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12 San Juan to Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

This was my 26th cruise, 4th TA, and first cruise with RC. We departed from Puerto Rico without incident, boarding and checking in was a breeze. The Jewel is one Royals older ships but still has allot of life in her. Some of the ... Read More
This was my 26th cruise, 4th TA, and first cruise with RC. We departed from Puerto Rico without incident, boarding and checking in was a breeze. The Jewel is one Royals older ships but still has allot of life in her. Some of the public rooms seemed a bit dated and worn. The dining room is a classic beauty. We mostly dined in the main dining room and buffet. Our waiters in the Main Dining Room were excellent. We were a table of 10 friends. Quality of food and selection was very good. We ate one night at "Chops Grill." The food was classic steakhouse! I would highly recommend. The only negative about dining is that after 9 PM offerings are very limited. One can get a piece a pizza, hot dog or cookie in the Solarium. The desserts overall were not great. My last 5 cruises were on Celebrity. The Jewel had some of the best entertainment and performers. This was by far one of the most liveliest TA's I have been on, people partied late. What struck me most about this cruise was how friendly the staff and crew was and how approachable the ships officers were on the Jewel. The only negative thing that occurred was I got the "Cold from Hell" 10 days into the trip. I was not alone. I would definitely go back on Royal. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We wanted to try a transAtlantic cruise and the 13-day trip from San Juan to Lisbon seemed perfect. We had delightful weather the first 10 days, interesting weather the last three. Our bad that we didn't realize that the trip was as ... Read More
We wanted to try a transAtlantic cruise and the 13-day trip from San Juan to Lisbon seemed perfect. We had delightful weather the first 10 days, interesting weather the last three. Our bad that we didn't realize that the trip was as much for maintenance as for our pleasure, so we can't complain that deck crews were occasionally in the way of outside activities. The cuisine was perfect. The wine list was very interesting. Crew were positive and professional. We didn't expect to be entertained, so the daily astronomy lectures, French conversation and trivia competition were a nice surprise. We will go again. If there was one small quibble, it is the antiquated wiring in our cabin. A lot has changed in the 30 years the Pride has been sailing. Most of us carry a variety of electronics, all of which need plugging in at some point. Our suite had three outlets, two in the living area and one in the bathroom. The 220 in the bathroom didn't work and the 120 in the main cabin couldn't seem to get a steady grip on the plug. It seems like rewiring the ship would be a daunting project, but something akin to the Bose docking station that sits in front of the old sound controls might make ours lives easie - a nicely installed power strip if the electrical system is up to it.. One other quibble: Embarkation was slow, hot and frustrating. The ship began boarding an hour after hotel check-out, so passengers were left to their own devices to find shade until the gates opened, which a hundred meters of shade beckoned just beyond the gate. Wait! One more tiny quibble: TV selection was pretty good with reasonably current movies, but one can watch the same documentary about the Panama Canal so many times. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We got an offer from WS for the Eastbound TA as a prior cruiser and it truly was an offer we couldn't refuse. We had always wanted to try the power yachts (or as someone I know calls them "baby Seaborns" since the boats ... Read More
We got an offer from WS for the Eastbound TA as a prior cruiser and it truly was an offer we couldn't refuse. We had always wanted to try the power yachts (or as someone I know calls them "baby Seaborns" since the boats used to be owned by SB). We opted for a BS1 on Deck 5. Up front let me state that we have already booked the same crossing for next year in the same cabin - we loved it that much! We flew down to San Juan and stayed at the El Convento right in the heart of Old San Juan - highly recommended. San Juan looks good, but in reality there was a lot of damage. We went to the pier at 11:00 and were told we could drop off our stuff but that they wouldn't be ready for boarding until 1:30. So we walked around, did a little shopping (including buying some booze to enjoy in our cabin) and arrived back around 2. After a little wait we were on board and another little wait while people checked in. No problem for us. There were 163 (?) passengers on the ship. In a nutshell this was the perfect escape. Great