1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We did mostly eat at the World Cafe (amazing sushi and crab legs), we did also enjoy Manfrettis and the Restaurant a few times. We also did use room service. The food was wonderful. No complaints. I cannot eat gluten and I was ... Read More
We did mostly eat at the World Cafe (amazing sushi and crab legs), we did also enjoy Manfrettis and the Restaurant a few times. We also did use room service. The food was wonderful. No complaints. I cannot eat gluten and I was completely taken care of. I felt safe and appreciated the extra care they went to. Our room was a delight. The bed was comfy and for us we felt spoiled with having the room cleaned twice a day. We were very glad that we chose to do a lot of our excursions with other companies. There were far fewer people and it cost less. Best example: Use All Tours in St. Petersberg. They were amazing. We also booked our own Rodne Tour for Pulpit Rock at less cost for the exact same trip. Because there were so many ports, in the end it was just a bit exhausting. If we do a cruise again, it would be one with fewer places to visit. We found every single person who worked at Viking to be friendly, helpful, and kind. If, like us, you do enjoy quality spirits, I strongly suggest purchasing a few bottles at the Stockholm Airport Duty free store. It was less expensive than at home and far cheaper than any other place we stopped. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The cruise was good, restaurant, bar and housekeeping staff were exceptional, but if you had to deal with the cruise director, there was no service, just talking down to you very rudely. The shore excursions were very good, however all ... Read More
The cruise was good, restaurant, bar and housekeeping staff were exceptional, but if you had to deal with the cruise director, there was no service, just talking down to you very rudely. The shore excursions were very good, however all the best tours were already booked, as it was a world cruise, which we were not aware of, so almost all of the deluxe tours that you had to pay for were full. We enjoyed the Captain's daily message at noon each day to give everyone the details regarding weather, ocean conditions, and location and how far we were from the next port of call. We found the 7 sea days to be very long, as there were not enough interesting things to do on board. They did have activities such as bridge, different talks and trivia, but they were all on the dry side. We did purchase the beverage package, but at the end, it was not worth it, as we certainly didn't get our money's worth, and you can only drink so much. Beer and wine were included with the meals, so if you are happy with that, you probably don't need to buy the beverage package. We found the food very good, and mainly ate in the World Cafe, as we preferred to serve ourselves, rather than waiting for service in the other restaurants. The ship was beautifully decorated everywhere, and the rooms were very good. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
There are really two parts to this review. The first is about the awful virus that spread unchecked that ruined our trip. The second part is about what the ship is like if I don't factor in how sick so many of us were. My husband ... Read More
There are really two parts to this review. The first is about the awful virus that spread unchecked that ruined our trip. The second part is about what the ship is like if I don't factor in how sick so many of us were. My husband and I both became extremely ill on exactly the same evening about ten days into our trip-- we are both in excellent health and among the very youngest on the ship. We went from feeling fine to minutes later having fever, chills, nauseated, extreme disorientation, dizziness, terrible hacking cough. We were in our room for three days, I literally was so ill I didn't have the energy to order room service. When we finally were well enough to leave our room, we heard that half the ship had the same virus, there were lines at the doctor's office, you could hear the same hacking cough everywhere. I tried twice to see the doctor to see what the virus was and if we needed antibiotics-- the first time office hours were cancelled because "he had been up for 36 hours straight" and the second because during his office hours there was an emergency medical evacuation. It was getting to the end of the cruise and I thought we would be feeling better soon. Everyone we talked to had a story about either being sick themselves or listing all the people onboard who had the same virus, and people in our trivia group dropped out due to the virus. When I found out the virus had been going around the ship the whole time we were there with people onboard from the previous segment, I was so bothered that it had not been communicated sooner and that precautions had not been taken by the ship-- they were shaking hands with passengers regularly! Had I known I would have disinfected the room, never shaken hands, avoided the buffet, taken the immune building supplements I carry for travel whenever there is sickness spreading, etc. After we left the ship, whenever I tried to do anything for the remainder of our trip I became ill all over again, I couldn't eat, etc. Once we returned and I wasn't getting well (I was so dizzy I couldn't drive, could only eat soup and bread, couldn't concentrate on work, etc.) I called my doctor who wanted any background information on the Virus. I contacted Viking who said they didn't have to tell me because there were far fewer than 20 cases reported! Now, I literally spoke with more than 20 people who had had the virus. The customer service person was belligerent and accusatory, implying I wasn't really sick and said in a sarcastic tone that if I was sick he was sure I would have reported it. I told him we told the housekeepers we were too sick to leave the room and he said that didn't count. I also told him about trying to see the doctor twice and being prevented one time because of the emergency medical evacuation-- and he told me in a triumphant tone that there was no emergency medical evacuation during my cruise. I replied that it was pretty frightening that hundreds of people onboard were ill with the same severe virus and there was an emergency medical evacuation that hundreds of people watched since it was by the coast guard in open ocean and lasted hours-- yet Viking had a record of neither. I finally told him that since they have no record of this illness I was reporting it now, and he said that didn't count. After spending a fortune on this cruise, being so ill and trying to get information for my doctor, it was so dispiriting to be treated this way. I contracted this virus about a month and a half ago and not only have only started getting completely well in the last two weeks (after taking powerful antibiotics), but I'm still having all kinds of medical tests because of concerns that it was so severe it might have caused a mini stroke and other permanent damage. Now, if I had not gotten a horrible virus that I think could have been prevented, and not been treated so dismissively by Viking customer service? On the positive side, I would say the food was the best I've ever had on a cruise ship (and we are foodies used to high end cruises). As one example, they serve a full traditional tea daily, complete with tiered plates of mini sandwiches and sweets, plus scones every afternoon, just like a fancy tea you might pay for. On Oceania, the tea is from teabags with paper napkins with a few things passed around. Most notably, the general restaurant was as good as specialty restaurants on other ships. I'll compare again to Oceania where the general restaurant was so bad we couldn't eat there and you had to fight for reservations in the specialty restaurants. Another Viking plus was that you could get as many reservations in the free specialty restaurants as you wanted. Service overall was the best we've ever experienced on a ship. Loved that there is no corkage fee in the restaurants and they are delighted to open and pour what you bring-- while basic wine was free, we loved to pick up special bottles as we traveled and really appreciated this benefit. The cafe and main restaurant are also really well designed so that you can often get a window seat, and never get the sense of an overwhelming sea of people. They also did a lot of special things that were nice-- bringing local specialty foods aboard, etc. We enjoyed the trivia everyday in port (vs. bingo on some ships), loved not listening to announcements all day and no junky art shows, and the hairdresser was fantastic and very reasonably priced. Generally, a very high quality, lovely experience vs. some of the constant upgrading and rules on other ships-- they seemed super flexible and customer service oriented. On the negative side, be very weary of this boat, I would try the other Viking Ocean boats because this boat does two World Cruise Trips a year and if you do a segment as we did (unbeknownst to most people booking who didn't realize they were taking part of a world cruise) there are disadvantages. First, even with an upgraded room and the paid for perk of being able to get first choice on excursions etc. what this means when you travel with world cruisers is that you get to pick AFTER that half of the boat, so no real perk for upgraded rooms and many segment people were unhappy to see the excursion they wanted sold out on the very first day they were available to book. They were also unhappy to see the world cruisers at events they were not invited to and felt like second class citizens. However, depending on your age and health, the biggest disadvantage is that the average age on the boat seemed to be 70-90. I have never been on a cruise with so many old people and they were not healthy, active old people-- it was a sea of 4 prong canes and a very slow walk down any corridor. For many world cruisers this is a bucket list item, and they frequently didn't even get off the boat, kind of like a last hurrah. We didn't take any of the included excursions because they are basically all 3 hour motor coach rides, but segment people who did said half the time was spent with the old folks getting on and off the huge busses. To be honest, I felt like I was in a nursing home at times. The rooms were a mixed bag. They functioned beautifully and were very comfortable with a nice shower, but they just weren't special, they were very plain. We got the upgraded penthouse balcony for many thousands more and it was maybe a couple of feet wider but that's it, it looked like a very standard ship room-- this was not a worthwhile upgrade. For example, with Oceania the penthouse balcony for about the same amount to upgrade is luxurious and beautiful with special touches like a dining table for two and a huge closet-- I would call it romantic. Viking just isn't romantic. One issue my husband had was that many events were held in the pool area. However, when the roof was closed the chlorine gas was overwhelming and you simply could not be in that room-- yet this is where they were serving all kinds of specialty foods, like when they went ashore for local king crab legs, you could only get them in this area. My husband had to leave the superbowl get together because he couldn't breath the fumes anymore. Finally, I will say that many seemed to like the entertainment but we were disappointed. Too many of the shows were with their in house group and in house band which were both weak-- the vocals and instrumentalists were painful at times. The few shows they brought in from the outside were generally strong. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We had done a Viking River Cruise and we were looking for a Viking cruise close-by. We drove down from Orlando, everything went well getting on board and of course the customer service was wonderful. The entertainment was also ... Read More
