2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We had an absolutely fabulous time on this cruise. We have only done Carnival before, so this was a bit of a change. Our party was my husband and me, his parents and our three children, our ages range from 73-12. Everyone had a great time. ... Read More
We had an absolutely fabulous time on this cruise. We have only done Carnival before, so this was a bit of a change. Our party was my husband and me, his parents and our three children, our ages range from 73-12. Everyone had a great time. The included shore excursions were fantastic, and the staff was AMAZING!! Loved them all but especially Peter, Dragos, Boris, David, Lionel and Bea. The saddest part about leaving day was leaving them and I have to say we were a bit jealous seeing the new guests come on. Our plane was 2 hours late and Viking had a shuttle van waiting at the airport for us. It was a quick trip to the dock and the adventure began. All the stops are fabulous but don't miss the Rouen included tour during the day, and then be sure to go back to town in the evening for the light show on the Cathedral! The guides at each stop were incredibly friendly and knowledgeable and the audio devices work very well. We have sailed Carnival many times and you have to pay for every excursion (Carnival led or not obviously) so having one or two included every day is great. Monet's garden is a not to miss. Actually, they all are. Viking hit this one out of the park! The food was very good, the different cheeses every day were very good. David the Piano Man is awesome and Peter is the best bartender ever. We had 3 port window rooms and my in-laws had a verandah room. We were perfectly fine with the window room and we were NEVER in our room. If we go again I would book the same room. The verandah room was nice because it had a sitting area but we would never have used it. What we didn't know until the last day was that room had beer and pop in the refrigerator and ours did not. It didn't matter though because we bought the drink package, which is a great deal. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
My family likes to have annual summer vacations and this year it was decided we would take a river cruise in Europe, specifically the "Paris and the Heart of Normandy" itinerary that sails the Seine river in France. We had a ... Read More
My family likes to have annual summer vacations and this year it was decided we would take a river cruise in Europe, specifically the "Paris and the Heart of Normandy" itinerary that sails the Seine river in France. We had a total of 8 people: two in their young teens (12 and 16) two in their late 20's (myself and brother at 28 and 29) two in their 40's (my sister and brother-in-law) and our parents, in their late 60's and early 70's. To give some perspective, my brother and I have done multiple ocean cruises so we have some experience with cruising. This was a whole 'nother animal though, and for the most part, we all loved it. Demographics: Going into it, we knew that the demographics would be way off what we are used to. Most people were in their 50's and 60's with a few past that. There were a few children, and maybe a total of 6 teenagers, all with their families. My brother and I were definitely the only ones in their mid-to-late 20's (besides the staff) and if we were there for a "party" atmosphere and vacation, we would have been disappointed. This time however, we knew it would be port intensive and we would be sticking with the family for the most part. This allowed us to enjoy the food and sights (and drinks) more so than on ocean cruises. For the most part, all of the passengers were very friendly. We met a few people that we would talk to everyday and quickly became friends with. There were a few however that I could tell really did not like the idea of young people being around. One passenger walked up to my 12 year old niece and yelled at her for running around on the deck after 10 p.m. and ruining his sleep (turns out, it was different younger girl) and it really struck a nerve with us, he never apologized after he realized his mistake and we made a habit of staying away from him. Other than that, everyone was really nice, and in the evenings once the crowd had some drinks in them, it could get "lively" in the lounge, until about 11 p.m. After this time, the ship is pretty much dead and there is no real late-night entertainment. Ship and Cabin: The boat was very nice. We knew it wouldn't be a mega-liner and would be used mostly for sleeping and eating, which it was more than adequate for. I stayed in the inside cabin, it was small but comfortable. I would say it was about 75% the size of a standard inside ocean cruise cabin. The bathroom however was MUCH nicer. Heated floors, a real shower, and plenty of toilet space really made it much nicer than the typical inside stateroom. It did have a small window, though it did not get much use as we were rarely in the cabin. My sister and brother-in-law had the french balcony, which was pretty much the same as the standard cabin, just with a bigger window you could open. The parents got an actual balcony cabin, and it was very swanky. The top deck of the boat had two mini-golf holes and a shuffleboard station, that was about it other than some chairs. Once again, it was port-intensive cruise so this was not really an issue. Staff and Dining: This is where the cruise really shined. All the staff members were fantastic, especially our waiters, bartenders and customer service reps. I would like to give a shout-out to Drago, Alex, Milen, Alexie (I know I spelled that wrong, sorry!) Peter, and Alexandra who all provided fantastic service while we were there. The cruise director was also fantastic (I am so sorry I forgot her name!) They worked ridiculously hard to keep everyone happy and I