2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I chose this cruise because I liked the itinerary and had not been to this part of the world. The Passage to India exceeded all of my expectations. The Viking Orion is a beautiful ship! The cabins are spacious, well laid out and ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I liked the itinerary and had not been to this part of the world. The Passage to India exceeded all of my expectations. The Viking Orion is a beautiful ship! The cabins are spacious, well laid out and comfortable. The common guest areas are decorated with comfortable furniture, unique accessories and art work. Dining areas provide lovely views and welcoming atmospheres. The food and drink are wonderful—fresh, delicious, tasty and plentiful! The shops provide a wide variety of merchandise with a range of prices. The merchandise is high quality, unusual, and hard to resist. What you purchase on the Orion you will not find any where else. The shops’ personnel are friendly, professional, knowledgeable and customer focused. The entertainment was outstanding and top notch. I loved the on board lectures and the chance to hear experts in person as well as watch their presentations in my cabin. The officers and crew are true professionals who care about you and want to ensure everyone has an outstanding experience on the Viking Orion! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and the review of this particular new Viking ship. We were NOT disappointed with either itinerary or the ship. In fact, we did something we have never done before, after sailing on a cruise ship, we ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and the review of this particular new Viking ship. We were NOT disappointed with either itinerary or the ship. In fact, we did something we have never done before, after sailing on a cruise ship, we booked another cruise! We can't say enough good things about the entire experience. The ship is absolutely fantastic. We loved the adults only atmosphere. The ship always seemed so quiet, like being in your home, with so many wonderful spots to sit and have a drink, read a book, play scrabble, work on a puzzle or simply enjoy the serenity of the ship. By far, one of the best spots to spend free time is the Explorer's Lounge. The Norwegian deli has an interesting and delicious selection of open face sandwiches, sweets and fresh fruit. With floor to ceiling windows the lounge gives wonderful views of the sea as you travel. The addition of a planetarium was another plus. We attended all three shows and they were interesting, informative and a nice extra. Our cabin, Penthouse Veranda, was lovely. Plenty of room to stretch out and the nice fridge filled daily with drinks and snacks. The Viking staff is outstanding. Every staff member was helpful and always had a smile. The food was another plus. The variety and presentation of the meals in the dining room was excellent. And, there was always a table for two if your wished to dine as a couple. The Orion exceeded our expectations and over the years we have traveled on more than 8 different cruise lines around the world. The addition of excellent speakers about the areas we were to visit was another plus. If you missed a lecture you could always catch it on your cabin TV or listen again to an interesting lecture. We are looking forward to our next cruise. Read Less
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9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Background information This is our seventh cruise, and the first with Viking Ocean Cruises (VOC). We selected the voyage based on the itinerary, final destination, and time of year. This voyage allowed us to compare VOC with similar ... Read More
Background information This is our seventh cruise, and the first with Viking Ocean Cruises (VOC). We selected the voyage based on the itinerary, final destination, and time of year. This voyage allowed us to compare VOC with similar Azamara (AZ) and Oceania (OC), which we used previously. I retired a year ago and my wife wanted to visit Hong Kong again. Ship information Orion was put into service earlier in the summer, so anything is new. We liked that VOC includes everything except tips, drink package (we don’t), optional excursions, Kitchen Table, and spa service (no need). The VOC provides minimal computer support because most people are computer literate by now. The VOC WiFi (which is free) security meets the security requirements of financial institutions. Streaming movies from the internet most of the time was not a problem in our cabin possibly because we were close to a router, though we heard other people were having problems. The Library shows up on Deck 1, but is spread out over Deck 7 (swimming pool area, the Lanai, Explorers Lounge) and Deck 8 (upper Explorers Lounge). The spa has numerous restrictions on use with anyone with medical conditions, so its use was lost on us. Activities We used the gym almost every day except on the days with all day