crew, very good food, nice entertainment and enough things to do if you wanted or nothing to do if that's what you needed. Bar and restaurant crew were all outstanding. Spa/gym was fine for what I needed (although an elliptical would be great!); men's shave done by the Spa Manager was one of the best treatments I've had on a ship. So why only 4 stars? There were some things operationally that WS didn't think through: it became evident, based on the Captain's daily report, that we were going to be running into some not so great weather as the days went on. Knowing that WS should have rescheduled some things, especially the Deck BBQ that EVERYONE was looking forward to. They should have moved it up when the weather/temps were favorable, but instead kept to the routine which meant it was on dreary, rainy and windy day so that they had to improvise and move it indoors. I understand the weather is out of WS's control, but they knew what was coming (since we were told every day to expect worsening conditions). The result was less than stellar food - Budhi, the head chef, and his crew did his best but - of no fault of his own - the event was just disappointing. This was the head office's call and they blew it. If they weren't aware of the situation then there was a breakdown in communication. This criticism may be nitpicking but on a crossing - when very few "special events" are expected - the special events that they did have should have been well executed. It wasn't. Again - we loved the crossing, met some nice people and just reveled in the sheer monotony of the day to day repetitiveness: wake up, eat, lay on deck, eat, read/nap, shower, drink, eat and go to bed. Get up and do it all over again. Not for everyone - totally for us! Hopefully next year these decisions will be made with a little more foresight. Regardless, I am hoping to see many of the crew that we met when we are onboard again - they really made the experience phenomenal. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Never been trans Atlantic, and sure don’t regret going with Viking of the Seas. The staff was most friendly and helpful. Will want to cruise again with Viking, maybe the northern route next time. After three days at sea and not seeing ... Read More
Never been trans Atlantic, and sure don’t regret going with Viking of the Seas. The staff was most friendly and helpful. Will want to cruise again with Viking, maybe the northern route next time. After three days at sea and not seeing land was my only concern during the whole trip. The food selection was great. Served beautifully and nice portions.Viking sure provided a great selection of great entertainment . Don’t think I ever saw anything out of order or needing any attention. The carabiner Stewart was the most attentive I have ever had with any other cruise line. If one had to fine something to criticize, I guess would be selection of men’s clothing selections.On several occasions visited the spa for their services and was treated as only one there! Very professional each and every one. When planning the trip other than going trans Athletic sure wanted to see strait of Gibraltar, did not realize timing when we passed would be near midnight. Would have chosen different timing if known. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We decided it would be fun and different to do a transatlantic crossing so we booked the Viking Sky after hearing many positive things about the Viking Ocean brand. I booked through my usual travel agent and still had pretty decent service ... Read More
We decided it would be fun and different to do a transatlantic crossing so we booked the Viking Sky after hearing many positive things about the Viking Ocean brand. I booked through my usual travel agent and still had pretty decent service when I called Viking directly with questions. Usually I've been told to "go through your agent". Booking advance restaurant reservations and shore excursions was quick and intuitive. Viking has one of the better customer websites. Our cruise sailed from San Juan to Barcelona. I chose to do my own air arrangements as I've never liked dealing with cruise line air departments. We arrived in San Juan the day before the cruise and stayed directly across from the pier. This made for an easy walk to the ship the next morning. Boarding was quick and trouble free. Our stateroom category was PV1 so that meant our room would be available at 1:00pm. We had a couple of hours to explore the ship, eat lunch, etc. My first impression was WOW. The ship was absolutely beautiful. There are so many public areas to gather, sit, relax or whatever. We had lunch and began to explore the ship. Just before 1 we learned our room was ready. Our luggage was already delivered so we quickly unpacked. Our room was slightly larger than the basic or deluxe veranda by about 70-80 sq/ft which in my opinion