Review of Viking Star deck 1 (Lobby-Spa)
The ship’s wellness complex consists of Fitness Center and LivNordic Spa. The Spa complex has Snow Room (first at sea), unisex Sauna, Steam Room, Treatment Rooms, Thermal Suite, Thalassotherapy Pool (plunge pool with hot tub), 2x Therapy Showers (incl a cold-water bucket shower), changing rooms (male/female lockers with bathrobes and slippers). The Snow Room (aka “snow grotto”) features snowflakes descending from the ceiling. Each of both changing rooms has its own small pool, sauna room, showers, and relaxation area (with floor-ceiling windows, cushioned chairs, water dispenser). The free of charge Thermal Suite has 4x heated ceramic loungers and a cold-water Thalasso pool with a separate hot tub portion. At the Treatment Rooms are offered professional massages, facials, body scrubs. The LivNordic Spa promotes the repetition of cold and hot therapies which practice boosts blood circulation, body detoxification, and muscle relaxation. It is advisable for spa facilities to be used in several 10-min sessions (sauna, pool, steam room, snow room, and repeat). Viking Ocean’s Spa facilities are designed and operated via partnership with the LivNordic – wellness brand of Raison d’Etre Spas (a London-based spa management company).
The Fitness Center is adjacent to the LivNordic Spa. This is a small gym room with floor-ceiling windows (starboard views) and modern TechnoGym equipment – treadmills, elliptical trainers, stationary bikes, free weights, resistance machines, TRX trainers, Kinesis machines. Personal training is available at extra charge.
Beauty Salon is served by certified beauty therapists and hairdressers. It offers hair and nail services for women (manicures, pedicures, haircuts, coloring, styling), There is a separate barbershop.
The adjacent to the Salon “Shop” sells handmade gifts and souvenirs, as well as Viking Cruises logoed merchandise and spa products (soaps, lotions, scrubs, oils, bath soaks, gift baskets).
Viking Bar is the 24-hour open lobby bar for specialty coffees, classic and made-to-order cocktails, gourmet sweets, and light snacks (pastries, cakes, sandwiches). Viking Bar also serves both levels of The Living Room (the Atrium lounge).
The Living Room is named the ship’s 3-decks high Atrium. This is an open-floor design lounge/relaxation area featuring live music performances in the evenings and various daily organized activities and special events. Part of the Atrium’s lobby level is a small patisserie named Viking Living Room. Its display case offers complimentary sweets and fresh-made snacks (pastries, croissants, muffins, cookies, chocolates, mini sandwiches). The Atrium’s seating areas are furnished with comfortable leather furniture (couches and armchairs). Its decor also features numerous artworks, shelved books (the ship has no dedicated Library), plenty of light (incl from floor-ceiling windows). The upper 2 levels (overlooking the lobby area) are designed for board games and cards playing.
The Atrium’s lobby also has the ship’s gangway entrance (embarkation/disembarkation area), the Reception (24-hour Guest Services Desk for assistance, information, dining and spa reservations, purser services), and the Shore Excursions Desk (guided tours information, booking). At the Atrium lobby, there are also 6x Internet terminals (PC stations) located behind a wall.
Both Private Dining Rooms (1 & 2) can be booked for private parties, dinners, family celebrations, anniversaries. Both can also serve as small group meeting rooms.
“The Chef’s Table” and “Manfredi’s” (The Italian Grill- Tuscan steakhouse) are the Viking Star ship’s two specialty restaurants with authentic cuisine. They both operate as free of charge gourmet dining venues (excepting for lowest Veranda-category rooms). Both restaurants are open for dinner only (between 6- 9 pm), and reservations are recommended.
The Chef’s Table menu is rotational, consisting of themed cuisine specialties (incl Asian, Indian, Italian), with many fish dishes. The menu rotates every 3 days. The Dinner is a 5-course event, each course with complimentary wine pairing. On longer itineraries, the Chef’s Table menu offers up to three themed cuisine specialties per meal (incl Chinese, Indian, Mediterranean, Scandinavian, French).
Manfredi’s (aka “The Italian Grill”) is an Italian cuisine restaurant featuring an open kitchen and floor-ceiling windows (starboard views). The menu includes traditional Mediterranean food specialties such as fried calamari, osso bucco, sea bass fillet, veal scallopini, bistecca Florentine, plenty of pasta and risotto dishes, a daily special (itinerary-based), gourmet desserts (tiramisu, chocolate panna cotta). Early reservations are highly recommended.
“The Kitchen Table” is the only restaurant at surcharge ($300 pp). This is a private (kitchen-like) dining room with a max capacity of 12 people (min 6 bookings are required). The room has several cooking stations and large-size HDTVs. Here each evening are hosted cooking classes and demonstrations. The Kitchen Table represents an exclusive dining concept similar to the “Chef’s Table” on other cruise line ships, and is available only once or twice per Viking Ocean cruise. This experience starts with a chef-guided food market visit in the morning, while the ship is docked in port. On this “land tour” participants go ashore for shopping at the local food market. At dinnertime, The Kitchen Table room transforms into an open kitchen where under the chef’s guidance they prepare a special meal. Follows a multi-course dinner event (3+ hours long) with premium wines pairing and sommelier service.