Viking River Cruise Disappoints

Jul 14th, 2016, 07:00 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,556
I'm glad you got a laugh out of it . . It looks like they don't even bother to read what they are saying !
jacketwatch is offline  
Jul 14th, 2016, 10:30 AM
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 5
Dear jacketwatch, I've been perusing several forums since my initial posting and it seems you are well-traveled and offer good hints to travelers. I'd like your advice. It appears that Viking is playing a waiting game to see what I will ask in recompense for my disappointing river cruise experience with them. What do you advise, should I name a dollar figure or ask for a heavily discounted next cruise? Thank you.
Odcity is offline  
Jul 14th, 2016, 02:37 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,556
First of all thank you for that compliment. That was very nice of you.

I have never seen any cruise company actually return cash unless its for something like a cruise that was cut short by say electrical or power issues like the CCL Triumph some yrs. ago or when a ship had to return to port quite early due to a severe outbreak of noro virus. They usually offer compensation for a discount or OBC on future cruises. I have had to speak to three times about issues while on board or post cruise. My initial encounters with customer relations were frankly awful. This was Celebrity and RCI. However I kept pushing it up the ladder and finally received generous OBC from Celebrity and perks form RCI that were quite satisfactory. So if you want to pursue this then it may involve pushing things if and when they may try to blow you off initially.

I was very impressed with NCL CS however. Upon completion of a cruise, our first with them I filled out an emailed survey which was mostly positive. I did point out a few things that we did not like but did say we would sail with NCL again. That same day they replied and gave us $300.00 OBC for a future cruise. Now that is service!

I have seen people get money back by getting a third party involved to stump for them. Try this if it come to that:
Write to Ombudsman at Condé Nast Traveler (4 Times Square, New York, N.Y. 10036) and include all documentation and all photographs.

Or try:

These two links are for consumer advocacy organizations. Its easier to any company to blow off a consumer but sometimes organizations can bring pressure that you or I can't.

Good luck, Larry. .
jacketwatch is offline  
Jul 14th, 2016, 03:08 PM
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 5
Larry, thank you for your reply. I really don't expect to receive a cash refund, but a decent credit would be nice. I admit to having made a fundamental novice error, I knew that France was having flooding issues this past year, but because Viking did not send pax a message stating that there would be issues cruising the river, I made an assumption (which when young I was told never to do), that the cruise would proceed as advertised. I too am well-traveled, but I'm flummoxed by the several disappointments I experienced on this cruise and Viking's response. In all my travels I've never experienced this level of "better luck next time" from a vendor. As I stated in my previous posting this was a pretty expensive venture for me, I could have had a suite with money left over on an ocean-going ship.

Again, thank you for your advice and I'll give it a go and let you know what happened. Regards, Connie
Odcity is offline  
Jul 14th, 2016, 03:55 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,556
It seems Viking never tells any of its passengers about river issues.

I hope that as you go up the ladder you will get satisfactory responses. If they completely stonewall you then you can always protest through your credit card which I assumed you used to charge this trip. You can make a case of buying a product that was not delivered. I say hit them with it if you have to,

I will look for your outcome an dI hope its a good one. You paid a ton for one week and yes a cruise ship suite would have been less I think.

Good luck! Larry. .
jacketwatch is offline  
Jul 18th, 2016, 03:04 PM
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 5
Hello Larry (jacket watch) from Connie (oddity), here's the latest from Viking. I called and suggested a future cruise without the single supplement (which would have equaled 15% of the fare for two persons). Viking declined and offered $1,000 on a future cruise, and I declined. I informed them that my next step was my credit card company. Based on my cruise experience and their responses thus far, they will never receive another penny of mine.

Take care, and travel well. Connie
Odcity is offline  
Jul 18th, 2016, 09:10 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,556
Thank you for letting me know.

Its a shame they don't take care of their clients.

Best of luck getting a fair settlement.

Happy travels to you too.

Larry. .
jacketwatch is offline  
Dec 11th, 2016, 12:41 PM
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 4
My husband and I were recently aboard the Viking Skirnir for the Grand European Tour beginning September 26 and ending October 10. This was our “Swan Song,” because due to our age, we knew we couldn’t take another trip like this.

When we arrived in Vienna, my husband became suddenly and extremely ill with what we later learned was pneumonia. The doctor that Verona, the concierge, called came to our stateroom, observed my husband on the floor and said, “I’m a doctor. I don’t pick people up.” Then he charged me 100 Euros, leaving me with three Euros. I asked him to call an ambulance, which he did, because my husband was feverish and unable to rise from the floor. He is nearing 90, so of course, I was extremely worried about him, and I was sick, too. Verona did nothing to help us in any way. She told me I would have to find my own way back to the US. I asked her how I should do that, and she said to call my travel agent. Viking was my travel agent! She also said I would have to find a way to get to Budapest to pack up our things and get them back to Vienna. She told me that a taxi would be too expensive, and I should take a train, but didn’t tell me where I could find a train station. She made no suggestion where I might find a hotel in Vienna, or anyone I could call to get some advice as to how I might manage alone in Vienna. Nor did she call my emergency number to notify my daughter what had happened to us. Why do we give emergency contacts to Viking? Our children were terrified. Meanwhile, on the third day, Verona called me to say I could pick up my belongings when the ship made its return trip to Vienna. She knew all along that the ship was coming back, but she let me worry over how I was going to get to Budapest to get our things. My blood pressure was 228/110 and I had to make two trips to the emergency room for IVs to try to lower it. I’ve never been so alone and so worried in my life.

My husband was in the hospital for 10 days, when we were finally discharged to return home, but unfortunately I have only the memory of being an old woman completely helpless in Vienna without even a hint of concern or assistance and unable to speak the language. Would Verona have wanted her mother to have been put in this situation? My letter to Viking about this was sent a month ago, but it has has gone unanswered. No one takes a cruise thinking there would be an emergency, but Verona surely could have recommended a hotel in Vienna or had someone accompany us to translate.
Whittletree is offline  
Dec 26th, 2016, 11:26 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 118
How unfortunate and sad to have had such an experience. We travelled on AMAwaterways several years ago from Budapest to Amsterdam. One of the passengers took ill and had to go to hospital. Our concierge went with her, made sure there were English speaking care givers and since she was having surgery he stayed overnight and caught up with the boat at next stop. We couldn't have been happier with the service ,food and certainly the professional care of the concierge.
Kudos to AMAwaterways we will travel with them again.
rosieg is offline  
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