Viking Star – Hits and Misses: a cruise ship review


Beautiful day on the Viking Star!
I’ve been onboard for about a week now… I still have a few more days left in my 10-day cruise…
but I think now after about a week, I’m ready to talk about
the hits and the misses with Viking Star. What they really got tremendously right… and then a few things that they got horribly wrong! But there’s a lot more that they got right
than they got wrong, that’s for sure. It’s certainly been one of my best cruise experiences. So, let’s start with the positive stuff:
what they got right… and the number one big thing
is that this ship is completely un-crowded. They have a capacity of 930 passengers and this week we actually only have
877 passengers onboard. Right now we’re in St Kitts
and we’re docked next to the Carnival Fascination and they’ve got about 2,500 people onboard that ship and that ship’s about,
roughly, the same size as this. 2500 there, 877 here. You can imagine
that this is a totally un-crowded ship. There’s absolutely no problem
in getting a lounger by the pool If you’ve ever tried that mid-day
on a Carnival, or Royal Caribbean, or Norwegian Cruise Line ship… it’s impossible. But absolutely possible, every day of the cruise,
here on Viking Star. No crowding. And then the other thing that’s great
is that this is an adults-only cruise. There’s no children onboard. They don’t even allow anybody under 16 years of age… and the youngest person that I actually saw onboard
might have been 40. The median age is probably about 70. So, it’s a it’s a very older demographic. It’s certainly an adult’s cruise… and everything is tailored that way. All the the music and the entertainment and everything. So, as a 59 year old guy, it strikes me just right…
and I really love that. The other thing is that there’s no nickel and diming. This is a gigantic issue on cruises. You go on any major cruise line… and they’re always trying to get more money out of you. They’re trying to sell you alcohol… and photographs… and jewelry… and they want you to play bingo
and all that stuff on the major cruise lines. And there’s none of that here! Almost nothing costs you extra here. There is a mini-bar in your cabin…
a little refrigerator… it’s stocked full of stuff that’s all free. There’s candy bars and there’s soft drinks… And depending on your category of cabin
that you’re staying in there may or may not be alcohol. So, some of the lower cabin categories…
there’s not free alcohol in the fridge in your cabin… And in the upper categories, there is. At lunch time, and at dinner time,
you have free wine offered in the restaurants… free beer, free soft drinks… So, they’re not trying to sell you any of that stuff…
It’s all included. In the cabins, the “pay-per-view” movies
are not pay per view. All the movies are free on the cabin TV system. The Internet access is free onboard…
and that’s huge! To be able to snap a photo and upload it
to Facebook immediately at no extra charge is great and man,
I just love that about Viking Ocean Cruises. There’s a free shore excursion in every port Now, they’re not
the best shore excursions that are free… The better shore excursions,
where you’d go to a beach or something like that, That will cost you a little bit extra. But it’s great that in every port there is at least
one free option for a shore excursion. The laundry facilities are free…
even the soap! So, if you need to do some laundry
halfway through the 10-day cruise… No problem…
doesn’t cost you anything. One of the things I really love
is that they have gelato on this ship… And that is totally free, and it’s delicious. Our flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico,
was included with our cruise fare. I don’t know if that was a special promotion… Or if they do that for everybody, all the time… But it was certainly a great benefit of our cruise. And another thing I really like about this ship
is that they allow you to carry on your own alcohol. So, I was able to bring on
a full bottle of Malibu rum with me. The Coca-Cola in the cabin is free… So, all cruise long, it’s free rum & Cokes for me…
I never have to buy a drink. Now, if you do buy a drink in the bars here onboard… Much less expensive than on the other big cruise lines… It’s about seven or eight dollars for a mixed drink where that would be ten dollars or more
on a lot of the big cruise lines, so… Good value there! And then the other thing is that
they’ve got this great thermal suite in the spa… with a big indoor pool… and a Jacuzzi…
and steam rooms… And a really great shower…
and heated tile loungers. A great place to relax! They have something very similar on
the newer Norwegian Cruise Line ships But it costs extra.
Here on Viking Star, that’s all included. Every passenger has access
to the thermal suite for free. The other thing is that
all the cabins here on Viking Star… they’re all balcony cabins. There are no interior cabins
with no windows… There’s no ocean-view cabins
with just a window, but no balcony. Every cabin onboard this ship has a balcony.
That’s fantastic! When you talk about the things
that they got right on Viking Star, You also have to talk about things that they didn’t do. They didn’t put a casino on the ship. They don’t do art auctions. They don’t have all these announcements
