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14 Viking Ocean Gay & Lesbian Cruise Reviews

Alaska has been on our bucket list for years, and when Viking announced they would be sailing to Alaska we jumped at the opportunity, having experienced a Viking River Cruise in 2014, the Romantic Danube. The Viking Orion had not yet been ... Read More
Alaska has been on our bucket list for years, and when Viking announced they would be sailing to Alaska we jumped at the opportunity, having experienced a Viking River Cruise in 2014, the Romantic Danube. The Viking Orion had not yet been completed when we made our reservations, so watching her development was exciting. Viking truly has transported the finest of their river cruise ships into their ocean cruise ships, and it felt like coming home when we boarded at Seward. One aspect of the cruise that was attractive to us was the specific itinerary that included more of Alaska than just the fabled Inside Passage. We did the pre-cruise extension in Anchorage, where Viking picked us up at the Anchorage airport and transported us to the Anchorage Hilton for 2 nights, then onward from Anchorage to Seward to join the ship. The weather was not always cooperative and in Seward it was raining and chilly outside, but warm and welcoming onboard. Embarkation was smooth and fast, and the primary downside was the distance we had to walk from the point where we cleared security to the ship itself mostly in the rain. From then on the weather was either cloudy and cool or clouds and sun. Valdez was beautiful, sunny and clear; overcast at Hubbard Glacier and Icy Strait Point and Skagway, sunny and warm at Juneau, mostly sunny at Sitka, cloudy at Ketchikan, and gloriously sunny on arrival at Vancouver. Of the many attributes offered by Viking, having all outside cabins with balconies was a definite plus, the small size was wonderful with just 930 passengers, and perhaps the one consistent comment we heard was how thankful our shipmates were that there were no children (us included). Folks, this is not a party ship, yet it packs in more entertainment options than are possible to sample in the 11 days we had available. We would definitely cruise again with Viking Ocean and River Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We were looking for a relaxing and fun way to start the new year. We were not disappointed! The crew was very friendly and took special care to make sure we were comfortable. The food was excellent with a lot of variety and choices of both ... Read More
We were looking for a relaxing and fun way to start the new year. We were not disappointed! The crew was very friendly and took special care to make sure we were comfortable. The food was excellent with a lot of variety and choices of both informal dining as well as more formal restaurants. Both lunch and dinner included wine, which was consistently of high quality and delicious. A pleasant surprise was the quality of the onboard entertainment — professional-level shows that presented selections from ABBA, the 60s, and the Beatles. We had a junior suite, which was very comfortable. The ship had many seating areas for taking sun and enjoying quiet conversation. There was also a well-stocked library. Finally, the gym was quite large with plenty of equipment, free weights and workout space. The one concern was that the embarkation dock was changed from J to F at the last moment, and we were not informed. Therefore, we had to scramble to get to the other dock and were worried about missing the ship. The high point was certainly the New Year's Eve party and dance! This cruise was truly an experience to remember! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
There were so many interesting locations to view and visit while enjoying luxurious service, dining and comfort. Viking spoils their passengers. Service is impeccable and wonderful selection of restaurants onboard. Cabin service is ... Read More
There were so many interesting locations to view and visit while enjoying luxurious service, dining and comfort. Viking spoils their passengers. Service is impeccable and wonderful selection of restaurants onboard. Cabin service is excellent, from cleanliness to accommodation. This was my fourth trip with Viking River and Ocean cruise and I’m now planning my fifth. Viking makes traveling so easy for you by collecting you at the airport and retuning for your flight home. It’s obvious Viking takes the time to properly train their employees. I actually walked into my once and found someone cleaning under my bed. You’ll find from the stewards, bartenders, servers will help you with anything you ask. The concierge will go out of their way to grant any request you have. Viking has wonderful entertainment. From dancing, singing, comedy etc. to a large current selection of movie and tv programs. After a day of fascinatingly excursions it’s nice to have dinner in or out of your room and then relax with a movie. Again, I’ll say Viking absolutely spoils their guests. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I have sailed a lot, probably close to100 cruises. On Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, I have spent over 360 days. But I was so impressed with everything about this voyage, I’m not sure I ever will go back to any other line; I think I have ... Read More
