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It has always been my dream to visit Christmas markets in Germany during Advent. I had heard about bus tours but that was not what I wanted to do. Then I heard about River cruises that offered this. It was on my bucket list as of that day. Viking offered the best tour for our requirements. We arrived in Amsterdam 3 days early and explored the city and met up with friends. On sailing day, we arrived at the port in Amsterdam and were met by wonderful Viking staff and our boarding was very swift and effortless. We have done a few Caribbean cruises with Royal Caribbean where it's extremely busy and takes quite a while. The cabin was beautiful, modern and clean. The ship was beautiful and the staff very friendly. Every meal was better than the night before and always a lot of variety. I really enjoyed the girls Choir that was brought on board one evening while we were docked. They sang local and Christmas songs and it was wonderful. Our pianist for the trip (Angel) was outstanding. Every port had something unique to offer. I really liked the headsets where you could listen to the commentary of a LOCAL guide who was always so knowledgeable and proud of their city. Then afterwards we were free to explore the Christmas markets that were in that city. When asked afterwards what was my favourite, I said everything as it was all so amazing. The service of the staff was outstanding. There was a mix up of items purchased at a vendor while on a shore excursion. When I went to the front desk to see if an announcement could be made so that I could exchange my package with the person who received mine, no one came forward at that time. However, after returning home, I received a call from Viking giving me someone's contact information (with their permission) as they were the one who also had the wrong items. We then contacted each other and exchanged our purchases. This is truly going above and beyond regular customer service. The lady who cleaned our cabin was amazing - she did a wonderful job, quick, polite, friendly and was always working and had a smile and hello every time we saw her during the day. My one and only complaint was Viking Air. We purchased and paid for our cruise 10 months before we travelled and yet we couldn't get seat assignments until we checked in for our homeward journey. I was told that this is the class of fare that Viking Air chose to purchase for us but honestly, after having our money for 10 months, surely a class of fare could have been purchased where seat assignment was allowed. As it turned out, we were able to sit together after visiting the consierge desk but it was an unnecessary stress for us. I like the ability to use Viking Air vs booking our own but may not use it again for this reason and I have heard others complain about it also.

Christmas Cruise Beyond My Wildest Expectations

Viking Hlin Cruise Review by kjernst@sympatico.ca

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2015
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Stateroom
It has always been my dream to visit Christmas markets in Germany during Advent. I had heard about bus tours but that was not what I wanted to do. Then I heard about River cruises that offered this. It was on my bucket list as of that day. Viking offered the best tour for our requirements.

We arrived in Amsterdam 3 days early and explored the city and met up with friends. On sailing day, we arrived at the port in Amsterdam and were met by wonderful Viking staff and our boarding was very swift and effortless. We have done a few Caribbean cruises with Royal Caribbean where it's extremely busy and takes quite a while.

The cabin was beautiful, modern and clean. The ship was beautiful and the staff very friendly. Every meal was better than the night before and always a lot of variety. I really enjoyed the girls Choir that was brought on board one evening while we were docked. They sang local and Christmas songs and it was wonderful. Our pianist for the trip (Angel) was outstanding.

Every port had something unique to offer. I really liked the headsets where you could listen to the commentary of a LOCAL guide who was always so knowledgeable and proud of their city. Then afterwards we were free to explore the Christmas markets that were in that city. When asked afterwards what was my favourite, I said everything as it was all so amazing.

The service of the staff was outstanding. There was a mix up of items purchased at a vendor while on a shore excursion. When I went to the front desk to see if an announcement could be made so that I could exchange my package with the person who received mine, no one came forward at that time. However, after returning home, I received a call from Viking giving me someone's contact information (with their permission) as they were the one who also had the wrong items. We then contacted each other and exchanged our purchases. This is truly going above and beyond regular customer service. The lady who cleaned our cabin was amazing - she did a wonderful job, quick, polite, friendly and was always working and had a smile and hello every time we saw her during the day.

My one and only complaint was Viking Air. We purchased and paid for our cruise 10 months before we travelled and yet we couldn't get seat assignments until we checked in for our homeward journey. I was told that this is the class of fare that Viking Air chose to purchase for us but honestly, after having our money for 10 months, surely a class of fare could have been purchased where seat assignment was allowed. As it turned out, we were able to sit together after visiting the consierge desk but it was an unnecessary stress for us. I like the ability to use Viking Air vs booking our own but may not use it again for this reason and I have heard others complain about it also.
kjernst@sympatico.ca’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Stateroom
Cabin E
Don't remember our room but it was the 1st floor - port hole window only. Cabin category is only a guess.

The cabin was lovely, clean and enough room for us. Next time I would choose one above the water level. We chose this class as it was winter time and didn't think we would make use of a veranda.
Main Deck Outside Cabins