over the public address system… Trying to get you to buy gold by the inch… Or go to play bingo, and stuff like that. And also, they treat you like an adult on this ship.
They trust you. On the other major cruise lines,
If you want a beach towel… you would have to present your sail-and-sign card… And if you don’t return the towel,
you have a charge on your account. They don’t do that at all on the Viking Star.
It’s totally just a trust system. There’s a million towels out by the pool.
Just take one, or take two… whatever you need. There’s towels in your cabin…
you can take them on shore. You’re just treated like an adult. Another thing that they really got right… I just love who they chose as their Cruise Director. They totally got that right.
For an adult crowd like this… It’s a beautiful British woman
with a wonderful speaking voice… and just a great personality… and just sets the right tone for the cruise. A couple of other things
that they don’t have on Viking Star… They don’t have smoking
in the vast majority of the ship. There’s one very small smoking section
up on the highest deck… way out of the way,
in an area that you would never go unless you were looking for the smoking section… So, it bothers absolutely no one. The other thing that was really gutsy that they did…
they took a stand… is they banned those electric scooters
for the mobility-impaired people. You know, if you need a wheelchair,
they’ll get you a regular wheelchair. But they do not allow those electric scooters onboard. With an older demographic like they have…
the passengers on this ship… Can you imagine how many electric scooters
there would be onboard if they allowed them? It would just be out of control. The other thing is that the staff is really friendly
and happy onboard Viking Star. I actually… I asked a couple of the staff members:
What was the deal? Have you worked for other cruise lines?
Are you treated differently? Why do you seem so much happier?
And the answer… I talked to one lady who had
just recently worked for Carnival… and then she moved over here
to Viking Ocean Cruises… And she said it was just a tremendous difference. The pay is better on Viking for the crew members. The way that they’re treated… The whole tone of the way that management
talks to the workers is different. They have a larger cabin, a better cabin. So, they’re just feeling better about being at work
and it’s clear… You can tell when you’re
dealing with the crew onboard… that they’re just a happy crew
and they’re treated well. Another thing is that
they have some really good food on the ship. I had some Beef Wellington at dinner one night
that was just amazing. And the croissants that they serve at breakfast… They make them right on the ship here. Now I’ve been on a lot of cruises,
on a lot of different cruise lines… I’ve had cruise ship croissants many,
many times before… They’ve never been as good
as they are on the Viking Star. Best croissants I’ve ever had! Deep butter flavor… Big, thick, airy croissants.
Absolutely fantastic! All right…
So, that’s a pretty sizable list of hits… Things that Viking Ocean Cruises
really got right on the Viking Star. And now we’re going to go in to a
much smaller list of the misses… The things that maybe they didn’t think through, or… I don’t know what happened! But the things that aren’t quite right. And at the very top of that list… I don’t know how they did this, but there’s… there’s three swimming pools onboard: Mid-ship pool, aft infinity pool,
and then a pool down in the thermal suite. And those two out on the outer decks
are incredibly deep! And it’s just very uncomfortable to be in them
because you cannot touch bottom. There is no shallow end. The pool is 5 foot 10 feet deep all the way across… and that’s both pools…
the back aft pool, and the mid-ship pool. So, it’s uncomfortable. On the Carnival ships, the pool is maybe five feet deep
so that you can stand in it. And you could stand there
on a hot sunny day for half an hour… and just enjoy being in the cool pool. But on the Viking ship,
the pool is too deep. So, you have to tread water
or cling to the side. You know,
in all the pictures I had seen before the cruise
of people in the infinity pool I always saw them grabbing onto the edge
of the infinity pool… and now I know why! It’s because that pool is so deep,
you HAVE to grab onto the edge… Either that or tread water…
which you can’t really do for very long. Another big mistake is concerning the mid-ship pool… and that glass dome that can be slid closed… to enclose that area
on days when the weather’s a little cool. I don’t know why it is…
if it’s a design deficiency, or what, but… It gets incredibly hot and humid
in that area when they close the dome. Maybe they didn’t build an adequate cooling system… Or maybe they just don’t turn it on…
I don’t know what, but… It’s horrible in there when that dome is closed. Very hot. Very humid. Very uncomfortable! I’ve been on other ships that have
the glass domes that slide closed… Like on the Conquest-class ships on Carnival… And it’s very comfortable in there
because they have fantastic air conditioning… but for some reason, on this ship, they do not.
That’s a problem. Another thing that’s really strange
is the thermal suite in the spa. They have a very similar thermal suite to that
on the newest Norwegian Cruise Line ships… like on Norwegian Escape, and Norwegian Getaway. And the big indoor pool in the thermal suite
on the Norwegian Cruise Line ships is heated…
