When Rick and I were planning our 25th Wedding Anniversary trip, I knew I wanted to go somewhere in Europe. Italy and Greece were on the top of my lists and since we had never been to Europe, our minds were wide open. In true Bruneau fashion, it was me who looked after all of the planning. I’ve never been a huge cruise fan as I can get seasick (and have gotten seasick before). However, we wished to see as many sites as possible so cruising was a great option. By cruising, we believed it was a great way to have a ‘home base’ – a place to come back to at the end of a busy day – and not have to live out of a suitcase.
I compared cruise lines ruthlessly and looked at absolutely everything that was included. I ended up with suggesting to Rick that we cruise with Viking Ocean Cruise Lines. From the minute I saw what Viking had to offer, I knew they paid attention to the small details.
Our cruise ship the Viking Orion
We took the Italian Sojourn 8-day cruise that started us off in Rome and had us ending in Venice. While this was not the cheapest cruise, it is in line with the life lesson, “you pay for what you get.” Being on two different cruise lines in the past, I can see why we paid what we did to be on this ship. From the moment we stepped onto the cruise ship, we were treated with first class service!
Most people boarding the ship (including Rick) gladly accepted the Prosecco and were making their way to the pool deck and most importantly, the bar. Me? I was slowly walking taking in all of the details! As my life revolves around finished spaces, I was looking at the fine details that created the magnificent spaces on the ship. I know all too well that small details in interior design can make a HUGE impact. So what was so spectacular on this ship? What was jaw-dropping?
Small details in interior design
Let’s start with the atrium. This is where you typically enter the ship and is the space on the ship that is in the center. This grand foyer is truly stunning. There are three levels where you can sit and enjoy the live musicians. In this spectacular space, everything from the furniture, to the grand staircase (which was covered in Luxury Vinyl Plank) to the cute little rock garden underneath the staircase was carefully thought of.
One of our favorites was resident Guitarist Pablo. Can you get a sense as to how high this area is? The combination of the carefully chosen music with the furniture (see the cream and blue pieces to the left, right and behind Pablo) evoke the sense of emotion of relaxation. Say it with me, “Ahhhhh”
This is a rock garden that is located under the staircase. Although this is a fairly large space, strategically adding pops of colour draw your eye to this little-hidden gem that truly is a work of art.
A mixture of fabric and leather to go with the blue and cream colour theme throughout the ship. Cream tends to be quite soothing for most people. In addition, cream and blue are great nautical colours – perfect for a ship!
When it comes to the staterooms on the Viking Orion, every room has a balcony. Our stateroom was a Deluxe Veranda Suite. The minute we walked in, the nautical theme of blue and cream continued with the décor.
Some small details in interior design in this space that bring it all together are the blue and cream accent colours (a theme throughout the ship). Of course, white, crisp bedding is a must, and don’t forget the ceiling. A ship-lap look (I will admit I stood on the bed and touched the ceiling and it felt like some kind of plastic-y type material) was a great addition to the space.
This little, small interior design detail of wrapping the stateroom door lever with leather was on every room. Rick didn’t even notice until I pointed it out!
This was the door lever going into our washroom. Again, leather wrapped and just a really nice touch.
When it comes to washrooms, there are many ways to incorporate small details in interior design for these spaces. Viking Ocean Cruise Lines outdid themselves with these spaces!
One of the public washrooms (and each one was different by the way) showcasing some extraordinary artwork. A close up is below.
How stunning is this?? And yes, I was praying that no one would walk in as I was taking photos! Notice how the undertone in the floor tile (which is LVT) works so nicely with the undertones of the vanity.
One of the small details in interior design details that were present in every public washroom was… are you ready for this? Birds chirping. Yes! There was a recording of birds chirping in each of the public washrooms. You may be thinking that adding the sounds of birds chirping is tacky. No way – no how! While some of you may think that has nothing to do with interior design, I beg to differ. Evoking emotion, whether it be with colour, sound, textures, etc. are ALL part of creating a space. I thought it was really brilliant to have that addition. Nothing like a little bird chirping happily while you’re busy doing your business!
Other Areas Worth Mentioning
There were so many areas that truly showcased how important the small details in interior design are to spaces. I won’t bore you going through the entire ship, but here are a few that really caught my eye.
The World Café
The World Café, better known as the buffet, was one of my favourite places. The mixture of cream and blue truly is nautical and there were so many small details in interior design that were added to this space.
My favorite spot in the World Café was the back wall across from the main bar. Navy, cream, and a sense of light-heartedness were found in this relaxing space.
In all of the dining rooms, there were small details in interior design that tied everything together.
The dishware was white and blue and I especially loved the glassware that had just a touch of blue to tie everything all together! Not a bad morning view to have a cup of coffee, right?
When I was doing a little research into the ship (ok – you can now call me a dork), I found out that the interior design was developed by London-based SMC Design and Los Angeles based Rottet Studio. Talk about going down a rabbit hole looking at their two websites! I encourage you to hop over to their sites later to see some spectacular work!
This is one of the lounges called the Winter Garden. The detail is just stunning.
Glass stairs kept the front of the ship open and airy. Perfect to watch the ship sail into the sunset!
Can you tell I was absolutely in love with our cruise ship? While the design of the ship was stunning, I do not want to miss talking about all of the small details in customer service. From the minute we stepped on board, we were made to feel like family.
Every time we headed off the ship, we were sent off by friendly staff along with bottles of water for our excursions. When we arrived back on the ship, we were again greeted by friendly staff, bottles of water, and a nice cool washcloth to wipe ourselves off (with temperatures of 38-41 degrees Celsius (100 – 104 degrees Fahrenheit) with an average humidity of 89%, the cool cloth was a nice touch!
How You Doin’?
When we talked with each staff we learned a lot about the countries they were from, their families, etc. If you know Rick you will know his first question was, “Where are you from?” followed by “How long have you been working on the ship?” We are never on a trip where we do not learn a little about someone who has helped us or served us!
What I Learned
I always find that in every situation, there is a learning opportunity. So what was my learning takeaway from Viking Ocean Cruise Lines? Viking reminded me that the small things matter. Whether it is something related to interior designing a space, or customer service – all of the little things you do matter! Whether it is as simple as a toss cushion, a strategically placed light, a cool cloth welcoming you back on board, or fantastic customer service. All of those things add up to make you feel – make you experience. A good reminder for when I work with clients!
My favourite stop of the entire trip, beautiful and colourful Burano, Italy