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9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
My wife and I were anxious to try the much touted Viking Ocean. We booked a one week Rome to Barcelona cruise with a three-day pre-cruise Umbria extension. We made our own flight arrangements in order to assure only direct flights to and ... Read More
My wife and I were anxious to try the much touted Viking Ocean. We booked a one week Rome to Barcelona cruise with a three-day pre-cruise Umbria extension. We made our own flight arrangements in order to assure only direct flights to and from. We were, however, obligated to arrive on the day our extension began. Would have preferred to arrive a day or two earlier and meet the Viking guides at the airport but we were told this could not be done. I have since found out that there is a way around this by booking private transportation to the extension hotel for the first night there. Another couple in our group did this. The Umbria extension was outstanding. I have reviewed this elsewhere. Transportation from the extension to the ship was flawless though we didn't arrive until 5:00 PM with only a half hour until muster drill. As for the cruise itself, I must say that I readily understand the high marks given by the vast majority of its guests. The spotless ship, its gracious crew, its many amenities and very comfortable accommodations validate the acclamations. For me, however, there is one very prominent deficiency. This is dining. Let me hasten to say that the majority will probably disagree with me. I add this note in hopes of dissuading the many Viking defenders from venting. Folks, it's just a matter of some like chocolate while others prefer vanilla. Dining on Viking tends to be casual, and is meant to be. Of the various venues, The Restaurant (main dining room) is the only one with table linens. All others use plastic place mats. The World Cafe is the “buffet” which is cafeteria style self-service for everything except beverages which are served. This is very popular for a variety of good reasons. Guests who are in a hurry, who prefer to wear more casual clothes than suggested for other venues, who like to fill their plates with a variety of offerings, love this place. The World Cafe is always open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are two “specialty” restaurants, Manfredi's and The Chef's Table. Manfredi's has a very interesting menu with an Italian theme. The offerings are delicious and portions tend to be large. Service is as helter-skelter here as it is in all other service venues. I'll explain later. The Chef's Table offers a set menu which changes every several days. These two alternative restaurants serve dinner only and only by reservation. The remaining three food outlets are the Living Room bar, Mansen's (a Norwegian deli), and the Pool Grill. All with very good but limited menus. Of course, there is always the 24-hour option of room service which arrives promptly, on a tray, and must be consumed from your lap or shagged to the balcony table, unless you have a suite which includes a dining table. So what's my beef? Service! Everyone, in every mentioned venue and in every other part of the ship, is as gracious, friendly and accommodating as possible. It is the method obviously prescribed for them in the restaurants that troubles me. In all restaurants, one's server will introduce himself, or herself, and state that they will take care of you. That may be the only time you see him or her. Someone else may take your order, another to ask about wine, still another to bring the first course and so on. If you stick to three courses as shown on the menu this is OK. However if you veer from this, confusion and unwarranted delay result. Requesting a salad to be served after the main course, asking for a small serving of a main for a starter, or a large serving of a starter for a main just doesn't work when dealing with multiple servers. Asking one if San Pellegrino is available and being told yes, and later being told no by another, just doesn't work. This MO was very much more evident in Manfredi's and The Chef's Table than in The Restaurant. For this reason I preferred The Restaurant. We had two reservations in Manfredi's and two in The Chef's Table. We canceled one in each to return to The Restaurant. We would have been delighted to take all three meals every day in The Restaurant. Unfortunately The Restaurant serves lunch only occasionally when at sea, and does not serve breakfast before 8:00 AM which means you must dine elsewhere in order to make a early morning tour. With that off my chest, let me say that we enjoyed our first Viking cruise and would not be adverse to taking another. I am old but still a pretty fast learner and can work around the dining issues. I do want to offer special kudos to Natalie, the charming young lady who manned the desk at the entrance to The Restaurant, who always greeted me by name and “two chairs” as I preferred any table so long as it had two chairs (no banquet seat); and to Gregory from Armenia who took good care of us at the Living Room bar and saw to it that I had my breakfast oatmeal cookie in the morning and my Maker's Mark in the evening. I score our Viking cruise a 9 out of 10. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise to try out Viking Ocean cruises. It was a very nice experience! Low key luxury & excellent service! We chose a penthouse veranda for the extra space. It was super nice! This was a port-intensive cruise - ... Read More
We chose this cruise to try out Viking Ocean cruises. It was a very nice experience! Low key luxury & excellent service! We chose a penthouse veranda for the extra space. It was super nice! This was a port-intensive cruise - Livorno, Monte Carlo, Marseille & Barcelona - so no sea days. But we still managed to use the pool, gym & restaurants. All good except Chef’s Table - we didn’t care for Lotus Menu. This would not be a cruise for those desiring nonstop action. Music & dancing were available but no Big Shows, acres of shops, or rock climbing walls... Quiet, classy & no kids under 18 allowed. The ports were amazing - it was hot weather, but that’s summer...we loved Florence & Marseille especially. We only did 2 Viking excursions - in Marseille (Chateau Flauguerges wine tasting) & a panoramic tour of Barcelona. The former was extra & the latter included. Others we booked on our own. A great cruise! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I recently returned from Journey to the Antiquities trip, March 23 to April 6, on the brand new Viking Jupiter boat. I was looking forward to an amazing trip with my 84 year old mother. This was probably going to be her last big trip. We ... Read More
I recently returned from Journey to the Antiquities trip, March 23 to April 6, on the brand new Viking Jupiter boat. I was looking forward to an amazing trip with my 84 year old mother. This was probably going to be her last big trip. We expected the best from this lovely new ship. What we got, was not. Here are my Explorer suite 3000 issues, and they are significant issues. So significant that I feel that any future passenger considering booking that room should be aware of, particularly on the cruise/travel websites… For their own good, since no one prepared me for those issues. The furniture was incredibly uncomfortable. Loveseat should have been a couch, and the two arm chairs were stiff like doctor's office furniture, and so hard and had to use bed pillows to make them usable for seating. They should have club chairs or some other softer seating for the amount of time spent in the room, which most people do when choosing a suite!!! especially so you don't have to run around the boat looking for seating! Transition/threshold strip between bathroom and bedroom was almost 2 inches high. We tripped constantly on it. What made this dangerous was during the night when my mom would need to use the bathroom. Not a frustration. Dangerous! Standing water in the shower. The water never drained, because the drain is on the right hand side of a square shower, parallel to the door, not in the center of the shower. It had to be dried daily by the housekeeping staff. Dangerous for my 85 year old mother to be in standing water taking a shower. This is a design flaw and two engineers came and took pictures. I recently renovated my home so I know a shower either needs to be pitched or the drain needs to be in the center. Neither in this case. And OMG, the worst - The noise!! Incredibly loud as we were directly over an anchor and the “thrusters” (according to the first officer who told me). From an hour prior to docking each time at port, arriving or departing, the noise level was unbelievable, the room shakes and vibrates, and would wake us out of sound sleep… and spaced over a few minutes each time, for over an hour. The noise was like a JACKHAMMER right next to us. Unbelievably loud. Even the TV on highest volume, could not be heard. 7 times in the morning, with 5 being at 6am. I’ve never heard noise that direct, and that loud, so close. It was deafening. I will try to upload the video of the noise if I can. Outside the room, in the hallway, was no noise at all. I contacted guest services several times. No offer of another room was made. I assume the boat was at capacity. I was told by Geoff, guest services manager, that this would be escalated to Viking headquarters. I confirmed I would be speaking to them upon my return. I have videos and pictures/proof of everything. I have attached some. The general public should know, as should the next passenger who spends $21,000 on this room. $5,000 for an average one week vacation (x2 for a 15 day cruise), is one thing. $21,000 is another. This was supposed to be a first class trip. In speaking to your customer service department upon my return, a rep, informed me that she could offer me a gesture of $250 voucher per person on my next Viking cruise. I will respond with exactly how I responded to her. “Are you joking?” A $500 “gesture” on a trip that I paid over $27,000 for??? And you want a second chance to impress me with a $500 voucher? You did not impress me the first time, and completely misled me and my investment in this journey, and you want a second chance, when I don’t get a second chance to pick a room that had no issues/less noise??? For the amount of money I paid you, I find that disgraceful! There should be some way to inform a selective passenger of the noise volume in that room. It was the most unpleasant wake up call each time we pulled in, and for the times we were in the room upon departure. And a gesture of that amount to offset what I paid YOU/Viking for the experience and ROOM??? Even my travel agent earned more in a commission on the booking than what your rep was offering me." Subsequent calls and emails to Viking customer service. No one seems to care that I overpaid and was dissatisfied. No, our trip didn't hit a huge storm and the piano did not go flying across the floor, but for the money I paid, 6 months prior to even traveling, you should be ashamed and do something about making HIGH paying passengers happy. I could have taken a $5000 cabin and not had any of these issues. What is so frustrating, is that Viking is treating complaints this way. I've emailed the CEO and senior management team multiple times already. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our 4th cruise on Viking and each cruise gets better and better. Service, food, friendly atmosphere, tours, the ship and rooms are all top notch. We decided to stay in a PV3 cabin and really enjoyed the extra space usually we ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise on Viking and each cruise gets better and better. Service, food, friendly atmosphere, tours, the ship and rooms are all top notch. We decided to stay in a PV3 cabin and really enjoyed the extra space usually we stay in a DV cabin. We decided to mainly take this cruise for the 3 days in Israel and we were not disappointed. We decided to do a private tour in Israel as there were 10 of us and we booked through Guided Tours of Israel who did an excellent job. We could not ask for a better tour guide and driver. My least favorite port was Naples - quite dirty. The lectures on board were very interesting - especially the ones about Israel. The lectures were well attended, the lecture ended at 6:30 pm and everyone headed for the dinning room we did not have a long wait but Viking served champagne to all waiting in line and they did this several times - this is just an example of their service. They had several lunch specials around the pool , such as grilled salmon, mussels, and a fantastic brunch on one of our sea days served from 10 am to 1 pm. Excellent food stations and they served Bloody Mary's, champagne and Mimosas! Viking is a excellent cruise line, they care about the passengers and again you can not beat the service - we have booked 2 additional cruises with Viking. Entertainment is good, we always enjoyed going to the Living Room around 6 pm for a cocktail and the music. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We had an extraordinary experience on the Viking Star, exciting enough to book this trip on the Jupiter before we disembarked from the Star! And the Jupiter was fantastic, thus we booked our third cruise for 2020! The Jupiter is a new ... Read More
We had an extraordinary experience on the Viking Star, exciting enough to book this trip on the Jupiter before we disembarked from the Star! And the Jupiter was fantastic, thus we booked our third cruise for 2020! The Jupiter is a new ship and it had a few "new ship" blips; our volume on our tv was intermittent for 24 hours and the closet light wouldn't go off. Both of these were handled by our room steward Harias with speed and effectiveness. His service put Viking ahead of other cruise lines. Also, the delivery of the next day's menu for ordering vegetarian dinners did not always arrive to our stateroom in a timely manner. Marko, the dining room manager explained the situation but it was a bit frustrating. Staff were exceptional. Our waiter, Budi was the person who took care of us on the Star. He remembered us, remembered our preferences and we were served dark rolls for dinner and our beverages choices were ready when we sat down. Vegetarian options were available, nicely prepared but admittedly the dining room manager was not as involved with us. Entertainment by Viking Classical Trio was also a wonderful, repeat surprise. The pianist and guitar player on board, were also excellent but admittedly we are groupies of the Trio and went to as many of their performances as was feasible. Excursions were very good. Guides were exceptional but for one tour. Viking does a great job of vetting their guide services and we appreciate it. We travel for the experience of history and seeing the sites thus we appreciate that tours do not include "shopping" but rather Viking builds in "free time" in a location that can be explored with interest which may include, but doesn't focus on tee shirt shopping. In summary, Viking Ocean has proven to be service oriented, dedicated to making our experience worthy of repeating so we can travel to yet unseen locations. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The Viking Jupiter is lovely, lovely new ship. I believe we were its third sailing. Since the ship carries less than 1000 passengers I was surprised how big it was when we first pulled up in Civitavecchia. After being on board a couple ... Read More
The Viking Jupiter is lovely, lovely new ship. I believe we were its third sailing. Since the ship carries less than 1000 passengers I was surprised how big it was when we first pulled up in Civitavecchia. After being on board a couple of days you realize that the size for that number of passengers results in many public spaces to relax. In fact, with so many areas for folks to enjoy you get the sense that you are on a ship with many less people. In tandem with that concept it seems there is a lot of staff available. A side note here, most of the good cruise lines, big and small, have good staffs. The Viking staff may be the best as any I have encountered in over 20 cruises. A difference is that there are so many of them to meet the passengers needs. I wish I knew the ratio. For example, when someone leaves the pool area almost instantly an attendant shows up to remove spent towels and add new ones. As a result, it is easy to spot open chaises and just makes the whole area appear more attractive. Most of the staff's demeanor is friendly but not so much as to be even a little bit over friendly (a fine line that may be most appealing to their older clientele). You do get the sense and we were even told that the staff is very happy to be working for Viking. As for appearance, the ship appropriately is done in Scandinavian style with blond wood, leather and pleasant blues throughout. Their towels and blankets (both very plentiful) were in the same color scheme and felt very high quality (note to self: why didn't you ask to buy a blanket?). The result is a calming and pleasant setting in every area of the ship. It is an easy ship to get to know and the elevators and stairs were never crowded even when folks were leaving for port excursions. Signage is generally excellent except for a couple of floors where arrows pointing to lounges would have been more helpful. A neat feature is the sign between elevators shows you where to disembark for excursions. The pool area in many ways is the star of the ship. Since it has a roll back roof, it is used for buffets, special events and just relaxing when the outside temperature would be too low to sit out. Examples: embarkation day -- poolside grill open for passengers with grill and salad bar doing a great job; two special evening events -- a seafood buffet night and a tapas with excellent sangria night BEFORE dinner. Both were excellent with plentiful staff clearing tables and pouring wine. Never thought I would do afternoon tea but enjoyed it greatly on the other side of the pool with a tremendous staff serving inside the Wintergarden and in the poolside lounge. Doretty (spelling?) from Peru took excellent care of her area. It should be mentioned that the crew really is an international crew with staff hailing from Asia, Europe and South America all of whom spoke impeccable English. The dining room is gorgeous, the two specialty restaurants Manfreddi's and Chef's Table were very lovely with our enjoying the Chef's Table a bit more. Maybe, it was the service of Ivan and his assistant waiter, maybe their innovative twists of food, or maybe the best damn dessert I ever ate. We would have loved to go back but ran out of time. The World Cafe is just plain wonderful. It is the spot most people chose for breakfast. Great, great, great. Entertainment is appropriate for the clientele. Shows start kinda early and generally by 9:30 are ended. The shows themselves were very well attended and met the needs of the passengers, i. e. high octane shows featuring music of the Beatles, ABBA and the eighties. Every show we saw got a standing ovation. Later on there is continuing music and dancing elsewhere. Not to be ignored is the very beautiful and calming chamber music trio, pianist and guitarist that seem always to be playing. This is in the Living Room which has a bar whose staff is particularly talented at making drinks and making guests feel very comfortable. By the way, they have the most innovative system of taking orders; the staff member notes choices on what looks like an early model cell phone which immediately is sent to the kitchen or bar. The result is instant service of your drink or meal! The fellow passengers were basically all middle age and above Americans who understood the kind of ship they were on. People were always dressed appropriately and it gave the ship a feeling of a country club even though I don't belong to a country club. As eluded to earlier, service was impeccable in every area of the ship. The senior staff works as hard as their assistant waiters! We were in a Penthouse Veranda. If funds allow, choose this upgrade. It is near perfect sizewise, plentiful storage, refreshed mini bar with little bottles of liquor, soda, beer and snacks. Closet lights go on when the door is opened. Hurray, for electricity -- there are USB ports throughout and the lighting is innovative. The bathroom has a heated floor! Example of the level of service: we found the shower head moved when full force water was turned on, a trip to customer service (24 hours) had it fixed in twenty minutes. Room stewards were good. Service in customer relations by Nichert was superb. We used the laundry and ironing facility. Another example of Viking services: wind made stopping at the Port of Sete impossible. Within a half hour a new daily calendar with adjustments was printed and distributed. This sail day actually was a blessing since even though it occurred past midway of the cruise it actually gave us time to enjoy the ship's amenities: spa, pool, wonderful exercise room (never more than four people), etc. Even on this day with everyone on board, it was easy to find quiet area to sit and read or sit poolside in shade or sun. I guess I could go on and on about the ship but suffice to say, it probably will be the cruise one will always remember since I strongly believe that Viking will uphold this level of service and luxury. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Wanted to visit several countries in a short period of time. A taste of southern Europe so to speak. Everything about this company, ship and service were top notch. The cabin gave us everything we needed. We spent a minimal amount of ... Read More
