6 Bangkok (Laem Chabang) Viking Ocean Viking Orion Cruise Reviews

We really loved our Viking cruise and as Viking regulars appreciated the familiarity and excellent service from the very friendly staff. I will get the negatives out of the way straight away - there are administrative shortfalls on board. ... Read More
We really loved our Viking cruise and as Viking regulars appreciated the familiarity and excellent service from the very friendly staff. I will get the negatives out of the way straight away - there are administrative shortfalls on board. These may be common to all the ships - there are many minor administrative errors between finance, guest relations and excursions. There has been some reorganisation since the early days and things have definitely gone backwards in this area. We had several finance errors on our account which needed resolution. On the other hand we do love Viking - the food on board was very good indeed - I don't think we had a bad meal in a month, We enjoyed all the restaurants several times. There were a few issues with room service breakfast on the first sector, and also the bar staff could be "variable". There were a lot of crew changes during the month we were on board and this could make things difficult I am sure. Our cabin stewards were amazing for the full four weeks. The entertainment is low key which we like but there is always something to do if that is what you want or a nice corner in which to read and chill. We went from Bangkok to Tokyo and enjoyed the schedule very much indeed. It can be a challenging programme and those with limited mobility should think twice before heading out into Asia . Overall we were very pleased and have no hesitation in booking with Viking again. We think the value for money equation compared to the competitors is excellent and are very satisfied. It could be really excellent if the problems are properly addressed. There is no point in expanding fast if the standards cannot be maintained. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This cruise was a little different from all the other ones that I've been to. It is more relaxing, and more intellectual. The ship is newly commissioned, mid size but spacious for the number of guests. Except in the main theatre, ... Read More
This cruise was a little different from all the other ones that I've been to. It is more relaxing, and more intellectual. The ship is newly commissioned, mid size but spacious for the number of guests. Except in the main theatre, and in the World Cafe where breakfast and more casual meals are served, I was able to find a spot all to myself. The ship has all the amenities that are expected, including a fitness centre, (free) Nordic hot and cold spa and whirl pool experience, and a mini planetarium. In room entertainment is excellent, consisting of many live TV stations, a wide variety of movies, TV series, recorded TED talks, and of course all kinds of music stations. The main shipwide entertainment include shows performed in the theater by a 4 members band and a 4 members singing and dancing group. On some nights local artists performed traditional dances. The ship also has a resident pianist, a guitarist, and two classical string instrumentalists. The planetarium provides three 3D shows, but unfortunately, after the first show, the 3D equipment did not work. What I enjoyed most was the lectures given by various speakers, some of whom are very knowledgeable, and spoke with lots of energy and passion. One of them spoke about the Vietnam war, which changed my perspective of what I used to believe - that the war was a struggle between communism and democracy. The performances in the theatre usually lasted about an hour, leaving me with enough time in the evening to finish watching all 10 episodes of the National Geographic series on Albert Einstein. The food was good, with the usual choices, and wine and beer and specialty coffee were included with every meal. I like the large selection of fruits, and the generous but not overwhelming portions of the sit down meals. There are two alternative restaurants which required booking. One of them pretended to offer oriental cuisine but I wasn't impressed. The menu consisted of a four course meal, each with a different choice of wine. The on board staff was efficient, very courteous, and eager to please. Service desk is open 24-7. Services were offered with smiles and humor. All my request for information and change of land excursions were resolved promptly. The itinerary includes a free excursion for each port visited, with a reasonably good selection of alternatives for additional fees. The ship stayed more than one day in most ports, which means that you will have plenty of time to explore on your own, if you do not sign up with the offered alternative excursions. However, some of the excursions were "sold out" as soon as booking became available. Many of the excursions lived up to expectation; the scenic boat tours of the beautiful Ha Long Bay were memorable. For some excursions, the descriptions on Viking's web site were more enticing than the actual trip, e.g., the "Ream National Park" trip in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, was no more than a long boat ride on a river. It was a relaxing ride, but I failed to see the flora and fauna mentioned in the Viking brochure, neither did the local guide point out any interesting features. Some of the land excursions took more than 2 hours to reach the destinations, because the ports were far from any interesting sites. I wish the long traveling time was clearly stated in the trip description. One of the excursions that I signed up was modified one day before the trip, without a clear explanation of the reason for the change. One of the places I really looked forward to visiting was Haikou, China, but this was taken out of the itinerary a month before the cruise started. The stated reason was "poor feedback from past guests" which I doubt was the true reason. My email to Viking requesting further explanation was never returned. Another feature which attracted me to this cruise was the advertised $600 deduction for air fare. Before I joined, Viking assured me that I could choose any airline, but in the end, they could not book me on the airline of my choice, and I had to forgo the $600 deduction. If you are looking for a relaxing cruise, with high quality enrichment programs and lots of free time, and don't mind paying a little more for the services, this cruise is for you. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The ship was absolutely beautiful - new and very well designed. PRE-ARRANGED TRANSFER: Had a bit of a problem upon our midnight arrival in Bangkok when there was no one to meet us, despite assurances that there would be. After several ... Read More
