2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
After 6 cruises with Princess, Oceana and Viking on the ocean, me and my partner we decided this November to try a river cruise and, as we enjoyed our last cruise on Viking Star we decided for Viking again. The experience was a little ... Read More
After 6 cruises with Princess, Oceana and Viking on the ocean, me and my partner we decided this November to try a river cruise and, as we enjoyed our last cruise on Viking Star we decided for Viking again. The experience was a little bit different, but we loved every moment between Budapest and Amsterdam. Viking Lif is a lovely ship, not very big (we were 190 passengers on board), giving you the feeling that you are in an intimate environment with a subtle added touch of luxury. The stateroom was not very big, but comfortable with decent amenities. Our room stewardess Anna was above any expectations, friendly and helpful and always happy to have a nice chat with us. She managed to keep our room sparkling every without being intrusive and her smile was the best way to start our days. My only real gripe is the food which was a little bit disappointing with not a lot of variety and sometimes tasteless or nearly tasteless dishes, something like semi prepared food from a tin. But the service was impeccable, both in the restaurant and the bar with Harold and Saska making every meal special. We purchased on board the “all-inclusive drinking package” which was great with plenty of choice. The only think that was not included was the smile of the staff in the bar; maybe they were tired, but we didn’t see them smiling once. The Reception team were trying their best to be helpful but, most of the time they didn’t have time or information to answer to our questions, especially the young guy working during the night, who always “made up” answers which were far from what we needed. Ionut and Anita were great and at least were trying to help us as much as possible. Maybe, as a suggestion for Viking, the presence of a Concierge or Passenger Service Agent will be a great idea! We met the Captain once during an evening presentation in the lounge. Despite his impressive, scary look he was a very interesting character and his “double act” show with the cruise director was great. The Hotel Manager Jerry was very efficient despite the fact that he was sometimes quite abrupt with both passengers and his own crew. But he was always around the ship to check that everything was perfect…and it was! But, with no doubts, the biggest asset of the ship was our Cruise Director Leonard. We're blown away with his energy, creativity, impressive knowledge, superb manners, an incredible sense of humour. He is a true professional and has the charisma of a Jay Leno, or a Johnny Carson. Managing every aspect of our excursions and events on board he was always around when somebody had a question or need any kind of support. His lecture and presentations were simply amazing and we watch him both in the lounge or on television learning so much about Mozart and Main Canal, Dutch cheese and Sound of Music. Everybody on board loved him and that’s include the crew; I saw Leonard in Wurtzburg buying roses for all the room stewardesses and sweets for the staff in the restaurant. I think he is FLAT OUT the BEST in the business! His fun-loving and happy personality comes across within his work and it is clear why he is so popular and well regarded by everybody. If anyone has the pleasure of being on a cruise with him, be prepared for the best and informative cruise ever! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Me and my wife we just come back from “passage to Europe” on Viking LIF. We’ve been in many cruises on the big ships, two of them with Viking Sky and Star, but our recent experience exceeded any expectations. Viking Lif is a ... Read More
Me and my wife we just come back from “passage to Europe” on Viking LIF. We’ve been in many cruises on the big ships, two of them with Viking Sky and Star, but our recent experience exceeded any expectations. Viking Lif is a beautiful ship, our cabin was smaller than on the ocean but extremely comfortable and we always had the feeling of a big family due to the small size of the ship (only 190 passengers on board). Was like being on a floating home. The food was very good and the service in the restaurant was exceptional (we loved Harold and Bogdan). The only thing that we missed from the big ship was the buffet which on Viking Star was amazing. Our cabin was smaller that what you get on a big ship was impeccable clean and we loved the heated floor in the bathroom. The housekeeper Anna was a very friendly girl from Romania and she was brilliant keeping our cabin sparkling every day, extremely helpful and with a nice big smile. We wanted to take her home with us. On Viking Lif we didn’t find a concierge as we were promised when we booked the cruise, but the receptionist Ankita was always ready to assist us when we needed more information about the places that we visited. The cruise visiting Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia and Budapest was an excellent opportunity to learn about the ex-communist block and discover new traditions and lifestyles. Is a cruise that I strongly recommend if you want to leave your comfort zone of a boring cruise. Of course we were extremely lucky to have the best cruise director EVER! We cruised before with Princess, Holland America, Viking, Cunard and regent but we never had the chance to have somebody like the cruise director on Viking Lif. Leonard was born in Romania, is a doctor but at the same time a movie star in Romania. We were shocked to see that in Bucharest everybody was stopping him asking for autographs and photos. His was a walking encyclopaedia having a huge amount of information about every places that we visited and answering every questions. What we loved was that he know how to mix the right amount of information with a fine sense of humour, making never boring any conversation. His presentations about Communist Romania was heart-breaking and inspiring, while his talk about Dracula was informative and funny at the same time. Everybody on board loved him and Leonard was working 25 hours daily being anytime everywhere. Charming and elegant, smart and funny he is a huge asset for Viking making our cruise informative educative but everything with a lot of fun. We celebrate Halloween on board and was one of the best party ever: everybody was wearing a mask, a “scary disco party” was taking place in the lounge and the two witches acting as hosts (the cruise director and the pianist|) were great. The entire experience on Viking Lif was memorable and, persuaded by the charming hotel manager Jary to book for the next year another cruise on Viking Lif, this time from Amsterdam to Budapest. Finger crossed that we will have Leonard again as a Cruise Director. Thank you Viking you are THE BEST! Thank your Viking LIF you are exceptional! Thank you Leonard your are phenomenal! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