Wanted to visit several countries in a short period of time. A taste of southern Europe so to speak. Everything about this company, ship and service were top notch. The cabin gave us everything we needed. We spent a minimal amount of time there. The Dining was exceptional: Buffet was of high quality, the main dining was gourmet and the other "price included" restaurants were fantastic. The activity portion was good but we spent more of our time resting for the next day. The service was the best!! Apollo in the pool bar, Aura in dining, Sofia seemed everywhere and Hector in dining were some of the standouts. Our Cabin folks (Annabelle, Faree) were efficient and pleasant and do a super job! Our excursions were excellent with both walking tours and bus tours offering plenty of experience opportunities. If I would offer any suggestion it would be to allow more time for shopping, wandering (hop on, hop off stuff) café experiencing. We will go with this company again. Truly memorable. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because we considered it would be a step up from the typical large ship pandemonium. We wanted adults, few pool games, less hysteria at food buffets and just an overall cleaner, calmer experience. We were not ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we considered it would be a step up from the typical large ship pandemonium. We wanted adults, few pool games, less hysteria at food buffets and just an overall cleaner, calmer experience. We were not disappointed. Since we wanted to spend a few days getting used to the time change in advance, we selected the pre-cruise extension - Ultimate Italy. This was three days in the Tuscan hillside with two full days of escorted tours in Florence, Sienna, and San Gimignano. It was worth every penny. It also allowed us to plan for a more relaxed visit when arriving in the Livorno port upon the ship. We would not have to repeat these cities. There were 30 of us on the pre-cruise extension. We came to know one another and were able to continue those connections on the cruise. Saturday morning we took a coach bus from our villa to the port in Civitavecchia. Arriving at the port there was a bit of a delay. The computers connecting the ship to the desks at the port were not communicating. Viking did their best processing all of us through, admitting about 20 at a time and sending us to the ship to check in at the guest services desk. It ended up working out just fine. We were very pleased with our room - a penthouse veranda category. Plenty of space for everything we needed and by far the nicest bathrooms of any cruise ship. Everything was very clean and crisp. The mini bar was stocked and remained stocked throughout the cruise. We loved all the food on the ship. Our favorite entree was the Bistecca Fiorentina (rib eye) served in Manfredi's. However, our second favorite experience was the king crab legs served every single evening in the World Buffet. We went to The Restaurant our first evening. It was great. However, we found that all the food on the menu there was also served in the World Buffet and you could be on your own schedule. They also always had two items that they made to order. For us it was frequently the New York strips. Mamsen's offers some unusual treats for breakfast and snacks. My husband fell in love with the pickled herring at breakfast there. We did not choose the Silver Spirits beverage package and found we certainly didn't need it. Beer and wine flow freely at lunch and dinner in any location where food is served. This includes the buffet and Mamsen's. And you can take what you haven't finished with you when you leave. We enjoyed the entertainment on the ship, though we are definitely not needy in this regard. The Viking band and singers performed a Beatles show and an Abba show that were fantastic. Seating in the auditorium is plentiful. And not a bad seat in the room. You don't have to dodge pillars and obstructions to your view. There is also usually light entertainment in the atrium area on the first floor. We found that a great place to hang out and watch the ocean or port activities. We enjoyed hanging out in the evenings in the Explorer's Lounge. When we were lucky enough to get seats in front of the water vapor fireplace we were delighted! The service on the ship is exceptional. These folks are definitely hard workers and eager to make your cruise enjoyable. Ports and Shore Excursions: Livorno/Florence - as mentioned, we had been to Florence on our pre-cruise extension. We took the optional excursion to the Leonardo da Vinci museum and to Lucca. This was the only disappointing experience of the cruise. The first stop in Vinci was at the childhood home of Leonardo and is nothing exceptional. The museum portion of that is just a holographic video. The second museum experience is a few miles away and is a museum of Leonardo's mechanical inventions. It is interesting, but rushed. Unfortunately, it was raining in Lucca so it put a damper on the enjoyment. That was not the tour guide's fault. Our second day in Livorno we took the included tour to Pisa. It was fantastic. The Monaco day was great. We took the included tour in the morning and Nice on your Own in the afternoon. The included tour covered a walk up the seaside with highlights of the history of the royal family and the city. It does not go to the casino Monte Carlo, but they do allow you to break off from the tour and head there on your own. We were in a bit of a hurry because we needed to get to our second tour. The trip to Nice was worth every penny. On the Marseilles day we took the included tour and then spent time on the ship. It was a great time to take advantage of the spa/steam room/snow room. Very exhilarating. Our only hiccup to the cruise itinerary came on the Sete port day. The winds prevented us from safely making port. Our captain made it a very comfortable day by taking us out to less choppy waters and giving us an unplanned day at sea. The staff got creative with a few impromptu talks and lessons. We also found an unexpected treat in the Explorer's Dome (above the Explorer's bar.) If you enjoy planetarium experiences, look for the three different shows they present in the dome. They require reservations but are easy to get on your viking app. Barcelona is a beautiful city/port. We were lucky to port at the World Trade Center so our ship was easy to walk off/on and right into the city. On this day we took our favorite excursion - the Gaudi Architecture tour. If you want to see the INSIDE of the La Sagrada Familia, this is the tour to take. Of the 800 photos we took during our vacation, 200 of them were inside this cathedral. We then continued the tour at Park Guell, another fantastic Gaudi creation. Because of the timing of this tour, we couldn't take advantage of the included tour but feel our decision was absolutely the best. After our first night on the Jupiter, we knew that Viking was to be our future. We met with the onboard cruise consultant who was very knowledgable about all the options for future tours. The discounts and access to popular cruises early make it worth considering booking your next cruise onboard. We ended up selecting the Grand European tour for next May, 2020 to see how Viking River compares with Viking Ocean. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because we were looking for a 2-week ocean cruise on Viking that provided guided tours of Rome. We had just returned from a 2-week cruise on Viking that toured Norway and the UK. This cruise was excellent in almost ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were looking for a 2-week ocean cruise on Viking that provided guided tours of Rome. We had just returned from a 2-week cruise on Viking that toured Norway and the UK. This cruise was excellent in almost every respect from the cabin, the crew and the entertainment. Everything was top notch. This excellent cruise was called, Into the Midnight Sun on the Viking Sky. Because of this excellent experience we wanted to sail on another 2 week Viking cruise. We purchased what we though was another 2-week (14 night) Viking cruise from Athens to Barcelona and expected the same features and quality as we had on the previous Viking 14 day cruise. Unfortunately once we arrived on board the ship we learned that what we were sold was actually two back to back 7 day cruises. This was disappointing for two main reasons, first all the entertainment and most all of the lectures were repeated on the second 7 day cruise. Second and more importantly Viking did not provide their same level of excursions in Rome that they typically arrange for all other ports. Neither of the two offered excursions were acceptable to me and my wife as both excursions required us to spend 5 or more hours on our own in Rome. My wife and I do not feel comfortable spending this amount of time on our own in Rome. It is worth noting that the reason the Rome excursions were limited is that this was the embarkation and debarkation port and about 800 of the passengers were leaving the ship at this port. And about 