11 Rome (Civitavecchia) to Mediterranean Viking Ocean Viking Star Cruise Reviews

We had been looking for a cruise that either began or ended in Barcelona and the fact that this cruise had a unique itinerary that included Tunis & Algiers drew us to select it. We'd also traveled on a Viking River Cruise and ... Read More
We had been looking for a cruise that either began or ended in Barcelona and the fact that this cruise had a unique itinerary that included Tunis & Algiers drew us to select it. We'd also traveled on a Viking River Cruise and enjoyed it very much. However, the cruise was disappointing. Tunis was canceled two weeks before departure due to political unrest and Naples was substituted but bad weather prevented the ship from the harbor. Algiers was canceled enroute due to weather and Mallorca was substituted but the ship arrived so late that none of the optional excursions were available and we virtually only had 4 hours in that port. We fully understand that Viking has no control of the weather and the ship's safety is paramount, but never the less it was a disappointment. Our Deluxe Veranda cabin experience was less than satisfactory. We were unable to unpack our suitcases because there were only 3 drawers that were 3 inches deep and 18 hangars in the closet for clothing for two adults. Seriously! Upon request, more wire hangars were brought to us. (Our river cruise cabin had more storage.) I am short and putting clothes above the closet was not a solution. We ended up keeping our suitcases on top of the chairs. Additionally, the cabin was very plain, even for Danish style. The staff were hospitable and kind. The restaurant selections were plentiful. The food was good and varied, but nothing was exceptional; even in Manfredi's. We chose not to eat at the Chef's Table because the offerings were too strange. (We are not foodie's.) The ship's interiors were lovely, particularly the Wintergarten. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We took the Moscow-St. Petersburg river cruise (2013) and loved it despite a serious weather event. Then we were on the maiden voyage of the Sea from Istanbul-Venice 2016--unrest in Istanbul caused a schedule change, but we had flown into ... Read More
We took the Moscow-St. Petersburg river cruise (2013) and loved it despite a serious weather event. Then we were on the maiden voyage of the Sea from Istanbul-Venice 2016--unrest in Istanbul caused a schedule change, but we had flown into Istanbul a couple of days early, so we got to see the city. We excitedly signed up for the Southern Mediterranean Discovery (March 1-8, plus 2 days in Barcelona) **specifically** to go to Tunis and Algiers. A couple of weeks prior to sailing, we were notified that Tunis was being eliminated due to unrest, but Naples was being substituted. OK, well, we'll still have Algiers. The wind at Rome caused us to stay in port more than seven hours past our sail time, which caused us to skip Naples with no port substitution, just a lost visit and a day at sea on the way to Trapani, Sicily. As someone else said, Palermo should have been the port. Very little in Trapani. From Trapani we sailed to Cagliari, Sardinia. Again, nothing special. Somewhat interesting, but not really worth the stop. On to Algiers. But wait. Nope. Algiers was cancelled because the weather was too bad, they said. Mallorca was substituted. Lovely island, but we arrived so late, no excursions, just enough time for a quick walk in the city. Then to Valencia,which is a beautiful place that we enjoyed. And, finally, Barcelona where, if you didn't sign up for the extension, just like on our earlier 2016 cruise ending at Venice, you got shuttled directly to the airport, so it's not really a stop where you experience anything, but it's billed as one. We, fortunately, were savvy enough this time to extend and had a great time on our own in Barcelona. By far the best part of the trip. So, instead of visiting Africa twice, we had a cruise of Italy and Spain.. I do not recommend this cruise, and that makes me sad. I have praised Viking to the skies for their ocean ships and the ships are still exemplary. The on board staff is, with few exceptions, wonderful and the food is usually very good. We did note a tiny drop in service from 2016. Not terrible, but noticeable. Of course, Viking cannot be held accountable for the weather but, having read other reviews on other sites, it appears that cancelling Tunis and Algiers is something of a Viking habit. That particular cruise is only offered December to early-March and weather in the Mediterranean, as we discovered, is iffy at best. Probably better to eliminate that entire itinerary altogether and avoid disappointing customers repeatedly because it was clear from what other customers said, the Africa stops were the main attraction for the cruise. We most definitely did not get the trip we paid for, even if it wasn't entirely Viking's fault. It was supposed to be a huge trip for us with a luxurious