235 Viking Ocean Viking Sea Senior Cruise Reviews

Numb, as in unbelievable, Numb as in over whelming, Numb as in booked another cruise with Viking for next year. We had seen the TV documentary "Mighty Ships" showcasing the "Viking Sky" and a week later were booked ... Read More
Numb, as in unbelievable, Numb as in over whelming, Numb as in booked another cruise with Viking for next year. We had seen the TV documentary "Mighty Ships" showcasing the "Viking Sky" and a week later were booked for our cruise on the "Sea", I had Viking do all our bookings for our transportation to Oslo, as well as our Oslo and Bergen extensions. We were not disappointed, as everything went well, with ground transportation, the 2 hotels we stayed in, as well as the train trip between Oslo and Bergen. I beloved they saved us about $4,000 Cdn, (for 2 people) as I booked the airfare using a dummy account, and was well satisfied with the outcome, and that didn't include booking hotels or train trip. Upon our arrival at the cruise terminal, we were informed we would leave Bergen a day early (disappointed) and miss the Shetland and Faroe Islands (disappointed), but would have two extra ports in Iceland (Wow), due to stormy seas as the remainder of Hurricane Dorian hit the area. A few other changes were made due to rough seas, but Viking and the Captain made the changes ahead of time, allowing replacements and relocations so our cruise wasn't days at seas. This allowed us to cross the Arctic Circle, and spend extra time in Iceland, a place we might have never returned to, as well attended to the safety of the ship and passengers / crew aboard. I have mobility issues and use a walker. The tours we took, were OK for our limits, as we were allowed to wander at our own speed and were given a time and place to meet, which we adhered to. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze, except at Quebec City. I knew, as Viking stipulates in their "FAQ" area, you are responsible for getting yourself off and on without crew assistance, but at Quebec City no wanted to take my walker on or off, and it was a long stand waiting while the walker sat on the pier. The boarding ramp also in Quebec City was not handicap friendly due to the small steps (my ability of using steps, not the port or ship or anyone else's ability). All other ports, crew couldn't have been nicer or more obliging getting the walker on and off, and assisting on ramps and tenders. The ship was beautiful, simple lines but very elegant. We had so much space and a good choice of areas to sit, depending the mood and what we wanted to see or the hear the music provided by the onboard musicians. The "Living Room" was divided into smaller sitting rooms (about 8 to 10 seats), each with art work, a multitude of reading material, ornaments on tables and shelves and thro-blankets and cushions giving a very warm and at home feeling. The food overall, was very good, sometimes things weren't great or what we expected but that's standard wherever you go or even at home. The "Restaurant" had wonderful choices, with standard fare on the left side of the menu and seasonal / regional choices on the right side. We mostly ate from the right side, and enjoyed what we ordered. Service was professional, and the odd time things did get dis-jointed, but we always got what we wanted, and if something was forgotten, it was there in seconds. We never left hungry. "World Cafe" had a nice choice of foods, and they would prepare to order. We only had lunch there, as we preferred the "Restaurant" where portions are controlled, as we always filled our plates way to much, and hate to waste food. "Manfretti's" was wonderful, especially the rib-eye steak, but learned we can order or split portions if we choose. We were very pleased we could have 4 dinners there. We had one dinner at the "Chef's Table", which was Asian and wonderful, but we choose not to return for the Mexican themed dinner. At both specialty restaurants, the servers explained the menu to us in great detail, as well as the wines we ordered. We paid for the "Silver Spirits" package which included upgraded wines at meals, and any alcohol or soft drinks on board. The jury is still out, whether we would get it again. I kept of tally of what we ordered, and we broke even. The upgraded wines aren't a big deal for us, and we are not big drinkers, but ordered a few specialty drinks we wouldn't of had if we were paying for each drink. However, it was nice knowing you wouldn't get a large bill at the end. The crew were "amazing" and everyone on board made our holiday special, from their hellos in the hallways or greeting us by name in the food and bar service areas. They remembered our likes or dislikes or could predict whether we were having 2 black coffees or 2 Absolute and tonic. High Points: 1) no children 2) no up-selling 3) included internet (worked well most of the time) 4) no photography or photographers in your face 5) treated like responsible adults (not to many party people on board) 6) no pushing future cruises, it was made known you could book on ship (which we did because we wanted to, not because of pressure) There is much more to tell, bu the highlight was, Viking did us well, and we look forward to our next cruise in June 2020. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose the cruise because of the variety of excellent ports of call. It was our first Viking cruise, and we were very impressed by the beauty of the ship, the attention to detail, the variety of food choices and restaurants, and caring ... Read More
We chose the cruise because of the variety of excellent ports of call. It was our first Viking cruise, and we were very impressed by the beauty of the ship, the attention to detail, the variety of food choices and restaurants, and caring staff. Every port was different, and every one worth visiting. We were impressed by the quality of excursions offered, whether included or extra. Each was led by a knowledgeable tour leader, and both informative and enjoyable. The lectures were all excellent, and the speakers knowledgeable about the varied subjects. We enjoyed The Explorer’s Lounge...a perfect place to relax before dinner or enjoy the sunset. Our room was comfortable and very well maintained by our excellent and caring cabin steward.. we never wanted for anything. We enjoyed the restaurants, the variety of food, and the ability to decide where and when we would have our meals. We chose to extend our vacation..both before and after the cruise. Both hotels we stayed in were very good, as were the Viking representatives in the hotel lobby. Well done, Viking! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This trip was highly recommended by family and friends who had already been on this trip. It was everything they said it would be and more! The overall experience was world class exceptional! The visit to 8 countries and 11 ports ... Read More
This trip was highly recommended by family and friends who had already been on this trip. It was everything they said it would be and more! The overall experience was world class exceptional! The visit to 8 countries and 11 ports was amazing. The tours were done by educated, experienced, well- spoken tour guides who provided a wealth of information. They gave us a glimpse of life for each country visited. There was a lot of fast paced walking so this trip is not for those with ambulatory issues. We loved every port and country we went to. The Viking ship, Sea, was the perfect size to get in and out of all the ports and waterways. It was beautiful and had much to offer. Our room was spacious, newly updated, great amenities and very comfortable. The food was world class. The variety of restaurant choices was perfect and each venue had great choices. The staff were very personable, funny, provided for every need. Allen and Dickie, our cabin stewards were exceptional at their job. They were very personable, respected our routine and privacy and provided what we needed. The entire shipboard staff were exceptional. I highly recommend using Viking Air to arrange flights. Perfect flight arrangements. Everything was well coordinated and organized from Viking. The trip was very costly but worth it! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My wife and I have cruised many times in the past. we usually cruise with some friends who decided that we all should cruise the Baltic for our annual cruise in 2019. They chose Viking Ocean cruises, due in no small part to the excellent ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised many times in the past. we usually cruise with some friends who decided that we all should cruise the Baltic for our annual cruise in 2019. They chose Viking Ocean cruises, due in no small part to the excellent reputation of which they had read and the fact that what could be better than to take a Scandinavian ship to cruise the Baltic. At the outset, we were shocked to find that the entire cruise needed to be paid at least one year before the cruise. That has never been our experience in sailing with multiple lines and future patrons need to be aware of this requirement. The ship is beautiful.The public rooms are wonderful especially the Explorer Lounge. Our cabin was quite roomy and the bathrooms excellent. special kudos for a lovely shower without having to step over a tub.I found the heated floors in the bathroom to be a nice touch. The spa area is spectacular and if going to a spa with virtually everything-hot tub, small therapy pool, sauna and ice room is your thing, this is your ship The company touts its multiple channels of communication available to those who are scheduled, but that is primarily limited to receiving one way announcements from them, done well, but not to any dialogue or getting personal support for questions which arise and may not be answered in their stock announcements.Poor communication seems to be common on these cruises. For example,special meals opportunities, lobster tail and steak, special buffets, at the grill were never announced well and one learned to look for these each day by dropping by the grill itself or asking of the crew in a restaurant or bar. The ships plan is good but when the special meals take place in the grill area there is inadequate seating for the number of cruisers wishing to partake in the meal. The seating in the cinema is wholly inadequate for the number of passengers. Quite a few performances occurred with many passengers standing in the back to observe the show. The back two side areas were totally inadequate both for seeing the show and hearing it.The need to get to the venue 30 minutes before shows began was difficult for those of us who tended to to eat dinner at about 7 to 7:30. I was quite disappointed to discover that we did not receive services comparable to what we had received ion either Oceania or Azamara in spite of the fact that the per night per person cost to sail with Viking was considerably more than either of the other two. My concern with the cabin service is that when I wished ice, I had to go to housekeeping, when I wished lime I had to go to room service and when I wished to change my complimentary liquor and the amount of tonic I needed to speak to the drink steward.This in my view is rather poor considering the price of the cruise and the plaudits from other cruisers. Viking offers one free shore excursion at each port.The walking tours we took, 4, were excellent, but those in a bus were not worth the time spent at all. I was quite disappointed in the meals in the Restaurant ,in the Chef's special restaurant both times and at Manfredi both times. To be fair, one night the prime rib served at the restaurant was amongst the best I have ever had. The waffle at the Explorer Lounge was exceptional. On at least 4 occasions the cookies offered with the buffet were stale. the wines with meals were acceptable if unremarkable. One could upgrade wine selection and liquor for an extra daily per person charge. The speakers/lectures seemed excellent, for those we could make, but we missed the largest number as they were scheduled during dinner hour or just prior to dinner hour. Getting on, on the day of sailing from Bergen, and off the ship in Stockholm, with our luggage, were superbly handled even though we left the ship at 6 am to make our plane. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The service on the ship was of the highest order. The cabin was very nice and had lots of room for for a two week cruise. While fancy dining is not our highest priority we did find the other choices for meals were more than adequate for ... Read More
The service on the ship was of the highest order. The cabin was very nice and had lots of room for for a two week cruise. While fancy dining is not our highest priority we did find the other choices for meals were more than adequate for our tastes. We really enjoyed the magician, he was top notch. The other entertainment was of professional quality. There were more than enough activities to choose from. You could not do everything available. We enjoyed the variety of excursions available and were able to get on all the ones we wanted except one, but the alternate excursion was very nice. I am amazed at the level of service of all the employees on the ship and the booking office. Our only complaint was we paid the extra $50 to call the plane reservation service to negotiate the plane flight from Phoenix to Bergen. They were not very accommodating and wound up with plane delays and changing flight plans 3 times during our flight because we were delayed taking off from Phoenix due to bad weather in Newark, our first connection. Yes, the delay was weather caused but our wish was to fly direct to London first not Newark. The delay caused us to be without our luggage for 6 days. The guest service did preform a miracle to retrieve the bags when we had lost the luggage tags. We are not big on cruises, but for people who like this sort of thing I would definitely recommend Viking for their over all great service from start to finish. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I would not hesitate to recommend this cruise to anyone. The ship was beautiful and clean, and the staff and crew were helpful, fun, and entertaining. Service was top notch. Our cabin was always clean and pleasant, and the views ... Read More
I would not hesitate to recommend this cruise to anyone. The ship was beautiful and clean, and the staff and crew were helpful, fun, and entertaining. Service was top notch. Our cabin was always clean and pleasant, and the views outside the sliding glass doors was phenomenal. The size of the ship was just right: under 1000 guests. We've been on the mega-sized cruise ships, but much more enjoyed the size of this one. With few exceptions, the dining and food were amazingly good. We had only 2 disappointments in the two weeks we were on the ship: 1) On lobster night, the lobster tail was overcooked and mushy. On the other hand, we did have lobster a second time and it was very good. 2) We were disappointed in the Italian dining room. Our group was neither impressed with the dining room nor the food. It was a bit more ornate than the main dining room, but the food was just not what we had come to expect on the ship. On the other hand, the open buffet dining food was as good as special dining food on other ships. The nightly entertainment was varied and the quality was as good or better than we've experienced on much bigger cruise ships. The bottom line is that we LOVED this cruise and would not hesitate to take it again. The stops/excursions showed us the true beauty of Norway, the Shetlands, and the Orkneys. All were absolutely beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I chose this cruise because I have always had an interest in visiting Norway because of the scenic nature of the country. The scenery is really amazing from the fjords to the mountains of this great country. We saw so much in such a ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I have always had an interest in visiting Norway because of the scenic nature of the country. The scenery is really amazing from the fjords to the mountains of this great country. We saw so much in such a short time period with included and optional tours in 8 different countries. I was amazed at the beauty of Estonia and Russia. Only disappointment was not being able to dock at Gdansk Poland because of the weather conditions. I was particularly interested in Poland because of my husband's German ancestry. Everything about the 'Viking Sea' was top notch. We where spoiled by the service offered .... room service, dining, entertainment, friendly staff and general organization. We liked the size of the ship, the rooms where awesome with the balcony to slip outside and take in the view. I really enjoyed the nightly entertainment, every bit as good as taking in a theatrical production in Toronto for me. Everything was top notch. Of course I would go again & actually have already booked an Alaskan Cruise for 2020 with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We have not been to Scandinavia or the Baltic countries so we really enjoyed the cruise and the ports of call. We ate in the Restaurant most nights where they had a good selection of dishes including a featured destination selection. We ... Read More
