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  #1 (permalink)  
Old September 7th, 2010, 11:13 PM
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Default Stay away from Viking

I had a 1600 mile cruise of the Danube scheduled in late July. The day before we left, Viking contacts us to tell us that due to flooding, they would have us visit all the places that were on itinerary, but we'd do some by bus. They said we could cancel if we wanted. Well, they didn't take us to all the places they said. They missed many of them. And it turns out the ship was stuck 1/2 way on the river, so we missed half of it. They never told us that. Turns out Viking knew well ahead of time that they'd be unable to cruise the whole river, but waited until the last day to notify passengers. Now why do you think that is? Oh, they did offer a 25% credit on a future cruise. I expected 50%.
Look, I understand flooding. There was nothing they could do about that. But I expect honesty and being more upfront. That's what I didn't get.
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Old October 26th, 2010, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: Stay Away from Viking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Toner View Post
I had a 1600 mile cruise of the Danube scheduled in late July. The day before we left, Viking contacts us to tell us that due to flooding, they would have us visit all the places that were on itinerary, but we'd do some by bus. They said we could cancel if we wanted. Well, they didn't take us to all the places they said. They missed many of them. And it turns out the ship was stuck 1/2 way on the river, so we missed half of it. They never told us that. Turns out Viking knew well ahead of time that they'd be unable to cruise the whole river, but waited until the last day to notify passengers. Now why do you think that is? Oh, they did offer a 25% credit on a future cruise. I expected 50%.
Look, I understand flooding. There was nothing they could do about that. But I expect honesty and being more upfront. That's what I didn't get.
Dear Mr. Toner,

Your concerns are important to us and we kindly ask that you allow us the opportunity to discuss them with you in greater detail. Please contact us directly at TellUs@vikingrivercruises.com.

Sincerely,

Viking River Cruises
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Old October 26th, 2010, 05:49 PM
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Hope Steve checks back to see how willing the Viking River Cruises are, to help sort out the issues...
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Old December 26th, 2010, 09:10 PM
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yes, I would like to know, as I am looking at a Danube cruise, myself.
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Old December 31st, 2010, 08:33 PM
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Interesting. We are booked with Uniworld in April. I would not be happy under those circumstances either.
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Old January 3rd, 2011, 04:35 PM
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We did a river cruise a couple of years ago, not with Viking, but I think this flooding problem exists with all the different cruiselines. The cruise "before" ours had the same problems....lots of the trip done by bus. This is certainly not what you have paid for if you book a "river cruise"...if you wanted to tour Europe by bus you could do it a lot cheaper!! To me it seems they are trying to run the river cruises longer than what the weather in Europe allows! However the OP stated he was cruising in July.....that shouldnt be a time of year when flooding would be an issue. I would have imagined the first few cruises of the year, after Winter when the snows are melting etc...would be the worst time for this problem.
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Old January 3rd, 2011, 04:48 PM
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I have also had problems with Viking River not responding in a timely way. it is too bad since I generally like them as a cruise line.

Now - this flodding issue and having to see things by bus is not fun, but as Granny says, also not unusual. I have had it happen to me on other River Boats.

The question is in how well they compensate. I hope you got a good response from them.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Paul Motter

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Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
I have also had problems with Viking River not responding in a timely way. it is too bad since I generally like them as a cruise line.

Now - this flodding issue and having to see things by bus is not fun, but as Granny says, also not unusual. I have had it happen to me on other River Boats.

The question is in how well they compensate. I hope you got a good response from them.
Dear Paul,

We are sorry to hear that you’ve been disappointed with our response time in the past. We continually strive to provide the best experience for our customers and would welcome any feedback you would like to share at TellUs@vikingrivercruises.com.

Sincerely,

Viking River Cruises
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Old April 27th, 2011, 04:35 PM
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Default River Levels

My first attempt to post these questions was apparently lost in cyber space so I'll try once more.

We've booked our first European River Cruise this fall. It's the Viking October 22nd Budapest to Amsterdam.

While we're prepared to encounter iffy weather we'd given no thought to water levels. We're from the "Great White North" and know how to prepare for cold weather -- and rainy.

I read Steve Toner's warning with interest and concern.
  • Water levels would be the same for any line. Do other lines handle such events differently? If so how?
We've enjoyed cruises on both the Yangze and Nile as pleasant interruptions in exhaustive land travels -- a tour in the Middle East and independent travel in Asia.

We 've made several trips to Europe, travelling on our own but decided it was time for the 'easy route.'

Given we've booked and paid, we're locked in, but could the experts prepare us for the worst or best?
  • Is the late fall a risky time to risk a river cruise? Is it the norm to encounter either high or I suspect more likely low levels? Is there a norm in these rapidly changing weather conditions?
Thanks in advance,

Ruth
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Old April 27th, 2011, 04:38 PM
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Default P.S.

