Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
worldcruisr

Viking Sun World Cruise Christening Debacle

Recommended Posts

Duffys: In the last couple of months we have booked (and paid for!) our second VO cruise for August 2019. On our first cruise there were some relatively minor issues with a lack of information re our pre-cruise extension. Not worth going into detail here but there was an undercurrent of either incompetence or misrepresentation that was disturbing. However we are still looking forward to being back on that beautiful ship with a happy, friendly and competent crew, wonderful food and seeing a part of the world we’d probably never see. We are traveling with our TA who I have seen be a bit of a pit bull on behalf of her clients. I’d love to have seen her in action in Shanghai! So I would say to you that you will most likely have a wonderful on board experience. Still “caveat emptor” is always a good idea as is “pick your battles”. This christening event treatment of passengers is definitely a battle worth picking! And it will cast a shadow on our cruise next year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We are.normally Viking cheerleaders as well, but given their willingness to repeat this fiasco and given how we are seeing first hand how they are handling excursion problems and their lack of preparation for new ports, we are rethinking this position.

 

I have had nothing but excellent experience with working class Viking employees on cruises, employees from deck crew to ship's management.

I have had a few good, one less than good and despite being a repeat customer, one pretty bad experience with Viking corporate. Almost like 2 different cultures.

I respect the OP's patience, waiting to cool down before posting. Makes the well considered criticism more telling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am currently on the World Cruise. The awful experience surrounding the Christening is not the norm for this cruise. We are having incredible days and evenings exploring and experiencing unique destinations. We gave up a night in Shanghai that could have been great fun off the ship if we had not been seduced into thinking we were going to be part of a wonderfully epic event. Yes, perhaps I was niave but I truly thought the Christening was going to be a HIGHLIGHT of this trip....which for us is a once in our lifetime adventure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Deec, I think you put it the best. You gave up a night off of the ship, enjoying Shanghai, because you thought you were going to be special guests at a once in a lifetime ceremony. You would have planned differently had you known what was actually planned by Viking....Hopefully they learn from this for the future, and hopefully an apology is forthcoming. You are still enjoying your adventure, but what was supposed to be a highlight that turned into a superb disappointment tainted it a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Corporate big wig flew in .....met with groups of passengers this morning....he sincerely apologized for the debacle.... life goes on and we have wonderful days ahead!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Corporate big wig flew in .....met with groups of passengers this morning....he sincerely apologized for the debacle.... life goes on and we have wonderful days ahead!

 

This is good to hear! Mistakes will be made -- good companies learn from them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:cool::cool:

This is good to hear! Mistakes will be made -- good companies learn from them.

 

I’m not certain this can be classified as a “mistake” but I agree it was one incident and people have to enjoy the good parts.

 

Karl comes on board from time to time to observe operations. I’m sure he was conciliatory and would like to fix the situation.

 

BTW the “Big Viking in the Sky” noticed my Facebook post mentioning that I had heard feedback on the christening snd it was uniformly negative. They had someone speak to me about it.

 

We did not attend, assuming it would be nothing special. It’s not like Viking is particularly elegant. Did people think they’d be attending the Vienna Opera Ball?

 

I have to say that the crew members are all fantastic, friendly and helpful as are the officers, even the two that don’t care for me.

 

I think that Viking is a good company but they are wizards at spin snd PR.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mr. Torstein Hagen

Ms. Karine Hagen

Captain Atle Knutsen

Mr. Sujith Mohan

As well as looking forward to the event for weeks before sailing, we received a lovely formal invitation to the Viking Sun Christening. Little did we know that it was our first UNinvitation to an event in our lives. To add insult to injury, new clothing and jewelry was purchased in Shanghai because we were told a half of a dozen times or more by the Cruise Director and in the Viking Daily that it was an "elegant" event. Instead, this was nothing more than a scam to get us off the ship that we paid in excess of $114,000 to be on to not even be in the bleacher seats to witness the most momentous event of the Inaugural World Cruise we selected. We were herded onto buses, having to step aside for the "valued" guests, to an off-site, low class venue where we were not served in any way. We "enjoyed" lousy, largely unedible food in a combination of family style and long buffet lines because you wanted us out of our dining rooms. There was cheap wine and warm water and juice with no ice and only one glass per person. Despite all this, we still waited excitedly for the event. The event appeared on a few TVs that were postage stamp size from where we were sitting and we could see little and hear nothing. Although this was better than the Viking brand of internet, there is better media coverage at your average local sports bar. We are sure you enjoyed it very much and we knew that every management crew member (because they were not with us) and many members of the press were truly enjoying the event, a real kick in the gut to those of us who have made a major monetary and time commitment to this Viking voyage. Finally, word got out before the event was over that there was a few buses waiting and a mass stampede ensued. All ticket groupings were ignored and there was pushing and shoving to get on the buses because people could not wait to get out of there. We have photos that are suitable for #myvikingstory.

