Sail Date: December 2018
We arrived a day early to San Juan and stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan. Nice hotel...great location. Unfortunately for our departure the Sea was not docked in town but at the less convenient pier. Embarkation was EASY...but remember ... Read More
We arrived a day early to San Juan and stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan. Nice hotel...great location. Unfortunately for our departure the Sea was not docked in town but at the less convenient pier. Embarkation was EASY...but remember to keep your Brazil Visa with you, they want to see it when you board. We were onboard within minutes of leaving the cab ( $25 USD from the hotel). We arrived about 11:30 and our cabin was ready by the time we had signed up for a beverage package, made some dinner reservations, adjusted a couple of tours. Disembarking the ship was so easy...we were at the old town pier this time and were off the ship, luggage collected and on the bus bound for the airport in 15 minutes!!! We had to go through customs / immigration again in the ship's terminal even though we had done that on the ship in St. Thomas. That too was VERY efficient! Be aware there is an agriculture check of all luggage BEFORE you check in...the bus drops you right there and they off load your luggage to be scanned and you walk through any hand luggage larger than a purse. We chose this itinerary because we wanted to see/experience the Amazon. We had previously done a small ship (Vantage Cruises) in Peru on the Amazon and enjoyed it but had been a little disappointed that we did not see much wildlife. Viking's Brazil itinerary really showed us the scope and enormity of the Amazon but not a lot up close and personal. Rain forest hikes had too many people and we often could not hear the leader (why dont they all use quiet boxes) OR so many people by the time we passed what the leader was describing we could not find it or it had flown/scampered/hopped away. Viking needs to find vendors who will offer smaller groups...use the same number of buses but 2x the guides and it would be wonderful! We did one DIY excursion in Manaus and spent the day exploring the river, meeting of the waters, fishing, hiking, swimming with the pink dolphins, and indigenous people...all from a small boat. It was wonderful, the highlight of the trip BUT I was nervous about getting back in time for sailing away ( the small boat certainly could have had engine problems). I have not figured out how to get a small group experience which are always superior and usually a value and the safety net of it being ship sponsored!!! The included tours were OK....we took optionals in most ports...make sure to see the inside of the Opera House in Manaus. In some ports we managed to also do the included tour!!! It is great when schedules allow for that. The only tour that was really bad was in Tabago...it was snorkeling...however the boat was crowded and they did not have enough equipment for those that did not have their own. The snorkeling was very disappointing in time and what we saw. The second spot was just beautiful knee deep sandy bottom water!!!! Waste of time and money!!!! The Caribbean ports were fine....why didn't Viking offer snorkeling in St. Lucia? Perhaps the mega ships that were in port had all the vendors reserved. We did a very nice catamaran sail! The ship and her crew from the Captain to the deck hands were wonderful. Unfortunately for us, I do not think another cruise will EVER be able to compare with Viking's Inaugural World Cruise. I did not realize how spoiled I had become!!! This cruise did a fun Equator Crossing....on the SUN the crossing was extraordinary including Cruise Director,Heather Clancy, ending up in the POOL!!! WE had a lovely Brunch on day on this cruise....on the Sun it encompassed the entire pool deck and Wintergarden. The entertainment on the WC was really varied and often included local shows ... it was fine on this cruise but no WOW's. For me one of the really different aspects of this cruise was the role of Cruise Director...Ms. Clancy really seemed to part of the "TEAM" who were creating the experience on this cruise I really felt the cruise director was more 'entertainment' and announcement focused not really engaged with senior management. Just an observation...and to be fair I do not remember much about the cruise director on our Baltic and Beyond Cruise. The Staff of Viking ships is extraordinary. I do not think NO is in their vocabulary. They go our of their way to remember names. It was so fun to board the ship and see familiar faces. We love sea days...always enough to keep us busy. The Speakers on this trip we very good. The naturalist was not "out and about" as I expected but he was very approachable when we did see him. The food was good, sometimes excellent....at times the main dining room seemed very crowded and the waiters working too hard!!! Has Viking cut down the number of wait staff? Breakfast service in the main dining room was SLOW but we only went on Sea days so we were in no hurry!!! I missed the mushroom soup in Manfredi's but we had outstanding meals there everytime. The fish special of the day NEVER disappointed. We had the Silver Spirit package and enjoyed good wines and great cocktails throughout the cruise. I needed to do my homework more thoroughly and we should have stayed in lodge if we really wanted to experience the Amazon. This was our fault certainly not VIKINGS....they delivered as promised. We had a great time and can't wait until our next cruise!