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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We are currently on the cultural Cuba cruise, and I would not advise anyone to take any cruise to Cuba unless you can be in Havana for 3 days. The Cienfuegos and Santiago ports are very lame. Havana was fantastic but the drive is over 6 ... Read More
We are currently on the cultural Cuba cruise, and I would not advise anyone to take any cruise to Cuba unless you can be in Havana for 3 days. The Cienfuegos and Santiago ports are very lame. Havana was fantastic but the drive is over 6 hours on very poor roads. We will try to plan another trip to Havana only in the future. The ship is beautiful, but seems to shake more in the ocean than other cruise ships we have been on. We had a junior suite that was very roomy with great bathrooms. The beds are very hard, but they gave us a topper to make it more comfortable. The internet was very slow and movies kept freezing up at night when more users were on. The premium wine selection was not good but the drink package was worth it for great mixed drinks. A big miss was not showing the college football National Championship game and it could not be watched anywhere on the ship. The food in the 2 specialty restaurants was excellent and the pool side grill had a great hamburger and tuna burger. The other restaurants were just ok. Room service seemed to run behind schedule most days for breakfast, so order at least 30 minutes early. The fitness center is small and we would have liked to see more weight machines but it seemed to work for us. On the plus side, Janice our cabin steward was excellent and we had fantastic bartenders in I Made and Eddie. The spa staff that did the pedicures were fantastic. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We choose the Viking Star knowing that they would provide a quality cruise. The Cultural Cuba Itinerary would give us more time to explore several cities of Cuba and not just the one port of Havana. We were so impressed with the ... Read More
We choose the Viking Star knowing that they would provide a quality cruise. The Cultural Cuba Itinerary would give us more time to explore several cities of Cuba and not just the one port of Havana. We were so impressed with the friendliest of the staff, the design of the ship and the quality of the food. We were always greeted with a smile and a hello from every staff member each day. The ship invites one to relax. The decor is calming and peaceful yet elegant. The food in all the dining rooms was excellent. One of our favorite dinners was at Manfredini's. People we met were all friendly and eager to meet fellow cruisers. We never felt crowded on the ship, and never had to wait in any lines for dining. The only waits were for the tenders which were well organized and moved quickly. We took all our excursions through Viking and found them to be very good. The excursions provide People to People opportunities. We just wish the buses were for smaller group sizes. Trinidad was very interesting, and European like, with the old cobblestone streets. The privately owned restaurant they took us to was very good with a variety of menu choices for us that evening. It was great that we got to tour the city during the afternoon and the evening. We choose the day trip to Havana knowing this was a 3 hour drive, that we would also have the opportunity to see more of the Cuban way of life outside of the cities and away from the port. We also took the included excursions of Santiago and Cienfuegos. Both included some walking. Cuba has beautiful architecture, landscape and history and the Viking Speakers are onboard to Educate. We appreciated that there were no added charges for use of the spa facilities, which provided that extra level of relaxation. How pleasant to not have announcements all day being broadcast or photographers onboard. The singers and dancers were entertaining and the television choices were good. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
I was in Havana in 1952, and I wanted to compare that Havana with the Havana of today. Returning to the "first world" of the ship was a welcome change after a day spent in "thirld world" Cuba. We had traveled throughout ... Read More
I was in Havana in 1952, and I wanted to compare that Havana with the Havana of today. Returning to the "first world" of the ship was a welcome change after a day spent in "thirld world" Cuba. We had traveled throughout the Soviet Union in the mid-1980's, and our Cuba experience resembled that. In contrast- Cuba was clean and the people were very friendly. The Cienfuegos city tour was adequate, and we did have time to shop... but there is very little to buy other than rum and cigars. Our city tour guide was very informative about most peoples' way of life. We had the same guide on our tour of the Botanical Garden and Laguna Guanaroca. We thought this tour to be a waste of time and money. We had expected to see birds and flowers on the Botanical Gardens tour, but the local tour guide rushed us through so fast that we saw very little. Tour buses from the ship were arriving there too close together, and he had to rush us through so he could get to his next tour group. The one-day trip to Havana was just what we had expected. The tour literature had advised that it was a 3½ hour trip each way; so we were prepared for that. The mid-way rest stops were just what we had expected, from having traveled in third world countries. Viking had pre-paid the tips to the restroom attendants. We had adequate time for a walking tour around the restored part of Old Havana. I stood on a street corner and took photos of each old American car that passed by... and there were many of them! Our tour bus took us east along the Malecón to a state-run restaurant, El Aljibe, along Embassy row. The roast chicken breast was tasty, but I fed my entire meal to six hungry feral cats begging at our table. The restaurant is open-air, and the cats appeared well-fed, going from table to table, begging. The local musicians were very good. After eating lunch, a caravan of old 1950's convertibles picked up our group. My wife and I and two ladies rode in a restored 1954 Chevy Bel-Air convertible. As we returned to the downtown area our young driver decided to show us more of Havana, and we circled around el Capitolio, and newer office buildings. Back on our tour bus, we stopped at a store selling all sorts of souvenirs. Leaving Havana we went to the eastern suburb of Cojimar where we walked along the waterfront, saw a memorial to Hemingway, and had a rum drink at a local bar that he used to frequent. Here a local music group broke into a cha-cha-cha song, inviting our group to join in the dance. My wife got to play a gourd instrument, and we had a really lively time. We got back aboard the Viking Star just before the evening dinner time ended... and my dinner there took the place of the Havana lunch that I fed to the cats. Our sailing into the harbor at Santiago de Cuba was uneventful. We took the city tour which went first to the Shrine of the Virgin of Charity at the nearby village of El Cobre. There were too many tour buses there. The crowds made it almost impossible to see inside the Sanctuary. Our city tour guide was quite informative, talking mainly about Fidel Castro and his life in and around the city. We thought it interesting that this city still reveres Fidel and his revolution. After departing the harbor at Santiago de Cuba we cruised east along the southeast coast of Cuba. Shortly after sunset we sailed by the harbor at Guantanamo Bay. We knew where we were, but almost no one else on our ship had any idea that we were sailing by GITMO, and there was no notice from the ship about our location. While we couldn't see the military community inside the Bay, we easily spotted the detention camp which faces the ocean. We had a memorable dinner on the aft deck at the Aquavit Terrace, with GITMO's lights disappearing in the distance. Both our pickup and drop-off at Miami airport were timely and went without a hitch. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Two weeks ago, I returned from a four-month Around the World Cruise on the Viking Sun. The ship is beautiful. However, there were many things wrong with this cruise which is why I can give it only two stars. Five ports were missed ... Read More
Two weeks ago, I returned from a four-month Around the World Cruise on the Viking Sun. The ship is beautiful. However, there were many things wrong with this cruise which is why I can give it only two stars. Five ports were missed because of "bad weather". Passengers were given NO compensation for ports missed except for one port when the ship had engine problems. The ship is two-years old and understaffed in the dining room. The service is very slow and the food is often served cold. Perpetual chaos in the dining room. Even though I complained several times to restaurant managers, the service never got better. The temperature in the dining room is often overly warm and uncomfortable. Asian food is served more often than to my liking and some foods are repeated often. Outdoor grilling is often served on the pool deck but the lines can be 15 minutes long because the cooking is slow. The passengers on the world cruise had two photo ops provided by the Viking staff on the bow of the ship. We were told that we would each receive a copy of a photo. We never received a photo. I recently learned that not only will we not receive a photo but also that the photo is posted on Facebook, and unless we have a Facebook account, we cannot see the photo nor will we receive a copy. I do not have a Facebook account and do not intend to get one. The Guest Services, Housekeeping, and bar staffs are excellent. The Shore Excursons staff does a great job of trying to accommodate passengers for their choice of shore excursions. The General Manager, Sujith, is extremely nice and does everything he can to grant requests from passengers. To sum up, I think that missing five ports on a world cruise with no compensation is unacceptable. I doubt I'll travel with Viking again. I found too many annoyances to make me want to sail with them again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have cruised previously with both Seabourn and Silversea, as well as Viking River and we chose this cruise because we had read superb reviews and we were curious about Viking Ocean. The Viking Sun is a beautiful ship with absolutely ... Read More
We have cruised previously with both Seabourn and Silversea, as well as Viking River and we chose this cruise because we had read superb reviews and we were curious about Viking Ocean. The Viking Sun is a beautiful ship with absolutely stunning common areas. Housekeeping and cabin service is superb. Everything is clean and shiny and new. The problem is that service elsewhere on the ship is inconsistent. In the specialty restaurant, Manfredis, service was flawless. But elsewhere, it certainly was not. Buffets are often the only option and lines are long and slow. The buffets are set up so that there is a very small serving area resulting in a single line for all. If the main restaurant is closed (or full, as it was for us on a few occasions), the lines get very long. Pool service was downright poor. It seems there are not enough staff members to provide nearly the same level of service you get on Seabourn or Silversea. While the entertainment systems in the cabins ofter lots of choices, the other amenities in the higher end cabins are disappointing in comparison to similar cabins on Seabourn and Silversea. The mini bar Viking advertises in many of their pricier cabins consists of a few airline bottles of cheap liquor, a few beers and sodas, and not much else. There are only a total of two glasses of any kind available in the cabin. There are things that Viking does very well, but overall, if you have sailed on Seabourn or Silversea, Viking really doesn’t compare. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We had done a Viking River Cruise and we were looking for a Viking cruise close-by. We drove down from Orlando, everything went well getting on board and of course the customer service was wonderful. The entertainment was also ... Read More
We had done a Viking River Cruise and we were looking for a Viking cruise close-by. We drove down from Orlando, everything went well getting on board and of course the customer service was wonderful. The entertainment was also surprisingly good. What it was lacking was: 1)variety at the locations/islands, like an included day at the beach would have been nice, the 3 included tours were all of ruins, and maybe a little more time in Cozumel, we were hardly there, 2) a little better with the communication and care of us when we are off the boat, when we were on Viking River it was amazing how well they took care of us, but on this trip, the first tour was during lunch and it wasn't made clear that no lunch was being provided and there was no real place to grab lunch, which was a real issue since my mother and I are diabetic, luckily I had enough snacks to keep us from having a sugar crash, but it was really close, 3) on the Viking river cruises the do a few meals to celebrate the locations we were visiting, but there wasn't anything like that on this cruise, 4) the shops on the boat, I would think you would have at least one shop with things that match with where the cruise is going, like items for a Caribbean cruise. I will have to say you can't beat the rooms, the balconies, and the customer service on a Viking boat, but the rest of the trip was a bit of a bust. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The GOOD: Kudos to Ahmed, Restauant Supervisor, who personally extended himself to be sure my dietary restrictions were met . The spa, gym, Meet & Mingle, cooking class, all outstanding! The cabin, crew, Wi-Fi and amenities on the ship ... Read More
