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Travel experiences that don't turn out to be as great as you hoped

Travel experiences that don't turn out to be as great as you hoped

Old May 7th, 2023, 03:45 PM
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Travel experiences that don't turn out to be as great as you hoped

Have any of those?

I'm about to book a Viking river cruise. Would love feedback/ experiences.

I've been pretty lucky so far. One 3 hour bus tour in Rome wasn't that great, but it got me around to see things I wanted to see without having to navigate the routes myself.

Last edited by Moderator1; May 8th, 2023 at 07:33 AM. Reason: removed comment about potential moderation
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Old May 7th, 2023, 05:18 PM
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On that same small level, I took the HopOnHopOff bus tour of my home city a couple of years ago. In other cities, WashingtonDC comes to mind, I'd enjoyed the orientation of the circular route and I wanted to see if ours was worth recommending following the installation of a light rail/tram in the CBD ("Downtown" to the North Americans).

It was very disappointing & frustrating. Previously, the taped commentary synced with the location of the HoHo bus, now the traffic was at a crawl along the route of the tram (middle of the street) - but the commentary went at the previous speed. I've lived in that city for 40 years on & off so know it like the back of my hand. Imagine the confusion of a tourist listening to a glowing description of the wonderful Queen Victoria Building - and looking at a bland, busy entrance to Wynyard Railway station! The experience improved once we left the CBD and a new commentary cassette was inserted for the Eastern Suburbs. I contacted the operators, hoping they might put a live commentator on for the section impacted by the tram, or train the driver to do it. No response, so I suppose nothing has been done and this unnecessarily confusing anomaly continues. I'm not paying again to find out.

On the other hand, I really enjoyed the WashingtonDC tour - the biggest challenge was making myself stay on for the whole route the first time around. Well run, I think they are a great idea for first time visitors to a city.
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Old May 7th, 2023, 05:58 PM
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"On the other hand, I really enjoyed the WashingtonDC tour - the biggest challenge was making myself stay on for the whole route the first time around. Well run, I think they are a great idea for first time visitors to a city."

I do too.

I've never had a taped commentary though.
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Old May 7th, 2023, 06:37 PM
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Several years ago we took a Viking river cruise from Basel to Amsterdam. We had been to almost all of the stops in the past during previous trips to Europe but we found the. Viking trip very relaxing and at a pace we welcomed. Food and service aboard were good; entertainment was not at the level of the usual ocean-going ships and we were not expecting it to be, nor did we particularly want it to be. Fortunately we did not travel at a time when river water levels were any kind of issue so we did not have to transfer to alternative means of transport. I would certainly do another voyage with that company and I hope you enjoy yours.
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Old May 7th, 2023, 06:42 PM
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Thank you, Dukey. That is very helpful.
This will be a 2024 booking so hopefully river levels will be back to normal.
I'm about to "Book it, Danno" and just wanted to hear some feedback. I really appreciate it
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Old May 7th, 2023, 08:37 PM
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I've also had really good experiences with the hop on hop off buses in DC, San Diego, Munich but especially New York, which included a tour of Harlem, downtown and Brooklyn plus a boat trip around Manhattan and the statue of Liberty.
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Old May 8th, 2023, 02:46 AM
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We thought we never would enjoy a cruise, but we did the Basel-Amsterdam route on Avalon and found it a very nice way to travel.

My husband lost his wallet when we were off the boat in Speyer. We had to stay behind to go to the police station while the rest of the cruisers took a bus tour to Heidelberg. We got the wallet back intact (bravo, honest people of Speyer!) and got back on the boat. We had the ship to ourselves as they transferred downriver to pick up the bus passengers. That afternoon, we sat on the top deck drinking and relaxing on our private boat.

We generally go with the flow on vacations.
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Old May 8th, 2023, 05:49 AM
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I haven't had any personal experience with Viking cruises but two friends have just finished one on the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel and really enjoyed it.
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Old May 8th, 2023, 07:40 AM
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Yo Starrs,
I gave this some thought then realized that the most disappointing travel experiences we'd had were sadly, ones involving friends. One couple had some unresolved issues and their anger management fell short.
We were with them then in a foreign country and their ongoing (mis)behaviour was disappointing. The following year, that same behaviour reared its ugly head when we again travelled with them in Canada.
Def not as great as we'd hoped.

