Staff- Viking should branch out and open a school to teach outstanding customer service to every other company in the world. I hold an Executive MBA and have studied good customer service. THEY NAILED IT! I have never ... Read More
Staff- Viking should branch out and open a school to teach outstanding customer service to every other company in the world. I hold an Executive MBA and have studied good customer service. THEY NAILED IT! I have never experienced anything of the like.
I will say, I am not a high maintenance customer. ( I am 47, female, active single.) With that said, everyone from the housekeeper to the captain was amazing.
I swear, our housekeeper was a ghost. I never saw her, but every single time I would leave our cabin for something quick and I would throw my hoodie on the bed, I would come back to it folded nicely on my bed.
The waiters, bartenders, and the chef would greet me by name every time I would see them and they would always ask about where my mother was by her name. Catarina, Kris, Chris, and Marvin were our favorites. The food was fantastic with a lovely array of choices. Wine and beer flowed ever so freely.
Ship- It was everything you would think it would be. The presentation was outstanding. Constantly clean and quite spacious. The sun deck was so inviting, it made you want to spend all of your onboard time there.
The embarkation and disembarkation was completely smooth and fast.
The Not Great- With Viking's reputation of being perfect, I was surprised at how little you saw on your shore excursions. Both my mother and myself decided the included shore excursions and even most of the paid excursions were planed so Viking could spend little money as possible. For instance in Budapest, neither my mother or I saw the interior of any building on the excursions. They drove us around the city pointing out things and then let us off at Fisherman's Bastion to see the view. They also took us to a castle and we weren't able to go inside, only walk up to see the view overlooking the city. This happended so often, we were actually surprised when we finally went INSIDE a couple of places during our 8 days. We paid extra for an excursion every day and I would say you would be better planning your own excursions. We have taken many bus tour trips including Globus, Trafalgar, Insight, etc. and ANY of those would beat Viking in what you got to see. In fact, I feel like I need to go back to Budapest to actually say I've been there. I saw little more of Budapest than if I'd had a flight connection in Budapest. The fact that Viking notes they give you one free tour in any port of call is true, although it is a bit liking showing you a beautiful cake, but not letting you have a bite.
I would travel with Viking again, but I would not waste my money or time on their included or paid for excursions. Keep in mind, you spend much more time on the ship than I thought you would. So, find out how long you have in each port if you are going to make your own plans.
I would say this- Viking may be scaling the trip to their biggest customer base of people who enjoy eating, drinking, and spending time on the ship more than actually spending time exploring everything the city has to offer. Even my 81 year old mother thought the excursions were pretty lame. Read Less