10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Whe chose to try the Viking Ocean experience because we have enjoyed several river cruises with them. Unfortunatley, they did not live up to the excellent quality of thecriver cruises. It felt that the crew needed more training. They ... Read More
Whe chose to try the Viking Ocean experience because we have enjoyed several river cruises with them. Unfortunatley, they did not live up to the excellent quality of thecriver cruises. It felt that the crew needed more training. They weren't overly friendly and missed the mark in cresting a great experience. Communication was not great once on the ship. Their app works ok but doesn't let you add anything such as upcoming events so you have to keep track of your schedule on paper woth the daily and in the app for dinner, spa reservations. It was confusing. The music groups and evening entertainment were good when they were planned, however it wasn't every night. A couple nights it was taped Opera...and a lotvof bean bag challenges. A couple nights they did provide old movies in the pool area. The most frustrating thing was that we missed two (2) ports that we really wanted to visit. On a 14 day trip with already 3 days at sea planned that made our voyage 5 out of 14 days (or over 1/3) of our trip at sea and therecqas really nothing to do. It was pretty boring. The excusions that they included usually consisted of a trip in a bus around a city. Not that great. Overall I think we will stay with other lines to do an Ocean cruise and leave Viking for rivers. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise as the itinerary seemed very good and it seemed as though it was good to have some excursions and beer and wine included during meal times. Having said that, we had a very rough traverse of the Tasman Sea from Hobart ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the itinerary seemed very good and it seemed as though it was good to have some excursions and beer and wine included during meal times. Having said that, we had a very rough traverse of the Tasman Sea from Hobart to Dunedin. The ship rocked excessively from side to side, especially overnight the second night crossing. We enjoyed the excursions in Dunedin with great views of the surrounding areas from Signal Hill and a hike up Mt. Cargill. Cancelled Port: We were supposed to then travel to Christchurch, but despite indication that the sea was not all that rough ( certainly not as rough based on weather forecasts and other indications as the crossing in the Tasman Sea ), Christchurch was cancelled, citing safety concerns. We find it odd that of the 4 Viking cruise sailings between Sydney and Auckland, 2 were cancelled. And there was no compensation for Christchurch being cancelled. Ship It is beautifully appointed and there was never really a crowded area. There was comfortable seating throughout the ship. We were impressed by the cleanliness on the ship and that there were attendants constantly cleaning public washrooms. The cabin: It was nicely appointed and we found the PV2 to be a perfect size. The bathroom and main part of the cabin had ample space, although the veranda seemed a bit cramped to sit out on. Downside: The bed was painfully firm. This bed did not provide a comfortable sleeping experience. Food Quality: Dining we found to be questionable. The food, especially in the World Cafe was often lukewarm and sometimes overcooked. Desserts were quite amazing and gelato bar very popular. We had to send back several items in The Restaurant, including a lamb shank that was tough and lukewarm and a steak that was ordered medium rare and was definitely medium to medium well. What they call baked potatoes are not what I would refer to as baked. They are peeled potatoes and what I would call roasted, More than once they were overly soft and mushy. THis is a relatively smaller ship with just over 900 passengers, so there is an opportunity to do more frequent batch cooking. Often at dinner opening, the food was overcooked. One example was extremely overcooked mushy roasted wedge potatoes. The food was not all bad, however. The presentation was always excellent and taste usually very good. Included WInes: I found all the included wines to be very good. I suppose it would be difficult to satisfy all tastes as wine tasting can be so subjective. I was very grateful that throughout the cruise there were no oaked wines as I don't like that flavour. I think the wines were selected very carefully. Well done! Chef's Table Specialty Restaurant: We went to a dinner at the Chef's Table Specialty restaurant and enjoyed the Lotus fixed sample menu. However, we signed up for that night for a Thai menu and it was changed without a reason given. Reservations: Our dinner reservation for one of the nights in the specialty restaurant, Manfredi's was dropped off our list of reservations without explanation and no suitable fix was offered. Advice: Print a copy of all reservations on your account! That was a mistake on our part and they did not correct it. Lack of Follow Up by Management: As I mentioned earlier, I thought that the cleanliness and safety/sanitation was for the most part a focus on the ship. However, I filled out a questionnaire about a practice that I believe worked against maintaining health and safety. The comments were passed on and responded to, suggesting that I would see a noticeable change, which never happened. In all food venues on board, except the World cafe, all glassware was face up on the tables. In the World Cafe, the glassware was face down on soiled vinyl placemats. There was a risk of contamination between the drinking portion of the glassware and the soiled table mats. This is not congruent with the other good practices on the ship. I DID NOT appreciate a response that was only lip service and not a true follow up. I also filled out a survey upon disembarkation, commenting on the lack of proper follow up and nobody followed up from this either. Entertainment: We didn't attend a lot of the shows on board, but the ABBA review was pretty good, although a bit hammy. On the final night, they showed the film Bohemian Rhapsody, which was great as it is an Oscar nominated film this year. Service was excellent. All staff members would sincerely greet us at all times in the public areas of the ship. I can't say enough about the crew and their customer service. Explorer Dome: What some refer to as a planetarium, isn't really one. It is a film venue where those films are projected partly or fully onto the dome in a theatre above the explorer lounge. This is available only on the Orion and Jupiter ships. I thought the Mars show was excellent, simulating a human landing on Mars with international participants collecting specimens and reporting back to Earth. I would not recommend the Dolphins and Whales show. It only covered part of the screen and although 3D was of poor production quality. Spa: This was included with no extra fees, unless booking massages or other treatments. There were so many facets to it. Sauna, cold plunge pool, thermal pool, steam room, snow grotto. It was very refreshing and relaxing. I highly recommend visiting this area. There are towels and robes provided and the lockers are controlled by your room card, which was very convenient. The spa employees were very friendly and helpful, offering advice on receiving the maximum benefit from all the facets of the spa. Value: Questionable for a Canadian traveller, with a significant surcharge of over 35% in Canadian funds over the US price. For a 15 day cruise that cost over $22,000 CAD, a nicely appointed room on other reputable cruise lines could be had for significantly less, even if factoring in excursions and alcohol. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Overall, the cruise portion of our Aus/NZ trip was good. The itinerary was appealing as it included Hobart, Tasmania, and smaller centers in NZ. We arranged our own flights. Viking Orion is a classy looking ship with wonderful, ... Read More
Overall, the cruise portion of our Aus/NZ trip was good. The itinerary was appealing as it included Hobart, Tasmania, and smaller centers in NZ. We arranged our own flights. Viking Orion is a classy looking ship with wonderful, friendly fellow passengers. The vast majority were Americans, average age was a good 70. Public areas were well used but comfortable. My partner used the spa and really liked it. We were in a Penthouse Veranda and it has a minimalist decor with lots of storage, small veranda and good bathroom. Kept very clean and stocked with your choices. We did have to deal with the scalding hot/cool oscillations in the shower. This can be mitigated by turning the head on full force and adjusting the temp down until it at least it no longer sears. The bed is a king, good linens but for me way too firm. My sciatica acted up. I'm aware of the issues around booking shore excursions by suite category but we were able to book exactly what we wanted. Spaces did free up eventually on many showing sold out originally. Unlike some reviewers, I thought the optional excursions were great! Can recommend "Kangaroos and Koalas at Sunset" in Melbourne, "Wildlife Conservation Park and Historic Port Arthur" out of Hobart, "Great Houses of Dunedin", "Sheep Station & Te Mata Peak" out of Napier, and "Geothermal Rotorua" out of Tauranga. The food was of high ingredients quality, varied and attractively prepared. Shame, because more often than not, it was marred by too much salt, over richness and tepid serving temperatures. Kudos to the sushi, steaks and roasts, afternoon tea and service! Included wines were mostly good and generously offered. One of our Manfredi's reservations mysteriously disappeared and the restaurant manager just shrugged. We were usually too tired for the evening entertainment but did go to the planetarium twice. Not recommended