I am writing regarding multiple complaints I have regarding my trip on the Rhine Getaway starting in Basel, Switzerland and ending in Amsterdam from April 3-April 10.
Although the cruise was in every way a delight, we also booked an extension to Amsterdam and The Hague.
Even though we tested each day for COVID on the cruise, we did not test the day we disembarked.
April 10: Our extension in Amsterdam included a canal tour and free time. We left Amsterdam by bus to The Hague for another tour and free time.
April 11: The following day included a walking tour in The Hague. We were scheduled to get COVID-tested in the hotel for air travel the next day.
Our travel guide confused the appointment time so the tester left the Hilton hotel before we got tested.
To obtain the testing, we walked to a COVID testing center in town and continued our day with a tour in Delft.
When we arrived back in the hotel, we were notified that I and a traveling companion tested positive. My husband and his wife were negative.
We were told at that time that we needed to stay in our rooms and that a Viking representative would contact us.
Our room did not have a working phone which my husband and I reported multiple times. We had two cell phones with us but at no time did anyone from Viking contact us on our cell phone to advise about the hotel stay, obtaining food, future testing, etc.
After multiple phone calls (each phone call was an international call on our cell phone since the room phone was not working), we contacted someone from who advised that we were in quarantine for 5 days and were not to the leave the room.
We were told that someone would reach out to us. We were advised to call room service for meals (also an international call).
Since my husband had tested negative, we decided that he should leave the next morning on April 12 using the original flight arrangements.
April 11-15: I stayed in the hotel room. Still no contact from Viking although the other couple had contact. They repeatedly reminded the Viking rep
that I was in the hotel.
Finally the Viking rep advised that a new person would be our Viking host and would take care of our needs (e.g., medication that had run out, aspirin, cough drops, etc.). That did not happen.
No one came to my room to check on me or my needs. When I heard the maid in the hallway, I would ask her for toilet paper, soap, shampoo, etc.
The new host claimed that he tried to reach me on the hotel phone and was never told that the phone did not work.
My email was disabled (I could receive but could not send) so I texted multiple times a day once I had a contact number for the Viking host.
On the 5th day of quarantine Friday, April 15), the other couple and I were tested in our rooms, and those tests were all negative. My certificates were wrong twice (wrong name, then wrong birth date). I had to wait for corrected ones.
We waited all day for flight information and were told that no flights were available on Saturday, April 16 because it was Easter weekend.
Flights were arranged for Sunday, April 17 but the COVID test from Thursday had expired. No testing in our rooms was available per our host, and we were told to go to the airport on Sunday morning and get tested there before our flights.
April 17: The 3 of us took a cab arranged by Viking to the Amsterdam airport and took the COVID test in order to fly. All 3 of us received positive COVID test results and could not fly. I called our host and was told we had to go back to the original hotel (40 minutes away) and re-quarantine. We were told to find our own transportation back, so we took an Uber.
The host advised that we would get tested daily until we had a negative test so that we could fly. My friend needed to quarantine for 5 days since it was her first positive result (my second).
April 18: The COVID tester was in the hotel on Monday, but since I was placed in a new room at the hotel when I checked in the second time, the tester could not find me (i.e., she knocked on the old room, did not check with the desk, and said Viking gave her the wrong info). I was told that no one was available to come back to test me that day.
April 19: The COVID tester came the next day, and I got tested in my room and tested negative. After many hours and many texts and phone calls, the host arranged flights for me to leave the next day.
April 20: I flew home.
I think you can see that there were multiple mistakes made on Viking’s part. I have no issue with being asked to quarantine for 5 days, but I do with being left in the hotel with no assistance or aid, the mistakes with testing or not being tested; the certificates in the wrong name, etc.; being sent to the airport to get tested; and leaving us on our own to return to the hotel in The Hague. None of these is acceptable in any way.
This is not the first cruise my husband and I have made with Viking.
Since we have travel insurance, our travel agent has agreed to assist us by requesting reimbursement for expenses incurred (e.g., room service, Uber, and 2 COVID tests for which I never received receipts after multiple requests). Reading the COVID exclusions in the insurance document, I am not sure that they will cover any of our expenses.
I respectfully request a response to our complaints and suggest that the communication between Viking and its “hosts” and the passengers be re-evaluated. This was not a good experience and has left us with many questions about traveling with Viking again which we had hoped to do.