Sailing on Viking Cruises new Viking Star recently, one thing is quite clear: there is a lot to like. Another undeniable fact: there is no ship sailing quite like it. Let’s take a look at what makes this ship different.
Not to scare off those who fear change, fans of cruise vacations will indeed find some familiar elements. Viking Star floats and sails like just about any other cruise ship you might have sailed. That’s about where the similarity between Viking Star and all other ships out there ends though.
On the possible downside (depending on what one wants to get out of a cruise), there is no casino, top deck amusement park rides or children’s program to speak of. Let’s just get that out of the way right now and let those for whom such attractions make for a fabulous trip move along.
Designed For Travelers
On the very large up side, this is a ship designed for adults who like to travel and see places. An included tour at every port is not an original idea but one that Viking can stake claim for as they did originate the idea on the popular Viking River Cruises. Viking’s river passengers liked that idea so much that they begged for an ocean-going ship and began a conversation that included a bunch of their suggestions, rolled into the design of Viking Star.
Like to eat?
Let’s just put it this way: I gained 12 pounds on a 10-day sailing. Now, two weeks later, they have not dropped off. That’s a first for me, not experienced since we first began cruising as a family more than a decade ago.
Digging a bit deeper, that result might have something to do with the 11 different dining venues on board Viking Star, none of which carry the surcharge one might expect of other cruise lines “alternative dining venues”. They are all good and there was never a problem getting into any of them. 24-hour room service? They have it and it is good. On larger ships, it takes so long for delivery that I wonder if they are trying to discourage us from using room service. Viking Star: 15 minutes, like clockwork.
Like Spending Some Time In Your Stateroom?
You’ll like that on Viking Star, all staterooms have balconies. Inside and Oceanview cabins are not even a choice.
There are different sizes and configurations but all those all-balcony staterooms come with a lot of appropriate features not offered on other lines:
- Embarkation starts at 11:00 AM- It’s what we want, Viking gave it to us
- King-size Viking Explorer bed with luxury linens- Not two twins pushed together
- Complimentary Wi-Fi- not the fastest but free is free
- Luxury Robes & Slippers- the only time Lisa has asked “do you think these slippers are for us to take home?” (they are)
- Luxury Toiletries- big bottles that are full of good quality products
- Direct Dial Satellite Phone & Cell Service- not that I want to use it, but nice to know
One of the most encouraging parts of our trip was realizing that Viking Star is the first of possibly 10 more ocean-going ships. When a new product is introduced into the marketplace, there are often shakedown issues to be resolved. As good as Viking Star was, mainly for feature noted above that any cruise line might choose to offer, most of these features did not cost them a whole lot. They just paid attention and delivered what cruise travelers want. We like when that happens.
To learn more about Viking Cruises and her new ocean cruises, visit www.vikingcruises.com
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