My husband and I love to travel often taking backroads to truly see the countryside. We have been on a half dozen cruises (big ships) and the large crowds and shuffling of people just doesn't appeal to us. A good friend had ... Read More
My husband and I love to travel often taking backroads to truly see the countryside. We have been on a half dozen cruises (big ships) and the large crowds and shuffling of people just doesn't appeal to us. A good friend had suggested a European River Cruise and we had seen some ads for Viking Cruises. Our trip was a spur of the moment decision, literally, and we have no regrets, in fact, we sing the praises of our Viking Grand European Tour.
We flew to Miami from St. Croix, and then took advantage of the 2 day pre-cruise stay in Amsterdam. What an incredible City with its marvelous transportation system, open markets and friendly people. We took a trip to Kuekenhof Gardens and I spent hours photographing the colorful tulips. The Hotel Okura was exceptional and the service outstanding.
Departure went so smoothly, with our luggage being delivered to our cabin, a warm greeting and introduction by staff of the adventure ahead of us. The ship was well designed with spacious lounges, large dining room and lots of areas where you could find a cozy chair to read and relax. Our standard room was comfortable with ample storage. Even the bathroom had a good sized shower and plenty of hot water.
The food service on this ship was outstanding with so many choices and great service. The buffet always had local delicacies and the presentations were photo worthy. The wait staff genuinely wanted to make our trip memorable and went out of their way to take care of us.
I was amazed at the number of excursions offered and always, there were free options at each port and all were well worth attending. In fact, the choices were exception and it was hard to choose what to do. The walking tours were my favorite as we got to really see the towns and villages we visited.
While on board, there was daily entertainment and lectures and evening gatherings. Our Program/Tour Director, Gary, was fantastic and his sense of humor kept us entertained. He was a great resource and truly contributed to the success of our trip.
To me, one of the best parts of the trip, were the many new friends I have added to my life. With the limited number of travelers on the ship, we had the opportunity to meet the majority of people over the course of the tour. After a few days of sharing meals and excursions, we developed a group of friends that enjoyed the same interests. Months after our tour ended, we still stay in touch and one couple plans to come visit us.
Just 3 months have passed and we have now signed up for a new cruise....CUBA. This time it will be on an ocean liner but smaller and more intimate. We look forward to another trip with Viking!
Kudos to all of the staff and management for making our trip one of a lifetime! Read Less