We have since heard that there was not room for everyone so some people (who didn't arrive until 7:45, by the way) were shuffled off to another room. It makes the poor planning and lack of due diligence by Shore Excursions for this world cruise to look not quite so bad.

We waited a couple of days to write this for two reasons. First we wanted to see if we would be less angry in the light of day. This has not happened because there is nothing you can sugarcoat or excuse but mostly we waited for the second reason. We waited for you. There has been not one single note of acknowledgement or apology let alone compensation for what we endured and lost since this debacle happened two days ago. Organizations should not do world cruises who do not know what world class behavior is and the importance and impact of their paying guests. We suppose you wish to retain your #1 ranking, but it is going to be difficult.

 

 

 

My wife and I choose to stay onboard during the christening ceremony, because we could see it was hectic and probably not going as Viking planned. We had a pleasant dinner on board and watched the ceremony from the ship. While it may not have been as glamorous as Viking planned we don’t fault Viking. We can’t imagine the logistics of trying to coordinate such a big event and will not allow this one event define how we feel about the level of service provided by Viking on our round the world trip - they are still number one in our book!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a mass-market line cruise to Alaska several years ago, our ship sponsored tour to Misty Fjord was disrupted by weather that closed in after we reached the fjord. Result was they had to boat us back to the ship rather than the promised, and much quicker, float plane trip. We got back to the ship shortly before departure. At the dock we were met by a cruise line representative with letters of apology. The next day we found another letter of apology in our cabin with $100 OBC for each of us. For something TOTALLY out of the line’s control. That’s become our gold standard for PR. And now that I’ve found out that the people who stayed on the ship did actually get dinner (I’d really been worrying about that!), I’m going to declare this horse dead and quit beating it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are also on the world cruise at this time. However, we did not come on the cruise only for the naming ceremony. Yes, it did not go the best, but it was only one thing out of many. There are always going to be ups and downs when you spend five months in one place. We are a small town. We had a speaker the other day, who is a member of cruise critic, and he ended his talk with something I thought was so important. He was a POW and when he left his prison he realized that he could not hate his captors or he would be poisoned for life, so as he left he forgave them and he said he then felt free. I think we need to think about that and realize that things will go wrong, but if we cannot forgive, then we will be the ones to suffer, not those that we feel have wronged us. This has been a great cruise and we have made some great new friends. Things have gone awry, but it has been a very memorable trip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:cool::')

We are also on the world cruise at this time. However, we did not come on the cruise only for the naming ceremony. Yes, it did not go the best, but it was only one thing out of many. There are always going to be ups and downs when you spend five months in one place. We are a small town. We had a speaker the other day, who is a member of cruise critic, and he ended his talk with something I thought was so important. He was a POW and when he left his prison he realized that he could not hate his captors or he would be poisoned for life, so as he left he forgave them and he said he then felt free. I think we need to think about that and realize that things will go wrong, but if we cannot forgive, then we will be the ones to suffer, not those that we feel have wronged us. This has been a great cruise and we have made some great new friends. Things have gone awry, but it has been a very memorable trip.

 

Well spoke! We did not attend the ceremony for a number of reasons so have no bad feelings about it.

 

Viking was playing up the christening which made us even less inclined to go. Some have accused them of false advertising but I think it’s more a matter of “puffing their wares” as we learned in Business Law 101, which would make them not liable for damages.

 

Maybe they just wanted it to be so wonderful that they began to believe their own hype.

 

As you say, it’s time to move on and enjoy the rest of the trip. We are looking forward to Oman, our next new country, the first since Brunei.

 

We had a great independent stay in Sài Gòn and I was able to tell my former teacher that, despite my Hà Nội accent, I had no trouble communicating

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are considering a Viking Ocean Cruise. What concerns me is the stampede towards the buses at the end of the “christening”. I would not have expected this from passengers on Viking, sounds more like Carnival!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We are considering a Viking Ocean Cruise. What concerns me is the stampede towards the buses at the end of the “christening”. I would not have expected this from passengers on Viking, sounds more like Carnival!

