A cancelled trip is better than a lousy trip!
Viking Astrild Cruise Review to Europe
Sail Date: July 04, 2015
Ship: Viking Astrild
Cabin Type: Balcony
Cabin Number: 226/220
Traveled As: Singles/Friends
Reviewed: 2 years ago
We were supposed to do a river "cruise" and ended up doing a motor coach tour due to low river levels. We were not notified ahead of time even though Viking was aware of the situation. Viking was not willing to compensate appropriately.
We were scheduled on a river cruise on the River Elbe July 5 - July 13. The boat(s) did not cruise one inch the entire time. We were stuck, docked on the river with lousy views and uncomfortably motor-coached to different areas. Viking did not notify us of the problem until we were in Amsterdam and on our way. Viking knew of the river issues and should have cancelled the trip or at least notify us in a timely manner so that we could cancel. Instead, once we got there, they substituted poorly planned motor coach activities. Had I known this was going to happen I would have cancelled especially after purchasing trip insurance through Viking for over $600.
I tried to deal with Customer Relations directly, however, they were not willing to negotiate reasonable compensation. Insufficient vouchers were offered - not enough to convince this customer to try Viking Cruises again.
If Viking wanted to win their unhappy customers back they should offer reasonable compensation. This particular customer was willing to try Viking again if they had offered reasonable compensation. Viking did not seem to care whether I tried them again or not.
According to the locals we talked to, the water level had been down for over 4 weeks and it would take at least 2 weeks for it to recover, therefore, it is apparent that Viking should have known this and cancelled the trip. Apparently they cancelled the Elbe trips on their bigger boats. We were scheduled on the smaller boats recently built specifically for the Elbe which is known for lower water levels. I guess Viking has to try to pay for these new boats by taking money from the customers who were unfortunate enough to be scheduled on these boats.
I believe that Viking is not concerned with their disgruntled customers and has grown too big to take their concerns into consideration. Their customer care department is lacking and their willingness to compensate people for lousy trips is negligible.
I sent certified letters to the CEO, top executives and board members and did not hear back from any of them. As mentioned before, they just don't seem to care.
Each time I spoke to someone from Customer Relations I was told they would get back to me by a certain day and there was never any follow through. I always had to call them back to hear from them.
What was supposed to be a relaxing and leisurely vacation turned into the vacation from Hell and Viking does not seem to care.
*** EDITED 9/5/15 BY COMMUNITY MANAGER TO REMOVE PERSONAL INFORMATION ***