Viking is definitely a cut above the rest in the cruising industry. Great people, and very attentive. This choice of river fit us perfectly. I would highly recommend this vacation to anybody interested in Europe, culture, and history.
This was our third cruise with Viking in as many years. It was by far our worst. The customer service and special touches have all but disappeared and even if you ask for help or voice a complaint, don't expect someone to step up and help you out with it. Flights delayed or cancelled: sorry, you are going to have to go to the airline and figure it out yourself. Then what was the point of booking through and having insurance? Especially when they tell you "don't worry, your cruise really doesn't leave till the next day so you won't miss it, you will only miss the first day of your vacation". Yeah, but we signed up and paid for a 10 day trip and not a 9 day trip and we also signed up for insurance to help us with things like "cancelled or delayed flights". It should not have been solely up to me to make sure that the four of us travelling on this trip got new seats on a flight that was delayed by four hours so that we would not have made our connections -- you are the travel agents that booked our travel -- you are the ones that gladly took our money for travel insurance -- you are the ones that "experts" in the travel industry. We should not have had to fend for ourselves or have been told that missing a day of our vacation or spending the night in an airport wasn't a "big deal".
The Viking Cruiseline has changed too. What happened to the robes in the rooms, the moist towels/snacks/drinks upon return from an excursion, the blankets on the upper deck during cooler days, the binoculars that they used to hand out during day cruising, the towel animals on the beds, the occasional complementary drinks, the quality of the personal toiletries, even the number of hangers in your closet has gone down??? Here is a quick example of the customer service from the Food and Beverage Director, Mr Cruz: party of 8 whom traveled together wanting to sit together on the last night. normal table was taken -- no reservations which I get -- would not allow two more seats to be added to a 6 top table so we were told to move upstairs and that "things would be taken care of" -- we get upstairs and the only offering was seafood -- we had one in our party that was allergic to shrimp and didn't care for salmon -- was again told that "things would be taken care of" -- waitress comes back with 4 small pieces of lamb on a plate-nothing else-just 4 small pieces of lamb saying "this is all I could get from the kitchen". what happened to all the other food that was being served directly below us about 10 stairs away? Didn't they make enough of the main course and the other options to feed everyone? We were literally the only ones upstairs. What happened to Mr Cruz's word that "things will be taken care of"? When Mr. Cruz did finally come back around I asked him why there was only seafood options on the upstairs menu. He told me "there are other options". I asked him to find me one on the menu. He could not find anything that didn't have seafood as a part of it. Instead of admitting fault Mr Cruz began to explain that food downstairs couldn't be served upstairs and that the downstairs was moving toward the desert course and that we could not be seated down there and the food could not be brought upstairs. This was a totally different story than we were told by him when we were all looking for seats downstairs. If you can bring up four small pieces of lamb, why couldn't you bring up more from the main dining room menu when the kitchen is directly below and we are the only ones there? Rules vs customer service? Especially when you suggested that you would work it out for us.
There were lots of things missing from this cruise that we didn't have in the past. Even the friendliness of the cruise directors. A couple of saving graces from a staffing perspective were the room attendant, the bartender and Michael.
Had several days where there were little or no localized food and beverage options. We were in some of the greatest beer making areas of the world with only one thing to pick from and it was the same for almost all of the trip. Some days didn't feature a single localized meal on the menu -- app, main or dessert. Very depressing.
On the cruise side, the newly offered e-bike was an amazing new adventure that we greatly appreciated.
If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't. I was incredibly disappointed by the insurance, the assistance, the staff and the amenities from the first cruise to this one and by a cruiseline that claims to be the best at customer service and the personal touches that make it #1.
Everything on this cruise was outstanding. From the time we were met at the
airport to when we started home and a Viking rep actually went into the airport and helped us get our boarding passes, the Viking people thought of everything to make our trip perfect.
We saw beautiful scenery, interesting cities and countries with very interesting histories, and lovely people. Our trip included outstanding food (with interesting wines for lunch & dinner as well as mimosas at breakfast), well thought out variety of excursions (included}, a room with high end fixtures & bedding that was tidied up several times a day, and friendly, helpful, hard-working staff that met our every need and whim.
Almost everything was great: itinerary, cabins, shore excursions, guides, atmosphere, staff, crew, ship,
Improvement was needed: (1) Food was not great. Due to water levels in the Danube, we needed to switch ships halfway through the cruise (our original ship returned to it's origin as did the new ship we boarded. I could not find a meal I likes on the first ship; just the opposite on the second ship. [By the way, the switch in ships went flawlessly including having the same cabin in the second as we did in the first.] (2) Could have used on-board more lectures about the history, culture, economy, etc. of where we were. (3) Free beer was great but they should have offered local beers instead of American brands (a real lost opportunity). (4) What they called "entertainment" was not sufficiently plentiful nor was it very entertaining.
False Advertising but great trip and boat
Sail Date: /
Traveled As: Couple
First let me say that the trip was absolutely outstanding. Fine food, GREAT crew, many new friends. However, I am unlikely to take another cruise with you due to misrepresentation by Viking.
All ads; written, TV, and the notation in emails all advertise an 8 day vacation. Not true. Arrived in Amsterdam at a time that allowed only 2 hours there, Left the boat at 4:45 AM on the 8th day, still dark. Never got to see Basel and even if I give the benefit of the doubt on the arrival day I was still denied the 8th day. That’s @ $900 I spent for no return. The cruise itself had much higher standards than the ads.
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