I looked at a number of river cruise lines and decided Viking was the best for what I needed. I'd taken a Viking Rhine Getaway two years ago and loved it so much, I was eager to experience another river cruise. I wanted one that was ... Read More
I looked at a number of river cruise lines and decided Viking was the best for what I needed. I'd taken a Viking Rhine Getaway two years ago and loved it so much, I was eager to experience another river cruise. I wanted one that was longer so chose the 15 day Grand European on the Viking Vili. I also did the pre-cruise extension in Amsterdam.
I couldn't have asked for a better experience. The ship was clean and the room, although small, was comfortable with plenty of storage. Ship staff were always quick to help. The guides in each port either lived in that city permanently or, in some cases, temporarily (students), but they were all topnotch. And the tours in each port were included in the price. In some cities, optional tours were offered at an additional cost. I did only a few optional tours, but they were well worth the cost. We saw Cologne, Vienna, and Budapest, and a number of small cities that were every bit as interesting as the large ones.
I was in a cabin on the lowest deck (the lowest cost) and by myself since my traveling companion became ill at the last minute. I would think two people would be tripping over each other at times, though, because the cabin was quite small. When we weren't in port, I spent a lot of my leisure time either on the top deck, in the lounge, or on the Aquavit Terrace. The ship also had a small library with comfortable chairs and two internet stations you could use at no charge. The wifi was free.
I enjoyed sitting on the sun deck and viewing the vineyards, castles, and other interesting sites while sipping a refreshing beverage. When the sun deck had to be closed because of low bridges, the Aquavit Terrace was available. We could also dine on the Aquavit Terrace and did for a few lunches, but we always ate dinner in the restaurant since one of the great things about river cruising is the interesting people you meet and become friendly with.
River cruise ships don't have entertainment like ocean cruisers, but there were several evenings we were entertained with small musical groups and there were trivia games. During the day there were some interesting lectures and one day the best and most entertaining glass blower I've ever seen. There were also several tea times and at least one cooking demonstration.
A quick mention of the pre-cruise experience in Amsterdam which was also great. We stayed in a centrally-located hotel within easy walking distance of almost everything I wanted to see (I did take public transportation, very easy to use, to the Rijksmuseum). A tour of Amsterdam was included with the pre-cruise cost.
I could go on and on. I enjoyed everything about the trip. Read Less