1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Wonderful cruise. Great staff, great food, excellent wines, good excursions, well-informed guides. All good except they cancelled the Santiago de Cuba stopover at the last minute, claiming that they might be able to get into the Santiago ... Read More
Wonderful cruise. Great staff, great food, excellent wines, good excursions, well-informed guides. All good except they cancelled the Santiago de Cuba stopover at the last minute, claiming that they might be able to get into the Santiago bay, but not get out due to "winds".... Well, we were not convinced. Viking did provide a $500 credit we can apply to a future cruise, but you know what, what if we redo the Cuba cruise and they again cancel Santiago, which we really wanted to see? What's the point then? Viking should get more serious about its stopovers because it was a deciding factor in our choice of this cruise. And if Viking can't keep to its itinerary, why bother. On the plus side, the staff of the boat was truly lovely, the food truly delicious, the indoor spa great and luxurious. The ship was the right size - not too big, not too small, blissfully free of casino and photographers. We enjoyed the promenade deck. It was possible to do a mile or so on it every day, which we really liked. Excursions were well organized, informative and fun, with enough free time to do a little shopping/exploring on our own. Guides were well-informed and pleasant, without overdoing it. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
First Viking Cruise, my wife and I enjoyed it immensely. Good staff, very engaged and aware of customer needs. Lots of attention to detail like constantly refreshing buffet offerings in World Cafe. The "all in" policy on tips, ... Read More
First Viking Cruise, my wife and I enjoyed it immensely. Good staff, very engaged and aware of customer needs. Lots of attention to detail like constantly refreshing buffet offerings in World Cafe. The "all in" policy on tips, free mini-bar etc was nice. The Port Talks were excellent, and gave a good idea of what to expect. The talk and slides on the antique cars was great. How do the Cubans maintain 60 year old cars, and get simple things like oil filters. All answered. Talks on politics, on the cities to be visited, etc. Room 6031 was clean, and perfectly fine for a short cruise. The lack of drawer storage was notable,so we threw the hair dryer, shoe shine pack, etc into the closet to create more space. Dining was fine. We had dinner in Manfredi's, and at the Chef's Table, as well as in the World Cafe. The wine selection was OK, the (free) base wines ranged from good down to swill. Beer was fine with a good range of European choices. Several special nights with pig roasts out on the aft deck, seafood spectacular, etc. All were done well. Full breakfasts were available, with alcohol for those who wanted it. The excursions are a work in progress. Cuba doesn't have a lot of experience in tourism, and more remote places like Cienfuegos and Santiago are behind the curve. That's to be expected. On four excursions, we had two superb guides, one OK, and one awful. I'm not sure how much control Viking has over the tour operators (I only saw one provider in both places). In one case, we were expected to walk through knee high grass, down a washed out culvert to see a lake. And back up via another route. Older people had trouble other , people were concerned about ticks in the grass. Another guide engaged us in a forced march, so we could spend a whole half hour in yet another a rum / cigar shop. The third in four excursions. Several people had trouble with the pace. There was a lot of overlap, as we received the Cienfuegos city park talk twice, from two different guides. It was interesting what they chose to emphasize. Some guides were great, and the excursions provided a great window into a lovely country. Hard working people, horse drawn carts, street musicians, vivid colors, wonderful sunsets. I had the opportunity to walk by myself through the mercado and beyond after one excursion ended. The guide had received 30 people, and delivered 30 people back to the dock. After that, I walked off on my own. About a two mile walk. Friendly people selling wood carvings, hats, gourds, etc. Didn't feel the least bit threatened. The neighborhoods looked a little more worn than those traversed by the tour buses, but it seemed more real. Street musicians, very lively areas. I speak a little Spanish, and did fine. The US government requires that the trip address certain people to people needs. So, we saw an honors arts school, with young children demonstrating high levels of musical proficiency. And visited the adjacent painting studio where the instructors displayed their work, most in support of the revolution. For sale, too. Other schools visible on our trip did not appear to have the same level of maintenance or exterior paint. But, all kids wear uniforms, and those we met were exceptionally polite. I'd go back to either Cienfuegos or Santiago de Cuba in an instant, and I will. But, I know it will be different, just like it was different five years ago. A government patrol boat sat near our ship in both ports. In Santiago, the ship was required to anchor about 30 minutes outside the main harbor, making a long tender ride Practical notes: I tipped guides, taxi drivers, etc in all of US dollars, Cuban convertible pesos, and Euro. They were grateful for the tips, it's a big part of their income. The government takes a cut off the conversion of all US$ to Cuban currency, so most preferred the Euro We departed Santiago de Cuba in the late afternoon, bound for Miami. A day at sea, and a 6am arrival in Miami. Customs doesn't report for work until 7am, so it was 7.15 before the first people were processed. Everyone was required to be out of their cabins by 8am, and off the ship by 9am. I would have liked a few more hours in Santiago de Cuba, and an hour more sleep in Miami. This is not a child friendly cruise. No kids activities, and most excursions were adult level. Not too much partying, the average age was probably mid-60s. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Excellent cruise. Good value for money. Great way to see Cuba and get a feel for the culture. Excellent food and service. We loved the excursion to Havana and especially the ride thru the city in the old 1950's era cars. That was the ... Read More
Excellent cruise. Good value for money. Great way to see Cuba and get a feel for the culture. Excellent food and service. We loved the excursion to Havana and especially the ride thru the city in the old 1950's era cars. That was the highlight of the trip for me. The staterooms were spacious with plenty of room for all our clothes. The entertainment was extremely good as well. Our only disappointment was with the amount and timing of the dancing available to us. Would have liked more Latin/ Cuban music. Hopefully in the near future the cruise line will have a Havana terminal in order to avoid the 3 hour bus ride from Cienfuegos. The hotel in Havana was 4 star and had an excellent breakfast. The onboarding lectures were extremely interesting, especially the lecture on Havana cars and also the Cuban Missile Crisis. Expect to gains some weight with all the great food. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Travelled in a group of 12 and we all were exceptionally pleased! Group included first time cruisers and seasoned cruisers. Exemplary food, service and off-shore tours! Staff is superb in their professionalism and service,always with a ... Read More
Travelled in a group of 12 and we all were exceptionally pleased! Group included first time cruisers and seasoned cruisers. Exemplary food, service and off-shore tours! Staff is superb in their professionalism and service,always with a friendly smile! Staff Attention to detail is amazing! Staff can remember you name, cabin and details about your preferences. Off shore excursions are excellent. We did upgrade some of our tours and they were with the extra expense. The pre-destination informative sessions were very helpful before each port. We have been on many cruises and Viking’s food exceeded expectations. Wine parring was fabulous. If we ate off ship food schedule, sometimes it was difficult to find a food option when returning to the ship after a tour. Down side is the main entertainment. Same performers with different themes every nite led us to retire to our rooms too early. Ship was always very clean no matter what time of day and in all weather conditions. When crew had to scramble to change a port due to bad weather, the result was very organized and a positive experience. Already have another cruise scheduled! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This cruise: The Viking Homeland's offered many ports of call throughout Northern Europe. My husband and I have always wanted to visit this area. It was our opinion, THIS cruise must be among the most popular for all cruise ... Read More
This cruise: The Viking Homeland's offered many ports of call throughout Northern Europe. My husband and I have always wanted to visit this area. It was our opinion, THIS cruise must be among the most popular for all cruise lines as was witnessed by the large number of cruise/passenger ships we saw at sea and in ports. The experiences we encountered both on board ship and shore excursions offered inspiring sights, breath taking views filled with enormous amounts of historical and cultural wonders. We enjoyed fabulous dinning experiences in the Manfredi's Restaurant, as we ate there often. We were served some of the best food we've ever eaten, anywhere. As for service on board ship and in Manfredi's, was amazing and made for an awesome Cruise from start to finish. Three ports amongst our favorites were Tallinn, Estonia, Berlin, Germany and Eidfjord, Norway. I would highly recommend this cruise to anyone. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Had an Interest in the area that the cruise covered, Iceland, Norway, Shetland Islands, Orkney Island, Edinburgh, Scotland, England..Had done a previous Viking River Cruise and was impressed with the accommodations and the service so ... Read More
