12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Our first river cruise after over 20+ sea cruises. What a HUGE disappointment. Not much to shout about here, small cabins (no fridge even), average food (except last night gala dinner), non existent entertainment, very few tours ... Read More
Our first river cruise after over 20+ sea cruises. What a HUGE disappointment. Not much to shout about here, small cabins (no fridge even), average food (except last night gala dinner), non existent entertainment, very few tours included, indifferent cruise director. We were hoping to be "wowed" when we got on, but no, not so much as a welcome drink. It seems Riviera just cut every corner they can making for a very poor experience and DEFINITELY not worth the money they charged. We wish we had stuck to a sea cruise. At least we had gone with some good friends so we could all laugh about it all. Basel mooring was in an industrial area - how nice!! Drink prices were not too bad although we had paid the £99 drinks with meals package and made sure we got our moneys worth. If you are considering this cruise, don't wast your money, spend a bit more and go with another more upmarket company or stick to the sea. They also expected a 7-12€/person/day tip - plus tips for the Cruise Director - in your dreams!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
This was our first experience of any type of cruise, and I think we may have set the bar so high for the future. Even from the booking stage, the service was immaculate. There are no words that I feel will do justice to the ... Read More
This was our first experience of any type of cruise, and I think we may have set the bar so high for the future. Even from the booking stage, the service was immaculate. There are no words that I feel will do justice to the 'Viking Team' on board the Viking Eir. My wife and I, together with our friends had the most amazing week. The tour guides were extremely knowledgeable at every port of call, and although we had visited Cologne before, we learned so much about the city. Having the Silver Spirits drinks package added to our week. We are not big alcohol drinkers but to have local wine choices, pre-dinner options and soft drinks permanently available without worry of a large bill at the end of the trip, further added to our week. We had the basic stateroom, which was more than impressive. In the whole week, we saw 2 balcony rooms used, as most movement was at night time, and the Rhine gorge really needed you to be on deck for the panoramic view. For us, there was really no need to spend more money on a room higher up. I would like to just mention a thank you to Ivan who spent his week making sure our room was perfect. The moment we stepped out, it seemed he went in and tidied up with fresh laundry. All I can really do is sent an enormous piece of gratitude to the staff of Viking and anyone that we encountered who made our river cruise one of the best weeks. Already booked for the Danube next April. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2017
I enjoyed this trip very much, the cabinet, the beautiful variety food, the nice service that made us feel at home. we were deeply impressed. we are waiting to plan the 2nd visit. I have just reviewed my diary of "my Viking River ... Read More
I enjoyed this trip very much, the cabinet, the beautiful variety food, the nice service that made us feel at home. we were deeply impressed. we are waiting to plan the 2nd visit. I have just reviewed my diary of "my Viking River Cruise on May 11, 2016 to May 31" it says, "it was the most enjoyable cruise I have ever went in all these 12 years .... " my advice - continue to keep the excellent work! I was impressed. things need to improve - the only thing that needs to improve is the evening entertainment. i think, Viking may add more musical entertainments after dinner time because every night was piano and singing would become kind of boring after few days on the ship. therefore, I would like to suggest the following idea - have a DJ or some one who works on ship to invite customers to stand out to tell jokes, stories of funny experiences, play bingo, play cards, set prize for the winner. a little prize may bring up the atmosphere, may create more fun! I understand today everything costs money, but with our smart brain, I am sure Viking would be glad to try to give customers the most satisfactory cruise every time they cometo visit. All The Best! Jane Chin Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
What happens if your cruise never starts due to flooding or low water? Did you read the small print in your contract BEFORE you paid up? Are the crew actually employees of Emerald with decision making powers, or are they contracted ... Read More
What happens if your cruise never starts due to flooding or low water? Did you read the small print in your contract BEFORE you paid up? Are the crew actually employees of Emerald with decision making powers, or are they contracted staff "who need to wait for the office to open." If you are elderly or disabled how will you cope with an 800 km bus trip instead? And No, your travel insurance will NOT cover you if you "fail to sail"! The BBC's World Weather forecast on Thursday 30 April 2015, two days prior to our cruise, warned of further, very heavy rain for Switzerland on that Thursday/Friday night, a slight respite on Saturday followed by another very heavy belt of rain along with rising temperatures causing faster snow melt. They also forecast "a real risk of flooding." In fact roads were closed, some villages isolated and the police were out with loudhailers. Basel docking for cruise boats was underwater. That was before our non cruise