7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I could go on and on about this trip and how Viking was misleading and didn’t come close to delivering what they originally promised. I am going to touch on a few of the lowlights. First with something positive, the crew was been put in ... Read More
I could go on and on about this trip and how Viking was misleading and didn’t come close to delivering what they originally promised. I am going to touch on a few of the lowlights. First with something positive, the crew was been put in a tough situation and tried to make the best of it; however, I can’t give the cruise director a pass. Having seen this happen over and over, he is a willing accomplice to this train wreck; feigning surprise at every new disaster along the way. The first sign of the impending doom were the two emails I received within days of our departure stating the river was low and we might have to take a bus between ports. Once I received the letter, I immediately called Viking and asked for a refund. They assured me this was “very unusual and not to worry.” I encouraged them to do the right thing and give me a refund, but when push came to shove they said no cancellation or refund would be allowed and that this was “in my contract.” So my family and I hoped for the best and got ready for the trip. We have been on many cruises with nearly every cruise line. I mean how bad could it be, right? I kept thinking Viking wouldn’t have all these people spend all that money only to be put us on buses; that could kill their reputation. Passau, Germany. The wheels start coming off the train. Boat never made it to Passau. Instead we docked around Straubing in the middle of nowhere. Took a 3-hour, roundtrip bus ride from the boat to Passau. When we finally arrived in Passau, our day, of course, was cut short due to the drive. The bus pulled up to the dock right at the edge of town where the ship should have been. My wife and a bunch of other passengers paid a lot extra for the Salzburg excursion. This drive was an extra 1 ½ hours, which left very little extra time to explore. You have seen the commercials. They advertise that you will be cruising leisurely through the captivating Wachau Valley, laughing with drink in hand as the incredible scenery passes before you. No such luck. Instead, we awoke at 8 am to pack our bags and leave them in the hall. Then boarded a bus for a 3 ½ hour trip, including an hour long stop at a truck stop in the middle of nowhere. My wife and I did manage to get a romantic stroll through the parking lot and they did give us all tokens to use the bathroom. That’s right, you read that correctly. PACKED BAGS, TRUCK STOP AND 3 ½ HOUR DRIVE. Didn’t board the new ship till after 12pm for lunch and delivery of our luggage. But, the show must go on. A few brave souls that refused to be denied, walked to another bus for another 45 minute drive to the Gottweig Abbey tour. We were now so far behind schedule it was late, completely dark and foggy. Needless to say, we could not see anything. However, the abbey really looked beautiful from the pictures I have seen. On to Budapest! Up at 6am to pack our bags and put them at the door by 7:15am. By now we know the drill. Less like a vacation and more like the military. Bus departed at 8:21am for Budapest. Another 3 ½ hour drive, including an hour long stop at a (you guessed it) TRUCK STOP. Have you ever seen four packed tour busses unload at a small truck stop? If not, you should. It is quite the treat. No, I am not making this up. We arrived at Budapest exhausted and were shuffled off to the tour, already way behind scheduled and ending again IN THE DARK. None of the promised time to “explore the city.” No night time scenic cruise of the city. There was a lot more that happened, but you get the idea. There were bed bugs, torn sheets, boats stacked 3 deep on docks, no toilet paper on busses, only one on ship lecture, etc, etc. Viking pretty much gave up. By the time we boarded the third boat and with a completely different crew, they had completely given up. Bottomline, this is an expensive, bad bus tour between boat docks where they use their stationary boats as floating hotels. I still can’t believe they are getting away with this. Viking’s staff issued talking points are to try and tell you how unusual this is, but we spoke to vendors that work with Viking (think bus drivers, tour guides, taxi drivers) along the way and they all said this has been going on with Viking for some time now. It is a known issue (that is, the low river levels). Final story, as we were leaving for the airport, the next group of passengers were boarding the boat. I overheard a crew person trying to explain to the new guests how the boat would not be leaving and they would need to board a bus in the morning for their next destination. Needless to say the passenger was upset. Wow, good job Viking! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We purchased the very over-priced Viking Romantic Danube cruise, departing from Nuremberg and "sailing" to Budapest on Nov. 18, 2018. During the weeks and months prior to our first river cruise date, members of our foursome ... Read More
