Sail Date: August 2019
Chose Viking for a sophisticated luxurious experience- NOT. CONSTRUCTION (!) POWERWASHING(!) Misleading ports of call- “ Tuscany Florence” “Provence” - Yeah sure as long as you’re paying to get yourself there! When I ... Read More
Chose Viking for a sophisticated luxurious experience- NOT. CONSTRUCTION (!) POWERWASHING(!) Misleading ports of call- “ Tuscany Florence” “Provence” - Yeah sure as long as you’re paying to get yourself there! When I originally booked St. Tropez was one of the ports which was abruptly switched to Sete, France. Not an exciting destination to say the least. Entertainment- AMATUER hour. They’ll tell you there’s a jazz club but no jazz to be played. Food- average at best. I lobster tail on lobster night was over cooked mush. Dont fall for the “elegant” sounding videos- check photos I included- there’s part of what you’ll get. (Photo n video could not be posted in this site w phone) After I posted a review on ConsumerAffairs.com I was contacted by Viking’s customer relations department. All they gave me was attitude, and “I’m sorry you feel that way” like I was the one with the problem. Horrendous. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
I chose this cruise for the Cuba itinerary. I have taken over 100 cruises with all the premium and ultra-deluxe cruise lines and I have never encountered significant problems. First, I would like to address what I consider ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the Cuba itinerary. I have taken over 100 cruises with all the premium and ultra-deluxe cruise lines and I have never encountered significant problems. First, I would like to address what I consider "significant problems" and then mention "irritations" for which I think there is room for improvement and additional training. Significant Problem> When I got to the cruise terminal I could not pass security because I was not on the manifest. A supervisor allowed me to go upstairs where there was a Viking check-in desk. They could not find my name. Ambra (I think that is her name) was called. I explained to her I had people waiting in a car outside in case I could not board and explained my BP was extremely high and I was ill. She told me to "wait right here" while she went back to the ship, After about ten minutes I was lightheaded and dizzy and asked if I could sit and have a drink of water. Any elderly (I am age 75) person, let alone ill, should be offered a seat. Finally, I was boarded. There is no dedicated guest services staff.One calls the Explorer Desk. Four times I was unable to get an answer. When I asked the guest services representative why the phone is not answered he stated they are busy with other customers. There is no recording to indicate that and no option for a callback. The table on patio very dirty with standing water. Housekeeping did come and clean it when I called. I could not connect to the internet. Went to guest services for the third time. They could not help. A third person came to my cabin(after two others tried and I waited in the cabin for two hours) who had IT expertise and fixed it. Guest services called me three times to have me bring my passport. I had to go to the desk and give my passport for the third time. No remote for the TV in the cabin. I called housekeeping and they brought one but could not get it to work.Another person came and explained the safety video had to run first before the TV would work. Surprised to find the main dining room is not open for lunch, I was tired of buffets and wanted to sit down and be served. There are no trays so each course had to be carried to the table with no one to help. My spouse uses a walker so if anyone is traveling with a disabled person the other person has to make multiple trips to the buffet to get food for two people. The buffet (World Cafe) is extremely busy since it is the only place to eat for lunch and the wait staff is unable to provide adequate service. The cruise was advertised as "airfare included." I live in the Ft. Lauderdale area so air was not necessary but no credit is given for local travelers. Other cruise lines I have sailed deduct $300 per person from the fare. Solo travelers seem to be overlooked. I was seated behind a pillar in the Chef's table specialty restaurant and forgotten. This was a wine pairing dinner. The waiter forgot the initial wine so later brought two glasses of different wines, Voice mail service was intermittent. I could not retrieve my messages for a whole day There was a lot of complaining about Viking on the ship. I addressed my concerns with the hotel manager but he stated he is not empowered to do anything about my concerns. He stated that all concerns must be forwarded to corporate. The ship is beautiful. The spa is spectacular and the food is on par with other premium cruise lines but service is inferior to most mainline cruise lines and grossly lacking compared to the other "ultra deluxe" cruise lines such as Seabourn, Crystal and Regent.. I do think there is much more training needed; particularly in guest services and the wait staff in serving solo passengers. My cabin attendant was excellent and housekeeping could not do enough to address my concerns. Thesupervisor of housekeeping came to my cabin several times to make sure everything was OK. And when I asked about some snacks for an "election night party" the offerings exceeded my expectations One final comment. The itinerary was for three days in Cienfuegos and three hours in Santiago. It should be reversed. Everything of interest can be seen in three hours in Cienfuegos but Santiago is a large citywith many more points of interest. I did not do the Havanna tour dueto the 31/2 hour bus ride and the fact that I can take a five daycruise which overnights in Havanna for about half the price of the tour by Viking. In summary, Viking Ocean has beautiful ships but I hope the level of onboard services will be significantly improved. There seems to inadequatestaff; particularly since there are no exclusively guest services representatives. I paid $1100 a day for my cruise but I have had far superior experiences for cruises less than half that amount. Furthermore, if you are a solo traveler, over 65 or have a disability this cruise is not for you. Viking Ocean Cruises marketing targets younger, able bodied affluent travelers who enjoy such things as the "snow room" on board. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was a 14 night cruise not 7. We did the full route from Rome to Barcelona on around to disembark at Rome. There were multiple issues with our Viking cruise. We chose this cruise because of the two Africa stops, stops that ... Read More
This was a 14 night cruise not 7. We did the full route from Rome to Barcelona on around to disembark at Rome. There were multiple issues with our Viking cruise. We chose this cruise because of the two Africa stops, stops that Viking deleted from our itinerary long after our cancellation time was past and after we had put in place trips and airfare before and following the cruise. We were supposed to go on to Iceland. Viking reported it was state department related however there were no posts on the state department website on these ports as other passengers also noted. This was extremely disappointing. Other passengers reported to us they received credits and upgrades due to the itinerary change. We were offered nothing. Then I started becoming ill 2-3 days prior to the end of our cruise. I toughed it out thinking it would pass. On our last night on board there were special measures in place on board due to "gastrointestinal issues." That was not my issue. We were in 6022 and my lungs had started to fill up. I called customer service just prior to disembarking and advised them I was terribly ill and they needed to heavily sanitize 6022. Then when disembarking in Rome we went direct to a hospital where I was given antibiotics and sent to my hotel. You say, "So, you caught a bug, right?" Wrong. We were sent this time to a private hospital with scanning capacity. A specialist was called in just to see me. CT scan showed bacterial lung infection and labs showed me going into initial respiratory arrest. I called Viking and reported I was confined to a hotel room in Rome Ubering back and forth between the hotel and hospital every other day and that I had been diagnosed with a bacterial lung infection acquired on board the Viking Star. On checking Viking reviews while confined I came across a review that disclosed reported passengers were removed from the same deck on the Viking Star (6088) a few months earlier with "Legionnaires" and hospitalized. So I called Viking and reported I was confined to a hotel room (in lieu of hospitalization on strict bed rest) for TWELVE days in Rome forfeiting our next 2 weeks in Iceland. I had to be transported by wheelchair to go home after 12 days because I was so weak. When speaking with Viking customer service, I asked them why Legionnaires had not been reported to the CDC since it was found on my deck and I had, in all likelihood, Legionnaires I contracted on board based on the symptoms. I was told swabs on the ship did not "pick up" the bacteria so they were not required to report it to CDC. I just don't understand it. I mean really, if you go back a few months, guests in 6088 (same deck) were removed from the Viking Star with Legionnaires. Legionnaires survives indefinitely in water systems (think shower, air conditioning, pools, and such). So I politely told Viking I would, 1) appreciate credit towards a future cruise of some sort for not going on the itinerary for the original cruise I purchased; and 2) I asked for a generous credit toward a future cruise as a gesture of goodwill since I became desperately ill on board the Viking Star. Viking offered me $300 off a future cruise, the same they offer any other guest that has sailed with them before. Once I relayed, in writing, how sick I had become and finding out about the "Legionnaires" guests having been hospitalized on a prior cruise, the Viking representatives then went silent and they will not answer any of my emails. Here's what I thought: I was nice. I was polite. If Viking cared about its guests they would move heaven and earth to make us whole. They could have easily offered us a nice generous credit towards a future cruise and, who knows, a lot of people might not even use it. It would have shown a tremendous gesture of goodwill, not an admission of liability. Instead we have gotten the silent treatment. You need to beware when you book any cruise (not just Viking) that they can change the destination in any way and there is nothing you can do. If you become sick on board, if you cannot prove the source, you are also on your own. And you might be on your own even if you can prove the source. We sadly learned Viking management did not really care about our tremendous ordeal. It could have so easily been turned in to a huge positive if they offered us a return cruise credit of $1000 per person instead of $300 per person since we had a double whammy. It was not kind and not morally correct to treat us in this fashion and just ignore us because they can do so. It has been radio silence and they could have had the best free public relations and advertising simply by offering us a fair credit for a future cruise with no liability placed anywhere. Since we go on 3 cruises or so a year, we would have loved to return to Viking. I'd love to hear from them that some mistake was made and they really want to help us out. That's the Viking I thought we were sailing on. Let's see if there is a response here. The cruise itself was pretty doggone good. There were a few other glitches here and there but not worth getting into. Had we not had these issues, Viking would be our number one choice of cruise lines. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We were misled by Viking sales staff on several important items. Sales staff are not as knowledgeable as they should be-and this cost us money. On one of the port debarkations, I was refused exit with no reason given. Only ones allowed ... Read More
We were misled by Viking sales staff on several important items. Sales staff are not as knowledgeable as they should be-and this cost us money. On one of the port debarkations, I was refused exit with no reason given. Only ones allowed to disembark were those with excursion tickets. Held like a prisoner by a very rude employee. Viking failed to respond to my inquiry about this. Never again will I allow myself to be put in this situation. For the most part, cruise staff very inexperienced and did not answer questions correctly. Although, they were all cheerful. Excursion desk very unhelpful. Fellow passengers may have like my unused tours as those tours were full. Excursion desk did not want to know about unused tour reservations. When we were unable to make stops in ports, the public areas were very full. Spa was wonderful and food was plentiful. Viking staff had smiles all around. Flights were very convenient Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
I had done many cruises but I really wanted to splurge on the Viking Cruise. I heard it was the best overall cruise line & the West Indies Explorer package really seemed to fit the bill for my husband & I. It was a special trip ... Read More
