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We went on the Viking Grand European River Cruise in June, 2014, and were very pleased. We raved to all our friends about the high level of service provided by Viking. Due to serious health issues, we could not book a trip far in advance. We jumped on the chance to take an ocean cruise with Viking in April, upon receiving an offer in an e-mail in January, 2016. We booked our tour through a travel agent after receiving a copy of the itinerary showing 10 port stops and only two full days at sea. We found out about the drastic change in itinerary 67 days before departure, when we were given the opportunity to sign up for excursions. It was quite a shock to see that there would only be 7 port calls and four full days at sea. We called Viking to inquire about the change in itinerary, and were told that there had been no changes, and the fault lied with travel agency for giving us the wrong itinerary. During our cruise we spoke with many people, every one of whom told us that they had been given the wrong itinerary, even those who had booked directly through Viking. Upon arrival in Barcelona, we were met by Viking representatives. Transportation to the ship and embarkation went very smoothly. All of the staff aboard the ship from Reynolds, who cleaned our cabin, to Martha, the head of customer service, were very helpful and attentive to our needs. Food was excellent and the service was very gracious. We ate most of our meals in the World Café, because of its casual nature. We did eat several times in the more formal "Restaurant" and twice at Manfredi's. The entertainment was better than we expected. We especially enjoyed the Rumba group in Barcelona, the Fado singer in Lisbon, and Michael Sterling, who performed twice between Bordeaux and Bergen. The pianist and the classical trio who performed nightly in the atrium were outstanding. It was too bad that very few people stopped to listen. We very much appreciated the Passover Seder , which was led by a Rabbi from Israel. Prior to the cruise we were told by Viking reps in L.A. that there would be no special ceremony for Passover. The customer service aboard ship was much better than what we received by phone from Viking. The excursions ranged from excellent to very poor. The included bus and walking tour of Barcelona was very good. The optional all day tour of Lisbon was excellent, despite the free time being eliminated due to our late arrival in Lisbon. Our walking tour of Bordeaux was very good, despite the fact that it was Sunday, and most of the shops were closed. Bordeaux is a beautiful city and we really enjoyed being docked along a pedestrian walkway/park. Due to a virus outbreak, our departure from Bordeaux was delayed. Viking staff came to the rescue the next day with a complementary tour of the vineyard town of St. Emilion. The staff worked very hard to control the outbreak, and we were allowed to depart 24 hours late for Le Havre. There were an number of restrictions which remained until the day we arrived in Bergen. The pools and hot tub were drained, and board games were taken away. The optional excursion of lunch in the Eifel tower and a visit to the Louvre in Paris was a disaster. We got a 15 minute photo stop and the Eifel tower, lunch in the basement of a crowded mediocre restaurant, and a bus ride around Paris. The time at the Louvre was one of mass confusion. Our guide did not have an operating quiet box. We got to see a few highlights and then back to our bus for the three and a half hour ride back to our ship in Le Havre. Upon our return to the ship, there was a note of apology on our bed and a statement that they were refunding the entire cost of the excursion. This was a very nice gesture, but could not return to us the lost day in Paris. Because of the extra day in Bordeaux, our time in London was cut short. Nevertheless, our optional 7 hour tour was excellent, especially our tour of the tower of London. Our walking tour of Bergen was ok, but not noteworthy. Disembarkation, and our transportation to the Bergen airport went smoothly.

Itinerary not as advertised

Viking Star Cruise Review by Charleston,SC

15 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We went on the Viking Grand European River Cruise in June, 2014, and were very pleased. We raved to all our friends about the high level of service provided by Viking. Due to serious health issues, we could not book a trip far in advance. We jumped on the chance to take an ocean cruise with Viking in April, upon receiving an offer in an e-mail in January, 2016. We booked our tour through a travel agent after receiving a copy of the itinerary showing 10 port stops and only two full days at sea. We found out about the drastic change in itinerary 67 days before departure, when we were given the opportunity to sign up for excursions. It was quite a shock to see that there would only be 7 port calls and four full days at sea. We called Viking to inquire about the change in itinerary, and were told that there had been no changes, and the fault lied with travel agency for giving us the wrong itinerary. During our cruise we spoke with many people, every one of whom told us that they had been given the wrong itinerary, even those who had booked directly through Viking.

Upon arrival in Barcelona, we were met by Viking representatives. Transportation to the ship and embarkation went very smoothly. All of the staff aboard the ship from Reynolds, who cleaned our cabin, to Martha, the head of customer service, were very helpful and attentive to our needs. Food was excellent and the service was very gracious. We ate most of our meals in the World Café, because of its casual nature.

We did eat several times in the more formal "Restaurant" and twice at Manfredi's.

The entertainment was better than we expected. We especially enjoyed the Rumba group in Barcelona, the Fado singer in Lisbon, and Michael Sterling, who performed twice between Bordeaux and Bergen. The pianist and the classical trio who performed nightly in the atrium were outstanding. It was too bad that very few people stopped to listen.

We very much appreciated the Passover Seder , which was led by a Rabbi from Israel. Prior to the cruise we were told by Viking reps in L.A. that there would be no special ceremony for Passover. The customer service aboard ship was much better than what we received by phone from Viking.

The excursions ranged from excellent to very poor. The included bus and walking tour of Barcelona was very good. The optional all day tour of Lisbon was excellent, despite the free time being eliminated due to our late arrival in Lisbon. Our walking tour of Bordeaux was very good, despite the fact that it was Sunday, and most of the shops were closed. Bordeaux is a beautiful city and we really enjoyed being docked along a pedestrian walkway/park. Due to a virus outbreak, our departure from Bordeaux was delayed. Viking staff came to the rescue the next day with a complementary tour of the vineyard town of St. Emilion. The staff worked very hard to control the outbreak, and we were allowed to depart 24 hours late for Le Havre.

There were an number of restrictions which remained until the day we arrived in Bergen. The pools and hot tub were drained, and board games were taken away. The optional excursion of lunch in the Eifel tower and a visit to the Louvre in Paris was a disaster. We got a 15 minute photo stop and the Eifel tower, lunch in the basement of a crowded mediocre restaurant, and a bus ride around Paris. The time at the Louvre was one of mass confusion. Our guide did not have an operating quiet box. We got to see a few highlights and then back to our bus for the three and a half hour ride back to our ship in Le Havre. Upon our return to the ship, there was a note of apology on our bed and a statement that they were refunding the entire cost of the excursion. This was a very nice gesture, but could not return to us the lost day in Paris. Because of the extra day in Bordeaux, our time in London was cut short. Nevertheless, our optional 7 hour tour was excellent, especially our tour of the tower of London. Our walking tour of Bergen was ok, but not noteworthy. Disembarkation, and our transportation to the Bergen airport went smoothly.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 5038
Lovely veranda cabin with some great views when in port. Complementary soft drinks were replenished daily. Coffee maker in room was very nice. Bathroom was very nice, especially the heated floor. Shower was spacious. More storage would have been nice.