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This was my Mother's dream to go to Russia. So I went with her, she 80 and at times needs help getting around. She has taken four previous Viking River Cruises and loved them all. I have over 100 cruise days on ocean ships but never a river cruise. My Mother, my girlfriend and four friends have all sailed with Viking in Europe but never Russia. They rave about how great Viking trip are.....I didn't see that in Russia. This may be my first and last river cruise. It started with Viking offering free air. 27 hours from Seattle to St Petersburg with lay-overs in both Washington DC (2.5 hrs) and Vienna (5.25 hrs). We arrived on the boat at 6:30 pm losing the whole first day. Our return air out of Moscow was a bit better only 19 hours, just one lay-over in Frankfort 91.5 hours). However.....our flight left Moscow at 6 am after we were taken off the boat at 2:30 am for the two hour drive to the airport. We tried to get the flights to Russia changes 6 weeks prior to the trip but Viking said nothing was available. Truvor is an outdate boat design that was refurbished a few years ago. The staterooms were small, Mom amd I worked a system when only one of us at a time would move around to get dressed to avoid constantly getting in eachother's way. No drawers except a shallow desk drawer, limited cabinets with selves and a small closest, challenged us to find room for our clothes to avoid living out of a suitcase. These was plenty of room to store our suitcases under the beds. The bathroom was cramped but we managed, one at a time. The common room on the boat were small and space was not available for all the passengers to attend briefing together. They performed two briefing to accommidate their lack of space. We had unseasonably cold weather (first snows in May in St Peterburg in 50 years). Due to the cold weather, it was difficult to use the decks and balconies for very long, forcing everyone to compete for the cramped interior spaces or stay in your rooms. The Russian boat crew was every professional and navigated the waterways and locks expertly. One very seldom noticed the operations crew as they went about their business. This was Vikings first trip of the 2017 season. Over half the bar staff and dining staff appeared overworked and undertrained. When the dining room got busy, passengers often waited for refills beverages and staff was inattentive to anything but getting meals out. Several of the staff were on their first cruise contracts, so the inexperience showed. I have dietary restrictions. Viking had me send a very detailed description of my needs and said the ship staff would be given the details. The ship staff had no idea of my needs, the information was never passed on to the ship, except to say "a diebetic diet". Close but not really. My "diabetic box lunch for an excursion had sugary juice, starchy potatoe chips and white bread comercially mad ham/cheese sandwich....nothing I could eat. Every dinner, I told the wait staff to replace the starches or white carbs with extra vegitables, but 'No carrots".....every meal I got extra vegitables with extra carrots.....10 straight days. Only two of the four or five bartenders knew how to make simple drinks and one of the more experienced bartenders was fired a few days into the trip for too much drinking. I saw one passenger order a "Dirty martini"...the bartender asked what that was and the passenger has to tell him how to make the drink. I've taken Mediterranean Sea cruises three times the length of this trip at half the cost. This was a very expensive trip for very overrated service and ammenities. The free on-board wifi was great in St Peterburg. I could send/recieve e-mails and post social media with or without attachments and photos.Once we left St Petersburg it was terrible. For days we could not send/recieve a thing. At the first stop on the river, Mandrogy, we were rafted against a Russian riverboat company ship. Viking wifi did not work. I could sit on my balcony or stand on the dock and get great wifi from the unsecure Russian ship wifi....for just that day. Once we got closer to Moscow the wifi was sketchy at best but I was never able to send an attachment or photos...just e-mail. The on-board and local tour guides were very knowledgable and entertaining. However, they could coordinate their speaking points a bit, because very day, every tour guild kept repeating the same Russian Royal family histories. Twice would have been ok, but after 5 or 6 times of the same information....I got it. Russia was very interesting and that saved the trip. More importantly, Mom got to go to Russia. St Petersburg was beautiful, by far my favorite city in Russia. Moscow was a modern metroploitan city. Both were very clean and we felt safe traveling about. The river portion was interesting and the small towns were a joy to visit. We missed out on Kizhi because the lake was iced over. Iced over should have been interesting to see. At the briefing, we were told the boat would stop at anchor as we were going to follow an icebreaker through the icefield and it was safer to do during the day. I awoke to find we transbersed the ice during the night, one passenger told me heard the ice hitting the hull and that woke him to go check it out. I'm a sound sleeper and missed the whole thing. The boat docks outside the interesting part of St Petersburg and Moscow. If you are comfortable taking subways, the ship staff has good information on getting to and from the subway and city centers. Traffic in Moscow is so terrible, that bus/taxi travel is time prohibitive. Had Russia not been so interesting. I would have given Viking a much lower overall rating on this trip.

Disappointed with Viking

Viking Truvor Cruise Review by sacfly

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2017
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Veranda Stateroom
This was my Mother's dream to go to Russia. So I went with her, she 80 and at times needs help getting around. She has taken four previous Viking River Cruises and loved them all. I have over 100 cruise days on ocean ships but never a river cruise. My Mother, my girlfriend and four friends have all sailed with Viking in Europe but never Russia. They rave about how great Viking trip are.....I didn't see that in Russia. This may be my first and last river cruise.

It started with Viking offering free air. 27 hours from Seattle to St Petersburg with lay-overs in both Washington DC (2.5 hrs) and Vienna (5.25 hrs). We arrived on the boat at 6:30 pm losing the whole first day. Our return air out of Moscow was a bit better only 19 hours, just one lay-over in Frankfort 91.5 hours). However.....our flight left Moscow at 6 am after we were taken off the boat at 2:30 am for the two hour drive to the airport. We tried to get the flights to Russia changes 6 weeks prior to the trip but Viking said nothing was available.