like a Jacuzzi. But here on Viking Star, the water is cold. Well, not cold… but it’s like 70 degrees
in the big pool inside the thermal suite. To me, that should be warm…
That should be as warm as a Jacuzzi. So, I think that’s a mistake. Another problem on Viking Star… Well, it was a problem for me…
The evening entertainment. Few and far between! There’s just not a whole lot to do in the evenings. They typically have a show about 9:15… You know, like a musical/dance number… and then other than that,
they’ll be a guy playing guitar… or a trio playing classical music in the lobby… But that’s about it for the entertainment. Other than that, you’re kind of on your own to entertain yourself. There’s a lot of board games around…
things like that. On the other major cruise lines…
like Royal Caribbean, or on Carnival… There’d be comedians… and there’d be all sorts of entertainment acts going on. So, a lot more entertainment in the evening
on the big cruise lines… not so much on Viking. One gripe, food-related:
There’s not a lot of variety in the buffet. The lunch and dinner options
are pretty similar every day. Well, the breakfast options, too, really. So you don’t see a whole lot of change from day to day. If you go to a buffet
on Princess or Royal Caribbean… There are a lot more items offered…
a lot wider variety in the buffet on those ships. So, this is a smaller ship…
They’re cooking for a lot less passengers. I guess they just can’t do it. Another problem that really surprised me…
I didn’t see it coming… was the lack of storage in our cabin. We’re in what’s called a Deluxe Veranda cabin… and that’s comparable to a standard balcony cabin on Norwegian Cruise Line, or Royal Caribbean,
or Carnival, or Princess. But there’s a lot less storage in the
Deluxe Veranda cabin here on Viking than there is on the other ships that I’ve been on. So, it was tricky for us
to find places to put everything away. A lot of it is under our bed now… Where it would be in a drawer or other storage area
if we had been on another cruise ship. Now I suspect if we had booked a
Penthouse Veranda cabin… which is the next category up
from Deluxe Veranda cabin… That there’d probably be more storage. I don’t know that for sure
but that’s my guess. The bathroom in our cabin is fantastic…
so, no complaints there. I quibble with the lack of storage, but boy… they did a great job on the design of the bathroom! There’s also a lack of choices
in the excursions that they offer. You know, I’ve been on a lot of Caribbean cruises
on other cruise lines… and it wouldn’t be uncommon for there to be 10 or more choices of excursions in any given port, but… Here on Viking there was maybe
typically, five or six choices… And there were certain days where there
wasn’t even a a beach excursion offered. So, that seemed a little unusual to me. Well, that’s really it as far as the hits and misses… And I think that brings me down now to a conclusion. How do I feel, towards the end of my cruise here? Would I book again on Viking Star? And if not Viking Star…
where would I rather be? To me, this is far better than the Carnival experience… The Princess experience… The Royal Caribbean experience… because of the lack of crowding, and the
adult nature, and the no nickel and diming, and all that. Now, the real competition, I think… The most similar offering to the Viking Star… …is in “The Haven” on Norwegian Cruise Line. It seems to me that this is a very Haven-like experience here on Viking Star. But on Norwegian Cruise Line there’s only… I don’t know. What is it? 200-300 people within the Haven…
which is their “ship-within-a-ship” concept… But here, EVERYBODY on Viking Star…
all 900 passengers… kind of gets that Haven-like experience
of feeling uncrowded and being treated like a VIP. So, to me, my cruise on Viking Star
in a standard balcony cabin… was very similar to being in The Haven
on Norwegian Cruise Line. Now, what you would get in The Haven
on Norwegian Cruise Line… that you can’t get here,
because it’s a so much bigger ship… There’s more entertainment options
on a big ship like that… There’s more food options… Specialty restaurants, like a steakhouse.
The Viking Star doesn’t have a steakhouse. So, things like that…
There’s benefits to being on a bigger ship,
but inside the exclusive Haven area… that you don’t have here on the Viking Star. But overall, I would give this a 9 out of 10.
Certainly one of the best cruises that I’ve been on. And about the only thing
that would compare to this experience would be The Haven on Norwegian Cruise Line… which, depending on
the Haven category that you purchase… It could be a lot more expensive than this. There is a lower Haven category,
called a Haven Spa Suite, that is really a great value on Norwegian Cruise Line… And I’d say that would be a really strong contender. I could see myself, definitely,
in a Haven Spa Suite on Norwegian again… Or thinking about coming back
on one of the Viking ocean ships. I’m Jim Zim.
Thanks for watching! In 2017, I’ll be on Allure Of The Seas…
I’ll be on Harmony Of The Seas… I’ll be within The Haven on Norwegian Pearl… and I’ll also be on the brand-new Carnival Vista. So, if you subscribe to my YouTube channel, you will be the first to be notified
whenever I post a new video… and you can stay up on what I’m up to… and my thoughts on the latest cruises that I’ve been on.