I had done many cruises but I really wanted to splurge on the Viking Cruise. I heard it was the best overall cruise line & the West Indies Explorer package really seemed to fit the bill for my husband & I. It was a special trip for many reasons but mainly to celebrate my retirement. The customer service while booking the cruise was great & even after Hurricanes Maria & Irma, we still decided to go (even though 3 ports of call were deleted from the original schedule & flying into Puerto Rico was very chancy). The cruise line gave us $250.00 each on board credit & 25 % off of the next cruise based on our current stateroom cost (basically nothing as I came to find out). After arriving for embarkation, we were shown to our rooms. Immediately after that, I discovered 2 things: About 250 rooms were vacant (So many cancellations-the ship holds about 940+ and there were 503 passengers on this cruise. We actually outnumbered the staff. AND virtually every one was upgraded to a higher stateroom class. The next day I went to Guest relations (oxymoron...there is no relations at all) to inquire. I was met with immediate hostility...She stated that I didn't know what I was talking about & I must have misunderstood. Then, she went on to say that for $200.00 each more, we could upgrade to a same size cabin & receive a bottle of champagne, a cashmere throw to use (not to keep), binoculars, and a mini bar. Then she said for $900 more each, we could upgrade to a bigger room, etc... I told her that seemed unfair given the fact that the rooms were empty & others received free upgrades. Then, she loudly stated in from of other guests & staff that I should be ashamed of myself because "how would I feel if I paid full price for a room & another person received a free upgrade?" I was totally embarrassed & left. Two days later we received a feedback form. I wrote what happened. The next day they told me that we could pack our room & move to the same size cabin with the small amenities if we wanted. Well...not four days into our trip. They missed a golden marketing loyalty opportunity by not offering it in the first place. The shore excursions were pretty bad except for the beach excursion (we had to pay $49 each-the rest we did were included) in Barbados. On one excursions, we had a 98 year old woman with us traveling alone. After one of the stops, the guides couldn't find her. They held up the tour for 30 minutes searching for her. Neither guide (one local & one from Viking) never physically did a headcount. They counted from the front of the bus, I suggested that go through the bus to look for her. Finally they listened & found her asleep in the very back of the bus. No engagement whatsoever. The same for the "Cruise Director" who was nonexistent. The final cap on my decision to never use this line again was when we spoke to a cruise consultant for a possible next cruise (to use our vouchers). I mentioned that I really wasn't completely sold on Viking. It seemed to lack any on board engagement, events, music, or fun. She told me that Viking is just not that kind of cruise. They are very culture driven and destination oriented. Then she stated that maybe I wasn't a "good fit" for the type of people who cruise on Viking. I guess so. So, if you have a ton of money to spend on a very vanilla & uptight kind of cruise, then Viking is your cruise line. I saw many passengers treat the service staff as if they owned them & I guess I just don't see the world that way. I'm sure that my review will be in the minority, but if you find some of the things I mentioned unacceptable, then I hope I shed some other light on the cruise. The food was great, there was free beer or wine with lunch & dinner (you could purchase an additional spirits package for $199.00 a piece but both parties had to purchase it. If one partner does;t drink, then you're out of luck). The service staff was phenomenal & they really attended to your every need. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Viking ocean had been recommended by relatives and friends. And their rave reviews were not even strong enough! The ship decor was so subtle and beautiful. There was no over the top gold, no loud music, food was beautiful but not ... Read More
Viking ocean had been recommended by relatives and friends. And their rave reviews were not even strong enough! The ship decor was so subtle and beautiful. There was no over the top gold, no loud music, food was beautiful but not overdone. Shore excursions were fun and interesting especially the tram through the rainforest, the tie dye demonstration,and our catamaran sail and lunch. Our stateroom was beautifully decorated. The Scandinavian decor beautiful. We appreciated the book in our stateroom detailing the art throughout the ship. All staff were anxious to help us any way we needed. The port talks helped prepare for the things we would see the next day. The upper lounge area was half library and half museum, totally fascinating and you could have spent much of your free time on board examining all of the Voyage of the Kon-Tiki memorabilia. We were also impressed with shore excursion planning so you were never in a crowd of tourists, always felt like you were on a small ship tour with 20-30 companions. You never had to wait in lines to leave on the excursions and there were never long lines on the pier to reboard at the end of the day. The only negative aspect of the cruise was not related to the cruise but the airline arrangements that Viking made for us. Had we known that we could have paid to have better fights, we could have avoided the need to secure nearly $500 of airport hotel costs at the beginning and end of our trip. We are currently booked on another Viking Ocean cruise with very good flights for about $130 extra. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
After all the publicity regarding the Viking Sky off the coast of Norway and the impact on the passengers, it appears that it is not widely recognized what happened to us on the Viking Star in early October of 2016. Our captain, and I am ... Read More
After all the publicity regarding the Viking Sky off the coast of Norway and the impact on the passengers, it appears that it is not widely recognized what happened to us on the Viking Star in early October of 2016. Our captain, and I am sure Viking, went directly in a significant storm when sailing from Iceland to Greenland in the North Atlantic. According to the captain, who I spoke with directly after we had come through this ordeal, the seas were as high as 45 feet and the winds were gusting to 90 mph. The captain said that they had to strap him into his chair since he had fallen off the chair and hit his head. Why would he not turn around and weather the storm in Reykjavik harbor is beyond me? Everything that was not secured fell or was smashed. It started when we were in the dining room and our table kept moving into a table closest to a wall. A door in the dining room blasted open and had to be held closed by a person from the crew until it could be jammed closed with a piece of wood. An entire tray of desserts in the