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Sail Date: December 2018
This was the sixth cruise my wife and I have taken with Viking--four river cruises and, now, two ocean cruises. We purchased the pre-cruise extension in Lisbon because we wanted to see it on the trip. Overall, the trip was excellent. We ... Read More
This was the sixth cruise my wife and I have taken with Viking--four river cruises and, now, two ocean cruises. We purchased the pre-cruise extension in Lisbon because we wanted to see it on the trip. Overall, the trip was excellent. We are accustomed to a very high standard of performance from Viking and our expectations, for the most part were fulfilled. The ship was immaculate, well maintained and well operated. Most of the time in a crossing is devoted to sea days and rest. The entertainers on this ship were truly extraordinary. They presented music that stretched from classical opera repertoire to Motown. There are no dedicated "dancers" but the singers danced and sang and did so very professionally. They entertained! The crew were friendly as well as helpful and accommodating, including the members of the deck department. They all seemed dedicated to helping passengers enjoy a great vacation--and they succeeded. Stateroom attendants were amazingly thorough and helpful. Our air arrangements were horrible however. We were booked on a United flight that operated an old Continental 737-200. Even though we booked suite accommodations on the ship, we were given some of the least desireable seats on this very over-crowded, filthy and old aircraft. On our return, free-air flight from Miami to Jacksonville we were charged $30 per bag by American Airlines and, again, assigned the very least desireable seats on the very cramped Embaer RJ-45. We could have driven from Miami to Jacksonville and arrive sooner than we did using our Viking Air booked flight. Do not use Viking Air. Be prepared for very leisurely meals in the dining room. Plan for a couple of hours or more at dinner if you choose to take your dinner in the dining room. Service is very slow, even on this ship of only 900 passengers. Or hope that more servers are hired to provide better service. The problem is not the waiters:the problem is that there are too few of them. Afternoon tea in the Winter Garden is a highlight of each day for us. With Viking, you also can expect a robust enrichment program presented by a "Resident Historian" as well as various "Guest Lecturers." Watch the schedule carefully to plan your days in a way that permits you to take advantage of these opportunities. They are wonderful and varied. We were particularly attracted to the presentations of a flautist who talked about music and its relationships to our trip and ports of call. We also heard from an astronomer and had the opportunity to learn about ocean sailing and rowing adventures. Viking is a welcome newcomer to the ocean cruise market. It provides a superior experience and, knowing its careful attention to detail in all its operations, I expect the delays in dining service will be resolved before our next trip, which most likely will be on Viking (but without its air option). Incidentally, there were no children among the passengers and there is no children's program. This is not an experience for children. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Recently returned from ten days on board this ship for Christmas around the Med. This was by far the worse ship and the worse cruise we have ever been on. This was our second MSC cruise and what a total letdown. Firstly ... Read More
Recently returned from ten days on board this ship for Christmas around the Med. This was by far the worse ship and the worse cruise we have ever been on. This was our second MSC cruise and what a total letdown. Firstly I’ll start by saying the ship was at least clean.After that the positives end unfortunately. It’s a very basic ship with extremely limited options in regards to food,drink and entertainment.So if you one of these people that enjoy poor food poor entertainment and very poor service you will love this ship. The buffet is way too small for the size of the ship and most days there are que outside at peak times.They have tried to increase the size of the seating area by offering seats on the deck in a patio heater style seating area.This is ok in summer but not in winter and eating food off plastic plates under patio heaters isn’t my idea of fun.The choice of food at The buffet was “same old” most days and again very basic. The restaurant was a slightly better environment but being forced to sit with people even after asking to be moved three times again isn’t my idea of fun.Food was again poor. Moving onto entertainment (or lack of). There are 5 bars in total with only the Irish pub offering anything in the way of entertainment before 11pm.This consists of an Italian guitar player playing a very limited song book in very limited English.He also has to stop playing every half hour or so because they could “hear him in the theatre “ even though we could never hear