19 Viking Ocean Viking Sea Cruise Reviews for Repositioning Cruises to Transatlantic

We picked this cruise because of its itinerary - "In the Wake of the Vikings" - a northerly transatlantic crossing, and we had to book it a year and a half in advance because it's only offered once a year. (Although, we ... Read More
We picked this cruise because of its itinerary - "In the Wake of the Vikings" - a northerly transatlantic crossing, and we had to book it a year and a half in advance because it's only offered once a year. (Although, we found out later that a 2nd Viking ship trailed this same itinerary by several days - so much for Viking's communications - more on that.) We did the 3-day pre-trip Iceland extension. Generally good, although we found out once there that there were 78 people on this pre-trip, and all but 8 of us had direct flights to Bergen to board the ship after Iceland. We were some of the unfortunate 8 - indirect flights thru Oslo. We asked the local Viking person (an independent travel guide, very helpful) "what did we do wrong to deserve this?" She said to call Viking, ask for direct flights, since another couple had done this, or have your travel agent do this for you. We emailed our US travel agent, asked her to to have Viking book us direct (like the 70 other people who had this done for them automatically). Viking's 1st response was that they would charge us $350/pp because this was a voluntary upgrade on our part! Gag me! We went back to our travel agent, she fought w/Viking and got the direct flights for no charge, like all the others (except a few who got stonewalled by Viking when they went direct to Viking). Other than that, the pre-trip was a nice way to explore Iceland - much more so than the planned one day shop in Reykjavik on the cruise. We did Blue Lagoon, Grand Circle tour, plus good tour around Reykjavik. Once we flew to Bergen, we found out (rumors among passengers on the bus ride to the ship) that we're not staying in Bergen, we're leaving a day early, i.e., right away, due to Hurricane Dorian, and we'll be skipping 1st two port stops (Shetlands and Faroes), in order to try and skirt hurricane on way to two new port stops in Iceland via two very rough sea days. Ironic, that we just left Iceland, flew to Bergen, to get on a ship and sail into a hurricane in order to go back to Iceland via rough seas. Why couldn't Viking let us know that back in Iceland and let us just rent a car and drive through scenic Iceland and catch up to the ship in 1st new Iceland port stop? This is 'classic Viking non-communication.' (Our only other Viking Ocean cruise was to go from Istanbul to Venice, only we found out 'by accident' that we weren't going to Istanbul, but cruise was going to start in Athens instead.) The Viking Sea ship is wonderful - small size - only 900+ passengers, great cabin attendants, great food, comfy beds, free wifi, free laundry, free beer & wine w/lunches and dinners, nice public areas. They offer two free specialty restaurants/trip - an Italian, plus a special Chef's Table. In keeping w/Viking's non-communications, we had booked one of each, only to find that Viking had somehow cancelled one of our reservations when we showed up for dinner. The two extra Iceland port stops were wonderful, but once we left Reykjavik, we were told that, due to storms off Greenland, that we'd be skipping the 1st Greenland port and have ... 2 more rough sea days! Prince Christian Sound (60 miles of interconnected fjords in S. Greenland) did make up for this, as it was a visual extravaganza. However, more of the same after Greenland - two more rough sea days due to bad weather off W. Greenland on our way to Newfoundland, and an alternative port once there. We heard from others on board that Viking has made this re-positioning trip 5 times, and has only made all port stops on its advertised itinerary only once! Seems like Viking needs to re-examine its repositioning trips - we understand that 2020 cruise goes in August, but I'm sure Viking is trying to maximize its profits with its Baltic cruises and didn't really want to leave that soon! Once home, we did receive a nice email from Viking saying, in effect, that they screwed up, and are offering a future voucher worth 40% of our trip cost on a future Viking cruise. We'll have to seriously consider whether we want to cruise Viking anymore. Their ships are great, and once onboard the crew and staff and accommodations are excellent, but Viking's communications with its passengers, especially pre-trip, STINK! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
embarking was quick and easy. once we were on the ship at 3.30pm we were advised that the ship would be leaving that night instead of the original plan of the next evening due to weather which meant we missed the port of Bergen as it was ... Read More
embarking was quick and easy. once we were on the ship at 3.30pm we were advised that the ship would be leaving that night instead of the original plan of the next evening due to weather which meant we missed the port of Bergen as it was too late to do anything that day. Big seas means we also missed Shetland Islands and Faroe Islands. instead we made for Iceland and had 2 make up ports of Akureyri and Isafjordur. both tiny stops. We then had to forgo Nanortalik due to 'weather'. When we got to Dagueanay.....well it isn't it was the port town of La Baie, 20 kms from the main city. No shuttles were pour on. We had to find a local bus or taxi of we es bed to go into the city. We reached Quebec, the best port of all and we had to be back on board by 3.30? surely we could have stayed longer given the fact how much we had missed out on previously? into Montreal at 4am? that to me says we definitely could have had longer in Quebec. The included tours were ok. Need more for active people. Not everyone is over 75. The entertainment was average. The singer's were ok but only did 3 showed in 2 weeks. The magician was awesome. bring on more odd this stuff. Comedians etc Classical pianist? yuck. start catering for the 50 year olds. We are your future cruisers. The cabins are nice and clean but not enough storage in deluxe verandah. put more shelving in instead of so much hanging space. had to leave most of our stuff in our suitcase which was frustrating. Noise in the cabin is totally unacceptable. rattling and banging in the walls, creaking like we were on an old Spanish Galleon or on the first fleet to Australia. that is no exaggeration. I still couldn't sleep with earplugs and a pillow over my head. Who wants to be sleep deprived their whole holiday? It was brought to Guest Services attention the 2nd day and their response was" its the weather" not good enough. Even when the seas were calm it was the same. Everyone we spoke to said the same thing, their cabins creaked and rattled also. Italian ship builders obviously can't get that right. Staff were friendly enough but ask for anything out of the ordinary and it's like the biggest deal. Ask for small portion, can't do it. Ask for 2 scoops of icecream, can't be done. Communication was terrible. We never knew when the ship was getting into port or leaving until the night before. couldn't plan anything. when in Reykjavik we dashed back to the ship between ships tours to grab lunch and check the Tax refund process to be told the ship want leaving until 8pm so we would have plenty of time. We got back from our second tour to hear that the ship was leaving at 6 and no time for any last minute shopping at the terminal shops and that the VAT guy was leaving. Asked for assistance again from Guest Services to see if anyone could help us with a Garmin charger for our watches as ours had been left on the previous viking cruise we had gotten off to get on this cruise. never heard from them again. The food was quite good in quality and the head chef Paul was great. constantly checking the quality and his people. Took great pride in his food and his people. We have previously cruised mainly with Azamara. Hard not to compare the 2. I'd choose Azamara every time. We chose this cruise for the itinerary but at the end of the day it missed too many ports. Why not call it for what it is. Transatlantic repositioning cruise. Not one for the destinations. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Viking Cruise Trans-Atlantic September 2019 Our cruises are always chosen for their itinerary, but after that, of course, the cruise line is a major consideration. We came across the “In the Wake of the Vikings” cruise with Viking ... Read More
Viking Cruise Trans-Atlantic September 2019 Our cruises are always chosen for their itinerary, but after that, of course, the cruise line is a major consideration. We came across the “In the Wake of the Vikings” cruise with Viking Ocean Cruises, a line new to us, back in early 2018, but we were not free at the time, so we expressed an interest with Viking for the 2019 sailing, through our local Travel Agent. We were not so happy, therefore, when we were eventually contacted by Viking to tell us that the cruise was finally open to the UK market, but, because it had been on sale in the USA for some time already, we had the choice of only one room in the category we wanted, a Penthouse Veranda room. It was, fortunately, in a good position, on the starboard side and forward, so we booked it immediately. Flights are arranged through Viking and we were booked on Scandinavian Air Services from Manchester to Bergen via Copenhagen, which all went smoothly. Our return flights, from Montreal to Heathrow and then on to Manchester, were with B.A. Unfortunately, our return flight to LHR was cancelled because of the B.A. strike and was, during the cruise, changed firstly with Air Canada to LHR and then with American Airlines to Philadelphia and Manchester when the Air Canada LHR/Manchester connection wasn’t possible. Ironically, because the Philadelphia flight from Montreal was stuck in Philadelphia when the time came, meaning our connection would be missed, we ended up back on our original B.A. flight to Heathrow, after retrieving our luggage and going back through Departures, which wasn’t pleasant, but we did at least get home not too much later than planned; the Economy section of the plane was almost empty too, which helped. Back in Bergen Airport, we learned from the Meet and Greet team that an alteration to the itinerary was already in place. The remnants of Storm Dorian were to blame, as bad weather predicted for our first two stops in Lerwick and Torshavn meant we would almost certainly not be able to enter the ports and also experience uncomfortable conditions at sea. The solution was to leave Bergen immediately and head for Iceland instead, missing our scheduled overnight stay in Bergen and full day there. Once aboard, which was a speedy and friendly process as we were quite late reaching the ship, we found a letter in our stateroom explaining the situation fully. Additional ports, Akureyri and Isafjordur, would replace Lerwick and Torshavn, after which our schedule would return to normal and we would avoid the worst of the storm by leaving Bergen immediately. This made little difference to us, as we have visited all four ports before, but many American guests were naturally disappointed. Our sea days were indeed on the rough side, but nothing too serious. Our days in Akureyri, Isafjordur and Reykjavik were good, but there was further information about the next part of the schedule from the Captain before we sailed from Iceland, heading for Greenland. Once again, stormy weather on our route to Prince Christian Sound and Nanortalik was to be avoided by turning a little north, which meant that we would still enter the Sound, but at the more comfortable time of midday instead of early morning. We would then miss Nanortalik completely and head straight for Qaqortoq. Once again, this suited us well as we were particularly keen to pass through the Sound and we were delighted that the Captain understood that it was an important part of the cruise for most passengers. This plan worked well and we had a wonderful passage through Prince Christian Sound, but before leaving Qaqortoq we were informed of a further change to the schedule because of the bad weather; the anchorage for L’Anse aux Meadows, a Viking settlement in Newfoundland, would be far too exposed to allow tendering, so the Captain and the company had gone to tremendous trouble to reorganise our stop to St. Anthony, a fifty minute bus ride away. Once again, everything worked very well, despite the need to disembark a sick guest into the conveniently close-by hospital, which delayed our departure. That was the end of our itinerary problems, but we have great admiration for the effort and cost the Viking Company was prepared to put into making our cruise as good as possible and we enjoyed the itinerary very much, although issues raised by other Cruise Critic writers about the actual location of the Saguenay dock and the lack of time in Quebec are worth noting. Viking Sea (and her sister ships) should have suited us down to the ground, because we don’t need evening entertainment, preferring the scenery outside the windows and the guest numbers are low. However, our final survey for the ship before disembarkation (conveniently delayed until after lunch for the group of us who had later flights) had us indicating that we would not recommend the ship to our friends and we would be very unlikely to travel with Viking again through a combination of several reasons. Slightly souring our initial impression of the ship was our first view of our room, which was missing the separate door and large window shown in the brochure, having instead a sliding door, somewhat screened by the curtain, which made the room seem dark and reduced the view from the sofa. We spend a lot of time in our room and this was a disappointment. The ship was full, so we could not be moved. I was also concerned by a possible lack of soundproofing after clearly hearing coughing through the wall, but in fact this was not an issue. Our main area of disappointment was the food on board Viking Sea. This is a very personal issue, of course. We prefer to eat in the World Cafe for all meals because we like the relaxed atmosphere and the views from the windows. We did eat in the Restaurant on one occasion when we thought the Cafe would be taken up by an Indian buffet, but it was extremely busy and my view was of a wall, whereas outside it was a beautiful evening. We just made it outside in time for the sunset. We never tried the other eating opportunities, apart from the Pool Grill, which we enjoyed. We found the menu