7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
A quick intro. This was our first time on Viking Ocean, my previous cruise experience was western Med on Regent Mariner. Traveled with my mom, who has a lot of cruise experience on a variety of lines. Mom picked the cruise, I was the ... Read More
A quick intro. This was our first time on Viking Ocean, my previous cruise experience was western Med on Regent Mariner. Traveled with my mom, who has a lot of cruise experience on a variety of lines. Mom picked the cruise, I was the lucky travel companion. Cruise departed from Rome and traveled to Barcelona. This itinerary has the ship traveling in the evening/at night. We were lucky to be on the 2nd cruise on Orion, which is new and beautiful. Embarkation - we arrived the day before and stayed at the Hilton at the airport. Our TA arranged for us to meet the Viking transport at the airport for our transfer to the ship. We were a bit nervous about this, since most people were coming directly from a flight and we were afraid we might miss the group. Turned out we should not have worried, when we arrived at the airport we immediately found a crowd of travelers wearing the red Viking stickers and made our way to the buses. There was no crowd in the terminal, we were able to process within a few minutes after waiting in a very short line, and then quickly went aboard. The staff greats you with a glass of champagne as you board, with some staff wearing traditional nordic clothing. The customer service desk is open 24/7, and it is good idea to talk to them when you board, the lines get longer later in the day. With cabin access at 1pm, we had some time to explore the ship. Orion is a beautiful ship. The public spaces are wide open, she never feels crowded. We went directly to the spa to book some services. The spa is unique and the staff is quite helpful. Mom signed up for a facial and I signed up for a guided experience using the nordic spa. This is an event open to 10 people once per cruise (they did it twice this journey, lots of interest) for a low fee which includes a body brush and various creams and lotions. The gym is next door - clean and really well appointed. When I came down to exercise in the morning each piece of cardio equipment was preloaded with a fresh towel and bottle of water. There were plenty of sanitary wipes and a hand washing station, too. I had everything I needed for a great workout. After the spa we went upstairs to what I call the "food court". This area,with both indoor and outdoor seating, serves food from various stations. The fresh made gelato every day was a favorite. I love that Viking had no extra sugar added gelato every day (with a new flavor every day!) and no added sugar cookies too. Wine and beer are included with lunch and dinner, and so is soda. The wait staff was quick to bring water and wine, it took a while to get a soda sometimes, and I found it worked better to order two glasses each time. I often ran into other diners who were ordering two sodas at a time - the glass holds half a can. We had a penthouse veranda cabin. One thing we really liked - our stewed came in and introduced herself and then went over all of the features of the cabin with us. The min fridge was preloaded with an assortment of soda, beer, champagne, mini liquor bottles and 3 tiny toblerone candy bars. We knew what we wanted in the fridge - lots of Diet Coke and wine instead of champagne, so we left a note for the crew member who does the mini fridge refills. There is no place in the fridge for the ice bucket - you can ask for ice each day but half of it does melt while you are out and about. The room featured way more pillows than we knew what to do with, pillows on the beds, pillows on the couch, pillows on the chairs. We had the two bed configuration, the room included a couch and chair as well as two tables. The veranda had two chairs and a table as well. Loved that there was a big window and a regular door to the veranda rather than a slider! The TV is large, with several news channels to choose from as well as BBC documentaries and TED talks as well as some movies. There are two speciality restaurants on the ship as well as the main dining room and the food court. We tried Manfredis and it was OK. The menus at the Chefs Table were not for us. We found that the main dining room, which was never crowded, was our favorite. The service was excellent, and they can even bring you food from one of the other restaurants if you ask. Tea time is simple - the guitar player plays and sings, and everyone group receives a tray with some tiny sandwiches and 4 treats. The tea is simple. This is one area which was disappointing to me after the sumptuous tea's on Regent and the lively trivia games at tea time. One our ship the tea was never crowded, there was plenty of room for more people. The entertainment on the ship is very low key. No big broadway style nightly shows on this trip. There is a cast of 4 young singers who did two shows, the cruise director had one show where he sang with the band. They brought in some local entertainers - an opera group in Livorno which was very entertaining and included audience participation - a string group another night, and a wonderful local music group in Barcelona. You can find live music throughout the trip at tea, during the Munch Moments, in the public areas and in the night club. There was a live music dance night on the pool deck as well. Orion has a planetarium style show which was very interesting and there was a stargazing lecture one night with the resident astronomer. We did a combination of the included shore excursions and some which were for an additional fee. By far our favorite was a trip to Cassis when we were in Marseille. This little French town felt like it was Belle's hometown with it's perfect little store fronts and cafes. There was a beach and the excursion included a lovely boat ride on the crystal clear waters to see the various fjords (they called them something else, but they were fjords). It was market day and there were vendors with fresh fruit and