Inaugural Viking Star Cruise
Viking Cruises‘ first new ocean-going vessel, Viking Star, is a mid-size cruise ship accommodating 930 guests and featuring an earthy, contemporary style. The color schemes are pleasing, with light blues, turquoises, muted corals, light woods and light leather coverings on door handles and railings. The appointments were attractive with artwork, plants and moss mosaics. I did notice what appears to be teak wood in spots was actually laminate. Not the real woods found on some other cruise lines.
As for the guest staterooms, the first thing to note is the bathrooms are fabulous. The shower is large for a cruise ship and has a bench. The counter space is generous, with shelves and plenty of storage. The floors of the bathroom are heated!
Every cabin has a spacious balcony. Veranda & Deluxe Veranda Cabins have a bed and a couch and chair/vanity area. However, the drawer space in the room is rather limited.
The Penthouse Veranda & Deluxe Veranda category staterooms have a credenza as well with several drawers. In addition to a safe, all cabins have a lighted vanity and a flat screen television (which was spotty at times and needs more viewing selections, which were promised). The Penthouse Veranda and above have a mini-bar in cabin.
Depending on stateroom booked, higher categories give you dining and shore excursion priorities. Amazingly enough, I found the wi-fi very good. The other complaint was there is no clock in the room. (There is a time display on the television screen when you turn it on.)
The main dining room is “The Restaurant.” The specialty restaurants are Chef’s Table (see photo of an entree), Manfredi’s Italian, Aquavi (outside, weather permitting) and the World Café. The other choice is Kitchen Table for cooking classes. Generally speaking, the food was very good onboard and served hot when appropriate. There were times where dishes were under seasoned, but for the most part, meals were satisfactory. Tip: the ribeye steak at Manfredi’s is popular.
Something else of note: the World café salad bar area included crab legs cut open, sushi, and large prawns. You could get a salad as well.
The Chef’s Table is very elegant with unusual dishes paired with wines. The only compliant was some of the heartier eaters didn’t feel full after dining here.
Reception Desk/Concierge: there is an area near a lounge which was the Explorer’s desk. There isn’t a “front desk” counter area. I didn’t really like they don’t have a front desk.
Although I must admit, the few times I went to the Explorer’s area there were staff with a lap top at a table to provide assistance. It just felt strange not having desks or a counter that’s open 24/7. Something different, I suppose.
One shore excursion is included at each port of call complimentary.
You can also choose from among optional excursions. The complimentary shore excursion was typically either a walking tour or a bus tour, and usually you just went by the sights versus going into a cathedral or museum. They usually showed you the highlights and if you were on a bus you could get off and take pictures. Before you disembarked they always had bottled water available to take along.