27 Viking Ocean Viking Sea Cruise Reviews for Luxury Cruises to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

We chose this cruise as an appropriate addition to a week of touring northern Italy. We had taken a Viking River Cruise on the Danube the prior summer and thoroughly enjoyed it. So we figured that the next logical step would be a Viking ... Read More
We chose this cruise as an appropriate addition to a week of touring northern Italy. We had taken a Viking River Cruise on the Danube the prior summer and thoroughly enjoyed it. So we figured that the next logical step would be a Viking Ocean Cruise. Little did we know how spectacular it would be. The ship itself was sparklingly new and fresh, with every amenity that we could wish. Our cabin was spacious and incredibly well designed, with plenty of room for storage. The selection of dining options was almost overwhelming, with everything from informal and casual to more formal and "fancy" and everything in between. We tried them all and were never disappointed with the selection and quality. The food was simply outstanding! Entertainment was delightful, with mostly on-board entertainers of top quality. Very enjoyable! Most important of all was the crew. In every respect, we were impressed by ship staff, dining staff, cabin crew, and on and on. All were friendly, helpful, courteous and generally likable. I can't say enough about them, from captain to housekeeper. Lastly, the shore excursions were flawlessly planned with knowledgeable and friendly guides and impeccable timing. My wife and I are already planning our next Viking Ocean Cruise. The hardest part is choosing which one! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We had never been on an ocean cruise, but had used Viking for our first river cruise. We liked that the ship was smaller than most ocean cruises, and we loved the experience we had on the river cruise. So this was our first and before ... Read More
We had never been on an ocean cruise, but had used Viking for our first river cruise. We liked that the ship was smaller than most ocean cruises, and we loved the experience we had on the river cruise. So this was our first and before the cruise was over, we signed up for another cruise! The food was outstanding no matter where we ate. The staff was amazing, and were always polite, went out of their to help us, and were very engaging and pleasant! We grew attached to many. Our room was amazingly roomy and well laid out. It was larger than the river cruise room, and we had additional amenities. There was a place designed for EVERYTHING in the room. LOVED it! The entertainment, activities, and shore excursions were first rate. We went to every evening show, and then often went on to the ship bar for more music and dancing. The excursions were very organized every day, and the guides were engaging, knowledgeable, used humor in their tours, and seemed to be very pleased with their jobs. Even though there were 900 people on the ship, we never felt crowded and there were always quiet places to sit and read, listen to music, have a drink or whatever. Everything from embarkation to disembarkation was first class! We are hooked! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I chose Viking because of my good experience with the Viking Star. However, the overall service, dining, and entertainment are a step behind her sister ship. Don't get me wrong, Viking ship and cabin are very high in quality. This ... Read More
I chose Viking because of my good experience with the Viking Star. However, the overall service, dining, and entertainment are a step behind her sister ship. Don't get me wrong, Viking ship and cabin are very high in quality. This time , the ports and shore excursions are well executed. It seems to me that Viking is expanding too fast. Food quality is subpar for a luxury ship, although it is still better than other common cruse lines. Dinning room service was inconsistent. One night could be very attentive but next night was spotty. A few maiter' d still had attitude of mega ships which treat customers with very respect Viking is in growing pain and it really realizes that you cannot rush to produce before it is ready. All entertainers work very hard but short of talent. The entertainment program could use a little bit of adjustment. It becomes a bit boring, I recalled I skip a night or two. To be honest, most of cruises nowadays offer very little in entertainments on board. If you a top notch entertainers and entertainment, stay on land. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was our first Viking sea cruise. Cruise critic are very positive about this firm with many 'excellent' comments and the deal offered, less than two months before departure, looked too good to be true. We'd previously ... Read More
This was our first Viking sea cruise. Cruise critic are very positive about this firm with many 'excellent' comments and the deal offered, less than two months before departure, looked too good to be true. We'd previously been on a Viking River cruise, which we'd thoroughly enjoyed, so we thought we'd give it a go. Well, I am delighted to say that out of the 15 or so cruises to date this one was the best by quite a way! Many firms tell us that there staff are their greatest asset but, in my experience, the Viking Sea staff were streets ahead of other cruise companies. Maybe because of the guest/ staff ratio, they have more time to talk to the passengers but whatever the reason all staff on the ship were unfailingly courteous, helpful and engaging: nothing appeared to be too much trouble. To be fair, our transfer from Rome airport to Civitavecchia was less than satisfactory and Viking should think about the agents that they use in Rome for their transfers, as first impressions are important but as soon as we arrived at check in everything was smooth and seamless. Dining WOW! One of the main stereotypes of cruising is that you will eat far too much good food. Not always so ,in my experience, but everything here was fabulous. Even the burger bar was a triumph. The food was interesting, of high quality and varied. The self service ice-creams and coffee were spot on and the waffles and cakes in Mamsen's to die for. Evening dining was no less of an experience. The main dining room was friendly, spacious with an extensive choice and the service here was consistently outstanding. We dined at Manfredi's three times and enjoyed everything but I particularly liked the Bistecca Fiorentina and the dark chocolate Amaroni Cremosa. Not quite as wowed with the Chef's table but the wine pairing was interesting and I mostly enjoyed the food.. Not sure that a set menu is a winner. I found it a little pretentious. We 'did' afternoon tea once and again we were not disappointed. Enrichment activities Much enjoyed: a variety of speakers on a variety of stimulating, relevant topics. No 'dumbing' down. Loved artwork through out ship and 'Munch moments' before diner. Also the small museum and the many and varied books were a definite plus. Entertainment Only area we felt wasn't excellent. Started well with Opera Conservatoire but felt rest of evening shows lacked a certain something. Films rather traditional. Cabin 4108 Well designed, plenty of power outlets, very comfortable bed, lots of storage space (maybe a bit more drawer space on a 14 night cruise would have been useful). New ship ,so no issues with worn carpets etc. but cabin steward and his assistant brilliant in all respects keeping the place immaculate. Bathroom great, not a shower curtain in sight! and the heated floor is a bonus. Balcony no different to Celebrity, P&O etc but did have a voile in front of curtain. Would I go with Viking again. the answer is a resounding yes!