veg, handmade soaps and other crafts and various merchandise. Our other paid shore excursion was Florence by Tuk Tuk. Since the drive from port is so long you don't get nearly enough time to fully explore Florence, but Tomas the Tuk Tuk driver made sure we saw all the main sights and took us to a church above the city with amazing views of Florence. The meet up point for the Florence excursions is a square with both an excellent leather store and jewelry store. The buses for all the trips had great air conditioning, which was cold to American expectations. Points to Viking for this! We visited Pisa on the included excursion, which included a lot of walking from the bus to the square. The tour included too much "time on our own" as there was only one restaurant there and no real shops - and a lot of very aggressive vendors. We took the included walking tour in Monaco, and since the ship was there all day and evening we were able to head back in town to visit the casino. In St Tropez the included tour takes you to a planned community with canals like Venice. The community was built in the 70s. Luckily it was market day there and we were able to shop at the local market for food and gifts. We could have used more time to shop at this local market. Then the tour bus took us to St Tropez for a walking tour of the town. The best part of this port day was sitting in the infinity pool or on deck watching the amazing yachts go by - you can google them by name to see who they belong to. The included tour of Barcelona takes you around the city in the bus - you can see some of the Gaudi buildings from the bus. You tour the cathedral, and then many people departed from the group to spend their day in the city. There is a bus from the city to the port, so you can enjoy your day in town. That spa is an amazing place. Access to the spa is included in your cruise fare. During my spa experience, the staff lead us through the nordic experience - we started with dry brushing our skin, then into the sauna, then into the snow room - we did that a few times - rubbing snow balls on our skin. When you are done with that there is an ice bucket dumpshower, and also a fabulous shower with many different sprays. The pool in the spa is a hydrotherapy pool, and there is a hot tub as well. There are also heated loungers. If you travel viking ocean do not miss the spa! The pool has two pools on deck - there is an infinity pool and a regular pool. The infinity pool is deeper and colder. It is amazing to sit in the infinity pool and watch the yachts go past. The crew on this ship is very eager to please, and we received several surveys during the cruise - and the staff actually followed up on them, calling me to ask questions about my responses. After his show the cruise director asked everyone to make sure they filled out the surveys, he stressed that they would be responsive, and you could see some things changed immediately in response - for example, the dining room switched from room temp water to ice water after the surveys. We were always greeted with a smile, and if it was within their power the staff granted your wish. The customer service desk is open 24/7 and they patiently answered all of our questions. You can find a map of each port in the book case in front of the customer service desks, and also on the dock in the area under the red canopy. The Viking passengers seemed to be a friendly crowd, and there was a wide age range of passengers, but not too many teen aged kids. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
My wife and I just returned from a eight day Viking Western Mediterranean cruise. The ship is brand new (June 2018). It was beautiful and had lots of modern amenities. In addition, the Viking staff were wonderful. We loved our cabin ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from a eight day Viking Western Mediterranean cruise. The ship is brand new (June 2018). It was beautiful and had lots of modern amenities. In addition, the Viking staff were wonderful. We loved our cabin attendant, the wait staff, kitchen staff, tour guides, entertainment, etc. The Food and dining choices were excellent. Also the Spa and Workout area are top notch. As to ports, we visited Pisa (one of our favorites), Florence, Monaco, St. Topaz, Marseille, and Barcelona. The ports were a bit 'stick' from heat, but I blame that on July and not Viking. As the ship was brand new, there were a few 'glitches'. Our in room coffee maker and built in USB recharge ports were non-functional. Also, the ship had frequent elevator issues were one or more of the six elevators were always down. Also, our mid ship cabin had an extremely weak WiFi signal. We had to go to a common area in order to access the ship's WiFi. Tips: 1) BOOK YOUR EXCURSION EARLY! We were used to Vikings River Cruises were you would book your excursion once you got on the ship. Not so with the Ocean Cruises. Book early or you are unlikely to get the excursion you want. 2) Book dinner at one of the specialty restaurants as soon as you board the ship! We were slow on the draw here and could not get a formal reservation at either of the two specialty restaurants, however you can always just show up and depending on demand, they may be able to seat you. 3) Download the Viking App before you arrive. It will help you quickly book your tours and dinner reservations, as well as act as daily guide to activities. Bonus Tip! The ship has free on board laundry facilities (including detergent). Four washer/dryers per deck. You don't have to overpack knowing you can do a laundry run mid week! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Our cruise was on the Mediterranean, from Rome to Barcelona. We did the Rome extension before our cruise began--the accommodations in Rome were excellent. The hotel staff bent over backwards to get all of us into our rooms early, when we ... Read More
