We thought we would try Viking because, let's face it, they have great marketing. It was very reasonably priced, but you really do get what you pay for. We are experienced travelers who have traveled on Uniworld and Windstar for years, so we are used to small ships, but the Viking ship was really disappointing.
There are no amenities on the ship. No spa, no gym, no Jacuzzi, no room service, no library, no space to go sit anywhere, no free sodas, no attention from the staff and definitely no river cruising. Some nice people on the cruise, but most were traveling in groups and were exceptionally rude. Constantly saving tables in the dining room, chairs in the lounge and seats on the bus. Were were told many times "you can't sit there". Really, people! Even chased away from dining room tables after we were seated.
Room was much smaller than it looks in the pictures. You walk in, take 2 steps and fall into the bed. Shower was so small, my husband didn't even fit. Water fluctuated between freezing cold and boiling hot. There was no where to go on the ship. You either sat on the bed in your room or in the lounge. We were so uncomfortable the whole trip. Meals were rushed, always clearing the tables and food away before meals times were over. Had to pay for soda if it wasn't at dinner. Not about the money, it just seemed petty.
I'm going to try and summarize the trip itself. Embarked in Budapest, took the included tour the next morning expecting to return to the ship and cruise the Danube to our next stop. Well, the ship left! We were bused 1 1/2 hours to Vienna, nowhere near town. Viking proved no transportation to downtown unless you took their tour. Pointed out the U-Bahn stop and told us to take that. Did that and took a taxi back at the end of the day. Next stop was Krems. Ship was leaving at noon, so we had no time to do anything. Then told we had to pack everything and leave the ship the next day to a sister ship. We pulled to a random dock, got on a bus, 1 1/2 hours to Passau where we stayed until they picked us up at 4:30. Another 1 1/2 hours to a random dock in the middle of nowhere. Cruised overnight to Regensburg. Finally docked in town! We were so excited we could come and go as we please. Well, the ship left again. Had to stay in town until 5:30 in the freezing cold because there was no where to go. Next day we pulled in to Nuremberg more than 5 miles from town. We had pre-booked a hotel to get off the ship early, and we were so glad we did. We wanted to get off in Passau, but our luggage was on a truck somewhere up river.
If you are fine with being on a bus, taking group tours and not thinking for yourself, this is the trip for you. If you are interested in really seeing the towns you are in, skip this mess and do it independently. Really a poor value for the money. I would take the excellent reviews with a grain of salt, because even without the river water level problems there is so much more wrong on this cruise that I have time to go into.
Chose a lower end cabin because we are never in the room and if I wanted to pay the price for a suite, I would have gone on a better cruise line. Bed took up the whole room. Mini frig that is empty? Didn't understand that. Take it out and give us more drawers. Paper thin walls between bedroom and bathroom. Could hear EVERYTHING. Could be uncomfortable if traveling with a friend. Fluctuating water temp in shower so you couldn't even take a nice hot shower after a day in the cold.
Enjoyed the castle district. You can do it on your own without a tour.
Took the U-Bahn and did our own thing. Had a great time finding the out of way Christmas markets.
Nothing in Krems. Wanted to go to Durnstein, but the ship was leaving at noon and we didn't have time to get there and back.
Started with the Viking walking tour, about an hour in, we walked away and had a great time. Found a fantastic restaurant facing the water near the Hotel Wilden Mann.
Wandered on our own. Enjoyed it very much