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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We sailed on 13th sept 2017 We chose this cruise from Bucharest to Budapest because of the itinerary and we were not disappointed. The various trips out and the insight into the history was excellent. We were supposed to be on Sky ... Read More
We sailed on 13th sept 2017 We chose this cruise from Bucharest to Budapest because of the itinerary and we were not disappointed. The various trips out and the insight into the history was excellent. We were supposed to be on Sky but it was changed to Sun, which was no problem as the ships are identical. The ship itself was spotless, every one of the crew was helpful and polite. The shiny surfaces, glass and mirrored surfaces did take a bit of getting used to, and could be a bit of a problem especially the stairs where we saw a few near accidents. The balcony suite was fine, always kept immaculately clean by Darko. Plenty of hanging storage as the safe has now been moved. The dining experience however was nothing like as advertised. The dining room itself is extremely noisy, and the only way to converse with fellow passengers is to shout, making it an uncomfortable experience. The food was to say the least disappointing and not at all as represented in the brochure. I have to say however, a fellow traveller who had recently been on Sky said the meals on there were excellent. Portions were extremely small, bland and unappetising. Several guests felt they had to order double to be satisfied. A starter of meatballs should not only consist of one meatball, neither should the cheese board consist of three tiny cubes of cheese with a similar thumbnail size of chutney and no crackers. We flew KLM Manchester via Schiphol threw Emerald. When we arrived in Bucharest our luggage along with quite a few other couples failed to arrive. We duly filled in the claim form, went out into arrivals to find all the transport had gone. Ourselves with one other couple after landing at 1.20pm had to wait until 5.20pm for transport, despite the Emerald rep telling us first of all it would only be 10mins. She then asked us to wait for the London flight promising us to be first on the transport. We were then totally ignored when the transport arrived but managed to tag on at the end. When we got to the hotel our cruise director Yana took details of our lost luggage, but after that showed no interest in it unless we asked her. We were not informed the night after when it arrived and the following morning it had disappeared again, thankfully found on another floor!! As a result of this we went from Wednesday morning till Saturday afternoon in the clothes we stood up in. Yana did say on the Friday, again after asking what we should do, that we had €100 each for necessities. This experience soured what should have been a very enjoyable holiday. Read Less
30 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our 5th cruise, 3rd with Viking. This was the best boat we've been on, but Viking continues to be plagued with problems. Embarkation was very smooth, as was disembarkation when we finished. Dining: It was extremely difficult ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise, 3rd with Viking. This was the best boat we've been on, but Viking continues to be plagued with problems. Embarkation was very smooth, as was disembarkation when we finished. Dining: It was extremely difficult to make restaurant reservations ahead of the cruise, with a limit of 1 reservation per restaurant. That didn't get any better when we boarded...one of the staff members took all our requests, said he'd leave us a message confirming them, and then did absolutely nothing about it. The main dining restaurant (The Restaurant) doesn't open for breakfast until 8am, much too late for early morning shore excursions. And you can't just go in and find a table — get in the line and let them seat you! I have no idea why on earth they need to know your cabin number for a meal...it's all included! It just slows the whole process down, and I would not recommend going there at all for breakfast. They aren't even open for lunch. Dinners there were decent. The one day we ordered room service, they showed up with stuff we didn't order, and were missing stuff we did order. Not good. Shore Excursions: In this area, Viking gets an EPIC FAIL. Viking's cruises are plagued with old, infirm, and obese people who simply cannot walk comfortably around a town or city. So every single excursion you take will have several people who are limping along telling the guide to slow down, etc. It drove us nuts. Even on the St. Petersburg Hermitage Museum excursion, which was rated by Viking as "Demanding", we had 8-10 people in our group who could barely climb stairs. This aspect ruined most of the shore excursions for us. Local Guides: they weren't as good as we've had in the past. 2 of them gave us incorrect info about the location of shuttle buses back to the ship, leading to some anxious moments. Tipping: As usual, you need to constantly be looking to ensure you've got 5 Euros or 10 Krone or whatever, to tip the bus drivers and guides. Viking advertises itself as "all inclusive" but it isn't. Those tips and the daily "tip" that they automatically add to your stateroom bill add up. Viking needs to adopt the Scenic Cruises model — get on board and put your wallet in your safe...no tipping needed, it's truly all inclusive. That includes the beer