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2,373 Viking Ocean Luxury Cruise Reviews

To see the lights and to stay at the Igloo Hotel. However, everything was wonderful and we even said it would not matter if we did not see the lights because we were having such a good time. The inclusions of wine at lunch and dinner, ... Read More
To see the lights and to stay at the Igloo Hotel. However, everything was wonderful and we even said it would not matter if we did not see the lights because we were having such a good time. The inclusions of wine at lunch and dinner, free wifi, free laundry facilities, included excursions, and included specialty dining experiences are all a plus so that the cruisers are not "nickel-and-dimed" to death as is common on some mainstream cruise lines! Our first cruise on Viking Ocean and the Viking Star and it was great. A beautiful ship and the staff was excellent. BRINSLEY as cruise director did a great job and was very organized. The guest lecturers were very good and We enjoyed the fact that if we missed the real time lecture, we could view it later in our room. All the public areas were beautifully decorated and cozy. The spa was a wonderful place to spend the day when we were at sea. We met so many wonderful people, all of whom seemed as happy as we were to be on the Viking Star. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose to travel on the Viking Sea (10 day cruise) from San Juan, Puerto Rico to San Juan, Puerto Rico, because we liked the look of the itinerary, and the fact that it has been voted the top cruise line for the last 4 years. We were ... Read More
We chose to travel on the Viking Sea (10 day cruise) from San Juan, Puerto Rico to San Juan, Puerto Rico, because we liked the look of the itinerary, and the fact that it has been voted the top cruise line for the last 4 years. We were amazed by the ship on embarking. It is a stunning, beautiful ship decorated in a Scandinavian style. Our first reaction was that this was going to be a wonderful cruise. Unfortunately, it all went down hill from there. For an expensive 6* cruise line the cabins are tight and drawer space is at a premium. When comparing the cabins to Azamara for example they do not seem any bigger, although the bathrooms are a significant improvement. I am guessing that they have improved the bathroom size at the expense of draw space in the cabin. We like to eat on deck under the stars. This facility was not available on board the Viking Sea, unless one ate at the back of the ship adjoining the buffet restaurant. However, in this case there is no waiter service. Guests had to take food from the buffet. Service around the pool deck was almost non existent until I complained. It was then significantly improved. In addition the service outside at the back of the ship was also poor. Sometimes it was impossible to find a waiter, but at other times it was better. Most of the sun loungers around the pool deck have no mattresses, and the towels are very small. They cover the upright back of the lounger, and possibly a third of the horizontal part of the seat. They are grossly uncomfortable and I am sure contributed to a back problem I currently have. The policy on the ship seems to be to close the roof on the sun deck at the merest hint of rain. The temperatures in the Caribbean hover at around 30 c and closing the roof for no very good reason serves to make the conditions on deck almost intolerable. I can only assume that they are scared of getting the deck wet. In the main the food offering is very good. However, one of the specialist restaurants (Chef’s Table - Asian Fusion), we found very challenging. There is no choice - it is a fixed menu. Although it is changed every three days. We ate there twice, and on both occasions found that there were courses we could not eat. The entertainment was meagre. There were no outside entertainers. There were just 3 production shows, the cruise director doing an Elvis impersonation, and the Assistant cruise director doing a show (she was superb). Other entertainment was the Super Bowl (not very interesting to non- Americans), and a televised Oscar ceremony. Turandot was shown two days running, and 2 other films. Really, it was all rather poor. Around the ship was a classical string duo, and a classical pianist. Most of the time the music took on a funereal quality. The result was the lounges were very often empty or near empty. In fact we often said the ship felt a little like a ghost ship. There was also a guitarist. On him I can make no comment as I never heard him play. Apart from enrichment lectures, and trivia quizzes held rather bizarrely at 20.15, no other on board activities were offered. There is no card room or organised or disorganised bridge. We asked at guest relations if they could provide us with some playing cards. All they were able to come up with was an old pack held together with a rubber band, and a non matching set of picture cards. We were also told that we would have to sign for these - mind boggling. The crew were very friendly and smiling. There were simply not sufficient. Viking runs their ship with approx 2 guests to 1 crew member. Other lines with similar reputations have between 1.5 and 1.7 crew per guest. This probably is the main cause for the service difficulties we encountered. We have travelled on Crystal, Silversea, Seabourn, Azamara, and Oceania. All comparable products. Unfortunately, Viking does not meet the standards of its competitors, and feels like it is being run on the cheap. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We were thinking of cruising for a while and very hesitant about small spaces and too many people, etc. Good friends highly recommended Viking Cruises, so we researched the line and liked what we found. We wanted warm breezes in ... Read More
We were thinking of cruising for a while and very hesitant about small spaces and too many people, etc. Good friends highly recommended Viking Cruises, so we researched the line and liked what we found. We wanted warm breezes in February, and chose the West Indies Explorer cruise beginning in Puerto Rico. We were greeted with sunshine and smiles. All the Viking staff were so happy and upbeat, we were made to feel at home immediately. The Viking Sea was spectacular, so well appointed with many areas to relax and enjoy the views. We loved the piano in the Atrium, the lectures, the onboard shops and the specialtyrestaurants, to name a few. We were invited to a mix and mingle event where we were greeted by officers of the ship and other cruise critic members with cocktails and appetizers. It was great to meet other cruisers as well as the officers. We had a lovely evening. Every day the cruise director presented an overview about the next port which was so informative and got you excited to see the next stop. The Food and the service was exceptional. We enjoyed fine dining in the Speciality restaurants and the main dining room,. If we felt like a more casual evening, the buffet was fabulous. The food was delicious and abundant. We are already planning our next adventure, perhaps we will sail on a river cruise. Thanks to all for making our first cruise so wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Just returned from Viking Orion- Australia and New Zealand, plus a pre-cruise to Cairns. Over all our trip was wonderful. We were so blessed with good weather and mostly calm seas. Our flights took us from KC to Dallas, to Sydney. Then ... Read More
