My husband and I have sailed several ocean cruises and just never loved the large ships. So, we thought we'd experience a smaller river cruise and chose a Danube trip. It was a test to see if maybe this type of cruise would work for us.The first indication that this was going to be a good trip was that we met two compatible couples (also Delling cruisers) at the airport who became our "new best friends" and with whom we shared many good conversations and most mealtimes. The ship itself was lovely and thoughtfully designed, obviously with the older person in mind. One example was the bathroom nightlight which was along the floorboards, making nighttime trips less perilous. We found the food to be high-end-restaurant quality. There is even an "always-available" menu with steak, salmon, salad, etc. for people like my meat & potatoes husband. (However, I noticed he ordered most of the time off the day's menu since the choices were so tempting and proved to be mouth-wateringly good.) I More
have to confess to feeling quite pampered by the 24-hour availability of coffee, cocoa, cappachino, etc. and the home-made cookies and pastries--so indulgent!
Besides the food and service (outstanding and always with a smile) and comfortable ship facilities, we had the most talented, knowledgeable and genuine program director we had ever met. If you are on a Viking cruise and Marek is your Program Director, be prepared to be dazzled as well as well-cared-for. He made the evening briefings and entertainment quite special and seemed to be omnipresent during the day. When it unexpectedly began to pour rain on one excursion, Marek magically appeared outside our bus with umbrellas! . Peter was our charming pianist who rounded out each evening with dance songs and a mix of tempos and mood. The staff often added their talents to the entertainment and even the Hotel Manager was willing to share his excellent voice and warm humor throughout the cruise.
Overall, this cruise definitely did work for us. It was small enough so we weren't overwhelmed by cavernous ship spaces, multitudes of people or the frenetic comings and goings related to a mind-boggling array of activities . Our fellow-cruisers were down-to-earth (older) people who just wanted to relax, chat, learn about the amazing cities we visited and have fun. It was a near-perfect experience for us and we can't wait to go Viking (!) again. Less