made all the difference in the world. For the first time in my cruising life we had more storage than we needed and actually had a couple of empty drawers. Pretty good because I'm a serial overpacker. The bathroom was also spacious with a nice sized shower. Instead of the usual sliding glass door for the veranda, there was a regular door and a separate picture window making the room seem even larger. The bed was extremely comfortable as well. We set sail to some pretty rough waters in Puerto Rico and in fact were unable to make our first port of St. Martin. This was a problem as people whose flights got in late went to St. Martin to meet the ship which never stopped there. Waters continued to be fairly rough but not uncomfortably so. My preference for less people on a ship ( Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Repositioning and landed in Rome End in Rome End in Rome Excursion group was not helpful, a waste and reason to choose another ship and/or cruise line. They seemed disconnected / not organized. An view held by many fellow ... Read More
Repositioning and landed in Rome End in Rome End in Rome Excursion group was not helpful, a waste and reason to choose another ship and/or cruise line. They seemed disconnected / not organized. An view held by many fellow travelers, a disappointment. They get a F. Internet service goes down to easily and slow. It gets a C-. Cruise Director gets a D. Shows are a C. I could take it or leave it. Guest Services - very helpful and they get a B+. Main dining staff gets a A-. Thanks Lukas and Lisele were a real pleasure. Next Cruise gets a D+; not helpful. Please bring back the Crown and Anchor team. Diamond Club - gets an A; nice folks and we enjoyed our experience. My time dining we always enjoy. The retractable roof did not work in solarium - disappointment for Radiance class. Thank you Manager Stefan of the Windjammer - gets an A / A+, nice meeting you Thank you Executive Chef Jondeau - gets an A+, nice meeting you To Corporate - please get thicker bacon for the chefs. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
CRUISE CRITIC REVIEW BY: Ernest H. Williams, Jr. QUALIFICATIONS: Hundreds of restaurant and hotel reviews and 85 previous cruises. CRUISE SHIP: Jewel of the Seas CRUISE LINE: Royal Caribbean DATES OF CRUISE: 23 April to 6 ... Read More
CRUISE CRITIC REVIEW BY: Ernest H. Williams, Jr. QUALIFICATIONS: Hundreds of restaurant and hotel reviews and 85 previous cruises. CRUISE SHIP: Jewel of the Seas CRUISE LINE: Royal Caribbean DATES OF CRUISE: 23 April to 6 May 2017 ITENARY: San Juan, Puerto Rico; La Palma, Tenerife, Grand Cayman, Canary Islands; Gibraltar, Britain; Alicante, Spain; Rome, Italy. RATINGS: 4/5, 80%, B COMPARISONS: Not quite as good as Princess IN GENERAL: A good and enjoyable cruise. Might offer fewer, better dishes instead of too many indifferent ones. Too few personnel for economy is an understandable ploy, albeit a balancing act. A simplification of the menu might also help there. Wine bar needs help. Chefs might be advised to taste their creations.1 Blanding down your general cuisine to promote your specialty restaurants comes with certain perils to your approval ratings. I hope my suggestions will be of use to both potential passengers and the cruise ship personnel. ANNOUNCEMENTS: This is not male chauvinism, but the Captain’s voice could not be understood. ARRIVAL TIMES: These should be as early as possible, the stay as long as possible, and the schedule should not be changed, if at all possible. This was not the case on this cruise. A broader schedule allows for better shore excursions. I had scheduled scuba dives on La Palma, but the ship’s schedule was changed and I had to cancel. Of 6 scheduled dives in the Canaries, I could only make 2. BARTENDERS: Excellent BILLARDS: Two gimballed pool tables were nice, but cue stick tips were worn out. BREAKFAST: Most diverse I have seen on a cruise ship and good, but almost everything remained the same. Few innovations, which was good or bad? BUFFET: Good food for lunch, very good for dinner. Too few tables that are always full. Always had a row of Indian foods (I had my fill in India and Sri Lanka); sporadic oriental; a few other cuisines. Always some fish, but seldom other sea foods. Eight fish species one night, which was wonderful. Always beef, pork, and chicken dishes, good salad bar, good cooked vegetables, good breads, good variety with daily changes, but few really exceptional dishes. CABIN: small, okay storage, uncomfortable bed,2 good lighting, comfortable shower, adequate electrical plugs, good balcony, good mirrors. CHECK-IN: Easier than most, but also fewer passengers than most. DAILY INFORMATION (CRUISE COMPASS): Daily maximum temperatures were greatly underestimated every day. This made clothing planning difficult for tours. COSTS: Very reasonable, particularly with specials. DRINK