11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I just learned something that surprised me about dealing with Viking River Cruises. We returned from their "Paris to the Swiss Alps" trip on the Hild a couple of days ago. As anyone who's been following the low water ... Read More
I just learned something that surprised me about dealing with Viking River Cruises. We returned from their "Paris to the Swiss Alps" trip on the Hild a couple of days ago. As anyone who's been following the low water levels on the Rhine knows, Viking is having to do ship swaps to get people up the river. They manage the swaps well since they are doing it so often. To placate the unhappy customers on these trips they offer a percentage off of a future cruise. In our case it was 25% off. I initially thought this meant 25% off the price of a future trip - not so. Was told by another traveler that the 25% off is based on what you paid for your particular trip (type of cabin, etc.). OK, so not as generous but still fair enough. Then we received an e-mail from Viking today that said we are getting what amounts to 13% off of what we paid for the trip. I called Viking and asked them to explain how they arrived at this number since I couldn't come up with it any way I sliced it. Turns out - behind the scenes Viking patched this trip together as about 50% of our cost for the land portion and 50% for the actual river portion. This wasn't on any invoicing or documentation we ever received. So their justification for the smaller future credit is based on the price of just the river portion. Suckers that we were, we bought Viking's vouchers (pay $100 and get $200 worth of credit) while onboard because we thought the 25% good will voucher would make it worthwhile. We had decided not to do another river cruise because the one we took in 2015 also involved a boat swap. Much prefer ocean cruises where we don't have to keep packing and unpacking. Now that I know we were just offered 13% I asked if we could get a credit for the two onboard purchased vouchers we bought. Nope. They are non-refundable. This feels a bit of a bait and switch to me. Tell unhappy customers you'll give them a 25% credit so they don't mutiny while on board and then let them find out after they are home what was really offered is half that. They didn't lie to us but since no one that I know of had the breakdown of the land and river portion of the trip it certainly was misleading! Just so the rest of you know what you are being offered if this happens to you. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Five days in advance, we checked with Viking because we heard that water levels were low, and we were told that "Everything is fine." That was totally untrue; the ship had been docked in one place for the previous two weeks! We ... Read More
Five days in advance, we checked with Viking because we heard that water levels were low, and we were told that "Everything is fine." That was totally untrue; the ship had been docked in one place for the previous two weeks! We had to be transported by bus, and spent 13 hours on buses in the final two days alone. Did not see everything that was featured. Viking did not offer alternatives that other lines did. After the cruise, Viking sent a voucher for 25% of the cruise-only fare, but that amounted to only 13% of the total we paid to Viking, including air fares and post-cruise extensions, and the voucher must be used within one year. We have have taken many other cruises and had heard good things about Viking, but Viking waited until we were on site before they were honest about the problems. The ship and crew were all right but Viking "threw" the cruise director "under the bus" and she had to deal with all the unhappy passengers and all the complaints. The post-cruise hotel in Paris was very poorly run, overcrowded and not up to our expectations. On ship, the walking/jogging track is inches above the expensive 3rd-deck cabins; the track was supposed to be closed between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. but that was not enforced and we were awakened at 6 a.m. every morning but one, even though we told the cruise director, reception desk and hotel manager. Shore excursions ranged from excellent to awful. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
The low level of the Rhine could not be helped, but what was truly disappointing was Viking’s handling of the issue after the cruise. Several weeks following the cruise, a Viking representative called us and offered us a voucher for ... Read More
