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42 Viking Ocean Rome (Civitavecchia) Cruise Reviews

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
Sail Date July 2019
I choose the Mediterranean Ocean cruise to take my mother to the Vatican and Europe for the first time. We enjoyed the wine at lunch and dinber and the restaurant and in room dining options on the Viking Star. The King size bed cabins were ... Read More
I choose the Mediterranean Ocean cruise to take my mother to the Vatican and Europe for the first time. We enjoyed the wine at lunch and dinber and the restaurant and in room dining options on the Viking Star. The King size bed cabins were modern and comfortable as well as the bathroom which had a fairly large shower. Even the public bathrooms were always spotless with calming cheerful bird sounds. Our steward room service was wonderful, the bartenders were very friendly and most all the staff fantastic. We also enjoyed the excursions and itinerary for the the ports in Italy, France and Spain. Sete was lovely, Monaco was fun and we needed more time in Barcelona. We even had time to watch one movie under the stars and the lounge band for dancing was so much fun. I would definately choose Viking again someday to try a river cruise next. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
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
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 enjoy cruising with Viking. They are first class and do not “nickel and dime” you. The service is excellent and the crew is very good. Everyone working on the ship is friendly and says hello with a smile. The food is outstanding ... Read More
We enjoy cruising with Viking. They are first class and do not “nickel and dime” you. The service is excellent and the crew is very good. Everyone working on the ship is friendly and says hello with a smile. The food is outstanding and the two specialty restaurants serve unique food . It is nice traveling with only adult passengers and also not getting harassed by photographers. The entertainment is average. We usually enjoy the lectures and classes , however, we did not enjoy them on this cruise. The topics were not interesting or relevant for us. I don’t care about somebody rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. The cruise port talks were not well done and the moderator seemed to be just reading his presentation. The two cruise directors were very friendly and personable- Mark and Heather. The two musical shows that Heather and her assistant, Brian Rodriguez, put on were very good. They both have beautiful voices . The glitches on our cruise were associated with the transition from one cruise to the other. It seemed that they forgot we were doing a B2B and we got no communication about the second half. There was a considerable change in the service for the second cruise and service wasn’t as good as the first part. There were long waits in the dining room for just service and food . Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
PROS: We picked this cruise for the length and itinerary--Rome to Miami 24 days. Iincluded tours in most locations were very good. The sea days were much appreciated after spending 14 days on a port a day. Getting on the ship was ... Read More
PROS: We picked this cruise for the length and itinerary--Rome to Miami 24 days. Iincluded tours in most locations were very good. The sea days were much appreciated after spending 14 days on a port a day. Getting on the ship was a breeze. The Sun is mostly identical to the Sky which we had been on in June, just newer. Very clean and well appointed. The Chef's Table had the best food. CONS: The included tours in Barcelona and Lisbon were a waste of time. Having been to both locations previously, we skipped out on both tours midway through and did our own thing. These could have been much better The exercise classes were very disappointing in selection and length. And the evening entertainment was hit and miss. Enrichment talks were often scheduled at the start of dinner. If you went to that, you would eat late and miss the entertainment. Getting off the ship in Miami was a nightmare--very disorganized and lack of communication. They kept reminding people to vacate their rooms but we couldn't leave the ship. And the people who were on their own (no flights, etc) were grouped to leave the ship first--just a bad end. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My wife and I booked cabin 5083 originally, a penthouse veranda, as she was worried about motion sickness. A few days before the cruise was to depart, Our travel agent said that Viking had upgraded us to cabin 8007, a jr. penthouse suite. ... Read More
My wife and I booked cabin 5083 originally, a penthouse veranda, as she was worried about motion sickness. A few days before the cruise was to depart, Our travel agent said that Viking had upgraded us to cabin 8007, a jr. penthouse suite. After reading several reviews of the 8000 series cabins, all but one cruiser stated that they felt no or minimal motion on that deck. Apparently my wife is a little more susceptible to motion as we left Rome at 10pm to cruise to Livorno and my wife slept poorly. We spent two days in port and she was better, but as we left Livorno at 6pm for Monaco, the motion sickness became so bad she didn't sleep and we had to see the ship's doctor(an $85 fee) to get motion sickness pills. We missed the Monaco excursion, but Viking refunded the cost. We asked if we could move to a lower deck and since the ship was almost full, we took cabin 3031, a veranda stateroom. Viking stated that they would not refund the difference for what we paid for the original room and the lower grade room since it was a motion sickness issue. Between the pills and the lower cabin, we were able to finish the cruise in relative comfort. As many others have stated, the ship is beautiful, clean, and well maintained.Cabins were cleaned twice a day, no one asked us to but anything, and all staff members were friendly and courteous. Food was excellent and, plentiful, and varied. My only complaint with dining was that after my wife had a glass of coke with lunch or dinner, she was not offered a refill. The included shore excursions we took were rather dull and short; we took a few long optional excursions and enjoyed them. We enjoyed the Beatles and ABBA shows, but outside of those, there was not a lot of entertainment unless you like classical pieces or acoustic guitar solos. Singers in Torshaven, the night lounge, did a nice enough job though. I did spend a lot of time in the spa which is extremely well kept and is probably one of the best at sea. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Wanted to visit friends in Barcelona and coupled this trip with seeing them after the ship docked there. Good ports -of-call with interesting sights to see. The only issue was the weather, which we had hoped would not be a major factor. ... Read More
Wanted to visit friends in Barcelona and coupled this trip with seeing them after the ship docked there. Good ports -of-call with interesting sights to see. The only issue was the weather, which we had hoped would not be a major factor. But is was. Lots of rain in this trip. The ship provided many great tours. The staff were attentive and friendly. The entertainment was super. Enjoyed the tours, which were both educational as well as interedting. One tour had an inexperienced guide who miscounted at the meeting place and left us behind. This made for a difficult time for us. We enjoyed meeting new people in the ship and touring the kitchen and Bridge were a real highlight. The food was exceptional and varied. The restaurants were terrific and the food was fantastic. We did not make it to the Italian restaurant as we did not know about it at first and then found it was booked solid. This speaks for itself. The ship was beautiful in every way. We enjoyed the seafood meal on the upper deck near the pool and went to several 4 o’clock teas. This was relaxing and fun. Thank you. Look forward to the next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We have done four riverboat cruises with Viking and I liked the look of the Orion, fancied a Mediterranean cruise, so decided to try it. The first day, we flew from our nearest airport, Leeds/Bradford, but had to change at Schiphol. ... Read More
We have done four riverboat cruises with Viking and I liked the look of the Orion, fancied a Mediterranean cruise, so decided to try it. The first day, we flew from our nearest airport, Leeds/Bradford, but had to change at Schiphol. After a long day, we arrived at the Orion after 6pm, the first of the “8 day cruise”. The boat was absolutely lovely and I have nothing but praise for the staff, our vegetarian food, our accommodation on board. The entertainment, in a splendid theatre, was a disappointment. Very nice though all the staff were, we were not expecting them to be the usual stage acts. The last night, they brought in a flamenco group and that was the best, though only lasted about an hour. As the boat is smaller than most cruises offer (which was great) there was less to keep us entertained on an evening, so I think a little more could be offered, though perhaps Viking see themselves as a little too upmarket. The inclusive trips to, for example, Pisa’s leaning tower were enjoyable, but we didn’t go on any non-inclusive tours because we wanted to enjoy the boat. The two swimming pools were small, as expected, but there was usually room for a swim and I loved the infinity pool. Move to the seventh day and we could not use our balconies all day because they were being washed down ready for the next paying guests. Day eight dawned, but we were already up, breakfasted, and on our way to Barcelona airport for a four hour wait for our plane to Schiphol. We then had a further three hour wait at Schiphol for our plane home, by which time we felt like we needed a holiday. I have taken this up with Viking as we could have had direct flights to Rome from Leeds/Bradford and direct return flights from Barcelona, but they insist on using KLM. I also think it is wrong to call it an eight day cruise when we had about six and a half days on board. The holiday was expensive but perhaps understandable due to the luxurious nature of the Orion. There was a library but also plenty of other books at various places on board. The choice was extensive and we found several to keep us interested during the cruise. So, although the Orion and the staff on board could not be faulted, because of Viking’s insistence that we fly KLM, we will not be sailing with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Viking Star has more than we could do on one cruise. I suggest reading thoroughly through all the information to see what is available and included with the cruise and planning ahead. Included excursions were good except for one which ... Read More
Viking Star has more than we could do on one cruise. I suggest reading thoroughly through all the information to see what is available and included with the cruise and planning ahead. Included excursions were good except for one which started in Port Grimaud before many of the shops in the town were open, one in Mote Carlo with a rude guide (not Viking personnel), and the bus tour through Marseille which could have been skipped. Dining options were great and we found a team of servers in the main restaurant that were exceptional. No need to waste time having dinner at the buffet! Buffet good for breakfast and eating out on deck before the early morning excursions we signed up for. Steward was available and accommodating. Some issue with the plumbing required repair and extra attention to our bathroom, but all was taken care of quickly and to our satisfaction. Entertainment staff employed by the line was substandard but those hired from the locations were super as was the lecturer each night that spoke about the next day’s location. We would book with Viking again for ocean or river cruises. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The cruise was described as Rome to Barcelona. We opted to stay 2 addt’l days at the end in Barcelona. However, had we known we wouldn’t see ANY of Rome, we would have ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The cruise was described as Rome to Barcelona. We opted to stay 2 addt’l days at the end in Barcelona. However, had we known we wouldn’t see ANY of Rome, we would have added on 2 days at the beginning as well. The ships departure port is 45min. from Rome. So there was no time to see the points of interest on our list. We also felt thatvsome if the excursion descriptions were a bit misleading. One in particular in St Tropez was called Culbary Walk. The description stated we would see food demonstrations and taste food from local chefs. We did taste crepes. But we did not see them being made nor was there any instruction on how to eat them or what to put on them. Some people in our group did not even know how to fold them. This was very disappointing. We also felt that if we were held to the dress code standard in the restraints then everyone should be. We witnessed a family of 5 dressed VERY casually in jeans and old t-shirts get seated. It was even posted at the check-in. We mentioned it to the Maitre ‘D and were told that some people didn’t know so we made an exception. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Wanted to try a Viking Ocean Cruise, so we picked the Mediterranean. It was very nice, but the crew were not nearly as friendly as on our river cruises. They didn’t smile much or talk to us much. Some seemed to have a hard time ... Read More
Wanted to try a Viking Ocean Cruise, so we picked the Mediterranean. It was very nice, but the crew were not nearly as friendly as on our river cruises. They didn’t smile much or talk to us much. Some seemed to have a hard time understanding English. And we also saw some actually being trained while we were on our cruise. Our cruise director was a great performer but he never came up to us to say hello and neither did the crew members. The food was good, but I think it’s better on the river cruises. We seemed to have more fun on and off the boat on the river cruises. The crew members went out of their way to be nice and friendly on and off the boat. And all crew members on our past 2 river cruises seemed to know what they were doing and looked like they enjoyed their jobs unlike this last ocean cruise. Probably won’t go on another Viking ocean cruise, but have already booked another river cruise! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. Unfortunately one of our hoped for ports was cancelled shortly before leaving due to State Department alerts. I respect Viking's decision to heed these warnings and the substitution of Naples ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. Unfortunately one of our hoped for ports was cancelled shortly before leaving due to State Department alerts. I respect Viking's decision to heed these warnings and the substitution of Naples was appreciated but missing Tunisia was a disappointment. The itinerary was very active and time in port was often limited to just the excursion without time for personal exploring and virtually no shopping other than a table on the pier in Algiers or the shops in the terminal buildings on the way to reboard the ship. We have no need for any more trip souvenirs but part of travel is to support local economies - craftsmen, artists, restaurants, even the street hawkers. This was not done on this trip. Food was generally very good and varied. We experienced a couple less than pleasant issues with service in The Restaurant. These were brought to the attention of management, addressed and resolved. It's unfortunate that the lack of professionalism by one person has such negative impact on an otherwise very good team. A suggestion for Viking: Provide a ship plan in the in-room info I'm not sure I would travel with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I have cruised on viking river and ocean cruises 7 times. I have extremely high expectations. The cruise itinerary was changed eliminating Tunisia and Algeria. We missed another stop because of bad weather. The tour to the mountain town ... Read More
I have cruised on viking river and ocean cruises 7 times. I have extremely high expectations. The cruise itinerary was changed eliminating Tunisia and Algeria. We missed another stop because of bad weather. The tour to the mountain town of Erice should have been cancelled because of the dense fog which prevent any seeing and was dangerous. No one finished the tour. Those are the negatives. Here are the positives. The ship, the staff, the food, our room, and the ambiance were wonderful. Our room was large with a great bath and more storage space than we used. We loved Mallorca, Naples, and Valencia. I thought the included tours were as good or better than the optional. We ate in the Chef’s Table twice. Delicious. Our friends really enjoyed Madsen. Frankly the food is better than any other ships. The youngest person on the cruise was 22 and I believe the oldest was in her nineties. They both seemed to have a great time. If you are looking for casinos and outstanding entertainment do not choose Viking but if you enjoy beautiful scenery and outstanding service, see you on our next cruise river or ocean. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
