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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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We Carefully Choose viking Orion for our Alaska cruise when first available in 2016 because of ships open vista views and as a small ship also very importantly the itinerary and full package details . As our first Viking voyage we have ... Read More
We Carefully Choose viking Orion for our Alaska cruise when first available in 2016 because of ships open vista views and as a small ship also very importantly the itinerary and full package details . As our first Viking voyage we have been very satisfied and loved the ship it’s ambience decor space and lovely staff. With the amazing Alaskan scenery and fantastic wildlife and wilderness al around us we had one of our best ever holidays thank you viking, We started with a pre cruise in Vancouver lovely city, wonderful hotel by the bay , the pre cruise tour and lunch alfresco after boarding and sail out was lovely with seaplanes landing and taking off around us , and boats of all descriptions paddle steamers , sailing and small pleasure cruising craft to other ships then the cruise up the inside passage humpbacks sighting wonderful scenery sunsets and all enhanced by the ship! Really very good food right through the voyage onboard Orion majority of our meals we ate seafood,. Enjoyed all of the restaurants onboard, open seating only waited the once for a table but seated in restaurant reception with offers of drinks! There’s also a bar in the restaurant where you can have a pre dinner drinks . We enjoyed all our ports of calls and trips with only one complaint about the lunch on our Haines bear search and wildlife tour which was dealt with with a small refund to compensate however no bears seen but then that’s wildlife although we were probably not going to see any as Haines had hosted the state fair a few days earlier, trip highlights amazing Juneau glacier helicopter and dogsledding and glacier and whales trips , Valdez sail out amazing beautiful weather swimming in the infinity pool and hot tub and escorted out by high speed coast guard rigid inflatable with machine gun mounted and manned past all the Valdez salmon fishing fleets which were laying nets ! A James Bond moment! Dinner that evening a favourite with to start soft shell crab , lobster Thermidor and desert a lovely soufflé , with lovely wines and all made exceptional by Alaska delivering with beautiful scenery and Orca’s seen alongside during dinner !!! A Most memorable evening I must also thank the staff on Orion Nearly all were fantastic except for the future cruise lady? The shows on board such a small ship were all delivered by the Orion team and were excellent thank you to Jade And Karine and speedy and the viking band also bar waiters stewards Ivan and Corrinia ? Overall a fantastic holiday experience one of our very best highly recommend this voyage and ship if viking can keep price correct Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our first Viking cruise and my husband is not a lover of cruises. By the end he was a fan. I can't emphasize the great service enough. Everyone from cabin stewards to the maintance crew you might meet in the hall was ... Read More
This was our first Viking cruise and my husband is not a lover of cruises. By the end he was a fan. I can't emphasize the great service enough. Everyone from cabin stewards to the maintance crew you might meet in the hall was friendly and helpful. The food was very good. Meet and Mingle: Since we only had 6 people for this meeting, we were invited into a private dining room off Manfredi's for dinner with two members of the crew. It was really a great dinner. The food at Manfredi's is good and the crew members were lots of fun. Restaurants: We really liked Manfredi's and The Restaurant. I was disappointed in the Chef's Table both in the food and the service. The Mexican menu was OK, the Scandinavian meal was not good at all. Although we had the Silver Drink Package, alternative wines were not offered when we declined a wine we didn't like. Pay attention to the advertised menu as that is all that will be available. In the other restaurants the staff always wanted to find what you wanted. We found the World Cafe to be a bit crowded and tended to not use it. Sandwiches (try the philly cheesesteak) at the pool cafe were good and that area isn't usually crowded. We used Room Service on mornings of excursions and was pleased. Mamsen's was good for a late breakfast. At The Restaurant you will be asked if you want a table for just your party or if you want to share. I encourage you to ask to share as we met many interesting people. Excursions: We really liked the Pulpit Rock Cruise. The boat ride was beautiful with several stops along the way and a stop for some delicious waffles on the way back. I would do that one again. The Flam Railway, although expensive and a long day, was well worth taking. I tried to find a way to book the railway separate from Viking but was unable to do it. The trip was very good. We Had lunch at a hotel restaurant on the way back and the food there was just fair. I'm glad to have taken the excursion but wouldnt repeat it. In Oslo we did the included tour and then, on our own, visited the Viking Ship Museum and the Nobel Peace Center. Dont miss the Nobel Peace Center! In Copenhagen we did the included tour and then walked around the city by ourselves. In both citied, you can easily see what you want without a tour. We didn't go into Berlin as we had been there for several days earlier in the month. Those that did go complained lots about the long hot train ride and seeing very little of the city. Be aware that you spend most of the day traveling. For the most part, we heard many compliments on added excursions from those who took them. Other than Berlin, I didn't hear any complaints. The included tours were mostly an overall view of the area. By the end, most of them seemed alike. My advice is to take them if you aren't taking an optional tour. We only had one bad experience where the tour guide was terrible and the a/c on the bus wasn't working. Others had great tour guides and were short enough to not feel as if you had lost the entire day. Many of the smaller ports begin to feel alike by the end of the cruise. Silver Drink Package: I really went back and forth and finally bought this the week before sailing. Although we don't drink lots, I didn't want to think about the cost everytime I ordered a drink. I would definitely buy it again. We were able to try lots of wines off the wine menu at meals (except at Chef's Table) and were able to specify what brands we wanted when we had a night cap. Before we left I saw a drink brand menu and didn't see Maker's Mark, our favorite brand. However, Maker's was there as well as several other brands not listed. Try Beluga vodka if you haven't already done so. It was a new brand for us but very good. The best coffee is at the Bar on Deck 1. Cabin: We had a PV1 cabin on deck 6. It was very roomy and had all ammenities we could ask for. I loved the heated bathroom floor. We used the balcony quite often. I might consider a less expensive cabin on a future trip but would try to get the highest deck possible. I suspect all cabins are very comfortable. I had though the alcohol in the mini fridge might be worth the upgrade but we never used it. Note that you don't need electrical adaptors. Before the cruise I had read complaints of not enough storage. We had plenty and didnt even use some of the drawers in the cabin. Laundry: I have had a laundry package on another cruise and missed it on Viking. However, twice we took laundry down the hall and it really was no problem. Sometimes the laundry with only 3 washers and dryers can get crowded. Entertainment: We went to several shows and really enjoyed them. However, Lorile's piano playing in the Living Room and other venues may have been our favorite. At night you will enjoy strings, piano, etc in many of the public areas. We found it better to tune in to port talks on the tv rather than live. We went to one "expert talk" and found it terrible. The others could have been good but we never went back. Overall: The trip was excellent. Even with over 900 guests, the ship really never felt crowded (other than the buffet at certain times). I will mention that the guests were an older crowd. I'm 66 and felt very young! We found many couples in our age group and enjoyed meeting many new folks but there were certainly a large number of older and less able folks on the ship. One thing to note is although thre was a staff member available to book another cruise there was absolutely no pressure to do so. You had to go to her office to do so and never felt any pressure to book. I will take another Viking trip in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Very well run from embarkation to disembark experience. Check in was a breeze, no crowds. Someone took my luggage immediately and since I was early went to the World Cafe for lunch. Lots of servers and staff checking on you. My room ... Read More
Very well run from embarkation to disembark experience. Check in was a breeze, no crowds. Someone took my luggage immediately and since I was early went to the World Cafe for lunch. Lots of servers and staff checking on you. My room was scheduled to be ready at 2pm but an announcement at 1:30pm said all rooms were ready! Room was fine, second level of stateroom. Only issue was not enough closet/drawers. Next level up does. have more drawers. State room attendant Mohammed Ali was great, very attentive and personable. Room was served 2 x day. He was a highlight for me. Always greeted you by name and cheerful. Soda and snacks replenished 1X a day. Was asked what type of soda we liked and it was quickly replaced to our preference. Plenty of room for wine or beer if you purchase some and want it chilled. Bath has a drawer for each guest and several shelves. Floor is heated:) Large shower with small bench and groove fixtures. Great water pressure. retractable clothes line to hang wet swimsuits. Mirror doesn't fog. Beds are OK not the most comfortable. Plenty of room underneath to store suitcases. Good size balcony with two chairs and a table large enough to eat off. While in room coffee make is nice, with 24 hour room service not needed. The design and decor is similar to the river longships, cheery and sleek. Really beautifully appointed and not garish like other cruise lines with bright colors all over. The atrium is 3 level with ample seating. The main floor has guest services, a bar, two restaurants. Bar prices are very favorable, $8 USD for a premium drink. Wine was $5 or $6 at off meal hours ( included with lunch and dinner). Little bar snack plates with savory pastries or nuts and wasabi peas at the bars. Main floor bar has cookies all day, pastries and open faced sandwiches during the day. Explorers bar at the bow of the ship on 7th floor has lots of large windows, comfortable seating. Mamsen's is also located here, open in early am then for snacks off and on. Custom Norwegian waffles are great. World Cafe is on the back of the 7th floor, excellent buffet style with wait service. Kitchen is in the middle of the area with buffet lines on either side. Food was always fresh and a variety. Pizza, main dishes, salad bar, sushi, deserts, gelato. Main dining room is gracious and changing menu. This is slower pace of service for all meals. 3 servers assigned to each table. Attentive. Manfredi's specialty was good, we could only get in once. Chef's Table was Ok, not a favorite. Fussy with wine pairings for each course. Set menu depending on what night you go. Pool bar and grill - excellent grill to order, fresh French fires and onion rings, burgers, fish and hot dogs plus a small salad bar. One night they had a Fish n Chips night, was really great with crispy fish and chips and all the fixings. Special brunch on the last sea day took up whole middle pool area, pool grill and Wintergarden area. Very elaborate and delicious. Grilled lobster and shrimp, steaks, pasta cooked in front of you, fruit, cheese table, bread table, dessert offerings ( they were cartelizing the tops of creme brûlée in front of you) Mimosas and Bloody Marys. Well staffed and tasty. Salt water pool at back of the boat is heated with a hot tub above. Lots of towels and a shower at either side of back of cafe. Spa area therapy pool was really great. Nice facilities. Gym has towels, water and enough equipment for the amount of users. Gift shop are nicely curated, no tacky offerings. Dale of Norway sweaters, Helly Hansen jackets, and some small sundries. Jewelry shop is pretty expensive but gorgeous stuff. Now for the staff - really attentive. The Senior officers and Captain are VERY visible and always around. I was impressed at the special meals that the General Manager, Chef and beverage managers were out and about not sitting in an office. Officers like Housekeeping Manager out and visible. Servers try hard and it shows. Attentive and if there is a lapse in service because they are busy they move quickly to rectify. All the shore excursions were well organized and the few times the tenders were used very efficient and constantly running so you don't have to wait. In several ports there were shuttles to and from town, free of charge if you wanted to spend more time to shop or have a meal. Busses were clean, good drivers and tour guides. Port Talks are on the TV in your room as well as the Daily schedule and restaurant menus and opening times. It never seemed crowded at all even though it was a full ship. I am very happy with experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our second ocean cruise on Viking Sea and we wanted to see more of Norway as well as Shetland and Orkney. We flew into Bergen and were met at the airport as usual by Viking representatives and once at the port, soon had our ... Read More
