6 Amsterdam to Europe - River Cruise Viking River Viking Egil Cruise Reviews

The river cruise certainly has potential for an incredible vacation. The pace of seeing the countryside go by, and falling to sleep to the gentle forward movement are both unique and highly pleasurable. The final approach to Budapest was ... Read More
The river cruise certainly has potential for an incredible vacation. The pace of seeing the countryside go by, and falling to sleep to the gentle forward movement are both unique and highly pleasurable. The final approach to Budapest was incredible and the Viking Egil was a beautiful ship. Overall though, Viking cut too many corners and by the time our trip was over, I was ready to be done with it. The food and drink were inferior. I admit, I am serious about food. I am an avid gardener and cook. Most of what I serve is made from scratch, usually from my garden and the farmer’s market. When I eat processed food, its unusual, and I’m thirsty. I was thirsty all the time on the trip. This was also very disappointing to me, as one of the reasons I go to Europe is for the very quality of the food. The final dinner, as we approached Budapest, featured Hungarian goulash, prepared by the Hungarian chief. Sounds like a slam dunk, good move, right? Not quite. What was served were chips of beef on a plate, covered with a brown colored sauce. I don’t know what that was. Hungarian goulash is a soup. The cruise package includes beer and wine with meals. These come from Viking labeled bottles that are clearly inferior. I’m not a big drinker, and it was a surprising cheapness on a luxury cruise, but not a big deal until we were in Germany, sampling world quality beer onshore. After that, forget it, it angered me. We paid a king’s ransom for that trip. I only have one beer or glass of wine with my meal. Viking saved money on that one serving, but lost a customer right there. You should be prepared that the majority of you time will not be spent seeing European sites. The outings pictured in the brochures are very short. The onshore day usually began at 10, assembling in the parking lot for bus transport that took between 30 minutes to 2 hours. Their goal seemed to be to get us back to the ship by 4pm, so you see the excursion itself was very short. The tour guides varied in quality from funny, insightful and truly delightful to a complete waste of expensive vacation time. Be aware that the tour guides will expect a tip, as will the entire ship crew and program director, separately. You should factor in another $500 for tips. Where your time will be spent is fraternizing with your fellow shipmates on the ship. All meals are served at tables of 6 to 8, although you can opt out and have a casual meal on the deck. After dinner, people move to the lounge where there is music, sometimes dancing and more drinks. These drinks are charged to your room. It is important to consider how this will sit with you. The clientele for these trips are almost entirely white, over 60, church going Christian, conservative, affluent Americans. Ours included a boisterous contingency from Texas. If that is a demographic you want to spend your vacation with, you will enjoy it. If not, you will find it uncomfortable, tedious or boring. Dinner was enough for us. The stacked docking, or double docking was my safety concern. This is a practice where a single slip is used for 2 or 3 ships. The first is roped to the pier, the 2nd and third are attached sideways. You enter the middle or outside ship by passing through the first and second. Usually, the middle ship stunk terribly of mold or mildew and sewage. This stacked docking required us to close the curtain, making the stateroom claustrophobic and rendering the balcony unusable. They run the generator when they dock like this for some reason, and that is a constant noise that reverberates between the ships. What concerned me the most though, was that the only means of exit during these dockings was through the stateroom room and down the ship's hall. This lack of egress would be illegal in a hotel or apartment. I have traveled a lot. I filled my last passport and needed to have additional pages put in, not once but twice. I understand and completely expect that disappointments and inconveniences are a part of travel. You have to suck it up, and go on with a smile to enjoy the rest. My overall complaint on this cruise though, was that there was something to suck up every day and that is just not acceptable for the price we paid. My specific complaint is that the stacked docking is a safety concern and with no means of exit, eventually someone will lose their life, trapped in a fire on a Viking ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Our first cruise of any sort. The ship and itinerary appealed to us. We were not disappointed ! Every part of the trip was above our expectations. The food, ship, staff and off ship tours were amazing. We were definitely catered to! ... Read More
Our first cruise of any sort. The ship and itinerary appealed to us. We were not disappointed ! Every part of the trip was above our expectations. The food, ship, staff and off ship tours were amazing. We were definitely catered to! The passengers were all mature...mostly above 50. No children...they would have been bored. We met many new people, mostly American and Canadian, with a few Brits thrown in. The staff was a little more diverse but all spoke excellent English and all had a great sense of humor. The ship appeared to be new, practically pristine. The cabin and bath were beautiful but small by necessity. The bed was large and very comfortable. Great sleeping. We wondered about the motion of the ship being an issue but we could barely feel any movement at all. Food was plentiful and wonderful. Meals were a treat and never hurried Only dress code was for dinner in the main dining room and then it was just no jeans or shorts. The rest of the day was very casual. We took advantage of the included tours every day and spent the rest of the day just relaxing in the wonderful lounge or on the sun deck. Every day there was an optional tour offered and they sounded intriguing. We did get off the ship in a couple of towns and explore a little on our own...what a treat! We did our shopping in Cologne. Even though I hate air travel and all that hassle, we would love to do another river cruise! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Vacation of a lifetime, for a special birthday. Spent 2 days in Amsterdam, staying at the Moevenpick in the 2 day pre-cruise package. The packaged tour was informative with at top-notch local guide. We were impressed with all of the tour ... Read More