junior penthouse suite and business class airfare, a huge treat. Our extra-special trip was not. At all. Overall Viking experience: Something that has been an ongoing concern for us is the headquarters or on-land service personnel/agents. All three of our Viking trips have had strange scheduling issues and mixed up air connections such as scheduling us in 2016 for a 6:55 a.m. flight home only to find on the final itinerary that the ship was scheduled to dock at 6 a.m. Had I not realized the mistake and called, we would have been in a heap of trouble. I had to be rather assertive to keep from having them book us on a wildly out-of-the-way three-stop trip back. This 2018 cruise was, clearly, an issue for them. We received emails saying if we had concerns, to contact them. I called and spoke to a very snippy, snide agent, but finally spoke with a more professional one who had authority. He was very nice, polite, and helpful and we worked out a decent deal, but we've decided we won't be Viking customers again. To be totally fair, I should say that our cruising days are very likely over. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We were very excited to be trying Viking Ocean for the first time, and there were many things that we liked about the VO Star. The ship itself is beautiful. Staff and crew were generally friendly and helpful, and the cuisine was good. ... Read More
We were very excited to be trying Viking Ocean for the first time, and there were many things that we liked about the VO Star. The ship itself is beautiful. Staff and crew were generally friendly and helpful, and the cuisine was good. The included excursions were very basic, often times just bus excursions. However, there is one very big disappointment which is a deal-breaker for us considering future VO cruises. We were in a Penthouse Veranda, deck 4. Viking has mounted the television directly on the wall of the cabin, with no articulating mount which might allow for a sound buffer. As a result, sound from the television reverberates on the common wall between the cabins, and very easily carries over into the adjoining cabin. We were onboard for two weeks, essentially a back-to-back, and we had two sets of neighbors. In both instances, when they watched their television, we could hear the music and dialogue just as if we were in the same room. Very disappointing, especially since the neighbor on one segment watched television well into the night, past midnight. Anyone thinking about booking VO should be aware of this issue. Since VO has announced that future ships will continue to have the same design as the first four vessels, I can only presume that the potential for noise from adjoining cabins will continue. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose Viking due to high ratings on major sites. However, we had quite a surprise. Just completed 15-day Mediterranean cruise on Viking Star, Rome/Rome, Dec. 21 – Jan. 4. This was our first Viking experience, and while the ship was ... Read More
We chose Viking due to high ratings on major sites. However, we had quite a surprise. Just completed 15-day Mediterranean cruise on Viking Star, Rome/Rome, Dec. 21 – Jan. 4. This was our first Viking experience, and while the ship was attractive and comfortable, one very troubling issue arose. Our cabin 6087 was a category Penthouse Veranda, spacious, well laid out, and expensive. Early into our first week, we heard music and dialogue coming through the speaker on our wall-mounted TV monitor, from 9:00pm onwards every evening. Specifically, we could sing along with whatever music was playing in the next cabin, or we could listen to a movie or TV episode and clearly hear the dialogue. We reported this to Guest Services, and while their attention and response was hardly one of concern for guest comfort, we were assured their IT department would investigate. With no change, our second visit revealed that Guest Services forgot to pass on our complaint. We were subsequently advised that IT visited the next cabin, 6089, and confirmed the volume level was at the correct cap. Nothing changed however, and their TV continued to send sound through our speaker. The third visit to Guest Services was so dissatisfying that we could hardly imagine a poorer response to a serious guest complaint. Guest Services indicated there was nothing more they could do; mention was made of lack of insulation, Viking being aware of this sound transference problem and ours was not an isolated incidence. And, as an indication of good faith, we were offered ear plugs. Before our journey completed, we had to listen to the movie Dunkirk in its entirety. War movies are not for everyone, and that evening’s entertainment was a particular trial. This issue was so ruinous of our experience, that we will not consider another Viking cruise. Guest Services staff were aloof, indifferent, unprofessional and incompetent. A word of warning to those who are considering a Viking ocean cruise. You too could spend $15,000 and be offered ear plugs. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Chose cruise because of the itinerary (Places we had never been or seen). 2 of the 6 ports of call were cancelled. Viking said it was because of weather, but one of the stops was cancelled 5 minutes before everyone was to gather in ... Read More