We had done a Viking River Cruise and we were looking for a Viking cruise close-by. We drove down from Orlando, everything went well getting on board and of course the customer service was wonderful. The entertainment was also surprisingly good. What it was lacking was: 1)variety at the locations/islands, like an included day at the beach would have been nice, the 3 included tours were all of ruins, and maybe a little more time in Cozumel, we were hardly there, 2) a little better with the communication and care of us when we are off the boat, when we were on Viking River it was amazing how well they took care of us, but on this trip, the first tour was during lunch and it wasn't made clear that no lunch was being provided and there was no real place to grab lunch, which was a real issue since my mother and I are diabetic, luckily I had enough snacks to keep us from having a sugar crash, but it was really close, 3) on the Viking river cruises the do a few meals to celebrate the locations we were visiting, but there wasn't anything like that on this cruise, 4) the shops on the boat, I would think you would have at least one shop with things that match with where the cruise is going, like items for a Caribbean cruise. I will have to say you can't beat the rooms, the balconies, and the customer service on a Viking boat, but the rest of the trip was a bit of a bust. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My wife and I are very experienced cruisers having been on more than 35. This was our first time on Viking Ocean Cruise line, Scandinavian and we were impressed by their very high ratings on River Cruises.and the fact they only carried a ... Read More
My wife and I are very experienced cruisers having been on more than 35. This was our first time on Viking Ocean Cruise line, Scandinavian and we were impressed by their very high ratings on River Cruises.and the fact they only carried a maximum of 930 passengers. Check in was a breeze with 6 or 7 receptionists waiting for us instead of long lines. It is considered a luxury cruise ship and as such commands a very high initial cost for the cruise which must be paid in full much before the cruise embarks. However, this is partially compensated for with many inclusions not permitted on other cruise lines. We were permitted to bring alcohol aboard the ship. They also included wine and beer with all meals and excursions at each port of call. While onboard my wife and her our friend Ann went to a cooking class with the executive Chef of the ship and he liked them. There were two special dining venues THE CHEF'S TABLE and another upscale Italian restaurant. We were supposed to go only once during the cruise but because of the connection my wife, Nela and Ann made with the Chef were permitted to go 4 times, where he prepared his specialties and served them. They were absolutely amazing and I've never had better food on any ship. For an additional charge you could choose other excursions customized to your interests. I chose one on Cozumel said to be the 2d largest barrier reef for snorkeling, 185 miles long which was disappointing as I had expected a wall but found only scattered limestone reefs with only smaller colorful tropical fish. I saw no predators like sharks, barracudas or even sting rays, that I had seen snorkeling and Scuba diving. Though the personnel were very friendly it was not well organized. In the middle of the sea they required half our passengers to climb onto a boat that pulled alongside. I'd not recommend that excursion. However one excursion we went on was exceptional and I'd highly recommend that in Mexico called SALSA AND SALSA in which my wife I and two friends, first time cruisers were taken on a couple buses to a 2d floor high ceiling open air room in a hotel and sat at tables for 10 with many vegetables and a musher, which is a small dish with a rough bottom and a pestle for crushing and mushing the vegetables with various recipes into different Salsas. We were provided aprons, Chef's hats and unlimited. Margaritas and ingredients to make more. Our hostesses were two young Mexican girls in their 20's full of enthusiasm that kept things going. After eating varied Doritos and Salsa and too many home made Margaritas where we lost count the tables were removed and the floor cleared for dancing the SALSA. I would never call myself a dancer but after 6 or 7 Margaritas figured nobody cared and did my best. We all left totally sated, happy and ready to recover. The entertainment onboard the ship was very limited in variety and elaborate productions but made up for it with extremely talented musicians and singers. There was one quartet of 4 British singers that performed on 3 different nights once emulating ABBA, then BEATLES and finally 60's music. I talked to a few of the performers afterward and found they were not a professional group but were hired individually and the group would disintegrate after the cruise ended. It made me tear up thinking so beautiful would end. Even our Cruise director was a former professional Opera Singer with a voice so perfect I asked my friend if she wasn't lipsyncing and he assured me she was not. She was amazing at the New Year's celebration party. On board I enjoyed their lectures particularly one on Catapults showing how very ineffective walls are, no matter how strong or well guarded. The gym was small and basic but had all the essentials for a good workout. I liked the Steam, Sauna and Ice room. The ice room was a real treat. Short periods of stress are good for your health and excessive amount can kill you. In summing up overall I'd say this cruise was exceptional and one of the best I've been on, though expensive. I've been on more moderately priced ships that were very good and can honestly say I've never been on any vacation I did not enjoy though some more than others, so in the end you'll have to decide what you want for yourself. I always consider price an important factor when deciding on a service or product. I was an accountant by profession. I like quality at a reduced price. That what makes a good value. If you want everything to be nearly perfect and are willing to pay top price VIKING is a choice, you won't be wrong with, but if you'd want to go on two or more cruises on a less expensive ship for the same price, then Princess or Celebrity are excellent ships. I wrote this review for Cruise Critic not Viking Ocean cruise line because I read Viking's terms and conditions in which they stated they can edit comments possibly making my review Fake News instead of the honest one I wrote by editing out anything negative. I said, but believe cruise critic will condense it with my concerns to its essence. I hope this has been helpful. Paul, an experienced cruiser. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Viking came highly recommended by friends and family, and we chose this particular cruise because of our interests in ancient civilizations. While on the cruise, we were able to visit three different Mayan ruins. The food and dining ... Read More
Viking came highly recommended by friends and family, and we chose this particular cruise because of our interests in ancient civilizations. While on the cruise, we were able to visit three different Mayan ruins. The food and dining options were second to none. Our favorite days were the At Sea days. We made full use of the spa, and went through the Nordic bathing ritual on an almost daily basis. Plenty of open spaces, with board games, cards, and a puzzle station. This is most definitely not a party or a booze cruise. Which is one of the reasons why we enjoyed it so very much. Our only issues were with the descriptions of some of the excursions, as well as the timing of the excursions. More time was devoted to traveling on the excursions than actuality at the sites. During a 7 hour tour, we only had 105 minutes to explore the site, and the remaining time was spent in transit. We would do it again, we were just disappointed that we didn't have more time to explore. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We took the New Year’s Cruise with Viking as our cousin’s had booked it and we love Viking. From the easy on to the easy exit all was seamless. Our rooms were ready so we went and checked out our room on the 4 th floor and our cabin ... Read More