100 thoughts on “Viking Star – Hits and Misses: a cruise ship review

  1. Could not help but wonder if the "formal nights" really still are on the Viking Star. My wife and I have been on many, many cruises over the years and whereas before the formal nights were something really special on our last cruise (Conquest) there were diners wondering into the dining room for dinner on formal night in jeans and t-shirts. We aren't stuffy – believe me. Worked in public service my entire life. But it was just sort of a reminder of days gone by and gave us an opportunity to dress up, get some photos taken and have a different sort of night out together.

  2. My question is how do you compare Viking to the other six star lines? We’re thinking of trying Viking because we like the interior design.
    Worried about paying at the bar, and lack of variety at the buffet.
    Have you reviewed any six star ship?
    Great site, I have just found it.

  3. I think the pool deepness is on pourpuse. If you can stand in the pool every one will stay a long time inside. This way people get in for a short time and so it is never crouded.

  4. You sold me on the croissants. And if the pool is the worst thing, I'll survive. Have them work on that buffet. Thanks.

  5. Jim love these videos! Have you ever been on Royal Caribbean out of Baltimore to Bermuda? I want to take that cruise and was curious if your opinion.

  6. Wondering about your comment regarding "no nickel and diming". You mentioned in your other vids that Norwegian is your favourite, but most reviews written seem to indicate they are the most pervasive nickle and dimers. This was not your experience on the 1 cruise you were not in the VIP section?

