We had always wanted to see the Swiss Alps and parts of France and Germany.
Paris was wonderful to explore and set us all up for an exciting time abroad. Our trip from Dallas to Toronto to Paris went smoothly. The air bookings were fine, however, the end of our trip was not up to Viking standards, and I will touch upon that at the end.
The arrangements were impeccable as was the communication around all the trip itself. We appreciated the very professional, informative all-inclusive cruise documents which included the "Before You Go" introduction at the beginning of the brochure. That whole brochure was fantastic. Not only was it informative, but it was a wonderful way to get us excited about going!
Dining was simply a wonderful experience. The food was fabulous, the wines were delightful. We just cannot say enough about the exceptional dining experience.
The ship itself was very, very clean and well-maintained. The upper deck gave us a lovely view of the Mosel and Rhine, however, the chairs were often taken under the canopy and we did not want to sit in the direct sun when temperatures were in the 90's!
The tours were wonderful. Our guides were great and we loved their expertise and personal interjections of facts. The morning tours were great before the very high heat took over! Coming back to the ship was like coming home again. The staff was so friendly and we were greeted with a wet towel or a cool drink. Such a nice and unexpected touch!
The other guests on-board were having a good time, as we were.
A big plus was the wine with lunch and dinner. We appreciated that being included in the price rather than charging each time. The wines were excellent, too, by the way. We actually tried to find them in the states.
We participated in many of the tours and each was wonderful - our favorites were Palace of Versailles, Notre Dame the lake excursions, the cog wheel train up the alps and the lake shore excursions.
Our trip was lovely except for the END at the Renaissance Hotel in Switzerland. We left our bags outside our hotel room, as requested and they were loaded onto the coach to take us to the airport. The only time the carry on was out of my sight was from the hotel hallway to the coach. Unfortunately, when I opened up my carry on at home, my corporate computer shoulder bag (back with silver buckles) was missing out of the top of my blue carry-on. I was disappointed that this had happened. I did write to Viking but never heard a word back from Viking. There was no computer in the bag, only some inexpensive jewelry, about 50 euro, incidentals and some work documents. As I noted, I did report this to Viking directly on an e-mail but I did not ever receive a reply from anyone, which seemed unusual.
Also, the Renaissance hotel was not up to Viking standards. We had one towel for the two of us and had requested a towel from our hotel room that first evening. We ended up sharing a towel and never had a facecloth. No one ever came up with a new towels. The towel hanging in the bathroom was also dirty looking. We just think Viking should be aware of this since Viking had treated us so well and had such high standards of excellence in all that they did on the entire cruise - from quality brochures to fine dining, to intelligent guides and tours, to spot-on travel arrangements.
Additionally, and unfortunately, the flight out of Switzerland was delayed which in turn made us miss our connecting flight in the States. We ended up sitting in Newark, NJ for over seven hours trying to get a flight out of New Jersey to Dallas, Texas. That was very disappointing and we were very, very tired.
Viking tours are wonderful and we would love, love, love to go on another one some day. Our only wish is that we had started years ago and could keep going back for more!
Thank you for a most wonderful, celebratory, memorable, educational, very-organized delightful time with my dear husband of 45 years!
The cabin was very clean and the veranda was lovely. We were well cared for by "Julie" who was always smiling and greeting us each day. Julie did an excellent job. The scented toiletries were delightful, too! Thank you!