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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Scenic asked for our opinion after our first ever cruise. Here it is. The Bordeaux Affair was a fabulous cruise experience except for the total failure of the sanitation system on the ship, and partial for the remainder of the week. ... Read More
Scenic asked for our opinion after our first ever cruise. Here it is. The Bordeaux Affair was a fabulous cruise experience except for the total failure of the sanitation system on the ship, and partial for the remainder of the week. This failure was complete at times (leaving cabin toilets full of waste and no working toilets at all for an ENTIRE DAY). Sometimes the blockage was partial, however as our week went on, the smell of human waste increased in the hallway and was unsanitary and distressing. Our cruise director promised the entire ship would receive compensation - however for Scenic, this only amounted to an offer of 20% off everyone’s next cruise. The Scenic promise is a disappointment. We chose Scenic because of their reputation for excellence - and the cruise was excellent - however when an issue as large and disruptive as this happens - the customer should be compensated AND offered a discount on their next Scenic Cruise. The cruises are very expensive and with such poor customer service it is too risky to invest that amount of money again. It is a shame and we are very disappointed. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
1st time river cruising, and after checking around, the dates suited us and we attended a dinner talk about Uniworld. The sailing date (29th April08-Days Bordeaux, Vineyards & Chateaux @ River Royale) that we took was promoted at the ... Read More
1st time river cruising, and after checking around, the dates suited us and we attended a dinner talk about Uniworld. The sailing date (29th April08-Days Bordeaux, Vineyards & Chateaux @ River Royale) that we took was promoted at the talk as an epicurean journey with fine wines, different from the other sailings. We booked our cruise based on that. Unfortunately, we were most disappointed to conclude that Uniworld over promises and under delivers....The wines were really not great (although these were regional wines) and what we had at the wine tastings at the wineries were much better, except for one winery in St. Emillion. On querying the sommelier on board, we were informed that the table wines were available at the supermarkets for about Euro 10-15 per bottle. Fine wines are not that cheap, no? The sommelier did produce another range on a later night, which was better. The others in our group found the wines served so unpalatable that they had to buy their own when there was an opportunity. (One of us is a great wine expert.) We were greatly disappointed with the food served. Portions were big and quality was just not there. There was hardly any french dishes/meals served except for the last night, the gala night. Hello... French epicurean meals was definitely mentioned at the presentation talk? When we complained, the restaurant manager's reply was that the cruise was catered for Americans! Well, that certainly put us in our place, as we were not Americans! There were Canadians, Australians, Mexicans, Spanish, English, Malaysians etc on board. French food is dainty & light on the servings, being more quality than quantity. In this case on the River Royale, it was all quantity that mattered. The fish dishes every night were pretty bad....one would think cruising up and down the river, we would get fresh French fish at every meal! The only thing that was actually good was the constant item on the menu every dinner, the steak, cooked American style! There was NO French dessert! We never had any escargot, truffle, fois gras, french specialites etc. White asparagus was in season which we saw in the fresh markets, huge stems, but we never saw them except finally on the gala night, on one dish(if you got lucky and ordered that dish!), and these were the skinny ones, 4 pcs only. Epicurean? So saddd... Dessert was another great disappointment as that is always my highlight, and being in France, French pastries & cakes are delightful. When did Uniworld think Bombe Alaska is a French dessert? Or brownies... you get the picture... it was American desserts all the way. And another great disappointment! You would think being in France, with all those utterly lovely bakeries, we would definitely get a variety of French breads for breakfast? NOPE! OK, the chefs were Spanish (the senior chef Manuel, who seems to be the PR guy) and a very young, junior sweet Bulgarian chef who tried very hard to cook whatever we requested. So, even if the kitchens can't cope or are unable to make those lovely French breads and pastries, all they had to do was go off the boat and get them fresh off the local bakers on the riverside! We saw quite a few, and these are beautifully delicious breads! Instead, we get American style croissants (huge and non buttery flaky - hydrogenated oils I am guessing), muffins, danish, etc... HUGE disappointment on the breakfast breads. The eggs benedict was done well, though not consistent (perhaps different chefs, different ingredients). First 3 mornings, it was creamy and delicious...after