We embarked Viking expecting a 4 or 5-star experience, this was certainly not what was delivered on board. Cold, unimaginative food, refelcting many of the staff who were serving. Drink stocks running out and not replenished as it was the end of season - poor excuse given the price we paid.
Most of the crew seemed to be going through the motions without any care, which I put down to this being the last voyage of a long season, so they were probably worn out & ready for their break & to see their families.
Entertainment was woeful, with one man playing a keyboard & half-singing an assortment of songs from the 50's, 60's and early 70's.
'Next day' overviews were held in the one lounge area before dinner so that the bar staff could push drinks.
We had a couple of quiz nights with the usual embarassing tat-prizes - all very Butlin's in it's bad days.
3 out of 5
Efficient, although the long transfer to the ship from Munich airport prevented evening activity
Food and Dining
1 out of 5
Most meals were served cold & either left or sent back. Drink on this, the final journey of the year, was running out and never replenished, so by the end it was a case of taking whatever was left, or taking nothing.
1 out of 5
No activities on-board, other than a small library, some board games, and someone playing an organ whilst singing (??) for an hour to try & keep people in the only bar on-board
1 out of 5
The singer/keyboard player wasn't our idea of entertainment.
Only on the last night did Viking provide any local entertainment on board, and this was far better attended. It really felt like Viking were cost cutting however they could.
There wasn't anything provided
Service and Staff
2 out of 5
Hopefully it was just that they were tired of 9 months working & just wanted to get off & go home rather then this being the norm. There was a definite 'couldn't care' attitude backed up with sarcatic/snide comments about us paying pax.
4 out of 5
The boat was clean throughout, but very simply decorated. Luckily with the Christmas decorations up, this broke up the beige & white.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
Cabin size was ample, nice touch with the underfloor heating in the shower room, howver being at the lowest level, the rooms & corridors were very cold (remember this was Winter & cold water surrended the boat). Even with the air-con cranked up, there were still cold areas in the cabin
Expect a 2* experience and hopefully you will be pleasantly surprised
Being there during employment protests did not impact on our enjoyment of this city. However arriving late meant that we lost an hour of our Viking tour which was very rushed so when we ventured ashore later it was difficult to enhance the experience by digging deeper into the overview we were given.
The inclusive afternoon tour (Hungarian Horsemen) as shown on the in-cabin TV guide never happened as it was 'out of season'. When I enquired I was told it was a mistake.
We took the opportunity to visit this port on both days, so managed to see it both daytime & nightime, but please be aware that the roads from the boat (if you are moored close-by) to the town & back are dark so left some with safety concerns. There is a Metro service, but again you have to walk dark roads to it, so try & take the one transfer bus or get a cab.
This had the best of the Christmas Markets at night, so please try & see it then as like all markets they are lifeless during the day.
This was only a drop off point for the transfers to the inclusive tour to the Monastery. It was a good tour enhanced by the blanket of snow that greeted us.
Whilst on tour the boat reloated to Tulln, where we rejoined it for the journey to Vienna
Although advertised as having an Organ Recital in the organised tour, the time of year prevented this from happening, so the tour was re-organised to include a visit to 'Simons' - a renowned 'Gingerbread' bakers in the town. We were okay with this as the deomnstration was interesting, but obviously others were disappointed.
Our tour guide (Conrad/Konrad) was really good, in fact the best one we had during this voyage, and gave us enough information that when we returned in the afternoon we found so much more.
Regensburg was a truly muddled city, in a good way :o) The city had a combination of everything from it's Roman origins, medieval architecture, and modern shopping and business areas.
The included walking tour was defintiely a good introduction to the city, and one that encouraged us to stay in town afterwards and continue to explore both the centre and outer zones.
Unfortunately with the short days, most of this was at night, so not seen. However the lock that you pass through were amazing testimonies to what can be done to tame nature, and the short section that we did sail during daylight (Waccau Valley) was enjoyable with commentary pointing out all the important photo points.
After the disappointment of not being able to get into town on the first evneing - the last shuttle bus left just after we arrived from the airport on our Viking transfer, we got into to the next day, meaning that we didn't get to experience it in the evening.
The next morning had a great, if short, walking tour in the biringly cold wind which left us in the main market, however this was preceded by a fast moving glimpse of the city's Nazi history, and it was a shame that the bus barely paused for us to pictures through the windows, let alone give us a chance to step off for a few seconds to get pictures.
4 out of 5
Leaving the boat was both quick & efficient, I wish I could have saiod the same for Budapest Airport which was chaotic with the queues out the door & into the cold winds.
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