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125 Viking Ocean Istanbul Cruise Reviews

It is the little things That set voyages and companies apart. Viking is good at many, but not all. On the plus side are things like the heated bathroom floor ( but ours was cold for 3 days before they could fix it). The free spa area is ... Read More
It is the little things That set voyages and companies apart. Viking is good at many, but not all. On the plus side are things like the heated bathroom floor ( but ours was cold for 3 days before they could fix it). The free spa area is terrific, but the men's sauna was down the entire trip. We made an error and charged an item to the wrong credit card on board. When we asked them to transfer the charge, they said the accounts were closed and they couldn't do it. But we were on board for almost 12 hours after that. Personnel are well trained and friendly and work very hard to please. When things are going well, it is perfect. When things happen beyond the control of the CAptain ( in this case a change of the location of disembarkation) information was clearly passed to the passengers that was wrong from the git go but was " feel good" in nature. To be told docking would be at 14:30 when reality was 1:00 is not a realistic call. During the delay,no one could have done a better job. This is not meant to be a negative revue!! There are many many positives that others have commented upon. It is just that this is my second Viking Ocean experience and, in each case, it was the little things that weren't quite perfect. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This cruise really spoiled us! Other cruise lines just don't measure up. We especially enjoyed the all-inclusiveness: a high quality free excursion at each port, complimentary wine and beer during meal times, no cost speciality ... Read More
This cruise really spoiled us! Other cruise lines just don't measure up. We especially enjoyed the all-inclusiveness: a high quality free excursion at each port, complimentary wine and beer during meal times, no cost speciality restaurants, free internet - even free self-service laundry, complete with detergent. If you're willing to go off-season as we did, you can also get free airfare. All cabins have balconies, which we enjoyed very much. The cabins were spacious and beautifully furnished. We especially appreciated having a real King bed rather than the arrangement of two twins pushed together. The commons areas, especially the lounges, were stunning. The Explorer's Lounge was one of our favorite spots on the ship. The menu featured a lot of options and the food was superb. Service throughout the ship was excellent. This cruise was just about perfect, until the very end. We were not able to dock in Venice due to fog (not their fault), so we had to be bussed. They just dropped us off at the cruise port without any guidance or assistance whatsoever (definitely their fault.) If you want Las Vegas-style entertainment and casinos, this is not the cruise for you. If, however, you prefer an itinerary rich experience, you will love this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Size and best price for a luxury cruise. The staff went above and beyond to make sure we were having a great time. Although we have done several cruises in the past, including a transatlantic cruise, this was our first cruise on a small ... Read More
Size and best price for a luxury cruise. The staff went above and beyond to make sure we were having a great time. Although we have done several cruises in the past, including a transatlantic cruise, this was our first cruise on a small luxury class ship. We could not have been more pleased. We were not surprised to learn that Viking has received the best in class rating for 2016. They have done their homework and it showed. The entertainment and activities were about what we expected on a ship of this caliber and the service was excellent. The staff could not have been more friendly or accommodating. The meals were excellent and the speciality restaurants were just that, special. The only thing that might be considered a complaint is that we wish on this trip the ship would have entered some of our destinations during daylight hours so we would have had a chance to view some of them. We have already booked our second cruise with Viking for this December and they will undoubtedly become our small luxury cruise line of choice. We will tell anyone who is interested in this type of cruise, to look into Viking first. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
traveled as a single with another couple. The food was great, the tours were great, the size of the ship was great. The crew was friendly and efficient, My only issue was that as a single person who had paid double I had hoped to find ... Read More
traveled as a single with another couple. The food was great, the tours were great, the size of the ship was great. The crew was friendly and efficient, My only issue was that as a single person who had paid double I had hoped to find other single on the cruise but did not,as a result iI did feel awkward and I am sure that it did flavour my enjoyment of the trip. The included airfare was very difficult to manage as a single, I was initially booked with my friends on both flights to and from Europe but 2 weeks before the flight was to have left Vanguards airfare department put on different flights, we had to cancel those flights at a group rate and replace them with higher priced tickets in order to travel together. I supposed that had I been a seasoned traveler I might have decided to take a different trip. all in all it is a nice trip for a couple but not that comfortable for someone traveling solo, at least not for me as a widower. The educational presentations and tours I would recommend. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
