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4 Viking Sun (Retired) Cruise Reviews

Always fancied a Rhine Cruise but were put off by the price but eventually decided to give it a go. Sadly we were very disappointed. The places we visited were lovely but not Viking. Arrived Amsterdam airport found the rep , it was 1hour ... Read More
Always fancied a Rhine Cruise but were put off by the price but eventually decided to give it a go. Sadly we were very disappointed. The places we visited were lovely but not Viking. Arrived Amsterdam airport found the rep , it was 1hour 10mins before we left the airport for the ship, unacceptable. As a consequence we missed the buffet lunch and walking tour. Not a good start. Our cabin 121 was on lower ,Main, deck. On retiring that evening we were greeted by awful noise in our cabin. This was constant and loud from the engine and passing river traffic, the Rhine is a very busy river. We had a sleepless night. We knew ship was full but reported noise and requested ear plugs, these had no effect. So we had to endure this constant noise every night of our cruise. Some other guests also agreed cabins were noisy. Glad we didn't pay the extra £1700 it would have cost to have a cabin on top deck, £1700 for a cabin exactly same as ours but with full length windows, a lot to pay for a bigger window! Dining : Breakfast good, lunch ok, dinner poor. Very small portions, I have a small appetite but several times I left the table still hungry. The hardworking staff were rushed off their feet so a long wait between courses and drinks difficult to get replenished. The food sounded good on paper but very disappointing when it arrived ( they seem to be very fond of mashed potato!) When I booked was asked if we were celebrating anything so mentioned it was husband's birthday. The sales person said she would arrange a treat. Lovely gesture I thought. However... on birthday returned to cabin after dinner to find a towel rolled up to resemble a cake, husband and I were not impressed. River Rhine area of Germany is very beautiful but not on Viking Sun.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
It seems ridiculous to gripe about a Holiday Cruise up the Rhine River from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam, but when researching cruises, I appreciate details which tend to make a real difference, but are rarely reported. Here are the ... Read More
It seems ridiculous to gripe about a Holiday Cruise up the Rhine River from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam, but when researching cruises, I appreciate details which tend to make a real difference, but are rarely reported. Here are the things I feel added up to a completely unsatisfactory vacation. You cannot eat dinner alone. There are only tables for six, eight, ten. It rapidly becomes tedious asking people about their lives and then acting as though you are instant friends and interested. One man's son was incarnated and his daughters didn't want him at their home for Christmas so he was cruising unhappily; another woman's husband had committed suicide. Lots of older people who wanted to talk. I didn't want to go on vacation with them, but did. No Room Service and you can't take a plate to the bar. The food was not good. Breakfast was adequate (a buffet) and lunch was the high point, especially the salads, but dinner was simply bad. A $7.95 All You Can Eat Buffet in Vegas would have been an improvement. I like to sleep with my partner. Pushing twins together works if you really make them into a queen bed and not leave a big open line down the middle. Even the sheets were twin and the blankets (while lovely European cotton) were two twin sized blankets. They were very understaffed. I don't know if this was due to the holidays but, while we had the liquor package (150 Euros more per person) you couldn't get a drink easily because the bar tenders were always off doing something else. People were lined up all the time. The staff didn't look you in the eye because they feared you might ask them for something. They ran out of everything--wine, nuts, juice. The Cruise Director stayed on the intercom incessantly repeating things until you couldn't remember what you were supposed to do. Morning, noon and night--didn't matter what you might be doing in the privacy of your suite, she was talking to you with no way to silence her. It continued in person until you wanted to smack her. The itinerary was not good. Part of it was due to the fact the Rhine was high and we missed some ports, but mainly because the timing was poor. Two hours in Heidelberg, but four in Kinderdijk? Kinderdijk has a few windmills (fabulous) which take maybe 30 minutes at best. We ran through Heidelberg, pretty much seeing nothing. Amsterdam was waiting but we stayed docked for hours in Kinderdijk and didn't get into Amsterdam until we were ready to go to the airport. The other stops were either an Old Town or a church. Everyone was kept in a big group--all 200 of us. So, four big buses would pull up and dump