They make up stories as they go along and couldn't care less about satisfying the customer. Our October trip down the Rhine was a joke (low Water) as well as the employees changing stories very time you talk with them. No one know anything about where we would be going day to day and when we did stop the landing was a NO Name town (so the captain could sleep).
Sorry to hear about your experience with Viking as we are also booked on one of their cruises in November. Did you just come back from your trip? Did Viking mention anything to you about the water level or potential change in itinerary before you left on your trip?
Two postings within the last two days on another river cruise board from cruisers who just completed river cruises in Germany and Austria indicate that there has been lots of rain and no problems sailing itineraries as scheduled. Super!
If you read the reports about the other riverboat companies, you will find that they are going through the same situation.(Low water, no notification of passengers.) This is not limited to Viking. It is a very bad situation for all concerned.
It seems I have heard and read your name numerous times, and boy it sure seems that you are all "Viking" with no regard for the passengers....Well,,,,,,,Well,,, Well,,,, I am a TA and certainly don't have your feelings...I have just returned from a Viking River Cruise and met some of your clients...and I must say you are dead wrong...Viking is treating everyone just awful....and could care less...Hopefully your clients on my briefing will insist and or demand a refund and turn you and Viking over to Better Business...Shame on you.....and Viking greedy greedy greedy.....Signed, mpb
Interesting... I have been wondering for these past 3 months, since our Viking bus cruise, why no one here has complained to the Better Business Bureau... or if anyone has, why it's not showing up as a complaint (maybe it's that the BBB takes months for replies, responses, etc...). I can't really lodge a complaint because we got a 100% refund (but we also left the night they told us about the "bus trip", never stayed in the icky hotel they wanted us to stay in, etc.) It cost us a fortune to make our way thru Europe on our own with no advance reservations or plans, but we did get our money back- if we had not, I would have contacted the Better Business Bureau in a heartbeat.
They "Just Happen to mentioned" it to my wife when she called their California Office on a ticketing question just two days before we left. But no big deal according to Viking.
We did meet a large group on the tour who know nothing about the low water until they arrived over seas. They were very upset.
Since we have arrived home my wife has written the President of Viking Cruise requesting our money back (that's a laugh).
No, I am not an employee of Viking River Cruises; however I am a TA who has booked many Viking cruises. Aside from the complaints and disappointments of those who travelled this summer and were adversely affected by low river levels--which apparently definitely had an effect on the crew morale and other aspects of the cruise--no one else has had any complaints. And I do give my clients a chance to complain! I personally call or e-mail to my clients when they return from the cruise and ask them for their critique, what they would change, what they would like to see in future Viking cruises, etc. I'd be happy to share dozens of letters of praise for the cruises and the cruise line.
I am perplexed! A complaint about me to Better Business Bureau after I spent 18 hours in direct contact with my clients and Viking--with my international telephone calls to the ship and to the hotel, in addition to e-mails back and forth to the client around the clock--even throughout the weekend when most TA's are unavailable--as well as telephone calls and e-mails to Viking management--even on the weekend??!!?
And though no compensation seems to be enough when a client is unhappy, I was able to get a full refund for the second leg of a back-to-back cruise, a credit toward a future cruise to compensate for how the low water levels affected the itinerary of the first leg, a change in flights to bring the clients back to the United States per their request, etc. Since Viking agreed to these refunds/credits/flight changes at Viking's expense, I strongly doubt that BBB would find the cruise line at fault.
Unfortunately my rain dance was not effective in bringing on rain to up the water levels on the rivers; but I don't think that BBB would consider a complaint about my inability to fool Mother Nature.
You have outed me here as your client, since I am the only person posting regarding a back-to-back Viking cruise.
I had not informed this board that you were my TA on my recent disastrous Viking misadventure. I had not mentioned my TA at all here. And, since it seems that you are really worried about it, mpb did not advise me to turn you and Viking in to the BBB, so I guess you jumped the gun assuming it was me. Sorry, mpb’s advice must have been offered to someone else. But since your guilty conscience apparently led you to weigh in and out me here by taking credit with my back to back cruise results, I feel compelled to respond directly to you.
I am still waiting for some rational explanation from you of your continuing reference to 18 hours you spent keeping my husband and me on call to you by email & IM at all hours in smoke-filled Internet access rooms paying by the minute, over 4 days including a weekend, on our $500+/day vacation. According to the Viking personnel on the ground onboard Spirit and in Vienna, nothing was being done over the weekend on our request to not take the second bus trip and be flown home. You yourself emailed me the same thing last week as your final answer on your negotiations on my behalf with Viking. If Viking had any goal of providing customer satisfaction and building a returning client base, then fulfilling their responsibility for us from 9/22 RDU to 10/25 RDU, and resolving this matter on the Spirit in that first one hour’s time after we made our request would have been the answer.
