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Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: July 2019
My wife and I are in our late 60's and still quite active and like to travel with friends. This will be our second Ocean cruise and we have done two other Viking River Cruises. I like the cruise idea since you pack and unpack only ... Read More
My wife and I are in our late 60's and still quite active and like to travel with friends. This will be our second Ocean cruise and we have done two other Viking River Cruises. I like the cruise idea since you pack and unpack only once and you travel at night to a new port. On this cruise we were able to see the diversity in the different countries in the British Isles and go to many places where we would probably not go to, all of which were interesting to us. Usually I would have extended the trip on the front end in London, because it is such an amazing city, but we had been there for a week at Christmas with our daughter and had seen a lot of the sights. We did fly in early Sunday and had a full day, although a bit tired to explore the city. We are pretty good getting around ourselves and booked the inside Buckingham Palace and garden tour at 12:15. We LOVED getting to see inside the Palace and the grounds. Definitely try to do that if you go. I will now try to summarize the different parts of the cruise. The Jupiter was stunning. It was just like our first boat with probably very minor tweeks for improvement that we would not even notice. There was a great diversity of places to be on the boat and be a quiet or active as you want. The boat was big, but not too big. It never seemed crowded to me. The Spa area was very well done with a nice changing areaa and indoor pool with a very cool Nordic experience cold room onboard. Their was also a pool in a large atrium area that have plenty of seats near the windows on the outside. Finally there was a great small infinity pool and hot tub on the aft on level 7. Our room was a deluxe veranda which was fine for us. The bed was very comfortable and a king size bed. I am 6'4" and slept well. The bathroom was a good size but crowded for 2 people. We loved our veranda but honestly did not use it much. The Crew----We found the crew on the Jupiter excellent and very hardworking. From the General Manager to all areas of operation- we thought the crew was outstanding. We were able to interact with many crew members and the one theme that came out was that they loved Viking better than others they had been on. The crew was very happy. We have been to nice resorts like Sea Island and found the level of service on par with that experience. Food-We found the food very good to excellent . I thought the best food was at Manfredis (the Italian option) but that is also my favorite food. When you get your first opportunity go ahead and book reservations at either this restaurant or the Chef's Table, both of which was good. The Dining Room option was great also and usually had a wide variety of meal options. Since we ate at different areas in the dining room, we did not have the same server every night. We usually ate at the buffet for breakfast which had GREAT fresh fruit, about any breakfast option you could imagine, and omelet stations. Bottom line-The food ranges from good to excellent. You will not go hungry. Oh, I almost forgot, Mamsen's was a grill option on level 7 toward the pool area. They have great grill options and salads which were delicious. Entertainment-We found this area to be good to excellent. The four young singers were quite good and gave a variety of performances whcih we loved. There were also several times when local talent was brought in which was fun. The band on the ship was EXCELLENT and were the male and female vocalists. They performed both in the theater as back up to the singers and by themselves in Torshavn, a small lounge . We found the music excellent, but do not expect a carnival type atmosphere on this boat. Speakers- The speakers were good not great, but still very imformative. We have had better speakers on other boats, but thought they were good and discussed some tough topics like BREXIT and the Ireland-Northern Island issue. Cruise Director-Heather. I saved the best for last. WE have been on 5 other cruises and Heather was the best BY FAR cruise director we have ever experienced. She was a great speaker, funny, on topic and talented. In a previous life she was an opera singer and had to put together a show at the last minute (5 PM for a 9:00 pm show) due to a sore throat of one of the singers. Her performance was outstanding!!! But, I loved just her daily talks and her general interaction. She had the ability to make mundane things interesting. Excursions--We found the excursions to be good and gave a lot of options. Since we booked this trip very late-in June, we could not sign early, but found that most of tours opened uo that we wanted. The only negative is getting on and off buses and is a process which they handled quite well. I would give the tour leaders high marks in each area!! We usually did the included tour and then did things on our own at the other parts of the day. I did talk to other that did some of the options and they all seemed to like them. One tip is when you are in Invergorton and you play golf, there is a Top Ten golf course in the WORLD about 30 minutes away called Royal Dornoch. You can book you own times and but you will need a morning time, as you must be back on the boat by 4:30. I did this on my own and rented a car from Ken's for the day. Amazing course -it is my favorite course ever and I have played all the Open courses. Finally, on the Bergen stop I booked the Norway in a Nutshell trip. It is a series of trains, buses and ships which shows you fiords and beautiful country. It is about 10 hours but well worth it. There is no hand holding or person, just tickets but it works quite well if you can get around and feel comfortable travelling on your own. We loved the trip and I guess the only negative was trying to book a future trip. We met with the future trip person and just did not enjoy the experience. I liked the option, just not the experience and we chose not to book. In summary, Viking ships, crew and experiences are great!!! we plan to come back in the future. One final note- if both you and your wife drink, the drink option is a good deal for part of your trip. We did not do it, but some of our friends did and loved it. Also, since we were travelling just with us, it allowed us to meet some amazing new friends we hope to see in the future! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was a fantastic vacation. We picked this cruise because of the itinerary. We visited all of the countries in the United Kingdom and finished in Bergen, Norway. We always felt so comfortable on board and welcomed by the Viking ... Read More
This was a fantastic vacation. We picked this cruise because of the itinerary. We visited all of the countries in the United Kingdom and finished in Bergen, Norway. We always felt so comfortable on board and welcomed by the Viking Staff. This was the longest cruise we have ever undertaken and we were more than pleased. Heather Clancy, the Cruise Director, and her crew were fantastic. They entertained us with at different show every night. Elvis even made an appearance on board. The Viking Band was great. Dancing under the stars provided a great memory. The Restaurants provide excellent food and service. The specialty restaurants are not to be missed. Wine and Beer were provided at all lunch and dinners at no charge. I would highly recommend the purchase of Silver Drink package (Upgrade). The Buffet is one the best I have experienced. Viking provided excellent exclusions at every port, at no charge. Shuttles were also provided at most ports, free of charge. At Edinburgh, because of windy weather conditions, the ship could not tender the passengers to Edinburgh. The Captain and crew decided to dock further upstream. The crew jumped through hoops to provide transportation (free) into the heart of the city. Other cruise lines, in port, just anchored and the passengers lost the opportunity to visit Edinburgh. All in all we had a great time and thank the Viking Crew and staff for a great vacation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We Carefully Choose viking Orion for our Alaska cruise when first available in 2016 because of ships open vista views and as a small ship also very importantly the itinerary and full package details . As our first Viking voyage we have ... Read More
We Carefully Choose viking Orion for our Alaska cruise when first available in 2016 because of ships open vista views and as a small ship also very importantly the itinerary and full package details . As our first Viking voyage we have been very satisfied and loved the ship it’s ambience decor space and lovely staff. With the amazing Alaskan scenery and fantastic wildlife and wilderness al around us we had one of our best ever holidays thank you viking, We started with a pre cruise in Vancouver lovely city, wonderful hotel by the bay , the pre cruise tour and lunch alfresco after boarding and sail out was lovely with seaplanes landing and taking off around us , and boats of all descriptions paddle steamers , sailing and small pleasure cruising craft to other ships then the cruise up the inside passage humpbacks sighting wonderful scenery sunsets and all enhanced by the ship! Really very good food right through the voyage onboard Orion majority of our meals we ate seafood,. Enjoyed all of the restaurants onboard, open seating only waited the once for a table but seated in restaurant reception with offers of drinks! There’s also a bar in the restaurant where you can have a pre dinner drinks . We enjoyed all our ports of calls and trips with only one complaint about the lunch on our Haines bear search and wildlife tour which was dealt with with a small refund to compensate however no bears seen but then that’s wildlife although we were probably not going to see any as Haines had hosted the state fair a few days earlier, trip highlights amazing Juneau glacier helicopter and dogsledding and glacier and whales trips , Valdez sail out amazing beautiful weather swimming in the infinity pool and hot tub and escorted out by high speed coast guard rigid inflatable with machine gun mounted and manned past all the Valdez salmon fishing fleets which were laying nets ! A James Bond moment! Dinner that evening a favourite with to start soft shell crab , lobster Thermidor and desert a lovely soufflé , with lovely wines and all made exceptional by Alaska delivering with beautiful scenery and Orca’s seen alongside during dinner !!! A Most memorable evening I must also thank the staff on Orion Nearly all were fantastic except for the future cruise lady? The shows on board such a small ship were all delivered by the Orion team and were excellent thank you to Jade And Karine and speedy and the viking band also bar waiters stewards Ivan and Corrinia ? Overall a fantastic holiday experience one of our very best highly recommend this voyage and ship if viking can keep price correct Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise, first, for the destination. We have always wanted to visit the British Isles. This cruise allowed us to get a taste of several countries, and multiple cities all in one vacation. We chose Viking because they offered ... Read More
