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680 Viking Ocean Caribbean Cruise Reviews

We chose to travel on the Viking Sea (10 day cruise) from San Juan, Puerto Rico to San Juan, Puerto Rico, because we liked the look of the itinerary, and the fact that it has been voted the top cruise line for the last 4 years. We were ... Read More
We chose to travel on the Viking Sea (10 day cruise) from San Juan, Puerto Rico to San Juan, Puerto Rico, because we liked the look of the itinerary, and the fact that it has been voted the top cruise line for the last 4 years. We were amazed by the ship on embarking. It is a stunning, beautiful ship decorated in a Scandinavian style. Our first reaction was that this was going to be a wonderful cruise. Unfortunately, it all went down hill from there. For an expensive 6* cruise line the cabins are tight and drawer space is at a premium. When comparing the cabins to Azamara for example they do not seem any bigger, although the bathrooms are a significant improvement. I am guessing that they have improved the bathroom size at the expense of draw space in the cabin. We like to eat on deck under the stars. This facility was not available on board the Viking Sea, unless one ate at the back of the ship adjoining the buffet restaurant. However, in this case there is no waiter service. Guests had to take food from the buffet. Service around the pool deck was almost non existent until I complained. It was then significantly improved. In addition the service outside at the back of the ship was also poor. Sometimes it was impossible to find a waiter, but at other times it was better. Most of the sun loungers around the pool deck have no mattresses, and the towels are very small. They cover the upright back of the lounger, and possibly a third of the horizontal part of the seat. They are grossly uncomfortable and I am sure contributed to a back problem I currently have. The policy on the ship seems to be to close the roof on the sun deck at the merest hint of rain. The temperatures in the Caribbean hover at around 30 c and closing the roof for no very good reason serves to make the conditions on deck almost intolerable. I can only assume that they are scared of getting the deck wet. In the main the food offering is very good. However, one of the specialist restaurants (Chef’s Table - Asian Fusion), we found very challenging. There is no choice - it is a fixed menu. Although it is changed every three days. We ate there twice, and on both occasions found that there were courses we could not eat. The entertainment was meagre. There were no outside entertainers. There were just 3 production shows, the cruise director doing an Elvis impersonation, and the Assistant cruise director doing a show (she was superb). Other entertainment was the Super Bowl (not very interesting to non- Americans), and a televised Oscar ceremony. Turandot was shown two days running, and 2 other films. Really, it was all rather poor. Around the ship was a classical string duo, and a classical pianist. Most of the time the music took on a funereal quality. The result was the lounges were very often empty or near empty. In fact we often said the ship felt a little like a ghost ship. There was also a guitarist. On him I can make no comment as I never heard him play. Apart from enrichment lectures, and trivia quizzes held rather bizarrely at 20.15, no other on board activities were offered. There is no card room or organised or disorganised bridge. We asked at guest relations if they could provide us with some playing cards. All they were able to come up with was an old pack held together with a rubber band, and a non matching set of picture cards. We were also told that we would have to sign for these - mind boggling. The crew were very friendly and smiling. There were simply not sufficient. Viking runs their ship with approx 2 guests to 1 crew member. Other lines with similar reputations have between 1.5 and 1.7 crew per guest. This probably is the main cause for the service difficulties we encountered. We have travelled on Crystal, Silversea, Seabourn, Azamara, and Oceania. All comparable products. Unfortunately, Viking does not meet the standards of its competitors, and feels like it is being run on the cheap. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose the West Indies Cruise for several reasons: dates, ports, weather, and our love of Everything Viking! Our ship was a small cruising ship with 930 people and no children. Don’t get us wrong, we love children but prefer traveling ... Read More
We chose the West Indies Cruise for several reasons: dates, ports, weather, and our love of Everything Viking! Our ship was a small cruising ship with 930 people and no children. Don’t get us wrong, we love children but prefer traveling without them. The Viking Sea is beautiful and we were proud to be a part of the journey. Extremely clean, well appointed, with incomparable service is the hallmark of all Viking cruises. No matter where we chose to explore on the ship, we never felt it to be crowded. There are so many great spots; we enjoyed the Living Room, Atrium, Spa, pool, Mamsen’s for coffee and sweets and more. We loved our penthouse veranda! We sat on the veranda as the ship quietly left each port, admiring the undeniable beauty around us. Then we would proceed to dinner where we had a choice of 4 places to dine. Service was always the best and presentation of the food was so appealing. We ate and drank wine and felt like celebrities! The buffet area was excellent with numerous choices and all were delicious. Of interest is as one enters any restaurant, there are beautiful shiny sinks to wash hands, which we thought was great!! My husband enjoyed the pool side burgers, fries and onion rings for lunch. Desserts were amazing and we wanted to eat all of them!!! My husband loved the ice cream bar as well! The entertainment was perfect for us! Piano music was lovely along with the 4 singers we listened to many times; and there were strings, movies,dancing, educational talks and more! As for shore excursions - we went on almost all of them - they were breathtaking. So many gorgeous islands with beauty everywhere. My husband went snorkeling and we went to the mineral springs, and of course looked 10 years younger in the days ahead!!! Also, embarkation & disembarkation went very smooth. Security was also excellent. We would definitely travel to the West Indies again and always with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We were thinking of cruising for a while and very hesitant about small spaces and too many people, etc. Good friends highly recommended Viking Cruises, so we researched the line and liked what we found. We wanted warm breezes in ... Read More