 

The manners, or lack thereof, of a segment of the passengers on board the World Cruise has been a shock to us as well. There is quite a bit of "me first" on board. Not sure why or how you eliminate it in this present world. Not just with busses but an older demographic loudly using cell phones or tablets for face timing grandchildren in public spaces and other more "modern" etiquette breaches has been a surprise. We are all of an age where we were taught better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We are considering a Viking Ocean Cruise. What concerns me is the stampede towards the buses at the end of the “christening”. I would not have expected this from passengers on Viking, sounds more like Carnival!

 

It was not really a stampede, people were just getting on buses as quickly as possible. It was very cold that evening and some did not have warm jackets on, so everyone was in a hurry to get on. Some of us were fortunate enough to be able to walk back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our experience was much different. We were among the later arrivals and were treated to a smaller dining venue with many tvs to view the activities. Food was abundant and served at the table. There was entertainment periodically in the room and two venues for souvenirs. While we were not front and center for the ceremony - well I think we can watch it on tv if we wish. Of course it was all in Chinese so who really wants to watch it. Anyway, Viking was so upset at how the evening was handled that they flew out a high level exec to apologize and listen to complaints. Viking is definitely the best ocean cruise line going and I speak from many thousands of sea days. DH and I are definitely sold on Viking. They even handled the aftermath of the very first Viking Star christening very well. So be travelers not tourists and realize that there are influences (often political) over which no one has control. China is a good example. I think. Good people, but then there is the government. Have a great cruise day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve read all the comments regarding the christening of the Viking Sun with some amusement. Yes, it didn’t go as probably planned or hoped for by Viking, but what do you want Viking to do - comp everyone a free cruise. My wife and I stayed in the ship and had a great dinner at Manfredi’s. Didn’t see any “special” guests at all in the restaurant. We’ve heard more petty complaining on this cruise than any we’ve taken in the past. My hats off to Viking. They don’t nickel dime their guests to death with fees for everything; the food’s been great; the drinks free flowing; and the tours have been fun - need I go on. Sure, I think some things could be better, but I’ve been on big cruise ships with 3,000+ of my favorite friends and I’ll choose Viking every time. Thank you Viking!!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I’ve read all the comments regarding the christening of the Viking Sun with some amusement. Yes, it didn’t go as probably planned or hoped for by Viking, but what do you want Viking to do - comp everyone a free cruise. My wife and I stayed in the ship and had a great dinner at Manfredi’s. Didn’t see any “special” guests at all in the restaurant. We’ve heard more petty complaining on this cruise than any we’ve taken in the past. My hats off to Viking. They don’t nickel dime their guests to death with fees for everything; the food’s been great; the drinks free flowing; and the tours have been fun - need I go on. Sure, I think some things could be better, but I’ve been on big cruise ships with 3,000+ of my favorite friends and I’ll choose Viking every time. Thank you Viking!!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

 

 

WELL SAID, We should have stayed on the ship, you live and learn. Please don’t change a thing - the ship, crew couldn’t be nicer and the can do attitude is Very Refreshing hub this industry.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

;p

WELL SAID, We should have stayed on the ship, you live and learn. Please don’t change a thing - the ship, crew couldn’t be nicer and the can do attitude is Very Refreshing hub this industry.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

Agree! I’m not at all savvy about cruises or what to expect but there was no way we would go to a self promoting event like the “christening.” We had a quick dinner, enjoyed the Shanghai Acrobats and came back for a drink and to hear the guests who attended talk about their experience.

 

We have enjoyed this cruise very much. The crew are all first rate and friendly. Most know us by name, likely because we are difficult in some way.

 

The other passengers are fine. We know only a few hundred by name but everyone has a pleasant word or greeting and the social interaction is not unwelcome.

 

The only thing I noticed is that, when we go to an area that we heard was quiet, when I arrive it isn’t quiet at all! Coincidence?;p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mr. Torstein Hagen

