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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Viking River Cruise on “Embla:” Bucharest to Budapest w/ 3-nt Prague Add-On Overall: Terrible experience with Viking aboard their boat Embla due to major maintenance issues known to them before our cruise started. Half speed at ... Read More
Viking River Cruise on “Embla:” Bucharest to Budapest w/ 3-nt Prague Add-On Overall: Terrible experience with Viking aboard their boat Embla due to major maintenance issues known to them before our cruise started. Half speed at best; little to no air-conditioning with room temperatures ranging from the high 70s into the 90s. The dining room felt even hotter with everyone assembled. This was a boat maintenance issue, NOT a river problem. We did not have a river cruise; the boat stayed in Russe, Bulgaria for 3 days. Then we were on buses for the rest of the trip. No choice/options as to what we ate. Viking gave minimal refund and never answered my emails to Customer Relations and several senior management personnel. Specifics: Immediately after boarding we were informed that: • The boat would be going slower than normal because the river level was low and that caused the water to be warmer which had a negative effect on engine cooling. A crew member later told us that the boat had previously hit a submerged object and had to travel slow coming to Bucharest because of propulsion problems. We saw other longboats passing us (on the one day we “cruised” from Russe to Lom); the “warm” water did not affect them! We also saw tugboats pushing loaded barges which rode much lower in the river than our boat. – We were misled from beginning!! Viking was aware of problems with Embla before we even boarded. Viking could/should have told us in Bucharest that the ship could only sail at half speed and that we would not be able to make our ports on time. They could have offered to cancel our cruise, receive a full refund for the cruise and Prague portion, and given us one more night in a hotel in Bucharest to make travel arrangements. Instead, Viking elected to hide the problem and have us board a ship that could only travel at a very slow speed with 50% a/c capacity, and sent us to spend 3 days in the small town of Russe. • We should not open our balcony doors, especially during the evening & night, as the mosquitos were very bad. This was also the case on the open upper deck. Thus, outside air was not a solution for the 80-90 degree (F) temperatures in our staterooms. The first day in Russe we elected to stay on the boat and not walk into town. We went to the dining room for lunch and were told lunch would only be available in the small eating area in front of the lounge. This “meal” consisted of a buffet of soup, cocktail sandwiches, and Bulgarian meatloaf; not exactly what you expect on a cruise. The next day we were told that we could stay on the boat, but there would be no a/c for several hours. We opted to go on a 3-hr tour of the old and new city squares of Russe. Once on the tour we were told that we would be eating lunch in Russe after the tour. Following lunch, we were informed that we must not return to the boat. We would tour 3 museums, attend a piano recital (at least it was in an air-conditioned room) and then have dinner at the same restaurant where we had lunch. At both lunch and dinner we were given what they wanted us to eat; no menu to select from. Again, not what one expects when traveling on a cruise. The boat set sail from Russe after midnight that night. The next day (Saturday, 27 July) we cruised at a very slow speed all day. This is the day we were supposed to be “scenic cruising past the Iron Gates.” That is one of the reasons we selected this Viking itinerary; we wanted to see the Iron Gates – this did not happen! We had lunch and dinner in the dining room. There was no ice cream available for dessert at dinner; the chef said the freezer was turned off. We were told before dinner that we would be getting off the boat the next morning in Lom. We were told that we would be driven by buses to Belgrade and then to Budapest. Keep in mind, temperature in the staterooms was 80-90 defrees (F). The rest of the boat (lounge, dining room, etc.) was even hotter. Sun, 28 July: After sailing over 36 hours and not even getting to Viden, we boarded buses in Lom and less than 3 hours later stopped for lunch with a distant view of the Belogradchik Rocks. That’s as close as we got to them and the Fortress (tours touted in the Viking literature). The lunch was a small buffet, no “ordering from a menu.” After a 12-hour day on a bus we arrived at the hotel in Belgrade. We had dinner around 9pm (more than 9 hours after we had lunch). Mon, 29 July: Spent the day in Belgrade. Had lunch in Old Town and dinner at the hotel. Again, we did not get to order from a menu. Tues, 30 July: Departed Belgrade via bus. Had noticed on the internet that it was a 4-to-5 hr bus ride to Budapest. Instead, Viking bussed us through Croatia where we had lunch in various private homes. We did not choose this; Viking did. When given the option prior to the cruise to have meals in private homes, we declined. This is not something we preferred to do. We, once again, did not get to select our meal. We were not offered the choice of a 4 or 5 hour bus ride vice a 12 hour bus day! After arriving at the hotel in Budapest around 9pm we had another buffet dinner. Wed, 31 July: Following two 12-hr bus ride days, two of our party were in poor physical condition and could not attend the included “Panoramic Budapest” tour. We were not meeting the objectives we had when we selected this itinerary. Since two members of our group were not on the tour, they were not provided lunch by Viking; the rest of us ate, once again, what & where Viking prescribed. Thurs, 1 Aug: Spent the day recuperating at the hotel. Note: Since we arrived in Budapest a day earlier than planned, we could not stay at the InterContinental Hotel as originally planned. This hotel is very conveniently located to Old Town, the river, and most the popular tourist attractions. Instead we were assigned a hotel that was not within walking distance of the tourist areas. Fri, 2 Aug: Took a 9-hr bus ride to Prague. Had this been our first “bus day,” we would have been in much better physical condition upon arriving in Prague. As it was, taking this 9-hr ride after the previous two 12-hr bus days was too much. This whole trip was a miserable, painful, terrible