I've wanted to do a river cruise for some time but wasn't sure about what cruise line would have the cities, the excursions or the tour & amenities I was interested in. I did a lot of research, both on-line & at my AAA office. After talking with a AAA representative, comparing all River Cruise Tours & reading comments from passengers, Viking came out as the best one! I was interested in visiting as many major cities as possible on the river cruise & was excited that the Grand European River Cruise on Viking visited & had shore excursions for Kinderdijik, Cologne, Koblenz, Miltenberg, Wurtzburg, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Passau, Melk, Krems, Vienna & Budapest. Being a solo traveler, I was hesitant about booking a pre-tour tour in Amsterdam. I wish I had as I now know that I would be part of a group. I loved the tour through a working windmill in Kinderdijik. I learned an incredible amount of history -- windmill use & how the dikes are used for flood control. My tour to the 2 Bruhl UNESCO palaces was beautiful but info I had was that we'd be able to tour & walk the gardens of the 2nd palace which was not provided to us by our guide. The walking tour in Cologne & to be able to go inside the Cathedral was breathtaking. Would have liked more time in the Cathedral. I loved the Cologne Beer or Kolsch Culture & Dinner. It gave me a look at a "typical" beer hall & I was able to dine in one of the more infamous ones. It also gave me the chance to take a beautiful picture of the Cathedral lit at night. Loved the tour of Marksburg Fortress -- was history informative. The glassblowing demonstration & family history was fascinating. More so since this person had studied with Dale Chihule in Seattle which I'm familiar with. The Bamberg tour & major church was interesting. However, our guide gave us a city map & left us to walk back to where the coach was to pick us up, on our own. Other tour guides walked their groups back. I'm not a good map reader especially in a town I'm not familiar. I got back to the coach area by memory & retracing the route I hoped we had done several hours earlier. I would have liked to have sat @ a cafe & had coffee before leaving but was too worried 'bout getting back. I loved Nuremberg but wanted to tour Durer's home - not part of the tour. The tour of the saved art from WWII in Nuremberg -- fascinating. I loved Munich & the city tour. The lunch wasn't the best. We could've been given 3 choices. Our guide was > 15 minutes late meeting us to walk back to the coach. I loved Saltzburg--guide was terrific-answered all questions. The 2 abbey tours were beautiful. Dinner at the Gottweig Abbey was awesome as was our monk traveler blessing. Vienna was beautiful. The evening classical concert wasn't held in a concert hall but in an open room. Only 7 people & 2 opera singers. A disappointment. Was nice the ship had 2 dinner sittings for those that did the concert. Thank you. Loved Budapest tour. Very informative guide. Should have extended tour to stay after. Now I know I could have. The other aspect that wasn't the best for me was the beverage package. That was the fault of my travel agent who told me I should be fine with what I had. I only learned on the first day that any drink outside of my meals would cost me & did. Using the Silver Package would have been a huge benefit. All in all, even with some of the hiccups I encountered, (I learned), & have decided that I would love to do another Viking Cruise Tour. I have already booked another Viking River Cruise with a couple I met on this cruise in 2023, doing the Eastern European Capitals. That said, I would still like to see more solo discounted Viking tours. However, thank you for making a positive impression. Ms. Kathleen
I realize I would not spend a lot of time in the cabin. However, if I were part of a couple, drawer storage space is minimum. Counter space in the bathroom for more than 1 would or could pose a problem. The major pillows I had were flat & not comfortable. I loved that I could open the sliding glass door to my room & look out, especially in the early morning.