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19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
I am going to focus on the positives! This is a beautiful ship with an amazing crew many of whom seek to go the extra mile in trying to give you a great time! We had an amazing trip. It was our first sea cruise and we were not ... Read More
I am going to focus on the positives! This is a beautiful ship with an amazing crew many of whom seek to go the extra mile in trying to give you a great time! We had an amazing trip. It was our first sea cruise and we were not disappointed. All of the four restaurants are excellent and we eat 3/4 times int he evening in each. Even the buffet style World Cafe is great in the evening as it is quiet, spacious and has the best views on the ship! We particularly enjoyed the Chef's table and were able to enjoy 4 out of 5 of the menus offered when we were on board. The included wines repeat a bit over 2 weeks but we are not great drinkers so it dodon't bother us. We loved the entertainment programme and music which were outstanding but for us the enrichment lectures were rather highbrow...and I am no intellectual slouch at all! They seem to be enjoyed by the academically minded on board. So for the downsides...security was a bit of a shambles...with the scanning process quickly abandoned after a port or two due to inefficiency. My wife's bag was impounded as she had a picnic knife and it took us 2 hours to track it down after we had to go to Guest Services and initiate a search! Finally what must be imporved - excursions...we had a really poor experience before we went with changed excursion times ( which Viking put right under pressure) and one really bad excursion that I am still discussing with them ( awful guide and not as described) . It is a challenge to get 700 or so people off on an included excursion. Those disattisfied with their walking tour allocation learnt that groups could be gatecrashed on the quay leading to a loss of control! ( not a problem with coach trips though as tickets were tightly controlled). It is early days and I am sure Viking will sort all this out. Most of our excursions are fine but be ready for immobile people who cannot keep up with the most gentle walks! Enough of that...an amazing experience...we loved it and hope to be back on a Viking cruise ship in a year or two. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We are not your typical cruisers. Cruising is not on our top list of ways to take a vacation. We are typically independent travelers on land. We were talked into this by our brother and sister in law and decided to go because it is a new ... Read More
We are not your typical cruisers. Cruising is not on our top list of ways to take a vacation. We are typically independent travelers on land. We were talked into this by our brother and sister in law and decided to go because it is a new ship, a relatively small ocean cruise ship, and the focus was on the ports and cities, not hanging out doing stuff on the ship. Ironically, half way through the cruise, we wanted a break from the go, go, go of all the port excursions and just spent a delightful day relaxing on board the ship. We had a deluxe veranda stateroom on the 4th deck. The accommodations were roomier than expected. We had enough drawer space and the layout was very efficient. The bathroom was lovely, super clean, and roomy with plenty of room for 2 weeks worth of clothes. The bed was very comfy and we enjoyed having a nice sitting area, plus the desk and chair, and the outdoor balcony with table and chairs. There were also plenty of electrical outlets for charging phones and computers. Lighting was also good. Internet was pretty reliable--though it sometimes got a little slow. But not enough to be annoying. This was January, but the weather was mild and the crowds were small in all the ports. It was a great time of year to travel. Having a launderette on board on each deck was convenient and they provide the laundry soap. But finding a time when the machines were available was tricky--they were in use most of the time. Only thing is you can't adjust the water temp--we put it on cold for delicates, but the water ran hot anyway. We really enjoyed all the little nooks and crannies to relax in throughout the ship. The Explorer's Lounge was a favorite. The décor was so beautiful all over and everything was designed for comfort, style, and having nice conversations or playing board games or cards , or reading while relaxing with cocktails and snacks. The main theatre was nice for various lectures, shows, and port talks. We enjoyed the special guests they had give educational lectures on art and architecture. We also enjoyed the outdoor facilities--shuffle board, Jacuzzi, infinity pool. Eating outside in winter was great--temps in the high 50s and low 60s with plenty of sun was perfect. We loved afternoon tea in the Wintergarden, although we were gone most days on shore excursions. The gym was also really nice and we used it regularly. We also took advantage of the Spa--very nice. With regard to excursions--we did 13 excursions. We learned that the local excursion guide really makes or breaks the excursion experience. Most were very good, but some were not because guudes had poor command of English language and couldn't understand questions people asked, and repeated the same things a lot because they didn't know what else to say in English. Hard for Viking to tell which are the best--to their credit they ask for formal feedback after every excursion and we know they listen. They actually refunded our money for 1 excursion that we thought had little value (we could have done much better on our own or on the included tour, rather than the optional excursion). The Viking Explorer desk where several staff help you plan excursions or adjust excursions were great. Although we had chosen our excursions beforehand, we did make several adjustments once we got on board. The Port Talks preceding each day's excursion are really useful to understand what to expect. The talks are recorded so if you miss the live version, you can watch the recording in your room at your leisure. Food and restaurants were fabulous. We had several meals at Manfredi's and Chef's Table. We traveled with another couple and were able to coordinate most of our dinners together onboard. It wasn't possible to do that beforehand. We also found The Restaurant menu and food to be great with lots of variety and we enjoyed the focus on local cuisine in each port. There really is something for everyone--they are extremely accommodating for all palates. And you can also take your meals in your room or in one of the less formal areas on deck 7. In terms of entertainment, there were wonderful classical musicians playing every day at cocktail hour and later in the evening. Plus a group of young people who sang and danced and offered a variety of performances in the theatre and on the pool deck. There were also organized trivia games, parlor games, and special guest performers (like opera singers) brought on board in some ports. We were very glad there was no casino onboard. It would have given a different atmosphere that we wouldn't have liked. In conclusion, being nontraditional cruisers, we were really extremely happy on the Viking Star. And we are already considering what our next adventure might be with Viking. We thought the value was terrific with high-quality service all around. We rated the excursions as average because some were fabulous and others not so. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This was our first ocean cruise and we couldn't have picked a more beautiful ship! Not a speck of dust, a fingerprint, a scuff mark, nor any dirty spot either inside or out! Room was very comfortable and we had a balcony as do all ... Read More
