This was only our second river cruise (Mississippi earlier), but we've enjoyed many at sea. The difference is no waves or seasickness, but similar in other ways except no slack days "at sea." The ship itself is modern and beautiful and the staff so friendly that we hated to say "goodbye." Each stop along the river provides so much history for Americans that one can easily feel an overload, yet the experience and the photo opportunities excelled our fondest dreams. The dining experience is unsurpassed and the tour guides all spoke excellent English, with the marginal exception of one lady in Regensberg who walked too fast and seemed to have a little trouble with her second language.
Our suite (not the top-end two) was not as large as the photos seem to indicate, but we enjoyed some extra space. Internet was spotty at times, even if one used the on board computers (two), but our in-room connection seemed very good. We heard from others in standard staterooms, however, who might not agree. English is the on board language and all of the hotel and dining staff spoke it well enough that understanding them proved not to be a problem. We enjoyed learning their perspective on modern day events, and, for some of them, how things were before they were liberated from Communism.
The included shore excursions at each stop were excellent and well-organized. Punctuality is a must, however, although we're unaware of anyone left behind. All in all, this cruise met our expectations in every way. We came home refreshed and enlightened regarding the history of the Rhine, Main, and Danube river cultures dating back hundreds of years. We think that you will enjoy the experience a lot. We would book with Viking in an instant!
This stateroom has both a "French Balcony" (basically a sliding glass doorway to the exterior without a true balcony) and a balcony, which though narrow, is wide enough to accommodate two deck chairs. If you want even more space you'll have to pay thousands more to get one of the two located at the stern. Our recommendation is that you will not need more than this because you can sit on the top or sun deck to watch the riverside go by without any extra charge. The main advantage of our suite was a sitting area with a "makeup" table for my wife. We also used the couch and stuffed side chair when typing emails, etc. Since we have no knowledge of standard cabins, we can't say whether the storage is better or not, but the closet was large enough to accommodate our clothing and it also contains a two drawer cabinet for stowage of other clothing, etc. While there are open spaces in the tables next to the bed, they proved useful for only those items that one might use daily, especially in the vicinity of the bed such as voltage converters and miscellaneous clothing items, which one might don again the next day.
TVs in bedroom and sitting area provide only eight channels, two of which are the bow camera and the lounge camera. There is no camera or connection to the top sun deck unfortunately, so commentary from that part of the ship cannot be heard in the comfort of the stateroom. The room was very quiet, the bathroom area, including shower, very nice. The shower provides a "rain" head as well as one on a flexible hose, both of which are somewhat adjustable. While we were initially disappointed with the overall size of the suite, that disappointment faded quickly as the space suited our needs very well. We did hear a few complaints about the size of the standard rooms, however, they were few. Most passengers that we met seemed enthusiastic about the entire experience.
Having previously visited the old town portion of the city, much of which has been reconstructed since WW II, we chose instead to visit the Nazi parade grounds, the WW II museum, and the courthouse where the Nuremberg trials took place. This tour is very educational, but certainly not uplifting. One can draw conclusions from the explanations of how the citizens of Germany became enthralled by the Nazi propaganda, many of which can be applied to the modern day. A sobering experience, but well worth the time for one might not easily find this information anywhere else.
We would have rated this excursion higher were it not for the every two year festival that was occurring on the day that we visited. At times, we had to press through crowds that gathered around performance stages, for example. Loud rock music made it hard to hear our guide through the provided headsets at other times. Nonetheless, we learned quite a lot about the importance of this city to the Rhine river commerce, including its salt trade. The St. Peter's Cathedral is also beautiful, especially its interior. While the "Old Stone Bridge" is considered an important landmark, it was under repair as we visited, so the impact was underwhelming. In fact, it became a primary area of congestion as revelers passed across it in both directions.
Viking Cruise Lines provides an included city tour, but we chose a family-hosted country tour instead, which took us to the home of a charming family that operate a boutique winery. There we saw part of their vineyard situated literally in their back yard, then their outdoor tasting area, their basement wine cellar and finally their living room where we e
We had friends near Amsterdam and had visited the city on a former cruise with Holland America, so we didn't book any tours of the city. Having said that, the city is charming and a lot of the sights you'd want to see are available by simply walking there. One caveat, however, is that the Viking line river ships do not dock where the ocean-going vessels do. Therefore, one might need to arrange transportation into the heart of town before expecting such an experience. This is a picturesque city well worth visiting.