6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise was in celebration of our 50 wedding anniversary. We had sailed a Viking river cruise and while the ocean cruise was considerably higher in price than other cruise lines based on our river cruise we felt at ease with spending ... Read More
This cruise was in celebration of our 50 wedding anniversary. We had sailed a Viking river cruise and while the ocean cruise was considerably higher in price than other cruise lines based on our river cruise we felt at ease with spending the additional money. With air and optional tours this cruise ended up costing $20,500. Was it worth the expense yes and no. Booking the air travel though Viking resulted in some problems but not of Viking making. Our original flight was cancelled forcing us to rebook with a less favorable schedule. Upon arrival in Stockholm we discovered SAS lost my wife's luggage. Viking did a good job of helping us to recover the luggage, they offered to wash my wife clothing on a daily basis at no charge, fortunately we got her luggage prior to our departure so all was good. Our room was small but like the river ships the bathroom floor was heated which on this cruise was a great feature. The scheduled itinerary was disrupted by bad ocean conditions forcing Viking to cancel two port of calls. We spend an additional day in Russia but were not allowed off the ship due to visa restrictions. We also had to ship a port due to heavy seas cause by gale force winds. This ship lacks a lot of standard ship board activities and normally this would not have been a problem but with three "sea" days two unscheduled time seemed to drag. The food was outstanding with lobster three days and prime rib several days. Beer and wine is included at all meals, as well as offered free several other times. There is a included tour at every port of call. They were mostly walking or bus tours narrated by a tour guide. We took a number of extra tours including one in Berlin. I would like to say they were all worth the extra money, but we were cheated by our tour guide in Berlin. He was totally unprepared walked away from some of the tour group at one point in general was not a good source of information. When we complained to Viking we never even got an apology. Basically they said Oh Well. The ship lacked keeping us informed as an example the was a scheduled event which was billed as a chocolate event. Due to heavy seas it never took place. Then two night later there it was a chocolate bonanza but because it was never announced many guests including us had a standard dessert at dinner and missed out. The cruise critic meet and greet was great they had drinks and snacks and the staff showed but they were gave any formal talks just made a appearance then left. I think they were a little confused as to what it was all about. Most days the entertainment met out expectations. The ship band and musical group did a good job of keeping us entertained. Our cruise director kept us entertained as well as he stared in one of the nightly shows as a singer and patio player. Due to missing two ports of call Viking has offered a $250 per person credit toward a future cruise, a pretty weak response to missing two ports of call. The ports of call we did visit were outstanding, the weather not so much, cold and windy. Would we go again? We booked a British Isle cruise for next summer, but not with Viking as we felt it was over priced for for a nice cruise on a new ship but lacking in the personal touch . Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because we always enjoyed Viking River cruises. The ship's layout and rooms were very nice. It was very easy to get arround the ship. There were multiple restruants and they were varied enough to allow you to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we always enjoyed Viking River cruises. The ship's layout and rooms were very nice. It was very easy to get arround the ship. There were multiple restruants and they were varied enough to allow you to schedule your meals around you activities. The food were excellent. The land tours were informative and well organized. We missed two ports due to weather issues which was disappointing. Service was excellent and all crew were happy and smiled when you addressed them. Land excursions were led by well informed guides who could answer every question put to them. They adjusted the pace of the tour to keep the group together and stopped as necessary to allow the questions to be answered in detail. Entertainment was minimal and could be improved. The shows and pre-tour discussions that we attended were good. This was an adult cruise with few if any children. Embarkation and disembarkation process were well organized and went smoothly. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We had long wanted to visit many of the ports included in the Viking Homelands experience, but have, previously, planned our own travel trying to avoid anywhere with a ship in port! However, the prospect of smaller numbers and ... Read More