We took the New Year’s Cruise with Viking as our cousin’s had booked it and we love Viking. From the easy on to the easy exit all was seamless. Our rooms were ready so we went and checked out our room on the 4 th floor and our cabin stuart Mohammad was there to greet us and tell us what was different from the ship we took on the Homelands and he was excellent. The room was always made up, fresh water refilled and new towels and products refilled in the bathroom. Viking does it right, from all balcony rooms to no kids under 18 and no casino. They don’t nickel and dime you as specialty restaurants are included, wine, beer, soda included at lunch/ dinner but what makes Viking special is the crew, everyone smiling and always a sunny good morning/evening, nothing was too much trouble. A few issues we had was two of the shows were the same as the shows we saw a year and a half ago on the Homelands ( ABBA/Beatles) maybe it’s time to change shows as most people are returning Viking cruisers now. Also in our refrigerator on the last 2 nights we had all seltzer water with no diet/ regular coke as we requested and they don’t supply chips anymore just pack of nuts and small chocolates. This, I believe, was a new route for Viking, Turquoise Caribbean Seas, and some of the included tours were not up to Viking standards. We drove almost an hour to Mérida only to have half an hour in the main square and our guide gave no description of what we were looking at just, “ this is the oldest house, this is the oldest church” and no time to visit anything. The trip to San Gervasio was disappointing as our guide talked about the Mayan number system and calendar but not anything detailed about the complex and never saw the tall house, just the few ruins at the beginning of the complex so we had plenty of time to shop, which we didn’t need. In Key West we could not tender but Viking worked their magic and got one ship at port to leave early so that we could at least get into Key West and everyone could take the included trolley ride, but all optional tours had to be cancelled. On the plus side we were in Key West for the sunset. I took the Snorkeling at the Barrier Reef in Belize and it was a great tour, the guides were very informative and never left people on their own in the water. We were in groups and they had kayaks around in case anyone got in trouble, and a rum punch to wash out the salt water in the mouth when we came back on the boat made for a nice touch. We were dropped off at Belize port where most stores/ restaurants were closed because it was Sunday. One thing about this cruise was that there were two sea days (7 night cruise) and as Viking is a port intensive cruise line, this was a disappointment to us as another port vs. a sea day would have been better for us as we don’t like sitting around but enjoy doing things. Like I said we took it because of my cousin’s taking it and probably would not have chosen this cruise for just us, but we were continuing on to a Florida vacation so this was a nice start to it. We are already booked for Frances Finest River Cruise this summer and Empires of the Mediterranean for 2020 so Viking has our loyalty, this is just my observation of this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this itinerary on Viking because we wanted to see Key West and spend a few days with warm sunny weather. We had previously taken a Viking River Cruise and enjoyed the smaller ship aspect of the Sun. From embarkation to ... Read More
We chose this itinerary on Viking because we wanted to see Key West and spend a few days with warm sunny weather. We had previously taken a Viking River Cruise and enjoyed the smaller ship aspect of the Sun. From embarkation to disembarkation, we were treated like valued guests. Our room (DV6) on Deck 3 was spacious, well organized and with sufficient storage in closet, drawers and bathroom. We loved having the balcony and the room to enjoy coffee at sunrise and a wine at sunset. The coffee pot was a particular treat as we aren’t human until coffee is consumed. Instruction for pot were fairly clear and produced strong coffee...just right! All meals were tasty, varied and served with a smile and wine. We ate at Manfedi’s one evening and Chef’s Table another...both we’re outstanding. The entertainment was well planned and timed which suited those of us who are ready to retire before midnight. There were lots of public spaces to give the impression of a much larger ship....would highly recommend for a relaxing winter break...or any adult get away. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this as we wanted to try Viking Ocean and like the shorter length from Lisbon. We also never had done a holiday cruise and Viking did it right. The food, entertainment, bars and lectures were top notch. We have been on many ... Read More
We chose this as we wanted to try Viking Ocean and like the shorter length from Lisbon. We also never had done a holiday cruise and Viking did it right. The food, entertainment, bars and lectures were top notch. We have been on many cruises and this was probably the most well designed cruise-ship we have been on to date. We booked again for a colder weather cruise in New England in 2020 and are thinking of the winter Norway cruise in 2022. The food was excellent and the specialty venues were also great. We had the SS package and are wine lovers and had a wide choice of wines by the glass to order. We also got a discount on bottle purchases and enjoyed our French Champagne by the Bottle. If you are interested in cooking classes, sign up right away when you get on board as they do not advertise them in advance. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We love the size of the Viking Sun class ships and find the Viking staff very helpful welcoming.The Sun is a 2 yr old ships, which like others (e.g Viking Star) is extremely comfortable. This reposition cruise was a last minute ... Read More
We love the size of the Viking Sun class ships and find the Viking staff very helpful welcoming.The Sun is a 2 yr old ships, which like others (e.g Viking Star) is extremely comfortable. This reposition cruise was a last minute decision to primarily to celebrate my spouse's recent retirement. Viking repositions this ship from Europe to MIA where Vikings starts its World cruise offering. Therefore, the crossing offers only two ports of call (Azores and Bermuda). While most people on board were seasoned travelers, a few people were surprised that even with all the greatest technical advances this ship could rock. While we had a variety of weather, the Atlantic is not a small pond and it can be quite rough. Although I heard some complaints, I was surprised about some very unrealistic expectations. Since, we actually treated the trip as an adventure we loved it and rod ecommend that you take some Dramamine with you on any cruise . We did not need ours and the medical center could provide some, if you got seasick. Based on our sailing history, we would not rate this past cruise as extremely rough. The cabins on board the Viking Ocean are very comfortable, clean and well layout. Plenty of space to move around in with many public nooks suitable for curling up with a good book! The Viking Staff is selected for their "yes, we can" attitude. Although each one us are very unique individuals, the Viking crew is overall very happy and proud to be working for a rapidly growing company which the staff likes with a 90% retention rate over any 10 yr period. Food as expected on a cruise, is abundant, diverse and always delicious. On Christmas Eve the SUN served large steamed lobsters and perfectly executed Osso Bucco in their regular dining room. There were a few caviar offerings at the bars with all daily events and menus for all meals posted on in-room tv monitors. A few times we needed to use room service and while it too was very tasty, it could have been delivered a bit hotter. Although this cruise had only two ports of call there was plenty of entrainment. We do like the fact that Viking does not have a casino onboard. There were some small poker games and Chinese Mahjong available for those so inclined. There are also video tables where you can enjoy playing a computer black jack dealer. In addition to excellent port of call talks, Viking has a number historians, technical experts (e.g driverless car engineering), and musicians discussing their expertise in very simple and interesting presentations. Viking requires that passengers be at 16 years or old, which we found the adults to be quite friendly and open to making new acquaintances. For us, most part we found tables for two available. Since our last cruise, the bars have a greatly expanded selection of quality brands. Since I favor Tanquary Ten, I was pleased that it was available at every bar. and covered by our drink package. There is a night club for dancing and a night cap, but we did not visit it this trip.The cruise director conducted a caroling sing along in the atrium on Christmas Eve, utilizing the classical pianists, the Viking band and even the on board acoustic guitarist. Unfortunately, I did scrap up my leg at the Lisbon Airport and I needed to used the medical staff to heal it. This inconvenience limited my ability to use the abundant spa fitness services on board. The Viking Norwegian spirt shines with very unique spa treatments and many pools located in the spa, in addition to the lap pools and hot tubs found on deck. On the SUN you can elect to start in a hot sauna and then cool down in an ice room with snow. If it is your thing, there are great gym machines exist and in the morning you are invited to yoga/pilates classes. Otherwise, weather permitting, you can take to the promenade and get your exercise by running or walking around the ship with instructions on how many laps constituted a mile. All in all we enjoyed ourselves and would consider going again. We find sailings of this duration suit our life styles very well and while we liked this crossing, there are so many other offers that we have not tried. For example we doing a Panama crossing this month. Happy Cruising! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We enjoy cruising with Viking. They are first class and do not “nickel and dime” you. The service is excellent and the crew is very good. Everyone working on the ship is friendly and says hello with a smile. The food is outstanding ... Read More
We enjoy cruising with Viking. They are first class and do not “nickel and dime” you. The service is excellent and the crew is very good. Everyone working on the ship is friendly and says hello with a smile. The food is outstanding and the two specialty restaurants serve unique food . It is nice traveling with only adult passengers and also not getting harassed by photographers. The entertainment is average. We usually enjoy the lectures and classes , however, we did not enjoy them on this cruise. The topics were not interesting or relevant for us. I don’t care about somebody rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. The cruise port talks were not well done and the moderator seemed to be just reading his presentation. The two cruise directors were very friendly and personable- Mark and Heather. The two musical shows that Heather and her assistant, Brian Rodriguez, put on were very good. They both have beautiful voices . The glitches on our cruise were associated with the transition from one cruise to the other. It seemed that they forgot we were doing a B2B and we got no communication about the second half. There was a considerable change in the service for the second cruise and service wasn’t as good as the first part. There were long waits in the dining room for just service and food . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