that, it was wateryyyy... Lunches were ok, nothing great, being buffet style. I enjoyed the salads and the cheeses and the Rose that was served. Funnily enough, it wasn't offered to us until the 3rd last day, when we noticed other tables drinking the Rose, then did we realised that it was served. We checked and double checked with our Uniworld agent about the laundry services and were assured that one can do self laundry without charge. When we were on board, we found out there is NO self laundry and everything was to be handed to housekeeping and were chargeable. The morning exercises were interesting, but only 30 min which does not do much. 30 min is just warm up! The "gym" was very small and I think there were 4 exercise equipment but no treadmill. One cross trainer and the other 3 were cycling machines. The rooms/cabins are the smallest I've ever seen (we took the window cabin and not the balcony, as the balcony eats into the room), but we have only cruised on the big ships. For my husband to pass at the foot of the bed, I either have to hop onto the bed or sidle to the side of the bed. And I am of petite frame and he is of average built at 5ft 8inches. There are 2 upright chairs at the window next to the bed, but one would have to put both legs up on the bed as there's no place for your legs. The bathroom shower is tiny! I hate to imagine how the bigger size men and women close the shower door let alone have a shower in there! Both my husband & I have to flatten ourselves literally along the shower wall to enable the shower door to close! Well, those are the bad points about this Uniworld cruise on River Royale. But of course, there are lots of good points too! The staff work really hard, doing whatever they have to do (and everyone has to lend a hand in everything except housekeeping & front desk seems to be standalone depts). The wait staff are serving at the bar, and then at the dining room and then back at the bar too! The wait staff were always cheerful and smiling, ever willing to assist or listen to suggestions/complaints and pour wines/drinks. At dinner times, one could see them working under pressure, with a few tables to wait on, so taking orders and serving and clearing took some time. We appreciated our sommelier's efforts, Nico, for trying to give us better wines at dinner but he was limited by Uniworld's regulations. He was most helpful and informative. The restaurant & bar staff were very hardworking indeed. Housekeeping was always excellent, kept the cabin very clean, topped up the lovely complimentary chocolates, and always gave extra water after my request on the 1st night. Very efficient and fast, in and out before we realised it! Toiletries were by Occitane but did Uniworld really have to screw down all the dispensers? LOL... The tours were very much enjoyed and were good. Very well executed, very good guides (especially our Irish lady guide) who made the tours very interesting, good and interesting wineries were visited, good lunch at a chateau, the optional wine cask factory visit was greatly enjoyed, the Remy Martin excursion was really worthwhile and enjoyed by everyone. The buses were comfortable, and the drivers were good. We greatly appreciated that Uniworld (Thanks, Pierre - Entertainment Manager) made extra effort to pick up our group upon arrival at the Bordeaux airport very late at night and a light supper was prepared at the bar for us. Due to unforeseen circumstances, our connecting flights were cancelled and we had huge problems getting another flight to Bordeaux. Entertainment on board was limited. There were 2 nights where we were entertained by different artists who came on board to sing (and these were good) and the rest of the nights, we had a resident singer, and she was good too. If it were not for the extremely disappointing meals & wines, I would give this cruise a 5 star rating... as it is 3.5 stars .. It was our first river boat cruise, so we had high expectations, having heard great things from friends and family members (but they did not sail on Uniworld). We purposely chose this sailing based on the selling point and description of "epicurean meals & fine wines" and to our great disappointment, Uniworld did not deliver on these 2 points. We were so looking forward to the French meals and wines on board. Sad to say, we felt very short changed on these 2 items. We will try the other river boat cruise companies next time, to different places and hopefully, have much better reviews to write about. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I researched thoroughly and came to the conclusion that Uniworld were the best in the market. I was not in anyway disappointed. The staterooms are a little tight (going to be refitted this winter and more spacious are part of the plan) ... Read More
