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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Friends chose Viking based on recommendations -- we chose to follow them. Cruise was wonderful - saw beautiful old German Cities along the way. Our stay in Prague was wonderful to see a "mini-Paris" Our stay in Paris was ... Read More
Friends chose Viking based on recommendations -- we chose to follow them. Cruise was wonderful - saw beautiful old German Cities along the way. Our stay in Prague was wonderful to see a "mini-Paris" Our stay in Paris was also wonderful ... the advertised veranda views along the river - duh,,,,,,, only cruised during the day once, so the veranda was not a feature. Crew members (save 1) were all wonderful and tried to make the cruise feel like family. The shore excursions were wonderful - the guides were extremely knowledgeable and conversant. The tour buses were "tour buses", not much else to say other than they got us from point A to B. The added wine tasting excursion was NOT worth the money - only 4 shot glasses of mediocre wine -- i.e. selling for 6 euros per bottle. the experience going through the locks was neat and to see how the ship was built to accomodate going under the bridges. One night while docked, another ship tied up to us -- had to use our common area to disembark,,,,,,,,, and outside our room their generator was so noisy at night that we had trouble sleeping -- our crew said "sorry, it has to be"........ Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We chose this ship because of the dates it sailed & the itinerary. The ports were great. We were able to see 7 experience so much history. The food was okay but was very similar every time. Even in the sit down dinner you were served ... Read More
We chose this ship because of the dates it sailed & the itinerary. The ports were great. We were able to see 7 experience so much history. The food was okay but was very similar every time. Even in the sit down dinner you were served the same food as the buffet, The were periods during the day where there was very little selections of food. Once for breakfast they had to cut 6 bagels before they could cut one. The cabin was nice .Our youngest one liked their kids camp. Entertainment was good & varied. Some of the performers were quite good. We did not use the fitness area or enrichment activities. We did not use the ship excursions as they were too expensive for 7 people. We hired personal guides who were excellent & very patient with the children. We enjoyed the food on land & tried many different cuisines Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2016
Fantastic ship . So well fitted out that gave the feeling of a 5 star hotel.library and games available with good choice. Great tours that were well organised and of a very high quality . Teriffic staff in all departments and nothing was ... Read More
Fantastic ship . So well fitted out that gave the feeling of a 5 star hotel.library and games available with good choice. Great tours that were well organised and of a very high quality . Teriffic staff in all departments and nothing was too much trouble. Food excellent with excellent choice of fine wines with meals. .cabin very well appointed and serviced daily. Fresh water bottles daily for taking on tours.There were extra tours to choose from and the selection was difficult to pick from. I do wonder why the bar is not complimentary in the evenings. Spirits are so cheap now but the prices on board were a bit steep. I was disappointed with the strong smell of diesel in the cabin from time to time.this was particularly present in lock maneauvers. However,this was my only criticism. I would certainly go with Avalon again but organise my 3 day stay in Prague,which was part of the cruise,myself. The home pick up service went well and certainly takes the stress out of both ends of the holiday Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Very relaxing and interesting cruise on the Rhine river. Trip was well paced with plenty to see and do. Windmills in the Netherlands were very interesting and scenic. Visited 2 castles in Germany and cruised a UNESCO area of castles ... Read More
Very relaxing and interesting cruise on the Rhine river. Trip was well paced with plenty to see and do. Windmills in the Netherlands were very interesting and scenic. Visited 2 castles in Germany and cruised a UNESCO area of castles lining the Rhine which was very scenic. traveled by bus through the Black Forest to a cuckoo clock factory. this was the most boring and wasted time on the trip. Just a 4 hour trip to sell clocks and expensive glassworks. visited 2 different Cathedrals, one in Cologne and one in Strassbourg France, and both were very interesting and unusual. Food was very good to Excellent. Nice variety in the morning. Lunch was plentiful and included beer wine and soft drinks were a nice touch. Dinners were very good. Limited selections, but was was offered was always very good. again, included beer and wine were great enhancements. personnel on the ship were very friendly and accommodating. room was nice and tv/audio was excellent. lots of music and music. Overall, we enjoyed the trip, the ship and the other guest. i'd recommend Viking. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We chose this cruise because the scenery is beautiful and because we love Portuguese food. The Duoro River in northern Portugal is spectacular: steep banks that have terraced vineyards right to the top, also olive and almond trees. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the scenery is beautiful and because we love Portuguese food. The Duoro River in northern Portugal is spectacular: steep banks that have terraced vineyards right to the top, also olive and almond trees. The Scenic Azure is a lovely brand new ship, contemporary design with spacious cabins, very comfortable. All the staff are Portuguese, many from Porto where we set sail. The service is very professional but friendly and relaxed. 96 guests and 39 crew. Guests were mainly from Australia and UK with about a dozen Canadians and half as many Americans, mostly couples and mostly active seniors from ages early 60’s on up. There were interesting excursions, many of which required some level of fitness due to the steep hills and cobblestones .... Guests who were not as able could be accommodated by bus tours. Buses were new and very comfortable. The tour guides use communication systems which guests wear so that when they dial in they can hear the commentary without the guides’ having to yell. We sailed during the day so were able to appreciate the scenery --- we docked at interesting places and there are stretches of the river that are not heavily populated. The Duoro is becoming popular but so far not over-run --- we were only rafted a few times and the other ships tended to leave early in the morning in many cases, allowing us to have our coffee on the balcony. There were no noticeable exhaust fumes from the engines. The crew were friendly and professional, and not obtrusive. They all spoke fluent or almost fluent English. We were disappointed with the food. Meals were beautifully presented and professionally served with plenty of choices, but rather bland for the most part, lacking acid balance and seasoning. We were hoping for some more strongly flavored Portuguese specialties. This certainly did not spoil our experience and we recognize that chefs must accommodate many tastes – but other guests stated the same concern, one offering the opinion that the food lacked "zest". This is an all-inclusive cruise, with no added charges and no tipping. We recommend this luxury cruise. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We have friends who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this summer and wanted us to join them on this river cruise. We have done 6 ocean cruises but this was the first river cruise. It was great to be able to see shoreline all ... Read More
We have friends who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this summer and wanted us to join them on this river cruise. We have done 6 ocean cruises but this was the first river cruise. It was great to be able to see shoreline all of the time while cruising. At the beginning, we spent 4 days in Budapest. What a great city! Everyone should visit here. There was a weekend carnival when we were there and Chris Hatfield, the Canadian astronaut was on stage right near our accommodation. As we are Canadians, how patriotic we felt! On our cruise, the meals were between 4-5 star and our cruise director, Chantelle, was an awesome person to have in charge - always happy and smiling. We had a balcony room which gave us lots of space as the river level was high and Viking had too close the sun deck for several day. We just skimmed under some of the bridges over the river. If you don't like going through lots of locks, this cruise is not for you. We went through 68 locks on the 2 week trip. Something I really appreciated was the casual approach to dress on Viking. No suit jackets required. It was also very nice to have meals with lots of different people and get to know them. I would recommend Viking to anyone who is considering a river cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This cruise was recommended by our relatives. It was truly a marvelous experience in every respect. The rooms were exquisitely appointed and comfortable. I just wish that they were a bit larger, which was why I rated it a 4/5. The food ... Read More
This cruise was recommended by our relatives. It was truly a marvelous experience in every respect. The rooms were exquisitely appointed and comfortable. I just wish that they were a bit larger, which was why I rated it a 4/5. The food was a gastronomical delight as well. There was a full breakfast daily, as well as lunch, tea, cocktails and dinner. The food was definitely gourmet with many options for those on special diets. I can't speak highly enough about the wait staff. They were the most accommodating people I have ever experienced. The daily excursions were well planned and insightful. There was also daily entertainment in the evening. I am a person who has motion sickness; however, I never felt this boat move. It was wonderful in every respect. It you want to be waited on hand and foot every minute of the day, this is the place for you! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2016
We have taken this cruise before from Amsterdam to Basel and really liked the itinerary. Our first cruise was a seven day cruise and this one was 10 days. The Viking staff is amazing! We really enjoy the servers. The food is always ... Read More