in the World Cafe pretentious and repetitive and frequently not to our taste, with plenty of seafood and underdone meat, although the chefs would willingly cook portions to our requirements. Food was frequently cool in its presentation trays even when freshly put out and we learned to ask for our plates to be reheated, but cooked-to-order food could be left out on the plate for collection, therefore cooling again. Even my individual portion of mashed potato in the restaurant was cool. We usually enjoy soup on our cruises at lunch and dinner, but more often than not we found it was either fish or spicy and we went without. Desserts were more tempting and we took advantage of the gelato bar too, but our overall impression was poor, not helped by items missing from the drinks area, cool water in the hot water jugs and empty milk jugs. Making a hot drink could be a slow and frustrating process at times. Our early departure from Bergen meant that some food items had not been restocked, so some individual breakfast cereals were soon unavailable, as were some yoghurts and finally bagels. Even the orange juice from the machines turned into something more like sour squash from Quebec and would be like that for the next cruise, we were told. My reply was that I was pleased to be leaving, in that case. For some reason which is hard to define, we also found the atmosphere on board ship very uninspiring. The pool area and the Winter Garden were both frequently chilly, but guests, despite all rooms having their own balconies and sea views, would lie on the loungers wrapped in blankets. Even during the scenic cruising periods, there were not too many people outside to appreciate it. The indoor pool was closed almost all the time, either from the bad weather or maintenance and the outdoor hot pool was also occasionally closed at times. The outdoor decks were frequently closed due to the strong winds. The ship felt like an uninspiring Retirement Home, with Baggo the main excitement of the day! Obviously, there were plenty of other activities available during the day, but this is how we felt overall, compared with our experience on many other cruise ships. We also disliked the atrium area because all the windows were screened by obscuring netting, preventing any view outside, which was disappointing as this was a popular place to sit. The World Cafe sliding doors were ill-filling and draughty, but otherwise we generally enjoyed this space, even though we were often almost on our own there out of meal times. Viking Cruises offer an included tour at most ports. We normally preferred to walk around on our own, but at Qaqortok we opted into a “self guided” tour, which we thought would include an idea of a route and information on what we would see. Wrong! We received a basic map and enquiries afterwards made it clear that our group timings were simply a way of organising and monitoring the tendering process. Fair enough, but that is not a self-guided tour in our opinion. However, there were many things about Viking Sea we did like. We were most impressed by and appreciative of the information we were given by the Captain on the various itinerary changes and the way the problems were resolved. The staff members were all friendly and eager to help with any enquiries and our room stewards continually asked if we needed anything. An early cruise survey, which they asked us to fill in to satisfy their superiors, gave us the opportunity to suggest a couple of future improvements to the room in terms of more bathroom hanging space and hooks for outdoor coats, as well as mentioning the food issues. This resulted in the delivery of extra towels and hangers, which we declined, plus a series of phone calls from various departments trying to resolve matters which were generally simply suggestions! Our stateroom grade, Penthouse Verandah, included a complimentary minibar which was replenished daily. We don’t drink either the spirits or sodas in the minibar, but the sommelier was happy to remove those and provided us with wine to our taste instead. Lectures and port talks were available to watch on the room TV as well as live in the theatre, which we preferred on the whole. There was a good range of live TV, plus recorded programmes and films to choose from and the internet was usually good for our location. We were both able to use our tablets at the same time, which is unusual in our experience. Finally, although we stated in our disembarkation survey that we were unlikely to travel with Viking again, a promotion too good to miss and an interesting itinerary have offered us the opportunity to revise our opinions early next year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My brother and I wanted to cross the Atlantic. We were particularly looking forward to Funchal (Madeira) Portugal, cruising through the Strait of Gibraltar and visiting Sevilla and Valencia, Spain. We were not let down; sea days were a ... Read More
My brother and I wanted to cross the Atlantic. We were particularly looking forward to Funchal (Madeira) Portugal, cruising through the Strait of Gibraltar and visiting Sevilla and Valencia, Spain. We were not let down; sea days were a blast, the weather was good (60s and 70s), excursions were terrific. The staff is amazing - open and friendly, always engaging & remembering our names, taking care of any requests. Just terrific. Here’s an example of great service; we would read on the top deck most days in the late afternoon, where comfortable couches are located outside. One day there had been early rain, and the furniture had been secured. We asked a senior crew member if they could set up the furniture and within 5 minutes, it was set. Very impressive. The food was very good, entertainment was great. The Viking singers get a huge high-five. We used Viking Air Plus, which I recommend- all transfers were seamless. You can’t go wrong with Viking, and I have already signed on to a 2020 cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
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
Sail Date September 2018
We chose to do a repositioning cruise on the Viking Sea in March of 2018 from San Juan to Barcelona. We have sailed over a dozen times on other cruise lines, predominately Seabourn and have done four other trans-Atlantic cruises, but were ... Read More
We chose to do a repositioning cruise on the Viking Sea in March of 2018 from San Juan to Barcelona. We have sailed over a dozen times on other cruise lines, predominately Seabourn and have done four other trans-Atlantic cruises, but were intrigued by the pictures and reviews of these new ships. First the good: The Viking Sea was a beautiful ship with spacious public areas. We loved the clean Scandinavian design and our lovely PV1 cabin. The Mediocre: The food. Perhaps we are spoiled by the exceptional cuisine on Seabourn, but we found the dining experience on the Viking Sea to be very disappointing. With the exception of the specialty restaurants (which were limited to two visits per cruise) the food and service in the main dining room were mediocre at best. There was never enough wait staff, the food was not very good, and the tables were jammed so close together that any thought of a romantic meal for two was impossible. In general we were surprised at the poor level of service on the boat (again compared to Seabourn.) While sitting around the pool, it was rare for anyone to come offer even a drink of water, let alone something alcoholic. This meant one of us (including my handicapped husband) had to go to the bar, order a drink, and carry it back. The Horrible: My husband suffers from Afib, a heart condition for which he has been treated for two years. Prior to leaving on this cruise, he was cleared to sail by his cardiologist in Florida. On day 9 of our cruise, he went to see the ship's doctor because he was having some symptoms related to this condition. The doctor prescribed a new drug, and he felt fine. On day 11, we took a private land excursion to Tangiers which tired him out. The next morning (shortly after we docked in Cadiz, Spain) he decided to see the doctor again, just to be sure he was okay. After running some tests (which concluded my husband had NOT had a heart attack) the doctor announced that "because the next day would be a sea day" he could not risk having us on board. We were told to summarily pack our things, leave the ship, and go to a local hospital in Cadiz. In a state of shock we complied. We spent the next 7 days in a hospital in Cadiz (where most of the staff did not speak English.) My husband was given an IV for hydration and hooked up to a monitor. And we waited and waited and waited for 4 DAYS to see a cardiologist. When he finally arrived, he did a short test, added a beta blocker (a drug my husband had previously taken) and said we were "cleared to fly." Hurray! But no, our Viking trip insurance company "Trip Mate," now responsible for getting us back to Florida, declared we must have a "medical escort" home. This, despite the fact that all the doctors at the Cadiz hospital said this was UNNECESSARY. So...we waited 3 MORE DAYS for a nurse to fly in from Colorado to accompany us home. THEN THE REAL KICKER.......Trip Mate just sent us a bill for $2,000 for my air ticket home, because it exceeded their limit for that class of service. It was the SAME class of service we had booked for our original flight home from Barcelona. In short...we missed the last three days of our cruise, spent seven nights in a foreign hospital, suffered considerable stress and discomfort, for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON. My husband, according to ALL the doctors in the Cadiz hospital, was medically fine to continue the cruise. He has been fine since we returned home. The Viking doctor made a mistake when he sent us off the boat. Now they want to charge us $2,000 more for his poor judgement. This is unconscionable and unacceptable. We do not intend to pay this bill, will never sail on Viking again, and have told all of our friends to beware of this cruise line. Read Less
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
Sail Date March 2018
I have been smitten with the Viking ship design since the first brochure arrived in my maibox a number of years ago. Picked this 15 day Transatlantic crusie for its sea days and ports of call. Frist TA and first Vking cruise. I am ... Read More
I have been smitten with the Viking ship design since the first brochure arrived in my maibox a number of years ago. Picked this 15 day Transatlantic crusie for its sea days and ports of call. Frist TA and first Vking cruise. I am amazed by the attention to detail in the design and furnishings of the ship: I lost count of the different style of chairs in the various public spaces. My favorite are the deep brown leather chairs next to the Living Room Bar. The railings in the hallways and even the door handles to cabins are wrapped in smooth leather. The lichen garden below the stairs rising to the full story sceen showing the most brillinat pictures throughout the day and evening. The views of sky, sea through every window above deck 1. The windows are floor to ceiling. In the World Cafe these were open on sunny days in port for more alfresco dining. Stunning spa with heated tile loungers, stream room , sauna, and snow grotto and small pool open to evyerone. Fees are only for massages. Food in all venues is very good, lots of variety, creative, and the" success cake "in Mamsen is the best dessert at sea. The crew from officers to the young man who was in charge of keeping the elevators clean were always friendly, going out of their way to answer a question or help in any way. The included excursions were basicly bus tours with stops or walking tours of areas of the port towns . All the guides were very knowlegable . The resident historian program is outstanding. Our historian Mark gave lectures on art, pirates, explorers, also had round table discussions and open office hours for small group discussion. The Deluxe veranda cabin was fine, with large shower, and heated bathroom floor. Could have had more drawers in the main cabin. We did find places for all of our stuff. Loved our balcony and table height for having breakfast while looking out at the morning sea or sailing into port. Met so many intersting passengers who were all having a good time while we crossed the Atlantic Ocean. The only negative is that they ran of three of the white wines on the wine list during the cruise. Many of us had the Silver Beverage Package and they miscalculated the number of wine drinkers with this package. They did not run out of the incudled wine, however. LOL This minor detail was the only negative I experienced. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We had heard good reports about Viking River Cruises and when we saw this lovely itinerary on the relatively new Viking Ocean Cruise line we decided to give it a try. And we were delighted with our choice! One reason we selected this ... Read More
We had heard good reports about Viking River Cruises and when we saw this lovely itinerary on the relatively new Viking Ocean Cruise line we decided to give it a try. And we were delighted with our choice! One reason we selected this cruise was because we love days at sea. While 7-8 days at sea does not appeal at all to some travelers, my husband and I, who are retired, enjoy restful days when we don’t have to be up and ready early for an excursion. And there is so much to do on the ship during those days - the spa and pools, in-room movies, exercising and games on the deck and just watching the vast views from our veranda. But then this cruise had some lovely ports that we had not visited before and definitely wanted to see - Puerto Rico, Madeira, Tangier, Sevilla, and others that we returned to visit. One of the features of Viking cruises is that the excursions are all included. Of course, you can upgrade for a fee if there is a special spot or experience in a port that is not part of the included outings, but pricey excursions are not necessary. The entertainment was fine although we didn’t go to very many of the shows. We liked the lectures about the various ports, their histories and political issues. The lectures were recorded so we could watch them at our leisure. The food on the ship was exceptional with a nice variety of good quality and healthy options. There was always plenty of food and drinks available whenever we wanted them. Service was outstanding for the most part. Staff members seemed to be happy and to enjoy their jobs. Because we had such a good experience on this trip, we booked a future cruise onboard and took advantage of the discounts we were offered. Overall, we had a great experience and are looking forward to our next cruise on Viking. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