I researched thoroughly and came to the conclusion that Uniworld were the best in the market. I was not in anyway disappointed. The staterooms are a little tight (going to be refitted this winter and more spacious are part of the plan) but the bed and bedding was to die for, there was plenty of space for storage and loads of hangers for the 2 of us. The shower was also excellent, room service superb. We cannot speak too highly of the staff, they work very hard and always have a genuine smile. The food was the best, simply delicious and beautifully served. The bar staff were superbly trained, all were excellent but special mention for Marietta the Bar manager and the Sommelier Nedko, his wine tastings were interesting, informative and fun. Reception staff and crew members were ready to help at any time. Sharon the Uniworld Rep organised all the off boat excursions and did a great job. I would love to mention everyone by name but I am afraid this would go on far too long but they all deserve to be congratulated. We will certainly travel Uniworld again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary, reputation for luxury, food and wine, and the date of sailing. Ship: The ship's decor was okay but definitely could be updated in my opinion. There was a nice area upstairs that was ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary, reputation for luxury, food and wine, and the date of sailing. Ship: The ship's decor was okay but definitely could be updated in my opinion. There was a nice area upstairs that was used for alternate dining (the Blue Fox). It would be nice if this was an upper level bar, at least for part of the day. Cabin: The room, for a luxury cruise, was tiny, as was the bathroom. My husband and I are small people and we had to wait for the other to pass before moving about the cabin. The bed and linens were very comfortable though. Dining: The food was usually excellent, and if something occasionally was disappointing there were always other choices. We were however, very disappointed with the "fine" wine included with our cruise and the cost for premium wines was steep. Entertainment and Activities: There was an oyster tasting event on board which was excellent and a cooking demo on Caneles. It was nice to have a piano player in the lounge but the music was pretty much the same every night with the exception of a couple of nights of scheduled singers. The cruise manager did a great job of scheduling activities of varying levels, optional filler events, and downtime. Service: Our cruise manager was fabulous, she even assisted us in scheduling an excursion of our own. The staff was excellent, very friendly and accommodating. Ports and Shore Excursions: Excellent! It was nice that there were choices for different ability levels. The groups were divided into very manageable, comfortable sizes. The ports and shore excursions were very interesting and Uniworld hired excellent guides. I would definitely consider a Uniworld Cruise again. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
On whole, the trip met our expectations and we will most likely take a future river cruise with Viking, but there were some quirks that folks should understand if they are not familiar with Bordeaux or if they are new to river cruises (or ... Read More
On whole, the trip met our expectations and we will most likely take a future river cruise with Viking, but there were some quirks that folks should understand if they are not familiar with Bordeaux or if they are new to river cruises (or Viking river cruises in particular). From prior posters' reports, we knew in advance that there would not be much cruising on this trip. If that had been a surprise, we would have been very disappointed. We spent 3 of 7 nights docked in the city of Bordeaux, and the other 4 nights in tiny ports with virtually nothing to distinguish themselves by other than their proximity to shore excursions and the opportunity to witness the crew docking the vessel. Bordeaux is a beautiful city with accessible public transportation, and the vessel's dock was adjacent to a tram stop, making it very easy to get around independently while in port. In hindsight, I'd have preferred that we just stayed in port in Bordeaux each night, and integrated the cruising element by some day cruising up and down the rivers. This was my husband's second Viking River Cruise, and my first. He oversold me on the culinary experience based on his first cruise on the Rhine. We were both underwhelmed by most of the food on the Bordeaux cruise (although there were some notable exceptions) and I disliked the rigidity of the dinner service. On several days we had private all-day winery tours that included lovely three course meals in local restaurants. The last thing we could handle was a full-on heavy dinner on board ship at 7pm sharp. It would have been nice to have the option of having a light meal served later in the evening. We were also somewhat disappointed by the Chateau Kirwin meal on Thursday. The venue was nice, but Chef thought it would be fun for the Americans to serve them turkey on Thanksgiving, not realizing that you can't replicate a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal for 120 people and that many of us traveled over Thanksgiving to get away from tradition. The Chateau Kirwin wine they served was disappointing and the wait staff refused to open the superior wine that we'd brought with us. I realize in hindsight that it would have been in poor taste to drink someone else's wine at the Chateau Kirwin but I resent having been forced into that situation in the first place. If we'd been docked in Bordeaux instead of Pauillac that night, we could have just gone into town and had a nice dinner on our own instead, but that wasn't an option. If you prefer the group travel experience to independent travel (and frankly, that is the demographic that Viking is reaching out to), you would certainly have enjoyed this trip and would find my disappointments a bit puzzling. For the group traveler, the choice of shore excursions was varied and comprehensive. I think that is one of the things that Viking really does well. The program director on this cruise, Lorin, is a gem and Viking should be commended for its employment of his many talents. He was entertaining, thought-provoking, hard working and genuinely engaged in the mission of bringing local culture to the Viking guests. The ship was very clean, our stateroom had plenty of storage capacity and the staff was hard-working and friendly. We chose this Viking cruise as a marital compromise (I dislike group travel of any sort, and especially boats, but my husband does not share my feelings. More than anything, he hates to pack and unpack and the pressure of selecting a restaurant to dine in each night, and he enjoys the socialization that is available on-board). The trip met or exceeded my low expectations, and it also met or exceeded my husband's higher expectations. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We'd never taken a river cruise as we normally travel independently, however, I knew we'd need help navigating our way through Bordeaux to learn more about wine. We were so impressed by our cruise director Elia, as well as the ... Read More
We'd never taken a river cruise as we normally travel independently, however, I knew we'd need help navigating our way through Bordeaux to learn more about wine. We were so impressed by our cruise director Elia, as well as the entire staff. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and professional. Virginie is truly a charmer!! Unfortunately, our experience was tainted by a large group of rowdy friends who dominated the ship and activities. Their main objective seemed to be drinking to the point of oblivion. I never expected that from a river cruise!! The staff handled it well, although I think the waiters lost patience towards the end as these guests asked for extra free glasses of wine to take back after dinner in attempts to not have to pay for it at the bar. Talk about reinforcing the "ugly American" reputation... The food was excellent, our room comfortable and spotless, and the morning views on the rivers were spectacular. Bordeaux is an exciting town and easily accessible from Paris by train. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose this cruise to travel with friends who had been with Scenic previously. We travelled by Eurostar and TGV to Bordeaux, which was fine but only just made it to Paris Montparnasse as the cross-Paris timing was very tight. On ... Read More
We chose this cruise to travel with friends who had been with Scenic previously. We travelled by Eurostar and TGV to Bordeaux, which was fine but only just made it to Paris Montparnasse as the cross-Paris timing was very tight. On arrival at Bordeaux we were not met by any representative so made our own way to the ship. From there our luggage was taken on board, we were given champagne and escorted through the beautiful ship to our cabin, which although smallish by ocean cruise standards was beautifully fitted with a balcony and kept spotless by our cabin attendant Angela. The dining on the ship was excellent with fine wines and other drinks included. The choice of food was excellent and the two special dining evenings were superb. There was a wide choice of excursions (included) to wine chateaux to taste and dine. Passengers should be aware that they should be fairly fit for the walking involved. The entertainment on board was a resident musician, and guest artistes from the local area, and also a very good crew show. Finally, the crew and service on board was faultless, friendly and attentive with a smile. Disembarkation went smoothly and we were transferred to the station for our train journey back to the UK. Would we go again - yes but would need to pace ourselves for the walking involved. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Excellent service from Scenic. All was included: drinks, tips etc, so although it seemed expensive, there was nothing else to pay. There were well organised excursions, with consideration for those with walking problems. They did ... Read More
Excellent service from Scenic. All was included: drinks, tips etc, so although it seemed expensive, there was nothing else to pay. There were well organised excursions, with consideration for those with walking problems. They did arrange special itineraries with less walking when necessary. There was a very helpful cruise director, with a good sense of humour. We have been with this company before and found them excellent. The food is good with choices and pleasant atmosphere. The staff are well trained and cheerful, seeming to enjoy their work. They do offer a choice of UK airports, but did not allow enough time for the connection in Paris on the return journey and we only just made the flight. There was not as much to see in this area as in some others, e.g. the Rhine and the Danube and the ship did not go far from Bordeaux, but it was very pleasant. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2016