The GOOD: Kudos to Ahmed, Restauant Supervisor, who personally extended himself to be sure my dietary restrictions were met . The spa, gym, Meet & Mingle, cooking class, all outstanding! The cabin, crew, Wi-Fi and amenities on the ship were great. The BAD: Only a few hours in most ports so not enough time to really see or do on Turquoise Caribbean. The Ugly: The excursion.vendors frantic to get you back to the ship on time so we felt herded, elementary school field trip, not a travel experience. Key West was a joke, suggest you just walk off the ship and grab a taxi. The snorkeling in Belize was disappointing; Coral was bleached, very few fish, and then forced to go to the port in wet bathing suit instead of directly back to the ship, very wired. Celestun only spent 9 minutes seeing the flamingos; nice lunch at a pretty beach, the stop at the park should be omitted. Many people embarked in Key West and Belize because their travel connections did not work. Be sure you arrive a day or two before the ship departs to be safe. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My wife and I are very experienced cruisers having been on more than 35. This was our first time on Viking Ocean Cruise line, Scandinavian and we were impressed by their very high ratings on River Cruises.and the fact they only carried a ... Read More
My wife and I are very experienced cruisers having been on more than 35. This was our first time on Viking Ocean Cruise line, Scandinavian and we were impressed by their very high ratings on River Cruises.and the fact they only carried a maximum of 930 passengers. Check in was a breeze with 6 or 7 receptionists waiting for us instead of long lines. It is considered a luxury cruise ship and as such commands a very high initial cost for the cruise which must be paid in full much before the cruise embarks. However, this is partially compensated for with many inclusions not permitted on other cruise lines. We were permitted to bring alcohol aboard the ship. They also included wine and beer with all meals and excursions at each port of call. While onboard my wife and her our friend Ann went to a cooking class with the executive Chef of the ship and he liked them. There were two special dining venues THE CHEF'S TABLE and another upscale Italian restaurant. We were supposed to go only once during the cruise but because of the connection my wife, Nela and Ann made with the Chef were permitted to go 4 times, where he prepared his specialties and served them. They were absolutely amazing and I've never had better food on any ship. For an additional charge you could choose other excursions customized to your interests. I chose one on Cozumel said to be the 2d largest barrier reef for snorkeling, 185 miles long which was disappointing as I had expected a wall but found only scattered limestone reefs with only smaller colorful tropical fish. I saw no predators like sharks, barracudas or even sting rays, that I had seen snorkeling and Scuba diving. Though the personnel were very friendly it was not well organized. In the middle of the sea they required half our passengers to climb onto a boat that pulled alongside. I'd not recommend that excursion. However one excursion we went on was exceptional and I'd highly recommend that in Mexico called SALSA AND SALSA in which my wife I and two friends, first time cruisers were taken on a couple buses to a 2d floor high ceiling open air room in a hotel and sat at tables for 10 with many vegetables and a musher, which is a small dish with a rough bottom and a pestle for crushing and mushing the vegetables with various recipes into different Salsas. We were provided aprons, Chef's hats and unlimited. Margaritas and ingredients to make more. Our hostesses were two young Mexican girls in their 20's full of enthusiasm that kept things going. After eating varied Doritos and Salsa and too many home made Margaritas where we lost count the tables were removed and the floor cleared for dancing the SALSA. I would never call myself a dancer but after 6 or 7 Margaritas figured nobody cared and did my best. We all left totally sated, happy and ready to recover. The entertainment onboard the ship was very limited in variety and elaborate productions but made up for it with extremely talented musicians and singers. There was one quartet of 4 British singers that performed on 3 different nights once emulating ABBA, then BEATLES and finally 60's music. I talked to a few of the performers afterward and found they were not a professional group but were hired individually and the group would disintegrate after the cruise ended. It made me tear up thinking so beautiful would end. Even our Cruise director was a former professional Opera Singer with a voice so perfect I asked my friend if she wasn't lipsyncing and he assured me she was not. She was amazing at the New Year's celebration party. On board I enjoyed their lectures particularly one on Catapults showing how very ineffective walls are, no matter how strong or well guarded. The gym was small and basic but had all the essentials for a good workout. I liked the Steam, Sauna and Ice room. The ice room was a real treat. Short periods of stress are good for your health and excessive amount can kill you. In summing up overall I'd say this cruise was exceptional and one of the best I've been on, though expensive. I've been on more moderately priced ships that were very good and can honestly say I've never been on any vacation I did not enjoy though some more than others, so in the end you'll have to decide what you want for yourself. I always consider price an important factor when deciding on a service or product. I was an accountant by profession. I like quality at a reduced price. That what makes a good value. If you want everything to be nearly perfect and are willing to pay top price VIKING is a choice, you won't be wrong with, but if you'd want to go on two or more cruises on a less expensive ship for the same price, then Princess or Celebrity are excellent ships. I wrote this review for Cruise Critic not Viking Ocean cruise line because I read Viking's terms and conditions in which they stated they can edit comments possibly making my review Fake News instead of the honest one I wrote by editing out anything negative. I said, but believe cruise critic will condense it with my concerns to its essence. I hope this has been helpful. Paul, an experienced cruiser. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We arrived directly from the airport where Viking personnel were easy to identify and directed us to a bus for transporting us to the ship terminal. The check-in process was very efficient and informative. We were allowed to board the ship ... Read More