the theatre. It all got very frustrating leaving people sat there with no music and zero entertainment. As for the other bars,well the Budda bar was shut most times when we walked through although we did get a drink there one night and they had a guy playing piano for a while. The main bar (Manhattan) is a strange concept. Yoga and stretch classes are the main entertainment every night before dinner. Yes you did read that right!!! The musical duo who were supposed to start at 6pm usually rolled up bout 6.15 and played a couple of iffy Spanish/Italian/French songs.The “main” entertainment then began around 11pm in this bar. Ranging from a few game show things to some music. Our main highlights consisted of seeing how long it took to get served every night in each bar. This ranged from a few mins to 39 mins which was the longest it took.We ended up changing their tile from waiters to sales prevention staff because they would do everything they could NOT to serve you. This leads me onto their “all inclusive” drinks packages. If you buy one before getting on board you are offered to “upgrade” which sounded great because we only had draught beer and wine package we took up their offer.103 euros per person for the ten days.Me being a Strongbow drinker I was happy with that. Unfortunately after day 3 they ran out of Strongbow and by day 5 still had none ( even though we had stops every day bar one) So when I decided to complain feeling I had been short changed the bar manager informed me the ship was at full capacity with Strongbow (all very confusing) still the sales prevention staff kept telling me they had none.Then to my delight I was informed they had draught Strongbow in one bar.What a blatant lie,it was some sort of cider in a box but most certainly NOT Strongbow!!!! I could go on about various other faults and cost cutting areas but I think you get the picture. My advice is avoid this ship even if the price seems quite good ( we made that mistake) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We like Viking. It was going to the Azores which we had wanted to see and had never been to during any of our travels. We have sailed on Viking Ocean 4 times now. This was a cruise that did not live up to our expectations. The cruise ... Read More
We like Viking. It was going to the Azores which we had wanted to see and had never been to during any of our travels. We have sailed on Viking Ocean 4 times now. This was a cruise that did not live up to our expectations. The cruise director was very talented herself but pretty much dominated the cruise and did not let the other entertainers perform to the best of their abilities. The food which is usually excellent was still good but the service in the restaurants was unusually slow. Disembarkation was truly a disaster. Handled by the shore excursion manager it could not have been worse. This is the second time we have had this manager for shore excursions on Viking. Unfortunately he is not the best and often unorganized or ill prepared. In addition he is not accessible and does not speak English very well which makes him hard to understand. The ship is excellent and most of the staff would do anything for you. Since this cruise had 8 scheduled sea days there should have been more activities. We would be unlikely to take such a cruise again however we most likely will travel again on Viking. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Our past experiences with Viking have all been positive. We decided to enjoy our vacation with Viking...The staff was friendly and approachable at all times..The food is excellent, with a great variety of offerings... Unfortunately due ... Read More
Our past experiences with Viking have all been positive. We decided to enjoy our vacation with Viking...The staff was friendly and approachable at all times..The food is excellent, with a great variety of offerings... Unfortunately due to rough seas, we were not able to enjoy the pool and hot tub areas....the anticipated yoga and Pilates classes were a disappointment...they were not up to a standard that I have enjoyed here at home. Not worth the additional charge in order to participate. The speakers were interesting and we enjoyed Dr. Fuller and his offerings about the Vikings and their history. Our tour and lunch in the Azores was cancelled to our disappointment...we had been looking forward to learning about the agriculture and farming activities of the island. The substitute offering, which we chose, was just average and although it included lunch, we found that to be mediocre. We have eaten several meals in Portugal when on previous trips and enjoyed the local food immensely...The offering on this Azores tour was not representative of the excellent food that is available. All in all, we had a wonderful crossing and would do it again! PS. the disembarkation in Miami was not well done...probably due to the US customs people not there on time...but hoards of guests, with their travel gear, waiting in the hallways was not a good experience. We finally went up to Deck 7 just to get out of the crush. Since we had to vacate our rooms, they were not available, but you couldn't even get off the elevators at Decks 1 or 2, because of the crowded corridors of people waiting to disembark. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Trying to find the perfect gift is always daunting, luckily i decided to gift my husband a cruise with the Msc Musica, Upon Arrival at the harbour, There was a que to get into check in and to leave your luggage, each step was even more ... Read More