excursions. The gym was equipment was excellent. The aerobic machines were crowded from 0600 to 0700, especially on sea days. The rest of the day, the equipment is open. The other parts of the gym were not busy during the day. During the sea days, we used the enrichment program after the gym and stream movies using the VOC WiFi (most of the time very good), or just lie around the Explorers Lounge with a an ebook. Service In general, the service throughout the ship was mostly excellent. For Housekeeping, the cabins were available earlier than the VOC stated times. Our cabin attendant did not just stop by to say hi, but went through the entire cabin to explain everything. More closet hangers, bath towels, and bottled water were provided without question. The cabin was well attended throughout the cruise. Well done. For dining, service was generally good everywhere with a few lapses due to staff inexperience and language problems. The World Cafe could use more servers at lunch and dinner. We had only one service breakdown in The Restaurant that required speaking to a manager. What we really liked about the World Cafe was the ability to talk directly to the line cooks to prepare foods to our liking, especially vegetables. They all were very eager to please. We can not say enough about the VOC port agents. I had an old medical condition that flared up in Ho Chi Minh City. The port agent: got me and my wife to hospital, found a reasonably priced nearby hotel for my wife, on short notice got us airline tickets from Ho Chi Minh City to Haiphong, and took us from the Haiphong airport to Orion. Extremely pleased. Excursions Port and shore excursions used a mix of Included and Optional excursions. The excursions were in Athens (GRE); Haifa, Acre, and Caesarea (ISR); Cairo, Luxor, and Sharm El Sheik (EGP); Aqaba (JRD); Salalah and Muscat (OMN); Mumbai and Goa (IND), Colombo (SRL), Georgetown and Kuala Lumpur (MAL), Singapore, Koh Samoi and Bangkok (THD), Sihanoukville (CAM), Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Long Bay (VTM), and Haikou and Hong Kong (PRC). Only two problems with booking: we were warned at the time of booking to get on the My Viking Journey web page at 0000 PST at 67 days prior to departure to ensure we would get the excursions we wanted. I logged on at about 0400 PST and found some excursions were already sold out. In addition, the multi-day overnight excursion to Angkor Wat site via Vietnam was not available. We were satisfied with the excursions we took. While most of the Included excursions were satisfactory, one needs to check the Optional excursions because they had the more interesting and/or more significant locations/programs. One of the problems was the distance from port to destination (Cairo, Luxor, Bangkok, Phnom Penh; sometimes 3+ hours on a bus each way, which left relatively little time for the the destination after accounting for bathroom breaks and lunch). One of the problems with the demographics of the guests was that people are not really aware of their physical condition when signing up for even moderately exerting excursions in hot humid weather from India to Hong Kong. From a VOC port agent, for example, we learned that six guests were removed from the ship to hospital in Sri Lanka. Travel to Embarkation Port We used Viking Air (via Air Canada) without upgrades. We were satisfied with the connections from Dulles (IAD) through Toronto (YYZ) which put us in Athens (ATH) at 0920, and return from Hong Kong (HKG) through YYZ to IAD (2200). We found the local VOC representative easily and were loaded into a bus the ship. Not as nice as the personal van on VRC. Only a passport is necessary for ID so we were on Orion quickly. VOC eliminated the paper tickets for transfers and embarkation. Next time, I will look into Business or Premium Economy. Air Canada is not too comfortable. Cabin We were in Deluxe Veranda 3 (DV3) #4083. The cabin was mostly quiet. The only noise was from the lifeboats/tenders during crew training or tendering on the decks below. We still could feel the diesels. Anyone for gas turbines? We thought that the cabin was much better than the AZ and OC small ships reflecting a newer design. The bathroom was far better the any AZ or OC. Not cramped at all. We had no difficulty with the amount of drawers even with clothes for a 50 day cruise. If we had known how good the laundry was, we could have brought less clothes. The ability of storing even the large luggage under the bed (unlike AZ or OC) provided more room. The space between the bed and closet was tight, but not a problem given the great design of the rest of the cabin. We did not understand the logic behind two chairs instead of one sofa in DV cabins. The E-safe is also much bigger than AZ or OC. A minor annoyance was VOC canceling our E-safe PIN in Mumbai and Bangkok embarkation ports that required ship security to reset. Dining For breakfast and lunch, we exclusively used the World Cafe on Deck 7. It is open longer, self-serve, and more choice