We sailed on the Viking Danube; the positives: the crew and program director Michael are top notch; they made the trip so enjoyable; we were very impressed with them. Upon arrival at the ship (we came a day early, stayed in a hotel and arranged our own transfer to the ship) we were shown to the lounge where a light lunch was being served as well as drinks, wine and beer. Everyone was very welcoming; when our cabin was ready, they came to get us. The Viking Danube is being put out of service at the end of 2012; it is an old ship. The cabin configuration of space could be better and the mattress was not comfortable at all. We had more shelf space on a previous river cruise with a different company. The lounge area where all events were held was a tight fit for all the guests.
The entertainment brought on the ship was fun and enlightening; we especially enjoyed the wooden shoe making demonstration, the dance group, the men's choir, Belgian waffle demonstration and the speaker on Belgium and the Netherlands. The speaker on the European Union was good but went on too long.
Dining was excellent with a number of options; the wait staff made everyone feel very welcome and were very accommodating. It was a tight fit in the dining area.
Among the stops we made our favorite was Bruges and the Keukenhoff gardens; we wished we had more time at each of those. The local guides were very informative and we appreciated the fact that they offered a slow walking group. We also enjoyed the excursion to the royal palace and to Delft.
The trip to the windmills was interesting but the trip to the Delta Works was fascinating to see the engineering marvel they built.
Middleburgh's trip, it was raining and cold, very early in the morning and nothing was open; it felt like a forced march.
Michael's overviews of the next day's activities were concise, relaxed presentations; we always felt we knew exactly what was going on when and where.
We did the extension to the Floriade; the Belmont Hotel in Maastricht was wonderful and the restaurant there, easily a 4 to 5 star as was the guide there. The only drawback was our free time there was on a Sunday, and nothing is open then. Everyone who did the extension had different flights to catch in Amsterdam to return hpme. We were the only ones with a 1 p.m. flight and Viking provided a driver and car to take us from Maastricht to Amsterdam; the service was top notch. We appreciate that they didn't lump us altogether to do just one or two airport runs.
My only major complaint was the lack of functioning WIFI for a large portion of the cruise; the problem was the explanations they offered for the problem did not ring true; there were two retired computer system engineers aboard and I have significant experience with computers, servers, broadband etc.; we all decided that the problem was with their equipment which needed an upgrade; it could not support the number of accounts needed to service the passengers. Since a majority of us had told our families and/or businesses to use email to keep in contact; this was a real problem.
Overall, the cruise was excellent and we will go on a Viking cruise again, on one of their new ships.