My husband loves cruises, but it has never been my favorite form of travel. Viking ocean cruises have changed my opinion and I am looking forward to another Viking Ocean cruise. He, too, found this to be an excellent form of cruising so ... Read More
My husband loves cruises, but it has never been my favorite form of travel. Viking ocean cruises have changed my opinion and I am looking forward to another Viking Ocean cruise. He, too, found this to be an excellent form of cruising so we are now happily in agreement for future travel. The ship is brand new and designed beautifully for those who want nooks and crannies to quietly enjoy solitude, or gregarious meeting spaces for times that you wish to enjoy the company of others. The itinerary and many on-board experiences are wonderful for thinking people. So much art, culture, history are available during shore excursions, enrichment lectures on-board, TED talks, talented musicians and entertainment. This cruise also had a fascinating Munch exhibit. The spa is beautiful and free (massages & facials extra charge.) The entertainment was not cheesy, but excellent quality. Our veranda cabin was comfortable, spacious enough for 2, and well appointed. To be arriving in ports early morning while watching from your veranda is a gorgeous way to start the day! This was especially true of our arrival in Naples. The dining was better than expected. Dining room and cafe (buffet) were both excellent. The 2 specialty restaurants (no extra charge) were delightful changes of pace. I liked that there were no casinos or shopping malls onboard. There are a couple boutiques, but not overwhelming. Swimming pools & hot tubs were very good. Best of all were all the helpful, friendly crew members, the efficient embarkation and disembarkation processes. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Met all our expectations. Our Israel excursion to Jerusalem was great. This was our first Viking Ocean Cruise. While on board we booked our first Viking River Cruise. The rooms were great, loved the heated floors in bathroom. The ... Read More
Met all our expectations. Our Israel excursion to Jerusalem was great. This was our first Viking Ocean Cruise. While on board we booked our first Viking River Cruise. The rooms were great, loved the heated floors in bathroom. The entertainment was fantastic. The cruise director was always very informative and boy could he sing. The food was great and we choose to dine with different people each night and enjoyed meeting people from all over the world. We made some good friends. All the included excursions were so good. We also took a great add'l excursion to Pompeii. After our cruise we booked an addl 4 days in the Tuscany area. We stayed in a 14th century villa overlooking a breath taking view of the area. We went to Firenze, Siena and San Gimignano. What beautiful cities with so much history. We had very knowledgeable guides who did a great job in informing us. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose this cruise because we would see many different countries, including Israel and Italy. We began in Athens, Greece and did our own little tour in the afternoon the first day because we overslept in the morning and missed the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we would see many different countries, including Israel and Italy. We began in Athens, Greece and did our own little tour in the afternoon the first day because we overslept in the morning and missed the morning tour. We were not all that impressed with what we saw of Athens, so that was OK that we just had an afternoon to view the Acropolis. Embarkation was easy and the staff was great in getting our luggage to our room. Our two room "hosts" did a FANTASTIC job of keeping our room clean and well stocked with supplies. We were very happy with how clean the WHOLE ship was - and sanitizer stations were everywhere. I can't emphasize enough about how clean the ship was. We did two side excursions into Israel - one was a day trip into TelAviv and the other one was a 2-day fast-and-furious trip to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the Dead Sea, Jordan River and sights in between. We were disappointed in the spot of the Dead Sea where we were taken as the whole place was filthy, lots of people were there (even though it wasn't high tourist season), and it was just gross. We know other folks were taken to a different spot and it was a lot nicer there. So we were very disappointed in that. We were also disappointed that we didn't get to do any shopping in Bethlehem - other than ONE shop - at the end of the day. We felt we got "took" by our guide as this was the only place he would let us go to and there were many opportunities to shop as we were walking along in the city - but that wasn't allowed. We were also very disappointed in the Hotel that we stayed at in Jerusalem - that just was not up to Viking standards. It was old and run down. The restaurants, spa area, swimming pools, high tea and everything else offered on the ship was great. They did a great job of informing us the night before as to what we would be touring the next day and the itinerary. Instead of ear pieces that slip over the ears (which can be painful), I would like to see them have an option to use ear buds instead. This is the second cruise we've taken with Viking and we have never been disappointed with the staff, cleanliness, or the ship itself. We've been on other cruises, and they just don't compare. We did not travel with children. We would definitely take a Viking cruise again, but probably ask for more specifics about Israel ahead of time if we were going there again. Viking has it all figured out as to embarkation or disembarkation - it runs smooth like a well-oiled machine. There is no mass confusion. Both experiences in that way are awesome. We stayed in Rome for a few days and had a great time. We would like to go back to Rome again someday and maybe spend a week there. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
