We travelled on the Viking Torgil in June 2014. This is a new ship and only sailed this year.
Having spent 2 days in Lisbon pre cruise - we think most people would have preferred to go directly to the ship, unpack and relax ready to see the sights.
After a long coach journey to Porto, where we boarded the Torgil at approx. 4.15 pm we were then asked to be in the lounge 1 hour later for a safety briefing and following that to be back in the lounge pre dinner, meet the team and pep talk. Hardly time to wash and change - RUSH! RUSH! RUSH!.
We paid for and upper deck stateroom with balcony. Balcony you could just about squeeze onto it and we are quite small people. Our stateroom looked very nice, bathroom adequate, wardrobe space adequate but you had to angle the coathangers to be able to close the sliding door. The wardrobe door was just swinging from the top runner and the internal light in the wardrobe was permanently on, and as if by magic the door would suddenly slide open, disconcerting when you were asleep. The only seating in the stateroom was the bed, YES there was a chair which was placed under the vanity unit. They surely must have put it there before putting the bed in, as it was impossible to pull the chair out to sit on or even move it to another part of the room, You just had to pass virtually sideways to get to the wardrobe and bathroom.
The food was a very mediocre standard and served with not much finesse. The seating in the restaurant was not particularly relaxing, some tables being so close together the staff had trouble passing to serve other tables. On one particular evening which was a Portugese BBQ dinner held on deck - you had to be quick to get your food, it was removed before you could blink - nothing relaxing about that.
The dress code states 'evening casual' and Captain's dinner 'dressy but not formal'. I don't think Jeans or Shorts are correct attire for dinner.
Onto the ports of call - not very exciting. The docking points were isolated not a great deal to see, probably only a dozen houses or so. Therefore everywhere you went was a coach journey - it seemed more like a coach holiday than a river cruise. You departed the ship at one port and then rejoined it at another further down the river. Apart from the Favaios Bakery, Quinta de Avessada and Salamanca the rest were forgettable. We know they make port wine but how many times do you need to see and sample it. Even if you like port you could eventually get sick of it - same old, same old.
Each evening pre dinner a talk was given on the following day's itinerary, the you received your daily programme in your stateroom and then on the coach journey more information. It was like you were at school not on holiday. Too much irrelevant information
We paid a lot of money for this cruise and would have expected more from a company such as Viking. We have written to them regarding the ship and the excursions but just felt our views weren't really of great concern and were told they would be passed on to the relevant people.
Then just to prove their incompetence their final letter to us included someone else's booking information.
We have travelled with other River Cruise companies which were far better and at a much lower cost. We thought Viking would be top notch.
The TORGIL is a new ship and heaven help what it will look like a few years down the line or even a few months.
Would not recommend. Very disappointed.
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