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31 Viking Ocean Family Cruise Reviews

We wanted a cruise over the holidays for our family, including our son and daughter in their mid twenties. We chose this as we had never been to Athens and our son had never been to Rome. We wanted a family trip over the hoiidays to ... Read More
We wanted a cruise over the holidays for our family, including our son and daughter in their mid twenties. We chose this as we had never been to Athens and our son had never been to Rome. We wanted a family trip over the hoiidays to interesting places and not just beaches. We got off to a bad start with travel complications and rather than arriving at 1:00 PM we did not arrive until close to midnight. Once on board the rooms were very nice and the food was great. We had only done river cruises before and liked the small size of those ships so wondered a bit about being on a larger ship with 900 plus people. It was surprisingly uncrowded, there were several bar areas and food options and it never seemed crowded. Unlike the river cruises, you did not see the same people repeatedly. There were several times where I met interesting people and hoped to see them again and did not. You needed to get names and contact information if you wanted to see them again, it usually did not happen by chance. December 24 the sea was quite rough and it was a bit of a challenge walking around the ship. We did have a lot of family meals together which was nice. We enjoyed most of the shore excursions, the first day walking the Acropolis with a great guide was nice. At Ephasis the guide gave the impression Viking had endorsed the carpet market we were taken to and there was huge pressure to buy a carpet as we were the last ship of the season. Viking should have made it clear in advance about this situation. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I had never done an Atlantic crossing, and the itinerary looked great. And - it was on Viking, so I felt it would be the best experience. For the most part, it was really interesting and met/exceeded my expectations. Only a few drawbacks ... Read More
I had never done an Atlantic crossing, and the itinerary looked great. And - it was on Viking, so I felt it would be the best experience. For the most part, it was really interesting and met/exceeded my expectations. Only a few drawbacks for me: 1. Really bad weather and rough seas the first 4 days, obviously NOT Viking's fault, but I did not enjoy that much time being very seasick. Thank goodness meclizine was available free of charge. 2. Due to the weather, we stopped in Maderia rather than the Azores, no big deal except for the timing. We stopped there after one day of sailing, rather than 2 to the Azores. Then we sailed all the way to Miami with no other stop. That was a VERY long stretch at sea, and despite interesting speakers & presentations, it got boring. We seemed to have had ample to make a more southern Caribbean port call on the way to Miami, as we spent most of 2 days cruising in north-south runs to kill time. It would have felt better if the Captain had told us that we were unable to stop anywhere else due to contract issues, or whatever. Many people on the ship were unhappy about this situation. Otherwise - it was our usual fabulous time with Viking - great cabin, absolutely outstanding service, good food & wines. While I don't feel the need to do another Atlantic crossing, I certainly will continue to be a very loyal Viking fan, and have already booked my next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We had done three river cruises with Viking and throughly enjoyed them. This was our first ocean cruise with Viking and the experience was excellent (food, cultural enrichment, customer service, excursions). They always treat you ... Read More
We had done three river cruises with Viking and throughly enjoyed them. This was our first ocean cruise with Viking and the experience was excellent (food, cultural enrichment, customer service, excursions). They always treat you special. They know you name and your likes and dislikes. Our Veranda Suite was great. It was spacious and very modern. The rooms were well appointed and having the mini bar included was great. The restaurants were excellent and had a good variety of food. The shore excursions were excellent, especially the whale watching in Dominica. We also had an included tour each day that gave us a good overview of each island. We feel that Viking provides the best cruises both ocean and river. They focus on cruises for adults and have appropriate activities. We highly recommend Viking cruises due to the overall experience. We will be planning more cruises with Viking in the future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was a family cruise picked because the dates and ports were of the most interest to the majority of the group. The ship was a good size, easy to get around in and offering a good opportunity to get to know most of the crew and ... Read More
This was a family cruise picked because the dates and ports were of the most interest to the majority of the group. The ship was a good size, easy to get around in and offering a good opportunity to get to know most of the crew and passengers. The crew was exceptional, from the housekeeping, to the beverage and dinning crew and the entertainment group (special kudos to Heather and Eion ). The cabins were comfortable and the bathrooms a good size. The planetarium and the Nordic Spa (with its steam sauna and snow room) were a unique and pleasant experience. All of us enjoyed the lectures offered, the nordic museum, and the common areas. Was somewhat disappointed with the food on the Chefs Table and Manfred's specialty restaurants and would not rate any of the excursions ( the included ones and some of the optional ones) more then mediocre. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My brother, who had taken previous Viking Ocean cruises, talked me into it because my wife and I had taken several river cruises on Viking and had enjoyed them. The four of us had cruised before and enjoyed each others company. We ... Read More
