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231 Europe - All Luxury Cruise Reviews

This was our second Viking cruise and we enjoyed ourselves the entire time, as was the case on our prior cruise. We cruised from Budapest to Nuremberg, and took a Prague Extension for 4 days. The crew was professional, courteous and ... Read More
This was our second Viking cruise and we enjoyed ourselves the entire time, as was the case on our prior cruise. We cruised from Budapest to Nuremberg, and took a Prague Extension for 4 days. The crew was professional, courteous and thorough in all they did. The food was plentiful and delicious. The crew kept us on schedule the whole trip. We enjoyed all the excursions in the various towns and cities. The excursion guides were very knowledgeable and courteous. The various ports were conveniently located and the ship was always at the rendezvous waiting for us. The transfers to and from airports, hotels and excursions were on clean modern buses with courteous drivers and guides. Baggage was handled efficiently and timely. The hotel accommodations were excellent . Our last cruise was Southern France with extensions in Nice and Paris, and everything was on a similar level of quality, we have already booked two additional Viking River Cruises. Next the Northern France Chateaux, Rivers and Wines. After that we will sailing Viking from Paris to Zurich. In both cases we will have extensions before and after the cruises. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this particular cruise because it enabled us to see so many interesting and varied places. It certainly didn’t disappoint! The itinerary was amazing and varied and we were able to understand and appreciate it fully with the ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise because it enabled us to see so many interesting and varied places. It certainly didn’t disappoint! The itinerary was amazing and varied and we were able to understand and appreciate it fully with the assistance of on board talks and the most knowledgeable and articulate guides. Even though I was slightly disabled following a knee operation, transport and ‘gentler’ routes ensured that I never missed out. Our facilities were extremely comfortable and beautifully looked after. Watching the fairytale views slip past from our own balcony as we cruised through World Heritage scenery was unforgettable. The food was consistently excellent, plentiful and varied, often reflecting the cuisine of the area we were passing through. The service from every single member of staff was excellent, nothing was too much trouble. We loved the informality of the experience, we’d enjoyed larger cruise ships in the past, but, for us, the smaller size meant that the passengers mixed more and we got to meet and get to know more people. It is hard to pick out highlights from experiences which ranged from visiting the cramped living conditions of windmill families to the breathtakingly opulent cathedral architecture, but, for sheer atmosphere, cruising through the lights of Budapest at night was especially memorable! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Viking is a Premier company. The ship, staff, cuisine, side trips were all amazing. The wait staff was absolutely amazing. After only one day they were aware of your personal preferences of beverage coffee, tea, soft drink, white or ... Read More
Viking is a Premier company. The ship, staff, cuisine, side trips were all amazing. The wait staff was absolutely amazing. After only one day they were aware of your personal preferences of beverage coffee, tea, soft drink, white or red wine) My travelling companion had many dietary restrictions and our Maitre de was at our table every evening to help her making choices and adjustments that the kitchen would be able to make. The ship in general was totally clean...no dust, no stains. We participated in most of the included tours and did take 3 or 4 of the additional add on choices. I was so impressed that I have already booked a second cruise for next year. My only complaint was with the hotel in Amsterdam for our post cruise stay. Our last night we were subjected to 'neighbors' who were fighting, screaming, banging on the wall and making attempts to enter our room. This went on well into the night. I called the front desk at about 1:30 a.m. and was promised it would be addressed. It stopped briefly and then started up again and I called about 2:30 am...this time I finally did stop. Although this is certainly not any fault of Viking, it was a awful experience. I can not believe that the hotel did not in any way apologize or offer some type of compensation. As we were two senior women, it was quite a frightful experience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The itinerary was unbelievable ,to see So many countries ! The ship was one of Vikings new small ship ocean liners. A really beautifully layed out ship. The crew was exceptional. I have been on Seaborne and Silver Seas ships which were ... Read More
The itinerary was unbelievable ,to see So many countries ! The ship was one of Vikings new small ship ocean liners. A really beautifully layed out ship. The crew was exceptional. I have been on Seaborne and Silver Seas ships which were good but this Viking ship and all aspects of the cruise were exceptional. Of course everyone raves about the food on cruises but this ship made all others pale in comparison. The daily selection were varied and the specialty pool side brunch was outstanding. The one issue encountered a number of times was poorly organization and departure for the shore excursions. I understand this was a new route for this ship and excursion crew so I would expect this to improve ,I hope quickly. I would only cruise on mid size liners and River cruise ships , the thought of a Cruise on a mega ship would not be anything I would consider. I had been on Grand Circle on a River Cruise ,Moscow to St Petersburg and had encountered a Viking sip when we were rafted at a port which peeked my interest in Viking. I would have to say Viking sets the standard with all others far behind. Bravo Viking!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Have enjoyed a variety of cruise ships including several larger-sized ships and river boats (Europe and Asia). Viking's ocean cruise ships are "just right" (for me) in terms of number of passengers, cabin size that includes ... Read More
