See Europe from the rivers: Viking Embla Cruise Review by dookeofearl

Viking Embla 5
Member Since 2011
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See Europe from the rivers

Sail Date: June 2013
Destination: Europe - River Cruise
Embarkation: Amsterdam
We took the long European Sojourn cruise, Amsterdam to Bucharest.
We made a great choice; seeing Europe from the river is fantastic.
Unpack once and let Viking take you to see wonderful ports, sights, ways of life.
One word of caution: we initially booked a lower level (100 series, riverview) cabin. On the 1st night the noise of water rushing by the ship's hull and any passing ship's propeller noise was going to be a "show stopper" for us. No way were we going to have this for the 23 day duration of the cruise. I immediately snagged an upgrade to the 2nd level cabin (#206) and gladly paid the extra cost. This saved our cruise from being a disaster. We moved cabins at 1AM that first night... thank goodness there were cabins available. We tried everything: pillows over our heads and ear plugs.
Seriously, we considered leaving the ship and cutting our cruise short. That's how bad the noise was.
Cabin: small but quite adequate, good storage space & ample closet More space, well appointed, French balcony is nice, bathroom is roomy and well equipped with large shower.
Bed very comfy but squeaked a little but I just pulled the beds apart a tiny bit and all was fine (when they're together they tend to rub and squeak). Both 110 and 220 volt electic outlets were available; fridge was nice and we kept our bottled water cold for the hot daytime tours.
Dining was great... breakfast and lunch sit-down or buffet was perfect and dinner was just perfect as well. The single dinner seating at 7PM with all passengers was catered flawlessly.
Internet WiFi connectivity was spotty depending on ship location. Our connectivity was not the best so I took my laptop up to the internet center and had better WiFi connect speed. In the center, two computers are available for passenger use at any time.
I'm a coffee drinker and having it (& capachino, hot chocolate, etc) always available, especially with the home-made cookies and muffins was really appreciated. Remember, there's no "all-day dining" as on ocean liners
Ports of call and the accompanying tours were well organized and the guides were knowledgeable and spoke English well.
We had a slight detour as one of the locks was still under repair but Viking took care of us very well considering the situation. Two nights in Nuremburg & 2 nights at a lovely resort outside Paseau was the extent of our detour. Viking made sure we had 5-star accommodations and saw all the sights we were scheduled to see.
To see the countryside from the river, to visit all the various ports/cities/towns/historic sites was nothing short of wonderful.
Ship was super, meals were great, service was exceptional, fellow passengers were in our age group (55 thru 75) and tours went off like clockwork.
We highly recommend Viking and this European Sojourn cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise, seeing 10+ countries, traveling in deluxe comfort and experiencing Western & Eastern European ways of life.
I also suggest that booking a 2nd or 3rd floor cabin be seriously considered... I haven't read a review that mentions the noise, but I can say that the noise we encountered dictates no more 1st level cabins for us.
If anyone else experienced similar noise, please let me know.
We are advocates of river cruising and we're planning another Viking cruise for 2014... perhaps the Russia or Portugal river cruise. Less

Published 09/13/13
1 Helpful Vote

Cabin review: 206

Smaller than ocean-liner cabins. Well organized, ample storage. Well appointed & quiet. French balcony (ceiling-to-floor glass door) is a nice feature. Bathroom is roomy with large shower area. I recommend 2nd and 3rd level cabins; we encountered serious noise on 1st level cabin and had to upgrade to 2nd level cabin. 1st level (Riverview) cabin had too much noise from water rushing past ship's hull and deafening noise from propellers of passing ships. Remember that 1st level cabins are at the waterline and the beds are below the waterline; sound travels well (& loud) underwater... especially during the quiet night time hours!

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