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Cruise Ratings
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
This was our first time on Viking Ocean. We have cruised 4 times before with Viking River, and about 35 other ocean cruises. My review is in comparison with Azamara, Princess and Celebrity cruises. The Ship: Very clean, modern and well ... Read More
This was our first time on Viking Ocean. We have cruised 4 times before with Viking River, and about 35 other ocean cruises. My review is in comparison with Azamara, Princess and Celebrity cruises. The Ship: Very clean, modern and well maintained. Staff was always walking around with a basket of cleaning supplies, looking for any spot to clean. Lots of areas to sit and read, play games with others or chat. In the atrium they have electronic game tables. Decks 1,2 and 7 are public areas so it was easy to find things. Interactive electronic boards by the elevators helped you out if you couldn't find something. Cabin: We had a basic cabin that was comparable to most other cruise line veranda rooms. The bed was comfortable and the room was relatively quiet, but often times that depends more on your neighbors. It only had 3 drawers for clothes, which was a drawback. On the positive side, the desk had a lighted compartment and storage area for cosmetics and the bathroom floor is heated. It got too warm sometimes and there is no way to control the temperature. Dining: My expectations were probably set too high since friends had said the food was great. The speciality restaurant, Manfredi's, was superb. I had higher hopes for the Chef's table with the paired wines. The Asian dinner was good, the Mexican wasn't like Mexican food I've had before and the restaurant was only half full for that menu. I could always find something that I liked in the main restaurant, but not the fish except salmon. I sent the sea bass and red snapper back because it was basically tasteless. Portions are small, but that was a good thing for us. Entertainment: Absolutely superb. A cast of 4 singers plus the cruise director were wonderful. They had more shows than most cruise lines we've been on. Only one entertainer brought on for the last show which we missed. Activities: There were 4 lecturers and I attended 2 sessions. They were OK bu if you had a special interest in the wildlife, for instance, you may enjoy it more. They need more things to do during days at sea e.g. group zumba classes, etc. There's no casino, no bingo. Each day there was a 45 minute talk on the next port led by the cruise director. It was short, to the point, and most importantly no discussion on which shops to go to. The shore excursion manager would also give a brief overview of available tours, and how to get around the port. Service: Outstanding. Everyone on the ship was friendly, smiling, and willing to help. The service was attentive in all the restaurants. Ports and shore excursions: We had 4 ports in Iceland, one in Faroe Islands and 4 in Norway. We picked this cruise because of the itinerary and were not disappointed. These are small ports that offer natural beauty and geological wonders. We used private tour companies for most of our excursions because we like smaller tour group sizes, they cost less, and you have control over the itinerary. The included tours are full bus loads, 2 hours of driving, pointing things out and 2-3 stops for photos. I would have liked longer times in port so we would have time to explore on our own after our tours. The ship always arrived around 8:00 and left by 5:00 or 6:00. Azamara stays in port usually until 8:00 - 10:00pm. We booked a future cruise with Viking Ocean as well as River, so that validates our experience with them. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Embarkation was a breeze especially since the ship was in port overnight. Liked our cabin, especially the bathroom. There is never enough storage but Viking has tried to include more than other lines. A few days into the trip we ... Read More
Embarkation was a breeze especially since the ship was in port overnight. Liked our cabin, especially the bathroom. There is never enough storage but Viking has tried to include more than other lines. A few days into the trip we asked for a pad over the mattress because the mattress needed to be softer for us....it was brought immediately....our cabin attendant, Fery, is the best!! The ship is beautiful, spacious and never really felt crowded. The food in the Restaurant was the best and our favorite waiter, Edward, always had excellent recommendations. The food in the specialty restaurants was good but not excellent...really enjoyed the restaurant food more. The singing team put on great shows. Got to know and enjoy the company of Damien who shared his pictures of the puffins he got on an excursion with us. The excursions were o.k., some better than others. I usually plan my own excursions but since everything was expensive on this trip, opted for the included ones. Would we go again.....most likely not....For us there was too little to do on the ship. If they included different crafts other than embroidery and /or more ways to interact with other passengers...only had one Trival pursuit type game the entire trip. Not all day is spent off the ship on excursions, something should be offered besides food and drink even on port days. It was a beautiful scenic trip, but now we gave seen what we wanted to see in Iceland. The Faroe Islands were an interesting stop and Norway was exceptionally beautiful...our second time to Flam. BTW.... If you plan to take the ships train/bicycle tour, be aware that the bike ride does not begin at the trains terminal, but about half way down on the way back to the city. My husband was disappointed and had we known we would have planned the bike ride independently from the terminus. All in all, we had a pleasant time on board and in the ports. If you are happy doing your own thing most of the time...Viking is a good choice...definitely for the oldest crowd...which we are not there yet and probably won't be before we stop traveling. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Iceland’s Majestic Landscapes, August 13, 2019, Viking Ocean We chose this ship for chance to see Iceland up close. It made four stops in Iceland with two days in Reykjavik at the beginning. Most cruise lines stop at the capitol ... Read More