as it is really just a mini Imax theater showing short childlike films. We had a very rough two day crossing of the Tasman Sea and then Christchurch was cancelled based on "safety first". Of course I defer these decisions to the bridge but where was safety first crossing the Tasman in those conditions, and sailing out of Wellington harbour in 100+ km/hr wind gusts? A much smaller cruise ship, the Caledonian Sky, sailed out of Christchurch to our port, Dunedin, the night we stayed put. It couldn't possibly have been as bad as the Tasman! Oh, and no compensation. Anyway, as only my second ever cruise, and having enjoyed the Viking brand, I have decided cruising is not for me but I certainly see the appeal to the many loyal Viking passengers. We met some great people who were always interesting to talk to! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My wife and I go on a cruise almost every year. We have cruised with Crystal, Regent, Ocena, Princess, Cunard, Holland America over the years. Crystal has always been our preferred cruise line. We chose this cruise for three main reasons: ... Read More
My wife and I go on a cruise almost every year. We have cruised with Crystal, Regent, Ocena, Princess, Cunard, Holland America over the years. Crystal has always been our preferred cruise line. We chose this cruise for three main reasons: (1) I badly wanted to visit my mother's grave in Hobart (Tasmania) and this cruise included Hobart in its itinerary; (2) we wanted to go to Australian Open tennis tournament after the cruise; and (3) we wanted to see the main cities of New Zealand and Australia. Additional considerations for us included the newness of Viking Orion, good reviews of Viking ocean cruises, being only for adults and no requirement for formal attire. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The ship was beautiful; eveything on the ship had been tastefully designed. Our cabin was on deck 6 and classified as deluxe veranda; its size was perfectly satisfactory, the bed was very comfortable and the bathroom was fine. There was an excellent fridge in the room and the WiFi signal was acceptable. In commen areas WiFi worked very well about 80% of the time (10-15 Mbps), which is excellent considering the remote areas we were sailing at. Dining: There were two specialty dining venues in addition to the main dining room and the "world cafe" where food was served buffet style. There were also three other locations where one can have open sandwiches, hamburgers etc. Entertainment: Compared to other cruises there was minimal entertainment of relatively low quality. Since we didn't much care about the generally low quality stage performances on cruise ships this was not an issue for us. The lectures were fine. Now, why do I give this cruise only 2 stars: The captain decided not to go to Christchurch and more importantly Hobart for weather related reasons. In his announcements he repeated that "our safety was his main priority" and provided only scant reasons for his decisions, which didn't satify anybody because weather, as far as we could determine, was not particularly bad at either port. That is two ports of call out of seven. I was very disappointed and angry as I wondered when will I ever have another chance to go to Hobart. So we ended up spending two extra days at sea and one extra day in Melbourne, which meant nothing to us because we were going to be in Melbourne for Australian Open anyway. The food was prepared by non-specialist cooks and the quality was in general quite poor. Our first dinner on board was just awful and I knew right at the outset we were going to have problems with food quality. Dinner on December 31st, New Year's Eve, was nothing special. They made no effort whatsoever to celebrate the arrival of the new year in the dining room. The variety of the food items included in the menus of the main dining room and the World Cafe became absolutely monotonous and boring. Fruit selection consisted of melon, watermelon, pineapple, apples, and strawberries all of which were tasteless. There was plently of meat but very little edible seafood. They even managed to cook salmon welldone! Shellfish was also plenty but tasteless. Imagine, you are travelling in the middle of summer in places that are well known for their vegetables and fruits (e.g. kiwi fruit, mangos, peaches, grapes) and none of them made an appearance at our dinner table. Same for seafood. The fish served were all of European origin and frozen - that's probably why they always cooked the fish until it was compeletly dry. Barista coffee was bad - we were told by one of the coffee baristas that the machines, not the coffee beans, were to blame. The staff clearly needed more training and better language skills. Often they did not understand what we asked for. Poorly selected music (rock, country etc.) played loudly on deck 7 where everyone congregated most of the time. The cover over Deck 7 would often be closed when the weather was hot with no wind making the place like a sauna and open when it was windy and cool. I mentioned this to staff and got no response. The included shore excursions were good. We received an email from Viking offering us $250 credit towards a future Viking cruise for missing out on two ports of call. I also received a phone call from a Viking representative after we returned home who tried to sell me another Viking cruise by offering "additional (to $250) cruise credit as further compensation". That is not an acceptable service recovery in my book. I will not go on another Viking Cruise and my wife feels the same. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose Viking Ocean for several reasons. First we were tired of the large crowds of people on the other cruise lines we have sailed. We were tired of the photographers, casino, and poor excursions. We were happy to pay a little more for ... Read More
We chose Viking Ocean for several reasons. First we were tired of the large crowds of people on the other cruise lines we have sailed. We were tired of the photographers, casino, and poor excursions. We were happy to pay a little more for better excursions (as advertised on air) and to have wine and beer at lunch and dinner, coffee all day without being nickled and dimed to death. We thought Viking would be a great way to see New Zealand and Australia. It wasn't. First what was good about the cruise, the ship was beautiful. Its new, launched in June 2018. The stateroom Deluxe Veranda was comfortable and the bathroom was roomy, especially the shower. The food was good to excellent and the service was spot on, everyone was attentive. What was wrong? It started with booking excursions. We had to book excursions based on cabin level, so we could not book anything until 65 days prior to departure. It turns out we we were closed out of all the excursions we wanted to take. You also had to book your included excursions by choosing the time you wanted. So if you were trying to book an early one in order to get a later extra one, forget it wasn't going to happen. Once on board we found out that we were in the majority with regard to issues with booking excursions. Many people were up at 3:30 am EST in order to get the jump on booking on line. Many had gone and booked private tours with other tour groups in port. Image spending all this money and still going through this expense. The included excursions were not great, Auckland was terrible and the rest not much better. Just driving around in a bus seeing the city. The bus driver was the tour guide. Nothing like the excursions seen in the ads. Most passengers had traveled Viking before on river cruises and all were surprised at the poor quality of the ocean cruise excursions, nothing like the river cruise. We lost 2 ports due to poor weather. The sun was shining, but it was windy and the captain chose, for safety reasons, not to enter the port for Christchurch NZ. The sea was rough, so he slowed down to try to minimize the rocking and we could not make Hobart Tasmania on time. So it was cut out. They gave us an extra day in Melbourne and set up more excursions for the extra day. By 8 am the following day, all extra excursions were full. Surprise!!! Days at sea were BORING!!! No fun games, nothing. Just a bunch of passengers sitting around in all the reading nook areas reading. Pool was empty, sun deck too windy to play games, too rocky for bocce. Evening entertainment was so-so, 2 off ship performers were good but the last night in Sydney with the aborigine tribe was pathetic. It all sounded and looked the same from song to song. The planetarium show was a joke. A grade C- movie about a launch to Mars. All made up with the worst acting ever!! Overall for an ocean cruise, I could have stayed with Princess, cheaper, endured the crowds and gotten the same poor shore experience. We traveled so far and saw so little. SAD. They gave us vouchers towards our next booking to make up for the inconvenience. I called to complain on the amount and they increased it but it still does not make up for my loss. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I’ve had New Zealand and Australia on my bucket list for a long time. With such great reviews of Viking Ocean cruises and having been very pleased with Viking River, why not. It was a mix of good and bad. In the good side was the ... Read More