Just returned from Viking Orion- Australia and New Zealand, plus a pre-cruise to Cairns. Over all our trip was wonderful. We were so blessed with good weather and mostly calm seas. Our flights took us from KC to Dallas, to Sydney. Then to Cairns for our pre-cruise. I would recommend this pre-cruise because the northern part of Australia is beautiful with the Barrier Reef and rain forest. Our Sheraton resort was also quite luxurious and the town of Port Douglas is a great tourist area. Many artisan shops and reasonably priced restaurants. Our flight back to Sydney was delayed, so we did not get on the ship until close to 7pm. Others, who did the pre-cruise, wanted to do the evening dinner excursion that first night, but missed it due to the flight delay. The next day, we did the Sydney city tour and had free time in the afternoon. Unfortunately, our bus guide for the city tour was terrible, so we were disappointed that we did not learn more history etc., in Sydney. I did comment on the excursion review that our guide was a spacey 30 something more interested in her dare devil sports, then informing us about the area. Oh well. In Melbourne, we opted for a day long wine and animal park excursion. It was enjoyable, worth the money, but the time at the winery was too long. The wine presenter personally poured samples into 70+ glasses, which took close to an hour, with the cheese paring. After that we had lunch, which was delicious. The first group there had 30 folks, so their tasting went faster, and they finished lunch with desert in a timely manner. Our group rushed through the meal and some folks did not get desert, due to the timing. We were not affected by the fires or smoke that was happening between Sydney and Melbourne. Nor did we have any mention of the virus that has affected other cruise ships further north. We did the included tours in Hobart, Tasmania and Dunedin NZ. A lot of beautiful gardens, architecture, and nature to observe. In Christchurch, we chose to see the inland of NZ, and did the Lord of the Rings excursion. It was interesting to see the mountains and flat countryside as we drove about 2 hours. We were a bit disappointed in our lunch, probably because in the past, we have gotten great food in the additional excursions. Our stop was at a town hall were a couple senior aged women served cold sandwiches. There was fruit and sweets, but not the gourmet food you think about with Viking. In defense of the folks, in town, we were in the middle of nothing, so I get that resources were limited. My suggestion was to lower the price of the excursion and maybe state a simple lunch is served. We also stopped there on our way back for tea and sweets. At least the bathroom was clean. Our bus ( 1of 3) broke down on the way back, but the company was prompt to replace it and get us back to the ship in a timely manner. Our second bus had poor air conditioning, but we were all happy to be on our way. In Wellington, we went on the included city tour, and rushed back to the ship to watch the Super Bowl. Free beer was served that afternoon. Being from KC, we were delighted our team won. In Napier, we signed on for a winery tour, and were not disappointed in our choice. Clearview Estates provided an appetizer and wine pairing, along with a very interesting presentation by the owner/wine maker. Our second winery had more of a brief wine description and set out a tray of cheese and crackers. for all to enjoy. The other wine excursion did not have the food and wine paring that Clearview offered. Rotorua was the stop my husband and I did the kayak excursion. If you enjoy canoeing or kayaking, I would recommend this option. Fun drive out to the lake, fun folks at the kayak company, and fun time in the hot sulfur baths. We wore UV protected shirts, another thing I would recommend, although they had plenty of sun tan lotion for all to use. In Auckland, we did the included city tour and then the Sky Tower and Aquarium. The afternoon tour also took us past 3 places we saw on the included tour, so I thought we could have skipped that and just gone to the museums. Overall, we had enough time to see everything. The next morning we exited the ship about 8am. We had a late fight, so Viking asked us if we wanted to spend the day in a hotel, next to the airport, or go to the hospitality room ( in a hotel) in downtown Auckland, then be transported to the airport. We chose the day in downtown Auckland. We went with other folks to the art museum and had a great Mexican lunch. We were told the last bus to the airport was 4pm, which we board at 3:45. Because our flight was 10:55pm, we ended up at the hotel ( at the airport) anyway. It was nice to relax on a super comfy bed with regular TV, and really fast internet. If I knew that was the plan, I would have showered at the hotel and not packed like I was ready to travel the night before. Oh well, but thank you Viking for taking such good care of us. I hope this review helps those wondering about this cruise trip. We were very pleased and grateful to Viking for providing a wonderful vacation/holiday. If anyone has specific questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Bucket List cruise, Around the Cape. Ship was just the right size, not real big. Cabins were great, roomy, all balconies. Dining when I wanted, not when I had to, and sit where I wanted was very convenient. The on board activities were ... Read More