started! And the forecasters were right! The water level in Basel rose from 550 cms on Thursday to 830 cms by Monday 4th May. Importantly, our boat had not managed to complete its previous leg and could not even get under the bridge into Basel. The day before our cruise was due to commence the Emerald Sky was moored up - NOT ON THE RHINE - but on the Grand Canal d'Alsace where it remained stuck for 6 days. Unwarned and unprepared for what lay ahead, we arrived in Basel and were bussed to a section of the canal in the middle of nowhere. During the night the Emerald Sky moved a short distance down the Canal to Breisach from where we could see the Viking boats parallel to us but on the Rhine until they managed to sail on! For the next 3 days a bus programme was instigated and a tantalising possibility was held before our noses that the Sky "might sail in which case the bus will take you to the new mooring!" Obviously, this was tosh. The rainwater had to drain somewhere and that 'somewhere' was the Rhine whose force was too great to open the Canal lock gates. Plainly, after going nowhere for 4 days, it would be impossible for the Emerald Sky to catch up on its schedule, let alone reach Amsterdam without going full pelt and non stop. Suddenly, after dinner at 9 pm on Tuesday evening we were told to 1) to pay all our bar bills immediately 2) to pack our suitcases and leave them outside our cabins by 6 am and 3) to vacate the boat by 7 am to begin days of long bus journeys and packing/unpacking each day. Not one person from the Emerald Office in Switzerland, even though one was promised and we were only 30 miles away, came to speak to the passengers or help the poor beleaguered cruise director (on a short term contract) to organise help for people in wheelchairs or flights for those who couldn't face hours of lengthy bus trips etc. So my point is this. If bad weather strikes AFTER the cruise begins, well it's "force majeure" and certainly not the cruise company's fault, although you should expect upfront honesty. However, in this case, the cards were well and truly stacked against the cruise even starting. The demographic of a river cruise will often contain a small number of immobile passengers who want to enjoy the company of their family and friends and are prepared to remain on board and enjoy the views and facilities while the others go on trips. Emerald should have warned us on that first day that they were moored on a canal, might be stuck there for several days (for goodness sake, the Rhine is a major waterway with plenty of technical forecasting) and if unlucky, they may have to turn the cruise into a bus tour. They should have given the passengers options of a refund or another cruise on that first day. In similar circumstances Tauck offer a total refund, Viking on the other hand offered a total refund or a 50% voucher for those who were prepared to take their chances (google lemons into lemonade Viking Rhone.) Emerald offered a measly £500 of vouchers to use on a future cruise with them one month after our return. No thanks. How good will your cruise company be if things go wrong? The ship, the crew, the food, the cabins were all fine. The backroom people let them down. It could have been great. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
We joined the Mani at Basel, had an escorted tour around town before reaching the Mani. We had a lower deck room very adequate for our needs. Needed ear plugs to reduce the water noise, only to be expected at that level. Good shower room ... Read More
We joined the Mani at Basel, had an escorted tour around town before reaching the Mani. We had a lower deck room very adequate for our needs. Needed ear plugs to reduce the water noise, only to be expected at that level. Good shower room and plenty of wardrobe space huge television. Very attentive cabin steward. We took part in most of the trips, unfortunately the Black Forest trip was marred by inclement weather (snow falling). My husband wanted to go on the forest trail but was turned back due to worries about the bridge considering we are used to such weather at home he was not concerned but no doubt the company has to be aware of wimps. I did not go to Marksberg castle as warned it was difficult terrain, borne out by husband on return who said I would not have managed. The food on board was excellent, the chef came and explained each main meal (lovely Irishwoman) and demonstrated some recipes. The entertainment was fine but could have been more exciting. A magician would be good. The quiz was good. Visiting musicians superb. Worried by glass blower in case he set the ship on fire. Very pleased that there was no casino on board and very few opportunities to be parted from our cash, a distinct drawback on other cruises. There was only one child on board who was very well behaved and very pleasant considering she was in adult company all the time. We enjoyed the wine at meal times and the freedom to make coffee or hot drinks at any time during the day. The freedom of free seating in the restaurant was lovely and allowed us to mix with many different people from many countries. Many of the staff were from the Phillipines and I was surprised that there was no way on board that I could donate to an appeal to mitigate the suffering of the Islands after the devastating hurricanes which had destroyed so much of their infrastructure. I feel that this would have been a feather in the cap of the company if they had supported such an action. After all Saga and many of the airlines collect on behalf of charities, why not Viking? We were amazed at the efficiency of the disembarkation system full marks. Read Less

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