1. Can't decide whether I liked the staff or the guests more. Everyone was so terrific! But so was the ship itself. Didn't run into any disagreeable guests! Felt we were traveling with a diverse group of down-to-earth, educated people--all ages, all backgrounds but uniformly easy to like!
2. Ship was just the right size, sparkling clean and beautiful in cozy, low-key way. We LOVED the artwork!
3. Meal selections were varied and delicious; there was something for everyone. We had to scratch our heads to come up with something to NOT like: The pancakes were a little strange (for our personal taste--others probably loved them. I think they had cornmeal in them.) To balance out that observation: The bread baskets on the dining room tables were gorgeous. (We wanted to buy one, but they weren't available for sale!)
4. Loved the house entertainers. They put there hearts into all the shows we saw. Always something to look forward to! And we enjoyed the night-before shore talks, as well as the historian's lectures.
5. The staff was attentive without being smarmy-friendly or condescending. Accommodated special requests beautifully. When we arrived in Barcelona in the early morning from Phoenix, AZ (via Chicago and New York),we were exhausted but amazed at how easy Viking made our transfer to the ship. Although our cabin (of course) wasn't ready when we arrived, our champagne welcome and breakfast/brunch were awfully nice; and we appreciated the extra time we had to explore the ship! Disembarkation and transfer to the airport in Rome went smoothly and seamlessly. In fact, we were amazed each day by the number of Viking staff members available (on board, in town, and at the port) to cheerfully help any guests who were lost, confused, or just plain exhausted!
6. We waited too late to book some of the tours we initially wanted, but the ones we "settled for" were really worthwhile. When the water was too choppy for us to dock in Monte Carlo, the ship's staff did an amazing job of shifting gears with no inconvenience to any guests. We anchored outside Ville de Frenche and took tenders that ran back and forth from the ship to the shore. The town itself and the last-minute guide that Viking arranged to show us around were totally unexpected treats. And guests were STILL able to go on the excursions they had booked.
7. We will definitely cruise again with Viking. We've already booked a Rome-to-Athens trip.