I am done. The ex-friends
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Old May 8th, 2023, 02:00 PM
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We have taken four river cruises, two Viking( Russia, Danube), one Amawaterways( Mekong), and ( Yangtze) a Chinese company.
The first Viking trip was fine, guides were especially good, food and wine so so. The second Viking trip was a huge disappointment. Ship employees did not want passengers going off of their own in towns and cities, even after an included sight was finished. We fought that and an employee told us he was glad did that. There were no toiletries in our cabins so we had to go buy them in German speaking shops on our own. Once other passengers heard I had bought shampoo there were people with empty glasses at our door asking for some shampoo! Really!
Our next river cruise was on AMAWaterways on the Mekong and it was so much better than Viking in every single category, especially food and wine. So we will stick with AMAWaterways if we take another river cruise. And I highly recommend the Mekong River cruise in Cambodia and Vietnam.
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Old May 9th, 2023, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by HappyTrvlr
Our next river cruise was on AMAWaterways on the Mekong and it was so much better than Viking in every single category, especially food and wine. So we will stick with AMAWaterways if we take another river cruise. And I highly recommend the Mekong River cruise in Cambodia and Vietnam.
Thanks HT! I'll take you up on that recommendation!
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Old May 12th, 2023, 08:04 AM
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Yeah. Although I had been to Italy quite a bit over the decades, around 15 years ago, my best male Parisian friend and I went to visit one of my best male American friends and his Italian wife. He had finally retired really early and permanently moved to Italy to be with his wife in the city where she had grown up. He and wife only lived around a 30-minute train ride from Venice. I had never been to Venice, but he, my Parisian friend, and I went there together. His wife had no desire to go to Venice, but dropped us off at the train station in their small city and then picked us up when we returned as my Parisian friend and I were staying with them.

When we got to Venice, we decided on a gondola ride which I was very underwhelmed by. We then walked around Venice and I wanted to go to a specific restaurant that I had written down maybe a year prior, but we noticed that it was closed that day. So, we went back the next day when it was open and eating there was my best experience of Venice. There are other places in Italy that I like far more than Venice.

Happy Travels!
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Old Jul 24th, 2023, 04:23 AM
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I have had a few disappointing travel experiences over the past few years. I travel quite a lot, so it is likely to happen sometimes. It's obvious that not every single attraction is suitable for everyone. But if I have a situation where something isn't as fun as I hoped it would be, I just try not to think about it and move on. I don't want to get in a bad mood because of an unfortunate travel experience. I try not to get upset about it and continue my trip. If you're not sure if you'll like something, the best way to find out is to just try it. If it turns out not to be something you enjoy, you'll simply not going to do that again in the future.
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Old Jul 24th, 2023, 10:44 PM
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Not everything lives up to our expectations, and that’s true for some travel experiences as well as our life. I had one such disappointing experience when I went to Japan for a cultural exchange program. I was so excited for it and expected to have a lot of fun.

However, the trip turned out to be very frustrating. The guide was poor in language skills and very mean and rude. The host couple was also unfriendly and uncaring. I couldn’t understand anything or learn anything from them. I felt like I wasted my money and time on this trip. I will not participate in such programs again. Viking river cruise will be better than these experiences, Must share more detail about it.
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Old Jul 26th, 2023, 06:55 AM
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We took an AMA cruise to the Netherlands specifically to visit the Keukenhof gardens during tulip time. The cruise itself was wonderful, relaxing and comfortable. There were some excellent excursions and the food was top notch. The only glitch was that because of unexpected problems with timing - I guess going through locks, other boats in the area, etc. - we had only 1/2 day at Keukenhof. The was a major disappointment. We weren't offered, nor did we ask for any compensation which I've had second thoughts about. But basically the time schedule was too tight and we got totally shortchanged on the one excursion that we went on the trip for.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2023, 03:37 AM
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Originally Posted by achay
We took an AMA cruise to the Netherlands specifically to visit the Keukenhof gardens during tulip time. The cruise itself was wonderful, relaxing and comfortable. There were some excellent excursions and the food was top notch. The only glitch was that because of unexpected problems with timing - I guess going through locks, other boats in the area, etc. - we had only 1/2 day at Keukenhof. The was a major disappointment. We weren't offered, nor did we ask for any compensation which I've had second thoughts about. But basically the time schedule was too tight and we got totally shortchanged on the one excursion that we went on the trip for.
You should definitely contact the cruise company and explain your situation. Maybe they can make it up to you somehow. Maybe you could have a compensation or a discount offer for your future cruise. I mean you deserve to get what you paid for right???
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Old Aug 3rd, 2023, 09:21 AM
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starrs,
We won’t ever go on any Viking cruises again after a very subpar river cruise experience. Several friends have gone on them recently and had good experiences and I hope yours is perfect for you.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2023, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by HappyTrvlr
starrs,
We won’t ever go on any Viking cruises again after a very subpar river cruise experience. Several friends have gone on them recently and had good experiences and I hope yours is perfect for you.
I'm not sure we are going to do it. Still pondering...
It would be Christmas 2024
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Old Aug 3rd, 2023, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by achay
The only glitch was that because of unexpected problems with timing - I guess going through locks, other boats in the area, etc. - we had only 1/2 day at Keukenhof. The was a major disappointment. .
I had plenty of time to visit Keukenhof but a half day was fine with me.

I actually checked my photo time stamps. We arrived at 12:34 pm and I was ready to go at 3:49 pm. It was a VERY hot April day so that may have been part of it.

My guess is a half day at the gardens is not that unusual.

Sorry you were disappointed.
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Old Aug 31st, 2023, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by starrs
I'm not sure we are going to do it. Still pondering...
It would be Christmas 2024
Well, I did it! Booked the Christmas cruise! Today was the last day of the $25 booking sale and I finally decided to go for it! I hope Viking does right by us. We'll do more of Paris before and after, so I'm not too concerned.

My first river cruise! I'm so excited!
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