My daughter and I chose the Danube Waltz river cruise on the Viking Wilhjalm because the dates coincided with our time off from work and the cruise included two cities - Budapest and Vienna - that we wanted to visit. From beginning to end ... Read More
My daughter and I chose the Danube Waltz river cruise on the Viking Wilhjalm because the dates coincided with our time off from work and the cruise included two cities - Budapest and Vienna - that we wanted to visit. From beginning to end every aspect of the cruise exceeded our expectations.
Since Viking arranged our air travel one of their representatives greeted us at the Munich airport and escorted us to Passau, where our ship was docked. Upon arrival at the ship we were greeted warmly by the Hotel Manager (Julian) and the Maitre D' (Alex) who welcomed us aboard. Our cabin was not quite ready so we proceeded to the Upper Deck Lounge for a buffet lunch. By the time we had finished it our cabin was ready, and when we entered it we found our luggage in place along with two complimentary robe/slipper sets.
Our cabin was on the main deck (water level) so it had a half-window, but we spent so little time there that we didn't feel deprived of scenery. The cabin was small but designed so efficiently that we never felt cramped. We showered, dressed, and slept there but spent most of our wake-time on board in the dining room, in the lounge, on the Aquavit Terrace, or on the upper deck.
Dining options included both menu service and buffet service for breakfast and lunch and menu service for dinner. Food was plentiful and delicious, with a variety of offerings including typical American-style dishes as well as regional specialties and vegetarian dishes. Open seating for meals enabled us to meet and socialize with many other passengers.
There was after-dinner entertainment scheduled each evening. Some programs were just for fun (for example, a Liars Club competition), and some had a cultural aspect (for example, a demonstration on how to make apple strudel and an anthology of Viennese music.) Before dinner each evening Joe, the Program Director, described the next day's shore excursions and gave us some insight into local customs and practices while offering suggestions for shopping, dining, and sightseeing.
At each port of call there was at least one shore excursion and several optional excursions, all escorted by knowledgeable tour guides. There also was some free time for passengers to explore destinations on their own. We found our excursions to be enjoyable, informative, and well planned. I do wish we'd spent another day in Vienna, but I hope to return some day to see the sights we didn't have time to visit on this trip. We chose to spend an extra day in Budapest after the cruise was over. It was well worth it!
I would be remiss if I didn't comment on the ship's personnel. Every crew member we encountered was professional and efficient but also warm and welcoming. For the duration of the cruise they truly made the ship a home away from home. We were sad to reach our journey's end and we look forward to someday taking another Viking cruise. Read Less