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ronbe65

Viking Star: Big Steps of a Small Ship

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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.

 

On our two Regent Voyager World Cruises (in the standard cabins), there was a square table topped (strapped in walk-in closet) that was fitted on the bottom to sit on top of the oval cocktail table to provide a good height for in-suite dining. It was covered with a table cloth and worked very well.

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Thanks for comments!

 

Our next stop is the Winter Garden that is located next to the central pool area.

 

 

 

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This is the home of afternoon tea.

 

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A ship of sliding walls

 

Viking creators have been inventive making the ship bright, airy, open to the sea.

There are a lot of sliding door, walls, windows (and of course a sliding roof) that change smaller spaces into larger spaces, convert closed areas into open areas.

 

This glass wall that separates the Winter Garden from the pool area is actually a set of giant doors.

 

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Lanai

 

"Lanai" on the Viking ocean ships are two lateral passages that bypass the Winter Garden:

 

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These sliding glass walls can connect/separate the Winter Garden and Lanai:

 

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"A ship of sliding walls"

Great description and the main reason I am smitten with the design of Viking ships.

You pictures show this feature as one of light , openness to the sea, exactly what I missed from other ships with walls, drapes at the windows etc.

Have these sliding walls been open when in a warm climate or calm sea during a sailing?

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The walls around the Winter Garden can be open any time.

 

The in the buffet open to the open air, so, yes, good weather contitions are required.

 

We saw side walls open two times (St.Martin, Kadiz).

The rear wall (facing aft pool) was open almost every day.

 

Side walls (buffet):

 

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The rear wall (buffet):

 

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Same related to the "Restaurant" (Main Dining Room).

Its sliding walls can be open to three sides (promenade deck) but we did not see them open.

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Elevators and Stairs

 

There are six elevators on the Viking Star. It seems to be well enoght for this ship.

 

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Stairs and walls of art.

You will see scenes from the Bayeux Tapestry...

 

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Forward Observation Lounge

 

I am pleased to admit that some amenities "imported" from the most advanced cruise ships have found a better implementation on the Viking ocean ships.

 

The Forward Observaton Lounge (called "Explorer's Lunge") is an outstanding piece of modern naval architecture.

It's pretty obvious that Viking designers were building an ideal cruise ship. This is how I "read" the book called "Viking Star".

 

The two-deck-high Explorer's Lounge is a very special part where they succeded the most.

 

 

Deck 7

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Deck 8

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The Observation Deck is seen from the Explorer's Lounge

 

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This lounge houses The Mamsen's - a small buffet (we'll come back to see some Mamsen's treats).

Is there a bar? Yes, of course.

 

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Library?

There is no particular place that can be called "a library".

Instead, the books are found everywhere in the observation lounge, in the atrium, and even in the lanai.

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It's time to talk about two things.

 

The first one did not make us happy.

 

The second one was very disappointing.

 

 

The first one ....

 

Theater

 

This is a relatively small ship, so the size of the theater is predictably small.

It could have been two deck high...

Unfortunately it is only one deck high.

It's so out of context on this bright and light ship!

It's like a foreign body.

It's small, dull, uninspiring, with a ceiling on your head, poor views from distant rows (dancers' feet are not seen).

Just bland and boring.

 

Yes, a lot have been done to counterbalance this impression.

I can mention the ultramodern technology that is in use here (the stage with LED background screen, 3D cinema), nice small pillows and blankets.

 

Sliding walls?

Yes, of course.

Sliding walls can convert the two rear areas into small cinemas.

 

Please look at the photo below.

The dark wall in the far background (left) is a sliding wall that is closed. The right side is open. You can see rows of seats.

 

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What was a complete disappointment?

 

The Spa

 

We are spa people.

No proper spa means no resort ship.

No resort ship means no luxury ship.

 

Viking designers decided to build a proper cruise ship, an ideal ship.

They followed the list of amenities for a real luxury ship.

 

A proper spa is in the list.

So....

Every Viking brochure shows you a beautiful picture of the spa pool, heated tile loungers, steam room, saunas, even "the snow grotto".

This is Viking thermal suite that we were looking forward to.

 

A proper spa on a "luxury" ship?

This sounds like non-scientific fiction.

 

They have made an attempt.

This fact itself makes credit the cruise line.

 

So....

The steam room was out of order for the duration of the cruise.

 

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I have seen temporary technical problems with steam rooms on cruise ships. That could last for a day, not more.

But for 14 days??

OK, this is a temporary problem anyway. This is not a design flaw.

 

The main part of the thermal suite - the pool - that is a design flaw.

 

Let's see...

 

This is how it looks.

 

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The blue room is the snow grotto.

 

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Thermal pool

 

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What is wrong?

 

Let's take a closer look.

 

First of all, the pool is not as large as it looks on photos.

 

 

This is my photo - a typical presentation of the Viking spa:

 

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Now you see a not-so-typical photo.

The underwater part of the pool is significantly smaller:

 

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And the major fault...

This is supposed to be a "hydrotherapy pool".

It is supposed to have hydro massage jets. This is the purpose of the spa pools: hydromassage.

 

In fact there are only for underwater jets on the left side.

Two of them are useless because of the underwater bump-out.

 

The two available jets are for legs only.

 

There is a "lounging" area where you can enjoy the "bubbling" water effect.

That's it.

In the result we have just a larger jacuzzi.