Bucket List cruise, Around the Cape. Ship was just the right size, not real big. Cabins were great, roomy, all balconies. Dining when I wanted, not when I had to, and sit where I wanted was very convenient. The on board activities were what I wanted, to learn something. Not just play games. Alot of quiet time. Loved the Tea time everyday. Speakers were very noligable . Service and staff couldn't have been greater. Always there to help us when we needed it and out of sight when we didn't. The bar staff knew our names and drinks by 3rd day and always were fixing our drinks as soon as they saw us. We did mainly encluded excursions - Most were excellent. A couple were disappointing but ok. I love not having children under foot all the time. ( The 18 yr limit is great) We are already planning our next cruise on Viking. Just have to decide on river or sea. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Our first cruise on Viking Ocean and the Viking Star did not disappoint. A beautiful ship and the staff was excellent. BRINSLEY as cruise director did a great job and was very organized. The guest lecturers were very good and We enjoyed ... Read More
Our first cruise on Viking Ocean and the Viking Star did not disappoint. A beautiful ship and the staff was excellent. BRINSLEY as cruise director did a great job and was very organized. The guest lecturers were very good and We enjoyed the fact that if we missed the real time lecture, we could view it later in our room. All the public areas were beautifully decorated and cozy. Loved tea at 4:00 although personally I would have preferred it earlier. We saw the Northern lights on at least 4 different days both in Alra and Tromso and from the ship. Didnt realize that to the naked eye you can't always see the colors. You see them on your camera but to your naked eye they may appear as a hazy white mist. They were still beautiful to see on your camera. Make sure you bring warm clothing and hand and feet warmers as it was minus 22 degrees Farenheit! And fleeced lined thermal underwear! We also brought bib snow pants and it was still cold. Definitely recommend it though. The extra excursions were so much fun, dogsledding, snowmobiling, sami huts and going to the ice hotel to see the sculptures. I think the overnight stay in the ice hotel isnt worth doing...no inside restrooms and very basic accommodations. We did private light tours and I would highly recommend the one we did in Tromso with Enjoy the Artic tour, only 8 of us and he was very helpful with cameras and settings. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our first ocean cruise with Viking (we'd done a river cruise previously) and were very impressed with just about all aspects of the trip. Viking's air routing was a little strange, however - we went from Baltimore to ... Read More
This was our first ocean cruise with Viking (we'd done a river cruise previously) and were very impressed with just about all aspects of the trip. Viking's air routing was a little strange, however - we went from Baltimore to Detroit to Amsterdam to Bergen, which is not a very logical route, but I suspect was less expensive for Viking than other choices. Embarkation went very smoothly and quickly. The Viking Star itself is a very nice ship - modern, clean, well laid-out and easy to navigate. The elevators in particular were impressive - quiet and fast. Our cabin was very nice. Since this was winter in the far north, we didn't make much use of the veranda. The staff was a true highlight of the trip. They were attentive, responsive, helpful, and consistently cheerful. I cannot imagine better. Dining on board was wonderful. The specialty restaurants (the Chef's Table and Manfredi's) provided superb food. The chefs are truly world-class. The main Restaurant and the World Cafe also offered excellent and varied food choices. The shore excursions were well-run, informative, and enjoyable. Of course, finding the Northern Lights is at least partially guess-work, but they did as good a job as could be done under the circumstances. The port cities were all interesting places to wonder around in. We would like to have seen more of Bergen, but we were too exhausted on our day of arrival to take advantage. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise because we had enjoyed a previous holiday in the Caribbean and wanted to see more of it. From the moment we boarded Viking Sea, we felt that we were valued guests and we were really impressed with the focus on ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had enjoyed a previous holiday in the Caribbean and wanted to see more of it. From the moment we boarded Viking Sea, we felt that we were valued guests and we were really impressed with the focus on service. We received feedback requests and chose to respond. What really surprised us was that not only did we get a written reply but that it showed that the management had actually read what we had written. Throughout our cruise the level of service was excellent except on one occasion. That was resolved by the alert supervisor who made sure the issue was rectified - one of the key strengths of Viking is that their supervisors and managers are hands on and proactive rather than simply visible. The enrichment offered by the biologist was excellent. The “historian” was not a historian.The quizzes were very good and the music was lovely. The productions by the onboard team were very good. The food was excellent and we enjoyed the specialist dining; we found it easy to arrange what we wanted to do. As we had not been before we did the included shore excursions. Most of them were very good, the usual shopping opportunities were always included! The atmosphere on this cruise was delightful and we booked to go again with Viking. We have since done another cruise with another company and feel that although Viking are more expensive they offer excellent value by delivering excellent service. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The small size of the ship was a deciding factor. We wanted some winter sunshine.We wanted a ship where there was a choice of dining rooms and free seating. We enjoy dressing for dinner but not the formality of ‘black tie’ and also the ... Read More
The small size of the ship was a deciding factor. We wanted some winter sunshine.We wanted a ship where there was a choice of dining rooms and free seating. We enjoy dressing for dinner but not the formality of ‘black tie’ and also the the freedom to choose informal dining options. A private veranda was important to us. Viking offered all the things we thought were important to us. We loved the luxury, companionship, privacy and quiet times as well as times to participate in the entertainment, to listen to the daily port talks, music in the atrium and the musical concerts in the theatre. We were able to book tables at different restaurants before we set off as well as optional or additional tours. We chose two evenings at Manfredi’s and two at The Chef’s Table. There were always places to eat without a reservation. The World Cafe and the more formal Restaurant. This was our first ocean cruise and we didn’t get round to using all the facilities but did enjoy the spa, swimming pool and the Explorers Lounge. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We have been on Viking River Cruises and wanted to try an ocean one. We have done 2 Oceania Cruises before, which we loved. VIKING was as good and better in many ways. The ship is new and well designed to meet every need. We loved the ... Read More
