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Viking Sea Cocktails Onboard

6th May 2016

Updated July 2019

 

It's no secret that many cruisers embark on their exciting itineraries not only excited to see new destinations, but also to explore the ship and - more specifically - the food and drink onboard! Some cruise lines are known to appeal to foodies more than others, and Viking Cruises is certainly one of them. We set a member of our team, Linda, the task of tasting and reviewing a good variety of cocktails available onboard one of Viking Cruises' gorgeous ships, Viking Sea. Read on for her fantastic account of the ship and of course, the drinks onboard.

 

cocktails onboard

 

Viking Sea is a beauty! She is small and intimate with toned down Nordic style furnishings in neutral colours, and I was lucky enough to be invited to spend three days onboard during her maiden voyage. 

My role is in customer services and one of the main questions we always get asked is about drinks. It can be difficult to find out much about the drinks on a cruise prior to travel, so when I have opportunities to get onboard a ship I like to try a nice variety and take notes, in order to share more information with our customers in advance. It is all strictly educational and the research is solely for work purposes, of course.

In general the prices onboard Viking Sea are reasonable for drinks; cocktails are between $8 and $12 (USD). I would recommend getting the Silver drinks package if you want to have a little more than the standard house wine and a couple of cocktails each day; as it works out better value for money. Water is complimenary though, and you get wine, beer and juices during lunch and dinner. Tea and coffee are also available all day.

So, with that in mind, I put my taste buds to the test.

Let’s start with the drink that lent its name to the terrace bar at the back of the ship. Aquavit. Never heard of it? Me neither. It is a caraway or dill spiced Scandinavian spirit. On its own… how shall I put it… it requires an acquired taste. I wouldn’t recommend sipping it. If you want to be polite and drink it, just throw it back in one go. In a cocktail however it can add an interesting edge to the taste. I tried it in a cocktail specifically created by Viking Cruises. I would recommend this drink, it has a slightly herby taste, but the bubbles in the sparkling wine round it off nicely.

 

cocktail

 

At the Pool Bar I had a Strawberry Daiquiri. An old favourite on a hot summer’s day, which suited perfectly while we were docked in a very warm and sunny in Lisbon. I must say it wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, but certainly enjoyable.

Then I suddenly felt a bit homesick and opted for a Pimm’s. To be honest I just wanted to see how a Philippine bartender in Lisbon on a Norwegian ship would make it. It tasted lovely, but it didn’t come with all the fruits you’d expect and the cucumber was missing.

The next day after our trip into Porto and a couple of spa treatments, we all had Afternoon Tea around the pool. The tea and cakes were very nice and so was the Champagne! After tea we got ready for dinner and went to explore the ship further. Eventually we got to the Explorer’s Lounge where we befriended one of the barmen who offered us advice on what to have.

My colleague opted for Caipirinha, which I thought was a solid choice. It wasn’t to her taste, so the barman made her a rum-based cocktail off the menu. That was delicious. I had a Planter’s Punch. It’s one of my favourite cocktails because it reminds me of all-inclusive summer holidays on a sandy beach. I thought it was made very well, one of the best I’ve ever had.

 

viking cruises cocktail



We had a bit of time to kill until dinner and a talented guitarist came on, so we just chatted and enjoyed the sea view with fellow guests. The Explorers Lounge is the place to be for that. It is at the aft of the ship where the whole back wall is made of glass, so you have a spectacular view of the sea and your surroundings. Live music, good company, a refreshing cocktail, and watching the water: bliss.

Before dinner we had time for a few more cocktails, of which there were two I was keen to try. The Viking Cocktail is made with brandy and sparkling wine in a tall Champagne glass. I love drinking out of a Champagne glass; it gives me the feeling of an occasion. I quite enjoyed this drink; it was refreshing and cold, a good choice.

The next was a Grasshopper which was fantastic, but perhaps I should have had it after dinner. It tastes like After 8, so I could have had that instead of pudding. (Instead… Who am I kidding?)