We had long wanted to visit many of the ports included in the Viking Homelands experience, but have, previously, planned our own travel trying to avoid anywhere with a ship in port! However, the prospect of smaller numbers and all-inclusive travel appealed, and we thoroughly enjoyed our first cruise experience! We cannot speak highly enough of the service we received! Embarkation was a breeze, the cabin every bit as lovely as the brochures promised, and the Sun itself is a work of art! Food was outstanding and the entertainment first class, whether in the public areas or theatre! We danced every night at Torshavn till they kicked us out!!! Travelling with another couple added enjoyment (we Aussies swept all before us at trivia!!) but we often went our own ways when in port and made many new friends. Unfortunately we lost two ports (and gained extra sea days) due to the weather, but this actually gave us more time to relax after busy times ashore. We did most included excursions, some of which were excellent, several optional ones with Viking and a brilliant two days in St Petersburg through Alla Tours (saw so much in a small group). It's expensive but we are so glad we took the plunge that we've just booked another! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and the rave reviews on the food aboard ship The buffet restaurant was always overcrowded and offered limited selection Food quality was also poor: Soggy pastries,over cooked sausages, strange ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and the rave reviews on the food aboard ship The buffet restaurant was always overcrowded and offered limited selection Food quality was also poor: Soggy pastries,over cooked sausages, strange tasting scrambled eggs, soggy weird tasting French fries. At lunch time the buffet was the only option The main dining room food quality lacked imagination and was of average quality at best. Little emphasis on providing regional dishes or specialities. Each of the specialty restaurants was pretentious . While having some good dishes ( veal chop in Toscana, lamb in Jacques and red ginger) the French onion soup was watery , pasta tasteless ,crepe Suzette rubbery and bitter and pastries soggy . EXTREMELY. DISAPPOINTING!! The cabins were nice with a shower and separate bath, Shore excursions were well organized and had some great guides.However several were spoilt by unfit elderly travelers ignoring fitness recommendations for the tours by selecting strenuous walking trips . Only to complain and hold up the whole group as soon as any walking was required Entertainment was on the poor side. Boarding in Stockholm was time consuming but disembarking in Copenhagen efficient Staff varied considerably in performance. Some were very friendly helpful and attentive. Others down rite rude Last Crystal cruise was superior in every aspect. I cannot imagine how Marina has a high culinary rating!!!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We traveled on the Marina on a Baltic cruise and enjoyed every minute. The ship was beautiful. Every crew member we encountered was friendly and helpful. The food was delicious. The tours enjoyable and informative with great guides. ... Read More
We traveled on the Marina on a Baltic cruise and enjoyed every minute. The ship was beautiful. Every crew member we encountered was friendly and helpful. The food was delicious. The tours enjoyable and informative with great guides. The buffet was our least favourite dining option although food was was very good it could be a little chaotic. Dining in the Grand Dining Room or one of the specialty restaurants was extremely rewarding. We enjoyed all the specialty restaurants but Red Ginger was our favourite the food was unbelievable. I still think about the duck and watermelon salad. We found the staff very accommodating when we wanted to change reservation times in the specialty restaurants. If I had a criticism I would like to see the Grand Dining Room open every day for lunch. The staff cleaning our cabin could not of been friendlier. Our veranda cabin was very comfortable. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose the Marina because of the Baltic itinerary. We were not disappointed. The stops were wonderful. St Petersburg was the highlight. We booked three days with Guide-Guru Tours. My husband was skeptical, but ended up loving the ... Read More
We chose the Marina because of the Baltic itinerary. We were not disappointed. The stops were wonderful. St Petersburg was the highlight. We booked three days with Guide-Guru Tours. My husband was skeptical, but ended up loving the personal attention. The tour days in St. Petersburg were the highlight of our trip. Our tour guide, Tatiana, knew how to avoid all the lines and get us through all the places effortlessly. She would go ahead, purchase tickets, and by the time we reached the entrance she ushered us in. She was an amazing guide and we had a very small group. Eight of us the first day, six the second and just my husband and I the third. I will never take a large group tour again after the wonderful experience we had. It is impossible to see the sights in and around St. Petersburg in a large group. We saw twice as much as many of our shipmates. An extra bonus was that booking through Guide-Guru cost less than half of what some other fellow travelers paid! We contacted them via the internet and set everything up months in advance. We were able to pay in US dollars which saved up some $$. The Marina is a wonderful ship. The crew bends over backward to make sure your needs are met. I did not see one crew member without a smile and an offer to help you in any way. The food is delicious especially in the specialty restaurants. My husband said he had never tasted such a delicious piece of roast beef as he had in "Jacques" ,and we eat at fine restaurants frequently. The ship is a perfect size, never any crowds anywhere. We booked a Concierge level room. There was a lounge and several bags of laundry were included in the price. Also, we were able to book our specialty restaurants a month before which I appreciated. I would book another cruise on this ship without hesitation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Destination, ports and season always win out over cruiseline loyalty. 12 days Stockholm to Southampton. 3 days in St. Petersburg was the highlight. Booked 3 day small group tour with Russian agent. Elisabeth of TJ Tours was outstanding! ... Read More
