This was our first river cruise and our high expectations were met. The dining venues and seating in common areas allowed for personal preference and were kept spotlessly clean. We found the captain and all staff to be helpful and friendly without being pushy. Really excellent crew. I had expected a sort of token tour for each day's port, but I was so very wrong. The included tours were excellent, complete in every way. The guides knew the area, could answer questions easily and were personable without being intrusive. The individual sound packs made hearing easy even in large groups. The Viking buses are excellent and our driver was amazing! Optional tours were explained clearly. Ample time was available to enjoy all three meals aboard and still join any tour. We loved the Alsace tour to Klipfel Winery. Actually, we rate the overall organization as excellent. The behind-the-scenes planning and execution made for seamless trips on and off the Tor for excursions as well as for embarkation and debarkation. Food was uniformly delicious and presented beautifully. No overwhelming piles of food, but lots of choices. It was fun getting multiple appetizers to try the unusual. Buffet and/or menu service at breakfast was a treat. Lunch buffet on the back deck was special. Entertainment is not a high priority for us, but everything we participated in was very well done and enjoyable. The talks about the next day's stop were informative, but not overly detailed. Great! We had a great time on our Amsterdam extension. Again, the included tour was excellent. The hotel was lovely, the views were terrific and the front desk staff very helpful. The hotel dining staff could be trained to be more guest friendly, but the food was good.
In short, we prefer this river cruise over every ocean itinerary we have participated in. (If Viking can figure out how to eliminate cold, rainy, foggy days--especially during the Rhine castle viewing day--they will have achieved perfection!)
The veranda cabin was comfortable and fully equipped. The room steward kept everything spotless and fully stocked. The individual thermostat performed expertly. The only noise we noticed was from the vacuum water flushing system in adjacent cabin which is to be expected. The drape accomplished needed room darkening for the long summer days.