This was my first river cruise, and my travel companion had previously enjoyed a Viking cruise. Our Viking Travel Agent helped us find the best deal that would fit the sort of journey we were looking for. Everything on board fully met my ... Read More
This was my first river cruise, and my travel companion had previously enjoyed a Viking cruise. Our Viking Travel Agent helped us find the best deal that would fit the sort of journey we were looking for. Everything on board fully met my best expectations - indeed, I was very pleasantly surprised to discover my (very comfortable and well appointed) stateroom received attention no less than 3 times per day. The Viking newsletter, daily briefings and announcements assured that being on time for all excursions was effortless. I particularly enjoyed the Silver Spirits package and highly recommend it. We experienced a variety of included and optional shore excursions and was very happy with how everything was geared to making the experience as enjoyable and informative as possible. And the food! Yay for Chef Max! Rarely did I vary from the chef's recommendations, as they were always a delight. At first I was concerned that my travel buddy and I would feel a bit strange at a table with folks we didn't know, but we very quickly made some lovely acquaintances and by the third day were seeking each other out for a lively, completely enjoyable evening - we were, I believe, the last to leave the dining room on more than one occasion. Our regular server, Zuzan, I think is how it was spelled, was so informative and helpful that I fully belive that my enjoyment of my meals and accompanying wine choices were largely due to her advice.
My cruise was before the unfortunate accident in September, but having spent time on the sun deck, walking laps or snapping pics of the Heimdal's passage through the locks, I had ample opportunity to observe first hand the undivided attention the captain and crew gave to each lock and bridge. I always felt my safety, and that of all passengers, was in good hands with our Viking crew.
My only complaint has nothing to do with the cruise itself. When in the planning stages, I asked about flight booking possibilities for the additional leg I needed (from Bangor, ME to Philadelphia) as I don't live near a hub. I opted to book it myself since the estimated range of price given was more than what I could do myself directly with American. However, and this is a BIG however, because I booked the Bangor - Philadelphia round trip leg myself, it was a SEPERATE itinerary, which meant that I could NOT check my bag through from Bangor to Lyon (and back)...which meant I had to pay $25 for each leg ($50 total) to check my bag since Bangor to Philadelphia round trip is domestic....which ALSO meant I had to retrieve it from baggage claim in Philadelphia, actually LEAVE the airport building, walk 30 minutes to the furthest terminal from where I had landed (landed at terminal F, British Airways was terminal A East), check my bag and hope to get to my gate on time. It was not fun, especially since I had injured my left foot 2 days before departure and American Airlines told me I could expect NO assistance getting my bag from Terminal F to A East because that was outside security AND my flight from Bangor was nearly 2 hours late in arriving in Philadelphia. I would much rather have paid a bit extra for that part of the trip and been able to have it all on the same itinerary
Next time (we are working on a possible 2 cruises in 2017) I will know better about how to handle flight booking, but it would have been SO helpful AND anxiety reducing if the booking agent had given me that VERY important bit of information.
Bottom line, well done! Read Less