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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We like Viking. It was going to the Azores which we had wanted to see and had never been to during any of our travels. We have sailed on Viking Ocean 4 times now. This was a cruise that did not live up to our expectations. The cruise ... Read More
We like Viking. It was going to the Azores which we had wanted to see and had never been to during any of our travels. We have sailed on Viking Ocean 4 times now. This was a cruise that did not live up to our expectations. The cruise director was very talented herself but pretty much dominated the cruise and did not let the other entertainers perform to the best of their abilities. The food which is usually excellent was still good but the service in the restaurants was unusually slow. Disembarkation was truly a disaster. Handled by the shore excursion manager it could not have been worse. This is the second time we have had this manager for shore excursions on Viking. Unfortunately he is not the best and often unorganized or ill prepared. In addition he is not accessible and does not speak English very well which makes him hard to understand. The ship is excellent and most of the staff would do anything for you. Since this cruise had 8 scheduled sea days there should have been more activities. We would be unlikely to take such a cruise again however we most likely will travel again on Viking. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose the Viking Sea because we really liked the itinerary and had never sailed on Viking before. Our previous river cruising has been on Uniworld and Avalon. Trying the Viking ocean experience was a change for us. Embarkation ... Read More
We chose the Viking Sea because we really liked the itinerary and had never sailed on Viking before. Our previous river cruising has been on Uniworld and Avalon. Trying the Viking ocean experience was a change for us. Embarkation in Bergen was easy and we were so impressed once we got on the ship. It is just lovely. Our stateroom was a PV1-Penthouse Veranda suite on deck 5 and it was great. The bed was comfortable and there was plenty of storage. Our only issue was with our shower head. It kept sliding down the pole and would not stay in place. We told our cabin steward and he had a plumber take a look at it...didn't fix it though...it was a pain to take a shower. Our cabin stewards were fantastic...Niko and Ariel were some of the best we've ever had. The laundromat onboard was a great perk. It was free to use and they also provided laundry detergent. Viking touts the free beer and wine with meals. What they don't tell you, is if you order a drink during lunchtime hours in The Living Room where they have muffins, small plates and various snacks to choose from, they will ask you for your room number and you get charged. They don't specify that you need to be in the dining room, buffet or one of the specialty restaurants. Sorry, but I think that's petty. The food overall was good. We enjoyed Manfredi's very much. The waffle with berries in Mamsen's was great. The buffet was good but some of the food servers could use an attitude adjustment....it costs nothing to smile. We ordered room service breakfast several times and have no complaints. One day from 9 AM-1PM they put on an amazing brunch in the Wintergarden area. It was a sight to behold. You could tell a TON of work went into planning and executing it! Our biggest disappointment was the lack of interesting (for us) entertainment. The enrichment seminars were never ending. The lack of varied entertainment was glaring. The best show we saw starred the Cruise Director...singing. During this cruise I read 3 books and took naps (which I rarely do) out of boredom in the afternoons. The included shore excursions were just okay. We loved the tour in Lerwick, Scotland but thought the included excursion in Reykjavik was awful. The first place our German tour guide took us was to a ditch where women washed clothes 100 years ago......zzzz Based on our experience on the Viking Sea, we don't feel we got the value for the amount of money we spent on this cruise. For the amount spent, we can get a Neptune suite on HAL along with many more activities. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
The old saying "you get what you pay for" does not apply to Viking. We paid for a high-end, upscale cruise and got a 3 star experience. At the price point paid I expect to get personalised service as has been experienced on other ... Read More
The old saying "you get what you pay for" does not apply to Viking. We paid for a high-end, upscale cruise and got a 3 star experience. At the price point paid I expect to get personalised service as has been experienced on other ships at this price point. It is the little things that make a big difference and Viking seem to be missing this point compared to similar cruise lines. If I had paid less I would have had lower expectations and possibly been satisfied with the service provided. On the plus side, the ship was clean and spacious with plenty of areas for you to sit and relax. Decorated in Scandinavian style with lots of light timbers and shades of blues and taupes. The no kids, no casinos is a winning combination for me. The crew were genuinely very nice people who worked hard to provide us with a great service. Disappointed the cabin steward did not get to know my preferred name in 3 weeks yet many of the restaurant staff did. This is one of the little things that make a difference. Embarkation was quick but we were not welcomed to the ship. After travelling for 37 hours I thought a welcome drink and being shown to my cabin might have been in order! Disembarkation went smoothly but I felt like they could not wait to get rid of us. I know they have a quick turnaround for the next cruise but this is the last impression you are left with and if it is not positive then you have failed your passengers. Cabin - comments are below. Restaurants - Breakfast we either had room service or ate in the World Cafe. Both were fine and service was good. Lunch was mostly taken in the World Cafe which provided a buffet style venue and once at the Pool Bar which provided burgers and hot dogs. We found enough variety in the food offered over the 3 weeks and if you didn't like/could not eat the days menu then there was the choice to have a chicken breast or prawns grilled in a minute. We dined in the restaurants of an evening. Main restaurant you could opt to dine in parties of 2,4 or 6 which was a great way to meet other passengers. Menu was varied