witnessed first hand just how some of them were thanked for their hard-work (not so nice). I understand some of the people are used to being waited on hand and foot, but a little recognition seems the least they could do. The food was absolutely fantastic, and I made sure to go out of my comfort-zone on some nights. I did not order from the "always available" section once, though a few of my family members did, and they reported it was still very good. I took a ton of photos which I will try to upload at some point, but everything was very good. I would die a happy man if I could have some of that fried-brie one last time. A few of us managed to get sick (not Noro!) while we were there, and Alexandra made sure we had some chicken soup waiting for us in our cabins when we needed it. I truly believe that without this crew and staff, it really would not have been the same. Entertainment: Dave the piano man was the only real entertainment on the boat, and he did not disappoint. Going from modern songs like Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars to the classics was no problem for him, and he really kept the boat alive until around midnight. I would see him on the top deck when he was not on the clock and he was always super friendly and would make sure we were having a great time. Other than that, there was not much entertainment to be had on the boat outside of drinking in the lounge (great service by Dragos and Peter!) and relaxing on the sun deck. There were a few enrichment programs while we were there, though we did not attend any of them, so I cannot speak to how they are. As mentioned before, the ports were the real draw of the boat, so this was once again not a problem. Ports and shore excursions: So this is what most people come on these trips for, and for the most part they were pretty great, with some caveats. It should be noted that most of the included excursions are walking tours and may require a bus ride. For Paris, our family skipped the walking tour and did our own thing. As such, I can't speak to how the official excursion went, but Paris was a fantastic day trip for us just walking around and seeing the sights. The next day was Giverny and a tour of Monet's house. The property itself was amazing, the gardens are a true sight to behold. The tour however was a little rough, though this is no fault of Viking. It was absolutely packed, with tour groups everywhere making it impossible to stay together and taking your time to see everything. We were whisked around and so thoroughly stuffed together that if you have problems with tight spaces, you may get a little antsy. It was cold that day, which was probably a blessing, since I could only imagine being stuffed with so many people on a hot and humid morning. Rouen was next, and Notre Dame did not disappoint. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and led us on a walking tour of the city of Rouen that was absolutely fantastic. The sights of the city truly made this a great excursion. I missed the light show that was apparently amazing (I've seen my family member's videos!) unfortunately because I had started to feel pretty sick.The next day was Normandy, and I have to preface this by saying this was the peak of my sickness on the trip. I was running on two hours of sleep and had a fever, but I still made the trip. The beaches and museums were very cool and the cemetery was absolutely beautiful. Viking had a special ceremony and gave out flowers for us to put on a grave of our choice, which was very nice. The cemetery really put things into perspective and I truly felt humbled being there. As such, I feel bad complaining at all about this excursion, but the one problem was the time in the bus. As I mentioned, I was feeling terrible so this definitely exacerbated the issue, but in total, we were probably sitting in the bus more than outside of it. It's 2 and a half hours (at least) each way, plus multiple shorter trips (one about 45 minutes, a few others in the 20-minute range) between stops. This meant we were couped-up in the bus for about 6 hours, which was absolutely exhausting. I absolutely think it was worth-it to see Normandy, and I understand that this may not be avoidable, but I still think it is worth mentioning. After Normandy was Les Andelys, which was my favorite stop. The trek to Chateau Gaillard took about 30 minutes, which meant we got to walk through the picturesque town and see the sites. Our tour guide, Fred (a woman), was great and joined us for a drink at the the local cafe after the tour. The castle was amazing, and the views were top-notch. The last tour we went on was Chateau de Malmaison. It was a very pretty property with some cool things to see, however this may have been the least eventful tour. Worth the longish bus ride, but compared to the rest of the excursions, not my favorite. All in all, I was very happy with the tours, and I would only try to lessen the amount of time on the buses, which I understand may not really be possible. All the tour guides were great (though the one from Normandy totally thought I just did not want to be there and glared at me the entire time, I think she thought I was hung-over or something....nope, just really sick thank you very much!) Most tours required a listening device where you follow a lolly-pop holding guide, but you are also free to explore on your own if you choose. In conclusion, as a family vacation, this was great. I know my niece and nephew had a great time as well, and really enjoyed seeing France. The food, both on the ship and off, was amazing. The staff and crew were great and the boat was very nice. Cruising the river was very relaxing and I enjoyed the little entertainment they had on board. The ports were great and the people of France were very nice. This has made us want to go on another trip with Viking, and we are looking at one in Germany, particularly sailing the Rhein. If you are looking for a family trip for all ages (and you don't mind the cost!) where you know your kids, I would say 12 and up, can appreciate the ports and lack of real on-board entertainment, then this would be a great pick. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
