44 Viking Ocean Viking Orion Cruise Reviews

We had been on Viking before so I am comparing this cruise to the Viking cruise we took last year - plus other cruises we have taken. Dollar for dollar you are not going to do better than booking a Viking cruise - we were so impressed that ... Read More
We had been on Viking before so I am comparing this cruise to the Viking cruise we took last year - plus other cruises we have taken. Dollar for dollar you are not going to do better than booking a Viking cruise - we were so impressed that we booked a river cruise for 2020. The food was very good (not 5* but definitely 4*) - The entertainment was surprisingly good - not as many entertainers or length of shows that you will see on other cruises - but very enjoyable 45 minute show. Here comes the miss - and it was a big miss - where I am only giving it 1*! Excursions: they were awful - totally unorganized - drivers that didn't stick to the itinerary - drivers and travel guides who were completely lost (subjectively and figuratively). Admittedly, the hot and humid weather and rain surely didn't help - but I have the feeling it would have turned out the same if the weather was different). Example of poor planning by Viking: one of our major excursions was to the island of Komodo - they tendered us in where we all joined groups to hike around the island. I would say that we were there about an hour to 1 1/2 hours. It was so hot and humid that a few people passed out. Arriving to the dock to get back on the tenders and (surprise) - no tenders. At this point there were over two hundred people waiting in line for the tender - none were in sight. The time from the ship to the dock was at least 20 minutes to perhaps 30 minutes. There was no protection from the sun and people were about to jump into the water to cool off (a few more people on the dock passed out as well). That evening the cruise director apologized but it was a little late. I am probably being generous by giving the excursions 1*. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Joy
I also found not all passengers were treated the same. I think if you socialized with the crew you were treated better. If you spent time later in the evening with then and participated in their games, they greeted you and treated you ... Read More
I also found not all passengers were treated the same. I think if you socialized with the crew you were treated better. If you spent time later in the evening with then and participated in their games, they greeted you and treated you differently. Because of our age we thought this would be a good way to see Australia. Flight arrangements were terrible, sent us north to go west,long layovers. Food was very good and service excellent. Food in dining room was very good, specialty dining was excellent, World Café could have been better. Excursions could have been better, on some you spent more time on the bus than being able to enjoy the sight you were visiting. We've taken Viking River Cruises and I think the excursions and value for our money was much better. Also I think the crew was more attentive to all. We didn't have as many dining options but were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We have sailed on Viking Ocean before, and will do so again. Check-in and debarking was excellent. We had a PS3 cabin, which was worth the money. The food was quite good; although they should have more green salads, and the included ... Read More
We have sailed on Viking Ocean before, and will do so again. Check-in and debarking was excellent. We had a PS3 cabin, which was worth the money. The food was quite good; although they should have more green salads, and the included wine were very drinkable; a Tempranillo from Spain, and a red from the Vaucluse in France. The entree portions were often quite small. The food in Manfredi's was OK, but the Chef's Table was awful; miniscule portions, and we headed up to the buffet for desert. We found the lecturers to be quite good, particularly the Astronomer Dr. Wright. The Planetarium was enjoyable, but the 'shows' could have been done on an Imax, and pushed the obsolete 'Orion Mars Project'. There were a lack of some of our favorite activities: Zumba at 7PM!!!!; and no ballroom dance lessons (the entertainers reduced to 4 from 8 on our last voyage) were busy learning their new routines. The band, while good for some types of music never played real dance music in Torshaven. No tangos or rumbas, and very few swings or cha-chas. The cabin was magnificent; and service by our attendant the best we've had in years. The only problem with the cruise were the Awful!!! included tours, except for the one in Bali, which was fine. Komodo was a disaster; we saw three drugged dragons and the heat was very bad; I saw two people pass-out from the heat; one waiting for a tender, and one in the jungle. The crewman in the jungle stood there mouth and did not know what to do. There was no way to call for help. Eventually the passenger was helped up. Overnight in Darwin: Tours arrived at museums 45 minutes before they opened, sometimes expecting you to stay 90 minutes at a small exhibit. Awful guides. Thursday Island: Nothing to do, but walk around a dreary village. Included tours in Cairns and Townsville were also 'misses'. The tour staff stopped giving out rating sheets. Brisbane was wonderful, but only a long day. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
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
