3 Paris Senior Cruise Reviews

A romantic river cruise? The A Rosa Viva advertising is more alluring than the experience. I echo the English speaking commentaries about a distinct lack of staff training. Even attempting to point out the lack of respect shown to us from ... Read More
A romantic river cruise? The A Rosa Viva advertising is more alluring than the experience. I echo the English speaking commentaries about a distinct lack of staff training. Even attempting to point out the lack of respect shown to us from a waitress, the maitre de brushed it off as normal behaviour. The cleaning personnel were the friendliest, and not as pompous as their colleagues. The engine broke down and we were forced to look at a berthing wall for three consecutive days in Rouen, France. We were offered a 20% discount on a next A Rosa cruise (in a German letter, of course), but even that will not entice us to choose this Company again. Whilst we accept the Caveat Emptor principle, we can only caution other potential disappointed passengers.We spoke to passengers travelling on a Viking river boat, and were jealous of their obvious joy in their cruising company. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Cruise: Paris & Heart of Normandy Expectation:An amazing cruise experience with wonderful food and service. Reality: Failed in most areas. Reasons: 1) Security: Laxed/No on board security, no ID checks when boarding, ... Read More
Cruise: Paris & Heart of Normandy Expectation:An amazing cruise experience with wonderful food and service. Reality: Failed in most areas. Reasons: 1) Security: Laxed/No on board security, no ID checks when boarding, People able to board unchallenged. (See attitude of staff below) When we were in Rouen we returned to the boat at 23:35 and not only was there nobody checking boarding passes at the entrance, there was no one on the reception desk either, literally anyone could have boarded the boat! (see attached photo) 2) Noise: Cabin immediately above bow thrusters, used frequently over night when passing through locks reaching 97db in cabin at 4am through to 6.30am on the first night and at other times during cruise. Cabin also close, or immediately under piano player with noise disturbance up to 11pm every night. Viking should put a disclaimer in the brochure and be honest with your guests in cabins 200 -203 that there will be sometimes high levels of noise, not just leave it to your guests to find out. 3) Cabin: Brochure says: “Deluxe ensuite accommodation with river view.” Whilst the Cabin was adequate, for the first two days we were moored up in Paris and our view was of a wall and floating trash including bottles banging against the hull. Other times we had another vessel moored along side and still no view (We do understand that this is sometimes necessary.) The Cabin was immediately above bow thrusters, used frequently over night when passing through locks reaching 97db in cabin at 4am through to 6.30am on the first night and at other times during cruise. It was also close, or immediately under piano player with noise disturbance up to 11pm every night 4) Food: Hair in food (See below about attitude). When served a Boeuf Bourguignon one evening, all I could find was one small piece of meat in the Boeuf Bourguignon and Silver Onions (i.e. pickled onions) used instead of shallots. Not exactly Haute Cuisine! Flavourings used instead of genuine ingredients, example Rum & Raisin Ice Cream was inedible due to the cheap strong flavouring used. Being seated by 7pm we often did not receive our main course until 9pm, this is totally unacceptable. Overall the cruise fell well short and nowhere near the fine dining expected. We have taken many cruises with various operators and this experience must rank bottom in terms of the poor dining experience and quality of food. 5) Attitude of staff: When my wife raised the issue about the hair she found in the food the waiter exclaimed “well it can’t be mine because I have black hair!”, clearly not a polite answer. When security was raised with the with the Hotel Manager, whilst we were seated on the upper deck, he dismissed this as a potential problem. Whilst stating this, a man boarded the boat and was standing behind him and was later shown off the boat by the First Officer whom happened to be walking by! This is a disaster waiting to happen given the current issues in France. Other vessels on the same route had Security guards checking people trying to board their ships, with Viking they are happy to let anyone board and pay only lip service to the security of their passengers. Finally: Viking extol the quality of their cruises, perhaps this is just a poor example or maybe they feel this is an acceptable standard, but it falls far short of all our experiences with other cruise lines. It does not seem to help that you appeared to be short handed in terms of staff, because the restaurant staff were working as fast as they could, but there simply was not enough of them to serve 140 in one sitting. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Expectation: An amazing cruise experience with wonderful food and service. Reality: Failed in most areas. Reasons: 1) Security Laxed/No on board security, no ID checks when boarding, People able to board unchallenged. ... Read More
Expectation: An amazing cruise experience with wonderful food and service. Reality: Failed in most areas. Reasons: 1) Security Laxed/No on board security, no ID checks when boarding, People able to board unchallenged. (See attached photo & attitude of staff below) When we were in Rouen we returned to the boat at 23:35 and not only was there nobody checking boarding passes at the entrance, there was no one on the reception desk either, literally anyone could have boarded the boat! (see attached photo) 2) Noise: Cabin immediately above bow thrusters, used frequently over night when passing through locks reaching 97db in cabin at 4am through to 6.30am on the first night and at other times during cruise. Cabin also close, or immediately under piano player with noise disturbance up to 11pm every night. They should put a disclaimer in the brochure and be honest with your guests in cabins 200 -203 that there will be sometimes high levels of noise, not just leave it to your guests to find out. 3) Cabin: Brochure says: “Deluxe ensuite accommodation with river view.” Whilst the Cabin was adequate, for the first two days we were moored up in Paris and our view was of a wall and floating trash including bottles banging against the hull. (See attached photo) Other times we had another vessel moored along side and still no view (We do understand that this is sometimes necessary.) The Cabin was immediately above bow thrusters, used frequently over night when passing through locks reaching 97db in cabin at 4am through to 6.30am on the first night and at other times during cruise. It was also close, or immediately under piano player with noise disturbance up to 11pm every night 4) Food: Hair in food (See below about attitude). When served a Boeuf Bourguignon one evening, all I could find was one small piece of meat in the Boeuf Bourguignon and Silver Onions (i.e. pickled onions) used instead of shallots. Not exactly Haute Cuisine! Flavourings used instead of genuine ingredients, example Rum & Raisin Ice Cream was inedible due to the cheap strong flavouring used. Being seated by 7pm we often did not receive our main course until 9pm, this is totally unacceptable. 5) Attitude of staff: When my wife raised the issue about the hair she found in the food the waiter exclaimed “well it can’t be mine because I have black hair!”, clearly not a polite answer. When security was raised with the with the Hotel Manage whilst we were seated on the upper deck, he dismissed this as a potential problem. Whilst stating this, a man boarded the boat and was standing behind him and was later shown off the boat by the First Officer whom happened to be walking by! 6) Finally: Viking extol the quality of their cruises, perhaps this is just a poor example or maybe this is their acceptable standard, but it falls far short of all our experiences with other cruise lines. It does not seem to help that they appeared to be short handed in terms of staff, because the restaurant staff were working as fast as they could, but there simply was not enough of them to serve 140 in one sitting. Overall the cruise fell well short of expectations, and nowhere near the fine dining promised. We have taken many cruises with various operators and this experience must rank bottom in terms of the poor dining experience and quality of food. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015

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