3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2013
My wife and I made reservations for the Viking 2013 Passage to Eastern Europe (June 15 Budapest to Bucharest) cruise in August of 2012. Their brochure described a wonderful journey spending eight days cruising down the Danube and visiting ... Read More
My wife and I made reservations for the Viking 2013 Passage to Eastern Europe (June 15 Budapest to Bucharest) cruise in August of 2012. Their brochure described a wonderful journey spending eight days cruising down the Danube and visiting venues we had not seen before. They particularly highlighted the Iron Gate area. In addition to the monies paid to Viking we used many thousands of air miles for our flights. These miles could have been deposited back in our account had the trip been cancelled prior to leaving. Due to extreme flooding on the Danube I checked with Viking regularly during the seven days prior to the departure date from Budapest both by phone and their online site. They said we would be notified if the cruise were to be cancelled. I called Viking 24 hours prior to leaving San Francisco Airport and again was advised the trip was a go even though Viking had cancelled many trips due to rising waters on the Danube and elsewhere. Their online site still stated we would leave Budapest as scheduled. Whoever made the call to force the trip from Bucharest back to Budapest made a very unfortunate decision. With state of the art weather information, history of flooding, local river officials and continued cresting of the river it is unfathomable Viking would depart Bucharest only to be stuck between bridges in Novi Sad. It was not waiting one day for the river to subside but six days. In addition we paid extra for an outside balcony we could use sitting in chairs enjoying the described sights. Unfortunately we spent six days looking at another boat tethered one foot away. After cancelling so many trips I also wonder if the insurance company put pressure on Viking to make an attempt to depart. Had Viking cancelled this trip the insurance I paid for would have reimbursed me and I could have put my air miles back in my account for future use. In any case Viking with its resources knew the river was or would not be navigable and should not have left Bucharest. The decision to continue this cruise was a reckless decision and is the full responsibility of Viking Cruises. As stated in a petition signed by many we believe we were lied to by Viking as they knew full well a completion of the journey to our embarkation point of Budapest was not possible. Why Viking would risk it's reputation and the loyalty of passengers with such a feckless decision is beyond comprehension. We finally left after six days in Novi Sad to cruise 20 hours mostly in the dark to Calafat Romania. We went through the highly touted Iron Gate at night. We were then bussed six plus hours from Calafat to Bucharest enduring a flat tire on the bus along the way. We arrived in Bucharest around 4:30 pm, were hustled to a tourist trap restaurant for what should have been a 12pm lunch where we had exactly one hour to eat blah food and listen to loud music. Initially we were offered 50% off a future cruise and after the petition was presented were offered 100% back on this cruise excepting air costs and 50% of the value of this cruise towards another cruise we must book before June 2014. I am not sure why other posts indicated only a credit of 75% credit on different cruises. To those Viking sycophants' who defend Viking because of the weather I say yes you can't control the weather but you can make intelligent decisions with the information at hand and if you don't at least be honest to your customers. If some of the malcontents had not signed the petition I am sure the first 50% offer would have been the only one. I won't comment on noise, food or rambling bus trips as those have been already been addressed on other posts and I for the most part agree. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2013
The ship Aegir is beautiful, very modern, very clean, very good food and friendly staff. We did this cruise for our 26 Wedding Anniversary and were looking for a nice romantic time with good sightseeing and entertainement. However, the ... Read More
The ship Aegir is beautiful, very modern, very clean, very good food and friendly staff. We did this cruise for our 26 Wedding Anniversary and were looking for a nice romantic time with good sightseeing and entertainement. However, the best thing about the cruise was our stateroom butler Vinnie and the Chef who spoiled us with his excellent food. The itineary was not exciting but that's not really Viking's fault. However, the noise-level on the ship is! The ships are beautifully designed but obviously none of the designers nor Vikings' Management has stayed in any of the cabins on the 3rd level (which is the most expensive one). Right above the stateroom is a running/walking track which IS BEING USED. Although the ship has restrictive hours for the use of this track - passengers do not really respect them. So it might be that someone feels like running at 5 am or 11 pm. Being in your stateroom you feel that the ceiling comes downn on you any minute. But the worst experience is that Viking does not care at all!!! Management on the ship refers you to the questionaire at the end of the trip and Viking Headoffice sends you a lame apology..... A LOT OF MONEY BADLY SPENT!!! >Next time we will do Crystal Cruises again where you truly get what you pay for!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2013
