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About coloradocruiselover88

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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    cruising, wine, travel,
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    All :-)
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    Any :-)

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  1. The water levels were so low that Viking should have cancelled this cruise and they know it based on them giving us a 50% voucher of what we paid towards a future cruise. We changed ships 3 times, lost 1/2 day in Vienna and 3/4 of a day in Budapest. We also got none of the scenic cruising experience, sadly. While I went in with expectations of the possibility of changing ships in the event of water levels, I absolutely did not expect the poor customer experience we had. I am appalled at the behavior of the Program Director and yet at the same time feel sorry for what he had to put up with and all the arrangements he had to make. His attitude and disgust with Viking Corporate was apparent every time he had to tell us something. So on to our first ship - the Viking Tor: The Tor is a beautiful ship and on embarkation day it was magical. We were treated like kings and queens as we boarded. The staff was outgoing and friendly. The rooms were well laid out with plenty of storage and counter space. The bathroom was extremely small (including the shower). Very large people would have a hard time turning around in the shower. The heated floors in the bathroom were a big asset, especially after a rainy morning in Vienna to dry out our shoes. The soaps, moisturizer and shampoo and conditioner are really nice and an upgrade from the usual stuff you get on other ships or in hotels. I never felt crowded in the open areas, but dining outside was a bit cramped. The upper level sun deck was closed most of the time, but I was able to get up there one day and walk the track. Food and Drinks - the food was average, the included wine was horrible (and I am not a wine snob). The breakfast was the highlight of most meals on board. Most of the food was over salted, bland and not exciting. Presentation was pretty though. One guest with us has celiacs disease and is gluten free, they handle him well and he did not go hungry, but did have to repeat some meals at dinner time. They always had gluten free bread for him. The beer was good and free flowing at lunch and dinner. I was expecting to be wow'd at dinner, given the smaller guest count (if comparing to an ocean cruise). They did give us a tour of the galley and that was really cool to see what all they accomplish in such a small space. Entertainment - it was average. We always had a piano player each night. One evening they brought in a lecturer, one evening a musical trio. Nothing really to write home about. Staff - the staff was lovely, with the exception of the Program Director who was haggard, short with people and frustrated with corporate (or the big guys as he referred to them). The PD and some of the customer service desk folks did not take the time to listen to you and often rushed you through what you were trying to say (and I am a straight forward get to the point kind of gal). Information flow - the information flow (since we had to change ships) was always spotty and communication poor. Transferring ships - they handled this well and our luggage always showed up in our cabins and was not misplaced. Excursions - the included excursions were really good and we had some great guides. Organization of the busses and where you had to be next was well done. They always kept our group of 12 together. Many of our additional or optional excursions were cancelled due to the fact that we had to change ships or take busses to our next location/ship. Our next ship was the Viking Hermod - it was laid out identical to the Tor - lovely ship. The crew stayed with the ship, with the exception of the program director - he came with us on each ship. The crew on the Hermod was not as friendly or nice as they were on the Tor. We never met our cabin steward, customer service was not that great, and the dining room staff horrible. The maitre'd argued with the gluten free guest and a waitress rolled her eyes at another guest. TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR! The food was average, nothing to write home about. The transfer to this new ship went well, no complaints. Our last ship the Viking Var was the same as the last two ships. Customer service was not that great, the food average and the staff ok. Nothing to write home about. HOWEVER, we were bussed to this ship which was 1.5 hours away from Budapest (thus resulting in losing 1/2 day in Budapest and our optional excursions) and we arrived in the dark and had to walk on a rocky, unlit path quite a distance to the ship. The crew provided no flashlights and most of the guests were using their cell phones to light the way. The straw that broke the camel's back here was the fact that it was our last night and folks who had early morning flights had to get back on the bus at 2am to make their flights, when Viking could have put folks in a hotel (or at least those with early flights) closer to the airport. Post Cruise Extension in Budapest - Viking's hotel was amazing, the onsite staff was great. We did our own thing here, so can't report back on it other than the great hotel. Excellent location, amazing staff and a fantastic breakfast buffet. Again, I went into this cruise, eyes wide open, knowing we may have to change ships, but after historical low water levels all summer and the amount of other cruisers we met on our excursions, Viking really should have cancelled this cruise and I believe they know they messed up since they offered a large sum for a future cruise voucher. I expected so much more for the price paid for this cruise, including excellent customer service, awesome food and consistent levels of the customer service experience across the three different ships. Extremely unhappy with this cruise experience. Will I sail Viking again - probably not. I am requesting a refund in lieu of the voucher because you only have a year to use it and I can't afford another expensive cruise in the next 12 months.
