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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and our past Viking expierences. One of our favourite things on this ship is beautiful, clean, modern, excellent public areas. Lots of comfortable areas to sit and relax without feeling ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and our past Viking expierences. One of our favourite things on this ship is beautiful, clean, modern, excellent public areas. Lots of comfortable areas to sit and relax without feeling crowded. Food is excellent with daily theme luncheons offered on sea days around the main pool and several cook outs on the back deck were offered in the evenings as well as the buffet which always had lots to choose from. Daily offerings of crab claws, crab legs, big shrimp, sushi, shell fish, steak cooked to order, meat dishes. Rotating offers of roasts of lamb, pork, beef, roasted chicken, duck. Daily, a variety of vegetables, potatoes, rice etc, salads, fruit, breads and a nice variety of dessert. Breakfast offered eggs, omelets, cooked to order quickly, eggs benedict, fruits, waffles, in addition to all of the usual breakfast items. Restaurants are intimate and the service is provided by professional, friendly, outgoing staff who are attententive without being obtrusive. The menu offers a variety to choose from and our food was delicious at Manfrefi’s and at the Chef’s Table. The same can be said of the World Cafe, Mamsens and the Pool Snack bar which offered burgers of all kinds, foot long hot dogs, fries, Onion rings and all the trimmings in addition to numerous salads and desserts. The ice cream at the World Cafe is delicious with a variety of different flavours daily. All meals include wine and beer. The spa sauna, pool and snow grotto are an invigorating experience. There is a main pool with a retractable roof and an infinity pool on the back deck. All have lots of lounge seating in comfortable, relaxing surroundings. We especially enjoyed the Explorers Lounge located at the front of the ship. You feel as though you are the captain looking out through the expansive windows onto the ocean. The Viking Sea singers/dancers and musicians were the best and the most talented and enjoyable we have experienced in a long time. Beth, Hannah, Louis and Cole, along with cruise director Jenna treated us to Abba, Beatles, Divas, Motown music that rocked the theatre. The included excursions were informative and provided by knowledgeable guides. The most important thing is we are grateful to all of the staff for their attentive, genuine, smiling, caring approach, ensuring you are having a perfect vacation. How they are able to remember you by name and your cabin number is delightful surprise. It truly was, quote Captain Malmberg, “the happiest, friendliest, funnest ship on the ocean”. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We had done two Viking Ocean cruises and have cruised other lines such as Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Oceana. We like the Viking River cruises better. We had a balcony but it was on the rear of the ship so we walked a lot. ... Read More
We had done two Viking Ocean cruises and have cruised other lines such as Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Oceana. We like the Viking River cruises better. We had a balcony but it was on the rear of the ship so we walked a lot. There were few hangers and not that many drawers to put things in. They kept the hallways very cold,the restaurants were cold and the theater was cold. We were in the Caribbean so it should not have been cold when it was warm outside. I was getting sore throat and had to take a lot of cough drops. We ate most of our meals in the World Cafe even though tipping is automatic. The specialty restaurants were included but you needed to make all of your reservations at the beginning of the cruise. I am a comfort food person, not a gourmet. The Mexican restaurant food was not like any Mexican food I had before. The portions were small and some of the food was unfamiliar to me even though I spent 30 years going to Mexico. The Italian restaurant menu was in Italian with extremely small print in English and I could not read it with my glasses on. I just asked for ceasar salad and Chicken Parmesan. The Restaurant seemed to serve the same menu pretty often. Viking gives you wine and beer with lunch and dinner and we had purchased the silver package using a credti from our travel agent and that was good. There were two Captains parties plus a sale away on the last night with champayne and snacks and this was very good. I had a problem about being invited to a mix and mingle even though I had started the role call. So I missed the first event but Mara from Romania, who was the head of Guest Services helped us out and there was a second mix and mingle that we did attend. It seems redundant that first you have to either start the role call or enroll and an exiisting role call and then also register for a mix and mingle, But I now know this and will be ready for the next cruise. I like the River cruises better because the ships are smaller, it was never too cold and we had people, who kept us fully informed on all events. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We wanted to try Viking out and this cruise seemed to meet our needs of a winter cruise, in some warm weather at a better price than Viking offers for its Med Cruises. Our travel was so tiring, with a drive to Manchester, an overnight, ... Read More
We wanted to try Viking out and this cruise seemed to meet our needs of a winter cruise, in some warm weather at a better price than Viking offers for its Med Cruises. Our travel was so tiring, with a drive to Manchester, an overnight, then a morning flight out to Philadelphia, then a 5 hour lay over as there was a delay, then a 4 hour flight to San Juan. Coming back was even worse as I drove back from Manchester coming off the overnight flight from Philadelphia. Unfortunately as good as the cruise was, we will not attempt that travel again, as you might have guessed we are not part of the younger generation. Embarkation at the port was so easy and very quick, probably helped by it being past midnight before we got there. Our standard balcony cabin was lovely, all mod cons in place including charging points, bed nice and comfy although my wife and our cabin steward (Bayu) did have a few attempts at getting the right mix of pillows. Bayu was excellent, smiling every day and nothing was too much trouble. He did his job well and worked round our timings in the cabin. Bathroom was modern and really well appointed with a big glass shower cubicle. We thoroughly enjoyed the inclusive trips, they were mainly an overview, but all our guides were really good and we felt safe in their company. Getting on and off the Ship was so quick and easy, next to no queues. Some of the docking places were a bit industrial, so a couple of times our view was the container park when other ships in seemed to have better berths on occasion. We are not big drinkers but had the silver drinks package, it was excellent. Pina Coladas, the best we have had on any ship, we don't like the brain freeze drinks so the bar staff would make it on the rocks with just enough ice, nice and creamy and used the dark rum. We visited Barrincha in Puerto Rico, where the Pina Colada was supposedly invented and the ones on the ship were every bit as good as there. Don't worry if your favourite tipple is not on the bar menu, they will make it if you or they know the ingredients. Doods deserves special mention for looking after us so well. if we wandered in there as our last call for a nightcap he knew what I wanted and a simple thumbs up meant my Toasted Almond arrived at our table. Food was generally excellent, probably the best we have had at Sea other than Oceania, so Viking need to just get that bit better and match them to be top of the league. We did have the occasional wobble, but it was excellently handled by the waiters and in Manfredis we were delivered our pasta and risotto dishes at the same time as our huge steaks. They removed the steaks immediately. Viking head of Departments all get given a cabin at random to look after, so we got Gary, the Executive Chef (recently joined from Oceania). He rang us every couple of days and saw us out and about. On learning of our dislike of the mashed potato he immediately changed the recipe and it was so good after that. He also insisted we re visit Manfredis after our earlier issue with the Steaks, he organised it all and we had the best service and food of the cruise. we were also left nice little surprises in the room on a few of the days. So well done to Viking, as Gary said, it helps him stay close to the Guests and he can jump on things quickly and he did. We never had to queue for anything, sun beds were always available around the pools, no queues at the Bars, restaurants straight in. Entertainment, the Singers were really good, but Viking did not make best use of them, I would like to have seen a show in the lovely theatre every night. Also after 10.30 the ship was even more empty, some guest duos brought on board to enhance evening entertainment would be better for us. Would I go with Viking again, yes if they can keep their prices competitive and home port the Ship in the Caribbean where we can get a direct flight from Britain. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Well, we are back from our first Viking Ocean cruise – 10 days West Indies Explorer on the Viking Sea March 2019. We arranged our own flights, so we got to San Juan PR and made our way to the ship. Check in was easy-peasy and so ... Read More
