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Cahpek

Viking star with cancelled tunis/algiers port stops - our experience so far.

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Various Viking Star cruises, have already cancelled their stops at La Goulette (for Tunis) and Algiers. We understand that apart from the Dec. 21st cruise, the Jan 4th and Jan. 18th cruises , all with the same name "Southern Mediterranean Discovery" , have been cancelled.

 

This has been quite extensively been discussed especially in this linked thread https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2574444 . When that thread was first put on, only the Dec 21st cruise was affected. Since then, the later cruises were affected too.

 

THE ORIGINAL ROUTE WAS:

Civitavecchia - Trapani - LaGoulette (Tunis) - Cagliari - Algiers - Valencia - Barcelona

 

REVISED ROUTE:

Civitavecchia -Naples - Trapani - Cagliari - Palma de Mallorca - Valencia - Barcelona

 

 

It is up to Viking to decide whether the Feb 1st, Feb 15th and Mar 1st cruises may be affected.

 

VIKING STAR DEC 21st CRUISE - OUR EXPERIENCE SO FAR.

 

We are on the the Dec. 21st cruise on the Viking Star, the first of the cruises affected by the amended itinerary, and this is our experience. We hope Viking cruisers on the following Southern Med Discovery cruises who will also be affected on their Jan 4th and Jan 18th cruises may find this helpful.

 

FIRST DAY

 

We were met at Rome's Fiumicino Airport. Unless most other cruise lines, instead of meeting us at the arrival hall, Viking staff met us in the Baggage Claim section. They advised to look for our suitcases, and then, hand them over to them and they will take over to take it to the ship. All the passengers assembled at the Baggage Claim Hall and we were guided to a waiting bus outside. We were out of the airport in just about 35 - 40 mins. On previous cruises with other cruise lines, we had to wait sometimes an hour or even longer before we get to the bus for it to leave the airport. That was quite impressive.

 

When we got on the ship in Civitavecchia, one of the first things we did was to queue up at the shore excursions desks to arrange and book for new excursions at Naples and Palma de Mallorca. There was quite a long queue , but as there were three desks opened, it was not long to wait.

 

We also spoke to some of the passengers on board. Most of them we spoke to found out (about the amended schedule) around last Thursday or Friday, Dec 14th or Dec 15th. One couple from the US found that out on Thurs when the wife checked to confirm that everything was well with the visit to Algeira and Tunisia , and found the schedule has changed. She called her TA but her TA did not know then. However, she received an email from Viking the following day. They mentioned that although they were disappointed with the cancelled stops, they were pleased that one of the replacement stops was going to be Naples.

 

There was a couple who were travelling on a B2B from Barcelona to Civitavecchia, and then on Dec 21st from Civitavecchia back to Barcelona. According to the husband of the couple, they only found that out 3 days before they arrived in Civitavecchia. Coming from Barcelona, they also had their stopover in Marseille cancelled because of strong winds, so for this B2B cruise, they would lose at least 3 stops.

 

Under the circumstances, Viking appeared to handle the situation relatively well. What could have been improved, however, was the information on the Viking website.

 

Excursions for the replacement stops, at Naples and Palma de Mallorca has been arranged when we went on board, so we could book them without much hassle.

 

However, the stopover at Tripani is going to be 1 hour shorter than the original schedule. Also, the stop at the second replacement port, at Palma de Mallorca is only from 12noon till 4pm....ONLY FOUR HOURS!!!

 

THE ACCOMMODATION AND DECOR

 

The ship is beautiful. As others have mentioned on Cruise Critic, one always seem not to feel overly crowded.

 

As expected, staff on Viking and the accommodation was of a very high standard in a modern sort of way. We had to get used to some of the workings in the room, eg the lighting, but that was not really an issue. The cabin could do with more clothes hooks as the only two is in the shower room, and none in the main cabin. I did not mind, but my partner seems to miss that.

 

They had some Christmas decorations, but unlike another Viking ship (was it the Viking Sun, it had pictures on one of the threads on CruiseCritic ) which we has two big christmas in the foyer, on the Viking Star, we did not have them, which was a little disappointing. We had thought being a Scandinavian ship, it would have been "natural" to have at least one huge Christmas tree. (To be fair, it had some small ones dotted in a few parts of the ship but there was no Christmas decoration that we would go "wow" with!)

 

As it was our first experience with Viking Ocean, when we had read before that entertainment was not one its strong points, we were pleasantly surprised that the standard of the evening show, a group of two Italian men and two ladies, sang some classical music as well as Christmas numbers. They also had the audience to participate to sing "Volare". Before they finished, they sang "Arrivederci Roma" to get us into the mood that we were in Italy, and that the following day, we would be visiting Rome. It was lovely. We thoroughly enoyed it, and the standard was very high.

 

SECOND DAY

 

This morning, the second day of the cruise, we went on the included tour with a snapshot visit to central Rome and Vatican city. The weather was nice, the sun was out and it was not too cold, so that probably helped in making the visit more enjoyable.

 

It was a very early start, to assemble at 7.30am, so we had to have breakfast early. Although breakfast buffet at the World Cafe was nice, it was not as good as we had anticipated. The choice was not really very extensive . The bacon was not crisp (as we use find on many American ships, perhaps as Viking is not American,this is probably why). The fruit selection did not include exotic items like mangos (like their rival Oceania sometimes offer). Their bread choice at breakfast, was not so good (however, we discovered that the bread at Mamsens was delicious and you could have their bread in the buffet, if you wish). The scrambled eggs were dry, but when asked to cook some more and make it "runny", the cook came out with something just as "rubbery". When requested for a fried egg to be cooked with yolk well-cooked, it was runny. There was also a queue and others had quite a while to wait .

 

Some folks had mentioned that the bread at Oceania Cruises is better than on Viking. To a certain extend, it is true. In their World Cafe buffet, the bread did not seem very appealing and somewhat "dry". However, if you ask for the Scandinavian style bread from Mamsens, the ones they used to make their sandwiches, they are wonderful !

 

We did the drill. It was quite easy. Informed that we should wait at 5.30pm. An announcement came on the spot, and was informed that when we here the alarm at 5.45 we were to assemble at our allocated assembly points. All these were done quite easily

 

The Restaurant (main dining room), the service was slow compared to other cruise lines (we have been on 12 previous cruises with other lines including their "rivals" Azamara and Oceania). It took about 30 mins before the started came, and nearly another 30 mins for the main course to come. However, staff were nice and friendly. Perhaps Viking could improve their system on taking meal orders and serving them.

 

This evening, there was the show introducing the senior staff including the Captain. It was nice that the senior staff have a sense of humour , and brought this "human touch" which seems to be quite pervasive throughout the ship.

 

Although like many people, we are disappointed with missing the two stops, we are still pleased that we have chosen to cruise with Viking.

 

Tomorrow, we look forward Naples, and to our three and half hour included tour.

 

We hope that other passengers on later Southern Mediterranean Discovery cruises (Jan 4th and Jan 18th), eventhough they are affected by the amended schedule, will enjoy the cruise as much as we are right now.

 

PS: The internet on the Viking Star is not the fastest in the world, but it is free, so one has to be grateful ! (At least, I can make my current report to you on Cruise Critic!!!)

Edited by Cahpek

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We forgot to mention (above) that although the breakfast in the World Cafe was not quite up to expectations (it was by no means "bad"), the lunch at the World Cafe today was excellent. It was even better than lunch there yesterday. Their desserts were comparable to their rival Ocenia, and that's saying a lot, because we have high regards for cuisine at Oceania's. Even the choice of ice-creams today (okay, "gelato") seems to have a better selection today. And tonight, they had caviar on offer in the buffet. And if you go to the Restaurant (main dining room), they have broiled lobsters on menu. What more can you ask? We do agree that taste for food is very subjective, and no cruise ship or cruise line is perfect, but we are beginning to appreciate this cruise ship. Give us two weeks, we might fall in love with it. Time will tell !!!!

Edited by Cahpek

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We doing the B2B starting when you dock in Barcelona.

 

Lots of questions. Where did you dock in Naples? Can you give us an idea of some of the tours that are being offered in Naples? Anything that we might not have thought of that we should pack? When is the Meet and Mingle scheduled for?

 

Looking forward to the rest of your report as the days go by.

 

Thanks in advance.

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We doing the B2B starting when you dock in Barcelona.

 

Lots of questions. Where did you dock in Naples? Can you give us an idea of some of the tours that are being offered in Naples? Anything that we might not have thought of that we should pack? When is the Meet and Mingle scheduled for?

 

Looking forward to the rest of your report as the days go by.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

 

We are docking at Pier 6/7 in Naples at 8am. Back on board: 4.30pm .

