We wanted to do a transatlantic crossing. We liked that there was a minimum age...no youngsters running around and playing in elevators! We liked the idea of free beer & wine at lunch and dinner...we did not need the drink package! ... Read More
We wanted to do a transatlantic crossing. We liked that there was a minimum age...no youngsters running around and playing in elevators! We liked the idea of free beer & wine at lunch and dinner...we did not need the drink package! And having the laundry facilities was a plus. Here are some of my thoughts...and I know I'm missing some tips...
The cruise was a pleasure. I liked that it was very informal...literally no "formal" nights, but you still had to dress appropriately for the "dining rooms"; you had the World Cafe buffet and the Poolside Grille if you did not want to get dressed.
Seasick? I was worried about rough seas, but I did not feel sick at all. I got the "patches" from my pharmacy, but never used them. I used "Meclizine" ("Bonine"), taking one at night before bed. It was just enough to keep me feeling well and not making me sleepy. Check with your pharmacy and see if you can order a bottle of Meclizine instead of spending $$$ on the blister packs of Bonine. Years ago I got a bottle of 100 for $7.
We upgraded to a Penthouse Verandah. Our mini bar had "liquor", but they took it out and gave us wine...red or white...daily...or as our bottle was gone.
The Restaurant - Good variety of food..and tasty, too! They had a standard menu that did not change and an additional menu that changed daily. We ate one lunch and several dinners here.
Poolside Grille - We ate here quite often. It opened before the other restaurants and you did not have to dress up. They have burgers and hot dog and the best onion rings...they do not list them on the menu..you have to ask for them...don't miss them!
The Chef's Table - Speciality dining. My recommendation...know what the theme is for the night you choose for dining here. We enjoyed the "Chiang" night, but the Indes was not a favorite. If you do not get an option for booking before the cruise, you can sign up by the entrance of the World Cafe for other nights.
Manfredi's - We enjoyed this Italian restaurant. Try their speciality steak...it is "to die for"! I enjoyed everything we ate here.
Entertainment - They do not have big name stars, but the entertainment crew was good for us. They had "Enrico", the Hungarian guitarist, Olga & Geza (pianists), and a trio of ladies playing classical tunes with their cello, violin & flute. The University of Virginia's "Virginia Gentlemen" were on our cruise. They are the school's male a cappella group.
They sang almost every day in the atrium and did a special show in the theater.
Laundry - Take advantage of the laundry facilities on each floor and pack a lighter suitcase! They have (3) washers & dryers and the soap is included...free! They also have ironing boards and irons. NOTE: Check your washer carefully when it is done. I had a blouse that was stuck to the top of the machine. Had I not stuck my head inside, my blouse would have found it's way to either lost & found or someone else's suitcase!
Gym - They had plenty of treadmills and other machines, free weights and other "torture devices". We usually walked on Deck 2...4 laps for a mile. But on cold or rocky days, we used the treadmills. We did not try any of the pools or spa...maybe next time.
Flights - We wanted to fly to San Juan the day ahead, but Viking air services would not allow that option. Lucky for us, all flights were on time and our luggage made the ship. Not so lucky for some of our shipmates from Miami...their luggage never made it to the ship...at all! It was going to be in St. Maarten, but the seas were too gusty and we had to skip that port...and had to leave behind folk who had flight delays and were going to join the ship at that port. Next time, I will be adamant that we get to the port a day early!
We spoke with lots of folk who booked the cruise in the last 30 or so days; we booked our March 2018 cruise in August 2017. Those late cruisers got good room deals and some had free airfare. One also bartered with the booker and got the premium drink package for free! We will try that tactic next time!
Our Penthouse Veranda was great...and so were our room attendants, "Darius" and "Vive". We had plenty of hanging and drawer storage space. The bathroom and bedroom area had lots of space, too.
Shore Excursions - We were disappointed with the bus ride in Funchal (Madeira) Portugal. We hoped to see more of the vicinity, but it was mostly driving to the point of interest...which was overcast and rainy. Still, we had some time to wander in the city before catching a shuttle back to the ship. Check out your ports and see what is available before you take the cruise. There are options for things to see that are not covered in some of the literature and talks you get.
We look forward to saving our $$$ and finding our next Viking Ocean Cruise.
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