This was our first ocean cruise and we couldn't have picked a more beautiful ship! Not a speck of dust, a fingerprint, a scuff mark, nor any dirty spot either inside or out! Room was very comfortable and we had a balcony as do all the staterooms on this ship. "Classy" was the term used by many travelers. The seasoned travelers all agreed that this was the best ship on which they had ever traveled. Food was amazing and I know I gained 6-7 pounds! The quality of the food was the best and everything was fresh. One of the Maitre d's told me that they never hold anything longer than three hours. Be sure to have the made-from-scratch sticky buns and cinnamon doughnuts made on alternate days! YUM! On board entertainment was wonderful: string quartet, opera, piano, singers in night club, etc. No climbing walls, no ice skating rink, no gambling, no water slides, etc. so this might not be the best choice for children. My biggest disappointment was not in the ship at all but the near lack of free time in ports with only 20-30 minutes at the destinations. Most of the tour guides were very good except for the one we had in Barcelona. (Do not take the panoramic tour of Barcelona!) Naples is a port that could be skipped as far as many were concerned as it was very shabby and buildings were falling apart with rubble and trash in the streets. Even the best part of town ("where movie stars and football players live") was very shabby. Better to have been shuttled over to Capri. One of the most memorable stops was in Valencia, Spain, where we were taken to the Market on our tour. This place must have been as big as a football field inside and had the biggest, most beautiful, blemish-free fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, etc. If I lived anywhere in Spain, it would have to be near this market. Fabulous! While we are not seasoned ocean travelers, the "rough" seas we had were enough for us to decide to stick to river cruising. Other travelers thought it was nothing and even the captain told us in a private conversation that it was next to nothing and that the ship could handle ten times that. We will leave it to others to enjoy ocean cruising. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
We've travelled on Royal Caribbean for many years, always moving to bigger and bigger ships. This time, we went with Viking - initially because we've enjoyed their River Cruises so much (I think we've taken 10 or so). ... Read More
We've travelled on Royal Caribbean for many years, always moving to bigger and bigger ships. This time, we went with Viking - initially because we've enjoyed their River Cruises so much (I think we've taken 10 or so). When we heard they were branching out into ocean cruising, we had to try it. One of the coolest things about the ship is that everyone has an outside cabin with a veranda - a luxury in this age of tiny inside rooms on other lines. Please see below for an extensive review of our wonderful cabin. Someone met us at the airport in Barcelona for ship transfer...when they found out some guests would arrive late, they called someone else to help them later and took us right away. When we got to the cruise terminal, they saw we had a suite and walked us right on to the ship. I think we waited an hour for our bags, which was fine, since we had a bottle of champagne waiting for us and were hungry anyway. When walking the hallways, you notice that instead of a bunch of second-rate art packed onto the walls, they are mostly bare - just wallpaper and simple, light wood trim with a strong horizontal line - but every so often there's a large photo of some landmark, e.g., the Eiffel Tower. DINING: There's a traditional restaurant setting on the lower part of the ship, with a menu that changes every day, with dinner every evening, breakfast and an occasional lunch, depending on whether you're in port (mostly no). You can just give them a window of time that you'll be there and whether you want a table for 2 or larger...you meet interesting strangers this way. If you've never been on a cruise, it's an easy way to meet people from a variety of backgrounds (but all of whom can afford to take a cruise, lol). Tons of honeymooners and people with anniversaries. CASUAL DINING in the World Café is located toward the top of the ship. But when I say "casual dining," that doesn't do it justice. On a big RC ship, there's a huge cafeteria with many stations spread throughout the space, one for burgers, another for pasta, and on and on for salad, soup, hot entrees, asian/ethnic, continental, traditional American, etc. It has "cafeteria" written all over it and it's an apt description of the food. Again, this is on OTHER ships. ON THE VIKING STAR, casual dining involves tables already set (that you choose) and free wine & beer. There's one wall that surrounds the central kitchen (so the whole thing space runs around one end of the ship), and there are individual bars/counters, very orderly, that serve different types of food. Instead of throwing everything they possibly can at you, there's an ever-changing menu that is more limited and very high quality. So you might get an asparagus timbale decorated with red pepper relish, on a saffron-infused cream sauce. Perhaps caviar with blinis and all the traditional condiments. Grilled eggplant and zucchini, with an herbed vinaigrette. And, of course, you can also get all the entrées that are on that night's restaurant dinner menu, but it's pretty much all you can eat. The difference is that you can see into the open kitchen, so if they're waiting on something to come out of the oven, the cook will point back into the kitchen so you can see them making what you're about to eat. I've never seen anything like it on a cruise ship, except in a fine-dining venue, which always costs extra. There's a sushi bar (again, in casual dining), where you can watch the sushi chefs make what you're going to eat. Want your ahi seared instead of rolled? Just say the word and you can even wave at the chef when you think it's had enough heat. There are fresh crab legs, claws, and a few varieties of prawn and shrimp...always. I had a first course of crab claws every night. Want gelato? Chocolate fountain? Creme brulée? Fruit mousse (varies nightly)? After two meals in the restaurant (which is a bit quieter), we made the switch and ate here every time that we could. There were some things available every night, but main courses, sides, etc varied every day. There were usually some ready for you to pick up, but sometimes you had to wait for them to prepared, so everything was always fresh. And swimsuits, shorts, sleeveless whatevers are not allowed - there's a grill by the indoor pool for people who want it *too* casual. ENTERTAINMENT: there are some shows. Since this ship carries less than a thousand guests, they aren't very elaborate, but are still pretty good. Movies are shown in a theatre twice a day, I think. There are also daily talks about the history of whatever