The ship was absolutely beautiful - new and very well designed. PRE-ARRANGED TRANSFER: Had a bit of a problem upon our midnight arrival in Bangkok when there was no one to meet us, despite assurances that there would be. After several hours passed, we rented a van for the 1.5 hour ride to the ship (for which we were reimbursed). EXCURSIONS: Included excursions were so-so. There seemed to be a formula for sightseeing in each port: flower market, national monument and temple. Quality of guides was inconsistent with respect to understandable spoken English and initiative. BALI EXTENSION: The Bali extension excursion consisted of hours of driving to visit 3 different temples - extremely long day (10+ hours) to visit sites that were similar to each other. Would have preferred to visit some sights in Ubud, which is well known and also located closer to our Nusa Dua hotel. The Laguna hotel was very nice, and we enjoyed having 2 nights there after we disembarked from the ship. ONBOARD THE ORION: Experiences on board the Orion were lovely - variety of activities, excellent staff, well run dining venues, and public spaces that were suitable for private reading or social gatherings. So many pluses about our time on the ship! A norovirus red alert prompted the closing of pools and public parts of the spa for several days. While we appreciated the precautionary measures, the exclusion of those activities was very disappointing - especially on days at sea. Nonetheless, I loved the cruise overall and love traveling with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Our voyage on the Viking Orion from Bangkok to Bali was certainly one of the most memorable cruising we have the pleasure to partake. Viking has a way to pick the best crew, and this is no exception. As this is a new ship, our review ... Read More
Our voyage on the Viking Orion from Bangkok to Bali was certainly one of the most memorable cruising we have the pleasure to partake. Viking has a way to pick the best crew, and this is no exception. As this is a new ship, our review reflects the fact that every detail has not been worked out, and polished on this ship. Our cabin configuration was very well thought of, with plenty drawers. The under bed has enough clearance to easily stow our empty luggage. A little quirk; the shower stall is designed in such a way, that one is forced to exit the stall completely to get to your towel! An extra hook adhered to the side glass panel just outside the door would solve that problem. We prefer fantail room for its views, and we enjoy sitting on the balcony for that reason. That is the reason we booked cabin #4123. Disappointingly, because of a design flaw, which blocks water drainage, we constantly have inch-deep water pooling on the balcony; and the water is not only from rain. The infinity pool above us constantly splashes water to our balcony! Our cruise mates, in the cabin directly above us (deck 5), does not have this pooling problem. We were not able to enjoy the balcony as we have in past cruises. We recommend avoiding booking cabin #4123, and #4122, for this reason. We enjoy wine pairing with our food, and definitely it is worth purchasing the beverage package. Viking wine selection and premium liquors are extensive, and the package allows liquor enjoyments outside the dining room. We were able to sample some of the best wines on a cruise, in part because of the expert guidance from our knowledgeable sommelier, Kat! We were truly excited that there is an onboard planetarium and with an astronomer crew member. We feel that the planetarium and the astronomer are not utilized to their full potential. People have to book ahead for the 3D shows, as the facility has limited seating capacity. I love watching 3D movies. Unfortunately, only one of the shows (Space travel) requiring tickets, pertained to space, or astronomy. The best presentation was conducted by the astronomer, unfortunately also have limited times. My recommendation is to try to see the Space presentation and attend the astronomer's lecture, and skip the rest. Karaoke is not for everybody, but having no karaoke in an Asian tour seems a bit extreme. We asked the Cruise Director if a karaoke session is possible, and was told that the company CEO forbid that activity on board! The trip from Bangkok to the ship docked in Laem Chabang, because of traffic, took over 2hrs! Is there a nearer port from Bangkok, other than Laem Chabang? Wouldn't it be a unique experience to for passengers to be shuttled to the ship on a fast boat, like a hydrofoil? How boarding a hydrofoil from Klong Toey on the Chao Phraya River, and shuttle us to the ship in it, if Laem Chabang is the only cruise ship friendly port from Bangkok? There is nothing worth seeing in Laem Chabang, so all tours are centered in Bangkok. Realizing how long it is to reach Bangkok, we even skipped an included 9hr tour, because we know we will be wasting at least 5 of those hours, just for the commute! Our only disaster, was our pre-cruise tour of Bangkok. The guide failed to provide us with rain gear, and we were soaked to our skins in the downpour! Viking learned from that goof, and we were given rain ponchos at every shore tours after that. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Viking reputation. We have been disappointed with this cruise. Most of the ports have been one to two hours bus ride from the city of destination and tours to the attractions sometimes more. We have been for the most part docked in large ... Read More
Viking reputation. We have been disappointed with this cruise. Most of the ports have been one to two hours bus ride from the city of destination and tours to the attractions sometimes more. We have been for the most part docked in large commercial ports which are not very appealing. The cabin is very nice and good service by the room attendant. Some of the other staff seems a little unenthusiastic. The “vibe” has not been great. We find the the restaurant Chefs Table is not for everyone. We had a 6:30 reservation and walked out at 7:45 still waiting for our main course. On the other hand the Italian restaurant is wonderful. It is not Vikings fault but the Norovirus has changed the onboard experience. Meal service has changed in the World Cafe. The spa, hot tubs and pools have been closed for several days. Very good haircut by hairdresser. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise because our travel agent brought it to our attention. She and others from our area were going and it was going to a part of the world we had never visited. The ship is great and the food is very good. With multiple ... Read More
We chose this cruise because our travel agent brought it to our attention. She and others from our area were going and it was going to a part of the world we had never visited. The ship is great and the food is very good. With multiple restaurants, there was enough variety. They were also able to accomodate my gluten free requirements. We had a wonderful suite on the 7th floor. Some of the tour descriptions were more about flowery words than about where the tour would be taking us so sometimes we were signed up for two tours that were doing basically the same thing. They were very good about allowing us to cancel tours. Some of the areas we visited were very poor. Wouldn't go back. I did enjoy seeing Haikou, China and Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. We were usually too tired in tht evening to attend the shows. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Viking Orion Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.7
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 4.0 4.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.3
Family N/A 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 5.0 4.3
Service 4.5 4.6
Value For Money 5.0 4.1

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