of food. Because the choice of food in the World Cafe is more than The Restaurant on Deck 2, the was no point going to The Restaurant for these meals. We liked the layout of World Cafe with the spread out food service stations and seating areas to eliminate crowding. Not as cramped as AZ or OC. We liked the food in the World Cafe except for a little to much salt used especially in the soups (the same for dinner). The outside kitchen on the Aquavit Terrace for regional foods was good. We tried the Pool Grill and Mamsen’s, which we thought were great, especially Mamsen’s with the waffles. We attended the Afternoon Tea for about two weeks but stopped in the interest of decreasing our food consumption. On Orion, you needed to get there about 15-30 minutes before 1600 or there were no more seats. To get around this, we would go later, ~1630. There would always be a place by then due to people leaving. We especially liked the live music provided. For dinner, we used The Restaurant, Manfredi’s, The Chef’s Table, and World Cafe. Dinner was not as pleasant an overall experience as we would have liked. We found ourselves eating at the World Cafe more than the other venues. If there were many dishes on a given night in The Restaurant that we really wanted to try, we would go to the World Cafe where we could get a smaller portion of each dish. You can also see the line cooks make final food preparations, make requested modifications, and present the food so you knew exactly what you were getting. No surprises to be sent back and another dishes ordered (AZ). The other food in The Restaurant was very good. Now for the really subjective opinions. We were not particularly impressed with The Chef’s Table; only five cuisines with the chefs interpretation. The food was not bad, but limited with a little too much salt. Manfredi’s was a big disappointment. Our first meal main dishes were somewhat dry with a little too much salt. The best part was the excellent custom chocolate cake prepared for my birthday. The second meal was awful. My pork dish was very salty and loaded with fat rending half inedible. My wife’s main dish was worse. Even though we were entitled to one more meal there, we would not go into Manfredi’s again without significant changes in cooking style. All the table breads, muffin, and bread sticks has a very cheesy flavor that was annoying; not the Italian bread that I remember from the Italian bakeries at home. We would not eat the bread again. In the end, we informed a manager of our problems. If you don’t tell them, they will not know. The OC Toscana and AZ Aqualina are far better restaurants. The OC was far more generous with some foods such as lobster. We had lobster for either lunch or dinner every day on OC Marina. Orion had boiled lobster in the The Restaurant only twice in 50 days and Lobster Thermidor once (not very good with too much filler sauce). The VOC fruits were great especially after Mumbai where the more unusual fruits to the USA [dragon fruit (white and red), star fruit, for example, and others we have never seen before but tasted great] from southeast Asia countries were available. The VOC should be commended for portion control for desserts in the World Cafe seeing that passengers are mostly 60+ and some not in the best of shape. Desserts were in small size pieces with many choices. When a cake or pie was provided, it was smaller in diameter and thickness than AZ or OC. This did not deter an obese couple from consuming half a chocolate cake. Odd crowd behavior: the port side World Cafe was more crowded than starboard side, so the the greeters at the entrances several times requested that we use the starboard side. The food is the same on both sides except for ice cream and gelato, and stir fry (port), and pizza and doughnuts (starboard). The VOC has aerosol hand sanitizers throughout Decks 1, 2, 7, and 8 that are built into the bulkheads. The entrances to the World Cafe also have sinks with liquid soap and hand towels. Unfortunately, there was an outbreak of GI problems on the way to Mumbai, which necessitated eliminating self service at the World Cafe and implementing other protective measures for a few days (not the majority of the cruise as claimed elsewhere). In summary, we think the food was better on OC, especially the Marina size with more diverse restaurants. However, itinerary, destination, and timing are more important, so we would not hesitate to use VOC. And the destination oriented foods was also a plus. Entertainment We did not attend much evening entertainment in the Theater due to a lack of interest in the programs offered. What we did see was very good. The VOC did not appear as big on entertainment as OC based on the programs offered. Enrichment We attended the astronomy movie series in the Explorers Lounge theater exclusively on the Orion Deck 8 (which does not show up on the generic deck layouts and virtual tour on the VOC web site). Be advised that the theater is very small (26 people) and very cold as is the entire