We just finished the Eastern European cruise. We began in Budapest at the Marriott, which was very nice.
The ship is nice and new. We had a suite which by suite standards on oceanliners was very small. In fact the veranda suites had smaller bedrooms that the veranda rooms across the hall. Suites are not worth the extra money in my opinion.
There just wasn't much to see at our ports. I actually felt like we were on a bus tour everyday. Viking does the shore excursion in the morning. They herd all 188 people off at the same time and on to four buses every single day to go to the exact same places. There are never any options or any options for the afternoons. Sometimes the guides were great and one time our guide was awful. Maybe there isn't much to see in this part of the world, but I would have rather seen villages and the way people live than be carted to some insignificant church everyday.
Onboard there was NOTHING to do. No activities at all. No gym. No More
pool. No beauty salon. Our posted late departure from Belgrade so we could enjoy its famous nightlife was at 10 PM, shortly before the nightlife began. Sometimes our distances between ports was as short as an hour. There was no reason we had to leave so early.
They adverstise they have agreements with local gyms and at all points which is an absolute lie. Sometimes they had nothing and twice they sent me on wild goose chases trying to find some obscure gym that was closed. One time I was able to find the gym ~ 1/2 hour walk there and 2o euros. Some agreement! We booked an afternoon private tour with our concierge and it eneded up being a public tour with 48 people.
The restaurant food was average at best. One night EVERY entre had mushrooms in it. It was impossible to eat healthy. The waitstaff was running the whole dinner. They needed at least twice as many people. Great staff, but no one can do a satisfactory job when they are in a sprint all dinner. There is no wine steward or anyone to take an order for wine for that matter. They give you the house wine and tap water for dinner and you are lucky to get that.
There is a piano player who plays the same loop every evening. At some ports they brought in folk dancing. Some advice to Viking ~ more is not better. After about 7 bouts of folk dancing I was ready to jump off the ship.
Even if you want to play cards in the evening after 8 the lights are all dimmed. When we inquired we were told the bar lights were connected to the adjacent space. Well planned!!
The demographic was also a huge surprise for me. I would say the average age was 70 and the staff told me that was their target demographic. Obvioulsy they are adventuresome 70 and 80 year olds, but the pace was excruciatingly slow.
When we arrived in Bucharest they put us in a very dumpy Hilton.