you have after returning from an excursion at 3pm — on Viking, it'll cost you $8 but on Scenic it's all included. One of our shore excursions (Flam Railway) returned too late so we missed our afternoon excursion, despite Viking's schedule showing them as do-able. And on that excursion, our guide neglected to tell us that we'd be getting lunch. So I bought a couple sandwiches and sweet rolls on the train — for about $40 CDN — only to subsequently discover that they were giving us lunch at the end of the train ride. Staff: All the staff, with the exception of the ship's security officer, were friendly and helpful. We got very rude and aggressive treatment from the ship's security officer when we tried to join a shorter line re-boarding the boat after Berlin. I explained that we were just trying to help speed things up, but we were ordered to get back into our original line (now at the very end of the line). So about 40-50 people had to wait an additional 10 minutes to clear security when the other shorter line cleared, but Mr. Gestapo refused to let anyone go to that line. After a very long day, that finished us...we'll find another cruise line in future. Staterooms: Wonderful. This was the best boat we've been on. The rooms were very quiet compared to any other ship we've been on — you couldn't even hear your neighbouring rooms flush a toilet, or their TV. Comfortable king-sized bed, and plenty of room in the shower. Other: the ship had lots of nice lounges and areas to go have a coffee, read a book, play cards, have a drink, etc. The spa didn't meet my wife's simple needs — a gel fill for her nails. They don't do gel nails, which is ridiculous, as nearly every nail salon in Canada or the USA does. So they proposed to remove her gel nails in one session ($$$) and then put nail polish on her natural nails (um...NO) in another session ($$$). Another EPIC FAIL. Entertainment: we don't go on cruises to see the entertainment. But feedback from our travelling companions led us to believe that the entertainment on Viking Star was very middle class. Port Talks & Info Sessions: a few of these were very educational and entertaining. But the Port Talks (about next day's port) were held at 6:45 PM, right in the middle of the dinner hour! Another questionable judgement by Viking. All in all, I doubt seriously we'll be back on a Viking cruise. These same problems come up again and again with them, and it's time to move on. Our experience with Scenic Cruises was that they have the same boats, service, etc as Viking, but you don't have to bother with all the tipping as it's pre-paid...well worth the extra few bucks. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We boarded the ship in Tulcea, Romania. The check-in process was very efficient and the crew were very welcoming. The cases were taken by the crew to the correct cabin, and were left outside for us to take in. We had booked a cabin on ... Read More
We boarded the ship in Tulcea, Romania. The check-in process was very efficient and the crew were very welcoming. The cases were taken by the crew to the correct cabin, and were left outside for us to take in. We had booked a cabin on the upper deck, which was marketed as a stateroom with a balcony. The balcony was not my definition of a balcony. You have a window which opens and which you can lean out of onto the metal safety barriers to stop you falling overboard. To my mind a balcony means something that you can walk onto. Try walking onto this and you would be in the river. The cabin was small and a little cramped. The furniture in the cabin was cheap to put it mildly. Chipboard with a thin, plastic wood-effect covering. Also, some of the units did not fit together correctly. The beds were very comfortable and there were plenty of pillows. There were no tea or coffee making facilities in the room. Given that the bar was not staffed all day (despite being advertised as such) tea and coffee making facilities should be available in the room, or the bar staffed as advertised. The cabin was clean upon arrival, as was the very cramped bathroom. However, the cleaning during the cruise left something to be desired. Small items left on the floor were undisturbed and finger marks on mirrors remained for the majority of the cruise. Also, towels were not properly replaced - twice we had to asked for shower towels having had dirty towels removed but not replaced. The bathroom was small and very cramped. The wash basin was small, and the shower was tiny. Our shower head was broken, as was the pipe to the shower head. Despite being reported twice, this remained unrepaired throughout our cruise. The dining experience was bizarre. The ship carries approximately 160 people. Everyone was called to meals at the same time, leaving some tables waiting for service for up to 45 minutes as the norm, although at one dinner we were left an hour before food service began. The food was generally very good and well presented and despite their being no choice at meals, the ship was very good with dealing with dietary needs, provided they were given a few hours' notice. In fact, in some instances even notice at the table was not a problem. The waiters and waitresses in the restaurant were like robots. There was little interaction with guests, and we were told by several members of staff that interaction with guests was a disciplinary offence. In my view, this does not give good customer service. We did come across one of the waitresses being disciplined