10 Bucharest Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

The duration and locations, especially starting on the Black Sea. Very happy we went from east to west as it consistently got better all the way to Prague. Budapest and Prague were great large cities and the smaller towns like Durnstein ... Read More
The duration and locations, especially starting on the Black Sea. Very happy we went from east to west as it consistently got better all the way to Prague. Budapest and Prague were great large cities and the smaller towns like Durnstein and Pecs were great surprises. The Passion was very nice with a small spa, but the exercise room was way too small. I couldn't lift the weights up as they hit the ceiling and the max weight was 10k. Matre'd was very accommodating to my wife's pepper allergies and there were some vegetables at the breakfast buffet for me. The tours of the towns and cities were well done, although most of the guides have their speech idocincracies. The presence of the Habsburg family made it a special themed cruise and more personal (only the portion from Budapest to Regensburg). By the end, we had heard the stories repeated so many times about Sissy, that we didn't want to hear anymore. Would have liked to have been involved with more sustainable activities and performances, like our Avalon cruise on the Mekong. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We’ve been travelling with Viking many times and we always prefer a nice relaxing river cruise instead of an ocean one on a big noisy crowdy ship. Our cruise from Bucharest to Budapest manage to change our “top 10 best cruises” ... Read More
We’ve been travelling with Viking many times and we always prefer a nice relaxing river cruise instead of an ocean one on a big noisy crowdy ship. Our cruise from Bucharest to Budapest manage to change our “top 10 best cruises” taking the first place for so many reason. Viking LIF despite being an “old ship” (according to Viking Cruises timeline) was clean and sparkling and the housekeeping team was working hard in and out our cabin to achieve this. Our room stewardess was a sweet girl from Romania – marina – and she was doing everything possible to give us a non-stop “being home” feeling. We didn’t like the new menu in the restaurant (too complicated and no flavour) nor the new French style dinner on the terrace (the booking system was pointless, and the food didn’t have any connection with the French cuisine). Fortunately, our waiters Bart and George were superb with excellent manners and high standards. Absolutely in love with them. We missed the presence of the concierge on board despite all the efforts of the Hotel manager – a charming Dutch man and his team at the reception. Anckitza was so accommodating and always smiling. The biggest surprise on this trip was the Program Director. All our previous Viking Program Directors were good and very good, but Leonard push the expectations for our next Viking experience very high. Leonard was literally working 24h/day, 7 days/week: in the morning organising the excursion and supervising the guides (actually he knew all the city like his own pocket and sometimes better than the guides), in the afternoon planning and hosting different events on board (his presentation about Dracula and European Union were a perfect mix of academic information and fun) and finally in the evening putting together unforgettable performances, game shows and parties. Everything in a relaxed manner, always with a charming genuine smile but never forgot to be super-professional. What a gem. One day during the excursion one of the elderly ladies in our bus had a medical problem. Leonard stopped the bus in the middle of nowhere, assist the lady and her husband (later we found the Leo – as everybody was calling him on board – is a licensed physician and a famous Romanian movie star), organised an ambulance but at the same time manage to reschedule the excursion for the rest of us only with a small delay but without missing a thing from the program. It was what I call PERFECTION. Now a question for all of you who travelled before with Viking. We want to book a trip from Budapest to Amsterdam with Viking but we want to be sure that Leonard will be our Program Director. Does anybody know if you can request him to be on board with us? Thank you in advance for your advice. Our cruise from Bucharest to Budapest was an amazing experience. Thank you Viking Lif for this extraordinary trip! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise as a 50th birthday treat for my wife. We could not have chosen better. The ship, the crew and the staff made our holiday such an amazing experience. The presence of the correspondents John Simpson, Martin Bell and ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a 50th birthday treat for my wife. We could not have chosen better. The ship, the crew and the staff made our holiday such an amazing experience. The presence of the correspondents John Simpson, Martin Bell and Kate Adie added a new dimension to a holiday giving us memories of their Balkans experiences in the 1990's. The food was 5-star with extensive choices at buffet meals and the evening A La Carte menu was always superb. The wines were quality and plentiful as far as dining was concerned. It was nothing less than lavish. If you want to leave your wallet at home, go with Scenic. We were sceptical about their claims prior to going but we really did NOT spend any money at all, either on board or during the excursions. We could not believe that all the cash we took with us went back into the bank when we got home ready for a similar trip next year. The Cruise Director, Sylvia, was excellent. If we had to give advice to other first-timers as we were, then we would point out the size of the Standard Suites. They are quite small but superbly appointed. However it didn't detract from our holiday as we were only in the cabin to sleep. We will however, upgrade next time. The only other grievance would be the terrible meal at the Hilton Hotel in Bucharest. This is not what to expect in a Hilton Hotel. This however was not Scenic's fault but they have to address this as they are ultimately responsible. Well done Scenic. We shall return! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This cruise was booked via the Telegraph and we had with us Kate Adie and Martin Bell.They helped make what was a very pleasurable,interesting and informative cruise.All the staff were excellent but I must pay tribute in particular to ... Read More
This cruise was booked via the Telegraph and we had with us Kate Adie and Martin Bell.They helped make what was a very pleasurable,interesting and informative cruise.All the staff were excellent but I must pay tribute in particular to Sylvia our cruise director.She remained helpful,pleasant and totally unflapable in all circumstances.The shore excursions were interesting and we would definately go again.Our cabin was very comfortable and the public spaces on the ship were also very good.We had some decent wather and were able to make the most of the sun deck. We enjoyed all the excursions but my most memorable was Belgrade in Serbia,visiting the fort and seeing the amazing views over the River .The other one was a home meal with a local family.One of the family spoke excellent English and we got some real insights into what happened to people during the war.The same could be said of our Serbian guide in Belgrade who came to Serbia as a refugee fom Croatia. Kate got us all very interested in the English women who came to Serbia prior to the first world war to assist the Serbian people in a war.They are forgotten by the British but still remembered and honoured by the Serbian people. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Friends recommended this cruise to me. The cruise was fantastic! More than I had expected! I really enjoyed the home tour in Croatia. The staff on board were all from the countries that we were visiting. The tour guides were also ... Read More
Friends recommended this cruise to me. The cruise was fantastic! More than I had expected! I really enjoyed the home tour in Croatia. The staff on board were all from the countries that we were visiting. The tour guides were also from the countries we toured and had also been to the United States at least once! It was so interesting to hear the staff and tour guides' stories. The small number of people on board made it easy to get to know other people and make new friends! I am on face book and e-mail with several of the people we met. The tours were like walking through a history book! Absolutely wonderful and I would highly recommend!!! In fact I have told everyone I meet about the wonderful time I had and how I thought the price was very reasonable especially when you consider everything that was included! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We recently returned from a Viking cruise on the Danube. The parts of the cruise planned by Viking are well done. One guide in Budapest was awful but the rest were outstanding. The Best of Budapest optional excursion is expensive ... Read More
We recently returned from a Viking cruise on the Danube. The parts of the cruise planned by Viking are well done. One guide in Budapest was awful but the rest were outstanding. The Best of Budapest optional excursion is expensive but truly worth it. The food is good and the wine/beer at meals is included. Unless you drink A LOT you rarely have to buy anything on board. There's little time outside of meals and an hour or so in the evening. Doing laundry on board is VERY expensive. $2.00 for a pair of underwear or socks. Our luggage was lost by the airline and Viking was indifferent in their response to assisting us getting it returned. The concierge (Darko) on our ship (Viking Aegir) was useless in either retrieving our lost luggage or booking tickets for events in Budapest after the cruise. Viking cruises are wonderful IF everything goes as they've planned and you don't want anything more. We saw other ships on the river and I'm not at all sure what we received was heads above the others. The price certainly is. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We chose this cruise because 11 friends were taking this cruise and we wanted to be with them. However, the ports that we visited beginning with Bucharest and ending with Budapest (we did extend our travels to include Prague) were ... Read More
We chose this cruise because 11 friends were taking this cruise and we wanted to be with them. However, the ports that we visited beginning with Bucharest and ending with Budapest (we did extend our travels to include Prague) were fabulous. The ship, Atla was excellent and we enjoyed the activities on board and the food was excellent. The entertainment provided was outstanding and the food was excellent. Our cabin service was excellent and all service was the best. Viking does a wonderful job in providing for all needs from the time that we met the Viking group at the airport in Bucharest to the time that we departed home from our last stop in Prague. I cannot say enough about the shore excursions. All of the tour guides were outstanding. The bus ride that Viking provided for the trip from Budapest to Prague was very relaxing and our tour guide provide a lot of details that we would experience in Prague. If I had to rate the places that we visited, I would place Prague and Budapest at the top with Bucharest, Rouse, Vidin, Belgrade and Croatia not far behind. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
It was a beautiful cruise from Bucharest to Budapest on the Danube River. The ship was beautiful and the cabins and common areas were so well done. We really spent a lot of time in the lounge area during the day and for lunch -- did not ... Read More
It was a beautiful cruise from Bucharest to Budapest on the Danube River. The ship was beautiful and the cabins and common areas were so well done. We really spent a lot of time in the lounge area during the day and for lunch -- did not go to the dining room for lunch at all...just breakfast and dinner. We only had one sea day -- Iron Gate -- the rest of the time we had offshore excursions and the cities we visited were great -- great guides also!! There were 13 of us travelling together -- and they made special arrangements for us in the dining room to be able to sit together...many anniversaries and birthdays in our group!! They decorated doors to our cabins and in the cabin -- decorations around the mirror...so thoughtful!! We were on the side of the ship that had a balcony and we enjoyed the time we could sit out there and enjoy the view. We really had great weather and that made all of our shore trips so much better -- took a jacket -- but hardly wore it!!! What a great crew and fun entertainment at night with local dancers and singers -- many of them young people!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose Viking because we had taken one of their cruises before and know the quality is high. We chose this particular cruise because it fit the vacation time we had and it did not repeat places we had visited before. We visited 5 ... Read More