This was a last minute trip for my wife's 70th birthday. We loved the ship, food, service, and met many delightful people. Bordeaux is a lovely region of France, and we learned a lot about wine making and tasting. The atmosphere ... Read More
This was a last minute trip for my wife's 70th birthday. We loved the ship, food, service, and met many delightful people. Bordeaux is a lovely region of France, and we learned a lot about wine making and tasting. The atmosphere throughout the whole trip was relaxed, We enjoyed meeting new friends which is easy because the cruise only has a maximum of 200 passengers. They met us at the airport and took care of all the details in transition to the ship. The same excellent service was there for our departure. Get off the fence and go!! Viking cruises are totally great. Can't wait for the next one!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Great time. Ship and Staff was first class. Lorin, the Program Director does a great job. All of the excursions were very well done. All of our tour guides were excellent and spoke very good English. Getting on and off the ship was a ... Read More
Great time. Ship and Staff was first class. Lorin, the Program Director does a great job. All of the excursions were very well done. All of our tour guides were excellent and spoke very good English. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze. This is a cruise that is definitely wine-centric, but there were some cruisers just along for the ride. Food and beverage offerings were nice. We were a group of 6 and there was always something on the menu that we liked. Bordeaux, the city, is a nice place to visit and would recommend spending a day pre or post cruise. St. Emilion, one of the ports, is a city that is worth spending more time. The ship is kept very clean and the staff goes out of their way to make sure you are having a good time. We will definitely look at another Viking cruise in the future. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We are great fans of French reds and really enjoyed our previous trips exploring the Rhone region and Champagne areas of France. Bordeaux appealed for many of the same reasons: lovely scenery, great wineries, picturesque chateaux, ... Read More
We are great fans of French reds and really enjoyed our previous trips exploring the Rhone region and Champagne areas of France. Bordeaux appealed for many of the same reasons: lovely scenery, great wineries, picturesque chateaux, farmer's markets and good food. We chose the Scenic Diamond as there was a good amount of time to be spent in Bordeaux itself, and that was indeed our favorite port overall. I am going to summarize by category: Ship: - Modern with contemporary decor and clean design features - Immaculately maintained - Minimalist decor overall, with upscale finishes Cabin: - Loved the Scenic Sun Lounge! We really enjoy true outdoor space and this was even better, as we had the option with the push of a button to have a balcony or not. - Great bedding (and a very large bed by river cruise standards) and linens (and a pillow menu) - Plenty of hot water and great water pressure in the shower - L'Occitane toiletries - Need to add more creative storage and a make-up mirror in the bathroom - Lacked a full length mirror anywhere - Safe location was extremely inconvenient (bottom of closet) - Remote control set up was really cumbersome Service: - Excellent in all aspects - Captains were among the most sociable and accessible we have ever experienced on the river - Our butler was delightful but we did not take advantage of any butler services - Housekeeping was excellent - Dining room staff was quite knowledgeable about wines and provided really excellent service Food: - Excellent quality and very nice presentation - Disliked buffet on embarkation evening, and even more so that it ended at 7:30PM - Limited choices at dinner as compared to other lines - No variety in menu to order items at breakfast and lunch - Need to improve their ability to satisfy specific dietary requirements - Dinner should have more flexibility in terms of time to arrive. They want everyone there at one time, which is just earlier than we choose to have dinner, especially in Europe while on vacation. - L'Amour was excellent and the best meal of the cruise. - Table Le Rive was our next favorite meal and well executed. - River Cafe was a nice touch for light meals, when a trip to the dining room did not appeal. - Breads were excellent - Selection of cheeses and pate was wonderful! Drinks: - Very nice selection of included wines - Same for included liquors - Glasses were always shined and polished. Glassware quality was excellent and correct glasses were used for wines, etc. We really noticed and appreciated that level of attention to detail. Tours: - We prefer to be active and there was limited opportunity for active tours, other than biking - This itinerary had tours that required fairly long bus rides - The time in ports we really enjoyed was quite short. This could have been a result of alterations due to high water levels. - Would have enjoyed more variety in tours offered Entertainment: - The weakest part of the cruise. In house piano player was boring. Local entertainment was provided only twice on a 10 night cruise with lots of overnights in port. Needs improvement. - The crew show was a lot of fun! Additional comments: - Scenic Sundowner special event was lovely! - Wifi was hands down the best of any cruise we have taken so far - Laundry concierge was a nice touch - This was the first cruise of the season and had some glitches, which I expect will be worked out over the next few. What was most impressive to us was that the staff and crew provided warm and gracious service without any formality or stuffiness. That is a difficult balance to achieve and they exceeded all expectations. Scenic should be proud. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This Chateaux and Wine Country cruise on the Viking Forseti during the week of Christmas was one of the best gifts we've ever received. We traveled with our family group of 8. A "Viking" met us at the Bordeaux airport, ... Read More
This Chateaux and Wine Country cruise on the Viking Forseti during the week of Christmas was one of the best gifts we've ever received. We traveled with our family group of 8. A "Viking" met us at the Bordeaux airport, helped us fill out lost luggage forms, and then whisked us off to the modern, sleek Viking Forseti in one of the fleet of clean & swift buses that are part of the Viking fleet. Our cabin had a French Balcony. The cabin had plenty of room for everything we brought with a large closet. We LOVED the heated tile floors in the surprising large bathroom. ,Although the cabin was smaller than what we were used to on ocean cruises it was more than adequate for our week's stay. The public spaces on the Forseti are lovely. The Aquavit Terrace is a perfect place to have casual meals. Speaking of casual, we loved the casual, cozy feel of this river cruise. No formal clothes required. (and speaking of clothes, our lost luggage was retrieved by the Viking staff and brought to our cabin before dinner that evening!) The first night we went on a Night Walking Tour of Bordeaux. The buildings in Bordeaux are beautifully lit and make it magical. The Opera House, Grand Hotel are perfect for lovely photos...they are a prelude to the spectacular Place de la Bourse (old stock exchange). This stunning square has the world's largest water mirror which reflects the beautiful trio of lit buildings. Our guide was knowledgeable and friendly. She spoke perfect English, making it very easy to understand all of the interesting facts and stories about the area. We enjoyed the walking tours. Seeing the markets, the housing gave us a small taste of each town we visited. Since the Forseti was able to dock close to the town centers we were immediately immersed in the French towns! The Christmas markets with their street food, crafts, and wares were particularly lovely. One highlight of many was optional tour and lunch at Chateaux Siaurac. This stunning 19th century classic style mansion is set among a lovely vineyard and park. We learned about the 'terroir' which makes each wine unique. This cruise is centered around the 'terroir' and wine. We learned more about wine, vineyards, wine tasting and making in 7 days than we had in our lifetime. Given the chance to travel this way was truly an eye opening experience. We'd cruised on over 12 large cruise ships prior to this and found the river cruise to be very different, in a good way. No crowds, no loud music blaring in all of the public places...just a relaxed atmosphere. WE loved this experience and have already booked our next adventure with Viking. They are a first class operation. The staff goes out of its way to meet every need. The food was superb and fresh. We liked that they included any wine or beer at meal time, too. I believe a river cruise is one of the best and most economical ways to see Europe! Viking has won our loyalty with their excellent service, friendliness, and hospitality. Each of our tour guides was exceptional. Viking does an great job providing these excellent ambassadors to guide us. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
The cruise lived up to the description in the literature we received. Service on board was excellent as was the food. The excursions were quite good and two of the excursions were excellent. In particular we enjoyed motoring across the ... Read More
The cruise lived up to the description in the literature we received. Service on board was excellent as was the food. The excursions were quite good and two of the excursions were excellent. In particular we enjoyed motoring across the Gulf of Arcachon, seeing and learning about oyster farming and harvesting, sampling local oysters, and finally having an excellent lunch at a local restaurant. The restroom equated bus transportation was always first class. Our guides were friendly, knowledgeable and very informative. The Viking Forseti is a lovely ship and our cabin was well appointed. Our cabin was always clean and we were quite comfortable. The staff were helpful, polite, and able to provide us with whatever we needed, From the moment we arrived at Bordeaux airport until we were guided through the airport for the flight home we were well taken care of. we were sad when we had to leave and vowed to take another Viking cruise next year. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We chose the Bordeaux cruise because most of the other European River Cruises were sold out by the time we decided to go (rather last minute, I'm afraid). We liked the idea of Bordeaux because we enjoy fine wines and we had never ... Read More
