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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have cruised on Seabourn for our previous 7 cruises, but we liked the Viking itinerary from Durban to London because we have dear friends that live in Durban, whom we visited a couple of days before our cruise. A few days after booking ... Read More
We have cruised on Seabourn for our previous 7 cruises, but we liked the Viking itinerary from Durban to London because we have dear friends that live in Durban, whom we visited a couple of days before our cruise. A few days after booking this cruise, we got a flier from Viking offering the same cabin on the same itinerary for $1000 less/pp. We called our travel agent as we do when that happens with Seabourn to get the best price guarantee. What? Not only do you not get a best price guarantee, Viking made us cancel our existing booking, pay a significant cancellation fee and rebook the same cabin. Not cool and definitely not Seabourn. Oh well, price is less expensive than Seabourn......or not. Tips are included in the price of your cabin with Seabourn. Not so with Viking. Only later after you have booked do they offer you the privilege of pre-paying your tips at close to $900/pp. Embarkation was a breeze- faster than Seabourn. The Viking Deluxe Veranda suite was significantly smaller than Seabourn’s standard Veranda Suites.- No walk in closet, no sofa, no capacity to close off seating area from sleeping area. If you order room service, you must eat your food hunched over a coffee table because there is no room for the food cart and two chairs that you get on Seabourn. In other words it is not really a suite on Viking unless you spend more money for a Junior Suite. Dining on Viking was inconsistent, with Chef’s Table and Manfredi’s Special restaurants usually being very good to excellent. The Restaurant main dining offerings varied from excellent to inedible. The World Cafe had excellent sushi, sashimi, soups and breakfast omelettes. The dishes on the buffet varied from very good to terrible. You had to order the deluxe wine package to get wines comparable to the standard wines on Seabourn. Some of the Viking included wines were good, but many of the white wines were undrinkable ( 2 Buck Chuck ). Standard “Champagne” was a Viking brand- use your imagination. Service from our room steward, Ferdy, was the best we have ever had. He was thoughtful, personable an anticipated our every need. The restaurant and bar staff were very friendly and usually very good. Too many, however exhibited a lack of training. You would ask for a refill ( seldom have to even ask on Seabourn) and some would spend 5 minutes talking to other cruise passengers, completely forgetting about your refill. Sometimes we’d have to ask 3 different service persons before we got something we wanted. Some would take your plate without asking if you are finished. Entertainment was very good to excellent with virtuoso guitarist, string duo, pianist and talented singers. Did not see ballroom dancers like Seabourn has. The shore excursions were fun, well organized and informative. The ports of call were excellent, but wish we had more time in the beautiful Canary Islands and Cape Town. The Viking Sun itself was the best part of the cruise. It gave us a very smooth ride for the size of the ship. It was pristine, has a sliding cover for the pool for use in any weather, has a jogging track and many quiet places to read a book or just relax on sea days. The two level Explorer Lounge and bar is amazing and offers wonderful views. The Viking Sun is more casual than Seabourn with no formal ( tuxedo ) nights. Overall, I’d have to say that the Viking Ocean ships are as nice or even nicer than some of Seabourn’s. However the Veranda Suites, food, standard wines and restaurant service are not in the same class as Seabourn. You could pay extra and get a junior suite and premium wines on Viking. My preference is the 5 star floating hotel, restaurants and royal treatment experience that we get every time on Seabourn. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The cruise was good, restaurant, bar and housekeeping staff were exceptional, but if you had to deal with the cruise director, there was no service, just talking down to you very rudely. The shore excursions were very good, however all ... Read More
