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Rhine Cruise - MV Virginia

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Ipswich, Suffolk
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Rhine Cruise - MV Virginia

Have just booked a short cruise on MV Virginia via Shearings, but a bit concerned that there seem to be few if any reviews. I know it's an older ship. Anyone been on it?

102 replies to this topic
Grangemouth Scotland
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61. Re: Rhine Cruise - MV Virginia

We went in July last year. Paid extra to get a the biggest cabin you can get. (there were only 4) Would not go on the Virginia again ever - even if I was paid. Everything from the bathroom floor flooding, and only empting when the boat lurched a certain way. There was a window scraper to enable you to help the water run away from the floor. Still you could sit on the toilet and get a shower. The water cut out twice in the week. We could not even use the toilets. The toilets were dry suction (like you get on the old ferry's and planes) so you can imagine the smell if you left the bathroom door open, even the men did not leave the seat up. The floor was always wet and slippy.

The Rubbish was stored on the sun deck in black bags. We are seasoned travellers and the was not our first river cruise, but to get up to the upper deck was a stair that could only be described as like a fire escape (only it was up the outside of the boat). Several people fell up, I was always frightened that the boat would move and I would end up in the river. We have been on a Nile cruise on a small river boat and never encountered any problems getting around and it was over 30 years old.

I have heard that it has been renovated since we were on it, but there is only so much that you can do to an ailing structure built in 1965. Food was terrible, and we went hungry often going onto land to get something to eat. Entertainment was so bad it was funny for all the wrong reasons.

When we landed our berth was always well away from the centre of town. Not the best when the stays are short. None of the trips were worth the money and could be done at a 1/4 of the cost yourselves.

TIP: The Viking cruise ships were beautiful, lovely rooms (we could sometimes see in when they were berthed). They had all the good berth's in the centre of towns, and included the trips in the cost.

If you want to go on the Rhine do not go with Shearings. I complained and got £200 back immediately, so they know how bad it is.

Merthyr Tydfil...
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62. Re: Rhine Cruise - MV Virginia

we were on the virginia in august 2011, the cabins were not great but acceptable, we did pay for an upgrade but although we were offered £100 compensation for not having our upgrade the upgrade cost us £290, we just got nowhere with shearings when we explained all we wanted was a refund of the £290, they stated that they thought £100 compensation was enough for not receiving a £290 upgrade, an offer by them of £200 of vouchers was just an insult, we would never book with them again. the food was not the standard we had expected on a holiday that cost us over £1000 per person, but their reply to that was that the standard of food was subjective, which of course it is but tinned potatoes frozen veg and breakfast either/or sausage or bacon for over £1000, we will not be caught again, you have been warned

Heysham
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63. Re: Rhine Cruise - MV Virginia

Reading some of these replies we would imagine that they were from Viking River Cruise Employees or maybe those from SAGA.

We have been with Shearings on the Virginia since 2003 with never a problem.

We were on the Virginian in April and booked again for October.

Maybe the complainers should prefer the Queen Elizabeth or the Queen Victoria?

The bad reviews do not reflect the experiences of ourselves over the past TEN years.

So the complainers perhaps should 'get a life'

No problem with the coach trip to meet the boat either. Your holiday starts at the Shearings coach.

We are not in any way connected with Shearings or their employees but credit where credit is due.

I hope my spelling is better than some of the others!

Merthyr Tydfil...
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64. Re: Rhine Cruise - MV Virginia

dear les, just read your review or rather non review of the Virginia, you just had a go at others who didn't have your nice experience, any chance of a review to point out the good points, in my review I gave my experience of a holiday that cost us over £2000 for a couple, could have gone on the queen Victoria for that. if fact we did do a similar cruise and as you seemed to infer the standard was far superior to the Virginia for the same price, I could state dozens of other holidays in the same price bracket all far superior to the Virginia, if I had paid £500 per person I would have been happy with the standard. I have got myself a life and not been on the same holiday for 10 years.

Grangemouth Scotland
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65. Re: Rhine Cruise - MV Virginia

Hi Les, just read your review, only it did not review your holiday, you just complained about other reviews of the Virginia and their spelling. What had that to do with a review. Yes you may love the Virginia but others had a different view. It just depends on your satisfaction levels I paid £2,600 (for 2 ) for the holiday. Not good value for money when the food was disgusting, and you are frightened to climb the stairs. I too do not need to 'get a life'. I am not a rep for Viking ships, nor SAGA as you seem to suggest. I am happily recently retired, and go on holiday abroad about 6 times a year with my husband,(plus UK weekend breaks) normally at the 'top end' of the market and for that kind of money expected better. You get what you pay for as the saying goes and we did not get value for money. If I had paid about £500/ person I would have been fine, that is about all it is was worth. ( However would not book a holiday at that price, sorry) Still off tomorrow to Canada. British Airways of course, and 'Gold Leaf' Rocky Mountineer. You enjoy your life and the Virginia ( ten years on the same holiday!!!!) and I will enjoy mine. (and my other 5 holidays are already booked and none are on the Virginia.

Bristol, United...
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66. Re: Rhine Cruise - MV Virginia

Having just returned from a week onboard the MV Virginia, my initial posting would be 'Don't Waste Your Money'.

The boat is aged & even despite a 'refurbishment' last year it is tired looking & in need of being replaced by a better/newer boat.

The mainly Slovak crew went out of their way to make up for any problems on board.

However Bev the Shearings rep to say was poor would be an understatement. Despite the smile & fake tan, when she needed to step up & sort out issues (of which there were many) she decided the best policy would be to hide in her room or cry or to ignore the disguntled/angry passengers.

Do not book any of the rooms near the front of the boat, the engine noise is horrendous, the crew peer into your room as they go to the front of the ship when trying to do any maintenance work (which often happens).

