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6 Santiago (Valparaiso) to World Cruise Reviews

The main idea of my post is that I strongly recommend you to refrain from taking Viking Cruises. I was dreaming of a round-the-world cruise and decided to a 3-month journey with Viking Cruises. It turned out into a total ... Read More
The main idea of my post is that I strongly recommend you to refrain from taking Viking Cruises. I was dreaming of a round-the-world cruise and decided to a 3-month journey with Viking Cruises. It turned out into a total disappointment. Beautiful website descriptions and vivid manager speeches have nothing to do with reality. I have huge experience in sea journeys and have traveled with almost all well-known companies, thus I have a lot to compare with. Personnel qualification level is very low and does not correspond with the one declared by the company. The crew is occasionally rude and careless. Throughout the whole journey I felt discriminated against basing on age and nationality. From my personal observations, the company focuses its services on aged clients but there is nothing to learn this information from and managers will not inform you about that. The quality and variety of meals is very poor: the menu barely differs from day to day and it’s not tasty at all. Meal courses are mean and thrifty, quality of service is very very low. Here’s an example, we were given an apple (a single one) and were constantly stared at, harassing us and signaling us to leave. Here’s my story: My acquaintance with company started with my personal manager almost ignoring me shortly after I purchased the voyage. Later on, he totally disappeared. It turned out occasionally that he quit the company and forgot to hand over me to another manager. It was almost impossible to verify the status of my special requests before the start of the journey. And that’s what they call and individual approach to every client. The first day on board ended up with room service team breaking all the buttons on my new suit, which was quite expensive and purchased exactly for the trip. My friend faced the same situation. The only thing offered to us as compensation was to attach black buttons used for the crew uniform. As soon as we boarded, we informed guest service about food allergy. Despite this, kitchen crew ignored this information and served dishes with products we are allergic to during 2 months of our journey. Guest service never intervened and helped us, we were able to fix the situation only after a huge argument. Soon after leaving South America, the entire ship was left without internet. Guest service managers made up various excuses: something broke down, no signal and many else. The connection was restored only at French Polynesia islands. This information was published in daily bulletin along with new excuses for the situation. Be aware that cafe waiters are very tardy and lazy. You may spend an hour or two waiting for your order to be cooked. The guest service explained the situation in a way that cruise focuses on elderly customers and thus everything is done slowly on purpose for the convenience of aged people. That is a real problem, instead of making the crew work faster the guest service justifies their lack of action. Moreover, the waiters behave themselves very unfriendly. Another serious problem faced throughout the whole journey - dirty dishes and cutlery, in all of the ship’s restaurants and room service as well. Dirty spots and leftovers from previous clients were noticed on a daily basis. Waiters never reacted to this situation! After contacting officers, the only answer received from them was an explanation of the factors that may lead to these leftovers not being completely washed off. This is not the information that I am willing to receive as a guest. I require proper service, not the explanation why the dishes are dirty. Sanitary conditions were a very serious issue, so keep this in mind while booking a cruise. Be extremely careful while ordering chicken eggs during trips on Viking ships. It was a common issue to receive dirty eggs for breakfast while ordering room service. There were several occasions when eggs were messed up in something black or had feathers stick to it and something else, supposedly feces. Multiple complaints to guest service ended up in nothing, Ana, the manager, set it off and stated that she doesn’t know whose fault it was. Fish dishes were of low quality, the fish itself was literally old and tough, absolutely impossible to eat. It felt like fish was frozen several times killing all the taste and flavor. I faced certain problems with Australian visa. Officer pretended he was helping me. I was made to pay for new visa with no guarantees for success, and I felt that Officer wanted me and my friend leave the ship. We got lucky that my friend found a way to solve the problem and Officer had nothing to say against us. Discrimination was also present during this journey. Me and my friend felt being discriminated against every time we went for dinner. Waiters were extremely friendly and gallant with Americans and blatantly ignored other guests. Furthermore, we faced negligent attitude as we were the youngest on board. Discrimination against nationality and age is present and it is unacceptable for international company! Shame on Viking company. The entire crew of Viking’s ship turned our journey into a nightmare with constant problems arising due to their actions or inaction, and nobody except us tried to solve those issues. Financial issues are not properly solved by the personnel. As the journey started, I was told that residuals on my on board account will be refunded at the end of the cruise. The day before the journey ends, I was told that residual funds will be sent to my credit card. Two weeks later I discovered the fact that residual money will be sent to me in check via mail services. This is a total incompetence of the crew and purposely misleading. I’d also like to pay your attention to the uniqueness of cruises declared by Viking company. Small ships used for Viking’s voyages should be able to visit unique ports as it’s claimed by the company. This