1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
My wife and I are in our late 60's and still quite active and like to travel with friends. This will be our second Ocean cruise and we have done two other Viking River Cruises. I like the cruise idea since you pack and unpack only ... Read More
My wife and I are in our late 60's and still quite active and like to travel with friends. This will be our second Ocean cruise and we have done two other Viking River Cruises. I like the cruise idea since you pack and unpack only once and you travel at night to a new port. On this cruise we were able to see the diversity in the different countries in the British Isles and go to many places where we would probably not go to, all of which were interesting to us. Usually I would have extended the trip on the front end in London, because it is such an amazing city, but we had been there for a week at Christmas with our daughter and had seen a lot of the sights. We did fly in early Sunday and had a full day, although a bit tired to explore the city. We are pretty good getting around ourselves and booked the inside Buckingham Palace and garden tour at 12:15. We LOVED getting to see inside the Palace and the grounds. Definitely try to do that if you go. I will now try to summarize the different parts of the cruise. The Jupiter was stunning. It was just like our first boat with probably very minor tweeks for improvement that we would not even notice. There was a great diversity of places to be on the boat and be a quiet or active as you want. The boat was big, but not too big. It never seemed crowded to me. The Spa area was very well done with a nice changing areaa and indoor pool with a very cool Nordic experience cold room onboard. Their was also a pool in a large atrium area that have plenty of seats near the windows on the outside. Finally there was a great small infinity pool and hot tub on the aft on level 7. Our room was a deluxe veranda which was fine for us. The bed was very comfortable and a king size bed. I am 6'4" and slept well. The bathroom was a good size but crowded for 2 people. We loved our veranda but honestly did not use it much. The Crew----We found the crew on the Jupiter excellent and very hardworking. From the General Manager to all areas of operation- we thought the crew was outstanding. We were able to interact with many crew members and the one theme that came out was that they loved Viking better than others they had been on. The crew was very happy. We have been to nice resorts like Sea Island and found the level of service on par with that experience. Food-We found the food very good to excellent . I thought the best food was at Manfredis (the Italian option) but that is also my favorite food. When you get your first opportunity go ahead and book reservations at either this restaurant or the Chef's Table, both of which was good. The Dining Room option was great also and usually had a wide variety of meal options. Since we ate at different areas in the dining room, we did not have the same server every night. We usually ate at the buffet for breakfast which had GREAT fresh fruit, about any breakfast option you could imagine, and omelet stations. Bottom line-The food ranges from good to excellent. You will not go hungry. Oh, I almost forgot, Mamsen's was a grill option on level 7 toward the pool area. They have great grill options and salads which were delicious. Entertainment-We found this area to be good to excellent. The four young singers were quite good and gave a variety of performances whcih we loved. There were also several times when local talent was brought in which was fun. The band on the ship was EXCELLENT and were the male and female vocalists. They performed both in the theater as back up to the singers and by themselves in Torshavn, a small lounge . We found the music excellent, but do not expect a carnival type atmosphere on this boat. Speakers- The speakers were good not great, but still very imformative. We have had better speakers on other boats, but thought they were good and discussed some tough topics like BREXIT and the Ireland-Northern Island issue. Cruise Director-Heather. I saved the best for last. WE have been on 5 other cruises and Heather was the best BY FAR cruise director we have ever experienced. She was a great speaker, funny, on topic and talented. In a previous life she was an opera singer and had to put together a show at the last minute (5 PM for a 9:00 pm show) due to a sore throat of one of the singers. Her performance was outstanding!!! But, I loved just her daily talks and her general interaction. She had the ability to make mundane things interesting. Excursions--We found the excursions to be good and gave a lot of options. Since we booked this trip very late-in June, we could not sign early, but found that most of tours opened uo that we wanted. The only negative is getting on and off buses and is a process which they handled quite well. I would give the tour leaders high marks in each area!! We usually did the included tour and then did things on our own at the other parts of the day. I did talk to other that did some of the options and they all seemed to like them. One tip is when you are in Invergorton and you play golf, there is a Top Ten golf course in the WORLD about 30 minutes away called Royal Dornoch. You can book you own times and but you will need a morning time, as you must be back on the boat by 4:30. I did this on my own and rented a car from Ken's for the day. Amazing course -it is my favorite course ever and I have played all the Open courses. Finally, on the Bergen stop I booked the Norway in a Nutshell trip. It is a series of trains, buses and ships which shows you fiords and beautiful country. It is about 10 hours but well worth it. There is no hand holding or person, just tickets but it works quite well if you can get around and feel comfortable travelling on your own. We loved the trip and I guess the only negative was trying to book a future trip. We met with the future trip person and just did not enjoy the experience. I liked the option, just not the experience and we chose not to book. In summary, Viking ships, crew and experiences are great!!! we plan to come back in the future. One final note- if both you and your wife drink, the drink option is a good deal for part of your trip. We did not do it, but some of our friends did and loved it. Also, since we were travelling just with us, it allowed us to meet some amazing new friends we hope to see in the future! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was a fantastic vacation. We picked this cruise because of the itinerary. We visited all of the countries in the United Kingdom and finished in Bergen, Norway. We always felt so comfortable on board and welcomed by the Viking ... Read More
This was a fantastic vacation. We picked this cruise because of the itinerary. We visited all of the countries in the United Kingdom and finished in Bergen, Norway. We always felt so comfortable on board and welcomed by the Viking Staff. This was the longest cruise we have ever undertaken and we were more than pleased. Heather Clancy, the Cruise Director, and her crew were fantastic. They entertained us with at different show every night. Elvis even made an appearance on board. The Viking Band was great. Dancing under the stars provided a great memory. The Restaurants provide excellent food and service. The specialty restaurants are not to be missed. Wine and Beer were provided at all lunch and dinners at no charge. I would highly recommend the purchase of Silver Drink package (Upgrade). The Buffet is one the best I have experienced. Viking provided excellent exclusions at every port, at no charge. Shuttles were also provided at most ports, free of charge. At Edinburgh, because of windy weather conditions, the ship could not tender the passengers to Edinburgh. The Captain and crew decided to dock further upstream. The crew jumped through hoops to provide transportation (free) into the heart of the city. Other cruise lines, in port, just anchored and the passengers lost the opportunity to visit Edinburgh. All in all we had a great time and thank the Viking Crew and staff for a great vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise, first, for the destination. We have always wanted to visit the British Isles. This cruise allowed us to get a taste of several countries, and multiple cities all in one vacation. We chose Viking because they offered ... Read More
We chose this cruise, first, for the destination. We have always wanted to visit the British Isles. This cruise allowed us to get a taste of several countries, and multiple cities all in one vacation. We chose Viking because they offered this trip, it also because the value of the cruise was well worth it. It is not the least expensive one out there, but we agree that it is of the best value. Some of the reasons to travel Viking are: no kids under 18, no casinos, no umbrella drinks, no upselling of products in the spa, no additional charges for excursions, no additional charges for specialty restaurants, no nickel and diming with pictures of you with the captain etc. This is an ADULT cruise for those who want to LEARN. Of course we also had a ton of fun, but this is not a party cruise. The ship itself was a floating palace. Beautiful, clean, simple Scandinavian decor, lovely colors mixed with creams, and the lighting was spectacular. Destination artwork and pictures decked the walls and seating areas. Food was amazing. Cleanest public restrooms I’ve ever seen! The entire ship was immaculate. They worked so hard at keeping things clean! Daily tea was served in the Wintergarden complete with loose leaf tea in pots, delicious scones and finger sandwiches. We took advantage of that as much as we could. Service was outstanding. We simply could not have asked for better. Anything we needed or wanted was ours. The destinations were incredible. Excursions were good. Most tour guides were very knowledgeable and helpful, with a few exceptions, but those guides didn’t work directly for Viking, and the ones we were disappointed in, we let Viking know. In addition, there were port talks given in advance to inform you about the port, and any last minute changes that were taking place. And the lectures by the resident historians were not only informative, but entertaining as well! Embarkation and Disembarkation went very smoothly. No troubles at all. I just can’t recommend Viking enough. You will NOT be disappointed! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
After 26 cruises this was our first on Viking; surely, not our last. I'll get over our one gripe first and move on to the positives. On the evening sail from Bergen, we visited the ship's apparel shop in search Viking's red ... Read More
After 26 cruises this was our first on Viking; surely, not our last. I'll get over our one gripe first and move on to the positives. On the evening sail from Bergen, we visited the ship's apparel shop in search Viking's red and white signature Dale of Norway sweater. My wife resisted buying other attractive sweaters in Bergen's shops with Viking's signature sweater in mind. The shop had no stock of size medium. The excuse was that they sold out on the last voyage. That is lame excuse since we just sailed from the cruise line's home port and the Dale of Norway production center. The salesman offered no recourse, eg. a special order that could be shipped home, and assumed a rather indignant, huffy attitude. The message. "Clients from the Bergen cruise origin aren't as worthy as those from the Greenwich start of the same cruise itinerary." That said, now to to the cruise. Despite scheduling 13 excursions in 11 ports over 13 days, we felt that this was one of our more relaxing cruises. The casual, unbustled on-board environment undoubtedly contributed to that feeling. We used Viking Air for flight arragements and arrived in Bergen around noon after a short connecting flight from Oslo. There were at least half a dozen Viking representatives at the airport to assist passengers and get us on the way to the ship. This exemplifies a typical pattern that we experienced on the whole cruise. Ample Viking staff are readily available where needed to assist customers. A seamless check-in at the port had us in our stateroom before the scheduled time. Our luggage had already been delivered, a first time experience on any cruise. The Atrium serves as the core public area from deck 1 to 3. Above The Viking Living Room on deck 1 with its nooks of lounge furniture, book collections and artwork, deck 2 has a perimeter balcony with lounge and table game areas and deck 3 features sitting areas along with exhibits of Norwegan traditional ceremonial dress; deck 2 has a nook with Viking cultural artifacts. My wife, a serious fiber spinner, delighted in the spinning artifacts. Stateroom corridors and public areas abound with artwork. Explanatory narratives are available through an on-board dedicated phone app. At the head of the grand staircase in The Atrium is a 2-deck electronic panel with changing images of Norwegan and Viking culture and the voyage's port areas. Beneath the staircase is a garden of multi-colored visual delights. At the deck 1 staricase base performance space features daily soothing classical performances on the Steinway by Olga, resident pianist, and the Viking classsical duo on violin and cello. Other performances included well chosen port-based ensembles providing local cultural programs and the ship's staff who shared diverse talents. Deck 7 offers other retreats at Mamsen's, where light fare is available, and in the Explorer's Lounge with its bow views and bar. A mezanine extension of the Explorer's Lounge on Deck 8 privised additional views and seating nooks. Midship on Deck 