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We will definitely choose Viking again BUT if you are choosing this itinerary to really experience the Amazon's wild life and rainforests explore your options ....any cruise may not be the best choice. If you want to appreciate ... Read More
We will definitely choose Viking again BUT if you are choosing this itinerary to really experience the Amazon's wild life and rainforests explore your options ....any cruise may not be the best choice. If you want to appreciate the grandeur and magnitude of the Amazon, enjoy sunshine, some Caribbean islands and escape early winter doldrums at home this is the perfect itinerary and SHIP! We chose this itinerary because we wanted to see/experience the Amazon. We had previously done a small ship (Vantage Cruises) in Peru on the Amazon and enjoyed it but had been a little disappointed that we did not see much wildlife. Viking's Brazil itinerary really showed us the scope and enormity of the Amazon but not a lot up close and personal. Rain forest hikes had too many people and we often could not hear the leader (why dont they all use quiet boxes) OR so many people by the time we passed what the leader was describing we could not find it or it had flown/scampered/hopped away. Viking needs to find vendors who will offer smaller groups...use the same number of buses but 2x the guides and it would be wonderful! We did one DIY excursion in Manaus and spent the day exploring the river, meeting of the waters, fishing, hiking, swimming with the pink dolphins, and indigenous people...all from a small boat. It was wonderful, the highlight of the trip BUT I was nervous about getting back in time for sailing away ( the small boat certainly could have had engine problems). I have not figured out how to get a small group experience which are always superior and usually a value and the safety net of it being ship sponsored!!! The included tours were OK....we took optionals in most ports...make sure to see the inside of the Opera House in Manaus. In some ports we managed to also do the included tour!!! It is great when schedules allow for that. The only tour that was really bad was in Tabago...it was snorkeling...however the boat was crowded and they did not have enough equipment for those that did not have their own. The snorkeling was very disappointing in time and what we saw. The second spot was just beautiful knee deep sandy bottom water!!!! Waste of time and money!!!! The Caribbean ports were fine....why didn't Viking offer snorkeling in St. Lucia? Perhaps the mega ships that were in port had all the vendors reserved. We did a very nice catamaran sail! The ship and her crew from the Captain to the deck hands were wonderful. Unfortunately for us, I do not think another cruise will EVER be able to compare with Viking's Inaugural World Cruise. I did not realize how spoiled I had become!!! This cruise did a fun Equator Crossing....on the SUN the crossing was extraordinary including Cruise Director,Heather Clancy, ending up in the POOL!!! WE had a lovely Brunch on day on this cruise....on the Sun it encompassed the entire pool deck and Wintergarden. The entertainment on the WC was really varied and often included local shows ... it was fine on this cruise but no WOW's. For me one of the really different aspects of this cruise was the role of Cruise Director...Ms. Clancy really seemed to part of the "TEAM" who were creating the experience on this cruise I really felt the cruise director was more 'entertainment' and announcement focused not really engaged with senior management. Just an observation...and to be fair I do not remember much about the cruise director on our Baltic and Beyond Cruise. The Staff of Viking ships is extraordinary. I do not think NO is in their vocabulary. They go our of their way to remember names. It was so fun to board the ship and see familiar faces. We love sea days...always enough to keep us busy. The Speakers on this trip we very good. The naturalist was not "out and about" as I expected but he was very approachable when we did see him. The food was good, sometimes excellent....at times the main dining room seemed very crowded and the waiters working too hard!!! Has Viking cut down the number of wait staff? Breakfast service in the main dining room was SLOW but we only went on Sea days so we were in no hurry!!! I missed the mushroom soup in Manfredi's but we had outstanding meals there everytime. The fish special of the day NEVER disappointed. We had the Silver Spirit package and enjoyed good wines and great cocktails throughout the cruise. I needed to do my homework more thoroughly and we should have stayed in lodge if we really wanted to experience the Amazon. This was our fault certainly not VIKINGS....they delivered as promised. We had a great time and can't wait until our next cruise!!