Chose cruise because of the itinerary (Places we had never been or seen). 2 of the 6 ports of call were cancelled. Viking said it was because of weather, but one of the stops was cancelled 5 minutes before everyone was to gather in lounge for departure. They filled that time that entire day with bingo, trivia and other non-planned and non-interesting activities. Since we NEVER book trips with multiple days at sea, we felt that we had thrown our money away. We will revert to River Cruises in the future. Although the ship itself was Beautiful, my husband and I want a more active itinerary and a lot more chances for sightseeing during the day. The food was wonderful and our cabin service could not have been better. But when we went to register our complaint about the second cancelled port, we were to just wait, and we would be contacted after our cruise to tell us about what Viking was going to do as far as compensation. They gave us a 20% vouncher of our trip price on another trip. We cancelled the trip we had booked at sea for Alaska in 2019. Found that price and trip in relation to other lines doing that trip was out of line. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We signed up for a 2 week cruise called Mediterranean Explorations. Later in the cruise we discovered it had been sold as 2 separate cruises with different names and after our 1st week, most of the passengers disembarked and an entire new ... Read More
We signed up for a 2 week cruise called Mediterranean Explorations. Later in the cruise we discovered it had been sold as 2 separate cruises with different names and after our 1st week, most of the passengers disembarked and an entire new set of passengers came on board. That was very disappointing because it was impossible to get to know anyone. We rarely saw the same people twice and each of our tours had a new group of people. During the 2 week trip we missed 3 ports because of high seas and fierce winds. Many were sick, including my husband and myself. While the ship was beautiful and the staff top notch, we found the included tours disappointing and the extra priced tours not very interesting. We were reimbursed for any missed tours that we had paid extra for but being stuck on the ship, no matter how lovely, under rough sea conditions was hard. The entertainment venue was lovely but the sound system was so loud we rarely attended. It was difficult to get any information about the booked tours in our second week because we were being told they had no information about the next week because it was separate. It was a complete 2 week tour for us and not just a 2nd cruise added to our 1st cruise. The rooms are very comfortable. The ship has lots of space with places to hang out, get a drink, swim or just take a nap. We have taken numerous Viking river cruises and were curious about this ship and what Viking had to offer. We found that we like the smaller ships, having an opportunity to really get to know people. If you like ocean cruising this might be for you. But we probably won't do this again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and wanted to try out the new Viking Ocean cruises. We have cruised with other luxury lines many times. Our disappointment with this cruise lies pretty much with having 2 ports of call cancelled ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and wanted to try out the new Viking Ocean cruises. We have cruised with other luxury lines many times. Our disappointment with this cruise lies pretty much with having 2 ports of call cancelled while cruising. These were two ports that we very much wanted to experience--Trapani, Sicily and Algiers, Algeria. Captain cancelled both ports just prior to arrival at the port for weather reasons. Hard to explain that he didn't have the weather report the evening prior and maybe detoured to another port in the area. The ship is new and very nice. Not a lot of entertainment going on on this ship. Only had trivia twice. Singers are excellent and shows were very entertaining. Only other entertainment was a magician. Service was excellent. Embarkation and disembarkation went well but transfer from the airport upon arrival was totally unorganized and not well planned. Nobody knew anything!!!!! Lack of signage. Our cabin was changed prior to sailing so we didn't bring the bag tags with the incorrect cabin and expected that they would have bag tags we could write our info on thereby making sure our luggage was delivered to the correct cabin. The port excursions that were included were mediocre to say the least. The only port excursion that I can rave about is in Valencia, Spain. Our guide was excellent. All in all I don't think we will be sailing on another Viking Ocean cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Although we are not fans of large ship ocean cruises, we signed up for the Viking Southern Mediterranean Cruise in December, 2017 primarily because it went to Tunisia and Algeria. I doubt that there were more than 400 on our ship although ... Read More
