5 Amsterdam Viking River Viking Rinda Cruise Reviews

Second time Viking cruise; wanted to visit Amsterdam and many other cities along the Rhine river. We arrived two days before the cruise and stayed in Amsterdam. Visited many of the sights including a canal boat ride. Windmills were ... Read More
Second time Viking cruise; wanted to visit Amsterdam and many other cities along the Rhine river. We arrived two days before the cruise and stayed in Amsterdam. Visited many of the sights including a canal boat ride. Windmills were interesting and castles, forts etc. Our boat was the Rinda, a newer boat and was very clean and smooth. We made the mistake of arriving in the early (7 AM) morning in Amsterdam and couldn't check into our room until 3:00 PM. It was raining in Amsterdam; as a consequence, most of our time was spent in the Lobby of the Hotel. Service on board was excellent; the crew went out of their way to accommodate us with morning room coffee etc. Dining was excellent with a wide selection of local food, wine and beer. Hope to sail with Viking soon, also would like to check out Viking's Ocean Cruises. Viking is the only way to travel. Hope the come to the US and give our rivers a visit. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Following our first river cruise with Viking from Paris to Normandy in spring 2015 we decided to some day take another. The availability, timing and opportunity to join previous Viking cruise friends made an easy decision of cruising again ... Read More
Following our first river cruise with Viking from Paris to Normandy in spring 2015 we decided to some day take another. The availability, timing and opportunity to join previous Viking cruise friends made an easy decision of cruising again in fall 2015 experiencing the Grand European River Cruise. We met our friends and made many new friends. Food was great and offered the best of the regions we passed. Our third Viking cruise is just ahead this fall. The Viking arranged 4 day pre-cruise in Paris was exceptional. Viking provided their own Consigier, in addition to the hotel's Consigier. His recommendations were exactly correct and allowed us to maximize our opportunities to visit museums and events without waiting in museum lines. The restaurants recommeded fit our daily needs without exception. The Viking Cruise staff are obviously chosen by top management to ensure knowledge, language, humor, entertainment and absolute responsibility to us - the passengers. An unexpected pleasure was the routine professional guest professors and subject matter experts who provided lectures with slide presentations and often attire and examples of the products of the region. Not having to pack and unpack daily is an underestimated surprise experience. A walk down the deck to the restaurants following daily pre-briefings of the next day's opportunities became a daily favorite for us and our friends. The following dinners could not have been better in quality, quantity and variety. Exquisite in setting and presentation, yet casual in attire and atmosphere. Do read the advanced literature to know what to expect for weather, clothing and comfort. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
• Background information  My wife has been to Europe many times and was intrigued by the boats plying the beautiful rivers. I have never been to Europe and we wanted my first visit to include a lot of different places without a lot of ... Read More
• Background information  My wife has been to Europe many times and was intrigued by the boats plying the beautiful rivers. I have never been to Europe and we wanted my first visit to include a lot of different places without a lot of stress. We somehow got a Viking brochure and quickly agreed to book the Grand European Tour after I retired. We booked directly with Viking and were very impressed when the Viking representative suggested a less expensive cabin than we were first considering. As it turned out, everything he told us was quite correct. This was our first cruise of any kind and we were impressed with the materials Viking sent us before the trip. Our itinerary, guidebooks, luggage tags and name badges arrived in nice zippered cases. • Travel To Port of Embarkation We booked our flights through Viking. We were a little confused about how and when they would be ticketed but there turned out to be no problems. We flew directly from Houston to Amsterdam on United. We upgraded to Economy Plus on the United website after we were ticketed by Viking. It was not possible to upgrade from the Viking purchased tickets to Business or First Class. We assume that option would be available earlier in the booking process if desired. We had no problems locating the Viking representatives at the Amsterdam airport and were taken promptly to the Movenpick Hotel since we had signed up for the pre-cruise extension. That was a very good decision because it gave us a chance to adapt somewhat to the local time before the cruise. Our flight arrived on schedule early in the morning and we chose to stay up all day and enjoy Amsterdam. Our cruise was the first Viking Cruise of the season but Viking and the Moenpick were ready for us and seemed as excited as we were to get the cruise season started. The day