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise because it would be a once in a lifetime experience. To travel to such a remote area and yet be on such a wonderful ship was a great combination. We love the Viking Sea and all the crew. This was an adventure ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it would be a once in a lifetime experience. To travel to such a remote area and yet be on such a wonderful ship was a great combination. We love the Viking Sea and all the crew. This was an adventure we’ll never forget. We were very happy with our cabin, which was very comfortable. The food was delicious, including the gelato! The evening entertainment was always excellent, and the lectures were very interesting and informative. I enjoyed the games, Name That Tune and Trivia. Playing those is a good way to meet new friends. We are glad not to have children or a casino, and people smoking never were close enough to bother us. The pools are beautiful, and the entire ship is elegant and lovely. The shore excursions were interesting and informative. We do wish we had seen more Amazon wildlife, as we were not able to go on those excursions. We would have enjoyed excursions suited to the physically challenged,perhaps to the zoo where we could have seen animals. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
The Viking Sea is a lovely looking ship: nice décor, super clean and very friendly staff but the ship itself doesn't sail very smoothly and our cabin in the very aft vibrated & shock night after night. We chose the Amazon as we ... Read More
The Viking Sea is a lovely looking ship: nice décor, super clean and very friendly staff but the ship itself doesn't sail very smoothly and our cabin in the very aft vibrated & shock night after night. We chose the Amazon as we have never been there and wanted to see the nature and wildlife that live there and experience the might of the river. Sadly no included tours showed us any wildlife and only one showed us some trees, plants and nature like the rubber tree. Mostly we saw very dirty cities and a polluted river. It was enjoyable to attend a native costumed show with it's vibrant music. The meeting of the waters was probably the most awesome sight. Viking is not the best at serving dinner. Most food was good but not great and the serving staff didn't always work well together, most nights courses were served two at a time or we were given the wrong meal and serving sizes were very inconsistent. The enrichment program was very good as was the evening entertainment. One BIG thing was, that the ship was not allowed to make fresh water while on the Amazon and there were 8 days of water restrictions that we were never told about ahead of time. Very little showering & no laundry in a hot climate wasn't fun! While it was a good trip it could have been a great trip with some changes made. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Amazon River and island hop in the Caribbean both of which we had never done. This was our second Viking cruise having done the Viking Homelands the year before and done other cruises in ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Amazon River and island hop in the Caribbean both of which we had never done. This was our second Viking cruise having done the Viking Homelands the year before and done other cruises in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean with another company. This cruise was unique keeping in mind that new world ports such as those on the Amazon do NOT have a long history(at least with european settlements) and Brazil has a very different standard of living and culture. Poverty is very evident on city tours and the crime rate in Brazil is on the increase right now. Buses may not be air conditioned, could break down, get caught in city traffic, for example. Local authorities may not let you go into areas unsupervised for safety reasons, and organizing shore excursions in general with local authorities is understandably complex in this region and a real chore for any cruise excursion team. The river is also complex and varies in height and the captain had to take the ship way out to sea to avoid