2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
The cruise was advertised as the Romantic Danube. It was neither. First, we were anticipating enjoying the Danube River. Only one day was devoted to cruising the Danube. All other days were spent in port, because the cruising was done ... Read More
The cruise was advertised as the Romantic Danube. It was neither. First, we were anticipating enjoying the Danube River. Only one day was devoted to cruising the Danube. All other days were spent in port, because the cruising was done at night while it was both dark and/or we were sleeping. We didn't see much of the Blue Danube. We had booked the rear stateroom at a higher price so we could have a 180 degree view or the river and its shorelines. What we got was a 180 degree view of ports, which after several hours becomes rather boring. Some days we sat aboard the ship for five hours with nothing to do. Second, romance includes at least intimate dinners with one's spouse. The tour advertised open seating for dining. The picture we had was choosing to be by ourselves. Well, first, there were no two person tables. The smallest number was sic persons. The dining room seated 180, the number of people on the cruise. No separate seating when every seat is occupied. (By the way, I have a solution to this, in case Viking is interested.) Finally, there were few programs during the evening hours. A disappointment. They could do better. On the positive side, the personnel were awesome and we loved our stateroom. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This cruise was not what we expected from the advertising. Very structured. Often the included excursions were basically narrated bus rides (we were on buses so much that my husband and I came up with the condition "bus butt.") ... Read More
This cruise was not what we expected from the advertising. Very structured. Often the included excursions were basically narrated bus rides (we were on buses so much that my husband and I came up with the condition "bus butt.") that simply drove by famous sites giving a glimpse from afar (example: golden Strauss statue used in ads-- it was pointed out to us from about 500 yards away as we drove down a main street of Vienna.) We chose to stay on the boat in Nuremberg rather than sit on a bus. A highlight of each excursion was being dropped by the most prominent local church. We were very disappointed at the "free time," which was often an hour or less. The best experience we had was a Mozart/Strauss concert in Vienna, which we had to purchase as an add-on, and since we reserved it before the trip because we were warned it might sell out (scare tactic!),they would not allow us to use the $400 or so we had on our account (we had already paid every cent for the cruise and air) and had to charge it to our credit card. I felt that was very tacky. We knew there was a possibility of water levels making it necessary to pack up and switch boats--which happened on our trip--but a Viking official told us it was very common. The food was the worst cruise food I have ever had--it was very salty at times, and the steak both my husband and I had one night was poor quality--tough and full of gristle. Only cookies were available outside of mealtimes. The wines served at both lunch and dinner, however, were very good. Dining staff couldn't have been better...superb.The tour guides ranged from excellent to so-so...it was the luck of the draw. All seemed to hate the communists but one seemed to have a soft spot for Hitler. I can't say enough good things about the staff on both boats--excellent! About the sulfur--you can't avoid it. If you're sensitive to it, you're probably going to be sick (happened to my husband). Getting from the airport to the boat and back was very efficient...Viking does an excellent job in this area. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
We are seasoned ocean cruisers and thought we should try river cruise having heard so much raving from friends and online reviews. Coming from the ocean cruise angle, river cruise is a bit small, bland, and boring. Due to the low water ... Read More
We are seasoned ocean cruisers and thought we should try river cruise having heard so much raving from friends and online reviews. Coming from the ocean cruise angle, river cruise is a bit small, bland, and boring. Due to the low water level, we were put in a hotel (Marriott) the first night at Budapest. Since we are gold elite member of Marriott, we were conveniently upgraded and had access to the concierge lounge which has a spectacular view of Budapest. Believe it or not, this was the highlight of our cruise! We were put back in the cruise after the first night and had to change ship eventually. The cruise staff did their very best to accomodate. Service was decent overall. However, if you are looking for food quality and entertainment, they are literally non existent compared to ocean cruises. Viking's saying that "spending less time getting there and more time being there" didn't hold true either. We didn't find the excursions any better than those of ocean cruises. I expected some in-depth immersion in each city's culture through the daily excursions. But I find the excursions lack of lustre. Or maybe I was hyped up too much by all the ravings and had too high an expectation. Entertainment is basically a one man band playing the piano. Food is short of variety and innovation. I couldn't remember even one meal or one dish that stands out. High tea was the worst. I definitely make better scones and cakes than the chef (and I'm only a mediocre cook)! Most of the time, the top deck is closed off due to passing under bridges. We're basically stuck in a very small vessel. At times when we docked, our vessel is parked side by side another one, meaning that we couldn't even open the blind. Coincidentally, we met another couple whom we acquainted in an earlier ocean cruise. They were seasoned ocean cruisers as well. They hold the same view as we do. That we won't be going to river cruise any time soon or in the foreseeable future. Having friendly cruise staff just doesn't cut as river cruises are expensive and expect more. PS By the way, I expected at least a small fitness center on board. But sorry, none! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
