We would give this cruise mixed reviews. By far, the best aspect of the week was our tour director, Marianne. She was friendly, knowledgeable, energetic and extremely helpful in all regards.
Flights/connections- Our port of entry was Amsterdam. We arrived just in time for dinner so we had limited time to do a walking tour of Amsterdam...a must if you have never been there. We had Viking arrange our flights and we would have preferred to have arrived earlier so that we would have had more time to wander around the town. I realize that is difficult for them as they are busy doing the disembarkation/arrival process.
Excursions- We felt that the extra excursions were overpriced for what they offered. The Alsasc wine tour provided very small tastings of about 4 wines. The cask room was interesting. Due to the time of year (November) we did not tour the actual vineyards. We were also very disappointed with the Black Forest excursion. The scenery and church that we toured were beautiful. We thought we were then going to a quaint village where they made cuckoo clocks. Instead, we were dumped at a major tourist trap on the side of the highway. A small corner of the store had a bench where a small demonstration of cuckoo clock making was described. The clocks, while beautiful, were pricy.
Our biggest disappointment with the regular excursions was that they felt rushed. In particular, we were rushed in Heidelberg. Traffic was slow due to regular traffic congestion and road construction. The castle tour was interesting...not much to see, but interesting. We then had a long trip back down to the city due to the traffic congestion. Our tour guide was quiet during the bus ride. Once we got to town, we stood out in the cold weather while she gave a prolonged art history review of Heidelberg. Very interesting but could have easily be done while on the bus. When she finished, she informed us that we needed to be back to the bus in 45 minutes. None of us had eaten lunch and we were expected to eat and tour in 45 minutes time. We also had limited time in Strasbourg. After a lengthy tour of the church, we had limited time in what I felt was one of the most beautiful cities.
Food- While the food was good, we felt that the food was far superior on the river cruise that we took with another company. The offerings for breakfast were exactly the same each day. I did like that they had a fish dish for supper and they were all expertly prepared. The German lunch buffet was also excellent.
Room/Cabin- As the Atla is a new ship, the rooms were more than comfortable. As stated in another review, it would have been nice to have more options on the TV. As we were cruising in mid-November, it was too chilly to be on the top deck and we probably spent more time in our cabin and would have liked more options.
Follow up- We completed the evaluation on board at the end of the week. One of the boxes I checked was that I would like a Viking representative to contact me. Well, that was 2 months ago and I have not been contacted.