My wife and I just finished 21 day cruise on the Viking Lif. First, the crew, officers, all staff were outstanding. Our stateroom Suite, only 8 of them, was also very nice. That is about it. Viking is rated about a 4 or 5 Star Cruise line ... Read More
My wife and I just finished 21 day cruise on the Viking Lif. First, the crew, officers, all staff were outstanding. Our stateroom Suite, only 8 of them, was also very nice. That is about it. Viking is rated about a 4 or 5 Star Cruise line and actually they are about a 2 Star. The cruise ports and times are very disorganized, sometimes arriving late afternoon and leaving late or arriving early and leave early. The times of ports are not posted in advance. At some ports you cannot get back to the ship via yourself or taxi because the ship will leave the port and they transfer you to the new port by bus at their designated time. They tie up next to another Viking and you look directly into the stateroom of that ship and have to walk through that ship to get outside. The food is very average with little variety and no snacks or anythiing offered between breakfast and lunch. You cannot get a sandwich of any kind unless maybe it is part of the lunch, no cheese selection of any kind or variety, they should at least offer a sandwich bar for guest that don't want there planned meals. I day we were offered hot dogs and hamburgers. They rush you through dinner as at 7 they want you down there and order almost immediately. There is basically no dress code at dinner so we packed way to many clothes, you can were tee shirts, jeans, flip flops, sneakers, ect. They have very few hand sanitizers hence the ship was a walking coughing factory by the end of the cruise. They offer no non-prescription drugs of any kind and you must wait for a port to get to a pharmacy. My wife developed, influenza A, on the ship and I am sure others did also . Upon arrival to America I had to take her to emergency, they could not get her a doctor appointment in a big port which would not have done any good anyway as they would most likely not have done X-rays and nasal swabs. They only offer CNN, BBC, so if you get fed up with them you cannot go to Fox International . They last thing , you can order juices for breakfast or lunch but say you want an apple juise or orange juice between those times they charge you $2.80 euros, which makes no sense. When compared the Wind Star, Oceania, Regent, or Crystal Viking cannot even come close. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Length and Composition was reason we booked this specific cruise. We discovered that fellow passengers make the difference between "excellent" and truly "outstanding." Of course, Viking does not have much control over ... Read More
Length and Composition was reason we booked this specific cruise. We discovered that fellow passengers make the difference between "excellent" and truly "outstanding." Of course, Viking does not have much control over this variable. So, as practical matter, our first portion, i.e., Amsterdam to Budapest, proved to be overall best experience. This first portion was therefore more satisfying considering the folks that we met and enjoyed during this portion of the cruise--several have become lifelong friends. That said, the remainder, i.e., Budapest to Bucharest, proved to be also very rewarding based on cultural and geographic sights as advertised, expert tours, and continuing excellent ship amenities. Not having to change cabins while transitioning from first portion to second was also much appreciated! We will travel again with Viking albeit not these same two itineraries. In fact, we recently booked Viking Alaskan cruise plus post-excursion for May 2019; looking forward to it with much anticipation! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We've been looking at the brochures that came to the house for years and my husband finally said, "let's do it". We made our own air arrangements because we wanted to go business class and the business class airfare ... Read More
We've been looking at the brochures that came to the house for years and my husband finally said, "let's do it". We made our own air arrangements because we wanted to go business class and the business class airfare through Viking was too high. We arrived in Amsterdam a couple of days early and explored on our own. We thoroughly enjoyed the itinerary and our accommodations. Having the balconies to sit on when sailing along the river and traveling through the 68 locks was wonderful. The highlight of the 15 day cruise was the quality of the guides. We received all the information we wanted and more. The extra programs (glassblowers, lectures and music) were terrific and added greatly to the entire experience. Though we were on the go everyday, it felt like an effortless trip. Everything was taken care of. The service onboard was efficient and friendly. Loved the daily soup selection. The food trended to the local cuisine. Our one regret was that we didn't stay in Budapest longer, but left the day of disembarking. The 128 day cruise in the Southern Hemisphere is on our bucket list, but that will have to wait for retirement. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Although I have cruised many times, they have all been on large cruise ships. I can't rave enough about the service on the Viking Lif, and I would believe all Viking ships. The Cruise Director, service staff, back office staff were ... Read More
Although I have cruised many times, they have all been on large cruise ships. I can't rave enough about the service on the Viking Lif, and I would believe all Viking ships. The Cruise Director, service staff, back office staff were all excellent. By the second day, everyone knew me by my first name. The tours were very appropriate for our ports of call, and the tour guides were great. The state rooms were small, but I knew that going in. They were still more than adequate. Most of the passengers were older in age than you would find on large cruise ship, which is understandable considering the difference in cost. This also meant that there were no kids, which would have really been a pain on a small ship. But, in no way was the age of most of the passengers a detriment to having fun. Most were very active. I would definitely do this cruise again, and am actively planning another Viking cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Other family members had already signed up for the cruise. We joined them. We had heard very good reviews about Viking River cruises and were not disappointed. We would go on another given the opportunity. The embarkation and ... Read More
Other family members had already signed up for the cruise. We joined them. We had heard very good reviews about Viking River cruises and were not disappointed. We would go on another given the opportunity. The embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. The food choices were plentiful, a wide range of choices and always some vegetarian and regional choices. The crew was over the top GREAT! When we go again, we want the same crew. It was wonderful to have the walking track on the top deck for the days of cruising. You could walk from Passau all the way through the Wachau Valley, lovely. We were very pleased to be able to watch some of the evening lounge special events on the TV in our room. With having such a full day sometimes, it was nice to relax in our stateroom and not miss the entertainment on board. The on board cameras also provided fine views from the bow. Nice to check out the weather before venturing out of doors. Thank-you for such a memorable experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
