Last year we reported a disappointing Duoro Cruise on Viking. Because we were offered a credit towards a future cruise, we decided to give Viking a chance to redeem themselves.
This cruise, overall, was excellent. We will almost certainly cruise with Viking again in the future. As far as I am concerned, there are two major factors which influence my enjoyment of cruise, the attitude of the crew and the places visited. This cruise ticked both boxes for me.
Airport transfer, both on embarkation day and disembarkation day, fell short what I have come to expect. Both ends involved length walks, with luggage to and from the parking place for the shuttle. No assistance with luggage was offered or available.
Embarkation exceeded expectations. We arrived mid-morning with the prospect of waiting until 3pm to get access to our cabin. In fact, the cabin was ready by 11:30am.
The crew on board was outstanding and contributed greatly to the overall experience. The program director, Nikolas, was the best we have ever experienced. He appeared totally unruffled despite lots of problems caused by strikes by Air France, SNCF and Lufthansa. He is a natural communicator. His briefings were informative and included just the right amount of humour. He also greeted every single passenger by name, which really made us feel welcome on board.
The ship was in good condition and kept very clean.
Food: Good variety, good quality, attractively served.
Drink: We took the Silver Spirits package. Unlike on some ocean cruises, getting value out of the package does not require excessive drinking. One cocktail before dinner, one glass of premium wine with lunch and dinner and one nightcap would have cost more than the package.
Waiter service: Mostly excellent. Seemed to be a little overworked at times.
Destinations: Every single destination was interesting and the local guides used were outstanding.
Downsides: Because river levels were very high, the sun deck was closed for almost the whole period that the ship was moving. We were docked against other ships for 5 nights out of 7.
TV: Don't sail on Viking for the TV entertainment. For long periods several of the channels were unavailable and all of the Sky channels were in German. If you were expecting premier league football, you will have to settle for handball.
Viking do need to sort out the guest survey we were asked to complete at the end of the cruise. We were asked to rate everything on a scale of Did not meet expectations - Met expectations - Exceeded expectations - Far exceeded expectations. Our cruise director helped us "interpret" these to mean Bad - fair - good - excellent. I object to this. As someone who has cruised Viking before, my expectations were high. Most of them were met and in some cases exceeded, which means that this was a great cruise. However, I don't want Viking to use my feedback in advertising to state that they far exceeded my expectations, which they didn't.
Very small, my wife an I needed to plan movements around the room. This category of "stateroom" is below water level. The claim that the rooms include a "half-height" picture window is a nonsense. In fact they feature a a window maybe 30cm high, almost above head height. Avoid cabin 101. It is exactly underneath the gangway. The noise when the ship docks at 4am is very disturbing.
Very good wine tasting.View All 34 Beaujolais Vineyards Reviews
Visited the top of Fourviere and the Old Town. Very informative tour guide.
Excellent walking tour of the walled city in the rain,
Late evening stroll in the dark. The town was almost deserted and vert atmospheric.