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was the trip of a lifetime for us! We sailed from Athens, Greece aboard the Viking Sea on Nov.6, 2016. We were delighted by the beautiful ship and spacious quarters! The ship holds 930 people and does not feel crowded even for meals. ... Read More
This was the trip of a lifetime for us! We sailed from Athens, Greece aboard the Viking Sea on Nov.6, 2016. We were delighted by the beautiful ship and spacious quarters! The ship holds 930 people and does not feel crowded even for meals. Service was very good but could have been a little prompter in the dining areas. The room Stewart, Pulo, did an outstanding job of keeping our room clean and tidy. The daily excursions were really good, guides were excellent and destinations well planned.We met many lovely people on the ship and enjoyed many meals, excursions, and trivia games with them. Some people complained about the entertainment but we usually were so tired we just went to bed. We felt like most of our fellow sailors were in our age group , which is 60+. please try Viking, they do an excellent job! We felt they were on par with Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
While we usually arrive early enough to explore our departure city before our cruise, we didn't do so this time. To our delight Viking provided exceptional excursions that were quite comprehensive, and we were able to take in every ... Read More
While we usually arrive early enough to explore our departure city before our cruise, we didn't do so this time. To our delight Viking provided exceptional excursions that were quite comprehensive, and we were able to take in every thing we'd hoped to experience in Athens, and much more. Boarding our ship and embarkation was an extremely easy, smooth and non-stressful as is sometimes the case on other cruise lines. Instead of the usual crowd of people coming and going, the checking and getting to our cabin was very pleasant. Our luggage was already in our room when we arrived, a very pleasant change from our past experience with other cruise lines. The ship was absolutely beautiful. The common spaces were large, attractively designed and furnished, and so very comfortable. Our cabin meet all of our expectations and hopes. Very spacious and beautifully designed and furnished. Ample atorage and closet space so that we were quickly unpacked and off the explore the rest of the ship. The Explorer's Lounge was one of our favorite places to simply relax to read, and to enjoy a fabulous vantage point from which to view and enjoy our time at sea. Amazing views out over the front of the ship as we sailed on. Great beverages and tasty light snacks as we experienced the relaxing time in comfortable overstuffed chairs and couches. We loved the anytime dining, and experienced each dining venue from the main dining room to each of the speciality dining spots. A large selection of delicious dishes everywhere we went, with top notch, attentive services in every regard. And each evening following dinner we enjoyed such excellent entertainment whose quality was matched by such great variety. Port talks were plentiful and very helpful. Mad additionally we enjoyed a series of educational and extremely interesting talks/lectures provided by a wide range of quite learned guest speakers. The itinerary of ports was a true adventure. The range of excursions allowed for great variety of activities and tours. I think it's really worth of mention that in each port Viking provided at least one free excursion. And I sincerely complement the quality and content of these free excursions. We did a number of paid excursions especially in the history filled country of Israel, but we also enjoyed many to the complementary excursions as well. All together they provided a wonderful opportunity to experience this great cruise adventure. This trip was for my wife and me, and we so enjoyed it. Again, I'd like to complement the beauty and enjoyment of the ship. We look forward to additional travel on Viking Ocean Cruises, and we'd really enjoy inviting other friends and/or family who we're sure will enjoy their experience as much as we did. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
For our 40th wedding anniversary, my wife and decided to take a Mediterranean cruise. I chose Viking because of the reviews. We couldn't have been more pleased with the choice. All the personnel I encountered in the planning stages ... Read More
For our 40th wedding anniversary, my wife and decided to take a Mediterranean cruise. I chose Viking because of the reviews. We couldn't have been more pleased with the choice. All the personnel I encountered in the planning stages were superb. When we arrived in Athens, we were met by Viking porters and were treated very well. Embarkation was smooth and without any issues. The ship was fairly new at the time. I believe it had been in service for just a few months. It was well maintained and looked new. When we arrived at our suite, I realized I made a mistake. The suite was designated as ADA. My wife and I do not need an ADA room. When I asked about being moved to a regular suite, we were moved within an hour to a different suite. The suite was great! King size bed, living area, balcony, a large bathroom with heated floors and a heated towel rack. What more could you ask for? The cabin stewards were excellent. Room service was great! All entertainment we attended was great. A board ship there were a few specialty restaurants (included in cruise fare) where we ate dinner a few times. Service and food was good. We chose to eat most of our meals at the buffet... which was awesome. Every shore excursion we took was great! We visited Athens, Mykonos (Greece), Rhodes, Cyprus, Israel (2 ports), Heraklion (Greece), Naples and Rome. I would have liked to have more time in the Holy Land, but we had been there before. Because we extended our cruise in the final port, we were required to get our own transportation to the B&B. I would highly recommend this cruise, the excursions, and Viking Cruise Line. Note: There were NO kids on board. The cruise is geared towards adults. I would not recommend taking kids on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was our first time on Viking Ocean cruise on the Viking Sea. We bought a larger penthouse stateroom and were very happy with the size and room to put away clothes. The ship, cabin, dining and stateroom steward were great. The ... Read More