We chose this cruise, first, for the destination. We have always wanted to visit the British Isles. This cruise allowed us to get a taste of several countries, and multiple cities all in one vacation. We chose Viking because they offered this trip, it also because the value of the cruise was well worth it. It is not the least expensive one out there, but we agree that it is of the best value. Some of the reasons to travel Viking are: no kids under 18, no casinos, no umbrella drinks, no upselling of products in the spa, no additional charges for excursions, no additional charges for specialty restaurants, no nickel and diming with pictures of you with the captain etc. This is an ADULT cruise for those who want to LEARN. Of course we also had a ton of fun, but this is not a party cruise. The ship itself was a floating palace. Beautiful, clean, simple Scandinavian decor, lovely colors mixed with creams, and the lighting was spectacular. Destination artwork and pictures decked the walls and seating areas. Food was amazing. Cleanest public restrooms I’ve ever seen! The entire ship was immaculate. They worked so hard at keeping things clean! Daily tea was served in the Wintergarden complete with loose leaf tea in pots, delicious scones and finger sandwiches. We took advantage of that as much as we could. Service was outstanding. We simply could not have asked for better. Anything we needed or wanted was ours. The destinations were incredible. Excursions were good. Most tour guides were very knowledgeable and helpful, with a few exceptions, but those guides didn’t work directly for Viking, and the ones we were disappointed in, we let Viking know. In addition, there were port talks given in advance to inform you about the port, and any last minute changes that were taking place. And the lectures by the resident historians were not only informative, but entertaining as well! Embarkation and Disembarkation went very smoothly. No troubles at all. I just can’t recommend Viking enough. You will NOT be disappointed! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
After 26 cruises this was our first on Viking; surely, not our last. I'll get over our one gripe first and move on to the positives. On the evening sail from Bergen, we visited the ship's apparel shop in search Viking's red ... Read More
After 26 cruises this was our first on Viking; surely, not our last. I'll get over our one gripe first and move on to the positives. On the evening sail from Bergen, we visited the ship's apparel shop in search Viking's red and white signature Dale of Norway sweater. My wife resisted buying other attractive sweaters in Bergen's shops with Viking's signature sweater in mind. The shop had no stock of size medium. The excuse was that they sold out on the last voyage. That is lame excuse since we just sailed from the cruise line's home port and the Dale of Norway production center. The salesman offered no recourse, eg. a special order that could be shipped home, and assumed a rather indignant, huffy attitude. The message. "Clients from the Bergen cruise origin aren't as worthy as those from the Greenwich start of the same cruise itinerary." That said, now to to the cruise. Despite scheduling 13 excursions in 11 ports over 13 days, we felt that this was one of our more relaxing cruises. The casual, unbustled on-board environment undoubtedly contributed to that feeling. We used Viking Air for flight arragements and arrived in Bergen around noon after a short connecting flight from Oslo. There were at least half a dozen Viking representatives at the airport to assist passengers and get us on the way to the ship. This exemplifies a typical pattern that we experienced on the whole cruise. Ample Viking staff are readily available where needed to assist customers. A seamless check-in at the port had us in our stateroom before the scheduled time. Our luggage had already been delivered, a first time experience on any cruise. The Atrium serves as the core public area from deck 1 to 3. Above The Viking Living Room on deck 1 with its nooks of lounge furniture, book collections and artwork, deck 2 has a perimeter balcony with lounge and table game areas and deck 3 features sitting areas along with exhibits of Norwegan traditional ceremonial dress; deck 2 has a nook with Viking cultural artifacts. My wife, a serious fiber spinner, delighted in the spinning artifacts. Stateroom corridors and public areas abound with artwork. Explanatory narratives are available through an on-board dedicated phone app. At the head of the grand staircase in The Atrium is a 2-deck electronic panel with changing images of Norwegan and Viking culture and the voyage's port areas. Beneath the staircase is a garden of multi-colored visual delights. At the deck 1 staricase base performance space features daily soothing classical performances on the Steinway by Olga, resident pianist, and the Viking classsical duo on violin and cello. Other performances included well chosen port-based ensembles providing local cultural programs and the ship's staff who shared diverse talents. Deck 7 offers other retreats at Mamsen's, where light fare is available, and in the Explorer's Lounge with its bow views and bar. A mezanine extension of the Explorer's Lounge on Deck 8 privised additional views and seating nooks. Midship on Deck 7 is The Wintergarden, a quiet retreat where most afternoons feature Afternoon Tea at 4:00 with the accompaniement of the ships classical artists. The pool area expands lounging and eating space, all or part of which can be covered by the retractable roof. Special buffets and entertainment are features. And for the always exposed to the elements, there is the infinity pool on the stern outside The World Cafe. And, back to deck 1 for Torshaven, a cozy club like venue for seminars and evening dancing from 9:00 to Midnight. The Star Theater's informal lounge atmosphere is a relaxing place for tour meet-up and for guest lecturer presentations. Sofa pillows with images of Norwegan performance and artistic celebraties on one side and the autograph on the other typify the Viking touch. Four lecturers on our voyage informed and entertained us. To celebrate the July 20, 1969, moon landing, retired USAF pilot and astronaut Karol Bobko shared experiences and related the technoogy of space exploration. He also gave presentations in the shipboard planetariumn on deck 8. Ship passengers celebrated the moon landing at 8:17pm on July 20th with pastries in the Atrium that included a chocolate replica of Apollo 11. William Thayer's lectures offered insight into the energy production technologies that are active in he North Sea. Other topics included the British pursuit and sinking of the Bismarck in WWII and the "Breaking if the Enigma Machine," a step in the development of today's digital computers. Dr.Michael Fuller combined archaeological artifacts with historical evidence in lectures about Viking and Northern European history. (Without historical documentation, archaelogy is speculation.) Particularly interesting was his presentation on the Hanseatic League. He met with passengers in nooks around the ship to pursue a variety of individual interests. Notable is Russell Lee, who synthasized complex topics from history and current events into connections that are often missed among the detail of events. He was literally up-to-date, including his visuals, with his Brexit presentation on the day that Boris Johnson became the UK's PM. Outstanding was Lee's presentation "Baa, Baa Black Sheep - How Wool Transformed Medieval Europe." He included his wife demonstating a centuries old spindle technique that persists today in spinning yarn. The only tidbit he omitted, according to my wife, was how the word "sabotage" became part of our vocabulary because of the industrialization of weaving. If you miss the lecture theater presentation, it's available 3 hours later on the ship's TV, not just an fuzzy video of the stage presentation, but with the presenter in a quarter panel and sharp graphics taking up the rest of the screen. Great Viking Jupiter production team! While on technology, kudos to the full-time internet service included in the cruise fare. Wi-fi access is throughout the ship, and there are desk top PCs located in a "nook" of The Living Room. Most passengers used their own devices. An on-board "trechie" can assist. Viking Jupiter's internet service is the fastest, most reliable that we have experienced on a cruise ship. Also, amenities include wine (red and white) and beer (light and dark). Menu beverages have a modest charge, eg., $7.50 (including gratuity) for a Manhattan. No charge for all the bottled water you want. And, no charge for the daily refrigerator set up of soft drings, snacks, and Toblerone chocolates. Spa facilities have no surcharge.. Unwind in a sauna, a cold tub, the Snow Room, a hot whirlpool or churning pool. An ample