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vnb2003

Homeland Viking Star now

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Today is our 4th day and we are in Saint Petersburg.

My first impression/observation:

Embarkation was quick and efficient. It seemed that crew was strategicly placed to help you to find your way.

 

The room (PV) was sparkling clean. There are a lot of storage space. I knew about almost all of it BUT discovered even more ;) there is a stand below TV with 3 drawers on the left and 3 on the right sight. You have two shelves in the middle. The wooden panel below shelves ended up being largest drawer! That was an accidental but much appreciated discovery. Another discovery was two drawers under counter on both sides of sink in the bathroom :). There are also pull out shelfs, kind of night stands extensions- very neat :). Talk to your steward if you need anything. We had more hangers, changed soda for water, asked for raw sugar instead of white, etc. Everything was done right away and with a huge smile.

 

WATER. The bottled water has really bad taste. I appreciate that it's free and unlimited but really hope Viking will change the brand. I can have it only icy cold and still down more than 50% percent of my daily intake. My husband can't drink cold so he is down even more on his daily norm. Unfortunately this affects us. We usually have at least 3 quarts a day each. The biggest surprise is that all dining places have delicious water! It's filtered we were told but boy it's so tasty!

 

Room service breakfast is delicious and beautifully presented.

 

The dinners in The Restaurant were delicious with a couple of misses but overall experience is fantastic.

 

Lunch. The weakest point is lunch. You have two choices - Mamsen's for a light lunch and World Cafe. WorldCafe is very crowded with people who either came back from the tour or leaving for the tour. Why do not open The Restaurant for lunch? At least partially. The buffet has a feeling of fast food place with overwhelmed staff. The food there just ok. The ship's atmosphere is very relaxing, the dinners are very good with most of the dishes being on a gourmet side. Why not have the same at lunch time?

Oh, there are signs "Gluten Free" next to gluten free dishes. They are rather small but they are there. Maybe they need to be a different color than usual dish description?

 

I'll be happy to answer your questions. It's my turn to return a favor. I found here so many helpful tips from seasoned cruisers :)

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When we were on the SKY last spring the pool grill did indeed serve a lunch menu but as I remember it may not have opened as early as World Cafe. It had a small salad type bar, yummy burgers, hotdog, a great shrimp salad sandwhich, and forbidden onion rings or fries.

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WATER. The bottled water has really bad taste. I appreciate that it's free and unlimited but really hope Viking will change the brand. I can have it only icy cold and still down more than 50% percent of my daily intake. My husband can't drink cold so he is down even more on his daily norm. Unfortunately this affects us. We usually have at least 3 quarts a day each. The biggest surprise is that all dining places have delicious water! It's filtered we were told but boy it's so tasty!

 

 

This problem seems easily remedied--either grab a bunch of bottles and take them to your room to use the next day or ask your steward to see if he can get them for you.

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Re Water.

 

How is it straight out of the tap on Viking Ocean ships? We are usually happy with the taste and quality of the ship's water.

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A 3rd choice, the pool grill is open for lunch. Completely disagree about World Cafe lunch. It's quite decent. Saw no big crowds.

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Quick question to all who have done Homeland cruise regarding St Petersburg. Can anyone tell me about the Russian Folklore performance. Did you do the Viking one or private. Trying to decide. Can you come back from private day tour and still make the Viking evening performance. Thanks for the help

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A 3rd choice, the pool grill is open for lunch. Completely disagree about World Cafe lunch. It's quite decent. Saw no big crowds.

 

Phil, I think that it can be a matter of timing. There are days when the place is crowded and you can't find a place to sit (especially if you can't spread to the outside tables) and other days/times/moments when it isn't an issue at all.

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We just finished the Viking Homelands cruise on Saturday (July 15) and loved it. The four of us really liked the World Cafe and ate every meal there. Breakfast was very good (especially if you like crispy bacon). We always thought they had lots of choices. We also drank lots of the bottled water and did not notice a bad taste.

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Does the ship have a pool grill for a lunch option ?

Yes! Deec is right. You have burgers, hotdogs, salad, etc. Sorry I didn't mention this.

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Re Water.

 

How is it straight out of the tap on Viking Ocean ships? We are usually happy with the taste and quality of the ship's water.

 

You are right! I didn't think about this. Thank you!

 

Guys, don't be upset. Everyone has a different taste and has a right to express ones opinion. As I said "my observation". Don't be upset if some people don't like the taste of this bottled water (we do like deer park) and btw, we are not alone. Yes, we are not much in burgers and hotdogs.

 

I came to board now to share a fantastic experience we had at The Chef's Table but instead was very surprised to see some of the replies.

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A 3rd choice, the pool grill is open for lunch. Completely disagree about World Cafe lunch. It's quite decent. Saw no big crowds.

