One of the differences between Viking and virtually all other cruise lines is that each voyage allows its passengers to board the ship and stay in port that day and the next. This allows its passengers time to explore the ship thoroughly and settle into their staterooms before she even sails. And oh what staterooms!
For years conventional cruise wisdom went along the lines of “Oh your stateroom doesn’t matter because you’ll never stay in it any way”. I have to believe this was largely based on the fact that on many ships the staterooms are so claustrophobic or completely lacking in charm so that you’d sooner spend as much time as possible away from them. Instead, Viking Star’s staterooms have the exact opposite effect. They are so comfortable, so complete and such wonderful places to return to after a day of touring, that I find myself building time into the day just to enjoy the comfort and well, luxury, that I’m surrounded by.
My stateroom is labeled a Penthouse Veranda Suite. It is the third cabin category down in a choice of 5. At 338 square feet, it is considerably larger than the snug River cruise stateroom I had in June. But many of the design innovations that wowed me on the River cruise are present here. Blond and blue, it’s as soothing as the motion of the ship. While it’s been my experience that in order to create an illusion of space, other cruise lines ‘miniaturize’ the furniture to make their staterooms –even suites—look larger, here your full-sized seating area features a full-size couch, an easy chair and for me, an essential desk chair. The ‘coffee table’ doubles as an ottoman. And then, there’s the bed.
It is a King which, if you’re sailing with a friend and not a partner, can be made into twins, and it is one of the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in. This is greatly enhanced by perfectly beautiful Dibella linens, crisp and white with blue accents.
Then there are the amenities. There’s a 40 inch television which features broadcast channels, movie channels, TV on demand even TED talks. This is the most interactive ship ever built and your devices from your laptop to your mobile phone to your Kindle HDX are all linked into the ship, sending you timely reminders of activities you’ve signed up for and enabling you to make reservations for tours and specialty restaurants. There’s a safe and an entire refrigerated drawer, which, at this stateroom level, is replenished daily with complimentary soft drinks, beer and airline sized bottles of liquor. And it’s all included in the fare!
There’s ample drawer and closet space, certainly more than enough for one person and very likely two, if you don’t travel like Wallis Windsor with 78 pieces of luggage. Your suitcases fit under the bed never to be tripped over again.
Finally there’s the bathroom. It is a model of Viking efficiency of course. And it is also beautiful if difficult to photograph. The heated floors make you want the same at home. There’s plenty of room to stow everything away so the place stays completely pristine from it’s gleaming chrome fixtures to its white ceramic sink, ample shower stall and lovely faux wood tiles in a shade of soothing light gray.
I like Stateroom 6082 so much, that I order breakfast to eat here, often on the ample balcony (every single stateroom has one) where two chairs and a sturdy table make it a perfect place to stare at the sea and watch the waves go by. Lucky, lucky me.