There is nowhere to walk on the boat being so small, the TV's don't work more than often.

The cabins are small, the bunks even more so & I ended up with bruised legs from the hard surroundings trying to get on & off the bunk.

The shower does not drain away & after paddling for ten minutes in my tiny bathroom I gave up trying to get the water to drain away.

The toilets stopped working twice, not nice.

The food is poor, soup so salty, all the veg are tinned. Breakfast is a fight for the one toaster for up to 100 people, tinned fruit for breakfast as well.

Seeing we were in Germany it might have been nice to have local styled meals but no, fish & chips and an indonesean themed night, very tired looking menu.

For the amount of money paid for this trip it was horredous, no value for money.

Shearings you should hang your head in shame.

Huddersfield...
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67. Re: Rhine Cruise - MV Virginia

Hi, we went on this ship from 17 - 24 June 2013 on the Rhine Cruise. Like you we couldn't find any recent reviews and we were rather apprehensive, although we had read it had been refurbished over the winter. We were very pleasantly surprised, although the holiday wasn't what we thought -because of the high river level after the Danube flooded, the boat itself was great. You can tell it has recently undergone a refurb as the furnishings look new and clean. The cabins are not the biggest but quite adequate, with 2 three foot beds a decent size wardrobe with shelves and two large, deep drawers under one bed. The only problem with the bed is that the mattress is in a kind of box (wood along the side) this makes getting out a bit difficult as the wood catches the back of your upper legs, there should been a bit cut out in the middle to make it more comfortable. The bathroom (or wet room) is adequate and very clean ( no mold or marks on the tiles) some wet rooms have windows and some are internal. The actual shower area is quite small and they use those horrible nylon shower curtains that get stuck to you when wet !! Having said that, it is the only thing we didn't like. Apart from breakfast, there are set times for lunch and dinner, we thought the food was very good and the chef did brilliantly to get all the food out at the same time, it was always hot. I am a vegetarian and had special meals cooked from me when nothing suitable was on the menu. You get two free drinks ( beer, wine or soft drinks) with both lunch and dinner. We can't say enough for the crew, they were all great and very friendly and many spoke a little and some quite a lot of English, the crew was made up mainly of young Slovaks. The "entertainment" is one man sitting at an electric keyboard, he is there when afternoon tea (only a cup, no cakes) is served and again in the evening. The crew put on a show on the Saturday evening, which was great fun. The courier used to hold quizzes when she was on board and the prizes were usually a bottle of wine. If you have booked with another company other than Shearings you might not be aware ( as we weren't) that there are optional ( payable) excursions available. Have a great time, we really were impressed with the boat after the negative ( old posts) I read.

manchester
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68. Re: Rhine Cruise - MV Virginia

thanks for this i am taking my elderley uncle on this as a first holiday abroad for him and a first cruise for myself and your review has made me feel better

manchester
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69. Re: Rhine Cruise - MV Virginia

dont know when your going but i am going on the 30th september and promise to put a honest review i have been to many places with poor reviews and have found them to be what i paid for cheap and cheerful acceptable or fab. a holiday is what you make it i say however if this boat is as bad as people say i will say so if you go first please do the same for me bearing in mind im taking an elderly relative

Kingston-upon-Hull...
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70. Re: Rhine Cruise - MV Virginia

Have just returned from a cruise on the Rhine on this ship. Will try to give an honest review. There are much bigger and more luxurious boats on the river but for what this cruise costs it is a lovely friendly little boat.. First the downside, staircase from sundeck is outside, quite steep and tends to catch the backs of your legs but can be solved by going down backwards. Bunks have mattress encased in a boxlike structure so can be painful to get off bunks - needs a shaped front. No tea-making facilities except I think in the suites but tea coffee available most of the time outside the lounge. NO LIFTS but then I didn't expect there to be but some did.

Apart from those few I have no other 'complaints'. Start by saying, long maps of the river are on sale E3 and would recommend buying one as you can see all the sights as you wend your way along. The staff are mostly Slovakian, brilliant and all speak English. Food is very good and adequate for all but a few who seemed to delight in complaining. Breakfast buffet - variety of juices, fruit, cereals, five different types of bread, jam, honey etc,danish pastries, cheese, ham, cooked English, tea and coffee on tables. Lunch is set menu, 3-course but the two lovely chefs will always make you something different if not suitable. Dinner is - a starter, then soup, never the same twice, choice of three main courses, dessert and coffee.

Moorings are mostly close to the town and some people went into the bars at night but probably more stayed on board, chatting and listening to the keyboard player. One night was a special so there was a very versatile artiste. Final night as with most cruises was 'gala' night so many got dressed up. Greeted by the Captain, tables candlelit and special Virginia shaped Baked Alaska for desert. Bar staff are lovely and bar is pretty well stocked.

Trips are a tad costly and most can be done alone but would say not the Ahr Valley and Heidelburg (need the coach). The Seigfreids wine tasting was fun. Fireworks for us were in Oberwesel and it was a great night. No two trips are the same though as firework displays move to various towns along the river. Oberwesel just happened to have a wine festival at the same time so the town was packed, much singing and drinking and fun.

Cabins - we were one (£25) upgrade and it didn't seem much different from the basic nor to the second (£40) upgrade except the second upgrade have slightly more space between the bunks. Suites are bigger. We had a wet-room, small but manageable. Never any nasty smells or blocked toilets but then that of course is usually down to the passengers. Engines not noisy. Cruising is usually done in the mornings with afternoons, evenings and nights at the moorings.

All in all a lovely cruise and well worth the money paid. I loved it and didn't want to come home, could have glided along there quite happily for another month.

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