Review: Danube Waltz - Viking River Cruises
Cruise - River Cruise
We are the target market!
51 people found this review helpful
The first decade of this century was not kind to me or my new husband. We both nursed and lost our partners of 30 years. BUT we came through that long dark tunnel, took a leap of faith and met in a very modern way – on the Internet. That was in 2010, and we married in 2013. Neither of us had a honeymoon first time round so we were determined to make sure we had a jolly good one this time. But what to do? Where to go? Eeeeek, we were both very inexperienced travellers and very nervous about launching ourselves upon the world. A casual remark by my aunt led to a phone call to Viking River cruises. The young man who took the call was ecstatic to be booking his first honeymoon, (they don’t get many!) and immediately spoke to his line manager to arrange a £200 on board credit for us. Then he gave me all kinds of tips for getting the best out of our cruise – on many cruises the side of the ship your cabin is on matters, you may find yourself moored facing a high dock or looking straight into the cabin of another ship moored beside you.
The whole trip was a total triumph, not cheap but worth every penny. We had to make our own way to Heathrow, but after that we were cosseted at every stage, perfect for us naive travellers. We were collected at Munich by a representative of Viking and taken to the ship at Passau by coach. This turned out to be the least best part of the holiday as the journey took three hours.
When we arrived at the ship we were shown straight to our stateroom and our cases followed shortly after. Our room was delightful, compact, but had everything we needed, including plenty of storage space under the oh so comfortable bed! Sparkling or still bottled water every day, fab luxury toiletries replaced every day, bed made every time you get out if it (we WERE on honeymoon!). The food was fantastic, one sitting at the same time each day, sit where you like. I was concerned about this to be honest but in practise it was great, we met new people, or sat with familiar faces so conversation flowed as we met people from all over the world. The menus each day reflected the area we were travelling through, even the bread was different every day. The menu options were creative and beautifully cooked and presented, but if you didn’t fancy any of it there was always the option of a juicy steak or poached salmon. Wine, beer and soft drinks with meals are included in the price. Breakfast and lunch was buffet style, with the chef right there to cook your eggs or pancakes to order. Or you can have smoked salmon and Prosecco!
There were three teenagers on our cruise, I did feel sorry for them as there was absolutely nothing specifically for them to do. They played deck chess or stared at their little screens as the magnificent landscape slipped past. Apart from these poor souls almost everyone on board was just like us, about our age, either on a once in a lifetime trip or on their tenth cruise, from many countries around the world, but mostly American, British and Chinese. But we were the only honeymooners! We were congratulated by everyone, given free drinks at the bar and champagne and a congratulations card in our room one day.
The shore excursions were totally tailored to our age group – a choice of pace to start with! And coaches which followed the ship, picking us up even for a short, but VERY steep climb to an Abbey (we didn’t do that one).
We had very little internet access during the week, but that didn’t bother us.
The highlight of the cruise for us was the entry into Budapest at night. All the buildings along the Danube are beautifully lit, it was breathtaking. We moored right beside the Chain Bridge (Viking have prime mooring spots) and woke to the most glorious view of the city in the morning. As with all the included tours, our exploration of Buda and Pest was marvellous. All the guides have excellent knowledge of and passion for the area they lead you round, their language skills are amazing, and the ‘quiet vox’ gadget we were issued with meant they didn’t have to shout, or wait till everyone caught up and gathered round, they just chatted as if to a friend as we followed. Rules for tipping are explicit and very reasonable (1 or 2 Euros per person).
I could write another ten pages about this one week, I haven’t mentioned the wonderful scenery we sailed through, the friendly people, the beautiful architecture, the history, the vineyards! If you want a five star floating hotel with an ever changing view, outstanding facilities, food and service then this ticks all the boxes. We can’t wait for our next cruise, trouble is, which one?
51 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.
Silver Travel Advisor Recommended Partner: Viking