We have not been to Scandinavia or the Baltic countries so we really enjoyed the cruise and the ports of call. We ate in the Restaurant most nights where they had a good selection of dishes including a featured destination selection. We also ate at Manfredi’s two nights and throughly enjoyed the experience. We did not spend a lot of time in our room, but found it to be very comfortable. My wife especially liked the heated floor in the bathroom. We found the staff to be especially competent and it was amazing how quickly they got to know you by name. The common areas were conducive to sitting and talking or playing a game and there was almost always some type of entertainment going on. The included excursions provided a good insight into the ports of call and there was a good selection of optional excursions if you wanted additional experiences. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We had wanted to visit the Baltics for quite a while and especially wanted to visit Russia. The ports we visited, the service we received on board, the tour guides, everything, on the whole, was all excellent! I recommend this cruise to ... Read More
We had wanted to visit the Baltics for quite a while and especially wanted to visit Russia. The ports we visited, the service we received on board, the tour guides, everything, on the whole, was all excellent! I recommend this cruise to anyone who enjoys visiting new lands and meeting friendly people. Our only disappointment was not being able to visit the Viking Village in Norway because of the limitsd number of people who are allowed to go. The highlight was visiting St. Peterburge. We took the canal cruise and visited two churches. The Church of the Spillex Blood is a work of art! Absolutely amazing! Another highlight was the Vassa Museum in Stockholm ! Well worth the visit. Even though the weather was a bit cool the first couple of days (while our hometown zweltdrec in oppressive heat) it was great for our excursions! When we asked Albert, our Stewart, about getting us some tea at night he accommodated us but making sure we had a pot of hot water and tea ever evening during the cruise. We should often sit out on the de k of our room, enjoy the sites as we sailed by amazing landscapes and enjoyed our hot tea before bedtime. Felicia, our housekeeper, and Albert were absolutely wonderful! They always welcomed us back with a warm smile and greeting when we returned from our excursions. Our Room was kept immaculately clean. Our bed was turned down every night with the tray of hot water, cups and tea ready for us to enjoyed. Thank you Viking for this trip of a lifetime. So many memories! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We had gone on a viking river cruise and loved it. I also liked the idea of less passengers, smaller ships, no children, and the many included amenities like excursions in every port, free Wi-Fi, no extra charge for the specialty ... Read More
We had gone on a viking river cruise and loved it. I also liked the idea of less passengers, smaller ships, no children, and the many included amenities like excursions in every port, free Wi-Fi, no extra charge for the specialty restaurant s, and the included beverage package. The heated bathroom floor was an unexpected bonus. Our room service was excellent and so we're the help desk staff and the shore excursions staff. All of the guides for our excursions, both included and extra were very knowledgeable and gave us a great tour. The intertainment, lectures, food on board ship, and service was perfect! I would definitely recommend Viking Ocean to anyone. Especially people who want a calm serene cruising experience without the crowds that often are on the large ship Cruise lines. I will definitely cruise with Biking again. Hands down, the best cruise we have been on ever. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise as a great way to explore the Baltic region and we certainly achieved that aim....The tours and lectures meant we returned home having seen and learnt so much! From arrival at Stockholm to the departure gate at ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a great way to explore the Baltic region and we certainly achieved that aim....The tours and lectures meant we returned home having seen and learnt so much! From arrival at Stockholm to the departure gate at Bergen we were looked after very thoughtfully. The senior officers were ever present and available to talk to. A small niggle about the buffet was picked up by an attentive Restaurant Manager and dealt with professionally and personally by the Head Chef. The food throughout was excellent,we enjoyed both speciality restaurants and found it easy to make extra bookings once on the ship. Viking Sea is beautifully designed with lots of interesting artwork and understated Scandinavian style. The lectures we either attended or caught up with on the cabin t.v were all relevant and interesting/ thought provoking. There was more entertainment than we expected, we particularly enjoyed the 2 guest shows by Mary Jess and the resident Viking band and singers. The musicians who entertained in many of the public areas were very accomplished. We took several of the included tours, some were better than others but all gave us an introduction to the area which we were able to follow up independently at most destinations, often aided by the complimentary shuttle bus. After reading reviews we opted to use Alla tours in St Petersburg. They were excellent and I have no hesitation in recommending them. We chose not to take a tour in Berlin instead taking the included morning trip to Rostock and then occupying ourselves in Warnemunde (a local seaside town with a long sandy beach and promenade,interesting waterfront and lots of little shops,cafes ) A day well-spent. We were lucky to enjoy good weather throughout which always helps although strong winds in Gdynia meant we were unable to dock that day, an extra day at sea was easily occupied. If you decide to take this cruise I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this trip because we were running out of rivers. We have been on 9 river cruises and were not sure about an Ocean cruise but the Viking Homelands Cruise offered an opportunity to visit many new places. We were not sure about ... Read More
We chose this trip because we were running out of rivers. We have been on 9 river cruises and were not sure about an Ocean cruise but the Viking Homelands Cruise offered an opportunity to visit many new places. We were not sure about Ocean Cruising with so many more passengers but we are now hooked. We were amazed how comfortable we felt on the ship. You never felt that there were 930 people on board. There were so many places to relax and enjoy. By the second evening the bartender greeted us by name. We especially enjoyed the Explorers Lounge. The restaurant choices were great-many more options than on a river cruise and the food was excellent. The specialty restaurants offered diversity but the “Restaurant” was excellent and ended up being our favorite for dinner. The World Cafe was great for lunch and breakfast. There was never a line-a table could always be found. Viking does a great job but the shore excursions were the real treat on this cruise. They were all great but the Total St. Petersburg Package was absolutely wonderful. We had a great guide and the extra cost was well worth it. We have booked another Ocean Cruise with Viking.. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our first ever cruise and we were celebrating a big birthday. Having heard about the ship, expectations were very high and it did not disappoint. We flew in to San Juan late in the evening and so just went to bed the first ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and we were celebrating a big birthday. Having heard about the ship, expectations were very high and it did not disappoint. We flew in to San Juan late in the evening and so just went to bed the first night, but the embarkation was smooth and luggage was delivered quickly. As we arrived late, they put some sandwiches and fruit out for us along with a bottle of champagne and some red wine, and reminded us that we could order room service as well. As it was gone 1am and we had been up for 24 hours we passed! We were in a Deluxe Veranda cabin. We can't understand why anyone would complain about the size of these - it was very comfortably big enough for us. The bed was large and comfortable, the sitting area was ok, the bathroom was superb and it was great to be able to sit out on the balcony. On the first day we explored the ship which was all light and airy, not at all busy and just nicely laid back. We were always able to find places to sit and service was generally attentive. We ate mainly in the World Cafe as it was more casual and did not require us to dress up. The food was always nice there, usually a good choice of mains and some divine little desserts (as well as cookies and ice cream). We also sampled the Pool Grill where they did some delicious