Iceland’s Majestic Landscapes, August 13, 2019, Viking Ocean We chose this ship for chance to see Iceland up close. It made four stops in Iceland with two days in Reykjavik at the beginning. Most cruise lines stop at the capitol for a day as they transit between the US and Europe. This was our first Viking Ocean cruise. If you are tired of the glitz, the constant sales pitches and wandering to find a quiet spot to read, this cruise line is for you. The ship had no casino and only two shops. Decks 1 and 2 which surround the 3 story atrium are open concept with contemporary Scandinavian décor in neutral tones– sofas, easy chairs & coffee tables with low bookcases to make them feel more intimate. Instead of a single room dedicated as the library, books are shelved at one end of Deck 1 with more books in other areas. Bars/snack areas are also spread throughout the open public areas. There were only two sea days. We found that our only choices for spare time were the port talks, lectures (excellent) and evening performance by the four ship’s singers. There are no dance/show productions. Trivia was held only on the sea days. Obviously the sports deck was not used with the cold and cloudy weather although the pool deck with its glass ceiling had wonderful nooks for reading, relaxing and looking at the ocean and also offered grilled food at lunch and sometimes at dinner. We used the buffet and pool grill for lunch each day and dinner varied between the dining room, Manressa’s Italian café and The World Café. The World Café offered one dedicated ethnic cuisine menu with paired wine included which changed every four days. We found that to be as much of a “show” as a dinner and portions were a bit small. The dining room and buffet food was well prepared and presented. It tended to have emphasis at times on Asian/Indian dishes which were interesting to taste made us wish to see a nice clam chowder, something less pretentious, ie. “down home food” by the last days of the cruise. As my husband put it, after traveling over three weeks, we had “hit the wall” as far as eating was concerned. The staff without exception was helpful and cheerful. Ports: Iceland is a small country with a population of less than 400,000. More than half live in Reykjavik. When our ship of 900 visited a port, Viking worked hard to gather good excursions and transportation. We were often delighted to find ourselves in a small group of less than 20. Viking offered one or more free excursions in each port. The majority were not just a short bus tour around the town. Some days we took both an included tour and a paid tour. Reykjavik We were exhausted when we boarded the ship. Many flights from the US are red-eye and our Icelandair business class seats did not recline more than a few degrees. I would recommend coming in a day early to acclimate. The most popular tour the day after boarding is The Golden Circle, an 8 ½ hour tour staring at 7 AM. We saw Iceland’s most famous waterfall,, Gullfoss, a geothermal area, lava fields and more. Isafjordur: A small group tour to Litlibaer, a tiny home from the early 1900s with stone walls and a turf roof. You will see many turf roofs throughout the country. We were served waffles and jam and our guide made butter in a churn. We were also served homemade chocolates at a photo stop and told about the home-grown enterprises to earn money in this sparsely populated country. Akureyki: We chose a private tour through Tripadvisor/Saga Travel to the Lake Mvatn area to see lava formations, bubbling geothermal areas, Godafoss, the “Waterfall of the Gods”, and learn a lot of local lore. We won the grand prize in our guide, Thor, who truly looked like his name. He had grown up in the area, entertained us with stories from his childhood and was also an extra in Game of Thrones. This was hands-down our best excursion. Seydisfjordur: The Wilderness Center is a unique hotel/tourist attraction far off the beaten path. The owner has created a museum of unique walk-through dioramas showing the life of early settlers and local lore plus a bed-and-breakfast hotel with some of the beds in a single room arranged in cubbies along two walls much like ancient Vikings built their homes, plus two outdoor geothermally heated soaking tubs, all of which the owner proudly showed us. We were served waffles and jam and given taste of lamb smoked on the premises. Thorshavn, Faroe Islands: The 22 small islands which comprise the Faroe Islands stand midway between Iceland and Norway. We visited a turf church, the remains of a 10th century Viking home, and saw fish ladders for salmon while driving through the scenic countryside. Geiranger, Norway: Easily the most scenic stop on the trip, the tiny narrow fjord ends at a tiny town where we chose to take a free tour up a road with 11 switchbacks to a viewpoint looking over the town to the mountains and reverse course and go up the other way to a viewpoint looking down over the town and fjord. This was nothing more than viewpoints and we ended a hotel for a “rest break” which was far too long with nothing to do. Alesund, Norway: Sunnmore Open Air Museum is a collection of homes, barns and other buildings from the past two centuries. Most are open so you can visit inside and the guide gave commentary as we walked along. The buildings are set on rolling land with gravel paths so this may not be suitable for anyone with difficulty walking. Flam, Norway: The small town of Flam set at the end of a fjord hosts up to six cruise ships a day. We were lucky to find only one other. The #1 tour is a 12-mile ride on the Flam railroad up the hillside and through