1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2014
My husband, father and I have just returned from the Grand European Tour on the Viking Lif, starting in Budapest and finishing in Amsterdam. My husband and I are in our 40s/50s and my father is in his 80s, so it was interesting that we ... Read More
My husband, father and I have just returned from the Grand European Tour on the Viking Lif, starting in Budapest and finishing in Amsterdam. My husband and I are in our 40s/50s and my father is in his 80s, so it was interesting that we were on the extremes of the perceived demographic regarding age on the boat. Firstly, it was a wonderful trip. Here are the points that made it remarkable: * The staff on the ship, who with one exception (see later), could not have been more kind, helpful and friendly. Service most definitely came with a smile and often a laugh, and the ship was immaculately clean. * The Lif itself - we were only the fifth set of passengers to travel on it and it showed. Everything still smelled new, and despite the usual age group who take these cruises, we felt that it would have appealed to many of our more middle aged friends. * The quality of the on shore guides in every place we stopped was excellent - and every one of them was a memorable personality, which really added to the enjoyment. * Pianist and singer on board - if you read some other reviews for Viking cruises, this sounds like a flannelette nightgown and slippers kind of evening entertainment. BUT - it really wasn't in our case as the pianist was excellent and versatile, ranging from smooth cocktail sounds during the day and full out rock and roll dancing at night. (Thank you Bobby! xx) Now, secondly, some travel tips: * Personally, we didn't see the point in spending a lot for a room with a view. We didn't, and it was more than adequate. Whatever room you book, you get the same bed, shower, TV etc. The bed is very comfortable, the shower has excellent water pressure. Several people we spoke to regretted spending so much extra as they barely spent time in their state room, or else it was parked up against another ship (normal with anyone who has experienced river cruising before). * If you are from the UK, you may be surprised to find yourself out-numbered by Americans, Canadians and Australians. They were mostly great actually, but we definitely have different cultures.....! * The Aquavit terrace is lovely. As soon as they start opening it for meals, I recommend you get up there as it seems to take time for word to get around and you may have it almost to yourself. Personally, my husband and I found the more relaxed and scenic atmosphere up there more pleasant than the restaurant. There is officially "open seating", but you may well find that as is normal with human nature, people start to assume territorial "rights" over their own table. Personally, I can't imagine anything worse than sitting with the same people you don't know for every meal for two weeks, but maybe that's just me. FINALLY - I am giving this cruise a top score as we found it close to perfect. However, we were extremely unhappy with the programme director for a number of reasons. We will be contacting Viking about this shortly. I didn't think it was appropriate to mark the whole team down for the ineptitude and failings of one team member though, in total fairness.   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2014
I guess I expected a luxury cruise at the rate we paid for our Explorer cabin. The Good : Beautiful new longboat, nice finishes,linens and bath products,public spaces appealing,crew was pleasant and helpful,good pre-trip info about ... Read More
I guess I expected a luxury cruise at the rate we paid for our Explorer cabin. The Good : Beautiful new longboat, nice finishes,linens and bath products,public spaces appealing,crew was pleasant and helpful,good pre-trip info about excursions and well thought out coffee and water areas. The Not so Good : Cheap noisy bed frame,large excursion groups,closing of sun deck for one third of our trip(they built boats too large so they could get max. of cabins but forgot they won't go under some bridges and get through some locks with the sun deck accessible),virus spread onboard to many passengers and crew and no doctors come on board ship..was told it was an EC regulation...hummm..you have to be taken by ambulance to emergency room...even for antibiotics and the like. Not good. The food was as tasteless with frozen and canned vegetables and meats.. lots of heavy carb foods for filler....served barely room temperature. Also the food and beverage service was grossly under staffed. One waiter for cocktails in lounge and very seldom did anyone come to the sundeck to ask if we wanted a beverage.No water glasses refilled at the table ...again understaffed. We were pushed to order and pushed to leave dining room with the lights in room being turned up to their brightest at 9:15. Not gracious !! It felt like the Hotel Manager wanted to show the corporate office that he could reduce staff and cost and to h--- with the paying guests. Too bad as the boats are very nice and could easily be a lovely experience but sadly,ours and our friends was not.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2014