This was our first time on Viking Ocean cruise on the Viking Sea. We bought a larger penthouse stateroom and were very happy with the size and room to put away clothes. The ship, cabin, dining and stateroom steward were great. The entertainment was just OK. The ports and included excursions were great. We enjoyed ourselves! Here are the shortcomings: Luggage check (at the ship) was a 1/2 mile from the terminal. Our stateroom had a very musty smell and when we brought this to the attention of the General Manager he ignored us. Our steward tried his best but he had not tools to help with the problem. We were out of our stateroom many hours during the day but when we came back we had to endure the slight odor. Prior to our cruise, I called to ask about disembarkation and was told that we can stay on the ship until 2PM, out of stateroom 10AM. We made arrangements in accordance to that information. 2 days prior to the cruise end, we were told that disembarkation is 9:45AM and we must vacate the stateroom by 8AM. So forget about sleeping in and having a leisurely breakfast. We also made changes to our pick-up driver/car. I wrote a letter to the general manager, Mr. Gademan but he never answered my letter. He had one of "his people" call me. There were many apologies but nothing was ever done to correct the odor. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The cruise was suggested by friends and we arrived in Venice with reasonable expectations of Viking's usual efficiency. This was our third experience with the company. At the airport we we told we had no transfer arrangements and I ... Read More
The cruise was suggested by friends and we arrived in Venice with reasonable expectations of Viking's usual efficiency. This was our third experience with the company. At the airport we we told we had no transfer arrangements and I had to dig through luggage to prove it had indeed been prepaid. We arrived at our cabin which was filled with paint fumes. we thought they would disperse and opened the door. By the second day we could taste paint, the fumes were so bad and after whining an air purifier arrived and we were notified the problem was "solved". That was more or less true by the fifth day and after one of us became ill. Our dinner pre-booked reservations were completely erased, but the services manager found a way to get us back in the system. One massage appointment had been booked before the cruise and the time had been confirmed upon arrival. That was switched to the same time as a dinner reservation with no explanation or notice. It was just luck that I was checking what time we were to meet our friends that I noticed it. When I called to ask why and that I couldn't do it then, I was told it was because I had booked online. When I said I had confirmed upon arriving, the appointment was put back to the original scheduled time. I tried to have tea one day and was told there was no room and to sit elsewhere, which I did. Foolishly I assumed I would be served the full tea there. What I got was a cup and a scone. The closest I got to the fantasy of watercress sandwiches on three tiered servers was through the window of the overcrowded room. The reason I am not giving the cruise a" terrible" rating is the land guides were good to excellent, though they were not Vilking employees and our cabin steward did his best, and even defended our need to solve the paint fume problem. So why was all this so bad? Because it ate up a huge amount of time standing in line trying to solve issues. If I was a solo traveller I would expect to invest time in logistical trials, but "traveling the world in comfort" did not happen for us. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Returned from our first Viking Ocean recently. Loved the pre cruise booklets and luggage labels. Flight and Embarkation: Good BA flight to Athens with excellent Viking transfer to Piraeus. Fast embarkation. Champagne on board. ... Read More
Returned from our first Viking Ocean recently. Loved the pre cruise booklets and luggage labels. Flight and Embarkation: Good BA flight to Athens with excellent Viking transfer to Piraeus. Fast embarkation. Champagne on board. Excellent lunch. Cabin ready almost immediately with bags on the bed. Cabin 3036. Excellent spacious cabin with lovely bathroom, including large glass shower. Lots of storage in bathroom. Liked the desk area with lift up make up mirror. I am tall so had to stoop a little to see in the mirror. Double width wardrobe with shelf above, but only 3 drawers beneath the safe and under the shelf with the coffee machine. Only used this a couple of times - preferred to get from excellent coffee machine on Deck 1. Our room stewards were efficient and friendly. We got tea and scones/apple pie a couple of times from room service. Very quick. Ship. The Sea is beautiful with wide open, light spaces. Loved the clean lines of the furnishings. Decor is light and bright. Comfortable sofas and chairs with absolutely no crowding even though our cruise was full. Fantastic selection of books throughout the ship. The Swimming Pool area was lovely. The roof closed overnight but open on all but one day, thanks to our great weather. Plenty of comfortable loungers. Restaurants: We tried Manfredi's twice which was excellent and the Chef's Table 3 times. Loved the Chefs Table with wine pairings but the Oriental Menu was not as good as the other two we tried. The Restaurant was excellent and the Sirloin Steak on the Right Hand Side of the menu card (available every evening) was really good. We never had to wait for a table but only managed to share twice. The tables for two are plentiful and it is possible to chat to the tables nearby. The included wine suited our taste and was poured freely. We also used the Pool Grill a couple of times which was also good and easy to get a table in the sunshine. We went to World Cafe for breakfast which was excellent. We always managed to find a table outside with no problem. Mamsens had great cakes, waffles and open sandwiches. All in all I thought the food was marginally better than on Oceania and Azamara. The Spa absolutely great. Loved the great big jacuzzi swimming pool, the very hot steam room and the refreshing ice room. First time in over 20 cruises that I have ever used a spa on board and it was excellent. Lovely shampoo, conditioner and body lotion. Shops They are run by the same franchise as on Azamara and Oceania but have limited Designers and very limited stocks. There were many of us trying to use up OBC given because our original cruise bookings were cancelled. Many times they only had the item on display and no back up. Even the lovely Boutique manager wished she had more items to offer. Entertainment Enjoyed this very much. Really like the CD Heather Clancy. very charming, great voice, omnipresent. Great singers, only two dancers but that was fine. Enjoyed the shows in the Theatre and a really good deck party. Also good to enjoy the cabaret performances in the great little nightclub Torshaven. Tip - get tickets early as they run out. There is live music all around the ship. Guest service Desks Excellent friendly service. especially the lovely Brna. Excursions We took only the included excursions, which were excellent. There are 'whisper' sets in the cabins, so easy to hear any commentary even when lagging behind. We had visited all ports several times before except Kotor, Zadar and Koper. The shuttle bus service was great and we were impressed that this ran into Athens from the Piraeus every half hour. Also in Dubrovnik Corfu, and Zadar. Santorini was a mess in that there were 5 ships in port, so again there were long queues for the return cable car. It seems that all of the ships were leaving at more or less the same time. This really does need to be addressed with more co-operation between the cruise lines. Many of us have been to Santorini several times. I am unlikely to get off the ship next time which means a loss to the local economy. Cruise Critic Meet and Greet Well attended by Viking. About 16 from cruise critic. However no-one actually took charge. It would have been nice to have been introduced to the Viking heavies - Only a 5 minute intervention would be needed to make the event more friendly. I would love to cruise on this lovely ship again. My problem may be the very 'set' itineraries. I would love to explore the fjords but have already been to all other destinations on the Homelands Cruise. A friend is on a Caribbean Viking cruise next Tuesday so it will be interesting to see how she gets on. Anyway I guess the advantages of the ship may well mean that we go back to some well loved ports. There is always something new to look at. Finally the staff were, without exception, charming. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We were in a forward penthouse on deck 5 port side. The room and service were very good. The ship was new. The cabin was large with a good quality finish. the dining was excellent as you would expect from Viking. The entertainment and ... Read More
We were in a forward penthouse on deck 5 port side. The room and service were very good. The ship was new. The cabin was large with a good quality finish. the dining was excellent as you would expect from Viking. The entertainment and activities were very good. This cruise got switched from Ephesus and Istanbul at the end and added Corfu and Olympia. I was told Viking was the last to switch out of Turkey, which they did in April. All the other lines pulled out before then. We did our own Venice thing, specifically the walking food tour of Canneregio the night before boarding and is highly recommended. We did the included tours for all the stops except Santorini and Athens. The only disappointing included tour was Corfu, and that was probably because of all the refugee Cruise ships that also backed out of Turkey. In Santorini we did the Many Flavors tour. This included the archeological stop. We were so lucky our guide just happened to be a PhD in Archeology, and a level 3 Sommelier trained in Italy. He really brought Akrotiri to life. We got our own guide for 8 hours in Athens for the 4 of us because the included tour did not include the Acropolis and the add on tour was sold out. We are glad we did. there are great tours available out of the cruise port and I would highly recommend those over Viking. Ours was 8 hours with a guide (fantastic) and knowledgeable, and a very funny driver. About $150 per person and well worth it to see all the highlights of Athens. I am a long time lurker to cruse critic, and wanted to post to help others. The following are my notes I took in real time about the little things. We were 2 couples, related in side by side room. You can open the balcony door between cabins and ours stayed open even at sea. We shared room service coffee on the balcony every morning. Great views. The second night main dining room had lobster and beef wellington, foie gras and caviar. In our opinion, it was better than the Italian place. And it was better than the chef's table. They have more than one red and white "house wine". The reds were either a French red vin de pays blend or a tempranillo. The blend was what they showed. The white was a French blend vin de pays or a muscadet (the hidden one) you just need to know to ask. They don't bring the hidden bottle out, they usually just bring a glass of wine if you ask for the ''other house wine''. They tell you that you must use Croatian money in Croatia but they took euros at a museum in Zadar and in Dubrovnik. The internet is pretty slow on the ship since virtually everyone was on it. Toggle Mobile, Piranha mobile, T-Mobile, and Google project Fi all were faster but did cost a little. The Dubrovnik shuttles ran more than every 30 minutes. Just beware. Watch the Kotor coastline cruise in or out. It's very good. They had a major problem with IT. At checkin, they took our pictures and swiped our credit card, then lost them all. Had to do it again mid cruise. They lost our dining reservations to the Chefs Table and the Italian place. However, more than one staff member said ''they don't say no on this ship'' and one night they had 150 registered diners at the Italian place and they are only supposed to have 120 per night. Just walk up and ask. It's a very nice cruise, on a smaller ship, and worth it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The Viking experience is world class! If you enjoy - wine, food, history and great service. This is the cruise line for you! This was truly an outstanding travel experience!!! The attention to details were tremendous. The ship world ... Read More
The Viking experience is world class! If you enjoy - wine, food, history and great service. This is the cruise line for you! This was truly an outstanding travel experience!!! The attention to details were tremendous. The ship world class, the food amazing and the staff caring and professional. The ports we visited were amazing. The excursions were well thought out. There was something for everyone to choose from and we found out time on and off shore interesting, fun and memorable. This was an early birthday present and we had an amazing time. Our fellow passengers were lovely people and all in all I think everyone will remember this cruise for the rest of our lives. We feel fortunate and blessed to have a chance to experience this vacation. We travel extensively and this trip truly will be one for the books that we cherish and talk about for years to come... ! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We did our homework. Too many people had nothing but very good comments with Viking. Besides, who wants to go on a cruise with 5,000 other people? Certainly not us. And the added benefit of a minimum age made our time on board superb. ... Read More