Trying to find the perfect gift is always daunting, luckily i decided to gift my husband a cruise with the Msc Musica, Upon Arrival at the harbour, There was a que to get into check in and to leave your luggage, each step was even more exciting as its just one step closer to boarding, When we reached check in and all was in order my two kids, husband and i literally ran to the boarding area, We stopped quickly at the refreshments area to grab a drink and off we were ( this was so though full after waiting in the ques, a thirst quench was just what we needed) The music and the friendly staff outside just set the mood, Finally we arrived inside the ship, our passports was taken and immediately we were sent upstairs to get a wrisk band for my 7 year old, so basically this as to be worn by the child throughout the cruise, as it makes it easy to locate which cabin the child is,incase they get lost. As we explored we bought our drinks package and went on the 13th deck for our buffet lunch, this was my favourite spot throughout the cruise haha hence the weight gain, everything was perfectly set up, different types of food, bread rolls, salads, dessert, tea coffee and water is always served. We sat at a table and indulged in our scrumptious lunch btw the buffet is open 20 hours, breakfast lunch and supper, And the pizzas is thee best tasting pizzas ever, Everything is always in order as soon as u done eating theres always someone to clear up ur table. Making it easier for the next person to come in, After eating we went to our cabin to change up and went on deck to do the drill, Finally we set sail, the experience of just leaving was absolutely amazing. Everyone was filled with excitement. We had abit of a confusion with our cabin and illena from reception was the absolutely best, so friendly and she even sent up a bottle of champagne and some yummy snacks for my husband on his birthday. Theres so much to do on the ship but we mainly hung out on the deck as the kids wanted to be in the pool, there is a kiddies and teens club aswell, my 7 year old loved it and still talks about his teachers, they provide activities the entire day for the kids and believe me its so safe. They even take the kids for dinner and it's so exciting for the kiddies, Again the level of quality and security is absolutely amazing these ladies and gents are so patient and caring with the kids, Everything is always in a order, at 8pm every night we were allocated a restaurant which we could dine in, the food is absolutely amazing and our waiter was so friendly and welcoming, the manager if this restaurant was extremely rude and to be honest he was the only bad experience throughout our cruise, The shopping is a must, my husband bought me the most beautiful jewellery and the 4.5 liter drinks is absolutely well worth it, Island day: Day of island was amazing such beautiful experience, u have to get a ticket on board which will tell u what boat number u are, u go to the 4th floor and a boat awaits u, nothing to be scared about again everything is always in order and safe, when we arrived at the island the blue waters and music and views was just breathtaking. There's alot of locals selling stuff so carry some cash, it was extremely hot so we went straight to the buffet, freshly caught grilled fish and the delicious water melons and mangoes was my favourite, A dj and also a live band makes u feel so blessed just to experience this.We spent the day in the water and then finally decided to leave early as we didn't want to wait long with the kids, The boats started loading up and we finally entered the ship again, As we entered there was a gentleman handing us an ice face clothe again very well thought of as coming out from the heat, this ice cloth was a bit of heaven for us, Back to sail and after refreshing up we went on board for some activities. What amazed me was everything was always in order, the staff are all very hard working, A few are abit rude but majority are so welcoming, oh please be careful when buying drinks on the deck, if u not using ur drinks package, we paid 45 dollars for two jack Daniels and two cans of coke, yet at the bar across is was 5 dollars. So always ask the price before you purchase. The theater the night before we left was absolutely amazing we got to see the captain break some moves, so friendly so creative and overall it was definitely the best experience ooooh i forgot to mention i felt sea sick for two nights so make sure u take something and they also provide some tabs at the reception area. Would i recommended this cruise? I will be off my head not too, A lifetime experience, My Kids are still talking about it and my husband says he doesn't no how to top this for my birthday hahahah. Overall I'll be back again Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We love the size of the Viking Sun class ships and find the Viking staff very helpful welcoming.The Sun is a 2 yr old ships, which like others (e.g Viking Star) is extremely comfortable. This reposition cruise was a last minute ... Read More
