Andy & Judi’s 2020 World Cruise Review – Vol III

Viking Sun in Noumea

This is a continuation of our 2020 World Cruise Review, which is based on a similar format that I used after our 2015 World Cruise. Volume III of the 2015 Cruise covered the negatives, or areas needing improvement, but after many hours of post cruise reflection, we can only think of 1 negative – missing most of the ports, but this was completely outside the control of the cruise line. Therefore, Vol III will address even more positives:

  • Ship – Viking Sun
  • Meals

Continue reading

Viking Ocean – Explorer Suite (ES 1) Review

Viking Sun Deck 4

When we were unable to disembark in Dubai, the 8 Canadians remained aboard the ship, as it sailed from Dubai on March 26th, for port or ports unknown. After a brief sojourn in Dubai, the Magical Mystery Cruise resumed.

Suite floorplan

Floorplan – Stbd side Suite, 4001 or 5001

A couple hours after sailing from Dubai, the 8 remaining passengers met with Norbert (GM) and all his Department Heads. First topic Norbert discussed was cabins, as Norbert graciously offered us all suites. It was resolved rather easily, as most of us moved to the fwd Suite on our deck and side of the ship. For Judi and I, it entailed moving from 4058 (DV 4) to 4000 (ES 1). By the time the meeting with Norbert concluded, Anna the Executive Housekeeper had arranged keys for our new cabins and adjusted the Cabin Steward assignments, so we retained our original Cabin Stewards. Extremely thoughtful.

Suite lounge from windows

Living Room from the fwd windows – balcony access through curtains on right

Entering the Suite, the first impression is wow!!, this is huge and it has a great view, almost as good as the view from the Bridge, 2 decks above.

Suite lounge from the door

Living/Dining Room from the entrance

The open plan Living Room, Dining Room and Office (desk) is spacious, with the cabin having lots of natural light streaming through the large deck to deckhead windows across the fwd bulkhead and down the ship’s side. Each window has 2 curtains, a sheer that provides great slightly diffused light by day and a heavy blackout curtain for night-time. As suites are fwd facing, it is imperative that the heavy blackout curtain is closed before sunset and remains closed until sunrise. Failure to comply degrades the Bridge Team’s night vision and risks incurring the wrath of the Captain or Senior Officer of the Watch.

Suite dining room and desk

Dining Room & Office (Desk) from balcony door

Unlike the Owner’s Suite with the 65″ B&O TV, the Suite TV was similar to the excellent one in our previous cabin. In addition to the size, the flooring materials on the deck are also an upgrade from regular cabins. In the Living/Dining Room, most of the flooring is laminate, with the only carpet being in the vicinity of the couch, table and chairs.

The Suites are all stocked with library books, about a couple of dozen, and some are huge and expensive coffee table publications. Each Suite had a large Atlas/Map. Although we never ordered Room Service in the Suite, the dining table would be an excellent upgrade over the low tables in the DV cabins.

Suite bedroom

Bedroom

The Bedroom is a separate area and can be closed off from the Living Room with the door adjacent to the desk. For us, this is an excellent feature, as I am awake about 05:00 and Judi prefers to sleep in, so having the connecting door let her sleep in peace.  The bed was aligned athwartships and at the fwd end of the bedroom. This made it rather tight at the fwd end, but at the aft end there was about 8 feet of empty space to reach the bathroom.

Suite closet

Walk-in closet

An excellent feature was the night-light, which can be activated on either side of the bed. It has 1 light in the bedroom and a couple of lights in the bathroom, which makes it easy getting up at night, or when the curtains are closed.

Suite double sinks

Double sinks with lots of additional storage

The bathroom was huge with double sinks, 4 huge drawers and even a heated towel rack.

Suite heated towel rack

Heated towel rack

That’s only 1/2 the bathroom, as they also have a massive walk-in shower and bath tub.

Suite shower and bath tub

Shower and Bath Tub

As seen above, it looks like a mirror at the end of the bath tub, but it is actually another TV. The TV remote is bottom right of the above photo, at the side of the tub.

Suite balcony with loungers

Balcony with loungers, table and chairs

The balcony is located on the side of the ship, with deck to deckhead windows affording protection up fwd. The deck does wrap around and all the way across the fwd bulkhead, but structural beams render it inaccessible. However, we still had great views ahead and down the Port side.

As seen above, the seats were aligned outboard for our daily viewing of the moon, stars and a planet. During the Suez Canal transit, I spent most of the day on the balcony, with all Suez photos taken on the balcony.

Summary

We greatly appreciated the opportunity to try a Suite for our remaining 2+ weeks aboard the magnificent Viking Sun. The bright and spacious cabin with incredible vistas and additional features was amazing. Closing off the bedroom and living area when I got up early certainly assisted Judi in getting more sleep.

