I suspect, with delays in construction, our ship was rushed into the water for the start of the tulip season in the Low Countries - without the benefit of test sailings and dry runs. How else could Viking explain the many glitches on this beautiful new ship.
So, with mechanical failures.....an engine breakdown, water outage, non-functioning thermostats and other smaller problems,....we had to change ships and spend a day in a hotel that disappointed. We lost touring time and had to pack and unpack over and over agin. Viking's solution was to give us a voucher for on board purchases and comping our non included excursions. After our cruise we communicated with them and were then given another voucher of 50% towards another cruise.
The voucher is non transferable and has an expiration date. Limiting our options and forcing us to take another cruise or lose the compensation.
A better way to handle this would have been a refund that would allow us to choose how to use the compensation.
As for the time we spent on the ship, apart from the discomforts and inconveniences already mentioned.....the accommodations are lovely. The staff was excellent.
The tour guides were charming and very well informed, as well.....but you have to be ok walking very slowly through towns, cities, museums and churches with a group of 20-40 others. The personal earbuds that transmit the guide's voice directly to your ear worked wonderfully. However a few passengers hired private guides for a day or half day in each port for a more personal, thorough and efficient experience.
The food was very good. Small portions but they are happy to get you seconds. And if you stick with what is served you won't gain weight during your cruise .... and that, to me, is a bonus!
The dining area, or restaurant, as they call it, was very noisy because of the low ceilings. There are no tables for two and so every meal is an intense social experience similar to being at a wedding, every evening, where you know no one. Holding a conversation with 4-6 strangers every night is tedious and difficult since the Db level gets louder with each glass of complementary wine...nice touch, however. My advice is to go with a few friends and have your own table. Now,granted, some people may enjoy this type of forced, shallow camaraderie but it was not for me. So consider your own feelings about this.
Despite the inclement weather which wasn't surprising in April, we were very comfortable on board. And if you are a hardy soul who needs to get some exercise during a sailing day there is a walking track on deck.
Not sure if we'll ever do another cruise with this company...might try another....in hopes of a more peaceful dining experience. Definitely something to ask about in advance of booking. Something I never would have thought about unless forewarned.