shallow waters and then buck the current back up to Belem. Since the river was low this time of year we had to anchor miles below Belem. We had to be careful with our water use on the Amazon since the silt in the river can gum up the water filtration process. This meant not using the laundromat while on the river and not taking hotel showers. We all did fine and we were back to normal once out of the river. Remember this trip is an adventure for travelers(in a posh way) to an area which is unfamiliar to most of us. Do your research on the area before you go and know what to expect. I think Viking did an outstanding job and kept to its usual high standards. This cruise line really cares about your having the best experience on board and off.Viking strives to be the best and as far as I'm concerned it is the best. Since my wife is somewhat immobile I did at least one excursion in every port as a single. The excursions I chose were the ones that involved jungle treks, birdwatching(early morning off Manaus),caiman spotting(at night), up the Guama River behind Belem and mostly on a Catamaran, swimming and snorkeling in the Caribbean. They were all great fun and very interesting.I know the natural history trips had all good guides. We were luckily able to get into Port du Salut, French Guiana and saw the remains of the prison of Papillon and Alfred Dreyfus. Apparently 80,000 french prisoners died or disappeared on this beautiful set of islands. Tropical paradise? It was when we were there. My wife was very happy staying on board reading either in the explorers lounge or on our veranda while being treated like a queen by the wonderful staff of the Viking Sea. The food we considered to be the best at sea on any ship. We went to Manfredi's four times and the Chef's table three times, ate at the restaurant, world cafe, and Mamsen's. They were all terrific. I only just learned that Viking Sea has 99 chefs and one executive chef for 930 passengers plus crew. Lectures were stimulating from two historians, a biologist, an anthropologist, and a political science professor. Cruise director was busy keeping people entertained with trivia contests, name that song, and a boat building contest to be tested in the main pool, for example. The ship was beautifully decorated for Christmas. It was fun to go hear the piano player or a duet and have a drink on the main atrium before dinner. Entertainment was very good with the Viking Singers doing beetle songs mostly. I don't expect a full broadway show or celebrity on a viking cruise. There were many sea days on this trip which we liked. Many of them were traveling the 1000 miles up and down the Amazon allowing one to enjoy and appreciate the vastness of this river basin with its very wide expanse as well as its thick jungle appearance along its banks with an occasional hut or cattle ranch. Temperatures averaged 82 degrees with a breeze or under clouds. It was much more comfortable than I expected. The sea days also allow you to enjoy the large number of subtle amenities on the Viking Sea. I also had two very professional massages which took out all the kinks and enjoyed the fabulous spa when I could. Wow! This was a great experience I will always remember thanks to the Viking Sea and Viking Cruises. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We picked this trip because it included a trip up the Amazon River. We have been on other smaller cruises with 50 to 300 passengers on rivers and seas and one larger one of 3,000. The larger one was to accommodate other members of our ... Read More
We picked this trip because it included a trip up the Amazon River. We have been on other smaller cruises with 50 to 300 passengers on rivers and seas and one larger one of 3,000. The larger one was to accommodate other members of our family. We actually prefer smaller ships generally. However, our thinking has changed somewhat due to the Viking Sea. They have definitely found a niche with services of the big ships with thousands of guests and the intimacy and comfort of smaller ships. Planning all the details of our trip was easy. The telephone Viking people are always helpful and knowledgeable. They know their product. No long waits to be connected. Once I had booked, I used the My Viking Journey website to book restaurants and excursions, including the times for the included excursions. There is one included excursion for every port. I will handle those reviews individually. There is a lot of good information on the Viking website, as well as, My Viking Journey. From lists of what to pack and not pack to whether you need a visa or not, make sure that you explore both websites. Once on the ship, Viking Voyager takes over with information including the daily newsletter, your spa/restaurant/excursion reservations, etc. It updates immediately with any changes that you make. Embarkation