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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise as a great way to explore the Baltic region and we certainly achieved that aim....The tours and lectures meant we returned home having seen and learnt so much! From arrival at Stockholm to the departure gate at ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a great way to explore the Baltic region and we certainly achieved that aim....The tours and lectures meant we returned home having seen and learnt so much! From arrival at Stockholm to the departure gate at Bergen we were looked after very thoughtfully. The senior officers were ever present and available to talk to. A small niggle about the buffet was picked up by an attentive Restaurant Manager and dealt with professionally and personally by the Head Chef. The food throughout was excellent,we enjoyed both speciality restaurants and found it easy to make extra bookings once on the ship. Viking Sea is beautifully designed with lots of interesting artwork and understated Scandinavian style. The lectures we either attended or caught up with on the cabin t.v were all relevant and interesting/ thought provoking. There was more entertainment than we expected, we particularly enjoyed the 2 guest shows by Mary Jess and the resident Viking band and singers. The musicians who entertained in many of the public areas were very accomplished. We took several of the included tours, some were better than others but all gave us an introduction to the area which we were able to follow up independently at most destinations, often aided by the complimentary shuttle bus. After reading reviews we opted to use Alla tours in St Petersburg. They were excellent and I have no hesitation in recommending them. We chose not to take a tour in Berlin instead taking the included morning trip to Rostock and then occupying ourselves in Warnemunde (a local seaside town with a long sandy beach and promenade,interesting waterfront and lots of little shops,cafes ) A day well-spent. We were lucky to enjoy good weather throughout which always helps although strong winds in Gdynia meant we were unable to dock that day, an extra day at sea was easily occupied. If you decide to take this cruise I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Viking does it right. We had a wonderful cruise sailing the Baltic Sea! Even on a full sailing the ship never felt very crowded. EMBARKATION- Super smooth. Rep at Stockholm airport and they put us in a private transfer to ship. About ... Read More
Viking does it right. We had a wonderful cruise sailing the Baltic Sea! Even on a full sailing the ship never felt very crowded. EMBARKATION- Super smooth. Rep at Stockholm airport and they put us in a private transfer to ship. About 45 minute ride. On ship in a minute after arrival Stockholm- Took included tour. Bus tour around city with quick photo stop at city hall. We then went to Vasa Museum on our own which is highly recommended. Viking provided a complimentary shuttle back to the ship every half hour from in front of the opera house. QUICK TIP: If departing from Stockholm in the morning, get up for the sail away. We left at 5:00am and the first couple hours of cruising we just idyllic St. Petersburg- We did the included bus tour with short stops at Church of Spilled Blood and St. Isaacs Cathedral. We also did the Canal Cruise which was a little disappointing. We really enjoyed the actual canal cruising but that only lasted 1 hour of a 5 hour shore excursion. The rest of the time was spent inside the 2 aforementioned churches. For $100 a person we would have enjoyed more time cruising the rivers QUICK TIP: BE VERY CAREFUL with your passport. If you lose passport you have to drive to Moscow to get a new one. Thousands of dollars and a missed cruise later you may have a story to tell but not one you want to have to tell Tallinn- This was actually our favorite port on the cruise. Such a well preserved Old Town really transports you back in time. The included tour is mostly walking with a short bus ride. We stayed on our own in the Old town area before catching the complimentary shuttle back to the ship Visby- A really surprising delightful island. About a 2 hour walking tour through the town. Loved seeing all the ruins. Highly recommended QUICK TIP: It is really windy outside the town walls. Once you get inside the walls it is more bearable Bornholm- Bus tour through the countryside with two 30 minute stops along the way in small fishing towns. We didn't particularly love this tour, although the countryside is really pretty there isn't much to see in the towns. There were amazing fields of yellow flowers in bloom. Copenhagen- 3 hour walking tour. Walk alongside the harbor to Little Mermaid statue, through Kastellet grounds, Amelienborg Palace and ending in Nyhaven area. This tour is pretty demanding and we were exhausted by the end of it. In reality you could just see these sights on your own at your own pace and with only one day in Copenhagen if I were to do it again that's what I would do. Shuttle service all day from near Nyhaven street. In the afternoon we went back into city and rented bikes. The city bikes (bycyclen white bikes) are a great way to see the city. Bike paths are everywhere so it feels pretty safe. Also they have electric engine assist which made it very easy to ride. About $3 per 30 mintues and there are stations throughout city to drop the bikes off- Highly recommended DISEMBARK- Smooth and helpful with staff everywhere assisting. The main downside is they transfer you to airport SOOO early. We arrived at CPH at 9:30am for a 1:30pm flight. The checkin counter didn't even open until 11:30am. Just be aware if you book transfers with Viking you will get there way too early, but I guess its better than the alternative. Dining- We thought the food was excellent overall. We ate most meals in world café because we enjoy the convenience of picking a little of everything. We did have 5 meals in the specialty restaurants and each was a very special experience. Manfredis was probably our favorite venue but beware portions are huge and room is loud. Chefs table is a much quieter environment with 4 course food/wine pairings. Don't miss Mamsens waffles in Explorers Lounge! The only item that was disappointing throughout the ship was the brewed coffee. It was awful. We ended up getting lattes and cappuccinos from the Viking Living room bar on Deck 1 each morning. Those were very tasty. Entertainment- Don't expect large productions but there was some performance each night. Our favorites were the Russian dancers who came onboard as well as two opera singers in Russia as well. If you don't make it out in St. Petersburg to see a ballet or other show its nice that Viking brings that local entertainment to you. Also Cruise director Bevin had a performance one night which was outstanding. The 4 piece singing group was just ok. Production was a little bit cheesy at times. Ship- Perfect size ship. Never felt crowded. Weather was nice so we enjoyed some meals outside on pool deck. Also be sure to go to Spa for steam room and ice room. Work out those sore muscles. Hope this review helps those considering this itinerary. You really cant go wrong with Viking and we keep coming back to this cruise line for the amazing food, attentive service, long times in port, no screaming kids and plenty of space onboard to relax and enjoy family and friends Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise was in celebration of our 50 wedding anniversary. We had sailed a Viking river cruise and while the ocean cruise was considerably higher in price than other cruise lines based on our river cruise we felt at ease with spending ... Read More
This cruise was in celebration of our 50 wedding anniversary. We had sailed a Viking river cruise and while the ocean cruise was considerably higher in price than other cruise lines based on our river cruise we felt at ease with spending the additional money. With air and optional tours this cruise ended up costing $20,500. Was it worth the expense yes and no. Booking the air travel though Viking resulted in some problems but not of Viking making. Our original flight was cancelled forcing us to rebook with a less favorable schedule. Upon arrival in Stockholm we discovered SAS lost my wife's luggage. Viking did a good job of helping us to recover the luggage, they offered to wash my wife clothing on a daily basis at no charge, fortunately we got her luggage prior to our departure so all was good. Our room was small but like the river ships the bathroom floor was heated which on this cruise was a great feature. The scheduled itinerary was disrupted by bad ocean conditions forcing Viking to cancel two port of calls. We spend an additional day in Russia but were not allowed off the ship due to visa restrictions. We also had to ship a port due to heavy seas cause by gale force winds. This ship lacks a lot of standard ship board activities and normally this would not have been a problem but with three "sea" days two unscheduled time seemed to drag. The food was outstanding with lobster three days and prime rib several days. Beer and wine is included at all meals, as well as offered free several other times. There is a included tour at every port of call. They were mostly walking or bus tours narrated by a tour guide. We took a number of extra tours including one in Berlin. I would like to say they were all worth the extra money, but we were cheated by our tour guide in Berlin. He was totally unprepared walked away from some of the tour group at one point in general was not a good source of information. When we complained to Viking we never even got an apology. Basically they said Oh Well. The ship lacked keeping us informed as an example the was a scheduled event which was billed as a chocolate event. Due to heavy seas it never took place. Then two night later there it was a chocolate bonanza but because it was never announced many guests including us had a standard dessert at dinner and missed out. The cruise critic meet and greet was great they had drinks and snacks and the staff showed but they were gave any formal talks just made a appearance then left. I think they were a little confused as to what it was all about. Most days the entertainment met out expectations. The ship band and musical group did a good job of keeping us entertained. Our cruise director kept us entertained as well as he stared in one of the nightly shows as a singer and patio player. Due to missing two ports of call Viking has offered a $250 per person credit toward a future cruise, a pretty weak response to missing two ports of call. The ports of call we did visit were outstanding, the weather not so much, cold and windy. Would we go again? We booked a British Isle cruise for next summer, but not with Viking as we felt it was over priced for for a nice cruise on a new ship but lacking in the personal touch . Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
I’ve always been interested in seeing the Baltic countries. That is why we choose this cruise. We came over a day early so we could see additional sites in Stockholm. Our plan was to leave Old Towne to do with Viking since they had a ... Read More
I’ve always been interested in seeing the Baltic countries. That is why we choose this cruise. We came over a day early so we could see additional sites in Stockholm. Our plan was to leave Old Towne to do with Viking since they had a shuttle back to the boat. Well that day they didn’t have the shuttle so we totally missed touring Old Towne by foot. We were extremely disappointed and got no resolution from Viking. We also learned after the fact that everyone does NOT have the same excursion booking opportunity. Depending on the cost and location of your stateroom gives preferential excursion bookings. Even though we booked our cruise over a year an a half ahead of time we had the bottom of the barrel in excursion choices! On the river cruises this isn’t the way the excursions were done. So BEWARE! The ship and employees were great. My love of travel are the people and the sites of the countries we visit. It was the lack of the most popular excursions being available to us that was the biggest disappointment. This is why we are not really interested in the ocean cruises with Viking. We would do a river cruise because the excursions are so much more inclusive. On the ocean cruise we spent over $900 on additional excursions. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Chose this cruise to see fall colors, especially in Quebec but due global warming previous fall temperatures had been too high for tree color to develop. We were disappointed that color change was delayed but we were not disappointed in ... Read More
Chose this cruise to see fall colors, especially in Quebec but due global warming previous fall temperatures had been too high for tree color to develop. We were disappointed that color change was delayed but we were not disappointed in our experience on Viking. We had wonderful service, superb food and a well-run Cruise. We especially enjoyed our three evenings at the The Chef’s Table with three different internal menus along with wine pairings. We did no purchase the premium spirits package and thus received the house selections of wine but they were all superb and nicely paired with each course. We also enjoyed lovely meals in the Restaurant and were able to request to be seated in our favorite waiter’s section. We enjoyed the classical trio from Serbia, made up of violin, cello and flute. The port enrichment talks were extremely helpful and we never missed the ship historians’ talks. We even attended a delightfully entertaining cooking class presentation by the ship’s head chef. He should have his own TV show on the Food Channel! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because we always enjoyed Viking River cruises. The ship's layout and rooms were very nice. It was very easy to get arround the ship. There were multiple restruants and they were varied enough to allow you to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we always enjoyed Viking River cruises. The ship's layout and rooms were very nice. It was very easy to get arround the ship. There were multiple restruants and they were varied enough to allow you to schedule your meals around you activities. The food were excellent. The land tours were informative and well organized. We missed two ports due to weather issues which was disappointing. Service was excellent and all crew were happy and smiled when you addressed them. Land excursions were led by well informed guides who could answer every question put to them. They adjusted the pace of the tour to keep the group together and stopped as necessary to allow the questions to be answered in detail. Entertainment was minimal and could be improved. The shows and pre-tour discussions that we attended were good. This was an adult cruise with few if any children. Embarkation and disembarkation process were well organized and went smoothly. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We had long wanted to visit many of the ports included in the Viking Homelands experience, but have, previously, planned our own travel trying to avoid anywhere with a ship in port! However, the prospect of smaller numbers and ... Read More
We had long wanted to visit many of the ports included in the Viking Homelands experience, but have, previously, planned our own travel trying to avoid anywhere with a ship in port! However, the prospect of smaller numbers and all-inclusive travel appealed, and we thoroughly enjoyed our first cruise experience! We cannot speak highly enough of the service we received! Embarkation was a breeze, the cabin every bit as lovely as the brochures promised, and the Sun itself is a work of art! Food was outstanding and the entertainment first class, whether in the public areas or theatre! We danced every night at Torshavn till they kicked us out!!! Travelling with another couple added enjoyment (we Aussies swept all before us at trivia!!) but we often went our own ways when in port and made many new friends. Unfortunately we lost two ports (and gained extra sea days) due to the weather, but this actually gave us more time to relax after busy times ashore. We did most included excursions, some of which were excellent, several optional ones with Viking and a brilliant two days in St Petersburg through Alla Tours (saw so much in a small group). It's expensive but we are so glad we took the plunge that we've just booked another! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Because of the Itinerary and all of the inclusive's! We had an all inclusive including air fair, hotel and we had great transfers and pick up and drop offs were seamless. Beautiful ship, wonderful Interior Design and very well ... Read More
Because of the Itinerary and all of the inclusive's! We had an all inclusive including air fair, hotel and we had great transfers and pick up and drop offs were seamless. Beautiful ship, wonderful Interior Design and very well maintained, absolutely loved the spa!!! .City Tours were very informative, only issue I would probably offer people with disabilities a separate tour so enabled people could move quicker so people who move slower don't feel the need to move faster and visa versa. All guides were very well informed. Embarking and disembarking very smooth. Food in the Restaurant was the Best, had dinner in the specialty restaurants and was disappointed, love current presentations and techniques but they just left us flat. Great Concept, just needs work.Loved all the fresh seafood and the breads which I understand were made in house were wonderful! We enjoyed the experience so much we are going on an other Ocean cruise in 2020. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We booked this cruise in November 2016, primarily for the itinerary and small ship and also took the option of the Iceland pre-cruise extension and looked forward to it for 2 years. It was expensive but having cruised before on upper ... Read More
We booked this cruise in November 2016, primarily for the itinerary and small ship and also took the option of the Iceland pre-cruise extension and looked forward to it for 2 years. It was expensive but having cruised before on upper premium and middle market lines we felt that that the inclusions of wifi, included wines and beer and some tours were worth it. Booking from New Zealand meant we had to pay in Australian dollars, unlike other lines, which left the currency risk with us. At our first touch point with Viking there was no-one to at the notified transfer point at Reykjavik Airport. We were at the place our documents told us to be and after 20 minutes I smelled a rat and took photos of where we were and the airport clock. The only contact phone number we had was for the pre-cruise hotel and they were disinterested. Eventually we were given the number of the local agents who, after a long time on the phone (at 3 bucks a minute), arranged a van to the hotel - had we had to do this ourselves a cab would have been USD150. It later transpired that Viking had not loaded our inbound flights into their system so while they knew we are coming they then virtually ignored us. The local agents went from uninterested to aggressive when we complained and told us we must have been in the wrong place and at the wrong time. Photographic evidence refuted this but to no avail. One female Viking agent turned out to be one of the tour guides and had a face like a dropped pie whenever she saw us. No tip for you! The hotel provided was the Grand Hotel Reykjavik. The promo information from Viking stated we would be accommodated in a Hilton or Hilton equivalent but this was no Hilton! It was 3 star at best with slow and unfriendly staff. A lot of our fellow passengers had flown in from the US, arrived at 6am and were told that check in opened at 2pm and to leave until then. Considering the cost of this trip, this was unacceptable - several elderly and exhausted passengers were on the verge of tears at being dumped for 6 hours in a hotel lobby after flying all night. The included Golden Circle tour was interesting with tours of geysers,Thingvellir National Park, the Gullfoss falls, Kerid Crater and many panoramic views of volcanoes and glaciers. Our guide, fortunately, was not the pie lady. The next day we went to the Blue Lagoon which was fun and then on a city tour. An early check out and transfer took us to the airport the next day and we flew Icelandair to Stockholm to board the Viking Star The arrival staff at Stockholm were efficient and we were swiftly transferred to the Viking Star. Boarding was efficient and a glass of champagne and a cool towel were offered one embarkation - a nice touch. The ship was beautiful on first impression and our deluxe verandah stateroom was spacious and nicely appointed with the best bathroom we have seen at sea (and even in some hotels). Our stateroom attendants were fantastic and we were greeted by name from the first day. The room was always made-up - we came back from breakfast after 45 minus to find it cleaned and made up - witchcraft we assume was involved. We found some jarring touches though - the terrace behind the buffet had potted rosemary plants on the tables - 50% of these were dead and dried up. We also noted drooping wires in some public spaces secured with electrician’s tape and the pool area smelled bad - chemicals and something else undefined but unpleasant. The included wifi was so slow that we gave up on it and used the wifi available onshore. In Aalborg, Denmark the weather was sunny and the temperature was 25C. With an onboard time of 1pm the restaurants were crowded, so we ate lunch in the very crowded pool deck. The much vaunted opening roof on the pool deck remained closed and temperatures soared - easily into the high 30’s and very uncomfortable. Many people complained to the waiters who tried to do something but to no avail. In most ports we took advantage of the included tours, which mainly consisted of a bus ride around the city, a bit of a walk around, an hour of free time and a transfer back to the port. These were mostly fine if uninspired. We were trapped in St Petersburg due to high winds and had to cancel the scheduled stop in Gdansk. Because of Russian visa restrictions we had to stay on the ship while it was trapped though Viking organised a couple of paid trips - none of these were interesting and we thought that Viking’s contingency plans should have included what to do if the ship couldn’t leave. Other ships that were due to call into St Petersburg couldn’t get in so there would have been plenty of other tour options available. Other paid tours we went on were high quality and good value compared to some of the other lines we’ve sailed on. Where Viking lost us as future passengers was the food. The wait staff were disorganised and slow - it was faster to go to the bar to get a drink than wait for a wine waiter to come to our table, though we noticed a marked improvement halfway through the cruise when a new maitre d’ took over the World Cafe. We saw a few sharp comments from him and shall we say motivation looked like it had increased. One wine waiter who had been uninspired before this, appeared with a bottle every time we took a sip - from sublime to ridiculous. The food in general was not good. The buffet was okay but uninspired.We noted every night that there were overcooked steamed broccoli, carrots and cauliflower as a vegetable option and these appeared in the Restaurant as sides. Salads had nice names, but were often warm and wilted which made the dressings slimy and unappetising. The desserts in the buffet were all cold with no hot option as seen on other lines. The stand out offerings were crab legs and shrimp in the World Cafe though man does not live on seafood alone. The breakfast buffet was acceptable but by the end of the cruise had become very “samey”. Dishes prepared on demand at the buffet, such as steak, Caesar salad or eggs Benedict were very good. Manfredis Italian restaurant was not a patch on the competition we’ve sailed on, the Restaurant suffered with the same wait staff malady as the buffet and the Chef’s Table was execrable. Not one of our fellow passengers we interacted with had anything good to say about it - it begs the question who Viking are trying to impress with this - their guests or themselves? A couple of standout fails. In the Restaurant I ordered a dessert of pear clafoutis. This is a golden custardy light dessert - except on Viking it was dark brown, hard and burnt - and sent back. The Chef’s Table degustation was horrible - lightly seared tuna as appetiser and barely cooked steak served on a plate with a smear of grey mushroom sauce that looked like moly grease and had all the visual appeal of that grease on a mechanic’s overalls. Thankfully there was bread on the table so we didn’t go hungry. Other lines do fine dining so much better. We should point out that the bar staff were fabulous. We had the Silver Spirits beverage package at extra cost and from day one our names and drinks were known and with generous pours. One waiter who knew we were going to be outside on the smoking area on deck on a stormy night gave us two drinks so we didn’t have to walk back while the ship was pitching and rolling. Guest relations scored a point for investigating the Reykjavik stuff up (prompted by my travel agent at home) and finding that Viking’s Sydney staff had not loaded our inbound flights causing us to be stranded at the airport. They gave us onboard credit in recompense and refunded the not insubstantial cost of making cell phone calls in Iceland. That scored point was promptly lost when we filled out the request for paid transfers from the ship to the airport on disembarkation which was slipped under the door. This form was never processed and our luggage was tagged as “own arrangements”. When we went down to guest relations to enquire a lady shrugged her shoulders and said we were on our own as the arrangements for transfers were closed. A phone call to the manager who resolved the first issue fixed that but why was it a problem in the first place? Disembarkation was rapid and easy, our bags were taken to the coach and we were swiftly transported to the airport for our own arranged flight to Oslo and London. SAS had technical problems however and virtually all of the Viking Star passengers were milling around the airport trying to find out from SAS and Viking air what was going on, particularly those with connections onto the US. So our trip ended as it started with distressed people milling about with virtually no support from Viking. We had high hopes for Viking, the itineraries, the inclusions, the beautiful small ship, all were turned to naught by amateurish and clumsy details, indifferent service in some areas and awful food. Viking charges an upper premium price but delivers a less than mid market experience. We’ll cruise again (already booked) - but not with this line. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We did the Vikings Homelands cruise on the Viking Star. We were impressed with the excellent food options, the onboard entertainment, and the choices of sidetrips. For us, seeing Swan Lake performed in St Petersburg was the highlight, ... Read More
We did the Vikings Homelands cruise on the Viking Star. We were impressed with the excellent food options, the onboard entertainment, and the choices of sidetrips. For us, seeing Swan Lake performed in St Petersburg was the highlight, although just touring The Winter Palace was a close second. There were three dinner restaurants, and the Italian option was our favorite. We consistently found there were numerous excellent choices, and the service was always friendly and efficient. The complimentary wine choices were quite good. The price fixe restaurant offered excellent courses, but we preferred having more choices. There were also another formal restaurant and the possibility of eating at a fourth choice offering a buffet. I would strongly recommend making dinner reservations at the two restaurants requiring them early in the cruise. The rooms were clean and very comfortable, and the cleaning crew did an excellent job. I highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
I had heard and read great reviews for Viking. I was interested in the Viking Homelands cruise and I was not disappointed. It was more than I realized. From the time Viking personnel met us at the airport and guided us through the port ... Read More
I had heard and read great reviews for Viking. I was interested in the Viking Homelands cruise and I was not disappointed. It was more than I realized. From the time Viking personnel met us at the airport and guided us through the port and then onto the ship, everything went smoothly. The food was great with good variety of menu and venue. The cabin was comfortable for the two of us. All the ports were interesting with great guides. I would have liked to be able to exchange a tour without getting charged extra because it was not the included tour for the day. I was so impressed that three days into the tour, I signed up for the Mediterranean cruise for 2019. I especially enjoyed the review of the next days tours and what was important to know before we were going to leave the ship. There was order in the groups leaving and where we were suppose to meet. I am looking forward to the next cruise in October. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our second ocean cruise with Viking and we chose the Viking Homelands because of the amazing itinerary. We paid for the air plus but on the way back was not eligible for the transfer. They push everyone off the boat starting from ... Read More
This was our second ocean cruise with Viking and we chose the Viking Homelands because of the amazing itinerary. We paid for the air plus but on the way back was not eligible for the transfer. They push everyone off the boat starting from 2:30 am to 8:30 am for the last airport transfer if you use Viking Air. We chose to leave later because we wanted to enjoy the last day of the cruise. It seems disingenuous to call it the “last day” if you’re leaving at 2:30am. We had a few legitimate questions about where to store our baggage, expecting that Viking wouldn’t keep it, but that they would know their home port of Bergen better than us (coming from Hawaii) and could provide us with information we could follow up with like train or bus stations. We were in remote fjords there so there was very limited wifi on the boat and we could not look this up on our own. The stress over this uncertainty ruined our last day and a half. We felt completely on our own. We were told to go to the shore excursions to get assistance. The woman at the desk said she couldn’t help us because we’re not booked for the transfer through Viking. We acknowledged this, but we still needed some help as far as information about our options as we were literally on the other side of the world from where we started just after spending a significant amount of money to Viking. We expected her to courteously answer our questions, but no. Viking is planning to roll out several more boats over the next two years, a huge expansion. We felt a palpable difference between the maiden year voyage we took on them and our second cruise. This time around the magic had worn off and we did not feel like guests, but purely economic data points. In other words, they know some people will complain every cruise so you if you’re the one complaining it feels like Viking does not care because its part of their business model. Another example, we emailed customer service to cancel a river cruise we booked onboard right after we returned in Sept. and they did not respond personally but through an auto generated an email to us in December, about three months after we first reached out to them. Our travel agent had to step in even though we booked directly with the Viking rep on the boat. Viking is not receptive to direct contact from its “guests” unless they are onboard. I was not going to write this review until today when I responded to their email and called customer service and realized that they had no idea they had sent me an email. My complaining was destined for their “circular file” I’m sure, so I hung up. It would have been great if they were sincerely interested... They are very beautiful boats to be sure, and the gourmet food and nearly all of the staff on board tries really hard to make sure you’re happy. However, its inconsistent, a few of the people you are dealing with every day of the cruise are a bit young and rough around the edges and treat you like you should be in a nursing home and not bothering them (we’re in our fifties and most of the staff is 20-30s) This is inexcusable in this setting since you keep running into them on the small boat, and you should not feel like you have to avoid anyone, especially since this is a luxury market. We sat next to a couple in their 70-80s and the heard the wife say to the husband, “You order for me, they’re ignoring me." We’re personally are not planning another Viking cruise until they finish expanding and we hear positive reviews about other people’s experiences about customer service. If you’re currently booked, it is mostly good so you will enjoy it. We just hope they strive for a little more perfection, because it should be wonderful every time for everyone. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Interested in the areas visited. Embarkation and disembarkation are always smooth with Viking. People always remarked about how many Viking people were around when we were off the ship. I have noticed that they do everything but buckle ... Read More
Interested in the areas visited. Embarkation and disembarkation are always smooth with Viking. People always remarked about how many Viking people were around when we were off the ship. I have noticed that they do everything but buckle your seat belt on the plane. You would have to really try to get lost. Included shore excursions are good but could use more stops at points of interest. Cabin was very nice with good climate control. Dining was good as we ate mostly in World Cafe where the food was amazing for a buffet. Although the steam tables could be warmer. Gelato bar was my got to place every evening. Onboard entertainment was ok considering we were exhausted after being in a port all but one day. We would do another cruise with Viking be it river or ocean. We have already talked two of our friends into taking this cruise next year. Keep up the good work Viking.:) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was on my husband's "bucket list". We looked at quite a few Baltic cruises and chose the Homelands over other ships to try out Viking Ocean and were not disappointed. There are so many complimentary amenities on ... Read More
This was on my husband's "bucket list". We looked at quite a few Baltic cruises and chose the Homelands over other ships to try out Viking Ocean and were not disappointed. There are so many complimentary amenities on Viking depending on your suite category. If you're looking for quiet entertainment, Viking Ocean is for you. You could always find a secluded place to curl up and take in the world if that's your choice. There were many included excursions and we opted to use Viator for others. We used Viator in St. Petersburg, Russia and Berlin, Germany and we were not disappointed. Don't be afraid to save money and use an outside company vs. Viking as long as they guarantee that you'll get back to the ship. We should have gone with the complimentary Viking train trip in Berlin and taken an independent tour upon arrival in Berlin as it was a several hour car ride to Berlin however we couldn't find anyone who could give us info either way. We're now telling you that the Viking train trip is good and take a tour when you get off the train in Berlin. There is no casino or children under 18. There were a few comedy shows and nightly entertainment. Always music somewhere whether it be a string quartet or piano, The median age appeared to be 60-80. We highly recommend Viking however, it was a bit more money compared to other comparable cruises example Holland America and Oceania. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We were nervous about cruising because of all the bad stories out there. So, we chose Viking for its smaller size and non-carnival atmosphere. We won't ever go to a large ship because this was such a wonderful experience. The ... Read More
We were nervous about cruising because of all the bad stories out there. So, we chose Viking for its smaller size and non-carnival atmosphere. We won't ever go to a large ship because this was such a wonderful experience. The clientele are older, professional people. We did not see anyone behave improperly and everyone was on-time, if not early, for embarking on excursions and returning to the bus on time. We were offered an upgrade from a deluxe veranda to a penthouse veranda for a fraction of the cost and we were glad we took the upgrade. (And, yes, it worked! We won't go back to a deluxe veranda!) The room was spacious, VERY clean, and the location was excellent. Love the heated bathroom floors! Our cabin steward was attentive without being intrusive. In fact, all the staff were cheerful, helpful, and professional. The excursion talks were superfluous. You can watch them on your room tv, if you want. The history talks were pretty dry. We didn't take advantage of the musical entertainment, except for Beatles night! Really appreciated being able to do laundry without paying extra! The food was good. We ate at Manfredi's one night and in the restaurant one night. Aside from that, we ate at the World Cafe where you don't have to dress up and you have a wide choice of foods. The excursions mostly were excellent. The tour guides were knowledgeable and entertaining. We took the included Old Town tour in Sweden, the Povoo excursion from Helsinki, the Malbork Castle tour from Gdansk, the Berlin-Your-Way tour, the included walking tour in Copenhagen, the fjord cruise,the flam tour, and the Mt. Ulriken tour. We choose to use Alla tours in St. Petersburg for a smaller group experience which covered more territory. We also hired a private guide in Berlin and split the cost with another couple. The only tour that was not fabulous was the Porvoo tour. This was not a cruise for people who like a lively atmosphere. It was just what we wanted - interesting and serene. We have already signed up for another Viking ocean cruise and are eagerly anticipating it! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
A group of us chose the Viking Homeland cruise because it visited so many countries. We arrived in Stockholm a day before the cruise to make sure we didn't have any travel problems and to get rid of jet lag. The next day we embarked ... Read More
A group of us chose the Viking Homeland cruise because it visited so many countries. We arrived in Stockholm a day before the cruise to make sure we didn't have any travel problems and to get rid of jet lag. The next day we embarked -- Viking picked us up at our hotel and took us to the ship so embarkation went very smoothly. We enjoyed all of our excursions -- the only problem was trying to pick from all the excursions offered. The weather was fine until we got to Norway where it rained often, but remember, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. My wife and I have sailed with Viking before; the service is always great and the meals are wonderful. We actually recognized some of the crew in the restaurants from a cruise we took on Viking Star the year before -- they transferred to Viking Sky to act as trainers for the new crew. I always like to talk to the crew members to see where they're from and how long they've been with Viking. Many crewmen had been in the business for years with other companies before moving to Viking -- when asked they said they moved to Viking because Viking was a better company to work for. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This cruise company reminded me of driving a car but only getting to third gear. It could have been fantastic but there were some terrible instances of service and food. For instance, I sat next to pool on Sea day for five hours and ... Read More
This cruise company reminded me of driving a car but only getting to third gear. It could have been fantastic but there were some terrible instances of service and food. For instance, I sat next to pool on Sea day for five hours and there were no offers of water or drinks. But, several staff members were cleaning over and over again. We also sat in the explorer lounge for two hours and again, there were no drinks. I had to go and get our own. The walking excursions mixed everybody up so you ended up with a person using a walking cane in the same group as marathon runners. This was even though there might be six groups departing on the same excursion at the same time. It gave a poor experience to both the person with the walking disability (excursion was too fast) and most other people (excursion was too slow). The food was below what I expected (it was worst than a cheaper cruise of another cruise line we went on); - there were the same 5 choices of Bread in all restaurants all 14 days (except Manuel's). - the Steam vegetables were identical in 3 restaurants and did not change the entire trip. - the Hot breakfast choices was identical for entire cruise in the buffet. When I commented about this I was told that there was a different special of cooked eggs, - Deserts in buffet restaurant is ice cream (8 flavors) and slices, and no gateaux or hot desert, - Either white or red wine at dinner. No further choice. - Very few staff seem to know how to make a very good coffee. - the "fresh Juice" at breakfast were sometimes cordial, Overall the Standard of food in the restaurant is well below other cruise-lines but the majority of staff in the Buffet are nice to deal with (Very willing). We arrived 10 minutes early at the bus stop in Copenhagen to see our bus departing. Buses were running late (that day due to the rain and the resulting traffic problems) but we weren't allowed on the other Viking bus which was going to the ship next to our ship. We walked the 25 minutes in pouring rain back to our ship. There were seats left on the other Viking ship's bus. There are some things really good; - Bus shuttle to town is a good service (usually), - the Explorer lounge is nice, - the ship has nice areas with live music, - 4pm afternoon teas were amazing, - There were some good excursions and some were terrible. One that we paid for was pathetic but no excursion staff would discuss with us when we went to complain. - The Wifi ok, - There was a wonderful greeting when we got back from Berlin. We are very unlikely to do another Viking cruise (this was our 4th Cruise). Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We loved the Viking Sea Baltic Cruise which we are completing in 2 days. The ship is gorgeous The food is too good and we loved the fancy cream tea served every day from 4-5. The staff, cabins and service were top notch. Because of the ... Read More
We loved the Viking Sea Baltic Cruise which we are completing in 2 days. The ship is gorgeous The food is too good and we loved the fancy cream tea served every day from 4-5. The staff, cabins and service were top notch. Because of the size of the ship we never had to tender in 2 weeks. Surprisingly the entertainment was quite good and there were great free movies etc in the cabins. There was great turnout for the evening performances in the theatre and the various lounges. My one major criticism is that the “included” panoramic tours and walking tours are very poor. This is in contrast to tours on river cruises of this and other carriers. The optional tours coat hundreds of dollars more. For a cruise line that is advertising an all inclusive experience they have to do a whole lot better on their included outings. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We (DH and I) had a bad experience on a mass market ship several years ago, so we were a bit apprehensive. But, our Viking Homelands cruise was wonderful from start to finish! We were very lucky in that we only had one day of rain the ... Read More
We (DH and I) had a bad experience on a mass market ship several years ago, so we were a bit apprehensive. But, our Viking Homelands cruise was wonderful from start to finish! We were very lucky in that we only had one day of rain the entire two weeks. As has been stated many others reviewers, the ship is beautifully designed in a modern Scandinavian decor, lots of light bright areas and it never seemed crowded. The staff were all so helpful and willing to assist with any request or question. Our stateroom was very nice, good use of space and loved the bathroom with no fog mirror and heated floors. Dining was very good and tried all of the options. Mamsen's and Manfredi's were our favorites. The only venue that we did not enjoy was The Chef's Table. We are not picky eaters and enjoy almost all cuisines, but did not find the food that appealing. Manfredi's was excellent and had dinner there twice. Spa was nice and was not busy both days I used the steam room and pool. We attended several of the port talks and lectures and two of the evening shows. All were great and especially enjoyed the Beatles/ABBA show!! We took a mixtures of excluded tours, optional tours and private tours. If there is one weak link, it would be some of the excursions. We are active walkers/hikers and it would have been nice to separate groups by pace. On a few occasions, several travelers could not walk well on the tours, thus slowing down the guide. We did leave several tours early due to waiting for very slow walkers and wanted to maximize our time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
It was a great cruise and we really wanted to see Norway. The food was better then we expected. We tried all three dinning rooms and we felt the Italian was the best. The ports and the tours was interesting and educational. The service in ... Read More
It was a great cruise and we really wanted to see Norway. The food was better then we expected. We tried all three dinning rooms and we felt the Italian was the best. The ports and the tours was interesting and educational. The service in the dinning rooms and the cabin stewards was above expectation. We were so impressed we are looking forward to our next ocean cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth and we did not have to stand in hallways as you do on larger ships. We enjoyed the choice of places to eat and that you could eat around the pool or in small areas around the ship. The cabin was large and the bathroom was larger than most ships. Viking does a great job with entertainment and making our cruise one of the most enjoyable ones we have gone on in a long time. We are looking forward to our next one. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
I choose this cruise because of the excellent river cruises we had heard about from other people. In addition, this cruise included 2 days in St. Petersburg and it was important to me to have that stop part of the trip. The food was ... Read More
I choose this cruise because of the excellent river cruises we had heard about from other people. In addition, this cruise included 2 days in St. Petersburg and it was important to me to have that stop part of the trip. The food was excellent! Not only was the food great in the two specialty restaurants but the World Cafe and The Restaurant were wonderful and included items to satisfy everyone’s tastes and desires. The staff was very friendly and professional. Viking really knows how to make a cruise happen efficiently and with ease for the customer. The ports of call were great and while we mostly went on the included tours, the several others that we purchased we well worth the added expense. The ship was only 2 years old and beautiful. The staterooms were comfortable and having our on veranda was just right. The ship’s decor and common areas were lovely and provided a casual but elegant atmosphere for relaxation. We could not have been more pleased with our experience on this cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Once again Viking has surpassed expectations for all aspects from pre-cruise to embarkation to disembarkation and flight home - everything in between. Every single Viking employee from captain to room stewards were polite, attentive and ... Read More
Once again Viking has surpassed expectations for all aspects from pre-cruise to embarkation to disembarkation and flight home - everything in between. Every single Viking employee from captain to room stewards were polite, attentive and knowledgeable. See separate section for comments about cabin. Dining options were excellent with specialty dining included and easy to reserve. We took most dinners in main dining room - outstanding service, varied menu, open seating, small room atmosphere. All common rooms were comfortable with books available for reading and interesting art work. The free spa is excellent and a great place to relax. Onboard entertainment adequate for small ship. The itinerary was of course the highlight. 11 ports and 8 countries in 14 days was amazing. Included and optional tours were all excellent. Every tour guide provided a memorable experience. All-in-all Viking goes out of their way to make you comfortable and part of the family. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise do to past experience with Viking river cruises and their excellent service. It also had the itinerary we wanted. The ship is only 3 years old and in perfect condition. Really appreciate the free water bottles and ... Read More
We chose this cruise do to past experience with Viking river cruises and their excellent service. It also had the itinerary we wanted. The ship is only 3 years old and in perfect condition. Really appreciate the free water bottles and included beer and wine at lunch and dinner. Staff spoke excellent English and addressed any needs that came up. Also appreciate the smaller passenger count and very seldom felt crowded except on a couple of occasions. Dinning was generally excellent except for a few poor entrees. Appreciate the no extra charge for the specialty restaurants. For dinners would have appreciated two entree sizes because a number of times because of the size of the servings I felt food was wasted. Would have liked all liquors included with the price as it is on other luxury cruise lines. Because of weather we did not get to stop in Poland which is something we were looking forward to. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We are Interested in the Nordic countries and the Baltic. Also Findland, Russia and Poland. Food was very good but the standard white wine (a French Blanchard was not very good). It would have been nice to very the complimentary wines. ... Read More
We are Interested in the Nordic countries and the Baltic. Also Findland, Russia and Poland. Food was very good but the standard white wine (a French Blanchard was not very good). It would have been nice to very the complimentary wines. Service was very good particularly room service. We were disappointed we missed Gdańsk Poland because of weather. Our room steward was excellent. The free excursions were generally good but could have been more extensive. The Berlin excursion left too much free time and did not stop enough at the major attractions. The optional excursions were excellent but a little pricey. This being said the buses and loading were well organized. Embarkation and debarkations were well managed and quick.! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose Viking because of it's fine reputation for quality and service. The smaller ship size made the trip more intimate with a relaxed atmosphere free from queueing and crowds. We chose this particular cruise as it had ports in ... Read More
We chose Viking because of it's fine reputation for quality and service. The smaller ship size made the trip more intimate with a relaxed atmosphere free from queueing and crowds. We chose this particular cruise as it had ports in both Karen's and my homelands. So, we had an opportunity to visit our roots. Unfortunately, due to winds???? the Captain cancelled our stop in Gdansk Poland. Being 100% Polish I was unable to visit my homeland. Quite a disappointment. This was the only negative we experienced. The food was outstanding and the personalized service was extraordinary. Brian Rodriguez our Cruise Director was the finest Director we have ever had the pleasure of sailing with...and what a voice!!! I found the guides on our tours to be extremely knowledgeable and very courteous. Docking locations were very convenient to transportation and town centers. This eliminated the need for long walks on piers and to tour buses. Thank you to the Viking team for making this a memorable trip. Read Less
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