everyone at a small cuckoo clock shop or a glass blowing demonstration. Totally overwhelming so no one saw anything and everyone was unhappy. There is no elevator. It bothered some of the older passengers but we had no trouble going up and down. The problem came when the supplies were delivered or the staff needed to get food platters up to the lounge/bar. The staff formed a human chain to pass wine cases, toilet paper, fruits, fish and all other supplies up and down as needed. Passengers had to dodge the toss and it was embarrassing when you heard the grunts. Every lunch platter was carried up the one set of steps while you attempted to stay out of the way. The staff stays to their daily rituals regardless. Couldn't get off the ship because of high water? Too bad I need to vacuum the room, hallway, steps...now. Ten minutes late to the dining room? Order now, get on the schedule with the rest of the table. If you didn't want to play games with the Recreation Director, she pouted--"It would only take two minutes." They don't have a computer system for accounting. You are supposed to leave your credit card over the last night so "my colleague can do the processing". Every Diet Coke and Old Fashion required a paper written ticket unless you were on "a package". They owed us for a cab ride and couldn't just credit the bill, but rather had to pay out in Euros. You had to leave your room key so they could keep up with who was on or off the boat. Think lines. We were on the top deck but many of the guests on lower decks complained about the smell in their rooms and backed up toilets. That was just rumors for us, but folks were upset. Having Wifi was great. We cruise a lot. We are generally happy people, but the irritants simply added up until we couldn't wait to get off the boat. We take what we spend on vacations seriously and when we realized that we would rather have stayed at home, we knew it was time to report it for others considering Viking. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
I've waited a few months before writing this review to see if time would mellow my feelings about this cruise. If anything, they've intensified. We've cruised the Caribbean with Windstar, the Adriatic with CroisiEurope ... Read More
I've waited a few months before writing this review to see if time would mellow my feelings about this cruise. If anything, they've intensified. We've cruised the Caribbean with Windstar, the Adriatic with CroisiEurope and the Danube with Luftner. Based on the fabulous times we had on those cruises, we were really looking forward to our Christmas Markets cruise with top-rated Viking. Sadly, we were very disappointed. Although this was a Christmas Markets cruise (and other cruise lines along the river were decked out in their holiday finery), the Viking Sun's decorations weren't put out until the end of the cruise. What's appalling about this is that, despite the fact that many passengers complained to the staff about this, nothing was done. The food was (to quote another passenger) was "adequate banquet fare." Other than a few regional lunch buffets in the bar area, there was absolutely nothing special about the food. It wasn't bad but it certainly wasn't as memorable as it was on our other cruises. Our Program Director, Tom, seemed more interested in self-aggrandizement than in helping passengers (although, to be fair, some people did enjoy his sense of humor). The tours were good, but I'm sure the same could be said of the tours offered by any of the other cruise lines. Based on our experience, we'll never book with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
After traveling on three Viking River Cruises, my husband and I were excited to try the Belgium to Switzerland 12 night tour on the Viking Sun during the Christmas/New Years Holiday 2007. We booked our cruise/air package about 6 weeks ... Read More
After traveling on three Viking River Cruises, my husband and I were excited to try the Belgium to Switzerland 12 night tour on the Viking Sun during the Christmas/New Years Holiday 2007. We booked our cruise/air package about 6 weeks before departure. Having had bad experiences before with incorrect travel documents, I checked them closely and noticed the actual airline tickets (not e-tickets) had us going to Nurenberg instead of Brussels. After telling me it was not their responsibility to verify the accuracy of the tickets, Viking River sent me the correct airline tickets. Yeah! Potential disaster averted. Our airport to ship transfer was supposed to be provided by Viking River. When we arrived at the airport in Brussels, we waited about two hours for the Viking River transfer that was to be waiting for us. I finally decided to call the transfer company. Unfortunately, the transfer company phone number provided by Viking River cruises was to a transfer company in Amsterdam, not Brussels. So I then called the Viking Sun ship directly and was told the ship personnel had been given inaccurate information by Viking River. We then took a taxi to the ship, but lost the afternoon we had planned for sightseeing. The Viking Sun ship was very nice, as were the other Viking ships we have cruised before. The ship was very clean, modern and the reception was quite nice. Our cabin was immaculate. Because of their several hour snafu with the transfer, there was no time for us to go into the town. The food was beautifully prepared and presented throughout the entire cruise. Service was very attentive without being intrusive. Our cruise was the final one for the year, so the cruise personnel were very anxious to be going home. The dining staff was quite efficient at getting everyone served quickly. Brugge was a wonderful visit. Lots of walking and sightseeing, but not too much. Everyone seemed to enjoy it immensely. Our tour guide was articulate and kept us moving at a nice pace. The brochure said we would have time in Antwerp, but there wasn't time. Delft was also a walking tour and a factory tour. Most of the tours required guests to be in reasonably good physical condition. Unfortunately, some guests could not keep up the pace. Because of the holidays, most of the stops were pretty quiet with shops and pubs closed. Most of the Christmas Markets were also over for the year. There were a couple that were open, but the ship personnel said they would also be closed so most people did not even bother to walk into the towns. Most of the optional tours were not offered. They didn't even bother to have a sign up sheet for the Kroller-Muller Museum since they seldom had any interest in it. My option was to take a taxi. Cologne is a delightful stop with something for everyone. The ship provided tour was very informative. I would also recommend the Roman artifacts museum, as well as the Cathedral and Old city. Much of the city was destroyed, but the reconstruction is lovely. We ran out of time before we could see the National socialism documentation centre which was the headquarters of the Cologne gestapo. Cochem was a pleasant walking town, but most things were closed. Most everything was also closed in Koblenz. Marksburg castle was interesting and had great views. People who have trouble walking may find the steps slippery. Throughout the tour I helped several people who were having problems with the cobblestones and slick steps at most stops. While cruising the Rhine, our Cruise Manager seemed to be bored with the entire trip. Several people commented that it seemed so strange that someone who doesn't enjoy people was in that position. He was even asked a couple of times if something was wrong and to pretend he was having fun by smiling. We were thinking maybe he just wanted this final cruise to be over. Rudesheim looked like it would be an interesting place if things were open. Again, there was nothing to do but look in the shop windows after the museum tour. Several of us left the musical instrument tour early. Heidelberg required lots of walking and was a fascinating stop. The shops were closed, but the decorations were worth the walk down the main shopping area. Speyer was lively with ice skating, Old Gate and the Christmas Market. The church was amazing and had a lovely nativity. Our cruise director said everything would be closed and since it was about a 10 minute walk, many people did not walk into the center. We found it quite magical and filled with local families. When we got to Strasbourg, we were told the tour would be cut short to combine it with the Black Forest tour that same day. We skipped the Black Forest tour and enjoyed the entire day in Strasbourg. The markets were open, ice skating and places to enjoy food and drink. We found out later the locks were going to take the entire next day so they had to do the Black Forest tour in the afternoon. We heard from other cruisemates that the Black Forest tour was extremely boring and nothing was open. They all wished they stayed in Strasbourg. Our final day of cruising was spent going through several locks. The locks were on a reduced schedule so it took hours longer than normal. No activities were planned on the ship for that day either. When we got to Basel after dark, the ship's docking location was taken so they had to dock a long ways from the town. There was no way for anyone to do any sightseeing in Basel that late at night. The next morning we had to go out in the dark to identify our luggage and then walk up a steep, slippery bank, over the railroad tracks to the bus to the airport. We helped a few ladies that were afraid of falling since they could not see where they were walking. On a scale of 1-5 (highest), I would rate this Belgium to Switzerland Viking Sun cruise a 3, although the meals and service on ship were excellent. We were very disappointed with the normally excellent Viking River cruise experience. If you are considering this cruise, you may want to go at least a couple weeks before Christmas and verify what will be open. Read Less
Sail Date December 2007
Viking Sun (Retired) Ratings
Category Editor Member
Rates 3.0 3.9

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