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Sail Date: July 2019
My wife and I are in our late 60's and still quite active and like to travel with friends. This will be our second Ocean cruise and we have done two other Viking River Cruises. I like the cruise idea since you pack and unpack only ... Read More
My wife and I are in our late 60's and still quite active and like to travel with friends. This will be our second Ocean cruise and we have done two other Viking River Cruises. I like the cruise idea since you pack and unpack only once and you travel at night to a new port. On this cruise we were able to see the diversity in the different countries in the British Isles and go to many places where we would probably not go to, all of which were interesting to us. Usually I would have extended the trip on the front end in London, because it is such an amazing city, but we had been there for a week at Christmas with our daughter and had seen a lot of the sights. We did fly in early Sunday and had a full day, although a bit tired to explore the city. We are pretty good getting around ourselves and booked the inside Buckingham Palace and garden tour at 12:15. We LOVED getting to see inside the Palace and the grounds. Definitely try to do that if you go. I will now try to summarize the different parts of the cruise. The Jupiter was stunning. It was just like our first boat with probably very minor tweeks for improvement that we would not even notice. There was a great diversity of places to be on the boat and be a quiet or active as you want. The boat was big, but not too big. It never seemed crowded to me. The Spa area was very well done with a nice changing areaa and indoor pool with a very cool Nordic experience cold room onboard. Their was also a pool in a large atrium area that have plenty of seats near the windows on the outside. Finally there was a great small infinity pool and hot tub on the aft on level 7. Our room was a deluxe veranda which was fine for us. The bed was very comfortable and a king size bed. I am 6'4" and slept well. The bathroom was a good size but crowded for 2 people. We loved our veranda but honestly did not use it much. The Crew----We found the crew on the Jupiter excellent and very hardworking. From the General Manager to all areas of operation- we thought the crew was outstanding. We were able to interact with many crew members and the one theme that came out was that they loved Viking better than others they had been on. The crew was very happy. We have been to nice resorts like Sea Island and found the level of service on par with that experience. Food-We found the food very good to excellent . I thought the best food was at Manfredis (the Italian option) but that is also my favorite food. When you get your first opportunity go ahead and book reservations at either this restaurant or the Chef's Table, both of which was good. The Dining Room option was great also and usually had a wide variety of meal options. Since we ate at different areas in the dining room, we did not have the same server every night. We usually ate at the buffet for breakfast which had GREAT fresh fruit, about any breakfast option you could imagine, and omelet stations. Bottom line-The food ranges from good to excellent. You will not go hungry. Oh, I almost forgot, Mamsen's was a grill option on level 7 toward the pool area. They have great grill options and salads which were delicious. Entertainment-We found this area to be good to excellent. The four young singers were quite good and gave a variety of performances whcih we loved. There were also several times when local talent was brought in which was fun. The band on the ship was EXCELLENT and were the male and female vocalists. They performed both in the theater as back up to the singers and by themselves in Torshavn, a small lounge . We found the music excellent, but do not expect a carnival type atmosphere on this boat. Speakers- The speakers were good not great, but still very imformative. We have had better speakers on other boats, but thought they were good and discussed some tough topics like BREXIT and the Ireland-Northern Island issue. Cruise Director-Heather. I saved the best for last. WE have been on 5 other cruises and Heather was the best BY FAR cruise director we have ever experienced. She was a great speaker, funny, on topic and talented. In a previous life she was an opera singer and had to put together a show at the last minute (5 PM for a 9:00 pm show) due to a sore throat of one of the singers. Her performance was outstanding!!! But, I loved just her daily talks and her general interaction. She had the ability to make mundane things interesting. Excursions--We found the excursions to be good and gave a lot of options. Since we booked this trip very late-in June, we could not sign early, but found that most of tours opened uo that we wanted. The only negative is getting on and off buses and is a process which they handled quite well. I would give the tour leaders high marks in each area!! We usually did the included tour and then did things on our own at the other parts of the day. I did talk to other that did some of the options and they all seemed to like them. One tip is when you are in Invergorton and you play golf, there is a Top Ten golf course in the WORLD about 30 minutes away called Royal Dornoch. You can book you own times and but you will need a morning time, as you must be back on the boat by 4:30. I did this on my own and rented a car from Ken's for the day. Amazing course -it is my favorite course ever and I have played all the Open courses. Finally, on the Bergen stop I booked the Norway in a Nutshell trip. It is a series of trains, buses and ships which shows you fiords and beautiful country. It is about 10 hours but well worth it. There is no hand holding or person, just tickets but it works quite well if you can get around and feel comfortable travelling on your own. We loved the trip and I guess the only negative was trying to book a future trip. We met with the future trip person and just did not enjoy the experience. I liked the option, just not the experience and we chose not to book. In summary, Viking ships, crew and experiences are great!!! we plan to come back in the future. One final note- if both you and your wife drink, the drink option is a good deal for part of your trip. We did not do it, but some of our friends did and loved it. Also, since we were travelling just with us, it allowed us to meet some amazing new friends we hope to see in the future! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was a fantastic vacation. We picked this cruise because of the itinerary. We visited all of the countries in the United Kingdom and finished in Bergen, Norway. We always felt so comfortable on board and welcomed by the Viking ... Read More
This was a fantastic vacation. We picked this cruise because of the itinerary. We visited all of the countries in the United Kingdom and finished in Bergen, Norway. We always felt so comfortable on board and welcomed by the Viking Staff. This was the longest cruise we have ever undertaken and we were more than pleased. Heather Clancy, the Cruise Director, and her crew were fantastic. They entertained us with at different show every night. Elvis even made an appearance on board. The Viking Band was great. Dancing under the stars provided a great memory. The Restaurants provide excellent food and service. The specialty restaurants are not to be missed. Wine and Beer were provided at all lunch and dinners at no charge. I would highly recommend the purchase of Silver Drink package (Upgrade). The Buffet is one the best I have experienced. Viking provided excellent exclusions at every port, at no charge. Shuttles were also provided at most ports, free of charge. At Edinburgh, because of windy weather conditions, the ship could not tender the passengers to Edinburgh. The Captain and crew decided to dock further upstream. The crew jumped through hoops to provide transportation (free) into the heart of the city. Other cruise lines, in port, just anchored and the passengers lost the opportunity to visit Edinburgh. All in all we had a great time and thank the Viking Crew and staff for a great vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise, first, for the destination. We have always wanted to visit the British Isles. This cruise allowed us to get a taste of several countries, and multiple cities all in one vacation. We chose Viking because they offered ... Read More
We chose this cruise, first, for the destination. We have always wanted to visit the British Isles. This cruise allowed us to get a taste of several countries, and multiple cities all in one vacation. We chose Viking because they offered this trip, it also because the value of the cruise was well worth it. It is not the least expensive one out there, but we agree that it is of the best value. Some of the reasons to travel Viking are: no kids under 18, no casinos, no umbrella drinks, no upselling of products in the spa, no additional charges for excursions, no additional charges for specialty restaurants, no nickel and diming with pictures of you with the captain etc. This is an ADULT cruise for those who want to LEARN. Of course we also had a ton of fun, but this is not a party cruise. The ship itself was a floating palace. Beautiful, clean, simple Scandinavian decor, lovely colors mixed with creams, and the lighting was spectacular. Destination artwork and pictures decked the walls and seating areas. Food was amazing. Cleanest public restrooms I’ve ever seen! The entire ship was immaculate. They worked so hard at keeping things clean! Daily tea was served in the Wintergarden complete with loose leaf tea in pots, delicious scones and finger sandwiches. We took advantage of that as much as we could. Service was outstanding. We simply could not have asked for better. Anything we needed or wanted was ours. The destinations were incredible. Excursions were good. Most tour guides were very knowledgeable and helpful, with a few exceptions, but those guides didn’t work directly for Viking, and the ones we were disappointed in, we let Viking know. In addition, there were port talks given in advance to inform you about the port, and any last minute changes that were taking place. And the lectures by the resident historians were not only informative, but entertaining as well! Embarkation and Disembarkation went very smoothly. No troubles at all. I just can’t recommend Viking enough. You will NOT be disappointed! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
After 26 cruises this was our first on Viking; surely, not our last. I'll get over our one gripe first and move on to the positives. On the evening sail from Bergen, we visited the ship's apparel shop in search Viking's red ... Read More
After 26 cruises this was our first on Viking; surely, not our last. I'll get over our one gripe first and move on to the positives. On the evening sail from Bergen, we visited the ship's apparel shop in search Viking's red and white signature Dale of Norway sweater. My wife resisted buying other attractive sweaters in Bergen's shops with Viking's signature sweater in mind. The shop had no stock of size medium. The excuse was that they sold out on the last voyage. That is lame excuse since we just sailed from the cruise line's home port and the Dale of Norway production center. The salesman offered no recourse, eg. a special order that could be shipped home, and assumed a rather indignant, huffy attitude. The message. "Clients from the Bergen cruise origin aren't as worthy as those from the Greenwich start of the same cruise itinerary." That said, now to to the cruise. Despite scheduling 13 excursions in 11 ports over 13 days, we felt that this was one of our more relaxing cruises. The casual, unbustled on-board environment undoubtedly contributed to that feeling. We used Viking Air for flight arragements and arrived in Bergen around noon after a short connecting flight from Oslo. There were at least half a dozen Viking representatives at the airport to assist passengers and get us on the way to the ship. This exemplifies a typical pattern that we experienced on the whole cruise. Ample Viking staff are readily available where needed to assist customers. A seamless check-in at the port had us in our stateroom before the scheduled time. Our luggage had already been delivered, a first time experience on any cruise. The Atrium serves as the core public area from deck 1 to 3. Above The Viking Living Room on deck 1 with its nooks of lounge furniture, book collections and artwork, deck 2 has a perimeter balcony with lounge and table game areas and deck 3 features sitting areas along with exhibits of Norwegan traditional ceremonial dress; deck 2 has a nook with Viking cultural artifacts. My wife, a serious fiber spinner, delighted in the spinning artifacts. Stateroom corridors and public areas abound with artwork. Explanatory narratives are available through an on-board dedicated phone app. At the head of the grand staircase in The Atrium is a 2-deck electronic panel with changing images of Norwegan and Viking culture and the voyage's port areas. Beneath the staircase is a garden of multi-colored visual delights. At the deck 1 staricase base performance space features daily soothing classical performances on the Steinway by Olga, resident pianist, and the Viking classsical duo on violin and cello. Other performances included well chosen port-based ensembles providing local cultural programs and the ship's staff who shared diverse talents. Deck 7 offers other retreats at Mamsen's, where light fare is available, and in the Explorer's Lounge with its bow views and bar. A mezanine extension of the Explorer's Lounge on Deck 8 privised additional views and seating nooks. Midship on Deck 7 is The Wintergarden, a quiet retreat where most afternoons feature Afternoon Tea at 4:00 with the accompaniement of the ships classical artists. The pool area expands lounging and eating space, all or part of which can be covered by the retractable roof. Special buffets and entertainment are features. And for the always exposed to the elements, there is the infinity pool on the stern outside The World Cafe. And, back to deck 1 for Torshaven, a cozy club like venue for seminars and evening dancing from 9:00 to Midnight. The Star Theater's informal lounge atmosphere is a relaxing place for tour meet-up and for guest lecturer presentations. Sofa pillows with images of Norwegan performance and artistic celebraties on one side and the autograph on the other typify the Viking touch. Four lecturers on our voyage informed and entertained us. To celebrate the July 20, 1969, moon landing, retired USAF pilot and astronaut Karol Bobko shared experiences and related the technoogy of space exploration. He also gave presentations in the shipboard planetariumn on deck 8. Ship passengers celebrated the moon landing at 8:17pm on July 20th with pastries in the Atrium that included a chocolate replica of Apollo 11. William Thayer's lectures offered insight into the energy production technologies that are active in he North Sea. Other topics included the British pursuit and sinking of the Bismarck in WWII and the "Breaking if the Enigma Machine," a step in the development of today's digital computers. Dr.Michael Fuller combined archaeological artifacts with historical evidence in lectures about Viking and Northern European history. (Without historical documentation, archaelogy is speculation.) Particularly interesting was his presentation on the Hanseatic League. He met with passengers in nooks around the ship to pursue a variety of individual interests. Notable is Russell Lee, who synthasized complex topics from history and current events into connections that are often missed among the detail of events. He was literally up-to-date, including his visuals, with his Brexit presentation on the day that Boris Johnson became the UK's PM. Outstanding was Lee's presentation "Baa, Baa Black Sheep - How Wool Transformed Medieval Europe." He included his wife demonstating a centuries old spindle technique that persists today in spinning yarn. The only tidbit he omitted, according to my wife, was how the word "sabotage" became part of our vocabulary because of the industrialization of weaving. If you miss the lecture theater presentation, it's available 3 hours later on the ship's TV, not just an fuzzy video of the stage presentation, but with the presenter in a quarter panel and sharp graphics taking up the rest of the screen. Great Viking Jupiter production team! While on technology, kudos to the full-time internet service included in the cruise fare. Wi-fi access is throughout the ship, and there are desk top PCs located in a "nook" of The Living Room. Most passengers used their own devices. An on-board "trechie" can assist. Viking Jupiter's internet service is the fastest, most reliable that we have experienced on a cruise ship. Also, amenities include wine (red and white) and beer (light and dark). Menu beverages have a modest charge, eg., $7.50 (including gratuity) for a Manhattan. No charge for all the bottled water you want. And, no charge for the daily refrigerator set up of soft drings, snacks, and Toblerone chocolates. Spa facilities have no surcharge.. Unwind in a sauna, a cold tub, the Snow Room, a hot whirlpool or churning pool. An ample variety of standard fitness equipment is also available.Spa treatments are available at fees comparable to other cruise lines. While I was pleased with a massage, my wife was less so with her facial. She noted a harsh abrasive material used on the skin that she hasn't experienced before. And, after leaving the spa, she discovered unpleasant blotches of a greasy cream on her skin. And, let me not forget the included excellent self-serve laundry facilities on 4 of the 6 cabin decks (soap is included). So nice not to be nickeled and dimed. One can opt for individual paid launtry at reasonable rates. Repeat: So nice not to be nickeled and dimed. For us a genuine surprise was a bottle of sparkling wine and cake delivered to our stateroom. Viking graciously added to celebrating our 50 years of marriage. And, the on-board dining; overall - excellent. Several individual dishes were too salty (some chefs know only that "spice"). We didn't eat at Mamsens, noted for light fare, but enjoyed the no-surcharge specialty venues. First night out was The Chef's table featuring regional Nordic cuisine. International cuisines rotate avery few days. We chose the Nordic which was excellently prepared and plated for full enjoyment. We also enjoyed an evening in Manfredi's Italian Restaurant, where portions easily contribute to expected weight gain on a cruise. One can book as many meals in these restaurants as there is availability. The Restaurant is the main dinner venue with multiple sections that avoid the "heard feeling" on other cruise lines; one can actually enjoy conversation without straining. Overall excellent well plated dishes with reasonable portions served by attentive staff who remember us when we repeat at their tables. Thank you, Henry for your songs and attentive service. For a snack, on the pool deck, light fare is available, including what may be the best hamburger at sea. Vegans can also indulge. And, The World Cafe serves for a breakfast buffet as well as lunch and dinner. Customized omlets are worth the few minutes' wait. Sometimes staff were overwhelmed by passenger needs, but they were attentive and (with few exceptions) handle the demands well. Buffet food is among the best we have had. Do no pass on the ice cream and pastry selections. Seek out the daily pizza options that go well with a Viking beer at lunch. As related above, Viking clientele are learners. Each port includes one tour. Additional, paid tours are available. Most included tours are city drive throughs with a couple of stops. Our Dublin 3 hour city tour had an excellent guide. He related neighborhood histories along with those of major monuments. He summarized economic conditions in the city and country as well as the possible Brexit impacts. Included was a 45 minute stop at Jubilee Gardens. We were able to hop off the bus to explore Temple Bar on our own. On the Orkney Islands the included tour got out of the port of Kirkwall into the countryside, and included a too brief stop in the seaside village of Stromners. My bride found a shop with her favorite roving from the native North Ronaldsay sheep - a breed that cannot be exported elsewhere in the world because of its particular seaweed diet. Plenty of time was allowed for a stop at the neolithic Ring of Brodgar, a predecessor of Britian's more famous henge. Port Ulapool's included walking tour was perfect for getting a sense of a western Highlands Scottish seaside community, and included a pub stop with adult and bakery refreshments along with lively local music. We felt that the guide gave a reasonable overview of life in the community. Comments do not include all of out complimentary tours. Among the paid tours we enjoyed The Beatles Experience tour in Liverpool, except for the hot, stuffy museum at the end. Otherwise the ecellent guide and typically cramped bus seating are worth the effort for "Fab Four" fans. In Edinburgh the Rosslyn Chapel and Glenkinche Distillery tour were well done. One has to suffer an excessive crowd at the chapel. So, it takes effort to appreciate the complexity of the architectural gem. Do leave a few coins to support the chapel cat. The distillery tour with guide Willie was excellent; that's from a Kentucky resident bourbon enthusiast. Very disappointing for a train enthusiast was the Ffestiniog Railway and Lunch tour at the Holyhead port. We arrived at the train depot with barely enough time to board - no time for photos. Photo opps were "promised" at the terminus. By the time most of the photogs in our group got to the head of the train the engine was decoupled and on its way through the rail yard. Then, we had to rush to a bus to get to the next stop, lunch in a hotel in Betws-y-Coed with provided meal and time to wander the community that reminded me of Aspen, CO, without the opulence.We traveled through the Sodonia highlands, Wales slate producing region, distinct part of the UK. A positive with the Viking tours is that the limit seems to be around 25. So, one doesn't feel like part of ther herd. We took 7 included and 6 paid tours over the two weeks. So these comments offer only highlights. Preparing us for each port was a presentation by the cruise director and the shore excursion manager. Special kudos to Vicki, the cruise director. She was genuinely engaging and totally professional; and very unlike cruise directors on most prior non-Viking cruises, did not act like a clownish buffoon. I do fault the tour director, however, Javier, for a demonstrably lack of personal knowledge about some port tours. Debarkation, not a welcome 5:00am rise to be ready for our 6:15 group to end this Viking experience. In The Living Room we had fruit, breakfast pastry, and beverage options as we awaited our group call for airport transport. Friendly Viking staff were at every turn, literally as we left the ship. On the 90 minute bus ride to London-Heathrow Airport, a Viking representive gave us a guided narration through the London neighborhoods and assisted at our airport arrival. As my wife said, "This is one cruise that we return from without needing a vacation." Thanks Viking staff and Viking Jupiter crew. We'll be back! Lecturer quality is one reason for booking an Inside Passage Alaska cruise for 2020. It will be our fifth in the region. We look forward to the Viking difference. Finally, I have kept a spreadsheet for costs on prior 26 cruises and on this Viking cruise. For comparable 2 week cruises our Viking costs were only $300.00 more. I attribute this to the longer air distance to Norway. By comparison to US carriers, SAS to Norway and BA from London to the US provided FAR SUPERIOR comfort, food, service, and amenities in the same passenger class, Economy Comfort/Economy Plus or equivalent level. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
On the June 30th Jupiter sailing. What a disaster, As other posters have stated there was an electrical issue with the engine. The same situation as an earlier sailing on a totally different boat. These are new boats, one would expect ... Read More
