Sail Date: April 2019
About the Avalon river cruise we first learned from the internet. We booked the river cruise from Nuremberg to Luxemburg on the Main river and the Rhine river. The deal included two nights in a five stars hotel in Prague. We left ... Read More
About the Avalon river cruise we first learned from the internet. We booked the river cruise from Nuremberg to Luxemburg on the Main river and the Rhine river. The deal included two nights in a five stars hotel in Prague. We left home with high expectations and immediately in Prague we realized it was really going to be great. We met the cruise manager Tamas who was extremely friendly and helpful. From Prague we were taken by bus to Nuremberg in Germany to board the ship. And here too everything was perfect and the cabin was indeed what we saw in the advertisement. The dinner turned out to be really very good with plenty of good wines to choose from and the food was very decorative and nicely served and we had plenty of food choices. We have nothing but compliments to the organization, the cabin, the maintenance, the excellent food and the way it was served, the friendly staff, the included tours, and the whole cruising area. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
It looked luxurious and was all inclusive, albeit very expensive. Paperwork from Scenic was very thin and confusing. Ship was changed a week or so beforehand to an older vessel when low water on the Danube became a problem. The ship change ... Read More
It looked luxurious and was all inclusive, albeit very expensive. Paperwork from Scenic was very thin and confusing. Ship was changed a week or so beforehand to an older vessel when low water on the Danube became a problem. The ship change was no issue in itself but it was clear that the low water was going to cause huge disruption. We hardly moved for the first days and then had four days when we couldn't do most of things we had paid for including Vienna and Budapest. Guests were offered flights home or bus tours and hotels: the latter was not what we had paid for so we chose the former but before flights could be arranged the ship sailed on - for a bit. Each day then was chaos with constantly changing plans. Eventually we sailed all through the nights so didn't see much of the Danube and arrived in Budapest at one in the morning and left the ship at nine to fly home. Scenic should have cancelled this trip and refunded the money or offered alternatives. Their emphasis was to get the ship to a destination from where it could meet their cruising schedules. We are still in discussion about compensation but so far have been offered a surly 17% refund. I cannot recommend Scenic since although the ship was lovely and the food very good but not outstanding, and low water in itself beyond their control, the way they have handled things afterwards was very poor. This is all rather sad since Scenic could have done themselves a lot of good by immediately offering a 50% refund or a discount on another cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Trip compromised by low water levels. We had to be bused three hours to an alternate older ship. The usual views were of other ships moored against us. Long journeys by coach. Most of the guides gave limited information relative to our ... Read More
Trip compromised by low water levels. We had to be bused three hours to an alternate older ship. The usual views were of other ships moored against us. Long journeys by coach. Most of the guides gave limited information relative to our usual travel experiences. Walking tours did not provide options for people with limited mobility. There were only two days out of the eight that matched expectations. The food compares with adequate convention food; very difficult to select low cholesterol options which was surprizing given the average age: most of us probably were on statins. Cabin was very tight and the private balcony could not be used because of the adjacent ships so the premium was not of any value; we had to keep the drapes closed for privacy otherwise you would be able to see and touch cabins on the next ship. All inclusive did not result in good value for experienced travellers; this is meant for people who prefer to assign details to a "tour operator". Scenic can not control the river levels but could improve some service and excursions. Excellent travel companions helped make the best of the trip. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We believed the Scenic literature and presentation and signed up. The river was low and so we had a substitute older ship, the Pearl; we were bused from Nuremburg to Passau for the first three days of the cruise. We were berthed in an ... Read More
