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

Viking hasn't been in the ocean cruise business for very long, and clearly has some issues to work out. While their ship is very nice, unfortunately some of the chosen ports of call cheapen the brand. (i.e., Trapiani should not be the ... Read More
Viking hasn't been in the ocean cruise business for very long, and clearly has some issues to work out. While their ship is very nice, unfortunately some of the chosen ports of call cheapen the brand. (i.e., Trapiani should not be the city vistied in Sicily, it should be Palermo; there are better ports than Sardinia; Algiers should be avoided, see below). But it is our experience with customer service that has sealed for us that we will not travel with Viking again. My experience with Algiers, one of the ports of call on this tour: Where to begin? As one passenger stated, "that city is like being on the set of Slumdog Millionaire." I was really looking forward to this port, which sounded exotic, but it was NOT as Viking advertises, in a myriad of ways. We started the morning with the included tour, which was supposed to take us to a number of stops. All tours required a police escort (our first indication this was not going to be like other ports) - instead of seeing any of the sites we were supposed to see, we saw ONE (the Martyrs monument, which as our guide admitted, is marred by the cell tower they have attached to the top and the "eternal" flame only lit twice per year). The rest of the time, the police led our 5 buses on a winding route through what looked like slums, with people on the street starting at us like animals in a zoo, often giving unkind gestures. Our guide said he had nothing to tell us about where we were being led, because he said he had no idea where we were or why we were in that area! Everyone was so ready to get off the sub-par bus and bewildered as to why we saw only one of the many sites we were promised, much less why Viking would bring us to this port of call at all. Based on the misrepresentation of the included tour, we had no faith that the optional tour we signed up and paid for would be as promised, so we cancelled and asked for a refund. We were told they could not give us a refund but we could call customer service upon our return to the States. Only later did we find out from a fellow passenger that the reason we had been rerouted was because of political demonstrations in the City Center. Strikes and protests had been going on for 4 months, something Viking should have known and forseen causing problems. But when we returned to the States and called Customer Service as instructed, we were given the runaround and had to go through many departments, and in the end were still denied a refund, with no explanation. Sad that we would be treated this way, especially since this was our 3rd trip with Viking. After our experience, we read several articles detailing all of the city's problems. Also, when it comes to safety, Algiers gets a 4 out of 5, with 5 being "avoid at all costs." As far as development and what it has to offer, Algeria ranks 80 out of 80 as the worst of all African countries. We were told by the Shore Excursions manager, "well we just wanted to give them a shot." This experiment should not be done on Viking passengers' dime. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We had the most wonderful experience aboard the Eastern Mediterranean cruise on the Sun about 2yrs ago. Things changed a lot in 2 years or from the East to Western Mediterranean. Almost a totally different company experience, the sad ... Read More
We had the most wonderful experience aboard the Eastern Mediterranean cruise on the Sun about 2yrs ago. Things changed a lot in 2 years or from the East to Western Mediterranean. Almost a totally different company experience, the sad part we introduced 2 frequent travelers with a lot of cruise ship experiences and they were really disappointed probably want return on a Viking tour. First day/night Captain asked everyone to wash hands. Pool, hot spas, sauna and other amenities closed for 3 days. No entertainment until the 5th day, by that I mean the singers, dancers and mini broadway like productions. Second day Captain again appeals to passengers to wash hands exercise sanitary precautions. Third day Captain ceased self serve in the cafeteria hoping to reduce spread and infection. Think it would have been wiser to stay in port and cancel the cruise. Just in our group of 6 passengers 3 became ill missing 2 full days, that's 50% of the group and 25% of the trip. How many really were affected??? Captain encouraged anyone who felt nausea or other symptoms to remain in their rooms, medical aides would come to them. Everyone I spoke with during and people we met on the cruise and have remained friends via social media felt that the sickness was aboard and we came to it. Why were the entertainers unavailable??Why were the pools, hot tubs, and other amenities closed?? Only sickness answers those questions. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We took the Viking Ocean Cruises “Iconic Western Mediterranean Barcelona to Rome” trip on their Viking Star ship from December 14-21, 2017. We have taken many river cruises with Viking and other companies and decided to try an ocean ... Read More
We took the Viking Ocean Cruises “Iconic Western Mediterranean Barcelona to Rome” trip on their Viking Star ship from December 14-21, 2017. We have taken many river cruises with Viking and other companies and decided to try an ocean cruise this time. The Viking Star is new and clean with many amenities, entertainment, good food and excellent cabin and restaurant staff. That said, this cruise had problems. First off, we could not select a specific cabin. We could not even select the side of the ship we wanted. Cabins were assigned at their California headquarters just prior to departure. I wanted the left (port) side which had a better view facing land since we were traveling east. No way. Our tickets were GTY veranda– meaning we were ‘guaranteed’ a cabin with a veranda but no level indicated. Of course we could always pay more for an upgrade once on board! We got cabin 5065 on the starboard (right) side with a view of nothing but water. Walk to the other side of the ship if you want to see anything. Given global terrorism, every time we returned to ship we had to pass through an airport-like security scanner. We were late departing Barcelona’s commercial port because other ships had priority. There was a strong wind and choppy seas but certainly nothing like the 2000 disaster film The Perfect Storm starring George Clooney about a vessel lost at sea. Along the way our overly-cautious Captain Lokling decided he could not dock Viking Star at Marseille’s natural harbour and yacht marina. Some land excursions leaving from Marseille were cancelled. He decided instead to dock further east at Toulon, home port of the French Navy Mediterranean fleet. We sailed into the harbor at Toulon in calm water under sunny skies. Then we sailed out again. Two hours later our captain finally made an announcement to passengers that he “did not like the look of it”. All remaining land excursions were now cancelled including one of the advertised “5 guided tours”. We anchored out at sea overnight. Cruise Director Jenna had nothing for us to do. Some drank; some slept; some read. Next morning we entered St. Tropez harbor and anchored offshore. Small orange tender boats were launched from Viking Star to transport us from ship to shore for our land tour. On returning, the tender boat I was in could not manage to align itself with the open entryway into the ship. Many attempts were made. The revving engines churned the sea into white froth. Then we smashed into the side of the ship breaking a front side window on the tender. Two more tries and we were finally hauled alongside by rope. Then, later that afternoon, for two hours none of the toilets on the ship would flush. We actually did dock at Monte Carlo. Those on port side of Viking Star saw the spectacular cityscape rising up the hills. Those of us on starboard saw only water. In the evening we were two hours late departing Monte Carlo – blame that pesky wind again. Our next stop was the commercial port of Livorno which is a 30-minute drive to Pisa and a 90-minute drive to Florence for those taking tours. The Captain’s Farewell Reception was held at 5:15 PM before some of the tours had returned to ship. Our last port was Civitavecchia where we disembarked for the bus drive to a hotel or airport in Rome. But before doing so, passenger’s credit cards were charged $105 US per person gratuity. No indication if this amount goes to cabin and restaurant staff or to ship’s officers as well. No indication either of any compensation to passengers for cancelled excursions and Marseille/Toulon bypass. Read Less
Sail Date December 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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