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This was a good cruise but I honestly do not understand why they get such fantastic reviews. Let me first start by saying Viking ships are new and beautiful, with adequetly sized rooms. The food was quite good, at the Dining room and buffet. It is my opinion that the free speicalty restaurants are trying too hard to too compete with other cruise lines. Their interpretation of standard dishes were interesting, but not appealing to my tastes. (again, just my opinion) Itinerary was fantastic, and what got me interested in this sailing, even though it was a bit pricey. However the promise of onboard credit that could be used to pay for shore excursions finally convinced me. Viking promises a free shore excursion in every port, but many of them were the short city tour, hardly worth going on. In order for me to truly take advantage of these excellent ports I would book many excursions that were not free.... but no problem, I had shipboard credit.(OBC)...... right? Here is where it gets dicey...trying to use that OBC. I was told that I could not PRE-book shore excursions with OBC, BUT 2 different Viking agents on 2 separate phone calls suggested I book the excursions I wanted using my credit card, just to make sure I did not miss them, and then I could cancel them (up to 2 days before) and pay with my shipboard credit when I boarded if these excursions were still available. The Viking web site FAQs under the topic "What Is The Cancellation Policy For My Booked Shore Excursions?" it specifies, " no refunds will be given within 2 days of the tour." My travel agent also assured me once I boarded the ship I could book shore excursions with OBC. Embarkation day , first thing I did was to go to the customer relations desk. I asked the young gentleman if my chosen excursions (4 days away) were totally booked up, and if not, I wanted to cancel them and then rebook them with my OBC. He said, "no problem", and added...I can make this even easier, by just crediting your credit card the difference. Not only did he say he was GOING to do this, but specified it would be credited to the card we registered at embarkation, and not the card the excursions were booked with. A few days later I saw no evidence that this had happened, and contacted guest services again. It was at this point I was told this could NOT be done, and that the person in guest services was in error. So.... now..... 2 separate Agents from the Viking USA office, and 1 Viking agent from guest services have misinformed me. I was hoping this could be resolved while I was still on the ship, but even after contacting them several more time during the course of this 14 day cruise, all I got was "we are VERY sorry for the misinformation" speech. A day before I left the ship I got a lovely polite letter from the guest services manager saying,"on behalf of the onboard team please accept our sincere apologies for the incorrect information you received reagarding your onboard credit. I have contacted our Los Angeles office who have confirmed that they will be in contact with you upon your return home to assist in resolving the matter. I am truely sorry that I am unable to provide a resolution onboard. " I was really hoping to resolve this onboard, and somehow knew this would not, but stayed optimistic. After returning home I waited for their LA office to contact me, but they never did. I finally called Their LA office but then was told I had to work through my travel agent to resolve this. (different than what the guest services manager wrote) Seems like a lot of training of Viking staff is in order. Conferencing with my TA I got a completely UNsatisfactory "It is not their policy to issue any type of refund." Who do they think they are kidding??? 3 people on their staff make the error, and I end up paying for their miskake? I think their policy should have exceptions when THEY MAKE the mistake. Do I even WANT to go on another Viking cruise after this? They had such great reviews, I wanted to like Viking so much , but this whole incident has left a bad taste in my mouth.

Great itinerary, good food, wrong/confused information using onboard credit

Viking Star Cruise Review by joang

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was a good cruise but I honestly do not understand why they get such fantastic reviews.

Let me first start by saying Viking ships are new and beautiful, with adequetly sized rooms.

The food was quite good, at the Dining room and buffet.

It is my opinion that the free speicalty restaurants are trying too hard to too compete with other cruise lines. Their interpretation of standard dishes were interesting, but not appealing to my tastes. (again, just my opinion)

Itinerary was fantastic, and what got me interested in this sailing, even though it was a bit pricey. However the promise of onboard credit that could be used to pay for shore excursions finally convinced me. Viking promises a free shore excursion in every port, but many of them were the short city tour, hardly worth going on. In order for me to truly take advantage of these excellent ports I would book many excursions that were not free.... but no problem, I had shipboard credit.(OBC)...... right?

Here is where it gets dicey...trying to use that OBC.

I was told that I could not PRE-book shore excursions with OBC,

BUT 2 different Viking agents on 2 separate phone calls suggested I book the excursions I wanted using my credit card, just to make sure I did not miss them, and then I could cancel them (up to 2 days before) and pay with my shipboard credit when I boarded if these excursions were still available. The Viking web site FAQs under the topic "What Is The Cancellation Policy For My Booked Shore Excursions?" it specifies, " no refunds will be given within 2 days of the tour."

My travel agent also assured me once I boarded the ship I could book shore excursions with OBC.

Embarkation day , first thing I did was to go to the customer relations desk. I asked the young gentleman if my chosen excursions (4 days away) were totally booked up, and if not, I wanted to cancel them and then rebook them with my OBC.

He said, "no problem", and added...I can make this even easier, by just crediting your credit card the difference. Not only did he say he was GOING to do this, but specified it would be credited to the card we registered at embarkation, and not the card the excursions were booked with.

A few days later I saw no evidence that this had happened, and contacted guest services again.

It was at this point I was told this could NOT be done, and that the person in guest services was in error. So.... now..... 2 separate Agents from the Viking USA office, and 1 Viking agent from guest services have misinformed me. I was hoping this could be resolved while I was still on the ship, but even after contacting them several more time during the course of this 14 day cruise, all I got was "we are VERY sorry for the

misinformation" speech.

A day before I left the ship I got a lovely polite letter from the guest services manager saying,"on behalf of the onboard team please accept our sincere apologies for the incorrect information you received reagarding your onboard credit. I have contacted our Los Angeles office who have confirmed that they will be in contact with you upon your return home to assist in resolving the matter. I am truely sorry that I am unable to provide a resolution onboard. "

I was really hoping to resolve this onboard, and somehow knew this would not, but stayed optimistic. After returning home I waited for their LA office to contact me, but they never did. I finally called Their LA office but then was told I had to work through my travel agent to resolve this. (different than what the guest services manager wrote)

Seems like a lot of training of Viking staff is in order.

Conferencing with my TA I got a completely UNsatisfactory "It is not their policy to issue any type of refund."

Who do they think they are kidding??? 3 people on their staff make the error, and I end up paying for their miskake? I think their policy should have exceptions when THEY MAKE the mistake.

Do I even WANT to go on another Viking cruise after this?

They had such great reviews, I wanted to like Viking so much , but this whole incident has left a bad taste in my mouth.
Viking Cruises, Community Team has responded
Dear joang, Considering the many ways that this cruise was enjoyable for you, including the food and itinerary, we deeply regret the disappointment and confusion surrounding your onboard credit, as well as the unfortunate lack of clarity regarding how it could be used. While we understand your frustration and possible reluctance to reach out to us again, we encourage you to contact us at TellUs@vikingcruises.com. Once we hear from you through that outlet, we can connect you directly to a seasoned agent to address your concerns. Although you’ve indicated that this experience gives you pause when it comes to considering a future sailing with us, we hope that with continued dialogue, we can restore your faith in our cruises. We hope to hear from you soon, joang, and wish you well. Best regards, Viking Cruises
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of The Independent Traveler, Inc.
joang’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin
Adequate size, but not huge like some other ships