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We’ve just returned from the West Indies aboard a Viking Ocean Cruise and had the chance to visit nine countries and ports-of-call during their 10-day sailing. The journey begins with embarkation and settling into our Deluxe Veranda stateroom in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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[Explorer’s Lounge]

We’re given access to our room at 2 pm. Since we’d arrived a few days ahead of the cruise and already spent a few day exploring San Juan, we’re ready to tour the ship once our documents are cleared at port.

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[Infinity pool]

San Juan’s cruise ship terminal is the world’s busiest. By the time we’ve settled into our room and left the ship for a walk into town, there’s six ships docked (four are mega-ships; ours is one of the “smaller” cruisers)!

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[Breakfast muffins served table side at The Restaurant on Deck 2]

Staff are super friendly and welcome us onboard with a glass of champagne (or punch), then direct us to the World Café on Deck 7, where a full buffet lunch awaits (the spread is well-varied, and I’m ready to dig into the salad bar in this balmy climate).

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[Dinner at The Restaurant]

There’s hot and cold dishes, meats and cheeses, and at the end of the bar, an awesome selection on baked goods and a gelato counter (cookies and ice cream, oh my!).

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[Fresh-baked cookies and homemade gelato are top priorities in the afternoon 😍]

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[Pool Grill]

After lunch, we explore the library, common areas, row of boutiques, main and infinity pools, LivNordic spa, hair salon, fitness room, theatres, bars, and sports deck, located mainly on decks 2 and 7.

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Speaking of spa, this one’s got some amazing spaces: steam room, sauna, plunge pool, hydrotherapy pool, a full massage menu — even a snow grotto!

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Aboard every Viking cruise (river or ocean) is an included excursion with several optional (paid) ones to select from.

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Viking’s staterooms aren’t particularly large (unless you book either a Penthouse or Explorer suite), however the space is so intelligently designed that shelving, closets and the bathroom will accommodate two full suitcases worth of stuff!

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There’s a safe and KRUPS Nespresso machine along the wall of shelves, a mini fridge under the desk, a flatscreen TV opposite our king bed, plus a variety of lighting that operates with a room key inserted near the door to save electricity.

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Two chairs and a coffee table on our balcony give us just enough space to enjoy sunsets with a glass of wine or cup of coffee, and the airco is relatively quiet.

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The wall-mounted Philips flatscreen TV serves as a hub for all things Viking. You can check out cruise excursions as well as watch TED Talks, arts and culture shows, movies, entertainment, book spa appointments, view the ship tracker, your onboard account, music on demand plus an on-screen version of the Viking Daily (a listing of everything you need to know for the following day).

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[Main pool]

The Viking Sea’s decor is tasteful and modern; there’s a free, downloadable Viking Art Guide app to provide background on artwork throughout the ship.

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Each day, a copy of the Viking Daily gets delivered to our stateroom, noting weather outlook, sunrise and sunset times, the ship’s location, when to be back on board, meal times/special themed dinners and that day’s entertainment.

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Meals are served either buffet style or reserved seating. During our sailing, we’re allowed reservations in two of the destination restaurants – Manfredi’s Italian and The Chef’s Table (a five-course, regionally-themed dinner).

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[Seafood buffet feast at World Cafe and Aquavit Terrace]

The gelato “shop” is a hit during our days in the West Indies (there’s always about a half dozen flavours in the case, including one dairy-free, one sugar-free), while the afternoon Wintergarden is a tea service to enjoy by the main pool.

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[Mamsen’s seating]

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[Bar at Explorer’s Lounge]

Deck 7 includes The Pool Grill, World Café and Aquavit Terrace (buffet) while for Norwegian style fare, it’s Mamsen’s in the Explorers’ Lounge.

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[Norwegian waffles with fruit and Brunost cheese – breakfast at Mamsen’s Deli]

On deck 2, The Restaurant has menus for all three meals of the day; at dinner, you’ve a choice of the three-course destination menu or always-available options.

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[World Cafe for buffet style dining and a gelato assortment made on-site daily!]

Between the restaurants, cafes and pool grill, there’s enough to satiate just about every palate and appetite! And if you just want to lounge in your stateroom, there’s a 24-hour room service menu that features starters, charcuterie, salads, sandwiches, burgers, steaks and seafood, cheeses, desserts and juices, smoothies and coconut water.

Viking West Indies Explorer package

#MyVikingStory: Our Favourite West Indies Experiences

– A morning spent on the small, yet stunning Little Ffreys Beach
– Roaming Antigua on a tour bus with our lively guide, discovering the history and culture of this beautiful island
– At sea, laying in bed and feeling the gentle rocking motion of the waves (addictive!)
– Waking up to a new country and land mass each morning

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[Star Theater, movie theater]

As we’ve only been on river cruises until now, we specifically chose a one-day-in-each-port type of cruise to get acquainted with ocean cruising. This way, if you’re new to ocean cruising and might feel strange not seeing land for a day or more, this may very well be an ideal cruise to put your mind at ease.

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[One of many living room areas on the ship]

It’s also fun to wake up to a new country each morning, along with some pretty interesting and colourful flags.

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On-board staff greet each of us when passing through the hallway, entering the dining venues, at room servicing time, and entering and exiting the ship.

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[Wintergarden tea room]

It’s a welcoming atmosphere and requests are quickly handled, while any needed info or tips are provided by a 24-hour team at the Explorers’ Desk on deck 1.

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[A rainbow on the final evening of our cruise!]

A big round of thanks to Captain Johan, Charles, Edward, Laura, Karin, our housekeepers Aji and Heri, all the restaurant and hospitality staff onboard as well as the marketing team at Viking Cruises for giving us (and hopefully our readers!) a great experience sailing around the Caribbean these past 10 days!

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We were guests aboard Viking’s West Indies Explorer cruise. Opinions, as always, remain our own.

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