Well, we are back from our first Viking Ocean cruise – 10 days West Indies Explorer on the Viking Sea March 2019. We arranged our own flights, so we got to San Juan PR and made our way to the ship. Check in was easy-peasy and so different than what happens on other lines. I’ve sailed Carnival (platinum), Royal Caribbean, and NCL in the past, so this was not my first check-in. Of course 930 passengers vice 3000-5000 makes quite a difference. Our room stewards Teddy and Emm were great and met us when we arrived and explained features of our room. They always greeted us if they were about and ensured we had everything we needed. Even though it was about 3:30PM, we found the pool grill had wonderful and we got our first wine and beer (free with lunch and dinner). Waiters were available and checked on us often. This continued throughout the entire cruise in all dining venues! Great job. On the second night onboard, just as we were getting ready to leave San Juan behind, we had our Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle – an invitation was left in our room with the Viking Daily the day before. The Captain and his command staff were busy, but every available senior staff officer attended. We had a very nice chat with Tom Aberg (Hotel General Manager), Edgar de Jaspi (Beverage Manager) and John Cunningham (Restaurant Manager) while enjoying free drinks and finger foods. From that evening on, we were always greeted by these senior officers. Surprisingly, a few days later we got another invitation to another Meet and Mingle. We went and when we asked, we were told by another Cruise Critic member, that they missed the first one – apparently they didn’t realize they had to sign up for the M&M on CC prior to arriving onboard, so they didn’t receive an invitation. But the staff wanted to ensure that they were not left out, so we had a second get together with all the trimmings and all the senior staff. (Now what other cruise line would do that???) At this meeting, in addition to Edgar and John, I had a nice talk with Jenn Beaudoin (Cruise Director) and Mara Buga (Guest Services Manager). I had a special request of Jenn and she made some calls had made arrangements. Thank you Jenn and thanks for Fredrik Svensson for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to another Engineer! I’m not going to do a day to day accounting of my experiences, but I will make a few comments. First, the food and drink onboard is outstanding. All venues were excellent, but we always like the Restaurant and had wonderful meals in Manfredi’s and at the Chef’s Table. Service was impeccable regardless of where we ate. Secondly, I was so impressed by the Senior Staff. On most lines, one does not even see the Hotel Manager, Restaurant Manager, Financial Officer or Beverage Manager, but on this ship/line, they were highly visible and jumped in anytime there was need. For example, Tom, John or Edgar often were escorting guests in the Restaurant or in the Theater. (Again, where else have you ever seen this happen?) Third, I was somewhat concerned about taking the included excursions thinking they would be boring. Not so. The guides were obviously well vetted and could answer any question thrown at them. In many of the ports, the tour at a specific time was broken into smaller groups which worked well and kept wait time to a minimum. I learned something at every port! We also did a 3 optional tours and they were wonderful! Only thing I questioned was at all these wonderful Caribbean ports, there were no Scuba diving tours… hmmm. Fourth, was the general ‘we want you to learn something’ on this cruise vibe on the ship. There was a resident historian onboard who had some wonderful lectures and round table discussions. There was also a Geologist who gave talks on how the islands were formed and such. Really interesting! If you happened to miss the talk, don’t fear, it was recorded for on-demand broadcast on the in cabin TV along with lots of other great informative programs, news stations and movies. Fifth, the entertainment onboard was wonderful – singers and musicians were top notch. Shows were excellent. A steel pan group was brought onboard at one port to play by the pool for an afternoon show. We also had Line Dance lessons. Unfortunately, I have 2 left feet when it comes to this! But it was enjoyable! Overall, it was a GREAT Experience and it will not be our last Viking Ocean cruise! Great Job by everyone onboard! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our first ever cruise and we were celebrating a big birthday. Having heard about the ship, expectations were very high and it did not disappoint. We flew in to San Juan late in the evening and so just went to bed the first ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and we were celebrating a big birthday. Having heard about the ship, expectations were very high and it did not disappoint. We flew in to San Juan late in the evening and so just went to bed the first night, but the embarkation was smooth and luggage was delivered quickly. As we arrived late, they put some sandwiches and fruit out for us along with a bottle of champagne and some red wine, and reminded us that we could order room service as well. As it was gone 1am and we had been up for 24 hours we passed! We were in a Deluxe Veranda cabin. We can't understand why anyone would complain about the size of these - it was very comfortably big enough for us. The bed was large and comfortable, the sitting area was ok, the bathroom was superb and it was great to be able to sit out on the balcony. On the first day we explored the ship which was all light and airy, not at all busy and just nicely laid back. We were always able to find places to sit and service was generally attentive. We ate mainly in the World Cafe as it was more casual and did not require us to dress up. The food was always nice there, usually a good choice of mains and some divine little desserts (as well as cookies and ice cream). We also sampled the Pool Grill where they did some delicious burgers and grilled tuna. We managed to have two meals at Manfredi's, the speciality Italian restaurant. The food was delicious and the plates were huge! We also had a special birthday meal at the Chef's Table which was a five course tasting menu, where every dish was exceptional, each of them paired with wines. We really enjoyed the entertainment on the ship. The main entertainment was from four young, energetic and very talented performers who put on three main shows - an ABBA show, a showcase of famous song writers and a Beatles show. One of them also did a solo show Divas through the Decades, and another did a jazz set Beyond the Sea - both of these were top quality. They were supported by a four piece band and two lounge singers who were ok. Other entertainment included a guitarist, a classical duo and a piantist, all of whom were ok. One of the real positives about the cruise was how friendly everyone was. It was impossible to pass any crew member without them greeting you, and it always seemed natural. The cabin service was exceptional with rooms serviced twice a day. We were surprised to read any negative reviews about this ship. Perhaps it does not have quite as much going on as some mega cruise ships, but for us this was close to perfect. A nice size of ship, never crowded, very attentive staff, good food and enjoyable entertainment. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Have done 8+ ocean cruises, 7 river cruises. This experience with Viking Ocean was the best we've had. Food was excellent, varied menus and lots of choices. Good excursions and options at each port. In retrospect we would have done ... Read More