Although we are not fans of large ship ocean cruises, we signed up for the Viking Southern Mediterranean Cruise in December, 2017 primarily because it went to Tunisia and Algeria. I doubt that there were more than 400 on our ship although it can accommodate 900 with 400 plus crew. It is still a large and tall ship. We signed up for an optional trip to Ancient Ostia rather than any tours in Rome since we spent a week on our own in Rome several years ago. When I called Viking to make reservations, I asked if it was feasible to take a taxi into the heart of Rome and was told that would be no problem. The timing of the one included and other optional tours (you pay for those) was such that you could only take one. Our trip to Ostia returned about 4:30 and then we learned the ship sailed at 6. And, it's anywhere between a two-three hour drive one way into Rome. I wish I would have researched this on my own and in hindsight wish we would have gone with a Rome tour. That night the seas were very rough - the wave height given in meters was equal to 40 feet. The next morning the captain came on to say it was too risky to dock at the port in Sicily and he was going to go south in the hope of better weather. So, that was one day totally wasted. It was on to Tunisia where we took one optional and the included tour. I'm glad we went to Tunisia although they have a ways to go before attracting more tourists. We've been to Morocco and Istanbul but these merchants were far more aggressive trying to chase after and overcharge tourists. We never felt unsafe but did have a number of police with semi or automatic? rifles following us. The next day was the main city of Sardinia where we had a far too long bus ride around the city and then a fairly short walking tour. The next day was to be Algeria. We had signed up for an included and also optional tour. There was additional paperwork for both Tunisia and Algeria and we had to turn over our passports for Algeria. We were told all the tours leaving at the same time would have a police escort. At breakfast that morning, the captain announced the seas were rough the night before and we lost four hours and there was no time to stop in Algeria. That was a major disappointment. I heard some people comment that now we knew why we "got a deal" on the tour! Another wasted day. The next stop was Valencia, Spain which we enjoyed the most; liked the optional tour we took. The last stop was Barcelona. We signed up for the two additional nights at a hotel since we had been in Barcelona before and wanted a chance to go back. I had asked a couple of times over the phone and also on the ship if there were any tours connected with this and was told "no" ; we would be picked up by bus at 9 a.m. and taken to our hotel right away. Some people had signed up on their own for tours starting from their hotel before noon. We were pleasantly surprised to get on the bus and learn we would drive around for two hours and makes two stops. Our hotel was out further and I think it was around noon when we arrived. The bus tour and stops were fine with us but I wondered about those who had paid for tours on their own. The pros - our cabin was great - large shower and room to move around in the room. We had a tiny balcony but never were on it since apparently the door is locked when at sea and certainly in the rough weather we had. We ate most meals at the buffet which is very very nice; always a good variety. There were a couple of restaurants that required reservations; never ate there and I think there was an additional charge. We finally found The Restaurant which is an additional charge and ate there twice. We also liked the small Norwegian restaurant for breakfast and lunch. There are only a few selections but always good and in a beautiful lounge. It took us a couple of days to find that lounge and restaurant. There were a signifiant number of people wondering around the first couple of days looking for their cabins and other locations. Signage is not great and directions vague. There were a couple of helpful crew at what was supposed to be a concierge desk but some not that friendly or helpful. The cabin and buffet crew were always very very nice and helpful. We were reimbursed for the optional trips we missed and a few days after returning home, each received vouchers for $600 for an ocean or river cruise this year. I don't think we would take an ocean cruise again. With land tours, there usually is an option if plans go awry; not true with an ocean cruise. There is no tour guide assigned to a group of people so one has to rely on the