We believed the Scenic literature and presentation and signed up. The river was low and so we had a substitute older ship, the Pearl; we were bused from Nuremburg to Passau for the first three days of the cruise. We were berthed in an industrial area next to the garbage bins. We had paid for a balcony cabin, but since we were docked next to other ships for most of the trip, this was impossible to use. The drapes remained closed and the balcony was waste space. Only half of the guides were informative, the food was convention quality, the wine was plonk and the service was average relative to the cruise industry. Most of the passengers were over 65 and likely were on statins, but most of the menu was high in cholesterol and waiters could not suggest appropriate dishes. Would it be a real problem to provide skim milk for cereal? Scenic has no control over river depths, but they do have control over other aspects and the quality was limited. Two days out of eight matched expectations. Only redeming quality was the opportunity to interact with terrific fellow passengers who made the journey memorable. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Scenic had at least 3 to 4 weeks notice of low water levels that interrupted my trip but did not advise or give any options to postpone until better conditions prevailed. I would not have had a problem if this was a last minute change to ... Read More
Scenic had at least 3 to 4 weeks notice of low water levels that interrupted my trip but did not advise or give any options to postpone until better conditions prevailed. I would not have had a problem if this was a last minute change to the itinerary but because this was a well know fact to Scenic they still did not communicate the problem. I saved for over 10 years for this Luxury First Class River Cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam and spent a lot of time changing ships, packing and unpacking and taking 4 hour coach rides to destinations. I did not plan a Bus excursion I planned a River Cruise. On a bright note the crew, staff, facilities accommodations on board were lovely. Everyone on board was caring and compassionate. The ports of calls visited were amazing and all the excursions were packed with information from English speaking local guides. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Gems of The Danube is marketed as 3 days in Prague and then join the Jasper in Nuremberg for a Danube cruise to Budapest. We signed up in August of 2017, paid and arrived in Prague on time. The transportation provided from airport to ... Read More
Gems of The Danube is marketed as 3 days in Prague and then join the Jasper in Nuremberg for a Danube cruise to Budapest. We signed up in August of 2017, paid and arrived in Prague on time. The transportation provided from airport to Prague was delayed because some passengers were late. The area is small, hot, no explanations, no offer to move us to an air-conditioned motor coach, no offer of bottled water - nothing. My husband inquired of a cab and our inquiry was ignored. We finally got transportation to Prague and arrived at the hotel. The accommodations in Prague are nice, The Imperial, typical European style hotel. We were there for 3 nights. The first night there was a welcome meeting with a class of wine and a walking tour of the area. The other Scenic sponsored tour while in Prague was again, a walking tour. No worries we hired a car and had a wonderful tour of Prague. There were signs early on that something was amiss. The Scenic staff were all a bit vague regarding details. Our guide said he needed to leave ahead of the group to meet other travelers and passed us off to another woman working for Scenic. She rode the coach with us and informed us that morning that we would not be going to Nuremberg and we would not be on the Jasper. She assured us that the only difference between the Jasper and our newly assigned ship would be the name, Jade. The water levels were low and we would not go to Nuremberg, but to Regensburg. None of the travelers seemed concerned, until guide and driver got lost looking for the ship. When we finally arrived we had to walk about 300 yards along an unpaved path to reach the Jade, which was not exactly in Regensburg, but we could glimpse the skyline if we tried. We went to the lounge area and experienced the most cursory greeting from the hotel manager, captain, and cruise director. It's clear to us all now that the company was well aware that we would not be on the ship long and they were all noticeably nervous and in the instance of the Cruise Director, very short tempered. Those on the Diamond Deck are invited to dine at Table La Rive, that is if you are on the ship long enough to enjoy such an invitation. The sundeck was only opened for use on the evening that we were told we would be enjoying the rest of the trip from a bus! Check out my pics of the sundeck. Good Timing. The idea of a butler for every cabin, forget it. These folks are far too busy with the duties of being waiters and bartenders to actually assist in your cabin. Those Scenic spaceship balcony, not! It's a tiny window and when you open it the air-conditioning immediately shuts off and you swelter. If you are looking for group meals, long lines, buffets style dining, long bus rides and cruise companies that prefer to keep you in the dark, then this is your company. We rode on a bus for nearly 8 hours on our way from Vienna to Budapest, we passed our hotel 3 times so we could see the sights from a bus window. The group lunch was at a Hungarian park that our city guide described as his children's favorite playground. he asked if we noticed the wooden fort and castle on the playground, his children love it. No thank you for me and my group. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this river cruise for a number of reasons: we wanted a shorter time spent in case we weren't happy with the experience; we wanted all-inclusive so we didn't need to deal with different currencies or tipping expectations; ... Read More
