Viking Review - Dont Buy the Hype

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Sep 18th, 2015, 07:53 AM
  #1
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Viking Review - Dont Buy the Hype

Recent Danube Budapest to Nuremburg in Aug 2015. Horrible experience; more time on buses than our floating hotel. Over-promised and under-delivered, with allowance for the low river water. Company policy is to dock multiple ships abreast. Your very expensive balcony view is turned into staring at your neighbors cabin literally 4 feet away! 5 of our 7 dockings (most of which were in industrial areas, not the actual promised cities), we were forced to keep our cabin curtain closed -- after paying nearly $3000 more for this oversold, wonderful "view" and sitting area.

Additionally, they offer a "Viennese Opera Experience" with the Figaro's Wedding option for USD 85 per person. Fully expecting a visit to the cities opera house, or one closely resembling a professional venue, we were bused 1 hour near outside city limits to a high school-type theatre venue with seats on the "gym" floor, and presented with a "summary opera" that included US students in the troupe. We have subsequently found out from friends on a sister cruise, that they were indeed treated to the opera house, and that our cruise was vectored to this horrific venue; surely to capture this profit opportunity from unsuspecting customers who were sold this event.

Please understand the risks BEFORE you buy. I do not, and will not recommend this company to anyone as my opinion is that they practice predatory marketing, oversell their promises and cut expense at every corner to maintain profits at their customers expense. Viking management and shareholders: Your substandard business practices will catch up with you!
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Sep 18th, 2015, 12:20 PM
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Did those who saw the opera at the opera house pay the same as you?

Sorry to hear of your terrible experience.
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Sep 24th, 2015, 12:09 PM
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Viking spends huge amounts advertising on TV, magazines, etc. perhaps they need to spend less on ads and more on passenger comfort and better experience? I won't consider sailing with the line because the single supplement charges are ridiculously high. Laughable really, since Tauck, Avalon and Uniworld either offer single cabins at no extra charge or drop the single supplement for certain sailings.
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Sep 28th, 2015, 11:47 AM
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I agree with sentiments posted by BillD. We were to travel on Atla from Erlangen on Sunday August 30 to Budapest. Two days before, we were notified that our meeting place would be in Nuremburg where we would be treated to a deluxe lunch before proceeding to the ship.

It was chaotic at the hotel in Nuremburg where there was no lunch and we waited for an hour for the bus to transfer us to the other hotel where lunch was to be waiting. Finally, we arrived at the NH hotel, but were told we had to immediately board the bus for Vilshofen to get on the longship!

After an almost 3 hour ride, we did board the Viking Atla--we cruised 12 miles at night, then the boat did not move from the Passau harbor for three days. The boats were stacked up in the harbor, obliterating any view from one side of the ship! Tours were done by bus each of the three days--each one-way trip lasting 1 1/2-3 hours--and then no available toilet facilities on arrival!!

The Marriage of Figaro 'opera' evening was the farce that BillD described in the outskirts of Vienna--it was offered free to all the passengers, but we had already paid and have yet to receive a refund!

In Summary, half of our 'rivercruise' was a bus tour for which we did not sign up. We saw none of the scenic main-Danube Canal between Erlangen and Vilshofen. We were disappointed that Viking did not notify us earlier of low water issues that had been a problem since June of this year.
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Sep 28th, 2015, 01:43 PM
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I spoke to my TA about River cruises and the reply she gave me was less than reassuring. It boils down to this: river water level is an act of nature and there is no way anyone can predict it, just like the weather.

Case in point, Caribbean cruises are cheaper during hurricane season, and they can't, and they won't guarantee a "fixed" itinerary. It is in the fine print called "subject to change without notice", and "safety trumps everything else". If you don;t get to go to all the ports that was promised, there is no refund.

Here lies the rub with river cruises: with the weather pattern being the way it is, it is becoming predictable early in the season that the water level is going to be low unless there are unusual high volume of rainfall, or the water level is high due to the high volume of snow fall and the melting snow cap. So either way, you are at the mercy of the weather, be it too much rain, or too little rain. However, the river cruise company won't tell you that as they can always hope the "weather" will change: and what are the odds on that?

Her advise to me is don't take a river cruise if I can't handle bus tours. However, if you want to see so many places within such a short time frame, there is no substitution: convenience wise, price wise, comfort wise than a river cruise.

The option would be to change hotel every night, or every other night; take train/plan/bus to move from city to city, endure traffic delays among other things, the hassle of almost daily packing/unpacking, checking in/out of hotel; and then there are the issues of dining, service, comfort etc. At least on board a river cruise, you know what you are getting on that front.