2nd time on viking ocean cruise. Will never choose another cruiseline. They got it right, cruise director Mark is not the cornball type like many others, has great taste in entertainment, which is superior to all the other cruises i have ... Read More
2nd time on viking ocean cruise. Will never choose another cruiseline. They got it right, cruise director Mark is not the cornball type like many others, has great taste in entertainment, which is superior to all the other cruises i have tried. Food is tops, no pretensions, same with service. Ship is pure elegance, so spacious. Whats not to like. Shore excursions well organized, one free for each port. Classical music all over the ship is high quality. Cant say enough about ,nordic spa. Steam room, sauna, snowbroom, hot pools, all included. My husband used gym every day, well equipped, never crowded. Scandinavian buffet for breakfast is great for late risers. Sticky buns at buffet breakfast are delish. Gelato flavors change daily. On our anniversary we received a special chocolate cake, one of the best i have ever tasted. Loved daily high tea in wintergarden with string quartet. Perfect cruising. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
After thoroughly enjoying our Viking Homelands cruise in 2016, we decided we just didn't have much time on the ship. So crossing the Atlantic for 6 days was a delight! We never lacked for anything to do. The lectures were fantastic ... Read More
After thoroughly enjoying our Viking Homelands cruise in 2016, we decided we just didn't have much time on the ship. So crossing the Atlantic for 6 days was a delight! We never lacked for anything to do. The lectures were fantastic with four on board lecturers, including our resident historian. We only had 5 ports of call, all of them fascinating. And we stayed over in Barcelona, a wonderful city. Viking caters to ages 50+, so it is easy to meet people with like minds. We traveled with friends that we met on our Viking Bordeaux River Cruise. Our only complaint was the Air department, which kept changing our flights. Our travel agent was right on it, but we ended up paying to keep our original flights home, a long story. But on the whole, you can't beat Viking for food, service, and value. So, of course, we've signed up for another Ocean cruise in 2020. That will make our 8th Viking trip! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Transatlantic from San Juan to Barcelona with stops in Madeira, Tangier, and Cadiz. The ship is beautiful! The food was excellent no matter the venue. Enjoyed the entertainment and movies with discussion groups afterward. The Meet ... Read More
Transatlantic from San Juan to Barcelona with stops in Madeira, Tangier, and Cadiz. The ship is beautiful! The food was excellent no matter the venue. Enjoyed the entertainment and movies with discussion groups afterward. The Meet & Mingle was outstanding—cocktails, hot appetizers and officers who truly wanted to engage. There are outdoor fitness machines on the sports deck for those who prefer to enjoy ocean sounds rather than gym noises. Lots of nooks and small group gathering space on the outdoor decks. Loved having laundry facilities on each floor—including an ironing board. Let us pack less with no expense. Free detergent (or you can use your own). Great social spot as we waited for a washer or dryer to open up. Lots of men doing the laundry! Viking also lets you bring your own liquor and wine aboard with no corkage fees. Wine and beer offered freely at lunch and dinner but cocktails are reasonably priced. They treat adults like adults. One initial challenge was loud banging noises in our cabin. The first night there were six crew members including head of housekeeping in our cabin trying to figure out where the noise was coming from. Because cruise was sold out, told no other cabin. Next day, noise was worse. Someone had canceled so we were moved—no noise! Finally a good night sleep! Someone else had also complained about noise and was moved to our old cabin but said the noise was worse so moved back to their previous cabin. Two days later, we found the problem—a ratchet strap hitting the metal on a lifeboat which was right under a vent pipe at our old cabin. Suggested they pad it—maintenance showed up immediately and did so. End of noise. Responsiveness to our complaint was immediate and taken seriously. Commend housekeeping, maintenance and guest relations. Stellar. Loved the heated bathroom floors! Lovely cabins with luxurious bathrooms. Public spaces are inviting. Different music (not loud!) rotated between—a string trio, pianist, jazz, etc. My husband is a singer and would’ve liked a passenger choir to fill some of the Sea days. The CD said he’d been lobbying for one so would keep trying. All in all, loved this cruise. We met more people on this cruise than any other. Signed up for two more in future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise partly for the Viking Route and partly to try out the Viking Ocean ship as we were also looking at another Viking cruise. On the whole we greatly enjoyed our experience. Customer service pre-cruise was not very good, ... Read More
We chose this cruise partly for the Viking Route and partly to try out the Viking Ocean ship as we were also looking at another Viking cruise. On the whole we greatly enjoyed our experience. Customer service pre-cruise was not very good, in particular because we were never informed that the ship would not be docked where the cruise material said it would be! Fortunately we learned via Cruise Critic where it was, and saw it ourselves from the Maritime Museum. Embarkation after that was fine, as was disembarkation. Shore excursions were a mixed bag. Several places relevant to the Viking theme were not shown on the port maps, nor mentioned in the port briefings. Fortunately we had done our own research! Excursions in large groups on buses were not as enjoyable. Stops where you could spend some time exploring on your own - such as L'Anse aux Meadows, or Qaqortog in Greenland, were the best! And we appreciated our day in Quebec. Dining was mostly enjoyable. The World Cafe was packed at certain times, and service was stressed to get beverages to diners. We tried the restaurant and found it also could be very slow service. Book as many dinners as you can in the specialty restaurants - you can always cancel if need be. If you'd like to meet some of your fellow passengers, ask to join a table rather than dining by yourselves. Music throughout the day from the pianist, guitar player, and music groups was a lovely accompaniment to the cruise! The weather made walking or jogging around the deck ifffy at times, but the fitness center had plenty of equipment and I never saw it full. We booked another cruise while onboard! Now that we know the ship we expect to rate the next cruise "excellent!" Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
As a retired 35 year History teacher traveling alone, I was searching for a cruise that would be more appropriate to the classroom experiences I had with my students. The Viking SEA cruise "In the Wake of the Vikings" filled ... Read More
