Our first ocean cruise - aboard Viking Star, the newest of the Viking fleet, and its first ocean ship. With only 900 passengers, it is one of the smallest, and certainly the most enjoyable holiday. Arriving in Rome, we were met by several ... Read More
Our first ocean cruise - aboard Viking Star, the newest of the Viking fleet, and its first ocean ship. With only 900 passengers, it is one of the smallest, and certainly the most enjoyable holiday. Arriving in Rome, we were met by several Viking personnel who welcomed us warmly and showed us through to baggage claim, where once we identified our luggage it was quickly whisked away to be transported separately by van to the ship. We were escorted to our comfortable coach and with little delay to the ship.
The checking through the dock took a short time, with photographs being taken for identification on board, then onto the ship, which looked superb! Within minutes we were on the 5th level to be met by our steward for the trip, Fasri, who already knew our name and showed us around our room and facilities (which were excellent!) Water, soft drinks, snacks, coffee machine, hairdryer, mini binoculars, cashmere blanket, smart TV, and the crisp bedding with 2 types of pillows.
We were also met by a bottle of champagne and a birthday cake for me :)
Having settled in, we had a brief wander around the ship ( it takes a little time to orientate yourself especially if this is the first ocean cruise (as it was for us) though being a smaller more intimate ship, does not mean that you "fall over" anyone!
There are several dining options, from a pool grill, to the World Cafe, to the Italian themed Manfredi's, the Chef's Table, the main restaurant, and the Kitchen table. You can dine as a couple, or with new acquaintances, the choice is yours.
For relaxing - quiet chats or reading, the Explorers lounge had my vote, with the wonderful Scandinavian snacks available from Mamsen's.
Tea, coffee, soft drinks etc are available 24 hours a day.
After a wonderful meal, with a lovely dessert presented with Happy Birthday both on the plate and being sung by waiting staff, we wandered again before retiring, to find turn down completed and the room fresh and tidy.
A wonderful hot shower before retiring, (did I tell you about the underfloor heating in the bathroom?!! excellent!!) the bedding crisp and white was most inviting.
The following morning of breakfast in the World cafe, saw us set up for the day (my husband a full English, myself a croissant ) we set off for our first trip. We met in the Theatre ( 2 cinemas and the theatre on board) were taken to our coaches and off to Pompeii. The first of 5 trips we undertook, they were all excellent, especially the final one, a visit to the Caves of Drach, which was absolutely breathtaking, before we left for Valencia and on to Barcelona to end our cruise.
The food was absolutely superb throughout the cruise, the staff both knowledgable and very accommodating of any requests/preferences you may have.
A visit to the Wintergarden for afternoon tea is a must also!
The Spa was fantastic! Spacious changing rooms, with sauna and plunge pool, then through to the Thermal pool, jacuzzi, steam room and Snow Grotto (yes it actually snows!!!!) absolutely wonderful!! Visited on several days for additional R & R!!!
There was only one minor problem which was the continuing IT problems with the smart tv.
Overall, there was no doubting the attention to detail, the determination that all would have not just a cruise, but an enriching experience throughout the ship and onshore.
We would recommend Viking to anyone wishing a more personal, top class service. You will undoubtedly find it aboard the Viking Star!
There is so much more than mentioned here, but don't take my word for it, but the reviews tell it all! Read Less