All cabins have balconies and the shower was one of the biggest we have seen on a ship. Main reason we took this cruise was for the 3 days in Israel. Stayed longer in most ports than other ships do - gave us time to explore on our own ... Read More
All cabins have balconies and the shower was one of the biggest we have seen on a ship. Main reason we took this cruise was for the 3 days in Israel. Stayed longer in most ports than other ships do - gave us time to explore on our own after going on ship excursion. Many of the free excursions are just overview of the location. Chef's Table specialty restaurant rotates the menu every three days - we went on Asian night and the food was excellent. At the buffet at lunch and dinner, they will grill some items (tiger prawns, chicken breast) for you. Our room steward was excellent. Breakfast menu in the Restaurant offers some unique items like "breakfast lamb chops" as well as the usual food items. Fitness area was smaller than other ships, but never crowded - also opened at 6am. Great entertainment. Many quiet places to relax. Free wifi was faster than most other ships we have been on. Several different lecturers gave about 12 lectures on varying topics. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose this cruise for a number of reasons. The price was right and the cruise included ports of interest to my wife and myself. We both like cruises and the amenities that were described about the cruise was different that other cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a number of reasons. The price was right and the cruise included ports of interest to my wife and myself. We both like cruises and the amenities that were described about the cruise was different that other cruise lines. When we arrived we were greeted as friends and not like a customer. The ports we visited were great and the excursions were well organized and interesting. Evening entertainment was very good. For us dining was best in the buffet line. We did do the Restaurant and the specialty restaurants, but we liked the buffet best, because it was quicker. Service for the cabin was excellent. Most days the cabin steward greeted us when we left in the morning and again when we returned from the days activities. The cruise is designed for adults. I would not recommend taking any children on the cruise. All the entertainment and activities are geared towards adults. There is no casino on board - a plus in our opinion. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This is our second Viking cruise. My wife and I had suite 7000 (Penhouse junior) about 400 square feet of space. Our first Viking cruise was China (16 days or so). The ambience throughout Viking Sea our ship provided joy, peace and ... Read More
This is our second Viking cruise. My wife and I had suite 7000 (Penhouse junior) about 400 square feet of space. Our first Viking cruise was China (16 days or so). The ambience throughout Viking Sea our ship provided joy, peace and tranquility. Nighttime entertainment was very enjoyable. Lectures by experts provided good insights and new knowledge. Fellow passengers were kind and easy to get along. Food choices range from sushi to steaks. Seafood choices were abundant. Restaurant service was excellent. Reserving special dinner was easy. Cabin attendants were quick and courteous. All the appliances and bathroom facilities worked. Ports and shore excursions were organized and not hurried. We visited Athens (3 days, visited Parthenon, Museums, a Greek dinner with dancing, Mycenae and old Roman ruins), Rhodes and its wonderful views and grand palaces, Lindos with breathtaking views on top of its medieval castles, Mykonos with its windmills and beautiful coastlines, Cyprus, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Masada, resort at the Dead Sea, Naples, Pompei and Rome among others. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I have been on dozens of cruises and this was the most beautiful ship that I've been on. The food was very good and the service was too. Embarkation and debarkation are run very smoothly. The ship's common areas are so classy. ... Read More
I have been on dozens of cruises and this was the most beautiful ship that I've been on. The food was very good and the service was too. Embarkation and debarkation are run very smoothly. The ship's common areas are so classy. The pools and spa were very nice. Our room was decorated very tastefully. Our bathroom was beyond expectations. It was huge. I enjoyed the tub with the tv in it. We were on the front of the ship and it did get a little rough while sailing. I wish that our balcony went all the way around. There was an area that was closed off to us. Although. It didn't show that in the pictures. The cruise was very expensive, but I like that everything is included. I traveled with my friend and no kids. We have been on Viking before and will hopefully go again very soon. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Liked it so much we signed up for next year -- same ship, same cabin, different destination. Luxurious cabin, excellent food and service. In fact, we became fast friends with our dining room servers who looked out for us each night. The ... Read More
