May 2014 - Viking Lif to Europe
We booked our cruise with Viking River Cruises early this year, they took care of our air bookings also. All of our transfers and ticketing and logistic were handled very professionally. We flew from Detroit to Frankfurt to Budapest. We were met in Budapest airport by Viking personal, even though our plane was late, and transferred to our ship. Once aboard the ship Lif we were greeted by the crew, our luggage taken to our stateroom and served lunch with drinks. We enjoyed the cruise because of the following:
1. The cruise was made up of our demographics, 55 and older and no children.
2. All of the cities the ship visited had guided tours with local guides. Most of the guides were excellent and a few were okay. All of the guided tours had headphones so you could listen to the guide without them yelling. Optional tours were available in the afternoons and almost all were excellent.
3. The ship provided all of your meals, which were great. A house wine or beer were included during lunches or dinners. If you wanted to eat local in town you had time to do that too.
4. The ship was our hotel, we only had to pack once for the trip.
5. The Viking staff were very attentive and there to help. All had a smile and can do attitude.
6. Having only 170 passengers on board was a breath of fresh air compared to the large cruise ships.
Some things people didn't like:
1. All of the locks on the river the ship had to go through, 67 of them. We didn't mind them but some people did.
2. The ships rafted off, next to one other Viking ships when docked during the day. You looked into another ships staterooms when the ship was docked like this. We just pulled our curtains and had no problem.
3. The ship had to flatten out its upper deck to under some of the locks for 4 or 5 days. I couldn't use the walking track for exercise during that time.
5. The ship has no exercise facility, which I would have used if it was available.
6. Sometimes while docked you could smell sewage, the ship has to pump out its tanks while docked. It wasn't very often and not too bad. It is a ship after all.
7. We had some water and hull noise in our room, we were on the lower deck below the water line. Our window was just above the water line. The noise wasn't bad though.
The transfers from our Amsterdam dock to the airport were all handled professionally. We were on time for our flight and everything went very smooth.
All in all we loved the trip and plan to do another one this fall. Viking took care of everything and all we had to do was sit back and enjoy the trip.