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25 Viking Ocean Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

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
We chose this cruise because of the Panama Canal transit and the port stop of Cartagena. Also quite interested in sampling Viking Ocean cruises having been on Holland America a few times and on Celebrity once. The ship is beautiful -- ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the Panama Canal transit and the port stop of Cartagena. Also quite interested in sampling Viking Ocean cruises having been on Holland America a few times and on Celebrity once. The ship is beautiful -- spare and clean Scandavian design. The food was very good. We thought the two meals we had at the Chef's Table were as good as any fine restaurant in a big city. Also enjoyed the chat we had with the chef during our French Bistro experience. Manfredi's was less perfect -- there were some service issues, such as courses arriving at different times for the two of us, then everything all at once. In comparison with the Chef's Table, not nearly as wonderful. Meals in The Restaurant were delicious, esp the seafood and fish. It did seem as if they were understaffed because at some times there was a long wait to order or to be served. Did not find the same experience at breakfast or at lunch there, of course, there are less people dining there then. Service and variety of the food at the Terrace were excellent for both breakfast and lunch. We liked the Trolley tour of Key West but the instructions to get back to the ship were terrible -- we had to ask several times how to find our way. The tour of Panama City was sadly spent with more time at a disappointing shopping center at the Marina and not enough time in Casco Viejo (the old city). Be warned! The Panama Canal transit was marvelous. Great lecturers for the entire transit. We learned so much. One of the highlights for certain! In Cartagena we booked a private guide and had a truly fantastic experience on our own. We had such a good time we were the last people on board, just in time, at 8:30 pm the deadline for passengers! Great service by cabin attendants. And, except for some delays in The Restaurant good service by food servers as well. The entertainment was pretty cheesy. Quite disappointing overall. Excellent staff in the spa, great massage, and in the salon, good manicure. Due to bad weather we were unable to stop in Jamaica or Grand Cayman. The unfortunate thing was that we still had high winds on the extra 'at sea' days, therefore no chairs on deck. It made for slightly unpleasant 'spare time' as one had to find a location to read or play games along with 900 other people! Overall Viking did a good job, maybe need a bit more attention paid to the tours offered and the training of The Restaurant staff. Frankly, avoid the evening entertainment! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary. It was a partial crossing of the Panama Canal and then back to the Caribbean. Which we preferrred rather than cruising over to the West Coast and long flight home. Also, preferred ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary. It was a partial crossing of the Panama Canal and then back to the Caribbean. Which we preferrred rather than cruising over to the West Coast and long flight home. Also, preferred Caribbean ports. The Good - Viking Sky is a very nice ship. It is new so everything is fresh and clean. The design of the ship maximizes public areas. Plenty of places to sit and read or enjoy ocean views. The outside decks have seating around pool areas. In addition, lots of comfortable couches around other outside decks. The infinity pool was heaven, just the right temperature and looking off the back of the ship while floating around was fun. Food was very good most nights. A few blips mid cruise, in food and service. After a couple of nights food recovered to a high level. It is so great to have good food in the main dining room. The crew were very friendly and nice. Always tried to make you comfortable. After a few days hostess in dining room remembered our names and where we preferred to sit. The Bad The tours started off badly. We registered online for everything, but the first night when reviewing tour tickets and times for departure in newsletter. We found our 1:00 tour was now departing at 9:00 am, even though they still had a 1:00 tour listed. When on vacation we do not like to rush around in the morning so we skipped this tour. There were a couple other tour changes, like tour length listed originally as 7 hours, but in actuality only being 4 hours. We skipped this tour too, would have gone if we knew time was shorter. So check all your tours carefully. Cabin was not in great location - see below. Weather was not the best. We enjoyed the Panama Canal crossing, unfortunately weather turned bad once in Caribbean. Had to skip two ports. Viking managed to get us docked in Nassau and then provided a voucher for $250.each for future cruise Weather does play a big role