burgers and grilled tuna. We managed to have two meals at Manfredi's, the speciality Italian restaurant. The food was delicious and the plates were huge! We also had a special birthday meal at the Chef's Table which was a five course tasting menu, where every dish was exceptional, each of them paired with wines. We really enjoyed the entertainment on the ship. The main entertainment was from four young, energetic and very talented performers who put on three main shows - an ABBA show, a showcase of famous song writers and a Beatles show. One of them also did a solo show Divas through the Decades, and another did a jazz set Beyond the Sea - both of these were top quality. They were supported by a four piece band and two lounge singers who were ok. Other entertainment included a guitarist, a classical duo and a piantist, all of whom were ok. One of the real positives about the cruise was how friendly everyone was. It was impossible to pass any crew member without them greeting you, and it always seemed natural. The cabin service was exceptional with rooms serviced twice a day. We were surprised to read any negative reviews about this ship. Perhaps it does not have quite as much going on as some mega cruise ships, but for us this was close to perfect. A nice size of ship, never crowded, very attentive staff, good food and enjoyable entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We went on this cruise to celebrate my 70th birthday and to return to the Caribbean,visiting some islands we had not visited before.I received an unexpected surprise when, on my birthday and seeing my cards , our cabin steward produced a ... Read More
We went on this cruise to celebrate my 70th birthday and to return to the Caribbean,visiting some islands we had not visited before.I received an unexpected surprise when, on my birthday and seeing my cards , our cabin steward produced a birthday cake and bottle of champagne! This was a lovely gesture and went down very well. Everything from embarkation to departure was well organised and ran smoothly. The staff were very helpful and friendly,very polite and attentive. Our cabin had a decent sized balcony , the room was also a good size and all were kept spotlessly clean. The food was excellent and although we didn't go to any of the different restaurants we didn't feel it necessary as the food in the main restaurant was first class with a good choice every day. We liked the calm and quiet atmosphere in the evenings and found it very relaxing - any shows were to a high standard. It was a change from the hustle and bustle of some of the other cruises we have been on. I would definitely go again on a Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Have done 8+ ocean cruises, 7 river cruises. This experience with Viking Ocean was the best we've had. Food was excellent, varied menus and lots of choices. Good excursions and options at each port. In retrospect we would have done ... Read More
Have done 8+ ocean cruises, 7 river cruises. This experience with Viking Ocean was the best we've had. Food was excellent, varied menus and lots of choices. Good excursions and options at each port. In retrospect we would have done more adventuresome excursions on our West Indies but no regrets. Staff on the ship is top shelf. The crew was just as good as could be. Have read previous reviews on CC with some complaints and negative comments about Viking Sea. If there were problems earlier there aren't now. Our evaluation, and that of others we sailed with: Viking Ocean a great experience, Far better than Oceana, Royal Caribbean, Princess etc. We noted that quite a few folks had done more than one Viking Ocean cruise already, just in their third year of operations. No casino, no kids, no pressure. No big shows. Nice events in the evening - a movie by the pool, a bit of classical music, some singers and dancers. Passengers were mostly 65+, about 1/3 from UK, 2/3 North America. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Our third Viking cruise. The ship is their standard format which is very stylish though as this is one of oldest it is showing signs of some wear. The food is good except in Chefs Table. Entertainment low key but that’s what we want and ... Read More
Our third Viking cruise. The ship is their standard format which is very stylish though as this is one of oldest it is showing signs of some wear. The food is good except in Chefs Table. Entertainment low key but that’s what we want and the on board steel band at one location was good. A last minute decision to have a hair restyle/cut in the saloon was very good! The hotel at our extension on Puerto Rico was an expensive taxi ride from the capital and not as billed as the original one has not been rebuilt after the hurricanes nearly 2 years ago and really except for 3 untouched islands this was the story all along. The places visited were struggling with terrible debris and resultant awful living conditions for many. Very very sad. Antigua excellent stop, St Lucia and St Maarten enjoyable. Whale watching off Dominica excellent local boat and crew. Barbados now sadly not hurricane damaged but over developed and Tortola struggling dreadfully. Principal disappointment was that yet again the Excursions Director is following what must be Viking policy - namely once they have your money they don’t care! We typically spend another £1000 plus on excursions but they can be cancelled or time changed on board without any care for the impact. Some on board changes caused massive disruption to the point many of us queued to complain as we were going to miss the whale watching. All we got was off hand rudeness and blaming on shore admin/pre cruise errors! Very stressful and distorts how relaxed and well served you feel the rest of the time. Deal with this Viking it’s been the same with 3 cruises so we can only imagine your view is ‘We have your money so tough’ Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Small ship with under 100 guests and adult only. Booking through to leaving the ship was extremely well organised. We had a penthouse balcony cabin which gave excellent space for clothes as well as a sofa and chair, fridge, large tv etc ... Read More
Small ship with under 100 guests and adult only. Booking through to leaving the ship was extremely well organised. We had a penthouse balcony cabin which gave excellent space for clothes as well as a sofa and chair, fridge, large tv etc .The staff,[ particularly our cabin steward Alvin] couldn't have been better. The ship is not for people who want glitz and chandeliers, it has a comfortable elegance. The entertainment was good but not a lot of it and we would have liked it to be a little more varied. All of the restaurants were excellent far better than other cruise lines we have been with and afternoon tea was lovely. A free trip was offered on each island and the ones we went on were okay but not outstanding, the free trip we took on St Thomas should have come with a warning for back pain sufferers. The vehicles were open buses with it felt like no springs on very rough bumpy roads. We took taxis to the beach on a few occasions on different Islands with no problems until St Thomas when I wanted a nostalgic trip to Magens Bay which is unchanged and beautiful the water is so clear it is not neccesary to snorkel to see the fish they swim around your feet. unfortunately the taxi driver didn't return for us, luckily for us another couple shared their taxi with us. We would cruise with Viking again but we were very cross that we had to disembark at 7.45 for a flight at 1pm which meant a long wait at San Juan airport and another of 4 hours in New York. we would look more closely at travel arrangements made by Viking in future. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose Viking Sea because it is a small cruise ship compared to the Mega cruisers. We have used Viking in the past for river cruising and have also been very satisfied. This cruise ship is beautiful. Lots of open area, really nice ... Read More