We were thinking of cruising for a while and very hesitant about small spaces and too many people, etc. Good friends highly recommended Viking Cruises, so we researched the line and liked what we found. We wanted warm breezes in February, and chose the West Indies Explorer cruise beginning in Puerto Rico. We were greeted with sunshine and smiles. All the Viking staff were so happy and upbeat, we were made to feel at home immediately. The Viking Sea was spectacular, so well appointed with many areas to relax and enjoy the views. We loved the piano in the Atrium, the lectures, the onboard shops and the specialtyrestaurants, to name a few. We were invited to a mix and mingle event where we were greeted by officers of the ship and other cruise critic members with cocktails and appetizers. It was great to meet other cruisers as well as the officers. We had a lovely evening. Every day the cruise director presented an overview about the next port which was so informative and got you excited to see the next stop. The Food and the service was exceptional. We enjoyed fine dining in the Speciality restaurants and the main dining room,. If we felt like a more casual evening, the buffet was fabulous. The food was delicious and abundant. We are already planning our next adventure, perhaps we will sail on a river cruise. Thanks to all for making our first cruise so wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Cruise was great, could not fault the ship which was just the right size compared to the other large ships we had been on previously, although still got lost in the early stages. The food was fab even the canteen as I called it was as ... Read More
Cruise was great, could not fault the ship which was just the right size compared to the other large ships we had been on previously, although still got lost in the early stages. The food was fab even the canteen as I called it was as good as some of the main restaurants. We had a drinks package which we thought was good value for us. The staff very friendly happy and great service. No nickle and diaming which I liked. Entertainment was good from the small team which I preferred to the big shows. Great to mix with them. If I was to be picky my only criticism was the age demographic which was high around 75 average! I think Viking should cater for a wider demographic or make it clear to new passengers. We were in a suite which was brilliant the spa was something else. I don’t know how any other cruise line will live up to this experience, so likely to be back sometime in the future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise because we had enjoyed a previous holiday in the Caribbean and wanted to see more of it. From the moment we boarded Viking Sea, we felt that we were valued guests and we were really impressed with the focus on ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had enjoyed a previous holiday in the Caribbean and wanted to see more of it. From the moment we boarded Viking Sea, we felt that we were valued guests and we were really impressed with the focus on service. We received feedback requests and chose to respond. What really surprised us was that not only did we get a written reply but that it showed that the management had actually read what we had written. Throughout our cruise the level of service was excellent except on one occasion. That was resolved by the alert supervisor who made sure the issue was rectified - one of the key strengths of Viking is that their supervisors and managers are hands on and proactive rather than simply visible. The enrichment offered by the biologist was excellent. The “historian” was not a historian.The quizzes were very good and the music was lovely. The productions by the onboard team were very good. The food was excellent and we enjoyed the specialist dining; we found it easy to arrange what we wanted to do. As we had not been before we did the included shore excursions. Most of them were very good, the usual shopping opportunities were always included! The atmosphere on this cruise was delightful and we booked to go again with Viking. We have since done another cruise with another company and feel that although Viking are more expensive they offer excellent value by delivering excellent service. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose the West Indian Explorer Cruise with Viking because it stopped at nine beautiful ports, only one of which we had seen before. Also, our previous Viking Rhine River Cruise was so great, we wanted to try Viking's Ocean ... Read More
We chose the West Indian Explorer Cruise with Viking because it stopped at nine beautiful ports, only one of which we had seen before. Also, our previous Viking Rhine River Cruise was so great, we wanted to try Viking's Ocean cruises. We especially liked the fact all cabins have balconies, the ship is smaller (930 passengers), has no gambling, smoking or anyone under the age of 18 - makes for a very peaceful vacation. Viking provides an included on-shore excursion at each port included in the cruise price and those excursions do a much better job than other cruise lines of providing history, economic and political information. A wide variety of added cost excursions allow for a broader choice of things to do if the included excursion isn't to your taste. OK, the food was also wonderful and the entertainment was too - just bring ear plugs if you have tinnitus or sensitive hearing! Our only disappointments were the lack of dance floor space and the music tended to frenetic "club" dancing rather than "ballroom". The "Viking APP" only partly worked on my Android cell phone and the cruise hosts couldn't get it to work either so we weren't able to track our schedule and other events as well as we should have been able to. Most cruise ships have friendly staff, but Viking's staff hit a new high - not a frown the whole trip! In short - we would do this again in a heart-beat! PS - this questionnaire would not allow me to add a photo - just saying.... Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We decided to escape winter for a bit and took our second Viking ocean cruise because of the great itinerary.....2 nights in Puerto Rico and a port a day. It didn't disappoint, with perfect weather. We had included bus transfer from ... Read More
