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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We boarded the Viking Sea at Montreal on a Friday morning and oh mon dieu, such first impressions. Lined up at the quay, with its prow facing the old port, the ship projected a sleek profile, befitting a vessel built for only 930 ... Read More
We boarded the Viking Sea at Montreal on a Friday morning and oh mon dieu, such first impressions. Lined up at the quay, with its prow facing the old port, the ship projected a sleek profile, befitting a vessel built for only 930 passengers. The sense of elegance and style was reinforced in a stroll around the public spaces: clean, straight-lined Nordic design and decor with windows shooting light on the soft blue hues of the carpeting and the grains in the flooring. Nothing dark, red or tufted. Lunch in the World Cafe on deck 7 and another impression. What was that across the river? It was an intriguing cluster of gigantic concrete blocks, that looked like they had been layered, squeezed together and discarded by a giant who had been playing with his Legos. In fact, it turned out to be the creation of an architectural student who had indeed used Lego pieces to work out his groundbreaking concept for a complex of 150-odd apartments. It was to be called Habitat 67 and it was built for Expo '67. His project was in keeping with the brutalist style of architecture that apparently did not catch on, yet there it was piled 12 stories high, commanding the embankment. Montreal clearly had a lot to offer. The next day's guided, complimentary tour proved the point: insights into the influences of French, English and Scottish cultures, cobbled streets, lined with boutiques and flower boxes at every corner, and, most rewarding, the embracing spirituality of the Basilica of Notre Dame. We took a short bus ride to Mont Real and there we took in the fall colors of the maples.. Sunday morning and another arresting view: the skyline of Quebec City, looking down on the harbor. The included tour was switched from a bus excursion to a walk-around because this was the day for a marathon, which in itself was an attraction. They ran in leggings with packs on their backs over aged, weathered streets that wound from the lower town to the upper and then on to goodness knows where. It was a route our guide eschewed as she led us to the funicular, which hauled us from the Petit Quartier Champlain to the iconic Hotel Frontenac above. Farther upriver we cruised and into a fjord. Now we are in Saguenay, with little between it and the Arctic. This time our shore excursion took in a stirring community show with schoolchildren and their elders celebrating the history of the city and the resilience of its people in song and dance. From Saguenay to Gaspé, where the tour to the Forillon National Park was a disappointment. It was late in the season, nippy, and the park was closed. But we did see more fall colors. Halifax and another complimentary bus tour, which included a stop at the cemetery where victims of the Titanic disaster were buried and, even more poignantly, victims of the Halifax Explosion. On Dec. 6, 1917 two ships, one laden with explosives, collided in the harbor and at 9:04 in the morning there was an explosion that killed 2,000 and injured 9,000 in a blink. Step off the bus, visit the maritime museum and your heart will be broken. In Boston another included excursion of the historic sites but it was shivering cold when we got off the bus and waited for the shuttle. We had been to Boston before. Why hadn't we brought gloves? The next morning we sailed into New York, the Explorers' Lounge at the bow being the place to be. There a cruise ambassador served up a practiced commentary laden with anecdotes. Apparently, Alistair Cooke, the British-American journalist who hosted PBS' Masterpiece Theatre in the 1970s and 1980s, once said that he knew all would be well in the world, even after the devastation of World War II, when he sailed aboard the Queen Mary into New York Harbor in 1946. We were about to see the 2018 version of what he meant and we did. After each excursion we were always glad to return to the ship. After all, that's where the food was: the buffet in the World Cafe, the many fine choices in the restaurant, the Italian dishes in Manfredi's or the Asian cuisine in the Chef's Table. Manfredi's and the Chef's Table required reservations, but the main restaurant did not. It was open seating and there were no formal sittings timed in conjunction with the evening shows. We could enjoy our meal and casual and sometimes spirited conversations with fellow travelers. "We voted for Brexit," one woman confided, her husband nodding in agreement. "My daughter called the next day and asked how we voted, but when I told her she said, 'Oh, mother. How could you'?" We missed the ventriloquist, though we heard he was excellent; we attended nearly all the lectures on the history of the ports, plus a screening of the Metropolitan Opera's production of "Aida." On the Viking Sea you'll find books throughout the ship. There's a fine library in the Explorers' Lounge, the very best space on the ship. What you won't find anywhere is a casino, a climbing wall or a water slide or anyone wandering about looking for such. But you will find a verandah outside your cabin (every cabin has one) and a heated floor in the bathroom. Just what you want when you step out of the shower. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
The cruise itself was ok. The ship is beautiful inside with tasteful decorating and furniture. The weather was beautiful considering all the hurricanes the previous weeks. The food in the general dining area, called the ‘world cafe’ ... Read More