CARD: Good deal, covered most drinks, but very few wines. Need more wines choices on the card. DESSERTS: Usually, at least 1 good desert in dining room. A great variety of mediocre to bad deserts1 in the buffet and too much daily repetition. The few excellent ones run out too soon. Whenever you see a good one, take it immediately. Soft serve ice milk, 2 kinds of ice cream at dinner. Raised dark and white chocolate covered donuts were good, but too firm.1 DINNING RESERVATIONS: These were usually not necessary. Reservations put you at tables for 2, which are not private, but jammed into many other tables for 2. Apparently, those who ask for “private tables” are so snooty they did not even like themselves. Ask for a shared table. This is no more crowded and almost always more pleasant. DINING ROOM: Adequate and interesting food for lunch, but strangely inadequate and less interesting food for dinner.1 Too crowded with tables too close together. Not enough service personnel made for very slow, and often inaccurate, service. Grab the waiter for a drink when seated. You may never see drink service. Near the end of the cruise, the waiters apologized for slow service. Not their fault. They were stretched too thin. Not open long enough for lunch. DISEMBARKATIONS: Often permission to leave the ship had not been announced, while there were already hundreds of passengers on the dock. Also, brochures said the tours got passengers off the ship first; not. ELEVATORS: Always full and often with a long wait in atrium. Better fore and aft. FOODS, ODD: A lot of Radicchio was used, which is rather expensive and good. Asparagus was served at every meal in every which way, which was fine with me. FORMAL NIGHT: Most cruise ships have special foods on formal nights. On their 3 formal nights, the menus were the worst of the cruise. We did not bother to get dressed up to eat uninteresting foods. GOLF: We enjoyed the nice put-put 9-hole course. HANDOUTS: These were in microprint. Why would they print stuff most people on their cruise have difficulty reading?3 Old people, small print, really? POPCORN: Most cruise ships give away popcorn. They sell it for around $2.50 including tax and tip for a tiny bag at the Pit Stop Bar. This was irritating. PREFORMERS: They must be grateful for the cruise ship businesses, because they could not torment an audience anywhere else. Mediocre to bad and of a bygone era.3 SAFE: Broken, requested repair, never fixed. SERVICE: Excellent in quality, inadequate in quantity. SICK CALL: You had better be very sick, because they will quarantine you to your room, not let you go ashore, and your food will be confined to the very limited room service menu.3 Thus they make you suffer more. SOLARIUM: Nice indoor pool, hot tub, and bar. Two badly rusted, large panels high on wall were quite incongruous. They particularly glare at you when laying in lounge patio chairs. SOUPS: Choices, tastes, and consistencies were terribly disappointing.1 The handle of the ladles transfers the heat so much they are useless. Gross service ineptitude. Good ladles are available. Has any of their staff ever tried to use their ladles? SPEAKERS: One excellent, interesting, albeit invalid speaker. However, crew people explaining shore destinations were horrible. TOURS: We usually just take the ship-offered tours. They are more expensive, but easier and safer. Our friends took a ship tour in Gibraltar and did not get half of the tour. We took a similar private tour off a cruise ship there a few years ago, which was cheap and excellent. Our ship tour guides in La Palma and Tenerife were awful. So bad my wife was the only one on the bus to tip the first, and even she did not tip the second. TRANSFER: Reserved taxi trip to Rome cost about half of the cruise transfer bus. WIFI: Internet was expensive, not high-speed as claimed, and worked about half of the time. WINE BAR: Very few varieties and most all were too expensive for the drink card. Tables too few, and unromantically, too out-in-the-open. Few, unimaginative tapas. Overall, very poor, counterproductive, and inept. This should be a fun, important, positive, not a negative. WINES: White wines on our drink card were limited and not very good. More selections needed. Reds were better. The only sparkling wine on card was good. Footnotes 1Someone, please taste the food before you serve it. Cruise cuisine is supposed to be excellent, not atrocious. No one, in their right mind, could have possibly tasted some of these dishes. 2Additional pads helped. 