we were to board the ship we took our bags to the lobby so Viking could take them to the boat later. We went on another walk through the city, had lunch, and then walked to the boat. We did not realize that lunch was available on the boat. This is a cruise review but I would be remiss if I did not say that the two-night pre-cruise extension in Amsterdam was well worth the time and money. • Hotel information The Movenpick Hotel is right on the water and not too far from where the Viking boats dock. The hotel is very modern, clean and friendly. Everyone spoke English. We could see the water from our room (724). We did need to use a plug adapter to charge our iPhones. By the way, we kept our iPhones in Airplane Mode and turned on WiFi. That worked fine for us. I had downloaded some maps and guide information to the phones before we left using the Afar and Stay apps. The Movenpick proved to be a great place to use as a base of operations for visiting Amsterdam. The Viking guide was excellent. Amsterdam is a great city—just watch out for the bicycles! • Ship information The Viking Rinda is one of their longships and is a marvel of engineering and high quality design. The Viking brochures and websites accurately reflect what we encountered. If anything, the ship was nicer than we expected. There is very little sense of movement on the ship. We felt like we were simply gliding along. The entire ship was clean and well maintained. There were public toilets on the top two decks. • Cabin The ship has three decks. The cabins on the lowest deck have windows just above the water level. Our room (215) was on the middle deck and had a veranda. We loved the room and kept the drapes open as much as possible so that we could enjoy the scenery as the boat glided through the water. Our cabin was extremely quiet and wonderfully clean. Housekeeping came twice a day and was excellent. Some of the new friends we made had rooms on the lowest deck. One of those couples said that they heard a lot of noises in their cabin. We noted that the people on the lowest level seemed to spend more time than we did in the public spaces. When going through the many locks, the boat did bump the sides now and again. These bumps were apparently louder and more noticeable on the lowest deck. The cabins do have some 110-volt American style electric outlets so charging gizmos was no problem. The WiFi signal in our room was weak. The laptop we had along would connect, but my iPhone rarely was able to get even one bar. The signal was strong in the public areas so this was not a big problem for us although a few people were grumbling about the WiFi. The TVs in the room did not have many channel options, but that was fine with us because we rarely turned the TV on. The TV screen did not go completely black when turned off. We did hear some people grumble about that too, but it was not a big deal to us after the crew explained that it is just the way it is. The bath was small (as we expected), but it was also very cleverly designed so we had no problems showering. We had plenty of room to put away our clothing and we stored our bags under the bed. Some fellow passengers complained that they did not have enough drawer space but it was unclear to us if they had less space than we did or if they had brought more stuff. We had made a concerted effort to pack light. We used the retractable clothesline in the shower to dry clothing. We also brought a few hooks on suction cups that we attached to the glass shower doors so that we would be able to hang up all of our clothing to dry. • Activities & Entertainment On board activities included several interesting lectures, an outstanding glass blowing demonstration, wheelhouse and kitchen tours, superb Austrian singers, and food & drink samplings. We also enjoyed walking around the track on the top of the boat. There is a small library and a couple of PCs. We did not use them, but they were usually in use. • Service The staff was simply superb. Since we were the first cruise of the season, the first couple of meals were served a little slowly, but we thought that was just fine as it gave us more time to talk with other couples. Everyone we met was interesting and friendly. • Port & shore excursions As Viking advertises, this cruise was a great way to visit many places without a lot of effort. Each day of the cruise we were in a different place with a very good local guide. Optional outings were also available at additional cost and there were plenty of opportunities to look around on our own. Each town, castle and cathedral is like a chapter in a great story. What I took away from the story is that we are very fortunate to be alive today. I certainly have a much more literal understanding of why my ancestors left Germany when they did. Most of the people are our boat participated in the tours offered at each stop. If the tour that day involved a lot of walking, Viking offered an easier option. Some people chose to stay on board. Of course there were some people who wanted to do more so they would go off on their own for a more rigorous walk—and more photo opportunities. Everyone it seems has a camera, a smart phone, a camcorder, and/or an iPad. Viking does a wonderful job of keeping track of everyone. The