My wife and I decided to try a River Cruise to compare it to an Ocean Cruise. We have been Ocean Cruising for the last 20 plus years from South America to the Baltic.
After researching the different River Cruise companies and itineraries we decided to sail with Viking on the "Grand European Tour" from Budapest to Amsterdam. We were met at the airport by a Viking staff and provided transportation to the Ship. After settling in our cabin and a tour of the ship we were introduced to the staff at a "welcome presentation". We sailed the next day after our first organized shore tour of Budapest.
We were use to an Ocean Cruise ship "luxury balcony cabin" and of course we cannot compare it to the cabin on our river cruise that was less then half the size but it was acceptable. It was much noisier but on a positive side it was very handy to all locations on the ship .
Our ship did not have balconies and we miss this feature. My wife found it to small but it was OK with me. On our future River Cruise we would chose a larger cabin with a balcony.
This cruise far exceeded our greatest expectation. The ship,the scenery and the staff from the Captain to the waiters could not do enough to serve and please us. The entertainment the shore excursions and the food were all exceptional. With the size of the ship and the number of passengers compared to an Ocean Cruise it became very easy to meet everyone on board and form a lasting friendship. The variety of shore excursions and their history were so different from an Ocean Cruise and provided a new cruise experience. We flew back home the morning after our arrival in Amsterdam and were taken to the airport with the captain the cruise director and his assistant that helped us with our luggages and "check in". We never expected this much service but appreciated it all. I would highly recommend this type of cruise and we are looking forward to many more.