Viking Hlin Cruise Review by andree beattie
- Sail Date: August 2015
- Destination: Europe River
The whole experience was far in excess of our expectations and definitely of high standards.
The ships are well appointed, the cleaning staff are very pleasant, hard working and a delight to deal with. The barmen were attentive, with great sense of humours and their memories to our favourite drinks was impressive. I did find the main female bar member only favoured serving men so we found we had to wait a while sometimes. A bit annoying.
The rooms are well set out - I do suggest you upgrade to having a separate lounge. We were traveling as 2 friends and had a twin bedroom so it was nice to have the extra room so we weren't tripping over each other. The single beds are very narrow, I nearly fell out each night but it would have been difficult to have any wider in the room. The bathrooms are super clean, the shower has great pressure and overall nicely designed. The amenities - soaps, shampoos etc are top quality and replaced each day if required.
The only niggle was as the sun deck was directly above us we were woken by someone with thunder hooves doing their morning brisk, thumping power walk about 7.15am. Now that may not be early for some but hey we were on holiday and I didn't have to get up at my normal 6am start.
The cruise mainly consists of people over 65-70. We are only in our late 40s but didn't find it a problem and most were a delight.
The food was incredible, good menus, well presented and I loved the Villeroy and Boch cutlery and dinnerware, very tasteful. One day I overheard a women complaining there was just too much food .......... hello you don't have to eat or order everything! We gave up breakfast by the 2nd day, just didn't need it. Plus even if the desserts do look good - do you really really need it! The only time I faulted was the Banana ice cream and it was fabulous.
If we were there for lunch we just had the casual lunch not the full blown a la carte menus. We would either take an excursion or go into a town where we were stopped for the day and have some local food rather than rushing back to the ship for the "free/included" lunch.
We were concerned there is no kettle in the rooms for tea or coffee but there are coffee and tea stations just at the end of the corridor from the rooms and the coffee is good.
We picked a couple of the excursions but used them mostly as a form of transport and did our own thing. We were "over" the castle/church trips having done that before.
The 2 tours we enjoyed were the cheese factory tour (even though I've done ones before at home) and the Lindt Museum tour which we did on our own but I am a huge chocolate fan.
The walking tour of Basel before we left the 1st port was very informative and we had a lovely guide.
I found the internet connection was better in the rooms or below deck than up on the sun deck but overall better than I expected.
The ships are very smooth, no engine noise at night and it was fasinating going through all the locks. It was a busy river with all the traffic and interesting watching all the different cargo boats.
All in all I would highly recommend Viking after all they have won awards for service etc for 3 years running and I feel the awards are justly deserved.
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