We wanted to visit Normandy. Plus experience a Viking River Cruise. The staff was fantastic AS WAS THE FOOD. The only negative was was how hard it was to get to the ship from CDG. Way out of the city/ cost a fortune by taxi. The same ... Read More
We wanted to visit Normandy. Plus experience a Viking River Cruise. The staff was fantastic AS WAS THE FOOD. The only negative was was how hard it was to get to the ship from CDG. Way out of the city/ cost a fortune by taxi. The same getting back into Paris at the end of the cruise. When it is that far out Viking should provide transportation for those of us who did not buy their air package. Also the only entertainment was a piano player and there was no gym on board. But all in all it was a pleasant experience and we would consider another Viking River Cruise. We expecially loved Giverny and the American cemetery at Normandy. I found the grave of my father's cousin. The fact that most of the shore excusions were free offset the expensive taxis to and from the ship. Don't buy the expensive wine package. The house wines were great! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose this date and itinerary because friends booked this and invited us along. We did the Viking pre-cruise stay in Paris to recover from jet lag prior to the cruise. It was well worth the time and expense. After orientation from ... Read More
We chose this date and itinerary because friends booked this and invited us along. We did the Viking pre-cruise stay in Paris to recover from jet lag prior to the cruise. It was well worth the time and expense. After orientation from Viking, we explored the city on our own. We took the Montmartre tour and were happy we did, What an enchanting area. We were able to embark the ship after our included tour of Paris and we had our bags very quickly. We had a French Balcony without a veranda and were very happy with it. The wall of windows was enough for us and would look that room again. It is a little smaller than the balcony rooms but worked for us. We loved every port and excursion. It would be very difficult to pick a favorite because they were all different. We loved being able to stay on the ship on disembarkation day up until 2 pm when Viking took us to the airport. We hope to take another Viking Cruise sometime soon! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
The cruise was very enjoyable and very busy. There are so many bucket list excursions that you fill up your itinerary and have very little down time. It was a phenomenal trip made even better by the Program Director Mimi. We were a ... Read More
The cruise was very enjoyable and very busy. There are so many bucket list excursions that you fill up your itinerary and have very little down time. It was a phenomenal trip made even better by the Program Director Mimi. We were a large group of 11 traveling together so we were a hard group to miss, but most of the staff (especially waiters, housekeeping and Mimi) greeted you by name most of the time. we had a range of ages from 10 to senior citizen and the staff did a wonderful job of accommodating all ages and physical ability levels perfectly. The excursions were excellent. The Paris at Night excursion was fully booked, but they added a bus for us. We inquired about the excursion that morning and by lunch they had another bus arranged. I dropped an earring down the drain and went to the desk to ask Mimi to see if there was someone that could help. Before i made it back to my room an engineer was waiting at my door with the earring in his hand. he had already disassembled the pipe and fixed it back. There is not a single thing the staff of the Viking Rolf could have done better! The only complaint would be that having to get up so early for the return flight home is not enjoyable. I don't expect to stay til 9 or 10 in the morning, but leaving at 4:30a is a tad early. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We chose this cruise because friends had recommended it. They gave us some pointers which we found to be useful. A second floor French balcony room is the best choice for this particular cruise. It afforded us the better views. Once you ... Read More
We chose this cruise because friends had recommended it. They gave us some pointers which we found to be useful. A second floor French balcony room is the best choice for this particular cruise. It afforded us the better views. Once you unpack the incredible Viking staff takes care of everything – more than you can imagine! The ship was lovely and perfectly clean and efficient at all times. Mimi our cruise director was intelligent, caring, fun, and hard-working. The captain, the wine steward, the chef, the waiters, the cabin stewards...everyone was friendly and gracious. Each meal was over-the-top perfection. While most people report gaining 4 lbs. per week I actually was able to continue a weight loss program because there were many healthy choices offered at each meal. My husband and I felt that the nightly briefings about our excursion the next day helped us to feel confident that we would have fun. Our tour guides were all excellent and helped us get the most out of our visit. The activities aboard the ship were interesting and fun as well – cooking demonstrations, live music, trivia, games. It was all wonderful. The upper deck with its walking path was a joy each night. Seeing the herbs growing on the upper deck was fun too. One day after a long tour we returned to find the chef handing out freshly-made