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We have traveled with Viking River before and many other Ocean Cruise lines. Wanted to see how Viking handled Ocean cruising. We were not disappointed. Embarkation in Rome was a bit disjointed as the Pier is a good distance from the train station and the shuttle situation was not clear but it was a beautiful day and the walk was doable. The ship is fantastic. The Penthouse Veranda level is very spacious and you don't feel like you need to leave the room to breathe. The bathroom is big enough for two people to function in at the same time which is helpful. The rest of the ship was shiny, attractive and homey. The various shipboard sections are all comfortable and attractive; we spent most of our time in the Atrium but the Explorer's Lounge and Pool were also inviting. The meals were almost without exception excellent. And our Dining Room team, led by Ronald, were so good that we canceled meals in the specialty restaurants to spend time with them. Most of the rest of the crew was right up there with Viking's high standards. My only complaints were that several of the beers that I like were out of stock by day 2 or 3 of the cruise. The ports we visited were outstanding! We were a bit worried because Viking had taken Tunis off the itinerary prior to the trip due to security concerns and that was supposed to be one of our highlights but the replacement with Naples was an adequate solution. Cagliari is a perfect day, Algiers is a gorgeous and friendly place and we fell in love with Valencia. All ports were safe, clean and easy to navigate. We did a couple basic excursions which were good and the Casbah tour in Algiers is a mind blowing experience. My only complaint (and I don't know how this can be fixed) is that the Casbah event was listed as moderate difficulty when in fact it was quite strenuous which resulted in several older participants who had no business navigating 1000+ cobblestone steps down the hillside. Multiple accidents ensued which required an ambulance despite almost heroic efforts of our tour guide to navigate these guests down the hill. However this resulted in him being a caregiver instead of a tour guide and we lost the benefit of his passion and enthusiasm for his city. I don't know how you tell a guest that they can't do something but perhaps there can be two levels of tours??? Onboard WIFI was pretty good, much better than any other cruise I've taken. We did not attend much in the way of shows or talks but I will say that Viking did a fantastic job for New Year's Eve. The entertainment was appropriate for a boat full of folks of different ages and backgrounds and we had a great time. The late brunch the next morning was perfect as well. In summary, kudos to Viking on a great experience. We will definitely return!

Almost Perfect

Viking Sky Cruise Review by esvoogd

Trip Details
We have traveled with Viking River before and many other Ocean Cruise lines. Wanted to see how Viking handled Ocean cruising.

We were not disappointed. Embarkation in Rome was a bit disjointed as the Pier is a good distance from the train station and the shuttle situation was not clear but it was a beautiful day and the walk was doable.

The ship is fantastic. The Penthouse Veranda level is very spacious and you don't feel like you need to leave the room to breathe. The bathroom is big enough for two people to function in at the same time which is helpful. The rest of the ship was shiny, attractive and homey. The various shipboard sections are all comfortable and attractive; we spent most of our time in the Atrium but the Explorer's Lounge and Pool were also inviting.

The meals were almost without exception excellent. And our Dining Room team, led by Ronald, were so good that we canceled meals in the specialty restaurants to spend time with them. Most of the rest of the crew was right up there with Viking's high standards. My only complaints were that several of the beers that I like were out of stock by day 2 or 3 of the cruise.

The ports we visited were outstanding! We were a bit worried because Viking had taken Tunis off the itinerary prior to the trip due to security concerns and that was supposed to be one of our highlights but the replacement with Naples was an adequate solution. Cagliari is a perfect day, Algiers is a gorgeous and friendly place and we fell in love with Valencia. All ports were safe, clean and easy to navigate. We did a couple basic excursions which were good and the Casbah tour in Algiers is a mind blowing experience. My only complaint (and I don't know how this can be fixed) is that the Casbah event was listed as moderate difficulty when in fact it was quite strenuous which resulted in several older participants who had no business navigating 1000+ cobblestone steps down the hillside. Multiple accidents ensued which required an ambulance despite almost heroic efforts of our tour guide to navigate these guests down the hill. However this resulted in him being a caregiver instead of a tour guide and we lost the benefit of his passion and enthusiasm for his city. I don't know how you tell a guest that they can't do something but perhaps there can be two levels of tours???

Onboard WIFI was pretty good, much better than any other cruise I've taken.

We did not attend much in the way of shows or talks but I will say that Viking did a fantastic job for New Year's Eve. The entertainment was appropriate for a boat full of folks of different ages and backgrounds and we had a great time. The late brunch the next morning was perfect as well.

In summary, kudos to Viking on a great experience. We will definitely return!
esvoogd’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 5084
Cabin was very nice other than having poor luck in that ours always faced the less desirable direction during sail in (port side). Big enough for four to enjoy a drink before dinner inside or out. Plenty of closet and drawer space as well. Will be hard to go back to a lower category!

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Algiers
    We had no idea what to expect given the lack of experience of this city but we were so pleasantly surprised! The city itself is bright and vibrant with the French influences giving us a comfort level that we weren't so out of place. Our tour buses were led through town by police cars not for security, but rather to move us conveniently through the traffic and people waved at us smilingly at almost every corner. We walked the Casbah and enjoyed it immensely though it is not for the agility-challenged. People engaged us in conversation and welcomed us continuously all while carrying out conversations amongst themselves in English, French, Arabic and Berber. Our VISA did not allow us to shop but it looks like it could be have been interesting. If you are at all worried about safety, DON"T BE! This is a beautiful, welcoming and friendly city.
    View All 19 Algiers Cruise Port Reviews
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  • City Tour
    About what you would expect. I don't what it would be like on a regular day but we took the tour on New Year's Day so that traffic was not too brutal. Some very nice stops at scenic overlooks and a very knowledgeable guide. Definitely worth the price (included!). But the best part of the day was just walking the promenade before the tour with all the locals.
    View All 64 City Tour Reviews
  • National Archeological Museum
    A solid museum with several world class pieces. As there was not enough time for Pompeii that day, this was the second best choice. The walk back from the Museum to the Port is very doable and gives a great look at a vibrant, chaotic city. Grab a local roll and just stroll!
    View All 8 National Archeological Museum Reviews
  • Rome (Civitavecchia)
    Don't spend the $69/person to do 'Rome on your Own'. Instead, take the train from Civatavechia. It's easy, far cheaper (as little as 6 Euro on the local) and the scenery is great. Both of the big train stations (San Pietro & Termini) can be reached from the port multiple times in the day and give you options on both sides of Rome.
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  • Sardinia
    We made our own city walk and it was well worth it. It's a bit of a climb just outside of the port but there are things to see and as with most climbs the view made it worthwhile. There is an excellent, barely restored Roman Amphitheater on the hillside as well as a couple nice cathedrals. The inevitable shopping street was decent and the public bathrooms under Saint Remy are (no exaggeration!) the cleanest public toilets I have ever seen in my life. Super friendly people and a bright Mediterranean sun more than compensated for the brisk temperatures.
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  • Valencia
    Our favorite city on this trip. Venerable yet hip, laid back yet alive, Valencia is fantastic. We printed city walks off of the city website and enjoyed a couple hours of walking through the artist section and then the city center. There were many bike rental companies and it looks like that would have been a great option too. The Mercato is a must-see (bring some money for some good deals on spices you've never seen before) and should be followed by a cappuccino on a sunny plaza. There are impressive towers to climb and gorgeous cathedrals to walk through. Good shopping, good food and good beer. There was even a festival though sadly it didn't start until dusk so we only saw the three wise men arrive but not the parade. English was not obvious but there was enough to get by. This was the one city that we know we'll go back to some day.
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