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Viking Var Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
155 Reviews

Buyer Beware - Not worth the money!

Viking Var Cruise Review by Travelingwiththetaylors

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Nov 2018
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: French Balcony Superior

My husband and I decided to take a leap of “financial faith” and take a Viking River Cruise based on customer reviews and feedback from other people.

The decision to use Viking River Cruises turned out to be the worst decision we could have made. It is at the top of one of the worst vacations we have ever taken. And to add to our disappointment, the $500 cruise voucher that has been offered, it is just an insult. We reached out to Viking but of course we never heard back!

We understand “Acts of God” (river being low) however the lack of communication from Viking was unprofessional and deceptive. Sending an email the week before the trip is not communication especially because Viking knew all summer about the river problems and they knew the amount of rain needed for the proper water levels had not occurred and would not improve before our scheduled departure date.

We would have expected your company to: 1) Cancel the trip; 2) offer a full refund; 3) inform guest that their money would be transferred to a future river or ocean cruise; or 4) make the fully aware of what they were getting into if we chose to take the trip. None of these things were offered. So, instead Viking decided to have a cruise of almost 200 disgruntled customers, who will now spread the word about their experience.

Below are some of the issues / problems we experience with this trip that we feel warrants compensation from Viking, that is not the insulting $500 that was offered.

Air Service – Very disappointed with this service. Had we know about all of the hidden costs, we would have made my own travel arrangements. Which would have allowed us more time and saved us money. Don’t use!

3 total ships (VAR, TOR and Hemods)

Viking Var – (Nuremberg, Regensburg and Passau)

GOOD

Service staff was excellent. They were kind and friendly.

Front desk not so much, when ask directly about the boat change, etc. that had been mentioned in the Port Talk, which we missed because of our late arrival. We were provided with incorrect information, which was rude.

Optional Tour Nuremberg– the guide was informative and provided good information

Optional Tour Regensburg– the guide for the walking tour was very informative and provided very good information

Optional Tour Passau – we did not see Passau. We paid for Salzburg Highlights. The bus driver “the Pope” was very funny and made the unbearable long bus ride a tad bit better.

The guide for the walking tour was also good.

BAD

Optional Tour Nuremberg – the bus portion of the tour was a complete waste of time. Driving around at normal speed with a great opportunity to take pictures did not make sense. And no printed information was provided about what we were seeing so that we could at least have some frame of reference.

UGLY

Optional Tour Nuremberg – Not enough free time to shop or explore the city. Rushing back to ship to leave did not make any sense.

Optional Tour Regensburg – Spending an entire day in a city that is completed closed was an utter waste of time. We could have spent more time in Nuremberg.

Optional Tour Passau / Salzburg – The Salzburg Highlight tour was not worth the money spent.

And if we had been informed that the 3 hour total bus ride was now a 6 hour bus ride, we may have opted out. We were not informed of the change until we had already boarded the bus and were on our way. The bus ride to and from was pure “hell” that was too long to be a bus for a 3.5 hour excursion. A total shame!

There were no lights to guide guest back to the ship once the bus dropped us off from the Salzburg tour. It was extremely dark and very hazardous. Guest had to use their cell phones to find their way back. Luckily no one was hurt.

Room Steward – In effort to clean our rooms before we could even leave the ship, the steward threw away my body buff that I use for bathing– not happy.

Room Steward – The day of the bus ride, we went to breakfast and left our personal items on the bed. When we return to the room all of our items had been moved from the bed and the room had been cleaned. This is totally unacceptable! Our personally items should not have been touched under any circumstances and they could have waited another 20 minutes to clean the room.

Viking Tor (Vienna and Krems)

GOOD

Optional Tour Vienna – the walking tour was excellent. It was refreshing after sitting on the bus the day before. The guide did a great job and we had plenty of free time to explore. One of the only highlights of the trip.

Paid Optional Tour Schonbrunn place – the guide was very informative.

Service staff was excellent. They were kind and friendly.

BAD

After the long bus ride we decided not to go on the Gottweig Abbey optional tour. We stayed on the ship to take pictures of the Wachau Valley. However because of the lateness of the hour and the lock, were not able to get many pictures. It was very annoying that the commentary continued about what we were “not” seeing because it was dark out and could not make out anything. Yet another disappointment.

Paid Optional Tour Schonbrunn place –The tour seemed very rush and for the amount of money we spent, we should have been able to see both parts of the palace not just the one section. We felt cheated. It would have been cheaper and easier to do it on our own.

UGLY

The 3 hour bus ride was horrific, especially after the 6 hour bus ride the day before. It was totally unacceptable.

The stateroom bathroom was horrible. The shower had not been cleaned properly, had hair on the walls and the floor that was not ours.

The bathroom toilet was not flushing when we arrived. An officer came to the room and checked and it would not flush for him either. About 5 to 10 minutes after he left the toilet starting flushing and then a “rude” engineer came to the room stating that it was working. However the water pressure was very low and it took several attempts to get the toilet to flush.

The bathroom also smelled like urine. It was extremely offensive.

We reported the issue to the desk, however they decided to give us a lesson on how to flush the toilet and did not address the horrific bathroom smells. It was not good.

Viking Hermod (Budapest)

GOOD

Service staff was excellent. They were kind and friendly.

BAD

Optional Tour Budapest– the bus portion of the tour was a complete waste of time. Driving around at normal speed with a great opportunity to take pictures did not make sense. And no printed information was provided about what we were seeing so that we could at least have some frame of reference. The guide was not as good as the others and she kept pointing out highlights way before we got to them and people were missing them. There was not enough time to explore the beautiful city.

UGLY

Another 3 plus hour bus ride – just a nightmare.

The bathroom stop, where we had to pay was ridiculous. This should have been covered by Viking. Fortunately, we still had some Euros in order to pay for the bathroom.

We are extremely disappointed in the quality and value of service that was received from Viking. There was absolutely no value for the money spent. Viking failed us and the other guest. We could never recommend Viking Cruises to any our blog readers. We also have already told our family and friends not to Cruise with Viking!


Travelingwiththetaylors's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

French Balcony Superior

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

The Castle District

We were so late getting there after the long bus ride, that we did not get the full experience because it get's dark so early.

View All 70 The Castle District Reviews
Walking Tour

The walking tour was excellent!

View All 183 Walking Tour Reviews
Passau

Due to the water levels, we were in a port that was an hour and half outside of Passau! Which also meant that the tour to get to Salzburg was more than 3 hours each way -- unreasonable!

Just horrible!

Regensburg

Love that the port was in right in the city. However being a city that was closed was not fun!

Nuremberg

The port was not in the city. Shore excursion was good but needed more time in the city.


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