This cruise was scheduled as our first cruise in retirement and was selected to visit the homelands of earlier generations of my family in the old Austro-Hungarian empire. The path of this cruise hit all the locations we wanted to visit ... Read More
This cruise was scheduled as our first cruise in retirement and was selected to visit the homelands of earlier generations of my family in the old Austro-Hungarian empire. The path of this cruise hit all the locations we wanted to visit AND MORE places we didn't know we wanted to visit. The intimate nature of a river cruise was perfect for our journey of discovery - we could enjoy the excursions without being overwhelmed by 'schedule compliance.' We enjoyed the walking tours in each destination to gain an overview that enabled personal treks back to places of specific interest. My personal highlight of the trip was a private car tour to a monument of family interest near Wurzburg. We were able to visit a 32 meter column erected in 1828 as a 10 year anniversary monument to the 1818 Bavarian Democratic Constitution. That celebration has specific meaning to our family as one of my ancestors was a member of the festival 'court' who received a gold cross engraved with an image of the column. That cross has been passed down mother-to-daughter ever since, with my daughter being the current custodian. The service aboard ship was consistently top-notch. The crew worked to satisfy any request - and I do not recall ANY request not satisfied. The food was a joy - everything was prepared and served to please. The portion sizes were just right, especially given the more-than-ample opportunities for snacks around the clock. The selections were super with tough choices between better and more better on every menu. The mix of local dishes with 'old reliables' truly made each meal an eagerly anticipated event. I could have been happy staying aboard the entire cruise... The excursions were remarkable (which they would have to be to entice one to go ashore, at all). It's hard to pick out any one over the others, but the evening concert in Vienna deserves special mention. I very much wanted to hear some of the classical music I enjoy being played in the room for which it had been composed. The bus tour of the lighted Viennese buildings after the concert was a wonderful, magical finish to a very special evening. I don't know how this trip might have been improved - maybe a bit more time in Amsterdam - but it's hard to imagine a more meaningful or enjoyable experience. When I try to envision another cruise to 'top' this one I come up empty - this was the 'Ultimate!' Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Double Caution. We travelled between Bucharest and Budapest in September 2017. There is no point criticising the ship as crews change so often that the complete atmosphere changes. The Viking organisation needs reassessment but it ... Read More
Double Caution. We travelled between Bucharest and Budapest in September 2017. There is no point criticising the ship as crews change so often that the complete atmosphere changes. The Viking organisation needs reassessment but it appears that ships are reluctant to pass feed-back to head office. We thought the food was bland (other than a great breakfast). We managed to get our concerns addressed through our travel agent as Viking did not respond to the survey tick of them contacting us directly. Our answer to the food comment was that Head Office stipulates the menu!! (And the way the food is cooked and presented??) I have read this before - no feed-back to head office but "that is the way it is done" attitude. That attitude was prevalent throughout the cruise, when it was raining no-one brought umbrellas to those waiting to board even though they were available on the ship. Other cruise lines do this. Viking does not provide what it advertises but is average and enjoyable at that level of expectation. (We were expecting what was advertised.) There are not quiet areas for a drink and chat as our tour director took all the time before dinner and much of after dinner, in the lounge telling us of the next days excursions, with slides, so the next day was only a repeat, by the local guides, of what he told us. A waste of time and a waste of space. My first caution. Realise that if you book directly with Viking and change your mind, in any way, you lose your deposit. It is lost from the moment your cruise is confirmed. Use a travel agent. Also without previous notification, when you receive your tickets, you find that Viking absolves itself from any damage to your baggage, etc, even if caused by its staff. Second caution. This is a boring area of the Danube. There is only one stop along that route where you can actually get off the ship and walk to a town. The other stops are at industrial loading areas (which are not working) so our advice is, unless you particularly want to see the old Communist countries, pick any other cruise in Europe, such as Budapest to Amsterdam. We feel that Viking missed the point especially on this cruise. While there was no opportunity for free time exploring and long bus trips for excursions, Viking could have made this trip memorable by emphasising the food (and reducing the time that the tour director took in the relaxing areas). Hope this helps Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was my third Viking cruise. In 2015, l did Castles along the Rhine in November and was so impressed that l upon returning home l booked another cruise for the following May, which was equally wonderful. I was so looking forward ... Read More
This was my third Viking cruise. In 2015, l did Castles along the Rhine in November and was so impressed that l upon returning home l booked another cruise for the following May, which was equally wonderful. I was so looking forward to this September Eastern Europe Cruise. We did the pre trip to Prague and post trip to Transylvania. I sincerely believe that Viking has grown too big too quickly and they have forgotten about customer service and client concerns. As a cancer survivor and a person who has asthma l never expected to have to deal with a smoker two rooms down. Especially since this was listed as a non smoking boat (a designated smoking area was indicated on third deck). After 4 complaints, the smoker was finally spoken to. But that was after 4 nights of not being able to open my balcony windows, for which l paid extra. Also, when l asked to speak with the Hotel Manager l was given a female customer representative. However, when a male friend accompanied me to the front desk to complain about the treatment l had received, out came the male Hotel Manager immediately.......women travelers be warned!!! I was shocked that in 2017, such behavior still exists! Never once after did either the Hotel Manager or Captain reach out to me. The dining room was always set and ready. Exceptional service from Tommy and Joseph, even when things did not seem to be running smoothly in the kitchen. On the two previous cruises there were more locally inspired meals. I would have to agree with another member who wrote that these meals were computer generated from corporate headquarters. Also, we were told that a Viking representative would be at the Airport in Romania to help us with departures.........no one was there and it was pure chaos! There were also concerns about daily excursions. I spoke with many folks who agreed, this trip is just not worth the money. I know await a response from Viking...... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Last month I spend 3 weeks on board of Viking ships sailing across Europe. No mistake, I said “Viking ships” because due to the water issues on the Danube I needed to change ships in Budapest. The first part of my trip was on Viking ... Read More