tours were always well organized. Bottled water was always available as we left the boat, as were big red Viking umbrellas. On every tour we used Quietvox receivers to hear the guide. This system is very clever and worked very well. The guide’s transmitter had a very good range so it was easy to hear what he or she said. We charged the receivers every night in our cabin. The earpiece was uncomfortable for me until a guide said to try it upside down—and that worked great! The lock operators went on strike while we were there but our Program Director, George, did a wonderful job arranging alternate ways to get in all of the activities. That meant more time on buses than planned, but it also added a bit of adventure—and the opportunity to see how well Viking handles the unexpected. • Dining The food was excellent. A full breakfast by menu or buffet was available in the dining room on the middle deck and a lighter breakfast was available in the lounge area where the view was better. Lunch was also available in both places. Dinner was in the main dining room and almost always was preceded by a briefing of the next day’s activities in the lounge. We thought the beer and wine offered at dinner was quite good, but some people signed up for the optional drink package. We did charge a few drinks to our room. • Children's clubs There are no children on Viking river cruises. • Disembarkation My wife and I picked up colds during the cruise. We kept going and were not real sick but after the 10th night we were both pretty tired. On one hand we were sad to see the 14th night coming, but we were also glad that we would soon be able to recover. Our return flight from Budapest was very, very early in the morning so we had to settle our bill the night before. For some reason, the crew did not start accepting payments until after dinner so there was a long line of people waiting to pay. We had a minor error on our bill that Viking corrected when we pointed it out, but that took time and the whole bill paying process was not as smooth as it probably could have been—and certainly not as well organized as every previous day had been. Hopefully Viking improved the checkout process as the season unfolded. The next morning Viking did a great job getting us to the airport. Being still asleep, we forgot to pick up the promised snack on the boat, but had a nice coffee and pastry at the airport. We flew from Budapest to Frankfort where we connected to our Houston flight. These flights were on Lufthansa who had been on some kind of a mini-strike the day before. Lufthansa did not offer economy seats with more legroom, but the food and service was a little better than on United. Houston is a great city in a great and friendly state, but we did not get that impression when we got off the plane. We did not have any particular problem but we walked past people who were apparently directing us but who made no sense and then we walked and walked and waited and walked and waited and suddenly we had our luggage and were at the curb where the great people from Fast Park took us to our big SUV. We were back in America. • Summary I am not sure how to adequately express how humbling it is to cruise calmly on rivers used for centuries by some of the greatest Saints, artists and reformers who ever lived, and also by some of the worst and most evil tyrants who ever lived. They are all reasons for America’s strength and existence. The cruise was everything Viking said it would be and much more.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
VIKING RINDA CRUISE - RHINE GETAWAY-- NOVEMBER 16-23 -2013 "Happy Crews make for Happy Passenger Journeys" THE VIKING RIVER CRUISE --THE ULTIMATE EXPERIENCE The Viking cruise line is building river cruising ships like they are ... Read More
VIKING RINDA CRUISE - RHINE GETAWAY-- NOVEMBER 16-23 -2013 "Happy Crews make for Happy Passenger Journeys" THE VIKING RIVER CRUISE --THE ULTIMATE EXPERIENCE The Viking cruise line is building river cruising ships like they are going out of style. You don't do that unless business is good. In this current difficult, depressed global economy you have to deliver superlative value to attract customers. Especially, when you will pay thousands of dollars for a one week cruise that includes everything on the rivers of Europe. Viking delivers the ultimate travel experience. Let me qualify myself & explain why. I am a world traveler blessed to see the world as part of my job. I have been traveling globally for over 40 years. I have over 5 million air miles, and have spent more than six complete (365 x 6) years of my life in hotels. After completing my "Rhine getaway cruise" I was left with 4 dominating thoughts. 1. An ocean cruise would have allowed me to see the horizon endlessly for days. On this river cruise I was able to see continuous changing landscapes, Vineyards, Castles, Cathedrals, Villages, Mountains etc. 2. I would have been in long lines for all Ocean cruise activities daily, because Ocean cruise ships generally hold thousands of passengers. On the Viking River Cruise line I was one of 190 passengers, never waited in line for anything and it seemed like every crew member and passenger knew my name. 3. Friendships were formed that would never have had enough time to develop on a large Ocean cruise ship. My wife and I are already planning trips/visits with other passengers (now friends) and future trips together. 