We chose the cruise for the same reasons as Judhess. Because of the low water, our trip was a big disappointment. After the first night spent on the Viking Idun in Budapest, we made our first transition to another Viking Ship (this time the Magni). And, still, after a few days we made a change to another ship and then the last night to a hotel in Amsterdam.
We spent many hours being transported by busses to go on excursions we had signed up for and some that the staff selected for us. A big disappointment was arriving in Cologne for a tour of the Cathedral only to find that our arrival was timed during a time when the cathedral was closed to tours. We had a tour that was dismal, ate lunch at a restaurant and then on the 20 minutes after lunch on our way to the bus, we slipped into the Cathedral for about 8 minutes. Terrible planning. We also missed the windmills. Originally we were offered at voucher for our next trip of 25% of what we paid for our GrandEuropean trip. Upon arriving home, that voucher was canceled and we did receive a voucher for our next Viking Cruise with the value of half the expense of our cruise. Likely they read the surveys, which if like ours were quite negative.
It is too bad that Viking was not honest up front, had refunded our money and we could have chosen a cruise of our choice with out all of the monkey business. We know of other cruise lines that have done that when they could not provide the services they originally offered.
Tour guides for excursions were mostly outstanding except for... Cologne and Nuremberg. Food was marginal to very good. Service was good.Kaitlyn, our activity director was wonderful, but ended up having to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what we were going to do next.
Friends of ours took a similar cruise on AMA waterways in June and raved about the food, the service the tours and VIKING, TAKE NOTICE... the outstanding evening entertainment...
they had folk lore dancers, music that was not mostly opera. They did not play three nights worth of trivia games. On the night they were in Budapest, the ship even cruised the docking area so they could see the illuminations of lights. The German night was the most fun in the dining room.
Of course, we will use our 50% voucher from our past trip, and all I can say is, Viking should have refunded the 50% of our money AND, we only hope, the next trip is as good as we have heard Viking cruises can be!
Getting on each ship was handled well, but the first night we learned we were moving to the magni the next day!