The thing about cruises is the same thing I hit up against riding the rails–no way to post.
I had hoped to write daily about my experiences on Viking’s River Cruise on the Rhine River, but there’s no cellular coverage to post when the boat moves. But rather than rail and wail, I’ll say being forced to disconnect is not bad.
What I enjoyed
- I lived in the moment, the here & now.
- I participated, not observe for a future blog post
- I spent more time with my husband, holding hands while strolling through that day’s city
- I enjoyed meeting the other passengers and getting to know them.
- I didn’t race back to the cabin to write.
- I wrote personal postcards to friends.
- I took naps.
- I read for pleasure.
- I listened to audiobooks and knitted.
- I hung out in the public spaces.
- I enjoyed cultural experiences.
- No sun burning on beaches or demanding hiking activities.
- I enjoyed not being run over by children.
- I’m glad that the top deck was not a water park.
Viking River Cruises
I give high marks to Viking and its River Cruises. The chief advantage is the boats are small–only accommodating about 200 people. But, while the cabins were the size of cruise ships, they made what was there luxurious–especially the bathroom. No way was that a cruise ship bathroom.
Because of the small number of passengers, only one seating for dinner was offered. We could sit anywhere but at communal tables of six; we had fascinating people to talk with. Passengers had a sense of adventure in deliberately changing who they ate with at meals. “I haven’t met you yet; mind if we join you for dinner?”
And the rules for polite conversation were observed–no talk about Trump, Roe v Wad, religion, or the guest who drank too much the night before. It was a relief to sit down, knowing the new people I was going to meet weren’t going to stray into uncomfortable waters.
Viking treats their passengers like honored guests. In the true spirit of hospitality, everything is included—wine at dinner and daily excursions. While they didn’t advertise room service, I’m sure if I’d asked for a tray in my cabin, they would have brought it. Viking took care of us from the airline reservations to meeting our arrival with prompt attention and welcome.
Our experience was so enjoyable over large cruise lines that we’ll be looking for more small group travel. We’ll definitely look into other Viking adventures in the future.
I’ve read about small ocean-going ships with less than one thousand guests; several tour companies, including National Geographic, specialize in small group travel. I bet they offer great safari adventures.
Take a cruise
So instead of me giving you a day-by-day accounting of my experience on a river boat cruise, take my advice and go on your own cruise. Enjoy it. Live in the moment. Enjoy the intimacy of a small group. Hold your beloved’s hand.
Ok, one photo in closing.
Looking at life from a different point of view,
Debora Ragland Buerk
The Write Stuff
Looking at life from a different POV.