Viking Cruises now has a loyal customer for life! Not only was the cruise AMAZING! But I feel like you learn a lot about a company based off of how they deal with obscacles.
Four days before our cruise started, we were informed that the water was low and we would be aboard Ship Jarl (not original ship) instead of Ship Atla (orginal ship) and that there was a possibilty that if the water didn't rise, we would have to swap from the Jarl to the Atla.
How fabulous is it that the moment they knew of the issue, they informed us! When we got on the Jarl, our WONDERFUL Cruise Director, Mario, told us what he knew, what we could expect if we had to switch ships, and when he'd give us our next update. They were honest and kept us informed as they promised.
Where we did have to switch ships, because mother nature wasn't in our favor, they did EVERYTHING they could to make the change comfortable. Mario worked countless hours with other individuals behind the scenes to get us to the Atla with as much ease as they could provide.
All inconveniences were minimal. We had to pack and unpack an additional time. And if you can even call it an inconvenience, we were able to take the most beautiful country side drive through Germany for 3 hours. We saw farms, villages on the hill side, and gorgeous churches and their different architecture.
AND a tour that they thought they'd have to cancel, Mario worked it out so we'd be able to do the tour at a later time after we reached the Atla.
We were so impressed by how they handled the issue. And it's worth noting that there was another cruise line (that I can't remember the name of) that wasn't able to fulfill on their itinerary because of the low water issue as there isn’t much you can do when it’s a Mother Nature issue.
Viking did everything in their power to keep us on track and they did a phenomenal job. The water level was out of their control, but they took control of the issue and provided solution after solution to keep us happy and comfortable.
Now, that I've gushed a bit about how they handled that issue (and I could gush more!), I want to gush about the boat, food, staff, and tours.
Boat - Easy to navigate. Even the smallest room felt open and roomy. The upper deck was perfect way to end the day. We’d watch the country side as we talked and had our evening tea.
THE FOOD!! We were so fat and happy after our trip. The dinners were especially delicious and we loved that it was local cusiune!! So nummy!! Our waiters would give us their recommendations and they never steered us wrong. There were times when all the desserts looked so scrumptious, we got them all!! And had our bellies not been so happily extended, we would have had more!!
Staff - Oh, the staff. It didn't matter if we were on the Jarl or Atla, the people were fabulous. Attentive. Funny. Sweet. Caring. Personable. Informative. They made life on the boat a home. We loved how quickly we were able to make jokes with them. They always remembered our drink preferences for meals and would cater their recommendations based off of what we said we’d liked from previous meals. When we’d retire to bed, a blanket that I brought from home was always folded in a new way. My favorite was when Alexander made it into a bow tie! It was a wonderful environment to be in.
A huge thanks to Dragan, Connie, Jayson, Radu, Alexander, Skiffy, Emanuel, and Nikolas. They’re who we were able to personally get to know during our trip. And where we were able to get to know them, every person on those ships deserve recognition for how hard they worked to give other guests the same attention and care our little boat family gave us!
Tours - Viking picked the BEST people to give tours. They were local to the area and they where very knowledgable and passionate about what we did. It was great to talk to them as they had multiple generations of family that lived in the area and were able to tell us about their own history. No book or class will ever provoke feelings or thoughts like walking around the cities with people who know not only the history stories, but their family’s history as well. You appreciate it so much more. Having that opportunity gave the cities a whole new life and meaning to me. And whether it was the included or optional tours, you can't go wrong. You learn history on such a personal level.
For being the smallest room, it was comfortable and roomy. We felt like we had everything we needed.