experience. As disastrous as it was, the Embla Captain never addressed the passengers and apprised us of the situation; it was like he was hiding. We were not consulted about what we might have wanted; we were not given any options. It was strictly, “Do what Viking says!” This was supposed to be “the vacation of a lifetime.” When we planned it, we did not choose a bus tour of Eastern Europe. We have several reasons for NOT wanting to spend hours riding a bus. We did not get to enjoy any of the advantages of a cruise. The few days/nights we spent on Embla were extremely uncomfortable. We chose a balcony room, and upon boarding, were told not to open the balcony doors in the evenings or nights! We only had a few meals in the Embla dining room where we got to select our meal from a menu. The rest of the time we had no choice as to what we ate. We all ate more meals consisting of chicken and potatoes than we ever thought possible when on a “cruise vacation.” We spent $13,494 on this cruise (two were refunded a small amount since they used their frequent flyer miles for the air travel), four of us paid an additional $50 each so we could choose our airline flights and seats, and we paid various amounts (average was approximately $1000/couple due to differing age) for travel insurance. Each couple spent approximately $15,000 to spend a miserable two weeks on a poorly-functioning boat and a bus. We were unable to enjoy places like Budapest and Prague because Viking’s choices had us so exhausted and physically impaired. To make matters worse, Viking has refunded $3,999 and claims that is 50% of our cost. Viking can most likely justify this with some “creative accounting.” $4,000 per couple does not come close to compensating us for our expenditures and the pain and suffering we endured. If you do book Viking, I recommend that you ask for a maintenance record of the boat. Specifically, for Embla: ask for the maintenance they performed after July 28, 2019 in order to fix the problems that led to our ‘bus tour”. I would also ask for the exact cost breakdown that they show for the trip to be sent directly to you, not just the travel agent so you are aware how they are pricing it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We too had a bad experience due to a broken lock. We shared the horrible port with 3 other Viking ships. Cement factory working through the night. Homeless family living under bridge. Not the picturesque view we imagined to have. We ... Read More
We too had a bad experience due to a broken lock. We shared the horrible port with 3 other Viking ships. Cement factory working through the night. Homeless family living under bridge. Not the picturesque view we imagined to have. We spent three days traveling by bus from boat at dock. Sunday, we traveled 20 minutes each way to see sites ofcity of Nuremberg. Then Monday, Nuremberg to Regensburg(4 hours round trip) - back to horrible port, then Nuremberg to Passau (7 hours round trip)- back to horrible port, then on Wednesday finally on a bus once again Nuremberg to Ybbs(6 hours) to be transferred to Viking Gulliveg. Viking knew on June 22 locks were broken and contingency plans needed to be made. This was the best they could come up with?? Shame on them! More time on bus than traveling the river. Their response? A voucher to use for future travel. No credit for "time served" on buses. No apologies. Just matter of fact.. this is what we are offering. This was our first river cruise. Not sure what was more disappointing...The broken lock with our "port view", Viking's "best" contingency plan of more than 20+ hours on a bus, or Viking's response. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Just returned from our first cruise with Viking. In all, there were amazing and some disappointing parts to the trip. On the positive, the food was close to the best I have ever had on a cruise. This was our first river cruise but we ... Read More
Just returned from our first cruise with Viking. In all, there were amazing and some disappointing parts to the trip. On the positive, the food was close to the best I have ever had on a cruise. This was our first river cruise but we have cruised with Royal Caribbean, Regent Seven Seas, Disney, and Norwegian. The cabins were nice and our cruise director, Jerome, was hilarious and great at what he does. The itinerary was good and if you get the chance to go to Prague, don't miss out. Absolutely fantastic. I took my wife and two teenage sons on the trip and I would say that the first strike against a Viking cruise is the focus on an older age group. My wife and I are in our mid 40's and we were very near the youngest people on the ship and most of the ship board activities and excursions were geared around an older age group. In fact, I heard but never asked, that Viking is not allowing people under 18 to cruise on their ships after this season. Not sure but I do believe they are going to steer the middle age group with families away from their product if they don't address this. I would not recommend this for anyone under the age of 40 unless they are traveling with a group of friends. We enjoyed all the people we met on the ship but there were not many people our age and only one other family with kids near our teenagers age. A second strike against Viking was never having enough time in each port to do things on your own. It seemed that we were always late to pull into a port and when there was free time allotted, it was usually only 30-60 mins at most. EVERY person we spoke to on the ship was disappointed in the lack of time to actually spend shopping and exploring. Each excursion included a lunch but European restaurants are not in a hurry to feed you and we would spend 1.5-2 hours at a meal which took all the free time away. I would strongly encourage them to offer a lunch box option for people who go on excursions and don't want to sit all afternoon for a meal. The worst example was Rothenberg. I was so excited to revisit this town that I remembered going to as a young boy growing up. We were late leaving the ship again, hit traffic, had a 1.5 hour lunch and were left with 45 mins to explore the city. We quit eating with the group and broke free on our own. We also played second fiddle to multiple other Viking cruises that pulled into port on the same day. For example, on our trip to Marksburg Castle, we actually left on time, got to the castle and the first of our groups to tour went into the castle. Then another Viking