Have enjoyed a variety of cruise ships including several larger-sized ships and river boats (Europe and Asia). Viking's ocean cruise ships are "just right" (for me) in terms of number of passengers, cabin size that includes balcony, dining options, and services. The on board entertainment options include a pool, outdoor areas (dining and/or relaxing), "live" musicians, and a variety of programs. Many of the options are free; a few of those require that you make a 'reservation' (because of limited seating) - examples: special dining rooms; the planetarium. Despite the total passenger count of nearly 1000, you won't feel crowded. All passengers are adults. Shore excursions and port options are safe and convenient; the ship's processing - including assisting passengers - is efficient and pleasant. A port's daily excursion offers include at least one for which there is no extra charge; you can enjoy a wonderful trip and never add/select a fee-added tour. A few of my favorite "perks" on Viking Ocean cruises: personal voice/box device to use during tours (ensures better hearing, even in a crowded museum or stretched out group of walkers); comfortable seating for the daily choices of live music (especially the classic trios) at more than one time per day; flexible menu with great service in the restaurants; free wifi on board; not to be underestimated - smart, attentive staff members. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose a Scenic cruise as we wanted luxury for our first ever cruise and it was our Golden wedding. We have never wanted a cruise before as we did not relish the though of rough seas .All of the transfers and day trios were faultless.Our ... Read More
We chose a Scenic cruise as we wanted luxury for our first ever cruise and it was our Golden wedding. We have never wanted a cruise before as we did not relish the though of rough seas .All of the transfers and day trios were faultless.Our problem was the fact the cruise we chose to see the tulips in Holland was on tidal rivers and at times it was really rough .Tge ship sailed every night and as it was very noisy we hardly slept for a week. We also had a terrible smell in our bathroom .Cabin 103 on the jewel deck.Weather wasn’t good and it was very cold therefore could not spend time on upper sun deck .Nothing to entertain us in the afternoons so was a bit boring .Would not have taken this cruise if we had known the North Sea comes into the rivers in that area Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Having been on two previous Viking cruises (one river, one ocean), we knew the high standards we could expect from Viking. We traveled with another couple and had adjacent rooms near the front of the boat. Our rooms were comfortable and ... Read More
Having been on two previous Viking cruises (one river, one ocean), we knew the high standards we could expect from Viking. We traveled with another couple and had adjacent rooms near the front of the boat. Our rooms were comfortable and our balcony provided a lovely vantage point from which to watch the scenic villages on warm cruising days. Our room was kept clean and tidied up during the day. Loved the cappuccino machine (and visited it often), and meals were always delicious. Tours were always well organized and informative. I liked the freedom to roam our port villages whenever we were docked, especially when others in our group preferred to stay on the river boat. Port talks were informative In planning the next day's activities. Entertainment was varied and indicative of the areas we were visiting. Traveling with Viking is always a pleasure. Even when a problem occurs, Viking is prompt in making amends. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
My friend found this cruise for a great price. My wife had always wanted to do a European river cruise. We heard great things about Viking from others who had done one or more cruises. Nice, intimate (just the right number of ... Read More
My friend found this cruise for a great price. My wife had always wanted to do a European river cruise. We heard great things about Viking from others who had done one or more cruises. Nice, intimate (just the right number of passengers), well kept, well run ship. Very comfortable, clean lower cabin with all the amenities (make sure that after you have unpacked you store your suitcases under the bed - lots of room and out of the way). The food was absolutely amazing, great entertainment by locals, wonderful shore excursions and I cannot say enough about the crew - WONDERFUL IN EVERY WAY. The program director, Wez, was energetic, fun, creative and OH SO patient with us (was teased almost constantly). Warning, to all you avid photographers, they don't warn you until you're on the bus that many of the buildings you will be touring during shore excursions will not allow photography inside so you don't need to take the 40 lbs. of equipment I took. For most shots just a really good "point and shoot" or "bridge" camera for the external pics would be adequate. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Wanted to revisit Normandy and visit Monet's home. As always Viking is very efficient and once on-board you can relax and enjoy all the wonderful amenities! We had been traveling on our own for a couple of weeks and loving it, but ... Read More
Wanted to revisit Normandy and visit Monet's home. As always Viking is very efficient and once on-board you can relax and enjoy all the wonderful amenities! We had been traveling on our own for a couple of weeks and loving it, but walking into our room and unpacking was like coming home! Experienced Paris by letting Viking do all the planing and as always a great job. I would just caution travelers not to go during Europe's spring break time! I also think Viking should warn travelers that the crowds will be much more intense during this time. Food and service is excellent, We loved our room. It is kept spotlessly clean and equipped very well. And if you need anything it will be delivered quickly. My only complaint this trip was the nightly "oversell" by the crew. I at times felt I was listening to a timeshare presentation. Please, not every night over dinner. Keep up the great work and we are looking forward to our next Viking trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This is our third Scenic Cruise both previous ones were in Asia and were outstanding in ALL RESPECTS. We were a little taken aback atvthe sizebof alm the ships on the Danube as ours and all others seemed to have over 150 passengers ... Read More
This is our third Scenic Cruise both previous ones were in Asia and were outstanding in ALL RESPECTS. We were a little taken aback atvthe sizebof alm the ships on the Danube as ours and all others seemed to have over 150 passengers which to me was like a cruise line with 4000 plus passengers! Having said that the organisation of the cruise was outstanding and our every wish was accommodated! It was hard to understand why do few cruises go through to the Black Sea as the further north we went the demands of more and more tours became apparent and quality deteriorated! And we travelled in April! The staff in our ship were equivalent to the outstanding crew we had experienced in Myanmar and The Mekong! Our butler service by ATI and Stat made the journey so much more enjoyable and they are to be commended similarly the joviality of the senior butler Chris was appreciated by all! The Cruise Director was happy to meet our needs as because of a disability I cannot walk far and we had all our requests accommodated! The cruise on the Danube was relaxing and enjoyable the countries visited were historically interesting and we enjoyed the experience! I would not want to further up and suffer the issues of overwhelming Numbers! Each passenger has their own expectations we had ours met by the splendour of the Riger and countries the absolute attention to detail by our Bali butler ATI and the help of our support butler from Serbia Stat who was a source of great local information to us! Thank you staff we enjoyed The first night at The Marriot in Bucharest is best forgotten and the company should look for a better venue! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our first experience with Viking and, though all-in-all a good cruise, we departed feeling like there was room for some improvements. Viking’s reputation and recent ratings speak for themselves, so my wife and I were very ... Read More