We chose Viking because we had taken one of their cruises before and know the quality is high. We chose this particular cruise because it fit the vacation time we had and it did not repeat places we had visited before. We visited 5 countries - Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia and Hungary. We did the pre-extension visit in Bucharest and it did not disappoint. Hotel was high quality and well worth the time and money. All shore excursions were excellent. On board activities were fun, interesting and educational. Food was excellent as well. Especially like having coffee and snacks available all hours. We were met at the airport by a Viking representative and escorted to our hotel. When we left for home a Viking representative carried our luggage, took us to our ticket area, stayed with us and continued with us as far as he was able. We are looking forward to another Viking cruise in the next year or so. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Our cruise started with bus tours even before arriving at the port of Giurgiu to board the ship. Each day included more bussing, sometimes 1 1/2 hours to get to the site(s) selected for the day's visit. Upon arrival we were given very ... Read More
Our cruise started with bus tours even before arriving at the port of Giurgiu to board the ship. Each day included more bussing, sometimes 1 1/2 hours to get to the site(s) selected for the day's visit. Upon arrival we were given very limited free time to use the restroom, take photos and possibly shop. I felt as if we were cattle being herded on and off the bus in order to change locations for a repeat of the previous stop. However, the tour guides and drivers were very knowledgable, pleasant and helpful. We traveled in 5 countries and needed 5 currencies, however I was only guided to an ATM one time! Many of our tour guides and drivers did not get a gratuity from me because I only had large US or Euro notes and no local change. Viking was no help on the currency matter and in my mind is remiss for not having some funds on hand to assist the passenger on this matter. Viking's corporate position on this matter seems to be it is the passenger's problem, not ours. They encourage us to tip but provide no assistance in changing small amounts of local currency. Viking should have a small amount of local currency available for passengers at each port. Electronically they could monitor and limit each passenger to something like 20 euros, including coins, each day. One of the last days I was finally able to change, on board, a 50 euro note for a 20, 2 10's and 2 5's. Nothing smaller and therefore again no tips for drivers and tour guides. We had lunch on our tours several times as Viking arranged stops with food, music, dancing, demonstrations, etc. At those stops were were again expected to tip, but no local or small denomination euros were available. We had previously used all of our change including US dollars and/or euros and finally resorted to the few US quarters my wife had left in her purse! Viking is economically hurting their tour contractors as well as their onboard staff by not having some form of ATM available. Viking corporate management is very aloof on this matter!! The busses used were modern and nice; the rides were often quite long and boring. For the Prague extension we had a 9 hour bus ride from Budapest which included 2 stops. I feel that there should have been an option of a train or plane for this connection. Upon arriving in Prague we were housed in the Corinthia Prague, a very nice hotel, but not close to the city center. Transit busses (more bussing!) ran every hour but we did not enjoy the city center in the same manner as if we were housed there. This hotel was quite remote and not in an area with a multitude of local restaurants from which to choose. This is a critical issue and limited our enjoyment of Prague. On board Embla we were quite pleased. Our bathroom had a distinct sewer odor, the bathroom door squeaked and banged back and forth several nights and it was impossible to shower without getting the bathroom floor wet. Our cabin(235) attendant was very responsive in keeping us clean and nice, the dining room staff were wonderful and the staff at the business/tour desk and the concierge were always ready to assist. The wines served were marginal, the coffee lukewarm and flavorless and the food was very bland. Not a 5 star experience! Each meal was nicely presented and served, just very bland. On 2 occasions I opted for the New York Steak which was stringy, gristly and tough; the provided knife made it a battle to cut a piece to eat. However, we did not let the mediocre food ruin our trip; food and beverage was plentiful and some dishes were spectacular. Breakfast was probably the best meal with the exception of the undercooked and limp bacon presented each day. The trip on day 7(?) in Kalocsa, Hungary was a mostly a waste. The traditional Puszta horsemanship performance was, at best, marginal. Here, again, the locals wanted to be tipped and made many items available for purchase. Viking seems to be intent on focusing our shopping on businesses they have preselected rather on giving us time to shop in the various areas that we have visited. My overall impression of this trip is 3 of 5 stars. The ship is nice, the staff wonderful, the food marginal and the side trips tedious. I will not recommend this trip to anyone as I feel Viking management is aware of these issues that I have identified and is aloof and unwilling to make responsible changes. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014

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