Continued from Page 1 of 2
Quiet Inspiration & Spectacular Views
There are many places on board the Viking Ocean cruise ships for spectacular views, but I think the best combination of views & repose is in the magnificent Explorers’ Lounge which houses the ship’s impressive library (deck 8). I especially enjoyed the views and comfort of this lounge during our small ship’s approach into Venice as I listened via the ship’s QuietVox audio system to our knowledgeable lecturer discuss the history, architecture and beauty of this glorious city. Also not-to-be-missed is the lounge’s photo collection which runs continuously on the large TV screen. Awesome.
- So easy to do on board this ship. I just love the water for jogging, aerobics, stretching – you name it! My favorite spots are the 2 pools on deck 7 and the huge whirlpool of The Spa (deck 2).
- Next in line are the recumbent bikes and jogging track on deck 9. Extraordinary 360 degree views from the ship’s top deck provide enough inspiration to keep any exerciser finishing her workout without too much effort.
- For the hard-core fitness guru, which is never me on vacation, Viking also has the requisite Fitness Center (deck 2) located right next to The Spa. So you can go right from your workout to soothing the tired muscles in The Spa.
Denis and I thought all the entertainment on board ship was most enjoyable, and this may well be a first for us. Here are a few of our favorites …
- At the Star Theatre, (deck 2), we especially enjoyed the Broadway style revues, particularly those in French, the performance of an Italian operatic trio singing the best of Puccini and Verdi followed by an opera sing-a-long for the audience, a Live-at-the-Met performance of everybody’s favorite opera, La Bohème, and the fascinating lectures on the history and culture of our ports of call presented by our guest lecturers.
- In the 3-story Atrium (decks 1-3) at cocktail hour, the ship’s pianist entertained us with beautiful music medleys as we enjoyed a specialty of Viking Ocean Cruises— Munch Moments — featuring a slideshow of beautiful works of art by the Norwegian artist, Edward Munch. Perhaps not as famous as Munch’s The Scream, these works of art are infinitely more serene and enjoyable to gaze and reflect upon.
- Self-Guided Audio Tour of the ship’s fascinating art collection narrated by the inimitable Karine Hagen, daughter of Viking founder, Torstein Hagen. Just download the special App on your smartphone and away you go — speaking of art appreciation! (decks 1-8)
- The unique and original TORSHAVN nightclub (Deck 2) just outside the Star Theatre. We loved the tributes to Edith Piaf and the Rat Pack.
- Movie & Popcorn around the Main Pool deck which transforms into a movie theatre at the flick of a switch with its retractable glass roof & large outdoor movie screen (Deck 7). First-run movies always shown.
- In-room entertainment systems with an ideal selection of movies and TED talks to enrich our visits to our ports of call. Plus, videos of the daily port and excursion talks as well as of the talks presented in the auditorium by the guest lecturers on board ship are available on the entertainment system to inform and inspire.
Fun & Games
While we just never found time to indulge, every day we saw plenty of guests enjoying the games.
- If you love to play board games or cards, then your place of choice on board the Viking Star is the second floor of the 3-story atrium where the game tables are located.
- If you prefer outdoor games, then you can try the putting green or the shuffle board games with the fabulous views on deck 9.
Thirsty for a Cocktail
My what a choice on board ship!
- Torshavn nightclub (Deck 2). Open in the evening only, this is my favorite bar on board ship – I loved the old world feel of the place and very much enjoyed the musical revues we saw here. Go for the Armagnac & dark chocolate tasting — we missed it but heard it is fabulous!
- Viking Bar (deck 1) … We ordered our cocktails here to enjoy the piano music and the Munch Moments.
- Star Theatre Bar (deck 2) … very convenient to the theatre. Sometimes we purchased our drinks here while waiting for the theatre to open, other times the server came to our seats to take our order.
- Explorers’ Lounge Bar (deck 7) … Oh what a view!
- Aquavit Terrace Bar(deck 7) … Ditto!
- Pool Bar (deck 7) … Occasionally, we would start our drinking in the late afternoon right here.
Perfect spots for the Sail Away
By far our favorite spot is the Aquavit Terrace at the stern of the ship with its outdoor seating, open-air Bar and Infinity Pool (Deck 7). Here are some other great choices in no particular order …
- Explorer’s Lounge at the bow of the ship (deck 7)
- Mamsen’s adjacent to the Explorer’s Lounge (deck 7) … sit by a window
- World Café (deck 7) … sit by a window
- our Stateroom Veranda
Culinary offerings to suit every palette …
I counted 12 different places to indulge in culinary pleasure on board the Viking Star, each with its own unique personality. The “culinary” factor is clearly one of the highlights of Viking Ocean cruises and so we had no trouble satisfying every whim and craving we had. In line with this emphasis on “culinary”, I understand each cruise offers an excursion to the local market with the Executive Chef followed by a hands-on cooking lesson and a dinner to enjoy the fruits of your labor at the Kitchen Table (deck 1). While we did not experience this gourmet pleasure, I understand that people love it … and it’s on my list for the next time we cruise with Viking.
If you are interested in more in-depth coverage of the culinary pleasures aboard Viking Ocean Cruises, stay tuned for a future article.
What are the staterooms like?
Viking Star, as well as her 2 sister ships which succeeded her, Viking Sea and Viking Sky, is an all-veranda ship designed to carry 930 passengers in 450 staterooms, the standard size of which is a comfy 270 square feet. A king-size bed fits easily into the cabin which is well illuminated via the floor-to-ceiling windows as well as by the well-designed nighttime lighting.
My favorite features of the cabin are the dressing table, with its artfully designed interior storage space including a large illuminated mirror and outlets, and the in-room entertainment system which I described above. The bathroom is intelligently designed and illuminated, and is also quite a comfortable size — imagine being able to really do some serious stretching in the shower! When I think about my stateroom, I can’t help but focus on how much I appreciated the quality of service provided by our very attentive stateroom steward who was always so willing to respond to any special request we made.
In an ambiance of quiet refined elegance, with a focus on the arts and beauty throughout the ship, an emphasis on cultural enrichment, entertainment and culinary excellence, Viking Ocean Cruises has a philosophy and a focus that responds to a wide range of interests on board ship. A space for every taste.
I loved the deep relaxation of the Nordic Spa, the aerobic workouts in the pools – especially the Infinity pool where I could enjoy the gorgeous views as I exercised – the extraordinary art collection throughout the ship, the live music and top-notch entertainment, the excellent lectures, and of course the wide range of culinary offerings on board ship … with enjoyment enhanced by the fabulous views out of the floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the ship. Moreover, the ship is so well designed and managed that, despite the 930 guests aboard, I encountered few lines, even at departure, and those I did encounter were short. I was pampered, culturally inspired, well-prepped to visit the ports of call, tastefully nourished and artfully entertained. Viking Ocean cruise ships are designed for pleasure.
Stay tuned to BonVoyageurs.com for our writings about other Countries of the World as we share our joie de vivre from around the world. Luxury escapes, cruises and city breaks to Québec City, New York, Washington, Buenos Aires. In Europe and the Mediterranean, places like Paris and Nice in France, Florence, Rome, Napoli and the Amalfi Coast in Italy, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in Israel. In Asia, countries like China, India, Nepal and so much more!
Return to Page 1 of 2