We were on the January 24-31 sailing and like Australia08 had a wonderful cruise. Had terrific weather - mostly sunny, mid to high 80’s and quite humid. The humidity surprised me, although it shouldn’t have and was certainly better than the polar vortex passing through our hometown of Chicago that week.
I have read about the February cruises and it appears there were significant issues. I would be upset to miss a port due to propulsion issues as that is something that should be mostly within a cruise line’s control. Weather and foreign government regulations in ports is something that is typically a risk for cruisers. While we mostly take land based trips, we’ve taken 5 cruises - Royal Caribbean (x2), HAL, Celebrity and this was our first cruise with Viking. We really, really like the smaller size, good food, outstanding service, guest lecturers and quiet ambience of Viking. So much so, that although we are not big cruise people, we are thinking of booking another Viking cruise for 2020.
We tendered in Santiago de Cuba and it was a rather long tender ride, but so worth it in our opinion. We really enjoyed the Santiago de Cuba Photographs tour and felt it was well worth the money. I was surprised to read Australia08’s cruise docked there as I thought I had heard the dock was damaged due to a hurricane last fall. A co-worker is taking a Royal Caribbean cruise to Cuba in May and they have already replaced the Santiago de Cuba stop with Key West - she’s not happy. So I wonder if there is something more going on with the situation in Santiago de Cuba as many of the mass market lines seem to skipping this port per comments here on Cruise Critic.
I do do hope that Viking gains permission to dock in Havana in the near future. This would eliminate the long bus ride from Cienfuegos to Havana and allow more time to explore Havana. Even with the long bus ride, I am very happy we took the day tour to Havana.