6 Viking River Viking Vili Cruise Reviews

In our opinion Viking pulled a bait and switch as they knew well in advance that they were not going to be able to deliver the experience touted in their advertising. This was affirmed by my conversations with crew members on all 4 ships ... Read More
In our opinion Viking pulled a bait and switch as they knew well in advance that they were not going to be able to deliver the experience touted in their advertising. This was affirmed by my conversations with crew members on all 4 ships and by the local tour guides. All admitted that it had been over 2 months since Viking had been able to provide what was advertised. The Program Director also admitted to me that Viking should have given guests a better idea of the changes planned for the cruise prior to sailing and given guests the option to reschedule or cancel. He agreed that Viking knew more than one ship change was going to be extremely likely-well we ended up on 4 different ships for sleeping and 5 if you include the 2-3 hour daytime cruise on 10/23/18. That means packing and unpacking 6 extra times in addition to having to get up very early and have our bags outside our door very early on 3 days. I do not do well on busses due to getting car sick and the extensive bussing we had to take left me either nauseated and with a migraine (on days I did not take any medication for car sickness) or fatigued and wrung out (as a side effect of the anti-nausea medication I took on other days). I would definitely have cancelled if I had known how much bussing was involved (3.5 hours Budapest to Vienna on 10/14, 1.5 hours each way for a total of 3 hours to Regensburg on 10/18, 3.5 hours to Nuremberg 10/19, 1.5 hours to a smaller boat for a couple hours cruising then 2.5 hours drive to Cologne for a total of 4 hours on 10/23). That meant that 4 of the 14 days were I felt crappy due to bussing. I will recap the trip in our eyes: 10/12: Arrived in Budapest and boarded the Idun. The ship seemed "tired and worn". Informed no cruising to Vienna. They made it seem like this was a last minute change but the crew confirmed the ship had been there for weeks. 10/13: Budapest sightseeing 10/14: Up at crack of dawn to ride bus 3.5 hours to Vienna (sucked as stated above) and boarded boat #2, the Vili. Walked around Vienna sightseeing. 10/15: Sight seeing Vienna day 2 interrupted by ship leaving port early at 6:30pm instead of 11:30pm. Our evening plans were ruined. I got a panic text from my uncle at 5:50pm just as we were being served at the Sacher Hotel informing us the ship's plan had changed and we needed to be on board before 6:30pm. We threw money on the table (37 euro) to cover the bill and made a mad dash across the city back to the boat arriving at 6:29pm. My uncle informed the Program Director that we were high-tailing it back to the ship but they failed to inform us or him that they were making a back up plan in case we did not make it in time. So we were totally panicked. When we did arrive (just in the nick of time) the Hotel Manager and Program Director had the gall to actually yell at US because we were upset. They did not see a problem because "we had a back-up plan if you did not make the ship". They did not understand why we would be upset. They failed to communicate said back-up plan to us or my uncle for him to communicate it to me via text. You cannot imagine how anxious we were trying to race back to the ship. They also made no attempt to contact us when they made the decision to leave early-leaving that chore to my uncle. We missed out on our evening plans in Vienna, were out 37 euro for the Sacher tortes/Viennese coffee we never got to enjoy and were totally panicked on our way back to port. No apology has been made or effort to offer us compensation for the money we paid for food we never got to enjoy in Vienna or the panic caused by Viking that day. Program Director and Hotel Manager stated to us it would be addressed and that they were emailing Viking corporate on our behalf but when I tried to follow up on this I was given very vague assurances (which I did not believe) that it would be taken care of after the cruise. I asked to be CC'd on the email and have not received any. I know 37 euro is not a large sum but it is the principle of the thing. 10/16: Pleasant cruise of the Wachau Valley to Melk. Sight seeing at the Melk Abbey. Nighttime cruising to Passau. 10/17: Woke up to a beautiful view (sarcasm here) of cranes, industrial tanks, bull dozers and dumpsters in Passau. Notified no cruising to Regensburg and that we would be staying in this industrial port until 10/19. Sightseeing in Passau. 10/18: Bussed to Regensburg, sight seeing in Regensburg (excellent tour guide). No ability to explore on our own as planned due to need for bussing back and forth. The lunch arranged was salty and substandard in quality. Bus ride back to the industrial port. 10/19: Forced to be up early to vacate the boat and board bus for 3.5 hour ride to Nuremberg. 