Liked it so much we signed up for next year -- same ship, same cabin, different destination. Luxurious cabin, excellent food and service. In fact, we became fast friends with our dining room servers who looked out for us each night. The ship was new and spotless. Breakfast room service every morning. Shore excursions just about perfect, especially the guides and transportation. We selected from a wide array of excursions and found them easy to handle -- generally returning to ship by midway for a leisurely lunch and shipboard activities. Lots of information was provided, and we especially liked the portable ear phones for hearing the guides even at a distance. The process of boarding and departing was handled seamlessly. We have never been more comfortable on a ship. My wife loved the spa. One tip: We used the big pool at the start of the dinner hour when we had it all to ourselves. One minor complaint: The club band seemed to play only contemporary dance music. How about some oldies -- even swing -- for us old timers? Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
My husband and I took the Grand European River Cruise in May 2014 and loved it. When Viking announced they would be offering ocean cruises we knew we would book one soon! We explored Venice on our own before disembarkation. It was very ... Read More
My husband and I took the Grand European River Cruise in May 2014 and loved it. When Viking announced they would be offering ocean cruises we knew we would book one soon! We explored Venice on our own before disembarkation. It was very simple to access the ship via water taxi from the Hotel Metropole steps from St. Mark's Square. The cabin was spacey and always meticulous cleaned. Our stewards were attentive and accommodated our every request. Dining was superb. The choice of specialty restaurants was very impressive. Viking was able to accommodate our restaurant reservations and even able to adjust a reservation when we met another couple we wanted to dine with. Every evening there was live entertainment on board. The variety was excellent and there was ample seating. The entertainers also interacted with passengers when they were not on stage. I can't say enough about the service. We felt like we were the only passengers aboard the way we were treated. Excellent, excellent, excellent servers. Personable, knowledgeable, educated and very helpful with advice on different ports! Everything is organized and there is no confusion about shore excursions, departure times, return times, meeting places and guides. Guides were knowledgeable and English was never an issue. We did not travel with children and we will be taking more Viking Tours in the future. I recently was on a trip to South Africa and met a number of people who have taken Viking Tours with similar reviews and people who I will be referring to Viking through the referral program!!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Viking does a great job. Everything was well organized and the excursions were executed flawlessly. As first-time cruisers, we were most impressed with the outstanding food served on board. The buffets were terrific! We almost hated to ... Read More
Viking does a great job. Everything was well organized and the excursions were executed flawlessly. As first-time cruisers, we were most impressed with the outstanding food served on board. The buffets were terrific! We almost hated to miss a meal on board because of their quality and variety of choices. The smaller size of the Viking Sea, with only about 920 passengers and no small children, created a nice relaxing atmosphere for a predominantly older crowd. Our only disappointment was the excursion on Santorini. With 4 cruise ships in port, the roads were jammed and the tourist area was extremely crowded. The local tour guide was not really able to keep us engaged during the long ride to the drop-off point. Other than that, all of the other shore excursions and tour guides were delightful. We will be trying a Viking river cruise for comparison, and will definitely book another ocean cruise with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose Viking because of all the recent awards and reviews as best cruise ship. The ship did not disappoint! Probably the most impressive feature on this beauty is the SPA. Its crazy nice. A perfect place to start or end the ... Read More
We chose Viking because of all the recent awards and reviews as best cruise ship. The ship did not disappoint! Probably the most impressive feature on this beauty is the SPA. Its crazy nice. A perfect place to start or end the day. My husband and I used it everyday for about an hour or two. The next best fabulous feature is the heated bathroom floors in your cabin. They feel just wonderful on your feet. The staterooms are as nice as any first class hotel and stocked with all kinds of little goodies. We really thought the food was exceptional, comparable to any Top rated restaurant in any Big City. The Service was outstanding in all the restaurants and decks but We must make special mention in particular to the Manager at Manfredi's. He always managed to get us a table with a smile. The entertainment was very enjoyable. There were several good shows but i think our favorite was held outside with dancing on deck. so much fun! The destinations speak for themselves and we will forever keep the memories close in our heart. The only problem we had was on the last night when Viking used our $400 onboard ship credit and subtracted the gratuities from it. Because Viking did that we could not spend the remaining of our OnBoard Ship Credit on the ship. When we got home they also charged our credit card for the gratuities. We called Viking to dispute the charges on our credit card and they would not credit our charge card. This could be a deal breaker for future travel with Viking for us. Its very unfortunate because we love to travel. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Having previously cruised on Viking River, I knew roughly what to expect. We were blown away not only with the amenities on the ship, but the quality of food and the professionalism of the staff. Let me start with the crew. What ... Read More