  7. I can tell you are a smart guy you got the Google pixel so do I I got the pixel 2 XL you need to get the pixel 3 when it comes out that's going to be the best phone

  8. Mr. Zimmerlin, I so appreciate your thoughtful and well-informed reviews. You have a wonderful speaking voice, and I especially like the fact that there's no annoying music added to the footage, so that we can judge the ambiance for ourselves. You also don't seem to be pushing your own agency. However, you seem so reasonable and well-informed that if you did have an agency, I would definitely be interested in booking through you. Do you, or if not, which agency do you prefer? Perhaps, since you do so much cruising, you could put out a new video just comparing cruise agencies. I would certainly follow your advice.

  9. Royal Carribean: for family and kids
    Carnival: for teens
    Norwegian: for young adults
    Viking: for adults/elderly

  10. Great video! I've been thinking about going on a cruise but none have seen interesting until this one. Do you know if Viking offers cruises for a younger demographic, say 30-40?

  11. Great video, if only there were more like you then know what to expect. This would myself and my wife as we fit the age group. Thank you.

  12. Wow. I wish I’d seen this video before I spent a fortune on Royal Caribbean. This will be my next ship. Thanks Jim.

  13. A suite or jr. spa suite, the Diamond or Pinnacle Club and Costal Kitchen on RCCL Oasis & Quantium Class ships and you pretty much have it all, except for the crowded pool on sea days.

  14. Thank you for this really well balanced review Jim. I couldn't have put it better myself. In fact, I didn't on my own Viking review! One thing to note though is that your comparison to other cruise ships only included those of the much larger, more popular and family orientated ships from Carnival, RC and NCL. Perhaps a Viking ship would be better compared to the likes of Seabourn, Crystal or Azamara? Just a thought. Thank you anyway. Most entertaining and very insightful. 🙂

  15. Hey Jim,
    Was reflecting on what you were saying about the temperature of the spa pools. I strongly disagree with your complaint about the larger pool being too cold as that is a crucial purpose of that larger pool. You can fuck off wit dis bullshit opinion, old ass. I do love your vids and have been a subscriber for some time. This is the first time I have vocalized on a disagreement I have had, so that should speak to the gravity of the matter. Please get back to me ASAP (as soon as possible for you old ass viking cruise line passangers).

    Thanks a lot,
    Henry Smith

  16. Ha..I’m just 4ft. 9in talk, so a deep pool could be a problem..Although I can tread water for at least an hour(I’m almost75)..

    70 degree water is cold, in my book.. Zi agree that the thermal pool should be heated.. That’s the point..

  17. Just got back from our very first cruise which was on Viking Sea and this review ticks most of the boxes for me. We loved it for all his plus reasons and some of the minuses were not an issue for us. We are going again next month. Their attention to hand hygiene is excellent with hand sanitizers at the entrance to every area serving food and they remind you early on in the cruise although they rely on the passengers to continue.

  18. Love Viking. No problems. We went to Italy and Viking just added to the experience. This is a ship for adults. If you need Las Vegas entertainment go to Vegas. You want greater variety go on a mega ship. Staff, room, food, and all the extras you are included are exceptional compared to other company ships. It may seem a luxury but Viking is hands down worth every penny.

  19. Are you paid by viking… your story is unbelievebly enthousiastic… my next cruise will be a viking cruise!!! Question canthey serve vegan ( not vegetairian ) food ?

  20. You had me when you mentioned that it wasn't crowded. Carnival and RC always seem to be herding you around from place to place. Having to compete to be one of the first people at the buffet is quite annoying. Not to mention that you're literally bumping shoulders when you get in the pool there. Maybe it's just me, I just don't like that feeling of being "just another number".

  21. We just returned from the Empires of the Mediterranean cruise on the Viking Star. I can honestly say, it was the best cruise experience I have ever had. The ship is beautiful, quiet and very clean. Most of the staff on our trip were from Indonesia and the Philippines and could not have been kinder or more accommodating. I asked for ice in a bucket ONE day and received it every day of the cruise. The attention to detail was remarkable. We loved that there were no small children running around, no casino and not hundreds of people vying for food or pool chairs. We have already booked another Viking ocean cruise! Tours were outstanding although physically challenging at times for my bad knee….Also rest assured the medical care is outstanding. I blew out my knee in Greece and spent an entire day in the ship's infirmary and got outstanding care!