"It is harder to seek pardon afterwards than to be cautious beforehand", from "The Vikings' Guide to Good Business", offered for sale in the Viking Aegir gift shop. Perhaps the executives at Viking River Cruises ... Read More
"It is harder to seek pardon afterwards than to be cautious beforehand", from "The Vikings' Guide to Good Business", offered for sale in the Viking Aegir gift shop. Perhaps the executives at Viking River Cruises should make themselves familiar with this centuries-old book and the advice it contains. As a former executive manager, I always found that making the right decision at the right time was what set you apart from those who just drew a salary. In those cases where problems arose, maintaining a commitment to corporate integrity, ethics, and the simple acts of being open and truthful went a long way to meliorating the situation. Again, lessons that don't seem to be part of the Viking approach to business. The flooding on the Danube was an act of God. The decision that put us on this flooded river was an act of corporate ineptitude. Our planned 11 day river cruise, a celebration of our 25th wedding anniversary, turned into 6 days of confinement on a veritable prison barge with a mounting number of hours on poorly air-conditioned buses used to visit marginally interesting sites to take our minds off our situation. Our contracted "river view stateroom" offered us only the blackened curtains of another ship, tethered inches away from us. The only escape from the claustrophobic room/balcony was a choice between the outside deck (in 95 degree temperatures) or the lounge with a high-school level talent playing incessantly on the piano with Zombie-like patrons sitting around him staring off into space or asleep in the chairs. We were subjected to an orchestrated program of lies, half-truths, and deceptions designed (IMO) to keep the passengers from open revolt and, not coincidentally, to keep Viking within their contract obligations to avoid litigation. When the majority of on-board customers did threaten action, Viking first offered a 50% discount for a future cruise (followed by the tour director being booed off his perch). On the next day, Viking then offered a "full" refund for the trip, but was careful not to define what "full" meant. Upon our return home, we were provided with two emails -- the first giving us an exact dollar amount for the future discount; the second, another unspecified "full" refund. Upon a call to the Customer Retention office, and a two day wait for a return call, we were informed that "full" really meant we were still out of pocket for over $2,500. The Viking web site, prior to the trip, announced that the cruise would proceed as scheduled. Upon arrival in Budapest, we learned that the prior week's cruises had been canceled. We were then told that our second day in Budapest would be eliminated so that we could be bused for 6 hours to Novi Sad, where we would commence the trip. Once in Novi Sad (bypassing planned stops in Kalocsa, Hungary, and Osijek, Croatia), we were told that we could not sail until the water level dropped enough to transit a railroad bridge. When asked how fast the water was dropping, we were told by the cruise director that the water was still rising. Each day thereafter, there was the constant promise of departure as soon as the water levels dropped -- a promise which was ridiculed by the crew members of the tethered ships whose companies had canceled their own cruises. These other crews proved to be absolutely correct on when a sailing level would be reached, a piece of river knowledge which seems to have escaped Viking. Although we did reach Belgrade (by bus ride rather than by water), no other item on the itinerary list was achieved, unless you count the abbreviated cruise to some remote station in Romania that lasted about 24 hours and a so-called lunch in Bucharest which was served to us at 4:00 in the afternoon after another 6 hour bus ride. This lunch ended at 5:00, just prior to checking into the hotel for a quick dinner and an early to-bed evening preceding a 3:00 AM wake-up call for the airport. While in our six day confinement in Novi Sad (with bus trips with a daily itinerary of a fort and a church as a Groundhog Day kind of treatment), the mantra of "when the water drops below the bridge" became a point of hope for everyone. We all were highly amused, of course, when the final announcement came that the water was now low enough for transit.....but that the river authority had closed the waterway to traffic (maybe that's why we had seen nothing at all moving on the water in the 6 days we were there?). We had also been promised that despite missing out on all the scenic views up-river, that we would be dazzled by the beauty of the Iron Gate and the majesty of the carved face of the Dacian king, Decebalus -- and surely we would have been if we had not sailed past these points at 11 PM. As to the other things expected for a cruise experience, stateroom, food, service -- fail, fail, and fail. We were amazed that a room where so much attention was given to noise reduction (doors, drawers, and toilet lids that can't slam), could be so noisy. We were awakened every morning NLT 6:00 AM (some days, 5:45) by the noise coming from the