Last month I spend 3 weeks on board of Viking ships sailing across Europe. No mistake, I said “Viking ships” because due to the water issues on the Danube I needed to change ships in Budapest. The first part of my trip was on Viking Agir and the last 2 weeks on Viking Lif. I didn’t have any problems with changing ships but what I don’t understand is how Viking manage to offer two different experiences on two, in theory, identical ships? The boarding on Agir was a little bit chaotic with passengers arriving at the same time and waiting in the lounge until somebody from the reception was shouting, like in Central Station, the name of the lucky one who can get the room key. On Viking LIF everything was different: a sense of calm and control, with a lot of smiles and with the Hotel Manager and Cruise Director chatting with the passengers when we were waiting (not very long) for check-in. The girls from Agir reception were trying hard to smile and give useful information and always advise me to ask the Cruise director. On Lif the story was completely different: Anicka and Iout knew almost everything and when they didn’t have the answer, with a joke, were ask the Cruise director to help. The service in Agir restaurant was very basic and most of the time rushed; I don’t want to blame the waiters but was easy to realise that they were overworked and under the constant pressure of the Hotel manager who was always walking like an SS officer with no smiles for passengers or staff. On Lif everybody, anytime of the day had a genuine big smile and they looked that they love their job and being on board. On the second ship you have the feeling that they were a big family with everybody, from Captain Ane to my room steward (Marko) sharing jokes and being professional in a very friendly manner. Big differences between ships from top to bottom; on Agir the captain didn’t speak one word in English his presentation about navigation being another boring show off of the Hotel Manager while on Lif was an excellent double act with Cpt Ane and Cruise Director Leonard putting together an excellent infotainment night. Iana, Hotel Manager on Lif was very friendly and always ready to help not only the passengers but staff too, finding time to chat with everybody. The other Hotel Manager, Claus, was acting like a little dictator with both staff and passengers…not a pleasant face to see when on board! The only element of consistency was the Cruise Director, or Program Director as is called on Viking, Leonard. He was always funny, very informative and knowledgeable, showing a genuine care for all on board and finding time after very long days to chat both with passengers and his colleagues. I was so happy that he was with us for all 3 weeks and he’s the one who made me booking another Viking cruise. Maybe Viking can think very seriously about bringing consistency on board of their ships; after 3 weeks I will score 4 stars Viking Lif 2 stars Viking Agir And 5+stars Leonard. However, as a sign of respect and appreciation for Viking LIF the scores are for my 2 weeks experience on Lif between Budapest to Amsterdam Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
My husband and I had never been to Europe. We talked with friends, who had friends that had traveled with Viking before and highly recommended the company for our tour. We really enjoyed the personal attention that the crew gave us ... Read More
My husband and I had never been to Europe. We talked with friends, who had friends that had traveled with Viking before and highly recommended the company for our tour. We really enjoyed the personal attention that the crew gave us during our trip on the Viking Lif and our transition to the other ship, the Viking Aegir. We had to switch ships half way through the cruise because the water level was too shallow in the canal area between Nuremberg and Regensberg. It was really nice to see the crew standing outside our ship to see us off to the next ship. Also, it was great that they allowed our tour director, Dan go with us to the next ship. He was great!!! When we got to the next ship, after our tour of Nuremberg, it was wonderful to see our new crew with welcome signs and umbrellas to bring us on board the Viking Aegir. Great customer service on both ships!!!!! The whole trip was beautiful and the tour guides, for the most part were very good and informative. We did experience a couple that were trying to rush people along too much; however, we realized that they only had so much time to give us a tour. In Cologne, the guide should have taken us to another building to tour since we were unable to visit inside the cathederal because of a cardinal funeral. A stop at the doughnut shop there would have been great. She took us by the shop, but it would have been nice to sampled one of the jelly doughnuts. The doughnuts looked great!!!!! Although we enjoyed something about each one of the towns that we visited, a highlight was getting to tour the Marksburg Castle in Braubach, Germany..... great tour and our guide Mark was wonderful. We loved the windmills of Kinderdjike....wished we could have had more time there to shop and look around. I was expecting Vienna to be the most beautiful place to see; however, I believe Budapest was by far the most beautiful, especially at night. We really enjoyed the beautiful churches that we got to visit....such beautiful steeples!!!!! I could go on and on about the many beautiful places that we visited; however, I would have to write a book. To sum it up, it was a great trip and an experience that my husband and I will always cherish and remember. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
I love history. I felt this gave us a good overview for our first time in Europe. We started with three days in Amsterdam. I would recommend going from Amsterdam to Budapest rather than the opposite direction. This trip started a ... Read More
I love history. I felt this gave us a good overview for our first time in Europe. We started with three days in Amsterdam. I would recommend going from Amsterdam to Budapest rather than the opposite direction. This trip started a little slow with the windmills and industrial areas in the Netherlands and then builds and builds until the grand finale in the night cruise through Budapest. We stayed at the Doubletree by Hilton. It was ideally located near Amsterdam Central, the Red Light District, the harbour, and the departure dock for the river cruise. We walked to Anne Frank's House, the museums, the flower market, and every other major tourist attraction in Amsterdam. Departure day we walked from our hotel to the ship. We were able to leave our luggage onboard and head back into Amsterdam for another visit. We got back early and our cabin was soon ready for us. Overall the cabin was small but fine for the cruise as we didn't spend much time in it anyway. Why pay for a big suite when you aren't in it except to sleep and change. I would definitely recommend a French balcony suite though as it was wonderful sitting in the evening with the balcony open, listening to the water gurgle by the side of the ship. The cruise starts rather slow as the first day is at the windmills and then the second is cruising through an industrial area. Cologne was our first major stop. We were a little disappointed when we weren't able to embark in the city centre. A catholic cardinal had passed away and the downtown area was blocked off for the funeral. While we weren't able to go in the cathedral the pageant of the funeral was quite a site as hundreds of flag bearers wound their way to the church. The next few stops were beautiful but at most we had to embark at alternative areas and get bussed into the cities for various reasons. This was also a little annoying and we were beginning to wonder if the advertising for the trip was a little misleading. A big bonus though, was a stop in Bonn. As we were unable to spend the entire time in Cologne, we had an early stop in Bonn and were able to walk right into the market and historical area where a small festival was going on. It was beautiful. After a few days we finally got back on track and the rest of the trip we were delighted with each embarkation location. We walked off the boat and into the cities. Tours were varied and good value. We loved Marksburg Castle. On a couple of occasions we decided to strike out on our own. We had researched the areas ahead of time and were able to walk at our own rate. Dining was wonderful. We had plenty of excellent selections and the desserts were delicious. The first week my wife and I moved from table to table in order to meet new people. By the second week we had made some good friends and sat with them for most of the remaining meals. Entertainment is rather limited but that was okay as we usually were so exhausted at the end of each day that we retired early to our cabin to rest up for the next day. The glass blower demonstration was the highlight of the entertainment and the artisan was very funny and interesting. All the staff on the ship were excellent. They were very friendly and helpful. This was our first time in Europe and our first river cruise. We would highly recommend Viking River Cruises and hope to go on many more in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
This is part three of a three ship cruise that was supposed to be all on one boat from Bucharest to Amsterdam. Yet one more pack and unpack event in order to change boats again. The GOOD: once again, housekeeping deserves five stars ... Read More
This is part three of a three ship cruise that was supposed to be all on one boat from Bucharest to Amsterdam. Yet one more pack and unpack event in order to change boats again. The GOOD: once again, housekeeping deserves five stars and is the only department that performed admirably. The Program Director was also very good and also deserves five stars. The BAD:. The food was just okay. I equate it to the food in a restaurant of a three star hotel. It was good, but not nearly what I expected. The chef told me that he had to prepare the menus dictated by the corporate office. The restaurant staff was terrible. At one dinner, all the tables surrounding us had finished their main course and were being served desert, and we were just then receiving our salad and appetizers. At breakfast one morning, my wife ordered French Toast, and the waiter brought pancakes. My wife informed him that she didn't order pancakes, at which point the waiter started to argue with her. The passenger sitting next to my wife backed her up and the waiter stomped off in anger. This sort of behavior from a waiter is unacceptable in any restaurant in the world, especially on a boat advertised as a 'Luxury Cruise'. Once again, Avalon is far and away a better cruise line. Bigger cabins, far better food, much better restaurant staff, and a lot fewer people on the boat. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This cruise was the 5th with Viking and I am happy to say that nothing changes. Despite the fact that our ship was not a new one (2012) everything was impeccable - Very comfortable, very clean and was nicely appointed. We had a spacious ... Read More
This cruise was the 5th with Viking and I am happy to say that nothing changes. Despite the fact that our ship was not a new one (2012) everything was impeccable - Very comfortable, very clean and was nicely appointed. We had a spacious balcony where we could sit and enjoy the passing scenery, well worth the extra money. The trips into port were always fun and informative with local tour guides. The only thing we lacked were bicycles but next time we will rent them in port. We were very impressed with the boarding process, after couple of failures with other cruise lines. Just when we stepped out of our cab was the first moment when we meet our charming Cruise Director Leonard. That smile, his energy and his impressive manners were always with us for the next 14 days. Depending on when you board, head to your cabin if it's ready (your suitcase won't be far behind, thanks to the crew's efficiency) or make yourself comfortable in the lounge, where you can suss out fellow passengers and have a light lunch. No fuss, no hassle, no stress. Only Leonard smile dropping some useful information regarding our first afternoon and evening in Budapest. Simple fantastic! To say I recommend this trip and Viking Cruises would be an understatement of a year and if you have different people at different stages of life, what I was most impressed with was that their is something for everyone. The housekeeping crew on board are exceptional, every detail in our stateroom was attended to, and the speed and efficiency that these crew work at is an immense achievement all co ordinated by the super competent Victoria The meals on board were quite good, nothing exceptional but the service balance the lack of “wow” for every lunch and dinner. The staff were incredible and Bogdan, the restaurant manager was simply amazing as I have quite complicated dietary restrictions and it was handled in such a quiet and efficient way. We had a lot of choices to eat a meal , on the Aquavit Terrace, in front or in the main restaurant , and plenty to eat . Excellent meal prepared according to our day destination or you can order what is on the