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337 Viking Ocean Rome (Civitavecchia) Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
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
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
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
Sail Date December 2018
*Cruise chosen primarily for ports I had not been to before...specifically, Naples, Barcelona and Algeria. *Food in main restaurant was very good, including selections. Service was adequate. *Entertainment was up to highschool ... Read More
*Cruise chosen primarily for ports I had not been to before...specifically, Naples, Barcelona and Algeria. *Food in main restaurant was very good, including selections. Service was adequate. *Entertainment was up to highschool level...quite disappointing. *Surprised by additional charges for wine in main rooms...should have better perused info *Enjoyed indoor hot baths...very nice and rarely busy. *Shopping mediocre...poor selection. Would have loved to have more items from the geographies' visited. *Service in the bars was very good, attentive and friendly. *Lack of Holiday decorations was disappointing...ship was sterile in appearance (previously enjoyed Crystal cruises...Holiday trimming there was amazing!) *Scandinavian restaurant menu (fixed) was disappointing and we cancelled our second reservation. Believe the party we travelled with also cancelled their reservation...lack of choice primary reason. *When returning from Taste of Sicily shore excursion, all restaurants were closed except Grill...however due to the number of buses returning simultaneously, people were in the cue for 45-50 minutes...seems to me that the timing of this excursion should have been better managed by Viking. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Overall our trip was great. The destination to Algiers was less than advertised. You can probably delete that destination in the future as it offered very little-monument to their Independence, Casbah was dirty and not very nice and ... Read More
Overall our trip was great. The destination to Algiers was less than advertised. You can probably delete that destination in the future as it offered very little-monument to their Independence, Casbah was dirty and not very nice and offered little. This is our second Viking Cruise and we thought the Grand European River cruise last year from Budapest to Amsterdam was outstanding. We're less enthused about the ocean cruises and would be doubtful to do another ocean cruise. We're thinking about another river cruise and this time in Russia and hope it's as good as described in the brochure. We thought the food was top notch, the destinations (except Algiers) were very good and well planned, the tour guides were also knowledgeable and very good. I like to exercise in the morning and am thankful for the ability to walk around the top of the boat in the morning and at least have a place to do my exercises. Although we're not big drinkers we appreciate being offered a glass of wine or beer with our dinner. I was surprised that the tips are not mandatory as in the past voluntary. We like to tip but were taken back that not it's a requirement. Thanks. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This cruise offered the prospect of seeing a number of places we had not seen before. The ship was state of the art and very new. The food was of excellent quality. Some aspects of the service were poor. Our first tour of Rome ... Read More
This cruise offered the prospect of seeing a number of places we had not seen before. The ship was state of the art and very new. The food was of excellent quality. Some aspects of the service were poor. Our first tour of Rome overran and there was no lunch available when we got back. I got the feeling that the organisers were having problems coping wth the larger numbers on the ocean ship compared to the river vessels. Room service was absolutely fine and we enjoyed the ambience of the sitting areas. Afternoon tea was a great idea but the live music was rather strident in tone demanding our full attention rather than providing a background to the meal. There was a logistical failure in Valencia; the shuttle bus drivers took a two hour lunch break. When the service resumed at 2pm, only one bus turned up and all the waiting passengers could not be accommodated. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this so we could end in Barcelona to spend Christmas there. Also I liked that I had never been to any of the cities that the cruise was porting and I wanted to have a child free experience. This was my second cruise ever and ... Read More
We chose this so we could end in Barcelona to spend Christmas there. Also I liked that I had never been to any of the cities that the cruise was porting and I wanted to have a child free experience. This was my second cruise ever and so I do not have a lot of experience with other cruise companies or itineraries. My other cruise as to Alaska and on a large ship which was nearly 15 years ago and I swore never again. However I am more than pleased with the cruise with Viking. Very small by comparisons but large enough that you do not see the same people over and over. The ship was very quiet and only announcement made in the rooms was the safety briefing. The rooms are small but well appointed. The cities where we ported were small enough to walk right off the ship and explore. Mainly you would wake up in a different city every day. Service on board was exceptional. The food was decent but they did not cater to special diets well. One woman I met was extremely allergic to milk and dairy and she said they had not milk alternatives like almond or soy milks. I am gluten sensitive and they were not that flexible. Viking does offer excursions included with the price. We found these to be designed for much older passengers than ourselves. We were the exception and well below the average age on board. We did pay for one excursion in Algiers - save your money and time. It is a good port to plan a spa visit on