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Sail Date: January 2018
My husband and I have traveled on a Viking River cruise, which we enjoyed a great deal and were interested in trying a Viking Ocean cruise. We were so happy that we tried the ocean cruise, for we had a wonderful time. We selected the ... Read More
My husband and I have traveled on a Viking River cruise, which we enjoyed a great deal and were interested in trying a Viking Ocean cruise. We were so happy that we tried the ocean cruise, for we had a wonderful time. We selected the Viking Sky because of the itinerary. We wanted to visit warm weather ports, that we had never been. We had no difficulty with embarkation, and were on the ship in a matter of minutes. Our deluxe veranda cabin was immediately available. We found the cabin to be a good size, with a comfortable bed. The mini refrigerator which was always replenished was a very nice touch. There was adequate seating, with a large flat screen television. We enjoyed using the veranda. The bathroom was nicely designed. The room was kept in immaculate condition. We found the dining experience to be excellent. Most breakfasts we had in the World Cafe and we found the choices to be varied and quite good. We especially liked the omelette station. Each evening we dined in a specialty restaurant. We have nothing but praise for not only the food but the service we received at Manfredi's and at the Chef's Table. We went to afternoon tea and it was just perfect. The string ensemble added a nice touch. We enjoyed spending time at the infinity pool. We never had difficulty getting a lounge chair and towels were readily available. We were very fortunate that we had very good weather, in that there weren't too many afternoon activities planned on sea days. We found the shows to be entertaining, but of average quality. The pianist, guitar player, and string ensemble were all excellent. We especially enjoyed the Viking Band and their two singers that played in the nightclub. We wished they had played later each evening. The ship had a very entertaining evening deck party, but it ended much too soon. People were still enjoying themselves, and at 10:30 the party just stopped. We enjoyed all the ports of call. We always find the excursions arranged by Viking to be excellent. We went on the included excursions in Key West, Belize and Cozumel and we went on the optional tour to Chichen Itza, which was amazing. We had no difficulty disembarking the ship and we were brought quickly to Miami International airport. In summary, my husband and I had a wonderful time on the Viking Sky and we would not hesitate to go on another Viking cruise. We have sailed on most of the other cruise lines and we found Viking to be superior. We liked that you are not "nickle and dimed' like on most of the other cruise lines. We liked that wine was included at meals and were very happy with specialty dining and internet assess. The passengers were mostly above 50 years old. This is an excellent vacation for mature adults. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Our first cruise on a Viking Ocean ship and we were very pleased. The ship is small and luxurious. It is easy to get around on and extremely easy to disembark at each stop. The crew was very helpful and we loved all the food. The ... Read More
Our first cruise on a Viking Ocean ship and we were very pleased. The ship is small and luxurious. It is easy to get around on and extremely easy to disembark at each stop. The crew was very helpful and we loved all the food. The Italian specialty restaurant was our favorite. We got an upgrade to Penthouse Veranda and now that is what we always will book. The extra room and storage is far superior to a regular balcony room on any ship. Everything on this cruise went as planned, which was fantastic. We took two of the included excursions (in Cozumel and Key West) and bought all day excursions in the other two (Progresso and Belize). So, we didn't have to spend a fortune on excursions. That was great. We only had one port where we had to tender (Belize), and that was really easy with big tender boats. We enjoyed the enrichment lectures (they had 3 different speakers for the 7 day cruise). The entertainment was good. It all the shipboard entertainers. It would have been better if they had some more variety like comedians or other musical performers. They had two performances per night. The timings were 6:45 pm and 9:15 pm. It would have been better if they had them start a little later, so you could get to the early dinner (which starts at 6 pm) and not miss the first show. The onboard shops were not very interesting, there is limited items and we didn't buy anything. I feel we got an excellent price and the airfare was included. I would recommend this cruise to anyone who wants to see the area and see some excellent mayan sites (our favorite was Lamanai in Belize). Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I've been interested to sail with Viking Ocean since seeing them enter this market a couple of years ago. We've been loyal and long-time (2008) Oceania customers, but in very recent years, the quality of that experience as begun ... Read More
I've been interested to sail with Viking Ocean since seeing them enter this market a couple of years ago. We've been loyal and long-time (2008) Oceania customers, but in very recent years, the quality of that experience as begun to diminish. In reading reviews and looking at industry trade publications about Viking's new ocean offerings, it seemed that they were doing what Oceania set out to do ten years ago, but perhaps doing it to the same or higher level of quality that Oceania seems to be leaving behind in an effort to be more cost-conscious. I should note, too, that I had previously done a Viking River cruise in 2010, and am part of an extremely small minority that didn't really love that experience. The ship was too small, too sedate, and the other passengers were of a much older demographic. (I don't need casinos and zip lines by any means, but I wasn't ready for the level of 'quiet' vs. 