Sail Date: July 2013
As first time cruisers we had a lot of questions. Cruise critic was very helpful for many of them. Neo romantica is a really beautiful ship and the staff are superb. The Baltic Northern Capitals are really beautiful and there are plenty of ... Read More
As first time cruisers we had a lot of questions. Cruise critic was very helpful for many of them. Neo romantica is a really beautiful ship and the staff are superb. The Baltic Northern Capitals are really beautiful and there are plenty of opportunities to see great art and design which we took full advantage of. We picked the all inclusive drinks package and enjoyed the range within in it. We really enjoyed the smaller bar entertainment where we found an excellent extempore pianist Akos who really had us sitting up and taking notice and a silver trio with sax, electric piano and excellent singer who provided a great atmosphere. Listening to the night out band in the background whilst drifting out of port looking out of the full length windows with a cocktail in hand and some nibbles of nuts, mini pretetzels and crisps was another pleasure. The other entertainment was also fine, the other standout being an italian tenor whose name I have misplaced - sorry that I have. We hardly ate or drank ashore just took a small bottle of water, a bit of fruit and hardboiled eggs from the breakfast buffet and a flask of spirits from our all inclusive package for pain relief for an osteoarthritic knee! We found the public transport affordable and clear and convenient meaning that we did not have to do much walking. St Petersberg did private tour which was three times what we paid for the actual cruise which we got on late avail..! At Stockholm we concentrated on the Museum of Modern Art which has an exhibition stuffed with Andy Warhol, Richard Hamilton, Matisses including his metal work, Piccasso etc etc. In Copenhagen we concentrated on the Museum of Design and saw some really unique beautiful things, again concentrating on maximum things to see per pace walked.Visby was on the itinerary but most people including ourselves never got to see it because the conditions were not right for the tender boat transfers and we have little time on Bornholm where we had to go to a small town on the other side rather than Ronne due to the sea and wind combined conditions making tender boat transfer too challenging. Also we went at the advertised time to pick up tender transfers and ended up at the end of the list as they were doling out tickets before the time advertised - my only real criticism. Strategically I think if you really want to be sure of seeing most of a tender boat destination with shorter time ashore then you need to pay out for the ship tour as they seemed to go ashore first and be least affected by the situation - understandably I suppose. Evening meals on board Neo Romantica were served; not buffet. The menus were varied and especially good if you like fine dining,italian approaches to food. Fruit was available throughout but vegetables tended to be nodded at through foams etc so ensure you get your fibre through salads and lunch buffet items if this is important for you. There was plenty of food overall. When ordering you need to say I want the soup, cheese etc though as at first we just told them what we wanted where there was a choice and so didn't get served the other items at all. If you did not like anything they were responsive to this, being willing to offer an alternative. As service is tailored to people relaxing and enjoying a leisurly meal rather than a fast food fill up, those with demanding stomachs may find it advisable not to miss an odd item from the grill or tea menu earlier. Snacks are not available at all times so keep an eye on food opening times! The hot chocolate drinks from the Chocolate bar are a particularly delicious fall back!The spa prices are nowhere to be found on costas website or by enquiry. On board we decided to avail ourselves of the spa access package for the whole 12 night cruise at 199 Euros for a couple or 123 Euros single. This provided access to facilities which were beautiful, clean and relaxing including thallostherapy pool, saunas at two different temparatures, steam room , frigidarium, tepidarium, foot baths, a relaxing warm room with sofas and heated ceramic ergonomic leaners and a japanese tea room with three choices of ayeravedic tea and a daily solarium session if wanted. Daily prices were 38 Euros and sometimes 25. There were plenty of clean towels available and hot and cold water to drink as well as showers. Lockers were digital which saved the issue of having to have coins available. There were plenty of treatments available and a hairdressers also on board. Prices were in the league of what people pay when when they are not going for cheapest end of the market but there were various package offers available on some days. All in all prices were nowhere near what we would would ever pay for anything being natural cheapskates but not sufficiently high for us to be tempted to make sarcastic remarks! Air hockey, table football, a small library with books in different languages and other entertainments were also around. The swimming pools are more accurately water holes to cool off in on deck - if you want to keep fit you'll have to use the gym or jog round the track on deck. You cannot plug any devices into the TVs in the cabins and we couldn't see any way of viewing your own media on the TV. The only TV channel in English is BBC and France 24 is sometimes in English. I think they may have had movies on demand but we didn't have time or inclination to explore what they were, another couple of nights and we probably would have done. One of us speaks a little of other languages and this made the cruise experience more fun too as we were able to chat a bit with other guests who also tried to utilise their English a bit. People who only speak English and want access to TV English programming may feel more isolated unless they bring their own media - a great chance to potentially connect with that other person who shares the same living space with you but is always busy doing something else! On a final note Amsterdam railway station is a nightmare as there are no porters or trolleys available and the left luggage lockers only work with credit and possibly debit cards and there are too few lockers for large suitcases and some of those available are at head height - you have been warned. It may be worthwhile trying to get a hotel added at Amsterdam when you book as this is of course one of the most beautiful cities with so much to see and do and will ensure you have somewhere to leave those cases. There was hardly any alcohol available at Costa's embarkation point. I think there may have been a bottle of wine, not sure whether it was openable there or not. After a long journey to the embarkation point access to a beer would have been great. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2013
We were passengers on the Scenic Ruby tour departing Amsterdam on 27th May 2013. Our primary purpose in travelling on the Scenic Ruby was to cruise the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers. Our specific interest was in the Rivers as a ... Read More
We were passengers on the Scenic Ruby tour departing Amsterdam on 27th May 2013. Our primary purpose in travelling on the Scenic Ruby was to cruise the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers. Our specific interest was in the Rivers as a transportation system and the scenery along the river. We have a son who lives on the Rhine in Germany and by visiting him on several occasions in the past we had noticed many river ships, and not having previously experienced luxury river cruising, we chose the Jewels of Europe tour we thought it would enable us to explore the river and to experience its much vaunted beauty. Our actual experience was not remotely close to Scenics advertised ultimate luxury river cruising experience. The rivers were swollen and well up before we started out from Amsterdam. Having worked extensively for many years in flood disaster management and flood recovery on rivers in Australia, I know that the upstream hydrology patterns would have dictated near the start of the voyage that the ship would not be able to undertake the journey on schedule. Yet Scenic failed to inform the passengers about the true extent of the impending disaster until over a week into the "cruise" and then only drip fed us with what information it saw fit for us to know while our ships sat day after day in ugly industrial terminals before Scenic eventually acknowledged that we would not sail again - at all. In fact we cruised for only 2 days of a 15 day tour. There was nothing relaxing about the cruise. Instead of cruising, we were shunted in buses backwards and forwards along the route, completely missing most of the river scenery. This required very early starts, day after day, instead of waking up fresh and stepping off in new cities. We were accommodated on 3 separate ships along the way, and dined on a 4th lots of packing and unpacking totally at odds with what was advertised. This cruise of a lifetime was completely unspectacular. While the Cruise Director and ships staff are to be complimented for doing their very best to feed, water, entertain, look after all the passengers, and keep us calm, there was a very strong undercurrent of conversation among the passengers about Scenics failure to properly inform us of the reality of our situation enabling people to make choices about whether to stay or go. If the tour had been cancelled, our travel insurance would have covered us. Since it was not, we had little option but to persevere. Passengers were informed, when the full extent of the flood became apparent, that most of the other affected ship companies cancelled the remainder of their cruises and sent their passengers home to work things out with insurers. We would have preferred to do the same. We feel we got only about 30-40% of the experience we were offered but Scenic was unwilling to provide equitable compensation offering only $500 as a "gesture of goodwill". Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
