For our first cruise together, My Lady and I booked the Romantic Danube Cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg (August 20-27, 2017) on the Viking longboat, Atla. I paid $10,398 for the Veranda Suite and was assigned to Veranda Suite 316.
THE GOOD - The ship, itself, is aesthetically well designed and appeared just as presented in the Viking advertisements and virtual ship tours. The food ranged from average-to-excellent. The preponderance of the food, however, ranged from very-good to excellent. Some dishes were superb. The wait staff handled the on-rushing passengers very well. They were courteous and attentive, almost always. The tours at each port were always well organized, even when somewhat boring. Kudos to the Program Director! Our maid was excellent in keeping our room clean and with the fresh towels that we requested. She was always pleasant and eager to make our stay more enjoyable. The passengers on board were friendly and we met many interesting people who will provide us with long lasting memories. The cruise along the Danube with its 26 locks provided interesting and entertaining landscape.
THE BAD began our 2nd day on board (Monday, August 21) when our toilet wouldn’t flush. We reported it to the reception desk, received an apology and someone (an ‘engineer’) used a vacuum with hallway access to the toilet plumbing to resolve the symptom. The next day, Tuesday, was a repeat performance. The toilet would not flush. There was a call to the front desk with a verbal apology. As was done previously, an ‘engineer’ was sent to resolve the symptom. The next day, Wednesday, was another repeat performance. The toilet would not flush followed by a call the to front desk with an apology and an engineer was sent to resolve the symptom. On Thursday morning, I talked with the lady at the front desk and expressed my dissatisfaction with Viking’s poor performance to resolving my toilet plumbing issue. I received an apology, but as I found out later, nothing else was done. Thursday evening, our toilet would not flush. I made the call to the front desk and received an apology. An engineer vacuumed out the line from the hallway. Friday evening was ‘the straw’ the broke our backs. It was 10:30 pm, feces was floating in our toilet which, and for the fifth consecutive day, would not flush. My Lady and I walked downstairs to the front desk. I requested the name of the person in Viking Headquarters who should be contacted about non-performance of our contract. No one would pay the money we paid and have to have maintenance flush our toilet every day. It was only after requesting a Viking Headquarters name that serious concern appeared and a memo was noted for manager. As had become customary, an engineer was sent to resolve the symptom. It seemed clear that our problem was not of sufficient importance to immediately get the Hotel Manager.