3 Viking River Viking Atla First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

Although our river cruise did not start off on a positive note because of low water levels and we had to change boats twice, I found Viking to be very efficient in ensuring that everything went smoothly. Stay on both Viking boats ... Read More
Although our river cruise did not start off on a positive note because of low water levels and we had to change boats twice, I found Viking to be very efficient in ensuring that everything went smoothly. Stay on both Viking boats (Atla & Jarl) were enjoyable; both cabin rooms were comfortable; both staff were friendly and helpful; food was a bit on the salty side on Atla though; tour guides were excellent and provided detailed history of many of the cities; loved the headsets which allowed you to hear the guide even if you wanted to 'wander' a bit; relaxed and casual dining atmosphere. Onboard 'entertainment' did not interest us too much, but we were comfortable with retiring to our cabin to watch TV. It was a 'pain' to keep packing and unpacking between the hotels and two boats, but Viking personnel kept everything running very smoothly. This was our first river cruise and we would like to try in again, perhaps during another time of the year when the water levels are more consistent and when we can access the upper decks more. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
In many reviews, people tend to focus on the negative - the squeaky wheel gets greased. In this review I will also point out some negatives. However, overall I am very glad to have taken this cruise on the Danube (Viking Atla from Budapest ... Read More
In many reviews, people tend to focus on the negative - the squeaky wheel gets greased. In this review I will also point out some negatives. However, overall I am very glad to have taken this cruise on the Danube (Viking Atla from Budapest to Nuremberg, May 31 to June 7, 2015). It was a great time to go. The weather was excellent, warm and sunny most days. • The ship is very comfortable and pleasantly decorated. Lots of outdoor space for watching the sights go by as we cruised, with seating in many places. A walking track on the upper deck as well as a shuffleboard court and putting green (neither of which I saw anybody use, though). Coffee, tea, water, seltzer available 24/7. • The staff was great, very attentive and welcoming. That makes the experience much more valuable. Program director Mario, concierge Cristina, front desk staff, maître de, executive chef, wait staff all are customer oriented. It greatly enhanced the week. • The cruise includes port excursions, and offers optional (extra money) ones as well. Some included excursions began with a bus tour, followed by a walking tour. I would have preferred less bus and more walking. Although driving by a landmark does affordable one the opportunity to see it, I think it’s a much fuller experience to actually get out and look around. I would prefer seeing fewer sites, but in more depth. • The optional excursions do offer this opportunity. However, I was disappointed that one I wanted, a tour of the Doheny Street Synagogue in Budapest, was not offered on my cruise (although it was listed in the print literature I received from Viking). Neither was the scheduled stop in Roth for people who wanted additional time to visit Nuremberg. We did take the optional World War II tour in Nuremberg, which was excellent. • The length of time at each port is limited. In some case this is fine (for example, in the town of Melk, Austria, where there is one sight to see). But in larger cities (Budapest, Vienna) it is not enough. • The air conditioning in the dining room malfunctioned and it took Viking too long to fix – 2 days. Of course this can happen anywhere anytime, but the key is be prepared to fix it quickly. • The Internet was slow – but Viking is very up front about this, clearly explaining this may happen. It was also down for over 12 hours on two separate days. • The on board lectures were interesting. History of Germany, history of canals and locks (the cruise passes through 27 locks) were both very informative. • The last full day there was no access to the sun deck (necessary due to numerous low bridges.) this severely limits outdoor space. • Viking provided transfers from and to airport. At the end of the cruise I was pleasantly surprised to be met by a Viking representative at the airport on our way home; I had expected just to be dropped off. This was a nice ending touch. In retrospect, we should have gone to Budapest, where the cruise began, a couple of days early to truly experience the city. I would suggest people extend the cruise either before or after (or both) to spend more time in the city. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Let's start off with the good stuff. This was a bucket list vacation..taking a Viking river cruise, proud sponsor of Downton Abbey. Friends took a Rhine cruise in 2014 and raved about every minute of the experience. We booked almost a ... Read More
Let's start off with the good stuff. This was a bucket list vacation..taking a Viking river cruise, proud sponsor of Downton Abbey. Friends took a Rhine cruise in 2014 and raved about every minute of the experience. We booked almost a year in advance (unnecessary we later realized) directly through Viking. Every call I placed before the cruise was answered by a friendly and knowledgeable agent. The suggestion to start in Budapest 2 days early was wonderful as we found the beautiful accommodations in the hillside Buda neighborhood to be superior and we had a wonderful time exploring this fascinating city on our own. Viking reps in the Hilton lobby were readily available to answer questions and arrange for whatever reservations you wished. We embarked in Budapest with Nuremberg as the destination on the romantic Danube cruise. Our accommodations were beyond our comfort expectations. Our fellow travelers were mostly American by chance and quite friendly. The service staff, Captain, and Program Director couldn't have been more pleasant, professional, or accommodating. Kudos to Viking on their training and expectations of their staff. The food was excellent with options for every taste. Liked that dining could be more formal in the dining room or cafe buffet casual for every meal. Land tour guides were above average. Evening activity o.k. After a long day, it didn't matter much. What could've been better: The Viking rep we booked with should have mentioned that with rain in the spring, the Danube can rise significantly, enough to keep the longboats from passing under some bridges. As luck would have it, ours was a rainy week. Only three days with upper deck open, docked not at the cities on the schedule, but unconventional ports in small villages semi-nearby our tour locations. This required much longer bus rides and less time for free exploration or relaxation onboard. While this changed the nature of our experience, the crew was unflappable and the guests rose to the occasion with good humor for the most part. Along with the weather, tethering identical Viking longboats together at the major ports made using a private veranda virtually useless. Bottom line: It wasn't exactly what we envisioned, but we had a great time, learned a lot about new/old cities, and met many wonderful folk--fellow travelers and the superlative crew of the Atla. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Viking Atla Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.6
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.3
Family 1.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 4.0 4.2
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 3.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 5.0

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