boat with a 50-60 people arrived late and they moved them ahead of us. This caused the remaining people in our group to have to wait outside in the 90 degree heat for about an hour until the other Viking tour group went through. Then came our final stop in Bamburg where other Viking ships ported before us and we were sent to a shipping yard outside of the city to tie up for the night. Had a beautiful view of metal shipping containers with something rotten in them that smelled awful. We couldn't get off the ship to explore Bamburg at night and didn't want to be on deck because of the smell and view. Not everything was bad but it was not what we were told to expect which was why I gave it a 3* rating. Excursions that we did..... 1) Panoramic Paris- great overview by bus. Problem was Paris traffic which makes a bus tour strenuous and we were supposed to have 1-1.5 hours on our own at Notre Dame (which reopened to view but not go inside) and St. Chappell. We actually had only 25 mins so we didn't explore 2) Luxembourg and American Cemetery- Amazing experience and the walking tour of the town was nice 3) Trier city tour- part bus and part walking and very nice with time to explore which was great. 4) Bernkastle-krus wine tour- great wine tasting but very little time left to explore the town which would have been amazing. 5) Koblenz Marksberg Castle- fantastic castle but being stuck as mentioned above in the heat because another Viking ship got to the castle late was frustrating for everyone. 6) Heidelberg- neat town but we finally realized that if we want to explore the town, we would have to quit eating the provided lunches so we left the group and toured it ourselves and had a blast. Heard the lunch was good but restaurant was not air conditioned well and very hot. 7) Rothenberg- as mentioned, was really looking forward to this and was very disappointed in the amount of time spent in the city. The boat was an hour late arriving to port so that removed all the time we could have had to see it. The trip to Wurzberg Castle was perfect but very few people on the Rothenberg itinerary went to the Castle and missed it. I thought it was great and would strongly encourage people to go. 8) Versailles- amazing castle but it is VERY crowded. Not Vikings fault but really difficult to enjoy when each room is packed with 80-100 people. Would have liked time to spend in the gardens but only had 30 mins sooooo...... 9) Cochem- castle was beautiful and had a bit more time to explore the city which was nice. 10) Nuremberg- bus tour as well as walking tour of city which was nice and we were given a bit of time on our own to explore. 11) Prague- this was truly the highlight of the trip. The hotel was spectacular ( Hilton Prague). The old city is spectacular and the tour to the Palace and downtown was worth the trip. If you get a chance, there is a fantastic 1930's style bar in old ruins under the city called the "Black Angel Bar" which was a real find and worth a stop in. We did the silver package and think it was worth the purchase but remember that house wines and beer are included with lunch and dinner. Top shelf wines are not and liquor is not included so many people choose not to get it and remember that all people in a cabin must be on the package. We stayed in a Veranda room but no balcony. The windows are full length and slide open for a nice view. Rooms were larger than most cruise ships with nice full showers and heated floors. Musical entertainment was a nice married couple that sounded great but all of the music was based around an older crowd as mentioned above. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
March 31, 2019 on Viking Magni River Cruise Budapest to Passau. First suggestion, do your homework. We booked a French “Balcony” (sliding door) on 3rd Fl. Very small. Just enough room for a double bed. No chairs so reading or TV ... Read More
March 31, 2019 on Viking Magni River Cruise Budapest to Passau. First suggestion, do your homework. We booked a French “Balcony” (sliding door) on 3rd Fl. Very small. Just enough room for a double bed. No chairs so reading or TV is lying on bed. Small bathroom. Very efficient but claustrophobic. Room has fridge but only useful for bringing in shore beverages or food. Hint. Don’t upgrade the liquor package. Buy duty free or in town and save $$ as you can bring this on board and no corkage. Fridge is useless otherwise as no room service and cannot bring any bottles from bar into room (even with their best upgraded liquor package!). WiFi is free as it should be because it was terrible. With modern service I’m sure this could be improved if they wanted to but would increase expenses. Service was impeccable from everyone. As were the excursions, even those included. That is the expectation and the standard for this caliber of cruise. The entrees we had were all good but not exceptional. Superb buffet is always in addition to table menu service. Best meal was grilled sea bass served on last day. Meals are mostly served in main dining room with tables of 6-8+. Great opportunity to build friendships and share conversations with fellow travelers. Still good value and a we hope to go again but equipped with new knowledge to fine tune our experience. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We have completed over 20 ocean cruises and wanted to try a River Cruise. The timing was right for this one and the price was right as there was a big sell. I think we booked at the end of July 2018 for a March 2019 cruise. My wife loves ... Read More
We have completed over 20 ocean cruises and wanted to try a River Cruise. The timing was right for this one and the price was right as there was a big sell. I think we booked at the end of July 2018 for a March 2019 cruise. My wife loves the castles and she loved the day we cruised and saw all of the castles. The staff was very good to us. We celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary and they brought us a bottle of champagne and flowers for my wife. We also celebrated her birthday and they brought her a birthday cake to the dining room. We enjoyed all of the people we met on the cruise and got to know some of them very well. We are planning another Viking cruise down the Danube in August, 2020. One thing I do not like is that you have to make full payment 1 year in advance if you book more than a year out. 6 months ahead of time would be more reasonable. The food was good but understandably there was not as big of a selection as on the ocean cruises. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