The low level of the Rhine could not be helped, but what was truly disappointing was Viking’s handling of the issue after the cruise. Several weeks following the cruise, a Viking representative called us and offered us a voucher for 50% of the cost of the cruise to be used within one year on a Viking River Cruise. First of all, many cruisers still work full-time, and would not necessarily want to go on a river cruise on their next (and, perhaps only) vacation of the year. But even more significantly, the “cruise” we received was not a Viking River Cruise. If we wanted to visit a set of towns along the Rhine, riding a bus from town to town, we would not have selected Viking. Many other tour companies do a better job of land tours than Viking. What the other tour companies don’t do is a river cruise; that is why we elected to go with Viking, and that is what we did not get from them. Viking’s offer of a 50% voucher was woefully inadequate, given the quality of product we received for the money we paid. In response to their offer, we requested a voucher for the full amount of the cruise. We wanted Viking to say to us, “What you experienced was not a Viking River Cruise. Let us show you what we can do.” Their response was to offer us a small amount of shipboard credit, provided we sign a non-disclosure agreement. We politely turned them down. We asked the Viking representative, “When people ask us, ‘What do you think of Viking River Cruises?’ how do you expect us to respond?” He had no good answer for us. We selected Viking based on recommendations from friends; we are unable to pass on that recommendation. Let me emphasize we are not upset with Viking for the condition of the Rhine River; that could not have been helped. We are upset with Viking because of what we believe to be an inadequate response to an unfortunate situation. Follow-up note: After some negotiation, we and Viking have come to a compensation agreement. We are looking forward to trying another Viking River Cruise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
October 19, 2018—We are sitting at Speyer, Germany, having never left port due to low Rhine levels... no departure from Speyer is anticipated for the duration. Thus, every day includes long bus rides to the sites on the itinerary... ... Read More
October 19, 2018—We are sitting at Speyer, Germany, having never left port due to low Rhine levels... no departure from Speyer is anticipated for the duration. Thus, every day includes long bus rides to the sites on the itinerary... this should have been called the "Rhine bus tour." While the ship is beautiful and the food fine, we have been extremely frustrated with the vague and untimely communication. We understand the Rhine issues but feel that Viking should have been forthcoming at all times rather than pretending all would be well. Cruise should have been cancelled as conditions were known well ahead of time. Ship’s staff has done its best— Viking management, that arranges the scheduling, seems to care more about its bottom line than customer experience. The email we received just before departure from the states greatly downplayed the severity of Rhine status and its impact on the cruise. We’ve cruised the Rhine before so are only mildly disappointed—for those for whom this is their first European experience, it’s been devastating. WiFi is slower than slow—why is WiFi better on cruise ships in the middle of the ocean? The Hild itself is beautiful and well appointed -- it feels new and well thought through. The food is traditional river cruise fare and well executed, though it would be nice to have some food options available in the late afternoons as 7pm dinner is late for some. Cookies and nuts are available but that gets old on a week-long itinerary. Piano player/vocalist is terrific and we are enjoying time in the lounge with his music that is suited to boomer+ audiences. As we are experienced travelers, we are opting to do our own thing rather than ride a bus for hours every day, with rushed tours given reduced time in each city due. Europe's fine public transportation affords options for those willing to venture out. The Technical Museum in Speyer is fantastic! We paid the extra for a veranda but are staring into a river bank for the duration -- not a pleasant place for enjoying scenery. All in all, we are making the best of it and having a good week -- just not the week we'd anticipated. Again, we understand the realities of the historic low water levels -- the issue is with Viking, who knew well in advance (this issue has been dogging the Rhine since August) they could not provide the river cruise advertised. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We sailed the end of September and early October 2018 (not a choice in date sailed box). Never been to Sweden before. Best part was post cruise, wine tasting stops, "Highlights of the Alps" and Zermatt. Hotel Alex in Zermatt ... Read More