 

Available excursions:

 

1) Naples Highlights (Included/Free) (3 1/2 hrs)

2) Villages & Vistas of the Amalfi Coast (8 hours)

3) Sorrento & Pompeii (7 hours)

4) Pompeii: City of Beauty & Ruin (4 hours)

5) Ancient Herculaneum (3 1/2 hours)

6) Pizza & Piazzas (4 1/2hours)

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Four hours in Palma de Mallorca??!!?? Yipes. I guess it's better than a sea day.

 

Thanks for sharing your experiences. Looking forward to more if you have time to report. :)

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We are docking at Pier 6/7 in Naples at 8am. Back on board: 4.30pm .

 

Available excursions:

 

1) Naples Highlights (Included/Free) (3 1/2 hrs)

2) Villages & Vistas of the Amalfi Coast (8 hours)

3) Sorrento & Pompeii (7 hours)

4) Pompeii: City of Beauty & Ruin (4 hours)

5) Ancient Herculaneum (3 1/2 hours)

6) Pizza & Piazzas (4 1/2hours)

 

THANK YOU!!! Especially for taking the time to type out all the tour info.

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Four hours in Palma de Mallorca??!!?? Yipes. I guess it's better than a sea day.

 

Thanks for sharing your experiences. Looking forward to more if you have time to report. :)

 

RJ, the January 4 sailing is scheduled in Palma from Noon-6pm, so double check on MVJ to see what it will be for your sailing.

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I appreciate your observations. What did you think of the tour Naples?

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Edited by VitaminSea53

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I appreciate your observations. What did you think of the tour Naples?

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

 

Just came back from the free/included "Naples Highlights" excursion.

 

Compared to yesterday's excursion to Rome, the Rome free/included excursion was miles better.

 

For the Naples Highlights excursion, the first part was quite nice, with a coach ride up the hilly area overlooking Naples Bay. There were to very short stops, the first one was a view overlooking a derelict factory which was not very inspiring. Then, we were taken to the centre of the city, and was dropped there to be on our own. More than half of the tour was a unguided and almost do-it-yourself. All the guide suggested was for us to go try some local foods in Naples. So, all in all, it was not much of an excursion and certainly nothing to write home about. The ship is docked very close to the city centre, so we just walked back. Really, Viking needs to improve offering of the Naples Highlights tour, especially when this tour was supposed to replace the excursion either in Tunis or in Algiers. In our view, this excursion was a POOR COMPENSATION. We would not recommend this excursion to anyone going on further cruises. It felt rather perfunctory in its offering. Not so good.

Edited by Cahpek

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I agree with all of the comments above.

 

Just to add, for information, that we did the inclusive tours in Rome and Naples.

 

Rome - we did the inclusive coach tour then when we stopped at the Vatican we told the tour guide that we were leaving and would make our own way back. This was about 11.15am. We had to be back on the ship at 5pm. We then had a leisurely walk around the Vatican city, pantheon, colesseum, trevi fountain etc and easily made our way to the railway station for the 15.12 train back to Citivecchetiva. Take note that the platform is as far away as you can get so don't leave it to the last minute. I booked the ticket on my phone through trainline.eu. Paid with paypal and got an electronic ticket on my phone €5. Got a taxi from the railway station to the ship €5. Arrived at the ship 16.45. Perfect.

 

Naples - again did the inclusive coach tour which was only short, then again informed the guide that we would make our own way back. Walked for over half an hour to reach the "magnificent" Christmas market (not worth the hike) then meandered back to the ship. I recommend the tour because Naples is on the side of a hill. Use the included tour as it drops you up the hill then it's an easy walk back down to the cruise terminal taking in the shops and the cafes and the atmosphere on the way.

 

Ps the cars and scooters are mad, be careful.

 

Lorna

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I agree with all of the comments above.

 

Just to add, for information, that we did the inclusive tours in Rome and Naples.

 

Rome - we did the inclusive coach tour then when we stopped at the Vatican we told the tour guide that we were leaving and would make our own way back. This was about 11.15am. We had to be back on the ship at 5pm. We then had a leisurely walk around the Vatican city, pantheon, colesseum, trevi fountain etc and easily made our way to the railway station for the 15.12 train back to Citivecchetiva. Take note that the platform is as far away as you can get so don't leave it to the last minute. I booked the ticket on my phone through trainline.eu. Paid with paypal and got an electronic ticket on my phone €5. Got a taxi from the railway station to the ship €5. Arrived at the ship 16.45. Perfect.