We decided to escape winter for a bit and took our second Viking ocean cruise because of the great itinerary.....2 nights in Puerto Rico and a port a day. It didn't disappoint, with perfect weather. We had included bus transfer from our hotel to the port, and the embarkation was the simplest ever....we walked up to a table and they gave us our room keys and tickets for our shore excursions. The ship is for adults, elegant and easy to explore. Our cabin was ready early and it already had our luggage in it. We had a deluxe veranda cabin on deck 4 and it was comfortable and spotless. There is a lack of drawer space, but the bathroom is very spacious. Our cabin attendant, Michael, was unobtrusive but was always there for us if we needed anything. I loved the soft, squishy pillows but my husband wanted a firmer one, and it was provided almost immediately. The breakfast and lunch buffets had a varied assortment of food and the pool grill had good burgers and a salad bar. We ate dinner most nights in The Restaurant and the food was uniformly good. It was especially nice having a destination menu every night. The service seemed more harried than our last cruise, it seems like they have less staff because our first 3 waiters didn't even have time to introduce themselves, talk about the food or check back with us. We finally found Singh and Azri, who were excellent. We had the beverage package, so the sommelier, Enea was very helpful and knowledgeable making recommendations from the premium wines. We ate 2 nights at the Chef's Table and both meals and wine pairings were delicious. Mamsen's during the day has delicious desserts. The entertainers on-board were all talented, especially the Viking Band and the guitar player Pablo. We would listen to them every night in Torshavn and they played a wide range of music with no repeats in their set-lists, unless they had a request. It was fantastic not hearing the same songs over and over. They were some of the most talented musicians we've seen and really made the cruise for us. The optional shore excursions were fun, especially the Secret Sand Beach Break in St. Thomas. It was the one of the most relaxing, peaceful beaches we've been to. We like that there is a container for wet towels when you get back on-board and that water is provided as you leave the ship. We had an issue with one of our other shore excursions and it was resolved more than satisfactorily right away. We really appreciated the excellent customer service. We had a small Meet and Mingle in the Wintergarden and Viking did a great job. It was nice to meet so many officers and the appetizers and drinks were very tasty. The fitness center is very clean and the included spa saunas and pool and worth doing. The staff and service are what make Viking cruises so excellent. The people are helpful and friendly and we hated to leave them. We have 2 more ocean cruises booked with them. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The small size of the ship was a deciding factor. We wanted some winter sunshine.We wanted a ship where there was a choice of dining rooms and free seating. We enjoy dressing for dinner but not the formality of ‘black tie’ and also the ... Read More
The small size of the ship was a deciding factor. We wanted some winter sunshine.We wanted a ship where there was a choice of dining rooms and free seating. We enjoy dressing for dinner but not the formality of ‘black tie’ and also the the freedom to choose informal dining options. A private veranda was important to us. Viking offered all the things we thought were important to us. We loved the luxury, companionship, privacy and quiet times as well as times to participate in the entertainment, to listen to the daily port talks, music in the atrium and the musical concerts in the theatre. We were able to book tables at different restaurants before we set off as well as optional or additional tours. We chose two evenings at Manfredi’s and two at The Chef’s Table. There were always places to eat without a reservation. The World Cafe and the more formal Restaurant. This was our first ocean cruise and we didn’t get round to using all the facilities but did enjoy the spa, swimming pool and the Explorers Lounge. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We have been on Viking River Cruises and wanted to try an ocean one. We have done 2 Oceania Cruises before, which we loved. VIKING was as good and better in many ways. The ship is new and well designed to meet every need. We loved the ... Read More
We have been on Viking River Cruises and wanted to try an ocean one. We have done 2 Oceania Cruises before, which we loved. VIKING was as good and better in many ways. The ship is new and well designed to meet every need. We loved the fact that the cruise did not $100 you to death. Food, wine, WiFi, launderette, and Spa were included in the standard price , as well as one included excursion every day. There were 2 reservation only restaurants on the ship. A meal in each came with our cabin. You could dine again in either if there was space - at no additional charge. But The Restaurant, the main dining room was excellent. There were 2 of us traveling. We asked to be seated at a table of 6 with others and made new acquaintances who we saw throughout the cruise. The entertainment was exceptional; far better than expected! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I loved this Viking experience. Smaller ship, no photos, no casino and I'm sorry, but no children. It was what we needed (we're Seniors). The "free to everyone Spa" is amazing! The hot room, the ice bucket of water, the ... Read More
I loved this Viking experience. Smaller ship, no photos, no casino and I'm sorry, but no children. It was what we needed (we're Seniors). The "free to everyone Spa" is amazing! The hot room, the ice bucket of water, the cold room, the big spa, the hot tub.... at first I thought I couldn't do it, but it was absolutely wonderful. The crew/staff was amazing beyond any expectations we had. Our dining experience could not have been better. Absolutely fabulous food - what a surprise from Princess and Carnival! Our waiter, Singh Untung Surya, Station 12, Table #151 made this cruise, OVER THE TOP. He was FABULOUS - the six of us that traveled together cannot say enough about what an amazing dining experience we had, with many, many accolades and thanks to Singh. He needs to be promoted or get a raise or something. Everyone that enjoyed the pleasure of being on one of his tables, all agreed, he is one very amazing person and a true asset to the Viking team. He made a huge difference to all of us! Way to go Singh....thank you for all you efforts to make this cruise extremely memorable for all of us! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We had been thinking about a Caribbean cruise for some time and the timing, ship, and itinerary were just what we wanted. The ship was perfect; smaller and more intimate than our previous cruise ships with well thought out lounge areas and ... Read More