each evening with a destination inspired menu offered as well but there was little variety offered if you could not eat what was on the given menu. My main concern was the lack of detail for someone with a life threatening allergy. This was reported prior to boarding the ship yet every day I had to check and recheck what I was being given. As is usual practice on a ship, I was asked to complete a menu 24 hours in advance but there was no evidence that this was checked by anyone with knowledge of allergies. There were several times where I was served my allergen and when I quizzed the staff they advised it was OK for me to eat. Fortunately my fellow passengers would alert me to the ingredients so I was able to narrowly avoid the use of an Epipen. This is not how I wish to spend my holiday continually wondering if I am going to stop breathing. On other cruise lines I found that my menu was checked by the executive chef who would then organise for me to have a special version of regular meals including desserts, and I felt confident with the staff knowledge. Wines were offered with both lunch and dinner. Wine was free flowing and different wines were offered each day - One red and one white - from different regions. We went to Manfredi's (specialty Italian restaurant) on several nights and had very good service (hence why we returned). There was a variety of Italian dishes to try and the staff were knowledgeable about the dishes. I would make a particular note of Lorraine who was an absolute delight. She was friendly, knowledgeable and ensured that her guests had a positive evening by popping back to the tables to check everything was in order. She would also step up and explain dishes to guests when the head waiter was busy and she could others were ready to order dessert. This level of initiative needs to be acknowledged and rewarded. The Chef's Table (specialty set course tasting menu) was a huge disappointment. I was expecting silver service and a great culinary experience but it was way short of that. We were booked into dinner for 8pm (the ship chose this time) and had not been served our final course when the staff started to clean the restaurant around us including sweeping the floor. This was totally unacceptable and we were left feeling like we had to rush our final course and get out of the restaurant. We certainly did not experience "your expert hosts will enlighten every sip and forkful with fascinating commentary as you experience a thrilling synergy of aromas and flavors" as advertised. Entertainment was average. Some shows were good and they did provide variety each evening. The pianist and the trio were good in the Atrium in the early evening and the Viking band did a fantastic job in Torshavn each evening. The Cruise Director (Drew) did not interact with passengers as I would expect from previous experiences on other cruise lines. Enrichment lectures were most interesting. We had a great variety of guest lecturers on a broad range of topics and this is Viking's strong point. Meet and Mingle - great idea and one that Viking do really well most of the time. Again it is the little things that are missing. We were invited to 3 meet and mingles - 2 for cruise critic (11th and 25th April) and 1 for Australian and NZ passengers (22nd April). Now this is where the organisers could have liaised a lot better. The Aus/NZ night was held to commemorate ANZAC Day (which is 25 April). WHY oh WHY did they not liaise with both groups so that the commemoration was done on the correct day??? Such a missed opportunity which could have been so easily fixed with a bit of thought and negotiation. Included Tours - very superficial and did not cover the major sites. For example, in Helsinki we were not even told about Temppeliaukio Kirkko (Rock Church) even though it is regarded as a main attraction. The provided tours and maps did not encourage passengers to independently explore the ports of call. Viking could learn a lot from other cruise lines in this price bracket. In St Petersburg we opted to take a private tour with TJ Travel and I am so pleased we did - this company provided a comprehensive tour for less than half what Viking were charging. This is the only ship I have been on where the officers do not greet passengers when they pass them in the hallways. All in all a very disappointing time. I think I will sail with the smaller boutique lines again as they do provide value for money unlike Viking. In this price bracket I am unlikely to use Viking again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
My introduction to transatlantic crossings was aboard the legendary FRANCE, back in 1971. During the ensuing decades I’ve sailed aboard more than 60 passenger ships and have crisscrossed the Atlantic too many times to count. The VIKING ... Read More
My introduction to transatlantic crossings was aboard the legendary FRANCE, back in 1971. During the ensuing decades I’ve sailed aboard more than 60 passenger ships and have crisscrossed the Atlantic too many times to count. The VIKING SEA voyage I’m reviewing was the third Atlantic crossing my husband and I have made in twelve months. And it was our first time sailing with Viking Ocean Cruises. Departing San Juan, VIKING SEA crossed to Barcelona in 15 days, with en route calls at St. Maarten, Madeira, Tangier, Cadiz and Valencia. We found the ship to be light-filled, spacious and very attractive. The décor is what one might call relentlessly Scandinavian (reindeer pelts draped over sofas!), with a color palette comprised mostly of whites, shades of taupe and pale blues, accented with blonde woods. The overall look is elegant, if a bit severe, and will appeal to some passengers more than others. Hard surfaces predominate throughout the public rooms, ensuring that voices carry. (Often the very voices you wish didn’t…) VIKING SEA was kept scrupulously clean throughout our voyage. I don’t know when I’ve sailed on a more spic ‘n span ship. Our cabin was a Penthouse Verandah that was bright, roomy and comfortable. Wardrobe and drawer space was more than adequate for our two-weeks onboard. Clothes-hangers are wood and are not of that irritating, ‘anti-theft’ design. The large bed (with room underneath for luggage) was wonderful, though the pillows were too thick and too firm for us. (I don’t know why we didn’t ask if other types were available; our mistake.) The ship’s laundry and the complimentary pressing service were excellent. Blessed with beautiful weather all the way across the Atlantic, we slept each night with the door to our balcony open and enjoyed falling asleep to the sound of the waves. You can't beat that! Having crossed westbound five months previously aboard Windstar’s STAR BREEZE (the former SEABOURN SPIRIT), I couldn’t help but compare the two cabins. The use of deep, rich colors aboard STAR BREEZE, as well as the heavy curtain that can be drawn between the sleeping and living areas, gave that cabin a wonderfully cozy look and feel. I could have moved-in permanently. Our VIKING SEA accommodations on the other hand - all blonde woods and neutral-colored fabrics - felt coolly utilitarian; rather like a quiet corner in an airport business class lounge. I never warmed to it. The bathroom was fairly large, with a heated floor and good cabinet and drawer space. The lighting was not very well thought-out however, as it was directed in the wrong directions. The roomy shower produced an absolute torrent of hot water at all times. But the glass door didn’t quite meet the marble sill, so we were always having to mop-up water that had leaked onto the floor. Our hard-working room stewards - one from China and the other from the Philippines - were always eager to please, friendly, immaculately groomed, and completely professional. In fact, all of the personnel whom I would consider to be ‘junior‘ staff or crew were extremely personable. We never walked past anyone cleaning a window or touching-up paint who didn’t greet us with a big smile and a friendly word. It was only those who’d attained a higher rank onboard who sometimes exhibited a bit of an attitude. So far, mostly all good. But I’ve yet to mention the cuisine… And that’s where Viking really disappointed us, because the majority of our meals were mediocre at best. And some were just downright bad. Too many of the hot entrees reminded me of corporate cafeteria fare; unimaginatively thought-out and prepared. Self-serve items sometimes sat-out far too long, such as slices of pizza that dried-out under the heat lamps. A celebration dinner in Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant was so salty we couldn’t finish it. (And we heard the same complaint from other passengers.) The onboard restaurants are oddly managed. Mismanaged, I’d call it. Imagine being told by various maitres d’, over the course of two weeks, “I’m sorry, but there are no tables-for-two available next to a window.” And then, after being seated in the middle of a restaurant, being asked by the waiter “Wouldn’t you prefer that table-for-two over there by the window?” This happened over and over! At the end of yet another evening of musical chairs, I wryly commented to the maitre d’ “You and your colleagues gaze intently into that computer of yours, looking for available tables, and yet you don’t seem to know which tables actually ARE available. So really, what is the purpose of passengers lining-up to check-in with you for a table assignment? You tell us the table we want isn’t available, and then the waiter assigned to serve us tells us it is!” I received a chilly, tight-lipped stare. This awkward disconnect, almost every time we went to dine, was something we have never experienced aboard other ships. In truth, the whole open-seating concept seems just beyond Viking’s capabilities, since there was always an impatient line of diners waiting to be seated, not only at the ‘come when you like’ main Restaurant, but at reservations-required Manfredi’s and The Chef’s Table as well. On one occasion, arriving late in the evening for dinner in The Restaurant, I asked the maître d’ on duty why we couldn’t be seated at an empty window table-for-two, clearly visible across the room. “Because there is no one to re-set that table” was the response. I had to bite my tongue, because I really wanted to say “Excuse me? FIND someone to re-set it.” I was pretty much DONE with dining on VIKING SEA at that point. I kept that thought to myself only because it was obvious the staff members in all of VIKING SEA’s restaurants were working furiously, meal after meal, seldom pausing for an instant. (Forget exchanging a few pleasantries with the person serving you. They haven’t the time!) Many of the younger staff seemed rather overwhelmed, and at times, unsure of their duties. At the start of a dinner with wine-pairings in The Chef’s Table, the white wines we were to be served with specific courses were all poured into our glasses at the same time by the young wine stewardess. When we said we’d like to have the white wine for the later course poured along with that course, so that it would be chilled, she was clearly unhappy. Our request meant, of course, that she would have to make more than one trip to our table. I understood that she may have had too many tables to serve on her own, but the staff’s excessive work load shouldn’t become the passenger’s problem. It often did when dining aboard VIKING SEA. Our waiter in Manfredi’s apologized for our evening’s chaotic service, confiding “Viking has taken away our waiters’ assistants. And on top of that, tonight is the first night with this new menu…” He was clearly stressed, which hardly made for the elegant dining experience Viking’s promotional materials extol. But then as I mentioned earlier, the food was too salty to enjoy anyway. And there were more problems to come… The expensive bottle of Veuve Clicquot that I’d requested – 24 hours in advance – be placed in an ice-bucket one hour before the time of our dinner reservation, arrived at the table only slightly chilled and with a dry paper label – a sure sign the bottle had not been iced. And then, at the end of the meal, the birthday cake I’d arranged as a surprise for my husband never materialized. When I later voiced my disappointment to the maître d’ with whom I’d made the arrangements, and who had carefully noted my requests for the Champagne and the cake in his small notebook, he offered only a sheepish shrug in the way of an apology, and blamed the sommelier for forgetting to ice the wine. Now honestly, icing a bottle of Champagne and arranging for a birthday cake should not be beyond the capabilities of anyone overseeing a restaurant – on land or sea. Failing to follow through on both of my requests was inexcusable. Offerings at the self-serve World Café were the most meager and the most haphazardly-prepared we’ve encountered on any cruise ship. (Dried-out, lukewarm scrambled eggs at breakfast...)That VIKING SEA’s galleys could turn-out so many sub-standard food items over the course of two weeks was a major let-down. Especially considering Viking’s lofty per diems! By way of comparison, we crossed eastbound last spring, from Cartagena to Lisbon, aboard Pullmantur’s MONARCH (the former MONARCH OF THE