I had heard from family and friends that Portugal was a great country to tour: beautiful, safe, tons of history, warm, and Mediterranean. Also, the American dollar has strong purchasing power. We had loved a previous self-toured trip of Spain, but missed seeing the Northwest corner, including Santiago de Compostela. We went in early May, so Portugal was warm but not stifling, and outside of forest-fire season. This trip allowed us to add on a couple of days in Lisbon (beautiful city) and to also see medieval Sintra through a Viking one-day special on the front end, and then add to our 8-day trip on the back end with a trip into NW Spain for Santiago de Compostela, famous medieval site for pilgrimages to see St. James' holy relics. Portugal is not large, so we had plenty of time on our coach from Lisbon to Porto for a lovely stop and tour (included in the price) at Coimbre, site of a medieval university and town where J.K. Rowling lived and was influenced for her imaginary Hogwarts Wizarding School. Lunch included live, haunting fado performance. The Douro River is short, so you spend more time in ports touring (or shopping). Viking arranged several interesting presentations on board--history, Port wine, olive oil, a cork merchant (great gifts in jewelry, hats and bags), two entertaining musical groups (Don't miss the male college performers)--in addition to exciting architectural tours and wine tastings on land. We enjoyed our fellow travelers--many from Britain, as well as U.S. Our coach Portuguese tour guide, George, was very knowledgeable and interesting. We recommend it!
We bought this cruise at the very last minute (3 weeks prior to cruise date), and were lucky to find a stateroom available. We paid for the second to the best cabin, but were upgraded to the top! Naturally we were pleased. We had a private sitting/living room + balcony large enough for a table and chairs, bedroom/bathroom, and free laundry services. We did have problems with the shower over-flowing. Didn't seem fixable. That was the only drawback.