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Bill and I were invited by Viking for a complimentary four-day sail on the Viking Star from NYC to Puerto Rico. This was out second sailing on the Star; last year we sailed her from Venice to Istanbul. There were no ports of call on this cruise, giving everyone a chance to explore the ship and all its amenities and listen to Viking executives talk about future plans and programs. Both Bill and I agree, this is the best designed ship we have ever sailed on, bar none.
After a couple of days in NYC on our own, we boarded the Viking Star. We were early boarders and sailed through the boarding process. Very smooth and it was just as smooth disembarking in San Juan, so kudos to Viking for simplifying and streamlining the process.
We sailed out of NYC past the Statue of Liberty and the NYC skyline at night. Absolutely spectacular!
When you are aboard the Viking Star, it’s hard to believe it holds 930 passengers. The ship is so well designed that you can be anywhere on the ship and feel like you are alone. Even riding up and down on the elevators is easy and seldom crowded. Viking did their research and decided what was important and what was not, based on customer feedback. For example, they eliminated the casino and art auctions/sales and no one is trying to take your picture every time you move. Instead, they designed the ship to provide more comfortable areas to relax. No children under the age of 18 years. The main dining room is not one big open area like it is on most ships. It is partitioned off, so wherever you sit, you don’t see many people. Since there are open dining times we seldom experienced any waiting for a table. There are two specialty restaurants. The Chef’s Table and Manfredi’s (Italian) which are excellent. In addition to the main dining area (The Restaurant) there is also the World Café for buffet dining. Finally, our favorite for a special breakfast is Mamsen’s, which serves Norwegian style selections, like waffles and Norwegian cheese with lots of fresh berries. It is located on the 7th deck near the Explorer’s Lounge.
Although we were traveling fairly light for this short cruise (you know us, we never travel very light), we found the storage in our stateroom more than adequate and well laid out. Our stateroom with veranda was 270sqft. There were plenty of USB ports and U.S. electrical outlets to keep all our electronics charged.
As an overall experience, we think the Viking Star and other Viking ocean ships which will be identical, provide the best cruise experience. The crew was well trained and courteous, the food excellent and the overall ambience unbeatable.
And, Viking offers some excellent choices for future cruises. Note: Viking will be adding Australia and New Zealand cruises in the winter of 2018 and plans to start sailing in Alaska waters in the summer of 2019. Lots to look forward to!!
Let me book you on your next ocean cruise, aboard one of the Viking ships.