1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We had previously taken the cruise on the Rhine, so we were excited to take the Seine River Cruise. If you have no problems, you can have a great time on a Viking River Cruise. Unfortunately, they decided to route us from New York City, ... Read More
We had previously taken the cruise on the Rhine, so we were excited to take the Seine River Cruise. If you have no problems, you can have a great time on a Viking River Cruise. Unfortunately, they decided to route us from New York City, via Dublin, to Paris. Our Delta flight was delayed five hours because of lack of staff, so we missed two connecting flights. We called the weekend staff at Viking and were told that the flight problems weren't their problem, and they couldn't help in any way. We had to stay in Dublin overnight, and when we finally arrived in Paris, we had to take a taxi to the ship. Viking sent someone to pick us up, but they told us that they did not send an escort, and the escort did not see us. The ship does not dock in Paris, it is about a half hour to the City. When we finally got to the ship, we were told that people have these transportation problems all the time, and we should be happy we finally arrived. We missed the first night and day of the vacation, and I was so aggravated that I had a hard time enjoying anything. Viking did not even offer us a drink as compensation. When we arrived home yesterday, a Viking representative offered us a voucher for a future trip. We will never use Viking again. They used to be an excellent company, but I guess they decided to skimp on customer service. Beware! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We are not new to Viking, indeed this was our 10th river cruise with them and we have loved them all. The staff are always outstanding, great food, great excursions, great experience. This was, however, our first experience of an ... Read More
We are not new to Viking, indeed this was our 10th river cruise with them and we have loved them all. The staff are always outstanding, great food, great excursions, great experience. This was, however, our first experience of an "Explorer Suite". It was truly awesome. Nothing was overlooked. Chilled champagne on check in, mini bar, flowers, fruit, snacks, a generous double aspect lounge with side and rear balcony, Juliet balcony on the bedroom, roomy wet room style shower.....absolute luxury. Rolf is one of the new fleet of long ships which are all beautifully appointed. Paris was wonderful as always and the cruise includes some fabulous places you might otherwise never find. The excursions using local guides and the quiet vox machines are always excellent. On-board entertainment is a little limited because these are small ships but by the end of a great day low key entertainment works fine. Recommended Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Paris is always a draw but we were particularly focused on seeing Normandy. This cruise did all of this and more. The time spent in Paris was fun and well spent. We were quickly caught up on France's great history. The Louvre and Notre ... Read More
Paris is always a draw but we were particularly focused on seeing Normandy. This cruise did all of this and more. The time spent in Paris was fun and well spent. We were quickly caught up on France's great history. The Louvre and Notre Dame were great. Traveling on the river to Normandy presented great excursions. Visiting the farm in Rouen was a particular highlight and Monet's gardens and home were a real treat. Normandy was a very special experience, especially the visit to Omaha Beach. Looking at the geography of the beach, one has to wonder how our great soldiers were able to overcome the odds by making it up that wide expanse of a beach and then up the hills beyond. This has to be seen to understand how difficult a time they must of had. The ceremony at the Memorial and the walk through the cemetery fulfilled our purpose for taking this cruise. As always, the food was wonderfully prepared and served. Our servers quickly became our friends and their entertaining capability made each meal more than just a food experience. The ease of coming and going throughout the whole trip is much appreciated. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
My husband and I were looking for a memorable trip to celebrate our recent retirements. Our Viking River Cruise from Paris to Normandy proved to be the perfect solution. We chose to extend the trip with the 3 day Paris pre-package. From ... Read More
My husband and I were looking for a memorable trip to celebrate our recent retirements. Our Viking River Cruise from Paris to Normandy proved to be the perfect solution. We chose to extend the trip with the 3 day Paris pre-package. From the minute we were met at the airport Viking provided exactly what was advertised, a worry free trip. We stayed at the Rochester Hotel which is a minutes walk from the Champs Elysee, the metro and many attractions. The hotel was beautiful, spacious and well provisioned. Breakfast was delicious, with everything one would want to start the day (European and American). We especially enjoyed sitting in the cozy bar each evening, meeting our co-travelers and talking to Vincent, the bar tender. The itinerary in Paris included a walking tour with metro instruction as we visited Le Marais with the ritzy Place du Voge and the Jewish Quarter. We also visited Montmartre with it's sweeping views of Paris from it's perch above the city. The tours were fantastic and helped us to orient to the city so that we were able to easily get around during our ample free time. It was fun to try the local food, wine and delicious patisseries. We found the Parisians to be extremely accomodating and friendly. Movement to the ship, docked in Le Pecq a Paris suburb, was again seamless and we were greeted by the amazing Rolf staff. One cannot help but notice the expert leadership and training provided by Viking as we always felt a general happiness/professionalism from the entire team. This happiness magically extends to the passengers, making for a refreshing feeling of civility so missing on some of the larger cruise ships. We have to acknowledge MiMi the cruise director who is a tour de force with her finger on the pulse of not only her guests needs but the smooth functioning of the crew ad tour guides. From here, every excursion: St. Germain en Laye, Rouen, Monet's Garden, Normandy, Les Andelys, Versailles and Malmaison were led by licensed tour guides on comfortable motor coaches. It was nice to have the organized tour in each town and then to have time to explore and shop on our own. Everyone should try the French Chocolates with award winning shops at each port. The food on the Rolf was memorably good. The week went by way too fast and we were sorry to leave the ship and all of our many new friends. My husband and I decided to extend our trip to the Loire Valley on our own and Viking graciously helped us with transportation to the train station. The flight home was smooth as well. We are planning our next Viking Cruise for next year to Japan and China! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
In general, cruises have never appealed to us. However, the idea of being on a river and getting off each day to explore and the specific itinerary convinced us to give it a try. We were not disappointed. In fact, we had a trip beyond our ... Read More
In general, cruises have never appealed to us. However, the idea of being on a river and getting off each day to explore and the specific itinerary convinced us to give it a try. We were not disappointed. In fact, we had a trip beyond our expectations. The local guides were superb! We enjoyed their in-depth knowledge as well as the personal anecdotes they shared. The ship's crew was an unanticipated surprise. Although we expected them to be polite and helpful, this crew was totally engaged with the passengers and really provided an extra level of service and comfort. Being somewhat of a neatnik and a planner, I was delighted by the level of organization and all the little things that were planned for and thought of by the crew and Viking. Last but not least at all, France and all the excursions were fantastic! We went non-stop and enjoyed a mix of included excursions, purchased excursions and exploring on our own. The food was excellent and provided a lot of choice for all palates. I'm already thinking about where my Viking River Cruise will take me. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Twenty years ago I visited Paris and went to the D-Day beaches as well as to other places in between with my mother and sister. I had always wanted my husband to see the same places, because I knew that he would fall in love with France ... Read More
Twenty years ago I visited Paris and went to the D-Day beaches as well as to other places in between with my mother and sister. I had always wanted my husband to see the same places, because I knew that he would fall in love with France and enjoy himself immensely. As a fiftieth anniversary celebration as well as a great start to our retirements, I booked this cruise. My husband had such a great time that--two days after we got home--he said, "I have to go back to Paris...book another cruise". I have.....and in May it will be Prague to Paris with extra days in Paris added. Having never been on a cruise before, I was eager to go, as Viking has a stellar reputation. In every respect, everything was top-drawer....food, interesting fellow travelers, tour guides, the activities director (Lional). Even though I had visited many of these iconic places previously, I learned new things this time and went to some different historic D-Day sites that I had not visited on the earlier trip. I enjoyed not having to dress up....no formal nights; the macarons at the coffee stations; the cheese course at dinner; spectacular desserts; and the scenery as we cruised. You will also never get seasick. Were it not for scenery passing by, you would never know that the river boat is sailing. After the next trip, on to Russia! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
Celebrating our 40th anniversary. We decided to take a river cruise from Paris to Normandy. It couldn't have been more perfect. The ship, the crew, the tour guides, the food were all top notch. We were made to feel like family. The ... Read More
