Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise because we had done the same cruise from the other direction, viz. Budapest to Amsterdam in October 2012, and enjoyed it so much we encouraged friends to go and we accompanied them. Unfortunately because of the the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had done the same cruise from the other direction, viz. Budapest to Amsterdam in October 2012, and enjoyed it so much we encouraged friends to go and we accompanied them. Unfortunately because of the the hot weather and lack of rainfall the Rhine and Danube were impassable in several spots. This required meeting the ship just past Cologne instead of at Amsterdam. The Viking staff were truly excellent in explaining the reasons for the problem, keeping passengers informed and arranging very pleasant alternate accommodation in Amsterdam. None of the scheduled visits/tours were missed but they did require bus rides to the various destinations. In mid-cruise we had to transfer to an identical ship again because of low water. Part of the pleasure of cruising for us is not having to unpack and repack suitcases every few days. This pleasure we had to forego, but it wasn't a serious problem. We were very pleased to receive an apology and a credit equal to 50% of the cost of the cruise toward a future cruise with Viking. Apart from the problems caused by Mother Nature to which cruises of all kinds are subject, this cruise met our expectations, which were high. We have already booked a future ocean cruise with Viking as a result. Our experiences with the staff and life on board were uniformly excellent. We particularly enjoy the fact that there are almost no extra costs unlike almost all other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Hang up you clothes..fed and wine Top quality. Not worth paying extra for a cabin with balcony as most travel is done at night . Organisation was superb many thanks to our program director Kane Davies..a wonderful guy..must have worked ... Read More
Hang up you clothes..fed and wine Top quality. Not worth paying extra for a cabin with balcony as most travel is done at night . Organisation was superb many thanks to our program director Kane Davies..a wonderful guy..must have worked 24 hrs a day. Wish they had spent more time at main places. Prefer coach tours...see a lot more as you travel in the day..get used to packing your bag every day or so but you get used to it and only use clothes each day so you keep packing to a minimum. Food not as flash on coach tours and wine and beer not included but half the price for a month. Will stick with coach tours. Food available was superb...plus wine and beer...tended to stay with menu food as very nice and smaller portions. Comfort and information on the boat was excellent. A very comfortable cruisy trip and met a lot of very nice people. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
This was a dream come true bucket list trip that we were fortunate to be able to do with good friends. We were NOT disappointed. The ship was lovely. The staff-delightful. Program Director Wez was a delight! So helpful and fun and ... Read More
This was a dream come true bucket list trip that we were fortunate to be able to do with good friends. We were NOT disappointed. The ship was lovely. The staff-delightful. Program Director Wez was a delight! So helpful and fun and talented. Food very good (Chef Jan should have his own cooking show!!!). Special meal representing each port was great fun. Our head waiter, Normandy, was so attentive. Loved being able to have a quiet continental breakfast out on deck too. That was a great option. Ports and tours perfect. Evening special entertainment events were really enjoyable. The day tour guides were so knowledgeable! Would have liked more narration on areas we were cruising past while on board though. And were not happy with tipping being requested (and somewhat pushed by front desk staff) with special envelopes rather than included in the overall price of the cruise. Accommodations and assistance with our add-on in Amsterdam were great. So glad we did that! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We decided to take this cruise because our experience on our trip through Russia was so positive. On that cruise we were a group of 6 and here just my husband and I . It was a very different experience. The most remarkable was meeting ... Read More
We decided to take this cruise because our experience on our trip through Russia was so positive. On that cruise we were a group of 6 and here just my husband and I . It was a very different experience. The most remarkable was meeting another couple who got married the same date we did, December 14, 1968. Never before had we found that. The ship is rather comfortable but when the upper deck is closed for 5 days, it curtails the possibility of pleasant outdoors accommodations. Smokers in Europe are a problem. On board, they were very unpleasant to have around. If you went outside to enjoy the view and the weather, there always was someone ruining the air by the smell of their smoke. The shore excursions were mostly a pleasure. Most guides were excellent but not all. If we could comment about them at the end of the day, our recollection could be much more accurate. The upholstery in the gathering lounge is not real leather and I found myself stuck to the furniture anytime it was hot. All in all, we signed up for another cruise in the future so we were not unhappy:) Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
The cruise was very enjoyable - staff of the ship was top notch. State rooms were clean, well designed with great attention to detail. Service was excellent. Food was good. We really enjoyed our wait staff. They were friendly, helpful and ... Read More
The cruise was very enjoyable - staff of the ship was top notch. State rooms were clean, well designed with great attention to detail. Service was excellent. Food was good. We really enjoyed our wait staff. They were friendly, helpful and all-around wonderful. Shore excursions were well organized and the local guides were, for the most part, interesting and well informed. We felt rushed at some locations such as busy museums and palaces. There was no time to stop and admire displays as the guides were rushing everyone through. The audio equipment worked well but some guides were a bit hard to understand. The biggest disappointment was no reliable WiFi on the ship. Viking should not advertise having it as it almost never worked. They really need to fix it or set the expectations correctly. The only way to get online was to find places with WiFi during port stops which wasn't always easy. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We truly enjoyed our cruise but were very glad we brought along three things: a deck of cards, raincoats, and our dear friends. The ship, staff, and food is all great. The itinerary was fine. The problem we had was at just over 50 ... Read More
We truly enjoyed our cruise but were very glad we brought along three things: a deck of cards, raincoats, and our dear friends. The ship, staff, and food is all great. The itinerary was fine. The problem we had was at just over 50 years old we were the second and third youngest on the ship (a daughter who went with her parents beat us for youngest). By far. This meant that all excursions were with a more “senior” group-lots of bathroom stops and endless questions. Please, please, please Viking-have an app for each city so that not everyone has to be in groups. This is not difficult nor expensive technology! This also meant meals and entertainment was always with “seniors”. Believe me when I say by 9pm (no typo) the ship was asleep! We got to know the excellent bartenders. They could not have gone out of their way, been more professional, or more fun. Besides the tulips they were the highlight! We had ordered the beverage package (order before you leave US or it is more expensive) so the bar tenders knew us well. There was nothing they wouldn’t get us-even at dinner they brought wine “they thought we would like better and enjoy”. Terrific. Unfortunately, we were not docked in downtown Amsterdam. We were about 15 min away in at a very industrial dock. So much for the view from our veranda! However, this also was a hassle for us because we like to do things on our own (a huge shock to the crew who could not believe we would rent bikes, see the tulips, go to dinner, go to Belgium all on our own). This meant cabs or taking the shuttle bus offered. Not convenient but it is in your brochure literature- not that that makes you feel better when spending so much money on a cruise. We were there for peak tulips. They were fantastic! We know we were very lucky. We also decided since tulips have a kind of their own we would arrive in Amsterdam early with the pre cruise package at the Hilton near the museums. We also planned it so we would be there for the tulip parade (trust me when I say it is quaint and nice but the Rose Bowl has nothing to ever worry about. We were glad we went but could have missed it and not been sad. It is quite small by US standards. Think garbage trucks and delivery trucks with flowers on them. Four or five great floats and the rest ...well, let’s just say it is nothing I would plan a vacation around. We rented bikes outside Kuekenhoff and it was a breeze and lots of fun). We were VERY glad we had seen the ore our cruise. We saw them on a picture perfect day (go as early as you can as it gets very, very crowded. I think we saw a thousand buses...not kidding) and took tons of pictures. On the day we saw them with our cruise it was cloudy, rainy, and the flowers were just a tad past peak. We felt quite smart for our planning and quite sad for the people on our cruise! We used Uber to get to the gardens and I think it was 35 Euros for the four of us (don’t try getting back by Uber after the big aparade....trust me when I tell you it took hours- luckily, there was a pub ). We thought the entertainment on the ship that was local and brought on board was really, really good. Unfortunately, the nightly entertainment wasn’t the best. Sweet couple but again-sang songs for those of the crowd that were 75 plus. We played cards. A lot! Food was quite good. Interesting and varied. They tried local food and wine as much as possible. I appreciated that. My husband loved going to the battlefields (I went to the Kroller Muller and ended it) and thouhgt the local guides excellent. We loved Hoorn, learning about the levies, home stay (we brought a small gift-do as our hosts were delighted), tulip fields, biking, guy who made wooden shoes and the farm visit, music, wine, cheese, chocolate, All in all, we really liked the cruise. Our weather could have been better but it was April in the Netherlands. We have talked with others that have done Viking cruises And they all say to try again. They also say that this cruise tends to skew “older”. Even Viking says that. Yes, yes it does! The thing is-you don’t go far on these river cruises. You can drive in a short amount of time. With that in mind it is the service, views, food, etc that matter. Unfortunately for us, we really couldn’t use our Veranda (I wouldn’t bother except that we were on the same floor as everything which was great) and only went on the top deck once. I guess my only other pet Viking peave is the tipping. For the love of Goodness Viking-just pay your guides a little more and do away with tipping. It is most annoying! I’d rather my cruise be $50 more and not to have to worry about bringing Euros to tip the tour guides. Plus, it is very awkward as some people tip and others don’t. Ok one more thing....Viking likes to cruise at nigh because then their guests have longer in port. Which is true. However, when you dream of your Viking cruise after seeing thousands of tv commercials you do think you’ll have more time relaxing on the ship as it motors along. You don’t really on this cruise. And the ports are very industrial. Not the quaint town ports you dream about either. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
We have done many Caribbean cruises, but this was our first (hopefully more to come) river cruise. We had a bit of trouble finding the ship in Basel, but once there the care was awesome (even in the pouring rain). The team was waiting ... Read More
We have done many Caribbean cruises, but this was our first (hopefully more to come) river cruise. We had a bit of trouble finding the ship in Basel, but once there the care was awesome (even in the pouring rain). The team was waiting with umbrellas in hand, to get you on the ship and make sure your luggage stayed as dry as possible. It set the tone for how the crew (and Viking) treated their guests. The ship was well appointed, the rooms very clean to start and very well maintained throughout our stay. There are nice touches - cookies, coffee and tea throughout the day - like we really needed them. We managed to stay connected to the internet throughout the trip which allowed us to talk with our family via Skype every day. The staff was incredibly nice, very accommodating and personable. Not always an easy combination. We ran into the Restaurant Manager while walking through Koblenz and he was so quick to ask if we needed directions or help, even though he was clearly on his own time. The second time was our room steward who we ran into in Cologne and she too wanted to make sure we were OK and didn't need any help. When we were disembarking in Amsterdam we had time for sightseeing, so they held our bags and arranged transportation at the end of the day. There is something to be said for 190 passengers versus 5,000. The excursions and cultural events were very nice and made a big difference in getting the most out of our cruise. The trip didn't go without any hiccups, but where there was a bit of a problem (late bus in Heidelberg due to traffic) the staff did everything they could to make it better. The tours of major cities (Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Cologne were extremely well done and the local guides were able to share detailed information. We really enjoyed the Cheese Farm in Kinderdijk and managed to take away some incredible cheese. The scenery enroute to the farm was through really beautiful countryside. Very flat, but really nice and quite the change from scenery early in the trip. The amazing thing to me was that even though we knew nobody on the ship at the start, we ended up with a group of 6-8 of us that always ended up together. We really did not have anything in common, but became friends over the 8 days. On that last evening we were talking about our reunion cruise. Who knows if it will happen, but that was a good start. I have talked to a number of friends who have done Viking cruises and they too made friends with a group of people while on the ship. Must be something in the wine and beer. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We have done several ocean cruises on RC, Princess and Seaborne, but this was our first river cruise. Overall the experience was positive and probably most of our future cruises will be river cruises, mainly to get the advantages of ... Read More
We have done several ocean cruises on RC, Princess and Seaborne, but this was our first river cruise. Overall the experience was positive and probably most of our future cruises will be river cruises, mainly to get the advantages of smaller ships and smaller ports. Our trip was the "Rhine Rhapsody" which started in Paris, with an optional extra night stay at the Hotel du Collectionneur near the Arc de Triomphe. Overall the hotel was very good, but the food at the restaurant was too expensive to even try and the included breakfast presentations were consistently cold. The hotel offered both wired and wireless Internet, so bring an Ethernet cord to avoid the unsecured wireless connection. Speeds via Ethernet were adequate with the free level of service. Only 220 volt power, so you do need adapters/converters. I would highly recommend the extra night if you have never been to Paris, if for no other reason your included transfer will more likely be a private van rather than a bus. The Viking buses were all first rate, but not having to wait for other passengers to arrive was nice. But in any case, there is a lot to do in Paris, so spending an extra night was well worth the relatively