Having Ocean cruised previously we decided on our first river cruise, having been recommended Viking by a friend and it was not a disappointment. Booking was effortless, the little L'Occitane gift and the small shoulder bag with travel documents, Luggage tags and guide book were a pleasant surprise although the doubling up on some documentation was perhaps a little overboard. The organisation all round is beyond belief from being collected at the airport, tours, on board and delivery back to the airport.
Lofn was only on it's 4th cruise but everything ran like clockwork, the crew were very friendly and extremely efficient at their duties. Tours were well organised, they even had a group for people with restricted walking ability, and the communication boxes meant everyone could here the guide from some distance rather than crowding together. The standard of the restaurant was very good with a varied menu, with alternatives available should you not like that days offerings. The lounge had comfortable seating and a good atmosphere. French Balcony Cabins utilise the space well, however there is a lack of seating should you wish to spend time in there.
There are however a few negatives as with almost everything. The main one we experienced was with the engine noise and vibration when the ship was manoeuvring locks or spinning 180 degrees into a berth. In this direction of the cruise this happens quite often at night or very early morning, so a good nights sleep was unfortunately disturbed. The lack of written operating instructions for the Air conditioning was a minor inconvenience. Their inclusion would negate the need to find crew for advice.
The cabins utilise the space well with enough storage for a couple and were kept very clean through out the cruise. The French balcony cabins however suffer from a lack of seating should you wish to spend some quiet time in there. The Air conditioning worked well and we particularly liked the 'eco' operation of it switching off when the outside door is opened, the inclusion of a simple operation guide would be of benefit. Beds are comfortable, however pillows were an issue (commented on by the cruise director at one point) but extra ones were provided within minutes when requested.