mango smoothies – what a treat! While we didn't travel with children there was a multi-generational family, ranging in age from 10 – 85, on our cruise who were all delightful. We asked the teens if they were bored with all us "old people" and they said, "Are you kidding? We're having a blast!" One gentleman on our cruise was disappointed that Delta lost his luggage. He told us that Viking worked tirelessly to locate and return it to him. In the meantime they washed his clothes each night and had them waiting for him at no charge. The slight glitch we had was when we first arrived at the airport. Our Viking rep met us and led us to the shuttle. Other couples got on too. One couple had lost their passports. I'm sure the Viking folks assumed this could be handled quickly, but unfortunately it took hours. We felt that perhaps the couple with the lost passports should have remained behind (and Viking could send a cab for them to the ship) which would have allowed the rest of the shuttle of passengers to get to the ship quickly. That said – it was a minor irritation and didn't detract from our view that this cruise was just wonderful! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
Viva Service, excursions and accommodations were excellent. I would have liked more time at Normandy i.e. Tour of Utah Beach. The visit to the Normandy cemetery was a high light, but very emotional. The excursions to Paris, Monet gardens, ... Read More
Viva Service, excursions and accommodations were excellent. I would have liked more time at Normandy i.e. Tour of Utah Beach. The visit to the Normandy cemetery was a high light, but very emotional. The excursions to Paris, Monet gardens, Vernon and Normandy were excellent. The option to order from the menu or take the delicious buffet for breakfast including customized omelets was always excellent. Lunch from the menu and salad buffet with wine and beer selections was also excellent. The dinner offers were always excellent and it was usually wise to select the chefs suggestions. The evening briefings a on what to expect for the next day were always information and it is recommended that you attend.The entertainment was limited, but the all participant were were very enjoyable. We added the excursion to Versailles that I would recommend. The state rooms are small, but the room is used very efficiently and are comfortable. The state room attendants were very friendly and thorough in keeping the rooms clean. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
Friends had done it before us. Never been to Paris and wanted to. My wife is an art lover and Monet's garden was something she was looking forward to. As a Vietnam veteran I was excited to see the beaches at Normandy. And of course ... Read More
Friends had done it before us. Never been to Paris and wanted to. My wife is an art lover and Monet's garden was something she was looking forward to. As a Vietnam veteran I was excited to see the beaches at Normandy. And of course the food! This is our second Viking Cruise (first was Danube Waltz) and we knew it would be a first class cruise. As usual the service was exceptional. The staff treat you as family always treating you enthusiastically at meals. When you return from an excursion they welcome you back. The food was excellent. The staff was very helpful and attended to your every need. And the guides on the excursions are top notch - well educated and informed. Very knowledgeable and very funny. I have repeated many of the stories Thierry told us in Paris. Highlights include the tour of Paris and the Louvre, Giverny and Monet's Garden, Rouen, Normandy, Versailles, Paris at Night. We then extended for 3 nights in the Hotel Rochester Champs Alysses. Again the service was excellent. Great tour of La Marais district and lots of suggestions for where to go and what to do. Even went to a "can-can" show at Le Lido. Already planning our next Viking river Cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
This was our first European river cruise although we have been on a number of small boat cruises and find them much preferable to huge ships. We wanted to spend a week in London, so it was easy to take the Eurostar to Paris and add the ... Read More
This was our first European river cruise although we have been on a number of small boat cruises and find them much preferable to huge ships. We wanted to spend a week in London, so it was easy to take the Eurostar to Paris and add the one week Paris to Normandy trip. The rhythm of the quiet river and the busy shore excursions was perfect. Just the right amount of adventure and down time. The Seine was pristine and picturesque. The swans were lovely. Giverny was a big attraction for me and did not disappoint. Normandy was of interest to my husband, although we felt like the restaurant lunch in Arromanche was time we could have better spent at the museum. A box lunch to eat outside on our own time would have been preferable. All the tours were interesting and the guides were exceptional. We were fortunate to have nearly perfect weather. Lionel our tour director was excellent and accommodating to all the passengers. All staff and crew were helpful and courteous as well. The food was fine, but I felt sometimes that the chef was trying a bit too hard to be daring. The coffee bars outside the lounge were a welcome treat. The after dinner entertainment was not great, but also not necessary. I was sorry that the port was so far from Paris. I thought we'd have more time in the city. But overall, we loved the river cruise experience and have just booked the European Grand Tour next May. Viking knows what they're doing and do it well! Murtaza in LA who handled with our bookings was a great help and very pleasant. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