Explorers Lounge on Decks 7 and 8. Be sure to book the theater ASAP at the start of a cruise to get a seat for the three separate movies, and ensure that you a blanket because the theater is so cold. I don’t know why the Explorers Lounge is also cold all the time. (It was nice of VOC to put thick furry animal skins and blankets on the sofas.) The astronomy was enhanced by a resident astronomer who lectured several times and also lead open ended discussions on astronomy in general, space exploration, black holes, etc, during each cruise segment. Very well done. There was star gazing lead by the astronomer on Deck 9 weather conditions permitting, In general, from Athens to Oman had good conditions. Mumbai to Hong Kong had more haze so it was limited. If you are on Orion and are interested in astronomy, be sure to download to your smart phone a star map app with GPS capabilities to find stars, planets, satellites, ISS more quickly. BTW, the darkest part of the ship at night outside for stargazing is the outside platform at the starboard exit from the Explorers Lounge Deck 8. The VOC also has a resident historian (or diplomat) to cover the diplomacy, history, economics, warfare, etc., of the regions visited in formal lectures that we attended and roundtable discussions on the same or different subjects later. Very well done. Disembarkation Disembarkation was very easy. We stayed over in Hong Kong (HK) handling our own arrangements. The benefit of this is we were the last group required to leave the ship at 0845 so you can have a more leisurely breakfast. Luggage was easy to find in the dock terminal being clearly marked in groups. In HK, the disembarkations started as early as 0400 to catch flights. Check your airline arrangements from VOC Air and revise if necessary. The HK airport is very efficient in moving people through security to catch flights. The VOC cruise and air fare includes the HK airport departure and expansion construction fees. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
After 20 plus cruises on several cruise lines, we wanted to go to new places and to try Viking Ocean. We weren't disappointed ! The itinerary covered ten countries and a trip thru the Suez Canal. The ports/cities were often not ... Read More
After 20 plus cruises on several cruise lines, we wanted to go to new places and to try Viking Ocean. We weren't disappointed ! The itinerary covered ten countries and a trip thru the Suez Canal. The ports/cities were often not upscale and the weather was consistently in the 90's and very humid. Despite that, the experience was excellent. We will likely never get back to countries like Oman, India, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia again. After some long, tiring, and very hot excursions, we always came back to the welcoming comfort of the Viking Orion. The Orion was only two months old when we embarked and it is a spectacular ship. The Scandinavian clean, uncluttered design is very appealing. The ship appears to be almost perfect size - big enough for some good entertainment at night and some choices of restaurants; and small enough to be personal and never crowded feeling. My wife's parents were born in Sweden - she loved the Scandinavian touches , particularly the design themes and the food at Mamsens. Embarkation in Athens and disembarkation in Bangkok were a breeze. We were in a basic veranda cabin and found it roomy enough. The bathrooms are much better than other cruise ships. The communication/information system on the cabin TV's is great and easy to navigate. The elevators are well located and you almost never wait for one ! Where is everyone ? We tried all of the dining venues but ate more meals in the Restaurant than in the others. Food and service was very good in the Restaurant. It is not as grand a venue as on larger ships, but it is comfortable. We never waited for a table and the host knew our names and preferences by the third day. The Italian restaurant, Manfredi's, has excellent food , but the venue is a little loud. It was sometimes difficult to book a reservation at a reasonable time for Manfredi's. When we showed up ahead of time, they normally accomodated us. We tried the Chef's Table three times and were reasonably happy. You had to check the menu ahead of time or you could be disappointed. It was easy to get into. Viking can probably do something better with this space. The buffet venue is overwhelmingly better than any that we have experienced. It is relatively uncrowded and the food is very fresh and tasty. Many travelers ate there for almost every meal. You had the option of eating outsides, although the hot weather on our cruise limited that. The small, production crew was quite good, but didn't do enough shows. The theater is a wonderful venue and was heavily used for enrichment lectures and port talks. These presentations were really well done and surprisingly well attended. Often more crowded than the production shows or the evening specialty entertainer. There are much fewer