kitchen fell over as did a large wine rack. In our room a pitcher and glasses were swept of a table and our sliding door closet doors hit the frame so hard they cracked the wooden frame. I was on the deck with the buffet later in the evening and could barely stand as I was thrown around. Stacks of dishes smashed on the floor. Talking to other passengers the next day, one woman said that she was bounced out of bed with her mattress and I heard that someone had a broken leg. Apparently this disaster was kept quiet and never reached the notoriety that the Viking Star has reached. In addition to this harrowing event the clock system was not working for two days waking people up two hours earlier than requested among other little issues. We were in the last group to be tendered to a major Viking site in Canada when the captain aborted the tender operation. He later apologized and said that we could have safely been tendered to shore and back. The Star is a beautiful ship and many of the amenities are great, yet Viking was not ready for ocean cruising and it seems it still is not ready. For all what happened and other screw ups during the cruise, we were offered a $100 credit per person, which is a joke and something we would never use. Viking should stay on the rivers and out of the ocean. Read Less
38 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
A MUST READ IS - VIKING STAR REVIEW PUBLISHED 5/18/16 - CALLED "ONLY BOOK WITH VIKING IF YOU ENJOY BEING ROBBED AND KIDNAPPED" We were also lied too, cruise misrepresented, poor or no follow up by customer service, not ... Read More
A MUST READ IS - VIKING STAR REVIEW PUBLISHED 5/18/16 - CALLED "ONLY BOOK WITH VIKING IF YOU ENJOY BEING ROBBED AND KIDNAPPED" We were also lied too, cruise misrepresented, poor or no follow up by customer service, not appropriately advised of the 5 port changes and had we known would have cancelled. no indication ever of the itinerary change and the by weekly catalogs only reflected the cruise we expected to be on! you book way in advance and they also nearly want full payment up front! they have always done this and once we were so irate that we got payment delayed 6 months. We had made 4 prior river trips with viking and all were fine except for the one from paris to avignon. it was a new long ship and the crew was inexperienced, the food came late and cold basically it was a 7 day disaster. so, we said let's try an ocean cruise - we'll that proved to be a mistake as the above article in "caps" indicates. be sure and find it for it was very accurate and an excellent description of viking failures that we too experienced. Viking's solution - a $250 potential refund for the foul up on the london portion when it should have been at least a 50% refund for the removal of 5 ports and then 6 days at sea! one person in the above mentioned article learned about the itinerary change and was only offered a 25% refund so took the trip anyway. Port excursions were fair and not very exciting. the best port was bordeaux. entertainment was good. I was so irritated by the fact we did not receive notice of the change i wrote to the chairman of viking "certified return receipt requested" before the sailing and as you might suspect did not receive a reply. true to the past experience with customer service for this cruise. The cabins were to small in spite of being 272 sq. Ft with poor storage and layout except for the shower and bathroom combination. On the positive side the ship was beautiful, the crew responsive, excellent food our cabin attendant was most accommodating. Read Less
76 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We took a Viking River Cruise on the Danube in 2013 and have been telling everyone how great Viking is. We were VERY impressed and certainly planned to be lifetime customers. For our next Viking cruise, we booked the Viking Ocean ... Read More
We took a Viking River Cruise on the Danube in 2013 and have been telling everyone how great Viking is. We were VERY impressed and certainly planned to be lifetime customers. For our next Viking cruise, we booked the Viking Ocean Cruise entitled Passage Through Western Europe. We booked the trip 9 months before going. We were on vacation at the time and so we booked it over the phone. We told the Viking agent that we really liked the itinerary of the Passage Through Western Europe trip but the dates didn’t work for us. She said they had just added another date Apr 17, 2016 which worked perfectly for us so we booked it. The agent never mentioned the itinerary was nothing like the trip advertised (although it was still named “Passage Through Western Europe”) and we had no reason to question her since we thought Viking was a reputable company (we now know better). However, the agent lying to us is irrelevant as we talked to people who booked only 3 months prior to the trip and they were sold the exact same bogus itinerary as we were. The brochure said "15 day cruise visiting 5 countries and 11 ports". We actually visited only 4 ports on the original itinerary; this includes embarkation and debarkation ports so we really visited only 2 ports on the original itinerary. Did you get that? On a 15 day cruise that we took to specifically visit the ports advertised, we visited 2 out of 11 ports! We were only supposed to have 3 days at sea instead we spent over ½ the trip at sea. All Viking had to do was at some point contact us (and the other 900 passengers they blindsided) and make sure we knew they had falsely advertised the ports for the Apr 17 voyage and ask if we wanted to cancel. Or imagine this, Viking just had to add a separate page in their catalog showing the actual ports they intended for this cruise instead of the large entire page we have showing the bogus ports. I think the reason they didn’t do this is everyone would have cancelled as who would want to go on a cruise to spend ½ the time at sea? If it was just a few people who were blindsided by Viking’s bait and switch, I would think maybe we were wrong, however, EVERYONE we spoke with on this cruise was blindsided and VERY upset. When EVERYONE is blindsided, this is Viking’s fault not ours. One woman caught the bait and switch just prior to leaving. She called and Viking showed her where the “new” ports were buried in the fine print. She naturally wanted to cancel the trip but Viking would only refund 25% of the cruise, so they took the cruise but they were the only ones we spoke to that knew of the bait and switch beforehand (and again, Viking never admitted it, she just caught them in their lie). This is further proof of Viking’s dishonesty. The reason we chose the Viking cruise entitled Passage Through Western Europe because it had 3 ports in Spain and 3 ports in Portugal (the trip actually went to ONE of these ports). We (and all the other