We started our trip a day early in order to acclimatize after the long flight and booked the extra night at the hotel being used in conjunction with the cruise.
We had already cruised the upper Danube with another company and chose Viking to travel the lower Danube, initially because they offered the cruise on the dates we wanted to travel. It was a good decision as the included excursions were exceptional from our perspective. We learned more about daily living and the culture of the post communist countries from the residents themselves. The entertainment provided by guest performers was much appreciated, from the students talking about their hopes and dreams, the young dancers in costume, the musicians playing local music, the lecture about the Serbian war, to the discussion about living during communism. We saw the destruction caused by years of war and appreciated the will of the people to claim their independence and rebuild. We visited areas less traveled so we did not experience the crowds so common with cruising. The scenery along the river was spectacular. Another interesting point was having to present ourselves for passport control when we entered the Schengen Zone at 0400 in the morning.
The staff were friendly, knowledgeable and professional. The only difficulty we experienced was with accessibility. I have difficulty with stairs and need to rely on an elevator. Because the elevator on this ship was only between two floors, we were limited in our choice of cabin and I did not have access to the sun deck for the activities that were available there.
The cabin was cozy, bright and comfortable. We enjoyed being able to open the "balcony" door for a fresh-air feeling and to get some closer up photos of the scenery as we cruised.
Servicing was done twice a day and toiletries were replaced as needed. Bathrobes were provide on request.