River Crui$ing.

So, how was it?  That has been what I’ve been asked since returning home.

It was great by as I was afraid when we booked the trip, I don’t think it was worth what it cost. 

Our seven day cruise cost about twice as much as our 19 day canal cruise.  The day we spent cruising the Wine valley was great but I think it would have been just as great aboard a smaller day trip sort of boat and being able to stop in more towns would have been a big plus. 

So while I had a really great time, I don’t think we have become river cruise addicts. Viking has a great product which they charge a premium for but they could make some improvements. 

Primary among these is a better description of the schedule and staying on it.  This is especially true for those of us for whom the planning is almost as much fun as the trip. 

Other suggestions would be to have some sort of snack available 24 hrs at the coffee bar. They had pastries from 6am til noon and then cookies in the afternoon but after 6pm the orchid they put on the cookie shelf while pretty wasn’t very filling. 
I enjoyed all my meals and have no complaints about food or the included wine and beer. Frankly I don’t know how they sell the all inclusive liquor package since cocktails were around $7 each. We typically had one cocktail during the evening orientation session and then drank wine at dinner. They were not stingy at all and typically asked if I wanted a refill as I was about to get up and leave….”well yes, thank you”. 

The crew was great-friendly, helpful and interesting to talk to.   Had no qualms with the 12 euro per person per day suggested gratuity which we added to our onboard account. However, the Program Director while fine didn’t go out of his way and we did not tip him the suggested 2 euro per person per day. We halfed that…which I felt a little guilty about when I learned that apparently Viking doesn’t pay him at all.  But I got over it- I think Viking should pay this important position but I’m not running their business 

The accommodations were similar to a cruise ship. Perhaps a little smaller but probably furnished a little more upscale also. The bathroom could be a hair bigger for us non-petit flowers, but luckily there is a handicap public toilet at each deck so I tended to use those fairly regularly. 

The shower was fine- great water pressure, large enough though I don’t understand why abiding spent the money on the electro frosting. Does anyone really want to watch their spouse shower that much?



The included excursions ranged from ok to great, usually depending on the guide (and whether the bus was full or not). 

We discussed that for a traveler who doesn’t want to do any research, prefers to go with the flow and wants to just pack their bag and have no worries, the Viking experience is perfect.  Buy your cruise, their air, transfers and extensions and all you have to do is get to your home airport, they do the rest. For those of us who enjoy the research and planning, we are probably paying more than we have to for a similar land based experience. In that since it is very different from an ocean cruise where I so often find it hard to believe how little we have paid to receive so much. 

All that said, we are both glad we got to experience new places, meet new friends (though not as many as on past cruises) and have a great time with old…ahem long term ones. 

Hope you enjoyed traveling along and let me know if you have any questions. 

Happy Travels!

8 thoughts on “River Crui$ing.

  1. Thank you so much for all of your posts and summary. Although we couldn’t be on your trip…we will get a voucher and do it within the year. I do think that,since I tend to be a planner ..I may just take your advice and go and let them tell us where to go and what to do…it may be less frustrating. Prior to our canceling……I had things all mapped out very much like you did…so your input helped. Thanks ..Joanne.


  2. I’ve cruised with Uniworld and with Grand Circle, and the suggested tip for the cruise director was much higher on both! I enjoyed your blog a lot…originally read about it on cruise critic.


  3. Good comments, Clay. Since I prefer smaller more intimate groupings, the River Cruises are the ones for me although cruising is not my favorite mode of seeing the world. The big cruises are too overwhelming to me. Just saw the new cruise ship leave to cross the ocean. Taller than the Eiffel Tower and so many passengers, I sure hope the norovirus doesn’t hit it. Whew.

    Where is the next trip?

    Love you, Jane

    On Sun, May 15, 2016 at 5:35 PM, Cruisin with Clay wrote:

    > clayclayton posted: “So, how was it? That has been what I’ve been asked > since returning home. It was great by as I was afraid when we booked the > trip, I don’t think it was worth what it cost. Our seven day cruise cost > about twice as much as our 19 day canal crui” >


  4. Thank you for your great blog Clay. We too find ocean cruising more to our liking than the river cruises. Longer cruises also seem easier when you consider the lower daily rate and it seems the air travel is such a hassle. Really well done Clay! Photos and narrative was great. Enjoyed your humor and honesty. Happy Trails to you on your next adventure


  5. Really liked your blog Clay and the variety of pictures. Always good to see plenty of food shots: often frowned upon in some UK forum circles but very positive from where I’m coming from. I’ve also left a comment on Cruise Critic for you. Well done.


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