Vacation of a lifetime, for a special birthday. Spent 2 days in Amsterdam, staying at the Moevenpick in the 2 day pre-cruise package. The packaged tour was informative with at top-notch local guide. We were impressed with all of the tour guides throughout the cruise. The cruise itself went by too quickly and each stop provided a good sampling of highlights--always much more to do than we had time for at each stop. One thing that's import is that all the docking locations were primo. The crew, dining and service were impeccable and first class. I would not hesitate to go on another Viking cruise. The only issue I had was that of not being able to get detailed itinerary information before leaving for the cruise. We'd plan to meet a friend in Heidelberg after work but it turns out the ship left Heidelberg for Speyer at 2, so we missed that connection. The Viking team made embarkation and disembarkation smooth and trouble-free, from the moment we stepped through customs in Amsterdam to the moment we were turned over to security check-in in Basel. The AirFrance/KLM air travel arrangements were smooth. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Initially we had seen an ad on TV. The price was right and we had the time. I had also heard from friends what a great trip they had on Viking. While there were a few bumps in the road (nothing to do with Viking)....our flight was ... Read More
Initially we had seen an ad on TV. The price was right and we had the time. I had also heard from friends what a great trip they had on Viking. While there were a few bumps in the road (nothing to do with Viking)....our flight was canceled and our luggage was lost for almost the entire trip, the staff was unfailing helpful with all of it. The food was excellent, the waitstaff friendly and helpful. We enjoyed meeting a variety of people from all over and the excursions were well planned and informative. The cabin was more than adequate even though we went with an economical unit. Having only 179 passengers was a real treat having been on cruises with over 1,000 passengers! I particularly loved sitting in the lounge sailing along...it was peaceful and lovely. Overall this was fabulous trip and ;yes, we will probably do another river cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
I chose this cruise because I could see tulips, windmills, castles, and the Swiss Alps all on one trip. I id that with extensions before and after the cruise. While on the cruise, the crew was attentive, listened to my requests, ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I could see tulips, windmills, castles, and the Swiss Alps all on one trip. I id that with extensions before and after the cruise. While on the cruise, the crew was attentive, listened to my requests, remembered my desires, and waited on me like a queen. The bedding was perfect, even the pillows, and I have muscles that get cramped away from my own bed..We made friends with passengers and staff, both of whom we have remained in contact. As two around-80 women, we were the ship's mascots and well cared for. And oh, yes, the food was wonderful too. I liked that information was provided about the areas we were visiting and not just provided just for entertainment alone. Several times there was singing or musical perfermances that were enjoyable but again they were pertinent to the area. The shore excursions were diversified and interesting with well-thought out alternatives. Since I was slower on a cane, groups were organized for those of us who were not as fast as most passengers. We still saw the most important parts of the shore excursions at a more leisurely pace. Twice; in port, we hired taxis to take us through small towns and the staff was helpful in directly them where to take us. Also helpful in arranging for a hair appointment in port. My friend and I found the river cruise so enjoyable that we are looking forward to a Viking Ocean Cruise in a month. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
I enjoyed being on the boat, watching the scenery go by and falling to sleep with the movement. Almost everything else was a bust. Being an experienced traveler, I understand and expect that I will be required to suck up some inconviences ... Read More
I enjoyed being on the boat, watching the scenery go by and falling to sleep with the movement. Almost everything else was a bust. Being an experienced traveler, I understand and expect that I will be required to suck up some inconviences and disapointments on a vacation, but when this is true everyday in some way or another, there is a problem. I am an avid gardener and cook. One reason I like to go to Europe is for the very quality of the food. The cruise food was good for breakfast and that spread was incredible. I can't say as much for the other meals. I would say, if you like Applebees, you will probably enjoy this cruise food. I know from experience that I get thirsty when I eat processed foods and I was very thirsty after eating the cruise meals. One meal was particularly disappointing. As we were approaching Budapest, the Hungarian chief prepared what was called goulash. What was served was chips of beef covered in a sauce. Hungarian goulash is a soup. The cruise included free beer and wine with the meals. These were poured from Viking labeled bottles. These products were clearly inferior. While it was, initially, just another "suck it up" irritation, it became truely abnoxious as we traveled through Germany and sampled some of the world's best beers when we were off the ship. I am not a heavy drinker, and Viking only found cost savings in my case on a single serving of beer per day. For what we paid for the trip, that was unreasonable. The outtings were short. Each excursion involved assembly in the parking lot and ussually a bus trip of 30 minutes to 2 hours. When the assembly started at 9 or ten, and concluded by getting us back on the ship by four, the tours you see pictured in the brochures are often as short as one hour. The guided tours are of mixed quality, rangeing from inciteful, fun and highly educational to a complete waste of expensive travel time. Be prepared that tips are expected everywhere on this "all inclusive" trip, including the tour guides. My most serious complaint was with the double docking. In many ports, especially in Germany, Viking only used one slip for as many as three ships, connecting the ships sideways. If you are paying extra for a balcony, it is a complete waste when this happens. The side of the ship with the most exclusive staterooms is always in the outside, but even those may be locked in when they connect three boats. You pass through the boat on the dock side, and several times the stench on that boat was bad. It was some combination of mildew and sewage. I found it very claustrophobic, but it also is a safety hazzard. There is no way off the boat through the window, only the single route though the stateroom door, then down the hall. I'm not sure how that even passes safety regulations. It would be a deathtrap in a fire and would never be allowed for a hotel or apartment. You end up spending evenings socializing with your shipmates. Every dinner you are seared at tables of 6 and 8 travelers, followed by cocktail parties in the lounge, where alcohol is additional, and is charged to your room. This can get tedious or worse. You have to feel your way around all the lifestyle, political and religious issues Americans feel so strongly about. Affluent, older, Christian, conservatives are going to find themselves most suited to this socializing. Overall, I'm glad to have gone, but we spent A LOT of money on this, and I would say it was a very poor value. We were given vouchers to apply toward a future cruise, but we chose to take half the value in cash. We might try a National Geographic cruise, but not Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Viking Egil Ratings
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