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  #1  
Old August 2nd, 2014, 06:06 PM
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wwinfl91 wwinfl91 is offline
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Red face Beware of Viking

We are on a 15 day Grand European cruise on Viking. It started in Budapest and should end in Amsterdam. Because of heavy rain we have been doing daily bus trips which have gotten longer and longer each day. This is because the Danube river is flooding and the ship is unable to go under the bridges on the Danube. We took a long 3 1/2 hour each way trip to Nuremberg today and managed to spend about 2 hours with our feet on the ground including a lunch of about an hour. This was due to a thundershower which hit during the first part of our bus tour after lunch. We missed spending any time in the castle or the old city. Then when we returned to the ship where we found out we are switching ships tomorrow which will include a bus trip to Nuremberg, yes the same city we were in today, and includes packing up our luggage so we can have it out for collection and transport by 7:30 AM tomorrow morning. We got this information at 10 PM during our late dinner.

I will tell you that this is probably our first as well as our last river cruise. I understand the cruise line can't control the weather but they can do a better job of informing people of what is happening. If we had known we we were going to be switching ships we would have never taken the Nuremberg tour tour and instead would have spent the time packing.

From my signature you can see we are experienced cruises but we have never experienced a cruise like this one before except for my one cruise on Carnival. While some members of the crew have been excellent others have been less than excellent. More on that later.

Anyway my wife wanted me to post tonight and tell everyone to avoid Viking and avoid river cruises unless you have a high tolerant for pain and agony.
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  #2  
Old August 2nd, 2014, 06:27 PM
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Sorry to hear about all the bad weather and high water probelms.

Sometimes things don't go well on the river. (Sometimes they don't go well on the ocean either).

I'm sure Viking is trying to give you the best experience possible given the circumstances. Just try to roll with the punches, go with the flow (sorry for the pun) and make the best out of it. You'll be happier in the long run.
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Last edited by Cary Cruiser; August 2nd, 2014 at 06:31 PM.

  #3  
Old August 2nd, 2014, 07:56 PM
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Thanks for the report! Sorry it rained so much.
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  #4  
Old August 2nd, 2014, 09:33 PM
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sorry to hear about your situation , hope things improve
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Old August 2nd, 2014, 09:46 PM
npphotog npphotog is offline
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This could happen to any river cruise company. Viking cannot control the rainfall.

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Old August 2nd, 2014, 11:37 PM
gerif gerif is offline
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Try not to cruise during hurricane season in the Caribbean either - sometimes you will be inconvenienced. I'm sure Viking is doing their best under the circumstances.
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  #7  
Old August 3rd, 2014, 12:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerif View Post
Try not to cruise during hurricane season in the Caribbean either - sometimes you will be inconvenienced. I'm sure Viking is doing their best under the circumstances.
Sorry weather turned on you...we were on Danube two weeks ago and it was fine. Can't speak for Viking but you are seasoned travelers and should understand by now that some things are out of your control on water whether ocean or river. Try to enjoy the sights and hopefully the weather will improve.....ship happens but only you can let it ruin your whole trip.
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Last edited by Hydrokitty; August 3rd, 2014 at 12:12 AM. Reason: correct spelling

  #8  
Old August 3rd, 2014, 03:13 AM
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Sorry but it could be worse. As river cruises become more popular you learn more about the challenges of river cruising. I do feel your pain.
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  #9  
Old August 3rd, 2014, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwinfl91 View Post
I understand the cruise line can't control the weather but they can do a better job of informing people of what is happening. If we had known we we were going to be switching ships we would have never taken the Nuremberg tour tour and instead would have spent the time packing.
I somewhat doubt that first thing in the morning they even knew exactly what the plan for the following day would be.

The level of the river changes by the hour and other factors like the broken lock affect possible solutions as well.

It would be great if the cruise companies could accurately predict water levels 24 hours in advance but they can't, so they do the best they can.


Quote:
Anyway my wife wanted me to post tonight and tell everyone to avoid Viking and avoid river cruises unless you have a high tolerant for pain and agony.
Because Viking are of course 100% responsible for the water level and the broken lock?

I'm sure we all have sympathy for anyone who has their long planned holiday impacted by river conditions and lock problems, but it really doesn't help anyone to imply that it is somehow Vikings fault ...

Some types of holiday have a greater chance of being affected by these things and we would all do well to realize that before booking ...

