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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I hate writing bad reviews but, with the money we spent well over $25,000. We choose this cruise line because we had heard so many wonderful things about Viking. We had been looking forward to this cruise for a year. This to us was not a ... Read More
I hate writing bad reviews but, with the money we spent well over $25,000. We choose this cruise line because we had heard so many wonderful things about Viking. We had been looking forward to this cruise for a year. This to us was not a Mid-Luxury Cruise. We have been on many cruise lines average, mid luxury and Luxury. We selected the Explorer suite aft #5109 for the size of cabin. There is no value you here as many things were skimped upon and I suspect awards bought for by Travel and Leisure for marketing purposes. Will never sail again with Viking. Costly mistake $$$$. Cabin: Upon our arrival the mini fridge was not working and warm. They replaced it the next day. The cabin was so hot we had them turn off the heated floors in the bath room. I am sure it nice to have this feature in a colder climate. It was 75 outside in Athens and very humid throughout the entire trip. The suite is roomy but, not as roomy as others we have been on in this category still comfortable in size but, just not worth the extra dollars we spent. The bed was hard as a rock and very uncomfortable. They had to place a topper on it but, still it was very uncomfortable. Would not recommend for arthritis or lower back issues. There is no storage in the living area and furniture is not comfortable for sitting, reading or watching a movie not to mention the angle of the furniture. The room is pleasant and the Scandinavian look is just not practical. Bath towels were thin and scratchy and although the bathroom is very roomy and beautiful even after cleaning efficiently twice daily by our steward smelled consistently of mold because the water from the shower sits on the floor and even though it is pitched doesn’t drain properly or quickly. Water pressure is very good. Also only one plug for the hair drying located in the tight closet underneath the shelf which is totally inconvenient. You have to get on your hands and knees to plug it in. Should have been placed above near the mirror. You can not use a hairdryer in the bathroom on any ship. Always seemed like the a/c would go off when in port and the cabin would get hot. Awful smells from the new carpet glue they installed in front of our door at 10:00pm. The smell never dissipated and smelled throughout the rest of our trip along with the smell of petroleum when they would fill up in port. Ship: The ship is beautiful but, the decor seems repetitive but, certainly not a deal breaker. Similar looking furniture throughout the cabin and ship. It is spacious so it does feel as though there are few people on board. Lots of space to be alone which was nice. Food: I never thought I could say this about any cruise line but, the food was the worst. I am not that picky of a eater nor is my husband but, the Buffett choices were so skimpy and almost all food over cooked. Beef tough, fish dry, no semblance of theme. Nothing exciting here very basic. The same repetitive things for lunch and dinner for 14 days and nights. Rice, potatoes, a meat sometimes attempts at ethic foods again either tasteless or over cooked. I ended up eating a lot of salad. They do include beer and wine with lunch and dinner but, mostly table wine. Not exactly how I saw that going. So disappointing! The Chef’s table was very good but, the menu repeated for 3-4 days and you can’t eat there every night as you have limited times and reservations. On the many attempts to the Restaurant(main) the sign said closed check your daily newsletter.....what? Why not post the times. When it was supposed to be opened it was closed. One day for lunch we stayed on board and ate at The Pool Grill. There was absolutely not another person on board guessing all on excursions. We had already been to the port so we decided on lunch. Our first clue should have been the 10 or so hamburgers stacked up in a pan under a heat lamp. We ordered and the cook place them back on the grill. My husband definitely felt ill that night. We brought this up to the restaurant manager and he said that is not acceptable to precook them and he would speak to the chef. Two days later we saw for steak and lobster night 8 steaks same pan same location same heat lamp. I guess he was just placating us. Live and learn. Staff and service: The staff is overall very good and for the most part always there to try and help although some could use some better customer service skills such as the Explorer desk who at the end just didn’t want to help with something as simple as a plastic bag. Cabin steward excellent Dwe worked hard to keep things in our cabin tip top. We tipped him generously because he worked so hard and was so on the ball. Excursions: Mostly good except we did have one guide in Olympia who just droned on spewing out factoids which was grating. This can happen on any cruise so again not a deal breaker. But, tours were very well organized. The thing that was annoying is you didn’t have a time to meet for your excursion until the night before. Not sure why but, they were on time so maybe that’s why. They do provide headsets that recharge in your room. Don’t forgot them or you are out of luck. We saw several people who forgot them and didn’t have them for tours. We always brought them. They are great devices but, then you so have to lug them around remember to bring them. Spa: Spa was very nice and including the pools, saunas and snow grotto interesting. When I went to change and shower there was no body lotion? Again skimping. I mean if you allow people to use the spa why only provide hand soap and hand lotion? WiFi The so called free WiFi is WORTHLESS!!! It didn’t work for most 90% of the time on board. Tech came down and checked it but, it kept disconnecting even while he was there checking it. He couldn’t figure it out and said they just changed it and have had problems with it in the past. I needed to be in contact with our house sitter as we had a problem in the basement. I ended up having to use my cell because it kept disconnecting and couldn’t text or email. My bill was over $500. I had planned on using their WiFi to stay in touch. I do understand satellite internet isn’t the best but, this happened even in port. Don’t offer WIFI If you can’t deliver. Just another thing someone dropped the ball on because this is a new ship that should not have happen. It was so slow nothing would load. In closing there are things one can overlook on any trip or cruise. The little annoyance certainly yes. This was not the case here. We spent a great amount of money and were taken for an expensive ride. Never Again! Buyer beware! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Selected this cruise because of the amazing places it went that I never thought I would see—Athens, Croatia, Montenegro, and ending up in Venice. The Acropolis in Athens was a hard climb but so worth it in the end. The views from the ... Read More
