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This was my 1st Viking cruise but my 9th cruise overall (including 1 prior river cruise). As a retirement present, my wife & I decided to break open the piggy bank for an upscale vacation in France. Viking's commercials are very enticing, but the actual experience was somewhat disappointing. Overall, we had a good time in France, but based on previous cruises I expected more. Let's start with some positives: 1. Our program director, Brenten, was excellent. He seemed to be everywhere at once, always smiling, always active. 2. Captain Stuhl was a visible presence on board & open to interacting with guests. 3. The lounge performer, Blondie (not to be confused with Debbie Harry!), was a multi-talented gentleman with a good repertoire. 4. The included tours were good for the most part. Now for the not-so-good aspects of our cruise. The cabin was small, even by cruise ship standards. The bathroom was microscopic, with such a low ceiling that my hand scraped against it every time I brushed my hair. We paid a lot extra for a "deluxe" veranda room which is exactly the same as a regular veranda except for a more central location. On a ship this small that doesn't make a big difference. And we barely used the veranda because the terrace & the sun deck were so easily accessible. One thing that surprised me was the impersonality of the service. On prior cruises I got used to being treated as an individual & greeted by name, with my personal preferences noted & remembered. On Viking this was not true. Service was perfunctory at best, with little effort to personalize it or even act pleasantly toward guests. (I make an exception for 2 servers - Laszlo & Stela - who at least smiled as they worked). It was the same for cabin stewards. On all previous cruises the steward practically became a member of the family. This time there was no effort at personal communication or interaction. Finally, the food. Nothing was awful, but nothing exceeded banquet hall quality. We were asked about allergies on the 1st day but this was never honored. Each day my wife had to struggle to find enough on the menu that wouldn't make her sick. The worst was during our trip to Normandy. We were specifically asked about dietary needs in advance, as they needed to notify the restaurant where we were stopping for lunch. At least 3 crew members verified this information with my wife, yet at the restaurant she was presented with a platter filled with the one vegetable that she said she couldn't eat. In summary, I felt I overpaid for a substandard shipboard experience. Viking should spend less on commercials & mailings, more on training staff about making guests feel like guests.

Not As Good As Advertised

Viking Kadlin Cruise Review by zayda11

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2018
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Veranda Superior
This was my 1st Viking cruise but my 9th cruise overall (including 1 prior river cruise). As a retirement present, my wife & I decided to break open the piggy bank for an upscale vacation in France. Viking's commercials are very enticing, but the actual experience was somewhat disappointing. Overall, we had a good time in France, but based on previous cruises I expected more. Let's start with some positives: 1. Our program director, Brenten, was excellent. He seemed to be everywhere at once, always smiling, always active. 2. Captain Stuhl was a visible presence on board & open to interacting with guests. 3. The lounge performer, Blondie (not to be confused with Debbie Harry!), was a multi-talented gentleman with a good repertoire. 4. The included tours were good for the most part.

Now for the not-so-good aspects of our cruise. The cabin was small, even by cruise ship standards. The bathroom was microscopic, with such a low ceiling that my hand scraped against it every time I brushed my hair. We paid a lot extra for a "deluxe" veranda room which is exactly the same as a regular veranda except for a more central location. On a ship this small that doesn't make a big difference. And we barely used the veranda because the terrace & the sun deck were so easily accessible.

One thing that surprised me was the impersonality of the service. On prior cruises I got used to being treated as an individual & greeted by name, with my personal preferences noted & remembered. On Viking this was not true. Service was perfunctory at best, with little effort to personalize it or even act pleasantly toward guests. (I make an exception for 2 servers - Laszlo & Stela - who at least smiled as they worked). It was the same for cabin stewards. On all previous cruises the steward practically became a member of the family. This time there was no effort at personal communication or interaction.

Finally, the food. Nothing was awful, but nothing exceeded banquet hall quality. We were asked about allergies on the 1st day but this was never honored. Each day my wife had to struggle to find enough on the menu that wouldn't make her sick. The worst was during our trip to Normandy. We were specifically asked about dietary needs in advance, as they needed to notify the restaurant where we were stopping for lunch. At least 3 crew members verified this information with my wife, yet at the restaurant she was presented with a platter filled with the one vegetable that she said she couldn't eat.

In summary, I felt I overpaid for a substandard shipboard experience. Viking should spend less on commercials & mailings, more on training staff about making guests feel like guests.
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Cabin Review

Veranda Superior
Cabin A 301
Small but clean.
Upper Deck Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins