Our family consists of parents and two teenagers. We signed up for a cruise going from Nuremberg to Trier. My first complaint is that the Viking booking agent (we went directly to the company) did not tell me the cruise was 99% senior citizens. My tour guides in other cities told me of this before we even stepped foot on the cruise. They were 100% correct. This cruise was painful from the moment we stepped on the boat (Viking Sky). The first day was an excursion in Bamberg that lasted from 9:00 to 11:45. Basically, your day is over by noon. There is nothing to do on the ship, other than stare out the window. The activities are more suited for a senior citizen home than a cruise ship. We had active days in Berlin, Munich and Nuremberg, before the cruise. One week on the boat could not match up to one day in Berlin. The internet woks rarely and is very slow. I anticipated the activities, food, and entertainment of a Caribbean cruise (but with a European twist). Not even close. The rooms were much smaller than other cruise ships I have visited. The food was average to poor. The pace of the cruise was more suited to 70 year olds, than people in their 40s or teens. The older guests seemed to be loving the trip. The crew felt bad for us and were very helpful. They tried their best to give us a good experience. Hats off to the crew for a wonderful job. My complaint is with the booking agent who sold us a cruise that was not appropriate for our group. If you are retired, this would be great.
On a positive note, the cities we visited were wonderful. But, that had nothing to do with the cruise. We could have seen them without a cruise. As for the daily excursions, the guides were terrible. Some were not coherent and knew next to nothing about the venues. Because the group was all seniors, the guides would stop and make you sit for 15 minutes at a time while they spoke. My experience is that most guides walk and talk. At one point, we simply left the group and explored on our own. We had a great guide on the "extra pay" excursion to Rothenberg. Beyond that, the guides were merely babysitters.
The crew was great, the venues were great and I don't regret giving it a try. For us, however, it was a huge waste of money and not the best use of our vacation time. Even one of the workers, who worked on ocean cruise ships, said this is a much easier job for him since there is so little activity on the boat. That says it all.
I am a Top Contributor on TripAdvisor (also Profguy), but thought this was more appropriate for CruiseCritic. I wish CruiseCritic and TripAdvisor allowed cross registration.