This was our first experience with Viking and, though all-in-all a good cruise, we departed feeling like there was room for some improvements. Viking’s reputation and recent ratings speak for themselves, so my wife and I were very much looking forward to this cruise, our sixth. We sailed from Barcelona, Spain on the Viking Sea ocean ship, ending up in beautiful Bergen, Norway. The 15-day itinerary along the west European coast was very attractive to us, both in length and variety of ports to be visited. We expected an above-average experience, which Viking pretty much did deliver, but they fell short in some unexpected areas. Spoiler alert: yes, we will likely sail with them again, despite the lapses that I’ll try to articulate here, along with some well-deserved compliments. The highlights/stars of the cruise were, for us, the ship and the crew. Both were exceptional compared to previous cruise experiences. I need to start somewhere so I guess I’ll go in alphabetical order. And since I usually refer to a ‘ship’ as a ‘boat’ I’ll talk about the Viking Sea first. ;-) Our last cruise had nearly 5000 passengers on it – way, way too many. Without going into details, the crowds, lines, noise were obvious issues. ALL of that was absent on this cruise. The Sea carries up to 930 passengers. There is no casino, no interior cabins, no huge shops, no children, no photographers; everything is scaled-down from the bigger liners, yet we never once felt harried or even particularly delayed, even while getting food at the buffet. The longest line we stood in was at the U.K. stop where everyone had to go thru a formal immigration interview. At first the number of folks queued up seemed exceptionally daunting, but we were whizzed in and out of there in no time. Much appreciated. The interior of the boat was stunning. Built in 2016, it was modern, well-organized and immaculate. The décor spoke to my Scandinavian roots; I’ve always been a fan of that type of furniture coupled with the clean, eye-pleasing space design. One unexpected detail we liked were the leather-wrapped stateroom door handles and hallway safety railings; very plush. The customer service/lounge area on deck one was appropriately called ‘The Living Room’ and instantly evoked sophistication and comfort at the same time. A few decks up, the Wintergarden lounge area amidships was especially attractive. I can’t find the words to describe it – do yourself a favor and Google it real quick. Our favorite area ended up being the Explorer’s Lounge at the bow on deck seven. It had two levels, the lower featuring a bar and LOTS of comfortable seating; the upper level was smaller, a bit more private and very quiet. Both had panoramic, 180 degree views of the outside. Side doors led to an exterior walkway in front which provided, IMO, the best forward-facing views of port arrivals and sail-aways. Every evening at 6 we were treated to either a violin/cello duet or piano music, which further enhanced the pre-dinner, end-of-the-day unwind, accompanied by refreshing libations and the new friends we met. I’m not a spa guy, but as promised to my wife I tried it on the last sea day. I felt it was modest, though classy; that is the space was in keeping with the rest of the décor. It seemed rather small to me, likely due to the boat’s size. That probably also explains why all the chaise lounges were taken. I hung in as long as I could, but on my way out I couldn’t resist checking out the Snow Room, a small rustic chamber with real snow in it. I sat for a few moments and actually felt somewhat refreshed. Never seen one of those before! (Avoiding the extreme temptation to say it was ‘cool’!) Ok, how was the room? We were in a Deluxe Veranda stateroom on deck 5, ALL the way forward on the starboard side, right below the bridge. The size (270 sq. ft.) and layout were serviceable. The bathroom was relatively spacious and featured a heated mirror and floor. The heaters were activated automatically when you inserted your sea pass card to activate the room lights, but they could not be turned off until you left the room (or took your card out). The heated mirror prevented fogging during showers and worked well. I didn't like the warm floor, in general, as it tended to heat up the whole bathroom space. My wife, who is always cold, loved it. For some reason there was only one little 22” towel rod in there, which pretty much forced us to have most of the towels changed out each day. If there’d been one or two more I would’ve gladly re-used those linens. The living area was comfortable, with a nice big flat-screen monitor in front of the bed. A small wet bar tucked in the desk had a nice assortment of snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. There was a bit of extra space to cool off wine bottles and food. The balcony was smallish, but not tiny. If the weather had been less windy I could see the two of us hanging out there more often than we did. The under-hanging search light just outside the railing (part of the bridge structure right above us) was only a minor annoyance. The MAJOR annoyance was the lack of dresser and shelf space. We got only three small drawers and a couple of open shelves in addition to an un-remarkable closet space. This was confounding given the open wall areas where they could have thrown up one or two shelf/drawer units. Some new friends showed us their Penthouse Junior Suite on deck 8 and that one had an actual dresser, in addition to more room. Another issue was the nightlight. Located at floor level near the bathroom, it was BRIGHT. We first tried covering it with some tape we’d brought, but we soon realized that a folded-up towel was required; it was that annoying. Mad, mad props to Viking Sea's crew. On our last cruise this element was a memorable low-point. This time, everyone (literally), no matter if he/she was a deck hand, housekeeping, or bridge officers, always looked us in the eye, smiled and offered a pleasant 'Good morning', ‘Enjoy your day', whatever. This simple gesture is essential, IMO, for an enjoyable cruise experience. The customer service personnel were knowledgeable, the bartenders were personable, and the wait staff were very attentive (with one lone exception, see below). The highlight came after our Bruges, Belgium excursion. As our bus pulled up to the boat, we were greeted to the sight of a huge red carpet and a double line of what appeared to be most of the senior officers and staff. Music was playing, hands were clapping, feet were stomping, and we got the 'welcome back aboard' of a lifetime! Gosh knows how long they had to stand out there; we were one of the last tour groups to return. I asked a waiter about it later and he indicated that they do this at least once a cruise, pretty