November 2015 - Viking Freya to Europe
I was on the Romantic Danube trip from Budapest to Nuremberg 11/14/2015 to 11/21/2015. I will never travel with Viking again! Viking's management only cares about filling out the capacity of the each cruise ship. I have listed a few of my issues with the company below...
1) Safety on board is a huge concern, especially since the audience for these cruises is largely American. No checks for identification when entering the boat.
2) Food handling is another concern. All passengers are allowed to handle the serving utensils. On other cruises, within the first 48 hours, all food is served in individual servings or served by staff. This alleviates any viruses brought on board by any passengers to be passed on to others. Many passengers on my cruise got seriously ill with the norovirus. The hand-sanitizer located outside the dining hall does not work against the norovirus.
3) Withholding information about the itinerary for the week was very frustrating. Passengers were told only the night before when we were to change boats. On my trip, we were on 3 different ships! Packing up after dinner and then having to get up early to get on a bus is not my idea of a relaxing vacation. I am only in my 50's and I came back home exhausted!
4) The 2 meals provided off-ship were horrible. The first one was at a 5 star restaurant. What you find out when you get there is you are in a banquet hall upstairs of the 5 star restaurant. The food you are served is worse than a 1970's mid-western athletic banquet. The second meal I skipped, but I heard that a number of passengers were seated in a basement for their luncheon meal. I was happy that I had made alternate plans for my mid-day meal.
5) One night we were docked/tethered to another Viking cruise boat. My veranda looked directly into a stateroom of the other ship. Nice to see an elderly man passed out on his bed. He was obviously too exhausted from all the shuttling around that he could not bother to close his curtains. Poor thing.
6) Staff if poorly trained. A lot of eye rolling and rude comments to the passengers. (just another whining passenger)! Our tour director was terrible. He was always on his computer or phone playing video games. Never a nice greeting. And he has been with Viking for 13 years!
7) I paid way too much to be transferred by bus and then in Nuremberg we were docked so far out of town (in a shipyard) where there are no taxis or public transportation. I have e-mailed the company and I have called to voice my complaints. All I got was a small credit for another cruise! I am told that is their good-will gesture! I did meet some passengers from another cruise line (Ama Waterways) that had a wonderful experience on their trip even though the river was low. They were put up in nice hotels in the cities that were on their original itinerary. Viking's excuse about the water level is just that...an excuse.