Celebrating our 40th anniversary. We decided to take a river cruise from Paris to Normandy. It couldn't have been more perfect. The ship, the crew, the tour guides, the food were all top notch. We were made to feel like family. The time spent at Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery was a very moving and emotional experience. The tours are very well planned. I can't think of any aspect of the cruise that would not rate a 10. Kudos to the entire crew for providing us with such wonderful memories and great weather didn't hurt either. This trip is not for young children. The ship I thought was immaculate. Even the Maitre De worked hard. The servers were warm and friendly and efficient. The motorcoaches for the tour excursions were exceptionally clean and comfortable. Everytime we left the ship we were offered cold bottles of drinking water. Don't miss Paris at night and the Monet gardens. Can't wait to travel again on a Viking river Cruise! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We had heard from friends that they had really enjoyed Viking, but as first time cruisers, we had trepidations as we had always planned our own vacations and transportation. We are now hooked. From the excellent airfare and being met at ... Read More
We had heard from friends that they had really enjoyed Viking, but as first time cruisers, we had trepidations as we had always planned our own vacations and transportation. We are now hooked. From the excellent airfare and being met at the airport to the final farewell, our experience was top flight all the way. The Rolf is a beautifully appointed new ship. Villeroy and Bosch fixtures, lots glass, comfortable quarters, great lounge and dining room -- we could not have been more impressed. I get sea sick, but you cannot feel the ship moving at all even through a lock. The service was amazing. Our flight got in early so we were on the boat at 7:30 AM. We had a lovely breakfast and then our room was ready. They had expedited it since we were on board already. Beata, the hotel manager, was on top of everything. Lionel, our program director, was so efficient and best of all -- so much fun. I am a retired European History teacher and the guides were very knowledgable. Not one slip up or mistake. Ann Marie was our guide to a side trip to Honfleur in Normandie and she was excellent. I would not have changed a thing about the itinerary. The Normandy beaches were just plain amazing and terrifying at the same time. I have no idea who anyone survived. Viking put on a special ceremony for us at the American cemetery and we were each given a rose to put on a grave. I cried the entire time. It was very very moving. At the end of the cruise, we had signed up for the three day extension to the Loire Valley. We were the only people who signed up and we had our own private Mercedes van, driver, and guide. I think the rest of the people wanted to see Hyclere House where Downton Abbey was filmed and I had just been to UK the month before. The Loire trip was like a dream. Pertrilla, our guide, was wonderful and so knowledgable about the chateaus and cathedrals. David, our driver, was terrific. I always end up driving on vacation since we usually go to UK and I am used to right hand drive. It was so nice not to worry about a thing. In conclusion, I cannot say enough good things about Viking. Attention to detail, fabulous service, well planned trip -- it was all there and I was so relaxed at letting professionals handle every aspect of our trip! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
We had an absolutely fabulous time on this cruise. We have only done Carnival before, so this was a bit of a change. Our party was my husband and me, his parents and our three children, our ages range from 73-12. Everyone had a great time. ... Read More
We had an absolutely fabulous time on this cruise. We have only done Carnival before, so this was a bit of a change. Our party was my husband and me, his parents and our three children, our ages range from 73-12. Everyone had a great time. The included shore excursions were fantastic, and the staff was AMAZING!! Loved them all but especially Peter, Dragos, Boris, David, Lionel and Bea. The saddest part about leaving day was leaving them and I have to say we were a bit jealous seeing the new guests come on. Our plane was 2 hours late and Viking had a shuttle van waiting at the airport for us. It was a quick trip to the dock and the adventure began. All the stops are fabulous but don't miss the Rouen included tour during the day, and then be sure to go back to town in the evening for the light show on the Cathedral! The guides at each stop were incredibly friendly and knowledgeable and the audio devices work very well. We have sailed Carnival many times and you have to pay for every excursion (Carnival led or not obviously) so having one or two included every day is great. Monet's garden is a not to miss. Actually, they all are. Viking hit this one out of the park! The food was very good, the different cheeses every day were very good. David the Piano Man is awesome and Peter is the best bartender ever. We had 3 port window rooms and my in-laws had a verandah room. We were perfectly fine with the window room and we were NEVER in our room. If we go again I would book the same room. The verandah room was nice because it had a sitting area but we would never have used it. What we didn't know until the last day was that room had beer and pop in the refrigerator and ours did not. It didn't matter though because we bought the drink package, which is a great deal. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