This was our first river cruise, and we are so happy that we chose Viking! The Grand European Tour was everything we expected and more. The scenery, the towns and villages, the exposure to history, the daily tours, they were all we could ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, and we are so happy that we chose Viking! The Grand European Tour was everything we expected and more. The scenery, the towns and villages, the exposure to history, the daily tours, they were all we could have wanted. The Lif became our very own home for 15 terrific days and that was due not only to the comfort of the ship itself (which was beautifully designed), but was due in large part to the friendliness of, and the inclusion by, the crew. They literally became like family and made our time on board even more special. I think it is exceptional to report that we were a group of ten and not a one of us had a single complaint. We have already booked our 2015 Viking Cruise.   Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We have been in n many ocean cruises, and this was our first river cruise. Based on this experience, we are "hooked" on river cruises. We took the Grand European tour - Budapest to Amsterdam. We loved the small number of ... Read More
We have been in n many ocean cruises, and this was our first river cruise. Based on this experience, we are "hooked" on river cruises. We took the Grand European tour - Budapest to Amsterdam. We loved the small number of passengers, personalized service by all staff, shore excursions.and fellow passengers. We are retired, and most passengers were 50 or older, well traveled, and interesting. I have problems walking very long distances and standing for long periods of time. My husband, on the other hand is very athletic and active. There were tour groups that fit both our needs. There is a leisure group that is slower and avoids multiple steps and more strenuous terrain. Tour guides were excellent and knowledgeable . If you don't like group tours, the concierge is very knowledgeable about alternatives - hop on hop off buses, etc. I enjoy exploring on my own and met a fellow passenger who liked the same things. Like all cruises, we would like more time in certain cities -Vienna, Cologne. Unlike ocean cruises, there is no casino, fitness center, evening shows - we did not miss. Every evening there is a review of tours and things to do in port-recommend attending these. Also available on in room TV. Evening/afternoon entertainment was based on local culture, information. I do recommend some of additional shore excursions - price is reasonable compared to ocean cruises. We loved the Vienna music and trip to Rothenberg. Husband loved Beerhaus tour in Cologne. Food was excellent and there is personalized service for special dietary needs. We used frequent flyer miles for airfare, but did purchase transfers. Well worth cost. We booked through Viking -but will use travel agency next time -Most who used travel agencies had extra perks. We did not book pre or post cruise tours. Heard great reviews for Prague and Bdapest. We are planning our next river cruise -hope you join us! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
we thought this would be an excellent way to see four countries in a fifteen day span. viking did an excellent job of taking good care of their passengers. the food and drink were wonderful and the service by the staff topnotch. we would ... Read More
we thought this would be an excellent way to see four countries in a fifteen day span. viking did an excellent job of taking good care of their passengers. the food and drink were wonderful and the service by the staff topnotch. we would highly recommend viking to everyone considering a european river cruise. the included excursions were both beautiful and educational. tour groups were led through the various historical landmarks and were able to answer every question that was asked. viking's low cost airfare and transfers are the way to go. representatives picked us up at the airport and dropped us off at the appropriate airline counter. it was very comforting to know that the company had our backs while we were cruising. our pre-trip accomodations were also fantastic. my wife and i were traveling with two other couples, nut we still enjoyed meeting many other interesting people over our fifteen day cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was our second Viking river cruise. We like the small ships, the casual atmosphere, and the excellent on-board staff. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Each stop a tour is included in the cruise price, and the tour guides ... Read More
This was our second Viking river cruise. We like the small ships, the casual atmosphere, and the excellent on-board staff. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Each stop a tour is included in the cruise price, and the tour guides are very knowledgeable. The headsets make the tours much more enjoyable. The program director was fun and very well-organized. When high river levels forced us to alter our docking one day, busses were arranged, lunch in town was provided, and the ship picked us up in town later in the day. Another day traffic on the river was stopped, and we had to change our docking site. Again the busses found us for our tours and everything went smoothly. Very minor inconveniences for us, but probably major work for the staff. The food on-board is tasty and interesting. Beer, wine and soft drinks are complimentary with lunch and dinner (a big savings!) This cruise was loaded with castles and churches and beautiful scenery along the rivers. We chose a 3 night pre-cruise Prague stay, which was fabulous! We look forward to another Viking river cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
Wanted to try a cruise now that we are retired. Loved it, staff was wonderful. The cabin steward, Vladamir, kept everything in great shape, and in the dining room, Katarina was terrific. Of course, the Program Director, Leonard was great ... Read More
