Viking Star Cruise Review by flashfearless
- Sail Date: May 2019
- Destination: Mediterranean
Since we got the free upgrade to The Owner's Suite (TOS) from our explorers suite, Viking did everything in their power to make magic happen on all levels for our 30th anniversary. Attention to detail at every corner and smiling faces at every occasion. That is until we had to leave our cabin and our steward Olivera behind. She made a lasting impression on us and touched our heart.
Olivera would make a great Miss America coach one day as she has the ability to take any humble lady and make her realize why she is special and why she deserves to enjoy every aspect of the cruise including spa and take advantage of all the benefits that come with TOS.
A special thanks to Olivera, Wendy, Daniel and Hector for making the private party happen with such passionate care. Special thanks to Manuel for his expert planning at the last minute when one of our excursions was canceled (we were the only ones who booked it). Also special thanks to John at the gelato bar and Sara who served up smiles at the same time she served your Sangria and everything else. We pray one day to meet up with this crew and servers again.
As far as the excursions go, we felt that we got more out of the custom tours we planned than the major bus excursions. The Vatican museum was pure madness and we should have booked a private excursion there. What folks should take away is that the included tours are going to be super popular ones and the majority of the other tours will still be popular.
Our favorite dining experiences were with Manfredi's and The Chef's Table. The calamari at Manfredi's is light and crispy, and they treat their seafood and meat dishes with respect. Daniel and Hector do a great job with their themed fixed menu at the Chef's Table.
On the ship, I found the pools to be limiting but at least with Viking they are not crowded. The heated pool area on deck 1 features a slippery set of stairs that I slipped on and tore a gash in my right ankle which is now all black and blue. My issue was that I presumed if it was a pool step it would be like my personal pool and be a little rough on the step surface. I should have planned better, but Viking could make some additional safety precautions in my opinion.
Overall, we would definitely book again, and have already planned our next outing to Australia and New Zealand over Thanksgiving 2020.
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However, it was too much space (1448 sq ft including the veranda) for two people sleeping in one bedroom. It would be perfect for an on board family reunion with gatherings for breakfast, and dinner and drinks and backgammon into the evening. It was the perfect size for a private party of 10 or so new friends.
The Board room was wasted space for us, as was the third bathroom for two people. Yes, I said third bathroom. If you were a typical cruise person you couldn’t possibly enjoy everything that TOS had to offer unless you spent a lot of time there. It was designed for a homebody who didn’t want to make new friends.
As great as TOS is, I still have some ideas for improvement. Some problems with TOS as I see it:
• Ratio of 220 to 110 outlets is poor. You have a higher ratio in regular suites. Still the same two 110 outlets in TOS. One each by each side of the bed. The other 15 (guess) are 220 outlets.
• The bed is not raised off the floor, so no storage space underneath for suitcases. We stored ours in the board room. Once we pointed it out, Olivera worked some magic and put the bed on a regular box spring. For some reason the bed in the owners suite is the only one with this configuration.
• Refrigerator is smaller than a standard suite fridge. Presumably because people in TOS are expected to order room service often. And it gets really cramped when it is stuffed with fruit because you didn't want to waste what was delivered.
• The master bathroom floor heater was broken. A first world problem, I know. Still, I was looking forward to it. A part was waiting in Barcelona I was told.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
BarcelonaYou need to book a couple of months in advance apparently in order to get into La Sagrada Familia, and if you expect Viking to do that for you, they will not and probably couldn't pull it off. We went the next day with a guided tour and fared much better in scoring some leftover group tickets.View All 2,206 Barcelona Cruise Port Reviews
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Vatican MuseumsI'm rating this poor but it wasn't really the fault of Viking. It is just pure madness to go here and to be one large group with what looks to be 300 large groups from many ships and otherwise. As bad as it was, I heard that it is 2x as bad in July. Keep this one for the off season.View All 126 Vatican Museums Reviews
VeniceDue to American Airlines cancellations and delays (will not use in the future), we barely got to the cruise in time for our departure from Venice. All we saw of Venice was the view as we pulled out of port.View All 1,422 Venice Cruise Port Reviews
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