Viking Helvetia Cruise Review by Lytham: A disappointing cruise
Overall Member Rating
A disappointing cruise
Destination: Europe - River Cruise
We booked the cruise to coincide with our Golden Wedding Anniversary. Viking cruises are not cheap. This cruise on the Rhine worked out at over £500, per day, for the two of us. We expected, I think quite rightly, a degree of luxury for this price. we did tell Viking it would be our Golden Wedding before we left. We got an email from their head office to congratulate us. However, this information was not passed on to the ship, and when my husband mentioned it at reception, they denied all knowledge of our anniversary.. We did eventually get a cheesecake and a bottle of Cava!.
We thought that the food was OK, but no better than that The wine with lunch and dinner was also OK. It won't win any awards though.! There was not any room service, nor any beverage facilities in the room. We had to forgo our usual early morning cup of tea. We could have got dressed and gone to make our own in the bar area, but that didn't seem worth it to us.
Also there is no lift. Most More of the passengers were well over 60, and many found it very difficult to climb the stairs. There are three flights of stairs between the bottom deck and the sun deck.
The cabin was small, and we expected that, but there was no luxury about it at all. The shower room was utilitarian with an awful plastic shower curtain, that wrapped itself around me every day. Ugh.
The mainly Eastern European staff kept the cabin very clean though. Full marks for that.
There's little or no entertainment on board. There's a very good piano player, there were run of the mill quizzes on two evenings and also visiting duos on two evenings.
There was also a lecture on the European Union one night! This is an holiday for goodness sake! This talk, unsurprisingly, was very badly attended. There were no more than 20 people attending.
The tours were quite well organised and we really enjoyed Strasbourg. The excursions were, without doubt, the best bit of an otherwise lacklustre cruise.
We were upset at the very hard sell, George, the Cruise director, gave on the last night at the disembarkation meeting. He requested that we leave 168 euros for the general staff and 28 euros for him!
He made us feel like we'd be cheapskates if we didn't do this.
The way that this was said, left a very nasty taste in our mouths. We took this fact of a hard sell up twice, with Viking on our return, but they were not interested!
Overall, a disappointing cruise. We met many lovely people on the cruise. This went some way to make up for all of the shortcomings.
Would we cruise with Viking again?
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The cabin was smallish with an opening window. Very utilitarian, no luxuries.
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