We chose the Bordeaux cruise because most of the other European River Cruises were sold out by the time we decided to go (rather last minute, I'm afraid). We liked the idea of Bordeaux because we enjoy fine wines and we had never seen that part of France. We arrived in Bordeaux by high speed train from Paris, after spending 3 nights there on our own. We boarded the Forseti almost immediately, which was fine because this particular itinerary returns to the City of Bordeaux several times during the week. That is because three rivers meet there, and we took trips down each of them on different days. For this reason, we had a chance to explore the City of Bordeaux in mid cruise and again the night before we disembarked. This area is full of chateaux, but not royal castles as in some other parts of Europe. The Chateaux are mainly related to vineyards. There is a lot of World War II history to learn, and some very old and charming villages. We went to one fort that was first used in the Middle Ages and updated several times, through WW II. We found this itinerary very relaxing - we went to a different village or historical site each day, taking shore excursions on foot. The local guides were very knowledgeable and interesting, and we learned a great deal about the history and culture of this lovely area. The only bus rides were short ones to wineries for tours and tastings, and one to a Chateau for dinner. There were some optional bus trips to farther spots, but we didn't take them. Viking has an amazing organizational plan. For instance, we never saw our room maid, yet our room was always cleaned when we returned from breakfast. It was also refreshed every afternoon or evening, yet again, we never saw a maid. The luggage and transfers were effortless on our part. All the daily disembarkations were easy - the staff handed us water bottles as we left, and once, umbrellas. There was never a delay or congestion. After disembarking, we flew from Bordeaux to London for 3 days. Viking arranged our taxi and the luggage transfer, an effortless process for us. We had not signed up for their airport bus, because we had had disembarkation delays from other big cruise ships and I was afraid we would miss our flight. We needn't have worried - there were others on our London flight who had taken the Viking transfer bus instead of a private taxi. The Cruise Director was amazing, both in his charming personality and in his knowledge of all we would be seeing and doing. He gave us daily briefings before dinner, and he was very entertaining. The pianist in the lounge was excellent also. The food was exceptional. The dining and bar staff were perfect - attentive, yet never in one's face at the wrong time. We loved the big tables, because we felt comfortable saying "may we join you?" to different groups each night - so we got to know a lot of very nice people. All meals involve ordering from menus - fine dining on your own schedule. There is a lunch buffet option, which we tried once when we were in a hurry. Excellent soups, salads and sandwiches there. There are coffee and tea stations at several spots on the vessel, and there are usually cookies and other fresh baked goods there also. There were no extra charges for anything, which we liked. Wine was included with meals and with extra events, such as cheese tastings. Fresh water bottles appeared in our cabin daily. As for children, I did not see any young ones on our vessel. There were a few multi-generational groups where the youngest members might have been in late high school or college. We would take another Viking Cruise immediately, if we could! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
This was our first Viking Cruise and I can't say enough about how great it was. It was the Châteaux, Rivers & Wine of the Bordeaux region. It was fantastic. The crew was outstanding. The Cruise Director made the trip. He had ... Read More
This was our first Viking Cruise and I can't say enough about how great it was. It was the Châteaux, Rivers & Wine of the Bordeaux region. It was fantastic. The crew was outstanding. The Cruise Director made the trip. He had an outstanding personality and was very warm and friendly throughout the entire cruise. He always made you feel at home. All the Service provided were superb. The food and wine was also outstanding. They had a few cooking demonstrations while on board the vessel. We enjoyed every meal and the wine paring was right on target. The onboard lectures provided by the staff were very informative and helpful. The shore excursion were outstanding as well. We didn't take any of the optional excursion but we made everyone of the included excursions. The guides were very informative and very helpful. We met some fantastic people on the cruise, that we have managed to stay in touch with since the cruise. They actually sold us on taking another cruise with Viking. We are going on the Romantic Danube cruise in 2017. The two couples we met were on their 8th and 9th Viking Cruise. They had nothing but great things to say about Viking cruises. Since that cruise they each have added to their Viking cruise numbers. Viking cruise provided first class service from start to finish, as I said it was the best vacation I have ever experienced. It felt like home on the vessel. We are very much looking forward to our next trip with Viking. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