is a trickery. During our 3-month trip the ship often made stops far from main city ports forcing the passengers to spend 50-60 minutes each way to reach the cities. There were several occasions when the stops were made in absolutely uninteresting and empty ports. The way Viking company contacts its clients after the trip requires special description. All my inquiries are being ignored and none of my e-mails were replied. Official complaint took very long time to be replied and in the end the only thing Mr Cohen could offer me was a 250$ refund for the spoilt 3 months or discount voucher for further cruise. This sounds like mocking rather than serious approach to problem management. I encourage all readers and those who traveled with Viking to write reviews and leave comments on things thaw went wrong during your trip! Currently, the company services are just overvalued and its ratings are absolutely unreasonable! I urge all those who suffered from the actions of the Viking company to unite! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Its the only way to see the Chilean coast inlets and scenery short of having your own boat. There are no roads or habitation in most of the areas we visited. Excursions by zodiac to see wildlife and glaciers were amazing. The ship was ... Read More
Its the only way to see the Chilean coast inlets and scenery short of having your own boat. There are no roads or habitation in most of the areas we visited. Excursions by zodiac to see wildlife and glaciers were amazing. The ship was small by cruise ship standards but was therefore able to sail in confined fiords and through narrow passes. The food and service was excellent. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff. The ships captain was informative and approachable. The company issued everyone with appropriate clothing which was just as well because that part of the world has heavy weather at most times of the year. If you needed items of clothing or spares for your photography the ships shop was well stocked. Improvements are possible in some detailed areas. The graphic display of the ships position was poor. The exterior of the window could have been cleaned. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
The itinerary appealed to me and the time of year was perfect. I was led to believe that Cunard were an upmarket company but several things were not up to standard. Having sailed on several ships with companies as diverse as Thompson, ... Read More
The itinerary appealed to me and the time of year was perfect. I was led to believe that Cunard were an upmarket company but several things were not up to standard. Having sailed on several ships with companies as diverse as Thompson, Fred Olsen, MSC, Royal Caribbean, P and O, Princess,Holland America and Azamara I would place Cunard somewhere in the middle. My cabin was fine with an amazing cabin stewardess ( the best I have ever encountered) but the food in the main dining room was very poor. The descriptions on the menu bore no resemblance to the food presented which was barely enough to feed a sparrow and usually tasteless and sometimes actually inedible. The food in the buffet was marginally better but we could always fill up on salad and fruit. The waiters were at times rude and at best indifferent. The daily schedule was often inaccurate and on the evening before we were due to arrive in Sydney we were advised that tomorrow on our arrival in Papeete we would not need to carry our passports. This caused a lot of confusion. On one day the date was wrong. Would I sail with Cunard again? Only if they offered an itinerary not available elsewhere, the price was very low and I would only eat salad and fruit in the buffet and not bother packing formal wear. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We did enjoy the ship,how ever thought it lacked the wow factor. We enjoyed the QE last year much more. The ship seemed a bit higgle de piglle with stairs all over the place. Service was ok , but only ok over all. We have had better ... Read More
We did enjoy the ship,how ever thought it lacked the wow factor. We enjoyed the QE last year much more. The ship seemed a bit higgle de piglle with stairs all over the place. Service was ok , but only ok over all. We have had better on other ships and on ships with less star ratings. Ships Captain and Officers might have been on another planet,for what we saw / heard of them. When cruising around Easter Island no live commentary was given other than they were disembarking a sick guest. This even though they had lecturer staff onboard who could have made this very interesting. Ditto the food....it was ok. The staff running Brit/restaurant never followed up on complaints placed by other,s we dined with. Our waiters at dinner were good though. Kings Court, never had any staff offer to help guests with mobility problems, including my wife.Very poor. Shows did not match some other ships we have cruised on, again average shows for the most part really. Lecture,s some were in the main not to our liking, unlike the QE. However those that did interest us were ok. Our cabin 5099 was in a good postion and comfortable enough. The ship is due for a refit so was not A1 condition , but was kept clean and tidy by the cabin steward all the time. Shore trips, we did no ship tours as we had visited these ports a few month,s ago. Décor ...seemed odd to us with different carpet, pictures style's etc mixed up all over the ship. The ship gave us a smooth run across the South Pacific. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Boarding at Valparaiso went well. Our cabin was great, and we were on G deck, the lowest passenger deck. The cabin was very clean, and certainly larger than what we have had with other cruise lines at a similar level. What was good ... Read More
Boarding at Valparaiso went well. Our cabin was great, and we were on G deck, the lowest passenger deck. The cabin was very clean, and certainly larger than what we have had with other cruise lines at a similar level. What was good that our suitcases slipped under the bed, which we have not been able to do with some cruise lines. Our cabin steward Johnny was first class. Cabin was left immaculate each day. The ship was very clean throughout. Newsletters for the UK and Australia were available daily, which meant we did not feel disconnected from the World. The theatre shows were very much hit and miss for me. I have a low tolerance regarding entertainment, and if I am not enjoying a show within the first 10 minutes, I have no hesitation in leaving. I only stayed through 4 shows in the 20 days sailing. Some acts were dreadful unfortunately. We were on Freedom Dining, and unfortunately in the main, it was not a pleasant experience, to the point that we used the buffet more than the restaurant. We felt rushed most times, with being seated, handed a menu, and before we had even had time to introduce ourselves to the other table members, let alone time to study the menu, we were being asked what we wanted to order. The food was so so. My wife had to send her meals back twice due to asking for no meat to be served with blood in it, and having it delivered oozing blood. On one occasion, she ordered roast pork, and it was mainly fat and gristle, so she left most of the meal. If that had happened on our preferred cruise line, the waiter would have asked what was wrong, and would have offered a replacement, but the plate was just whisked away. Ordering the ice cream or sorbet was a joke, because each time itcould be drank from the bowl because it was melted. No good putting ice cream in hot dishes guys. One other thing on it. We are used to the table waiter going though the menu, explaining what each item was, and making his recommendations, then waiting a short while before taking orders. I am not French, and could not understand what some of the meals were with the menus referring to the meals using French words. A dumbo maybe, but surely, plain simple menus in English would not be too hard to do. The buffet was great. No problems there at all. The tables were cleared quickly, the choice of food was good, and we could take as long or as little time as we wanted to, to eat. Also, a nice touch seeing the tables in the buffet laid up for the evening dining. The pub, the Crows nest, and The Globe were evening hangouts for us, and we enjoyed each venue. The musical entertainment was good, the quizzes were good, the staff were great. The Battle Of The Sexes was great fun, but I would have liked to have seen some debates on World issues take place. The itinerary was not great, but we knew that, so no issues on it at all. Unfortunate that we could not get into Bora Bora, and disappointed to hear some passengers complaining about it. We have been there before, so no issue on not making it in. The dress code was relaxed in the main, though I think it could have been slightly more relaxed for the buffet in the evening, with the wearing of dress shorts and a shirt, or collared top allowed, especially so on boarding day and port days. It was good seeing the staff asking people to leave because they were wearing shorts, but disappointed that on one occasion they asked a man to leave, and 2 minutes later ignored a young woman that came In with thigh high cut off jeans with ragged ends. The dress code is a close thing, because on several occasions we seen women wearing what would be termed shorts being allowed into the dining areas, whereas a man wearing pants the same length would have been refused. Disembarking in Sydney was great. We self disembarked at 7:15am, though I staff member tried to prevent us leaving, because he said that he had not been informed that clearance had been given. We soon convinced him that it had, and that we were going off like it or not. From ship to the airport in 30 minutes using the train from Circular Quay. Cost $14 each, which included the airport access fee. (Seniors fare for Australians holding a Seniors Card. I think a couple of $$ more for those that do not hold one). This was a first cruise with P&O for us, after spending some years using another cruise line, so I guess the question is, would we book with them again. A close thing, but the answer would be yes. There was nothing drastic enough that would prevent us booking again with them. We managed the dining problems we encountered by simply using the backup option, and that was fine. When leaving the shows early, we simply went and listened to entertainment in another venue. Overall satisfaction was not excellent, but certainly good. Some tweaking of the entertainment and training of dining staff would have brought an excellent rating from us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
The marina is a very comfortable ship and we and our 4 friends had a great time. Staff is very courteous and helpful; entertainment was excellent; the 4 speciality restaurants were superior - my favorite was toscana (italian). The ... Read More
The marina is a very comfortable ship and we and our 4 friends had a great time. Staff is very courteous and helpful; entertainment was excellent; the 4 speciality restaurants were superior - my favorite was toscana (italian). The main dining room was a disappoint. service was slow and uneven and i generally did not care for the menu offerings. we tried it 3 times for dinner. the sunday brunch at sea was quite nice. however, it seemed to all of us that it was cut back from previous sailings (the effect of now being part of nclh ???). The buffet is superior as compared to princess and holland. lamb chops & lobster tails always available at the grill. unfortunately, the king crab legs which used to be available every day were absent for all but the last day or two of the cruise (another nclh cutback???). We tendered at all ports and unfortunately could not tender at easter island on day 2 of that port. bummer, but not oceania's fault. Lectures were very interesting and the lecturers seemed to know their stuff. (oh, btb, if you're saving your "o" points for their junk prizes, most of them have increased the number of points required.). O's transport is pricey and we booked private transport to/from the ship at a significantly lower cost. ditto for excursions. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016

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