The cruise was good, restaurant, bar and housekeeping staff were exceptional, but if you had to deal with the cruise director, there was no service, just talking down to you very rudely. The shore excursions were very good, however all the best tours were already booked, as it was a world cruise, which we were not aware of, so almost all of the deluxe tours that you had to pay for were full. We enjoyed the Captain's daily message at noon each day to give everyone the details regarding weather, ocean conditions, and location and how far we were from the next port of call. We found the 7 sea days to be very long, as there were not enough interesting things to do on board. They did have activities such as bridge, different talks and trivia, but they were all on the dry side. We did purchase the beverage package, but at the end, it was not worth it, as we certainly didn't get our money's worth, and you can only drink so much. Beer and wine were included with the meals, so if you are happy with that, you probably don't need to buy the beverage package. We found the food very good, and mainly ate in the World Cafe, as we preferred to serve ourselves, rather than waiting for service in the other restaurants. The ship was beautifully decorated everywhere, and the rooms were very good. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Viking Sun is a simply lovely ship, kept in immaculate condition, by a crew that was second to none. The service is outstanding,from the Cleaners to the Captain, a friendly ,kind,caring group of people that would be difficult to ... Read More
Viking Sun is a simply lovely ship, kept in immaculate condition, by a crew that was second to none. The service is outstanding,from the Cleaners to the Captain, a friendly ,kind,caring group of people that would be difficult to replicate, I think. The public spaces on Viking Sun are restful, comfortable ,elegant and so well thought out. So many places to just simply "Be". The word of Hygge is worth finding ,for its meaning,as this is everywhere..This is a Family run Cruise Line, carefully created with any of the downside of cruising, carefully removed. There are rules, and expectations,quietly enforced,some by an excellent Cruise Director, for instance in the epidemic of "Devices"..,during evening theater performances, guests are told to turn these off, as they are an annoyance and distraction for those around you...Well roll that out on every cruise line there is, please.! The Cabins are very comfortable, with large bathrooms, heated floors, not often required, but bliss,when needed..I would say that a couch is much more comfortable than the chairs, in the past, I have been known to choose a cruise line that has couches ,especially on a lengthy journey. This journey was part of the World Cruise,and mostly people didn't differentiate, they mingled quite well. A large group of women knitted for hats for Babies, in underdeveloped countries along the way, a knitting tutor, who was amazing, another who arranged the handing over of these gifts,made for a gathering of kindred spirits,who bonded so well with laughter and enduring friendships along the way. There were many Sea Days on this journey so this activity was one of the nicest times ,to recall, on lengthy journeys throughout the years. Vikings generosity in the developing world was extremely kind, they gave so much along the way, to the Cyclone Relief in Mozambique, ,so generous , even the crew took up collections of clothing and necessities for Dakar in Senegal.It made me feel proud to be sailing with such a Cruise Line and its Crew. The variety of Dining was simply great, always something different along the way, and all of a high standard.We mostly used The World Cafe, preferring to serve ourselves rather than be waited upon, just our choice. Entertainment was very good, some excellent talent, so difficult to please all of the people all of the time, but they excelled themselves. The Cooking School, so professional and a delight to be part of. The Shore Excursions we found to be very good, there is an included one in every Port,which were all enjoyable. Shore excursions staff were so helpful, should changes or new excursions be required. It was hard to accept that a portion of the other excursions were all booked out , well ahead of time, the very good ones, priority given to the World Cruisers. This could probably be managed in a different way in the future.However I do understand that in South Africa, there are limitations on how many places there can be on tours, there simply are not many more buses and guides to be had at times. This Country is a challenge for any Cruise Line, in my impression it was far from easy to manage. Complaints about illness on ships being uncontrolled is bizarre, this is down to the Passengers, who, unfortunately, sometimes ,are not responsible in their actions , even in the basics of coughing in public... Just a sad fact of life, that illness spreads, amongst many people in a confined space. The medical care on board was excellent, of required. So much is included with Viking,costs once On Board are minimal ,Internet for passengers and crew ,included, is so very good.Drinks at lunch and dinner ,also. Disembarking was a little difficult, as for some reason, from the berth in the Thames, the tenders were only being partially filled, so delays occurred. We enjoyed everyday on Viking Sun, and have already booked to travel again on Viking Ocean in the future. Read Less
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