Cruise staff was amazing! We arrived by taxi and Viking staff took over as soon as we stepped out of the car. They immediately took our bags and welcomed us on board.
Fabulous treatment from the get-go. We stayed in 301 on the Rolf, and it was an excellent location. I would absolutely request it next time. Beds were a bit lumpy. Viking should fix that. Stefi did a fabulous job keeping our room clean and orderly. We hardly ever saw her, but she took great care of us. Food was fabulous at every meal. Look to sit at Georgi's table. He is delightful and will make sure your meal is perfect. Be sure to visit the lounge and hear Chris on the piano. He is amazing. The two ladies working the front desk are so pleasant and helpful. They made arrangements for a taxi to pick us up upon disembarkation and take us to the Saint Germain-en-Laye train station for our next adventure. Cost was 20 euros plus tip for the 2 of us. Felt very safe. Easy train ride to Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, even with bags (just be sure you can manage them on and off the trains). The cruise director also did an amazing job!!!! He worked tirelessly to arrange the tours, keep the schedules, and coordinate communications. When Versailles closed due to the Yellow Jacket protests, the Vesailles excursion was canceled. Within hours, Viking arranged an alternate excursion to Chateau Chantilly at no expense to the passengers. Chantilly was fabulous! Kudos to Viking for going above and beyond!
Travelling in December was tough because it was cold and rained almost every day. Days are short. Sunrise was around 8:30 a.m. with sunset around 4:45 p.m. Tours to Normandy Beach and the American Cemetery were rushed. We were disappointed, but that was not Viking's fault. Just the time of year. We will go back when we can have more time. Bus ride to the Normandy beaches was very long. No potty break on the way back, so be forewarned.
Because of the full tour schedules, attire for dinner was casual and relaxed. Sometimes our tour bus would return just in time for dinner. Not having to get gussied up for dinner after a long day of sight-seeing was a relief. Sit at a large table and get to know folks. Dinner was a lot of fun.
We got Euros before leaving USA because we didn't want to get caught without. We found that we could get euros in France from ATMs without paying the exchange fee. Cruise Director was helpful with advice on local matters such as this.
Also, we bought several tour books before our trip, because we did some pre and post cruise traveling on our own. Of all the books we bought, Rick Steves' books were the best. Everything recommended in his books were spot on (and be sure to download his app). I could have eliminated the rest and saved the money.
When we returned home, we wondered if we would want to try another cruise line for our next cruise. We knew we loved our Viking Cruise, but since it was our first river cruise, we wondered if there was something even better. We researched other lines and compared everything we got from Viking with what they offered. We were so impressed with what we got comparatively, that we decided to stick with Viking. Can't wait to take our next Viking cruise!