We chose Viking Sea because it is a small cruise ship compared to the Mega cruisers. We have used Viking in the past for river cruising and have also been very satisfied. This cruise ship is beautiful. Lots of open area, really nice amenities, and wonderful staff. Dining is great with the buffets to the dining rooms. Love the breakfasts. The port docking was always close to the shore excursions. We booked a suite cabin which had an extra sitting area which gave us more room and could be closed off from the sleeping area. The bathrooms are very spacious with a nice shower. Getting around on the ship was really nice. I used a wheel chair and all area's were very accessible. We said we would never do an ocean cruise but this cruise surely changed our minds. Thanks to Viking! Viking has always been first class on their river cruises and now we can had their ocean cruise to the list. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise because we thought it would be an upgrade from Princess and Celebrity. Over 25 cruises on 10 different lines. This had the worst mattress and the best bathroom. Your included excursion is picked by viking. Your ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we thought it would be an upgrade from Princess and Celebrity. Over 25 cruises on 10 different lines. This had the worst mattress and the best bathroom. Your included excursion is picked by viking. Your choice is to go on what Viking wants you to go on or pay for any of the other excursions. The entertainment was not up to the complicated entertainment you would have on a similar ship of this size. Lots of talent but basically a great band with 4 great singers. But that is as exciting as it gets. Didn't miss the casino or art offerings at all. Very quiet ship for people over 60. Leaving the ship was fast but the information of what was needed on the shore was usually wrong. Great housekeeping staff for our room The main dining room looks like a cafeteria and one night we sat for over 1 hour after our main course before being approached for coffee. The cafeteria on the top floor was predictable but at night actually had candles on the tables with nicer ambiance than the main restaurant. Mannafredis specialty well run and with good variety and good service Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We had cruised December last year on Viking Sea to Cuba. Our friends from cold northern US wanted to go to the Caribbean and this cruise had a different island per day with no sea days. We got cabins on 5th floor near the free ... Read More
We had cruised December last year on Viking Sea to Cuba. Our friends from cold northern US wanted to go to the Caribbean and this cruise had a different island per day with no sea days. We got cabins on 5th floor near the free laundry (including soap) as no noise and convenient to wash clothes . I think a laundry room on all cabin floors. Needed as Hot and at itmes muggy and hit the beach several times. Cabins seem like they have little storage but ask for more hangers and you will have plenty of storage. Bathroom floor is heated so if bathroom too hot ask your steward to turn the heat off. We asked for 4 towels a day as needed to wash off after beach and in AM. AC works beautifully. Verandas big enough and if want to lounge in sun, lots of lounge chairs and towels near the aft infinity pool and central pool. Infinity pool bromine I think and the central pool a salt water pool (notice how much more boyant you are.)One end of the pool is shallower than the other so you can stand up (if not too short). Both nicely warm. No fighting over lounge chairs so no need to come early and “stake your property” Neither pool ever have many people in it and usually then only to get wet and back to their lounge chair. We only took the included tours or got a private taxi-van. Most taxis are vans. On some included tours transport was packed tight and others lots of room to spread out. Usually morning tours more packed than afternoon. AC on all except Tortola with was an open tram (nice breeze and cool enough). San Juan: nice walking tour and covers all but the Morro fortress. We were there during the San Sebastian festival so the free tram from fort to fort not running. Tortola: incl tour: open air tram with spacious seating and great views. Pro and Con: 1.5 hr at Cane Beach and no way to bail and go back. Lovely white sugar white sand beach with tourqoiuse gentle water. There are umbrellas and lounge chairs you can rent or sit on some picnic tables in the shade or up in the shaded open deck restaurant for the cost of a drink. Tour gives a free rum punch or punch drink near the picnic tables. Nice restrooms, showers and changing rooms free there. Basseterre: We walked ato the end of the pier and got a $100USD total for van private tour of the island. (Lasted 4 hrs but no time limit) .Just keep walking off pier and prices get cheaper. Romney manor and batik making, black rocks, fort and many scenic view points. Castries: awesome long beach nearby. We took tranport offered by pier. They load you up tight in vans (the drivers get one load a day and 300 vans waiting to take people). About a 5min drive (or 2-3 mi walk) to the beaches- really only one beach with mulitple names. Set fee all transport for $5USD/pp. Again sugar white beach. Multiple establishments with drinks, umbrellas etc. Umbrella and 2-3 chair rental $20. Water gentle, turquoise. Beach fills up so come early. Some of us snorkeled- some fish seen. Shipwreck put for snorkeling you can swim to but many tour boats and many many snorkelers there with glass bottom boat meandering among the snorklers. Showers, restrooms and changing room free. Get back by telling your driver when you want ot come back or just walk out and someones van will be waiting . Bridgetown: inc tour: packed tight van/bus. Views of island Roseau: got a private tour for 4 $45/pp Went to other side of island and saw multiple falls St Johns: had a reservation to go out in a boat to a reef and get into the water and feed and stingrays for 9AM.Make reservation online-no money down and pay when you show up. Need to take a taxi out there. BUT was squalling and raining so cancelled the reservation. Took the incl tour to Shirely point old fort and magnificant views and then to the Nelso shipyards- 1700’s georgian working shipywards- neat old buildings,nice quick museum and awesome awesome yahts moored there. Free rum punch or punch drink. Spit rain on us once in a while but still a great day. Nice bus where we could spread out a bit Philipsburg: I wanted to go out to Cul de Sac bay and kayak and snorkel or take a water taxi out to an island there but I got overruled by my “crew” We instead went on the included tour. Bus big enough we all could spread out. A couple got on our bus instead of an optional tour at the same time- so check carefully what you are getting on. Drove around island and stopped at some scenic sites, stopped a working carosel (adults can ride too- can buy icecream) then on to a bay and craft market. Free rum punch or punch. Charlotte Amalie: My crew off to Coki beach to snorkel then maybe the included tour. I stayed and enjoyed hte salt water pool,only a few couples spread out on the lounge chairs. Pros and cons of boat Pros: -you see lots and lots of differnet islands- some rainforest and some very dry desert like, come with mangoose so no snakes or birds, some still exporting agriculture goods and some just tourist based. -no children -wonderful friendly crew -great food. I was not impressed iwth Mandifredi’s on both of my cruises but the men love it for the rib eye steak. Chef’s reataurant-wanderful if you like the menu. We did not drink either included or optional wine pairing. World buffet great as food same as Restaurant (check the menu to see if any differences ) and usually has the same food. Hamburger I got at the pool once was just so so. -drinks- only had water, hot and cold tea. My husband says the coke is the good real sugar type not the corn syrup variety. -secret- success cake in Mamsons is our favorite -Room and veranda pleasant. -in public areas or tovrasons- Guitarist was great. - Easy on and off boat even when tendering- well organized so no pushy people. -Pools- wonderful. Loved especially the central saltwater pool -record and play on entertainment system all shore talks and enrichment talks done on board -Wifi good for email. I didn’t try streaming Cons: -saltwater pool out of commission while painting for multiple days -entertainment system pauses( I timed at every 3 min), loose audio when restarts. So unpleasant to watch the shows which were actually probably very good. BBC, Ted Talks, Movie selection good but hard to watch. -entertainment limited. Music in public areas; Pianist (good), strings dueo-selections good but one of violinist strings seemed to need tuning, and acoustic guitarist- very good. Live shows in theater were only a few and even though the entertainers were cute my neices’s Boise ID high school productions had better singers. Suggestion: Seems rain is in AM and gone by 11AM. Plan accordingly. But if going to the beaches go early if not raining. Lots of lovely beaches on most islands. Do some internet searching and plan an early attack with a taxi. Feeding the sting rays (www.stingraycity.com) not on tour options and sorry we couldn’t go because of rain. You can reserve on your own but reveiws say after 10AM full from cruise ships. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Ship. Words that come to mind about the ship: refined, tasteful, understated, quiet, slow-paced. This description could also be about fellow passengers, with the addition of "very friendly" and "good company." At age ... Read More
