I am asking for a refund of my entire trip on the Viking Pride, Paris and the Beaches of Normandy, 12-19 April (including air travel which began on 11 April). The ship was in an accident the day before our arrival (11 April, 3 p.m. Paris = 9 a.m. New York). We were not notified until two days after our arrival and our embarking on the ship that we would not be sailing, due to the French authorities not allowing the Pride to sail with passengers in such a condition. We were bused instead to our first destination, and our bus was in an accident immediately upon leaving the port area. The bus smashed a small white car up against a phone pole on the side of the highway. The side door to the bus was crushed, not allowing any emergency exit should there have been a need. Upon arrival at Giverny, the bus was changed out for a new bus and our belongings were transferred. There were missing items. Time was abbreviated at each destination (:58 minutes to run through Monet's gardens and house); we never got to Vernon as promised. We were also bused to a hotel on the outskirts of Paris where we had to endure bad food and pay for phone usage ($56.95), not to mention having to pack, unpack, repack, and load our own bags on and off the ship and to the buses and to the hotel and to and from our rooms at the Marriott. We were bused for 2 hours and 20 minutes to get to the Pride, now docked in Rouen at the repair yard. Our views were industrial all around, with loud noise from repairs being completed as we ate our lunch on the sundeck breathing in and ingesting all the dust from the charcoal factory next to us. Again, we were bused to town and time was cut short due to transportation issues from where we were supposed to be docked and the repair shipyard where we had no internet service as well.
When we finally sailed our first centimeter out of the shipyard, we gathered on the deck, only to find crew members with sanding belts, loudly sanding off the paint on the bow area, dust flying at us in every direction. I have video with audio for your perusal if you desire. We had to go into the lounge, where instead of watching the ship progress down the Seine, we watched the crew sand, hose down, and then paint the bow in front of us, as we cruised.
In summary, Viking River Cruises practiced deceit in not informing me that the ship was inoperable, instead deceiving me into "embarking" onto the ship, as your contract states, so that I was at your mercy in your alternate arrangements. I argue that Viking had enough time and should have had the decent courtesy to clearly inform me of the situation so that I could have made my own decision about traveling. I did not choose a Viking Bus Tour for my once-a-year holiday! Besides my extreme disappointment with your business practices, I am embarrassed to have talked my friend into going with me. She had been saving for six years to go on a vacation. I also believe you treated the ship's employees poorly, as they kept telling us they did not know anything further about the situation. It seems to me to be a clear case of "get them on the ship and keep stringing them along..." That is outrageous and inexcusable.