We had been thinking about a Caribbean cruise for some time and the timing, ship, and itinerary were just what we wanted. The ship was perfect; smaller and more intimate than our previous cruise ships with well thought out lounge areas and bars for pre and post dinner relaxation. Excellent food and service in the restaurants and plenty of sun-beds both on the decks and around the pools with bar staff bringing around iced water, just what we needed! The catamaran cruises were expensive but worth the money, however, the two beach trips (Barbados and Tortola) were not what we would expect and let the ship down. The Barbados beach trip in particular was around $70 each to spend around 2 hours rammed together where access to the 'beach club' for the whole day was around $20; someone made a lot of money out of that trip! In the World cafe at breakfast, the cafe seems to be geared towards American tourists,who are the majority, but it would be nice to be offered tea at the tables, as well as coffee; we usually had to get our own. Also, the hot water for the tea in the jugs needs to be refreshed frequently as the water needs to be nearly boiling to make tea properly. Finally, the pools were too warm to be really refreshing. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Dates of travel; to try Viking Ocean ships, ship is beautiful, love the public spaces. Cabin is quite well designed, with great storage and organization. We wish there were some sort of small prizes in daily trivia games, some Viking ... Read More
Dates of travel; to try Viking Ocean ships, ship is beautiful, love the public spaces. Cabin is quite well designed, with great storage and organization. We wish there were some sort of small prizes in daily trivia games, some Viking labels small items, perhaps?. We enjoyed both specialty restaurants -- would like to know menu focus when reserving a particular night at Chef's Table. Entertainment was Very Good. Open forum with Historian on board was particularly interesting. Airport reception and transfers handled very efficiently. Luggage to room was quite slow, reportedly due to Miami port issues. Pre-cruise information, documentation and videos were great and very helpful Be sure to download the MyViking app, which is very, very useful on board. I particularly like the organization of Guest Services. They were excellent and always quite helpful. When given the opportunity by itinerary, dates, and offers we will gladly travel Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise to go to Cuba and were disappointed that didn't work out. Then we kept the cruise with the revised itinerary in order to see Key West. That didn't work out either as we didn't stop there due to rough ... Read More
We chose this cruise to go to Cuba and were disappointed that didn't work out. Then we kept the cruise with the revised itinerary in order to see Key West. That didn't work out either as we didn't stop there due to rough waters. But the cruise was nice. Loved the lectures. Ship was nice. The main dining room service was very slow and they seemed understaffed. The other dining venues were much better. The entertainment singers were fantastic - very talented. And the lectures were plentiful and interesting. Shore excursions in Belize seemed a little disorganized, and I did not like eating chicken (on the bone) and rice on my lap in the tour bus. The Salsa excursion in Cozumel was a lot of fun and the visit to Chitzen Itza was very interesting. The embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. Viking reps were very friendly and helpful. We did not travel with children. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The embarkation and disembarkation were smooth. The outbound and return flights and transfers were well organized. Thee ship is beautiful. The decor is modern and elegant. The furnishing is unique and stylish. Enjoyed walking around ... Read More
The embarkation and disembarkation were smooth. The outbound and return flights and transfers were well organized. Thee ship is beautiful. The decor is modern and elegant. The furnishing is unique and stylish. Enjoyed walking around looking at the artwork. The attention to detail is obvious throughout the ship. The ship is spotless and immaculate including the public bathrooms....enjoyed the birds singing as background music. The spa is beyond wonderful. We absolutely enjoyed soaking in the pool and lounging around. The gym equipment are top of the line. The cabin is well appointed. Would appreciate more storage space and thicker duvet. The bathroom is spacious and well designed. Very impressed with the heated floor. The service was great. Eric who too our specialty restaurant reservations was very helpful and friendly. The food and the were excellent. The complimentary shoe excursions at every port were a great bonus. It was an absolutley enjoyable cruise. We look forward to our next Viking cruise. We will surely recommend Viking to our friends and family. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Price - good deal from travel agent and was never on a Viking cruise ship. We loved it the food was excellent even in the buffet you can get the same food as dining room. Even though they did not have Broadway shows the entertainment ... Read More
Price - good deal from travel agent and was never on a Viking cruise ship. We loved it the food was excellent even in the buffet you can get the same food as dining room. Even though they did not have Broadway shows the entertainment was very good - the singers did a great job. From the airport until you boarded the ship was a breeze - the shore excursions that they picked for you were great , and offer a way variety of things to see and do. I enjoy deck where you could walk around the ship for exercise - kept the weather out off of you even when the winds were bad. We enjoyed the trivia and other games that were play. The afternoon tea was a surprised. The pool areas had enough seats for everyone and the infinite pool was wonderful. Will be doing a Viking cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise explicitly because there were no “at sea days”. We chose Viking because of stellar reviews with no casinos nor children. Being a very new boat, just 4 or 5 years old added to the allure. The airfare (which was ... Read More
We chose this cruise explicitly because there were no “at sea days”. We chose Viking because of stellar reviews with no casinos nor children. Being a very new boat, just 4 or 5 years old added to the allure. The airfare (which was included right from Victoria) was a bonus. Connections were in the acceptable range, but actual flights were hardly direct. It took 24 hrs pretty well both ways door to cabin door & back - very long. The boat itself was near perfection. Very clean and extremely well kept. Crew was exemplary in almost every way. The organization of the entire cruise was near to flawless. The food was exceptional, and all the restaurants (not cafeteria) were very well managed. Very limited wait times for seating & service were always acceptable. The stateroom, penthouse balcony, was spacious & well thought out. The head was lovely - only room for 1 person at a time, but that was to be expected. I thought the balcony was a little small, but still offered us lovely moments to enjoy the sea air & magnificent views. The included excursions were informative, didn’t love the giant coach drives, but they had their good points. Most of the optional excursions were terrific. Especially the catamaran trips. On the downside weather became a problem right from the cast-off. We left a few hours behind schedule which could have been an issue with our 1st port of call, however that became moot when we couldn’t even dock at our 1st port of call. Nor the 2nd one! All other ports were achieved. Another weather issue disallowed us to experience our most highly anticipated excursion. This was further exasperated when my husband & I got separated when I returned on board after the cancellation of our excursion to unload our gear, only to be denied at the gangway to leave the vessel as it was about to be repositioned. We were given inaccurate information as to a timely disembarkation notification. Many of us were very upset not knowing how long this would take. It took over an hour for us to reunite, almost ruining our ability to see any or much of the island. The crew worked hard to try to correct anything they possible could - that must be said. My only negative comments regarding the food & beverage aspect would be the World Cafe, & the overburdened Wintergarden. Workers could not seem to keep up with busing tables every time we went there. In the Cafe we sat at dirty or unset tables in order to have a meal. Drinks also either took a long time to get or there was no table service apparent. I went to the bar to get our alcoholic beverages each time we went there except once. Ted talks were well liked as were various cinema or theatre activities. I will try to go on another Viking Cruise for sure, however I cannot say the same for my husband. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Escaping Illinois in January was a great plan! Unfortunately, the ocean was a bit angry and we could not dock at the first 2 ports. Additionally, excursions were cancelled because of weather. The Viking Sea is a beautiful vessel and ... Read More
Escaping Illinois in January was a great plan! Unfortunately, the ocean was a bit angry and we could not dock at the first 2 ports. Additionally, excursions were cancelled because of weather. The Viking Sea is a beautiful vessel and the staff could not have been better. We enjoyed having a choice of restaurants, multiple bar locations, a luxurious spa and plenty of books for borrowing. Having an included tour at each location was a very convenient way to get the overall picture of each island. We found the tours that we were able to take were equal to or more than what we expected. Viking ocean cruises include a lot of things that are extra on other cruises. And, they were very prompt in refunding the money for cancelled excursions to our shipboard account. Our Cruise Critic meet and mingle reception was very nice. It was a good time to meet and visit with other cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We have been on other cruises but since we went on our first cruise with Viking we have been on 3 others and have booked 2 more with Viking. The service on the ship is wonderful especially the people who took care of our rooms. The rooms ... Read More
We have been on other cruises but since we went on our first cruise with Viking we have been on 3 others and have booked 2 more with Viking. The service on the ship is wonderful especially the people who took care of our rooms. The rooms were always kept clean. They made sure we always have clean towels. They always supplied us with limes and ice for our drinks at the time we requested. We enjoyed that we do not have certain times for any meals except the specialty dinners. We could choose a table for 2, 4, or six people for each meal. This way we were able to meet new people but enjoy sometime just enjoy ourselves when we wanted to. Service on the Caribbean Cruises could use some organization. Service can be a little slow sometimes. On our travels we have done 2 Caribbean cruises with Viking and this has been an issue that we do not have on their European Ocean cruises. We love that there is no photographer constantly taking pictures and then try selling to you. My husband and I enjoy history we love how Viking has historians on the area. We always something new on the cruise along with the excursions we take. I like that Viking offers one free excursion at each stop that gives you a general knowledge of what the stops have to offers. This gives you the ability to go off on your own to view your own interests you may have like taking a look at a museum instead of just one spot. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We'd done it before - take a sisters' cruise with Viking, and it was one of the most remarkable experiences we've ever enjoyed. We were nearly blinded with joy by the simple elegance of the ship, the beauty of the ... Read More
We'd done it before - take a sisters' cruise with Viking, and it was one of the most remarkable experiences we've ever enjoyed. We were nearly blinded with joy by the simple elegance of the ship, the beauty of the Mediterranean, and the lavish attention of the staff entire. We loved the Lanai, delighted in the choices at The World Cafe, and tramped our way around ancient ruins and cobblestone streets. It was our first ever cruise, and we doubted we'd ever have the chance to do it again. But we did, this past December. We escaped the Christmas crazy on the 11th and set out for the West Indies. But this time we would do it differently. So we headed off with our red luggage tags, swim suits, sun screen, and a mental check list of the things we'd missed on our first cruise. Our first was at The Chef's Table, where the night's theme was La Route Des Indes featuring the unique flavors of the Carribean. Then one by one through our trip we hit all the food venues like Mamsen's, The Restaurant, the Aquavit Terrace, the Pool Grille, and The Wintergarden. Our checklist included the Spa in the evening, the Snow Grotto, the Explorer's Lounge at sunset, room service at dawn on our veranda, and more. We even picked up a few unexplored options in case we manage a next time. And we...relaxed. Sure, we took in the beaches, the yachts, the cliff top views, and tropical rain forests, but we took it in with time to enjoy life together. We talked with others who agreed that ship life with Viking is one of its most outstanding features. And when we returned, we were full of beautiful memories of exceptional food, magnificent islands, luxurious attention to detail, and so very many varieties of rum punch. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We love the cuisine offered in terms of variety and quality. We love being cared for as if we were part of the family. Because the ships are so new, everything about our cabin was first class, new and surprisingly spacious. We felt ... Read More
