Viking Ra Cruise Review by AldenPyle
- Sail Date: December 2018
- Destination: Middle East
- Cabin Type: Veranda Suite
The clientele is a typical Viking Cruise crowd -- mostly affluent Americans aged 55-80.
Be advised that this cruise is go-go-go; in the 3 Cairo days and 8 cruise days there are only two free afternoons to relax and recharge. Several very early-morning departures (4am to 6:30 am).
The on-board restaurant is excellent, offering both Egyptian specialties and more familiar "Western" options at every on-board meal. The off-board meals are mixed -- all buffets of varying quality.
Egypt itself is overwhelming. You stay in a bubble of splendid luxury, but outside it, urban Egypt is largely impoverished and surprisingly squalid. Egypt 30-40 years ago was a 2nd world country with 1st world ambitions. Today, except for a small elite, the cities are decaying and third-world. You do feel safe, even outside the bubble, although you will be constantly harassed by vendors selling cheap China-made trinkets.
The two offered add-ons (Jerusalem before and Jordan after) are super, but if you do both add-ons and the cruise you will be exhausted most of the time. Both Israel and Jordan are lovely, clean and modern.
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