During October 1-13, my husband and I went on Viking's 13 day (two days traveling) City of Lights tour/cruise. We liked the fact that this seven-day cruise, from Trier Germany on the Moselle river, along the Rhine river to Bamberg Germany on the Main river, included a pre-extension in Paris and a post-extension in Prague. The tour included two nights in Paris and two nights in Prague. Keep in mind that with only two nights somewhere, one really gets only one full day in the city plus hopefully upon arrival an afternoon or evening in the pre-extension city. After the second night, Viking usually rushes you off to your next location or to the airport to go home. Therefore, I am suggesting that if one wants more than this short time between two hotel nights, one should book an extra day or two. We had been to Paris before, so one day was enough for us there. Viking offers a half day bus tour of Paris where you drive by, and sometimes briefly stop at, major sites, but there is no time to visit anyplace such as the Louvre or Eiffel Tower. Same thing for Prague. Prague is a very beautiful and interesting city, so an extra day would have been wonderful, but our one day was satisfactory. We have learned over the past five years during our five previous Viking cruises, that Pre and Post excursions are necessary and desirable. Once you go to all the trouble of flying to Europe, and the expense of a seven-day cruise, we highly suggest you spend a bit more money and take a few more days, to experience your starting and final locations. Viking usually takes a day or so departing from your starting location, so you will probably have a chance for a short visit of initial city, but understand that when your ship pulls into your last port, you will be rushed off to a waiting bus for a trip to the airport and home. Viking does a real good job of transporting you on busses. For example, their bus trip from Paris to Trier stops along the way in Luxembourg for a great tour, and their bus trip from Bamberg to Prague stops in Nuremberg for another great tour. The seven days on the Idi was great, just like our previous four cruises. We always book October/November cruises since they have lower off-season prices, but in so doing we usually run into some rain sometimes lots of rain. Viking has great umbrellas for all to borrow, and except during walking tours, or when you are walking around a site that their bus took you to, you are inside anyway. Take rain gear, but the rain has not been a problem for us. You will not be sunbathing on your ship's top deck, but their lounges are great. This last time we paid $300 for their drink package. I think it was worthwhile since free drinks of house wine/beer are only available during lunch and dinner. If you think you might want a drink between lunch and dinner, and after dinner, when you are in the lounge, that could amount to four drinks per couple per day for seven days, or 28 drinks for which one would have to pay before departing. We like wine, so we ordered better wines off the bar menu at every occasion rather than drink their complementary house wine. Viking does offer free corkage, so I think during our 2020 Portugal cruise, we will buy local wines each day during our walking tours to drink on the ship. These should not cost too much, and we will be able to sample more local wines since Viking does not offer many, any, on their bar menu, and their complementary wine unfortunately remains the same wine throughout the trip and is typically not local. My last suggestion is to pay Viking the extra charge to get their AirPlus reservation option where you can pick your flights with a human rather than have Viking's computer select them. We had to learn the hard way; their computer can be very unreasonable! Every trip that we have made, we have noticed some guests having to get up in the middle of their last night, either on the boat or in a post-extension hotel, to go to the airport very early to catch a very early flight home. This is particularly distressing when on post-extension since you will have paid good money for the hotel night only to ruin your night there by getting up at 3:00am or 4:00am, in order to leave the hotel early for the airport. Because we now always use their Air-Plus service, we get up a reasonable time, eat our complimentary breakfast, and leave our ship/hotel at a reasonable time because our flights did not leave until late morning, noon or early afternoon. One last thing, when you depart your ship the last time, you each can buy one voucher for $100 that will discount a future trip by $200, so spending $200 for two vouchers will save you an extra $200 on a future trip. This we always do. However, these vouchers can only be used on future unbooked trips, so if you have already booked your future cruise before buying the vouchers, they cannot be used for the future already-booked trip. I think their restriction is stupid and unfair, but that is the way it is.
Small, but who stays in their cabin except to sleep.. Cat E is great since it is less expensive (only $100 more than at category F), and far forward so away from noisy/vibrating engines, and close to dinning room and lounge.