Having already booked a Rhine River Cruise with 10 of our friends, we decided to book a "pre-cruise" before we met everybody in Basel. Thus we booked the Hermod for a Danube cruise before the Rhine cruise.
The issues we had with Viking involved the corporate side of things. They combined our two bookings into a single booking. When this happened, we lost our transfer from Passau to Munich. After multiple phone calls and conference calls with her home agency and Viking, our travel agent thought it to be all worked out. Viking was going to transfer us to the airport. Apparently, not the case as our Hermod staff asked us about our transfer plans in Passau. All the stress of the previous weeks about the transfer came rushing back. To the credit of the amazing Hermod shipboard staff, they got it worked out and we were transferred to Munich as we had originally planned.
Being our first Viking Cruise, we had no other yardstick from which to measure.
The Staff was absolutely amazing--and set the bar for us. From making sure we got a reservation for the Manfredi's dinner to helping us make additional reservations and plans for our NEXT cruise with all our friends. Julian, our ship Hotel Manager, even hooked us up with Jens --the hotel manager on the Hlin--our next ship. Seamless.
The dining wait staff was terrific and took an interest in the passengers--getting to know everybody and their preferences. Chef Neal was amazing and personable. We thoroughly enjoyed the menus and the local fare. Never a reason to dine off ship! We absolutely loved the chef's tour of the kitchen towards the end of our cruise. It gave all of us a chance to see the kitchen and be completely blown away by how they could turn out so much food in such a "small" space. It also gave us a chance to meet and thank the kitchen staff, some of whom we had never even seen.
Our housekeeper, Maria, was always johnny on the spot. Due to the location of our room, we were among the first to receive housekeeping and our room was usually cleaned and ready before we even got back from breakfast!
We were also very impressed with, Lee, our program director. We had booked a few optional excursions and were not disappointed in any of them. The guides were knowledgeable and spoke very good English. The included excursions were also very good. The only little hiccup was that we had some excursions that included some folks who were unable to keep up. This just cut into our "free" time a bit. Minor complaint, really.
We enjoyed the Wheelhouse Tour and learned so much about the ship and her crew. The ship board entertainment was fun and informative. All terrific folks.
Overall, so impressive that so many different nationalities are represented on the ship in her crew. We enjoyed meeting them and learning a bit about their languages and cultures.
We'll definitely book with Viking again.
Due to the lateness of our reservation, the only room available to us was a lower level porthole room. The room was a bit tight but had the same high quality amenities and furnishings as other staterooms. In actuality, we were so busy on excursions and other activities, we didn't spend that much time in the room anyway.