Wanted to try a cruise now that we are retired. Loved it, staff was wonderful. The cabin steward, Vladamir, kept everything in great shape, and in the dining room, Katarina was terrific. Of course, the Program Director, Leonard was great and very entertaining. Embarkation and disembarkation went extremely well One complaint, we signed up for two extra days in Amsterdam. The hotel, Moevenpick, was super, The two days turned out to be one day in Amsterdam and one day of travel, with an airport pick-up at 0430, and all day travel. By the way, Heathrow is not nice place to travel through. Their version of TSA is even less friendly than in the US. Shore excursions were generally very good, although I did get a little tired of cobblestones. Probably could have done without the Hungarian Horsemen and the Dutch Cheese Maker (cheese was interesting and we bought some, but cows were cows - not interesting) but chalk it off to experience. Would we go again, yes. I believe we have signed up for British Islands Explorer in 2018, with a stop-over in Iceland Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2016
We visited Hungary,Serbia,Bulgaria and Romania..with an extra few days in Transylvania. Crew was very friendly and tried to please. Food on board was very good. Tours were interesting and tour guides were very good and spoke English with ... Read More
We visited Hungary,Serbia,Bulgaria and Romania..with an extra few days in Transylvania. Crew was very friendly and tried to please. Food on board was very good. Tours were interesting and tour guides were very good and spoke English with almost no accent so they were easy to understand. Cabin crews kept our room neat and clean. Free snacks and drink bar always open with soda water, coffee and latte. Interesting lectures at night. At some ports we had local dancers and entertainers. Most shows were very good. Ship docked at a port in town most of the time so it usually was a short walk to the cities center. We never needed to take a taxi to get to a town. Food in towns was cheap and very good. Don't miss the extra stay in Transylvania and Bucharest. In Rumania the currency is the Lev and it goes a very long way. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2016
This was our first river cruise. We were able to get a last minute deal with Viking River Cruises. Discounted prices for air and cabin. The French balcony cabin was clean and had adequate space. The food was very good. The excursions that ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. We were able to get a last minute deal with Viking River Cruises. Discounted prices for air and cabin. The French balcony cabin was clean and had adequate space. The food was very good. The excursions that were included in the cruise fare were very informative. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and spoke excellent English. The extra excursions offered at some of the ports were an added bonus. We went on a wine tour in Croatia. We visited a local wine cellar and had three wine tasting with cheese and bread. This was a very enjoyable cruise. All of the staff were very friendly and the food servers remembered our dinner/wine preferences. We have been ocean cruises that were very good, but the river cruise is less hectic, less lines and a few thousand less people sailing with you. I would recommend Viking cruises to anyone looking for a little culture and a lot of relaxation. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We had heard so much about this cruise and it lived up to our expectations! Beautiful medieval cities, the gorgeous cathedrals, the palaces, so lovely amidst the beautiful river settings. The staff was wonderful as per usual, (we had ... Read More
We had heard so much about this cruise and it lived up to our expectations! Beautiful medieval cities, the gorgeous cathedrals, the palaces, so lovely amidst the beautiful river settings. The staff was wonderful as per usual, (we had sailed on a river cruise to France), but the staff this time seemed very tired and a bit overworked. They were rather impersonal but did their jobs. The food was delicious but when German cuisine was not to our liking there was always a lovely rib eye available! Viking aims to please and it was evident in the Waite staff, we had two favorites who took such good care of us we wanted to bring them home with us! The excursions were well done with knowledgable tour guides. The only thing I think Viking could improve on is on-board entertainment. They had a wonderful piano player but don't expect much more. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2016
We had taken a wonderful Volga river cruise three years ago. So we were excited to take another river cruise. We chose Budapest to Amsterdam. It did not begin to compare to our first cruise. Staff and food was awesome. Tours were ... Read More
We had taken a wonderful Volga river cruise three years ago. So we were excited to take another river cruise. We chose Budapest to Amsterdam. It did not begin to compare to our first cruise. Staff and food was awesome. Tours were repetitive. We saw the same things at each stop. The Mozart and Strauss concert was terrific but the hall where it was held did not seem worthy of the entertainment. Would have liked to stay longer in several of the towns to experience and Shop in a European city. There were toooooo many locks and down time. Top deck was off limits a lot, so was nothing to do. Boring. Would have liked to have access to bicycles or be within walking distance with time to explore the cities.. Basically I think the cruise tried to cover tooooo many river miles at the expense of actually exploring European towns. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Over all it did not exceed our expectations. The weather that we had was exceptional, it would have been more enjoyable if access to the upper deck was not restricted. The cabin was small by any standard. The shower would not fit the ... Read More
