We arrived in Budapest at about 9:00pm on a flight from Zurich. We had confirmed with Viking our time and method of arrival. Viking told us where to get a taxi, the approximate cost, and very specifically identified the location of the ship. We reconfirmed all of this by phone before leaving. As you probably guessed, after dismissing the taxi, we discovered the ship was not where it was supposed to be. We wondered around in the dark of the Budapest docks until a very nice English speaking young man helped us find the ship and carry our bags to it.
Once on the ship he had another surprise: no food. For those who have cruised before and expect having access to food basically any time, be aware that Viking serves a communal dinner from 6 pm to 9 pm meaning if you want a seat at dinner you must be there at 7 and you must leave at 9 when the kitchen closes. During the same period you can choose one of five never-changing choices at the bar (club sandwich, baked potato, etc.) More
There is no room service.
It was possible to leave the ship to dine ashore, but only at a few destinations as the ship is mostly under way at dinner time.
The TV ads and the online videos tout the sun deck where passengers may stroll and where the chief grows herbs and were there is a solar array for the hybrid engines. We saw several Viking ships along the route but never saw a solar panel and the few herbs that were there were strictly for show. More importantly, the sun deck closes for 4 days during the cruise because the ship barely clears the bridges even with the sun deck closed and disassembled. Not being able to go outside together with the ship being under way most of the time and the regimented communal eating schedule give the experience a very claustrophobic feel.
We made the mistake of booking the most expensive stern suite, called the explorer suite or something. Do not make this mistake. The engine noise and vibration make sleeping difficult even with ear plugs. And the crew's off duty station is just above and being mostly eastern European the smoke a lot and the smoke fills the expensive Explorer suites.
We wished we had rented a car and explored on our own. Less