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14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My wife and I have cruised many times with Celebrity and always received 1st class service. We have completed many of the popular cruises more than once so was looking for alternative itinerary's. We booked an Explorer Suite with ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised many times with Celebrity and always received 1st class service. We have completed many of the popular cruises more than once so was looking for alternative itinerary's. We booked an Explorer Suite with Viking (similar price to a Penthouse with Celebrity) expecting a premium cruise experience but how wrong we were. We opted for the flight and cruise package just in case of any delays etc but unable to pre-book our seats so we could not sit together. Check-in was OK but the welcome champagne was an inch in a glass and no member of staff to show us our suite. The suite was as expected, sensible size decorated with furniture from Ikea. The one big issue was trying to keep the room warm as the outside temperature was as low as -18. We had all the curtains closed, all heating including an electric panel heater on full, blankets on the bed and still cold. The same for the pool area and the world café, you needed a sweater or fleece to eat your lunch. Service was very slow with many dirty tables waiting to be cleaned and members of staff just walking past. Must say food quality and variety was good. Room service was very slow to start, 1230pm and still no clean, 8.40pm no clean or turn down. After a couple of complaints this did improve. Shore excursions a complete joke, they were either cancelled or changed at the last moment and those that did proceed were poorly organised. I complained to Judi Buikman the shore excursion manager as she cancelled Northern Lights tours as not dark enough, tidal water phenomenon as it was low tide and a train and snow mobile tour as there was a road incident at 7am and she was worried the bus could not return passenger's back to the ship at 4pm. When I pointed out she failed to do her homework on the excursions, she replied "fair comment". We had arranged dinner reservations prior to sailing for the specialty restaurants but then refused to alter the seating from 2 to 4 persons as we had met new friends. After a sharp conversation with the Hotel Manager and Restaurant Manager this was changed but it should not be this way. The service in the Lounge Bar was very slow if at all, quicker to order drinks at the bar. The evening entertainment was fine for us, either a guitar or piano entertainer. One day the Cruise Director Drew Raitch performed his song book for us, it was embarrassing, the man cannot sing at all so please don't try. Viking Ocean Cruise are a new start-up cruise line (not river cruises) and it shows. The staff are not trained or experienced at ocean cruises and require constant direction from the Officers who themselves require more training. The ship itself was very well maintained but then it is only 2 years old, it is however very noisy when in rough seas and when using the bow thrusters, no pods fitted to this ship. My wife and I really wanted to like Viking as our new "go to" cruise line with different itinerary's but not a chance. Viking are now what the cruise industry was 10 years ago and customers paying premium rates for the top suites and Penthouses demand service. Celebrity have a Butler who takes care of everyday issues such as excursions, dinner reservations, laundry etc. They also have a dedicated restaurant and lounge bar with concierge for suite guests only and unlimited use of the speciality dining rooms. We are so glad we booked Alaska with Celebrity in May and not Viking, we would have been so disappointed. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our first Viking cruise. We cruise about 5-6 weeks a year and usually cruise Celebrity but have also enjoyed Royal Caribbean. For a change of pace and because the reviews were good, we decided to give Viking Ocean a try. We booked ... Read More
This was our first Viking cruise. We cruise about 5-6 weeks a year and usually cruise Celebrity but have also enjoyed Royal Caribbean. For a change of pace and because the reviews were good, we decided to give Viking Ocean a try. We booked the 14 night "In the Wake of Vikings" cruise from Bergen to Montreal. Well, let's just say we're not drinking the Viking Ocean Kool-Aid. We do not see the value in Viking compared to the price. The reason for my low rating is based on many things. First, (but not the primary reason) we missed 4 out of 8 ports! And the ONLY reason we chose this cruise is because we had not been to 6 of the 8 ports. We missed 4 of the 6. The first missed port was understandable due to (somewhat) rough seas. But the following day the Captain announced that he was cancelling 3 ports towards the end of the cruise because there was a forecast of bad weather later on. Well, as it turns out, there was no bad weather later on. In fact, we had surprisingly calm weather for that sea. I just think that decision was made way too hasty. Note: Viking did offer a partial credit voucher to be used on a future cruise. So, guess what happens when you cancel 4 ports?? You end up with 4 EXTRA sea days! WHICH, on any other cruise line wouldn't be so bad. We actually love sea days on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and even Princess. But on Viking, there is NOTHING to do! There's virtually no evening entertainment (and no I don't count the "classical trio" as entertainment night after night). There's no casino, no shows, and much less space to hang out in. What they do