The Cities of Light itinerary is different from other Viking cruises. We stayed in a hotel in Paris along with our fellow cruisers for two nights, before taking a bus through Luxembourg to Trier where we embarked our ship. All the traveling was very smoothly orchestrated. Viking had a private car take us from the airport to the hotel. The hotel was situated a stone's throw away from the Eiffel Tower and served a great breakfast in the morning. While the bus ride to the ship was long, our cruise director was very entertaining, and it was nice to be able to walk around Luxembourg City for a few hours.
The Viking Alsvin was a beautiful ship, well maintained, and it was a great home-away-from-home. We splurged for the veranda stateroom so we could have a balcony to sit out on. However, we had some rather loud, chatty neighbors that ruined the peacefulness of sailing down the river and really, the best views were on the top deck. Otherwise, our room was very comfortable, quiet, with plenty of storage.
Viking's food is top notch. My husband and I both have dietary restrictions and the Maitre'd sought us out every morning to make arrangements for lunch and dinner. Our meals were always delicious. And the waitstaff are just the nicest people around! They really work hard to make sure you enjoy yourself!
Variety of entertainment was lacking. Mostly there's piano music every night, but that's about it. We enjoyed the movie selections on our cabin's television and that was good enough for us.
What we like most about cruising, though, is seeing the ports and this cruise had some fabulous stops! Bernkastel, Cochem, and Nuremberg were absolutely amazing! Viking's included tours taught us a bit about the history and culture of each town and were very enjoyable. My only real complaint is that because the itinerary is so packed and the ship needs to clear a number of lochs, the amount of time we had at each port was more limited than other Viking river cruises.
We had an excellent time and would certainly go on another Viking river cruise in the future.
This was a clean, quiet cabin. No ships were tied to our side of the ship during our cruise, so our balcony view was always unobstructed.