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The incentives to book the cruise at this time was really the clincher for us - the price, while high, was attractive and the included airfare seemed enticing. We had never been on a river cruise before and this seemed like a good way to visit numerous stops with great ease, comfort and worry-free. Plus, being a regular viewer of programs on public television where Viking does a lot of advertising - we were curious and interested. Reservations and Booking Process - very easy and problem free. Pre-trip extension - we opted for a two-day extension in Amsterdam. Here is where you will encounter a problem if you book airfare through Viking. You would need to book and extensions through them as well since they are arranging your arrival - this also means that you will not likely get the best-priced property and will spend a good deal more than if you did yourself. My advice - do not fall for the "included airfare" promotion. Arrange your own airfare and your own pre- or post-cruise extension at a property of your choosing. Traveling in the Netherlands is soooo easy whether by taxi, public transportation or renting your own car - don't think you can't do it - you can! If we could do it all over again, we'd arrange our own flights and our own pre- and post-trip extensions. Arrival & Transfer - Another reason why NOT to use Viking to make your flight arrangements. We arrived and waited for an hour for another arrival - this jeopardized our pre-trip reservation to the Anne Frank House - Viking didn't seem to care. Their people at the airport were unconcerned and only doing their job. Not a good first impression of Viking. Cabin - we had a room with a shallow balcony - probably not a smart choice for this time of year. The weather was chilly enough that we rarely utilized the balcony. If weather had been better, the balcony will be a wonderful choice - a place where you can have some privacy and extra space. The cabin was excellent and in very good condition. There was one very bothersome problem - the television. Viking has a great concept in offering viewing selection, but our TV (and the ship's system) constantly was freezing up - it would literally take you days to watch one program (if you had that much patience) because it would stop in the middle for no reason and take you back to the main menu. this annoyed me greatly. Food - surprisingly the food wasn't noticeably better than your average run-of-the-mill ocean cruise (i.e., Princess, NCL) except there was much less of it. You're fed breakfast, lunch and dinner but nothing to be had in between and no room service. Shore Excursions - another attractive aspect of Viking for newbies like us were the included shore excursions. Well, don't be fooled. If you have any sense of exploration or physical abilities you can walk and see more than you will on the included shore excursions. The optional excursions (and not free) were above average. We did the Arnhem WW2 excursion, the cheese-tasting, tulip farm and windmill optional excursions. All except the WW2 excursion were worthwhile. The Arnhem WW2 excursion was so brief and with roads under repair the guide and bus driver spent way too much time trying to find their way on the detours. We had rented a car and visited Eindhoven and Nijmegen on our own before the cruise started - I should've done Arnhem on our own as well - the little time spent at the Airborne Museum was a disappointment. Recommend you do this one on your own! Conclusion - we just aren't cut out to be river cruisers. We won't be taking another one.

Windmills & Tulips Itinerary Exceed Your Expectations?? Not really.

Viking Baldur Cruise Review by larbrad

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2017
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Veranda Stateroom
The incentives to book the cruise at this time was really the clincher for us - the price, while high, was attractive and the included airfare seemed enticing. We had never been on a river cruise before and this seemed like a good way to visit numerous stops with great ease, comfort and worry-free. Plus, being a regular viewer of programs on public television where Viking does a lot of advertising - we were curious and interested.

Reservations and Booking Process - very easy and problem free.

Pre-trip extension - we opted for a two-day extension in Amsterdam. Here is where you will encounter a problem if you book airfare through Viking. You would need to book and extensions through them as well since they are arranging your arrival - this also means that you will not likely get the best-priced property and will spend a good deal more than if you did yourself. My advice - do not fall for the "included airfare" promotion. Arrange your own airfare and your own pre- or post-cruise extension at a property of your choosing. Traveling in the Netherlands is soooo easy whether by taxi, public transportation or renting your own car - don't think you can't do it - you can! If we could do it all over again, we'd arrange our own flights and our own pre- and post-trip extensions.

Arrival & Transfer - Another reason why NOT to use Viking to make your flight arrangements. We arrived and waited for an hour for another arrival - this jeopardized our pre-trip reservation to the Anne Frank House - Viking didn't seem to care. Their people at the airport were unconcerned and only doing their job. Not a good first impression of Viking.

Cabin - we had a room with a shallow balcony - probably not a smart choice for this time of year. The weather was chilly enough that we rarely utilized the balcony. If weather had been better, the balcony will be a wonderful choice - a place where you can have some privacy and extra space. The cabin was excellent and in very good condition. There was one very bothersome problem - the television. Viking has a great concept in offering viewing selection, but our TV (and the ship's system) constantly was freezing up - it would literally take you days to watch one program (if you had that much patience) because it would stop in the middle for no reason and take you back to the main menu. this annoyed me greatly.

Food - surprisingly the food wasn't noticeably better than your average run-of-the-mill ocean cruise (i.e., Princess, NCL) except there was much less of it. You're fed breakfast, lunch and dinner but nothing to be had in between and no room service.

Shore Excursions - another attractive aspect of Viking for newbies like us were the included shore excursions. Well, don't be fooled. If you have any sense of exploration or physical abilities you can walk and see more than you will on the included shore excursions. The optional excursions (and not free) were above average. We did the Arnhem WW2 excursion, the cheese-tasting, tulip farm and windmill optional excursions. All except the WW2 excursion were worthwhile. The Arnhem WW2 excursion was so brief and with roads under repair the guide and bus driver spent way too much time trying to find their way on the detours. We had rented a car and visited Eindhoven and Nijmegen on our own before the cruise started - I should've done Arnhem on our own as well - the little time spent at the Airborne Museum was a disappointment. Recommend you do this one on your own!

Conclusion - we just aren't cut out to be river cruisers. We won't be taking another one.
larbrad’s Full Rating Summary
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