have, is lectures. Lots and lots of lectures. And I know a lot of people love educational lectures and in fact I would still recommend Viking if that's what you're into, but there has to be more than that imo. Another reason we didn't like Viking, and I know this only applies to a small minority of cruisers, is the suite. We paid more for our Explorer Suite (ES1) on Viking that we paid for ANY of our Penthouse Suites on Celebrity or Royal Suites on RCL. It was a joke. We were at the very front of the ship, and although there was a balcony out there, we weren't allowed to use most it. We only had use of the side balcony and none of the front. So much for the great views. The size of the Viking Explorer suite was half the size of the Celebrity Penthouse suite but the worse part was that there are no valuable perks for the upper suites. No drink package, no concierge, no butler, no prepaid gratuities. As far as dining, on a smaller ship, well, there are smaller choices. Not near as much variety. The quality was on par with Princess but not with Celebrity. The "included" excursions were all either walking tours or bus tours which are only fine if there's not much to see in the port. We took a few but in most ports we had to pay for optional tours to really explore a port. So basically, if we had purchased a smaller cabin I don't think we would have been as disappointed. But don't waste your money (6 times as much) on an Explorer Suite. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We enjoyed our on board experience but were VERY DISAPPOINTED with several of the excursions and especially the paid-for excursions. My main reason for this trip was to see Berlin. We took the "Historic Berlin" tour for ... Read More
We enjoyed our on board experience but were VERY DISAPPOINTED with several of the excursions and especially the paid-for excursions. My main reason for this trip was to see Berlin. We took the "Historic Berlin" tour for $418 for both of us. We wanted to see the Wall, the Brandenburg Gate, and go to the American Allies Museum which were all included on this tour. We saw the Wall and the Brandenburg Gate and several other "drive-by" monuments before lunch. After lunch all we had left was the Allied Museum. As we were arriving at the museum, our guide told us we had 15 minutes to see it. 15 MINUTES!! Obviously we really couldn't really absorb the details there and we were really disappointed. Then we spent 30 minutes at a souvenir store on the "Kdam." Perhaps we could have spent 30 minutes at the museum and 15 minutes at the store. We paid for and took the "Trail of the Vikings" tour in Stavanger, Norway. This tour was so bad for so many reasons, Viking refunded half of the money immediately to several who took the tour. We should have received all of it back. "Glimpse of Helsinki" was 3 hours on a bus with a guide who put us all to sleep. Luckily, this was an included tour so all we lost was our time. Viking should send an employee on the tours to observe what their clients are experiencing to insure quality. Viking promotes "enrichment" as a priority but there seems to be a disconnect between the ship and the shore experience. We really appreciated there was no casino on board, no photographers hawking pictures, and no beauty consultants interrupting our meals to sell spa treatments. The trip was good, but the trip would have been amazing if the tours matched the ship's experience. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We were very disappointed with our 2 week British Isles cruise on Viking Sun. Viking pricing and advertising would lead one to expect a premium, e.g. Crystal, Silversea, Seabourn, cruise experience. Not even close. Viking offers a ... Read More
We were very disappointed with our 2 week British Isles cruise on Viking Sun. Viking pricing and advertising would lead one to expect a premium, e.g. Crystal, Silversea, Seabourn, cruise experience. Not even close. Viking offers a somewhat smaller cabin with a nice, by cruise-liner standard’s, shower. No tubs or walk in closets here. Occasionally good, but generally poor to mediocre food. You pay for liquor except for complementary beer and rather dull wines at lunch and dinner. It says a lot about the claim to be a luxury company when you end complementary wine and beer at the poolside grill when the inside dining rooms are not open. The crew is very warm and pleasant but unprepared to deliver the level of service one gets from the other mentioned cruise lines. One gets the feeling that the onboard management is more concerned with the bottom line than with passenger happiness. Profitability issues should be left at the home office. Tipping is not included, it is charged to your onboard account. Onboard entertainment is skimpy. On our voyage, a 4 man show band and 4 singer/dancers performed 2 shows on 2 evenings. There were 3 guest entertainers who each performed 1 show on 2 different evenings. Unfortunately, the show theatre cannot accommodate all the guests at one seating. At the “one performance only” shows late coming passengers stood or squeezed into seats. A classical trio, a pianist, and a guitar player perform at various onboard venues. There is no casino. 1000 piece puzzles, scrabble games, checkers, dominoes, and several other physical and digital board games can be found in an area called the Atrium. Internet access is free for all guests and lots of passengers are playing games or otherwise busy on their cell phones. The so called enrichment lectures are a tall tale. There are accomplished lecturers speaking on topics that are of very little interest to the vast majority of passengers. Lecture attendance averaged 15 to 30 people. Bottom line, unless you really want a Viking itinerary, you can do a lot better for your money by shopping elsewhere. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary. Let me start off by saying the ship is beautiful, clean, well kept. The crew from Captain through to cabin steward were amazing. Always looking to please and helping with any problems that ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary. Let me start off by saying the ship is beautiful, clean, well kept. The crew from Captain through to cabin steward were amazing. Always looking to please and helping with any problems that may occur. Can't say enough about the crew. Now for the negatives. I am a 75 year old senior citizen as is my travel companion. We are very active individuals and have taken over 20 previous cruises (Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian plus two river cruise on Avalon ). First of all, when the booklet for the shore excursions was sent to us, we immediately went on line to sign up for the excursions we wanted to take. To our surprise the chosen excursions were already filled. Upon speaking to a Viking Shore Excursion Rep. we were told the shore excursion choices were given to the passengers who had cabins that cost more (then ours) were given priority so by the time it reached us the ones we choose were already filled up. This rule also applies to signing up for the different restaurants on board (Manfredies, cheif's table, etc). This is discrimination pure and simple. Viking advertises on their commercials “Enriching shore Excursion” mmmm if you’re able to secure said excursions……. As far as the onboard activities, trivia once a day at 12:00 noon only on sea days. That's it nothing else unless one wanted to go to a lecture. Surely the cruise director could come up with more fun and stimulating activities throughout the day. Now on to the cruise director. She kept telling us (the passengers) how sick she was all week. Well she was in full form to give us a presentation of her operatic arias (which, I might add, was wonderful). Other then that her appearance was absent all through the voyage, I take it she was in her cabin recuperating from her performance. Perhaps she might want to contact the cruise directors of other lines to get some ideas for stimulating activities to keep passengers interested, instead of sitting around with nothing to do for most of the voyage (on sea days). Of all the cruises we have taken we have never, never been so bored. We have never watched a movie in our stateroom until this voyage. One night they had "The Liar's Club" It was very well attended, that should tell the cruise director something. (Also I might add the trivia was also so well attended there were no seats available). I understand Viking appeals and caters to adult and senior cruisers. Great, but give us more stimulating activities during sea days, we may be a little slower of step but we're not dead. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and because the Viking Sea was a new ship. We have been on a Viking River Cruise and enjoyed the cruise. The embarkation was easy to move through and our luggage was delivered promptly. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and because the Viking Sea was a new ship. We have been on a Viking River Cruise and enjoyed the cruise. The embarkation was easy to move through and our luggage was delivered promptly. We found the ship to be fantastic, beautifully decorated and easy to navigate. No area of the ship ever felt crowded. The crew, for the most part, was be top notch, very friendly and accommodating. The food was very good with varying venues. The beverage package was a bargain, but I do not remember that it was marketed that well. We were very disappointed in the air arrangements on both ends of the trip and would probably do our own in the future. Shore excursion information was not delivered to customers in a timely manner. We thought choices were very limited and were not executed well. Because of a biking event, we were not able to see Bergen except from the water and we were there 1 1/2 days. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Very Bored. No Entertainment was not worth the time watching.only one show was good.Wait staff was Wonderful and friendly .Diner was the most Pleasant part of the trip "into the Midnight Sun." The Port that we wanted to see the ... Read More
Very Bored. No Entertainment was not worth the time watching.only one show was good.Wait staff was Wonderful and friendly .Diner was the most Pleasant part of the trip "into the Midnight Sun." The Port that we wanted to see the Capt.Did not stop.Wanted to see the tundra.Said it was to dangerous.Well he it the pilings in the middle to the Thames (London)River clear and Sunny!Put a Big scrape on the side of the ship and Rocked it.This trip I would not recommend .big a book and Read or watch the Reruns of Movies we have already seen. Didn't get our Money's worth by not seeing Hav.port at top of Norway and that was suppose to be the Main attraction. We have done sever River Cruises with them and was Satisfied . They are also not Handicapped friendly hard for older people to get on and off and walk the length of the pier. Step too high to get on the excursion Bus. Think we will cancel our next cruise we have booked.Just read the reviews and it doesn't get any better. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
My wife and I choose this cruise based on the itinerary. It was called "In the Wake of the Vikings". We left Seattle on Seattle on Sept. 15 the spend some time in Norway. We flew through Iceland to Oslo and took the train from ... Read More
My wife and I choose this cruise based on the itinerary. It was called "In the Wake of the Vikings". We left Seattle on Seattle on Sept. 15 the spend some time in Norway. We flew through Iceland to Oslo and took the train from Oslo to Bergern; a wonderful trip. We arrived in Bergen on the evening of the 17th with the intent of checking in on the Ship and doing some planned activities. We arrived at the pier about 10:15 AM, neither conveyor belts that scan your items was working, thus a full pat down. Once through we were told it would be 10:30 AM before we could check in. It turned out that the systems to check us in were down and we could not check in until 11 AM. It seemed like no one knew what was happening and it was hard to get straight answer. That should have been a hint. We got passed that and rode the funicular up the mountain, had lunch in the Fish Market and took a fjord tour by boat...a great day in Bergen! Since we were not sailing until the evening of the 19th, we took a farm tour that was included on the 19th and it was very enjoyable. Let me say at this point that we are experienced cruisers with this being our 26th cruise since the early 1990's. All ocean cruises, no river cruises and no Viking. We read great things about the Star, which turned out not be true. Our first stop was the Shetland Islands where we had a great tour and my wife bought wool (she is a knitter). Our second stop was the Faro Islands, which we had toW pass due to rough seas. Iceland was next and we had a great time in Reykivik; we had lunch at Cafe Loki where we had the traditional meat soup and several varieties of herring. For dessert we had Rye Bread Ice Cream (delicious). My wife bought more yarn and we bought some gifts. Nice Day. Then the fun began! We ran into a substantial storm that night with up to 45 foot waves and winds gusting to 80-90 mph. Lots damage on the ship and some people were hurt. Everyone had to hunker down for the night. Fortunately we were not seasick. Several items broke in our cabin. It was by far the worst storm that we have ever encountered while cruising. The next day was better, but 15 foot seas and 30 mph winds were not that much fun. Greenland had a stark beauty highlighted by a floating iceberg, a glacier and some very remote villages. We stopped at two very small Inuit villages and had to tender in since there was no dock to handle our Ship, even though we were under 1,000 passengers. After another sea day, we landed at L'Anse aux Meodows, a site of reconstructed Viking village. We were in one of the last two groups when the Captain cancelled the tendering due to rough seas. We felt we could have made since we have tendered in rough seas before. He later apologized since the seas did not get as bad as he expected. Needless to say we were very upset about missing this site. Our next port, Sagueny, Canada we took a paid tour of crafts, etc. At our first stop the bus broke down; end of tour Quebec City was really hopping and we had a good tour. Finally Montreal where we stayed in the Renaissance, a Marriott property which was outstanding. Especially using points and an upgrade to suite. I am a Platinum Elite, which is helpful. Here is our assessment: the Ship is beautiful, the staff is very attentive, but ineffective, the cabin is very well designed and the food ranged from horrible to very good. We ate in every dining venue. The phones have a clock, which was out for 4 days, thus when putting in a wake up call you were awakened two hours early until the problem was corrected. The wifi is free but very slow and not there several times. Everything you as for takes 2-3 to get it; making little things big things and gets you angry. There is no single point of contact like a concierge and/or a butler. At $7,000 per person one would hope for something like that. Entertainment was minimal, but surprisingly very good. We felt that Viking is not ready for prime time ocean cruising. Also DO NOT CRUISE THE NORTH SEA AND NORTH ATLANTIC IN SEPT-OCT. Read Less
46 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We chose this Cruise for its Itinerary of 8 counties in Scandinavia along with initial reviews of Viking Stars first year at sea. In 2015 we cruised on CRYSTAL SERENITY from Istanbul to Venice so it was our benchmark vs Viking Star. ... Read More
We chose this Cruise for its Itinerary of 8 counties in Scandinavia along with initial reviews of Viking Stars first year at sea. In 2015 we cruised on CRYSTAL SERENITY from Istanbul to Venice so it was our benchmark vs Viking Star. Let me start with the positives ,Embarkation was seamless,with Viking Star staff having my tagged bags on their way before I payed taxi. Like Crystal they greeted with champagne and sent you for lunch but in their case it was the buffet World Grille vs the Crystal's beautiful dining room.First impressions are important. i can't say enough about House keeping ,they were very helpful,friendly and always addressed you by name.This also applies to the lounge staff. Having said that, i must turn to the reasons i can NOT RECOMMEND VIKING!!!! Two of the examples I will give are as follows, Unlike Crystal Viking does not have a true all inclusive program,they nickel and dime you at every turn.On my first day i noted in the room a sheet advertising a new beverage program which for $209.00 pp covered drinks of $6 max. As I am not a drinker this program was superior to their silver program or so i thought!! I signed up for it then when reviewing our account on the tv found drinks were being charged for my wife that should have been free. I made a call to GUEST SERVICES, the woman was short and told me she would call back in an hour. Two hours later i called again to be told she is off duty, i repeated my issue and again was told i would receive a call back in an hour....again no call. At 830 pm I was left a message that charges were legitimate . The next morning i went down to guest service and asked for the manager, she was also short to me and clinged to that they did call back at 8 pm...wow, she went on to say the charges were accurate. When I asked for my money back for the program she changed her tune and looked in detail at the charges and found I was correct,promised to fix it that night. I was ok with that but i told her they are missing a major point , that being their poor communication to the customer....after all they are called GUEST SERVICES !!!! i DID NOT WANT TO BE DOING THIS MY ENTIRE TRIP ., but I did, it took 4 days each in every day checking and calling....NO EXCUSE.....not to mention their are no mixed drinks for 6$, beer and wine only. The day I returned Viking announced the option to free beverages or gratuities. DAH......Management has issues. Then disembarkation approached and they put out instructions to guests to put bags out one full night before they actually needed to be put in the hallways, I had to call GUEST services again...they knew nothing about it. My wife spoke to housekeeping and their management looked at letter and quickly told her to withdraw all letters from rooms !!! Food was mediocre at best, entertainment terrible, Dinners rushed as all course needed to be ordered at once. Restaurant seating staff was rude calling out your room number as you approached from 30 ft. Chastised me for shorts at BREAKFAST,guess I was supposed to change twice before a tour! Although we were not one of the many travelers impacted by Vikings Air connections issues in Iceland, it was the talk of the ship, passengers stranded in Iceland airport with no Viking rep or pick up for hours...boy were they mad. I could go on and on but I would like to spare others wasting time on Viking Ocean they are not ready Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
We booked our cruise "Passage through Western Europe " over 12 months in advance and were looking forward to our 14 night cruise. We arrived in Bergen 3 days ahead of departure so that we could see Bergen in depth. We ... Read More
We booked our cruise "Passage through Western Europe " over 12 months in advance and were looking forward to our 14 night cruise. We arrived in Bergen 3 days ahead of departure so that we could see Bergen in depth. We happened to be shopping in the Bergen Market place and found out from a stall holder that the ship had broken down over a week earlier in Tallin Estonia. Viking had known about the problem and did not contact us before we departed from home. Some passengers were contacted and given the opportunity to cancel the cruise or be given a cabin upgrade and a future credit.If we had known that our cruise was going to be cut by 3 days and the ports of Greenwich and Rouen were to be scrubbed we would have cancelled. It is obvious that Viking selected it high value customers to give them the opportunity to cancel and the rest would pay for the running costs of the shortened cruise. We have on numerous occasions contacted Viking cruises about the inequitable way it treats its customers but there is no response . The Ship itself is beautiful as you would expect from a new ship but its mechanical problems leave us wondering whether it would be wise to take a risk with this shipping line again.The service and food on board was excellent. My only complaint about the meals was that not one course of food was hot.The temperature of the food on the plate was always just warm.I mentioned this and was told that in the future the food would be served hot but nothing changed. If you like big production entertainment at night this is not the line for you. There are no Broadway high value shows. The enrichment lectures were a disappointment .There was a 10 minute slide show on each port without an in depth analysis.This was followed by a slide show on some shore excursions offered in each port.15 mins.We were expecting something a little more intellectual. The organization and administration of shore excursions was amateurish and the most poorly run of any of the 5 shipping lines we have traveled with. The left hand did not know what the right hand was doing. Om many occasions we were told over the PA to proceed ashore for an excursion , only to be told at the gangway that we could not get off the ship yet.We were left standing at the gangway for 20 - 30 minutes while confusion reigned supreme. This should not take place on a cruise line that prides itself on its experienced shore excursion staff and boasts of its superior customer service. Some of the free shore excursions were a waste of time e.g Gibraltar. The driver/ guides were instructed to be as quick as possible and not stop at points of interest so that they could get back to the ship to take another group on the same tour. Such penny pinching. A 5 hour tour reduced to 1 hour.The guide could not even give us the full talk on each point of interest because of the time pressure he was under. The mechanical problems were still evident on the cruise as we were 3 hours late to arrive in a port in Spain thus giving us only half a day in port not the full day that was in the itinerary. There appeared to be a problem with one of the propulsion units as the wake from the starboard engine was negligible. Overall : Considering the premium prices being charged we think you get better value on the other shipping lines.They are a polished act whereas Viking is still learning and there is more to a cruise than just a nice ship. Read Less
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