Selected this cruise because of the amazing places it went that I never thought I would see—Athens, Croatia, Montenegro, and ending up in Venice. The Acropolis in Athens was a hard climb but so worth it in the end. The views from the top are wonderful. Visit to Olympia to see original site of first Olympic Games was interesting to see. Corfu was a very pretty coastal town. Dubrovnik and Split Croatia were great places to see and explore. But they were not as beautiful as Kotor Montenegro. That is such a gorgeous entrance into port and still a quaint town. Did an excursion up out of town, and even with a cloudy day, the views of town and harbor were wonderful. And stopped at small family run restaurant for included typical lunch with a sample shot or Grappa, which if very strong liquor. Then it was my dream stop of Venice! The sail into the city is very cool. The city itself with no cars and all travel by boat or on foot was as amazing as I had hoped for. St Mark’s Square and the Doge Palace are beautiful, but crowded. My favorite thing to do in Venice was to just wander the n narrow streets and visiting little shops, enjoying a coffee and hot chocolate sitting in a quaint square, and having lunch at a small family restaurant. Viking once again did a great job. Penthouse Veranda cabin very nice with lots of storage. Fridge in room with included minibar drinks is nice when you want to relax on Veranda and have a drink. Included excursions are really good, especially since ship pulls right up to cities to visit, much like a river cruise does. Loved that because I could explore on my own and then walk back to ship. Plenty of great food, especially the king crab legs each night, and varied entertainment venues. Loved the 3D Explorer Dome show. What a dream vacation. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I just noticed that the top of this review it says 7 Night Journey to Antiquities. That is not what was sold to us by Viking. We bought a 14 day cruise called Mediterranean Antiquities Cruise. More about that later in my review. We ... Read More
I just noticed that the top of this review it says 7 Night Journey to Antiquities. That is not what was sold to us by Viking. We bought a 14 day cruise called Mediterranean Antiquities Cruise. More about that later in my review. We chose this cruise because we had been looking for a cruise that stayed overnight in Rome and Viking sent us an email about this cruise and it was exactly what we were looking for. This cruise left Athens, Greece and ended in Barcelona, Spain with stops in Athens, Crete, Katakolon, Greece then over to Italy with stops in Sicily, Naples, Rome, Florence, a stop in Monte Carlo, onto France with stops in Marseille and Sete and finally arriving in Barcelona, Spain. So far so good. We also booked the two day pre cruise in Athens. Arrived in Athens and as with Viking someone was waiting there to take us to our hotel. Viking was amazing. They made registering at the hotel a breeze and then Viking staff was very helpful with tips on tours and restaurants. When it was time to board the ship, again Viking did an excellant job. Picked us up at the hotel and drove us to the port and checking into the boat was again a breeze. Being it was the Jupiter's maiden voyage we were able to get into our rooms right away. Room Steward Fiery was amazing. Anything and everything you needed he made it happen. The ship was beautiful. Since we had cruised earlier in August 2018 on the Sky we remembered pretty much where everything was. On our last cruise I did not have the opportunity to try Tea in the Wintergarden but this time the opportunity came up and we went to Tea. I am not a big tea drinking but you must try Tea at least once. The Tea as so good. The use loose tea not bags and it makes such a difference and the scones served with cream and jam were to die for. The newest item on the Jupiter was the planetarium which unfortunately Viking did not utilize to the fullest. We had an astronomer on board you would have thought that he would have given some lectures or shows in the planetarium. Nope. The two shows that we watched in the planetarium were something you could have watched on Natural Geographic. The seats in the planetarium did not recline so you could not see the entire ceiling so you could not see the entire film. Both times I was in there people were falling asleep it was so bad. Viking really needs to rethink the use of the planetarium. Such great potential not being used. We were also disappointed in the entertainment. On our cruise In To The Midnight Sun on the Sky in August of 2018 the Viking Band with Vince and Jennifer were amazing. They were always playing somewhere. We so enjoyed listening to them and the singers in the production shows .were so good and they too would be always performing somewhere on the ship. We were so looking forward to hearing the same type and quality of music on the Jupiter. Our first night we waited with anticipation to hear the Viking Band in Troshaven. We were the first one in Troshaven and when the band and the singer started we just looked at each other and went HUH! The band acted like they did not want to be there and the singer could not carry a beat and we could not understand her. So disappointed we left after 10 minutes. You never heard or saw the Viking Band unless it was in Troshaven or during a production in the Star Theater. If there was music on the ship it was a string quartet or piano. Nothing upbeat. The performers for the theater productions was also disappointing after being on the Sky. It was like watching a "high school production". The entertainment on the Jupiter was very disappointing. Ok now for the part that Viking did to us and approximately 100 other passengers. They sold us a 14 day cruise and once we got on the boat we found out it was actually two 7 days cruises back to back. Ok you think no big deal right............wrong! The first 7 days of our 14 day cruise ended in Rome. 800 passengers got off and 800 new passengers got on and what did they offer the 100 passengers that we on the boat still.....NOTHING! There was no port talk for Rome like they do for all other ports they stop in. There was an including tour offered for Rome where they drove you into Rome showed you some of the sights (by bus no stops) and then dropped you at Vatican City for 5 hours of free time! WHAT! The reason we booked this cruise was to be able to see Rome. The reason we book with Viking is so they will escort me with a guide around Rome. I don't want to have to do the leg work to find the tours and organize everything. Again that is why I book with Viking. Every other port you go to they offer at least a dozen different tours you can select from. Not for us and not in Rome! We were very disappointed in Viking. We spoke with several of the other 100 passengers that had been sold this "14 day" cruise and they too were not happy. We ended up staying on the boat and even then we felt like we were under everyone's feet because they were trying to get everything on the ship ready for the new passengers. So ok Rome was a bust! Then think about it on a 14 day cruise you have 14 days of different entertainment and lectures. Hmmmmmm not on back to back 7's so on the second week of our cruise all the production shows were repeated and they were not good enough the first time to go see them again and only a couple of new lectures. We are still working with Viking to figure out why and how this happened. I guess the old saying "buyer beware" should be applied here. Unfortunately by the time we found out what was happening we had already booked and paid for the cruise. All and all the Staff onboard the ship were amazing! The ship itself is amazing. Viking Marketing and Office Management not so much. 