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Philbill Mar 14th, 2008 09:23 PM

Viking v. Amadeus..any thoughts?
We are looking at a Viking Neptune Bucharest to Nuremburg river cruise (16 days) and an Amadeus Istanbul to Budapest trip which is 7 nights on the Amadagio and 6 nights in 5 star hotels (Istanbul and Budapest).
Any comments on the boats (I know the itinerary is somewhat different as the Viking trip visits more countries and towns) or the trip in general??

desertduds Mar 15th, 2008 10:57 AM

We have not gone with Viking, but it does get really good comments from friends. We travel with Tauck and have done two river cruises, Amsterdam-Budapest and Bucharest-Budapest. The first was a perfectly gorgeous trip, wonderful day trips off the boat, interesting river traffic......the second was really interesting, glad we went, but especially Romania/Bulgaria are quite third world countries, Communist-style buildings, slowly changing(we saw gypsies washing in the river, lots of horse-drawn carts etc.) and not much river traffic. Most river boats are almost idential, two floors of rooms and upper sun deck. I would take the Amsterdam-Budapest trip again in a minute!!!!

Philbill Mar 15th, 2008 01:55 PM

Thanks desertduds!!! It looks like you preferred the Amsterdam to Budapest trip. I posted on another site and the person responding pointed out that in the more 'western' trip you are often in the centre of town and can walk on and off, but as you go past Budapest there are more bus tours as the places of interest are not as close to the docking area. Having done both would you agree?? Our friends love Viking but it is quoted as being first class as opposed to deluxe, but thereagain Amadeus is also 'first class' and from what I read is definitely more upscale than Viking....or am I getting the wrong impression?? Reviews suggest the food is from good to excellent on the Amadeus ships. We are leaning away from the Amadeus as posters say that the two day bus trip involved in the Istanbul-Bulgaria portion is awful.

pattrav Mar 20th, 2008 08:06 AM

We have not gone on Viking, but took the Amadeus Amadagio from Nuremburg to Budapest in June 2006. The ship was brand new that year and even had internet access through monitors in each room. There were a few shakedown problems but the cruise was fantastic. Crew was fun and would do anything they could to make you happy. Agree with the reviews saying the food was from good to excellent. Wines were also included, and were fine local examples. Best part was docking in the center of town, and just walking off to all the restaurants/shops. Since the Amadeus you're looking at does a different itinerary, maybe the company would tell you the number of city dockings? Not being in the center of the action would have made the trip much less interesting for us. Tough call for you, but nice choices to have!

Giovanna Mar 20th, 2008 11:10 AM

We did the Waterways of the Czars with Viking last July and thought it was superb. The boats are not as luxurious as the others in the fleet, but our room was certainly adequate for the time spent there. Almost all port tours were included. We had excellent guides. Food was fine. Crew couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating.

I understand Amadeus is an excellent company as well, but we couldn't have been more satisfied with Viking!

desertduds Mar 20th, 2008 11:56 AM

I don't think you can go wrong with almost any company...the boats look so much alike. The trips do fill up so fast, be sure to book early enough to get the dates you want. We have tried no other tour company but Tauck and like it because it is definitely five star and they've never disappointed us.

kfusto Mar 20th, 2008 01:55 PM

I looked at both and read the reviews and postings on Cruisecritic. I had decided on Amadeus because of the new ships and small gyms onboard, a deal breaker for me. We did decide on a land trip instead as the idea of a forced dinner time with no options was just too restrictive for us.

Philbill Mar 20th, 2008 10:10 PM

Thanks for all the food for thought!! We booked this week on Avalon after all that!! We had replies on Cruise Critic that the Bucharest to Budapest part of any cruise necessitated bus rides and that the Budapest to Nuremberg (as stated by Pattrav) docked in the towns for the most part. The Amadeus dates did not fit for the N to B so we looked at Avalon and found good reviews. While I was booking my husband decided the French Balcony sounded great so we upgraded. (There was no balcony option on Viking as there was on Avalon and Amadeus.) I had planned on a Category E in the hold of the boat!! I am excited about it as we have only cruised on rivers in Egypt and Russia (Insight was fabulous in terms of the tours etc. but the food was very mediocre) and that is quite different from what I understand about European cruises. We will start with 3 days in Prague which was not our intent, but as our flight dates are fixed then that was the most sensible thing to do. Actually we will have an extra 2 nights in Prague so we are looking for a less expensive hotel for those two nights prior to the pre-cruise option. We have read that Prague is fabulous and I have not been there since the 70s so can't remember a thing really. We will spend some time in Budapest after the cruise. Can anyone suggest how long? We will have an overnight there at the end of the river cruise. Thanks again for all of your input. I can't tell you how helpful it is. By the way Desertduds we did look at Tauck but the prices were significantly higher (though we know from friends that Tauck has a great product).

marg Mar 26th, 2008 08:30 PM

We're looking at river cruises brochures at the moment and find it hard to believe that the cost to upgrade to a french balcony cabin comes to about $A3000 per room for 15 nights. Is it really worth paying an additional $200 per night just to have a balcony or are the balcony cabins much much better than the basic cabins? The last boat we cruised on didn't have balconies and we felt we didn't need them as we only used the cabin to sleep in and were up on deck all day. Would appreciate any comments from past passengers.