in how your cruise experience goes and I have tried to be fair about my review. I think overall Viking provides a good value for your money and we will probably go on a another Viking cruise with the right itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted a warm climate to escape from the winter, because we had never seen this part of the world, and because we love Viking cruises. We thoroughly enjoyed Key West, especially Truman’s Little White ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted a warm climate to escape from the winter, because we had never seen this part of the world, and because we love Viking cruises. We thoroughly enjoyed Key West, especially Truman’s Little White House. Our guide was excellent and made the rich history come alive. In Colon, Panama, we visited the Embera Native Village and were enthralled with the people and intrigued with their lives. Of course, seeing the Canal and marveling at the engineering genius of the locks as well as at the notion of the near impossible feat which was accomplished there by those who built it were trip highlights. We have never been disappointed in a Viking cruise. We are vegetarians and the kitchen crew always makes sure we are well fed and happy with their offerings. The food is delicious and the presentation is exquisite! We experienced choppy seas and high winds after our port in Cartagena and had to reroute the rest of the trip. Rather than stopping in Montego Bay, Jamaica and in Grand Caymans, we stopped instead in Nassau, Bahamas and had an extra day at sea. There were plenty of enriching lectures and onboard entertainment to keep us busy during these at-sea days. Their Nordic spa is a beautiful oasis. From the extremely well-equipped locker rooms to the wave pool, the hot tub, the steam room, the snow grotto, the sauna, the plunge pool, a cruiser could spend hours each day feeling pampered there. They have a very nice workout facility, a “jogging” track on deck 2, and all sorts of spa services that individuals can avail themselves of. Viking Ocean cruises are top of the line! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was my second Viking cruise and I was not disappointed. I traveled with a couple. The embarkation process was flawless. Disembarkation was delayed about 35 minutes from the scheduled time. When we arrived at the airport there ... Read More
This was my second Viking cruise and I was not disappointed. I traveled with a couple. The embarkation process was flawless. Disembarkation was delayed about 35 minutes from the scheduled time. When we arrived at the airport there were other buses from other cruises at the curbside area so there was a wait to check in and in the beginning there were only two agents checking people in. When we got to the agent and checked in, my suitcase was over so I had to go to the ticketing counter in the terminal to pay the fee. My friends went to TSA and made the flight. The line was long and by the time I got to the agent it was too late for my suitcase to make the flight. The agent rescheduled me to the next available flight to Tampa. I rented a car to drive to Sarasota. My cabin was well decorated. The bed was very comfortable. There was ample storage. The bathroom was a nice size and the heated floor felt great on my feet. My cabin steward Dwi provided great service. Written instructions near the phone for the use of the wake up calls would have been a help. The Restaurant and World Café had a variety of choices and the food was presented well and was delicious. The Pool Grill was a nice option as an alternative. The staff was always very professional with great customer service skills. The enrichment lectures were just that and brought lo life the areas we were visiting. I enjoyed all the entertainment and meeting the entertainers. The Liars Club was a niceending. I enjoyed the shore excursions but didn't seem to have much time for shopping. I am looking forward to future cruises with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
My traveling companion and I picked this cruise first of all because it was a Viking Ship and second because of the itinerary. Outstanding because: 1. Heated floor in bathroom. Ship was kept in spotless condition at all times. 2. ... Read More
My traveling companion and I picked this cruise first of all because it was a Viking Ship and second because of the itinerary. Outstanding because: 1. Heated floor in bathroom. Ship was kept in spotless condition at all times. 2. Excellent Service. Loved the staff to guests ratio. 3. Fantastic for the delicious food and the additional restaurants at no add'l cost. 4. Loved hearing the chirping birds in the public restrooms. 5. The choice of public spaces where you could enjoy being with others or being by yourself. 6. The bed linens were wonderful with excellent service by the room steward. 7. The inter-active tvs in the public spaces where you can get news, menus, etc. 8. Relaxing and beautiful decor. The gym was sufficient to handle the # of guests. 