Our cruise was on the Mediterranean, from Rome to Barcelona. We did the Rome extension before our cruise began--the accommodations in Rome were excellent. The hotel staff bent over backwards to get all of us into our rooms early, when we arrived at noon from the airport. So much to see in Rome--I wish we had gone even earlier than the 2 days allotted! The Viking crew took excellent care of us from the time we got off the plane in Rome until we were checked in for our flight in Barcelona. The ship was beautiful; our cabin was pristine, and the service staff was excellent in every part of the ship. The food was excellent and since it was included in the price of the cruise, we were free to try entrees that we normally would not have. Our shore excursions were informative and also included in the price of the cruise, with other options available for a modest price. I was delighted to find free self-laundry facilities available. Overall, everything was top-notch and we felt pampered. We did not travel with children; I don't think this cruise would have appealed to our young teenagers at all. The entertainment and facilities on-board the ship were geared more towards adults, and they probably would have found the excursions to be boring. My only "complaint" is that we were very rushed between connecting flights upon re-entry into the US. I caught the tight connection on our out-going flights and was able to request a longer lay-over. Our lay-over on the return trip seemed adequate, but since we are not frequent international travelers, I had forgotten about the extended time required to clear immigration and customs. If our connecting flight had not been delayed, we would not have made it. We RAN through O'Hare and right up the jet-way onto the plane, and they immediately closed the door. If Viking books your flights (which I would recommend, given the price savings), make sure there are more than a few hours between connections on the return. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
My family have been on Viking River and Ocean cruises and just raved about them. It took very little encouragement to convince me to try a Viking cruise. I have been to the Caribbean, Alaska, Bermuda with other cruse lines over the years. ... Read More
My family have been on Viking River and Ocean cruises and just raved about them. It took very little encouragement to convince me to try a Viking cruise. I have been to the Caribbean, Alaska, Bermuda with other cruse lines over the years. Viking was truly the most outstanding one yet. There are so many wonderful places to choose, in addition to terrific Pricing and amenities that other cruises don’t even consider. For my girlfriend, it was her first Ever cruise, she started with The Best. We are currently looking into our second cruise, Trying to decide between another Ocean or a River Cruise. The entire crew, from top to bottom of ship’s order, was always happy, helpful and went the ‘extra’ mile, when needed. The ports terrific, as well as the people we met. There was only one guide and one add-on tour, we took on our own, that we felt was not ‘up to snuff’, but we did register our concern, which I am sure was taken care of. Food, Accomodations, People, Transfers, Train Ride, Tours Were Fit For A Queen Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I joined a small group so didn’t choose the cruise or ship but enjoyed the Viking process. There was no line when we boarded and we went to our room after exploring the ship. I like to start a cruise by looking for a quiet apot were I ... Read More
I joined a small group so didn’t choose the cruise or ship but enjoyed the Viking process. There was no line when we boarded and we went to our room after exploring the ship. I like to start a cruise by looking for a quiet apot were I can retreat. We had reservations at Manfredi’s and enjoyed our first Viking meal. The breakfast crowd was overwhelming the first morning but better when I found places to retreat with my first meal of the day. The room was cozy, but well designed. I was disappointed the the included coffee pot didn’t work and asked them to remove it. Beds were confortable and storage space good. Robes, slippers, hair drier and bath amenities were included. The spa area was nice and I enjoyed the Viking sauna, steam and cold water plunge. I went on the last night and they were defrosting the snow room so I didn’t get that experience. The gym looked good but I was more interested in the food, pool, dining and shore excursions, both private and Viking. Aside from the planetarium talks, which were well done, I didn’t participate in enrichment activities. I enjoyed classical music on floors 1 and 7, along with the, mostly, quiet and comfortable lounge spaces. There were books everywhere and enjoyed browsing the collections. This is no party ship and I enjoyed it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
My wife and I very much enjoyed our 7 night western Mediterranean cruise! The ship was beautiful from stem to stern with great common areas and nice restaurants. The rooms were plenty spacious with good storage capabilities and a nice ... Read More
My wife and I very much enjoyed our 7 night western Mediterranean cruise! The ship was beautiful from stem to stern with great common areas and nice restaurants. The rooms were plenty spacious with good storage capabilities and a nice spacious (by cruise ship standards) bathroom. The ship's overall size was perfect. Not too big, not too small! The docking point in Monte Carlo was fantastic! It was one of the highlights. What a view to wake up to and look out on while eating breakfast! We took both the pre-excursion to Tuscany and the post excursion to Madrid! Both were very nice. For the pre-excursion in Tuscany we stayed at Villa I Barronci. It was nice, but I will say it was a bit below Viking standards. As I understand it, Viking had to make a last minute change to the Villa we were originally scheduled to stay at. But it was still nice. The breakfast was very good with lots of options. One surprise was how far from Rome the Port of Civitavecchia was. The boat was docked at the Port of Civitavecchia and getting to Rome for a quick one day excursion was harder than expected. So if you're planning to run to Rome for a day, be prepared