We took this cruise based on places it would stop and time year. We flew into our departure city Budapest three days early to sightsee the city. We stayed at the Hilton on Castle Hill so we were well acquainted with the hilly side of Budapest; so the Viking excursion was a recap of our previous sightseeing. Our embarkation went very smoothly, mainly due to arriving at a time when Viking buses were not off loading passengers just arriving in country. The "quick one hour tour of the lower side-Pest was very good and a surprise...good way to get started. The tour guide was very good and entertaining...the disembarkation went smoothly in Amsterdam since we were one of the last ones to depart and our hotel limo helped a lot with the move.
We knew the rooms would be small but the bathroom was smaller than anticipated...took us sometime to get use to. The storage of luggage was good because you could fit four pieces of luggage under the bed. The ship was well situated with sufficient space to relax; the only negative was the top deck with the walking track...it was closed 50% of the time due to low bridges, etc....Viking should inform passengers this will happen cruising the river. The room cleaning was outstanding and very timely; service overall was excellent with the maitre'd being the highlight. He was superb and quickly learned our names within a few days; he was instrumental in celebrating my wife's 70th BB and our wedding anniversary; he was by-far the best maitre'd we have come across in all our travels. He went beyond the call of duty when we delivered meals to passengers who were sick and could not come to a meal...that is caring for the passengers. Nightly entertainment was good especially the glassblowing demonstration. I would recommend you have on-board first rate movies on a couple of nights to keep people occupied. The cruise director was excellent with her knowledge of the areas the ship would dock and her nightly pre-excursion briefs. He set the tone for the next day and what to expect. The dining was very good BUT we have had better on other ships. The breakfasts and lunches were excellent and according to my wife the soups were all very good. The ability to eat on the second deck where it was more quiet and one could eat as a couple was very refreshing vs the dining room all the time.
Most excursions were excellent BUT after a while, one can only visit so many churches and palaces before they are seem the same. The walk through the towns were excellent and your no noise devices worked very well. My husband took the WWII optional excursion in Nuremberg BUT was very disappointed the tour could not visit the court room of the Nuremberg Trials (that was one of the main reasons in taking it). The tour guide on this one was outstanding and full of WWII knowledge but could have moved the tour to better locations at the Zepplinfield to take pics vs on the side. When we were stationed her, we saw the best fireworks on the 4th at this field....not sure why this tour could not take place at a different time so one can also take the included excursion of Nuremberg. The one hour in the AM was not enough time. We thought "old Nuremberg" gate would be a better place to tour vs the castle entrance since some of the castle was under renovation.
Overall the cabin was good; it had enough room to store suitcases (4 plus two carry-ons) and more than adequate closet and drawer space. The bathroom was a little tight...only one person at a time BUT the shower was very good with pressure and hot water BUT very small. The mirror was a very good touch in that it would not steam up...The cabin was cleaned twice a day and the cabin person was outstanding...very thorough and always willing to assist.