In our opinion Viking pulled a bait and switch as they knew well in advance that they were not going to be able to deliver the experience touted in their advertising. This was affirmed by my conversations with crew members on all 4 ships and by the local tour guides. All admitted that it had been over 2 months since Viking had been able to provide what was advertised. The Program Director also admitted to me that Viking should have given guests a better idea of the changes planned for the cruise prior to sailing and given guests the option to reschedule or cancel. He agreed that Viking knew more than one ship change was going to be extremely likely-well we ended up on 4 different ships for sleeping and 5 if you include the 2-3 hour daytime cruise on 10/23/18. That means packing and unpacking 6 extra times in addition to having to get up very early and have our bags outside our door very early on 3 days. I do not do well on busses due to getting car sick and the extensive bussing we had to take left me either nauseated and with a migraine (on days I did not take any medication for car sickness) or fatigued and wrung out (as a side effect of the anti-nausea medication I took on other days). I would definitely have cancelled if I had known how much bussing was involved (3.5 hours Budapest to Vienna on 10/14, 1.5 hours each way for a total of 3 hours to Regensburg on 10/18, 3.5 hours to Nuremberg 10/19, 1.5 hours to a smaller boat for a couple hours cruising then 2.5 hours drive to Cologne for a total of 4 hours on 10/23). That meant that 4 of the 14 days were I felt crappy due to bussing.
I will recap the trip in our eyes:
10/12: Arrived in Budapest and boarded the Idun. The ship seemed "tired and worn". Informed no cruising to Vienna. They made it seem like this was a last minute change but the crew confirmed the ship had been there for weeks.
Response from VikingS, Community Team