We have been on Viking River Cruises and wanted to try an ocean one. We have done 2 Oceania Cruises before, which we loved. VIKING was as good and better in many ways. The ship is new and well designed to meet every need. We loved the fact that the cruise did not $100 you to death. Food, wine, WiFi, launderette, and Spa were included in the standard price , as well as one included excursion every day. There were 2 reservation only restaurants on the ship. A meal in each came with our cabin. You could dine again in either if there was space - at no additional charge. But The Restaurant, the main dining room was excellent. There were 2 of us traveling. We asked to be seated at a table of 6 with others and made new acquaintances who we saw throughout the cruise. The entertainment was exceptional; far better than expected! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I loved this Viking experience. Smaller ship, no photos, no casino and I'm sorry, but no children. It was what we needed (we're Seniors). The "free to everyone Spa" is amazing! The hot room, the ice bucket of water, the ... Read More
I loved this Viking experience. Smaller ship, no photos, no casino and I'm sorry, but no children. It was what we needed (we're Seniors). The "free to everyone Spa" is amazing! The hot room, the ice bucket of water, the cold room, the big spa, the hot tub.... at first I thought I couldn't do it, but it was absolutely wonderful. The crew/staff was amazing beyond any expectations we had. Our dining experience could not have been better. Absolutely fabulous food - what a surprise from Princess and Carnival! Our waiter, Singh Untung Surya, Station 12, Table #151 made this cruise, OVER THE TOP. He was FABULOUS - the six of us that traveled together cannot say enough about what an amazing dining experience we had, with many, many accolades and thanks to Singh. He needs to be promoted or get a raise or something. Everyone that enjoyed the pleasure of being on one of his tables, all agreed, he is one very amazing person and a true asset to the Viking team. He made a huge difference to all of us! Way to go Singh....thank you for all you efforts to make this cruise extremely memorable for all of us! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The embarkation and disembarkation were smooth. The outbound and return flights and transfers were well organized. Thee ship is beautiful. The decor is modern and elegant. The furnishing is unique and stylish. Enjoyed walking around ... Read More
The embarkation and disembarkation were smooth. The outbound and return flights and transfers were well organized. Thee ship is beautiful. The decor is modern and elegant. The furnishing is unique and stylish. Enjoyed walking around looking at the artwork. The attention to detail is obvious throughout the ship. The ship is spotless and immaculate including the public bathrooms....enjoyed the birds singing as background music. The spa is beyond wonderful. We absolutely enjoyed soaking in the pool and lounging around. The gym equipment are top of the line. The cabin is well appointed. Would appreciate more storage space and thicker duvet. The bathroom is spacious and well designed. Very impressed with the heated floor. The service was great. Eric who too our specialty restaurant reservations was very helpful and friendly. The food and the were excellent. The complimentary shoe excursions at every port were a great bonus. It was an absolutley enjoyable cruise. We look forward to our next Viking cruise. We will surely recommend Viking to our friends and family. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise explicitly because there were no “at sea days”. We chose Viking because of stellar reviews with no casinos nor children. Being a very new boat, just 4 or 5 years old added to the allure. The airfare (which was ... Read More
We chose this cruise explicitly because there were no “at sea days”. We chose Viking because of stellar reviews with no casinos nor children. Being a very new boat, just 4 or 5 years old added to the allure. The airfare (which was included right from Victoria) was a bonus. Connections were in the acceptable range, but actual flights were hardly direct. It took 24 hrs pretty well both ways door to cabin door & back - very long. The boat itself was near perfection. Very clean and extremely well kept. Crew was exemplary in almost every way. The organization of the entire cruise was near to flawless. The food was exceptional, and all the restaurants (not cafeteria) were very well managed. Very limited wait times for seating & service were always acceptable. The stateroom, penthouse balcony, was spacious & well thought out. The head was lovely - only room for 1 person at a time, but that was to be expected. I thought the balcony was a little small, but still offered us lovely moments to enjoy the sea air & magnificent views. The included excursions were informative, didn’t love the giant coach drives, but they had their good points. Most of the optional excursions were terrific. Especially the catamaran trips. On the downside weather became a problem right from the cast-off. We left a few hours behind schedule which could have been an issue with our 1st port of call, however that became moot when we couldn’t even dock at our 1st port of call. Nor the 2nd one! All other ports were achieved. Another weather issue disallowed us to experience our most highly anticipated excursion. This was further exasperated when my husband & I got separated when I returned on board after the cancellation of our excursion to unload our gear, only to be denied at the gangway to leave the vessel as it was about to be repositioned. We were given inaccurate information as to a timely disembarkation notification. Many of us were very upset not knowing how long this would take. It took over an hour for us to reunite, almost ruining our ability to see any or much of the island. The crew worked hard to try to correct anything they possible could - that must be said. My only negative comments regarding the food & beverage aspect would be the World Cafe, & the overburdened Wintergarden. Workers could not seem to keep up with busing tables every time we went there. In the Cafe we sat at dirty or unset tables in order to have a meal. Drinks also either took a long time to get or there was no table service apparent. I went to the bar to get our alcoholic beverages each time we went there except once. Ted talks were well liked as were various cinema or theatre activities. I will try to go on another Viking Cruise for sure, however I cannot say the same for my husband. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Escaping Illinois in January was a great plan! Unfortunately, the ocean was a bit angry and we could not dock at the first 2 ports. Additionally, excursions were cancelled because of weather. The Viking Sea is a beautiful vessel and ... Read More