    You will not regret cruising on Viking! Also Jim, if you had booked a Penthouse Veranda, you would have had a very roomy dresser in the cabin for clothing in addition to the closet…….oh and did I mention the heated floor in the bathroom? Probably one of the best things about the cruise! Cruise director Nolan and assistant Brian were fantastic as was the entertainment on our cruise.

  22. Jim — I found your review very interesting and informative; thanks for that. I have to say, though, that as a sixty-five year-old I don't think I could stand being on a small ship with nothing but passengers from sixty to eighty-plus. Younger people, yes and children too, bring energy to a ship, and force a cruise line to offer a larger variety of activities. It sounds like Viking goes too far catering to what it thinks fits an older crowd: few nightly activities, few excursions, and probably only music from the 40's and 50's.
    As for the so-called free stuff, of course they're not free. Viking appears to be at least twice as expensive as Carnival or RCI. Its passengers are paying for those "free" extras, whether they're using them or not. I'd rather that choice be mine.
    Thanks again for your observations.

  23. One thought Jim. One of the things to consider about the smaller ship experiences are the ports they are able to go to. Those smaller ports are a huge selling point for us.

  24. Last year we cruised the Med on Viking and I have zero complaints! It was perfect. They remembered my name, my wine preferences, everything. Onboard, they offered a deal on a next cruise if booked on board and we jumped on it! Leave in 3 weeks for a Viking cruise from Athens to Thailand via Egypt and the pyramids. Its all good! About the pool dome; they use it in the winter. We sailed in February and it was handy to have the dome out when it was cold so we could use the pool.

  25. Could you give me some advice on how to sign up for a tour of the bridge on the Viking Sea? I read that you really enjoyed that tour and I'd like to make sure I can do that when we cruise in January.

  26. I don’t understand why the entertainment on these cruises ,that are targeted at the so called older / well travelled clientele, is so OLD!
    I’m 60 and my husband is 70. As a teenager I listened to Elton john, led zeppelin, deep purple, Rolling Stones etc etc. we’ve continued listening to current radio and cds , and mostly enjoy today’s music and still love to hear the rock music of 70’s, 80’s etc.
    so why do we have to suddenly be provided with only classical music or frank sinatra type music. Or jazz.
    How about a mix ?
    That old stuff is boring and even on cruises I’ve been on, the best nights , where everyone got up and danced, was the nights that that entertainment was stepped up , a little quicker, a little rockier and louder.

  27. I want to plan a cruise and using your videos for reference and viking star is up there…the one thing that makes me hesitant is that I'd certainly be the youngest on the ship

  28. If Jim looked at a brochure, he would see on most on most itineraries the Viking ships are in port until 10 pm maybe even midnight or overnight, therefore that's the reason why there isn't much in the way of live entertainment with under 1,00 guests.Also with less guests you can't have 9 or 10 different tours, so it's totally wrong to compare 4 star family cruises to 5 star adult only cruises. We love viking and all they minuses for Jim are just more pluses for us!

  29. Just got back yesterday from a 14 day Baltic cruise on Viking Star (which didn't make it to Gdansk due to strong head winds or a storm in the way depending on which crew member you spoke to, went to Bornholm instead).

    Many of Jim's negatives were positives for us. I loved the fact I could get in the main pool and actually swim, I was the only person in it. If it were shallow enough to stand up that would encourage people to just hang around in it, and that isn't the point (to me). The spa pool was not as cold as Jim implied though Fahrenheit means nothing to me so I don't know if his figure was accurate, actually the spa pool seemed quite warm to me. And there is the adjacent hot tub, and the wet sauna, and the dry sauna if you want heat (serious heat in the saunas).