7 is The Wintergarden, a quiet retreat where most afternoons feature Afternoon Tea at 4:00 with the accompaniement of the ships classical artists. The pool area expands lounging and eating space, all or part of which can be covered by the retractable roof. Special buffets and entertainment are features. And for the always exposed to the elements, there is the infinity pool on the stern outside The World Cafe. And, back to deck 1 for Torshaven, a cozy club like venue for seminars and evening dancing from 9:00 to Midnight. The Star Theater's informal lounge atmosphere is a relaxing place for tour meet-up and for guest lecturer presentations. Sofa pillows with images of Norwegan performance and artistic celebraties on one side and the autograph on the other typify the Viking touch. Four lecturers on our voyage informed and entertained us. To celebrate the July 20, 1969, moon landing, retired USAF pilot and astronaut Karol Bobko shared experiences and related the technoogy of space exploration. He also gave presentations in the shipboard planetariumn on deck 8. Ship passengers celebrated the moon landing at 8:17pm on July 20th with pastries in the Atrium that included a chocolate replica of Apollo 11. William Thayer's lectures offered insight into the energy production technologies that are active in he North Sea. Other topics included the British pursuit and sinking of the Bismarck in WWII and the "Breaking if the Enigma Machine," a step in the development of today's digital computers. Dr.Michael Fuller combined archaeological artifacts with historical evidence in lectures about Viking and Northern European history. (Without historical documentation, archaelogy is speculation.) Particularly interesting was his presentation on the Hanseatic League. He met with passengers in nooks around the ship to pursue a variety of individual interests. Notable is Russell Lee, who synthasized complex topics from history and current events into connections that are often missed among the detail of events. He was literally up-to-date, including his visuals, with his Brexit presentation on the day that Boris Johnson became the UK's PM. Outstanding was Lee's presentation "Baa, Baa Black Sheep - How Wool Transformed Medieval Europe." He included his wife demonstating a centuries old spindle technique that persists today in spinning yarn. The only tidbit he omitted, according to my wife, was how the word "sabotage" became part of our vocabulary because of the industrialization of weaving. If you miss the lecture theater presentation, it's available 3 hours later on the ship's TV, not just an fuzzy video of the stage presentation, but with the presenter in a quarter panel and sharp graphics taking up the rest of the screen. Great Viking Jupiter production team! While on technology, kudos to the full-time internet service included in the cruise fare. Wi-fi access is throughout the ship, and there are desk top PCs located in a "nook" of The Living Room. Most passengers used their own devices. An on-board "trechie" can assist. Viking Jupiter's internet service is the fastest, most reliable that we have experienced on a cruise ship. Also, amenities include wine (red and white) and beer (light and dark). Menu beverages have a modest charge, eg., $7.50 (including gratuity) for a Manhattan. No charge for all the bottled water you want. And, no charge for the daily refrigerator set up of soft drings, snacks, and Toblerone chocolates. Spa facilities have no surcharge.. Unwind in a sauna, a cold tub, the Snow Room, a hot whirlpool or churning pool. An ample variety of standard fitness equipment is also available.Spa treatments are available at fees comparable to other cruise lines. While I was pleased with a massage, my wife was less so with her facial. She noted a harsh abrasive material used on the skin that she hasn't experienced before. And, after leaving the spa, she discovered unpleasant blotches of a greasy cream on her skin. And, let me not forget the included excellent self-serve laundry facilities on 4 of the 6 cabin decks (soap is included). So nice not to be nickeled and dimed. One can opt for individual paid launtry at reasonable rates. Repeat: So nice not to be nickeled and dimed. For us a genuine surprise was a bottle of sparkling wine and cake delivered to our stateroom. Viking graciously added to celebrating our 50 years of marriage. And, the on-board dining; overall - excellent. Several individual dishes were too salty (some chefs know only that "spice"). We didn't eat at Mamsens, noted for light fare, but enjoyed the no-surcharge specialty venues. First night out was The Chef's table featuring regional Nordic cuisine. International cuisines rotate avery few days. We chose the Nordic which was excellently prepared and plated for full enjoyment. We also enjoyed an evening in Manfredi's Italian Restaurant, where portions easily contribute to expected weight gain on a cruise. One can book as many meals in these restaurants as there is availability. The Restaurant is the main dinner venue with multiple sections that avoid the "heard feeling" on other cruise lines; one can actually enjoy conversation without straining. Overall excellent well plated dishes with reasonable portions served by attentive staff who remember us when we repeat at their tables. Thank you, Henry for your songs and attentive service. For a snack, on the pool deck, light fare is available, including what may be the best hamburger at sea. Vegans can also indulge. And, The World Cafe serves for a breakfast buffet as well as lunch and dinner. Customized omlets are worth the few minutes' wait. Sometimes staff were overwhelmed by passenger needs, but they were attentive and (with few exceptions) handle the demands well. Buffet food is among the best we have had. Do no pass on the ice cream and pastry selections. Seek out the daily pizza options that go well with a Viking beer at lunch. As related above, Viking clientele are learners. Each port includes one tour. Additional, paid tours are available. Most included tours are city drive throughs with a couple of stops. Our Dublin 3 hour city tour had an excellent guide. He related neighborhood histories along with those of major monuments. He summarized economic conditions in the city and country as well as the possible Brexit impacts. Included was a 45 minute stop at Jubilee Gardens. We were able to hop off the bus to explore Temple Bar on our own. On the Orkney Islands the included tour got out of the port of Kirkwall into the countryside, and included a too brief stop in the seaside village of Stromners. My bride found a shop with her favorite roving from the native North Ronaldsay sheep - a breed that cannot be exported elsewhere in the world because of its particular seaweed diet. Plenty of time was allowed for a stop at the neolithic Ring of Brodgar, a predecessor of Britian's more famous henge. Port Ulapool's included walking tour was perfect for getting a sense of a western Highlands Scottish seaside community, and included a pub stop with adult and bakery refreshments along with lively local music. We felt that the guide gave a reasonable overview of life in the community. Comments do not include all of out complimentary tours. Among the paid tours we enjoyed The Beatles Experience tour in Liverpool, except for the hot, stuffy museum at the end. Otherwise the ecellent guide and typically cramped bus seating are worth the effort for "Fab Four" fans. In Edinburgh the Rosslyn Chapel and Glenkinche Distillery tour were well done. One has to suffer an excessive crowd at the chapel. So, it takes effort to appreciate the complexity of the architectural gem. Do leave a few coins to support the chapel cat. The distillery tour with guide Willie was excellent; that's from a Kentucky resident bourbon enthusiast. Very disappointing for a train enthusiast was the Ffestiniog Railway and Lunch tour at the Holyhead port. We arrived at the train depot with barely enough time to board - no time for photos. Photo opps were "promised" at the terminus. By the time most of the photogs in our group got to the head of the train the engine was decoupled and on its way through the rail yard. Then, we had to rush to a bus to get to the next stop, lunch in a hotel in Betws-y-Coed with provided meal and time to wander the community that reminded me of Aspen, CO, without the opulence.We traveled through the Sodonia highlands, Wales slate producing region, distinct part of the UK. A positive with the Viking tours is that the limit seems to be around 25. So, one doesn't feel like part of ther herd. We took 7 included and 6 paid tours over the two weeks. So these comments offer only highlights. Preparing us for each port was a presentation by the cruise director and the shore excursion manager. Special kudos to Vicki, the cruise director. She was genuinely engaging and totally professional; and very unlike cruise directors on most prior non-Viking cruises, did not act like a clownish buffoon. I do fault the tour director, however, Javier, for a demonstrably lack of personal knowledge about some port tours. Debarkation, not a welcome 5:00am rise to be ready for our 6:15 group to end this Viking experience. In The Living Room we had fruit, breakfast pastry, and beverage options as we awaited our group call for airport transport. Friendly Viking staff were at every turn, literally as we left the ship. On the 90 minute bus ride to London-Heathrow Airport, a Viking representive gave us a guided narration through the London neighborhoods and assisted at our airport arrival. As my wife said, "This is one cruise that we return from without needing a vacation." Thanks Viking staff and Viking Jupiter crew. We'll be back! Lecturer quality is one reason for booking an Inside Passage Alaska cruise for 2020. It will be our fifth in the region. We look forward to the Viking difference. Finally, I have kept a spreadsheet for costs on prior 26 cruises and on this Viking cruise. For comparable 2 week cruises our Viking costs were only $300.00 more. I attribute this to the longer air distance to Norway. By comparison to US carriers, SAS to Norway and BA from London to the US provided FAR SUPERIOR comfort, food, service, and amenities in the same passenger class, Economy Comfort/Economy Plus or equivalent level. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Not my first Viking ocean cruise but my first on the new Viking Jupiter. While we got off on a rocky start as our ship developed a propulsion system problem leaving out of Greenwich, we were delayed 2 days in the small English port of ... Read More
Not my first Viking ocean cruise but my first on the new Viking Jupiter. While we got off on a rocky start as our ship developed a propulsion system problem leaving out of Greenwich, we were delayed 2 days in the small English port of Tilbury. Viking worked to organize a few tours in the Tilbury area, gave some onboard credit to passengers, and in general worked very hard to keep passengers pacified. Good news was that the needed repair(s) were made and we were on our way again. Sadly the ports of the Orkney and Shetland Islands had to e eliminated to get the ship back on schedule. Now the great stuff! Food was varied, plentiful and high quality. On sea days the chef arranged for fun/location driven lunches near the pool. Plenty of complimentary wines and beers during lunch and dinner. I also enjoyed dining in The Restaurant for breakfast and dinners. The specialty restaurants, Chefs Table and my favorite, Manfredi’s were very good. Hubby and I made a few trips to Mamsen’s for the yummy waffle served with the brown goat cheese ( try it before you judge), fresh berries and syrup. The pea soup served 10- midnight is also good. I enjoyed the classical music performances and the variety of evening shows in the theatre. The onboard planetarium had three programs during the cruise that I thoroughly enjoyed. Very limited seating, so be sure you make reservations when you board. Most of the excursions were very good. The Spa was very comprehensive with an emphasis on Nordic bathing ritual, comfort and relaxation. We took this trip to see the Norwegian fjords, and that part did not disappoint. Beautiful, sailing close to observe when possible was awesome. We had beautiful warmish weather without rain ( we were told this was not normal, but we enjoyed it). The trip entitled Into The Midnight Sun, was just that...the sun was up nearly 24 hours a day. A very different experience. I really loved sailing into the Arctic Circle and going to the North Cape. Saw herds of reindeer roaming! On board there were lectures about culture, space travel and other interesting subjects. I do want to mention if you have difficulty with the volume on your in stateroom TV, ask your cabin steward to bring the wireless headset to you. Wonderful in lieu of no closed captioning on TV. The ship is new, built like the other Viking ocean ships and is beautiful. Very relaxing public areas that are conducive to meeting/ making friends. Viking’s style is not for everyone, but I sure love them. Primarily the passengers are 50’s to 80’s that are active, well educated and well traveled. The Cruise Director said most of us are “travelers” with only some being “tourists”. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
On the June 30th Jupiter sailing. What a disaster, As other posters have stated there was an electrical issue with the engine. The same situation as an earlier sailing on a totally different boat. These are new boats, one would expect ... Read More
