1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our 3rd cruise with Viking. All three experiences were A-1, Top Shelf, Some additiona busing on one,but we still had a fabulous time. The staff on our most recent cruise was particularly enjoyable. Mario the cruise director was ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise with Viking. All three experiences were A-1, Top Shelf, Some additiona busing on one,but we still had a fabulous time. The staff on our most recent cruise was particularly enjoyable. Mario the cruise director was knowledgeable and always ready to assist and answer any questions. The two game nights were especially entertaining. The wait staff in the dining room, were beyond delightful. Carman, one of the dining room captains, along with Chip, were a delight to be with, and they took the extra time to assure we had everything we needed. The staff in the lounge, led by head bartender Armando, and his trusty, knowledgeable duo of Robert and Matej, made sure whatever drink we desired was prepared, and prepared properly. The Chef and his staff always had a great menu planned, whether breakfast, lunch or dinner. My all time favorite, from a cruise in 2012, is the oatmeal. don't know how, but I've never tasted anything quite like it. In closing, Viking River Cruises, delivers a quality product.if you haven't been on one of their cruises, you should, you won't be diappointed. I'll be booking my next cruise later next year and can't wait to see the next adventure. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We started out on the Viking Jarl. The staff was excellent and if our whole cruise had stayed on the Jarl we would have had our dream vacation in spite of the low water levels. The Captain, Hotel Manager, Program Director, wait staff, ... Read More
We started out on the Viking Jarl. The staff was excellent and if our whole cruise had stayed on the Jarl we would have had our dream vacation in spite of the low water levels. The Captain, Hotel Manager, Program Director, wait staff, bartender, room steward and all other staff we came in contact with was excellent. But the moment we changed onto the Atla the staff was rude, had an attitude, food service was bad bad (Banana pudding was a small, hard muffin with hint of banana, not a creamy, delicious pudding), food was ok but not like the great food we had on the Jarl. All in all the whole experience on the Atla was terrible. We were made to feel like an inconvenience and they could hardly wait until the next day when they could pass us off to the Bragia. When we transferred on Saturday to the Bragia it started out fine. We were greeted well. But the wait staff was clearly lacking. The Aquavit Terrace had the food for breakfast laid out but the entire time we were eating we never saw any wait staff to help us. The final night was the breaking point. We had experienced a bad tour with a guide we could not understand, it was cold and we were tired. When we arrived for dinner we were advised that the regional Hungarian menu was ALL we could order from!! The staff was extremely rude when we requested other choices. Finally the matre de allowed my husband who cant have spicy food to have a plain hamburger and french fries. It was like they couldn't get rid of us fast enough. The next morning we were staying at a hotel in Budapest we had arranged. Although our bags had been out by 7:15 as told, when we got ready to leave at 8:30 they were not upstairs. We had to ask for them to be brought us and a taxi called. We previously had been told by friends what a great cruise line Viking was. This trip was terrible. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Wow! Where to start... after arriving in Europe we received an email from Viking stating it was ‘possible’ there could be an issue due to low water levels. This email was sent AFTER we were on our flight, which Viking arranged for us. ... Read More
Wow! Where to start... after arriving in Europe we received an email from Viking stating it was ‘possible’ there could be an issue due to low water levels. This email was sent AFTER we were on our flight, which Viking arranged for us. On our ride to our departure point, Nuremberg, Germany, our driver told us about a horror story one of his recent passengers shared about their Viking River Cruise. That’s when we started researching on Cruise Critic. What an eye opening read that was. These issues have been going on for over two months! We read horror stories about multiple ship swaps, long bus rides, missed ports, hotel stays, etc... it was enough to make us change our mind about cruising the “Romantic Danube” with Viking. Multiple reviews also mentioned that Viking sent them the same email, but only AFTER they were in Europe. This is clearly part of their MO of dishonest and manipulative behavior. After reading Viking’s so called “Satisfaction Guarantee”, we decided to invoke our rights and cancel our cruise immediately upon arrival at the ship. We spent hours with the Viking Jarl hotel manager and on the phone with Natasha Harris in Viking’s customer service office while our driver waited outside with our baggage. When