Destination, ports and season always win out over cruiseline loyalty. 12 days Stockholm to Southampton. 3 days in St. Petersburg was the highlight. Booked 3 day small group tour with Russian agent. Elisabeth of TJ Tours was outstanding! Recommend Nautica overnights in Stockholm Amsterdam and Copenhagen and to include a port in Norway to see the fjords.. Oceania does offer best cuisine at sea. Carlos the Maitre'D from Portugal and his gracious assistant from Thailand always greeted us by name and remembered our seating preferences in the Grand Dining Room, Breakfast Buffet Service and choices were well presented and tastefully prepared. Fine dining excelled in the specialty restaurant venues although reserving a time before 8:30 was difficult. Disappointed that Polo Grill had run out of prime rib, however the ribeye steak substituted was delicious. Adolfo from Milan was charming in Toscana. Off hours we appreciated 24/hr limited room service menu and/ casual Waves. Loved the small ship, but Nautica does need a QM2 solarium/ covered outside pool . Like verandas, outdoor pool was useless for Baltic/North Seas. Nautica band, vocalists and dancers were talented. Horizon happy hours and afternoon tea were wonderful. Having customs agent for UK on board for passport control was expeditious. It was delightful not to be pursued by omnipresent ship photographers. Overall/service attentive staff were excellent, gracious and accommodating. Except for challenges convincing Lisiam to accept our time preferences. Bundled laundry service was terrible, he returned clothes dirty and wet so I ended up redoing all in Deck 7 guest laundry. Ship excursions promotions on TV were $$$$$, inferior, laden w disclaimers. Dr. Roger Cartwright's port talks were anecdotal, boring, off topic. We used local onboard agent to plan our port visits with great independent guide experiences. Shore excursion staff was helpful, but Oceanic Club Ambassador was curt. Cruise director marketed ship activities zealously. Free internet was nearly useless despite the best effort of the IT professional on staff who was often confronted by unhappy frustrated guests. Email messages could be received but not sent. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We took an Athens-Rome Mediterranean cruise on Marina in 2017. Loved the ship and the experience. We purchased this cruise on board. Nautica is much smaller than Marina but is dated and lacks the feeling of space and luxury of Marina. ... Read More
We took an Athens-Rome Mediterranean cruise on Marina in 2017. Loved the ship and the experience. We purchased this cruise on board. Nautica is much smaller than Marina but is dated and lacks the feeling of space and luxury of Marina. Embarkation at Stockholm was quick but there was no welcome cocktail. Our room (B2) on deck 6 was adequate. The bathroom was tiny and had only a shower protected by a cheap shower curtain (no bathtub as on Marina). Storage space was adequate. Our room was cleaned spotlessly every day. One person commented that a verandah is unnecessary on cruises to northern climates and during cooler seasons, and I agree, even though we had spectacular weather (Europe had its warmest weather on record). Our stateroom was near the rear elevator (closer to the restaurants) which was convenient. Nautica has only two specialty restaurants, so we were only allowed two such meals on a 12-day cruise (no surcharge). Oddly, each time we went, there were many empty tables. It should be noted that Nautica and the other three smaller (older) ships are being "reimagined" over the next year or two and the design looks attractive. Try to hold off until the ships are done. The interiors of Nautica are dated and frumpy. For example, on Marina there were real Picasso and Miro prints, and some delightful avant-garde works of art. On Nautica, the art looked like it came from a neighbourhood art show. Yes, this is a "first world" problem, but Oceania are among the most expensive cruises on the market. PA announcements were appropriate and brief and the cruise director was excellent on them. I was also impressed by the performers. The shows were appropriately scaled and tasteful, like a nightclub rather than Vegas. On Oceania, apart from a promotional package (cabin credit, 6 excursions/cabin, etc.) everything is extra. The wine lists are extensive and extremely expensive, starting generally at US$50 (one or two bottles) and shooting up from there. There is a 7-bottle wine package for US$350.00 and the choices were decent, but I did some research and found the majority of them cost in the range of US$10-20. Huge markup. Oceania permits bringing alcohol on board, as long as it is consumed in your cabin (there is a $25.00 corkage fee if you want to bring your bottle into a restaurant). Excursions are ridiculously expensive. Imagine 30 people paying US$300 each to board a bus for a day excursion. Typical. In St Petersburg, Russia, we went on one such excursion but were allowed only to get out of the bus at certain stops to take exterior pictures. The Hermitage, which we were looking forward to as a highlight, was too brief (actually only about 2.5 hours viewing) and of course it was massively overcrowded, which is not Oceania's fault. Tour guides were generally good, except in one case we signed