This was our second Viking cruise (first one was a Rhine cruise). Really enjoyed this itinerary.
We took the 2 day pre cruise extension in Budapest and stayed at the excellently situated Buda Hilton with a great view of the Parliament buildings across the Danube. The Viking staff were helpful but we do think that the notes could have mentioned how difficult it is to visit the Parliament building because of an immense construction project. We wasted hours trying to get there only to find that there were no tickets left for English tours. Knowing the problems in advance would have avoided that.
There are good restaurants very close to the hotel and it is a simply delightful location.
Our cruise left Budapest - and stops were Vienna (delightful evening concert option), Melk (a wonderful abbey), Passau (recently flooded but now fine and what a delightful town), Regensburg (equally delightful) with an extra narrow gorge and abbey optional tour and finally More
Nuremberg where we took the World War II optional tour which we would recommend.
We took the 3 day extension by coach to Prague and stayed at the Hilton (not the old town). The hotel was modern and just fine but was some distance from the old town. Long walk or tram or subway rides.
We took the Lobkowicz Palace option (with lunch and concert) and that involved a wonderful day but it was very long and tiring since we had a city tour (included) plus the optional one. We walked for hours and hours over cobbled streets. Great but not good if you have mobility issues. Still we are very glad that we did it.
We loved Prague - and would like to have spent even more time there. Dont miss it! It's the highlight of the trip.
Finally we visited Terezin (a former prison and "ghetto" which was in fact used as a transit stop on the way to the death camps). A very wrenching experience but we are glad we took that tour.
Overall a great experience but be warned there is a lot of walking over cobblestone streets which may be a concern for some.
The experience on the Freya was very positive - we had a great cabin steward (Simona)....Not quite as positive about the waiters in the dining room...some were a little rough and could have benefitted from further training....a couple were quite surly. Overall the food was very good. The lounge seemed a bit small and they often had to put out extra folding chairs for presentations. The open air lounge at the back is lovely on good days - ditto the top deck which has a herb garden, chess and putting options and great for 360 viewing.
We opted for a balcony cabin on the second level which was an excellent choice and we were never double parked - a real bonus.
The only negative is the internet - connection is very spotty and we had problems sending emails.
However that is a minor concern on holiday.
We had a simply wonderful cruise director (Mielke? - I am bad with names) on board and she managed to make everything go very smoothly and gave some excellent presentations. Less