Over the past year, I’ve noticed a rise in Viking Ocean Cruises bookings with our loyal & experienced cruisers, and after sailing the Caribbean with Viking, I 100% understand the hype!
In October, I was invited to embark on the Viking Sea as a Viking Voyager from Puerto Rico on their 10 days West Indies Explorer, and I can now totally see why my clients love cruising with Viking.
Viking Ocean Cruising is a great match for any traveller; the avid cruiser, the first time cruiser and even the non-cruiser!
Here are a few of our favourite parts from our amazing time onboard:
Running a tight (yet relaxed) ship
Arriving in Puerto Rico Port I was surprised at there being no queues, no fuss and no-one rushing around like headless chooks.
Check-in took approx 3 minutes, our baggage was taken away us smoothly and we were even escorted to the gangway and greeted by a real Viking with a welcome drink!
That night we were greeted by the captain in the show lounge, where he explained they had been audited that day by the US Department of Health and scored 100% for their cleanliness and running of the vessel – they explained average score is high 80s, so we knew straight away that the pride and cleanliness the staff maintain onboard is second to none.
A port a day keeps the doctor away
Our favourite thing about sailing with Viking in the Caribbean was the destinations; a new port every day with a free excursion in every port.
Now truthfully we weren’t expected much of the free excursions to be honest, however they were very good – A half-day teaser of the islands giving us a chance to also explore ourselves with excellent organisation and guides
We also notice we had longer stays than the larger ships that would be in port with us, with some sailing in at 1pm, offloading their 5000 passengers and then sailing again 7pm.
Our top stop was probably Maho Beach in St Marteenm where the planes fly in over the beach! Although it’s hard to top the clear water of Barbados & swimming with turtles, along with the white sand beaches of Antigua! Ahh.. there really were so many great days.
Food & Wine
For a health-conscious passenger, I know cruising can be a little bit daunting with the sheer amount of food that can be consumed and the fear of needing to be brought off as cargo!
However, the options such as freshly cooked Ahi Tuna and fresh salads by the pool for lunch & the speciality restaurants such as Manfredi’s or 5-course Chefs Table all had great portions, healthy meals and were oh so fresh and meant we didn’t come rolling off the ship 10kgs heavier!
But of course, you could get a cheeky hot dog without anyone judging you too!
The wine that was Included with meals changed daily, which was great and the drinks outside of mealtimes were very affordable. This also suits the non drinkers – so no one feels like they are paying for others drinks bills in their cruise fare.
Size really does matter
There were never any queues while disembarking despite the fact there was just one gangway, and the security seemed to know almost all the guests by name.
We thought with 900 people on a small ship it might feel crowded, but with no casinos, no kids clubs and lots of room for open Scandinavia spaces there was never an issue getting into any dining room, show lounge or the amazing spa.
All in all, Viking really blew us away. The staff, destination and itinerary, ship, decor, and value were all excellent and it really is a holiday for everyone.
Thanks for having us Viking, I look forward to sailing with you in the future.
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