We have taken this cruise before from Amsterdam to Basel and really liked the itinerary. Our first cruise was a seven day cruise and this one was 10 days. The Viking staff is amazing! We really enjoy the servers. The food is always excellent. Our cabin was neat and clean. My only problem with the new longships is the window is so high I could not see out without standing on the bed. In the older ships you can sit or even lie down on the in your cabin and still see out of the window This was our 4th Viking Cruise and we have enjoyed each one. Although the itinerary is very nice there was one very disappointing aspect of this last cruise. We love the educational side of our trips. Learning about the cities we visit is very important to both my husband and myself. The other part we loved on our previous cruises was time to ourselves to wander around the villages on our own. Due to the number of ships on the river we were unable to dock right at the ports and had to move down away from the towns. This meant we could go back and forth to the villages but had to be shuttled and then needed to pay close attention to the time. We really missed our free time to be on our own. This may be due more to the added cruise companies on the river than to Viking River Cruises but it certainly changed our satisfaction with the cruise. We feel very fortunate to be able to take these trips. Viking is a first class cruise line in every aspect but because of the above mentioned problems with docking it may be quite some time before we travel with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2016
Second time Viking cruise; wanted to visit Amsterdam and many other cities along the Rhine river. We arrived two days before the cruise and stayed in Amsterdam. Visited many of the sights including a canal boat ride. Windmills were ... Read More
Second time Viking cruise; wanted to visit Amsterdam and many other cities along the Rhine river. We arrived two days before the cruise and stayed in Amsterdam. Visited many of the sights including a canal boat ride. Windmills were interesting and castles, forts etc. Our boat was the Rinda, a newer boat and was very clean and smooth. We made the mistake of arriving in the early (7 AM) morning in Amsterdam and couldn't check into our room until 3:00 PM. It was raining in Amsterdam; as a consequence, most of our time was spent in the Lobby of the Hotel. Service on board was excellent; the crew went out of their way to accommodate us with morning room coffee etc. Dining was excellent with a wide selection of local food, wine and beer. Hope to sail with Viking soon, also would like to check out Viking's Ocean Cruises. Viking is the only way to travel. Hope the come to the US and give our rivers a visit. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
After avoiding Viking for several years because we could not stand their TV adverts, our minds were changed by the very positive recommendations of several friends. We were not disappointed. The only reason we did not award five stars was ... Read More
After avoiding Viking for several years because we could not stand their TV adverts, our minds were changed by the very positive recommendations of several friends. We were not disappointed. The only reason we did not award five stars was the tiny cabin with two single beds, but we were adv ised that this ship s being withdrawn at the ned of the 2016 season. We had the opportunity to wander around a new Viking boat and the acommodation seemed to be up to a much better standard. Other than the cabin issue, we could not fault the cruise. The staff and Cruise Director could not be more helpful, the food was excellent and the tours well thought through with very good guides. Although we lost a days cruising (but not a day on board) due to low water in the Elbe, we were advied that the new ships have less draught and the itineraries are being revised for next season. Would we travel again with Viking? We've already booked! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Had not spent a lot of time in provence wanted to see provencal life. Food on board was always fabulous. The tours for the most part were great. Viver was a bore as was the guide. Loved the no pressure on board. When you river cruise ... Read More
Had not spent a lot of time in provence wanted to see provencal life. Food on board was always fabulous. The tours for the most part were great. Viver was a bore as was the guide. Loved the no pressure on board. When you river cruise you must be prepared for the locks, high water, and climbing over other boats something we learned but Viking made everything happen smoothly. We obviously enjoyed the cruise because was are taking another one in 2017 this time in Portugal. We have been on several ocean cruises but really liked the small ship cruise much better. If we ever take another ocean cruise it will be on a small ship with only a few hundred passengers. Viking is always there to serve the customer as it should be since the cost of a river cruise is not low end, We are really looking forward to the next river cruise. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Had taken this cruise 12 years ago and thought my companions would enjoy. The ship was well laid out and quite luxurious. Crew was absolutely wonderful, especially the program director known as Joey. Food was very good. I cannot ... Read More
Had taken this cruise 12 years ago and thought my companions would enjoy. The ship was well laid out and quite luxurious. Crew was absolutely wonderful, especially the program director known as Joey. Food was very good. I cannot give cruise 5 stars because of some ill-chosen ports. Miltenberg and Bamberg were small and not interesting enough to justfy the hours we had to stay there. Rudesheim, Mainz, etc would be better choices. Bishop's Palace in Würzburg was overcrowded and guide told most of us far more than we wanted to know about the decor. I recommend this be an optional tour. Rothenburg was optional and the opposite would be better in my opinion. Another complaint is lack of time in some of the more interesting ports such as Budapest and Nurnberg. I did love having full days on Vienna. If you like river cruising Viking is an excellent choice. They train their staff well and are attentive to guests. There is freedom to relax aboard if that suits you. In some ports it was possible to avoid the tours and explore on one's own. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