scheduled activities than a larger ship, but we certainly didn't miss having a casino. The exercise room was more than adequate and the free spa is outstanding. Service was uniformly great, the best we have ever experienced. Very good service in all restaurants and bars, but particularly noticeable in the buffet. Unlike most cruise lines, they do a great job of servicing the tables there. We were pleasantly surprised with the included excursions. I had read many critical reviews, but we did not feel let down. Many of our included excursions were ten hours long and would cost $150 to $200 on other cruise lines. We liked all the optional excursions we bought. We booked our next Viking Ocean cruise before we left the ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was a “bucket list” cruise for our 25th anniversary. We are so happy that we went! The tours we took were wonderful, informative, and frequently breathtaking. (The one exception was Jerusalem, where the guide was terrible, but ... Read More
This was a “bucket list” cruise for our 25th anniversary. We are so happy that we went! The tours we took were wonderful, informative, and frequently breathtaking. (The one exception was Jerusalem, where the guide was terrible, but still, Old Town Jerusalem was amazing). The lectures on the boat were more than we could have hoped for. In particular, the comparative religion guy was great—even-handed and informative. He especially good about how the religions interrelated historically and what they had in common or differed. It was so important to have that through the Middle East through Southeast Asia. By the time he finished his lecture series, it was standing room only. The dining was very good, particularly the special restaurants, which were great. The only two changes about the main restaurants that I’d make: 1) the “local” ethnic specialties (e.g., Indian curry while we were in India, etc.) were a little watered down, I guess so as not to scare us. This was not true of the extensions, where the food was truly authentic and amazing. 2) while the deserts were truly beautiful-looking and well-prepared, the flavor was a little bland. Overall though, the ingredients were top-notch, perfectly prepared. The rest of the food was terrific, and such a wide variety. Even with the two caveats, the food was better than other cruise lines. The entertainment was fun, particularly the trivia contests. The two cruise directors were very funny. The onboard entertainers were young and enthusiastic, with good singing voices. Homusianswever, their selection was a little dinner-theater-y. The cellists and pianist were really good musicians. The amenities couldn’t be better, and there were so many places to go on the ship, we never felt closed in. Finally, the massage therapist I had on the ship, Priscillia, was the best one I’ve ever had. I had had hip problems since I was a teenager, but she adjusted one hip, and now the whole thing is about 90% fixed! I guess she was so great because she was a licensed physical therapist. Who would have thought, on a cruise ship? Anyway, what a great cruise! We were happy the whole time. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I have sailed a lot, probably close to100 cruises. On Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, I have spent over 360 days. But I was so impressed with everything about this voyage, I’m not sure I ever will go back to any other line; I think I have ... Read More
I have sailed a lot, probably close to100 cruises. On Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, I have spent over 360 days. But I was so impressed with everything about this voyage, I’m not sure I ever will go back to any other line; I think I have found my new home on the seas. embarkation and disembarkation both went very smoothly, a benefit of sailing with only 900 other passengers. This was not only the first and last day of the cruise but also for every port we visited. We were in Suite 4000, a ES1 category. Before sailing, I looked at the diagram for the owner’s suite on deck 7. I wondered if I would have wanted or needed everything provided in that cabin. Once we boarded and were settled in our suite, I was perfectly happy and would not have wanted to move upstairs. Heck, even the lowest standard cabins on Vining Ocean are better than many higher-level cabins on other cruise lines. I have often been a Grills passenger on Cunard. The Queen’s Grill on QM2 is considered by some to be the best restaurant at sea. Although Wiking does not offer dishes prepared table side, the quality and presentation and variety is equal to the food on other ships. Open dining was a delight and we never had a wait, It was nice to have the alternative dining restaurants and not have to pay extra. The rotating menu at the Chef’s Table was a deal. We ate there five nights during the month we were on board. Wine (which was not bad) and beer (which I don’t drink) were free during meals and I never paid for non-alcoholic beverages and coffee