For those new to these ships, they are long and consist of three decks for state rooms and the top sun deck. We were on level 2 (room 225) that was back from the reception area. The restaurant was on this level forward, and ... Read More
For those new to these ships, they are long and consist of three decks for state rooms and the top sun deck. We were on level 2 (room 225) that was back from the reception area. The restaurant was on this level forward, and upstairs was the lounge forward and aquavit terrace. Our room was very nice with a king bed and chair and the slider out to veranda. The room had plenty of storage for our clothes and other items. Luggage is stored under the bed. The closet contained a safe. Two bottles of mineral water are provided daily and there is a fridge for you to add items of your own (we bought wine, beer and sodas at various stops). That is a nice feature. The bathroom was ample with the heated floor / non-fogging mirror and the provided body wash, soap, shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion. A hair dryer is provided as well. The shower was the best I’ve had on a cruise ship. Always hot and good water pressure. The room contained power outlets both US and EU versions. We brought converters so we had plenty of outlets. The room was nice and I liked the light modern feel to it. Our room attendant (Vladimir) was very attentive and took good care of the room. The large flatscreen tv was good but we just used it for the bowcam view and listening to the provided music stations ( the folk station was very good, it was more like classic soft rock/pop). I wish I could connect my device (i phone) music to the in room speakers via blue tooth. That would have been nice.
The main dining room was nice with plenty of tables for seating. It was general seating for all meals and that was nice to get to talk to people. The meals were excellent and I enjoyed them all. Like most cruise ships, there were items that were always available for dinner and then the daily specials. I quite enjoyed the German dinner were we had the entertainment and the pretzels and German specialties. That was a fun dinner. The staff in the dining room were very attentive and fun to talk to. Breakfast in the dining room was nice with the buffet and then the order off the menu items. I liked the coffee machines located outside the lounge area and would get my early am fix every day. The pastries and afternoon cookies were yummo!! We only ate lunch in the dining room once and it was nice. Our other lunches were upstairs in the aquavit terrace. Eating meals in the terrace area was nice since we were outside and on the nice days it was very nice. We ate dinner at the aquavit terrace twice and enjoyed the lighter meals provided. The lounge staff were great and I liked the bar and the selection of drinks / brands available. We did not purchase the silver spirits package. Maybe on a longer cruise it would have been worth it to us. We bought some wine in Regensburg and the staff were fine opening it for us.
Overall I found the ship to be light, airy, and modern in design, fixtures, and finishes. I liked this look and feel to the ship.
The cruise: Nuremberg to Budapest
We arrived late afternoon on Saturday June 28 to the ship so we just hung out and got settled. Our first night was nice as we sat in the canal and had dinner and listened to the cruise director (Oliver) tell us what we were in for as the week progressed. Sunday we took the included tour of Nuremberg. It was Interesting to see the history and then we walked around the castle area, ending up in the square by the cathedral. Since it was Sunday, it was quiet in town as all shops are closed on Sundays. There were tourist shops and restaurants open though so we stopped in to have some sausages and beers. We departed Nuremberg that evening and go on our way.
We travelled down the canal to take us to the Danube and we enjoyed sitting outside on the top deck watching the scenery go by. It got chilly and I went inside to the aquavit terrace and asked about blankets and yes they have them. So we sat outside all bundled up and watched the river go by.
For our first stop on the cruise we took the optional tour that took us down the river gorge and to the monastery. We were given a beer and pretzel on the tour (at 9:30 am so early beer). And had a lovely trip down the river. The cliffs on each side were very cool. The monastery church was nice to see and but I’ve been on many beer tours so I stepped out of the movie since it was just a piece about the history of beer and how the monks make it. Instead I sat at the outdoor café and sample some more product. You can purchase more beer at the café to take back to ship with you. We walked back to bus and headed to ship for lunch. I spend the afternoon wandering in Regensburg and stopped into a department store just near the cathedral. And like most department stores in Europe, this one had a restaurant / cafeteria on the top floor. I checked it out and had a snack outside on the roof deck looking down on the town square. We found a lovely gourmet shop in town and sampled some wine and bought a few bottles to take back to our stateroom. We departed Regensberg and were off to our next stop.
We signed up for the tour of the Cathedral and organ music performance. It was enjoyable and the organ got very loud. We took the walking tour of the town but skipped out half way through and decided to visit a café and have lunch. We wandered the town for the rest of our time visiting shops. I would have liked to visit the castle(?) on the opposite side of the river but we never made it.
Well this was our day were we hung out on the ship. The majority of guests went to visit the abbey or take the bus ride to Munich but we decided to hang out. The ship stopped at Krems but did not stay long and then we were off again to pick up the folks who went o on the abbey tour. So I’d call this day a lay day for us. We played shuffleboard and read our books.
We arrived in Vienna at night and we took the opportunity to get out and about. We took a taxi down to the center where St Stephens cathedral and walked around and went in and checked out the cathedral. From there we visited a café and then took a taxi to the Ferris wheel (featured in James Bond film, Living Daylights) and we took a ride. From this we were able to see just how large Vienna is. Our second day in Vienna we took the bus / walking tour and then walked around on our own. We took a horse carriage ride and then had a nice lunch. We then jumped in a taxi and went to Sh???? Palace. We did not go in since the wait time was over 70minutes and instead walked the gardens and up to the café at the arch that overlooked the palace We took in the view, had some strudel and then walked back. Taxi back to the ship and then we were off to our next stop.
Wow what a site. Just like on the Viking tv commercials. We entered into the city and were feasting on the parliament building and the castle area. We took the bus tour and that was nice and we then ended up at the cathedral and took the tour. It was very different than the other cathedrals we’d been to so that was different. We took the bus back to ship for lunch and then it was off to the thermal baths. This was an optional tour and it was a lot of fun. The baths are housed in an ornate building that we saw from the bus on the morning tour. You are given a magic wand wristband that controls access to your changing cubby. This allows you to change up and store your stuff but be able to get at it anytime easily. Since it was nice outside we did not do any of the indoor pools but they were popular, and a lot of them. This would be nice on a cold winter day. Outside there were the two large pools and the swimming pool. We visited these and liked the hot (but not too hot) pool. That was nice. We all felt our skin felt good after visiting. There was not a strong sulfur smell like other pools I have been to in the Azores and Iceland but a mineral type scent. There are vendors outside so we all had a drink after our soak before changing up to leave. We went back to ship and spent our last night out on the deck taking in the town as it lit up.
The morning of our departure we stayed on the ship (though had to exit our room). We were too un-motived to walk down to covered market so we hung out. The crew were fine with letting us stay on board even saying we could stay until lunch. But we had to get going to the airport so we had to bid a goodbye to Viking Egil.
This was our first river cruise after several large ship cruises. We enjoyed the more intimate environment provide by Viking. We both liked the ship and what it had to offer. Next time I’d bring my running gear to work out early when we were docked. The staff keep everything going and handle all the tours very well. It made for an easy experience. Though I did not mind, my wife found the bed to be a bit firm. Other than that, the food, the staff, and the cruise were all excellent. Read Less