The boat trip was exceptional and very accommodating. Guides were very knowledgeable and courteous. Boat crew and staff superb. Just an overall excellent boat cruise. The onboard food was truly gourmet. I really can't brag enough ... Read More
The boat trip was exceptional and very accommodating. Guides were very knowledgeable and courteous. Boat crew and staff superb. Just an overall excellent boat cruise. The onboard food was truly gourmet. I really can't brag enough about the boating part of the trip. I would do that trip again in a heart beat. The only negative is booking the air through Viking. They wait far too long to reserve seats and our whole group (17) were all spread around the back of the planes. No excuse when you have to book a year in advance. If we do Viking again, we will book our own flights. It's nice to have their airport concierge there when you arrive but not worth sitting in the back of a crowded plane for 7 hours to get that service from the baggage claim to the Viking bus. I truly believe that Viking has a real opportunity for improvement with the air arrangements. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Jewels of Europe We chose this cruise to see as much of Europe as we could as well as do a cruise. It met all our expectations and more,our only complaint was we were sometimes to exhausted to enjoy all that was on offer. ... Read More
Jewels of Europe We chose this cruise to see as much of Europe as we could as well as do a cruise. It met all our expectations and more,our only complaint was we were sometimes to exhausted to enjoy all that was on offer. Everything went like clock work in every aspect of the tour. The crew and staff were very friendly and helpful,And made the the cruise even better. History was the main focus of our trip,but as we are farmers a bit more of what the local areas grow would have been very interesting. The entertainment was second to none,a taste of all the different cultures. Also the fellow passengers were in our age group and very likeminded in their outlook. May was a great time to travel,not too hot,not too many queues and the rivers were still passable as the snow and rains had not effected them at that time.The buses that took us on the land part of our trip were very comfortable,drivers very helpful and good at there jobs.Sometimes the places they had to take the buses were unbelievable. We thoroughly recommend this tour. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
My grandparents wanted to go on a cruise up the Mississippi and I had always wanted to see New Orleans so I came with. I was not aware that there would be absoloutely no one my age (21) on the ship, which made it less enjoyable. Obviously, ... Read More
My grandparents wanted to go on a cruise up the Mississippi and I had always wanted to see New Orleans so I came with. I was not aware that there would be absoloutely no one my age (21) on the ship, which made it less enjoyable. Obviously, since this a cruise geared towards the older crowd, many of the activities weren't as interesting to me as they were to them. If there had just been a few things that were available to me, and others my age, I thought it would've been a much more enjoyable experience for myself. That being said, the staff was very friendly, and professional. Something that I appreciate. Additionally, the food was delicious and the staff was very accomodating of special requests. The rooms were nicely maintained, although small. The entertainment crew did a good job, although, I again thought they could've done more stuff for someone my age. Overall, a well done cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Having experienced a cruise with Emerald Waterways in 2015, we booked for 2016 to continue on the Danube experience. We were not disappointed, this was a different kind of cruise with a chance to experience 'modern' history. ... Read More
Having experienced a cruise with Emerald Waterways in 2015, we booked for 2016 to continue on the Danube experience. We were not disappointed, this was a different kind of cruise with a chance to experience 'modern' history. Most enlightening as well as educational. We added on the option of 2 nights in Budapest at the beginning. We terminated the 2015 cruise there so knew we would enjoy exploring more of Pest this time, which we did. The 2 days in Bucharest unfortunately at the end of the 2016 cruise did not quite live up to expectation but has however allowed us to decide to visit at a later date to see more of Rumania. We would definitely recommend Emerald Waterways to anyone who wishes to experience a friendly, efficient cruise. Staff on the two ships (Sky 2016 and Sun 2015) were extremely efficient, friendly and courteous. One member of staff even remembered us from 2015 as she had been transferred to Sky. Staff entertainment evening is an added bonus!!!!!. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Embarkation went very smooth as we were on board quickly after a 4 hour bus ride from Prague where we started our vacation. We received our room keys and were allow in the cabin immediately. Overall the cruise was great. The thing we ... Read More