we told Natasha in customer service that we wanted a refund, which is clearly stated as our right in their service guarantee, she told us we could leave the ship if we wanted, but she could not guarantee a refund. She said our claim would go in front of a review board AFTER we returned to the United States. We weren’t going to walk off the ship after paying thousands of dollars without any guarantee of a refund! That’s their whole plan. Who would pay for a trip and walk away without taking it without a refund? We were told once we set sail that (shockingly) we would have to stop the ship at a random port and take an hour and a half bus ride to and from Passau, Germany. Then we found out we would have a FOUR HOUR bus ride the following day, past Passau, and to another random port to SWITCH ships. Meanwhile, we are missing our first day in Vienna, the highlight of our trip! Today, our first night onboard the new ship, they tell us they will also be bussing us back and forth to Budapest, an hour and a half each way, 2 days in a row. This is NOT what we signed up for. This is not what we PAID for. From past reviews, we knew there would be major issues before we set foot on the first ship. That’s why we tried to get a refund from the beginning. Viking knew there would be issues well in advance and they CHOSE to keep that information from us. Their dishonesty upsets me as much as anything else. They keep their passengers in the dark until the last minute and then act surprised that there are issues. They are dishonest and manipulative. Just say NO to Viking. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We’ve all seen them - the inspirational Viking Cruise Lines advertisements - mature couples drinking wine on deck with wind blowing gently on their smiling faces amidst beautiful castles going by as they cruise luxuriously down the ... Read More
We’ve all seen them - the inspirational Viking Cruise Lines advertisements - mature couples drinking wine on deck with wind blowing gently on their smiling faces amidst beautiful castles going by as they cruise luxuriously down the exotic river. Enchanting villages where, said couples, are watching and bantering with the village folk while teaching them the secret techniques of their trade. Enrichment lectures onboard and destination performances at port so you can experience the culture live and in color. Irresistible, right? So irresistible, in fact, that we called Viking directly and after talking at length with the “Travel Consultant” about the “Romantic Danube” River Cruise and all that it included, we signed up with eager anticipation. My husband and I just completed our Viking “Romantic Danube” River cruise and found the reality to be altogether different. It was actually more of a BUS TRIP where we “cruised” down nondescript highways with occasional stops in places not on the itinerary (to make up for the places we didn’t go to that were on the itinerary) to catch a glimpse of our ship docked at some rundown, industrial site that is nowhere near our destination. My personal favorite was the gravel pit with the huge crane where we literally had to walk under the dangling cab to board our ship. This, of course, was one of those stops somewhere between cities we were supposed to visit but had to take a bus to get to. Rumor has it, from a reliable source who works for Viking, that these sites are actually chosen to avoid paying expensive docking fees in ports of call. But I digress… Unfortunately, our trip did not reflect what was advertised in the commercials, brochures or travel document verbiage. In fact, there was but a vestige of what the itinerary and brochure promised. Yes, the river level was down; and Yes, the itinerary needed to be altered; and Yes, there were buses to be organized and utilized, but the overarching problem with this trip for us was that Viking’s approach to all of this is to NOT FULLY DISCLOSE the information they had. This resulted in constant last minute changes, passenger confusion, misinformation, frustration and an overall feeling that we were having “the wool pulled over our eyes”, which then lead to multiple rumors about how Viking was greedily and knowingly taking advantage of its passengers. To top off this already difficult environment, the Program Director and his staff were arrogant, condescending, aloof and downright rude. When I asked, out of curiosity, why Viking ships were docked in port at Passau and moving down the river, yet we had a very long bus ride bus to get to Passau AND back that afternoon AND another 4.5 hour bus ride the next day to meet a ship to swap with, I was met with a very curt response from one of the managers, followed by the Program Director literally yelling at me and making extremely sarcastic and belittling comments to me within hearing distance of other passengers. Honestly, I was incredulous. This was TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE and UNPROFESSIONAL behavior. He did later apologize and said how stressed out he was, but that is just not what I expect when we’re paying THOUSANDS of dollars to take this trip. By Day 3 of the cruise, passengers