Viking Sky Venice to Athens. Once again we loved the ship. It was our third Viking Ocean Cruise. Fortunately we added the pre cruise in Venice for three nights at the Hilton Molino Stucky. All was good. Then the rains and the flooding came. On our arrival in Venice we were met by a Viking Rep at the airport who escorted us to our transfer to the hotel.It was a long long walk. We were then put on a tiny speedboat with four other passengers and all our luggage. The speedboat driver then took off as if he was a racing driver. How he managed it without luggage flying off I will never know. Transfers from the hotel to the ship....nice ride.. but then fifteen minutes walk at least to the ship as the guide galloped on ahead. Considering that most Viking cruisers are aged 50 plus this was not good. An overnight on the ship and then the rains came. We were then told we had to have another day in port as he harbour was closed. Fair enough, not Vikings fault, but it meant we missed our first port of call at Split. The ship was as usual elegant and didn't seem crowded although it was full. The buffet and the Restaurant were excellent. Manfredis was not so enjoyable as the two previous cruises, the menu had changed and not for the better. Viking has never been known for great entertainment. We used the Passport bar for pre dinner drinks. Andras the pianist was excellent even though a fellow passenger seemed to have become enamoured of him and monopolised him! The girl trio was ok but the guitarist was awful. I don't mean to be this to be a negative review although it may seem that way. We were not blessed with good weather but made the most of it. We booked optional tours which were good, especially in Kotor. The included tours were quite frankly walk, walk walk. Im rather peeved that at the last day in Katakolon we were not informed that for those not taking an included tour there were taxis around the corner who would take you to town for five euros. A shuttle should have been provided. As usual transfers from Piraeus to the airport were excellent but a little too early. Our two previous cruises on Star and Sea in the Caribbean were superb. What was not so good this time was the complete disregard for any dress code both day and night. Jeans and baseball caps were rife plus people wandering around in robes at night. Also to be fair we had just suffered a double bereavement prior to our cruise and maybe we would have cancelled but the insurance would not have covered our costs. Viking is not cheap. On the plus side, the rooms were warm and welcoming, our steward was a gem. Would I sail Viking again? Oh yes, but only in the Caribbean or maybe try a river cruise. Included tours are all well and good but not when you have to run to keep up. The optional tours were better but of course are extra. We came home saying "was that it?". I don't know about the future. Maybe back to Celebrity?
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