On the June 30th Jupiter sailing. What a disaster, As other posters have stated there was an electrical issue with the engine. The same situation as an earlier sailing on a totally different boat. These are new boats, one would expect issues to not arise so soon. Because of the warranty parts had to be flown in and it took two days in a terrible industrial port. We ended up missing both of the Scottish islands on the tour and it just set a bad mood for the rest of the trip. In all honesty, probably 50% of the excursions were terrible. Really they need to totally scrub their excursion department and start all over. No matter how hard they tried, it was a total misstep. We had done two River cruises with Viking which were A+ but the ocean cruise opened our eyes. Viking is nothing more than a company and we are paying them for a product of which they do not care. If they did, their executives would take these cruises and do these excursions themselves. But they want us to pay, and when it is a disaster, they want to give us a voucher to book another cruise. It’s a win-win for them and a total loss for the consumer. But the worst was to come, we did the Iceland extension. Not only was it the lamest thing I have ever done, it was embarrassing how the whole thing was handled. Basically they dump you at the airport for Iceland and you never see a Viking person again. The excursions were ridiculous, the people who are your escorts on the excursion extremely inept. Viking contracts to a local Iceland tour company and so as the monies are distributed people want to get as much of the pie as they can. Viking takes their cut, the travel company takes their cut which means cost cutting occurs. Our hotel was filthy. I took pictures and sent to Viking and of course I was told how much they were so sorry we were not enjoying it and they hoped we enjoyed the remainder of our trip. It’s almost a cut-and-paste response that I have seen on all reviews. They really don’t care, if they did they would come up with a new response. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My wife and I chose this Viking’s “14 Day Into the Midnight Sun” trip specifically because it had port stops in the Orkney and Shetland Islands and also crossed the Arctic Circle. We also chose Viking due to their reputation and ... Read More
My wife and I chose this Viking’s “14 Day Into the Midnight Sun” trip specifically because it had port stops in the Orkney and Shetland Islands and also crossed the Arctic Circle. We also chose Viking due to their reputation and positive reviews we had read. Unfortunately our trust was misplaced and we will definitely not be using this cruise line again. First, the positives: airport arrival and embarkation were amazingly efficient and easy, the ship is beautiful throughout with spacious well-appointed suites, the food was excellent, and the staff was very friendly and helpful. Unfortunately the rest of this review is less than stellar. The first problems we encountered were relatively minor: our luggage took over 7 hours to get to our stateroom, quite a bit longer than what we’d normally expect. Second, the remote control to our TV stopped working late at night and I had to get dressed and walk down to the help desk to retrieve a new one since I was cut off twice when I attempted to reach them by phone. These little irritations were a foretaste of what was to come later. Less than one day out of Greenwich the Jupiter lost an engine and had to return to the industrial port of Tilbury for repairs. The lost time subsequently led to cancellation of port visits to the Shetlands and Orkneys as well as reduced time at Edinburgh and Honningsvag. Needless to say we were extremely disappointed since visiting these destinations was a major goal of our trip. After the March incident involving the Viking Sky I felt that Viking would have ensured the mechanical integrity of the Sky’s sister ships, including the Jupiter. In a memo Viking assured us that we would be contacted regarding compensation after the trip was complete and that in the meantime we would receive a $250 per person non-refundable credit for shipboard purchases. However, instead of offering us a partial refund Viking would only offer a 20% discount on a future booking made within a year. According to one of Viking’s customer relations representatives this was justified on the basis that Viking wanted us to travel with them again in order to show us that they can deliver on a quality product. She offered no explanation when we challenged her as to why we would spend more money on a second cruise when our expectations on the first one had not been met. I certainly understand that missing ports due to ‘acts of God’ such as bad weather are beyond control and that’s a risk the customer assumes. However, mechanical problems should be the responsibility of the cruise line, especially when sister ships recently experienced such problems. It baffles me as to why some reasonable monetary compensation could not be provided since this has been the practice on other cruise lines. Suffice it to say that this was our first and will be our last cruise with Viking. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My wife and I have fairly limited experience with cruise vacations (3 or 4 previous cruises). Our last big vacation was a cycling vacation in France two years ago. We have tended to look for moderately active vacations with some room for ... Read More
My wife and I have fairly limited experience with cruise vacations (3 or 4 previous cruises). Our last big vacation was a cycling vacation in France two years ago. We have tended to look for moderately active vacations with some room for independent travel, especially in areas of great natural beauty. We were drawn to Viking quite simply by the rave reviews we heard from several friends who had gone on both river and ocean trips with Viking. We also wanted a chance to see, up close, a part of the world we had not visited. Because of our friends' and family members' glowing reports of past Viking trips, he had high expectations for this trip. Viking exceeded those expectations in every category. The ship: OK, admittedly, the "new ship" smell of the Jupiter grabbed us the minute we boarded. The Jupiter launched in February in Italy, so our trip could be considered a continuation of the ship's maiden voyage, as I believe it was Jupiter's first trip on our itinerary (Bergen to London, via fjords of Norway and Scotland). Inside and out, the ship looked as if it just came "on line." Simply put, it sparkled. Our cabin, though in the lowest-cost "veranda" category, felt like anything but "bargain" accommodations. Neither my wife nor I ever felt crowded or cramped in the 15 day trip. With the midnight sun and jaw-dropping beauty of the fjords, we got a lot of use of the veranda. I was pleasantly surprised at the ample storage space and especially the efficient and comfortable functionality of the bathroom. Our favorite feature of the Jupiter, however, was the design of its ample public spaces. If I hadn't seen it myself, I would never have imagined it was possible to create so many intimate spaces that, even with 900 passengers, it felt like we always had multiple "living rooms" to relax in, or read, or chat or simply admire the beauty out the window. The dining venues and menus were also sufficiently varied to avoid seeming repetitious even on a fairly long cruise. With extremely minor exceptions, the food was excellent. A very few dishes (the pool-side paella comes to mind) could have done with a bit more flavor, though I suspect this is a necessary adjustment when cooking for 900 people with, shall we say, fairly "mature" palates. Viking's "crown jewel" however, is its crew and staff. I have never experienced the level of consistently excellent service in the hospitality industry. Without exception, every Viking employee we encountered was not only very responsive, but just plain nice. A special shout-out here to Jose, our waiter in The Restaurant, Andrew our steward and LangLang (forgive me if i get that spelling wrong) who served us in the Explorer Lounge. One last "kudo." As I understand it, Captain Knudsen made the call to take us on the "inside passage" from Gerangerfjord to Tromso, rather than offshore, in order to give us more time to enjoy the beauty of his native Norway's west coast. I am certain the offshore route would have been navigationally easier, and probably more less costly in fuel for Viking. We would have missed, however, the sights of many scenic little Norwegian villages, farms and homes. Thanks you, Captain Knudsen. In short, I'm sold. We will probably continue to alternate cruise vacations with other sorts of travel, but Viking will be our cruise line of choice, and we will make future voyages, both river and ocean. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We went looking for a Norway/fjord cruise and an extension on our own for a couple of days in Iceland - this ship seemed to fit the bill. Virtually brand new ship and this was our first time on Viking. Our initial impression was that ... Read More
We went looking for a Norway/fjord cruise and an extension on our own for a couple of days in Iceland - this ship seemed to fit the bill. Virtually brand new ship and this was our first time on Viking. Our initial impression was that the decor and furnishings on this ship are excellent and well thought-out. The public area furniture is comfortable but not clunky and the general decor is Scandinavian modern minimalist. We liked all of the public areas, particularly the covered pool ( pretty chilly up in Norway even in the summer)and the spa area which has steam room, saunas and everything you could want. The staff was largely Asian and over the top in friendliness and quality of service. The passenger demographic was older but not incapacitated - no kids, no casino, no half-baked broadway reviews etc. Our stateroom on deck 4 was very comfortable, quiet and outfitted with the usual higher end amenities, flat screen TV, comfortable bed, well thought out lighting etc. Minor issue: I wish the max setting of the TV volume were a bit higher as my hearing is not what it used to be. And, while the shower (no bath) was great, it occasionally was beset by the temperature gremlins, turning hot and cold randomly. I was told that a fix for this is in the works. The food was overall very good to excellent - not quite as good as Crystal but close. Breakfast and lunch were in the buffet areas by the pool or the World cafe - sometimes I wish they would open the Restaurant for breakfast or lunch, but I can see the economics of not doing this. The regular coffee was surprisingly good for a cruise ship - first time in my experience and specialty coffees were available in various locations. We bought the Silver liquor package - this gives you 24/7 access to top shelf liquor and a large assortment of wines, but even if you don't get it, the per/drink prices are very reasonable. $15 pp/pday tips on your closing statement. The Chef's Table is a specialty restaurant where the menu is fixed and changes every day or frequently. We tried it one night and did not like the concept. We prefer the Thomas Keller type approach on Seabourne where at least some choices are available. The Italian specialty restaurant Manfredi's was fantastic - great Italian dishes and my personal favorite - Dover Sole meuniere. We booked our own side tours as we don't like the bus-tour experience. Overall, this is a lovely ship with user friendly systems and user friendly staff. We will be back. Fer shur. Happy trails. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Jupiter is a brand new ship. We chose a veranda penthouse cabin which was very spacious. Traveling on the Jupiter was extremely easy. Embarkment was flawless and disembarkation was also flawless. Our three nights in St. ... Read More
Jupiter is a brand new ship. We chose a veranda penthouse cabin which was very spacious. Traveling on the Jupiter was extremely easy. Embarkment was flawless and disembarkation was also flawless. Our three nights in St. Petersburg were great. Highly recommend the metro excursion and Hermitage Behind the Scenes excursions. Very port was terrific from Copenhagen to Stockholm. We arrived a day early to enjoy Copenhagen and stayed two extra nights in Stockholm. Thoroughly enjoyed the pool grill for lunch, The Restaurant for breakfast and dinner, Mamsem’s for breakfast and Manfredi’s for dinner. Variety and preparation of food is outstanding. Explore’s lounge was our favorite place to relax prior to dinner. Lectures covered a wide range of topics. Entertainment was excellent too. The silver package for a variety of wines and cocktails was a great value. Our cabin was cleaned twice a day. The housekeeping staff was terrific. This was our first Ocean Cruise and we look forward to traveling on the Viking line in the future. Highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Based on our cruising experiences with Viking, we expected another great cruise. They did not disappoint! However, we specifically chose this cruise because of the itinerary. Number one destination for us was St. Petersburg so the fact ... Read More