We did our homework. Too many people had nothing but very good comments with Viking. Besides, who wants to go on a cruise with 5,000 other people? Certainly not us. And the added benefit of a minimum age made our time on board superb. The crew were always in a good state of mind, something about which I questioned the Asst General Mgr who responded that there were no "orders" given to the staff to act in any particular way. They just did! Very impressive. We traveled with a disabled person and the crew were always responsive to the situation, even to offering options to us. The ship was immaculate! And there was an understandable effort to keep germs from boarding it and to prevent the unwanted critters from entering all restaurant areas. Between the offered hot hand towels and the sanitary sprays that abound the ship, we never felt ill. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
As a career hotel person - I love to travel. This was the fifth cruise which my wife and I have been on - and it was our favorite. The ship was new, nice and immaculate. Service levels were outstanding throughout the ship. A ... Read More
As a career hotel person - I love to travel. This was the fifth cruise which my wife and I have been on - and it was our favorite. The ship was new, nice and immaculate. Service levels were outstanding throughout the ship. A special 'shout out' to Chef Martin who hosted a fabulous Kitchen Table event - a true food & beverage experience of a lifetime. Liked: The Kitchen Table event (loved it) Quality of food & beverage service No issues finding a place to lay out or relax on board the ship We were able to secure multiple specialty dining reservations without a problem, once on board with a little planning on day one Included tours in each port and very nice upgraded tour options available for a fair price Torshaven was a great place to dance the night away with live music Explorers lounge service and decor was wonderful Area for possible improvement - Improved access to dining reservation inventory in advance of cruise - I was guaranteed 2 dinner reservations and was only able to secure one in advance. Ended up not being a problem once on board. Included tour groups were large - often 40+ people in one group Better clarity on what wines by the glass are included in the Silver Beverage Package Greater selection of wines by the glass with dinner Overall - an outstanding cruise experience Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The first time on Viking and wanted to vacation on their new ships. The intended itinerary should have ended in Istanbul but with the Turkish troubles was revised to Athens but no big issue as not been there before. The ship was ... Read More
The first time on Viking and wanted to vacation on their new ships. The intended itinerary should have ended in Istanbul but with the Turkish troubles was revised to Athens but no big issue as not been there before. The ship was excellent in all respects and probably the best cruise we have ever been on. Rooms all had balconies and larger than most other cruise lines, the food was exceptional, entertainment very good but as the passenger complement was just under 1000 not as extensive as the much larger ships but that suited us fine. The layout was very good and decorations clean, tidy and a bit minimalist which was good. One large restaurant and no set time for dinner so very flexible, you could mix with other passengers of be by your self. Prices a bit more than equivalent larger ship lines but included are guided tours at each port, wine and beer included for lunch and dinner (all good quality) so if you factor that in then not over expensive. Will certainly try the Viking river cruises based on this experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Collectively, my wife and I have been on over 40 cruises and this was our favorite. The Paul Gauguin's itinerary - Society and Cook Islands - was arguably a bit better (hey, we're talking the South Seas!), but for overall ... Read More
Collectively, my wife and I have been on over 40 cruises and this was our favorite. The Paul Gauguin's itinerary - Society and Cook Islands - was arguably a bit better (hey, we're talking the South Seas!), but for overall service, food, layout and ambiance, the Viking Sea wins. The ship itself is a dream. It's beautiful - outside and in. The clean lines and sharp bow make it a very pretty ship, but it's the interior decore and layout that are the real winners. At times the Nordic look can be somewhat austere, but I'm a fan of the uncluttered look and functionality of same. The ship was full and at no time - even on the single sea day - did we ever feel crowded or that there wasn't a nook you could escape to. The cabin was well-appointed (we had a deluxe veranda) with a ton of electrical connections and USB ports. Could have used more drawer space, but this was countered with a very large closet, so it was a wash. Bathroom was big and bright with a lot of storage. More ventilation would have been a plus; it could get close and stuffy with the door closed and the floor heating on. The food was excellent. From the specialty restaurants to the World Cafe buffet everything was fresh, varied and delicious. (Crab legs, shrimp and sushi on a buffet line? You bet!) The only negative I can think of was the wine pairing menu at the Chef's Table. This menu done every third day, only offers one menu choice in each category (appetizer, soup, main and dessert.) This wasn't published beforehand and just coincidentally both of our reservations at this specialty restaurant were of the pairing type. Since one of the treats in restaurant dining for me is the ability to choose, I was disappointed. Since none of the four traveling companions liked the entree at the second reservation, we chose to cancel altogether. There must be some way to fix this glitch. Service was impeccable from the restaurants, to the bars to the cabin stewards, to the folks at the excursion desks and guest relations. If there was a hiccup, we pointed it out and it was corrected. Entertainment, simply put was by far the best we've experienced on a cruise ship. We're lucky enough to be able to take in Broadway shows and these kids (showing my age!) were of that caliber. The shows were varied, professionally executed and there was plenty of seating. Even at the themed shows offered in Torshavn, there were tickets so you could plan attendance in this small venue. I heard of no problems with anyone not being able to get tickets. Heather, the cruise director was excellent and very musically talented in her own right. Excursions were very good with excellent guides who spoke English very well. We took both included and optional excursions and were pleased. On board staff was able to quickly rectify some of the glitches that were made or mis-communicated by the home office administration. And finally, just so it doesn't look like I'm simply carrying water for Viking, there were a number of glitches and miscommunications with the home office prior to boarding. I won't bother to list them specifically. but there was a variety of differing input from the reps we talked to on the phone and a tardiness in supplying some info that we could have used earlier. We didn't find that lack when dealing with Viking River. I suppose that there are growing pains with the Sea being so new, but these should be the same folks that handle the Star. These encounters didn't fill us with confidence in boarding. Luckily everything was rectified and clarified on board. We'll be back - both on the ocean and river!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We had taken the Grand European river cruise with Viking and thought the quality of the vessel, the staff, the excursions, and food were such that we thought Viking would be the best for our ocean cruise. Although the cost initially ... Read More
We had taken the Grand European river cruise with Viking and thought the quality of the vessel, the staff, the excursions, and food were such that we thought Viking would be the best for our ocean cruise. Although the cost initially appeared higher than other cruises lines, we compared what we got for the money with Viking versus other lines and stayed with Viking. I would suggest Viking make a bigger point of these, e.g. free excursions, free soft drink and snack refills in the room, no charge room service, no charges for upper scale restaurants, no casino, sushi bar (fantastic), home made ice cream, etc. The second most key issue for us with this particular Viking cruise was the inclusion of the stops in Turkey. Although I under stand and would have made the same decision as Viking to drop Turkey from the itinerary I would suggest that it be put back on the itinerary at the earliest appropriate point. Many of our fellow travels also had these same thoughts. Every thing on the Viking Sea was wonderful. The live music through-out the ship greatly contributed to a more relaxing time. The Beatles retro was WONDERFUL. I would suggest more comedy acts as entertainment. Other lines I had been on had the entire crew compete to do a talent show. We really enjoyed these and suggest Viking consider this. Due to flights and time on the bus we did not arrive at the Viking Sea until about 1630hrs--a real let down. Otherwise the embark and debarkations were very smooth and effortless. A massive thank you to the disembarkation and transfer staff that provided my wife help after she injured her knee (old recurring injury which Viking was not at any fault for). The excursions were by and large excellent. The only stop that was rather under-whelming was Corfu. If I had the money to travel more I would do this one again and stay on board to relax more and/or go out on my own. We really liked the ship for NOT having many of the activities for younger adults and children found on other vessels. As the cruise went on we found some service staff in the World Cafe would at times pass our table by and ask others if they would like a refill of a drink when we had been sitting a while and had nothing. We joked that we must smell bad. The spa (which costs extra on some lines) was a special retreat for us and made the trip that much more wonderful. We think the passengers in too large part may have been unaware of this wonderful facility. We talked with several that did not use the spa since it was thought they would be charged for its use. The library or libraries throughout the ship was another highlight for us and we made constant use of the exceedingly excellent book selection. Bottom line- a great ship, staff, activities, and excursions. We have and will continue to recommend Viking. Thank you to those that supported us for a wonderful cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Viking has many things included for one price. We had a large family groupe (10) and Viking did well with that. The reason I say that is they are set up for couples and smaller groups. They have Wonderful service and Excellent food. The ... Read More
Viking has many things included for one price. We had a large family groupe (10) and Viking did well with that. The reason I say that is they are set up for couples and smaller groups. They have Wonderful service and Excellent food. The entertainment director Heather did an outstanding job. The entertainers were excellent and friendly. The excursions were very good, for being new in the sea cruise business Viking understands how to do this. Some rough spots but for the most part educational and enjoyable. Free Wifi, beer and wine includes with meals is awesome! Smaller ship was really intimate and much friendlier than the mega ship trend going on now. Unfortunately I think Viking Ocean Cruises has spoiled me to my old favorites Princess and Royal Caribbean. I believe that Viking will be seeing more of me, they are the best that I have cruised with. Thank you Viking Ocean Cruises for an enjoyable and memorable experience! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This cruise is perfect for couples and those of us that aren't the greatest at socialising. With dining a true pleasure and able to have a table for 2 and most times by a window without the uncomfortable chit-chat of the round table. ... Read More
This cruise is perfect for couples and those of us that aren't the greatest at socialising. With dining a true pleasure and able to have a table for 2 and most times by a window without the uncomfortable chit-chat of the round table. The layout on the ship very easy to navigate and the spa area a high light. There are plenty of areas to explore with little surprises everywhere. We only did the included excursions and apart from the ones on the bus we wondered of early as I find the information by the guide tended to ramble and have you standing in one spot for extended periods. The following like sheep behind a red stick doesn't show you the out of the way spots. The included tour are a great starting point for general info but if you have an opportunity checking things on your own by foot or taxi is more enjoyable, we did take a couple of taxis for a more relaxed adventure. All our embarking and disembarking ran very smoothly but we were in one of the first groups as later groups were cramped for time to do what they wanted on the included tours. Staff on the whole were very good with an occasional exception. The smaller ship is a definite plus and do highly recommend these ocean cruise by Viking with all the little extras included in the price. Our embarkation port was changed from Istanbul to Athens and the assistance and reimbursement for out of pocket expenses by Viking was a appreciated. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Viking is a great cruise line, Embarkation was simple and efficient. Elegant, great service. No kids which is a bonus. All about the ports and the people. Great ports and excursions. Food and service were excellent. We were on the maiden ... Read More
Viking is a great cruise line, Embarkation was simple and efficient. Elegant, great service. No kids which is a bonus. All about the ports and the people. Great ports and excursions. Food and service were excellent. We were on the maiden voyage of the Viking Sea. Cabins were spacious with first rate amenities. Heated floors in the bathroom. Lots of storage space. Loved the veranda. Had coffee out there each morning. Each port had wonderful excursions. Learned a lot about the history of Turkey, Greece and Croatia. Service was first rate. Meals were wonderful. Lots of choices. Shows and entertainment were first rate. Loved the Abba and Beatles tributes. Wonderful food was available any time you wanted it, Afternoon tea sitting in the explorer's lounge was relaxing. Loved the infinity pool. Ship was just the right size. The self service laundry was a real plus. Will definitely go on another viking cruise in the future Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We were on Viking Rurik river cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg in 2013. Despite a major hiccup--a bad storm that delayed us 12+ hours--we were extremely impressed with how the Viking and its crew made up for a missed port and delayed ... Read More
We were on Viking Rurik river cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg in 2013. Despite a major hiccup--a bad storm that delayed us 12+ hours--we were extremely impressed with how the Viking and its crew made up for a missed port and delayed arrival to St. Petersburg. As far as I'm concerned, they exceeded expectations. So, when I read about the ocean cruises starting, it seemed like an opportune time to visit some places we've never been. The superlatives I can think of are inadequate to describe our experience on the maiden voyage of Viking Sea, April 3-12, 2016, Empires of the Mediterranean. Again, Viking just knows how to take passengers on an enjoyable, educational, entertaining cruise. The Sea was a revelation. Gorgeous small ship with impressive amenities all the way down to heated bathroom floors. Also a mini fridge stocked with sodas, sparkling water and some candy that is free within reason. Free washers and dryers and ironing boards, as well. They also provide a free excursion for each port. Food was very good. We prefer more generously seasoned food as a rule, but the food onboard was fresh and tasty in all dining rooms from the Cafe to the Restaurant right into the specialty restaurants (for which there is no extra charge) Man Freddi's Italian and The Chef's Table. We travel when school is in session to avoid exposing ourselves to rowdy teens and shrieking toddlers, and Viking doesn't really provide anything other than a pool that youngsters might enjoy. Service as impeccable, which was not surprising. The river cruise staff impressed us immediately. While there were far more people onboard the Sea so that the staff didn't know our names within 24 hours like they did on the Rurik, we could not have asked for better service in the restaurants or from our room stewards. I do wonder at why Viking advertised that Venice was a stop, which to me implied that we would get an excursion when, in fact, it was just the end of the cruise, and if passengers wanted to see Venice, they had to book an extension. This was never mentioned to me when booking. A headsup about there being no time in Venice when booking 18 months in advance, would have been very helpful. St. Petersburg was our final stop on the Russian river cruise and we spent a couple of nights there and went on several excursions. My mistake for thinking when a port is advertised as such that it's included in the price of the cruise. As it turned out, we got a day in Venice. See below: There was one major CON and it had nothing to do with the sailing experience itself. The flight booking experience with Viking air department was a nightmare and, should we cruise again (and if we do it will be with Viking), we will most definitely arrange our own flights. I will never deal with their air department again. I booked our Premium Economy flights with them as soon as it was possible, which was 10 months in advance for the April cruise. In February 2016, I was planning our excursions and noticed on our Viking online trip calendar that we would dock in Venice at 6 a.m. Our flight was scheduled at 6:55 a.m. with 6:15 being the last check-in. No way we'd make that. I called and was told by a very prissy young woman after putting me on hold for almost 10 minutes that, yes, that was a problem and that they would be putting us on a flight that would have us making *three* stops instead of *one.* Unacceptable. Finally, I demanded they put us on the same flight the next day and was told that 1) We would have to pay a $200 penalty for that change, 2) We would have to pay for our own hotel, and 3) We would be responsible for our own transfers. I refused to pay the $200 for THEIR mistake and they finally conceded. I booked the hotel and got the cab from the ship. While in Athens, we sat at a table with a very nice couple from Australia and they told us of their wonderful experience with the Viking air department and how well they had been taken care of with proactive help which included contacting them and offering to pick them up at the Dubai airport and putting them up in a hotel for their 8-hour layover, as well as flying them in to Istanbul a day early and putting them up at a hotel overnight so they wouldn't be arriving in the evening and have a 4+ hour drive to Gallipoli for the Anzac observance prior to the cruise. I was quite surprised that Viking in Australia bent over backward for this couple while Viking U.S. tried to hold us responsible for their mistake. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
My wife, Sigita, and I had never done a cruise. We had heard good things about Viking cruises and as a result we chose Viking for our first cruise experience. Also the Empires of the Mediterranean Cruise afforded us the opportunity to ... Read More
My wife, Sigita, and I had never done a cruise. We had heard good things about Viking cruises and as a result we chose Viking for our first cruise experience. Also the Empires of the Mediterranean Cruise afforded us the opportunity to visit two of the cities we were wanting to visit, Venice and Istanbul. Unfortunately due to world situations, Viking chose to limit the planned stay in the embarkation port of Istanbul and because of the the air arrangements made for us by Viking we did not have any time to experience Istanbul other than the ride from the Istanbul airport to the ship. Overall we found the cruise to be very satisfying and fulfilling.The stateroom we had was very comfortable and adequate, meals fabulous, service exceptional, shore excursions excellent, informative and well organized and since we were on the Viking Sea on its maiden voyage, everything was new and pristine. . Despite the capacity of the ship being 930 passengers none of the venues - atrium, bars, lounges, restaurants, pool and other recreation areas, tec. - never were overly congested. Our only complaint would be the flight arrangements made for us by Viking.Transfer times were somewhat tight which caused us some unnecessary stress, some of the airlines booked did no allow us to "manage our flights", e.g., make/change seat allocations, checkin online, etc. Also the flights over were on Air Italian planes which were lacking in leg room for me, a 6 footer. As an indication of our satisfaction with Viking, we have booked a Viking river cruise in 2017. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We were on the maiden voyage of the Voking Sea...it was our first ocean cruise ...tho we did a river cruise on Viking several years ago. It was exciting to be on this maiden voyage and all the staff seemed happy and excited as well...the ... Read More
We were on the maiden voyage of the Voking Sea...it was our first ocean cruise ...tho we did a river cruise on Viking several years ago. It was exciting to be on this maiden voyage and all the staff seemed happy and excited as well...the could not have been more welcoming / friendly/ helpful...every last one of them! Both embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth...we were greeted with LOTS of champagne during this voyage! Our cabin was comfortable and we loved the room refrigerator and coffeemaker. The bedding was very luxurious and the mattress soooo comfortable. We loved sitting out on our veranda as well. The bathroom was spacious and the shower worked well...even for my 6 '3" husband! The food was excellent and we enjoyed eating at the 2 special venues...the Chef's Kitchen and Manfredi's. It was fun to try out all the various places to eat onboard..high tea in the Winter Garden was especially notable! We ate many meals at the World Cafe...which had so much to choose from...plus wine served with both lunch and dinner. We also tried both swimming pools and were really impressed with the infinity pool with the glass back and the retractable roof on the main pool. The shore excursions were wonderful. The local guides were all very good and knowledgeable. Shore talks and speakers onboard were interesting and we enjoyed shows by the Viking singers and dancers. One of our favorite places was the Explorer Lounge...with its beautiful view and ourtdoor deck. We were probably spoiled by the trip as I can't imagine how another ocean cruise could top this one! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
The maiden voyage of the Viking Sea likely spoiled us for anything else in the world of cruises. It was our first cruise, and from talking to other passengers, we have no where to go but down if we cruise with another line. We chose ... Read More
The maiden voyage of the Viking Sea likely spoiled us for anything else in the world of cruises. It was our first cruise, and from talking to other passengers, we have no where to go but down if we cruise with another line. We chose this itinerary for the ports of call, many were places we had never visited in our European travels. The ship was stunning, we felt we were on a 5 star floating hotel / art gallery. The staff could not have been any better, kinder, more responsive, or helpful throughout all the activities and events. We enjoyed the shore excursions, which were "just the right size". I was afraid we would be herded around in large groups, but most tours were less than 25 people. The food was just wonderful at each restaurant and cafe we tried. I don't think we were able to sample all of them, but did our best. The meal preparation was delicious. We especially enjoyed Manfredi's and ate there three evenings. The World Cafe was our favorite for breakfast, and the croissants and pain au chocolate tasted like they do in France. Several of our friends have cruised (river) on Viking and had told us their wonderful experiences, so we had high expectations. This experience far exceeded our expectations. As frequent travelers throughout Europe, we were delighted by this experience, the fellow passengers, the quality of the excursions, the food, the ship's design. I can't say enough great things about it all, to be honest. I'm already looking forward to our next adventure with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We have been on numerous cruises on many different lines, and we think Viking tops them all. Embarkation was inviting, efficient, and organized. Tours at every port were on time, well-led by absolutely outstanding tour guides and ... Read More
We have been on numerous cruises on many different lines, and we think Viking tops them all. Embarkation was inviting, efficient, and organized. Tours at every port were on time, well-led by absolutely outstanding tour guides and well-organized. I keep saying organized, but Viking never leaves a passenger wondering or wandering. Guides in the ports are clearly marked. Embarkation and disembarkation features many Viking stafff holding signs "pointing the way" to the 'correct' bus. The Viking Sea is elegant and spotless from stem to stern. No casino was a welcome gift. No photographer in your face every day and selling pictures was another welcome gift. An all-adult cruise line was another welcome gift. We dined in each of the four restaurants during our cruise; the food was superior, and the service was equal. I could go on and on listing individual servers and crew who deserve our highest accolades. They are superbly trained and superbly helpful and generous with their time, service, and interminably kind demeanor. Our Deluxe cabin had a spacious balcony which we enjoyed. The bed was most comfortable, and there was a large wardrobe, and plenty of drawer space. My wife and I are professional musicians, and the entertainment was top drawer. For example, a young tenor singing "Nessun Dorma" is a rarity on a cruise ship, but Constantine 'nailed it' (and I have accompanied many a singer twice or thrice Constantine's age that didn't sing it any better). My wife and I would go on a Viking cruise again in a heartbeat...we're already scheming, in fact, to see if we can manage a trip on Viking's next new ship in 2017 (this was the maiden voyage of the Viking Sea, and we are eager to see the Viking Sky and the Viking Sun, one each in 2017 and 2018). Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Viking Sea Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.8
Dining 5.0 4.6
Entertainment 3.5 4.2
Public Rooms 5.0 4.9
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.4
Family 1.0 4.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.2
Enrichment 4.0 4.4
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 5.0 4.4

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