 

Is it possible to swim "against current" in this pool?

"Swim against current" pools are completely different things (Princess Cruises).

But yes, you can swim a little bit on condition that you are alone in the pool.

 

Considering the amount of investment into the major part of the thermal suite... this is a huge miss.

This is not a complaint.

This is an assessment.

Even more...

I love this ship so much that this miss hurts me as if it was my own fault.

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Other faults.

 

Heated tile beds

 

I wish they were heated at least as heated floors in cabin bathrooms.

I believe the temperature is adjustable though.

 

What is not adjustable is the location.

By definition heated tile beds is a place for deep relaxation. It cannot be in the same room with a noisy pool.

 

Saunas

 

Saunas are located in the changing rooms.

Changing rooms in spas on cruise ships are separate rooms.

Changing rooms are separate rooms even in spas on German ships (where ladies and gentlemen - totally naked - share spa facilities).

 

Sauna & Changing room on Viking Star:

 

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Relaxation Room

 

A relaxation room is merely a passage between rooms ...

 

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Very unfortunate...

Viking designers have made a great attempt but in this particular area they did not learn a lesson from the larger and more comfortable ships.

 

We were on the Queen Mary 2 a few month ago.

I left my neck/shoulder pain there - in the proper hydropool.

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Open decks

 

 

This ship was designed while bean counters we sleeping.

 

That's why we don't see expensive suites in the place where observation deck should be.

We don't see extra charge restaurants where promenade deck should be.

 

We see a ship that looks like a ship, that feels like a ship, that is enjoyable as a ship.

 

Forward observation deck

 

Shall I call it beautiful?

No.

I have a better word.

This is a proper observation deck (above the bridge, with "wings" on both sides):

 

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360° promenade deck.

This spot is worth all Azamaras, Oceanias, you name it, taken together:

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Unfortunately it's not a teak deck...

Do I want too much?

 

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The main pool is centrally located.

The sliding roof is ready to help when help is needed.

 

The wall in the far background is .... a sliding wall that covers a screen for the MUTS (an abbreviation introduced many years ago by Princess - Movies Under The Stars):

 

 

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We are crossing the OCEAN:

 

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I am pleased to note that Viking Cruises have brought some improvements to the original "Advanced Vista-class" concept.

 

To be precised, they have corrected some deficiencies.

 

The first one is their combination of forward observation lounge & observation deck. Simply outstanding.

Yes, it's now better than the corresponding features on the originals.

 

The second one is not as visible but absolutely wonderful: they extended the "Lido deck" on both sides of the buffet.

Now you can get to the aft pool deck bypassing the buffet (on the original ships we have to go through the buffet or go one deck up and then down).

This also provided for "al fresco" sliding walls in the buffet.

 

 

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T

 

We are crossing the OCEAN:

 

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In this picture,are those fountains providing the water effect at the end of the pool?

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The legendary "infinity pool" is not exactly what you might expect.

 

This an early computer rendering of the Viking Star.

The aft pool (and pool deck) looks about twice as large as it really is:

 

Image source: unknown

pavc4.jpg

 

 

 

I don't want to say that the aft pool deck is crammed, but it's close to that:

 

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Someone wrote that this pool was "cantilevered".

It has been posted and reposted since then.

In fact the pool is not cantilevered - its edge is level with the edge of the deck.

What is cantilevered is an external "pocket" that prevents water from leaking to balconies down below:

 

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The pool is small but nice...

 

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Were people using the pool deck during the six sea days across the ocean? Was the roof closed for those days?

Tanks agian for this visual walk through of the Viking Satr. I will be on the Sea next year when it makes it Transatlantic. I have already picked out a spot outside Mamsen for relaxing.

I understand what you have said about the spa pool. In my view, the whole area is much better than the common area on the Celebrity ships I have been on.

I do hope you also do a review of the ports of call eventually too.:)

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In this picture,are those fountains providing the water effect at the end of the pool?

 

No, this water is from the pool. The ship experienced some motion at times. Not much.

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Were people using the pool deck during the six sea days across the ocean? Was the roof closed for those days?

Tanks agian for this visual walk through of the Viking Satr. I will be on the Sea next year when it makes it Transatlantic. I have already picked out a spot outside Mamsen for relaxing.

I understand what you have said about the spa pool. In my view, the whole area is much better than the common area on the Celebrity ships I have been on.

I do hope you also do a review of the ports of call eventually too.:)

 

You are welcome.

The pools were almost empty all the time.

The lounging area around the central pool was fairly busy.

The roof was open and closed, and then open again - depending on the weather that was mostly warm and sunny. Sea condition: mostly calm, some motion at times.

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Unfortunately it's not a teak deck...

Do I want too much?

 

2_zps2ha9yct4.jpg

I'll forgive them the teak decking because this walking/jogging track is not above or outside of any of the cabins. I wish people would stick to the Deck 2 promenade for their exercising instead of trying to use Deck 7& 8, which seems to be purposely designed so that you can't easily make a loop.

 

 

 

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I love that there is a true promenade deck that encircles the entire ship. One is not buffeted by as much wind and movement. Walking and listening to audio books is my main exercise. Kudos!

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"Sports deck" - the uppermost forward deck.

 

Viking ocean ships are too small for sizable sports courts - that we have to accept.

 

So this "Sports deck" offers some kinds of physical activity outdoors.

 

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