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Lilycat2010

Just Back First River Cruise - Viking Romantic Danube

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My DH and I just returned from our Romantic Danube cruise on the Viking Skirnir - Budapest to Nuremberg. We booked our own air and extensions in Budapest and post-cruise to Prague.

 

Overall impressions of Viking were good. We had a French balcony cabin which we really enjoyed. Honestly, our biggest complaint was the pillows. They were terrible. If that's the worst of my vacation, man do I feel lucky. The service and food overall were very good. We've done quite a bit of ocean cruising on HAL and Celebrity and felt that the food on Viking was a notch above. The tours were very good. We only took one additional tour and enjoyed that also. I can say - no real entertainment. We knew that going in, but would have enjoyed an evening or two of options.

 

We were impacted by the low water levels. We were only able to sail as far as Passau. We bussed to Regensburg and highly enjoyed it. We chose not to bus to Nuremberg due to the length of travel. I felt like we missed out and we were disappointed, however it did not ruin the trip for us.

 

We had pre-paid through a third party (Prague Airport Transfers) for a transport from Nuremberg to Prague. The Viking concierge was so helpful and contacted the company to have the transport changed to meet us in Passau and it wound up being less expensive. We were really pleased with the service.

 

There were a lot of angry passengers, however. I can't blame the cruise line for river conditions. I did feel very sorry for those with early flights home from Nuremberg. Viking only put up folks with pre-10:00 am flights in hotels in Nuremberg. Others had to get up as early as 3:00 am to be transported to the airport. I felt for them.

 

The number one complaint I heard from others was about the balcony cabins. Many felt frustrated that we were docked next to other ships and that they couldn't use them. I was surprised so many people were unaware. I had done that research here and my TA also warned me. I feel that Viking should give people a warning about that.

 

Overall, we had a fantastic trip. We met some really nice people and have good memories. We are a bit younger than the average river cruiser, so we may wait awhile until we take another, and would be open to trying another line. We actually really enjoyed our DIY time in Budapest and Prague and may only do the group touring sporadically.

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Thank you, Lilycat2010, for your review.

 

About the rafting or double docking: as river cruise traffic increases so does the docking alongside another ship. Viking does have the info online. In the itinerary description "Danube Waltz" it is explained on page 20 under mooring and docking: http://wpc.475d.edgecastcdn.net/00475D/passenger_documentation/2015/Rivers/Danube_Waltz_Bud-Pas.pdf

 

You are right, it is good to do research before you book. Also into small details and fine print.

 

notamermaid

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Thank you for sharing your impressions. We did this cruise as part of a Christmas Markets cruise last December and really enjoyed it. As far as Nuremberg, depending on what you hoped to see, you may not have missed much. Nuremberg was nearly completely destroyed during WWII, and all the "Medieval" buildings you see were built after the war.

 

Happy Travels!

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I think it really depends on which river you're doing too. We expected to raft next to other boats but only did once for about 20-30 minutes. DH is a bit claustrophobic and didn't like that at all. Using the balcony is bit uncomfortable while rafting with other people's cabins right next to you and no view of the river.

 

The longer your cruise, the older the demographics. You might consider a shorter cruise in the summer next time. The shorter 7-night cruises tend to have younger people on them. I think we had about 18-20 people out of 128 that were under 50, about maybe 20 in their 50's and the rest over 60 yrs. I was surprised at how young the cruise was. Going during summer break probably had a lot to do with that as well.

 

We're with you though, although we really enjoyed ourselves, we're going to wait a few years before we take another river cruise. We missed the sea days, a 'real' gym and the buffet for dinner that you'd have on ocean cruises. Welcome home and thanks for the feedback! :)

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Very little rafting on our just-completed Rhone cruise, except at the beginning and end ports (Lyon and Arles). Even there we noted that the major brands were rafted to each other (Viking and one other -- Scenic or Avalon AFAIR) while we were rafted for only part of the time to another brand (since AMA only has one ship on the Rhone). Our French balcony cabin was usable almost all the time. BTW, the port side was the best choice for this cruise since most docks were on the left bank of the river (and ships always dock pointing upstream).

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My DH and I just returned from our Romantic Danube cruise on the Viking Skirnir - Budapest to Nuremberg. We booked our own air and extensions in Budapest and post-cruise to Prague.Overall impressions of Viking were good. We had a French balcony cabin which we really enjoyed. Honestly, our biggest complaint was the pillows. They were terrible. If that's the worst of my vacation, man do I feel lucky. The service and food overall were very good. We've done quite a bit of ocean cruising on HAL and Celebrity and felt that the food on Viking was a notch above. The tours were very good. We only took one additional tour and enjoyed that also. I can say - no real entertainment. We knew that going in, but would have enjoyed an evening or two of options.

 

We were impacted by the low water levels. We were only able to sail as far as Passau. We bussed to Regensburg and highly enjoyed it. We chose not to bus to Nuremberg due to the length of travel. I felt like we missed out and we were disappointed, however it did not ruin the trip for us.

 

We had pre-paid through a third party (Prague Airport Transfers) for a transport from Nuremberg to Prague. The Viking concierge was so helpful and contacted the company to have the transport changed to meet us in Passau and it wound up being less expensive. We were really pleased with the service.