Ship. Words that come to mind about the ship: refined, tasteful, understated, quiet, slow-paced. This description could also be about fellow passengers, with the addition of "very friendly" and "good company." At age 77 I'd guess (and it's only that) that I was younger than the median age of fellow cruisers. This is definitely not a cruise for the middle-aged or younger. By way of contrast, the Viking Sea itself is only a couple of years old, and in almost-like-new condition. Our cabin (see separate section) was excellent and Wi-Fi worked fine, as did the TV (though no CNN). One nice touch the ship has is original art hanging throughout. We used a book in our room to go around an look at all or most of it. (Unfortunately this is not a book you can buy or take with you, we were told.) A lot of the artists are Scandinavians, but not all. There's also an app you can use for your art tour, but I could not get it to work satisfactorily. Only negative was one picture in the back of The Restaurant that was hung upside down, and which I suggested they correct. For me the dining experience was top drawer. I had only one entree that was just average, though my wife had a couple in that category. We ate in the main dining room, called "The Restaurant," except for one night at the Chef's Table and two nights at Manfredi's Italian restaurant. We also ate some lunches at the Pool Grill, very good, and twice, once for lunch and once for breakfast, at Mamsen's, which I'd say was the weakest dining venue. The World Cafe was great for lunch and breakfast, and offered some theme buffets in the evening (e.g., Caribbean, Indian) that we did not visit. Overall, excellent dining -- the best cruise ship food we've ever had. The service was adequate, though sometimes harried in The Restaurant. I should add that we used room service for breakfast five or six days. The deliveries were on time, and the hot food arrived hot. Excellent service. Beverages. House wines are included at lunch and dinner. We tried them a time or two and they were fine for us. However, we'd ordered the "Silver Spirits" beverage package for about $20 per day per person. This gives you access to a greater variety of wines, and also all the spirits and wine you want to drink at other times (except for higher priced wines and spirits). If between the two of you (assuming a couple travelling together), you are going to drink more than six drinks a day, outside of lunch and dinner, or just want more choices at lunch and dinner, I think the package would be a good deal. It definitely was for us. Enrichment. A "historian" made some presentations, and the ones we attended I give a grade C. We went to the first "port talk," but didn't think it was worth it so never went to another. They also had a "former ambassador" as a lecturer, but we did not attend any of his talks. They also had a number of "educational seminars," which were obviously designed to sell you stuff, like jewelry, facial treatments, etc. We skipped those "opportunities." (Thankfully, there were no art auctions, no photos, and no gambling casino.) Entertainment. Weak. They had a small house band and four house singers, along with some musicians who played classical (or like) in the lounges in 45 minute sets from time to time. The performers were all very good, but variety was definitely lacking. Don't take this cruise for entertainment. However, I want to add that Cruise Director Jenna was outstanding, with a beautiful singing voice, the life of the party (so to speak), and very friendly all the time. Pool areas were fine. We did not visit the Spa. Guest Services Desk. Unhelpful and not particularly friendly. Questions normally answered "yes" or "no", with no attempt get into any details for you or go out of the way to help out. Shore Excursions. This cruise was in the Caribbean, which limits what you can do. Water activities, such as sailing and snorkeling are probably the best bet, but we did only land tours. Our expectations were low (we've spent a lot of time in the Virgin Islands), so we were not particularly disappointed. However, we did have a couple of bad experiences, once being abandoned by our bus driver (Toppers Rum and Beach Getaway excursion, which included a mediocre "lunch" at the Blue Bitch Bar) and another that ran way over time that my wife was on by herself and caused me some worry when no one could tell me why she was not back on the ship when she should have been. (Viking did give us a 50 percent refund for the former tour, but we had politely complained and I am not sure if others on the tour received the same refund.) In both cases good communications between the ships excursion desk and the tours would have made a huge difference. We did both "included" and pay-extra tours. If you take the included three hour "Tortola Scenic Tour & Beach" excursion, be prepared for an hour's rough ride in the back of a large pick-up truck on bench seats, an hour at a mediocre beach, and an hours ride back, with a brief stop at an old rum distillery. The most interesting experience we had was the "Dominican Herb & Vegetable Garden" excursion on Dominica. It was not exactly as described in the brochure, but did get us to boyhood home of the tour guide, whose mother fixed us a variety of food from their garden, and who (the tour guide) gave us a good feel for local life. Cruise Summary. This is not a cruise for those who like lots going on. On the other hand, if quiet, good food, an excellent ship, and a very laid back atmosphere are for you, I can recommend. Unlikely we'd take Viking again any time soon, but you never want to say "never". Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My husband and I cruised this time last year celebrating our anniversary on the Viking Sea and wanted to return to do almost the same cruise (two different islands this time) to see how the islands in Caribbean had recovered from the ... Read More
My husband and I cruised this time last year celebrating our anniversary on the Viking Sea and wanted to return to do almost the same cruise (two different islands this time) to see how the islands in Caribbean had recovered from the devastating damage from the hurricane in September 2017. This was our 35th cruise having cruised with Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America and Norwegian. The average age of cruisers on this ship is probably 65-70 years of age. We cannot begin to say enough great things about Viking Ocean Cruises.....that is why we returned. When our flight landed in San Juan, we were met in Baggage Claim by the Viking Reps. Once we collected our luggage, we had a very short wait time to board the bus that took us to the ship (included as part of the cruise). Once we arrived at the ship, Viking was very efficient in checking us in and getting us on board. Since arriving around dinner time, we found our cabin and decided to go to The Restaurant to eat. No matter where you eat, the food is always delicious and presented wonderfully. The waiters in all the restaurants and the buffet (World Cafe) are very friendly and efficient. After dinner, we toured the ship as it is very easy to find your way around and very tastefully decorated that invites you in just sit and relax, read, etc. One of our favorite places is the Explorer's Lounge especially when it is time for the ship to sale. The view is wonderful as you could step outside and watch as the ropes were pulled in and we left a wonderful day on the islands. I am sure the Captain appreciated my help in guiding the ship out !!! One evening, the officers hosted a sail away party at the front of the ship on deck 3 with drinks and hor d'oeuvres as we watched the ropes pulled in and we slowly sailed out of port. We chose a Penthouse Veranda suite this time as it is a bit larger than what we had last year with more drawer space to place our clothes. That is another thing - you do not have to carry as much clothing as they have laundromats that are free to use and they supply the laundry detergent. Our cabin was just the right amount of space for two, not feeling crowded and the bathrooms are the best I have ever been in on any ship. Part of this cruise is spending the night on board ship (instead of a hotel) and taking the included shore excursion the next day. We did the included shore excursion last year and wanted to repeat it to see what a different tour guide would say and take us. We have been to Old San Juan several times and thought we knew a lot about it...until we took these walking tours. Last year we listen to a very knowledgeable guide tell us things we did not know. Viking supplies each cruiser an audiovox to use on tours such