Bucket List European Viking River Cruise!

Viking Odin Cruise Review to Europe
Experience: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 8

Overall Rating:

4.5 out of 5
Viking Odin

Castles and Legends - Munich to Budapest

Sail Date: July 05, 2017

Ship: Viking Odin

Cabin Type: Balcony

Cabin Number: 215

Traveled As: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review Summary

This Viking River Cruise experience on the Viking Ingvi has spoiled me for any other cruise. The accommodations and staff attention are excellent and far better than my previous Ocean Cruise experiences. River cruises provide a more intimate vacation and concentrate on the port and excursion experiences, which is what I am more interested. I will definitely choose Viking for my next cruise vacation.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Escorted bus from our land-based pre-cruise add on.

Ship Experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
They tended to all of our special dietary needs, learned what we liked and had beverages and some foods available when we arrived at our table (we dined at the same table each night). A variety of menu items highlighting local cuisine. Excellent wines - and wine recommendations from our servers and bar tenders.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Two nights of cultural entertainment were very enjoyable. The Wheel House tour provided insight regarding the captains responsibilities. The port talks helped plan for the next day's excursions.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
The lounge pianist was okay - but expected to hear more relevant music. The two nights where they brought on board local artists were fantastic.

Children's Programs

I do not have children.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
The Viking Ingvi staff is A1! Sasha - our room steward - took excellent care of our room, brought us all requested additional items in an expedient fashion (and consistently provided them the entire trip), was so nice to talk to about local ports, and always had a smile. The Maitre D Rolandez Cruz was fantastic! He met with us the first evening meal, addressed our dietary constraints, and every day at breakfast, he reviewed the lunch and dinner menus with us, identified the appropriate meals, pre-ordered our selections, and made several accommodations to ensure a fine and safe dining experience. Carla and Rene, our waiters, seemed to anticipate our needs and learned our preferences on day 1. Each time we arrived at our table, they had already put out our beverages of choice. They also made excellent recommendations of wines to complement our meals, and always smiled and provided excellent service. Bence, out bartender was very friendly, always smiled, and made sure we had our drinks as soon as we sat down. He also made excellent beverage and wine recommendations. The concierge staff was ready to help and provided me with bandages for the untimely blisters.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
The ship was very clean! The layout was very easy to navigate.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
The cabin was slightly larger than we anticipated and had ample closet and drawer space for all our belongings. The one area that needs improvement is the size of the shower - it was very tiny.

Ship Tip

we were on the Viking Ingvi - not the Viking Odin. Advice - make sure to pre-book excursions, bring ample local currency. Take advantage of the port talks to make excursions more meaningful. Sit on the top deck when arriving in the various ports if at all possible, as this affords spectacular views.

Ports Of Call

Nuremberg (Munich), Germany

5 out of 5
Jana, our host, was very organized and helped us through the process. Michael, our local tour guide, was one the best tour guide I have ever had on all of my vacations! He really helped us start the trip out and spoiled us for all the rest. He provided insight, history, humor, tips, sound effects, visual and audio aides, and gave us pop quizzes so we would remember the information he provided during the panoramic tour. It was thoroughly enjoyable. Another highlight of the trip was the visit to Neuschwanstein castle - just wish it hadn't rained. The inside castle tour seemed a bit rushed and was far shorter than when I took it 15 years ago. Enjoyable nonetheless. We wished we had more time to explore on our own and purchase better souvenirs. So much to see. I want to go back!

