1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
This is our first Ocean cruise experience and it was absolutely wonderful! Our cabin was roomy and I was impressed about how the storage space was designed. The bed was really comfy and the bathroom was large for a stateroom. Although ... Read More
This is our first Ocean cruise experience and it was absolutely wonderful! Our cabin was roomy and I was impressed about how the storage space was designed. The bed was really comfy and the bathroom was large for a stateroom. Although electrical outlets in the bathroom were only for razors or toothbrushes, there were ample 220 and 110 outlets in the main cabin. I really enjoyed having a port to charge my phone and IPad near our bed. Our cabin Stewart's were also wonderful and serviced our cabin twice daily. The goodies in the refrigerator were a real treat! I can't say enough about the dining options. There were so many choices and varieties of food. On several occasions , they offered special buffets specializing in foods of the regions. Although the specialty Italian and Chefs table Restuarant were a great, we really enjoyed the open dining of the World Cafe. We visited the Explorers lounge several times to enjoy the music but we loved watching the scenery off the bow. Lastly, we want to thank Viking for arraigning the unique welcoming at some of the Ports. In Scotland, bagpipes greeted us on 2 stops and the crew welcomed us home with music and dancing. OUR CRUISE was the British Isle Explorer. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
I was highly disappointed with this cruise. We had a wonderful river cruise with Viking; this was no where near the quality. The food was so-so. I had trouble finding options for gluten free, especially at lunch. Service was great, ... Read More
I was highly disappointed with this cruise. We had a wonderful river cruise with Viking; this was no where near the quality. The food was so-so. I had trouble finding options for gluten free, especially at lunch. Service was great, though. The included excursions were a joke. Most of them were just bus rides. Sometimes, we were just left to explore on our own. I expected much higher quality tours. I was also very upset that by the time we were allowed to schedule tours, most morning included tours were full. The extra excursions that we took were very good, although not always as described. The cabin was good. The entertainment was mediocre with a few exceptions. The elvis show was great. Activities in the morning were almost non-existent--that after not being able to schedule included tours in the morning. I am not a night person. The new ship was wonderful, so clean. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. If I travel with Viking on an ocean cruise again, I probably will not schedule any included tours. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
It's difficult to capture the Ovation experience easily. But, in a word - sublime. There was no request that was too big or too small for them. We cruised as a party of four in Veranda Suite rooms. Our rooms were located aft ... Read More
It's difficult to capture the Ovation experience easily. But, in a word - sublime. There was no request that was too big or too small for them. We cruised as a party of four in Veranda Suite rooms. Our rooms were located aft near to the staircase, which is a lovely location. Highly recommended. Embarkation - this was effortless and enjoyable. We were met at the airport and had an easy ride to the boat. Here, we were welcomed with cocktails and a seamless embarkation process. Stateroom - Extremely spacious for its category. The veranda is a good size and the walk-in closet is welcome. The double basin in the bathroom was welcome too. Toiletries are of a very high standard. Restaurants - Without exception, meals were amazing. In particular, the service at the Restaurant deserves special mention, the formal night is something special and the Air and Ocean restaurant on deck is also excellent. We normally took in breakfast in the Colonnade, but splurging one or two mornings for breakfast in The Restaurant is also a good idea. Bars - Generally very good, although service at the outside bars during sail-aways gets a little slow. The Retreat - A lovely little hidden area on the boat is The Retreat. Worth spending the money if you're looking for a R&R day. Spa & Fitness - Excellent treatments, but the facilities are perhaps a little small. That said, the fitness area never felt crowded. Excursions - We only did excursions in St Petersburg but these were arranged well and the experience was excellent. Entertainment - All shows in the Grand Salon were very good. The live music on deck during sail-away parties was a little short-lived at 30 minutes. The casino is a little small and felt crowded at times. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We choose Oceania because it was supposed to be an above average cruise line. Last year we had taken a Celebrity cruise and were disappointed, so decided to spend more money for higher quality. We were traveling with my sister and her ... Read More
We choose Oceania because it was supposed to be an above average cruise line. Last year we had taken a Celebrity cruise and were disappointed, so decided to spend more money for higher quality. We were traveling with my sister and her husband. We were allowed to sign up for the "Speciality" restaurants 2 weeks before departure. The only times available were after 8:30, so the only restaurant we could try was the Italian Restaurant. It was excellent. We arrived at the ship in Stockholm and boarded at about 12:30 pm. However we could not access our room until 3:00. When we finally were able to go into our cabins, our key cards would not work and we could not open the doors. It took another 20 minutes to get that worked out. We had rooms with balconies, the bathrooms were nice and included a tub and separate shower. However the furniture was chipped, the carpet was stained and the sofa looked tired and a little dirty. Also, we found there was not enough drawer space and our larger suite case would not fit under the bed. The whole ship needs to be updated. The food in the main dining room was not good. One night they offered "short ribs" slow cooked. The mystery meat arrived sliced, no bone, and was not edible. They served lobster, and it was also tough and over-cooked. We went to one show, and did not bother to attend any others. The only positive I can say is the crew were very nice and helpful. And we loved the ports, we did the Baltic Cruise. I am not sure about the other Oceania ships, but we would not recommend the Marina at this time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I choose this ship for two reasons. One I liked the itinerary and two I wanted to try a luxury cruise line. The itinerary was good in that it started in Stockholm allowing me to spend two days before departure exploring the city without ... Read More
I choose this ship for two reasons. One I liked the itinerary and two I wanted to try a luxury cruise line. The itinerary was good in that it started in Stockholm allowing me to spend two days before departure exploring the city without rushing and it ended in Copenhagen where I did the same thing. It also included two overnights ( 3 full days) in St. Petersburg where there is so much to see. I have sailed on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and the now gone Renaissance cruises. Renaissance was actually a wonderful cruise line with beautiful small ships that was the closest to this experience. As far as the actual cruise I will say it was wonderful not having to wait and crowd into elevators, the ship was a great size not to large, not to small. It was great not having to fight for a pool chair or make reservations for everything. Loved not being asked to have my picture taken every five minutes, and not having shops with sales. The ship itself was new and immaculate. The suite with balcony was gorgeous. Bathroom was large, walk in closet with enough drawers and hangers was great. On the downside the entertainment with the exception of two shows was far from great and there was really no other activities. The service was great, the liquor flowed freely, afternoon tea was nice, tapas was great, caviar on request was a nice touch too. What was a huge disappointment was dinner in the dining room which most nights was fair at best. The Grille was only available for guests to reserve one night. It was excellent. The other nighttime restaurant was outside and it was too cold for that. Did not try the sushi restaurant. I was very surprised that the food in the main restaurant was no better than I had on other much less expensive cruise lines. The on deck cocktail party was wonderful, food was very good there. So was it worth the extra money. Not sure I could say yes. Given the intensive itinerary it was great to return to the ship and not have to wait for things and not have to rush and be able to be very comfortable in the room, but on another type of cruise I might have been bored and the lack of activities/entertainment combined with mediocre food would have been more problematic on a cruise with more sea says or less intensive itinerary. Did all private shore excursions or just the HOHO bus ship excursions were very expensive. Highly recommend Alla tours in St. Petersburg. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this ocean cruise because of the itinerary and our past Viking River Cruise (Amsterdam to Budapest). This cruise was one of the very best travel experiences we have ever had (we have been on some very nice trips). Cruising for ... Read More
We chose this ocean cruise because of the itinerary and our past Viking River Cruise (Amsterdam to Budapest). This cruise was one of the very best travel experiences we have ever had (we have been on some very nice trips). Cruising for twenty two wonderful days with an incredible friendly and helpful crew along with good food and the best entertainment we have had in a very long time. We appreciated the concern for the health and safety of all on board. Everywhere on the ship was always super clean, I never saw a thing that was soiled or out of place. The organization of all the excursions was superb, we always knew where to be and at what time to be there. We never saw a crew member that did not smile and greet us when passing or wherever. What an amazing and beautiful voyage we had, it was very sad feeling when it had to end. However we are going to continue this excellent way of travel, we have booked another journey with Viking for 2021. A great big hug and a thank you to the crew of the Viking Sky. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We had heard great things about Viking Ocean cruises and we had always wanted to see Scandinavia and Northern Europe. The Viking Homelands cruise was our post-retirement celebration and it was well worth it! We saw 8 countries and 11 ports ... Read More
We had heard great things about Viking Ocean cruises and we had always wanted to see Scandinavia and Northern Europe. The Viking Homelands cruise was our post-retirement celebration and it was well worth it! We saw 8 countries and 11 ports of call over 15 days. We saw historic cities we had always wanted to see such as Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Berlin and Copenhagen and we had three scenic stops in Norway before the cruise ended. The Viking Sea is an amazing vessel that for a small ship had everything and more---great public spaces and sitting areas; excellent and varied dining experiences; well prepared food with some regional specialties added at different times; great entertainment; experts on board to provide enrichment presentations on history, culture, and architecture of the places we were visiting; an outstanding spa including Nordic style hot and cold therapy; and an indoor/outdoor pool as well as an infinity pool looking off the back end of the ship! The staff from the housekeepers to waiters/servers to the officers were all friendly and approachable, always striving to provide excellent service. Many excursion choices at each port of call and both included and optional excursions were well done with excellent English-speaking guides. The stateroom was spacious and well appointed, and with a veranda, which is standard for all staterooms. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and will definitely be looking to go on future Viking ocean and river cruises! It was more expensive than some other cruise lines, but the entire experience was well worth it! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We had taken a Viking River cruise and loved. I wasn't sure what to expect on there smaller ocean ships. It was and incredible surprise. They offers so much entertainment and the staff was prefect, after several days you were on a ... Read More
