1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Viking Emerald
Was looking forward to a great adventure in China. It was a very disappointing trip. So much so, that I don't think I'll trust Viking again. We spent $22k. I don't think the trip was worth half that. Don't waste your money! We are done with Viking!!! I don't trust them now! The cruise ship, Emerald was run down, old, tired, and certainly not luxury. We upgraded to a suite but didn't get one on this ship. No suites. Balcony was narrow with two medal cheap chairs. Bathroom was old and run down. The dining experience was cheap, noisy, crowded and cafeteria-like. All the tables were for 8 people and round. One could not hear the people across the table. Dining became a nuisance and an annoyance. The food was ok, not great. The service, however, was exceptional. The maitre d was unhelpful and unbending. I'm not sure there was much she could do, but I felt she should have tried instead of just blowing us off. We had 4 for dinner one night and there were only sets of 2 seats left. What a joke! I'm thankful the cruise was only 7 of our 21 days! Hotels in Shanghai, Tibet, Xion and Beijing were excellent! Note, however, that Viking promised complementary wine with all lunches and dinners. That's not the case. No wine in the hotels or local restuarants! Food in the hotels was good, but not great. In 5 star hotels I would have expected awesome food, but not in China. We ate many lunches and dinners at local restuarants. Beware. Most of those meals were second-rate. Eight of our group got stomach aches after one lunch. We even skipped one local dinner and ordered pizza and a bottle of red wine for room service. It was a great alternative to the same old same old local food. Even the Yak burger at Burger King was welcomed! I welcomed taste, tender and huge it was. Generally at lunch and diner the chicken, beef and duck was either tough, dried out or greasy. God bless food in the US! Excursions were accompanied with 3 or 4 other Viking groups, so they were always crowded. We often felt like trapped rats being herded from place to place. Often the mics in the bus were so poor it was hard to understand the speaker. I stopped listening often to avoid headaches. I did the same with the personal mics used during the tours. I would have preferred more factual information about the cities, China, economics, education etc than seemingly personal made up stories by the guides. I dwelt on these issues because I feel that Viking could have affected them, improved them, and have control over them. But they chose not too, and offer a mediocre experience. Visiting all we did was extraordinary. I came away knowing and understanding much about China. Not all of it consistent with China's propaganda machine. The disappointment is with Viking. I believe many groups could have offered more value and a better experience than Viking did. So beware! This was the most disappointing trip of my last 7 trips. Ugh! Live and learn! Greg

Very Disappointed with Viking's China Roof of World Trip

Viking Emerald Cruise Review by Gregory S Gush

26 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2019
  • Destination: Asia
Was looking forward to a great adventure in China. It was a very disappointing trip. So much so, that I don't think I'll trust Viking again. We spent $22k. I don't think the trip was worth half that. Don't waste your money! We are done with Viking!!! I don't trust them now!

The cruise ship, Emerald was run down, old, tired, and certainly not luxury. We upgraded to a suite but didn't get one on this ship. No suites. Balcony was narrow with two medal cheap chairs. Bathroom was old and run down. The dining experience was cheap, noisy, crowded and cafeteria-like. All the tables were for 8 people and round. One could not hear the people across the table. Dining became a nuisance and an annoyance. The food was ok, not great. The service, however, was exceptional. The maitre d was unhelpful and unbending. I'm not sure there was much she could do, but I felt she should have tried instead of just blowing us off. We had 4 for dinner one night and there were only sets of 2 seats left. What a joke! I'm thankful the cruise was only 7 of our 21 days!

Hotels in Shanghai, Tibet, Xion and Beijing were excellent! Note, however, that Viking promised complementary wine with all lunches and dinners. That's not the case. No wine in the hotels or local restuarants! Food in the hotels was good, but not great. In 5 star hotels I would have expected awesome food, but not in China. We ate many lunches and dinners at local restuarants. Beware. Most of those meals were second-rate. Eight of our group got stomach aches after one lunch. We even skipped one local dinner and ordered pizza and a bottle of red wine for room service. It was a great alternative to the same old same old local food. Even the Yak burger at Burger King was welcomed! I welcomed taste, tender and huge it was. Generally at lunch and diner the chicken, beef and duck was either tough, dried out or greasy. God bless food in the US!

Excursions were accompanied with 3 or 4 other Viking groups, so they were always crowded. We often felt like trapped rats being herded from place to place. Often the mics in the bus were so poor it was hard to understand the speaker. I stopped listening often to avoid headaches. I did the same with the personal mics used during the tours. I would have preferred more factual information about the cities, China, economics, education etc than seemingly personal made up stories by the guides.

I dwelt on these issues because I feel that Viking could have affected them, improved them, and have control over them. But they chose not too, and offer a mediocre experience. Visiting all we did was extraordinary. I came away knowing and understanding much about China. Not all of it consistent with China's propaganda machine. The disappointment is with Viking. I believe many groups could have offered more value and a better experience than Viking did. So beware! This was the most disappointing trip of my last 7 trips. Ugh! Live and learn! Greg
Viking Cruises, Community Team has responded
Thank you for taking the time to provide a detailed review of your recent river cruise, Mr. Gush. Allow us to begin by assuring you that feedback like yours is invaluable to us, and will be documented for future consideration by our internal teams. We are happy to hear that your journey through China was still a memorable one, despite the disappointments experienced on board. Your satisfaction is important to us, and we are interested in discussing your comments further. If you haven’t already connected with us directly, we welcome you to reach out to us at TellUs@vikingcruises.com. Once again, we appreciate you sharing your review, and thank you for sailing with us.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of The Independent Traveler, Inc.
Gregory S Gush’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Viking Emerald price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Cabin
Old, rundown, not a suite as paid for, balcony narrow with two cheap chairs, old ugly decore.

Avoid the Emerald in China. China owns the ship and Viking uses. Kind of like renting. Since when do renters take care of their house?