as these so that if you are in the back of the group, you can hear the tour guide as if you are walking right next to them. This year, our guide took us to Fort San Cristobal and gave us a narrated guided to of this very interesting old fort. Because of the Government shutdown, the Park Rangers of the fort agreed to work that day as the local city government offered to pay them to work that day as several cruise ships were in port. So glad they did!!! That evening, Viking hosted a Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle in the Wintergarden with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. Several of the officers and department heads along with the Cruise Director were in attendance. Wonderful to chat not only with them, but we got to meet the people we chatted with on the Cruise Critic Roll Call. We had two reservations each during the cruise with the specialty restaurants - The Chef's Table and Manfredi's. The menu at the The Chef's Table is a set menu with wine pairings that changes every three days. I was able to capture another reservation there so we could try another menu. Meals were very delicious. We definitely enjoyed Manfredi's as well as I wanted to try different items on their menu. What we enjoy most about the dining experience is there is no formal night. However, you do need to dress in business casual for the restaurants. No problem! We did dine in the World Cafe for breakfast, most lunches and several dinners. Many of the same items served in the evening at The Restaurant are served in the World Cafe as well. Viking also includes beer and wine in the restaurants at lunch and dinner as part of your cruise. Viking Ocean Cruises includes at no cost an 'included' shore excursion at each port. If you prefer to do something different, they have other shore excursions you can choose from for a cost to you. We took the St. Kitts Scenic Railway shore excursion this time and it was worth every penny we paid for it. We rode the bus to where we boarded the train and along the way, the driver, James Gardener, told us about the island and landmarks that we passed. He was great. Each railway train car had a tour guide as well that narrated the tour as we passed by landmarks. Sweet Pea was her name and she was great as well. A special treat on the train was the 'choir' (two girls and a guy) that traveled from car to car and sang several songs to us a couple of times. I highly recommend this tour. We went to the LivNordic Spa and enjoyed the pool experience there several times. Other cruise lines charge for the use of this type of experience, but not Viking. Since we have been to the Southern Caribbean many times, we went to the beach at several islands. We went to Reduit Beach in St. Lucia - a beautiful beach, but the day we were there, there were big waves and swells. At Barbados, we went to Brown's Beach which is close to where the ship docked. It is a beautiful white sand beach with clear water and no rocks. Great walking beach. This is the locals favorite. At St. Martin, we went to Orient Beach. It has slowly begun to build back as the hurricane devastated that beach. It was a little windy and rainy until the clouds passed over, then a beautiful day. We enjoyed this cruise even more than last year's, and we loved last year's. So if you are thinking about trying a cruise where there are no children (and I love my grandchildren), no casino, and no formal nights, give this one a try. You won't regret it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
When we saw the ad on PBS touting the elegant experience we should expect aboard a Viking cruise, we believed the hype and signed up for their cruise to the Caribbean and Amazon. The itinerary certainly sounded interesting and we were ... Read More
When we saw the ad on PBS touting the elegant experience we should expect aboard a Viking cruise, we believed the hype and signed up for their cruise to the Caribbean and Amazon. The itinerary certainly sounded interesting and we were excited. Having now had it, I can say that this Viking experience was barely average, especially when compared with other cruise lines in the same price point. Oh where to begin... first off, they made the flight arrangements for us instead of doing it ourselves as we typically do. Wouldn’t you know it, they booked us onto a flight at 1:00 AM and selected for us the seats right in front of the bathrooms so the seats couldn’t recline. I chalked it up to their lousy airline travel booking skills or us drawing the short straw, so we took our thump and moved on to looking forward to our trip. We were told we should check in at a certain time, which we did, but the cabins weren’t yet ready at the appointed time, so we asked to wait... only there were just a few chairs in the waiting area, so after a sleepless night, now we had to stand around while waiting in the hot terminal. Maybe a small logistical hiccup, no problem. Once aboard, we were pleased to see that our cabin was nice. Even though it was our first cruise with them, they had upgraded us to a more spacious unit where free pressing was included. Based on their behavior on board, I did not believe this to be a generous or good-will gesture. I speculated that since we had bought early and paid full price, they upped our category so they could fill unsold cabins at bargain prices. What lead to this speculation is that they say they offered wine at dinner ... which they did, supposedly included .. but the instant I opted for a riesling with my dinner rather than their selected red or white, I was asked to produce my cabin number for an up- charge. So much for free wine with dinner. This ship went to the Amazon and Caribbean. Several of the stops had included tours. These were all awful. I've come to realize that you get what you pay for with these "free" tours. They drive you around a lot like bus-prisoners and avoid the things first time visitors want to see, and definitely avoid any beach stops when visiting islands. Instead they include places where they sell alcohol or tourist junk and leave you there to roam for 40-50 minutes. I have no idea who thinks up these tours but they’re all crap, with the sole exception of the included tour of Santarém and folkloric show at Parintins. The paid tours were somewhat better, but don’t get me started on those.... they’re happy to take your money for paid tours but make now reparations when they schedule stops where THEY KNOW well in advance that the things you’ve paid plenty to see will be closed and the experience will be a total bust. Along the way the Viking Sea made a stop at a very shabby town at the entrance to the Amazon called Belém, where we spent an entire day. Believe me when I tell you that the best thing to see there was scores of vultures picking through garbage on the street and on the shore. To add to that insult, the scheduled departure was for 6 PM, which meant that we did not arrive at our next stop until 1:00 PM the following day. The next stop was Tobago, which was probably the prettiest stop on our itinerary... but their docking and departure time allowed us only about 4 hours there, meaning that our highly-paid-for excursion was rushed. I don’t know who is in charge of planning their itinerary but, heads up, it is not guest-centric. And talking about not being guest-centric, the dining experience further underscored this point. They didn’t open the dining room for breakfast until 8:00 am, so if you had an early shore excursion, you had to go to the buffet style cafe on the top floor. Try finding a seat when 900 people are trying to eat at the same time...impossible. On other days they didn’t bother to open the dining room for breakfast or lunch. They, not you, decide if your onboard dining experience will be quiet and elegant, or rushed cafeteria style where you had to catch the eye of the roaming service staff to get a drink, then frequently wait 15 minutes before they passed by again and realized they had forgotten to bring you the beverage you ordered. This cruise included 8 sea days... so I thought I’d get in some pool time... but no! Guests would get up early, drop an iPad or a robe on a pool lounger, and "claim it" for the day. The ship's staff did nothing to police this selfish hogging of deck chairs, even when those chairs remained claimed but empty pretty much all day long. If you did manage to snag a chair, good luck getting a server to walk by and take a beverage order... Nope! Regarding entertainment, they showed one movie a day, although that movie was also available on the movie channel in the state room TV. This channel saved me from jumping overboard to escape, as I could at least watch a movie or two a day. On the daily agenda they scheduled different types of events and talks, but these were aimed a a decidedly older, passive audience... like broadway show trivia and music from the 60s ... and some irrelevant lectures and marginally interesting destination talks. I was bored out of my mind, as no activities were actual activities... no art classes, no "learn to do something new" activities whatsoever. I was praying for it to end. Once we got back into US territory, we had to go through an onboard immigration exercise where we had to go down to a dining room to collect our passports and have them inspected. This was by far the most disorganized experience. 