We had taken a Viking River cruise and loved. I wasn't sure what to expect on there smaller ocean ships. It was and incredible surprise. They offers so much entertainment and the staff was prefect, after several days you were on a first name basis, every staff member spoke English which was very nice, you wanted for absolutely nothing. Port excursions were excellent and well organized. Being 67 I appreciated this is not a cruise line for children nor is it a cruse line for gamblers who spend there day in a casino. Minus kids and gamblers made for a great atmosphere of fun and conversation. On a late arrival back to the ship after and all day trip to Berlin were were greeted by 200 of the ships crew in line out side the ship with a welcome back, music, champagne and horderves. Upon arriving at our cabin we found a plate of finger sandwiches, deserts and a bottle of win which a letter from the captain apologizing for the German train system delay, they did this for all 600 people who were on that train. Tell me what other cruise line would do that. I will continue to be a loyal Viking customer. Big ships with 5000 of your closest friends are not necessarily better Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our first trip with Seabourn and will be our last. Our previous cruises have all been with Cunard in its Grills Suites. Cunard has bigger ships so more people but has immeasurably better staff and food. The food on the Ovation ... Read More
This was our first trip with Seabourn and will be our last. Our previous cruises have all been with Cunard in its Grills Suites. Cunard has bigger ships so more people but has immeasurably better staff and food. The food on the Ovation was boring and bland. The dress code is not policed and many evenings gentlemen turned up to dinner in polo shirts. The shore excursions were expensive and sometimes involved long journeys presumably because Seabourn do not wish to pay more expensive docking fees. The pillows and mattress had the consistency of a marshmallow. Despite firm pillows being offered our steward could not find any which wasn't great. The one female hairdresser on board was awful and the service generally slow. My husband ordered roses for our anniversary and they turned up at 10pm that night. The entertainment was boring and very few enrichment talks compared to Cunard. We could seldom have breakfast in the restaurant as we were on excursions and it did not open until 8am. The Colonnade was like a zoo. Very very disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We selected this cruise based on the recommendation of friends who had taken it and loved it. We were very happy with our choice. We always wanted to visit the Baltic countries and found the Viking Homelands itinerary to be the best by far ... Read More
We selected this cruise based on the recommendation of friends who had taken it and loved it. We were very happy with our choice. We always wanted to visit the Baltic countries and found the Viking Homelands itinerary to be the best by far in the small luxury cruise category. This was especially true for the ports of call in Denmark and Norway. The optional shore excursion choices in all ports of call were extensive with lots of variety and the ability to get out of cities and into the countryside. While some of the optional excursions were a bit costly, all but one that we selected was worth the cost. This was particularly true of the two day optional tour in St. Petersburg which was fantastic !! Onboard service was outstanding. Our room steward never missed getting our cabin cleaned while we were at breakfast. Room service was always delivered exactly at the time requested. We loved this very busy trip and needed a vacation from our vacation upon arriving home :-) Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We'd been thinking about a Baltic cruise since we returned from our journey on the Viking Sea's 2016 shakedown cruise from Venice to Istanbul. I am a Peterson so it made good sense to head to my homeland, if only to sail by. In ... Read More
We'd been thinking about a Baltic cruise since we returned from our journey on the Viking Sea's 2016 shakedown cruise from Venice to Istanbul. I am a Peterson so it made good sense to head to my homeland, if only to sail by. In addition, visiting Russia with Viking seemed like a great idea. We arrived a day early in Stockholm to wander the streets of the old city. We flew Lufthansa Premium Economy (worth the price), with an easy change of planes in Munich. We took the speedy train into city center from the Stockholm airport, walking the short distance to the Stockholm Sheraton. The hotel is well located, moderately priced, very, very comfortable, and has a great restaurant. The next morning we wandered the streets of the old city but were a wee bit early for shop opening. We came upon a Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop in the old city, of all things. Closed until 11. Rats. We embarked on the Viking Sky the next morning at 11 since we had upgraded to a PS3 Penthouse Jr Suite on the sixth deck - Cabin 6018. Embarkation was a breeze, especially because our one larger than carryon bag had already arrived by Luggage Forward, arranged through Viking. 6018 is a great cabin - plenty of room for a sitting area with couch, two chairs, coffee/champagne table, and dresser with TV. The verandah was very large and comfortable when the wind didn't howl. The bedroom was large and comfortable since the added square footage meant the closet wasn't right next to the bed. Both the bedroom and bath were precisely what we expected. Perfect in all regards. Gretchen, our cabin steward, was quite friendly and very attentive to our needs. Dining was, as one would expect, delightful with great food. The Viking "buffet" is anything but a buffet. When we sailed the Royal Viking Sea ages ago we dressed for dinner, tuxedo included. Since we're Californians, the tux stayed home though I preferred to wear a jacket at dinner, adding a tie when we dined with Captain Toni Fast and Hotel Manager Wendy Gous. Dining room service everywhere was near impeccable. The dining staff was very friendly (cordial) and very attentive. The onboard entertainment was smashing. Cruise Director Beven Hadinsall is an extraordinarily talented man. He was assisted by Brian Rodriguez who has a magnificent voice. The Viking Singers - Maddy, Dan, Becky, and Carl(?) - were excellent and put on a number of great shows. They were backed by the Viking Band. The best evening's entertainment