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2 Bucharest to Europe - Black Sea Cruise Reviews

We had never been to Eastern Europe so chose this cruise as a new and exciting destination. It was a huge success: 1) wonderfully attentive ship manager and maitre d', 2) excellent food and very plentiful, 3) outstanding daily ... Read More
We had never been to Eastern Europe so chose this cruise as a new and exciting destination. It was a huge success: 1) wonderfully attentive ship manager and maitre d', 2) excellent food and very plentiful, 3) outstanding daily excursions, most of which were thankfully included in the overall price, 4) very attentive and friendly waiters and service personnel, 5) excellent guides on the daily excursions who answered any questions we had, 6) a real cultural experience for the three of us and introduction to the history of the five Eastern European countries. Each evening there was dancing to a pianist and three folk dancing presentations, which were lively and engaging. During the excursions there were also a few folk dancing presentations and good meals. We also enjoyed the conversations with fellow travelers, most of whom had been on other Viking cruises. We were thrilled with this first Viking cruise and will be going on our second in 2017. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Sailed from Bucharest to Budapest; visited former Communist controlled countries. Many of these countries are struggling, still, due to corruption in governments, unemployment, little to no infrastructure, etc. However, found people were ... Read More
Sailed from Bucharest to Budapest; visited former Communist controlled countries. Many of these countries are struggling, still, due to corruption in governments, unemployment, little to no infrastructure, etc. However, found people were wonderful. It was depressing to see so many "left-overs" from the Communist regime, i.e., falling-down buildings, little to no new construction or housing, etc. Cruise ship, Elba, is one of the new long ships. She was beautiful. But, we have been cruising with Viking since 2005; this was our 9th cruise, and we have found, that over the years, Viking has changed, some to to better, some not so much so. In the beginning, there were smaller ships, much FEWER ships on the rivers, and we felt like a part of the Viking family. Staff, in the beginning, interacted more with passengers, and it was more fun. There were fun activities on-board with the crew. In fact, we have since sailed with some crew more than twice. We have seen a definite difference in how the crew and staff are allowed to interact with passengers. One instance, one of the staff wanted to show us a picture on the cell phone, but he said he had to be careful not be seen doing this by his "boss." This would not have happened in the beginning. When we docked in Budapest, I personally counted 17-different cruise ships docked. In the first few years, we were lucky to see one or two ships docked at our same location, and more often, they were Vikings. I understand that Viking needs to catch up, but in so doing, Viking has also lost the intimacy of the cruise that first attracted us. We have scheduled one more trip, Tulips and Windmills, a repeat of our very first cruise with Viking. But, I fear this will be our last. We like the smaller ships, more interaction with staff and crew, and also with Captain and his staff. I remember one cruise where the Captain actually came into the lounge and sat with us for quite a long time. Never happen on the long ships...   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014

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