This was our second ocean cruise on Viking Sea and we wanted to see more of Norway as well as Shetland and Orkney. We flew into Bergen and were met at the airport as usual by Viking representatives and once at the port, soon had our identity cards processed. We book the basic stateroom which has everything you need including a fantastic shower, a balcony, an extremely comfortable bed and free wifi (no tea and coffee in your room though). The ship is very clean and the crew are really lovely. They greet you all the time and seem genuinely happy to work for Viking. We enjoy Viking as they never try to sell you anything, you are just left to enjoy your cruise. There is so much room on board, lots of quiet places, always an included tour, free tea and coffee all the time as well as cakes and biscuits. Dinner and lunch come with free wine and beer and they are very generous with this. There is not much in the way of organised entertainment other than lectures, and some low key shows, but this suits us. On this occasion, I had booked all our tours after lunch. This worked well as we did not need to rush getting up, and had time to go into town on our own and just look round before returning for lunch and an afternoon tour. The scenery, particularly with the midnight sun, was stunning throughout Norway. We went through the Arctic Circle and stopped at Honningsvag before sailing south to Shetland. Shetland was more than we expected and again, wonderful scenery. However, we were VERY blessed with the weather and calm seas all through (apart from drizzle in Edinburgh) and missed the exceptionally hot weather in England. We always enjoy our food on board and tend to use the World Café self-service for breakfast and lunch, and the Restaurant for evening dinner. There is no need to dress up at any time - smart casual is the order of the day. The Restaurant does not accept shorts or jeans - men tend to wear short sleeved shirts and trousers - rarely a jacket. You will be allocated a table each time you go and can chose to sit on your own or with company. Viking sells mostly to the USA - probably about 80%, with others mostly coming from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Everyone is very friendly on board and we find that the Americans are all very well travelled and interested in World events. We had lots of conversations about Trump, Brexit and Boris! Viking do not take children and the age range is mostly retired and upwards although there did seem to be more of a younger element this time. People say to me that Viking is expensive, but really, we find that we don't spend any money on holiday other than some additional bar bills. They constantly hand out cold water bottles, are generous with beer and wine at meals, wifi is free, the gym is free, they often greet you with hot towels when returning from an excursion, the tours are very well organised and you almost never queue for anything. We are already booked with Viking for Alaska next year. 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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
My wife and I were anxious to try the much touted Viking Ocean. We booked a one week Rome to Barcelona cruise with a three-day pre-cruise Umbria extension. We made our own flight arrangements in order to assure only direct flights to and ... Read More
My wife and I were anxious to try the much touted Viking Ocean. We booked a one week Rome to Barcelona cruise with a three-day pre-cruise Umbria extension. We made our own flight arrangements in order to assure only direct flights to and from. We were, however, obligated to arrive on the day our extension began. Would have preferred to arrive a day or two earlier and meet the Viking guides at the airport but we were told this could not be done. I have since found out that there is a way around this by booking private transportation to the extension hotel for the first night there. Another couple in our group did this. The Umbria extension was outstanding. I have reviewed this elsewhere. Transportation from the extension to the ship was flawless though we didn't arrive until 5:00 PM with only a half hour until muster drill. As for the cruise itself, I must say that I readily understand the high marks given by the vast majority of its guests. The spotless ship, its gracious crew, its many amenities and very comfortable accommodations validate the acclamations. For me, however, there is one very prominent deficiency. This is dining. Let me hasten to say that the majority will probably disagree with me. I add this note in hopes of dissuading the many Viking defenders from venting. Folks, it's just a matter of some like chocolate while others prefer vanilla. Dining on Viking tends to be casual, and is meant to be. Of the various venues, The Restaurant (main dining room) is the only one with table linens. All others use plastic place mats. The World Cafe is the “buffet” which is cafeteria style self-service for everything except beverages which are served. This is very popular for a variety of good reasons. Guests who are in a hurry, who prefer to wear more casual clothes than suggested for other venues, who like to fill their plates with a variety of offerings, love this place. The World Cafe is always open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are two “specialty” restaurants, Manfredi's and The Chef's Table. Manfredi's has a very interesting menu with an Italian theme. The offerings are delicious and portions tend to be large. Service is as helter-skelter here as it is in all other service venues. I'll explain later. The Chef's Table offers a set menu which changes every several days. These two alternative restaurants serve dinner only and only by reservation. The