I have sailed a lot, probably close to100 cruises. On Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, I have spent over 360 days. But I was so impressed with everything about this voyage, I’m not sure I ever will go back to any other line; I think I have found my new home on the seas. embarkation and disembarkation both went very smoothly, a benefit of sailing with only 900 other passengers. This was not only the first and last day of the cruise but also for every port we visited. We were in Suite 4000, a ES1 category. Before sailing, I looked at the diagram for the owner’s suite on deck 7. I wondered if I would have wanted or needed everything provided in that cabin. Once we boarded and were settled in our suite, I was perfectly happy and would not have wanted to move upstairs. Heck, even the lowest standard cabins on Vining Ocean are better than many higher-level cabins on other cruise lines. I have often been a Grills passenger on Cunard. The Queen’s Grill on QM2 is considered by some to be the best restaurant at sea. Although Wiking does not offer dishes prepared table side, the quality and presentation and variety is equal to the food on other ships. Open dining was a delight and we never had a wait, It was nice to have the alternative dining restaurants and not have to pay extra. The rotating menu at the Chef’s Table was a deal. We ate there five nights during the month we were on board. Wine (which was not bad) and beer (which I don’t drink) were free during meals and I never paid for non-alcoholic beverages and coffee away from the restaurants. I consider it a benefit not to have a casino on the ships, photographers always wanting to take your picture, and on the shops on board lining the hallways as they apply their wares. I loved not having announcements every hour. The lecturers were very good and well-versed to discuss their topics, especially the port talks. Evening stage shows were above-average and well attended, but not the glitzy performances produced on larger ships. At least one excursion is free in every port. I participated in some of those and they were fine. The optional, paid excursions were well run and educational. Good variety of options. The gym is good, plenty of machines. Never crowded. A great spa and - since the line is Norwegian - great sauna, jacuzzi, ice water buckets AND a snow grotto. Imagine a snowball fight in the Suez Canal, I can’t say enough to complement the Viking professionals who made this such an enjoyable adventure. I liked it so much that I already have booked a one month journey next summer. I am sold on Viking! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Having experienced a Viking river cruise 2 years ago, we thought we would try an ocean cruise. We arrived at the departure city 10 days in advance to explore and enjoy - then went to the ship. Vueling Airlines (normally I would not name ... Read More
Having experienced a Viking river cruise 2 years ago, we thought we would try an ocean cruise. We arrived at the departure city 10 days in advance to explore and enjoy - then went to the ship. Vueling Airlines (normally I would not name an airline - but this organization deserves to be mentioned) lost one of our bags and the folks at Viking went the extra distance (literally - from Monte Carlo to Nice) to recover the bag even though they were NOT part of the problem. Customer service was perseverant and excellent! Following the official christening a week prior, we were the first passengers to experience this brand new ship - and what a treat it was! These folks know what it costs to offer a 5 star trip and do not nickel and dime you along the way. Viking does not do anything on the 'cheap'. They truly make it a 5 star experience. Just prior to arrival, we were informed by e-mail that we had a complimentary upgrade to a Penthouse Veranda Stateroom (possibly because we had sailed with Viking in the past). Cabins are very comfortable and spacious with lots of storage within. Little things like a heated bathroom floor are abundant and well thought out. The cabin attendants are quick, thorough and very well trained. The ship graciously provides you with a list of the room's contents...and relative value should you decide to tuck something in your suitcase upon departure. You are free to bring whatever alcoholic beverages with you - unlike the other lines that depend on the 'booze packages' to top up their tills! Every palate is taken into account - from gourmet to buffet - the menus are fresh, innovative, varied and absolutely delicious. Evening menus featuring local cuisine, appropriate wines and attentive table service is spot on! For some reason, my wife and I expected an upper end IKEA atmosphere - instead, we got Neiman Marcus (on steroids). Each of Vikings ocean ships have their own unique venue within. In this case, it is an astrological domed theatre featuring well produced movies on space and the arctic experience. An intimate gathering with comfortable seating and about 6 projectors to generate a state of the art presentation. It is kept fairly cold so may want to bring a jacket - or the cashmere blanket from your stateroom! Every member of the staff from the Captain to the maintenance man looks you straight in the eye and says hello - and asks (sincerely) how your day is going. If a member of the staff is not working up to expectation - they seem to disappear for a day - then surface a day later with a broad smile, attitude adjustment and increased efficiency. They do not treat the passengers with an underlying distain that many cruise line staff seem to purvey. When asked "What's it like to work for Viking?" without fail, they are very complimentary about the personnel management policies, hours of work, perks and staff accommodation. The majority of the guides hired for the on-shore excursions are, educated, entertaining, enthusiastic, and experienced. Accents can be a bit of a challenge from time to time but Viking expects a report card at then end of the tour ensuring that the guide performed up to Viking expectations. Unfortunately the shipboard WiFi can be a little flakey if you are using your own laptop of cell phone. There is a bank of 6 hardwired computers on the main deck along with a printer should you happen to need one. In summation, we expected great - and got an 'over the top' experience. Viking deserves the accolades it receives from the various travel organizations. Would we spend this much again for a cruise? If it is with Viking, the answer is yes! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
