Viking River cruise, Main, Rhine and Moselle rivers
Flying into Paris on Air France we then continued to Nuremberg and upon arrival found both of our luggage did not arrive with us. The flight was arranged through Viking river cruises. We reported our missing luggage which took about 15 min. We looked for the driver Viking had hired only to find out he had left for the ship with passengers whom had arrived on earlier flights. My first tip is to locate the Viking rep BEFORE reporting your luggage missing. We ended up waiting 4 hours for another couple on the next flight since the drive would not return for us. We found out the driver had left info at the Information Desk at the airport. Another tip is to let Viking take care of the airport transfers. Our transfer is a prime reason why. It turns out the ship had moved 30 miles down the river from the transfer prior to the one we got on. It had to do with compensating for a problem on the river. Had we taken a cab to the original location there would have been no ship and we would have been stuck finding out where it was and then getting there on our own. Upon arrival the staff at the Viking Sky couldn't have been nicer. The "hotel manager" called Air France to attempt to expedite things. The cruise itself was very nice. This is NOT a cruise for young people. The average age might have been pushing 70.
By 10:30 PM there probably were 3 couples listening to or dancing to the music being provide by the man playing the piano which simulates multiple instruments. I brought along a voltage reducer which did not work at all. The ship was able to provide one which did work. The tours were handled by guides that were very knowledgeable and interesting to be with. Two of he tours included a lunch. One was forgettable and one was very nice. If you are on a tour which includes lunch you will be able to have a "toilette" break. This will be free. Particularly if you are a first time visitor to Europe don't be caught by surprise with the .50 Euro charge to use the facility. If you are near a McDonald's or perhaps a similar restaurant there is no charge. The dinners on the ship are not as extensive as an ocean cruise but most people should be quite satisfied. The beer, wine and soda are included in the cost and I can only speak to the wine but your glass will be refilled quite regularly. If you eat at the lunch buffet upstairs near the bar at the front of the ship don't forget the wine and beer are available for free but you must walk over to the bar and ask for it as there won't be someone walking around with a bottle which is the case in the dining area. An example of activity on the ship in the late afternoon to the evening was a talk on the history of the European Common Market. While he was knowledgeable, it would make most young people want to throw themselves overboard.
One evening there was a glassblower who demonstrated his skills and had his wares for sale. Local dancers in costume entertained and got some audience members up. Stay out of the first few rows of chairs if you don't want to be among those considered. Don't bring an umbrella as they are available on the ship. They are red with the Viking logo and name so they are happy to lend them out. We ended up with the last available cabin which was on the lowest level at water level. A side benefit is having 5 or 6 swans swim up to the window and peer in. At least I hope they were swans! When you leave the ship for a tour or to just walk around on your own they would like you to leave your room key in exchange for a stub with you name and cabin number on it. The idea is they are more likely to know if your back on the ship. Return the stubs for your key when you return. Announcements are made over their PA system but do not come into the cabin. You will have to hear them through the door. The next days activities are spelled out on papers that are slid under your door. Also news of the world with emphasis on your area of the world are also put under your door during the night. Our transfer to the Frankfurt airport ended with a Viking rep meeting us at the drop off point. She led us to priority boarding for Delta which appeared to skirt a long line. A nice finishing touch. I apologize for the rambling thoughts but posted them as they entered my mind and wanted to get in key experiences which you might find helpful.