Embarkation went very smooth as we were on board quickly after a 4 hour bus ride from Prague where we started our vacation. We received our room keys and were allow in the cabin immediately. Overall the cruise was great. The thing we enjoyed thoroughly were the excursions from the ship which were all included in the price of the cruise. We researched the excursions by reading reviews to pick the ones that fit our interests and offered the best value. We booked the lower cabin on the ship (below the water level) which turned out to be a mistake as the cabin was small (160 sq ft)) and the noise level from above (toilets flushing) and outside (propeller noise from passing ships) was overwhelming at times. Breakfast and lunch were OK because we had the same thing every day. Dinner was better as the menu changed every day. Dinner selection included beef, chicken, fish and vegetarian every night. I will say the portions at dinner were a little light on the main entrée which was disappointing. Cabin and bar service was great. Entertainment was pretty good as Scenic brought in local talent. We enjoyed the river cruise down the Danube with Scenic Tours. It is a good way to see the highlights of Prague, Nuremberg, Vienna and Budapest. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
I sailed in late April through the beginning of May on the Gironde River with Road Scholar. We embarked in Bordeaux in the evening and it went smoothly; the crew took our bags to our rooms right away. My previous river cruise experience ... Read More
I sailed in late April through the beginning of May on the Gironde River with Road Scholar. We embarked in Bordeaux in the evening and it went smoothly; the crew took our bags to our rooms right away. My previous river cruise experience was with AMA-waterways on the Danube River, so that would be my point of comparison. The cabin was spacious with plenty of storage in closets and on shelves; I traveled solo, so had lots of room. The Ship had mostly French passengers and that was the major language. Any translations for the English-speaking guests was abbreviated. The ability to speak French would be a definite plus. Our group dined together at assigned tables at a fixed time. The food was good, but it was a set menu and nothing fancy ( like an exotic or decadent desert). Breakfast was the least good meal with runny eggs and boil your own eggs (in not very hot water). You could review the menu in the morning and let the purser know if you needed to have something different, but you couldn't say what. The staff was outstanding and worked very hard to please. Jose, the purser, was also outstanding. He always had a smile, no matter what was going on. Our shore excursions were handled by our group leader, so I cannot comment on those offered by the ship. We had wine (of our choice) with lunch and dinner and open bar at other times. The Croisi trip was a very different experience from the AMA one. It was less luxurious, but it was also less expensive. I would sail on Croisi again and I would recommend it, but it helps to know what to expect. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We traveled with Viking River Cruises on the Imperial Jewels of China trip (April, 2016) in the direction from Beijing to Shanghai. The trip was wonderful and a fantastic experience. A very safe and convenient way to see parts of China. ... Read More
We traveled with Viking River Cruises on the Imperial Jewels of China trip (April, 2016) in the direction from Beijing to Shanghai. The trip was wonderful and a fantastic experience. A very safe and convenient way to see parts of China. Good tour guide who spoke excellent English (although we had to call him by a made up western name!) Why? Hotels were excellent - Kerry in Beijing, Hilton in Xi'an and Westin Bund in Shanghai. Kerry was the best by far, although it's dining experience was affected by a lot of new staff still very much "in training" mode. Summer Palace - we went there ourselves and enjoyed. Tiananmen Square and Forbidden city - both hugely interesting and full of such intrigue and history. Great Wall - -the best trip of the holiday. Some stiff walking, steep steps and hills but just an amazing site and incredible that a Wall can be built on top of a mountain/hills! Xi'an - Terra Cotta warriors - we loved and were amazed at the story behind finding them in 1974/1976 and how well so much of it has been preserved. Yangtze river cruise started in Chongqing. Bit of a shambles getting to and onto the boat (Viking Emerald) but a great welcome from the staff when arriving at the boat's reception. First stop - Shibaozhai pagoda - fascinating but a lot of hassle from traders getting there and back. Enjoy the "Drunken Bridge". 3 Gorges and dam were stunning - even though it was misty most of the time. Added to the eerie atmosphere. Cabin was good, bed and pillows fine, excellent shower and great and helpful staff. Food was good and two or three Captain/Welcome-back receptions which were nice. Good evening entertainment, especially the show put on by the boat's staff. Fantastic, especially the magician. Shanghai was a very modern and westernised city (and very busy). would recommend this tri to those who would like to visit China and see a number of top sites and relax for 5 days on a river cruise. Areas of disappointment - - information suggested that all evening meals were included in the hotels were were staying in. No. Two meals were outwith the hotel and one was part of an optional trip to the theatre, which we weren't doing. So we had to buy two meals ourselves as we were tired and didn't want to leave the hotel. - 3 internals flights (main luggage all taken care of, which was wonderful) - fine but we were only told the flight times on the day (or evening before) and that they would be about 30 to 90 mins. Each was over 2 hours. - information on the trips was only fully provided the day before, not allowing we thought, adequate time to plan whether to go on an excursion or not. - took ill on the second last day on the boat (as a number of fellow passengers did) Chinese doctor was $120 and I came away with 8 boxes of medicine. Got home, saw doctor, diagnosed pneumonia changed the medicines. This clouded my experience of the last 4 to 5 days of the trip I am afraid. Especially as I had got in touch with some of the wonderful people we had met on the trip and discovered that a number of other people had also taken ill with similar symptoms to mine. - recommendations on tips seemed high - but that seemed to be the way of things these days. - three lunches were at places where you had to listen to a 20 minute presentation (you weren't told this until you arrived) - jade, terra cotta warriors and something else I have forgotten and then shop and then get your lunch. Not what I had expected from Viking. Overall we enjoyed the trip, but not as much as the Danube river cruise we had done with Viking the year before.Viking staff reallay look after you well and nothing is too much trouble to them. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We went to see Tulips and Windmills, and saw both! The ship and crew were excellent, and lived up to the reputation of Viking to "make it right" when there was an issue in one location. The food and service staff were ... Read More
We went to see Tulips and Windmills, and saw both! The ship and crew were excellent, and lived up to the reputation of Viking to "make it right" when there was an issue in one location. The food and service staff were wonderful! We cruised at night, so didn't have a lot of scenery along the waterways to view, which was fine as it was mostly oil refineries. The docking locations varied, and some were great (Antwerp, Amsterdam, Hoorn were all beautiful). Shore excursions were well done, for the most part. River cruising is so much better than ocean cruising - we met some amazing people and actually were able to enjoy their company at meals, and to see and recognize them while on the ship. On the big cruises you might never see the same person twice. It is just so much more relaxing, and I would recommend it to anyone. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
First time river cruisers and chose this one for the full Grand European Cruise experience. First and foremost, the Viking Staff were absolutely outstanding. They went above and beyond to ensure the passengers were always treated as ... Read More
First time river cruisers and chose this one for the full Grand European Cruise experience. First and foremost, the Viking Staff were absolutely outstanding. They went above and beyond to ensure the passengers were always treated as top priority throughout the entire voyage. We also chose the late April sailing so we could enjoy the tulips in full bloom and they were definitely showing their colors. A beautiful sight. The trade off for going on this cruise in the Springtime is having cooler temperatures. They were so cool that we had days with sleet and hail while in Amsterdam. The local people agreed the temperatures were extremely cold for the time of year when we were there. The only thing preventing a top mark for the overall rating, is the large amount of idle time for passengers. Morning walking tours were routine in most cities, but once they were complete, the remainder of the day is pretty much up to the individual passenger. There are add-on excursions that can be taken at additional expense, but they would help to fill up the day. This type of cruise is not suitable for children and I would strongly recommend parents not bring them on a river cruise. They might be extremely bored. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2016
to see Paris and Normandy. Cruise was done well in all aspects except there wasn't much cruising. We spent lots of time in LePecq, a suburb of Paris so the excitement of Paris nite life wasn't anywhere around. We were notified of ... Read More
to see Paris and Normandy. Cruise was done well in all aspects except there wasn't much cruising. We spent lots of time in LePecq, a suburb of Paris so the excitement of Paris nite life wasn't anywhere around. We were notified of this change well after we booked. We spent 3 days prior to embarkation at the Hotel Rochester in Paris and it was delightful. The trip to Normandy was especially touching and I will be forever glad for this moment. The staff were excellent and quite professional. The food was a little above average, surprising i thought as the reviews we read raved about it. I became sick on the first day aboard and the Cruise Director, Lionel, went well above and beyond duty to connect me with a local doctor and help get the necessary medications. Because of his help the trip went off smoothly. I would gladly sail with Viking again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We chose this cruise because we really enjoyed our Viking cruise in France, and the excursions covered a lot of sights we wanted to see. Unfortunately, this one didn't go as well as our French cruise. There were many problems on the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we really enjoyed our Viking cruise in France, and the excursions covered a lot of sights we wanted to