We have taken 2 other Viking River Cruises which included days in Germany. This was an opportunity to see more of Germany, something different in Berlin than we had seen when on a Baltic Cruise, and especially stay for extra time in Prague.
This was our fifth cruise, and although China is still my favorite, this was the most enriching from a historical perspective (the Reformation in Wittenberg; East Germany during the occupation; the wall in Berlin; the Jewish community and persecution in Prague's past; and a concentration camp in Terezin). It was so enlightening, because much of what I learned about WW II and after, occurred during my parent's adult life, after my birth and during my early years. The guides and the on-board presentors lived behind the wall, in East Germany, or knew of people who were persecuted; all while I was growing up in a secure and comfortable life. I wanted to learn more of European history just as I had on our Rhine and Danube trips.
As well as being enriched and enlightened, I had a very emotional experience (two more "E" words). All I can add to that statement is that a look at this history should cause we citizens of the world to consider how we treated others in the past, learn from it, and consider how we should act in our current times.
The cruise itinerary was not only enlightening and enriching from a historical standpoint, it was true to it's description of elegant. The pastoral and the rocky cliff scenery were beautiful and relaxing. We were able to enjoy time on the upper deck. Prague was especially beautiful, however hot the temperature. Prague rivaled all my other favorite European cities and did remind me of Florence and Venice. I loved the tours and also our free time there. Being in Prague was the most elegant part of the trip. The hotel accommodations there, as well as those in Berlin, were very good. Viking did the land portion of the trip just as well as that on the ship.
As far as the Beyla, the accommodations, day trips, entertainment, food and the staff: as usual, Viking has met or exceeded our expectations. We were blessed to have Janos Olah as our hotel manager. We met him and his wonderful sense of humor when he held that same position on our China cruise ship. He and his staff treated me well on my birthday. We were very especially fortunate to have Nancy Van Turnhout as our program director. She was with us from start to finish, even hugging us goodbye as we left for the airport after our extension in Prague. Everything was entertaining, informative and done with her personal flair. All the other staff, guides, greeters at the airports, drivers, down to the ship-board engineers and deck hands were wonderful and helpful people.
I can't praise Viking and this trip enough. I am already thinking about my next Viking trip. I am happy to consider Viking as my only river cruise line.
Lower level but great as we had a good-sized window with a big ledge for storing our hats and walking sticks, etc. It had a decent amount of floor space and storage. Plus, we only needed the cabin for changing and sleep. We spent as much time as possible on deck or in the lounge, enjoying the friendships and the scenery.