My brother, who had taken previous Viking Ocean cruises, talked me into it because my wife and I had taken several river cruises on Viking and had enjoyed them. The four of us had cruised before and enjoyed each others company. We very much enjoyed and were impressed with the Amazon River experience. I would have greatly appreciated wider WI-FI coverage. We had to very frequently rejoin the wi-fi because of lost signal. Perhaps some wi-fi repeaters placed strategically throughout the sip would help. I was very unimpressed with the pancakes and waffles on the breakfast buffet. An improved batter recipe is needed! The disembarkation in Buenos Aires amounted to a completely wasted day. We had to get out of our cabins before 8:00 and had nothing to do until leaving the ship at 10;30. Upon arrival at the Hilton, we were unable to get our rooms until 1500 and the luggage wasn't available until 1800. An entire day spent waiting. Perhaps a four to five hour shore excursion beginning at disembarkation and ending at the hotel.could be arranged. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
With daughter and son-in-law to celebrate birthdays and anniversary. Daughter has serious food issues, and the crew took fabulous care of her. The food is good, especially liked the buffets. The chef made several beautiful chocolate cakes ... Read More
With daughter and son-in-law to celebrate birthdays and anniversary. Daughter has serious food issues, and the crew took fabulous care of her. The food is good, especially liked the buffets. The chef made several beautiful chocolate cakes for us. The ship is beautiful, and different from other ships we have been on. We loved our cabin, a penthouse suite. Loved the double sinks and large shower. The bed was wonderful. Enjoyed the planetarium shows, a unique feature. Enjoyed the shore excursions, but especially enjoyed sitting and reading in the afternoons. Since the was an inland passage crude, the view were wonderful. The onboard lectures were always top notch and very interesting and informative. ON the minus side, one night our Halibut was way over cooked, but that was just one occasion. The embarkation could not have been smoother. We also loved the public entertainment - very talented people. We would definitely sail again with Viking. PS loved the bird sounds in public bathrooms. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I choose the Mediterranean Ocean cruise to take my mother to the Vatican and Europe for the first time. We enjoyed the wine at lunch and dinber and the restaurant and in room dining options on the Viking Star. The King size bed cabins were ... Read More
I choose the Mediterranean Ocean cruise to take my mother to the Vatican and Europe for the first time. We enjoyed the wine at lunch and dinber and the restaurant and in room dining options on the Viking Star. The King size bed cabins were modern and comfortable as well as the bathroom which had a fairly large shower. Even the public bathrooms were always spotless with calming cheerful bird sounds. Our steward room service was wonderful, the bartenders were very friendly and most all the staff fantastic. We also enjoyed the excursions and itinerary for the the ports in Italy, France and Spain. Sete was lovely, Monaco was fun and we needed more time in Barcelona. We even had time to watch one movie under the stars and the lounge band for dancing was so much fun. I would definately choose Viking again someday to try a river cruise next. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My wife and I are very experienced cruisers having been on more than 35. This was our first time on Viking Ocean Cruise line, Scandinavian and we were impressed by their very high ratings on River Cruises.and the fact they only carried a ... Read More
My wife and I are very experienced cruisers having been on more than 35. This was our first time on Viking Ocean Cruise line, Scandinavian and we were impressed by their very high ratings on River Cruises.and the fact they only carried a maximum of 930 passengers. Check in was a breeze with 6 or 7 receptionists waiting for us instead of long lines. It is considered a luxury cruise ship and as such commands a very high initial cost for the cruise which must be paid in full much before the cruise embarks. However, this is partially compensated for with many inclusions not permitted on other cruise lines. We were permitted to bring alcohol aboard the ship. They also included wine and beer with all meals and excursions at each port of call. While onboard my wife and her our friend Ann went to a cooking class with the executive Chef of the ship and he liked them. There were two special dining venues THE CHEF'S TABLE and another upscale Italian restaurant. We were supposed to go only once during the cruise but because of the connection my wife, Nela and Ann made with the Chef were permitted to go 4 times, where he prepared his specialties and served them. They were absolutely amazing and I've never had better food on any ship. For an additional charge you could choose other excursions customized to your interests. I chose one on Cozumel said to be the 2d largest barrier reef for snorkeling, 185 miles long which was disappointing as I had expected a wall but found only scattered limestone reefs with only smaller colorful tropical fish. I saw no predators like sharks, barracudas or even sting rays, that I had seen snorkeling and Scuba diving. Though the personnel were very friendly it was not well organized. In the middle of the sea they required half our passengers to climb onto a boat that pulled alongside. I'd not recommend that excursion. However one excursion we went on was exceptional and I'd highly recommend that in Mexico called SALSA AND SALSA in which my wife I and two friends, first time cruisers were taken on a couple buses to a 2d floor high ceiling open air room in a hotel and sat at tables for 10 with many vegetables and a musher, which is a small dish with a rough bottom and a pestle for crushing and mushing the vegetables with various recipes into different Salsas. We were provided aprons, Chef's hats and unlimited. Margaritas and ingredients to make more. Our hostesses were two young Mexican girls in their 20's full of enthusiasm that kept things going. After eating varied Doritos and Salsa and too many home made Margaritas where we lost count the tables were removed and the floor cleared for dancing the SALSA. I would never call myself a dancer but after 6 or 7 Margaritas figured nobody cared and did my best. We all left totally sated, happy and ready to recover. The entertainment onboard the ship