Exceeding expectations.

Generally speaking our first impressions of Viking Ocean are above our expectations. Upscale but not pretentious, very friendly crew, tasty food. Basically a big step above mainstream cruise lines we have sailed before. I mean proper towels in the public restrooms? Who knew!

After boarding this morning, exploring the ship and making reservations for the private dining room for our cruise critic group, we had lunch in the World Cafe- this is Viking’s buffet restaurant. The selections are fairly typical of most cruises but the food is served in smaller batches so is fresher. Additionally, the quality of the selections (cold cuts in particular) is a step above anything we have ever had. And everyone was raving about the salmon-but you know us, salmon is not our friend…but she looked pretty. We both made salads and I had some delicious mango sorbet for dessert. Mike had a slice of roast beef for his!

Since we had purchased the drink package, we got slightly upgraded wine at our meals and of course cocktails as noted in my initial “Aboard” post. After lunch we returned to our room to find our luggage had been delivered so we unpacked. With only a small suitcase a piece it didn’t take long!

The muster drill was scheduled for 4:30 but was delayed until about 5 due to late arriving passengers. This wasn’t particularly surprising as Viking had some folks flights scheduled to arrive close to 3 pm even though “all aboard” was set for 4.

We had noticed an unusual number of passengers under the age of 30 and during muster we were sitting behind them. Turns out they are our part of our entertainment. The Virginia Gentlemen, a 15 member student acapella group from the University of Virginia are aboard. Having some folks not eligible for a seniors discount may prove to liven up the ship!

After muster, we showered and were on our balcony for sailway. Due to the nor’easter, the surf in San Juan was rougher than usual so we “was rocking and rollin” as we left. That continues to a certain extent tonight (writing this at 10:31pm) but with each minute seems to be getting calmer and less movement. 😢 so no more big splashes like this just off our balcony. Now just listening to the relaxing sounds of the bow wake with an occasional bigger splash.

We met a few fellow CruiseCritics for pre dinner drinks and then went to The Restaurant, Viking’s main dining room for dinner. The food was delicious and well prepared. Previous cruisers have critiqued the slowness of the service but we had no issue. Below are pictures of what we had, the sea bass was the winner though everything was delish. But the fish was perfectly cooked-buttery and delicious. The skin had been crisped (likely separately) and with the veal au jus was just perfect.

So the adventure is off to a great start!

First courses

Crab Soufflé and Steak Tartare (yes Lois and Robert that’s the raw beef dish)

Main Courses

Sea bass and Seared Scallops (yes of course we did half and half-trading plates halfway through)

Dessert

Coconut something – meh and Mike’s cheese plate.

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