passengers we talked to) just assumed Viking was going to provide what we paid for (or at least something close). We completely understand ports can be changed but the extent to which the itinerary was changed was above and beyond ridiculous and it was a complete bait and switch operation. Instead of notifying us, Viking simply listed the new ports on the final invoice (which everyone uses to confirm the amounts are correct, not the ports). In other words, Viking never notified us that the itinerary had completely changed. It wasn't until 3 days into the cruise that passengers started wondering aloud what happened to various ports. Then we all started pulling out our intended itinerary and comparing it with other passengers and to our collective horror we learned about the bait and switch we were now literally trapped in for 2 horrendous weeks. If we were paying attention we may have noticed when we were booking our port excursions that these excursions weren’t in addition to but rather, IN LIEU of the ports we paid for. But, of course, at this point you are too busy planning your trip and it certainly never occurs to you that Viking straight up lied about basically the entire trip (and more importantly Viking would not provide a refund even if we did catch them at this point). The crew was never even told about the itinerary we purchased. The crew only knew about the new abbreviated itinerary. This could only happen if Viking never even remotely intended to deliver the itinerary we purchased. This is absolutely inexcusable. We will never use Viking Ocean cruises again. I used to be Viking's biggest fan, now I tell as many people as I can how Viking quite literally robbed us of $14K and 2 weeks of our precious vacation days from work and never said a word. And it gets better. We had a norovirus breakout. So while we were trapped at sea, Viking took away all pools, hot tubs, saunas, board games, basically everything. Though I don’t blame Viking for closing all entertainment, I do wonder if we actually went to the ports we purchased and we were off the ship most of the time, if the virus would have broken out. I’m sure there are many horror stories but the ones I know of are: 1. There was a couple with ballet tickets for London but, of course, we skipped London and, therefore, skipped their dream (not to mention the cost of the tickets) of seeing the London ballet (we berthed in Tilbury 1.5 hours outside of London so there was no time to go to London). 2. (prepare yourself as this one is exceptionally heartbreaking) There was a veteran who scheduled to meet a long lost WWII army buddy in Southampton but, of course, we simply quietly skipped Southampton. This was obviously an older person who will not be able to ever recover this opportunity. Viking is truly a lying cheating company who cares nothing for their customers. It would take so little for Viking to be honest. In this case all they needed to do was call or send a letter saying, "Did you realize we will not be going to the ports advertised". But instead they choose to lie, cheat and steal from their customers. The ports in the brochure for the trip we bought were: • Barcelona - Viking had to go to this port as it was our embarkation port • Granda, Spain - SKIPPED • Seville, Spain - SKIPPED (Gibraltar which isn't even in Spain was substituted) • Lisbon, Portugal - we actually went here • Porto, Portugal - SKIPPED • A Coruna, Spain - SKIPPED • Cherbourg, France - SKIPPED (substituted Bordeaux, France) • Le Havre, France - we actually went here • Southampton, London sailing up the Thames - SKIPPED (substituted Tilbury 1 ½ hours from London and never sailed up the Thames). • Haugesund, Norway - SKIPPED • Bergen, Norway - Viking had to go to this port as it was our debarkation port. When we filed 4 separate written complaints on the ship and received a letter that said we would be contacted upon our return home. We thought this meant “we would be contacted upon our return home”. Over 3 weeks have passed and we have heard nothing (Gee what a surprise!) with the exception of a seriously comical coupon for $250 off our next cruise. If you do have the misfortune of cruising with Viking Ocean, make sure to check your online bill (on your TV) daily as constant unwarranted charges are added. We had to have 4 bogus charges removed. Viking did everything else so well. The rooms, service, food, ship were all terrific but who really cares when the itinerary you purchased (the whole entire reason for your trip) didn't exist. We're young enough that we MIGHT get to see the intended locations but for many people on this ship, it was a last chance. Viking is extremely lucky that the vast majority of their client base is older people who typically don’t complain about being lied to (since they were raised during a more honest period in history). It appears that Viking has no idea that the next generation of customers will not be so forgiving and has direct access to social media. I also found out that Viking is telling my referral customers that they have never received any complaints about this cruise. It truly is amazing how low Viking will sink to cover their failures instead of being honest. Oh but I remember now, honesty was Viking’s problem from the beginning. In summary, Viking quite literally stole $14K and 2 weeks of our precious vacation from work and they kidnapped us and left us out at sea. No explanation. It was (and still is) an absolute unbelievable nightmare. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
This was supposed to be The trip of a lifetime for us. Instead thanks to the unreliable nature of this new ship's propulsion system we were stranded in Tallinn, Estonia only a third of the way through our planned voyage. We booked and ... Read More
This was supposed to be The trip of a lifetime for us. Instead thanks to the unreliable nature of this new ship's propulsion system we were stranded in Tallinn, Estonia only a third of the way through our planned voyage. We booked and paid for this cruise two years ago on the the strength of Vikings's River Cruise reputaion. All I can say is either their river cruise reputation is exagerated or this new ocean cruise division is being managed by a bunch of amateurish, dishonest people. To be fair, the ship is self is beautiful, the rooms and public spaces are quite nice and the support staff and food are first rate. However, all of that was ruined by the failure of the ship's propulsion system followed by the worst customer service experience of my adult life. First we were kept in the dark about the severity of the problem and how long it would take to fix it. The we were told we had the option of flying home or staying with the ship and sailing direct to Bergen skipping all of the remaining ports of call. After my wife and I arranged to fly home we were told (via a note under our cabin door) that we could opt to be flown to Bergen and then be "hosted" for tours of Norway by Viking. By this time several days had passed with conflicted stories provided by the very junior customer service crew on board. Since we already had tickets home (which we booked at our own expense) we elected to use them. Our traveling companions desided to accept Viking's offer of hosted trip to Bergen. After two more days they were bumped from the Bergen trip by Viking (as were many other passengers) and booked on a flight back to the US. This was done without consulting with them. Since they had plans to connect for an extended trip on the continent from Bergen, they could not use the Viking provided flight to the US and were forced to book a flight to Amsterdam at their own expense. Viking is now telling us that they will only reimburse 50% of the cost of the cruise, none of the cost for cancelled excursions and none of the change fee for rebooking your flights home. They are also offering a 50% discount on a subsequent cruise, but frankly i wouldn't trust them to pit a row boat after this experience. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
I wish I could divide the review and give separate ratings for the ship experience and the home office customer service experience. We were on the cruise that was terminated 5 days after sailing due to a "engine malfunction." ... Read More
I wish I could divide the review and give separate ratings for the ship experience and the home office customer service experience. We were on the cruise that was terminated 5 days after sailing due to a "engine malfunction." Background: We are Oceania and Azamara customers not river cruisers. Viking Oceans marketing their ocean going operation to compete with this niche market and as a "5 star" experience. The ship size, casual dressing and itinerary to Norway fit our need and we booked close to two years in advance paying in full based on port times and schedules provided by the home office at the time of booking. Pre Board Experience: We were told by Viking that we could avail ourselves of the custom air option stopping at Milan and choosing our own flights so we could come in early pre-cruise and stay in Europe post cruise. When the time came for booking the flights, Viking told us that the "Viking Homelands" cruise was NOT eligible and that Milan was not a stopover option nor could we chose our flights. The flights available to us would be available only 60 days prior to cruising. At this point in time, the cost of the flights booking on our own had risen $200 pp from when we had looked from the initial opening 333 days out. Viking had cost us $400 by providing wrong and inaccurate information. As we moved closer to the cruise sail date, I asked home office for verification of port times since I wanted to prebook private excursions and they were not posted on the Viking Oceans site. I was told repeatedly that "nautical schedules" were not available since they are subject to change. This is the first and only ocean cruise line not to provide or post schedules. When the schedules were finally available it was noticed that Viking had shortened the times on several ports. On Board Experience pre-malfunction: Viking Oceans crew is outstanding and the ship is lovely. The food very good and entertainment enjoyable. The included excursions were okay not great. We don't really enjoy being with 30 - 40 other people sitting on a bus and walking with a crowd. We were pleasantly surprised with the whole experience and up to the point of the "malfunction" we would have recommended the cruise line. Experience Post malfunction: The problem occurred as we left St Petersburg. We arrived in Tallinn four hours late. Our included excursion was moved from 10 am to 3:30 pm so we went out on our own since we were scheduled to depart at 7 pm. We were advised that there was an "electrical problem affecting propulsion" and would be in Tallinn another day. Passengers were given two options on August 1. After hours of waiting on line at the Explorers Desk to get clarification and more information we chose the "stay on board". We spent hours waiting to access the painfully slow internet on the four computers on board in order to ascertain if we could cancel private prepaid tours. The next day the options changed since the cruise was formally terminated. Again, hours were spent on line at the undermanned Explorers desk and hours at the computers which there were now only 3 since one was broken. We waited around to find out when we suppose to fly out of Tallinn. We were told to pack up and await notification of the flight time. We spent most of the port time in Tallinn on line and waiting for information. Bergen Experience: We were fortunate to make it to Bergen and put up at the Scandic Ornen. This is a budget hotel. The room was small, no air conditioning, broken window, no safe, four hangers in a 10" deep closet and no drawers. We lived out of suitcases for the duration. The breakfast was chaotic since the hotel hosted tours and the cafeteria was mobbed. Dinner was provided by Viking at 7 pm in the cafeteria. We had one entree option and limited to two drinks. One evening we had chicken thighs that were inedible and the next evening we had pork necks that were all gristle. This is not the "5 star experience" we PAID for. No open dining, no dining options, no entertainment. We paid for the Four Seasons and got Motel 8. Viking offered a 50% refund and 50% voucher to compensate for this fiasco. Whereas the malfunction was not planned it is Viking's problem not ours. We are not river cruises and we will have to outlay another $6,000 plus airfare to experience the original product (Viking Homelands - Norway) for which we paid. We missed more than 50% of the ports, our stay in Tallinn affected by wasting hours on line at the Explorers Desk, phone and internet trying to cancel tours. Our Bergen hotel room and meals are not what we paid for. How Viking handled this unfortunate incident speaks volumes and this is not a line I would trust. When it is good it is very good and when it it bad it is awful. Dealing with Viking Corporate is a nightmare. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
Overall thing wer going well. The television had a tendency to stop and start at random, but that was minor. Crew was efficient and friendly. Food was very good. Leaving St Petersburg noticed that a Costa ship had passed us shortly ... Read More