We chose this river cruise for a number of reasons: we wanted a shorter time spent in case we weren't happy with the experience; we wanted all-inclusive so we didn't need to deal with different currencies or tipping expectations; and we wanted a luxurious experience. We were not disappointed. The experience once we arrived at the ship was top notch. The staff was very friendly and promoted the attitude that they were prepared to go to any length to insure we were feeling well taken care of. The cabin was not large but had more than enough storage space. The balcony area was large enough for 2 people to sit in comfort, while the room darkening curtains provided lots of privacy and allowed for a good sleep at night or an afternoon nap. The meals were generous and well presented, with no lack of snacks whenever one was hungry. The mini-bar was well stocked and replenished every day. The entertainment was interesting as it was a sampling of the areas we were travelling through. When the cruise director, Yvonne, was providing the entertainment herself, she was personable and very informative, as well as being a great natural comic. We appreciated the many choices for excursions. On those we did choose, we found the tour guides very well informed and easy with the group. The excursions themselves were excellent in giving a sense of the places we were travelling through. If there is a complaint, it would be about the 3 night stay in Prague. The room was very satisfactory and the Marriott staff very friendly. The Scenic Representative gave an excellent walking tour and again, we felt we were learning about real life in the Czech Republic. However, for the significant cost of these 3 days, all that was provided was a room, 3 breakfasts and 2 walking tours. We feel at least one evening's entertainment should have been included, and 3 dinners. The "coddling" we received on the ship was not reflected at the hotel stay. That said, we would absolutely travel again with Scenic and are already dreaming of our next trip. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We included a 3 day stay in Prague before the cruise. The hotel there, and the Scenic host/guide were 5 star. Our transfer to the ship was in a comfortable coach escorted by our guide and embarkation was handled smoothly. The ship is ... Read More
We included a 3 day stay in Prague before the cruise. The hotel there, and the Scenic host/guide were 5 star. Our transfer to the ship was in a comfortable coach escorted by our guide and embarkation was handled smoothly. The ship is beautiful and kept impeccably clean. Our cabin, though small, was comfortable and had everything we needed. All our meals were most enjoyable, with delicious food and good service by attentive staff. All staff and crew on the ship were friendly, professional and most helpful at all times. The on board entertainment, shore excursions, and enrichment activities were well organized and hosted by knowledgeable guides. Disembarkation day was again well organized and handled very smoothly. One reason we chose this company was because the price is advertised as all inclusive. We found this made our trip very relaxing and enjoyable. There was no bill to pay on the last day...we just spent the whole tour relaxing and enjoying all the excursions, entertainment, food and drink to the fullest. We will recommend this company to friends, and certainly hope to be able to tour with them again ourselves. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We were first time river cruisers (2 Caribbean cruises), and we read Cruise Critic website for help. So, we wanted to put down any notes or tips for the next reader. As we did not know the river cruise market at all, we went to through ... Read More