much at random. How fun. Nice touch Viking! We also enjoyed the many educational lectures they offered, most of them aimed at the ‘middle ages trade routes’ theme of the cruise. Their ‘Port Talk’ presentations gave us useful info on the next port of call and the scheduled excursions. If we missed anything, we could view a recording of it later on their internal media system. I’m not a night owl so I can’t comment on the evening entertainment. Speaking of excursions, everything was very well organized. There were always plenty of personnel around to direct us and answer questions. The tour guides were fun and professional. Accommodations were made for folks using crutches, wheelchairs, etc. The disembarkation process on the final day was very efficient (sort of a one-way, final excursion, right?). No lines, we were whisked thru the terminal where our baggage, porters to carry them and taxi cabs were all waiting. Sadly, I need to move on to the "irks" part of this review, i.e. the food. The buffet was, maybe predictably, repetitive after a while. They did throw in some variety, most of which was not for my palette unfortunately. At breakfast, the scrambled eggs were Eggbeaters; to get a real egg you had to order an omelet or grab an Eggs Benedict (on which the ham slices were always way too small). The coffee was mostly bitter to my taste, and for some reason, you had to go from one end of the buffet to the other just to pair a bagel with some cream cheese. And I can't for the life of me understand why they couldn't, at least once in a while, put out some seasoned ground beef, chopped lettuce, cheese and tortillas so I could have a taco or something (i.e. Mexican food). They had Italian, they had Spanish, they had Asian - what gives? Overall, the food tended to be under-seasoned and bland, period, with very few options to jazz it up other than ground pepper or some Tabasco sauce. The memorable food-related highlight was our dinner at the 'Chef's Table' and an Asian-style menu. It was fantastic. Very gourmet-style, each course was as pleasant to look at as it was to eat. For daily faire, the burgers were excellent, and the buffet’s bakery always had a wide variety of tasty breads, rolls, pastries, etc. The low light was Manfredi's, their flagship Italian restaurant. Number one, I couldn't read the menu, it was ALL in Italian. I knew I wanted the rib eye steak, their signature dish, but I needed the waiter to help me choose a side. The food was good (yes, I can recommend the rib eye), but as we were eating, the waiter decided to disappear. From then on, we had to ask for everything: plates to be cleared, dessert menus, ready to order, etc. A second waiter eventually came by, and our desserts instantly appeared. Great, but where's the coffee we ordered? So we waited. And waited. Finally the first waiter decided to check in and he went off to look for coffee. The maître d’ stopped by - we had three people looking for coffee and the desserts were still sitting (granted, our choice). Sadly, it didn't end there. My wife's Tiramisu was a gloppy mess; just one little layer of sponge at the bottom, topped off in a coffee-cup-sized container with some kind of whip creamy, chocolate swirly, ... glop. We got back to our room and we're thinking 'Holy cats, what just happened?!' It was extremely disappointing, especially given the high regard in which the restaurant was held. Just a few more random observations to offer and I’ll wrap up (thanks for hanging in!). The captain had an irksome habit of docking early. We enjoy sail-ins and are willing to get up early to watch the early-morning ones when the opportunity avails. The Viking Daily newsletter always provided lots of info including arrivals/departures so we planned accordingly. More often than not we woke up to realize that we were already pulling into a port long before our alarm was due to go off. Oh well. Another frequent irk was the spotty wi-fi. It seemed to happen mostly during the day – the signal would just quit. Lastly, at many ports Viking would arrange for shuttles, or at least guides to help independent sightseers to explore on their own. This was completely absent at Amsterdam, which was especially confusing after my wife (being much more adventurous than I) found out that, with just a bit of advice from a fellow passenger, a short walk led to a very attractive part of town. The boat’s resources were silent on this. One last remark, and I don’t consider it to be a knock, is that the boat, at 745 feet long and 94 feet wide, got tossed around a quite bit in the choppy seas we encountered coming into the English Channel, then later in the North Sea. It got a bit dicey at times, where you had to walk really carefully when you were moving around. I doubt a larger boat would ride that way but IMO it just added to the experience. So, all things considered, it was a very enjoyable cruise. A lot of this was due to the spectacular, unusual stretch of clear, moderate weather we enjoyed in all the ports we visited; no rain, not even many clouds. The rain finally did arrive - on the day we departed. Viking, for the most part, came through with a wonderful experience, just as we expected they would. I remember on the last full day, a few of us were in the Explorers Lounge filling out Viking’s lengthy feedback questionnaire and it became apparent we were all struggling with how to rate the cruise with “As Expected”, “Better Than Expected”, etc. We all ‘expected’ an exceptional experience from Viking, but it seemed weird to choose “As Expected” because it felt like we were dinging them. In fact it was a compliment – we expected better and Viking delivered. On that basis, we’re more than willing to look into another ocean cruise with Viking. Too, I strongly suspect that we’ll try one of their river cruises in the future. And on that note, I’ll close. Thank you for reading this – I hope you’ve found it helpful. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The itinerary was nicely organized so that we had great tours with quiet days in between to relax. The crew members were very friendly and caring and always tried to make sure everything was perfect. The port talks were very ... Read More
The itinerary was nicely organized so that we had great tours with quiet days in between to relax. The crew members were very friendly and caring and always tried to make sure everything was perfect. The port talks were very informative and it was handy having them recorded and available in our room so we could watch them at our convenience. The dress code was nice and relaxing, you don't need to have a lot of (any) really dressy clothes, dress pants and a collared shirt or sweater were perfect for all dining venues. The food was good for the most part but we didn't care for the offerings in the Chef's Table. We would have rather had more meals in the Italian restaurant, which was very good, but there was also a nice variety of food in the other restaurants. The staff in the explorer lounge were first rate. They remembered us after day one and always greeted us by name after that. The room attendants were most accommodating and considerate. We were glad we had a PV room with a little more space when we were relaxing in our room & on the balcony of our room. It was really helpful to have access to a laundry room during the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
