- Generally the cruise was very well organized and punctual.
- Some of the tours were good – if you had the right guide on your bus!
- The staff were by & large friendly and helpful – the Program Director went out of his way at times to please.
- The issue of tips was dealt with very well – no pressure was asserted by Program Director.
THE BAD (or certainly not so good!)
- “Explore the world in comfort”! -- Not on the Viking Fontane, a 20 year old ship which certainly was anything but comfortable. The narrow single beds, the very small cabin, the noise from the adjoining room, the steep staircases and poor aircon did not help at all! Viking should consider the ongoing use of this vessel.
- If you are an ocean cruiser then you will find the food disappointing & not to the expected standards – I found it very variable in quality & portion control.
- The entertainment is amateurish at best – to hear the 3 senior crew members talking about their favourite foods was “cringe worthy”.
- At our last port of call the staff all greeted us back by each holding a letter on A4 paper spelling out WELCOME HOME! A corny way of holding out the begging bowl for tips if ever I have seen one!
- There was nowhere to go on the ship for a bit of space – the cabins were very uncomfortable so that left just a lounge or a sundeck, which was weather dependent (& full of insects!)
- The itinerary was regrettably changed due to low water levels & 2 ports were missed out – we were only told of this at the hotel check in in Prague.
- Viking River Cruises UK had assured me, following the flood saga’s in June, that they would contact me in advance should a major itinerary change be made. Regrettably that did not happen & long bus journey from Prague to Dresden with a doubling up of river sailings to & from Bad Schandau resulted. Tours were missed out & it felt like we only received half of what we had paid for.
- To make matters worse the Captain, at his welcome aboard party, told us all we had not missed anything in not sailing from Melnik to Bad Schandau as we would still see the best scenery twice. Those of us who had been to this area before knew this was simply not true!! A very poor effort indeed in trying to cover up for the itinerary change & one that certainly did him no credit at all.
- We were all told by the Program Director that Viking would be in touch when we returned home to discuss compensation for the itinerary change. We have now been back well over a week & still had no contact from them at all – not what you would have hoped for from a company that tries to position itself as a premier operator.
THE BOTTOM LINE
- The most overpriced & uncomfortable cruise I have taken for many a year.