'interesting things to do' that we encountered on this trip.) I took my mother on the itinerary that included the Passion Play in Oberammergau, and while many aspects of the ship itself were first rate, the overall experience isn't one I was interested in repeating. So I didn't book the Viking Ocean cruise BECAUSE OF a wonderful experience with Viking River, but IN SPITE OF my 2010 river cruise that wasn't really my cup of tea. That's important background context, because I found every aspect of this cruise to be well above expectations. No experience is flawless, but this one came close. We selected this itinerary because it was a shorter duration (7 nights), leaving from an easy-to-get-to port (Miami), and was close to the date of my mother's birthday, which was the primary purpose of the trip. I also wanted to try Viking out on a shorter itinerary to determine if I liked it well enough to book a longer itinerary with my husband for later this year, for our anniversary. (Again, we had originally planned to book with Oceania, but the last two voyages with them have been disappointing.) I splurged on an Explorer Suite for this trip, primarily because that category is the only category on the Viking ocean cruise ships that have a bathtub, which my mother prefers. But the ES suite itself, cabin 3094, was huge. It was way more space than we needed, but definitely contributed to the overall experience. The main Pros, in our opinion, in no particular order: 1.) The ship itself. These ships are all new, and they have been so thoughtfully designed that it's impossible to find a flaw. The decor is understated and typically Scandinavian, with a heavy nod to Viking culture. There is interesting artwork/sculpture throughout the ship; I was still finding new things to look at tucked away in various corners on the next to last day of the cruise. The layout also lends itself to a feeling of lots of open space. There were times when I would be in the corridors and would be the only person I saw. The wrap around walking deck on the Level 2 was over completely unoccupied other than myself and the occasional crew member, for example. 2.) The cabins. As I walked around the ship - I often walk up and down the stairs for exercise, and then around the corridors - I could peak into most of the other cabins while they were being cleaned. There really isn't a bad cabin on the ship. Even the smallest ones have balconies - although the very least expensive category would be too small for comfort on a long voyage, in my opinion, unless you were traveling with someone really organized. It looks like it's a little difficult to access the closest in this lowest category of stateroom. In our ES suite, of course, we had much more room than we actually needed. These suites have two full rooms, a sitting room and a bedroom, a gigantic bathroom with 2 separate sinks, a separate tub, and a separate shower, and a walk-in closet. The ones in the back of the ship, where we were, have larger wrap around decks, and the ones in the front of the ship have smaller decks and larger interiors. 3.) Construction quality. I had worried about the location of our cabin, since it was right above the main Restaurant and outdoor seating area. My concern was that we would hear set up and breakdown in the early morning and late night hours. It was absolutely not a problem. Whatever soundproofing technology Viking has used is amazing. We heard nothing at all once we were in our rooms, ever. I met people who were in the suite at the other end of the ship, same deck level, just above the theatre. They reported not being able to hear rehearsals or other movement in terms of stage set up, etc. So I think they've really gotten the soundproofing right. 4.) Food. This is where Oceania has historically stood out - although as noted above, my last two cruises with her weren't at the same high standard as in other years. In my opinion, the food on Viking equaled that of Oceania in the old days. There are two specialty restaurants, one of which - The Che'fs Table - is a little bit "out there" in terms of what's on offer - I heard one passenger describe it as "foamy" - but you have to give them points for creativity. I'm glad I tried it, but wouldn't choose it on a future cruise. The other, Manfredi's, was terrific. Food in The Restaurant, which is the main dining room, was without exception excellent. And the portion sizes are reasonable, even on the smaller side, so you don't feel like you're either stuffing yourself or wasting food. Mamsen's is a small spot that serves breakfast, a small lunch selection, and afternoon snacks. Worth visiting just for where it's located on the ship. Afternoon tea is served every day in an area called the Wintergarden, and it was very well done. The string trio plays during the tea hour, which is a nice touch. We had room service breakfast twice, and everything arrived hot (or cold) and on time. Truly, Viking did an excellent job with the food in every location at all meal times. Service in The Restaurant was prompt and attentive - this had been something mentioned in other reviews that they were having problems with across the first year or so, but we didn't experience it at all. 5.) Included shore excursions. This was a Caribbean itinerary, so the choices were really "water activites" or "Mayan ruins". We decided to focus on the latter - this was my mother's 90th birthday gift, and although she's in amazing shape for her age, and quite active, she's past her parasailing days. We took the included excursion at each stop, and in Key West, went back to the Truman White House on our own in the afternoon and took the tour there. On a longer itinerary, I'm sure I'd choose a mixture of the included excursions vs. the ones you pay for, but for this length of trip, on this itinerary, the excursions Viking chose to offer as included were outstanding. All of the guides were knowledgeable and entertaining, and the excursions themselves included a variety of different areas to explore. No, these weren't all the most active excursions possible, but none of them consisted of just 'sitting on a bus while a guide talks over a microphone'. We were out and walking around historic districts (Merida), or climbing around Mayan ruins (San Gervario outside Cozumel), etc. Very well thought-out to appeal to a wide variety of ages and interests. 6.) The spa on the 1st level. The fact that you can go into the spa any time, use the pool, the saunas, the "snow grotto", etc., for no additional charge, regardless of category of stateroom, is pretty special. Spa treatments, of course, are additional, but I had the best massage of my life during the cruise - worth every penny. (On the downside, this area isn't large, so it was often difficult (or impossible) to find a locker to use, or a chair around the pool area.) 7.) Ship personnel. The waitstaff, cabin attendants, and shore excursion personnel were all friendly and engaging, but what really stood out was the presence of the officers. The captain himself - Robert Bamberg, in this case - was out in the public areas every day. Senior officers ate meals in the main restaurant and were always happy to engage with the customers. The cruise director and assistant cruise director performed themselves at various points during the cruise. 8.) Entertainment. There were several lectures available throughout each day, many of which we attended and found interesting. The string trio as well as a couple of different pianists were often playing at various spots around the ship. And on a few evenings, they did a creative thing during which the string trio played Norwegian-inspired or Norwegian-composed pieces while Munch paintings were displayed on the large screen in the main atrium. The main theatre had one musical production each evening, and these were all entertaining. The cast on this particular sailing was new to each other as we left port in Miami,and they did a terrific job. There was an Abba tribute, a Beatles tribute, a couple of Broadway reviews, and one very creative production number that is impossible to describe, but the cast did a great job with it. These aren't the flashy, big scale production shows the larger mass market lines offer, but they are entirely sufficient and enjoyable. The Cons: These are truly minor, but if I were reading a review and considering spending the dollars with Viking vs. Oceania or perhaps Azamara, I'd appreciate reading them: 1.) A few times throughout the cruise, I overheard the crew being snippy/short-tempered with each other. I never ever saw it with a passenger, but it's not great that it happened more than once where a passenger could overhear it. Makes me wonder how much worse it might be when the crew is truly out of the public eye. 2.) While I did book a longer itinerary for my husband and me - In the Wake of the Vikings - for this September, I did that separately and independently of the person on the ship whose job it was to handle these bookings. I stopped in to see him one afternoon, and he was curt with me, distracted, told me he could give me two minutes if I really had to have it, but he had somewhere to be at 4 p.m. Understandable that he didn't have time to see me since I was just a drop in, but he could have handled the interaction infinitely more effectively. Had I not been so impressed with everything else, his behavior would have made me think twice about whether I actually wanted to book again. 3.) Travel arrangements. You're going to read this in other reviews, and it appears that there are ongoing problems with whatever vendor Viking uses for their air travel arrangements. I travel all the time with my job, and always have a zillion points accumulated, so I rarely book travel through the cruise companies. In this case, I considered it, because airfare is "included" and you don't get any type of credit if you don't use it. But in the end, I decided to just make my own arrangements - largely based on the negative commentary I'd read here and on other forums. During the cruise, when we were seated at dinners or in the lounges just relaxing, I overheard several conversations - at least 7 separate ones that I can recall, and maybe more - of passengers discussing air arrangement problems. These ranged from people seeming to be slightly annoyed to a couple of different couples who were 'never using Viking again' due to how poorly their air arrangements had been handled. So, while I didn't experience this personally, I'd say that it still appears to be a problem, and I hope they figure it out before it does more brand damage. It's a shame, since everything else works so well. 4.) Embarkation was a little rocky. Really bad weather delayed the ship on the return into Miami from the prior cruise, so we were several hours late in boarding. On the positive side, they brought in coffee and pastries, and then later sandwiches and drinks, but on the negative side, the communication wasn't proactive - passengers had to ask repeatedly what was going on, for status updates, etc. Additionally, priority boarding based on class of stateroom was completely abandoned. Mostly, it was an overall confusing experience that could have been completely avoided with periodic updates to the entire group waiting in the terminal over loudspeakers. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Daily excursions mixed with moments of pure relaxation are the key to a great vacation! That is what we experienced on our Caribbean cruise. The staff pampered us every step of the way. On ship, we were literally spoiled! Each day ... Read More
Daily excursions mixed with moments of pure relaxation are the key to a great vacation! That is what we experienced on our Caribbean cruise. The staff pampered us every step of the way. On ship, we were literally spoiled! Each day was an opportunity to be as active as we wanted. /so many areas to relax and just enjoy the scenery. Or, workout and then enjoy the spa. We daily took advantage of the steam room and snow grotto to end our day. All amenities provided were superb. I especially enjoyed meeting our other cruise participants at the afternoon teas! It was great to get a touch of the different meals, we mostly chose the relaxed atmosphere of the open cafe. The shore excursions were wonderful introductions to the lands of the Caribbean. It was fun to meet the beautiful people in a safe and structured environment. We both wished for more time at each stop though. We are looking forward to our next cruise to the Mediterranean! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our first cruise and we loved every minute, from the excursions, to the ship, to the outstanding service, to the exquisite food. Perfection! We departed from Miami after touring the city for the weekend and reaching the ship was ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we loved every minute, from the excursions, to the ship, to the outstanding service, to the exquisite food. Perfection! We departed from Miami after touring the city for the weekend and reaching the ship was easy. The ship itself is very well designed and comfortable. We were able to go to the outdoor and indoor pool and made use of the spa area. There are multiple beautiful areas to relax in, indoor pool, living rooms, libraries and even the veranda of the cabin.. The entertainment was great; the cast of the shows were very talented young people. We ate in the special restaurants and every bite was well prepared. The daily menu changed each day. One night we had king crab legs and it was a little bit of nirvana. Our favorite excursion was kayaking in the Yukatan; the beauty of the area was incredible. I would go again because the value for the price was outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Twenty years ago we took our first cruise, honeymoon, to the western Caribbean. Decided to take similar itinerary to celebrate anniversary. Cruised from Budapest to Amsterdam on Viking ten years ago and opted to try Viking ocean cruise. As ... Read More