The first 8 days were changed to the AmaVenita because of low water levels around Nurenburg...and changed to the Ama Reina for the last half of the trip....no problem there. Day one...we entered our cabin 204, Catagory T+ which gave us an ... Read More
The first 8 days were changed to the AmaVenita because of low water levels around Nurenburg...and changed to the Ama Reina for the last half of the trip....no problem there. Day one...we entered our cabin 204, Catagory T+ which gave us an outdoor balcony plus a French Balcony. Very nice, except that another ship was moored right along side us. so - no view except of a neighbouring cabin about 10cm from our balcony. This was to happen frequently during the trip, sometimes with ships moored on both sides of us for hours. When you consider that we paid $22,000 for the 15 days (airfares extra) - anyway -I decided we were quite often a 5star club sandwich. We were told by staff members that this was only going to get worse as more ships enter the tourist market in river cruising in Europe! O.k day nine - first morning on the AmaReina, we are still sleeping, it is 6.45am and in walked the cleaners to clean our room!!!! I did complain and was told that they got the wrong room - not acceptable , by my standards. We had also been led to believe, from the T.V commercials, brochures etc that most days we would be able to walk into towns/villages in our leasure time - this does not happen....mostly we were moored too far from towns, even for tours etc we were taken by bus, sometimes up to two hours, to get to the advertised daily excursion. Budapest was a very welcome exception - we were actually moored very close to town. Meals were plentiful, and very good. BUT, you did need to eat on call, no time to relax -because the days events were so over organized, be back at a certain time, lunch is now! ship is sailing now! Nurenburg was advertised that we could VISIT the Nazi War Courts - not so - we had this building pointed out to us as we went passed on the bus!! Just one of many advertised mis-informations in the brochures. Back to day one - arriving at Amsterdam airport we were met by an APT driver, however he picked up 2 others as well as us so we did not get the promised porterage - and that airport is huge.... The good points...well, if we had not done the trip we would not know that organized, regulated holidays are not for us. We will stick to our usual fly/drive holidays in Europe Entertainment on board was very good. Staff were so attentive that is became quite difficult to say 'good morning' a few dozen times. There was a 'gentle walk' available with most shore excursions - we took advantage of them..... Oh, Well, now I wonder if you will print this. I also wonder at only good reviews, there were many people on board with similar complaints....... Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
First and Worst Problem , we were to meet the ship in amsterdam for the cruise to basel. Our itinerary gave us 2 phone numbers, one for the ship and one for the london office. So that we could find out where the ship was docked. Myself ... Read More
First and Worst Problem , we were to meet the ship in amsterdam for the cruise to basel. Our itinerary gave us 2 phone numbers, one for the ship and one for the london office. So that we could find out where the ship was docked. Myself and our hotel concierge telephoned the ship nine times and got no response, on the last occasion the telephone was picked up and replaced on the cradle without being answered .eventually found out where the ship was berthed by contacting the amsterdam harbour masters office. Not a good start to our first ever cruise.several other passengers had the same experience, some of them from as far afield as canada and the usa.we were all worried sick that the ship would leave without us. I have written to viking head office but they can only give excuses, no explanation as to why the phones were not answered and that includes their london head office!! Be very wary of making your own travel arrangements with this company. Problem 2, Dining arrangements . Only one sitting for your evening meal 300 passengers all waiting to be fed at the same time.really reminded us of faulty towers, if the head waiter was asked about a certain dish and was unable to answer the question, you were ignored and you got that dish on the assumption that that was what you wanted. Supposedly wine provided with your meal, keep asking for a refill or you wont get one. Soon realized that if you wanted to sit with family or friends you had to get in the queue at the entrance to the dining room where staff were posted to stop you entering until the allotted time .Gratuities Viking give you a recommendation as to what you should be prepared to give, one example, the programme director, for the 8 day cruise amounts to 4,000 euros, nice work if you can get it !! Better than a salary. i am a great believer in tipping but only where i get good service over and above the norm. Which i have to say was the case with some of the on-board staff. ( but not many). so much for my rant let's look at the good things . Cabin , very nice as good as a 3 or 4 star hotel but the housekeeping was excellent ,we could not fault our maid, she was helpful,pleasant and above all kept our cabin spotless at all times. The ship fairly new, i believe, so should have been and was in good shape, food was fair , service was the problem.overall we were very disappointed with our first cruise, especially when friends told us they had done a 10 day cruise, basel-amsterdam-basel with a swiss line for half the price !! It pays to shop around. Most expensive is not always best . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
My first cruise and a big ship to start this process! Ship very grand, food excellent but never had a properly hot meal except in the lido restaurant. Main dining room the meals arrived barely warm. Variety of food very good but still, ... Read More
My first cruise and a big ship to start this process! Ship very grand, food excellent but never had a properly hot meal except in the lido restaurant. Main dining room the meals arrived barely warm. Variety of food very good but still, eating good food at a lukewarm temperature is not my idea of perfection. Worst thing of all was we were in cabin 1090 and this suffered from the full effect of base sounds from BBKing performances. First started off at about 21.15 and ended, some nights at 0.25 hours. I had poor sleeping for the whole of the fourteen nights. When we complained onboard we were greeted with apathy, although they did admit it had been complained about on several of its mini cruises. They said they would have changed our cabins but they did not a like for like to accommodate us! We received a $50 per person credit in our final bill which amortised out over 14 nights was appalling little. I wrote a review to the company, as requested on my return and in return received a typical "American reply" which said nothing, admitted no blame ( we were never warned before we joined the cruise of the possible problems) and basically said off you go we intend to take this no further than let the powers that be know. I am appalled by such a hollow customer services response and a reflection of the same apathy we received on board. Anyone who travels with this ship should be aware of noise problems and I guess the soundproofing is partly to blame but they, knowing the problem should not think that lifting the carpet and brushing it under will solve it or stop this complaint process continuing. Is this the American way of making amends because if this is the case, I would not travel on an American ship again and will do whatever it takes to let others know what they may have in store. The whole matter was treated as though it was our fault for being picky. It is a marvellous area to travel to and so much is right with the concept but once people try to make me feel it is wrong to complain and I should just go away and forget about it, then I become more determined to take it further. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Our embarkation was at Amsterdam Cruise Terminal, very nice terminal at walking distance of centre of Amsterdam in comparison to the Tilbury terminal which was located in an industrial area 40 km from London. Well done Amsterdam!! After ... Read More
Our embarkation was at Amsterdam Cruise Terminal, very nice terminal at walking distance of centre of Amsterdam in comparison to the Tilbury terminal which was located in an industrial area 40 km from London. Well done Amsterdam!! After a quick registration we were escorted to our cabin. Specious cabin with a double bed window and a lot of storage space. Our dinner was served at the Waldorf restaurant, good quality food and TOP service by our waiters Ashley and Ivan. We used our breakfast at Raffels buffet restaurant, the varierty of the food was excellent. A lot of fresh fruits. Restaurant can become crouwded due to people who remain sited after they have finished their breakfast, lunch or tee due to the cold weather. Reception staff was not very friendly and lost ?? a form for a refund request on our account statement. The saying "how colder the destination the older the passengers" was correct, we felt that we (age 46 & 55) were bringing down the avarage age on board. In relation to the destination of the cruise "North Cape" we were shocked about the high number of disabled people on board. During the evacuation drill we were the only ones waiting at the lifeboats for a long time. The lifts could not handle the high amount of olderly people. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
This was our first river cruise, and we had great expectations. We had read reviews, talked to neighbors, and got mostly positive feedback. We pictured ourselves riding along the Rhine, Main and Danube, sitting on the sundeck and watching ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, and we had great expectations. We had read reviews, talked to neighbors, and got mostly positive feedback. We pictured ourselves riding along the Rhine, Main and Danube, sitting on the sundeck and watching the castles go by. There were a few days where that actually happened. But far more often, we were going through locks looking at the concrete walls (too many to count), sitting at a dock double parked (so you view is a suite on the other ship), or taking long bus rides (way too many). Our understanding was that in some cases when the rivers are high, the ships might have a problem getting under bridges, but they just closed the upper deck and folded down the railings, etc. Well, the other problem is when the rivers are low. Then there is no solution except to pack up and ride a bus down the river to another boat, or finish your trip with a bus tour. Scenic usually has ships going in the opposite direction, but it was a 3 hour bus ride to the other ship, and then the next day we had to ride the buses back 2.5 hours each way to do the scheduled tours. Compared to ocean cruise ships, everything on these ships is cramped - the size of the rooms, the ceiling heights, the dining room, etc. The main dining room was used for all the meals. Breakfast and lunch were always buffet style. Dinner was usually sit-down, but there were two or three nights when that was also buffet. The buffet is a large oval in the center of the dining room, with serving stations spread all around. At the beginning of a meal you would have 100 plus people trying to get to the buffet. There was room around the oval for maybe 50 or 60 people, and no room to stand behind them. There was also no organization as to what was where and no lines established. You just needed to elbow your way in wherever you could. Scenic does a good job with what they have to deal with. The service was outstanding (except at dinner), and the food was excellent. They provide some cultural events that are superb. A lot of my comments are an issue with all river cruises. The rivers are getting way overcrowded, and there are just too many boats on the rivers and too many tourists at all the attractions. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our first cruise of any kind and, overall, we were very happy. Because of low water conditions we were forced on two occasions to transit by bus, once to change vessels from Lofn to Vidar and once to hotel accomodation in ... Read More
This was our first cruise of any kind and, overall, we were very happy. Because of low water conditions we were forced on two occasions to transit by bus, once to change vessels from Lofn to Vidar and once to hotel accomodation in Budapest. We found the guides on all shore excursions to be very knowledgable and quite entertaining. The crew of the Lofn was outstanding - service was excellent and very prompt, attentive and considerate. While the crew of the Vidar was good, there was a noticable drop off in service quality. The same can be said of the quality of the food - outstanding on the Lofn; materially less good on Vidar. All things considered, the arrangements for the transfer from Lofn to Vidar were handled very well. However, we were not happy with the hotel arrangements in Budapest. The hotel was located away from, and with no convenient access to, the city centre. Our luggage was misplaced. While a meal credit was provided for dinner in the hotel restaurant, the service was extraordinarily bad and we, along with several other guests from the cruise, eventually gave up and walked out. Other than the hotel bar, there were no other' dining' options. With luggage having to be made available in the hallway at 2 am and a 4 am departure for the airport, our stay in Budapest left us bored, hungry and exhausted. As a result of the foregoing, our ratings for the have been reduced from what would otherwise have been 'excellent' to 'average' to 'very good' in a number of categories. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
Unfortunately, what should have been a great Rhine cruise was marred for over half the passengers on the Viking Hlin. Within two days of boarding the ship over 60 out of 188 passengers came down with gastroenteritis. The ship staff took ... Read More
Unfortunately, what should have been a great Rhine cruise was marred for over half the passengers on the Viking Hlin. Within two days of boarding the ship over 60 out of 188 passengers came down with gastroenteritis. The ship staff took virtually no measures to control the virus so it tore through the rest of the passengers in short order. Sick people were loaded onto tour buses with healthy ones, self-service buffets continued, and there was no systematic disinfection of handrails or shared furniture. To add insult to injury they didn't bother to obtain rehydration solution or antidiarrheal medication, even though they knew dozens of passengers were sick and local shops closed on the weekend. Handling of special diets was adequate, but not up to the high standards they claimed when I booked my ticket. Despite my telling them about my gluten-free/egg-free diet six weeks in advance, breakfast was a sad affair. There wasn't a single bread or cereal aboard I could eat; even the hash browns were made with eggs. I was completely left out of the two afternoon teas because the only gluten-free option was egg custard. If you don't have a special diet or mind a round of gastroenteritis with no medicine for relief, the rest of the cruise is to be recommended. Shore excursions are to carefully chosen sites, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites. The tour guides are somewhat variable in quality, but most are very good. I was only disappointed by one guide, who was intent on telling a particular story and glossed over what we were looking at. There are both included and optional tours, plus short walks into port cities lead by the conceirge. Be sure to consider the optional tours which go to interesting places and provide good value. Viking provides a transmitter/earpiece system so it's easy to hear all the narration. When the ship is cruising, there are slide shows in the afternoon, appealing spreads of local pastries, and music in the evening. The cabins are well appointed and the information on their website is spot-on. L'Occitane toiletries are a nice touch. The lounge is big and comfortable with floor-to-ceiling windows and plenty of seating. There is a rooftop sundeck as well, with plenty of lounge chairs and the option of sitting in the sun or the shade. Dining room tables seat either six or ten guests and lounge seating is in conversation groups. This is a good arrangement if you like to mingle and talk to other people on the ship. Mealtimes are fairly regimented if you want to enjoy the main menu; breakfast is the only meal with a fair amount of flexibility. Dinner was often later than I would have liked. We were typically seated at 7pm and not served until maybe 7:45. The late dinners combined with 8:30 am excursions meant I ended up a bit sleep-deprived. Because of the relatively small size of the ship there were typically only 3-4 selections for lunch and dinner, plus a menu of fixed options. The food was fresh and well-prepared. Wine is served with lunch and dinner. They serve the same complementary wine with all the meals the whole week. If you want something different there are some really nice wines for purchase on the wine list. Be aware with the Rhine cruises that the ones originating in Amsterdam are going upriver. That means more time on the water and less on shore excursions. Choose your direction by whether you like sitting on the sundeck and watching the river go by, or having more time to wander the local cities. There isn't a right or wrong answer; the cruises are just different. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2014
This was a great ship with great people. The staff was fantastic and the other passengers were delightful. Our cabin was excellent. Our ship carried 122 passengers and I think it might hold 130 maximum. Other similar sized ships will carry ... Read More