3Most cruise ships do the same. I have no suggestions on quarantine and entertainment, but you could easily make the print larger. SPECIES: Atlantic Salmon, Salmo salar; Barramundi, Lates calcarifer; Common Octopus, Octopus vulgaris: Corvina, Cilus gilberti; Dover sole, Solea solea; European Perch, Perca fluviatilis; European seabass, Dicentrarchus labrax; Florida Stone Crab, Menippe mercenariai; Radicchio or Italian chicory, Cichorium intybus; Tiger Shrimp, Penaeus monodon; Vietnamese Catfish, Pangasius pangasius; Whitefish [This can be almost any fish with low-oil flesh. Given present availability, its taste, quality, and cost, I would guess: Haddock, Melanogrammus aeglefinus. Am I correct?] OTHER FOOD COMMENTS: Desert: Most pies were, oddly, cakes in disguise. “Raspberry” cream tart was made with cherries and was not very good.1 Banana pudding was made with unripe bananas.1 Duck breast was terrible.1 It was oddly recommended on the menu, but not listed. Later duck meat and pâté was excellent. Escargot had little taste and were tiny. Fish varied greatly. Corvina was bland and fishy one night; oddly very good later. Catfish was mushy and awful (So disgusting I could not eat it and complained to waitress.). Like soggy frozen fish sticks. How could you ruin such an excellent fish?1 Barramundi was probably excellent, but was incredibly too hot with pepper to taste!1 Perch and whitefish were just okay. Salmon good to fair. Sole very good. FLAN: You cannot serve such a horrible flan to the many Puerto Ricans on board. A terrible insult to Puerto Rico! Octopus was excellent, but seldom used. Prime rib was served twice and was terrible. How can anyone destroy this usually excellent dish?1 Scallops were very small. When oddly dumped into scrambled eggs, they were tasteless. Shepard’s Pie is not supposed to be sweet!1 Shrimp varied from a good-size excellent to tasteless salad shrimp. Making Tiger Shrimp into Thermidor was silly. Some “chilled” shrimp were served smelly and dangerously warm [potential health hazard]. My wife returned them. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I wanted to be able to say that I crossed the Atlantic by boat. We took the Grand European River Cruise with Viking in 2014 and we knew this cruise would also be very good. All cabins had a veranda, the cabin design and service was ... Read More
I wanted to be able to say that I crossed the Atlantic by boat. We took the Grand European River Cruise with Viking in 2014 and we knew this cruise would also be very good. All cabins had a veranda, the cabin design and service was excellent. Entertainment during the cruise was very good, the daily lectures and evening shows were interesting and enjoyable. Dining was very good and the menu selection was varied every day. The ports and shore excursions were very good, although I think the one day stop at St. Marten in the Caribbean could be eliminated. We booked our cruise late and we added an extra day in Puerto Rico and Barcelona, but the hotel was already booked up in Barcelona. So Viking put us and about 10 other couples on the high speed train to Madrid, Viking did an excellent job of coordinating our transportation and the handling of our luggage so we could enjoy the day. It was disappointing that we traveled through the Strait of Gibraltar in the middle of the night, a daytime passage would have been better. All in all the cruise was very good, but one 6 day crossing of the Atlantic is enough in my lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We chose the Atlantic crossing to have ample time at sea to relax, and a few nice ports. I will focus mostly on some things I hope will be helpful for future cruisers. We agree with most other reviewers that the ship is beautiful, ... Read More
We chose the Atlantic crossing to have ample time at sea to relax, and a few nice ports. I will focus mostly on some things I hope will be helpful for future cruisers. We agree with most other reviewers that the ship is beautiful, and the crew is exceptional (however, we found fantastic crew on almost any other cruise line/ship). In preparation, here's my experience: -Viking charges more deposit and has stricter cancelation rules than any other cruise line -don't expect an email response by Viking (tried that twice) to answer any questions, rather go through your travel agent -Viking Air will decide on your flights, and gets you the itineraries that maximize their profit, not your convenience. It is different from X Choice Air. Having worked for the airlines, I do NOT recommend using them. We witnessed multiple couples missing their connections, and did not get adequate help from them, so you might as well do your own booking, since you'd have to arrange your own flight changes with the airline. Viking Air changed our itinerary 4 (that's four) times. I told them that 55 minutes for an international connection at Frankfurt was not enough (and they do NOT understand the EU zone regulations), they refused to change the flights, and of course, even running on to the gate, and people letting us skip the line at passport control, we missed our next flight, and then embarked on 30 hours of standing in line at each airport we were re-routed through, for boarding passes, security, passport control, before collapsing at home. Before leaving the ship, ensure you settle the NIGHT BEFORE. The accounting auditor called us at 5am to tell us the credit card didn't go through [while we had used it ashore the day prior]. This was because she ran the "bill from" as "Viking, our home address"!!, instead of "Viking, California" etc., so of course Visa saw this as a fraud attempt and blocked that charge. As I went down at 5am, and called my bank, they explained that particular billing problem to me. The auditor did not want to hear my explanation, as she was calling her list of people whose credit cards were denied. ... I would expect someone to want to correct and learn from their errors. Also note they add gratuities for the whole cruise on the very last day, unlike the other cruise lines, where they are added day by day. Otherwise, Mamsen's and their waffles were the highlight of our cruise, as was the lovely crew and nice public spaces. Pools are very nice, unfortunately over-chlorinated (use goggles for sure), steam room out of service the entire time, dry saunas are in gender-specific changing rooms, so you can't sit in there with your spouse. We couldn't use the Aquavit Terrace/Infinity pool, since smoke drifted down from the deck 8 smoking area (we both have smoke allergies). What you pay for is not 5-star food (go to Remy's on Disney for that), but to not have crowds or lines, to have personalized service, and to not get nickel-and-dimed for cappuccino, sodas etc. Note: sodas, wine+beer are charged for when not consumed during meals. We found the cruise price for 2 weeks okay, however, we would probably not pay the 2.5x cost for a cruise to Europe of the same length - part of the price for sure are the port and excursion costs. Not much to get in their shops as far as toiletries/necessities, so go through your list again before you leave, or make sure the ship stops once before crossing the ocean (such as St. Maarten - you can get pretty much anything at the Admiral store). Passengers: average 60s-70s retired crowd. You will find -sadly- a lot of bitter, entitled, over-educated people on board who find always something wrong with the ship and crew and don't know how to relax. Someone actually sat in the atrium and cussed over the wifi connection. At sea, the free wifi works well enough to get WhatsApp messages and an email, but definitely no downloading or web browsing, except maybe Wikipedia. If you must have something downloaded, make friends with a crew member and ask them to do it. Their wifi is much better - of course that's how they stay in touch with their families abroad. There were others who felt "trapped at sea" (did you not read the itinerary mentioning 6 straight "at sea" days??). So the crossing is not for those who need constant entertainment and off/on the ship movement. We managed to meet some very nice, down to earth couples and will stay in touch with them. The Atlantic crossing was great for us - the sea days were lovely. There is definitely some ship movement (roll and pitch), didn't affect us, but recommend scopolamine patches or meclizine for sensitive folks. Otherwise, Viking focuses on port-heavy itineraries, which we find overwhelming, and those cruises are very pricey. So we may not cruise with them again, although we enjoyed this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Overall this ship was amazing ---- so well designed and maintained. There is always someone cleaning, polishing, etc. Being the size it is it is easy to get about from fore to aft. We had only 700+ passengers so it was especially nice. The ... Read More
Overall this ship was amazing ---- so well designed and maintained. There is always someone cleaning, polishing, etc. Being the size it is it is easy to get about from fore to aft. We had only 700+ passengers so it was especially nice. The public rooms are just beautiful and since we were at see for 6 days there was plenty of time to enjoy them all. The dining [food quality] was great, the best we have had on any cruise line. The only comparable one would be Viking River cruises. We had a problem with service in The Restaurant twice so we just chose to eat in The World Cafe which features most of the same selections, and probably a few more. It never felt overly crowded and the service was very attentive. Gelato, a favorite, in many flavors was available each lunch and dinner. The two specialty restaurants were fabulous, especially The Chef's Table. The other is Manfredi's, an Italian restaurant. We ate in both 2 or 3 times. Again you do not have to pay additional for this kind of exquisite dining as you do on other cruise lines. Entertainment --- good classical trio, guitarist and pianist. Band, singers and dancers were okay at best. Best singer by far was the Cruise Director Suzanne Gayle. Service through out the