1/2 day of sight seeing in Nuremberg with no ability to or time to explore on our own as planned due to bussing. Substandard lunch. Boarded boat #3 the Gefjon. 10/20: Sight seeing in Bamberg in morning followed by a pleasant cruise in the afternoon/overnight to Wurzberg through locks. 10/21: Woke up with pretty view of Wurzberg. Sightseeing on our own in the morning with a guided walking tour in the afternoon (very good guide). 10/22: Sightseeing in Wertheim (excellent guide), glass blower talk on ship in afternoon, cruising on Main River in afternoon. 10/23: Up to pack for the 4th boat change. 1.5 hour bus ride to a smaller boat for a 2-3 hour cruise and a substandard lunch. Excellent tour of Marksburg Castle. 2.5 hour bus ride to Cologne (nausea and migraine). Boarded boat #4, the Mimir in yet another industrial zone ("lovely" industrial piping, power plant and tank views) 4+ miles from town. Needed to change from an 8 person table to an adjoining 10 person table (to accommodate all those in our party who had returned for dinner that night at one table) while the waiter was in the process of taking our orders. He was visibly "pissy" and rude about the change. 10/24: Cologne guided tour was OK. Needed to walk 4+ miles from industrial dock to town to explore on our own in the afternoon/evening. Viking did provide a shuttle service but only between 2:30 and 5:30 pm even though the boat was at the dock until 10:00pm. 10/25: Cruising Waal River, very good tour of Kinderdijk windmills. 10/26: Disembarkation in Amsterdam was smooth. When each bus ride was announced they underestimated the time spent on each bus by anywhere from 30-60 minutes. General comments on service, food: Idun: average service in dining room, average quality of food, very poor dessert quality (cakes very dry/overcooked), good cabin service. Vili: excellent service in dining room and cabins, very polite staff everywhere, food quality was fair to mediocre at best, desserts remained poor Gefjon: dining room service was substandard: many mistakes in orders, bread would be served but had to ask for butter, hot water for tea but no tea bag or sugar brought so had to ask, quality of food was better than on the Vili but not by much Mimir: Maitre D was very attentive but serving staff was downright rude and surly, order mix-ups continued and the bread butter tea issues were the same, quality of food was mediocre but the desserts did improve Bar service on the Aquavit terrace was spotty on all ships Few vegetables were on the menus/came with meals. Some in our party routinely asked for extra vegetables and the waiters were visibly put out by these requests. Only 2 meals the entire trip were what we would consider really good quality: the chateaubriand and the duck. Lastly (I know this is very long winded), we never got to explore several of the ports independently as we had planned and Koblenz was skipped entirely in all the bussing and ship changes. If I wanted a bus trip of Europe I would have booked a bus trip (never going to happen). We did enjoy our traveling companions and other passengers on board. Viking has offered 50% of what we paid for this cruise as a credit toward a future cruise, but that is off full price. Nobody pays full price and the standard actual price paid is 2 for 1 so they are not really offering anything to compensate us for this bait and switch trip. In fact they would make 25% more on a subsequent cruise fair with the "deal" they are offering. We paid over $9000 for the 2 for 1 so the full price was over $18,000. They are offering $4500 off so that would result in us paying $13,500 for a future cruise which is a ridiculous offer. As an alternative they offered $250 cash each if we signed a nondisclosure agreement. I have emailed 2 separate Viking representatives (Stephanie Maldonado and Larry Rice) and called one representative Larry Rice and left messages twice but have not heard anything back from them since the email offering the above. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Danube River cruise with Viking- I recently took a Viking river cruise, the Danube Waltz with other adult family members. The weather was perfect so we enjoyed the sun deck on the ship and our outdoor time in respective ports. A cruise ... Read More