Twenty years ago we took our first cruise, honeymoon, to the western Caribbean. Decided to take similar itinerary to celebrate anniversary. Cruised from Budapest to Amsterdam on Viking ten years ago and opted to try Viking ocean cruise. As senior citizens who have cruised multiple times on several different cruise lines, we were extremely pleased with our experience on the Viking Sky. The ship itself is elegant, the crew was the most helpful and well-trained of any we’ve sailed with, and the food superb. We thoroughly enjoyed the included shore excursions, though it was hard to convince ourselves to leave the luxury of our cabin and balcony. As a professional musician myself, I was truly impressed with the onboard pianist and string ensemble. Viking is dedicated to the health and well-being of their guests, as evidenced in their careful attention to cleanliness and sanitation. The onboard artwork was varied and beautiful. We sincerely hope to be privileged to sail with Viking again in the future. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our second cruise on the Sky, and the third is in a few months! The ship is wonderful, the spa pools are unique, and the staff is exceptional from one end to the other. We went with no intention of leaving the ship except for the ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Sky, and the third is in a few months! The ship is wonderful, the spa pools are unique, and the staff is exceptional from one end to the other. We went with no intention of leaving the ship except for the included excursion in Key West, and the optional street food tour in Merida. We had long days with very few other people around, and no snow outside the window. The food is wonderful. The World Cafe can in no way be mistaken for a mass market lines' buffet. For 7 cruises, my traditional first breakfast on Princess was one Egg Benedict. They always tried to talk me into two, which I didn't want. A few years ago, they switched preparation methods and heaven only knows how far ahead they had been assembled. On Viking, in the World Cafe, you watch them make it. We never encounter a staff member who didn't say hello, and those who had encountered our names USED them. We can't wait for Viking Homelands! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We may not have chosen to travel with Viking again as we had such a disappointing experience on our Tulips and Windmills cruise on the Magni riverboat in Holland, March 2017. We had been on two other riverboat cruises with Viking and had ... Read More
We may not have chosen to travel with Viking again as we had such a disappointing experience on our Tulips and Windmills cruise on the Magni riverboat in Holland, March 2017. We had been on two other riverboat cruises with Viking and had good trips, but last years cruise was a mess. At that point we decided, “NO MORE Viking travel for us”. After a number of phone calls from their customer service group concerning our complaints,with a number of offers for a voucher towards another riverboat cruise, we finally decided to take a chance, accept a voucher and try out one of their new ships. We have just returned from our cruise on Viking Sky traveling from Miami through Mexico’s , Turquoise Caribbean Seas. What a pleasant surprise! The ship is lovely. It had everything and more to ensure you a wonderful voyage. Everything shined and was so spacious making it very easy to move about. It was hard to believe there were close to 900 passengers on board. Our veranda stateroom a DV2 #5038, was very comfortable and kept so clean and always stocked with our favorite sodas and a few candy snacks. Also enjoyed our nespreso coffee maker early mornings and evenings. Our cabin steward kept up with all our needs and requests. The staff throughout the ship impressed us. Now for the food, Oh my how delicious it was and plentiful as well. We enjoyed all the many choices of places to eat and found them equally impressive. Won’t go on any further, but we highly suggest you give it a try. We would love to go on another of these ships again. Cheers, “Grants” Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Viking Cruises exceeded our expectations. My husband thought that cruise was not for him but, like me we are bitten by a "Viking basil" An amazing week aboard the Viking Sky. Lovely ship, fantastic food and a wonderful crew ... Read More
Viking Cruises exceeded our expectations. My husband thought that cruise was not for him but, like me we are bitten by a "Viking basil" An amazing week aboard the Viking Sky. Lovely ship, fantastic food and a wonderful crew ... 7 * hotel. For us the ship was fit for a large, quiet and pleasant atmosphere and that there were no children aboard the pass well suited for us. Our best holiday ever, we are already looking forward to our next cruise booked for February 2019. The only negative on board was that the booking agent declined us and said he did not have time to book a new cruise for us, this was the second last day on board. We did not receive a discount for "booking your next trip". We have booked a new 11 day cruise in the Caribbean February 2019 with the Viking Sea - we are looking forward to it. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Ship is NOT a floating hotel like so many. Staterooms, beds, and bathrooms are exceptional. All inclusive is nice way to go. Food was wonderful. Ports of call were good. Logistics to and from boarding and disembarkation was very ... Read More
Ship is NOT a floating hotel like so many. Staterooms, beds, and bathrooms are exceptional. All inclusive is nice way to go. Food was wonderful. Ports of call were good. Logistics to and from boarding and disembarkation was very smooth. We enjoyed the Myan ruins and the 12 meter sailboat cup racers for an upgraded shore excursion that was our most memorable outing. We enjoyed the fact and looked forward to a cruise that was primarily adult with no children and orientated to a more refined experience. This was our first cruise together after both having been previously married each with two children that now are all grown. Having been married now for 7 years we are already planning our next cruise with Viking for our 10th anniversary. Our Viking travel agent is great and helps coordinate with all the details, We have already decided Viking does such a super job with the inclusive excursions that we will avail ourselves more of the local fare available next time. Let me add that originally our flight schedule really looked kind of tough to coordinate with. We were estatic Viking booked us from a smaller airport than the large metro airport (one of the worlds most busy). Then they actually refashioned the flight times to be more accommodating without our intervention. Wow. Leave the coordination to them. Others on board spoke highly of Viking and most had established histories with them. What's not to like? In the end its all about the memories right? Life is grand with Viking lines! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
It is difficult to convey how awfully tedious a cruise on the Viking Sky really is. And it is difficult to explain how cheated we feel by the whole experience. This cruise does not come cheap and, frankly, we expected more. If you ... Read More
It is difficult to convey how awfully tedious a cruise on the Viking Sky really is. And it is difficult to explain how cheated we feel by the whole experience. This cruise does not come cheap and, frankly, we expected more. If you like jigsaws, Scrabble and chess, this dullest of dull ships might be for you. If you think trivia quizzes, lectures on watches, talks on the Bayeux Tapestry (no idea why they chose this subject for a Caribbean cruise) and a trio playing classical music constitute daytime entertainment, then this could also be your cruise. But if, like me, you think life does not end at 60, then do yourself a favour and spend your $9,000 on something else....indeed anything else. This will be a long review so, if you want to skip to the bits that interest you, I have grouped the review under headings. THE SHIP It is beautiful. Less than a year old and styled with a typically Nordic theme, if IKEA did posh.... you get the idea? Our Penthouse cabin had everything you might wish for: spacious, stylish, comfortable bed, beautiful bathroom and Nespresso-type coffee maker. All cabins have a veranda. The mini bar was re-stocked everyday but our guy always forgot the beer. The in-room entertainment system was excellent, with a wide range of films and pre-recorded programmes. There was also a variety of music on offer but it says something about this cruise line that the only music streaming available was Classic FM. The ship is on the small side but feels very spacious. However, on our cruise, its size may have had a detrimental effect on its stability on rough seas. In room 8001, a penthouse farthest forward, it was very unpleasant during strong headwinds and 5 metre waves.... reminded me of a ferry crossing in the Bay of Biscay! If you are prone to sea sickness you might want to choose a lower cabin mid-ships. POOLS There are two pools. One is a very small infinity pool with a tiny jacuzzi. There are around a dozen sunbeds which compete for space with tables and chairs close to the pool bar. The main pool is a good size but too deep at one end for most people to stand, so the shallow end gets crowded. A larger jacuzzi is adjacent. There are plenty of sunbeds but you may struggle to get one on warm ‘at sea´ days. They have no mattresses so are not very comfortable. The pool has retractable cover, great for rainy days but the Captain left it closed throughout our last day. This was only the second day of seven with half-decent weather... windy but sunny... so no opportunities to sunbathe and it was like sitting in a greenhouse because the aircon could not cope... unbearable! Talking about sunbathing, women may want to think twice about wearing a bikini... my wife got several dirty looks from some passengers. The very idea! DINING There are several options. "The Chef's Table" and "Manfredis" were excellent, and "The Restaurant" was also very good. The first two are by reservation only and I was very disappointed that we could not reserve any table online in advance, especially as we had booked a premium cabin. Fortunately, because we prefer to eat late, we managed to get some bookings on board. All three restaurants are waiter service with various levels of efficiency but the standard of the food was very good. "The Pool Bar", open for lunch, served excellent burgers but, if you don't like burgers, the menu is a tad limited. Long queues at this venue. "The World Cafe" was, in my opinion, an underwhelming experience. It seemed that most people took breakfast here ("The Restaurant" was another option) but I found the World Cafe's breakfast offering very poor. The kitchen were incapable of frying eggs properly.... never had a good one... and the buffet was limited in choice. My eggs in "The Restaurant" were no better. Overall, I thought the quality and variety of food in the "World Cafe" disappointing. "Mamsens" offers a breakfast (didn´t try it) and a selection of Nordic food and some cakes. A peculiar anomaly is that no restaurant serves food between 5pm and 6pm; not good if you have just returned from a shore excursion and are peckish. SPA The Spa facilities are very good, they even have a snow grotto for weird people. There are insufficient lockers for busy times, this resulted in an unpleasant experience for my wife. As there were no lockers available, the attendant suggested she should hang her robe on a nearby hook with the key card in it. Another passenger took the robe, leaving my wife in a wet bathing costume and no room key. The attendant did not offer to obtain a new key but advised her to traipse through the public areas in another robe to Guest Relations; so far so bad. At the desk, clearly embarrassed and dripping wet, my wife was told by the so-called Guest Relations agent that he would be happy to provide another key but it would take 30 minutes. When she protested, he smiled and said it was a little joke. She was not amused. SHORE EXCURSIONS On a 7-day cruise, shore excursions are a key feature of the vacation especially when there is a dearth of daytime entertainment on board. Bad weather meant that we were unable to disembark at Cozumel, so we had just 3 days off the ship. Particularly frustrating was the lack of time in any one port. In Key West we had to be back on board by 4pm, even though the next day was at sea and the ship tip-toed at a leisurely pace ¡next day to Belize. It was the same at Belize and, had we anchored at Cozumel, we were required to be back on board by 1.30pm. In short, there were no options to enjoy any nightlife in any of the ports. ENTERTAINMENT A classical trio (yawn), a mediocre pianist (yawn) and a rather good acoustic guitarist. That's pretty much your lot until 9pm (except for one lunchtime session when the band played around the main pool). In the early evening, there were some mediocre shows based on such themes as Abba and The Rat Pack but, strangely, they performed the more obscure tracks...one can assume only that they would not pay the licence fees for the blockbuster tracks. So, with an extra day at sea and with poor weather, you might understand why we were so disappointed. And it wasn't just us.... one couple on the return tender from Belize said glumly “Back to the mausoleum then”. Another couple we met at dinner said “This cruise is so dull”. We pointed out to both couples that there was life after death in "Torshavn", the ship's small but perfectly-formed music bar... nightclub would be a stretch too far. Here the Viking Band and the immensely talented Joven and Angelica performed excellent sets ranging from Blues, Jazz and Pop to Rock and Roll and Soul. These sessions were the highlight if the cruise and we spent our days counting down to the evenings. To be very honest, they were the only reason we didn't jump ship at the first port of call. For the avoidance of doubt there was no casino.... perhaps a good thing as I might have lost our house out of sheer boredom. SUMMARY I now understand this is a thinking man’s cruise not a drinking man's cruise but most thinkers I know also like a drink. As an aside, the Silver Drinks package is well worth the money but strangely not all drinks are served in every bar and, annoyingly, only the Explorer’s Lounge stocked slimline tonic and, even there, they were in short supply. The bar staff in this Lounge were excellent. So thinkers who like to think in attractive surroundings might be attracted to this format but thinkers who also like to party should give this ship a wide berth. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Our first Viking ocean cruise. The ship is beautiful, very clean and lots of public areas, just lacking outdoor space. Chairs around the pool filled up by 8 am and no one monitors for saved chairs so many sat vacant for hours, frustrating. ... Read More