menu......Beer and Wine was also excellent.... The crew were so professional and never once had their hand out for a tip, they did their job, because they love their job !!! There's no separation of cruise "class" distinction. We were all treated as elite members with everyone receiving great service by the entire staff on board lead by one of the best Hotel Directors I ever meet: Jerry. He was always ready to sort any types of problems on board, sometimes over the top, but always charming and helpful. Love him! One day arriving back after a long day of sightseeing, we were greeted with a luscious chocolate at the door! We appreciated the flexibility of attending the evening activities or just relaxing in our room. Service is wonderful. The staff obviously takes great.pride in learning about their guests. The very quickly learn or preference, red wine/ white wine, coffee/ tea. They have an.amazing ability to know your name after the first day. Last but not least our Cruise Director. Leonard was exactly the opposite of some of our previous experiences with Silver Sea and Regent( see our review about the arrogance and lack of customer care of some of the Cruise Directors) Nothing was too much from Leonard, being everywhere at any time with the same smile and professionalism. He is one the greatest pro's I have ever seen! He knew the itinerary like his own pocket having a story or a unusual fact for every places we visited. His daily lecture were like a Discovery channel shows: informative, interesting and funny. And taking in the account the number of passengers and excursion every day he was SO organised managing everything with no failure. And every evening, no matter how busy the day was, Leonard was in the lounge for a chat, for a dance or an exciting presentation. One night he organised a ABBA and ‘80s Party where HE was an excellent DJ! What a treat…people dancing everywhere and some of the crew joining too. Leonard was simply amazing, a great asset for Viking! Above all, the crew was amazing! Whether the room stewards, the wait staff, the bartenders or the officers, everyone was cordial and friendly beyond belief. They also transitioned seamlessly between tasks on the ship which was evidenced by their ability to move our luggage when departing like a well-oiled machine. Everyone from the Captain to the kitchen help worked shoulder to shoulder. To say I recommend this trip and Viking Cruises would be an understatement of a year and if you have different people at different stages of life, what I was most impressed with was that their is something for everyone. Already booked another 2 cruises with Viking! Can we have Leonard as a cruise director, please????!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Cruise director and ALL staff were excellent. My first trip to Europe and what a great way to see a part of 4 countries. Would do it again in a heartbeat! We had a Veranda Suite an it was perfect every day. We chose Easy and Moderate ... Read More
Cruise director and ALL staff were excellent. My first trip to Europe and what a great way to see a part of 4 countries. Would do it again in a heartbeat! We had a Veranda Suite an it was perfect every day. We chose Easy and Moderate excursions and left the Demanding ones for the more adventurous and younger passengers. There is something for everyone. Dining was always on point and superb. I drank enough wine to float a battleship because they were always refilling my glass. We went from Budapest to Amsterdam with the additional days before and after the cruise. Met so any nice people and even a few from Louisiana and we happened to know some of the same people even though we did not live near each other. When they busted out the LSU attire, we knew we had to strike up a conversation with them. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
“Passage to Eastern Europe” was our 3rd cruise with Viking, after France and Rhine and with no doubts was the BEST one! The itinerary gave us the chance to explore a part of Europe with a fantastic rich history and enjoy some ... Read More
“Passage to Eastern Europe” was our 3rd cruise with Viking, after France and Rhine and with no doubts was the BEST one! The itinerary gave us the chance to explore a part of Europe with a fantastic rich history and enjoy some breath-taking landscapes during well organized tours with excellent and informative guides. Viking LIF is elegant and stylish like the other Viking long ships but what made special this trip was the excellent crew. Our cabin stewardess Anna manage for 7 days to keep our cabin sparkling and made us feel like home. Maybe the amenities or the available space in the cabin are not at the level of other companies (Viking is cutting corners since our last trip) but Anna kept everything under control being a charming presence and incredible efficient. From the very first day we realised that Viking is trying to save money in the restaurant too. The food didn’t have the same standards and the quality was clearly under what Viking offered in our last trip. But at the end of the day the excellent service in the restaurant with the professionalism of Bogdan and the grace of Elena made every meal special. We missed the presence of the concierge on board but fortunately the team from the reception manage to help us in organised some extras during our trip. Ankika was great always smiling and happy to help. Above all the biggest asset of Viking LIF was our Program Director Leonard. We travel a lot, both ocean and river cruises but we never had the chance to meet somebody so special like Leonard. His extraordinary, almost encyclopaedic, knowledge of history, traditions, legends, geography made every daily meeting and lecture a unique opportunity to learn about this part of the world. Leonard had a great sense of humour and the mixture between personal experience, anecdotes and facts gain every evening a full house for his daily presentations (maybe, as a suggestion, the presentation should be broadcast in the cabins too as was never enough space in the lounge when Leonard was talking). After 7 days we didn’t manage the find how Leonard was able to be everywhere in every moment to help, chat, explain or joke! And was not only our opinion but Leonard made this trip GREAT for everyone on board. He can work in any other cruise lines around the world and will be a pleasure to meet him again. Watch out Viking don’t lose him if you want us back! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
This was my second Viking cruise and will not be my last. They provide amazing service and do attempt to make everyone's adventure special. They have an organized process of building their ships and providing service which I ... Read More