I chose Viking for a cruise around New Zealand ending at Sydney, Australia because I wanted the experience that Viking provided. Viking caters to adults, does not have a casino and includes a number of things in the price of the cruise ... Read More
I chose Viking for a cruise around New Zealand ending at Sydney, Australia because I wanted the experience that Viking provided. Viking caters to adults, does not have a casino and includes a number of things in the price of the cruise that are ala cartel on other cruise lines. Wi-fi, drinks with meals and one excursion in each port are all included. Unfortunately, the included excursions could not always be booked. There was some real confusion as to booking included excursions. In addition , many of the included excursions conflicted with other excursions or were simply not available. We were only able to actually book two "included " excursions. There were 7 port calls. Several of the other tours offered as alternative tours, for which Viking charged, were not of good quality. I did like a number of things about the cruise. First, Viking spends a reasonable amount of time in each port. Second, the staff is extremely helpful and nice. Service was excellent except in the dinning room on one or two occasions. Our cabin was also lovely. Viking is a very different experience from Princess and Norwegian. Much more upscale and not crowded. The enrichment lectures were also excellent. I am still trying to decide whether the extra money spent on the cruise with Viking was worth it. Princess has a similar cruise for about half the cost but it is a large ship. Overall, I am happy with the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We were on the 15 night Far East Discovery cruise from Beijing to Hong Kong! SHIP - Brand new and very luxurious. The decor suits the Viking brand and the crowd that these ships attract. One never feels like there are 930 passengers ... Read More
We were on the 15 night Far East Discovery cruise from Beijing to Hong Kong! SHIP - Brand new and very luxurious. The decor suits the Viking brand and the crowd that these ships attract. One never feels like there are 930 passengers aboard. There is never a crowd anywhere. The longest line was when people are getting off the ship in the morning to catch buses for excursions. The 2nd longest line was at the ice cream counter in the World Cafe after lunch and dinner. (Ice cream is made fresh on board and the flavors change daily!) There are numerous sitting areas where you can go to be by yourself. The retractable roof above the main pool is a nice feature, but on some sea days the roof could not be opened due to weather or smoke from the ship's stack blowing back into the pool area. When the roof is closed, the pool area heats up and it becomes like a sauna and is almost too hot to lounge around the pool. The free launderette on every level is a great feature. Free soap is dispensed by pushing a button on the wall after starting a washing machine. I worked out on the stationary bike and washed my workout gear and did an additional load on every sea day. We only had to wait for a machine on one occasion and then for only 1/2 an hour. We had 20 ft swells for a couple of hours due to the remnants of typhoon Yutu and Viking Orion handled them very well. But, we were in the middle of the ship, so we did not feel the up and down movement that those in the very forward and aft cabins must have felt. Lots of people used the 1/4 mile walking track on level 2. Passengers are mostly retired folks from the US, UK and Canada. CABIN - Every cabin is bigger than average for a cruise ship and has its own balcony. The smallest cabins have 270 sq ft and this is the size of the majority of the cabins on the ship. We found that we had plenty of space. Closet space is well laid out and the bathroom is very spacious. Showers are plenty big enough for the average sized person. DINING - Food is excellent and there is plenty of it. Reservations are required at Manfredi's and The Chef's Table. Manfredi's is the Italian restaurant on board and it has excellent pasta and steaks. The Chef's Table has a set menu with smaller portions and the menu changes every few nights. Often after excursions, people are too tired to get dressed up, so If you don't have a reservation at either, just show up and ask if they have an available table and you will probably get seated. It helps if you are willing to share a table with others. We found some of the offerings in the Chef's Table to be a little strange for our taste. The Restaurant does not require a reservation and has great food, also. All of the above are supposed to be evening casual, but I did see a couple of people with blue jeans and one lady in tights. While a few gentleman had jackets and ties on, the vast majority did not. I brought a sports jacket and wore it only once. The World Cafe is the on board casual buffet and there is poolside dining that consists of hamburgers, hot dogs, salads, etc. We used the included room service when we had an early excursion and on sea days before going to the spa to workout. Room service always arrived within 5 minutes of the requested time.There is afternoon tea around the pool, but we were either busy or never had an appetite at the time it was offered. ENTERTAINMENT - We only attended 1 lecture on China, but it was excellent. People that we spoke to who attended other talks said they were all very good. There were two persons on board who gave lectures on Asian/Chinese culture and history and one person who was giving