Our first Viking ocean cruise. The ship is beautiful, very clean and lots of public areas, just lacking outdoor space. Chairs around the pool filled up by 8 am and no one monitors for saved chairs so many sat vacant for hours, frustrating. There are no deck chairs on deck 2 except in the back of the ship in the shade. We had so weather related issues that impacted our overall opinion. We could not get in to Cozumel due to weather. We did not get any kind of compensation. I think it is customary to at least get an on board credit for port charges. Then we had large swells and wind on our last day at sea so the pools were drained, roof closed and we were 3 hours late getting in to port that effected everyone's air travel. We found the entertainment to be almost non exsistent. And experienced long wait times for a waiter once seated in main dining room. Manfreds speciality restaurant was very good. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We had never been on an ocean cruise. I wanted to do something special for my husband’s 70th birthday so I picked this cruise. We had already done three river cruises and loved them. The ocean was very different. I expected longer ... Read More
We had never been on an ocean cruise. I wanted to do something special for my husband’s 70th birthday so I picked this cruise. We had already done three river cruises and loved them. The ocean was very different. I expected longer visits in the ports and was disappointed that we only had very limited time. Visits were so short, I didn’t have time to shop. We also missed a stop due to weather...not Viking’s fault. The weather wasn’t great, sadly, and the pools were emptied half way through the trip due to the water sloshing out in rough seas. I loved the ship, the crew, the food and the accommodations but was disappointed in the shore trips. While on the trip we booked another river trip. We also have a river trip in 2019. I don’t foresee another ocean voyage. We had excellent entertainment and they were quite endearing. The food was fabulous. Our cabin was large and comfortable and spotless. Our steward was a delight and anticipated our every need. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Previous Viking cruises (river and ocean) have been tremendous. This experience, especially the embarkation and disembarkation were not good at all. Very sloppy and time consuming to the passengers...it was a shame and left a bad taste ... Read More
Previous Viking cruises (river and ocean) have been tremendous. This experience, especially the embarkation and disembarkation were not good at all. Very sloppy and time consuming to the passengers...it was a shame and left a bad taste in our mouth for this experience. We sat for over an hour at the Miami airport waiting for a bus...the folks running the desk at the airport said they "forgot" to come get us. We then waited with other passengers for two hours to get off the ship resulting in us having to wait on four flights from Miami to Boston getting home at 1:30AM. 16.5 hours after we needed to vacate our stateroom! Not typical of a Miami to Boston journey but we wanted a closer flight than going to Europe for this one week vacation...it did not turn out the be the case on this trip. The ship's staff was very nice (as always) and the food quality was well done. Spa experience for my wife was wonderful. Ports of call (especially Belize) were average at best...nothing special for sure. Very happy to have the NFL playoff games on the big screen. One of the speakers was absolutely terrible and not representative of previous enrichment efforts. Very unorganized and a waste of time to sit though his talk(s). Many people left in the middle of his presentation. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise because we have really enjoyed our river cruises with Viking and thought the ocean cruise ships looked absolutely beautiful. I like the fact that the excursions are included. The ship was as beautiful as pictured, I ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have really enjoyed our river cruises with Viking and thought the ocean cruise ships looked absolutely beautiful. I like the fact that the excursions are included. The ship was as beautiful as pictured, I thought the service was excellent, our cabin was kept immaculate, The food was only average although we did have a good meal at Manfredi's and the Restaurant. The breakfast buffet baked goods left a lot to be desired but all in all I enjoyed my breakfasts in the café. Never once got a lounge by the pool but we didn't have great weather so it didn't matter too much. All in all I had a great time. I found the cultural lectures were not appealing to me as much as the ones on the river cruises but I enjoyed the entertainment, especially the Beatles night. I found the excursions to be fun and educational, but unfortunately we could not dock in Cozumel so missed that excursion. Our guides were extremely friendly and entertaining, Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We wanted some warm weather in mid-winter and also to visit Central America. We had taken a Viking river cruise in Russia a couple of years ago that was very well done and our first exposure to Viking thus we expected this to be a good ... Read More