800 new passengers were coming on board here as well. Of the approximately 900 passengers, approximately 100 of us were sold the 14-night cruise. All others were sold the 7 night cruise either from Athens to Rome or from Rome to Barcelona. In talking with many of the other 14 night passengers they too were equally disappointed that this was not a true 14 night cruise. The information in Viking's marketing material mentioned that this itinerary combined two cruises. I did not meet anyone that understood this meant that Viking planned to combined two 7 night back to back cruises for a select number of passengers. We all thought that everyone who boarded in Athens were going to be on a 14 night cruise. The food quality was good. Although the selection was somewhat limited. I would have preferred to have had a larger selection of vegetables, both cooked and raw for making salads. One night my wife ordered a NY strip steak medium at the World Cafe and after waiting 10 minutes the chef came out and spoke to my wife and another passenger about issues with getting their steaks. It took another 15 minutes for the chef to obtain the steak from the kitchen and then prepare it. I assume they ran out of steaks and no one replenished them in he World Cafe.. The entertainment on this cruise was amateurish. The vocalists were right out of college with very little experience. Individually they may be talented but together they did not harmonize at all. We were told that these 4 vocalists were new hires and had not worked together except for 11 days prior to performing their first show on the Viking Jupiter. In comparison to the quality of entertainment between what we had on the viking Sky and on the Viking Jupiter is significant. Jupiter were amateur's whereas Sky were professionals. The atmosphere around the entertainment on the Jupiter was similar to "elevator music". On the Sky the entertainment was much more upbeat, popular hits from the 60's and 70's. On the Sky the band and vocalists often time performed at the pool and there were easily 100 or more passengers up dancing and having a good time. On the Jupiter the band performed a couple times at the pool and there were maybe 20 or so passengers dancing and almost no one listening to and enjoying the music in the audience. We really enjoyed the educational lectures. Bother the resident historian and the astronomer were excellent speakers. This was the maiden voyage of the Jupiter and as such there were a number of mechanical issues. I am sure that within 6 weeks or so all the mechanical issues will have been worked out, unfortunately for us we were the guinea pigs or beta testers for the ship and crew. There were public toilets that would not stop flushing, spa pool water that was too hot one day and too cold another, the hot tub was routinely not as hot as the pool, the infinity pool was not in operation (no water), cabin hot water temperature was for several days way too hot. These issues were minor in comparison to the Rome excursion issue and the very poor quality entertainment. The shore excursions were sometimes too short and did not offer sufficient time to explore the area. For example we purchased the optional excursion to the Medieval Fortified Town of Carcassonne in France. The tour lasted about an hour at Carcassonne by a local guide. There is a castle museum within the walls of this town that required at least 90 minutes to tour. Unfortunately the tour did not provide adequate time to see everything within the castle museum. Additionally, admission to the castle museum was extra and not included in the Viking arrange excursion and had to be purchased separately. The tour of Herculeum out of the Naples port was excellent. The right amount of time and detail in the tour. Highly recommend this optional tour. Unfortunately there were high winds expected in Civitavecchia (Rome) so our stay at the Naples port did not provide sufficient time ofr us to see Naples. The ship had to leave the Naples port early (about 4 hours) in order to insure that the ship could get into Civitavecchia (Rome) so that 800 passengers could make their flights in Rome the following day. The best part of this cruise was the Viking crew. Everyone form the cabin steward to the restaurant waiters and staff were excellent. Almost all staff on this ship were excellent. Knowing what we know now we would not have purchased this 14-day cruise and do not recommend this cruise and itinerary to others. Based on our experiences with Viking on this cruise we most likely will not be traveling with Viking again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise as our first adventure on Viking. We have been on 13 other previous cruises with other lines and wanted to see how Viking compared. We were blown away at how much we enjoyed literally everything about it. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise as our first adventure on Viking. We have been on 13 other previous cruises with other lines and wanted to see how Viking compared. We were blown away at how much we enjoyed literally everything about it. The device was top-notch. The food was fantastic. Not having to wait in line and deal with hundreds of people at every turn was fabulous. No lines getting on the ship or off at port. The tours - both included and paid - were great. It was absolutely the best cruise we’ve ever been on! The staff was there to help at every turn, although we had zero issues. We waited for about 2.5 seconds to check in before boarding the ship, and I was literally the first person to disembark as we had an early flight back to the States. I cannot day enough good things about this ship. Truly. To the previous poster who complained about there being “nothing to do” - for the other 929 of us aboard this ship, we got exactly what we wanted - relaxation without kids running amuck, shows to keep us up at all hours of the night, and pool and relaxing chairs every single time we ent on deck to find one. We are 47 and 54, empty nesters who have earned our peace and quiet! We were busy with ports and tours, and we were able to actually relax the remainder of our time on the ship. Loved it. Oh, and our bill at the end of the cruise? $2.50 for one item we bought on board. That was it! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We booked this cruise because of ratings. We did fibd out the ratings are only taken from Con de Naste magazine or whatever. The excursions were too short and a debacle. This ship had 0 and I mean 0 entertainment. I am 66 and was ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of ratings. We did fibd out the ratings are only taken from Con de Naste magazine or whatever. The excursions were too short and a debacle. This ship had 0 and I mean 0 entertainment. I am 66 and was youngest passenger! The wine ans spirit package was a disaster! Wines NO ONE EVER HEARD OF , and were vintages no one WANTED! I love a great wine list and this was the worst ever on 12 cruises! The overnite in Barcelona is not actually an overnite. You are up at 3am to get on a bus to airport so you can wait 3 hrs to board your plane! The ship itself has very sterile Ikea type furniture with no charachter. A bland version of futuristic. I am calling this my biggest waste og 8 plus thousand dollarrs I have ever spent on a vacation! Followed by 6700 wasted going to St. Lucia at sandals. When you come back from a vacation you usually reminisce about your time. When we got home we were just angry and wanted sombodys ass for making it a waste of money and time.! Customer service at viking is a total joke! All the offer you is more trips at half off! Let me be clear, if offered a free trip on ocean cruise on Viking ,I would not go! I mean it and am not kidding! Also, I forgot, no tv, always searching or out. Only one person can have internet per cabin! Im not kidding! So blatantly stupid! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Continuous ship computer problems. Restaurant reservations repeatedly disappeared. Long wait times for bar service. We had the wine package, and at dinner, refills were tough to get. Long lines at the buffet. Items often ran out and were ... Read More
Continuous ship computer problems. Restaurant reservations repeatedly disappeared. Long wait times for bar service. We had the wine package, and at dinner, refills were tough to get. Long lines at the buffet. Items often ran out and were not replenished for many minutes. The principal training much of the staff has received is to repeat the mantra "I am so sorry. I do apologize for the problem." Staff is pleasant and friendly, but that only goes so far. Cabin has insufficient storage space. Bathroom had a heated floor, which was nice, but pitifully low water volume in the shower. Food was average, with the Chef's Table being a huge disappointment. We had back to back cruises, chosen for the itinerary. Too late, we discovered that the ship would leave port at 2pm from three stops, making it difficult to see much. We have taken over twenty cruises, on 9 lines. I realize that Viking is not aiming for the luxury market, but I cannot comprehend the rave reviews it has received from some travelers. First and last Viking cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The Viking Sky was impeccably clean and was kept that way throughout the cruise. The arrival process at the Rome airport was efficient and fairly rapid. We did not stay at the airport more than about 30 minutes before we were on our way ... Read More