XMAS CRUISE 2018 PORTO TO PORTO , DOURO RIVER PORTUGAL. itinerary changed so many times even the staff could not tell me where or what we were doing have the time. Spent 10% on the ship ( sleeping , eating ) 90% on buses this is a ... Read More
XMAS CRUISE 2018 PORTO TO PORTO , DOURO RIVER PORTUGAL. itinerary changed so many times even the staff could not tell me where or what we were doing have the time. Spent 10% on the ship ( sleeping , eating ) 90% on buses this is a bus trip not a river cruise. I feel we were deceived as the excursions were changed / canceled repeatedly. if xmas is not a good time for attractions to be open , then do not offer this cruise. All other cruise lines not operating douro river at this time ( wonder why ) we were dropped off at mateus palace for a 30 min tour/ then 2.5 hrs free time to do absolutlety nothing !, whole day wasted for this ! as bus ride took up the rest of the day. Meals were not very good compared to our other cruises (ama was better ) restaurant had a hole in front entrance floor ( not appealing to look at ) same wine served every night , which was not the greatest they ran out of lots of things after 3 days of cruise( lemons , milk , ketchup, jam , coke to name a few.) We were not impressed with this cruise at all ! ( the douro valley is very beautiful to see ) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I wanted something special as a graduation gift for my son! The cruise was even nicer than I ever dreamed. The service was superb, as each crew member was so kind and responsive. The cruise director was amazing, always finding ... Read More
I wanted something special as a graduation gift for my son! The cruise was even nicer than I ever dreamed. The service was superb, as each crew member was so kind and responsive. The cruise director was amazing, always finding solutions to any challenges that presented themselves. The chef and his staff were very talented in creating delicious and beautiful meals. The scenery and towns visited were like a dream! The guides did a great job of introducing us to the cities we visited each day. The concierge was extremely organized, keeping track of the location of each guest, to ensure no one stayed behind. Local guides were authentic and knowledgeable, adding a local insight to what we were seeing, and giving us tips on where to buy the best souvenirs and the best prices. We would love to return someday, or take other cruises in the U.S. Thanks Viking! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was a family cruise, celebrating my mother-in-law's 80th birthday. There were 15 of us. A cruise was a great way to be together but not TOO together if folks needed their own space. We arrived in Budapest almost a week early ... Read More
This was a family cruise, celebrating my mother-in-law's 80th birthday. There were 15 of us. A cruise was a great way to be together but not TOO together if folks needed their own space. We arrived in Budapest almost a week early and enjoyed exploring independently. We were pleasantly surprised by our cabin which was not super-spacious, but had enough space for us to fully unpack. The bed was quite comfortable and we appreciated the well designed bathroom. Service on the cruise was top-notch and everything was extremely clean. We enjoyed spending time in the public spaces of the ship, such as the library and lounge. Food was very good. Certainly it was plentiful. Staff were extremely good at accommodating dietary restrictions. Special requests were accommodated with alacrity. We did not take advantage of the tours that were offered because we prefer exploring on our own, but family members were very pleased with both the included tours and optional excursions. The ports visited were all excellent. From Budapest, we sailed to Vienna. The only problem was that one day in Vienna is laughably insufficient. Obviously, though, it is a wonderful destination. And it is the one port where you could leave anytime after breakfast and come back after dinner (the ship would still be there). There were shorter stays in most other ports, or we needed to take a coach from the town to the place the ship had traveled to. I gather that because of all the locks on the Danube, the ship really needs to make time to hit all the destinations, so it can't just sit in port all day. We were very happy with our first Viking experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Family Christmas cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest....what a wonderful way to experience the best Christmas Markets in all of Europe. A must for any family wanting to share and create Holiday memories. The Christmas markets are an ... Read More
Family Christmas cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest....what a wonderful way to experience the best Christmas Markets in all of Europe. A must for any family wanting to share and create Holiday memories. The Christmas markets are an absolute must, with handmade goods including Christmas ornaments and souvenirs, local foods, mulled wine and great beers. Add in the local history and culture of each destination and it creates unbelievable memories. River locks along the Danube are also a fun and interesting experience as you travel along the river watching the scenery. Viking does it better than anyone! Great cabin accommodations, shore excursions that are included, enjoyable and fun, fabulous service and staff, nice dining and drink options and a great way to see and experience Europe. The ships are comfortable, modern and beautiful. Very relaxed cruising, with no pretentious atmosphere. This was our second Christmas cruise with Viking and we look forward to traveling more with Viking in the future! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We had never been to that part of Europe,but were well aware of it’s history.We also had heard so much about European Christmas markets we wanted to see for ourselves.Our cruise included airfair,an upgraded room,at a great price.Service ... Read More