ship was wonderful ..... we never have see a friendlier crew. Being trans-Atlantic there were guest lecturers which I thought were excellent. We thought the weakest part of the trip were the shore excursions especially comparing them to Viking River cruise tours. They were often too long in that more could be covered in the same time and see more of the area. Some of the guides walked along like we were a herd of turtles and then stood talking endlessly. If they want to compete in this area, they really need to get their act together. From our perspective, Casablanca could have been left off the itinerary and the time added elsewhere. Not nickel and dimeing you ... Viking is expensive but there is so much you don't realize that is included ----- WiFi, mini-bar, specialty coffees and teas [cappuccino, latte, etc] any time the restaurant or bars are open, bottled water when you leave the ship, launderette [washers & dryers are free including the soap], irons & ironing boards etc. Other things we liked ..... no children, no photographers, no constantly soliciting you to buy something, and no shopping mall. Embarkation and disembarking was a breeze .... especially disembarking. So organized and fast. We were off the ship, had our luggage and on the bus headed to the hotel in about 15+ minutes. Overall, would we go again on this or another Viking ocean cruise. The size of their ships is great as we do not like the all so common mega-cruisers with thousands. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Attractive pricing, wanted to try Viking and wanted to do an Atlantic Crossing. Viking ship size is ideal at around 930. Ship common areas are clean, very inviting and attractive. Some of the best in the industry. B Over ship ... Read More
Attractive pricing, wanted to try Viking and wanted to do an Atlantic Crossing. Viking ship size is ideal at around 930. Ship common areas are clean, very inviting and attractive. Some of the best in the industry. B Over ship accommodations are great and would highly recommend. Beer and wine offering at lunch and dinner are very nice and an added attractions over non all inclusive cruises. Pricing on this cruise was my main reason for booking. I did find the included air option to be a problem and as one might expect too restrictive. During the booking process it was recommended I wait and see what itinerary was offered before paying the additional fee for the airline selection option. I was told this should occur 60+ days before departure. This did not happen and once we received the itinerary it was totally unacceptable, taking well over a normal Atlantic crossing 16+ hours) with excessive layovers. When contacting the flight department we are now told all the other options were sold out. Now after several calls We were final put in touch with an air departure supervisor and I'm happy to report she corrected the problem. It did cost extra but it was a reasonable increase. From this experience, I would suggest making sure you're happy with the air options before finalizing your cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Boarding- we made our own arrangements to fly to San Juan and stayed overnight in the Embassy Suites and Casino. Cheap and cheerful is how I would describe it. However by making our own arrangements we saved £400 per person against RCIs ... Read More
Boarding- we made our own arrangements to fly to San Juan and stayed overnight in the Embassy Suites and Casino. Cheap and cheerful is how I would describe it. However by making our own arrangements we saved £400 per person against RCIs price. We took a taxi to the port and arrived about 11.15. We checked in and at 11.30 they started boarding. Boy was this slow. The process of taking a photo as you get onboard for your seapass was soooo slow. Why cant they do this at check in? Room- we had a Superior Balcony Cabin on deck 9 Aft. A good location for the Centrum lifts, Main Dining Roon, Windjammer etc. The cabin was spotless. OK the decor was a little dated but it was well cared for. Our cabin steward was lovely and inobtrusive. The TV channel choice was good although the pay per view movies are very expensive. We had no noise or vibration issues in 9646. We ate in the Main Dining Roon on 12 nights out of 14 using Mytime dining. This worked reasonably well. Initially our party of 4 were put on a table for six which we had to ourselves. The next two nights on a table for 8 for ourselves. We didnt like that set up so the next day when calling to reserve a table I asked specifically for a table for 4. The lady said they were all booked up and we needed to eat at different times to get one with our allocated waiter. I then asked does he have tables for 4 and she said no, not on his section, so we asked to move. This was a shame. We liked our waiters but why put a party of four on his section when he doesnt physically