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We chose the Tulips and Windmills cruise because, um, we wanted to see tulips and windmills. That, and we wanted to go on a river cruise, and Viking looked like the best choice ... and it was! The ship and crew were remarkable. Excursion sites, guides and organization exceeded our expectations. The home hosted visit in Amsterdam was an unexpected pleasure, mostly because I'm very reserved and shy, and I thought the visit may feel awkward. It was the opposite, the couple who invited our group of 6 into their home put me at ease immediately. In addition, we made friends with 6-8 other people right away and enjoyed each others company throughout the cruise. It was as if we were already friends, we just hadn't met each other until the cruise. I'm pretty sure we'll continue keep in touch with some of them in the future.. The crew also exceeded our expectations. Mereck, the Program Director, has the perfect personality for the position. He kept things lively and is quite an entertainer. He put on a very funny, dramatic Van Gough "lecture". Corny as it sounds, it's almost like the guests were his friends, we just happened to be on the Viking Baldur river cruise. He sincerely seemed to want everyone to have a good time. The crew also went above and beyond when my husband got sick partway through the cruise. They responded immediately with minor medical assistance, and several crewmembers checked with him during the next few days while I was out on excursions with a couple of my new found friends. (I'm shameless ... I went and had fun while my poor husband was stayed behind and in bed on the ship.) The food and service, the lounge and service, and the beer and wine included with meals was all good. One tidbit ... we went early in the season to save a few bucks. The tulips were a little scarce, so I wish we would've spent the extra money to go at the height of the season ... or at least a little closer to it. Viking pre-cruise services still have a lot of work to do to improve the quality of their work though. If it weren't for that, I would've given an "Excellent" 5 star rating. The worst of the pre-cruise experiences was when I ordered fruit and candy to be delivered to our room at the start of our cruise. It was to be accompanied by a delivery card with a special sentimental message saying it was from me. First, the ordering process was hideous. There was no mention of confirmation so, a few days after placing my order, I took it upon myself to confirm. Good thing I did too because guest services claimed they didn't receive it. They also said it was to late to place the order, and they didn't take orders by phone anyway. They only took orders by fax. Then they contradicted themselves and told me to fill out the form online. Only this is, the form wasn't set-up to be completed online. It could only be handwritten and faxed! (How antiquated!) They finally agreed to take the order by phone. The next day, I called to confirm and was told they didn't have my order again! After 2-3 hours of calls to confirm and haggling on the phone they finally took the order, and I finally got satisfactory confirmation. Surprisingly, the fruit and candy was in our room when we arrived, BUT THERE WAS NO CARD SAYING WHO IT WAS FROM! No delivery card, no message. My husband assumed it was something Viking did for all guests. It really took the enjoyment out of it when I had to explain that it was from me, and explain the sentiment that was supposed to be on the delivery card. There was also a great deal of conflicting info about what flight changes we could've made without incurring extra fees and costs. We would've made a departure scheduling change had we known there wouldn't be fees or costs. I had several conversations with several representatives about this and other changes we were considering, and got different information each time. Sometimes the representatives said there would be fees and costs, sometimes they said there wouldn't be. The last conversation I had with a representative was that I could've made all of the changes I wanted to without any fees or additional costs. By then, it was too late to make any of the changes. Lastly, it's not a complaint per se, but the lower category staterooms are small, really small. (Having said that, I think it's they are same size and the French balcony rooms, but they only have a window instead of sliding doors.) The window is nice to have, but it's not "chest high" as indicated in some of the promo literature. It was above my eye level, and I'm 5'6". Luckily, we understood this in advance and were okay with it. Overall, I recommend Viking and the Tulips & Windmills cruise.

Tulips & Windmills - Viking Baldur, March-April 2016

Viking Baldur Cruise Review by TalkAboutTravel

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
We chose the Tulips and Windmills cruise because, um, we wanted to see tulips and windmills. That, and we wanted to go on a river cruise, and Viking looked like the best choice ... and it was!