We had never been to that part of Europe,but were well aware of it’s history.We also had heard so much about European Christmas markets we wanted to see for ourselves.Our cruise included airfair,an upgraded room,at a great price.Service was first class from the airport in Budapest,to the airport in Munich,and everything in between.The cities we visited had incredible history and archtecture,our guides on the inluded tours were knowledgeable.The cities we visited were incredible,and most were worthy of a much longer stay,The Christmas markets were unique,but in the cities we visited on a weekend,Budapest,and Bratislava were shoulder to shoulder crowded,and consisted mostly of food and drink,we found the others to be more pleasant,but also consisted of a great many beverage and food stalls We also really enjoed the optional Huerigen abend in Vienna,which had plentiful food wine and great entertainment The crew on board ship were top notch,as was the food wine ,and beer.We had taken a viking ocean cruise,and were not disapointed in the River cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Just one optional tour off the ship did not meet my expectations. The other optional tours were good. Although the walking tour to see the windmills was a cold and blustery day we went anyway. Guide was very pleasant and kept us in a good ... Read More
Just one optional tour off the ship did not meet my expectations. The other optional tours were good. Although the walking tour to see the windmills was a cold and blustery day we went anyway. Guide was very pleasant and kept us in a good mood with the rain and wind whirling around us. The day we went thru the canyon on the Rhine it was cold but we crowded on the top to get pictures and have a 360 degree view. They brought us blankets and coffee with Baileys and piping hot. Was so thoughtful. They really take good care of you. Loved it when we came back on ship after walking or shopping tour and staff had mimosas or other small shot sized drinks. They kept us informed all the way. Our cruise was the first one since September that could travel the length of the scheduled tour because they had rain and water level had risen. That was so nice for crew and passengers. This was a great crew. Only thing besides the beer tout that was not good ,they did our airfare and we left late out of Basel and had to run in Frankfort to catch our overseas flight. Please allow more time. Thank you Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This trip was with 8 of our closest friends and THAT made it very special to us. We generally travel alone, but this time we took along friends. We all spent 2 extra days in our arrival city, Basel, Switzerland. Most of us took a side trip ... Read More
This trip was with 8 of our closest friends and THAT made it very special to us. We generally travel alone, but this time we took along friends. We all spent 2 extra days in our arrival city, Basel, Switzerland. Most of us took a side trip to the Swiss Alps which were covered in snow and the sights were fantastic. I highly recommend you ask your Viking rep about this trip to Lucerne if you have the time.Our embarkation and debarkation went very well. No complaints about that part and they took care of all the luggage from the hotel to the ship, and since most of us also extended for 2 more days at our ending city - Amsterdam - all our luggage was taken from the ship to that hotel as well. Very nice. The ship is very nice. Smaller than the regular cruise liners, but that makes it special. I believe there were only about 190 folks on our ship. We got the balcony cabin even though it was December, but that extra room was nice. Some of the did not get this room type and said their room was much smaller. As for the dining, fantastic. The food is very good and lots of it. Breakfast was either buffet or order from the menu. Dinners were multi-course and always several options to choose from. Wine or soda if you didn't drink wine was always included with all meals. Many of the lunches we were out on an excursion or in town enjoying the local cuisine and visiting the Christmas Market. My only complaint about the dining was that they didn't do reservations. There were two large groups on the ship, but only one table setup that would hold 10 folks. There was some "territory" issues the first couple days, but in the end, our group did get the larger table. I can't say that I was a fan of the entertainment on board the ship in the evenings. Usually it was a gentleman playing piano and singing. We did not usually stay to listen to him. Dinners were late - started at 7PM, and with our larger group lasted a while, so usually we just went back to our cabin after dinner. I can say that the included excursions for each port city were very nice. They were mostly walking tours so if you have difficulty walking, some of them may have been a little hard to do. What I really liked was that they were all early in the morning and were usually done by the time the markets opened, so we had plenty of time to walk through them. This gave my husband the opportunity to hear the history and me the time to spend in the markets, nice! We did do a couple extra excursions at an extra cost and they were also very nice. The service on board was also very good. The room stewards had the rooms cleaned up most days before you got back from breakfast and turned down by the time you were done with dinner. The waiters were exceptional and stayed with one area, so by the time the cruise was done, we all knew each other quite well. Our weather was not the best - very rainy. However, due to this rain, our cruise was the first one this year that was able to sail all the way up the Rhine River and NOT have to switch boats as we thought we might have at the start of the trip. THAT was VERY nice!! Of course after we made it through the lower part of the river, would have been nice to have a couple sunny days. We made out though. The only bad thing about the rain was the day we were at Kinderdijk. This was were the windmills were, but it was raining so bad and very windy that most of our group opt'd not to venture out and those that did came back early. Only one couple in our group was brave enough to stay the whole time and they were completely soaked by the time they returned to the ship. Would I go again? I would defiantly do a Viking cruise again if I were to take another river cruise. We have done the Danube (different cruise vendor) and now the Rhine, so if I decide to do another area that Viking cruises to, definitely. The break on the airfare was nice too. Most of us upgraded to Economy Plus which helped with the long flight from the states to Switzerland. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Top notch experience all the way around. We were met at the airport as scheduled and the tour began without a hitch. Our cruise was unaffected by low water and we were able to complete our itinerary as scheduled. The Christmas Markets ... Read More
