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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
I really wanted to rate this trip a 4.5..... We had taken a Viking River cruise and wanted to try a Viking Ocean cruise. We chose the Cuba cruise, based on the itinerary which also included Belize, and were disappointed when we were ... Read More
I really wanted to rate this trip a 4.5..... We had taken a Viking River cruise and wanted to try a Viking Ocean cruise. We chose the Cuba cruise, based on the itinerary which also included Belize, and were disappointed when we were informed of the itinerary changes 4 months before departure (Belize was dropped), however, we were more than satisfied with the options Viking offered to compensate for the changes. The ship was fantastic. It was the perfect size, spacious and well-designed. We had one of the larger cabins (Penthouse Veranda) and were very glad we upgraded, although I could have been happy in a "Deluxe" cabin. We liked the extra closet space and larger bathroom. In addition, at our cabin level, we were able to make dinner reservations and select our excursions earlier than lesser-priced cabins, which meant we pretty much got what we wanted, when we wanted it. The staff was wonderful and attentive. The excursions were also well-done and the guides were very knowledgable. I only had two minor complaints. The gym/fitness room is beautiful and well equipped, however, no classes were offered. It would have been nice if some stretch, yoga, Pilates classes had been available. Even small sailboats like Windstar offer early morning classes on the deck. It just seemed a shame that they did not take full advantage of the wonderful workout facility. Secondly, guests need to be aware that the Chef's Table menu changes every three days and alternates between Scandinavian, Asian and French cuisine. This was not mentioned on-line when we made our reservation, so we ended up with the reindeer appetizer rather than the escargot, which would have been my preference. All in all, it was a great trip and we loved the Viking Ocean cruise experience so much that we booked the same ship, same cabin in 2018, with a stop in Belize! I am counting down the days.... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We have been looking for a way to get to Cuba for a while and this had mostly Cuba with the majority of the accommodations on the ship. (which was a good thing because the hotel in Havana did not have hot water the second day!) Cuba was ... Read More
We have been looking for a way to get to Cuba for a while and this had mostly Cuba with the majority of the accommodations on the ship. (which was a good thing because the hotel in Havana did not have hot water the second day!) Cuba was amazing and the guide that we had for the overnight to Havana was great. The activities in Havana were well planned and that whole experience was great. The guide that we had for the day in cienfuegos was not so great. The boat is lovely, and since we had been on the Viking Star last year, we knew to make reservations at the specialty restaurants immediately. We did so and were able to go to each twice! The Chef's table is fabulous! My only complaint was that in the main restaurant when we asked to be seated at a "joining" table we were told that they were too busy to do that. I find that very very disappointing. We like to meet other people and learn about other people when we cruise and you cannot do that as well when you are eating by yourselves all the time. They need to revise this policy. The wines that they were offering were plebeian at best. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose to go to Cuba because it was a once in a lifetime experience. There is no telling when and if the US will cut off relations with Cuba. It was quite a memorable experience to say the least. However, it wasn't the trip that we ... Read More
We chose to go to Cuba because it was a once in a lifetime experience. There is no telling when and if the US will cut off relations with Cuba. It was quite a memorable experience to say the least. However, it wasn't the trip that we initially signed up for. On several occasions we were scheduled for dinner reservations, however when we arrived at the dining room, we were told they did not have our reservations. The first incident, we were told that we called and cancelled our reservations, which was not true but we were able to have dinner that night. We then made a second reservation and when we went to eat, we were told they did not have a reservation for us. We were then asked to wait or come back later, we said forget it and left. Our excursions were booked before the cruise. While others received their excursion tickets, ours were missing. I had to go back later to check on them and they were ready for me the next day. We did enjoy our excursion experiences after the ticket hiccup. Overall, the trip was enjoyable except the mishaps with the restaraunt reservations and excursion tickets. We enjoyed the food and the cabin was very nice. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
Third trip with viking and two more booked for April 2018. After being on viking star this Ship was somewhat disappointing. Everything about the ship physically is still 5 star. Rooms are wonderful (#7000) and room attendants are ... Read More