Having previously cruised on Viking River, I knew roughly what to expect. We were blown away not only with the amenities on the ship, but the quality of food and the professionalism of the staff. Let me start with the crew. What makes a good cruise an excellent cruise is the quality of the staff. These guys & gals were brilliant .... Always happy and smiling, many greet you by your name and no request is too great. 10 out of 10 here. Embarkation/Disembarkation was a breeze. Just swipe your Viking Card and you're away. We were in a DV Cabin on the 5th level. The kingside bed was very very comfortable and the linen 1st class. We had enough room to move around freely .... And hanging space was adequate for a couple with suitcases being able to be placed under the bed. The bathroom was superb with top notch accessories.... And the heated floor was a real bonus. The only minor issue was that sometimes the shower head had a mind of its own! The laundry comprised of 3 washers (dispensing their own washing powder) & dryers and 2 irons/ironing boards and usage is available free of charge. This was a great inclusion. We used them 3 times and didn't have to wait. Generally we used at 0630 or 2100 .... Not sure what it was like during the day. We tried all the restaurants. Preference for breakfast was the World Cafe but we did try room service on one occasion. Oodles of choices. Although the majority of passengers ate indoors, we preferred the Aquavit Terrace. Lunch was either at the Pool Grill, Mamsens or the World Cafe. We preferred to have waiter service for dinner. Tried The Restaurant (5 times), Manfredis (3) & Chefs Table (1). All meals were excellent, helped of course by the friendliness of the staff. The Chefs Table is a set menu and may not suit all tastes. The wines supplied for lunch & dinner were fine (and did not stop at 1 glass!) Fortunately the menu for the day at each venue can be viewed on the TV in your room, so you will know in advance. The split pea soup at Mamsens was really yummy as well (only available between 10pm & midnight). Give it a try. One thing that was noticeable, or perhaps not noticeable was the passengers on board. Very rarely did the ship ever seem crowded. This ship is an excellent design with lots of nooks and crannies to sneak yourself away should you wish to do so. The age group was primarily 55+, but there were a number in their 40s. We attended 5 of the live shows and thoroughly recommend the Abba show (main theatre & our favourite!), Rat Pack Revisited (Torshavn Lounge) & The Beatles revival out by the Man Pool. These are not huge productions that you'd see on other cruise lines, so don't expect any over-the-top musicals etc ... Just appreciate how professional this troupe is. We felt the water in the main pool wasn't cold enough for our liking although this venue was most popular. We preferred the Infinity Pool at the stern. Make sure you visit the Spa room .... Brilliant. We both used the Spa, Steam Room & Snow Room. (I also did the cold bucket thing!) Included excursions were a bit hit and miss. We believe it comes down to the quality of the guide. Some were brilliant, others not so. Also remember that because of the age group of the greater number of passengers, guided tours could take a little longer. In the smaller ports such as Kotor ( ....and by the way, make sure you're on deck by 7am for the sail in .... Magnificent!), Zadar & Koper, the walking tours may only be 90 mins + free time so this may not satisfy some. For these 3 ports we used outside companies (private tours) to visit other areas around these towns. Finally, not having a casino or children (and photographers for that matter on board, helped make this a most memorable cruise. Yes, you pay a little more, but for us it was well worth it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This cruise was chosen based on the itinerary as was well as our previous experiences on Viking River cruises and the Viking Star. Booked our own air and arrived one day early in spite of missing our connection in Paris. After a beautiful ... Read More
This cruise was chosen based on the itinerary as was well as our previous experiences on Viking River cruises and the Viking Star. Booked our own air and arrived one day early in spite of missing our connection in Paris. After a beautiful evening at a rooftop restaurant in Rome, we took a cab to the port around noon. No line at to check in. Went straight to the buffet for lunch and enjoyed the views until they announced cabins ready around 1PM - an hour earlier than originally promised. These new ships are very technologically forward-looking in all respects, although there are still quite a number of opportunities for additions and enhancements in that area. Our cabin was very nice, as expected based on Star experience, with a few upgrades (more USB ports, for example) having been added. Bed was very comfortable. Stateroom steward was flawless and fulfilled every request promptly. Food and service in the main dining room was considerably better than on other lines we have recently sailed. Never had to wait for a table and always had our choice of table for two or group seating. Did not use the specialty restaurants on this trip, but were well pleased with those on the Star. Entrainment was very good and upscale; fewer