Danube River cruise with Viking- I recently took a Viking river cruise, the Danube Waltz with other adult family members. The weather was perfect so we enjoyed the sun deck on the ship and our outdoor time in respective ports. A cruise can be a great way to explore a new area without having to arrange for your own tours or transportation. However, there are a couple of things to be mindful of: River boats are often docked together in port so often your views are completely blocked by another boat and the fumes from the idling boats are noxious. River boats are tiny- our small stateroom would not have fit anyone over about 5 ft 9 or anyone overweight The lower staterooms have some funky smells at times and can feel cave-like when docked in a port Riverboats have no Dr. onboard- passengers must go into port for any medical attention The Viking included tours are very general and buses are packed. Little time to visit places like museums, etc. with this type of travel. AirFrance held a strike on our day of departure, we were packed into another airline and missed 6 hours in Prague. The Viking selected hotel had no bureaus for unpacking, you will live out of a suitcase and could have a very old room or bathroom (ours was circa 1986). The needs of the elderly or immobile are not adequately meet with Viking River cruises. No access to sundeck via elevator or a lift. No room service for folks who can't make it to the one meal time seating. The tour operators were clueless about the meaning of "incapable" of walking and immobile guests had to make own arrangements to return to the ship if they could not walk back. The lack of understanding for easy access was also evident with hotel concierge in Prague. She put us at a restaurant that required walking over a bridge and down some stairs. My guest fell. She also fell during one of the Viking excursions and fractured a bone. Buyer beware before booking a river cruise- allowing others to make arrangements does not always lead to the best travel experience. I trust my own skill in arranging the best accommodations and excursions rather than relying on a corporate formula for what they have negotiated. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Started in Amsterdam pre boarding and enjoyed the city on our own. We had heard so much positive information about Viking and this tour that we anticipated a wonderful experience. The biggest disappointment was the dining room and the ... Read More
Started in Amsterdam pre boarding and enjoyed the city on our own. We had heard so much positive information about Viking and this tour that we anticipated a wonderful experience. The biggest disappointment was the dining room and the food. Service for all guests at same time (7:00) took over two hours. The room was so incredibly noisy I found myself yelling to be heard. I would think that anyone with hearing issues or aids would find this room to be uncomfortable and impossible to carry a conversation. The staff mentioned that the portions were small because people had complained about too much food being served. Well, there is a difference between small portions and tiny. I realize you can request more food, but after tasting the offerings I was not interested in more of the same. Finally started asking for vegetables. If any were served on the entrée, a few carrots, half a stick of asparagus. Extra veggies consisted of a bowl of carrots, no seasoning with maybe a few peas. I gave up and ate bread and ice cream, which was quite good. The fruit plates I though would be a savior. Not to be. No variety. One fruit per plate, a bunch of grapes, an apple, a pear sliced. I reviewed your recipes on line and wonder what ship those dinners are served on, certainly not on the Vili. Toward the end of the trip we started using the outside sundeck area where a limited selection of food was available and usually cold. The majority of food was over-cooked, inedible and frankly terrible. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Was very excited to do this river cruise. The staff were very friendly and helpful. When I booked it, assured family member's life threatening food allergy was not a problem and she would be safe. When boarded, the cruise manager, ... Read More
Was very excited to do this river cruise. The staff were very friendly and helpful. When I booked it, assured family member's life threatening food allergy was not a problem and she would be safe. When boarded, the cruise manager, the house manager, the chef and the wait staff all assured us they were aware of the serious allergy and the issues of cross contamination, especially since their kitchen is small and the chef wipes his hands on his apron between dishes. Half way through the cruise, they prepared a meal with the allergen. She was offered an appetizer which she was assured was safe but she did not know was prepared at the same time as the other dish. Within minutes she went into anaphylaxis, had to use 2 EPI pens and the boat pulled over to meet an ambulance. She was treated in a local ER and then returned to the boat. The rest of the trip was ruined. She missed many events and just did not feel good. She ate food she brought with her from that point on. The whole issue could easily have been avoided as they did not have to have include that dish on the menu. They offer both included and "optional" tours during the journey. The optional are guided tours at a price. A couple of the guides were excellent and really informative. The rest were marginal. Many of the tours were places