2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Poor expensive cruise on the Duoro River, Portugal 1. Food of poor quality -first night I had grilled prawns which were focally raw in the cehter. I think they grill without thoroughly defrosted the prawns. -last night, it was ... Read More
Poor expensive cruise on the Duoro River, Portugal 1. Food of poor quality -first night I had grilled prawns which were focally raw in the cehter. I think they grill without thoroughly defrosted the prawns. -last night, it was chateaubriand. It was sliced, and seemed to be microwaved! No taste and tough. -at lunch, canned sardines were served! -cake/custard dessert was partly frozen in the center, crunchy with ice crystals. -lots of cheap wine (3/4 euros a bottle). Make you drunk so you can forget the bad food. -we were served cheap white port mixed w tonic water and ice. The last day we were served 10 year old late vintage port, not real vintage port, although they opened a bottle of vintage port. However they did not served that to us, but to the maitre D and other staff only! We thought that being on the wine region, we would be having meals in the vineyards, but we had only eaten in the vineyard once. It was the only decent meal. 2. Servers were inexperienced -I was drenched in orange juice by the server once, and sprinkled in beer a second time. The ship even had the nerve to bill me for laundry of my soiled clothing. Adding insult to injury! -On the whole, they crew try to be helpful, except one bar tender, Marcio, who has a racist attitude. There were only a handful of non-whites on board. Initially I kept this to myself. Later independently, another non-white mentioned the same thing to me! 3. facilities The "swimming pool" is only a one foot deep kiddie pool. I was the only one who tried to swim before realizing the actual depth. Nobody else used it. Might as well eliminate this useless decoration! No fitness facilities. 4. Don't use their air service. They will put you on the cheapest way possible, except if you want to get more miles. E.g. flying back from Porto to LA, they fly you first to Frankfurt, then Vancouver, then LA! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
My experience of my first river cruise totally turned me off from going to future river cruises. Not only for 3 consecutive days, my mini suite cabin with balcony, is in total darkness because the boat double-parked with another and ... Read More
My experience of my first river cruise totally turned me off from going to future river cruises. Not only for 3 consecutive days, my mini suite cabin with balcony, is in total darkness because the boat double-parked with another and blocking all the sunlight into the cabin. As a result, there was no river scenery to enjoyed. In addition, my cabin had the odor of diesel fume and the noise of the engine plus the water discharge sounds made sleeping difficult at times. Even though this is the maiden voyage after its refurbishment, Osfrid was acting funny. For the first day, my cabin door could not open. Then the reading lights turned on by itself in the middle of the night. Next, due to the rising water level of Douro River and the multiple locks that control the water level of the river, the boat could not reach the towns we were supposed to go. As a result, most of us were bused to our destinations through winding roads. Even so, I enjoyed the land tours and the predetermined site visits, etc., due to the tremendous efforts made by the Viking program staff who arrange the itinerary to satisfy the unhappy crowd. I must say the night spent in a hotel in Salamanca, Spain was one of the highlights of this river cruise. Food was much better on shore than on boat. However, compliments to all the serving staff on the boat, especially Manuel, who tried his best to make dinners happy with their requests. Perhaps, the chef on boat needed to know many of the dishes were cold when they reached the tables. For this river cruise, I think the air fares they arranged far exceeded my upcoming trip with Smithsonian, same business class. Did I get my money's worth for this cruise, I should say "no". Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We chose Viking because of the recommendation of friends who'd previously sailed with them. We chose the Douro cruise due to interest in seeing Portugal. This review is not intended to slam Viking, but rather to simply share the ... Read More
We chose Viking because of the recommendation of friends who'd previously sailed with them. We chose the Douro cruise due to interest in seeing Portugal. This review is not intended to slam Viking, but rather to simply share the facts about a very disappointing experience on many levels. The trip began with 2 days in Lisbon which were very good - beautiful city, nice hotel, good food, and good mix of tours and free time. Then Tuesday morning we boarded the bus to head to Porto to meet the ship, or so we thought. Halfway there, cruise reps informed us the ship was unable to make it to Porto due to high river levels, and instead they were diverting us to meet the ship in northeast Portugal. This was the first problem - Viking had known about this for about a week and chose not to inform any of us before herding us on the bus. As it turned out the boat was moored in Ferradosa, which was EXTREMELY isolated - literally nothing nearby (within an hour), no cell service (AT ALL) and no wifi either. We were cut off from the world - might sound good but after a while it was very troublesome. They tried to make us believe we might sail within a few days, but members of the crew privately told us bluntly we weren't going anywhere - and the ship indeed never moved the entire week. They turned it into a bus tour with daily bus rides which were miserable due to the winding roads and long rides to get to places where we didn't stay long. One day we rode 1 hour 45 min each way (3.5 hours total) for a tour that lasted 40 min, and 20 minutes of that was spent standing in line for a very substandard toilet with no toilet paper. It was miserable. The food on the ship was simply not good - there was one dinner that I would give high marks to - the rest were below average. Other passengers who'd sailed with Viking indicated the food was not nearly as good as other Viking cruises we've been on. We felt trapped and had Viking been forthright about the situation, we could have made alternate plans from Lisbon and done something different. But their intentionally delayed communication resulted in us being trapped. The daily long bus rides were truly brutal and not what we paid for or expected. We tried to make the best of it, but it was probably the worst vacation we've ever had. One interesting thing we learned was that the ONLY Viking employee involved with the cruise was the cruise director. The ship and the entire rest of the crew are subcontractors. As all this was playing out they would not communicate to the passengers about what they were going to do for us in terms of compensation - we were told to individually call headquarters upon our return and speak to them. Nice! As it turned out, their offer of compensation was extraordinarily disappointing, condescending, and will guarantee I will never patronize Viking again. It was a total bust and very sad actually. So I don't overlook the positives, the cabin was very nice, the ship was clean, there were some crew members who delivered excellent service (and some who didn't). But on one of these ships, when it is stranded there is NOTHING to do, and I mean nothing, unless you just want to drink. Sorry Viking, but this was an epic fail on your part, and your treatment of your passengers, primarily the deceitful communications, was inexcusable. Read Less
Viking Osfrid Ratings
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