The cruise itself was ok. The ship is beautiful inside with tasteful decorating and furniture. The weather was beautiful considering all the hurricanes the previous weeks. The food in the general dining area, called the ‘world cafe’ was very good for breakfast ,lunch and dinner. There were two specialty restaurants: the chefs table and the Italian restaurant. The chefs table I thought was decent, but we heard lots of comments on both sides of the table. We had two nights booked for the chefs table, but chose to eat there only one time. The Italian restaurant was definitely lacking. I received a nine oz. steak that was basically marbled fat. When they asked me why I didn’t eat the steak I showed them how it was marbled with fat. We ended up that night again at the world cafe. The entertainers were very good, but entertainment overall was lacking. This was a circle the Caribbean cruise with short tours included. Most of the tours were just not very good. On one tour the bus driver backed into the bus behind us causing all passengers to be moved to other busses. The worst decision we made, only day two on the ship, was to pre-book for a future cruise from Bergen to Stockholm. The pre-booking employee was very nice, but mislead us regarding the cancellation policy. She assured my wife and I that the deposit was fully refundable up to 120 days prior to the cruise, including insurance. She said this at least three times. We thought this was the same as Princess which we’ve sailed with many times. Never a problem. A week after we got home we decided to cancel as it conflicted with other family plans. We then found out that they would not refund the insurance. We were shocked that we had been lied to. A supervisor referred us to page 2 where the small print cancellation policy is. Keep in mind you never get this from the pre-cruise employee until they charge your card and then generate the paperwork. We were told there is no path to resolution. It’s their policy. They keep our $1400 and basically told us too bad. As a warning to all reading our story be very careful when booking with this company and don’t believe everything they say. Unfortunately, we were too trusting. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
This cruise was a celebration of successful medical treatments. We wanted to get away and be together after a great deal of anxiety. Also, we wanted to be close to the USA. The timing, location and length of this cruise satisfied our ... Read More
This cruise was a celebration of successful medical treatments. We wanted to get away and be together after a great deal of anxiety. Also, we wanted to be close to the USA. The timing, location and length of this cruise satisfied our needs. Our experience exceeded our expectations that were high because of Viking's excellent reputation. From the moment of our Viking greeting after arrival at the airport in Montreal until our departure we felt comfortable with the happy, friendly and professional crew. Our cabin was roomy, comfortable and well appointed. Meals were excellent and service was superior. The dining services team were attentive, caring and empowered. The no charge for beverages was a plus even though our personal limits are one-two. Tours were well organized and added value to our experience. Lectures were excellent and presented by exceptionally well qualified professionals in their field. We were drawn to the lectures on Art, presented by a PHD from the Edinburgh, Scotland Art Institute. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our third Viking Ocean cruise and the high standards of the first two were evident on this cruise too! I would rate Viking excellent in all areas--crew, ship design/decor, cabin size/layout, etc. The food was wonderful, and ... Read More
This was our third Viking Ocean cruise and the high standards of the first two were evident on this cruise too! I would rate Viking excellent in all areas--crew, ship design/decor, cabin size/layout, etc. The food was wonderful, and there are several dining areas. We preferred the World Cafe, a buffet style restaurant for most of our meals. They have various food stations where you can custom order dishes. The wait staff were prompt, courteous, and very attentive. There is a yummy gelato station there and they make their own pizza in one area too. We ate in the other dining areas and they were fine, just not my favorites. We mostly did the free included tour in each port and most were very good. A lot depends on the tour guide and some are better than others. In NY City, we did the optional tour of the 9/11 Museum and it was excellent. Entertainment is good and attendance is high. The port talks and other talks were good too--many of these are available on your cabin TV. The cabin stewards are terrific---very friendly and willing to help in any way. They are very prompt in the daily cleaning of the rooms. We splurged a bit and moved up from the DV cabins to the PV2 for the extra space, and we were very happy with that decision. We have 2 more cruises booked and I can't even imagine cruising on any other line! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Beautiful ship, great staff, terrific food but: rooms are small, hallways are freezing!, some of the excursions we were on were not well described, ie. inappropriate for anyone with even a small disability, (one cruise excursion was so ... Read More
