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ronbe65

Viking Star: Big Steps of a Small Ship

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After two weeks on the Viking Star...

We took this repositioning cruise from San Juan to Barcelona on theViking Star to see the new cruise line, spend our vacation days at sea on a comfortable cruise ship, and visit Barcelona.

 

I will share with you many photos I took on the Viking Star.

I will share my impressions, my observations, and my thoughts about this ship vs other ships.

I will tell you what we liked about this ship and what we did not.

 

This review is for those interesting in Viking Ocean Cruises and also for those who are dreaming of a cruise on a luxury ship.

 

Why Viking Star?

I did my pre-cruise homework and found that this was an outstanding ship that broke the old shell of so-called “luxury cruising” in it’s “brochuremeaning”.

The Viking Star is probably the first ship in “luxury or near luxury”category that is designed as a real cruise ship, not as an expensive nursingfacility packed into a small floating sink.

The cruise line adopted a principal layout and amenities of the most comfortable mid-size cruise ships (like advanced Vista-Class derivatives that are about 90,000GT).

 

Will Viking Cruises be able to bring the list of the first class amenities to a smaller scale ship without significant losses?

 

Will the copy be better than the originals?

How will it work for us?

 

Let’s see….

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It's a pleasure to take a tour of the Viking Star and step by step explore some fresh and bright ideas that have been brought to it's design.

However we found some misses as well.

 

A brief overview of the cabins on Viking Ocean cruise ships.

 

About 70% of all cabins are standard balcony cabins (316 cabins).

They appear in a few price categories from the cheapest "Veranda V1" category to more expensive "Deluxe Veranda DV1".

All veranda cabins are the same size (about 211 sq ft - excluding balcony) with minimal differences. Some V1 cabins are a bit narrower in the "sitting area".

All "Veranda" cabins (except DV1 category) features standard balconies that are of a decent size (about 40 sq ft).

DV1 cabins (there are just 12 of them) have somewhat 25-30% larger (deeper) balconies.

 

An interesting novelty is what they call "Penthouse Veranda".

What is interesting?

Typically the next step in size above standard cabins on cruise ships are mini-suites.

A mini-suite is basically a standard balcony cabin that is 50% wider.

"Penthouse Verandas" fall between standard cabins and mini-suites and are 25% wider than standard ones (104 cabins).

 

Mini-suites on Viking Ocean cruise ships are called "Penthouse Jr. Suites" (32 cabins).

 

There are 15 full suites (with separate bedrooms) on the ship.

 

 

Below: visible differences in width from standard balconies to mini-suites

 

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I was on the cruise with you and hopefully met. I am glad you are doing a review.

Thanks for taking your time and writing this review. If I may, i would like to chime in on certain things with my view.

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Standard Balcony Cabins

 

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I cannot find enogh words to say how comfortable and pleasant the bathrooms are on Viking Ocean ships.

We loved spacious and beautifully designed shower cabins, heated floor, convenient drawers.

 

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However this convenience comes at a cost.

The spacious bathroom left no other place for the closet than across the wall near the bed.

 

 

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The closet is small.

There is little space between the bed on the closet.

This is a typical issue of cabins with closets positioned across the cabin (more convenient position will be along the wall by the entrance).

 

We saw the same issue on Oceania Marina/Riviera:

 

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All cabins feature large safes and mini-bars with soft drunks (included in the price, replenished daily)

 

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A coffee maker and a convertible desk by Viking Cruises (binoculars are for "Deluxe Verandas" and up).

A coffee maker is not listed in the list of stanfard amenities for the V1 and V2 categories.

I did not witness this but if it's true... it's cheap.:(

You can see coffee makers as a standard feature on mass market ships.

 

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A standard balcony:

 

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Storage space is quite limited in the standard balcony cabins (all "Veranda" categories).

 

Very nice cabins overall (with beautifully designed bathrooms).

 

We noticed lack of life jackets in cabins on the Vikins Star.

Although they are provided on muster stations, common sense says that life jackets must be in every cabin.

I am sure that Viking Cruises are compliant with current regulations... but what are regulations?

Safety equipment on the Titanic was in compliance (even surpassed!) with regulations of that time.

