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We are sitting in Paris now after disembarking the viking hiln in Basel…after the first couple of outstanding days on the ship, some hiccups developed that disappointed us a little. The food quality went down noticeably during the cruise, which surprised us. On one castle tour, our ENTIRE group was left behind at the ship…. and the confused staff person (her first tour) walked us around for over an hour "looking" for the bus. OK, mistakes happen and we don't judge a whole cruise by one episode….but for the on-board hotel manager to repeatedly blame the "stupid bus driver" for leaving without us….yes, the bus driver drove away in an empty bus… is wrong. An absolute lack of leadership and accountability on the part of a senior staff member disturbed many of us much more so than the screw up. The most anticipated tour for us was the Black Forest tour…we were disappointed by a poor tour guide and what amounted to one stop at a cuckoo clock store. For those of you that have been on large cruise ships and been "escorted" to a "ship friendly" store, you know what i mean….Our original intent was to buy a clock on this cruise... but that changed once we got there, mostly based on prices…we had done a lot of research prior to the trip for cuckoo clocks so we know enough about quality and cost…we figure we will order on-line from the Black Forest and save money. Basically we had an hour and half bus ride through a magnificent area being distracted by an inaudible guide. Then an hour wandering through one store, then an return ride back to the ship. The other tours were good to very good and the staff continued to be outstanding . They worked very hard, always smiling and helpful. The viking owned busses are excellent and plenty of room. Our aquarium room was wonderful. We enjoyed it much more than any ocean cruise ship rooms. The accent lighting in the room, REAL shower glass doors, a toilet seat with that magic thing that doesn't let the seat slam down (really cool) all were great. We surely wouldnt spend the extra money for a balcony, particularly in cooler weather. Will we take a 3rd cruise with viking?…yes, even with the hiccups, we bought 2 future cruise certificates. With the exception of the hotel manager,the staff really made the cruise…..We enjoy river cruising….no art auctions, no long lines at the buffet, no "buy this", or massage that …etc etc. we are not the "Hi, what is your name and where are you from ?" type and we were able to find spots to be by ourselves… although no tables for 2 exist in the dining room, that was not a problem for us…we met some wonderful people during the week and tried to avoid only a few others. You probably know the type…self absorbed and omni knowledgeable about every topic…and NEVER take a breath…..

A few things would have made it perfect.

Viking Hlin Cruise Review by tml1230

Trip Details
We are sitting in Paris now after disembarking the viking hiln in Basel…after the first couple of outstanding days on the ship, some hiccups developed that disappointed us a little. The food quality went down noticeably during the cruise, which surprised us.

On one castle tour, our ENTIRE group was left behind at the ship…. and the confused staff person (her first tour) walked us around for over an hour "looking" for the bus. OK, mistakes happen and we don't judge a whole cruise by one episode….but for the on-board hotel manager to repeatedly blame the "stupid bus driver" for leaving without us….yes, the bus driver drove away in an empty bus… is wrong. An absolute lack of leadership and accountability on the part of a senior staff member disturbed many of us much more so than the screw up.

The most anticipated tour for us was the Black Forest tour…we were disappointed by a poor tour guide and what amounted to one stop at a cuckoo clock store. For those of you that have been on large cruise ships and been "escorted" to a "ship friendly" store, you know what i mean….Our original intent was to buy a clock on this cruise... but that changed once we got there, mostly based on prices…we had done a lot of research prior to the trip for cuckoo clocks so we know enough about quality and cost…we figure we will order on-line from the Black Forest and save money. Basically we had an hour and half bus ride through a magnificent area being distracted by an inaudible guide. Then an hour wandering through one store, then an return ride back to the ship.

The other tours were good to very good and the staff continued to be outstanding . They worked very hard, always smiling and helpful. The viking owned busses are excellent and plenty of room.

Our aquarium room was wonderful. We enjoyed it much more than any ocean cruise ship rooms. The accent lighting in the room, REAL shower glass doors, a toilet seat with that magic thing that doesn't let the seat slam down (really cool) all were great. We surely wouldnt spend the extra money for a balcony, particularly in cooler weather.

Will we take a 3rd cruise with viking?…yes, even with the hiccups, we bought 2 future cruise certificates. With the exception of the hotel manager,the staff really made the cruise…..We enjoy river cruising….no art auctions, no long lines at the buffet, no "buy this", or massage that …etc etc.

we are not the "Hi, what is your name and where are you from ?" type and we were able to find spots to be by ourselves…

although no tables for 2 exist in the dining room, that was not a problem for us…we met some wonderful people during the week and tried to avoid only a few others. You probably know the type…self absorbed and omni knowledgeable about every topic…and NEVER take a breath…..
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