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Sail Date: November 2018
Our friends invited us on this cruise because they had taken other Viking cruises and were happy with them. The food was very tasty and fresh. We enjoyed the various talks every day. At night the entertainment was 1st class. We ... Read More
Our friends invited us on this cruise because they had taken other Viking cruises and were happy with them. The food was very tasty and fresh. We enjoyed the various talks every day. At night the entertainment was 1st class. We play Trivia every week so we enjoyed that. We met lots of interesting people who had taken lots of Viking cruises. We enjoyed the infinity pool and hot tub. I would like to take another Viking cruise. Cuba turned out to be an interesting destination. We had not considered visiting earlier to a large extent because of the apparent discouragement of travel there by the US government. We found the people there to be mostly apolitical and living as they had to. There was certainly no feeling at all of anything but friendliness among those we met or all the others we simply met or saw on the streets. I certainly think US sanctions do much harm and essentially no good. Hopefully our relations with the Cuban people will continue the improvement that has finally begun to take place during the last few years. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We wanted to experience The Viking Ocean experience. We were extremely impressed with all aspects of the Viking ocean experience. From the easy embarkation process, to our explorer suite being ready as soon as we boarded, and the very ... Read More
We wanted to experience The Viking Ocean experience. We were extremely impressed with all aspects of the Viking ocean experience. From the easy embarkation process, to our explorer suite being ready as soon as we boarded, and the very helpful suite stewards. The steward gave us a tour of the suite and explained all the specific details of the suite as well as what was included in our package. The Explorer Suite was well laid out and the wrap around verandah was to die for. We were also very impressed with the quality and taste of all the meals we had on board. Although we indulged a lot it felt like we were eating healthy. We were not too impressed with the destination. We were anchored in both the ports and the water was definitely not Caribbean blue. More muddy than blue. That was disappointing. However, being on the super luxurious cruise ship was well worth the trip. We will certainly go on another Viking Ocean cruise and hope they expand their destinations out of Florida into the Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We hadn't been to those particular Caribbean islands on previous trips so wanted a brief time to explore. One day in each port gave us an idea which island(s) we might wish to return to for a longer stay. The sunny skies (most days) ... Read More
We hadn't been to those particular Caribbean islands on previous trips so wanted a brief time to explore. One day in each port gave us an idea which island(s) we might wish to return to for a longer stay. The sunny skies (most days) and warm seas made the trip extra enjoyable. The cruise staff gave excellent service. Our cabin was kept spotless. The singing entertainment group chose music that was upbeat, harmonic, and varied. We enjoyed the casualness of dining. Sometimes we chose to sit by ourselves and other time chose to sit with a small group. Whichever it was, we met delightful traveling companions. We think that fellow travelers are more friendly on Viking ships. The port excursion we enjoyed the most as a couple was the St. Thomas "Kayak, Hike, & Snorkel of Cas Cay". The guides took very good care of everyone, no matter the kayaking ability level. On St. Martin, I took a French cooking class that was just like being in a class in Paris. We prepared the dishes with the chef's guidance and then ate our gourmet creations. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We enjoyed a previous Viking Ocean cruise and wanted to see Cuba. The major drawback was that the ship did not dock in Havana. There was a 12 hour, rather expensive, excursion into Havana. We enjoyed that excursion but thought that it ... Read More
We enjoyed a previous Viking Ocean cruise and wanted to see Cuba. The major drawback was that the ship did not dock in Havana. There was a 12 hour, rather expensive, excursion into Havana. We enjoyed that excursion but thought that it should have been an 'included' excursion since most people visiting Cuba want to see Havana. Both ports required 'tendering' so this cruise isn't for the 'disabled'. We usually cruise with Crystal cruises so our evaluations may be biased. Viking Ocean uses the river boat model....basic entertainment, etc., assuming that you will be in port most days anyhow. Our cabin was noisier than on our previous cruise (newer ship), but I understand that that will be corrected when the SKY is refitted in 2020. The dining is very good in all of the restaurants and reservations were not difficult to obtain. The wine selection is limited...a white and a red each day. On our previous cruise with Viking, they would serve one of the wines from another day if you found one that you particularly liked. The staff on this cruise weren't willing to do that. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We were very interested in seeing Cuba, now that we finally had a way to get there. We were somewhat disappointed, however, in the destinations. Since Viking does not dock in Havana, we were at the port of Cienfuegos for 2.5 days. We ... Read More
