Sail Date: November 2018
I chose this cruise for the Cuba itinerary. I have taken over 100 cruises with all the premium and ultra-deluxe cruise lines and I have never encountered significant problems. First, I would like to address what I consider ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the Cuba itinerary. I have taken over 100 cruises with all the premium and ultra-deluxe cruise lines and I have never encountered significant problems. First, I would like to address what I consider "significant problems" and then mention "irritations" for which I think there is room for improvement and additional training. Significant Problem> When I got to the cruise terminal I could not pass security because I was not on the manifest. A supervisor allowed me to go upstairs where there was a Viking check-in desk. They could not find my name. Ambra (I think that is her name) was called. I explained to her I had people waiting in a car outside in case I could not board and explained my BP was extremely high and I was ill. She told me to "wait right here" while she went back to the ship, After about ten minutes I was lightheaded and dizzy and asked if I could sit and have a drink of water. Any elderly (I am age 75) person, let alone ill, should be offered a seat. Finally, I was boarded. There is no dedicated guest services staff.One calls the Explorer Desk. Four times I was unable to get an answer. When I asked the guest services representative why the phone is not answered he stated they are busy with other customers. There is no recording to indicate that and no option for a callback. The table on patio very dirty with standing water. Housekeeping did come and clean it when I called. I could not connect to the internet. Went to guest services for the third time. They could not help. A third person came to my cabin(after two others tried and I waited in the cabin for two hours) who had IT expertise and fixed it. Guest services called me three times to have me bring my passport. I had to go to the desk and give my passport for the third time. No remote for the TV in the cabin. I called housekeeping and they brought one but could not get it to work.Another person came and explained the safety video had to run first before the TV would work. Surprised to find the main dining room is not open for lunch, I was tired of buffets and wanted to sit down and be served. There are no trays so each course had to be carried to the table with no one to help. My spouse uses a walker so if anyone is traveling with a disabled person the other person has to make multiple trips to the buffet to get food for two people. The buffet (World Cafe) is extremely busy since it is the only place to eat for lunch and the wait staff is unable to provide adequate service. The cruise was advertised as "airfare included." I live in the Ft. Lauderdale area so air was not necessary but no credit is given for local travelers. Other cruise lines I have sailed deduct $300 per person from the fare. Solo travelers seem to be overlooked. I was seated behind a pillar in the Chef's table specialty restaurant and forgotten. This was a wine pairing dinner. The waiter forgot the initial wine so later brought two glasses of different wines, Voice mail service was intermittent. I could not retrieve my messages for a whole day There was a lot of complaining about Viking on the ship. I addressed my concerns with the hotel manager but he stated he is not empowered to do anything about my concerns. He stated that all concerns must be forwarded to corporate. The ship is beautiful. The spa is spectacular and the food is on par with other premium cruise lines but service is inferior to most mainline cruise lines and grossly lacking compared to the other "ultra deluxe" cruise lines such as Seabourn, Crystal and Regent.. I do think there is much more training needed; particularly in guest services and the wait staff in serving solo passengers. My cabin attendant was excellent and housekeeping could not do enough to address my concerns. Thesupervisor of housekeeping came to my cabin several times to make sure everything was OK. And when I asked about some snacks for an "election night party" the offerings exceeded my expectations One final comment. The itinerary was for three days in Cienfuegos and three hours in Santiago. It should be reversed. Everything of interest can be seen in three hours in Cienfuegos but Santiago is a large citywith many more points of interest. I did not do the Havanna tour dueto the 31/2 hour bus ride and the fact that I can take a five daycruise which overnights in Havanna for about half the price of the tour by Viking. In summary, Viking Ocean has beautiful ships but I hope the level of onboard services will be significantly improved. There seems to inadequatestaff; particularly since there are no exclusively guest services representatives. I paid $1100 a day for my cruise but I have had far superior experiences for cruises less than half that amount. Furthermore, if you are a solo traveler, over 65 or have a disability this cruise is not for you. Viking Ocean Cruises marketing targets younger, able bodied affluent travelers who enjoy such things as the "snow room" on board. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was our first crucial and we did a lot of research before we picked it. We even went to the cruise show at the NEC. We wanted a small boat that was very informal and that is what we got. We loved it. We would go back and would ... Read More