see. Unfortunately, this one didn't go as well as our French cruise. There were many problems on the Emerald: Moldy smell in many areas: rooms/hallways. Had to change rooms to the second alternative room, because the first alternative room also smelled moldy. Room attendant, Marvin: We ran out of toiletries, including toilet paper. He didn't replenish them. Had to call desk for more. His cart was outside our room everyday. One day I took a soap because we were low, and the cart contents never changed. Every day, everything was neatly arranged and full, except for the hole left by the one soap I took. I don' think anybody got new toiletries. He never cleaned the rug. It was filthy by the end. I put a dirty bathroom glass in the center of counter to exchange for a clean one. He just put the dirty one on an old coaster and put it behind the faucet as if it were a clean glass. I left my robe on the couch one day. He just wadded it up and put a pillow over it to cover it. Basically all he did was make the bed every day. He didn't understand anything we tried to say to him. Fiona was an excellent server, as was Alice. The main emcee gentleman was pretty impossible to understand. Also, the Shangri-La hotel in Guilin was not a good choice. It was overrun with children, and if you didn't like seafood, the food choices were just vegetables. I had tomatoes, olives and bread for dinner. It's a good thing I decided against the chicken, because a fellow passenger told me the next day that it had made him sick. Also, towels and toiletries were on the skimpy side. All other hotels were wonderful. Ray, our guide, was outstanding, and totally saved this trip! He made all the shore excursions fun. (Unfortunately, nobody could make the Chinese Acrobat show fun. It was not terribly acrobatic, or interesting.) Other shows were good. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
The ship was quiet and clean. The food was very good, but breakfast was mostly the same selection of hot and cold foods and THE SAME pastries EVERY DAY, which got very boring. We missed not having access to self serve laundry features, ... Read More
The ship was quiet and clean. The food was very good, but breakfast was mostly the same selection of hot and cold foods and THE SAME pastries EVERY DAY, which got very boring. We missed not having access to self serve laundry features, such as an ironing board. Thankfully, the dress code was very informal and relaxing. Bottled water was always in your room, and also handed out on the way to every excursion. The staff was very hard working and friendly. One odd thing of noticable difference from ocean cruises, was the lack of available snacks between meals. There were self service cookies and hot drinks available, but no pizza or other "proteins". Then, the cookies were taken away over an hour before dinner. Dinner was served at 7. So, You had to keep your refrigerator stocked with cheese, fruit, etc. from the breakfast buffet. It was just odd, and rather disconnected. Then, out of the blue, they served a wisp of canapes and a few themed drinks at about four of the afternoon briefings. Those essences of cordiality were nice. Too bad they were so inconsistent. The shore excursions were adequate, but on tight schedules, loaded with random trivia, and lacking of much free time. The one activity that got old, was having to sit through a daily briefing before dinner each night about the following day's activities. If you didn't go, you could turn it on in your room on the TV. But, it was 30-45 minutes that just cut out any chance of some down time before dinner, when it would have been nice to enjoy a shower and or some quiet time on the balcony. Since they had the meetings, they didn't bother to put any details in the daily newsletter, which was mostly useless. The director's name was Kane. He was very thorough with details, accommodating, and a personable "propogandist". But, the daily briefings became referred to as "The Kane Show" by the fourth day. He was pleasant, but it just got to be too much of an elaborate yet average ordenance of details that could have been handed out in printed form. These are just minor frustrated perspectives. Go on a Viking river cruise! The sites are amazing, and the company and crew make a solid effort to make you feel like important guests. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2016
This was our tenth river cruise, our seventh with Viking. We chose this cruise as we had not sailed east of Budapest previously. We visited new countries and learned about life behind the Iron Curtain. As usual the service was great ... Read More
This was our tenth river cruise, our seventh with Viking. We chose this cruise as we had not sailed east of Budapest previously. We visited new countries and learned about life behind the Iron Curtain. As usual the service was great onboard the longship. Our cabin was a veranda stateroom. We took advantage of the veranda to watch the lights of Budapest as we set sail long after dark. These views were among the cruise highlights. Another highlight was the home visit in Croatia where we learned of her hardships during the fighting with Serbia. We visited many beautiful orthodox churches. This trip incorporated more "country life" than others that concentrated more on the bigger cities. We visited small villages as well as an equestrian center. Our only problems came at the hotel in Bucharest for our final night. Eventually things got squared away but the service did not match that onboard the Viking Jarl. Read Less

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