We were very interested in seeing Cuba, now that we finally had a way to get there. We were somewhat disappointed, however, in the destinations. Since Viking does not dock in Havana, we were at the port of Cienfuegos for 2.5 days. We did arrange a private tour for our group of six to Havana, so we were able to see Havana, but it was a 3 hour drive from Cienfuegos. The excursions (except for our private Havana tour) were all provided by the official government-owned tourist company, and were clearly influenced by the government. Quality of excursions seemed to vary depending on which group you were in. We did the Streets of Trinidad tour, but it was the first day onshore and the line for currency exchange was long and slow. My group was last to leave for the tour. They took us to a small town far past Trinidad where we spent a little time, and by the time we got back to Trinidad, we hardly had any time left, and it was a lovely town where I would have really liked to spend more time. This was similar on the "walking tour" of Cienfuegos, which turned out to be much more of a bus tour. Since a tour of the cigar factory was included, again my group was among the last to get in; by the time we got back to downtown Cienfuegos we had hardly any time left and did no walking tour at all. The ship itself, however, was very nice. We were happy with the food, the ship itself and everything onboard. I would do an ocean cruise with Viking again, but wish our experience with the Cuba excursions had been better. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
The titles tells it all - This Is Not Your Typical Review Spoiler Alert: I was born in Cienfuegos 67 years ago, left in 1961 and had not returned in 57 years.But my memories are still fresh. The three day stopover was just long ... Read More
The titles tells it all - This Is Not Your Typical Review Spoiler Alert: I was born in Cienfuegos 67 years ago, left in 1961 and had not returned in 57 years.But my memories are still fresh. The three day stopover was just long enough to see what has changed in 57 years. Answer: Nothing! Think...What if nothing had changed where you live in the last 57 years. How sad. What price to be paid for supposedly "free" healthcare (no such thing - bring your own toilet paper, sheets, food, medicines, etc. to the hospital)? The real price: Your liberty. It was also sad to see many of my fellow passengers fawning over the old cars, decrepit buildings and the absence of any aspects of modern life. They thought these things were "quaint". Many also bemoaning "The Embargo" they know little about: "The Embargo" does not prevent Cuba from buying anything it wants in world markets - even food and medicines from the US can be had. But the problem is that Cuba does not make a thing of significant value that anybody wants to buy - rum and cigars do not a modern economy make. As to the cruise and itinerary. Overall, as always, 5 stars to Viking! Ship: Been on the Star 2 times and both have been superb experiences. This was the original ship (2014) of the Viking ocean fleet. It set the standard for all to follow to this day. Perfect size for this cruise. Cabin: Ample and sleek: Scandinavian functionality combined with style. And superb attention by the staff. Dining: Viking is the only cruise line where going to the main dinning room is as good or better than the specialty restaurants. Variety, extensive, high quality and attentive service. The specialty restaurants: Italian and a Chef's table (ever-changing menu) are fantastic. And don't forget the World Cafe - the best buffet presentation I have experienced in a luxury liner. And custom order anything. Yes, they'll accomodate just about any requests No kidding. Services: All your needs are covered, and more. Excursions: Extensive selection to the right places. Have fun deciding which to take. Hard choices. So don't read this review the wrong way. If you really want to see what Cuba is all about - this is the cruise for you. Just remove the rose colored glasses and take a hard look. You'll be glad you get to return to the Viking Star every day and enjoy the very best the world has to offer (on-board). And don't forget: You're free. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We wanted to try out Viking Ocean cruises after 35+ cruises on other lines. We liked the focus on destination cruising and were attracted by the absence of casinos, child entertainment facilities, amusement park rides, etc. We were ... Read More
We wanted to try out Viking Ocean cruises after 35+ cruises on other lines. We liked the focus on destination cruising and were attracted by the absence of casinos, child entertainment facilities, amusement park rides, etc. We were wowed by the wonderfully roomy stateroom, with abundant storage and closet space. The service by the room stewards and dining room wait staff was above any we have experienced on other ships. The board process was lightning fast, no waiting, no excess paperwork, all smiles and welcome. The World Café was amazing -- most upper deck buffet restaurants on cruise ships are lacking, but Viking Star's service and seating were wonderful. Everything was open, easy to get to the food, high quality food, lots of seating and no feeling of being crowded. The ship's officers closely monitored the Cuban immigration process when we landed in Cienfeugos, expediting however possible. The shore excursions were well run, giving us an excellent exposure to not only Cuban culture, but the values and practices of a socialist society. One tour guide took us into a ration store, demonstating how subsidized food distribution works, and intervied the manager of the store for us. We intend to take more Viking Ocean cruises in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Excellent cruise. Good value for money. Great way to see Cuba and get a feel for the culture. Excellent food and service. We loved the excursion to Havana and especially the ride thru the city in the old 1950's era cars. That was the ... Read More
Excellent cruise. Good value for money. Great way to see Cuba and get a feel for the culture. Excellent food and service. We loved the excursion to Havana and especially the ride thru the city in the old 1950's era cars. That was the highlight of the trip for me. The staterooms were spacious with plenty of room for all our clothes. The entertainment was extremely good as well. Our only disappointment was with the amount and timing of the dancing available to us. Would have liked more Latin/ Cuban music. Hopefully in the near future the cruise line will have a Havana terminal in order to avoid the 3 hour bus ride from Cienfuegos. The hotel in Havana was 4 star and had an excellent breakfast. The onboarding lectures were extremely interesting, especially the lecture on Havana cars and also the Cuban Missile Crisis. Expect to gains some weight with all the great food. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
From the moment we stepped in to the embarkation lounge in Miami we could tell this cruise was different from others we'd taken with other companies. First of all, there were no lines!! We breezed right through. And no Welcome Aboard ... Read More
From the moment we stepped in to the embarkation lounge in Miami we could tell this cruise was different from others we'd taken with other companies. First of all, there were no lines!! We breezed right through. And no Welcome Aboard photo to purchase later either. Instead we were welcomed aboard with glasses of champagne. Clearly a different kind of cruise line! How wonderful!! The ship is airy and bright and easy to navigate. There is no casino and the shops are small but well stocked. There are lots of spaces to sit and read or play board or card games while watching the world go by outside the ship. And every afternoon and evening there was lovely music being played somewhere- near the pool, at the pool, in the Atrium. Our stateroom was equally bright and airy. And our steward was waiting for us to give us a tour of it so we would know where everything was and how everything operates. How thoughtful! He knew us by sight by the end of the first day. There are plenty of dining options aboard and we managed to dine in all the venues at least once during the week. The staff was, without exception, friendly, attentive and professional. The choices in the Main Dining Room and the World Cafe are largely the same but in the Cafe, you choose how many things you want to try and how much of each you want. When we went to the Main Dining Room the first night right after the lifeboat drill, there was a line. Not to worry, here came a waiter with more champagne to keep us all amused! And the line moved very quickly. Dinner at Manfredi's was an immersion into Italy. Delicious!! The Chef's Table is a dining event - with five courses paired with different wines all explained by the staff. Experiential dining at its best. The two full days at sea allowed us to explore the ship, swim and hang out at the pool, play games, go to tea in the Wintergarden (the scones are fabulous!), try out all the exercise options and go to the lectures. The lectures are another thing that set Viking apart from other cruise lines. We actually came home a lot better informed about Cuba, Cuban history and the history of US Cuban relations than we were when we left. It's a good feeling! The port excursions were extraordinary as well. Other than the first day and the last day, the process of clearing Customs and Immigration each day was quick and seamless. The first day, the additional paperwork and the lines to exchange money caused the process to take longer. And the last day, all of the trips arrived back at the terminal at the same time causing a delay. That wasn't the plan but it is what happened. We went to Trinidad de Cuba, a day in Havana, a walking tour of Cienfuegos and the trip to the coffee plantation near Santiago de Cuba. All allowed us to glimpse different bits of Cuban history, Cuba today and the people who live there. Only at one stop were we surrounded by local people selling souvenirs and trinkets. The tour company is owned by the government. The buses were all brand new air conditioned coach buses with a bathroom if necessary- very comfortable. The tour guides were all knowledgeable and spoke good to excellent English. It was clear that there were times when they could be frank and other times when they were less forthcoming. That in itself was a lesson. None of these trips were overly strenuous. The trip to the coffee plantation was the most walking over uneven ground that we did. There were water bottles provided as we left the ship each day and more on the buses so we were able to stay well hydrated in the heat. The meals that we ate on the tours off the boat (Trinidad and Havana) were good and gave us additional insights into Cuban culture and cuisine. Each tour seemed to include a cocktail somewhere that seemed a bit superfluous. But it was fun. And then we got another full day and half sea to process what we'd seen and heard, and to enjoy the activities and the ambiance that is Viking. Ahhh! But alas, all good things come to an end. Even though we wanted to linger, disembarkation went just as smoothly as embarkation. We breezed through Customs and Immigration and almost before we knew it we were back on the bus headed to the airport. I have recommended this trip and Viking to everyone who will listen to me since we got home. And we're already pouring over the catalogs to plan our next voyage. Viva Viking!!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise to spend time with group of friends and experience Cuba. Our group of 10 were accommodated at all restaurants with group seating ( twice with private dining rooms!) I was pleased to see a wide variety of gluten free ... Read More
We chose this cruise to spend time with group of friends and experience Cuba. Our group of 10 were accommodated at all restaurants with group seating ( twice with private dining rooms!) I was pleased to see a wide variety of gluten free foods available! The service level matched that of Silver Sea...perhaps even better in several venues. Aaron Syfert was one of the best cruise directors we have experienced.....all activities and excursions were executed well! The highlight of the trip was the overnight Havana excursion....at first I was reluctant but don't regret! We enjoyed several unique features of this ship.....thermal spa, infinity pool, and putting green. Since we partied quite a bit, I was glad we spent the extra money of the drink package. I'm not sure if it was planning or luck but the flight travel arrangements, transfers, etc. were seamless! I will certainly include Viking in my searches for our next cruise! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I had taken a Viking river cruise and wanted to experience the ocean cruise. The ship is beautifully decorated, The cleanliness is so evident everywhere. Service and food is outstanding. My usual cruise lines I travel on are all ... Read More
I had taken a Viking river cruise and wanted to experience the ocean cruise. The ship is beautifully decorated, The cleanliness is so evident everywhere. Service and food is outstanding. My usual cruise lines I travel on are all deluxe-Sliver sea-seabourn etc. and I must admit Viking Ocean is right up there and maybe surpassing them. I was in a Penthoust veranda suite 6019, comfortable plenty of draw space and closet.One complain I do have is the difficult maneuvering one has to do to use the TV. If the remote is not aimed just right it wont work. The two or three shows they have were very good. I also think they should go to a truly all inclusive , as the other deluxe lines . On the Cuba itinerary being in Cienfuegos for 3 nights is quite inconvenient for visiting Havana. It is almost a 3 hour drive And you really need to stay overnight in Havana to get to see anything, and that is not really enough. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