was easy. We used the official transfer included with the air purchased with our cruise. By the way, the flights chosen by Viking were exactly the flights I would have chosen. They were midday non-stops from my preferred airport. They took charge of our luggage as soon as we removed it from the carousel. The next time we saw it was when it was delivered to our cabin. On the bus ride to the ship terminal, we were told about San Juan. We were handed our cabin cards and excursion tickets in a warehouse like area that must normally serve the big ships. Our cabin class had a 1:00 pm cabin access which was perfect. Our steward showed us around our cabin and explained all of the key items from coffee machine to night lights. Meals were delicious and varied. There are multiple venues. Deck 7 has the more casual venues. The World Cafe is available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a buffet format. Make sure you check out both sides, while mostly the same, at lunch for instance, there is pizza on one side and fresh ice cream on the other. The food includes many choices and has no dress requirements for dinner. Next to it is the Aquavit Terrace where you can sit outside and where there were specialty buffets on different nights and a fabulous Sunday Brunch on our one at sea Sunday. The Pool Grill features customized hamburgers, hot dogs, hot sandwiches, and a salad bar. On the other end of Deck 7 is Mamsen's in the Explorer's Lounge. Mamsen's is a Norwegian style deli that serves a limited menu for breakfast, lunch, and snacks. We loved their open face sandwiches while sitting in the Explorer's Lounge. They also have hot dishes made to order and their specialty is waffles. Between these restaurants is the Winter Garden where tea is served every afternoon complete with scones, finger sandwiches, and sweets. Music is played during tea by one of the resident musicians. On Deck 2 is the largest restaurant called The Restaurant. It is open for all three meals as a full table service restaurant with linens. The dinner menu changed every day but had some standard favorites that were always available. Service is gracious and precise. No one hurries here. No reservations are required but, if you come directly from the port talk or other program with everyone else, there may be a short wait to be seated. I only saw one night that The Restaurant reached capacity and a half dozen couples had to wait for a table. They will offer to seat you with other people or you can have a table for just your party. Special diets are carefully handled here as our requests for specific waiters or tables. On Deck 1 are three specialty dinner restaurants which require reservations. These three plus The Restaurant have a 'classy casual' dress code. Men must wear collared shirts and long pants, no denim. Women wear nice slacks and tops or dresses. Occasionally, a man wore a suit or a woman a cocktail dress but it was rare. While you can make a limited number of reservations before sailing, there are plenty of additional slots available when on board. We both loved the Italian restaurant, Manfredi's - great food and service. The Chef's Table is very gourmet with elaborate fixed menus that change every two or three days and have four courses with wine pairings. Beer and wine are included with all lunches and dinners at no extra charge. We also had an included mini-bar in our cabin class at no extra charge (details in cabin review.) All speciality coffees and teas are included all day long. There is a Silver Spirits package with upgraded wine and cocktails for the entire day and night, not just meals. It also includes more deluxe wine pairings at the speciality restaurant The Chef's Table. Truthfully, I could not figure out how we could drink enough during non-meal hours to justify its cost so we skipped the Silver Spirits package. We had a couple of cocktails at a pay as you go basis and upgraded our wine pairings one night at The Chef's Table (they were good but only one of the four was really superior) for much less money. Also, the custom is to have your wine glass refilled just before you leave your chosen restaurant and take it into the theater while attending a show. By the way, the air conditioning works very well on the ship, you will probably need a sweater, especially in The Theater. Some people even wrapped up in blankets. We loved the musical entertainment both formal and informal. There was the onboard guitarist, classical duo, and pianist playing all over the ship plus two show teams and a onboard four piece band. We also had guest performers including two solo singers and a magician. We even had a local Brazilian performing group come aboard. In Parinthin, Brazil, everyone was able to attend one of two showings at a large, very near venue. It was a very Brazilian show with lots of music and brilliant costumes