 

Naples - again did the inclusive coach tour which was only short, then again informed the guide that we would make our own way back. Walked for over half an hour to reach the "magnificent" Christmas market (not worth the hike) then meandered back to the ship. I recommend the tour because Naples is on the side of a hill. Use the included tour as it drops you up the hill then it's an easy walk back down to the cruise terminal taking in the shops and the cafes and the atmosphere on the way.

 

Ps the cars and scooters are mad, be careful.

 

Lorna

 

Good to hear your feedback .

 

I was talking to an American passenger on this cruise just a moment ago and she too was disappointed with the free/included excursion (Naples Highlights). She was on coach no. 11. After the group was dropped in the city centre, and were informed that they would be picked up later, they waited to be picked up and no one came.

 

Fortunately, the ship was only a few minutes from where they were left off . Even so, walking back was not too easy as there was construction here and there near the castle, and there was no proper walkway. Cars and motorcycles were rushing around the corner and one had to try to avoid being hit by them.

 

Needless to say, this American lady, she was not impressed by the excursion.

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Good to hear your feedback .

 

I was talking to an American passenger on this cruise just a moment ago and she too was disappointed with the free/included excursion (Naples Highlights). She was on coach no. 11. After the group was dropped in the city centre, and were informed that they would be picked up later, they waited to be picked up and no one came.

 

Fortunately, the ship was only a few minutes from where they were left off . Even so, walking back was not too easy as there was construction here and there near the castle, and there was no proper walkway. Cars and motorcycles were rushing around the corner and one had to try to avoid being hit by them.

 

Needless to say, this American lady, she was not impressed by the excursion.

 

 

Yes, agree, not impressed at all with the included excursion but it was a means to an end, took us into town.

 

 

Noisy place, had to take my hearing aids out, it was all too much!😅

 

Good cafes for coffee and a bun ,€2, amazing.

 

 

I'll photograph the new excursions soon and post them on here if I can find out how.

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Just came back from the free/included "Naples Highlights" excursion.

 

Compared to yesterday's excursion to Rome, the Rome free/included excursion was miles better.

 

For the Naples Highlights excursion, the first part was quite nice, with a coach ride up the hilly area overlooking Naples Bay. There were to very short stops, the first one was a view overlooking a derelict factory which was not very inspiring. Then, we were taken to the centre of the city, and was dropped there to be on our own. More than half of the tour was a unguided and almost do-it-yourself. All the guide suggested was for us to go try some local foods in Naples. So, all in all, it was not much of an excursion and certainly nothing to write home about. The ship is docked very close to the city centre, so we just walked back. Really, Viking needs to improve offering of the Naples Highlights tour, especially when this tour was supposed to replace the excursion either in Tunis or in Algiers. In our view, this excursion was a POOR COMPENSATION. We would not recommend this excursion to anyone going on further cruises. It felt rather perfunctory in its offering. Not so good.

 

I hope that both you, lornaburg and anyone else on the tour will share your observations with tellus@vikingcruises.com as soon as possible so that perhaps they will be able to make some adjustments before the next cruise--even if you just e-mail them a copy of your post.

 

In the meantime, I am following this thread and hanging on every word. Thank you for starting it. Your observations are invaluable.

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DAY 3 of VIKING SEA DEC 21st Cruise (today is Dec 23rd).

 

Woke up at late at 7.50am. We had to rush as our included tour of Naples was to assemble at 8.45am.

 

Went to the World Cafe to try and grab a quick breakfast. That was when one of my "Believes" inViking being unique has been broken.

I had thought on Viking in their buffet restaurant, there would never be a time when there was not enough tables to sit down. (Other cruise ships, maybe, but Viking Ocean? Never !!!) This morning was one of those times when the table "scrum" happened.

 

It was so busy that after getting breakfast, no free table was found to sit, so had to take it back to the room and eat, or we would have to eat standing in the restaurant!

 

The weather today in Naples is really nice, and sunny , and the temp. is 56 degrees Centigrade.

 

We had quite a long walk to get to the bus to get our excursion. No fault of Viking, it's just that the cruise terminal exit was quite far from where we exited the ship. The terminal was actually quite impressive looking - it looked more like an majestic old railway station than a cruise terminal.