Top notch experience all the way around. We were met at the airport as scheduled and the tour began without a hitch. Our cruise was unaffected by low water and we were able to complete our itinerary as scheduled. The Christmas Markets were great fun, we participated in every excursion, and met some ah-mazing people over dinner and drinks each night. Don’t miss Cesky Krumlov if given the opportunity. We toured on a Sunday so there was less traffic and we were able to enjoy “Little Prague” longer. My 20-something daughter fell in love with Budapest and can’t wait to go back for a longer stay. We chose to sit with the same waiter each evening and Vlad worked hard to remember our particular likes and dislikes. He was one of the highlights of being onboard. Our cabin was roomy enough for two and the heated bathroom floors were such a luxury. The common areas were perfect for watching the countryside as we cruised by—we enjoyed unlimited hot tea and sweets while relaxing in the lounge. During some of our downtime, we enjoyed catching up on Downton Abbey in anticipation of the movie set to be released. While we did not require a lot of staff attention, they were friendly, accommodating, informative and quite fun. Would definitely choose Viking again for river cruising and look forward to sailing with them again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Stay away from this one! Viking....ugh. Worst cruise we have ever been on. Drought impacted the river levels and they SHOULD have cancelled the cruise but of course they didn't want to lose the money so they kept it going. Didn't ... Read More
Stay away from this one! Viking....ugh. Worst cruise we have ever been on. Drought impacted the river levels and they SHOULD have cancelled the cruise but of course they didn't want to lose the money so they kept it going. Didn't see many of the areas we were supposed to see on the shore excursions. Had to change boats middle of trip. Lengthy bus rides because couldn't get up the river. Minimal water and no food on the bus rides. Boat parked beside train tracks and loud trains rumbling past all night. And of course half the time they wouldn't tell us what was happening; probably because they knew people were getting more and more angry over the course of the trip with the changes to the itinerary vs what we had all paid for. The icing on the cake? Credit vouchers issued for a future cruise to make up for the disaster that was this trip. ...but then when you go to use them you find out that the vouchers aren't valid. Call guest relations and find out that they were "issued by mistake". Why didn't they tell you they were cancelling them? "They were issued due to a system error. We don't advise they were cancelled." So after you think weeelll, maybe I'll use the vouchers and give Viking another try, they show their true colors...that they don't give a flaming, flying furry rat's behind about customer service or doing the right thing. In contrast, a friend is traveling on another cruise line soon. That cruise line listed inaccurate pricing for their beverage package...people booked at the lower price (1/3 of what it should have been). The cruise line sent out a message to passengers advising of the error, and OWNING their mistake. Viking? Own their mistake? Their mistake in a horrible cruise? Their mistake in cancelling vouchers offered in compensation for the horrible cruise? Pfft. So long, Viking. In a world full of competition, you can bet your actions will serve to drive you to the bottom of the industry, where you belong. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We have friends that have sailed on Viking and gave us rave reviews and boy they were not kidding. The service, the cruise, the excursions and especially the staff were excellent. Food is my biggest concern especially when away for seven ... Read More
We have friends that have sailed on Viking and gave us rave reviews and boy they were not kidding. The service, the cruise, the excursions and especially the staff were excellent. Food is my biggest concern especially when away for seven days. I was very happy with the food on this boat, there was a huge selection at every meal and the staff was the most accommodating that I have ever experienced and we have stayed at some very nice places. I would also like to comment on the excursions as the staff on board the buses as well as the bus drivers were excellent. I was very impressed with this trip and would highly recommend Viking to anyone who has high standards in a vacation trip and I have been known as a tough critic. I am not, I simply think you should get a true value for the money you spend and this one hit the mark. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Previous cruises with Viking We had to transfer ship to ship due to low water levels (not Vikings fault). The food was not very good and the food choices were limited. The guide on a particular excursion walked very fast and did not pay ... Read More
Previous cruises with Viking We had to transfer ship to ship due to low water levels (not Vikings fault). The food was not very good and the food choices were limited. The guide on a particular excursion walked very fast and did not pay attention to the elderly people who had a very difficult time keeping up. Several of us approached him about slowing down and he continued at his pace TOO FAST!!! We returned from an excursion to the ship and were delivered to an unlit muddy parking area in the middle of nowhere. No one from Viking attempted to help us navigate up a levee bank, also unlit, including an elderly lady that had to use a walker! The ship had not arrived, so we were forced to stand on top of the levee in a very cold wind! This cruise was not up to Vikings standards! We had been on other cruises with Viking without the issues we experienced on this cruise! TERRIBLY DISAPPOINTED! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We have never been on a river cruise or Germany before.We were concerned about the low waters in the Rhine but they managed the detours in a very acceptable fashion. Highlights: Meeting people from all over and interacting with them. ... Read More
We have never been on a river cruise or Germany before.We were concerned about the low waters in the Rhine but they managed the detours in a very acceptable fashion. Highlights: Meeting people from all over and interacting with them. Made friends with a couple from Australia whom we hope to visit some day. Lutz the cruise director was outstanding. He managed a crowd of well traveled customers flawlessly. Evelyn the hotel manager could not have been better. Enthusiastic, bubbly and always there to help. Food was excellent. Hate to say that I gained 8 pounds! .We have been on many ocean cruises but without question this is the best cruise we ever sailed on. The included excursions were well planned and informative. Don't hesitate if you want a river cruise. Viking knows how to do them. Although we had to bus around low water the transfer to a sister ship was not a major issue. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
It was time to spend with family. The travel consultant we booked with suddenly disappeared soon after our reservation was made, and we seemed to get lost in the shuffle. Our file was turned over to "Customer Service", so the ... Read More
It was time to spend with family. The travel consultant we booked with suddenly disappeared soon after our reservation was made, and we seemed to get lost in the shuffle. Our file was turned over to "Customer Service", so the only time we received future information was if we called to ask a question. A few days before our departure, I had read on the internet that Viking was having issues with low water levels, so I called "customer service" and that information was disclosed to me, AT THE TIME. After sharing my displeasure with the lack of communication received, all the documents suddenly appeared on the internet for printing. Up until this time, we had only received the blue Viking bag with the itinerary and luggage tags. We had already decided we were going to have a good time regardless!! Our cruise started out on the Idi, but we were transferred to our scheduled ship, Kvasir the 4th day. This move was smooth and was made by Viking personnel while we were on a tour. They also gave us an additional tour and our time on the bus was broken up and not very intrusive into our schedule. No complaints here! The food was average and the dining service was good. I felt like the personnel was not as happy as they could be.....don't know what was going on there; for the most part, they were friendly and cordial. The Hosts/Hostesses and guides were knowledgeable, and very helpful. I know there were some people complaining, but we were determined it would be a fun experience, and it was a vacation I will always remenber with fond memories. We had scheduled the pre-extension in Lucerne, and the Hotel was a 5 Star....absolutely beautiful and was conveniently located. The post-extension was Amsterdam, with the hotel rated 4 Star, but was more like a 2 star. The bathroom was disgusting.....the hotel wasn't located close to anything!! We heard comments from others in our group with similar experiences. Both of the hotels provided wonderful buffet breakfasts. We enjoyed each and every port, and the tours weres excellent. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Since I was very young I wanted to visit Paris and the Normandy beaches, then Viking gave me the opportunity. We had a previous Viking River Cruise and thought Viking could not top that trip but the Paris-Normandy was equal or better. The ... Read More
Since I was very young I wanted to visit Paris and the Normandy beaches, then Viking gave me the opportunity. We had a previous Viking River Cruise and thought Viking could not top that trip but the Paris-Normandy was equal or better. The trip was a combination of a great customer service, a modern, clean facilities, World-class tours and tour guides, and the best menu and food served the way each passenger wanted. The crew, especially the dining staff, quickly become friends instead of servers. The person that takes care of your room greets you each day with a smile and when you return you have a room that is clean and comfortable. The chef and his staff went out of their way in proving good food but a great dining experience. Highlight of all cruise are the tours. We had tour guides that spoke English, were very knowledgeable at each site, and always pleasant when answering questions. The other members of the staff were exceptional as well. Again we had a great time and it was hard to leave the boat. We are already planning our next Viking River Cruise and cannot wait for our adventure to begin. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Our family has spent many happy time son the Rhein, while I was growing up there, we love Germany and the castles we knew we would see. This was our 2nd Viking Cruise and we were all (4 of us) very excited to go. My parents had chosen to ... Read More
Our family has spent many happy time son the Rhein, while I was growing up there, we love Germany and the castles we knew we would see. This was our 2nd Viking Cruise and we were all (4 of us) very excited to go. My parents had chosen to include my sister and I on their travels with Viking for a 2nd time. We arrived in Amsterdam, and were picked up by Viking which was very nice and went very smooth. Boat was docked extremely close to everything, and we could walk right downtown and to the Chocolate Factory...YUM! It was truly pretty. The 2nd day we were off, and headed to Kinderdijk, my favorite stop of the entire trip, beside Basel. It was worth the bus ride. Beautiful!! Then we headed to Koln, which was a Sunday, unfortunately. Not a good day to be in Germany as a tourist, many things are closed. But the Cathedral and Museum were open. I dont remember Koblenz at all, thank goodness I've been there a ton of times. In Rudesheim we walked all around, and it truly is what one imagines, a Wine town would be like. Love it there. Strasbourg we had to take a bus to the city and had an extremely short amount of time. Several of our side trips that we paid for would have been better served staying by the boat and exploring there. The LAST stop was horrible, a tourist trap in the mountains...the glass blown owl arrived home in the USA and was PLASTIC! Basel is amazing and was also a wonderful stay over with the spectacular public transport system. We stayed in the Hotel near the Airport, we made the reservation ourselves and was totally the best way to go! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Love of France Wine New area Try out Viking We were pleased by all aspects of our hopes for discovery and adventure. Loved this part of France with history, culture, and cuisine. Made new friends on the boat. We ... Read More
Love of France Wine New area Try out Viking We were pleased by all aspects of our hopes for discovery and adventure. Loved this part of France with history, culture, and cuisine. Made new friends on the boat. We decided we wanted to go on more Viking cruises as a result. We liked the opportunity to choose from a variety of excursions each day...even creating some of our own...with the assistance of Viking staff. Food was great. Planning help for pre cruise was good All made for a fun and happy time for us. We traveled to Bordeaux several days prior to our cruise and explored on our own. When we arrived at the airport to drop off our car, Viking hosts greeted us and provided transportation to our ship. The daily excursions were informative, interesting, and often included wine and food. The cuisine on board the ship reflected the French culture. On departure day, the Viking staff was superb in guiding us through the airport and to our plane. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
A cruise of a lifetime. We were so excited, per advertisements on PBS station. Was recommended to us and so my family booked this cruise a year ago. The disappointment, I understand was due to mother nature, however I have since learned ... Read More
A cruise of a lifetime. We were so excited, per advertisements on PBS station. Was recommended to us and so my family booked this cruise a year ago. The disappointment, I understand was due to mother nature, however I have since learned that the low water happens occasionally and unfortunately we hit peak time. If we had know of this possible occurrence we would have postponed our trip to another season. We received a notice just the day before we left that this might be the case, but what were we to do with such late notice. We had to changed ships (pack everything up bright an early), were bused for hours, walked what seems for miles, missed 3 or our desired excursions and other smaller things, such as the head set that didn't work, etc Yes, we saw some beautiful cities, and did enjoy the excisions we did make, but other it was not the trip we had planned on. I did express my concerns with Viking and they listened politely and gave us a $250 voucher (kinda a laugh really), but unfortunately that money was spent and gone now. So check before you leave, make sure it is not at low water, and then it should be fine. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
For my sister's 65th birthday, we decided to cruise southern France with Viking. She & her husband started with the pre-cruise stay in Nice (which they loved), and my cousin and I joined them on the ship at Avignon for the cruise ... Read More
For my sister's 65th birthday, we decided to cruise southern France with Viking. She & her husband started with the pre-cruise stay in Nice (which they loved), and my cousin and I joined them on the ship at Avignon for the cruise to Lyon. I have been on several river and a couple of ocean cruises with Viking, so it was no surprise that the week was delightful. The staff catered to us & made us happy every day. The cruise director was personable & perky; it was always a joy to have her company. This was southern France, so I wasn't sure if the food could live up to expectations, but no problem pleasing us & reminding us that we were in France. The young chef did not disappoint. Good food, good cheese, good wine. Happiness. Three excursions exceeded my expectations: Flavors of Provence in Avignon, the included tour in Lyon with Christian, and the all day Lyon tour Truffles and Beaujolais. In Avignon, Maison de Fogasses with Chef Luigi Baptiste was the best of the best! I think he enjoyed us as much as we enjoyed him & his lunch! Christian took us into "secret" passageways & shared his Lyon. And the truffle dog Chinook was as delightful as the truffle inspired dishes served to us on the truffle farm! No disappointment on this trip; the only problem is that I want to repeat the experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Food was superb. Crew was very congenial, helpful, and accommodating.Ports of call were as good as they could have been. Local tour guides were passionate about their work/leadership. On board educational services were excellent. Crew ... Read More
Food was superb. Crew was very congenial, helpful, and accommodating.Ports of call were as good as they could have been. Local tour guides were passionate about their work/leadership. On board educational services were excellent. Crew personnel went out of their way to be hospitable and friendly. Tour director, Marek, was so wonderful we wanted to take him home with us!! The issues with low water were handled superbly. I didn't;t see them as an inconvenience and I feel that Viking was more than fair in refunding 50% of the cruise cost towards a future cruise. More businesses should be so generous!!! We also felt that two weeks was a good length for a vacation. It often takes at least a week just to unwind and get into 'vacation mode.' WOUld have opted for more time in Amsterdam after discovering how much there was to see and do. Have to go back. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Wanted a quiet relaxing experience, but not boring. the ship, crew, food, programs made it entertaining and stimulating while the scenery relaxed you and the sites immersed you and taught you history. Overall a well rounded experience. ... Read More
Wanted a quiet relaxing experience, but not boring. the ship, crew, food, programs made it entertaining and stimulating while the scenery relaxed you and the sites immersed you and taught you history. Overall a well rounded experience. Everything went smoothly and appreciated the staff caring for one guest at a time, even in the group excursions. The facilities were comfortable and cruising was gentle. only problem was when another ship would park next to ours and we would lose the view and some privacy. The food was very good, good variety and reflected the region and country. The entertainment completed well the day experience. The included shore excursions were very didactic and made interesting by the tour guides. They were appropriate and we did not go on any optional tours. We had not been to that area of France previously and were pleased with the choice as well as with the time of year. The Spanish performers were great. Read Less
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