I chose this cruise for the Cuba itinerary. I have taken over 100 cruises with all the premium and ultra-deluxe cruise lines and I have never encountered significant problems. First, I would like to address what I consider ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the Cuba itinerary. I have taken over 100 cruises with all the premium and ultra-deluxe cruise lines and I have never encountered significant problems. First, I would like to address what I consider "significant problems" and then mention "irritations" for which I think there is room for improvement and additional training. Significant Problem> When I got to the cruise terminal I could not pass security because I was not on the manifest. A supervisor allowed me to go upstairs where there was a Viking check-in desk. They could not find my name. Ambra (I think that is her name) was called. I explained to her I had people waiting in a car outside in case I could not board and explained my BP was extremely high and I was ill. She told me to "wait right here" while she went back to the ship, After about ten minutes I was lightheaded and dizzy and asked if I could sit and have a drink of water. Any elderly (I am age 75) person, let alone ill, should be offered a seat. Finally, I was boarded. There is no dedicated guest services staff.One calls the Explorer Desk. Four times I was unable to get an answer. When I asked the guest services representative why the phone is not answered he stated they are busy with other customers. There is no recording to indicate that and no option for a callback. The table on patio very dirty with standing water. Housekeeping did come and clean it when I called. I could not connect to the internet. Went to guest services for the third time. They could not help. A third person came to my cabin(after two others tried and I waited in the cabin for two hours) who had IT expertise and fixed it. Guest services called me three times to have me bring my passport. I had to go to the desk and give my passport for the third time. No remote for the TV in the cabin. I called housekeeping and they brought one but could not get it to work.Another person came and explained the safety video had to run first before the TV would work. Surprised to find the main dining room is not open for lunch, I was tired of buffets and wanted to sit down and be served. There are no trays so each course had to be carried to the table with no one to help. My spouse uses a walker so if anyone is traveling with a disabled person the other person has to make multiple trips to the buffet to get food for two people. The buffet (World Cafe) is extremely busy since it is the only place to eat for lunch and the wait staff is unable to provide adequate service. The cruise was advertised as "airfare included." I live in the Ft. Lauderdale area so air was not necessary but no credit is given for local travelers. Other cruise lines I have sailed deduct $300 per person from the fare. Solo travelers seem to be overlooked. I was seated behind a pillar in the Chef's table specialty restaurant and forgotten. This was a wine pairing dinner. The waiter forgot the initial wine so later brought two glasses of different wines, Voice mail service was intermittent. I could not retrieve my messages for a whole day There was a lot of complaining about Viking on the ship. I addressed my concerns with the hotel manager but he stated he is not empowered to do anything about my concerns. He stated that all concerns must be forwarded to corporate. The ship is beautiful. The spa is spectacular and the food is on par with other premium cruise lines but service is inferior to most mainline cruise lines and grossly lacking compared to the other "ultra deluxe" cruise lines such as Seabourn, Crystal and Regent.. I do think there is much more training needed; particularly in guest services and the wait staff in serving solo passengers. My cabin attendant was excellent and housekeeping could not do enough to address my concerns. Thesupervisor of housekeeping came to my cabin several times to make sure everything was OK. And when I asked about some snacks for an "election night party" the offerings exceeded my expectations One final comment. The itinerary was for three days in Cienfuegos and three hours in Santiago. It should be reversed. Everything of interest can be seen in three hours in Cienfuegos but Santiago is a large citywith many more points of interest. I did not do the Havanna tour dueto the 31/2 hour bus ride and the fact that I can take a five daycruise which overnights in Havanna for about half the price of the tour by Viking. In summary, Viking Ocean has beautiful ships but I hope the level of onboard services will be significantly improved. There seems to inadequatestaff; particularly since there are no exclusively guest services representatives. I paid $1100 a day for my cruise but I have had far superior experiences for cruises less than half that amount. Furthermore, if you are a solo traveler, over 65 or have a disability this cruise is not for you. Viking Ocean Cruises marketing targets younger, able bodied affluent travelers who enjoy such things as the "snow room" on board. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose it for Cuba and liked the overall itinerary. We were very pleased with Viking. The rooms were nice and all of staff were great. The food was very good. We liked the high end drinks you could get with the beverage package. We ... Read More
