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19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
There are really two parts to this review. The first is about the awful virus that spread unchecked that ruined our trip. The second part is about what the ship is like if I don't factor in how sick so many of us were. My husband ... Read More
There are really two parts to this review. The first is about the awful virus that spread unchecked that ruined our trip. The second part is about what the ship is like if I don't factor in how sick so many of us were. My husband and I both became extremely ill on exactly the same evening about ten days into our trip-- we are both in excellent health and among the very youngest on the ship. We went from feeling fine to minutes later having fever, chills, nauseated, extreme disorientation, dizziness, terrible hacking cough. We were in our room for three days, I literally was so ill I didn't have the energy to order room service. When we finally were well enough to leave our room, we heard that half the ship had the same virus, there were lines at the doctor's office, you could hear the same hacking cough everywhere. I tried twice to see the doctor to see what the virus was and if we needed antibiotics-- the first time office hours were cancelled because "he had been up for 36 hours straight" and the second because during his office hours there was an emergency medical evacuation. It was getting to the end of the cruise and I thought we would be feeling better soon. Everyone we talked to had a story about either being sick themselves or listing all the people onboard who had the same virus, and people in our trivia group dropped out due to the virus. When I found out the virus had been going around the ship the whole time we were there with people onboard from the previous segment, I was so bothered that it had not been communicated sooner and that precautions had not been taken by the ship-- they were shaking hands with passengers regularly! Had I known I would have disinfected the room, never shaken hands, avoided the buffet, taken the immune building supplements I carry for travel whenever there is sickness spreading, etc. After we left the ship, whenever I tried to do anything for the remainder of our trip I became ill all over again, I couldn't eat, etc. Once we returned and I wasn't getting well (I was so dizzy I couldn't drive, could only eat soup and bread, couldn't concentrate on work, etc.) I called my doctor who wanted any background information on the Virus. I contacted Viking who said they didn't have to tell me because there were far fewer than 20 cases reported! Now, I literally spoke with more than 20 people who had had the virus. The customer service person was belligerent and accusatory, implying I wasn't really sick and said in a sarcastic tone that if I was sick he was sure I would have reported it. I told him we told the housekeepers we were too sick to leave the room and he said that didn't count. I also told him about trying to see the doctor twice and being prevented one time because of the emergency medical evacuation-- and he told me in a triumphant tone that there was no emergency medical evacuation during my cruise. I replied that it was pretty frightening that hundreds of people onboard were ill with the same severe virus and there was an emergency medical evacuation that hundreds of people watched since it was by the coast guard in open ocean and lasted hours-- yet Viking had a record of neither. I finally told him that since they have no record of this illness I was reporting it now, and he said that didn't count. After spending a fortune on this cruise, being so ill and trying to get information for my doctor, it was so dispiriting to be treated this way. I contracted this virus about a month and a half ago and not only have only started getting completely well in the last two weeks (after taking powerful antibiotics), but I'm still having all kinds of medical tests because of concerns that it was so severe it might have caused a mini stroke and other permanent damage. Now, if I had not gotten a horrible virus that I think could have been prevented, and not been treated so dismissively by Viking customer service? On the positive side, I would say the food was the best I've ever had on a cruise ship (and we are foodies used to high end cruises). As one example, they serve a full traditional tea daily, complete with tiered plates of mini sandwiches and sweets, plus scones every afternoon, just like a fancy tea you might pay for. On Oceania, the tea is from teabags with paper napkins with a few things passed around. Most notably, the general restaurant was as good as specialty restaurants on other ships. I'll compare again to Oceania where the general restaurant was so bad we couldn't eat there and you had to fight for reservations in the specialty restaurants. Another Viking plus was that you could get as many reservations in the free specialty restaurants as you wanted. Service overall was the best we've ever experienced on a ship. Loved that there is no corkage fee in the restaurants and they are delighted to open and pour what you bring-- while basic wine was free, we loved to pick up special bottles as we traveled and really appreciated this benefit. The cafe and main restaurant are also really well designed so that you can often get a window seat, and never get the sense of an overwhelming sea of people. They also did a lot of special things that were nice-- bringing local specialty foods aboard, etc. We enjoyed the trivia everyday in port (vs. bingo on some ships), loved not listening to announcements all day and no junky art shows, and the hairdresser was fantastic and very reasonably priced. Generally, a very high quality, lovely experience vs. some of the constant upgrading and rules on other ships-- they seemed super flexible and customer service oriented. On the negative side, be very weary of this boat, I would try the other Viking Ocean boats because this boat does two World Cruise Trips a year and if you do a segment as we did (unbeknownst to most people booking who didn't realize they were taking part of a world cruise) there are disadvantages. First, even with an upgraded room and the paid for perk of being able to get first choice on excursions etc. what this means when you travel with world cruisers is that you get to pick AFTER that half of the boat, so no real perk for upgraded rooms and many segment people were unhappy to see the excursion they wanted sold out on the very first day they were available to book. They were also unhappy to see the world cruisers at events they were not invited to and felt like second class citizens. However, depending on your age and health, the biggest disadvantage is that the average age on the boat seemed to be 70-90. I have never been on a cruise with so many old people and they were not healthy, active old people-- it was a sea of 4 prong canes and a very slow walk down any corridor. For many world cruisers this is a bucket list item, and they frequently didn't even get off the boat, kind of like a last hurrah. We didn't take any of the included excursions because they are basically all 3 hour motor coach rides, but segment people who did said half the time was spent with the old folks getting on and off the huge busses. To be honest, I felt like I was in a nursing home at times. The rooms were a mixed bag. They functioned beautifully and were very comfortable with a nice shower, but they just weren't special, they were very plain. We got the upgraded penthouse balcony for many thousands more and it was maybe a couple of feet wider but that's it, it looked like a very standard ship room-- this was not a worthwhile upgrade. For example, with Oceania the penthouse balcony for about the same amount to upgrade is luxurious and beautiful with special touches like a dining table for two and a huge closet-- I would call it romantic. Viking just isn't romantic. One issue my husband had was that many events were held in the pool area. However, when the roof was closed the chlorine gas was overwhelming and you simply could not be in that room-- yet this is where they were serving all kinds of specialty foods, like when they went ashore for local king crab legs, you could only get them in this area. My husband had to leave the superbowl get together because he couldn't breath the fumes anymore. Finally, I will say that many seemed to like the entertainment but we were disappointed. Too many of the shows were with their in house group and in house band which were both weak-- the vocals and instrumentalists were painful at times. The few shows they brought in from the outside were generally strong. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