We love the size of the Viking Sun class ships and find the Viking staff very helpful welcoming.The Sun is a 2 yr old ships, which like others (e.g Viking Star) is extremely comfortable. This reposition cruise was a last minute decision to primarily to celebrate my spouse's recent retirement. Viking repositions this ship from Europe to MIA where Vikings starts its World cruise offering. Therefore, the crossing offers only two ports of call (Azores and Bermuda). While most people on board were seasoned travelers, a few people were surprised that even with all the greatest technical advances this ship could rock. While we had a variety of weather, the Atlantic is not a small pond and it can be quite rough. Although I heard some complaints, I was surprised about some very unrealistic expectations. Since, we actually treated the trip as an adventure we loved it and rod ecommend that you take some Dramamine with you on any cruise . We did not need ours and the medical center could provide some, if you got seasick. Based on our sailing history, we would not rate this past cruise as extremely rough. The cabins on board the Viking Ocean are very comfortable, clean and well layout. Plenty of space to move around in with many public nooks suitable for curling up with a good book! The Viking Staff is selected for their "yes, we can" attitude. Although each one us are very unique individuals, the Viking crew is overall very happy and proud to be working for a rapidly growing company which the staff likes with a 90% retention rate over any 10 yr period. Food as expected on a cruise, is abundant, diverse and always delicious. On Christmas Eve the SUN served large steamed lobsters and perfectly executed Osso Bucco in their regular dining room. There were a few caviar offerings at the bars with all daily events and menus for all meals posted on in-room tv monitors. A few times we needed to use room service and while it too was very tasty, it could have been delivered a bit hotter. Although this cruise had only two ports of call there was plenty of entrainment. We do like the fact that Viking does not have a casino onboard. There were some small poker games and Chinese Mahjong available for those so inclined. There are also video tables where you can enjoy playing a computer black jack dealer. In addition to excellent port of call talks, Viking has a number historians, technical experts (e.g driverless car engineering), and musicians discussing their expertise in very simple and interesting presentations. Viking requires that passengers be at 16 years or old, which we found the adults to be quite friendly and open to making new acquaintances. For us, most part we found tables for two available. Since our last cruise, the bars have a greatly expanded selection of quality brands. Since I favor Tanquary Ten, I was pleased that it was available at every bar. and covered by our drink package. There is a night club for dancing and a night cap, but we did not visit it this trip.The cruise director conducted a caroling sing along in the atrium on Christmas Eve, utilizing the classical pianists, the Viking band and even the on board acoustic guitarist. Unfortunately, I did scrap up my leg at the Lisbon Airport and I needed to used the medical staff to heal it. This inconvenience limited my ability to use the abundant spa fitness services on board. The Viking Norwegian spirt shines with very unique spa treatments and many pools located in the spa, in addition to the lap pools and hot tubs found on deck. On the SUN you can elect to start in a hot sauna and then cool down in an ice room with snow. If it is your thing, there are great gym machines exist and in the morning you are invited to yoga/pilates classes. Otherwise, weather permitting, you can take to the promenade and get your exercise by running or walking around the ship with instructions on how many laps constituted a mile. All in all we enjoyed ourselves and would consider going again. We find sailings of this duration suit our life styles very well and while we liked this crossing, there are so many other offers that we have not tried. For example we doing a Panama crossing this month. Happy Cruising! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
The ship was excellent, looked brand new. Food was ideal and plenty of it, too much, my diet took a severe hit. The crew was very friendly and available for any request at any time. Responses from Guest Services were timely and complete. I ... Read More
