We just completed a Mediterranean sailing on the Viking Sea, one of Viking Ocean’s five ships. This was our first (and last) time sailing with Viking Ocean. We are seasoned cruisers (more than 40 cruises and more than 500 days at sea) and it is clear to us that Viking Ocean is designed for people who are not like us. Specifically, we enjoy independent touring on our own. Viking Ocean is designed for those who like to do bus shore excursions as part of their cruise package.
Viking Ocean Cruises (like Viking River Cruises) includes the cost of shore excursions in the price you pay. So the amount paid is higher by the amount of these included shore excursions. The main difference between the river cruises and the ocean cruises is that the river cruises typically dock right in the center of the city and the included tours are walking tours. The ocean cruises, on the other hand, are typically docked outside the city center and require a bus to get around. Viking Ocean has an included tour as well as several optional tours which are priced at an upsell rate of between $50-$200, which is also different from the river cruises (where most tours are included and there are few optional tours).
Yet these optional tours on Viking Ocean are also bus tours, just longer than the 2-4 hour “free” included tour. Even the tours that are touted a “walking tours” are still bus tours for the majority of the tour, along with some minimal walking. We did a tour noted as being a “walking tour” and spent only 30 minutes of a 3h30m tour walking. We spent a longer amount of time waiting for the group to go to the bathroom than we spent on the actual walking tour (another reason we do not like big bus tours).
Our balcony cabin was well appointed with a larger than normal shower area, although this resulted in placing the closet space up against the bed, making for an awkward lack of a dressing area. Nice sized balcony with two chairs and a table. We liked how they had two chairs instead of a couch in the seating area, which worked better for us.