The Viking cruise was choses last minute as a winter get away (we live in FL) We had a very relaxing time on the Viking Sea. The ship was First Class with exceptional service. Ship is designed for relaxing, offering several spots ... Read More
The Viking cruise was choses last minute as a winter get away (we live in FL) We had a very relaxing time on the Viking Sea. The ship was First Class with exceptional service. Ship is designed for relaxing, offering several spots to read and enjoy the fabulous views. Staterooms were well equipped offering a very large Bathroom with an amazing shower. The Port excursions were all incl. and we took advantage of several tours which we would normally not do due to the high price of each. Ship offers several dinning venues and the staff was very accommodating. We were able to eat at the specialty restaurants several evenings. If you are looking for a Party ship this is not for you. We have completed over 18 cruises and this was one of the first that I truly relaxed on. If you are looking for a beautiful ship with excellent service this is for you! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
we initially booked when we were docking in multiple ports and Havana so were disappointed with the Cienfuegos docking only for cuba. We weren't able to tender in key west due to rough seas but had been there multiple times as we live ... Read More
we initially booked when we were docking in multiple ports and Havana so were disappointed with the Cienfuegos docking only for cuba. We weren't able to tender in key west due to rough seas but had been there multiple times as we live in the Miami area so that gave us an extra sea day pretty rough. The problem is that Viking doesn't offer much for sea days as far as activities and entertainment. When we finally did dock in Cienfuegos we had excursions to Trinidad and overnight Havana. The poverty in the rural areas is pretty much like may 3rd world countries. Trinidad had some interesting architecture the lunch was ok but it was very dirty. And they were selling a lot of not very interesting art. We stopped at the mill and had some aggressive vendors forcing birds to stand on you ! One guy grabbed my baseball cap off my head to put on palm leaves I grabbed it back! The overnight Cuba was amazing, although a bit of a hassle with the overnight bag and four hour bus ride each way. The old Havana area was amazing the food was amazing and the classic cars and Tropicana show were all amazing ! The hotel was dated but had a beautiful beachfront location. I wish they had planned it out better and more time in Havana! The people were warm and interesting and welcoming of Americans! Once back on the boat we opened our champagne in the minibar for our cuba sail away. Again was amazing! The boat is breathtakingly beautiful and clean. Service was hit or miss, food was ok in Chefs table and Excellent in the main dining restaurant and Manfredi's Italian. We opted for the silver spirits package once onboard and enjoyed top shelf single malts and grey goose included! The crowd on board were older with a mix of some 40-50's looking to visit cuba. Everyone was well travelled and great in conversation especially after a few scotches! The explorer bar was my favorite and they made the best drinks! The whole boat was very cozy and never felt crowded. The shows were cute if not cheesy and the performers all mingled with the travelers which was awesome! We had a penthouse veranda cabin which was well laid out and nice shower bathroom with warming floor! Spa was nice and new have to check out the ice room! The immigration process in and out of cuba was very easy although we did buy some art in Havana and had to show immigration the receipt or we would have had to pay a 10 CUC tax on leaving the customs area so have some cash when leaving if u have art! the cuc to dollar is essentially a 1 to 1 so not too confusing some vendors even took dollars but u should exchange some CUC when u arrive at the port. So overall a great trip with some minor kinks that Viking hopefully will work out. A great way to see cuba ! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Have done Viking River and decided to do an Ocean voyage. We liked the itinerary to several islands in the eastern Caribbean. We fly on a red eye to San Juan. Transfers went smoothly. Once on board we were impressed by the clean lines ... Read More
Have done Viking River and decided to do an Ocean voyage. We liked the itinerary to several islands in the eastern Caribbean. We fly on a red eye to San Juan. Transfers went smoothly. Once on board we were impressed by the clean lines and décor of the ship. We stayed in a V1 balcony-we figured that with a port intensive cruise we wouldn't be in our room a lot. The room was plenty spacious and the bath was nice. Because of the hurricanes several passengers had cancelled so the ship was not crowded at all. We also were given $250 ship board credit due to changes in schedule and perhaps to encourage people not to cancel. Having been on several other cruise lines we were very happy with-no photographers, no casino, no art auctions etc. The ship was beautiful and the staff was very friendly. We enjoyed the food and managed to go to Chefs Table and the specialty restaurant also. The excursions were nice overviews and included. We only did one optional excursion in St Kitz. for a walk in the rain forest. I think the highlight of our cruise was midway when returning from an excursion we were greeted with champagne and ~1/3 of the crew out cheering and dancing to the music from the band on the ship. They were high-fiving all of us. Just a nice touch showing their appreciation. Also ever day we left on an excursion at least 1-2 officers were there to wish us well. We enjoyed the entertainment even though it was a small company. We thought they were talented and enjoyed the shows. They weren't big productions but that was fine for us. Overall we really enjoyed the cruise and the ship. We will most likely travel again on Viking Ocean for the smalller size and service. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Ship is GORGEOUS! We were in Explorer Suite 5000 at the very bow of the ship and it was perfect. A small bit of trouble with the AC in the living room, but that is the only complaint. The gentlemen taking care of us were great. Free ... Read More
Ship is GORGEOUS! We were in Explorer Suite 5000 at the very bow of the ship and it was perfect. A small bit of trouble with the AC in the living room, but that is the only complaint. The gentlemen taking care of us were great. Free laundry and pressing a super feature. The staff service was wonderful and very personal, especially the Guest Services manager. Food in the specialty restaurants was wonderful and we were able to go there whenever we wished; main restaurant was about normal for a good ship....nothing special. Included wine in every restaurant was quite good. Guest lecturers were excellent and added much to the port stops. Entertainment was surprisingly good for a ship this size. Decor everywhere was extremely tasteful with subtle touches everywhere....nothing gaudy. Had to cancel one port because of weather, but you always take that chance when cruising. Included excursions were average at best, but the fairly expensive optional excursions were great. I needed a small mobility scooter for excursions and they were most helpful to me. Going one day to Omaha Beach in Normandy in pouring rain, wind and cold (just like it was on D Day), to Giverny and Monet's gardens the next day in the sun was an unbelievable contrast .... one I'll never forget. We have cruised mostly Oceania, Regent and Silversea until now, liking Oceania the best. I can honestly say that Viking Ocean is right up there with Oceania, though quite different. They do need to get the shore staff up to par. They made tons of mistakes ....everyone agreed. But once on board all was great. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze. They even let us keep all our luggage with us, then sent someone to get it and us at 9:00 and straight to a cab they had arranged. The whole experience is VERY Scandinavian. We will definitely be back. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We booked this Cruise almost one year ago and it seemed to be forever before our sail date, but we are on the ship now. I have cruised before but my Husband has not. This is his first cruise. The ships I have been on in the past are ... Read More
We booked this Cruise almost one year ago and it seemed to be forever before our sail date, but we are on the ship now. I have cruised before but my Husband has not. This is his first cruise. The ships I have been on in the past are the 3500 guest Carnival and the like. Did I enjoy them? Not really and had long ago decided not to cruise again. Then Viking Ocean popped up. 900 some odd guests. Could this be better? We did a lot of research - a lot. We read reviews, watched videos and talked and talked. Finally we decided to pull the trigger and book. Other LARGE ships tend - in my opinion - to have overdone the decor to a point of garish mashup of colour and glitz. Not impressed. VIKING OCEAN - SKY - is what I would call "quiet elegance" and you can immediately see that there is no expense spared to quality and every element of the decor is calm and tasteful. The wood and furniture and the upholstery and the art are exceptional. They have produced such an elegant decor that you just feel comfortable. You never turn a corner and see a Las Vegas looking room and there are no casinos or nightclubs like the big ships. This is truly a ship where you feel calm, relaxed, and feel like you are staying where quality is number one in design. I am pleasantly surprised because I had doubts on a smaller ship whether my Husband and I would feel at home because we are a married Gay male couple from Canada. There has been no issue and I would recommend Viking to other Gay couples. Viking Ocean is not for a "party party" kind of vacation. Yes, the average age on board is probably about 60, but there are enough younger folks that you don't feel out of place if you are in your 40s or younger. We have met now many people that are of various ages and all is great. The Crew are exceptional. I am going to give shout outs here to some. Forgive me because these are the ones that we have had repeated interactions with but every Crew member is exceptional. Crew Shoutouts: JoJo - Guest Services Manager John - Server in The World Cafe Darko - Server in The Chef's Table and The World Cafe Giselle - Server in The Restaurant Vicky - Server in The Restaurant Romney - Server in The Explorer Lounge Rizalina - Server in The Wold Cafe Willy - Our exceptional Stateroom Steward (and his team) Jesper - Therapist in the Spa In general the staff are exceptional. They go out of their way to greet you and make you feel at home. No request is too big or too small. The staff above have in a couple of days learned our Stateroom number by heart - know our names and welcome us using our names - know that we like to start our meal with Sparkling wine and then move to red or white... This is quite refreshing when the world we live in today is not concerned with the customer experience - Viking have done an exceptional job providing an experience that you will remember and recommend. The food - excellent. We have eaten in all but Manfredi's so far and the food is outstanding in all venues. We have our reservation tomorrow in Manfredi's and I am certain that we will be impressed there too. We opted for all the included excursions and we have had our expectations exceeded with each one so far. The guides are knowledgable and very enjoyable to spend a morning or afternoon with. The Spa is my favourite place to visit after each day's excursion. We do the "Nordic thing" and hop from steam to snow grotto or the sauna to the cold dipping pool... Just refreshes you before dinner. The Nordic Spa experience is exceptional and so well appointed. Again, they have thought of everything. There is so much more that I can tell you but then I would be writing for pages! We WILL be sailing on Viking again in the future and most probably many times! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We enjoyed our impeccably clean modern cabins which were tastefully furnished and very comfortable. The bed was excellent. The ship offers a tremendous amount of enjoyable space throughout, a place for every mood, time of day, desire for ... Read More
We enjoyed our impeccably clean modern cabins which were tastefully furnished and very comfortable. The bed was excellent. The ship offers a tremendous amount of enjoyable space throughout, a place for every mood, time of day, desire for privacy or company. The food was excellent in all dining facillities, consistently fresh and of high quality. The Italian restaurant really stands out! Viking staff was very friendly, helpful and always capable. We much enjoyed being mostly in rather casual attire on a ship which offers room for every taste and fashion. On this trip we visited (or sampled) many countries from Norway to Athens, Greece. All excursions were well organized, enjoyable and informative. We probably 'overbooked' on this first cruise and will take it a little easier next time. Our airport pickup and dropoff was flawless. Viking was a really great overall experience. Our next Viking cruise in the West Indies is already booked. Go if you can! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Viking Ocean is by far the best ocean cruise line we have taken. We have cruised with NCL, Princess and Celebrity and the level of service provided by Viking is a cut above the rest. First of all, we like their itineraries. We took the ... Read More
Viking Ocean is by far the best ocean cruise line we have taken. We have cruised with NCL, Princess and Celebrity and the level of service provided by Viking is a cut above the rest. First of all, we like their itineraries. We took the “Empires of the Mediterranean” tour from Istanbul to Venice and went to some fascinating venues including Santorini and Dubrovnik. Since there had been recent terrorist attacks in Istanbul for safety reasons, Viking Ocean cut short that visit and substituted Troy instead. Luckily, we had a pre-cruise booked for Istanbul and we did find Troy interesting. Viking Ocean appeals to us because it does not have the Las Vegas strip look of other larger liners. Passengers on our ship the Viking Sea, numbered around 600 because of people cancelling due to fear about terrorism in Istanbul, but the ship only has a capacity of around 940 passengers. Amenities such as elevator service equals that of larger ships. The stateroom we had was DV5 level and had 270 square feet plus a verandah. It was quite roomy and elegant. In fact, elegance of understated Scandinavian style would describe the Viking Sea. Everywhere there are little surprise nooks to sit in and read and art pieces to admire. The tone of superior service was set upon our arrival when we were greeted with champagne and the strains of music played by a classical trio. Our favourite hang out was the 2 level Explorer's Lounge with 180 degree views of the ocean. Viking Ocean is considered more expensive than other cruise lines, however I like the fact that all the costs except gratuities are pre-paid and you are not nickeled and dimed to death like on other ships. There are no continuous merchandise sales or photography sales pushed upon you. Amenities such as Internet, wine and beer with meals, and two hour free excursions are included in the price of the fare so there are no surprises when you get your bill. As we are not big drinkers we found that the wine veritably flowed! The food is excellent. The World Café serves buffet style and it included an ice cream and gelato bar, and a latte machine at no additional charge. Other lines charge for these items. Above all the regular coffee is very good. With other cruise lines the coffee was so awful I had to get a specialty coffee card. At night this buffet served excellent sushi, crab legs and other seafood. There is an outside grill plus wonderful specialty restaurants such as Manfredi's which serves Italian fare and the Captain's Table where you can do food sampling and wine pairings. They have a more traditional restaurant plus a buffet or grill when the specialty restaurants get booked. You are allowed 2 bookings of each specialty restaurant and unlike other cruise lines you are not charged extra for these. Another surprise was Mamsen's where you could pop in for a heart-shaped waffle for breakfast. Also, there was the Wintergarden where everyday they served tea time pastries, sandwiches and scones to the strains of the classical trio. Most of the time we took the more lengthy paid excursions instead of the 2 hour free ones however the level of the free ones that we took were good. There were fascinating enrichment lectures on naval warfare, art and music aboard ship. We attended sessions on naval battles that fit with the territory we passed including Gallipoli. These warfare talks were given by a Rear Admiral of the British Navy. The entertainment was with one exception of an outside singer, provided by the ship's singers and dancers. They were a small but a mighty talented troupe. We thoroughly enjoyed their performances particularly the way troupe members mingled jovially with passengers, Loads of fun! We especially enjoyed the trio of male singers who put on a tribute to the "Rat Pack" in the Torshaven Lounge. The house band was terrific too! Since this was the maiden voyage of the Viking Sea there was a glitch with our air conditioning that was resolved to our satisfaction. The gym is small and there are no classes but enough equipment to get the job done. We loved this voyage so much that we have booked another Viking Ocean trip called "Barcelona, the Baltic and Beyond" for 2017! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Sailing on the Viking Star was like being on a 5* floating hotel. We knew it was a relatively new ship but it seemed most of the kinks had been worked out. There is ample space and we never felt crowded.The restaurants from the Buffet Bar ... Read More
Sailing on the Viking Star was like being on a 5* floating hotel. We knew it was a relatively new ship but it seemed most of the kinks had been worked out. There is ample space and we never felt crowded.The restaurants from the Buffet Bar to the Restaurant to the Pool Bar to the Chef's Table and finally the experience at the Kitchen Table were extraordinary-the service was impeccable and the food just wonderful. Every attempt was made to meet any special needs. We grew quite fond of our servers and they felt like family. Our only disappointment was the included excursion in Athens. Would have opted for an extra excursion. Otherwise the way the folk were moved about on buses was seemless-no waiting. I would suggest if some folk are not back on the bus at the designated time, the bus should leave. Adults need to be responsible. We were very pleased with our stateroom, much larger than the river cruise line and a very nice sized bathroom. Services at the spa more than met our expectations-and the facilities were beautiful. Entertainment and the speakers were unique and quite a surprise. About the only thing I would improve upon was the variety of on-board shopping-very sparce. This was our 5th Viking Cruise and I look forward to the next one! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We have been on several Viking river cruises and were excited to try the new ocean cruises. The ship was positively marvelous. We have been on other cruise lines, and we know that we like smaller ships, which offer better and quicker ... Read More
We have been on several Viking river cruises and were excited to try the new ocean cruises. The ship was positively marvelous. We have been on other cruise lines, and we know that we like smaller ships, which offer better and quicker access to most ports without excessive tendering and long waits to disembark. The new Viking Star met all of our expectations and then some. The rooms are spacious and offer balconies, for which some cruise lines charge a premium. The ship is gorgeous and has all of the amenities we expected. Staff were courteous, friendly, and responsive to all of our requests. The restaurants were superb with a wide variety of options and suitable for all tastes. The ports of call on our Barcelona to Venice trip were all noteworthy and provided a good overview of each area. Highlights for us were Monte Carlo, Tuscany, Rome, Croatia and Venice. The negatives of this trip involve the excursions. The process that Viking uses is not pleasant. The reservation system pretty much sucks. Those who pay more for cabins get first pick with the result that many excursions are no longer available to plebeians. Rather than arrange more buses or tour guides, Viking puts you on poorly managed excursions. Our worst experience was the Barcelona panoramic tour in which we essentially rode our bus in circles through dense traffic for hours. We tried to change our previously reserved excursions on a few other occasions, but Viking could not manage it. The other negative would be wait staff at some of the restaurant venues. Frequently the staff was not attentive and needed extensive prodding to deliver. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
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