Beautiful ship, great staff, terrific food but: rooms are small, hallways are freezing!, some of the excursions we were on were not well described, ie. inappropriate for anyone with even a small disability, (one cruise excursion was so bumpy it was actually dangerous trying to disembark....sea conditions should have been reviewed). Most excursions were well executed but there was often a chaotic scene getting on and off the ship, way too many people per excursion. As was mentioned in another review, hair dryer didn't work with bathroom plug and had to hold it in plug in the cabin. I tried a few of them. Not tragic, just annoying. As was mentioned in another review, very little on board activities and what is offered is redundant from day to day. They were unable to exchange money from one country to another. Strange given we were in many countries that didn't use euros. I would give this ship a few years to get out the kinks. Could be improved to be an excellent cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit places in Canada that were on the itinerary. Also, the short flight from Boston to Montreal was attractive. We have traveled with Viking before. We have gone on two river cruises and one ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit places in Canada that were on the itinerary. Also, the short flight from Boston to Montreal was attractive. We have traveled with Viking before. We have gone on two river cruises and one other ocean cruise. The Viking experience is wonderful, ship is beautiful, staff is exceptional from the dining staff, cabin attendants, cruise director, etc. The only complaint I would have is that a few of the excursions were a disappointment. Also, they need to give the opportunity to review EVERY excursion. We only were given that opportunity for one of the excursions, One of the tours started out with a large group and half way through more than half of the group left the tour and went out on their own. This was one of the extra (not included) tours, so of course after paying for it we were not happy. We have signed up for two more Viking cruises because overall we are happy with Viking and hope the excursion experience will be better. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this for our first ocean cruise experience. the ship accommodations were wonderful and the ship staff were very personal and a joy to interact with. the dining exceeded our expectations.the shore excursions were very fun and ... Read More
We chose this for our first ocean cruise experience. the ship accommodations were wonderful and the ship staff were very personal and a joy to interact with. the dining exceeded our expectations.the shore excursions were very fun and the guides were wonderful. the only hiccup was the disembarkation in New York City was an ordeal in getting to hotel in Times Square which is location in the city I will not stay at in future due to congestion and traffic.The entertainment was relatively basic and the staff were very pleasant and fun to be around. Our housekeeper was one of the nicest we ever experienced as well the dining room staff . We had a wonderful trip and the Viking ship and crew were beyond our expectations. my wife and I just like to be more active in our trips and felt we are still a little too active for the cruise experience as we like more active walking tours. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We enjoyed most of the cruise although we did not like getting into Canada at 9:30 at night. The airport was somewhat confusing in giving us directions to meet up with Viking reps. The guys on our floor were great - when they found out ... Read More
We enjoyed most of the cruise although we did not like getting into Canada at 9:30 at night. The airport was somewhat confusing in giving us directions to meet up with Viking reps. The guys on our floor were great - when they found out we had just gotten on the ship and had not eaten they brought up sandwiches and wine. Impressed. The room was great - my favorite point was the heated bathroom floor. Need one at home. The food was great. There was actually only one of the shows we really enjoyed and that was the asst. cruise director. Most of the excursions were good except the first day. Woudl not recommend the winery or cheese factory. Waste of time. The trip to the syrup farm and the lunch there was fantastic and I have enjoyed the syrup here in home. I would go on the cruise again but would be a lot more discriminating about the excursions. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Our first Ocean Cruise, having done most of the Viking river cruises throughout the world, and wanted to see if Ocean cruises were done as well. The Sky is a brand new ship, and easy to get around, our cabin had a great balcony, room size ... Read More
Our first Ocean Cruise, having done most of the Viking river cruises throughout the world, and wanted to see if Ocean cruises were done as well. The Sky is a brand new ship, and easy to get around, our cabin had a great balcony, room size was great, (Penthouse Veranda). The choices for eating were always available, and the food was always great. Excursions were organized and available for most trips. A person could make reservations for each tour, therefore there was always room available. Took cooking class on ship and really enjoyed it with 7 other people. Am booking another one on the Sky.... The cabin was great as it was located towards the middle of the ship and our room steward was always available to help with anything, including keeping the mini bar restocked. Seems like everytime we left room, someone would come by and clean up anything. Bathrooms are large enought so that 2 people can easily use at the same time. Having couch in room made it a great place to sit and watch the world go by. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We wanted to experience a Viking Ocean Cruise without going too far from home in Wisconsin. We sailed from Montreal up the St. Lawrence seaway and around to New York City. Awesome is the only word to describe the Cruise. The itinerary and ... Read More