board. Nothing to see there. It is a dirty city with limited information and history. The paid excursion was for the Casbah tour which everyone on it thought we would be taken to a market. Not so - it is a contrived and not interesting tour except for the Bahia house. Which they jammed about 100 people into a 1400 sq foot house. Save your money at that port. The cities they stop at are easy to do your own excursions and so save money. In Trapani we went up to Erice on our own and it was well worth the trip. The cost to take the continual sky tram was 9 euro round trip and gives you a wonderful view of the city. I would go back to Trapani and Sicily after this trip. The excursions are designed for fearful travelers or limited mobility travelers. Overall it was a fantastic vacation. We also opted for the Silver beverage package - which I highly recommend if you like to try different wines and after dinner drinks. Excellent work out facility and wet spa area. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise to try the Viking Ocean experience and we loved it! The staff was warm and friendly and they couldn't do enough for us. We loved the design of the ship and the comfortable areas for conversation, the books all ... Read More
We chose this cruise to try the Viking Ocean experience and we loved it! The staff was warm and friendly and they couldn't do enough for us. We loved the design of the ship and the comfortable areas for conversation, the books all over, the music, and the total ambiance. The food was excellent. Since we only cruised for one week, others who were already onboard had booked the specialty restaurants in advance and we were unable to make reservations on the first day we were able to access the online system. However, once we were onboard, the restaurant manager and the general manager went out of their way to accommodate us. We dined in Manfredi's twice and loved it. We also dined in Chef's Table twice and did not care for it. While the food was beautifully prepared, we didn't care for all of the dishes and no other choices were available. We also enjoyed the food and service at the Restaurant. We thought the entertainment was ok but we didn't choose this cruise for entertainment. For the most part, we enjoyed the excursions (2 optional and the rest included). If we had been on a longer cruise, we would have liked a little more drawer space. We will definitely do another Viking Ocean cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Our past experiences with Viking have all been positive. We decided to enjoy our vacation with Viking...The staff was friendly and approachable at all times..The food is excellent, with a great variety of offerings... Unfortunately due ... Read More
Our past experiences with Viking have all been positive. We decided to enjoy our vacation with Viking...The staff was friendly and approachable at all times..The food is excellent, with a great variety of offerings... Unfortunately due to rough seas, we were not able to enjoy the pool and hot tub areas....the anticipated yoga and Pilates classes were a disappointment...they were not up to a standard that I have enjoyed here at home. Not worth the additional charge in order to participate. The speakers were interesting and we enjoyed Dr. Fuller and his offerings about the Vikings and their history. Our tour and lunch in the Azores was cancelled to our disappointment...we had been looking forward to learning about the agriculture and farming activities of the island. The substitute offering, which we chose, was just average and although it included lunch, we found that to be mediocre. We have eaten several meals in Portugal when on previous trips and enjoyed the local food immensely...The offering on this Azores tour was not representative of the excellent food that is available. All in all, we had a wonderful crossing and would do it again! PS. the disembarkation in Miami was not well done...probably due to the US customs people not there on time...but hoards of guests, with their travel gear, waiting in the hallways was not a good experience. We finally went up to Deck 7 just to get out of the crush. Since we had to vacate our rooms, they were not available, but you couldn't even get off the elevators at Decks 1 or 2, because of the crowded corridors of people waiting to disembark. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The ship was excellent, looked brand new. Food was ideal and plenty of it, too much, my diet took a severe hit. The crew was very friendly and available for any request at any time. Responses from Guest Services were timely and complete. I ... Read More
The ship was excellent, looked brand new. Food was ideal and plenty of it, too much, my diet took a severe hit. The crew was very friendly and available for any request at any time. Responses from Guest Services were timely and complete. I really liked the fitness center, the equipment was excellent and in excellent shape. The spa was a special pleasure and we really enjoyed using the spa pool. The ship has plenty of space for everyone, I never felt crowed or that there wasn't a really nice spot to sit and read or just zone out. The dining area is spacious and we never had to wait for a meal. The preparation and menu had many items that we enjoyed and I actually sampled some things I would usually never eat. It was interesting in that respect, it was well prepared and timely. All in all this was an excellent experience and one I would recommend to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
1. Can't decide whether I liked the staff or the guests more. Everyone was so terrific! But so was the ship itself. Didn't run into any disagreeable guests! Felt we were traveling with a diverse group of down-to-earth, educated ... Read More
