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kjbacon

Review ... live from the Viking Sky!

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In a word: fabulous! We boarded yesterday, embarkation approached flawless. Sail away was breathtaking, no loud music or annoying announcements, no bingo or art auction advertising. The ship is understated and unpretentious elegance, absolutely perfect for us. Love our room and we slept so well in our very comfortable bed. Staff is second to none. We signed up for the Silver Beverage Package and already have found it to be well worth it ... had my first Martini yesterday and it won’t be my last! Dinner in the Chef’s Table was outstanding; it was our favorite dining spot on our first Viking cruise and is on track to be again. We have reservations for all 5 menus, some new ones from last year. The upgraded wine pairings are well worth it. More later!

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Thanks so much for your “live from” blog.

 

We are so looking forward to a Viking experience next fall. Please keep your posts coming so that we can get even more excited.

 

Enjoy every minute of your cruise.

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We have reservations for all 5 menus, some new ones from last year. The upgraded wine pairings are well worth it. More later!

 

Good to hear. Looking forward to some new choices.

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Look forward to the rest of your live review.

The chef table is something we really want to do more than once on our cruise.

And a good martini is always our choice for a pre dinner cocktail, unless it is a sidecar. :)

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Can’t wait to hear more. We are also sailing on Sky next fall.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Our first sea day could not have been better ... Merry Christmas! Breakfast in the World Cafe was delicious with plenty of variety, great service (yes, service in the buffet), and a spectacular view of Cuba in the distance. The Sky has some improvements over the Star. The pools on the Star were too deep to stand in and they were cold; the pools here on the Sky are not as cold and not as deep so they are perfect. The bars are all very nice and we are seriously enjoying our drink package! The weather is ideal so we had lunch at the pool grill and it was a treat with a darn good cheesesteak; we are from Philly so I’m qualified to say that!

 

Here’s more info on the Chef’s Table: last night was the Sweet & Salty menu that featured a Watermelon and Tomato Gazpacho with Feta, seared Scallops with Roasted Beets and Salted Passionfruit Gastric, Cantalope Granita with Crispy Prosciutto Garnish, Veal Tenderloin with Pumpkin Purée and Red Onion Marmalade, and a Grand Marnier Bavarian Cream with Basil, Strawberry, and Black Hawaiian Salt. It was amazing.

 

The next rotation is a new menu called Erling’s Nordic Bistro that features a Reindeer Consommé with Ravioli, Salmon 3 ways (poached, gravlax, and tartare with Caviar garnish), Lapland Delight Granita that I have no idea what that is yet, Lamb and Cabbage that is evidently the national dish of Norway, and a Cloudberry Soup with Vanilla and White Chocolate Panna Cotta. I’m not sure if I will try the reindeer dish or not but my husband certainly will.

 

Off to cocktail hour and another great meal. Tonight, the World Cafe, thinking about sushi and crab legs, menu also mentions Foie Gras and Seared Duck Breast along with many other dishes. Bring roomy clothes with an elastic waistband!

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Our first sea day could not have been better ... Merry Christmas! Breakfast in the World Cafe was delicious with plenty of variety, great service (yes, service in the buffet), and a spectacular view of Cuba in the distance. The Sky has some improvements over the Star. The pools on the Star were too deep to stand in and they were cold; the pools here on the Sky are not as cold and not as deep so they are perfect. The bars are all very nice and we are seriously enjoying our drink package! The weather is ideal so we had lunch at the pool grill and it was a treat with a darn good cheesesteak; we are from Philly so I’m qualified to say that!

 

Here’s more info on the Chef’s Table: last night was the Sweet & Salty menu that featured a Watermelon and Tomato Gazpacho with Feta, seared Scallops with Roasted Beets and Salted Passionfruit Gastric, Cantalope Granita with Crispy Prosciutto Garnish, Veal Tenderloin with Pumpkin Purée and Red Onion Marmalade, and a Grand Marnier Bavarian Cream with Basil, Strawberry, and Black Hawaiian Salt. It was amazing.

 

The next rotation is a new menu called Erling’s Nordic Bistro that features a Reindeer Consommé with Ravioli, Salmon 3 ways (poached, gravlax, and tartare with Caviar garnish), Lapland Delight Granita that I have no idea what that is yet, Lamb and Cabbage that is evidently the national dish of Norway, and a Cloudberry Soup with Vanilla and White Chocolate Panna Cotta. I’m not sure if I will try the reindeer dish or not but my husband certainly will.

