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The cruising experience onboard Viking Sky

26 Apr 2017 | by Nikki Osborne
Viking Sky made her debut in 2017, after joining Viking Ocean as sister ship to Viking Sea and Viking Star. Viking Ocean is well regarded for the All-Inclusive nature of its cruises, of which features and services amount to an advertised worth of a healthy $203 USD (roughly £151) per day. Some of the stand out All-Inclusive services include: one complimentary excursion in each port of call, unlimited WiFi, and free airport transfers.

Our Luxury Commercial Executive, Suzi, and Sales Agent, Jade (who you may recognise from Planet Cruise Weekly) were eager to get onboard. After spending 4 nights cruising from Rome to Crete, as part of a Cities of Antiquity and Holy Land itinerary, Suzi shares their experience with us below...

Left: Suzi, right: Jade

Day 1

My first thought was 'where is everybody!' The ship had an extremely spacious feel, and was decorated in pastel blues and browns giving the feeling of calmness. The staterooms were huge, each with more than enough storage space and a good size veranda. The showers were a very good size, and the bathrooms had heated floors and anti-mist mirrors - what more can a woman want! There were no queues for the buffet lunch when we boarded, and ample seating space.

Lunch was amazing; we had a very varied choice from seafood to salads, including spare ribs and melt in the mouth beef! There was a fine selection of sweets too, including ice creams with a choice of toppings. Alternative restaurants are of no extra charge but do require bookings. The WiFi onboard was free to passengers and was honestly the best WiFi connection I have experienced onboard a cruise ship.

Day 2

On our second day we went on a Rome City Highlights tour, which was inclusive of the cruise fare. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable as he has always lived in Rome. The tour had minimal walking, so most of the time we were seeing the sights from the moving bus. This is great for passengers who are much more comfortable not being on their feet all day, or are limited for time. It did mean that unfortunately a lot of our pictures were taken through the windows - but we did get to see a lot and were able to spend an hour and a half at the Vatican.

On our second night we dined in Manfredis Italian alternative restaurant. We had 1 of the 2 private rooms booked, and managed to fit all 15 of us in. I felt very special walking past other diners to enter the room -  though please note that if you want to book a private room you must do so in advance. I really wanted to try the ribeye steak as I was told it was superb. I knew that it was going to be a little spicy, but unfortunately it was too spicy for me as it had been marinated with chilli flakes. It was no trouble for the waiters to take another order from me - I went for the shrimp pasta as a main dish, which came out very quickly so that we could all dine at the same time.

Day 3

We had the opportunity to go on an excursion to Pompeii from Naples. Once again the guide was from this area, and was very knowledgeable. We were warned beforehand that there would be plenty of walking, and this did prove to be the case - but I also had a chance to stop and enjoy the view with a glass of champagne! It was a very enjoyable tour and very informative.

When we got back, we relaxed in the spa area where we were able to use the steam room, followed by the snow room - what an experience! We then used the jacuzzi and hydrotherapy pool. Jade was very brave and did the ice bucket and the cold plunge pool!

Day 4

Today was a sea day, and I decided to order room service for breakfast which came right on time! 

There were plenty of things scheduled on the program to keep us occupied whilst at sea. Some of the events that caught my eye included the lecture with Commander Michael Cheshire: ''HMS Victory - Flagship of the Royal Navy'', and the lecture with Dr. Patrick Goodness: ''Discover Crete - Greece's largest island and birthplace of Zeus''. Also the cooking demonstration by Executive Chef Pascal De Portemont and Pastry Chef Harmender seemed very popular.

As we had limited time to explore onboard during the course of the 4 nights, we opted to spend the afternoon in the aft of the ship where the infinity pool and jacuzzi were - what an experience as we were sailing along! The pool was tepid and the Jacuzzi was hot. I used my onboard credit to try a deep tissue massage - it was my first professional massage by a man! I found it extremely beneficial and very relaxing. I then spent the rest of the afternoon in the spa area completely chilling out.

That evening we dined at the Chefs Table, again in a private room. All dishes were paired with various wines, complimenting each other. The food was absolutely amazing! Once again, wines would be included during this dining experience, but if you have a Silver Spirits Drinks Package, the wine was upgraded.

Torshavn is the place to end your night in. We watched The Viking Classical Trio followed by resident vocalists Judith and Arvin as they entertained the room until about 12 midnight. There were only a few people in there on the first night, but the crowds seemed to grow as the days were going by.

Day 5 - Disembarkation

As we were on a 'familiarisation' trip, we were disembarking earlier than the rest of the passengers, but we were able to keep our stateroom available for use which was excellent. The flight back from Crete was indirect through Athens with about a 40 minute transfer time, which was actually enough. We flew with Aegean, which had ample leg room, a friendly crew, and provided a quick biscuit snack on the shorter leg of the journey and a meal on the second.

Lasting impressions

The passengers onboard were very friendly and mostly American. The staff were always very courteous and professional, and you were made to feel very special. The average age onboard for customers was probably early 70's, but I'm sure most were much younger at heart!

Top tip

I would definitely recommend that customers take out the Silver Spirits Drinks Package as this is such good value, and is even cheaper to take out before you travel - just speak to the cruise agent you book with. It works out at roughly $20 per day, and will cover your drinks outside of dining times. Note that both passengers in the stateroom have to take out the packages. That said, the drinks are still very reasonably priced too, if you only enjoy a small tipple here and there. 

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