Escaping Illinois in January was a great plan! Unfortunately, the ocean was a bit angry and we could not dock at the first 2 ports. Additionally, excursions were cancelled because of weather. The Viking Sea is a beautiful vessel and the staff could not have been better. We enjoyed having a choice of restaurants, multiple bar locations, a luxurious spa and plenty of books for borrowing. Having an included tour at each location was a very convenient way to get the overall picture of each island. We found the tours that we were able to take were equal to or more than what we expected. Viking ocean cruises include a lot of things that are extra on other cruises. And, they were very prompt in refunding the money for cancelled excursions to our shipboard account. Our Cruise Critic meet and mingle reception was very nice. It was a good time to meet and visit with other cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We have been on other cruises but since we went on our first cruise with Viking we have been on 3 others and have booked 2 more with Viking. The service on the ship is wonderful especially the people who took care of our rooms. The rooms ... Read More
We have been on other cruises but since we went on our first cruise with Viking we have been on 3 others and have booked 2 more with Viking. The service on the ship is wonderful especially the people who took care of our rooms. The rooms were always kept clean. They made sure we always have clean towels. They always supplied us with limes and ice for our drinks at the time we requested. We enjoyed that we do not have certain times for any meals except the specialty dinners. We could choose a table for 2, 4, or six people for each meal. This way we were able to meet new people but enjoy sometime just enjoy ourselves when we wanted to. Service on the Caribbean Cruises could use some organization. Service can be a little slow sometimes. On our travels we have done 2 Caribbean cruises with Viking and this has been an issue that we do not have on their European Ocean cruises. We love that there is no photographer constantly taking pictures and then try selling to you. My husband and I enjoy history we love how Viking has historians on the area. We always something new on the cruise along with the excursions we take. I like that Viking offers one free excursion at each stop that gives you a general knowledge of what the stops have to offers. This gives you the ability to go off on your own to view your own interests you may have like taking a look at a museum instead of just one spot. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We'd done it before - take a sisters' cruise with Viking, and it was one of the most remarkable experiences we've ever enjoyed. We were nearly blinded with joy by the simple elegance of the ship, the beauty of the ... Read More
We'd done it before - take a sisters' cruise with Viking, and it was one of the most remarkable experiences we've ever enjoyed. We were nearly blinded with joy by the simple elegance of the ship, the beauty of the Mediterranean, and the lavish attention of the staff entire. We loved the Lanai, delighted in the choices at The World Cafe, and tramped our way around ancient ruins and cobblestone streets. It was our first ever cruise, and we doubted we'd ever have the chance to do it again. But we did, this past December. We escaped the Christmas crazy on the 11th and set out for the West Indies. But this time we would do it differently. So we headed off with our red luggage tags, swim suits, sun screen, and a mental check list of the things we'd missed on our first cruise. Our first was at The Chef's Table, where the night's theme was La Route Des Indes featuring the unique flavors of the Carribean. Then one by one through our trip we hit all the food venues like Mamsen's, The Restaurant, the Aquavit Terrace, the Pool Grille, and The Wintergarden. Our checklist included the Spa in the evening, the Snow Grotto, the Explorer's Lounge at sunset, room service at dawn on our veranda, and more. We even picked up a few unexplored options in case we manage a next time. And we...relaxed. Sure, we took in the beaches, the yachts, the cliff top views, and tropical rain forests, but we took it in with time to enjoy life together. We talked with others who agreed that ship life with Viking is one of its most outstanding features. And when we returned, we were full of beautiful memories of exceptional food, magnificent islands, luxurious attention to detail, and so very many varieties of rum punch. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We thought all parts of the cruise were excellent. Even with the rough Caribbean waters, earthquake in San Juan and missing two ports because of the rough seas and wind it was a terrific trip! We have two additional scheduled with Viking ... Read More
We thought all parts of the cruise were excellent. Even with the rough Caribbean waters, earthquake in San Juan and missing two ports because of the rough seas and wind it was a terrific trip! We have two additional scheduled with Viking and this being our test cruise with them convinced us we made a good decision to book more. We were on the Viking Sea with an Explorer Suite. The staff was very attentive, professional and provided great service to all. The dining was great but my only complaint would be that we missed the 90 day window to reserve one of the two specialty restaurants. We wanted to go to Manfredis three times but could not get in. The Chefs Table was good but you had a limited choice of food options. Although the food was very good i wish they would put a steakhouse or similar to provide more specialty options. The main restaurant was terrific and provided some of the other options for beef but again it was limited. The excursions Viking provided were walking tours but were very good and the guides were all very professional. The chosen ports were well thought out and gave us a good look at the southern Caribbean islands. We will not hesitate to recommend and use Viking well into the future. There is really a benefit only having 950 people with over 500 staff compared to 4000-6000 with 1500 staff! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I'v been on a Viking cruise before and was very impressed. I love the relatively small size-- no lines for anything. No children/rowdy college students. Beautiful rooms. Excellent service. The food at the main restaurant was ... Read More