This was a great ship with great people. The staff was fantastic and the other passengers were delightful. Our cabin was excellent. Our ship carried 122 passengers and I think it might hold 130 maximum. Other similar sized ships will carry up to 220 passengers in the same space. We stayed at the Tauck-recommended hotel in Basel (our point of embarkation). The hotel is nice but sterile. We much preferred making out own arrangements on the other end in Amsterdam. We stayed at the Estherea Hotel and it was delightful. Onboard, the internet was somewhere between terrible and non-existent. The food was average at best. We rarely docked in any town that was mentioned in the cruise itinerary. If you take this cruise, you should count on spending 2-3 hours on a bus everyday if you want to see what they advertise. On several nights we were docked in industrial harbors. Scrap metal is not what I wanted to see out of my very nice cabin. Unfortunately, if you don't get on the bus (at 8:15 to 9 am virtually every day) you will not see the sight for the day. A few times there was something to see right off boat but not what I went on the cruise to see. The buses are nice and the drivers are excellent and amazing, I just did not expect to spend so much time each and every day on a bus. Also, because we were not docked in the main towns, it was very difficult to spend extra time in a place that was interesting. Most of the tours were a little superficial to me and often I felt the guides were filling if the space because of time constraints. Unfortunately, they filled with fluff instead of the massive amounts of history available in this area. I have to admit, I do not think this tour was a good fit for me. I am 55 and I think the average age on board was closer to 75. Most of these people are retired and do not need to keep in touch with business, at least occasionally, while on vacation. There was a wide variety of food but it was the same for breakfast and lunch everyday (with a very few exceptions). One passenger made a comment about it feeling like the movie Groundhog Day. I talked with the chef about the food and they tried to make me special meals (the staff really wants to please) but they just do not have the equipment or something to make it happen. I think the food is probably very healthy but it has very little flavor. I had soggy fish and dry tough meat and sometimes I had warm, medium rare ultra-lean beef that tasted like nothing. The waiters and table service were excellent. Unfortunately, I am afraid that the Rhine River is oversold. There are too many boats and people at all of the sights so you can't get close, you can't enjoy and it is all just touristy. There were a couple of times there was on board entertainment and it was nice. We had a dinner in a castle where we were too cramped together to make it comfortable. Likewise, the wine tasting event had us packed check to jowl for another excursion. I would miss both of those if given the option to go back. There was a daytime castle tour that my wife took that she said was excellent. Most of the tours and destinations were nice. It simply took too much time to get to and from them to make it enjoyable. Disembarkation went well. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2012
We cruised from Amsterdam to Budapest on Avalon's Vista in July 2012 . We are new to cruising and were a bit underwhelmed by this cruise . The boat was very nice and our room was great The crew generally wonderful , especially our ... Read More
We cruised from Amsterdam to Budapest on Avalon's Vista in July 2012 . We are new to cruising and were a bit underwhelmed by this cruise . The boat was very nice and our room was great The crew generally wonderful , especially our waiters Thomas and Constantine . The cruise director , Dragan , was very obnoxious ,though many seemed to like him . The food was pretty good though , inevitably seemed repetitive . There were far too many "surprise" expenses for a cruise that implied that it was "all inclusive " . The included tours were uneven and the extra ones were overpriced and should not have been "extra" . The entertainment that was provided was very good with the exception of one talentless electric violinist . Although it may be conventional , I found the gratuities policy ( giving us envelopes and telling us exacly how much to tip everone including the cruise director ) offensive and we ignored it . We tipped those that provided us good service ( NOT the cruise director ) . We spent the same amount of money ( a bit more actually ) but giving it ,in cash , directly to those who deserved it . Our fellow passengers were suprising old . We expected that to some degree but at age 65 I didn't expect to be one of the youngest onboard . River cruising is nice but it is not a good way to see a place . You spend too little time on shore and you seem cutoff from local people and experiences . Avalon seemed too interested in getting extra money out of us at every opportunity given we were sold this cruise as "all inclusive " . We will probably do it again but I doubt if we will use Avalon Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2012
I loved river cruising. The best times were spent in the front of the boat watching the world sail by. The stateroom was well appointed and the bathroom sufficient-the shower was large by European standards. The bed in single staterooms ... Read More
I loved river cruising. The best times were spent in the front of the boat watching the world sail by. The stateroom was well appointed and the bathroom sufficient-the shower was large by European standards. The bed in single staterooms is quite hard, but my room attendant did her best to make it more comfortable. I would recommend the itinerary,saw so much and enjoyed most of the shore excursions. However, I think the wait staff in the dining rooms tend to provide better service to couples than to singles-we were usually the last served and our orders were often mixed up. I thought the stateroom service was excessive-why does anyone need their room cleaned and towels changed twice a day? I actually was lectured by the head housekeeper for telling my room attendant I only needed her to check my room once a day and not to change my towels more than every 3-4 days. I felt the customer should have the option of how much service they required. The worse part was the 'gray' water sewer system had problems and created a stench in my room (and in other parts of the boat) for a couple days. It was alleviated by running water down the shower drain and covering drain with a bathmat, but was very unpleasant. I was surprised that a ship only a year old would have this type of problem. The target population for Viking is obviously very mature couples (late 70's to late 80's). I am an active 60ish and didn't really feel like I fit in. I would definitely do another river cruise, but I think I need a cruise line that fits my lifestyle better. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
We went on the Rhine Getaway from Amsterdam to Lucerne, with a 2-day post trip extension in Switzerland in May 2011. The vacation was booked as a birthday trip (I turned 40) and as a once-in-a-lifetime getaway since we hadn't done a ... Read More
We went on the Rhine Getaway from Amsterdam to Lucerne, with a 2-day post trip extension in Switzerland in May 2011. The vacation was booked as a birthday trip (I turned 40) and as a once-in-a-lifetime getaway since we hadn't done a lot of traveling over the past few years and we missed it. We've traveled in Europe and South America, but this was our first river cruise. Viking also arranged our air travel and transfers. With the cruise, air travel and 2-day extension, we dropped about 10k on this trip. To start, we received a lot of information before the cruise, with a cruise packet coming about 2 weeks prior containing our travel documents, itinerary and other general information. Our flight to Amsterdam was fine; however, upon leaving the plane we had to wait about 10 minutes for our bags, as they went to the wrong baggage claim. We then went to the first of two meeting points in the airport for our included transfer to the boat. No one from Viking was there. We decided to go to the second meeting point mentioned in our literature and again, no one from Viking was there. We waited for about 20 minutes and then my husband went back to the first spot while I stayed at the second. Still...no one. We waited another 20 minutes and then dug into our literature to find the "emergency" phone numbers. Well - the first number listed as an emergency contact was a disconnected number. Great! The second number was to Viking and we got a pre-recorded message that we should call back during Viking business hours. After spending another 20 minutes or so going from spot one to spot two and talking to everyone, a driver overheard us and said the Viking representative had been then earlier but was gone. He had a number and called, they dispatched a car for us personally. I was not impressed - they left us because we were 10 minutes late? We got to the boat (morning) and it was quite busy with activity, as the passengers from the last trip were still disembarking and getting rides to other destinations. We knew ahead of time that check-in wasn't until later in the day, so we dropped our bags off and went to explore Amsterdam. It did strike me that there is no security to get on and off the boat. I was a little concerned about leaving our bags there (even with luggage tags). Check-in was