When we saw the ad on PBS touting the elegant experience we should expect aboard a Viking cruise, we believed the hype and signed up for their cruise to the Caribbean and Amazon. The itinerary certainly sounded interesting and we were ... Read More
When we saw the ad on PBS touting the elegant experience we should expect aboard a Viking cruise, we believed the hype and signed up for their cruise to the Caribbean and Amazon. The itinerary certainly sounded interesting and we were excited. Having now had it, I can say that this Viking experience was barely average, especially when compared with other cruise lines in the same price point. Oh where to begin... first off, they made the flight arrangements for us instead of doing it ourselves as we typically do. Wouldn’t you know it, they booked us onto a flight at 1:00 AM and selected for us the seats right in front of the bathrooms so the seats couldn’t recline. I chalked it up to their lousy airline travel booking skills or us drawing the short straw, so we took our thump and moved on to looking forward to our trip. We were told we should check in at a certain time, which we did, but the cabins weren’t yet ready at the appointed time, so we asked to wait... only there were just a few chairs in the waiting area, so after a sleepless night, now we had to stand around while waiting in the hot terminal. Maybe a small logistical hiccup, no problem. Once aboard, we were pleased to see that our cabin was nice. Even though it was our first cruise with them, they had upgraded us to a more spacious unit where free pressing was included. Based on their behavior on board, I did not believe this to be a generous or good-will gesture. I speculated that since we had bought early and paid full price, they upped our category so they could fill unsold cabins at bargain prices. What lead to this speculation is that they say they offered wine at dinner ... which they did, supposedly included .. but the instant I opted for a riesling with my dinner rather than their selected red or white, I was asked to produce my cabin number for an up- charge. So much for free wine with dinner. This ship went to the Amazon and Caribbean. Several of the stops had included tours. These were all awful. I've come to realize that you get what you pay for with these "free" tours. They drive you around a lot like bus-prisoners and avoid the things first time visitors want to see, and definitely avoid any beach stops when visiting islands. Instead they include places where they sell alcohol or tourist junk and leave you there to roam for 40-50 minutes. I have no idea who thinks up these tours but they’re all crap, with the sole exception of the included tour of Santarém and folkloric show at Parintins. The paid tours were somewhat better, but don’t get me started on those.... they’re happy to take your money for paid tours but make now reparations when they schedule stops where THEY KNOW well in advance that the things you’ve paid plenty to see will be closed and the experience will be a total bust. Along the way the Viking Sea made a stop at a very shabby town at the entrance to the Amazon called Belém, where we spent an entire day. Believe me when I tell you that the best thing to see there was scores of vultures picking through garbage on the street and on the shore. To add to that insult, the scheduled departure was for 6 PM, which meant that we did not arrive at our next stop until 1:00 PM the following day. The next stop was Tobago, which was probably the prettiest stop on our itinerary... but their docking and departure time allowed us only about 4 hours there, meaning that our highly-paid-for excursion was rushed. I don’t know who is in charge of planning their itinerary but, heads up, it is not guest-centric. And talking about not being guest-centric, the dining experience further underscored this point. They didn’t open the dining room for breakfast until 8:00 am, so if you had an early shore excursion, you had to go to the buffet style cafe on the top floor. Try finding a seat when 900 people are trying to eat at the same time...impossible. On other days they didn’t bother to open the dining room for breakfast or lunch. They, not you, decide if your onboard dining experience will be quiet and elegant, or rushed cafeteria style where you had to catch the eye of the roaming service staff to get a drink, then frequently wait 15 minutes before they passed by again and realized they had forgotten to bring you the beverage you ordered. This cruise included 8 sea days... so I thought I’d get in some pool time... but no! Guests would get up early, drop an iPad or a robe on a pool lounger, and "claim it" for the day. The ship's staff did nothing to police this selfish hogging of deck chairs, even when those chairs remained claimed but empty pretty much all day long. If you did manage to snag a chair, good luck getting a server to walk by and take a beverage order... Nope! Regarding entertainment, they showed one movie a day, although that movie was also available on the movie channel in the state room TV. This channel saved me from jumping overboard to escape, as I could at least watch a movie or two a day. On the daily agenda they scheduled different types of events and talks, but these were aimed a a decidedly older, passive audience... like broadway show trivia and music from the 60s ... and some irrelevant lectures and marginally interesting destination talks. I was bored out of my mind, as no activities were actual activities... no art classes, no "learn to do something new" activities whatsoever. I was praying for it to end. Once we got back into US territory, we had to go through an onboard immigration exercise where we had to go down to a dining room to collect our passports and have them inspected. This was by far the most disorganized experience. 900 people descended as instructed and chaos ensued. Viking was in charge of this exercise and could have assigned tickets for when to come down, but they didn't and it was a mess. Now, the cruise wasn’t all bad. Thankfully, the disembarkation process was well organized and the transfer to the airport went smoothly. Whilst on board I found the wait staff and cabin attendants all to be lovely, but, I can get that on any cruise line, so... guess what... it's unlikely that I'll ever cruise on Viking again.Their adverts overpromised and their cruise experience under-delivered. If I’m going to drop that kind of cash on a cruise, I expect them to plan for my enjoyment. Viking, sadly, fell far short. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We arrived a day early to San Juan and stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan. Nice hotel...great location. Unfortunately for our departure the Sea was not docked in town but at the less convenient pier. Embarkation was EASY...but remember ... Read More
We arrived a day early to San Juan and stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan. Nice hotel...great location. Unfortunately for our departure the Sea was not docked in town but at the less convenient pier. Embarkation was EASY...but remember to keep your Brazil Visa with you, they want to see it when you board. We were onboard within minutes of leaving the cab ( $25 USD from the hotel). We arrived about 11:30 and our cabin was ready by the time we had signed up for a beverage package, made some dinner reservations, adjusted a couple of tours. Disembarking the ship was so easy...we were at the old town pier this time and were off the ship, luggage collected and on the bus bound for the airport in 15 minutes!!! We had to go through customs / immigration again in the ship's terminal even though we had done that on the ship in St. Thomas. That too was VERY efficient! Be aware there is an agriculture check of all luggage BEFORE you check in...the bus drops you right there and they off load your luggage to be scanned and you walk through any hand luggage larger than a purse. We chose this itinerary because we wanted to see/experience the Amazon. We had previously done a small ship (Vantage Cruises) in Peru on the Amazon and enjoyed it but had been a little disappointed that we did not see much wildlife. Viking's Brazil itinerary really showed us the scope and enormity of the Amazon but not a lot up close and personal. Rain forest hikes had too many people and we often could not hear the leader (why dont they all use quiet boxes) OR so many people by the time we passed what the leader was describing we could not find it or it had flown/scampered/hopped away. Viking needs to find vendors who will offer smaller groups...use the same number of buses but 2x the guides and it would be wonderful! We did one DIY excursion in Manaus and spent the day exploring the river, meeting of the waters, fishing, hiking, swimming with the pink dolphins, and indigenous people...all from a small boat. It was wonderful, the highlight of the trip BUT I was nervous about getting back in time for sailing away ( the small boat certainly