Our first river and Viking cruise began in Paris where we opted for the 3-day stay in the city of lights. There were 5 in our party. The hotel that Viking put us in was located on Place d' Republic. Our Viking rep, Arnaud, was very helpful for this part of our visit. Our room was on the lowest floor facing the square. The traffic going around the square was bumper-to-bumper during the day and evenings. There was also a Metro entrance right below our window. The room was very warm and we discovered that the hotel had turned off the AC for the season so we were forced to leave the window open to sleep. Between the traffic, people congregating at the Metro entrance and a rally in the park one night, complete with bullhorns, it was very, very noisy. Others in our party were up higher and on the inside of the hotel and had better sleeping conditions. We planned our own tours of Paris and had a marvelous time at the tourist spots, the markets of Rue Cler, and the left bank. We stumbled onto a marvelous museum by the Sorbonne, The Museum of the Middle Ages. A charming place with everything from Roman baths to the unicorn tapestries and amazing stained glass windows from the period. We were the only people in the hotel who took advantage of the large beautiful courtyard in its center to have "happy hours" daily where we enjoyed the wines, cheeses, fruit and sausages we had picked up in various markets during the day.
The bus ride to the ship at Chalon-sur-Sane was uneventful and smooth.
We chose a "B" level cabin as we wanted open-able windows as we like moving air when we sleep. The others in our group were one level down with smaller fixed windows. The rooms were virtually identical except for the windows on every level.
Cabins are small by large cruise ship standards, but we had all the space we needed. The views were great and we were close to the lobby but never were disturbed by activity in that area.