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13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
My husband and I had been planning a wonderful birthday celebration for him, so we decided on Viking. We had heard from many friends on how superb and excellent it was to travel with Viking. This was not our first cruise as we have done ... Read More
My husband and I had been planning a wonderful birthday celebration for him, so we decided on Viking. We had heard from many friends on how superb and excellent it was to travel with Viking. This was not our first cruise as we have done several cruises at least 1 every 2 years, fortunately enough with other very high-end lines - Oceania and Regent Seven Seas. We are lucky enough that we can afford high-end cruise liners so we thought Viking would be in the same category as our past cruise experiences! We booked the Eastern European cruise from Bucharest to Budapest from Aug 21-28, 2019. Boy were we SO wrong!!! I am currently sitting in my hotel room on August 25, in Sofia, Bulgaria writing this review, we have been here since August 23. The reason I am writing this today and posting to all different websites instead of communicated directly with Viking is because we have already tried that. We had an extremely unsatisfying phone conversation with Viking customer service when we arrived in Sofia, Bulgaria after disembarking. The lady on the phone was quite rude and dismissive of our issues. She was unwilling to admit any fault with Viking Cruises or their services and told us that we “chose to leave” therefore, there was no compensation for our dissatisfaction and that we should of purchase travel insurance. Really? Based on how we have been treated so far, we would not consider another Viking Cruise. We are on the younger side of their demographic, are active on social media, and have a wide circle of friends. If this is how we are treated, I cannot imagine how they dealt with the very elder members of the cruise. This is how are travel story began: We literately got on the ship on August 21 and disembarked and left on August 23 (being my husband's birthday)- two days into our cruise! The last thing you want to do is pack again when you have only spent 1 night on a ship. But it was such an awful and uncomfortable experience and my husband was so unhappy, we made the decision to leave the ship and told the ship's hotel director that we were disembarking on the next port of call (Vidin, which by the way, the ship did not stop there, but instead we made it to Lum as the ship had some issues getting to Vidin! - not surprise, as we were late the day before arriving to the first port of call Russe, Bulgaria to pick up the majority of the passengers who got off for their tours in a different location). Just think to have to decide to either deal with this awful experience for another 5 nights or cut your losses and leave ship, we chose the latter. We had to at least close the day of his 60th birthday in a place we would be more comfortable at. To start, we arrived on Saturday, August 17 in Bucharest from the US as we wanted to spend a couple of days on our own touring the city. We are not big on group tours and prefer doing our own thing (this is another big problem if you travel with Viking but will fill you in on that part of the story later). We were told to speak to our local Viking contact at the Sheraton Bucharest hotel - where we were staying as part of their 1 day pre-cruise land offer (and at least it is a very nice hotel, and since I hold Platinum status with them, we were upgraded to a lovely suite). Pre-cruise meeting August 20th in the evening – Sheraton Hotel: The Viking person there told us to have our luggage out by 7:30 am on August 21 and to meet in the lobby by 9 am. She indicated that there would be a scenic tour through the city on our way to a location for lunch and then a bus ride to the ship. What we were not told or even offered, especially for those guests that had already been in the city for days prior to cruising, was given an option to go straight to the ship from the hotel. August 21, ship boarding day, what really happened: Stop 1 - they bused us around the city again and took us to Old town (our 5th time there, remember, we arrived on August 17th!), then wanted to give us a walking tour of Old town, why??? We told them we had already been there 5 other times, so instead my husband and I sat around some bank building steps for almost 2 hours while the rest of the guest did their so called "tour" what a waste! At this time of day (9 am) all of Old Town restaurants are closed and only some coffee shops were open, we just had breakfast at the hotel as instructed! We sat around from 9 to 11:30 am! I asked Diani (or Dina) our very confused tour guide on bus 14, if there was a better option for us that we could meet them at the restaurant, she actually threatened and said that if we did not arrive at the restaurant, we would have to take a private car to the ship and that was about 1 hour and 45 minutes ride, so my husband and I decided to tag along. Old town tour is done thankfully, and now they tell us we are going to the Parliament building for a 10-minute picture stop and finishing up at the Museum of the Villages before lunch. Stop 2 - We crossed through town again, and saw the same scenery, the arch, the revolution square, heard the same stories and finally arrived at the Parliament location again and after 10 minutes those that got off for “picture moments” got back on the bus, where the tour guide and her very valuable assistant proceeded to do a head count and appeared that they were short 1 person as she stated that we were originally 37 on our bus (#14) and now we were 36. She then told us that we could not leave until such person was found and asked us if we knew this person? How could we know such person as we just all boarded 2 hours ago, none of us have even met, let alone know all the passengers on board? She didn't even know if we were looking for a man or woman. After an almost 45-minute wait in the parking lot, they finally gave up and we headed to the Museum of the villages tour. Stop 3 – Museum of Villages - What a dump, The is and old, mosquito infested open air museum that has the different house structures of Romania within its compound, we were forced to be there for 2 hours, so again we tried to find a decent place to sit while we waited for our 2 pm departure. We sat in an un air-conditioning hut where they Come to find out, that during this tour, the tour guide's quiet head sets and microphone were not working so no one could hear her talking about this 'wonderful museum'. Again, my husband and I do not like group tours, and we made this clear to the agent when we booked our cruise directly with Viking, he told us we could also do our own thing, really? Stop 4 – LUNCH - So now we are down to lunch, oh boy, it was at Pescarus by a local lake (why not Hard Rock cafe next door, at least the building is nicer, and they have real a/c and great food). The tour guide made it sound that this was an exceptional high-end restaurant with wonderful local food. This restaurant reminded us of an old 70 diner in Vegas, the food was some type of composition of lots of onions with some 3 pieces of meat, potatoes and bread, with some side salad. Wine, water and if you only asked beer, as they didn't voluntarily offered beer or told us it was included in our meal. My husband had already gone to the bar and paid for his as we didn't know it was also included. This was lunch – nursing home cafeteria!!! Oh, and some local folkloric dancing was provided for entertainment. Guys this is what you call luxury travel and superb top of the line service, read your advertisement, it is a SCAM, total