9. Refrigerator in room with soft drinks, candy and free bottles of water. 10. Informative shore lectures along with entertaining shore excursions all included. 11. On shore excursions, the "Viking" packet of handy wipes to keep germs from spreading. 12. Everything is included in one price - no add-ons (we did upgrade wine pkg which was very reasonable). I have sailed on many cruise lines and have now committed to only sailing on Viking!! Once you sail on Viking Ocean, you will not cruise on any other. No ship can beat Viking. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was our first Viking ocean cruise and it was wonderful! The boat was great and so was the crew! The cabin was very nice. The bed was comfortable and it was great to have a balcony. The only cabin complaint I have, was that the ... Read More
This was our first Viking ocean cruise and it was wonderful! The boat was great and so was the crew! The cabin was very nice. The bed was comfortable and it was great to have a balcony. The only cabin complaint I have, was that the steward and snack bar people didn't give you a chance to answer the door when they knocked and would come right in. We never experienced that on the river cruises. The food was gourmet and the service in all the dining areas were very attentive. I was very surprised that the waiters and other servers remembered us (not just facial recognition, but names and room #s) being that there were over 900 people on the ship. We had one uncomfortable experience at Manfredi's restaurant. We had reservations and when we showed up there wasn't a table available for the 4 of us and they seated us at a table for 2 set for 4 people. I asked the maître-d to please change our table when one comes available. Several guest left and tables for 4 opened up soon after we were seated and they would not move us. Finally, we had to get the restaurant manager and after seeing how crowded the table was, we were moved. This could have been avoided if they just asked us to wait for a table. We wouldn't have minded waiting. We loved the guitarist and the trio of women! The bands were moving and the singers were outstanding! We enjoyed having drinks in the lounges and afternoon tea with the quaint entertainment provided. The idea of movies in the pool area at night was fantastic. The ports/excursions were enjoyable. The Panama Canal was very interesting to see and the lecturers was very knowledgable. They made it even more interesting. However in Cartagena, our tour guide was terrible (always on his phone and taking us thru a bunch of peddlers who were his friends) and the shopping place they took us to was a waste of time. It was very crowded and the vendors sold the same crappy items that no one wants to buy. More time in the town on our own after the tour would have been better. The cruise was wonderful and we would definitely consider another ocean cruise with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Recommended by a friend. No idea what to expect. Our first cruise. We were looked after right from the airport. Lovely welcoming with champagne. Had a quick tour of the ship and then to our cabin. Food the first night opened our ... Read More
Recommended by a friend. No idea what to expect. Our first cruise. We were looked after right from the airport. Lovely welcoming with champagne. Had a quick tour of the ship and then to our cabin. Food the first night opened our eyes. This was going to be great. First stop Key West and then onto Belize and further. Shore excursions were well organized with lots of info and lectures about where you were going. The excursions themselves were a bit up and down but no fault of Viking. We saw a lot of the Western Caribbean and going through the Panama canal was the highlight- very exciting. The weather turned windy after Columbia and we were not able to dock in Montego Bay, Jamaica, which was a big disappointment for me but again no doing of Viking. We then had 3 days on ship straight which was too long but Viking were doing their best to entertain us. Nassau, Bahamas was not on the itinerary , added at the last minute due to the weather but it turned out to be fun. I'd recommend Viking to middle aged and older, not for children. I think this is their market and what they are going for. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Wanted to go through the Panama Canal locks without spending too many days at sea. Perfect for experiencing the operation of the locks. Our prior Viking experiences are with the river cruises. This was even better. The rooms were ... Read More
