1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Viking Embla
It was an amazing trip. The service was impeccable, with all the staff being friendly and helpful, basically perfect. Our room was much better then anticipated. While very small the design was such that we were able to use it like a much bigger room. The French Balcony was ideal, with the bed only a few feet from it (enough to slide between it and the bed) and I felt like a balcony would have been underutilized and a hinderance to the view from the bed. I spent most river cruising time on the sun deck so I could get the 360 view I would not have seen by sitting on a balcony. The front of the boat is great, so when it was cold I could sit behind a wind screen and have an unobstructed forward view. I noticed most boats had the front terrace behind an anchor. It did get a bit cold and windy after Regensburg so I was happy to have that. While no one else spent as much time on deck as I did, people would come forward to take pictures as we got to locks or other sites and being right on the front made for a great picture. We also go lucky in that the router for the wifi must have been near our room because we could get on line (very slow internet) while others had to go to the lounge. Room 226. The bathroom was also tiny but well designed so we could wash and dry our cloths each night. The included tours were also very good though in Bucharest and Budapest we got stuck in traffic on the bus. We always had at least an hour of free time and often more, which I initially thought was short but it turns out to be about right, there is no way we were going to see everything so we just had to accept that. Viking had two issues while we were on board. One was a bridge that was going to be repaired and they had to close the river for five days. We needed to get past that bridge by Monday. Because of that we had to sail all night through one of the most scenic parts of the Romanian Danube - the Iron Gate. The reception desk offered to wake anyone up who wanted to go on deck to see it at night and they flashed flood lights on the cliffs as we weaved up a narrow gorge. The other was two generators blew in Budapest so we could not sail full speed. The only effect this had on us is that we went through the Wachau Valley slower. The docking sites were pretty good, in most cases where we could not dock in town it was because the river does not run by the old part of town. We were right in town in Vukovar, Nova Sad (just past the closing bridge and instead of Belgrade - where we would have been in town), Budapest, Melk, Passau, Regensburg, Wertheim, Koblenz and Cologne, not in Nuremberg, Bamberg or Wurzburg (I guess I should not complain :-) ). In Vienna it was a 1/2 mile walk back to the boat. In Vidin and Russe we took an hour bus ride through Bulgarian countryside to the sites we visited. The food was good, and sometimes really good. We ate on board every meal except two lunches. The portions were perfect and the wine never ending during lunch and dinner. Breakfast had lots of options for custom omelets, Eggs Benedict, French Toast and pancakes, to bagels and cream cheese and lox, yogurt and lots of pastries and fruit. The soups at lunch and dinner were always a treat, and the two theme nights, Balkan and German were a great sample of the regional foods. Otherwise there was usually a fish, meat or chicken and vegetarian dishes as well as a always available prime rib that was pretty good and a chicken dish I did not try. The other guests tended to be 70 or older but there was one family group including 30 year olds on the first leg of the trip and a few young people like us, in their early 60s. Everyone was considerate and timely, the Program Director was on top of us all and herded us to buses as needed and popped up in the middle of cities whenever we seemed confused. We did not go to most of the evening entertainment but local artists came on board at least 5 times and music and other games were organized a few nights. A lot of people spent a lot of time in the lounge, and while we did not bond with a group of guests, it was pretty clear others did and socialized, played cards and hung out in the lounge. Everyone we spoke with on board loved the trip. 47 of us did all 23 days. Many guests were repeat customers, some multiple times on the river and ocean cruises and they all only had great things to say about Viking. We too had a great time but at least for the foreseeable future we will not do another river cruise. It was just as we expected a sampling a of a lot of places, but only a sampling and we often felt we did not get to explore the ins and outs of the towns we visited. However, one goal was to find places we would want to return to and we totally succeeded in that. The Wachau Valley was amazing and a crew member told us that Linz, where we did not stop, is his favorite city. We could see returning there to bike, hike and visit other close by sites we missed on the boat.

Wonderful!