4. How I am ever going to adjust to reality now that this magnificent cruise experience is over? I never worried about or planned anything once onboard- just total relaxation and fun. More on that later. My suggestion is to run, don't walk to your nearest travel agent or Viking direct and book a Viking River cruise. You will relax, make new friends, be exhilarated & fascinated by the history and scenery on your journey and enjoy an incredible culinary experience. Every detail of pleasure has been covered by the staff. My wife and I critiqued the experience. We actually tried to find something to complain about. There was nothing. Oh sure, you could say the cabins were a bit small, but if that is your mindset -- then stay home. We were instantly struck when we boarded the ship that there was no line of passengers at the reception desk. That is because Viking allows you to board/check in from early in the morning and throughout the day. They do not depart until late in the evening. We were fortunate that our hotel was only 200 meters from the point of embarkation. I suggest if you are visiting the city of embarkation to do a dry run to your ship. Viking even has pre and post trip extensions from each end of your journey if you want them to handle everything. Be aware that you cannot get into your cabin early on the first day, because the Viking crew is cleaning the ship and the cabins for you. They take that into account and provide a wonderful lunch on board and then you can go back into the city where you depart to finish sightseeing for the day. Below, I offer comments on the key aspects of the trip, like the food, the ship, the crew etc. THE INITIAL PLANNING - NO PRESSURE - JUST A PERFECT CUSTOMIZED CRUISE FOR YOU When I first decided to do a river cruise I found a lot of valuable info about Viking on the web and the Viking site. Their videos were extremely helpful and gave me a feel for the experience. It truly matched what we encountered live on the cruise. The most notable part was the low/no pressure assistance I got dealing direct with Viking. I knew this was going to be a good experience from my very first call to them. My planner was Chris Burns. He was exceptional. He was knowledgeable, polite and helped me craft a custom experience due to my many personal requests, for timing, space, budget and itinerary. Never once did I feel pressured to take a specific ship or departure date. Chris was the consummate professional and happily handled all of my many demanding requests. The welcome packet that outlined the cruise and the itinerary was chock-full of interesting info and facts about the cruise, cities and stops along the way. THE VIKING CRUISE SHIP - THE RINDA - LONGSHIP 17 Our cruise left from the port of Amsterdam. We were able to explore the ship on the first day, so we could locate the restaurants, the business center ( you don't even need to bring your computer, the ship is equipped with a couple workstations to surf and check email) and the various decks. The ship only has 3 levels for cabins and an upper open air deck equipped with a putting green and a running track for the exercise conscious. I told more than few passengers to run a lap for me. On our trip it was too cold to be out for sightseeing, so they provided blankets so you could sit on the deck and view the castles during one very scenic stretch. The reason the ships have only a few decks is so that you can cruise under the many bridges on your journey. The ship is 400 feet long and 25 feet wide. A critical note for anyone who has a fear of seasickness. You really don't know when you are moving or docked-- it is that smooth and quiet. THE ROUTE - AMSTERDAM - GERMANY - FRANCE - SWITZERLAND We chose the "Rhine Getaway" for the itinerary in Germany and France. We wanted to see windmills, castles, cathedrals, quaint villages, vineyards and sample local cuisine. You get a firsthand experience of seeing how the Dutch live in the Windmills and what Castle life was like in the past few centuries as well as the toll that WW 2 took on Europe. There is a constant changing of the scenery, something you don't get on an ocean cruise. One part of the journey ventures through locks. It is an unforgettable experience to see and feel the ship lower and raise almost 30 feet. However, the locks generally occur at night, so take note. The highlight of the trip scenically was the 35 mile stretch on the Rhine in Germany where you could view the many Castles from the upper deck. Note- If you are a smoker here is a spot to enjoy a cigar while cruising and viewing on the top deck. Lounge chairs were plentiful. THE CREW - DEDICATED TO SPOILING YOU I don't know where to begin with the crew. Everyone was at their best every minute of the journey. I asked many of the crew what they think about working for Viking ( because I had a feeling these were very content employees). Viking knows how to treat a crew. I have a saying; "Happy employees make happy passengers". Every crew member without fail said they came from other cruise lines and that Viking was the best employer they ever worked for. That's the