variety of standard fitness equipment is also available.Spa treatments are available at fees comparable to other cruise lines. While I was pleased with a massage, my wife was less so with her facial. She noted a harsh abrasive material used on the skin that she hasn't experienced before. And, after leaving the spa, she discovered unpleasant blotches of a greasy cream on her skin. And, let me not forget the included excellent self-serve laundry facilities on 4 of the 6 cabin decks (soap is included). So nice not to be nickeled and dimed. One can opt for individual paid launtry at reasonable rates. Repeat: So nice not to be nickeled and dimed. For us a genuine surprise was a bottle of sparkling wine and cake delivered to our stateroom. Viking graciously added to celebrating our 50 years of marriage. And, the on-board dining; overall - excellent. Several individual dishes were too salty (some chefs know only that "spice"). We didn't eat at Mamsens, noted for light fare, but enjoyed the no-surcharge specialty venues. First night out was The Chef's table featuring regional Nordic cuisine. International cuisines rotate avery few days. We chose the Nordic which was excellently prepared and plated for full enjoyment. We also enjoyed an evening in Manfredi's Italian Restaurant, where portions easily contribute to expected weight gain on a cruise. One can book as many meals in these restaurants as there is availability. The Restaurant is the main dinner venue with multiple sections that avoid the "heard feeling" on other cruise lines; one can actually enjoy conversation without straining. Overall excellent well plated dishes with reasonable portions served by attentive staff who remember us when we repeat at their tables. Thank you, Henry for your songs and attentive service. For a snack, on the pool deck, light fare is available, including what may be the best hamburger at sea. Vegans can also indulge. And, The World Cafe serves for a breakfast buffet as well as lunch and dinner. Customized omlets are worth the few minutes' wait. Sometimes staff were overwhelmed by passenger needs, but they were attentive and (with few exceptions) handle the demands well. Buffet food is among the best we have had. Do no pass on the ice cream and pastry selections. Seek out the daily pizza options that go well with a Viking beer at lunch. As related above, Viking clientele are learners. Each port includes one tour. Additional, paid tours are available. Most included tours are city drive throughs with a couple of stops. Our Dublin 3 hour city tour had an excellent guide. He related neighborhood histories along with those of major monuments. He summarized economic conditions in the city and country as well as the possible Brexit impacts. Included was a 45 minute stop at Jubilee Gardens. We were able to hop off the bus to explore Temple Bar on our own. On the Orkney Islands the included tour got out of the port of Kirkwall into the countryside, and included a too brief stop in the seaside village of Stromners. My bride found a shop with her favorite roving from the native North Ronaldsay sheep - a breed that cannot be exported elsewhere in the world because of its particular seaweed diet. Plenty of time was allowed for a stop at the neolithic Ring of Brodgar, a predecessor of Britian's more famous henge. Port Ulapool's included walking tour was perfect for getting a sense of a western Highlands Scottish seaside community, and included a pub stop with adult and bakery refreshments along with lively local music. We felt that the guide gave a reasonable overview of life in the community. Comments do not include all of out complimentary tours. Among the paid tours we enjoyed The Beatles Experience tour in Liverpool, except for the hot, stuffy museum at the end. Otherwise the ecellent guide and typically cramped bus seating are worth the effort for "Fab Four" fans. In Edinburgh the Rosslyn Chapel and Glenkinche Distillery tour were well done. One has to suffer an excessive crowd at the chapel. So, it takes effort to appreciate the complexity of the architectural gem. Do leave a few coins to support the chapel cat. The distillery tour with guide Willie was excellent; that's from a Kentucky resident bourbon enthusiast. Very disappointing for a train enthusiast was the Ffestiniog Railway and Lunch tour at the Holyhead port. We arrived at the train depot with barely enough time to board - no time for photos. Photo opps were "promised" at the terminus. By the time most of the photogs in our group got to the head of the train the engine was decoupled and on its way through the rail yard. Then, we had to rush to a bus to get to the next stop, lunch in a hotel in Betws-y-Coed with provided meal and time to wander the community that reminded me of Aspen, CO, without the opulence.We traveled through the Sodonia highlands, Wales slate producing region, distinct part of the UK. A positive with the Viking tours is that the limit seems to be around 25. So, one doesn't feel like part of ther herd. We took 7 included and 6 paid tours over the two weeks. So these comments offer only highlights. Preparing us for each port was a presentation by the cruise director and the shore excursion manager. Special kudos to Vicki, the cruise director. She was genuinely engaging and totally professional; and very unlike cruise directors on most prior non-Viking cruises, did not act like a clownish buffoon. I do fault the tour director, however, Javier, for a demonstrably lack of personal knowledge about some port tours. Debarkation, not a welcome 5:00am rise to be ready for our 6:15 group to end this Viking experience. In The Living Room we had fruit, breakfast pastry, and beverage options as we awaited our group call for airport transport. Friendly Viking staff were at every turn, literally as we left the ship. On the 90 minute bus ride to London-Heathrow Airport, a Viking representive gave us a guided narration through the London neighborhoods and assisted at our airport arrival. As my wife said, "This is one cruise that we return from without needing a vacation." Thanks Viking staff and Viking Jupiter crew. We'll be back! Lecturer quality is one reason for booking an Inside Passage Alaska cruise for 2020. It will be our fifth in the region. We look forward to the Viking difference. Finally, I have kept a spreadsheet for costs on prior 26 cruises and on this Viking cruise. For comparable 2 week cruises our Viking costs were only $300.00 more. I attribute this to the longer air distance to Norway. By comparison to US carriers, SAS to Norway and BA from London to the US provided FAR SUPERIOR comfort, food, service, and amenities in the same passenger class, Economy Comfort/Economy Plus or equivalent level. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We had been on many of the cruise lines in the past but really preferred the river cruise to the save my pool lounge chair mentality. So we thought we would give Viking Ocean cruise a try due to the number of people. We are so glad we ... Read More
We had been on many of the cruise lines in the past but really preferred the river cruise to the save my pool lounge chair mentality. So we thought we would give Viking Ocean cruise a try due to the number of people. We are so glad we did... specialty dining was so great. Easy dealing with food allergies too. The World Cafe was our choice most of the time. Great selection and after a full day of excursions we enjoyed cocktails and casual dining. The spa is the surprise. Beautiful facility open for all for free without scheduling a service. We enjoyed that daily. We also took advantage of the silver package. The wines and top shelf vodka was such a deal!! We are planning our next and will be going with Viking again. Alaska vista was indescribable, the captain did an amazing job getting us so close to Hubbard glacier and rotating 360 so everyone had a front row seat! Thanks to all Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We had taken a Viking River cruise and loved. I wasn't sure what to expect on there smaller ocean ships. It was and incredible surprise. They offers so much entertainment and the staff was prefect, after several days you were on a ... Read More
We had taken a Viking River cruise and loved. I wasn't sure what to expect on there smaller ocean ships. It was and incredible surprise. They offers so much entertainment and the staff was prefect, after several days you were on a first name basis, every staff member spoke English which was very nice, you wanted for absolutely nothing. Port excursions were excellent and well organized. Being 67 I appreciated this is not a cruise line for children nor is it a cruse line for gamblers who spend there day in a casino. Minus kids and gamblers made for a great atmosphere of fun and conversation. On a late arrival back to the ship after and all day trip to Berlin were were greeted by 200 of the ships crew in line out side the ship with a welcome back, music, champagne and horderves. Upon arriving at our cabin we found a plate of finger sandwiches, deserts and a bottle of win which a letter from the captain apologizing for the German train system delay, they did this for all 600 people who were on that train. Tell me what other cruise line would do that. I will continue to be a loyal Viking customer. Big ships with 5000 of your closest friends are not necessarily better Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was the first Viking Cruise we have taken, previously having sailed with Disney. The whole ship exudes quality both from the quality of furnishings, food and crew. The transfer arrangements went smoothly and without hitch. We had a ... Read More