SCAM!!! Then finally we are off to the ship, almost 2 hours into the drive, the tour guide's information about Romania is focused on that people have their own gardens, grow their own vegetables and fruits, and have cows, chicken, and pigs in their lands, and indicates "to the left you will see some cows, to the right you will see how gypsies live. Coming to the right again are more cows and some chickens"? Really... ok so we finally arrive the ship.... Finally, on board - Room was quite small, but appeared comfortable at least, we had room 323 on the highest level with a Veranda (never got to use it). The ship has NO WOW factor, it is small, clean, but small. Our room had a mini bar but of course empty why would they want to even fill it up with sodas, juice and beer for you, like most "LUXURY" cruises do when you pay such a high-price, of course not, we are just cattle and their job is to hurry you up to the next port of call get you off the ship and put you on another awesome tour for the day, give you some petty lunch and bring you back for dinner. We could see this coming. We had a decent dinner and some drinks at the bar and called it a night, we could not get much sleep as people were walking above our room, since we were on the top floor above us was the walking track! There is a taped paper sign by the railing asking guest that as a "curtesy not to walk between the hours of 10 pm to 7 am" did they see, read or listen, no! So between toilet flushes (oh yes, they have some type of vacuum system that is so loud, you can hear everyone’s flushes all night long - remember, the majority of passengers on this ship were over 70, I think we were the youngest, so they go to the restroom a LOT! And the guest walking above our room, we probably got 4 hours of sleep, but we thought when they all get off the boat tomorrow, we can relax and enjoy the ship and sleep in -- not! We were told that for those that were not going on tours in Russe, Bulgaria the next morning, they could lower their room speaker’s volume so you would not be disturbed! Right!!! 7:45 am a loud speaker wakes us up, literately we both jumped out of bed, as they had to announce the departing time for tours!!! We tried to reduce the speaker volume, and were unsuccessful as it was broken, so we knew now that sleeping in would not be an option for the next days. We decided to try and go to bed once again after everyone got off the boat and this is where the real meal plan begins. You see they offer breakfast from 7-9, because they don't expect any one to remain on the ship, why would they bother to extend breakfast time to maybe 10:30 for those that do want to stay onboard. All luxury ships provide some type of meal service throughout and 24 hours. This ship does not offer ROOM SERVICE, so you are screwed. You must eat at hours told, if not, you will end up like us with no breakfast or lunch for our first full day on board. By the time I got up on the first day of cruising (Aug 22), we both missed out on breakfast, tough luck! They had some breads and cold cuts, but forget some nice eggs or omelet, bowl of cereal or warm toast. We decided to stay on board to see how the experience would be as we had decided not to join any of the "free tours" based on our pre-cruise tour experience we could see the quality and decided to just get off where we could at each port of call and do our own thing (of course we didn't get to do that as we permanently got off the next day!). 1st full and last day on board - here it goes, we have no real breakfast, for lunch we both napped again and by the time we woke up we had missed the light lunch they sat out for the maybe 12 passengers that stayed on board. So, we ate what was left before they picked up by 2 pm. My husband likes to smoke his cigars, and proceeded after lunch to go to the upper deck to have one and enjoy the river view, to his amazement, they had removed all shading in the designated "smoking" area at the back of the ship, he literately sat in the withering sun at 90 degrees F trying to enjoy his cigar, he could not and just got up and we ended up spending the remaining of the day in the a/c lounge area. There is absolutely no wait service in the upper deck. If you want to get a drink, you must go down to the bar and order one. You are on your own. By this time my husband was so fed up with how the services are on board and the limited staff that is available we were so disenchanted that I only wanted to be off this ship! So, this is how the meals program works, breakfast is 7-9 am, lunch 12-2 pm, however, the restaurant is not open for those days where everyone or the majority of passengers our off on tours. So, the only day that lunch would even be available in the restaurant is the 24th as it was the only "Sailing day" to "enjoy the luxuries of this ship" a joke. Dinner starts at 7 pm as per their program sent to us. Not true, on the ship we were told that if you did not make it past 7:20 pm in the restaurant, most likely you would miss out on your appetizer, and if you got there by 7:45 pm you would might not get your main course, so of course everyone like cattle, herd over to the restaurant right at 7 pm! What a joke, where is the luxury in this, the comfort, why work on your time vs. ours! We are paying for this service it is not a nursing home, but we sure felt like it! We were so disgusted with this that we didn't even put in our dinner order we went back to our room and discussed our options, we decided to cut this trip short and leave! Didn't care where, just leave! I spoke with the Hotel director on board and explained that we were so disenchanted with this whole experience we just wanted off the boat. We left August 23 at 9 am to never, ever turn back. We ended up having to pay for a driver to take us to Sofia, Bulgaria $200 Euros. Booked a room at the Hilton in Sofia for 5 nights and booked two one-way plane tickets $1500 K to take us from Sofia to Budapest on the 28th as we already have the 2 post days in Budapest booked with Viking. We don't head home until the 1st of Sept so it would of cost us a lot of money to change our first-class seats back to the US for an earlier departure, plus Budapest has been on our bucket list for a long time. So, to summarize our experience, if you are looking for true luxurious travel, with all the comforts of high-end cruising VIKING IS NOT, again NOT FOR YOU! Our advice, please do your research, I failed to do this, and we relied on what people we knew that travel like us had shared! I didn't bother to read reviews, or investigate further, since their pricing and advertising is similar to those true luxury lines, we didn't think twice on booking. However, lessons learned, from now on it does not matter how experience travelers we are, we will always check. I am so upset about this, this cost us over $15,000 K, we could have done a beautiful resort in Hawaii or a luxury pent-house cruise in the Caribbean for this price, but no, we chose Viking due to their misleading, false advertising. As I initially stated, I called their customer service number once we arrived at Sofia, Bulgaria to ensure that they would NOT cancel our hotel in Budapest as it was part of the package and to also request a partial refund for such an awful experience. They lady on the phone proceeded to tell me that we didn't buy trip insurance and therefore, we were not owned anything back! As we chose to leave, no lady, you gave us plenty of reasons to leave that is the big difference!! We didn't buy trip insurance, why would we, we are both healthy and had every intention to make this trip, it is my husband’s 60th. She told me that if we would have purchased it, there would have been a partial refund. NOT TRUE, their trip insurance does not refund