My husband an I accompanied a group of 26 on the Viking Ingvi River Cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest in late August 2016, for 14 days. Most people arrived early and enjoyed the sights of Amsterdam and some continued on for the post-stay ... Read More
My husband an I accompanied a group of 26 on the Viking Ingvi River Cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest in late August 2016, for 14 days. Most people arrived early and enjoyed the sights of Amsterdam and some continued on for the post-stay in Prague. By the end of the trip many in our group called it the "trip of a lifetime." How true! There were so many wonderful cities and things to see and do and many experienced all of the daily excursions as well as a lot of the optional excursions.
The ship was clean and modern, in a Scandinavian way, with muted, restful colors. It is laid out so everyone can find a peaceful space or be visiting with a lot of people in the lounge, dining room or Aquavit outdoor deck. The stateroom staff was very pleasant, always careful not to disturb you while in your room, and only cleaned when you were out of your room. You would leave your room, come back after breakfast, and Voilá, your room was as clean and fresh as when you stepped on the ship. The rooms were well appointed and very nicely arranged with plenty of drawer and closet storage space.
Our group was scattered in staterooms all over the ship. Those that stayed on the lower level were somewhat apprehensive about the size of the room and being close to water level. Their fears were unwarranted. They told us later they were hardly ever in their room so it didn't matter and the larger window was just fine for lighting. Those that had Balcony or French Balcony staterooms were pleased with their rooms as well. However they did not approve too much of another ship tying up beside us and blocking their view......but that's not uncommon and is always a possibility with river cruises.
Dining was delightful. The chef and his staff did an excellent job as well as the dining room staff. There were always plenty of choices on the menu and the meals were tasty and cooked properly. Having a light lunch, salads, soups, small sandwiches on the Aquavit Deck was a nice departure from the main dining room. One or two evenings in the dining room we received something incorrect, or perhaps cold, but it was very quickly taken care of by the staff. Dinners are a chance to meet and greet many other people on the ship and that's one of the nice things about river cruising.........you meet so many people because the total on this ship was 190 people. During 2 weeks time you meet and enjoy most of them.
Arriving back on the ship after an excursion there was always someone to greet us with some sort of juice or drink and perhaps cookies or some sweet regional specialty. It's nice to be greeted in that manner and it makes you feel welcome to come back on the ship......or maybe they just missed us!
Evening entertainment on the ship was usually musicians from a local city. These evenings were a pleasant experience. Other times an excursion was offered at night to take us to a restaurant or beer hall. These evening offered great food and just plain fun. Several lectures were offered at night and were done by experienced and interesting people. One of the most exciting highlights of our cruise was a local German glassblower. We were all fascinated with his ability to work with the glass.....a very different experience than you would see with a regular glassblower or might see in Murano, Italy. He was an expert at what he did and we were offered the opportunity to buy many of his works, including fused glass jewelry and Christmas gifts. He was busy for almost 2 hours taking care of customers and taking orders for shipping. We did discover he is a protege of Chihuly which explains why he was so very knowledgeable and creative. He said he visits Chihuly at least twice a year.
The service on this ship was outstanding. We can't say enough about them. Everyone was so pleasant and helpful. The Hotel Manager, Krisztina, was particularly helpful. She was always present and available to discuss questions, and handle issues or problems. While on the cruise two couples from our group had a minor issue with their rooms. Either the problem was quickly fixed or they were moved to another room (which, of course, is not always available) but the problem was solved. We have to say the bartenders were special as well. The main bartender, Szaba (sp?) and the rest of the bar staff were exceptional with remembering our drinks and timely service. So many of the staff, bartenders, dining room staff, front desk staff were always ready with answers and gave us top notch service. We've been on Viking ships before but we have to say this was probably the best service we have had from on any of the ships. We met and spoke with the Captain of our ship several times albeit thru a translator. He was interested in our thoughts and asked many questions. How many times can you meet the Captain of the ship and converse with him/her?
Our group has already asked us to plan another cruise for them. Would they go on Viking again? The answer is a definite "Yes." As far as ourselves, Would we go on Viking again? The answer is a definite "Yes" and we hope to sail again next year with Viking. Read Less