fine and we were provided with cookies, coffee and tea while waiting. Our cabin, on the lower deck, was small, but very clean and nicely laid out. Bed was pretty uncomfortable, but we weren't expecting much. We had a small porthole window, which was fine, as we knew we wouldn't spend much time in our room. Decor was fine, and I was provided with extra pillows and extra clothing hangers upon request. More specifics about different aspects of the cruise are listed below. THE SHIP The ship itself was nice, but nothing that screamed "luxury" to either of us, as the trip is marketed as a "luxury cruise" experience. All areas of the ship were clean and neat, and quite efficient in design since it is smaller than an ocean liner. The lobby area, before going out on daily excursions, was much too small to hold everyone just standing around waiting to leave, but otherwise it was not a big deal. There is a beverage station open 24 hours per day, where you can get coffee, tea or water. There are cookies set out after lunch. The dining areas were fine, and had open seating, which was a nice way to meet other cruisers. The beds are pretty uncomfortable and the air in our cabin was extremely dry. I thought I was coming down with a cold by day 3 as I woke up with a really sore throat and was very stuffed up. This lingered the rest of the trip until we got to Lucerne and off the boat, so I never really felt great. We would leave the ship for the day and I'd start feeling better, but as soon as I got to the cabin I would start feeling poorly again. THE EXCURSIONS We had quite a few excursions, and we also signed up for almost all the optional excursions. We were, overall, disappointed in these activities. They are great about keeping on schedule, and we were broken into multiple groups for the actual tours; but I wish they'd had a group for more active people. We knew we'd be the youngest on-board (40 and 36), but there were plenty of others on-board who were active and fit enough to handle faster-paced tours. They had one tour that was for slower folks, it would've been nice to've had one for faster people, too. The majority of the excursion destinations were disappointing. Every place we went, with only a few exceptions, was so packed with other tourists that we could barely get around and see anything. The Viking marketing materials explained things in such a way that we thought we'd have "back stage passes," if you will, to these beautiful castles and churches. That was not the case. The trip to Heidelburg Castle was exceptionally disappointing, as we walked through the grounds, waited in line to get in and saw one big area inside; only to get herded back to our bus and leave. It was an absolute zoo and the castle itself was not worth the trip there. Going to Rudesheim was a complete waste of time. It was a giant tourist trap, obviously built for and around tourists. The walk into town was about a mile from the boat and there was nothing worth seeing. We did take an optional excursion into town that evening for dinner and it was fun, but we had to pay extra, of course. The trip through the Black Forest was likely the worst part of the trip, as we took a long bus ride through the forest (without any stops along the way to enjoy the view) only to arrive at a tiny outpost that was, again, a giant tourist trap (it was a giant shopping village where you could buy cuckoo clocks, blown glass, etc., and that was it). My husband was looking forward to the black forest cake, as we were promised; however, it was not included and came from a cafeteria-type eatery under the shops. He got a piece, it was okay. We wanted to see something authentic, not something thrown together for tourists. We did enjoy some of the excursions; Marksburg Castle was amazing, Strasbourg & Colmar were wonderful and Cologne was interesting. There was a lot of freetime where we could wander around the towns and shop, eat, explore...and we did! But in the end, the excursions, the parts that we were MOST looking forward to, were just so-so. THE FOOD The food on the boat, in our opinion, was just okay. There were normally three options to choose from: a beef/pork option, a fish option and a vegetarian option. The fish dishes were pretty bland and I stopped eating them completely after having one dish where the tiny bones were not properly removed and I got one stuck in my throat. Yep, a fish bone got stuck in my throat. If you don't like any of the proteins offered, you can always get a chicken dish, which I ended up getting one night and it was pretty good. There were lots of fried foods and everything was made with heavy cream sauces. Desserts were okay, but nothing exceptional. My husband normally got a different option than me, and he thought the food was pretty bland, too. Perhaps that's because the cruise itself is skewed to a much older audience? Nothing was outright bad, but most things were pretty mediocre. Lunches and breakfasts were good, normally consisting of a buffet with some good options. Meals were always on time and the dining areas were always clean and efficient. THE STAFF It was pretty hit or miss with the staff; no one was outright rude or uncooperative, but some were definitely better than others. We were constantly asking for water, coffee and wine refills during meals, which was annoying. Our program directors were friendly, helpful and personable and we enjoyed our local tour guides, as well (though we heard varying stories amongst the other groups). Our room was cleaned twice per day and kept in great shape. Reception desk staff was also helpful and nice. OVERALL There were absolutely some positives about this trip; but for the amount of money we paid, we were not "WOWed" by the overall experience and I just can't recommend Viking to others. we're not overly picky people and we have traveled quite a bit -- but we expected a lot more for the money. What could make it better? More options for dinner, including more regional dishes and less bland food. Smaller excursion groups, more geared towards activity level. Less tourist-based excursion destinations. I know that can be tough in such a place, but some of the choices were outright wastes of time. Convert the totally unused "library" on the boat into a fitness room. Make your staff completely wow the customers (oh, and give them a salary rather than depending on travelers to pay them by tipping, isn't $10k enough to pay?). I didn't want to get waited on hand & foot, nor did we make many special requests, but we only felt that a couple of people went out of their way to make sure we had the trip of a lifetime. More on-board activities such as the German street-food lunch and the flammkuchen demonstration. The lectures were interesting, but the interactive activities were really fun and with so much regional flair, it would've been nice to see/do more with that while we were cruising. So that's what it boils down to for us -- we paid a ton of money and didn't feel we got a ton of a trip! Had I spent half of what I paid, I might not be so hard on Viking, but this wasn't chump-change for us. We enjoyed the time we spent together, and we enjoyed seeing a part of the world we hadn't seen before and we made some great friends on-board; but I wouldn't cruise with them again unless they drastically dropped their prices. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This was our first cruise and we chose to take a Viking River Cruise down the Rhine River. We chose a pre-cruise extension and made all of the arrangements on our own, spending two nights in Amsterdam before boarding the Viking ship Hlin. ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we chose to take a Viking River Cruise down the Rhine River. We chose a pre-cruise extension and made all of the arrangements on our own, spending two nights in Amsterdam before boarding the Viking ship Hlin. Our first impressions with the ship and crew were...Wow!! The ship was amazing and the crew friendly and helpful no matter what we asked or requested. Our stateroom steward made us feel as though we were her only customers! The rest of the staff was just as wonderful and at the welcome dinner we were informed that the water levels were good and we should have no problems with our cruise to Basel. The atmosphere onboard is casual and we saw everything from t-shirts to jacket and ties, and the ages ranged from early/mid 30's to early 80's. We did get rained on during our first two ports (windmills and Koln), but when you take a European cruise in early April, that is to be expected. There is a lot of walking on some of the tours and the guides were wonderful. Trust the ship's classification of tours as strenuous or easy, they are very accurate! I suppose my only complaint would be that a couple of the tours seemed a little rushed and it would have been nice to have a little extra time to spend at some of the locations. The Black Forest tour was one where it would have been nice to have an extra hour. Yes, we would take another cruise with Viking and we are already looking for our next cruise! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
My Mother and I have just completed a river cruise on the Viking Skirnir and Lofn from Amsterdam to Budapest. At 85 years of age, this was the pinnacle of her 'bucket list' and an epic journey from Australia to Europe. I have ... Read More
