We chose this particular river cruise company because of the itinerary--it covered lots of countries on the Rhine, plus the city of Brugges, a must-see! We had sailed on a Danube cruise with Amawaterways a few years ago, an exceptional cruise, and figured that Viking wouldn't match up. How wrong we were! It was about the most perfect trip we have ever taken. Viking has their act together!!!
After gaining 5+ pounds, I can say that we had 5 star gourmet food at every meal plus wonderful snacks. The servers were so professional and hard working, wanting to please the passengers. Andreas, the chef, was great--I loved his cooking demonstrations and his sense of humor.
The rooms were kept spotless, free bottled water in the rooms every day, and lots of storage room for clothing. How nice to only unpack once for the whole trip!
Our Program Director, Luk, gave informative talks about each port and optional excursions, and he had such a great sense of humor! I felt as though he was a friend by the time we left the ship. One of my favorite parts of the cruise were the guided tours by local guides--they spoke excellent English, answered all our questions, and were enthusiastic. We took the optional Colmar town
excursion which was a quaint Alsace town--a must-see! We also went to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam on our own, that we recommend seeing, even though we had to wait in a long line.
Don't bother spending extra money to upgrade to a balcony cabin. The window in our D level room was large and let in plenty of light. We were able to see swans close up swimming by our window several times! You won't spend much time in your room because the lounge is beautiful with great picture windows, and we also spent a lot of time on the upper deck watching the castles go by!
We went with 10 of our neighbors and 6 of them went on the optional tour to Lucerne--it was not the best experience because traffic was bad due to road construction and they only got to see Lucerne for an hour and 1/2 and had to rush around--their guide was a bit grumpy, too. My advice is to go on the Lucerne post-cruise extension, so that you can get a longer time in this beautiful city (we had visited Lucerne before).
In Basel, we had the option of the regular city tour, or the "Close and Personal tour" (no extra charge)where you got to ride the streetcar and ferry in addition to a rigorous city tour. We loved this tour, because the guide
told us tales about the city, and we got to see more places than the regular city tour. We only had a half hour on our own which was fine with me because we covered the city very well.
We had listening devices provided for most of the tours which was wonderful. We could hear everything said.
I was surprised at all the 80+ year-old people on this trip, though. At least the ship provided a leisurely guided tour at each port for them because walking on cobblestones, up and down hills and steps is a bit much for most people of that age and is very tiring for all ages.
The ship provided entertainment every night, but don't expect it to be like the entertainment you get on a large cruise ship. I didn't care because usually after dinner was over at 9 or 9:30, I was tired and ready to turn in. The piano player was super, though, and very talented.
No complaints on this trip--so much to see and we did it in high style! Thanks Viking Sun!