Based on our cruising experiences with Viking, we expected another great cruise. They did not disappoint! However, we specifically chose this cruise because of the itinerary. Number one destination for us was St. Petersburg so the fact that Viking offered us three full days there "sealed the deal." In addition our other two highly desired ports were Copenhagen and Tallinn. The Viking Jupiter is the newest having just started sailing this Spring. It is a beautiful ship. There are so many great spaces...the reading nooks, the pool area with pool grill, the theater, the spa, etc. And it never felt crowded! Last year we cruised the Mediterranean on the Viking Star and loved our cabin and its location on the same level as the pool, tea garden, World Café, and Explorer's Lounge. So we had the same cabin # on the Jupiter. We ate most of dinner meals in the World Café. The quality is outstanding and the service is wonderful. And again, never seemed overcrowded. We did eat a couple of meals in The Restaurant but just preferred to dine at our own pace since the food in the World Café was top-notch. The staff is outstanding, too. We commented often as to their friendliness and "going the extra mile." Another plus with Viking is the inclusion of a comprehensive shore excursion at each port. We always had a positive experience and it was only in St. Petersburg that we booked our own tour with a local guide. We have already booked our next cruise with Viking! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose the cruise primarily for the itinerary - ports in Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium and Denmark. Before booking and paying for your cruise, Viking does not identify ports where you will have only a partial day to explore. A full ... Read More
We chose the cruise primarily for the itinerary - ports in Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium and Denmark. Before booking and paying for your cruise, Viking does not identify ports where you will have only a partial day to explore. A full day in Barcelona after embarkation was cancelled and we spent a day at Tarragona, a beautiful stop but not Barcelona. We only had partial days (6 hours) in Cartagena, Porto, Bruges and Copenhagen. All of these ports deserve more time. Viking provided shuttle buses in most ports but did not advise of this service before sailing. This complicated our independent preplanned tours of cities. Viking maps of ports were inadequate and we always needed to get maps supplied by local tourism kiosks. The food generally met our expectations but was very uneven ranging from excellent to meals that were not as ordered and one that was inedible and sent back. Wine choices were extremely limited. We were offered the same Chilean white wine for at least 4 days in a row. The wine was never related to ports of call despite visiting major wine producing countries. Viking creates high expectations for food, wine and local experiences through their advertising which leads to disappointment. The ship is beautiful - minimalist decor, spacious lounges and dining areas and quality art make for a comfortable relaxed ambiance. The small number of passengers made embarkation and disembarkation and dining a pleasant experience. Included and and optional shore excursions barely met expectations. Included excursions were bus tours and very slow, very limited walking tours. Optional shore excursions were neither as interesting nor as active as those advertised as "example" excursions before we booked the cruise. Each day in port as we disembarked, there was a cooler with hundreds of plastic water bottles for passengers. Given that Viking cruises on the ocean, you would think they would be more ecologically responsible. Give passengers a reusable water bottle when they board. Entertainment was limited in variety and quality. Very glad we arranged our own flights after hearing of other passengers' experience with flights arranged by Viking. The small ship experience was so good that we would travel with Viking again. We would just check all the details of the itinerary before paying and we would lower our expectations on food and drink and compare prices accordingly. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Viking Jupiter – Western Europe – Barcelona to Copenhagen – April 25–May 9, 2019 For Context - We are in our late 60’s and this was our 3rd Viking Ocean Cruise in 12 months. We did the Caribbean in February 2019 on the ... Read More
Viking Jupiter – Western Europe – Barcelona to Copenhagen – April 25–May 9, 2019 For Context - We are in our late 60’s and this was our 3rd Viking Ocean Cruise in 12 months. We did the Caribbean in February 2019 on the Viking SEA and did the Baltics Homelands Cruise on the SKY in May 2018. We consider ourselves quite mobile and enjoy tours/activities that require lots of walking and exercise. We hope to do 5 to 10 miles walking whenever we are in ports when we take cruise vacations. We have done primarily DIY trips where I planned everything and managed traveling by train or car to different hotels or B&B’s every couple nights, combined with DIY sightseeing. As we’ve aged, this certainly takes a toll on us both in the planning and the execution – so another reason for trying out cruising again after many years. We have been on other cruise lines, but picked Viking on recommendations from friends, who really like the format and clientele makeup. We found this to be very true: focus on history, ports, education and casual but good food. Less focus on entertainment and keeping people highly occupied all the time. Viking seemed to be different and targeting a niche market which we thought we would enjoy: no kids, no formal nights, no casinos, no Las Vegas Entertainment, no flamboyant dinners, no late night parties and more – so we thought we might meet others who had the same feelings at least. Viking Jupiter is a fabulous ship! We’d been concerned about being on a new ship given how people have recommended waiting for Viking to work out kinks. However, the itinerary was just too good to pass up and we thought that with several months “shakeout”, Viking would correct most if not all of the major issues on the first several voyages – and we were correct. We observed some very good updates in the Viking Jupiter from our earlier Sea & Sky cruises. – with one major exception (the new Planetarium). For the most part, Viking has this down now and does a fantastic job. We could see, however, some small kinks, which was expected as they grow and have to add and train new staff. Simple patience and pleasant discussions with newer staff went a long ways to helping them learn. Room (see below in separate section) TV and the Viking App: We enjoyed the TV, not so much for the shows like BBC, Television, movies, and more, but for all the information you can see about the cruise itself. Viking did a great job of getting all the information into one place here – and accessible by an amazingly simple remote control! Love it! We would check the weather, look at the Bridge Web Cam live, view the port talks, enrichment lectures, and more (like Ted talks). We could also check our billing account live, view restaurant menus, make dinner reservations, and more!! The app was also well designed and easy to use. Was looking at it constantly throughout the day to check on weather, the Daily Schedule, menus, making reservations, the excursions, things we had booked, future ports, and much much more. Again – kudos to Viking here!! Entertainment We enjoyed the evening shows at 9:15 in the Star Theatre. We are not as hyper critical as others and so they were all quite good in our opinion, some better than others. The only comment is that some of the shows seem to go from ship to ship (as in ABBA, the Beatles, Songs of the Decades), but there was still a good variety. Although the shows in the evening were quite popular, we never had an issue getting a seat, as long as we arrived by 9:00 or 9:05. Probably the one disappointment (versus our previous cruises) was the Cruise Director. To be fair, she had just come over to Viking from another line – but she came across as ditsy, unprofessional, unprepared, and not knowing anything (which certainly couldn’t be true or they wouldn’t have hired her). Just not our style I suppose. Another unexpected treat was the rotation of musical entertainment around different public spaces throughout the days – we had an excellent pianist, a Classical Trio, and a Guitar player (who, sadly, had his speakers on too loud though). They would play at different locations such as Explorer’s Lounge, Wintergarden, and the Attrium – particularly at cocktail hour and after dinner. We did not go to hear the bands in Torshavn, the ship’s night club, but people did say they enjoyed it. History, Lecture, and Enlightenment This is easily one of the best parts of the Viking Cruises. Each cruise we’ve had excelled here. Jupiter was outstanding! We had 4 or 5 guest lecturers and historians as well as an Astronomer. The depth and variety of these different lectures/presentations was amazing – we couldn’t attend each one in person, but they were always available on the Room TV shortly afterwards. True highlights! We thoroughly enjoyed Russell Lee, one of the lecturers, who was absolutely enthralling in his talks on Anne Frank, How Wool Changed early Europe, the Mona Lisa you didn’t know about, and the Tulips Bubble of 1600’s Holland. So interesting!! About the only aspect we didn’t care for that much were the port talks. They had such great promise. The issue to us is that they started out great with some good knowledge on the ports, but too little time was spent on that and it seemed that nearly two thirds of the time was then focused on selling/pushing the various tours/excursions. Since by the time you see it you are already pretty much committed in or out, what was the point? I did like however, the way they used the map graphics to show where everything was. Would have rather spent time in tips and how to see the ports or attractions, what the people are like, what to watch for and watch out for, and more things like that. Improvement needed here. Onboard the Jupiter We spent so much time in the Explorer’s Lounge (as we had done in prior cruises). On the 7th level, it has such a fantastic view, and a very small bar as well. It is adjacent to Mamsens so you can get something to eat there and carry it to the lounge are to look forward. Planetarium: The one big change we viewed as not so good: The Jupiter, as a newer ship, greatly changed the explorer’s Lounge. A Planetarium was constructed that takes over ½ of the 8th floor of the Explorer’s Lounge. This sounded good at first, but the execution is sadly lacking. You had to get tickets (at the excursion desk) to go in and they showed 3 different short films (not that good) on Astronomy and Science up on the Planetarium ceiling. A poor use of this huge dome. There are only 26 seats and you have to crane your neck to look upwards. Was not that interesting-or comfortable. So much more could have been done with this and perhaps Viking will figure it out and/or remove the Planetarium on future ships. Another fallout was that it made the Explorer’s Lounge much more crowded all the time, as most people had to jam into the 7th floor area. Not a good tradeoff in our opinion. I felt they could have used the Astronomer instead to give talks/discussions on the stars above. Again, loved the walking deck on level 2 – we used it most days we could for exercise. Only issue was there were plenty of signs telling everyone to walk clockwise, yet it seemed half the people ignored that, which caused some confusion. A nice addition from the earlier ships were additional tables and chairs on this deck at the fantail so you could watch the wake as we sailed. Amazingly, it was never busy as very few seemed interested in just taking it all in as we traveled on the seas. For us it was a perfect place to relax. The spa was another treat onboard. Only services like massages cost anything – the use of the spa area is free/included. Loved the “resistance” pool and hot tub. You can visit the snow room and then the dry sauna room. Even take a cold water dunking with a bucket! (The hot and cold Nordic routine!) But we most enjoyed lying on the heated “lounge” pads. If you wanted private space to sit and read, there were so many good nooks and crannies to curl up in! A treat not to be missed was the Viking Heritage “room” area on the 2nd level – with lots of interesting material (like a museum) on the Vikings. The wifi was excellent on the ship. A new policy that limits rooms to 2 active users at a time really has helped and certainly was not the inconvenience that many had thought would happen. Food and Restaurants: World Café: We did quite a bit of our eating here. It just fit out style so well. We liked the nice, quiet and relaxing atmosphere and ambience. There were never any lines, there were such great waiters to attend to you, and we never felt rushed. Plus the views on the 7th deck from there were the best! The food selection was great in our opinion and you could see what you were getting ahead of time so less wasted food. Absolutely enjoyed the sushi every evening – an outstanding sushi chef! You could also get some food made to order (such as steaks and other pasta, grilled shrimp, and more). Overall we thought the quality and variety of the food here was way better than we expected (and had been led to believe by many of the other reviewers who did not care for it). We liked that we could always find a table and usually always one with a nice view. We sort of got to “know” the World Café “regulars”!! We were always promptly served with drinks (wine in this case) from such a friendly staff. Since there was never any feeling of hurry or rush, we would go up and create an appetizer plate, relax, have a glass of wine, rehash the day and watch the view, and then meander back to get perhaps some hot plates…. Eventually the evening always led to: gelato! A real treat. Loved the new cooking station back by the Aquavit Terrace where you could order omelettes in the morning, pastas and other items in the lunch time, and a noodle bar in the evening. Not only did it improve the flow, but allow us to engage with the cooks! We enjoyed the Aquavit Terrace itself for sitting and having a drink or glass of wine before dinner – what a view! The tables surrounding it and extending out onto the fantail were perfect for enjoying outdoor dining when the weather was good. Chef’s Table: Now this was definitely something we could not experience at home! Our favorite place! So unique! We