First time on an Ocean Cruise...we are In our 60's and did not want to be on a cruise the size of a city. Viking is the best way to start and or finish. Will only take Viking as it is the BEST!!! Future booking are inevitable. We ... Read More
First time on an Ocean Cruise...we are In our 60's and did not want to be on a cruise the size of a city. Viking is the best way to start and or finish. Will only take Viking as it is the BEST!!! Future booking are inevitable. We want to sail the world with Viking!!! All of the excursions were so informative and thought/organized so well. On board entertainment nightly and the bar service was grand. All on board service was from breakfast/lunch/dinner was outstanding. I just can't say enough of the service, meals, onboard ship persons and utmost service from all. Spa, pools and on board amenities are a huge factor on why we booked along with only 940 guests on the ship. Food and dining was so fabulous with lobster, Peking duck, shrimp, steaks/filets, fresh vegetables and amazing deserts....so much variety that you can choose from. You will never be disappointed with a Viking Ocean Cruise. Book today....enjoy what life has to offer! You will love it!!! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We went on this cruise to join our friends who went on River cruises with us. We also wanted to see the beautiful Viking ship that is advertised on our TV programs. The ship is totally lovely. The food was excellent. The staff wonderful. ... Read More
We went on this cruise to join our friends who went on River cruises with us. We also wanted to see the beautiful Viking ship that is advertised on our TV programs. The ship is totally lovely. The food was excellent. The staff wonderful. We were happy with many of the excursions in the cities on the cruise. But some of the excursions were not planned well and were rushed. We spent more time on the bus to and from Florence than in the city itself. Also rainy fall weather disrupted a couple of our excursions. Perhaps the fall is not the right time for this trip. One disappointment is that the ship always moved from port to port at night while we slept. The only coastlines we saw from the ship were Barcelona, our first port and when we left Monaco, a truly beautiful view. We did not see the Italian Amalfi coast from the ship when sailing from Florence to Rome. So sad. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We wanted to try Viking. Their food was very good. But we both agreed that Oceania's food is better. The cabin was comfortable. We had great cabin attendants. Always there to help. The mini bar was always stocked, extra towels ... Read More
We wanted to try Viking. Their food was very good. But we both agreed that Oceania's food is better. The cabin was comfortable. We had great cabin attendants. Always there to help. The mini bar was always stocked, extra towels if needed. The mustard drill was fast and very good. The ship was clean and the most comfortable ship that we have ever been on after more than twenty some cruises. Not crowded at all. There was always a comfortable place to sit and relax. Check in was fast and very easy. The staff was right there to help with any question. It felt like a very safe ship as well. The free excursions were nice. We had been to these places before, but not the very same locations. The ship is really the perfect size for us. Although, I have to admit that we like the small ships too. Like Sea Dream. I would definitely take another cruise on Viking. We haven't yet been on a River Cruise and would also like to try one of those soon. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
The ship is beautiful and the public area is plentiful and tastefully done. The spa area is excellent, I wish I have more time to explore the spa facility. The port Sete was not originally on the itinerary and it was not an interesting ... Read More
The ship is beautiful and the public area is plentiful and tastefully done. The spa area is excellent, I wish I have more time to explore the spa facility. The port Sete was not originally on the itinerary and it was not an interesting port for a stop. Shuttle service at Florence was not up to par. We were left at the bus stop for over an hour in the rain and we never received an apology for the mess up. The ride should have come every 30 minutes. On the positive note, the staff on board are excellent, not only did they carry out their duties perfectly, they are also very good in anticipating the guest's need and offer alternatives and help without being asked. The laundry facility is great, I just wish there's more of them, maybe one on each floor. We also had a mixed up in the reservation restaurant. We had to wait for a long time before we were taken care of. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We choose this cruise because of the routing, and this time of year for the lighter crowds of the off season and cooler weather. We were pleased with both the weather and lack of crowds. Also everything was decorated for Christmas ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the routing, and this time of year for the lighter crowds of the off season and cooler weather. We were pleased with both the weather and lack of crowds. Also everything was decorated for Christmas which made it even more beautiful. Over all both the tours provided and the extra excursions we purchased were excellant. However, on the Night of Flamenco in Barcelona, I felt the venue was a little too commercial. The dancing itself was excellant, but the tapas and sangria were mediocre at best. Except for the ham, cheese and olives, the rest of the tapas were not good, the sangria was not authentic and the creme brulee was burnt. Also, because we booked a morning tour for the Monseratt Abby, we could not also do the included tour of Barcelona, they overlapped by 15 minutes. It seems like they could have scheduled that better. Our pre and post extensions in Madrid and Rome were very nice. In Madrid there was an included 1/2 day tour of the city, excellent tour guide. In Rome however there was no included tour, I found this to be inconsistant. The food on the ship was excellent, fresh, delicious available. The Restaurant, their main dinning room, was order off the changing menu, and freshly prepared with service equal to any fine dining establishment. The World Cafe, the morning noon and night buffet was fresh, and delicious, with some prepared to order foods also. All of the other restaurants etc. were additionally as good, although, the lasagne in Manfredi's left something to be desired. Our Silver beverage package was worth every penny, (not expensive) it was basically an open bar the whole time on the ship. We are not heavy drinkers, but it was nice to have a cocktail or two before dinner or after an excursion. I loved that they charged us a flat fee daily, (15.00) for tips for everyone, without having to dig out cash everytime you turned around. The staff on the Ship were courteous, efficient, and friendly. The embarking and disembarking were efficient and easy. Never waiting, very organized. Over all a truly wonderful experience. Oh, and don't forget to try the Princess cake at Mumson's Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
The itinerary, length of trip, expense, and outstanding reviews led us to this booking. The food was delicious, and the wait staff was well trained. The spa afforded a lovely break at the end of the day. The clientele were generally older ... Read More
The itinerary, length of trip, expense, and outstanding reviews led us to this booking. The food was delicious, and the wait staff was well trained. The spa afforded a lovely break at the end of the day. The clientele were generally older which made for quieter cruising. The full English tea daily was magnificent and a great time to meet new people.i my husband and I enjoyed all the amenities onboard and were delighted to find that there were no hidden expenses. Al-in-all this was an excellent value for the quality of service provided. We have already booked another trip and chose to try a river cruise after talking with seasoned Viking travelers. We will be taking a trip down the Rhine and Mosel rivers which will bring back many memories of our early married life when my husband was stationed with the USAF in Germany more than 40 years ago. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
My wife and I chose this cruise because it includes a tremendous opportunity to see a lot of Art Galleries and Museums as well as locations that are historically and socially significant. As has been our experience with all of our other ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise because it includes a tremendous opportunity to see a lot of Art Galleries and Museums as well as locations that are historically and socially significant. As has been our experience with all of our other Viking cruises, all facets of travel - from arrival to departure and everything in between - were handled beautifully by the Viking organization. The setting was elegant, and the people were incredible! Our cabin was roomy and well kept. The food was delicious and plentiful. Vikings chefs really know how to cook a variety of food styles and can please the most picky eaters. The specialty restaurants offer an elegant setting to try new dishes, and the staff in them are friendly and personable. The entertainment was fun - really enjoyed the classical music in the Living Room in the afternoons and evenings as well as in Wintergarden during tea time. We found the service to be second to none. The included excursions were fun and informative, and the optional excursions offered a wide variety of experiences you don't find on other lines. All things considered, we can't wait for our next trip on Viking! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This cruise covers a lot of places. Very interesting, and full excursions. We went from Madrid to Venice. With extensions on both. Madrid was a disappointment. The hotel was nice, but you had to pay for coffee after breakfast. This ... Read More