with plenty of feathers and paint. WiFi is included and while not super fast, we were able to check emails, download documents, and even stream a program. Considering it comes by satellite, it is the best that we have seen on a cruise and there was no charge, as well. The convenience of this service was important to us. There are also five computers available to cruise guests and while frequently busy, I never saw a line. My husband used them to back-up his digital photos and I appreciated a bigger screen than my smartphone on one occasion. And, on our last night, one of the excursion staff insisted printing our boarding passes for us from her computer. The self-service launderettes are included also. No charge for any guest including the detergent. However, for a few days on the Amazon, it was closed for water conservation. While the Sea makes its own water at sea, it cannot on the muddy Amazon. We were only given a day's warning before the launderettes were closed so the lines were long just before they were closed. After our tanks were refilled in Manaus, Brazil and the captain was satisfied that we had enough water available, they reopened. They were only closed for four or five days of our 21 day cruise. Staff is where Viking Sea shines. The captain is a cheerful Swede who runs a happy ship that appreciates its staff and caterers to its guests. Everyone is eager to assist the guests. Every criticism is taken seriously. One officer pointed out that Viking Ocean company is only three years old and they are still learning. The captain and hotel general manager frequently walked around the ship talking to the guests including in all of the restaurants. When the water was too low to dock directly in Belem, Brazil, extra tenders and air conditioned busses were hired to get us into town. Tours were rearranged and bag lunches added to too tight schedules of those of us with two tours on the same day. And, the captain and staff kept apologizing for the inconvenience. On our second to last night at the Captain's Farewell Reception, we had our champagne and introductions again of the officers similar to the Opening Reception but, this time, all of the wait staff and cabin staff were lined up in the aisles to our cheers and applause. A video good-bye included all of these plus engineers, procurement, security, spa personnel, bridge personnel, etc. all waving good-bye. There was a small outbreak of GI disease at the end of our cruise. The captain took immediate action. He told us by both ship speaker system and a letter its extent (five people), told us that if sick to stay in our cabin and call for medical personnel to come to us (we had a doctor and a nurse are onboard), reminded us to wash our hands for 20 seconds, explained it is a common disease but highly contagious, and closed the swimming pools. My husband and I were not affected and were unaware of a problem until he announced it. People seemed pleased that he took it so seriously. Our fellow passengers were friendly and cheerful with an occasional grumble. Most are 50's to 70's but there were plenty older and younger. Some needed assistance walking but most were fit. Some were obviously affluent but some were not and the cruise was a stretch financially. Either way, most were on this cruise because of the itinerary. Many had already visited the Caribbean but not Brazil. Many had sailed on much bigger ships and some on smaller. There were a lot of multiple Viking cruisers including river and ocean. Elevators are quick. Leaving on excursions is carefully staggered and controlled to avoid crowding at the exit and through security. There was just one day when it seemed as if everyone wanted to get back on the ship at the same time. Decor is very Scandinavian, light woods, clean lines. The artwork is eclectic with photographs from around the world, children's artwork, Viking reproductions, and prints and paintings. Walls are made to look like a birch forest and a floor is covered in lichen reproductions. There is a Viking museum on Deck 2. The Bayeux Tapestry is featured throughout the ship and there is a fun animation of it in the Viking museum. Everything is cleaned and repaired constantly. Any scuff on the hull was repainted immediately. Restrooms were immaculate with supplies refreshed frequently. They had beautiful grinder salt and pepper shakers that did not work because of the dampness we all assumed. They were replaced at all the tables at the World Cafe midway through our cruise. Enrichment lectures were specific to this troop with guests lecturers including a woman who had lived with indigenous people in the Amazon basin, an expert on animals, a college professor who covered the politics and history of Brazil, and the resident historian who gave interesting talks on all the places visited. If you missed one, you could watch a recording of it on