My husband and I had been on two sea cruises, and decided to embark on a river cruise. We receive Viking River Cruise brochures often, and see its ads on TV. The "Grand European" was offered at a great price 10 weeks prior to sailing. We added three days in Prague prior to the cruise, through Viking; and two days in Amsterdam afterward, which we booked ourselves. Viking reserved our flights and, although both departing flights left a couple of hours late, we were still able to make our connections. Our luggage did not make it onto our flight from Heathrow to Prague, but was delivered to our room later in the evening. The Corinthia Hotel in Prague was first-class, and the included breakfast buffet was magnificent! The Viking shuttle van is available to take guests to and from Old Town. The bus trip to Budapest was comfortable and pleasant, with bathroom and lunch stops.
The cruise exceeded our expectations from start to finish. The common areas of the ship were clean and beautiful. Crew and staff were friendly and helpful; and the food was fabulous. We enjoyed all the towns we visited. The included tours were pleasant and educational. Bottled water and umbrellas are available when leaving the ship. Our local guides were knowledgeable, and all had a good sense of humor. High water levels caused some delays along the way, but the Viking staff had everything under control, and we were seldom inconvenienced. When you take a river cruise, you must be prepared to "go with the flow", both literally and figuratively. You may not have as much free time as you expected in some of the towns, or an optional excursion might be cancelled. For safety reasons, the sun deck may not always be open to passengers. If you go with the attitude that there may be some deviations to the schedule, you will do fine. I would guess the majority of passengers on this particular cruise were baby boomers, mostly couples. They were fit, educated, and friendly; and mostly first-time river cruisers.
Although our water-level room was small, it was adequate for sleeping and showering. It had plenty of storage space in the room and bathroom. There is also a ledge in front of the window where you can store items. There is a clothesline that reaches lengthwise across the shower. Between that and the plastic hangers we brought along, we were able to dry the small clothing items we laundered in the sink. Full-size tubes of shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and bath gel are provided. Bathroom lighting is good. The beds are very comfortable. They only provide duvets, which can be warm unless you jack up the A/C. We asked for and were given top sheets and blankets. There was some noise from time to time, but it didn't disturb our sleep.