remaining three food outlets are the Living Room bar, Mansen's (a Norwegian deli), and the Pool Grill. All with very good but limited menus. Of course, there is always the 24-hour option of room service which arrives promptly, on a tray, and must be consumed from your lap or shagged to the balcony table, unless you have a suite which includes a dining table. So what's my beef? Service! Everyone, in every mentioned venue and in every other part of the ship, is as gracious, friendly and accommodating as possible. It is the method obviously prescribed for them in the restaurants that troubles me. In all restaurants, one's server will introduce himself, or herself, and state that they will take care of you. That may be the only time you see him or her. Someone else may take your order, another to ask about wine, still another to bring the first course and so on. If you stick to three courses as shown on the menu this is OK. However if you veer from this, confusion and unwarranted delay result. Requesting a salad to be served after the main course, asking for a small serving of a main for a starter, or a large serving of a starter for a main just doesn't work when dealing with multiple servers. Asking one if San Pellegrino is available and being told yes, and later being told no by another, just doesn't work. This MO was very much more evident in Manfredi's and The Chef's Table than in The Restaurant. For this reason I preferred The Restaurant. We had two reservations in Manfredi's and two in The Chef's Table. We canceled one in each to return to The Restaurant. We would have been delighted to take all three meals every day in The Restaurant. Unfortunately The Restaurant serves lunch only occasionally when at sea, and does not serve breakfast before 8:00 AM which means you must dine elsewhere in order to make a early morning tour. With that off my chest, let me say that we enjoyed our first Viking cruise and would not be adverse to taking another. I am old but still a pretty fast learner and can work around the dining issues. I do want to offer special kudos to Natalie, the charming young lady who manned the desk at the entrance to The Restaurant, who always greeted me by name and “two chairs” as I preferred any table so long as it had two chairs (no banquet seat); and to Gregory from Armenia who took good care of us at the Living Room bar and saw to it that I had my breakfast oatmeal cookie in the morning and my Maker's Mark in the evening. I score our Viking cruise a 9 out of 10. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise to try out Viking Ocean cruises. It was a very nice experience! Low key luxury & excellent service! We chose a penthouse veranda for the extra space. It was super nice! This was a port-intensive cruise - ... Read More
We chose this cruise to try out Viking Ocean cruises. It was a very nice experience! Low key luxury & excellent service! We chose a penthouse veranda for the extra space. It was super nice! This was a port-intensive cruise - Livorno, Monte Carlo, Marseille & Barcelona - so no sea days. But we still managed to use the pool, gym & restaurants. All good except Chef’s Table - we didn’t care for Lotus Menu. This would not be a cruise for those desiring nonstop action. Music & dancing were available but no Big Shows, acres of shops, or rock climbing walls... Quiet, classy & no kids under 18 allowed. The ports were amazing - it was hot weather, but that’s summer...we loved Florence & Marseille especially. We only did 2 Viking excursions - in Marseille (Chateau Flauguerges wine tasting) & a panoramic tour of Barcelona. The former was extra & the latter included. Others we booked on our own. A great cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We’ve recently returned from a trip to Scandinavia that included the 22 night Majestic Fjords and Vibrant Russia cruise. We started the trip in Finland and southern Sweden before joining the cruise in Stockholm. We also extended the ... Read More
We’ve recently returned from a trip to Scandinavia that included the 22 night Majestic Fjords and Vibrant Russia cruise. We started the trip in Finland and southern Sweden before joining the cruise in Stockholm. We also extended the cruise with the Bergen to Oslo rail trip plus extra time in Oslo. There are things about the cruise that were very good. The boat is small, only about 900 passengers, and the decor is neutral (somewhere between modern Scandi and neutral high end nursing home). The gym and jogging deck were great and we made good use of them. The service is fantastic. Daisy and Ronal, who looked after our room, provided a higher standard of cleaning and organisation than any 5 star hotel I’ve stayed in (and I’ve stayed in a lot of 5 star hotels on five continents). There were a couple of experts who provided lectures and held post lecture discussions. Some of these were excellent. And travelling by ship gave us some spectacular views. There were things that fell short of our expectations. The food fell way short of my expectations. There are a number of dining options including the World Cafe, which is essentially a cafeteria, Mamsen’s, a cafe open at breakfast and lunch with a number of Nordic inspired options, The Restaurant, which is open for breakfast and dinner and is described as the premium dining option, Manfredi’s, an Italian themed restaurant, and The Chef’s table which offers a degustation experience. We had our first two meals, and indeed most of our meals during the cruise, in the World Cafe. I was quite shocked to see that the offerings included pasta and pizza kept warm under lights (probably reflecting my inexperience with cruises). The Cafe has plenty of options, some of which change from day to day, but generally the options were a bit ordinary and the steamed vegetables were invariably cold and soggy (I like to eat a lot of vegetables). We had one breakfast in The Restaurant and the food was okay but the service was chaotic. This was on our first morning on the cruise and my partner declared he wouldn’t have another breakfast there (a point he was willing to concede after two weeks of breakfasts in the Cafe). We also had a few dinners in the Restaurant and on each occasion some part of the meal would be okay to good but invariably other parts of the meal were substandard. Overall we felt it wasn’t worth changing out of jeans to dine in the restaurant. While we were offered two dates to dine in The Chef’s table, we only dined there once. Two of the courses were excellent, one okay and one unpleasant. The Mexican theme seemed a bit at odds