We wanted some warm weather in mid-winter and also to visit Central America. We had taken a Viking river cruise in Russia a couple of years ago that was very well done and our first exposure to Viking thus we expected this to be a good experience. We had a cabin on the 4th level toward the rear of the ship, it was very comfortable and quiet. Most of our excursions were the ones provided except for one at Routan, Honduras. The most enjoyable for me was visiting the Panama Canal, seeing how the first three locks operate and reading the history of the development of the locks. The lectures offered on-board were informative, the food was excellent. We are in the World Cafe 90% of the time. The Viking Sky has many quiet places to sit and read. The staff was very attentive. Our room steward was excellent and responsive. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise because a friend recommended it, and we had a special "two for one" rate. We loved the modern technological enhancements with the cruise: the art work explanations with the use of our iPhones, the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because a friend recommended it, and we had a special "two for one" rate. We loved the modern technological enhancements with the cruise: the art work explanations with the use of our iPhones, the retractable roof over the pool area, etc. I thought that the free use of the spa was great, the included excursions were excellent, and the Viking Band was FABULOUS! We danced every night in the Torshavn Lounge. Unfortunately, the "special" entertainment (with the singers) was very poor. I did not like the lack of the orchestra behind their singing, and the songs chosen (for example on the Tribute to Broadway night) were very unfamiliar. What a shame. The voices of the singers were great; however, the songs were "marginal", at best. The singing "group" seemed very amateurish. Dining choices were excellent! We ate at both Chef's Table and at the Italian restaurant (both times in the private dining rooms), and the food was delicious. We tried (and enjoyed) the food in every dining area on the ship. We have recommended the Viking ocean-going vessels to all our friends! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
My husband and I wanted to try Viking. (We've sailed with Celebrity, Holland America, and Oceania.) The itinerary was the western Caribbean, not a personal favorite, but again, this was about warm weather and sailing with Viking. ... Read More
My husband and I wanted to try Viking. (We've sailed with Celebrity, Holland America, and Oceania.) The itinerary was the western Caribbean, not a personal favorite, but again, this was about warm weather and sailing with Viking. The ship was beautiful in an understated way, soft blues throughout and the use of textures in some of the public places. There was an overall quietness to this ship compared with the hustle and bustle of Celebrity. This is a midsize boat so that alone made for a different experience. We never felt herded about. Dining was lovely if not exceptional though the afternoon snacks were a delight to behold. We purchased the alcohol package at a very reasonable rate and enjoyed our evening cocktails in great surroundings. Entertainment was low key which was in keeping with the ship's atmosphere. Service was impeccable. The seas were rough on this particular cruise, so we were unable to visit Cozumel but the complimentary excusions in Key West and Belize City were excellent. Viking has dispensed with many of the trappings of other cruise lines such as photography, art auctions, and formal nights. I didn't see children though some may have been aboard. Viking seems to cater to thoughtful adults who are curious about other cultures. Viking quickly became my husband's favorite line, and I certainly look forward to sailing them again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our first ocean cruise and we could have not selected a better cruise. We hope the ship and spent a lot of our spare time in the pool area, along the walking deck and down by the bar and lounge area. The briefing in each ... Read More
This was our first ocean cruise and we could have not selected a better cruise. We hope the ship and spent a lot of our spare time in the pool area, along the walking deck and down by the bar and lounge area. The briefing in each excursion was extremely helpful as was the historical background information. We loved all the excursions, but we especially enjoyed the Mayan ruins at Altun Ha and Chichen Itza. The weather was terrific and we got some terrific photos we especially enjoyed cruising on the Viking Sky due to its size, new design and constriction and its smaller passenger size - roughly around 940 people. On days where we couldn't port, the areas and entertainment around the pool area was terrific. The ship is beautiful and we loved every minute. w also had the opportunity to experience a Caribbean storm and we truly enjoyed how well the ship performed and the once in a lifetime chance to be at sea during a storm - simply thrilling beyond words. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We wanted a winter get away. This cruise with Viking was the perfect choice. We were treated like royalty. Accommodations were excellent and the staff and entertainment made the trip a success. The process of going on and off the ship was ... Read More
We wanted a winter get away. This cruise with Viking was the perfect choice. We were treated like royalty. Accommodations were excellent and the staff and entertainment made the trip a success. The process of going on and off the ship was easy and quick. Good food and a relaxing cruise. We also had a fun evening by the pool with the band. We had a movie and then danced under the stars. The Restaurant and all of the food venues were great. The pool had a cover so on a cloudy day, we could still swim. We did an overview tour in St Marteen which was well worth it. The ship host reviewed all the ports the night before our arrival which made the port more interesting. The lobby offered entertainment as well. We would go there before dinner and have a drink. The drink prices were very reasonable. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We wanted to see the Panama Canal and the other ports of call were also compelling. It was our first time as ocean cruisers on Viking with limited experience on one other cruise ship to Alaska, which BTW we did not enjoy. So going for 14 ... Read More
We wanted to see the Panama Canal and the other ports of call were also compelling. It was our first time as ocean cruisers on Viking with limited experience on one other cruise ship to Alaska, which BTW we did not enjoy. So going for 14 days on a cruise ship was a bit of a leap of faith on our part. Our experience could not have been better. The staff and the facilities were excellent. Viking has an incredible product. It would be hard to see how anyone could not have not had a wonderful time. We enjoyed all the amenities from the spa - the steam room, snow room, hot tub, and the cold water bucket to the theatrical shows to the special restaurants as well as just the everyday great service by our room steward and the restaurant servers. How the servers remembered us and in some cases our names really amazed me. Additionally having only 930 guests and 400 crew meant we were truly well cared for. Loved the cabin, even after 2 weeks we weren’t bored, the veranda was a nice addition. There was plenty of storage space, especially the full size closet. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
