Ship Life the Viking Neptune

Click Photo to enlarge and navigate through the gallery

Ship Life: Viking Neptune

Embarkation:

Getting Ready to depart the La Meridian HotelOur embarkation in Ft. Lauderdale was quick and seamless.  The bus picked us up promptly at 11 a.m. and took us to the ship terminal, which was bustling with at least eight ships; most were much larger than the Neptune.  Traffic was a bit slow, but we arrived within 20 minutes after all the luggage was stowed on the bus.  Have your tips ready for the bellman at the port authority, who will announce that they are in charge of your luggage and that tips are appreciated.  Pro Tip: Don’t leave anything of high value on the dock.  We thought we had lost Bob’s backpack with his computer and other electronics. However, it, fortunately, showed up late that night.  We had several hours of regretting our choice to leave the backpack with the rest of our luggage.

From there, it was a short walk to the security, where we put our carry-ons through the scanner and proceeded up the gangway to the guest services station.  After quickly checking passports, retaking any bad pictures, and answering the typical health questions, we made our way onto the ship, where a glass of champagne was instantly provided.  Then we were directed to our muster station, printed on our new room card keys, where the staff member gave us a quick safety briefing and demonstrated how to put on the life vest.

 Lunch:

Our room would not be ready until 3 pm, and it was only 1 pm,  so we headed to a buffet lunch in the aft Wintergarden restaurant.  I ordered an iced tea, but the wine steward somehow knew I wanted a glass of wine and twisted my arm to have one or maybe two.    After lunch, we walked around the ship a bit to get a feel for the layout and understand where most things were.

The Viking Neptune is stunning, with clean Scandinavian lines and beautiful artwork throughout the ship.  There is eye candy everywhere,Digitized Nordic Art on Display - Viking Neptune including mini museums with Scandinavian artifacts and other artwork.  No space has been left untouched by the designer’s eye. The ship has many comfortable areas to sit and relax, read, work, doze, and drink and eat.  It is big enough for people to spread out and small enough not to be overwhelming.

The Gym and Spa:

Lounge area in the spaThe Gym/Spa is my favorite place. It is much bigger than I expected, with several rooms to exercise in depending on what you would like to do:

  1. The forward room has Ellipticals, stationary bikes, and weight machines.
  2. The middle room has treadmills and other assorted equipment.
  3. The last room is the yoga room, general workout room, and free weight room.

All three rooms are temperature-controlled separately based on the activity most people will be doing.

The Spa

After working out, head into the appropriate dressing room to change and go into the common area of the spa that contains a steam room, the Nordic ice room, a large jacuzzi pool, and several lounge chairs to relax in. There is also a beautiful artificial fireplace that frames in the jacuzzi area.

The men’s and ladies’ locker rooms have separate dry saunas, plunge pools, showers, lockers, and changing rooms.

As directed by the spa attendant yesterday, Bob and I did the Nordic ritual of three alternating visits in the steam room and two in the Nordic ice room.  We followed this with the cold-water bucket dump and then jumped into the jacuzzi.  Believe it or not, all that felt pretty good.  I also slid into the cold plunge pool in the ladies’ locker room.  Although it didn’t feel cold with my hands, I realized it was freezing as I tried to lower my body into it.  After taking my breath away, I got in enough to cover my legs and torso, hoping it would help my various aches and pains.

I have an appointment for a massage the day after tomorrow, so there is no need to worry about getting in when you want or need to.

The staff

The staff has been very friendly and accommodating, although we haven’t had a chance to get to know any of them yet.  They are very professional in their approach.  I look forward to getting to know them as the cruise continues.

The Food:

So far, the food has been very good.  We have eaten in three restaurants and have been pleased with each one.   Tomorrow, Christmas, Bob and I have a reservation for Mamsens, the Italian specialty restaurant.

The best part so far is knowing that we have a long way to go and don’t have to worry about our time on Neptune ending in two weeks or so.

 

Don't over pack - just don't

We were warned by several who were on the world cruise last year not to over-pack.  Did we listen?  Nope!  We now know how to engineer getting two full sets of golf clubs with travel bags, four large suitcases, a medium-sized scuba bag, and 8 pairs of shoes under a king-size bed.

The storage in the rooms follows the minimalistic Nordic design code.  It is very efficient but not practical for a world cruise.  The five-foot closet is divided in half with a three-draw dresser on the left, leaving room only for shirts, sweaters, and shorts, with the other 2 1/2 feet for full-lengthclothes.  There are only three other smaller drawers and a bit of room under the night tables.

So, if you are traveling on Viking Ocean ships, put half of your stuff back in your closet!  🙂

With the help of a Smirly 6 shelf organizer and a few other organizer storage bins, we were able to get much of the clothes stowed away.  All our warm clothes are still in a suitcase below our bed, waiting to be called to duty.