I'v been on a Viking cruise before and was very impressed. I love the relatively small size-- no lines for anything. No children/rowdy college students. Beautiful rooms. Excellent service. The food at the main restaurant was outstanding. At the buffet and specialty restaurants not so much. The food at the Italian restaurant was pretty bad--cardboard tomatoes, run of the mill olive oil, etc. The alcohol was top-shelf and the mixed drinks were great. The shore excursions were hit and miss. The included tours were mostly boring: sit on the bus, stop for shopping (with kick-backs, I assume) and listen to more of the same. Also, there was no stepping stool for my elderly parents, so it made it difficult for them to get on and off the bus. It is probably just me, but I could live without seeing more churches and manor houses. (I did like seeing the Fort in San Juan on the included tour, however.) The included tour on St. Thomas was also great because the microphone didn't work, so we got to enjoy our ride in quiet. The optional tours were hit and miss. The whale watch was incredible--the crew were very knowable and friendly. The submarine tour was pretty dull and the guide kept telling horrible sexist jokes instead of showing us the ocean. We loved going to the resort in Antigua. It was absolutely beautiful and we had the best food of our entire trip. The trip to the rainforest was booked, so we hired our own guide and had a great time. We had only 5 people and pretty much one-to-one guides through the gorge and waterfall. It cost $25/person, so it substantially less expensive than the Viking tour and we had quite a bit more freedom. We went on the ski lift in St. Marteen as one of our optional tours and it was horrible (at least in part due to the windy and rainy weather--not anyone's fault). I was expensive (over $100) for a ride up the mountain, a small CASH bar at the top, and a trip back down. We could have done zip line for $40 more. Given the price we paid, this should have been free or sharply discounted. The meal at the plantation was in a wonderful wine cellar--it was a great experience, but the food was sub par at best. Also, given that fact that we had free food on the ship it seemed unnecessary to have to "pay" for food and beverages. One of my biggest problems in terms of the ports is that no one provided information about what kinds of things you could do on your own. I suspect that Viking shares the profits with the people who run the excursions, otherwise I cannot understand why, although not being actively "discouraged" from going out on our own, we certainly were left completely on our own to figure things out for ourselves. I would suggest that travelers do their research before the cruise to figure out the best things to do and how to arrange them. It is unfortunate that we paid so much money for the cruise with so little guidance. However, there was a great deal of guidance about how to shop for expensive bling at each port and aboard the ship. Once again, this felt like a kick-back situation. I'm sure some people want to shop, but maybe have special seminars rather than taking up so much of the TV channel hawking these things. In terms of entertainment, the piano and violin music in the Viking bar and the guitar in the Explorer's lounge were excellent! We loved the ABBA program--any Nordic cruise worth its name should include it! We only went to one other night ("Bewitched") and it was pretty bad. The singer was really good and had some great selections, but she presented it as a travel-log about her family. We don't know her and don't care. We ran into some horrible weather and weren't able to dock at our first two ports. The captain and crew were outstanding in terms of their communication and resilience. The crew worked hard to make our time on the ship enjoyable, so I didn't mind too much missing the first port (it was a real drag to miss the second--but no fault of Viking). We saw a great presentation about Alfred Hitchcock and a "live" performance of an opera from the Met. Both of which were informative and entertaining. They also set up games, etc., which were quite a bit of fun. The amenities on the ship are outstanding! We especially loved the sauna, plunge pool, whirlpool, snow grotto, etc. The services at the spa were amazing (especially the message!). There were comfortable places for socializing or for quiet relaxation pretty much everywhere. All of the chairs were quite comfortable and we didn't have to "check out" towels. I can't say enough good things about the crew! They know our names, preferences, etc. from day one. The head of housekeeping in our area introduced herself and accommodated our special request about making the bed softer. When the waves got really bad a crew member walked me to my room. I only wish we could have added a few extra tips. Over all, we had a great experience! We have already booked our river cruise for next summer! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was a special event for a special birthday. We were a group of four from the UK - two couples. Right from the start the level of service and attention to detail were amazing - from the embarkation process, the cabin, the food, the ... Read More
This was a special event for a special birthday. We were a group of four from the UK - two couples. Right from the start the level of service and attention to detail were amazing - from the embarkation process, the cabin, the food, the excursions, the explorers lounge. We had the silver spirits package and this proved to be a great addition. My husband and I love cocktails , so we could try them all if we wished. I highly recommend the chefs table - we visited 4 times! And with the spirits package we had premium wines. We are now researching a river cruise for next year and maybe an ocean cruise the year after. I don’t think we stopped smiling the whole time...it was just a lovely experience. We stayed in the igloo hotel in Alta, went on a snowmobile in Sweden, and took a trip in a cable car in Tromso. And the food - in every restaurant onboard - was excellent. I love Viking as I prefer a smaller ship and don’t want too much fuss...I love the lectures, films and scandi design. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Seeing the Northern Lights was on our bucket list. This was the first cruise we noticed that offered that opportunity. We have sailed Viking before so we were aware of the restaurants, food, etc. so we snapped at the chance and signed up. ... Read More
Seeing the Northern Lights was on our bucket list. This was the first cruise we noticed that offered that opportunity. We have sailed Viking before so we were aware of the restaurants, food, etc. so we snapped at the chance and signed up. Obviously, sailing the north Atlantic in JANUARY is probably not the smartest thing to do if you get sea sick easily, and there are no guarantees that the northern lights will even be out. But, no "pain", no gain! The weather was not cooperating right out of the gate. We left Tilbury and headed to Stavenger in moderate seas. Leaving Stavenger, we were almost immediately notified that we would skip Bodo because of the heavy weather. We sailed the largest fjord in the area to pass time...…….it was gorgeous scenery. Further, the captain sailed inside passage routes as much as possible. After Narvik, we sailed to Bergen for a two night stay. However, the seas were very rough and we were very late into Bergen, like so late all excursions were cancelled\ in Bergen. Viking was very open in keeping us up on the (lack of) progress and was very quick to refund all cancelled excursion costs. So, if you take this cruise, do not be surprised if the weather causes problems and modifications to the schedule are made. As we were there for the lights, we took an optional excursion that went out and searched for the lights. Well, we saw them on the excursion but the lights were very unimpressive. We were also told that to take pictures of the lights you needed to take a 5-6 second exposure. So, the next night, while on board the ship, the announced that the lights were out and could be seen right from the ship, in port. We went out and WOW, were blown away by the display. I said that I was going to try and get a picture with my cell phone camera...…....easy to delete bad pictures so no real effort...……..but to my amazement, I got several really god pictures of the lights!!!!!!!!!!! We were tickled pink! (Just remember to turn off the flash on your cell phone). The first day we arrived, we ate at the World Café. We walked in and right in front of us were two staff members that remembered us from the last cruise. we remembered them also...……..it was an "ah-ha" moment. So, if you think you will never see crew and staff again, nor will they ever remember you name, you are wrong, at least on these Viking ships, We were greeted by them like it was old family day! I was impressed! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
(Sorry in advance for the long review.) My wife & I had not been on any significant cruises in the past decade because the trend to larger ships goes against most of what I want in a cruise. Things that are important to me are: lack ... Read More
(Sorry in advance for the long review.) My wife & I had not been on any significant cruises in the past decade because the trend to larger ships goes against most of what I want in a cruise. Things that are important to me are: lack of crowds, not feeling like each activity or announcement was a grab for more money, food properly prepared (does not need to be uber-high end, but it shouldn't taste like cafeteria/buffet food), opportunities for learning, flexibility of choices, happy crew that were allowed to show their personality, and pretty but not ostentatious decor. I don't care a lot about stage shows and performers. As I had heard about, embarkation and disembarkation were effortless and fast. The ship was beautiful and seemed to call out for relaxation. In virtually every area at all times, there were open places to sit or lounge. Not surprisingly on this cold-weather cruise, there was almost never anyone in either pool and rarely someone in the hot tubs. The thermal suite was a joy and we enjoyed hitting the steam room followed by the snow grotto (although my wife enjoyed that cold room more than I did), followed by some soaking in the warm pool. Whether because of the cold environment or the advanced age of a lot of the passengers, we found the ship interior a bit warm. I had been expecting to wear a sweater most of the time on the ship, but we found that was definitely not needed. Wifi speeds were adequate for our needs. I would occasionally watch videos on YouTube or download an app, and it was fine for that, and was definitely good enough for email. I liked the Chef's Table (fixed menu and wine pairings) almost as much as I enjoyed the Italian restaurant Manfredi's. We often got room service for breakfast and the quality and freshness was good there too. Surprising to me was that we used the World Cafe far more than we used The Restaurant -- quality in those two areas were good and fairly similar. Our cabin attendants, Olivera and Jackie, were amazing. Olivera in particular made us feel like old friends, quickly building up shared in-jokes and repartee. Even though we are not heavy drinkers, we loved the Silver Spirits drink package. Upgrading the wines with dinner was nice, but not worrying about the bill at the end of the trip made having a good time less stressful. And at $20/person/day, I enjoyed having it paid for in advance even if it might not have actually been cheaper. We did a couple of treatments at the spa, and it was great not having them try to sell us a bunch of products. The products were available if you wanted them, but there was no hard sell (or even soft sell). The fitness center was never full, and was only in the mornings was it somewhat busy. I liked that they had an area for non-machine activities (yoga, stretching, etc.). I cannot comment much on the Viking excursions -- we arranged for our own tours in most of the cities because we like private walking tours of city centers. And for Northern Lights spotting, I highly recommend Northern Soul Adventures in Tromso. We did a couple of activities with them and loved both. We had booked three separate tours to maximize our chances of seeing the Northern Lights. The first one turned out to be the best (see the photos from our Tromso tour). The next one was cancelled because it was very cloudy. And the last one, in Alta, had great conditions but dimmer lights, although they were multi-colored which was cool. And we saw them a couple of times from the ship. So we got quite lucky with respect to aurora sighting! One bit of advice: be ready for the ship's plans to change. You are sailing in the North Sea in January and the captain will not hesitate to do things for safety. On our trip, we did not stop in Bodo due to unacceptable seas in that area (we toured a fjord instead) and they had to slow down the ship a LOT during a storm so that we got into Bergen at 11:30 pm instead of 1:00 pm, effectively eliminating the opportunity to tour that city for people that did not do the 2-day add-on. If things like that will bother you a bunch, this may not be the cruise for you. The ship is sailing in an area with unpredictable weather and seas -- flexibility is a good thing to have. This was my first Viking cruise and I would not hesitate to recommend the line for people who are not looking for activities you can only get on a mega-ship. We will definitely be cruising with them again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We wanted to see a part of the world that is not easily accessible and also beautiful. The few days at sea allowed us a very good opportunity to explore and enjoy the various amenities provided on the ship. All the crew were tremendously ... Read More