 

We were sent to board one of the buses for the Naples Highlights excursion (details above).. The excursion dropped passengers half way through the tour in the city centre. We had the option of being picked up later or walked back. After talking some pictures, and walking around a bit, we walked back.

 

Lunch at the World Cafe was busy, but there was no problems finding a table. What makes cuisine about a ship to be "good" or "very good" is not that "everything" tastes perfect, but almost everyday, there is something good and which stands out. You are almost on a "Foodie's Journey of Discovery" to find out what lovely concoctions the chefs have made to (pleasantly) surprise the passengers! Also, generally, the food is more than acceptable. Viking certainly has that.Today, what was nice and tasty and somewhat special was their clear Mediterranean Soup with chicken, vegetables and noodles. It was quite funny, because on one side of the buffet, the notice described it as "Mexican" soup, but the identical dish which was displayed on the other side of the buffet restaurant , it was shown as a "Mediterranean" soup! No matter what the name or origin the soup came from, I had double helpings! The roast beef joint was tender on one side of the restaurant, but the other side of the restaurant, somehow, the beef joint was fatty and a bit chewey. For dessert, amongst other goodies, blancmage was served - it did not taste like the blacmange we made at home, it tasted rich, creamy and so much, much better. Yum. I liked their Baba au Rhum, but my partner found there was no much rum in it.

 

Another pleasant surprise we found was that the included/free wine with meals, so far, they are more than acceptable. My partner, who is a bit of a self-proclamed wine connoisseur (that means he has a collection of fine wine at home, he visits France on wine trips, and he was the chair of a wine society in a Gentleman's club, he has done a workshop on wine tasting and he is a member of the Jurard of St. Emillion - that means he wore a funny hat in a photo I had seen which was taken in some French wine ceremony. What's mkore he has quite a good nose for wine, which I do not! ), he found the wine to be more than acceptable. We had read that the included wines at meals were not usually very good - well, so far, those comments were NOT RIGHT. We liked the wine offered.

 

After lunch, we went to our cabin (we prefer to call it that , rather than a "Stateroom", the latter sounded a bit too posh and pretentious) and switched on the TV. When we switched onto the Viking Dailiy channel, we were surprised to hear the Cruise Director mentioned that the all-aboard time today in Naples is 5.30pm. In the Viking Daily newsletter, it is stated that the Back on Board time is going to be 4.30pm. We thought we did not hear that right, and we repeated the broadcast and sure enough, she said 4.30pm.

 

We called the Explorers Desk (Viking's name for Reception) but they seem rather cool about it . We were concerned because we did not want any passenger to be left in Naples while the ship sailed away! One of us went downstairs to speak to someone at the Explorer's Desk. The man there called the Assistant Cruising Director, but she seemed a bit off-handed about it. She just indicated something about passengers should know the correct time because it was stated in the Viking Daily and on the board before they leave the ship. When she was asked should the broadcast not be changed or an announcement made to highlight the mistake, but she said that could not be done.

 

It is hoped that the Captain is aware of this, and that people in the Cruising Director department are not trying to hide their mistakes! What is more important, it is hoped that every passsenger will get back on board and no one is caught by listening to what the Cruising Director mistakenly announced.

Edited by Cahpek

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Yes, agree, not impressed at all with the included excursion but it was a means to an end, took us into town.

 

 

Noisy place, had to take my hearing aids out, it was all too much!😅

 

Good cafes for coffee and a bun ,€2, amazing.

 

 

I'll photograph the new excursions soon and post them on here if I can find out how.

 

Can you tell me how do you post photographs on here? I was trying to that before but have not found the way to do so.

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Good to hear your feedback .

 

I was talking to an American passenger on this cruise just a moment ago and she too was disappointed with the free/included excursion (Naples Highlights). She was on coach no. 11. After the group was dropped in the city centre, and were informed that they would be picked up later, they waited to be picked up and no one came.

 

Fortunately, the ship was only a few minutes from where they were left off . Even so, walking back was not too easy as there was construction here and there near the castle, and there was no proper walkway. Cars and motorcycles were rushing around the corner and one had to try to avoid being hit by them.

 

Needless to say, this American lady, she was not impressed by the excursion.

Since Naples was added to the itinerary at the last minute, perhaps the best vendors were already booked up, and/or it was a new port for Viking and so they didn't have much opportunity to get the best possible tour for 900 people.

