Passenger Complaint: Viking River Cruises Customer Review March 25, 2018 – “We sailed on the Viking Embla, on the “Grand European tour” November 2, 2017. It was the last trip of the year… And we felt like we got the bottom of the barrel. First thing was: The Viking booking agent got our number of bags wrong, and while we had no problems outbound, we ended up paying 120 Euro per the 2nd bag coming home. Second problem: We had veranda suite 324. NOBODY could figure out how to turn off the air blowing in my face night and day. Our poor sweet cabin steward did his best and even called a tech to come… And yet no change… SO I GOT SICK.
Third issue: I did not want to make anyone else sick so I requested some soup to be brought to my room. This was apparently a problem ALTHOUGH we laid out over 12,000.00. After insisting, it was begrudgingly done. NEXT: CHEF? REALLY? So I asked if maybe someone could saute me some garlic… Lol. What came out was some burnt little garlic chips. PITIFUL. NEXT: Maybe it was because it was the last trip. I had thought I might enjoy a bit of port, I think the 299.00 per person beverage thing is too extreme so I paid the 8.00 for an inch of port in a flute. Literally half of a shot glass. Three days later I thought I may want another. They this time charged me 3.00. HMMM good thing I didn’t want any more as THEY DID NOT RESTOCK THE BAR the entire two weeks. I DID however see them get a few bottles of whisky from another Viking ship.
NEXT: repeating the menu. **MUST SAY: THE FOOD WAS ONE OF THE BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENTS** The soups were watery thin and nasty. The vegetables were the same over and over, the amount of food available on the Aquavit was never enough, Lord help you if you didn’t stash away snacks. We finally just went ashore on our own and got some food for the room in case we got hungry. WHY SHOULD A GUEST HAVE TO GO BUY FOOD ON A CRUISE?? The menu items were repeated during the cruise. The second to the last night, the FISH SMELLED SO SO BAD WE HAD TO LEAVE THE DINING ROOM. The last night we went ashore in Budapest and found a place where the food did not STINK. We were LITERALLY AMAZED at how pitiful the food was. We were not alone in this. The people who booked the most expensive suite were just as disgusted as were we.
NEXT: DO NOT BELIEVE IT when they say things like “two days in Budapest” “plenty of time to explore”. You will see a bazillion churches, clock towers, etc. The tour guides will do their best to ignore the holocaust, or talk of Nazi Germany. (Elephant in the room?) I had to have a talk with one of the tour guides. There was a lovely elderly lady who asked quietly when there would be a restroom available. The guide said twenty minutes. 50 minutes later, the poor woman could hold it no longer. WHERE IS THE RESPECT FOR THE ELDERLY? **MOST OF YOUR PAYING CUSTOMERS ARE AMERICAN SENIORS!!** NEXT: They do not inform you ahead of time that the upper deck will be closed for 5/6 days. NOR do they inform you that if you are a smoker that they will put your area out in the freezing cold, slippery stairs and you will be lucky if you don’t get pneumonia.
NEXT: Excursions… WAY too many hours. We did better just going out on our own. We did do some of both the paid and the free. A couple of times we had all of fifteen minutes FREE TIME… It was rushed and uncomfortable. The paid excursions were fine. I want to make this abundantly clear. THIS IS VIKING CORPORATE NOT THE CREW who busted their butts trying to make people happy. I finally figured out that the “galley” must be mostly frozen food. VERY PITIFUL. Here’s another thing. I sat and watched the crew onloading crates of fresh broccoli and cauliflower. I saw them during the one fantastic effort called “Bavaria Night.” Did they go? Not on any meals we ate…
NEXT: The PUSHING PUSHING PUSHING of TIPS and 200 off travel vouchers… It’s insulting and offensive. We tipped large amounts TO THOSE WHO PROVIDED US SERVICE… You failed us. Our advice to anyone considering a Viking river cruise ** Just fly to Budapest. Save yourself thousands of dollars by avoiding Viking. Viking has repeatedly tried to contact me. I don’t need to be offered the insult of a 200 voucher for another cruise or some corporate scripted conversation. Just be glad I didn’t write this right after we arrived home. Used as decorations and… They were never seen again.”
Viking River Cruises Response: “We appreciate both your feedback, and recognition of your hardworking cabin steward. It is disappointing to hear of your dissatisfaction with the food served onboard, the extra baggage charge, and tours. We’re also sorry to hear you felt the time spent at ports of call were misrepresented. Though we’ve attempted to reach you in the past to no avail, we hope you’ll give us an opportunity to regain your trust by contacting us at TellUs@VikingCruises.com. Wishing you all the best.”