I’ve had New Zealand and Australia on my bucket list for a long time. With such great reviews of Viking Ocean cruises and having been very pleased with Viking River, why not. It was a mix of good and bad. In the good side was the ship, service, food, entertainment gym and spa, especially the Nordic experience of steam, ice, etc. However, you take a cruise for the above but especially to see things. We were extremely underwhelmed with the excisions. Non descript ports and tours. The combined driver/guides were also boring. We did not see the picturesque New Zealand you hear about. In addition, we missed two ports, Christchurch and Tasmania due to rough seas in the Tasmin Sea. I absolutely get safety and and won’t question it but their compensation for missing two ports was a $250 credit to a future cruise. $500 off I’m a $20K cruise excluding air; INSULTING. I question is I ever take Biking Ocean again. I also understand that this was a maiden voyage from NZ to Australia. I think they were learning along the way on our nickel. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose the Viking Orion cruise because we had wanted to see Australia. We left on December 30 out of Auckland. As mentioned above the communication prior to leaving was inaccurate and insufficient. I really don't think the people ... Read More
We chose the Viking Orion cruise because we had wanted to see Australia. We left on December 30 out of Auckland. As mentioned above the communication prior to leaving was inaccurate and insufficient. I really don't think the people organizing this cruise were prepared. We continually got the impression that they would meet somewhere and decide what to do next. The food on the cruise was good, but not great. There were not enough salads and they only knew how to cook steaks 2 ways: well done or rare! The 2 speciallity restaurants were not really special. Manfredi's had Italian food that was only slighly better than the Olive Garden. The atmosphere was not at all elegant as you would expect for a "speciality" restaurant. There were plastic placemats and the lighting and overall atmosphere was just not good. The Chef's Table was bad. It was presented as a "groumet" restaurant, but it was hardly that. It had 4 courses. We went on Mexican night and the 1 st course was a single round corn chip with a small teaspoon of chopped octopus on it! The rest of the potions were equally small and not at all good. They arrived barely warm and were very small portions. The main course was short ribs. It consisted of a 2 inch square of molded meat that was the size of a brownie. It was cold and tasted like it was made last week! This restaurant used the same plastic placemats - not the white table cloths you would expect! We had another reservation that we canceled. Then, there were the Excursions! The included excursions consisted of sitting on a bus with the drive rattling off things to look at out the window. This was poorly done and usually we could not see what he was describing before we drove past. The worst excursion was one one we paid $129 for. This was the Otaga Wildlife cruise. For this cruise we boarded a boat that was probably 50 years old! It had no comfortable seats and was enclosed with cloudy plastic zip windows. They passed out binoculars to everyone. We ride was really rough and the boat driver narrated a script and pointed out a few birds (hardly the expected wildlife) that we could observe flying by as the boat swayed back and forth and bumped along at a fairly fast clip. Most of us could not focus on anything and maintain our balance on the boat. It was awful! A few people felt sick! I don't think the person who planned this actually went on this trip. I am furious that we paid for this! This trip was really rough! We spent a total of 5 days on very rough seas! As we walked along the halls, we would sway from one side to the other holding on to the rails! It was difficult to maintain your balance. There were many people who were sick! We missed the stops at Christ church and Hobart and Tasmania because of the rough seas! I don't anyone quite understood what we missed Tasmania because the communication was poor, as usual. Anyway, missing this stop caused us to spend an additional day on the very rough seas. Because we missed Tasmania, we had an extra day in Melbourne. We were promised 2 things: added excursions and compensation when we got back home. First of all, there were added excursions, but they had only a few places, so most of the passengers were left in Melbourne on there own. There was almost no help or guidance from the crew of things to see and how to get there. People go on tours and cruises, so people can guide them in sight seeing, Viking failed to do this or us! When we got home we were offered a $250.00 voucher to use on another cruise. This is a pathetic offer for compensation for missing Tasmania which is one of the major attractions on this cruise! I have only one more thing to mention. During the "At sea days", there were very few activities planned. There were lectures and a bean bag toss, but little else. Luckily, we brought a deck of cards. Oh and I almost forgot the mention that the cruise director was part of the evening entertainment. He was not a very good singer. I think his time would have been better spent on planning and organizing the cruise activities! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Having cruised all major shipping lines over the past 30 years, I was thrilled to find Viking Orion cruising from Australia 30th December, 2018. Having heard the standard of this ship was equal to the best I had travelled on previously, ... Read More
