Viking River Cruise Russia Viking Pakhomov May 2006
Recently returned from Viking Russian River Cruise on on Pakhomov. We were surprised on several issues. The over all cruise was disappointing. We had booked the large room ( 200 sq ft) this is a necessity. Other rooms are tiny and very close espicially the bathrooms. You spend a lot of time on the ship. The lectures were supposed to be put on by russian experts that were to join the ship at various ports, instead they used the guides who were reading from there prepared text. That was so rudimentary and very poorly presented. Supposidly Viking did this to save money! The ship was clean and certainly adequate bu at $4,800 per passenger you would expect more than adequate. The meeting rooms were small and cramped. all presentations and explanations were too short and questions limited. We found the ship crew and guides limited in their understanding of english. The wait staff in the resturants were pleasent but totally lost in english. Better to bring a dictionary to meals. The head chef preoccupations was to see how little tasteless food he could serve with complaints. Forget about special orders and special diets ! The food was adequate but more like summer camp food that a cruise ship. Complaints went un answered or ignored. The facilities for movie presentations was laughable. They unprepared for the fact that most customers were older and had difficulty hearing. As the guides english were poor their voice volumns got lower and lower. This was both on board and on shore. Although the onshore excurions were well organized and interesting you could hardly hear anything and the groups were too large. The russian people were very reticent to answer questins about Russia after 1917. and actually stated that any "sensitive" questions should not be asked in public places ! So much for perastroky. They were very straight foward about asking for tips for everyone. The economy in Russia is very bad however they were not so forthcomming with expected services. The most striking issue was the poor quality anfd quantity of the food. Don't ask for a second helping ! Overall I would not recoomed this trip to a friend. And more importantly Viking is suposed to be one of thes best.