Wanted to go through the Panama Canal locks without spending too many days at sea. Perfect for experiencing the operation of the locks. Our prior Viking experiences are with the river cruises. This was even better. The rooms were exceptional, especially the layout of the bathrooms. Food is exceptional, especially Manfredi's, the Italian food and wine, the service could not be better. We enjoyed the experience at the spa, very relaxing. The pool layout and both whirlpool areas made it very accessible and never overcrowded. The staff could not have been more helpful, always available. The wait staff in the dining area was efficient, and always seemed to smile, and recognize you. The ports and excursion, were very well planned, and we actually learned quite a bit about the areas. Entertainment was well presented considering the limitations of a smaller ship The exercise area was well supplied with modern equipment and sufficient treadmills, etc that we had no problem with wait time to use anything. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We were interested in sightseeing and learning more about the countries we visited. A variety of lectures and included familiarization tours in each port were great! The Panama canal was spectacular and it was great to have two ... Read More
We were interested in sightseeing and learning more about the countries we visited. A variety of lectures and included familiarization tours in each port were great! The Panama canal was spectacular and it was great to have two educational lecturers help narrate the passage. The accommodations were superb, including a heated floor in the bathroom. Our room was serviced several times a day so we never needed anything. Food selections were great and I didn't feel limited on the ship. We chose between the dining room, two specialty restaurants and the buffet, with lots of fresh seafood. On sea days we enjoyed the evening music and entertainment. We sat by the pool to watch a football playoff game on a giant screen. It wasn't part of the preplanned agenda, but people were interested, so Viking provided it. I love the Viking river cruises and have few more of them to do, but will definitely fit in some Viking ocean cruises, too! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose this cruise because of the Ports of Call and the Passage in the Panama Canal. The service aboard ship was perfection. We were made to feel a part of the family at the moment we embarked the ship. It was wonderful that all ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the Ports of Call and the Passage in the Panama Canal. The service aboard ship was perfection. We were made to feel a part of the family at the moment we embarked the ship. It was wonderful that all aspects were inclusive and that you could sit in the night club, be asked if you wanted a drink and when you answered no, were not bothered again. They catered to my gluten-free needs as a celiac during all aspects of the trip. Everyone on-board had a smile at all times and you did not feel that it was 'put on' but rather their way of life. The entertainment on-board and lectures given were top notch. Days at sea were never felt to be wasted time. We signed up for a River Cruise because we enjoyed the trip immensely and have recommended Viking to all our friends, both Ocean and River. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to cruise the Panama Canal and wanted to stay on the Caribbean side and have more ports and less time at sea. We also, really liked Viking riverboats and the fact that Viking works to educate us ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to cruise the Panama Canal and wanted to stay on the Caribbean side and have more ports and less time at sea. We also, really liked Viking riverboats and the fact that Viking works to educate us before and during the cruise about the food, culture and customs of our destinations. We had two lecturers onboard telling us everything about the Panama canal from beginning to present. It was fabulous. When weather kept us from being able to visit 2 of our ports, Viking worked hard to step up and fill our days while at sea. They also did find us an alternate port and provided maps for us to explore on our own. We also love all the different restaurant choices. Mamsens and the Wintergarden tea time restaurants were fun and added to the overall experience. We really liked the variety of music provided in our cabin and of course all the live music in the atrium was much appreciated. We highly recommend Viking for the discerning traveler. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was a holiday cruise. Main objective was to visit Panama Canal. This was my 3rd Ocean. Cruise. The included excursions were below average. In Panama City our guide stopped in a beautiful square, showed us the outside market and the ... Read More
