We had friends who shared our interest in local wines. Both couples wanted to expand our knowledge of wines in France.
This cruise was everything we dreamed of and more. When we booked our room we chose the french balcony - I just had to have an opening to the outside world. I was a bit concerned by the small square footage. We were advised that we would often been busy outside the room, and we were encouraged to book and spend the money has we felt would benefit us personally vs feeling pressured to upgrade. Well, the space was plenty - storage was ample, and as predicted, we just didn't spend a lot of time in our room. We often enjoyed the upper deck during time on the ship. We never felt that there wasn't someplace comfortable to enjoy on the ship. Many hours were spend off the ship enjoying our destination.
Dinning was excellent. We did opt for the spirits package and liked the "chef's recommendations" of wine with dinner. We did see that the menu of local wines offered did vary a couple of times on the ship. What decided the spirits package for us, was the simple option of enjoying wine or drink anytime of day at the bar, not just at meals. We were not big drinkers - but I think the package price was fair, and we probably would have either spent more, or denied ourselves trying something great if we had not purchased it.
The included tours were excellent. I would say there is no reason to feel you must upgrade to an optional tour. However, if the optional tour appeals to your interests - it will be worth every penny. We did two optional tours and they both exceeded expectations. I honestly was concerned, because one of them (The one where we saw the coopers make wine barrels and tasted at wineries in Medoc cost $250/person. - However, it was worth every penny. The tours, the tastings and the lunch were all outstanding and our tour guide, Sarah, was fantastic. So if the tour is of interest - take it! Just don't feel like the included tours are less than - because you are treated like a valued person and friend regardless of which route you take.
Our pre port briefings were handled by Mimi and she was absolutely magical, She was moving to the Paris to Normandy cruise after our trip. I am tempted to take that cruise just be with her again!
Some people find a dinning attendant and stick to the same tables to enjoy the connection they made. We were more flexible and sat in different areas of the dinning area - really at any meal - just making the choice ad lib. We felt confident doing so, because every attendant was outstanding. Every person even the young woman who joined our cruise on her first real day - was delightful, attentive, and made us feel valued. They take every care to attend to your needs.
We are not yet retired, but we cannot wait to be - where we can perhaps take advantage of last minute deals. It was a fabulous vacation. Please pay for the Viking AIr package - where you can work with their travel agents - that money was well spent! Every moment, from start to finish was handled by viking and we had a true vacation, because we did not have a care in the world - all the details were managed meticulously by Viking.
I notice I need to rate Fitness - you walk on your tours. But they do not have facilities - you won't need them.
Nancy (A community college teacher of nursing)
We worried we would be near stairs and noisy - we felt it was just fine. We slept well on the cruise.and although our neighbors heard them open the storage cabinet, we did not hear a thing. The space was totally enough for our 8 day journey. It was a great location - easy to disembark for tours.
Unexpectantly a welcome tour was offered when we arrived. Jamie was our guide, and we had him again that evening for the evening walk. He was great.View All 19 Bordeaux City Tour On Your Own Reviews