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10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We sailed on Viking Star last March and were hooked. This year we again wanted a port intensive, educational, small ship experience without the pushy, glitzy, and somewhat pedestrian atmosphere that many other cruise lines offer. We also ... Read More
We sailed on Viking Star last March and were hooked. This year we again wanted a port intensive, educational, small ship experience without the pushy, glitzy, and somewhat pedestrian atmosphere that many other cruise lines offer. We also wanted to be a part of a more mature clientele with no children or casino. We booked back-to-back Journey To Antiquities and Iconic Western Mediterranean. The upside to a February cruise was that, in most cases, you will be the only ship in port and excursion sites will not be crowded. The downside is you are rolling the dice regarding weather and rough seas. We got lucky! What an unbelievable experience this cruise was! Jupiter, a beautiful new ship, sailed its maiden voyage without a glitch. The weather was perfect (unusually warm weather in Europe this time of year), we made every port and the itinerary was way more than we expected. The wife and I have nothing but praise for the all involved in making this trip happen. From the time we got off the plane in Athens until we boarded again in Barcelona, we were expertly taken care of. Embarkation, debarkation and transfers were all quick and flawless. There was literally a representative every 20 feet to point the way. Nearly every time you board you are greeted with a smile, warm washcloth and a glass of campaign. We found the Viking Jupiter a gem with all members of the crew going out of their way to provide exceptional service. Captain Knutsen and his wife were great ambassadors making us and everyone else feel special. Our favorite relaxing place was the Viking Bar, although the explorer lounge is a popular option. We always found the young bartenders anywhere delightful,engaging and eager to share their stories. The Drink Package (($20 per person per day) is a great deal. Entertainment is average with several musicals. We tend to the cultural side and found the young guitarist and pianist to be very, very good. The Viking Trio was simply marvelous and they were a lot of fun to interact with. Enrichment talks were outstanding. Dr. Caroline Mallory's history lectures were comprehensive and educational as were the astronomy talks by Mr. Howard Parkins, whom I found to be a very entertaining speaker. The food was very good everywhere and the main dining room equal in quality to the specialty restaurants. The snails, ceasars salad, lamb shank, steaks and vanilla ice cream were our favorites. The pasta in Manfredi's is to die for. Portions were so large, we started splitting the entrees. Just about everyone uses the World Cafe' for breakfast were there are so many food options there it is hard to choose. The gym is fantastic for a good workout. The steam room, ice grotto and hot tub (a well kept secret and our second favorite place on board) were all free and a relaxing post tour alternative. The ¼ mile track is an excellent way to walk off a meal. We took several of the included tours: Athens Archaeological Museum, Ancient Olympia (one of the best tours), Panoramic Rome, Pisa (been here before but still breathtaking), and Monte Carlo which were more than adequate if one does a little research. We selected the optional tours to Knossos (do not do this tour if port is Chania; bus ride is 5 of the 8 tour hours), Ancient City of Tindari, Pompeii, Lucca, Avignon (must see), Carcassonne (another must see) and Gaudi Architecture in Barcelona. They were fantastic with the exception of Knossos. Overall, the optional tours were well worth the time and money. Guides were professional and subject knowledgeable. Vikings provided a bus shuttles in ports of Athens, Chania and Barcelona which was a nice touch. Of course with so much praise there has to be a few warts, albeit, not many. This is a “Thinking Person's” and not an entertainment cruise. The wine choices may be limit for some, but we are not sommeliers so it did not matter. Shore excursions were “snapshots” and time of some excursions we found to be too short: Athens Archeological Museum: 1 hour 15 minutes, Knossos: 1 hour 15 minutes, Pompeii: 2 hours. You cannot do Rome by bus and the only saving grace to this excursion was our guide planning sufficient free time for us to get in to Saint Peter's Basilica (beautiful). They were still good tours, just short. If you book back to back cruises, make sure you book the same room for both legs and be prepared for some minor hiccups: have to get new ship cards, re-register your credit card, specialty dining reservations may not take when booking online, tour booking issues on mid-cruise embarkation/debarkation day, shore excursion tickets not issued until second half of cruise. If you book Viking Air, make sure you have at least 2 hours in Charles de Gaulle and 2 1/2 hours in Miami (customs is a zoo) for connections. Other than the nitpicking above we found our overall experience with Viking to be outstanding and to the highest standards throughout. They want to get it right and ask for feedback on everything. The cruise line is quality, destination focused and trying to offer customers the best value for the money in the cruise market. The wife and I will sale with them again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We like Viking because when we check out at the end of the cruise we don't have a huge bill to pay for wine, sodas, bottled water, spa, laundry and shore excursions. The ship is light and bright and cheery. We'll layed out ... Read More