Your defense of yourself would be admirable if it had any basis in reality. But since I do have copies of our IM and email while you strung us along during our recent unpleasant European vacation, I happen to know that you only ever advised us to take the second bus cruise, not to challenge the Viking charge to AMEX, and that you would take care of everything when we got home. I would have gotten home today from a very long bus ride through Eastern Europe if I had followed any of your advice. Instead, I have been home for 2 weeks. I have negotiated my own refund for the second bus cruise by ignoring your self-serving advice and I did so directly with the Spirit cruise director in Vienna, by cell phone to a Viking VP in California, and by continuing direct email with that same Viking VP in the days since my return. You had nothing to do with it any of that, I did it all in direct defiance of your instructions to me. You still have done nothing for me except send me a $300 check that the Viking VP told me she refunded you. Oh, you must mean the 25% off discount for a future cruise that you said you received from Viking good only... nevermind…
Regarding the Better Business Bureau suggestions. Let me say that I did check out Viking River Cruises, Woodland Hills, CA before we purchased. Check for yourselves. http://www.bbbsouthland.org/Online.c...&p=howtoreport
They had an unsatisfactory record then, as they still do today. Unfortunately, this was true of all three river cruise vendors that I was looking into at the time, so the unsatisfactory record did not set Viking apart.
Finally as to who is fooling whom about what. No rain dances were necessary. I have posted numerous websites on this message board that I found regarding the recording and publication of European river levels. More bad news. Low water levels were not the reason that Viking put us off our abbreviated short, first cruise and bused us from Straubing to Vienna Oct. 5-6. Anyone can go online and check the water levels, and see for themselves. There was plenty of water in the Danube between Straubing and Vienna at the time. Not so further south and that is why we bailed out in Vienna and refused the second non-cruise. Viking personnel on the ground at the time said that we had to disembark in Straubing on 10/5 because Viking had 3 busloads of passengers from a Budapest-Amsterdam cruise on their way to Spirit. It seems that must have been the real reason we were put off early, and were bused to Vienna instead of cruising to Vienna.
Ann you made the absolute right decision. I wish my husband and I had done the same. We sailed on Uniworld's 9/24 trip from Amsterdam to Budapest and two days after we left we were told we could go no further than Koblenz. We tried to get info. from Uniworld without success and found out it would cost us 3K to get a return flight. We decided to go with Uniworld and spent 11 horrible days on a bus. The food was terrible and one of the hotels was really awful -- I mean, unsafe awful. Under construction, no lights in the stairwells, elevators that didn't work and no cleaning service because the hotel was not staffed properly. Our lawyer has contacted Uniworld for a refund but I have no idea what will happened. We should have done what you did (four of our passengers did). Am absolutely sorry that we didn't just get off the bus and come home. We are experienced travelers who lived overseas for many years. We should have known we would absolutely hate a bus trip even in the best (which we did not have) of circumstances.
We checked three times the week before we left and I sent emails to the ship. Uniworld lied and unfortunately we believed them. Anyway -- good for you.
dfb--XLNT letter. We were on your buscruise, stayed at the horrid "5-star" Hotel de France in Vienna and believe we chatted with you in the lobby. Via our agent, we are currently trying to get some monetary compensation from VCR. It seems we may have to act on our own behalf as you did. Please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org.
E-mail replies to this thread, to the address above.
Well the latest from Viking is a 70% discount on a cruise that might run aground. "I guess you have to ask yourself if you feel lucky".....
Although it sounds tempting, and so does getting a $500.00 discount if you sign up by December 30th, along with the $100.00 repeat victim, I mean, client deal. You could walk away with a 7 night crusie (or possible bus trip) on the Danube for around $500 per person.
Enough Rain for having no problem with low water levels
Enough Sun and little rain to satisfy tourists
Enough water for the Farmers to have good work
Confortable wheater conditions for everybody on this planet
Lets pray to God that he make the weather for everybody satified.
As i am a regular Viking Visitor I know that the crew on board will do the most efforts to make a wonderfull cruise for the passengers. The make more than the 8 hours a day.
The crew do not want low water levels ,
They want a normal cruises so passengers can not ask them difficult questions about the trip on special circumstances.
They do not want to be borred by passengers with difficult questions,
They want only that the passengers will have a great time on board.
Most passengers do not no, how much work it is when the ship can not sail the scheduled trip.
And if you are a proffesional traveler you ask the questions on the right person on board and that is only the
DO NOT ASK the waiter ,DO NOT ASK the cabinstewardess , DO NOT ASK the deckhand. The are not informed, because they have to concentrate on their job and not on the schedule.
Because the situation can change every minute, this is during wheater circumstances, docking places, and lots and lots of more things.
And i do not like the comment about the captain ( RONS) that he can sleep.
When you sleeps he brings the ships save from port to port on a very dark rivers, even in small and undeep waters, you have to visit the bridge by night then you can see the work he is doing. He want to go with the ship, because that is this job