Ocean cruisers seldom (if at all) asked for refunds on a missed port due to weather (act of God). Maybe River cruisers should look at the water level the same way?
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Nov 12th, 2015, 12:17 PM
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Saving for me
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Nov 12th, 2015, 12:21 PM
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TTT
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Dec 5th, 2015, 05:36 AM
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We just had a cruise experience morph to an expensive bus tour via Viking River Cruises. There was no advance notice even though the low water level was known for months. Customer Relations told me they only give advance notice if the nautical crew alerts Viking. UNACCEPTABLE. They refuse to change their policy, do not respond in writing to multiple requests and offer totally inadequate compensation--a 20% voucher for a future trip. That means I could spend thousands once again and not be notified if the water level was not going to allow for an uninterrupted cruise. No thank you.
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Feb 11th, 2017, 04:22 PM
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posted by Karenvig: "After an almost 3 hour ride, we did board the Viking Atla--we cruised 12 miles at night, then the boat did not move from the Passau harbor for three days. The boats were stacked up in the harbor, obliterating any view from one side of the ship! "

I can't believe the boats were stacked up in the harbor-obstructing your view. And Viking did NOTHING to remove all these boats so you could have a better view? Shame on them.
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Feb 11th, 2017, 04:22 PM
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posted by Karenvig: "After an almost 3 hour ride, we did board the Viking Atla--we cruised 12 miles at night, then the boat did not move from the Passau harbor for three days. The boats were stacked up in the harbor, obliterating any view from one side of the ship! "

I can't believe the boats were stacked up in the harbor-obstructing your view. And Viking did NOTHING to remove all these boats so you could have a better view? Shame on them.
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Feb 12th, 2017, 10:39 AM
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Jryan just joined, has two posts and both defend Viking. Hmmm. Interesting.

Will he/she post anything else?

We'll see. .
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Feb 15th, 2017, 10:23 AM
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I was reviewing comments, and noticed 2 very out of line ones. Is there a problem with that, jacketwatch? Are you a moderator? What problem is it that I joined and replied to 2 negative comments that were, just to note, not only blatant lies, but truly nothing but something a picky old bat would complain of. It was wrong to point out that river water goes high and low? Who doesn't know this? So, tell me, jacketwatch, who are you? A Viking rep?
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Feb 15th, 2017, 10:24 AM
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Also, did you find it odd that someone would comment at the utterly stupid comment above, that Viking didn't move boats out of their way, so their view was obstructed. Stupidest comment I ever heard, really. Anything else?
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Feb 15th, 2017, 11:14 AM
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Have a nice day. Look f/w to other posts from you.
.
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Feb 15th, 2017, 11:21 AM
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Oh BTW if you read this thread you will see I referred to the trip as "terrible experience" so that should be enough for you to infer that I am not a Viking rep. Of course.
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Feb 18th, 2017, 10:59 AM
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@jacketwatch-
What is wrong with me pointing out that the stupidest comment I ever heard was that a cruise line did not move other ships out of the way that were obstructing the view? Really? So stupid. Was the thought that when you bought a cruise, you bought Europe? I just don't understand what some people expect. The water levels were low, how dare they? really?
Come on, get a grip-don't go on a river cruise if theses are issues, but don't post the stupidest comments ever. I'm still not sure an adult wrote that. You bought a cruise> Too bad there were other boats. Too bad the river didn't cooperate> They put you on a bus to try and see some of the sites you were supposed to? Omg, how dare they? I guess they should've left the boat sitting in port blocked by other boats the entire time, right?
SMH.
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Sep 30th, 2018, 03:31 PM
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I total agree with his comment about stacking the boats beside each other. We also paid extra for a veranda which we never got to use because we would have been looking in someone’s else’s state room
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Oct 1st, 2018, 12:51 PM
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Good to know about river cruise drawbacks.Thanks for the info, BillD13.

Whether you are right or not, jryan1170, kindly watch the use of "picky old bat" and "stupid". All comments are welcome here--but such snark makes you look bad and I'm sure you aren't.

Last edited by TDudette; Oct 1st, 2018 at 12:53 PM. Reason: typo
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Oct 1st, 2018, 01:19 PM
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TDudette: jryan posted once more than 18 months ago and never returned. donnakohl toped this old thread because she has a b**ch with Viking
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Oct 1st, 2018, 02:46 PM
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Just another reason why we'll probably never take a river cruise, or if we do not Viking. But someone has to pay for those incessant TV ads with the British-accented moderator to make you think that they're all so cultured -- not me baby!! Meals are limited, snacks are what you have in your kitchen, the entertainment is comprised of locals troupes and limited. But the "ease" and non-thinking of it all (as to included tours) appeals to sooooo many people it seems.
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