Viking was offering a fantastic deal for this cruise; two for one fares plus cancel up to the day before departure with a full refund (Viking no longer offers the full refund; believe it was due to events in Europe/France at the time). ... Read More
Viking was offering a fantastic deal for this cruise; two for one fares plus cancel up to the day before departure with a full refund (Viking no longer offers the full refund; believe it was due to events in Europe/France at the time). The cruise was phenomenal; we hadn't been on a river cruise and it was on our bucket list. Viking also offered air fare for an extremely reasonable price. The ship was placed into service earlier this year and was very elegant from the lobby/atrium to the lounge (light and airy - a good place to "get away"), to the dining facilities (great views from all seats) to the cabins. The cabins were smaller that what we've experienced on ocean cruises, but was spacious enough for the journey and we had a French balcony, which allowed us to open the floor to ceiling window (similar to sliding doors). The food was excellent and there were several selections plus a standard menu available each night. At breakfast and lunch you had the option of the buffet or ordering from the menu (the pancakes were amazing). The servers became well acquainted with you and treated you well; they spoke very good English, and could converse in multiple languages. The staff was extremely professional, but able to joke and have conversations with you. Viking really tries to accommodate dietary restrictions/preferences. My husband and his brother got an impromptu tour of the navigation bridge from the First Officer, simply by asking the question. Excursions are included for each port, with some having additional excursions to purchase, such as the Paris + Louvre, Versailles, and Paris by Night - all were worth the extra cost. The local walking tours were informative about the regions. We like the fact that Viking doesn't nickel and dime you for everything; wine and beer are included with lunch and dinner; free wi-fi, complimentary water in cabin and for each excursion; complimentary umbrellas for inclement weather; complimentary coffee/tea service outside the lounge 24 hours. After a damp/chilly day at the Normandy Beaches, the ship greeted us with "Happy Hot Chocolate" on our return to the ship. The ship docks in Le Pecq, which is about 35-45 min from Paris via shuttle (Viking provided, free). Our transfer from the airport to the ship was flawless and easy; departure from the ship was easy, however the airport part was hectic, hurried, and we almost got lost/left behind. The woman greeting the group at the airport left for the check-in area before getting all the passengers and their luggage. She provided no instructions and practically raced to the check-in area - something to be aware of.
The other impressive part of Viking is that everyone on the ship works; my sister-in-law saw the captain assisting with loading luggage from the ship. The Program Director did this as well and accompanied us on all excursions.
There is only a walking track on the upper deck. Read Less