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This was our second Viking river cruise (1st was four years ago in China) and overall we enjoyed the trip, The ship left Budapest and sailed up the Danube river making stops in Austria and Germany. The Bestla was a last minute replacement as our former ship was involved in an accident a few weeks prior that left it inoperable. First impressions are key and there were three viking ships at the dock - we were not sure which was our ship and I asked a few porters for the Bestla - I mis-pronounced the name and was curtly corrected by a porter about the correct pronouciation and was informed we should know better where we are going - interesting way to board a ship. The room was clean, nicely styled with an outdoor balcony but was somewhat smaller than our China cruise. The meals were good and enjoyable (not great) - they were tasty and flavorable but nothing really stood out as being unique or memorable. Unlike our China ship, it seemed to take the crew a few days to get organized and work as a team - service during meals and the bar were a bit slow in the first few days but seemed to improve as the days went on. One notable difference from China is that the crew did not take the time to learn the names of the passengers (by the end of day one in China, our bartenders knew our names and had drinks pre-made as we entered the bar and dining area). The included excursions were okay but one of my ongoing chief complaints for river cruises in general is that you have to pay the extra dollars for the better excursions (of which we signed up for several - Mozart string quarter, palace in Vienna, Munich). One notable experience that really got my goat was when we went to a beautiful Monastary and had to pay a small additional fee (that we were unaware of) to attend a dumpling demonstration - those that did not sign up (including us) had to wait in the coffee shop until the demonstration was completed - have to say when you pay over $10,000 to go on this trip I am disappointed that Viking could not include this as part of the free excursion. We signed up for the silver beverage package that allowed for unlimited beverages and wine - when we ordered wine for dinner each night, we were told they ran out of several types that we enjoyed but mysteriously they were served in the bar later that evening. Also I enjoy single malt scotch and when they ran out of one particular bottle on day three of the cruise, I was told they could only serve one bottle per cruise - again we are paying $10,000 for this trip so please don't nickel and dime me with the silly rules. The ship is very small and we met a lot of kind, funny, and engaging folks from all over the world and made new friends for life. Overall we had a nice time but compared to our China cruise (service, crew team work, meals, excursions, bar service) this was not the five star service we have come to expect from Viking. Will probably look into other river cruises for some diversity next year.

Enjoyable River Cruise Along the Danube

Viking Bestla Cruise Review by Kleinbar

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2016
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Veranda Stateroom
This was our second Viking river cruise (1st was four years ago in China) and overall we enjoyed the trip, The ship left Budapest and sailed up the Danube river making stops in Austria and Germany. The Bestla was a last minute replacement as our former ship was involved in an accident a few weeks prior that left it inoperable. First impressions are key and there were three viking ships at the dock - we were not sure which was our ship and I asked a few porters for the Bestla - I mis-pronounced the name and was curtly corrected by a porter about the correct pronouciation and was informed we should know better where we are going - interesting way to board a ship.

The room was clean, nicely styled with an outdoor balcony but was somewhat smaller than our China cruise. The meals were good and enjoyable (not great) - they were tasty and flavorable but nothing really stood out as being unique or memorable. Unlike our China ship, it seemed to take the crew a few days to get organized and work as a team - service during meals and the bar were a bit slow in the first few days but seemed to improve as the days went on. One notable difference from China is that the crew did not take the time to learn the names of the passengers (by the end of day one in China, our bartenders knew our names and had drinks pre-made as we entered the bar and dining area). The included excursions were okay but one of my ongoing chief complaints for river cruises in general is that you have to pay the extra dollars for the better excursions (of which we signed up for several - Mozart string quarter, palace in Vienna, Munich). One notable experience that really got my goat was when we went to a beautiful Monastary and had to pay a small additional fee (that we were unaware of) to attend a dumpling demonstration - those that did not sign up (including us) had to wait in the coffee shop until the demonstration was completed - have to say when you pay over $10,000 to go on this trip I am disappointed that Viking could not include this as part of the free excursion. We signed up for the silver beverage package that allowed for unlimited beverages and wine - when we ordered wine for dinner each night, we were told they ran out of several types that we enjoyed but mysteriously they were served in the bar later that evening. Also I enjoy single malt scotch and when they ran out of one particular bottle on day three of the cruise, I was told they could only serve one bottle per cruise - again we are paying $10,000 for this trip so please don't nickel and dime me with the silly rules. The ship is very small and we met a lot of kind, funny, and engaging folks from all over the world and made new friends for life. Overall we had a nice time but compared to our China cruise (service, crew team work, meals, excursions, bar service) this was not the five star service we have come to expect from Viking. Will probably look into other river cruises for some diversity next year.
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Cabin Review

Veranda Stateroom
Cabin B 222
cabin was clean and nicely arranged - a bit smaller than former Viking cruises. The cabin attendant was wonderful and worked very hard
Middle Deck Balcony Cabins