 

But thanks for the information. I need to keep telling myself that just because those included excursions don't cost me anything more, and ARE convenient, they may not be the best excursion to take!

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Can you tell me how do you post photographs on here? I was trying to that before but have not found the way to do so.

It's hard to post directly on here, as I found out before. The sizing has to be correct, for one thing, or you'll only end up posting a tiny photo! Best way to do it is to post your photos on one of the photo hosting sites (I used pbase.com) and then post a link to the picture.

 

As an alternative, you could go to Viking's website and post in the section called "My Viking Story." I just use the search button (magnifying glass?) to search for a link to that section. You'll need to put in info like city you visited and date, caption, which cruise you're on, etc. - but I did that for Cuba and figured it would be helpful to others who wanted to look back to find pictures of some of the places Viking goes. You can also write a short story if you want, but mostly I just posted a couple pictures with a caption.

 

I would love it if someone on the World Cruise would post daily on My Viking Story! Would be great pictures.

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DAY 3 of VIKING SEA DEC 21st Cruise (today is Dec 23rd).

 

Woke up at late at 7.50am. We had to rush as our included tour of Naples was to assemble at 8.45am.

 

Went to the World Cafe to try and grab a quick breakfast. That was when one of my "Believes" inViking being unique has been broken.

I had thought on Viking in their buffet restaurant, there would never be a time when there was not enough tables to sit down. (Other cruise ships, maybe, but Viking Ocean? Never !!!) This morning was one of those times when the table "scrum" happened.

 

It was so busy that after getting breakfast, no free table was found to sit, so had to take it back to the room and eat, or we would have to eat standing in the restaurant!

 

The weather today in Naples is really nice, and sunny , and the temp. is 56 degrees Centigrade.

 

We had quite a long walk to get to the bus to get our excursion. No fault of Viking, it's just that the cruise terminal exit was quite far from where we exited the ship. The terminal was actually quite impressive looking - it looked more like an majestic old railway station than a cruise terminal.

 

We were sent to board one of the buses for the Naples Highlights excursion (details above).. The excursion dropped passengers half way through the tour in the city centre. We had the option of being picked up later or walked back. After talking some pictures, and walking around a bit, we walked back.

 

Lunch at the World Cafe was busy, but there was no problems finding a table. What makes cuisine about a ship to be "good" or "very good" is not that "everything" tastes perfect, but almost everyday, there is something good and which stands out. You are almost on a "Foodie's Journey of Discovery" to find out what lovely concoctions the chefs have made to (pleasantly) surprise the passengers! Also, generally, the food is more than acceptable. Viking certainly has that.Today, what was nice and tasty and somewhat special was their clear Mediterranean Soup with chicken, vegetables and noodles. It was quite funny, because on one side of the buffet, the notice described it as "Mexican" soup, but the identical dish which was displayed on the other side of the buffet restaurant , it was shown as a "Mediterranean" soup! No matter what the name or origin the soup came from, I had double helpings! The roast beef joint was tender on one side of the restaurant, but the other side of the restaurant, somehow, the beef joint was fatty and a bit chewey. For dessert, amongst other goodies, blancmage was served - it did not taste like the blacmange we made at home, it tasted rich, creamy and so much, much better. Yum. I liked their Baba au Rhum, but my partner found there was no much rum in it.

 

Another pleasant surprise we found was that the included/free wine with meals, so far, they are more than acceptable. My partner, who is a bit of a self-proclamed wine connoisseur (that means he has a collection of fine wine at home, he visits France on wine trips, and he was the chair of a wine society in a Gentleman's club, he has done a workshop on wine tasting and he is a member of the Jurard of St. Emillion - that means he wore a funny hat in a photo I had seen which was taken in some French wine ceremony. What's mkore he has quite a good nose for wine, which I do not! ), he found the wine to be more than acceptable. We had read that the included wines at meals were not usually very good - well, so far, those comments were NOT RIGHT. We liked the wine offered.

 

After lunch, we went to our cabin (we prefer to call it that , rather than a "Stateroom", the latter sounded a bit too posh and pretentious) and switched on the TV. When we switched onto the Viking Dailiy channel, we were surprised to hear the Cruise Director mentioned that the all-aboard time today in Naples is 5.30pm. In the Viking Daily newsletter, it is stated that the Back on Board time is going to be 4.30pm. We thought we did not hear that right, and we repeated the broadcast and sure enough, she said 4.30pm.

