We had previously gone on the Rhine Valley cruise with Viking, had a wonderful time and wanted one a bit longer so we chose the Grand European going from Budapest to Amsterdam. We had a somewhat bumpy start since the ship had to be changed at the last minute. As a result, there were a few things not working well though the staff tried very hard and were always professional. As we embarked, the hotel manager escorted us to our room to find that the air conditioning did not work and there was a puddle of water by the hall door. They fixed it during dinner however. There were one or two other glitches like the sound system not working consistently and the lounge area being freezing cold at all times but the staff really worked hard to make the ship ready for us.
The dining room staff and the Maitre' d were absolutely fabulous. I am gluten and lactose sensitive, and by the second day, they consistently brought gluten-free croissants at breakfast while I chose the rest of the days' meals from specially marked menus for the day. They even brought out special desserts. I can't say enough about this special treatment that really made my cruise! The rest of the party thoroughly enjoyed the food as well. And the chocolate cookies at the coffee bar were fantastic!
We went on all the included excursions and two optional ones. By far the favorite was the Top of Cologne Cathedral. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and the views were excellent! Our Viking tour director was creative and fun. She had problems to deal with such as low water and a poor sound system but she was always cheerful and competent.