Currently, I am sailing aboard Viking River Cruises’ Viking Lif from Amsterdam to Budapest. This sailing is my first river cruise, but my second with Viking, having previously sailed aboard Viking Oceans’ Viking Star. As we’ve sailed on from Amsterdam, I’ve enjoyed discovering a few things that have really stood out to me as unique examples of the Viking River experience.
A ship’s crew will almost always impress me, because I truly believe this is an area any cruise line ensures is top notch. However, the crew aboard Viking Lif have so far been absolutely phenomenal. From the moment I arrived at the pier, I have been blown away by my crew’s blend of professionalism and warm personalities. Part of this is due to the ship’s small size (sailing with only around 190 guests), allowing each crew member to spark a personal relationship with each guest – learning our names, drinks, style of greeting, and even getting to know us personally as we have done the same with them. I believe this crew’s relaxed, yet professional style of service offers an incredibly unique sailing experience not found aboard larger ships.
As a home away from home, staterooms are an important aspect of any cruise vacation. While staterooms aboard river ships, including Viking Lif, may be smaller than those onboard ocean ships, Viking makes up for space with incredible attention to detail and thoughtful touches. Overall, the staterooms are beautifully designed, featuring light colors, woods, and metal accents. Heated bathroom floors make any morning shower a delight versus a chore, television speakers installed in the ceiling ensure an enjoyable viewing experience, and back lighting behind the headboard provides a relaxing atmosphere for an evening in the stateroom.
- Plenty of storage – a full closet, numerous shelves, 6 large drawers, and underbed storage.
- Complimentary bottled water, replenished daily.
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