We wanted to experience a Viking Ocean Cruise without going too far from home in Wisconsin. We sailed from Montreal up the St. Lawrence seaway and around to New York City. Awesome is the only word to describe the Cruise. The itinerary and accommodations were outstanding and the entire Viking staff were excellent without exception. Eddie and James (our room Stewards) kept our stateroom in perfect condition. If you have a chance to stop at the Explorer Bar on Deck 7, ask for the bar tender Johnny (from Bali). He’ll treat you special. We sailed during October to see the Fall Colors and celebrate my wife’s birthday. The weather was perfect and the venues we visited were as well - especially; Quebec City, Saguenay, and the Moose Parade in Gaspe’ (not to be missed, but you have to be there on the right day since it only happens once a year). Seeing Halifax, Boston, and New York in the fall were a real treat. You cannot go wrong if you want to experience your first Viking Ocean Cruise by trying the Eastern Seaboard Explorer. Check it out on the Viking website.... Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We have sailed ocean cruises a lot and wanted a smaller ship that was quiet & customer oriented and hoped we had found the right combination BUT the food was not the best and the service poor in the Restaurant. The daily scheduling was ... Read More
We have sailed ocean cruises a lot and wanted a smaller ship that was quiet & customer oriented and hoped we had found the right combination BUT the food was not the best and the service poor in the Restaurant. The daily scheduling was not well planned. They had lots of enrichment programs but they were put on at bad times. The price of the cruise was on the high side but many things are included that other lines charge a lot for like, wifi, mini bar, laundry, spa use and shore excursions. Shore excursions were not always as promised and disembarkation was a mess. The service staff seemed very inexperienced and didn't know how to work as a team. The ship itself is very pretty and there are lots of quiet corners to sit and read but few other activities. Their onboard group of singers & 2 dancers were very good but two weeks of the same 10 people looses it's appeal. There is a beautiful walking deck and a nice sports deck but in cold weather both were kind of useless. Viking is used to small river boats and needs to learn how to handle 930 passengers. I hope they learn soon as the ship was quite beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We had been on a Viking River cruise and wanted to try an ocean cruise with Viking. This was our 14th cruise, the first with Viking. Not impressed. Cons: the food, the food, the food. The food was always cold. At the buffet at lunch, ... Read More
We had been on a Viking River cruise and wanted to try an ocean cruise with Viking. This was our 14th cruise, the first with Viking. Not impressed. Cons: the food, the food, the food. The food was always cold. At the buffet at lunch, the hot food was cold, the food at dinner was cold, the nightly pea soup at 11:00pm was cold!! I complained, nicely, the first 3 days, it never got better. I found a hair in my food at lunch. If you ordered an appetizer & soup, both dishes were brought out at the same time. The night I had prime rib, it was cold, cut thin, fatty plus covered in gravy! Every time I tried to tell a waiter they would seem busy and say they would be back. They never came back. The dining room seemed to be short staffed. The dining experience was way below par...plus it was extremely noisy. My husband wears hearing aides and it was impossible for him to hear the conversation. Pros: Viking poured very good wines. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We went on this cruise to see Montreal and Quebec. The included tours of Quebec, Gaspe and Boston were very, very disappointing. We will not be taking any further Viking cruises in North America. If we decide to go on a Mississippi ... Read More
We went on this cruise to see Montreal and Quebec. The included tours of Quebec, Gaspe and Boston were very, very disappointing. We will not be taking any further Viking cruises in North America. If we decide to go on a Mississippi cruise, we will use the American Cruise line. The girl who handled our embarkation was the least friendly of the entire staff. The food was good but there were too many items on the menu that I could not eat. The entertainment was very good. It was nice that they had the port talks and other talks on the TV. The service both in our cabin and in the restaurants was excellent. The staff was very well trained. Because we did not get to see too much of Quebec, we are going back there this summer. We did not take any children on this cruise and it really wasn't designed for children. Disney is the only cruise line suited for children. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Chose this cruise to enjoy Fall color and to see ports of call that would be primarily populated with "locals" at this time of the year. There were a significant variety of optional tours which we took advantage of. The tours ... Read More