was Dancing under the Stars on the pool deck - nothing short of great fun with lots of dancing. Shore excursions were excellent, particularly the two-day St. Petersburg journey. One should be forewarned that it is a daunting excursion, but well worth the effort. In my view, the combined 20+ hours spent with our guide, Kuzmin Alexander, was nothing short of remarkable. Don't miss the Vasa museum excursion and do make your way to the North Zeeland castles at the end of the cruise. We had been told to check in with the Cruise Consultant. At first it seemed like a visit to the resort time share desk, however, Hamed very quickly demonstrated his added value. Though we were already booked on our first Viking River cruise next year, Hamed helped us book our two remaining European bucket list cruises - the Danube next month and the Western Med next fall, 2020. What made working with Hamed so valuable was his intimate knowledge of the Viking ships. One make think all cabins in a specific category are the same, but think again. He booked us on the Sky in Penthouse Verandah 4010. Why? It is one of the few PV's with the larger double doors/windows. I also think the Cruise Consultant is given far greater flexibility than others you may choose to book with. His pricing was very attractive. Back to the Baltic, our most important insight? Make sure you are in the Explorers' Lounge at 5am as the ship sets sail from Stockholm to the Baltic. It is something you won't experience anywhere else. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
This was my second criuse with Viking. Did Grand European Tour that was a river cruise and wanted to try an ocean cruise. Baltic cruise was very interesting with many ports of call. Just seeing how other cultures live will open your ... Read More
This was my second criuse with Viking. Did Grand European Tour that was a river cruise and wanted to try an ocean cruise. Baltic cruise was very interesting with many ports of call. Just seeing how other cultures live will open your eyes.Viking does cruising the best! Always attentive and best value for the money. No hassle vacation. Everything included, you just have to show up. Food is amazing, great quality and variety. Staff are great and go above and beyond. Ship is comfortable with plenty to do. You won't be bored. Entertainment is professional quality. One performance received a standing ovation! Staff said this was a first for them but it was well deserved. You get front of the line to every side trip. We never waited. VIKING's passenger capacity is lower than the big ships which I like as you get to know the crew and make friends. You are catered to. You have to try Viking, either a river cruise or ocean cruise. You won't be disappointed, promise! Can't wait to go again! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise was in celebration of our 50 wedding anniversary. We had sailed a Viking river cruise and while the ocean cruise was considerably higher in price than other cruise lines based on our river cruise we felt at ease with spending ... Read More
This cruise was in celebration of our 50 wedding anniversary. We had sailed a Viking river cruise and while the ocean cruise was considerably higher in price than other cruise lines based on our river cruise we felt at ease with spending the additional money. With air and optional tours this cruise ended up costing $20,500. Was it worth the expense yes and no. Booking the air travel though Viking resulted in some problems but not of Viking making. Our original flight was cancelled forcing us to rebook with a less favorable schedule. Upon arrival in Stockholm we discovered SAS lost my wife's luggage. Viking did a good job of helping us to recover the luggage, they offered to wash my wife clothing on a daily basis at no charge, fortunately we got her luggage prior to our departure so all was good. Our room was small but like the river ships the bathroom floor was heated which on this cruise was a great feature. The scheduled itinerary was disrupted by bad ocean conditions forcing Viking to cancel two port of calls. We spend an additional day in Russia but were not allowed off the ship due to visa restrictions. We also had to ship a port due to heavy seas cause by gale force winds. This ship lacks a lot of standard ship board activities and normally this would not have been a problem but with three "sea" days two unscheduled time seemed to drag. The food was outstanding with lobster three days and prime rib several days. Beer and wine is included at all meals, as well as offered free several other times. There is a included tour at every port of call. They were mostly walking or bus tours narrated by a tour guide. We took a number of extra tours including one in Berlin. I would like to say they were all worth the extra money, but we were cheated by our tour guide in Berlin. He was totally unprepared walked away from some of the tour group at one point in general was not a good source of information. When we complained to Viking we never even got an apology. Basically they said Oh Well. The ship lacked keeping us informed as an example the was a scheduled event which was billed as a chocolate event. Due to heavy seas it never took place. Then two night later there it was a chocolate bonanza but because it was never announced many guests including us had a standard dessert at dinner and missed out. The cruise critic meet and greet was great they had drinks and snacks and the staff showed but they were gave any formal talks just made a appearance then left. I think they were a little confused as to what it was all about. Most days the entertainment met out expectations. The ship band and musical group did a good job of keeping us entertained. Our cruise director kept us entertained as well as he stared in one of the nightly shows as a singer and patio player. Due to missing two ports of call Viking has offered a $250 per person credit toward a future cruise, a pretty weak response to missing two ports of call. The ports of call we did visit were outstanding, the weather not so much, cold and windy. Would we go again? We booked a British Isle cruise for next summer, but not with Viking as we felt it was over priced for for a nice cruise on a new ship but lacking in the personal touch . Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because we always enjoyed Viking River cruises. The ship's layout and rooms were very nice. It was very easy to get arround the ship. There were multiple restruants and they were varied enough to allow you to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we always enjoyed Viking River cruises. The ship's layout and rooms were very nice. It was very easy to get arround the ship. There were multiple restruants and they were varied enough to allow you to schedule your meals around you activities. The food were excellent. The land tours were informative and well organized. We missed two ports due to weather issues which was disappointing. Service was excellent and all crew were happy and smiled when you addressed them. Land excursions were led by well informed guides who could answer every question put to them. They adjusted the pace of the tour to keep the group together and stopped as necessary to allow the questions to be answered in detail. Entertainment was minimal and could be improved. The shows and pre-tour discussions that we attended were good. This was an adult cruise with few if any children. Embarkation and disembarkation process were well organized and went smoothly. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We had long wanted to visit many of the ports included in the Viking Homelands experience, but have, previously, planned our own travel trying to avoid anywhere with a ship in port! However, the prospect of smaller numbers and ... Read More
We had long wanted to visit many of the ports included in the Viking Homelands experience, but have, previously, planned our own travel trying to avoid anywhere with a ship in port! However, the prospect of smaller numbers and all-inclusive travel appealed, and we thoroughly enjoyed our first cruise experience! We cannot speak highly enough of the service we received! Embarkation was a breeze, the cabin every bit as lovely as the brochures promised, and the Sun itself is a work of art! Food was outstanding and the entertainment first class, whether in the public areas or theatre! We danced every night at Torshavn till they kicked us out!!! Travelling with another couple added enjoyment (we Aussies swept all before us at trivia!!) but we often went our own ways when in port and made many new friends. Unfortunately we lost two ports (and gained extra sea days) due to the weather, but this actually gave us more time to relax after busy times ashore. We did most included excursions, some of which were excellent, several optional ones with Viking and a brilliant two days in St Petersburg through Alla Tours (saw so much in a small group). It's expensive but we are so glad we took the plunge that we've just booked another! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and the rave reviews on the food aboard ship The buffet restaurant was always overcrowded and offered limited selection Food quality was also poor: Soggy pastries,over cooked sausages, strange ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and the rave reviews on the food aboard ship The buffet restaurant was always overcrowded and offered limited selection Food quality was also poor: Soggy pastries,over cooked sausages, strange tasting scrambled eggs, soggy weird tasting French fries. At lunch time the buffet was the only option The main dining room food quality lacked imagination and was of average quality at best. Little emphasis on providing regional dishes or specialities. Each of the specialty restaurants was pretentious . While having some good dishes ( veal chop in Toscana, lamb in Jacques and red ginger) the French onion soup was watery , pasta tasteless ,crepe Suzette rubbery and bitter and pastries soggy . EXTREMELY. DISAPPOINTING!! The cabins were nice with a shower and separate bath, Shore excursions were well organized and had some great guides.However several were spoilt by unfit elderly travelers ignoring fitness recommendations for the tours by selecting strenuous walking trips . Only to complain and hold up the whole group as soon as any walking was required Entertainment was on the poor side. Boarding in Stockholm was time consuming but disembarking in Copenhagen efficient Staff varied considerably in performance. Some were very friendly helpful and attentive. Others down rite rude Last Crystal cruise was superior in every aspect. I cannot imagine how Marina has a high culinary rating!!!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We traveled on the Marina on a Baltic cruise and enjoyed every minute. The ship was beautiful. Every crew member we encountered was friendly and helpful. The food was delicious. The tours enjoyable and informative with great guides. ... Read More
We traveled on the Marina on a Baltic cruise and enjoyed every minute. The ship was beautiful. Every crew member we encountered was friendly and helpful. The food was delicious. The tours enjoyable and informative with great guides. The buffet was our least favourite dining option although food was was very good it could be a little chaotic. Dining in the Grand Dining Room or one of the specialty restaurants was extremely rewarding. We enjoyed all the specialty restaurants but Red Ginger was our favourite the food was unbelievable. I still think about the duck and watermelon salad. We found the staff very accommodating when we wanted to change reservation times in the specialty restaurants. If I had a criticism I would like to see the Grand Dining Room open every day for lunch. The staff cleaning our cabin could not of been friendlier. Our veranda cabin was very comfortable. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose the Marina because of the Baltic itinerary. We were not disappointed. The stops were wonderful. St Petersburg was the highlight. We booked three days with Guide-Guru Tours. My husband was skeptical, but ended up loving the ... Read More