    We had the Silver Spirits drinks package and that meant speciality wines by the glass and most spirits were included for us. The speciality wines were much better than the house wines, I tried quite a few and went to the two wine tasting sessions and ended up on first name terms with the wine waiters and the sommelier.

    Half of the balcony partition can be folded back, this meant my balcony and that of my mum and aunt in the adjacent cabin were joined. This was great for popping round to the other cabin or sitting out on the balcony together.

    Some of the included tours were a disappointment, and some were great. The problem was telling which. For us the walking tours were great, you are so much more immersed in the place you are visiting. Someone else commented that hours of walking was not their idea of fun, but it sounds great to me except none of ours lasted for hours. I disliked the Panoramic tours, these basically meant being driven round in a coach and looking out of the windows at things with the occasional photo stop. I didn't go on the last two Panoramic tours and we just went into town ourselves, the Viking provided shuttle busses were very frequent.

    I would have liked more bicycle tours, there were only three on a 14 day cruise. The two I went on were great, you cover plenty of ground.

    I am 52 and from the UK, my mum and aunt are in their 70s. Most of the passengers were Americans in their 60s to 80s and they were a delight to chat to for hours in the atrium or explorers bar after dinner (hence no need for evening entertainment). Many of them had travelled the world, run companies, lived parts of their lives outside the US, etc. The breadth of experiences they had and balanced views of world affairs were so refreshing. I'd go again just for the quality of their company.

    There were several people on the ship who could barely walk 2 paces (and one that could not), and yet enjoyed themselves and went on some of the excursions and were seen at dinner. So the no electric scooters policy clearly didn't deter them, they were helped by staff with wheelchairs. And speaking as someone who has been run over by electric scooters twice I was very pleased at their absence.

    I'm not sure I'll go on Viking Ocean cruises again, but only because a) the Baltic is the only itinerary they do at present that interests us, b) as a solo traveller the single supplement makes it very expensive for me. We are booked next year on a Riviera river cruise, partly because they have some standard cabins (admittedly the cheapest ones) with no single supplement. I'll join my mum and Aunt in their deluxe suite.

  30. god job as usual Jim! a lot of good ideas on this ship! sadly till I turn 60 being 46 I feel I would not fit in on board with the fellow passengers! but some of the ideas here are great! the towel thing, room to move, pay per view being included, alcohol being included bring your own bottle thingy! some really good ideas.

  31. I just returned from an Alaskan cruise that had over 2,200 people on it. I loved the safety and quiet of my Veranda/balcony room Aft Port. I had nobody to my left. But, There were too many people for my comfort, so I look forward to a smaller cruise next time. I think it will be worth the extra money. My husband will be happy to know he can bring his own bottle, for sure. No art auctions, casinos, ..I'm in.

  32. It seems you have to sail with Princess Cruise Line. We do not have to sign out of towels, but honestly you are paying for the free amenities of all the drinks are included with your price. Also, it is not a Viking Cruise ship but Viking is renting the ship so it could have been another company ship.

  33. Loved the video. Viking is back on my watch list now. Had quit looking at them because of the price, now with you talking about all the includes I'm thinking, maybe.

  34. I so love Viking. I got sick on my current cruise and medical care was free as long as I follow doctor's orders. I was told to stay in my cabin until the nurse released me, and when she did, all was ok!

  35. the overly deep pool is a big part of the reason why you could always find a spot in the pool.. it keeps people from hanging out for long

  36. Jim, what an excellent review! I love your pros & cons. I actually like a lot of what you call ‘cons’. I think you sold me on Viking. Anyway, great job!

  37. I never went on a cruise because the thought of thousands of loud, ignorant, shabbily dressed drones got me physically I'll. If I do cruise, I will cruise Viking, thanks to this videos. I am 53, old but not 70 yet, fit, active and athletic, but I hate loudness, crowds and bad manners. I appreciate quiet. Viking it may be for me.

  38. No. Its not a mistake. That's the way its supposed to be. The hot tub 101°-104°, and the pool in the mid to upper 70°s. After sitting in the hot tub, you take a quick plunge in the cool pool water to close your pores and invigorate you.