 

Off to cocktail hour and another great meal. Tonight, the World Cafe, thinking about sushi and crab legs, menu also mentions Foie Gras and Seared Duck Breast along with many other dishes. Bring roomy clothes with an elastic waistband!

 

LOL. I only bring knits!

 

Thanks for the heads up on the CT menus. Both look good--except for the reindeer and the scallops--, so I'm hoping they are both on the rotations for our sailing.

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The Scallop Dish was outstanding, perfectly cooked, but I love Scallops. I’m not sure if I’ll try the reindeer or not, I’m often one to shy away from the too different but with enough dirty vodka martinis, well I just don’t know. By bedtime last night, I’d have tried almost anything!! Did I mention that you should get the drink package? Way too much fun!

 

Christmas on board was lovely. They had a fish station set up under the stars behind the World Cafe with Caviar, Mussels, and Fish Filets, with all the accompaniments. Soft, classic Christmas Carols in the background and gorgeous weather made for a most memorable Christmas dinner. One suggestion for you is to ask questions since the communication could be improved. We were (pleasantly)surprised by the Caviar station but were simply lucky to have discovered it. I don’t think anyone else knew either because it was nearly deserted. We found out yesterday that lobster night was moved to day one but again, no word on that so we missed it. Today I will ask around to see if there will be a second lobster night and if not, I’ll be very happy to continue to suffer like this for another nearly 2 weeks. Great weather predicted for our sea day today and after, the forecast is not so good so fingers crossed!

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We are looking forward to having next Christmas on Viking Sky from Barcelona to Rome. So looking forward to it.

 

One question if I may - did everyone dress formally on Christmas Day or was it more ‘elegant casual’?

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We are looking forward to having next Christmas on Viking Sky from Barcelona to Rome. So looking forward to it.

 

One question if I may - did everyone dress formally on Christmas Day or was it more ‘elegant casual’?

 

Some of everything! I would say more people were casual than formal.

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I wish I could agree with the OP. We were on the Viking Sky on the cruise just before his, 12/17-12/24. We have been sailing on Crystal for several years, and although we had many great experiences, we were becoming tired of their menus, which seemed to be recycled every few weeks. The one week Viking Caribbean cruise seemed to be an ideal one to share with our adult children, who could not take off for more than one week.

 

I agree that the Viking Sky is a beautiful ship. The staterooms and the public areas are fantastic. The beds are very comfortable. The elevators seem to arrive in seconds. The in-room televisions are amazing, although they were non-functional for one day.

 

Unfortunately, that is where the positives end. Problems started at embarkation. All of us received paperwork indicating that we would embark at Miami Cruise Terminal J. No, the ship was actually at cruise terminal F, where the signage indicated that it was the Viking Sea. Check in was very smooth and efficient, although one of the porters hit my son up for a tip, indicating that it was required. My son had never been on a cruise ship, and gave him a generous tip. Not Viking's fault? Possibly, but a cruise line often using this terminal should have some control over the conduct of the port staff.

 

After boarding, we went to the bar and, as suggested by a Cruise Critic posting, asked to compare the included wines with those in the Silver Beverage Package before we decided to purchase the package. "Sorry, the included wines are only available in the dining room."

 

 

Our children (age 30 and 36) had not been permitted to make specialty restaurant reservations, because they were in a Deluxe Veranda stateroom, and we made our reservations on short notice. We were in a Veranda Penthouse and made the restaurant reservations for the two of us a month before the cruise. After embarkation, we promptly went to the World Cafe to change our reservations to a table for four. Although it was a busy embarkation day, only one of the two computer terminals there was staffed, and we were forced to wait in line for a half hour before being told that none of the early reservation times were available for a group of four. Bad start.

 

We had dinner that evening at the Chef's Table. The food was underwhelming, at best. The entree was called "Peking duck", but it was so dry that it tasted like cardboard. The "paired wines" were of poor quality, as were all the wines we tried, even with the Silver Beverage package." We are not wine connoisseurs, but these wines were just so disappointing. Some research reveled that they were available ashore for $5-$6 a bottle.In every restaurant, it seemed to take forever, first to find the wine steward (If thereare any trained sommeliers, we never encountered one.), place our order, and then wait for the wine steward to find the bottle. I timed it one time, 25 minutes from being seated to receiving our beverages. It was that way every evening.

 

Service in the dining room was mechanical, at best. We sat down, received menus, and then were asked to order, even if we had not had the opportunity to order our wine, much less sample it. We were expected to order our dessert when ordering our entrees, which seemed strange. We were served by multiple wait-staff at each meal and found it difficult to find any staff if there were issues during the meal. Requests for smaller portions or multiple appetizers were often ignored. On one occasion. my son said he would like to order several appetizers for the table to share. He was told no, each person had to order his own appetizer. Some food was served luke warm or cold. Lamb was ordered medium-rare, and it arrived well done. Steaks were tough. I could go on and on.