port you're visiting. They're usually given by academics and can be a bit yawn-inducing if you aren't into WWII or whatever. I only saw them because they are used as background material when you are waiting for a tour group to assemble. There were no children. HALLELUJAH. FINE DINING VENUES: You have a limited number of reservations for each. There are two fine-dining venues, one is Italian/Steak House, with the same menu every night. It was fine. The second is The Chef's Table, which serves a degustaçion menu that changes every three days. This food was top-notch in quality, presentation and flavor. There are different wines served with every course. The service isn't quite what you'd get in a 4 star restaurant (for instance, a waiter couldn't confirm the details on the ingredients of a sauce one night), but it's efficient since every table gets the same meal you do. Eat here twice a week if you can get a reservation. OTHER SHIP VENUES: the Explorers' Lounge at the front of the ship is wrapped in glass and is coffee tables, sofas, chairs, with board and card games. There are also furs and blankets all over the place and it's hilarious to see a guest wrapped in what looks like the skin of a polar bear or a holstein cow, wandering around after a few drinks. This lounge has two floors. The upper has TV screens built into the table tops. The lower has a long and lovely fireplace on one wall. You can sit in a corner and read or hang out with friends; there are lots of soft surfaces, so the noise level is always a bit hushed, even when there's a convivial crowd. This lounge also has something called "Mamsen's" that allows you to have traditional Scandinavian smorgasbord until around midnight. The venue is actually open to guests 24 hours. There's also a small disco that sometimes doubles as a venue for lounge acts and a theatre for the shows. In addition, all public areas have bar service. Since they are located around the atrium, you can hear a live jazz combo that also plays "Three Tenors" type stuff as well off and on through the day and evening. They've designated a small area as a library, but the entire center of the ship has seated conversation and gaming areas that use open book shelves as dividers. You can borrow any of these books, some of which are complete series collections of classic and specialty authors, so if you want something to read, from novels to histories, you won't lack for any of it. Drink service is available in all public areas and servers come around regularly. When you order a drink at a bar, lounge, or anywhere else, they'll ask for your cabin number and that's that. Although it's added to your bill, you don't sign for anything. There's an indoor pool. The room is kept quite warm unless the weather is nice, when they roll back the ceiling to let the sun and fresh air in. At night, they occasionally show movies poolside. Blankets, popcorn, and earphones (if you need them) are provided. There's also a section of the ship called "The Wintergarden." It's really classy and beautifully appointed. There are screens made of...you know, I can't really do it justice. Please check the photos. Here they serve afternoon tea (and it's the whole nine yards). Also cocktails and such at other hours. SPA: one of the best spas ever. Haircuts, massages, manicures, etc. PLUS: hot tub, pools of different temperatures, an ice cold bucket rinse, dry sauna, steam room, and a snow room that is so packed with the stuff that you could build a snowman if you wanted. Yes, a room full of snow. Awesome. And a hot tub and infinity pool at the front of the ship. STAFF: Friendly, mostly Eastern European and Filipino, service-oriented and efficient. Front desk: there is no front desk. If you need assistance with something on your bill (for instance), you go to a waiting area of sofas and chairs, and wait for a rep to help you. Sometimes, you'll go to their desk; sometimes, they'll come to you. Much different than waiting in a long line of irritated people. SHORE EXCURSIONS: the only area where I'd give the experience a very, very slight "ding." There are excursions *INCLUDED* with your cruise for every port, but they are often lead by people with questionable English who might decide to stop for an informative talk in a back alley or some other inexplicable place. One of my favorite quotes from such a tour was, "Here is a museum of Napoleon's home. You can see the line. We won't go in; it's just a table and a chair." Later in the same tour, we could see the "famous outdoor restroom of Napoleon." We stuck with paid excursions from then on, and they were fabulous. For instance: we had an after-hours tour of the Vatican that included the Sistine Chapel. If you've never been, no one is allowed to speak inside the Chapel and a recorded voice repeats the word "Silencio" regularly. None of that for us! Usually, the guide describes what's on the other side of the door and then lets you loose - no photos. This time, since there was only one guard, our guide came in with us and gave a complete lecture, describing all the scenes (which are pretty complex once you really get into them), loads of info about the historical setting and the difficulties both the artists and patron had to overcome, answering our questions, and we took all the photos we wanted. Unbelievable. Besides that, he was one of the best-informed and most knowledgeable guides we'd ever met. His name is Niels-Arne Dilger and if you get a chance to take this tour, it's worth every dime. Plus, dinner after, mostly small plates, with a bunch of people who just had an unforgettable experience. Let's just say the wine flows freely, lol. There's also a panoramic drive through the city, included with the tour. A great "pilgrimage" tour. On top of this, the birds were migrating, so we saw several huge murmurations of starlings, and they made hypnotic, ever-shifting shapes in the evening sky, just at dusk. Our other paid excursions: usually very good, just don't go to the "working ranch/museum" on Corsica...it's a beautiful drive, but that's about it. The rest is mannequins with thimbles of wine at the end. SHOPPING: Palma de Mallorca, which has some of Europe's best shopping areas and beautiful public squares, finally has shops open on Sundays all year long, which was illegal until the recent economic downturn. No tour needed. Barcelona's port has a great mall that's a 10 minute walk away. You can also get a cab at the port...the driver will take you to other shopping malls, but you'll need to pay him about 10 euros an hour if you want him to hang around so you get back to the ship on time. If you've been to Barcelona before, take the tour to Montserrat. Breathtaking. TIPPING: Unlike every other major cruise line, there were no suggested gratuities. A small service charge was included on liquor, and that was it. Nobody hung around, hoping you were going to grease their palms, or anything like that. Of course, we did a combination of some tipping, some glowing performance reviews (which were read out loud at staff meetings, we later learned; I think our cabin steward is getting promoted), and gifts of wine that we got in port. Our wine steward, from the Philippines, had never tried Beaujolais Nouveau. We were in a french grocery in season and there was the Wall of Beaujolais Nouveau: we got some for ourselves, too. That's another thing: RC won't let you bring food or alcohol you get in port on board ship. Viking ENCOURAGES you to buy local cheese, regional snacks, wine, bring it back to your ship and it's no problem. We got a great floral arrangement for our room in France and weren't hassled at all. RC makes you buy their own horrible vases of carnations and mums if you want flowers in your room. What a difference. TO SUM THINGS UP, we went small and don't regret it. If you've been taking your kids on RC or other family cruises and they're finally out of your hair, or if you haven't had kids yet, this is absolutely the way to go. The next time we find an itinerary which we haven't run yet, this is our first choice. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