you for dissatisfied services only for the following as per their brochures: CANCEL FOR ANY REASON WAIVER DETAILS What We Will Do: Under the “Cancel For Any Reason” Waiver, we will waive our cancellation penalties and reimburse you in cash or travel vouchers (depending on the reason for cancellation) for the nonrefundable portion of your Viking trip cost, provided that you cancel before your scheduled departure. We will also waive any additional fees you would otherwise incur for a change in your per person occupancy rate if a person booked to travel with you cancels his or her trip and you do not cancel your trip. How You Are Reimbursed: If you cancel for one of the “Specified Reasons” listed in the Protection Plan document, we will reimburse you in cash. If you cancel for any other reason, we will reimburse you with a travel voucher that can be used for future voyages with us. The maximum amount covered under this “Cancel For Any Reason” Waiver is the cost of the travel arrangements provided by Viking Cruises. TRIP INTERRUPTION AND DELAYED ARRIVAL - Provides You with a reimbursement for the unused prepaid, non-refundable Payments or Deposits for Your land or water Travel Arrangements for Your Trip, plus the additional airfare cost to return home, if Your Trip is interrupted for a covered reason. MISSED CONNECTION - Provides You with a reimbursement for the unused portions of Your land or water Travel Arrangements, plus the additional costs to join Your trip, if Your arrival at the Trip destination is delayed for 3 hours or more for a covered reason. TRAVEL DELAY - Assists with additional travel expenses incurred when You are delayed at least 12 hours due to a covered reason. In the event of a covered delay, You will be reimbursed for additional expenses for hotels, meals, and transportation. AIR FLIGHT ONLY ACCIDENTAL DEATH & DISMEMBERMENT - Provides coverage up to the maximum benefit payable for loss of life, limb or sight resulting from an Accidental Injury. MEDICAL EXPENSE/EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE - Provides Medical Expense benefits for a covered Sickness or Injury incurred while on Your Trip. When required, We will evacuate You to the nearest qualified hospital and will then return You home when You are safe to travel. POLITICAL OR SECURITY EVACUATION - Provides coverage for all reasonable evacuation expenses incurred for Your transportation to the nearest safe haven, if You must leave Your Trip for a covered Political or Security Event. Evacuation must occur within 10 days of any Political or Security Event. BAGGAGE & PERSONAL EFFECTS - Provides reimbursement when Your baggage or personal belongings are damaged, lost or stolen during Your Trip. Personal belongings include such things as loss of luggage, jewelry, passports or travel visas. Ms. Viking Customer service or better yet, Mr. Hagen (CEO and President of Viking) tell me where you would reimburse me if we were unsatisfied with your services if we would have even opted to buy your so called “travel Insurance” oh but yes, another scam. Things to know, the main drive of Viking is to sell you tours, to get you off their ships like cattle herding as they now don't have to entertain you with drinks and meals on board. They put you on buses and bus you around and give you nice bottles of “warm” water and some type of lunch meal, then bus you back to their ship and feed you again to put you back to sleep in your corral and do this all over the next day. I call Viking a low-class glamping service, that really is what they are. There is absolutely no way to reach out to those higher up in the Viking organization, but one wonders if they are possibly well aware of these selling methods and activities. It is all about driving profit. I feel that as a consumer is my right to advocate for us travelers, and if publishing my review throughout all travel sites will have my voice heard, I will do until I have someone in the Viking organization try and appease this situation with us and reimburse us partially for such a disappointing and disastrous experience. I will also be disputing this with my credit card company. Also, anyone would be so kind, please share this review. Again, thank you for taking the time to read my review and feel free in reaching out to us, united we have a bigger voice. August 25, 2019 Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
My wife and I have recently returned from our Russia river cruise via Viking. We actually sailed on a combination of canals, rivers, and lakes from Moscow to St Petersburg on the Viking Helgi. The Helgi is larger than the ... Read More
My wife and I have recently returned from our Russia river cruise via Viking. We actually sailed on a combination of canals, rivers, and lakes from Moscow to St Petersburg on the Viking Helgi. The Helgi is larger than the “longboats” we’ve sailed in previously on the Danube. Though longer, they have two decks, while the Russian river boats have four. The Russian boats are certified to sail in the ocean—but not too far from land. This was good, because some of the lakes we crossed were enormous. There are quite a few of these boats, all based on the same design. The Helgi was built in 1984. Viking acquired five of the boats in 2008 and completely stripped the interiors and rebuilt them to reflect the standards that Viking passengers are familiar with. The difference between the Viking ships and the other Russian boats is very apparent. The boats frequently dock side by side—you often have to walk through one or even two boats to get to yours, especially in the larger cities. There’s a dramatic difference when first walking through a Russian boat then onto ours. The Russian boats are quite drab. All in all she’s a beautiful and comfortable ship. One thing Viking didn’t do when they redid the interiors was improve the sound baffling between the cabins. There doesn’t seem to be much. We could clearly hear conversations and other sounds (use your imagination) from the cabins next to us. The first night aboard, exhausted from long flights, I had to politely ask our neighbor if he’d please turn down his TV, which he quickly did. Otherwise our veranda cabin was great with a very comfortable bed, pillows, linens, etc. The bath was small, but worked well and had a surprising amount of storage. The food was wonderful—every meal was great. Dinner each night featured a menu of different Russian specialities: appetizer, entree, and dessert. There are more “continental” offerings on each menu as well. The chef onboard the Helgi is German—Herr Benjamin. Though not identified as such, many meals have featured German specialties (krautwirkel—cabbage rolls; pflaumen kuchen—plum cake). They and the Russian offerings have been delicious. We looked forward to every meal. Viking offers wine or beer with lunch and dinner with no charge. I was a bit skeptical when it was clear that the only wine and beer was going to be Russian. The beer is actually excellent. Wine (red and white) is surprisingly good too, although not as good as Washington state, Oregon, or California wines typically are. Servers aboard don’t like to see empty glasses; they keep refilling your glass until you ask them to stop. Service aboard was absolutely amazing. Our cabin was kept spotless. But most impressive was the service in the bars and dining room. Servers are a combination of Russian and Filipino. They were all very friendly and extremely attentive. By the third day aboard every server was calling us by name. We’re not special, they seemed to know every passenger’s name. It was pretty amazing. Our fellow passengers were all very much like us—all older, and frequent travelers. We started with three days in Moscow. We were surprised at how much we liked the city. It was safe, extremely clean, with parks and extensive gardens everywhere. We had a pretty hectic schedule for the three days we were there, but were grateful we saw as much as we did. The next five days we cruised making stops at various cities, towns, and UNESCO heritage sites. The Russian countryside we cruised by was beautiful. We selected this cruise because of the number of days it offered in St Petersburg—three with the boat as our hotel. We opted to add the extra two days in a hotel offered through a Viking post cruise extension. Even five days wasn’t enough for this beautiful city. We’d highly recommend this cruise. All in all Viking did everything extremely well. The only thing that could have been better was the transfer from our post cruise extension hotel to the airport. Ours from the hotel was a little... um ... undersupported. We were told to be in the lobby at 2:45 am where a Viking rep would meet us. We’re there on time (5 couples) and waited. There was a Viking shuttle out front but no one in it. When someone checked again after 10 minutes the driver was sitting in it and indicated he was waiting for us. So we all boarded and he drove us to the airport and dropped us with our luggage in front of a terminal. We stood and looked at each other wondering where to go. Someone asked the driver; he pointed in a direction, shut the door and drove off. We all struggled a bit to figure out where exactly we should go to check bags etc., but eventually figured it out and helped each other out each step as we learned something useful. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was a 'bucket list' cruise which did not disappoint. We had sailed with Viking in China (5 stars) and this could not compare with that experience. That said, it delivered on all of its promises, with the exception of the ... Read More
This was a 'bucket list' cruise which did not disappoint. We had sailed with Viking in China (5 stars) and this could not compare with that experience. That said, it delivered on all of its promises, with the exception of the hotel accomodation before and after. The experience on the ship was excellent, made better by the seamless planning and execution of the outstanding staff on board. By the end of the week we felt as though we were friends with everybody. Mealtimes were great, with excellent food and attentive service. We gained 5 pounds each! Our room (french balcony) was small but adequate, with a great shower and heated bathroom floor! TV reception was surprisingly good, watching the BBC world news was a treat. We slept well. Coffee and biscuits were always available, and very good! The shore excursions were good, with local guides, some of whom were excellent, none were awful. Highlights were the opportunities to explore on our own - in Mainz the Chagall glass in St Stevens was amazing, and worth the walk to see it. Viking handle the details so well. Luggage was transported efficiently - amazing to see the entire crew (including the Captain!) form a human chain to unload the bags at disembarkation. The only negatives were the choice of hotels before and after. Both were in business districts and somewhat out of the way. Le Meridien in Paris was very disappointing, even though we were upgraded to an Elite room. But it was within walking distance of the Arc de Triomphe and convenient to a Metro station. I can only imagine that this would be a challenging trip for folks with mobility challenges. Lots of walking and stairs would advise careful consideration. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We have been to the Viking River. We are happy with the cruising along the River Danube. The cabin is small, the entertainment is OK, could be better - mainly piano playing, One time the cruise director Dawn gave a nice concert, a ... Read More
We have been to the Viking River. We are happy with the cruising along the River Danube. The cabin is small, the entertainment is OK, could be better - mainly piano playing, One time the cruise director Dawn gave a nice concert, a Sparano solo -the only best concert. Another time a team of two GERMAN musicians playing the accordion. Food is nutrition with limited choice in the menu. The ship Viking Tor is very new. Port excursion consists of a lot of walking. Viking puts out lots of optional excursions. Viking river cruise does not welcome children, probably person more than 21 cannot drink any alcoholic beverage, also there is no children's program in the ship. Viking Cruise company gives out lots of incentive for a passenger to return for another cruise in the future, like $200 onboard credit if returning within 2 years. I probably would go back. I enjoy the river cruises over the ocean cruises. The service & staff are excellent, very friendly. The ports & shore excursions are excellent & well organized. the reasons-smaller ship, more intimate atmosphere, more personal care, less line up for everything, wine & drink is included during mealtime, no formal wear ( makes it easier to pack.), we get to go ashore every day, the ship disembarks right in the city center. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We were not told that there was a broken lock preventing us from leaving the ugly canal filled with factories in Nuremberg until the second day of the cruise. The staff was nice but made it clear that they had absolutely no power to help ... Read More
We were not told that there was a broken lock preventing us from leaving the ugly canal filled with factories in Nuremberg until the second day of the cruise. The staff was nice but made it clear that they had absolutely no power to help us. They were vague and noncommittal and made it seem as if we were crazy to be upset about being bussed for several hours to see the sites. The Viking Atla stayed parked in the dismal canal for four days. Each night we were given a vague update. At these meetings the waiters offered drinks. We assumed that Viking would pick up the tab considering the information they were imparting to us, but we were told the drinks would be charged to our room. Eventually, we were taken on a 4 1/2 hour bus trip from Nuremberg to Austria to meet our new boat, the Viking Jarl. The bus we were on was not a Viking bus. The seats were tiny, cramped and uncomfortable . The bus made a stop at McDonald’s for 45 minutes because we are told drivers are not allowed to drive for 4 hours without stopping for 4 hours. Vienna was lovely and things went smoothly there. The next mishap occurred the morning we were to arrive near Budapest. We were told that over night we spent too much time waiting to go through the locks, so we would all need to stay on the boat directly to Budapest . Although this resulted in beautiful scenery, our sightseeing in Budapest was cut down to 4 hours and all of our excursions had to be cancelled. At this point even the staff agreed this was pathetic! Viking was no help on the phone while this is happening and has not reached out at all. Their customer service is horrible!’ Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We had been planning for our Romantic Danube cruise on the Viking Var for over a year. Eight of us were traveling together to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We have never spent this much money on a vacation ($12,000) before and we ... Read More
