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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
My wife and I booked the Portugal's Rive of Gold (booking No 483693). We flied 21 hours from Australia to join the river cruise. On the first embarkation day, we were told that one of the engine failed. As a result, the river cruise ... Read More
My wife and I booked the Portugal's Rive of Gold (booking No 483693). We flied 21 hours from Australia to join the river cruise. On the first embarkation day, we were told that one of the engine failed. As a result, the river cruise turned into coach tours, and the ship Osfrid became our hotel. At first, a coach took us to Caldas De regos, a Portugal small town where the ship had docked. On the following days, we had to travel on the winding hill road 4 to 7 hours a day, and hurried back to sleep in the vessel. One day, the coach's air-condition stopped working at the inside temperature as hot as 84'F(29"C). We were very sick while one guest started vomiting. Meanwhile our veranda cabin 203 was on the middle deck, diesel stink and engine noise annoyed us all the times. We are totally dissatisfied with this cruise, and request for compensation. Although the manager promised at the meeting that their customer relations would contact us on this issue soon, we have not heard from them. We sent an email to Viking, there is no any response. Read Less
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
20 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose is cruise to explore northern Portugal, starting in lisbon with a few nights stay at the hotel Tivoli and then onto porto for our river cruise. The room that we were alicated on-board was clean and well designed although we did ... Read More
We chose is cruise to explore northern Portugal, starting in lisbon with a few nights stay at the hotel Tivoli and then onto porto for our river cruise. The room that we were alicated on-board was clean and well designed although we did notice a low drone of engines/generators running. The meals onboard were average at best. The evening entertainment was poor even by river cruise standards. The trips were well organised and with Vikings own coaches which were very nice. The problem for us was that we were in room 221 and at 05.30 the next morning the main engines started and the noise was terrible the whole room was vibrating. This is a veranda room which we found unusable as when we were going along the river the noise was unbearable and when docked was usually next to another ship. I wrote to Viking about the room and noise over five weeks ago but they never replied a bit disappointing really. The other thing about Viking is they never mention gratuities until you get your final documents and then charge 15 euros per person per day automatically to your bill on our cruise there was 103 guests and 35 crew so over a week that's 309 euros per member of staff and the staff at the Tivoli were quick to tell us that they were not part of the scheme and that we should tip them separately. I have booked my next river cruise with a company that has let me chose my room and gratuities are included in the price Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise specifically to experience the Douro river valley and vineyards. Unfortunately, this cruise was not an ideal way to do so. The navigable part of the river is relatively short, two days of cruising each way. To make ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically to experience the Douro river valley and vineyards. Unfortunately, this cruise was not an ideal way to do so. The navigable part of the river is relatively short, two days of cruising each way. To make up the additional time Viking starts the trip with a full day in Lisbon followed by a full day riding a bus to Porto to meet the ship. You spend another full day in Porto before the ship sails. That leaves five days on the river, or so it would seem. The daily tours involve riding a bus to the attraction and then meeting the ship at a different location so you have about half a day of cruising. The third day is an all day excursion to Salamanca, Spain; two hours on the bus each way and returning to the ship at the same location. The following day is another long bus ride to visit Favois and long stop for lunch at a vineyard and a bus ride to catch up to the ship at Pinhao (or in our case, Regua). The last day is a morning bus trip and finally a long cruise from Regua back to Porto. If you really want to experience the Douro river valley consider renting a car and staying in the small hotels along the way. The roads are excellent and you'll see much more of the local culture on your own. All this having been said, Viking does provide excellent service and accommodations. The veranda suite we booked included laundry service and complimentary mini-bar. The crew was attentive, program director terrific, and the chef presented excellent regional menu choices every day. Considering we were in a wine region, the daily offerings of wine were particularly disappointingly dull. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
This refurbished ship had its maiden voyage in March. This is relatively a small flat bottom boat. Our suite with open view balcony is on the second level of the ship. The foods on board was not up to standard. Cold dishes were served ... Read More
This refurbished ship had its maiden voyage in March. This is relatively a small flat bottom boat. Our suite with open view balcony is on the second level of the ship. The foods on board was not up to standard. Cold dishes were served in the dining room. However, the officer of the dining room did his best to accommodate the diners. Entertainment was minimal. Due to the water level of Douro River, our ship after passing several locks could not advance to the border of Spain. Lucky we had a young and energetic program officer who planned our land trips with success. The sleeting, cold and rainy weather did not help either. We sat in the bus for hours on winding roads to reach a destination. But the buses were comfortable and spacious. We enjoyed an overnight stay in a hotel in Salamanca and got to see more of the universities of Salamanca, and the great cathedrals. The land cruises and the foods served on land were very impressive. This trip is totally over priced and the business class airfares with a so called discount is totally unreal. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose the Viking River of Gold cruise on recommendation by friends and in place of our Elbe River cruise in 2016 that was cancelled because of low water. In order to ensure we would have airport transfers to and from the ship we asked ... Read More
We chose the Viking River of Gold cruise on recommendation by friends and in place of our Elbe River cruise in 2016 that was cancelled because of low water. In order to ensure we would have airport transfers to and from the ship we asked that Viking make our travel arrangements The start was a disaster. Viking had booked the last possible connection for us to Lisbon through Toronto which failed because of bad weather earlier in the day. Hotels in Toronto were fully booked so we spent the first night of our holiday with no luggage in a taxi going from motel to motel looking for a bed. The Viking help line informed us that due to our delay in arrival, the Viking transfer in Lisbon would probably not be available and we would have to make our own way to the hotel. Viking had also booked a 16 hour return itinerary which could have been competed in 8 hours with a more direct routing home. .We had to leave the ship at 3;45 AM on disembarkation day. We had tried well in advance to change bookings for a more convenient routing but, Viking replied that it was too late to alter the reservations. No doubt the disastrous travel arrangements colored our appreciation of the cruise itself. Despite that we can say there were many enjoyable aspects. The ship although small is well arranged, the staff of mainly Eastern Europeans is enthusiastic and wanting to help at every turn. The kitchen and menus are high average but there are not many local specialties to sample. Free excursions were offered every day and several of them were one-of-a-kind experiences you would not find elsewhere. The summer landscapes of the vineyards and olive groves were spectacular. There was a good amount of shade on the top deck to shelter from the blazing sun in the afternoon and the pool although only a meter deep provided welcome relief from the intense heat. One thing about the Douro is that even with 7 or 8 spectacular locks, the navigable portion is only 70 miles long so there is not much cruising. With 17 cruise ships on the river and few port facilities there are often two or three ships lashed side by side overnight in the dock obscuring river views from the common areas and rendering balconies virtually useless for those who seek a bit of privacy. Porto is the only city on the river but Viking offers a day trip by bus to Salamanca in Spain mid way through the cruise which is well worthwhile. For people who like to be cocooned in luxury, Viking is probably a good choice. If we use them again, however, we will make sure to book travel to and from the ship ourselves and would strongly recommend that others do the same. . Read Less
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