We love the cuisine offered in terms of variety and quality. We love being cared for as if we were part of the family. Because the ships are so new, everything about our cabin was first class, new and surprisingly spacious. We felt that we could have lived there for more than the 11 days we traveled in total comfort. The Living Room became a second hangout place for us, with a place to get snacks, a drink or hear live music while we read and enjoyed the ambiance. Dancing was available in the lounge, and the band was great. Nightly variations with solo band members on an instrument, or the classical duo, were our style. Frankly, the shore excursions may have been great, but we went on this cruise to experience the ship ... so we didn't focus on those opportunities. That was our choice ... we had been to some of the islands before, so that was not our priority. Because we were met at the airport and delivered directly to the ship, we had a smooth embarkation experience. The disembarkation experience was ... different. We were bussed to a nearby hotel, and waited there for hours (as guests of Viking with sandwiches, cookies, beverages) to be bussed to the airport. As it turned out, that was a good thing because there was not a lot of amenities at the San Juan airport. However, several busses at a time, and waiting to board and load, were not ideal for my difficulty with walking and standing for a long time. It was, all considered, probably as good as it could be. The hotel (the San Juan Hilton) wasn't all I expected a Hilton to be, but that is not the fault of Viking. It is near the port, and their meeting rooms were clean and serviceable. We would go again in a heartbeat. We would not take our friends who think that the ideal ship is the 6,000 passenger big boat because they want a balcony overlooking the INSIDE of the ship, and 3 or 4 Broadway shows to choose from every night. So this was just what we wanted to experience in every way, but it is not for everyone. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We like the smaller ships. You get to know people and really are a part of it. The Viking Sea had so many wonderful quiet spots where you could sit and read, play games or just watch the world go by. We did miss two of our ports because ... Read More
We like the smaller ships. You get to know people and really are a part of it. The Viking Sea had so many wonderful quiet spots where you could sit and read, play games or just watch the world go by. We did miss two of our ports because of high seas and some people got a little sea sick but over all it was a great cruise. The ports were interesting and somewhat varied. The dining room and specialty restaurants were fantastic. The crew was so attentive. Our cabin stewards were the best. We were quite amazed at the quality of entertainment on a smaller ship. They did a tremendous job. Viking provided the football quarter final and semi final games so we had a great opportunity to watch those games. This is our second Viking cruise. We went to China last year and had an outstanding time. We're now looking forward to May and a trip with Viking to Russia. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We thought all parts of the cruise were excellent. Even with the rough Caribbean waters, earthquake in San Juan and missing two ports because of the rough seas and wind it was a terrific trip! We have two additional scheduled with Viking ... Read More
We thought all parts of the cruise were excellent. Even with the rough Caribbean waters, earthquake in San Juan and missing two ports because of the rough seas and wind it was a terrific trip! We have two additional scheduled with Viking and this being our test cruise with them convinced us we made a good decision to book more. We were on the Viking Sea with an Explorer Suite. The staff was very attentive, professional and provided great service to all. The dining was great but my only complaint would be that we missed the 90 day window to reserve one of the two specialty restaurants. We wanted to go to Manfredis three times but could not get in. The Chefs Table was good but you had a limited choice of food options. Although the food was very good i wish they would put a steakhouse or similar to provide more specialty options. The main restaurant was terrific and provided some of the other options for beef but again it was limited. The excursions Viking provided were walking tours but were very good and the guides were all very professional. The chosen ports were well thought out and gave us a good look at the southern Caribbean islands. We will not hesitate to recommend and use Viking well into the future. There is really a benefit only having 950 people with over 500 staff compared to 4000-6000 with 1500 staff! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I had such an incredible experience when I was on the Baltic Sea cruise in July 2019. It was my first experience of a cruise ship, and I decided that I would only travel on Viking. Unfortunately, the Caribbean cruise was a great ... Read More
I had such an incredible experience when I was on the Baltic Sea cruise in July 2019. It was my first experience of a cruise ship, and I decided that I would only travel on Viking. Unfortunately, the Caribbean cruise was a great disappointment. I chose this particular cruise so I could visit the Chicken Itza Mayan Ruins. Unfortunately, because the ship had "technical difficulties" the ship did not go to Merida. The excursions, for which we signed on, were lacking. The glass bottom boat tour was a waste of time - a visit to the local aquarium would have been much more exciting. The Cave Tubing experience was dreadful - Viking did not provide specifics re the attire needed, nor the danger of wading across the river on slippery rocks with water up to one's waste. Embarkation was a disaster. In our documents, we were told that we could access our room any time from 11 a.m. on. The reception staff could not answer my questions and we were told just to sit down, and there would be an announcement! With no response by 12:30, I decided to access our room. Obviously, the room had been prepared well ahead of time. Afternoon tea was chaotic. I waited 20 minutes to be served. I asked for English Breakfast tea with sugar and milk—I was served with Jasmine tea. When I fetched the milk and sugar, I asked if I could have a scone. Eventually an officer, who was passing, brought me a plate of sandwiches. The cabin was excellent (I love the Explorer Suite), and Try and Riva were incredible housekeepers; the ship was sparkling clean, and the dining was superb. Before this past cruise, I signed up for the Grand European Tour cruise; now I'm debating whether to go, or look at other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We recently cruised the Western Caribbean on the Viking Sky, leaving Miami on January 10. This was our first ocean cruise with Viking. We had done two previous river cruises with Viking and liked their product, and we were looking forward ... Read More