were already talking openly about how upset they were about all of these changes were being handled; the lack of communication, the seeming chaos and poor decisions that were being made. These were not just people whom had not been on a Viking cruise before, this included people who had taken multiple cruises with Viking and were never going to step foot on another Viking ship after this one was done. By the time the trip was completed, that’s all we heard people talking about - how unethical, irresponsible, unconscionable and negligent Viking was to KNOWINGLY take our money and not fully disclose what the true impact on our trip might be. Based on the reviews we read prior to taking the trip, this water level issue had been going on for 4 months! We even called Viking 5 days prior to departure to ask if our trip was going to be impacted and if we could cancel if it was. They, of course, responded with NO, you can’t cancel, NO, they didn’t anticipate a problem as it had just rained and No, No, No, etc. It’s their favorite word, come to find out! And, if nondisclosure was not enough of an insult, we also encountered vast changes on what they did disclose. When we first booked our trip, we were told that we could upgrade for free if a balcony room became available. We called numerous times to see if there was a cancellation. Once onboard, we asked immediately for an upgrade. NO, it was not free (that word again!) and when first given an upgrade price of $400 (they told us this 3 separate times), when we went to pay just minutes after they quoted us, they charged us $480! Again, NO, we never said $400…our word against theirs. They didn’t even say, “We’re sorry for the misunderstanding” or any kind of courteous response, just NO! Rather than continue to recount our many disappointing moments, let me state factually the itinerary we experienced: Nuremburg - On Day 2, we were told that the boat apparently “needed” to start off down the Danube while we were on our tours and we had to be BUSSED to catch up with it - an additional 45 minutes on top of what the bussing time to and from Nuremburg was supposed to be Regensburg - the only port that we could access by the boat and no busses * Straubing - Not on the itinerary. A remote docking site to access Passau and other ports by BUS. From Passau to the boat: 3 hours roundtrip, shortening our time in port. For passengers, like my husband, who didn’t want to sit on a bus for 3 hours, he was faced with either sitting on the boat with no activities or easy access to the town of Straubing. * Ybbs - Not on the itinerary. The day after Passau, we were bussed 4.5 hours to this place to be boarded onto a new ship. No tours - we did cruise down the Wachau Valley starting at 4, which was beautiful, but this was supposed to be earlier in the day and we could have had a tour of Krems that day. Vienna - a disaster. We had just our morning tour and needed to get back on the boat because the water level was getting lower. Vienna was supposed to be a 2 day experience. Additional tours were cancelled and off we sailed by 2:00 that same day to head for our next port. Another aside: Viking advertises a side excursion to Salzburg for the day. What they DON’T tell you, is that it requires a 6.5 - 7 hour bus trip roundtrip! * Bratislava - Not on the itinerary. We stopped here for the night with no onshore tours or activities or even information about the port. * Komarom - Not on the itinerary. This was the closest we could come to Budapest. A 1.5 hour bus trip away. No town in site, just another very unattractive outpost. We had a city tour of Budapest in the morning followed by a lunch, but we were told we needed to get back to the boat as they were trying to figure out bussing for the optional tours and getting people to a hotel that had flights before 8am the next morning. DEPARTURE: The sad part of leaving was the fact that only a handful of people were put up in a hotel in Budapest to be closer to the airport. The rest of us had to bus back to the boat and wake up very early to catch yet another bus for another 2.5 hour ride into the airport. One of our acquaintances had to get up at 3am to be on the bus by 4:15am. WHY didn’t Viking put us all up in the hotel as a convenience and kind gesture? For us, our Viking Air arranged flight to Munich was cancelled. As we were standing in line waiting to see if we could even get out that day, another Viking ship had all of their people that were on that flight rebooked and were escorted to the gate they were rebooked to. We asked for help as well, but apparently it’s all ships for themselves! This was the worst group travel experience we have ever experienced. The Viking Brand does not deserve to have the reputation it does. Marketing can buy impressions, but then you have to live up to it. Viking, most certainly, did not do that. And for myself and my husband and many others onboard this trip…“You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We checked with Viking on water levels one week before we sailed and were told "no issues." 3 days before sailing the story became a possible "ship swap" between 2 ports. The problems were far greater. Viking apparently ... Read More