This was our first crucial and we did a lot of research before we picked it. We even went to the cruise show at the NEC. We wanted a small boat that was very informal and that is what we got. We loved it. We would go back and would certainly recommend Viking. The ship is very understated. The decor is Scandinavia chic. The cabins are small but have everything you need. What is a bonus is the verandah where you can sit and admire the sunsets. Everywhere is spotless. However there is always somewhere to sit and read quietly. The pool are does get busy and we found it can be harder there to find a place to sit than say in the Explorers lounge. The staff are amazing. Someone somewhere is always working with a smile, saying hello and can I help you? Food- we tried all the restaurants. There is plenty of food and the quality is good, service can be a bit slow depending on who is serving you. Chefs table- worth going once, set 5 course menu with different wines at each course. Food a bit too rich for us. Manfreidis - again worth going to, more choice but very loud and busy. Restaurant- more formal but fine didning, excellent food. Worlds cafe - ate there mostly as it is very informal no need to dress up. Fantastic buffet you could just have a bowl of soup or a 3 course meal. Afternoon tea was delicious Explorers lounge - lunch and cakes in the afternoon. Good quality Pool grill mainly beef burgers but again good quality for lunch You can have drinks with your meals some didn’t bother having the drinks package. Trips- we only paid for Florence which is definitely worth the money. Stunning. Pisa - seeing the leaning tower was good fun Monaco- loved it and you can get around so easily you don’t need the tour St tropez- don’t bother with the tour waste of time. Not much to see and you can do that on your own Marseilles- again loved it so much to see but I wouldn’t bother with the tour as a shuttle bus is run from the ship and it is so easy to do your own thing. Barcelona again I would do my own thing as the tour is mainly a coach trip and 30mins in the city. Fellow passengers aged from 20-80 but 95% are American. Criticism - the flights having to change at Amsterdam when we are only flying from England to Rome and from Barcelona. It took us 14 hours to get home door. It was quicker to get to the states. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Our adult children chose this cruise from a few available choices of cruise lines. It was also my first choice. The four of us enjoyed the ship and the excursions as well the entertainment on board. We got to play games such as golf and ... Read More
Our adult children chose this cruise from a few available choices of cruise lines. It was also my first choice. The four of us enjoyed the ship and the excursions as well the entertainment on board. We got to play games such as golf and bocci and had lots of fun. We also got to know each other again as our last vacation together was in 1995. The rooms were very spacious and clean. The staff were always pleasant and accomodating. The housekeeping staff were always so friendly and always remembered our names. We also liked the fact that there are no formal nights and that the restaurants sitting were not assigned so we could go anytime we wanted therefore we got to meet a lot more people. We also loved the fact the ship doesn’t play loud music and it’s not crowded. No problem getting on and off the ship however disembarkation was not so smooth. We arrived in Venice a day early giving us more time to explore on our own before boarding the ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
This was our second Viking Star cruise, first the Inagural year Venice to Istanbul. We arrived in Athens three days early an toured on our own. Once we boarded the Star, we felt we had arrived home. The most welcoming part was several of ... Read More
This was our second Viking Star cruise, first the Inagural year Venice to Istanbul. We arrived in Athens three days early an toured on our own. Once we boarded the Star, we felt we had arrived home. The most welcoming part was several of the bartenders remembered us from two years prior. When you are addressed as Mr. Lang and welcome back, that was it, this was going to be a great trip. Tours— Highly recommend Mykonos by 4X4 vechicle trip, Nazareth & Sea of Galilee Shore Excursion, and last and most memorable From Naples The Vistas & Villages of the Amalfi Coast Shore Excursion. The last one stops in Sorento shipping and Delightful 3 Star restaurant lunch. The road trip along the coast were as advertised most scenic, I finally got the Amalfi Coast off my bucket list after 3 prior visits. Food— My favorite Restaurant is Manfredi’s, memorable fine dining, Chef’s Table was disappointing both trips, the Restaurant is better. My breakfast and late night treat was Mamsen’s in the Explorer Lounge on Deck 7. Interesting note the Executive Chef David McDonald is the only cruise chef I have ever seen throughout the ship we’re food is served- “inspecting the troops”, so to speak, everyday. He has the time to talk to guests- a mark of a true professional. Future bookings and discounts were not available on this cruise because of the official reservations agents departure, a letter was given to some Explorer Members to use this code. I missed the window due to health issues, but will try now on an Amazon Cruise in December 2019. The staff in all corners of the ship were very professional, I believe this is due in part to the original crew who set and maintain a high standard for all new members. All in all Viking out got it right, I hope this experience is transferred the new Ocean ships coming on line. Last — This is not a family cruise for younger folks, I believe as it was modeled this way. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose Viking Ocean because of a positive experience on a Viking Long Ship in 2015. We were not disappointed. The cruise was comfortable, relaxing and informative. There were no fancy nights so one could just relax full time. The food ... Read More
