Nine Caribbean islands visited in great comfort from a wonderful cruise ship

Viking Sea Cruise Review to Caribbean

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 28

Overall rating:

4.5 out of 5
Verified Review
Viking Sea

10 Night West Indies Explorer (San Juan Roundtrip)

Sail date: January 31, 2020

Ship: Viking Sea

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 5105

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

The Viking Ocean ships are heaven. Very beautiful, great service, lots of choice in restaurants, all included in the basic price so no "extras", and all of the food terrific. Many of our island tours were really great - Viking always seems to get the best guides available and offers a wide variety of onshore activities. We especially loved the gardens, and much preferred the self-governing Islands where the people seemed really proud of their island and generally appeared well informed, exuberant and happy. Less enthusiastic about the "resort" islands - like St Martins, Antigua or St Thomas.

Embarkation

5 out of 5

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
A small ship, just around 900 passengers, with 6 very different and extraordinarily good restaurants, plus room service, all included in the basic fare, so no extra charges.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
The fitness center and spa are exceptional

Entertainment

4 out of 5
The musicians and singers were very talented, and we especially appreciated those playing in the various living rooms around the ship. The major stage productions were well performed, but the choice of material was dubious - I don't mind if I never see another Abba, Elvis or Beatles rehash.

Children's Programs

no children

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
They were very outgoing, and nothing was too much trouble.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Gorgeous ship, beautifully tended.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Spotless always - and very well designed and efficient. Lots of great touches like underfloor heating in the bathroom so that everything dried quickly, a great in-room coffee maker, a well stocked fridge, really private veranda, and having free room service allowed us to routinely breakfast in our cabin as we prepared to go ashore.

Ship tip

Read the daily newsletter carefully each night, so that you all the entertainments and events that are scheduled for the next day

Ports of call

San Juan, Puerto Rico

4 out of 5
Did a general city road tour, visiting the various ancient colonial forts, and went to their terrific modern art museum. The guide at the museum was exceptional, he really put the art into context for us and showed us what a sensitive and stimulating place San Juan can be.

Tortola, British Virgin Islands

4 out of 5
Beautiful island, great sailing, very civilized. Island tour in an open air bus was a bit hair-raising, but the beach we visited was very pretty. Shops were good and easily accessible from the ship- but there were an extraordinary number of banks everywhere.

St. John's, Antigua

3 out of 5
Wonderful ancient, but working, dockyard, and lots of expensive ships everywhere. Didn't love it myself as it looked like a rich man's playground rather than a community.

Castries, St. Lucia

5 out of 5
Love St Lucia - we had some great guides who were very well informed. Toured the island, visiting several wonderful gardens, the beaches seemed fine, and we went to their extraordinary "drive-in" volcano, situated behind twin volcanic plugs called the Pitons, where geothermal vents gush steam - very exciting and unexpected, but extensively monitored and very safe.

Bridgetown, Barbados

5 out of 5
Also absolutely loved Barbados. Again, great guides, great gardens, glorious views and beaches, and nice people. The shops at the port were really good - and everyone here loves cricket, so Barbados rules!!

Roseau, Dominica

5 out of 5
The only island we visited that still has a significant population of its original indigenous Kalingo people, who have managed to retain much of their own culture - so very interesting. Again, we had another great guide. Also, great snorkeling, especially at Champagne reef.

Basseterre, St. Kitts

5 out of 5
Great island, wonderful views and bays - even some paragliding at Frigate bay (but not by me, you understand). Again, we had a very knowledgeable guide, who shepherded us around an extraordinary garden and to a lovely Batik studio where we all bought lots of (very reasonably priced) souvenirs.

Philipsburg, St. Maarten

3 out of 5
This Island is still under French and Dutch rule, so it is probably comfortable to live on but lacks originality or island charm. Highspot of one excursion appeared to be a trip to a modern and wildly overpriced mall. Not recommended, frankly dull.

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

3 out of 5
The roads are fiercely steep here - we were taken to a shopping mall above Magens Bay, which had a veranda with glorious views over the other Virgin Islands - bu really nothing you would want to buy. We also went on a glass-bottomed "Kon Tiki" boat that took us to a nice beach, but the glass bottom was hopeless and we didn't really see any fish or coral. Much emphasis put on drinking rum and partying, which you do anywhere so why visit St Thomas?

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Fast and problem-free.
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