What a disappointment: Viking Idun Cruise Review by Cruising on a Sunday afte
Overall Member Rating
What a disappointment
Destination: Europe - River Cruise
Be aware that the included excursions are mostly bus city tours where you drive by the "sights.". I asked Viking customer service about the Budapest tour prior to going because we were spending extra days there and wanted to visit (tour inside) some particular places on their included tour in that city. I was informed that we would explore and have plenty of time in those places, when in fact we just stayed on the bus and drove by. We were not able to visit these sights More at all because they were sold out by the time we realized we would not be going there.
Viking's priority in the included excursions is to get you back to the ship in time for lunch (this was explained to me). It is not the fault of the local guides who are on the bus with you, as all groups go to the same itinerary. Since Viking is paying for the buses, the guides and the audio boxes, I don't understand why they cannot have some worthwhile content in their included tours. The 2 optional excursions were great. I would not have booked with Viking if I had realized that we would not be visiting inside most of the sights that they list in their itinerary.
Worst yet was that the ship had a broken propeller from the prior cruise and had to go into dry dock, which meant that we were bussed to Passau and Regensburg during the day. This was actually received by the passengers with little complaint. What was terrible was that the excursion staff, including the Cruise Director, left us all on the side of the dock without any of them being in the area to give us news when the ship did not arrive on schedule in Regensburg to pick us up. We wondered, "are we in the right place? Where is the excursion staff? How long are we going to be here, with little seating?". There were passengers who needed to have a place to sit; we all tried to sit on the grass or steps, or planter boxes. One person sat in dog poop on the grass, another stepped in it! It would have been so much more thoughtful and caring for them to let us wait at the sausage place, with picnic bench seating, than to have abandoned us. At dinner the Cruise Director gave us a chastising and snarky talk in which she said the Captain had nautical issues. I never heard any complaining about the Captain; the passengers had issues with the way this situation was handled by the CD. This is but one instance where the crew showed a very uncaring and unfriendly attitude.
The food was very good, the service by the dining staff and room steward was good. The ports on the Grand European Tour were good. The ship obviously has some problems. The dining room has had some sound absorbing material added to the ceiling recently, but it is still loud and they need to do more.
I cannot recommend Viking as a company because of their terrible customer service. They gave me inaccurate answers to my specific questions. If I had the correct information, I would have been prepared to lead our group of 4 on our own tours. They already had our money, paid in April before the bad Cruise Critic reviews, and we could not have backed out of the trip. We are people who love to cruise and see the world. We felt like we were just being bussed everywhere and given superficial tours and hardly any cultural or culinary experiences of the areas.Viking is more expensive than the ocean cruises we have taken, but because of the included tours, we thought it would be a reasonable value. Sad to say, this is not so. Less