wound up going 4 times as they have rotating menus every several days and we wanted to experience them all. For us the atmosphere was perfect – a nice, relaxing, quieter environment, where the waiters take you through a multi-course special meal paired with various wines. Not only educational but excellent food. You actually had some time to converse with the staff! Despite comments by others, we felt we got plenty of food (and wine) and if for some reason you were still hungry you could always go to the World Café for more food. The Restaurant: We did not attend the main dining room this cruise although we went on our previous ones. As stated before, each cruise had a personality. On the Jupiter, for some reason, this was the most popular place and always had long lines to wait to get in. (It was wide open on our previous cruises). We also heard reports that it took a long time to get waited and served here. Mamsens: This small place near the Explorer’s Lounge has some interesting items. We had oatmeal and toast for breakfast once, had the many different open faced sandwiches for lunch (shrimp, roast beef, salmon), and then had their cakes in the afternoon quite often! Those were to die for, especially the almond one. The Viking CEO’s mother’s special recipe we heard. The Pool Grill: Located out by the pool, they served grilled food to order on a limited menu. The hamburgers were some of the best we have ever had. Our tried and true order, however, was the seared ahi tuna, cooked perfectly at medium rare for us! That, combined with the wonderful salads they have, made for a perfect lunch while sitting outside by the pool. On the Jupiter there are quite a larger number of tables and chairs to eat outside, compared with the earlier ships. A real treat was when the staff used the Pool Area to put on specialty meals – such as Italian night, or Seafood Grill, and in one instance on a sea day, a huge “brunch” was held with some amazing dishes and treats to choose from. My observation is that Viking is getting more creative in the presentation of various meals. Wintergarden: We had tea here just once, as it was absolutely packed every day for some reason. Wonderful scones and small sandwiches, and the choices of tea were amazing. However, for us, the cacohony and din in that room was too much to bear – couldn’t hear anyone talk!! Not a very relaxing atmosphere to have high tea!! Manfredi’s: We’d been to this place on the other cruises and went just once on the Jupiter. We actually cancelled our 2nd reservation. To us, this place was not special at all, although the food was acceptable. The environment was not our style – seemed more raucous, loud, boisterous like a large bistro with too many large parties that have had too much to drink. For us not that comfortable a place to eat. Also, it seemed short staffed and so we had to constantly wait for everything – and it took well over 2 ½ hours to get through the meal. The portions were so embarrassingly large and it seemed like such a waste of food – but perhaps they were targeting a certain audience who wants that size. However, it was indeed quite popular – especially with large groups. Yet it didn’t seem any different than so many restaurants in the USA back home – nothing special. But maybe familiarity to home is what people wanted. The Staff: We thought the staff and crew were again absolutely wonderful and beyond expectations each cruise. Not only was every single person helpful and professional, they managed to be friendly and engaging without going overboard. We used the excursion desk and customer service locations on the 1st level quite a bit and found them all quite helpful at getting answers to any questions we had. We enjoyed that even if they didn’t have the answer they were able to find someone who did. We did have some small issues during the cruise, but we also were able to get them addressed in a timely fashion. We enjoyed some of our discussions with the restaurant staff as well, and sort of got to know them, and vice versa. We liked that they were attentive (and noticing), but not overbearing or pushy, like some places. Our captain and the other officers were outstanding. They exuded a quiet confidence and trust. Much of this had to do with their communication to the passengers about things that were happening or going to happen – such as the weather precautions, changing of ports, or arrival/departure times, and what to expect. We never felt in the dark and very much appreciated the good communication. ITINERARY/PORTS/EXCURSIONS: Barcelona: we arrived a few days early. I would very much recommend “Barcelona Day Tours”. We took a private tour to Montserrat that also included Barcelona and Park Guell. Well worth it. The next day we did a Free Walking Tour of Barcelona – again quite outstanding! Good thing we did since the Jupiter wound up having to change ports the evening that we boarded (we learned this about 2 weeks before sailing). At first we were disappointed, but the added port (Tarragona) was well worth it. Tarragona: This lesser known port about 30-40 miles south of Barcelona was a real hit! We walked all around town and the ship provided free shuttle buses to and from the port. Famous for its Roman Ruins – plus it was quite uncrowded. An unexpected treat. Will be interesting to see if this becomes the norm with Barcelona forcing ships to leave early. Cartagena: One of the more disappointing tours. We did the included tour. It is luck of the draw on who you get for a guide, as we spoke to friends who were on other buses who had fantastic tours! Very inconsistent. Our guide had a difficult time with English and didn’t go much beyond what was necessary. A highlight though was the visit to the Roman Amphitheatre and Museum. Just wish we had more time there. We enjoyed then wandering around the city streets on our own, finding a nice shop to get some Spanish wine to bring onboard. The Jupiter docked right in town -easy walking distance. Malaga (Granada): We were unable to get the optional excursion to the Alhambra, even with a DV2 room, as it instantly sold out. Apparently the Alhambra only makes a limited amount of tickets available per day. We tried private tours but they were mostly sold out and one wanted over $500 pp. Sort of a blessing in disguise, as we had 2 outstanding tours in Malaga. We took the optional Nerja Caves tour in the morning. What a surprise – an exceptional trip to visit the Caves underground – very unique. Note: no one with mobility issues should do this. After quite an amazing walk down through the caves, we spent time in the city of Nerja – what a wonderful place on the Mediterranean! Would highly recommend this tour. In the afternoon we did the included tour, which was surprisingly good and well worthwhile-another good guide. Saw quite a bit of Malaga – first via a short drive around town, and then a good amount of walking all throughout the city. Again, the new terminal port is located right near town so it was easy to walk all around everywhere. Although disappointed in not going to the Alhambra, we were quite delighted with how our day turned out. Porto: We took the included tour of the city – very good guide. It is definitely a very gritty city but seemed quite real with very interesting people. The tour gave us a chance to do a lot of walking throughout the city, seeing some amazing sights, finishing down by the Douro River, where we had some free time to walk on our own. Just wish we had more time in Porto. It really grew on us! We did see the Viking River Boat on the Douro River – perhaps that might be in our future. Falmouth (Cornwall): The weather was not so good, so we cancelled our St Michaels Mount Optional tour and did the included Cornwall drive tour instead. Turned out to be a good decision. We had an outstanding guide who told us all so many great stories about Cornwall as we meandered through the countryside. One of the real highlights was stopping at the parking lot next to the ocean and having time to walk out to the causeway that goes to St Michaels Mount – that was an experience in itself! We were back on the ship for lunch and then spent the afternoon walking all around Falmouth. The ship docks right in the harbor – easy walking distance to town. We must have done perhaps 5-7 miles and it was just a wonderful, sometimes, gritty fishing village to wander around. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Portsmouth: We were fortunate to have some wonderfully clear sunny weather entering into Portsmouth harbor, although quite cold in the low 40’s (F). Glad we got up to see us come into Portsmouth – a beautiful sight to behold! You could see the famous Portsmouth Spinnaker Tower for miles! We had been before to most of the places on the optional tours (Stonehenge, Salisbury, London, Winchester) and so decided to just take the included tour. We heard from those who went to Stonehenge that they had a fabulous time. Our tour was also quite good as we had an outstanding guide (again). We got to see all around Portsmouth area, stopping at several places and getting a real feel for the area. After lunch we decided to explore on our own. The port has a free shuttle to the museums and ships. The terminal area is quite a bit under security and it takes a decent time to get in and out and to the ship. However, we took the bus down to the D-Day museum, which I wanted to see particularly given that the 75th anniversary celebrations were going to occur in a few weeks. This museum did not disappoint. Absolutely amazing place. We wound up spending much more time here than intended and didn’t get to go to the ships, but it was well worth it. We met at the museum a 95 year old British vet of D-Day and spoke with him for an hour. A true highlight and memory. LeHavre, France: It was raining when we arrived. We had booked 2 optional tours, scheduled to take up the whole day – Honfleur in the morning and Rouen in the afternoon/evening. However, a day or two earlier, we were notified that the Yellow Vests were planning a large demonstration later in the day in Rouen, and the French authorities recommended that tour groups leave before that, just to be safe. So we had to choose between Rouen and Honfleur and chose Rouen. I’m sure Honfleur was great, but our Rouen optional tour was exceptional. We had an excellent guide who made the ride to Rouen very interesting by telling us the history. This tour was an all walking tour – and quite a distance – not recommended for anyone with mobility issues. But that is why we liked it. We must have walked around nearly all of old Rouen over cobblestone streets, in alleys, and into all kinds of cathedrals and historic sites. I would very much recommend this tour. Despite the on and off rain, we loved Rouen and will have to come back. Bruges Thank goodness we had already visited Bruges for 3 days a few years ago. Unfortunately our luck ran out. We had purchased the optional Bruges Walking Tour and this was likely the worst excursion we have ever had on a Viking Cruise. The city was again magnificent – albeit very cold, windy, but sunny. Our guide was simply – incompetent. I knew we were in trouble when he was reading and searching from his many pages of notes. He really didn’t convey much of anything. We would have been better to go into town on our own again. We spoke to others on the tour who had different buses and guides – they had such a good time – so again, luck of the draw. I sort of expect that with included tours, but was quite disappointed with having to pay $59 each for this one – as were others on our bus. Win some lose some though. Go with the flow. Amsterdam: After Bruges, the gods must have taken pity on us. We didn’t have the best weather, but that’s about the only negative on our visit to this wonderful city. We’d been here many times before and it is likely our favorite European city. We had thought of just exploring it ourselves and/or doing an optional tour outside town, but the weather was bad. We decided to take the included Canal Cruise – and we were certainly glad we did. We had probably the best guide of our whole trip. He was from Amsterdam and made cruise so interesting and entertaining. Such wonderful stories and delivered with humor and audience interaction. We were all sad when the 2 hour ride ended. After lunch on the ship, we head back out on our own and walked 8-10 miles all around Amsterdam, revisiting all of our favorite places. The ship docked so close (10 minute walk) to Amsterdam Centraal Train Station! The vibe of Amsterdam, with its wonderful people, bikes traveling everywhere, the amazing shops, cheese tastings, and historical sights – was again a highlight for us. We did hear that Amsterdam is seriously considering curbing tourism as it has gotten to popular a place to visit. We’ll have to see how that all transpires. (Venice and Bruges are also considering the same thing) Kiel Canal: And now for the true unexpected highlight of the cruise. And we never left the ship. Sailing through the famous Kiel Canal in northern Germany was amazing. The shores are just so close and people on the banks would wave and shout to us as we glided, seemingly effortlessly, past small towns & container ships, bridges, roads, countryside, and more. The weather turned nice and we got to see the late sunset off the canal at nearly 10 PM, watching small pairs of swans gliding by…. Simply breathtaking! Copenhagen: We’d been here before with the Viking Sky and had taken the Included walking tour. It had been quite good and gave us lots of exercise last year – but we wanted to do something different this time. Given that we planned to spend a couple more nights here after leaving the ship, we decided to venture out. As such, we did not take any Viking tours in Copenhagen, although if we had, we would have done the Rothskilde Cathdral and Viking Ship tour. We wound up taking the free Viking shuttle bus from Langelinie pier (the close pier near the Mermaid) into town, near Nyhavn Harbor. Spent the afternoon at Tivoli Gardens-an easy walk. Then took one of the Canal Cruises – the weather turned cold windy and bitter but it was still a fascinating cruise. I believe Viking optional tours has it – and it would be well worth it to be sure. That evening (our last on the ship), the Copenhagen Harbor made the Jupiter change ports to the farther out Oceankaj pier. This was because the closer pier is normally used only for ships that do not disembark/embark or stay the night. So another couple mile quick cruise. On disembarking at the end of the cruise the next day, we then took the bus from Oceankaj into town and to our hotel. Must say that Viking handled the disembarkation quite smoothly and efficiently. Post Cruise: I highly recommend that if you have not seen Copenhagen, that you stay longer. We used our extra days to 1) take some free city walking tours and walking around our own on day 1 and 2) Take an all-day sightseeing tour outside Copenhagen to see Rothskilde Cathedral, the Viking Ship Museum, Fredericksborg Castle, and Kronberg Castle. Hamlet Tours: one of the better private tours we’ve ever done. There were several other passengers from the Jupiter on this small private van tour. In summary – a wonderful time, not without some hiccups, but upon reflection, all better than expected. As stated earlier, each cruise we’ve been on has had a very different feel and personality, based on the passengers who happened to be on board, the ports, and the weather. The real consistency has been the Viking crews and service – outstanding! We will be booking future cruises on Viking. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This is our second Viking ocean cruise and we have already booked our third! The ship is luxuriously appointed with comfortable seating everywhere. There is a choice of dining venues from the informal World Cafe to the Chef's ... Read More
This is our second Viking ocean cruise and we have already booked our third! The ship is luxuriously appointed with comfortable seating everywhere. There is a choice of dining venues from the informal World Cafe to the Chef's Table. Food is outstanding at each and every venue. The onboard "enrichment" (lectures, talks, films etc.) were all most interesting and enjoyable, with some outstandingly good speakers. The expeditions were also excellent, well planned and interesting. They even provide a 'shuttle bus' service for passengers wishing to arrange their own excursions. The exercise and spa facilities are just the best ever. The sauna, steam room, snow cabin, swimming pools and other installations are But the thing that really makes Viking the BEST is the staff. Every member of the ship's crew and staff wants to make their guests as happy and comfortable as possible. Any small problems that may arise are dealt with promptly and courteously. Viking are not the cheapest, but they are undoubtedly the best value for money. I'm counting the weeks until our next Viking cruise! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Wonderful cruise! We traveled with another couple and had side by side rooms. Our cabins were beautiful and spotless. We were thrilled that they were able to open the veranda divider while at ports. Apparently, this partition must be ... Read More
Wonderful cruise! We traveled with another couple and had side by side rooms. Our cabins were beautiful and spotless. We were thrilled that they were able to open the veranda divider while at ports. Apparently, this partition must be closed while the ship is in motion. This made visiting back and forth so easy! We chose the included tours at each port, and couldn’t have been more pleased. Due to winds we stopped at Villefranche instead of Monaco. It turned out to be one of our favorite towns, and Viking still provided us with a short bus trip to Monaco. We did hear a few older passengers stating that the excursions were more strenuous than they expected. We are all in our 60’s, and had no problem at all. The food was excellent, and the silver spirits package was well worth it! The nights we made it to the evening (9:15) show...it was great, especially when local entertainers came onboard. The staff was fantastic! I would definitely recommend this cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was a cruise of a lifetime! I will probably run out of superlatives by the end of this review. Before our cruise, we had a pre-cruise extension through Viking to Florence, Tuscany & Siena. It was an amazing experience - the ... Read More
This was a cruise of a lifetime! I will probably run out of superlatives by the end of this review. Before our cruise, we had a pre-cruise extension through Viking to Florence, Tuscany & Siena. It was an amazing experience - the Villa La Veronica was a great place to stay, our Viking host Francesca was the best, and Valentina our bus driver was a gem. We got to see Florence, Siena, and San Gimignano, all with excellent tour guides. We ate wonderful lunches and dinners with lots of wine, and met some of our fellow cruisers. A perfect start to our adventure! We boarded the Viking Jupiter in Venice. We have been on a few Viking river cruises so we were somewhat prepared for the style of the ship and our stateroom. We were in a DV2 cabin which was a good size for the two of us. We had plenty of storage space, drawers and closet. The bed was very comfortable and the bathroom was large enough for al our toiletries. Loved the drawers in the bathroom, made it easy to keep our stuff organized. We enjoyed exploring the ship - so many cozy spaces to relax, have a drink, listen to music, just chill. Our favorite spot was the Viking Bar, especially for pre-dinner drinks with either the classical trio or pianist Christina playing in the background. For scenic cruising we went to the Explorer's Lounge with its panoramic view. The food on the ship was wonderful. We typically ate breakfast in the World Café (buffet) because we usually had an early excursion and no time for a leisurely meal. The breakfast choices were extensive and service was very good. We rarely ate lunch, although we did have to try the Mamsen's waffle and Success Cake - delicious! We also enjoyed afternoon tea in the Wintergarden. Our dinners were mostly in the Restaurant. Lots of choice, including local items every night, as well as lobster twice during the cruise and prime rib. The wine list was extensive - we had the Silver Spirits package and enjoyed choosing a different wine every night. We ate once at Manfredi's - wonderful food and wine. Our favorite meal was our night at the Chef's Table - we chose the Xiang Asian menu and it was "to die for." The wine pairings with the food were perfect. Our cruise director Vicki was delightful. She was entertaining and funny and interacted with all the passengers. We enjoyed her show "Ship Happens." The Viking entertainers put on some great shows - ABBA Songbook, Decades, Beatles. The classical music from the trio and Christina added a nice touch to many spaces on the ship. We also enjoyed several of the enrichment lectures and appreciated the opportunity to meet and converse with the speakers. The only local show we attended were the folk dancers from Corfu, who were very good. Service - what can I say? Ask for anything and you will get it. Every crew member we met was friendly and went out of their way to make our experience a good one. We especially appreciated our room steward Leilani who made our room perfect for us. Our favorite waiters, Natata, Gjoko, and Michael at the Viking Bar and Nadia in the Explorer's Lounge were special. And - I don't remember his name - the maitre'd in the Restaurant who always remembered our name, very impressive. This review is already too long but...the ports and shore excursions were outstanding and very well organized We toured Venice, Split, Dubrovnik, Corfu, Pompeii, Rome, Pisa, Le Castellet (France) and Barcelona. We were a little disappointed to miss Monaco, could not anchor there due to bad weather, but nothing anybody can do about that. Overall this was an outstanding experience, one we will always remember. The ship, the people, the ports - everything came together for us and we enjoyed it all! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Selected this cruise because of the amazing places it went that I never thought I would see—Athens, Croatia, Montenegro, and ending up in Venice. The Acropolis in Athens was a hard climb but so worth it in the end. The views from the ... Read More
Selected this cruise because of the amazing places it went that I never thought I would see—Athens, Croatia, Montenegro, and ending up in Venice. The Acropolis in Athens was a hard climb but so worth it in the end. The views from the top are wonderful. Visit to Olympia to see original site of first Olympic Games was interesting to see. Corfu was a very pretty coastal town. Dubrovnik and Split Croatia were great places to see and explore. But they were not as beautiful as Kotor Montenegro. That is such a gorgeous entrance into port and still a quaint town. Did an excursion up out of town, and even with a cloudy day, the views of town and harbor were wonderful. And stopped at small family run restaurant for included typical lunch with a sample shot or Grappa, which if very strong liquor. Then it was my dream stop of Venice! The sail into the city is very cool. The city itself with no cars and all travel by boat or on foot was as amazing as I had hoped for. St Mark’s Square and the Doge Palace are beautiful, but crowded. My favorite thing to do in Venice was to just wander the n narrow streets and visiting little shops, enjoying a coffee and hot chocolate sitting in a quaint square, and having lunch at a small family restaurant. Viking once again did a great job. Penthouse Veranda cabin very nice with lots of storage. Fridge in room with included minibar drinks is nice when you want to relax on Veranda and have a drink. Included excursions are really good, especially since ship pulls right up to cities to visit, much like a river cruise does. Loved that because I could explore on my own and then walk back to ship. Plenty of great food, especially the king crab legs each night, and varied entertainment venues. Loved the 3D Explorer Dome show. What a dream vacation. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I recently returned from Journey to the Antiquities trip, March 23 to April 6, on the brand new Viking Jupiter boat. I was looking forward to an amazing trip with my 84 year old mother. This was probably going to be her last big trip. We ... Read More
I recently returned from Journey to the Antiquities trip, March 23 to April 6, on the brand new Viking Jupiter boat. I was looking forward to an amazing trip with my 84 year old mother. This was probably going to be her last big trip. We expected the best from this lovely new ship. What we got, was not. Here are my Explorer suite 3000 issues, and they are significant issues. So significant that I feel that any future passenger considering booking that room should be aware of, particularly on the cruise/travel websites… For their own good, since no one prepared me for those issues. The furniture was incredibly uncomfortable. Loveseat should have been a couch, and the two arm chairs were stiff like doctor's office furniture, and so hard and had to use bed pillows to make them usable for seating. They should have club chairs or some other softer seating for the amount of time spent in the room, which most people do when choosing a suite!!! especially so you don't have to run around the boat looking for seating! Transition/threshold strip between bathroom and bedroom was almost 2 inches high. We tripped constantly on it. What made this dangerous was during the night when my mom would need to use the bathroom. Not a frustration. Dangerous! Standing water in the shower. The water never drained, because the drain is on the right hand side of a square shower, parallel to the door, not in the center of the shower. It had to be dried daily by the housekeeping staff. Dangerous for my 85 year old mother to be in standing water taking a shower. This is a design flaw and two engineers came and took pictures. I recently renovated my home so I know a shower either needs to be pitched or the drain needs to be in the center. Neither in this case. And OMG, the worst - The noise!! Incredibly loud as we were directly over an anchor and the “thrusters” (according to the first officer who told me). From an hour prior to docking each time at port, arriving or departing, the noise level was unbelievable, the room shakes and vibrates, and would wake us out of sound sleep… and spaced over a few minutes each time, for over an hour. The noise was like a JACKHAMMER right next to us. Unbelievably loud. Even the TV on highest volume, could not be heard. 7 times in the morning, with 5 being at 6am. I’ve never heard noise that direct, and that loud, so close. It was deafening. I will try to upload the video of the noise if I can. Outside the room, in the hallway, was no noise at all. I contacted guest services several times. No offer of another room was made. I assume the boat was at capacity. I was told by Geoff, guest services manager, that this would be escalated to Viking headquarters. I confirmed I would be speaking to them upon my return. I have videos and pictures/proof of everything. I have attached some. The general public should know, as should the next passenger who spends $21,000 on this room. $5,000 for an average one week vacation (x2 for a 15 day cruise), is one thing. $21,000 is another. This was supposed to be a first class trip. In speaking to your customer service department upon my return, a rep, informed me that she could offer me a gesture of $250 voucher per person on my next Viking cruise. I will respond with exactly how I responded to her. “Are you joking?” A $500 “gesture” on a trip that I paid over $27,000 for??? And you want a second chance to impress me with a $500 voucher? You did not impress me the first time, and completely misled me and my investment in this journey, and you want a second chance, when I don’t get a second chance to pick a room that had no issues/less noise??? For the amount of money I paid you, I find that disgraceful! There should be some way to inform a selective passenger of the noise volume in that room. It was the most unpleasant wake up call each time we pulled in, and for the times we were in the room upon departure. And a gesture of that amount to offset what I paid YOU/Viking for the experience and ROOM??? Even my travel agent earned more in a commission on the booking than what your rep was offering me." Subsequent calls and emails to Viking customer service. No one seems to care that I overpaid and was dissatisfied. No, our trip didn't hit a huge storm and the piano did not go flying across the floor, but for the money I paid, 6 months prior to even traveling, you should be ashamed and do something about making HIGH paying passengers happy. I could have taken a $5000 cabin and not had any of these issues. What is so frustrating, is that Viking is treating complaints this way. I've emailed the CEO and senior management team multiple times already. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We had an extraordinary experience on the Viking Star, exciting enough to book this trip on the Jupiter before we disembarked from the Star! And the Jupiter was fantastic, thus we booked our third cruise for 2020! The Jupiter is a new ... Read More