for providing advice on the wine to choose with our meal. The lunch would be better served as a buffet and not a three course sit down meal, but that is a personal preference. The bar staff were good and generally friendly, although there seemed a reluctance to serve the free drinks (the cruise was all-inclusive, subject to certain premium drinks not being included). The choice of wines and other drinks as part of the all inclusive package was good. The excursions arranged by the cruise company were mixed. The excursion to Bucharest was badly planned. For a city with so much recent history and so much in the city to see, the excursion to a folk museum at the expense of not really seeing the city, seemed a waste. On the other hand the trip to Novi Sad and some villages close by was excellent. The most memorable, and not for the right reason, was an excursion in Hungary. The guide was absolutely dreadful, and two of the three places chosen for visiting were just as bad. In fact, after a few minutes at the Paprika Museum we crept out for a walk around the town. The travel to the venues consisted of a constant commentary from the guide as to the crops being grown in the fields. Comments such as "On the left you see cabbages, on the right you see corn. We grow both here in Hungary" being made for 90 minutes do not help the stress levels. The on board entertainment was reasonable and the quizzes were generally good fun. The musicians in the bar were very talented, particularly the violinist. The announcements on board are vital to ensure that you are in the right place at the right time, yet there were a number of places on board where the announcements could not be properly heard - the rear bar on the upper deck and the front of the sun deck being two examples. There were two matters that gave us real cause for concern. Firstly, there were staff members allowed to bring children on board. These were in the cabin next to ours and were noisy and disruptive. If staff are to be allowed to bring children on board they should be quiet and discrete. Fare paying guests have a right to enjoy peace and quiet. If more worrying was an incident that happened to us and, we later discovered to other guests on the boat. On one occasion, upon returning from a morning excursion, we noticed that a wallet was missing. I accept that it should have been put in the safe, but what followed suggested that even this may not have been satisfactory. After reporting the incident to a senior member of cabin crew we found the wallet returned the following day following a morning excursion. I had some medication in the safe, and I used this immediately before leaving the boat for the morning excursion. On returning to the cabin just before lunch we opened the safe to find the wallet leaning against the medication. Nothing had been taken. We later became aware of other guests having money being taken from their cabin. However, upon complaining to senior cabin crew the money was returned in tact. Clearly, in our view, the cabin crew have access to the cabin safes, and use that access when they should not. Overall, the cruise was enjoyable, but some simple, no cost, measures could have improved the cruise no end. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
BUYER BEWARE! On my very recent trip, I found that Vantage’s EXOTIC INDIA, NEPAL & THE SACRID GANGES RIVER TOUR to be anything but exotic. These are the things you can expect: On the advertised 4 day, pre-tour Nepal ... Read More
BUYER BEWARE! On my very recent trip, I found that Vantage’s EXOTIC INDIA, NEPAL & THE SACRID GANGES RIVER TOUR to be anything but exotic. These are the things you can expect: On the advertised 4 day, pre-tour Nepal supplement, you will spend the better part of 2 days just traveling from Delhi to the hotel in Kathmandu and return to Delhi. Once there, due to an earthquake in 2015 and the lack funds for quick rebuilding, there was the worst pollution imaginable. There is thick dust everywhere; the city is like a giant construction site. Most of the historic buildings we had come to see had either been destroyed, were being propped up or slowly worked on. Many locals wear face masks. After a day or so, most everyone on our bus was wheezing and coughing. Roads were broken down and traveling from one place to another was on dirt roads, slow and intolerable. After Nepal we arrived in Delhi. Pollution here was also extremely bad and the poverty was worse. Families were sleeping in the streets covered with blankets during the day while they huddled together over fires to keep warm at night. The streets were toilets for the men. Things were getting worse on our bus as people were getting sicker. We were labeled the ‘hospital bus’. The advertised dinner visit with a local family turned out to be a meal, on an outdoor patio of a Maharaja’s house, on a cold and windy evening, with about 40 of my fellow travelers; not what I expected. I saw very little of Delhi because travel time to and from the hotel. I could have walked faster. Another day of traveling took us to Ranthanbore where we were going on a ‘safari’. On the first evening, I sat through a boring slide show before dinner and after dinner prepared for the pre-dawn wake-up the next day. We weren’t promised to see Bengal tigers, the major enticement for this tour, but our guide seemed to imply that hardly anyone EVER sees them; the brochure doesn’t mention that the estimated number of tigers in this very large park