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My other cruise adventures have been on larger, ocean-going vessels, except for a Nile cruise some years back. On this trip I was traveling with a friend and her husband. The friend had made the travel arrangements. My cabin was spacious and comfortable; the cabin attendant couldn't have been more attentive. I enjoyed all of the ports, especially seeing Speyer and Strasburg with their marvelous cathedrals. The day of cruising past castles and the Lorelei was pleasant. We arrived at Basle on time and in good humor. The food was good, but I felt the lack of choices, especially with fresh fruit--something that I always enjoy on the bigger ships. I usually ate lunch at the buffet service, and there I think improvements could be made. Perhaps reflecting a need for more staff, the serving dishes were sometimes empty for a fairly long period, and no one made any effort to keep the area neat. These are small matters, but Viking advertises itself as providing luxury travel and prices itself accordingly. One expects the best. We had booked air travel through Viking's agent. Chicago to Amsterdam was an excellent non-stop flight. I blame myself for being too trusting that the return flight would be as efficient. There is a direct Zurich-Chicago flight, but we were booked on a one-hour flight to Munich, where we waited for the Chicago flight. My friends received decent seats, but I was assigned to the middle center seat in the last row of an Airbus 340. Sandwiched between two strangers on the narrowest seats I've ever endured, I had a confining flight home. I realize now that it is my fault for not checking; I've since learned that for an additional fee Viking will put you on a direct flight, but no one told me that. I was too trusting of the advertising. No more!

The Rhine in May

Viking Helvetia Cruise Review by Illinoisan

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2012
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Stateroom with Large Window
My other cruise adventures have been on larger, ocean-going vessels, except for a Nile cruise some years back. On this trip I was traveling with a friend and her husband. The friend had made the travel arrangements.

My cabin was spacious and comfortable; the cabin attendant couldn't have been more attentive. I enjoyed all of the ports, especially seeing Speyer and Strasburg with their marvelous cathedrals. The day of cruising past castles and the Lorelei was pleasant. We arrived at Basle on time and in good humor.

The food was good, but I felt the lack of choices, especially with fresh fruit--something that I always enjoy on the bigger ships. I usually ate lunch at the buffet service, and there I think improvements could be made. Perhaps reflecting a need for more staff, the serving dishes were sometimes empty for a fairly long period, and no one made any effort to keep the area neat. These are small matters, but Viking advertises itself as providing luxury travel and prices itself accordingly. One expects the best.

We had booked air travel through Viking's agent. Chicago to Amsterdam was an excellent non-stop flight. I blame myself for being too trusting that the return flight would be as efficient. There is a direct Zurich-Chicago flight, but we were booked on a one-hour flight to Munich, where we waited for the Chicago flight. My friends received decent seats, but I was assigned to the middle center seat in the last row of an Airbus 340. Sandwiched between two strangers on the narrowest seats I've ever endured, I had a confining flight home. I realize now that it is my fault for not checking; I've since learned that for an additional fee Viking will put you on a direct flight, but no one told me that. I was too trusting of the advertising. No more!
Illinoisan’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service

Cabin Review

Deluxe Stateroom with Large Window
Cabin C
Spacious; near back of boat and a bit noisy, but not a problem for me.
Middle Deck Outside Cabins