So... life jackets must be in every cabin on a cruise ship. Period.

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Since we leave on our first ocean cruise next week, I am curious about the life jackets. It seems counter-intuitive to keep them in the cabins, since you would then perhaps be faced with returning to your cabin to retrieve them in the event of an emergency. Is that the standard procedure?

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Other cruise lines have begun to move jackets to the muster station, and plenty are also available on lifeboats. I feel TOTALLY comfortable with this process. Any comparison to the Titantic is really without merit.

 

As to Viking ships.. we love them. Did a mini review here and on our blog below.

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I believe that life jackets must be available in both places (cabins and muster stations).

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Other cabins

 

Penthouse Veranda

It's 25% wider, so the closet is now in the right place.

The living space is much larger.

More storage space.

The mini-bar list includes some alcoholic beverages in addition to soft drinks.

Some other "privileges" grow as cabin category goes up.

Example: 2 guaranteed priority reservations at each specialty restaurant (70 days prior).

 

 

It's a lovely cabin.

 

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"Penthouse Jr. Suites" ( Mini-Suites)

These cabins are 50% wider than standard ones.

You will see larger bathrooms and much larger balconies.

More "privileges" added.

 

 

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Full Suites

 

Viking Ocean ships offer 15 full suites that vary by layout and location.

Of course, there will be even more living space and more amenities (like bath tubs).

 

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Excellent. Wonderful pics of all the staterooms. We have just returned from a cruise on Sea and agree with what you have said, so far, about the accommodation.

We were in a Penthouse veranda. Good wardrobe, (closet) plenty of drawer space, and I loved the lift up dressing table top to store all the bits and bobs that usually get spread all over the dressing table/desk. Lovely bathroom with hot floor and efficient taps. The TV is great and the lighting is perfect.

 

However....... there is no sit up table for enjoying in stateroom dining. The rather attractive coffee table is too low, and so the dressing table is the only place to have a plate and cup. I had to eat on my lap and the OH at the desk. I keep on about this at every opportunity in the hope that the Viking powers that be will find a way to resolve this problem. There is no sit up table until you reach proper suite status, and yet meals are served in stateroom at all levels.

Please keep the photos coming. They are brilliant. Jay

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I believe that life jackets must be available in both places (cabins and muster stations).

 

There are no life jackets in the cabins.

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What balcony cabin to choose?

 

The lines of these new ships are simple and clean.

Practically all balcony cabins have unobstructed views. The only exception is a couple of aft looking suites 6098 & 6099.

 

 

It's easier to say what cabins are less desirable.

 

I would not book the cabins under the bridge.

 

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These cabins are in the bow spray area:

 

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These balconies (6098 & 6099) have partially obstructed views:

 

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Some cabins can be overlooked from open decks nearby:

 

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Thank you ronbe65 for your comments and pics! A friend absolutely loved their cruise on the Viking Sea and suggested we looked into it. I fear that we would not want to ever go on another line again. :o

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We were in the Star's PV 5013 and were quite happy with it. Could view the officers in the bridge from our veranda. Sometimes I'd wave at them and they'd wave back. We've booked that same cabin for our cruise on the Sky this January (2018).

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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....However....... there is no sit up table for enjoying in stateroom dining. The rather attractive coffee table is too low, and so the dressing table is the only place to have a plate and cup. I had to eat on my lap and the OH at the desk. I keep on about this at every opportunity in the hope that the Viking powers that be will find a way to resolve this problem. There is no sit up table until you reach proper suite status, and yet meals are served in stateroom at all levels....

 

As I look back on our 20+ cruises across many cruise lines, the vast majority had the little coffee table. We sometimes ate light food from that table or the balcony. The only time we had a table to sit at was when we had a FULL suite on NCL - never in a mini suite or any balcony/veranda. There really is no room for it in most cases.

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As I look back on our 20+ cruises across many cruise lines, the vast majority had the little coffee table. We sometimes ate light food from that table or the balcony. The only time we had a table to sit at was when we had a FULL suite on NCL - never in a mini suite or any balcony/veranda. There really is no room for it in most cases.