As a retired 35 year History teacher traveling alone, I was searching for a cruise that would be more appropriate to the classroom experiences I had with my students. The Viking SEA cruise "In the Wake of the Vikings" filled that bill and more for me. The cruise began in Bergen, Norway, and crossed the Atlantic to Montreal. I took advantage of pre and post extensions in Oslo and Montreal for two days each and was not disappointed. Bergen was also a joy, and the fact that this pro cycling fan was there during one day of the week long UCI World Championships was a pleasure that was unexpected when I booked the cruise. To get to the ship, I traveled by train from Oslo to Bergen. The views were amazing, and definitely a harbinger of things to come on the cruise itself. The Viking SEA was easy to get around, and the staff was the best part of the entire experience! Whether it was my Steward, Tito, the food staff, or the security and boarding staff for the three tendering situations, they couldn't have been more patient or professional. The food was outstanding! When I arrived on the first night, I went to the Buffet ("World Cafe") expecting to pick up a burger and fries. Imagine my surprise when the offerings included Duck a L'Orange and Lamb Shoulder...the excellence and variety of the food was unchanged for the next two weeks. I got my first taste of Venison, and Caviar as well. Breakfast and luncheon offerings were equally as good. The 'reservation restaurants,' Manfredi's Italian, and the Chef's Table, were above and beyond expectations. A cautionary note: If you intend to hit the Casino, buy art, rock climb, or see extravagant Broadway type shows with large casts; this cruise is not for you. The stage time is taken with lectures on the History, Geography, and politics of the area served. We had four lecturers who touched mainly on the Viking legacy (it was the theme, after all), but also included climate concerns, political policy issues regarding whaling, oil, and other natural resources, and more recent Historical events. There were also "Port Talks," led by the Cruise Director. If you missed any of the lectures, you could watch them later on your cabin television. Entertainment was controlled by an eight person troupe, who brought a different show each night to the theatre. Despite the small size of the troupe, they handled their assignments very well. They, like the rest of the staff, were also very gregarious and thoughtful to the passengers off the boat. The Spa and exercise areas were excellent! The Deck 2 walking area was a quarter of a mile around, which surprised me, because I have been on much larger Carnival and Disney ships where the walking distance was identical. How did Viking do it? The Shore Excursion opportunities brought unexpected visual experiences. The beauty of the Shetlands, the Faroes, Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, and Quebec were the highlights here. The local guides were all knowledgeable and easy to converse with. The views from the ship were also amazing, especially going through the fjords in all of these locations. Prince Christian Sound in Greenland was at least equal, if not superior, to the views in Alaska's Inland Passage. Three glaciers, icebergs, and mountains around every corner kept the camera busy! The included tours usually were of the "Panorama" variety, where we took buses to various areas as an orientation of the location, with opportunities for stops for photo opportunities. I was most disappointed with the included tour of Reykjavik, Iceland, because we spent an inordinate amount of time driving through residential areas and were not allowed to stop at key locations because "we do not have time." I was also a bit frustrated with one of the onboard consultants informing me that the 'excursions in Saguenay, Quebec, were very helpful, because there isn't much to see in the town.' Two opportunities to walk proved to me that this was a very charming town, and there was much that we weren't able to see otherwise. Perhaps a reevaluation of the opportunities in this region for excursion purposes would be helpful. The optional tours were tremendous! In my case, a walk through the Shetlands' capital of Lerwick, a ride around the Faroes, a visit to a fur house in Qaqortoq, Greenland, a walk around the L'Anse Aux Meadows Viking settlement in Newfoundland,and walking and carriage tours in Quebec City were stunning! On three occasions, we had to "Tender" from the ship to the shore. The crew was excellent in getting us on and off board, but suffice it to say, the term "Tender" is now an oxymoron in my book...remember that the North Atlantic in mid September is not easy on good days. We also had to miss the Nanortalik, Greenland port due to treacherous wind and waves. Kudos to the Security and Boarding crew who had to deal with disembarking so many in limited time in all of the ports. The cruise was exceptional, and, despite a few minor issues, I would go again...In fact, while onboard, I signed up for a future Viking Ocean Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My wife and I, both in our 70's made the cruise. Our pre-cruise visit to Bergen was great. We had Viking plan the air, which was a mistake. They routed us through Heathrow, which I avoid based on experience several years ago. It has ... Read More
My wife and I, both in our 70's made the cruise. Our pre-cruise visit to Bergen was great. We had Viking plan the air, which was a mistake. They routed us through Heathrow, which I avoid based on experience several years ago. It has gotten worse. It took over an hour standing in line with our carry-on luggage to get on a bus to take us from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5. We had reserved the Hotel Oleana in Bergen. It was conveniently located, nice staff, but the furnishings were spartan. Good weather and we ate well in the 3 days there before we boarded the ship. I thought embarkation went smoothly but my wife disagrees. We both were very happy with our stateroom, especially the heated bathroom floor. Wish I had one at home. I screwed up, not having looked at the ships plans/specifications enough beforehand. I thought it would be too cool to use the pool, so didn't pack a bathing suit. But the main pool and it's hot tub were protected and there were two more hot tubs plus the two pools and the sauna in the spa. Dining was great, with several options. I regret that they did not offer more choices of joining others when we went into The Restaurant. We met fewer other cruise travelers than we have on other cruises. We both took advantage of the talks and enjoyed them a lot. One speaker was so good that I regretted I was not going to be on the next leg (to New York) to hear some scheduled for it. All of the crew were helpful and pleasant to deal with. Security process for exiting and reboarding at the port stops was very efficient. I appreciated the steps they went to to help us keep our hands clean and prevent the spread of disease. There were several locations outside of the staterooms where people could relax and read. An ample number of books were available at multiple locations. In many of these one could be close enough to the performing musicians to have the music in the background. All of the musicians were top notch. Portable hearing sets were available to help people hear the excursion guides but they were awkward to use and were unnecessary except on one tour I went on. The size of the ship is large enough to have great facilities but small enough to go places larger ships cannot visit. We were already book for a Spring 2018 cruise on the Viking Sea when we booked this one. We liked it enough to book a cruise on the Viking Orion in December 2018. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My husband and I chose this cruise for the itinerary as well as Viking's stellar reputation. We weren't disappointed. The cabin, food and service were exceptional. We've cruised with RSS and Celebrity but Viking ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise for the itinerary as well as Viking's stellar reputation. We weren't disappointed. The cabin, food and service were exceptional. We've cruised with RSS and Celebrity but Viking outperformed them both in these areas. We enjoyed a few days in Oslo prior to the cruise staying at the Hotel Thon Opera. We were a bit unhappy that our rooms weren't ready when we arrived at 3:00pm and we had to wait in the lobby for a bit. Other than that, the hotel was very nice and the breakfast they offered was sensational. And because we were inconvenienced by the delayed check-in, Viking arranged a very nice coach tour of the Oslo area, which included a stop at the the very interesting Viking Ship Museum. We took a very comfortable and scenic train ride from Oslo to Bergen to embark the lovely Viking Sea. Excurions: We highly recommend the Fish Farming and Maritime History tour offered while at port in Bergen. We toured a facility that builds beautiful wooden boats and makes rope, then drove through beautiful Hardangerfjord to reach the fish farm. We were then taken to the mountains, to Voss, for a delicious lakeside lunch. It was a great day! It was fortuitous that our tour took us out of Bergen because Bergen was hosting an international cycling event the day we were in port so most of the Bergen city tours were cancelled. (A boat tour of Bergen was substituted.) Viking provided everyone with a $200 ship board credit for being inconvenienced. Very nice of Viking. While in Lerwick, Scotland, we opted for the walking tour, The Nature Trail of Mousa Island. After a brief coach ride through town, we boarded a small boat for a 10 minute ride to Mousa Island. It was a beautiful day for a walk; scenic, sunny and very breezy. The 'trail' is over uneven grassy ground and a bit slippery and wet, so be aware. Make sure you have the appropriate shoes. But it was a wonderful experience seeing the Moussa Broch. The guide was knowledgeable. We're glad we chose this tour. We booked the Sea Safari tour while in Torshavn, but due to high seas, the tour was cancelled. Safety first! So we walked through town and toured on our own. We opted for the all day, Golden Circle tour, while at port in Reykjavik. It was well worth the time and cost. And the guide was very knowledgable. Such fantastic scenery! We had a wonderful salmon lunch too. I wish I could have spent a bit more time shopping at some of the gift shops. The most spectacular sight on the entire cruise was waiting for us in Greenland. We cruised slowly through the magnificent Prince Christian Sound. Breathtaking, really. Mountains, glaciers, bergie bits, seals, whales, sun, snow - fabulous! And no other ships around. We saw one person, a kayaker, on the 5 hour sail. Unbelievably harsh beauty. Wow! Due to weather, we were unable to dock Nanotorlik. But the ship was able to dock in Qaqortok. There is not much to see there, but we walked around town in the sunshine and found the grocery store to be an interesting visit. L'Ans Aux Meadows - was interesting. It gives you a real sense of the Viking life there, hundreds of years prior. Saguenay, Ontario - our least favorite excursion. We opted for Zodiac in the Park tour. We felt we spent too much time on a school bus there and back. The actual tour on the zodiac was brief and just ho hum. And a very rough ride. There is no food offered, so Viking should arrange snacks somewhere along the line. (We were gone from 10:00 until 3:00.) The guide didn't really offer insights or history of the area on the long rides. Beautiful scenery though. Quebec City - Many ships in port that day (8?) so it was very a very busy, crowded port. We opted for the included tour, which was fine with us. The streets were clogged with people so sitting on a coach with a guide telling us all about Quebec City was just about perfect for us on our last day. Food - we loved Manfredi's; left the Chef Table after the second course - not to our liking. But enjoyed every other meal everywhere else on the ship. We especially enjoyed the fresh seafood the chef arranged for us in Bergen. Mussels were yummy. And Mamsen's deli for waffles in the morning. And High Tea daily! And drinks at the Explorer's Lounge! We look forward to our next cruise in April. Love you, Viking! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Our experience with a Viking river cruise was excellent and the ship's itinerary was what we wanted. The staff is excellent and is very friendly. The support staff works well together providing quiet and efficient service. I was ... Read More
Our experience with a Viking river cruise was excellent and the ship's itinerary was what we wanted. The staff is excellent and is very friendly. The support staff works well together providing quiet and efficient service. I was always greeted with a hello and a smile. Service was outstanding and our cabin steward was the best. The dining experience was outstanding with great food, excellent food presentation and food choices. Due to a medical incident I needed to visit you ship's medical facility. The care I received by Dr. Soric and his staff was outstanding. The shore excursions were disappointing and not up to my standards. Not enough time spent at the different stops, Sometimes it felt like it was a march or die excursion. You need to learn from the river excursions on how to improve the shore excursion experience. The enrichment lectures were only OK and could improve. Overall it was an excellent cruise and we will take another cruise with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My wife and I choose this cruise based on the itinerary. It was called "In the Wake of the Vikings". We left Seattle on Seattle on Sept. 15 the spend some time in Norway. We flew through Iceland to Oslo and took the train from ... Read More
My wife and I choose this cruise based on the itinerary. It was called "In the Wake of the Vikings". We left Seattle on Seattle on Sept. 15 the spend some time in Norway. We flew through Iceland to Oslo and took the train from Oslo to Bergern; a wonderful trip. We arrived in Bergen on the evening of the 17th with the intent of checking in on the Ship and doing some planned activities. We arrived at the pier about 10:15 AM, neither conveyor belts that scan your items was working, thus a full pat down. Once through we were told it would be 10:30 AM before we could check in. It turned out that the systems to check us in were down and we could not check in until 11 AM. It seemed like no one knew what was happening and it was hard to get straight answer. That should have been a hint. We got passed that and rode the funicular up the mountain, had lunch in the Fish Market and took a fjord tour by boat...a great day in Bergen! Since we were not sailing until the evening of the 19th, we took a farm tour that was included on the 19th and it was very enjoyable. Let me say at this point that we are experienced cruisers with this being our 26th cruise since the early 1990's. All ocean cruises, no river cruises and no Viking. We read great things about the Star, which turned out not be true. Our first stop was the Shetland Islands where we had a great tour and my wife bought wool (she is a knitter). Our second stop was the Faro Islands, which we had toW pass due to rough seas. Iceland was next and we had a great time in Reykivik; we had lunch at Cafe Loki where we had the traditional meat soup and several varieties of herring. For dessert we had Rye Bread Ice Cream (delicious). My wife bought more yarn and we bought some gifts. Nice Day. Then the fun began! We ran into a substantial storm that night with up to 45 foot waves and winds gusting to 80-90 mph. Lots damage on the ship and some people were hurt. Everyone had to hunker down for the night. Fortunately we were not seasick. Several items broke in our cabin. It was by far the worst storm that we have ever encountered while cruising. The next day was better, but 15 foot seas and 30 mph winds were not that much fun. Greenland had a stark beauty highlighted by a floating iceberg, a glacier and some very remote villages. We stopped at two very small Inuit villages and had to tender in since there was no dock to handle our Ship, even though we were under 1,000 passengers. After another sea day, we landed at L'Anse aux Meodows, a site of reconstructed Viking village. We were in one of the last two groups when the Captain cancelled the tendering due to rough seas. We felt we could have made since we have tendered in rough seas before. He later apologized since the seas did not get as bad as he expected. Needless to say we were very upset about missing this site. Our next port, Sagueny, Canada we took a paid tour of crafts, etc. At our first stop the bus broke down; end of tour Quebec City was really hopping and we had a good tour. Finally Montreal where we stayed in the Renaissance, a Marriott property which was outstanding. Especially using points and an upgrade to suite. I am a Platinum Elite, which is helpful. Here is our assessment: the Ship is beautiful, the staff is very attentive, but ineffective, the cabin is very well designed and the food ranged from horrible to very good. We ate in every dining venue. The phones have a clock, which was out for 4 days, thus when putting in a wake up call you were awakened two hours early until the problem was corrected. The wifi is free but very slow and not there several times. Everything you as for takes 2-3 to get it; making little things big things and gets you angry. There is no single point of contact like a concierge and/or a butler. At $7,000 per person one would hope for something like that. Entertainment was minimal, but surprisingly very good. We felt that Viking is not ready for prime time ocean cruising. Also DO NOT CRUISE THE NORTH SEA AND NORTH ATLANTIC IN SEPT-OCT. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We went on this repositioning cruise because of the unusual itinerary. Norway, Shetland Islands, Iceland, Greenland, Faroe Islands, Newfoundland, Quebec and Montreal. It involved following how Vikings made their way to North America. The ... Read More
We went on this repositioning cruise because of the unusual itinerary. Norway, Shetland Islands, Iceland, Greenland, Faroe Islands, Newfoundland, Quebec and Montreal. It involved following how Vikings made their way to North America. The Viking Star was not quite ready for the heavy seas it encountered that cause quite a bit of broken dishes, glass and even one elevator. The crew we talked to said they had never seen this type of situation. They did not know how to secure things. We had a glass carafe broken in our room, which the crew took care of quickly.They were handling broken glass in many of the rooms. Maybe they needed plastic instead? Stateroom counters are not made for heavy seas and everything just flew all over the place. I am sure the designer never went out on a ship in a storm. We were in the buffet restaurant when the crashing of dishes and glasses started. The cook/server behind the counter looked bewildered when the dishes started crashing. One sliding door kept slamming open and shut to the kitchen and no one bothered to secure it. An announcement from the captain to secure all loose items in your room would have kept breakage to a minimum. Our dresser lamp and telephone flew on the floor. Everything was tossed like a salad. Nothing appeared to be secured, like other ships. We heard our balcony chairs outside sliding back and forth during the storm. One stateroom had a chair crash through their window, according to our shipmates. Making our way back to our room was not that easy without rails on many of the hallways and byways. Our trip to the Faroe Islands was cancelled because of the swells would not allow tendering. The crew were extremely friendly and helpful. In previous reviews, I have read how wonderful they are and it's true. I am not a gourmet or anything near that, but I agree with the reviews that the food is not as good as it should be. Boring and bland. Even in the specialty dining, it was boring. Breakfast was the same every day and it took forever to get an omelet. The coffee was weird. We could drink 4 cups and it was like there was no caffeine. It tasted off and cheap. The worst veggie burger in the world is available at the grill. The same grill's hot dogs with sauerkraut were my favorite meal on the ship. Very little fresh local fare was to be found on the menu. The unlimited room minibar was hardly ever refilled. We left notes which went unanswered. We would sometimes get a bag of chips or a candy bar. Chips are from housekeeping. Candy from mini bar people. We are not drunks, we just wanted vodka and not scotch. By the way, Grey Goose is not in the Silver Package or mini bar. ;( Our room was large. The window and door to the balcony are blocked by all the furniture. I would rather have one large slider than the blocked window and the door. No good view when laying in bed. The rails were being varnished everyday and not always labeled as "wet". I learned not to touch the rails. The included tours were usually good and very informative. Many were "booked" and we ended up seeing very little in Reykjavík, Iceland, other than doing a bus drive around the city and go to a water tower. I would not stay in Montreal for a post tour. I would jump off at Quebec City, which is much more interesting. The Quebec City port was too far from anything and was a giant construction and commercial zone. All transfers went well except there was no one at the Montreal Westin Hotel to explain what was happening with the baggage when we arrived too early. We did the Oslo pre-tour which was very good but I really did not need to see the ski jump. Read Less
Sail Date September 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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