This cruise covers a lot of places. Very interesting, and full excursions. We went from Madrid to Venice. With extensions on both. Madrid was a disappointment. The hotel was nice, but you had to pay for coffee after breakfast. This should be free in the lobby. The street beggars are constantly asking you to buy their wares. Even when seated in outdoor restaurants. Very annoying. I would pass on this part again, and do more days in Barcelona. From Madrid to Barcelona we took a train. Very well organized and enjoyable. Viking did a great job here. Barcelona was beautiful. We went to Marsaille France, did the included tour. Next was Monaco. Loved seeing the palace and where Grace Kelly was buried. Warning to anyone taking this tour, it's all uphill, and quite a long walk. Next we went to Italy-Luca and Pisa. It's a very long day, but well worth the tour. You get to see a lot. And the tour guide was very informative. These were paid for excursions, and an 8.5 hour day. Our next stop Rome. Went to Vatican City and Sistine Chapel. I have to say I was disappointed, only in that it was chaos. Multiple tours, hundreds of thousands of people all going to the same place. It was beautiful, and glad I went, but be prepared for the crowds. You can not take photos in the Sistine Chapel. This was a paid for tour and a 10 hour day. Afterward we went through Rome, past the coleseum but it would have been nice to have a short stop for pictures. This excursion did include lunch at an Italian restaurant. It was very good, and offered homemade limoncello. Onto Sorrento and Pompeii. These were also paid excursions, and another long day. Sorrento is the home of limoncello (yum). Pompeii is an amazing city. Well worth the tour. It's a lot of rocky walking. Our guide was amazing, and humorous. Corfu Greece was next. Did the included tour. Much needed break from three days of long tours. Neat city, and nice tour. Dubrovnik, Croatia was also lovely, went on included tour. Can't say this tour was good. Left us to explore on our own. Town was having a huge celebration which had State dignitaries and thousands of people. Made sightseeing difficult. Our guide wasn't very good either. Split Croatia was a small walking tour, and then a paid for river boat ride. We loved the river boat ride. It stopped at a small restaurant to give us a local flare of wine and bread. Enjoyable. Guide was very good. This was also a paid tour. Last stop Venice. We were in the rain, so didn't get to see as much as we would have liked. The hotel is across the canal and you have to take a water taxi provided by Hilton. San Marco square was flooded, but still crowded. We went in the Doge Palace, it was huge, and cost $20 euro to go in. But worth it to get out of the rain. Viking dropped the ball on this part of the cruise. Leaving the ship was delayed. There was a lot of waiting. But retrieving luggage went smoothly. It all arrived at the hotel. Once at the hotel, rooms weren't ready, so you had to sit around. There wasn't enough seats for the number of guests. However, we kept checking on our room and got one early. The Viking desk in the lobby did not offer much helpful info. They have no tours except for the day from the ship. You are on your own. Leaving the hotel was very interesting. They retrieve your luggage at 9am outside your room. Take it to a ramp, you identify your pieces and then board a small water taxi with other guests and on o the airport, with your luggage. It's about 30 mins to the airport. The Viking rep there was very helpful. The airport was crazy. I suggest getting your boarding pass printed at hotel. There are two lines-boarding pass and no boarding pass. Even though I did ours electronically, the one for my husband was wrong, and it reproduced mine to him. So we had to get back in line to get him a paper one. Our cabin on the ship was 3053. DO NOT ACCEPT this cabin. It is right over the dance bar. EVERY NIGHT WE HEARD THE BAND FROM 10-12mid. Once we identified it, and complained, (Viking actually knows about this!) they couldn't move us, because the ship was full. Three days before leaving they offered us another room, but we declined because we were leaving soon. Food on the ship was amazing. But they have some buffet setup issues. Some of the offerings can't be reached, and others ran out numerous times. Wait staff wasn't always on top of things, and you would have to ask over and over for your drink. Though they were always there with beer and wine. Room was always cleaned well, and our steward Eddie was great. I would go again, but would definitely make sure my room was in a better location. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise was in celebration of our 50 wedding anniversary. We had sailed a Viking river cruise and while the ocean cruise was considerably higher in price than other cruise lines based on our river cruise we felt at ease with spending ... Read More
This cruise was in celebration of our 50 wedding anniversary. We had sailed a Viking river cruise and while the ocean cruise was considerably higher in price than other cruise lines based on our river cruise we felt at ease with spending the additional money. With air and optional tours this cruise ended up costing $20,500. Was it worth the expense yes and no. Booking the air travel though Viking resulted in some problems but not of Viking making. Our original flight was cancelled forcing us to rebook with a less favorable schedule. Upon arrival in Stockholm we discovered SAS lost my wife's luggage. Viking did a good job of helping us to recover the luggage, they offered to wash my wife clothing on a daily basis at no charge, fortunately we got her luggage prior to our departure so all was good. Our room was small but like the river ships the bathroom floor was heated which on this cruise was a great feature. The scheduled itinerary was disrupted by bad ocean conditions forcing Viking to cancel two port of calls. We spend an additional day in Russia but were not allowed off the ship due to visa restrictions. We also had to ship a port due to heavy seas cause by gale force winds. This ship lacks a lot of standard ship board activities and normally this would not have been a problem but with three "sea" days two unscheduled time seemed to drag. The food was outstanding with lobster three days and prime rib several days. Beer and wine is included at all meals, as well as offered free several other times. There is a included tour at every port of call. They were mostly walking or bus tours narrated by a tour guide. We took a number of extra tours including one in Berlin. I would like to say they were all worth the extra money, but we were cheated by our tour guide in Berlin. He was totally unprepared walked away from some of the tour group at one point in general was not a good source of information. When we complained to Viking we never even got an apology. Basically they said Oh Well. The ship lacked keeping us informed as an example the was a scheduled event which was billed as a chocolate event. Due to heavy seas it never took place. Then two night later there it was a chocolate bonanza but because it was never announced many guests including us had a standard dessert at dinner and missed out. The cruise critic meet and greet was great they had drinks and snacks and the staff showed but they were gave any formal talks just made a appearance then left. I think they were a little confused as to what it was all about. Most days the entertainment met out expectations. The ship band and musical group did a good job of keeping us entertained. Our cruise director kept us entertained as well as he stared in one of the nightly shows as a singer and patio player. Due to missing two ports of call Viking has offered a $250 per person credit toward a future cruise, a pretty weak response to missing two ports of call. The ports of call we did visit were outstanding, the weather not so much, cold and windy. Would we go again? We booked a British Isle cruise for next summer, but not with Viking as we felt it was over priced for for a nice cruise on a new ship but lacking in the personal touch . Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because we always enjoyed Viking River cruises. The ship's layout and rooms were very nice. It was very easy to get arround the ship. There were multiple restruants and they were varied enough to allow you to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we always enjoyed Viking River cruises. The ship's layout and rooms were very nice. It was very easy to get arround the ship. There were multiple restruants and they were varied enough to allow you to schedule your meals around you activities. The food were excellent. The land tours were informative and well organized. We missed two ports due to weather issues which was disappointing. Service was excellent and all crew were happy and smiled when you addressed them. Land excursions were led by well informed guides who could answer every question put to them. They adjusted the pace of the tour to keep the group together and stopped as necessary to allow the questions to be answered in detail. Entertainment was minimal and could be improved. The shows and pre-tour discussions that we attended were good. This was an adult cruise with few if any children. Embarkation and disembarkation process were well organized and went smoothly. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We had long wanted to visit many of the ports included in the Viking Homelands experience, but have, previously, planned our own travel trying to avoid anywhere with a ship in port! However, the prospect of smaller numbers and ... Read More
We had long wanted to visit many of the ports included in the Viking Homelands experience, but have, previously, planned our own travel trying to avoid anywhere with a ship in port! However, the prospect of smaller numbers and all-inclusive travel appealed, and we thoroughly enjoyed our first cruise experience! We cannot speak highly enough of the service we received! Embarkation was a breeze, the cabin every bit as lovely as the brochures promised, and the Sun itself is a work of art! Food was outstanding and the entertainment first class, whether in the public areas or theatre! We danced every night at Torshavn till they kicked us out!!! Travelling with another couple added enjoyment (we Aussies swept all before us at trivia!!) but we often went our own ways when in port and made many new friends. Unfortunately we lost two ports (and gained extra sea days) due to the weather, but this actually gave us more time to relax after busy times ashore. We did most included excursions, some of which were excellent, several optional ones with Viking and a brilliant two days in St Petersburg through Alla Tours (saw so much in a small group). It's expensive but we are so glad we took the plunge that we've just booked another! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