exercise deck above us. The shower constantly clogged and flooded. The food had two levels of seasoning, none and horribly salty. We were served meat that was bloody rare or tough as shoe leather. We were made to feel as if we were in the way with staff spraying cleanser on the tables while the later diners were still at their meals; we watched staff putting silverware on seats just vacated by passenger butts and then returning that silverware to the table. Portions were small and everything, whether expected to be hot or cold, was served close to room temperature. I ordered eggs Benedict one morning and was served egg Benedict -- one lonely egg sitting on a huge plate with nary a hint of sauce and a soggy piece of bread under it. The only positive of the trip was the ability to order eggs to order (never Benedict again, however). This was negated by the state of the fruit trays with sadly mushy watermelon setting the tone for the other surprisingly over-age offerings put out for consumption. The staff ranged all over the place in level of service. Some did all that we expect from a cruise staff. Many others were surly and inattentive. We found it impossible to make a blanket tip for this type of experience and made individual tips to those who had earned it. On a related note, we were left wondering why we were constantly told of the very high unemployment rates of the places we visited and then found that a sizable number of staff on board were from the Philippines -- perhaps just another area of corporate ethics in which Viking is lacking.   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2013
This was our second Viking River Cruise.The first on the Aegir. We had a room downstairs that was below water level,which made me search out escape routes before we left port.2 ways out. We stopped in Belgrade and were showen bullet ... Read More
This was our second Viking River Cruise.The first on the Aegir. We had a room downstairs that was below water level,which made me search out escape routes before we left port.2 ways out. We stopped in Belgrade and were showen bullet ridden buildings.Returning to the boat there was no security check and the gangway remained unmaned all night. There were a lot of Buffet meals. The cabin was tiny ,just bigger than the bed two singles beds,pushed together. Advertised as a Romantic Danube Cruise ,it was anything but romantic, with war stories and comunnism the main theme The scenery was nice if you dont mind a polutted river. I think it will be a few more years ,for this part of the world to get it together Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2013
Our "North Sea to the Black Sea" cruise on the Aegir will always be our favorite cruise. Even though we have taken several Viking cruises, none will ever match the Aegir. It was an excellent cruise, the ship was wonderful and, ... Read More
Our "North Sea to the Black Sea" cruise on the Aegir will always be our favorite cruise. Even though we have taken several Viking cruises, none will ever match the Aegir. It was an excellent cruise, the ship was wonderful and, if you ever take this cruise, look for two of the dining room servers who were absolutely the best ever: Marius and Jazzminka. Also cruise director Roddy was first rate and with us no matter what the weather or the circumstance. Not that these three were alone, they were just the standouts on what was a first rate group of people. No aspect of our needs were overlooked and they catered to us continuously. It was the coldest spring in four hundred years and we needed a LOT of support. If I had one cruise in the world I would do again it would be this one. I could not recommend the Aegir more highly . Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2013
Our trip was the Passage to Eastern Europe consisting of 2 nights in Budapest a 7 night cruise and 1 night in Bucharest. For those you who want a short review... this was the best cruise we have ever taken!!! The food was 5 star, as well ... Read More
Our trip was the Passage to Eastern Europe consisting of 2 nights in Budapest a 7 night cruise and 1 night in Bucharest. For those you who want a short review... this was the best cruise we have ever taken!!! The food was 5 star, as well as the service and attentiveness of the entire staff from the captain on down. For those of you, who would like more details, read on. Arrival at Budapest: Our flight from Atlanta via Paris was delayed three hours due to a mechanical problem. Once we collected our luggage, the Viking representatives were waiting for us at the arrivals area. We brought our luggage to the waiting busses and took the 40 minute ride to the Budapest Marriott. When we arrived at the hotel, I went to the luggage compartment on the bus and was told by the driver; “Sir, you luggage is no longer your concern, its mine”. In the hotel lobby, Viking had a reception area set up with our room keys and other documentation relating to the next days itinerary. Once we received our keys, we went to our room, and our luggage was there waiting for us! Make note, all the rooms overlook the Danube River. Seeing that our arrival was so late, we went to bed to recharge our batteries for the things to come. Budapest: After breakfast, we had a 4 hour tour of the city. Budapest is an old world European city filled with friendly people. After the tour we returned to the hotel and I ventured out on my own to explore the