We traveled with another couple and wanted to see the castles of Germany. None of us had taken a cruise before, preferring to discover other countries and sites on our own. We chose Viking because of the two-for-one offer and the free ... Read More
We traveled with another couple and wanted to see the castles of Germany. None of us had taken a cruise before, preferring to discover other countries and sites on our own. We chose Viking because of the two-for-one offer and the free airfare on our particular cruise.
The departure from Amsterdam was a plus, since we traveled in April, the height of the tulip season. We took advantage of arriving a few days before our embarkation date to see the tulip gardens and visit the Anne Frank museum. We missed the museum during our last visit and we considered the opportunity to be a plus.
We arrived at the ship just ten minutes before the dinner hour. We were in such a rush, due to traffic in Amsterdam and we all felt that we might miss dinner if we weren’t on time. We were SO mistaken. We were warmly welcomed, our bags were taken from our anxious hands and we were introduced to the Viking “way”: Let us help, you are on vacation”!
We were escorted to our rooms, introduced to the amenities within - heated bathroom floors, bottled waters, French Balcony for our own private view of the river, and a very comfortable bed, and a television that streamed movies, posted daily notices of excursions and activities onboard, and a map that would track our voyage (we loved looking at that!).
We were assured that we weren’t “late” for dinner. We freshened up and headed for the dining room. We fell in love with our waiters, Norman and Jana, at first site. They were so very accommodating, anticipated our every need and overall pampered us. We tried to sit at their tables for every meal, but found that ALL the wait staff were as friendly and helpful. We still had a soft spot for our two, as they introduced us to all that was available during our cruise in the dining room. Not only was there a buffet at breakfast and lunch, we could also order from a menu, or do both! Every evening a special meal was offered that gave us a taste of the region we were traveling through. Needless to say, while traveling on a Viking cruise, you eat well and you are pampered. I never had to reach for a carafe of coffee or a bread basket. Someone was always right there to hand it to me. Personally, I felt like a queen!
As for ports and shore excursions, we enjoyed every stop. Since we have been traveling on our own for many years, our only wish would be that there were more time to see each port. The guided excursions were informative and gave us a hint of the history of each city, but as in any guided tour, it was slow trying to move 20 to 30 people from one place to another. At least each guided tour was small, which was a definite plus.
Activities on board were low-key, but nice. Every evening there was live music and many of us danced. We made quite a few friends and spent time learning about each other. The activity director on our cruise was upbeat, solicitous, and knowledgeable. She hosted a, “Learn German” language class one evening around the cocktail hour, and a “Music Trivia” game on another night. Everyone was laughing, learning, and thoroughly enjoying the diversions. One evening, as the ship passed through one of the many locks on the river, the captain treated everyone on the top deck to an aperitif to celebrate the event. These are only a few of the moments that we’ll remember. Hopefully, it encompasses what a wonderful time we had on our Rhine cruise in 2018. Thank you, Viking! Read Less