We began our land/river cruise in Shanghai but boarded the boat in Nanjing after 2 nights in Shanghai. Viking was top notch from beginning to end. However, we had some issues with the boat. While t was a gorgeous boat only a couple of years old there were some negatives. The cabin was large and comfortable with a large plasma flat screen TV on the wall. There was a full floor to ceiling window and door opening to a small balcony. However, it was impossible to regulate the a/c being too cold during the day and too warm at night. The areas of the ship were always too cold. Communication with the housekeeper (cabin attendant) and front desk (Chinese) was a constant problem. I asked the housekeeper for a new battery for the alarm clock and I got a bar of soap. It took 3 Chinese housekeepers to get me a battery. The front desk with the exception of the supervisor had a problem understanding my requests.
The dining room food was inconsistent and very seldom hot. The wait staff however were excellent and spoke good English. We were always provided with water and wine at lunch or dinner. The hotels for the land portions were excellent except for the Crown Plaza in Xi'an where the a/c would not go below 78 deg F. This trip is not for persons who as physically challenged. There are steep ramps and steps to get from the boat up to the shore where the buses await passengers for the excursions. We were assigned to the same group and tour guide who was outstanding for the whole 16 days. Again, Viking does an outstanding job as far as never having to worry about anything. There are wheelchairs with local farmers as pushers for nominal amounts at the terra cotta warriors, great wall, and in Beijing at the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.
On deck 5 there was a nice lounge with coffee bar where you could get coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cookies, Chinese instant soup at any time. The lounges on deck 5 and deck 6 were very comfortable. To get to deck 6 you had to climb up 2 flights of steps. The elevators only went to deck 5. There were nice decks at the front of deck 5 and 6 and a large deck at the rear of deck 5. There was a small workout room, sauna and salon services. My wife had her hair done twice at the saloon for $20 each time including head, neck and shoulder massage. The gal refused a tip. It was an unbelievable bargain.