nominal extra cost relative to the price of the entire trip. In Paris we did a lot of walking, but did take the included guided bus tour (recommended). We didn't have any bad food at the outside restaurants, but did have trouble finding a place to eat our last night. Many of the restaurants closed at 7:00 that night, but that might have been due to the next day being a holiday (anniversary of VE Day). The transfer to the ship did not go so smoothly, and was without a doubt the biggest disappointment. There were to be three stops--the first being a rest for the driver at what was essentially a truck stop. The second was for lunch at Luxembourg, with a city tour thereafter--two hours total. The third was to be the American Cemetery near the site of the Battle of the Bulge. Despite being on time if not early, immediately prior to leaving Luxembourg they informed us that we would be embarking the ship at a different site, and that therefore we could not see the American Cemetery. The Viking Rep on the bus did an excellent job, and was probably the best of the Viking tour guides the entire trip, but they did not give her the reason for the change (high water). Most disappointing though was that they didn't make this decision earlier so that we could have spent less time in Luxembourg. The tour of the city was not that interesting--one hour of free time in the city would have been adequate. Once to the boat the differences between an ocean cruise and river cruise became apparent. Checking in when so smoothly I don't even remember how they handed us our room cards, but there were no lines and our baggage arrived promptly. I give more information about the room below, but no complaints there. It did have both 110 and 220 volt outlets, but no Ethernet connection (somewhat surprising given the size of the ship). The ship's wireless connection was free but encrypted, and sometimes slow. The ship's size has some advantages (e.g. usually only one set of stairs to climb and your own bathroom is nearly as close as any public restroom) and disadvantages (no exercise equipment, special salons, special dining, etc.). It also though means little or no entertainment--just a person playing piano in the lounge and two accordion players during the German dinner. Breakfast was largely a buffet situation, although you could order things like Eggs Benedict from a waiter. Lunch and dinner included complementary wine, which was always satisfactory and helped keep our ship tab to under $50.00! Overall I would say the food was superior to other cruises, and some if it very good. Food service was probably just slightly inferior to all of our cruises except the Hawaii ocean cruise which was poor. There were however three or four waiters who really stood out and gave excellent service. This might be due to the fact that most our other cruises were not open dining. The German Night dinner was buffet only and therefore extremely disappointing to me (as was the music of the two accordion players). German night was definitely the low point of the cruise for me. On a positive note there was no formal night, although I did dress up a bit a couple of nights, including the one semi-formal night. Fortunately my dinner jacket went completely unused! The cruise tours were mainly included, but of varying quality, some of which was not Viking's fault. For at least one tour the guide was a local selected by the castle site, and our's happened to be very bad. Overall though, being "only" in my mid-50s I was one of the younger people on the boat and more inclined to do it on my own rather than take a tour. Counting the Paris bus tour (recommended) I only did three or four other tours, and quite frankly I wish I had done at least one less (Basel). Unfortunately Viking does little to let you know what your nearby options are if you don't want to take an included tour. At Basel the cruise director even mentioned having to walk through a large industrial area if you didn't want to do the included tour. In fact it was merely a 30 minute walk to the starting point of the walking cruise, and only less than ten minutes of that was industrial and even that was a walk along the river and much of it was very scenic showing some of the better architecture in Basel. In contrast, the bus took just as long or longer to get to the starting point and went through much more industrial areas. On board shopping is very limited, mainly to some coats and caps. They did offer a USB stick of all the pictures taken by the cruise staff, for a reasonable cost of only $18.00. Again, even with that my tab was less than $50.00 (excluding tips), so it was very nice to not have cameras shoved in your face very meal so that you could then buy a picture later. Overall I would not consider any of this a disadvantage--if anything it was all appreciated. Disembarkation was again very smooth compared to ocean cruises. We had a very early departure which required wake up calls (not automated!) The bus left on time and got us to the airport on time. My only complaint would be that I couldn't pay the tab at 9:00 a.m the day before, but when it was time to pay I only had to wait in line for one other person to complete their process. Like everything except the buffets, no long lines were involved. Overall I had a very positive experience and would recommend both Viking and the Rhine Rhapsody cruise (in the same direction--to Basel). Read Less
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