  • In the event that any line must revert to bus travel, is some form of compensation the norm with other lines?
We're locked into Viking but are already exploring other River Cruises.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 07:24 AM
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We returned last night from a river cruise with Uniworld. We missed one port, Hoorne, due to weather conditions. Generally, if there is an issue, you are moved by bus but there is no compensation. Really, it isn't necessary. You will be where you are suppose to be, you have been given all scenarios before you book (you have to read all the literature) and they have to do what they have to do.
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44 cruises - too many to list however cruiselines are in no particular order:

Azamara
Uniworld
RCL
Princess
NCL
HAL
Cunard
Celebrity
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Old May 4th, 2011, 07:37 AM
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Default No hotel stays?

I assume, Felix-the-Cat, that your bus transfer did not include any unplanned hotel stays, and that you were somehow back on the boat for the night.

When we booked we hadn't even considered the possibility of enduring a series of one night hotel stands. We obviously didn't do any serious investigating before booking.

I continue to wonder whether or not water levels frequently pose a problem in the late fall. I would assume it would more likely be low levels then, than high ones.

Thanks for the reply,

Ruth
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Old May 4th, 2011, 10:10 AM
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That's a bit of a problem of course. It's hard to say as the water levels do go up and down a lot. We were surprised how much they rose and fell.

We were on a bus almost every day - but just to take us from one site to another. There is a tremendous amount of walking involved when taking a River Cruise and you do have to pace yourself. Some of the trips are all day. We would leave at 9 am and not return til 5 pm.

But if I'm sounding unhappy - I'm not - I knew it would be like this and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Of course everything wasn't perfect - nothing ever is, but we will do it again.

All of the River cruiselines do qualify with the information about the possibility of having to be bussed from one destination to the next due to water level problems. I haven't heard of it happening very often, and I wouldn't worry about it too much. The accommodations they will give you if they must take you off the ship, will be first class. Even though it's a bit of a bother to pack an overnight bag, the staff is extremely helpful and will do everything they can to accommodate you.

I guess I would just consider it part of the adventure.
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Next up - Celebrity Reflection, Nov. 22 (learning to sail solo) followed by Independence of the Seas Nov. 30.


Celebrity Constellation - March 17 followed by Celebrity Reflection - March 22 (done)




44 cruises - too many to list however cruiselines are in no particular order:

Azamara
Uniworld
RCL
Princess
NCL
HAL
Cunard
Celebrity
and some unknown tub

Yes, I'm a Royal Chump and proud of it.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 10:44 AM
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Default Good Packing

I guess clever packing of just ONE suitcase should we have to overnight in a hotel could be the best solution. I assume everything else could be left on the boat.

Great to hear Felix-the-Cat that you enjoyed a great holiday.

Ruth
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Old May 4th, 2011, 11:27 AM
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I have always been a terrible packer. I get packed then have to add another and another and another. I have finally learned to pack relatively lightly, especially with airlines being so limited.

I know I can pack enough clothes in a carry-on to last me 3 days if I really must.


I'm not sure about Viking but I know Uniworld only allows one regular bag and one carry-on. I'm assuming Viking will probably be the same. No doubt you will not have to pack everything!! That would annoy me.

And I do agree with the OP, if Viking had known for some time this problem was existing then they should have notified the passengers to give them options. The only problem with that, air cannot usually be changed.

It's hard being caught between a rock and a hard place.
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Next up - Celebrity Reflection, Nov. 22 (learning to sail solo) followed by Independence of the Seas Nov. 30.


Celebrity Constellation - March 17 followed by Celebrity Reflection - March 22 (done)




44 cruises - too many to list however cruiselines are in no particular order:

Azamara
Uniworld
RCL
Princess
NCL
HAL
Cunard
Celebrity
and some unknown tub

Yes, I'm a Royal Chump and proud of it.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 02:16 PM
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Default One Bag for Us

Felix, just to clarify, I meant that as a couple we'd leave a carry-on and one regular bag on board and just bring one suitcase should we have to abandon the boat overnight. In fact if we knew for sure it would just be a one nighter we could easily manage with just one carry-on.

Ruth
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Old May 4th, 2011, 04:33 PM
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I understand. The biggest problem would be knowing how to to pack for. Sounds like that particular cruise was not good.

I saw a Viking Ship in Amsterdam. It was lovely. I was going to ask for a tour but it left before I got a chance. We did get on another one. A Scenice ship. As a TA I find I can usually get a quick ship inspection if they are not leaving too soon.

I certainly like the look of the Viking ship.
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Next up - Celebrity Reflection, Nov. 22 (learning to sail solo) followed by Independence of the Seas Nov. 30.


Celebrity Constellation - March 17 followed by Celebrity Reflection - March 22 (done)




44 cruises - too many to list however cruiselines are in no particular order:

Azamara
Uniworld
RCL
Princess
NCL
HAL
Cunard
Celebrity
and some unknown tub

Yes, I'm a Royal Chump and proud of it.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old July 18th, 2011, 01:45 AM
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Alas, Viking got back to me and promised to make it up. We're set for a cruise in 3 weeks. We'll let you know how it goes. Wish us luck
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Old July 18th, 2011, 11:00 AM
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We will be going on the new Viking Prestige in four weeks - very much looking forward to it.
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