WOW, WOW, WOW, WOW, WOW. OK, I guess by now you know I was blown always with Viking and their Viking Pride ship. We booked this cruise back in Dec. 2010 when Viking was offering 2 for 1 pricing and special air from four East Coast Cities. Out air ad-on was only $597.00 RT including transfers. We booked a Cat. C which was $200 pp less than Cat. B which our friends and traveling mates book. They were 1/2 deck higher and had a window that had a small panel in their window that you could open. Cat. A,B,C,& D are all the same size and decor about 154 sq. ft. All are well equipped and designed just with a different location. Cat. E & F are small on the lowest deck with a long, narrow, high placed window. These cabins are several hundred dollars less and sell out first. You will not be spending much time in your cabin. With only 150 passengers the staff gets to know you by name very quickly. At first prices look like they are a lot higher than the big ship cruises but as we quickly learned in the end we spent less and had better service, food and included tours.
Food; simply 5*. Like dining in the finest restaurants in any city in the world for each meal. The first day lunch was the only time we had a grand buffet in the lounge. Every other meal we took in the lovely dining room with out fixed sitting. There were tables for four, six and eight. Only complaint I have is since we were four males friends traveling together we wanted out own table for four at each meal. We will not let you reserve a table. I understand that they do for the ships they market to European clients. We got a four top in the same section for most meals but had to make sure we were in front of the line when they opened the dining rooms doors. Not a big problem but one evening a family of 4 traveling together had to split. Lunch was 4 courses and dinner five. I can go on and on about the food and wonderful selection. This is not your normal cruise food. Even the Queens Grill on Cunard can't come close to the food and service.
We docked the first two and last night in Amsterdam just a 5 - 10 minute walk from City Center. Amsterdam was great as was Gant, Hoorn, Brugge and all the small cities and towns we visited. All tours were included, well organized and very educational.
While our group saw some of the youngest aboard, 42, 57, 60 and 64 there where a few in there 20's, 30's and 40's. Most passengers on this sailing were 70 plus but very active, interesting, well traveled and fun to sail with. We were told there are a lot more family and younger passengers on the summer sailings. We did get to visit several other ships that were in port as well. Security is not an issue so one could walk on several of the other ships in port. Some are for the German or Italian market and other like Viking Pride are for English speaking passengers only. I think all in all Viking offers the best pricing.
We are looking forward to booking another cruise with Viking for 2012. We didn't try to sell you while on board but do offer discounts for past passengers. Also, how refreshing not to be nicked and dimed to death as happens on every big ship cruise.
I look forward to answering any questions fellow CC passengers might have.