 

You were lucky. Maybe later on we will be lucky too.

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This problem seems easily remedied--either grab a bunch of bottles and take them to your room to use the next day or ask your steward to see if he can get them for you.

 

Peregrina, the problem is that this water doesn't taste good at room temperature. You have to have it icy cold. I don't know what it is maybe some minerals or something else but this water is not what we used to.

 

I will definitely try tap water. I don't know why I didn't think about this before.

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We just finished the Viking Homelands cruise on Saturday (July 15) and loved it. The four of us really liked the World Cafe and ate every meal there. Breakfast was very good (especially if you like crispy bacon). We always thought they had lots of choices. We also drank lots of the bottled water and did not notice a bad taste.

 

We love Homelands, we absolutely love people! We don't like bottled water and lunch in World Cafe just ok FOR US.

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We didn't care at all for the bottled water handed out for going on tours (the small bottles with the pink tops) which I think you must be referring to - the taste was awful! I don't like the ships "own filtered water" they leave in the stateroom and serve at table either, so I stuck to Pellegrino or Prosecco - lots of fizz in both! Ha ha!

 

Have they not opened The Restaurant for lunch at all? I imagine it depends on the itinerary but on our cruise it was certainly not open every day but it was open on sea days - we never made it there as we usually ate a late lunch or saved ourselves for afternoon tea! And then a late dinner! :D Try the shrimp with dill salad sandwich at the Pool Grill - you can always have the shrimp without the "sandwich" and there is a lovely small buffet of salads to enjoy too.

 

I agree about WC when it is very busy but we planned to avoid the very busy times and what a difference that made! If it was busy when we arrived, we simply retreated to the Aquavit Bar and passed the time happily there! What did impress me was that the buffet never looked "worked over" - the chefs/kitchen team worked hard to ensure it always looked good.

 

One more thing, I never did fancy trying the split pea soup or anything else served at Mamsens after 10pm - well apart from anything else we really didn't need any more food and not at that time! However, on our last night, while we were having our usual nightcap, one of the girls working up there asked me if I had tried Mamsen's soup and I said no. She said she would bring me some - well it was delicious! I wished I had tried it earlier! I did ask her how many people came and had the cold meat plates and she said about 20 or so each evening.

 

Edited to add: I also took the "pink tops" to our stateroom thinking the taste must be because they were no longer as cold, but even after chilling in our mini bar fridge, still that taste! But my DH didn't notice the taste so much! So there you go! Ha ha!

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We didn't care at all for the bottled water handed out for going on tours (the small bottles with the pink tops) which I think you must be referring to - the taste was awful! I don't like the ships "own filtered water" they leave in the stateroom and serve at table either, so I stuck to Pellegrino or Prosecco - lots of fizz in both! Ha ha!

 

Have they not opened The Restaurant for lunch at all? I imagine it depends on the itinerary but on our cruise it was certainly not open every day but it was open on sea days - we never made it there as we usually ate a late lunch or saved ourselves for afternoon tea! And then a late dinner! :D Try the shrimp with dill salad sandwich at the Pool Grill - you can always have the shrimp without the "sandwich" and there is a lovely small buffet of salads to enjoy too.

 

I agree about WC when it is very busy but we planned to avoid the very busy times and what a difference that made! If it was busy when we arrived, we simply retreated to the Aquavit Bar and passed the time happily there! What did impress me was that the buffet never looked "worked over" - the chefs/kitchen team worked hard to ensure it always looked good.

 

One more thing, I never did fancy trying the split pea soup or anything else served at Mamsens after 10pm - well apart from anything else we really didn't need any more food and not at that time! However, on our last night, while we were having our usual nightcap, one of the girls working up there asked me if I had tried Mamsen's soup and I said no. She said she would bring me some - well it was delicious! I wished I had tried it earlier! I did ask her how many people came and had the cold meat plates and she said about 20 or so each evening.

 

Edited to add: I also took the "pink tops" to our stateroom thinking the taste must be because they were no longer as cold, but even after chilling in our mini bar fridge, still that taste! But my DH didn't notice the taste so much! So there you go! Ha ha!

 

;)

 

I will definitely try pea soup though I agree it would be difficult at that hour :). We usually have our dinner early.

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You are right! I didn't think about this. Thank you!

 

Guys, don't be upset. Everyone has a different taste and has a right to express ones opinion. As I said "my observation". Don't be upset if some people don't like the taste of this bottled water (we do like deer park) and btw, we are not alone. Yes, we are not much in burgers and hotdogs.

 

I came to board now to share a fantastic experience we had at The Chef's Table but instead was very surprised to see some of the replies.

