We had been wanting to do this trip for a long time, so when the opportunity presented itself for Summer of 2018, we jumped at it! It was our first time to Europe, first time with Viking, and our first river cruise outside of the states. That's a LOT of firsts!
We started our trip with 3 days on our own in Amsterdam. We had a wonderful time, and while it was great to use hotel points, next time I would opt for the Viking Pre-Cruise if offered. I think we likely would have seen more of the city. Our hotel was close enough to the dock that we walked by everyday looking at the Viking Longships and dreaming about our embarkation.
Embarkation was so smooth! We walked up with our luggage, left it with the nice crew members and proceeded to the ship. Checking in on board was super smooth, they showed us to our cabin and gave us the needed information about how things work on board. Our cabin was AMAZING! I am probably spoiled now to the life of the Explorer Suite! lol
The restaurant & bar staff were simply wonderful. They are quick to learn your name and your preferences, or, in my case, dietary restrictions. They knew what I could and could not eat, and made sure I stayed safe throughout the trip. This extended to the few times that eating ashore was necessary. A card was provided to me to inform the restaurant of my restrictions.
The tour itself was also amazing. The ports along the way, the history...medieval through modern...was astonishing. I loved Passau. And all of the St Stephens' Cathedrals we visited (I think there were 3?). The Organ concert. The Klimt exhibit. The history center in Nuremberg. ALL OF IT!
If you were following the weather in the summer of 2018, you know that Europe was experiencing a heat wave. And a drought. So yes, the river was low. So low that a change of ships was necessary. Even this was SEAMLESS! Yes, we had to pack our bags about half way through the trip in order to change ships, but that was hardly an inconvenience. The crew got our bags off the ship, & off to the new ship while we went about our tour. When we arrived at the new ship, our bags were in our cabins. EASY PEASY!
We loved our experience with Viking so much that in less than 18 hours of returning home, we booked our next Viking trip: back to back Ocean Cruises over Christmas and New Years (alas, no Explore suite for me on this one...lol). If you're reading this, and wondering if Viking is worth the $$$. IT IS! Go book that trip now. (I'm sure all of their reservation people are great, I highly recommend Monte!)
OMG! I didn't want to leave! Wrap around balcony. Separate bedroom. Exquisite bathroom.
When can I go back?
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Wow! This tour guide was top notch! really knows his history!
wowza! What a lesson in history!
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