Some colleagues tried my old favourite the Bloody Mary, but with a twist. This time the tomato juice got replaced by crab juice. Yes, you read that right. Apparently it’s lighter and obviously has a distinct seafood taste. No thank you.

Overall I really enjoyed this cruise, not just the cocktails, but the whole experience and I would love to return to the Viking Sea for another trip. 

See which Viking Sea cruises we have available, and book your own cocktail-filled adventure with this warm and welcoming cruise line.


All Inclusive Drinks Packages, Are They A Good Thing?

23rd August 2012

All-inclusive drinks packages are becoming increasingly popular onboard ships as cruisers look to keep tabs on their spending. But, are these packages value for money and good for cruising?

We now live in a society where responsible drinking is encouraged and getting legless on holiday is seen as crass, inappropriate behaviour. But will an endless supply of booze take us back to the Costa de Sol of the 90s, or will it mean people can enjoy their cocktails and cold beers in a more relaxed way?

Drinks Packages

Drinks packages on cruise ships are not a new thing — Thomson have been offering all-inclusive upgrades for years and sister line, Island Cruises, are going all-inclusive full stop come 2013. Most major cruise lines have offered soft drinks packages in the past, usually consisting of one price for a cruise worth of soda, fruit juice and mocktails. In general these deals aren't often abused and even if they are, the sugar wears off eventually. So, could the adult-only drinks deals offer a sensible, good value way to enjoy your cruise onboard?

At a glance the all-inclusive options range from ship-wide, to cabin. The per cabin deals usually stipulate everyone staying in the cabin has to purchase the package, and sometimes everyone in the party— this is to stop people trying to buy it once and then get drinks for several people, which is smart. The prices vary too, from £24 per person per day for wine and beer with your meals, to $71 pppd for unlimited premium drinks by the glass.

Value For Money?

Value for money really comes down to how much you would normally spend onboard, what you usually drink and how much you value not having to second guess your bar bill at the end of the cruise. Some people will happily enjoy a couple of glasses of wine during lunch, a cold beer by the pool, a couple more glasses of wine during dinner and a cocktail in the evening, and they will gain exceptional value for money.

The route Fred. Olsen has taken is to offer a selection of all-inclusive cruises, where house wine, beers and spirits are included. This is similar to Island Cruises, who will offer the same on all their cruises circa April '13. With the cruise fares not rising by huge costs, this amounts to great value as your only worries onboard are the shops, shore excursions and luxury drink items.

Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Oceania and MSC Cruises have all gone down the route of offering cruise packages. MSC are the only cruise line offering the dinner only package, which is $24 pppd. The main packages include house wines, beers, house cocktails and spirits on an unlimited basis. So if you like a drink at $40-$50 pppd, these are good value, as five cocktails in a day can set you back nearly $50 and you are on holiday after all.

There are also a few premium packages, which don't include wine by the bottle, but do include more premium wines by the glass as well as premium spirits and cocktails, these usually give you 25% off decent bottle of wine or fizz. So if you prefer the finer things in life — in moderation of course — but don't want to scrutinize your bill at the end of the cruise, the $70-odd pppd, actually works out good value too — premium cocktails, such as a decent Martini, can cost your $15 a go onboard some ships.

Personally I think these packages are a good idea, and the next cruise I am on offering them, I will most likely be taking advantage. These deals aren't designed for people looking to "drink their money's worth", they are designed to help you kick back and relax on your cruise and are priced to reflect the quality of drinks you can enjoy, as opposed to the quantity.

Cruise lines are trying to appeal to the variety of audiences they have onboard these days, and during a time of supposed austerity, paying one price for a week's worth of drinks on your cruise is going to appeal to the mass markets. Well done to the cruise lines for recognising it, but fingers crossed the old Costa del Sol crew will stick to their cheap hotels, Linekar bars and Spanish beaches.

Here's a selection of 2013 all inclusive cruises, just in case they take your fancy.


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