Having conducted 2 Viking River Cruises we were looking forward to our first Ocean Cruise of any sort and were not disappointed. Initially concerned when we read reviews of the early cruises any problems had been sorted by the time our ... Read More
Having conducted 2 Viking River Cruises we were looking forward to our first Ocean Cruise of any sort and were not disappointed. Initially concerned when we read reviews of the early cruises any problems had been sorted by the time our cruise took place. Staff were friendly and approachable; food was excellent and so much choice; tours were well planned and ran smoothly with disembarkation and embarkation, even by boat, well timed and executed as long as people turned up at the times specified and did not try to go on tours earlier than they were supposed to! The only downside about the tours is that if you choose to go on one of the paid tours you receive no compensation for the included tour you did not take and this can work out expensive. That said the included tours were generally fine for getting a feel for the places visited and are similar in style to those included in River Cruise tours. Cabins are a good size and the veranda is lovely even in the autumn weather. Bathroom a good size and storage is good. Public areas have enough seating and the 3 pools and SPA are just great. Despite autumn we ate breakfast and lunch outside every day (though some found it cold) and had no problem dining in the evening at the times we wanted. Unlike river cruise you eat at a time that is good for you and can eat as a couple or join in with others if you wish. Embarkation was well handled though it was frustrating at Istanbul airport where porters insisted on taking luggage to the waiting coaches where it would have been quicker for those who were able to take their own. Unfortunately this is the only cruise where you do not arrive in the disembarkation port the day before so we did not have a day in Venice (we knew this so visited Venice separately earlier in the year). I believe all other cruises have a day in port either end. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
This was our first cruise and we are looking forward to another with Viking. The size of the ship was perfect, very well run by all crew personnel in all areas of the ship. While we don't have another to compare with, I can honestly ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we are looking forward to another with Viking. The size of the ship was perfect, very well run by all crew personnel in all areas of the ship. While we don't have another to compare with, I can honestly say "why bother". It was exactly what we wanted as far as a cruise experience. It's topnotch in our view, the layout of all areas were were so well designed, it made it feel even larger than it was. The crew members were extremely efficient and polite. We loved that the dining areas provided different ambiance and all were very satisfying to our palate. We thought the excursions were very good, but perhaps needed more detail on some of them as to the demand of areas for walking, etc. We had no problems, but did help some who were having difficulty getting around. The cruise and tour directors provided exceptionally detailed information regarding the ports being visited. It was especially nice to be able to review those presentations on the TV in your room. A nice surprise was the beauty of the walled cities and harbors of Kotor and Dubrovnik. This is definitely a cruise to be taken by everyone - for the beauty and history of the sites. Finally, we loved the 'all-inclusive' aspect of the cruise. Made it so simple, yet relaxing (and no formal requirement). Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
Being new to cruising, this experience was beyond my expectations in every way. The stateroom was roomy and luxurious and having a veranda with table and chairs was delightful. The food was gourmet, no matter where we dined. Having ... Read More
Being new to cruising, this experience was beyond my expectations in every way. The stateroom was roomy and luxurious and having a veranda with table and chairs was delightful. The food was gourmet, no matter where we dined. Having choices as to where we wanted to dine was very nice - sometimes we just wanted to grab something at the World Cafe, sometimes we wanted to go to the smaller restaurants and order off a menu, and other times we wanted to go to the cutting edge venus -and at each choice, the food didn't disappoint! The ship was very comfortable and well appointed with no crowds. There were plenty of spaces for people to find and relax, all with views. Viking was very good at moving people seamlessly, we knew where to go and when to be back. The local guides were knowledgeable and the tours were small enough so we could talk with the guide and glean lots of local information. The staff was incredible - everyone was friendly and helpful. Very well trained, they made us feel welcomed and comfortable everywhere we went. We are already looking forward to picking another ocean cruise and are confident that Viking will help make the experience rewarding and enriching. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
As Dorothy said to Toto, we weren't in Kansas anymore -- meaning we had done three river cruises with Viking but had never embarked on an ocean cruise anywhere. What a way to weigh anchor! The Star is a beauty, an Emerald City afloat. ... Read More
As Dorothy said to Toto, we weren't in Kansas anymore -- meaning we had done three river cruises with Viking but had never embarked on an ocean cruise anywhere. What a way to weigh anchor! The Star is a beauty, an Emerald City afloat. The staff in our floating Oz is superlative. The fine food and beverages keep coming. The cruise organization -- pre-boarding communication and arrangements, airport transfers, pre-stay in Venice, embarkation and return -- all work handsomely with precision. The ship's ambience is relaxed elegance with large spaces as needed to accommodate passenger crowds comfortably but with plenty of nooks for couples to find getaways for viewing, contemplating, admiring the seascapes. Entertainment opportunities abound, organized in a daily listing for picking and choosing. We most like on-board talks by experts, and the scholarly presentations are a delight to anticipate. We like shore excursions that expand the reach of the boat, and The Star's guided offerings excel. A staff bobble kept us from seeing Delphi, but the alternative time spent in Athens' new Parthenon Museum compensated more than adequately. Folk music, folk food and folk places swell the experience even now in memory especially with dream opportunities to photograph. A visit to the hill country of Croatia really shines. The native guides there and in Athens and in Mostar got us off the yellow brick road and into a deeper understanding of our destinations. Our expansion of lands and UNESCO World Heritage sites seen is a treasure no one can take away. Do I gush? Well, Viking is a wizard on river and now on ocean. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
