As a first experience of ocean cruising, Viking has probably spoilt us for a number of other lines. While not a small ship (~900 passengers), we did not encounter the congestion that we imagine happens in much larger ships. The stateroom was lovely, the bathroom larger than expected and very functional, with plenty of storage for everything.
Dining options were varied and all very good. Most notably, the tasting menus at The Chef’s Table, which we booked three times, were absolutely exquisite. All the included extras (shore excursions, drinks and wifi) as well as the “no casino, no kids” policy made a positive difference.
The “Viking Sea” is only 2 years old and is decorated in sleek and simple Scandinavian style, featuring beautiful Scandinavian artworks. The ship is spotlessly clean, and one of the highlights was the exceptional quality of all the onboard staff, who were friendly, helpful, engaging, and always happy to have a chat. Viking must have an impressive staff training program.
Our itinerary for the 11 day cruise was a busy one and the included shore excursions were all excellent and very well organised. We visited 9 different islands, with different history, scenery and cultures, shown to us by excellent local guides, and all were both beautiful and fascinating.
The days when we did additional optional excursions were very busy, but we especially loved the French Cooking Class with a local chef in Saint Martin. We were sad to see the lingering devastation of cyclones going back a number of years on all the islands. I would recommend this cruise to others and I am sure that we will travel with Viking again in future.