We chose this cruise to try out Viking Ocean Cruises. We have been on 35+ Princess and 1 RCL ocean cruises. We took a Viking River cruise last year and loved it so we wanted to see how they were for ocean cruises. For us, we loved this ... Read More
We chose this cruise to try out Viking Ocean Cruises. We have been on 35+ Princess and 1 RCL ocean cruises. We took a Viking River cruise last year and loved it so we wanted to see how they were for ocean cruises. For us, we loved this cruise.
Embarkation was easy just needed ticket and passport. Only a little delay as the agent had trouble with his handheld passport scanner. Towelettes and champagne were waiting as we boarded. A week before we sailed we were notified that we had been upgraded to the penthouse junior suite. Among other things (like free laundry) our room was ready when we boarded.
The ship is small but very modern, clean and bright, only 930 guests and 400 or so crew. There is a spa, fitness center, and 2 shops. There are 2 pools and a couple of hot tubs. A pool grill is open for lunch but closes about 5 PM. They serve tea every day at 4. Activities like ballroom dance classes, trivia, cooking shows, etc happen through the day. There is usually only one activity at a time, so no decisions to be made as to which to do. They had 5 speakers on board and thus many enrichment lectures. We had a live narration when leaving NY Harbour. Wifi is included and it is pretty fast.
Our room was large, spacious. The room and bathroom is larger than some hotel rooms I’ve been in. The sitting area is separated from the sleeping area by a curtain. The room is equipped with both European and North American power outlets as well as USB connections by the bed. Plenty of drawers and closet space. Large bathroom, the shower can fit two people easily, 2 sinks and plenty of counter and storage space. The floor is heated. The balcony will sit 6 easily with room to move. Most rooms come with a mini bar that is replenished daily. It has soft drinks, alcohol and snacks. There is a desk vanity with a lift up lighted mirror and compartments to organize small items. They provide binoculars, umbrella, slippers, and housecoats for your use.
There are 2 shops on board but nothing is pushed on you. Using the spa facilities is included in the fare. This includes the steam and sauna room, the snow grotto, and the whirlpool. Charges only apply for services. There are self-serve free laundry facilities including detergent.
Dining is open seating, no fixed tables or time. Lots of tables for 2 along with larger tables should you want to share or eat with friends. The dining room is run just like a restaurant. No trays piled with 10 meals. You are served immediately and your food service is prompt. The food is excellent. Wine, beer and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner. You can also bring your own wine for dinner without any corking fees. The specialty restaurants are awesome. Manfredi's, is Italian style and has steaks, chops and, of course, pasta dishes. The other one is the Chefs Table and has a preset menu consisting of 5 courses. Each course is paired with a wine. The food was beautiful to look at and tasted amazing. The menu rotates every 3 days.
Lots of space to sit around the ship both inside and outside. We never were in an area where we couldn’t find a seat even at the pool and buffet. The service was exceptional. Staff are very friendly and did everything they could to make the trip wonderful.
The theater can be section off at the back to provide 2 cinemas. Entertainment is in the theater as well as the Atrium and at the pool. Entertainers include a pianist, guitar soloist, string trio and a party band, there was a guest comedian as well. There are singers and dancers on board. Entertainers include a pianist, guitar soloist, string trio and a party band. There was a guest comedian as well. All the entertainers had a high caliber of proficiency and were very versatile. They do shows, but not production type. The shows are small song tributes and dance routines. There was a Beatles tribute night up at the pool.
Very relaxed atmosphere. Oh yeah, no kids, no teens. There are no kid programs at all.
There is no casino or bingo, and there are no annoying photographers on board.
No prizes for trivia winners (you get a drink from the bar - non alcoholic I believe).
Tours are run similar to other ships, some meet on shore and some in the theater. Water bottles are provided as you leave to take on the tours. There is one tour included for each port. Optional tours are also available. Read Less