the cabin television. Port talks were very useful and also can be viewed later on the cabin television. It is very important to check these out to no how to prepare for the next day's excursions. Beach towels show up in your cabin if you will be visiting a beach or swimming with the pink dolphins. The televisions in our cabins, besides enrichment lectures and port talks, could make reservations, had some news channels, included a number of recent and classic movies and recorded television shows, had the view from the bridge, a listing of all of the excursions, TED talks, you and your cabin mate's current schedule, the Daily Viking list of all of the shows and activities, and more. Tips are a standard amount added to your account which you can monitor through Viking Voyager app. The exceptions are the bars include tips in their prices and the spa has you set your own amount. The spa is run by a separate company. Disembarkation, while well planned, can be difficult. Luggage outside the cabin by 10 pm the night before with the colored tag. Everyone out of their cabins by 8:00 am. Then a staggered scheduled for leaving the ship followed by claiming our luggage and taking it to the busses going to the airport. At the airport, our bags went through an agriculture check before we received them and checked into our flights. United was not open when we arrived. We had to wait an hour before we could drop our bags and go to our gate. We still had hours to our flight and had lunch there. The food was good but could not compare to what we were accustomed to after three weeks on the Viking Sea. And, we had to remember how to pay and tip! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We are in our late 60s. Australians. We had long heard of the wonders of the Amazon and the beauty of the Caribbean and this cruise took in both those destinations. We were so disappointed. The ship itself is good. Very well appointed, ... Read More
We are in our late 60s. Australians. We had long heard of the wonders of the Amazon and the beauty of the Caribbean and this cruise took in both those destinations. We were so disappointed. The ship itself is good. Very well appointed, in excellent condition, lovely cabins and nicely decorated. 900 people is not huge and our cruise was child free. The passengers were 95% middle America. We have been on smaller ships and cruises with a more interesting mix of nationalities. The shore excursions were very well managed and many were included in the fare. Wifi was also included which was amazing. The lecturers ranged from excellent to corny (content was not so much the difference, rather presentation). Americans seemingly like lots of pizzazz in their infotainment. The entertainment was very good. Better than we expected. There are several dining options but only one offers excellent food: Manfredi’s. The Chef’s Table does ethnic specific, set menus that change each night. Good service but ordinary food. The World Cafe is about the standard of a Diner: food in Bain Maries or a very limited cold buffet. This is where you go for quantity and it was packed, chaotic and noisy. Table service is slow. The pool deck food is American street food. The dining options on this cruise did not compare with Seabourn or Silverseas but I suspect Viking knew their market. Why have I given the cruise only 2 stars? Because the Amazon is not a place to see from a cruise ship unless you like long days at sea and short visits to very ugly cities. You will not ever experience anything fulfilling or echt during this cruise. Days of gazing at the shore line of a vast river, Disney like “jungle”, pirhana, dolphin and other such glimpses. What we saw and heard about in the on-board lectures was tantalising but pretty well never translated to a “live” experience. Likewise, the Caribbean Islands need to be carefully chosen and seen at leisure, not in 4 hours from uncomfortable mini buses. My advice to anyone thinking of spending 21 days on a cruise ship is that Viking is OK but the food and the other passengers need thinking about. If the destination is important, maybe don’t cruise unless you can’t do the alternative. Read Less
Viking Cruises, Community Team has responded
We appreciate this opportunity to learn more about your recent voyage to the Amazon, Wamaker, though we are disappointed to hear this cruise left you feeling disenchanted. The feedback you have provided regarding the overall program, including the dining and time ashore, is extremely valuable as we take note of how best to provide unforgettable journeys for all of our guests. While we have recorded all of your post-cruise comments for review by our Executive Team, we welcome the opportunity to discuss them further, and encourage you to contact us TellUs@vikingcruises.com should you wish to share more. Thank you, and we hope to hear from you soon.
