We have just returned from a trip to Russia on the Viking River Cruises Viking Helgi ship a holiday ruined by mechanical noise, which ensured I was entirely unable to sleep in the stateroom we had booked.
There was a consistent, loud and incessant humming noise and vibration in our cabin present whether the boat was moving or docked, making it unpleasant to be in the cabin in the daytime, and impossible to sleep at night.
I reported this noise and vibration as soon as we entered the cabin but was told there was nowhere else to move us to. I emailed Viking cruises and the only suggestion they made was to put in a complaint when I got home. Others were offered earplugs but I didnt even get that it would not have not helped anyway because the mechanical vibration being transmitted through the bed and pillow to my head was almost as bad as the noise.
The whole of the front end of the boat was subject to this vibration and humming but in our room, 226, these were amplified by a boxed column resonating with the floor and the bed. The noise and vibrations were so bad that in desperation a couple of times I took a blanket and pillows up to the Panorama Bar and slept on the floor.
Another passenger in a cabin almost opposite ours spent some of her nights reading and dozing in the library while her husband walked around.
Our entire holiday was ruined by lack of sleep. I fell asleep in the lectures, I fell asleep on the coach and my mind was so befuddled by lack of sleep that I couldnt enjoy the excursions either.
The Helgi is an old boat almost 30 years old that has clearly had a fortune spent on beautifying it cosmetically; however it is very apparent that, underneath, her engines and other mechanics are in dire need of updating. The daybeds on the sundeck had soot on them, puffed out by the old engines, ruining my white trousers. I assume that the noise and vibrations that we experienced were from an ancient generator that was never turned off.
I am sure we would have enjoyed the whole cruise if we had been lucky enough to have a different cabin though not the ones other guests on our cruise were allocated, such as the one with the sawing noise overhead when the boat moved, or the one where the bed got wet when it rained or one of the staterooms with balconies that ended up moored against other Viking boats in St Petersburg and in Moscow thus making them useless.
This was our fifth cruise with Viking and we have enjoyed all the others but this trip, and the response to our complaints both during the cruise and so far since our return really showed me that Viking arent quite the caring company I thought they were. Maybe I have just been lucky in the past.