The Viking Sky was impeccably clean and was kept that way throughout the cruise. The arrival process at the Rome airport was efficient and fairly rapid. We did not stay at the airport more than about 30 minutes before we were on our way to the ship. At the ship the embarkation process was quick. The agents greeting were friendly and focused on getting us on board as quickly as possible. Once on board, we were greeted and told that lunch would be served beginning in about one-half hour. Until that time we were directed to the pool bar where drinks were available. This first lunch was served in the World Cafe, the ship's buffet or at a buffet pool-side; two different menus. All the food was consistently good. While we were getting to know our fellow passengers an announcement was made that all staterooms were ready for occupancy. We gladly proceeded to our stateroom for a rest after the long trans-Atlantic flight. We found our bags on the bed in our stateroom ready to be unpacked. Our stateroom was somewhat larger than the staterooms of most ships with a sitting area adjacent to the balcony. A large digital TV was on the wall at the foot of the bed which positioned it well to be seen in bed or in the sitting area. The one deficit to the room was space for storing clothes. There was a huge closet, but most of our clothes were not for hanging, and even if they were there were not enough hangers. The drawers were not in a convenient place and two of the four drawers were filled with amenities for the cabin. Most our our clothes stayed in our suitcases during the cruise under the bed. Necessitating dragging them out every time you wanted to change. There was a nice drawer refrigerator that the steward kept stocked with soft drinks and sweets. To get what you wanted all you had to do was ask. The room also had a keurig type coffee machine with various k-cups for personal use. I found his a waste of space. Coffee was always available aboard ship or through room service. The bathroom had an ample shower and was well stocked with the branded supplies for Viking, same as on the river cruises. The towels were thick and enjoyable to use. There are several complimentary laundrettes aboard which make cruising easier. Our cabin steward was efficient and eager to please. He was always available and ready to serve. There are several restaurants aboard the ship, including two specialty restaurants, Manfredi's an Itallian restaurant and the Chef's Table a restaurant with a chef determined menu and wine pairings, if you choose. The food and service is immpecable, but the availablilty is determined by class of cabin. So don't expect to get reservations more than once or twice. The other, open, restaurants are just as good and much more accessible. The "Restaurant" is the sit down restaurant with a menu that includes standards each day and a special menu from the locatiion visited and daily specials. The service is routinely attentive focused on an enjoyable meal experience. The World Cafe is the buffet. Most times the offerings mirror the menu in the Restaurant. with additional offerings from local supply. The World Cafe also has daily standards, including sushi and a rotating gelato bar. The service here can be somewhat spotty. Frequently is was difficult to find someone to stop and take drink orders. There was also a daily buffet pool side. This buffet was generally focused on seafood or smaller hand items like wraps or burritos. The drink service here is a little better, but still spotty. Drink service throughout the ship started out very efficient, but by about the third day it was difficult to find a server without waiting too long. The cruise itinerary was the big disappointment of this cruise. I booked the cruise primarily because it was published a stop in Tunis, Tunisia. I have always wanted to see Carthage. Shortlly after booking Viking announed that because of political issues Tunis would be replaced with Naples, Italy. This was not exactly what I consider a one to one exchange, but because the cruise company has a stranglehold on the carriage contract the paying customer has no recourse. I tried to get them to cancel my booking (this was about 10 months before sailing), but they would not do so. Not the best customer service. But that was not the end of the itinerary chaos. In the midst of the cruise, our less than brave captain, decided he did not want to sail into Trapani Sicily with a forecast of high winds. So we sat in Naples for an extra half day. In place of a several hour tour of Trapani we got a two hour unaccompanied visit to the National Archeological Museum in Naples. Not a real one to one exchange either, but did Viking care? No. In thirty years of cruising it is the first time I have had a cruise stop cancelled mid-cruise. Again, the carriage contract was totally in favor of the cruise line with no recourse for the paying passenger. Viking is an expensive cruise, they should find ways to accomodate the paying customer. The included excursions on this cruise had llittle depth or substance. Most of them were based in bus travel and little time on foot. This was completely different than my experience on the viking river cruises where most of the time was taken up on foot visiting local sights. They were a complete disappointment. The paid excursions were expensive and most of the time scheduled at the same time as the included excursions. The only excursion that had much foot time was in Valencia and it was really enjoyable. I don't know why they had the QuietVox listening system. They only used it twice during the week.To show how cheap the entertainment was, the cruise director, who wasn't seen directing much, had to do a show himself. The enhancement lecturers were inconsistent and less than adequate. Disembarkation in Barcelona was a breeze. While it was early in the morning for us because of a plane schedule, it was done well. the ship was elegant and well maintained. The staff was pleasant and friendly, never failing to greet when you passed them on the ship, including officers. The food was quality and enjoyable. The downside was the considerable lack of understanding that the customer should be considered first in all decisions, not the bottom line. These cruises are moderately expensive so expectations should be higher. Those expectations were not met. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I really wanted to rate this cruise 1 star but I gave it 3 as I need to be honest about some things. We booked this cruise and cruise line for a variety of reasons but we both left wishing we had spent our 7,800 dollars elsewhere. We ... Read More
I really wanted to rate this cruise 1 star but I gave it 3 as I need to be honest about some things. We booked this cruise and cruise line for a variety of reasons but we both left wishing we had spent our 7,800 dollars elsewhere. We didn't mind that the ship spent the first night in Rome. We knew this when we booked it and we knew we would have to pay to go back in to Rome for another day of sightseeing. We also knew, before leaving that the ship had cancelled one of the ports due to it being high risk. But we thought the bonus of no under 18's and the other ports would make up for it. Pros: Comfortable cabins - we were in a Deluxe Verandah and it was like a fairly small hotel room. Small free soft drinks(mini) bar with 2 very small chocolates each day. Great cabin crew. Very good restaurant maitre'd. He remembered everyone's names. No children Well equipped fitness and spa centre and lovely spa staff. Beautifully furnished. Cons: A lot of rude old Americans (wheelie frame) old people (not even a thank you when holding the lift door open for them. No choice for the soft drinks in the bar fridge. Despite beautiful furnishings seats in public areas were not comfortable enough to curl up with a good book. The main pool is in an area where a lot of the passengers eat lunch. There is no privacy around it at all. You have to pay for any classes that are offered n the gym and in all honesty the young guy who took the floor pilates was not very experienced. Restaurants that serve the same food just in a different way. That is: served by a waiter or at a buffet. The Scandinavian offerings at Mamsens was really poor. Could only get your "all day coffee" at the buffet restaurant. Rude waiters who sneered when you did not have the "Silver Spirits package", which, by the way, you need to purchase for both people in the cabin, and in our case one of us does not drink. Waiters who spent all their time fawning over returning passengers and ignoring others. BTW not just us. Waiters who reeked of cigarette smoke. Please do not smoke in your uniform. Port cancellation due to 'bad weather'. However: according to any weather channel we checked there were no weather issues. Being told by the company (Viking) that we could take an individual tour of Algiers and by the Algerian embassy that we could also do this and then finding out 3 days from Algiers that we couldn't. I also only found this out because I went to take back my free tour tickets so someone else could have our spot on the free tour. The cruise services staff had the audacity to tell us that they only just heard this from the port authorities. FYI the other staff told us (and this is many of them) that when the ship has docked in Algiers all staff and passengers have had to go on an organised tour. I also rang the embassy back in Aus they said organized ship tours have always been the case when coming into Algiers by ship. Oh yes, I am very much aware they were still happy to sell us visas. So who is lining whose pockets. In this case no-one was willing to take responsibility, not even an apology. I had to be like a dog with a bone to get them to at least offer a tour as a consolation. They also emailed the representative in Aus to say we had refused to pay for another tour which was an outright lie. This same issue has happened before. I did my research before taking this trip and saw similar posts to this with the same issue. Sarcastic comments from the cruise services staff (Andrew) when I apologised for being upset and stating my partner prefers to walk away, his comment was 'well he's obviously travelled more". Not called for, he has no idea what I have or haven't done. The free organised tours are sitting on a bus driving around the city. No loud casinos but there were still a lot of loud drunk old people and no-where to relax without this unless you stayed in your cabin. My partner propsed to me the night we left Algiers, he asked the waiter to witness it. When he finished all the waiter said was "oh, congratulations" and he then walked off. Not even an offer to my partner of another drink. Flaming lousy. Pro/Con Stops every day. There is never a day at sea. For us this meant that you felt you had to go sightseeing, so one never really got to enjoy downtime on the ship. Not a problem if one has been to the ports previously. No loud casinos but there were still a lot of loud drunk old people and no-where to relax without this. The