activities than you would expect on larger ships. Also, unlike most larger ships, Viking did not stagger that breakfast/lunch changeover in the buffet, leaving periods of an hour our two when nothing was available there. See notes about excursion timing below. Service was excellent, with the small exception of minor glitches related to shore excursion planning and execution. Viking is still learning how to scale up their shore excursions procedures from the river fleet, I suppose. The ports selected and the included excursions were very interesting and educational. Some pretty crowded, given the number of ships in port during the summer. The two optional tours we booked were exceptional and very much worth the minimal extra cost. Unlike the river ships, Viking offers multiple departures for the included excursions, from early morning until after lunch. This, however, created some additional problems, because the buffet was already closed if you returned after lunch, leaving you with only the pool grill and sometimes not even that. Overall, an excellent experience; but then, we have never been on a "bad" cruise! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We have had many opportunities to sail with Viking on their river cruises where we daily experienced their professionalism of putting the passenger first in comfortable accommodations, over the top meals, cultural entertainment, enjoyable ... Read More
We have had many opportunities to sail with Viking on their river cruises where we daily experienced their professionalism of putting the passenger first in comfortable accommodations, over the top meals, cultural entertainment, enjoyable fact learning tours, etc. We then decided we wanted to try their new ocean cruise ships, so we chose the Empires of the Mediterranian cruise. Prepare to be 'blown away'...Viking did NOT disappoint. The ship itself is a work of art. Even with 900 guests, we never ever felt a crowded feeling in any area or venue. We started our day early with an hour fast walk around the top deck...what beautiful views and the experience of coming into port. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all culinary experiences. Every staff member was professional, friendly and courteous every day....we were pampered. The small group excursions each day were well planned and all led by very knowledgeable guides. Viking provided many opportunities to experience a variety of tours in each port. I really liked the staff greeting us with drinks, when we returned to the ship. There were many onboard activities from pools to spas, areas to sit and have drinks, listen to live music or lectures, high tea each afternoon or stay in your well appointed rooms and read on your balcony. After dinner each evening we were entertained by professional singers and dancers...loved the tribute to ABBA and the Beatles different evenings. We were NOT disappointed with this Viking experience and have already signed up for two more trips with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Everything was excellent--Ship,cabin dining, service, ports, I will be spoiled to ever take any other ship. That said, we were very surprised about our shipmates--(approximately 940)or shall I l say the lack of seeing them. We had ... Read More
Everything was excellent--Ship,cabin dining, service, ports, I will be spoiled to ever take any other ship. That said, we were very surprised about our shipmates--(approximately 940)or shall I l say the lack of seeing them. We had very little interaction- maybe an active core of about 50 total. Most of my pictures on the ship showed very few people in public areas...even the pool (30-40 people at most, one time). Only meals and afternoon teas brought people out. Very little activity (10-15 people) in main cocktail lounges. Did not attend the evening entertainment so I can't comment on attendance or quality. I have never experienced this lack of interaction on other ships and I am wondering about Viking's marketing plan and exactly what type of cruiser they are attracting. Considering how lovely and inviting the ship's public areas were, we were intrigued by this lack of use. If anyone else noticed this on the August 14 cruise from Athens-Venice? Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose Viking because we had a great experience with Viking three years ago on a Rhine cruise. The cabin was beautiful, but there was nightly work being done on the deck above our cabin that woke us up almost every night. We complained, ... Read More
We chose Viking because we had a great experience with Viking three years ago on a Rhine cruise. The cabin was beautiful, but there was nightly work being done on the deck above our cabin that woke us up almost every night. We complained, but it still happened. Also, upon boarding we had difficulty finding our cabin. When we boarded the river cruise, there was a crew member escorting every guest to their cabin. On the cruise ship, we were on our own and it was more difficult to find. Our cabin was in the front on the upper deck where only one set of elevators actually went to our floor. The restaurants were good, but choices were limited in some places. For example at the pool, it was the same menu every day. It would have been nice to have the restaurants feature foods from the area we were traveling. The only restaurant that did this was the World Cafe and that food was like cafeteria food. The staff, just like on the river cruise, was outstanding, the only difference was that they seemed over worked, and they talked about it. They were working long hours with short down time and they mentioned this to the passengers. We had two problems with shore excursions. In Santorino Viking should not have allowed "leisure walkers" to go on the shore excursions. The hills were too severe and the sidewalks too uneven. The guide did her best, but a few people on our tour and a person we ate dinner with basically sat on the bus the whole time. When we were on the river cruise cruise, Viking had a modified versions of the daily tours for "leisure walkers" which were the over 55 and had difficulty walking, had walkers ,etc. In Dubrovnik we had a tour guide who was not sensitive to the over 55 crowd. In Dubrovnik they have their own currency and all of the public rest rooms required exact change with that currency. Having arrived just that morning and not knowing this several people on out tour needed to use the rest room and had no where to go. They ended up walking back to the ship and missing out on the rest of the tour. Sounds crazy, but it's a problem for the over 55 group. I would love to do more cruising with Viking, but it is too expensive. It's a special occasion cruise company for us. i'd like to see you stop mailing me so many catalogs. I'm in the direct mail business, so I know how expensive these are. I get a piece of Viking mail almost daily; some days multiple pieces, plus getting emails a couple days a week. Perhaps if you saved money with the mailings you could reduce the price of your cruises. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We wanted to visit Istanbul and Italy and we picked a cruise that would allow us to travel between Turkey and Italy. We specifically selected Viking because they are the BEST! Best food, best service, best ships, best crew, best ... Read More
We wanted to visit Istanbul and Italy and we picked a cruise that would allow us to travel between Turkey and Italy. We specifically selected Viking because they are the BEST! Best food, best service, best ships, best crew, best itinerary, best on board experience and best schedule. Did I mention that Viking is the BEST! Every aspect of our cruise was a wonderful experience. The "basic" restaurant was at least a 5 star for selection and quality of food and the opportunity to eat on our schedule was very much appreciated. The speciality restaurants were even better and were included at no additional price. Wine with your meal was always just a glance away! And room service for those couple of times when we just wanted to rest a bit! The evening preview of the next day's excursions was always complete and professional as well as personal. Many evenings included a lecture on the culture, history, or current events of the area we were visiting. Another great feature of Viking was the free included wi-fi service and a very convenient and free self laundry facility that enabled us to do a small amount of laundry as needed and therefore pack less when we left home. Overall our experience with Viking was wonderful and we are already booked for two more cruises in 2017! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
It was the maiden voyage and it was going to many ports we had only dreamed about visiting together. The ship and crew were great to deal with and our cabin attendant went above and beyond taking care of our every need (the cabin was alway ... Read More
It was the maiden voyage and it was going to many ports we had only dreamed about visiting together. The ship and crew were great to deal with and our cabin attendant went above and beyond taking care of our every need (the cabin was alway spotless and refrigerator stocked). Shore excursions and the local guides were very good and entertaing (we visited a couple of wineries and made focaccia, ate local foods, saw historical sites, etc.). Dining on ship was excellent and we tried everything at least once (dress was business casual, didn't need any formal wear) . Wine and beer were free for lunch and dinner. This cruise was mainly for adults as I don't remeber seeing any young children running around or at the pool. The only port where we weren't able to freely walk around without a guide was St. Petersburg. Otherwise, we could enjoy each port on our own after the tours or tour on our own. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Viking is a great cruise line, Embarkation was simple and efficient. Elegant, great service. No kids which is a bonus. All about the ports and the people. Great ports and excursions. Food and service were excellent. We were on the maiden ... Read More
Viking is a great cruise line, Embarkation was simple and efficient. Elegant, great service. No kids which is a bonus. All about the ports and the people. Great ports and excursions. Food and service were excellent. We were on the maiden voyage of the Viking Sea. Cabins were spacious with first rate amenities. Heated floors in the bathroom. Lots of storage space. Loved the veranda. Had coffee out there each morning. Each port had wonderful excursions. Learned a lot about the history of Turkey, Greece and Croatia. Service was first rate. Meals were wonderful. Lots of choices. Shows and entertainment were first rate. Loved the Abba and Beatles tributes. Wonderful food was available any time you wanted it, Afternoon tea sitting in the explorer's lounge was relaxing. Loved the infinity pool. Ship was just the right size. The self service laundry was a real plus. Will definitely go on another viking cruise in the future Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
The Viking Ocean Cruise "Nordic Explorer" was in a word fantastic! Every destination tour was very informative and fun. The restaurants on board were delightful with a gourmet dinner with wine every night. The destinations ... Read More