have tables for four? After that things worked fine. We got a table for four on another section and had good service. However on the last night despite booking for 7.30 we were not seated till 8.20. This was very poor and as a result we missed the late show. Clearly they had not planned their reservations properly that evening. As for the food, this ranged from terrible to good. There were some truly awful dishes. One chocolate tarte became a wet, bland concoction. A coq au vin was a grisly flavorless mess and the always available steak is like a cut from a joint of roast beef and even when prepared medium rare was dry and had the texture of sawdust. Fish choices were generally overcooked however one of us had salmon for a few nights which was great however on one night arrived raw in the centre. It was rejected and the same piece came back, microwaved. This was wet and smelled awful and was again rejected. The Head Waiter came, took a sniff and also agreed it was awful. Anything on the Entrees consisting of beef or lamb were very good. One of our party was vegetarian and the options were ok, but always so small. Why should a vegetarian be short changed? The vegetarian sweet and sour chicken had just two small pieces of faux chicken. The vegetables served with the Entrees were repetitive and bland. Always mash potato , carrot and brocolli. For the first week the carrots and brocolli were rock hard and inedible however after a week each room had a feedback form in it and we, and presumably others, mentioned the veg. After that it came nicely cooked apart from wet and soggy asparagus. It would be nice if veg accompliments had some flair, and taste. One night potato dauphinoise appeared but this was also raw and inedible. What about some roast potatoes or boiled potatoes or some flavour to the veg? Service was great though. Windjammer breakfast was spot on. Huge choice, sometimes a little cold, and great service. Lunch was good but in the heat of the caribbean we felt there were a few too many hot, heavy dishes. The burgers though are excellent. We went to lunch in the main dining room twice and loved the salads they make to order. We had breakfast once in the MDR and were unimpressed as they got the order wrong and our eggs benedict was stone cold on arrival. We went to Portofinos one night. Food and service were excellent. The setting was bland and boring and less desirable than the main dining room and felt like a canteen. The cruise director was Clo O'Connor or HelloClo as she is known. Cannot fault her. Superb. Totally natural, funny and pleasant. The theatre shows were very variable. Best were the East Coast Boys with their Jersey Boys set. The Headliner shows were poor. The Dance show was 90% latin and to us unprofessional. The ice show was superb as was the quest, hosted by HelloClo. AJs band on deck 4 each evening were excellent but the piano player in the Schooner Bar was terrible and ruined everything he touched, strangled even. The daily program of events was full and varied. We had the free Premium Drinks package which was excellent. A great choice of beer, spirits and cocktails. House wines are included but only one of each red, white, blush and sparkling. The white, a chardonney, was truly awful. As we drink white wine only with dinner this proved far too heavy to accompany any food. We complained, as many apparently did, but as they have bought the wine in bulk they are not going to change this anytime soon. We cant understand that you can have any beer, spirit or cocktail but just one choice of white wine. If you are a white wine drinker and dont like heavy chardonneys then the drinks package might not be for you. The ship was excellent. Its 11 years old and heading for a refurb next year but it was spotless and well maintained. The staff were lovely and all very friendly. We've previously been on Independance, and Adventure is pretty similar but a bit smaller in all respects. All cabins were full but with only a few kids onboard, light of the maximum capacity so never felt overcrowded. We did 4 caribbean islands plus the azores. We had a great crossing, calm with great weather. Disembarkation at Southampton was smooth but very early! Self disembarkation was 6.15 to 7.00 and all had to be off by 9.30. This seems really early and doesnt make for a relaxing end to the cruise. Overall, we enjoyed it. The cruise experience was smooth and polished, the food could be better and had worsened since our experience on RCI a few years back, the entertainment was not great, the ship is lovely so are the staff, and finally the house white wine is TERRIBLE! RCI, listen to this, sort out your wine! We would sail again on Adventure, but skip the shows and eat more dinners in windjammer rather than the MDR.. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013

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