with both the Baltic location and summer season. We cancelled our second dining option. We had a few breakfasts and perhaps five lunches at Mamsen’s but became bored with the food. We also had about seven meals in an additional dining option, The Pool Grill, but hot dogs and hamburgers weren’t really my idea of summer holiday dining and I pulled the plug on further meals at the Grill. We did have two meals at Manfredi’s and some of the courses were good but others not (my partner described them as cafeteria food delivered by a waiter). I should add that the coffee and tea on board are abysmal. A good point about the dining options was that there was seldom a wait. I can’t believe we paid $2,000/day for a cruise with such disappointing food. On top of the food, after booking the cruise that was inclusive of wine with lunch/dinner, we received an offer to upgrade our alcohol options at a cost of about $60/day for the two of us. I was so angry at the suggestion we pay extra just to have decent wine that I refused to consider it. All of the wine we had was drinkable but few wines were good. The logistics for the excursions were stunningly poor. A number of excursions required guests to meet in the theatre. On several occasions the wait in line and subsequent wait in the theatre, before disembarking, were more than 45 minutes. The line to get into the theatre went past lifts which mean people leaving the lifts were joining middle of the line, often to the audible concern of people further back in line who were afraid they would miss their excursion. The information for meeting onshore for excursions was often vague or downright wrong. This is frustrating, because it wastes precious time, and was actually quite stressful for excursions in Russia where the trip through immigration is quite intimidating. I’d add that on one occasion, early in our cruise, I asked a question of one of the more senior, public facing, staff about the meeting place for an excursion. Instead of answering me her reply was ‘didn’t you have an excursion yesterday?’. I’ve only fired a couple of people in my career but I’ve had fired her on the spot for that. I really resented, and on occasion was infuriated, every moment I spent waiting or following poor instructions. Viking needs to bring in design thinking and behaviour economic experts to work through these processes. I was also very aggravated that Viking didn’t contact us after the Sky’s incident off Stavanger earlier in the year and only replied to my queries when pressed and then with a really insulting response. Had we not paid for our cruise, I’d have cancelled, even though I’d have lost the deposit, because of the way Viking handled this. I can’t comment much on the entertainment because we weren’t interested in attending performances. Several times we encountered the pianist or the guitarist. Both were very talented but the easy easy listening selection they played held no appeal. I have a list of quibbles but my overall feeling is that Viking isn’t a luxury experience. It is aimed at middle America (and while I live in Australia, I grew up in middle America). I couldn’t recommend the cruise to anyone among our Australian family or friends without a lot of qualification (i.e. I don’t know anyone who I think would be happy with the cruise). It appears to me that Viking is trying to appeal to customers from a wider range of countries. I think they have a lot of work to do for that to be a success. I also don’t understand how they have been rated so highly as a luxury cruise. I suspect this is largely driven by the large middle American client base which biases feedback. For us, we have two or three holidays each year but I can’t imagine that we’d look at Viking again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We had been on many of the cruise lines in the past but really preferred the river cruise to the save my pool lounge chair mentality. So we thought we would give Viking Ocean cruise a try due to the number of people. We are so glad we ... Read More
We had been on many of the cruise lines in the past but really preferred the river cruise to the save my pool lounge chair mentality. So we thought we would give Viking Ocean cruise a try due to the number of people. We are so glad we did... specialty dining was so great. Easy dealing with food allergies too. The World Cafe was our choice most of the time. Great selection and after a full day of excursions we enjoyed cocktails and casual dining. The spa is the surprise. Beautiful facility open for all for free without scheduling a service. We enjoyed that daily. We also took advantage of the silver package. The wines and top shelf vodka was such a deal!! We are planning our next and will be going with Viking again. Alaska vista was indescribable, the captain did an amazing job getting us so close to Hubbard glacier and rotating 360 so everyone had a front row seat! Thanks to all Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Summary: This is a great ship for an old person who likes wine and doesn't care about entertainment. If this isn't you, it's not much fun. Also, by the time you add up the cost of airfare, all the excursions and ... Read More
Summary: This is a great ship for an old person who likes wine and doesn't care about entertainment. If this isn't you, it's not much fun. Also, by the time you add up the cost of airfare, all the excursions and gratuities, you aren't much below the cost of a luxury cruise line like Regent. IMO this ship is not a good value. Even though my wife and I did enjoy the cruise, that was because of our experiences off the ship, not because of the ship itself. Pros: 1) Ship is generally comfortable, roomy, luxurious and well-maintained - but the bathroom suffers from very poor design (see Con #4). 2) Food in all venues is outstanding. The ingredients were top-notch and the kitchen staff makes a strong effort to keep the food interesting. If wine is important to you, this may be your ship. 3) Shore excursions were pricey but excellent. Cons: 1) The average age on the ship surely must surely approach 75. At 61, I still enjoy rock and roll and laughing and being energetic. There is simply no LIFE on this ship. 2) Contributing greatly to (1) is the pervasive music aboard: You get violinists, cellists and pianists who play slow, sad, depressing music all the time. The background music could be the soundtrack for a funeral. OMG! 3) Don't expect relief in the nightly shows. All but one were done by Viking's own crew. They're talented enough, but ALL the shows were 100% singing and dancing, even the ONE show in two weeks that involved outside talent. Viking didn't bring in ANY comedians, jugglers, acrobats, or magicians. They didn't even do any game shows. This was an expensive cruise and frankly this was just crappy of Viking. 