We arrived directly from the airport where Viking personnel were easy to identify and directed us to a bus for transporting us to the ship terminal. The check-in process was very efficient and informative. We were allowed to board the ship right away but not go directly to our cabin until 2 PM, which was fine while we checked out the ship layout and enjoyed the beautiful view and day from the upper decks. For dining we generally ate at the World cafe for the ease of self service for food, dress code and no waiting for seating. The food was good but the variety was limited, same general menu the entire trip, with only a few changes from day to day, of course sampling from the dessert counter was the best part! The entertainment we attended was nice, but would have enjoyed additional talents as well. The activities menu was very limited to guest speakers, some interesting but not for everyone. Recommend advertising the on-board tours more, we stumbled onto them but only made the bridge tour on this trip, also offering helpful classes on ex: camera tips for better pictures, cooking cultural foods for pending ports, etc. would be great. We really appreciated not being bothered with a a sales pitch everyday for something (pictures, jewelry etc). The inclusion of Wi-Fi was truly a wonderful treat too. Service was impeccable, very friendly and accommodating staff. The most organized port and shore disembarkation that we have experienced so far among our three different cruise lines, probably helped with a smaller number of passengers too. We already have multiple future trips booked with Viking and look forward to cruising with you! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Looked for a hoilday cruise after Christmas. Chose Viking for a luxury experience. Embarkation a breeze at POM - on the ship in 15 minutes. No lines.No problems. Boat was not at location on paperwork but was easily found Room was not ... Read More
Looked for a hoilday cruise after Christmas. Chose Viking for a luxury experience. Embarkation a breeze at POM - on the ship in 15 minutes. No lines.No problems. Boat was not at location on paperwork but was easily found Room was not ready on time due to a prolonged immigration delay for staff. Understandable. PJS was very nice. A fantastic location. Very quiet. Meals on board were very good. Enjoyed every meal except the Chefs Table. The Asian Panorama was average. The wine selections was very good however. We had Silver Beverage package. Enjoyed all the different red wines, Spouse likes her Chardonnay.. Linda Clancey the Cruise Director was fantastic. The shows were very good, Also enjoyed the enrichment lectures. Port and shore excursions met our expectations, Really enjoyed the Lamanai Mayan site and Cichan Itza, Negatives: 1, Ship motion - seas were rough from Miami to Key West and first day at sea from Key West to Belize, Maybe small size of ship made this worse? 2, Key West port - Mallory Square was closed due to damage. Couldn't tender due to wind/waves. Got into a dock after another ship left. Port was very crowded. 3. Cozumel - short time in port. Overall would highly recommend Vking Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We were looking for a relaxing and fun way to start the new year. We were not disappointed! The crew was very friendly and took special care to make sure we were comfortable. The food was excellent with a lot of variety and choices of both ... Read More
We were looking for a relaxing and fun way to start the new year. We were not disappointed! The crew was very friendly and took special care to make sure we were comfortable. The food was excellent with a lot of variety and choices of both informal dining as well as more formal restaurants. Both lunch and dinner included wine, which was consistently of high quality and delicious. A pleasant surprise was the quality of the onboard entertainment — professional-level shows that presented selections from ABBA, the 60s, and the Beatles. We had a junior suite, which was very comfortable. The ship had many seating areas for taking sun and enjoying quiet conversation. There was also a well-stocked library. Finally, the gym was quite large with plenty of equipment, free weights and workout space. The one concern was that the embarkation dock was changed from J to F at the last moment, and we were not informed. Therefore, we had to scramble to get to the other dock and were worried about missing the ship. The high point was certainly the New Year's Eve party and dance! This cruise was truly an experience to remember! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Viking came highly recommended by friends and family, and we chose this particular cruise because of our interests in ancient civilizations. While on the cruise, we were able to visit three different Mayan ruins. The food and dining ... Read More
Viking came highly recommended by friends and family, and we chose this particular cruise because of our interests in ancient civilizations. While on the cruise, we were able to visit three different Mayan ruins. The food and dining options were second to none. Our favorite days were the At Sea days. We made full use of the spa, and went through the Nordic bathing ritual on an almost daily basis. Plenty of open spaces, with board games, cards, and a puzzle station. This is most definitely not a party or a booze cruise. Which is one of the reasons why we enjoyed it so very much. Our only issues were with the descriptions of some of the excursions, as well as the timing of the excursions. More time was devoted to traveling on the excursions than actuality at the sites. During a 7 hour tour, we only had 105 minutes to explore the site, and the remaining time was spent in transit. We would do it again, we were just disappointed that we didn't have more time to explore. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
My wife and I (I'm in my 70's)wanted to see Belize and Mexico primarily to see the ancient Mayan ruins but we didn't want to see the normal tourist hot spots that you can get on television documentaries all the time so we ... Read More
My wife and I (I'm in my 70's)wanted to see Belize and Mexico primarily to see the ancient Mayan ruins but we didn't want to see the normal tourist hot spots that you can get on television documentaries all the time so we ventured into the excursions offered by Viking Oceans. We chose Viking Oceans because it was a smaller cruise shipt and didn't carry thousands of passengers giving us a more intimate yet sociable experience. We went to Miami a few days early and made the mistake of staying in a hotel on the beach. The hotel that was booked for us was terrific but our mistake was getting a hotel on the beach. During the time we were there, the beach was really quite empty (cooler weather) but the shops and nearby restaurants were too overcrowded for us(again we like things more private and intimate). Our embarkation started with being picked up by the Viking staff and getting a short tour of Miami before heading to the ship. The tour was very interesting and went well. The ship seemed gigantic but getting to our rooms and having the bags delivered went off without a hitch. Every staff member was more than helpful making sure all our needs were met. The cabin was spacious well designed, clean, well stocked. comfortable and the veranda was a terrific place to go and just chill and drink some wine, The four dining rooms allowed plenty of room for places to eat and room service 24/7. I was never disappointed about any menu's but even though we had booked our reservations about eight