Truvor is an outdate boat design that was refurbished a few years ago. The staterooms were small, Mom amd I worked a system when only one of us at a time would move around to get dressed to avoid constantly getting in eachother's way. No drawers except a shallow desk drawer, limited cabinets with selves and a small closest, challenged us to find room for our clothes to avoid living out of a suitcase. These was plenty of room to store our suitcases under the beds. The bathroom was cramped but we managed, one at a time.

The common room on the boat were small and space was not available for all the passengers to attend briefing together. They performed two briefing to accommidate their lack of space. We had unseasonably cold weather (first snows in May in St Peterburg in 50 years). Due to the cold weather, it was difficult to use the decks and balconies for very long, forcing everyone to compete for the cramped interior spaces or stay in your rooms.

The Russian boat crew was every professional and navigated the waterways and locks expertly. One very seldom noticed the operations crew as they went about their business.

This was Vikings first trip of the 2017 season. Over half the bar staff and dining staff appeared overworked and undertrained. When the dining room got busy, passengers often waited for refills beverages and staff was inattentive to anything but getting meals out. Several of the staff were on their first cruise contracts, so the inexperience showed.

I have dietary restrictions. Viking had me send a very detailed description of my needs and said the ship staff would be given the details. The ship staff had no idea of my needs, the information was never passed on to the ship, except to say "a diebetic diet". Close but not really. My "diabetic box lunch for an excursion had sugary juice, starchy potatoe chips and white bread comercially mad ham/cheese sandwich....nothing I could eat. Every dinner, I told the wait staff to replace the starches or white carbs with extra vegitables, but 'No carrots".....every meal I got extra vegitables with extra carrots.....10 straight days.

Only two of the four or five bartenders knew how to make simple drinks and one of the more experienced bartenders was fired a few days into the trip for too much drinking. I saw one passenger order a "Dirty martini"...the bartender asked what that was and the passenger has to tell him how to make the drink.

I've taken Mediterranean Sea cruises three times the length of this trip at half the cost. This was a very expensive trip for very overrated service and ammenities.

The free on-board wifi was great in St Peterburg. I could send/recieve e-mails and post social media with or without attachments and photos.Once we left St Petersburg it was terrible. For days we could not send/recieve a thing. At the first stop on the river, Mandrogy, we were rafted against a Russian riverboat company ship. Viking wifi did not work. I could sit on my balcony or stand on the dock and get great wifi from the unsecure Russian ship wifi....for just that day. Once we got closer to Moscow the wifi was sketchy at best but I was never able to send an attachment or photos...just e-mail.

The on-board and local tour guides were very knowledgable and entertaining. However, they could coordinate their speaking points a bit, because very day, every tour guild kept repeating the same Russian Royal family histories. Twice would have been ok, but after 5 or 6 times of the same information....I got it.

Russia was very interesting and that saved the trip. More importantly, Mom got to go to Russia. St Petersburg was beautiful, by far my favorite city in Russia. Moscow was a modern metroploitan city. Both were very clean and we felt safe traveling about. The river portion was interesting and the small towns were a joy to visit. We missed out on Kizhi because the lake was iced over. Iced over should have been interesting to see. At the briefing, we were told the boat would stop at anchor as we were going to follow an icebreaker through the icefield and it was safer to do during the day. I awoke to find we transbersed the ice during the night, one passenger told me heard the ice hitting the hull and that woke him to go check it out. I'm a sound sleeper and missed the whole thing.

The boat docks outside the interesting part of St Petersburg and Moscow. If you are comfortable taking subways, the ship staff has good information on getting to and from the subway and city centers. Traffic in Moscow is so terrible, that bus/taxi travel is time prohibitive. Had Russia not been so interesting. I would have given Viking a much lower overall rating on this trip.
sacfly’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Veranda Stateroom
Cabin AX 416
The cabin was clean and the housekeeping staff was great. The interior of the ship was kept spotless. Our room and the common areas were very clean. The cabin was very small due to the outdated boat design. (originally built in the late 1980's) Russian government required Viking to operate only russian build boats.(So they said.) The balcony was quite roomy, unfortunately, very cold weather kept us from using it more.
Upper Deck Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • City Tour
    This was a City tour at night offered Viking. It was free because we missed an earlier port due to icy lake conditions. A great way to see the city, inculded a boat tour through the canals.
    View All 30 City Tour Reviews
  • Kremlin
    This was a free included tour from Viking. The Kremlin was interesting but we could not go into any building inside the Kremlin except two churches. The Armory was an extra fee to see the Crown Jewels, I didn't take that. All the government building on site were off limits to touring.
    View All 30 Kremlin Reviews
  • Red Square
    Included tour with Viking. i enjoyed this tour. Included my two favorite sites, St Basil's Cathedral and the history museum. Unfortunately, only about 1 hour and 20 minutes of free time to enjoy.
    View All 28 Red Square Reviews
  • City Tour
    This was an included tour with Viking. Unfortunately, there was a Russian holiday, so what little free time we had (45 mins) we could not get into the intersting Cathedral's or sites because the lines were too long with Russian families oon holiday. Too little free time to roam.
    View All 326 City Tour Reviews