We checked with Viking on water levels one week before we sailed and were told "no issues." 3 days before sailing the story became a possible "ship swap" between 2 ports. The problems were far greater. Viking apparently had these issues for at least 6 prior weeks. Ship swap is a repackage for an 8am pickup then unpack after a 3 hour bus ride. Additionally, our 1.5 day stay in Vienna became .5 days. Our 1.5 day in Budapest (docked in the city) became a 1 hour city tour from a remote dock due to low water. it seemed we had to meet their needs and not ours. In 3 cities, excursions were either cancelled or minimally available. Cultural on board entertainment was a 1 hour session by musicians in Nuremburg and 3 slide shows. I kept thinking "Viking has to know they are providing far less than they advertised, what special event or alternative are they planning for us"? It never came. Instead upon our return home we received a letter offering us a credit of about $1,000 against a future cruise. Wow, what a deal. We spend another $7,500 on them and they reduce our fare by $1,000! How important do they think they are? I understand that low water levels created many of these issues, but they chose this route and possible consequences. Should they not bear some of the losses by extending other benefits to people who got less than advertised? It appears their bottom line was their most important consideration. As info, I checked with other river cruisers we met in cities we visited.Avalon went to Budapest, no issues. Tauck flipped in Nuremburg to a vessel that also went straight thru. Go figure! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We just returned from a "Romantic Danube" cruise. It was a total misrepresentation by Viking Cruises. The Danube water level is at the lowest it has been since 1933. Therefore the ships cannot sail. Instead we were bused from ... Read More
We just returned from a "Romantic Danube" cruise. It was a total misrepresentation by Viking Cruises. The Danube water level is at the lowest it has been since 1933. Therefore the ships cannot sail. Instead we were bused from city to city spending less than 1/4 of the week on the Danube sailing. The description touted the beautiful scenery onboard the ship while sailing. Never saw it. Some of our excursions were cancelled (oh, we will refund your money for cancelled excursion). The most disturbing part was that Viking knew about this for 1-2 months and did not notify us thereby not giving an option to change our cruise. They sent an email the day after we landed in Europe alerting us to the possibility that we may have to take buses at various places on the Danube due to the low water level. Couldn't change the cruise at that point. We contacted Viking upon return and their response was a slight discount on our next cruise. That is worthless as we will never take another cruise with Viking. Viking is unethical and dishonest - their decision to delay notifying their customers is despicable. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
This cruise was the worst holiday we have ever experienced. My husband is a survivor of abdominal cancer and we have a special needs daughter living with us. This was to be our trip of a lifetime. We only have 2-3 weeks per year to enjoy ... Read More
This cruise was the worst holiday we have ever experienced. My husband is a survivor of abdominal cancer and we have a special needs daughter living with us. This was to be our trip of a lifetime. We only have 2-3 weeks per year to enjoy an adult holiday together. The Cruise was a plethora of negative events, a TOTAL DISAPPOINTMENT. WATER LEVELS WERE LOW. Viking told us after we arrived in Europe, too late to change plans. Viking solution, take a bus to Passau, Vienna, Budapest. Cancel optional excursions, sleep on 3 different ships (not sail, SLEEP). Locals in Europe told us Viking has been doing this for 6 weeks, don't tell the passengers, pretend this just happened. Email from Viking "...as a precautionary measure, we may need to adjust our sailing speeds, which could result in slight delays. We may also need to dock in alternate locations in areas where our regular docking spots are adversely affected by the conditions". Service was substandard, on the third ship we even cleaned our own table, they are casual staff called in by Viking last minute. (Staff told us this). When we asked for dessert, they told us to wait until everybody has finished eating because "the cook is still making it". By the way, don't book a veranda, they park 2 and 3 ships beside each other. You walk into the next ship to get onto the dock. Plus make sure you always keep your curtains closed, or the passengers on the next ship can see directly into your cabin. Unfortunately, sometimes you will see too much. Viking only informs you about any issues the night before, too late to adjust your itinerary. Cabins are small, you cannot bypass one another at the end of the bed and when watching TV there is no room on either side of the bed to place a chair. Because we always had to keep the curtains closed, it really made the room seem very small. We paid $16,000 for the Viking Cruise plus $3000 for our daughters care at home. Their final offer $5000 credit towards another cruise. WE can't afford another cruise. WE were mislead and feel cheated. Do your own homework. Check everything out before you go because when you get there you might only be getting a poor quality bus ride like us. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We were so disappointed in the response from Viking to the problems of the low water levels on the Danube. As others have said we had to change ships twice and spent two 1/2 days on buses, excursions were cancelled, we lived out of our ... Read More