This was my second Viking cruise and will not be my last. They provide amazing service and do attempt to make everyone's adventure special. They have an organized process of building their ships and providing service which I appreciate as it is extremely well run and organized. The staff is helpful and friendly. They shared with us how the replication of their ships enables them to keep the cruise running in the event the water levels of the river are too low. We disembarked in Budapest, but they did explain how some travelers later in the summer might have to change ships because there are sections of the Danube where the boats cannot pass. However, other than the passengers having to pack and unpack a few extra times, their cruise is not cancelled. The airlines lost my luggage in Atlanta on the flight over and they worked with the airlines to get it delivered to me at a port of call, 3 days after embarkation. They also cleaned my clothes at no charge to ensure I had clothes to wear those first few days as well as to clean the clothes the airline almost ruined by leaving my luggage in a downpour in Atlanta. I appreciated how they organized our bus groups as our ship had several large groups traveling together. The people in the groups were nice, but they were not into socializing with any of the individual travelers, like myself and my friend. We had a lovely time meeting people on our bus rides to our destinations and then enjoying dinner or lunch with them during the day. I love the river cruise experience as it really is getting into ports within a country that you might otherwise never see. Bucharest to Budapest has had a tough rebuilding period since the wars and taking us into those countries and meeting the people who are rebuilding their homeland was inspirational and made me be much more appreciative of our privileged life in the USA. I enjoyed their food selection as it was always fresh and they have menus which follow the culture of where you are traveling. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
This was our 5th river cruise with Viking. Having done China, Myanmar, Vietnam and Russia this was not as adventurous. Several friends recommended it. Overall the cruise was very nice, relaxing and we covered a lot of territory. All ports ... Read More
This was our 5th river cruise with Viking. Having done China, Myanmar, Vietnam and Russia this was not as adventurous. Several friends recommended it. Overall the cruise was very nice, relaxing and we covered a lot of territory. All ports of call were very interesting. All the staff we delt with were helpful, knowledgeable and curtious. I liked that the captain was available to talk to throughout the cruise. I was very disappointed in the trip we took to Salsburg. Long drive, expensive and to rushed when we got there. The quiet box did not work making it impossible to hear what the guide was saying. We were so close to the Do-Rae-Me steps but weren't given the time for pictures there. Very disappointed as my parents took me to the Sound of Music for my 13th birthday when it premiered. Being very athletic, I was surprised when the upper deck was closed for several day. I understand why but it made me antsy to get off the ship and go walk. I wish there were bikes to use in the ports given all the bike trails along the river. I would love a day long excursion riding from one port meeting up with the ship in the next port. The food was great and the portion sizes were just right so that I did not come away feeling stuffed. Have you considered having a guest entertainment night so guests could show off their talents? The nights where there was outside entertainers were great. This is not to say the piano player wasn't good, just mundane after a few nights. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2017
This cruise was terrific. It was my second Viking, although my first was China which is a joint Chinese govt and Viking endeavor. We really lucked out on the weather. We were upgraded to a verandah suite which was really fantastic. All ... Read More
This cruise was terrific. It was my second Viking, although my first was China which is a joint Chinese govt and Viking endeavor. We really lucked out on the weather. We were upgraded to a verandah suite which was really fantastic. All service was very friendly although a bit challenging at times. The Aquavit Terrace could really be improved for use at dinner. After a full day we did not always want to go through a two-hour long dinner with others at our table. Aquavit offered one meal choice which was rotated every 6 days. The same appetizer and salad was served throughout the whole cruise. No dessert is offered there. We did not like the appetizer at all, the salad was just OK and 3 of the meal choices were not to our liking. Room service is not offered. A couple days we bought things during the day to bring back to have a snack in our room. Lunch at Aquavit was fantastic! Breakfast (continental only) was very sparse but at least you could get a coffee and fruit.The little alcove outside the lounge offered coffee and rolls in the morning and the same cookies (that were not great) every single day. A savory snack choice would be nice. We found several of the bar and restaurant staff to be quite rude and a few also lacked understanding of basic service. The excursions and the entertainment was good. The front desk and housekeeping staff was very good! The China cruise had a small work out space, the Lif had nothing. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
We were looking for a cruise that was a little longer so that we could make the most of the travel time that it takes to get to Europe. Arriving 2 days early in Budapest gave us time to acclimate to the time change and travel fatigue and ... Read More
We were looking for a cruise that was a little longer so that we could make the most of the travel time that it takes to get to Europe. Arriving 2 days early in Budapest gave us time to acclimate to the time change and travel fatigue and we like to enjoy the cities at the beginning and end of our cruise. We also extended in Amsterdam, because there wasn't any scheduled time there. We have traveled on Viking before on both a river cruise and an ocean cruise. This was, however, the first time we had been on a long ship on a river cruise and the improvement and upgrades made with the long ship are wonderful. More space for dinner, bigger lounges and just an overall excellent use of space to make the cruise delightful. We were prepared for the fact that the rooms are a little small if you don't have a suite, but for us the trip is not about being in the room, but being out and about the ship or going on excursions. The excursions are wonderful. We went on a lot of the included excursions, but we hand picked some additional ones that were appropriately priced. We especially enjoyed our Mozart/Strauss Concert in Vienna and the WWII tour in Nuremberg. We enjoyed the dining experience, but the trip is more important to me. Leonard was a wonderful cruise director and the staff and service were unbelievable. They would do anything for you and do it with a smile. Sometimes I wondered how many times I was greeted each day as they never missed a change to say hello. Overall this river cruise was excellent and we will assuredly return to Viking for more trips to "see the world." Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose the Bucharest-Budapest cruise, with a Prague extension in order to experience some areas we had not visited (Bulgaria and Serbia) and to return to one of our favorite cities -- Budapest. This was our 13th cruise, but first on a ... Read More
