We had never been cruising before as a full holiday, only as part of a longer holiday and for less time. We did not really know what to expect. We chose Viking Cruises because they were recommended and have a good reputation. We were not disappointed! Viking are extremely efficient and well-organised down to small details. The pre-cruise preparation was very good and informative. Flights, pick-ups and transfers were meticulously organised. Hotel accommodation prior to, and subsequent to the actual cruise was excellent. Accommodation on board was very good. We had a stateroom with a balcony to the river. Although we did not actually spend much time on the balcony it was nice to have it.
A great strength of the experience was the ship's crew. They were all excellent from the management staff and organisers to the chambermaid. The food and catering were excellent as well. We had the 'Silver Spirits' package for drinks, paid in advance. Not sure we would do that again. Viking arranged shore excursions every day and they were very well organised. Other excursions were always on offer. We passed along the Danube through five Eastern European countries and were fascinated to see them, though they are probably less spectacular than, say, The Rhine. Eastern Europe is poorer than Western Europe and has had a sad history. We never felt pressured to do things or overwhelmed. We felt there was a sense of space on the Viking Idun (135 meters long) despite some 180 passengers. Our fellow-passengers, mostly Americans, were absolutely delightful. I think Viking are probably a more expensive line - but you get what you have paid for. We felt very secure and confident with Viking, and if we were to go cruising again, our first choice would be Viking!
The cabin was very comfortable. The bed was comfortable and there was plenty of space. for clothes. Worth getting a veranda. It had a fridge. The cabin and the whole ship were very quiet. Not sure what else we might have had. It was as good as we were expecting.