Viking Atla Cruise Review by colocruisefan
- Sail Date: April 2018
- Destination: Europe River
- Cabin Type: Veranda Stateroom
1. Friendly and attentive staff.
2. Cabins were small but very well appointed. Storage space was more than adequate.
3. Food was uniformly good. I would not call it gourmet food, but always good quality and plentiful.
4. Cleanliness. I believe the captain mentioned that Atla was built in 2013. After five years, she still looks great and the crew kept the ship spotless.
5. Marco, our activities director, was excellent. We appreciated his sense of humor and he always kept us informed. Also, unlike with other ships, he seemed to be everywhere and also gave the impression he really enjoyed his job and passengers.
6. Enjoyed the ports. Budapest and Prague were favorites but we enjoyed all the stops. Especially enjoyed the abbey tours in Krems and Regensburg.
7. Service and logistics. Viking did a really good job of herding the cats (passengers) and kept things running smoothly and on-time. Reception desk service was usually prompt and efficient.
8, Post-cruise hotel (Art Nouveau) in Prague was truly excellent. Great location, beautiful rooms, fantastic breakfasts and friendly and professional staff.
And now the cons:
1. Internet service. Having experienced the problems with expensive online access on ocean cruises, we were drawn to Viking’s promise of free Wi-fi service. However, access was extremely limited, slow, and not available for long perids of time. We could not send a single photo home while on the ship – had to wait to find decent Wi-fi in the ports. My advice to travelers who need reliable online access is to skip this ship and/or itinerary.
2. Tours. We liked the fact that there was a free tour included every day and some of them were great (e.g. the Budapest and Passau walking tours). However, the quality of the guides varied quite a bit in knowledge, enthusiasm and English speaking skills.
3. Crowding. One of the reasons we chose Viking was to have a calmer and less-crowded experience than with the large ships. Yet with a full ship of 190 passengers, there were times it was difficult to find a seat in the lounge or on the sun deck. This was not as big of a problem as with ocean ships but still a bit irritating.
4. Entertainment. The piano player (Peter?) was good and his Tom Jones concert was superb, but the variety and quality of the entertainment was just okay. We certainly didn’t expect as much as what you get on an ocean cruise but I believe Viking can do a bit better.
5. Fitness. There is no fitness facility onboard, other than a small walking/jogging track on the upper deck. This was not a major issue for us due to all the walking we did while on tours, but could be an issue for others.
6. Pre-excursion hotel (Sofitel) in Budapest was disappointing. The room was small and the staff not particularly friendly. They seemed bewildered that an American traveler would require an adapter to use 110v current. My mistake for not bringing this but instead of loaning us the adapter (as they did at our Prague hotel), the gentleman at the business services office tried to sell one (which he wrongly claimed was a converter) for 22 Euros, about three times the cost of such an item on Amazon.com.
Overall, we would rate the Viking experience as good, but not great. It met our expectations in most areas, but didn’t truly “wow” us. We are certainly open to cruising with Viking again, but they really need to fix the internet access issue.
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