August 25, 2018 Day 1, Subject: British Isles cruise Hello All, We had a great flight (Aug 24) on United, #16, a Boeing 767, seats 28A,B exit row, a bit cool (near the emergency door) but one of the smoothest rides ever. An ... Read More
August 25, 2018 Day 1, Subject: British Isles cruise Hello All, We had a great flight (Aug 24) on United, #16, a Boeing 767, seats 28A,B exit row, a bit cool (near the emergency door) but one of the smoothest rides ever. An hour late boarding start in Newark with delayed arrival at Heathrow due to ground traffic and a verrrrry long walk from the gate to border control and baggage but all’s well. Viking representatives were visible everywhere to assist in our getting checked in, to and on the bus and for the 90 minute ride from the airport to the Greenwich port. It’s in the mid 50’s overcast ... cool enough for jackets. At the port, we received our key cards and boarded a tender for a 5 minute tender ride to the “on the hook”... Viking Sun. Our cabin 3078 was ready. We are tired, it’s been a long day, freshened up, put a few things away, then went for a lite lunch in the World Cafe on deck 7. Absolutely delicious choice selections of meats, pasta, fish, cold cuts salads and deserts...all beautifully presented ... with complimentary wine and the usual Viking excellent service. Back to the comfortable cabin, at 5pm we had the mandatory emergency drill then at 6 a fabulous snack and then to bed! Overnighting in Greenwich, predict 60 degrees tomorrow, possible showers... who knows? ------------------------------------------- Day 2 – Greenwich, (London) Sunday, August 26, 2018 Subject: Update So, it’s 4:51 pm as I write this and we are still on the hook in Greenwich due to weather and tide issues and the narrow “Flood Gates” we have to pass through. Strong winds have forced the delay of our leaving until 2AM tomorrow morning. The weather .. still in the 60’s, overcast. Diane and I were scheduled for the 90 minute (included) walking tour, however it began raining hard and so as only she had dressed appropriately, she proceeded with the group of 15 ... I returned to the ship. At about 1:30 Diane returned to the cabin soaked from head to toe, but happy she went. She promised to tell us about the trivia she learned . Lunch in the world cafe was wonderful. Pictures will show. Met Susan and Carl from Marlboro NJ, chatted about growing up in Brooklyn etc. Just heard from the captain, due to our late arrival in Dover, all previously booked tours tomorrow have been cancelled, they have instead arranged for a 4 hr tour (complimentary). Details to follow. I spent much of the morning taking photos of the ship and looking for an app that would allow me to resize them for email. Hope you will like... sending soon. ------------------------------------ Day 3 – Dover – (Canterbury) England News... Following the death of Senator John McCain, the flag is still at full staff over the Whitehouse... despite protocol ... as is over the Capital Rotunda, to be at half staff. Later in the day, after much criticism and outrage, the flag was lowered. Due to our late departure from Greenwich, our arrival in Dover was also late (at 1pm, ) causing most tours to be cancelled. Instead, Viking arranged for tours to Canterbury or into Dover for us. After lunch, we hopped on the last bus #22 (only five on the bus) to Canterbury. Today is a holiday and the sun is out...so as you will see, there are crowds in the streets. Many families, stores are open modified hours, lots of dogs. Canterbury suffered a great deal of damage from WW2 bombings. The cathedral was targeted as it represented a historic, important site to the people and country. While the cathedral had only minor damage, bombs that fell nearby (and fires) did destroy about half of the town. Properties rebuilt were done so to match the old architecture to keep in character and beauty of the town. We returned to the ship, by joining a near full bus #4. Tonight’s production show is 60-70’s music, at 6:30. It was terrific, we really enjoyed the Viking singers and band. Interesting creative digital graphic sets were very effective. At 7:30 we went for dinner to “the restaurant” .. service, selections, presentation and taste ... perfect. For starters, Diane had the Waldorf salad, I, the Caesar salad with prawns. I had the grilled salmon entree, Diane had the steak. Wine flowed. Absolutely delicious dinner. Learned that each of the two alternate restaurants are booked solid for early dining until Sept 3. Made a reservation for Manfredi’s. Cabin attendants Tedy and assistant Jess are doing a great job ... working around us this morning. Last... today is Tues the 28, a sea day. The seas are very calm, not even a ripple, the temperature is in the low 60’s with overcast skies. Diane is in the laundry room, doing a wash, ironing shirts and blouses. Finding the ironing board uncomfortable to use due to the way it’s mounted to the wall. Better if there was a way to drape items over the board on that side. Perhaps the next ship. -------------------------------------------- Dublin, Sept 29, 2018 A lovely day in Dublin. Spent the early morning enjoying the ship’s program the sunshine and comfortable temperature (65). Watched the results of last nights primaries in Florida and Arizona... and that WH council Don McGahn will soon be leaving... he did not know, he learned from a tweet. We have CNBC, MSNBC, FOX, BBC and other British TV channels. Excellent selection of music and other shows like movies, TED programs etc. Great interactive TV. (would love if there were a TV speaker in the lavatory) At noon, we had a lite lunch at the World Cafe before joining our group #33 for the 3 hr included Dublin Tour. Traffic leaving this especially busy commercial port was made even worse due to an accident on the other major truck route. As a result, it took us about 1/2 hour just to exit. Our guide Simon and driver Jim were a great team. The coach was spotless the windows crystal clear and clean (perfect for picture taking). Or first stop was at Trinity college. Diane went with the group for a brief 20 minute tour, I opted out (having been here before) Our bus then meandered the narrow streets of Dublin, traffic and pedestrians provided for a challenging course for driver, Jim. We did get to see everything on the tour, including a brief visit to St. Patrick Cathedral and Park ... as beautiful and peaceful as when last we were here in 2013. The flowers still in bloom, children playing, a small dog playing fetch with his owner... a special moment for us. Back on the bus, we arrived to the ship at 5, freshened up and went to The Restaurant for another dinner with wine. Exhausted... we retired.... tomorrow Holyhead, -------------------------------------------------------- Day 6 Holyhead, Wales, Aug 30, 2018 Sunny, no humidity, about 65 degrees... Most of the morning relaxing, looking at future cruises and enjoying breakfast and or lunch before our 3 hour tour of Edwardian Beaumaris. Bus 27, from the pier, only a few steps from the ship, the very comfortable coach loaded the 30 of us for the 30 minute drive to the small town. Guide Roy and driver Kevin did well. The road from the port to the pier is so narrow, it fits only one vehicle at a time... traveling in only one direction. The ride to Beaumaris was beautiful, it is lined with lush greens, sheep and cows, the winding narrow road made for interesting maneuvers when a sharp curve met 2 vehicles in opposite directions.... One must pull over to allow the other to pass by. The town was brimming with visitors ... seemed everyone here has a dog and eats ice cream. One shopkeeper told us she had never seen so many dogs! It’s an easy walk, no hills, decent sidewalks, many lovely shops with antiques, food, or ice cream, line the narrow road. At the end of the town, the castle built by Edward 1, is famous for its design: Beaumaris Castle (Welsh: Castell Biwmares), in Beaumaris, Anglesey, Wales, was built as part of Edward I's campaign to conquer the north Wales after 1282. Plans were probably first made to construct the castle in 1284, but this was delayed due to lack of funds and work only began in 1295 following the Madog ap Llywelyn uprising. A substantial workforce was employed in the initial years under the direction of James of St George. Edward's invasion of Scotland soon diverted funding from the project, however, and work stopped, only recommencing after an invasion scare in 1306. When work finally ceased around 1330 a total of £15,000 had been spent, a huge sum for the period, but the castle remained incomplete. Fishing, shell fish, farming and tourism keep everyone here busy. Purchased a few items ... appear to have been made in Wales. Returned at 5, in time for the Explorer party... (for return Viking guests) much too crowded) not sure everyone at the event met the Explorer member only requirement. At 6 PM, we went to the world cafe for a delicious dinner... Caesar salad, chateaubriand, pork chop, pasta... you name it, here at the cafe one can sample or share without guilt... or with guilt! Off to the Explorer lounge for music and then trivia. Our team, Sue, Gary, and Jen won again ... our second win! two out of 3 so far. STILL NO PRIZES! Getting ready for tomorrow at Liverpool. Day 7 Aug 31 2018, Liverpool Liverpool... home of the Beatles Just arrived at Liverpool, long, interesting pier, it floats to compensate for 32ft. tides. When we first docked, the gangway was at deck 2...when we came back at 5pm, it was on deck A... The weather is perfect. Clear skies, 68 degrees, and hardly any humidity. Our tour of Liverpool on coach #24 with guide Peter and Andrew, driver. BTW, our British pounds the are older, (paper notes) and not accepted at most stores, they need to be exchanged at local bank, fortunately, our guide Peter was kind enough to exchange ours. Much of the time was on the bus with excellent narration about the points of interest...then... we arrived at Abby Road. From that moment on, it was all