Viking Cruises - Not Romantic Danube
Do not expect a summer vacation on Viking. Don't be misled by the commercials. Read the fine print - Viking is well aware of river levels but do not offer first rate alternatives - just the excuse - it's out of our control. Read the online complaints - they hold the truth. Viking Danube River Cruise (July 2015) consisted of hours long bus rides on subcontracted buses - NOT the Mercedes-Benz class buses with spacious leather seats and onboard loo. Be prepared to locate the ship at industrial docks - at one point we watched dirt/rocks coming over a wall from a dump truck while we waited in line to reboard but the beep, beep, beep from the other heavy machinery combined with the dump truck BOOM of dirt unloading made for a comical serenade. Be prepared to dock up against other ships so you either keep the room darkening shade drawn or wave hello to your new neighbor through the opaque curtain - quite shocking when you're unprepared. Be prepared to adjust to the smell of urine in the hallways - the carpets are need of replacement (TOR). Locate and adjust the volume dial in the room and be prepared to be awakened every morning at 8:00AM SHARP by three chimes and the event coordinator's voice announcing that the BUSES are leaving in 15 minutes. Be prepared to eat 'family' style with other people eager to learn everything there is to know about you. Aquavit terrace - riverfront cruising - a very limited number of chairs/tables - eight rocking chairs that were constantly occupied by the same persons. Star gazing? Be prepared to hear the crew as they 'unwind' after hours in their topside location with no 'closing time'.
The one portion of the Danube that was cruised was done during the night so while we DID in fact cruise on the river the 'sights' along the way could have been seen in along any riverbank.
Security is nonexistent. While docked in Regensberg - in an area where the dock and buildings are under construction - no ship personnel validated the person boarding was supposed to be on the ship. Witnessed several young males come on board and from their age/behavior realized they didn't fall into the category of 'cruiser'. Alerted several older gentlemen who immediately approached them and the young males jumped back onto the dock, laughing and making vulgar statements about Americans. Ship's personnel was informed and we were assured 'security is a high priority'.
Invest your money in a cruise line that is known for delivering a great product for your investment - Regent - buses are involved to transfer to venues but they are air-conditioned MB class.
Customer Service is not there to 'make you whole' because in Viking's opinion, they delivered a service that they consider 'adequate'. My experience was not relaxing - it was stressful, inconvenient, crowded, noisy - extremely HOT and the food wasn't great. Desserts were unappealing.
An alternative for the amount of money invested in this never to occur ever again vacation would be to have rented a car with air-conditioning, driven along the Danube and stay in a hotel room where I know I can wake up to no one staring into my room where I can drive myself to see and experience historical ruins, churches and sites of interest at my own leisure instead of being told to 'get on the bus'.
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What I disliked
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- Bad quality
- Product or service
- Viking Cruise Lines Romantic Danube Cruise
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- Cruises and Ships