My family likes to have annual summer vacations and this year it was decided we would take a river cruise in Europe, specifically the "Paris and the Heart of Normandy" itinerary that sails the Seine river in France. We had a ... Read More
My family likes to have annual summer vacations and this year it was decided we would take a river cruise in Europe, specifically the "Paris and the Heart of Normandy" itinerary that sails the Seine river in France. We had a total of 8 people: two in their young teens (12 and 16) two in their late 20's (myself and brother at 28 and 29) two in their 40's (my sister and brother-in-law) and our parents, in their late 60's and early 70's. To give some perspective, my brother and I have done multiple ocean cruises so we have some experience with cruising. This was a whole 'nother animal though, and for the most part, we all loved it. Demographics: Going into it, we knew that the demographics would be way off what we are used to. Most people were in their 50's and 60's with a few past that. There were a few children, and maybe a total of 6 teenagers, all with their families. My brother and I were definitely the only ones in their mid-to-late 20's (besides the staff) and if we were there for a "party" atmosphere and vacation, we would have been disappointed. This time however, we knew it would be port intensive and we would be sticking with the family for the most part. This allowed us to enjoy the food and sights (and drinks) more so than on ocean cruises. For the most part, all of the passengers were very friendly. We met a few people that we would talk to everyday and quickly became friends with. There were a few however that I could tell really did not like the idea of young people being around. One passenger walked up to my 12 year old niece and yelled at her for running around on the deck after 10 p.m. and ruining his sleep (turns out, it was different younger girl) and it really struck a nerve with us, he never apologized after he realized his mistake and we made a habit of staying away from him. Other than that, everyone was really nice, and in the evenings once the crowd had some drinks in them, it could get "lively" in the lounge, until about 11 p.m. After this time, the ship is pretty much dead and there is no real late-night entertainment. Ship and Cabin: The boat was very nice. We knew it wouldn't be a mega-liner and would be used mostly for sleeping and eating, which it was more than adequate for. I stayed in the inside cabin, it was small but comfortable. I would say it was about 75% the size of a standard inside ocean cruise cabin. The bathroom however was MUCH nicer. Heated floors, a real shower, and plenty of toilet space really made it much nicer than the typical inside stateroom. It did have a small window, though it did not get much use as we were rarely in the cabin. My sister and brother-in-law had the french balcony, which was pretty much the same as the standard cabin, just with a bigger window you could open. The parents got an actual balcony cabin, and it was very swanky. The top deck of the boat had two mini-golf holes and a shuffleboard station, that was about it other than some chairs. Once again, it was port-intensive cruise so this was not really an issue. Staff and Dining: This is where the cruise really shined. All the staff members were fantastic, especially our waiters, bartenders and customer service reps. I would like to give a shout-out to Drago, Alex, Milen, Alexie (I know I spelled that wrong, sorry!) Peter, and Alexandra who all provided fantastic service while we were there. The cruise director was also fantastic (I am so sorry I forgot her name!) They worked ridiculously hard to keep everyone happy and I witnessed first hand just how some of them were thanked for their hard-work (not so nice). I understand some of the people are used to being waited on hand and foot, but a little recognition seems the least they could do. The food was absolutely fantastic, and I made sure to go out of my comfort-zone on some nights. I did not order from the "always available" section once, though a few of my family members did, and they reported it was still very good. I took a ton of photos which I will try to upload at some point, but everything was very good. I would die a happy man if I could have some of that fried-brie one last time. A few of us managed to get sick (not Noro!) while we were there, and Alexandra made sure we had some chicken soup waiting for us in our cabins when we needed it. I truly believe that without this crew and staff, it really would not have been the same. Entertainment: Dave the piano man was the only real entertainment on the boat, and he did not disappoint. Going from modern songs like Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars to the classics was no problem for him, and he really kept the boat alive until around midnight. I would see him on the top deck when he was not on the clock and he was always super friendly and would make sure we were having a great time. Other than that, there was not much entertainment to be had on the boat outside of drinking in the lounge (great service by Dragos and Peter!) and relaxing on the sun deck. There were a few enrichment programs while we were there, though we did not attend any of them, so I cannot speak to how they are. As mentioned before, the ports were the real draw of the boat, so this was once again not a problem. Ports and shore excursions: So this is what most people come on these trips for, and for the most part they were pretty great, with some caveats. It should be noted that most of the included excursions are walking tours and may require a bus ride. For Paris, our family skipped the walking tour and did our own thing. As such, I can't speak to how the official excursion went, but Paris was a fantastic day trip for us just walking around and seeing the sights. The next day was Giverny and a tour of Monet's house. The property itself was amazing, the gardens are a true sight to behold. The tour however was a little rough, though this is no fault of Viking. It was absolutely packed, with tour groups everywhere making it impossible to stay together and taking your time to see everything. We were whisked around and so thoroughly stuffed together that if you have problems with tight spaces, you may get a little antsy. It was cold that day, which was probably a blessing, since I could only imagine being stuffed with so many people on a hot and humid morning. Rouen was next, and Notre Dame did not disappoint. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and led us on a walking tour of the city of Rouen that was absolutely fantastic. The sights of the city truly made this a great excursion. I missed the light show that was apparently amazing (I've seen my family member's videos!) unfortunately because I had started to feel pretty sick.The next day was Normandy, and I have to preface this by saying this was the peak of my sickness on the trip. I was running on two hours of sleep and had a fever, but I still made the trip. The beaches and museums were very cool and the cemetery was absolutely beautiful. Viking had a special ceremony and gave out flowers for us to put on a grave of our choice, which was very nice. The cemetery really put things into perspective and I truly felt humbled being there. As such, I feel bad complaining at all about this excursion, but the one problem was the time in the bus. As I mentioned, I was feeling terrible so this definitely exacerbated the issue, but in total, we were probably sitting in the bus more than outside of it. It's 2 and a half hours (at least) each way, plus multiple shorter trips (one about 45 minutes, a few others in the 20-minute range) between stops. This meant we were couped-up in the bus for about 6 hours, which was absolutely exhausting. I absolutely think it was worth-it to see Normandy, and I understand that this may not be avoidable, but I still think it is worth mentioning. After Normandy was Les Andelys, which was my favorite stop. The trek to Chateau Gaillard took about 30 minutes, which meant we got to walk through the picturesque town and see the sites. Our tour guide, Fred (a woman), was great and joined us for a drink at the the local cafe after the tour. The castle was amazing, and the views were top-notch. The last tour we went on was Chateau de Malmaison. It was a very pretty property with some cool things to see, however this may have been the least eventful tour. Worth the longish bus ride, but compared to the rest of the excursions, not my favorite. All in all, I was very happy with the tours, and I would only try to lessen the amount of time on the buses, which I understand may not really be possible. All the tour guides were great (though the one from Normandy totally thought I just did not want to be there and glared at me the entire time, I think she thought I was hung-over or something....nope, just really sick thank you very much!) Most tours required a listening device where you follow a lolly-pop holding guide, but you are also free to explore on your own if you choose. In conclusion, as a family vacation, this was great. I know my niece and nephew had a great time as well, and really enjoyed seeing France. The food, both on the ship and off, was amazing. The staff and crew were great and the boat was very nice. Cruising the river was very relaxing and I enjoyed the little entertainment they had on board. The ports were great and the people of France were very nice. This has made us want to go on another trip with Viking, and we are looking at one in Germany, particularly sailing the Rhein. If you are looking for a family trip for all ages (and you don't mind the cost!) where you know your kids, I would say 12 and up, can appreciate the ports and lack of real on-board entertainment, then this would be a great pick. Read Less
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