We had previously taken the Rhine River cruise with Viking. I enjoyed it but was left somewhat ambivalent as I really like to have control over my itinerary. This cruise really sold me on what Viking has to offer. After three days in Paris on our own in a rather cramped room with less than friendly personnel, walking onto the Spirit was a delight. (Do they give the crew happy pills every morning?) We were welcomed by Bea, the "hotel" manager and later met the precious Clara, the activity director. The biggest surprise of the week was learning at the end of the cruise that it had been Clara's first week in this position. She had been such a pro - master organizer and information giver. I can't remember other names, but to the one the crew were so cheerful and eager to please all week. Our cabin - #210 - B category (I believe ) did not have the French balcony (we had had one on the earlier cruise), and we did not miss it one bit. I liked the location of our room as it was a quick walk up to the lobby and lounge - further to the dining room.The bed was so comfortable, and there was a place for everything. We were able to put our suitcases and carry-ons under the bed and forget about them. We thought that the food was much better than on the Rhine River cruise - cheers to the chef. Your wine glass is never allowed to go empty; service, overall was impeccable. The tea party with macarons, etc. one afternoon was enjoyable as were all of the on-board activities. We really enjoyed the fellow travelers, about our age for the most part - 50's-70's. As a fellow cruiser said, you meet the nicest people and really feel that you have found your tribe. As far as the itinerary, my husband and I were very pleased. We loved visiting the smaller villages - Giverny, Vernon, and Les Andelys. A high point was Normandy. It would have been great to have had longer there, but it was a long day as it was. Versailles was crowded and chaotic, but we both said we were glad that we went. Another high point was the day sailing from Rouen to Les Andelys - such pretty scenery. I would really like to be able to offer some constructive criticism, but I honestly could not find fault with anything.