This was the first Viking Cruise we have taken, previously having sailed with Disney. The whole ship exudes quality both from the quality of furnishings, food and crew. The transfer arrangements went smoothly and without hitch. We had a starboard cabin on deck 5 (5053) which had everything we needed and exceeded the quality of Disney product. The self service restaurant was where we had breakfast and lunch and food and choice were excellent. Evenings we are in The Restaurant which was waiter service and had the most wonderful server in Sophia - a credit to Viking, in our view. The food was well presented and delicious. One night we ate in Manfredis which was Italian specialty and delicious. We didn’t visit the Chefs Table but did lunch a couple of times in Madsens, the Scandinavian restaurant which was excellent. My only criticism was that some guests seemed to get to eat in Manfredis regularly and there should be limitations so that everyone can benefit! I have to say that the entertainment team were awesome led by Cruise Director Bevin, no mean singer in his own right either. His assistant Brian Rodriguez had an amazing voice and the vocalists Dan, Becky, Maddy and Damien performed shows each night that would not have disgraced the West End and backed by a terrific band. The crew from Capt Olav downwards were friendly and could not do enough for us. Special mention for Olex our barman as well. Shore excursions lived up to Vikings cultural enrichment theme and were well organised. We have already booked our next cruise whilst onboard! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
I would like to comment on the excellent experience we had with my wife at Viking Sky. Before leaving, we had apprehensions regarding entertainment on board and the age of the passengers. We are not young (58 and 46 years old) but we ... Read More
I would like to comment on the excellent experience we had with my wife at Viking Sky. Before leaving, we had apprehensions regarding entertainment on board and the age of the passengers. We are not young (58 and 46 years old) but we knew that the average age was higher. The truth is that although the average age is higher, it was very nice for us to be on the boat without children or teenagers, without a casino, without photographers, without sellers of trinkets. the shows were of quality, the conferences very interesting, the first level gym, the extraordinary spa, the fantastic living rooms to read, the swimming pools with sun loungers available, the exceptional food both in the buffet and in the restaurant, always, and I insist, always with tables available for dinner, breakfast and dinners. This is our 15th cruise and we have used MCS, Costa, Royal, Azamara, Princess and Celebrity, and from all of the above we can say that Viking has been our best experience and best quality price ratio. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My wife and I chose this Viking’s “14 Day Into the Midnight Sun” trip specifically because it had port stops in the Orkney and Shetland Islands and also crossed the Arctic Circle. We also chose Viking due to their reputation and ... Read More
My wife and I chose this Viking’s “14 Day Into the Midnight Sun” trip specifically because it had port stops in the Orkney and Shetland Islands and also crossed the Arctic Circle. We also chose Viking due to their reputation and positive reviews we had read. Unfortunately our trust was misplaced and we will definitely not be using this cruise line again. First, the positives: airport arrival and embarkation were amazingly efficient and easy, the ship is beautiful throughout with spacious well-appointed suites, the food was excellent, and the staff was very friendly and helpful. Unfortunately the rest of this review is less than stellar. The first problems we encountered were relatively minor: our luggage took over 7 hours to get to our stateroom, quite a bit longer than what we’d normally expect. Second, the remote control to our TV stopped working late at night and I had to get dressed and walk down to the help desk to retrieve a new one since I was cut off twice when I attempted to reach them by phone. These little irritations were a foretaste of what was to come later. Less than one day out of Greenwich the Jupiter lost an engine and had to return to the industrial port of Tilbury for repairs. The lost time subsequently led to cancellation of port visits to the Shetlands and Orkneys as well as reduced time at Edinburgh and Honningsvag. Needless to say we were extremely disappointed since visiting these destinations was a major goal of our trip. After the March incident involving the Viking Sky I felt that Viking would have ensured the mechanical integrity of the Sky’s sister ships, including the Jupiter. In a memo Viking assured us that we would be contacted regarding compensation after the trip was complete and that in the meantime we would receive a $250 per person non-refundable credit for shipboard purchases. However, instead of offering us a partial refund Viking would only offer a 20% discount on a future booking made within a year. According to one of Viking’s customer relations representatives this was justified on the basis that Viking wanted us to travel with them again in order to show us that they can deliver on a quality product. She offered no explanation when we challenged her as to why we would spend more money on a second cruise when our expectations on the first one had not been met. I certainly understand that missing ports due to ‘acts of God’ such as bad weather are beyond control and that’s a risk the customer assumes. However, mechanical problems should be the responsibility of the cruise line, especially when sister ships recently experienced such problems. It baffles me as to why some reasonable monetary compensation could not be provided since this has been the practice on other cruise lines. Suffice it to say that this was our first and will be our last cruise with Viking. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Not my first Viking ocean cruise but my first on the new Viking Jupiter. While we got off on a rocky start as our ship developed a propulsion system problem leaving out of Greenwich, we were delayed 2 days in the small English port of ... Read More
Not my first Viking ocean cruise but my first on the new Viking Jupiter. While we got off on a rocky start as our ship developed a propulsion system problem leaving out of Greenwich, we were delayed 2 days in the small English port of Tilbury. Viking worked to organize a few tours in the Tilbury area, gave some onboard credit to passengers, and in general worked very hard to keep passengers pacified. Good news was that the needed repair(s) were made and we were on our way again. Sadly the ports of the Orkney and Shetland Islands had to e eliminated to get the ship back on schedule. Now the great stuff! Food was varied, plentiful and high quality. On sea days the chef arranged for fun/location driven lunches near the pool. Plenty of complimentary wines and beers during lunch and dinner. I also enjoyed dining in The Restaurant for breakfast and dinners. The specialty restaurants, Chefs Table and my favorite, Manfredi’s were very good. Hubby and I made a few trips to Mamsen’s for the yummy waffle served with the brown goat cheese ( try it before you judge), fresh berries and syrup. The pea soup served 10- midnight is also good. I enjoyed the classical music performances and the variety of evening shows in the theatre. The onboard planetarium had three programs during the cruise that I thoroughly enjoyed. Very limited seating, so be sure you make reservations when you board. Most of the excursions were very good. The Spa was very comprehensive with an emphasis on Nordic bathing ritual, comfort and relaxation. We took this trip to see the Norwegian fjords, and that part did not disappoint. Beautiful, sailing close to observe when possible was awesome. We had beautiful warmish weather without rain ( we were told this was not normal, but we enjoyed it). The trip entitled Into The Midnight Sun, was just that...the sun was up nearly 24 hours a day. A very different experience. I really loved sailing into the Arctic Circle and going to the North Cape. Saw herds of reindeer roaming! On board there were lectures about culture, space travel and other interesting subjects. I do want to mention if you have difficulty with the volume on your in stateroom TV, ask your cabin steward to bring the wireless headset to you. Wonderful in lieu of no closed captioning on TV. The ship is new, built like the other Viking ocean ships and is beautiful. Very relaxing public areas that are conducive to meeting/ making friends. Viking’s style is not for everyone, but I sure love them. Primarily the passengers are 50’s to 80’s that are active, well educated and well traveled. The Cruise Director said most of us are “travelers” with only some being “tourists”. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We have done 3 Viking River cruises and enjoyed them all. So, we decided it was time to try a Viking Ocean cruise. First and foremost, Viking needs to have BETTER included excursions. In just about every port the included excursion was ... Read More
We have done 3 Viking River cruises and enjoyed them all. So, we decided it was time to try a Viking Ocean cruise. First and foremost, Viking needs to have BETTER included excursions. In just about every port the included excursion was really no better than us getting off the ship to explore the little Alaska town we were in. In-fact, in Ketichikan we bought our own tickets to attend a "Lumberjack Show" (lasted just over 1 hr), and they cost $35pp. Why couldn't Viking have offered that as an included excursion? Bottom Line: Offer better included excursions and try and have more than 1 available in each port! Second, remove the curtains in the "Living Room", by the coffee bar and on the 2nd level. You can't see thru this material and it would be nice while your having a drink or coffee to see the scenery!! Third, you REALLY need to train your bartenders better. After trying two Pina Colada's and a frozen Daiquiri I gave up on any frozen offering. Each time the ice was not pulverized enough so when you tried using the straw, it would always get clogged. And yes, I went to THREE different bars and had the same very poor results. Hell, the first time my wife ordered a Banana Daiquiri, they brought it to her in a martini glass. No kidding, a Martini glass. Lastly, the entertainment was, for the most part, a joke. Every night a member of the ship's staff "entertained". The 4-some (2 guys, 2 gals) who did the Beatles show and the Abba show did a pretty good job, but the overall result was very un-polished and amateurish. We never (on a 10-night cruise), had a "head-liner" or a professional comedian or magician. Kudo's to the guys and gals who worked the stage EVERY night, but they should be "fill-in" acts not the main show each and EVERY night!!! If VIKING wants to compete with Azamara and Oceania they need to heed these words and I am sure the words of many other seasoned travelers. We have done one Azamara cruise, and VIKING isn't even close to them when it comes to food quality (and choices), entertainment, and overall service. We haven't tried Oceania yet, but have friends who have done both (Viking and Oceania), and MUCH prefer Oceania. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We recently did the 12 day cruise from Norway to Iceland on the Viking Sky. We usually cruise with Regent so we curious to see how the Viking Ocean Cruises compared to Regent. Everything about this cruise exceeded our expectations and in ... Read More