We had an extraordinary experience on the Viking Star, exciting enough to book this trip on the Jupiter before we disembarked from the Star! And the Jupiter was fantastic, thus we booked our third cruise for 2020! The Jupiter is a new ship and it had a few "new ship" blips; our volume on our tv was intermittent for 24 hours and the closet light wouldn't go off. Both of these were handled by our room steward Harias with speed and effectiveness. His service put Viking ahead of other cruise lines. Also, the delivery of the next day's menu for ordering vegetarian dinners did not always arrive to our stateroom in a timely manner. Marko, the dining room manager explained the situation but it was a bit frustrating. Staff were exceptional. Our waiter, Budi was the person who took care of us on the Star. He remembered us, remembered our preferences and we were served dark rolls for dinner and our beverages choices were ready when we sat down. Vegetarian options were available, nicely prepared but admittedly the dining room manager was not as involved with us. Entertainment by Viking Classical Trio was also a wonderful, repeat surprise. The pianist and guitar player on board, were also excellent but admittedly we are groupies of the Trio and went to as many of their performances as was feasible. Excursions were very good. Guides were exceptional but for one tour. Viking does a great job of vetting their guide services and we appreciate it. We travel for the experience of history and seeing the sites thus we appreciate that tours do not include "shopping" but rather Viking builds in "free time" in a location that can be explored with interest which may include, but doesn't focus on tee shirt shopping. In summary, Viking Ocean has proven to be service oriented, dedicated to making our experience worthy of repeating so we can travel to yet unseen locations. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our 4th cruise on Viking and each cruise gets better and better. Service, food, friendly atmosphere, tours, the ship and rooms are all top notch. We decided to stay in a PV3 cabin and really enjoyed the extra space usually we ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise on Viking and each cruise gets better and better. Service, food, friendly atmosphere, tours, the ship and rooms are all top notch. We decided to stay in a PV3 cabin and really enjoyed the extra space usually we stay in a DV cabin. We decided to mainly take this cruise for the 3 days in Israel and we were not disappointed. We decided to do a private tour in Israel as there were 10 of us and we booked through Guided Tours of Israel who did an excellent job. We could not ask for a better tour guide and driver. My least favorite port was Naples - quite dirty. The lectures on board were very interesting - especially the ones about Israel. The lectures were well attended, the lecture ended at 6:30 pm and everyone headed for the dinning room we did not have a long wait but Viking served champagne to all waiting in line and they did this several times - this is just an example of their service. They had several lunch specials around the pool , such as grilled salmon, mussels, and a fantastic brunch on one of our sea days served from 10 am to 1 pm. Excellent food stations and they served Bloody Mary's, champagne and Mimosas! Viking is a excellent cruise line, they care about the passengers and again you can not beat the service - we have booked 2 additional cruises with Viking. Entertainment is good, we always enjoyed going to the Living Room around 6 pm for a cocktail and the music. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because we considered it would be a step up from the typical large ship pandemonium. We wanted adults, few pool games, less hysteria at food buffets and just an overall cleaner, calmer experience. We were not ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we considered it would be a step up from the typical large ship pandemonium. We wanted adults, few pool games, less hysteria at food buffets and just an overall cleaner, calmer experience. We were not disappointed. Since we wanted to spend a few days getting used to the time change in advance, we selected the pre-cruise extension - Ultimate Italy. This was three days in the Tuscan hillside with two full days of escorted tours in Florence, Sienna, and San Gimignano. It was worth every penny. It also allowed us to plan for a more relaxed visit when arriving in the Livorno port upon the ship. We would not have to repeat these cities. There were 30 of us on the pre-cruise extension. We came to know one another and were able to continue those connections on the cruise. Saturday morning we took a coach bus from our villa to the port in Civitavecchia. Arriving at the port there was a bit of a delay. The computers connecting the ship to the desks at the port were not communicating. Viking did their best processing all of us through, admitting about 20 at a time and sending us to the ship to check in at the guest services desk. It ended up working out just fine. We were very pleased with our room - a penthouse veranda category. Plenty of space for everything we needed and by far the nicest bathrooms of any cruise ship. Everything was very clean and crisp. The mini bar was stocked and remained stocked throughout the cruise. We loved all the food on the ship. Our favorite entree was the Bistecca Fiorentina (rib eye) served in Manfredi's. However, our second favorite experience was the king crab legs served every single evening in the World Buffet. We went to The Restaurant our first evening. It was great. However, we found that all the food on the menu there was also served in the World Buffet and you could be on your own schedule. They also always had two items that they made to order. For us it was frequently the New York strips. Mamsen's offers some unusual treats for breakfast and snacks. My husband fell in love with the pickled herring at breakfast there. We did not choose the Silver Spirits beverage package and found we certainly didn't need it. Beer and wine flow freely at lunch and dinner in any location where food is served. This includes the buffet and Mamsen's. And you can take what you haven't finished with you when you leave. We enjoyed the entertainment on the ship, though we are definitely not needy in this regard. The Viking band and singers performed a Beatles show and an Abba show that were fantastic. Seating in the auditorium is plentiful. And not a bad seat in the room. You don't have to dodge pillars and obstructions to your view. There is also usually light entertainment in the atrium area on the first floor. We found that a great place to hang out and watch the ocean or port activities. We enjoyed hanging out in the evenings in the Explorer's Lounge. When we were lucky enough to get seats in front of the water vapor fireplace we were delighted! The service on the ship is exceptional. These folks are definitely hard workers and eager to make your cruise enjoyable. Ports and Shore Excursions: Livorno/Florence - as mentioned, we had been to Florence on our pre-cruise extension. We took the optional excursion to the Leonardo da Vinci museum and to Lucca. This was the only disappointing experience of the cruise. The first stop in Vinci was at the childhood home of Leonardo and is nothing exceptional. The museum portion of that is just a holographic video. The second museum experience is a few miles away and is a museum of Leonardo's mechanical inventions. It is interesting, but rushed. Unfortunately, it was raining in Lucca so it put a damper on the enjoyment. That was not the tour guide's fault. Our second day in Livorno we took the included tour to Pisa. It was fantastic. The Monaco day was great. We took the included tour in the morning and Nice on your Own in the afternoon. The included tour covered a walk up the seaside with highlights of the history of the royal family and the city. It does not go to the casino Monte Carlo, but they do allow you to break off from the tour and head there on your own. We were in a bit of a hurry because we needed to get to our second tour. The trip to Nice was worth every penny. On the Marseilles day we took the included tour and then spent time on the ship. It was a great time to take advantage of the spa/steam room/snow room. Very exhilarating. Our only hiccup to the cruise itinerary came on the Sete port day. The winds prevented us from safely making port. Our captain made it a very comfortable day by taking us out to less choppy waters and giving us an unplanned day at sea. The staff got creative with a few impromptu talks and lessons. We also found an unexpected treat in the Explorer's Dome (above the Explorer's bar.) If you enjoy planetarium experiences, look for the three different shows they present in the dome. They require reservations but are easy to get on your viking app. Barcelona is a beautiful city/port. We were lucky to port at the World Trade Center so our ship was easy to walk off/on and right into the city. On this day we took our favorite excursion - the Gaudi Architecture tour. If you want to see the INSIDE of the La Sagrada Familia, this is the tour to take. Of the 800 photos we took during our vacation, 200 of them were inside this cathedral. We then continued the tour at Park Guell, another fantastic Gaudi creation. Because of the timing of this tour, we couldn't take advantage of the included tour but feel our decision was absolutely the best. After our first night on the Jupiter, we knew that Viking was to be our future. We met with the onboard cruise consultant who was very knowledgable about all the options for future tours. The discounts and access to popular cruises early make it worth considering booking your next cruise onboard. We ended up selecting the Grand European tour for next May, 2020 to see how Viking River compares with Viking Ocean. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The Viking Jupiter is lovely, lovely new ship. I believe we were its third sailing. Since the ship carries less than 1000 passengers I was surprised how big it was when we first pulled up in Civitavecchia. After being on board a couple ... Read More