we could have done on our own at a 1/10 of the cost. There was a pressure to tip the guides, the bus drivers and big,big pressure to tip the staff at the end of the trip. Made to change boats the last 3 days due to "maintenance" needs, new staff seemed unhappy and never stopped cleaning the public areas, so we were constantly having to navigate around the vacuums and brooms. Both boats had strange little bed pillows we all made constant jokes about. On the 2nd boat, when first checked in, had to have the bed linens changed 2X due to hair on the sheets and the bath floor mopped as so dirty. The best part of the trip was meeting some delightful other passengers. Loved being on the river, seeing the castles and next time will explore renting a private barge instead. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Booked this cruise because the promotion advertising looked like it was what we wanted and the sailing date suited. Reserved a two room veranda suite on deck 3, these cabins are directly under the walking/ running track on the top deck ... Read More
Booked this cruise because the promotion advertising looked like it was what we wanted and the sailing date suited. Reserved a two room veranda suite on deck 3, these cabins are directly under the walking/ running track on the top deck which results in overhead noise even though it is supposed to be a walking track that is restricted 8pm to 8am. The other disappointment was that the large window ( 2m x 2m) double glazed window was shattered this we were told happened on the previous cruise and they had been in touch with maintenance to make repairs further down the river, an apology and a bottle wine was given but the window was never repaired. The cabin steward was excellent as was the concierge who booked special city tours for us. The food was a big disappointment, at times it was over cooked, bland and vegetables were only served if you ordered the steak which was in my opinion the best selection on the menu. The waiters in the dining room were not skilled in their service, I would suggest they go and wait tables on a Princess Cruise to see how it down correctly. Dinners were not reminded to use the hand on entering the dinning room. The smorgasbord served in " Aquavit " lounge had a better selection at lunchtime than the dinning room, I would liked to have seen "sneeze covers" on the food, that might explain why a large number of passengers appeared and sound like they had a cold. Would I cruise with Viking again? Definitely not. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Looking for a more upscale experience, we listened to Viking's marketing materials. What they didn't tell us, is the program is for passengers 70 and over. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, for those who enjoy sports or an ... Read More
Looking for a more upscale experience, we listened to Viking's marketing materials. What they didn't tell us, is the program is for passengers 70 and over. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, for those who enjoy sports or an active lifestyle. I was told there was a walking track on the sundeck. They don't tell you that it's closed for 75% of the trip. Here's what's good about Viking: passengers are interesting, food is good, staff is excellent. Here's what's bad: everything else. On cruising days, we slept all day because there is nothing else to do except eat. very little shipboard ativities except for the program director's 15 minute briefing before dinner. there is a piano player/singer but except by 10 pm, everyone to be asleep. They tell you there's free wine and beer, but it's only for meals. If you want a drink before dinner, you have to buy it. If you get hungry late at night, you better have made a sandwich at one of the meals because there is nothing to eat except coffee/tea and cookies. Beds are very small and uncomfortable. Room is small compared to ocean cruises. Viking included airfare. They gave my husband and I seats 20 rows apart for the nine hour trip to Europe. Most importantly, they don't tell you that most of the time they have to transfer passengers to another ship midway because of high or low water problems. That means one day of your trip is spent packing and unpacking suitcases and traveling 4 hours and the sundeck is closed for most of the trip. It would be nice if passengers had that info before they paid for the trip. Would not recommend Viking. have been on Amadeus where they had bikes on board. That was much better for my more active lifestyle. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Viking Vili Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 4.0 4.6
Entertainment 3.0 4.2
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.6
Family 1.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.6
Enrichment 4.0 4.5
Service 5.0 4.7
Value For Money 4.0 4.2

Find a Viking Vili Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click