The Viking Ocean Cruise "Nordic Explorer" was in a word fantastic! Every destination tour was very informative and fun. The restaurants on board were delightful with a gourmet dinner with wine every night. The destinations included all the major cities of the continent, all with local guides that where adept with local history and color. The entire staff were very personable and knowledgeable. It seemed they could not do enough to make every day special. The on-board entertainment was exceptional. All performers were very entertaining including the local performances along the way. The spa was excellent including a large pool for relaxing plus steam and snow rooms for the total experience. On board activities educational immersion lectures from experts as well as movies relative to the areas visited. During the 35 days of our cruise I never once felt that the cruise was too long or uninteresting. I would highly recommend this excursion as a cruise of a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We were on Viking Rurik river cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg in 2013. Despite a major hiccup--a bad storm that delayed us 12+ hours--we were extremely impressed with how the Viking and its crew made up for a missed port and delayed ... Read More
We were on Viking Rurik river cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg in 2013. Despite a major hiccup--a bad storm that delayed us 12+ hours--we were extremely impressed with how the Viking and its crew made up for a missed port and delayed arrival to St. Petersburg. As far as I'm concerned, they exceeded expectations. So, when I read about the ocean cruises starting, it seemed like an opportune time to visit some places we've never been. The superlatives I can think of are inadequate to describe our experience on the maiden voyage of Viking Sea, April 3-12, 2016, Empires of the Mediterranean. Again, Viking just knows how to take passengers on an enjoyable, educational, entertaining cruise. The Sea was a revelation. Gorgeous small ship with impressive amenities all the way down to heated bathroom floors. Also a mini fridge stocked with sodas, sparkling water and some candy that is free within reason. Free washers and dryers and ironing boards, as well. They also provide a free excursion for each port. Food was very good. We prefer more generously seasoned food as a rule, but the food onboard was fresh and tasty in all dining rooms from the Cafe to the Restaurant right into the specialty restaurants (for which there is no extra charge) Man Freddi's Italian and The Chef's Table. We travel when school is in session to avoid exposing ourselves to rowdy teens and shrieking toddlers, and Viking doesn't really provide anything other than a pool that youngsters might enjoy. Service as impeccable, which was not surprising. The river cruise staff impressed us immediately. While there were far more people onboard the Sea so that the staff didn't know our names within 24 hours like they did on the Rurik, we could not have asked for better service in the restaurants or from our room stewards. I do wonder at why Viking advertised that Venice was a stop, which to me implied that we would get an excursion when, in fact, it was just the end of the cruise, and if passengers wanted to see Venice, they had to book an extension. This was never mentioned to me when booking. A headsup about there being no time in Venice when booking 18 months in advance, would have been very helpful. St. Petersburg was our final stop on the Russian river cruise and we spent a couple of nights there and went on several excursions. My mistake for thinking when a port is advertised as such that it's included in the price of the cruise. As it turned out, we got a day in Venice. See below: There was one major CON and it had nothing to do with the sailing experience itself. The flight booking experience with Viking air department was a nightmare and, should we cruise again (and if we do it will be with Viking), we will most definitely arrange our own flights. I will never deal with their air department again. I booked our Premium Economy flights with them as soon as it was possible, which was 10 months in advance for the April cruise. In February 2016, I was planning our excursions and noticed on our Viking online trip calendar that we would dock in Venice at 6 a.m. Our flight was scheduled at 6:55 a.m. with 6:15 being the last check-in. No way we'd make that. I called and was told by a very prissy young woman after putting me on hold for almost 10 minutes that, yes, that was a problem and that they would be putting us on a flight that would have us making *three* stops instead of *one.* Unacceptable. Finally, I demanded they put us on the same flight the next day and was told that 1) We would have to pay a $200 penalty for that change, 2) We would have to pay for our own hotel, and 3) We would be responsible for our own transfers. I refused to pay the $200 for THEIR mistake and they finally conceded. I booked the hotel and got the cab from the ship. While in Athens, we sat at a table with a very nice couple from Australia and they told us of their wonderful experience with the Viking air department and how well they had been taken care of with proactive help which included contacting them and offering to pick them up at the Dubai airport and putting them up in a hotel for their 8-hour layover, as well as flying them in to Istanbul a day early and putting them up at a hotel overnight so they wouldn't be arriving in the evening and have a 4+ hour drive to Gallipoli for the Anzac observance prior to the cruise. I was quite surprised that Viking in Australia bent over backward for this couple while Viking U.S. tried to hold us responsible for their mistake. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
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