Philbill Mar 27th, 2008 01:22 PM

In our case it was very reasonable to upgrade.
Only having been on two river cruises, I would probably not spend $200 a night for a French balcony. I certainly wouldn't pay the high upgrade prices for a larger window on those boats without balconies.
Having said that I very rarely go on an ocean cruise without a balcony as I love to sit out gazing at the ocean and reading a book instead of being on the main decks with loud music and people searching for lounges!!

cormike1 Mar 29th, 2008 05:02 PM

We did a Viking Danube river cruise-Passeau, Germany to Budapest and back, 4 years ago. Having never cruised at all on large or small ships I have nothing to compare to but we loved Viking. Our cabin was down on the bottom and our windows did not open which I would have liked. It was still a wonderful cruise and the staff were wonderful. Julia, our cruise director was very knowledgeable and so much fun, we loved her! The food was top of the line and plentiful. We usually chose our dinner choice at lunch and 1 night they were serving fish and veal, which I don't eat either of. We had this beautiful chicken at lunch that day so I just said that that would be fine for supper. Well I got a piece of roast beef that would have served 4!!! That is how terrific they were. We are going in 2 weeks with Avalon on the Basel to Amsterdam cruise and the only reason we chose Avalon is because Viking were all sold out for this tiem frame. We started looking back in August for this cruise. We want to see the tulips in Holland so that is why we wanted this time frame. Anyhow I hope you have wonderful trip. We have heard wonderful things about Avalon also and have upgraded to the French balcony this time!!! Have fun!

NancyJacksonville Apr 6th, 2008 01:46 PM

Great information! We are considering booking with Gate 1 on a Budapest to Nuremberg cruise with extended stay in Prague at the end. The date we are looking at is Nov. 3rd aboard the MS Amadeus Symphony. Does anyone have any info on Gate 1, our date, or the boat? Is not upgrading our cabin going to disappoint? I had thought to at least upgrade on the lower deck to the front of the boat - a nominal charge. I don't care about a balcony but wonder if we should go up one level to get away from engine noises if they are really loud. Thoughts? Any help would be appreciated!

wavejourney Apr 20th, 2008 07:59 PM

I would go with Amadeus. We just returned from taking 2 river cruises. The first from Amsterdam to Trier on the Amadeus Amadagio along the Rhine and Moselle. The second was from Nurnberg to Budapest on the Viking Europe (sister ship to Neptune) along the Danube. Amadeus and the Amadagio won hands down over Viking and the Viking Europe. Far too many reasons why, but the Amadagio is a wonderful ship and incredibly well built and kept. Food and crew were excellent aboard the Amadagio. The Viking cruise was not at the same level. The itinerary was great, but Amadeus does the same one. In fact the Amadeus Amalegro (sister ship to the Amadagio) was playing cat and mouse with us the entire way to Budapest - only wish we'd been on that one instead. You can email me if you would like further details.

susan0001 May 28th, 2008 08:01 AM

We are thinking about taking the Viking Burgundy... but I am worried about the bed situation... has anyone sleep on these pull out sofa beds... I like a really plush bed like my bed at sofitel... also we were thinking of taking a Peter Deilmann cruise anything on this line. thanks

Philbill May 29th, 2008 07:35 PM

We leave for our Avalon Danube cruise June 9th.
We just talked to a friend who went with Peter D. last year and he said it was wonderful and the menus he showed us did look great.
However, be sure what you are paying for as Peter D. charges extra even for the basic package of shore excursions and then more for the premium excursions. No wine was included. Announcements were also in German as well as English and I like to avoid the lengthy multilingual messages from the cruise director!! The prices on Peter D. river cruises did look to be higher.

SCole Jun 3rd, 2008 11:11 AM

Amadeus does these various cruises and they seem to get good reviews, the have "real" beds - not couches and I believe wine is included with dinner. Not bad!

patsy120 Jun 4th, 2008 06:23 AM

Yes, Amadeus does include wine with dinner.. Cabins are a bit larger as well

southeastern Jun 4th, 2008 02:51 PM

Viking is having a 2 for the price of one right now. We used it last year( 2 for 1) for Russia and ff miles to get there. Couldn't beat the price!

Giovanna Jun 4th, 2008 03:01 PM

Hi southeastern. We were among thr lucky ones who also went 2 for 1 to Russia last July. I just checked Viking's website and didn't see a thing about 2 for 1 trips. How did you find out about it?

southeastern Jun 5th, 2008 04:55 AM

Got a flyer in the mail a couple of days ago. They are offering many .more places this year

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