We booked our riverboat cruise one year before our departure date in order to get the dates we wanted. When we arrived at our home airport (Halifax) we were told that Viking had booked us on two flights on the Germany to Prague leg of ... Read More
We booked our riverboat cruise one year before our departure date in order to get the dates we wanted. When we arrived at our home airport (Halifax) we were told that Viking had booked us on two flights on the Germany to Prague leg of trip (we had booked 3 days in Prague through Viking, prior to our 'tour')... one from Munich airport and one from Frankfurt airport (we had a ticket for Munich) after one hour of dealing with airport staff that couldn't figure out what was happening, I phoned the 1-800 after hours number and they eventually saw Viking mistake and made the correction so that we would be sure to catch the correct flight to Prague. We just made it to our plane. After being on the go for 34 hours, we eventually made it to Prague and hit the sack. It took several days to get over the flights and lack of sleep.
We did enjoy Prague, but the stay is a blur. We were bused to Budapest on the third day to catch our boat and do a tour of Budapest the next day. It was an amazing city and could have stayed longer. The cities we visited along our trip were amazing, so much history, so much to see in many, but we could have done without some cities in order to have stayed longer in others, in particular, Vienna.
The boat was just that, a boat... the cruise should not be called 'cruise' as it was somewhat like a bus 'tour'. It was a little less than expected for the $14,000 we paid for the 'cruise' part of the trip, but we did enjoy it anyway. The food was excellent most evenings, some evenings it left something to be desired. The staff were polite and welcoming, but rushed us most of the time, other times we were left waiting for a long time for our meal, and then rushed us to finish. I have no idea why.
The few nights they had entertainment it was good, a little boring one night (mostly opera/classical). Most nights it was a pianist playing in the background.
Our room was small, as expected, and very noisy when going through the locks, mainly the nights when going through the River Main, there was no insulation in exterior wall to keep out noise, awake many times through the night.
By the time we got to Western Germany on the last leg of our trip we were tired of church and castle tours. Would have liked to have a better variety as far as what there is to see in these beautiful cities.
The cities we enjoyed the most were the cities we stayed in the longest... they were Prague 2 1/2 days (not part of Riverboat Tour), Budapest - overnight, Amsterdam 2 days (on our own).
We did have to switch ships due to low water levels in one area, this was not a surprise as we had been told in information mailed to us that this was sometimes a possibility when doing Riverboat Cruises. It became very confusing for passengers around this time though, because rumours were rampant, but no honest information was coming from the staff as to what would be happening, even if they just said they wouldn't know anything for sure until the last minute.
With regard to knowing what was happening itinary-wise (extra paying tours) one had to attend the briefing in the lounge every evening around 6'ish or read the itinary paper from the day before.. sometimes this was missed by us and we were left in the dark regarding the extra tours. When we did find out, there was no room left - apparently, it's not easy to get a bus to take a few more passengers on a tour, with the exception of Vienna, where they needed every passenger to attend, so therefore, there was no cut off point for submitting your name.
I cannot classify this excursion as a 'cruise', it was definitely a 'riverboat tour' along the same vein as a bus tour, but not quite as tiring, still hectic. I do not regret taking the tour as I did get to see the beauty and history of Mid-Europe first hand, from Czeck Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Germany and Holland. The 'boat', service, cabin, food and tours were suitable, just not worth the $14,000 plus Cdn. for tour and airfare that we paid for the 14 days. Read Less