Seems to me that the low water "don't tell" policy from Viking has gone on WAY too long- from our bus cruise in late July until now -people have not been told the truth nor given any options.
SUGGESTION: Conde Naste magazine has a fabulous ombudsman section that truly investigates wrongdoings by cruise lines, airlines, etc. They are great at getting refunds for a single complaint. How about someone one this board (not me, although I'll send in my story) compiling the dozens of complaints in the form of a petition and sending off to Conde Naste. Bet Viking will change their policies and/or give the folks on the "petition" some sort of relief- especially if it gets published in the magazine.
That's a great suggestion. Be aware that UNIWORLD is having the same problem with river levels and seems to not be informing their passengers too. (There is a major complaint on the Cruisecritic board.) It might need to be a "blanket" complaint on all the river cruise operators.
This is a great idea, obviously complaints to Viking are met with "you went didn't you". None of us can fault low river water but there is no excuse for half truths, overall attitude of ship staff which must be the trickle down effect from management. Instead of a coupon a credit for missed days cruising on our credit card would have helped.
FYI - I spoke to a viking representative on Friday about our Sept. 29 - Oct. 3 cruise. If you file a complaint with the cruise line by means of a letter you should be recieving a letter explaining that you can recieve a 70% discount on your next cruise.
As I explained to the Custer Service representative, that works well if you ever plan on cruising with Viking again. I requested that instead of covering the 70% cost of my next cruise, I would prefer that I recieve a 30% credit on the cruise that did not go as per the original itinerary. Unfortunatley, I don't have a couple of extra thousand dollars to see if Viking can get it right a second time.
Love your Idea Ann. Do you believe it is as simple as submitting a complaint to the magazine?
I'm sure if "we", Victims of Viking River Cruises, each submit a short well written narrative of our Viking River Cruise to http://www.concierge.com/forums, we might get further than just simply voicing our opions as we have been.
P.S. - Don't forget about explaing how Viking River Cruise will offer NAPKIN FOLDING as an alternative to Hieldelberg.
Dear Ann, Your suggestion sounds very good. Has anyone followed through? We were on the Sept 26th 12 day Amsterdam to Vienna trip 7 so so days on the river and 5 days of long bus rides. With people at the end of the trip getting sick from the close quarters on the bus. Let me know if there is something started. Thanks. JMT
Re: Re: Suggestion for angry Viking Cruise passengers
I am a former Assistant Cruise Manager, and I have worked for Viking River Cruises for 2 seasons in a row.
This message is not a specific reply to any of your reviews I have read, however, I would like to say few words about the attitude of the crew.
This season I worked onboard the MS Viking Europe, and we had a great deal of trouble due to the low water level. We also ended up several times on the bus tours , instead of cruising, and I can fully understand many of you have been very displeased and very unpleasantly surprised with the course of the situation . We also found ourselves in Amsterdam, after we bussed one gorup of guests for 5 days from Passau to Amsterdam to finish their cruise, and then we got the new group comming in and no ship in the port, because the water was too low.
That was one of the most difficult moments in my 4 years working on both ocean and river ships.
However, I need to say that at those moments we were extremly gratefull to have 3 groups of guests for 3 very difficult cruises who , in majority, have taken the situation with lots of understanding and support for our work, as well as remarkable amount of patience for the constant changers.
I feel a need to say in here how things like floods in the season 2002, as well as low water this year are truly and obviously beyond anbody's control.
I am for sure not going to go into details of analysing what could have been done better by that time while I was still working, but I would like to say one thing about the crew:
both in the season 2002 ( floods in August ) as well as in the season 2003 ( with low water difficulties ) , according to my experiences and lots of feedback we got from our previous guests the crew did truly their best in every possible way to make it easier on all of our guests who found themselves in the middle of the sudden changes in the water level.
I also feel an need to say that there was most likely no way for anyone at the company to say anything too early in advance, because if we , as employees in the cruise and shore excursions department couldn't know any details before the guests then I think that shows that unfortunately , you couldn't know that earlier then us either.
Once again, I am truly very sorry for all of your cruises that have gone way different then you planned, but , at least on this 2 ships where I worked , my impression is that the crew did very well under the circumstances, and I'd like to thank once again to all the Neptune guests in 2002, as well as to all the Europe guests in 2003, who were cought in the floods or low water cruises for all their support, understanding and help. It was a great pleasure, even in those troubled times, to cruise ( and partly to bus ) with the clients who truly appreciated our efforts along the entire trip.
I too am among the many who have had the same experience and same complaints. However, on our cruise, there was a group who were from Britain and were represented by Noble Caledonian who seem to have sent reimbursement to them plus.. However, I was "the American Lady" who just piggy backed on their meetings but they all having 400 years on us on negotiation practices suggested something that I've done already. I CC to my letter to Viking Cruises (in Switzerland as well as L.A.) to Dateline and 60 Minutes. I wonder if all of you did as well that we might not get some publicity about the blaten distruths and discourtesy extended to us by this company. We well might not receive a monetary recompense but at least the bad publicity might forwarn the public on this distastement company.
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.