We just returned from a very disappointing Viking Romantic Danube River Cruise. Because the Danube River was low, we didn't start the cruise in Erlangen, cruise to Nuremburg, cruise to Regensburg, etc., instead we boarded the boat three hours away from Nuremburg in Volshofen between Regensburg and Passau. The first day meant a 3 hour bus ride to Nuremburg for our tour and a 3 hour bus ride back. Six hours on the bus for our 3 hours of tour and lunch. The second day was a one and a half hour bus ride to Regensburg for our tour. The next day we actually started our cruise and visited Passau and then cruised into Vienna. That night they announced that we couldn't cruise into Budapest and we would be bused an hour and a half in the next day for our tour.
Passengers were angry and asked what Viking was going to do to compensate us or at least try to make us happy and their deaf response was "call customer service when you get home". Now I understand that Viking doesn't control the depth of the Danube but they knew before we got on the boat what the river conditions were and they did nothing for us. What could they have done? How about an open bar for the "cruise"? How about free optional tours? How about free tickets for a night time cruise in Budapest? NOTHING was offered, only 18+ hours of bus rides. The final day of our "cruise", we were bused the hour and a half to our hotel in Budapest.
Now having vented, the ship was beautiful, the rooms were very nice, service was superb, the food was very good to excellent and the wine was mediocre to good. However, we were paying $1,000 a day to cruise on the river. The one day we cruised during daytime from Passau to Vienna was unbelievable. We passed vineyards going up the hillsides, ruined castles, etc. exactly what Viking endlessly advertises. When we got home, I did call customer service and after reading their notes from the cruise, the Rep said he understood why we were disappointed. He said normally an open bar and free tours would be the first compensation offered and he couldn't understand why nothing was offered to us. He said normally a $500 future cruise voucher per person would be offered but in light of our egregious treatment, he offered us $900 vouchers (25% of the cruise price). I would have preferred Viking acknowledging the river problem upfront and compensating us on the boat.
A last tip for future cruisers, we paid extra for a balcony room but next time I would opt for their french balcony (a sliding glass door without a separate balcony). There are so many boats on the river now that when you dock, the boats are "rafted" side by side so your balcony butts up against the side of another boat.
An hour and a half bus tour, didn't get to see much.
An hour and a half walking tour, would have like another hour or so.
An hour and a half walking tour.
An hour and a half bus tour where you couldn't see anything if you sat on the right side of the bus and an hour and a half walking tour. I can't really say I saw Vienna.
An hour and a half bus tour and an hour and a half walking tour. I glad we stayed in Budapest an extra two days to really tour the city.