If you are considering a river cruise with Viking, you should be aware of certain things the cruise line does not tell you.
1. There is no compensation if the ship breaks down: We were unfortunate to take a 7-day Danube River cruise on the Viking Odin from Budapest to Nuremberg. We sailed on June 16, 2012 Two days later the ship's propulsion system broke down slowing the ship so much that it could not make its advertized schedule for the duration of the cruise. Rather than docking in the remaining advertized ports (Passau, Regensburg and Nuremberg) the ship stopped short of each port and put everyone on buses for the day while the ship continued up river to make up time. The result was a bus tour instead of a cruise, although we did sleep on the ship each night. To make matters worse, the ship's water pump also failed one morning, so we all boarded the buses without the benefit of showers, bathing, etc. Also, the ships in-room entertainment system (TV and music) failed for several days. Finally, the only passenger elevator on the ship was out of service during the entire cruise. Since we did not get what we paid for, we politely asked Viking for a refund of some of our cruise fare. Viking flatly refused saying it was not their policy to provide refunds (even partial) for botched cruises. This policy is not mentioned in their brochure or passage contract.
2. Closed Passenger Areas: One of the features of the Viking Odin is the "Sun Deck," which is the top deck of the ship advertized as "360-degree view and shaded sitting area." Indeed there is one, and it makes up well over half of the common area of the ship, a nice feature. However, what Viking fails to tell you is that it will be closed for much of your cruise. This is no accident, on the Danube for instance, the Sun Deck is closed for about half the trip in order to allow the ship to clear low bridges. This "fact" is not mentioned by Viking in any of their literature.
3. Dining Restrictions: Viking Odin generally serves three meals a day, but only during very narrow hours. If you don't sit down within 10-15 minutes of the opening bell, you will miss the meal, and there is no buffet or room service whatsoever - not even a PB&J sandwich. Miss a meal, and you don't eat, period. Viking does not tell you this, instead they advertize that you can eat "when and where you like." Not true. If you are used to traditional cruise ship dining, you will be sorely disappointed.
4. Sub-Par Food: Yes, this is subjective but we were not alone in our opinion that the food was marginal, at best. The selections are very limited and poorly prepared. Airline meals are far better.
Bottom line, if you have any prior cruise experience, Viking will be a disappointment.