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Old September 27th, 2003, 03:34 PM
Joel Joel is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 11
Default Re: Vienna to Amsterdam

More updates....

Viking did not offer any incentives during the cruise. (We'll see over the next couple of weeks if anything comes in the mail) A number of people were going to write letters complaining about the cruise and hoping for some form of compensation. 2 for 1 offer for future cruise, refund of money spent taking train from Frankfurt to Amsterdam, etc. Viking people on ship did not appear to be authorized to offer anything but "we're sorry". Not even a free beer the evening they broke the news to us about the 7 hour bus trip.

Overall, people were dissappointed in the change of direction the cruise took, but from my view, most were understanding of the water situation and made the best of it. Some people who were flying home from AMS to frankfurt to US managed to get airlines to allow them to board in Frankfurt instead of going all the way to AMS just to fly back to Frankfurt then to US the next day. I was surprised, but glad to see some airlines are still accomodating customers.

The biggest complaint all trip and especially after the change in plans was the total lack of communication between Viking and the passengers. It was hard to believe that until we were 2 hours away from Frankfurt that Viking (home office or ship staff) did not know we could not make it any further. This seemed hard unbelieveable. We all know the water levels did not drop just at that moment. Personally, I suspect they could have made it to Amsterdam, but were worried with no rain in the forecast, they might not make it back if the water dropped another few inches. It would be very hard to run the trip even with buses from Amsterdam/Cologne areas.

Additionally in all the towns/cities we did visit, the cruise started becoming one of "Don't ask me, I won't tell you" by Viking. If we asked questions about what else is there to do, the cruise leader was more than informative. If you didn't ask, they didn't tell you anything more than you they wanted you to know. You had to ask specific questions, nothing was ever volunteered. It also appeared they were more interested in making your 'shopping experience' at each stop worthwhile rather than trying to explore more of each city/town. I know I did not go there for shopping. I went to see castles, see the countryside and taste wine. (most of these were accomplished)

Will write more on trip later or in response to any other questions.....
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