1. Can't decide whether I liked the staff or the guests more. Everyone was so terrific! But so was the ship itself. Didn't run into any disagreeable guests! Felt we were traveling with a diverse group of down-to-earth, educated people--all ages, all backgrounds but uniformly easy to like! 2. Ship was just the right size, sparkling clean and beautiful in cozy, low-key way. We LOVED the artwork! 3. Meal selections were varied and delicious; there was something for everyone. We had to scratch our heads to come up with something to NOT like: The pancakes were a little strange (for our personal taste--others probably loved them. I think they had cornmeal in them.) To balance out that observation: The bread baskets on the dining room tables were gorgeous. (We wanted to buy one, but they weren't available for sale!) 4. Loved the house entertainers. They put there hearts into all the shows we saw. Always something to look forward to! And we enjoyed the night-before shore talks, as well as the historian's lectures. 5. The staff was attentive without being smarmy-friendly or condescending. Accommodated special requests beautifully. When we arrived in Barcelona in the early morning from Phoenix, AZ (via Chicago and New York),we were exhausted but amazed at how easy Viking made our transfer to the ship. Although our cabin (of course) wasn't ready when we arrived, our champagne welcome and breakfast/brunch were awfully nice; and we appreciated the extra time we had to explore the ship! Disembarkation and transfer to the airport in Rome went smoothly and seamlessly. In fact, we were amazed each day by the number of Viking staff members available (on board, in town, and at the port) to cheerfully help any guests who were lost, confused, or just plain exhausted! 6. We waited too late to book some of the tours we initially wanted, but the ones we "settled for" were really worthwhile. When the water was too choppy for us to dock in Monte Carlo, the ship's staff did an amazing job of shifting gears with no inconvenience to any guests. We anchored outside Ville de Frenche and took tenders that ran back and forth from the ship to the shore. The town itself and the last-minute guide that Viking arranged to show us around were totally unexpected treats. And guests were STILL able to go on the excursions they had booked. 7. We will definitely cruise again with Viking. We've already booked a Rome-to-Athens trip. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The itinerary was so interesting. We especially enjoyed having the opportunity to visit Algiers. We had been on several Viking river cruises and wanted to try an ocean trip. Our cabin was perfection, very spacious and tastefully decorated. ... Read More
The itinerary was so interesting. We especially enjoyed having the opportunity to visit Algiers. We had been on several Viking river cruises and wanted to try an ocean trip. Our cabin was perfection, very spacious and tastefully decorated. The laundry service got me totally spoiled. The bathroom was amazing. Heated towel bars!! Double sinks!! Instant hot water! The entire ship was beautifully designed and decorated. The dining options were varied and pleasant. The food was exceptional. The entire staff was gracious and extremely helpful. The staff was never intrusive, but always available. The ship was so serene and comfortable, we couldn’t wait to get from our always interesting and well run tours. We especially enjoyed the informative Port Talks in the ship theatre on the evening before our tours. There was absolute nothing to be disappointed in for this cruise. Viking is top notch in all categories in my opinion. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was the first cruise for my daughter and I both and I can’t say enough about how impressed we were. Everything was first class, service was amazing, food delicious, ship was spotless, beautifully decorated, excursions well ... Read More
This was the first cruise for my daughter and I both and I can’t say enough about how impressed we were. Everything was first class, service was amazing, food delicious, ship was spotless, beautifully decorated, excursions well organized and interesting, and educational port talks in the evenings. I would love to sail with Viking again this year, but am having trouble finding availability within the next 12 months! The only thing that would make the ship better is if they had rooms for more than 2 people (think moms and daughters or a group of 3 friends, not everyone is a couple), and if two could travel with separate sleeping space. We were in a suite which was huge and lovely but we had to have them move one of the twin beds to the living room so we could both sleep peacefully. It was an unusual request but the staff was very gracious! I also can’t wait to try their river cruises! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I had taken two Viking river cruises and was excited to take a Mediterranean cruise with them and visit a couple ports not on many itineraries. Unfortunately, Tunis was cancelled for safety reasons (I can’t fault Viking for that). We ... Read More
I had taken two Viking river cruises and was excited to take a Mediterranean cruise with them and visit a couple ports not on many itineraries. Unfortunately, Tunis was cancelled for safety reasons (I can’t fault Viking for that). We did get to visit Algiers, which was very interesting and beautiful, and also no ‘corrupted’ by a history of being a regular cruise stop (I.e. they have yet to capitalize on the shopping opportunities cruise passengers bring). As far as the cruise itself goes, my husband and I were thrilled that rather than a casino and ‘hot legs’ contests and bingo, we had a retired Army Col. taking to us about the WWII campaign in North Africa and a resident historian talking about Ancient Rome. The food was amazing. On Viking, wine(or beer) is included at meal time and there is a free, informative excursion in each port. The ship is smaller and (I believe) alll the rooms are outside cabins (we had a great balcony). There is a great buffet with crab legs, and no long crazy line. Even the spa was awesome and not as overpriced as I thought it would be! The port talks actually talked about the county/city and not just ‘where to shop’. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
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