 

Please do share your experience of the Chef's table on your cruise.

 

I would like to do this on my upcoming Viking cruise.

Thanks for taking the time to post while on your cruise.

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We just finished the Viking Homelands cruise on Saturday (July 15) and loved it. The four of us really liked the World Cafe and ate every meal there. Breakfast was very good (especially if you like crispy bacon). We always thought they had lots of choices. We also drank lots of the bottled water and did not notice a bad taste.

 

Totally agree with your post. We got back from our Homelands tour the middle of June. We ate most of our meals in the World Cafe, also. We felt the staff did an amazing job. We had lunch in The Restaurant once but we found it too filling for us. We ate at the poolside grill and it was excellent. They certainly have more than hot dogs and burgers. I fell in love with the shrimp salad sandwich. Their salads are wonderful and fresh. I only wish we tried it sooner. We drank the bottled water and there was not a bad taste at all. We had several bottles stashed on our desk but could have put it in the cooler to keep it cold. Chefs Table was our favorite dinners and managed 3 reservations.

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Please do share your experience of the Chef's table on your cruise.

 

I would like to do this on my upcoming Viking cruise.

Thanks for taking the time to post while on your cruise.

 

Today was our 4th day so we started with the new Scandinavian menu. There are 3 menus and they change every 3 days. The dinner lasted two hours and we even didn't notice :) if you don't mind this (unfortunately some people do), you will have a great experience to remember and talk about.

 

We had raindeer consommé with ravioli for appetizer. The first course was salmon tartare rolled in gravlax on slightly pickled fresh cucumbers, poached salmon with salmon roe, and salmon mousse. It was so delicious especially salmon tartare roll! Next granita - beet, cucumbers, lemon juice, cardamom topped with orange foam. Sounds complicated but very Yummy! Main course was braised lamb shank with lamb medallion on the top with braised cabbage and boiled potato. The cabbage was too soft for our taste but lamb was divine. The desert I can't even explain but there was not a drop left on my plate and I'm not a desert person...lol. We had espresso as well.

 

The service was beyond exceptional!

 

Now all of that plus wine paring. They explain in details where the wine came from, what grapes were used, why they choose this particular wine for this particular dish. Be prepared to have 4 different drinks. In our case we had not only wine with appetizer, main course and desert but Norwegian Aquavit that was sea aged(apparently old Norwegian tradition) and had very interesting flavors and taste and paired perfectly with salmon and it was 41%! The portions were small except of main course but you hardly breathing at the end of dinner. We did chat a little (guys were busy) with the team that served us.

 

The whole experience was way above expectations. Though we love Vikings high standards, The Chef's Table experience beat it! The plank is definitely up :)

 

Our server asked us about any food allergies we might have but we fortunately we don't. At the same time we saw Chef came out and talked to a lady what he can do to accommodate her needs. Don't rob yourself of this experience if you do some diet restriction. It's good to know that Chef will find a way around.

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I was thinking about your dislike of the bottled water. I believe you can get water and ice all day long in the World Cafe. They keep glasses out. We did it for ice for our pop and I think you can get water, too.

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Thanks for your detailed review of the Chef's table. It sounds like a great food adventure. I love the wine pairing and infomation given about the wines.

I certainly make a reservation for this on my cruise in March.

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Thanks for your detailed review of the Chef's table. It sounds like a great food adventure. I love the wine pairing and infomation given about the wines.

I certainly make a reservation for this on my cruise in March.

 

I'm sure you will enjoy this! :)

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vnb2003

 

We will be on the Viking Homelands in a couple of weeks. Could you possibly look at your Viking Daily for the first day in St Petersburg and let me know what time the Viking tour "Ultimate St Petersburg" had to meet prior to their exit from the ship. We have booked a tour with Alla Tours and would like to make plans with our group to try to exit the ship prior to the large Viking tour group if possible.

 

Thank you for your help.

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IMO Pink label water was YUCK ...Blue was fine. I think Pink's label said mineral.

They ran our out of blue toward the end of our cruise.........fortunately I had some squirreled away.

 

We also enjoyed Chef's Table very much. They were always very attentive to our friend's shellfish allergy.

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vnb2003

 

We will be on the Viking Homelands in a couple of weeks. Could you possibly look at your Viking Daily for the first day in St Petersburg and let me know what time the Viking tour "Ultimate St Petersburg" had to meet prior to their exit from the ship. We have booked a tour with Alla Tours and would like to make plans with our group to try to exit the ship prior to the large Viking tour group if possible.

 

Thank you for your help.

 

Planterx2, that tour met at 7:00 am at the theater. There were two more tours that met at 6:55 am at the theater as well.

I'm already jealous that all this Homelands experience is ahead of you :)

 

Happy sailing!

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