This is our third river cruise with Viking. The previous two were fabulous - Canals of the Tsars and the Danube/Main/Rhine cruise. We have also done more than a dozen sea cruises, including adventure cruises to Galapagos, Antarctica and ... Read More
This is our third river cruise with Viking. The previous two were fabulous - Canals of the Tsars and the Danube/Main/Rhine cruise. We have also done more than a dozen sea cruises, including adventure cruises to Galapagos, Antarctica and Alaska. This by far, except for a forgettable Yangtze cruise with another company, was the most disappointing of all our cruises. We departed from Budapest to sail down river to Bucharest. As it is our second visit to Budapest, and we have done all the major sights in the city during our first visit, we booked two optional excursions with Viking instead. These were tours to places outside Budapest. We were eager to checkout the surrounding countryside and had really looked forward to the two tours. Both turned out to be very disappointing. One was nothing more than a visit to a little old town full of over priced tourist shops. We stopped at a bakery/cafe for tea as part of the itinerary but it turned out to be a rather unhappy experience as the tour guide and the waitress were hopeless. It took forever for the orders to be filled and they ran out of items, then the serving was at a snail pace. Our guide did absolutely nothing to speed it along. The second tour to the favourite castle of Elizabeth (fondly known as Cissy to Hungarians), was slightly more interesting but nothing to write home about. Please do not waste time and money on any optional tours. They are overpriced and a complete waste of time. Save the money for nice meals and gifts instead. We spent two nights in the Marriott hotel, then we packed to board the ship. At the end of the cruise in Bucharest, we had to check into the Hilton hotel again for one night before departure. I much prefer the arrangements in Russia, where we stayed on board our ship throughout and did all the sightseeing from there, using that as our base even in St. Petersburg and Moscow. Saved us the hassle of packing and unpacking. That's one of the reasons why we pay so much to sail instead of taking cheaper land tours. I cannot fault the Viking team on board. They were always friendly, helpful and informative. We also had excellent guides in the cities we visited and I thoroughly enjoyed talking with them and trying to gain a better understanding of the Balkan War, which saw so much unnecessary bloodshed in several of the countries we sailed through. As the war ended only about 10 years ago, this region is still trying to rebuild and it is obvious they are struggling. High unemployment is rampant and abandoned factories dot many of the highways we pass through when we drove out to visit scenic sights. Some of the towns we sailed into are small and have not much to offer - certainly nothing close to what you would see along the Rhine/Main rivers. The trips and visits were all short and not very exciting. There were occasional gems but most days, we were done before lunch and that leaves a free afternoon with nothing much to see or explore in town. Even the shopping was pathetic. I wanted very much to shop and put some money into the local economy but could find very little to buy, besides tourist trash. Of all the cities we visited on this part of the Danube, Bucharest was the biggest surprise. What a charming and lovely city. Viking's sightseeing arrangements in the city was quite limited. We visited the Museum Village with them and opted to see the Parliament of the People instead of doing the Old Town walk. It was the right decision as the ENORMOUS Parliament building, a testament to one man's oversized ego and the excess that resulted from it was really quite elegant. I had expected it to be really over the top, so was nicely surprised to find some of the rooms rather pleasing. Many of them were quite empty and crying to be used. Those who went to the Old Town walk (basically 90% of the guests) found themselves with nothing to do after an hour of walking and had to wait for us to return to join them for our next sightseeing. Most of them were deterred from going because Viking's advisory said there were 200 steps to climb. What they did not elaborate was that it is the total number of steps for the entire tour. Many of the guests could have made it if they were given the correct information as we have climbed quite a lot of steps during other visits and I have seen most of the guests making it. Read Less
Viking Jarl Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.6
Entertainment 3.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.3
Family 1.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.4
Enrichment 4.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 3.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 5.0

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