My sister and I initially picked this Viking cruise because of the pricing, inclusions, and the organization's reputation. Because my flight to JFK was delayed, it looked like I was going to miss my flight to Rome. When I finally ... Read More
My sister and I initially picked this Viking cruise because of the pricing, inclusions, and the organization's reputation. Because my flight to JFK was delayed, it looked like I was going to miss my flight to Rome. When I finally arrived to JFK, someone from Viking had already called and left a message that she booked me on another flight leaving within a two hours. I apologize for not knowing her name, but it was crazy and hectic, but I ran and made it just in time to make my flight. My luggage did not make it, but it did arrive the following day. The Viking represetative helped make arrangments for Delta to ensure I got my suitcase. It was delivered to me before we left Rome. Our Penthouse Veranda was the the best in which I have ever stayed. It was spacious, efficient, and extremely comfortable. Our cabin attendants were excellent. Room service was punctual, too! The free Wifi and the television selections were good, as well. We loved the free dining choices, no photos being sold, no art auctions, nor expensive bingo games! The evening entertainment and lectures, were lackluster; so we chose to go to our rooms to relax and watch TV. Unfortunately, we were disappointed that we could not go to Sardinia (high waves), Tunisia, or Algiers (state department restrictions). However, I loved Naples because I was able to see Pompeii and Palma De Mallorca was nice, too. We took an excursion to Erice, but it was too foggy to enjoy. We climbed to the top on slippery cobblestones to see just fog at the top. The food was fantastic and I was able to stay within my dieting restrictions. The included sodas and wine were apprecitated. All of the restaurants were great and the service impeccable! I am looking forward to finding another Viking cruise to take! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose this cruise first of all because of the itinerary. Secondly, we like Viking Cruises in terms of ship size, service, included amenities and overall quality. This was our second cruise on the Viking Star and we like the ship very ... Read More
We chose this cruise first of all because of the itinerary. Secondly, we like Viking Cruises in terms of ship size, service, included amenities and overall quality. This was our second cruise on the Viking Star and we like the ship very much. It is the right size and the crew is outstanding. Our cabin attendant , Caroline, provided exceptional service. She was responsive to all our requests and went out of her way to make us feel welcome. The dining staff was also a treat. We usually had dinner in the dining room and we always requested the Turkish Hero, Selcuk to be our waiter. He and his staff of assistants took care of us with great care and some humor, as well. It was a treat. We also took advantage of the specialty restaurants and the meals were so enjoyable and the service was invariably outstanding. One item however, that wasn't so satisfying deals with the itinerary. We have been on enough cruises to understand that there are no guarantees about ports of call and safety has to be the prime concern for the cruise line and we appreciate that. But this Mediterranean Explorations cruise, which I thought had an outstanding itinerary, turned out to be a completely different cruise. We were excited about visiting the African ports. They of course were cancelled just prior to our departure so that was a major disappointment. I thought at the time, at least we are stopping at Trapani, Sicily (where my mother's family is from) and Cagliari, Sardinia, a place that we've never seen. Then, during the cruise, both of those ports were cancelled due to high winds. This was another downer. The places substituted were in most cases fine but with the exception of Majorca, we had visited those locations at length on previous vacations. Certainly, one of the reasons we like Viking is that most of the services you could wish for are included in the basic cruise package, but it seems like there must have been something that could have been offered to make up for what can only be termed, a complete change of itinerary during the first week of the cruise. Again, I want to emphasize that we enjoyed our cruise and, overall it was a positive experience. We particularly enjoyed attending Fenella Bazin's discussions. Included shore excursions are a plus with Viking although they typically provide a quick overview of locations. But they also typically an opportunity to explore some areas alone. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We have travelled on Viking before, on a River Cruise and wanted to try the Ocean Cruise to compare. We found most things to be the same however unlike the River Cruise our gratuities were not included. This does add a bit to the over all ... Read More
