West Indies Explorer Cruise
Peter Armstrong | February 8, 2019 | Viking Ocean Cruises | Viking Sea
Pre Cruise Hotel stay was a disaster. Eventually arrived in the hotel room at 0200 and was woken at 0700 by the sound of the workmen working right outside the window. We were also accompanied at breakfast by the sound of sawing, drilling, hammering and general noise. Outside, to get to the pool or the beach, we had to run the gauntlet of workmen pressure washing the floors. On the final day we had to be out of our room by 0900, transfer to the ship was a fiasco, queing for ages, trying to locate our luggage taken the previous night from outside the rooms. This was the hotel substituted and recommended by Viking from our original booking. It was nowhere near the original hotels location in San Juan, now some 6 miles away. Outside of the hotel complex the area rapidly went downhill to the extent that one did not feel comfortable walking around the district, even in daylight. This hotel stay was not value for money and made for a bad start to the cruise.
The cruise itself was okay. Comfortable ship, nice staterooms, very pleasant public areas. Food was okay but not that much choice compared to other lines with have cruised with. Entertainment was very limited, as expected from the brochure. We went to the “night club” on two different evenings and with a maximum attendance of fifteen-twenty people on both occasions it was a bit flat to say the least. After 2200 it was like a ghost ship, or to put it another way like “a floating care home”. There was also an outbreak of “GI” in both the crew and guests which resulted in all the pool areas, sauna and gym facilities being withdrawn for several days, boredom was starting to creep in by now. As far as the free included tours, some were good but many were of the stop at the shopping mall for 30 minutes, then on to an ice cream parlour for another 30 minutes and then back to the ship. We were offloaded from the ship on the final day at 0900 and our flight was not until 1430 so a long wait at the airport. What a way to finish the holiday. We will not be going with Viking again, it is too expensive and the service and food is not as good as, for example, Celebrity.
Be prepared to manage your expectations.
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