We had been planning for our Romantic Danube cruise on the Viking Var for over a year. Eight of us were traveling together to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We have never spent this much money on a vacation ($12,000) before and we were so excited to cruise from Budapest to Nuremburg. The first four days of our trip was a dream. The crew on the Var was fabulous and we could not have been happier. On the 4th day, rumors started circulating around the ship that we were going to have to change ships. We understood from our contract with Viking that river levels or other issues could cause a change in itinerary, but how Viking handled the change is completely unacceptable. Viking has known a lock on the Danube between Regensburg and Nuremburg was broken since a Viking ship broke it on June 5th. We did not sail until June 28th, Viking knew about this itinerary change and did not notify its customers. We were told the night before a ship change that we had to have all our things packed and outside our cabin doors by 8:15 am to be transferred to a new ship. Here’s where it got worse: 1) We were bussed (1.5 hours) to Passau, Germany for that day’s tour and then bussed for 4 hours to Roth, Germany where our new ship, the Viking Tor, was docked in a dirty industrial canal. 2) When we boarded our new ship after four hours on a bus, not a single crew member apologized, a drink wasn’t offered…nothing. 3) At that night’s port talk, we were told that if we wanted to go to Regensburg, we would have to be bussed 1.5 hours each way for a two-hour city tour. We declined to take that tour and found our own way to the Roth train station and made our way to Nuremburg on our own and at our own expense. We were only 30 minutes from Nuremberg and the Viking crew would not help us arrange something different than what they had planned. 4) We then sat in Roth, in a dirty industrial canal for two days. 5) We sailed to another industrial canal in Nuremburg and disembarked the next day. Upon arriving home, I contacted Viking Customer Service to provide feedback and to ask for compensation for spending a third of our “Romantic Danube” cruise on dirty canals. I was told by the Agent for Viking that Viking Executives were reviewing compensation for all of the passengers. He told me that after I received that communication if I was not happy, I should call him back. About two hours later, I received an email from Viking offering us each a $250 voucher for another cruise. That is roughly 4% of the cost of our trip when we spent almost a third of our trip either on a bus or a dirty canal. What an insult from Viking. All of Viking’s advertising touts their world class service…that’s all true when everything is going fine, but when issues arise, Viking takes no responsibility or accountability with their customers. When I called the Agent back, he confirmed that $250 was the offer and that it was “more than generous”. He also explained to me how itinerary changes are made by Viking and that the experience I explained to him was not what had happened. He offered me $500 each for an ocean cruise, “but, that is the best I can do and we are at an impasse.” He was nice in our first call and very rude in our second. Here’s the truth: 1) Viking knew about the lock before we boarded our ship. They chose not to disclose it. Other river cruise companies did and one cruise line even put their passengers up in a 5 star hotel rather than make them spend days on a dirty canal. 2) Viking gave us 10 hours’ notice of the change. No one ever apologized. If they would have offered everyone a free drink in the bar that night after a 4 hour bus ride, that would have gone a long way. 3) We spent one-third of our vacation in a dirty canal and Viking could care less. I will never take a Viking cruise again, I will never recommend Viking, I will proactively tell my friends and family to never take a Viking cruise and I will use all social media and cruise review sites I can to tell my story. What a truly disappointing experience. Viking is dishonest and does not care about its customers…plain and simple. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We had done the Rhine and couldn't wait to go again. I can't believe this is even the same cruise line. The crew was very standoff-ish. But, we made nice friends and the first few days were decent. Then, at Gottwieg Abby, we ... Read More
We had done the Rhine and couldn't wait to go again. I can't believe this is even the same cruise line. The crew was very standoff-ish. But, we made nice friends and the first few days were decent. Then, at Gottwieg Abby, we were informed that due to a broken lock, we would have to do a boat swap with Tor that night. We'd pack, they would transfer our luggage to another boat while we were touring, we'd return to the new boat and be on our way. What happened is that they stuck us on a 6-hour bus ride and delivered us to Tor - parked in an industrial waste site, complete with rumbling dump trucks and trash. There we stayed for 3 days! We found out it had already been there for 3 days prior! Most of our tours were canceled for two days. If we wanted to do anything we had to be up at 5:30 AM and on a bus for a 2-3 hour bus ride to a faraway city....where we would get to spend a whole hour touring! We finally mutinied and told them we were staying till 4 and they had better come and get us. They did...but at 5:45! Yet, we met other Viking passengers who had boat-swapped with little disruption. We understood the lock issue... until they tied us up for 3 days! No explanation. Calls to Viking upon return home were met with the rudest, nastiest treatment imaginable. "What do you want, lady?" I paid $10,000 for half a cruise. I would expect decent compensation. Nope, they acted as if we should have been grateful that they said, 'sorry.' Our Rhine had lectures and classes...this one had nothing! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Although we had been on several ocean cruises with other lines, this was our first river cruise. It coincided with our 40th wedding anniversary and we wanted something special. We boarded the ship and immediately felt welcome. The crew was ... Read More
Although we had been on several ocean cruises with other lines, this was our first river cruise. It coincided with our 40th wedding anniversary and we wanted something special. We boarded the ship and immediately felt welcome. The crew was awesome. No need went unmet. Unlike the ocean cruises, we were part of a small group - 180+ passengers. By the end of the cruise, we'd gotten to meet almost everyone and formed special friendships with several. The Captain, at first, gave the impression of a gruff exterior but soon revealed a warm and friendly person. He invited us to visit the bridge to see how they navigated and welcomed the passengers to visit as long when things weren't too busy. The entire crew was very friendly - from the captain to the cooks and deck hands. Our cabin was kept fresh and stocked by a delightful young lady. Of particular note was the Cruise Director - Bujon (I'm sure I spelled that wrong). He went out of his way to insure everyone had a great time. His personality couldn't be better suited for the job. Always a ready smile. The dining experience was also delightful with special attention to dietary restrictions. The dining room staff was very friendly and pleasant to work with. The food never failed to please the palate. We couldn't have asked for a better 40th Anniversary celebration! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. River cruise was on our bucket list. This cruise hit all the ports we wanted plus the pre and post extensions (Lake Como And Amsterdam) added to our trip. Turned out to be so much more than ... Read More
Celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. River cruise was on our bucket list. This cruise hit all the ports we wanted plus the pre and post extensions (Lake Como And Amsterdam) added to our trip. Turned out to be so much more than we expected. The Viking reputation was upheld by the entire crew. From our captain to our Hotel Manager, to our breakfast server. Every person was amazing. They knew our names by day 2! The long ship was spotless. The food was outstanding. Even our nightly entertainment was great for the 30 of us who stayed up past 9:30 pm. We even made life long friends with some our shipmates. Seriously, it was so nice to be on a ship that concentrates on making relationships and truly providing service, rather than just purely entertaining you to make money. The crew of the Loft loves what they do. They have so much pride in taking care of their guests it shows every day. I am in the Hospitality Business, so trust me, I understand how hard it is and how special this group of people are. TAKE THIS CRUISE! That is my recommendation. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We booked our cruise based on our own research and our travel agent’s recommendation. It’s not often that our entire vacation ends up being better than we hoped, but this trip truly was. From the time we got to the airport in Raleigh, ... Read More
We booked our cruise based on our own research and our travel agent’s recommendation. It’s not often that our entire vacation ends up being better than we hoped, but this trip truly was. From the time we got to the airport in Raleigh, NC to the time we returned there, everything was handled by Viking with exceptional results. Every detail was well thought out and expertly executed. The staff at all phases were friendly, courteous, and professional. We were met at the airport in Amsterdam, and taken to our hotel ( the Radisson Blu), where we were met by our Viking concierge. That’s the way it went until we were delivered to the airport in Zurich. The only negative I can even think of was the last included excursion (the Black Forest one.). It wasn’t bad, but paled in comparison to all the others. It was a long (by beautiful) bus ride to a destination that felt very much like a tourist trap. It wasn’t a bad day, but by the time we got back to the boat we were tired. Five plus hours of bus for barely one hour among the shops. Even taking that less than spectacular excursion, the Viking experience is one that left us looking forward to seeing what cruise to book next. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We had sailed with Viking on the Danube and were pleased with our experience so we picked them again for a Rhine River cruise and we're glad we did. Our balcony cabin was small, as are most river cruise cabins, but there was ample ... Read More
We had sailed with Viking on the Danube and were pleased with our experience so we picked them again for a Rhine River cruise and we're glad we did. Our balcony cabin was small, as are most river cruise cabins, but there was ample storage. The service was outstanding; we would like Marlon, our waiter, to come and live with us. He knew all of our drink preferences after the first day and, when one of our party became ill, he never failed to ask about his progress. We were very lucky: the water level and the weather were close to perfect. We spent most of the afternoon of the Middle Rhine sailing on the top deck and Viking showed great attention to details: we had maps that showed all of the 31 castles we sailed by, the program director did a commentary, we were given ice water, shade umbrellas, and ice cream (the sun was very strong that day - we all had red skin on areas where we failed to use sunblock). Most of the excursions were very good; the one exception being the Black Forest where it takes much too long on the bus to spend an hour at a very touristy visitors center (let's not talk about the rush hour traffic we hit on the way back). We would love to travel with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Taking a Viking cruise in Europe was always on our list of vacations we wanted to experience. The on-board service and shore excursions exceeded expectations! With less than 190 passengers, it made for an intimate and comfortable ... Read More
Taking a Viking cruise in Europe was always on our list of vacations we wanted to experience. The on-board service and shore excursions exceeded expectations! With less than 190 passengers, it made for an intimate and comfortable trip. The dining area was conducive to meeting a lot of different people and we made new friends with whom we have kept in touch. The staff was first rate. They made sure our food, drink and rooms were always top notch. The one minor downside was during our visit to Cologne. Due to limited dock space we had another Viking vessel tie up alongside of us. We had a balcony deck and were prevented from sitting out and admiring the Cologne Cathedral and city skyline. We knew ahead of time that this was a possibility, but it was still disappointing. The Top of Cologne excursion is a "must"! We will be taking future river cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
I’ve wanted to see the castles in Germany for most of my adult life. This was the perfect way to get in many of them. The cruise started in Amsterdam and finished in Basel Switzerland. We got in a day early to spend time in Amsterdam and ... Read More
I’ve wanted to see the castles in Germany for most of my adult life. This was the perfect way to get in many of them. The cruise started in Amsterdam and finished in Basel Switzerland. We got in a day early to spend time in Amsterdam and visit the awesome museums. On the cruise we visited a Dutch farm and learned how they made cheese and of course saw the windmills! Cologne was beautiful, and we had a lot of fun learning about the local brews. Marksburg Castle was one of my favorites. SO old, and in such good shape! Then it was nice to just sit and hear about the castles as we cruised down to Heidelberg, which was another history lesson, but much more damaged. My favorite was Strasbourg. The history, the food! The wine! The Black Forest was lovely. I wish it had been less crowded in the shops there. The crowds came and went as other groups joined or left the area. Hubby and I had a French Balcony on the Third level. We are getting this level again for our next Viking cruise in April 2020. We liked being on the same level as the piano bar and open air seating. Even though I thought the room size was fine for a cruise, we really were only in there to sleep and cleanup. The bathroom is really nice with heated floors. Lovely supplies! For next April, I will take more advantage of the books they suggest to learn about the stops before I go, but I just retired and have more time now. I have to mention the staff. They could not do enough to make everyone on board happy. I’ve never seen such service. There is only one person on the piano except when they bring in local entertainment. But ours was great, he tried his best to keep a variety of people happy. The bar staff were inventive and attentive. There were various activities and through them we met some great people. We often ate off the boat, but when we ate on the boat, it was enjoyable and cooked to our requests. The silver wine package was well worth the price! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Wanted to see Germany and Austria. The sights were beautiful, espcially Salzberg and Munich which cost extra, but we were rushed during the excursions with only 45 minutes of “free time”. Captain and manager were great but the front ... Read More