We have travelled on Viking before, on a River Cruise and wanted to try the Ocean Cruise to compare. We found most things to be the same however unlike the River Cruise our gratuities were not included. This does add a bit to the over all expense at the end of the cruise. We did find that the first two days at our Pre-Cruise Hotel a bit disappointing considering the price we had to pay per person. The rooms were very dated and the furniture was very worn which kind of made one not want to spend much time in the room. As well we did not find the bar are area very inviting. One last point that we disliked was that we had to have out luggage out or our room extremely early in the morning and that we had to vacate the room before 10:00am. Leaving the room so early requiring us to sit in the small lobby until 1:00pm waiting for the bus. Not a good experience for anyone. And in particular for my wife who is suffering from Parkinson's Disease. She was truly uncomfortable to say the least. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We had a free week in January and always enjoy the hospitality and experiences with Viking. We were able to book at the last minute. Had visited Pompeii last year on a Viking cruise so visited the ancient site of Herculaneum this time. ... Read More
We had a free week in January and always enjoy the hospitality and experiences with Viking. We were able to book at the last minute. Had visited Pompeii last year on a Viking cruise so visited the ancient site of Herculaneum this time. Our guide was excellent. Being January the weather was a factor. We missed one port completely and Viking rerouted us to an alternate port on another day. There are always things on board to keep everyone occupied. While in Sicily we did a tour to the ancient city of Erica. We were warned that the weather might hamper our views which unfortunately it definitely did which was disappointing as it appeared to be a beautiful city. More importantly the travel was a hazard in conditions of no visibility so the tour should have been cancelled. Because travel was not recommended in Algiers at that time, Palma de Mallorca was added to the itinerary. I usually find the included tours are a simple overview but it exceeded my expectations in Palma de Mallorca. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
The ship was very good. We sailed on this same ship in January ‘17 in the West Indies, and felt the food was better on that sailing. All servers and cabin mates on board were very attentive and friendly. Included shore excursions were ... Read More
The ship was very good. We sailed on this same ship in January ‘17 in the West Indies, and felt the food was better on that sailing. All servers and cabin mates on board were very attentive and friendly. Included shore excursions were generally very good. I love this size ship, as there is little waiting, yet it provides most of the amenities the larger ships have. Both embarkation and disembarkation are so easy - almost no waiting and took less than 5 minutes each. My main problem is that the stops in Algiers and Tunis were cancelled only shortly before departure. These stops were the only reason we decided to take this cruise, as we have been in Italy and Spain multiple times in the past. Another issue is that the air travel (purchased from Viking) was extremely uncomfortable, especially as we traveled non-stop from Los Angelos to Rome. The Air France seating was horribly uncomfortable. If you haven’t been to Spain or Italy before, this may be for you. The Viking Star is a beautiful ship with a wonderful staff. Food - both in the dining room and buffet area - is wonderful. Included wine, beer, and soda at meals a plus. The Italian specialty restaurant is great. We really like that Viking doesn’t charge extra for these dining experiences. Also - the 24 hr room service is very nice, with food served hot and promptly. The pool areas are beautiful, and we liked the retractable roof over the indoor pool. Lots of areas for reading and socializing. Everything is very clean and well maintained. Bath areas in the cabins are the best we have seen, even in the lower priced cabins. Beds were very comfortable. As this was a winter cruise, we didn’t take advantage of the balcony, but we did so on our last cruise in the West Indies. Like the fact that all cabins have a balcony. Port information was very good. The social team was friendly and professional. Missed a casino, but that was expected and ok, as there were other activities to take advantage of. Musicians were very good. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and reputation of the cruise line. Once we landed in Rome everything was flawless. However, dealing with Viking in the U.S. was very frustrating. We had originally booked a cruise to Cuba and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and reputation of the cruise line. Once we landed in Rome everything was flawless. However, dealing with Viking in the U.S. was very frustrating. We had originally booked a cruise to Cuba and cancelled it after they made several port changes. We wanted to use the "cancel for any reason" Viking insurance to cover some of the cost of this trip. It took 4 months to get the voucher approved, submitted and our money refunded, only after my agent did a manual override. The insurance is expensive and worthless. We were also given no information about the post cruise as it wasn't available so we booked our own tour in Barcelona. We were told in the U.S. that the shore team would transport our luggage to the hotel so we could go on our excursion. NOT TRUE! Once onboard we were given no help with this and told we would need to arrange for and pay to have our bags shipped once we docked and get ourselves to Barcelona. Since we paid for transfers and were told stateside it wouldn't be a problem that hardly seemed fair and not consistent with their image of customer service. Finally, Viking Air....it is very hit and miss. Our airlines changed our connecting flights and I had to fight with Viking to arrange another way to fly since it was clear I would miss our connection. When we finally got the flights arranged and I checked a day before we were to leave our seats had disappeared on one portion of the flight. I finally called the airlines myself to fix it. Some of the Viking Air people are helpful and others misinformed and indifferent. Again, it was the most amazing cruise ever (room, service, food, ports, embarkation), and the ship experience was flawless. Regarding the whole arrangement experience I have had much better and less stressful experiences on Holland America and Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Not a fan of large ship cruises. Have been on numerous river and small ship/yacht cruises and always enjoyed those. Viking does a good job on its river cruises so we decided to try their new medium size venue. We were very pleasantly ... Read More