up for a tour of modern Scandinavian architectural landmarks in Copenhagen but the tour was a disaster because the guide was subbed in at the last minute (with apologies) and had no time to prepare, so she showed us a few buildings near where she lived and in central Copenhagen then reverted to a tour of historic buildings because the time allotment was not used up. You would think these tours would all be pre-planned so anyone with some background could step in. We were also promised a tour of a "design factory" but were taken to a retail outlet instead which lasted about 10 minutes. Having said that, the food really is, with minor exception, the best of the cruise lines. One day the head chef made his rounds in the restaurant and I had a suggestion, which he implemented. The median age of the guests on oceania is probably about 70, and the food selections especially in the buffet area were appropriate. There were a few theme days, but most guests didn't seem to take advantage. Compared to Marina, Nautica's staff were a little too relaxed and familiar for my taste. Service can be personal but it should be deferential and non-intrusive. This is trivial, but one waiter asked me as a joke if I wanted ground pepper in my dessert, which was a bit of sarcasm over always having to offer ground pepper. We laughed but I had never experienced that on Marina. There is a merit/reward system for staff, and some of them seemed a little over-anxious about making an impression. My main complaint is with their marketing and sales. Oceania spends a lot of time trying to induce people to book on board, but the actual discounts are only about 5% for cruises that may be a year or more away. They also try to pressure you with the threat of "price increases" and are not flexible dealing with repeat customers. (Our travel agent enquired about how much an upcoming price increase would be, which was refused. That's not respectful of a customer who is looking at laying out $10-$20,000.00 per cabin and up.) Their online published prices are also misleading; when we enquired about a future cruise, they quoted the price for a stateroom two levels higher than the one we specified; when our travel agent enquired we were told it was for the "extra" package that was previously complementary. These cruises generally fill up and I don't see why they need to engage in high-pressure tactics. They tout their "loyalty" programme a great deal but benefits don't really accrue until you are over 10 cruises, and even then it might amount to free laundry. We each got a lapel pin worth about $5.00 and a free cocktail at a Captain's reception for our second cruise (22 cruise days total). The rest is window-dressing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Interested in the areas visited. Embarkation and disembarkation are always smooth with Viking. People always remarked about how many Viking people were around when we were off the ship. I have noticed that they do everything but buckle ... Read More
Interested in the areas visited. Embarkation and disembarkation are always smooth with Viking. People always remarked about how many Viking people were around when we were off the ship. I have noticed that they do everything but buckle your seat belt on the plane. You would have to really try to get lost. Included shore excursions are good but could use more stops at points of interest. Cabin was very nice with good climate control. Dining was good as we ate mostly in World Cafe where the food was amazing for a buffet. Although the steam tables could be warmer. Gelato bar was my got to place every evening. Onboard entertainment was ok considering we were exhausted after being in a port all but one day. We would do another cruise with Viking be it river or ocean. We have already talked two of our friends into taking this cruise next year. Keep up the good work Viking.:) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This was on my husband's "bucket list". We looked at quite a few Baltic cruises and chose the Homelands over other ships to try out Viking Ocean and were not disappointed. There are so many complimentary amenities on ... Read More
This was on my husband's "bucket list". We looked at quite a few Baltic cruises and chose the Homelands over other ships to try out Viking Ocean and were not disappointed. There are so many complimentary amenities on Viking depending on your suite category. If you're looking for quiet entertainment, Viking Ocean is for you. You could always find a secluded place to curl up and take in the world if that's your choice. There were many included excursions and we opted to use Viator for others. We used Viator in St. Petersburg, Russia and Berlin, Germany and we were not disappointed. Don't be afraid to save money and use an outside company vs. Viking as long as they guarantee that you'll get back to the ship. We should have gone with the complimentary Viking train trip in Berlin and taken an independent tour upon arrival in Berlin as it was a several hour car ride to Berlin however we couldn't find anyone who could give us info either way. We're now telling you that the Viking train trip is good and take a tour when you get off the train in Berlin. There is no casino or children under 18. There were a few comedy shows and nightly entertainment. Always music somewhere whether it be a string quartet or piano, The median age appeared to be 60-80. We highly recommend Viking however, it was a bit more money compared to other comparable cruises example Holland America and Oceania. Read Less

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