We chose the Bucharest-Budapest cruise, with a Prague extension in order to experience some areas we had not visited (Bulgaria and Serbia) and to return to one of our favorite cities -- Budapest. This was our 13th cruise, but first on a Viking river cruise, and we were not disappointed. The overall attention to detail was exceptional -- efficient, friendly service; outstanding tours; and great food. One of the most enjoyable days was a relaxing journey through the "Iron Gate" gorge portion of the Danube cruise -- beautiful. In conjunction with the Prague extension, we really enjoyed an optional day excursion to the picturesque town of Kutna Hora -- highlighted by one of the best meals of the entire trip. We enjoyed the small ship ambiance and the company of some very interesting fellow travelers. The experience was so enjoyable that we look forward to taking Viking's Elbe River trip in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
I chose this cruise because it was different from the ocean ones. But, there are a few things I did not enjoy like the closing of the upper deck for 6 or 7 days. I also did not like dining at 7p.m. There was also the lack of evening ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was different from the ocean ones. But, there are a few things I did not enjoy like the closing of the upper deck for 6 or 7 days. I also did not like dining at 7p.m. There was also the lack of evening entertainement. On the other hand, the embarcation and desembarcation procedures were well oiled. The excursions were interesting and took me to places I wanted to see. The ship was exceptionnally clean and our cabin, though a bit small was satisfactory. As far as dining is concerned, the food was excellent and I especially enjoyed the more than excellent service from our waiters (Vladimir and Harold). The cruise director was well informed and always ready to be of service. He was a fountain of information from beginning to end. When there was a break in one of the locks that made us miss one of our excursions, the cruse director and the captain took measures to compensate the delay and to reschedule the missed excursion. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We just come back from a 2-week cruise between Budapest and Amsterdam on Viking LIF. We do like ocean cruises (being already with Regent, Princess and Cunard) but it was the 6th river cruise (2 with Viking, 2 with Vantage and 1 with ... Read More
We just come back from a 2-week cruise between Budapest and Amsterdam on Viking LIF. We do like ocean cruises (being already with Regent, Princess and Cunard) but it was the 6th river cruise (2 with Viking, 2 with Vantage and 1 with Scenic). Viking continues to be a pleasant surprise with daily included excursions and a lot of new paid tours which made our weeks extremely interesting even if we travelled on the Danube and Rhine before. Our cabin was extremely clean and sparkling thanks to our excellent cabin stewardess Marina but to be honest Viking can invest some money in trying to update the accommodation and bring what other cruise lines have already: better TV channels and internet connection, more modern facilities in the room and on board. I didn’t understand why in the lounge those two huge TV screens were always black and why this time the funny photos of our cruise were missing. We loved the idea of buying photos during our cruises but this time Viking didn’t give us the chance. On top of that we missed the presence of a Concierge on-board especially when the receptionist wasn’t able always to help us. We were lucky to have on-board a Dutch Hotel Manager who assist us with our requests in Amsterdam but, his charisma and willingness to help couldn’t replace the Concierge from our previous cruises with Viking. The food was nothing special. The Chef and his team was working hard in the kitchen (great taste and presentation of every meal), the waiters in the restaurant (especially Bogdan and George) were trying to make every lunch and dinner memorable but, wasn’t hard to see that Viking started to cut corners. The quality of the food was not the same as before and the presence of a cheaper mediocrity couldn’t be covered by fancy names of the dishes. As always Viking had a team of excellent guides, most of them local who transform each excursion in a chance to discover history, myths, architecture and traditions. We love all the tours even if some of them they were a little bit overpriced and with a little bit of research you can discover most of the cities visited by yourself. After all our ocean and river cruises we don’t have any doubts to say that we were blessed with the best Cruise Director EVER! Leonard was a library of knowledge mixing every information with a useful tip and an excellent and refined sense of humour. Normally we avoid when cruising on board lectures or presentation but his daily chat about our next port of call was a “live performance” from Discovery or History TV channels: informative, full of useful information and tips, easy and funny to watch. His personality and presence on board was a blessing for everyone; Leonard was everywhere, smiling and organising, taking care and chatting, making a joke or giving extra information about an excursion or an event…24h daily for two weeks. Sometimes we were wondering when he was sleeping. Viking is great for a river cruise but I am afraid that they started to go to main stream missing some important points of luxury cursing what made Viking famous. Fortunately, the crew on board VIKING LIF was great and Jery, Bogdan, Marina, Capitan Ante, Ivan and especially Leonard made this trip FAR ABOVE EXPECTATIONS. Thank you all! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise to see new countries & sights. Unfortunately the weather was rainy & very chilly on most of the excursions which could have been shortened by half & still covered the same sights & information. Some ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see new countries & sights. Unfortunately the weather was rainy & very chilly on most of the excursions which could have been shortened by half & still covered the same sights & information. Some do the excursions were so physically demanding & we saw so many of the same types of sights that the information all ran together. We tho't the pitches could have been condensed & the time & effort to conquer some very difficult terrains would be remembered if shortened. Our cabin was lovely always with good service. The ship design is great, & the cuisine abundantly offers something for every taste. The restaurant & bar service couldn't have been better! Pedro, the fabulous musician, was the best part of the cruise! What a talented gentleman he is!! Embarkation was very smooth, but disembarkation was hectic & not so organized. Summary: If I had it to do again, I'd spend more time ont he boat. Read Less
Viking Lif Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 1.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 3.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

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