Viking Helvetia Cruise Review by PeterReigate: Exceeded Expectations
This was our first River Cruise having only previously undertaken Coastal Voyages in Norway. Ocean cruising with all the razzmataz does not appeal to us. We were not disappointed and everything exceeded our expectation. It was indeed 'all inclusive' with amazing attention to detail. The only extras were drinks outside of mealtime, but during mealtime the supply of wine or beer was virtually unlimited. The cabins were spacious and well appointed with space under the bed for storing baggage. The 'optional' excursions were quite costly but the 'included' excursions were comprehensive. Individual headsets meant that you could hear the tour guide even if you were 100 yards away.
First impressions at embarkation were allitle off-putting as the high pitch happy welcome at the desk was akin to Hi-de-Hi holiday camp.
The only thing we felt uncomfortable with was the gratuities situation. We do not have a tipping culture. The publicity emphasizes that gratuities are optional More but 48 hours before the end of the voyage announcements were being regularly made as to how gratuities could be paid. It was quite intimidating and could have added 10% to the cost of an already expensive holiday and we were made to feel quite guilty that we chose not to have the money debited to our on board account. Less
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Middle deck is quite adequate. You only see one bank of the river from your cabin. The public areas give much better view and you actually spend very little time in the cabin.
Grand European tour
Very good, but not excellent