Viking Embla Cruise Review by mellomd

Trip Details
It was an amazing trip. The service was impeccable, with all the staff being friendly and helpful, basically perfect. Our room was much better then anticipated. While very small the design was such that we were able to use it like a much bigger room. The French Balcony was ideal, with the bed only a few feet from it (enough to slide between it and the bed) and I felt like a balcony would have been underutilized and a hinderance to the view from the bed. I spent most river cruising time on the sun deck so I could get the 360 view I would not have seen by sitting on a balcony. The front of the boat is great, so when it was cold I could sit behind a wind screen and have an unobstructed forward view. I noticed most boats had the front terrace behind an anchor. It did get a bit cold and windy after Regensburg so I was happy to have that. While no one else spent as much time on deck as I did, people would come forward to take pictures as we got to locks or other sites and being right on the front made for a great picture. We also go lucky in that the router for the wifi must have been near our room because we could get on line (very slow internet) while others had to go to the lounge. Room 226. The bathroom was also tiny but well designed so we could wash and dry our cloths each night.

The included tours were also very good though in Bucharest and Budapest we got stuck in traffic on the bus. We always had at least an hour of free time and often more, which I initially thought was short but it turns out to be about right, there is no way we were going to see everything so we just had to accept that. Viking had two issues while we were on board. One was a bridge that was going to be repaired and they had to close the river for five days. We needed to get past that bridge by Monday. Because of that we had to sail all night through one of the most scenic parts of the Romanian Danube - the Iron Gate. The reception desk offered to wake anyone up who wanted to go on deck to see it at night and they flashed flood lights on the cliffs as we weaved up a narrow gorge. The other was two generators blew in Budapest so we could not sail full speed. The only effect this had on us is that we went through the Wachau Valley slower.

The docking sites were pretty good, in most cases where we could not dock in town it was because the river does not run by the old part of town. We were right in town in Vukovar, Nova Sad (just past the closing bridge and instead of Belgrade - where we would have been in town), Budapest, Melk, Passau, Regensburg, Wertheim, Koblenz and Cologne, not in Nuremberg, Bamberg or Wurzburg (I guess I should not complain :-) ). In Vienna it was a 1/2 mile walk back to the boat. In Vidin and Russe we took an hour bus ride through Bulgarian countryside to the sites we visited.

The food was good, and sometimes really good. We ate on board every meal except two lunches. The portions were perfect and the wine never ending during lunch and dinner. Breakfast had lots of options for custom omelets, Eggs Benedict, French Toast and pancakes, to bagels and cream cheese and lox, yogurt and lots of pastries and fruit. The soups at lunch and dinner were always a treat, and the two theme nights, Balkan and German were a great sample of the regional foods. Otherwise there was usually a fish, meat or chicken and vegetarian dishes as well as a always available prime rib that was pretty good and a chicken dish I did not try.

The other guests tended to be 70 or older but there was one family group including 30 year olds on the first leg of the trip and a few young people like us, in their early 60s. Everyone was considerate and timely, the Program Director was on top of us all and herded us to buses as needed and popped up in the middle of cities whenever we seemed confused. We did not go to most of the evening entertainment but local artists came on board at least 5 times and music and other games were organized a few nights. A lot of people spent a lot of time in the lounge, and while we did not bond with a group of guests, it was pretty clear others did and socialized, played cards and hung out in the lounge.

Everyone we spoke with on board loved the trip. 47 of us did all 23 days. Many guests were repeat customers, some multiple times on the river and ocean cruises and they all only had great things to say about Viking. We too had a great time but at least for the foreseeable future we will not do another river cruise. It was just as we expected a sampling a of a lot of places, but only a sampling and we often felt we did not get to explore the ins and outs of the towns we visited. However, one goal was to find places we would want to return to and we totally succeeded in that. The Wachau Valley was amazing and a crew member told us that Linz, where we did not stop, is his favorite city. We could see returning there to bike, hike and visit other close by sites we missed on the boat.
mellomd’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Viking Embla price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email