The ship was excellent, looked brand new. Food was ideal and plenty of it, too much, my diet took a severe hit. The crew was very friendly and available for any request at any time. Responses from Guest Services were timely and complete. I really liked the fitness center, the equipment was excellent and in excellent shape. The spa was a special pleasure and we really enjoyed using the spa pool. The ship has plenty of space for everyone, I never felt crowed or that there wasn't a really nice spot to sit and read or just zone out. The dining area is spacious and we never had to wait for a meal. The preparation and menu had many items that we enjoyed and I actually sampled some things I would usually never eat. It was interesting in that respect, it was well prepared and timely. All in all this was an excellent experience and one I would recommend to anyone. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
This is a beautiful ship. We had a mini suite and thought the bathroom was great. It had a huge double sink with 2 faucets and a big shower. Worth the extra charge for sure! The room is a bit smaller than Celebrity Ships I've been on ... Read More
This is a beautiful ship. We had a mini suite and thought the bathroom was great. It had a huge double sink with 2 faucets and a big shower. Worth the extra charge for sure! The room is a bit smaller than Celebrity Ships I've been on width wise but same length. Nice room. Ample storage for clothes. The only thing I'd recommend is bring a light of some sort for the bathroom otherwise you have to turn the overhead light on during the night. We thought the food was pretty good on the ship. We did speciality dining 6 of the 7 nights and thought the food and service were really good. Ate one night in Taste, the regular dining room and thought the food was pretty good there too. We did breakfast almost every morning at either Taste or Savor and thought they were great. Service was good too. The ship is easy to navigate. Sometimes elevators are a bit full but another one comes along fairly quickly. Thought embarkation and debarkation were very easy. Everyone on the ship always has a smile and really tries hard to make your experience a good one. The Observation lounge is a great place to hang out plus they serve food all day long and there is a bar if you want a drink. As the week went along, more people found this treasure. They have comfortable furniture for reading and just watching the water. Neither of us had the drink package but we did notice that with all the people that did have it, bars were open everywhere on the ship all day long. When we were on Celebrity, it was pretty hard to find a bar open during the day except at the pool. Loved the outside deck that surrounds the specialty restaurants. Great place to hang out on the couches or to take a walk or get a drink. Really nice atmosphere and great place to watch the sun rise or set. On other ships this type of deck view is blocked by the life boats. The boats are on deck 7 on the Bliss a deck below Deck 8 where the specialty restaurants are. The ship definitely has places to view the water all the time; something that was lacking on Royal Caribbean's mega ships. On that ship, I felt like I was floating on an island where I rarely saw the water. NCL knows how to bring the ocean into the cruise experience especially when you eat outside at the specialty restaurants. Now here are my cons about the ship. The pool area is crowded and the music is SO LOUD it literally hurt my ears. I was surprised parents let their little ones hang out there...it was deafening. Actually we found the music was too loud almost everywhere. Couldn't hear the words to the music when bands played. Only the instruments. Love the adult solarium on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. NCL has a small adult area with chairs and a bar. The only problem is there is no shade even with 3 or 4 small umbrella's. Too bad cause that would have been great. Now for the shows. I liked Jersey boys although its a shorter version of the Broadway production. I left 15 minutes into Havanna. I couldn't get into it. Saw the comedienne's. Hard to get into The Social Club so appreciated the show that happened in the theater one time during the week. Liked the Beatle's tribute although again the music was so loud in a tiny venue. I missed a regular show that you could catch at either 7:30 or 9:30 on Celebrity ships. You always had to make reservations for the shows and they didn't always coincide with the times booked before you get on the ship at the specialty restaurants. Lots of stuff happened in the atrium. It's way too small for the purpose it serves for some of the shows there like the Newlywed game. People were everywhere with no seats. The theater would be a better choice for that and later in the night. The cruise director tried to make it sort of risqué yet there were young kids around cause it was pretty early. Overall, its a great ship that is staffed well. Like I mentioned earlier, the staff is always smiling and trying to make your experience a good one. I would like to see the music at a decibel that doesn't bust your eardrums and make your ears ring along with a show you could see every night with a 7:30-8:30 reservation. (Most shows were in the Atrium then) There is something for every age on this ship for sure!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Chose to go freestyle instead of Ruby Princess which has been our choice over many years to the Mexican Riviera in December. Stateroom even though midship towards the front (4009) had humming noises nonstop. Called guest services ... Read More