  #10  
Old August 3rd, 2014, 10:19 AM
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Before booking a river cruise in Europe, you should read the CC forums, not every river cruise goes according to the itinerary. The cruise companies cannot determine the weather, high or low water, lock issues, strikes or river difficulties. Because you are on Viking you should not single them out, other cruse lines are probably having the same difficulties too. I doubt Avalon has a dome over their boat. Is Viking responsible for the broken lock on the Danube ? i have been on 3 river cruises and encountered both high and low water issues and the cruise lines did the best that they can do with alternative travel. Do you really think Viking wants to rent buses and have the passengers travel that way ? What a logistics nightmare. You are on vacation, make the best of it and enjoy that you are away. I was on an ocean cruise from NYC to Bermuda and coming back we encountered hurricane issues, most to the passengers were sick due to the weather but what can the cruise line do about that. Do your home work, summer river cruising is unpredictable due to water issues, plan for the worst. On the last note, is Viking responsible for the WW2 bombs they find in the Rhine and have to shut down river traffic ?

  #11  
Old August 3rd, 2014, 10:39 AM
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wwinfl91,

sorry to hear about your unpleasant experiences so far, I remember you did a lot of research and followed the posts on CC closely.

The main problem is a bridge in Passau, which is quite low above the water. There have been tentative plans to raise this bridge (i.e. the construction), but of course this does not help you right now.

To be fair Viking seems to be doing all they can to get people through the planned itinerary. It has become their policy to schedule the itineraries so that ship switching is the mode of choice for high or low water situations. They can do this as they know have so many ships running on the Danube and Rhine. I read this somewhere on their website.

As you are in Europe now try to make the best of an awkward situation, it will hopefully improve when you are on the canal and the Main river, there are lovely ports to look forward to.

The weather unfortunately is such that the river levels have risen and there is some much fluctuation from day to day that it is difficult to decide for a company how to proceed. In the morning they cannot know if they will be able to sail in the evening. This applies to the Danube and the upper Rhine.

Whether one likes this policy or not is a different matter.

Here in the Middle Rhine valley we are still o.k., but there has been another downpour this afternoon. It is unsettled but lovely for most of the day and we get some great sunsets.

River cruising is more "adventurous" than the holiday brochures want to make you believe, but please do not give it a miss, anyone, just because of the potential for it to turn into a bus trip, even if it means missing most of your scheduled itinerary. You might end up seeing a different place you just love.

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Last edited by notamermaid; August 3rd, 2014 at 10:41 AM. Reason: clarification

  #12  
Old August 3rd, 2014, 11:16 AM
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we have our first Vking Cruise this December, I talked with my family about the differences between ocean cruising and river cruising. one advantage the ocean cruise is ship is a destination itself. I am concerned with the communication part
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Old August 3rd, 2014, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexkrn46 View Post
we have our first Vking Cruise this December, I talked with my family about the differences between ocean cruising and river cruising. one advantage the ocean cruise is ship is a destination itself. I am concerned with the communication part
From reading the OPs post I am not certain if it was a communication issue or just a "last minute" decision on the part of Viking.

One thing all can learn from this is that the river is unpredictable from day to day. Not like an ocean cruise where they can plot out the weather and course days in advance.
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  #14  
Old August 3rd, 2014, 11:46 AM
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Thanks for the info ...
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  #15  
Old August 3rd, 2014, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Got2Cruise View Post
From reading the OPs post I am not certain if it was a communication issue or just a "last minute" decision on the part of Viking.



One thing all can learn from this is that the river is unpredictable from day to day. Not like an ocean cruise where they can plot out the weather and course days in advance.

So very true. River cruising certainly is one day at a time.
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Old August 3rd, 2014, 01:19 PM
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Hoping the river gets back to normal and all the folks currently on the river can enjoy their wonderful journey!


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Old August 3rd, 2014, 03:19 PM
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Should titled beware of river cruising.

  #18  
Old August 3rd, 2014, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donray View Post
Should titled beware of river cruising.

I think that you just really need to understand the nature of River cruising and do some research BEFORE booking a trip.

And not to take the glossy pictures and beautiful TV ads as the entire picture....

My opinion (based on my research and not necessarily correct) don't cruise in the summer... Hot, crowds, River level issues. I'm sure these same issues happen thru out the year but I know for sure the summer is iffy sooooo we are choosing to sail in mid Sept in hopes of beating the river and look forward to having a wonderful adventure!

Also taking a good attitude and a back up plan with us!



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Last edited by nana541; August 3rd, 2014 at 03:59 PM.

  #19  
Old August 3rd, 2014, 05:01 PM
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You really must take a very different approach to river cruising and BE FLEXIBLE. Things happen frequently. We are on the Avalon Impression and we have had to live day be day because of the broken lock.
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  #20  
Old August 3rd, 2014, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlemancruiser View Post
You really must take a very different approach to river cruising and BE FLEXIBLE. Things happen frequently. We are on the Avalon Impression and we have had to live day be day because of the broken lock.

Totally agree. Your own attitude is so important. Someone posted on the thread about the broken lock that they are on the Viking Aegir and are being treated like royalty and are "going with the flow." The problems are no one's fault. You're on vacation so try to enjoy the positives.

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