Have done 8+ ocean cruises, 7 river cruises. This experience with Viking Ocean was the best we've had. Food was excellent, varied menus and lots of choices. Good excursions and options at each port. In retrospect we would have done more adventuresome excursions on our West Indies but no regrets. Staff on the ship is top shelf. The crew was just as good as could be. Have read previous reviews on CC with some complaints and negative comments about Viking Sea. If there were problems earlier there aren't now. Our evaluation, and that of others we sailed with: Viking Ocean a great experience, Far better than Oceana, Royal Caribbean, Princess etc. We noted that quite a few folks had done more than one Viking Ocean cruise already, just in their third year of operations. No casino, no kids, no pressure. No big shows. Nice events in the evening - a movie by the pool, a bit of classical music, some singers and dancers. Passengers were mostly 65+, about 1/3 from UK, 2/3 North America. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I was looking forward to this so much and first time trying Viking, thought the Caribbean would be a good choice as it was one of their less expensive cruises and I wanted to see what the Viking experience would be like without spending ... Read More
I was looking forward to this so much and first time trying Viking, thought the Caribbean would be a good choice as it was one of their less expensive cruises and I wanted to see what the Viking experience would be like without spending too much money. Weather was mixed, some of the Islands are still recovering from various hurricanes so be prepared for infrastructure and transport that may not be what you’re used to. No sea days, in a different port each day ( except San Juan at the beginning ) Let’s start with the good things: Beautiful contemporary classy ship with gorgeous public spaces. Staff good in the main but quite a few seemed to struggle with our British accents and some were surly and on automatic pilot. They didn’t listen. Good cabin stewards. Nice cabin but on the small side. Fantastic bathroom. Top end and stunning spa suite. Expensive for treatments though. Included excursions were ok but given itinerary it was to be expected. Optional excursions expensive. Silver beverage package good at a decent price but all drinks reasonably priced in any event. Other cruise lines should note. Good included WiFi And the not so good: Food and wine Layout of buffet and indeed main restaurant not great. Small ship so narrow down each side. In the main restaurant, you felt at times if you were sitting in a corridor. Service very spotty, wine waiters, difficult to get a hold of, serving staff were different all the time. Seemed a bit chaotic and it took on average around two hours each night for a 3 course dinner to be served. Not always asked if you wanted tea or coffee. Food itself ranged from very good to indifferent and we had over cooked fish and lukewarm food on more than a few occasions. The speciality restaurants offered better service but food didn’t live up to the hype. They take themselves far too seriously in The Chefs Table. The staff need to lighten up a bit and let their personalities come through. Having said that, there was one waiter who was particularly bumptious, condescending and aggressive. After we complained, the restaurant manager sorted it out but it was quite an upsetting experience. Mentioned the overcooked fish in mid cruise survey and was gobsmacked when the head chef called, came to see us in Manfredis that night, got the main chef to come to our table too and arranged for beautiful petit fours to be sent to our cabin. It was impressive how Viking wanted to sort things out. We had upgraded wines as on the package- seemed to confuse staff but in the main the upgraded versions were decent enough. However, the included wines were pretty poor with very limited choice. It wasn’t exactly free flowing either way. Mamsens good, coffee and pastries in the downstairs bar good. Lovely Gelato and desserts in the buffet. You get much better food and wine on Oceania though. No comparison. Room service- we gave up after a few days. Missing items. Wrong items. Entertainment- A real weak point. Good band, four great young singers with 4/5 shows over a 10 day cruise. Couple of movies shown in the evening. No guest artistes. Classical duo. Nice up to a point and then begins to grate. Good pianist but no vocals.Not looking for high impact stuff but it was a bit too sedate. Better than Oceania though where the Tumbleweed roams freely. Atrium bar and Explorers bar very nice places for a pre dinner cocktail. Toshaven - lovely little venue for dancing but not well attended. Good fun though and the band/ singers very good. Didn’t go to any enrichment lectures so can’t comment. Others said they were interesting. No casino but in my book, not missed. We are a couple in our late 50’s so we were at the lower end of the age spectrum. Fellow guests were in the main very nice, polite and courteous. So, summary- there is much to like about Viking BUT at this price point, there are other options that may suit better. It depends what you’re looking for. If only I could combine a bit of Oceania, a bit of Celebrity, Regent and Azamara with Viking, I think I’d have found the perfect cruise line. I thought I had found it, but I wouldn’t rush to book another cruise with them unless the itinerary sang to me. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We are fairly new cruisers. We’ve been on one other cruise line, Crystal. Viking likes to brag that they’re a better rated brand than Crystal, so all of my views are compared to our experiences on Crystal. Ship: The ship itself ... Read More
We are fairly new cruisers. We’ve been on one other cruise line, Crystal. Viking likes to brag that they’re a better rated brand than Crystal, so all of my views are compared to our experiences on Crystal. Ship: The ship itself is beautiful. It’s classy and well laid out. They were very diligent about cleanliness, so we had no GI issues. It’s modern, well-stated, and the spa is phenomenal. Cabin: We booked an Explorer Suite, which was lovely. It had a wrap around balcony, a lovely bathroom, walk-in closet with a sit down vanity, ample storage, and a living room. My complaint about the room is that other than being able to book our excursions early, there’s no preferential treatment for the room category. The air travel accommodations/booking process was awful, which I will address later. When we got on the ship, we had to go looking for our luggage. It was not delivered to our room. With this room category, I would have expected a higher level of service, but that was not the case. Maybe the owner’s suite has this, but don’t expect anything extra for booking the higher level room. Dining: Crystal totally beat the Viking Sea in this category. The meal quality was spotty. We had great dinners at the specialty restaurants, Manfredi’s and The Chef’s Table, but the quality of service and food was inconsistent even there. The service and food quality at the World Cafe and The Restaurant was sometimes good and sometimes poor. We had great service in The Restaurant one night and poor service the next. They seemed untrained and even the manager was pitching in to help. I felt like this whole voyage was a training voyage for much of the crew. Entertainment: I hate to be negative here, because the entertainers were clearly trying to do a good job, but someone mentioned that it was along the lines of a high school musical presentation. I think that’s a great assessment. The left handed guitarist was great, but I wouldn't book this cruise line hoping for great entertainment. Excursions: We were in the Caribbean, so we were wanting relaxing, water-themed activities. The beach excursions were WAY TOO SHORT. We would just get settled on our beach chairs and they’d say, “time to go.” My advice would be to pay a taxi cab driver to take you to the beach and bring you back. Save the money for the taxi driver. The excursion I was most looking forward to, Cruising the Anguilla Channel, was canceled the night before. I think they knew all along, because it would never show up on our TV under our “excursions booked” tab, but they didn’t tell us until the night before. And take cash! The islands are still recovering and most of the places don’t take credit cards. We booked this cruise 8 months in advance. When we booked, the website simply said, “one free excursion per port.” They really needed an asterisk that made it clear that the excursion was their brief overview of the island in a bumpy, crowded bus. We thought it meant any excursion, which was NOT the case. Shady. Service: Our cabin manager was sweet and it would be difficult for me to fault her, but I found her English to be very hard to decipher. This was the case with many of the crew members. They were just inconsistent. We ordered room service, which is offered 24 hours a day, and more than once, they shorted us one breakfast. They brought the missing items 25 minutes later, but we had to leave for en excursion. The spotty service was most notable in the dining establishments and the luggage delivery I mentioned earlier wasn’t a good sign for our first 15 minutes on the ship. The people in Guest Relations seemed stressed out, probably from the negative comments. Everyone was trying to print boarding passes at the same time and they had trouble with the paper and printer. The spa had great people and they seemed to be the most organized and professional parts of the staff. BIG NEGATIVE: I specifically asked the travel agent and Viking NOT to make us sit and wait forever at the airport for our departing flight, as we had a nine hour flight awaiting us. Viking kicked us off the ship at 6:30 am, and our flight didn’t leave until 1:00 pm. By the time we arrived home, we had been up for 20 hours. There was a flight at 8:00 am that Viking could have booked us on. BIGGER NEGATIVE: I would advise anyone taking this cruise to book their own airfare. The cruise offers airfare as an included feature, but it’s really not worth it. We were flying out of LAX (Southern California). Viking wanted us to fly north to Chicago or New York, IN THE DEAD OF WINTER, just to turn around and fly south to Puerto Rico. We tried to renegotiate different flights that didn’t have us flying into inclement weather. We finally decided to purchase our own outbound flight, but because we did this, they charged us a $100 surcharge, which they would not reimburse us for. You read this correctly, they charged US $100, even though we paid for our own airfare, so we could avoid the illogical flights they wanted us to take!!! Embarkation and Disembarkation: The people were nice, and the guy who loaded the luggage at the Puerto Rico airport was a rock star! There certainly could have been more clear instructions, but we figured it out. Your Fellow Cruisers: Most of the people on the cruise were older people. When I say older, I mean 70+. This is fine, and we expected an older crowd. I am 60 and allegedly a young looking 60, so I had more than one older woman ask me if I was old enough to be on the ship. In fact, some women were somewhat hostile about it. My husband is older than I am, and we generated a few eye rolls and disapproving looks. We were there to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary, so clearly people were jumping to some wrong conclusions. The people we enjoyed were the ones who ventured out with us on excursions. They were more active and friendly. I guess you don’t get to choose who you cruise with, but just know that it’s mostly seasoned travelers. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Small ship with under 100 guests and adult only. Booking through to leaving the ship was extremely well organised. We had a penthouse balcony cabin which gave excellent space for clothes as well as a sofa and chair, fridge, large tv etc ... Read More
Small ship with under 100 guests and adult only. Booking through to leaving the ship was extremely well organised. We had a penthouse balcony cabin which gave excellent space for clothes as well as a sofa and chair, fridge, large tv etc .The staff,[ particularly our cabin steward Alvin] couldn't have been better. The ship is not for people who want glitz and chandeliers, it has a comfortable elegance. The entertainment was good but not a lot of it and we would have liked it to be a little more varied. All of the restaurants were excellent far better than other cruise lines we have been with and afternoon tea was lovely. A free trip was offered on each island and the ones we went on were okay but not outstanding, the free trip we took on St Thomas should have come with a warning for back pain sufferers. The vehicles were open buses with it felt like no springs on very rough bumpy roads. We took taxis to the beach on a few occasions on different Islands with no problems until St Thomas when I wanted a nostalgic trip to Magens Bay which is unchanged and beautiful the water is so clear it is not neccesary to snorkel to see the fish they swim around your feet. unfortunately the taxi driver didn't return for us, luckily for us another couple shared their taxi with us. We would cruise with Viking again but we were very cross that we had to disembark at 7.45 for a flight at 1pm which meant a long wait at San Juan airport and another of 4 hours in New York. we would look more closely at travel arrangements made by Viking in future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We had been on the ocean ships before so knew what to expect. The boat is not that old the décor the same as other of the ocean ships. The layout virtually identical. So that makes a great experience or does it? The main plus is that you ... Read More
We had been on the ocean ships before so knew what to expect. The boat is not that old the décor the same as other of the ocean ships. The layout virtually identical. So that makes a great experience or does it? The main plus is that you get what you expect if you have been with them before. Much is the same, like the speciality restaurants and the casual dining venue and the general layout .The continuous growth of the company raises interesting possible concerns. Staff training needs to be good and standards maintained. It feel at times they are on the edge with inconsistent service levels at restaurants and dining venues. Casual eating at breakfast and lunch saw staff being moved around often to "cover" an area then be countermanded by another staff member which left gaps in cover. Food was not consistently hot, when advised the answer was not really acceptable as they said you could ask for hot plates. This was something of a challenge when you asked for hot plates, staff consistently looked surprised and often had to search around. The trips were in the main quite good for the places visited. They were of reasonable length and the party sizes good. The worst was the delay we had to an already Viking scheduled late arrival of 9 pm. We eventually reached our cabin at 1 in the morning. The staffing level was small on arrival and transfer to the ship was slow. It was clearly not unexpected. Departure was equally disappointing off the ship by 8 for a flight in the afternoon at 2 pm. 6 hours and not even a cup of coffee provided. Basically you lose a day travelling at each end not great value Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We like a more luxury cruise, without kids and casinos. The food was fantastic and all the dining options. The staff went above and beyond to make us feel welcomed and happy. The ship itself is beautiful, yet understated. A clean elegance ... Read More
We like a more luxury cruise, without kids and casinos. The food was fantastic and all the dining options. The staff went above and beyond to make us feel welcomed and happy. The ship itself is beautiful, yet understated. A clean elegance if you may. Thoroughly enjoyed our cruise director Jenna....she was a blast. We will go again on VIKING very soon. We have been on Oceania, and to date that was our favorite. One aspect lacking a tad were the included shore excursions, they really weren't worth getting off the ship for. There were plenty of other excursions offered which we did do and really liked. The wine at dinner flowed nicely but the quality was give and take, one night very good, next night almost undrinkable. It never felt crowded onboard, there were plenty of quiet spots to sit and just reflect at what a wonderful ship this is. Can't say enough good things about our trip to the Caribbean and being on a clean, beautiful ship. One very fun night was dancing under the stars, good music and lots of dancing. We took part in the Movies under the Stars as well, really liked the comfort and popcorn. The ship was spotless clean and all the staff were happy and welcomed us daily. We would give the highest stars to service, then food. We would like to try a suite at some point just to compare. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Travelled on the West Indies Explorer itinery in February as we prefer to minimise sea days and had heard good reviews about Viking. The pre cruise hotel in San Juan was poor and Viking have since acknowledged this. Our cabin was nice ... Read More
Travelled on the West Indies Explorer itinery in February as we prefer to minimise sea days and had heard good reviews about Viking. The pre cruise hotel in San Juan was poor and Viking have since acknowledged this. Our cabin was nice but lacked storage space the bathroom was very good. The pool area was small and cramped possibly due to the location of the winter garden which was a waste of valuable space only being used for an hour a day for afternoon tea. The retractable roof however was very good. The ship rolled constantly even in calm seas. The main restaurant is poorly designed along the sides of the ship. Tables are close together so effectively all tables are shared tables and you have to squeeze between diners to get to some tables. Food ranged from mediocre to excellent and service ranged from average to very poor. There were lots of staff in the restaurant but they appeared to be inexperienced with service very slow and chaotic. Trying to get wine other than the house wine via the drinks package was a challenge every time. Service in the lounges was also poor where there were simply not enough bar staff to cope with demand. Included excursions were also poor subjecting guests to 40 minute stops at tacky souvenir shops and ice cream parlours. Entertainment was very sedate the shows were poor and other entertainment mainly consisted of a pianist and classical duo. The band were good but only performed before 11pm a couple of times. These events were well attended and Its a pity they didn’t do more. I provided comprehensive mid cruise feedback which wasn’t acknowledged. I wouldn’t sail with Viking again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
For the past 20 years, my husband and I cruised at least 2-3 time per year. We have been on Royal Carnelian many times, Princess, and finally graduated to Regent and Oceania. We absolutely love Oceania, even their three smaller ships ( ... Read More
For the past 20 years, my husband and I cruised at least 2-3 time per year. We have been on Royal Carnelian many times, Princess, and finally graduated to Regent and Oceania. We absolutely love Oceania, even their three smaller ships ( though they might show a sign of aging, the service, food, and bedding are amazing!). We try very hard to continue on Oceania only, however, they do not always have the dates or places we are looking for.We decided to try Vikings Sea this year. Beautiful ship, large bathrooms, but the bed and pillows were clearly made of straw. When we asked for another pillow, we were told that it was all they had. That aside, the food was definitely inferior to any 5 star cruises. You could barely get a cup of tea after 9 pm. Being on vacation, we decided not to concentrate of these inconveniences, and enjoyed the trip. To sum it up, although the ship itself deserves a 5 star rating, the rest, such as untrained staff, terrible bedding,very average food , and most importantly the attitude of customer relations, would keep us AWAY FROM VIKING in the future. Oceania, you will NOT be beat by Viking! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Our experience with Viking started with a beautiful brochure that I received in the mail. The West Indies Cruise looked like the right cruise for us.....and it was! Jason, in reservations, was the first person I was in contact with ... Read More
Our experience with Viking started with a beautiful brochure that I received in the mail. The West Indies Cruise looked like the right cruise for us.....and it was! Jason, in reservations, was the first person I was in contact with from Viking. He was friendly, well trained and helped me find the right stateroom and date. Embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. The ship was spotless and well cared for. What really sets this ship apart from other cruises that we have been on is the staff and crew! Everyone wants your cruise experience to be exceptional. They have a heart for their passengers. I can't even begin to name all crew that gave exceptional service! The managers(general, financial,beverage managers) and cruise director of the ship were always available to answer questions and inquire about your stay. Cheeney and Emanuel kept our room spotless and made sure we had everything we needed. Jeffery(room service) started the mornings on a happy note with a smile and breakfast in our room. Gwen(public areas housekeeping) was always busy working but welcomed us with a big hello and sweet smile. Marta, Jeffery, Ezekiel, Grace and many others created a wonderful dining experience. There was always something yummy to eat! The spa services were perfect and no pushy sales pitch. Alexandra was so good at styling my hair, that I went twice for a shampoo and style! I can also recommend Elsa for a mani, pedi, and facial. After two weeks and my nails still look nice! Of course, we had to do some shopping. We went to the Precious Gems seminar and found it educational and fun. Love the jewelry! We learned a lot from the educational talks and met many friendly fellow passengers. It was a fantastic cruise and we want to go again! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We had taken our very first cruise about twenty years ago. That cruise was in the Caribbean and we thought revisiting would be fun. We had cruised for our first time with Viking last year, Bergen to Barcelona, and the experience was ... Read More
We had taken our very first cruise about twenty years ago. That cruise was in the Caribbean and we thought revisiting would be fun. We had cruised for our first time with Viking last year, Bergen to Barcelona, and the experience was delightful. Viking's ocean going ships are very new and the Scandinavian style decor and appointments are stunningly gorgeous. We found the crew to be extremely friendly and they went out of their way to make sure everything was perfect for our comfort and enjoyment. We enjoyed all of the shore excursions, both the included and premium ones.The islands are beautiful, even though the residents are still struggling to rebuild after recent hurricanes. The cuisine is quite good and accompanied by excellent service. Viking also offers dining in their smaller specialty restaurants which enhanced our dining experiences. Because Viking's ships are smaller (930 guests) the entertainment venue is smaller too. However, we found the four British entertainers were superb and really enjoyed their roles. Based on our two recent, wonderful Viking cruises we are looking forward to our next Viking voyage later this month, sailing from Montreal to New York City. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because we thought it would be an upgrade from Princess and Celebrity. Over 25 cruises on 10 different lines. This had the worst mattress and the best bathroom. Your included excursion is picked by viking. Your ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we thought it would be an upgrade from Princess and Celebrity. Over 25 cruises on 10 different lines. This had the worst mattress and the best bathroom. Your included excursion is picked by viking. Your choice is to go on what Viking wants you to go on or pay for any of the other excursions. The entertainment was not up to the complicated entertainment you would have on a similar ship of this size. Lots of talent but basically a great band with 4 great singers. But that is as exciting as it gets. Didn't miss the casino or art offerings at all. Very quiet ship for people over 60. Leaving the ship was fast but the information of what was needed on the shore was usually wrong. Great housekeeping staff for our room The main dining room looks like a cafeteria and one night we sat for over 1 hour after our main course before being approached for coffee. The cafeteria on the top floor was predictable but at night actually had candles on the tables with nicer ambiance than the main restaurant. Mannafredis specialty well run and with good variety and good service Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This is my second time on the Viking Sea. There is so much to like- the small size, the Scandinavian design, the food, the inclusiveness of the rate, and even the heated bathroom floor. The ship is exceptionally well maintained. On ... Read More
This is my second time on the Viking Sea. There is so much to like- the small size, the Scandinavian design, the food, the inclusiveness of the rate, and even the heated bathroom floor. The ship is exceptionally well maintained. On this past cruise we are treated to great vocal entertainment, an excellent cruise director (female!), and a great itinerary including two stops in Columbia. The lecturers were also outstanding. I can easily give 4 stars, but not 5. The reason is the service in the "restaurant" (their term for the main dining room). Something is wrong. No longer are you served by a single waiter and a single assistant waiter; there is some sort of team approach. Also, there was a simple lack of wait staff which required waiters to serve too many clients and required even supervisors to become waiters. The whole place was frequently in disarray; Service was slow, extras like asking about coffee after the meal were usually forgotten. I hope this is a temporary problem, because otherwise this is a premier ship in a premier cruise line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We sailed on the Viking Sea in February, on the South America & the Caribbean cruise. This was our first time on a Viking Ocean cruise. We took their Waterways of the Czars cruise in 2016 and enjoyed that so much that we booked this ... Read More