A great value for the money paid, I highly recommend this cruise company, the ship and the crew, and this itinerary. Every one smiles, says good or evening and what can we do help you today, outstanding service. The positive vibration is ... Read More
A great value for the money paid, I highly recommend this cruise company, the ship and the crew, and this itinerary. Every one smiles, says good or evening and what can we do help you today, outstanding service. The positive vibration is tremendous. The food is very good, fresh, tasty, enjoyable like any multiple star restaurant. The menus have a good selection of different plates to choose from. The ports and excursions where also excellent. the guides provided a high value of information. Viking had to change two ports due to weather issues, and within three hours they had all logistics in place and made necessary changes to the passengers excursion refunds and issuance of new tickets, for a new port in which Viking had never been before, that experience was superb, both from Viking employees handling, the port itself. The Train ride between Burgen and Oslo is fantastic because of the scenery, and it has been rated as one of the prettiest in the world. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We wanted to take a cruise and looked first at cruises within the United States but it was actually less expensive to go to Europe with Viking and the airfare was outstanding with Viking taking care of all the details. It was a "no ... Read More
We wanted to take a cruise and looked first at cruises within the United States but it was actually less expensive to go to Europe with Viking and the airfare was outstanding with Viking taking care of all the details. It was a "no brainer" to us. Viking met us at the airport and provided bus transportation to the ship. They took care of our luggage and delivered it to our room. Disembarkation was smooth as well with Viking taking care of all the details including taking our luggage to the bus and the bus itself. The ship was clean as was our cabin. Dining was outstanding. The food was excellent, the variety vast, and the featured local specialties were fun. There was some ship-based entertainment which was fun and we particularly enjoyed the cultural presentations. The service was beyond reproach. Every employee was courteous and went out of his or her way to make sure we were accommodated. The selection or ports and the included excursions were great. We also went on several optional excursions which were well planned and definitely a good value. We have already scheduled another cruise this year with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
After sailing on many cruise lines throughout the world we decided this year was when we would sample a river cruise. We booked on a Ukranian cruise with another company and really did not enjoy for several reasons , however we were not to ... Read More
After sailing on many cruise lines throughout the world we decided this year was when we would sample a river cruise. We booked on a Ukranian cruise with another company and really did not enjoy for several reasons , however we were not to be deterred as we had heard so many good reviews from people and decided to jump straight back in. We chose the Xmas markets cruise on the Mozart in November 2018 as it is something that my wife had wanted to do . Feeling slightly anxious that this would not end up feeling as though it would be throwing good money after bad I contacted Crystal concierge regarding a few queries such as change of itinerary, arriving late on the ship and transfers from the airport as we were arriving independently. We received responses straight away and were given the information that we required. Transfers are free with Crystal even if you arrange your own flight which was great news as sometimes finding exact location of river cruise vessels can be difficult. On arrival which was late the embarkation was really smooth and within 10 minutes of arriving we were in our suite ordering room service.The suites are compact yet of good quality . The wardrobe is a pretty tight squeeze but their is more than ample storage space. The bathroom is top quality and the products offered are also top quality. The next we wandered round the ship and as expected everywhere was top quality , the sauna and pool area was really nice. For a ship which only caters for 151 guests there is plenty of seating areas and the restaurant is a good size and there are plenty of tables for 2 should you wish to dine by yourself. We very early eat breakfast but lunch and dinner are of a high standard and if you wanted something different from the menu the waiters were always happy to see if they could help. The menus are small compared to larger ships but I would imagine that it would be quite difficult to have a large menu for so few guests. The food was always of a good standard and you could use 2 restaurants for lunch and a choice of 3 dining venues if an evening. The guests were mainly American , Canadian , Chinese and a few from other countries so we were the only people from the United Kingdom aboard. Everybody seemed to get on and in the bar if an evening there was a good atmosphere whether it be quizzes, dancing or the entertainers James & Ros playing music. James & Ros were really good in getting the guests to mingle and take part in the activities. The excursions were mainly Xmas markets in Bratislava, Salzburg , Vienna and a few walking tours in Passau , Linz and Melk. These were well organised and most of them guides were knowledgeable and interesting. The Crystal coaches were excellent and very comfortable and even had Nespresso coffee machines onboard . We have travelled with many cruise lines and have always had good service on the ships and until now my favourite was Seabourn because the staff were so friendly and professional and always smiled when they spoke and took the time to talk to you . I always believed that was the best cruise crew we had been with . They have been matched by Crystal as we found the staff to be so helpful , professional and friendly. Wherever we went on the ship they all seemed happy . The staff on the Mozart are such an asset because we booked another cruise whilst on board and that is something we have never done before.There was no one area that we could make a negative criticism even when we received a letter in the cabin saying that we were not sailing to Bratislava because of the low level of the water , they took us by bus and gave us 250UD off a future cruise and I already knew that there were problems with the water level. I would definitely recommend Crystal to anybody who likes the nice things in life and like being looked after. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Having cruised well over 15 times as a couple (and Cunard Carnival cruises) let's start by saying that the pursers office had a very negative attitude, both in person and on the phone. The cost of drinks is extortionate I.e. a bottle ... Read More
