We chose this cruise as I always wanted to go on a river cruise. I did my research & knew about rivers being too high or too low, about be tied up to another boat etc. so I was prepared for the unexpected. We were going in November ... Read More
We chose this cruise as I always wanted to go on a river cruise. I did my research & knew about rivers being too high or too low, about be tied up to another boat etc. so I was prepared for the unexpected. We were going in November so I knew it would be rainy, cold & grey but we got a good price.
We flew thru Viking but elected to pay an extra $50 each so that we could pick our flights. We were so happy to have done this as our times were reasonable. Others on board had to be up and out by 3:30am for their departing flights.
We took the 3 night pre-cruise package in Prague. We were met at airport & reached the hotel (Sheraton) by 10:30am. We met with Viking rep. who was excellent. Our rooms were ready which was great due to jet lag. With the help of the Viking rep. we found an ATM and got Czech currency. Please note, you need to pay for public bathroom in Prague and most of Europe. The next day, we had a 5 hour bus/walking tour of Prague which I enjoyed. The next day, we had free time to explore Prague. The hotel was excellent, with full buffet breakfast that was very good. Viking Rep was available 7:00am -7:00pm.
Departing Prague for Nurermberg, we were bused and it took about 4 hours. Arrived on the ship at 4:00pm. They had a welcome reception with wine tasting. We elected to take the drink package as it was 300 euros per cabin. No added gratuities. It was a good deal as the wine and beer offered during lunch and dinner was not very extensive. For example, they didn't offer a Chardonnay or Riesling.
Food on board was excellent. No complaints. Service was fair. There is no assigned seating. They call it open seating which means you sit with others. The problem is everyone goes to meals at the same time. At breakfast, the tables were not cleared off and if you were late you had to search for a clean seat. The breakfast & lunch were buffets but you could order off the menu. We didn't know this for serveral days. No one informed us. I had to ask for more water repeatedly, other items such a coffee cup, napkin. These are small things but all the reviews I read said the service was excellent so this shouldn't happen. I thought service on major cruise lines better. We enjoyed sharing tables and met wonderful, interesting people.
We had a balcony room on the 3rd level. The room and bathroom were small but adequate. Due to the weather we didn't use the balcony but it was great to have the large window for light. In Budapest, we were tied up next to another Viking boat so the view was another stateroom.
Most of the ports, you had to be bused to a location to take the tour. I felt that everything was too structured and regimented. Some tour guides talked and talked and overwhelmed you with facts. In Nuremberg, we took the optional WWII tour and enjoyed it. In Vienna, we took the evening Mozart concert tour and it was good but not what I expected, It was held in a room with regular straight chairs with everyone squeezed together. If you are a serious classical concert going, it is not for you.
The cruising from Passeau to Vienna was beautiful. This is what you see in their advertisements. Other than that it felt like a escorted land tour. Up at this time, eat breakfast, on the bus, walking tour and then onto the next port. Everyone I spoke to loved the cruise but me. I don't think I will take another one. If you don't like escorted land tours, I don't think you would like a river cruise. Read Less