My Mother and I have just completed a river cruise on the Viking Skirnir and Lofn from Amsterdam to Budapest. At 85 years of age, this was the pinnacle of her 'bucket list' and an epic journey from Australia to Europe. I have been on many ocean cruises before but never a river cruise. I found river cruising very different to what I have experienced on ocean cruises. Firstly embarkation - forget lining up with the hoards - we arrived at the cruise terminal in Amsterdam about 3pm and were taken to the ship. No lines - straight onboard and greeted warmly by the reception staff. We were taken to our cabin and given an overview and our luggage was delivered promptly. We booked a full balcony cabin and my first impression was that it was extremely small - much smaller than any ocean liner cabin I have ever been in. However, it was well equipped and had plenty of storage space for the both of us. The heated bathroom floor was a nice touch in the chilly weather. After unpacking, we acquainted ourselves with our home for the next 14 nights. Both the Skirnir and the Lofn are beautiful new ships and very well appointed. Due to low water levels in the Rhine and Danube, we faced the possibility of 3 ship changes during our journey. However, luck was on our side and we only had one change after 3 days from the Skirnir to the Lofn. This was handled beautifully by the staff and when we arrived to board the Lofn, our luggage was in the same room as previously and we just had to unpack once more. The ship was identical in every way except for the name on the side. My Mother has very limited mobility and uses a walker. In hindsight, although this cruise was her dream, it was really not for her. River cruises are far from a relaxing journey. You are in a different port every day and most of the tours are walking tours. With the low river levels, the gangway was very steep and just getting her to the top was a major effort. All of these old cities have cobblestone streets which are not conducive to walker or wheelchair use. Consequently, she had to stay onboard many days and missed a lot of the tours. Our cruise director was amazing. He arranged for us to use the onboard wheelchair so that I could take her onshore to have a look around at some of the ports. This was not without resistance from the hotel manager who insisted that the wheelchair was to stay onboard for emergency use. I am fairly fit but it was not an easy task negotiating ancient cobblestone streets with the wheelchair. The food onboard was amazing - much better than on any ocean liner I have been on. The variety was fantastic and we did not have any dish repeated in the 14 days. The staff were wonderful and nothing was too much trouble. They took wonderful care of Mum. There was an elevator onboard that took us from deck 2 (where our cabin was) up to deck 3 where the lounge was situated. There was no elevator to the top deck but it was really too cold to go up there anyway. As I said previously, most of the tours are walking tours. They do have a 'leisurely tour' each day for those who are not as able as others. However, these tours still involve a lot of walking and I heard complaints from many people who struggled with them. We finally decided that Mum was not going to see much at all, so arranged for the Concierge to have a taxi waiting for us in each port to show us around. This worked out very well and we had excellent drivers who spoke English and were very knowledgeable. These cost us around 30 euros per hour each time. As a tour is included each day at no extra cost, this was an added charge for us but the only way that Mum was going to experience any of the towns at all. Wine, beer, etc is included with every meal including champagne with breakfast for those who wish to partake. I did not always like the wine so tipped the waiter 5 euros and was able to have anything I wanted. Drinks outside of meal times are reasonably priced and I found them substantially cheaper than our previous Celebrity ocean cruises. Entertainment is lacking with just a piano player in the evenings. One day we had a glass blower on board and he was very entertaining. We also had opera singers one night (totally not my cup of tea) and some German dancers (ditto). Again disembarkation is totally different to the big ocean liners. Our flight out of Budapest did not leave until 3pm, so we were able to stay onboard until noon (after vacating our room at 9am) and use all of the facilities. We had breakfast and also a light lunch before our taxi driver came to collect us. So to summarise - these cruises are not everyone and particularly not for anyone with mobility issues of any kind. You are on the go every day and it is quite tiring. Don't expect to be entertained onboard. Most of the cruising is done at night but if you cruise during the day, just expect to sit and watch the world go by. This is just my personal opinion but river cruising (at the moment) is not for me. I will continue to do ocean cruises for many years to come. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
Shall I start with the positive or the negative of my experience? Three Boats, never saw the one I was supposed to be on. Three weeks before departure I started tracking the Viking Mimir the boat I was supposed to be on, and noticed ... Read More
Shall I start with the positive or the negative of my experience? Three Boats, never saw the one I was supposed to be on. Three weeks before departure I started tracking the Viking Mimir the boat I was supposed to be on, and noticed that it was not moving in the direction it needed to be to board. I started asking my Travel Agent to get into contact with Viking to find out if there were going to be changes to our trip and if there were going to be issues with Water Levels or anything else. After saving money for THREE YEARS to go on a once in a lifetime trip and as I am an anxious traveler and I have high levels of anxiety. I kept getting the typical PR Responses that all would be fine. Needless to say we got on our Plane to Amsterdam on November the 10th. NOVEMBER 11 2015 at 12:22 in the Afternoon Mountain Standard Time WE GET AN EMAIL ASKING US IF WE WANTED TO CANCEL OUR TRIP AFTER ALREADY ARRIVING IN AMSTERDAM! Too Late now we are already in another country where we have no way to call and talk to anyone. We had already been gone for over 18 hours. Way to go Viking you really excelled at communication there. This is why I called every day and bugged my Travel Agent every day for a week before we left. Day 2 in Extended stay in Amsterdam, we joined the walking tour it was nice and informative. I talked with the Viking Representatives at the Hotel and found out that people who had arrived were canceling and returning home just as angry as I was. I heard others talking about how they got on-board ship credit for use on this cruise for the inconvenience. I promptly sent an email to my Travel Agent and Demanded that she call Viking and get the same for me I felt I was owed that much at least for lack of communication from Viking before I left the country. I eventually did get this on-board ship credit and it did soften the blow. Others got the Silver Drink Package for no Charge, Others got $200 each traveler on-board ship credit, some got 25% off vouchers. I got late communication and 15% off. NOT including my airfare. Yeah I was mad, livid is more like it. Day 3. I had booked an outside tour of the Jewish Museums, and Anne Frank house. Before I booked this alternate tour I called Viking directly and asked when I needed to be on board the ship. I was told as long as we made it back to the ship before 11:30 Departure we would be ok to tour Amsterdam. (NOT TRUE) The Viking Representatives at the Hotel told me I had to be on board for a 6:45 Daily Briefing and that it was Mandatory. Well my tour was not over till 8:00 that night. So I missed this Mandatory Briefing. Again another communication breakdown from the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing. We boarded the Viking Eistla on Friday the 13th. All was well. I got to know the staff. There are several Staff members that I would like to pay tribute too. Vana our room Matron on the Eistla and Baldur. Vana went the extra mile to make our stay special. She had a wonderful energy and was always so nice to see. She gives great hugs and she made the trip positive for me. With the special little room gestures from one ship to another. She remembered the Extra Blanket that was needed and had it ready on the next boat so I did not have to ask for it again. I hope that I get to see her again on a future cruise. The Maitre'd Aryan (I think I am spelling his name right) has made every day on the ship memorable, Kurt and Lucas at the Front Desk, Vanya and Mary and Marlon in the Dining Room, Kristyan at the Bar, Ohna at the Bar were all excellent in their jobs and I enjoyed interacting with all of them. Monday the 16th we were switching ships. I appreciate all the hard work the staff did to help us switch ships. I am thankful that Viking booked a Scenic Cruise from Braubach to Bingen so we would not miss the beauty and splendor of the Rhine. I am grateful that we were able to do this instead of being bused. So I give Viking Cruise Director Rob a big thumbs up for coordinating this for us. We arrived the Baldur and everything was seamless and very nice. It was a lot better than I expected. This ship was exactly like the Eistla and so I did not notice any difference. Sunday November 22nd Switching Ships Again. Sadly I had to say Goodbye to Vana our Room Matron who