Several years ago, we wanted to try a "something different" type vacation and chose to do a river cruise. We chose Viking Cruise Line and the Danube River. They "wowed" us !! Would history repeat itself if we chose the Rhine River and Viking Cruise Line ? Oh my, my, my did it ever repeat !!
Recently retired and celebrating 3 decades of being married to an awesome woman, we decided to try out Viking Ocean Cruises and chose the Grand Mediterranean Tour. Folks, I will be brief. . . the Viking Sea is simply a beautiful ship, the staff are the friendliness people you will meet and their service is impeccable, the selection of food and wines are 5 star, the entertainment was superb, and the excursion guides must've received their doctorate in that country's history.
Please note: When looking at booking excursions, if your excursion has an E, walking will be easy. M is for moderate. D is for demanding. Folks, D is demanding due to steep inclines, rough and long walking.
Our cabin steward cleaned and refurbished our towels and toiletries twice a day ! If we needed something like extra hangars, he returned within 3 minutes with whatever we needed. Our cabin was immaculate our entire cruise.
In my review's title, I wrote ". . .Exceeding Our Expectations". Whether a river cruise or an ocean cruise, if you want to get "wowed", turn to Viking Cruise Lines.
Our cabin steward was a young man named Muhammad. He is an exceptional person and a tireless worker. Our cabin was cleaned refurbished twice a day !!
Our excursions were over 2 days while in port. The Montserrat Monastery is a MUST see. We returned from the Monastery and the bus drive was through the city and up to Guadi's park development. Quite interesting as he designed everything from the longest (and quite comfortable) snake-like bench and what he did with his coffee cups.View All 284 City Tour Reviews
Various architectural designs, some insights as well.View All 60 Gaudi Walking Tour Reviews
Montserrat Monastery is a MUST see. Black Madonna.View All 118 Montserrat Walking Tour Reviews
We visited the town of Bormes-les-Mimosa and had a fabulous wine tasting at a local winery. Highly, highly recommend their merlot as well as their champagne. We purchased the merlot and 2 bottles of their champagne. You will find exquisite wines and champagnes for 4 Euros a bottle.
MUST SEE the changing of the guard on the hour and especially the one at NOON.
Also, the Royal Palace, the homes of Princess Caroline and Stephanie. The Cathedral de Monaco, where Prince Rainier married Grace Kelly, and are entombed.
Monte Carlo Square where the casinos are located. Costs 10 Euros to go into the hallway but proper attire is strictly enforced before (no shorts for men) and a coat and tie after 5.
Also interesting: Monaco is a principality. Looking at the high rise buildings, that is Monte Carlo. When you see houses right above the high rise, you are looking at France. To the far right, you will see the mountains of Italy. If you wish to be a resident, please submit your bank account and financial earnings to the mayor's office. Finally, like The Netherlands, Monaco actually hired a Dutch company and have reclaimed part of the Mediterranean Sea and is currently surveying for additional reclamation projects.View All 55 Monte Carlo Walking Tour Reviews
Don't miss the changing of the guard at 12 noon.View All 10 Royal Palace Reviews
Cargese is a beautiful seaside village and a refuge for late 17th century Greek immigrants whose ancestors escaped Ottoman persecution. Traveling along a coastal road, we could see snow capped mountains in the distance and the glance down and view the seascape of the Mediterranean. We arrived at Cargese, a village surrounded by a small bay whose distinctive feature are two churches -- one Catholic and the other Greek Orthodox, facing each other, separated by a small valley, but sharing one priest.View All undefined undefined Reviews
With its rolling vistas and sprawling vineyards, beautiful Tuscany is known equally as the cradle of the Renaissance and a center of culinary delights and astounding wines. On this day, our excursion takes us to the walled town of San Gimignano and then lunch at a Tuscan farm. Windy and rainy, we struggled with our umbrellas and trying to focus our cameras in these conditions and hoping to see a break in the weather. What miserable weather did was focused our attention on the day that may have been the most beautiful day we had on our cruise.View All 36 San Gimignano Reviews
More than 2500 years of history live in the streets of Rome. Most of our first excursion was strictly sightseeing on a bus with limited amount of time where we actually got off the bus. Many of my pictures were reflected on the glass window or involved people's heads and therefore, are not snapshots of Rome. There will be better pictures in the next album of Rome.
2nd day -- Ancient Rome: Colosseum, Forum, National Roman Museum, and BathsView All 349 City Tour Reviews
Quite historical and not what Hollywood presents to us. For example, the Colosseum actually had a wooden floor with trap doors and a canvas-like covering like a large circus tent.View All 193 Colosseum Reviews
Long a crossroads of Mediterranean trade and culture, the island of Malta has been shaped by countless civilizations. It was the Knights of St. John who built Valletta. A stroll around the massive, intact walls and bastions affords a magnificent view of the cityscape and the spectacular Grand Harbor.
The former capital was Mdina, a medieval walled city locals call the "Silent City" as cars are not allowed in its streets.
Valletta was founded in the 16th Century and has views of 3 cities and Fort Ricasoli.
Malta was a strategic island during World War II with its airfields and Grand Harbor port.View All 78 City Tour Reviews
After docking, we made our way to the bus and our police escorts, on our way through Tunis and heading for Ancient Carthage, the capital of the Carthaginian Republic, a powerhouse in the Mediterranean for centuries and founded over 3,000 years ago.
High on the cliffs overlooking the Bay of Tunis, we came to explore the Moorish village of Sidi Bou Said and not to be confused with Santorini.
Lastly, something not listed on our excursion.View All 7 Carthage Walking Tour Reviews
Humbling. See photo for more description.View All 2 North-African American Cemetery and Memorial Reviews
Not Santorini.View All 5 Sidi Bou Said Walking Tour Reviews