I had just returned from a cruise to Germany, Austria,and Hungary. I was so impressed and excited about the experience I turned around and immediately reserved the cruise to France and The Heart of Normandy. I am planning to take many ... Read More
I had just returned from a cruise to Germany, Austria,and Hungary. I was so impressed and excited about the experience I turned around and immediately reserved the cruise to France and The Heart of Normandy. I am planning to take many more Viking cruises. The food is beyond excellent. I like the size of the portions so you didn't have to feel full, yet the selections were varied and you could eat as much as wanted. The breakfast and lunch buffets had many selections and you could order off the menu as well. One of the best features is the staff. The waiters learn your name and are most attentive and sociable. Just had to get their pictures with us. They seemed like new friends. We opted for the post-extension in Paris. With the days included on the cruise and the added days we were in Paris for 6 days. I would highly recommend the post-extension stay in Paris. Paris is the most walkable city. One day we clocked 10 miles over the course of the day. Normandy was a truly inspirational part of our journey. To see so many graves and realize these were just boys. The saddest ones were the ones with no name on the marker, "known only to God." Giverny where Monet did so many of his paintings was worthwhile to see Thank you,Viking. So glad I found you. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Everything was talked care of from the minute we booked the trip until after we disembarked and started our journey home. The entire crew was amazing. Excursions were meticulously planned and executed to perfection. They seemed to know ... Read More
Everything was talked care of from the minute we booked the trip until after we disembarked and started our journey home. The entire crew was amazing. Excursions were meticulously planned and executed to perfection. They seemed to know where other large tour groups were and successfully got our group ahead of the rest every time. The ship was amazing, very clean and efficient. The scenery wonderful even if the weather was a bit cool to sit outside on our verandah. The food and amenities were fantastic. The tours were very well led and very interesting and educational too. The crew could never do enough for the passengers. Extraordinarily accommodating from the moment we stepped on board. We met many amazing people. My highlight was the Commonwealth Tour of Juno Beach and the Bayeux Tapestry. I highly recommend this tour and can't wait to take another one. Excellent value for the money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
Never been to Europe. Took two cruises One from Budapest to Amsterdam then went to Paris for Paris out to Normandy and back to Paris. Each ship had great crews, the excursions were wonderful, food and service just spectacular. It was ... Read More
Never been to Europe. Took two cruises One from Budapest to Amsterdam then went to Paris for Paris out to Normandy and back to Paris. Each ship had great crews, the excursions were wonderful, food and service just spectacular. It was a trip of a lifetime. I was espescially impressed with Nuremburg WWII for the Budapest to Amsterdam trip. Then for the Paris trip, Normandy and the beaches (Omaha especially) were inspirational. The US cemetary will be in my memory forever. Then the other places for the excursions such as Monets home and the village. Then Paris and the sights seen both before and after the cruise were spectacular. Napoleons home, the versailles and so many other things all packed into just a short time. I feel like it could not have been better. On the Budapesat to Amsterdam cruise, there were so many great sights and excufrsions. The Sound of Music day was wonderful as was he time spent in Vienna, Austria. So many of the areas are in my memory, but I have trouble remembering how to spell the area properly. On each ship the program director, Caitlyn O'Dowd(the Mirmar) and the Rolf Lionel were both great at the job they did. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
My sister and I wanted to see some of the sights our father had seen in Paris during WWII. He always had wonderful memories and now we will as well. As our 2nd river cruise, the amenities, dining, and staff were as wonderful as the ... Read More
My sister and I wanted to see some of the sights our father had seen in Paris during WWII. He always had wonderful memories and now we will as well. As our 2nd river cruise, the amenities, dining, and staff were as wonderful as the first trip. We chose a room without a balcony, however, and found less drawers available for our clothes. Shelves in the closet had to accommodate us instead. The shore excursions which we purchased were excellent with our wonderful guide, Edith on three of them. We loved the Taste of Paris and the Opera Garnier plus Galleries Lafayette Department store; the view from the roof of Paris was amazing! One disappointment was the long bus ride to Normandy beaches. However, our wonderful guide gave us a fantastic European history lesson leading us up to the Normandy Invasion. The bus ride was not clearly stated in any of the information about the trip. One wonderful feature was the day in Les Andelys, a lovely little town along the Seine. This was the only small town, however. The Rouen Countryside tour was interesting especially because of our wonderful guide who, as a transplant from England, chatted about the big changes her family had gone through in their move to France! The 17th century farm buildings and its charming owner gave us a wonderful tour of the organic apple farm with sheep dog demonstration as they herded the sheep. We did a lot of homework, pre-trip for our extension in Paris. Learn to use the Metro; it's easy and helps you get around so much faster. Be prepared for lots of traffic and sirens. Get your Eiffel Tower tickets online before you go! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