resident band were lovely and I know the entertainment was going to be minimal but they were either in the bar/lounge or they (same performers did an Abba and another performers show in the theatre. That was it for the 7 nights. For the money we spent, we could have stayed an extra 3 weeks in Stockholm. Never again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise to celebrate my 70th birthday. We had taken 4 Viking River Cruises previously and enjoyed them all and thought that the Ocean Cruise would also be enjoyable. We did an extension in Rome before the cruise and an ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate my 70th birthday. We had taken 4 Viking River Cruises previously and enjoyed them all and thought that the Ocean Cruise would also be enjoyable. We did an extension in Rome before the cruise and an extension in Barcelona after the cruise. We were disappointed in the quality of the hotels in both cities. We had done extensions before and found the quality of the hotels much better than those in Rome and Barcelona. The Rome hotel location was fine but the hotel in Barcelona was far from a good location to explore the city. We had to take a taxi to see anything. We did a shore excursion to the Vatican in Rome. We had to wait 1 hour in the cold to get into the Vatican. Then another one half hour to get into the Vatican Museum. Once in the Museum we could only shuffle along pushed by the wall to wall crowd unable to stop to see anything. Viking should have warned us about the conditions. Except for the extension hotels and the Vatican, the experience on the cruise was great. The ship was beautiful; the food in the specialty and general restaurants were very good; our cabin was exceptional (and we paid dearly for it); the entertainment was fine for a cruise and the service was exceptional. Shore excursions were fine except for the Vatican. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We have previously sailed on 4 Viking river cruises and wanted to experience a Viking ocean cruise. We have sailed on other ocean cruise lines 20+ times, so we were looking forward to comparing those with Viking. Positives for Viking ... Read More
We have previously sailed on 4 Viking river cruises and wanted to experience a Viking ocean cruise. We have sailed on other ocean cruise lines 20+ times, so we were looking forward to comparing those with Viking. Positives for Viking were the ship, cabin size, dining & service. The Viking Sky was a beautiful ship, probably one of the best we've ever sailed on, with spacious cabins (although more cabin storage space would have been appreciated). The Dining experience was excellent. However, reserving dining tables at specialty restaurants was a nightmare. Something needs to be done to make sure passengers get equal opportunity to book specialty dining, even if it means adding an additional cost to reserve dining. I want to add that Guest Services was very helpful getting us a reservation when none were available. The service on board was also excellent including wait staff, cabin stewards, and support staff. I would also give the cruise high marks for entertainment, varied and plentiful. The negatives included the Ports and excursions. Prior to the cruise, for safety reasons, our stop in Tunisia was changed to Naples. Naples has to be one of the worst stops in the Mediterranean, and to make matters worse, due to rough waters near Sicily, we had to stay an extra day. Two wasted days of the cruise! On the other hand, Algiers, Sardinia, & Valencia were beautiful places to visit, although I thought the included excursions for Rome and Naples could have been much better and more informative. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We booked this cruise in order to coincide with our daughter's holiday break. She is a professor at Tex A&M and was visiting Egypt with her husband. They joined us in Rome for the cruise. This was our sixteenth cruise, and ... Read More
We booked this cruise in order to coincide with our daughter's holiday break. She is a professor at Tex A&M and was visiting Egypt with her husband. They joined us in Rome for the cruise. This was our sixteenth cruise, and second Viking Ocean one, having just been on a 14 day cruise on the Orion in SE Asia. Overall, we found the service and quality of the facilities on both to be outstanding. Perhaps the most noticeable difference on this one was the very slow service in both of the specialty restaurants. Everyone loved the understated Scandinavian design and relaxing public spaces on the ship. We were all attracted to the itinerary, especially the port call in Algiers, and were not disappointed with that stop. The tour to Tipasa was outstanding! Unfortunately the weather and holiday season conspired to put dents in some other port calls. Naples on the first of January meant everything was closed, including Pompeii. Nevertheless, we spent a second day there as the forecast for strong winds convinced the captain to cancel the next port call in Trapani, Sicily. Kudos for the ship's doctor/staff are also in order. My son-in-law became suddenly very ill during our day in Valencia, and the ship's doctor was exceptional in providing a thorough exam and recommendations. Without his insight, we could have arbitrarily been directed to have him treated in the city instead. All things considered, this was still one of the best cruises we have enjoyed. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We waited a long time for this vacation, and selected it for its ports of call. Sadly, Tunisia was removed from the itinerary as was Sicily. Naples was a poor substitute for Tunis, as it was visited on a holiday and mostly closed, ... Read More
We waited a long time for this vacation, and selected it for its ports of call. Sadly, Tunisia was removed from the itinerary as was Sicily. Naples was a poor substitute for Tunis, as it was visited on a holiday and mostly closed, besides being very dirty. A real disappointment. We missed Sicily due to bad weather and stayed in the port of Naples for a second day. The visit to the archaeological museum was very good. The ports of Valencia and Barcelona far exceeded our expectations. We loved both cities and were lucky enough to stay in Barcelona for 2 extra days. A real gem. On the downside, the magnificent city of Rome was very crowded (holiday) and filthy. The crowds were due to the New Years holiday, but overflowing trash bins, dumpsters, etc. , a real disappointment. Shame on you, Rome. The ship and crew were superb. The service was excellent . Food outstanding. Public areas were beautifully decorated and very comfortable. The ship was large enough, yet cozy. Loved the heated bathroom floor, the really hot shower, the product line in the bathroom, thick towels, and the silky linens on the bed. Our only criticisms: stated in the cruise information was the average temperature for each city, and that was how we packed. In fact, it was much colder. If you go in winter, pack a winter coat, not a spring jacket. The dress codefor dinner was for business casual or casual chic. Many passengers were dressed in jeans at dinner, and very sloppily. Kind of disrupts the magic of it all. While we are grandparents and love our grandchildren, were were glad this was an adults only cruise. That being said, it was largely older folks on the boat. I couldn't give you an average age; my husband thought maybe 70ish. The guides we had were all excellent. We did feel that there wasn't enough free time to look around and enjoy where we were. We would definitely do another Viking trip. It was expensive, but worth it. Our first cruise was in 1990. A completely different cruise this time. Worth the wait, although I would not want to cruise to all destinations, as the experience of a longer visit vs. A quick in and out is dramatic. VIKING did everything to make the boarding and disembarkation experience smooth. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
It was an amazing trip with many great ports to visit and journey through. The diverse cultures, people and foods that we came in contact were eye opening and gave us a greater appreciation for life in the European ports. From Italy to ... Read More
It was an amazing trip with many great ports to visit and journey through. The diverse cultures, people and foods that we came in contact were eye opening and gave us a greater appreciation for life in the European ports. From Italy to Algiers and then to Spain we were able to see a sample of these cultures and see a day in their lives. We were able to first hand see POMPEI which was an amazing site of devastation in the still looming Mt Vesuveus. We visited the Vatican with the Basilica and St Peters Church. Then we toured ancient Rome which has always been interesting to me with the ancient culture. The food and the service were amazing and first rate. The ships crew treated us like we the most important people they had ever met. We ate like Kings and the wine was always flowing. The entertainment was amazing and the facilities such as the spa were maintained flawlessly. We left saying we will be back again soon. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We have sailed on ocean cruises for the last 19 years and this ship was hands-down the best! Even though we chose the least expensive cabin, it was glamorous and larger than some hotel rooms! We have sailed Viking River with another ... Read More