Third trip with viking and two more booked for April 2018. After being on viking star this Ship was somewhat disappointing. Everything about the ship physically is still 5 star. Rooms are wonderful (#7000) and room attendants are unbelievably great and attentive. Where we were let down was in areas of shore excursions and food/menus'. Manfreds is Definitely 5 star, but the breakfast/lunch menus always seemed to be cold, and menus like You would expect at a 2-3 star hotel buffet. Staff seemed overwhelmed at times whereas Previously on star they were always at your elbow for every beck and call. Menus at main restaurant in evenings were not terribly exciting. One night I order what was meant to be a local dish , grouper. Worst meal I have had in 20 years, couldn't get a knife through it. Staff in dining room were wonderful, and more experienced, Previously on star they always recognized us after a day or two when we checked in for dinner, this time after two weeks The girl at counter still didn,t recognize us and seem to care about our seating preferences, we like to meet new people all the time. Entertainment became a little boring after 12 or 13 days of similar music and same players. A number of staff truly stood out for exceptional service and friendliness, some came over from the star. For over a $1000.00 a day should expect better. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
had previously done Viking river cruise and wanted to try Viking Oceans at least once - we had been on 25+ ocean cruises but this this was our first Viking and hope to return for others - great price for the cruise - loved the Penthouse ... Read More
had previously done Viking river cruise and wanted to try Viking Oceans at least once - we had been on 25+ ocean cruises but this this was our first Viking and hope to return for others - great price for the cruise - loved the Penthouse cabin, overall ambiance of all the public spaces - Living Room never felt crowded - outstanding service in all areas of the ship - embarkation and disembarkation went well - Italian cuisine was yummy - dinner both nights in the Chef's Table consisted of cuisine not to our liking, but we saw another night's menu that looked like we would have enjoyed - breakfast and lunch at buffet was always bit crowded - had some great meals in the Dining Room and a couple just "so-so" - complimentary excursions were bit disappointing overall, but maybe it was due to the ports we visited - we were given non-stop, direct airline flights each way which a big plus Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We wanted to visit the Panama Canal. The ship was easily navigated and explored. Its amenities, cabin, food, staff, entertainment were excellent but we were VERY disappointed in the shore excursions. The optional shore excursions were ... Read More
We wanted to visit the Panama Canal. The ship was easily navigated and explored. Its amenities, cabin, food, staff, entertainment were excellent but we were VERY disappointed in the shore excursions. The optional shore excursions were expensive and bus rides were often very long with minimal time at the destination. Often the description of the shore excursion was very different from the experience-especially in Belize and Colombia. Viking seemed like the "new kid on the block". The docking area at many locations was in rather inconvenient locations for independent shore explorations. Unlike the prime locations, we experienced with the river cruises on the Elbe and Danube. The food offerings were varied and the wait staff was very attentive to our food allergies. We tried the Italian restaurant, Manfredi's twice,but disliked the offerings at the Chef's Table. It was very allergy unfriendly and no choices offered! We enjoyed the evening entertainment, varied lectures, classical musical offerings as well as the guitar accompaniment during the afternoon tea. We hope to take another river cruise but will have to think twice about an ocean cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
Originally booked this cruise about 9 months in advance. The main reason was that it was going to spend a day in Havana and we wanted to see Cuba. I had heard nothing but good about Viking's river cruises and they were beginning to ... Read More
Originally booked this cruise about 9 months in advance. The main reason was that it was going to spend a day in Havana and we wanted to see Cuba. I had heard nothing but good about Viking's river cruises and they were beginning to break into ocean cruising with new state of the art ships. We are older travelers. The fact that the minimum age was 16 and that these boats do not have Casinos was a twin draw. This was probably the nicest boat we have ever been on keeping in mind that it was brand new (2 months) and this was it's third voyage. We had a junior suite on deck 8. The furnishings throughout this room and the boat were comfortable and impeccable. The gym and spa were something special. Saunas, steam room, hot tubs, cold water buckets and yes an ice room all included. You could lock your locker with your room key. Whole boat was state of the art with free wi-fi. They had art throughout the corridors everywhere. With earbuds provided in the room you could take a walking tour and learn about each piece as you approached it. The overall layout was close to the standard for most ships these days minus the casino. Food in the main dining rooms and the specialty restaurants was better that most with quite the variety. So....why not a 5 star rating instead of 4. About 4-5 months before sailing, Viking was denied a permit to Havana's harbor by Cuba for the dates it wanted. Probably a fierce competition between cruise lines for a limited space. Viking then changed the entire itinerary. They were going to go around to the other side of the island of Cuba to the city of Cienfuegos, stay 3 days in this port and eliminate the other 2 ports we were going to see (Belize and Mexico). Realizing that the reason for most to go was Havana and afraid of a mass exodus, they added a 2 day, overnight excursion to Havana and a separate day trip to Havana along with a variety of others around Cuba. Viking would pick up the tab. No cost whatsoever for any excursions. They also gave you $250 per person in room credit. We thought this might be interesting, did not cancel and booked the overnight excursion to Havana. It was a 4 hour, one-way bus ride. This trip was an blessing and a curse. We saw, did and learned more about Cuba that we would have on a any one day stay in Havana. It was eye opening. Shows at the Tropicana, rides in a convertible 57' Chevy all included. Viking went out of it's way. This trip had to cost. We got to bed at midnight and left at 8 AM. We got back to the ship at 6 PM. Each of us practically kissed the gang plank. The average age on that bus was 60-70. We were beat. Had the boat been closer with say an hour bus ride to Havana Ok, but not 4 hours. Would I go on Viking again.....absolutely........seeing Cuba again......really doubt it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