The Viking Jupiter is lovely, lovely new ship. I believe we were its third sailing. Since the ship carries less than 1000 passengers I was surprised how big it was when we first pulled up in Civitavecchia. After being on board a couple of days you realize that the size for that number of passengers results in many public spaces to relax. In fact, with so many areas for folks to enjoy you get the sense that you are on a ship with many less people. In tandem with that concept it seems there is a lot of staff available. A side note here, most of the good cruise lines, big and small, have good staffs. The Viking staff may be the best as any I have encountered in over 20 cruises. A difference is that there are so many of them to meet the passengers needs. I wish I knew the ratio. For example, when someone leaves the pool area almost instantly an attendant shows up to remove spent towels and add new ones. As a result, it is easy to spot open chaises and just makes the whole area appear more attractive. Most of the staff's demeanor is friendly but not so much as to be even a little bit over friendly (a fine line that may be most appealing to their older clientele). You do get the sense and we were even told that the staff is very happy to be working for Viking. As for appearance, the ship appropriately is done in Scandinavian style with blond wood, leather and pleasant blues throughout. Their towels and blankets (both very plentiful) were in the same color scheme and felt very high quality (note to self: why didn't you ask to buy a blanket?). The result is a calming and pleasant setting in every area of the ship. It is an easy ship to get to know and the elevators and stairs were never crowded even when folks were leaving for port excursions. Signage is generally excellent except for a couple of floors where arrows pointing to lounges would have been more helpful. A neat feature is the sign between elevators shows you where to disembark for excursions. The pool area in many ways is the star of the ship. Since it has a roll back roof, it is used for buffets, special events and just relaxing when the outside temperature would be too low to sit out. Examples: embarkation day -- poolside grill open for passengers with grill and salad bar doing a great job; two special evening events -- a seafood buffet night and a tapas with excellent sangria night BEFORE dinner. Both were excellent with plentiful staff clearing tables and pouring wine. Never thought I would do afternoon tea but enjoyed it greatly on the other side of the pool with a tremendous staff serving inside the Wintergarden and in the poolside lounge. Doretty (spelling?) from Peru took excellent care of her area. It should be mentioned that the crew really is an international crew with staff hailing from Asia, Europe and South America all of whom spoke impeccable English. The dining room is gorgeous, the two specialty restaurants Manfreddi's and Chef's Table were very lovely with our enjoying the Chef's Table a bit more. Maybe, it was the service of Ivan and his assistant waiter, maybe their innovative twists of food, or maybe the best damn dessert I ever ate. We would have loved to go back but ran out of time. The World Cafe is just plain wonderful. It is the spot most people chose for breakfast. Great, great, great. Entertainment is appropriate for the clientele. Shows start kinda early and generally by 9:30 are ended. The shows themselves were very well attended and met the needs of the passengers, i. e. high octane shows featuring music of the Beatles, ABBA and the eighties. Every show we saw got a standing ovation. Later on there is continuing music and dancing elsewhere. Not to be ignored is the very beautiful and calming chamber music trio, pianist and guitarist that seem always to be playing. This is in the Living Room which has a bar whose staff is particularly talented at making drinks and making guests feel very comfortable. By the way, they have the most innovative system of taking orders; the staff member notes choices on what looks like an early model cell phone which immediately is sent to the kitchen or bar. The result is instant service of your drink or meal! The fellow passengers were basically all middle age and above Americans who understood the kind of ship they were on. People were always dressed appropriately and it gave the ship a feeling of a country club even though I don't belong to a country club. As eluded to earlier, service was impeccable in every area of the ship. The senior staff works as hard as their assistant waiters! We were in a Penthouse Veranda. If funds allow, choose this upgrade. It is near perfect sizewise, plentiful storage, refreshed mini bar with little bottles of liquor, soda, beer and snacks. Closet lights go on when the door is opened. Hurray, for electricity -- there are USB ports throughout and the lighting is innovative. The bathroom has a heated floor! Example of the level of service: we found the shower head moved when full force water was turned on, a trip to customer service (24 hours) had it fixed in twenty minutes. Room stewards were good. Service in customer relations by Nichert was superb. We used the laundry and ironing facility. Another example of Viking services: wind made stopping at the Port of Sete impossible. Within a half hour a new daily calendar with adjustments was printed and distributed. This sail day actually was a blessing since even though it occurred past midway of the cruise it actually gave us time to enjoy the ship's amenities: spa, pool, wonderful exercise room (never more than four people), etc. Even on this day with everyone on board, it was easy to find quiet area to sit and read or sit poolside in shade or sun. I guess I could go on and on about the ship but suffice to say, it probably will be the cruise one will always remember since I strongly believe that Viking will uphold this level of service and luxury. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Wanted to visit several countries in a short period of time. A taste of southern Europe so to speak. Everything about this company, ship and service were top notch. The cabin gave us everything we needed. We spent a minimal amount of ... Read More
Wanted to visit several countries in a short period of time. A taste of southern Europe so to speak. Everything about this company, ship and service were top notch. The cabin gave us everything we needed. We spent a minimal amount of time there. The Dining was exceptional: Buffet was of high quality, the main dining was gourmet and the other "price included" restaurants were fantastic. The activity portion was good but we spent more of our time resting for the next day. The service was the best!! Apollo in the pool bar, Aura in dining, Sofia seemed everywhere and Hector in dining were some of the standouts. Our Cabin folks (Annabelle, Faree) were efficient and pleasant and do a super job! Our excursions were excellent with both walking tours and bus tours offering plenty of experience opportunities. If I would offer any suggestion it would be to allow more time for shopping, wandering (hop on, hop off stuff) café experiencing. We will go with this company again. Truly memorable. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because we were looking for a 2-week ocean cruise on Viking that provided guided tours of Rome. We had just returned from a 2-week cruise on Viking that toured Norway and the UK. This cruise was excellent in almost ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were looking for a 2-week ocean cruise on Viking that provided guided tours of Rome. We had just returned from a 2-week cruise on Viking that toured Norway and the UK. This cruise was excellent in almost every respect from the cabin, the crew and the entertainment. Everything was top notch. This excellent cruise was called, Into the Midnight Sun on the Viking Sky. Because of this excellent experience we wanted to sail on another 2 week Viking cruise. We purchased what we though was another 2-week (14 night) Viking cruise from Athens to Barcelona and expected the same features and quality as we had on the previous Viking 14 day cruise. Unfortunately once we arrived on board the ship we learned that what we were sold was actually two back to back 7 day cruises. This was disappointing for two main reasons, first all the entertainment and most all of the lectures were repeated on the second 7 day cruise. Second and more importantly Viking did not provide their same level of excursions in Rome that they typically arrange for all other ports. Neither of the two offered excursions were acceptable to me and my wife as both excursions required us to spend 5 or more hours on our own in Rome. My wife and I do not feel comfortable spending this amount of time on our own in Rome. It is worth noting that the reason the Rome excursions were limited is that this was the embarkation and debarkation port and about 800 of the passengers were leaving the ship at this port. And about 800 new passengers were coming on board here as well. Of the approximately 900 passengers, approximately 100 of us were sold the 14-night cruise. All others were sold the 7 night cruise either from Athens to Rome or from Rome to Barcelona. In talking with many of the other 14 night passengers they too were equally disappointed that this was not a true 14 night cruise. The information in Viking's marketing material mentioned that this itinerary combined two cruises. I did not meet anyone that understood this meant that Viking planned to combined two 7 night back to back cruises for a select number of passengers. We all thought that everyone who boarded in Athens were going to be on a 14 night cruise. The food quality was good. Although the selection was somewhat limited. I would have preferred to have had a larger selection of vegetables, both cooked and raw for making salads. One night my wife ordered a NY strip steak medium at the World Cafe and after waiting 10 minutes the chef came out and spoke to my wife and another passenger about issues with getting their steaks. It took another 15 minutes for the chef to obtain the steak from the kitchen and then prepare it. I assume they ran out of steaks and no one replenished them in he World Cafe.. The entertainment on this cruise was amateurish. The vocalists were right out of college with very little experience. Individually they may be talented but together they did not harmonize at all. We were told that these 4 vocalists were new hires and had not worked together except for 11 days prior to performing their first show on the Viking Jupiter. In comparison to the quality of entertainment between what we had on the viking Sky and on the Viking Jupiter is significant. Jupiter were amateur's whereas Sky were professionals. The atmosphere around the entertainment on the Jupiter was similar to "elevator music". On the Sky the entertainment was much more upbeat, popular hits from the 60's and 70's. On the Sky the band and vocalists often time performed at the pool and there were easily 100 or more passengers up dancing and having a good time. On the Jupiter the band performed a couple times at the pool and there were maybe 20 or so passengers dancing and almost no one listening to and enjoying the music in the audience. We really enjoyed the educational lectures. Bother the resident historian and the astronomer were excellent speakers. This was the maiden voyage of the Jupiter and as such there were a number of mechanical issues. I am sure that within 6 weeks or so all the mechanical issues will have been worked out, unfortunately for us we were the guinea pigs or beta testers for the ship and crew. There were public toilets that would not stop flushing, spa pool water that was too hot one day and too cold another, the hot tub was routinely not as hot as the pool, the infinity pool was not in operation (no water), cabin hot water temperature was for several days way too hot. These issues were minor in comparison to the Rome excursion issue and the very poor quality entertainment. The shore excursions were sometimes too short and did not offer sufficient time to explore the area. For example we purchased the optional excursion to the Medieval Fortified Town of Carcassonne in France. The tour lasted about an hour at Carcassonne by a local guide. There is a castle museum within the walls of this town that required at least 90 minutes to tour. Unfortunately the tour did not provide adequate time to see everything within the castle museum. Additionally, admission to the castle museum was extra and not included in the Viking arrange excursion and had to be purchased separately. The tour of Herculeum out of the Naples port was excellent. The right amount of time and detail in the tour. Highly recommend this optional tour. Unfortunately there were high winds expected in Civitavecchia (Rome) so our stay at the Naples port did not provide sufficient time ofr us to see Naples. The ship had to leave the Naples port early (about 4 hours) in order to insure that the ship could get into Civitavecchia (Rome) so that 800 passengers could make their flights in Rome the following day. The best part of this cruise was the Viking crew. Everyone form the cabin steward to the restaurant waiters and staff were excellent. Almost all staff on this ship were excellent. Knowing what we know now we would not have purchased this 14-day cruise and do not recommend this cruise and itinerary to others. Based on our experiences with Viking on this cruise we most likely will not be traveling with Viking again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise as our first adventure on Viking. We have been on 13 other previous cruises with other lines and wanted to see how Viking compared. We were blown away at how much we enjoyed literally everything about it. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise as our first adventure on Viking. We have been on 13 other previous cruises with other lines and wanted to see how Viking compared. We were blown away at how much we enjoyed literally everything about it. The device was top-notch. The food was fantastic. Not having to wait in line and deal with hundreds of people at every turn was fabulous. No lines getting on the ship or off at port. The tours - both included and paid - were great. It was absolutely the best cruise we’ve ever been on! The staff was there to help at every turn, although we had zero issues. We waited for about 2.5 seconds to check in before boarding the ship, and I was literally the first person to disembark as we had an early flight back to the States. I cannot day enough good things about this ship. Truly. To the previous poster who complained about there being “nothing to do” - for the other 929 of us aboard this ship, we got exactly what we wanted - relaxation without kids running amuck, shows to keep us up at all hours of the night, and pool and relaxing chairs every single time we ent on deck to find one. We are 47 and 54, empty nesters who have earned our peace and quiet! We were busy with ports and tours, and we were able to actually relax the remainder of our time on the ship. Loved it. Oh, and our bill at the end of the cruise? $2.50 for one item we bought on board. That was it! Read Less
Viking Jupiter Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.8
Dining 5.0 4.6
Entertainment 4.5 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.2
Family N/A 4.2
Shore Excursion 4.5 4.1
Enrichment 5.0 4.3
Service 5.0 5.0
Value For Money 5.0 4.4

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