Traveling from the USA, we chose to extend our cruise on the front end in Amsterdam. Viking was there to greet us and get us to our hotel. The Viking rep at the hotel talked to us about the Walking Tour of Amsterdam and told us about other sights to see, even walking us to a canal boat tour. Our Walking Tour included a couple who had just come off the same river cruise from the opposite direction, so we learned even more about the fun we were about to have. We were taken to the Viking Tor and escorted to our cabin, which was very comfortable. Everyone went out of their way to make us feel welcome. We enjoyed the briefings and the daily plan of the day to keep us up to date on where we needed to be and when. We took full advantage of the excursions, both included and extra, and thoroughly enjoyed each one. We got to know the whole crew with whom we interacted, from the Captain to the servers, and got to know some of them very well. We met a variety of interesting, friendly people from all over the world and still keep in touch. The Viking attention to detail on logistics was impressive from beginning to end. One anecdote: at the airport in Basel, waiting for our flight back to Amsterdam, we met a couple who also came to Amsterdam two days early, but on their own. The husband developed a serious eye problem, so they notified Viking, who ushered him to a doctor, who performed laser surgery that day, and transported the couple back to their hotel and later to the Tor so they could enjoy the cruise, despite the fact that Viking had no legal responsibility to do any of the above. Pretty impressive, in my opinion. We've already signed up for the Barcelona to Venice Mediterranean Cruise. You do it right!
It was nice to have a place to sit, have a glass of wine, and enjoy the view. However, we signed up for so many excursions, that we didn't really spend much time in our room. It was very comfortable to be able to sit down and decompress, when we did have the opportunity, however.