On the June 30th Jupiter sailing. What a disaster, As other posters have stated there was an electrical issue with the engine. The same situation as an earlier sailing on a totally different boat. These are new boats, one would expect issues to not arise so soon. Because of the warranty parts had to be flown in and it took two days in a terrible industrial port. We ended up missing both of the Scottish islands on the tour and it just set a bad mood for the rest of the trip. In all honesty, probably 50% of the excursions were terrible. Really they need to totally scrub their excursion department and start all over. No matter how hard they tried, it was a total misstep. We had done two River cruises with Viking which were A+ but the ocean cruise opened our eyes. Viking is nothing more than a company and we are paying them for a product of which they do not care. If they did, their executives would take these cruises and do these excursions themselves. But they want us to pay, and when it is a disaster, they want to give us a voucher to book another cruise. It’s a win-win for them and a total loss for the consumer. But the worst was to come, we did the Iceland extension. Not only was it the lamest thing I have ever done, it was embarrassing how the whole thing was handled. Basically they dump you at the airport for Iceland and you never see a Viking person again. The excursions were ridiculous, the people who are your escorts on the excursion extremely inept. Viking contracts to a local Iceland tour company and so as the monies are distributed people want to get as much of the pie as they can. Viking takes their cut, the travel company takes their cut which means cost cutting occurs. Our hotel was filthy. I took pictures and sent to Viking and of course I was told how much they were so sorry we were not enjoying it and they hoped we enjoyed the remainder of our trip. It’s almost a cut-and-paste response that I have seen on all reviews. They really don’t care, if they did they would come up with a new response. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose the cruise primarily for the itinerary - ports in Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium and Denmark. Before booking and paying for your cruise, Viking does not identify ports where you will have only a partial day to explore. A full ... Read More
We chose the cruise primarily for the itinerary - ports in Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium and Denmark. Before booking and paying for your cruise, Viking does not identify ports where you will have only a partial day to explore. A full day in Barcelona after embarkation was cancelled and we spent a day at Tarragona, a beautiful stop but not Barcelona. We only had partial days (6 hours) in Cartagena, Porto, Bruges and Copenhagen. All of these ports deserve more time. Viking provided shuttle buses in most ports but did not advise of this service before sailing. This complicated our independent preplanned tours of cities. Viking maps of ports were inadequate and we always needed to get maps supplied by local tourism kiosks. The food generally met our expectations but was very uneven ranging from excellent to meals that were not as ordered and one that was inedible and sent back. Wine choices were extremely limited. We were offered the same Chilean white wine for at least 4 days in a row. The wine was never related to ports of call despite visiting major wine producing countries. Viking creates high expectations for food, wine and local experiences through their advertising which leads to disappointment. The ship is beautiful - minimalist decor, spacious lounges and dining areas and quality art make for a comfortable relaxed ambiance. The small number of passengers made embarkation and disembarkation and dining a pleasant experience. Included and and optional shore excursions barely met expectations. Included excursions were bus tours and very slow, very limited walking tours. Optional shore excursions were neither as interesting nor as active as those advertised as "example" excursions before we booked the cruise. Each day in port as we disembarked, there was a cooler with hundreds of plastic water bottles for passengers. Given that Viking cruises on the ocean, you would think they would be more ecologically responsible. Give passengers a reusable water bottle when they board. Entertainment was limited in variety and quality. Very glad we arranged our own flights after hearing of other passengers' experience with flights arranged by Viking. The small ship experience was so good that we would travel with Viking again. We would just check all the details of the itinerary before paying and we would lower our expectations on food and drink and compare prices accordingly. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose Viking Ocean because of excellent experiences with Viking River Cruises, of which we have been on four in Europe. We were not disappointed. Before I write the review for this cruise, a word about the ocean: Traveling the ... Read More
We chose Viking Ocean because of excellent experiences with Viking River Cruises, of which we have been on four in Europe. We were not disappointed. Before I write the review for this cruise, a word about the ocean: Traveling the North Sea and Bay of Biscay is a completely different animal from cruising the Caribbean, where most “past-cruisers” have gone. Here you really are “at sea,” with all that entails: waves and troughs that can easily be 20 to 30 feet high, storms, and other nasty weather. As a Navy veteran I absolutely loved the return to the open sea, but many on board seemed quite nonplussed that they weren’t on the glassy surfaces they had previously experienced. Do your homework. Travel to and from: Viking offers deals on air transportation. If you can, it is much easier to package your entire trip with them, including insurance (which we found to be quite reasonable). Once you land at your embarkation destination, worries go away as Viking takes care of everything. Once your trip is over and you return to an airport, Viking people go with you and make sure you have found your flight and gate. I find that quite impressive. They could, but do not, abandon you after you leave the ship. Regarding the Viking Sun: The ship was immaculate, as all Viking ships (ocean) and boats (rivers) are. The amenities were impeccable, from the four or five places to dine to the public spaces where, seemingly, every comfort was anticipated. There was even a jigsaw puzzle table. The crew was also wonderful. A mandatory tip is assessed to each passenger but we additionally tipped our cabin cleaning duo and a particularly fun waiter. We asked for his table every evening. There was not a single crew member who was less than helpful and accommodating. The size of the ship is perfect. Slightly less than 1,000 passengers mean relatively quick off-and-on. Personal service is possible with a ship that size, and the ports you visit aren’t inundated with your fellow shipmates (especially in off-season, which is when we travelled). Remember, though, that a somewhat smaller ship may be more difficult for passengers in rough seas. Dining was also very good. The portions are smaller than we are used to but we certainly weren't hungry after eating. There is a local menu, a chef's specialty menu, and a "standard" menu for those of more traditional taste. As mentioned above, the table service was as good as it could be. Shore excursions: Because I have a limited ability to walk, my wife and I had limited ability to enjoy excursions, me more than she. I offer this caution: if you can avoid the "Panoramic _____ (major city)." You get driven around in a bus with maybe a stop or two and can point at places you've heard of/seen before, but that's about it. Have I been to London? Well, I've been THROUGH London but saw it mostly through a bus window. For those old enough to remember: "If it's Tuesday it Must be Belgium." Attached is an image from an iPhone 8, taken through a bus window (Buckingham Palace in the distance). Amsterdam was somewhat different: there we toured canals in an enclosed boat, but the result was similar. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We are investigating who we would sail with for a round the world. So far RSSC, Oceania, Silver Seas, and Viking have been tested. We ditched RSSC after a sub standard cruise in South America. We sailed with Viking Ocean in 2 years ago and ... Read More
We are investigating who we would sail with for a round the world. So far RSSC, Oceania, Silver Seas, and Viking have been tested. We ditched RSSC after a sub standard cruise in South America. We sailed with Viking Ocean in 2 years ago and circled back for this itinerary. The service was almost as good as our previous cruise. . That cruise, no one ever said no to our requests. This cruise we had a few no answers. But mostly yes. The service was almost as good as before, but the service on the World Cafe Terrace was definitely an outlier with respect to service. We felt like we were being purposely ignored. No problem ever in side, in the Restaurant, Chef's table or Manfredi's. One marvelous day about 2 pm after a late excursion, we had to ask the supervisor twice for water. The wait staff all were standing at the bar facing away from the terrace, the ocean, and the diners. It was almost that bad a few other days. Never a problem inside. The room was fine. The excursions were good. Thankfully they have added strenuous excursions so we can work off the food intake. The fitness center was excellent..The internet was slow, but that was expected. The house wines (no silver package) were marginal at best. My SO kept to sparkling wine and I mostly had white. The menu was repetitive, which was very different from our first cruise with them. So I sense a small push to have folks with a little wine palate to head for the silver beverage package, if they are on the margin. The heavy drinkers will already be there. And a bit of a push to go with the food venues with an upcharge if it does not come with your room. Dont worry, we booked another cruise with them and have a river cruise in a couple of months. No line is perfect, but we sensed a little slipping with this cruise. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
August 25, 2018 Day 1, Subject: British Isles cruise Hello All, We had a great flight (Aug 24) on United, #16, a Boeing 767, seats 28A,B exit row, a bit cool (near the emergency door) but one of the smoothest rides ever. An ... Read More
August 25, 2018 Day 1, Subject: British Isles cruise Hello All, We had a great flight (Aug 24) on United, #16, a Boeing 767, seats 28A,B exit row, a bit cool (near the emergency door) but one of the smoothest rides ever. An hour late boarding start in Newark with delayed arrival at Heathrow due to ground traffic and a verrrrry long walk from the gate to border control and baggage but all’s well. Viking representatives were visible everywhere to assist in our getting checked in, to and on the bus and for the 90 minute ride from the airport to the Greenwich port. It’s in the mid 50’s overcast ... cool enough for jackets. At the port, we received our key cards and boarded a tender for a 5 minute tender ride to the “on the hook”... Viking Sun. Our cabin 3078 was ready. We are tired, it’s been a long day, freshened up, put a few things away, then went for a lite lunch in the World Cafe on deck 7. Absolutely delicious choice selections of meats, pasta, fish, cold cuts salads and deserts...all beautifully presented ... with complimentary wine and the usual Viking excellent service. Back to the comfortable cabin, at 5pm we had the mandatory emergency drill then at 6 a fabulous snack and then to bed! Overnighting in Greenwich, predict 60 degrees tomorrow, possible showers... who knows? ------------------------------------------- Day 2 – Greenwich, (London) Sunday, August 26, 2018 Subject: Update So, it’s 4:51 pm as I write this and we are still on the hook in Greenwich due to weather and tide issues and the narrow “Flood Gates” we have to pass through. Strong winds have forced the delay of our leaving until 2AM tomorrow morning. The weather .. still in the 60’s, overcast. Diane and I were scheduled for the 90 minute (included) walking tour, however it began raining hard and so as only she had dressed appropriately, she proceeded with the group of 15 ... I returned to the ship. At about 1:30 Diane returned to the cabin soaked from head to toe, but happy she went. She promised to tell us about the trivia she learned . Lunch in the world cafe was wonderful. Pictures will show. Met Susan and Carl from Marlboro NJ, chatted about growing up in Brooklyn etc. Just heard from the captain, due