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Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this trip because of our wonderful experience with Lindblad in the Galapagos and our understanding from Lindblad that this would be an expedition with varied land experiences in small groups with a top notch team of knowledgeable ... Read More
We chose this trip because of our wonderful experience with Lindblad in the Galapagos and our understanding from Lindblad that this would be an expedition with varied land experiences in small groups with a top notch team of knowledgeable guides with an A+ Expedition Cruise organization. The further bonus was the opportunity for great diving while on the trip. Sadly, it did not live up to our expectations or the standards we would expect from Lindblad. On the Plus Side: The boat is great and one of their nicer ships. Rooms are spacious and comfortable, the food is excellent and the staff couldn't be better. The diving was exactly what we expected based on our discussions with Michelle Graves. The dive masters were excellent and the rental equipment was new and of high quality. We actually ended up diving more than we had planned and this ended up being the highlight of the trip (as well as an additional expense beyond the cost of the expedition). The scenery is beautiful and the waters are warm. All the expedition staff are friendly and accessible, and it was wonderful to have a world renowned photographer on board with us! What could have been better: This was the first time Lindblad has done this itinerary in some years and it showed. Most of the expedition staff made it clear they were unfamiliar with the area; Shore excursions were generally in large groups ... between 25 and in one case close to 60 people together -- and with just a single person leading the group in each case. This happened three days in a row! This was precisely what we had been assured would NOT be the case. There were only two opportunities for hiking during the week and one was available on a first-come-first serve basis to less than 30 people on a boat of 94. We were shut out of this opportunity. Something else that should not happen with Lindblad. Historical French Polynesian culture is largely gone and so most land excursions involved seeing archeological sites which are interesting but not all that varied from island to island. As a diver, we expected to have to choose between diving and water activities. However, it was almost always a choice between diving and the very few land excursions. On one day the entire diving group (11 people) chose to skip the diving in order to participate in the land excursion. The only excursion on the last day was a one hour visit to a pearl farm, but this was made available during the only time diving could take place (in the morning) given that diving is prohibited 24 hours prior to flying. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We chose this cruise because we prefer small groups, good food, great destinations and comfort. . .we have been on two cruises, both small boats with a little more than 100 passengers. Normally we travel on our own, unguided but well ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we prefer small groups, good food, great destinations and comfort. . .we have been on two cruises, both small boats with a little more than 100 passengers. Normally we travel on our own, unguided but well researched beforehand. We found the Orion to be everything we thought it would be. . .comfortable, great views, a wonderful room, smooth running and quiet too and the staff were exceptional. Billy, our room cleaner was pleasant, friendly and quite capable. The staff that served us were outstanding and the Captain and crew were charming and professional. Many of the places we visited were educational as well as being extremely attractive locales. Our breakfasts and lunches and tea time were top-notch. . .dinners less so. For example; an Oso Buco would have required a chainsaw to cut the meat. . .my Halibut was cooked to a fare-thee-well. . so dry it was inedible and my wife had a fish meal that was too salty to eat. . the menus on the other hand were comprehensive and offered a wide range of choices. As for our expeditions. . .our first trip around the Weather Islands in Sweden was one in which a lot of quite old people got very wet. . I know I didn’t come on the tour to be beat up by ocean swells in a Zodiac so I don’t understand the purpose of that particular expedition. In Olso we booked the trip to the Market and a cooking class where they were going to show us how to prepare Tapis. . .the market is closed on Mondays and your organizers should have known that. . our guide on the bus was almost completely incompetent, and the cooking involved chicken breasts and fruit desserts. . and while quite good was not what was promised. On the other hand, Vigeland and Linda, our guide, was outstanding. And on our last expedition day. . our All Day trip to Osa. . it had to be modified because your contact in Osa could not field 2 buses instead having to drop some off at one venue and go back and get more passengers. . so the all day became a partial day. And finally. . . .clearing Customs and Immigration in Bergen became an ordeal for those of us suffering from Arthritis when the leader misdirected us to the wrong side of a very long building in the rain. Read Less
National Geographic Orion Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0

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