months prior to our departure, their two specialty restaurants were booked for the entire trip and we never got to use it. The only thing I wish they would do is give every guest a chance to eat there at least once during the trip by simply limiting pre-booking to the larger suites to one visit on any given day and then allowing them to book more days once they were on the ship but again only allow one booking per day for any day and time they choose.This will allow everyone a chance to book any available restaurant at least once. Don't get me wrong, the food in all the restaurants was terrific but the smaller ones allow for more intimate dining which is what we would have preferred. There was never a lack of things to do or see on the ship. We walked throughout the ship familiarizing ourselves with its layout and that took us just about a full day. Social gatherings and just sitting out on the decks and relaxing always gave us opportunities to meet new people and make new friendships. The staff couldn't have been more friendly and helpful. Each and every one of them make you feel like you were a king or queen. They were fantastic and I don't know how they can do that day after day and still make you feel that they wanted you to give them something for them to do to make you feel comfortable and satisfied. The excursions we chose were fantastic. Well organized, knowledgeable guides and just total enjoyment. I believe on our next trip we will not go on as many excursions and probably choose to go off on our own exploratory expeditions to really get to know the country we are visiting. Disembarkation went just as smoothly as our embarkation. Not a single complaint about anything. The Cruise ship spaced us out according to our individual travel time schedule so everyone wasn't trying to get off the ship at the same time. Very well organized. This was my first cruise and I was totally impressed. This was my wife's third cruise and she said it was better than the Viking River Cruise she went on with her sister but only because I was with her this time. When we are ready to go on another cruise, Viking Cruises will be our first and only choice. As Tony the Tiger says "They're Great!" Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We took the New Year’s Cruise with Viking as our cousin’s had booked it and we love Viking. From the easy on to the easy exit all was seamless. Our rooms were ready so we went and checked out our room on the 4 th floor and our cabin ... Read More
We took the New Year’s Cruise with Viking as our cousin’s had booked it and we love Viking. From the easy on to the easy exit all was seamless. Our rooms were ready so we went and checked out our room on the 4 th floor and our cabin stuart Mohammad was there to greet us and tell us what was different from the ship we took on the Homelands and he was excellent. The room was always made up, fresh water refilled and new towels and products refilled in the bathroom. Viking does it right, from all balcony rooms to no kids under 18 and no casino. They don’t nickel and dime you as specialty restaurants are included, wine, beer, soda included at lunch/ dinner but what makes Viking special is the crew, everyone smiling and always a sunny good morning/evening, nothing was too much trouble. A few issues we had was two of the shows were the same as the shows we saw a year and a half ago on the Homelands ( ABBA/Beatles) maybe it’s time to change shows as most people are returning Viking cruisers now. Also in our refrigerator on the last 2 nights we had all seltzer water with no diet/ regular coke as we requested and they don’t supply chips anymore just pack of nuts and small chocolates. This, I believe, was a new route for Viking, Turquoise Caribbean Seas, and some of the included tours were not up to Viking standards. We drove almost an hour to Mérida only to have half an hour in the main square and our guide gave no description of what we were looking at just, “ this is the oldest house, this is the oldest church” and no time to visit anything. The trip to San Gervasio was disappointing as our guide talked about the Mayan number system and calendar but not anything detailed about the complex and never saw the tall house, just the few ruins at the beginning of the complex so we had plenty of time to shop, which we didn’t need. In Key West we could not tender but Viking worked their magic and got one ship at port to leave early so that we could at least get into Key West and everyone could take the included trolley ride, but all optional tours had to be cancelled. On the plus side we were in Key West for the sunset. I took the Snorkeling at the Barrier Reef in Belize and it was a great tour, the guides were very informative and never left people on their own in the water. We were in groups and they had kayaks around in case anyone got in trouble, and a rum punch to wash out the salt water in the mouth when we came back on the boat made for a nice touch. We were dropped off at Belize port where most stores/ restaurants were closed because it was Sunday. One thing about this cruise was that there were two sea days (7 night cruise) and as Viking is a port intensive cruise line, this was a disappointment to us as another port vs. a sea day would have been better for us as we don’t like sitting around but enjoy doing things. Like I said we took it because of my cousin’s taking it and probably would not have chosen this cruise for just us, but we were continuing on to a Florida vacation so this was a nice start to it. We are already booked for Frances Finest River Cruise this summer and Empires of the Mediterranean for 2020 so Viking has our loyalty, this is just my observation of this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this itinerary on Viking because we wanted to see Key West and spend a few days with warm sunny weather. We had previously taken a Viking River Cruise and enjoyed the smaller ship aspect of the Sun. From embarkation to ... Read More
We chose this itinerary on Viking because we wanted to see Key West and spend a few days with warm sunny weather. We had previously taken a Viking River Cruise and enjoyed the smaller ship aspect of the Sun. From embarkation to disembarkation, we were treated like valued guests. Our room (DV6) on Deck 3 was spacious, well organized and with sufficient storage in closet, drawers and bathroom. We loved having the balcony and the room to enjoy coffee at sunrise and a wine at sunset. The coffee pot was a particular treat as we aren’t human until coffee is consumed. Instruction for pot were fairly clear and produced strong coffee...just right! All meals were tasty, varied and served with a smile and wine. We ate at Manfedi’s one evening and Chef’s Table another...both we’re outstanding. The entertainment was well planned and timed which suited those of us who are ready to retire before midnight. There were lots of public spaces to give the impression of a much larger ship....would highly recommend for a relaxing winter break...or any adult get away. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My wife and I wanted a high quality, small ship, mosty inclusive cruising experience. Viking Ocean Cruises was highly rated. Very effective advertising. Decided to give them a try for an 8 day Caribbean cruise. We were not disappointed. ... Read More