is around 50. I spent the very early and cold morning hours, with my fellow guests, hunting for them. All we saw were a few birds, deer and crocodiles. Some ‘safari’! The next destination was Agra; another half day of traveling. Agra was similar to Delhi, polluted and very poor, same old, same old. One of the main reasons I took this trip was that the Taj Mahal was on my bucket list. The bus left our hotel early in the morning for the visit to the Taj Mahal and, on arrival, it was veiled in low clouds, mist and the ever pollution. No one’s photographs showed its real beauty. I did enjoy going inside the magnificent Taj Mahal where no photographs were allowed. By the time we left, the sky was lighter but certainly not clear. A photographer took individual and group pictures with a faint Taj Mahal in the background. Another long day of traveling took us to Kolkata where we boarded our river boat for a 7 day cruise on the Ganges. The boat was very nice and the crew and staff very friendly like most people we encountered. The cabins were roomy and fairly well appointed. The large viewing windows in the room were excellent, so traveling on the Ganges was enlightening. A negative - the dining room was above the engine room and the noise, from the motor, made having a conversation over a meal almost impossible - while the boat was traveling. As far as the daily tours were concerned, if you liked visiting old temples and hearing about their history, you would enjoy them. There were a few very good tours to local villages where we saw the daily lives of people in these remote areas. Now for the worst part. Even though everyone was from North America, almost all the dishes, except breakfast, were Indian. I liked Indian food before I went on this trip but now I never want to see an Indian restaurant again! One day, almost everyone on the boat became very sick. It was very debilitating. I was still sick after arriving home and finally sought medical attention. After a number of tests, I was diagnosed as having a parasite in my system. I’m still on medication. I never drank the (tap) water and used bottled water for anything that passed my lips so I am confident that it came from the food, especially since almost everyone became sick the same day. Another thing that caused me a problem was that the towels came to the cabin damp (not fully dried). I came home with an eye infection. In no way was the boat up to Western standards; there are many problems that would not allow this boat to be operated in Europe or the US. After reading previous reviews, it would appear that this is not the first season that stomach type problems have been experienced with passengers on past tours. The trip home, from the boat to arriving home, took 35 hours to Eastern U.S; it took many of my fellow travelers, longer. I was impressed with the amount of security at the airports. Before entering an airport, each person had to show a passport and a boarding pass. These were examined and if the boarding pass did not show on the airline manifest, you could not enter the terminal. Armed soldiers were everywhere. Once in the terminal, your luggage and carry-on was screened before proceeding to the next area. You then had to go to the ticket counter to check-in and then through to the gates. Women were on separate lines going through security. I was patted down so often that I felt I was getting a massage. Passing that area, your hand luggage was tagged and your boarding pass was stamped. And you think our security is cumbersome and adequate in the USA? Do you still want to take this tour? Good luck! Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We booked the Upper Mekong Cruise (Laos to China) offered by Pandaw which advertised the route as from Laos' Vientiane to China's Jinghong City, Xishuangbanna region in Yunnam Province. It was advertised as a luxury river cruise on the ... Read More
We booked the Upper Mekong Cruise (Laos to China) offered by Pandaw which advertised the route as from Laos' Vientiane to China's Jinghong City, Xishuangbanna region in Yunnam Province. It was advertised as a luxury river cruise on the brand new Laos Pandaw boat which accommodates 20 passengers. One of the main reasons for us booking the cruise was to see the beautiful sceneries along the Mekong River, in particular China's Xichuangbanna region which is a popular holiday destination for seasoned travelers. Two months before sailing, we learned that the Laos Pandaw did not have a powerful engine to make it up river to China. Pandaw, claimed in its website that they built a brand new ship named the Yunnam Pandaw which later changed its name to Champa Pandaw. It claimed that the ship has twice the horsepower of the Laos Pandaw and can take 28 passengers. We boarded the ship in Laos's capital Vientiane at noon on October 19, and quickly learned from the previous cruise's passengers that their voyage was cut short by 2 days due to the fact the Champa Pandaw's maiden voyage never made it to its final destination in China's Jinghong, the capital city of Xishuangbanna Region. Our voyage started on time with half a day tour of Vientiane as schedule but was informed by the ship's manager that the upstream itinerary has been changed substantially due to the experience gained from the previous upstream and downstream cruises. The 1 day schedule visit to Burma (Myanmar) was cancelled, reason given as not safe region to visit. Before the start of the tour we understood that