to our late arrival in Dover, all previously booked tours tomorrow have been cancelled, they have instead arranged for a 4 hr tour (complimentary). Details to follow. I spent much of the morning taking photos of the ship and looking for an app that would allow me to resize them for email. Hope you will like... sending soon. ------------------------------------ Day 3 – Dover – (Canterbury) England News... Following the death of Senator John McCain, the flag is still at full staff over the Whitehouse... despite protocol ... as is over the Capital Rotunda, to be at half staff. Later in the day, after much criticism and outrage, the flag was lowered. Due to our late departure from Greenwich, our arrival in Dover was also late (at 1pm, ) causing most tours to be cancelled. Instead, Viking arranged for tours to Canterbury or into Dover for us. After lunch, we hopped on the last bus #22 (only five on the bus) to Canterbury. Today is a holiday and the sun is out...so as you will see, there are crowds in the streets. Many families, stores are open modified hours, lots of dogs. Canterbury suffered a great deal of damage from WW2 bombings. The cathedral was targeted as it represented a historic, important site to the people and country. While the cathedral had only minor damage, bombs that fell nearby (and fires) did destroy about half of the town. Properties rebuilt were done so to match the old architecture to keep in character and beauty of the town. We returned to the ship, by joining a near full bus #4. Tonight’s production show is 60-70’s music, at 6:30. It was terrific, we really enjoyed the Viking singers and band. Interesting creative digital graphic sets were very effective. At 7:30 we went for dinner to “the restaurant” .. service, selections, presentation and taste ... perfect. For starters, Diane had the Waldorf salad, I, the Caesar salad with prawns. I had the grilled salmon entree, Diane had the steak. Wine flowed. Absolutely delicious dinner. Learned that each of the two alternate restaurants are booked solid for early dining until Sept 3. Made a reservation for Manfredi’s. Cabin attendants Tedy and assistant Jess are doing a great job ... working around us this morning. Last... today is Tues the 28, a sea day. The seas are very calm, not even a ripple, the temperature is in the low 60’s with overcast skies. Diane is in the laundry room, doing a wash, ironing shirts and blouses. Finding the ironing board uncomfortable to use due to the way it’s mounted to the wall. Better if there was a way to drape items over the board on that side. Perhaps the next ship. -------------------------------------------- Dublin, Sept 29, 2018 A lovely day in Dublin. Spent the early morning enjoying the ship’s program the sunshine and comfortable temperature (65). Watched the results of last nights primaries in Florida and Arizona... and that WH council Don McGahn will soon be leaving... he did not know, he learned from a tweet. We have CNBC, MSNBC, FOX, BBC and other British TV channels. Excellent selection of music and other shows like movies, TED programs etc. Great interactive TV. (would love if there were a TV speaker in the lavatory) At noon, we had a lite lunch at the World Cafe before joining our group #33 for the 3 hr included Dublin Tour. Traffic leaving this especially busy commercial port was made even worse due to an accident on the other major truck route. As a result, it took us about 1/2 hour just to exit. Our guide Simon and driver Jim were a great team. The coach was spotless the windows crystal clear and clean (perfect for picture taking). Or first stop was at Trinity college. Diane went with the group for a brief 20 minute tour, I opted out (having been here before) Our bus then meandered the narrow streets of Dublin, traffic and pedestrians provided for a challenging course for driver, Jim. We did get to see everything on the tour, including a brief visit to St. Patrick Cathedral and Park ... as beautiful and peaceful as when last we were here in 2013. The flowers still in bloom, children playing, a small dog playing fetch with his owner... a special moment for us. Back on the bus, we arrived to the ship at 5, freshened up and went to The Restaurant for another dinner with wine. Exhausted... we retired.... tomorrow Holyhead, -------------------------------------------------------- Day 6 Holyhead, Wales, Aug 30, 2018 Sunny, no humidity, about 65 degrees... Most of the morning relaxing, looking at future cruises and enjoying breakfast and or lunch before our 3 hour tour of Edwardian Beaumaris. Bus 27, from the pier, only a few steps from the ship, the very comfortable coach loaded the 30 of us for the 30 minute drive to the small town. Guide Roy and driver Kevin did well. The road from the port to the pier is so narrow, it fits only one vehicle at a time... traveling in only one direction. The ride to Beaumaris was beautiful, it is lined with lush greens, sheep and cows, the winding narrow road made for interesting maneuvers when a sharp curve met 2 vehicles in opposite directions.... One must pull over to allow the other to pass by. The town was brimming with visitors ... seemed everyone here has a dog and eats ice cream. One shopkeeper told us she had never seen so many dogs! It’s an easy walk, no hills, decent sidewalks, many lovely shops with antiques, food, or ice cream, line the narrow road. At the end of the town, the castle built by Edward 1, is famous for its design: Beaumaris Castle (Welsh: Castell Biwmares), in Beaumaris, Anglesey, Wales, was built as part of Edward I's campaign to conquer the north Wales after 1282. Plans were probably first made to construct the castle in 1284, but this was delayed due to lack of funds and work only began in 1295 following the Madog ap Llywelyn uprising. A substantial workforce was employed in the initial years under the direction of James of St George. Edward's invasion of Scotland soon diverted funding from the project, however, and work stopped, only recommencing after an invasion scare in 1306. When work finally ceased around 1330 a total of £15,000 had been spent, a huge sum for the period, but the castle remained incomplete. Fishing, shell fish, farming and tourism keep everyone here busy. Purchased a few items ... appear to have been made in Wales. Returned at 5, in time for the Explorer party... (for return Viking guests) much too crowded) not sure everyone at the event met the Explorer member only requirement. At 6 PM, we went to the world cafe for a delicious dinner... Caesar salad, chateaubriand, pork chop, pasta... you name it, here at the cafe one can sample or share without guilt... or with guilt! Off to the Explorer lounge for music and then trivia. Our team, Sue, Gary, and Jen won again ... our second win! two out of 3 so far. STILL NO PRIZES! Getting ready for tomorrow at Liverpool. Day 7 Aug 31 2018, Liverpool Liverpool... home of the Beatles Just arrived at Liverpool, long, interesting pier, it floats to compensate for 32ft. tides. When we first docked, the gangway was at deck 2...when we came back at 5pm, it was on deck A... The weather is perfect. Clear skies, 68 degrees, and hardly any humidity. Our tour of Liverpool on coach #24 with guide Peter and Andrew, driver. BTW, our British pounds the are older, (paper notes) and not accepted at most stores, they need to be exchanged at local bank, fortunately, our guide Peter was kind enough to exchange ours. Much of the time was on the bus with excellent narration about the points of interest...then... we arrived at Abby Road. From that moment on, it was all about Beatles! Who lived where, when, how Paul was in the church choir, told “he would never make a living at music and guitar playing” ... who knew? Lots of photos of this busy place and of the port. Back on board at 5, freshened up for a lobster dinner in The Restaurant. We wore jeans ... a no...no ... but we were forgiven. (So sorry about that) Our waiter, Alex took good care of us. This is his second contract with Viking. He had been with Celebrity for 14 years on Revelation... we must have sailed with him! Prawns on Caesar salad to start, followed by WHOLE Maine lobster, white wine, then the fruit plate for me, Diane had the sugar free offering. more about Liverpool Population Protestant from the days of Henry VIII. All others were killed or left. Catholics came with the potato famine, many left for the U S, many remained. We road buy the most unusual Catholic Cathedral, newly constructed in a modern style. We visited the Protestant Cathedral, the largest in England and 100 years old. Protestants and Catholics frequently argued until both Arch Bishops worked to secure peace between both groups. A thriving Chinese community also graces the city. Of interest the Protestant Cathedral faces north, unlike all others that face east due to it’s size and lot. Full...tired... we retired. Tomorrow, Belfast. ------------------------------------------ September 1, 2018 Subject: Belfast Perfect... the only way to describe our day here. Breakfast in the World Cafe, the bakery made me my whole grain bagel! Thank you Martin! So accommodating! Diane enjoyed her corned beef hash over a poached egg. The weather continues to cooperate. 68 degrees, partly sunny, no wind, great for our 3 hr. tour of Belfast and the countryside. After lunch, we met on the pier, boarded the awaiting coach #33 with 24 guests for our afternoon with Robin and her driver Fabritzio. Belfast is a major shipping port, famous too for where the Titanic was built and more recently, where Game of Thrones was and continues to be filmed. We passed ancient buildings, 100 year old mostly attached homes, noted only few single family buildings. The roads again were narrow, tree lined difficult for vehicles to travel if and when someone decided to park in a no parking zone. Parking is impossible, none of the homes or apartments have garages, so those folks with autos must find street space... like Manhattan. Learned when the “troubles period” began, the Jewish population was about 3000, however, most decided to leave Belfast and today only 80 remain. Still much evidence of the struggle remains with walls and graphics painted on them depicting the years of fighting between the Catholics and Protestants. Although the bombings and fighting has ended, there remains some hostility between them. The streets are spotless! Fines for discarding even a cigarette butt are 100.00 dollars. Throwing a piece of chewing gum, too is forbidden on the street, as is a stiff fine not picking up after your pet. Drove by churches with many being the oldest, one with the first electric clock, homes (cold water flats) with fireplaces in each room for heat. The most attractive sights were of the Belfast Castle... some rooms off limits today as a wedding and reception was going on. (As were many elsewhere today) We passed by the Titanic Museum ... with great memories of our previous visit here. Robin pointed out the burned out set of Game Of Thrones castle ... Anyway, back on board we met briefly with Nathan in future cruises to discuss opportunities, then off to dinner .. and special treatment when Martin, manager of the kitchen staff prepared grilled swordfish for me. After a few shrimp, king crabs legs... the swordfish arrived. Tomorrow we arrive at noon in Ullapool Scotland. ------------------------------------- Day 9 September 2, 2018 Subject: Ullapool Scotland We have been blessed again with excellent weather, calm seas and interesting included tours. Our ship is anchored about 5 minutes from the small dock where our tenders will unload and load passengers wanting to visit this very small town. Our guide, Jim took us on the 1.5 hour walking tour, which covered the entire perimeter of Ullapool and ended at a local pub for beer, tea, coffee, and shortbread cookies. Population 1500, (grows to 3000 during summer) B&B’s are everywhere as are sailboats, fishing boats and camping grounds. Sunday, so only a few of the shops are open, but Diane was able to find one that had some delightful items... and they accepted our old pounds! Beautiful views, red sandstone buildings.. typical for the area. The production show this evening was absolutely wonderful. Music selections from Broadway shows, fabulous voices! Won trivia again this morning...still no prizes! (will write that up on the comment survey) For such a first class cruise company... a