Wanted to see Germany and Austria. The sights were beautiful, espcially Salzberg and Munich which cost extra, but we were rushed during the excursions with only 45 minutes of “free time”. Captain and manager were great but the front desk was unhelpful. The “store” only offers Viking items, no essentials. The tickets that Viking booked had ridiculously long layovers in Frankfort and a 3:30 am departure unless you spend $50 to pick your own times (we were unaware that you could do this because the booking agent was oblivious). Also they say they take Amex but the front desk hassles you if you try to use an amex card to pay. Wireless rarely works and there are only a handful of movies to watch on the tv. If you are under 50 and not white or heterosexual, mingling may be challenging. The people are our cruise were oddly cliquish and pushy and were given special treatment. On the positive side, the boat was clean, food was excellent. Luckily, we ate upstairs, not in the crowded buffet style dining hall. Will not cruise on overpriced Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We don't have any negatives to tell you about this cruise, the ship, the staff, the activities, or the food. Everything was so far above our expectations it would be hard to explain. Viking has excellent ships, excellent employees, ... Read More
We don't have any negatives to tell you about this cruise, the ship, the staff, the activities, or the food. Everything was so far above our expectations it would be hard to explain. Viking has excellent ships, excellent employees, and a science around how organized they are with all of the arrangements. I was worried about riding in a bus to the excursions, but the buses and drivers were a pleasure! I was also concerned about the food, having heard stories about the massive amounts of junk food on some cruises. Our chef was excellent and all the food was so delicious. The choices were wonderful and the portions were perfect. We loved our cabin, which had a balcony, and enjoyed sitting up on the deck. We met lots a great people on the ship that we have remained in contact with. We are looking forward to many other Viking cruises! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have been on several Viking River cruises before. Sadly-the Legend is an old, tired, leased ship and is nothing like the Viking owned ships. No aquavit lounge for starters, so no great place to sit outside. No outdoor balcony in our ... Read More
We have been on several Viking River cruises before. Sadly-the Legend is an old, tired, leased ship and is nothing like the Viking owned ships. No aquavit lounge for starters, so no great place to sit outside. No outdoor balcony in our suite-which was really expensive. There’s no service on the rooftop-which is the only outdoor seating. And then there’s the food. The dinners are just not good. I’m not a picky eater-and I haven’t finished 1 meal because they are just not tasty. Breakfast and lunch have been fine. The furniture is worn out and the main lounge is set up like an old cocktail lounge from the 70’s. Viking-shame on you for compromising your standards and proving that your growth is now changing your standards. You leased a substandard ship for your loyal passengers rather than holding off until you had a nice ship available. The cabin had none of the usual Viking electrical outlet choices, so I couldn’t plug in my curling iron! I will say the staff has been very good. The included tours have been good and we’ve had a couple of really fabulous tour guides. Viking should send some secret shoppers on their cruises to see what’s going on and to eat the food. I think the senior management would be shocked if they spent a week on the Legend. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
My husband and I took the cruise down the Rhine. We had never been to Europe. I love castles! This cruise was for our 46th wedding anniversary! The ship was fantastic ,the entertainment was fabulous and my husband and I danced every night ... Read More
My husband and I took the cruise down the Rhine. We had never been to Europe. I love castles! This cruise was for our 46th wedding anniversary! The ship was fantastic ,the entertainment was fabulous and my husband and I danced every night away with the new friends we met on the ship .We enjoyed our balcony so much! We thoroughly enjoyed all of the excursions that were included and marveled at the beautiful scenery on the excursions and while riding down the Rhine River . The staff was so great and made us feel so special the whole trip! They were very friendly, attentive, and went out of their way to attend to our every wish! On the night of our anniversary we had dinner with the captain and the staff sang to us it was awesome ! The staff also decorated our room with hearts champagne and chocolate it was a wonderful surprise ! We can’t wait to book our next cruise , Thank You Viking! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We did our 1st River Cruise and it won't be the last. Awesome cruise from start to finish. The staff knew your name before the cruise ended. The food was amazing, and the chef will make you special food for those with allergies or ... Read More
We did our 1st River Cruise and it won't be the last. Awesome cruise from start to finish. The staff knew your name before the cruise ended. The food was amazing, and the chef will make you special food for those with allergies or lactose free. Every region you are in, the menu, wine and beer will change. The optional tours are well worth the money. Strauss Concert in Vienna was simply AMAZING. The cruise director surprised us in Budapest with a nighttime cruise to see the lights. Very breathtaking. If you're looking for a river cruise, look no further than the Grand European. You will not be disappointed. The sites from Amsterdam to Budapest are amazing. The castles and churches are beautiful. If you have never been through locks, well this is the cruise for you. You'll go through 65 locks with the deepest at 85'. John and Lucille Mlakar Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
After more than 10 cruises with Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean me and my husband we decided to try something different. “Cruising the Eastern Europe” on board Viking LIF was our first river cruise and our first Viking cruise at ... Read More
After more than 10 cruises with Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean me and my husband we decided to try something different. “Cruising the Eastern Europe” on board Viking LIF was our first river cruise and our first Viking cruise at the same time. What can I say about the entire experience? I already booked another 2 cruises with Viking. Everything was above exceptional: the service, the ship, the excursions and the staff on board. The staff on board Viking Lif was exceptional. Martina and Bart in the restaurant and lounge were perfect, always smiling and with great manners. Our room attendant Maya was a very nice girl with a lovely positive attitude and our cabin was always impeccable. We fall in love with the reception staff (Suzy and Johnny) always helpful and smiling and Capitan Anna was incredible: charming and always available to answer to any questions. Joseph the Hotel Director was one of the best we ever meet, solving any problems or requests we hand, nothing was too much for him. But the most impressive was our Cruise Director Leonard. His encyclopaedical knowledge, sense of humour and dedication made this trip unforgettable. Leonard was everywhere and sometimes we thought that he had 3 or 4 clones on board to be always smiling and ready to assist from 5AM to 1PM, every day. I wish I could record his commentary during the Iron Gate sea day when the amount of historical, geographical and social information mixed with a lot of legends and local traditions plus a fantastic sense of humour reminded me of a National Geographic documentary. He really made this trip unforgettable for us! Can’t wait for our next cruise with Viking Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Our desire to take a river cruise was always on our bucket list. We wanted to cruise the Danube and Rhine rivers. One out of two so far. A delightful experience. The boat/ cabin was very comfortable, crew very amiable, knowledgeable ... Read More