Overall thing wer going well. The television had a tendency to stop and start at random, but that was minor. Crew was efficient and friendly. Food was very good. Leaving St Petersburg noticed that a Costa ship had passed us shortly after leaving port. When we awoke we were not in Tallinn and the Captain announced the engine problem. From there things quickly went down hill. Everything the capt and other officers told us was quite simply not completely accurate. Noticed that the company told one site that we were offered an opportunity to fly to Bergen to finish our cruise. Yes, we were offered, but that offer was unilaterally rescinded by the company the next mornig. Yesterday one couple in our group was told in the late afternoon to have their bags in the hallway by 10 p.m. And prepare to disembark at 4 a.m. the morning. I received a phone call telling me I was to depart on Aug 5 from Tallinn and to contact the Explorer Desk for further information. When I went there I was given flight information. When I went online to attempt to get seat assignments, the flights listed under the confirmation number provided were totally different. Additionally, some people are being told that Viking wants everyone off the boat by Tuesday, Aug 4. Guess we'll in a tent somewhere on the docks. An other person in our party was giving a flight to Chicago, even though she originated in Pittsburgh. Seems like the simple solution of just getting a flight from Chicago to Pittsburgh was too complicated so she was told to wait and they would get another set of flights. Their crisis management is just absurd. The people handling the flights will tell what will get you out of their sight and do not mind changing their story to your face. It is the ubiquitous "they" is running this operation. One can not discount the fact that if this mechanical failure had not occurred I would have been more than pleased with my experience. The mishandling of this event has soured my appreciated of all the good things about this trip. For example this morning we heard an announcement that basically stated we know nothing, don't bother us, we'll call you, but it took 5 minutes to tell us that. Additionally, announcements are often not made in our cabin. We have to go out into the hall to hear them. There seems to be a lack of real planning. For example this morning two tours had departed the boat when an announcement was made asking all passengers booked on a continuation of this cruise to report to the theater for important information. Wonder how made of these people were off the boat. Seems like they should know who these people are and contacted them directly. We're thinking of passing on our tour so we don't miss out on a opportunity to get off the ship for good. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
the ship was great, the workers were great, the food was great. very expensive. can get the about the same trip for a lot less. when we signed up for this trip there wasn't hardly any company doing it. now there are a lot of ... Read More
the ship was great, the workers were great, the food was great. very expensive. can get the about the same trip for a lot less. when we signed up for this trip there wasn't hardly any company doing it. now there are a lot of companies doing this for a lot less. the excurions that they offer as free are the same time as the optional ones that cost nicely. Germany was a long ride in a bus that didn't have air to get to berlin. I complained to the ship and to Viking management and got "sorry". for 14k I thought I would get more than sorry. no discounts and no rebates. the ship broke down on the next run, s\thank goodness for us. I love the river cruises and always will. we only need a few more to complete Europe. never will go back on an ocean cruise with them. entertainment was okay. the spa area was superb but the steam room and snow grotto broke about half way. the pool on the fantail was so great that it was my favorite place. the pools are never crowded if it's not real warm and Viking caters to the older group. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
While the ship was great, the excursions and tours were a great disappointment. I had been on the river cruise and Viking had that down. I told everyone I could how great it was. I had read poor reviews and called, and was assured ... Read More
While the ship was great, the excursions and tours were a great disappointment. I had been on the river cruise and Viking had that down. I told everyone I could how great it was. I had read poor reviews and called, and was assured everything was fine. I went on this trip to see the countries, so the ship niceties weren't as important to me, but the ship was beautiful and staff was very good. Unfortunately we were the guinea pigs for the ocean cruises. It wasn't just the four of us traveling on the ship, there were so many people recommending other cruise lines. Sad that Viking hadn't listened to the criticisms of previous tours and we wasted our time and money on this. They just don't have the excursions down. That is what they do so well on the river cruises. The guides don't use the voice boxes, so you can't hear anything. After about day 7 they started doing surveys because they had so many complaints. Whatever you do do not go to Berlin. They stuck us on a bus for 8 hours and wouldn't let us off until some women started screaming. The extra excursions are about twice the price as other tours doing the same thing. They spend so much time rushing you back to the ship to sit and wait for departure rather than enjoying the town you are in. I called to complain and they offered me $500 each for my inconvenience. I declined and won't be traveling Viking again. I laughed when reading the reviews, especially since they were so bad before I departed. I hope they do let people know how much bus cruising this trip is. If you bought the insurance, back out now. I didn't and I regret that. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
Short version embarkation poor low secirity not staffed had to find our way staff not professional do not attempt to assist. Rude disposition food low quality servers not attentive to guests striped suits walk around not connected ... Read More
Short version embarkation poor low secirity not staffed had to find our way staff not professional do not attempt to assist. Rude disposition food low quality servers not attentive to guests striped suits walk around not connected to guests wine we bought package for better wine BUT they are out of good wine and had to fight for any service attention only paid to comped guests promoting the ship Stateroom very small 3 drawers 3 inches deep for 2 guests dump designer wasted space still on ship for 6 more days over rated river boats much better, 4 river cruises we have done would expect more here Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
To put this review in perspective, a lot of my friends said I should be hired by Viking for my rave reviews of their river long boats. About 15 booked cruises with Viking because of them. The Danube Waltz from Budapest to Passau was ... Read More
To put this review in perspective, a lot of my friends said I should be hired by Viking for my rave reviews of their river long boats. About 15 booked cruises with Viking because of them. The Danube Waltz from Budapest to Passau was awesome. This review is an opinion only. I am interested other opinions as well. I like to be able to give a fair review with highlights intersperse with occasional constructive criticism where needed. Viking Star Ocean Cruise made this desire almost impossible because the failures are so rampant. To be fair I will start with the positives: 1. Embarkation and Debarkation including meeting at airports and return to airports was very good. 2. Service Staff both cabin stewards and servers throughout the ship were outstanding in attitude and attempts to please whatever it took. Although they at times lacked in training (not their fault), they made up for in effort to please. 3. The ship was absolutely state of the art and its potential is great. It is just a shame they used us as Guinea Pigs on a shake down cruise instead of making sure everything worked before taking on passengers for a first class maiden voyage. 4. Paul Fredricks Shows were outstanding (Shame was those two were two out of about four good shows in my opinion) that got standing ovations instead of snoring. 5. Bathroom was one of the best I have seen on cruise ships. 6. Infinity Pool was interesting but not as big as advertisements made it look, more like an over sized hot tub. 7. Elevators were fast and smooth. A subdue chime would have been welcome to know one stopped on your floor though. 8. Food in general was good to very good. The portions were iffy though. Sometimes you got big portions some times very small. It was hard to order. On the plus side, you were never in want of food and the servers would always get additional portions if requested. See how hard it is to give a complete compliment! Now the negatives: 1. Their advertised free tours almost always conflicted with pay tours making them almost moot. 2 1/2 hour tour of Rouen is not a tour of Paris. Most of their free tours were no more than a $2.00 public transit ride through town. I could go into more detail but it would be too depressing. 2. The promoted trip was two days in Paris and two days in London. They chose to change it at the last minute to one day at each and two days as sea instead. They did give a discount on a future trip but that is like getting ptomaine poisoning at a restaurant and they tell you they will give you a discount on a future meal and to trust them you won't get poisoned again. To add insult to injury, the one day in London was cut short by two hours while they learned to dock the ship. 3. The cruise only catered to one group of passenger. Those who enjoyed classical music in virtually every venue on board were ecstatic. Those who enjoyed knitting, monopoly, card playing and reading were in heaven. If you like to dance, it would be treated like you were breaking the law! 4. The only dancing on board were the executives and managers dancing away from interacting with the passengers especially when complaints were trying to be addressed. 5. Vikings idea of a day in port is about 5 hours if you are lucky. Two days in Barcelona was about three hours at night the first day and a four hour tour the second morning and then out to sea. A fifteen day cruise was five days at sea and a few hours each day in port (Hours never equaled a day in my book). A similar fifteen day cruise with Norwegian was fourteen different ports of 10 to 12 hour days and only one day at sea. 6. The corporate office in California staff (Customer Service Managers) are arrogant and don't even try to rectify customer complaints. When I got no satisfaction from them, I said I would write a letter to the CEO. Their answer "It doesn't matter, it will come to my desk anyway". Needless to say, after two months it wasn't answered. 7. To give an idea of the mood on the ship the overwhelming comment from passengers I heard was "We are old, not dead". This included the 80+ year olds. I fit into the category that Mr. Hagan wants to cater to-over 55 and affluent. I am not the life of the party and I don't dance. However, I do like to watch others have a good time. So, if I were to market the Viking Star I would make these marketing themes: 1. If you enjoy a funeral (not a fine Irish Wake but a funeral), this is the ship for you. 2. If you would hire a mortician to plan your parties, this is a ship for you. 3. If you enjoy the life style of a nursing home (a nursing home is more fun), this would be the ship for you. 4. If you like the itinerary that was sold to you changed every day to the worse, this is the cruise of you. 5. If you like executives who like to take your money but not listen to you, this is the company for you. 6. If you like hours referred to as a day, this is the cruise for you. 7. If you like to fly ten hours across the ocean to float around on that same ocean instead of seeing the beautiful sites of Europe, this is the cruise for you. 8. If you like to deal with a company that deletes even mildly critical reviews and keeps only the completely positive reviews on their web page, this is the company to use. 8. If you like Viking River Boats, THIS IS NOT THE SHIP FOR YOU! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
shipboard accommodations were not viable if one choses the lowest priced cabin: totally made to feel second class from noise coming from theater underneath those priced cabins to the time schedule for any/all excursions whether option type ... Read More
shipboard accommodations were not viable if one choses the lowest priced cabin: totally made to feel second class from noise coming from theater underneath those priced cabins to the time schedule for any/all excursions whether option type or included i.e. always close to last tour of day - higher priced cabins got choice times . same with ship embark and dinning reservations ... just not what I/we expected based on many other cruise's we have taken with Viking: those were all river cruise's not much else . good shore excursions just hard to get on time for what we wanted to do that day . best times are always early in day for us to be able to get back and rest and prepare for evening . hot tub/spa was kind of a joke .. water was tepid not even close to warm/hot - did have good flight reservations to and from . Read Less
Viking Star Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.8
Dining 5.0 4.7
Entertainment 3.0 4.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.3
Family 1.0 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.2
Enrichment 4.0 4.3
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 5.0 4.4

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