was very limited in variety and elaborate productions but made up for it with extremely talented musicians and singers. There was one quartet of 4 British singers that performed on 3 different nights once emulating ABBA, then BEATLES and finally 60's music. I talked to a few of the performers afterward and found they were not a professional group but were hired individually and the group would disintegrate after the cruise ended. It made me tear up thinking so beautiful would end. Even our Cruise director was a former professional Opera Singer with a voice so perfect I asked my friend if she wasn't lipsyncing and he assured me she was not. She was amazing at the New Year's celebration party. On board I enjoyed their lectures particularly one on Catapults showing how very ineffective walls are, no matter how strong or well guarded. The gym was small and basic but had all the essentials for a good workout. I liked the Steam, Sauna and Ice room. The ice room was a real treat. Short periods of stress are good for your health and excessive amount can kill you. In summing up overall I'd say this cruise was exceptional and one of the best I've been on, though expensive. I've been on more moderately priced ships that were very good and can honestly say I've never been on any vacation I did not enjoy though some more than others, so in the end you'll have to decide what you want for yourself. I always consider price an important factor when deciding on a service or product. I was an accountant by profession. I like quality at a reduced price. That what makes a good value. If you want everything to be nearly perfect and are willing to pay top price VIKING is a choice, you won't be wrong with, but if you'd want to go on two or more cruises on a less expensive ship for the same price, then Princess or Celebrity are excellent ships. I wrote this review for Cruise Critic not Viking Ocean cruise line because I read Viking's terms and conditions in which they stated they can edit comments possibly making my review Fake News instead of the honest one I wrote by editing out anything negative. I said, but believe cruise critic will condense it with my concerns to its essence. I hope this has been helpful. Paul, an experienced cruiser. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
First Ocean Cruise with Viking after 4 river cruises. Very intimate for an Ocean Cruise. Food was better than river cruises as was the entertainment. The formal production shows were still pretty hokie but the musicians that played ... Read More
First Ocean Cruise with Viking after 4 river cruises. Very intimate for an Ocean Cruise. Food was better than river cruises as was the entertainment. The formal production shows were still pretty hokie but the musicians that played around the ship each night were awesome. I really liked that you had dining options and that included not only where you ate but when you ate. The ship was tastefully decorated and there was more than enough space for everyone. Nothing ever seemed crowded. We have taken over 10 Ocean cruises with other cruise lines (Norwegian and Royal Caribbean) which ranged from just OK to pretty good but none of them compared to our Viking Ocean Cruise. However, while it had some advantages over the river cruises that we have taken, I still prefer the river cruise experience. Nothing beats being able to walk off your ship and be right in town and the views while cruising are so much better when you are on a river as opposed to being on a larger body of water. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Joy
I also found not all passengers were treated the same. I think if you socialized with the crew you were treated better. If you spent time later in the evening with then and participated in their games, they greeted you and treated you ... Read More
I also found not all passengers were treated the same. I think if you socialized with the crew you were treated better. If you spent time later in the evening with then and participated in their games, they greeted you and treated you differently. Because of our age we thought this would be a good way to see Australia. Flight arrangements were terrible, sent us north to go west,long layovers. Food was very good and service excellent. Food in dining room was very good, specialty dining was excellent, World Café could have been better. Excursions could have been better, on some you spent more time on the bus than being able to enjoy the sight you were visiting. We've taken Viking River Cruises and I think the excursions and value for our money was much better. Also I think the crew was more attentive to all. We didn't have as many dining options but were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Love cruising with Viking so wanted to take this cruise with them. This was our 4th ocean cruise with them. The ships are spotless. The crew is friendly and polite. You can rely on them. The rooms are larger. Bathroom larger. Every ... Read More
Love cruising with Viking so wanted to take this cruise with them. This was our 4th ocean cruise with them. The ships are spotless. The crew is friendly and polite. You can rely on them. The rooms are larger. Bathroom larger. Every room has a lanai. Loved our cabin boy. Anything we needed, he got for us. The food was excellent. All freshly cooked. No preservatives. The lectures were very good but I would have liked more entertainment. Playing Trivia was not my cup of tea. A 22 day cruise needed more to do. The shore excursions were well organized. Our guides were knowledgeable and spoke good English. Not like some places. The poor countries were a little depressing but we knew that would be. We were lucky to have sunny weather. The fact that it was Central America, it was extremely hot and humid. We wanted to visit Cuba and travel through the Panama Canal. Each country was so interesting. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Wanted to visit friends in Barcelona and coupled this trip with seeing them after the ship docked there. Good ports -of-call with interesting sights to see. The only issue was the weather, which we had hoped would not be a major factor. ... Read More