SEAS). Spanish-owned Pullmantur is hardly a high-end cruise line, yet the food served onboard was consistently impressive. Every meal we were served in the dining room was delicious, and the choices and quality of the myriad items available at the early morning-to-late night buffet were amazing. It was some of the best food I’ve ever enjoyed on any ship. Our VIKING SEA crossing cost us five times more than our junior suite aboard the MONARCH. Five times. Proving once again that paying more doesn’t necessarily guarantee getting more! Filling-out the comment card distributed prior to disembarkation, I suggested to Viking that “rather than rapidly adding one new ship after another to your fleet, perhaps you should consider investing more heavily in the ships – and the employees - you already have.” Maybe then we’d consider sailing with Viking again. But in the meantime, my husband and I are cancelling a previously-booked 2020 Viking cruise in Asia. We don’t want to risk being disappointed a second time. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Initially we were booked into stateroom 3005,the first night we were kept awake by a rattling coming from the verandah door.Being the first night we put it down to the new environment however it continued and after a second night of ... Read More
Initially we were booked into stateroom 3005,the first night we were kept awake by a rattling coming from the verandah door.Being the first night we put it down to the new environment however it continued and after a second night of interrupted sleep we called customer services first thing.A carpenter arrived and tried to fix what is apparently a common problem.Five minutes after he left the rattle returned so I again contacted customer services and they agreed to move us to another stateroom,3077. When we arrived at the next stateroom I enquired if it was a quiet cabin and if anybody had stayed in the cabin previously.No it was quiet and had not been used we were assured by two people.We noticed a knocking noise behind the bed head but thought it was probably something from the adjoining cabin so we went for dinner.On our return the noise seemed to have increased,we tried to sleep but it was impossible.Our worst ever night at sea and we are used to rough seas.The following morning we contacted customer services again and were offered another move very quickly.No fun packing and repacking. So here comes the crunch.That evening we went to the Viking bar as usual for a pre dinner drink.As we were on the silver drinks package we had to give the barman our cabin number yet again.’Sorry I said we ve had to move again’.A couple sat near us said ‘ excuse me,did you say you’ve had to move twice?It wouldn’t be cabin 3077 would it?!!! Can you believe that this couple had been moved out of 3077 because of the noise in the wall and they moved us in.A cabin where they knew there was a serious noise problem. This is unforgivable.Needless to say we shall not cruise with Viking again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
The food was great! Not the kind of food that you have to have alot of. The smell, visual and taste was enough to satisfy. There was no expensive "umbrella drink" hard sales, or casino (which was good). We were surprised that our ... Read More
The food was great! Not the kind of food that you have to have alot of. The smell, visual and taste was enough to satisfy. There was no expensive "umbrella drink" hard sales, or casino (which was good). We were surprised that our lecture speakers were all old, white men (5 of them). Is there no woman that has something interesting to speak about to (dare I say...) a ship full of women???? My largest disappointment was that the Viking bed sheets gave me contact dematitis. The soap they use and the scratchiness of the sheets surprised me! When I asked my steward if there were other sheets on board that were less scratchy she said "no"! On day 3 (after mentioning the concern each day) I was given 2 pillows that were washed without laundry soap. This helped...but I still continued to get rashes fron the sheets themselves! I would have thought that a line (like Viking) would have soft, allergy-free linens. We thoroughly enjoyed the French cooking class (extra $) worth the experience. The wine at lunch and dinner was a nice touch, except it was all French wine...and the same taste each day. It would direct you to purchase the beverage package for "the experience" of dining/pairing. If you are just looking for wine without a pricetag...it is fine. The music offered on the ship was perfect for us (guitarist, pianist and 3 piece orchestra. Evening shows were good. Loved the movie afternoon with popcorn. For us...one of the greatest things Viking offered was the cappacino bars. What a treat! So...we had the great and the missed on this trip...our expectations being met in some areas and fell wayfully short in other areas. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, but 5 of 9 ports were skipped (2) or significantly delayed. Shore excursions were just ok, even the ones we purchased were just ok. Most of the staff and crew were excellent, friendly, and bent ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, but 5 of 9 ports were skipped (2) or significantly delayed. Shore excursions were just ok, even the ones we purchased were just ok. Most of the staff and crew were excellent, friendly, and bent over backwards to please. Public areas were overcrowded at events or activities. Food was very good to excellent in main restaurant and especially Manfredis. World Cafe , pool grill, and Chefs Table just ok. Cabin was roomy enough but very limited drawer space in Deluxe Veranda. Bathroom was nice. A lot of people like the stark Scandinavian decor, but we found that the abundance of hard surfaces and minimal softening features made the restaurants and public areas very noisy. We chose the post cruise Montreal stay (Westin) and are very disappointed with the hotel. Waited 5 hours for room to be ready. Room looks into windows of adjacent building, have to keep drapes closed all the time. They refused to change the room. The flight Viking booked leaves at 8:30 am but the transfer leaves at 4 am. Airport is only 30 minutes away. Just adds to the misery of the Montreal experience. By contrast, the pre cruise in Oslo and Bergen were wonderful. We tried to book business class but Viking said they only have economy for this cruise. We found out later this was not true. We are too old for the discomforts of economy flights ( even though we managed to upgrade to premium economy through the airline) all the way from the west coast. It's definitely a deal breaker on any future cruise. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
The Viking Sky is indeed a beautiful ship, tastefully decorated with wonderful art. The common areas are inviting, especially the Explorers Lounge on the 7th deck, which offers fabulous ocean vistas. The ship is spotlessly maintained. We ... Read More
The Viking Sky is indeed a beautiful ship, tastefully decorated with wonderful art. The common areas are inviting, especially the Explorers Lounge on the 7th deck, which offers fabulous ocean vistas. The ship is spotlessly maintained. We have taken several other cruises and were excited about visiting new countries We should have had the best time ever! However, Viking dropped the ball on several fronts, First, the travel department is difficult to deal with. Be forewarned, if you use a travel agent, they will not speak to you. We finally got our itinerary resolved, and then Category 5 Hurricane Irma became a major player. We were booked on Delta to leave Miami at 12:20 pm on 9/8, and a the airport was scheduled to close that afternoon. Our connection time in Atlanta was only 1 hour. Days before, we tried to change our flight to leave earlier, but were denied, unless we wanted to pay Delta a change ticket fee of $3,000 per person. We offered to drive to Atlanta and pick up the itinerary there, but Viking did not go to bat for us. Apparently, they have no pull with Delta. Finally, we called them again on 9/6 and literally begged, and spoke with someone who was willing and able to help. We got grudging approval to begin our flight in Atlanta. The next day, we drove 20 hours to Atlanta in bumper to bumper traffic, normally an 8 1/2 hour drive, and slept at an airport hotel. We noted that our original flight out of Miami was delayed and we would have missed the connection in Atlanta. Then we flew to Norway to begin the cruise. We were exhausted. I had not really slept in 3 days and missed my tour in Bergen. Our room and bathroom were surprisingly small with no excess storage space, but again, tastefully decorated and with quality linens. The bathroom floors are heated, which was fantastic! There was a coffeemaker, but it was up too high for me to use. However, the cappuccino onboard was excellent, so we didn't mind scooting out to get it. The TV system, like most cruises, is not the best for live TV but offers a nice selection of movies. We were anxious to see news of the hurricanes. Most of the time it worked ok, but the live tv was not working the last several days of the cruise. Wifi: On previous trips, I had no problems downloading my photos from my phone to my iPad via iCloud, but the wifi was so slow that they could not download. I was surprised, given the newness of the ship. Several of my emails refused to send and I had to keep trying. Our cruise experienced a lot of rough seas, so they canceled port docking in the Shetland Islands and also one in Greenland. We already had many days at sea scheduled on this transatlantic cruise, but we can't blame Viking for bad weather. Days at sea featured lectures, some bland music, and movies, but not much in the way of interactive or physical activity if the weather did not cooperate, which it did not. It would have been nice to go to a class in the fitness center but they were not offered to my knowledge. The daily afternoon tea is in a particularly lovely venue. Lots of reading time and looking out the windows in the Explorers Lounge. We did see icebergs and a few whales, and a lot of people, myself included, got excited about a rock that initially looked like a whale. One couple went outside one afternoon and had to be rescued because the winds were so strong. The Faroe Islands and Reykjavik were fabulous and we enjoyed our tours there. It was great to be off the ship. Qaqortoq, Greenland was disappointing, as our private tour with Sagalands canceled without notice even though they had confirmed a just few days earlier. The town itself is not really worth a stop, especially if arriving early on a Sunday morning when the few establishments in town are closed. Quebec is a charming European style city for walking and touring. The food on board is very good. Dinner in the restaurant is slow, often taking 2 hours for a 3 course meal, but we had nowhere to go and not much else to do. Our primary waiter was friendly and personable. Thankfully, our friends are great conversationalists! The buffet restaurant was fresh and well presented, and was a good option when we did not want an overly long meal. Fellow passengers on the ship were generally highly educated, pleasant, and courteous. We almost missed our flight home. For a 10 am flight, our bus left at 8:15 for a 40 minute drive to the airport. We were unable to check in to our flights onboard because the internet was too slow and it timed out. We got to the check in desk, and were told that had we arrived 5 minutes later, we would have missed the cutoff for checking luggage for an international flight. Again, unnecessary stress should have totally avoidable, ending this long cruise on a questionable note. Do I recommend this cruise? Although this beautiful ship is 5 star rated and some people love endless days at sea, it was too sedate for me. The quality of the lectures was excellent, but I have had much more rollicking fun on other less expensive cruises where more varied and interactive onboard activities were offered. Even bingo, karaoke, disco, dueling pianos, a bad art auction, penny poker, flower arranging, Hawaiian theme night....none are great but something that makes you laugh! I also learned to NEVER book flights through a cruise line again. Maybe it was the weather..... Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We purchased our trip in Fall 2016. My wife had double knee replacements and we were told we could get first class or business class seats on the flight over to Europe; we would pay the upgrade cost (fine with us!). We waited in July and ... Read More
We purchased our trip in Fall 2016. My wife had double knee replacements and we were told we could get first class or business class seats on the flight over to Europe; we would pay the upgrade cost (fine with us!). We waited in July and had to call twice to get our flights. When we were finally able to get ahold of someone we were told that due to the “ CONTRACT” we were only permitted couch. We called the airlines to see if we could upgrade they referred us to Viking. When we called Viking we were told (from an unsigned anonymous email that: "This is a limit within our CONTRACT and likely a detail that your initial sales representative was not privy to, for this we apologize.” And for this we filed a complaint with the FTC for false marketing. We also wanted to go a day early so we could enjoy Bergen. Not possible (see the contract). So the two days we were told we would have in Bergen amounted to getting to the ship at 8 pm and we left at 6pm the next day (22 hours). 1) Shetland Islands - no go - too bad of weather to dock for “safety” reasons so we never got there. 2) Faroe Islands - We went on the cruise up a fjord. The advertisement for the trip said we had a chance to see Puffins. Except the guide told us the Puffins leave in August so no Puffins, nice scenery though. The ad did say a chance! 3) Rejkavik, Iceland - Fantastic Day with views of a huge waterfall and a national park and geysers. Although Yellowstone had better waterfalls and geysers 4) Nanortalik, Greenland - no go - too bad of weather to dock for “safety” reasons so we never got there. 5) Qaqortoq, Greenland - Five hour stay on a Sunday morning. One gift shop and a 45 minute wait to purchase an item. Most of the people were no where to be seen. Neat Church. 6) L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland - We were suppose to dock at 7 am but due to Canadian Customs, we were not able to get to shore until after 10 am. Of course that left us little time to visit the Viking village that had been found, in the pouring rain. 7) Saquenay, Canada - We went up from the St. Lawrence River through a fjord to get here. Beautiful scenery. At least we were told so. We could not see anything due to the fog. The ship had to go up the fjord slower due to whales in the area so we were 3 hours late. No we did not see any whales. The docking is not in the town but at a docking facility about 10 miles south of town (not mentioned in the tour guide - see the CONTRACT). We took a tour of four craft areas, goats for wool, glass blowing, and an artists who fit intricate paintings all over his house. The last was a lame aquarium and a stupid video the tried to be a poor example of a Disney ride. 8) Quebec City, Canada - Warm & sunny a nice walk around the old town. 9) Montreal, Canada - We were told we would get into port at 4 am. Of course AFTER we left Quebec City the Cruise Director Aaron announced the we would get into port at 6 am. We docked at 7 am and we were able to get off the ship at 7:30am. All “guests” were told they had to be off the ship by 8 am - read the CONTRACT. They collected our luggage at 10 pm the previous evening but all this meant was that we had to wait dockside for them to bring our luggage to us. This meant much lost time. We were told the night before that the trip to the airport would take 20 minutes. We we got on the bus we were told it would be 45 minutes. The bus driver went through town very very very slowly. Many people missed their flight due to this delay. The Viking people were of no help (see the CONTRACT) to those so affected. Some took taxis. Although the original plan was for us to dock at 4 am, the Viking flight staff put us on a Delta flight leaving at 3:20 and arriving home at 10:30 (7 hours) . We found a flight leaving at 9:30 and arriving home at 1:00 pm (3.5 hrs). There was another flight leaving at 5 pm and arriving home at 9 pm (4 hours). Of course we tried to change - Delta said to call Viking who said no dice - read the Contract. We were able to get out sooner due to a family member interceding - a big thank you to the Montreal Delta Airlines staff!!!! Other things to Note (in no particular order): A) I conclude that Viking does not consider your air travel to be part of the “Viking experience” so they spend little time on this area. We were so disappointed in our treatment that we will probably never us the company again. We had taken a similar Viking river cruise in Europe and had the same problems. We thought it was a one off problem. Apparently it is a corporate policy to short the customers on the air travel in and out of the cruise B) During high seas the toilets will back up and with the heated floors in the bathroom it gets pretty smelly - flush then often and keep you door open to the outside for better air. You can were a coat in your room since it is 40 degrees outside. C) No one seems to have used either of the pools or hot tubs D) The Viking time is very variable. When they say we dock at x time, add two hours at least E) The Crew that did all the work were wonderful F) I go the sense that the Ship Captain and his team were not letting us in on all the information we needed until it suited their purposes. G) Remember that THE CONTRACT rules everything, no exceptions, no allowances, no wavering. H) Average age of the customers is probably in the low 70s. There were a lot of handicapped people so allow for extra time getting on and off the boat. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary. We cruised from Bergen to Montreal. To start with, we had booked air through the Viking Air department, something we will never do again. We had assumed they would be more proactive on our ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary. We cruised from Bergen to Montreal. To start with, we had booked air through the Viking Air department, something we will never do again. We had assumed they would be more proactive on our behalf than it turned out they were prepared to be. Just days before departure we were facing Hurricane Irma, and they made no effort to fly us out early. We spent a precious 48+ hours begging to be allowed to fly out of Atlanta and drop our Miami-Atlanta segment before they finally decided that yes, they would allow us to do that. If we hadn't persevered, we would have missed connections, and missed the cruise. As it was, because they delayed so long, it took 20 hours to drive to Atlanta as many of the mandatory evacuation orders (including ours!) had already been issued, and all of South Florida were on the roads north. The ship is gorgeous, and we found the food to be outstanding as well. But for me, a cruise is all about the EXPERIENCE and here they failed miserably. While there were a few outstanding staff, most were inept, and confusion abounded. Everyone was nice, but no one seemed to work as a team. In the dining rooms, we got wrong orders, we were asked repeatedly what the order WAS, and though we bought the premium wine package, we frequently had to wait a half hour at dinner before we got any wine. (if you stayed with the included wines it was much better--you got service immediately). One night my husband had to get up and speak to the maitre d' because