Since returning from my April 15, 2018, Viking River cruise, on the BURI, I have spoken to so many people about my experience and my disappointment with Viking.
My reasons for taking this Viking cruise:
1. Delicious French food and French wines
2. Being pampered while on vacation
3. Touring cities and towns in France
4. Taking a river cruise
Viking provided only one of the four reasons I took this trip. The tours and tour guides were excellent. Everything else with Viking was a poor experience at a high cost.
I sent back two uneaten dinners, (both fish) the wait staff did not ask why they were going back after a single bite. The reason was that the fish was unseasoned, over cooked, cold, and inedible. Lamb was overdone and all gristle, steak was what you would find at an inexpensive diner in the states. None of our food was cooked to order, it was prepared well in advance, and tasted like it.
I was very hopeful when the Viking Executive Corporate Chef came on board that the food would improve. By the end of the week a THIRD Executive Chef came to assist. Seems like Viking knew there was a problem, but the food quality did not improve.
Often there were dirty plates and bowls used on the buffet. The customers were noticing the dirty dishes NOT the wait staff.
The wines were mediocre and repetitive and were left in my glass night after night. I had expected, as advertised, wines that were to be paired with the food. This was not the case. It was the same mediocre wine every night, I mean we are in France!
The sun deck was closed more often than open. The advertising shows walking the deck and cruising the river, both of which I had looked forward to. The deck was never open when I wanted to be outside and this was a huge disappointment.
As far as entertainment - there was one OK piano player, every night!
Lastly, the wait staff was unprepared and unexperienced. They seemed totally overwhelmed at the thought of serving meals. Bread would arrive after the meal was served, sauces were forgotten, getting coffee at the end of the meal was a 20 min. wait, etc.
I have covered the major points that were most disappointing on my Viking River cruise in hopes that future passengers would benefit from my experience.
Lovely cabin, although very small, was well fitted. Cabin steward was accommodating, if you knew what to ask for, e.g., robes, etc.