sign that you are in for the spoiled treatment for a week. This crew was exceptional. There are 46 of them dedicated to pleasing all your senses. I must relay an incident that really impacted me and will show the true colors of this crew. One morning we passed on a shore excursion and stayed behind to relax. I came out of cabin to see the crew bringing on all the supplies from the dock. The first thing that caught my eye was that the captain was in front leading the charge (getting his hands dirty) to insure all the supplies were efficiently offloaded from the supply truck. Every crew member was in a line from the dock down to the supply room. They passed every box from one to another in a shuffle fashion. They were joking and singing. Viking's crew is the real deal. On a sad note, several of the crew were from the Philippines and the Typhoon tragedy struck while we were cruising. I learned from a member of the crew that they all donated their money to send one of the members back to the Philippines who lost his parents. They are a family. I have to single out a couple people who made the journey special. First the cut up, Rommel, our waiter in the restaurant. He is equipped with a literal "bag of tricks" to play pranks and have fun with the guests. He had everyone laughing with his jokes, pranks and musical entertainment. Next, I have to mention Sylvia from Serbia. She is there only female in the Restaurant and Bar crew. She never missed a beat from the demanding passengers who insured their glasses were always full. And she could really hold her own with the lively , mostly male crew. Robert and Bobby were the other crew assigned to the bar and lounge. These two humble gentlemen seemed to be everywhere at all times on the ship, catering to your every need and busy cleaning, organizing and stocking when not tending to guests. THE CULNARY EXPERIENCE - 4 STAR The sumptuous meals ( 3 provided daily + snacks) were outstanding. It all starts with their executive chef Andreas Kretschmar. Andy is a native German, who has invested 10's of thousands of Euros into his culinary training. We learned that Andy was hired one year ago and in 6 months went from Sous chef to Executive chef. A highlight of the trip for the culinary aficionados was a galley tour by the executive chef. You can't imagine how much food is cranked out of this small area by a kitchen crew of 11 people. We always had a standard meat, fish or fowl choice every night and specialty entree choices that were the chefs creations. The menu descriptions matched the wonderful flavors of the food. The table wines included in the base tour price were decent, not great. The Wines offered for additional fees, called the Silver Spirits package ( like a restaurant) were awesome. The Karl Pfaffman Dornfelder Red will be a regular at my home now. The desserts were beautifully presented and featured some creative German pastry recipes. Veuve Clicquot and Drappier were top-shelf champagne choices. There were coffee and snack stations on each side of the ship that was always stocked with Muffins and Croissants in the AM and cookies in the PM. Because this was a Rhine river focus, there were several German meals of Pork and Beef tenderloin that were outstanding. With Andy being from Germany, the local culinary nuances jumped on to the plate. THE ENTERTAINMENT - ELEGANT AND SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE There were contests, games and presentations in the evening for amusement and trivia knowledge. Each night there was music in the lounge led by Chris Kralev, a very talented musician and composer who displayed tremendous skill at playing music from different Genres. Our big surprise came after sharing our musical tastes with Chris. On the last night of our cruise, Christian presented my wife and I with a recording of the most beautiful composition that he created especially for us. I am not promising that for every passenger on Viking, but the beautiful memories of this trip will be relived every time we play that song. THE STATEROOMS/CABINS - PERFECTLY APPOINTED STATE-OF THE-ART ACCOMMODATIONS We originally booked a French balcony cabin, which meant that we had a sliding glass door that opened as part of the side of the ship. It was nice so you could smell the fresh air. However, we chose to upgrade for a small fee to a veranda cabin, so we could stand or sit outside. This also gave you a little more space in the room. Don't get me wrong, the room was small 10 X 8, but was perfectly appointed with a lot of storage and many amenities like a fridge and several drawers for your clothes -- even a desk. The bathroom was well-equipped with a small but sufficient shower. I am very tall and still had no problem moving about. There were plenty of reading lights and 2 listening devices called "whispers" so you could turn them on to hear the guides during tours. The bed had extra clearance so you could stow luggage. We had several large pieces and it all fit neatly under the bed. We were never without towels or bath amenities, the mattress was comfortable and the room was well insulated so you did not hear your neighbors. Each day the crew replenished a large bottle of water in your cabin. There were also several outlets 110 and 220 in key