On the Horizon – The end of summer means the fun is beginning!

Monday Mantra

A Date with a Viking … A Date with a Viking … A Date with a Viking …

The end of summer means the fun is beginning!

It’s August! Summer is almost over and that means … vacation!

I’ve never been a big fan of the summer vacation. In July and August, I’m not shivering under a winter coat and slipping on patches of ice or shoveling snow, so there’s not a whole lot to escape from. I crank the air, have a sandwich for dinner, wear linen, and I’m good.

A month from now, the air will begin to cool, little Johnny will be back in school and NOT on the deck of my ship screaming, and airports the world over will be a tad less chaotic. That’s when it’s time for me to start thinking about packing my bag.

My next cruise will be in November aboard Viking Ocean’s Viking Star and I’ve got that little mishmash of excitement and anxiety churning away inside. See, it’s been so long since I’ve tried anything new — cruise wise — that it almost feels like I’m going on a blind date. A bunch of people I know have sailed Viking Star and simply rave so I know from the get-go that Viking won’t be the ocean-going equivalent of a gangly guy in plaid pants (my one and only actual blind date). Still, I find myself lurking in cruise chat rooms, viewing the line’s website, and trying to get the skinny on the ship before I even hit the gangway.

And holy moly, I like what I see! I’ve got some underwear that’s older than this ship yet already Viking Star has a Best New Ship Award and praise from anyone who’s anyone in and out of the cruise-review business.

It’s easy to see why: Less than 1,000 passengers, an infinity pool, lots of al fresco dining options, and if I miss wintry New York City weather at any point, I can pop into the spa and check out the Snow Grotto where snowflakes fall from the ceiling (way cool — literally). There’s no casino on board, which means I’ll save some money. Ordinarily, I’d apply that money to wine or beer with lunch and dinner, specialty restaurant fees, Wi-Fi, and a few shore excursions, but those things (and more!) are fee-free aboard Viking Star so I guess I’ll just have to spend it on myself — something I’m really good at.

Words like “stunning, “stylish,” and “spacious” are often used to describe the décor (which is a bit of a concern since I have a lisp) and there will be no pesky kids on board since Viking doesn’t accept guests under 16 years old.

I may be new to Viking Star but I suspect that this is one blind date that that will be a huge success. In fact, from what I’ve heard and read, I just might fall in love.

— Judi Cuervo


Judi Cuervo is a New York City native who fell in love with cruising in 1976 during her first sailing aboard Carnival Cruises’ Mardi Gras. Twenty years later, she began her freelance cruise writing gig and, since that time, has covered mass market, ultra-premium, riverboat and expedition ships for regional, national and international publications as well as cruise websites.