This was our first river cruise and it's very different from ocean cruises. The atmosphere on board is cozy and more personal contact with co-travelers, which we liked. The food selections were not as many as ocean cruises, but the quality of dishes for every meal was excellent. Despite no buffet and room services, we were never hungry with fruits and cookies available on board. We don't drink much, and was surprised that we had to pay for juice outside of meal time.
All local tour guides for onshore excursion were very knowledgeable with good English skills. We appreciated the provision of "leisure" group for the daily onshore excursions for people like me who have knee problems and walk at a slower speed, and didn't want the pressure of slowing other people down. We have booked an ocean cruise next year, and really hope this kind consideration will be extended to the ocean cruise excursions as well.
We didn't have good weather during our cruise. Rain and grey sky half of the time, not Viking's fault. However, we did have problems with our key cards (more than once) and loss of power inside our cabin which required electricians' attention (more than once).
We enjoyed the on-board lectures and performances, except the lounge was a little small and many seats had obstructed view of the speaker/screen/performers (we had problem finding a good seat 10-15 minutes before the lecture and performances). We then tried to watch them on TV in our cabin, but the microphones in the lounge were very directional, and the audio part wasn't reliable. The daily briefing by our able and helpful program director Alex on next day's activities before dinner every evening was great. All personnel on board were very friendly, warm and welcoming. A couple of days into our cruise, we were notified by our credit company that our credit cards were compromised. Within 24 hours, we could see that the fraudulent charges to our credit cards were mounting quickly to close to $15,000. With the help of the phone on board, we were able to communicate with our credit card company more effectively trying to resolve the crisis!
The morning we disembark, we had pouring rain (4/4/15 in Amsterdam). Although the luggage we put outside of our cabin was retrieved and transported while we were having breakfast (so we only need to carry our carryons with us when we disembark), we were horrified to see those two pre-transported luggage were placed yards away from the bus, unloaded onto the bus, uncovered and exposed to the downpour. They were only loaded onto the bus after we arrive ourselves and identified the luggage as ours. Of course they were soaking wet by then (some items packed close the the surfaces were damp when we checked after arrival at the airport).
It was a very relaxing way to travel, and Viking is very good at providing excellent services to make the trip enjoyable. We hope we'll see the same on our Viking ocean cruise next year.