Welcome to My Mediterranean Odyssey!
As you may know (if you saw this post), my husband and I flew to Venice this past week, embarking on a two-week “Mediterranean Odyssey” aboard the Viking Sea, courtesy of Norwegian cruise line, Viking Cruises. Here’s a quick overview of the place we’re visiting:
After another great night’s sleep in our super plush-and-comfy bed, I’m now writing to you halfway through the cruise (ie. a week in), flipping through the Viking Daily. Each evening we’re given a new Viking Daily: a booklet explaining everything that’s going on the following day, the time we disembark, some history about the town we’ll be visiting, that day’s available activities, suggestions for in-town shopping and food, and other essentials like the weather, ship location, shuttle times, etc. It’s basically the day’s guidebook.
Needless to say, I’m super excited to visit all these towns, most of which I’ve never been to before.
As you can imagine, I was really excited when I learned about Viking Cruises and realized that a big part of the reason people go on cruises is not only to (comfortably) visit a lot of destinations in a short timeframe, but to also learn about their history while there. So while I could’ve just done my own thing and aimlessly wandered around the towns we’ll be visiting, I made sure to sign up for the included tours at each destination.
Last year, I went on a trip to Brussels and got a few guided tours while there. At first, I was worried that I’d hate going on a guided tour… After all, I’ve never been a big fan of history or forced itineraries. They remind me of high school, when all I wanted to do was show up, leave, and do what I wanted, when I wanted. And to this day, I still need help remembering the time and place of all my appointments. But I swallowed my doubts and met up with the tour guide at the appointed time. To my surprise, I really (like, really really) enjoyed learning the history and secrets of the places we visited. In fact, the tours ended up being the most memorable part of the trip, and provided me with loads of cocktail-conversation fodder.
One of the aspects that worried me was the whether Viking could accommodate our vegan diet. But, shortly after we arrived, the executive chef, Martin Kitzing, came to our suite to discuss our custom vegan menu options. We were also appointed our own “head waiter” who will help make sure everything goes to plan, and whom we have been consulting daily to customize our menu.
Viking puts a lot of effort into making sure that the food we enjoy on board is hyper fresh. About half of the ingredients are picked up that day in port, making our vegan meals farm-to-table fresh. And we can taste the difference.
The restaurants (there are five on this Viking Sea ship), the food and the service have all been outstanding. Much better than I ever expected to find on a cruise ship. The lounges and restaurants are super comfortable, and remind me of a 5-star hotel experience — but with the most incredible view.
As someone who loves interior decor, I’m absolutely obsessed with the furniture on this ship. It’s Nordic-modern style and they used lots of soft fabrics with the emphasis not only on clean and simple design, but on comfort. The colors are blues and natural tones like creams and browns, and the result is a very relaxing atmosphere.
There are lots of both indoor and outdoor lounges to have a drink, listen to live music or read a book in, all while looking out at the water or scenery. This is shaping up to be the most relaxing, stress-free, and comfortable trip I’ve been on — ever.
Want more? Check out My Viking Cruise: Hanging in the Mediterranean
Have you ever gone on a cruise? Would you?