We like Viking because when we check out at the end of the cruise we don't have a huge bill to pay for wine, sodas, bottled water, spa, laundry and shore excursions. The ship is light and bright and cheery. We'll layed out and functional. All cabins have a balcony and a shower instead of a bathtub... which we prefer. There is a laundry room on each level and soap and fabric softener is included and the machines are free. My only complaint is not being able to make reservations for the regular dining room. We have found it not as well organized as the Table and Manfreds. No one under 18 is allowed on the cruise. So adults can actually use the pool. Also the pre and post additions to the Viking cruises are very organized and well run. Otherwise everything is done well on the Viking cruises we have been on. We already have 3 more cruises book with Viking in the next 2 years. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We have cruised Viking several times before, both river cruise and ocean, and have always enjoyed ourselves. This time was no different. We actually brought along some friends on this trip and they too loved the ship and the service. ... Read More
We have cruised Viking several times before, both river cruise and ocean, and have always enjoyed ourselves. This time was no different. We actually brought along some friends on this trip and they too loved the ship and the service. They will be cruising again! A new member in the family of viking. We chose this trip because of the Itinerary.. the ports and excursions were amazing. We especially like Kotor. The entertainment was awesome and since we had sailed the Sun before we already new the cruise director, who is also amazing. Our cabin was always clean and fresh and our steward was always wiling to go the extra. Bringing me extra hangers or and extra pillow. We always come back refreshed and look forward to our next trip with viking. As a matter of fact, We ended up booking another trip March 2020. Oh and our friends are coming too! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
While we have done several Viking river cruises, this was our first ocean cruise. The ship is beautiful, love that everyone has a veranda cabin! The cabin was roomy, plenty of storage space, the bathroom is also a great size and has the ... Read More
While we have done several Viking river cruises, this was our first ocean cruise. The ship is beautiful, love that everyone has a veranda cabin! The cabin was roomy, plenty of storage space, the bathroom is also a great size and has the heated floor. Our friends were in the cabin next door, so our Housekeeper pushed the veranda separation panel back, giving the for of us one big veranda - nice! The public spaces are beautifully done, and we absolutely LOVED the Explorers Lounge! The views are floor to ceiling all the way around, and since we were sailing in November, the fireplace made a perfect place to end the day. While this ship is obviously larger than the river ships, it still manages to give you a small ship feel. The service was exceptional, as always, and everyone delivered excellence at every turn. Loved all the ports except Corfu. That stop did nothing for me, especially compared to all the other stops. We did the included shore excursion in every port and the were great. We still had plenty of time to play in that city afterwards. We went to a couple of the entertainment offerings and a couple of the enrichment offerings. They did not seem as good or relevant as on the river ships - that was a bit disappointing. Overall - an exceptional cruise experience, as compared to other lines I have used in the past. I will absolutely do a Viking ocean cruise again, and of course - more river cruises! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Wanted a smaller ship with great amenities. Beautiful accommodations, fabulous spa, excellent service , stunning ports of call One of the best vacations we have ever taken. We will definitely sail with Viking again!! We enjoyed a jr ... Read More
Wanted a smaller ship with great amenities. Beautiful accommodations, fabulous spa, excellent service , stunning ports of call One of the best vacations we have ever taken. We will definitely sail with Viking again!! We enjoyed a jr suite, which included many amenities. The shore excursions were informative and fun. The guides and staff were excellent. We spent a few extra days in Athens which I highly recommend before settling sail. Going in November really worked to our advantage as we had beautiful weather and much less crowds. We had been to Venice before, but had we not, a few extra days at the end of the cruise would have also been nice. We were stunned when staff who had seen us once at the restaurant greeted us by name in the hallway. Truly a class act. Embarking and disembarking were made very easy with ID cards, we never waited long to get to shore excursions. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Picked the Cruise because of our many Viking River cruises and their fantastic service - and the itinerary that gets you to the Holy Land. Our first Viking Ocean was the Baltic in Summer of 2017 and Needless to say we were unimpressed with ... Read More
Picked the Cruise because of our many Viking River cruises and their fantastic service - and the itinerary that gets you to the Holy Land. Our first Viking Ocean was the Baltic in Summer of 2017 and Needless to say we were unimpressed with the service as we expected it to be equal to the River cruises - It is not - Many times had to get our own drinks, utensil etc - Food was spectacular, but restaurant serve slow at best and mediocre. It was exactly the same on this cruise 18 months later - So no improvement to speak of. More Comments - Room service for breakfast was punctual but quite often food was barely warm, but always a problem when so many to deliver in a small amount of time. Actually the fact that you could get room service though is a plus. As for their free wine/beer lat lunch/dinner has improved. Baltic one beer one wine - At least this time you had choice of beers - However having only a single wine at a meal - one white one red, if you did not like it you are paying then on for each glass. You should have all the wines available each night and let diners choose - OH and with the Crystal/Regent/Silver Seas/Seaborne providing most all drinks free and no mandatory tipping (30 per day per pax), certainly makes those four more attractive even in price. On Crystal, by the second visit to our favorite bar she remembered our drinks and on the third visit she was following us to a table with our drinks - You did have one male waiter do his best and eventually knew what we wanted but always had to ask first before bribing them. ON the PLUS PLUS side - Ship spectacular, crew very helpful, on/off as good as you can expect with 900 people, Staff taking care of rooms at the top of my list - Helpful and attentive. check in check out fantastic. Excursions - The freebies are just drive byes and a waste of time - We did were trying to fit two good ones in each day, but some were so long we could just not do it. The spa prices were ridiculous, more than the Crystal trip I went on and 3 times Holland America. The thermal pool reeked of chlorine so bad, (being chlorine sensitive) I could not even use the steam room, snow room, or thermal lounges. Huge disappointment. Will I go on another Viking Ocean, not sure. Right now they are a slight cut above Holland America but Holland is about 25% cheaper so their you have it - I have done 8 river cruises and will river cruise with Viking again. I feel like royalty on their River Cruises Next Ocean might be Seaborne or other top 4 or maybe go cheaper and hit Holland but book a suite and still be 1/2 of Vikings cheapest room. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