We sailed on the Viking Sea in February, on the South America & the Caribbean cruise. This was our first time on a Viking Ocean cruise. We took their Waterways of the Czars cruise in 2016 and enjoyed that so much that we booked this cruise, due to its itinerary. It did not disappoint. Getting on Board with our luggage: The cruise embarkation was very easy. However, that is because we put our written itinerary booklets that Viking sent to each of us in our carry-on. That was lucky, as I was thinking about not bringing them at all. Security at the entrance to the port demanded to see those before we could board the ship, so have them handy! (We thought that Viking should have told us that.) Getting our luggage was a different matter. We got into San Juan about 1:00P and boarded the ship around 2:00P. However, our luggage was not brought to our stateroom until after 5:00P. That was bad, as we were in our winter wear and could not shower and change. Why we could not bring our luggage with us on the bus from the airport to the ship is a mystery. Ship Overall: The ship is very nicely designed and felt airy and spacious: it never seemed crowded. Cabin: Our deluxe veranda cabin (5007) was fine, but narrow. We could not pass by each other at the foot of the bed at the same time, and we are not big people. Also, the desk chair was too big for the space, so getting to the balcony was somewhat awkward unless we had the chair pushed all the way in. Also, it also would have been nice to have some more drawers to put things in. (We would give up the in-cabin coffee maker for that.) The bathroom was wonderful: lots of space, storage space, and a comfortably sized shower with a ledge! Our cabin stewards (Alvin and iPitu) were fabulous: they were personable, offered advice when asked, and kept our cabin spotless. Dining: We enjoyed the dining onboard the ship. We started many mornings with a latte and a pastry in the Viking Bar. We would then go up to the World Café for the breakfast buffet, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Lunch found us in the World Café, the Pool Bar, or Mamsen’s. While the drinks were better at Mamsen’s, the Pool Bar made a great steak sandwich and hot dog! We ate everywhere for dinner: Manfredi’s, the Chef’s Table, the Main Restaurant and the World Café. Jorge, the sommelier in the Main Restaurant was fabulous and poured up some great wines (we had the Silver Spirits beverage package). The food at each location was very good. When the World Café offered special buffets, it was fun to eat there. Onboard Lecture: We really liked the onboard lectures. They were entertaining and informative, and we tried to attend as many of those as we could. Shore excursions: The ship did not offer anything too exciting, so we tended to book our own excursions. We took two Viking excursions in Columbia. The tour guide for the Tastes and Sights of Santa Marta (Carlos) was fabulous! He was energetic, loved his city and infected us all with his enthusiasm. The guide in Cartagena was awful: hard to understand, slow and uninterested. He hit all of the marks indicated in the tour description, but did little more than that. Overall, the excursions on the river cruise were better. The Spa: We loved the spa! We both enjoyed the Nordic Bathing Ritual one night and I had a scalp massage, wash and blow dry another day. Both were fabulous and relaxing. Aleksandra, the hair stylist, is one of the best stylists I have ever had. Disembarkation: We had a 2:00P flight home. We had to be out of our cabin by 8:00A, and then off the ship by 9:30A. Although we had a Viking airport transfer included with our fare, we did not use it as they wanted to drop us off at the airport at 9:00A. We were not excited about spending the last day of our vacation in the airport. So, we stayed a little later in San Juan and then paid for a taxi. Viking should either offer post-cruise excursions with an airport drop-off or provide a comfortable place to wait with your luggage on board or nearby. We sat in a park near the port entrance until we caught a cab to the airport. We would sail again with Viking Ocean cruises. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This is the first time on a Viking Ocean cruise and will probably be the last. Have been on two previous Viking River cruises in Europe. Our cabin was 6042 (deluxe veranda). We have been on more than 24 ocean cruises and have experience ... Read More
This is the first time on a Viking Ocean cruise and will probably be the last. Have been on two previous Viking River cruises in Europe. Our cabin was 6042 (deluxe veranda). We have been on more than 24 ocean cruises and have experience with numerous cruise lines. Our favorite cruise line still remains Oceania even after trying Viking Ocean. The cruise embarkation (Jan 28, 2019) was late starting. Everyone had to wait in the common spaces until 2:35 PM before the cabins were ready because the ship had to be disinfected due to GI problems on the ship on the previous cruise. On that cruise no one could serve themselves at the World Café. We had no food problems like that on our cruise. There must have been a special deal in England for this cruise because 375 of the 913 guests were from there. The ship never felt crowded and there was never much of a wait for anything. Lots of times it felt deserted. The rule that keeps anyone under 18 from being on this ship certainly skews the age of the passengers. The average had to be in the 70's. Pregnant looking men (and women) were in abundance. The elevators were put to a strain. The entertainment wasn't much. However the guitar and piano players who circulated into different spots on the ship were excellent. The violin and cello music duo would have been more appropriate at a wake and it sounded like it. The dining was mixed. We could make two reservations prior to embarkation and we did so for Manfredi's and The Chef's Table. We were able to snag another Manfredi's reservation while on the ship. It's almost impossible to get extra speciality reservations while on the ship as they are really booked. The Chef's Table theme changes about every three days. We had the Mexican theme and the food was great. Manfredi's was a disappointment so we tried it twice to be equally disappointed. What Italian restaurant has no tablecloths? The answer is Manfredi's. So you end up with a placemat on a wooden table and when tables are cleared next to you it doesn't look too good. The food was nothing special at Manfredi's. The main restaurant lighting looks like you are eating in a very well lighted cafeteria and is way too bright. We complained and joyfully ended up at a table with less lighting. Ask for table 175/176/177 if you want it to be a little less bright. The design of the main restaurant is poor- narrow spaces running down both sides of the ship. Have they ever seen the main restaurant on Oceania Marina or Riviera? That would have been a plan to follow. The cabin design also needs help. There aren't enough drawers to put things in. The bathroom is nice however. Bring a bunch of coat hangars that you have saved from your dry cleaning and use them in the closet because there aren't too many supplied. I guess you could ask for more but the ones you being don't weigh much and you can leave them there when the cruise is over. The TV entertainment system has lots choices of things to watch but it constantly buffers and it freezes and you can't hear anything for 5-10 seconds and it happens ALL the time. Even with their own ship broadcasts the system constantly buffers. Try to listen to the shore excursions briefing on the TV and it is a real chore. Watch a movie, others have mentioned, and it buffers in the middle of it and it could never be restarted. Speaking of the free shore excursions. They aren't much! In the Caribbean they are just a 2-3 hour open bench seat bus holding about 20 people or a 20 person small bus that takes you to places to look at things. We opted for 2 paid shore excursions. One was at Saint Luicia and was a 6-7 hour tour on a catamaran that took us to a nice hotel resort for lunch and then back to beach to swim or snorkel a bit and then back to the ship. it was nice but $498 for two was a high price. Harrison Cave on Barbados was the other tour we paid for and it was nice but the cave was really nothing special if you have seen other larger, more beautiful caverns. Other complaints I have with Viking overall is that they never offer shipboard credits when making a reservation. So NEVER book directly with Viking. Our travel agent gave us a $600 shipboard credit that paid for the $30.00 per day gratuities that they add and the drinks that we had plus a purchase in the store. Also Viking charges you $100 apiece if you make a reservation and then cancel it. No other line does that I think. Also with the Viking River cruises they want their money almost a year in advance which is ridiculous. Wouldn't do it again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Main reason for choosing this cruise was the itinerary and length of cruise. First the good points. A great airy and spacious ship,never felt crowded,all crew were excellent,the cruise director Jenna and her assistant very good ... Read More