Wanted to visit friends in Barcelona and coupled this trip with seeing them after the ship docked there. Good ports -of-call with interesting sights to see. The only issue was the weather, which we had hoped would not be a major factor. But is was. Lots of rain in this trip. The ship provided many great tours. The staff were attentive and friendly. The entertainment was super. Enjoyed the tours, which were both educational as well as interedting. One tour had an inexperienced guide who miscounted at the meeting place and left us behind. This made for a difficult time for us. We enjoyed meeting new people in the ship and touring the kitchen and Bridge were a real highlight. The food was exceptional and varied. The restaurants were terrific and the food was fantastic. We did not make it to the Italian restaurant as we did not know about it at first and then found it was booked solid. This speaks for itself. The ship was beautiful in every way. We enjoyed the seafood meal on the upper deck near the pool and went to several 4 o’clock teas. This was relaxing and fun. Thank you. Look forward to the next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
All of the food was top notch. The only issue was the fact that the Chef's Table had a different menu each night. We do not eat DUCK so we had to cancel. There needs to be more of a selection at the Chef's table. The ... Read More
All of the food was top notch. The only issue was the fact that the Chef's Table had a different menu each night. We do not eat DUCK so we had to cancel. There needs to be more of a selection at the Chef's table. The excursions could have been improved if there were handicap assistance provided off and on the ship. Also the excursions were great but could have been improved if wheelchairs could be made available for the elderly and handicapped. The ship was terrific and the crew for the most part was outstanding with only a few exceptions. I would go on Viking again but I would review the restaurants food service more carefully. As for the wine selection, it was adequate but I would suggest at least provide more of a variety each night and make wine available at all areas of the ship free of charge unless you want a more premium wine. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I took this cruise with all five sisters and spouses. This is the second Viking cruise the ten of us have taken. We began with two extra days in Barcelona. Fantastic decision as it gave us time to see Barcelona and visit many of its ... Read More
I took this cruise with all five sisters and spouses. This is the second Viking cruise the ten of us have taken. We began with two extra days in Barcelona. Fantastic decision as it gave us time to see Barcelona and visit many of its attractions. When it was time to embark we everything went somewhat smoothly. Although, the constant TSA like security every time we boarded got old fast. Once on board it took many of us a while before our roo ms were ready. Yet this transition went relatively smooth considering the number of people boarding. As a group we usually ate our meals in the World Cafe. Although, all ten of us did eat at Manfredi's Italian restaurant twice. My wife and I also ate at the Chef's table a couple of times. One thing I learned early is that the World Cafe has two serving lines and generally both lines had different items. One thing about Manfredi's is that one needs to be aware of the amount of food that will be served. You could easily share the pasta, main course and dessert if you want to limit calories. The Chef's table is a more intimate setting. Each course was well described by wait staff and was paired with a fine wine, also well described. I was confused the first time we had reservations. Supposedly the Chef's table was fully booked. Yet when we arrived and during our meal there were a number of open tables. I suspect this allowed staff to focus on those dining while leaving tables for later reservations. There is also the restaurant. If you have sailed on a Viking River Cruise, the restaurant is similar to the River Cruise dining room. My wife and I really enjoyed on visits to the restaurant. However, the majority of my family opted for the World Cafe. I must compliment the Cruise Director and his assistant. They put together a fantastic schedule of daily informational speakers and evening entertainment. The highlight was the last night medley of ABBA (AKA Mama Mia) and Beatles hits. They were successful in getting the older crowd to really get stand and boogie as they completed their ABBA series. The service on board was excellent. I know all passengers were treated well. However, I am not sure that there were many on the Viking Star that received the personal attention most of my family did. Probably due to some of the very outgoing personalities evident in my family. I was actually surprised that most of the wait staff not only knew my name but also my wife's. If there was any disappointment on this trip is was some of the excursions. A caveat here is that excursions were operated by contractors and not Viking, unlike river cruises. A couple of times the bus ride for the included tours were so long that there wasn't much time for walking around. Although we were pretty happy with the optional tours we booked. My favorite was Normandy Beach. We figured the trip to Paris wouldn't give us enough time to do anything but see the sights. We could do that with pictures. On the Normandy Beach option we saw a lot of WWII history, including information about how allied military actually moved men and machines into France after the invasion. The various bunkers, military equipment and remains of the landing harbor really should impress the WWII buff. As an aside, we really loved the Porto, Portugal excursion. My wife and I spent our Honeymoon in Portugal, including a couple of nights in Porto. We talked about returning for our fifth anniversary. We didn't make it. We were 17 years late. So who's counting? One thing I should note. There was a jigsaw puzzle available to complete. Evidently it had never been done during the time of a cruise. However, we did complete it. Our cruise ended in Bergen, Norway. The included tour of Bergen allowed us time to take pictures from various locations around the town. We then were left in town to find our way back. We had the opportunity to hear a number of drum corps during the drum corps competition. We, as a family of ten, added a local three hour Fjord cruise. We were very pleased with this addition. While this tour didn't offer any narrative, we had the opportunity to see a part of Norway and the Bergen area that others didn't get a chance to do. An interesting sidelight was the opportunity to drink water taken from a local waterfall. The tour boat captain motored his boat to the cliff where the water fell. As he did a crew member used a pail that was on the end of a ten foot pole to catch this refreshing drink. Disembarkation went smoothly. Once at the airport reality set in and we had to get ready for the trip back to home. Would we do this cruise again? Definitely. However, we would be more aware of the various options and would research the actual port and its amenities before considering included excursions. I would have added a couple of pictures but there was a problem with the program. Sorry. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was a cruise to celebrate my Mother's 80th Birthday. Everything about the ship, staff, activities and food was top-notch. The cabins are spacious and very well thought-out. Every cabin has a veranda. The Cabin stewards are ... Read More
This was a cruise to celebrate my Mother's 80th Birthday. Everything about the ship, staff, activities and food was top-notch. The cabins are spacious and very well thought-out. Every cabin has a veranda. The Cabin stewards are attentive and thoughtful. The food was delicious, varied and plentiful. We especially loved the afternoon tea. the ship is so well thought out that you never feel as though you are among hordes of people--there are nooks to sit and read or nap. Bars and bartenders remember your name and beverage. The only advice we would offer is that if you are a person with limited mobility - for whatever reason - you have to be very very careful about the excursions you choose, and the excursion staff doesn't always have an accurate depiction of the walking involved on a particular excursion. Sometimes the buses are far away from the ship. Sometimes a shuttle from a town is a long walk from the city center. Sometimes the excursion itself has a description of "a short walk" that can be half a mile. My mother and I had to sit on the bus for over an hour during one excursion because the "short walk" to Grieg's home and a recital of his music was too far for her (after the first stop, which was also a "short" walk.) This was especially disappointing, because it was to be the highlight of her trip. I ended up losing money because excursions ended up being too difficult for her, and the 24 hour in advance cancellation policy prohibited a refund. All this being said, if you are able bodied, you will find this cruise to be exceptional. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Friends were going. Like traveling by ship with all of the amenities. Disappointed that we were not able to see more of Barcelona. The docks were too far from the center of town. The ship was awesome. Viking really catered to the older ... Read More
Friends were going. Like traveling by ship with all of the amenities. Disappointed that we were not able to see more of Barcelona. The docks were too far from the center of town. The ship was awesome. Viking really catered to the older adult. Food was fantastic. I am to 2 other cruises on the same size ship. We were docked at the downtown area and were able walk on and off the ship. I would have liked to see more of the cities, especially Barcelona. Dining was enjoyable. The breakfast and lunch buffets were great and the dinner dining room and staff were awesome. The dining hour was a plus for seniors. The shows were fantastic - of the times. Movies could get a little uncomfortable after an hour. Especially enjoyed tea time. Flights were booked with no long waits for connecting flights. I am considering a river cruise in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We sailed on Viking in 2016 (Into the Midnight Sun) and loved the smaller ship. (We've also done 5 River Cruises with Viking) Embarkation was not a good experience....Not the usual welcome, and security people were extremely rude ... Read More
We sailed on Viking in 2016 (Into the Midnight Sun) and loved the smaller ship. (We've also done 5 River Cruises with Viking) Embarkation was not a good experience....Not the usual welcome, and security people were extremely rude (pulling things out of my carry on and throwing onto conveyor belt) and shouting directions. Not one person welcomed us until we entered the ship. Not usual Viking Standard. All tours are highly dependent upon the tour guide's knowledge and language ability, 2 bad, the rest good. A couple tours were at least 15 - 20 minute walks to the bus. People with difficulty walking were really lagging behind. Again, unusual for Viking We were somewhat disappointed in the World Cafe and Restaurant. Service excellent but many of our selections were overdone or lacked flavor (Restaurant). Waiters were helpful in replacing ordered items that didn't meet expectations. Manfredi's and Chefs table were wonderful. Entertainment was EXCELLENT, from the piano players, trios. shows, really the best we've experience on any ship!! Cruise director, Jenna, was outstanding! Enrichment series not as good as before (or other ships) Our weather was not "ideal". But that certainly is NOT the fault of Viking nor the captain....we had a couple rocky nights and lots of rain, but have had much worse on other lines. All in all, we had a wonderful time with friends. And we've booked the Mid-Atlantic Crossing cruise for Dec 2018...........and we will continue with Viking. Our friends also booked another cruise for this year! Lots of times it's attitude and flexibility that makes for a good experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
After sailing exclusively on Oceania for 6 years, with 8 cruises on the Marina or Riviera, we read many good things about Viking. So this was our first Viking experience. Overall, it was a wonderful cruise. However, due to some lapses by ... Read More