the schedule may be subjected to change but we still felt disappointed with substantial revisions of the itinerary even before the start. Sailing up the Mekong to Luang Prabang, Laos' tourist town, took 4 days and the boat was advancing slowly. Reason given was low water level due to the Chinese side not releasing water for the boat to go on normal speed. The captain on board only speaks Laotian, not English, and communication with passengers was mainly from the the cruise manager and the tour guide (Laotian). We missed the ship lock time slot at the Xiaburi Dam and was delayed by almost 18 hours. Sailing from Luang Prabang to the Golden Triangle continued to be slow. We visited a few Laos poor villages along the way, and moored before sunset on the river bank as the Champa Pandaw cannot sail at night. There appears to be no radar, GPS or satellite communications on board. Passenger can access the ship's wi-fi for free and internet connection depends on whether the ship can receive any cell tower signal. Overall, 50% of the time there is no internet connection. There is little on board activities aside from the visits to the poor Laos villages. Only 1 lecture by the tour guide on Laos history and culture, 2 food demos, and 1 tour of the ship's quarters on the 14 days itinerary. No organized fitness, music, performances or dancing activities. Plenty of lounge space for book reading and chatting. Embarkation in main ports are typical of river cruises but on the river banks to small villages, good footwear, strong legs and walking sticks are required. The crew did a good job in helping passengers to embark. At the Golden triangle, we only visited the Opium Museum, which is worth while. After the Golden Triangle, the ship sailed into many strong rapids, and was barely able to negotiate a few of them. When we reached the Chinese border, there is a strong rapid that the Champa Pandaw's engine was unable to bring the boat across. In two days, the captain failed to cross in six tries, while other ships and freighters did the crossing. In the last try, we were told to get off the ship to reduce weight. It was quite difficult for a group of seniors passengers to wear life jackets and climb up and down the ladder to get to the pebble beach landing. After the last try, we were told the engine was burned and a speed boat from China picked the passengers up and sailed the rest of the journey to Jinghong, our final destination in a speedboat. There was no way to enjoy the river banks sceneries on board the speed boat as compared to a river cruise boat. We were put up in a hotel for the last night of the cruise and as we wasted two days in running the rapid, we did not have a chance to do sight seeing in Xishuangbanna as originally scheduled. Overall, while the Champa Pandaw offered good services and excellent food on board of this voyage, the planning of the whole trip was poor. It appears that the ship does not have the power to run the rapids, it was not well equipped with communication gear to contact headoffice, and since the maiden voyage, the ship was never able to make it to Jinghong. The itinerary was frequently changed and we still don't understand why the scheduled Burma visit was cancelled due to safety reasons, yet we were told to land on the Burmese side when the ship offloaded the passengers to reduce weight. We paid a fair price for the trip but we feel that the value for money did not live to expectation. We feel that the company has not done adequate preparation on the equipment side, and have not learned from the Laos Pandaw experience while still market the segment to Jinghong as its final destination. We hope the company can offer some explanations. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose this particular cruise because the itinerary seemed to cover the Rhine and Mosel Rivers in greater depth than other river cruise lines. This was our 50th cruise with various cruise lines (combination of ocean, river, adventure, ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise because the itinerary seemed to cover the Rhine and Mosel Rivers in greater depth than other river cruise lines. This was our 50th cruise with various cruise lines (combination of ocean, river, adventure, etc.), and our third trip with Vantage Deluxe World Travel. Based on our most recent experience, it will also be our last trip with Vantage not just because this cruise was totally ruined for us but also because of the way we have been treated with complete lack of respect and lack of any customer service after our return despite the fact that we are supposedly "valued" Presidents Club members with Vantage. Thus we are writing this review to alert other prospective Vantage clients of their many pitfalls. Our major concern was with the terrible cabin we were ultimately assigned aboard the River Splendor. To start at the beginning of this saga, we originally booked Vantage's "Switzerland and the Heart of the Rhine and Moselle" river cruise on the Navigator sailing October 5, 2015 with cabin 306 assigned along with booking a 3-night pre-extension in Lucerne. Vantage cancelled this sailing and thus we agreed to rebook it for September 7, 2016, on the River Splendor with the same cabin promised and the 3-night pre-extension in Lucerne. Vantage cancelled again and thus we agreed to rebook on the September 17, 2016, sailing with the same cabin promised although the itinerary was now reversed and the 3-night Lucerne extension became