Sail Date: November 2018
We were on the ship for 10 night South America and Caribbean. It was comfortable. But excursions in Cartagena and San Martha Colombia were difficult due to lack of planning and street people trying to sale souvenirs. Curacao, Aruba and ... Read More
We were on the ship for 10 night South America and Caribbean. It was comfortable. But excursions in Cartagena and San Martha Colombia were difficult due to lack of planning and street people trying to sale souvenirs. Curacao, Aruba and St Kitty we felt welcomed all the time and by tourist guides. Finally in San Juan PR we received a warmed welcome in any place we visited. Viking long walking excursion tour thru colonial city and its castles and fortress full Spanish history was exhausted. On board the Restaurant Chef's Table was high class and its Chef explained to us how to cook perfection combining the proper wine with every course.The World Cafe buffet had many fresh and good tasting offerings for breakfast lunch and dinner. in general we recommend dining on board in any of fine restaurants and buffet. A final comment: Viking Ocean Cruisers are focus in adult travelers of any age attracting customers from the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. but ignoring Latin Spanish spoken countries even there ships travel thru multiple ports in Spain and South America. I recommend to Viking planners to consider open offers to this potential market. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Have been on eight Viking cruises. Five river and three ocean but we prefer the river cruises. However, Viking has raised the prices to the point where we are doing other types of travel. Someday we hope to get back to Viking river ... Read More
Have been on eight Viking cruises. Five river and three ocean but we prefer the river cruises. However, Viking has raised the prices to the point where we are doing other types of travel. Someday we hope to get back to Viking river cruises. Did not particularly care for Columbia. Since we had already visited half of the ports this cruise was probably a waste of our time and money. Would be good if it was for someone who had never been to the ports. Would like to see more excursions to include half days (not in the AM) at beaches (not at hotel resorts). Staff is always friendly and many go out of their way to do above and beyond assistance. Cabin was usually cleaned for when returned back to the ship and mini-bar was always filled with our preferred beverage. We enjoy the specialty restaurants but when we made three for the Chef's Table they made all three for the same meal and we never did get the Asian dinner as requested. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This was our third sailing on the Viking Sea, and my wife and I have become very fond of this spectacularly beautiful, well-designed, and immaculately-maintained ship! The staterooms are setup just right to accommodate our needs, the ... Read More
This was our third sailing on the Viking Sea, and my wife and I have become very fond of this spectacularly beautiful, well-designed, and immaculately-maintained ship! The staterooms are setup just right to accommodate our needs, the public spaces are excellent and abundant, and the crew seem uniformly happy and eager to please. The food and entertainment are very good, and the other amenities (wifi, pool, spa, fitness center, sports deck, lounges, laudromat, and shops) are very good. We chose this particular cruise because of the itinerary (Caribbean and South America) included some ports that we hadn't visited previously (Santo Domingo, Cartagena, and Santa Marta), two ports that I hadn't visited for more than 60 years and was eager to enjoy again (Aruba and Curacao), two places that we are very familiar with (San Juan and St. Kitts), as well as opportunities to enjoy two At-Sea days. Viking Cruises handled the arrangements for our air transportation, our transfers between the airport and cruise terminal prior to our embarkation, and also after debarkation. When we arrived at the airport in San Juan, it took a while for all of the expected passengers to obtain their baggage and to check-in with the Viking representatives.. The bus that was brought us to the ship had a door malfunction, and it took a long time for us to get through the San Juan rush hour traffic.. But everything fell into place as soon as we arrived at the cruise terminal -- welcome, check-in, champagne, dinner, meeting our stateroom attendant, and having our baggage delivered to our cabin. This was our 23rd ocean cruise, and we have observed the cruise industry's trend toward increasing large cruiseships, and increasingly large numbers of passengers onboard those ships. On the mega-ships, it seems that one must spend a large amount of time waiting for elevators,.and searching for a quiet place in public areas to read or talk. But this is NOT the way things are on Viking Oceans cruises! We are impressed at the variety, beauty, and comfort of public spaces on Viking Oceans ships! The Atrium, Wintergarden, Explorer Lounge, Pool Area, and decks are superb! Viking Oceans ships offer several dining alternatives, including The Restaurant (the ship's elegant main dining room), the World Cafe (buffet), Manfredi's (Italian food), The Chef's Table (gourmet food & drink), Mamsen;s (Scandinavian deli), and the Pool Grill (hamburgers, etc.). My wife has certain food sensitivities, and the ship's wait staff were quite knowledgeable about those issues, and very accommodating to her needs. The food was sometimes excellent, and always at least very good. My wife and I enjoyed walking the outside decks every day, and I also worked-out in the ship's excellent Fitness Center every day! We enjoyed the musicians and singers that entertained us onboard the ship. As musicians ourselves, we appreciated the variety of musical styles that were presented, as well as the musicianship of the performers. Read Less
Viking Sea Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.8
Dining 5.0 4.6
Entertainment 3.5 4.3
Public Rooms 5.0 4.9
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.4
Family 1.0 4.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.3
Enrichment 4.0 4.4
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 5.0 4.5

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