Just returned last night. Sad to say that Viking is continuing same pattern of deceit and poor substitutions with added bad crew attitude. My story is unfortunately similar to others here on this thread and another thread I just replied to. We booked back to back cruises. Showed up in Amsterdam and no boat. Bused to Vienna on first cruise to find no boat in Vienna either and we never did get an answer of where to meet up with the next incoming group of cruisers to continue on second cruise without a boat. We could not imagine continuing anyway, so did not. On the second cruise, Vienna-Black Sea-Vienna, we were told that the substitute boat Viking Europe was stuck below the pontoon bridge at Novi Sad, Serbia. The Serbs only open that bridge on Tuesday and Saturday. Yet, no Viking employee could tell us how long the Europe had been stuck below Novi Sad, what had been done with its passengers or when, and while in Vienna Friday through Wednesday on the first non-cruise (so 2 bridge opening days) we never learned if Europe got past the bridge for the cruise to start on Weds.
There are no “easy answers” here only hard ones. We are not on a cruise message board to discuss the hardships that extreme weather conditions impose on travel industry, tourism, or employees of those industries. We can all accept those facts as givens. No cruisers here expect miracles, no one expects TA’s or Viking and its employees to control water levels in rivers, but one should be able to expect to be treated with respect, dignity, honesty, prior notification which is possible when dealing with long-term weather conditions such as drought and substitutions of equal quality and value cheerfully delivered when things go wrong. Regarding current water levels, see latest Danube news story online at http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/1002/p07s02-woeu.html