Viking StarThe Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards selected the “best new cruise ship” to be the Viking Ocean Cruises’ Viking Star.

I first heard of the Viking Star two months ago when the new cruise ship lost power in Tallinn, Estonia. After a great deal of confusion, the cruise was canceled amidst a storm of controversy. I received a lot of comments from passengers and crew members alike, critical of Viking, on both this website and on our Facebook page.

But it doesn’t seem that any of the Cruise Critic judges were on the Viking Star back in August when its power failed. The judges wrote that the ill-fated ship was a “state of the art cruise liner that has earned rave reviews.” The judges described the cruise ship as having the “charm of a boutique hotel – homely and comfortable after a long day exploring in port. In fact, the ship is so beautifully designed – with terrific afredo restaurants, beautiful pool area, a superb spa and the two-level Explorer’s observation lounge – you will be tempted not to go ashore.” 

Gobbledygook like this drives me crazy. It seems far more relevant to me if the cruise ship has a history of power failure, or fires, and how the company handles an emergency. How are the crew members treated? Cruise Critic is silent on these basic issues.

TripAdvisor, a unit of Expedia, owns Cruise Critic. So hype like this is to be expected, I suppose. The Cruise Critic community is the largest group of cruisers in the world. And they are probably the most fanatical in their love for cruising; however, a discussion of a controversial issue on the CC message boards often turns turns into an ugly brawl. The editors and moderators at Cruise Critic act like cruise industry cheerleaders. Criticize a cruise line? Chances are that your comments will be deleted.

 

Photo Credit: “MS Viking Star passing the O2 dome” by NFH Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Commons – Wikipedia

  • William Riley

    My wife and I took a 15 day Princess cruise to Hawaii in 2003. We finished our 10 days and were planning to cruise back to the US when they announced that we would be offloaded in Honolulu. 1/3 of the passengers and 1/3 of the crew were sick with Nurovirus. They planned to use the 5 days back to sterilize the ship.

  • Lori

    Unlike their parent company, TripAdvisor, CruiseCritic is completely run by lightly veiled company cheerleaders that promote based on advertising.

  • Jean

    To be fair your story should include how the passengers were compensated when the Viking Star lost power. I was on the September 3rd sailing and can second all of the points of praise for the ship. We were so well cared for that I only have good things to say about all aspects of this sailing.