  2. Would you mind sharing who you booked your private tours with and did you enjoy them? Thanks
  3. I agree that the website experience is awful (both the customer facing one and the TA one). Even when you call Celebrity and complain about their website they tell it is their worst experience for clients! The chief technology officer and the chief marketing officer better suck it up buttercup and fix it or this will be both my first and last cruise with them. Way to many other cruise lines out there......that being said, if they wow me with the actual cruise experience, I may be more forgiving..... 17 more days, we shall see. Cheers!
  4. Don't blame the IT team; blame the marketing and design teams and the person that approves it to go into production.
  5. Can you explain what the silent disco is? Thanks! Sailing on her on 3/3/18 and I am loving your review and pictures!
  6. Good day fellow travelers! I am excited to be going on my first river cruise, choosing Viking only because my brother and wife picked it and they have river cruised before. We have air at a very, very reasonable price. What has been your experience when you do your air thru Viking? Do they want until the very last minute to book it for you? Do you get stuck in awful middle seats? Do they make take the longest, cheapest route or the most direct? Any help, tips, information you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Cheers! Kathi
  7. From Vikings website: What Is The Tipping And Gratuities Policy? From the Hotel Manager to receptionists, from restaurant servers to housekeeping, Viking’s onboard staff are 100% dedicated to serving our guests. Tips are not included in your cruise price, but are a voluntary way of showing satisfaction for good service. You may tip onboard staff in cash if you like, or you may charge your tips to your credit card at the end of the cruise (everywhere except Egypt, Southeast Asia and Portugal). These gratuities are distributed among the ship’s staff. The Tour Escorts or Program Directors that travel with you do not share in the onboard staff gratuities. It is customary to tip them separately in cash. The following guidelines are based on typical amounts; they vary by region so please read the section for the region to which you will be traveling. Please note that local city guides and coach drivers are not included in the onboard gratuities; any tipping should be done in cash on the day of the tour as you are not likely to see them again. Europe In Europe, we recommend that you tip in euros. Guidelines: Program Director – €2 per guest, per day Onboard staff – €12 per guest, per day Local city guides – €2 per guest, per day Coach drivers – €1 per guest, per day Russia In Russia, we recommend that you tip in U.S. dollars. Guidelines: Onboard staff – $15 per guest, per day Tour Escort – $10 per guest, per day Local city guides – $2 per guest, per day Coach drivers – $1 per guest, per day China In China, we recommend that you tip in U.S. dollars. Guidelines: Onboard staff – $15 per guest, per day Tour Escort – $10 per guest, per day Local city guides – $2 per guest, per day Coach drivers – $1 per guest, per day Southeast Asia In the Mekong region and in Myanmar, we recommend that you tip in U.S. dollars. Guidelines: Onboard staff – $15 per guest, per day Tour Escort – $10 per guest, per day Local city guides – $2 per guest, per day Coach drivers – $1 per guest, per day Egypt In Egypt, we recommend that you tip in U.S. dollars. Guidelines: Onboard staff – $15 per guest, per day Tour Escort/Egyptologist – $10 per guest, per day Local city guides – $2 per guest, per day Coach drivers – $1 per guest, per day
  8. We used Alla tours as well in St. Petersburg. They were amazing! They hydrofoil was cancelled due to weather but everything else went smoothly. Can't blame them for the weather, right? Enjoy!
  9. Many TA's get paid commission on any accepted upgrade offer, so I would work it with/for my client, but I would tell them their offer may not get accepted, they may not like the new cabin location, and they may be at risk for a less than desirable cabin even if it is considered an upgrade. For instance, upgrading from a balcony to a suite that is right under the disco (if there is such a thing) may not be as desirable as the location of the balcony cabin they are in.
  10. Love Iceland! Glad to hear the seas were kind to you! Enjoying your reports, thanks!
  11. Yes, just call NCL. They will be able to fix the glitch in the computer and your docs will be available for printing very shortly thereafter (providing your check in is at 100% done). There was some recent upgrade and many were not available. If you have a travel agent, tell them to call NCL and get it fixed; after all they have earned a good commission on your sailing. Cheers!
  12. I never cruise without travel insurance; it makes no sense. Why would anyone subject themselves to the hassles, financial pain and insecurity? If you think the per trip costs are two much look into an annual plan. Cheers
  13. Will be sailing on Celebrity for the first time in March. Would love to know what types of wine celebrity offers and if anyone has a photo of the wine list? Thanks, Kathi
  14. Asking for a friend :-) what Whiskey's do the have aboard? Thanks for the help/1
  15. Maybe it is folks who are disgusted of the chair hogs...........not saying that is your case and I have never experienced petty theft or lack of a lounger on a cruise but I pick my dates carefully..............:cool:
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