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5 Viking Sineus Reviews

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Interesting excursion by vslice57

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Large Group

Enjoyed the trip, and learned a lot about the country, its people, and its history.

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Kiev to Odessa on the Viking Sineus by frada

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

The trip has potential but...the staff needs more training and English lessons. DO NOT take the Silver Spirits package - they have nothing that's listed on their bar menu. At this time, I don't feel that the trip was worth the money.

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terrible by cgpowell

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

My wife and I recently returned from a riverboat cruise to Ukraine. This was our fourth trip with Viking and possibly our last. We have recommended Viking to all our friends and worst of all we invited our very best friends to join us on this trip and they accepted to join us on board. This was by far the worst trip I have ever experienced; not just on Viking but also on any trip we have ever taken. 1. To start with, since our second cruise we have always been recognized as special travelers and have always received a gift, not this time. 2. The communication with the staff was at best minimal. Most of the staff could barely speak English and had trouble speaking and understanding our requests. At breakfast, lunch and dinner we would just point to what we wanted. Requesting wine was impossible, the staff had to get the head maître d’ to decipher. 3. The tours had only one guide that could speak English and that was Anna. The tours were poorly organized. It was really terrible when 200 people show up and one statue or a church at the same time. The Viking travelers were not pleased with such long lines to get anywhere. 4. We paid $100 for the Kiev Jewish tour. We were shown statues/monuments and a ravine where the Jews were shot. In our opinion, that is not worth $100. 5. There were too many optional tours on this cruise. The previous Viking river cruises did not have “optional” tours that cost more money than the expense of this trip. And this trip to Ukraine was “very expensive for what we got.” 6. We have no complaints about the boat, the rooms were very good. The food was nothing out of the ordinary. There was not as large of a selection of breakfast or dinner items on the menu as we have seen on our other trips. The wait staff was less than adequate, very difficult to communicate with. On all of our other trips with Viking and other companies, the staff knew our names and what we always had to drink and most times they would even guess what we wanted to eat. They were always exceptional but not on this trip. This trip was by far the worst we have ever experienced! On “Captains night” The Captain left after just a few minutes and of course he could not speak English either. Yet another disappointment! Finally, our overall impression was one of very poor preparation for the tours, as well as poor advance information. The billing cycle was not explained clearly, I received the final bill stating we were behind on our payments and were about to be canceled if payment was not received immediately! Upon calling I received no explanation. We are not sure how you can advertise this as an English speaking tour when most of the staff did not speak English? Also I can’t even start to explain our air travel, too many stops, too many layovers plus much confusion with all the booking problems. It would take another page to explain all of the problems we had with our air travel. Extremely terrible planning on your part. This trip was definitely terrible, not up to your usual standards. Generally speaking we are not sure if we will ever book on Viking again if this is representative of your current standards. I must say that traveling with Viking is not inexpensive. I am requesting at least a 50% refund in the form of a check. Please respond.

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Disappointing by RoystonW

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

1. Although the ship was, generally, comfortable and well arranged, the main meeting/social area was too small for the number of passengers onboard and, consequently, chairs were laid out in rows, some hard backed, for any information seminars or social get-togethers, which was really inappropriate. 2. The evening entertainment was dreadful; apart from one evening when local musicians came onboard we were offered two poorly prepared quizzes. The other entertainment was the onboard keyboard players. Clearly Viking would rather you paid out for the expensive evening restaurant/opera/ballet trips. 3. The Viking Explorer Society cocktails event, ‘exclusive’ to previous Viking passengers, was made available to all passengers and, consequently, if there were cocktails and canapés we weren’t offered any. Instead a glass of sparkling wine was all we were given. On other Viking cruises we have also been offered the special Viking shot glass with Norwegian spirit. 4. Viking marketing really went to town on this trip with their use of descriptive adjectives. For ‘lush galleries’ at the Odessa Art Museum, substitute ‘shabby rooms’; for ‘beautifully manicured green spaces’ substitute ‘dusty and dry with few flowers’; for ‘long beaches’ substitute ‘no beaches’ as we were never taken to visit them; for ‘a city ideal for strolling’ substitute ‘uneven pavements with broken kerbs which were over-crowded’. 5. Three days in Odessa became four because marketing had made a mistake with the optional Opera visit which was a day late so all passengers had to stay on in Odessa which, quite frankly, had become quite tedious. 6. Generally the included tours were poorly chosen. The Odessa art museum visit was not to everyone’s taste, the Odessa catacombs excluded those with claustrophobia, the Dnipro historical museum visit caused many a yawn, the folk art centre was a long drive to see artists painting items and the emphasis was on Viking passengers buying said items, hence a visit to three different sales outlets! The home hosted visit involved another long drive to a villager’s cottage where about 30 passengers were crammed into a garden and offered wasp/fly covered sweet pastries and cordial. The dog chained up to its kennel in the heat of the day plus rabbits stewing in their metal hutches were other irritations; Viking could have chosen a more suitable host. Generally, tours involved long coach journeys and an emphasis on buying souvenirs. The Ackermann Fortress involved a 5 hour coach trip with only 45 minutes at the site - Awful ! 7. We had too long in Odessa where there was little to see but just one full day in Kiev and one included morning tour (but four optional afternoon excursions) where there were so many more possibilities but on our last afternoon we were shuttled into town and left to our own devices with no advice given on what to see and do. 8. If some of Viking’s optional tours had, instead, been included tours, we would certainly have felt more ‘enriched’ instead of believing we had been given the ‘cheap and cheerful’ tours. 9. Finally, Oliver Deak, Programme Director, was an unfortunate choice of a, supposedly, customer-focussed Viking representative. Apart from our initial extremely disappointing and concerning contact with him (outlined in our previous correspondence), he made little effort to enthuse his passengers (other than his overly-cheerful tannoy announcements) and customer contact was minimal. In our view this position is pivotal to an enjoyable cruise and we have had two previous Viking PDs who were exceptional and went that extra mile to make a passenger’s cruise memorable.

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Not our best cruise by Blahdiblah55

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

Not one of Viking's better efforts. They need to improve their travel arrangements. We requested travel from Birmingham. Not possible, we were told. I then realised that if we took the Vienna extension it was indeed possible. Viking expected me to pay for the cancelled flights. We ended up having to incur 2 nights' hotel stays and parking to travel from Heathrow via Warsaw with the not-so-lovely and frequently late Lot Air. It rankled when some people who booked after us told us that they had direct flights from Odessa with BA and hadn't paid any extra. The cruise itself was not the best itinerary. You got the impression that the places we visited were simply time-fillers rather than being anywhere of real interest. Far too much time was spent hanging around listening to the very knowledgeable guides speaking in great detail and at great length in not very good English. Not all of the coaches had seat belts. On one occasion the air conditioning broke down. Fortunately they found us another bus. If this had been our first river cruise it might have been our last.

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