 

There were a lot of angry passengers, however. I can't blame the cruise line for river conditions. I did feel very sorry for those with early flights home from Nuremberg. Viking only put up folks with pre-10:00 am flights in hotels in Nuremberg. Others had to get up as early as 3:00 am to be transported to the airport. I felt for them.

 

The number one complaint I heard from others was about the balcony cabins. Many felt frustrated that we were docked next to other ships and that they couldn't use them. I was surprised so many people were unaware. I had done that research here and my TA also warned me. I feel that Viking should give people a warning about that.

 

Overall, we had a fantastic trip. We met some really nice people and have good memories. We are a bit younger than the average river cruiser, so we may wait awhile until we take another, and would be open to trying another line. We actually really enjoyed our DIY time in Budapest and Prague and may only do the group touring sporadically.

 

 

Thanks for providing your review! Were the tours on-shore worth doing? We are traveling in May with a young group (28-30 years old) and debating about doing our own thing (or even hiring a tour-guide on-shore).

Anything we can't miss in Nuremburg or Budapest while the boat is docked for some extra time? Thanks

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Great post Lilycat2010, thank you! I wonder what resource you thought was most helpful for getting around when on your own? Google maps, printed maps, etc? Was it easy to just walk around and find your way?

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cautionary note" We are traveling in May with a young group (28-30 years old) and debating about doing our own thing (or even hiring a tour-guide on-shore). "

 

Unlike a typical "cruise ship" it is not uncommon for a river cruise to stop, unload folks for tours, and then continue on. The "included tours" know this and just meet the boat farther along the way .... if you set off on your own and come back to the dock a few hours later .... oops NO BOAT!

 

I didn't happen every stop on our last river cruise ... but it did happen more than once ..... PAY ATTENTION!

 

What you propose to do is possible BUT knowing where and when the boat will be for your return is YOUR problem ......

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Thanks for providing your review! Were the tours on-shore worth doing? We are traveling in May with a young group (28-30 years old) and debating about doing our own thing (or even hiring a tour-guide on-shore).

Anything we can't miss in Nuremburg or Budapest while the boat is docked for some extra time? Thanks

 

 

Greetings! We did the Viking Romantic Danube in August of 2015, which was our first cruise of any sort. We thought it was a really great time, and all of the shore tours were very well done and interesting. I would simply go with the flow, take part in the included excursions and then enjoy your free time doing whatever you'd like. There were a few occasions where we had ample time to go it on our own (for example - the day spent in Vienna - we took the Viking tour, came back to the ship for lunch, and then spent the afternoon riding great, scary rides at The Prater (which was on my bucket list, btw). We were late 40s early 50s at the time too.

 

As mentioned before, be cautious about planning your own guides, etc. and understand that due to river conditions, etc. that the schedule can change. We had a ship swap that was only a minor inconvenience, and brought about a great time that included a wonderful lunch at a beer garden in Passau. Definitely among our favorite times of the trip!

 

Jeff

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I must agree about the pillows. They are the worst in the world. Having had surgery right before my last Viking cruise I requested an extra pillow to allow sleeping in a semi-sitting position. What was provided was nothing more than a pillow case with another pillow case folded inside. Must I pack personal pillows on my next cruise??? :evilsmile:

My DH and I just returned from our Romantic Danube cruise on the Viking Skirnir - Budapest to Nuremberg. We booked our own air and extensions in Budapest and post-cruise to Prague.

 

Overall impressions of Viking were good. We had a French balcony cabin which we really enjoyed. Honestly, our biggest complaint was the pillows. They were terrible. If that's the worst of my vacation, man do I feel lucky. The service and food overall were very good. We've done quite a bit of ocean cruising on HAL and Celebrity and felt that the food on Viking was a notch above. The tours were very good. We only took one additional tour and enjoyed that also. I can say - no real entertainment. We knew that going in, but would have enjoyed an evening or two of options.

 

We were impacted by the low water levels. We were only able to sail as far as Passau. We bussed to Regensburg and highly enjoyed it. We chose not to bus to Nuremberg due to the length of travel. I felt like we missed out and we were disappointed, however it did not ruin the trip for us.

 

We had pre-paid through a third party (Prague Airport Transfers) for a transport from Nuremberg to Prague. The Viking concierge was so helpful and contacted the company to have the transport changed to meet us in Passau and it wound up being less expensive. We were really pleased with the service.

 

There were a lot of angry passengers, however. I can't blame the cruise line for river conditions. I did feel very sorry for those with early flights home from Nuremberg. Viking only put up folks with pre-10:00 am flights in hotels in Nuremberg. Others had to get up as early as 3:00 am to be transported to the airport. I felt for them.

 

The number one complaint I heard from others was about the balcony cabins. Many felt frustrated that we were docked next to other ships and that they couldn't use them. I was surprised so many people were unaware. I had done that research here and my TA also warned me. I feel that Viking should give people a warning about that.

 

Overall, we had a fantastic trip. We met some really nice people and have good memories. We are a bit younger than the average river cruiser, so we may wait awhile until we take another, and would be open to trying another line. We actually really enjoyed our DIY time in Budapest and Prague and may only do the group touring sporadically.

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Thank you for the honest assessment of your cruise. I've only been on one river cruise, but I too was surprised at how little some of the passengers knew about river cruising and how it differs from ocean cruising.

 

I took the included tours on my cruise (after all, I paid for them) and don't think I could have done better on my own. I hadn't been to any of the ports, so everything was new to me.

 

Roz

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