We recently did the 12 day cruise from Norway to Iceland on the Viking Sky. We usually cruise with Regent so we curious to see how the Viking Ocean Cruises compared to Regent. Everything about this cruise exceeded our expectations and in fact, we booked another Viking cruise while on the ship. Ship - Everything is clean from the decor to the housekeeping. Everything sparkles! Service - Beyond incredible. Everyone from the housekeeping staff (who always remembered our names from day 1) to the restaurant staff and coffee bar. There was never more than 30 seconds in the buffet, when someone did not ask if we needed anything or were cleaning up dishes. They all had a smile on their faces and really seemed like they enjoyed their jobs. Food - Buffet - first, we usually avoid buffets, but after eating at the Viking Sky's buffet the first time, we were regulars for breakfast and the occasional dinner. The food was amazing. Fresh and hot...always. Restaurant - Again, outstanding food. Wish they had a little more poultry options, but still great. Manifredi's Italian - Not sure how we will ever eat Italian at home again. This was by far the best Italian food that we have ever had. The bread is delicious. We did not try the other restaurants. Room - We stayed in 4104 which was just towards the aft. We loved the location of our room. It was quiet and always one of the first to be made up. Everything was perfect in the room, though a bit tight. Two people cannot pass each other around the bed. The bathroom was perfection, especially the no fog mirrors and heated floor. The bed was very comfortable. The storage space was perfect for a 12 day cruise. We had plenty of room to store all of our things in the room and bathroom. Entertainment - We loved it. Cute shows with great singers. We were never bored. Over and above - this is where we were most impressed. - Our flight home was very late in the day. Viking did not kick us off the ship. Instead, they arranged for a late departure from the ship and then transported us to the city center. They arranged for our luggage to be stored while they provided us with a nice lunch at the opera house and time to walk around the city. Then they transported us to the airport. It didn't stop there. They escorted us into the airport with our luggage until we checked in! Wow! We cannot wait for our next Viking cruise. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We booked our Viking Mediterranean Odyssey cruise and pre-stay in Venice We traveled with another couple, two close friends, who also booked with the same agency, Cruise Planners. In just about every aspect, this trip exceeded our ... Read More
We booked our Viking Mediterranean Odyssey cruise and pre-stay in Venice We traveled with another couple, two close friends, who also booked with the same agency, Cruise Planners. In just about every aspect, this trip exceeded our expectations. Our pre-stay in Venice was perfect. What a wonderful city for exploring the maze of narrow streets, canals, shops, and restaurants. Viking put us up in the Hilton Molino Stucky hotel in Venice. The hotel was beautiful with very clean and spacious rooms, a great location away from the crowds, and just a short complimentary water taxi ride to St Marks Square. With our pre-stay and overnight in Venice on the ship, we had a total of three days in Venice - a great beginning to a great cruise. Our ship, the Viking Star, immediately impressed us. This ship was Viking’s first ocean ship and therefore its oldest, but you wouldn't have known that. With its modern, bright Scandinavian decor, it was one of the cleanest ships we have ever seen. Viking included complimentary wine and beer at lunch and dinner, transfers, and two on-board specialty restaurants. Wi-Fi was free and unlimited, and it worked well in cabins and public areas – better than any of the other ships we have sailed. At sea, we were even able to use the Wi-Fi for face time and Wi-Fi phone calls, which is impossible on most cruise ships. One of the most enjoyable complementary inclusions was the Nordic spa, which had a salt water thalassotherapy pool, a steam room, a hot tub, a sauna, heated ceramic lounge chairs and a cold plunge pool, as well as a unique "snow grotto". We also enjoyed the unique infinity pool with a great view from atop the stern of the ship as we cruised along. The ship layout was easy to learn, and navigate as it had a nice, common sense flow to its design. Before our trip we attended a Viking presentation and were told that a ship of this size would normally accommodate about 1200 passengers, yet Viking reduces that to 930 passengers, giving the ship a less crowded feel. This isn't something I put a lot of faith in. After all, when is the last time you cruised and the ship didn’t feel crowded, especially around the buffet? However, Viking was right. The ship really didn’t feel crowded at all. It was easy to relax and enjoy the ship amenities, and we never had a problem getting a lounge chair like many other ships. We had stops in Split, Dubrovnik, Corfu, Naples, Rome, Florence, Monte Carlo, Marseille, and Barcelona with a day at sea. At each port, Viking supplied a free included tour. Most of these were walking tours with some better than others, but we were able to break away from the tour at any time and always had ample time to explore on our own. In addition, there were opportunities to book additional tours at cost. One of the best was an all-day small group tour with a separate tour provider, the Shore Excursion Group, that we did of the Amalfi, Positano, and Sorrento coast with two other couples – a remarkable day that we will always remember. We felt that the food on the ship was OK – not bad but not outstanding either. The important thing to note was that there are several venues for eating, so finding something to our liking was never a problem. As an example for dinner, we had choices of the two specialty restaurants (with reservations), the main dining restaurant, the world café (buffet) and a themed buffet provided at the pool-side grill. The onboard entertainment was very good, with a solo guitarist, solo pianist, string duo, house band and a house vocalist quartet. There were two occasions when local entertainment was brought onboard and we felt that Viking has the opportunity to improve their shipboard entertainment by bringing more good off-Vegas talent onboard for short periods in a manner similar to other cruiselines like Celebrity. The service from the crew was outstanding and the staff seemed genuinely cheerier than what we have seen on other cruise lines. One crew member, who had worked the cruise industry for many years, on several of the major cruise lines told us that Viking was the best company to work for. He told us they really took care of its employees and in his opinion life with Viking was much nicer than any of his other gigs. This positive attitude showed from all of the staff that we encountered throughout the ship. We had a wonderful cruise experience from Viking and Cruise Planners and look forward to more in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We did mostly eat at the World Cafe (amazing sushi and crab legs), we did also enjoy Manfrettis and the Restaurant a few times. We also did use room service. The food was wonderful. No complaints. I cannot eat gluten and I was ... Read More
We did mostly eat at the World Cafe (amazing sushi and crab legs), we did also enjoy Manfrettis and the Restaurant a few times. We also did use room service. The food was wonderful. No complaints. I cannot eat gluten and I was completely taken care of. I felt safe and appreciated the extra care they went to. Our room was a delight. The bed was comfy and for us we felt spoiled with having the room cleaned twice a day. We were very glad that we chose to do a lot of our excursions with other companies. There were far fewer people and it cost less. Best example: Use All Tours in St. Petersberg. They were amazing. We also booked our own Rodne Tour for Pulpit Rock at less cost for the exact same trip. Because there were so many ports, in the end it was just a bit exhausting. If we do a cruise again, it would be one with fewer places to visit. We found every single person who worked at Viking to be friendly, helpful, and kind. If, like us, you do enjoy quality spirits, I strongly suggest purchasing a few bottles at the Stockholm Airport Duty free store. It was less expensive than at home and far cheaper than any other place we stopped. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our 4th Viking Ocean cruise and it pains me to only give the Orion a 4 star review. The Orion is definitely NOT an example of the Viking Ocean quality we have experienced on past cruises. Many new cruisers we talked to said ... Read More
