Viking Embla Cruise Review by skaarcat: Viking Long ships
Overall Member Rating
Viking Long ships
Destination: Europe - River Cruise
First I want to say that the ship was exceptional. I can't think of one thing they could have done to make it more comfortable. The staff was great and the food excellent. That being said, I want to explain why this cruise was not for me.
I felt the activity level of the tours was for a much older crowd. Face it, most of the people were 20 years older than I was. So things went pretty slowly. After the first few days I just took a map of the town and ditched the guided tours. I highly recommend it. I saw more and was able to do what I wanted. As long as you get back to the boat before it sails, you can stay as long as you want on shore and eat there too. Don't rush back for lunch if you don't have to. Some ports you need to stay with the group though, to get into a museum or a church that requires tickets.
I really hated the main dining room experience. (Not the food, I rate the food a 5+.) BUT there were no assigned seats and no tables for two or even four where you could More unwind and relax after a full day of touring. Instead, you are seated with new people every night at a table of 6 or more. You are basically ON, having to interact, be pleasant and introduce yourself over and over again every night to new people. I am an introvert and this was just torture for me. Several nights and every breakfast I escaped to the Cafe on the Aquavit terrace where they had tables for two. But they also had a very limited menu with only 4 main course items that never changed. That would have been fine but none of the choices was just a basic salad. You could order Cesar salad in the main dining room anytime you wanted it but it wasn't available in the Cafe, which made no sense at all to me. Plus they always put out bread plates and knives but never gave you any bread! What was that all about? Not that I needed bread but it seemed so silly to have the plates there for nothing, LOL. I did eventually find some regulars to sit with in the main dining room, so I didn't need to escape to the Cafe as often.
Well, some people must think I'm very anti-social after this post! But really, I went on the cruise to relax and this just wasn't relaxing for me. I was ready to go home after a week, I was so stressed out. Less
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We had a french balcony on the third floor. Great views but don't open the door unless you are moving, otherwise the flies just attack! We spent a lot of time swatting them after making that mistake in port. But no fly swatter. The rooms were small but very well organized. No wasted space. Nice heated floor in the bathroom that came in handy to dry our shoes after a rainy day on shore. The shower had a clothesline but bring your own clothes pins. There were toiletries and a blow dryer provided. A safe. A very large flat screen TV that made my husband happy. A nice size closet but I brought extra hangers and needed them (pants hangers).
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Do Not Go