The Viking Star is a great ship with all the amenities you need. The entertainment on our cruise was excellent and the food was always very good. All interactions with crew and staff were pleasant and professional. We were greeted by ... Read More
The Viking Star is a great ship with all the amenities you need. The entertainment on our cruise was excellent and the food was always very good. All interactions with crew and staff were pleasant and professional. We were greeted by every member of the crew that we met. I was amazed by the well thought out design of the ship and the ease of getting anywhere on board. We toured the kitchen and the bridge and were not rushed or ignored. All of our questions were answered no matter how trivial. We had arrived in Venice a few days early and stayed at the Hilton Molino Stucky Hotel. Our embarkation was directly across the lagoon from the hotel and went very smoothly. We went on the provided tours in each port of call and were generally impressed with the quality of the tour guides although some were better than others. Everything about the ship and crew was wonderful and as this was our first cruise, I fear that we have been spoiled. I don't think any other cruise line will be able to compete for our affections and our next cruise will have to be with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We just returned from a month in Europe. We were on Viking's Star Mediterranean Odyssey for 13 days. We have been fortunate enough to be able to travel on private luxury yachts in the past and the Viking Star experience did not ... Read More
We just returned from a month in Europe. We were on Viking's Star Mediterranean Odyssey for 13 days. We have been fortunate enough to be able to travel on private luxury yachts in the past and the Viking Star experience did not disappoint. I never wanted to get off. The management of this ship is superb. Employees are well trained and consistent. They are fun and want you to enjoy yourselves and seem to enjoy their jobs. There was something for everyone on the ship and with 900 people onboard it never felt even that large. It was elegant and quiet and comfortable. We found the included walking tours to be just enough to give you a flavor of the old towns and culture and took you into some museums you would have had to pay for on your own. After the tours, we spent plenty of time on our own in the ports. Florence and Pisa in one day was very long and not really doable. We returned from the ports early enough to go and enjoy the spa (sauna, steam, frozen room, hot tub, resistance pool). We opted for a few of the paid trips such as Herculaneum and it wasn't outrageous but convenient and well organized with good guides.They had a special folkloric performance at Sponza Palace for about 30 people that we paid extra to do and that was a special treat. The entertainment was first class and one of the big highlights of this trip. There was music and shows everywhere with a great variety of professional performers. We often listened to Spanish guitar music on the aft deck at night. Food we adequate and good. Lots of variety. We found ordering breakfast in our room every morning helped a lot with an 8:30 bus tour. Management was very receptive to suggestions about improvements and this being their first season they had some kinks to work out. The help desk needs a little work but overall they pretty much have it figured out and truly delivered on a great experience from beginning to end. Even though we were not on their extended portion in Venice, we were staying at the Molino Stuckey and we were allowed to pay a fee and have them handle the transfer of bags which was great. In these reviews this summer there are lots of little complaints but in the overall view Viking far exceeded our expectations. We could see from reading those reviews some the improvements they made from what they learned. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
This was our first cruise and we loved every minute of it, from the beauty of the ship to the crew, to our ports of call. My husband and I have travelled quite a bit but our experience on The Viking Star met and exceeded our expectations. ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we loved every minute of it, from the beauty of the ship to the crew, to our ports of call. My husband and I have travelled quite a bit but our experience on The Viking Star met and exceeded our expectations. The ship itself is beautifully designed, luxurious in every way, offering so many choices in excellent food no matter which restaurant you choose and very importantly, the friendliest and most accommodating staff! We enjoyed everything the ship had to offer, whether it was the daily lectures on upcoming excursions, the live entertainment, the classical music offered in the atrium, the quiet spaces on the ship for reading or playing board games, or a swim in one of the ship's three pools. My husband and I were so impressed by the organization which was evident in everything we did. Embarking was so easy and our cabin stewards were wonderful each and every day. Our cabin was spotless and the linens luxurious. Our ports of call were excellent with various excursions to choose from each day, along with knowledgeable local guides. Overall, our trip was outstanding. Thank you, Viking, for giving us the holiday of a lifetime for our 25th Wedding Anniversary! We hope to do it again in the future! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
This was our first cruise so I do not have a comparison. However it met or exceeded all my expectations. Our cabin was well appointed with adequate storage space. The bed and chairs were very comfortable. We had access to laundry ... Read More
This was our first cruise so I do not have a comparison. However it met or exceeded all my expectations. Our cabin was well appointed with adequate storage space. The bed and chairs were very comfortable. We had access to laundry equipment which we used as we were traveling after the cruise. Our attendant, Arya was very thorough in keeping our cabin clean and well stocked. In fact we were impressed with the quality of service we received in every area. The restaurant managers, waiters, and wait staff were very friendly and attentive. All the members of the staff were helpful, courteous and accommodating. We were very impressed with the food in the World Cafe. We actually enjoyed it more than the specialty restaurants. In fact one meal at Manfredi's was unappetizing and the fish at the The Restaurant was flavorless. But otherwise the food was very good with a wide variety and some dishes were made to order. We thought the excursions were excellent with the exception of the Underground Cisterns. Although the Cisterns were unique and interesting , we only spent 30 minutes there and the rest of the tour was just wasting time. I did not think it was worth the money. The others were great. The Complimentary ones were as good as the optional. Loved Kotor and Dubrovnic. All the guides were wonderful. We were disappointed we missed Pula. We did not take advantage of visiting Venice at 5:00 pm as a replacement of Pula as we were going to stay two night after disembarking. We had made our own arrangements prior to the Cruise in Istanbul and in Venice. In Istanbul, we stayed for two nights in the old City at the Seven Hill Hotel. It is small older boutique hotel with a fabulous rooftop restaurant. We stayed at a Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel that was charming. The Cruise was an experience of a life time and we would definitely consider another Viking Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
