The 930-passenger Viking Star of Viking Cruises has five different main dining rooms, with a variety of styles and ambiance. The mid-sized ship does not have formal nights, and all dining rooms are elegant casual in the evening. Although the ship has two excellent specialty restaurants, neither has an extra surcharge. The ship can accommodate most special diets. Guests should notify their travel agent when booking of any dietary allergies or special requirements.
The dining venues on the Viking Star are very similar to her sister ship the Viking Sea.
Beer, wine, and soft drinks are available during lunch and dinner at no extra charge for all guests.
The Viking Star also has a Pool Grill serving burgers, hot dogs, fries, etc. starting at lunch and through mid-afternoon. It's perfect for a comfort-food lunch or afternoon snack. Other areas around the ship also serve food. For example, early riser's breakfast is in the Viking Living Room and tea and snacks are served in the Wintergarden each afternoon.
The Restaurant is located aft on deck 2 of the Viking Star. Those who have sailed with Viking River Cruises will recognize the name and some of the blue china used at dinner.
Three meals are served each day in The Restaurant, all from a menu. Menus for lunch and dinner change every 14 days.
Most passengers have dinner in The Restaurant. Reservations can be made on the ship or in advance of sailing, depending on the cabin category.
The variety of selections at dinner is impressive. The left side of the dinner menu changes each evening, with a choice of 5 or 6 starters, 5 main courses, and 2 or 3 desserts. The right side of the menu provides the chef's recommendation of a regional tasting menu. This side also lists the classic foods that are always available at dinner (e.g. Caesar salad, shrimp cocktail, grilled chicken, steak, poached salmon, cheesecake, fruit plate, cheese plate, creme brulee, and a half-dozen side dishes).
The World Cafe is the Viking Star's buffet dining venue, and it is found aft on deck 7. The World Cafe is open for three meals each day, and tea and coffee are available 24/7. The complimentary coffee machine even makes all sorts of specialty coffees like cappuccino or latte. One unusual feature of the World Cafe is the use of open kitchens, so guests can watch the chefs cooking while they browse the buffet.
The buffet has plenty of seating and although the ship was full on my sailing, the lines were practically non-existent. The breakfast buffet features favorites from around the world, with grits for those of us from the South and mushrooms, cheeses, salad items, and cold cuts for Europeans.
The food is varied and tastes good. I was surprised to find such premium items as a delicious selection of sushi items and a seafood buffet at the World Cafe for dinner. The dessert section also always has a nice selection of 10 different ice creams and sorbets, at no extra charge. That was a great surprise for an ice cream lover like me!
Guests can dine either inside or take their plates outdoors and sit on the Aquavit Terrace, which is aft of the World Cafe.
Mamsen's is a small take-away venue in the Explorer's Lounge forward on deck 7 of the Viking Star cruise ship. This delicious spot salutes the ship's Norwegian roots, with a variety of Scandinavian selections like waffles and brown cheese.
Mamsen's is open for early riser's and late riser's breakfast, lunch, and afternoon and late night snacks. Mamsen's is named in honor of Viking founder Torstein Hagen's mother, and she is in the black and white photo on the wall behind the cafe.
Chef's Table Restaurant
The Chef's Table is one of the two specialty restaurants that are open for dinner only on the Viking Star cruise ship. The Chef's Table does not have an extra surcharge, but guests should have a reservation. These reservations can be made in advance of sailing, with the number of reservations and time being dependent on the cabin category. Reservations can also be made onboard.
The menu at The Chef's Table changes every 9 days and is a fixed wine pairing and tasting menu.
Manfredi's Italian Restaurant is open for dinner on the Viking Star and is one of the best restaurants on any ship. The selections are amazing, and the tastes equal their menu description. Manfredi's is named after Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio, who is the Chairman of Silversea Cruises and a friend of Viking Cruises' Chairman Torstein Hagen.
Like The Chef's Table, Manfredi's does not have a surcharge, but the number and timing of reservations are dependent on the cabin category.
Many of the dishes at Manfredi's are Italian favorites like caprese salad, pasta e fagioli soup, osso buco, veal scaloppini, and a selection of pasta dishes. The menu has a "fish of the day" that many guests raved about each evening after dinner and a nice selection of vegetarian options.