We were so disappointed in the response from Viking to the problems of the low water levels on the Danube. As others have said we had to change ships twice and spent two 1/2 days on buses, excursions were cancelled, we lived out of our suitcase due to changing ships so much. Our balcony was unusable several days due to being parked next to other stranded ships or being parked near a swamp area. We understand that the water levels were out of Vikings control but notifying us two days before departure when they knew for over a month and then offerering no actual financial compensation (25% off your next cruise!) was unexceptable. Then three calls to customer service with no one with authority responding . We may have tried Viking again but the poor customer service has definitely been a deal breaker! I would pick a different cruise line! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
My husband & I choose this cruise because of the 2-for-1 price including airfare! We felt very catered to for the whole trip! The veranda suite was comfortable and posh. A bottle of sparking wine upon our arrival and, fresh fruit and ... Read More
My husband & I choose this cruise because of the 2-for-1 price including airfare! We felt very catered to for the whole trip! The veranda suite was comfortable and posh. A bottle of sparking wine upon our arrival and, fresh fruit and beverages stocked everyday! We only participated in a couple of the evening festivities in the lounge. Instead enjoyed cozying up in our stateroom with movies that we thoroughly enjoyed. We spent 4 days on the Jarl. Then because of drought conditions the Danube had low spots. We were bused to the Alta further on down river. Then spent 2 more days cruising until the next low spot! Had to be bused into Budapest. But Viking handled EVERYTHING! Extra night at the hotel, transferring our luggage, etc. The staff on both ships were fantastic! Mario was our program director and was excellent at his job which was made complex due to the dought! We took advantage of the included tours at each port of call. They were great! And not to be missed! Great tour guides and you had a radio with an earphone for the tours. This was good so you didn't need to be right up near the leader and could stand back and take in the sites. We ate primarily on the Aquavit Deck to enjoy the views and fresh air. Every night I had the regional special and was NOT disappointed! Breakfasts and some dinners we ate in the lower dining room and were delighted by the friendly servers. It was sad to leave. Think next time a longer cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We wanted to cruise on a river in Europe. People told us that Viking was the best, and they were right! The entire ship was always very clean and neat. The staff was very accommodating. I have a food allergy and they worked with me to ... Read More
We wanted to cruise on a river in Europe. People told us that Viking was the best, and they were right! The entire ship was always very clean and neat. The staff was very accommodating. I have a food allergy and they worked with me to make sure my meals were prepared according to my needs. The tour guides were extremely informative and friendly. We really liked our experiences ashore. Meals on board were great with lots of variety especially the local selections. The relaxed and informal atmosphere on board allowed us to make numerous acquaintances and friendships. The entire experience seemed very well organized and geared toward making things easier for senior citizens, as well as those with handicaps. We celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary on the ship and the staff graciously helped us make the event memorable with cake, champagne, and song. The music program and special events in the evenings were very enjoyable. We got the impression that Viking partnered with local historic and scenic organizations to help make the tours especially enjoyable and fruitful. At the end of the tour, we elected to add on the trip to Prague. This was very well organized and seamless. We LOVED Prague. Upon return, we found our friends quite curious in our experiences. We hope to take another Viking cruise on a different river in the future. Read Less
Viking Jarl Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 1.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 3.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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