My wife and I wanted a high quality, small ship, mosty inclusive cruising experience. Viking Ocean Cruises was highly rated. Very effective advertising. Decided to give them a try for an 8 day Caribbean cruise. We were not disappointed. Used Viking Air for transportation to Miami...no issues. Transfer from Airport to the ship (Viking Sun) went well. Embarkation was smooth. Cabin (a delux on deck 4) was outstanding...really liked heated floors in bathroom. Bed comfortable. Room fridge stocked with soft drinks, water and chocolate at no charge. Food was high quality but would have preferred simpler fare (hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecue) besides just at lunch. Nice that specially restaurants were free, although we didn’t dine at either one. Ships store (toiletries, snacks) had limited hours...should be longer. Fitness Center adequate...given demographics of ship not a lot of competition for equipment. Spa options excellent but early reservations a must for basics like Manicures and Pedicures. Excursion options good. We paid for one excurion (jungle ATV) and loved it...well worth the extra money. Included tours not bad either. We’re not alcohol drinkers so skipped the drink package. Cruise Director planned and executed a great New Year’s Eve party. Received a ship bridge tour from watch officer...really interesting. Crew was great...very friendly and attentive to needs. Debarkation smooth. Customs in Miami was quick and easy. We booked another cruise while on board...we’ll be repeat customers. Viking doesn’t try to nickel and dime you to death (photographers, art, etc.). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
This was my third Viking Cruise. It was a wonderful trip! The Viking Sun is beautiful, elegantly decorated, and pristine. The staff is very helpful at all times. Every activity from boarding to disembarking is organized and easy to ... Read More
This was my third Viking Cruise. It was a wonderful trip! The Viking Sun is beautiful, elegantly decorated, and pristine. The staff is very helpful at all times. Every activity from boarding to disembarking is organized and easy to follow. The amenities are great, especially the spa and pools. Our room was very clean, had everything you might need, and the low lighting and heated floor in the bathroom are very nice. It is nice to have such a great movie selection on the big TV, excellent wireless connection, and American outlets for your devices. The steward was very attentive, and the mini bar was filled with our requested tonic water every day. The food and cocktails are all good on the ship, and the Chef's Table is a must for anyone who cruises with Viking. The excursions were fun and educational, but I wish we had more time in each port. I already booked my next Viking cruise for June. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
My wife and I traveled with six friends. We had a Great trip over New Year. Food was great, people were very helpful. Cruise director and assistant had great voices, this was highlight of entertainment. Cabin was fine. Shore excursions ... Read More
My wife and I traveled with six friends. We had a Great trip over New Year. Food was great, people were very helpful. Cruise director and assistant had great voices, this was highlight of entertainment. Cabin was fine. Shore excursions were good, really enjoyed tube cave trip in Belize. The pyramids in Chitchen Itza was the tour that I found the most informative and most impressive. Love the small ship feel and easy on ond off at ports. I take advantage of the fitness center, well equipped open and airy. Getting to and from the ship at beginning and end of trip was easy. The Restaurant Manager was very helpful to get our group seated together each night. We enjoyed the food and variety in the World Cafe and the other food Kiosks. The only issue we had was we needed more clothing hangers for our room and our steward need two days to find extra hangers. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Read many good things about Viking and wanted to try a different cruise line. The ship was beautiful. The passenger to size ratio was great. Never felt crowded. The light interiors were a welcome change from other lines we’ve cruised. ... Read More
Read many good things about Viking and wanted to try a different cruise line. The ship was beautiful. The passenger to size ratio was great. Never felt crowded. The light interiors were a welcome change from other lines we’ve cruised. Cabins were very nice. Loved the heated floor and mirror in the bathroom. Dining was mixed. We liked the World Cafe. Food was very good with lots of choices. The grill had a nice selection. Tea at the Wintergarden was enjoyable. We didn’t feel the main dining room functioned like a well oiled machine. Service was not smooth, the kitchen was very slow, and the food was average. The specialty restaurants were better. A poor first meal at the Italian restaurant was resolved with a second visit. Other than that the crew was excellent. The ship was great. The included excursions were very good. The tour guides were knowledgeable and very friendly. We’ll definitely do another cruise with Viking. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I’m currently on a 21 day Cuba, Panama and the Pacific Cruise on the Viking Star. This is our 5th cruise, we have been on Celebrity Infinity and Reflection, Crystal Symphony and a Uniworld river cruise. The Viking Star is nice but lacks ... Read More
I’m currently on a 21 day Cuba, Panama and the Pacific Cruise on the Viking Star. This is our 5th cruise, we have been on Celebrity Infinity and Reflection, Crystal Symphony and a Uniworld river cruise. The Viking Star is nice but lacks some of the luxury touches found on other ships in this rather expensive price range. Perhaps I prefer a different design aesthetic. We are in a Penthouse Veranda, which we paid to upgrade to in order to have enough storage space. Thanks to previous CC reviewers I was warned of the limited drawer space in the regular veranda cabins. We opted not to purchase the Silver Spirits package and feel that it was a smart financial move. Most of the included wines have been fine, on days when we don’t care for the offerings we purchase a bottle and have come out ahead. The wine list to purchase from is fairly limited, so if you are very particular I suggest bringing your own wines. Cocktail prices are very fair at $5-8. Finally, by not having the package I don’t feel motivated to drink my moneys worth! Dining on the ship has been mixed, I’ve been surprised that some of my best meals have been in the World Cafe. The menus have been very good with a nice variety to choose from. I can control my portions and not waste food. The Restaurant has had some serious fails with slow