July 14, 2005
Dear Mr.Jeff Dash.-
President Viking River Cruises Inc.-
5700 Canoga Ave., suite 200
Woodlands Hills, Ca 91367
I am addressing this letter directly to you because of some issues that I am very concerned and troubled by.-
We just returned from our Viking River cruise which left Basel/Antwerp (Treasures of the Rhine) on the 26th of June, confirmation # 224974.
We took cruises before but this is our first river cruise, we looked into the Viking and we liked very much the information on it even though we thought it was pricy but we decided to go for it anyway because it looked promising. When we boarded the ship with great surprise we met cousins of mine that live in Israel, they were a whole group of friends and they bought the cruise locally in Israel. To our greatest disbelief it came to our knowledge that they'd paid on the same category we were on ( category B ) about $4,500 less, per couple , than the money we paid here in the US by the official published Viking River Cruise prices.
We are a very hard working couple, still far from retirement, and we put great effort during the whole year to save for our, once a year summer vacation, I got sick to my stomach to say the least that as an Israeli born and USA citizen (living in NY for 25 years) we could have saved a substantial amount of money I had only bought this cruise in my own country and had saved all this money, that we have to pay now in installments for the whole next year to come.
Our cabin was in category B # 216, when we enter the cabin we realized there was a very strong disturbing (motor like) noise, since we were in a hurry to unpack an shower and go to meet our relatives in the lounge we kind of dismissed this noise until night time when we went to sleep. I am a juvenile diabetic and taking insulin, therefore a good night sleep is very important for my health, which I try all the time to take good care of, if I don't sleep well my whole system gets affected and my glucose level jumps very high. Even though we were exhausted from the flight I could not sleep because of the loud motor noise. My husband went out to the hallway and attached to our cabin's wall, there he saw, a closet door with some kind of machinery that we don't know what it was and were the noise affecting our cabin came from , and next to the Ice machine that was very noisy too since it was in use nonstop. Next morning I went to the hotel manager Mr. Harold Haselwanter, he told me that he was going to talk to the engineer and come back to me on the same day, well, that never happened and I was never contacted on the subject again. I went back to him and with a dismissing gesture and a smirk he said that there was nothing he could do. I was about to call you directly from the ship but the differences of the hours made that difficult, I could not understand why they built this cabin without enough insulation when the problem is so obvious, for me personally it was awful because of my light sleep, and I just could not sleep the way I normally do , of course my sugar level went awry .
In our visit to my relatives in their own cabin the difference to ours was much obvious, it was very quiet, noise free, and very pleasant. There is not justification whatsoever to charge for this specific problematic cabin, a full category B price, unless it matches the qualities of the other cabins on the same category.
From the very beginning our cabin had a fowl smell , and it was quite disgusting and until today I do not understand where it came from. I also informed them about this issue and I was told they were going to take care of this but to no avail the smell kept coming back.
We met over dinner people that had taken Viking Cruises before to other destinations like to China and Russia and even though the Viking Sun is a new and beautiful ship( with some issues though) they enjoyed their prior cruises much more, as far as quality service and not having to put up with some attitude from some personnel.-
As I mentioned before this is our first with Vikings, we took other trips over the years with other first rate companies and never ever had any problems and apathetic attitude from staff members, I am very discontent with the things that happened on this trip and I hope that you as the President of Viking River Cruises take it to account, I consider this a very serious matter and I won't take it lightly.-
I am looking forward for your own personal response, and if you have any further questions don't hesitate to contact me at these numbers: