Viking River Cruises
2.4 of 5 13 reviews
vikingrivercruises.com Woodland Hills, CA 150 to 499 Employees

Viking River Cruises Reviews

Updated Mar 11, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.4 13 reviews

                             
13 Employee Reviews
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3 people found this helpful  

OK, nothing great

Sales (Former Employee)
Boston, MA

I worked at Viking River Cruises full-time for more than a year

ProsGreat medical and travel benefits

ConsRude managers
Little promotion opportunities

Advice to Senior ManagementHire managers who are able to engage in highly professional behavior.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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4 people found this helpful  

Growing company with a great product, but treat their workers like machines.

Travel Consultant (Current Employee)

I have been working at Viking River Cruises full-time for more than a year

ProsViking has an amazing product for the river cruising industry. They have the nicest ships and cater to a very interesting and well-traveled group of individuals in the United States. It is also a company that is growing rapidly and everyone is starting to know what river cruising is because of Viking's brand name.

ConsAside form the great product and ships they have unfortunately, nothing else is a positive at this place. Let me start with management - they are horrendous and don't know how to deal with employees in a positive way at all. Instead of helping their employees to achieve better results and to get motivated, all they do is beat you down and try to intimidate you to do something. Everyone in the office is in a constant mode of stress that never lets up. Of course, this is sometimes normal for sales because we need to meet minimums in order to get a pay check, but this company does nothing whatsoever to make their stressed out and overworked employees feel the slightest bit better. When you are at work, you are just a machine to make this company money is what it feels like.
iNow let's move on to the vacation and time off...this is a big one for me because as I stated above, it's a very high stress job. They give you minimum vacation time that is almost impossible to take off because of all of their "promotions" that end at the end of every month so you cannot take those days off by any means. You accrue only about 2 hours of vacation time per pay period (bi-weekly) so you work and work and work to never be able to take time off. People that have children and families that need to take time off for doctor's appointments, etc. need to use their vacation days and in turn, never get an actual full vacation off in years. One poor colleague has been there for 5 years and has never taken more than 3 business days off in a row. This is a pretty common thing.
As for sick time, you only accrue about 1 hour every pay period, so if you get sick anytime before June and have to take a day off...good luck to you. Most people get written up.
Viking gives great health insurance benefits (you get to choose from about 20 different plans) and they pay most of it, but if you need to take some time off of work for minor surgery (4-5 weeks), they cannot guarantee your job and you will be let go. They also do not pay maternity leave whatsoever so if you have a baby, you need to take the accrued vacation time you have and take the rest of the time unpaid.
All in all, I can say that this is the stingiest company I have ever worked for. If you want your sanity, you can find a better place to work that will treat you like a real person and not a machine.

Advice to Senior ManagementQuit and let the company hire new, better, refreshed management.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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4 people found this helpful  

An absolutely gorgeous company and idea; however, abusive, rogue and reckless IT middle-management were a nightmare...

Database Developer (Former Employee)
Woodland Hills, CA

I worked at Viking River Cruises full-time for less than a year

ProsTheir product is nothing short of dreamy romantic adventure, of which stories will be told. Their concept, presentation, and marketing materials are absolutely breath-taking. They even build their own ships to specification, and provide an annual River Cruise benefit for employees.

ConsIT Managers yelling, swearing, slobbering, engaging in verbal sexist belittling of direct reports - the most ridiculous workplace conduct I have experienced in my entire life, and not by the troops, but by IT managers. It was loud and often, and could not be unheard or misunderstood. This behaviour was well-known and tolerated by the organization, and was in fact the leading off-hours topic of IT employees. Accountability of staff appears to cease above the lowest level, at least in IT.

Advice to Senior ManagementFire your abusive IT managers or prepare for lawsuits. It is remarkably easy to accumulate visual/audio evidence of abuse in the modern age. Promote those employees that silently and gracefully endured their behaviour, for those are the humble, strong, productive and resilient individuals that actually did the work the IT managers took all the credit for.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Great Experience

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Viking River Cruises

Pros- Compensation
- Travel
- Mature Colleagues

Cons- Work on 1 weekend day for sales / service in the beginning until tenured
- Difficult to get time off during busy season

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep it up, just give more vacation time and holidays and option to take time off on weekends.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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8 people found this helpful  

Too much stress and too much work for too little compensation and benefits.

Customer Service Agent (Former Employee)
Woodland Hills, CA

I worked at Viking River Cruises full-time for more than a year

ProsGood people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Interesting product (luxury travel).

ConsThere was no training whatsoever. Most of the expectations were "communicated" telepathically. Customer Service dept was severely understaffed and agents were paid very poorly. The work volume was too high, as well as the stress level (both from the excessive volume of work and difficult or rude customers, which comes with the territory). We were told right away that this was a "burn-out" job, and hardly anybody stays over a year. However, getting promoted or even moving laterally into another department turned out impossible. Were paid a salary and worked regularly overtime & skipped lunch breaks (with no additional compensation). The more work you accomplished, the more extra work they would pile up on you.

Advice to Senior ManagementHire more people for the Customer Service team & pay better to prevent morale from going down and the turn over. Treat your staff better.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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1 person found this helpful  

Meh

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Viking River Cruises

ProsThis is a Great company

ConsBut it sucks bc Bad management

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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9 people found this helpful  

Not what I thought it would be.

Reservations/Travel Consultant (Current Employee)
Woodland Hills, CA

I have been working at Viking River Cruises full-time for less than a year

ProsEducated, cultured passengers traveling with Viking Cruises.
Travel benefits.