  39. Jim I really liked your video. I definitely want to try a viking cruise. We have done a few with Princess and love the cruise life.

  40. Just got back yesterday from a Royal Caribbean cruise to Canada and New England. Very pleased for the most part except for the nickel and diming. We purchased the beverage package reluctantly because we do enjoy our beer (we are not annoying drunks, we're not drunks. We are very quiet people and don't bother anyone). It is VERY expensive. One day I smelled popcorn and it smelled so good. They were popping it in a popcorn machine. I went over and asked for a bag. I almost fell over when the man said that will be $2.50!! I was speechless and walked away. They can't even give out free popcorn?!!! After all the money we spent!!! There aren't even pretzels or peanuts on the bars. We don't pay for the extras like specialty restaurants and excursions, and although it was really very nice we still couldn't shake the feeling that we we're being shaken down.

  41. Agreed with most of this, love Viking Ocean, as well as Oceania, which is very similar in many ways and perhaps a little less expensive than VO. Perhaps the variety of excursions offered seemed too slim for your liking, but I suppose that's because so many of current Viking Ocean cruisers take advantage of the included ("free" if you'd prefer that term) shore excursion in each port. Think you should have at least mentioned the other restaurants, also included/free. The buffet is decent, and eating dinner or lunch with the big glass windows open if it's nice makes it kind of special. (Eating outside is nice, too.) However, the 2 specialty restaurants are worth mentioning.

  42. Be a Crew member on Cruise ship was teribble. Especialy the lower position. They will forced you for overtime without any compensation😡

  43. Jim, love the review. Wonder if they provide religious services on long cruises? I just held services on a RCL 8 day. Was great time and well received.

  44. So it sounds like shots being fired at Carnival. As said this is a cruise for a certain type of person. When you are paying over 4 or 5 grand per person , yes everything should be included! My mother is 68 and laid back and she would be bored with this cruise. If you are a retiree with lots of money then this cruise line is for you. If you are a little adventurous this is not the cruise line for you. That is what I got out of this video.

  45. Carnival Fascination is 70,000 gross ton ship. I would hardly call that same size. It’s almost twice as big, even if it doesn’t seem like it on the outside. But I would definitely prefer a 900 passenger ship more regardless

  46. Looks great. Was the thermal suite pool always cool? I loved the thermal suite on the Epic so would be nice that this is included but would be disappointed if water wasn't warm.

  47. Europeans do not do hot jacuzzis. They do hot mineral baths but not hot communal pools that's why the spa water was cold. It's the belief that cold invigorated the body and is good for you.

  48. Jim Great video as usual! Question for you. Are the Viking Sun and Viking Sky the same as the Star Ship in regards to the less crowded feeling? Also, are they like Star in the way they don't nickel and dime you and other perks as you mentioned with the Star Cruise ship? Thanks for any info! 🙂

  49. Just took the Viking Ocean cruise. This review was spot on relating to Viking. I can't wait to go on our next Viking Cruise. Here's a video that we posted on our cruise: https://youtu.be/OykKGCC1wlU

  50. I've been looking for a smaller ship experience to sail the Lesser Antilles. Viking cruise line might fill that ticket but what's with the deep pools? I believe you've also said the same of MSC cruise ships. Must be a European thing.

  51. I agree the main pool area whenever the roof Ismaili closed is way too hot. Those round things on top are a/c ducts but they won’t ever turn them on. I would NOT want the spa pool hot. There is a smaller pool there that is hot, but the main pool is usually around 80 which is nice because you can stay in a long time. Not the one that’s 105. Yes, the entertainment is lacking but I would rather be on a smaller,
    Was crowded ship. There is a night club that has ,Unix every night you can dance to. He didn’t mention the 2 specialty restaurants which are great and there’s is no charge for. We will be going on our 7th Viking cruise in January and we have 2 more booked after that.

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