The combination of cost, well organized and informative land tours, very helpful staff and itinerary brought us back for our third Viking Cruise. - The choice of ports to visit along the Seine was excellent. We had three shutterbugs ... Read More
The combination of cost, well organized and informative land tours, very helpful staff and itinerary brought us back for our third Viking Cruise. - The choice of ports to visit along the Seine was excellent. We had three shutterbugs in our party who were delighted by the photo ops provided. - The dining experience was always both delicious and enjoyable because of the excellent staff. Besides being courteous and extraordinarily helpful, they became part of our group through humor and good will. - We had only two minor complaints--leaving Paris from the port at Le Peq was not convenient, and we wish there had been more written educational materials and oral presentations about the sites visited on the land tours. However all in all, Viking is our cruise line of choice after having experienced trips provided by three other river cruise companies. Our party of six will be back for a fourth Viking cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
My husband and I wanted to cruise along the Seine River. I especially like the river cruises, because the passenger list is small compared to the large cruise ships. The cabin space was just the right size for two of us. And, the dining ... Read More
My husband and I wanted to cruise along the Seine River. I especially like the river cruises, because the passenger list is small compared to the large cruise ships. The cabin space was just the right size for two of us. And, the dining room close by. Food was delicious with lots of options to chose from. The guides were well informed, and the bus drivers funny and friendly. Beautiful sites, and walking the old ruins was an experience like walking back in history. Everything was well orchestrated and kept everyone together and back to the ship on time for sailing. Back on board the staff had refreshments and warm hand towels. Loved the entertainment, and that the staff dressed up as Parisians. I have traveled with Viking before and I highly recommend it. You experience the past, present, and future all the same day. The architect from days past fascinates me especially that it is still standing. The roads, culture, food, folkloric dancing, are a part of that country you are visiting. So fascinating. Pampered is what I was, and I enjoyed it extremely. Thank you for a wonderful experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
My family and I wanted to visit Normandy and its historical involvement of WW2. And we also wanted to visit Paris and all that it has to offer. The cruise personnel are top notched. The food is to die for and the variety of the food ... Read More
My family and I wanted to visit Normandy and its historical involvement of WW2. And we also wanted to visit Paris and all that it has to offer. The cruise personnel are top notched. The food is to die for and the variety of the food offered it great. Paris was beautiful especially at night. The hotel in Paris was centrally located and we were able to walk to the subways and to walk other venues that were close by. The other tour stops were just as beautiful. My only negative thing is you were not allowed enough time to spend at each scheduled stop. Also, please, please do not penalize single travelers by having them pay full price plus for another nonexistent passenger for the same cabin. You offer two for one but nothing for single travelers. On a positive note the staff during the meals are very professional and they make you feel welcomed. The personnel at the front desk are so very helpful Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We choose this trip because we wanted to visit Normandy and because there was an optional post cruise option to take the Eurostar train to Oxford and Highclere Castle. As always, from the moment we were met at the airport until we left ... Read More
We choose this trip because we wanted to visit Normandy and because there was an optional post cruise option to take the Eurostar train to Oxford and Highclere Castle. As always, from the moment we were met at the airport until we left our group for some private exploring, the trip was perfection. All of our excursions were wonderful, but especially our visit to the beaches of Normandy and the American cemetery. Service, food, wines, and entertainment were all first rate. Of course our cabin was small, but perfect in every detail. Our extension trip was absolutely amazing, with a before public hours tour of Downton Abbey, as well as an interesting visit with a family in the area. We did our air through Viking, as well, and were well accommodated even with the add on of two extra weeks. With each cruise we take on Viking, we like it even more. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2017
This was another fabulous Viking River Cruise!!! We enjoyed two nights in Berlin at a MOST amazing Hotel, central to everything. The tour of the city was fabulous and most educational. Such history! Of course we had to buy the traditional ... Read More