delivery, mixed up orders, cold soups, sauces and gravies. We’ve dined in Manfredi’s twice and the food is good, but portions are huge. I learned to ask for half portions. Feeling a bit under the weather today, I ordered room service. I was hoping for a nice hot cup of soup, unfortunately it was barely lukewarm. On a positive note, the waitstaff are the friendliest and most professional I’ve ever encountered on a cruise. We have not dined at Chefs Table yet so I cannot comment on that. Regarding the excursions, We have only done the included excursions so far and most have been disappointing, somewhat unorganized, very limited as to what you see and two ran quite late. I would suggest if time permits that you plan your own excursions. Many offered by Viking were overpriced compared to arranging our own. I understand the risks involved in doing so. Finally, big kudos to our stateroom attendants Sam and Borche. They are the sweetest gentlemen and have kept everything in immaculate condition. We are still undecided if we would cruise with Viking again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Love cruising with Viking so wanted to take this cruise with them. This was our 4th ocean cruise with them. The ships are spotless. The crew is friendly and polite. You can rely on them. The rooms are larger. Bathroom larger. Every ... Read More
Love cruising with Viking so wanted to take this cruise with them. This was our 4th ocean cruise with them. The ships are spotless. The crew is friendly and polite. You can rely on them. The rooms are larger. Bathroom larger. Every room has a lanai. Loved our cabin boy. Anything we needed, he got for us. The food was excellent. All freshly cooked. No preservatives. The lectures were very good but I would have liked more entertainment. Playing Trivia was not my cup of tea. A 22 day cruise needed more to do. The shore excursions were well organized. Our guides were knowledgeable and spoke good English. Not like some places. The poor countries were a little depressing but we knew that would be. We were lucky to have sunny weather. The fact that it was Central America, it was extremely hot and humid. We wanted to visit Cuba and travel through the Panama Canal. Each country was so interesting. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Just coming off a 22 day cruise sailing Miami to Los Angeles. First time cruiser on Viking but not my last. Hubby and I are seasoned travelers and cruisers and believe we have found the cruise company for us. Smaller (900+ passengers), ... Read More
Just coming off a 22 day cruise sailing Miami to Los Angeles. First time cruiser on Viking but not my last. Hubby and I are seasoned travelers and cruisers and believe we have found the cruise company for us. Smaller (900+ passengers), sophisticated but not stuffy, great food, cabins are spacious and comfortable, super clean, enjoyable entertainment, included shore excursions and so much more. Ultimately though my love of this cruise was because of their staff. From the top down, ALL are committed to making this the best cruise you have ever been on. During the 3 week cruise we always met staff asking how we were doing, did we need anything, were we enjoying our cruise and what could they do for us. It appears the crew are treated well and love their jobs. The smiles are amazing. On board surveys were acknowledged with a phone call and a promise to review something, make a change or take immediately correction. The general manager and all department heads were available and approachable. We thoroughly enjoyed our meals in The Restaurant, Manfredi’s, Chef’s Table, Mamsens and the World Cafe. Room service was always available. Complimentary beer and wine at both lunch and dinner was a nice perk. Complimentary adult beverages at sail away’s, parties, receptions, etc. The food was plentiful, varied and beautifully presented. Loved Mamsens yummy light snacks with their Norwegian influence. Manfredi’s had an Italian styled menu and was always fantastic. Please note that there are no up charges for the specialty restaurants either! Our penthouse veranda cabin was spacious and very well organized. The bathroom and shower were roomy. Plenty of electric plugs and charging ports for your electronic devices. Tired of paying for wifi on other cruises? Well Viking’s wifi is FREE and generally worked very well ( even in the Pacific Ocean). Entertainment was appropriate for the passengers sailing with a classic and contemporary mix. The very talented Cruise and Assistant Cruise Director were fully engaged with the passengers. The ship’s band and small troup of singers were very good. Some special performers ( magician, violinist, local culture group,etc.) were also good. There were enrichment programs with guest speakers as well. Each port had a complimentary excursion provided plus other interesting choices. A lovely spa was also available plus 2 small ( but adequate) swimming pools. Quality and value through and through. No nickle and diming you as the passenger. I loved this cruise and have already booked another Viking adventure. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
First Viking Cruise, my wife and I enjoyed it immensely. Good staff, very engaged and aware of customer needs. Lots of attention to detail like constantly refreshing buffet offerings in World Cafe. The "all in" policy on tips, ... Read More
First Viking Cruise, my wife and I enjoyed it immensely. Good staff, very engaged and aware of customer needs. Lots of attention to detail like constantly refreshing buffet offerings in World Cafe. The "all in" policy on tips, free mini-bar etc was nice. The Port Talks were excellent, and gave a good idea of what to expect. The talk and slides on the antique cars was great. How do the Cubans maintain 60 year old cars, and get simple things like oil filters. All answered. Talks on politics, on the cities to be visited, etc. Room 6031 was clean, and perfectly fine for a short cruise. The lack of drawer storage was notable,so we threw the hair dryer, shoe shine pack, etc into the closet to create more space. Dining was fine. We had dinner in Manfredi's, and at the Chef's Table, as well as in the World Cafe. The wine selection was OK, the (free) base wines ranged from good down to swill. Beer was fine with a good range of European choices. Several special nights with pig roasts out on the aft deck, seafood spectacular, etc. All were done well. Full breakfasts were available, with alcohol for those who wanted it. The excursions are a work in progress. Cuba doesn't have a lot of experience in tourism, and more remote places like Cienfuegos and Santiago are behind the curve. That's to be expected. On four excursions, we had two superb guides, one OK, and one awful. I'm not sure how much control Viking has over the tour operators (I only saw one provider in both places). In one case, we were expected to walk through knee high grass, down a washed out culvert to see a lake. And back up via another route. Older people had trouble other , people were concerned about ticks in the