Plan your cruise very carefully. List port times first, then plan your excursions. The earlier in a port you do an excursion the better. Sometimes we ran into the problem that we arrived somewhere, our tour was several hours later but there was not enough time to go ashore & return for the tour. So our free time was compromised.
We started in Bergen so we added a 3 day tour in Iceland beforehand. I would not xtend in Stockholm - too long.
We started in Berge so we went to Iceland first for three day. I would recommend adding a couple days in Stockholm on the back end. Also hire your personal guide for Berlin or you will waste your time.
It is a very busy cruise when one partakes in all the excursions. It was good to have some early afternoon departures and one day at sea. I personally needed the down time. The regional choice on the dinner menu each night was a good way to sample the ethic foods.
Don't take too many clothes and go casual. The onboard free laundry provides everything. Also, the drinks that you pay for are very reasonable compared to other ships we've been on.
They offer a regional favorite for each port!!
* Have a Norwegian chef on a Norwegian ship. I talked with head chef and he hadn't heard of several dishes - that are every day Norwegian fare. * Train your entire staff, not just a hand full The old saying, you get what you pay for, certainly doesn't apply to Viking
Sign up for your chosen excursions as soon as you are able. The excursions were wonderful, and there were lots of options, but to get your chosen time slot, early is best. Also, so many passengers book a second ocean trip while on board that is important to sign up with their booking agent early, or you may not get time to book onboard and garner all the special discounts and benefits available with an onboard booking.
Book a cabin in the center of the ship between the two elevator hubs. This will give you the shortest distance to get to all the major amenities aboard the ship. This helped us with my mother having a cane and or walker.
Try the Spa with sauna, cool-dip pool and snow house.
River cruises are much more intimate in both personnel and service. This ocean cruise was definitely lacking on personal attention.
Book extras with a private company it is a lot cheaper. We added 3 day in Iceland on our and saved 50% of what they were asking.
A beautiful and clean ship. Read carefully the excursions and make sure they cover what you are interested. This itinerary is not conducive to wheelchair/walker use (unless you plan to stay on the ship at every port).
We made our own arrangements to travel to Athens for 3 nights from Barcelona,had a great time then flew back to Barcelona for the Viking Air to New Orleans.
Get a suite.
Star is a very nice ship.
Casual clothes are fine--never put on the one dress I took. Can I offer another tip? Book excursions early.
Take advantage of the fine dining opportunities, relaxing in the Explorers Lounge or pool side area, and the entertainment in the atrium and theater.
What a fabulous ship, cabin and crew. We would recommend all three to anyone considering a cruise but look at a Deluxe Veranda category for the best options in specialty dining and excursion selection.
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