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  #1  
Old July 28th, 2010, 10:12 PM
cabinboy1916 cabinboy1916 is offline
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Default Viking vs. Competitors, Quality

My wife and I receive many mailings from Viking River Cruises. Of course they list the amenities available, but how does their quality compare with other river cuise lines? We are impressed by the inclusion of all, or most all, shore excurions in their cost. Thanks, cabinboy1916
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  #2  
Old July 28th, 2010, 10:54 PM
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letsgo39 letsgo39 is offline
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Avalon,AMA.Uniworld all include most of the excursions in their price. These 3 also include wine and beer with dinner.My faovrite is Avalon because I have cruised 2 times with them. All of us have our favorites.Avalon has the largest regular cabins on the rivers at 172 sq ft.

Viking is rated slightly below these 3.
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  #3  
Old July 28th, 2010, 11:21 PM
Talisker92 Talisker92 is offline
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Default River cruises

I would highly recommend Vantage Travel. We have taken 3 cruises with them, and in our opinion, they give the most bang for the buck.
We wrote a story about or trip that can be read at http://home.mindspring.com/~highlandpark/
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  #4  
Old July 28th, 2010, 11:29 PM
no fuss travel no fuss travel is offline
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Viking is good. We found their China trip to be much better than the Grand European that we did after the China trip. They are launching a new ship for Europe next year and I would make sure that I took a ship that is true and tested before I would get on a new ship again.
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  #5  
Old July 29th, 2010, 05:32 AM
caviargal caviargal is offline
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AMA and Avalon both have large standard cabins, include wine with dinner, and include most tours. AMA also has bikes on board that guests can use to explore the ports. Both have a modern fleet.

I have only sailed on Avalon so far and found the overall experience very good. I would not want to cruise on an older ship with small cabins, murphy beds, etc. as that does not appeal to me. So value is in the eye of the beholder.

AMA is on our list to try and perhaps Tauck one day, if budget permits. We were docked next to one of their ships in Germany and it was really lovely.
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  #6  
Old July 29th, 2010, 09:31 AM
rundent rundent is offline
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Been on Avalon twice, once on the Danube and this spring on the Seine. Both ships were new and well run. The dinner meals are the only failing, in that you'd expect that what's essentially a European restaurant you'd get really good food - fortunately the portions were small [never thought that I'd say that]. Also the tour director on the Danube cruise was reminiscent of Basil Fawlty - only not funny.
In October will be on Viking so will report on the pros and cons etc. They also promise free wine at dinner [will help if sub-par cuisine].
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  #7  
Old July 29th, 2010, 10:01 AM
shoshona2 shoshona2 is offline
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Smile Wonderful Blog!!!

To SJCOCH,

Just wanted to thank you for posting your wonderful blog about your recent tour of Europe. We just returned Sunday from a Rhine/Moselle rivercruise and it was truly a treat to view your beautiful photos and read your commentary as I sipped my first cup of coffee for the morning.

Sheila
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  #8  
Old July 29th, 2010, 11:02 AM
nordski nordski is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabinboy1916 View Post
My wife and I receive many mailings from Viking River Cruises. Of course they list the amenities available, but how does their quality compare with other river cuise lines? We are impressed by the inclusion of all, or most all, shore excurions in their cost. Thanks, cabinboy1916
Hi

Most river cruise lines offer a basic package of tours with a few optional thrown in as choices.

Having cruised on both Uniworld and Viking we'd be hard pressed to identify a clear distinction between the two. The key element of choice is the itinerary and how well it matches your interests. Another important factor is the CD and fellow crew members, but that is very difficult to control.

As far as the ststeroom layout, a few of the older Viking ships have a fold-down bed in some of their cabins. If it's an issue, it's easy to check in the brochures or on-line. We had hotel-style beds and found them very comfortable.

It is quite remarkable as to how loyal patrons are to their initial choice of cruise lines and I'm sure you'll feel the same at the end of your cruise.
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  #9  
Old July 29th, 2010, 11:42 AM
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H2Otstr H2Otstr is offline
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I have been on Viking, Uniworld, AMAwaterways, Gate 1 and Grand Circle. Not much difference in any of them. Grand Circle had the most optionals of any of the cruise lines. Our CD on Uniworld was awful, but that didn't affect our trip. Would cruise with any of them again.
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SAILED: Viking, Portraits of Southern France. 2006
SAILED: Uniworld, Castles Along the Rhine, 2007
SAILED: Gate 1, Thanksgiving Cruise, 2007
SAILED: AMA Waterways, Portugal on the Douro, 2008
SAILED: Grand Circle: Romance of the Rhine and Mosel, 2010
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: Viking Emerald, China's Cultural Delights. 3/28/2011
SAILED: Grand Circle: Old World Prague and the Blue Danube. September 7, 2011. MS River Adagio
SAILED: Viking Spirit, Paris to Normandy. December 11, 2011.
SAILED: Grand Circle's Essence of the Elbe: Hamburg to Prague on the M/S River Allegro on May 27 to June 11, 2012
SAILED: Grand Circle Russia Revealed with pretrip to Helsinki and Tallinn on August 18, 2012. St. Petersburg to Moscow.
SAILED: Viking Sun, Treasures of the Rhine. Nov 11, 2012.
SAILED: AMACerto, Istanbul to Budapest. May 30, 2013.
SAILED: Uniworld River Queen, Classic Christmas Markets, Nuremberg to Frankfurt. Dec 5, 2013.
SAILED: Vantage Travel, Croatian Odyssey & Venice with Lake Bled, Slovenia pretrip. M/Y Harmony G __________________________________________

Grand Circle: Burma & the Irrawaddy River with Phnom Penh and Angkor Wat pretrip. 11/25 to 12/16 2014. Ship: RV Paukan

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  #10  
Old July 29th, 2010, 02:18 PM
jaybell jaybell is offline
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Default Ama

I love AMA and recommend them highly. You can read my review of our Danube cruise on the AMA Amadante under Member Reviews.
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  #11  
Old July 29th, 2010, 04:00 PM
pacmom pacmom is offline
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The itinerary is sooo important when cruising--river or ocean. Then size of boat. You need to look at the schematics on web sites or in brochures to see how many pax and ratio of crew to pax. Over 150 is a bit much for me on the rivers. We have been on the Viking Sun with 198 pax and thought it crowded in the lounge and on the sundeck. The CD on this trip was a true novice. Most of the boats are similar in cabin layout--ranging in size from 100-175 sq.ft. The more expensive the trip doesn't always mean a better cabin. Aslo check carefully if there are mobility problems of any kind--Viking only has a chair lift on the Schumann--no elevators. That can be a deal breaker for some folks. Some lines have real balconies, but that usually means smaller cabins.
We all have our favorite lines, so the should not determine which you pick. Another thought, if you are only comfortable travelling with Americans, then Grand Circle or Vantage are for you. If you like an English speaking international mix, try one of the other lines.
There is a wealth of info on these boards, so keep asking. Pat
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  #12  
Old July 29th, 2010, 04:35 PM
Phoenix cruiser Phoenix cruiser is offline
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Default Depends on where you are going

Within any river cruise company, the region you are talking about makes a huge difference. For example, we are going on a Viking Egypt Nile River cruise. In Egypt right now they use a Movenpick ship which has very large rooms, greater than 200 sq. ft. In China the ships are even larger. Bottom line, as has been already stated, is reading the details for each cruise.
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