Many of my questions while prepping for this trip dealt with life aboard the Atla—what to expect, what to look for and how thngs actually are. Those Viking videos and the website have general info, but I still wondered about a lot of things.
My goal with these posts is to help you out with an on-the-river, real-world view of various Viking-specific areas.
Tonight, let’s meet the Viking stateroom!
[Note: We have a Veranda A stateroom, 329 to be specific, on the Viking “Atla,” one of the newer longships the company has introduced in the past couple of years. Most of the info is general enough, but if I tell you things about the stateroon and yours is different, don’t blame me! The information is worth what you’re paying for it!]
Open the door to the stateroom and immediately to your right (or left, if you have the “reverse” version of this room) is this panel of light switches and the thermostat. The top “switch” is very important—you need to slide your room key card into this slot in order to activate any lights in the room (except the under-counter lighting in the bathroom—that glow stays on all the time, to the frustration of a few folks I’ve spoken with who’d like the option for a “darK” stateroom..)
The bottom switch controls the overhead bathroom light while the middle one is a bit more of a puzzle. Well, at least to me, but Mom figured it out and had to explain it. ROOM TIP: You press and hold this switch (no, really, keep holding) and it becomes a rheostat-control for the halogen ceiling lighting over the sleeping area. It’s nice and gentle and it’s what our room steward, Rica, leaves on for us when she preps our room in the evening while we’re out attending an event in the lounge.
Move on through the entrance and let’s check out the bathroom. This little room is a true marvel of efficiency—but also provides several touches of luxury. The door gently slides into position and there is that heated floor that especially like.
The sink is small, but big enough to hand-launder a few items. The counter top provides enough room for the items I needed in the morning and evenings (makeup, toothbrush stuff, hairbrush, etc.); under the counter are two open shelves for storage of more bathroom items. I’d thought perhaps the movement from the boat would cause items on these shelves but no such thing happens. In fact, if I didn’t look out the window and notice the shoreline passing by, I’d ofttimes not even know we were moving along the river.
Above the sink is a collection of L’Occitane bath products (lotion, conditioner, shampoo, shower gel, hand soap); our room steward replaces these each day.
The toilet is, well, just what you’d expect. Except that it makes a big noise. First there’s the expected water rushing sound but then, when you think the plumbing action is finished, you hear a resounding and deep bellow like a very thick ballon just exploded. Every time you flush. Don’t jump. ROOM TIP: Here’s how to flush it more easily, though: It’s not how hard you push the flushing button, it’s how fast you push it. Just give a swift punch to either button (“big” or “small” amounts of water) with your index finger and you’ll get the action you’re looking for. Holding it down does absolutely nothing…
The shower is stone/tile on three sides with clear glass doors which swing inward. Two stainless steel corner cubby shelves hold your bathroom goodies. The shower nozzle is the hand-held type with a height adjustment. A pull-out clothesline extends from both sides of the shower; bring a few small clips (or clothespins…does anyone still use those for clothes these days??). ROOM TIP: Taking a shower can easily result in entire cups of water on the floor just outside the enclosure. To minimize this (and even eliminate, if you do it right), when you take a shower, do not push the shower doors so they’re completely meeting the floor rim; instead, back off both shower doors a bit, just inside the rim, but with the two doors still “together.” This seriously reduces the wet floor issue.
ROOM TIP: The only electrical plug in the bathroom proper looks like it might take a US-style plug but it doesn’t: it’s only for a man’s electric razor. If you’re using a blow dryer or a curling/flat iron, you’ll be doing your hairstyling action in the bedroom area, in front of the large mirror which is positioned over the room desk/shelf nearest to the wall with the sliding veranda door or window.
VIKING WISH LIST: An exhaust fan for the bathroom which can be turned on when desired?
Opposite the bathroom door is a cupboard; one side is a full height closet, the other houses the room safe (big enough for two decent-sized laptops or similar bulk) and three shelves. ROOM TIP: The closet comes with several hangers but you can request more from the front desk or your room steward. Both sides of this cupboard are well-lit from a ceiling light inside; it turns off when you shut the sliding doors.
Along the same wall is a flat-screen TV (choose from news channels, sports, tv series, National Geographic, views of the lounge as well as from the bow, Viking videos (cruise info, language and cooking “lessons”), music audio and more. A telephone (Really? What for??), the charger and two QuietVox devices (and the lanyard/over-the-ear speaker combos) nestle in one corner of the shelf which runs the length of the room. The plugs are US and European style, plus a USB. Two other plugs, one US and one European style are at the window-end of this desk/shelf. Our room steward brings us a fresh water bottle each day and two lovely, aqua blue water glasses sit on coasters beside the bottle, reminding me to take a drink more often just because the water looks so darn inviting poured into those blue glasses.
ROOM TIP: Bring a small travel extension cord to multiply your plug options. Use it for things like phone, camera and device chargers, not high-wattage items like blow dryers or curling irons.
VIKING WISH LIST: When you furnish the next staterooms, consider investing in flat-screen tvs that can easily read a camera card. I am positive passengers would love to look at their own photos at the end of the day!
VIKING WISH LIST: Why not include German in the language lessons on the Viking video “channel”?
Below the shelf/desk are a built-in refrigerator (ice is down the hall), a stool that fits under the desk portion, in front of the big mirror (think: great place to do your hair, unless you’re a guy, then just run a comb through it and you’re done) and six (count ’em) very nice drawers in two vertical banks of three. The bottom drawers are quite deep, the upper two not so much. The self-closing mechanism is nice—no slamming drawers will sound here.
In our Veranda A room, opening the sliding door out to the balcony (two pretty comfortable, lawn furniture-type chairs with back support cushions, a small table) automatically turns off the heating/cooling system. You’ve been warned.
Covering the large sliding glass door window are standard drapes as well as shears; you can choose to have a darkened room, a gauzy look or pull both back for a full view of the river. We sleep with ours entirely open; there’s nothing ike waking up and seeing trees silhouetted on the riverbank, the ripples reflecting the moon and the lights of riverside towns.
The beds are twin-sized, either pushed together or split apart. Each has two lights above it; the headboard is rimmed with lights inside which gently light up the wall behind your pillows. You can get rid of your luggage for the voyage by rolling it under the bed (who wants to be reminded all the fun has to end and you’ll need to pack up and leave this floating happy place?). Light controls are close at hand behind each bed’s set of pillows.
Underneath the bed is also your very own, bright orange life vest.FASHION TIP: You’ll get the chance to model your life vest for the boat’s other 190 passengers when you have a “safety drill” the first full day on the water. They are exceedingly attractive and everyone looks quite fetching in them. I hope mine is able to fully retain its style while it lives under my bed…
Inside, with the outside and entry doors both shut, the room is quite quiet. I really appreciate a quiet night’s rest and I’m guessing Viking’s construction crew did a pretty in-depth job with insulation because I can barely hear anyone in the hall and I’ve never heard a neighboring room’s shower or toilet (and those toilets emit a loud flushing sound that startles me every time). Maybe our neighbors aren’t using their toilet or shower?