There were many factors on why we chose this cruise. Two of the main factors were that this was a fantastic itinerary that visited the Holy Land and secondly, this was an adult cruise ship that did not have a casino. Many of our ... Read More
There were many factors on why we chose this cruise. Two of the main factors were that this was a fantastic itinerary that visited the Holy Land and secondly, this was an adult cruise ship that did not have a casino. Many of our expectations were surpassed. The crew were just fantastic! From the moment we boarded, we could tell that the crew just loved working for Viking. This positive attitude permeated throughout the entire ship. Special mention goes out to Vikesh from Manfredi's. He was very accommodating to all our requests. Even though we sometimes wanted dishes from different restaurants, Vikesh would go out of his way to make it happen. Towards the end of the cruise, my wife mentioned to Vikesh that although the food on the cruise was fantastic, she just felt like having some basic Indian curry. We didn't expect it but he came back 5 minutes later and told us that he had spoken to the chef and all had been arranged. The curry would be served for dinner in our suite at 8pm that evening. Vikesh did not just arrange it, he personally delivered it to our suite. Just outside our suite was the Explorers Lounge. We spent every evening there chatting with the bar staff. We especially enjoyed the company of Eriona, Cecy and Stoyam. They were just so witty and a really pleasure to be around. On one of the evenings on the cruise, the waters were rather rough and we were feeling a little seasick. Erin concocted her special anti seasick drink which really did make us feel a lot better. Yovitza and Matthew always made sure that our wine fridge was well stocked up with our favourite wines. Having said that, I must say that the entertainment was lacking. Especially the four young singers that really couldn't sing. They were screeching and were very off key. Thankfully our Cruise Director Heather sang so beautifully. Additionally, the sound system in the theatre wasn't great either. It lacked power and clarity and didn't do justice to Heather's immense talent. It would probably benefit from a tuneup from a really good sound engineer. We liked that there were always port talks that were given by highly qualified speakers. Shore excursions were also very well organised and guides were very professional. Buses were comfortable and were never filled to the brim. In fact, most of the time, the buses were only about half-full, which made it very comfortable. It also meant that the guides had quality time with us and that we never had to wait too long for anyone. Overall, it was a very positive experience. The only thing that keeps me from giving a 5 star rating was the rather poor entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This Viking Ocean Cruise, Cities of Antiquity & Holy Land, went to the Greek Islands, Israel and Italy. We departed from Athens where we also toured Corinth. We stopped in Rhodes, Mykonos, Limassol, Cypress before heading to Haifa ... Read More
This Viking Ocean Cruise, Cities of Antiquity & Holy Land, went to the Greek Islands, Israel and Italy. We departed from Athens where we also toured Corinth. We stopped in Rhodes, Mykonos, Limassol, Cypress before heading to Haifa and Ashdod in Israel. This was truly a highlight of the trip, visiting the Wailing Wall, Old Jerusalem, getting to sail on the Sea of Galilee, float in the Dead Sea and be baptized in the Jordan River. In Italy we stopped at Naples and Rome where we enjoyed spending the day on the Isle of Capri, and we had a private tour of Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel followed by dinner at a local restaurant. All of the staff and crew onboard were fantastic. We had the best waiters, Ronald and Pumulani at the Restaurant and our Cabin steward, Clark, was beyond belief. Everyone on board greets the guests with a smile and courteous response. While there is not a Broadway production, the singers and others put on an evening of enjoyment. Spa, fitness center, evening trios, piano players were all fantastic. Food in all the restaurants is very good and service is excellent. I booked our trip through a Travel Agent so that we could be assured of getting a cabin because this particular destination sells out fast. We booked the day that it opened for booking which was 17 months before sailing. Three months later it was completely sold out. We were booked in the lowest price cabin a V2 which was concerning to me because we had previously sailed in a Delux Veranda cabin. Advantages are a lower price, which we applied to our excursions and what we missed out on from our DV cabin was no coffee maker, but used 24 hour room service for coffee when desired, mini frig was not refilled daily, which we didn't need, and no binoculars - again we did not use on our previous cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth and no problems. Can hardly wait to book our next cruise with Viking Ocean. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
The ports and shore excursions provided highlights of the area. The dining was excellent and the food choices were good. Embarkation was very organized and efficient. I enjoyed the smaller ship with fewer passengers aboard and ... Read More
The ports and shore excursions provided highlights of the area. The dining was excellent and the food choices were good. Embarkation was very organized and efficient. I enjoyed the smaller ship with fewer passengers aboard and there no children running around. Common areas were comfortable and felt more like a home living room. The fitness spa was very luxurious. Heard many good things about Viking River Cruises and wanted to try a Viking Ocean Cruise. Liked the amenities such as WI-FI, coffees and other drinks. I especially liked having access to a laundry room to do my own laundry whenever I needed to. I and already booked don another Viking Ocean Cruise in 2020. The porter assigned to my room did a very good job in keeping me supplied with clean towels and preparing the room each evening. Selection of movies on TV was excellent. The arrangements made for transfers from and to airports was flawless. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Itinerary primarily but also great reputation. Preferred smaller size and passenger capacity. We really wanted to spend time in Israel especially. Wish there were more options to visit both Jerusalem and Masada but both were the same ... Read More
