Just Took My First - And Last - Viking Cruise

Viking Rinda Cruise Review to Europe
Experience: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 12

Overall Rating:

2 out of 5
Viking Rinda

10 Night Passage To Eastern Europe Westbound (Bucharest To Budapest)

Sail Date: May 29, 2014

Ship: Viking Rinda

Cabin Type: Oceanview

Traveled As: Couple

Reviewed: 5 years ago

Review Summary

I recently returned from the Viking River Cruise, “Passage to Eastern Europe.” The cruise was generally good, with very good service, better food than we expected, and excellent tour guides. The destinations were often not particularly great, but we knew that before booking.

 

Unfortunately the few problems we encountered were upsetting enough that, in the future, I am likely to try the competition and very unlikely to return to Viking. First and foremost is their poorly thought out policy of not allowing shipboard credit to be used towards gratuities, as every other cruise line we’ve been on allows. That meant we would have to take an optional excursion, which were few, far between, and of no interest to us. We could also use it towards drinks, but we are not big drinkers and the wine and beer served at lunch and dinner were more than sufficient. Our final option was to buy limited, overpriced, and mostly unneeded items from the small gift shop.

 

Their “suggested” gratuities are higher than other cruise lines we’ve been on, and I have never before been asked to tip the Program Director. I firmly believe that at his level, I should not be asked to pay part of his salary.

 

The cabin is, to say the least, small although the shower is an unusually good size.

 

Dinner (and, to a lesser extent, lunch) was only one seating, and the noise level could make it difficult to have a conversation.

 

Although both the suggested gratuities and the limited use of shipboard credit are mentioned, they are clearly not meant to be very obvious and visible. Although minor, this significantly customer unfriendly attitude is why I would prefer, in the future, not to deal with a company such as Viking.

Ship Experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
Limited choices, but well planned and good

Entertainment

3 out of 5
Like other small ships, this is limited but reasonable

Service and Staff

5 out of 5

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Clean and generally well laid out

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
Small but livable

Ports Of Call

Bucharest, Romania

5 out of 5

Giurgiu, Romania Did not visit port

We were here only for boarding, which is all it is worth

Vidin, Bulgaria

3 out of 5
Not a world-class destination, but learned a lot about the country

Cruise The Iron Gates

3 out of 5
Scenic, but ultimately nothing special.

Belgrade, Serbia

5 out of 5
Princess Ljubica's house was worthy, as was eating at "?"

Vukovar (Osijek), Croatia

3 out of 5
Again, a nothing special destination

Kalocsa, Hungary

3 out of 5
Nothing too valuable

Budapest, Hungary

5 out of 5
Could spend days just walking (and eating) in this city. Beautiful and clean. Best option are free walking tours (tip well!)
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