 

Room service was no better. Eggs were served without salt or pepper on one occasion. When we received them, salt shakers were always clogged, so that one could only obtain salt by removing the filler plug at the bottom. Orders were often incorrectly filled. On one occasion, pancakes and eggs were ordered.Only the eggs arrived. Another time, boiled eggs that were never ordered arrived with our breakfast.

 

Beverage service at the pool was non-existent. In one week, I was never asked if I wished to order a drink at poolside. At the bars, service was slow. I do not expect to wait ten minutes or longer at the bar before my order is taken.

 

We had toured a Viking ship recently when we were on another cruise line, and were docked next to the Viking ship. We were so impressed with the appearance of the like new ship that we planned to schedule all of our future vacations with Viking. After our this cruise, however, we would never consider another Viking vacation. It is really a shame, because they seem to have so much potential.

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We are looking forward to having next Christmas on Viking Sky from Barcelona to Rome. So looking forward to it.

 

One question if I may - did everyone dress formally on Christmas Day or was it more ‘elegant casual’?

 

Thank you. I suppose it might be different in the Med due to much colder weather. Will go prepared for both formal and more casual.

 

Looking forward to reading more and hoping you might post some photos.

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I wish I could agree with the OP. We were on the Viking Sky on the cruise just before his, 12/17-12/24. We have been sailing on Crystal for several years, and although we had many great experiences, we were becoming tired of their menus, which seemed to be recycled every few weeks. The one week Viking Caribbean cruise seemed to be an ideal one to share with our adult children, who could not take off for more than one week.

 

I agree that the Viking Sky is a beautiful ship. The staterooms and the public areas are fantastic. The beds are very comfortable. The elevators seem to arrive in seconds. The in-room televisions are amazing, although they were non-functional for one day.

 

Unfortunately, that is where the positives end. Problems started at embarkation. All of us received paperwork indicating that we would embark at Miami Cruise Terminal J. No, the ship was actually at cruise terminal F, where the signage indicated that it was the Viking Sea. Check in was very smooth and efficient, although one of the porters hit my son up for a tip, indicating that it was required. My son had never been on a cruise ship, and gave him a generous tip. Not Viking's fault? Possibly, but a cruise line often using this terminal should have some control over the conduct of the port staff.

 

After boarding, we went to the bar and, as suggested by a Cruise Critic posting, asked to compare the included wines with those in the Silver Beverage Package before we decided to purchase the package. "Sorry, the included wines are only available in the dining room."

 

 

Our children (age 30 and 36) had not been permitted to make specialty restaurant reservations, because they were in a Deluxe Veranda stateroom, and we made our reservations on short notice. We were in a Veranda Penthouse and made the restaurant reservations for the two of us a month before the cruise. After embarkation, we promptly went to the World Cafe to change our reservations to a table for four. Although it was a busy embarkation day, only one of the two computer terminals there was staffed, and we were forced to wait in line for a half hour before being told that none of the early reservation times were available for a group of four. Bad start.

 

We had dinner that evening at the Chef's Table. The food was underwhelming, at best. The entree was called "Peking duck", but it was so dry that it tasted like cardboard. The "paired wines" were of poor quality, as were all the wines we tried, even with the Silver Beverage package." We are not wine connoisseurs, but these wines were just so disappointing. Some research reveled that they were available ashore for $5-$6 a bottle.In every restaurant, it seemed to take forever, first to find the wine steward (If thereare any trained sommeliers, we never encountered one.), place our order, and then wait for the wine steward to find the bottle. I timed it one time, 25 minutes from being seated to receiving our beverages. It was that way every evening.

 

Service in the dining room was mechanical, at best. We sat down, received menus, and then were asked to order, even if we had not had the opportunity to order our wine, much less sample it. We were expected to order our dessert when ordering our entrees, which seemed strange. We were served by multiple wait-staff at each meal and found it difficult to find any staff if there were issues during the meal. Requests for smaller portions or multiple appetizers were often ignored. On one occasion. my son said he would like to order several appetizers for the table to share. He was told no, each person had to order his own appetizer. Some food was served luke warm or cold. Lamb was ordered medium-rare, and it arrived well done. Steaks were tough. I could go on and on.