Main reason for choosing this cruise was the itinerary and length of cruise. First the good points. A great airy and spacious ship,never felt crowded,all crew were excellent,the cruise director Jenna and her assistant very good !!.Food very good,buffet excellent (despited two/three days of G.I onboard meant highlighted hand washing and non serving yourself !) free internet good and speedy,spar (altho closed during GI) was excellent.Cabin altho smaller than expected was kept spotless by excellent steward and helper.24 hr cabin service very good and used !!! Not so good. Welcome at airport by cruise staff was poor and not well organised,they did'nt seem to know what to do and we were kept waiting for over 30 mins,When finally got to the ship no welcoming drink (after 24 hrs travelling ) and no direction where your cabin was,on other cruises i've been on both were provided (hope Viking read this !!) Service at speciality restaurant manfredis,was dire and we walked out,waited 40 mins for appetiser which never came,when I asked why the wait ? server laughed at me !! on walking out the manager was spoken to by me and he offered no reason other than bluster,contacted me the following night to explain they were having problems with the kitchen,pity he did'nt say that in the first place,felt like a poor excuse !! never went near the place,very disappointing,spoiled an evening,DIRE !! Included tours were all the same 2/3 hr run round mostly the same islands on poor transport,on very poor roads. Did three optional tours ,two whale watching which were very good as we saw whales !!,third one on St Kitts railway a complete waste of money and time,saw three bridges !!! and lots of grass,and some chap shouting at us for 2 hrs . For what I consider a expensive cruise I did'nt think I had value for money and will hesitate to use VIKING AGAIN. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We had cruised December last year on Viking Sea to Cuba. Our friends from cold northern US wanted to go to the Caribbean and this cruise had a different island per day with no sea days. We got cabins on 5th floor near the free ... Read More
We had cruised December last year on Viking Sea to Cuba. Our friends from cold northern US wanted to go to the Caribbean and this cruise had a different island per day with no sea days. We got cabins on 5th floor near the free laundry (including soap) as no noise and convenient to wash clothes . I think a laundry room on all cabin floors. Needed as Hot and at itmes muggy and hit the beach several times. Cabins seem like they have little storage but ask for more hangers and you will have plenty of storage. Bathroom floor is heated so if bathroom too hot ask your steward to turn the heat off. We asked for 4 towels a day as needed to wash off after beach and in AM. AC works beautifully. Verandas big enough and if want to lounge in sun, lots of lounge chairs and towels near the aft infinity pool and central pool. Infinity pool bromine I think and the central pool a salt water pool (notice how much more boyant you are.)One end of the pool is shallower than the other so you can stand up (if not too short). Both nicely warm. No fighting over lounge chairs so no need to come early and “stake your property” Neither pool ever have many people in it and usually then only to get wet and back to their lounge chair. We only took the included tours or got a private taxi-van. Most taxis are vans. On some included tours transport was packed tight and others lots of room to spread out. Usually morning tours more packed than afternoon. AC on all except Tortola with was an open tram (nice breeze and cool enough). San Juan: nice walking tour and covers all but the Morro fortress. We were there during the San Sebastian festival so the free tram from fort to fort not running. Tortola: incl tour: open air tram with spacious seating and great views. Pro and Con: 1.5 hr at Cane Beach and no way to bail and go back. Lovely white sugar white sand beach with tourqoiuse gentle water. There are umbrellas and lounge chairs you can rent or sit on some picnic tables in the shade or up in the shaded open deck restaurant for the cost of a drink. Tour gives a free rum punch or punch drink near the picnic tables. Nice restrooms, showers and changing rooms free there. Basseterre: We walked ato the end of the pier and got a $100USD total for van private tour of the island. (Lasted 4 hrs but no time limit) .Just keep walking off pier and prices get cheaper. Romney manor and batik making, black rocks, fort and many scenic view points. Castries: awesome long beach nearby. We took tranport offered by pier. They load you up tight in vans (the drivers get one load a day and 300 vans waiting to take people). About a 5min drive (or 2-3 mi walk) to the beaches- really only one beach with mulitple names. Set fee all transport for $5USD/pp. Again sugar white beach. Multiple establishments with drinks, umbrellas etc. Umbrella and 2-3 chair rental $20. Water gentle, turquoise. Beach fills up so come early. Some of us snorkeled- some fish seen. Shipwreck put for snorkeling you can swim to but many tour boats and many many snorkelers there with glass bottom boat meandering among the snorklers. Showers, restrooms and changing room free. Get back by telling your driver when you want ot come back or just walk out and someones van will be waiting . Bridgetown: inc tour: packed tight van/bus. Views of island Roseau: got a private tour for 4 $45/pp Went to other side of island and saw multiple falls St Johns: had a reservation to go out in a boat to a reef and get into the water and feed and stingrays for 9AM.Make reservation online-no money down and pay when you show up. Need to take a taxi out there. BUT was squalling and raining so cancelled the reservation. Took the incl tour to Shirely point old fort and magnificant views and then to the Nelso shipyards- 1700’s georgian working shipywards- neat old buildings,nice quick museum and awesome awesome yahts moored there. Free rum punch or punch drink. Spit rain on us once in a while but still a great day. Nice bus where we could spread out a bit Philipsburg: I wanted to go out to Cul de Sac bay and kayak and snorkel or take a water taxi out to an island there but I got overruled by my “crew” We instead went on the included tour. Bus big enough we all could spread out. A couple got on our bus instead of an optional tour at the same time- so check carefully what you are getting on. Drove around island and stopped at some scenic sites, stopped a working carosel (adults can ride too- can buy icecream) then on to a bay and craft market. Free rum punch or punch. Charlotte Amalie: My crew off to Coki beach to snorkel then maybe the included tour. I stayed and enjoyed hte salt water pool,only a few couples spread out on the lounge chairs. Pros and cons of boat Pros: -you see lots and lots of differnet islands- some rainforest and some very dry desert like, come with mangoose so no snakes or birds, some still exporting agriculture goods and some just tourist based. -no children -wonderful friendly crew -great food. I was not impressed iwth Mandifredi’s on both of my cruises but the men love it for the rib eye steak. Chef’s reataurant-wanderful if you like the menu. We did not drink either included or optional wine pairing. World buffet great as food same as Restaurant (check the menu to see if any differences ) and usually has the same food. Hamburger I got at the pool once was just so so. -drinks- only had water, hot and cold tea. My husband says the coke is the good real sugar type not the corn syrup variety. -secret- success cake in Mamsons is our favorite -Room and veranda pleasant. -in public areas or tovrasons- Guitarist was great. - Easy on and off boat even when tendering- well organized so no pushy people. -Pools- wonderful. Loved especially the central saltwater pool -record and play on entertainment system all shore talks and enrichment talks done on board -Wifi good for email. I didn’t try streaming Cons: -saltwater pool out of commission while painting for multiple days -entertainment system pauses( I timed at every 3 min), loose audio when restarts. So unpleasant to watch the shows which were actually probably very good. BBC, Ted Talks, Movie selection good but hard to watch. -entertainment limited. Music in public areas; Pianist (good), strings dueo-selections good but one of violinist strings seemed to need tuning, and acoustic guitarist- very good. Live shows in theater were only a few and even though the entertainers were cute my neices’s Boise ID high school productions had better singers. Suggestion: Seems rain is in AM and gone by 11AM. Plan accordingly. But if going to the beaches go early if not raining. Lots of lovely beaches on most islands. Do some internet searching and plan an early attack with a taxi. Feeding the sting rays (www.stingraycity.com) not on tour options and sorry we couldn’t go because of rain. You can reserve on your own but reveiws say after 10AM full from cruise ships. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We have been cruising the world since the mid '80s on many of the popular cruise lines including Princess, RCL, NCL, Celebrity, HAL, and others now defunct. While our friends have raving about Viking Ocean ships we postponed trying ... Read More
We have been cruising the world since the mid '80s on many of the popular cruise lines including Princess, RCL, NCL, Celebrity, HAL, and others now defunct. While our friends have raving about Viking Ocean ships we postponed trying them knowing that once experienced we might never go back to the others. Now we know. We have been spoiled. The Viking Sea is a beautiful small ship with about 930 passengers. We never felt crowded anywhere. It is such a serene setting compared to most of our other cruises. Some of that is the size and some the fact that there are no children onboard. The colors throughout are wonderful and add to ambiance. The cabins, while somewhat smaller than we have had in the past, are neat and continue a Scandinavian decor. Loved the shower. The food was fantastic. We enjoyed all of the restaurants although Manfredi's was our favorite. Great Italian food! The Grill produced some of the best hamburgers we've ever had. Of course wine or beer at all lunches and dinners is a plus. Drink prices are quite reasonable. Cannot really comment on the lectures as our Caribbean itinerary had us at a different island every day! No days at sea! As a result we were often off enjoying many of the included tours while the lectures were taking place. Entertainment, casinos, art auctions, etc. at sea are not important to us so we really didn't miss anything. The best of the Viking Sea, however, is the crew and staff. We had set up a "Meet and Greet" through Cruise Critic as we have done in the past. Viking set it up for a 6:00 P.M. on our second day in San Juan. FIVE of the ships Officers showed up to greet us! We have never had ANY officers show on any of our other cruise lines. Hors d'oeuvres and drinks were served as we chatted with the Officers and other passengers. It was fantastic. Smiles greeted us everywhere. We've never had such attentive and happy staff. Your wish was their command. We watched them closely .... officers, wait staff, room stewards. Their interaction with each other were happy and genuine. This was a wonderful cruise. And, I should add that we were affected by a Norovirus which closed the pool, sauna, therapy spa and ice room for most of the cruise. It required us to wash our hands every time we entered a dinning facility. Serving lines in the World Court were slower as the crew needed to serve us. Yet, the ship functioned superbly and we never really missed a beat. Yup .... we're SPOILED! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Overall crew and food was good Some of the excursions did not live up to their descriptions Shore excursions staff communication were an issue. Tried to book a future cruise but the logistics of process were frustrating and we ... Read More
Overall crew and food was good Some of the excursions did not live up to their descriptions Shore excursions staff communication were an issue. Tried to book a future cruise but the logistics of process were frustrating and we cancelled the trip Special restaurants outstanding both in service and quality of the food. Cabin steward was excellent and met all our needs and special requests Free laundry service was a pleasant surprise Some of the islands still show signs of devastation from the hurricanes Best tour was the catermaran sail and snorkeling to turtle cove on St Thomas. It was our last excursion and was a fine way to end our cruise I was good to be on a smaller ship that was able to dock at all the ports because we do not like to have to go ashore on a tender. That always seems to consume a lot of time Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Wife and I (67 & 74) have been on some 40 cruises. Loved a Viking River Cruise some years back and thought we would give the ocean cruises a go. The ship itself is beautiful, exceptionally clean, well furnished. No part of the ship ... Read More
Wife and I (67 & 74) have been on some 40 cruises. Loved a Viking River Cruise some years back and thought we would give the ocean cruises a go. The ship itself is beautiful, exceptionally clean, well furnished. No part of the ship was ever crowded. The staff and service onboard does not get much better. Food was mostly exceptional (if it was made from a cow it was invariably a "10"), and the rest of the time it was very good+. Selections were fairly limited as compared to the Celebrity and RCCL private dining room menus. Buffet service was best I've ever had. Always a clean table available, not crowded, service impeccable, but again, I thought the menu was a bit limited. The pool-side hamburger joint serves just about the best hamburgers and hotdogs at sea. Don't forget to try the onion rings. OK, so what's not to like? There is no entertainment except for four singers a couple of nights, a couple of trivia games, a pool side dance party. If you are used to the entertainment and activities on the ships of Celebrity and RCCL, this will be a real stopper. OK, tours. This was 10 islands in 10 days. The included tours were pretty much the same thing (went to parts of the islands that were ruined by storms, generally slum-like, wrecked and abandoned cars all over. I know all of these islands have an upscale side to them, but that went undiscovered. Tour buses, for the most part, held about 22 people and except for the narrow seats (no, I am not a wide-body, but half a cheek was always hanging into the aisle) were adequate. Because of the advanced age of many of the guests, the boarding and exiting of the buses could easily take over 10 minutes each way. Not really a Viking problem, just what it was. The two extra price tours that we took were just about a total waste. One, I can't even remember, the other was a catamarine and railroad ride. Boat was crowded, and few places to be out of the sun. The big things to see on the railroad were 3 small bridges (no, I'm not kidding). Two of the five RR cars did not have working WCs which made for an uncomfortable tour for some of the guests. All of that said, the tour guides were very personable and friendly. Ok, some hints for this particular cruise: Get up early the second day in Puerto Rico and hoof it to 300 Calle San Francisco for a non-tourest local breakfast joint. Yummy, Yummy. The bathroom heated floors in your cabin can be turned off, just ask the cabin steward. Fair priced jewelry at EFFY and Ballerina in St. Maartin. Imperial Jewelers (Dynasty Dazzlers) in both Havensight and main street in downtown St. Thomas. Good-sized selection of used refurbished Rolexes that cannot be told from new, knowledgeable staff (we have been customers of theirs since 2002). Fairest prices in the islands. One or two additional comments specific to this cruise: There were no sea days, so if you like to sit and watch the ocean go by, this was not the cruise for you. Ship sailed at night only and it seemed like you were in an up-scale hotel that was magically moved while you slept to another similar island, just like the one you had been on but with a different name. Many very scenic harbors though. Onboard beers I thought were excellent and there was quite a variety. I'm no wine expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I though the house wines were great (strangely enough, even the reds). We did miss seeing younger couples, but we knew that was going to be the case when we booked. Cabin comments separetely. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
First time with Viking after 7 ocean cruises on other lines, travel arrangements were poor with long flights, poor connections and arrival at hotel at 2am. Not greeted in the best manner and disappointed to find that other guests had wine ... Read More
First time with Viking after 7 ocean cruises on other lines, travel arrangements were poor with long flights, poor connections and arrival at hotel at 2am. Not greeted in the best manner and disappointed to find that other guests had wine and sandwiches waiting in their room!! Check in and onboarding was good and seamless, cabin is nice, spacious with a big bathroom. My issue is with the drinks, we paid £308 for the drinks package and staff keep wanting to give me the standard wines. The restaurant waiters don’t seem to know we have purchased the drinks package even though we give our room number when we enter, needs to be a better system for this. Not managed to book the speciality restaurants as they are all fully booked. Food in world cafe and restaurant are not exceptional compared to other cruise lines. The ship is modern and clean and there are plenty of sun beds and space for all. Spa is exceptional and luxurious and the afternoon tea is decadent. So far the weather has been amazing and the itinerary is fantastic. Read Less
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