Chose this cruise to enjoy Fall color and to see ports of call that would be primarily populated with "locals" at this time of the year. There were a significant variety of optional tours which we took advantage of. The tours were well managed and fun. Weather turned out to be very pleasant, which allowed for full use of outdoor activities on board and off. We extended our stay at the final port of call, New York. A change in our travel agenda was required due to migrating whales. This was unexpected and eliminated several tours we were looking forward to. However, Viking handled the modification to the agenda well, offering enjoyable alternatives so the outcome remained positive, overall. Both Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly during our trip and transfers to the locations of our activities was handled effectively. Viking Sky is a nearly new ship and was in excellent condition, well marked, easy to navigate with comfortable facilities for entertainment, dining and educational offerings. Cabin services were managed effortlessly and with minimal interruption to our daily activities. Dining was above average with many alternatives provided for each meal, from the very casual to more formal settings. Food preparation was very good with dietary options readily available. Cuisine on offer was varied and well balanced. We have traveled with Viking River Cruises in the past, and plan to travel with Viking Ocean Cruises again in the very near future! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Chose the cruise because of interest in the ports of call and travel on the St. Lawrence River and Sound. Dining and service were excellent as usual. One disappointment was the change from PEI to Gaspe. I see that PEI is on the cruise for ... Read More
Chose the cruise because of interest in the ports of call and travel on the St. Lawrence River and Sound. Dining and service were excellent as usual. One disappointment was the change from PEI to Gaspe. I see that PEI is on the cruise for 2018. Shore excursions were generally good. Boston and NY were not as enjoyable because of the very heavy traffic. Viking also does an excellent job with the talks and entertainment. The guest experts were particularly good. Pre-cruise hotel in Montreal was well located to seeing everything of interest in the city. Quebec City was outstanding. Saguenay was surprisingly good and the La Fabuleuse Show was amazing. The Gaspe excursion was a bit disappointing but, thanks to good weather worked out well. Halifax was outstanding particularly the Peggy's Cove excursion. Boston and New York were not as good as expected because of heavy traffic during the tours and the need to disembark in a remote part of Brooklyn rather than in midtown Manhattan as advertised. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Cruise was OK. Not all ports of call listed were visited. Some changes were made. Port at embarkation was in Industrial Area and not within walking distance of anything. Very disappointed. Also, on arrival in New York, we docked in ... Read More
Cruise was OK. Not all ports of call listed were visited. Some changes were made. Port at embarkation was in Industrial Area and not within walking distance of anything. Very disappointed. Also, on arrival in New York, we docked in another Industrial area and had to be bused into the city which took up time we could have used for other activities. The ship was almost new so there was not any problem with that and the spa area was top shelf. Dinning was pleasurable and food was good in the named restaurants. Included shore excursions were good with excellent guides. For the most part, paid excursions were well done. However, in some of the smaller ports, there was a lack of sightseeing or points of interest. In one port we had to be tendered to shore, which I dislike as again it takes up time which is at a premium on a cruise when you are on land. I like Viking and will travel with them again. My be the newness of ocean cruising with Viking will improve. Love their river cruises. I will admit that going through the northeast during the late Fall provided for some very beautiful Fall Colors. Some of the views took your breath away! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
I chose this cruise because it docked in many ports I wanted to see. The scenery is incredible. We started in Montreal which is a beautiful city but the highlight was Quebec City where we just wondered the street feeling like we were in ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it docked in many ports I wanted to see. The scenery is incredible. We started in Montreal which is a beautiful city but the highlight was Quebec City where we just wondered the street feeling like we were in France. Because of a change to maximum ship speed by the Canadian Government we were unable to visit Price Edward Island. I was a little upset at first because I wanted to enjoy a lunch of mussels. Halifax was nice but because of miscommunications from the tour guide we missed seeing most of it. Then we were off to Boston where I had the most incredible lobster roll for lunch. At $30.00 plus tax and tip is should be incredible. New York was our final destination where we were berthed in a Brooklyn. We never left the ship and cancelled our shore excursion. I’m glad we did because our friend, who went on the excursion, returned an hour and a half late because of traffic. She ended up missing the best meal we had on the ship. It was a wonderful cruise and no words or pictures can describe the beauty of the ship. We will be back on another Viking Ocean Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Viking is the best. We've been with other companies and we were generally pleased but Viking is a step above. Ships are extremely well designed particularly the stateroom bathrooms and the public spaces. Pool areas have retractable ... Read More
