I have cruised several times on the big, now bigger, liners and I always came away feeling left a little short. I saw the Viking Star in Stockholm harbor last summer and thought wow... a ship docking so close to the city. I chose this ... Read More
I have cruised several times on the big, now bigger, liners and I always came away feeling left a little short. I saw the Viking Star in Stockholm harbor last summer and thought wow... a ship docking so close to the city. I chose this cruise because of the itinerary ( a real Trifecta: Rome, Israel and Greece) and the experience a smaller ship. Little did I know what lay ahead. A sense of peace and tranquility from the first step on board. I booked airfare through Viking. An excellent price which included transfers. Absolutely no hassles with plenty of Viking staff available to assist. My only regret was the return trip to the States on British Airways which has to be the worst airline operating today.
Embarkation and disembarkation so smooth and I was onboard within minutes. Staterooms are available depending on class booked which was DV1, so my traveling partner and I enjoyed a beautiful meal and a tour of the ship. The Viking Ocean Cruiseships as I am told are essentially all alike in design. Absolutely beautiful. The attention to the plan and detail is outstanding. There are wonderful nooks and crannies on this ship at every turn. Small corners for privacy and larger areas for gatherings and never crowded by my standards...after all there are about 930 passengers on the Sky. The staff seemed to make a special effort to remember our names, but then again, I always called them by name.
They are well trained and really seem to care; nothing seems impossible to them.
Beautiful Spa with no upcharges except for specific personal services, gorgeous pool area, high tea served at 4:00 p.m. daily, included shore excursions, WiFi and so much more.
Dining was the highlight of our day. The main dining room, (The Restaurant) unlike the big liners, was relaxed, elegant with amazing menu selections. I would classify it as "Anytime Dining" with never a wait. We purchased a Premium Beverage upgrade which if you enjoy nice wines and cocktails is a plus. Viking does include wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, however, at say The Chef's Table (a five course tasting menu with selected wines), a charge of $25.00 is made without the Premium package. If you like smaller meals The Chef's Table is fun and the themed menu changes every three days. We enjoyed Manfredi's (Italian). Beware that portions in The Restaurant and Manfredis are sometimes large. The World Cafe buffet is beautiful. One day we even watched our pasta and sauces being made from scratch. No need to stuff yourself on this ship as quality is the word and quantity never disappoints.
One disappointment with the evening dining scene was that few people dressed for dinner. Viking describes appropriate dress as the equivalent of "smart casual". Can't you just change your all day excursion dress outfit? For some passengers, apparently that answer on Viking is "no".
I could go on and on but others are critiquing as well. If your are tired of art auctions, constant marketing from the gift shops, endless photographers, casinos, long elevator lines, being nickle-dimed at every turn and multitudes of passengers, try Viking Ocean Cruise. Value is a excellent. Complimentary Wifi alone saved me several hundreds of dollars from my big ship experience last summer. Comparing prices, ok, however, this is a once in a lifetime experience. You deserve the best!
Why would you sail with 2700- 5000 other passengers? Bigger is definitely not better! Read Less