After sailing exclusively on Oceania for 6 years, with 8 cruises on the Marina or Riviera, we read many good things about Viking. So this was our first Viking experience. Overall, it was a wonderful cruise. However, due to some lapses by Viking, the hype appears to be a bit exaggerated. Ship Design - Beautiful decor...furniture, artwork, even the food plates were impressive. Loved the Scandinavian wood styling throughout. Cabin - Very comfortable, though there was a lack of sufficient drawer space compared to other cruise lines Ive sailed on. But sine I pre packed many items in jumbo zip bags, there was no space crisis. Breakfasts - Our first one was at Mamsen's, where I was anxious to try the touted waffles. Not a good experience. We placed our order, and was told to take a seat and it would be brought to us in about 15 minutes. After 20 minutes, I reminded a server, who then brought it - cold. And the coffee was not hot either. The MDR had wonderful breakfasts, and attentive service. The smoked salmon and pancakes were particularly good. Fresh fruits delicious. Croissants inconsistent. Only once was there a wait to get in -10 minutes on a sea day - which shouldn't be the case on a cruise line like this. Lunches - Lunches at the buffet were consistently good with many selections. I particularly enjoyed the Bagel of the Day and soup choices,Though, I missed the Oceania experience of staff redy to carry food to an empty table. Staff was available to then take beverage orders, but not as attentive as Oceania. Loved the banana cream pie! The pizza looked unappetizing and had few takers. I missed having a cook to order pasta station which Oceania provided, and an occasional taco station. The outdoor grill had tasty burgers and hot dogs. Though, unlike Oceania where you would place your order and a server would bring it to your selected numbered table, I had to queue up and wait for the order, hoping there would be a table available, which were scarce compared to O's Waves Grill. Dinner - We shared tables in the MDR, and met so many nice, friendly fellow travelers. THree courses were just right. O's 5 courses were too formidable. The selection was varied enough and waiters were efficient. It was an inspiration to have local food options on the menu, depending on which country we were visiting. South American or Caribbean desserts were particularly scrumptious. The waiters not as friendly, chatty and visible as on O. An oddity was that we were always asked if we knew which dessert we wanted when the order was placed. (Too soon!) And we were never asked at the end of dinner if we would like coffee, tea, etc. The few times we had casual dining, there were ample choices. Specialty Restaurants - Manfreddi's had fantastic breads and steamed mussel. My lasagna was good but not stellar. We passed on the Chef's Table, since the menus on nights we could find reservations didn't thrill us. Room Service - The best on any cruise line. Not only were there hot items available to all passengers, but hot dishes like omelettes and pancakes, and coffee always arrived hot! Entertainment - The one man show by the Cruise Director - who sang and had a great sense of humor - was the best show I have seen on a cruise ship in many years. The Beatles tribute at a poolside party was so much fun. The Viking Band and the two vocalists was the most talented resident band I've ever heard. A varied repertoire of so many styles, even taking requests. The production shows were forgettable and original songs cringeworthy. Ship Excursions - We took two. The guide in Santo Domingo was informative and led an interesting tour. But in Santa Marta, the guide spoke too quickly, was a bit difficult to understand, and allocated too much time at a museum..the time should have been spent at other places nearby. Miscellaneous - The Viking Daily should have listed more port information. I found out later thst there were port guides available, but I liked the way Oceania's ship paper provided shuttle information, taxi and bus availability, and distance estimated fares to local destinations, concisely and readable the night before. It would have been nice to be able to obtain cash onboard. Oceania would provide cash through Guest Services. One word on guest lectures. We attended just one. The subject was on The Caribbean and World War II. However, 90% of the lecture was about events in Europe. Just a few minutes on what happened in the Caribbean, no detailed facts, almost an afterthought. Conclusion - The trip didn't quite live up to the hype. However, it was a wonderful trip with many many pluses out weighing negatives. This is a cruise line halfway between premium and luxury. If the wrinkles were ironed out (and did I mention the free laundromat?) this may be our cruise line of choice. But for now the scale is tipped to Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
LOVED the Viking Sky. We have done many ocean cruises on larger ships. This one was just right. Easy boat to navigate around, many amenities, first-class feel. Public areas were upscale. Wonderful dining room (not the big banquet hall ... Read More
LOVED the Viking Sky. We have done many ocean cruises on larger ships. This one was just right. Easy boat to navigate around, many amenities, first-class feel. Public areas were upscale. Wonderful dining room (not the big banquet hall feel of larger ships). Food was great. The World Café had a nice buffet, and seating (unlike on some larger ships) was never a problem. Access to the Aquavit Terrace (outdoor dining) was a plus. The ship's public areas were very inviting. Always a place to sit - never felt crowded. Be sure to spend some time in Explorers Lounge (two levels) and on the Aquavit Terrace (opposite ends of the ship). Those who have done a Viking River cruise will recognize the nomenclature and layout of many of the ship's areas. The cabins were adequately sized and very well appointed. The bathroom was luxurious. This brings me to some (relatively) minor matters that prevent me from rating the Viking Sky as a 5++++. 1. As wonderful as the bathroom was, what should have been a luxury amenity turned out to be a significant annoyance. The bathroom has a heated floor. On this ship (it may be different on others), there was no control for the heat (which was turned on with the light switch). Nice immediately after a shower, but otherwise it was always too hot! 2. While the size of the ship was ideal, it (apparently) puts us down in the pecking order for docking. This means that in some ports the larger ships get tied up at the pier and our ship sits at anchor. So, our passengers go ashore by tender. Very inconvenient - and annoying. 3. Avoid booking a cabin on deck 8. As much as we enjoyed having convenient access to the upper level of Explorers Lounge, this was more than offset by having the Sports Deck above - very noisy at times. Overall, I can't say enough about the first-class amenities and service aboard this ship. But there are a few issues Viking needs to address. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We booked this cruise due to the itinerary ... which was totally changed prior to the start of the cruise. We missed the stop in Key West due to weather. no big deal since we have been there in the past, but a cruise that was booked to ... Read More
We booked this cruise due to the itinerary ... which was totally changed prior to the start of the cruise. We missed the stop in Key West due to weather. no big deal since we have been there in the past, but a cruise that was booked to make 4 stops that only made one ... big disappointment! After 3 days they ship ran out of Chardonnay, 4 days ended all the Pinot Griseous, and on day 5 ... the Slovenian Blanc was depleted! on day 5 they also ran out of Makers Mark Bourbon ... the only liquor we drink. We bought a silver package ... and it did us little good. Great staff ... but it took forever to get the complimentary first glass of wine at lunch and dinner. I know this is a new ship ... and the bumps need to be worked out ... but there were obvious misses that a ship of this quality should not have missed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose Viking for this cruise because we had enjoyed both the river and ocean cruises in Europe that we have taken with Viking. The friendly staff and crew made this trip memorable. It is exciting to go new places and meet new people ... Read More
We chose Viking for this cruise because we had enjoyed both the river and ocean cruises in Europe that we have taken with Viking. The friendly staff and crew made this trip memorable. It is exciting to go new places and meet new people and Viking makes this possible for us. Coming back to the ship after a day of exploring new places is always fun because there is so much going on, you can never get bored! Love the afternoon tea! We particularly enjoyed the Enrichment Lectures. We went to every one we could attend after our shore excursions and on the two days at sea. Our favorite lecturer was the friendly spy, Jon Wiant. He joined us for breakfast one morning (before we knew he was on the ship's program) and later he asked us to join him at the Captains Table for dinner on Thanksgiving. We also enjoyed visiting with Ian Rumley-Dawson and his wife during an afternoon tea. Both of their lecture series during the cruise were interesting, informing and entertaining! If we missed a lecture, we could find it on the television later and catch up. The Viking Daily newspaper that was delivered to our cabin each evening kept us informed on entertainment and lectures as well as the events of the next day and most important where to meet for the shore excursions. The chef even gave us a cooking demonstration and recipe for Ratatouille and we later found it on the buffet in the World Cafe. For breakfast every day I enjoyed an omelet prepared just for me by the friendly 'omelet man'. By the end of the cruise he would give me a big smile and guess what I would select today. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
The new ship is well appointed with commodious rooms, heated bathroom floors, desk, and a proper balcony. The food was excellent for dinner but lunch and especially breakfast were ordinary and sometimes unimaginative. The entertainment was ... Read More
The new ship is well appointed with commodious rooms, heated bathroom floors, desk, and a proper balcony. The food was excellent for dinner but lunch and especially breakfast were ordinary and sometimes unimaginative. The entertainment was intimate and excellent overall. The Munch drawings and tapestry recreations gave the ship a classy look. Drinks were reasonably priced when not free during lunch and dinner. The only real downside were the poorly scheduled airline bookings and communication about those changes that was not well communicated and unapologetic. For instance the first two bookings had us arriving after the ship left NY or with not enough time to get to it before departing. Returning, we learned one day before landing in Miami that the original schedule made months before, would not have allowed enough time to board the aircraft. No personal notice was provided and only the first leg of the return flight was reflected until I brought it to their attention. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We enjoyed most of the cruise although we did not like getting into Canada at 9:30 at night. The airport was somewhat confusing in giving us directions to meet up with Viking reps. The guys on our floor were great - when they found out ... Read More
We enjoyed most of the cruise although we did not like getting into Canada at 9:30 at night. The airport was somewhat confusing in giving us directions to meet up with Viking reps. The guys on our floor were great - when they found out we had just gotten on the ship and had not eaten they brought up sandwiches and wine. Impressed. The room was great - my favorite point was the heated bathroom floor. Need one at home. The food was great. There was actually only one of the shows we really enjoyed and that was the asst. cruise director. Most of the excursions were good except the first day. Woudl not recommend the winery or cheese factory. Waste of time. The trip to the syrup farm and the lunch there was fantastic and I have enjoyed the syrup here in home. I would go on the cruise again but would be a lot more discriminating about the excursions. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I chose this cruise specifically for the itinerary. Since it was a relocation cruise, this itinerary was only offered once. A weather issue caused us to miss one port which was a disappointment, but of course could not be avoided. In A ... Read More
