Here are the details of my complaint regarding the Viking Legend cruise from 8 – 15 September 2013.
I. Silverware, plates, tablecloths hygiene was below standard.
1. From the first meal I noticed both the plates and silverware frequently had small particles of dried food which I subsequently popped off using my fingernail. Alternatively, the plates and silverware occasionally felt greasy.
2. Table linen was not changed after every meal, even if it was soiled. At one breakfast I noticed coffee/tea stains around the perimeter of my blue cloth placemat. When I picked up the placemat there was smeared chocolate syrup, food/drink stains, as well as crumbs concealed under the placemat. When I called this to the attention of the Restaurant Manager his only action was to say he would put it in his report. I subsequently saw this same procedure of table preparation repeated after the dinner meal when they set the table for breakfast.
II. The quality of both the food and preparation was inconsistent. Some meals were excellent, other meals were mediocre to poor.
1. On two evenings my meat was chewy (tough).
2. On the final night I ordered salmon; it was dry, unappetizing. On this meal my entrée plate was unusually dirty, I did not finish this meal.
3. Bread. The only evening I recall quality bread/rolls served for dinner was our final supper. The reminder of suppers we were served very-soft-crusted, room temperature, sliced baguette-type bread; very unappetizing. What an opportunity to showcase and excel with good bread. Of note, we did have a good choice and range of breads/buns available for breakfast. No bread was ever served at lunch in the dining room.
4. Soups. Without exception, all the creamy soups were poor. Either they were watery without flavour and spicing, or overly thick without flavour and spices and tasted of flour thickening. This was true for both lunch and supper soups.
5. The ‘Austrian/German’ lunch buffet in the lounge.
a. Only cutlery provided was very flimsy plastic forks and knives (ineffective to cut or spear food). The paper plates provided were very thin oval-type that I’ve usually seen to serve a single hot dog on a bun. Not appropriate for a lunch buffet. They could have used the same cutlery/plates they provided for lunch in the lounge.
b. Dessert. The struddle-type custard-like-filled pastry was not sufficiently cooked. Although the outside was browned, the inside of the dough was gummy.
c. Fried chicken. Was tasty but excessively greasy.
III. Of significant concern was the conversation I overheard between two ship employees (they did not see me as I was around the corner sitting in dim-light using my laptop computer. This was the night passengers had the optional concert tour and upon return to the ship could have a goulash snack.
One employee told the other that since XXX (I did not catch the name) arrived the kitchen was disastrous. They said the quality of the meat and what was purchased was not as good as before. When one was offered some of the goulash, the other said that it was so bad they would not even taste it.
IV. Cabin # 100.
1. The carpet was quite badly soiled. I did mention this to the Program Director and I believe the concierge was also there; they said the carpet would be cleaned, but I never noticed a difference.
2. The vacuum system in the shower drain was incredibly noisy, not quite a loud as a lawn mower (that is how loud it was). This vacuum system was also activated when using the sink. When I mentioned this to the front desk I was told there was nothing they could do, the lower on the ship the louder the vacuum noise became.
3. From time to time there was the smell of sewage gas in the passageway between Cabin 100 and the stairs located amidships.
V. Seamanship. I am aware of three occasions on different nights the ship bumped the side of lock. On the first occasion the ship also scraped the side of the lock for several seconds. I was told the next day (I did not see this) that there was a diver in the water checking the side of the ship.
In conclusion, I was disappointed in the Viking Legend’s overall quality. I want to stress the front line service personnel were quite good and doing the very best they could under the environment established by the Viking Legend’s leadership.