 

Room service was no better. Eggs were served without salt or pepper on one occasion. When we received them, salt shakers were always clogged, so that one could only obtain salt by removing the filler plug at the bottom. Orders were often incorrectly filled. On one occasion, pancakes and eggs were ordered.Only the eggs arrived. Another time, boiled eggs that were never ordered arrived with our breakfast.

 

Beverage service at the pool was non-existent. In one week, I was never asked if I wished to order a drink at poolside. At the bars, service was slow. I do not expect to wait ten minutes or longer at the bar before my order is taken.

 

We had toured a Viking ship recently when we were on another cruise line, and were docked next to the Viking ship. We were so impressed with the appearance of the like new ship that we planned to schedule all of our future vacations with Viking. After our this cruise, however, we would never consider another Viking vacation. It is really a shame, because they seem to have so much potential.

 

WOW, it sounds like you had the cruise from hell. Nothing was up to par, wine, service, food, wait staff, guest relations , booking shore excursions and restaurant reservation for four.

Thanks for at least trying Viking, and sorry it turned out so badly for your family.

As one Crystal forum poster said in response,"It looks always greener from afar."

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The spa is immaculate and beautiful. Viking listened and improved the temperature of the thermal pool from our cruise on the Star. Before we left home, my husband rushed out to a walk-in haircut place where he was butchered lol he’s lucky I love him enough to have been seen with him. He got the best haircut he’s ever had here in a state of the art shop and he’s more handsome than ever!

 

Fish and Chips, one of my favorites, was a huge hit at lunch ... perfectly cooked and delicious. Tempura Veggies were also done beautifully, light and crispy.

 

I do have some food pictures but I must admit that I’ve never been able to figure out how to post them here.

 

I love it that I can lay out by the pool or enjoy sitting and listening to music without being hounded incessantly by a waitstaff with a quota to sell drinks. It’s there if you want it but you aren’t annoyed, perfect Balance!

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I do have some food pictures but I must admit that I’ve never been able to figure out how to post them here.

 

 

Sharing pictures is easy but you need a third-party host to make it work (I only use Shutterfly so I can't tell you what other sites might work; SmugMug charges for the service). Once you have the photos uploaded, get the URL/link/address for the image and use the insertimage.gif button to insert them into your post.

 

The image URL is: https://uniim1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/000093954120/media/12411895399/medium/1482954238/enhance

 

When I click on the insert image icon and paste the URL into the window that opens, this is what happens. If you don't see the image in the composition window, you didn't get the right URL.:

enhance

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Thanks for the live updates. We are doing the .a

Amazon River trip in Feb. and eagerly await your input.

:cool:

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WOW, it sounds like you had the cruise from hell. Nothing was up to par, wine, service, food, wait staff, guest relations , booking shore excursions and restaurant reservation for four.

Thanks for at least trying Viking, and sorry it turned out so badly for your family.

As one Crystal forum poster said in response,"It looks always greener from afar."

 

Hardly the cruise from hell, just a disappointment, not what we expected.

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We’ll be boarding Sky in March so enjoying your review. Hope we can get reservations for the sweet & salty night, everything on the menu sounded delish.

 

Don’t break anything!

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Thank you, Peregrina, we are having some trouble with your directions and it could be that the internet is soooo slow but we will keep trying.

 

We went to our Meet and Greet last night and met many lovely people, lots of fun. Definitely worth doing.

 

Today is our first port stop: Belize. Later, our 2nd menu at the Chefs Table. Great day ahead. Can’t wait!

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We are waiting to be cleared to go ashore so I have to take this minute to give a shout out to the World Cafe. Breakfast has been so good every morning! There is always plenty of variety with fresh fruit, meats, cheeses, smoked fish, cereals, breads, pastries, the best ever Eggs Benedict made to order, omelets made to order, baked beans, potatoes, and grilled tomatoes. There is always a special egg dish of the day and today was out of this world good: a perfectly poached egg served over creamed spinach and topped with just a little melted cheese. Oh, soooo good!

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Thank you, Peregrina, we are having some trouble with your directions and it could be that the internet is soooo slow but we will keep trying.

 

We went to our Meet and Greet last night and met many lovely people, lots of fun. Definitely worth doing.

 

Today is our first port stop: Belize. Later, our 2nd menu at the Chefs Table. Great day ahead. Can’t wait!

 

Email me. I'll try to help figure it out. Enjoy Belize.

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Sounds to me the food is beyond describing. So interested in hearing all about your excursions. We are on the Sky on January 7th same itinerary. Other cruise critics have complained about the tours being disorganized. Hope the loose strings are all tied and no rough edges.. Give us a summary of all your experiences. Much appreciation.

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