Having cruised all major shipping lines over the past 30 years, I was thrilled to find Viking Orion cruising from Australia 30th December, 2018. Having heard the standard of this ship was equal to the best I had travelled on previously, I booked & paid top price for our accommodation onboard. By the end of the cruise, I was so disappointed with so many aspects of the cruise, I actually cancelled another booking I had for later in the next year. My biggest disappointment was that, because it was a New Years Eve cruise, a date I cruise every year, to celebrate, I couldn't believe how little was offered on the night. There was a countdown clock on the outside deck pool screen showing the time & then the wording Happy New Year displayed - & that was it. No balloons, no party hats, no whistles, no deck food etc - all the little things that go into making it a great night. The worst NYE I have ever experienced onboard a cruise ship. No flowers, fruit, chocolates on pillow in stateroom. Buffets with so little choice, it was difficult to find something worth eating. 2 ports of call were missed out due to "bad weather". I feel so sorry for people who had travelled halfway around the world to see Australia & New Zealand & ended up mainly having sea days. Why, when we couldn't get into Lyttleton (for Christchurch) didn't we go to the safe harbour of Akaroa near by - as did one of the larger Princess cruise ships on the same day. Viking, you have a great reputation with River Cruises - perhaps you should stick to them. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The new ship was great. The crew was exceptional. The food was great. One day while at sea from Tasmania to New Zealand, all passengers on Decks 2 and 3 were requested to meet on Deck 1 at 9 AM to complete and review their New Zealand ... Read More
The new ship was great. The crew was exceptional. The food was great. One day while at sea from Tasmania to New Zealand, all passengers on Decks 2 and 3 were requested to meet on Deck 1 at 9 AM to complete and review their New Zealand Declaration Documents. The line was way too long and the wait was way too long. Many passengers were very disappointed. This situation was evidence of very poor planning on someone's part. With today's technology it seems that each cabin should have good WIFI Service. That was not the case for our cabin 3032. We had very little if any WIFI service. Hopefully this deficiency can be resolved for you future passengers. I have to give Simba, Bruno and Ivana took very good care of our foursome while at the Poop Deck Par. They really made us feel at home. Thank you very much. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose the Viking Orion cruise because we have wanted to go to Australia and New Zealand for a long time and because of the excellent reputation of Viking ocean cruises. We will not take another Viking cruise. Although we have no ... Read More
We chose the Viking Orion cruise because we have wanted to go to Australia and New Zealand for a long time and because of the excellent reputation of Viking ocean cruises. We will not take another Viking cruise. Although we have no complaints about the ship or our cabin, we were shocked by the lack of worthwhile activities and the poor quality of the included excursions. The so-called enrichment lectures were a total bore and the speakers were not at all interesting or entertaining. One of the speakers never looked up from her prepared presentation which she read word for word. During the four sea days there was very little to do. We spent most of our sea days watching TV in our cabin. However, we did enjoy the 30 minute dance classes taught by one of the young Viking singers and the trivia game that was run by the assistant cruise director. We were disappointed that trivia games were only held on sea days. On other cruise lines that we have traveled with (I.e., Oceania, Crystal and Regent), trivia games were held on every day of the cruise. We went on two of the included excursions on the first ports, but the tour guides were so bad that we decided to explore other ports on our own. I thought that the food was generally good but my wife was very unhappy with the poor quality of salads in the buffet. On a positive note, the entertainment in the evening was very good, especially the shows that were put on by the cruise director, the assistant cruise director and the Viking singers. Read Less
Viking Orion Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.7
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 4.0 4.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.4
Family N/A 4.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 5.0 4.3
Service 4.5 4.7
Value For Money 5.0 4.2

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