post instead of pre. After repeatedly checking our Portfolio, the cabin was always shown as TBD thus we repeatedly called Vantage and were assured by numerous agents that there was no problem as "cabins were not assigned yet", but they now promised us cabin 329 which was still acceptable. However, after time, the Portfolio still showed TBD. After a few more calls, we were now told that being "President's Club" we were obviously being upgraded. In reality, 2 days prior to departure, the Portfolio finally showed a cabin 337 assigned which was not acceptable. Seeing we are not novice cruisers, we did not like the location of this cabin being above the engines and below the Captain's Club. While we were given no choice at this point, we hoped to make the best of the situation until we discovered cabin 337 has an UNBEARABLE STENCH as it is located directly next to and above the ship's sewer vent so that despite the fact that we paid for a so-called French balcony, we could not open it due to the odor that persisted day in and day out and even permeated the room with the door closed! Perhaps it should be reclassified as a STENCH BALCONY. In addition to the constant lies we received from Vantage throughout this booking process and the unacceptable cabin which entirely ruined our cruise experience and destroyed our faith in Vantage, there were major changes to the original itinerary throughout the course of time. Keep in mind, Vantage had our full payment for almost 2 years! Our original paperwork which was never revised shows beginning the cruise in Amsterdam (not being bused to Arnhem) and included an Amsterdam canal boat tour, included a tour of Cologne (where we never even went), included a tour of Luxembourg (which we now paid extra for as an optional tour), and the Lucerne extension somehow became 2 nights instead of 3 and skipped the tour of Bern with the included lunch (enroute from Basel to Lucerne) and skipped the included Farewell dinner. By the way, because the Bern excursion was omitted, we arrived in Lucerne well before noon only to discover we could not check in to the hotel until 3pm so to everyone's dismay wound up sitting in the lobby for hours after the Lucerne walking tour. In view of the various problems and disappointments we experienced in booking this trip, the unbearable stench in our cabin, and the entire stress this situation has caused, we think asking for compensation of no less than half of what we paid for the journey (not including air) is fair which according to their invoice would be a total of $5249. While the hotel manager aboard the River Splendor seemed very conscientious and understanding and genuinely concerned about the matter, he had no authority beyond the ship to rectify the situation and compensate us in any way as his hands are in effect tied by the Boston office. Since returning home on October 4, we have tried to deal with the matter through the director of customer service to no avail as he has failed to come up with any mutually satisfactory compensation, does not return our repeated phone calls, and basically has blown us off. As a last resort, we reached out via email to Vantage’s president, Henry Lewis, who also never had the courtesy to respond to the email in any shape, form, or fashion. A word to the wise to future travelers, there are many other tour operators and cruise lines out there which are more reputable and will cater to your needs! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We needed some well earned R&R with some pampering. We booked a late Rhine cruise with Viking, a company we had used successfully previously. The shipboard experience and crew were excellent but desperately poor administration, ... Read More
We needed some well earned R&R with some pampering. We booked a late Rhine cruise with Viking, a company we had used successfully previously. The shipboard experience and crew were excellent but desperately poor administration, customer care and complaint handling turned it into a sleep depriving disaster. We missed the whole of the first day in Amsterdam. We were appalled that the flight provided by Viking would never have got us to the ship prior to sailing. We were sent documentation ( provided after several calls, some not returned) which included the whole cruise. We embarked in Utrecht at the dead of night after enduring a strange journey which led our American friends ( others were affected too) to ask whether we had been taken hostage. Other more minor points. Failure to provide documents without being chased up. Failure to return calls. Failure to get double/twin room arrangements right on board and in the hotel. Failure to put us on a transfer list to our final hotel leaving us believing we had no room for 36 hours. That was our R&R. That`s Viking. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This cruise went from Nuremburg through Austria to Budapest in Hungary. The ship itself was clean and well appointed as was our room with a balcony. The crew was helpful and very nice. Food was good. The lounge was nice but could ... Read More