We sailed the end of September and early October 2018 (not a choice in date sailed box). Never been to Sweden before. Best part was post cruise, wine tasting stops, "Highlights of the Alps" and Zermatt. Hotel Alex in Zermatt was exceptional I would highly recommend the post tour and Hotel Alex! The weather was clear and the Matterhorn was spectacular! This was our 5th Viking River Cruise segment ( Grand European, France's Finest, Paris to Switzerland) and we got the level of service and food that we have come to expect from our other cruises. We also like the ability to bring wine on board for our room. First Class! Negative Comments: Not a fan of the UN and probably could have had better use of our time. Hotel in Geneva was beautiful inside but I didn't really care for the area (train yard out our window). Seems like in Paris and the othe big cities Viking could locate a hotel closer to the old parts of town or at least something within walking distance of some activities.Always having to take a taxi, bus, subway ot tram. Tired of Paris (2nd time of Pre Cruise package) and if we take another vacation in Europe we probably won't do a Paris stay. We are in our eraly 70's so what we enjoy might be different from other cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our first river cruise but it will definitely not be our last. We were looking for something last minute and because of the free air fare offer, Viking met our needs. We chose this particular cruise because of the itinerary. We ... Read More
This was our first river cruise but it will definitely not be our last. We were looking for something last minute and because of the free air fare offer, Viking met our needs. We chose this particular cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to go to Switzerland and we had never been to Paris. Every experience from the initial booking of our reservations to final disembarkation was excellent. There were only 180 passengers onboard, which allowed us to get to know our fellow travelers. The crew went out of their way to make everyone welcome and comfortable. Food was excellent. The views along the Rhine River were incredible. The excursions included in the fare were definitely worthwhile. We also booked some of the additional excursions and felt our money was well spent on all of them. We will definitely choose Viking again for either a river or ocean cruise. Their attention to detail and their outstanding quality make Viking our first choice. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
You could tell from the first day that Viking Hild had a special relationship within the crew and with the passengers. This was my second time sailing and it far surpassed my first! There were a few challenges with river water levels, but ... Read More
You could tell from the first day that Viking Hild had a special relationship within the crew and with the passengers. This was my second time sailing and it far surpassed my first! There were a few challenges with river water levels, but it did not interfere with the upbeat atmosphere of the entire voyage. The port excursions were well thought. The Cruise Director was great, well informed and always on hand. My favorite shore excursion was in Strasbourg, France. "Taste the Best of Alsace" was all day and great fun! We sampled many different local foods and wine. The Gothic Strasbourg Cathedral was awe inspiring from the architecture to the famous astronomical clock. Having grown up in a US Navy family, being a Navy Nurse and married to a 30 year Naval Officer, I was happy to pay my respects to General George Patton in Luxembourg at the American Cemetery. The cruise culminated in Switzerland and our visit to the Alps proved the "hills are alive with the Sound of Music!" Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Although we were onboard the Viking Hild for seven nights, also included were two nights in Zurich, Switzerland and two nights in Paris, France. Those hotel accommodations were excellent! Our hotel in Paris was right at the Eiffel Tower! ... Read More
Although we were onboard the Viking Hild for seven nights, also included were two nights in Zurich, Switzerland and two nights in Paris, France. Those hotel accommodations were excellent! Our hotel in Paris was right at the Eiffel Tower! We visited 4 different countries on the trip (Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg, and France.) Free excursions were provided daily where we got to visit the nearby cities with transportation provided by Viking. We received and experienced the real culture and beauty and history of these beautiful places. There were only 189 passengers, so everyone received personal care and attention. The foods were prepared according to the country we visited .... all were DELICIOUS! The staterooms were pristine, and the beauty of the world we visited were breathtaking. Our Cruise Director, Emma, and all the Viking Staff (airport, hotels, cruise tour guides, and ship) far exceeded our expectations. GREAT GREAT JOB, VIKING! THANK YOU!!!!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We had always wanted to see the Swiss Alps and parts of France and Germany. Paris was wonderful to explore and set us all up for an exciting time abroad. Our trip from Dallas to Toronto to Paris went smoothly. The air bookings were ... Read More
