While this vacation did not match our planned trip to Eastern Europe, I must say we all had a very interesting and enjoyable time. To be honest, I would have liked the planned trip, but given the record floods and the decision by Viking to attempt the cruise, I was astounded that our vacation was as enjoyable and educational as it was. No one loves bus trips, but we made the best of it...and the crew on the ship was outstanding at arranging trips on the fly. We saw things that we would not have seen (while missing some that we wanted to see)- I guess we will have to go back another time!!
As for what we DID do on this ill-fated cruise...we had fun! Our young grand-daughter was at least 30 years younger than the average passenger, and this was her first river cruise. We felt pretty confident that she would be fine with this "adult only" type ship but one never knows. The reality was she had a grand time-- made lots of friends, some she is emailing now that she is home! While her deck was on the side of the ship next to the other docked ships, she and her mother spent more time in the public areas meeting people and enjoying the provided side trips. I was lucky, my room was on the water side, but honestly, I never really used the deck...I were too busy.
We used our time in the little town of Novi Sad to really soak up Serbian life
and the history of Eastern Europe after Communism. What a wonderful experience for all of us, but especially for our grand-daughter. For me, it was wonderful because I was close to the area where my grandparents were born. I saw things that they did in their home in America, and I now know where it came from ...
the grape arbor in the yard leading to their door, the rugs my grandmother made on her loom..it almost made me cry!! We get so caught up in all of our "things" that it is good to see folks who are happy with far less.
Our room steward was exceptional...the concierge went above and beyond for us,
the entertainment was fine....you are not on a "Broadway" ship for goodness sake.
I guess as a recent cancer survivor, I don't understand wasting energy being upset about what life presents to you...This could be your last day! It almost was for me, so I use each day as a day to learn, enjoy and be thankful!
This trip was not what we planned, but it was not the worst trip by any means.
We all (4 people)enjoyed this trip immensely, and then to be given a full refund )and I mean full... no thousands less, a free bar bill, and 1/2 off vouchers for the next cruise...what a treat!!
I'm sure this was a big hit for Viking to take, cost wise....but we thought they did the best they could do once the error was made to do this cruise.
Many of the folks I talked with thought the same thing..
Travelers should ALWAYS be ready for unexpected things to occur.
Viking gave us a lovely ship, perfectly fine meals- (the local fare is what you expect if you are traveling in Eastern Europe), great staff, and some unexpected drama...some of which was brought on by the travelers themselves...What else do you want on vacation???
Would I travel Viking again...yes...next summer!!!