This was another fabulous Viking River Cruise!!! We enjoyed two nights in Berlin at a MOST amazing Hotel, central to everything. The tour of the city was fabulous and most educational. Such history! Of course we had to buy the traditional pair of Birkenstock Sandals found near Checkpoint Charlie to bring home!!!!! We then boarded Viking Rolf and cruised for 7 nights to the most fascinating cities/ towns en route. The shore excursions were amazing, informative and varied. The crew, while on board, was friendly and attentive. The food was amazing!!! We quite enjoyed the specialty night of German Food! We met some people from England (we are Canadians) and enjoyed ourselves so much that we have signed up to go on another cruise together next year. Friendships are always made on Viking River Cruises! The cabins were very comfortable and the ship was so clean and easy to navigate! Very organized! We then stayed in Prague for two nights...beautiful city...and flew home. We totally enjoyed our cruise and will be back again! Thank you Viking!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
We wanted to experience Christmas time in Paris. The trip to Normandy was phenomenal. We visited the more authentic markets in the villages along our voyage and enjoyed the windows and pageantry of the Paris stores. The sombering visit to ... Read More
We wanted to experience Christmas time in Paris. The trip to Normandy was phenomenal. We visited the more authentic markets in the villages along our voyage and enjoyed the windows and pageantry of the Paris stores. The sombering visit to the Normandy beaches and cemeteries is worth the trip by itself. The ship, crew, food, itinerary, and friends we made along the way made this one of our favorite all-time trips.We especially enjoyed the Van Gogh excursion and the City of Rouen. We found a quaint gift shop in the village square and spent time with the shopkeeper doing our best with our French language issues. She gave us tickets to the large ferris wheel that afforded us a bird's eye view of the city. We have to mention the incredible food on this cruise. Each meal was outstanding with plenty of variety to satisfy everyone. We do want to mention the personalized service at the airport. Viking staff was there every step of the way to ensure a smooth transition. We loved the whole Viking experience Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
I have previously cruised with Viking; however, this was my girlfriend's first experience. As always, when you love something and recommend it, you have a little trepidation in hopes that others will feel the same. Well, my fears ... Read More
I have previously cruised with Viking; however, this was my girlfriend's first experience. As always, when you love something and recommend it, you have a little trepidation in hopes that others will feel the same. Well, my fears were put to rest: Joan was immediately taken in by the ship, our cabin, and the helpful, friendly crew. Because of our morning arrival we had a wonderful lunch, followed by our one time unpacking in preparation for the adventure ahead. We chose not to go into Paris from our dock as we had been traveling for over 20 hours and we had booked the Paris extension after the cruise. Everything about this cruise lived up to our expectations. The tours were well planned, the buses were comfortable and clean, and our tours guides were exceptionally knowledgeable and answered all our questions and provided insights that you cannot obtain by reading a guide book. The D-Day Museum was everything we were expecting and our visit to Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery was extremely moving for both of us. We would greatly recommend this cruise for anyone; but, especially for the 55 plus generation, whose parents were a part of the generation that lived, died, and survived that time in our history. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This was our first river cruise and a disappointment after having experienced ocean cruises with Regent and Silver-sea. First impression upon arrival was that the boat appeared to be an over-sized houseboat. Our veranda suite was clean and ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and a disappointment after having experienced ocean cruises with Regent and Silver-sea. First impression upon arrival was that the boat appeared to be an over-sized houseboat. Our veranda suite was clean and well appointed, but was small and more cramped than suites we were used to on ocean cruises. The lounge area was the meeting place each day for briefings on dinner and the next days schedule of activity. You had to arrive early to get a good seat and folding chairs were brought in to accommodate the 180+ passengers on board. The dining area was adequate and very nice. Open seating was available but all tables seated six or more people. We prefer to have multiple dinning options which include a "romantic dinner for two". The food was average.The complimentary wines were the highlight of the dining experience. On a positive note, Viking did an excellent job with handling transfers and transportation. Michael the cruise director was excellent and perfect for the job. The "Paris at night" excursion is a must do as well as the "Normandy beaches and memorial". Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This was our first trip on a Viking river cruise. We have done 30+ ocean cruises on many different lines and other river cruises. "Rolf" was quite new when we sailed on it and the ambiance was most pleasant. The most ... Read More
This was our first trip on a Viking river cruise. We have done 30+ ocean cruises on many different lines and other river cruises. "Rolf" was quite new when we sailed on it and the ambiance was most pleasant. The most exceptional and enjoyable parts of the trip were the excellent service and food. The entire staff was most friendly and hospitable. The cuisine was comparable to or even superior to that which we have enjoyed on other luxury cruises. Both rate among the highest levels we have experienced in 40+ years of vacation travel. Our cabin was on the lower deck and although there was nothing wrong with it, next time we will move to an upper deck with a larger window or balcony. Based upon this experience we will definitely use Viking for future river cruises and I will also explore the ocean cruises Viking offers expecting that the value and quality will be equal to that on "Rolf". Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