away from the restaurants. I consider it a benefit not to have a casino on the ships, photographers always wanting to take your picture, and on the shops on board lining the hallways as they apply their wares. I loved not having announcements every hour. The lecturers were very good and well-versed to discuss their topics, especially the port talks. Evening stage shows were above-average and well attended, but not the glitzy performances produced on larger ships. At least one excursion is free in every port. I participated in some of those and they were fine. The optional, paid excursions were well run and educational. Good variety of options. The gym is good, plenty of machines. Never crowded. A great spa and - since the line is Norwegian - great sauna, jacuzzi, ice water buckets AND a snow grotto. Imagine a snowball fight in the Suez Canal, I can’t say enough to complement the Viking professionals who made this such an enjoyable adventure. I liked it so much that I already have booked a one month journey next summer. I am sold on Viking! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
When I was in high school, I read a lot geography around the suez canal, red sea, and indian ocean. It is very interesting and I am glad I get this one in my bucket list. The excursions is actually more than I expect traveling Egypt, ... Read More
When I was in high school, I read a lot geography around the suez canal, red sea, and indian ocean. It is very interesting and I am glad I get this one in my bucket list. The excursions is actually more than I expect traveling Egypt, Israel, Jorden, and Mumbai in one trip. Of course, the ship is the top of the class in service. This is better than other ships which I had travelled before. The quality of food is also above other ships except the Chef Table. I went three night in this dinner and I just like the french food only. The equipment in the exercise room are in good condition and also because it is max. 930 persons in the ship, therefore, it is not crowded in the exercise room and spa area. I used the spa every day at sea. the Scandinavian Bathing is highly recommended to utilize in the trip. I also love so many sea food in the menu in this ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our 3rd Viking Ocean cruise. Nothing beats Viking.kin we have sailed on Seabourn, Oceania, Azamara and Crystal Nothing compares to Viking. Included shore excursions are great. guides are super. Variety of food onboard ... Read More
This was our 3rd Viking Ocean cruise. Nothing beats Viking.kin we have sailed on Seabourn, Oceania, Azamara and Crystal Nothing compares to Viking. Included shore excursions are great. guides are super. Variety of food onboard is great. Public areas are comfortable. Staff is professional. Cabin service excellent. For our anniversary we received champagne and a cake in our cabin. While on a post-excursion for 5 days in India, we received celebratory gifts in each hotel. Magnificent treatment everywhere. Guides in all countries spoke excellent English. Main dining room lighting was too bright. Food great though. Marvelous cruises--- classy ship. Entertainment is not up to par. Repetitive entertainers, amateur stuff. Classical music venues are excellent. Cruise director Mark Bregnone is a pro. Terrific singer, entertainer, with a great personality and organizational skills. We feel at home on Viking. So many places to go.... such a great way to travel. Can't be beat. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Interesting itinerary addressing many bucket list destinations; we also wanted to try a new ship; after a Viking River cruise and several Oceania and Celebrity cruises we wanted to try Viking Ocean cruise on a small ship; the entire crew ... Read More
Interesting itinerary addressing many bucket list destinations; we also wanted to try a new ship; after a Viking River cruise and several Oceania and Celebrity cruises we wanted to try Viking Ocean cruise on a small ship; the entire crew from the captain on down was very accessible and friendly and provided great customer service while always endorsing the Viking brand; we individually recognized Rayban, Lea and Jessica in the main dining room and Waylan our cabin steward with extra gratuities for providing outstanding customer service; the food was generally good yet doesn't measure up to Oceania or Azamara and we were generally disappointed with the Chef's Table specialty restaurant and limited menu choices thought the food was good; also we enjoyed dinner in Manfredi's Restaurant on two occasions and found it entirely too noisy to carry on a dinner conversation however while the menu choices were good and food well prepared we just couldn't get into the specialty restaurant preferring instead to eat with our friends in the main dining room Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We sailed from Athens to Bangkok on a 36 day cruise called the Voyage of Marco Polo. Certainly a grand name, and the voyage lived up to it. I captured my full journey on Instagram on my billwscott account. Embarkation After ... Read More