it had been an hour between courses. We were constantly aggravated at dinner, which is NOT how you want to be! We liked our cabin, the heated floors in the bathroom, and the availability of free laundry. And I must say our cabin steward, Ronel, was the BEST we have had in over 30+ cruises! But the cabin really lacked storage space--2 drawers and a little space in the nightstands. We asked for, and got, about 30 extra hangers and ended up hanging just about everything. Wifi was slow, but we appreciated that it was available and complimentary, so no complaints really. The Spa was gorgeous. I didn't try spa treatments. Yoga was offered but as a long-standing yoga practitioner, I didn't think it was age appropriate. There was a serious miss-match between the demographics of the passengers and the yoga routine offered. They should be offering YIN or INYNGAR yoga, and instead, the teachers' background was Ashtanga. When she started out doing a jump-back chaturanga, I knew the class was doomed. The poor ladies in the class did their valiant best, but they could have really hurt themselves with the routine we were put through. Explorers Lounge was lovely, and here, the staff was lovely as well. Skilled, pleasant--really really excellent. Lectures were excellent and a feature we really appreciated was the ability to watch them later on recorded TV. We were frequently busy at the times the lectures were 'live' but we managed to watch/listen to every one of them thanks to the recorded TV. LOVED this! Very much enriched the voyage. The shore excursions: included ones were so-so, but the optional ones that we paid for were all outstanding. Our tour guide in Quebec, Marie, on the Quebec Discovery Day was absolutely outstanding. BUT!!! The WORST feature of the entire cruise was the daily disembarkation, which was TERRIBLE. Viking really needs to learn how to get 900 people off a cruise ship. We waited almost an hour to get on the tender at L'Anse Aux Meadows, and then sat on the tender for 45 minutes before we could get off. This was the worst, but even regular disembarkations were routinely a bottleneck.. And finally, our transfer to the airport at the end of the cruise. Again, the staff showed their inexperience, to be charitable. Our bus departure was scheduled for 8am. Our flight was at 10am. And it was a 45 minute drive to the airport. We only made our flight because my husband had status on the airline, so we were able to use an expedited check in--but even at that, the agent said we were the last to be able to get our luggage on board. These kinds of repetitive 'glitches' made me think that although we had paid a 5-star price for this cruise, we did NOT receive a 5-star cruise. We have cruised well over 30 times, at various price points, and many different cruise lines, and this is the first time we felt we did not get our money's worth. There were just too many issues overall. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2017
Transatlantic cruise and visit Spain. Visited ports and paid for extra excursions to experience more of the countries we visited. This is our first ocean cruise and it will probably be our last. The ship, staff and amenities were great, ... Read More
Transatlantic cruise and visit Spain. Visited ports and paid for extra excursions to experience more of the countries we visited. This is our first ocean cruise and it will probably be our last. The ship, staff and amenities were great, but prefer river cruises and land trips. The enrichment activities were pretty good, but would have preferred more. We had a hard time finding something to do. The wifii did niot work when we were at sea and we were depending on it for personal business. Many people enjoy the pool facilities, but we don't lay out in he sun. We are from Florida and not.a normal activity. I had looked forward to the advertised yoga classes. When the classes were noted in the daily paper, I found out that you had to pay to attend. The fact that payment was required should have been noted in the brochures. I did not attend. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
My husband and I chose this cruise as we love the Viking River cruises. The ship is beautiful, well appointed and easy to navigate. Well done!!! We enjoyed the game tables that helped pass time at our at sea day. We found that ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise as we love the Viking River cruises. The ship is beautiful, well appointed and easy to navigate. Well done!!! We enjoyed the game tables that helped pass time at our at sea day. We found that the ship's restaurant and Chef's Table staff are still learning the art of serving and customer service. Rather being served all at once at a large table, some waited for over 5 minutes for everyone to get their meal while our food got cold waiting for everyone to begin. Some staff offered many excuses rather than taking decisive action. The Restaurant was soooo loud it was like we were having a shouting match to hear. We found Manfredi's staff the best on the ship, very efficient and pleasant. We don't normally like buffet dining but we chose the World Cafe several evenings because it was quiet and the wait staff very friendly, attentive and accommodating. The food prepared on the Aft Terrace was always cold because of the weather. Perhaps, close it if temperatures do not permit a pleasant experience. Breakfast Room Service was always great and timely. We were anxious to feel the same "Valued Customer" feelings as we had onboard your River Cruises.Unfortunately, the sequence for booking excursions was extremely disappointing. If we didn't pay the higher stateroom cost, we got locked out of some of the optional excursions which forced us to find a private Tour Guide. It made us feel less than Valued Customers. We found out the Algiers Casbah excursion only had 60 seats. This is not very equitable for the other 800 passengers. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose this cruise because of the route and stops on this cruise The cruise was from Bergen Norway stopping at the Shetland Islands, the Farro Islands, Iceland, Greenland, the Viking archeological site in Newfoundland, and then down the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the route and stops on this cruise The cruise was from Bergen Norway stopping at the Shetland Islands, the Farro Islands, Iceland, Greenland, the Viking archeological site in Newfoundland, and then down the St.Lawrence River to Montreal. This was the first transatlantic crossing for the Viking Star which was first put into service in 2015 and had been in service in Europe. We have done Viking river cruises and since we liked the stops on the route we thought we would try a Viking ocean cruise. The ship is new and quite nice. It is very well maintained and the crew is friendly and helpful. The food was excellent with a very nice variety. Overall I would rate the cruise as average. First of all the cruise is not all inclusive which in today's market is really out of place. You will be charged $14 per person per day as gratuities for the staff. On our 15 day cruise that added an additional $420 to the cost of the cruise. Viking apparently doesn't want to tell you the true cost of the trip by including these costs in the ticket. Beer, wine and soft drinks are included at lunch and dinner and you are charged for them at all other times. You can purchase an all inclusive drink package but the cost is quite costly There is a mini fridge in your room and you have four soft drinks in it. You can drink them without charge but if you want more you are charged $2 for each soft drink. I personally find it to be insulting that soft drinks are not included in the price of the cruise. Service in the restaurants was spotty at best. At times service was acceptable but never really good and other times it was just plane bad. I never saw any service around the pool or lounge areas. There is one main bar on the first deck with a few tables around it and here there was service. In the surrounding lounge area if there was service I never saw any. We always had to go to the bar and get our own drinks. One aspect of the restaurant service that I found especially discusting was when you finished one course of your meal the waiters would remove your dishes but would place your used silverware on the table for you to use on the next course. I would expect this type of service in a truck stop but not here. Overall I would rate the cruise experience as average. You will have a good time and you will enjoy the cruise but Viking is not one of the top tier of cruise lines. Don't expect a Viking ocean cruise to be the same as a Crystal or Seaborne cruise. These cruise lines have better amenities and service. However as I said you will still have a good experience on Viking Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We went on the Viking Grand European River Cruise in June, 2014, and were very pleased. We raved to all our friends about the high level of service provided by Viking. Due to serious health issues, we could not book a trip far in ... Read More
We went on the Viking Grand European River Cruise in June, 2014, and were very pleased. We raved to all our friends about the high level of service provided by Viking. Due to serious health issues, we could not book a trip far in advance. We jumped on the chance to take an ocean cruise with Viking in April, upon receiving an offer in an e-mail in January, 2016. We booked our tour through a travel agent after receiving a copy of the itinerary showing 10 port stops and only two full days at sea. We found out about the drastic change in itinerary 67 days before departure, when we were given the opportunity to sign up for excursions. It was quite a shock to see that there would only be 7 port calls and four full days at sea. We called Viking to inquire about the change in itinerary, and were told that there had been no changes, and the fault lied with travel agency for giving us the wrong itinerary. During our cruise we spoke with many people, every one of whom told us that they had been given the wrong itinerary, even those who had booked directly through Viking. Upon arrival in Barcelona, we were met by Viking representatives. Transportation to the ship and embarkation went very smoothly. All of the staff aboard the ship from Reynolds, who cleaned our cabin, to Martha, the head of customer service, were very helpful and attentive to our needs. Food was excellent and the service was very gracious. We ate most of our meals in the World Café, because of its casual nature. We did eat several times in the more formal "Restaurant" and twice at Manfredi's. The entertainment was better than we expected. We especially enjoyed the Rumba group in Barcelona, the Fado singer in Lisbon, and Michael Sterling, who performed twice between Bordeaux and Bergen. The pianist and the classical trio who performed nightly in the atrium were outstanding. It was too bad that very few people stopped to listen. We very much appreciated the Passover Seder , which was led by a Rabbi from Israel. Prior to the cruise we were told by Viking reps in L.A. that there would be no special ceremony for Passover. The customer service aboard ship was much better than what we received by phone from Viking. The excursions ranged from excellent to very poor. The included bus and walking tour of Barcelona was very good. The optional all day tour of Lisbon was excellent, despite the free time being eliminated due to our late arrival in Lisbon. Our walking tour of Bordeaux was very good, despite the fact that it was Sunday, and most of the shops were closed. Bordeaux is a beautiful city and we really enjoyed being docked along a pedestrian walkway/park. Due to a virus outbreak, our departure from Bordeaux was delayed. Viking staff came to the rescue the next day with a complementary tour of the vineyard town of St. Emilion. The staff worked very hard to control the outbreak, and we were allowed to depart 24 hours late for Le Havre. There were an number of restrictions which remained until the day we arrived in Bergen. The pools and hot tub were drained, and board games were taken away. The optional excursion of lunch in the Eifel tower and a visit to the Louvre in Paris was a disaster. We got a 15 minute photo stop and the Eifel tower, lunch in the basement of a crowded mediocre restaurant, and a bus ride around Paris. The time at the Louvre was one of mass confusion. Our guide did not have an operating quiet box. We got to see a few highlights and then back to our bus for the three and a half hour ride back to our ship in Le Havre. Upon our return to the ship, there was a note of apology on our bed and a statement that they were refunding the entire cost of the excursion. This was a very nice gesture, but could not return to us the lost day in Paris. Because of the extra day in Bordeaux, our time in London was cut short. Nevertheless, our optional 7 hour tour was excellent, especially our tour of the tower of London. Our walking tour of Bergen was ok, but not noteworthy. Disembarkation, and our transportation to the Bergen airport went smoothly. Read Less
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