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Found 20 results

  1. We are packing for our Adriatic cruise on the Star next week and as this is our first time on Viking Ocean we have a few questions: 1. are there standard US electrical outlets? 2. is there a makeup (magnified) mirror? Thanks in advance.
  2. 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.
  3. Looking for fellow passengers on 7/18/2019 sailing on the Viking Star.
  4. Hello everyone! I type to you from the Athens airport, literally the first downtime we have had since arriving in Venice back on May 3rd. I will try to do a full review once we get home but wanted to post a quick note to see if anyone had any specific questions that I could answer. First a few random thoughts in no particular order... Overall we loved the cruise, the ports were amazing (with the exception of Corfu, we just didn’t enjoy that stop as much as the others) and have already started to think when and how we’ll return to the Adriatic! Physically the ship is near perfection! I have never enjoyed a ship more than Viking Star! The ship was so comfortable, from the Living Room on decks 1-3, the Wintergarden, or the Explorers Lounge, every spot was just so inviting. We are normally book worms and spend most of our time on the ship buried in our Kindles, this cruise I found myself reading the random books scattered all over just as much as my Kindle. The crew! There aren’t enough words to describe just how friendly the crew Viking has onboard truly are. Thinking back I think there was literally one instance of a crew member who didn’t seem to genuinely care, perhaps it was just an off moment for him. From our cabin attendants, to waiters, to bar servers, officers, even the deck attendants washing the decks, literally every single one of them would stop and say, “Good morning!” Whatever criteria they use for hiring they shouldn’t Change a thing! In addition to the cruise we did three nights in Venice pre and 2 nights in Athens post cruise. We didn’t want to leave either city! I remember saying at breakfast our final morning in Venice, “this is the first precruise city we have visited where I don’t want to board the ship, I want more time here!” We booked our air and hotels independently, and did a mixture of both independent tours as well as a couple of the included tours. First let let me answer the question everyone we know has already asked us, “would we sail Viking Oceans again?” Sadly, most likely not. I’ll detail our reasons later. Although we LOVED the ship, and the amazing crew Viking just isn’t a good fit for us. We’ll most likely stick with Oceania. This isn’t to say there’s anything wrong with Viking Oceans, they sure have a dedicated customer base and rapid expansion plans so they must be doing something right for some people. Our first view of Viking Star from our water taxi as we arrived at the pier to board in Venice.
  5. We've been following the first tour of the season that departed from Venice. In September we'll be heading from Athens to Venice. We'd love to hear about any excursions that you enjoyed on this cruise. Since we are in the lowest level cabin, we'll be the last to book excursions so we're interested in any private tours that you took since we'll probably be blocked from many of the extra excursions. Thanks for any tips you can share.
  6. Reading one of my marine journals tonight noting an article on the CDC Vessel Sanitation Inspection Program. It mentioned Viking Star was one of 14 ships to achieve a perfect score last year. Well done Viking.
  7. We have had an incredible journey on the Viking Star. I shall do a review but if anyone has any questions fire away!
  8. Is anyone onboard now that can expand on the mechanical issues with Star that caused Santiago port stop to be cancelled? I read on another forum that the ship is SLOWLY making it's way back to Miami for repairs. Looking up the history, this is not the first time Star has had mechanical challenges. We are set to sail next week and I am hopeful things will get resolved by then, as well as for those scheduled to sail on Thursday.
