July 2016 - Viking Sea to Europe
I chose this cruise for the itinerary first and the ship and cruise line second. This was my 11th cruise. What made it stand out was the friendliest, happiest, most accommodating staff of all my cruises. They often offered more than what you asked for. Contrary to another reviewer, I thought cruise director Heather Clancy was the best. She was the friendliest, most visible, and most talented of all my cruises. She even performed a whole show herself, sang at other times, and even led the prayer service! The ship never felt crowded and lines were rare. However, it was only at about 2/3 capacity. I loved the blue and sand tones in the decorating. The bathroom was also the best of all my cruises. The rest of the cabin had plenty of drawer space, but I did miss the walk-in closet and full window area of another luxury cruise line. The food was wonderful. There were so many choices that I wasn't able to have some of my favorites at more than one meal. I was a little apprehensive about the Chef's Table, but I loved it both times I went. Also, the staff gives excellent service to people with special diets. The entertainment was all musical, no magicians or comedians. I especially enjoyed the Abba concert, Robyn North's show, and the ticketed Rat Pack show. The shore excursions were very well organized and paced and the local guides were all good. I wish we could have had a choice of included excursions at each port though. Now for a few things that weren't so good. First, luggage did not arrive with me and about 99 other people at the airport. After reading other reviews, I was prepared for this and had enough essentials to carry me through until it arrived. Bergen is a small airport, making transportation there more difficult. Lastly, there was a mechanical problem, so we arrived at Athens about a day late. We were compensated with a voucher during the week after the cruise. Still, this was unexpected with such a new ship. And in between, I wish there would have been TV reception in the fitness room, incentives for participation in activities, and menus to consult before making restaurant reservations for future evenings. Also, the first Meet & Mingle was not well attended because people didn't get their invitations. But then they scheduled a second one with an ample attendance of passengers and staff. All in all, this cruise was the best luxury cruise I've been on for value.