We wanted to see a part of the world that is not easily accessible and also beautiful. The few days at sea allowed us a very good opportunity to explore and enjoy the various amenities provided on the ship. All the crew were tremendously friendly and helpful. I particularly enjoyed visiting the spa with the large heated jacuzzi, steam, sauna and snow grotto. The fitness center offered all the equipment needed for a good workout at any time. The food offerings were excellent - I needed to be a bit careful at the buffet to avoid occasional accidental bumps and spills. Shore excursions were mostly excellent and some offered great experiences to visit with the Sami and learn about their way of life. The entertainment on board was fun and well-suited for my taste in pop/soft rock music. Overall this Viking Ocean cruise was a pleasure and we are already looking ahead to future trips. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I had such an incredible experience when I was on the Baltic Sea cruise in July 2019. It was my first experience of a cruise ship, and I decided that I would only travel on Viking. Unfortunately, the Caribbean cruise was a great ... Read More
I had such an incredible experience when I was on the Baltic Sea cruise in July 2019. It was my first experience of a cruise ship, and I decided that I would only travel on Viking. Unfortunately, the Caribbean cruise was a great disappointment. I chose this particular cruise so I could visit the Chicken Itza Mayan Ruins. Unfortunately, because the ship had "technical difficulties" the ship did not go to Merida. The excursions, for which we signed on, were lacking. The glass bottom boat tour was a waste of time - a visit to the local aquarium would have been much more exciting. The Cave Tubing experience was dreadful - Viking did not provide specifics re the attire needed, nor the danger of wading across the river on slippery rocks with water up to one's waste. Embarkation was a disaster. In our documents, we were told that we could access our room any time from 11 a.m. on. The reception staff could not answer my questions and we were told just to sit down, and there would be an announcement! With no response by 12:30, I decided to access our room. Obviously, the room had been prepared well ahead of time. Afternoon tea was chaotic. I waited 20 minutes to be served. I asked for English Breakfast tea with sugar and milk—I was served with Jasmine tea. When I fetched the milk and sugar, I asked if I could have a scone. Eventually an officer, who was passing, brought me a plate of sandwiches. The cabin was excellent (I love the Explorer Suite), and Try and Riva were incredible housekeepers; the ship was sparkling clean, and the dining was superb. Before this past cruise, I signed up for the Grand European Tour cruise; now I'm debating whether to go, or look at other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Auckland to Sydney. The only disappointment was the final day in Sydney being too short, and apparent confusion amongst Viking staff about water shuttles from wharf to attractions. Arrived Sydney at 1PM, and cruise ended next morning ... Read More
Auckland to Sydney. The only disappointment was the final day in Sydney being too short, and apparent confusion amongst Viking staff about water shuttles from wharf to attractions. Arrived Sydney at 1PM, and cruise ended next morning .. only half a day for this great city. Directions we received from Viking shore team sent us as pedestrians thru an active working dock area to a non-existent shuttle. Wound up taking taxis at $60 to access Australian Maritime Museum, one wharf away from the ship. Otherwise, everything aboard ship, and all the organized shore excursions and enrichment sessions exceeded expectations. Food in all dining venues was excellent. Even had a special cake for 50th anniversary in Chefs Table. The Viking label Aquavit ( aged aboard a Viking ship on a round the world cruise) only available on Viking ships, was excellent ... much better than any other Aquavit aboard. Be sure to ask specifically for it, as they tuck away the bottle in the back of the bar fridge. Participated in the Kitchen Table experience with the Orion Executive Chef on a trip to the market in Melbourne, and dinner prepared by him that evening. Excellent commentary as we shopped in the market, and an enjoyable meal. A couple participants were disappointed that they did not experience hands-on slicing and dicing food preparation, as they were led to believe from the event description, but we, personally, were not disappointed ... who could top the preparation by the Viking kitchen? Also went on the Best of Australia extension to the outback. Terrific experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Visiting New Zealand was on my bucket list. The trip was a way to celebrate my retirement. I was impressed by the beauty and cleanliness of the ship. Every room had an outside balcony. The food was made from fresh ingredients and ... Read More
Visiting New Zealand was on my bucket list. The trip was a way to celebrate my retirement. I was impressed by the beauty and cleanliness of the ship. Every room had an outside balcony. The food was made from fresh ingredients and beautifully prepared! I went to the spa often and felt renewed each time. The staff were friendly, competent, and available. I enjoyed the presentations from the historians and the beautiful music from the musicians. Even though the Orion was at capacity, the ship never felt crowded. There were lots of cozy places to relax and visit. I participated in the Kitchen Table experience, meeting a chef and preparing a delicious meal. I loved both the included and extra excursions that I participated in. Handing out water to us each time we left the ship was helpful . As a nurse, I also appreciated the emphasis on washing hands when entering the restaurants. A fabulous experience!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
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