  9. Ho well stocked are they and how often are they replenished?
  10. We learned an hour before tours were set to meet that the Feb. 19 port in Santiago de Cuba was cancelled due to wind. We were very disappointed, especially when Viking felt a game of cornhole was an equitable substitute for the cancelled port. I’ve reached out twice to customer relations with no reply, so perhaps there is something else aside from a bean bag toss they are working out to compensate cruisers, although an acknowledgment of receipt of my messages would be appreciated. Reading through the Cruise Critic forum, it looks like more often than not that not all ports are reached, or there is some last minute change on this Cultural Cuba Cruise. We knew they hadn’t been permitted for a Havana port even though it was on the original itinerary (a major issue for previous cruisers who didn’t know that when they booked), and they had it sorted to Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. I just read the previous sailing’s Santiago port was cancelled for illness. We are (were?) big fans of Viking, and did the Paris river cruise with few issues in 2015 (other than not being permitted to dock in central Paris, despite the itinerary, which seems to be a Viking pattern, to release an unpermitted itinerary), and no cancelled ports. In fact, we were on the boat when the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks happened and Viking went out of their way to arrange alternative excursions at no cost when we couldn’t enter the locked down city. Has anyone made it to all the ports with an unchanged itinerary on this Cultural Cuba cruise? I’m hesitant to book again with Viking if there are itineraries with routine problems that are only fixed short term rather than with a long term, stable solution. We thought we got a screaming deal (if you can call $2800pp that), but now I’m concerned this is Viking’s ‘problem child’ Cruise and any other offers will be rooted in low customer satisfaction and high dropout due to port changes, resulting in the need to drum up customers.
  11. Looking at the deck diagram on the Viking website, there is a shaded area underneath the Deck 5 PV1 cabins. Is this an obstructed view?
  12. Horn battle with the Vision of the Seas. Horns start at 4:14. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyK4VRwnvQY&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1UKnepRVuVsJOrrJrJJGoHUcmQBYfjoXE5aHihvJWNjAgezSuMnFSC14w
  13. We are scheduled on the Cuba trip on 1/3. We are late eaters (after eight). On previous cruises we never made reservations for late dining. Will we need to make reservations at any of the venues?
  14. I thought you might enjoy a photo of the Viking Star as it was docked in Stavenger, Norway. I had tried to book this cruise, but it was fully booked. I was on the Serenade of the Seas - which had an almost identical itinerary. I was quite surprised to see how identical when we docked right next to the Star.
  15. Does Viking Star do inside or outside muster drill? Thanks!
  16. We would love to hear some real time reviews from fellow cruisers on the Cultural Cuba trip. We are going to be on the same cruise on the 15th and cannot wait. Thanks.
  17. The Series is not being shown at any venue on the ship even though the big screen by the pool would be perfect. Can't even get it on stateroom TV. This is a major disappointment. What are they thinking? Can VO really be so out of touch with their own customers?
  18. Trip leaving La. on 12/13, will be at sea many days, anyone interested in playing social bridge during those days? let me know, my wife and I play. Applefritter1
  19. Haven't seen a roll call for this cruise. It will be our first one and excited to meet and mingle!
  20. Its our 4th day into cruise and we are in Malaga. We had 2 nights in Barcelona before the cruise. This was our first time so we walked the city for many hours. Sagrada is must to see. We bought our tickets in advance and passed security in no time. We had 4 pm guided tour. Someone from this forum advised to see Sagrada in afternoon to see how Beautiful it is when the sun hits the stained windows. It WAS something magical! I would also suggest to see Palau de la Musica. It’s very unusual and beautiful and airy. We also visited Mercat de Santa Caterina. There were so many goodies :) we bought 4 kinds of ham plus a few kinds of different cold cuts, fantastic mini baguettes. veggie, etc :eek: but boy all of them were very delicious! There were many cafes and restaurants there - inside and outside. Boarding took 10 min and while we had lunch our room was ready. We were so tired from all walking that we overslept next morning and missed our excursion. We talked with very nice couple from Australia and they told us that we didn’t miss anything. They were disappointed. Our excursion in Cartagena was mostly bus but had some walking as well. We passed very depressing area of former mines but the story behind it was very interesting. Our guide Estella was very good and had great sense of humor. We’ve been in Granada so we took included excursion in Malaga which was pretty good to. All these days were sunny and it is hot now. The food is very good and SS package wine list extensive with very good wines so we are happy :) Anything you want to know? Ask away
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