We were first time river cruisers (2 Caribbean cruises), and we read Cruise Critic website for help. So, we wanted to put down any notes or tips for the next reader. As we did not know the river cruise market at all, we went to through our trusted, neighborhood Costco with its guaranteed service. We picked this cruise mainly because it grabbed two USA holidays (New Years and Christmas), and covered some ground (three countries, Germany, Austria, and Hungary). Booking with Costco was fairly easy and required several phone calls, a few e-mails and two FAXs, but that was about it. There was no mystery to the process. The pre-cruise package did not arrive within the 21 to 30 days before the cruise, so we had to call and have it FedExed to us. However, this was not a big deal - there is no work involved with the pre-cruise package – it is just your cruise ticket, luggage tags, your cruise ID Scantron cards, and itinerary book. We read the Cruise Companion PDF on the Uniworld website, and it covered almost everything. We also did our flights through Uniworld, paid the small fee booking fee to do it through Costco (25$ x 2), and had them book the flights on the days we picked. Uniworld’s airfares could not be beat. Overall, Costco was a very good way to book; they did everything they said they would. It should be noted that the free transfers Uniworld offers are only to and from the airport, only, on the cruise embarkation and disembarkation days, only. So, if you come in early, or by train, or not coming or going to the airport, then the free transfer does not apply, so budget for a taxi ride. We came in early because we were flying to Europe through the NE USA in the winter, and our taxi ride from the Grand Hotel in Nuremberg to boat was about 20 Euro. Some people did make the boat, but some of their luggage did not arrive for several days. This did not happen to us, but we prepared for losing a checked bag by “co-packing” (put one half of each other’s clothing and toiletries into each checked bag, that way, if you lose one bag, you still each have 50% of your clothes). Internet access onboard was great, as we were all given Vodaphones with a 300 mg limit, which we carried with us in our pocket at all times. So, we simply logged onto the Vodaphone via WIFI on our Smart phone, and we were our own Internet “hotspot” wherever we went, onboard, or off on excursions. Now, we did not stream movies, but with the 300 MG limit we had free real time map and search capabilities, which was useful. Do not forget to get the international dialing plan for your smart phone (10$ a day for us). We just had to remember to keep the Vodaphone unit charged. Before we left we also downloaded WHATS APP on our Smartphone which allowed us to text and send images, in real time, for free, to family in the USA. Everyone on the boat had WHATS APP. The Internet on the two computers in the ship’s lobby also worked fine when in port. The only time the boat did not have cell phone coverage was when we cruising through a few rural areas in Hungary. The purser onboard can change dollars to Euros, and provide Euros in small change. The purser does not provide Hungarian Florints. You can change dollars or Euros to Hungarian Florints easily around Budapest. Many places will accept Euros in Budapest/Hungary, but the exchange rate they give you will not be good and can add 10% or more to the price. It is better to get Hungarian Florints, or use your credit card, IF you do not have foreign transaction fee on the credit card, in Hungary. And, remember, many restaurants in Germany, Austria, and Hungary added a 12% gratuity at the bottom of the bill, so ask /check your bill; 10 to 12% is the max tip we found in the countries we visited. There were 2 washers and 2 dryers onboard which were free. You just ask the front desk concierge for detergent pods. This was useful, as the cruise was a longer one. Just do not wait to the last day onboard to do all your laundry. If you sometimes take non-prescription, cold medicine or decongestants or antacids or Tylenol, bring some along with you. They have a very different concept of “over the counter” in Germany. We thought the Uniworld cruise was impressive. While the ship was not one of Uniworlds newer “super-ships,” the ship and our room were kept spot-less, and bottled water and chocolate supplies were kept filled. The room was cleaned and the bed made every day and freshened throughout the day. Every night while we are at dinner, they placed a print-out of the next day’s itinerary on your bed with a little present of some sort. The itinerary was also available on the in room TV, which also showed your shipboard account balance, a variety of channels, and had some free movies. If you want ice in your room, ask the steward for an ice bucket, and they will keep one full of ice in your cabin. They tended to keep the general areas of the ship quite warm, so bring a short sleeve shirt, even if it is winter. Our stateroom had individual AC which worked very well and allowed us to cool the room off. The room also had an alarm clock with and Ipod player dock, so we could play our Ipod at all times. As far as adapters, there was one US plug in the bathroom and one US plug in bedroom which accepted US plugs for phone charging / laptops. They also provided a hair dryer in the stateroom. The bathroom was only big enough for one person, but we knew that going in. Exclusive events were very exclusive, and in all but one case, limited to the ship’s 108 passengers (the ship was not at its full