Over all it did not exceed our expectations. The weather that we had was exceptional, it would have been more enjoyable if access to the upper deck was not restricted. The cabin was small by any standard. The shower would not fit the standard oversized American. Internet access in the cabin was very poor, had to go to the lounge for a signal. TV service was poor minimal programing, no local stations at all. The provided tours and guides were good. The optional tours seemed to always conflict with the standard tour. They needed to offer additional tours in the evening when the boat was not leaving until the wee hours. The food was average but the service was good water and wine glasses were topped off regularly. The last day in Amsterdam consisted of getting off the boat and being driven to the airport All in all it was a good trip Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Everything on a Viking river cruise is welcoming, comfortable, civilized, and fun. The staff is amazing. I wanted to take them all home with me. On a Vikng cruise you feel special. Still, the atmosphere is relaxed. The fact that there ... Read More
Everything on a Viking river cruise is welcoming, comfortable, civilized, and fun. The staff is amazing. I wanted to take them all home with me. On a Vikng cruise you feel special. Still, the atmosphere is relaxed. The fact that there are under 200 passengers onboard, no kids, swimming pools, casinos or shows makes this a different kind of cruise. If you go for all of those things, it may not be for you. For me personally, it was perfect. I also love the Scandinavian decor, the practicality of the way the staterooms are laid out, and the lovely deck from where to relax while watching the scenery go by. And at each stop there's a guided tour of that destination included. It seemed everyone from the captain to the cleaning crew was intent on making our experience an unforgettable one - and they succeeded. I warmly and enthusiastically recommend Viking's river crushes. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
After taking 24 ocean cruises, I was a bit worried about sailing on a small river boat. However, it was a wonderful experience. The passengers were not pretentious and it was great to get to know them. We made some deep friendships. ... Read More
After taking 24 ocean cruises, I was a bit worried about sailing on a small river boat. However, it was a wonderful experience. The passengers were not pretentious and it was great to get to know them. We made some deep friendships. The crew was fantastic and every detail of the trip was impeccable. The chef was very visible and it was a delight to get to know him. The food was excellent and the dining room staff made each meal entertaining. The program director and her staff took great care of us both on and off the ship. The shore excursions were great and the program director gave wonderful commentary as we sailed past castles and other sites. The captain and his crew were very personable. We felt so safe that we agreed we would trust Viking with cruises along the Nile River and in other parts of the world where we would not be comfortable being on our own. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We checked out our options and alternatives. Viking River Cruises had the best options, the best offers and the best reviews. They were all well deserved! Starting in Amsterdam, we had opportunities to visit the city and surrounding ... Read More
We checked out our options and alternatives. Viking River Cruises had the best options, the best offers and the best reviews. They were all well deserved! Starting in Amsterdam, we had opportunities to visit the city and surrounding countryside. Then the cruise began. The river views were outstanding and the many side trips highlighted and filled in our desire to see and know more about each city and community. The cruise staff met our every need and the places and people we got to see and meet were a delight. We shopped as much as we wanted and have the items to help us remember this great trip. "Entertainment" both on and off ship was great providing just the right amount of change of pace when it was needed and wanted. The one hiccup in and on the river (not a Viking issue) was easily overcome by Viking and its staff. Few other "lines" have the resources to overcome issues seamlessly. Our evaluation before our trip payed off and was reflected in a most amazing and wonderful trip, education and vacation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
Having limited previous exposure to mainland Europe, this cruise provided the opportunity to broaden my sense of the cultures extant in that part of the world. My travel companion and I actually started the trip with a 3-day pre-cruise ... Read More
Having limited previous exposure to mainland Europe, this cruise provided the opportunity to broaden my sense of the cultures extant in that part of the world. My travel companion and I actually started the trip with a 3-day pre-cruise visit to Prague before embarking on the Viking Lif in Budapest. As was to become the standard for the entire river cruise, Viking representatives accommodated our every need from initial arrival to our final departure. Every port-of-call was as described in their advertisements and catalogs. Special credit must be given to the on-board tour director who presented in-depth information about the countries, cities, and towns in which we were to stopover the next day or two. Further in that respect, the shore excursion tour guides were extremely well informed about the historic and current nuances that were of interest to visitors. As for the cruise itself from Budapest to Amsterdam, one could not ask for a more informative, serene, and aesthetic venture catered by an extraordinarily competent and caring crew. On the basis of this experience, my travel companion and I are in the midst of arranging a second Viking river cruise from Paris to Zurich early next year. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