The ship and crew were remarkable. Excursion sites, guides and organization exceeded our expectations. The home hosted visit in Amsterdam was an unexpected pleasure, mostly because I'm very reserved and shy, and I thought the visit may feel awkward. It was the opposite, the couple who invited our group of 6 into their home put me at ease immediately. In addition, we made friends with 6-8 other people right away and enjoyed each others company throughout the cruise. It was as if we were already friends, we just hadn't met each other until the cruise. I'm pretty sure we'll continue keep in touch with some of them in the future..

The crew also exceeded our expectations. Mereck, the Program Director, has the perfect personality for the position. He kept things lively and is quite an entertainer. He put on a very funny, dramatic Van Gough "lecture". Corny as it sounds, it's almost like the guests were his friends, we just happened to be on the Viking Baldur river cruise. He sincerely seemed to want everyone to have a good time.

The crew also went above and beyond when my husband got sick partway through the cruise. They responded immediately with minor medical assistance, and several crewmembers checked with him during the next few days while I was out on excursions with a couple of my new found friends. (I'm shameless ... I went and had fun while my poor husband was stayed behind and in bed on the ship.)

The food and service, the lounge and service, and the beer and wine included with meals was all good.

One tidbit ... we went early in the season to save a few bucks. The tulips were a little scarce, so I wish we would've spent the extra money to go at the height of the season ... or at least a little closer to it.

Viking pre-cruise services still have a lot of work to do to improve the quality of their work though. If it weren't for that, I would've given an "Excellent" 5 star rating.

The worst of the pre-cruise experiences was when I ordered fruit and candy to be delivered to our room at the start of our cruise. It was to be accompanied by a delivery card with a special sentimental message saying it was from me. First, the ordering process was hideous. There was no mention of confirmation so, a few days after placing my order, I took it upon myself to confirm. Good thing I did too because guest services claimed they didn't receive it. They also said it was to late to place the order, and they didn't take orders by phone anyway. They only took orders by fax. Then they contradicted themselves and told me to fill out the form online. Only this is, the form wasn't set-up to be completed online. It could only be handwritten and faxed! (How antiquated!) They finally agreed to take the order by phone. The next day, I called to confirm and was told they didn't have my order again! After 2-3 hours of calls to confirm and haggling on the phone they finally took the order, and I finally got satisfactory confirmation. Surprisingly, the fruit and candy was in our room when we arrived, BUT THERE WAS NO CARD SAYING WHO IT WAS FROM! No delivery card, no message. My husband assumed it was something Viking did for all guests. It really took the enjoyment out of it when I had to explain that it was from me, and explain the sentiment that was supposed to be on the delivery card.

There was also a great deal of conflicting info about what flight changes we could've made without incurring extra fees and costs. We would've made a departure scheduling change had we known there wouldn't be fees or costs. I had several conversations with several representatives about this and other changes we were considering, and got different information each time. Sometimes the representatives said there would be fees and costs, sometimes they said there wouldn't be. The last conversation I had with a representative was that I could've made all of the changes I wanted to without any fees or additional costs. By then, it was too late to make any of the changes.

Lastly, it's not a complaint per se, but the lower category staterooms are small, really small. (Having said that, I think it's they are same size and the French balcony rooms, but they only have a window instead of sliding doors.) The window is nice to have, but it's not "chest high" as indicated in some of the promo literature. It was above my eye level, and I'm 5'6". Luckily, we understood this in advance and were okay with it.

Overall, I recommend Viking and the Tulips & Windmills cruise.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 120
The lower category staterooms are small, really small. (Having said that, I think it's they are same size and the French balcony rooms, but they only have a window instead of sliding doors.) The window is nice to have, but it's not "chest high" as indicated in some of the promo literature. It was above my eye level, and I'm 5'6". Luckily, we understood this in advance and were okay with it.
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