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Viking Cruises' Viking Star Cruise Ship Review
by Raye & Marty Trencher

Viking Cruises' Viking Star is unlike most ocean going cruise ships. It's beautiful, with understated elegance built around modern Scandinavian decor and design. We have cruised (Viking IDI - 11/2015) on one of Viking River Cruises Longships, and felt right at home on Viking Star.

You'll find excellent service, and a friendly staff. The same ambiance, service and style distinguish Viking Star from other cruise ships. Viking Star"s clean lines, light woods, create a calming tranquil effect from the serene Wintergarden, perfect for a calming cup of tea; to the Scandinavian-inspired Spa, a Nordic sanctuary of wellness.

The Main Pool has a retractable roof, and you'll find such unique amenities like an infinity-edge pool cantilevered off the edge of the ship, and a spa complete with a snow grotto.

The ships has many more "quite-zones" with ample seating for reading, playing cards, scrabble or just enjoying the company of fellow passengers.

There's even a Viking heritage exhibit, and in the stairwell landings, tapestries depicted the end of the Viking Age in 1066. In the two-deck Explorers" Lounge the decor is themed around ancient Viking trade routes.

The ships' itineraries are focused on the ports-of-call. Viking Star offers one complimentary shore excursion in each port of call. The Quietvox system used for shore excursions on their river cruises is also found on Viking Star.

Viking Star's Culture Curriculum, an exclusive onboard program, brings local culture to life with informative lectures on history and art; tastings of regional food and wines; and enriching Destination Performances featuring folkloric shows and musicians. On included and optional shore excursions, Viking Star provides the perfect overview of must-see cultural and historic highlights, plus delightful surprises.

Fine dining can be found in The Restaurant, which serves three full meals and the wide choice of culinary options. Viking Star's alternative restaurants, the World Cafe, The Chefs Table and Manfredi"s Italian Restaurant, serve both regional specialties and American classics.

All staterooms feature balconies on Viking Star, and at no charge, there"s 24/7 room service. Staterooms are beautifully designed, featuring a streamlined Scandinavian interior, well appointed contemporary comfort for which Viking is known. Viking Star's well-appointed ceramic stone bathrooms with Freyja bath amenities focused on the small details like the radiant heating in the bathrooms.

There are 464 staterooms, each with a balcony. Staterooms range from a 270 square-foot veranda to a 760 square-foot Explorer"s Suite. Each stateroom has ample connections to charge all your devices.

Viking Star offers complimentary beer and wine during lunch and dinner; and WiFi, is free, just as it is on Viking River Cruises. Viking Star has no casino nor Broadway style entertainment. It's not a mega-ship. Only 930 guests.

Viking Star is a thoughtful, authentic and well-designed small ship experience that brings you closer to the world"s cultures.

You will not find casinos, kids, umbrella drinks or needless distractions. Instead, Viking Star cruises to intriguing and often little-known ports, enjoying ample time ashore, many overnight stays and an included excursion in each port of call.

Viking Star"s Inclusive Approach

If you have sailed on the larger, mega-sized cruise ships and have felt that you were nickle-and-dimed at every turn, you'll find Viking Ocean Cruises refreshing.

Viking believes that you should not have to open your wallet every time you want a cup of coffee, a glass of wine or an excursion ashore. Instead, they have chosen to provide guests with great value, giving you more for your money with a cruise fare that includes everything you need, from meals and beverages to shore excursions and Wi-Fi. So it comes to no one's surprise, that Viking was named the #1 Ocean Cruise Line by Travel + Leisure readers in the World"s Best Awards 2016, overtaking the spot previously held by a luxury cruise line for 20 years. The world"s newest ocean cruise line is now the world"s best ocean cruise line.

So much is included , the value cannot be understated. Even the specialty restaurants where you can dine are at no charge. Choose Manfredi"s Italian venue or take in a wine-pairing experience at The Chef"s Table or visit Mamsen"s, the casual cafe.

What's included:

  • Complimentary transfers between airports and ship with Viking Air arrangements

  • Complimentary shore excursion in every port

  • Complimentary beer, wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner

  • Complimentary specialty coffees, teas and bottled water

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi internet access

  • Complimentary self-service laundry

  • Complimentary 24-hour room service

  • Complimentary specialty restaurant dining

  • Complimentary mini-bar [except Deluxe Veranda and Veranda staterooms]

  • Access to top-rated spa

  • Port taxes and fees

Viking estimates that these included features offer a value of $203 per person, per day.

Resort casual for your evenings, and during the day, shorts, and jeans but limited your swimsuits and workout clothes to the pool, gym and spa areas. Viking Star passengers can dress up in the evenings, even though there are no formal nights. If you want to dine at the World Cafe buffet, daytime wear is acceptable. Onboard currency is the U.S. dollar. A daily gratuity is $14 per person, per day is automatically added to your onboard account, settled at the end of your cruise. An automatic 15 percent tip is applied to all bar purchases.

This cruise line that doesn't "do" sea days. Viking's priority is creating a destination-intensive experience for its passengers. For the most part, there are no days at sea at all (except for repositioning voyages, holidays etc.). A choice of free included sightseeing tours in every port; and for an extra cost, other shore excursions option are also available. On port days, all most all passengers are out exploring. The few that stay onboard have the ship practically all to themselves. There's not a lot of nightlife onboard ( no big production stage shows ) because its ships stay late, or overnight in ports-of-call.

Who is likely to sail on Viking Star?

Viking Ocean Cruises" will appeal to 55+ travelers, who are affluent, like exploring each destination's food, culture, people and customs. Note: no children are allowed on board. Viking has announced plans for a total of six ocean ships. By 2019, Viking will have all new 930 passenger ships, including Viking Star, built in 2015; Viking Sea, built in 2016; Viking Sky and Viking Sun, debut February and October of 2017, and Viking Spirit, in June 2018; and an unnamed, sixth ship coming in March 2019.

If you have cruised with Viking before, you'll love this ship. And if your new to Viking, the experience is well worth it.

If you prefer an elegant, serene ship ambiance, more time in each port and an inclusive experience complete with exquisite dining and thoughtfully curated shore excursions, the world"s best ocean cruise line was created for you.

On a Viking Ocean Cruise, you can choose to sail through Scandinavia, the Baltic, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean. Even port calls in Cuba!

Overall, we like what we saw. A lot.









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