could have had engine problems). I have not figured out how to get a small group experience which are always superior and usually a value and the safety net of it being ship sponsored!!! The included tours were OK....we took optionals in most ports...make sure to see the inside of the Opera House in Manaus. In some ports we managed to also do the included tour!!! It is great when schedules allow for that. The only tour that was really bad was in Tabago...it was snorkeling...however the boat was crowded and they did not have enough equipment for those that did not have their own. The snorkeling was very disappointing in time and what we saw. The second spot was just beautiful knee deep sandy bottom water!!!! Waste of time and money!!!! The Caribbean ports were fine....why didn't Viking offer snorkeling in St. Lucia? Perhaps the mega ships that were in port had all the vendors reserved. We did a very nice catamaran sail! The ship and her crew from the Captain to the deck hands were wonderful. Unfortunately for us, I do not think another cruise will EVER be able to compare with Viking's Inaugural World Cruise. I did not realize how spoiled I had become!!! This cruise did a fun Equator Crossing....on the SUN the crossing was extraordinary including Cruise Director,Heather Clancy, ending up in the POOL!!! WE had a lovely Brunch on day on this cruise....on the Sun it encompassed the entire pool deck and Wintergarden. The entertainment on the WC was really varied and often included local shows ... it was fine on this cruise but no WOW's. For me one of the really different aspects of this cruise was the role of Cruise Director...Ms. Clancy really seemed to part of the "TEAM" who were creating the experience on this cruise I really felt the cruise director was more 'entertainment' and announcement focused not really engaged with senior management. Just an observation...and to be fair I do not remember much about the cruise director on our Baltic and Beyond Cruise. The Staff of Viking ships is extraordinary. I do not think NO is in their vocabulary. They go our of their way to remember names. It was so fun to board the ship and see familiar faces. We love sea days...always enough to keep us busy. The Speakers on this trip we very good. The naturalist was not "out and about" as I expected but he was very approachable when we did see him. The food was good, sometimes excellent....at times the main dining room seemed very crowded and the waiters working too hard!!! Has Viking cut down the number of wait staff? Breakfast service in the main dining room was SLOW but we only went on Sea days so we were in no hurry!!! I missed the mushroom soup in Manfredi's but we had outstanding meals there everytime. The fish special of the day NEVER disappointed. We had the Silver Spirit package and enjoyed good wines and great cocktails throughout the cruise. I needed to do my homework more thoroughly and we should have stayed in lodge if we really wanted to experience the Amazon. This was our fault certainly not VIKINGS....they delivered as promised. We had a great time and can't wait until our next cruise!!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We've sailed on two other Viking ocean ships, so we expected to enjoy ourselves. We did. The route through Caribbean islands and up the Amazon was new territory for us. Because of air schedule we didn't have time to see ... Read More
We've sailed on two other Viking ocean ships, so we expected to enjoy ourselves. We did. The route through Caribbean islands and up the Amazon was new territory for us. Because of air schedule we didn't have time to see San Juan, but had a good excursion into El Junque rain forest. Viking Sea is a splendid ship. All public areas are beautiful, open and light, comfortable to hang out at all times. There were 930 people on this "small ship," but you would never know it from the onboard experience; it was never crowded. We were in a smaller cabin but it was extremely comfortable, room for everything, well designed, great bathroom. And, of course, like every other cabin on the ship, it had a private balcony. We ate in all the dining venues; they were all good. To call the World Cafe a "buffet" gives a wrong impression. The food was always great, with a huge selection from crab legs and sushi on one end, through a choice of meats and fish, to the gelato station at the other end. Two scoops, twice a day, was my chosen prescription at the gelato station. The breads, pastries, and gelato are made fresh on the ship. The very best dining is in the Restaurant, while Manfredi's, Chef's Table, and Mamsen's were nice changes of pace from time to time. And if you can possibly stuff in a little more, we recommend the afternoon tea with special sandwiches and pastries in the Wintergarden. I like to eat, and I was always happy. There were many sea days on this itinerary. We were constantly entertained by Viking's selection of lecturers. Time simply didn't permit seeing every single lecture I would have liked to see. Others will have to discuss evening entertainment; we are early-to-bed folks and didn't see any of the evening shows. But the musicians playing around the boat during the day (string ensemble, pianist, guitarist) were just wonderful. What Viking does best is service. Every crew member smiled at all times and continuously offered to do anything we could imagine. It's uncanny for a bartender to remember your name on the second encounter, before you have ordered or mentioned cabin number. The captain greeted us daily over the intercom, and sometimes several times a day, with an incredibly cheerful and friendly account of what was happening and what was about to happen on "the friendliest and happiest ship on the seas, the Viking Sea." The first time I thought he was way over-the-top, but he always left people smiling. You just couldn't help it. His greetings added a lot to the enjoyment of the trip. Would I go with Viking again? You bet! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We are in our late 60s. Australians. We had long heard of the wonders of the Amazon and the beauty of the Caribbean and this cruise took in both those destinations. We were so disappointed. The ship itself is good. Very well appointed, ... Read More
We are in our late 60s. Australians. We had long heard of the wonders of the Amazon and the beauty of the Caribbean and this cruise took in both those destinations. We were so disappointed. The ship itself is good. Very well appointed, in excellent condition, lovely cabins and nicely decorated. 900 people is not huge and our cruise was child free. The passengers were 95% middle America. We have been on smaller ships and cruises with a more interesting mix of nationalities. The shore excursions were very well managed and many were included in the fare. Wifi was also included which was amazing. The lecturers ranged from excellent to corny (content was not so much the difference, rather presentation). Americans seemingly like lots of pizzazz in their infotainment. The entertainment was very good. Better than we expected. There are several dining options but only one offers excellent food: Manfredi’s. The Chef’s Table does ethnic specific, set menus that change each night. Good service but ordinary food. The World Cafe is about the standard of a Diner: food in Bain Maries or a very limited cold buffet. This is where you go for quantity and it was packed, chaotic and noisy. Table service is slow. The pool deck food is American street food. The dining options on this cruise did not compare with Seabourn or Silverseas but I suspect Viking knew their market. Why have I given the cruise only 2 stars? Because the Amazon is not a place to see from a cruise ship unless you like long days at sea and short visits to very ugly cities. You will not ever experience anything fulfilling or echt during this cruise. Days of gazing at the shore line of a vast river, Disney like “jungle”, pirhana, dolphin and other such glimpses. What we saw and heard about in the on-board lectures was tantalising but pretty well never translated to a “live” experience. Likewise, the Caribbean Islands need to be carefully chosen and seen at leisure, not in 4 hours from uncomfortable mini buses. My advice to anyone thinking of spending 21 days on a cruise ship is that Viking is OK but the food and the other passengers need thinking about. If the destination is important, maybe don’t cruise unless you can’t do the alternative. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
The Viking Sea is a lovely looking ship: nice décor, super clean and very friendly staff but the ship itself doesn't sail very smoothly and our cabin in the very aft vibrated & shock night after night. We chose the Amazon as we ... Read More
The Viking Sea is a lovely looking ship: nice décor, super clean and very friendly staff but the ship itself doesn't sail very smoothly and our cabin in the very aft vibrated & shock night after night. We chose the Amazon as we have never been there and wanted to see the nature and wildlife that live there and experience the might of the river. Sadly no included tours showed us any wildlife and only one showed us some trees, plants and nature like the rubber tree. Mostly we saw very dirty cities and a polluted river. It was enjoyable to attend a native costumed show with it's vibrant music. The meeting of the waters was probably the most awesome sight. Viking is not the best at serving dinner. Most food was good but not great and the serving staff didn't always work well together, most nights courses were served two at a time or we were given the wrong meal and serving sizes were very inconsistent. The enrichment program was very good as was the evening entertainment. One BIG thing was, that the ship was not allowed to make fresh water while on the Amazon and there were 8 days of water restrictions that we were never told about ahead of time. Very little showering & no laundry in a hot climate wasn't fun! While it was a good trip it could have been a great trip with some changes made. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We choose this cruise because we loved our Viking river cruise on the Danube the previous year and also because I've always wanted to explore the Amazon river and rain forest since I was young. We have sailed on RCL 4 time and ... Read More
We choose this cruise because we loved our Viking river cruise on the Danube the previous year and also because I've always wanted to explore the Amazon river and rain forest since I was young. We have sailed on RCL 4 time and Princess once. This was our fist Viking ocean cruise and more than likely our last. The staff on board was excellent. Every single member of the crew was friendly and helpful. They felt like family to us. The ship was very nicely appointed in Scandinavian design. The Explorers lounge and Mamsens were particularly nice common areas. The spa with the steam and cold rooms we used frequently. Our room was acquitted but could have had more storage space. Dining was hit or miss. We had some excellent meals at the Chefs Table restaurant. We also ate some under done steaks and over done fish at the restaurant and the buffet. The musicians and entertainers we professional. Typical of the entertainment you would find cruise ship. The Brazilian female singer was wonderful. Snorkeling in Saint Thomas and sailing on a catamaran Saint Lucia were wonderful. The shore excursion in Brazil were as good they could be is the best way I can describe it. Our focus was to see as much natural beauty in the Amazon region. The city tours were a bit underwhelming and struck me as typical cities you would find in many developing countries. We could have skipped Belem all together. We never got off the bus probably for good reason. We enjoyed the Pink Dolphin encounter, the survival trek, piranha fishing, and the search for caimans excursions. I wished we saw more wildlife. It's my understanding the best time to see animals in the area are at dawn or after dark. The caimans excursion was at night so we did see what we were looking for. The other excursions were during the day so the animals were not active. Our tour guides did their best to find what they could though which we appreciated. Our biggest complaint about the cruise was the lack on activities. We had 8 days at sea and we were not big on catching up on reading so we really started to go stir crazy. The few activities they did offer like the lectures (which were great!) felt mobbed. If you didn't arrive 30 minutes early to the theater you had trouble finding a seat. The atmosphere generally speaking felt a little sedate on the ship. This is what many people on the ship enjoyed, but it just wasn't for us. I think we need a little more excitement. It seemed like Viking I using the minimalist activity model which works on the river cruises but does not for a ship this size. Our next complaint is that it seemed like we had to wait in long lines more than I would expect. Wait in a line for a table for dinner. Wait in line to get into the Theater. Wait inline to get out of the Theater. Wait in line for the excursions. Wait in line for crab legs! We didn't feel this way on larger ships we've been on. Lastly, We purchased the premium drink package and the ship started running out of our preferred beverages 2 weeks into our 3 week cruise. We talked to others who were having the same issue. Viking should plan better for this or ask us what we like prior to departure. All this being said, we are going on another Viking river Cruise this summer. All the issues I have with Viking Sea seem fixable. I'm hopeful Viking figures it out. Matt Note: we had to conserve water while in the amazon river since the ship could not desalinate fresh water. Not a big deal but something I didn't know prior to the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We will definitely choose Viking again BUT if you are choosing this itinerary to really experience the Amazon's wild life and rainforests explore your options ....any cruise may not be the best choice. If you want to appreciate the ... Read More
We will definitely choose Viking again BUT if you are choosing this itinerary to really experience the Amazon's wild life and rainforests explore your options ....any cruise may not be the best choice. If you want to appreciate the grandeur and magnitude of the Amazon, enjoy sunshine, some Caribbean islands and escape early winter doldrums at home this is the perfect itinerary and SHIP! We chose this itinerary because we wanted to see/experience the Amazon. We had previously done a small ship (Vantage Cruises) in Peru on the Amazon and enjoyed it but had been a little disappointed that we did not see much wildlife. Viking's Brazil itinerary really showed us the scope and enormity of the Amazon but not a lot up close and personal. Rain forest hikes had too many people and we often could not hear the leader (why dont they all use quiet boxes) OR so many people by the time we passed what the leader was describing we could not find it or it had flown/scampered/hopped away. Viking needs to find vendors who will offer smaller groups...use the same number of buses but 2x the guides and it would be wonderful! We did one DIY excursion in Manaus and spent the day exploring the river, meeting of the waters, fishing, hiking, swimming with the pink dolphins, and indigenous people...all from a small boat. It was wonderful, the highlight of the trip BUT I was nervous about getting back in time for sailing away ( the small boat certainly could have had engine problems). I have not figured out how to get a small group experience which are always superior and usually a value and the safety net of it being ship sponsored!!! The included tours were OK....we took optionals in most ports...make sure to see the inside of the Opera House in Manaus. In some ports we managed to also do the included tour!!! It is great when schedules allow for that. The only tour that was really bad was in Tabago...it was snorkeling...however the boat was crowded and they did not have enough equipment for those that did not have their own. The snorkeling was very disappointing in time and what we saw. The second spot was just beautiful knee deep sandy bottom water!!!! Waste of time and money!!!! The Caribbean ports were fine....why didn't Viking offer snorkeling in St. Lucia? Perhaps the mega ships that were in port had all the vendors reserved. We did a very nice catamaran sail! The ship and her crew from the Captain to the deck hands were wonderful. Unfortunately for us, I do not think another cruise will EVER be able to compare with Viking's Inaugural World Cruise. I did not realize how spoiled I had become!!! This cruise did a fun Equator Crossing....on the SUN the crossing was extraordinary including Cruise Director,Heather Clancy, ending up in the POOL!!! WE had a lovely Brunch on day on this cruise....on the Sun it encompassed the entire pool deck and Wintergarden. The entertainment on the WC was really varied and often included local shows ... it was fine on this cruise but no WOW's. For me one of the really different aspects of this cruise was the role of Cruise Director...Ms. Clancy really seemed to part of the "TEAM" who were creating the experience on this cruise I really felt the cruise director was more 'entertainment' and announcement focused not really engaged with senior management. Just an observation...and to be fair I do not remember much about the cruise director on our Baltic and Beyond Cruise. The Staff of Viking ships is extraordinary. I do not think NO is in their vocabulary. They go our of their way to remember names. It was so fun to board the ship and see familiar faces. We love sea days...always enough to keep us busy. The Speakers on this trip we very good. The naturalist was not "out and about" as I expected but he was very approachable when we did see him. The food was good, sometimes excellent....at times the main dining room seemed very crowded and the waiters working too hard!!! Has Viking cut down the number of wait staff? Breakfast service in the main dining room was SLOW but we only went on Sea days so we were in no hurry!!! I missed the mushroom soup in Manfredi's but we had outstanding meals there everytime. The fish special of the day NEVER disappointed. We had the Silver Spirit package and enjoyed good wines and great cocktails throughout the cruise. I needed to do my homework more thoroughly and we should have stayed in lodge if we really wanted to experience the Amazon. This was our fault certainly not VIKINGS....they delivered as promised. We had a great time and can't wait until our next cruise!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This was a lovely 3 week cruise thru the carribean down to the Amazon river, but,. Viking needs to make some improvements especially on the Amazon part. Several of their included tours were just plain boring. The overnight in Manhaus ... Read More
This was a lovely 3 week cruise thru the carribean down to the Amazon river, but,. Viking needs to make some improvements especially on the Amazon part. Several of their included tours were just plain boring. The overnight in Manhaus was a waste of time.....the city is not safe enough to be out at night. Several ports were tendered and in other Carribean islands the port used was not the most desirable location. Overall the ship was just beautiful. Well designed, rarely were there any areas that you felt crowded. Public areas were made into "living room" like areas, making it easy for quiet conversation. Food was very good all over the ship.Their wine/drink needs to be improved. They ran out of all Cabernet!!! Not a bottle to be found ! They also ran out of ginger ale early in the cruise! Was told they can not buy anything local???? What???? Aren't Cabernet Sauvignon and ginger ale basics? The buffet was always fresh and usually had the same food as the main restaurant. Many nights the buffet include d a special theme food station. Eating outside most evenings was delightful! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise because it would be a once in a lifetime experience. To travel to such a remote area and yet be on such a wonderful ship was a great combination. We love the Viking Sea and all the crew. This was an adventure we’ll ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it would be a once in a lifetime experience. To travel to such a remote area and yet be on such a wonderful ship was a great combination. We love the Viking Sea and all the crew. This was an adventure we’ll never forget. We were very happy with our cabin, which was very comfortable. The food was delicious, including the gelato! The evening entertainment was always excellent, and the lectures were very interesting and informative. I enjoyed the games, Name That Tune and Trivia. Playing those is a good way to meet new friends. We are glad not to have children or a casino, and people smoking never were close enough to bother us. The pools are beautiful, and the entire ship is elegant and lovely. The shore excursions were interesting and informative. We do wish we had seen more Amazon wildlife, as we were not able to go on those excursions. We would have enjoyed excursions suited to the physically challenged,perhaps to the zoo where we could have seen animals. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Seeing the Amazon River and particularly the Opera House in Manaus has been on our bucket list for some time. Being able to do it on a Viking Ocean Cruise made it the perfect fit. We have cruised more than 50 times and the Viking ... Read More
Seeing the Amazon River and particularly the Opera House in Manaus has been on our bucket list for some time. Being able to do it on a Viking Ocean Cruise made it the perfect fit. We have cruised more than 50 times and the Viking cruises have the best of them all. The ocean cruises are better than any we have done. The smaller passenger size, the ambiance, the service, the itinerary, the enrichment programs -- all are wonderful. The included excursions were very informative about the location and history of the area visited. The optional cruises offered were varied and have something for everyone, whether it is an active one or an educational one. It was fun going piranha fishing , seeing the Boi Bumba Folkloric performance with the very colorful Carvaval-style costumes, cruising on the famous Meeting of the Waters (the Black River and the Solimoes River). The most interesting one was a visit to a local village along the Guama River and with a guided walk through the forest -- seeing the local plant life. All in all, it was the best cruise ever for us. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We wanted to try Viking Ocean Cruise since we've done two Viking river cruises. When we checked itineraries, our first choice was the Panama Canal but it wasn't available when we were looking. So we decided on Caribbean to the ... Read More
We wanted to try Viking Ocean Cruise since we've done two Viking river cruises. When we checked itineraries, our first choice was the Panama Canal but it wasn't available when we were looking. So we decided on Caribbean to the Amazon. We loved the ship, the number of sea days and most of the ports. We weren't as thrilled with the Amazon as we'd hoped but really enjoyed the Caribbean ports. Restaurants were fabulous especially The Restaurant. The World Cafe wasn't my favorite but my husband and our friends liked the healthy choices. The best entertainment was the magician, Greg Moreland and the singer, Salvatore Hansard. For a 21 day cruise, we think there should have been more special entertainment. There was a Brazilian singer too which was ok. The house band was excellent, especially the piano/trumpet player! We also loved San Juan Puerto Rico and would go back there again. We stayed at the La Concha Renaissance resort on a pre cruise. Beautiful hotel. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
So, we love to snorkel and we wanted to see the Amazon and we like to do this in the company of friends from Australia, so we chose Viking, because we knew we would be well looked after and have a memorable experience. And this is what we ... Read More
So, we love to snorkel and we wanted to see the Amazon and we like to do this in the company of friends from Australia, so we chose Viking, because we knew we would be well looked after and have a memorable experience. And this is what we had! Our cabin was comfortable and beautifully maintained by our steward. Our first day aboard, I requested more hangers and a teapot, as we are not coffee drinkers. These were provided almost instantly, along with a variety of teabags and sugar and honey. We later needed a sewing kit, which was also quickly to hand. I love the Freyja products in the bathroom and wish that they were available to purchase for home use. We also made use of the free, onboard laundry facilities, which allowed us to pack lightly from home. However, I would have appreciated early warning that the laundry would be closed to conserve onboard water while in the upper reaches of the Amazon. I would have seen to it that our laundry was done before venturing up the river. We had been to several Caribbean islands in the past and had good snorkeling experiences. Viking does its best, but cannot provide good sea conditions for snorkeling. Our excursions for this activity were varied, and St. Thomas on our last day was a really good snorkel, while Tobago was certainly not. Absolutely excellent was our excursion to "swim" with the pink dolphins in the Rio Negro. Won't forget that for a very long time, as it was unique, somewhat wild, and visually spectacular. My husband and I took the history of Brazil in graduate school at the University of Alabama in 1971. We were so pleased with the excursions which provided a look at village life, rubber production, manioc processing, and the Opera House in Manaus. The Amazon River itself did not disappoint with its vast waters, albatross and flying fish. Ordinarily onboard a cruise ship, I have come to expect dubious quality entertainment. This is fine, as I am an avid reader and can enjoy my kindle no matter where we travel in the world. On this particular voyage, however, the entertainment was really good. The four young singers from England provided 3 or 4 shows that we really liked. They were talented and energetic. We also enjoyed the guitarist, Valentino, very much. The impromptu music events in the bar area were also fun. Food service was really nice. We ate several times in the two specialty restaurants but liked the buffet line, as it left us free to eat al fresco on the aft deck most evenings. The sous chef, Ari, and I developed a rapport, and he provided us with a few special menu requests which made our meals special. The service staff all over the ship were simply top notch. They were personable, out-going, solicitous of our comfort, and great to get to know. I didn't know that I would go on at length in this review, but doing it gave me a chance to mentally relive our recent experience with Viking on the Amazon. It was memorable. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We were on the ship for 10 night South America and Caribbean. It was comfortable. But excursions in Cartagena and San Martha Colombia were difficult due to lack of planning and street people trying to sale souvenirs. Curacao, Aruba and ... Read More
We were on the ship for 10 night South America and Caribbean. It was comfortable. But excursions in Cartagena and San Martha Colombia were difficult due to lack of planning and street people trying to sale souvenirs. Curacao, Aruba and St Kitty we felt welcomed all the time and by tourist guides. Finally in San Juan PR we received a warmed welcome in any place we visited. Viking long walking excursion tour thru colonial city and its castles and fortress full Spanish history was exhausted. On board the Restaurant Chef's Table was high class and its Chef explained to us how to cook perfection combining the proper wine with every course.The World Cafe buffet had many fresh and good tasting offerings for breakfast lunch and dinner. in general we recommend dining on board in any of fine restaurants and buffet. A final comment: Viking Ocean Cruisers are focus in adult travelers of any age attracting customers from the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. but ignoring Latin Spanish spoken countries even there ships travel thru multiple ports in Spain and South America. I recommend to Viking planners to consider open offers to this potential market. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We love Viking cruises and this one looked interesting. The island visits were really good and the included excursions were excellent. I can't say enough about the crew. Everything was very clean and the food was delicious. I ... Read More
We love Viking cruises and this one looked interesting. The island visits were really good and the included excursions were excellent. I can't say enough about the crew. Everything was very clean and the food was delicious. I would like to have a little more entertainment in the evenings after dinner but what they offered was quite entertaining. A young group formed just prior to sailing and really did a good job with ABBA and Beatles music. I appreciate the fact the Viking doesn't try to "nickel and dime" a person to death. We especially enjoyed the restaurant choices onboard. I loved the steak in the Restaurant as well as the Prime Rib in the Italian venue. The included drinks and mini-bar in the stateroom was always kept well stocked. This was our second cruise on the Sea and both were top-rate!! Thanks Viking for a great cruise! We are looking forward to another one soon. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this trip because it was a new ship and new line that we wanted to try. It was also a smaller ship which we prefer rather that those humungous "floating hotels" that we found so distressing. In addition there were no ... Read More
We chose this trip because it was a new ship and new line that we wanted to try. It was also a smaller ship which we prefer rather that those humungous "floating hotels" that we found so distressing. In addition there were no kids, no casino, no formal nights. The entire ship was a wonder of beautiful Scaninavian design and elegance. Lots of spacious areas for relaxation, reading or socializing. And the peacefulness and quiet were exactly what I sought and value highly. We were quietly pampered - the heated floor in the bathroom was an additional elegant touch. Overall, I would like to sail with this line again - wherever they are going. The destination is not my priority - sailing aboard their ship is. I don't remember much about the entertainment or the excursions. When I cruise the most important thing for me is the relaxation and the food. I must say the meals in the various elegant restaurants were excellent. We were introduced to many meals that contained delicious entrees that were new to us. Appropriate portions beautifully plated and served by attentive waiters added to our genuine pleasure. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I wanted to see the Amazon and experience the environment. The tours were as described and the highlight was the Manaus rubber museum & Indigenous village. Our guide was excellent and the boat crew was efficient and concerned about our ... Read More
I wanted to see the Amazon and experience the environment. The tours were as described and the highlight was the Manaus rubber museum & Indigenous village. Our guide was excellent and the boat crew was efficient and concerned about our safety and experience on the tour. The entire Viking crew was very responsive to our needs and were always friendly and pleasant. If something was needed a single request was all that was necessary. Wine was provided and the glasses were refilled before they were empty. The food was excellent in all locations. The staff officers were open to questions and suggestions. This was my second ocean cruise and I could see changes based on suggestions from the first cruise in place. The spa was great with a sauna, steam room,snow grotto, warm pool and hot tub all included at no extra cost. Our cabin stewards were very efficient, pleasant to work with and anticipated all of our needs. The bathroom had a great shower, a heated towel rack and a heated floor. Embarkation was quick and efficient. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Always wanted to visit the R Amazon, and this was our chance - from February to March 2018 - to celebrate a major Wedding Anniversary. This was clearly noted somewhere, because one evening, in Manfredi's restaurant, a group of waiters ... Read More
Always wanted to visit the R Amazon, and this was our chance - from February to March 2018 - to celebrate a major Wedding Anniversary. This was clearly noted somewhere, because one evening, in Manfredi's restaurant, a group of waiters came to our table to present us with a beautiful cake and wish us a Happy Anniversary! a bottle of Champagne was put in our stateroom! that really is service...! We have previously been with Viking River cruises, and enjoyed them thoroughly, but this was our first Viking Ocean Cruise. Viking is the most superb company, the ship 'Sky' was simply beautiful, it is furnished with delightful taste - tweeds, and leather, wood and glass - comfortable chairs, sofas, tables, set in small groups, or larger combinations; with plenty of space to sit and read, listen to the musical trio playing in the Atrium, or be sociable. Our Stateroom was very comfortable with a large bed - fresh linen every day, including the duvet - and a shower-room with heated floor, and space to wash, and store necessities. Complimentary coffee etc with a coffee-maker, replenished each day, accessible on its own shelf. A desk, comfortable chairs with a table, and then on the balcony a table and two chairs where we could eat breakfast if we chose room service. There is a Laundry Service, but also a Launderette on each deck, which is a bonus - with an iron. The crew of 450 people were the best! everything ran smoothly, there was nothing that you couldn't have brought to you by discreet and pleasant waiters. On one occasion, after a full day out on excursions, we returned along the jetty towards the ship, aware of lots of clapping and cheering...and found a double line of the crew waiting to welcome us all back on board! a glass of Prosecco, and lively music, clapping and cheering - it was a terrific welcome! At the end of the cruise, we gathered in the Atrium for the Captain's report and Farewell, and as he finished, a double line of the crew came down the stairs so we could applaud THEM and clap them, with out thanks. FOOD: really excellent. Three Restaurants with waiter service - 2 to book ahead [The Chef's Table, and Manfredi's an Italian Restaurant] one, The Restaurant, to turn up to [only queues if you arrived at the same time as a large group, eg 8,0 go early or later, and you were taken straight to a table] Plenty of self-service - the World Cafe was excellent, [often with the same food as the Restaurant was offering that evening!] we had Sushi prepared by a Japanese sushi cook, or wonderful seafood, or delicious roast beef, etc and breakfast was very thorough with everything from porridge, muesli, fruit, through to Bacon, scrambled eggs, hash browns, etc.and then croissants, toast, and