 

We called the Explorers Desk (Viking's name for Reception) but they seem rather cool about it . We were concerned because we did not want any passenger to be left in Naples while the ship sailed away! One of us went downstairs to speak to someone at the Explorer's Desk. The man there called the Assistant Cruising Director, but she seemed a bit off-handed about it. She just indicated something about passengers should know the correct time because it was stated in the Viking Daily and on the board before they leave the ship. When she was asked should the broadcast not be changed or an announcement made to highlight the mistake, but she said that could not be done.

 

It is hoped that the Captain is aware of this, and that people in the Cruising Director department are not trying to hide their mistakes! What is more important, it is hoped that every passsenger will get back on board and no one is caught by listening to what the Cruising Director mistakenly announced.

 

When I leave the ship, I always check the poster board that indicates back on board time for cruisers and crew. That time can change due to weather conditions and what not; might want to ask the security folks or excursion folks when you leave the ship. Things on ocean cruises are not as set in stone as on river cruises, and more flexibility is needed. We've experienced quite a few changes (luckily, almost always small) over the years - some to our favor, some not.

 

Also, just a comment as to the included wines: Those can vary depending upon the itinerary. It's impossible for a cruise ship to stock ALL food and beverages for an entire cruise on embarkation day. Some of this stuff will come from a port you visit - which means it might be great in certain areas and not so great in others!

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Some of you may not know, but: 1) There are a few differences between the 2 buffet areas at World Cafe. For example, if you want pizza, you need to be on one side. 2) Occasionally Viking will offer a special "lunch" or "dinner" at the World Cafe. If the weather's good, that will be set up outside in the area between the bar and the infinity pool/dining tables. So take a peek outside if something like that is announced.

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It's hard to post directly on here, as I found out before. The sizing has to be correct, for one thing, or you'll only end up posting a tiny photo! Best way to do it is to post your photos on one of the photo hosting sites (I used pbase.com) and then post a link to the picture.

 

As an alternative, you could go to Viking's website and post in the section called "My Viking Story." I just use the search button (magnifying glass?) to search for a link to that section. You'll need to put in info like city you visited and date, caption, which cruise you're on, etc. - but I did that for Cuba and figured it would be helpful to others who wanted to look back to find pictures of some of the places Viking goes. You can also write a short story if you want, but mostly I just posted a couple pictures with a caption.

 

I would love it if someone on the World Cruise would post daily on My Viking Story! Would be great pictures.

 

I love the #My Viking Story on their web site. I check it everyday. Great pictures from both ocean and river crusiers. Some of the world cruisers have posted when they were in Cuba.

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This thread is great...I’m also onboard now and having a fabulous time so far. Today we decided to do the optional tour to Herculaneum...it was really fascinating; it was a short drive from the ship to the site and we spent most of the duration of the tour exploring the site with our guide. Even though it’s a fairly small site we didn’t go into every building and there were a couple of things we would have missed had my son not been methodically checking every exhibit. I would definitely recommend the tour.

 

We got back in sufficient time to take a walk around Naples after we had lunch. We were able to try pizza from one of the places our guide suggested earlier and we got to stick our heads into the castle.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Some of you may not know, but: 1) There are a few differences between the 2 buffet areas at World Cafe. For example, if you want pizza, you need to be on one side. 2) Occasionally Viking will offer a special "lunch" or "dinner" at the World Cafe. If the weather's good, that will be set up outside in the area between the bar and the infinity pool/dining tables. So take a peek outside if something like that is announced.

 

We know. There was supposed to be a Seafood Sailaway dinner outside the World Cafe on Day 2 leaving Civitavecchia, but as the weather was (apparently) too windy, the seafood has to be taken into the World Cafe. At least, that was what one of the chefs mentioned.

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This thread is great...I’m also onboard now and having a fabulous time so far. Today we decided to do the optional tour to Herculaneum...it was really fascinating; it was a short drive from the ship to the site and we spent most of the duration of the tour exploring the site with our guide. Even though it’s a fairly small site we didn’t go into every building and there were a couple of things we would have missed had my son not been methodically checking every exhibit. I would definitely recommend the tour.

 

We got back in sufficient time to take a walk around Naples after we had lunch. We were able to try pizza from one of the places our guide suggested earlier and we got to stick our heads into the castle.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

THANK YOU!! That is exactly what I want to do.

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