Chose to go freestyle instead of Ruby Princess which has been our choice over many years to the Mexican Riviera in December. Stateroom even though midship towards the front (4009) had humming noises nonstop. Called guest services several times to report it. Once an officer came and confirmed noises would make one difficult to sleep. No further follow up by guest services to tell us the reason for the noises. Entertainment nightly in the theater was excellent with wonderful production shows except for 2 nights a comedian and a magician which were also entertaining. Many venues of entertainment throughout the ship most of the time except port days. Music throughout poolside, atrium and lounges were entertaining. Good selection of menus throughout specialty, buffet and dining rooms. Had a dining package so was able to sample most of the restaurants. You could also have some complimentary meals in some of the specialty restaurants which was nice. We enjoyed Ginza and O’Sheehan’s offerings. You could always go to O’Sheehan’s which was midship and open most of the time. Nice Internet cafe with tables for playing games. Departure from the ship was a disaster with lines of people waiting to come off the ship. We chose to wait until the lines had cleared before coming off. We found wheelchair service was a premium and not enough people assisting people embarking the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
43I booked a last minute 5 night cruise on Marco Polo as it had been advertised at a very good price. I have sailed on her a number of times and have a soft spot for this elegant old cruise ship. Embarkation at Tilbury was very quick, I ... Read More
43I booked a last minute 5 night cruise on Marco Polo as it had been advertised at a very good price. I have sailed on her a number of times and have a soft spot for this elegant old cruise ship. Embarkation at Tilbury was very quick, I had allowed for travel holdups that did not occur, and arrived at the port almost two hours early, and checked in and was aboard in less than five minutes. I had a comfortable outside cabin on deck 7 with tea and coffee making facilities, which I was very happy with. It was kept spotlessly clean by my steward, who was a dab hand at providing me with a range of daily towel sculptured animals. Our first port of call was Rotterdam, which was a delight. Although free coach shuttles had been laid on, it was only a 15 minute walk from the cruise terminal to the city centre. Rotterdam is much more modern than Amsterdam, but the benefit is that you do not have the hordes of tourists to contend with. It is a lovely city to explore on foot. Our next stop was Rouen for an evening visit to the Christmas markets by the cathedral. As before, free shuttle coaches had been provided to the city centre. Rouen is beautiful, I would have liked far longer there to fully explore the place. Our third and final stop was a full day in Honfleur. We had been informed at the start of the cruise that the Christmas market in Honfleur had been delayed and would not be open for our visit. I spent the morning exploring Honfleur, which is well worth a visit, with many quaint narrow streets and ancient buildings. After returning to the ship for lunch, CMV kindly laid on free coaches to take us over the impressive Seine bridge to spend an afternoon in Le Havre. I have seen some reviews of Marco Polo where people moan about various niggles they’ve found, but these seem very unfair to me. The ship is not new, but she is smartly styled and the crew work tirelessly to keep her looking her best. I found the food in the restaurant to be very good, the beef wellington one night particularly worth a mention. Dinner consists of five courses, Cunard only serve four on QM2! My table companions all agreed the food in the restaurant was very good. There were lots of activities organized on board, regular quizzes and games, craft workshops, guest lectures (themed on Joan of Arc, Marie Antoinette and Napoleon Bonaparte which were excellent and well presented) as well as entertainment from talented musicians and an enthusiastic show team of singers and dancers. If you get a chance to do a longer cruise on this lovely liner, you are in for a little treat at the end of your meal on the last formal night. This is possibly the only ship that still does the ‘Baked Alaska’ parade properly. Take your cameras with you to dinner. I’ll say no more so as not to spoil the surprise! The baked Alaska was delicious of course. After a final day at sea, we disembarked in Avonmouth, Bristol. Read Less

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