disappointment no token prize. Tomorrow, Lerwick, Shetland Islands ------------------------------------------------- Date: September 3, 2018 Subject: Shetland Island and ponies Been a day since we reported...all’s well, weather still spectacular, tours, food etc. wonderful. We took the panoramic Shetland tour, bus 26 with guide Christine and Andrew driver. The countryside is magnificent. Everywhere one looks, the hills are green with grass, cows, sheep and small, local farms. Occasionally you see horses, then if on our tour... Shetland ponies. The town ... fishing, then tourism, make up for the primary employment. Again, older small homes, well maintained, sandstone. Once in the suburbs, the open spaces are dotted with views of large lots, separated by fence or vegetation, animals grazing everywhere. Carol... the Shetland breeder we visited did a nice job of introduction to her ponies. The oldest she ever had reach 75 years. She has 50 ponies, they each have names and respond to her call! Not much of a market at the moment but breeders are hoping for a resurgent... they are used for pony rides, child photos and as beasts of burden. Seemed friendly... The tour was comfortable, spotless coach.. about 40 passengers on the 52 capacity bus. Back in time for reserved dinner at Manfredi's. It was one of the best.. I had the ribeye steak, Diane had the sea food platter...pasta, langoustines, mussels, and shrimp. Delicious Sept 4th – Day 11 Invergordon, Scotland It was Tuesday Sept 4 when we reached Invergordon, Scotland a day we have been planning for ever since booking this cruise. It’s when we get to see and hug Sheila and Alistair! Having met them 20 years ago on our Canada/Hawaii voyage, we have made it our objective to sail or meet with them whenever possible. The very long one way road from the pier to the small port requires we use the shuttle bus. We Immediately spotted them waiting for us! They live about 150 miles from here, so they arrived the night before, stayed in a hotel and will return home tomorrow! What truly remarkable friends! A warm greeting then we were off to see Falls of Shin.. the site Alistair learned about from folks who had been here before. The hour ride gave us a chance to catch up on each of our families, grandchildren and great grandchildren in their case. The countryside and the weather remained remarkably beautiful! Thank goodness for GPS and navigation devices. Finding the Falls was challenging. No signs! Great place for families. Plenty of playground areas for kids! Nice snack bar, Scottish treats! Diane, Sheila and Alistair each had scones. Mmmm good. After about an hour of admiring the area and more family catch up, we departed for Invergordon. There we found an absolutely charming restaurant, Tucker’s Inn. Busy, with 2 ships in town (Mein Schiff) filled with 10 heavy metal bands)... smokers, tattoos galore ... we ate inside the restaurant (they were on the patio) the fish and chips were absolutely delicious and portions more than adequate. I took a photo to prove! (Not handicap accessible) Prices were quite reasonable. We returned to the ship at about 4, freshened up rested a bit before a lite dinner in World Cafe. Trivia at 8:30, Diane went, she and her team won again. I went to bed. A lovely day.. -------------------------------------------------- Day 12 Sept 5, 2018 Newhaven, (Edinburgh) Scotland Early to rise... Today we have our one and only “optional tour” 4.5 hours to The Da Vinci Code’s Rosslyn Chapel and Glenkinchie Distillery. Diane is sooo excited! She loves learning about the Knights Templar, anything to do with the Da Vinci Code, the Masons and such. Ahhh then... this is the perfect place to visit. The sun was shining, the temperatures in the mid 60’s – could not be better! Our tour met in the Theater until called for boarding of the tender to shore. Again, this process was quite orderly compared to other (non-Viking) cruises. The ride took about 10 minutes. Once on the pier, we were greeted by a lady bagpiper! We then boarded our bus for the tour. Again the bus was clean and very comfortable. The ride to the Chapel took about an hour and twenty minutes. En route, we drove thru the busy streets of Edinburgh, able to capture photos of the many sights and architectural beauty of the old town. Building (cranes) are visible in many areas. The contrast of old to new structures is vivid. Upon arrival to the Chapel we gathered briefly while our guide arranged for the tickets to enter the venue. Entering the grounds of the Chapel, one has to be impressed with the structure itself. Built in 1446, of Sandstone, tall and unusual buttress design, we learned that the height of the building is equal to the depth of same. Once in the Chapel, no photos are permitted. The tour guide spent about 30 minutes explaining the unique carvings, methods of preservation, crypts, underground excavations and financial benefits and donations derived from proceeds of Dan Brown’s book, The Da Vinci Code. Apparently, many years ago, in an effort to preserve the structure, the main columns were sprayed with concrete which did severe damage to them by keeping the moisture within from escaping. Ultimately, a roof like covering over the entire Chapel and an elaborate system of fans and heaters reduced much of the dampness ... and with it the moss, mold etc. Wherever you look, there are signs of (and stone carvings) to do with Knights Templar, the mysteries, artifacts and some evidence supporting alien theories (UFO) To learn more, visit www.rosslynchapel.com ------------------------ A very informative tour, once past the gift shop.... we boarded our bus for the next tour of The Glenkinchie Distillery. The bus lets us off near a long, path of steps from the parking lot to the entrance of the distillery. (Not a very accessible tour) There we were met by Jimmy, a 7 year veteran here, who took us thru the years long process from start to finish of making fine Single Malt distilled beverages. At the end of the tour, we were invited to sample 3 different types of product... each determined by age... I’ll describe the taste like.. young = hard, strong, nostril clearing medium age = smooth, aged = mellow... slides down your throat, feel no pain soon after!! Many of the guests purchased (at 5% discount) the alcohol. This company owns 20 plus distilleries. https://www.malts.com/en-gb/distilleries/glenkinchie/ A great day... Highly recommend the distillery tour. HOWEVER .. (Not a very accessible, MANY STEPS and lots of walking) -------------------------------------------------------- Day 13 - Sept 6. Orkney Islands- Anchored included tour was to Historic Orkney. Our tour guide and driver again were pro’s. Karen explained that the captain asked each afternoon tour guide to modify the 2.5 hr. plan a bit so the ship could depart a little earlier than scheduled. She promised we would not miss any venues. The day was again, perfect for sightseeing and picture taking. The coach was comfortable and immaculate. The ride included 4 stops for photos and walking tours. We are always impressed with the mobility challenged guests who with walker or cane make their way on and off the bus to see the sights. An interesting stop ... The Standing Stones of Stenness are carbon dated about 5000 years ago are believed to have aided in determining the solstices using the stones, sun and shadow alignment. Originally it appears there were 360 stones. Many have fallen due to weather and strong winds. Each of the many tours walked the path to the edge of the circle. Photos will show. We stopped too, at the village of Stromness for a brief walk the quaint village ... big seller there was ice cream at the bakery. Back to the bus, we arrived back to the ship with enough time to freshen up and enjoy dinner in the World Cafe. ------------------------------------------------------- Day 14 - Sept 7th, 2018 Subject: Bergen, Norway Yes, it’s day 14 of our British Isles cruise. We are docked overnight for this last day of what has been a delightful cruise. Once again, the we have been blessed with great weather, calm seas and good health. Our included tour Panoramic Bergen will meet in the terminal later this afternoon. Most of our packing is done, just enjoying the beautiful scenes of this busy port. Much as we remembered it, a picturesque city of mostly wooden buildings and attached homes have burned several times throughout the years. In 1944 the town was nearly completely destroyed when a ship in harbor (Voorbode) loaded with 273,000 lb of explosives caught fire and blew up, taking with it most of the town. Still, almost all of the houses are wooden! Even more difficult to believe, much of the harbor is built on wooden pilings which over years are beginning to rot. One “leaning” (Their leaning tower of Pisa) building is under repair ... said it will take 4 years to repair. Our 2 hr tour of this second largest city (also once the capital) took us past King Haakon’s Hall, the Rosenkrantz Tower, the fish market...and though the busy streets of Bergen. How do these coach drivers do it ? Back to the ship after the short tour. Finished dinner in World Cafe.. delicious king crab legs, large prawns, a NY strip steak and sugar free desert. Finish packing. Tomorrow... we fly home! Bergen to Toronto, Toronto to Newark All in all a great cruise. Sept 8, 2018 Bergen NO. to USA Loved that Viking permitted (actually encouraged) room service on this, the day of disembarkation. I ordered a bagel and salmon plate... beautifully presented and absolutely delicious. Diane asked for her muffin and hot coffee. BTW, the room service morning coffee has been better ever since we mentioned how terrible it had been! Often seemed as if it was from the previous night! Anyway, at 8:15AM sharp, our ticket color and number was called. We proceeded to the pier where we identified our luggage and boarded a coach for the 20 minute ride to the Bergen airport. Upon arrival we waited until the luggage was unloaded and with the help of many porters and many wonderful Viking representatives, we were directed to the Air Canada Rouge desk. There our bags were checked, boarding passes printed etc. Everything was very orderly. Getting to the departure gate was however, a challenge. We had to wait (conveniently located near a food court with plenty of seats) until we could pass thru an immigration check point which had yet to open. Finally, we sat comfortably until the flight (a Viking Charter) was ready to board. Then, after calling the first 4 rows, the gate agent called for ALL REMAINING passengers!!! NO boarding by row as one would expect, just EVERYONE at once and there must have been 150 of us, trying to get to the plane then past one another when on board! Plenty of room for improvement here!! The 7 hour flight was fine, there were plenty of open seats, we found 3 seats to play iPad scrabble and relax. The seat bottoms were very (very) uncomfortable, I used two pillows to help “soften the pain”. Flight attendant service, food and ride were good. The crew was very attentive to each passenger’s call. Wine was available (red or white) and was complimentary. We arrived Toronto on time, went thru passport control and GOES (Government Overseas Entry System) where somehow or other the number of our checked bags became an issue. We had 3, the system showed 5, 6, then 7... unable to explain, security told us to just go thru to the kiosk and prepare to get to gate F64 for our Air Canada short flight home. The gate agent, Tamara was especially kind and needed to make seat changes for weights and balances, so as Premier 1K and Gold Alliance members, she moved us to the more comfortable forward section of the plane. An hour later, we were in Newark, waiting for luggage and our pick-up for the 1 hour ride home with Patrick (Wally’s) to Sea Girt! Must again mention how incredible the Viking Crew was. This was our 79th cruise, so we know what sets one cruise from another ... service and attention to every detail. This crew was remarkable! They paid attention, nothing was too hard!! They aimed to please and please us they did. Kudos! END PS just booked West Indies Viking Ocean.. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This is our second Viking Ocean Cruise. We were so impressed with our first Viking Ocean Cruise (Montreal, Quebec, Halifax, Prince Edward Island, Boston, New York) in 2016 that we booked this cruise (England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, ... Read More
This is our second Viking Ocean Cruise. We were so impressed with our first Viking Ocean Cruise (Montreal, Quebec, Halifax, Prince Edward Island, Boston, New York) in 2016 that we booked this cruise (England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Norway). It did not disappoint! The staff are so friendly and helpful. The accommodations so nice, the amenities even nicer. The food is not only excellent but Viking offers is a cornucopia of food varieties as well as the choice of a several restaurant themes. We love the fact that we can see different parts of the world without having to check in-and-out of hotels every couple of days. Viking does extremely well at organizing the logistics involved with and the efficiency required in transporting guests on their tour excursions. Also the entertainment onboard their ships are first class. We also love meeting other guests onboard the Viking Cruises. It's a great opportunity to find out first hand different other Viking tours that others have taken and enjoyed. We are taking our first Viking River Cruise next year. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
I wanted to see my homeland of Scotland and Ireland. With the highlight of the trip being two days in London. We pre-toured in Oslo with a train ride to Bergin, fantastic. We finished the cruise with three days in Edenborough, again a ... Read More
I wanted to see my homeland of Scotland and Ireland. With the highlight of the trip being two days in London. We pre-toured in Oslo with a train ride to Bergin, fantastic. We finished the cruise with three days in Edenborough, again a fantastic stay. The tours from the ship were not of the caliper of previous voyages with Viking. We were driven by museums and castles, and told that if we had more time we could go in. For a few dollars more tickets to castles and museums could have been purchased and that cost past on to the consumer (me) as part of the cost of the cruise. The crew was fantastic, I am amazed that they can remember the names of all the customers. On our first night in the Restaurant, out server introduced herself and then responded that she had met us before. She was correct, she was working on our previous cruise. To myself and other guests that I spoke to, a big disappointment was planning on two days in London. We were hoping to see the sights and felt cheated that London (Greenwich) was only a convenient Disembarkation / Embarkation point that the customer only had a few hours to visit. Embarkation left a lot to be desired, too many buses going to the airport for the transition to Edinburgh, and to many flights to the next destination. The Viking Travel people did not include a baggage allowance for the flight, we and other customers had to pay the fee out of pocket. Recommendation: Make the ride to the airport a city tour, explain what we are seeing and take a roult that would allow the customers to at least see London if not able to experience London. Instead of using the airlines, send the customer from London to Edinburgh by train, it would have been a 3 hour trip, we would have seen the country and Viking could have reserved an entire car. The Viking Air people on this trip did not seam to be engaged in the product Viking was selling. Twice I had to contact them to issue tickets from London for the extention in Edenburgh. I am looking forward to a river cruise in 2020, not sure if I will due another ocean cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Viking really knows how to delight their customers. This British Isles Cruise was a bit of heaven on earth. Cabins and amenities are excellent and all personnel are more than accommodating with a solution to most any situation in which you ... Read More
Viking really knows how to delight their customers. This British Isles Cruise was a bit of heaven on earth. Cabins and amenities are excellent and all personnel are more than accommodating with a solution to most any situation in which you find yourself. Food was excellent in variety and quality. Especially like being able to go to specialty restaurants free of charge. Wines were very good and as much as you want with your dinners. Shore excursions were interesting and enriching with multiple options selection of ports was also fantastic and many are a part not normally included in British Isles excursions. Entertainment onboard was also very good and relatable to the average age on board. Spa amenities are also really luxurious and great. I especially loved the Explorer’s Lounge for viewing coming in to and leaving ports. Launderettes were also a little welcome luxury. Wish I could have stayed another week Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to go to Scotland, Ireland and Wales and this cruise offered it all. The best thing about the cruise was the staff. It was the most competent, caring, friendly and attentive staff ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to go to Scotland, Ireland and Wales and this cruise offered it all. The best thing about the cruise was the staff. It was the most competent, caring, friendly and attentive staff we have ever experienced. Next, the ship is beautiful. The design, the furniture, the stateroom layout and all the appointments are very well done. We were very happy to have been upgraded to a penthouse veranda which is quite a bit larger than the deluxe veranda. The food was plentiful and very good. We loved the sushi. We actually preferred the Restaurant and the buffet to the specialty restaurants. The entertainment was perfect, and it was nice to see the performers around the ship. They were always out there right after the shows. It was just right and not over the top. We also enjoyed all the shore excursions, always wishing there were more time in each port. Judy did an amazing job with her organization of the shore excursions. We were less impressed with the pre and post excursions. We did not realize that Viking farmed these out to other companies. The pre excursion in Oslo offered nothing except a hotel room and train ride. No effort was made to contact the participants and by the time we saw the Viking desk there was no reason to even check in. All they did was give info regarding tours that were available at an extra cost. The post excursion in Edinburgh at least offered some interesting excursions which were included. A meeting was held when we arrived and information was dispersed. Pick up and drop off at the airport was totally inadequated. Our pickup person was 15 minutes late and no one knew what to do. Our drop off was not near the entrance to the airport and we had to drag our luggage quite a ways. All in all, we would no consider any pre or post excursions in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We've sailed on Viking River cruises and found them to be first rate, so we were eager to sail on their British Isles Ocean Cruise. We have traveled on other ocean cruise lines and have been disappointed in many aspects. Viking does ... Read More
We've sailed on Viking River cruises and found them to be first rate, so we were eager to sail on their British Isles Ocean Cruise. We have traveled on other ocean cruise lines and have been disappointed in many aspects. Viking does not disappoint! The attractiveness and cleanliness of the Viking Sun was amazing. The Sun had the most comfortable stateroom ever, with a veranda, ample closet and drawer space...and that bathroom with the heated floor! Many cruise ships have redundant menus and not a lot of dining options. So many choices were available and we booked the specialty restaurants a few nights. We also enjoyed the seafood buffet on several occasions. The menus were varied and wine or beer was served at each meal. The menus included some of the local flavors of the areas we visited...and that's an important part of traveling to us. I also have to say that we also took advantage of breakfast in bed on more than one morning! I have to mention ... all of this at no additional cost! Other cruise lines "nickle and dime" continuously. Unfortunately we weren't able to partake of all the activities offered on board...there were so many, we didn't have enough time to do them all! The entertainment was more than outstanding and we look forward to the performances of the talented performers every night. One of the most outstanding features of this cruise was the service. I commend whomever does the hiring and training of the staff. Everyone we encountered was genuinely friendly and eager to serve, in a comfortable, relaxed way...no stuffiness! We were always addressed by our names, we felt like valued guests. The port excursions were terrific. The guides were so informative and we appreciated the local perspective and personal stories they shared. It was nice to have included excursions in each port and well as more in-depth tours available to book. We were so delighted with our experience on the Viking Sun, that while on board we booked an Alaskan Cruise! **Warning** They book up fast, we couldn't get on til 2020! I truly have to say that our first choice will always be Viking for any future cruises! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our fourth Viking Ocean Cruise which makes us a real Viking follower and supporter. As usual, the embarkation went smoothly with a Viking representative meeting us at the airport and providing transportation directly to our ship. ... Read More
This was our fourth Viking Ocean Cruise which makes us a real Viking follower and supporter. As usual, the embarkation went smoothly with a Viking representative meeting us at the airport and providing transportation directly to our ship. On this particular cruise, we started in Bergen, Norway and did one of the included tours plus we went up to Mt. Floien. Both our ship and cabin were first class, very clean with outstanding facilities to make our trip that much rewarding. One of the perks of sailing with Viking is the first class dining onboard that makes you feel that you are at a Michelin star restaurant. In addition to the main restaurant, you have two specialty restaurants in Manfredi’s and the Chef’s Table. Both serve amazing food and first class service along with a pretty good selection of wines. Besides Bergen, we stopped at different ports in Ireland, England and Scotland. The included tours and excursion obviously are first class but we did book some optional excursions that were both intriguing and interesting. Viking has a variety of entertainment including visiting speakers and musicians. The Viking entertainment group performed several different dance and singing routines that I thought were excellent. Overall, Viking provides a wonderful travel experience from start to finish. They are well organized and as a traveler, everything is provided so that you can just sit back and relax. From start to finish, the crew and staff can’t do enough for you so that the only thing you have to do is be grateful that you have so many memories. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this Cruise to travel with another couple and made the reservation over a year ahead. The quality of ship, crew, services and experiences was exceptional. We enjoyed the amenities of the ship and quality of the design of the ... Read More
We chose this Cruise to travel with another couple and made the reservation over a year ahead. The quality of ship, crew, services and experiences was exceptional. We enjoyed the amenities of the ship and quality of the design of the ship. Our prior experience with Viking has been on European River Cruises. The ability of us to be on the same tour bus was not able to be accommodated consistently.. Many times, much to our frustration, we found that we were assigned different busses for a given tour. We found some local guides were much better than others. Uneven utilization of audio devices was disconcerting as some guides said they had requested one but had been denied. We wish that they would not fill the tenders to capacity when shuttling for tours. More trips with less crowding would be much better. We found the internet connection speeds to be inconsistent. I would think this should be able to be improved. We particularly enjoyed Luis on the guitar and Dr. Lori talking about Viking history. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our first experience with Viking Ocean Cruises. The ship was a perfect size, the staff was very accommodating, the food was delicious and plentiful. The included tours were all very good and well organized. We had no complaints ... Read More
This was our first experience with Viking Ocean Cruises. The ship was a perfect size, the staff was very accommodating, the food was delicious and plentiful. The included tours were all very good and well organized. We had no complaints with any aspect of the cruise. We were so pleased that we have booked a river cruise for next year and have been told that they are even better. We loved the fact that there were no passengers under 18. Viking does Ocean cruises like they were meant to be and used to be. Bigger ships does not mean better, in fact, just the opposite. You may pay more with Viking but it is worth it. Viking ships provide balconies with all their rooms, no inside cabins. Awesome setup. The bathroom floor was heated which is nice in the colder climates. We can’t wait to do another ocean cruise with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We took this cruise to try out Viking and see if they were worth it and they are! Brand new ship, perfect size, very happy, friendly crew willing to serve. Excellent food, very good entertainment and all around great time. Very good ... Read More
We took this cruise to try out Viking and see if they were worth it and they are! Brand new ship, perfect size, very happy, friendly crew willing to serve. Excellent food, very good entertainment and all around great time. Very good excursions. Only one included excursion that my wife took in Dublin was a total disaster due to a very bad male tour guide who did a very poor job. My two paid for excursions that day in Dublin were excellent. We liked all the ports we visited but wished that we could of had one more day in Edinburgh. That best thing the ship had was the high tea everyday with wonderful scones. I tried out the spa with the large soaking tub, snow room, sauna and cold dip pool and I was really impressed with the whole thing. Every day I went to the gym and found it very clean and the perfect size but wished they had more bicycle/spin machines. We liked Viking so much that we booked two future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We sailed with the Viking Sea from London to Britain and then to the multiple Fjords in Norway. We were very impressed with everything Viking. Everything from embarkation to post cruise tour to Iceland went exceptionally well. It took us a ... Read More
We sailed with the Viking Sea from London to Britain and then to the multiple Fjords in Norway. We were very impressed with everything Viking. Everything from embarkation to post cruise tour to Iceland went exceptionally well. It took us a few days to get used to the quality of service we experienced. Everytime we took a shower, our steward would come in when we left and clean the entire bathroom and place all new towels. Every time we messed up our bed linen the sheets were always straightened and changed if needed. The food service in all Dining options was exceptional. At the start of our trip we thought we would want to have special dinners in the Restaurant or Manfredi's or at The Chef's Table. However, we ended up eating most often at The World Cafe "buffet" area, as the food was incredible. I love seafood, and there were always, crab legs and shrimp and sea bass or so many other delightful options. My husband and our friends we were with, also always found their favorites with so many options from salads to pizza to Prime rib to steaks or lamb. The service was great everywhere and even at the buffet after making our choices the servers still brought us wines and coffee's and bread or anything we requested. Everyone treated us like we were family. Loved It!!! The entertainment was all done by staff, from the Director to the assistant Director to other servers and staff. We were tremendously impressed by the talent that we were treated to. Viking knew the audience and played to them with Elvis Presley impressionist and many other awesome shows. Amazing. We also enjoyed the evening bar singers and that atmosphere. Our ship was so impressive and spotless! The infinity pool off the front deck was awesome and the pool on the top deck was perfectly heated. On the evening of the Midnight sun we were able to see the sun go down and come back up within two minutes on the same spot! The most impressive was the nature around us, such as the Sisters Falls and the hugh troll face carved into the side of the mountain. We enjoyed and excursion everday and always were totally impressed not only with nature but also with the preparations that Viking had made that made every trip PERFECT!!! We participated in the Iceland Excursion and was so impressive. Wow! Four days where we saw Geysers that erupted every 5 minutes to a Volcano crater we walked around, and a Hugh water fall with a salmon latter, as well as swimminng in the Blue Lagoon and having a facial with the mineral's found in the Lagoon. Writing about all of this makes me want to do it all over again. Absolute Perfection all the way around!!! You may think that because this review is so good that I am just a positive person. This is not quite true as people who know me know my opinion needs to be well earned. This one was! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise because of the British Isles itinerary. The ship itself was wonderful, the rooms were nice, the ship was well laid out, the entertainment was good, the food was wonderful and the on board service was very good. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the British Isles itinerary. The ship itself was wonderful, the rooms were nice, the ship was well laid out, the entertainment was good, the food was wonderful and the on board service was very good. Outside the ship the experience was not so good. The real troubling part was that when we brought this to their attention they had a way of not responding in a positive manner. It started with the airline reservation. We purchased flights through Viking. Without any contact I received an itinerary from them. We live half way from Milwaukee and O'Hare airports so we chose Milwaukee. We do everything we can to avoid the Chicago Airports. The itinerary we received was from Milwaukee to Chicago to London. If I had known that I could have requested Chicago. We called to change the itinerary only to be told that it would cost us $100 per person to change. We agreed to the additional charge and got flights from Milwaukee to Toronto to London. On the way back they had done the same thing but we chose not to pay another $200 to change that one. As it turned out the flights on Air Canada were fine but on the way back we got what we were trying to avoid, a connection at Chicago O'Hare. The first flight was delayed and we had this rush to get though passport control, baggage and customs and still make the second leg of the flight. We barely made it but we did make it. The plane took off and half way through the flight the pilot announced that the plane was having problems with the landing gear and they were going to have to return to Chicago. We were terrified thinking about landing on a broken landing gear. We expected to see emergency trucks and foam on the runway, etc. but it came right down as a normal landing. Once at the gate a mechanic came aboard and the Captain announced that the plane was grounded and that we were to disembark the plane. After much confusion in the airport we noticed two agents at the next counter with a line in front of them. It seems that they were issuing bus tickets to Milwaukee, however we could not get our luggage as they were going to send it to Milwaukee this next morning. We had to practically run to catch this bus. Then we sat on the bus for more than a half an hour while the driver tried to get things sorted out. We finally got underway to find that this bus made two stops before it got to Milwaukee. It was past 1:00 a.m. when the bus arrived in Milwaukee. It was after 2:00 a.m. when we finally got home, exhausted. The next problem is that I noticed on my paperwork that I had paid $7,800 per person for this cruise and the lowest, advertised price was $6990 (for a DV6). There were no $6990 rooms available so we were given a DV4 type room. We were told when booking a subsequent cruise that the difference between a DV6 room and a DV4 room is $300. They both have a balcony and are the same size but the DV4 has an inroom refrigerator with soft drinks and snacks and an in-room coffee maker. When I called to ask about this I got this confusion explanation that the prices always change and even though I had the brochure showing the base price they insisted that this was my fault that I did not notice it sooner. All I wanted to know is what was the base price when I booked the cruise and why was my price so much higher than I thought it should be. I was told that they did not know. The agent offered me a $250 per person credit on a future Viking cruise. I turned it down as I do not expect to go on another Viking cruise. We felt that the shore excursions were not as good as we expected. For example we took a tour in Holyhead, Wales. It went to the town of Beaumaris. The only reason to go there is to see the castle. The castle was not on the tour. The tour guide dumped us in the square, disappeared and we were left to wander the streets of a small town. If we had wanted to see the castle without a guide the admission was 5 pounds. In general, the included tours were coach rides with a little diversion. I think we would have preferred a lower price with no tours included and let us pick the ones we wanted. The real problem came with the post cruise experience in Reykjavik, Iceland. On the flight from Bergen, Norway to Reykjavik we were seated in the last row of the airplane. That meant that we were the last off the plane. It was a long way from the airplane to the exit and when we got there no Viking representatives were present. Someone in the crowd said they had been there but they were gone. We went outside and saw a line of people with red Viking luggage tags so we asked them and it was who we were looking for but no Viking personnel. We came to four buses and people were getting on. By this point there were some Viking people. We asked one of them and he said to get on bus four. We got on and waited for some time and were told that they were missing some people. It turned out that we were the people they were looking for as we had not checked in. When we got to the Grand Hotel, all four buses at the same time, a huge line formed. There were only two agents and nothing had been prearranged. The line lasted for more than an hour. In the meantime the bus drivers were bringing the luggage from the buses into the lobby and we were told that they would deliver them to our rooms. As soon as the luggage was off the bus the porters disappeared and the luggage sat in the lobby. About an hour after we got our room I went down and picked up our own luggage. There was supposed to be a Viking Concierge in the evening but there was not. This hotel is pretty far from downtown and only a few restaurants near enough to walk. There was a hotel shuttle but it stopped at 5:00 p.m. The tours during the day were pretty good but the evenings were miserable. The hotel had a buffet dinner but it cost $79 per person. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We choose this cruise for the itinerary. We wanted as many ports around the British Isles as possible in early August. The Viking Sky was just about our only option, and overall, we were very pleased with it. The destinations were well ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the itinerary. We wanted as many ports around the British Isles as possible in early August. The Viking Sky was just about our only option, and overall, we were very pleased with it. The destinations were well selected. Just a few months before the cruise was set to depart, we were informed that Liverpool was removed from the itinerary and Glasgow was added. For us, that was no big deal as we were looking for as many stops in Scotland as possible. However, this was an issue for many passengers. The food is a high point of the experience. All the restaurants, in fact all of the food, is included in the cruise fare. The standard restaurant, simply called The Restaurant, features several wonderful items every night (found on the left side of the menu), plus an exceptional rotating menu with destination fare on the left side. Every meal we had was excellent. Our other diners were at Manfredi's, the Italian restaurant. It too was exceptional, and we dined there twice. Typically our lunches were in port, but each morning we had breakfast at the World Cafe, which is served buffet style. It to was very good. Service on the ship is impeccable. Many members of the staff got to know us by name. The wait staff learned our preferred drink selections very quickly. The room staff also was very friendly and prompt. The cabin was not huge, but it was very nice for a cruise ship. We had a deluxe veranda stateroom. This was ideal for views of the coast of England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and Norway. There was an ample amount of USB ports and outlets. The room also had a mini refrigerator. The bathroom had a shower stall, but no bath. It also had a heated floor, which was wonderful in the mornings. There was some sort of show each evening, and the entertainment staff was excellent. The club, Torshavn, features the Viking Band, and they go out of their way to meet and get to know the guests. They take requests and do their best to learn new music. Also, the Atrium, Explorer's Lounge, and sometimes the pool feature a rotating set of piano players, guitar players, and a string and flute trio. There is always entertainment to be found. Although there was an included excursion at each port, we typically booked one of the for-fee excursions. Nearly all of them were first rate. We varied our experiences with tours of castles, winery visits, a distillery visit, a walking food tour of Belfast, and scenic tours of the Yesnby cliffs and Mousa island. We had more than enough to do. A word of warning though, this ship and cruise line really does cater to an older crowd. Most of the passengers were of the retirement community. My wife and I were among the ten youngest passengers on the ship (we still have children in elementary school and high school). The entertainment is largely geared to this group. We weren't ever bored, and we weren't looking for a casino, but something like a sports bar would have been a welcome addition to the ship. Although we met many wonderful people on the ship, we also were met with a fair amount of puzzled expressions from some passengers and were outright questioned why we were on this particular cruise. Some final thoughts: 1. The spa seems nice, and my wife enjoyed their services. 2. The fitness area is above adequate, but not large. 3. There is a nice walking track around deck 2. 4. The North Sea gets choppy, so the night you sail to Bergen might get rough. 5. If you are planning on drinking more than just one or two alcoholic beverages a night, and want more variety than is offered at dinner, get the Silver Spirits Package. It will pay for itself really quickly. 6. The WiFi was free, but we often found it unreliable. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
First of all, the ship management allowed me and my sister to check into our cabin two hours earlier than the time we were supposed to. Our cabin was immaculate and kept clean throughout the cruise. The room service employees were ... Read More
First of all, the ship management allowed me and my sister to check into our cabin two hours earlier than the time we were supposed to. Our cabin was immaculate and kept clean throughout the cruise. The room service employees were professional at all times and I have nothing but high praise for them. Embarkation and disembarkation went smooth and easy. There were Viking employees there at every turn ready to help us out. The ship itself was out of this world. Everywhere you turn there is artful decor and we felt at home because we were made to feel that way by the Viking personnel. Guest services was very professional and courteous at all times. When we needed something, they were there to please. The dining experiences were perfect in every way. I never could run out of choices and my drinks never ran low. The food was superb and the employees were wonderful in every way. Shore excursions went off without a hitch and we enjoyed them immensely. The spa services are really really outstanding. My sister and I had the mindful massage and the Nordic facials. We also took advantage of their salon and had mani-pedis done. We enjoyed them and the ladies that did them were very sweet. Overall I would have to say that our experiences were like something out of a storybook. It was a dream that I wish I didn't have to wake up from. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itenerary of covering most of Great Britain. Overall good weather, great crew, great service, and wonderful food. The ports were good, but the ship did not go to Liverpool which was on the original ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itenerary of covering most of Great Britain. Overall good weather, great crew, great service, and wonderful food. The ports were good, but the ship did not go to Liverpool which was on the original itinerary when we booked, which was disappointing. The entertainment was excellent with the singers and the dancers. We understand that the dancers are no longer part of the shows. On our ship they were great! Departing London was a great expericence from our departure point on the river. There was a shuttle to shore from from the ship. The other ports were very good and some that really catered to the cruise ships. One thing to always keep in mind in this area is what currency every country uses. We tood a taxi in Dublin and that is Euro's and he only took cash not credit cards. I had every other currency in the world except Euro's. He had to drive me to a cash machine to get the cash so I could pay him. Don't hesitate to leave any of Vikings "bus tours" and go it alone. Most of the places are fairly close to the ship anyway. Would I go on this itenerary again? Probably not, seen it, done it, been there. Viking does it right! They treat you like an adult, nearly everyone has sailed with them before, most are experienced cruisers which makes for meeting like minded people terrific. Although a minor thing, it is nice to have a self service laundry on each deck. I would say the only negative is the exercise equipment which is the silly cable systems, but the spa is fantastic! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This cruise exceeded my expectations! I really chose this cruise for the itinerary ... and it did not disappoint. Even several of the ports that I wasn’t as interested in, like Dover, turned out to be absolutely amazing! But the best ... Read More
This cruise exceeded my expectations! I really chose this cruise for the itinerary ... and it did not disappoint. Even several of the ports that I wasn’t as interested in, like Dover, turned out to be absolutely amazing! But the best surprise was the ship. We expected excellence in dining... but it was exceptional. And the entire spa area with pools, hot tub, saunas and snow room was a real delight. We used this area every day. The shore excursion choices for “ included” excursions were inconsistent. Some were good, but many were just riding around in a bus. I feel that for the price we paid, we should have been able to chose from some of the other excursions that were offered at additional cost. To advertise “included” and then offer such poor tours is misleading advertising. Either provide better “included” tours, give choices on included tours, or reduce the price of the cruise and charge for excursions. The advertising is misleading as it stands now and results in disastusfied customers. The only other negative was the flight and air partners. We paid for an upgraded economy ticket and were very disappointed with the multiple connections and flights. We were willing to pay more for this service, but by the time we arrived home, we were exhausted. And we are in our early 50’s... the younger end of the Viking customers. This area needs serious improvement. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
As an avid traveler I have traveled extensively on river cruises and have taken 5 cruises on 4 different cruise lines: (Royal Carribean, Cunard, Celebrity and Crystal. Perhaps because of my past cruise line experiences, over the last ... Read More
As an avid traveler I have traveled extensively on river cruises and have taken 5 cruises on 4 different cruise lines: (Royal Carribean, Cunard, Celebrity and Crystal. Perhaps because of my past cruise line experiences, over the last five years, I have chosen to travel almost exclusively on river cruises with Vantage and Viking. Norway was on my bucket list and along with 9 other friends we booked a two week ocean cruise on the Viking Sea for a trip titled "Into the Midnight Sun." Hands down, this was the best cruise ship and cruise line on which I have traveled. It is hard to explain the beauty of Norway's Fjords and the magnificance of the Midnight Sun but this trip was a visual delight. The ship itself is bright, airy and its many varied sitting areas with great expanses of windows enhanced your ability to take in the views. The two story Explorer's lounge offers the best views and cocktails. What makes Viking Ocean Cruise Line so different from the others? Size matters. The Viking Ocean Liners are the perfect size. We traveled at full capacity but the ship almost never felt crowded. Instead, there always seemed an abundance of seating in almost all of the common areas. The only two exceptions were the Star Theater for the evening shows (go early to get a good seat) and the women's locker room particularly during At Sea days. There simply aren't enough lockers, dressing room space for spa and pool users. You need to be prepared to be jostled. Better yet, change into your bathing suit, leave your valuables in your room and wear your robe to the spa or pool. Having substandard space, one bathroom and one shower in the women's locker room when there is an abundance of unused space around the pool was the only design flaw I could find in the whole ship. On the plus side, the spa pool, steam and ice room were wonderful. I also had two good massages and a great facial, eyebrow and lash treatment from well trained and pleasant staff. Traveling with 11 people who have rooms and suites spread throughout lthe ship can create logistical hurdles relative to meeting up for the times 9 or more us chose to eat together as a group. Even though we didn't book a group tour, Viking bent over backwards to accomodate our needs. On 6 occassions they sat us in private rooms at the two excellent speciality restaurants on the ship. The food and service on the ship are very good, but the speciality resturants earn special mention. The menu, particulary at the Chef's Table changes every few days as do the wine pairings. Unlike on other cruise lines one does not pay an upcharge to eat at either speciality resturants. However, advance reservations are made by guests who have upgraded rooms. Speaking of rooms, we booked into a Penthouse Veranda Stateroom which gives you about 60sq. ft more than a Deluxe Veranda. This was a great size and gives you much needed drawer space for your clothes and additional surface space for all the papers and souveniers you tend to accumulate overtime. The upgrade also provides you some preference for booking private excursions and eating at the speciality resturant. Some of our friends purchased Junior Suites. These are a considerable upgrade from the Veranda rooms. They provide you with much bigger bathrooms, a larger sitting area and a large blackout curtain that you can pull between the bed and the sitting area. This is a good feature if your spouse is an early riser or if you want to sleep in the room without having to pull all your curtains tight to block out the light from the Midnight Sun. (If you don't upgrade bring a sleep mask if you are sensitive to light at night). Finally, my hats off to a very friendly, service oriented staff and crew. The captain's self proclaimed review: "We are the Happiest Ship on the Sea" rang true. I can't wait to take my next trip on a Viking Ocean Liner. Read Less
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