for an hour and a half Uber ride each way. But we got to see the Coliseum and surrounding ruins and still make it back for all aboard. Otherwise, the rest of the excursions were very good and we enjoyed each one. Siena was one of my favorite old historical towns. Service throughout the ship was phenomenal the whole time, which is what you would expect from Viking. The post excursion to Madrid was fun, starting with a speedy train ride from Barcelona. And by speedy, I mean 186 MPH! We enjoyed Madrid much more than Barcelona and we had a good time in Spain. St Tropez was very nice as well and one of our favorite ports of call. But not sure they're going to continue stopping there on future western Mediterranean cruises, so we're happy we got to go into town. While we won't be taking this exact cruise again, we'll definitely be taking another Viking Ocean Cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose Viking after watching way too many episodes of Downton Abbey and being brainwashed by all the commercials, and we chose the Iconic Western Mediterranean itinerary since it had so many places we had always dreamed about seeing. ... Read More
We chose Viking after watching way too many episodes of Downton Abbey and being brainwashed by all the commercials, and we chose the Iconic Western Mediterranean itinerary since it had so many places we had always dreamed about seeing. This was our first trip to Europe and first cruise ever, and we were not disappointed. The service on the ship is first class. It's like a Ritz Carlton on water. The excursions arranged by Viking were wonderful and informative (though my husband said he could do with a few less museums!) and we enjoyed every port of call, even the one where we just got off the ship and wandered around. The food was absolutely amazing. We mostly ate in the World Cafe although we did try all of the specialty restaurants. It was just so easy to pop in and grab a table and enjoy all the food. We never had to wait for a table. Ever. I was also impressed that the paella they were cooking on the deck was better than what we had on our outing in Barcelona! Ever since we've been home, we keep saying "I wish we were still on our ship!" We have already booked cruise #2 for next year! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
All inclusive excursions, no days at sea, fully stocked mini bar included (with chocolate and nuts!), no extra charge for specialty restaurants, no children permitted and very reasonable beverage upgrade package were all very important ... Read More
All inclusive excursions, no days at sea, fully stocked mini bar included (with chocolate and nuts!), no extra charge for specialty restaurants, no children permitted and very reasonable beverage upgrade package were all very important factors in our cruise decision to sail with Viking Ocean cruises. Staff were always eager to help out. Restaurants were very accommodating as to dinner schedule, food choices, beverage choices, pace of dinner, table selection and food allergies. Movies included on the room TV were just right. Lots of choices and easy to navigate. The pool was very nice with endless towels and helpful staff. Afternoon tea was a real treat! Next cruise we will be there every day for the tea! Pre-cruise days in Rome worked out well. Hotel selection was great. Embarkments was super fast - maybe 5 minutes in total. Our cabin was ready when promised and our cruise was off to a great start! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
I chose this cruise because of many reasons. Most being an excursion at every port as well as the overall historical and learning theme they promoted. I was not disappointed. I felt at the end of the cruise the overall value was ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of many reasons. Most being an excursion at every port as well as the overall historical and learning theme they promoted. I was not disappointed. I felt at the end of the cruise the overall value was totally worth every penny we spent. The ship was great and beautiful. It wasn't so big I would get lost. Everything was well kept. My cabin was way bigger than I expected. I loved the fact that we had our own balcony. Our cleaning lady was so very "Johnny on the spot" She made sure we had everything we needed at all times. The room was always clean when we returned from being out. Dining was awesome. Loved the included beer and wine with the food. The food, even at the buffets, were very tasty and the chef always did an awesome job; never dissapointed. Entertainment on the ship was also great. Loved the little dancing bar. Loved that they had a dress code and people were very respectful and had a great time. Service was always top notch. I never went without. The people on the cruise were always making sure we were happy all over the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose Viking for the itinerary and the cost which included some excursions. It was more than we could have even hoped for. The ship, the crew, the food everything was top notch. Add to this the cities we visited and it was truly ... Read More
We chose Viking for the itinerary and the cost which included some excursions. It was more than we could have even hoped for. The ship, the crew, the food everything was top notch. Add to this the cities we visited and it was truly the trip of a lifetime. The cabin was spacious and comfortable, we loved the balcony. The cabin crew was wonderful and we had everything we needed quickly and efficiently. All of the crew on the ship was friendly and took good care of us during the entire cruise. The food in all the restaurants was incredible and I couldn't pick a favorite one, because they were all my favorites. The excursions were superior and the people that led them was knowledgeable and fun. We loved the smaller ship and we had the chance to meet other people that we have things in common with. We will book again and hopefully soon. Love, Love Viking Cruises!! 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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