I’ll start by saying that my husband and I did not enjoy our cruise with Viking, this review is really meant to inform and enlighten the traveler before they decide to book a river cruise particularly with Viking. We choose Viking because friends had been on their ocean cruise and found it very enjoyable. We typically cruise Celebrity, which provides a level of luxury we enjoy. We booked everything through Viking and here are the areas we found acceptable:
- air fare and transfers
Here are the areas lacking:
- hotels selected for pre and post stays, Both hotels were off the beaten path so to actually immerse yourself in Lucerne and Amsterdam, you needed to travel by public transportation to really see the towns you were in. Hotel selection was poor.
- ship was ok. But the Explorer suite, which is their best room is over the engine and the noise and the vibration/shaking at night was unbearable!!! The room was poorly laid out and not worth the price. The Celebrity suite on any Celebrity ship is half the price and twice as nice. Get the cheapest room you can because none of the higher rooms with balconies is worth it. The Rhine river is only scenic for about 1/2 day on the 8 day trip, the rest is cargo, factories and weeds.
- The dining schedule is ridiculous. Breakfast is from 6-9, then lunch at 12:30 and dinner at 7 pm. The problem with this is that if you plan to take your meals on the ship (and because you paid an arm and leg for the trip, you should), you are limited on what you can do off the ship. If you take an excursion in the morning and come back after the 12:30 lunch, then you have to wait until the next meal at dinner. That’s it! No place on the ship to grab a quick bite if you come back at 2 pm. Or let’s say you eat a late lunch in town and you’re not hungry at 7 pm...if you miss that meal, then you have to wait until morning breakfast. All of this might be acceptable if the food was good, but it’s not. It’s average and reminded me of cafeteria food. Odd since they’re cooking for only 200 passengers so I expected it to be much better than on the Ocean trips. Additionally, very little accommodation for people with diabetes.
- The entertain was as people stated which is minimal. That’s ok, because your touring each day so the evening needs to be relaxing. I expected to be able to catch a movie in my room or browse social media or just search the internet, check e-mail, etc... Little to no selection of movies provided and the other channels said “coming soon”. Internet access was poor, weather moving of stationary. Again, that seemed odd since there are fewer passengers than ocean ships. I can stream on ocean ships with 3000 people, but on this couldn’t open CNN!!!
- Service was ok. The staff tried to be helpful, but I sometimes felt there was a language barrier.
- The ports were ok, lots of Germany. We wanted to see Switzerland and Amsterdam that’s mainly why we selected this trip. I think River cruises are interesting to people that connect to the country - like ancestors from the small towns.
I know this is long but I hope it helps someone. I would never take another river cruise and I would never go on Viking again. I think they’re extremely expensive for what they offered.
Do not choose an Explorer suite!!!! The suite is over the engine and it’s very noisy at night and shakes violently. My husband and I couldn’t sleep most nights, even with ear plugs. This would go on off and on all night long as we sailed!