We had always wanted to see the Swiss Alps and parts of France and Germany. Paris was wonderful to explore and set us all up for an exciting time abroad. Our trip from Dallas to Toronto to Paris went smoothly. The air bookings were fine, however, the end of our trip was not up to Viking standards, and I will touch upon that at the end. The arrangements were impeccable as was the communication around all the trip itself. We appreciated the very professional, informative all-inclusive cruise documents which included the "Before You Go" introduction at the beginning of the brochure. That whole brochure was fantastic. Not only was it informative, but it was a wonderful way to get us excited about going! Dining was simply a wonderful experience. The food was fabulous, the wines were delightful. We just cannot say enough about the exceptional dining experience. The ship itself was very, very clean and well-maintained. The upper deck gave us a lovely view of the Mosel and Rhine, however, the chairs were often taken under the canopy and we did not want to sit in the direct sun when temperatures were in the 90's! The tours were wonderful. Our guides were great and we loved their expertise and personal interjections of facts. The morning tours were great before the very high heat took over! Coming back to the ship was like coming home again. The staff was so friendly and we were greeted with a wet towel or a cool drink. Such a nice and unexpected touch! The other guests on-board were having a good time, as we were. A big plus was the wine with lunch and dinner. We appreciated that being included in the price rather than charging each time. The wines were excellent, too, by the way. We actually tried to find them in the states. We participated in many of the tours and each was wonderful - our favorites were Palace of Versailles, Notre Dame the lake excursions, the cog wheel train up the alps and the lake shore excursions. Our trip was lovely except for the END at the Renaissance Hotel in Switzerland. We left our bags outside our hotel room, as requested and they were loaded onto the coach to take us to the airport. The only time the carry on was out of my sight was from the hotel hallway to the coach. Unfortunately, when I opened up my carry on at home, my corporate computer shoulder bag (back with silver buckles) was missing out of the top of my blue carry-on. I was disappointed that this had happened. I did write to Viking but never heard a word back from Viking. There was no computer in the bag, only some inexpensive jewelry, about 50 euro, incidentals and some work documents. As I noted, I did report this to Viking directly on an e-mail but I did not ever receive a reply from anyone, which seemed unusual. Also, the Renaissance hotel was not up to Viking standards. We had one towel for the two of us and had requested a towel from our hotel room that first evening. We ended up sharing a towel and never had a facecloth. No one ever came up with a new towels. The towel hanging in the bathroom was also dirty looking. We just think Viking should be aware of this since Viking had treated us so well and had such high standards of excellence in all that they did on the entire cruise - from quality brochures to fine dining, to intelligent guides and tours, to spot-on travel arrangements. Additionally, and unfortunately, the flight out of Switzerland was delayed which in turn made us miss our connecting flight in the States. We ended up sitting in Newark, NJ for over seven hours trying to get a flight out of New Jersey to Dallas, Texas. That was very disappointing and we were very, very tired. Viking tours are wonderful and we would love, love, love to go on another one some day. Our only wish is that we had started years ago and could keep going back for more! Thank you for a most wonderful, celebratory, memorable, educational, very-organized delightful time with my dear husband of 45 years! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise because of the start and end locations as well as the route along the way. Although we have taken several ocean cruises, this was our first time on a river cruise. The most impressive aspect of the cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the start and end locations as well as the route along the way. Although we have taken several ocean cruises, this was our first time on a river cruise. The most impressive aspect of the cruise experience was the thoroughness of the planning. From our receipt of the travel documents prior to departure to our return flight to Houston, we were impressed with how flawlessly the entire trip was planned and executed. Once on board the Viking Hild, we enjoyed the excellent service and accommodations. The dining experience was consistently outstanding. Also worth noting were the shore excursions offered at every port of call. The inlcuded morning walking tours were all lead by knowledgeable local guides, and most of the optional tours were excellent. The most memorable of the optional tours was the "Highlights of the Alps." We greatly enjoyed the experience and we are looking forward to our next Viking River Cruise! Read Less
Viking Hild Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 3.5 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 1.0 0.0
Family N/A 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.5 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0

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