city. Within walking distance of the hotel there is Vaci Street which is closed to vehicles. Here you’ll find cafes, bars, restaurants and boutiques. Also within walking distance, on the way to St. Stephen’s Basilica, there is another pedestrian area that is filled with vendors selling souvenirs, breads, pastries and food. After eating, it was back to the hotel to get ready for the cruise the next day. Embarkation: In the afternoon, we met at the hotel to be transported to the ship. Upon arrival at the pier, we boarded the ship, surrendered our passports and received our cabin keys. We were escorted to our cabin and when we opened the door our luggage was on the bed. We were invited to a buffet lunch being served in the Aquavit lounge. There were plenty of items to choose from as well as free flowing beer, wine and soft drinks. Cabin: We were in cabin 331 which is a category A veranda cabin. These cabins are not as large as veranda cabins on ocean going vessels, but they are quite functional. There is ample closet space as well as 8 drawers and shelves in the closet. There are multiple 110v outlets throughout the cabin and a safe. The only con to the cabin is that the mattress was hard. Viking should have put pillow top mattresses in the cabins instead of the 8 inch hard mattress. However Vince, the head of housekeeping went out of his way to provide us with a solution. He had the cabin stewardess place multiple mattress toppers on the bed, and that solved the problem. Dining: This is where Viking excels. The first night I ordered the New York strip steak prepared medium. I have never been able to get a steak prepared to my liking on the first attempt on any cruise line. Viking is the exception as my steak was perfect! That evening, the Executive Chef asked me how my steak was and told me that all of Vikings meats were rated Prime. There was not a single mediocre meal during our cruise. Some of the offerings were; Beef Wellington, Crusted Grilled Salmon, Veal Osso Buco, Filet Mignon with Tiger Prawns, Blackened Halibut and Lamb Shank. All prepared expertly and seasoned to perfection. The only con to the restaurant is that there is no dress code. It is not uncommon to see people wearing jeans during dinner. One night during dinner I saw a very large woman wearing a skin tight tee shirt (not a pretty picture), a man in jeans and a plaid shirt with both a belt and suspenders and a man wearing the same tattered, rolled up jeans he wore for the past 5 days. This takes something away from the 5 star quality of the restaurant. Entertainment: During the cruise, Viking brings on locals to entertain us with folkloric music and dance. There are enrichment talks and daily briefings regarding the following day’s tours. Besides that, there is a pianist each night in the lounge. Tours: Each day starting at 8:30 or 9:00 there is a tour. It could be a city tour, visit to an equestrian center or fishing village. There is always ample free time to shop, explore on your own or nap. Your day can be as full as you want. Disembarkation: On the last day you are asked to have your luggage outside your cabin by 8:00am for pickup and transfer to the hotel. After breakfast we check out and proceed to the waiting buses for transportation to the Bucharest Hilton. The Hilton was a 40 minute ride from the pier, and again, by the time we collected our room keys and got the elevator, our bags were already in our room. That night we walked around in the city, ate in the lounge at the hotel and turned in early as we had a 3:30am wake up call for our trip to the airport. Our shuttle to the airport left the hotel at 4:30am and the fact that we were heading back to reality set in. We are already planning a trip to France on Viking in the fall of this year for our anniversary as we know Viking is now our cruise provider of choice. Congratulations on a job well done!!!   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
With several exceptions of a minor nature this "Grand European" sailing from Amsterdam to Budapest was stellar in all regards. Our timing for this sailing was marred by the fact that Europe was experiencing it's coldest ... Read More
With several exceptions of a minor nature this "Grand European" sailing from Amsterdam to Budapest was stellar in all regards. Our timing for this sailing was marred by the fact that Europe was experiencing it's coldest Spring in many years and that detracted from the overall experience. Can't hold VRC responsible for this! From our standpoint VRC was in the hotseat as far as us sailing with them again but WOW, their performance on this trip was mighty good. So good in fact that we will book a "Waterways of the Czars" itinerary with them in the future. The only gripes we had were too much idle free time in 3 German cities that were basically shut down due to Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday, the absence of space in the Viking lounge for presentations and local talent shows, and the inability for passengers to pay off their outstanding room charges until between midnight and 9am on the day of disembarkation. VRC should warn their customers who sail in Europe during the Easter holiday that most city visits on these days will result in shut down towns and shopping. The inadequate space in the lounge is well documented by other posters. The food at each meal from lunch in Amsterdam to breakfast in Budapest was equal to the fabulous meals we have enjoyed on Silversea and Celebrity expeditions to Antarctica, the Arctic, and the Galapagos. We don't know how the staff on Aegir does it but they consistently presented superior dining experiences. The house red and white wines wines were just fine but certainly not top cabin. The menus were varied and portion size was completely acceptable. The soups and entree's were very good and the sorbets better than what we have enjoyed on previous ocean cruises. The availability of beverages and cookies during the day was appreciated. The hotel manager, Oliver, and the maitre'd Valentin (and their staffs) did a commendable job every day. Breakfast in the Aquavit Terrace was a nice departure from the hustle and bustle of the breakfast buffet in the dining room. Our "aquarium class" lower deck cabin was adequate and the bathroom, although quite tiny, was fine. Closet space was ample but the drawers were not very high and had smaller than desired capacity. We did OK with the space. The bed creaked a lot but we slept well. A few times we were jolted at night as the ship bumped the walls in the locks. We quickly fell asleep after waking to the bumps. We got used to the vacuum pumps from adjoining cabins and would say this problem documented by other posters is overblown. The internet connection throughout the sailing was good, far better than it was on our previous VRC sailings. Most of the local tour guides were quite good as they balanced information, personal stories and humor. The visits to the "alt stadt's" in town after town did get a bit old as we visited the walled cities and saw the same old architecture throughout Germany. The "ABC" (another blooming church or castle or cathedral) tour comment got a bit of a workout by our fellow passengers! Service in our cabin and in the dining room was outstanding with the staff going above and beyond in performance and overall kindness. Can't say enough about Stela caring for our cabin and Damir and Teodor in the dining room. It's a bit tight and a little on the noisy side in the dining room but we really have no gripes on this issue. Our table mates (two couples from Australia and Canada) were wonderful and we hope our paths cross again. They were greatly appreciated as were their colleagues. The concierge was very helpful and the program director kept things moving with good info and injections of his talent and advice. Wish the PD would have kept a better handle on the behavior of rude passengers who tried to talk over him when he was presenting important info to the group at the daily briefings. We thoroughly enjoyed the onboard entertainment afforded by a glass blower, classical German singers, and a Hungarian music and dance troupe. Liar's Club, trivia, and longest German word competitions were fun. We took advantage of a new VRC policy for future sailing vouchers which do not have an expiration date. It's too bad VRC does not have the technology to book future sailings whilst passengers are onboard. Overall this was a very positive experience, one that will bring us back to VRC again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
This was our fifth Viking cruise within the last 3 years and we have another booked so we are fans of the brand. If you book on an early offer price they are rarely bettered in our experience. This trip was booked for 2 reasons.We are ... Read More
This was our fifth Viking cruise within the last 3 years and we have another booked so we are fans of the brand. If you book on an early offer price they are rarely bettered in our experience. This trip was booked for 2 reasons.We are fans of German Xmas markets plus we wanted to try out a new Viking longship--as they call their new design. They have launched several this year with more to come in 2013. Ordinarily we have not booked a french balcony cabin as even on a deal a standard plain window cabin is coming in at around £155 each a day which is plenty but that does include an excursion a day plus house wine or beer with lunch and dinner (and bottled water plus tea/coffee from a machine 24/7). This time was no exception but it proved to be a mistake. Every time you used the bathroom plumbing noises were very evident in the cabin so if one was taking a shower the other endured a racket in the main cabin as the water flowed through the pipework.It was even louder in the bathroom . Additionally if another boat or barge was passing by then you picked up its engine noise from about 4 lengths before to about 4 after.And this was even if the boat was passing on the opposite side of our ship. We resorted to sleeping with wax earplugs to try and get some uninterrupted sleep--but with difficulty I wondered if the extra noise on the longship was due to its construction--maybe aluminium was used for lightness and strength.No one will tell me.I am surprised that they have built so many to the same plan without introducing just one and getting feedback on its "wrinkles" and then sorting them out. We were not alone in our criticism .Others near us complained of the same when we mixed as we ate and chatted about the cruise.(all open seating).So we will not travel on the lower deck on one of these again! Having said all that the remainder of the ship was fine --very light and airy.A bit short on seating in the main lounge for daily briefings if everyone turned up. Breakfasts and lunch were mainly buffet style and food choices good but unexceptional.Dinners were served after ordering usually from a choice of 3 on the menu and were very good indeed in our view.To us the house white is indifferent and the red just about palatable but it is included in the price paid. The itinerary was the standard Amsterdam to Basel with some very good daily stops but being december we had xmas markets for 5 days out of 7 to enjoy in and around the standard sightseeing tours.And snow on 5 out of 7 also which made the Black Forest coach trip quite magical. Will we go back on Viking? Certainly but regettably will have to pay more to be higher up if the booked trip is on one of these new ships in which case we will go less often. Having written to Viking about the noise levels we are still waiting for their comments if indeed they do bother to reply Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2012
Not one of the best cruises I've been on. Will probably stick to Uniworld and Avalon for river cruising. First the Good: 1. A great staff - almost across the board. Everyone was first class, with the exception of some of ... Read More
Not one of the best cruises I've been on. Will probably stick to Uniworld and Avalon for river cruising. First the Good: 1. A great staff - almost across the board. Everyone was first class, with the exception of some of the restaurant servers. In the mornings it could take quite awhile to get some fruit juice, tea or water. Unless you drank coffee (which I do not) - coffee came right away. The breakfast food was buffet style, but the drinks were not. You had to flag down someone and hope you got your drink before you were done with your breakfast. But all other staff just could not do enough for you. Reception staff was incredible. 2. New ship just months old so everything was fresh and clean. 3. Home-made soups and dinner meals were excellent. Some of the best fish dishes I've ever had. 4. Very comfortable beds with nice linens. And the Not So Good: 1. Staterooms are SMALL. We were in a group and checked out friends' rooms in other categories, and they were all on the small side with teeny-tiny showers. Except for the Suite which will be described later. 2. Don't take Cabins 100 and 101! Viking should not even allow paying passengers in these cabins. The gangways are deployed right above you, and whoever designed this vessel did not believe in soundproofing. The noise at 11 p.m and 6 a.m. could wake the dead when crew was deploying the gangway. Also, whenever a passenger with hard soles or heels traversed said gangway coming or going, it sounded like Fred Astaire was up there. And when in port, the window looks directly onto the side of the dock. That's all you see six inches in front of you - concrete, metal or dark wood. 3. Apparently, from the lower deck waste water must be pumped upward. Which is fine, but the pumping system sounds exactly like an old coffee percolator from the 1970's. It is loud in the room and WILL wake you up. I could hear my neighbor's pump, and I am sure they could hear mine. I could also hear my neighbor's TV, closet hangers banging, etc. Again, did someone not want to spend a couple dollars in some soundproofing? This was the noisiest vessel I have EVER been on. 4. The showers in everyone's room drained slowly...and I mean slowly to the point where you need to cut short your shower because you think it's about to overflow. 5. Wine choices at lunch and dinner are very limited. The first few days the white wine offered was Chablis and the red wine offered was Merlot, neither one of those varietals that I care for. Thank goodness that changed after a few days. And fruit juices and sparkling water are not offered between meals - you'll have to pay for those. I know Viking wants you to buy the optional premium beverage package, but it was REALLY overpriced, and if only one of you drinks in the room and the other occupant does not drink, you still have to buy the package for both room occupants. That's ridiculous! The good thing is you can take your own liquor and wine on board with you, which I would definitely recommend. 6. LOTS of buffet food on this cruise. Breakfast was pretty much buffet only. You could order a couple egg dishes from the kitchen, but you were still stuck with all accompaniments coming from the buffet. I never once had any hot breakfast potatoes or hot bacon, just kind of lukewarm at best. Lunch buffet dishes were usually nice, but again, not real hot. I personally don't like a lot of buffet foods - it's germ central on all the shared serving utensils, as many guests do not avail themselves of the hand sanitizer. And sure enough by the end of the cruise half of our party either had colds or were coming down with one. 7. Let's talk about the expensive Suites. Beautiful rooms, well-designed, beautifully appointed, nice, large wrap-around balcony, BUT, oh-my-gawd, one night it felt like you were sleeping in the engine room. If you are deaf and rich, this would be the room for you. Some nights it was quiet, some nights it was deafening. It's surprising that Viking put the two most expensive rooms on the boat right where the engine noise is. Again, who dropped the ball on designing in some sound-proofing? Viking apparently has 4 more boats like this on order, but I'm surprised they are buying these before the jury's in on how well this ship has done. 8. This is a WALKING trip. There is LOTS of walking on the tours. Be prepared. 9. There were some interesting presentations in the Lounge, but if you were sitting on the starboard side towards the back, good luck hearing what was being said. When they were using just a mic and an amp it did not come through the ceiling speakers on that side. Very poor design and execution leaving many passengers frustrated. 10. The Lounge can get a little crowded if inclement weather prohibits use of the upper outside deck. If it's too cold to go outside, it can feel uncomfortably tight in that lounge area. Solution: Avoid cold weather cruises! 11. Where's the bartender??? Sometimes you couldn't buy a cocktail to save your life. Is he doubling as a steward and changing sheets somewhere?? What?? I once tried to order a Martini at 4 pm and was told the bartender will have to do it as no one else knows how, but no one knew where he was. It's a Martini, guys! One of the easiest drinks to make. I offered to walk her through it, but no, couldn't do that. Waited 20 minutes for the bartender. Some employee cross-training might be called for. 12. Lastly, there was unanimous disappointment by all in our party about the itinerary. This cruise was marketed as a Christmas Market cruise. However, Christmas Markets were certainly not plentiful, nor was there ample time to explore the few that were available to us. Unusually high water levels contributed to some port visits being cut way short, which was also very disappointing, and we did not seem to make up that time somewhere else. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
well were do I start...our flight out of Tampa was cancelled that started the ball rolling we missed all of our connections. We finally made into Basel at midnight the ship was due to leave at 7:00 pm but have no fear Viking to the rescue ... Read More
well were do I start...our flight out of Tampa was cancelled that started the ball rolling we missed all of our connections. We finally made into Basel at midnight the ship was due to leave at 7:00 pm but have no fear Viking to the rescue they held the ship for us there were three other couples waiting to get on board. When we arrived at the ship Simon the cruise director was waiting outside for us took us in and they had warm soup sandwiches and dessert waiting for us we were treated like royalty. This is my fifth cruise with Viking and they have never disappointed me. My best friend luggage never arrive till the day before we were do to get off the ship again Viking could not have done enough to help my friend they offered to do her laundry for free plus help her with all the paper work. Enough said on this. The Christmas markets were wonderful Cologne was the best and one thing to remember is that at the Christmas markets they only take cash so make sure you have plenty of euros. I would do this cruise all over again it was a wonderful experience one that I will never forget Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
I have to say that this cruise was well run and very enjoyable. Some people might criticize the pace of the cruise as too fast but it was exactly what I was looking for in a river cruise. Each day was a new port, there were activities ... Read More
I have to say that this cruise was well run and very enjoyable. Some people might criticize the pace of the cruise as too fast but it was exactly what I was looking for in a river cruise. Each day was a new port, there were activities available all day, and the tours offered where included or at a very fair price. We participated in activities every day and we were busy all day, every day but you are not required to take every shore excursion. The cruise can be as relaxing as you wish. You can go off on your own if you wish. It allowed us to cover more territory in a week than any other method of travel in reasonable luxury. The food on board was very good and there was a good selection to choose from. The cabins on the new longboats were comfortable and practical and made very good use of the space available. I never felt cramped. The ability to travel Europe and never have to leave the same comfortable room cannot be overstated. Every aspect of the cruise itself was outstanding and if I have to find a criticism, it would be that the internet connection was not as reliable as it could have been and docking the boat with the satellite disk under a bridge one day did drop the internet and TV for that day. On the other hand, having TV and internet at all beats most other options available and I was still able to keep in touch enough to keep my business going while I was out. Now for the negative. Viking Cruise lines are clearly an unequaled river cruise line but they are a below average travel agency. Being able to book entire trip including stay-overs and airfare appears convenient and supports the cruise business, but I suspect this travel agency is run separately from the cruise line and it shows. Their primary interest is locking in the original booking and after that, it is difficult to get anything else done or even get a callback. The information concerning the cruise is very complete and available on the website but the other travel arrangements are not and the information you receive concerning these other travel arrangements may change after you book the trip. They are out to book the additional arrangements and are a bit loose with facts. Here is the story: Viking may offer free or deeply discounted airfare but here are many conditions that are far