We recently cruised the Western Caribbean on the Viking Sky, leaving Miami on January 10. This was our first ocean cruise with Viking. We had done two previous river cruises with Viking and liked their product, and we were looking forward to trying their ocean cruises. Overall, it was our 11th ocean cruise. We had three prior cruises on Star Clippers, two each on Carnival, NCL and Celebrity, and one on Royal Caribbean. Ship Impressions We really enjoyed the ship. With a maximum capacity of 930 passengers, it never felt crowded. There were plenty of areas offering peace and quiet, even on the sea days. The crew kept all areas of the ship very clean. As with Viking's river cruises, the service throughout the ship was excellent. There were plenty of servers and assistants during meal times, and the staff appeared very happy to be working on the ship. Our veranda cabin had a king-size bed and a separate seating area. It had a desk with a built-in lighted vanity mirror. The balcony had a small table and two chairs. The shower stall had plenty of room. We never ran out of hot water. The bathroom floors were heated, but we had ours turned off on the first day because it made the bathroom too warm. The air conditioning worked fine. The cabin had multiple 110 and 220 volt outlets and many USB charging ports. Our cabin steward did a great job, with service twice a day. Dining For the most part, the food during the cruise ranged from good to very good. We ate all of our breakfasts in the World Café, the onboard buffet area. The buffet did not have a separate station for made-to-order eggs or omelets, you had to ask the cooks behind the counter for these. Most of our lunches were eaten at the Aquavit Terrace, located directly in front of the outside swimming pool at the rear of the ship. This area featured a daily special on sea days including: ceviche; salad bar with grilled chicken or salmon; and chicken fajitas made to order. The World Cafe also offered lunch daily and the grilled prawns were very good. The pool grill located at the inside pool had great burgers and also hot dogs. We did eat three dinners in the onboard specialty restaurants, twice at Manfredi's and once at the Chef's Table. Manfredi's features Italian food. The first night we shared a ribeye steak plus Chicken Saltimbocca. As previous reviewers have stated, the ribeye is very tasty. On the second night, I had lasagna and my wife had the fish of the day. The Chef's Table features a fixed five-course menu. Three of the nights featured Chinese/Asian food, while there were two nights each for Mexican and California foods. Because of their smaller size, these restaurants offered a more intimate and quiet dining experience. All of the dining venues had many tables for two people. Beer and house wines were complimentary during lunch and dinner service. Entertainment The onboard entertainment was best of any ship or resort we have experienced. The musical acts were all top-notch. The main shows were held in the Star Theatre. There were four main entertainers (Ashton, Jordan, Star, and Tess) who performed here under the name of "The Viking Vocalists". They were all excellent singers and dancers. Two of the nights featured these four doing a tribute show to ABBA and to The Beatles. Additionally on most nights, two other outstanding singers (Carlo and Elsa), performed in the Torshavn Lounge, playing popular dance music. On two occasions, the six vocalists performed together, once in the Star Theatre doing popular show tunes and once for "Dancing Under the Stars" at the main pool with the retractable roof opened. For all of these musical performances, the singers were backed up by a first-rate four piece band with two guitarists, a drummer and a keyboard player. I cannot leave out the other vocalist on board, Zeus. He always played solo, accompanied only by his guitar. He performed evenings in the Explorer's Lounge and the early set in the Torshavn Lounge, before the dance music started. He had a very nice voice and a vast repertoire and was so easy to listen to. Also, easy listening classical music was performed each evening in the lobby area, either by a string duo or a pianist. Itinerary When Viking first started selling this cruise, it featured stops in Cuba. With the ban on Cuba travel was announced in June, Viking replaced the Cuban stops with the stops offered on this itinerary. We understand that Viking offered refunds to the already booked passengers who did not want to cruise on the modified itinerary. As the sailing date approached, Viking offered reduced fares, cabin upgrades and free airfare to entice more passengers to book. We booked this cruise two months prior to its sailing date, and were able to get a Deluxe Veranda cabin, located mid-ship on deck 5. The scheduled itinerary was to leave Miami Friday evening, stop in Key West on Saturday, a sea day on Sunday, followed by consecutive stops in Belize, Cozumel and Merida, with a second sea day on Thursday, before returning to Miami Friday morning. However, this cruise featured multiple unexpected itinerary changes. The first change occurred soon after leaving Miami. The captain made an announcement that we would be skipping Key West due to forecasted high winds (the ship was not scheduled to dock in Key West, instead we would go ashore via tenders) and we would have an additional sea day. On Monday, we stopped in Belize City. As with their river cruises, Viking includes a complimentary shore excursion in each port. The included excursion for Belize was the Mayan ruins at Altun Ha. In our opinion, the stop in Belize was not worthwhile. The Altun Ha tour was listed as four hours. However, this did not include the 30 minute tender ride from the ship to the pier and 30 minutes back to the ship. There was also a long wait once ashore for the buses to depart, as it was very disorganized at the pier area. The bus ride to the ruins took almost an hour. Once at the ruins, we had about two hours for the tour and exploring on our own. The stop in Belize did not get any better on the way back to the ship. Once we arrived in Belize City, the tour guide informed us that the "second part" of the tour would now begin. This route took us through the southern part of the city, which was very depressing. The area was very poverty stricken - it is hard to understand why Viking or the tour company would want to feature this section of the city. The narrow streets were ill-equipped to handle a large tour bus. Near the end of the tour, our bus driver sideswiped a parked car. We were forced to sit in the middle of an intersection while the local police were called to investigate and file a report. It was in a rough part of the city and some passengers were concerned for their safety as many locals were milling about, watching the activities. It