We chose it for Cuba and liked the overall itinerary. We were very pleased with Viking. The rooms were nice and all of staff were great. The food was very good. We liked the high end drinks you could get with the beverage package. We were pleasantly surprised as we'd never done a cruise that was not all-inclusive. The down side is there is no entertainment at night like other ships have, except for the small band. We did enjoy the one night on the pool deck when the band played. We met some great people. On our excursion to Havana, we loved our tour guide. What we didn't like what coming back in the dark on the road we were sharing with horse-drawn carts. That was not clear in information ahead of time or we probably wouldn't have gone. We did not take any other excursions and talking to other people, sounded like we made the right choice. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Travelled in a group of 12 and we all were exceptionally pleased! Group included first time cruisers and seasoned cruisers. Exemplary food, service and off-shore tours! Staff is superb in their professionalism and service,always with a ... Read More
Travelled in a group of 12 and we all were exceptionally pleased! Group included first time cruisers and seasoned cruisers. Exemplary food, service and off-shore tours! Staff is superb in their professionalism and service,always with a friendly smile! Staff Attention to detail is amazing! Staff can remember you name, cabin and details about your preferences. Off shore excursions are excellent. We did upgrade some of our tours and they were with the extra expense. The pre-destination informative sessions were very helpful before each port. We have been on many cruises and Viking’s food exceeded expectations. Wine parring was fabulous. If we ate off ship food schedule, sometimes it was difficult to find a food option when returning to the ship after a tour. Down side is the main entertainment. Same performers with different themes every nite led us to retire to our rooms too early. Ship was always very clean no matter what time of day and in all weather conditions. When crew had to scramble to change a port due to bad weather, the result was very organized and a positive experience. Already have another cruise scheduled! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Selected this cruise because I had done a river cruise. The price was right. The greeters at the airport were right there and saw to everyone's needs. When we arrived at embarkation, boarding the ship was a breeze. We found our ... Read More
Selected this cruise because I had done a river cruise. The price was right. The greeters at the airport were right there and saw to everyone's needs. When we arrived at embarkation, boarding the ship was a breeze. We found our cabin with no difficulty and the accommodations were excellent for two people. Our room steward, the restaurant staff, excursion desk were all outstanding. The enrichment lectures were informative and well presented and attended. It was enjoyable in the evening to have music in the public areas. We enjoyed the game tables - with no casino. That certainly was an added plus to this trip. We had wonderful shore excursions with local guides who went above and beyond other guides I've had when traveling others companies. There isn't a negative thing I could share about this cruise. I've told friends thinking of traveling to Cuba - "This is the one for you!" If you are thinking about a trip to Cuba, "This is the one for you, too." Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
I never saw the notice for the Meet and Mingle in the daily happenings in the ship's program although I did see the signs for the get together, but did not know when it was happening. Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba were most ... Read More
I never saw the notice for the Meet and Mingle in the daily happenings in the ship's program although I did see the signs for the get together, but did not know when it was happening. Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba were most interesting and more vintage cars than I expected, The ship was perfect, as were the staff and food. Manfredi’s and The Chef's Table were such a treat, as were the many buffets. We met so many nice people on this cruise, everyone with such different backgrounds and perspectives. The onboard lectures were fantastic as were our guides on the excursions. The infinity pool was nice as was the regular pool, and the Aquivit Terrace was so nice and casual. I enjoyed being in my swim suit/robe and eating on the terrace. What a treat! Anastasia is a gifted piano player, and we enjoyed listening to her in the evenings. The launderette on our floor was nice to have. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Cuba with luxury was the style on this wonderful ship. The personal touches and finishes provide a visit to a challenged country in grand style. We enjoyed everything on this cruise; however, the highlight was Havana cruising down the ... Read More
Cuba with luxury was the style on this wonderful ship. The personal touches and finishes provide a visit to a challenged country in grand style. We enjoyed everything on this cruise; however, the highlight was Havana cruising down the streets in vintage auto. The history of the chalenges faced by this 3rd world country are daunting. Many guides were willing to share their life experiences with all as well as the triumphs they have enjoyed. The vision of this country with it's future will be something I will remember for. The cruise gave us the chance to see many years ahead and envision the opportunities that can be experienced by the beautiful country. Our ship was new and fresh, everyone was dedicated to providing us with a pleasant vacation. The ship design is almost flawless in enhancing our experience. I would recommend this ship, crew and vacation to all of my friends. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
Many of my objections are more than likely unique to this cruise. For 7 sea days straight the seas were choppy (we had to skip Iles du Salut because it was too choppy for the tenders) and we rocked and rolled. I have been on smaller ... Read More
Many of my objections are more than likely unique to this cruise. For 7 sea days straight the seas were choppy (we had to skip Iles du Salut because it was too choppy for the tenders) and we rocked and rolled. I have been on smaller ships with choppy conditions and they just must have had better stabilizers as it wasn't nearly the problem. As to dining it was most tasty only problem was I was allergic to some additive they used every meal except breakfast. I sneezed and sneezed. Asked the Maitre De if they used MSG and he said no. I told him I was allergic to something in his kitchen and he just shrugged it off and did not even make an effort to find out what it might be. Thought that was a bad show. The days on board were very long with very limited activities. The lectures were good but limited and often at meal times. The only "activity" to speak of was trivia and we did enjoy that (also at meal time). As to the tours - we only took one 'optional' (Grand Etang, Cocoa Experience and Rum Sampling) and it definitely did not go as written up. It skipped the Handicraft Shopping and we did not get a tour of the Rum Factory and Museum. And we paid for it. The included tours were weak except for the ones in Santarem and Parintins, Brazil which were exceptional. Part of the problem was the options on the Islands were pretty limited. We did not take the tours in Manaus. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
After experiencing an excellent Viking River Boat cruise a few years ago, we were eager to sail on one of the new ocean voyage cruises. We were not disappointed. The ship, cabin, staff, food, etc. could not have been better. However, ... Read More
After experiencing an excellent Viking River Boat cruise a few years ago, we were eager to sail on one of the new ocean voyage cruises. We were not disappointed. The ship, cabin, staff, food, etc. could not have been better. However, the staff entertainment crew was less than expected, other than the Viking Band, which was the highlight of each evening's entertainment. Viking staff have gone out of their way to ensure the best service possible. All reasonable requests were met with a smile and willingness to oblige. We thoroughly appreciated the extras that were extended to all the guests, such as a glass of champange as we waited for table assignment for dinner among other thoughtful gestures. Dismbarkation and boarding which is slow and cumbursome on other ships was efficiently smooth on Viking Sky. Viking ship designs ensure that passengers do not feel the congestion that is so prevelant on the larger ships. Again, we were very pleased with all aspects of this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
The cruise embarking from Miami and into warm weather in February was the main reason we took this cruise. Seeing the Amazon was a bonus. Warm weather (from Ohio), ship is wonderful and people friendly. Entertainment- we enjoyed the ... Read More
The cruise embarking from Miami and into warm weather in February was the main reason we took this cruise. Seeing the Amazon was a bonus. Warm weather (from Ohio), ship is wonderful and people friendly. Entertainment- we enjoyed the carnival show at one of the stops. Didn't attend most of ship shows. Did go to chef's cooking demo and napkin folding. Was nice afternoon diversion on at sea days, of which there are many. The included tours not too exciting. The Amazon and the Caribbean islands do not have the clean quaint towns like on the European river cruise. Driving around for a couple hours around the nearest town is not the most scenic of tours. There are a few nice stops among hours of driving. I recommend the optional tours, as many as you can afford. We did an ocean kayaking in the Caribbean and also enjoyed the fishing for piranhas excursion (saw sloths!!) ... SO, i didn't know about shoes and clothes for the Amazon. We were there in February for rainy season. The few times the sun came out let us know how hot an humid it would be if not for the clouds. Do take a pair of closed toed shoes that you don't mind getting muddy. Even on an included tour, we slogged through a unpaved paths with heavy downpours all the way. The ships umbrella worked for me, Plastic ponchos were hot i understand, many had hooded rain jackets, easier to maneuver with than umbrella. I took my old work out shoes which worked fine. You also need nice shoes (not flip flops nor mens sandals allowed) for the specialty restaurants. Otherwise, sandals, flip flops, and a pair of slide on mesh worked for me. I wish I had brought a rain proof bag(purse). I did have plastic bag I ended up stuffing my purse and quitevox in for the heavier downpour days. Big enough to carry water bottle. Also, hat with chin strap! I had to wear my husbands after my straw hat popped off my head and flew off into the ocean at the very fist island stop. We didn't see many mosquitoes. When leaving the ship on the Amazon, I wore the long lasting insect repellent they recommend. I wore long sleeved loose cotton top and pants that were treated with . I think i'd stick to just the repellent if i did it again. We bought the Travalon, never took one. Had all the shots. (Expensive though some are covered by insurance, not the yellow fever) Visa added about $500 to travel cost for 2. Very rocky trip going down. They had to close the pools for a few day and couldn't land on Devils Island. Didn't bother us but there were some that it affected. Once we reached the Amazon, we had to keep doors closed at night. As the captain said, we were the only light in sight, and bugs fly. I wasn't bothered by insects at all. As early risers we saw large moths, grasshoppery like things and some beetles before they were washed away by the crew. Though once back on the ocean, i found myself sitting on the balcony at night more. We had out laptops for our graphic design business. WiFi was fine. We don't stream anything, mainly emails and PDF uploads. Laundry, had a couple machines down a couple days, but were fixed. A line formed when we had rainy(muddy) outings. But I didn't have to wait too often for a machine. Detergent is hard wired into machine, jst press a button to include it. Has 2 ironing boards with irons, a deep sink , couch and TV if you have to wait. We request carafe of sparkling water as well as still water and they do fit in the bottom of the fridge in room (in the center where plastic fingers are). You have a key card you must carry to get on and off the ship. The pocket on my phone was convenient. Also had audio books downloaded from library to listen to instead of head buried in book when lounging by the pool, gazing out on the world, heavenly. Overall, enjoyed the cruise, gained a few pounds and avoided some very snowy weather. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
Wanted to visit the Amazon on a luxury cruise line. The ship was very nice and never a crowd at any one area. The service was outstanding from the steward , restaurant, and service staff. The only reason for 4 stars instead of 5 stars was ... Read More
Wanted to visit the Amazon on a luxury cruise line. The ship was very nice and never a crowd at any one area. The service was outstanding from the steward , restaurant, and service staff. The only reason for 4 stars instead of 5 stars was the quality of the food. Presentation was very nice but some meats were overdone and tough. Fish dishes were a little over cook and dry. Would travel again . The Oceania line had better food but Viking has a nicer ship (new ship) and better service. Breakfast was the same everyday. The included tours were good on this cruise but not outstanding . It may be due to the infrastructure of the Amazon and the Caribbean island on the itinerary . Check in was very organized and wish other cruise lines should try to achieve. Afternoon tea was delightful along with the scones they served. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
Viking Ocean does a top notch job. Embarkation was a breeze. No lines. The customer service was exceptional. The food was excellent. The buffet served pretty much same food as main dining so was nice to have that option. Ate at ... Read More
Viking Ocean does a top notch job. Embarkation was a breeze. No lines. The customer service was exceptional. The food was excellent. The buffet served pretty much same food as main dining so was nice to have that option. Ate at Manfredi's several times as the food was so good (warning - portions are big!) The Chef's Table was really good - ate there for the Asian and Italian evenings. Really good. Crab, steak, and sushi offered everyday. Burgers at the pool eatery were very good along with salads. Can't say enough about the excellent food. Wine was just barely ok - wished Chardonnay was offered. Drew the cruise director was the best. He and Ian made the entertainment and activities all the better. Enjoyed the fabulous talented singers and dancers. Free access to the spa was wonderful. Used the facilities several times. Gratuities should be included for the cost of the cruise. The included shore excursions were ok. Typical bus sightseeing tour and often did not offer much information. We did six included and only one (of the included)was very good. Disembarkation was not good. Viking required everyone out of cabins by 8 AM. Everyone was then transferred to the airport 6 or more hours prior to flight departures. So hundreds of people waiting 2 hours until we can check in. Cannot check in more than 4 hours before your flight. Really was a nightmare in the Puerto Rico airport as extremely limited seating. The itinerary could of been better with fewer days at sea. Other cruise lines offer Amazon River with more port visits. Overall, really enjoyed our cruise and want to cruise with Viking again. Love Viking! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We booked the "day before" in Miami and enjoyed exploring on our own, as well as the included tour (of Miami). The hotel was lovely and the included breakfast was very convenient. Embarkation was easy. On the ship, everyone was ... Read More
We booked the "day before" in Miami and enjoyed exploring on our own, as well as the included tour (of Miami). The hotel was lovely and the included breakfast was very convenient. Embarkation was easy. On the ship, everyone was equal and entitled to the same amenities - no one was "platinum" or "elite". All passengers had access to unlimited wi-fi and laundry facilities were free and easy to access. There was no "upcharge' for alternative dining venues. There were no "preferred" stores to shop at in ports and no "shopping lectures". The lecturers were excellent and interesting, and lectures pertained to the ship's itinerary. The entertainment we took advantage of was very good. The ship was beautiful with plenty of public areas; the stateroom was spacious with plenty of closet space, drawers and shelves; the food and service was outstanding and the crew was excellent and always seemed happy. The small ship was very appealing and we have already booked another trip with VIKING. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I wanted to see the Amazon and experience the environment. The tours were as described and the highlight was the Manaus rubber museum & Indigenous village. Our guide was excellent and the boat crew was efficient and concerned about our ... Read More
I wanted to see the Amazon and experience the environment. The tours were as described and the highlight was the Manaus rubber museum & Indigenous village. Our guide was excellent and the boat crew was efficient and concerned about our safety and experience on the tour. The entire Viking crew was very responsive to our needs and were always friendly and pleasant. If something was needed a single request was all that was necessary. Wine was provided and the glasses were refilled before they were empty. The food was excellent in all locations. The staff officers were open to questions and suggestions. This was my second ocean cruise and I could see changes based on suggestions from the first cruise in place. The spa was great with a sauna, steam room,snow grotto, warm pool and hot tub all included at no extra cost. Our cabin stewards were very efficient, pleasant to work with and anticipated all of our needs. The bathroom had a great shower, a heated towel rack and a heated floor. Embarkation was quick and efficient. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Always wanted to visit the R Amazon, and this was our chance - from February to March 2018 - to celebrate a major Wedding Anniversary. This was clearly noted somewhere, because one evening, in Manfredi's restaurant, a group of waiters ... Read More
