Viking Sun Cruise Review by MZiegler
I am a former travel agent whom specialized in cruises, so needless to say I expect excellent service, and I am not one to write reviews unless I feel that the service was either exceptional, or horrible. We travel quite often, mostly cruises, and for as many as we have been on, we have not found a cruise line that we have found fantastic enough for us to book our next cruise before we leave the ship, until NOW. As long as Viking keeps it's current cruise model we will be Viking loyal, and have already booked our next Italy cruise on board, prior to finishing the Homeland cruise The following will explain why: As for this cruise, every aspect was absolutely EXCEPTIONAL. We chose Viking because we were looking to find a cruise line that treated clientele as years past. We have been on SEVERAL cruises, with other lines, and have found that service, food, accommodations were lacking. I go on a cruise to "Escape" everyday life. Viking does this right. The food was excellent, the staff friendly, helpful and could not be more accommodating. Embarkation was a breeze. Our plane was delayed by 5 hours, which put us in a stressed out mood, also thinking we would miss most of our time in Stockholm. When we arrived at the Ship, we were greeted by an extremely friendly staff, handed our room keys, (which had been ready and waiting for us), there was no long line to wait on, and we quickly made our way to the ship, where we were greeted again, this time with Mimosas and champagne. With such an efficient embarkation, our stress melted away, and we were headed out to explore Stockholm, with plenty of time to see everything we needed to see. This is just a small example of the service you get with Viking. I can tell you that the staff, from the waiters straight to the Senior Officers were always ready to greet the passengers (BY NAME). This type of interaction has you feel as if you are their priority (and you are, everyone of the passengers). The dedication to detail is paramount. When you are in the theatre, there are blankets on the seats in the event you may be cold. This was also in the Mamsens lounge. If you want to watch an outside movie, there is popcorn waiting at your seat, and headphones, which allow anyone to be enjoying the outside area, whether or not you want to see the movie. By the poolside there are towels on each of the chairs, and even on sea days you can get a comfortable seat, no overcrowding or fighting for space. On your way to your excursions you are handed bottles of water (this is all no additional charge, it is important to note Viking DOES NOT nickle and dime its clientele) , there are umbrellas in your cabin, as well as a well stocked minibar, which gets restocked daily (No charge, but depending on cabin level will depend on what is in your bar. I was in a DV5 category, we had sodas and snacks). Beer and wine are plentiful at lunch and dinner. Viking has the best port talks I've seen. What I truly found helpful is that at their port talks, they use Google Maps, so that you can actually see where you will be traveling to in respect to the country, and where you are docked with the ship. For me, it gave me a better understanding of the travel time and what area of the country I was visiting. As far as the excursions, Viking makes sure that you get where you are going to with ease. Representatives are stationed throughout areas to make sure you get to the proper transportation. Disembarkation was just as seamless as embarkation. I booked a taxi to take us to the train station in Bergen. From previous experience I made sure that we left the ship in plenty of time to make our taxi. Well..... we put our luggage out the night before,- nothing new, next morning got up very early and made our way to disembark per our instructions. No long lines! We made our way down the gangplank, again Viking staff staged to help direct, when we got to where the bags were, a Viking staff member asked us our cabin number, then proceeded to walked us to our bags, which were all together. This was so quick and efficient, that we had an hour to wait for our taxi :). I could go on and on, but I will stop here. It would be easier to answer anyone's direct questions about the actual PORTS or Ship, because if I continued this would be a novel :). So please ask questions!
MZiegler’s Full Rating Summary
Spacious. Mini bar with soda and snacks, filled daily, no charge. Coffee make in room. Umbrella's in closet. Balcony was very spacious for a cruise ship. Beds comfortable. Bathroom was a full size, with a full size walk in shower which had benches.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
A great area to walk around. Not far from the ship
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The city tours are good to give you a broad idea of what is available in the port. Then you can walk around on your own, I enjoyed the waterfront in Copenhagen, I am a Hans Christen Anderson fan, which interested me.
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Beautiful port. Make sure you get up very early (around 5am) to be able to experience the cruise through the incredible Fjords. You can see it from your Balcony. I went to various areas around the ship to get different views and pictures!
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I wasn't expecting Gdansk to be so picturesque! It was one of the ports that was on the itinerary that I did not really want to visit. I'm very happy we did. The buildings and architecture was incredible. I loved looking at all the local made items at the carts along the waterside. Try the local food.
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We were extremely nervous and stressed about going into St Petersburg. We took the Viking excursion, and they made it seemless. Viking staff had everything planned so well, staying with the passengers and making sure that we all got through security easily. I have to say that it only took us less than 10 min to clear Russian security. With that being said, all our stress disappeared and we truly enjoyed the sights in St Petersburg, we took tours both days, and both days were wonderful. St Petersburg is a beautiful town. Peterhof Palace is amazing, but does get crowded.
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Beautiful palace and gardens. Does get crowded. I enjoyed the grounds and fountains the most
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The boat ride to Pulpit rock was interesting, however when we actually arrived the destination itself was ok.
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Interesting to see the large Vasa ship and hear about it's history
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Tallin is beautiful. The Old Town with it's cobblestone streets remind me of Quebec CIty. It was wonderful wandering around
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