Viking Aegir Cruise Review by DavidIsMe
- Sail Date: June 2019
- Destination: Europe
- Cabin Type: Veranda Stateroom
Our original ship, the Lif was diverted just two days before our 3-week trip, to replace a Viking ship that hit and sunk a sightseeing boat in Budapest (28 lives lost). Our replacement, the Embla had a very excellent staff, but struck an anchored barge our first night out, and subsequently lost one of its generators (which power the electric motors) and 1/3 of its required speed. This cut short or eliminated our time to explore, and caused us to be bused ahead while the ship caught up. Viking management kept dodging responsibility, talking about how last year the water was too low and passengers had to be bused. They offered no simple apology (which is all we needed from them). They made no supportive gesture to us (would an open bar once a day have been too much?), and they kept blaming every late arrival on the locks. Thankfully, our time on the Embla was cut short when another Viking Longship disabled a lock at Nuremberg, shutting down all river traffic for nearly three weeks. (The captain of that ship had caused another accident just three months previously, raising questions in the press about Viking’s standards.) We were again bused past the broken lock and transferred to another ship, the Viking Aegir. While most of the staff was very good, we and several of our new friends had very bad experiences with some of the restaurant staff, the lounge staff, and the "Hotel Manager" who basically told us "this is my ship and I run it how I like." Our bathroom door had to remain shut to trap the raw sewage gases that came up through the shower drain (this was widely, if not universally experienced). Our shore experiences were terrific. The food onboard was above average. Overall we enjoyed our trip, making new friends aboard ship, seeing beautiful landscapes and Bavarian towns, and experiencing local cultures.
Perhaps Viking has grown too fast and lost quality control. There are better cruise lines at about at the same price point—Avalon, Tauck, AmaWaterways. We will be returning to Crystal Cruises in the future—the somewhat higher price is more than made up for in accommodations, food quality, amenities, and top-rated service.
DavidIsMe’s Full Rating Summary
The cabin was smaller than anticipated, but the width of a river cruise ship is limited by the locks it must pass through. The veranda reduced the size of the cabin itself, and I notice that newer cruise ships have eliminated verandas in favor of French balconies giving greater cabin space and comfort. The staff kept our cabin exceptionally clean and serviced. However, a raw sewage smell from the shower made us keep our bathroom door shut to keep the cabin itself fresher. Storage was very good. Internet service was spotty. TV service (broadcast and recorded) was also spotty. This ship was originally headed to Amsterdam, but had to reverse course at Nuremberg to exchange passengers with our ship (the Embla) when the Nuremberg lock was closed (see above). For some reason, they could not change the daily travel info shown on the TV (position tracking, next port, weather forecast, etc.) to show our actual direction, which was opposite from the information displayed. We had used this info each morning to know what weather to dress for, and how soon we might reach port.
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