Had an Interest in the area that the cruise covered, Iceland, Norway, Shetland Islands, Orkney Island, Edinburgh, Scotland, England..Had done a previous Viking River Cruise and was impressed with the accommodations and the service so decided to try an ocean cruise with Viking. Really enjoyed the pre cruise option of several days stay with included tours in Iceland. The Geysir hot springs and the Blue Lagoon were some of the places along with the Golden Circle Tour. Great and knowledgeable land guide in Iceland. The staff on board ship were very friendly and helpful, always greeting you with a smile and asking if you needed anything. The ship is very clean and well maintained. The food options were varied with choices for every taste. They accommodated my husband special diet without any fuss or extra work on our part. Wine, if you wished to have it, was included at dinner at no extra cost. The cabin was comfortable with a small sitting area with two chairs and a coffee table and a outside veranda. Our refrigerator was refilled daily with our selection of beverages.Liked the heated bathroom Floor and the king size very comfy bed. There was an included tour in every port but there were also optional tours available. Found all of the tours guides very knowledgeable of the area of the tour. 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our first cruise and a retirement dream trip. We chose Viking because of their high ratings and the fact that most everything was included. About 5 days into a 14 day cruise my husband became very ill along with several others. ... Read More
This was our first cruise and a retirement dream trip. We chose Viking because of their high ratings and the fact that most everything was included. About 5 days into a 14 day cruise my husband became very ill along with several others. At least 2 ( that we know of) were taken off the ship,and hospitalized in the closest locations. My husband was cleared to travel home but it took about a week for him to fully recover. Two days after we got home, we got an email that went to all passengers that Legionnaires Disease was identified on this ship. No one personally called us after we made 5 visits to the ship doctor. We still never heard anything more from Viking. Be aware of this situation. My thought would be that we would have at least been given some credit toward another cruise and that a representative would have followed up on my husband's condition. I understand that they could face legal issues but, because of our situation, I would not recommend Viking to anyone. If you go, be aware of all medical situations and have a plan with your family if Viking leaves you in a foreign hospital. I have kept all medical papers and am in the process of,dealing with insurance companies. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
The Homeland theme in the Baltic filled our specific desire to learn about family historic geography. As a half-Norwegian half-German guy, I learned more than I expected. In addition, the visit to the Hermitage was astounding. The ... Read More
The Homeland theme in the Baltic filled our specific desire to learn about family historic geography. As a half-Norwegian half-German guy, I learned more than I expected. In addition, the visit to the Hermitage was astounding. The “Gold Room” was particularly enlightening. Thank you Viking fo getting us into the venue earlier than must tourists. Our visit to Gdask, Poland was also a highlight. Survival and rebuilding the heart of the city indicates the ingenuity of people. Very encouraging. The ship’s staff really knew how to move passengers on and off the ship with very few long lines or delays. Nice going. The entertainment program singers and dancers were invigorating, even after a long day of excursions. The music and staging were impeccable. The various restaurants were also excellent. The Chef’s Table was a surprise since we sampled food that I would never order at a regular restaurant. More education! This was the best cruise that we ever experienced with Viking...by far. Next year we expect to cruise the British Isles with Viking. We can hardly wait!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose Viking because of the locations of this cruise and the opportunity to visit multiple countries without having to pack and unpack. The location, weather at the time of the year was absolutely perfect. The excursions were enriching ... Read More
We chose Viking because of the locations of this cruise and the opportunity to visit multiple countries without having to pack and unpack. The location, weather at the time of the year was absolutely perfect. The excursions were enriching and enjoyable. We had wanted to visit the Scandinavian countries and Russia and this gave us this opportunity. Viking has such good advertisements on PBS; that helped too! The staff was so attendant to every need. We loved the choices of dining venues and the excellent choices of food that was prepared. The portions were just the right size and being so gave us the opportunity to try many different ones. The on board shows and entertainment were excellent. As I love attention to details, the Viking crew never left one detail unattended too. The checking in and out each day, the train arrangements going into Berlin, the buses for tours, and step-on guides were tops in my opinion. It was all so very well organized! Appreciate Viking having the arrangements for us to not have custom issues in each country. 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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