local tour guides; not the same thing. There was almost never free time to buy even a post card. The only time we talked to other passengers was at the buffet but then we never saw them again. There was no connecting with any local people or chance to eat in a local restaurant although that would have been possible for a couple of tours in Rome. There is no casino on board which is fine with us; don't gamble. However, we also were not interested in playing games or taking dance lessons or learning about diamonds. There were a couple of interesting lectures but we watched them on TV from our room. We also enjoyed listening to the pianist and a guitarist in the evening. Otherwise, there were some pretty boring times when we missed two ports. We haven't decided if we will use our vouchers on a Viking river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise because of the unusual itinerary. Unfortunately, we missed two stops because of weather. Sadly, the Viking river cruise emphasis on learning was missing on this ocean cruise. We had a "resident historian" ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the unusual itinerary. Unfortunately, we missed two stops because of weather. Sadly, the Viking river cruise emphasis on learning was missing on this ocean cruise. We had a "resident historian" that was virtually an insulting joke. He lectured on the Battle of Hastings and the Bayeau Tapestry while we were in Tunis! Never addressed our itinerary in any lecture! The other travel lecturer dwelt on pics of her home and family and lectured on her family's trip to Jerusalem while we were passing by our planned stop in Algiers! Comfortable cabins, great service, good meals, but missing too much on the learning side. We loved their river cruises, but not sure we will return despite the 25% off our next trip. On-board entertainment was first rate, due perhaps to the cruise directors affection for music. But we wish she had given as much attention to the learning experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This was a good cruise but I honestly do not understand why they get such fantastic reviews. Let me first start by saying Viking ships are new and beautiful, with adequetly sized rooms. The food was quite good, at the Dining room and ... Read More
This was a good cruise but I honestly do not understand why they get such fantastic reviews. Let me first start by saying Viking ships are new and beautiful, with adequetly sized rooms. The food was quite good, at the Dining room and buffet. It is my opinion that the free speicalty restaurants are trying too hard to too compete with other cruise lines. Their interpretation of standard dishes were interesting, but not appealing to my tastes. (again, just my opinion) Itinerary was fantastic, and what got me interested in this sailing, even though it was a bit pricey. However the promise of onboard credit that could be used to pay for shore excursions finally convinced me. Viking promises a free shore excursion in every port, but many of them were the short city tour, hardly worth going on. In order for me to truly take advantage of these excellent ports I would book many excursions that were not free.... but no problem, I had shipboard credit.(OBC)...... right? Here is where it gets dicey...trying to use that OBC. I was told that I could not PRE-book shore excursions with OBC, BUT 2 different Viking agents on 2 separate phone calls suggested I book the excursions I wanted using my credit card, just to make sure I did not miss them, and then I could cancel them (up to 2 days before) and pay with my shipboard credit when I boarded if these excursions were still available. The Viking web site FAQs under the topic "What Is The Cancellation Policy For My Booked Shore Excursions?" it specifies, " no refunds will be given within 2 days of the tour." My travel agent also assured me once I boarded the ship I could book shore excursions with OBC. Embarkation day , first thing I did was to go to the customer relations desk. I asked the young gentleman if my chosen excursions (4 days away) were totally booked up, and if not, I wanted to cancel them and then rebook them with my OBC. He said, "no problem", and added...I can make this even easier, by just crediting your credit card the difference. Not only did he say he was GOING to do this, but specified it would be credited to the card we registered at embarkation, and not the card the excursions were booked with. A few days later I saw no evidence that this had happened, and contacted guest services again. It was at this point I was told this could NOT be done, and that the person in guest services was in error. So.... now..... 2 separate Agents from the Viking USA office, and 1 Viking agent from guest services have misinformed me. I was hoping this could be resolved while I was still on the ship, but even after contacting them several more time during the course of this 14 day cruise, all I got was "we are VERY sorry for the