locations in the room. One of the most interesting things was that the ship is equipped with a camera for the lounge and the bow so you can watch the journey from your cabin or the daily events briefing if you wanted to rest. This was all broadcast on large flat screen TV in your cabin. There were plenty of entertainment choices and you could connect your IPOD to play music through the system. Every day they delivered the events of the day like a newsletter to your room, so you could plan for the included or optional activities. We briefly saw the mini-suites which had a small living room for relaxing and reading. They looked great, but expect to pay the additional fees for those type of accommodations. THE PEOPLE TOURING - A DELIGHTFUL SURPRISE OF WARM GENEROUS TOURISTS On this Viking cruise I would guess the average age to be around 60-65. This is not a youngsters booze cruise. Viking is dedicated to elegance and luxury at an affordable price. This cruise was for the history buff, the European sightseer, people celebrating special anniversaries and of course, people who really enjoy fine food and great wine. After all, you are traveling through the heart of the German wine country and the side tours included tasting and dinners out. We met several new friends and enjoyed many wonderful nights with them at dinner and in the lounge sipping our favorite beverages. There was no crazy behavior, just sophisticated folks looking for a good time, fine dining and some really engaging conversations. Viking even sponsored one evening where people who cruised multiple times were invited to get together and share memories of past trips and inspire each other to choose new Viking itineraries. Viking is launching several new ships this year, so they can accommodate the demand as the word of their unique experience travels. And it will travel fast. People who experienced Viking for the first time are affectionately referred to as "VV's". Viking Virgins. THE VIKING VALUE - EXCEPTIONAL - CAN'T BE BEAT We are all value conscious consumers in this world of travel options and itineraries. As a well-versed and demanding travel consumer I say that Viking delivers the best travel experience for the money. I have calculated a quick accounting of a one week vacation, that would be comparable to a Viking vacation. Just add up one week at an upscale hotel, 3 quality meals a day, evening Cocktails, Airfare and tours. It will quickly add up to several thousand dollars. Now, add up all the time it took you to plan every detail. This does not take into account that Viking does it all for you for one price. I did not have to think or plan a thing and I am seeing exotic scenery and having daily tours, sometimes even multiple tours in one day. I did not have to hunt for a restaurant. The only stress I had for one week was what entree am I going to choose at my next meal. We made new friends, visited new places, ate scrumptious food, and had someone plan our every move. You can't really put a price on that ( travel agent assistance). Viking has us hooked for life. Check them out at www.viking rivercruises.com.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We departed September 21, 2013 on the 14th cruise for this new ship. For a river cruise boat this is the best I have experienced. The ships are well designed and the cabin layout was one of the best. The lounge is well appointed with ... Read More
We departed September 21, 2013 on the 14th cruise for this new ship. For a river cruise boat this is the best I have experienced. The ships are well designed and the cabin layout was one of the best. The lounge is well appointed with floor to ceiling windows that provide a panoramic view, from seating areas that included swivel chairs and sofas. The lighting and music were perfect and made for a very comfortable place to hangout while cruising or in port. The upper deck is huge and comfortable. The dining room was large comfortable and luxurious. The wait staff was attentive and the food as good as I have ever seen on a ship. The theme of panoramic windows continued in the dining room and made for beautiful views while dining We cruised with a gentleman that was very prone to sea sickness and he reported absolutely no problems at any time. The only down side to the cruise was the shore excursions which we found to be too "quick" Mostly walking tours with local guides they tried to see too much too fast which was not for us. I should have anticipated that six stops in six days would only allow for the most cursory visit to anything but we were looking for a cruise and not a tour and that is what we got. We were treated to a sunny warm day for our afternoon on the Middle Rhine and this is some of the most beautiful scenery Beware that internet connectivity was slow and at the busiest times almost unusable. The link is provided via satellite and the baud rate was painful. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Viking Rinda Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.6
Entertainment 3.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.7
Fitness & Recreation 1.0 N/A
Family 1.0 3.5
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.9
Value for Money 3.0 N/A

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