Watching PBS frequently, we have seen many commercials for Viking River Cruises and always wanted to go on one, but thought they were too expensive. Visiting Europe's Christmas Markets has always been on my bucket list. A brochure came in the mail, that made it all possible. They announced a big sale, which would allow me to check all those things off my bucket list! They advertised discounted rates, free international airfare and Silver Spirits package! As a bonus, the least expensive itinerary fell on the week that my husband and I would be celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary (Thanksgiving week in the US). In addition, the brochure listed things that set Viking apart from other cruise lines. The cruise fare includes port fees and taxes, onboard wifi, and excursions in every port. They have no specialty dining, no spa, no photographers or art auctions, no casino, no pools and no children under 18. And with only 190 passengers, the crew had ample opportunity to pamper us and there was plenty of opportunity to make new friends. For us, it was all the things we want from a cruise and none that we don't. It was a total win-win!
Viking goes to great lengths to ensure your experience is smooth sailing. From booking to disembarkation, they take care of every detail and do with with a smile on their friendly faces. Looking back on our trip, I have to say that this trip was the best vacation we've ever taken and that is in large part due to Viking and it's phenomenal staff. We were treated not only with courtesy and respect, but like cherished family. The ship was pristine, beautifully decorated for the holidays and perfectly designed for comfort. The staterooms are nicely appointed, have plenty of outlets and USB ports for charging devices and comfortable beds. The lounge was a comfortable place to relax and meet people, have drinks, play games and enjoy the entertainment or port talks. The itinerary was wonderful and we enjoyed all of the excursions we went on. We only paid for one and it was well worth the money spent. The tour guides were all very knowledgeable and provided great information about their cities via a headphone-enabled sound system that made it easy to hear, even when the guide was up ahead of us (we opted to use our own headphones as the ones provided were not comfortable for us). We had plenty of time at each Christmas Market for shopping, snacking and enjoying the different holiday traditions. As most cruise lines do, Viking offered 2-for-1 vouchers for future cruises, which we bought. They also give a repeat customer discount to all customers who completed a cruise with them. The customer service was absolutely top-notch and we can't wait until we can cruise with Viking again.
We had a lower level river-view (window) room. The room was nicely appointed, had plenty of outlets and USB ports for charging devices and comfortable beds. Our room was small, but not cramped. The bathroom had a heated floor, which was nice for us since we cruised in a colder season. The shower was larger than we have seen on other cruise lines.