Quite a while ago, my husband and I purchased two cruises on Viking's new Mississippi River ship - a cruise that we got cancelled from by Viking (America's Heartland) in September, 2022 and the one we just took but wish we hadn't in January, 2023 (New Orleans & Southern Charms). When Viking cancelled us in September because our cabin wasn't finished, we lost $500 in airfare. So, I asked for the $500 and a cash refund for the January cruise. Viking refused both requests. The company had our money for over two years, and they were bound and determined to keep it.
The January New Orleans & Southern Charms cruise was a total disappointment. The ship is new, but so is the crew. The staff is undertrained and overworked to say the least. Daily, I witnessed some restaurant crew members doing as little as possible, like taking one dirty dish at a time to the kitchen, or walking oh so slowly, or not making eye contact so they wouldn't see me trying to get their attention. Service in both restaurants is terribly SLOW, and the one called "River Café" is just plain dirty. There are not enough crew members to get tables cleaned and re-set, to replenish the food on the buffet line, to keep the buffet and the floors clean. Just plain disgusting. This was our eighth cruise with Viking. So, we expected much better than what we experienced.
Our cabin steward's performance was not up to Viking's European standards - nor ours. We found a previous guest's medical supplies in one of our cabin drawers, there was no water carafe when we arrived, and we had to ask for toiletries to be refilled. The hotel manager gave us a cabin credit, but that didn't make finding what we found any less disgusting. We left the credit, along with additional ones we received for other disappointments aboard as TIPs for the crew at the end of the cruise. I would have tipped much less with real money - so deep was our dissatisfaction.
Response from VikingS, Community Team
The Viking-included excursion was mediocre. Too much time spent listening to the guide talk about the shooting of a former governor when we visited the state capitol building. The museum was interesting.
Lots of time spent in traffic.
Interesting, but we ended up porting there twice due to the ship's propulsion system failing.