We chose the Marina because of the Baltic itinerary. We were not disappointed. The stops were wonderful. St Petersburg was the highlight. We booked three days with Guide-Guru Tours. My husband was skeptical, but ended up loving the personal attention. The tour days in St. Petersburg were the highlight of our trip. Our tour guide, Tatiana, knew how to avoid all the lines and get us through all the places effortlessly. She would go ahead, purchase tickets, and by the time we reached the entrance she ushered us in. She was an amazing guide and we had a very small group. Eight of us the first day, six the second and just my husband and I the third. I will never take a large group tour again after the wonderful experience we had. It is impossible to see the sights in and around St. Petersburg in a large group. We saw twice as much as many of our shipmates. An extra bonus was that booking through Guide-Guru cost less than half of what some other fellow travelers paid! We contacted them via the internet and set everything up months in advance. We were able to pay in US dollars which saved up some $$. The Marina is a wonderful ship. The crew bends over backward to make sure your needs are met. I did not see one crew member without a smile and an offer to help you in any way. The food is delicious especially in the specialty restaurants. My husband said he had never tasted such a delicious piece of roast beef as he had in "Jacques" ,and we eat at fine restaurants frequently. The ship is a perfect size, never any crowds anywhere. We booked a Concierge level room. There was a lounge and several bags of laundry were included in the price. Also, we were able to book our specialty restaurants a month before which I appreciated. I would book another cruise on this ship without hesitation. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Destination, ports and season always win out over cruiseline loyalty. 12 days Stockholm to Southampton. 3 days in St. Petersburg was the highlight. Booked 3 day small group tour with Russian agent. Elisabeth of TJ Tours was outstanding! ... Read More
Destination, ports and season always win out over cruiseline loyalty. 12 days Stockholm to Southampton. 3 days in St. Petersburg was the highlight. Booked 3 day small group tour with Russian agent. Elisabeth of TJ Tours was outstanding! Recommend Nautica overnights in Stockholm Amsterdam and Copenhagen and to include a port in Norway to see the fjords.. Oceania does offer best cuisine at sea. Carlos the Maitre'D from Portugal and his gracious assistant from Thailand always greeted us by name and remembered our seating preferences in the Grand Dining Room, Breakfast Buffet Service and choices were well presented and tastefully prepared. Fine dining excelled in the specialty restaurant venues although reserving a time before 8:30 was difficult. Disappointed that Polo Grill had run out of prime rib, however the ribeye steak substituted was delicious. Adolfo from Milan was charming in Toscana. Off hours we appreciated 24/hr limited room service menu and/ casual Waves. Loved the small ship, but Nautica does need a QM2 solarium/ covered outside pool . Like verandas, outdoor pool was useless for Baltic/North Seas. Nautica band, vocalists and dancers were talented. Horizon happy hours and afternoon tea were wonderful. Having customs agent for UK on board for passport control was expeditious. It was delightful not to be pursued by omnipresent ship photographers. Overall/service attentive staff were excellent, gracious and accommodating. Except for challenges convincing Lisiam to accept our time preferences. Bundled laundry service was terrible, he returned clothes dirty and wet so I ended up redoing all in Deck 7 guest laundry. Ship excursions promotions on TV were $$$$$, inferior, laden w disclaimers. Dr. Roger Cartwright's port talks were anecdotal, boring, off topic. We used local onboard agent to plan our port visits with great independent guide experiences. Shore excursion staff was helpful, but Oceanic Club Ambassador was curt. Cruise director marketed ship activities zealously. Free internet was nearly useless despite the best effort of the IT professional on staff who was often confronted by unhappy frustrated guests. Email messages could be received but not sent. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We took an Athens-Rome Mediterranean cruise on Marina in 2017. Loved the ship and the experience. We purchased this cruise on board. Nautica is much smaller than Marina but is dated and lacks the feeling of space and luxury of Marina. ... Read More
We took an Athens-Rome Mediterranean cruise on Marina in 2017. Loved the ship and the experience. We purchased this cruise on board. Nautica is much smaller than Marina but is dated and lacks the feeling of space and luxury of Marina. Embarkation at Stockholm was quick but there was no welcome cocktail. Our room (B2) on deck 6 was adequate. The bathroom was tiny and had only a shower protected by a cheap shower curtain (no bathtub as on Marina). Storage space was adequate. Our room was cleaned spotlessly every day. One person commented that a verandah is unnecessary on cruises to northern climates and during cooler seasons, and I agree, even though we had spectacular weather (Europe had its warmest weather on record). Our stateroom was near the rear elevator (closer to the restaurants) which was convenient. Nautica has only two specialty restaurants, so we were only allowed two such meals on a 12-day cruise (no surcharge). Oddly, each time we went, there were many empty tables. It should be noted that Nautica and the other three smaller (older) ships are being "reimagined" over the next year or two and the design looks attractive. Try to hold off until the ships are done. The interiors of Nautica are dated and frumpy. For example, on Marina there were real Picasso and Miro prints, and some delightful avant-garde works of art. On Nautica, the art looked like it came from a neighbourhood art show. Yes, this is a "first world" problem, but Oceania are among the most expensive cruises on the market. PA announcements were appropriate and brief and the cruise director was excellent on them. I was also impressed by the performers. The shows were appropriately scaled and tasteful, like a nightclub rather than Vegas. On Oceania, apart from a promotional package (cabin credit, 6 excursions/cabin, etc.) everything is extra. The wine lists are extensive and extremely expensive, starting generally at US$50 (one or two bottles) and shooting up from there. There is a 7-bottle wine package for US$350.00 and the choices were decent, but I did some research and found the majority of them cost in the range of US$10-20. Huge markup. Oceania permits bringing alcohol on board, as long as it is consumed in your cabin (there is a $25.00 corkage fee if you want to bring your bottle into a restaurant). Excursions are ridiculously expensive. Imagine 30 people paying US$300 each to board a bus for a day excursion. Typical. In St Petersburg, Russia, we went on one such excursion but were allowed only to get out of the bus at certain stops to take exterior pictures. The Hermitage, which we were looking forward to as a highlight, was too brief (actually only about 2.5 hours viewing) and of course it was massively overcrowded, which is not Oceania's fault. Tour guides were generally good, except in one case we signed up for a tour of modern Scandinavian architectural landmarks in Copenhagen but the tour was a disaster because the guide was subbed in at the last minute (with apologies) and had no time to prepare, so she showed us a few buildings near where she lived and in central Copenhagen then reverted to a tour of historic buildings because the time allotment was not used up. You would think these tours would all be pre-planned so anyone with some background could step in. We were also promised a tour of a "design factory" but were taken to a retail outlet instead which lasted about 10 minutes. Having said that, the food really is, with minor exception, the best of the cruise lines. One day the head chef made his rounds in the restaurant and I had a suggestion, which he implemented. The median age of the guests on oceania is probably about 70, and the food selections especially in the buffet area were appropriate. There were a few theme days, but most guests didn't seem to take advantage. Compared to Marina, Nautica's staff were a little too relaxed and familiar for my taste. Service can be personal but it should be deferential and non-intrusive. This is trivial, but one waiter asked me as a joke if I wanted ground pepper in my dessert, which was a bit of sarcasm over always having to offer ground pepper. We laughed but I had never experienced that on Marina. There is a merit/reward system for staff, and some of them seemed a little over-anxious about making an impression. My main complaint is with their marketing and sales. Oceania spends a lot of time trying to induce people to book on board, but the actual discounts are only about 5% for cruises that may be a year or more away. They also try to pressure you with the threat of "price increases" and are not flexible dealing with repeat customers. (Our travel agent enquired about how much an upcoming price increase would be, which was refused. That's not respectful of a customer who is looking at laying out $10-$20,000.00 per cabin and up.) Their online published prices are also misleading; when we enquired about a future cruise, they quoted the price for a stateroom two levels higher than the one we specified; when our travel agent enquired we were told it was for the "extra" package that was previously complementary. These cruises generally fill up and I don't see why they need to engage in high-pressure tactics. They tout their "loyalty" programme a great deal but benefits don't really accrue until you are over 10 cruises, and even then it might amount to free laundry. We each got a lapel pin worth about $5.00 and a free cocktail at a Captain's reception for our second cruise (22 cruise days total). The rest is window-dressing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Interested in the areas visited. Embarkation and disembarkation are always smooth with Viking. People always remarked about how many Viking people were around when we were off the ship. I have noticed that they do everything but buckle ... Read More
Interested in the areas visited. Embarkation and disembarkation are always smooth with Viking. People always remarked about how many Viking people were around when we were off the ship. I have noticed that they do everything but buckle your seat belt on the plane. You would have to really try to get lost. Included shore excursions are good but could use more stops at points of interest. Cabin was very nice with good climate control. Dining was good as we ate mostly in World Cafe where the food was amazing for a buffet. Although the steam tables could be warmer. Gelato bar was my got to place every evening. Onboard entertainment was ok considering we were exhausted after being in a port all but one day. We would do another cruise with Viking be it river or ocean. We have already talked two of our friends into taking this cruise next year. Keep up the good work Viking.:) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was on my husband's "bucket list". We looked at quite a few Baltic cruises and chose the Homelands over other ships to try out Viking Ocean and were not disappointed. There are so many complimentary amenities on ... Read More
This was on my husband's "bucket list". We looked at quite a few Baltic cruises and chose the Homelands over other ships to try out Viking Ocean and were not disappointed. There are so many complimentary amenities on Viking depending on your suite category. If you're looking for quiet entertainment, Viking Ocean is for you. You could always find a secluded place to curl up and take in the world if that's your choice. There were many included excursions and we opted to use Viator for others. We used Viator in St. Petersburg, Russia and Berlin, Germany and we were not disappointed. Don't be afraid to save money and use an outside company vs. Viking as long as they guarantee that you'll get back to the ship. We should have gone with the complimentary Viking train trip in Berlin and taken an independent tour upon arrival in Berlin as it was a several hour car ride to Berlin however we couldn't find anyone who could give us info either way. We're now telling you that the Viking train trip is good and take a tour when you get off the train in Berlin. There is no casino or children under 18. There were a few comedy shows and nightly entertainment. Always music somewhere whether it be a string quartet or piano, The median age appeared to be 60-80. We highly recommend Viking however, it was a bit more money compared to other comparable cruises example Holland America and Oceania. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
A group of us chose the Viking Homeland cruise because it visited so many countries. We arrived in Stockholm a day before the cruise to make sure we didn't have any travel problems and to get rid of jet lag. The next day we embarked ... Read More
A group of us chose the Viking Homeland cruise because it visited so many countries. We arrived in Stockholm a day before the cruise to make sure we didn't have any travel problems and to get rid of jet lag. The next day we embarked -- Viking picked us up at our hotel and took us to the ship so embarkation went very smoothly. We enjoyed all of our excursions -- the only problem was trying to pick from all the excursions offered. The weather was fine until we got to Norway where it rained often, but remember, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. My wife and I have sailed with Viking before; the service is always great and the meals are wonderful. We actually recognized some of the crew in the restaurants from a cruise we took on Viking Star the year before -- they transferred to Viking Sky to act as trainers for the new crew. I always like to talk to the crew members to see where they're from and how long they've been with Viking. Many crewmen had been in the business for years with other companies before moving to Viking -- when asked they said they moved to Viking because Viking was a better company to work for. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Overall we had a lovely vacation and enjoyed the ports of call...We also met some wonderful people to spend time with...Suite upgrade we paid for was well worth it and were very happy with the room layout...Our butler and his assistant ... Read More
Overall we had a lovely vacation and enjoyed the ports of call...We also met some wonderful people to spend time with...Suite upgrade we paid for was well worth it and were very happy with the room layout...Our butler and his assistant very helpful...Was expecting above and beyond when it came to quality of food but not the case...On 3 separate occasions I ordered filet mignon at various restaurants to be served medium rare and all 3 times it was overcooked...A filet mignon is supposed to be a THICK cut and they basically cut it in half lengthwise therefore it requires quicker cooking time and they couldn't achieve it, even at the difficult to get into La Dame restaurant...Thus in my opinion, (additional paid for restaurants) good, not great and certainly not worth paying for...Something should have been offered in consideration but was not even offered a glass of wine...Best restaurant on board by far was La Terrazza...Quality of food and service exceptional and maitre de and waiters/waitresses always on hand...Highly suggest breakfast there as well...We ate at all the restaurants and placed Atlantide in second but our group of friends seemed to always settle at La Terrazza due to the menu and again, quality of food...The Grill restaurant where you cook your own fish and steak is quite silly...They bring sides that get cold and you cook your main entree on a stone...Loved all the ports we visited...The Peterhof Estate in St. Petersburg was my favorite and enjoyed visiting Copenhagen and Skagen Denmark as well...Dining in both of these ports was fabulous...Local fresh fish available...The Russian ballet was a disappointment as it was NOT what was expected...Felt like we had attended a high school or slightly better show...I was hoping this was going to be one of the highlights for me as a dancer...And I had not even mentioned my disappointment to anyone who attended until others stated their feelings about it...Wine/alcohol is included but can certainly use some upgrades!...Fitness area a mess...Have to leave doors open to outside because there is no air in the rooms...They are well aware of the situation and don't seem to care...This is supposed to be a 5 star cruise!...Ship size is perfect with 600 appx. passengers...Would go again but hope my input provides additional food for thought for Silversea management to review. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We were expecting a lot from this cruise based on ratings and friends and travel agent recommendations. We previously cruised 5 times on Oceania, so can't help but to compare. First the positives, the service at the bar and ... Read More
We were expecting a lot from this cruise based on ratings and friends and travel agent recommendations. We previously cruised 5 times on Oceania, so can't help but to compare. First the positives, the service at the bar and restaurants from waiters were exceptional, staff seemed happy, relaxed, efficient and everywhere. The quality of wine and hard liquor were top class. If you do not like the wine they were serving, you just tell sommelier what you like and they will bring you a bottle that closely describes your taste. The cigar lounge was wonderful, an excellent VSOP cognac served there as well as anything you want. This part of the cruise was better than Oceania as well as a little bigger cabins, however a little dated we thought. The disappointments were numerous, first the services of a butler and a room stewart. I would call them inconsistent at best. The room stewart was changed in the middle of the cruise and the butler although always available, did not do things fast. He would relay our requests to stewart, things did not get done or we had to remind it 2 or 3 times. A simple thing as keeping water glasses in the room was problematic, one day they were there and another day they disappeared. I understand that this problem was with our cabin as other people were raving about their butler and cabin stewart. The ship itself was very nice, but compared to Oceania, not as grand. The art decorating the walls was not as nice and there were no 2 story foyer and staircases that are picture worthy. Food is definitely less impressive than Oceania. All restaurants, including the dining rooms with no reservations required had a menu that would not change, so the same thing was served day after day, after day. Oceania had a new menu at Grand dining room every day and only specialty restaurants had it the same. We also thought the the restaurants themselves were less impressive than Oceania in terms of decor and chic. So to summarize the food was not bad, just was not as good. When during the mid cruise review I mentioned that our dinner at LaDame was 3 hours long, which was a little eccessive, I got a phone call from a food and beverage manager who clearly did not give a dumb and also was approached by all restaurants manager who was a little better. Both said they will talk to the La Dame manager. The better way would have been to invite us there again to make sure that we were satisfied. Other guests did not experience such long waits, so this issue was isolated to our particular day, 2 day of a cruise. Gym and saunas were a total disappointment, small, dated and unisex. There were no lounges to relax between the steam room and a shower, in fact no lockers and hardly a place to hang a robe. This is not to say that we will not travel on Silversea again, but it is simply a matter of value, given the same, we would go back to Oceania. Read Less

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