This was to be our first-time river cruise trip, so I researched many of the various options out there quite a bit with the hope we would have an ideal experience. I read forums, subscribe to newsletters and asked acquaintances who had done on similar trips. We wanted a good itinerary within a reasonable cost range and flexible schedule. The Rhine getaway on Viking turned out to be just the right experience for us and we enjoyed it immensely.
Embarkation and debarkation both were a breeze. They happily took control of our luggage, delivered it from pier-side to our room, and then back ashore when we debarked.
We arranged for two nights prior cruise in Amsterdam and were fortunate to have relatives in Switzerland where we spend an additional week post-cruise. I can say that the two days pre-cruise helped immensely with adjusting to jet lag and time differences from Pacific Northwest. We noticed at least 4 different people nodding off at dinner the first night or at lunch the second day on board as they had just flown into AMS and embarked the ship immediately prior to sailing.
Once introduced to our Hotel Manager, he made it a point to remember our names, along with everyone else’s, and greeted us each day by name. Our cruise director was well organized, energetic and made each day so easy, with concise, easy to understand details so everyone knew what was happening, when and where to go and return each day. I really do not know when the guy got any rest!
The entire ship’s staff was always polite, friendly attentive and eager to help you, even if it wasn’t their direct responsibility. Most of them seemed to truly enjoy their work. All of the food, and food options were excellent, ALWAYS. We were even provided a tour of the kitchen, which is an amazing operation to see what they do with such small quarters.
The daily included and optional excursions were enjoyable, interesting, educational and provided different options at each stop. We only did the included tours but heard mixed reviews on some of the optional ones from those who took them. In most ports, Viking had their own buses which were clean, comfortable, seemed new and had WiFi available.
On our last evening, our Captain, along with the ships musician and activity director, hosted a farewell drink and entertained us for a bit as they played guitars in the lounge. Come disembarkation day, we were a little concerned about what we would do in Basel, as our ride could not pick us up until afternoon. Many people left the ship immediately after breakfast for the airport or add-on tours. However, the ship’s staff ensured us that they would take care of our luggage after check-out and that we could walk around the city or even stay aboard and enjoy one final lunch (with drinks) until we were ready to leave in the afternoon, which we did.
Despite our double-checking our room before leaving, we realized, the next day, that my wife had left her nice dress slippers under the bed. We emailed Viking to tell them, providing our ship details and room number. A day later, we received notice that housekeeping had found them and the slippers were being mailed back to us at home. What service!
I was so impressed that I purchased a $100 voucher for $200 off our next Viking cruise, whether it be a river or ocean cruise. The voucher doesn’t expire, so it gives us time to decide where and when we would like to join Viking again, hopefully for another wonderful, memorable experience.
We originally planned to book a French Balcony Stateroom, but ended up paying a little more for an upgrade to Veranda Stateroom instead. Our upgrade was slightly larger and easier to move around inside and we enjoyed sitting outside at times on the veranda which had a small table and chairs. The cabin was clean and beds comfortable, with turn-down service each evening. It seems almost every time we left our room was tidied up and cleaned. The bathroom was nicely appointed, with heated floors and nice toiletries. As one might expect, it was a tight fit if two people were in there at the same time.
Wish we had more time to hike longer in the Black Forest. Beautiful trails!View All 71 Black Forest Reviews
Did our own sightseeing, shopping and exploring. So much to do!
A beautiful city that we'd love to explore again if we had more time.