Viking Tor Cruise Review by dln929
- Sail Date: November 2015
- Destination: Europe River
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Stateroom
We got a deal on a Christmas Market sailing that included airfare. We hadn't a clue if we'd even like river cruising so we took the least expensive cabin, the ones known as "aquarium" cabins as they're only just above the water line. It worked out just fine. Prior to this we'd never done an inside cabin except once and that was a virtual balcony on the Quantum of the Seas. Given how small Viking longships are, it was only a minute to take the stairs and be outside in fresh air. We didn't miss the balcony one bit--and this is from someone who spends huge amounts of time on balconies on ocean cruises! Go figure. Our cabin was well designed and we had ample space for all our clothing. The bathroom is very small but efficient and well lit (as is the rest of the cabin, which we appreciated when reading in bed). One of the nicest things was that the small fridge was exactly that. A fridge, not a cooler. We bought beer and wine at several towns and were very pleased at how cold our beverages were.
The food was marvelous. And so pretty on the plate. We thought it was easily on par with what you get in the specialty restaurants on ocean cruises. The service is very attentive and the wine/beer flowed freely. Top marks to Viking in this department, especially for the German dinner they put on for us. Authentic German food and entertainment in the dining room and all the servers even dressed in period costume. It was great fun!
Entertainment? We knew coming in that there wasn't much of it. A piano player is what you get most nights. However, there were other nights when local entertainers came on board. We were treated to an operatic performance and two different choirs, all of which were excellent and much appreciated. I wondered beforehand if we might be a little bored on board as we really like all the entertainment options of ocean cruises. However, we found our fellow guests very sociable and it was no time at all before we'd made friends to socialize with up in the lounge and the time always flew by. I'd even go so far as to say it a great change of pace not to have entertainment options by the score!
We were very lucky in that by the time we got on the Tor, water levels in the Danube had risen and we had a flawless sailing. The weather was fairly mild for the end of November though overcast and rainy. No problem though as Viking provides big red umbrellas and all our tours went on without a hitch. I must say that the complimentary tours were excellent. Every single one of them. Whoever hires guides for Viking passengers should be given a big pat on the back because they've done their homework. All our guides were well-versed in their subject matter and even better, enthusiastic and committed to showing their towns/cities to the best advantage. We thoroughly enjoyed our outings.
Random notes about our cruise: we were in the "aquarium" cabins and yes, you will hear water and changes in engine noise when slowing down or speeding up (as when entering locks). If you're a light sleeper, either bring earplugs or upgrade to a higher cabin. We weren't the least bit bothered by the sounds after the first night. We got used to it pretty quickly but other people might not. Another thing is that food isn't available 24/7 as it is on ocean cruises. Meals are served at set times and that's it aside from muffins and cookies that were always available by the coffee/tea machine. No pizza when the mood strikes you! We actually liked this set up though because honestly, we didn't need to be snacking. Not when there's so much food available at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
We returned from our Viking cruise very relaxed and happy. The Tor has a great crew. They really care about their guests and it shows. We are looking forward to our next cruise in the summer!
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