Viking hasn't been in the ocean cruise business for very long, and clearly has some issues to work out. While their ship is very nice, unfortunately some of the chosen ports of call cheapen the brand. But it is our experience with customer service that has sealed for us that we will not travel with Viking again.
3 out of 5
Certainly not as warm of a welcome as we have received on our 2 previous river cruises.
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
Food & Drink was good, and the servers are relatively friendly, however service is slow. Drink service at dinner is almost non-existent. Often had to wait 15 minutes or more after being seated even to be acknowledged or brought water.
3 out of 5
Fitness center and spa are nice, just wish they were open past 8pm at night. Not warm enough to do outdoor pools.
2 out of 5
I wish the entertainment had included more educational seminars about the area we were travelling.
Service and Staff
1 out of 5
Service staff is good, but the executive staff - "customer service" - has ruined Viking for us forever. God help you if you have a problem, because Viking does not equip its employees to conflict resolve. Instead, the customer is blamed. We had 2 issues, both of which (based on our research into the matters) were oversights on Viking's part, but we were passed around from department to department and the issues never resolved. We had to pay for their mistakes.
4 out of 5
Boat has a sleek design, and everything seemed pristine. Areas even smell nice!
Not much to see at port, but closest to Rome. Rome was fabulous, which we did on our own, not via Viking. However we did do the included Rome tour once we got on the boat, and it was pretty good. Liked the ones we had booked ourselves better, though.
Did the included excursion, a walking tour, which was fine. But there are better ports of call in the area, or would have liked an overnight in better ports.
1 out of 5
Where to begin? As one passenger stated, "that city is like being on the set of Slumdog Millionaire." I was really looking forward to this port, which sounded exotic, but it was NOT as Viking advertises, in a myriad of ways. We started the morning with the included tour, which was supposed to take us to a number of stops. All tours required a police escort (our first indication this was not going to be like other ports) - instead of seeing any of the sites we were supposed to see, we saw ONE (the Martyrs monument, which as our guide admitted, is marred by the cell tower they have attached to the top and the "eternal" flame only lit twice per year). The rest of the time, the police led our 5 buses on a winding route through what looked like slums, with people on the street starting at us like animals in a zoo, often giving unkind gestures. Our guide said he had nothing to tell us about where we were being led, because he said he had no idea where we were or why we were in that area! Everyone was so ready to get off the sub-par bus and bewildered as to why we saw only one of the many sites we were promised, much less why Viking would bring us to this port of call at all.
Based on the misrepresentation of the included tour, we had no faith that the optional tour we signed up and paid for would be as promised, so we cancelled and asked for a refund. We were told they could not give us a refund but we could call customer service upon our return to the States. Only later did we find out from a fellow passenger that the reason we had been rerouted was because of political demonstrations in the City Center. Strikes and protests had been going on for 4 months, something Viking should have known and forseen causing problems. But when we returned to the States and called Customer Service as instructed, we were given the runaround and had to go through many departments, and in the end were still denied a refund, with no explanation. Sad that we would be treated this way, especially since this was our 3rd trip with Viking.
After our experience, we read several articles detailing all of the city's problems. Also, when it comes to safety, Algiers gets a 4 out of 5, with 5 being "avoid at all costs." As far as development and what it has to offer, Algeria ranks 80 out of 80 as the worst of all African countries. We were told by the Shore Excursions manager, "well we just wanted to give them a shot." This experiment should not be done on Viking passengers' dime.
Again, we did Barcelona on our own as we have not been impressed with Viking's choice of hotels. Viking offered no tours, included or otherwise, here. Loved this city though! I rated 4 stars instead of 5 only bc Viking did not offer anything in Barcelona.
3 out of 5
Had to have our bags ready by 10pm night before leaving, had to vacate room by 8am day of disembarkation.
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