Lynn Schmitz is a travel agent with Just Cruises & Vacations, and can be reached directly at 561-504-2757.
EMBARK/DISEMBARK: An extremely smooth process. Even though Viking is relatively new to the ocean cruise market, they have clearly trained their staff to be efficient. There was absolutely no wait to embark or disembark this ship.
CREW: Top notch, professional, friendly, social and were on top of their game. At each meal, drinks were brought continuously and places were cleared quickly. The room staff also did a great job. The rooms were kept meticulously. Note: they were not finished until afternoon.
FOOD: There were a few options for dining. A buffet, The Restaurant, and two specialty restaurants. All are included in Viking’s price although you do need to make reservations at the specialties. The buffet is small but was never crowded. Several hot and cold meal options are given. The quality of the food was very good. There were hand-carved meats at each meal and those were nicely done.
The Restaurant (main dining) was for walk-ins, although you are seated by a hostess which is a nice touch. It had a limited menu at each meal but the food was good and there were several options to keep everyone satisfied.
Manfredi’s (specialty): We were able to get into Manfredis and this restaurant was fantastic. Aside from being delicious, a lovely variety of authentic Italian food was offered. There’s an open antipasti table being prepped by chefs at all times with fantastic cheeses, olives and fresh Italian breads. Their signature dish was a ribeye that was to die for and the second favorite on the menu was their mushroom risotto. A great restaurant for a couple or a group with a very nice ambiance.
Chef’s Table: Looked like a very interesting menu, however, we were unable to get a reservation to try it for ourselves.
Poolside Grill: This was open daily and served hotdogs, fresh hamburgers and had a small salad bar.
ROOMS: We stayed in a Veranda Balcony room and it was lovely. It was spacious with a bed, dresser, dressing vanity, large closet and bathroom. The shower was a good size, much larger than on a typical cruise ship, and was well appointed. A couple of oddities that didn’t seem to fit with the overall character of the ship was that there was one mini bag of chips left on the coffee tray and two mini candy bars in the refrigerator. This was a topic of discussion by many on board. Considering how so many details were perfected onboard, this just seemed lacking. We were able to peak in at a few larger rooms and they also exceeded expectations. Absolutely stunning.
SPA: The Viking Star Spa appeared to be lovely. However, many other passengers tried to make appointments on Day 1 and were told either there was nothing available or nothing until after 5:30 the night before the trip was to end. So we were unable to actually get the spa experience.
POOL: The pool area was laid out very nicely with plenty of seating and had a retractable roof in case of inclement weather. There was an attached tea room that offered a beautiful afternoon tea – nice touch. Many areas to relax, read or nap.
ENTERTAINMENT: There isn’t much to share on this topic as there was not much entertainment on this ship. The entertainment that was onboard was clearly geared toward the older passenger. For instance, there was an operetta singer at the piano by a bar, and we were told there would be a deck party for the younger passengers, deckside. Well that was a Beatles tribute band for the “young passengers”. There were board games set out in the library. However, there is no casino, no big stage shows, no discos etc.
BARS: There are bars set up around the Viking Star both inside and out. There are no “umbrella” drinks as Viking calls them but they do have a full service bar. Wine and beer were included. Their drink package is extremely reasonable at $20/pp per day. The prettiest views were from the bar located on the bow of the ship which had lovely seating sections for groups or couples.
OVERVIEW: Viking Star is a spectacular, yet small ship that would probably best suit the more mature traveler who wishes to have a quiet trip, not a traveler who is seeking evening entertainment or a lot of activities.
Call Lynn Schmitz at 561-504-2757 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on Viking Cruises, and other cruise and land vacations. Just Cruises & Vacations: 1-800-837-4477, or visit http://bit.ly/2eXJD5K.