capacity of 130). Some events required a sign up. Only two events required an additional fee, the Nuremberg historic tour (49 Euros each) and the New Years’ Day concert in Lichenstein Palace in Vienna (149 Euros each), and both were really amazing and well worth the fee. All of the tour guides spoke good English. It was also nice not to have to worry about tipping guides or crew, as it is all included with Uniworld, so no fumbling for money as you exit a bus. If you want a massage onboard, sign up fast – people know when the boat is cruising, and they quickly book the masseuse up for the whole day. We did not do one. Every evening they placed two copies of the next day’s itinerary on the stateroom bed. You could also pullup the itinerary on the TV in the stateroom. The food onboard was very good. The Uniworld cruise line hails from the luxury, Red Carnation Hotels, and many of their longstanding recipes are by its founder Bea Tollman and are quite good. You can find Bea Tollmans cookbook in the ships gift store. Breakfasts were buffet style with local sausage, bacon, eggs, French toast, omelet station, and baked beans (for the Brits and Australians). You could ask them to make a Spanish omelet or eggs Benedict, and they would whip one out. Lunch was also buffet style, and not to be missed. Lunch always had a blend of familiar dishes for each group onboard, and also dishes very local to the area were you were cruising. We tried a nibble of each of the local dishes, and all were interesting. Food quality was quite good – the crispy skin suckling pig, the veal Wiener schnitzel, and several soups were very excellent at lunch. Lunch also had a full salad bar, and the dishes did not repeat. Twice, we did lunch ashore when touring (Stiftskeller St. Peter in Salzburg, the oldest restaurant in Europe; and Restaurant Anton in Passau) and both were excellent. We also snacked at the local holiday markets during day trips. Dinner was sit down, with a set menu of two choices each of fresh bread, appetizer, entrée, and dessert, and very good full service from the wait-staff. The dinner menus were very good. There was always a stand-out dish. The wines which were poured each night at dinner were always from the region which the boat was traversing. Other options (steak and vegetarian and gluten free) were also always available at dinner. During the cocktail hour before dinner, the bartender in the lounge would provide a briefing on the wines to be served at dinner. As the place settings at dinner had white wine glasses, red wine glasses, and champagne glasses, we would have all three poured so we could experiment and try them all. You could also buy champagne or any wine while off the boat and they would pour it for you at dinner, free of charge. Dinner service by the wait staff was very good /crisp. In addition, the ship had room service, which we only used once. The bar was at the front of the ship and provided excellent views while cruising. We also received a daily briefing on the events of the next day during the cocktail hour before dinner. Premium liquors such as Makers Mark, two types of Calvados, and very good whiskey were included and served at no extra cost. The bar does have one copy of a liquor menu – it sits on the corner of the bar. A full time piano player who knew 2,000 songs (American, British, Australian, German, etc.) sat at a full size piano in the bar. On several occasions local musicians came onboard to play folk music which was specific to the region in which we were cruising. The guests onboard were primarily composed of Australians, Brits, Canadians, Americans (FL, SC, CA, PA, and TX), and New Zealanders. There was a wide range of ages, and it was certainly not, all retired, “older” people. We are in our 40s, and we were not the youngest passengers. There were full families onboard (but no little kids). They had tours for the super active (bike riding or a hike to the castle) to middle active (full morning walking tour) to less active (same sites were covered but the walking distances were more direct and short). Our boat had three Mercedes buses which followed along the river, and when we needed transport we would hop on a bus. Since it was your dedicated bus, you could leave things like jackets and umbrellas on the bus, which was quite convenient. The ride onboard was so smooth we had to look out the window to see if we were moving. Our stateroom walls were plushly covered with fabric, which made the cabin very, very quiet. The river also cooperated, and we had excellent water levels and all locks, which we tended to go through at night, appeared to work fine. The cruise had an excellent holiday feel. There were decorations and carols. The Captain even brought his family onboard for the holiday cruise. The Christmas markets were fun, and while we were worried we might miss them because we were there on holiday days, we did not need to worry. After Christmas, many of the Christmas markets then became New Years’ markets and were open for many days. Overall, retail remains very strong in all the cities we visited, so there were ample shopping opportunities. Overall, the cruise was a trip of a lifetime. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Um no, no thanks. Never again. I signed up for a Viking River Cruise "Christmas in Germany" cruise in April 2017 for my mother's 50th birthday on assurances we would see "tons of Christmas markets" in Germany ... Read More
Um no, no thanks. Never again. I signed up for a Viking River Cruise "Christmas in Germany" cruise in April 2017 for my mother's 50th birthday on assurances we would see "tons of Christmas markets" in Germany - which was the ENTIRE point of the trip to Europe during Thanksgiving. Otherwise we'd have stayed home, it's cold, it rains, it's miserable but the Christmas markets are legendary and something my mother has always wanted to see. So for her birthday, I paid for this cruise. I booked the most expensive room - one of two Explorer Suites on the third level at the aft of the boat. Our ship was set to depart Nuremberg on 25 November with everyone embarking on 24 November for a 7-day cruise culminating with a final stop in Cologne. The brochure had the Nuremberg Christmas Market on it - one of the most famous in Germany. It spoke of all the Christmas merriment and smells of mulled cider and Christmas sights we'd see during our cruise. During our first nightly port meeting - our cruise director, George, informed us that the markets in Nuremberg, Bamberg, and Wurtzberg were all not yet open and were set to open the following week (after we'd all gone home). This meant of all the sights we'd see and places we'd stop - we would see only two markets over seven days - Koblenz and Cologne. Instantly pissed off. Now, during our cruise it rained and rained and rained. It was also freezing. So all our walking tours were miserable. And no markets. Also, because of all the rain, the water level was so high that our boat only barely moved once and we had to be bused long distances early in the morning from the boat. Hours on buses. Dinners in town at cheap places because we'd get back so late. This happened for about three days before we were eventually forced to disembark three days early (two nights left) and stay in a cheap hotel 40 minutes outside Cologne. Essentially, I did not get to stay in expensive suite I paid for for two nights, I didn't see the Christmas Markets I paid for (as they were not open yet no one checked the calendar), I did not get the food I paid for for several days (breakfast, lunch and dinner two days in the hotel) and then when we ate in town due to the 3.5 hour one way bus rides we ate at places that ONLY served beef and brat and cabbage - for two additional days lunch and then dinner not to mention the fully stocked fridge and snacks in our room that are complimentary which we did not have at the cheap hotel. I eat very healthy and expected the various menu options on the boat (fish, veggies, etc.) Viking is not cheap and I expected to get my money's worth. I did not. Not even close. Viking tried to make some things up to us - booking a stop in Miltenberg to shop (still no market) - and booking a cheaper option (fried chicken and soggy veggies for lunch) on a day boat to tour the Scenic Rhine - but it was too little too late for me as we'd spent HOURS on buses. You could also skip Wurzburg and the beautiful Wurzburg residence and go back to Bamberg for the Christmas market again another day - my mom wanted to see the historically rebuilt residence. Also, you could pay even more money (I'd already paid $10,000 for this cruise) to go on an extra excursion to Heidelberg and see their Christmas town (I don't think their market was open but they have an all-year store-type thing) which I chose not to do because, again, I'd already spent $10,000. Apparently you get bused a lot anyway during these - sometimes 2+ hours each way to these places. I thought the boats pulled into the towns. No. When I returned I demanded a partial refund - Viking initially offered me a standard $1100 in a future voucher. I said no. They then offered $3300 for a future cruise that I had to book in the next 12 months before it expired and wanted me to sign a non-disclosure. Are you kidding?! For a VOUCHER. They don't sell cruises that are cheap - so in order to see any compensation for this farce of a cruise I'd have to pay them MORE money. At this point - I never want to cruise with them again. Let alone give them thousands more. That is bad business and not a way to compensate customers for mistakes. Their customer service is awful and I have been put off by the entire experience. I expected better. They told me that they were only "offering" four Christmas markets during this cruise. News to me and everyone else I spoke to on the cruise, most of who flew on Thanksgiving night specifically for the Germany Christmas markets and were devastated not to get to see them and had verified with booking agents and customer service they would see ALL of them in every town we visited. Instead, we saw where they were being set up and would be open the following week for the next cruise. I mentioned that the most famous of the trip, Nuremberg, was on the first page of the cruise booklet and the agent, Rayna, who I spoke to, informed that the photo was simply for marketing purposes and we were never going to see that one, despite embarking and spending two days in Nuremberg. That is shameful. Well, of the four they "offered" - I got to see two of them. Even had they all been open, the schedules were so packed with bus rides, lunches, and walking tours of the cities, at best we had a hurried 30-60 minutes to walk the town by ourselves anyway. So the Christmas markets were never the main attraction - they were simply an afterthought. Extremely disappointing to my mother and I who planned the entire trip ONLY on the markets since she has wanted to see them her entire life. Otherwise, I could easily have visited Europe during warmer and less rainy and windy months when I could've enjoyed it. From Googling the company at this point I see this part of Germany has issues often with low or high water and clients being removed from boats and swapping to others. What a pain. Also, many complaints against Viking for cruises with issues where they refuse to try to make it right. I for one, plan never to use this company again and I would strongly encourage no one else to either. Viking continues to hold onto the flooding as my main concern in any interaction we've had - when really - it's more about misleading me about the Christmas markets and the calendar. I'd never have booked had I known I was only ever going to see 4 Christmas markets to begin with - they let everyone think the theme of the cruise was that and book according. Acts of God are one thing - but messing up Christmas market schedules and misleading customers then claiming they got to do "most of what was promised" (a direct quote from a snarky customer service agent who told me I had no recourse and they would not be discussing with me further) is simply not OK. Most of the individuals I saw on the cruise were elderly - extremely so - and probably take the vouchers for future cruises - don't complain - and don't go posting reviews all over the internet. I'm 33 years old and and I LOVE to travel and I travel 5x or more annually on luxury trips. I had hoped this experience would foster some loyalty for me with Viking and offer another way to travel for me and my friends and family. I had high expectations for them. I even had high expectations they would make this right when I got home and so far I have been nothing but massively disappointed. Bottom line - Viking River Cruises misrepresented what this cruise was about and is now refusing to offer compensation aside from vouchers (which will cost me more money to use and I am not accepting that) for my missed Christmas markets, two nights of missed accommodations and missed food services on a restricted diet. **Update 29 December 2017: I just spoke to the very polite and apologetic Viking agent who has been trying to contact me about this issue - I was now offered either 50% off a future cruise - or $500 in cash but both will require an NDA be signed. I'm not signing an NDA for a voucher Viking River Cruises. You owe me a cash refund and much more than $500. You misled every single passenger into thinking they were going to see all those Christmas markets and you are trying to cover the mistake up. There were a ton of elderly people on that cruise and most of them traveled on Thanksgiving day to be there. You should be ashamed. My mother and I spoke to dozens of people who were all furious and upset as they had only done this particular cruise for the markets. Now I'm being told Viking was only ever "offering" four. News to me. Even still, I only saw two. Do better. I appreciate the apology - but asking me to spend more money with you after a mistake this big - is nothing but bad business. **Update 30 December 2017: BUYER BEWARE - Viking River Cruises has shady social media, PR and customer service tactics involving having employees leave 5-star reviews and having multiple reviews left to push down bad ones. I have refused to sign an NDA as they will not refund my money - today they disabled their reviews on their Facebook site which seems a response to this review I posted on 27 December 2017 about a recent Christmas in Germany Cruise I took where they mis-represented the scheduled events - they can't delete it however - so the link below shows the original review - I've also posted it on my own FB page, on Yelp, here and made it public for all internet searches so it can be found. Bc it had so many comments and likes it was still at the top of the "Most Helpful Column" and they couldn't have that.... Original review link for Viking River Cruises on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alison.mccombs/posts/10104486688307539:0 Read Less

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