Our seven night Romantic Danube cruise was affected by the Central European floods. We had to ship swap. Coach trips were substituted for scheduled sailing and walking tours on one and a half days. Being moored in Vienna for forty eight hours meant that we only cruised/physically moved along the river for one afternoon (on leaving Nuremberg), two nights (Nuremberg to Regensburg, Regensburg to Passau) and one evening/night (Vienna to Budapest). A big disappointment, and not what we had paid for.
We lost one and a half full days on board and two lunches. Local hotel/restaurant meals were provided instead, but they were not to the ships standard and not what we had paid for.
Luggage was transported by Viking in a van between Passau and Vienna. At least three passengers found their luggage irreperably damaged on arrival in Vienna. My fathers case had the wheel and part of the base ripped off. Another passenger found the case handle broken off. Another passenger discovered a large hole ripped in the cases side. Although Viking replaced two of these cases, the replacements were not of the same size and quality as the originals.
Following the four hour coach trip from Passau to Vienna, one couple asked Viking to arrange flights for them back to the US, and left the ship.
My father fell between the ship and the quay in Vienna, whilst boarding. It was no fault of Vikings that the accident occurred. But, it happened in full view of crew members, and no one assisted. Instead, myself and a fellow passenger pulled him to safety. No one came to our cabin or spoke to us later to ask if he was alright or needed medical attention.
Whilst we had no issues with the food on board and enjoyed the meals prepared and restaurant service, others were not so complimentary. Their complaints included reconstituted chicken fillets, breakfast items kept under a heat lamp but not hot enough, tinned frankfurter sausages for lunch in the cafe lounge, and chicken nuggets served as hors d'oeuvres.
I wrote my first posting about this cruise on Thursday evening and posted it at midnight, European time. At nine am the following morning, I was told by the Njord hotel managed that 'LA wishes to speak with you this afternoon.' I explained we would be at the concert in Vienna, and that I'd be delighted to talk with 'LA' on Monday 1st July when I returned home.
On Saturday morning, whilst waiting to disembark, the Njord receptionist handed me a printed email, from one of Vikings Vice Presidents. It asked that I call them as soon as possible after reading the email, saying they were disappointed to read of my criticism of their staff and product. They said their hotel manager on the Idun was at fault for giving me false information. They went on to say they were reading carefully what i was posting online. The tone of the email was unpleasant and vaguely unsettling.
During my three days on board the Idun I never once spoke with the hotel manager. So, a factual inaccuracy. Secondly, attempting to lay blame on an innocent staff member in an email to a guest is totally unprofessional. Thirdly, despite requesting that they ring me on Monday, Viking interrupted my vacation a second time essentially to persuade me not to post online. It couldn't have been to help offer to put things right, because the trip was nearly over and the damage had been done!
Monetary recompense is not my objective. I simply wish to give fellow cruisers a taste of my Viking experience. Once again, I stress that whilst the events and occurrences related above are factual truths, my comments thereon can only be my subjective opinions. You must draw your own conclusions from what you read. When I hear Vikings response, I will be happy to share it with you here.
Still to come:
Celebrity Eclipse Canaries September 2015