Not a fan of large ship cruises. Have been on numerous river and small ship/yacht cruises and always enjoyed those. Viking does a good job on its river cruises so we decided to try their new medium size venue. We were very pleasantly surprised at almost all aspects of this experience. The ship is absolutely beautiful and extremely well conceived. There were many places where we could find quiet and solitude (when desired) . Never felt like we were burdened with masses of people or movements. With many restaurants and reservation opportunities we never felt we were in a "mess hall" situation. The general ship layout ,along with the elimination of gambling and other big cruise ship activities served to remove the somewhat rouckus nature of some of the passengers as experienced on large ship cruises. The on ship entertainment was also excellent, limited in viewer size, and well suited to the general ship attitude.The service staff was the best we have ever experienced in our many years of traveling. The only somewhat negative comment had to do with the off ship tours. Unlike small ship cruises where there may be one bus going to a shore site a mid size ship had 3 buses of passengers. These buses traveled together to all points of on shore sights and adventures. In almost every group there is always one who is ever on time and holds back the others. In one bus this may or may not be the case and is easily addressed. With 3 busses the odds go up of this happening and 100plus others are affected. Missing part of a tour is not fun because of basic inconsideration. I do not know the answer to this in large multi bus movement tours other than to let each bus operate as a single unit All said we will definitely travel with Viking on this medium ship venue again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We originally committed to the cruise to visit Ephesus and Istanbul, which were later canceled due to safety issues. We were happy, though, to have Israel as a main objective. The visits to Rome and Athens at either end of the cruise were ... Read More
We originally committed to the cruise to visit Ephesus and Istanbul, which were later canceled due to safety issues. We were happy, though, to have Israel as a main objective. The visits to Rome and Athens at either end of the cruise were quite short, so we were glad to have gone to Rome a week ahead of time to see the sights. We were disappointed in Jerusalem, mostly due to the attitude of the guide. We found that the crew made our embarkation and disembarkation go smoothly. The option to change or add tours on board was helpful, especially since the lectures introducing the cultures we were visiting informed us concerning what we wanted to focus on. The ship is beautiful! We were well pleased with the service, the cabin, and all the amenities. One drawback was the laundry. Everyone wanted to do their laundry when the ship was cruising. You had to get up early to get a machine! The food was good but did not have the cultural focus as much as we experienced on a river cruise. The themed dinners in the Chef's Table were excellent, however, and we were surprised that so few passengers took advantage of it. We did not expect to have the same kind of experience on the ocean cruise as the river cruise, of course. Meeting people was not as easy on the ocean cruise, though we made an enduring friendship with one other couple from the UK. Overall, we were pleased with the cruise and had experiences we would not have had otherwise. We particularly appreciated the lectures and enjoyed the chamber music and the evening entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
The Viking cruises do cost more than others, but it is worth it. This was our second Ocean cruise and third overall Viking cruise. As with the others the travel and embarkation was involved little stress and well organized. The cabins ... Read More
The Viking cruises do cost more than others, but it is worth it. This was our second Ocean cruise and third overall Viking cruise. As with the others the travel and embarkation was involved little stress and well organized. The cabins are nice and well laid out. Storage space can be a bit of an issue for two people, but it is easy to get additional hangers from room service. The food was excellent; there is a variety of menus that will accommodate most and food is available almost whenever you want it. The cruises are well structured so you can do as much or as little as you like. The included tours will give you a quick taste of the different ports and for an extra cost you can spend more time at some interesting destinations. Do be aware that the included tours are definitely whirlwind; if you want to spend time exploring either pay for the longer tour or arrange something your self. Do be sure to spend some time looking over the options and making plans before you go; many of the excursions fill up as soon as they are available. If you choose to stay on board there is plenty to do; there are live shows and movies. The fitness center and spa are excellent, they were my favorite hang outs when I was not on a tour. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
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