ConsEXTREMELY poorly managed company by people who have no background in the travel industry. Insufficient training and by someone (Diana) who has a proven record of conflict with employees. Employees quit or are fired often so you are trained by employees (computer training while on the phone) who have not yet mastered the job (it takes 6 months to learn the job). MICRO-MANAGED to where you cannot effectively do your job. The policy changes regularly so once you have learned it- expect it to change. Lead workers (who you call to answer questions) are not always providing accurate information and are not happy to answer the questions and will not take calls from passengers who are demanding to speak with a supervisor. You are responsible for knowing policy that isn't documented anywhere and was sent via email prior to your having obtained the employment position. Your days and hours will change with no notice. You are not valued, respected, treated like an adult, there is child-like backstabbing, gossip, things given are taken away (commission, vacation days are taken from you when you call in sick if you have no sick days, etc...). No room for advancement though they will tell you otherwise. High expectations on the job, with new expectations regularly. Calls are monitored by MANY people, a supervisor will double jack with you (sit with you and listen to your calls) one time per week for all eternity, there are surveys after every call, and you must try to upsell on every call. There's a 1/2 price sale every month so it gets busy at the end of every month, so there's mandatory overtime and sometimes you must work your day off. You have two days off per week but they are not consecutive. Most employees are not only dissatisfied with their jobs but are downright depressed. It is a very demeaning atmosphere. This is NOT a professional environment. The only way to make money in this job is to work in the sales department, but you will have quotas and will be fired if you don't meet quota. Your sales are taken away from you for silly things.The job is ridiculously complicated for the pay, and to have to deal with supervisors, management, emails, phone messages, policy changes, and lead workers attitudes for the little money paid makes this job unbearable. Policy makes it impossible to do your job sometimes. For example, you are responsible for returning phone messages left in between calls (IF it's slow) after idling in for 15 seconds and only one outbound call, so you cannot check your message then return the call and you cannot do either if it's busy. You have to return email messages during your call or in between calls but you cannot be unavailable for a call for more than two minutes.The computer is archaic and constantly makes mistakes so you must watch for computer errors in addition to your own. NO TRAINING for new ocean cruises so good luck to you and all the passengers traveling in 2015. That will be a guaranteed mess. So much potential to be a good job but no such hope unless they gut current policy and management.

Advice to Senior ManagementTreat others as you would like them to treat you. Place yourself in the employee's position and see how much you'd like working under the same conditions. The morale is so low it's a shame it goes unnoticed. Take employees off the phones for 10 minutes and ask them how to better the work environment but don't have consequences for them when they speak up. Quit experimenting with policy, you have been in business far too long to not know what works and what doesn't at this point. There is no employee loyalty to this company, no job security, and everyone feels under constant threat of losing their job. Hire supervisors from within, not people who know nothing about the job and are unfamiliar with policy. Monitor your supervisors and leads as you do your sales team and travel consultants. Designate a separate phone line for travel agents and a separate phone line for ocean cruises and have specialized training just for them. Do not think for one minute that any of us actually know how to book ocean cruises, they are not booked "just like rivers!" Monitor 1210 calls to the leads, especially when supervisors answer, as they are almost always wrong (supervisors are not trained on the phone and should NOT be giving advice). Survey your leads, they should be responsible for treating us the same way we must treat passengers.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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1 person found this helpful  

Welcome to good old-fashioned Corporate America

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Woodland Hills, CA

I have been working at Viking River Cruises full-time for less than a year

ProsComfortable, stable, reliable work environment in a very solid company that's growing very well and will be around for a while. If you are looking for safe, stable, quiet, and consistent then this is for you.

ConsWorking in a drab cubicle farm is far from inspiring. Their management style and business methods are strongly rooted so there's not much room for creativity or innovation. And the corporate culture is negative in that I've heard disparaging comments towards the less-affluent call center employees and the older, demanding customer base. Oh - and there is an office dress code.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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1 person found this helpful  

Hard to be happy here

Sales (Former Employee)
Woodland Hills, CA

I worked at Viking River Cruises full-time for less than a year

ProsGood HR dept, free pizza once a month, free parking,

ConsIncomplete sales training leaves new employees very stressed out first several months.
Many Managers and Team Leads are unsupportive and very condescending.
One must ask permission to use the restroom at Viking during shifts going later than 5 pm and weekend shifts. Very humiliating if you have an upset stomach.
Typing a phone number on the wrong portion of the E-application results in a loss of the sale.
It is possible to sell a million dollars in product and receive zero commission due to an unfair inbound call conversion system.
Archaic and inefficient sotware system

Advice to Senior ManagementBrand New sales reps need more than two minutes between calls to double check the accuracy of applications.
Calls that are wrong numbers, or want to be taken off the mailing list, or already booked a cruise, or are making a payment, should not be counted as a sales call because they are not. Create a new and honest call Tally

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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3 people found this helpful  

An interesting experience but difficult

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Woodland Hills, CA

I have been working at Viking River Cruises full-time

ProsEvery employee gets a discounted rate or free cruise as a perk after a certain period of employment
Pay is decent although yearly bonus is small

ConsThis company does not promote from within
Too many directors, managers, VP's, lots of bosses to keep happy
Long hours are required and expected in most departments
Departments are often at odds with each other, and within the department itself, so half your job will be negotiating the "political" hurdles
Unsupportive managers will actually make fun of employes behind their backs in front of other employees
No HR department
Zero job training, just jump in and swim
Lots of "strong personalities" to endure

Advice to Senior ManagementValue your productive employees, get rid of the dead weight. Promote from within so people like me who work hard have a reason to keep working here.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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