misinformation" speech. A day before I left the ship I got a lovely polite letter from the guest services manager saying,"on behalf of the onboard team please accept our sincere apologies for the incorrect information you received reagarding your onboard credit. I have contacted our Los Angeles office who have confirmed that they will be in contact with you upon your return home to assist in resolving the matter. I am truely sorry that I am unable to provide a resolution onboard. " I was really hoping to resolve this onboard, and somehow knew this would not, but stayed optimistic. After returning home I waited for their LA office to contact me, but they never did. I finally called Their LA office but then was told I had to work through my travel agent to resolve this. (different than what the guest services manager wrote) Seems like a lot of training of Viking staff is in order. Conferencing with my TA I got a completely UNsatisfactory "It is not their policy to issue any type of refund." Who do they think they are kidding??? 3 people on their staff make the error, and I end up paying for their miskake? I think their policy should have exceptions when THEY MAKE the mistake. Do I even WANT to go on another Viking cruise after this? They had such great reviews, I wanted to like Viking so much , but this whole incident has left a bad taste in my mouth. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We signed up for this cruise due to the unusual itinerary that also included Isreal. This was our second cruise on Viking this year so we more or less knew what to expect. We just loved the itinerary, however, the ship experience did not ... Read More
We signed up for this cruise due to the unusual itinerary that also included Isreal. This was our second cruise on Viking this year so we more or less knew what to expect. We just loved the itinerary, however, the ship experience did not live up to our previous experience on the Viking Sea. The ships are beautiful and identical so we instantly knew our way around. The shore excursions were included, or at least a very basic offering was included, so we did take several of the optional tours in Isreal. As with all shore excursions, there is never enough time to see everything. I must say that excursion to Masada was terrific. We were very disappointed with the main dining room, known as The Restaurant. Service was very slow and oftentimes the food arrived cold. On one occasion we were seated at a larger table and the wait staff became rather testy with our requests for more wine, more butter, more water etc. that they poured extra large glasses of wine and produced what looked like a kilo of butter piled in a plate! It appeared that most of the wait staff were new and just learning the ropes. Service in the two specialty restaurants was perfect. We really enjoy the enrichment program on Viking and this cruise was no exception. We had three lecturers, a historian, biblical scholar, and a Geologist. All three were outstanding and very informative. We particularly enjoyed the Geologists biblical lecture which added a different perspective to many common bible stories. We also had a Viking Resident Historian as a forth lecturer. This poor man, we found out later, had to present a pretty dull company prepared lectures on subjects he was totally unfamiliar with. Add to that we are on an Israel and Greek Island cruise so why on earth is he struggling to tell us about the Bayeux Tapestry? I must admit we knew what to expect as on our previous cruise with Viking we had a similar dull and uninspired lecture on the Hanseatic league as we passed Portugal on our way to Spain. Apart from the enrichment lecturers we found the entertainment quite ordinary. Some singers doing the good old Beatles and Abba numbers, and a couple of guest entertainers that we never attended. We thought the cruise director was missing in action. On our previous Viking cruise and cruises on other lines, the cruise director was very visible and friendly. Hardly ever saw this lady around the ship. A few days before arriving in Athens were informed that the hot water temperature was going to be raised and be careful not to scald yourself in the shower. Seems we had some health issues aboard and the extra hot water was part of the cure. Departure in Athens was somewhat of a mess as all passengers had to leave by 8am, even those with afternoon flights. All in all, would I sail with Viking again? I think we will give them another try, simply because we love the ships. I do hope that they take passengers comments to heart. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Viking Star Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.8
Dining 5.0 4.7
Entertainment 3.0 4.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.3
Family 1.0 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.2
Enrichment 4.0 4.3
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 5.0 4.4

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