Ms. Karine Hagen

Captain Atle Knutsen

Mr. Sujith Mohan

As well as looking forward to the event for weeks before sailing, we received a lovely formal invitation to the Viking Sun Christening. Little did we know that it was our first UNinvitation to an event in our lives. To add insult to injury, new clothing and jewelry was purchased in Shanghai because we were told a half of a dozen times or more by the Cruise Director and in the Viking Daily that it was an "elegant" event. Instead, this was nothing more than a scam to get us off the ship that we paid in excess of $114,000 to be on to not even be in the bleacher seats to witness the most momentous event of the Inaugural World Cruise we selected. We were herded onto buses, having to step aside for the "valued" guests, to an off-site, low class venue where we were not served in any way. We "enjoyed" lousy, largely unedible food in a combination of family style and long buffet lines because you wanted us out of our dining rooms. There was cheap wine and warm water and juice with no ice and only one glass per person. Despite all this, we still waited excitedly for the event. The event appeared on a few TVs that were postage stamp size from where we were sitting and we could see little and hear nothing. Although this was better than the Viking brand of internet, there is better media coverage at your average local sports bar. We are sure you enjoyed it very much and we knew that every management crew member (because they were not with us) and many members of the press were truly enjoying the event, a real kick in the gut to those of us who have made a major monetary and time commitment to this Viking voyage. Finally, word got out before the event was over that there was a few buses waiting and a mass stampede ensued. All ticket groupings were ignored and there was pushing and shoving to get on the buses because people could not wait to get out of there. We have photos that are suitable for #myvikingstory.

We have since heard that there was not room for everyone so some people (who didn't arrive until 7:45, by the way) were shuffled off to another room. It makes the poor planning and lack of due diligence by Shore Excursions for this world cruise to look not quite so bad.

We waited a couple of days to write this for two reasons. First we wanted to see if we would be less angry in the light of day. This has not happened because there is nothing you can sugarcoat or excuse but mostly we waited for the second reason. We waited for you. There has been not one single note of acknowledgement or apology let alone compensation for what we endured and lost since this debacle happened two days ago. Organizations should not do world cruises who do not know what world class behavior is and the importance and impact of their paying guests. We suppose you wish to retain your #1 ranking, but it is going to be difficult.

 

Your sense of entitlement is unbelievable. You did not *pay* to go to the christening, which was not announced until the cruise was well underway and you had long since paid your cruise fare. It was Viking’s GIFT to passengers. Your expectations were absurdly overblown, and your complaints are quite trivial.

 

Bus? How did you think Viking was going to transport 900 people?

 

Venue? It wasn’t fine dining, but the food was varied and tasty, the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooked the phenomenal Shanghai nighttime skyline, and there were empty seats near the closed circuit TVs throughout the evening so that everyone who wanted it had a chance to watch the fantastic performances of Shanghai luminaries.

 

Again, this was Viking’s gift to us. That you feel free to crap all over that gift rather than seeing the many good things about it says FAR more about you than it does about Viking. We had a great time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Your sense of entitlement is unbelievable. You did not *pay* to go to the christening, which was not announced until the cruise was well underway and you had long since paid your cruise fare. It was Viking’s GIFT to passengers. Your expectations were absurdly overblown, and your complaints are quite trivial.

 

Bus? How did you think Viking was going to transport 900 people?

 

Venue? It wasn’t fine dining, but the food was varied and tasty, the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooked the phenomenal Shanghai nighttime skyline, and there were empty seats near the closed circuit TVs throughout the evening so that everyone who wanted it had a chance to watch the fantastic performances of Shanghai luminaries.

 

Again, this was Viking’s gift to us. That you feel free to crap all over that gift rather than seeing the many good things about it says FAR more about you than it does about Viking. We had a great time.

 

You enjoyed it. Did you consider staying on the ship as apparently a few people did? Was the event mandatory?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were there and I don't want to recount all the details. Let me just say that it was a disapointment, particularly after the buildup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We were there and I don't want to recount all the details. Let me just say that it was a disapointment, particularly after the buildup.

 

 

 

Larry, I couldn’t have said it better. Viking WC was ever so special even with a couple of small misses that they corrected immediately.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Your sense of entitlement is unbelievable. You did not *pay* to go to the christening, which was not announced until the cruise was well underway and you had long since paid your cruise fare. It was Viking’s GIFT to passengers. Your expectations were absurdly overblown, and your complaints are quite trivial.

 

 

 

Bus? How did you think Viking was going to transport 900 people?

 

 

 

Venue? It wasn’t fine dining, but the food was varied and tasty, the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooked the phenomenal Shanghai nighttime skyline, and there were empty seats near the closed circuit TVs throughout the evening so that everyone who wanted it had a chance to watch the fantastic performances of Shanghai luminaries.

 

 

 

Again, this was Viking’s gift to us. That you feel free to crap all over that gift rather than seeing the many good things about it says FAR more about you than it does about Viking. We had a great time.

 

 

 

Us Too! One miss did not change our outlook on both Viking and their First WC .

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No one should be scolded for having a different opinion about a cruise. I had two Viking river cruises. I liked the first one better. Should I not be allowed to say that? I dont want to be accused of complaining.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...