This was our first river cruise, and we were not disappointed. A 5-star rating for Viking! We opted for the pre-trip in Prague. We were met by a Viking representative at the airport, who found us before we could find him. The staff at ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, and we were not disappointed. A 5-star rating for Viking! We opted for the pre-trip in Prague. We were met by a Viking representative at the airport, who found us before we could find him. The staff at the Viking desk in the hotel were extremely helpful. We experienced the right balance of planned excursions, optional excursions, and free time. Having that extra time in Prague was a wonderful antidote to jet lag.
Viking transferred us to Nuremberg to meet the Tor. It greatly facilitated things. From the moment we walked on board the Tor, we got a taste of Viking hospitality, as we were greeted with champagne and a hot towel. As other reviewers have noted, it's a modern, sleek vessel, very comfortable, with plenty of spaces in the lounge, other areas, and deck to explore and watch the scenery go by. (I'm not going to provide a travelogue and discuss each port and what we saw. As one who reads reviews, I can find that elsewhere. I think discussing the cruise itself is what others want to know.)
We understood going in that the cabin would not be large, but it was ingeniously designed, with more than enough room. Never once did we regret the decision to go with the Veranda where we could step out. Plenty of closet/drawer space and shelf space in the bathroom, which had heated floors (!) and high-end toiletries. Plenty of outlets, some of which were 110 (American style) and some 220 (European).
The food was outstanding, with fresh ingredients and menus tied to the locale we were visiting. (There was also standard, traditional foods always available.) The wait staff could not have been more accommodating and helpful. While the portions were not large, never once did we leave hungry. In fact, we were full after every meal. On a few occasions, my spouse took advantage of the 24-hour coffee bar and freshly baked cookies in the afternoon. While we ate most often in the main dining room, on a few occasions we took advantage of the lighter meals on the Aquavit Terrace, which is a delightful way to dine.
We were delighted with the support we got from all of the ship staff. Everyone was always unfailingly polite and helpful. We're giving a particular shout out to the Program Director and the Concierge, each of whom went above and beyond to accommodate an unusual request that involved our time once we parted in Budapest.
We took advantage of most of the optional excursions, the only except was in Vienna, where we didn't have a lot of free time and just wanted that extra time to dine and explore. We were delighted with the guides wherever we were. We found them to be extremely knowledgeable and fluent in English. They were all terrific and greatly enhanced our time in the various locales.
In the evenings, we were treated to delightful local entertainment or programs provided by the program director. The only reason I didn't give them 5 stars here was that because of the configuration of the lounge, sometimes it was difficult to see. But the quality of the entertainment was first-rate.
Viking is very efficient when it comes to disembarkation, and it was interesting to see how they were able to "turn" the ship in one day, saying goodbye to one group of passengers and welcoming the next. We heard a few grumbles from fellow passengers who had very early flights out that Viking arranged, but we did not use Viking to book our air.
In sum, we had a fabulous trip. We were very impressed with the service, accommodations, food (and wine, lots of wine), and the excursions, both planned and optional. We will travel again with Viking in the future, and without any reservations at all. Read Less