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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2012
Overall I must say my wife and I were happy with the cruise and the stay in Shanghai and Beijing. We got to see everything we wanted to. The cabin and service on the Viking Emerald were very good - no complaints at all. The restaurant ... Read More
Overall I must say my wife and I were happy with the cruise and the stay in Shanghai and Beijing. We got to see everything we wanted to. The cabin and service on the Viking Emerald were very good - no complaints at all. The restaurant staff were very good, service was good (if you stuck to the menu) and loved our waitresses. We sat in a different area one night where the experience was totally the opposite so you have to watch. The meals were all well prepared and very filling. The only downside was if you ordered some of the alternate choices people found most of the table were done eating before their main course arrived. The ship staff were all excellent and very helpful. Since English is not their native language there were a few minor challenges but we were always able to solve that. The entertainment was primarily done by the staff and were worth going to. Typically fun and a good way to end the evening. We stayed in a category A room and couldn't have been more pleased with it. Very comfortable and roomy, nice sized bathroom and comfortable beds.The negatives: While the hotels were all excellent, the were not in the best parts of town for seeing things on your own. The tour was split into 2 separate hotels and the others stayed near the Bund in Shanghai, Forbidden Palace in Beijing which had lots of local color, flavour and markets. Also, the food, once on shore, was marginal at best. It was all large "family" table style and very similar in presentation - often in presentation centers. Would have appreciated noodles or dim sum in Beijing. We ended up striking out on our own a couple of times for something different. Note: we love oriental style foods so that wasn't an issue. The other thing missing was really getting a chance to see the people and culture. We were taken to many standard places (jade shops, ceramic shops) but no markets or chance to experience the people. This was the most disappointing aspect. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2011
We embarked near Prague (Melnik) and exited in Dessau (near Berlin). The trip was a very good one and uneventful. The stops were good except for the Meissen China Factory tour. Perhaps Viking gets compensation for this in some form as it ... Read More
We embarked near Prague (Melnik) and exited in Dessau (near Berlin). The trip was a very good one and uneventful. The stops were good except for the Meissen China Factory tour. Perhaps Viking gets compensation for this in some form as it is really a waste, except for the town tour. A highlight was the optional Terezin POW camp tour. Be sure and take it. The boat is small, the room was smaller (class B" cabin), the food was average (which is good for those of us who don't want to gain weight on a trip), the premium beverage package is a waste of $$ unless you plan on staying on board and drinking all day, (you can bring your own liquor,etc. on board, wine is served with dinner) the Viking employees are excellent, tours and guides are excellent, overall, a good trip but a bit overpriced. These tours are not for the feeble or those unable to enter and exit tour buses, walk for one-half day, etc. So if you envision a "cruise", this is more of a floating hotel with stops and tours every day. I would advocate taking an extra day or two in both cities (Prague and Berlin). We used Viking for the air and they get discounted seats so don't expect any better seating than "tourist" unless you upgrade. Be sure and AVOID Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris if at all possible. We just transferred there and it was awful. It is beyond a dreadful nightmare. And for trans-Atlantic, I'd recommend an American carrier as well. (Air France is no fun to fly.)But Zanex is actually a great drug for air travel. Read Less

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