again I must say was the most positive and wonderful staff members I have ever come across. Time to go to the Viking Embla. After a long day out and about we got to our room. As I was unpacking I noticed a constant humming coming from the bathroom. It was non stop and very annoying. This ship is showing signs of wear and tear. While I was unpacking my suitcase I pulled out the beside table to put down a glass of water. Instead in Stateroom 225 the bedside table pulled out and fell off right on my foot. I have a lovely bruise that is fading but it was painful. The closet door in the room would not stay shut and it would open and close on its own at all hours of the night. The temperature in the Shower was not consistent. Anytime someone flushed a toilet the water would turn scalding hot and I actually got a burn on my chest from the water and a blister from the water in the Shower. The Embla did not have the same amenities that we had in the other two ships. (No USB Port and Outlets were fewer) No under light in the bathroom and no lights in the closet that worked. Needless to say it was a disappointment from the other two ships. And that constant humming noise and closet doors opening on their own, this room was a little bit annoying to say the least. (FIX THOSE THINGS FOR FUTURE TRAVELERS) Now that we are home and going over the memories we are very pleased with the experience for the most part. However finding that others we cruised with got more than 15% off for a future cruise, some are getting 25-30% off. Considering it took us THREE Years to save for this cruise we would like to give Viking another try but we are taken back that we have to use this voucher in less than a year. So I would like something done about that. Considering I did not get 100% of what I paid for I expect some form of compensation that is not a complete and total slap in the face especially since I repeatedly asked for information before I left, and I would have canceled and re-booked for a later date when Water Levels were better. But the experience even though several ports were cut short due to water levels and some of our free time was taken away it was a good trip. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Our 7-day Rhine river cruise was our first, after having taken many ocean cruises. As we expected, the experience is quite different. The river cruise affords the opportunity to see a lot more; the ship is essentially a floating mobile ... Read More
Our 7-day Rhine river cruise was our first, after having taken many ocean cruises. As we expected, the experience is quite different. The river cruise affords the opportunity to see a lot more; the ship is essentially a floating mobile hotel from which one takes tours of nearby cities and towns. Most of these tours involve buses, and several ended at a different point on the river, where the ship met up with us. Unlike an ocean cruise, the ship experience is rather simple: it's basically a hotel with a restaurant, bar and lounge. The food was surprisingly good; not as varied as the ocean cruises, but fresh and well prepared. Menus offering local specialties was a nice touch. The included beer and wine offerings (lunch and dinner) were not fancy, but adequate. BYOB is perfectly acceptable in the bar or restaurant as well, with no extra charge. Cabins are compact as expected and well designed. There was almost no noise, except occasionally some churn from passing ships. The service and crew were outstanding, especially the program director who oversaw the tours and was quite knowledgeable about many of the stops as well as the river traffic. The passengers were nearly all American, reflecting Viking's marketing strategy. The very few non-Americans were British and Australian. The only downside was the October weather, hardly the fault of Viking. I would strongly advise paying the extra expense for a May or June cruise, when you can enjoy the open decks and have far more light. Summer could be OK as well, except for larger crowds at some major attractions, like Cologne cathedral. The local tour guides, who seem to work mostly for tips, were also very good. The headsets allow for stress free strolling during the tours. Be aware that the river scene will not generally resemble the marketing photos. Except for one spectacular section of the Rhine in Germany taking about half a day, most of the river is nondescript or industrial, with high embankments to prevent flooding and which restrict the view a bit. This is really not very important as most of your sightseeing will be off the river on the tours, some of which go quite some distance from the river itself. Overall: well worthwhile and highly recommended. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
This was our first river cruise - the Rhine River from Amsterdam to Basel. We spent 4 days in Amsterdam and I definitely recommend a few days before embarkation. Jet lag is tricky and we pay so much for the cruise we wanted to truly ... Read More
This was our first river cruise - the Rhine River from Amsterdam to Basel. We spent 4 days in Amsterdam and I definitely recommend a few days before embarkation. Jet lag is tricky and we pay so much for the cruise we wanted to truly enjoy it. We stayed in the Marriott by the docks and loved. We are the type of couple who like to just wander around and we did. Our only scheduled events were the Van Gogh museum (get your tickets online ahead of time) and a dinner cannal cruise (also got tickets ahead of time and we loved it.). Second only to Paris I think Amsterdam is beautiful. Take time to appreciate it all. The Amercerto We had an AA stateroom (314) with French and real balcony. It was worth it for us. There was plenty of room, plenty of storage, and we are not tiny people. Be smart and think ahead. We went in October and took lots of UnderArmor. It was the perfect selection. We had jeans washed and laundry was ultra reasonable. We took black pants or black jeans for dinner with long sleeves, collars, and fancy scarves. No fancy clothes necessary. We spent a lot of time on our own. Our first excursion - Cologne- we went with the guide. Because of low water we were late and missed going into the cathedral. That was a huge disappointment. Other than our Heidelberg Tour, we went off on our own and had a fabulous time. Our guide on Heidelberg was great. We also decided that if something was important, like the Cologne Cathedral we were doing it on our own. We never had trouble finding our way back to our motor coaches to return to the ship. We loved the Chef's Table, eating there twice. The other dinners were just mediocre to us. Our favorite nights were when we had cheese, crackers, and fruit in our room and watched a movie. Great down time and togetherness. Our cruise director was very good. We liked his lectures every night. We also found that people who did not know were really at a loss the next morning. One irritating factor were the guests who did not take the QuietVox systems for the tours. The rest of the guests who did listen to the CD and remembered theirs had to wait up to 30 minutes while these others were taken care of. The staff were unbeatable. One night my husband had back problems and we were staying in out room. I was in sweats getting hot chocolate and at least 4 staff members asked if we were eating dinner and if not going to the dining room could they send a try to our room. And remember there is no room service on AMA! I also loved talking Spurs basketball with the Purser Christian. He was a delight. My husband has already booked the Douro cruise for next year. What a surprise! I made us go on this cruise and it turns out he loves the life. Believe me when I say you can be as social or antisocial as you want. The cruise is to make of it what you want. Oh, and before I forget, the Rhine Gorge might be the most unforgettable thing I will ever experience! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
This was our first cruise and we were not sure what to expect. Our prior experiences were all inclusive ocean cruises with Silversea. Overall, the river cruise was fabulous and exceeded our expectations. Great experiences in most ports, ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we were not sure what to expect. Our prior experiences were all inclusive ocean cruises with Silversea. Overall, the river cruise was fabulous and exceeded our expectations. Great experiences in most ports, energetic staff and excellent cruise director (Barry) who found creative solutions to issues that arose and was always there with us, making sure everything went well. The Alsvin Longship was beautiful and we enjoyed our balcony room on the middle deck (200 level). The restaurant menu was different every night and all dishes were delicious and nicely presented by staff who did everything they could to please guests. Wine and beer included with lunch and dinner and they were generous. The chef was also fabulous and we enjoyed going with him to market for an excursion in one of the ports. The cruise itinerary was engaging and provided some interesting options that we enjoyed, such as the amazing concert in Vienna. We would have liked more time in Vienna, it is truly amazing! Less time in some ports might provide this extra time. We even think a day not in a port might be nice as you are always on the go for the shore excursions, but some people just skipped a tour which is worth considering, but we hated to miss anything. It turns out we were very lucky because we were able to stay on the same ship throughout the cruise, but many people on other cruise ships (Viking and others such as Uniworld) had to switch ships mid cruise due to low river conditions. Thanks to our very resourceful Ship Captain, we were able to make it through when other cruise ships did not! People we talked to in towns during excursions grumbled about being bused around and having to pack and unpack to switch ships. For us, the most disappointing thing on the river cruise ship was the limited lounge music genre. Only one person provided lounge entertainment and he provided 90% slow songs even when faster music was requested by numerous guests. The entertainment that was brought on for some evenings (opera singing, cultural music, etc) from local entertainers was outstanding however. All in all, it was a fabulous experience and we look forward to another cruise, but will consider a different time of year to avoid the low river conditions in late August, early September. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