However, for Judi the extreme fwd location did not work, as the pitching motions in a seaway are extenuated this far fwd. Although she loved the spaciousness and additional features, she prefers the reduced motion of a midships cabin. The Suites are also in close proximity to the anchors, so when weighing anchor at Suez, 6 of us were wide awake by 04:00.

Our thanks to Viking Ocean and the incredible Officers aboard the Viking Sun for providing us the opportunity to experience a Suite.

 

 

 

Andy & Judi’s 2020 World Cruise Review – Vol 1

2020 World Wonders – Viking Sun – 4th January to 2nd May (119 days)

World Cruise Map

2020 World Wonders Itinerary

Welcome to Volume 1 of our 2nd World Cruise review, which will be in a similar format to the 2015 WC Review Vol I. This is primarily a record of our travels, for Judi & I to review at a future date and reflects our personal opinions and experiences, as paying passengers. We have no prior or current connection with Viking Cruises and this was the 2nd cruise in 40 years, where I did not know the Captain, an officer or crew member before boarding.

For those interested in a Viking cruise, or even a Viking World Cruise, I encourage you to research other passenger blogs, to gain a wider and possibly more balanced review of the cruise. The other blogs that I know of are:

In addition, to discussing our experience, I will also provide comparisons between this and out 2015 World Cruise on a different company.

Continue reading

Day 97 – 10th April 2020, Disembarkation

Viking Sun at anchor Komodo Is

Sadly, every good thing must come to an end, and for the 8 remaining pax on the Magical Mystery Tour to Somewhere, today is that day. Slow steaming Westwards, in early morning it was “Land Ahoy”, as we spotted the Rock of Gibraltar. By Noon, we were brought up to the anchor, on the West side of the Rock.

Yes, with the ship, “Swinging on the pick” we disembarked by tender, but not a ship’s tender. Read on for our adventure, once we stepped off the ship.

Continue reading

Day 96 – 9th April 2020, At Sea

Officers and Guests Apr 9th between cocktails and dinner 4

OMG!!! our last full day aboard the magnificent Viking Sun and what a spectacular day, with special lunch, cocktail party, special dinner with a brilliant dessert followed by birthday cake, then an amazing show staring Viking Vocalist Tobias.

A couple of days ago, I mentioned we had completed all the behind the scenes tours, but NO, we had another one tonight, after dinner. Read on!!

Continue reading

Day 95 – 8th April 2020, At Sea

Dubai Baffo Officer v's Pax 2

Yesterday we received the shock news that we are going home, so the cruise is starting to wind down, Other than a very competitive Baggo match against Engineering, today was a rather quiet and relaxing day. Quite a contrast to tomorrow, which will be busy.

Note: above photo is one I found on the laptop when flying home yesterday that I hadn’t posted. It is from Dubai, so some participates had already left the ship in Dubai. This was after the Officers v’s pax match, which the pax won by almost 100 points.

Continue reading

Day 94 – 7th April 2020, At Sea

Induction certificate

Today we received information that changed Mystery Cruise to Somewhere, to the Mystery Cruise to Gibraltar. Yes!, we now have an end in sight, so read on to find out when and how we are all getting home.

In addition to receiving flight instructions, we participated in a thank-you message to the Hagen Family from the Officers & Crew, and participated in a Viking Crew Induction Course, we even received a certificate upon completion.

Continue reading

Day 93 – 6th April 2020, At Sea

Name badge

We have completed all the behind the scene ship tours, but still have the HR Crew Induction Training to attend, so we scheduled that for tomorrow afternoon. Since we were provided “Honorary Crew” badges, the H/R Manager offered to host a quick crew induction session for us.

Today we resume the Baggo challenge, after a 2-day sabbatical, read on to find out the result. Hint – it was really close < 100 points.

Continue reading

Day 92 – 5th April 2020, At Sea

Bird following flying fish and missed

As we slowly steam through the rather windy and choppy Mediterranean Sea, we enjoyed another quiet and relaxing sea day aboard the magnificent Viking Sun. This was our 2nd day in a row without a scheduled Baggo match, so I can only hope our longer layoff doesn’t negatively affect our team’s performance tomorrow.

Regular readers are aware we have enjoyed numerous behind the scenes tours, so today we completed the last two areas, with a double header. Read on to see where we visited today. Hint, these days you normally don’t see them while at sea.

The ship also started a new initiative today, with the crew working 1 day on followed by a day off, for recreation, training, personal development, etc. Therefore, with only about 50% of the crew working each day, our crew/passenger ration has dropped to a still very impressive 28.65 crew to each passenger.😊

Continue reading