grass. Another guide engaged us in a forced march, so we could spend a whole half hour in yet another a rum / cigar shop. The third in four excursions. Several people had trouble with the pace. There was a lot of overlap, as we received the Cienfuegos city park talk twice, from two different guides. It was interesting what they chose to emphasize. Some guides were great, and the excursions provided a great window into a lovely country. Hard working people, horse drawn carts, street musicians, vivid colors, wonderful sunsets. I had the opportunity to walk by myself through the mercado and beyond after one excursion ended. The guide had received 30 people, and delivered 30 people back to the dock. After that, I walked off on my own. About a two mile walk. Friendly people selling wood carvings, hats, gourds, etc. Didn't feel the least bit threatened. The neighborhoods looked a little more worn than those traversed by the tour buses, but it seemed more real. Street musicians, very lively areas. I speak a little Spanish, and did fine. The US government requires that the trip address certain people to people needs. So, we saw an honors arts school, with young children demonstrating high levels of musical proficiency. And visited the adjacent painting studio where the instructors displayed their work, most in support of the revolution. For sale, too. Other schools visible on our trip did not appear to have the same level of maintenance or exterior paint. But, all kids wear uniforms, and those we met were exceptionally polite. I'd go back to either Cienfuegos or Santiago de Cuba in an instant, and I will. But, I know it will be different, just like it was different five years ago. A government patrol boat sat near our ship in both ports. In Santiago, the ship was required to anchor about 30 minutes outside the main harbor, making a long tender ride Practical notes: I tipped guides, taxi drivers, etc in all of US dollars, Cuban convertible pesos, and Euro. They were grateful for the tips, it's a big part of their income. The government takes a cut off the conversion of all US$ to Cuban currency, so most preferred the Euro We departed Santiago de Cuba in the late afternoon, bound for Miami. A day at sea, and a 6am arrival in Miami. Customs doesn't report for work until 7am, so it was 7.15 before the first people were processed. Everyone was required to be out of their cabins by 8am, and off the ship by 9am. I would have liked a few more hours in Santiago de Cuba, and an hour more sleep in Miami. This is not a child friendly cruise. No kids activities, and most excursions were adult level. Not too much partying, the average age was probably mid-60s. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
I have done 2 Viking River Cruises so I wanted to see what the ocean cruise with Viking would be like. I was not disappointed and my only negative comment would be the overnight shore excursion was rather expensive ($799 each) and we were ... Read More
I have done 2 Viking River Cruises so I wanted to see what the ocean cruise with Viking would be like. I was not disappointed and my only negative comment would be the overnight shore excursion was rather expensive ($799 each) and we were not advised of this cost until shortly before our sailing date. Also they didn’t allow for the fact that there was a Marathon run that day so we were delayed waiting in the hotel lobby for over an hour. Everything else was above average though. The cabin was adequate and the bathroom was the best on any ship I’ve been on. Crew were great and with my garlic allergy the dining staff went above expectations to take excellent care of my needs and even provided me with garlic free dinner in Manfredi’s. Overall I would recommend Viking and would love to cruise again with them. Being a smaller ship there wasn’t the usual night club type shows but the did have local talent come on board as well as informative lectures. The included shore excursions were well done with great guides and lots of local information. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
My husband and I just returned from the one-week Cultural Cuba cruise aboard the Viking Star. First of all, this is a beautiful ship, stylish and very comfortable and just the right size at about 900 passengers. When we arrived at the ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from the one-week Cultural Cuba cruise aboard the Viking Star. First of all, this is a beautiful ship, stylish and very comfortable and just the right size at about 900 passengers. When we arrived at the Miami airport, the Viking personnel were waiting at the baggage area to take our bags and get us on a bus to the ship. It was very efficient and when we arrived at the port the check-in was also quick and painless. We were able to use our cabin 5051, a deluxe veranda, immediately. The cabin was well laid out and comfortable, the bathroom the best we have experienced on any cruise. There is not a lot of drawer storage but the closet is large and there is plenty of space under the beds. We went to the World Cafe and had lunch and it was very pleasant. The layout and general look of the buffet is very nice. We were very tired from an early flight so made an early night of it. The next day was a sea day and there was plenty to do, three lectures on Cuba during the day and entertainment in the evening. There are no "grand" productions but the entertainment was very professional. The highlight of the cruise was the show by Cuba musicians called Legends.Com. these were well-known Cuban musicians who gave a fabulous performance. I wish we could have seen another show! The stay in Cienfuegos was spread over three days so some passengers could go to Havana. We did the included city tour and enjoyed it very much. It is obvious that this was once a wealthy city and the cubans are slowly renovating the many old and beautiful colonial buildings. The guides on our tours were a real highlight of the cruise. They were open about the benefits and shortcomings of the Cuban system, free health care and educations, etc. but not full of propaganda. Really there was not a lot of overt political propaganda in the city. We were more than satisfied with the 3-4 hour tours because the heat and humidity really take it out of you. We were also very happy to return to the comfort of the ship and the tender ride was not a problem. The food on the ship was excellent in both the buffet and dining room. We ate one night at Manfredi's, the Italian restaurant, and were very satisfied. Beer and wine is served at lunch and dinner and as much as you wanted. The staff was uniformly friendly and helpful. Santiago was a very interesting city. While Cienfuegos is a cultural interesting provincial city, Santiago could be a really world-class city with adequate investment. Really, this was an excellent cruise and the Viking Star is a great ship -- no casino, no photographers or staff constantly trying to sell you something. I look forward to another Viking Ocean cruise. Read Less
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