ABOARD THE VIKING STAR – We just spent two lovely days in Denmark and today are in Stavanger, Norway. For most folks, the extensive touring in Berlin and Copenhagen wore them out a bit so spending yesterday in the little town of Aalborg was a welcome respite.
After a short look-about town, it was a day for catching up … doing laundry (the ship has free self-serve launderettes), responding to email (there is free wi-fi on board for everyone), reading or napping. Big-time napping.
Which brings me around to discussing our accommodations. For the past 10 days, we have resided in cabin 3031, a deluxe veranda stateroom. This is the most common cabin size on the ship. The penthouse verandas are slightly larger and, of course, there are a variety of suites, but not very many and they sell out early. But I am talking about the stateroom that most people are living in.
First, I have to say that it is snug. Very snug. So much so that two people cannot pass each other comfortably between the foot of the bed and the wall. And two people can’t get into the closet at the same time. That said, after this amount of time we have snuggled into our cozy digs and are accustomed to its limitations. Perhaps our biggest concern is the lack of storage space. There are only three drawers to be shared and a tiny drawer in each bedside stand. We are forced to put a lot of odds and ends on the upper shelf in the closet which I cannot reach unless I stand on the bottom rail.
But, like I said, you adapt and we have found crannies here and there to put things. I would advise you to bring several large magnetic hooks to put on the wall to hold jackets, hats, cameras and such. Also, bring less clothing. The availability of free washers and dryers means you really can bring much less than usual.
Also, this ship is very casual all of the time. There are no formal or even semi-formal nights. At the beginning of the cruise, Chet donned a sport coat for dinner but abandoned that midway through when no one else was wearing one. I brought a couple of sparkly tops that I’ve never worn either. In the cool ports, most passengers wore denim for touring. Chet never wears jeans in Europe but on this trip he donned the pair I got him to bring at the last minute. Ladies: Rely on basic black and you can really cut down on what you bring.
There is a real king bed and two small chairs with back pillows (Viking has pillows everywhere so if you need one to support your back there is always one handy) and a spindly coffee table that is totally useless as it flips over easily. The desk is all-purpose: It has a lift-up section that contains a lighted mirror and storage for makeup and other small items. Then it has a mini-fridge in a drawer. This is replenished every day with soft drinks, tonic and small candy bars at no charge. There is also room in this fridge to keep a couple of bottles of water, which is distributed generously throughout the ship. Alas, this eats up all the drawer space.
Something else this cabin has which most average staterooms never have is an individual coffee maker and the pods are replenished daily. Bags of potato chips are also provided complimentary and our ice bucket is replenished twice daily.
On the wall at the foot of the bed is a large flat-screen television which shows port talks and other ship information, movies, videos about our ports and a daily TV program recorded by our cruise director Aaron. Today he broadcast from the laundry facilities on board and interviewed the Director of Housekeeping. Interesting.
In contrast to the main cabin, the bathroom is of nice size and has good storage and a great shower. The balcony is also adequate with a nice-size table and two chairs.
In truth, because of this fabulous weather we have spent very little time in our stateroom. There are many more comfortable places to read on board and we usually head for those when we have some free time.
One last item: Viking offers 24-hour room service with a fairly extensive menu, everything from Norwegian gravlax to an angus New York strip steak. You are never far from food on this ship.
September 15, 2016