We chose Viking Ocean because of a positive experience on a Viking Long Ship in 2015. We were not disappointed. The cruise was comfortable, relaxing and informative. There were no fancy nights so one could just relax full time. The food was great and decent wine flowed freely. The included tours were quite good and the few extra tours we took were fairly priced. I loved the spa which included hot whirl pools, steam, sauna and snow room. Everything was very invigorating and Viking supplied everything you needed. The ship is very stylish and has good lecturers. The price for a Viking Cruise is not cheap but the deliver all they promise. I'll go back on another Viking Ocean Cruise readily. My wife had a walker and Viking was very accommodating. In addition the staff was very helpful to her. Indeed the Hotel Director went out of his way to help her on several occasions. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
First we went to Iceland for the precruise holiday and Viking did an outstanding job. Arrived in Bergen, Norway, and we were bussed to the port. Very easy embarkation, and our room was ready when we arrived. Bags arrived shortly thereafter ... Read More
First we went to Iceland for the precruise holiday and Viking did an outstanding job. Arrived in Bergen, Norway, and we were bussed to the port. Very easy embarkation, and our room was ready when we arrived. Bags arrived shortly thereafter while we were having a drink on the explorer's lounge. We purchased the silver spirits beverage package which for us was a great deal. My husband had his Italian liquors every night along with his brandy, pool drinks and wines. My husband tried every drink on the pool menu, lol. The bar staff was terrific, from the girls on the pool or at night in the atrium. As for the meals, we never had a bad meal at any restaurant and service was great every night. Definitely recommend the cheif's table with wine pairings, very unique menu, went here four times. Manfredi's has great risotto, pasta, ossobuco, and their zabaglione with berries is just as good as what I make at home. And the rib eye steak is like butter. The restaurant prepares the lobster dinner, and it was done to perfection. I had escargots and they were delicious. We also ate at the world cafe on a number of nights also. I had the the New York strip which was good but at one port, they had fresh catch salmon which they cooked on the outside patio and that was the best. But the next day, they made a fish soup which was equally as good. Great breakfast here, never tried the restaurant for breakfast because we had early morning tours. Mansen's waffles were delicious but we shared it because it was so filling. Oh yes, don't forget the gelato bar, delicious. Also, room service was excellent and the food was hot. Never did try the afternoon tea as we were stuffed from eating at the pool grill. Entertainment was great, there was always something going on. The entertainment director was Suzanne and her assistant was Jaime. Both were terrific. In the atrium, they had santo playing guitar, Eve playing piano and the had a group that played violin, and other instruments. Each sessions was different and the music was barely repeated. Now the night time shows we're exciting, a quirky musical adaptation of get smart, very funny. The rat pack show was excellent but get your tickets early. Abba was great if you're a fan of momma Mia. Then they tried a new show with broadway shows, I think that this was my favorite. Then they had discussions, all day, my husband loved these sessions, especially the smaller ones. Loved our cabin, suitcases went under the bed and we found that between the draws and shelfs in the closets, we had plenty of space. Loved the warm bathroom floors, the outside veranda was great but because it was chilly outside, we didn't use it that often. Check your vox boxes because the previous guests had not left the ear phones. The refrigerator was small and the bar person exchanged the tonic water for club soda. Our steward Rio was great and offered us great advice at different stages. The spa was great, just know that their hot tubs are not that hot but I found they were confortable. The main pool was deep so be aware of this. We didn't try the infinity pool but expect to try it on our next cruise in February. We originally chose optional tours but three were cancelled due to lack of interest. So we chose included on those days. Honestly, every tour was great except for rudeness among some of the cruisers. If you're in a foreign country, don't make fun of the tour guides when they speak English, it's not their first language and oh yes, the bus drivers are not deaf and they also understand English. Also aquavit is nit sold on the ship but in Tomso, we found a liquor store at a local mall close to the pier, prices were excellent and staff were very helpful. Word of advice, everything is expensive, but handmade items are worth purchasing. Finally purchased my Norwegian sweater and I purchased it at a fair price. Had a great time in the Orkney islands, Shetland islands and Scotland. Just a world in advance as to souvenirs, if breakable then let security know before you put it through the scanners, unfortunately, a piece of painted glass art didn't stop when it went though the scanner and ended up breaking. Security felt terrible when we saw it fall and break but what are you going to do, accidents happen. If you follow instructions at each port, then getting off for tours is very easy. People with handicaps take elevator to get down to tenders or to ramp when your group is called. Look into getting a folding all terrain walker for the tours, made it more enjoyable when I participated in tours and staff on busses were very accommodating. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
Wanted to see the many ports and was able to see the best of each city. Food,service,entertainment were all five star. loved that no one was always taking my picture and trying to sell it back to me. loved no one pushing drinks on me ... Read More