900 people descended as instructed and chaos ensued. Viking was in charge of this exercise and could have assigned tickets for when to come down, but they didn't and it was a mess. Now, the cruise wasn’t all bad. Thankfully, the disembarkation process was well organized and the transfer to the airport went smoothly. Whilst on board I found the wait staff and cabin attendants all to be lovely, but, I can get that on any cruise line, so... guess what... it's unlikely that I'll ever cruise on Viking again.Their adverts overpromised and their cruise experience under-delivered. If I’m going to drop that kind of cash on a cruise, I expect them to plan for my enjoyment. Viking, sadly, fell far short. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We've sailed on two other Viking ocean ships, so we expected to enjoy ourselves. We did. The route through Caribbean islands and up the Amazon was new territory for us. Because of air schedule we didn't have time to see ... Read More
We've sailed on two other Viking ocean ships, so we expected to enjoy ourselves. We did. The route through Caribbean islands and up the Amazon was new territory for us. Because of air schedule we didn't have time to see San Juan, but had a good excursion into El Junque rain forest. Viking Sea is a splendid ship. All public areas are beautiful, open and light, comfortable to hang out at all times. There were 930 people on this "small ship," but you would never know it from the onboard experience; it was never crowded. We were in a smaller cabin but it was extremely comfortable, room for everything, well designed, great bathroom. And, of course, like every other cabin on the ship, it had a private balcony. We ate in all the dining venues; they were all good. To call the World Cafe a "buffet" gives a wrong impression. The food was always great, with a huge selection from crab legs and sushi on one end, through a choice of meats and fish, to the gelato station at the other end. Two scoops, twice a day, was my chosen prescription at the gelato station. The breads, pastries, and gelato are made fresh on the ship. The very best dining is in the Restaurant, while Manfredi's, Chef's Table, and Mamsen's were nice changes of pace from time to time. And if you can possibly stuff in a little more, we recommend the afternoon tea with special sandwiches and pastries in the Wintergarden. I like to eat, and I was always happy. There were many sea days on this itinerary. We were constantly entertained by Viking's selection of lecturers. Time simply didn't permit seeing every single lecture I would have liked to see. Others will have to discuss evening entertainment; we are early-to-bed folks and didn't see any of the evening shows. But the musicians playing around the boat during the day (string ensemble, pianist, guitarist) were just wonderful. What Viking does best is service. Every crew member smiled at all times and continuously offered to do anything we could imagine. It's uncanny for a bartender to remember your name on the second encounter, before you have ordered or mentioned cabin number. The captain greeted us daily over the intercom, and sometimes several times a day, with an incredibly cheerful and friendly account of what was happening and what was about to happen on "the friendliest and happiest ship on the seas, the Viking Sea." The first time I thought he was way over-the-top, but he always left people smiling. You just couldn't help it. His greetings added a lot to the enjoyment of the trip. Would I go with Viking again? You bet! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Amazon River and island hop in the Caribbean both of which we had never done. This was our second Viking cruise having done the Viking Homelands the year before and done other cruises in ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Amazon River and island hop in the Caribbean both of which we had never done. This was our second Viking cruise having done the Viking Homelands the year before and done other cruises in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean with another company. This cruise was unique keeping in mind that new world ports such as those on the Amazon do NOT have a long history(at least with european settlements) and Brazil has a very different standard of living and culture. Poverty is very evident on city tours and the crime rate in Brazil is on the increase right now. Buses may not be air conditioned, could break down, get caught in city traffic, for example. Local authorities may not let you go into areas unsupervised for safety reasons, and organizing shore excursions in general with local authorities is understandably complex in this region and a real chore for any cruise excursion team. The river is also complex and varies in height and the captain had to take the ship way out to sea to avoid shallow waters and then buck the current back up to Belem. Since the river was low this time of year we had to anchor miles below Belem. We had to be careful with our water use on the Amazon since the silt in the river can gum up the water filtration process. This meant not using the laundromat while on the river and not taking hotel showers. We all did fine and we were back to normal once out of the river. Remember this trip is an adventure for travelers(in a posh way) to an area which is unfamiliar to most of us. Do your research on the area before you go and know what to expect. I think Viking did an outstanding job and kept to its usual high standards. This cruise line really cares about your having the best experience on board and off.Viking strives to be the best and as far as I'm concerned it is the best. Since my wife is somewhat immobile I did at least one excursion in every port as a single. The excursions I chose were the ones that involved jungle treks, birdwatching(early morning off Manaus),caiman spotting(at night), up the Guama River behind Belem and mostly on a Catamaran, swimming and snorkeling in the Caribbean. They were all great fun and very interesting.I know the natural history trips had all good guides. We were luckily able to get into Port du Salut, French Guiana and saw the remains of the prison of Papillon and Alfred Dreyfus. Apparently 80,000 french prisoners died or disappeared on this beautiful set of islands. Tropical paradise? It was when we were there. My wife was very happy staying on board reading either in the explorers lounge or on our veranda while being treated like a queen by the wonderful staff of the Viking Sea. The food we considered to be the best at sea on any ship. We went to Manfredi's four times and the Chef's table three times, ate at the restaurant, world cafe, and Mamsen's. They were all terrific. I only just learned that Viking Sea has 99 chefs and one executive chef for 930 passengers plus crew. Lectures were stimulating from two historians, a biologist, an anthropologist, and a political science professor. Cruise director was busy keeping people entertained with trivia contests, name that song, and a boat building contest to be tested in the main pool, for example. The ship was beautifully decorated for Christmas. It was fun to go hear the piano player or a duet and have a drink on the main atrium before dinner. Entertainment was very good with the Viking Singers doing beetle songs mostly. I don't expect a full broadway show or celebrity on a viking cruise. There were many sea days on this trip which we liked. Many of them were traveling the 1000 miles up and down the Amazon allowing one to enjoy and appreciate the vastness of this river basin with its very wide expanse as well as its thick jungle appearance along its banks with an occasional hut or cattle ranch. Temperatures averaged 82 degrees with a breeze or under clouds. It was much more comfortable than I expected. The sea days also allow you to enjoy the large number of subtle amenities on the Viking Sea. I also had two very professional massages which took out all the kinks and enjoyed the fabulous spa when I could. Wow! This was a great experience I will always remember thanks to the Viking Sea and Viking Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
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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