Having cruised well over 15 times as a couple (and Cunard Carnival cruises) let's start by saying that the pursers office had a very negative attitude, both in person and on the phone. The cost of drinks is extortionate I.e. a bottle of wine £5-6 uk over £40 on the ship plus 15 percent. Cost to us well over £350. The food is adequate at best the fish clearly cooked in a toaster. The speciality restaurant - we ordered fruits de mer not frozen de mer. Tasteless and watery. Their disembarkation procedure is manic. Whatever time it states you can get off is irrelevant. Ours was priority one as they allow the corridors to get chock a block with people and do not control it. Very dangerous. When going through security they do not even check the time you are supposed to get off. A free for all. We shall never go with this so called British company again . There is another American cruise company who do it better. Humbly disillusioned. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We had planned for our first trip to Europe in almost 30 years and had been sold on the Uniworld Castles on the Rhine river cruise by Uniworld reps. When we arrived in Basel the captain and cruise director allowed all passengers to board. ... Read More
We had planned for our first trip to Europe in almost 30 years and had been sold on the Uniworld Castles on the Rhine river cruise by Uniworld reps. When we arrived in Basel the captain and cruise director allowed all passengers to board. We were unsuspecting of any issues, but Uniworld KNEW that the Rhine River was IMPASSABLE and they boarded everyone anyway. Then 24 hours after boarding at the first night Captain's dinner we were informed that the river was impassable and our river cruise was OVER. We would reach our first stop, Strasbourg, and that would be it for our boutique, high quality river cruise. Uniworld knew about the river levels BEFORE and still allowed all passengers to board. No amount of rain would have changed the outcome!! Passengers should have been informed before boarding and given an option of a refund. A cancellation would have been a huge disappointment, but fair. Once on board we were basically their CAPTIVES and spent the remaining time crammed into buses for hours, lugged our own bags around from location to location, stopped at gas stations to pee, and were given a meager amount for daily meals. We sat on a speeding bus for our Castles tour seeing more buildings and phone poles than castles. The staff seemed overwhelmed,frus trated, and unable to help. Our days were poorly organized, and attempts to contact Uniworld's customer service went unanswered. Every day, rather than relaxing on the cruise ship, we had to find our own restaurants for meals in unknown destinations with inadquate funds for the exquisite meals we had paid for. We arrived one day early in Amsterdam after hours on the bus and were put up at the AIRPORT hotel with a lovely (sarcasm) view of the control tower. We had planned to stay in Amsterdam for two additional days and had selected our hotel to be near our final destination. We now had to travel from the airport to our hotel on our own, at our expense with no assistance from the staff. A $1,000 per night boutique river cruise it was not!! The entire experience was a fiasco and very poorly handled by Uniworld! We ended our boutique river cruise experience frustrated, exhausted, and stressed. We were offered a $1,000 credit for a future river cruise expiring in 2019. That offer had no value to anyone!! The company intentially boarded passengers so they could make their profit. They put corporate PROFIT over honor and customer service! We are beyond disappointed with our first river cruise and more importantly with how Uniworld handled the difficult situation. I would encourage you NOT to book with Uniworld. Look elsewhere!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I chose this cruise because I wanted to see Moscow and other cities in Russia that were visited on this cruise. I had already been to St. Petersburg but I new that it, too, must be different than when I visited in 2004. I didn't ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to see Moscow and other cities in Russia that were visited on this cruise. I had already been to St. Petersburg but I new that it, too, must be different than when I visited in 2004. I didn't know what to expect. I never expected some of the things I saw. Red Square at night was like a light show. The building were outlined with white lights, St. Basil's Cathedral was just magnificent with the spotlights on it. It is also beautiful in the daytime. I was surprised at the number of churches that I saw. I know that for many years that people could not worship openly. I never expected to see churches that were breathtakingly beautiful inside. Every inch was covered with gold, paintings. mosaics and more. Spectacular. This was the third Viking River cruise for me. I really didn't know what to expect on the first one but I learned quickly that the staff on Viking ships are friendly and helpful. They are respectful to the guests. The cabin was always made up when I returned from an excursion. Housekeeping was quick to send anything that I needed. The menu was varied each night. I especially liked the dishes that were native to the region where we were. The Russian menus were great. There were selections with which I was familiar because they were made in my family. It was fun to eat them on the ship. The service was excellent. I looked forward to the excursions every day because I didn't know what to expect. One excursion was to Khizi island where 60 people live. It was educational. We saw an church that was being restored. Everything was done with wood. The guides in Russia were well informed and answered any questions. I recommend the Russia cruise. You will know a lot more than before you visited. I am already scheduled for cruises 4 and 5 this year - Viking Ocean Cruise - Venice to Athens and Viking River Cruise - Portugal-The River of Gold. Can't wait. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We had seen ads and decided to check out a Scenic presentation. We discovered a hidden gem in the sea of river cruise options. We knew we had stumbled on to something when we discovered that booking went quickly 18 months before departure. ... Read More
We had seen ads and decided to check out a Scenic presentation. We discovered a hidden gem in the sea of river cruise options. We knew we had stumbled on to something when we discovered that booking went quickly 18 months before departure. Scenic has thought of everything, and I mean everything. Everything is included. Drinks top shelve, meals gourmet that's all meals, professional and friendly staff made this fabulous trip even better. The excursions were all incredible. One in particular was the performance at Palais Leichtenstein, a beautiful palace complete with renaissance art. We sipped champagne and listen to an orchestra in a beautiful room. It was like going back in time. Can't say enough positive things about the rooms, sumptuous and well designed, the food, delicious and varied as was the great wine, the hardworking staff, particularly our tour director, and the excellent entertainment both on board and off as well as the beautiful picture perfect stops along the cruise This was a dream vacation and we are so happy we had a chance to experience Scenic. My wife and I are already thinking about our next river cruise with Scenic! Thanks for such an enriching experience which we will not forget Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Our scenic adventure started with a driver waiting for us at Budapest airport who dropped us at Marriott. Great hotel good location. Two pre cruise days in Budapest. So much much to see and all of it walkable. Scenic picked up our ... Read More