Viking is the best. We've been with other companies and we were generally pleased but Viking is a step above. Ships are extremely well designed particularly the stateroom bathrooms and the public spaces. Pool areas have retractable roofs and the fitness center is well equipped. Staff are fantastic, knowledgeable and very passenger oriented. The food options are wonderful, with two specialty restaurants, great dinning rooms plus the buffet. Shores excursions are excellent. Viking also has excellent airline flights available at good prices plus very good before and after the criuse extended stay options. The cruise itineraries are also excellent with lots of options. Because their ships are smaller (930 passengers) they can enter some ports the larger ships cannot. But don't let the smaller size fool you, these are still large ocean going ships, very seaworthy and comfortable. If you want an excellent cruise, lots of pampering, fantastic food, go Viking! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this cruise for an interest in seeing parts of Canada and seeing 911 site, The World Trade Center in NYC which we have been wanting to see for a long time. And what better time than hopefully during fall's peak colors. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise for an interest in seeing parts of Canada and seeing 911 site, The World Trade Center in NYC which we have been wanting to see for a long time. And what better time than hopefully during fall's peak colors. We really enjoyed the cruise. Our accommodations were perfect. The food, service, different dining possibilities were wonderful, delicious.We really enjoyed the spa area and even went into the snow room after the steam room. Viking is so organized and transportation transfers, excursions all worked smoothly. We were pampered. The ship is beautiful and we like a smaller ship than the bigger cruise lines. A wonderful experience. We are sailing with them to Russia in August and do their Mediteraniun cruise next year. Love Viking. I have a food allergy. Each day I was given the next days menu. I would choose my preferences and hand it in to br reviews by the chef to be sure my needs were met and I was safe Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We love Viking. The ships are immaculately maintained, the crew holds itself to very high standards, and the dining is exceptional. The Viking Sea is no exception to this. However, we were very disappointed with our shore excursion ... Read More
We love Viking. The ships are immaculately maintained, the crew holds itself to very high standards, and the dining is exceptional. The Viking Sea is no exception to this. However, we were very disappointed with our shore excursion experience. And upfront I'm going to say that as this cruise was the very first time Viking had ever been to these ports, and therefore no experience to rely on, maybe my expectations were a little high. The problems we encountered were with excursion providers that Viking has never dwelt with before and probably won't be using again. We arrived several days early in Montreal and therefore passed on any of the excursions that stayed in Montreal. We took an "optional" excursion to a sugar shack to taste and learn about the production of Maple syrup. This is the only excursion that we fully enjoyed. It went well and I would highly recommend it to future cruisers. Our next stop was Quebec. This is where our non-satisfactory experiences started. We opted for an excursion that was billed as a stroll through lower Quebec followed by a ride in the funicular to upper Quebec where we would catch a ride in a horse drawn carriage for a tour of upper Quebec. As it turned out, our walking part of the tour was a race through lower Quebec, up the funicular, then a quick march further up the hill to a park where we caught our carriage ride. This was all because not enough time was given for us to get to the scheduled carriage ride. Ugh!!! Next stop on the cruise was Sagueny. This was the only rainy day on our trip. We opted for the included excursion which hauled a large percentage of the Viking Sea passengers to a large auditorium/theater where the locals re-enacted the local history complete with horses and cannons. As this is a French speaking community, Viking had requested that the re-enactment be done in English for us. This was done with a voice over that included all of the singing. The English speaking was a real help, however, the singing really should have not been translated to English. It would have been a lot more enjoyable in French, even if I couldn't understand it. The battle re-enactments didn't hold back on the cannon fire and accompanying smoke. For me this was way too loud, I had to resort to holding my fingers in my ears, and the smoke caused my asthma to flare. This was all unexpected as I haven't had an asthma attack in years. I managed to catch an early bus back to the ship to get my asthma inhaler. Our next stop was scheduled to be Prince Edward Island. However, due to a preceived abundance of whales in the area, Canada limited our cruising speed to 10 kts. This speed precluded our ability to make it there and an itinerary change was instituted taking us to Gaspe instead. Gaspe is a small port, nothing quaint about it. Mostly modern buildings in the town. The included tour took us on a bus to a nearby national forest with views of the changing colors along the way. We got to stop in the park at a bay with a boat dock and ramp. It was a nice stop, but not much to do than streach your legs and take some pictures. We then followed the road to the end and headed back to the ship. On our way back we were allowed to stop at a church where we had some very good views of the hills and color change in the trees. Again, nice to stop