This was a holiday cruise. Main objective was to visit Panama Canal. This was my 3rd Ocean. Cruise. The included excursions were below average. In Panama City our guide stopped in a beautiful square, showed us the outside market and the beautiful items for sale but we did not stop to show even for five minutes. We were able to stop on the way to the bus-vendors had their items on the ground and they were very poor quality. In Cartagena (excursion description plainly said we’d have 40 minutes to shop) the guide announced there would be NO shopping and there was no shopping. When I mentioned to excursion director, he basically had no answe or explanation. The dining room, for dinner, usu. took about 2-21/2 hours. For breakfast one morning my waffle and my friends oatmeal took almost an hour to arrive. Yet the three tables of four who were seated after us all received their eggs, omelet, etc. before our orders arrived. Forget about. Juice refill etc. we were to,d kitchen was backed up- Last dinner in restaurant we were taken to the LAST table in the dining room next to the kitchen and a table of 8– we were unable to talk unless we shouted. It was not busy-we passed about 50 empty tables. I should have requested we change tables but I was so upset I knew I wouldn’t be able to politely make the request. The noise from the kitchen was unreal. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
The two weeks we were gone the weather at home (Maine) was the coldest two weeks in a decade. Our thermometer bottomed out at 25 below. Itinerary was what we expected, except Key West was not included because of the holiday and the ... Read More
The two weeks we were gone the weather at home (Maine) was the coldest two weeks in a decade. Our thermometer bottomed out at 25 below. Itinerary was what we expected, except Key West was not included because of the holiday and the weather was not cooperating so we could not stop at Georgetown. The result was too many days at sea. Also had more rain than sun. The food was fantastic. The speakers were informative and professional. The spa was useful, although access should have been more clearly communicated. Staff was very pleasant and very helpful. We booked two more trips with Viking. food: Menus were creative and very well prepared. You never felt stuffed but never left the table hungry. The "Chef's Table" experience was like going to a five star restaurant. The morning and noon meals provided many options in terms of settings and menus. The trip into the Panama Canal was the highlight of the cruise. The entire trip into the Canal was narrated by a professional with an extensive knowledge of the history and engineering of the canal. It was a first class cultural and historical activity. The snow room was a unique experience. We alternated between the steam room and the snow room for about an hour. The snow room had real snow--made just like a ski resort. The staff was superior. You never saw a frown or heard a cross word. From 1:1 conversations you knew they were well treated ad enjoyed what they were doing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This trip was everything and more that one would expect from Viking. It was our first ocean experience with them although we've done two Viking river cruises. From the time we arrived at the Port of Miami until we were loaded on ... Read More
This trip was everything and more that one would expect from Viking. It was our first ocean experience with them although we've done two Viking river cruises. From the time we arrived at the Port of Miami until we were loaded on buses for the LA airport, it was indeed the trip of a life time. This ship was simply spectacular! We were very hesitant to book an ocean cruise as the idea of a floating hotel of 2-3,000 passengers did not excite us. We were even skeptical of Vikings 930 passengers. That apprehension quickly disappeared, as we never felt like we had that many fellow cruisers. There are so many 'intimate' areas throughout the ship where people can read, chill out, play cards . . . We booked an Explorer suite and WOW, it was nothing short of amazing. The layout and amount of space was incredible. The dining options really appealed to us. We don't mind buffet style for breakfast and lunch but enjoy a traditional sit down with wait staff for dinner. It would be hard to chose between Manfredi's and The Chef's Table, as both offered fine dining with separate twists. The Chef's Table was SO intimate and we met the chef each time we dined there (6), which was quite special. Manfredi's offered a wonderful Italian style menu with beautiful wines - we enjoyed it almost a dozen times in our 23 day cruise. On board entertainment is not particularly important to us but we did attend about 6 evening performances, which were really quite good. Unfortunately we were looking forward to The Kitchen Table excursion but it was not available on this trip. Instead, cooking classes were offered on sea days and we attended 3. We had SUCH a good time. The classroom is state of the art and with only 8-10 participants, it's just a really interesting 3 hours. Most of the on-shore excursions were educational and interesting but there were a few duds - particularly Nicaragua. We also felt that we spent too much time in Cuba, and wish that one of the Cuba days would have been added to Costa Rica, Cabo or even Guatemala. Cienfuegos was a very disappointing first port of call. The primary reason for us booking this cruise was going through the Panama Canal and we were not disappointed. We were both very prepared for this part of our cruise, having both read the book "The Path Between the Seas." The excursion the day before cruising the canal was great as we got a local look at both sides of the canal and the actual experience of going through the locks, experiencing this enormous feat of mankind, was beyond superlatives. We enjoyed this cruise so much that on the second day, we booked the Alaska cruise for 2019 and booked the exact same room! If we could afford it, we would have booked several. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose the Miami pre-cruise extension and were disappointed. I am accustomed to having Viking provide sightseeing each day. There was nothing scheduled for our arrival day, so we arranged our own tour. Our room was not ready, so we ... Read More