This was to celebrate retirement and a milestone birthday. We also added the Prague and Amsterdam extensions. Since we selected an Explorer Suite, business class air was included. From check in at O'Hare with KLM, to ... Read More
This was to celebrate retirement and a milestone birthday. We also added the Prague and Amsterdam extensions. Since we selected an Explorer Suite, business class air was included. From check in at O'Hare with KLM, to arrival in Prague, it was pure luxury. We were met in Prague by a Viking representative who handled our luggage and transported us to the hotel. We were at the Hilton old town; close to everything and walkable to most sites. Anything not walkable we used public transportation. We found some good restaurants and historical sites on our own. There was a Viking representative at the hotel daily, very helpful and informative. I did hear complaints from some of our fellow travelers about confusion and lac of communication. This was due to behavior on their part, not the Viking Rep. Our Prague city tour was very interesting and well done with a luxury bus to transport us. We also opted for an optional food and walking tour which was great, but an indication of too many opportunities to overeat. Transportation from Prague to Budapest was by luxury coach with an informative guide. Once onboard, WOW! Our suite was gorgeous and very clean with ample storage, welcoming champagne and excellent service by our cabin steward with replenishment of snacks and beverages The dining was excellent; regional dishes and wine and beer with outstanding table service. Every evening there were also basic choices available like salmon, steak, chicken breast and Caesar salad. Our ship director, Leonard was a delight. Every evening there was a great pre-dinner briefing. Excellent entertainment every evening; either a lecturer or local musicians or dancers. The on-board pianist was extremely talented. All the included tours were interesting and the guides were articulate and well informed. My least favorite were the guides in Kinderdijk and Amsterdam; they both seemed to be going through the motions a little. We did some optional tours in Vienna and Cologne. I have nothing but praise for Viking. We have our second cruise scheduled for October 2017, and an ocean cruise May 2018. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
This was our 6th Viking River Cruise (our 8th river cruise). Overall, this was another very good trip. Everything went smoothly; all the flights, connections, transfers, etc (all done through Viking). Since this was the first cruise of ... Read More
This was our 6th Viking River Cruise (our 8th river cruise). Overall, this was another very good trip. Everything went smoothly; all the flights, connections, transfers, etc (all done through Viking). Since this was the first cruise of the season, the crew was refreshed and the ship sparkled. Unfortunately, we only spent 7 nights (6 days) on the ship, and I guess I didn't pay attention to that when I booked the cruise. It passed too quickly and we all would have preferred a couple more days on the ship. The pre-cruise time in Budapest and then post-cruise excursion in Bucharest were great. Romania was the big surprise of the trip! Bucharest is so European!! This was such an interesting itinerary. All the stops were formerly Communist countries. It was so interesting to learn how they've changed since the late 1980s/early 1990s. Budapest and Bucharest were very modern and had an "European feel;" Serbia and Bulgaria much less so. Other reviewers have complained that there was nothing to see at some of the ports. That isn't true; we "saw" what life is like in some of these places and the effects of a struggling economy. The tour guides were very honest in their assessments about the impact of the end of Communist rule and each country's efforts towards promoting free markets and democracy. They admitted that some people were still nostalgic for Communism! Since this was our 6th cruise, we're pretty familiar with the Viking offering. So, perhaps the novelty has worn off, but there was just "something" about this trip that didn't measure up to previous Viking sailings. This time, passengers, both North American and European, showed up on excursions and to dinner in shorts, sweats, and flip flops. Some were dressed more appropriately for a trip to the beach than to visit a church or historic site! And almost no one dressed for the farewell dinner (by "dressed," I mean a button down shirt for men and a nice blouse and slacks for women). I was astonished by how many people were sloppily attired even for the farewell dinner! My husband and I don't like to dress - and we shy away from formal dinners on the ocean cruises - but even we make a little special effort for the farewell dinner on Viking. Viking doesn't publish in advance the arrival or departure times for each port, making it impossible to arrange private tours in lieu of the included Viking excursion. The included excursions were all good, and all the guides knowledgeable, but there was a little bit of a "herd mentality" getting 40+ people on and off each of the tour buses at each stop. Potential Viking customers who don't like this aspect of group travel should take notice. For both the pre-cruise time in Budapest, and the post-cuise time in Bucharest, we did avail ourselves of smaller tours. In Budapest, we did a "free tour" (most cities now have them) and it was excellent. In Bucharest, we did the Viking post-cruise excursion which included an overnight trip to Transylvania. It was good, but not great, and other passengers who did a private tour instead seemed to have a better experience. In Bucharest, we also did a paid Tours by Locals, and our guide Alina was fantastic! (www.wheninbucharest.com). The food was delicious!! Service was friendly and impeccable. We will be taking our first Viking Ocean cruise in October, so it will be interesting to see how the Viking "model" translates to an ocean cruise setting. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We just come back from a 2-week cruise between Budapest and Amsterdam on Viking LIF. We do like ocean cruises (being already with Regent, Princess and Cunard) but it was the 6th river cruise (2 with Viking, 2 with Vantage and 1 with ... Read More
