We are both retired and decided to try a first time river cruise. We booked a Rhine River Cruise, Amsterdam to Basel, with Viking River Cruises, first week in June 2012 aboard the ship Viking Sun.
We did our home work before we booked and selected Viking River Cruises based on the advertised quality of the holiday package we could expect. The total holiday cost was Â£4,500.00 for 1 weeks cruising.
The ship, Viking Sun, offered a warm and welcoming atmosphere. We found all the staff to be polite, courteous and very friendly, nothing was too much trouble. The friendliness of the staff was a most welcoming feature.
Our grade "A" stateroom was very clean and well presented, exactly as advertised. Our cabin was serviced very efficiently with a good level of attention being given to detail of presentation. The only negative comment justified is the restrict number of hangers in the wardrobe, only 4/5 each -- would have liked a couple more at least.
The lounge and bar was well presented and comfortable with excellent friendly service from the bar staff. The lunch time and evening entertainment from the resident pianist created a relaxing atmosphere.
The dining room is light and airy, and well staffed. Could not fault the buffet breakfast, ( 7-9am ) every conceivable breakfast item, hot or cold was available to meet any guests needs. Lunch ( 12-2pm ) could be taken in the dining room ( 3 course formal ) or the lounge where a buffet selection was available -- once again cannot fault the food selection available. The evening meal is at a fixed time, 7.0pm which consequently generates a "school meal" queuing approach followed by a mad dash for a table ( tables are not reserved ), once again the dining experience was enjoyable as was the complimentary wine.
Our main gripe of the holiday centred around the dining room. We did not like the fixed time for dinner for the reasons mention above, 7.0 -- 7.30pm would have alleviated some of the uncomfortableness associated with mature adults queuing and vying for a place to eat. We also noted that though the dress code for dinner was "casual smart" we were somewhat surprised to find that some guest ( mature adults ) could not progress beyond jeans, tee shirt and trainers.
The worst aspect of the dinning room experience was what appeared to be the determined need by the dining room staff to clear every glass, plate, dish the minute it was finished with, consequently plates were being cleared from a table while other table guest were still eating, - we found this unacceptable, and unprofessional.
We thoroughly enjoyed our river cruise and would consider booking with Viking River Cruises again. We would rate the Ship, Accommodation and the Service as a "4 star" experience, but still consider that value for money the weeks cruise is over price.