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2 Viking Ocean World Cruise Reviews

We picked this cruise line based on reviews and reputation. We picked this cruise for the its itinerary and excursions. Viking missed the mark all too often, then when they had the opportunity to offer some accommodation for their error - ... Read More
We picked this cruise line based on reviews and reputation. We picked this cruise for the its itinerary and excursions. Viking missed the mark all too often, then when they had the opportunity to offer some accommodation for their error - chose to pour gasoline on the fire. Save your money and your sanity - sail another cruise line. I will acknowledge that the ship is lovely, but that is where the good news both starts and end. Our bed was like concrete and the towels were worn. The sheets were heavenly. Finally after a week, they had added enough mattress toppers and foam that we could sleep with waking up with aches and pains everywhere. Our pre-cruise extension to Victoria Falls, advertised as 4 days/3 nights was really 2 days as 2 days were spent in airports and on planes. The specifics of the travel arrangements were not disclosed until we arrived at our Johannesburg hotel. The transfers were to include all portage, yet we had to manhandle our luggage from the airport carousel to the bus for transfer to the ship. Daily activities: This cruise was 50% sea days. Normally, I am fine with that. But, this ship had very little to do day-to-day. There was one 30 minute exercise class at 8AM - go figure. Or you could sit with the knitting instructor for 2 hours in the morning, then repeat in the afternoon. Or you could make dolls from wood spools. If you played bridge - have at it for 3 or 4 hours a day, Repeat on every sea day! The food: Well, the starting ingredients are high quality. But the preparation is bland, tasteless and insanely inconsistent. The Chef's Table served tasty, hot food. But the main dining room, Manfredi's and World Café all failed on both those counts. We ordered the gnocchi at Manfredi's 4 time and it was different every time, proving that the kitchen didn't care about consistency or quality. And what should have been light, fluffy potato-based pillows where instead dense, lead pellets - they went back. Hot food was almost never served hot and we eventually gave up and simply ate from the cold tables. We spoke to all levels of kitchen and restaurant staff, each listened intently and empathetically and yet over 28 days - NOTHING CHANGED. If you have dietary restrictions, specifically Celiac disease, you will be hard pressed to stay healthy. We travelled with several people afflicted with this disease and can testify to the facts that wait staff and sometimes kitchen staff could not accurately provide ingredient information and no one took care to prevent cross contamination of gluten-free items as serving utensils were moved from platter to platter by uninformed passengers and crew. Excursions: This is where Viking really blew it. There was a nice selection of optional excursions including many opportunities to see the native animals of Africa, which frankly is the only reason we picked this itinerary. I spoke at length to the Viking representative about the tours and pricing prior to booking the trip. Unfortunately, every one of those excursions was sold out long before we were able to book any excursions, getting a waiting list was a challenge for us and Viking told my travel agent that there were no wait lists - which turned out to be a lie. Our segment was the last one of World Cruise and even all of them didn't get the excursions they wanted. Viking's response - a sharp stick in the eye and a terse "take the included excursion". Well, excuse me, but no one flies half way around the world and spends their hard earned money to sit on dirty buses, ride around filthy cities and look at buildings whose better days were decades ago. That Viking responded in that way illustrates a basic lack of customer service skills and no understanding of their customer base. In talking to on ship personnel who bore the brunt of wide spread discontent, there were approximately110 slots for safari and safari-like excursions across all African ports for 950 passengers. Really, Viking thought it reasonable to have capacity for just over 10% of passengers?? On cruises with Crystal, Regent and Oceania, we were rarely locked out of an excursion or suffered through a bad meal. For Viking this was the norm and at this class of service it is simply unacceptable. IN SUMMARY, SPEND YOUR MONEY WITH A CRUISE LINE THAT UNDERSTANDS AND VALUES YOU AS A CLIENT. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
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
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