The Viking Sun was seven week old when we boarded -- gorgeous! Some rough spots with a new ship, but minimal and resolved. But the itinerary was lacking --- way too much time on buses (nice as they were, with great tour guides). If the ... Read More
The Viking Sun was seven week old when we boarded -- gorgeous! Some rough spots with a new ship, but minimal and resolved. But the itinerary was lacking --- way too much time on buses (nice as they were, with great tour guides). If the ship was too large to go into to the shallow Havana harbor, why not stay outside the harbor and use the tenders since it had to use these in Cienfuegos anyway? Overall food and service were good, but service was much better for dinner when 300 people were still off-ship on excursions. We were disappointed in the Italian speciality restaurant -- menu was plastic, crowded tables; service and food were OK, but not special. The Captial Table speciality restaurant was excellent -- interesting fixed menu, with supurb service. We heartily recommend the Viking Sun, but not the itinerary if only one port in Cuba. As far as we knew there was not an outreach to the LGBT community until we asked for a designated meeting place. On other cruise lines this has been included in their standard schedule. Viking did accommodate an announcement after we asked (with a very good turn out), but no one from staff came to welcome us, as is typical on other lines. Disappointing overall. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
In the past we had taken a river and one other Viking Ocean cruise. We choose this cruise to see this part of the world. I also wanted to avoid going on a long plane trip to Europe. Last year we very much enjoyed the West Indies Cruise. ... Read More
In the past we had taken a river and one other Viking Ocean cruise. We choose this cruise to see this part of the world. I also wanted to avoid going on a long plane trip to Europe. Last year we very much enjoyed the West Indies Cruise. This cruise was a slower pace as we had 4 sea days out of the 15 day cruise. The ship is very comfortable and the food and service we found to be very good. We were disappointed with some of the included excursions. Transportation and lack of guides were the biggest problem in one port. Also some of the optional excursions were cancelled due to weather related issues. One optional excursions was two hours from the port and three hours back due to traffic. I most likely would have chosen a different excursion had I known it was such a long bus ride. This was the first time Viking had done this Itenary and needs to rework some of the offerings and better prepare people on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
Wanted to see some of the countries and to experience the smaller cruise ship. The paperwork arrived on time. I wanted to use a different airline but was told we had to use United for the inclusive air. When we did get the paperwork, we ... Read More
Wanted to see some of the countries and to experience the smaller cruise ship. The paperwork arrived on time. I wanted to use a different airline but was told we had to use United for the inclusive air. When we did get the paperwork, we found we were flying red-eye. That turned out to be very bad experience for us. We had no eats, very little beverage from deparure early Saturday evening til we were on board in mid afternnon on Sunday. The wheelchair attendant at Miami got us the to the luggage area where Vliking prrsonnel was waiting. At the port we found there was a bit of walking which makes it interesting for handidap people. After checking in and boarding the ship we found our cabin was not ready—meant we had to wait for an additional 2 hours from scheduled time. Second day my husband (diabetic, stroke and heart conditions) was in tne ship hospital from dehydration. As for the ship—the food was excellent whether the buffet on deck 7,the tea in the afternoon, the dining rooms on the deck 1 and 2. We were not impressed with the Chefs Table but the Italian speciality was excellent.The room service was appreciated. I found that there were a number of covered plates and room for such in the room was limited. Just a warning for those enjoying breakfast in the cabin. As for the cabin, heated bathroom floors!, excellent steward. Cleanliness throughout the ship. For the tours—we limited our trips. I liked the idea of some tours are included and we participated in 2 of them. Probably one of the highlight of the cruise was going through the Panama Canal locks in a smaller ship and then turning around in the lake. Even with a smaller ship, we didn't explore all the activities and area of the ship. We would eventually head to the front of the ship, watching the waves, enjoying beverages and Scandinavian food, reading and napping. We did not appreciate the transfer from the ship to the airport. The bus left us at the Delta section. We needed United. We had suitcases to move. We found a cart, placed our suitcases on it. My husband was handicapped. I had requested wheelchair for him with United. So we walked to the far end of the terminal to locate United. There were very few people to ask directions. And those said to keep walking. Eventually we found the correct airline. It is too bad for the cruise to end up with such a bad experience. We should have booked our own transfer. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise, not realizing Viking Sky hadn’t been there before. The excursions need to be improved upon since we got to the Belize ruins shortly before it was getting dark and was muddy from all the rain. The other cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise, not realizing Viking Sky hadn’t been there before. The excursions need to be improved upon since we got to the Belize ruins shortly before it was getting dark and was muddy from all the rain. The other cruise lines have priority on excursions so get the earlier buses for transporting passengers to the ruins. The Roatan Garden was a waste of time. Rather than walking through the garden, the guide was more interested hurrying us through the few trees she showed the people in front rather than the entire group so she could slice some fruit and then wanted tips. She grabbed her tip jar and then said, “Oh your bus is here.” What?! We were supposed to have 45 min to walk around on our own. Very poor service, Costa Rico was good, but the canal tour was only one way in and one way out rather than experiencing the “various canals” as we thought we were supposed to see. So Viking needs to rethink their excursions or better yet, dock on days when no other cruise lines will be in port or else change ports if another cruise line will be there. We enjoyed the Panama Canal tour, the Cartagena tour, the Montego Bay tour and the Grand Cayman tour, but there was no time for shopping. Viking was the last ship to dock and the first ship to leave. The food was good and the service was excellent upstairs in the World Cafe. The service was great in the main dining room on two nights and just okay on the third night. We decided to eat the rest of the time in the World Cafe rather than standing in line for The Restaurant. It would have been nice to have the creme brûlée in the WorldCafe once in awhile. There was always a long line for the gelato. They should have had gelato on both sides or else available all day. The entertainment was great and a very pleasant surprise. We didn’t miss not having a casino. We enjoyed hearing about the ports before our arrival and glad these were available on our cabin tv. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
My wife and I wanted to try Viking's new ocean ships due to good reviews and good experiences on Viking's river cruises. Pre cruise stay in Miami was the worst hotel experience we've ever had. Way below prior Viking ... Read More
My wife and I wanted to try Viking's new ocean ships due to good reviews and good experiences on Viking's river cruises. Pre cruise stay in Miami was the worst hotel experience we've ever had. Way below prior Viking standards. On site reps had just been hired, never worked for Viking before, and clearly were left with inadequate support to remedy problems. Our room was smaller than our suite on the ship. Elevators didn't work. Food mediocre at best. As to Embarkation, busses we're hours late and guests we're left crammed in an area of the lobby with their luggage. Embarkation greeters at the dock asked us to listen to an "important" announcement, which turned out to be "give us gratuities." We finally got into our suite hours after we were supposed to. The ships indeed are beautiful but Viking needs to enforce its dress and conduct codes, including for dinner. Our cruise had hundreds of people who dressed terribly and acted pushy all the time. Picture people who went on hot sweaty excursions during the day and showed up for dinner in the same clothes, including jeans and shorts that violated the dinner dress code. Viking did nothing about this and it therefore diminished the enjoyment on board for those guests who respected tbe dress code, dressed nicely, and didn't push their way through lines for dinner, excursions, entertainment, etc. Thank God for our wonderful Penthouse Junior suite where we could peacefully enjoy the cruise. Another haven was the Explorer Lounge, a great place to relax during the day and a quiet place to have a cocktail at night. As to Excursions, some were very good and some were poorly planned and executed, badly timed, and frequently required more difficult walking than described. Also, some of the Central America stops had third world busses that barely worked. Panama Canal partial transit was great, and the original train to Panama City was too. Overall, Viking needs to decide if it wants to be a high end ocean cruise line or an economical line for the masses. We frankly are puzzled by the latest rankings that place Viking above Crystal. No way, at least not right now. They have the ships and the potential, but there is a lot of room before they achieve 'six star" status. We'll do more Viking river cruises but we're not sure about ocean cruises. Given similar itineraries, we probably would choose Crystal or Regent. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Pros The ship was beautiful and clean. I loved the age group and the limit on children (age). I went on the cruise for peace and relaxation and that's what I got. The thermal area was great. The music was beautiful. Embarkation and ... Read More
Pros The ship was beautiful and clean. I loved the age group and the limit on children (age). I went on the cruise for peace and relaxation and that's what I got. The thermal area was great. The music was beautiful. Embarkation and Debarkation as well as the transportation to and from the airport was seamless and stress free. The customer service was amazing - from the room stewards to the dining room staff. They seemed to like working on the Viking Star and said it was the best work experience they have had on a cruise ship. I loved the ability to eat outside and watch the ocean. Cons The same food seemed to be served over and over. Not enough variety in desserts - same ones served over and over Not enough pizza choices The shore excursions were not that great - seemed to end at a tourist trap to buy souvenirs mostly. But, the excursions were well organized. Read Less
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