I chose this cruise specifically for the itinerary. Since it was a relocation cruise, this itinerary was only offered once. A weather issue caused us to miss one port which was a disappointment, but of course could not be avoided. In A Corona we missed the excursion I was most looking forward to because of a marathon that was occurring in the city. This marathon occurs every year at this time; thus Viking should have been prepared and not posted excursions that could not occur. We brought my mother-in-law and sister-in-law with us on this trip. I had raved about Viking's ship, service, and planning. They had preferred another cruise line. This mix up was embarrassing and disappointing. Another example of poor planning was disembarkation. We had an extension to Iceland, but the rest of our family did not. Since we were on the extension, Viking would not allow us to disembark with the rest of our family that was not going on the extension. There was no reason for this since their disembarkation time put all of us at the airport with plenty of time to catch flights. Adding salt to the wound, when my husband and I arrived at the Bergen airport, it was so early that the airport facility was not even able to take our bags yet. We were told we would need to wait in the check in area for two hours before we could drop off our bags and proceed through security. This was not the airport's fault but Viking's. Since this area is not designed for waiting, there were very few seats and many of us standing around. Eventually, the airport began taking our bags as it was getting very crowded. Then we discovered that our flight was delayed which is not Viking's fault but added additional waiting time to depart in a small airport with little to do. If Viking is going to continue to do these early drop offs, they need to coordinate better with the receiving airports. Also, we had arranged ahead of time to have a cake delivered to my husband on his 50th birthday. Somehow they got the date wrong and delivered it on the day of embarkation (10 days early) and ruining the surprise. Finally, I had communicate previous to boarding that I am a vegetarian. I double checked with the restaurants on the day we embarked that they had this information,and they did not. I supplied it again. Went we went to the restaurants for our first reservations, again neither of them were aware of this status. I do not know how to communicate my needs more fully. I will say, after some fuss saying they had not been notified, my needs were always accommodated and we had many lovely dinners at both Manfredi's and The Chef's Table. My final complaint is with the Los Angeles office. There was a computer glitch with both booking excursions and booking spa services. Eventually the excursion glitch was fixed, but the inability to book some of the spa services was never fixed. I notified Viking via phone calls and emails directly to costumer service, but the problem was never addressed. Fortunately, we had early embarkation, and I was able to get my desired services by booking in person with the spa. The most upsetting issue with the Los Angeles office was being supplied with incorrect information. We had booked a private tour in Paris and needed to get off the bus that brings "on your own" excursion folks to Paris prior to the included bus tour. We were told this was possible only to learn once we were on the ship that it was not. We had to scramble to change times and locations meeting our guide. It all ended up working out but not without plenty of anxiety and inconveniencing other people on the bus. Our room was wonderful. We had had the exact same room (Explorer Suite 3001) on the Viking Star a year previous. It is spacious and very comfortable. We had a very nice room service dinner there for my husband's birthday. We were well cared for throughout our journey. We were aware that this Suite is a bit noisy from docking noises with ropes and anchors, so it did not surprise us, but others should be notified of this prior to booking this Suite. I know I have listed numerous irksome complaints. This does not mean that we did not enjoy our trip or that we will not continue to travel with Viking. It just means that our previous cruise was a 5 and this one was a 4 or 4.5. Indeed, we booked our first river cruise while on this trip. I am sharing these complaints because I think they can be easily addressed, so that Viking can continue to give 5 star service. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I chose the cruise because of the ports we visited. Unlike the previous cruise, we had perfect weather and could visit every port. Embarkation and disembarkation were the best I have ever experienced. Because the embarkation day was ... Read More
I chose the cruise because of the ports we visited. Unlike the previous cruise, we had perfect weather and could visit every port. Embarkation and disembarkation were the best I have ever experienced. Because the embarkation day was my 60th birthday, my daughter and I had dinner at the Chef's Table. A lovely experiences with good food and an attentive waiter. The birthday cake was delicious. Having a sea day following departure is great. It gave us time to explore the ship and relax. The Viking Sea is a beautiful vessel, well appointed, spacious and easily navigated. The food is very good to excellent. If you like unlimited King Crab legs and shrimp, visit the World Café. For great waffles and a cosy atmosphere, have breakfast at Mamsen's. The only dinner we had that was not impressive was at Manfredi's. Where all the other meals ranged between 7 to 10 (out of ten), Manfredi's would have been a 5. Service, like everywhere else, was good. Our cabin was 3068. It was comfortable and the stewards were friendly and helpful. We took some included shore excursions and some additional ones. The included excursions were good, except the one to Cagliari. We had to line up for the only toilet available in town, which meant a 25 minute delay to start our walk through the old town. This excursion is short to begin with. There were less than 20 minutes left to do some shopping. The excursion in Algiers to the Botanical Garden and the Basilica Notre Dame d'Afrique was great, but again a short stop at the souvenir shop in the garden would have pleased us and certainly have helped the vendor, who was watching us go by with a sad face. We had police escorts in Tunis and in Algiers and felt safe at all times. Malta was my favourite and I can highly recommend the excursion featuring a lecture by a Maltese Knight. My daughter loved Valencia, where we took the included excursion which was well organized and offered a free shuttle back to the ship, if one wanted to stay on after the tour was over. My daughter (26) and I enjoyed this cruise very much. We would recommend it without hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
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