The sites were fantastic. The ship was very good. The food was very good. The service was excellent. The shore excursions left a lot to be desired. Some were cancelled and the there was little concern by the on board shore staff.
Favorite part and the reason for selecting this one was the cities it stopped at to visit. Improvements on this itinerary would be (1) Notify early on that a Gondola Ride would be available on the first evening in Venice. Had a frustrating time trying to find out how we could get one on our own. And then when it was announced on the website, it was more frustrating making a reservation as it indicated space available but wouldn't accept the credit card. Finally, after numerous tries, we were confirmed. (2) Included excursions/tours were not very desirable. When Florence is listed on the itinerary, one would expect an included tour there. The included tour of Toulon was a waste of time. We bought more excursions than anticipated. It was a very good cruise but recommend not going over Easter weekend as the crowds are overwhelming; example, impossible to walk through the streets of Corfu on Good Friday.
This was our first small ship cruise. We enjoyed be able to move around easier because of fewer people on board and hardly any waiting lines. Also enjoyed not being asked to buy something all the time i.e. Photos, drinks,art etc. The ports on this cruise were outstanding and the included tours were good.We took three optional tours that were excellent. The service was great by the crew. We did feel like the gratuity was too high $15 per day per person ,based on the price we payed for the cruise. Viking should be able to lower the gratuities with out taking anything away from the crews pay. We did appreciate the upgrade on cabin. The Viking air cost too much, was not good connections and we paid $100.00. each for flight deviation and lost a transfer we paid for in the process.
The onboard experience was excellent...the food, the service and especially the staff were the best. All dinning areas were excellent, The Restaurant, Manfredi's, The Chef's Table and the World Cafe buffet.
We really enjoyed our trip with Viking . We liked the ship, the staff , the service and the food. The itinerary was not that very interesting to us. We saw many islands that all looked alike with nothing but views. For someone else this may be ideal.
The Viking Star is a very very nice ship.
The ship and its staff were exceptional. The design and decoration were top notch. The entertainment was very good as was the food in the cafe. Chef's Table menus were not especially good.
The ship was beautiful, very elegant. The staff were extremely warm, genuine and helpful. THe food was excellent. I would recommend however that there be more activities on the ship,such as bingo or other games.
All in all we were very pleased with the tour. So we gave it 4 1/2 stars.
The ship was very nice and comfortable. The food was good but not of the quality of our City of Lights River Cruise of a couple years back. (which was the reason we booked this tour)
We loved all of the ports we visited except St Petersburg, which we were a day late getting to port due to bad weather and high winds. The schedules for tours were completely disrupted. The Russian people for the most part saw us as a burden and the only friendly people were the guides.
Most of the tours were good with knowledgeable guides with some exceptions. Flaam was great, Stavanger was great, Aalborg was great, Copenhagen was great, Berlin was great because we hired our own private guide. Gdynia and Gdansk were great, Tallinn was great except the guide's audiovox didn't work so we couldn't hear her, We lost the first day in St Petersburg so the rest of the tours were jammed. For instance the ballet was overcrowded and had standing room only and awful seating. The Catherine's Palace was ok and the guide was ok but the Russian Museum was a bust due to losing an hour waiting for other busses to show up from other tours so after taking an hour to get there we had just over 45 minutes to tour one floor before the hour ride back to the ship. Helsinki was great and the best guide of all. She was very knowledgeable and spoke in a clear strong voice. The Stockholm by boat tour could have been good but for some reason the afternoon tour was canceled and they packed everyone on one bat so there was no opportunity for pictures or to see anything clearly unless you got on first and acquired a window seat in the front section as the windows opened. The rear did not and two of them were so clouded up you couldn't see out of them. Total waste of money. It was so bad we canceled our scheduled afternoon bus tour and went to Old Town on our own.
I realize this is a fairly new cruise but they need to get the whole tour thing straightened out especially the one's we pay extra for. I have to note that with the exception of Russia, the busses and drivers were all top notch. The Russian busses were old ratty and noisy so it was hard to hear the guides with their monotone voices.
We would recommend this tour to others because I'm sure Viking will have all these kinks worked out by then.
The service and staff were all very good especially our maid and the waiters in the Living Room and the Explorers lounge.
The time in port was a bit short, we would have liked an extra day in most ports especially Stockholm.
As far as I'm concerned they could cut Russia out of the tour and add the days to a couple other ports.
The ship Viking Star is just beautiful a pleasure to be in it, cabin very comfortable and roomy plus it had a private veranda, food was great and you had a large selection to select. If you like to seat and read or swim, exercise, walk, dance, see movies, take a drink or few or do nothing this is the ship. All of the crew persons were excellent there were there for what ever was your need and they will do it with a smile. Ports of call were great and tours offered are good. You get to visit 8 countries and get a superficial view of them, not enough time but gives you and idea of what country you would like to return to for a deep view and knowledge. All and all my wife and I really enjoy the cruise and sure recommended, you will have fun.
I enjoyed every aspect of the cruise. I saw cities I have always wanted to visit. The one city I think we could have missed was Berlin. Two and 1/2 hours to travel to the city is a long time. I would rather have seen Riga, Latvia. Also we could have by-passed Berlin and gone to Hamburg, Germany, which was also part of the Hanseatic League. (I don't know whether cruise ships go to Hamburg). My favorite city was Copenhagen. It is a place I have always wanted to visit since I was an exchange student in Hamburg, Germany. My German parents had a sailboat, and we sailed up the coast of Denmark (Jutland) but never went to Copenhagen.
The Port talks each evening were extremely informative. I enjoyed hearing about the different excursions even if I wasn't going on them. The enrichment lectures were very good. I especially enjoyed Mr. Goodness. The enrichment lecture on Amber could have been earlier so people knew what to look for when buying jewelry pieces with Amber.
Thea weather was excellent. It was warmer than I expected (low 70s). However I felt I had appropriate clothing.
It is a wonderful part of the world to visit. I feel that I got a jump start on seeing the Baltic. It has become a very popular area of the world to visit.
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