This cruise went from Nuremburg through Austria to Budapest in Hungary. The ship itself was clean and well appointed as was our room with a balcony. The crew was helpful and very nice. Food was good. The lounge was nice but could probably have used at least one more waiter. For three days our boat was off schedule so that it could go into dry dock for repair. We were completely off the boat for the day that it was in dry dock. We spent hours being bused to places that the ship should have docked in. Communication for these changes were not well done. The first two nights, we were docked looking at sand and gravel pits. Two nights and one day we were docked right next to other Viking ships so that we could all go through to shore through each boat. This meant that, if we would have wanted to sit on our balcony or open our curtain, we would have been directly looking into the stateroom of another ship. Balcony was truly a waste of money. This same scenario happened last year on Viking to an acquaintance of mine. This tells me that it isn't all that unusual. We were not offered anything for trouble. The only exception to that was the day of the boat being in dry dock, we were told that we could catch the bus and go back to the ship. After 1 ½ hours on the bus, we waited (no bathroom) 45 minutes for the ship to come. After this, the Captain offered us one free drink in the bar! Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We took the Torgil for a cruise on the Douro. I commend the staff who executed the Viking program with professionalism and efficiency. I also will say that the cabin was quite nice although I would have liked the bird poop and other ... Read More
We took the Torgil for a cruise on the Douro. I commend the staff who executed the Viking program with professionalism and efficiency. I also will say that the cabin was quite nice although I would have liked the bird poop and other dirt to have been washed off the veranda. Beyond that I have little positive to say. The scenery was redundant. And the excursions required lengthy bus trips. The places that we traveled to had little things of interest and the lunches and dinners provided during these excursions were terrible. The trip was very structured and there was little free time. Everything was mapped out, which may be good for the average guest who was around 75 years old and not very active. The guides were friendly but we found that TripAdvisor offered more information on what to see in locations and where to shop than the guides. Food on the ship was not exceptional and not really consistent with the Portuguese food that we experienced when we ate off the ship. (We were the only ones who explored the restaurants in the area, which made the trip much more interesting.) The evenings were dull and boring, as were most of the guests. People weren't really warm and friendly. Forget about partying. The worst is that Viking limits Wi-Fi access without disclosing it and we almost had a major problem at work as a result. They never disclose this, which to us is false advertising. The other bad thing is that the program director on the ship insisted that we write that the trip exceeded our expectations, driving the importance of saying this in the questionnaire which I think was totally uncalled for and unprofessional. I would never take a Viking trip again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2016
We chose this cruise on recommendations from our travel consultant and friends. We are a retired couple and to us this was a trip of our lifetime. The first week was brilliant, food accommodation, service was just what we had dreamed ... Read More
We chose this cruise on recommendations from our travel consultant and friends. We are a retired couple and to us this was a trip of our lifetime. The first week was brilliant, food accommodation, service was just what we had dreamed of. We had been a bit concerned about the height of the river from reports in Australia but presumed that there were no concerns as the cruise left Amsterdam on time and no mention of potential difficulties. How wrong were we? When we arrived in Regansberg where we were just to have a short stay before moving on over night to Vienna is when we were informed we had to stay overnight as the ship could not get under the next bridge due to high water levels. That one night turned into two and although staff were helpful and our Cruise director organized bus trips to see the places we were missing out on it wasn't until the afternoon of the second day we were informed we would have to leave the ship and be transported by coach to Vienna. This was a bus journey of 5 hours with a stopover for lunch. We were given money to pay for lunch. We were then advised that the concert in Vienna was to be provided free to all. On arrival in Vienna we were taken to a restaurant for a meal, which was awful, then expected to go straight to the concert without the opportunity to shower or change. My husband and I were exhausted so declined the concert in favour of the hotel, very sad as I was looking so forward to this! I have a spinal issue and those hours of sitting had made me very sore. The cruise was now obviously a bus trip! I have emailed and they have given us a $800 credit on another cruise! That's not much good to us. I understand about no control over weather conditions, but surely due to flood conditions in other parts of Europe, there should have been some idea of this happening. We were not given a choice we should have been, the second half of the trip was awful, the only good hotel was one night in the Carlton Ritz in Budapest. All the meals provided were nowhere near the standard on board. I would advise future guests to carefully check weather conditions and Travel Marvel to reconsider future policies. Read Less

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