We purchased the very over-priced Viking Romantic Danube cruise, departing from Nuremberg and "sailing" to Budapest on Nov. 18, 2018. During the weeks and months prior to our first river cruise date, members of our foursome contacted Viking to confirm conditions were still good for our cruise. We were told that if we hadn't received any notifications indicating otherwise, all was well. On Nov. 14, 2 days before our long flights from YYC, Viking sent notice that low water levels meant we would travel on a similar longship "with all the comfort and style" of the Atla and that " on the morning of Day 7, we will likely need to disembark the ship in Vienna and travel by motorcoach to Budapest (150 miles)". Our river cruise and upgraded flights were all paid for, so we moved forward - hopeful that we wouldn't have to trade the most beautiful and anticipated part of our river cruise - the Wachau Valley - for a tedious 4 hour bus tour. But, of course we did - and not only did we miss the Wachau Valley because we reached it in the evening, but we endured another 4 hour bus ride on the busy Autoban while being shuffled around 3 different ships! Every few nights we had to pack up our rooms and set our bags outside for transfer to our next Longship We are frequent ocean cruisers and realise river cruising is different, but neither our ships nor our "French Balcony" stateroom could be described as comfortable or stylish. Our French Balcony was an expensive security risk - usually we were docked with another longship wedged up beside us - curtains had to be kept closed and balcony door locked - it was claustrophobic in the tiny room. Since there are no exercise facilities on the Viking Longboats, I took along water-weights, hoping to work out in our room, but that was impossible, since bags had to be packed up frequently and the room was far too small to allow any movement. All optional tours in Budapest were cancelled, due to our late arrival. The highlight of our trip was the days before and after the Viking cruise that we spent on our own in Nuremberg and Budapest. Our meals were good - nowhere near what we're used to on Ocean cruises (for a far less price). The rooms were clean. The staff were hardworking and friendly (so we paid the full recommended tips). The included shore excursions were good, however we only had opportunity to go on one optional excursion and that was very expensive but good, as well. Our upgraded liquor packages were not worth it, since they had run out of most of the wines we were told would be available to us, by the time we reached our last ship and they certainly weren't serving anything up on our bus hauls! The worse is yet to come!...our follow up. Viking offered us a future cruise credit "because we believe your overall cruise experience may have been affected by an unexpected situation". In other words, purchase another Viking cruise and they would be willing to pay for a small part of it - provided you did it within a year. When I said "thanks but no thanks" I was contacted by phone by a very unprofessional Viking agent. Our call consisted of so many long, pregnant pauses that I finally had to ask why she had called. She said she didn't want to insult me but wanted to make a deal. She offered a slightly larger cruise credit. When I asked how many times she thought we had changed ships, she gave it some thought and said "Oh, on this trip - maybe 3 or 4". Obviously, she hadn't even read my written complaint, but so much for the "unexpected situation"! When I told her that our travelling companions and other guests had been offered more, she told me that we were "entitled to nothing" and that we "can't make a deal" and proceeded to hang up. I can't imagine ever doing business with Viking again. Only their greed and confidence that they wouldn't be held liable could have allowed them to sell such a cruise (known low-water conditions) to unsuspecting fools like us. They were careful to keep the on-going situation hidden from us until the last days prior to sailing, and even more careful to include all kinds of self-serving protection in the fine print regarding "the carrier's rights". Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I have to preface this review by saying that I have cruised every brand: from the super cheap to Seabourn and have been on 20+ cruises all over the world - usually crusing with the top-end: Seabourn, Silversea, Crystal, etc. We sailed ... Read More
I have to preface this review by saying that I have cruised every brand: from the super cheap to Seabourn and have been on 20+ cruises all over the world - usually crusing with the top-end: Seabourn, Silversea, Crystal, etc. We sailed on the Danube River from Budapest to Nuremberg and had to change ships due to low water levels like a few others had mentioned. There were many things that made me irritated about this cruise. I will delineate them: 1. The Viking Company: Viking knew we had to change ships but did not notify the guests until days before our sailing - just like one of the other reviews mentioned just recently. I was told by the crew on the ship that this had been going on for months! Really, Viking?! We are in a world where we can forecast rain well in advance (this affects the water levels, right?!), and they are in the River business and clearly can predict water levels and could have notified guests well in advance so that we could cancel and reschedule. Stop the games and fraudulent activity by not letting customers know in advance that they have to change ships in the middle of the cruise! And as an experienced cruiser, I don’t like having to pack and unpack and leave bags out in the middle of the night in the middle of my cruise! I especially didn’t appreciate the long bus ride to the next port instead of seeing part of the Danube by ship! The Tour Director said in one of his cruise briefings: “Be happy that you were not on the other bus going the other way, as they had to spend 3 1/2 hours on a bus!” Yes, spending 3 hours total (not 3 1/2) on a bus did make us happier... more about our Cruise Director later. 