My husband and I were recently aboard the Viking Skirnir for the Grand European Tour beginning September 26 and ending October 10. This was our “Swan Song,” because due to our age, we knew we couldn’t take another trip like this.
When we arrived in Vienna, my husband became suddenly and extremely ill with what we later learned was pneumonia. The doctor that Verona, the concierge, called came to our stateroom, observed my husband on the floor and said, “I’m a doctor. I don’t pick people up.” Then he charged me 100 Euros, leaving me with three Euros. I asked him to call an ambulance, which he did, because my husband was feverish and unable to rise from the floor.
He is nearing 90, so of course, I was extremely worried about him, and I was sick, too. Verona did nothing to help us in any way. She told me I would have to find my own way back to the US. I asked her how I should do that, and she said to call my travel agent.
Viking was my travel agent! She also said I would have to find a way to get to Budapest to pack up our things and get them back to Vienna. She told me that a taxi would be too expensive, and I should take a train, but didn’t tell me where I could find a train station. She made no suggestion where I might find a hotel in Vienna, or anyone I could call to get some advice as to how I might manage alone in Vienna.
Nor did she call my emergency number to notify my daughter what had happened to us. Why do we give emergency contacts to Viking? Our children were terrified. Meanwhile, on the third day, Verona called me to say I could pick up my belongings when the ship made its return trip to Vienna.
She knew all along that the ship was coming back, but she let me worry over how I was going to get to Budapest to get our things. My blood pressure was 228/110 and I had to make two trips to the emergency room for IVs to try to lower it. I’ve never been so alone and so worried in my life. My husband was in the hospital for 10 days, when we were finally discharged to return home, but unfortunately I have only the memory of being an old woman completely helpless in Vienna without even a hint of concern or assistance and unable to speak the language.
Would Verona have wanted her mother to have been put in this situation?
My letter to Viking about this was sent a month ago, but it has has gone unanswered. No one takes a cruise thinking there would be an emergency, but Verona surely could have recommended a hotel in Vienna or had someone accompany us to translate.
Product or Service Mentioned: Viking Cruises Customer Care.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Preferred solution: Price reduction.