We sailed from Athens to Bangkok on a 36 day cruise called the Voyage of Marco Polo. Certainly a grand name, and the voyage lived up to it. I captured my full journey on Instagram on my billwscott account. Embarkation After arriving in Athens we were picked up by staff from the Viking team, quickly guided to our bus and before we knew it were in our stateroom with Malaya & Teresa explaining all the features of the Penthouse Veranda. The first evening we had a wonderful outing to get a quick panoramic look at Athens and then a delicious dinner in a quaint restaurant in the heart of Athens. The next night the Captain's welcome was warm and funny. Ship The Viking Orion is just an absolutely stunning ship. Forward on the 7th floor is the Explorer Bar next to Mamsen's. In addition to having a full sweeping view, the delicious desserts at Mamsen's had us coming back again and again. We spent many afternoons and evenings there reading and relaxing or listening to entertainment. The Atrium is a 3 story open air area that was also a favorite of ours. My wife was constantly at the jigsaw puzzle table on the second floor of the Atrium. The ship size is perfect. About 900 guests and 450 crew. Never, ever felt over crowded. Most of time it felt expansive and roomy. Stateroom The Penthouse Veranda was exactly the size room we needed. It had a full sofa, table, desk area, king size bed, nice size bathroom with large shower. While there are larger rooms, I never ever felt cramped. It felt just right. We had 4 very large suitcases and they fit under the bed easily. Out of site and out of mind. Malaya & Teresa kept our room new each day and turn down service every evening refreshed our room as well as receiving the Viking Daily. Dining Everything is made from scratch and fresh. The breads, desserts and ice cream (made fresh on board) was off the chart. The World Cafe provided a really deep assortment of food that was varied enough to never feel like you were getting the same food. The food there was A+. Every night there was sushi and many nights crab legs. The Chef's Table is the gourmet restaurant and the food was pre-selected by the Chef and each time we dined there was a real treat. Manfredi's is another reservation only restaurant (World Cafe and The Restaurant are walk-in) that specializes in Italian fare. With a portion of the menu fixed and another portion changing with the cruise, we always felt it was a cut above. The Pool Grill made amazing burgers, hot dogs and ahi ahi and always had an amazing assortment of salads. Beer & Wine is free during any meal time hours whether in the restaurants or in the bar. Entertainment & Activities We didn't spend a lot of time with entertainment though the special talks and the magic shows were top notch. What we did spend a lot of time with was the Spa. LivNordic runs the spas for Viking Ocean Cruises and it is definitely my favorite spa concept. Following Nordic Bathing Rituals, the spa has: dry saunas, steam sauna, snow grotto, hot tub, cold plunge pool and swimming pool. The service is free. I became massively addicted to the dry sauna and cold plunge. In addition, I had some great Yoga & Pilates/balance classes with Anna & Pricillia. Speaking of Pricillia, she is the best massage/physical therapist I have ever worked with. Trained in Nordic, Swedish, Thai (she spent several months training in a Thai temple) and Busquet (a french whole body method). The latter really transformed my body. Charlotte & Sophie are gems in the salon. They provide great haircuts and styling, manicures, pedicures, facials, etc. The gym is definitely fully equipped and I enjoyed a session with Dejan (trainer) for a small charge. Service WOW. Just WOW. While other cruises seem to want to nickel and dime you, there is very little that you have to pay for as it is really all inclusive. All the coffee, sodas, tea, water you want. Beer & wine are free during meal time throughout the ship. Other drinks come at a reasonable charge. What this means is the staff is focused on serving and not upselling. You won't find art auctions, casinos, photographs to buy, water to pay for, etc. The staff is just so helpful and friendly. About a dozen we got to know pretty well. Ports of Call/Excursions Many wonderful ports: Athens, Haifa, El Said, Aquaba, Goa, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand made for a widely varying cultural exploration. A few suffered a little from being a bit far from the attractions. Recommended Yes, yes, yes. I have booked a Viking River cruise in 2020 because I feel so strongly about Viking. BTW, there are no kids under 18 on the ship. I like kids, but I loved being on a ship without them ;-) Read Less
Viking Orion Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family N/A 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 5.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0

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