We have sailed on ocean cruises for the last 19 years and this ship was hands-down the best! Even though we chose the least expensive cabin, it was glamorous and larger than some hotel rooms! We have sailed Viking River with another couple and so expected things such as included shore excursions, wonderful service. This Ocean cruise just took the service to a higher level. The included excursions were acceptable although to be honest, we were shut out of buying any additional ones, especially in Algiers, due to demand and not being able to reserve ahead of boarding. This beautiful, off the beaten port, was a delight, so much that we want more! On the other hand, our port call of Tunis was replaced by Naples before sailing - disappointing. Due to weather, high winds, we couldn't sail to Sicily as planned which was hugely upsetting to all. Naples was a total bust, in our opinion, especially having to stay two days. Thankfully, the other ports of Sardinia, Algiers and Valencia made up for that. Gorgeous and we would return to all of these. Entertainment was ok, although there was a dynamite duo that sang upbeat dance songs in the Torshavn lounge along with the Superb Viking band. We really enjoyed all the smaller lounges, gathering areas, and of course, lovely afternoon tea in the Wintergarden. Even the interactive game tables offered us a chance to "gamble" with our travel friends. Spending New Years Eve onboard this dreamy ship was so much fun!! For New Year's Day, a huge banquet brunch was prepared that lasted hours! The food selection included something for everyone - Asian, seafood, breakfast items, bakery, desserts, As for the dining, all meals were exquisite! We honestly have not had better selection or dining on any other cruise line. The guest services staff were able to secure us a reservation for both the Chef's Table and Manfredi's, the specialty restaurants. Initially, again because our cabins were just standard, we couldn't reserve ahead online. After embarking, we immediately inquired to reserve and were told there was no availability for Manfredi's during our entire cruise. We expressed our extreme dissatisfaction but the staff came through and got us a spot late in the cruise! I think we all preferred Chef's Table and the Venetian menu to Manfredi's. We are ready to book another! Just waiting for a good deal. :-) Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We are finally home and the laundry is done. Other than tackling the army of dust bunnies that have taken over the house we are getting settled into our regular routines. We were on the Sky for the Southern Mediterranean Discovery ... Read More
We are finally home and the laundry is done. Other than tackling the army of dust bunnies that have taken over the house we are getting settled into our regular routines. We were on the Sky for the Southern Mediterranean Discovery itinerary and as is usually the case with our Viking trips, we had a great time. The Sky was familiar as we did the British Isles last summer but I have to admit that it did seem like a different ship! There were a lot of crew changes and things ran in the usual sharp and efficient way we have come to expect from Viking. There were some “misses” on our trip in the summer and although they were nothing of any great significance, they were notable. It was nice to see the improvements this time around! The ship is beautiful; elegant and understated. Our PV stateroom felt like home as this was our third cruise on the 5th level port side! There was ample room for storing our things and plenty of room under the bed for the suitcases. Our stewards were a great team; efficient and worked very hard to insure that we had everything we needed throughout the cruise. We ate at both of the specialty restaurants and enjoyed them both but would love to see some updates to the menu at Manfredis ... after four ocean cruises we have pretty much tried most of the menu items and would love to see something new next time! We did ask to have the steak (yes the famous steak!) cut in half one night … they were very obliging and the two halves came to the table done perfectly and both of the plates were dressed as though they were original. It was nice to be able to enjoy the steak without the guilt of leaving so much on the plate uneaten … it is a very large steak! We missed our stop in Sicily (Trapani) because of weather concerns and that was disappointing, but the extra day in Naples afforded us the opportunity to visit the archeological museum courtesy of Viking. They planned the outing everyone seemed to enjoy it immensely. We planned a mix of included and optional excursions. The included ones were as expected but we did notice that some of the optional ones were a bit less than expected. Our experience with Viking excursions has generally been positive; the busses are comfortable and they never seemed to fill up the busses to capacity making for a more comfortable experience when the rides are long. This time it seemed as though every bus was filled to capacity which of course meant that the tours were much more crowded as well. We have also noticed that the descriptions and discussions of the excursions during the port talks included information and details that were not part of the descriptions in MVJ. Things like “there are no bathroom stops on this excursion”, or “there are more than 50 stairs to be navigated inside the house”. Some of this information would have made it easier for passengers to select appropriate excursions prior to sailing. The day before it is too late to change or cancel without penalty. This was especially so in the case of our stop in Algiers! Our “stroll” through the Casbah was much more rugged than the written description would indicate. The port talk was far more detailed in the description but there were some on board for the excursion that apparently missed the port talk and frankly had no business participating. Sure enough, one woman fell along the walk and was taken by ambulance back to the ship for the doctor there to assess whether or not she needed hospitalization (Imagine ending up in a hospital in Algeria!). Never heard what ultimately was decided. Time onboard was lovely, as usual. We participated in a wine tasting in Manfredi’s one afternoon and another we enjoyed a matinee in the Star Theater … Bohemian Rhapsody … which I had been wanting to see! It was well attended and enjoyed … a matinee would be a great idea for a sea day! We enjoyed time in both the Explorer’s Lounge and the Living Room Bar (I had my first lemon drop martini!) and of course we had a few waffles at Mamsen’s! All in all we enjoyed our cruise immensely and are looking forward to “Into the Midnight Sun” this coming summer … on the Jupiter! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Having greatly enjoyed our Viking Cruise of the Northern Mediterranean, we wanted to enjoy the experience of the destinations in the Southern Mediterranean, knowing the fine service and accommodations Viking provides. And we were not ... Read More
Having greatly enjoyed our Viking Cruise of the Northern Mediterranean, we wanted to enjoy the experience of the destinations in the Southern Mediterranean, knowing the fine service and accommodations Viking provides. And we were not disappointed. Our cabin was beautiful and fully appointed, the service from EVERYONE on the ship was excellent, and the destinations very interesting. And, nicely, each destination was more interesting and beautiful than the one preceding, culminating in Barcelona. The smaller size of the Viking cruise ship makes for a very personal and efficient travel experience. We had total comfort at all the bars and dining areas. The food, whether fancy or casual, was terrific. Our excursions were well managed and the local guides in every instance were excellent. We particularly enjoyed our tour to the Argiolas Family Vineyards in Sardinia, as it showed us both the city and rural areas of the island. The Casbah Stroll tour in Algiers was unforgettable but be warned, it is a lot of walking on uneven pavement and steps. Well worth it for anyone, even older people, with no difficulty walking. We recommend that people extend in Rome before the cruise to avoid the stress and fatigue that come with arriving on the same day as boarding, and that people extend in Barcelona because it is one of the most fascinating cities in the world. We would love to do this cruise, or any Viking cruise, again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We have traveled with Viking River before and many other Ocean Cruise lines. Wanted to see how Viking handled Ocean cruising. We were not disappointed. Embarkation in Rome was a bit disjointed as the Pier is a good distance from the ... Read More
We have traveled with Viking River before and many other Ocean Cruise lines. Wanted to see how Viking handled Ocean cruising. We were not disappointed. Embarkation in Rome was a bit disjointed as the Pier is a good distance from the train station and the shuttle situation was not clear but it was a beautiful day and the walk was doable. The ship is fantastic. The Penthouse Veranda level is very spacious and you don't feel like you need to leave the room to breathe. The bathroom is big enough for two people to function in at the same time which is helpful. The rest of the ship was shiny, attractive and homey. The various shipboard sections are all comfortable and attractive; we spent most of our time in the Atrium but the Explorer's Lounge and Pool were also inviting. The meals were almost without exception excellent. And our Dining Room team, led by Ronald, were so good that we canceled meals in the specialty restaurants to spend time with them. Most of the rest of the crew was right up there with Viking's high standards. My only complaints were that several of the beers that I like were out of stock by day 2 or 3 of the cruise. The ports we visited were outstanding! We were a bit worried because Viking had taken Tunis off the itinerary prior to the trip due to security concerns and that was supposed to be one of our highlights but the replacement with Naples was an adequate solution. Cagliari is a perfect day, Algiers is a gorgeous and friendly place and we fell in love with Valencia. All ports were safe, clean and easy to navigate. We did a couple basic excursions which were good and the Casbah tour in Algiers is a mind blowing experience. My only complaint (and I don't know how this can be fixed) is that the Casbah event was listed as moderate difficulty when in fact it was quite strenuous which resulted in several older participants who had no business navigating 1000+ cobblestone steps down the hillside. Multiple accidents ensued which required an ambulance despite almost heroic efforts of our tour guide to navigate these guests down the hill. However this resulted in him being a caregiver instead of a tour guide and we lost the benefit of his passion and enthusiasm for his city. I don't know how you tell a guest that they can't do something but perhaps there can be two levels of tours??? Onboard WIFI was pretty good, much better than any other cruise I've taken. We did not attend much in the way of shows or talks but I will say that Viking did a fantastic job for New Year's Eve. The entertainment was appropriate for a boat full of folks of different ages and backgrounds and we had a great time. The late brunch the next morning was perfect as well. In summary, kudos to Viking on a great experience. We will definitely return! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I have cruised with Viking Ocean before, but never at Christmas time. I hope to do it again, because the special activities and the decorations (on ship and at destinations) made this cruise a little special. We were on the Southern Med ... Read More