We just come back from a 2-week cruise between Budapest and Amsterdam on Viking LIF. We do like ocean cruises (being already with Regent, Princess and Cunard) but it was the 6th river cruise (2 with Viking, 2 with Vantage and 1 with Scenic). Viking continues to be a pleasant surprise with daily included excursions and a lot of new paid tours which made our weeks extremely interesting even if we travelled on the Danube and Rhine before. Our cabin was extremely clean and sparkling thanks to our excellent cabin stewardess Marina but to be honest Viking can invest some money in trying to update the accommodation and bring what other cruise lines have already: better TV channels and internet connection, more modern facilities in the room and on board. I didn’t understand why in the lounge those two huge TV screens were always black and why this time the funny photos of our cruise were missing. We loved the idea of buying photos during our cruises but this time Viking didn’t give us the chance. On top of that we missed the presence of a Concierge on-board especially when the receptionist wasn’t able always to help us. We were lucky to have on-board a Dutch Hotel Manager who assist us with our requests in Amsterdam but, his charisma and willingness to help couldn’t replace the Concierge from our previous cruises with Viking. The food was nothing special. The Chef and his team was working hard in the kitchen (great taste and presentation of every meal), the waiters in the restaurant (especially Bogdan and George) were trying to make every lunch and dinner memorable but, wasn’t hard to see that Viking started to cut corners. The quality of the food was not the same as before and the presence of a cheaper mediocrity couldn’t be covered by fancy names of the dishes. As always Viking had a team of excellent guides, most of them local who transform each excursion in a chance to discover history, myths, architecture and traditions. We love all the tours even if some of them they were a little bit overpriced and with a little bit of research you can discover most of the cities visited by yourself. After all our ocean and river cruises we don’t have any doubts to say that we were blessed with the best Cruise Director EVER! Leonard was a library of knowledge mixing every information with a useful tip and an excellent and refined sense of humour. Normally we avoid when cruising on board lectures or presentation but his daily chat about our next port of call was a “live performance” from Discovery or History TV channels: informative, full of useful information and tips, easy and funny to watch. His personality and presence on board was a blessing for everyone; Leonard was everywhere, smiling and organising, taking care and chatting, making a joke or giving extra information about an excursion or an event…24h daily for two weeks. Sometimes we were wondering when he was sleeping. Viking is great for a river cruise but I am afraid that they started to go to main stream missing some important points of luxury cursing what made Viking famous. Fortunately, the crew on board VIKING LIF was great and Jery, Bogdan, Marina, Capitan Ante, Ivan and especially Leonard made this trip FAR ABOVE EXPECTATIONS. Thank you all! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
We were looking for a cruise that was a little longer so that we could make the most of the travel time that it takes to get to Europe. Arriving 2 days early in Budapest gave us time to acclimate to the time change and travel fatigue and ... Read More
We were looking for a cruise that was a little longer so that we could make the most of the travel time that it takes to get to Europe. Arriving 2 days early in Budapest gave us time to acclimate to the time change and travel fatigue and we like to enjoy the cities at the beginning and end of our cruise. We also extended in Amsterdam, because there wasn't any scheduled time there. We have traveled on Viking before on both a river cruise and an ocean cruise. This was, however, the first time we had been on a long ship on a river cruise and the improvement and upgrades made with the long ship are wonderful. More space for dinner, bigger lounges and just an overall excellent use of space to make the cruise delightful. We were prepared for the fact that the rooms are a little small if you don't have a suite, but for us the trip is not about being in the room, but being out and about the ship or going on excursions. The excursions are wonderful. We went on a lot of the included excursions, but we hand picked some additional ones that were appropriately priced. We especially enjoyed our Mozart/Strauss Concert in Vienna and the WWII tour in Nuremberg. We enjoyed the dining experience, but the trip is more important to me. Leonard was a wonderful cruise director and the staff and service were unbelievable. They would do anything for you and do it with a smile. Sometimes I wondered how many times I was greeted each day as they never missed a change to say hello. Overall this river cruise was excellent and we will assuredly return to Viking for more trips to "see the world." Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