Our scenic adventure started with a driver waiting for us at Budapest airport who dropped us at Marriott. Great hotel good location. Two pre cruise days in Budapest. So much much to see and all of it walkable. Scenic picked up our luggage first then later transferred us to Scenic Ruby. Very efficient and quick process. We had a royal balcony suite on the ruby. Spacious, comfortable bed, large bathroom, plenty of storage for clothing, and separate lounges area w/small couch and two chairs. We were very happy with the size of the suite for our 15 day journey. Daily laundry service was an unexpected bonus. Put out your bag of clothes in the morning, and they are returned clean, folded and pressed in the afternoon. Though we did not use the butler service much, they were quick to respond when we called. Due to low water levels we had to change ships once after Melk. The staff on both Ruby and Jade made it so seamless, it was no issues what so ever. The daily choice of activites were excellent. We did bike rides, city tours, and more. Scenic really caters to all activity levels. Our tour guides in Salzburg and in Cologne were boring, so we set out on our own to explore. Wished we had more time to explore some of the Salzburg. The staff on both Ruby and Jade were quite honestly outstanding. From housekeeping who kept our suite spotless, to the wait staff in the dining room, all top notch. Food in the dining room was really quite good. My husband especially enjoyed the fresh cookie selection available all day every day next to that great coffee machine in the lounge. Alex our crises director was entertaining and informative, and we looked forward to the port talks each night, as well as his insightful presentations on the history and culture of the areas we cruised through. Each day he steered us to the right buses, or activities, and was always on hand to answer any questions we had for him. I really enjoyed the fact that I didn’t have to plan anything...we just had to choose what our activity was for the following day. We very much enjoyed the wonderful fellow cruisers on the boat. We are in our late 50’s early 60’s, so we were part of the younger crowd. But what a great mix of people. We also had on board two folks from National Geographic. Susan was the photographer who was there to share technique’s and help hone skills. Mark was there to share with us the history, culture and politics of the regions we were sailing through. Both were such a great addition to the cruise. We ended the cruise in Amsterdam, and spent two days exploring that lovely city. I would suggest that Scenic select another hotel option other than the Double tree. While it was a great location, it was was run down and our room was dirty. I would pay more for a nicer hotel. This was our first river cruise and our first Scenic adventure. Our first Nat Geo adventure. It is not often that often that reality exceeds expectations, but Scenic hit it out of the ball park on this trip. When Scenic says it’s all inclusive, they not kidding. From food to cocktails to all your excursions, it’s all included. If you are looking for outstanding service, spacious and lovely accommodations, varied excursions for all activity levels (we were the high activity level), a great mix of passengers, and a trip you won’t soon forget - Scenic is the cruise line for you. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
First on Crystal River cruise and will be last. Have had great experiences on their ocean voyages; but the river line is a separate division and vastly inferior in most areas. Company was not forthcoming in notifiying us of the low ... Read More
First on Crystal River cruise and will be last. Have had great experiences on their ocean voyages; but the river line is a separate division and vastly inferior in most areas. Company was not forthcoming in notifiying us of the low water level until 2 days before we were scheduled to leave. Itineray changed to all but a couple of ports in the Netherlands. The highlights of the trip were to be the areas where the ship didn't travel. To make matters worse, tour director was disorganized, ship Captain did not speak English, ship docked so far from destination ports it was ridiculous. Other ships were providing buses to take passengers to destination. Not our ship. The few tours offered were primarily ones of walking around the town plazas, etc. And the majority of passengers were over 65! I understand the couple of buses they had were shuttled back and forth between the Danube groups and the Rhine. They seemed to always be with the Danube folks. We were not offered bus/hotel choices to make up for all the ports we did not see. That is standard with other river cruise lines. Passenger complaints to the officers and tour director fell on deaf ears and it was clear the disorganization and confusion came down from the top. The service staff tried their best; but they were understaffed. The spa was good but very limited; the food good except there was a problem keeping the buffet dishes hot. The rooms were way too small for the large beds. We booked 2 rooms for a family of 4 at last minute and top dollar and I never felt like we had spent so much money on something so disappointing. Our trip was in August and now in January we are still waiting for any compensation from Crystal. We all had out of pocket expenses because we had to change return flights from Basel Switzerland (which we never got to see) to Frankfurt. Additional transportation, hotel etc. all added up to more than they promised to reimburse. And there was no compensation even promised for the missed excursions and ports. My advice is to avoid this line at all costs. We are seasoned cruisers on several small luxury lines and have never had an experience like this! How could such an esteemed company as Crystal allow this group to be a part of their company??? We want to go back to take a Rhine cruise; but it sure won't be with Crystal. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We have been on many river cruises with Viking and knew without a doubt this would be another quality trip, enhanced by outstanding, caring staff. As always, the crew outdid themselves with their friendly, courteous, expert services. ... Read More
