3 Viking River Viking Gullveig Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

Overall, I had a very nice experience on the Viking Gullveig for the Romantic Danube cruise in November 2017. There were some really wonderful parts of the cruise and some areas that need improvement. At the outset, the booking ... Read More
Overall, I had a very nice experience on the Viking Gullveig for the Romantic Danube cruise in November 2017. There were some really wonderful parts of the cruise and some areas that need improvement. At the outset, the booking process was pretty straight forward. We worked directly with Viking to book our room. The representative was very knowledgeable and responsive to questions. Arranging our flights, however, was much more complicated. We chose to do a stopover in Nuremburg before flying on to London and then home to the U.S. It took many, many phone calls, too many e-mails to count, and countless hours on the phone with Viking's air representatives to arrange the flights. The problem was that Viking had limited contract seats available during the time of our travel (and, apparently, at all times). This made the flight booking process frustrating. In addition, we later learned (and only because I constantly watched my reservations on Delta's website) that our connections changed, leaving an inadequate connection time (30 minutes). No one from Viking called to inform us. I had to spend hours on the phone directly with Delta completely re-booking the itinerary. We booked an Explorer Suite room, which was supposed to include complimentary private transfers to the ship. However, since we arrived the afternoon before the cruise departed, we were told after booking that the private transfers would not apply. Upon our arrival at the airport, we were surprised to see Viking representatives at the airport picking up other guests. This was disappointing. Upon our arrival at the ship (again, which we had to arrange ourselves), we were immediately greeted by the ship's General Manager and escorted to our room. He gave us an overview of the amenities in the room and assisted us with getting our luggage situated. He was very welcoming and we appreciated his assistance. On embarkation date, a light lunch is provided in the Aquavit Lounge. There are pastry stands located outside the lounge, offering pastries, cookies, coffee, and tea 24/7. Unless you are in an Explorer Suite, these are the only beverage options offered 24/7. We found the refrigerator in the Explorer Suite was always stocked with beverages and housekeeping would replenish it with items we requested. The dining facilities on board are cozy and inviting. The tables seat 6-8 guests in an "open seating" format. Reservations or holds are not accepted for any table. We always found interesting guests to dine with. However, there would often be a line waiting to get into the dining room for people to get tables in preferred areas or in the section of a particular staff member. The food was really wonderful. The Chef did an excellent job providing a wide-variety of options. And even more impressive was the fact that he coordinated so many meals of high quality out of an extremely small kitchen. During the galley tour on the last night, I was very impressed with the cleanliness of the space and the chef staff's ability to utilize the space so effectively. Hats off to the Chef and staff! The service was really great. Within a day, most of the staff knew either my name or room number. They were welcoming and accommodating. They assisted with most any request in a timely fashion. Housekeeping staff were very attentive as well. The room was always clean and comfortable. The comfort of the room, though, was greatly diminished by the noise generated by the engine room. Both Explorer Suites are located at the aft of the ship, directly above the engine room. Anytime the ship is moving, there is a significant amount of noise and vibration in the room, to the extent that glasses and objects on the tables will rattle. It was so bad one night we actually called the front desk and engineering came to check the room. We were told it was the standard noise for that room. For the price of these suites, the noise level was really unacceptable. We spoke with other passengers on the same floor in different rooms and learned that it was isolated to the two Explorer Suites. The cruise includes a number of complimentary tours and a variety of optional tours. We found most of the included tours to be really exceptional. In particular, Viktoria in Budpest is exceptional. Her knowledge of her hometown and ability to convey the information in an interesting, witty, informative manner was superb. The tour guides in Passau were also wonderful. We found the tours in Vienna and Nuremburg to be a bit lacking. Both tours were mainly via coach, leaving little opportunity to go in and really see things or explore. The view was from the window of a coach bus. The tour guides on these excursions were also less enthusiastic than others. Be ready for early mornings on this itinerary! Most tours start around 8:30 a.m., with the latest around 9:15 a.m. The tour on the last day in Nuremburg is in the afternoon, but only because the ship gets to port late. The cities visited on this itinerary are fantastic and highly recommended. They are each beautiful and unique. I would cruise this itinerary again and again and see something different every time. The most beautiful stretch of the cruise is from Krems to Passau. The countryside is gorgeous and the cruise director provides commentary about the sights as you cruise. Get to the Aquavit Terrace and/or Lounge early to get a prime seat by the riverside windows! You won't be disappointed! The amount of time in each port greatly varies. Do not plan on being in each city for a full day and do not make any outside plans until you know exactly what the ship's schedule will be. For example, we expected to spend two full days in Budapest--the day we embarked the ship and the following day. However, in reality, the ship is only in Budapest for about 24 hours. Guests arrive around noon and the ship sails before noon the next day. The Budapest tour begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes around noon. However, the ship sails as soon as the tour begins. Guests are then bused by coach to the ship's location, about an hour outside of Budapest. This was very disappointing, as there were many things on our list to visit in Budapest (and other cities) that we could not, given this unexpected itinerary change (which you don't find out until you're on board). Budapest is one example; this happens often. You will also spend a lot of time on a coach bus during the river cruise. The day before disembarking is a bit chaotic. The staff are all working hard to get ready to flip the ship, as guests for the next cruise start arriving as soon as you disembark. It is stressed repeatedly that guests must be out of their rooms at the scheduled times. You can sense the vibe of the ship change on this day. If you have laundry requests, they must be given to housekeeping at least 24 hours prior to disembarking (this is not written anywhere). Lastly, we were surprised to learn the day before disembarking that we must be out of the room by 9 a.m. and our luggage must be outside our room for pickup by 8:00 a.m. Prior to booking, and again before our trip, we were told by Viking Representatives that check-out was Noon. We made connecting travel plans based upon those representations, only to be told the day before disembarking that we must be out of the room by 9 a.m. Guests must also settle accounts by 8:30 a.m. that day, even if they stay on the ship past that time. This must be done in person; they do not maintain payment information from booking. Lastly, I must add that this cruise and itinerary will be difficult for anyone with a disability or injury. My mother had an unfortunate injury and sprained her ankle while on our trip, thus this last bit of information. If you have an accident and sustain an injury, the ship does have a wheelchair and cane available to use onboard. The rooms are not designed for wheelchair use, though. They're simply not large enough, not even the explorer suite. A wheelchair has to be folded up to go into the rooms. The tours are difficult for anyone in a wheelchair or with a significant disability. There is a lot of walking involved on cobblestone streets. The least I walked one day was around 4 miles, the most 6.5-7 miles. Most of the cities are very hilly. On days that you must take a coach back to the ship, the coach is often parked a long distance away. In short, it can be very physically demanding if you want to take advantage of what is included in the package you purchased. Also, as we unfortunately experienced, the optionally purchased medical insurance was impossible to utilize. The amount of paperwork the insurance company required was voluminous and the doctors my mother saw refused to complete it, even when requested directly by the insurance company. In addition, we were not accompanied to the hospital by a Viking representative fluent in German (we were in Vienna at the time), as the brochures state would happen. Lastly, the ship will not reserve any dining tables or seats towards the front of coaches for people with a disability or injury. Everything is first come, first serve. I also expected (but did not receive) a follow-up from Viking...even by e-mail...after the trip. While I would take this cruise again, I would go armed with more information about how the cruise works, the length of time in each port, and what happens in the event a trip to the hospital is needed. I would also not book an Explorer Suite, but would choose a Veranda Suite on the upper floor. The space in the Veranda Suites is comparable. The bathrooms are the same size and the layout is much better. The only things missing in the Veranda Suites are the wraparound balconies....and, the noise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Probably one of the best trips I have had in my life! I have to admit since this was my first Viking adventure I didn’t know what to expect and was a little hesitant to stay 8 days on a boat, but WOW what a great time I had! The food ... Read More
Probably one of the best trips I have had in my life! I have to admit since this was my first Viking adventure I didn’t know what to expect and was a little hesitant to stay 8 days on a boat, but WOW what a great time I had! The food was fantastic the staff was beyond excellent and the overall experience was just amazing. I enjoyed all of it but the one thing I would have to say that I was most impressed with was the professionalism of the staff, friendly, funny and always helpful and there for anything you needed. I really enjoyed the guided tours and the knowledge of all the tour guides. I learned a lot about the areas we visited and it inspired me to read more about those places once I was home. Overall, I would recommend a Viking tour for everyone at least once in your life, I am hoping to experience one many more times. I absolutely loved my vacation and my Viking experience very much!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I have already encouraged friends and family to consider a Viking River Cruise. We will be taking another one. The questions are where and when.The staff was truly amazing. The ship is fantastic. The docking locations were exceptional, ... Read More
I have already encouraged friends and family to consider a Viking River Cruise. We will be taking another one. The questions are where and when.The staff was truly amazing. The ship is fantastic. The docking locations were exceptional, except for Nuremberg. I am grateful that our journey began in Budapest. The photos and even the videos do not do justice to this enchanting city. The disembarkation location is so odious it would have led to an ugly beginning, The food on board was better than we expected, it was a wondrous treat at each meal. The French Balcony room was more than enough for us. The steward work was better than in any hotel we have ever visited. The excursion to Schonbrunn was mush too rushed. The excursion to the Bavarian village was undermined by a poorly prepared local guide. The Danube Narrows and the incredible abbey will always remain a major highlight of our great trip. On the afternoon of our arrival in Budapest we were blessed to have an unexpected brief tour of Pest. That was so valuable for us on our forays on free time. All of the planned city tours were superb. Our two favorites were the planned tours of Regensburg and Nuremberg. From the moment we landed in Budapest until our flight departed from Albrecht Durer we felt that Viking was always looking out for us and our best interests. This is testament to superior management in hiring, training, and nurturing the best possible on board staff. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Viking Gullveig Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.0 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness & Recreation 1.0 N/A
Family 1.0 3.4
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.5
Value for Money 3.0 N/A

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