At the time of our cruise, Paris and the Seine were experiencing some of the worst flooding in decades. We were apprehensive about what might happen. Viking and its wonderful staff went out of their way to make the experience fantastic! They had to juggle itineraries, arrange for transportation, and deal with Mother Nature all at once, yet it was seamless.
The food on board was excellent. While we had plenty of options (dinner, for example, had several nightly specials along with a fixed menu), the selection was easy -- every night I just told the waiter, "Bring me the Chef's recommendations!" I was never disappointed. Breakfast and lunch were also tremendous.
The excursions were well executed, with friendly and well-qualified guides everywhere we went. We booked a trip to the Palace at Versailles, at an additional charge, but arrived to find that the staff at the Palace had gone on strike (the Viking staff, ever alert to these things, warned us the night before that it might happen). I called Viking the first business day after we returned to ask about a refund, and the friendly customer service rep advised that the refund had already been completed -- days before I even called.
As for the destinations: Viking bills the cruise we took as "Paris and the Heart of Normandy." We loved it so much that we are considering doing the same cruise again, even though Viking offers plenty of other trips. Monet's gardens at Giverny, the beautiful Medieval city of Rouen, and the D-Day landing beaches at Normandy were all fantastic.
My wife and I have been on the "Big Boat" cruises, but never again! The River Cruise concept, and especially Viking's execution, is all we'll do from now on. The smaller boat, with a small passenger size (but great staff to passenger ratio) made the River Cruise much more enjoyable. The number of ports gives you plenty to see, and river sailing is nice and smooth.
We met many wonderful fellow travelers, and the question always came up: "Is this your first Viking cruise?" For my wife and I, the answer was "Yes." But, for the majority of people, it was, "No, this is my second" or third or fourth or fifth. The number of repeat Viking River Cruise customers says it all -- we are looking forward to our next one!
Not exactly huge, but plenty big for my wife and I. The shower was excellent -- plenty of hot water and big water pressure! The staff kept it clean fresh.
We enjoyed the veranda and the view as we sailed!