We chose the Miami pre-cruise extension and were disappointed. I am accustomed to having Viking provide sightseeing each day. There was nothing scheduled for our arrival day, so we arranged our own tour. Our room was not ready, so we were told to return after 4. We returned after our tour, around 6, and our room and similar ones had been given away!! We spend an interminable time at reception trying to find a place to bed down for the night. The hotel eventually upgraded us and gave us a $50 chit for dinner, but that didn't quite make up for the hassle we had endured. The wine and cheese party the next night (a disappointment after the usual Viking river welcome dinners) was held in room off the lobby that was open to the sky. It was a virtual wind tunnel. We were the first to take our inferior snacks and glass of wine out to the lobby, and were soon joined by most of the group. What a poor choice of a room...and of the nibbles. The Hilton Cabana Hotel was not the best. Only one elevator worked, so it was a disaster on the day of our departure for the ship as people tried to bring themselves or their luggage down to the lobby. Our luggage was never picked up, so Bob had to bring it down himself. The embarcation process was the smoothest I have ever experienced. (The same was true of disembarkation) Everyone was ready for us, passports were scanned, ship key cards issued and we were ushered onto the ship and greeted with a glass of bubbly...always a nice treat. We chose this to visit Key West, the Panama Canal and Cartagena, all of which we enjoyed, plus we wanted to experience a Viking Ocean ship since we've been on several Viking river cruises. The ports, other than the ones mentioned above, were not very interesting and the tours were dip. I was disappointed and I was also disappointed in the number of sea days, tho I knew how many there would be when I signed up. I never dreamed that I would finish three books of over four hundred pages while on a sightseeing cruise. The meals in the main dining room were the expected high caliber of Viking. The selections were so wonderful that we always had trouble deciding on what to have. We always selected different courses so we could sample each others choices. The idea behind the Captain's Table was clever- small bites of special sumptuous food- but we found the main dining room preferable to the Italian restaurant. The buffet lunch was always tasty, so was breakfast there, tho my husband preferred to have breakfast in the main dining room...so we alternated. I did have a problem with the tossed salad at lunch on the buffet. On your riverboats it is so easy to fix up a big plate of salad by yourself. On the Sky, the toppings/additions were out of reach so we had to stand in line and wait for the chef to serve us...time wasted and no one likes to stand in line for food. We are smokers and appreciated the fact that our area was covered and so protected from sun and rain, however the tall cigatette disposal towers were never emptied. There wasn't much to the gift shop, but it was certainly better than on your river boats. I have already complained about the rotating globe that we purchased in the shop and you can check your records for that. I think the shops on the Regent ships are more interesting...especially when there are so many sea days. Naturally, despite what I have written, we will try another Viking Ocean cruise...I am thinking of Bergan to Greenwich. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This ship is easy to navigate and has wonderful public areas. The pools are very difficult to exit. The thermal pool in the spa had temperature issues, one day cold another scalding hot. The food was excellent with the best steaks. The ... Read More
This ship is easy to navigate and has wonderful public areas. The pools are very difficult to exit. The thermal pool in the spa had temperature issues, one day cold another scalding hot. The food was excellent with the best steaks. The staff was unfailingly efficient and pleasant. The shore excursions were a bit of a nightmare. This was Sky's first Panama Canal Cruise. Arriving in Belize after 2 PM with an 1 1/2 hour bus ride left little to no time to visit Mayan ruins. Some buses arrived when it was already nearly dark.. Other shore excursions had buses with weak to no air conditioning. One paid for excursion in Columbia highlighted a Gold Museum which was closed when we arrived. Our provided flight home was awful with a 5:30 PM departure time. Customer service agent with Viking had told us we would be able to exit our cabin at 8:30 AM and stay in the common areas till afternoon departure. (Lie or lack of knowledge on ships procedures?) Being a smaller ship you will feel the vibration even in calm seas. Entertainment was low keyed. Super comfy theater. Best of all no one is constantly bothering you to buy expensive fruity drinks. 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