Itinerary primarily but also great reputation. Preferred smaller size and passenger capacity. We really wanted to spend time in Israel especially. Wish there were more options to visit both Jerusalem and Masada but both were the same day. Liked the restaurant options that were available each day. Really enjoyed the two specialty restaurant options and visited them multiple times during the cruise. Not terribly impressed with the entertainment choices although that is never a priority for us when choosing a cruise. The performers were enthusiastic at least but the music choices were not what we prefer. We are a bit younger than the majority of your customers so that likely contributed to the end result. However after all is said and done we truly enjoyed our 2 weeks on board. Not only would we recommend to other people to consider Viking Ocean cruises but we have booked a second cruise for November 2019. That one is in the Caribbean and hits several islands we have not seen yet. Excited for that trip Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise because six of our friends were already taking it. It was our first cruise experience and proved very enjoyable. The ship was immaculate and the staff was extremely caring and helpful. We had a deluxe veranda ... Read More
We chose this cruise because six of our friends were already taking it. It was our first cruise experience and proved very enjoyable. The ship was immaculate and the staff was extremely caring and helpful. We had a deluxe veranda accommodation. It did prove to be too small but was beautifully appointed and our Stewart was very warm and helpful. We enjoyed the restaurants immensely. Since we were ten for dinner most nights at The Restaurant we developed a great relationship with the staff. They couldn’t have been any more obliging. The food choices were excellent. All the entertainment was exceptional. We especially enjoyed the Director, Ms. Clancy. She put her own special sparkle on the events and the excursion information. As to the shore excursions I am of two minds. The extra excursions were truly wonderful experiences. However, the included trips were fair. I felt we were just driven past important sites and missed many because we swept by so quickly. The only criticism I have with the entire experience was my inability to get onto the Jerusalem-Bethlehem guided tour. It seems to me that if you offer such an incredible tour you should be able to accept everyone who wishes to pay for it. Overall, we both loved the cruise. We would certainly like to take another one. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
I have been on different cruise lines but Viking Star and Viking Sky that I have experienced has offered a near perfect experience. The staff are very friendly and eager to please. They treat you like royalty no matter the time of the ... Read More
I have been on different cruise lines but Viking Star and Viking Sky that I have experienced has offered a near perfect experience. The staff are very friendly and eager to please. They treat you like royalty no matter the time of the day. The food in all restaurants is excellent and the fine dining experience is out of this world. The intineries were very well organized and ship staff were always around stationed at airports, cruise terminals and other areas to ensure no passenger felt tense that he/she were headed in a wrong direction. In Haifa we were disappointed that no excursion was offered for entering the Baha’i Gardens. That is why I have rated this tour as near perfect but not fully there. If there was a reason that the Gardens was not offered ought to have been made known to the guests. But barring this small disappointment, we had a most glorious 14 days on one of the finest there is on the seas. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Visiting Greece, Israel, and Italy has always been on our bucket list. We especially wanted to visit the “Holy Land” following Christ”s journey. This ship, the crew, and every detail of this cruise was nothing short of magnificent! ... Read More
Visiting Greece, Israel, and Italy has always been on our bucket list. We especially wanted to visit the “Holy Land” following Christ”s journey. This ship, the crew, and every detail of this cruise was nothing short of magnificent! The ports of call, the included and optional tours, and especially the knowledgeable tour guides, provided us living history lessons. We learned so much of this regions origins. The dining experience was our best ever. Each meal was special, both in the specialty venues and in the world cafe. We were pampered for two solid weeks and will surely ocean cruise with Viking again. We’ll be doing a Viking River Cruise (Romantic Danube) for our 50th Anniversary this December with our children and grandchildren. This was our fifth ocean cruise, and the first with Viking. The experience with Viking is far and away superior to our experiences with Norwegian, Carnival, and Princess in every aspect. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We had such a great time on the Viking River Cruise, we wanted to experience an ocean cruise with Viking. We had previously done a ocean cruise with Norwegian Lines and were sadly disappointed. So we were concerned about our up and coming ... Read More
We had such a great time on the Viking River Cruise, we wanted to experience an ocean cruise with Viking. We had previously done a ocean cruise with Norwegian Lines and were sadly disappointed. So we were concerned about our up and coming cruise with Viking. But the Viking Cruise was total different experience. We felt that we were treated extremely well by the staff and crew. We enjoyed all the included tours and felt that they were well worth while. Our experience with other line which was quite costly even with the discount was somewhat underwhelming. Not to mention that there we forced to listen to a sales pitch before every tour. We found the Viking tour approach very professional and most in lighting. We also found the handling of passengers disembarking and embarking handled very efficient with the convince of access to port facilities most attractive for those who wish to tour on their own. We enjoyed our cruise so much, we signed up for another in following year. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This is a pretty ship however, we were in CODE RED for the majority of our journey as there was a GI outbreak on the ship. This ship is odd, there is an unease among the crew on this vessel. You never see any of the officers or anyone ... Read More
This is a pretty ship however, we were in CODE RED for the majority of our journey as there was a GI outbreak on the ship. This ship is odd, there is an unease among the crew on this vessel. You never see any of the officers or anyone socializing on the ship. The dance bar is near empty at all times. It's just a very very dull ship. I mean I'm all for elegant but 2 weeks with a near pin drop quiet ship is a bit much. It felt like God's waiting room. I may be old but I'm not entirely dead yet! I would have like some life on this ship. They did the odd thing where they have the staff on the gangway clapping in your face like a bunch of indentured servants deprived of their breaks. I also saw officers and cruise directors etc. working the gangway which would seem to make it appear that they don't have enough people working on the ship and have to use these people to hand you hand towels etc. Seemed very odd. This just wasn't a happy environment and that combined with the GI outbreak on such a new vessel, will send me elsewhere for my next cruise. Nice concept Viking but you've taken quiet ship to a new level and made it dullest ship on the sea. Not my cup of tea. Also the entertainment on the ship is very minimal and it looked as though our entertainers had just gotten out of school, very simple shows, not great compared to other lines like Oceania or Regent. Clear they did not put much money into it. I just expected more atmosphere and quality of entertainment. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and the review of this particular new Viking ship. We were NOT disappointed with either itinerary or the ship. In fact, we did something we have never done before, after sailing on a cruise ship, we ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and the review of this particular new Viking ship. We were NOT disappointed with either itinerary or the ship. In fact, we did something we have never done before, after sailing on a cruise ship, we booked another cruise! We can't say enough good things about the entire experience. The ship is absolutely fantastic. We loved the adults only atmosphere. The ship always seemed so quiet, like being in your home, with so many wonderful spots to sit and have a drink, read a book, play scrabble, work on a puzzle or simply enjoy the serenity of the ship. By far, one of the best spots to spend free time is the Explorer's Lounge. The Norwegian deli has an interesting and delicious selection of open face sandwiches, sweets and fresh fruit. With floor to ceiling windows the lounge gives wonderful views of the sea as you travel. The addition of a planetarium was another plus. We attended all three shows and they were interesting, informative and a nice extra. Our cabin, Penthouse Veranda, was lovely. Plenty of room to stretch out and the nice fridge filled daily with drinks and snacks. The Viking staff is outstanding. Every staff member was helpful and always had a smile. The food was another plus. The variety and presentation of the meals in the dining room was excellent. And, there was always a table for two if your wished to dine as a couple. The Orion exceeded our expectations and over the years we have traveled on more than 8 different cruise lines around the world. The addition of excellent speakers about the areas we were to visit was another plus. If you missed a lecture you could always catch it on your cabin TV or listen again to an interesting lecture. We are looking forward to our next cruise. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I have sailed a lot, probably close to100 cruises. On Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, I have spent over 360 days. But I was so impressed with everything about this voyage, I’m not sure I ever will go back to any other line; I think I have ... Read More
I have sailed a lot, probably close to100 cruises. On Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, I have spent over 360 days. But I was so impressed with everything about this voyage, I’m not sure I ever will go back to any other line; I think I have found my new home on the seas. embarkation and disembarkation both went very smoothly, a benefit of sailing with only 900 other passengers. This was not only the first and last day of the cruise but also for every port we visited. We were in Suite 4000, a ES1 category. Before sailing, I looked at the diagram for the owner’s suite on deck 7. I wondered if I would have wanted or needed everything provided in that cabin. Once we boarded and were settled in our suite, I was perfectly happy and would not have wanted to move upstairs. Heck, even the lowest standard cabins on Vining Ocean are better than many higher-level cabins on other cruise lines. I have often been a Grills passenger on Cunard. The Queen’s Grill on QM2 is considered by some to be the best restaurant at sea. Although Wiking does not offer dishes prepared table side, the quality and presentation and variety is equal to the food on other ships. Open dining was a delight and we never had a wait, It was nice to have the alternative dining restaurants and not have to pay extra. The rotating menu at the Chef’s Table was a deal. We ate there five nights during the month we were on board. Wine (which was not bad) and beer (which I don’t drink) were free during meals and I never paid for non-alcoholic beverages and coffee away from the restaurants. I consider it a benefit not to have a casino on the ships, photographers always wanting to take your picture, and on the shops on board lining the hallways as they apply their wares. I loved not having announcements every hour. The lecturers were very good and well-versed to discuss their topics, especially the port talks. Evening stage shows were above-average and well attended, but not the glitzy performances produced on larger ships. At least one excursion is free in every port. I participated in some of those and they were fine. The optional, paid excursions were well run and educational. Good variety of options. The gym is good, plenty of machines. Never crowded. A great spa and - since the line is Norwegian - great sauna, jacuzzi, ice water buckets AND a snow grotto. Imagine a snowball fight in the Suez Canal, I can’t say enough to complement the Viking professionals who made this such an enjoyable adventure. I liked it so much that I already have booked a one month journey next summer. I am sold on Viking! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Having done a few river cruises with Viking, we decided to try one of their ocean cruises. I was worried about getting on and off the boat with so many people and indeed it is a logistical challenge compared to the river cruises, but ... Read More
Having done a few river cruises with Viking, we decided to try one of their ocean cruises. I was worried about getting on and off the boat with so many people and indeed it is a logistical challenge compared to the river cruises, but they did an excellent job of minimizing our thumb twiddling or line standing. So that was alright, I thought. Eight or nine hundred people is still a lot to have on shore so they tried to spread us out with many different excursions. All our optional excursions were good, but the included excursions were mostly marginal and a couple were pretty bad compared to anything on a river cruise. Dining was excellent. The main restaurant was great and not hard to get into at all. They have a more adventuresome fixed menu (changes every other day) place that we loved and had no trouble getting into with a couple of days ahead reservations. But the buffet restaurant seemed to be the most popular and it was a fantastic buffet for sure, but we usually ate elsewhere. Personally, I recommend the wine upgrade. We started in Athens and went on to Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Oman and India. In Egypt we had three stops and had optional excursions to the Pyramids, Cairo Museum, Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, as well as snorkeling and boating. In Jordan there was an excursion to Petra. We just stayed near and enjoyed the water, which is spectacularly clear in the Red Sea, but the reports from those who took the bus rides to the grand sites was very positive. Personally, I recommend the Nile river cruise though, to avoid the long bus rides from the sea. Before exiting the Red Sea and dashing past Somalia to Oman, we took on board a small contingent of mercenaries (British it seemed), and stopped at sea to pick up their equipment from another ship. The crew also strung razor wire to make it more difficult to board from another boat but personally I think the mercenaries and their equipment made us completely safe. My wife talked to one of the young men a few times over the few days they were on board, and she found him to be very nice and he was very informative. It added a bit of adventure to our 4 days at sea going from Jordan to Oman. We visited Salala and Muscat in Oman. Muscat is very pretty and the people there are pretty relaxed and friendly for an Arab country. Then to Bombay, where we got off. There were as many Australians as Americans on this itinerary. Why is that? Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
The itinerary for this cruise was exceptional. We visited 10 countries, 16 ports of call, and too many UNESCO World Heritage sites to count. The list of highlights alone would take up all the room allowed for this review. One exceptional ... Read More
The itinerary for this cruise was exceptional. We visited 10 countries, 16 ports of call, and too many UNESCO World Heritage sites to count. The list of highlights alone would take up all the room allowed for this review. One exceptional point was that each port of call had an included excursion that was part of your fare. There were also extra excursions available for a surcharge. Those were generally much better for immersion in the local culture. The ship was elegant and stylish. It felt very comfortable. The crew were unfailingly friendly and efficient. The cabin stewards were so nice, they became friends. There were many days at sea on this cruise. The shipboard activities were top-notch. Guest lectures were very useful for understanding the culture of the upcoming ports of call. The food and dining options were amazing. You could choose between cafeteria, sit down dinner, or even specialty gourmet dining. All of them included options featuring the local cuisine of your last port of call. I would book another cruise with Viking Cruise Lines in a heartbeat. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Interesting itinerary addressing many bucket list destinations; we also wanted to try a new ship; after a Viking River cruise and several Oceania and Celebrity cruises we wanted to try Viking Ocean cruise on a small ship; the entire crew ... Read More
Interesting itinerary addressing many bucket list destinations; we also wanted to try a new ship; after a Viking River cruise and several Oceania and Celebrity cruises we wanted to try Viking Ocean cruise on a small ship; the entire crew from the captain on down was very accessible and friendly and provided great customer service while always endorsing the Viking brand; we individually recognized Rayban, Lea and Jessica in the main dining room and Waylan our cabin steward with extra gratuities for providing outstanding customer service; the food was generally good yet doesn't measure up to Oceania or Azamara and we were generally disappointed with the Chef's Table specialty restaurant and limited menu choices thought the food was good; also we enjoyed dinner in Manfredi's Restaurant on two occasions and found it entirely too noisy to carry on a dinner conversation however while the menu choices were good and food well prepared we just couldn't get into the specialty restaurant preferring instead to eat with our friends in the main dining room Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
The cruise provided the opportunity to see the Parthenon, the Holy Land, the pyramids, the Temple at Karnak and the ruins at Petra as well as meet the wonderful people who now live in and around these ancient places. The ship provided a ... Read More
The cruise provided the opportunity to see the Parthenon, the Holy Land, the pyramids, the Temple at Karnak and the ruins at Petra as well as meet the wonderful people who now live in and around these ancient places. The ship provided a wonderful base to strike out from to visit each of these places and a safe, comfortable "home" to come back to at the end of each day. The ship's crew were always helpful, courteous, cheerful, and saw to our every need. The food was delicious in the various venues, and the activities on-board during the days at sea left us no time to be bored. The exercise facilities were first class. Viking Ocean Cruises are exceptional in that they have an intimate feel due to the limited number of passengers compared to the mega-ship cruise lines. We will be sailing with them again in the near future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I chose this cruise because I liked the itinerary and had not been to this part of the world. The Passage to India exceeded all of my expectations. The Viking Orion is a beautiful ship! The cabins are spacious, well laid out and ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I liked the itinerary and had not been to this part of the world. The Passage to India exceeded all of my expectations. The Viking Orion is a beautiful ship! The cabins are spacious, well laid out and comfortable. The common guest areas are decorated with comfortable furniture, unique accessories and art work. Dining areas provide lovely views and welcoming atmospheres. The food and drink are wonderful—fresh, delicious, tasty and plentiful! The shops provide a wide variety of merchandise with a range of prices. The merchandise is high quality, unusual, and hard to resist. What you purchase on the Orion you will not find any where else. The shops’ personnel are friendly, professional, knowledgeable and customer focused. The entertainment was outstanding and top notch. I loved the on board lectures and the chance to hear experts in person as well as watch their presentations in my cabin. The officers and crew are true professionals who care about you and want to ensure everyone has an outstanding experience on the Viking Orion! Read Less
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