about Beatles! Who lived where, when, how Paul was in the church choir, told “he would never make a living at music and guitar playing” ... who knew? Lots of photos of this busy place and of the port. Back on board at 5, freshened up for a lobster dinner in The Restaurant. We wore jeans ... a no...no ... but we were forgiven. (So sorry about that) Our waiter, Alex took good care of us. This is his second contract with Viking. He had been with Celebrity for 14 years on Revelation... we must have sailed with him! Prawns on Caesar salad to start, followed by WHOLE Maine lobster, white wine, then the fruit plate for me, Diane had the sugar free offering. more about Liverpool Population Protestant from the days of Henry VIII. All others were killed or left. Catholics came with the potato famine, many left for the U S, many remained. We road buy the most unusual Catholic Cathedral, newly constructed in a modern style. We visited the Protestant Cathedral, the largest in England and 100 years old. Protestants and Catholics frequently argued until both Arch Bishops worked to secure peace between both groups. A thriving Chinese community also graces the city. Of interest the Protestant Cathedral faces north, unlike all others that face east due to it’s size and lot. Full...tired... we retired. Tomorrow, Belfast. ------------------------------------------ September 1, 2018 Subject: Belfast Perfect... the only way to describe our day here. Breakfast in the World Cafe, the bakery made me my whole grain bagel! Thank you Martin! So accommodating! Diane enjoyed her corned beef hash over a poached egg. The weather continues to cooperate. 68 degrees, partly sunny, no wind, great for our 3 hr. tour of Belfast and the countryside. After lunch, we met on the pier, boarded the awaiting coach #33 with 24 guests for our afternoon with Robin and her driver Fabritzio. Belfast is a major shipping port, famous too for where the Titanic was built and more recently, where Game of Thrones was and continues to be filmed. We passed ancient buildings, 100 year old mostly attached homes, noted only few single family buildings. The roads again were narrow, tree lined difficult for vehicles to travel if and when someone decided to park in a no parking zone. Parking is impossible, none of the homes or apartments have garages, so those folks with autos must find street space... like Manhattan. Learned when the “troubles period” began, the Jewish population was about 3000, however, most decided to leave Belfast and today only 80 remain. Still much evidence of the struggle remains with walls and graphics painted on them depicting the years of fighting between the Catholics and Protestants. Although the bombings and fighting has ended, there remains some hostility between them. The streets are spotless! Fines for discarding even a cigarette butt are 100.00 dollars. Throwing a piece of chewing gum, too is forbidden on the street, as is a stiff fine not picking up after your pet. Drove by churches with many being the oldest, one with the first electric clock, homes (cold water flats) with fireplaces in each room for heat. The most attractive sights were of the Belfast Castle... some rooms off limits today as a wedding and reception was going on. (As were many elsewhere today) We passed by the Titanic Museum ... with great memories of our previous visit here. Robin pointed out the burned out set of Game Of Thrones castle ... Anyway, back on board we met briefly with Nathan in future cruises to discuss opportunities, then off to dinner .. and special treatment when Martin, manager of the kitchen staff prepared grilled swordfish for me. After a few shrimp, king crabs legs... the swordfish arrived. Tomorrow we arrive at noon in Ullapool Scotland. ------------------------------------- Day 9 September 2, 2018 Subject: Ullapool Scotland We have been blessed again with excellent weather, calm seas and interesting included tours. Our ship is anchored about 5 minutes from the small dock where our tenders will unload and load passengers wanting to visit this very small town. Our guide, Jim took us on the 1.5 hour walking tour, which covered the entire perimeter of Ullapool and ended at a local pub for beer, tea, coffee, and shortbread cookies. Population 1500, (grows to 3000 during summer) B&B’s are everywhere as are sailboats, fishing boats and camping grounds. Sunday, so only a few of the shops are open, but Diane was able to find one that had some delightful items... and they accepted our old pounds! Beautiful views, red sandstone buildings.. typical for the area. The production show this evening was absolutely wonderful. Music selections from Broadway shows, fabulous voices! Won trivia again this morning...still no prizes! (will write that up on the comment survey) For such a first class cruise company... a disappointment no token prize. Tomorrow, Lerwick, Shetland Islands ------------------------------------------------- Date: September 3, 2018 Subject: Shetland Island and ponies Been a day since we reported...all’s well, weather still spectacular, tours, food etc. wonderful. We took the panoramic Shetland tour, bus 26 with guide Christine and Andrew driver. The countryside is magnificent. Everywhere one looks, the hills are green with grass, cows, sheep and small, local farms. Occasionally you see horses, then if on our tour... Shetland ponies. The town ... fishing, then tourism, make up for the primary employment. Again, older small homes, well maintained, sandstone. Once in the suburbs, the open spaces are dotted with views of large lots, separated by fence or vegetation, animals grazing everywhere. Carol... the Shetland breeder we visited did a nice job of introduction to her ponies. The oldest she ever had reach 75 years. She has 50 ponies, they each have names and respond to her call! Not much of a market at the moment but breeders are hoping for a resurgent... they are used for pony rides, child photos and as beasts of burden. Seemed friendly... The tour was comfortable, spotless coach.. about 40 passengers on the 52 capacity bus. Back in time for reserved dinner at Manfredi's. It was one of the best.. I had the ribeye steak, Diane had the sea food platter...pasta, langoustines, mussels, and shrimp. Delicious Sept 4th – Day 11 Invergordon, Scotland It was Tuesday Sept 4 when we reached Invergordon, Scotland a day we have been planning for ever since booking this cruise. It’s when we get to see and hug Sheila and Alistair! Having met them 20 years ago on our Canada/Hawaii voyage, we have made it our objective to sail or meet with them whenever possible. The very long one way road from the pier to the small port requires we use the shuttle bus. We Immediately spotted them waiting for us! They live about 150 miles from here, so they arrived the night before, stayed in a hotel and will return home tomorrow! What truly remarkable friends! A warm greeting then we were off to see Falls of Shin.. the site Alistair learned about from folks who had been here before. The hour ride gave us a chance to catch up on each of our families, grandchildren and great grandchildren in their case. The countryside and the weather remained remarkably beautiful! Thank goodness for GPS and navigation devices. Finding the Falls was challenging. No signs! Great place for families. Plenty of playground areas for kids! Nice snack bar, Scottish treats! Diane, Sheila and Alistair each had scones. Mmmm good. After about an hour of admiring the area and more family catch up, we departed for Invergordon. There we found an absolutely charming restaurant, Tucker’s Inn. Busy, with 2 ships in town (Mein Schiff) filled with 10 heavy metal bands)... smokers, tattoos galore ... we ate inside the restaurant (they were on the patio) the fish and chips were absolutely delicious and portions more than adequate. I took a photo to prove! (Not handicap accessible) Prices were quite reasonable. We returned to the ship at about 4, freshened up rested a bit before a lite dinner in World Cafe. Trivia at 8:30, Diane went, she and her team won again. I went to bed. A lovely day.. -------------------------------------------------- Day 12 Sept 5, 2018 Newhaven, (Edinburgh) Scotland Early to rise... Today we have our one and only “optional tour” 4.5 hours to The Da Vinci Code’s Rosslyn Chapel and Glenkinchie Distillery. Diane is sooo excited! She loves learning about the Knights Templar, anything to do with the Da Vinci Code, the Masons and such. Ahhh then... this is the perfect place to visit. The sun was shining, the temperatures in the mid 60’s – could not be better! Our tour met in the Theater until called for boarding of the tender to shore. Again, this process was quite orderly compared to other (non-Viking) cruises. The ride took about 10 minutes. Once on the pier, we were greeted by a lady bagpiper! We then boarded our bus for the tour. Again the bus was clean and very comfortable. The ride to the Chapel took about an hour and twenty minutes. En route, we drove thru the busy streets of Edinburgh, able to capture photos of the many sights and architectural beauty of the old town. Building (cranes) are visible in many areas. The contrast of old to new structures is vivid. Upon arrival to the Chapel we gathered briefly while our guide arranged for the tickets to enter the venue. Entering the grounds of the Chapel, one has to be impressed with the structure itself. Built in 1446, of Sandstone, tall and unusual buttress design, we learned that the height of the building is equal to the depth of same. Once in the Chapel, no photos are permitted. The tour guide spent about 30 minutes explaining the unique carvings, methods of preservation, crypts, underground excavations and financial benefits and donations derived from proceeds of Dan Brown’s book, The Da Vinci Code. Apparently, many years ago, in an effort to preserve the structure, the main columns were sprayed with concrete which did severe damage to them by keeping the moisture within from escaping. Ultimately, a roof like covering over the entire Chapel and an elaborate system of fans and heaters reduced much of the dampness ... and with it the moss, mold etc. Wherever you look, there are signs of (and stone carvings) to do with Knights Templar, the mysteries, artifacts and some evidence supporting alien theories (UFO) To learn more, visit www.rosslynchapel.com ------------------------ A very informative tour, once past the gift shop.... we boarded our bus for the next tour of The Glenkinchie Distillery. The bus lets us off near a long, path