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Disappointing Russian River Cruise with Viking

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Sep 30th, 2018, 03:19 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Sep 2018
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Disappointing Russian River Cruise with Viking

To start I want everyone to know that this is the first time in all my travels that I have had a negative review of one of my trips. I see these negative reviews & thing that person is a real downer. Trust me, that isnít me.
1. My husband & I both got a stomach virus while on the trip. Both were very healthy prior to boarding the ship

2. Tours:
We paid extra for the behind the Hermitage. We spent 3/4 of the day at the Hermitage seeing what we had previously seen & could have seen on the included tour. Had a terrible lunch & then went to
an area where we couldnít take pictures for about an Hr. To see what the tour was promoted to be.

We did the walking tours. I canít walk that slow. If this was going to be a geriatric tour, it should have said that. Why not have 2 tours. One for those of us who can walk. Those with walkers or walking sticks?
The timing of the tours needs to be considered I relationship to traffic. We would have a 4 hr. Tour with 2 hr. Of that spent sitting in traffic. We had so little time at the space museum & other sites

3. Using Viking Travel was a disaster:
- we set up our trip traveling business class all the way on American/ British Air
- few weeks later we get a call about a date change which would have put us into St Petersburg a day late. Thought we had that corrected
- a day later we receive confirmation that we are on a completely different airline ( we wanted to be on AMERICAN as that is where our air program is) I called & it was explained that when whoever changed our dates, they also changed this. Everything was changed back to the original dates/flights.
- on Sunday before we ere to leave the next morning I when to my American App to find that we have no flight out of Phoenix to London. I immediately call. The first person I spoke too had no concern about our business class reservations saying that the contract only guaranteed over the water business class. I finally got to a supervisor who was able to get us on a KLM flight business class that would get us to St Petersburg on the correct day. Needless to say - we didnít receive any American program miles for this leg of the trip which is most disappointing. I feel that this was Viking Travelís mixup & they should flights on the original planned, but I was told they were not in the Viking price range. They cancelled my ioginal flight that was contracted on day 1.
4. We paid for the Beverage pkg. why should we have to sign every time we wanted a drink. My husband was even told he couldnít have a coffee in the afternoon. We should have a card to show or a special wrist band so that this was just an automatic no hassle thing.

5. The lack of after dinner activities was disappointing. We participated in the tastings & when up to dance a couple of evenings, but we were one of maybe 3 other couples there.

6 no workout room, yoga classes, hot tub?

For the price. We expected a luxury cruise. This did not meet our expectations.
On the positive
the bed was comfortable

Last edited by donnakohl; Sep 30th, 2018 at 03:22 PM.
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Oct 1st, 2018, 01:00 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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This is making me glad I never got to take that trip, donnakohl. Although, I would have been in the slow group, not to be able to take pix would be a huge downer. Did they say why the delay? Did you see the other negative thread about the Danube trip?

VIking River has been around "forever"--hope that your negative experience was an exception rather than the rule. And, I hope you sent your review to the VR folks.
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Oct 1st, 2018, 01:24 PM
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>>not to be able to take pix would be a huge downer.<<

Photography is not allowed in several parts of the Hermitage.
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Oct 1st, 2018, 02:39 PM
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Presume it was a Viking cruise -- long boat or regular? We have not done river cruises yet because of the "sit and mingle at dinner" -- no seatings for 2. Also, the entertainment options are always limited to "locals" who get on and off. The caliber of entertainment cannot be expected to rank with cruiseships such as Azamara and Oceanea. Afterwards, the talent would be very limited, but thought everyone knows this. Also the options during the day are not many. BUT the tours are included (although this was a problem for you), and frankly cannot understand having to purchase a beverage pkg -- arent wines, beers and non-top-shelf liquors included? This would annoy me too. My husband and I are over 70, but would say rivercruises are for people who need all details handled by others and who are not into nightlife. Fortunately, that's not us (yet!) Hope you shared your gripes with Viking.
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Oct 5th, 2018, 07:18 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
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"The lack of after dinner activities was disappointing. We participated in the tastings & when up to dance a couple of evenings, but we were one of maybe 3 other couples there".

We went on our first and likely last river trip about two years ago - It was Vantage, and billed as a jazz-themed cruise on a new ship. The ship was lovely, the itinerary great (Holland and Belgium at tulip time), but oh my gosh, the other passengers were so old and sloooooow. We ended up getting off the boat on our own no matter where we were. In the evenings, there was supposed to be jazz and dancing in the lounge - they had web-cams streaming into the cabins so one could see the action. In variably, when we would check out the "action" - usually about 8 p.m. we would see the crew vacuuming the floors of the empty bar and lounge.

And whenever we were docked, invariably our view was directly into a cabin on another river cruise boat. Never again.

Last edited by scdreamer; Oct 5th, 2018 at 07:22 AM.
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Oct 7th, 2018, 07:30 PM
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From what I remember, but Russian standards, it was a luxury cruise, Donna.

Did you make air reservations with Viking? This was risky, I agree.
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Oct 10th, 2018, 10:06 AM
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For me, a first time poster who comes with a long negative rant doesn't get a lot of credit because I have no way to judge credibility. Some of the complaints are common to river cruises and should be expected. You don't have work out rooms and big lounges on river cruises. And I hope she never travels when she is old.
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Oct 10th, 2018, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by fmpden View Post
For me, a first time poster who comes with a long negative rant doesn't get a lot of credit because I have no way to judge credibility. Some of the complaints are common to river cruises and should be expected. You don't have work out rooms and big lounges on river cruises. And I hope she never travels when she is old.
Dayenu:

Both Avalon and AmaWaterways ships (the only river lines I've travelled so far) have little work out rooms. Both also offered the daily port tours in slow, medium, and fast groups as well as bike tours.
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