I rated this cruise as Very Good only because we had no other cruise to rate it against. The Viking Star was great. Our cabin was surprising in how spacious and comfortable it was. Embarkation and disembarkation was very ... Read More
I rated this cruise as Very Good only because we had no other cruise to rate it against. The Viking Star was great. Our cabin was surprising in how spacious and comfortable it was. Embarkation and disembarkation was very painless. The Staff were all very friendly & obliging. The service was very good, nothing was too much trouble and any little "wrinkles" were ironed out very quickly. The food onboard had only problem - it was so good you just wanted to eat more. The entertainment on board was varied, interesting and enjoyable. We only went on the included shore excursions and found them to be very informative with good and knowledgeable tour guides. Leaving the ship each day for our excursion was easy, very organised and well managed by the staff. As I said we are only novice cruisers and apart from a short Alaskan cruise and a river cruise (with a different Company) this was our first big cruise and we loved it. We loved it so much we are planning our next cruise as at this time. We would like Viking to cruise down the west coast of America, through the Panama Canal up to New York. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our first cruise, ever. We chose Viking because we wanted an upscale, small environment. We got just what we expected. The cruise was outstanding. The ship was beautiful and the accommodations stunning. The crew and staff were ... Read More
This was our first cruise, ever. We chose Viking because we wanted an upscale, small environment. We got just what we expected. The cruise was outstanding. The ship was beautiful and the accommodations stunning. The crew and staff were professional, courteous and gracious. Every excursion was well run with experienced, knowledgable guides. The ports were all very interesting, especially Kotor. What a beautiful port. Our cabin was exquisite. We will probably look at the explorer's cabin for our next trip. Especially if business class airfairi is included. The food was very good. We really like the convenience, view and selection of the World Cafe. Sushi, seafood and great desserts. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
I have always been reluctant to go on a "cruise," but have to say the Viking Star changed my thinking. Beautiful, well-signed ship, fantastic staff, great food all made it a great experience. Really enjoyed the many options on ... Read More
I have always been reluctant to go on a "cruise," but have to say the Viking Star changed my thinking. Beautiful, well-signed ship, fantastic staff, great food all made it a great experience. Really enjoyed the many options on public spaces to hang out (but Explorer's Lounge was my favorite) and enjoy meals. The Spa facilities were fantastic, especially after walking seven or eight miles on certain days. Understated yet elegant design and detailing throughout the ship was a big hit with me, but then I am an architect. The emphasis on education and exploring really appealed to me, as opposed to some of the cruise lines that promote casinos and night clubs (THANK YOU for being different)! I came away with the sense that Viking as a company has a clear Vision and target market and they have done an exceptional job at meeting the vision. The staff, from top to bottom really were fantastic; genuinely friendly and always helpful! My only suggestion would involve how Viking handles getting their guests on and off the ship at ports. Not a huge problem when actually docked, but when anchoring and using tenders, it was very annoying to be the last people off the ship if one was not signed up for an excursion. The Venice to Istanbul is a fabulous route and would highly recommend it to others who have not visited the Eastern Med. Pula, Croatia was the weakest of the stops. I would skip it and add another Greek stop, preferably another of the islands. Five stars all the way around for my first (and only) cruise experience and kudos to Viking Cruise Line! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our first cruise in many years. We chose Viking because we had heard many good things about their river cruises. We thought the ship was awesome however we were disappointed in some of the side trips we took. If we ever went ... Read More
This was our first cruise in many years. We chose Viking because we had heard many good things about their river cruises. We thought the ship was awesome however we were disappointed in some of the side trips we took. If we ever went on another cruise, we would set up our own tours in some of the ports to get to the exact places we wanted to go and possibly have a smaller tour group. We loved the food on the cruise; the spa and the spa services were extraordinary. Our cabin was great and the staff was always there when you needed anything whether in our cabin or any other place on the ship. Part of any vacation is the people you meet and on a ship of this size it is very easy to make new and lasting friendships with people around the world. This trip was our 4th trip to Europe and before we always rented a car and stayed a maximum of 2 nights in any one place. We originally decided on this cruise so that we could unpack and not have to repack again for 13 days and also because we would see more of Europe by having someone else do the "driving". We thought your entertainment was great and enjoyed all the shows we saw. The disembarkation was a little fuzzy as we were staying an additional night at a hotel that we had booked, not an extension through Viking, and trying to figure the transportation to our hotel was confusing. In the end it all worked out well. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
Loved the new ship. Felt spacious and comfortable. Never felt crowded. Lots of rooms to spread out and relax. Loved the pool deck with the chaise lounge chairs facing the windows. One day of rain in Dubrovnik cause us to miss our ... Read More