more...coffee or tea refilled as needed. There were other great places to eat: the Pool Bar overlooking the ocean; Mamsens with Norwegian food; some open just for lunches, some offering specialities eg Tea with sandwiches and little cakes [the WIntergarden] If you had wanted to, you could ask for Room Service and have a meal at any time of day or night. Entertainments: these were varied and surprised us with how good they all were. Performances by visiting groups, by a Brazilian Opera singer, by a mini-Carnival group; and the really excellent onboard musicians and dancers, whose performances earned great applause. There were 'Enrichment' Lectures, by guest lecturers, and these were usually [a less good professional couple had been recruited at short notice to replace someone who was ill] very good, informative, and well delivered, in the Star Theatre. These Lectures could also be watched on the Stateroom TV, which was useful. We loved the Open-Air film shows, lying back under the stars, with headphones, enjoying some of the latest films... even a packet of popcorn was provided! There were plenty of things to do: 2 swimming pools, and the Spa; a fitness centre with every kind of exercise equipment; a hair salon, nail treatments, a golf putting-green, exercise-space to walk round the deck; shops, and then the amazing interactive tables where any game could be played from scrabble to bridge, crosswords to patience. Each sea-day there was a game of Trivia at lunch time, for small groups to form and answer questions; there was a Choir formed from guests; the list really was thorough - and if you wished to read, there are books tucked into shelves in all the public rooms, read-and-return. Outings: the preparation was immaculate - and reading other reviews, I suspect that the chaos in Belem may have meant a change of personnel! Before every arrival, we had an excellent Port Talk, which included a clear, illustrated explanation of all the Optional and Included Tours, what they involved, and how we should proceed to transport. There were no hiccups, delays, or worries at all - it could not have been smoother in each of the Ports we visited. In a couple of Ports, where there was a long jetty, Viking had simply ordered up in advance a fleet of small buses which ran all day, and into the evening, to ferry people to and from the ship. Our main hope was to see as much as we could of [a] Amazon wildlife; and [b] Indian village life. The rainy season means that more animals and birds are generally visible as the ground is submerged... Highlights for us were:: the trip in Santarem, to see Manioc being processed in an Indian village. We were fortunate in having a guide who was half-Indian and half-Portuguese, who explained the whole process by which a highly toxic root is processed to become a very nutritious foodstuff, which with the quantities of fruit growing wild, becomes the nourishment for Indians. :: the trip to see the Meeting of the Waters and on into Lake Janaurai, the floating village [which dries out in October when the dry season drains the Lake] and on by canoes, along narrow tributaries through the forest, to view the enormous Water lilies. We enjoyed the Optional 'Nature Walk' in San Lucia Nature Park, where - despite a huge storm 3 days earlier which had destroyed many of the wooden walkways - we were guided among the splendid trees, saw an Armadillo 'nest', plenty of medicinal trees, and plants, listened to the roar of bullfrogs [like a football stadium!] and relished being shown an incredibly rare tiny green frog. Other Outings: we were welcomed at various islands in the West Indies, but after the enormous expanse of the Amazonian rain forest, and the huge stretch of the River itself [16 miles wide at Manaus], everything seemed too much of a contrast! After Grenada, our next 'favourite' was St Kitts, where we saw the old Colonial house with its cool gardens, and spacious rooms, as well as the lovely countryside. Really, the evenings and the dawns, especially at sea, were the most beautiful of all the sights - often, I'd wake specially to look out at the ship's bow-wave, cream lace against a dark ocean... Would we go again? YES! TOMORROW!! And we simply cannot praise Viking and their cruise highly enough. Final memory? The good Captain, who reported at midday over the ship's public address system - always ended his report with the enduring words "and from the Bridge....all is well." Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
I have traveled on many cruise lines, and Viking is my favorite. Many things are included in the price of the trip, so it may seem more expensive, but the value is good. For example, umbrellas are available for personal use as needed. ... Read More
I have traveled on many cruise lines, and Viking is my favorite. Many things are included in the price of the trip, so it may seem more expensive, but the value is good. For example, umbrellas are available for personal use as needed. On the ocean cruise they were in our cabin. While on a river cruise, the staff stood at the gangway and handed them out on rainy days. Bottled water is provided every day in the cabin, but also on the gangway - NOT for an additional cost as on other lines. The service was excellent in all departments, and all staff were very friendly, usually going above and beyond what might be sufficient. The educational seminars were fantastic - informative and appropriate, with a variety of speakers covering wildlife to culture and history. We attended almost every one, and those we missed were available for later viewing in the stateroom. There is also a selection of news channels, movies, etc. in the cabin, and the TV is also used to check reservations, account balance, etc. I was also struck by the young talent onboard - the cruise direcfor and assistant both sang and performed, and the shows were fun. The food was excellent, and we really enjoyed both specialty restaurants. Reservations are required for the specialty sites, and are limited at the beginning of the cruise to ensure that all guests get a chance to experience these. Again, NO additional cost for these restaurants. Viking also did a good job of serving regional foods as we reached each new destination. In Brazil the staff displayed and prepared a locally caught 196 pound pirarucu - amazing and delicious! I would also recommend the cooking classes, although they do have an additional charge. The students prepare and eat the dishes (I did Italian - yum!) and get to keep the Viking apron used during the class. All excursions were fun and informative. We loved fishing for pirhana, and the native village and show were great. Embarkation was very quick, and other than having to get up super early, the disembarkation went very smoothly. We loved this trip and would highly recommend it!! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
Interesting destination! Not often one gets to sail the Amazon River. More stops and/or longer stops would have been good. Disembarkation from the ship went well, however, we were dropped off at the airport terminal seven hours before ... Read More
Interesting destination! Not often one gets to sail the Amazon River. More stops and/or longer stops would have been good. Disembarkation from the ship went well, however, we were dropped off at the airport terminal seven hours before our flight and could not check in with American Airlines until four hours before our flight. There was no place to sit except on the floor of the terminal while we waited for three hours to check in. Better arrangements should be made. On the other hand, the ship was wonderful! Plenty of room and never crowded even in the restaurants. Food was wonderful with many choices. Entertainment in the theater was outstanding, just first rate. The staff on board ship could not have been nicer or more helpful. Overall, I highly recommend Viking sailing. This is the fifth cruise we have done with Viking and will certainly cruise again with them. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We choose this cruise because it traveled down the Amazon River and through the Caribbean. This trip didn't start well. An ice storm prevented us from arriving in Miami in time to catch the ship. Viking met us at the airport. Arranged ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it traveled down the Amazon River and through the Caribbean. This trip didn't start well. An ice storm prevented us from arriving in Miami in time to catch the ship. Viking met us at the airport. Arranged transportation to a nice hotel in Miami. A representative was with us at the hotel to answer questions and keep us informed about catching the ship at its first port. Viking arranged air travel to Grenada where we spent two days at a beach resort to wait for the ship. They also arranged for our included tour of Grenada on one of those days. Breakfast was included for the 4 days we were stranded. The service that we received from Viking was exceptional. From keeping us informed while waiting to get on the ship to the greeting we received upon arrival. The ship its self was lovely. Never felt crowed even though the ship was fully booked. There was a shortage of covered areas on the decks. Being in the tropics it was very hot. The food was delicious in all the venues. All the staff was friendly and prompt with what every you needed. Entertainment was very enjoyable. Lecturers were knowledgeable. The storage space and lighting in the bathroom was some of the best for cruise ships. The port excursions were ok. Riding on a large coach is not the best and the guides were hard to understand. Viking Cruise Line did an outstanding job. I would highly recommend it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