and take some pictures. Back to the ship. On leaving port, the city gave us a sendoff with a fireworks show. Next stop was Halifax. Our tour took us to Peggy's Cove. A very picturesque little touristy hamlet. This excursion went pretty well. On to Boston. Boston was a disaster!!! The bus company that Viking hired to take us on our included excursion was supposed to provide both a driver and a guide. The buses arrive with no guides and the union drivers were not receptive to Vikings requests for continuous service. All buses would be taking breaks for lunch and diner at the same time. Can't blame Viking to trying on this. However, Viking screwed up when they didn't let everyone know what was happening. They decided to continue as if nothing were wrong and only told the passengers the problem with not tour guides when they arrived at their assigned departure points. Vikings adjustment was to tell everyone the problem and let them know that the buses would take them to a common drop-off point in the city only. I dare say that everyone would have made some adjustments to their plans if they knew ahead of time. Our tour was scheduled for 1:30 in the afternoon. So we took a shuttle into town in the morning for a quick look around. Then returned to the ship for lunch to be followed with our tour at 1:30. Had we been told of the problem earlier we would have stayed in town, had a local lunch and spent a lot more time walking the Freedom Trail. Last stop was New York. We took two tours. One during the day, an included bus tour of the city. We stopped at the 9/11 memorial and Battery Park, And one after dark that include a stop across the river for some night time pictures. And then a stop to go up to the observation deck of the Empire State Building. Both tours went off with hitches. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We wanted to give Viking Ocean cruises a try, after sailing with them previously on 6 or 7 river cruises. We've been sailing Viking for about 15 years. On our last river cruise (about 6 months ago), we were disappointed; the quality ... Read More
We wanted to give Viking Ocean cruises a try, after sailing with them previously on 6 or 7 river cruises. We've been sailing Viking for about 15 years. On our last river cruise (about 6 months ago), we were disappointed; the quality just wasn't the same as it had been previously. We've also sailed on Azamara (we love Azamara!), Princess, Oceania, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean. On the "plus" side, the Viking Sea is beautiful! Our stateroom was comfy, well appointed, and had tons of storage space - even in the bathroom! Our cabin steward, Tedhi, was fantastic! The ship has a thermal spa which was a wonderful amenity that we used. We also liked the Torshavn lounge, which is a small nightclub, and thought that Jenifer and Vince were terrific performers. There were lots of nice spaces throughout the ship to relax and "hang out." Like its river cruises, the Viking Sea had included excursions at each port. That was one of the things that appealed to use when we looked at this cruise. However, except for the "hop-on, hop-off" bus in Halifax, the other included excursions were a disappointment. In Boston, the tour guides for the included excursion were a "no show" and the bus drivers had to give the tours based upon their own knowledge of the areas we drove through. We took only one optional excursion, a hike at a national park in Gaspe, and that was good. Gaspe was a last minute change in the itinerary (it had been Charlottetown, PEI). There wasn't much to see in Gaspe, and if Viking had to alter the itinerary, a better option would have been to spend more time in Quebec City or Halifax (both lovely stops). The timing of the port stops was also less than ideal; we had barely a day in Quebec City and Halifax; too much time in Boston (almost 2 days), and only 1/2 day in NYC. Dining was the real disappointment for me, both the food and the service. Many servers were young and inexperienced, even mispronouncing the names of the dishes. The Chef's Table specialty restaurant had some interesting meals, but Manfredi's (the other specialty restaurant) was very mediocre. Service wasn't any better at the specialty restaurants. During sea days especially, all the dining areas got very crowded, with waits for a table. I also found the fitness center to be too small for the number of passengers on the ship (900). It was much smaller than the fitness centers on the 600 passenger cruise ships (e.g. Azamara Quest). Although my husband and I, and the couple we were traveling with, are in our 60s, the vast majority of passengers looked to be in their 70s and 80s. There were relatively few passengers in our age group (or younger). There were no children on this cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly, although I still don't understand why Viking made us depart at 6:30am for a 11:55am flight when the drive to the airport took about 45 minutes - during NYC rush hour?! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Eastern Canada and the St. Lawrence has been on my list for several years. I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and my desire to experience Viking Ocean cruising. I cannot fault Viking that the itinerary had to be changed and ... Read More