2. The staff: Most of them were very UNaccommodating! I was traveling with a group, and we all shared the same consensus about the horrific level of service independent of one another. You think I was asking for a million dollars when I asked a few staff members over the course of the cruise a few basic things that I neeeded. The attitude was just plain disgusting. My comment to Viking: If your staff members hate their jobs, get rid of them. There were so many who clearly hated working on the ship and were forgetting that they were hired to provide great service to their guests - novel concept for a “high-end” ship. The staff needs and overhaul! Basically, I never asked for anything again after a couple of days since I didn’t want to “inconvenience” your staff. The suite: Now seriously, what does it take to clean the balcony and the furniture on it? There were so many spider webs and spiders that I did not want to spend any time on the balcony! I paid a premium for the balcony but deemed it “unusable.” Inside the stateroom, there were bug splatters on the ceilings and walls where people have taken insect control in their own hands - it was just simply gross! Viking: Just clean your staterooms from the ground up - literally! How much effort does this take? The food: I’ve had better and more creative meals at Denny’s. I understand that feeding 180+ passengers is a lot of work and expensive, so stop trying to “save money by going “cheap” and fast with your meals. My poor husband’s ribeye steak was gray (yes, as it was “old”) and 1/2 inch thick. I get it: If you want to feed two people one ribeye steak, then cut it in half - lengthwise! What a great way to save money and fool your guest that they are getting a real ribeye! Most of the dinners were “edible,” but heaven forbid if you asked for anything outside of each passengers’ quota for an appetizer, entree, and dessert. Don’t get me started on this one: I lost weight on this cruise (not by choice) - yes, that’s a first! The Cruise Director (Anthony): He was very funny when he was entertaining the guests but, one-on-one, he was not so accommodating. Again, the bad attitude - and appeared to be annoyed if you asked him anything. I saw enough of his interactions with other passengers (and me) to come up with this suggestion. It is clear that I will never sail with Viking again. Don’t waste your money or valuable vacation time. What a huge disappointment! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
So, the sad thing is that I know Viking wants to be the best in the business. But, they did not deliver what I purchased - a river cruise. A long-anticipated and saved-for vacation dream turned into a nightmare of long daily bus rides ... Read More
So, the sad thing is that I know Viking wants to be the best in the business. But, they did not deliver what I purchased - a river cruise. A long-anticipated and saved-for vacation dream turned into a nightmare of long daily bus rides less than halfway through the trip. So, the great food and great service didn't matter anymore. Since both the problems we encountered seemed avoidable to me*, and Viking's response to a ruined trip was to offer a discount if I spent more money on another trip (that might be just as disastrous), I cannot recommend this for your vacation cruise dream. (*Here's what happened to stop the river travel: First, Viking took a day of our trip to stop and repair some part of the engine that they knew about before the trip began. Then, a light rain in Passau caused the river to rise. Apparently their boats are built too tall to fit under a bridge if the river rises.) Here are things that went well and I would look for in another tour company: Embarkation was a breeze in Budapest, Hungary. Budapest tour was very good and the night tour was beautiful. The French balcony cabin is delightful - highly recommend the extra expense to get the full window. The intimate group of passengers and the open seating worked well to mix up people and ensure familiar faces everywhere you went. The walking tours were fine, but were rushed and shortened due to our bussing situation. The staff was exemplary and asked that we separate their service ratings from our overall unhappiness ratings! The food was fabulous, but we had to eat lunch in restaurants several days because the boat was miles away. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
My main issue with this cruise was that I had called prior to the cruise and specifically asked about the issue regarding water levels in the Danube. I was told that there was no problem with our trip at that time AND that, if there were, ... Read More
My main issue with this cruise was that I had called prior to the cruise and specifically asked about the issue regarding water levels in the Danube. I was told that there was no problem with our trip at that time AND that, if there were, we would be notified prior to leaving. This DID NOT HAPPEN. After we boarded the ship, we were told that there MIGHT be an issue on day 3. Well, come to find out that the issue had been happening all summer and, with no rain in the forecast, would continue to happen throughout. I started writing emails ( the wi fi was slower than dial up on the ship) on day 3 of the cruise. None of my emails were answered. I had to wait until I got home to call customer service. The person did apologize and offered me minimal compensation toward a future cruise. I will NEVER cruise with VIKING again unless I go free. This is analogous to the VOLKSWAGON issue to me. I was intentionally mislead and spend half of my vacation on buses. A river cruise with no river is not a river cruise at all. The correct course of action for VIKING, in my opinion, would have been to notify guests in advance via email that there were drought conditions in Europe and that there was a possibility that the trip might be altered. That way, people could have made an informed choice rather than being left feeling tricked. The ship was lovely although the staterooms and bathrooms were microscopic. AND expensive... This was supposed to be 5 star. I travel frequently and this trip was a major dissappointment. The shore excursions were variable. One excursion was included each day and when 180 people from our Viking ship along with another 400 from sister ships descended on a small medieval town it was a cross between a grade school field trip and attack of the geriatric body snatchers. Food was uniformly excellent. Staff worked very very hard but it was difficult to overcome the issues generated by the company. Read Less
Viking Atla Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.6
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.3
Family 1.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 4.0 4.2
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 3.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 5.0

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