Day 5: Amsterdam, Netherlands – Embark Viking Baldur

Yesterday primarily was focused on boarding the Viking Baldur, so we did not do much in Amsterdam. In the morning we finished repacking and fortunately had until 2 pm to check-out of the Crowne Plaza.

We decided to not have breakfast at the hotel and instead had an early lunch at the Crepe Bar, which was right around the corner from the hotel. The Crepe Bar had a small amount of seating but was empty since it was a Sunday morning. We both ordered a savory crepe and later split a dessert crepe. The savory crepe I had was called Viva Le Crepe, and included smoked turkey, bacon, pesto, cucumbers, lettuce, and tomatoes. The combination of the ingredients with the crepe was really good and the pesto went well with the turkey and bacon. My Mom had a Caesar Crepe that included the typical Caesar ingredients and mushrooms. For dessert we split a candy apple crepe where you could add powdered sugar to it. The crepe was delicious and the nuts went well with the sauce and apples. This was an easy and light meal right by the hotel, which we wished we had gone to sooner.

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After lunch we headed back to the hotel and checked-out. One thing we really liked with the Crowne Plaza was the location and helpfulness of the staff. We found the hotel to be super convenient and were very happy we did not go with the Movenpick. We didn’t realize how far the Movenpick was from Central Station until we got to the Viking Baldur.

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The hotel called us a taxi that arrived within a couple minutes to take us to the riverboat. You could walk from the Crowne Plaza but it is a distance over cobblestones and tram tracks. The hotel did not recommend trying to roll suitcases over to the docks. Taking a taxi to the port was very easy and much easier than a cruise line transfer. The taxi driver made sure she checked with the Viking staff before dropping us off to make sure our boat was here. The main riverboat dock is right by downtown, but sometimes Viking will dock in two additional locations when there is an abundance of boat in town. The taxi did cost us a flat rate of €15, but was a very easy way to get to the port.

Once dropped off by the taxi two Viking employees rolled our suitcases to the boat. The front desk staff checked our passports and we had to wait a couple minutes before our check-in could be completed since our room was not ready. All together it took about 10 minutes to wait for our room to be completed. Once our room was ready one of the staff members took our suitcases to the room, while another member walked us to our room to show us some of the features.

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We decided to unpack before checking out the riverboat. There is not a ton of storage and the room is on the smaller side, but the room is very comfortable and nicely decorated. We had no issue finding enough space for all our stuff, even with a smaller amount of storage. While unpacking we also watched the required safety video in the background.

Afterwards we headed around the riverboat to take some photos, which I will post in another post. There was a light lunch being served on the aquavit terrace with the back patio open. This area I really like on the back of the boat since light breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served here throughout the cruise. Since it was lunch I had a beer, which is complimentary during lunch and dinner (also wine is complimentary as well). The Benediktiner Weissbier is one of the included beers and I found it to be very drinkable and light on bitterness.

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Before dinner we went to the lounge for the nightly meeting. Every night there is a meeting in the lounge that goes over the next day’s itinerary and tours. We then had dinner in the main restaurant where a very nice British couple sat with us. The appetizer we both chose was the Amsterdam cheese soufflé, which was actually similar to the one on Princess Cruises. Next I had the pea soup while my Mom had the salad with prosciutto. We both had the seabass for the entrée that included white asparagus, a butter based sauce, and risotto. For dessert we both had the raspberry sorbet, which actually was some of the best sorbet I’ve had while on a ship since it tasted like fresh raspberries. After dinner we just headed back to the room and went to bed.

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