This was an outstanding river cruise that featured all he best in river cruising. relaxing river cruising during the day, very good regional food with a dinner at a French Chateaux, tours of wineries plus various local wines at lunch and ... Read More
This was an outstanding river cruise that featured all he best in river cruising. relaxing river cruising during the day, very good regional food with a dinner at a French Chateaux, tours of wineries plus various local wines at lunch and dinner that changed daily. Bordeaux is a very beautiful city and we spent plenty of time there to enjoy it, we had a evening walking tour, a bus tour, a museum visit, plus a stretch you legs walk on our first day. My wife and I rented city bikes and rode around the city for half the day, this was on her bucket list. We visited Sauternes, Cadillac, Libourne, Saint-Émilion, Blaye, Bourg, and had an excursion to Pauillac, Médoc and Margaux. The dinner and wines and Chateau Kirwan were the highlight of the trip.There was a nice evening horse and buggy ride in Bourg after dinner with a wine tasting in the city square. One afternoon my wife was able to take a painting lesson on the boat and she enjoyed tit very much.. Michael Stamm our manager and Lorin Dragan our program manager did a fantastic job and everything was first class. This was our 5th river cruise and our 4th viking river cruise and this may have been the best one ever. I would highly recommend this river cruise if you enjoy food, cheese and wine. The Bordeaux region is very beautiful and this was a perfect trip. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
When you travel on a Viking River Cruise you know you are going to be treated like royalty. From the moment you step onto the vessel (being greate4d with Bucks Fizz) to the moment you leave you can be sure you will be given every courtesy. ... Read More
When you travel on a Viking River Cruise you know you are going to be treated like royalty. From the moment you step onto the vessel (being greate4d with Bucks Fizz) to the moment you leave you can be sure you will be given every courtesy. Our stateroom was spacious, with all the additions of mini bar, flat screen TV etc. The toiletries were top class and replaced almost every day. Our Itinerary was well thought out and gave us time to wonder through the various ports of call at our leisure. The guides on the waking tours were brilliant and we were given so much information about the areas and the wines. One of the best experiences was the visit to Chateaux Kirwan for dinner accompanied by the wines from their vineyard. The vessel is equipped with the most up to date lounges and bar whilst the dining room was so spacious no one felt hemmed in when seated. I would recommend anyone thinking of taking a river cruise to book with Viking for the holiday of a lifetime. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
My husband and I (57 & 42 years) had been pondering this cruise for a long time & boy are we glad we did it! One of the best vacations ever. The positives: Prompt efficient airport transports from and to the vessel in a Mercedes ... Read More
My husband and I (57 & 42 years) had been pondering this cruise for a long time & boy are we glad we did it! One of the best vacations ever. The positives: Prompt efficient airport transports from and to the vessel in a Mercedes bus Water bottles given at start of each excursion Incredibly attentive staff that handled requests with aplomb Energetic, fun German program director Pianist in the lounge every evening Extremely clean vessel You are among a well traveled clientele Wines and cocktails offered by purchasing the Silver Package were amazing French chef oversaw amazing service and served extremely varied, well seasoned food that was served at a perfect temperature (don't know how they were able to get the seafood perfect EVERY time) Comfy beds & L'Occitane products Still and sparkling water always available Great, efficient laundry service (no irons are allowed in rooms) Private, clean public bathrooms in commons area Great ship layout Bordeaux has amazing sights and shopping All staff spoke great English The excursion to a Chateau where you had a wine tasting three course dinner was one of the best meals that I have ever had Staff that escorted you into airport to ensure no issues with ticketing upon disembarkation The only very slight negatives: River was muddy Occasionally we were docked against another boat for a few hours which meant your room could be beside another ship, but these were varied so that each side were sharing in this limited view The excursion staff were very good and attentive, but at times it would have been nice for them to not go into such details Overall we felt as if we were on our own private yacht with an amazingly attentive staff. We will put our trust into Viking for all future tours-No question! Read Less

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