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October 19, 2018—We are sitting at Speyer, Germany, having never left port due to low Rhine levels... no departure from Speyer is anticipated for the duration. Thus, every day includes long bus rides to the sites on the itinerary... this should have been called the "Rhine bus tour." While the ship is beautiful and the food fine, we have been extremely frustrated with the vague and untimely communication. We understand the Rhine issues but feel that Viking should have been forthcoming at all times rather than pretending all would be well. Cruise should have been cancelled as conditions were known well ahead of time. Ship’s staff has done its best— Viking management, that arranges the scheduling, seems to care more about its bottom line than customer experience. The email we received just before departure from the states greatly downplayed the severity of Rhine status and its impact on the cruise. We’ve cruised the Rhine before so are only mildly disappointed—for those for whom this is their first European experience, it’s been devastating. WiFi is slower than slow—why is WiFi better on cruise ships in the middle of the ocean? The Hild itself is beautiful and well appointed -- it feels new and well thought through. The food is traditional river cruise fare and well executed, though it would be nice to have some food options available in the late afternoons as 7pm dinner is late for some. Cookies and nuts are available but that gets old on a week-long itinerary. Piano player/vocalist is terrific and we are enjoying time in the lounge with his music that is suited to boomer+ audiences. As we are experienced travelers, we are opting to do our own thing rather than ride a bus for hours every day, with rushed tours given reduced time in each city due. Europe's fine public transportation affords options for those willing to venture out. The Technical Museum in Speyer is fantastic! We paid the extra for a veranda but are staring into a river bank for the duration -- not a pleasant place for enjoying scenery. All in all, we are making the best of it and having a good week -- just not the week we'd anticipated. Again, we understand the realities of the historic low water levels -- the issue is with Viking, who knew well in advance (this issue has been dogging the Rhine since August) they could not provide the river cruise advertised.

Rhine Bus Tour

Viking Hild Cruise Review by Blcheyney

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2018
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: French Balcony Superior
October 19, 2018—We are sitting at Speyer, Germany, having never left port due to low Rhine levels... no departure from Speyer is anticipated for the duration. Thus, every day includes long bus rides to the sites on the itinerary... this should have been called the "Rhine bus tour." While the ship is beautiful and the food fine, we have been extremely frustrated with the vague and untimely communication. We understand the Rhine issues but feel that Viking should have been forthcoming at all times rather than pretending all would be well. Cruise should have been cancelled as conditions were known well ahead of time. Ship’s staff has done its best— Viking management, that arranges the scheduling, seems to care more about its bottom line than customer experience. The email we received just before departure from the states greatly downplayed the severity of Rhine status and its impact on the cruise. We’ve cruised the Rhine before so are only mildly disappointed—for those for whom this is their first European experience, it’s been devastating. WiFi is slower than slow—why is WiFi better on cruise ships in the middle of the ocean? The Hild itself is beautiful and well appointed -- it feels new and well thought through. The food is traditional river cruise fare and well executed, though it would be nice to have some food options available in the late afternoons as 7pm dinner is late for some. Cookies and nuts are available but that gets old on a week-long itinerary. Piano player/vocalist is terrific and we are enjoying time in the lounge with his music that is suited to boomer+ audiences. As we are experienced travelers, we are opting to do our own thing rather than ride a bus for hours every day, with rushed tours given reduced time in each city due. Europe's fine public transportation affords options for those willing to venture out. The Technical Museum in Speyer is fantastic! We paid the extra for a veranda but are staring into a river bank for the duration -- not a pleasant place for enjoying scenery. All in all, we are making the best of it and having a good week -- just not the week we'd anticipated. Again, we understand the realities of the historic low water levels -- the issue is with Viking, who knew well in advance (this issue has been dogging the Rhine since August) they could not provide the river cruise advertised.
Viking Cruises, Community Team has responded
Thank you, Blcheyney, for taking the time to share your recent Viking experience with the cruising community. It is delightful to learn that you found the onboard entertainment to be pleasing, however we recognize that you are one of the many affected by the itinerary changes implemented in response to the historically low waters that plagued Europe this year. Though Viking makes every effort to preserve the original program, we understand that the resulting deviations may fall below some guests’ expectations. All journey adjustments are made with our passengers’ best interests in mind, and accordingly we are committed to collecting and understanding all resulting feedback so that we may grow and enhance our product for more enjoyable future experiences. Your constructive comments have been recorded for review by our Executive Team, however should you like to share more we would be happy to continue the discussion at TellUs@vikingcruises.com. Thank you, and have a wonderful day.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of The Independent Traveler, Inc.
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Cabin Review

French Balcony Superior
Cabin C 319
Well appointed, very functional, lots of storage--first class!
Upper Deck Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins