6 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
8 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
10 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
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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