We chose this cruise because of the British Isles itinerary. The ship itself was wonderful, the rooms were nice, the ship was well laid out, the entertainment was good, the food was wonderful and the on board service was very good.
Outside the ship the experience was not so good. The real troubling part was that when we brought this to their attention they had a way of not responding in a positive manner. It started with the airline reservation. We purchased flights through Viking. Without any contact I received an itinerary from them. We live half way from Milwaukee and O'Hare airports so we chose Milwaukee. We do everything we can to avoid the Chicago Airports. The itinerary we received was from Milwaukee to Chicago to London. If I had known that I could have requested Chicago. We called to change the itinerary only to be told that it would cost us $100 per person to change. We agreed to the additional charge and got flights from Milwaukee to Toronto to London. On the way back they had done the same thing but we chose not to pay another $200 to change that one. As it turned out the flights on Air Canada were fine but on the way back we got what we were trying to avoid, a connection at Chicago O'Hare. The first flight was delayed and we had this rush to get though passport control, baggage and customs and still make the second leg of the flight. We barely made it but we did make it. The plane took off and half way through the flight the pilot announced that the plane was having problems with the landing gear and they were going to have to return to Chicago. We were terrified thinking about landing on a broken landing gear. We expected to see emergency trucks and foam on the runway, etc. but it came right down as a normal landing. Once at the gate a mechanic came aboard and the Captain announced that the plane was grounded and that we were to disembark the plane. After much confusion in the airport we noticed two agents at the next counter with a line in front of them. It seems that they were issuing bus tickets to Milwaukee, however we could not get our luggage as they were going to send it to Milwaukee this next morning. We had to practically run to catch this bus. Then we sat on the bus for more than a half an hour while the driver tried to get things sorted out. We finally got underway to find that this bus made two stops before it got to Milwaukee. It was past 1:00 a.m. when the bus arrived in Milwaukee. It was after 2:00 a.m. when we finally got home, exhausted.
The next problem is that I noticed on my paperwork that I had paid $7,800 per person for this cruise and the lowest, advertised price was $6990 (for a DV6). There were no $6990 rooms available so we were given a DV4 type room. We were told when booking a subsequent cruise that the difference between a DV6 room and a DV4 room is $300. They both have a balcony and are the same size but the DV4 has an inroom refrigerator with soft drinks and snacks and an in-room coffee maker. When I called to ask about this I got this confusion explanation that the prices always change and even though I had the brochure showing the base price they insisted that this was my fault that I did not notice it sooner. All I wanted to know is what was the base price when I booked the cruise and why was my price so much higher than I thought it should be. I was told that they did not know. The agent offered me a $250 per person credit on a future Viking cruise. I turned it down as I do not expect to go on another Viking cruise.
We felt that the shore excursions were not as good as we expected. For example we took a tour in Holyhead, Wales. It went to the town of Beaumaris. The only reason to go there is to see the castle. The castle was not on the tour. The tour guide dumped us in the square, disappeared and we were left to wander the streets of a small town. If we had wanted to see the castle without a guide the admission was 5 pounds.
In general, the included tours were coach rides with a little diversion. I think we would have preferred a lower price with no tours included and let us pick the ones we wanted.
The real problem came with the post cruise experience in Reykjavik, Iceland. On the flight from Bergen, Norway to Reykjavik we were seated in the last row of the airplane. That meant that we were the last off the plane. It was a long way from the airplane to the exit and when we got there no Viking representatives were present. Someone in the crowd said they had been there but they were gone. We went outside and saw a line of people with red Viking luggage tags so we asked them and it was who we were looking for but no Viking personnel. We came to four buses and people were getting on. By this point there were some Viking people. We asked one of them and he said to get on bus four. We got on and waited for some time and were told that they were missing some people. It turned out that we were the people they were looking for as we had not checked in.
When we got to the Grand Hotel, all four buses at the same time, a huge line formed. There were only two agents and nothing had been prearranged. The line lasted for more than an hour. In the meantime the bus drivers were bringing the luggage from the buses into the lobby and we were told that they would deliver them to our rooms. As soon as the luggage was off the bus the porters disappeared and the luggage sat in the lobby. About an hour after we got our room I went down and picked up our own luggage. There was supposed to be a Viking Concierge in the evening but there was not. This hotel is pretty far from downtown and only a few restaurants near enough to walk. There was a hotel shuttle but it stopped at 5:00 p.m. The tours during the day were pretty good but the evenings were miserable. The hotel had a buffet dinner but it cost $79 per person.
The cabin was excellent. I am a CPAP user and my unit requires distilled water. The ship was in Greenwich, England and I thought I would have to go ashore the get some. I called room service to get some directions and within a couple of minutes a gallon of distilled water appeared at my door.
We went to the town of Beaumaris but did not get to visit the castle as it was not on the tour.
We drove by a lot of things but only got to see a few. We did not get to see the Book of Kells because the line was too long.View All 24 Trinity College Reviews
This was a pretty good tour but it was mostly a coach ride. The guide was very interesting.View All undefined undefined Reviews
This was one of the best tours. The Standing Stones of Sterness were impressive.
We enjoyed this tour. Edinburgh was full of excitement this day and it was fun. I wish we had had more time to enjoy it.View All 13 Royal Mile Reviews
This was a coach ride to the city. We were let out near the Inverness Cathedral right in time for a wedding. The city was across the river and there were plenty of shops but not very interesting.View All 9 City Tour Reviews
This was a long bus ride to a factory that was not operational as it was a
Sunday. There were only a few people and very few machines were operational. They had a store with lots of sweaters but the sizes were mostly odd and the sweaters, even on sale, were very expensive.View All undefined undefined Reviews