We sailed on the Viking Magni (the newest of the long ships) from Budapest to Amsterdam on it's second voyage. This was our second river cruise, but I cannot compare it to the one I took 20 years ago. We have cruised on Holland America, Cunard, and our last two were on Regent 7 Seas. Comparing a Viking river ship to Regent is not a fair comparison. Viking does not claim to be a 5 star line, and it is not one. The new long ships are very nice, and larger than previous Viking ships. We paid for one of the suites which gives you a larger bathroom, and a sitting room with a couch, larger second TV, and is double the width, so you have a walkout, and a French balcony. For the significantly higher price, we did not see the value in the suite after looking inside the regular rooms. We also upgraded to the silver spirits package which is 598 euros for the two of you. It is not worth it. You can drink what you what whenever you want when you want it. Liquor selection is good, and you have about 5 beers instead of one to drink. The wines were a big disappointment. The ad says you are upgraded to premium wines from around the world instead of just wines from Hungary, and Germany. We tasted the complimentary wines that everyone can have at lunch, and dinner, but would rate them as one buck Chuck, yes lower than the Charles Shaw you get at Trader Joe's. The premium wines were in the $7-9 dollar price you find in a store. Their highest rated one (only California wine) was 2011 Hacienda Cab - check out it's price online $7.99 - $8.99. You have the option of buying wine in each city on your stops and bringing it on board with no corkage fees. For 11-12 Euros we found wines that would have been far superior to the German, and Hungarian offerings. If we cruise with Viking again I would buy my wines at each port city, and not get the silver spirits package. BTW two others told me they bribed a bartender for free drinks.
Breakfast and lunch offerings were fine and as expected. Dinners were an issues on numerous evenings. The first and third nights fish offerings were way overcooked. They gladly would bring you a different selection from the menu. Again we were spoiled by the quality of the food on Regent 7 Seas, but the dinners were way below what even had on Holland America. A lot of the older passengers felt the food was fine, but to those of us under age 65 the quality was not very good. This was the opinion of 10 people in our age bracket.
The first 10 days were great, but starting with four nights to go the electrical issues started in the middle of the night. Room lights came on for about 10 seconds, five minutes later the TV in the bedroom came on displaying a computer reboot screen, and you could not turn it off. It went off after a few minutes, followed by the second TV coming on. This cycle repeated a second time. The climate system shut down for about 2 hours. Only emergency lights were in in the hallways. NO ANNOUNCEMENT WAS MADE.
The next morning we tied up to the side of the river 25 miles from our destination. We were told after breakfast that the state of the art energy management system was having issues, and an electrical engineer would arrive at lunch time. We were bused to our tour for the day. A second pair of engineers from the shipbuilder arrived at 7PM. They claimed to have it fixed, and set sailed at about midnight. The next day we were bused 2 hours to Heidleburg (not our scheduled stop in Koblenz). Upon returning to the ship it had not moved, and the issues started up again. I finally cornered the captain and had him tell me that they only had enough power to run one engine, but the hotel manager, and cruise director only stated that they were working on the issues. The next morning still moored in the middle of nowhere we were told to pack up, and the cruise was ending two days early. We were bused to Frankfurt for a one hour city tour (nothing to see), then bused to Mainz for a night in the Hilton. The final day we were bused two hours to Boppard for a 2.5 hour cruise on the Rhine in an older day ship, then bused 5 hours to Amsterdam for our final night in the airport Sheraton.
We encountered 16 hours of unscheduled bus rides, lost three days of our stops, lost half a nights sleep, and lost a lot of time cruising the rivers especially the Rhine. The next cruise was going to be disrupted until the ships issues were resolved.
In all fairness management had to work with corporate to arrive hotels for 190 people, reschedule some tours at the last minute, and try to make the best of the situation