 

We compare Viking Ocean with Oceania, Regent and Seabourn. All those ships have a sit up table, and have proper in stateroom menus with proper service. P & O and Princess do not have comprehensive in-cabin menus so table and chairs are not required. Of course if the weather had been warm we could have eaten on the balcony on Sea, where there is a table and chairs. On Seabourn the low coffee table could be "pumped up" and used for dining. A very clever use of the space available. J

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And two more cabins that I would not book.

Suites 3000 and 3001 are located in a potentially dangerous area.

When I looked at the Viking pictures for the first time my thought was: "Louis Majesty!"

Many experienced cruisers are aware of the tragic accident happened to the Louis Majesty in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Louis Majesty (now Thompson Majesty) is slightly lager than the Viking ocean ships.

 

A couple of huge waves went over the bow and hit unprotected forwad looking windows on the lower (level with the bow) deck.

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Now let's compare the ships.

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Very similar, almost identical...

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Are Viking windows extra strong?

It does not look like that.

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This is where Viking designers did not follow their beautiful 90,000 GT role models.

What happened once may happen twice.

Louis Majesty damage images: porumbelu25@youtube

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Despite some deficiencies noted we were very pleased with Viking Star accommodations.

We had excellent service.

Cabins were kept precisely clean.

Towels were changed daily.

 

We missed pillow chicolates.

This is a nice touch of class. I see no reason for the cruise line to skip such a small but pleasant tradition.

 

Small mishaps?

We had slippers that were previously used and not clean. They were washed but not clean.

It did not affect our cruising experience because we always carry our own "nikes" to use on pool decks, beaches, spas...

 

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Touring the Viking Star interiors

 

This is something that we couldn't stop doing.

Was it the most outstanding ship we have been on?

No.

This is not the Queen Mary 2.

This is not the Allure of the Seas.

But...

Their bright ideas here and there, in every corner - what an enjoyable experience.

As I noted earlier, this ship follows the principal layout of the most comfortable ships at sea.

 

From the bow to the stern...

 

An observation deck? Here you are.

An observation lounge? Of course.

Free alternative buffet? Why do you ask...

Upper deck is open and free to use. Could it be different?

Three deck high atrium. Not more, not less.

A theater and a smaller "second stage". Like on a real ship.

A proper spa with a therapy pool. Why on a "luxury ship'???

A centrally located pool with a sliding roof. Are you sure?

The Winter garden. Are you talking about the Queen Elizabeth?

360° angle promenade deck. No, they don't build these ships any more.

Movies Under the Stars. Stop kidding me!

Two specialty restaurants...

Aft pool deck with open views. Thanks, I am tired...

 

There are just a few cruise ships at sea that can fill the list of amenities mentioned above. And this is a real luxury at sea, not "brochure" luxury.

 

That's why it is so surprising to see all that on a ship that is twice as small as the real ones...

This is without a doubt a solid base for this cruise line success.

 

This ship has been designed and built by talented people with big heart.

...By the people that think big even if they build a small ship.

 

You can feel it.

This is a kind of metaphysical substance that fills and drives this ship.

 

A few words about the Atrium.

 

 

A "Living Room Cocept"?...

Really?

 

Yes, it's a real thing.

Not just a concept on paper.

It's so vast.

For a 48,000 GT ship - it's fantastic.

You get there, you sit there, and this environment wraps you with its soft wings of relaxation and calmness.

 

No, it's not a hall of boredom, not at all.

It's a pleasant place to be.

Try to find your favorite spot.

 

Designed with modern minimalism, it offers the Viking's interpretation of a Grand Staircase on a cruise ship.

 

The monumental LED screen with ever changing images gives this public room prospective and life.

The right thing in the right place...

 

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One of the many places to sit, to talk, to think, to bring your laptop, just to listen to the quiet melody of the ship at sea far away of everything...

 

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This is a beautifully presented model of the Viking Star:

 

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Or how about this: " Munch Moments: The Viking Classical Trio present traditional Norwegian music while Munch's works celebtating nature and architecture grace the atrium screen" (the Trio is at the opposite end of the Atrium facing the screen):

 

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The screen has no rest.

Even when it's off (very rare) it is displaying an art work.

This time is for "The Black Square" by Malevich:

 

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Edited by ronbe65

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