoon tea in the Wintergarden. Even the interactive game tables offered us a chance to "gamble" with our travel friends. Spending New Years Eve onboard this dreamy ship was so much fun!! For New Year's Day, a huge banquet brunch was prepared that lasted hours! The food selection included something for everyone - Asian, seafood, breakfast items, bakery, desserts, As for the dining, all meals were exquisite! We honestly have not had better selection or dining on any other cruise line. The guest services staff were able to secure us a reservation for both the Chef's Table and Manfredi's, the specialty restaurants. Initially, again because our cabins were just standard, we couldn't reserve ahead online. After embarking, we immediately inquired to reserve and were told there was no availability for Manfredi's during our entire cruise. We expressed our extreme dissatisfaction but the staff came through and got us a spot late in the cruise! I think we all preferred Chef's Table and the Venetian menu to Manfredi's. We are ready to book another! Just waiting for a good deal. :-) Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We are finally home and the laundry is done. Other than tackling the army of dust bunnies that have taken over the house we are getting settled into our regular routines. We were on the Sky for the Southern Mediterranean Discovery ... Read More
We are finally home and the laundry is done. Other than tackling the army of dust bunnies that have taken over the house we are getting settled into our regular routines. We were on the Sky for the Southern Mediterranean Discovery itinerary and as is usually the case with our Viking trips, we had a great time. The Sky was familiar as we did the British Isles last summer but I have to admit that it did seem like a different ship! There were a lot of crew changes and things ran in the usual sharp and efficient way we have come to expect from Viking. There were some “misses” on our trip in the summer and although they were nothing of any great significance, they were notable. It was nice to see the improvements this time around! The ship is beautiful; elegant and understated. Our PV stateroom felt like home as this was our third cruise on the 5th level port side! There was ample room for storing our things and plenty of room under the bed for the suitcases. Our stewards were a great team; efficient and worked very hard to insure that we had everything we needed throughout the cruise. We ate at both of the specialty restaurants and enjoyed them both but would love to see some updates to the menu at Manfredis ... after four ocean cruises we have pretty much tried most of the menu items and would love to see something new next time! We did ask to have the steak (yes the famous steak!) cut in half one night … they were very obliging and the two halves came to the table done perfectly and both of the plates were dressed as though they were original. It was nice to be able to enjoy the steak without the guilt of leaving so much on the plate uneaten … it is a very large steak! We missed our stop in Sicily (Trapani) because of weather concerns and that was disappointing, but the extra day in Naples afforded us the opportunity to visit the archeological museum courtesy of Viking. They planned the outing everyone seemed to enjoy it immensely. We planned a mix of included and optional excursions. The included ones were as expected but we did notice that some of the optional ones were a bit less than expected. Our experience with Viking excursions has generally been positive; the busses are comfortable and they never seemed to fill up the busses to capacity making for a more comfortable experience when the rides are long. This time it seemed as though every bus was filled to capacity which of course meant that the tours were much more crowded as well. We have also noticed that the descriptions and discussions of the excursions during the port talks included information and details that were not part of the descriptions in MVJ. Things like “there are no bathroom stops on this excursion”, or “there are more than 50 stairs to be navigated inside the house”. Some of this information would have made it easier for passengers to select appropriate excursions prior to sailing. The day before it is too late to change or cancel without penalty. This was especially so in the case of our stop in Algiers! Our “stroll” through the Casbah was much more rugged than the written description would indicate. The port talk was far more detailed in the description but there were some on board for the excursion that apparently missed the port talk and frankly had no business participating. Sure enough, one woman fell along the walk and was taken by ambulance back to the ship for the doctor there to assess whether or not she needed hospitalization (Imagine ending up in a hospital in Algeria!). Never heard what ultimately was decided. Time onboard was lovely, as usual. We participated in a wine tasting in Manfredi’s one afternoon and another we enjoyed a matinee in the Star Theater … Bohemian Rhapsody … which I had been wanting to see! It was well attended and enjoyed … a matinee would be a great idea for a sea day! We enjoyed time in both the Explorer’s Lounge and the Living Room Bar (I had my first lemon drop martini!) and of course we had a few waffles at Mamsen’s! All in all we enjoyed our cruise immensely and are looking forward to “Into the Midnight Sun” this coming summer … on the Jupiter! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Having greatly enjoyed our Viking Cruise of the Northern Mediterranean, we wanted to enjoy the experience of the destinations in the Southern Mediterranean, knowing the fine service and accommodations Viking provides. And we were not ... Read More
Having greatly enjoyed our Viking Cruise of the Northern Mediterranean, we wanted to enjoy the experience of the destinations in the Southern Mediterranean, knowing the fine service and accommodations Viking provides. And we were not disappointed. Our cabin was beautiful and fully appointed, the service from EVERYONE on the ship was excellent, and the destinations very interesting. And, nicely, each destination was more interesting and beautiful than the one preceding, culminating in Barcelona. The smaller size of the Viking cruise ship makes for a very personal and efficient travel experience. We had total comfort at all the bars and dining areas. The food, whether fancy or casual, was terrific. Our excursions were well managed and the local guides in every instance were excellent. We particularly enjoyed our tour to the Argiolas Family Vineyards in Sardinia, as it showed us both the city and rural areas of the island. The Casbah Stroll tour in Algiers was unforgettable but be warned, it is a lot of walking on uneven pavement and steps. Well worth it for anyone, even older people, with no difficulty walking. We recommend that people extend in Rome before the cruise to avoid the stress and fatigue that come with arriving on the same day as boarding, and that people extend in Barcelona because it is one of the most fascinating cities in the world. We would love to do this cruise, or any Viking cruise, again. Read Less

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