Wanted to see the many ports and was able to see the best of each city. Food,service,entertainment were all five star. loved that no one was always taking my picture and trying to sell it back to me. loved no one pushing drinks on me every 5 minutes and free water, what more could you ask for>? Not a mass of people on board and no kids.without 5000 passengers it was easy on and off with easy to get on and off at the ports. all rooms had a balcony. Compliment drinks were nice at meal time. in comparing viking to other cruise lines viking was far superior to all. THE FOOD WAS FIVE STAR AND I WAS ABLE TO TRY SOME EXOTIC FOODS I Normally wouldn't try. if i did not like it, it was still five star and maybe not something for my pallet, squid etc. and no charge for specialty dining. My best advise is book your trips and specialty dining early. VIVA LA VIKING Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
--This Trip was taken as a result of a voucher issued by Viking to compensate in part for problems incurred on a River Cruise. At the suggestion of our Travel Agent and due to time constraints in using the Voucher, we chose this trip on ... Read More
--This Trip was taken as a result of a voucher issued by Viking to compensate in part for problems incurred on a River Cruise. At the suggestion of our Travel Agent and due to time constraints in using the Voucher, we chose this trip on the Viking Star. I rarely find the Embarkation and Debarkation smooth. This went fairly well. --The Ship was small next to many we have sailed but was well laid out and was relatively quiet next to most cruises. The ship was a bit more reflective of sea conditions as well. --Specialty Restaurants were Excellent and both regular restaurants were excellent, as was the Service. Food was outstanding. -- I enjoyed Most Enrichment lectures. A couple I did not attend due to content. We are accustomed to shows which were not regularly available. The persons giving the Enrichment lectures should be commended for the content and delivery --Waiters/Servers at the Bars and other Service areas were also outstanding and friendly and contributed immensely to a delightful experience --Ports were very good, especially liked Madeira. Shore excursions taken were those offered as part of the cruise. All were informative and good but one MAJOR Complaint was that the Guide moved too fast and persons with mobility restrictions could not keep up. Perhaps one of the tours in each port could be a slower tour, offering the same agenda and allowing people to keep up. THIS IS MY BIGGEST COMPLAINT ABOUT THIS CRUISE AND WAS EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTING. We had the same issue and the same complaint in part with the River Cruise. If Viking is to offer these excursions (which are appreciated otherwise), they need to be accommodating to ALL PERSONS that might use them. --we did not travel with children and noted that there were only a few children on this cruise. It was not really oriented to children --due to the many places we would like to visit, including the USA, I do not know if we will have the time to revisit Viking, but if we do, they would definitely be considered Read Less
Sail Date: January 2017
To see new style ships, experience Caribbean, get away in winter we took this cruise. So glad we did before hurrricanes. Specialty restaurants were wonderful; reservations best for favorite time. Wine choices very good with courses. ... Read More
To see new style ships, experience Caribbean, get away in winter we took this cruise. So glad we did before hurrricanes. Specialty restaurants were wonderful; reservations best for favorite time. Wine choices very good with courses. Good servers. Love pool side grill for lunch. Quick and tasty. Some excursions were not very good though it was island locations more than Viking issues. Some islands did not have much of interest to me. St Thomas WAS wonderful as WA Puerto Rico. So sad hurricanes destroyed them, Viking rep in hotel for extension was no help at all. Airline free flights were awful. We wanted to upgrade and only way to do so was to simply walk away from free seats and buy new ones. Typical of all Viking free fares. Everyone we talk to finds viking air services a disgrace. Make it easy to get business and first class if you offer free tickets and let me pay same as if i book myself...viking travel asked $700 more for business than i paid myself on Delta website. And i paid $100 extra to viking to have no say in bookings. Last year viking flew us from Baltimore to chicago then Zurich. On return from Amsterdam we also got the Chicago stop. When we went to Portugal they offered 17 and 23 hour connections with 2-3 stopovers in economy class. We walked away and bought our own tickets with one stop and 7-8 hours. Shame on you viking!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2017
We have travelled with Viking Ocean Cruises before and have always been impressed by the dedicated crew, the conveniences offered by the cruise line (24 hour room service, in-room mini-bar, all other included bonuses), and the excellent ... Read More
We have travelled with Viking Ocean Cruises before and have always been impressed by the dedicated crew, the conveniences offered by the cruise line (24 hour room service, in-room mini-bar, all other included bonuses), and the excellent excursions. The guides are extremely knowledgeable and give us terrific insight into the area we are learning about. Also, the onboard lectures add to our enjoyment of the cruise. Our cabin, like all others has a veranda for relaxing, and viewing arrivals and departures from the comfort of our cabin. This was our third ocean cruise with our fourth coming up soon. We have been spoiled by Viking Ocean Cruises and cannot see the need to test other cruise lines. We appreciate the smaller size of the ship since embarkation and debarkation at the various ports is quick and very secure. We have witnessed the lineups waiting to board the giant cruise ships and don't want to waste our vacation time in huge lineups! Read Less
Viking Star Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0

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