we just got back from a Viking Cruise , 14 days, from Brussels to Basil. This was our first Viking experience and it will be our last. They advertise as a 4 star but are maybe a 2 star. The reason for this rating by me is mainly due to the food quality, the unfriendly ship crew, and the total over all service, and the lack of help under some unusual medical situations. First, breakfast is breakfast but they cannot even make an omlet without burning it, the pancakes and waffles come cold without butter, the eggs cannot be prepared as asked and the eggs in the buffet are spongy and over cooked, the bacon is baked and overcooked stinking together in 3's and 4 pieces, people line up at the 1 toaster and wait, and the butter at the buffet come in individual packages that are not soft but frozen or cold. The lunch preparation is by far the best of the 3 meals. The lunch in the dinning room is good and the variety of choices are good but the upstairs buffet is below average with poor choices of small sandwiches and salads. The soups are very good but the rest is below average. You cannot get a hamburger or hot dog at any time. You can not get good mustard and mayonnaise is not offered and cannot be ordered. I did not know the procedure at this upper buffet the second day and walked up to get a beer and saw the assortment of cheeses next to the bar, I got myself a plate and started to put a few pieces of cheese on the plate and the bar tender jumped all over me for taking cheese before the noon time opening. I was shocked at his attitude and put the plate on the bar. He actually said to me "Now what am I to do with that".. I wanted to tell him he could put it where the sun does not shine but being my second day kept my mouth shut. Sorry, back to dinner. The dinners were just plain bad. The main chief was off ship for the first 7 days but this is no excuse for serving main course meals that would not make it in Denny's. When the chief came back it did pick up a few notch's.
Service, before I get into the negatives, let me give the positives. The cabin service, even though there is no room service for food or drinks, the cabin cleaning person was very very good. The service in the dinning room was very good but very rushed as they are completely understaffed and have to use outside bar staff and wait staff to man the dinning room. This lack of qualified serving help surely shows in the dire rush to help the passengers. They try very hard but one can see the drain on there faces for extra request for more bread, butter, wine, drinks, gravy, ect.. The bar help, except for one exceptional young women, seem to be doing you a favor rather than you being the customer. One passenger actually was told that he had already gotten ice for his room and he could not get more. The ship has no help up on the sun deck for drinks, and if you take your lunch plate up there to eat you must usually bring the plates downstairs to the lounge yourself. The lounge chairs and tables are old and weathered. The ship is so understaffed on ratio to passengers, they cannot keep up.
It must be also told they false advertise in the brochures and letters. The first is in their advertised Alcohol package. They sell it cheaper on the ship, do not sign up 15 days in advance. I think my space is out. No I can keep going. They will not credit you for paying more early. About a $100 cheaper on the ship. They do not offer Premium Wines in this package as advertise. It is there private label wine and two cheap others. The free bottle of champagne is a sparkling private label. We signed up as we were told that they serve premium regional wines, NO THEY DO NOT.
A Fellow passenger took a terrible fall and hit her head badly at the end of a tour. The lack of concern from the help was appalling. They would not stop at the hospital emergency when requested, even though we were at a stop light right in front of the hospital. They told her she could walk to emergency, about a half mile from the ship. They offered no taxi or help to accompany her , She did go to emergency and was checked out by a wonderful doctor but the ship offered no help. This lack of concern was inexcusable.
I could go on but will stop. Do not take Viking, there are a lot better river cruise lines out there.