from clear when you book it. Extra charges if you want inputs into the airlines or arrival and departure times. Extra charge to arrive earlier or leave later. Extra charge to not book their hotels for extended stays. They will tell you that you can use your frequent flyer privileges with your airline for your benefit but you can't. You can only upgrade through Viking at extra charges and miles than the airline requires. They will tell you that you can upgrade through the airlines but this is not true. By the way, this is not a requirement of the airlines or fare class. I had a long talk with United Airlines and they were willing to give me the upgrade, but the agreement they had with Viking did not allow them to do it. It's a locked in profit center for Viking no matter what the agent tells you when you book the trip. When I tried to get my standard upgrade with United, Viking told me it would cost $9000 for them to allow United to give me the upgrade. Welcome to the bait and switch! I tried to talk to someone in management (Rose) about this problem; she said she would get back to me. I called her back and another person told me she was too busy. After that, I didn't hear from her or anyone again. At this point. I had no options at any cost. Summary; Viking is an amazing cruise line and a lousy travel agency. I recommend the cruise but be very leery of the airfare deals and consider booking your own travel. We would have been better off. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
The idea of a river cruise was new to us and we did enjoy the scenery, although only two of the days involved sightseeing from the ship. Otherwise we sailed overnight. PROS: The towns of the Rhine Valley. Gorgeous and amazing even on ... Read More
The idea of a river cruise was new to us and we did enjoy the scenery, although only two of the days involved sightseeing from the ship. Otherwise we sailed overnight. PROS: The towns of the Rhine Valley. Gorgeous and amazing even on cold, rainy winter days. They must really be stunning in the spring time. The breakfast oatmeal! Everyone, including the crew, said it was the best thing on the menu. Breakfast and lunch were fine. New ship! Fit and finish was immaculate as you would expect. Getting on and off very easy. Nice itinerary (Basel to Amsterdam). CONS: Not much to do on board. Dinner quickly became tiresome. Didn't open dining room until 7pm. Didn't eat until 8. Didn't get out of there until 9:30 most nights. The whole evening was wasted in a very loud and uncomfortable atmosphere. The food was as good as you can expect on a cruise ship, meaning good but not gourmet. Although they said up front that you could always get food in the lounge, there were only five rather dull, unhealthy choices on the menu. No comfortable furniture anywhere. The four of us wanted to play cards at a normal table. Sorry! There were only three and they were out on the cold afterdeck. Rest of the furniture was modern, low and slouch-inducing. Our room also smelled bad. Other guests also complained but they were unresponsive. Finally, I returned after an excursion half-asleep on the bus and managed to leave my pack with glasses, hats, Kindle, etc. Discovered my mistake about an hour after leaving bus. They said they called bus company but never got my stuff back. What bus driver doesn't check his bus after a tour for lost items?   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
We were the first passengers to board the Viking Aegir's maiden voyage. Check-in was easy, the cabin (even though it was the lowest category because I got the last cabin available when I signed up) was excellent. The ship had the ... Read More
We were the first passengers to board the Viking Aegir's maiden voyage. Check-in was easy, the cabin (even though it was the lowest category because I got the last cabin available when I signed up) was excellent. The ship had the smell of brand new carpet and they vacuumed about three times a day because of new-carpet-fuzzbunnies. The staff was absolutely fabulous. Cabin stewardess, wait staff, front desk staff, everyone was great and really seemed happy and enthusiastic about their jobs. The Captain, being the leader of the crew, obviously provided a great work environment for the staff. The Cruise Director, Feliz, was born for her job. She truly enjoyed it and was always available from early morning to late evening. The food was EXCEPTIONAL every meal and the service was impeccable. The off-boat excursions were meticulously planned and came off without any major hitches. The personal audio devices in every cabin were a great ammenity and when one did not work a staff member was always nearby with assistance. Having a staff member on each excursion was excellent because they were a "touch of home" in that they were someone to talk to if you missed something the guide said. All of the guides were top quality too. Overall the Aegir was a great vessel with a great itinerary and a GREAT staff. I have been recommending it to everyone who wants a great cruise. Read Less
Viking Aegir Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.3
Entertainment 3.0 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.0
Family 1.0 3.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.1
Enrichment 4.0 4.2
Service 4.0 4.6
Value For Money 3.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 3.5

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