I had an excellent experience on a Viking Rhine River cruise and highly respect the total Viking experience. We also like the idea of a small ship for ocean cruising. The ship was beautiful and the crew was very friendly and attentive to ... Read More
I had an excellent experience on a Viking Rhine River cruise and highly respect the total Viking experience. We also like the idea of a small ship for ocean cruising. The ship was beautiful and the crew was very friendly and attentive to our needs. Booking the cruise was also easy as was booking the air flight. I got sick and the medical crew were attentive and took care of me until I felt better. The only thing we were disappointed in were some of the included tours. The river cruise was very short. The botanical garden was interesting but so crowded with tourists in a limited area. We really enjoyed the Panama Canal experience. Unfortunately the weather was such that we could not dock in Jamaica or Grand Cayman so we had extra days at sea which of course is not Viking's fault, but still disappointing. We were able to stop in Nassau which was a nice stop. We did get a $250 credit for a future trip in the following year. We would certainly take another ocean or river cruise with Viking and have recommended Viking to others. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Enjoy the smaller ship ,lack of a casino, and ports visited. Restaurant food good but service a little slow. However this is more than offset by the wonderful selection and prep at the buffet for dinner. The grill and Ramsons offset for ... Read More
Enjoy the smaller ship ,lack of a casino, and ports visited. Restaurant food good but service a little slow. However this is more than offset by the wonderful selection and prep at the buffet for dinner. The grill and Ramsons offset for a fine lunch. Only negatives were average entertainment and average movie selection. But the outstanding staff attention and ship itself are second to none. Room service was never more than five minutes from requested time for morning coffee. The spa area is truly different with the selection of sauna,steam,whirlpool and ice room along with private lockers (room key activated). Internet is slow-but who cares I am on vacation from social media! The beer and wine selection was great. Very surprised to have foreign dark beer included. And I will not even mention the multiple scoops of gelato! Excellent value overall and look forward to my next Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Another great trip on Viking. The Sky is a beautiful ship and the service is the best. The food in Manfredi's, Chef's Table, and the Restaurant was always superb. The World Cafe was good with lots of variety. Some choices were ... Read More
Another great trip on Viking. The Sky is a beautiful ship and the service is the best. The food in Manfredi's, Chef's Table, and the Restaurant was always superb. The World Cafe was good with lots of variety. Some choices were better that others. We love the made to order eggs benedict in the mornings. We also tried sushi in the World Cafe twice as our tours got in late. They do a great sushi/seafood buffet plus items offered in the Restaurant. Our cabin stewards were excellent and very friendly and efficient. The last part of our itinerary had to be changed due to rough waters. We were supposed to tender into The Caymans and Jamaica but the waves were far too high so we deviated to Nassau, Bahamas where we were able to dock which was OK and safe. However, there were 3 other large ships in port so the small town was extremely crowded and all of the tours and busses were already booked by the other cruise lines. Everyone on our ship did their own thing and mostly walked around town, shopped, and went back to the ship. We really enjoyed the trio in the Atrium, the guitarist, and the lecturers. The Panama Canal was the highlight of the trip and the lectures during the transit were excellent. We were somewhat disappointed in some of the large venue performances. Not up to par from what we have experienced before on Viking. All in all it was a wonderful trip and we will be back on the Sky soon! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise because we prefer the quieter atmosphere of a smaller ship, and we liked the itinerary. It was our first Viking Cruise. The embarkation process was outstanding, lasting no more than 5 minutes...a far cry from the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we prefer the quieter atmosphere of a smaller ship, and we liked the itinerary. It was our first Viking Cruise. The embarkation process was outstanding, lasting no more than 5 minutes...a far cry from the 2 or 3 hours it took the last time we cruised with one of the large cruise lines. The ship was absolutely beautiful; the clean lines and subdued decor were restful and elegant. The state-of-the-art fitness centre was well equipped; it was nice that on the first two days of the cruise, orientation sessions were offered of the different machines, etc. We both made good use of it. We also really enjoyed the incredible thermal spa area, which included sauna, plunge pool, steam room, hot tub, large thermal pool and a snow cave! We enjoyed the tastefully decorated sitting areas throughout the ship, especially the Viking Lounge, which felt like a cosy living room. The main restaurant sometimes had a long line to be seated, and there were some problems with the service. Each table had 3 servers assigned to it and it seemed that they didn’t always know what the others had done, so things got forgotten and the service was sometimes uneven. The food was generally of good quality and there was a good selection both in the restaurant and the buffet cafe. We ate twice at Manfredi’s and enjoyed it. The portions are very large here; the second time we requested half orders and were able to get them. We also ate twice at the Chef’s Table, which was a real treat. I recommend reviewing the menus, which change every two days, and pick ones that appeal to you. I have a food intolerance and was very well taken care of in all the dining areas; all the staff are trained to take food allergies and sensitivities seriously. We did not have the upgraded beverage package and would consider it in future as the “house wine” was not the greatest. We were a bit disappointed in some of the shore excursions, finding they involved too much driving in a bus, and not much time once at the destination. Overall, we loved the Viking experience and already have another ocean cruise booked. Read Less
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