We have been on many river cruises with Viking and knew without a doubt this would be another quality trip, enhanced by outstanding, caring staff. As always, the crew outdid themselves with their friendly, courteous, expert services. The food was fabulous..and having choices of where to eat was a bonus. Scrumptious dinners of lobster and crab were a treat! The array of food was healthy and beautifully presented. Bar facilities and spa were soothing and well planned. It never felt like there were so many people on board because there were private little alcoves to be alone, meet with friends, or sip a drink upon leaving port. Musicians enriched the entire experience. We are always impressed with Viking's efficient organization and attention to detail. It is the perfect balance of a "trip" to learn new things, and an "R &R" to enjoy each other. We have already booked our next cruise! Thanks to all who made this trip such a joy! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Everything on the boat was excellent. The food, the staff and service were top shelf. We stayed in a Veranda Suite. The tours were average but the scenery was not very interesting while cruising, unlike our previous Viking tour from ... Read More
Everything on the boat was excellent. The food, the staff and service were top shelf. We stayed in a Veranda Suite. The tours were average but the scenery was not very interesting while cruising, unlike our previous Viking tour from Budapest to Amsterdam. Every place we stopped was over crowded with tourists. At several stops we had to stand in long lines to see the attraction. It was extremely hot most of the week (this was our fault for choosing mid July). On one tour, after walking around the city we were taken the top of a very high site, by a tram, that overlooked the city and river which was very interesting, but it started raining at the top of the hill. The tram took us about 1/3 of the way back to the boat and dumped us off in pouring rain. Only 1 couple had an umbrella so everybody got 'soaked to the bone' walking back to the boat. On our next cruise we will go either early or late in the season, but definitely on Viking. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Gems of The Danube is marketed as 3 days in Prague and then join the Jasper in Nuremberg for a Danube cruise to Budapest. We signed up in August of 2017, paid and arrived in Prague on time. The transportation provided from airport to ... Read More
Gems of The Danube is marketed as 3 days in Prague and then join the Jasper in Nuremberg for a Danube cruise to Budapest. We signed up in August of 2017, paid and arrived in Prague on time. The transportation provided from airport to Prague was delayed because some passengers were late. The area is small, hot, no explanations, no offer to move us to an air-conditioned motor coach, no offer of bottled water - nothing. My husband inquired of a cab and our inquiry was ignored. We finally got transportation to Prague and arrived at the hotel. The accommodations in Prague are nice, The Imperial, typical European style hotel. We were there for 3 nights. The first night there was a welcome meeting with a class of wine and a walking tour of the area. The other Scenic sponsored tour while in Prague was again, a walking tour. No worries we hired a car and had a wonderful tour of Prague. There were signs early on that something was amiss. The Scenic staff were all a bit vague regarding details. Our guide said he needed to leave ahead of the group to meet other travelers and passed us off to another woman working for Scenic. She rode the coach with us and informed us that morning that we would not be going to Nuremberg and we would not be on the Jasper. She assured us that the only difference between the Jasper and our newly assigned ship would be the name, Jade. The water levels were low and we would not go to Nuremberg, but to Regensburg. None of the travelers seemed concerned, until guide and driver got lost looking for the ship. When we finally arrived we had to walk about 300 yards along an unpaved path to reach the Jade, which was not exactly in Regensburg, but we could glimpse the skyline if we tried. We went to the lounge area and experienced the most cursory greeting from the hotel manager, captain, and cruise director. It's clear to us all now that the company was well aware that we would not be on the ship long and they were all noticeably nervous and in the instance of the Cruise Director, very short tempered. Those on the Diamond Deck are invited to dine at Table La Rive, that is if you are on the ship long enough to enjoy such an invitation. The sundeck was only opened for use on the evening that we were told we would be enjoying the rest of the trip from a bus! Check out my pics of the sundeck. Good Timing. The idea of a butler for every cabin, forget it. These folks are far too busy with the duties of being waiters and bartenders to actually assist in your cabin. Those Scenic spaceship balcony, not! It's a tiny window and when you open it the air-conditioning immediately shuts off and you swelter. If you are looking for group meals, long lines, buffets style dining, long bus rides and cruise companies that prefer to keep you in the dark, then this is your company. We rode on a bus for nearly 8 hours on our way from Vienna to Budapest, we passed our hotel 3 times so we could see the sights from a bus window. The group lunch was at a Hungarian park that our city guide described as his children's favorite playground. he asked if we noticed the wooden fort and castle on the playground, his children love it. No thank you for me and my group. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
My friend suggested this cruise and it sounded wonderful. Overall it was! The dining staff really made the cruise worthwhile. They were friendly, extremely professional and hardworking. They really took the time to make sure you felt ... Read More
My friend suggested this cruise and it sounded wonderful. Overall it was! The dining staff really made the cruise worthwhile. They were friendly, extremely professional and hardworking. They really took the time to make sure you felt looked after. The Chef was excellent and important because I have a food allergy. The food was plentiful and there was a great variety. I felt the off ship tours were interesting but sometimes the bus trips to and from the ship seemed long. Our cruise Director was enthusiastic and informative but the many introductions of staff and crew went on too long. One introduction on the first day would have been enough. My favourite part was being on the ship and cruising on the river. It wasn’t always picturesque, especially through the industrial areas, but I still enjoyed the breeze and the sunshine on the top deck. On the second day, I put two blouses out for ironing only. Apparently, for the first time ever, laundry went missing. I had to ask several times, but I do believe they were doing their best to locate my tops. They were finally returned to me late on day 7 of an 8 day cruise. Laundry service was included but obviously we were hesitant to try it again. The much anticipated in room mini bar was a disappointment because it offered mostly alcohol. Very limited snack selection. Pringles and biscuits, and not every day. At this point, I’m not sure that I would travel with Scenic again, but I would definitely enjoy another river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018

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