We always wanted to experience the Normandy beaches. Viking made sure everything was done with honor and respect, even giving each of us a rose to place on a grave. We had been on another river cruise line and enjoyed it; however, once we ... Read More
We always wanted to experience the Normandy beaches. Viking made sure everything was done with honor and respect, even giving each of us a rose to place on a grave. We had been on another river cruise line and enjoyed it; however, once we experienced Viking, we knew we would never book with anyone else. The young chef on board was extremely talented. After two nights we never even bothered with the menu. We simply ordered his recommendations and were never disappointed. The shore excursions were relaxed yet informative, with local guides including their own family history from the World War II era. The most endearing aspect of this cruise was the crew. They knew our names after the first day; they knew what drinks we wanted after our first time in the bar. They truly were a family who welcomed us and made our week with them we'll never forget. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Wonderful experience. Beautiful ship. Great food & shore excursions. We met many new friends. Really enjoyed being able to be outside for a November cruise. One of the many highlights was traveling along the Seine River & ... Read More
Wonderful experience. Beautiful ship. Great food & shore excursions. We met many new friends. Really enjoyed being able to be outside for a November cruise. One of the many highlights was traveling along the Seine River & seeing the countryside as we traveled up & down the river. We documented the trip with many photos. I'm an artist & I especially enjoyed being able to sketch & paint from many unique & beautiful vistas. I painted from sitting at a cafe in Paris, sitting on my balcony on the boat & from the steps of many of the beautiful churches along the way. I might suggest they consider a plein air cruise sometime. I would think many artists would be interested in a trip such as that. We will both do it again. The Viking Rolf was a fairly new boat & it was very clean & quite as we toured France. Thank you Viking Cruise Lines. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
My sister and I have a travel blog...havesisterwilltravel.com....and we love to travel together when we can find a bargain. Our Viking cruise included round trip air fare and was hard to pass up. We've been on many ocean cruises but ... Read More
My sister and I have a travel blog...havesisterwilltravel.com....and we love to travel together when we can find a bargain. Our Viking cruise included round trip air fare and was hard to pass up. We've been on many ocean cruises but this was our first river cruise. We chose leaving from Paris because we were in Paris last year and wanted to spend another week in that beautiful city when the river cruise ended. We arrived at CDG Airport and, after picking up our luggage, were greeted by a Viking rep. and taken to a shuttle bus. (Viking has this down pat!--Don't worry -- they'll find you!) The shuttle took us on a lovely ride to LaPecq and we caught our first glimpse of the Rolf. After our last cruise on one of Royal Caribbean's gigantic ships, the Rolf looked like about 8 double-wides, stacked 4 rows deep. But my sister and I have learned to think positively about every trip and we appreciated the officers of the boat handing out warm towels and taking us, personally, to our cabin. As I said, we like a bargain, and our cabin was on the first deck (steerage - lol).....high window which you could look out if you stand on the bed. Then we noted the pluses in our cabin -- heated bathroom floor, 40" flatscreen, comfy beds and pillows, plenty of closet and drawer space. free bottled water and -- best of all -- free Wi-Fi. We learned to love this boat!! It was easy to get around and we really liked the coffee/tea service on the 3rd deck with pastries in the morning and cookies in the afternoon. The food on this boat was the best we've ever had (and one of our cruises was on the Yachts of Seabourn). The chef is 26 years old and takes pride in every dish. Breakfast in the morning was buffet-style with made-to-order omelets or you could choose from a menu....everything you could possibly want for breakfast was offered....and more! We loved cruising the Seine and docking in the middle of each small, fairy-tale town.....something you can do on an ocean cruise. Each port was wonderful and can't be missed. Just casually strolling through Ruoan or Vernon or Les Andyls was something that can't be missed. When you arrive back at the boat, there's always a little something waiting for you....hot chocolate, hot cider with brandy....all hot drinks welcome in the cold November weather. Sitting at a different dinner table each night was also new to us and we really enjoyed meeting new people. Again, I can't see enough good things about the food! The best thing about Viking Rolf was the crew -- they knew our names within a few hours of boarding, they were friendly and down-to-earth, our cabin was kept immaculate, and they're not stingy with the wine which is included at lunch and dinner -- again, quite unlike an ocean cruise. To read more about our Viking trip, go to our blog -- havesisterwilltravel.blogspot.com and we'll give you a day-by-day journal with pictures. It's a non-commercial blog -- no ads -- that started as a way to get our family to look at our vacation pictures. And if you have any good ideas for us on future bargain travels, just let us know. Read Less
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