was after 2:00 until we returned to the ship. Any passengers who had scheduled an optional excursion in the afternoon were forced to miss it. Viking could have improved things by sending another bus to take passengers back to the pier area. This was a very disappointing stop and if Viking needs another stop in the Western Caribbean, they could consider Jamaica or the Cayman Islands. When we finished lunch after returning to the ship, we passed the ship's Hotel Director in the hallway, and he asked how our day was going. We proceeded to tell him of our impressions of Belize and the trouble with the bus. He invited us into his office to get more details. Although he listened to our concerns and took notes, we got the impression that it he was going through the motions and once we left the office, that would be the end of it. Shortly after leaving Belize on Monday, the captain made another announcement that due to "technical" issues, we would not be able to arrive to Miami in time for passengers to catch their flights home if we stuck to the remaining itinerary schedule. The maximum cruising speed for the rest of the trip was only 13 knots. While nothing further was said by Viking about the issue, the general consensus was that the ship lost an engine or a generator. As a result of the problem, we would still stop at Cozumel Tuesday morning. However, rather than of leaving Cozumel at 2:00 pm and sailing to Merida, we would stay in Cozumel until 10:00 pm and skip Merida on Wednesday. Instead, we would have a sea day. The revised itinerary now included stopping at Key West on Thursday, rescheduling the stop that was missed on Saturday due to high winds. In Cozumel, the included tour was The Ruins of San Gervasio, another tour of Mayan ruins. Since we now had an unexpected full day in Cozumel, we decided to skip the tours and spend the day at a beach. We took a taxi ($15 each way) five miles to the Paradise Beach Club. The beach club charges $3 per person admission, with the request that you spend an additional $10 each on food and drink. (There is an all-inclusive option costing $65 per person that includes unlimited food and drink.) We spent $22 for lunch - however no one asked to see receipts as we left to verify that we had spent the minimum. The beach club has a large heated pool and a very nice beach, both with plenty of lounge chairs. There is plenty of shade at each area from the palm trees and umbrellas. The restaurant area and rest rooms were very clean. Use of the floating water park is included in the admission price - although there may be a separate charge for use of the kayaks and the banana boat rides. The day spent here was well worth missing out on the tours. In Key West, the included tour was a trolley tour through the city, which we decided to skip. Instead, we took the shuttle into town and rented bicycles for $10 for the full day. We rode to the Southernmost Point landmark, followed by a ride onto the Edward B. Knight Pier. We then had lunch at Schooner Wharf Bar, which has live entertainment daily beginning 12:00 noon, great views overlooking the marina and good food. After lunch, we spent the rest of the day at the beach at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park before returning to the ship. The state park charges $2.50 admission for bikers & walkers and has a nice snack bar and rest room facilities. With all of the changes with the itinerary, Viking sent an email shortly after our return with a $500 credit voucher per person for any future cruise booked within one year. I believe this probably went to all of the passengers on this cruise. Summary Despite the issues with the shore excursions, we very much enjoyed our week on the Viking Sky. We would cruise with Viking again if attractive fares are offered in the future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We wanted to try Viking as we like smaller ships and nice service. Sadly, Viking does not live up to a luxury or premium standard. Passenger to crew ratio is around 2 to 1. Staff in restaurants and bars are over-worked at times if it is ... Read More
We wanted to try Viking as we like smaller ships and nice service. Sadly, Viking does not live up to a luxury or premium standard. Passenger to crew ratio is around 2 to 1. Staff in restaurants and bars are over-worked at times if it is busy and service becomes very slow and poor. If not busy, staff are great. Communications on the ship are lacking. The cruise director, Chris, is a great singer but not a good cruise director. Communications on ports was late and in- complete. For example, we left Costa Rica 5 hours late. We were not notified until ready to sail. We also missed 2 ports of call. After waiting nearly 2 hours with little communications. Captain and senior staff not present walking around or interacting with passengers. This is never a good sign. The captain seems to avoid all responsibility and contact with passengers. Today, Cozumel was cancelled and the captain never communicated once with passengers but left it to the cruise director. This is one of the worst cruises we have experienced. Roatan was cancelled due to rain and wind. 3 other ships were docked there but not Viking. We were arriving 4 hours late. Not one apology from the crew. Cozumel was cancelled due to winds. We have been at Cozumel many times and it was not that bad. Ferries were traveling and 3 other ships were docked. But not Viking. Is this a problem with the Viking ship that it cannot handle wind? Again, no apologies, The attitude is one of it is not our problem. Viking response was call customer relations once back home. Viking has now substituted Key West in the itinerary. But we stopped at Key West on way to Panama Canal, so this will be the second time at the same port. Very nice Viking....so 5 ports of call on a 14 day cruise, Viking is at best a standard cruise line experience with a nice, smaller ship. It is not luxury and does not compare with lines like Seabourn. Service. food, entertainment are all below that of the luxury lines but a significant margin. Viking is oriented to older passengers. The average age on board is well over 70. If this is your desire, great. We prefer a more active cruise. We do like to casual dress on the ship. No formal nights but nice casual the entire time. Shore excursions are very limited and the included ones are very basic. Certainly not as good to most cruises we have been on. Overall, Viking is nice but for the price, it does not compare to Seabourn, Silversea, Regent, etc. It has some positives such as the ship design but comes up short due to staffing levels, communications and terrible customer relations. We also wonder if there is a problem with the ship. I cannot recommend Viking to anyone based on our experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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