I have cruised with Viking Ocean before, but never at Christmas time. I hope to do it again, because the special activities and the decorations (on ship and at destinations) made this cruise a little special. We were on the Southern Med Discovery cruise - only 8 days, so we flew to Rome a few days early and stayed in Barcelona and Madrid a few days late to make it a two week vacation. I cruise mostly to see a lot of different destinations, and Viking is fairly port-intensive, so it works well for us. I had been to a couple of the ports before, but others were quite new to me. The cruise went to Italy, Algeria and Spain. When I booked, Tunisia was on the itinerary, but that eventually got replaced with Naples. We booked a deluxe veranda cabin on Viking Sky, and as usual, found the service and cabin to be excellent. Food was quite good, although I didn't see much of the Dining Room, as my husband loves the World Cafe (enhanced buffet/cafeteria style restaurant). While we don't always take the one included excursion in each port, we like having those available, especially in ports that are difficult to cover in a day (Rome?) or not well suited to sightseeing by public transportation, which we like. The Wifi was great, as was the lack of "nickel and diming." I was thrilled to get to Algeria, and the excursion I took there (from the ship; didn't want to pay extra for travel visa) was excellent. All excursions were quite good - worthwhile, very organized, and cheaper than what I'm used to on another similar line. Some people don't like coach trips, but at least Viking tries to limit coach size to 2/3rds full. I only used the spa area once, but appreciated not having to pay to walk in the door. t. Activities and entertainment, while not fantastic, were certainly adequate for me. I didn't miss a casino, and while there were books around, I didn't miss a library. There WERE some nice holiday (New Year's Eve & Day) activities that were quite nice. I know Viking's prices appear high to many, but keep in mind you'll get plenty of space, no lines, no extra charge for specialty restaurants, and beer & wine at lunch and dinner, use of spa area, Wifi plus computers with internet, and self-service laundry on each floor. You also usually get port intensive itineraries, often including some of the lesser-visited ports, a free excursion (for everyone; don't get to pick) in each port except on embarkation/disembarkation days, and a wonderful overall cruise experience. The cruisers themselves, were great, although if you're in your 30s or 40s you may feel the age difference quite a bit! But to me, people are people, regardless of age, so as long as the people I'm cruising with are interested in seeing the world more than getting drunk, their ages don't matter much to me. Our ports were Rome (ship stayed overnight there), Naples, Trapani Sicily, Cagliari Sardinia, Algiers, Valencia, Barcelona, and one and a half sea days. There were no tender ports. The captain skipped Trapani due to weather, which was a big disappointment to me, but I have to trust his judgement on those matters. We did get another half day in Naples and a free visit to their fabulous archaeological museum. I passed & walked around the city. Loved the artwork in Toledo, Universita, and other metro stations. It was thrilling to be in Algeria (first visit to Africa) and I have to admit it was different and better than I expected. The people were really glad to see us, and the city arranged police escorts so we could get through traffic quicker. The Algerian weekend is Friday and Saturday, and we were there on Friday. There were plenty of people out when we visited a wonderful park with ruins. Our guide was fabulous - including his English fluency and (lack of) accent. The other ports were charming (even gritty Naples in its own way!) including Cagliari, although we only had from 7 AM to 2 PM - tough for me to see all I wanted to see. Viking's free excursions are quite good, but in a big city like Rome or London, you're not going to see everything there is to see. You may want to find a private excursion instead, but of course, even then you won't see everything. Traffic can be a real problem. However, at least Viking's excursions were well organized and executed, and they generally only fill their coaches 2/3rds full on those popular included tours (and optional ones). It was nice in Spain and Italy because Three Kings Day (Jan. 6th) fell while we were there, and it basically is the end of the Christmas season. Therefore, the Christmas spirit and decorations were still in evidence long after Christmas Day is celebrated in the U.S. Tips for Viking: If you're thinking of booking another cruise with them, do it while on the ship, or the following week. They offered us a great price on board and for a week or so after we got home. However, we weren't ready to commit, and ended up paying quite a bit more for the cruises we ultimately selected. On occasion, an excursion will sell out. Just let the onboard staff know and they'll do their best to get you on the excursion. Book your specialty restaurant reservations and your excursions right away when you can online to get best days/times. While I didn't notice this on our cruise in late December, I understand that Viking is now offering some of their included tours as a slower, gentler experience. To make on-ship navigating easier, look for the wall phone when you get off the elevator. That will help you know which side your cabin is on! And that phone is not just for staff. Use it if you want to call to your or another person's cabin. Take a lanyard for your key card if you have no pants pockets and don't like carrying a purse, even a small one. You'll be using that card a lot. Make sure you know which electrical sockets are "live" all the time and which go out when you leave and take your key out of the slot by the door. If your electronics don't charge while you're gone, that may be why. Make sure you visit World Cafe at least once - upscale buffet experience. Also check it for special "on the deck" days - fish fry/bake, Mexican night, etc. If you want to change or add specialty restaurant rezzies, go to the podium right inside the World Cafe to ask about that. If you fly into Frankfurt from the U.S., connect to another flight, and need a wheelchair, be aware that Frankfurt has two scenarios for those who request a wheelchair online. When you land, a wheelchair and pusher are provided. However, you are asked whether you can walk. If you say "a little" you're likely to be taken only to the front of the gate and you'll wait for a cart to go to your connecting gate. We waited a long time, although it WAS Christmas week, so perhaps things aren't as bad other times. Then the connecting flight left from the tarmac, which required walking from the gate down stairs, to the plane and then up a metal flight of steps with carryons. On the way back, we requested wheelchair assistance all the way, and fared much better. If you're totally mobile, however, a connection may be fairly easy. That's because often the connection from non-EU area (e.g. from U.S) to secure EU area requires only taking an elevator down or up within the same terminal. Then you walk to your gate (although that may be a long way, and can still include passport control, x-rays, airport or metal stairs, etc. But at least there's no waiting for assistance involved. Remember in booking any cruise that unless there are overnights in the cities used for embarkation and disembarkation, you probably won't have time to see much of those cities unless you do early and stay late. I highly recommend doing this, and it will also give you some "what if?" time in case flights are very delayed, plus give you a little time to get your body over jetlag (if flying long distances). Also, use a travel agent and ask for goodies. Would I do this cruise again? No. However, I WOULD do a similar Viking Ocean cruise with an itinerary consisting of more cities I had not visited. I also hope to do more holiday cruising, as I found there was magic in the air while cruising after Christmas. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We like Viking. It was going to the Azores which we had wanted to see and had never been to during any of our travels. We have sailed on Viking Ocean 4 times now. This was a cruise that did not live up to our expectations. The cruise ... Read More
We like Viking. It was going to the Azores which we had wanted to see and had never been to during any of our travels. We have sailed on Viking Ocean 4 times now. This was a cruise that did not live up to our expectations. The cruise director was very talented herself but pretty much dominated the cruise and did not let the other entertainers perform to the best of their abilities. The food which is usually excellent was still good but the service in the restaurants was unusually slow. Disembarkation was truly a disaster. Handled by the shore excursion manager it could not have been worse. This is the second time we have had this manager for shore excursions on Viking. Unfortunately he is not the best and often unorganized or ill prepared. In addition he is not accessible and does not speak English very well which makes him hard to understand. The ship is excellent and most of the staff would do anything for you. Since this cruise had 8 scheduled sea days there should have been more activities. We would be unlikely to take such a cruise again however we most likely will travel again on Viking. Read Less
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