Since this year was fraught with lock strikes, high water and the possibility of bad weather we were a little skeptical that this cruise would go without a problem. Also, the airfare was very reasonable through Viking and we were a little skeptical about our flights. Well, there was absolutely no problem at all. The flights were direct from Dallas to London then to Munich and back to London from Budapest. Timing between flights was excellent, gave us enough time to navigate Heathrow.
The Magni was beautiful. We had the Explorer Suite and it was such a luxury for us. More room than we really needed as we were not in our cabin much. The 110 outlets were a plus, very easy to plug in Ipad, Iphones. The safe was large and held the ipads, etc. Heated floors in the bathroom were great, even though we did not have any ice or snow on the trip.
The food was good. Enjoyed the lobster and the filet with foie gras. A couple of the nights the pork dishes were good, but not great, however my husband had the steak most nights (optional) and it was good and cooked to his tastes. The wait staff from Pam who poured the drinks and wine to Karyzma who waited on us was knowledgeable, friendly and attentive. They went out of there way to learn our names and what we liked. My husband had his coke light even before sitting down. Made us want to eat in the dining room and at Karyzma's tables only.
Friends traveling with us wanted to go to the Opera in Budapest (we had already gotten our tickets on line) and utilized the Concierege. That was done without a worry and they had great seats.
Marek, the Cruise Director was fantastic. His Mozart show is not to be missed. The information he gives is correct and done in a manner anyone can enjoy and learn. I would love to see his Dracula show sometime, I can only wonder.
Tibor was our cabin steward and worked hard and had taken care of our needs. All the staff was great and personable. Kyle did a great Tina Turner impersonation.
The ports were the usual. But in Vienna they had a by subway walking tour of Vienna, which we took (we had been to Vienna several times, but not on the subway). We now feel comfortable on the subway there and got to see the Schmetterling Haus (butterfly house) and the Royal Treasury at the Hofburg.
The hotel, Le Meridien in Budapest was beautiful and perfectly located for our Opera excursion. It was a short walk to the Opera, and the Christmas Market around the hotel was still open till Jan. 1.
In short, this trip was perfect from start to finish. Weather was good, river levels good, no lock strikes and the ship functioned well. This is our fourth Viking trip and most of them had a small glitch or two due to weather or water levels, but we enjoyed those trips too. Thank you Viking and the staff of the Magni for a great Christmas to New Years cruise that we won't forget for a long time.