The Amazon—not your usual sun yourself on the beach type cruise! We are not beach people although we enjoyed visiting most of the islands we did. Our focus was the Amazon and gow people live in that part of the world. It delivered. ... Read More
The Amazon—not your usual sun yourself on the beach type cruise! We are not beach people although we enjoyed visiting most of the islands we did. Our focus was the Amazon and gow people live in that part of the world. It delivered. The ship was delightful. Amenities were great. We enjoyed a few of the shore excursions that included entertainment and sctivity like hiking through thr jungle. Lectures were educational an interesting. Other parts of the trip—embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Every meal (except my very last one on the ship) were very well prepared and served. The cabin was verycomfortable—always clean due to the great efforts of Joe and Sam. Such delughtful young men! Most of the staff throughtout the ship were very attentive to our needs. I probably will not revisit the Amazon but am interested in spending more time along the South American coastline. We never travel with children so that is never part of our considerations. We are not interested in transatlantic crossings but were delighted with our one river cruise. That is probably in the future for us. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We are just off the 22-day inaugural Viking Sea “From the Caribbean to the Amazon” cruise (Dec. 16, 2017 to Jan. 6, 2018). While comments about this voyage exist in several threads across the CC boards, I thought I would provide my ... Read More
We are just off the 22-day inaugural Viking Sea “From the Caribbean to the Amazon” cruise (Dec. 16, 2017 to Jan. 6, 2018). While comments about this voyage exist in several threads across the CC boards, I thought I would provide my review in a separate, purpose written site. Having completed 37 cruise with Princess, this was our 3rd Viking Ocean cruise. I’ll try to keep this short and to the point. Summary: Wonderful ship,excellent pols and spa, nice fitness center, great crew and staff attitude, splendid staterooms, very good food. Long mealtimes (too few table staff), and weak, boring at times entertainment. Only two guest entertainers in 22 days! The Amazon ports are uninteresting and some were plain filthy and sketchy (several passengers were victims of pickpocketing and theft – jewelry pulled from their person resulting in mild injury along the way). The Good: Cabins are nice size, comfortable beds, excellent TV entertainment system, and depending on cabin class, either plenty of drawer storage or not enough, a binary choice. The ship is nicely laid out and appointed. The Holiday decorations were tastefully done, nothing extravagant. The food quality is by and large excellent, with a few misses but hey, that’s life. Nicely prepared, reasonable portions, and interesting. The two specialty restaurants are a nice, price-included option if you like the menu choices. The steak in Manfredi’s is superb, but be sure to peruse the fixed menu of the Chef’s Table for the day you want to make a reservation to be sure it’s something you like. The buffet, Pool Grill and Mamsens turned out great food, and the nice al fresco eating area on deck was a favorite hangout of ours. The Caribbean ports were a nice visit, and the Boi Bumba folkloric include show ashore in Paritins, Brazil on Christmas Day was spectacular. The enrichment destination lecturers remain a stalwart of strength in the Viking offering, excellent stuff there all the time. There was an excellent couple singing pop tunes for dancing in Torshavn, if you could find room to dance. Areas for improvement: One needs to remember you are not cruising the Med, and the ports have neither the history nor the ambiance of a Barcelona or Florence. However, the Amazon ports were generally reflective of an impoverished area. Dirty streets, crumbling infrastructure, and a populace looking to make a living off of the visitors, either by selling to or taking from. I had one tour-stop store submit a $480 charge to my credit card bank for a $43 purchase. This issue is under dispute now. A few passengers fell victim to theft and mugging. Some of the price-included Viking tours were crude walk-bys while others were very well done. We took only one extra excursion, Meeting of the Rivers and it was fine. My biggest gripe remains the poor entertainment package. On some nights it consisted solely of a movie in the theater that was also available on your TV. How does the movie “Some Like it Hot” qualify as ship-wide entertainment after dinner? We had only one couple for dancers and three male and three female singers. They were talented and put on a good show, except three of the shows set in the theater were previously done on earlier cruises as specialty acts in Torshavn, the inadequately small, windowless box of a nightclub with a very tiny dance floor. The two production shows were fine. Guest entertainers were limited to two. Mel Mellers is credible funny-man magician who did 2 acts, and Lee Bradley wowed us twice with his operatic tenor singing. He was outstanding. But…that’s it for 22 days. Oh, they threw in two sessions of Balderdash and one of Majority Rules. Seriously, do audience participation games really make up a credible evening main entertainment? Surely not for the prices paid for this cruise they don’t. Sea day afternoon activities were also seemingly light. Recommendations: Return to the earlier dining room staffing levels so it doesn’t take 2 or 2.5 hrs to have dinner. Have more waiters roaming the open air dining tables on deck 7 so you can get your drinks with your meal and not have to wait so long that either you have finished before they arrive, or you wait till the food is cold for the beverage to come. And find a useful purpose for Torshavn, but move the dancing up to the Explorers Lounge. This is a much better venue. And please improve your afternoon and after- dinner activity offerings beyond just one at each time. I have never written such a negative review of a cruise in all our voyages, and it pains me to have to write this. We have a reservation on the Viking Sun 2019 World cruise made last July while sailing the Into the Midnight Sun aboard Viking Star, but this Amazon River cruise has badly shaken us and we are re-considering. We could not stand 127 days like the 22 we just endured. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise because the itinerary sounded very interesting and the Viking small ocean ships appeal to us. We have sailed on this ship before (Feb, 2017 and March, 2016) and loved the ship, food, entertainment, shore excursions ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the itinerary sounded very interesting and the Viking small ocean ships appeal to us. We have sailed on this ship before (Feb, 2017 and March, 2016) and loved the ship, food, entertainment, shore excursions and the staff, This particular cruise did not come close to matching our previous trips. The staff were very friendly but seemed overwhelmed. The tours were not planned well and the guides were not very good. We were very disappointed with some of the tours and guides. It seemed to us that the shore excursions were not well thought out and prepared for. We felt like guinea pigs who paid full fair for a first time itinerary. The staff in The Restaurant seemed overwhelmed and rushed. On Christmas Eve our food was served cold and subsequent visits weren't much better. It should have been a relaxing experience and it was definitely the opposite. Viking was definitely not ready for prime time on this new itinerary. They should never have offered this trip before doing a test run. They might have been better off by offering a discounted price to loyal, seasoned VIking travelers and asking them to review and evaluate ports and tour options before offering this cruise to the general public. Read Less
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