This was our 4th Viking Ocean cruise and it pains me to only give the Orion a 4 star review. The Orion is definitely NOT an example of the Viking Ocean quality we have experienced on past cruises. Many new cruisers we talked to said they would not sail Viking again. Viking did a terrible job with communication. Our cruise documents stated we were sailing out of Yokohama, we sailed out of Tokyo Bay which created problems for those who booked hotels in Yokohama. Apparently due to the cruise being advertised as 23 days (it was 22 days) many had flights out of Vancouver the day after we arrived, plus Viking didn't have a berth for the ship so they offloaded our baggage in the middle of the night and then anchored in Vancouver Harbor. We had to tender for disembarkation. It was not as bad as it could have been but the next cruise pax were not allowed to board until 5:30 pm. that evening. FOOD: Manfredi's: food was sub par at best with entrees being so overcooked they were mostly inedible. The service was absolutely terrible. We ate there three times and cancelled our 4th reservation. Chef's Table: We had 4 meals there and most were excellent (didn't like the California one). The service was superior. For a 22 day cruise there were only 6 different menus so the choices were minimal. World Cafe: Eggs benedict under warming lights, no longer cooked to order. Omelette station nice, but the wait, long. The selection for both breakfast and lunch was tedious with most entrees tasting the same. All curries tasted alike. Sandwiched were no longer made to order. Main complaint however was the service with most waiters really not knowing what to do. At most breakfasts and lunches we were not offered beverages until our meal was almost finished. Restaurant: Most meals very good with a good selection to choose from. We would have liked to see some local offerings like Alaska Salmon, since we were in Alaska but none was offered. The service here was very spotty, some nights excellent, some nights not. In general most supervisors in the different restaurants seemed untrained and lazy, not really seeing the problems. Entertainment: Very good Port Talks: OK Enrichment: Very Good Cabin Stewards: Excellent Embarkation: Very good Disembarkation: Tenders Excursions: Nothing exceptional, except for expensive optional tours, mostly which were good. Planetarium: Interesting but a bit over hyped. Explorer's Lounger: Excellent servers We have signed up for another Viking Ocean Cruise so haven't given up on Viking. We just feel the crew in general needed more direction and training. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our third cruise with Viking ocean. We chose this trip for the itinerary. We had never been to Asia and liked the ports in both Asia and Alaska. Crossing the Int’l Dateline added to the attraction. We were in the Orion in ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Viking ocean. We chose this trip for the itinerary. We had never been to Asia and liked the ports in both Asia and Alaska. Crossing the Int’l Dateline added to the attraction. We were in the Orion in Jan-Feb visiting New Zealand, Tasmania and Australia. This crew was better trained and worked well together. We were pleased with most aspects of the ship. A few little things need work, but nothing major. You know what you get with Viking-it is an older crowd but activities/entertainment were sufficient for us. While some of the entertainment was the same, they did a good job at adding new entertainers. As Viking enters new parts of the world they are learning their way with shore excursions and local customs. Shore excursions were well managed. They do a good job at calling people at the right time and keep waiting times to a minimum. Checkin staff did a great job. Local guides were good. A sufficient level of activities were offered. EMBARKATION a breeze. You can arrive well before your checkin time. You are greeted with a glass of champagne and invited to use the open restaurants. Your luggage will be in your room by your assigned checkin time. DISEMBARKATION-we had a curve thrown as we could not stay in port because of too many ships in Vancouver. Luggage was offloaded in the middle of the night. We didn’t hear a thing. We disembarked via tender according to flight times. Full breakfast services available. You had to be out of your stateroom by 10am. Tenders left according to schedule with staff assisting everyone. Our luggage was waiting at our terminal at the airport. One of the most efficient operations we have experienced. CABINS Deck 3. Be careful of location. Torshavn noise is audible almost every night. Not late into the night, but it may bother some. A very convenient deck. DINING-Dining room and World Cafe offered a varied selection. Soups could use some improvement. Replenishment of eating utensils/napkins was too slow. Chef’s table-staff could use better training. One visit we had two wine pairings and no food. The French menu was too rich; not a good balance between first and main courses. Manfredi’s was very good, but don’t try to have pasta as a separate course-throws them off! SERVICE in general was excellent. Lounges and bar waiters were great. Most were very personable-not long before they know your name and cabin #! Room steward was wonderful-Edwin. SHIP-beautifully appointed. Always spotless. This ship has a dome. I don’t think this is a feature that will be included in the rest of the fleet. Makes the 8th floor area very hot. Eliminates a nice viewing/drinking area. Don’t know if that is the reason why the 7th floor area of the Explorers lounge tends to be cold. The skins on the sofas are starting to shed. Most people rolled them back to protect their clothing! PORTS/excursions. Viking’s first visits to ports can present problems. Most of our excursions were organized. In cases where we took local shuttles the scheduled were mixed. We ended up seeing what we wanted to see. ACTIVITIES-a little more variety on sea days would have been good as this was a long cruise. Lectures varied and sufficient. Like the ability to view the port talk in your cabin on the following day. Very good selection of shows/movies on the in-room system. Free internet a great feature-reception was generally good. Suggestions-have hot water in the World Cafe for hand-washing. There were some illness problems. The internet system in the room for onboard account, reservations, etc needs immediate help. The ship can not control or correct any errors. The dining for Chef’s Table had the wrong info for almost 8 days. The general website also had errors for our trip. The map wasn’t corrected until a few days before we sailed. On board future booking-a great offer that we used. However, you need to book a specific cruise that you know you won’t be using. Mucks up the booking system for other Viking customers and the whole reservation system. Viking needs to keep its attention to detail at a high level as they release the rest of the fleet! We will sail with them again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Viking always does it the right way. Just about everything you would expect is provided and included. Excellent service, embarkation was a fast and efficient, boarding, bag delivery prompt, cabin room ready and pristine ( the cabin ... Read More
Viking always does it the right way. Just about everything you would expect is provided and included. Excellent service, embarkation was a fast and efficient, boarding, bag delivery prompt, cabin room ready and pristine ( the cabin attendants were excellent, prompt and great attending your personnel requests) Meals as always were great, a selection as always for what pleases you on each meal. Spa and fitness is great and easy to do your own workout or experience the ships offerings. Excursions are plentiful and depending on your preference very good. We feel very comfortable on any of the Viking cruise offerings, either river of ocean. The ship is a smaller ocean cruise liner but has all the features you may want, there are no water slides or other features that younger couples and families would require, it is more an mature adult atmosphere where comfort, great food and drink are appreciated in a slower pace than other large cruise ships provide. Overall it was and great experience and will book again with Viking on my next vacation. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This is our second Viking ocean cruise and we have already booked our third! The ship is luxuriously appointed with comfortable seating everywhere. There is a choice of dining venues from the informal World Cafe to the Chef's ... Read More
This is our second Viking ocean cruise and we have already booked our third! The ship is luxuriously appointed with comfortable seating everywhere. There is a choice of dining venues from the informal World Cafe to the Chef's Table. Food is outstanding at each and every venue. The onboard "enrichment" (lectures, talks, films etc.) were all most interesting and enjoyable, with some outstandingly good speakers. The expeditions were also excellent, well planned and interesting. They even provide a 'shuttle bus' service for passengers wishing to arrange their own excursions. The exercise and spa facilities are just the best ever. The sauna, steam room, snow cabin, swimming pools and other installations are But the thing that really makes Viking the BEST is the staff. Every member of the ship's crew and staff wants to make their guests as happy and comfortable as possible. Any small problems that may arise are dealt with promptly and courteously. Viking are not the cheapest, but they are undoubtedly the best value for money. I'm counting the weeks until our next Viking cruise! Read Less
30 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I was attracted by the destinations and the hype surrounding Viking Ocean Cruises. The ship is beautifully equipped with all modern facilities. Like a beautiful woman until the true character is exposed. The Ship lacked Soul. ... Read More
I was attracted by the destinations and the hype surrounding Viking Ocean Cruises. The ship is beautifully equipped with all modern facilities. Like a beautiful woman until the true character is exposed. The Ship lacked Soul. Furnishings were like Ikea on steroids. There were few activities apart from some excellent speakers and an outstanding performance by 4 dancers and singers. appearing only 3 times in 15 days. Another evening a Kabuki dance by locals was fascinating. People just hung out in corners of the ship reading and relaxing. They were entertained by 2 violinists and at other times by a pianist. Some passengers looked like they had passed away. Nothing much else to do. Excursions were disappointing. The one we looked so forward to going on was cancelled due to low support and the others didn't flow particularly smoothly. Food was the redeeming feature. It was excellent. Service was friendly and almost efficient. Our cabin attendant was very good. Embarkation was smooth and well organised. It would appear that Viking may be growing too quickly since there was what appeared to be inefficient administration processes. On one of our excursions we were instructed in the Newsletter to present in the Theatre for re-direction to our Buses. We had to meet by 1.45pm. Some 50 passengers turned up. But at 2pm when our Bus was due to leave, no staff appeared. A passenger then rang Guest Services to see what was going on and was then told we were supposed to meet on the Pier. No one told us!!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have cruised on numerous ocean cruises over the past ten years including Princess, Regent, Oceania, and National Geographic. Viking Ocean will now be our "go to" cruise line unless we are seeking an expedition cruise. ... Read More
We have cruised on numerous ocean cruises over the past ten years including Princess, Regent, Oceania, and National Geographic. Viking Ocean will now be our "go to" cruise line unless we are seeking an expedition cruise. Everyone's cruising style is different, but Viking is perfect for us. Our reasons include what they don't have, no children, no casino, no Vegas style shows, no butlers, and no formal nights, to what they do have - sleek, Scandinavian design with room for everyone, focus on educational lectures, focus on classical music, the most amazing spa and fitness center at sea, fabulous food with no charge speciality restaurants, and wine and beer with lunch and dinner. We had a penthouse veranda and it was wonderful. Maybe a bit more closet space would have been nice. The bathroom was our favorite ever with it's roomy shower and heated floor. I would chose the same cabin when we cruise with them again. As mentioned by others, Viking needs to work on their shore excursions. We were on a new itinerary so maybe that was part of the problem. They definitely need to invest in new listening devices. But overall, we have found our new favorite cruise line and can't wait to sail with Viking again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The cruise was good, restaurant, bar and housekeeping staff were exceptional, but if you had to deal with the cruise director, there was no service, just talking down to you very rudely. The shore excursions were very good, however all ... Read More
The cruise was good, restaurant, bar and housekeeping staff were exceptional, but if you had to deal with the cruise director, there was no service, just talking down to you very rudely. The shore excursions were very good, however all the best tours were already booked, as it was a world cruise, which we were not aware of, so almost all of the deluxe tours that you had to pay for were full. We enjoyed the Captain's daily message at noon each day to give everyone the details regarding weather, ocean conditions, and location and how far we were from the next port of call. We found the 7 sea days to be very long, as there were not enough interesting things to do on board. They did have activities such as bridge, different talks and trivia, but they were all on the dry side. We did purchase the beverage package, but at the end, it was not worth it, as we certainly didn't get our money's worth, and you can only drink so much. Beer and wine were included with the meals, so if you are happy with that, you probably don't need to buy the beverage package. We found the food very good, and mainly ate in the World Cafe, as we preferred to serve ourselves, rather than waiting for service in the other restaurants. The ship was beautifully decorated everywhere, and the rooms were very good. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Wonderful cruise! We traveled with another couple and had side by side rooms. Our cabins were beautiful and spotless. We were thrilled that they were able to open the veranda divider while at ports. Apparently, this partition must be ... Read More
Wonderful cruise! We traveled with another couple and had side by side rooms. Our cabins were beautiful and spotless. We were thrilled that they were able to open the veranda divider while at ports. Apparently, this partition must be closed while the ship is in motion. This made visiting back and forth so easy! We chose the included tours at each port, and couldn’t have been more pleased. Due to winds we stopped at Villefranche instead of Monaco. It turned out to be one of our favorite towns, and Viking still provided us with a short bus trip to Monaco. We did hear a few older passengers stating that the excursions were more strenuous than they expected. We are all in our 60’s, and had no problem at all. The food was excellent, and the silver spirits package was well worth it! The nights we made it to the evening (9:15) show...it was great, especially when local entertainers came onboard. The staff was fantastic! I would definitely recommend this cruise. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first experience with Viking and, though all-in-all a good cruise, we departed feeling like there was room for some improvements. Viking’s reputation and recent ratings speak for themselves, so my wife and I were very ... Read More
This was our first experience with Viking and, though all-in-all a good cruise, we departed feeling like there was room for some improvements. Viking’s reputation and recent ratings speak for themselves, so my wife and I were very much looking forward to this cruise, our sixth. We sailed from Barcelona, Spain on the Viking Sea ocean ship, ending up in beautiful Bergen, Norway. The 15-day itinerary along the west European coast was very attractive to us, both in length and variety of ports to be visited. We expected an above-average experience, which Viking pretty much did deliver, but they fell short in some unexpected areas. Spoiler alert: yes, we will likely sail with them again, despite the lapses that I’ll try to articulate here, along with some well-deserved compliments. The highlights/stars of the cruise were, for us, the ship and the crew. Both were exceptional compared to previous cruise experiences. I need to start somewhere so I guess I’ll go in alphabetical order. And since I usually refer to a ‘ship’ as a ‘boat’ I’ll talk about the Viking Sea first. ;-) Our last cruise had nearly 5000 passengers on it – way, way too many. Without going into details, the crowds, lines, noise were obvious issues. ALL of that was absent on this cruise. The Sea carries up to 930 passengers. There is no casino, no interior cabins, no huge shops, no children, no photographers; everything is scaled-down from the bigger liners, yet we never once felt harried or even particularly delayed, even while getting food at the buffet. The longest line we stood in was at the U.K. stop where everyone had to go thru a formal immigration interview. At first the number of folks queued up seemed exceptionally daunting, but we were whizzed in and out of there in no time. Much appreciated. The interior of the boat was stunning. Built in 2016, it was modern, well-organized and immaculate. The décor spoke to my Scandinavian roots; I’ve always been a fan of that type of furniture coupled with the clean, eye-pleasing space design. One unexpected detail we liked were the leather-wrapped stateroom door handles and hallway safety railings; very plush. The customer service/lounge area on deck one was appropriately called ‘The Living Room’ and instantly evoked sophistication and comfort at the same time. A few decks up, the Wintergarden lounge area amidships was especially attractive. I can’t find the words to describe it – do yourself a favor and Google it real quick. Our favorite area ended up being the Explorer’s Lounge at the bow on deck seven. It had two levels, the lower featuring a bar and LOTS of comfortable seating; the upper level was smaller, a bit more private and very quiet. Both had panoramic, 180 degree views of the outside. Side doors led to an exterior walkway in front which provided, IMO, the best forward-facing views of port arrivals and sail-aways. Every evening at 6 we were treated to either a violin/cello duet or piano music, which further enhanced the pre-dinner, end-of-the-day unwind, accompanied by refreshing libations and the new friends we met. I’m not a spa guy, but as promised to my wife I tried it on the last sea day. I felt it was modest, though classy; that is the space was in keeping with the rest of the décor. It seemed rather small to me, likely due to the boat’s size. That probably also explains why all the chaise lounges were taken. I hung in as long as I could, but on my way out I couldn’t resist checking out the Snow Room, a small rustic chamber with real snow in it. I sat for a few moments and actually felt somewhat refreshed. Never seen one of those before! (Avoiding the extreme temptation to say it was ‘cool’!) Ok, how was the room? We were in a Deluxe Veranda stateroom on deck 5, ALL the way forward on the starboard side, right below the bridge. The size (270 sq. ft.) and layout were serviceable. The bathroom was relatively spacious and featured a heated mirror and floor. The heaters were activated automatically when you inserted your sea pass card to activate the room lights, but they could not be turned off until you left the room (or took your card out). The heated mirror prevented fogging during showers and worked well. I didn't like the warm floor, in general, as it tended to heat up the whole bathroom space. My wife, who is always cold, loved it. For some reason there was only one little 22” towel rod in there, which pretty much forced us to have most of the towels changed out each day. If there’d been one or two more I would’ve gladly re-used those linens. The living area was comfortable, with a nice big flat-screen monitor in front of the bed. A small wet bar tucked in the desk had a nice assortment of snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. There was a bit of extra space to cool off wine bottles and food. The balcony was smallish, but not tiny. If the weather had been less windy I could see the two of us hanging out there more often than we did. The under-hanging search light just outside the railing (part of the bridge structure right above us) was only a minor annoyance. The MAJOR annoyance was the lack of dresser and shelf space. We got only three small drawers and a couple of open shelves in addition to an un-remarkable closet space. This was confounding given the open wall areas where they could have thrown up one or two shelf/drawer units. Some new friends showed us their Penthouse Junior Suite on deck 8 and that one had an actual dresser, in addition to more room. Another issue was the nightlight. Located at floor level near the bathroom, it was BRIGHT. We first tried covering it with some tape we’d brought, but we soon realized that a folded-up towel was required; it was that annoying. Mad, mad props to Viking Sea's crew. On our last cruise this element was a memorable low-point. This time, everyone (literally), no matter if he/she was a deck hand, housekeeping, or bridge officers, always looked us in the eye, smiled and offered a pleasant 'Good morning', ‘Enjoy your day', whatever. This simple gesture is essential, IMO, for an enjoyable cruise experience. The customer service personnel were knowledgeable, the bartenders were personable, and the wait staff were very attentive (with one lone exception, see below). The highlight came after our Bruges, Belgium excursion. As our bus pulled up to the boat, we were greeted to the sight of a huge red carpet and a double line of what appeared to be most of the senior officers and staff. Music was playing, hands were clapping, feet were stomping, and we got the 'welcome back aboard' of a lifetime! Gosh knows how long they had to stand out there; we were one of the last tour groups to return. I asked a waiter about it later and he indicated that they do this at least once a cruise, pretty much at random. How fun. Nice touch Viking! We also enjoyed the many educational lectures they offered, most of them aimed at the ‘middle ages trade routes’ theme of the cruise. Their ‘Port Talk’ presentations gave us useful info on the next port of call and the scheduled excursions. If we missed anything, we could view a recording of it later on their internal media system. I’m not a night owl so I can’t comment on the evening entertainment. Speaking of excursions, everything was very well organized. There were always plenty of personnel around to direct us and answer questions. The tour guides were fun and professional. Accommodations were made for folks using crutches, wheelchairs, etc. The disembarkation process on the final day was very efficient (sort of a one-way, final excursion, right?). No lines, we were whisked thru the terminal where our baggage, porters to carry them and taxi cabs were all waiting. Sadly, I need to move on to the "irks" part of this review, i.e. the food. The buffet was, maybe predictably, repetitive after a while. They did throw in some variety, most of which was not for my palette unfortunately. At breakfast, the scrambled eggs were Eggbeaters; to get a real egg you had to order an omelet or grab an Eggs Benedict (on which the ham slices were always way too small). The coffee was mostly bitter to my taste, and for some reason, you had to go from one end of the buffet to the other just to pair a bagel with some cream cheese. And I can't for the life of me understand why they couldn't, at least once in a while, put out some seasoned ground beef, chopped lettuce, cheese and tortillas so I could have a taco or something (i.e. Mexican food). They had Italian, they had Spanish, they had Asian - what gives? Overall, the food tended to be under-seasoned and bland, period, with very few options to jazz it up other than ground pepper or some Tabasco sauce. The memorable food-related highlight was our dinner at the 'Chef's Table' and an Asian-style menu. It was fantastic. Very gourmet-style, each course was as pleasant to look at as it was to eat. For daily faire, the burgers were excellent, and the buffet’s bakery always had a wide variety of tasty breads, rolls, pastries, etc. The low light was Manfredi's, their flagship Italian restaurant. Number one, I couldn't read the menu, it was ALL in Italian. I knew I wanted the rib eye steak, their signature dish, but I needed the waiter to help me choose a side. The food was good (yes, I can recommend the rib eye), but as we were eating, the waiter decided to disappear. From then on, we had to ask for everything: plates to be cleared, dessert menus, ready to order, etc. A second waiter eventually came by, and our desserts instantly appeared. Great, but where's the coffee we ordered? So we waited. And waited. Finally the first waiter decided to check in and he went off to look for coffee. The maître d’ stopped by - we had three people looking for coffee and the desserts were still sitting (granted, our choice). Sadly, it didn't end there. My wife's Tiramisu was a gloppy mess; just one little layer of sponge at the bottom, topped off in a coffee-cup-sized container with some kind of whip creamy, chocolate swirly, ... glop. We got back to our room and we're thinking 'Holy cats, what just happened?!' It was extremely disappointing, especially given the high regard in which the restaurant was held. Just a few more random observations to offer and I’ll wrap up (thanks for hanging in!). The captain had an irksome habit of docking early. We enjoy sail-ins and are willing to get up early to watch the early-morning ones when the opportunity avails. The Viking Daily newsletter always provided lots of info including arrivals/departures so we planned accordingly. More often than not we woke up to realize that we were already pulling into a port long before our alarm was due to go off. Oh well. Another frequent irk was the spotty wi-fi. It seemed to happen mostly during the day – the signal would just quit. Lastly, at many ports Viking would arrange for shuttles, or at least guides to help independent sightseers to explore on their own. This was completely absent at Amsterdam, which was especially confusing after my wife (being much more adventurous than I) found out that, with just a bit of advice from a fellow passenger, a short walk led to a very attractive part of town. The boat’s resources were silent on this. One last remark, and I don’t consider it to be a knock, is that the boat, at 745 feet long and 94 feet wide, got tossed around a quite bit in the choppy seas we encountered coming into the English Channel, then later in the North Sea. It got a bit dicey at times, where you had to walk really carefully when you were moving around. I doubt a larger boat would ride that way but IMO it just added to the experience. So, all things considered, it was a very enjoyable cruise. A lot of this was due to the spectacular, unusual stretch of clear, moderate weather we enjoyed in all the ports we visited; no rain, not even many clouds. The rain finally did arrive - on the day we departed. Viking, for the most part, came through with a wonderful experience, just as we expected they would. I remember on the last full day, a few of us were in the Explorers Lounge filling out Viking’s lengthy feedback questionnaire and it became apparent we were all struggling with how to rate the cruise with “As Expected”, “Better Than Expected”, etc. We all ‘expected’ an exceptional experience from Viking, but it seemed weird to choose “As Expected” because it felt like we were dinging them. In fact it was a compliment – we expected better and Viking delivered. On that basis, we’re more than willing to look into another ocean cruise with Viking. Too, I strongly suspect that we’ll try one of their river cruises in the future. And on that note, I’ll close. Thank you for reading this – I hope you’ve found it helpful. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We really loved our Viking cruise and as Viking regulars appreciated the familiarity and excellent service from the very friendly staff. I will get the negatives out of the way straight away - there are administrative shortfalls on board. ... Read More
We really loved our Viking cruise and as Viking regulars appreciated the familiarity and excellent service from the very friendly staff. I will get the negatives out of the way straight away - there are administrative shortfalls on board. These may be common to all the ships - there are many minor administrative errors between finance, guest relations and excursions. There has been some reorganisation since the early days and things have definitely gone backwards in this area. We had several finance errors on our account which needed resolution. On the other hand we do love Viking - the food on board was very good indeed - I don't think we had a bad meal in a month, We enjoyed all the restaurants several times. There were a few issues with room service breakfast on the first sector, and also the bar staff could be "variable". There were a lot of crew changes during the month we were on board and this could make things difficult I am sure. Our cabin stewards were amazing for the full four weeks. The entertainment is low key which we like but there is always something to do if that is what you want or a nice corner in which to read and chill. We went from Bangkok to Tokyo and enjoyed the schedule very much indeed. It can be a challenging programme and those with limited mobility should think twice before heading out into Asia . Overall we were very pleased and have no hesitation in booking with Viking again. We think the value for money equation compared to the competitors is excellent and are very satisfied. It could be really excellent if the problems are properly addressed. There is no point in expanding fast if the standards cannot be maintained. Read Less
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