Sail Date November 2017
We loved the ambiance of this new 2017 ship, which included the many locations for quiet reading or conversation, the classical music, the entertainment options, the excellent service, the small size of the ship (about 950 passengers), the ... Read More
We loved the ambiance of this new 2017 ship, which included the many locations for quiet reading or conversation, the classical music, the entertainment options, the excellent service, the small size of the ship (about 950 passengers), the absence of a casino and children, the many educational lectures, the excellent food and restaurant options, the self-service laundromat on each deck, the afternoon tea in the relaxing Wintergarden, the free hot pool and snow room in the spa, and the free unlimited wi-fi. The main restaurant was divided into smaller "rooms," so it was quieter than a large open space. The food choices were delightful. When we wanted a quick meal, we used the World Cafe. We didn't try the room service. Viking offered a free excursion at every port, but we often chose a different excursion that cost money. We were very happy with the included tour to the Altun Ha Mayan ruins in Belize, the paid Gumbalimba Park on Roatan Island off Honduras, the included canal cruise near Tortuguero in Costa Rica, the paid rainforest and aerial tram tour in Panama, the paid gentle river rafting on a bamboo raft in Jamaica, and the paid tour to pet the stingrays in waist-deep water in the Caymans. The paid tour of Cartegena wasn't exactly as described because of the guide. We liked going through the Panama Canal locks and floating on Gatun Lake. Embarkation was bad because hundreds of us were warehoused in a giant room for several hours after overnight flights with no coffee, water, or snacks while we waited for Viking staff to open their check-in lines. Then there were hundreds in long lines. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We love Viking River cruises and have tried one other Viking Ocean cruise. When this Panama Canal cruise showed up we had to take it because we have been wanting to cruise the canal. Viking is always wonderful...amenities, service, ... Read More
We love Viking River cruises and have tried one other Viking Ocean cruise. When this Panama Canal cruise showed up we had to take it because we have been wanting to cruise the canal. Viking is always wonderful...amenities, service, friendliness of staff, casual atmosphere. We love it all. (started in Miami and the only minus for the whole trip was that it was a new embarkation port and they weren't set up very well. We were in the first group to arrive from the airport early a.m. and had to wait a few hours to check in...after that, the trip was wonderful.) Included shore excursions were great, informative and just enough to spark interest in what each port had to offer. The cabins are always lovely...bathroom has heated floor and even a "night light" feature which is very handy. Husband loved the gelato bar at the buffet. Dinner at Manfredi's was delicious--and no extra charge for the specialty restaurants! We appreciate the fact that with the Viking air package, the transfers are included...nothing extra to worry about. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Great ports of call Good value for my money Best food ever on any vacation Crew was fantastic. Never felt overcrowded and deck chairs were always available. Would recommend to anyone who asks about my vacation. We traveled with ... Read More
Great ports of call Good value for my money Best food ever on any vacation Crew was fantastic. Never felt overcrowded and deck chairs were always available. Would recommend to anyone who asks about my vacation. We traveled with another couple who we recommended the cruise to. They were also very satisfied. Another thing worth mentioning was that the crew members in the restaurant and lounges tried very hard to learn our names and weee ready to serve us when they saw us . This made it very special. The room was very nice as we got a two category upgrade with this cruise. Was very spacious and the balcony was very nice. We were able to see everything from the balcony when going through the Panama Canal. One disappointing thing was due to the weather we were not able to go to Roatan. I guess we will try that port in the future. We have booked another cruise for next fall and can’t wait to get back on board. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
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