This was our 5th river cruise with Viking. Having done China, Myanmar, Vietnam and Russia this was not as adventurous. Several friends recommended it. Overall the cruise was very nice, relaxing and we covered a lot of territory. All ports ... Read More
This was our 5th river cruise with Viking. Having done China, Myanmar, Vietnam and Russia this was not as adventurous. Several friends recommended it. Overall the cruise was very nice, relaxing and we covered a lot of territory. All ports of call were very interesting. All the staff we delt with were helpful, knowledgeable and curtious. I liked that the captain was available to talk to throughout the cruise. I was very disappointed in the trip we took to Salsburg. Long drive, expensive and to rushed when we got there. The quiet box did not work making it impossible to hear what the guide was saying. We were so close to the Do-Rae-Me steps but weren't given the time for pictures there. Very disappointed as my parents took me to the Sound of Music for my 13th birthday when it premiered. Being very athletic, I was surprised when the upper deck was closed for several day. I understand why but it made me antsy to get off the ship and go walk. I wish there were bikes to use in the ports given all the bike trails along the river. I would love a day long excursion riding from one port meeting up with the ship in the next port. The food was great and the portion sizes were just right so that I did not come away feeling stuffed. Have you considered having a guest entertainment night so guests could show off their talents? The nights where there was outside entertainers were great. This is not to say the piano player wasn't good, just mundane after a few nights. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This cruise was the 5th with Viking and I am happy to say that nothing changes. Despite the fact that our ship was not a new one (2012) everything was impeccable - Very comfortable, very clean and was nicely appointed. We had a spacious ... Read More
This cruise was the 5th with Viking and I am happy to say that nothing changes. Despite the fact that our ship was not a new one (2012) everything was impeccable - Very comfortable, very clean and was nicely appointed. We had a spacious balcony where we could sit and enjoy the passing scenery, well worth the extra money. The trips into port were always fun and informative with local tour guides. The only thing we lacked were bicycles but next time we will rent them in port. We were very impressed with the boarding process, after couple of failures with other cruise lines. Just when we stepped out of our cab was the first moment when we meet our charming Cruise Director Leonard. That smile, his energy and his impressive manners were always with us for the next 14 days. Depending on when you board, head to your cabin if it's ready (your suitcase won't be far behind, thanks to the crew's efficiency) or make yourself comfortable in the lounge, where you can suss out fellow passengers and have a light lunch. No fuss, no hassle, no stress. Only Leonard smile dropping some useful information regarding our first afternoon and evening in Budapest. Simple fantastic! To say I recommend this trip and Viking Cruises would be an understatement of a year and if you have different people at different stages of life, what I was most impressed with was that their is something for everyone. The housekeeping crew on board are exceptional, every detail in our stateroom was attended to, and the speed and efficiency that these crew work at is an immense achievement all co ordinated by the super competent Victoria The meals on board were quite good, nothing exceptional but the service balance the lack of “wow” for every lunch and dinner. The staff were incredible and Bogdan, the restaurant manager was simply amazing as I have quite complicated dietary restrictions and it was handled in such a quiet and efficient way. We had a lot of choices to eat a meal , on the Aquavit Terrace, in front or in the main restaurant , and plenty to eat . Excellent meal prepared according to our day destination or you can order what is on the menu......Beer and Wine was also excellent.... The crew were so professional and never once had their hand out for a tip, they did their job, because they love their job !!! There's no separation of cruise "class" distinction. We were all treated as elite members with everyone receiving great service by the entire staff on board lead by one of the best Hotel Directors I ever meet: Jerry. He was always ready to sort any types of problems on board, sometimes over the top, but always charming and helpful. Love him! One day arriving back after a long day of sightseeing, we were greeted with a luscious chocolate at the door! We appreciated the flexibility of attending the evening activities or just relaxing in our room. Service is wonderful. The staff obviously takes great.pride in learning about their guests. The very quickly learn or preference, red wine/ white wine, coffee/ tea. They have an.amazing ability to know your name after the first day. Last but not least our Cruise Director. Leonard was exactly the opposite of some of our previous experiences with Silver Sea and Regent( see our review about the arrogance and lack of customer care of some of the Cruise Directors) Nothing was too much from Leonard, being everywhere at any time with the same smile and professionalism. He is one the greatest pro's I have ever seen! He knew the itinerary like his own pocket having a story or a unusual fact for every places we visited. His daily lecture were like a Discovery channel shows: informative, interesting and funny. And taking in the account the number of passengers and excursion every day he was SO organised managing everything with no failure. And every evening, no matter how busy the day was, Leonard was in the lounge for a chat, for a dance or an exciting presentation. One night he organised a ABBA and ‘80s Party where HE was an excellent DJ! What a treat…people dancing everywhere and some of the crew joining too. Leonard was simply amazing, a great asset for Viking! Above all, the crew was amazing! Whether the room stewards, the wait staff, the bartenders or the officers, everyone was cordial and friendly beyond belief. They also transitioned seamlessly between tasks on the ship which was evidenced by their ability to move our luggage when departing like a well-oiled machine. Everyone from the Captain to the kitchen help worked shoulder to shoulder. To say I recommend this trip and Viking Cruises would be an understatement of a year and if you have different people at different stages of life, what I was most impressed with was that their is something for everyone. Already booked another 2 cruises with Viking! Can we have Leonard as a cruise director, please????!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Cruise director and ALL staff were excellent. My first trip to Europe and what a great way to see a part of 4 countries. Would do it again in a heartbeat! We had a Veranda Suite an it was perfect every day. We chose Easy and Moderate ... Read More
Cruise director and ALL staff were excellent. My first trip to Europe and what a great way to see a part of 4 countries. Would do it again in a heartbeat! We had a Veranda Suite an it was perfect every day. We chose Easy and Moderate excursions and left the Demanding ones for the more adventurous and younger passengers. There is something for everyone. Dining was always on point and superb. I drank enough wine to float a battleship because they were always refilling my glass. We went from Budapest to Amsterdam with the additional days before and after the cruise. Met so any nice people and even a few from Louisiana and we happened to know some of the same people even though we did not live near each other. When they busted out the LSU attire, we knew we had to strike up a conversation with them. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was my third Viking cruise. In 2015, l did Castles along the Rhine in November and was so impressed that l upon returning home l booked another cruise for the following May, which was equally wonderful. I was so looking forward ... Read More
This was my third Viking cruise. In 2015, l did Castles along the Rhine in November and was so impressed that l upon returning home l booked another cruise for the following May, which was equally wonderful. I was so looking forward to this September Eastern Europe Cruise. We did the pre trip to Prague and post trip to Transylvania. I sincerely believe that Viking has grown too big too quickly and they have forgotten about customer service and client concerns. As a cancer survivor and a person who has asthma l never expected to have to deal with a smoker two rooms down. Especially since this was listed as a non smoking boat (a designated smoking area was indicated on third deck). After 4 complaints, the smoker was finally spoken to. But that was after 4 nights of not being able to open my balcony windows, for which l paid extra. Also, when l asked to speak with the Hotel Manager l was given a female customer representative. However, when a male friend accompanied me to the front desk to complain about the treatment l had received, out came the male Hotel Manager immediately.......women travelers be warned!!! I was shocked that in 2017, such behavior still exists! Never once after did either the Hotel Manager or Captain reach out to me. The dining room was always set and ready. Exceptional service from Tommy and Joseph, even when things did not seem to be running smoothly in the kitchen. On the two previous cruises there were more locally inspired meals. I would have to agree with another member who wrote that these meals were computer generated from corporate headquarters. Also, we were told that a Viking representative would be at the Airport in Romania to help us with departures.........no one was there and it was pure chaos! There were also concerns about daily excursions. I spoke with many folks who agreed, this trip is just not worth the money. I know await a response from Viking...... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Although I have cruised many times, they have all been on large cruise ships. I can't rave enough about the service on the Viking Lif, and I would believe all Viking ships. The Cruise Director, service staff, back office staff were ... Read More
Although I have cruised many times, they have all been on large cruise ships. I can't rave enough about the service on the Viking Lif, and I would believe all Viking ships. The Cruise Director, service staff, back office staff were all excellent. By the second day, everyone knew me by my first name. The tours were very appropriate for our ports of call, and the tour guides were great. The state rooms were small, but I knew that going in. They were still more than adequate. Most of the passengers were older in age than you would find on large cruise ship, which is understandable considering the difference in cost. This also meant that there were no kids, which would have really been a pain on a small ship. But, in no way was the age of most of the passengers a detriment to having fun. Most were very active. I would definitely do this cruise again, and am actively planning another Viking cruise. Read Less
Viking Lif Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 1.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 3.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

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