Eastern Canada and the St. Lawrence has been on my list for several years. I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and my desire to experience Viking Ocean cruising. I cannot fault Viking that the itinerary had to be changed and Prince Edward Island was eliminated. What I do find disappointing was that what I thought would be quite a luxurious experience turned out to be very average. While the ship is beautiful with its minimalistic styling and decor, there is nothing outstanding to report in terms of service, food, or overall ambience. The stateroom seemed smaller than those I have had on other more average lines, the food was not anything superior....the World Cafe has limited selections and the main dining room is very LOUD. Manfredi's was a big disappointment and the Chef's Table, while nice in theory, doesn't quite deliver. This experience has made me very hesitant to take another Viking Ocean cruise or to try one of the other "luxury" lines. Other than having fewer passengers, there is nothing to write home about! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Decided to try Viking again after a great experience with Viking last year on their Baltic Homelands cruise. This time we were a bit disappointed. Air travel was messed up. We were notified of a return flight itinerary change mid way ... Read More
Decided to try Viking again after a great experience with Viking last year on their Baltic Homelands cruise. This time we were a bit disappointed. Air travel was messed up. We were notified of a return flight itinerary change mid way through our cruise.This was because of Viking's misunderstanding of customs requirements in NY. The change delayed our departure and resulted in an additional 5 hours of layover time. We arrived at JFK at 9:00am and landed in Ft. Myers at 10:00pm...that's 13 hours! Just awful considering that the flights were on time. And because of the late change our seats had to be assigned at the gate so we received the last seats available in the last row next to the galley and restrooms. Tours were good but at one port not enough guides showed up so Viking gave us all a $20 refund. Our stop in Charlottown was canceled and replaced by a stop in Gaspe. We were told this was because of Canadian regulations limiting ship speeds to 10 knots in the St. Lawrence in order to protect the wales. Charlottown was supposed to be a highlight, Gaspe was not. Entertainment was excellent. Food was very good but food service was below average on most occasions. We tried sitting in different sections but the results were the same. We found the World Café a better dining option frankly because we could serve ourselves. We invited friends to join us on this cruise and received a $200 referral reward...very nice except for the fact that we have to use it on the next cruise...not the one we just took! Gee thanks! Given the experience, I'm not sure about the next cruise. Viking has been adding a ship a year for the past four years so their business has quadrupled in four years. That's very fast growth...maybe too fast... Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Viking Ocean cruises sounded like the right size for us and the ship was nearly new. It was more expensive than some similar lines but the design looked perfect so we booked. The ship is very Scandinavian in design and emphasises the ... Read More
Viking Ocean cruises sounded like the right size for us and the ship was nearly new. It was more expensive than some similar lines but the design looked perfect so we booked. The ship is very Scandinavian in design and emphasises the Viking connection. Whilst the design is clean and functional, it tends toward bland at times. There is massive communal seating in various locations, however, seating at dinner was at a premium. I suspect this was because the ship was fully occupied due, in part, to many cruisers having received a promotional offer from a previous Viking River cruise. Their age profile was towards the upper end. Entertainment was limited and repetitious: we'd had better on smaller ships and had expected more. The entertainment staff, at no additional expense, could have done more during the day. Food in the restaurant was hit and miss. A disappointment as each evening began with us wondering what the meal would be like. ( I suspect this may have been due to the ship being full and the chefs not having got into their swing.) Overall: enjoyable but due to the Scandinavian decor (the Restaurant felt a bit like a coffee shop) we just felt that some warmth was lacking. I'm sure Viking will be reviewing its offering and with a few improvements the cruise could be wonderful. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
The ship was wonderful. No casino (which is wasted on us anyway) so more room for bars and entertainment. The crew was great. Bartenders were a riot. Room (Penthouse Veranda) was perfect size and well laid out. With only two specialty ... Read More
The ship was wonderful. No casino (which is wasted on us anyway) so more room for bars and entertainment. The crew was great. Bartenders were a riot. Room (Penthouse Veranda) was perfect size and well laid out. With only two specialty restaurants we think the Chef’s Table should be changed to a non-fixed menu. Only leaves one specialty restaurant if someone in your party doesn’t like what’s on the fixed menu. Food was pretty good overall but not as good as other lines we’ve sailed on. Overall we were happy enough with our first Viking cruise that we booked another for next July. The pool area was very comfortable and servers were always coming by asking for any drink orders. We went on ship excursions exclusively on this cruise and they were all very nice except for a major snafu in Boston when the contracted tour company’s guides failed to show causing most of the excursions(luckily not ours) to proceed with just the bus driver for commentary. All in all a very good first impression especially with the ship and the crew. Read Less
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