the mountains with waterfalls in abundance. There is a 10 minute stop at a waterfall where the mythical witch appears singing her siren song. At the midway point, there is an hour stop to enjoy waffles and coffee in the hotel and spend a little time enjoying the view back down the valley before catching the next train back down. Viking reserves seats for its passengers. Check out the1-minute zip line ride from the viewpoint halfway down the valley to a farm you can barely see in the distance if a seat on the train back down is too tame! Bergen, Norway: Bergen is the 2nd largest town in Norway and iconic for its gathering of quaint historic merchant homes/warehouses from the days when the town was a trading powerhouse in the Baltic region. Our tour included visiting an old merchant building, a town tour and a funicular ride up Mt. Floien to enjoy the views, a gift shop, a child’s playground, some goats which keep the vegetation trimmed, and restaurant. It was possible to then wander the old wharf and Fish Market on our own afterward since the ship could be seen from the wharf and gauge if it was within a distance you could walk. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We've wanted to visit these countries for some time and have enjoyed a Viking river cruise. In addition, we preferred to travel on a smaller ship, rather than a typical large ocean cruise ship. The Viking Sky has a well-designed ... Read More
We've wanted to visit these countries for some time and have enjoyed a Viking river cruise. In addition, we preferred to travel on a smaller ship, rather than a typical large ocean cruise ship. The Viking Sky has a well-designed interior: the public areas, like atriums, are spacious and attractively decorated. Our cabin, while not luxurious, was exactly what we needed, as we did not spend much time in it. The variety and quality of food was very good, not exquisite dining, but one cannot realistically exquisite when they are feeding over 900 passengers. We believe that the food was as good as can be expected on a cruise ship. A group of four talented vocalists backed up by four very capable musicians provided most of the entertainment. Of the various shows they performed, we especially enjoyed their tributes to Abba and the Beatles. In addition to these shows, the cruise director organized game nights and comedy acts. We enjoyed visiting all of the ports. The guides provided informative and interesting background information on the locales we visited. The optional excursions covered a wide range of activities. We wished only that Viking offered more than one "included" excursion per port. An important feature of the ship for me was its fitness center which was large and well-equipped with elliptical trainers, stationary bikes, treadmills, resistance machines and free weights. The staff and crew provided amazing service. They were always friendly and showed interest in the passengers. Every one of them we met tried to make our cruise a pleasant satisfying experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise as we had always wanted to visit Iceland & Norway. The travel arrangements from the UK were good. The transfer from airport to ship was well organised and our guide was very knowledgeable and gave us a very ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had always wanted to visit Iceland & Norway. The travel arrangements from the UK were good. The transfer from airport to ship was well organised and our guide was very knowledgeable and gave us a very good summary of Iceland’s history as well as pointing out landmarks during the transfer. Embarkation was quick and smooth as we had pre registered our credit card. No long queues as can happen on some cruises. The cabin was very clean and comfortable. The whole ship was clean and people were working constantly to keep it spick and span. There were a number of restaurants to dine in. Some had to be booked but it was possible to eat a number of times in these. It was not possible to book in the main restaurant. On 2 occasions we had to wait but were then brought a drink while waiting. We ate in the World cafe, a buffet for breakfast and lunch but not for dinner. We prefer more formal dining for dinner. The choice of food was good and the presentation was interesting. Overall a good standard. The lectures on board were very interesting and enriching, especially those given about the Geology of Iceland. The optional excursions were good but expensive. Some of the included excursions were coach trips. These were OK but not exciting. We enjoyed our trip very much and rate it among the best we have ever done. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2016
Chose Viking Star due to previous excellent experience on Viking River. Viking Star absolutely top notch in line with Viking River. No nickel and dime for premium dining - I think we ate 6 times at Manfredi's - no charge for beer ... Read More
Chose Viking Star due to previous excellent experience on Viking River. Viking Star absolutely top notch in line with Viking River. No nickel and dime for premium dining - I think we ate 6 times at Manfredi's - no charge for beer & wine. No forcing passengers to navigate casinos, photographer and useless vendors like other cruise lines. Included port excursions were great per viking usual - what other cruise line would charter a train instead of a bus for a long ride. The included wi-fi was definitely not up to snuff. But that is the ONLY problem on the Viking Star. We added pre-cruise excursion to Iceland and post- cruise Bergen to Oslo. Viking needs to work on negotiating what they advertise with their hotel partners. In Iceland - rooms were not available when we arrived. In Oslo Viking did not have anyone at the hotel when our Viking bus arrived. The hotel staff tried to accommodate but it was several hours before rooms and airport transfers worked out. Definitely not up to Viking standards. Read Less
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