Linz (Salzburg), Austria

5 out of 5
This was by far my favorite port! A spectacular city with a colorful history and amazing sites and restaurants. The only issue was our hotel room at the Hotel Bristol. We were two individuals (not a couple) and the room was set up with a double bed. When we asked them to move the bed into two, they simply separated the beds by 6 inches. It was a very tiny room and we could not both open our suitcases at the same time. They moved us to another room, but again it was not suited for two individuals. The couple we traveled with (with the same level of cabin and same price) had a huge room and were provided with chocolate treats each night. They moved us to yet another room, and although not as nice as our travel partners, was slightly better than the first two options. The breakfast at Hotel Bristol was absolutely diving. The hotel location was perfect. We participated in the included excursions. Veronica, our tour guide and a life-long resident provided immense historical information and her own story and definitely kept our interest throughout the two days. Two of us took advantage of the Salzburg card to see additional sites in the city. Fabulous! I would love to visit there again. The Sound of Music tour was definitely a highlight. Veronica provided some real history of the Von Trapp family as well to contrast with the movie version.

Passau, Germany

3 out of 5
This port was just okay. However, the beautiful pipe organ concert at St. Stephen's Cathedral was a favorite highlight for me (having been an organist while growing up). The local tour guide for the walking tour seemed to be disgruntled and was not a happy person. The tour seemed very rushed. We were happy to finally arrive at the Cathedral for the organ concert.

Linz (Salzburg), Austria

4 out of 5
Cesky Krumlov was definitely a diamond in the rough. Silva, our tour guide, provided interesting historical information about this medieval town and castle. We had spectacular views of the Alps and the city and villages below.

Melk, Austria

4 out of 5
The Melk Abbey tour excursion was very enjoyable - a little challenging for me (as I will be having hip replacement surgery very soon), so I opted to take the bus back to the port as I could not take the steps down to the village (which I really did want to see). Interesting that it is still a working Abbey and school. The beautiful interior and library were quite sites to see. Cruising the Danube through the Wachau Valley provided spectacular sites with all the castles and churches and the vineyards! Our visit to the Winter Krems winery was somewhat disappointing (maybe because we are spoiled with so many family wineries in Northern Virginia we had VERY HIGH expectations). We only tasted 4 wines and the tour of the site was not that informative.

Vienna, Austria

4 out of 5
Unfortunately, I was disappointed in the panoramic tour of Vienna. The tour guide - Klaus - seemed to be a disgruntled French ex-patriot. Everything was rushed and we did not have much time to explore, eat, and purchase souvenirs. The city has become very run down since I was last there 20 years ago. The tour of Schonbrunn Palace was fantastic! Although it was EXTREMELY crowded and hot inside. The internal tour guides were very good. We did have sufficient free time to explore the grounds and browse the gift shop.

Bratislava, Slovakia

3 out of 5
The Panoramic Bratislava included tour was pretty good. Our guide, Beatrice, was very informative and kept our interest. i enjoyed seeing the Jesuit Church and St. Martin's Cathedral. Was hoping to see more crystal shops.

Budapest, Hungary

5 out of 5
We felt like we were in the Viking River Cruise commercial when we cruised into Budapest in the morning. Such a spectacular view of all the unique buildings. The Panoramic Budapest tour with Kinga, our local guide, far exceeded my expectations. This was not a high site on my list, however, it was my second favorite port on the vacation. Kinga provided interesting insights into the history of Buda and Pest, as well as her own family's different experiences in more recent times. St. Matthias Church and St. Stephen's Basilica were rich with history and opulence The Budapest Thermal Bath excursion was just what the doctor ordered after all of the walking we had done thus far. I finally had relief from the bursitis and inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis - I definitely need to investigate mineral springs back home. It was such a unique experience and one I hope to repeat again. The Szentendre & Open Air Museum excursion provided us with opportunity to purchase Hungarian goods from local artists and farmers, as well as look into the lives of Hungarians over time. A Taste of Budapest provided a visit to Parliament, walking tour of monuments, market place, and local cuisine. Susan, our tour guide provided historical information and personal history of her grandparents and parents and their varied experiences of Nazi occupation, Communist "liberation", and final freedom thanks to Reagan. The personal stories provided much intrigue.

Disembarkation

4 out of 5
It took quite a while to disembark - not as smooth as embarkation, which resulted in a later start to our first add-on excursion. The accommodations in Budapest were fantastic (Corinthia).
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