of steps from the parking lot to the entrance of the distillery. (Not a very accessible tour) There we were met by Jimmy, a 7 year veteran here, who took us thru the years long process from start to finish of making fine Single Malt distilled beverages. At the end of the tour, we were invited to sample 3 different types of product... each determined by age... I’ll describe the taste like.. young = hard, strong, nostril clearing medium age = smooth, aged = mellow... slides down your throat, feel no pain soon after!! Many of the guests purchased (at 5% discount) the alcohol. This company owns 20 plus distilleries. https://www.malts.com/en-gb/distilleries/glenkinchie/ A great day... Highly recommend the distillery tour. HOWEVER .. (Not a very accessible, MANY STEPS and lots of walking) -------------------------------------------------------- Day 13 - Sept 6. Orkney Islands- Anchored included tour was to Historic Orkney. Our tour guide and driver again were pro’s. Karen explained that the captain asked each afternoon tour guide to modify the 2.5 hr. plan a bit so the ship could depart a little earlier than scheduled. She promised we would not miss any venues. The day was again, perfect for sightseeing and picture taking. The coach was comfortable and immaculate. The ride included 4 stops for photos and walking tours. We are always impressed with the mobility challenged guests who with walker or cane make their way on and off the bus to see the sights. An interesting stop ... The Standing Stones of Stenness are carbon dated about 5000 years ago are believed to have aided in determining the solstices using the stones, sun and shadow alignment. Originally it appears there were 360 stones. Many have fallen due to weather and strong winds. Each of the many tours walked the path to the edge of the circle. Photos will show. We stopped too, at the village of Stromness for a brief walk the quaint village ... big seller there was ice cream at the bakery. Back to the bus, we arrived back to the ship with enough time to freshen up and enjoy dinner in the World Cafe. ------------------------------------------------------- Day 14 - Sept 7th, 2018 Subject: Bergen, Norway Yes, it’s day 14 of our British Isles cruise. We are docked overnight for this last day of what has been a delightful cruise. Once again, the we have been blessed with great weather, calm seas and good health. Our included tour Panoramic Bergen will meet in the terminal later this afternoon. Most of our packing is done, just enjoying the beautiful scenes of this busy port. Much as we remembered it, a picturesque city of mostly wooden buildings and attached homes have burned several times throughout the years. In 1944 the town was nearly completely destroyed when a ship in harbor (Voorbode) loaded with 273,000 lb of explosives caught fire and blew up, taking with it most of the town. Still, almost all of the houses are wooden! Even more difficult to believe, much of the harbor is built on wooden pilings which over years are beginning to rot. One “leaning” (Their leaning tower of Pisa) building is under repair ... said it will take 4 years to repair. Our 2 hr tour of this second largest city (also once the capital) took us past King Haakon’s Hall, the Rosenkrantz Tower, the fish market...and though the busy streets of Bergen. How do these coach drivers do it ? Back to the ship after the short tour. Finished dinner in World Cafe.. delicious king crab legs, large prawns, a NY strip steak and sugar free desert. Finish packing. Tomorrow... we fly home! Bergen to Toronto, Toronto to Newark All in all a great cruise. Sept 8, 2018 Bergen NO. to USA Loved that Viking permitted (actually encouraged) room service on this, the day of disembarkation. I ordered a bagel and salmon plate... beautifully presented and absolutely delicious. Diane asked for her muffin and hot coffee. BTW, the room service morning coffee has been better ever since we mentioned how terrible it had been! Often seemed as if it was from the previous night! Anyway, at 8:15AM sharp, our ticket color and number was called. We proceeded to the pier where we identified our luggage and boarded a coach for the 20 minute ride to the Bergen airport. Upon arrival we waited until the luggage was unloaded and with the help of many porters and many wonderful Viking representatives, we were directed to the Air Canada Rouge desk. There our bags were checked, boarding passes printed etc. Everything was very orderly. Getting to the departure gate was however, a challenge. We had to wait (conveniently located near a food court with plenty of seats) until we could pass thru an immigration check point which had yet to open. Finally, we sat comfortably until the flight (a Viking Charter) was ready to board. Then, after calling the first 4 rows, the gate agent called for ALL REMAINING passengers!!! NO boarding by row as one would expect, just EVERYONE at once and there must have been 150 of us, trying to get to the plane then past one another when on board! Plenty of room for improvement here!! The 7 hour flight was fine, there were plenty of open seats, we found 3 seats to play iPad scrabble and relax. The seat bottoms were very (very) uncomfortable, I used two pillows to help “soften the pain”. Flight attendant service, food and ride were good. The crew was very attentive to each passenger’s call. Wine was available (red or white) and was complimentary. We arrived Toronto on time, went thru passport control and GOES (Government Overseas Entry System) where somehow or other the number of our checked bags became an issue. We had 3, the system showed 5, 6, then 7... unable to explain, security told us to just go thru to the kiosk and prepare to get to gate F64 for our Air Canada short flight home. The gate agent, Tamara was especially kind and needed to make seat changes for weights and balances, so as Premier 1K and Gold Alliance members, she moved us to the more comfortable forward section of the plane. An hour later, we were in Newark, waiting for luggage and our pick-up for the 1 hour ride home with Patrick (Wally’s) to Sea Girt! Must again mention how incredible the Viking Crew was. This was our 79th cruise, so we know what sets one cruise from another ... service and attention to every detail. This crew was remarkable! They paid attention, nothing was too hard!! They aimed to please and please us they did. Kudos! END PS just booked West Indies Viking Ocean.. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This is our second Viking Ocean Cruise. We were so impressed with our first Viking Ocean Cruise (Montreal, Quebec, Halifax, Prince Edward Island, Boston, New York) in 2016 that we booked this cruise (England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, ... Read More
This is our second Viking Ocean Cruise. We were so impressed with our first Viking Ocean Cruise (Montreal, Quebec, Halifax, Prince Edward Island, Boston, New York) in 2016 that we booked this cruise (England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Norway). It did not disappoint! The staff are so friendly and helpful. The accommodations so nice, the amenities even nicer. The food is not only excellent but Viking offers is a cornucopia of food varieties as well as the choice of a several restaurant themes. We love the fact that we can see different parts of the world without having to check in-and-out of hotels every couple of days. Viking does extremely well at organizing the logistics involved with and the efficiency required in transporting guests on their tour excursions. Also the entertainment onboard their ships are first class. We also love meeting other guests onboard the Viking Cruises. It's a great opportunity to find out first hand different other Viking tours that others have taken and enjoyed. We are taking our first Viking River Cruise next year. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
I wanted to see my homeland of Scotland and Ireland. With the highlight of the trip being two days in London. We pre-toured in Oslo with a train ride to Bergin, fantastic. We finished the cruise with three days in Edenborough, again a ... Read More
I wanted to see my homeland of Scotland and Ireland. With the highlight of the trip being two days in London. We pre-toured in Oslo with a train ride to Bergin, fantastic. We finished the cruise with three days in Edenborough, again a fantastic stay. The tours from the ship were not of the caliper of previous voyages with Viking. We were driven by museums and castles, and told that if we had more time we could go in. For a few dollars more tickets to castles and museums could have been purchased and that cost past on to the consumer (me) as part of the cost of the cruise. The crew was fantastic, I am amazed that they can remember the names of all the customers. On our first night in the Restaurant, out server introduced herself and then responded that she had met us before. She was correct, she was working on our previous cruise. To myself and other guests that I spoke to, a big disappointment was planning on two days in London. We were hoping to see the sights and felt cheated that London (Greenwich) was only a convenient Disembarkation / Embarkation point that the customer only had a few hours to visit. Embarkation left a lot to be desired, too many buses going to the airport for the transition to Edinburgh, and to many flights to the next destination. The Viking Travel people did not include a baggage allowance for the flight, we and other customers had to pay the fee out of pocket. Recommendation: Make the ride to the airport a city tour, explain what we are seeing and take a roult that would allow the customers to at least see London if not able to experience London. Instead of using the airlines, send the customer from London to Edinburgh by train, it would have been a 3 hour trip, we would have seen the country and Viking could have reserved an entire car. The Viking Air people on this trip did not seam to be engaged in the product Viking was selling. Twice I had to contact them to issue tickets from London for the extention in Edenburgh. I am looking forward to a river cruise in 2020, not sure if I will due another ocean cruise. Read Less
Viking Sun Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.7
Dining 5.0 4.5
Entertainment 4.0 4.3
Public Rooms 5.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.4
Family 1.0 4.4
Shore Excursion 4.5 4.1
Enrichment 4.5 4.3
Service 5.0 4.7
Value For Money 5.0 4.3

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