Our 15 day Viking River Cruise was both a joy and a heartbreak. The trip was unfortunately hit by the failure of one of the main engines. We were told about this breakdown the first day. We were kept appraised of the problem and the ... Read More
Our 15 day Viking River Cruise was both a joy and a heartbreak. The trip was unfortunately hit by the failure of one of the main engines. We were told about this breakdown the first day. We were kept appraised of the problem and the corrective action plan on a daily basis. The plan was to have the trip proceed as normal for the first ten days and then we would all leave the boat and proceed the last five days on land. The first ten days: This part of the trip was a complete joy. The accommodations were excellent, the cabin staff were well trained and performed their duties to the letter with a smile and cheerful attitude. On the boat the food and food service was without fault. We enjoyed every meal. And we enjoyed the boat's crew. Off the boat the accommodations were okay but not as good as the boat. The travel by bus was very uncomfortable and not what we paid for. Off the boat meals were less than even 2nd class. Poorly prepared and poorly served. The "Rating" points listed and filled out below apply to the time on the boat only. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
Had a lovely time on the Magellan sailing to Amsterdam and Antwerp, a very nice ship.. Very good prices in the bars, food was very nice especially the evening meals..Beds were really comfortable... I can't really see why people are so ... Read More
Had a lovely time on the Magellan sailing to Amsterdam and Antwerp, a very nice ship.. Very good prices in the bars, food was very nice especially the evening meals..Beds were really comfortable... I can't really see why people are so negative about this ship... this was myself and my daughters first cruise and we enjoyed it very much... We would definitely go on this ship again... Lovely!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
We had a great cruise on Viking's new ship the Ve. The room was comfortable but a little tight. We had a small outside balcony which was adequate. The bathroom was small but very usable and the shower was great. Lighting was excellent ... Read More
We had a great cruise on Viking's new ship the Ve. The room was comfortable but a little tight. We had a small outside balcony which was adequate. The bathroom was small but very usable and the shower was great. Lighting was excellent in the room. Wifi was available in our room but was way too slow !! (satellite connection) TV was large and had decent programing including cameras in the ship. The food was good and plentiful but not very creative and rather bland to the taste. Unfortunately the only drinks that were part of the all inclusive package was WITH the meals. (pretty chincy) The shore trips were all very nice and "adequate". The use of what they call a quiet box was fantastic for the shore trips. There were numerous extra cost shore trip options. Fair amount of free time to explore on your own. We felt that the 14 day trip that spent a lot of time in Germany was just a lot of seeing the same things. All our stops were picture perfect but became monotonous! One stop in Germany for this type of trip would have been enough !! Our program director Kane was excellent and made the trip better than expected. Everybody on the crew was very friendly, gracious and helpful. I was very impressed by the consistency of their training. Too many old folks as guests though not enough of an age mix. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
The river cruise was the first part of a multi-week vacation to Europe. After being greeted at the airport by a friendly and new face, we started the adventure. Much to our surprise, our first day included a walking tour of Amsterdam and ... Read More
The river cruise was the first part of a multi-week vacation to Europe. After being greeted at the airport by a friendly and new face, we started the adventure. Much to our surprise, our first day included a walking tour of Amsterdam and lunch on board. From that point things just got better. Wonderful meals, great tours and lots of time to adventure at all of the stops along the way. the tours were well planned and the time given at each stop were great. We enjoyed many times on and off the ship at the many ports of call. The cabin was comfortable, well laid out and very clean. Each day we received many wonderful services form the small and friendly staff. By the end of the week we came to know many of the staff. We looked forward each evening after supper for the newsletter outlining the activities of the next day. The presentations on the areas we visited were very good. The local tour guides gave an informed and entertaining experience. Being on such a quality ship, with the newest of amenities was great. Arrivals and departures at each port were seamless. Getting on the road for the tours was efficient. Our departure , though bitter sweet was quick and painless. In summary we are looking forward to our next Viking River Cruise Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We travelled May 3/2015 from Amsterdam to Basel. We have travelled the large cruise lines in past,but wanted to experience what a River Cruise would be like. Because we were traveling from Canada we decided to land in Amsterdam on the ... Read More
We travelled May 3/2015 from Amsterdam to Basel. We have travelled the large cruise lines in past,but wanted to experience what a River Cruise would be like. Because we were traveling from Canada we decided to land in Amsterdam on the Friday before we would set sail Sunday. This was good decision to help with jet lag & also to get a good taste of Amsterdam. When we arrived at the airport Viking reps met us & we said that we weren't sailing for a few days but they helped guide us to the train & were more than helpful. Our hotel Movenpick seemed to be a hub for Viking for many different ships & we were able to get information as our embarking port had changed (everyone so helpful). When we arrived on board we were greeted by many Viking Crew members, one who walked us to our rooms ( Demeter also our favourite bartender)& our luggage followed in minutes. Our room was on the first floor (125)and it was very compact. We spent very little time there. Meals were good and our excursions were interesting. We purchased extra excursions which we felt were good value. The water levels were high as there was rain in Switzerland for over a week. This caused some disruption but for us, it was all part of the adventure. We were bussed to our excursions & once ate in Strasbourg instead of going back to the ship because of timelines. Viking took care of all of this. All hands on deck when we came back on board, stewards, hotel manager, & even the captain greeted us. They were appreciative of our understanding as itinerary changed, and we could feel it. It was a wonderful journey. Boyon was our cruise director & he was AMAZING. He & the hotel manager kept us up to date on any changes.Our consierge was also very helpful.I would highly recommend Viking & would travel again. Three couples travelled together & had a great adventure. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Had never done a river cruise before so wasn't sure if it would enjoyable, though as an enthusiastic traveller I figured we'd be doing enough that what happened on board wouldn't matter. To my astonishment had a fantastic ... Read More
Had never done a river cruise before so wasn't sure if it would enjoyable, though as an enthusiastic traveller I figured we'd be doing enough that what happened on board wouldn't matter. To my astonishment had a fantastic time on board, enjoyed the company of other travelers, outstanding food (cooked up by chef Florian) and the professionalism of the crew (Valerie et al.) The cabin was comfortable, and my wife and I enjoyed sitting not he balcony as we skimmed the Rhine. The cabin attendant did a stellar job keeping everything clean and tidy. The only weak point for me on board was the Wi-Fi which was abysmal. Most of the shore excursions were interesting but some of the logistics in getting to where we were going made our time brief at some of the destinations. Read Less

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise