Viking Freya Cruise Review by ruxandra
- Sail Date: June 2015
- Destination: Europe
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Outside Stateroom
- the upgraded seats promised were not confirmed and they had no info about special meals (I am vegan, my daughter vegetarian) either, so they had no food I could eat - not a good start.
Also, the 4 hours in-between flights in Paris ensured that we completely missed the first day in Budapest: while our fellow travelers were welcomed with cocktails in the morning, had lunch on the boat and an organized visit of Budapest, we were sitting down on the floor of an overcrowded terminal eating peanuts.
Once we made it on the Freya, more bad news for me: although there were 3 vegans on board, the chef told me that they cannot accommodate individual preferences in food, so it was a lot of raw. unseasoned veggies and lettuces. 3 times we also had for dinner 3 transparent pieces of tofu with our veggies - not much in terms of protein, is it? Healthy overall, but so not worth the money I paid - NOT AT ALL! The other 2 vegans filled up on bread and olive oil - unlucky for me, I'm gluten intolerant, so cannot eat bread more than once a day without serious consequences. There were ample amounts of butter patisseries for breakfast (not vegan), so my husband went to the Chef toward the end of the cruise to ask him to make me once something I could eat at breakfast (muffins can be made with applesauce) in addition to the same 3 kinds of fruits I had had every day: the next morning I was brought a cup of very-VERY salty gooey rice. He meant to insult us and he did it - we never asked for anything after that. On the bright side, I lost 4 lbs on the trip, although I had most of my lunches on-land, in the places we visited - Europe is very accommodating for vegans, it's a shame that the cruise did not think our money was enough to feed us too.
We had already visited two on the destinations (Vienna and Melk), but the guides there provided additional information and insights. The guide in Nuremberg was great too, the best by far. In Regensburg, we had a guide who was not one: she brought her very succinct info on little cards, and to all questions from our group she would answer: "ha-ha-ha, I don't know!" It was not funny though. She talked about Martin Luther and again, when someone asked when he lived, she said that it was funny, people asked that before, but she forgets to look it up. When I said early 16th, it did not seem right to her. It was a perfect waste of a morning.
The kids were dismayed by the lack of on-board entertainment, the WIFI (you could connect to but did not work), and the absence of young people. There was a 13 year old with her mom and grandma, but that was it. Their typical customer is in their late 60's. We were all disappointed by the lack of entertainment: apart from the one opera night there was just a piano player at night playing his oldies but goldies (for the target audience).
The most dismaying thing though was when the concierge told me she could not put me in touch with people whose cabin was on the 3rd floor (to go together to a concert) because "they're from the 3rd floor, you understand, they're really high up people". I might be wrong, but I probably spent more on 2 cabins on the lower floor than they did for their single one on the 3rd! The same concierge booked us to see a concert at the Golden Hall (Muskiverein), when I clearly told her that we wanted to be inside the Opera House at Opemring 2, Wiener Staatsoper, I repeated it for her - she just did not care. I really wanted to be inside the Opera: I studied opera, 3 of my relatives are opera singers, and on our first visit to Vienna years before we could not get tickets for that night's performance.
When our taxi dropped us off at the Opera, where indeed there was a performance that night, and yes, they did have tix available, we were told our tickets were not for there - with the help of nice policemen we were directed to the Hall, where us and a good segment of the Chinese population watched musicians dressed like Mozart perform snippets from his concerts and operas. Not good and again, it shows how much Viking cares about you once you have paid. At the end of the cruise, when my husband asked the concierge about the cab we had ordered she told him she was too busy preparing for the next guests - it would have taken her the same time to tell us where cabs came.
For the formal night at the end of the cruise, although we arrived at 7:03 in the dining room (dinner started at 7), none of the tables had more than 3 seats available. They could have asked people who were not a family or together to move to the next table to accommodate us, but instead we were told to move to the upstairs deck where we had our last dinner alone, away from the party, in our long gowns and pretty make-up. Somehow it was a fitting end to this cruise.
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On another note, my husband left his (quite expensive) jacket in the cabin's closet at departure. They never called us back with its whereabouts...
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
BudapestThe plane booked for us by Viking arrived so late (5 hours wait in Paris in-between flights) that we barely made dinner... Some of the other guests were equally unfortunate, while others were greeted with cocktails in the morning, had lunch on the ship and a walking tour of Budapest in the pm.View All 365 Budapest Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Budapest Cruise Port Review
MelkWe had visited Melk before, while under renovation; it was great to see the results.View All 0 Melk Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Melk Cruise Port Review
NurembergExcellent tour guide, made all the difference.View All 524 Nuremberg Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Nuremberg Cruise Port Review
Walking TourVery pretty townView All 192 Walking Tour Reviews
RegensburgGreat town, very-very bad tour guide; instead of going back to the ship for another frustrating lunch and "enrichment", we got a guide and re-did the tour on our own.View All 519 Regensburg Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Regensburg Cruise Port Review
Walking TourThe guide was interesting and knowledgeable.View All 159 Walking Tour Reviews