Loved the new ship. Felt spacious and comfortable. Never felt crowded. Lots of rooms to spread out and relax. Loved the pool deck with the chaise lounge chairs facing the windows. One day of rain in Dubrovnik cause us to miss our schedule trip but we were comfortable in the chaise lounge chairs, reading and watching the storm come in with lightning, thunder, heavy rain and dark clouds. We always felt very well cared for and what privilege to experience the Mediterranean in such comfort. The staff was wonderful, always greeted you with a smile and hello and service was impeccable. Disappointed in some of the port excursions. Would have loved to have taken a tour of the inside of the Colosseum and the Sistine Chapel in Rome. Really enjoyed the evening PORT Talks that gave background and history of the sites we were traveling to. Appreciated the bottled water on disembarking for trips and the moist towels and champagne on re-embarking after tours. Food was outstanding on the ship. Always lots of choices and good wine in the World Café. Manfredi's was also excellent. Not so impressed with he Chef's Table, it was a menu of foam and we just couldn't appreciate it. Loved the afternoon tea with the hot scones, clotted cream, jam, finger sandwiches and small pastries. Loved the Wintergarden and Explorers Lounge I really appreciate that the ship does not cater to children. I enjoy being in the company of adults while on vacation. This was our first ocean cruise. We picked the sixth deck at the end of the ship. I would not do that again. We would lie in bed and the bed was shaking back and forth all night long. I just kept saying the ship was rocking me to sleep because I would not let this spoil my trip. We could also hear the wooden chairs on the 7th deck being dragged across the deck in the morning and evening. We will pick mid ship and forth level in the future. Loved the washers and dryers on the ship. Made packing lighter much easier(even with 15 additional hangers). I would recommend they post washer and dryer times on the wall so you know how to keep track of your laundry and make sure others aren't waiting for you to move your clean or dry clothing so they can use the machines. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our first cruise, and we are sure we have been spoiled by the amazing staff, ship, and destinations! From Barcelona to Venice, we enjoyed our beautiful ship, variety of activities, entertainment and lectures, shore excursions, ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and we are sure we have been spoiled by the amazing staff, ship, and destinations! From Barcelona to Venice, we enjoyed our beautiful ship, variety of activities, entertainment and lectures, shore excursions, and (of course!) dining. Our cabin was much larger and more luxurious than expected. We experienced a couple of minor issues with excursion destinations (no fault of Viking or our guides) but overall, we were quite satisfied and happy with the level of expertise of each of our guides, the information provided, and the selection of activities from which we selected our shore excursions. The staff always greeted us with a smile (and sometimes a glass of champagne!), and our deck assistant was pleasantly responsive, gracious, and eager to make our cabin as comfortable and extraordinary as possible. The food and included wine selections surpassed our expectations, so we were thankful for the fitness machines and fitness class options offered. We enjoyed a couples massage, and I splurged for one of the best manicures of my life onboard -- thank you! In all, we would recommend without hesitation Viking ocean cruises, and most especially, the lovely Viking Star. We hope to book a river cruise soon! Viking, you have us hooked! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our very first ocean cruise and we couldn't have asked for anything better!! The whole experience was outstanding. We really enjoyed the food and appreciated the fact there were so many dining options. One of the nicest ... Read More
This was our very first ocean cruise and we couldn't have asked for anything better!! The whole experience was outstanding. We really enjoyed the food and appreciated the fact there were so many dining options. One of the nicest surprises was the lobster dinner - very good!! We enjoyed the entertainment very much. We learned quickly that you have to be early to get a good seat!! Very good shows - especially the Beatles! We spent quite a lot of time in the Explorer Lounge which was a little on the cold side but we were able to find some blankets to cover with. Eventually it warmed up. We found the pool area to be very comfortable and did enjoy it on our two days at sea. We very much enjoyed all the excursions. There are some places I would love to visit again. I found the tour guides very good for most of the tours. Some were definitely more knowledgeable than others. We also appreciated having time to ourselves to explore as we did in Sorrento and Venice. We so much appreciated the servers in all the restaurants. Very friends and helpful. They would go out of their way I believe to ensure you enjoyed the whole dining experience. There was an occasion when we asked for a specialty coffee that wasn't on the list. They went to Google to find the recipe and it was delicious!! We enjoyed the cooking class we had on board. A lot of humour and some delicious recipes. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
The Viking Star is a beautiful ship. The experience signing in at the port was smooth and efficient. When we arrived on-board in Barcelona we were greeted by friendly staff, our bags were awaiting us in our room. The cabin was clean and ... Read More
The Viking Star is a beautiful ship. The experience signing in at the port was smooth and efficient. When we arrived on-board in Barcelona we were greeted by friendly staff, our bags were awaiting us in our room. The cabin was clean and spacious with a veranda. The cabin attendant kept our room spotless. What was especially appreciated was the daily delivery of the Viking News which included news about the ports were were entering, the exchange rates, and information about various events about the ship. The food and service were excellent no matter which restaurant we choose to dine in each evening. The entertainment was exceptional, with local entertainers brought in from certain ports, lectures were interesting and informative, the ships's band, dancers and singers were terrific. We participated in many shore excursions. While the majority of them were very good, there were some hiccups which were disappointing. But overall, it was great to visit the various sites with interesting tour guides. The disembarkation was so well organized and efficient in Venice, I was really impressed. I thought we would have a hassle finding our luggage, but they were laid out in the port and we found them easily. We had an after-cruise tour to Verona, Bologna and Florence where we were able to see the countryside from the coach bus, visited various sites in each city and ate at delicious local restaurants. Our tour guide and driver were excellent and very caring and friendly. We were taken to Rome for our departure, and our tour guide monitored our departure though the airport. It was a wonderful trip and one we will never forget. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
The Viking Star is beautiful new ship, perfect size (930 passengers), great food (large, diverse buffet, fine dining restaurant, italian speciality and chef's table), casual but elegant atmosphere. Service was perfect! Gratuities were ... Read More
The Viking Star is beautiful new ship, perfect size (930 passengers), great food (large, diverse buffet, fine dining restaurant, italian speciality and chef's table), casual but elegant atmosphere. Service was perfect! Gratuities were included, free wine and beer with meals and free speciality coffees. Many excursions to choose from (at least one free per port), and the tour organization and operators were top notch. We especially enjoyed the day in Aix en Provence and the Day in Tuscany. An additional highlight was the post tour excursion from Venice to Verona, Bolonga, Florence to Rome - extremely well organized, with great food, lodging and tours included. Only problem encountered was at the end, Viking was planning to take us straight to the Rome airport from Florence, but we were staying an extra two nights in Rome. It got worked out and they took us to Rome with a quick tour. We booked our flights on our own (to use points) along with two days pre-cruise in Barcelona (which we really enjoyed) and two days in Rome post-cruise. Next time we will book airfare through Viking, less hassle and they will include the add-ons for very little extra $, plus only one insurance (cheaper). Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our first cruise. Viking came highly recommended by friends of ours who we cruised with. As our first experience, I can say it was outstanding. The ship was beautiful and very well designed. Our room was lovely and every ... Read More
This was our first cruise. Viking came highly recommended by friends of ours who we cruised with. As our first experience, I can say it was outstanding. The ship was beautiful and very well designed. Our room was lovely and every possible space was well thought out and used. The only suggestion I have with respect to the rooms was that the outlets were a little difficult to get to near the bed and an extension cord would have been helpful. The service and staff were remarkable, helpful and friendly. The food was plentiful and unexpectedly delicious. The travel to and from the embarkation ports went smoothly. The ship was kept extremely clean and the staff was constantly cleaning all common areas. The Port and shore excursions were uneven. Some were wonderful, some not so great. It all depended on the guide assigned to the excursion. Some were extremely knowledgeable and made the excursion come alive. Others not so good. Also, a few of our stops were a little disappointing, such as Corfu and especially Barcelona. We were really looking forward to seeing Barcelona, but it was a bus tour that didn't make any stops, except one short stop not in a very interesting area, and kept moving at a very fast pace so you really couldn't see or take pictures of the points of interest. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
Almost perfect. Amazing crew, beautiful ship, beautiful stops, delicious (and abundant) food, surprisingly good entertainment, all very well run. A few complaints: Major complaint: The included excusrsions were mostly disappointing. ... Read More
Almost perfect. Amazing crew, beautiful ship, beautiful stops, delicious (and abundant) food, surprisingly good entertainment, all very well run. A few complaints: Major complaint: The included excusrsions were mostly disappointing. We visited incredible places, but often only got to experience them through the window of a bus. And, for all the excursions, exactly which tour guide you were with made a huge difference. Several were wonderful, but some were just phoning it in. Major complaint: Toulon, France. Aside from the tour guide (she seemed relieved when people left her tour early to explore on her own or just head back to the ship), Toulon was, by far, the least attractive stop on the cruise. We were there on a Sunday, and everything other than restaurants was closed. It's also a military port, and there wasn't much to see (aside from strip clubs and tattoo parlors). And it was raining, which is no one's fault, but it made the city's deficiencies even more glaring. (Most interesting spot in Toulon: a tattoo parlor called Ink Your Meat.) Minor complaint: I left some clothing in our cabin. When I called, I was told someone would get back to me within 24 hours with information (whether it was found, and what it would cost to get it back). It's now been two weeks, and I haven't heard from anyone. I assume the clothing is lost, although I will follow up. That's well below Viking's standards. Also below Viking's standards: I was told it would cost approximately 40 euro to have the clothing sent back to me. I realize this was my fault, but I would have thought, as a courtesy, Viking would handle this as courtesy. I'm more than happy to pay the return, but I'm surprised that I would have to. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
This was the first ocean cruise for my wife and me and we were totally delighted. The Viking Star was beautiful and the layout of the ship was excellent. The entertainment offered was wonderful and the daily activities (presentations, ... Read More
This was the first ocean cruise for my wife and me and we were totally delighted. The Viking Star was beautiful and the layout of the ship was excellent. The entertainment offered was wonderful and the daily activities (presentations, lectures, etc.) were informative and enjoyable. The service and staff were beyond what we were expecting and made the entire voyage a much more pleasant experience. They all were friendly and helpful in so many ways. Special thanks to Zrinka Kurdum and her food service staff, who were the best. The food was spectacular with excellent choices at each meal. I did not lose any weight! The cabin was excellent also. It was larger than expected with a good size bath and shower. The veranda was one of the features that made the voyage special. I enjoyed watching the ship enter and leave each port. There was a good selection of shore excursions and everyone seemed to enjoy them. The quality of the guides varied somewhat but that is to be expected. One thing that should be improved is getting to and from the ship in Monte Carlo. For some reason we had to use the tenders to get to shore and the harbor had choppy water making on and off the ship difficult and somewhat dangerous for some elderly passengers. For all the other ports we used the docks and everything was fine. In summary, my wife and I had a wonderful experience on this cruise and we would love to cruise with Viking again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
We really enjoyed the trip. The only problem was the heat, no one can change that. The ship is beautiful and easy to get around. The food was very good. We tried all the restaurants but ended preferring "The Restaurant." ... Read More
We really enjoyed the trip. The only problem was the heat, no one can change that. The ship is beautiful and easy to get around. The food was very good. We tried all the restaurants but ended preferring "The Restaurant." The evening entertainment in the theater was good, not great but fine. The incidental music in the open areas of the ship was excellent. The tours were good, not great again but fine. We enjoyed the ports we stopped at, although thought they could have spent more time in Monte Carlo and skipped Toulon--poor guide there and not a lot to see. The cabin was more than adequate--we had a balcony which we always enjoy. The heating in the open areas and theater of the ship was extremely variable--sometimes too warm, more often too cold. However, there were lovely cashmere blankets all over which you could use and we did. All in all we loved the cruise and highly recommend it. The Viking Star is a beautiful ship. Read Less
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