Our desire to take a river cruise was always on our bucket list. We wanted to cruise the Danube and Rhine rivers. One out of two so far. A delightful experience. The boat/ cabin was very comfortable, crew very amiable, knowledgeable and helpful, cuisine delicious and shore excursions varied and fun. What stood out the most was the friendly nature of the crew. At every moment someone was there to help understand where we were, what we should be looking for or just for friendly conversation. Fellow travelers were fun; meeting people from around the world is always educational and expanding ones perspective. Shore excursions were well planned and carried out. Our most enjoyable excursion was to the town of Czny Krumlov. Charming town in a beautiful country. Seeing countries previously behind the Iron Curtain was very eyeopening. All in all a very wonderful time. Looking forward to our next cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
March 31, 2019 on Viking Magni River Cruise Budapest to Passau. First suggestion, do your homework. We booked a French “Balcony” (sliding door) on 3rd Fl. Very small. Just enough room for a double bed. No chairs so reading or TV ... Read More
March 31, 2019 on Viking Magni River Cruise Budapest to Passau. First suggestion, do your homework. We booked a French “Balcony” (sliding door) on 3rd Fl. Very small. Just enough room for a double bed. No chairs so reading or TV is lying on bed. Small bathroom. Very efficient but claustrophobic. Room has fridge but only useful for bringing in shore beverages or food. Hint. Don’t upgrade the liquor package. Buy duty free or in town and save $$ as you can bring this on board and no corkage. Fridge is useless otherwise as no room service and cannot bring any bottles from bar into room (even with their best upgraded liquor package!). WiFi is free as it should be because it was terrible. With modern service I’m sure this could be improved if they wanted to but would increase expenses. Service was impeccable from everyone. As were the excursions, even those included. That is the expectation and the standard for this caliber of cruise. The entrees we had were all good but not exceptional. Superb buffet is always in addition to table menu service. Best meal was grilled sea bass served on last day. Meals are mostly served in main dining room with tables of 6-8+. Great opportunity to build friendships and share conversations with fellow travelers. Still good value and a we hope to go again but equipped with new knowledge to fine tune our experience. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
I did in depth research of cruise lines for guest services, itinerary and value. Viking offered the best of everything I was looking for, especially visiting Omaha Beach and Normandy in general. I particularly enjoyed Rouen, Vernon, and ... Read More
I did in depth research of cruise lines for guest services, itinerary and value. Viking offered the best of everything I was looking for, especially visiting Omaha Beach and Normandy in general. I particularly enjoyed Rouen, Vernon, and Giverny (Monet home and gardens). Viking staff greeted us on arrival at CDG airport and the transportation to our ship was effortless. Viking staff again greeted us at the ship and were escorted to our cabin and given an overview of the accommodations and services available. The Viking ship “Rolf” and it’s crew provided a very friendly and accommodating atmosphere. The cabin was extremely comfortable. The food and wines were incredible and worth the price of the trip by itself. We were provide information at the end of each day about the next day’s scheduled activities - including a description of the available tours and brief history of the places we would visit. Overall, this was the best vacation I have ever experienced and am planning another trip for late 2021. I highly recommend this particular cruise (Paris to Normandy) and the Viking cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We have cruised about 15 times, but this was our first river cruise.....and it won't be our last! We have already booked two more. The whole trip was fabulous. The beautiful ship, the super friendly staff & crew, and the ... Read More
We have cruised about 15 times, but this was our first river cruise.....and it won't be our last! We have already booked two more. The whole trip was fabulous. The beautiful ship, the super friendly staff & crew, and the gorgeous scenery. I can't say enough about the crew on the Tialfi. They greeted us by name from the very first day. Our waiter knew our drink preference, and even secured special bottles of wine for our table. One of our travel companions was "gluten free", and she had a great dinner every evening. They even made gluten free bread for her. The cabins were great. I recommend the balcony - you will travel through locks and it's pretty interesting to watch. The tours were awesome, informative, and the tour guides were great. We did the three day extension to Lucerne. The tour guide was fabulous and the scenery breathtaking. Well worth the extra cost. Embarking and leaving the ship were a breeze - no long lines! Can you tell I enjoyed this cruise? lol A 10 out of 10! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I wanted something special as a graduation gift for my son! The cruise was even nicer than I ever dreamed. The service was superb, as each crew member was so kind and responsive. The cruise director was amazing, always finding ... Read More
I wanted something special as a graduation gift for my son! The cruise was even nicer than I ever dreamed. The service was superb, as each crew member was so kind and responsive. The cruise director was amazing, always finding solutions to any challenges that presented themselves. The chef and his staff were very talented in creating delicious and beautiful meals. The scenery and towns visited were like a dream! The guides did a great job of introducing us to the cities we visited each day. The concierge was extremely organized, keeping track of the location of each guest, to ensure no one stayed behind. Local guides were authentic and knowledgeable, adding a local insight to what we were seeing, and giving us tips on where to buy the best souvenirs and the best prices. We would love to return someday, or take other cruises in the U.S. Thanks Viking! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Concierge at the hotel for 3 days in Paris prior to embarkation was very sweet and helpful, she suggested great restaurants and sights to visit. Definitely recommend the three days in Paris before the cruise. Take the time to adjust to ... Read More
Concierge at the hotel for 3 days in Paris prior to embarkation was very sweet and helpful, she suggested great restaurants and sights to visit. Definitely recommend the three days in Paris before the cruise. Take the time to adjust to the jet lag and just enjoy some sights one on one. The crew was unbelievable on board and the staff made every effort to get to know us and make all dining fun and enjoyable. My wife has a gluten allergy, and they always had something special for her without her having to ask. I recommend the drink package upgrade, bartenders are amazing. Excursions were well planned out and breaks were planned out perfectly, you never felt overwhelmed or rushed. I was skeptical about doing this type of cruise, but we thoroughly enjoyed all aspects from rooms to service to excursions to local cuisine aboard the Rolf, we enjoyed everything so much, we have already booked our next cruise in Germany, and can not wait to go. Read Less
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