4) The shower in our cabin simply could not be adjusted to a comfortable temperature even after seeking help. There is no warm or cool. There is only "hot" or "cold." You can choose "cold" by turning the knob all the way to cold or you can choose "hot" by moving the temperature selector 1 millimeter away from "cold." Moving the selector halfway to hot would scald you. Compounding the problem is the fact that the bathroom has no ventilation fan so all that steam stays in the bathroom. Moreover, the heated floor which would normally be great becomes a problem as there is no switch to turn it off, making the bathroom hotter yet. And YES, I asked for assistance with these issues but these are engineering problems beyond the ability of the crew to make any difference. 5) Viking's web site is very poor. All excursions are selected at a specific time on ONE day, first-come, first-served. If you aren't available online at that date and time, you lose. We were flying on another trip on that date and time but thankfully our travel agent logged in for us (on Sunday!) and got most of what we wanted. That's a really poor method of selection. Furthermore, you can't even see your cruise cost or payments on the web site. Why? Who knows! Save the e-mails they send you! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We had taken a Viking River cruise and loved. I wasn't sure what to expect on there smaller ocean ships. It was and incredible surprise. They offers so much entertainment and the staff was prefect, after several days you were on a ... Read More
We had taken a Viking River cruise and loved. I wasn't sure what to expect on there smaller ocean ships. It was and incredible surprise. They offers so much entertainment and the staff was prefect, after several days you were on a first name basis, every staff member spoke English which was very nice, you wanted for absolutely nothing. Port excursions were excellent and well organized. Being 67 I appreciated this is not a cruise line for children nor is it a cruse line for gamblers who spend there day in a casino. Minus kids and gamblers made for a great atmosphere of fun and conversation. On a late arrival back to the ship after and all day trip to Berlin were were greeted by 200 of the ships crew in line out side the ship with a welcome back, music, champagne and horderves. Upon arriving at our cabin we found a plate of finger sandwiches, deserts and a bottle of win which a letter from the captain apologizing for the German train system delay, they did this for all 600 people who were on that train. Tell me what other cruise line would do that. I will continue to be a loyal Viking customer. Big ships with 5000 of your closest friends are not necessarily better Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was the first Viking Cruise we have taken, previously having sailed with Disney. The whole ship exudes quality both from the quality of furnishings, food and crew. The transfer arrangements went smoothly and without hitch. We had a ... Read More
This was the first Viking Cruise we have taken, previously having sailed with Disney. The whole ship exudes quality both from the quality of furnishings, food and crew. The transfer arrangements went smoothly and without hitch. We had a starboard cabin on deck 5 (5053) which had everything we needed and exceeded the quality of Disney product. The self service restaurant was where we had breakfast and lunch and food and choice were excellent. Evenings we are in The Restaurant which was waiter service and had the most wonderful server in Sophia - a credit to Viking, in our view. The food was well presented and delicious. One night we ate in Manfredis which was Italian specialty and delicious. We didn’t visit the Chefs Table but did lunch a couple of times in Madsens, the Scandinavian restaurant which was excellent. My only criticism was that some guests seemed to get to eat in Manfredis regularly and there should be limitations so that everyone can benefit! I have to say that the entertainment team were awesome led by Cruise Director Bevin, no mean singer in his own right either. His assistant Brian Rodriguez had an amazing voice and the vocalists Dan, Becky, Maddy and Damien performed shows each night that would not have disgraced the West End and backed by a terrific band. The crew from Capt Olav downwards were friendly and could not do enough for us. Special mention for Olex our barman as well. Shore excursions lived up to Vikings cultural enrichment theme and were well organised. We have already booked our next cruise whilst onboard! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
I would like to comment on the excellent experience we had with my wife at Viking Sky. Before leaving, we had apprehensions regarding entertainment on board and the age of the passengers. We are not young (58 and 46 years old) but we ... Read More
I would like to comment on the excellent experience we had with my wife at Viking Sky. Before leaving, we had apprehensions regarding entertainment on board and the age of the passengers. We are not young (58 and 46 years old) but we knew that the average age was higher. The truth is that although the average age is higher, it was very nice for us to be on the boat without children or teenagers, without a casino, without photographers, without sellers of trinkets. the shows were of quality, the conferences very interesting, the first level gym, the extraordinary spa, the fantastic living rooms to read, the swimming pools with sun loungers available, the exceptional food both in the buffet and in the restaurant, always, and I insist, always with tables available for dinner, breakfast and dinners. This is our 15th cruise and we have used MCS, Costa, Royal, Azamara, Princess and Celebrity, and from all of the above we can say that Viking has been our best experience and best quality price ratio. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
If you want to travel to Russia the right way, do it with Viking Cruises. Viking took exemplary care of their guests, ensuring that all of us were in good hands throughout our stay in St. Petersburg. Once you get past the ... Read More