Always wanted to visit the R Amazon, and this was our chance - from February to March 2018 - to celebrate a major Wedding Anniversary. This was clearly noted somewhere, because one evening, in Manfredi's restaurant, a group of waiters came to our table to present us with a beautiful cake and wish us a Happy Anniversary! a bottle of Champagne was put in our stateroom! that really is service...! We have previously been with Viking River cruises, and enjoyed them thoroughly, but this was our first Viking Ocean Cruise. Viking is the most superb company, the ship 'Sky' was simply beautiful, it is furnished with delightful taste - tweeds, and leather, wood and glass - comfortable chairs, sofas, tables, set in small groups, or larger combinations; with plenty of space to sit and read, listen to the musical trio playing in the Atrium, or be sociable. Our Stateroom was very comfortable with a large bed - fresh linen every day, including the duvet - and a shower-room with heated floor, and space to wash, and store necessities. Complimentary coffee etc with a coffee-maker, replenished each day, accessible on its own shelf. A desk, comfortable chairs with a table, and then on the balcony a table and two chairs where we could eat breakfast if we chose room service. There is a Laundry Service, but also a Launderette on each deck, which is a bonus - with an iron. The crew of 450 people were the best! everything ran smoothly, there was nothing that you couldn't have brought to you by discreet and pleasant waiters. On one occasion, after a full day out on excursions, we returned along the jetty towards the ship, aware of lots of clapping and cheering...and found a double line of the crew waiting to welcome us all back on board! a glass of Prosecco, and lively music, clapping and cheering - it was a terrific welcome! At the end of the cruise, we gathered in the Atrium for the Captain's report and Farewell, and as he finished, a double line of the crew came down the stairs so we could applaud THEM and clap them, with out thanks. FOOD: really excellent. Three Restaurants with waiter service - 2 to book ahead [The Chef's Table, and Manfredi's an Italian Restaurant] one, The Restaurant, to turn up to [only queues if you arrived at the same time as a large group, eg 8,0 go early or later, and you were taken straight to a table] Plenty of self-service - the World Cafe was excellent, [often with the same food as the Restaurant was offering that evening!] we had Sushi prepared by a Japanese sushi cook, or wonderful seafood, or delicious roast beef, etc and breakfast was very thorough with everything from porridge, muesli, fruit, through to Bacon, scrambled eggs, hash browns, etc.and then croissants, toast, and more...coffee or tea refilled as needed. There were other great places to eat: the Pool Bar overlooking the ocean; Mamsens with Norwegian food; some open just for lunches, some offering specialities eg Tea with sandwiches and little cakes [the WIntergarden] If you had wanted to, you could ask for Room Service and have a meal at any time of day or night. Entertainments: these were varied and surprised us with how good they all were. Performances by visiting groups, by a Brazilian Opera singer, by a mini-Carnival group; and the really excellent onboard musicians and dancers, whose performances earned great applause. There were 'Enrichment' Lectures, by guest lecturers, and these were usually [a less good professional couple had been recruited at short notice to replace someone who was ill] very good, informative, and well delivered, in the Star Theatre. These Lectures could also be watched on the Stateroom TV, which was useful. We loved the Open-Air film shows, lying back under the stars, with headphones, enjoying some of the latest films... even a packet of popcorn was provided! There were plenty of things to do: 2 swimming pools, and the Spa; a fitness centre with every kind of exercise equipment; a hair salon, nail treatments, a golf putting-green, exercise-space to walk round the deck; shops, and then the amazing interactive tables where any game could be played from scrabble to bridge, crosswords to patience. Each sea-day there was a game of Trivia at lunch time, for small groups to form and answer questions; there was a Choir formed from guests; the list really was thorough - and if you wished to read, there are books tucked into shelves in all the public rooms, read-and-return. Outings: the preparation was immaculate - and reading other reviews, I suspect that the chaos in Belem may have meant a change of personnel! Before every arrival, we had an excellent Port Talk, which included a clear, illustrated explanation of all the Optional and Included Tours, what they involved, and how we should proceed to transport. There were no hiccups, delays, or worries at all - it could not have been smoother in each of the Ports we visited. In a couple of Ports, where there was a long jetty, Viking had simply ordered up in advance a fleet of small buses which ran all day, and into the evening, to ferry people to and from the ship. Our main hope was to see as much as we could of [a] Amazon wildlife; and [b] Indian village life. The rainy season means that more animals and birds are generally visible as the ground is submerged... Highlights for us were:: the trip in Santarem, to see Manioc being processed in an Indian village. We were fortunate in having a guide who was half-Indian and half-Portuguese, who explained the whole process by which a highly toxic root is processed to become a very nutritious foodstuff, which with the quantities of fruit growing wild, becomes the nourishment for Indians. :: the trip to see the Meeting of the Waters and on into Lake Janaurai, the floating village [which dries out in October when the dry season drains the Lake] and on by canoes, along narrow tributaries through the forest, to view the enormous Water lilies. We enjoyed the Optional 'Nature Walk' in San Lucia Nature Park, where - despite a huge storm 3 days earlier which had destroyed many of the wooden walkways - we were guided among the splendid trees, saw an Armadillo 'nest', plenty of medicinal trees, and plants, listened to the roar of bullfrogs [like a football stadium!] and relished being shown an incredibly rare tiny green frog. Other Outings: we were welcomed at various islands in the West Indies, but after the enormous expanse of the Amazonian rain forest, and the huge stretch of the River itself [16 miles wide at Manaus], everything seemed too much of a contrast! After Grenada, our next 'favourite' was St Kitts, where we saw the old Colonial house with its cool gardens, and spacious rooms, as well as the lovely countryside. Really, the evenings and the dawns, especially at sea, were the most beautiful of all the sights - often, I'd wake specially to look out at the ship's bow-wave, cream lace against a dark ocean... Would we go again? YES! TOMORROW!! And we simply cannot praise Viking and their cruise highly enough. Final memory? The good Captain, who reported at midday over the ship's public address system - always ended his report with the enduring words "and from the Bridge....all is well." Read Less
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