If you want to travel to Russia the right way, do it with Viking Cruises. Viking took exemplary care of their guests, ensuring that all of us were in good hands throughout our stay in St. Petersburg. Once you get past the brilliantly-designed ship, the fantastic food and the enriching lectures - it all boils down to the destination. And Viking makes sure that the destination shines. They have the most brilliant and hard-working shore excursion team, complemented by an amazing on-board team. I still can’t get over the impeccable design, the attention to detail in every way possible, and the attentiveness of the staff and crew. Quite simply put: this is a “no-brainer” - book a Viking Ocean Cruise ASAP. Here are some quick tips: Dining While everyone raves about Mandredi’s, I thought the real star of the ship was The Chef’s Table. It offers a 5-course chef’s tasting menu, and the menu revolves on a nightly basis. The best one was The Scandinavian Bistro. It was delicious! If you are timing your reservation correctly, choose the evening that serves that theme. When making reservations on myvikingjourney.com pre-departure, they will tell you the theme for the night. The Restaurant was also fabulous. Make sure to order from the Destination Menu - it was always delicious. And make sure to try the Chairman’s poached salmon - absolutely yum. Saving the best for last - my absolute fave: Mumsen’s. I are there almost everyday. Try the following: the waffles, open faced sandwiches (the best was the liver, bacon and mushroom sandwich - OMG!). Service Fantastic! Friendly, timely and personal. The best example of this was in St. Petersburg where the officers personally made sure every passenger successfully made it through immigration - leaving and returning. I felt totally cared for. My only suggestion for improvement is for the upper class cabins (Penthouse Junior Suites) to have a Personal Concierge. That would have been fabulous. Cabins Gorgeous, beautiful interiors! Nothing to fault with the cabins. I love the heated floors. Shore Excursions Best Shore Excursion team in the high seas!! That team took such good care of everyone. Top notch, hard-working team. Special shout out to Alaina, Therena and Geraldine - these ladies were incredible. I still think they should make Alaina’s St. Petersburg port talk the permanent video in the port talk library. She was so funny! Entertainment Small but mighty team. Beven (Cruise Director) was wonderful and you can tell he loved entertaining us. The shows were small but the talent packed a punch. Incredible performers! Word of warning: once you go on a Viking Cruise, you’ll never want to try another cruise line. Be prepared for the best cruising experience of your life. My score: 9.5 / 10. 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
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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We have done 3 Viking River cruises and enjoyed them all. So, we decided it was time to try a Viking Ocean cruise. First and foremost, Viking needs to have BETTER included excursions. In just about every port the included excursion was ... Read More
We have done 3 Viking River cruises and enjoyed them all. So, we decided it was time to try a Viking Ocean cruise. First and foremost, Viking needs to have BETTER included excursions. In just about every port the included excursion was really no better than us getting off the ship to explore the little Alaska town we were in. In-fact, in Ketichikan we bought our own tickets to attend a "Lumberjack Show" (lasted just over 1 hr), and they cost $35pp. Why couldn't Viking have offered that as an included excursion? Bottom Line: Offer better included excursions and try and have more than 1 available in each port! Second, remove the curtains in the "Living Room", by the coffee bar and on the 2nd level. You can't see thru this material and it would be nice while your having a drink or coffee to see the scenery!! Third, you REALLY need to train your bartenders better. After trying two Pina Colada's and a frozen Daiquiri I gave up on any frozen offering. Each time the ice was not pulverized enough so when you tried using the straw, it would always get clogged. And yes, I went to THREE different bars and had the same very poor results. Hell, the first time my wife ordered a Banana Daiquiri, they brought it to her in a martini glass. No kidding, a Martini glass. Lastly, the entertainment was, for the most part, a joke. Every night a member of the ship's staff "entertained". The 4-some (2 guys, 2 gals) who did the Beatles show and the Abba show did a pretty good job, but the overall result was very un-polished and amateurish. We never (on a 10-night cruise), had a "head-liner" or a professional comedian or magician. Kudo's to the guys and gals who worked the stage EVERY night, but they should be "fill-in" acts not the main show each and EVERY night!!! If VIKING wants to compete with Azamara and Oceania they need to heed these words and I am sure the words of many other seasoned travelers. We have done one Azamara cruise, and VIKING isn't even close to them when it comes to food quality (and choices), entertainment, and overall service. We haven't tried Oceania yet, but have friends who have done both (Viking and Oceania), and MUCH prefer Oceania. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
The cruise was FANTASTIC. Best cruise of our 17 cruises to date. The scenery was SPECTACULAR along the Norwegian Fjords. Visiting the northernmost point of Europe at 71 degrees north was a thrill. Visiting Scotland and London was ... Read More
The cruise was FANTASTIC. Best cruise of our 17 cruises to date. The scenery was SPECTACULAR along the Norwegian Fjords. Visiting the northernmost point of Europe at 71 degrees north was a thrill. Visiting Scotland and London was equally as exciting. The Viking Sun is a VERY well managed ship. the crew was VERY friendly and professional. The ship was spotlessly clean and the food was well above our Viking expectations. The itinerary kept us constantly in awe of the beauty of the Norway coast and the British Isles. During the cruise we took 7 of our 9 tours as the included tours and felt like we saw everything and had wonderful experiences with very knowledgeable and friendly guides. Our two special tours were above and beyond for cities we have been to before (Edinburgh and London). But the regular tours were above expectations. While the first look at cost of traveling Viking appears to be higher than other cruise lines, you must take into account that you get (at no extra charge): and include tour in each port, Viking Air transport to/from airport, wine/beer with meals, specialty restaurants, soft drinks and cookies between meals, mini-bar snacks in our room, 4pm high tea, the spa, and lectures on the cultures and areas we were visiting and this was all with 5-star service and professionalism. Basically, it included EVERYTHING. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because it was offered by Viking, was a smaller ship, stayed overnight in the beginning and ending ports and visited ports in Scandinavia while excluding Russia. We did not wish to fuel the Russian economy. We had ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was offered by Viking, was a smaller ship, stayed overnight in the beginning and ending ports and visited ports in Scandinavia while excluding Russia. We did not wish to fuel the Russian economy. We had been on one Viking River Cruise so were inclined toward Viking for our first ocean cruise. Our cruise was only 11 nights but apparently the cruise continued to other ports such as Stockholm and St. Petersberg. Three weeks would have been too long for us. I had researched the ports and believed guidebooks and Viking when they described how close the dock was to town. In some cases such as Bergen, Aalborg and Stavanger it really was easy to walk into town. In others we needed a shuttle which Viking sometimes provided or taxis. In 3 ports we were beat out of the prime dock location by another ship but only once did we need to use tenders. We were really on our own in Oslo, Viking should have had shuttles there. The included excursions in Eidfjord, Stavanger and Oslo were enjoyable as well as the optional tour we took of Copenhagen. We are experienced travelers and prefered to tour on our own when possible. Guides in Oslo and Copenhagen were excellent. Sailing the fjords and visiting Bergen & Oslo were the most enjoyable locations. The main reasons we chose a cruise for this region of Europe was ease of accessing the fjords, various ports and finding food someone with Celiac disease could safely eat. We had one lunch in Oslo in a restaurant I had researched from home and that offered gluten-free options. The restaurants on the Viking Sky seemed quite good, especially the food in Manfredi's however the Restaurant or main dining room was a beautiful and reliable choice for dinner. I appreciated that the only additional costs we encountered were laundry, a spa service and an additional tip for our room steward. We may take another cruise in future but I really enjoyed our Viking River Cruise more than the ocean cruise. If they had tables for 2 on the river that would be perfect. 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
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We previously sailed on the Viking Idi/Viking Kvasir on the Rhine Getaway river cruise in June, 2016 and had such a great time we immediately booked the Alaska and the Inside Passage cruise on the Viking Orion as soon as this itinerary ... Read More
We previously sailed on the Viking Idi/Viking Kvasir on the Rhine Getaway river cruise in June, 2016 and had such a great time we immediately booked the Alaska and the Inside Passage cruise on the Viking Orion as soon as this itinerary became available in April, 2017. We were not disappointed. We have sailed on two previous ocean cruises (before Viking Ocean ships were launched) and this was by far the best. From every aspect, from trip planning and booking through shore excursions, dining, cabin, embarkation and disembarkation, our trip was virtually flawless. My wife has celiac disease and is therefore strictly gluten and soy free. We made this aware to Viking early on and Viking ensured that no matter where we dined onboard, from the Restaurant, though the World Cafe, Manfredi's and the snack bars, she was accommodated. Our restaurant manager, Ariel Aribella, ensured that no matter which venue we dined in on a particular day, my wife as able to view the next days gluten free options and select her meals in advance. The ship itself was beautiful and spotless. I have read virtually every review of the Orion since its maiden voyage and was frankly surprised at some of the negative comments. Most negative comments, not all, seemed to reflect personal preferences of the reviewer, such as food quality, cabin layout, excursion locations and guides, etc. We experienced none of these issues, except for one minor problem on the Juneau included excursion, which we believe was incorrectly described. More on that later We selected our excursions the day they became available after creating our wish list on the My Viking Journey website and each of these was available. We chose three optional and four included excursions. The best ones were the optional excursions in Sitka, Icy Strait Point, and Skagway. Our only disappointment was as stated above, the included Salmon Hatchery and Mendenhall Glacier Experience. The salmon hatchery was fine, but our only view of the Mendenhall Glacier was from an observation point five miles away and the only way we knew it was the glacier and not a cloud was because our guide told us it was. Other people on this tour had the same comments and we made our issue known to Viking Guest Services. They acknowledged they had had similar complaints and we received a phone call the next day from Viking promising to address the issue. All of our other excursions were great, from the History and Native Animals of Sitka, to the Bear Search in Icy Strait Point, and especially the White Pass Railroad in Skagway. The outstanding weather during the last two added immensely to our enjoyment of these excursions. Cabin: From our virtual exploration of the Orion on the My Viking Journey website, we pretty much knew what to expect from our Penthouse Veranda Stateroom, and we were not disappointed . The cabin was spacious for our needs, the storage spaces were more than adequate, even for our way overpacked suitcases (lesson learned). The bathroom was well laid out and we never felt crowded. The balcony was large enough and had plenty of space. Our cabin attendant, Romantino and his assistant were outstanding. Every need was immediately attended to and the cabin was spotless each time we returned. The cruise director, Spence Robson was fantastic. Not only was he constantly available around the ship, he introduced all of the activities, including the port talks, the entertainers, and the production shows, he also is a great performer. We enjoyed the production shows by the Viking Oasis show band and the Viking Vocalists. They were very professional and enthusiastic. Read Less
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