scientific talks. There was a Haloween party around the pool and the band played till 10 PM. A magician was on board and gave 2 really good shows. He was as much a comedian as a magician. The band and vocalists did a Beatles/Abba tribute one night. SERVICE - Every person on board the ship bends over backwards to meet all needs of the passengers.The entire crew has a smile on their face almost always. The rooms are cleaned top to bottom twice daily. PORTS - The ports that are visited are basically the ones where China has opened a cruise terminal that Viking Orion can get into. All of the cities are interesting and have their own offerings. We had to skip the Japanese islands of Okinawa and Ishigaki due to typhoon Yutu, so we had an extra sea day and an extra day in Hong Kong. Due to missing two ports, Viking gave us an on board credit while on the cruise of $150 per passenger and a $250 credit per passenger on all future Viking ocean or river cruises. The port talks were very informative. EXCURSIONS - This is where the disappointment is. While in China, be ready to visit a temple, a garden and a market in every city. The guides in Qingdao and Xiamen could barely speak English. They could answer only the simplest of questions. They had memorized a script and could really not offer much else. They are all very young and most of them tried very hard, but their inexperience at controlling a group and lack of language skills made it very difficult for them and frustrating for the people on the excursions. After the excellent guides we had on a Scenic Danube river cruise the previous year, this was a great disappointment. However, due to Hong Kong's association with England, the guides in Hong Kong were more mature and they spoke fluent English. Most of the included excursions had a market as one of the stops. There was NEVER enough time included in the schedule to really see these markets. In Xiamen, there is a pedestrian shopping area that we were only given 20 minutes to visit. It had hundreds of shops and stalls. I think the included excursions with market stops should be extended by an hour each to give passengers more time if they desire. On two excursions, meals were provided. On the included Great Wall excursion, the meal was in a hotel exhibition hall and was very 2nd rate. On the last night in Hong Kong, the meal was in a restaurant in a large shopping mall and again the food and service was only 2nd rate. The Peking duck was fatty and all our table got was pieces of skin. Both meals were similar to a cheap Chinese restaurant in the states. In Hong Kong, we were each allowed only 1 glass of wine or 1 beer or 1 soft drink with the meal. Not what you would expect on a 'luxury' cruise. BUSINESS DEALINGS - When we called to inquire about the cruise, the telephone sales rep informed us that since the port terminal in Dalian was not ready, Dalian had been removed from the itinerary and we would get a $150 on board credit per passenger due to this. After booking and receiving an email from Viking with our booking info, we logged into MyVikingJourney web site and immediately we got an alert telling us about the Dalian situation and again promising $150 on board credits. After we were on the ship for one week, the $150 credits had not shown up on our account, so I visited Guest Services and the young lady stated to me that since Dalian had been taken off the itinerary before we booked, we were not eligible for the credits. I informed her that we SHOULD get the credits since the sales rep had promised it to us AND we got an alert on MyVikingJourney that confirmed what he had said. It was apparent that she wanted me to just go away, but I stood my ground until she said she would look into the matter. A day later the credits did show up on our on board account, so I did not have to make a 2nd visit to guest services. Although this is advertised as a Beijing to Hong Kong trip, you won't see Beijing unless you do the extension. Upon arrival at Beijing airport, there is a 3 hour drive straight to the cruise ship terminal, which is actually in Tianjin. You never go into Beijing itself. We would definitely do another Viking ocean cruise. This was our first luxury cruise and I don't think the on board experience could be any better. I can only guess that the poor quality of the excursions is due to 1) Chinese ports just being opened up to western cruise lines, 2) these are the initial visits to these ports for Viking, and 3) experienced tour guides are non-existent since in most cities, only the youngest Chinese speak any English at all. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
We chose this cruise because of the destinations on the itinerary & because some tours were included. We had travelled on Viking before...a river cruise. Some of the shore excursions were terrible...long bus rides...no time to see ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the destinations on the itinerary & because some tours were included. We had travelled on Viking before...a river cruise. Some of the shore excursions were terrible...long bus rides...no time to see half of the sites. & some bad tour guides. Exception Bangkok which had a great company handling the tours. The embarkation in Mumbai was the worst we have experienced anywhere. No one seemed to know anything. When we arrived at the Airport after being delayed and arriving late, the people who were there to meet us had no idea who we were even though we had phoned Viking to tell them that KLM screwed up our flights so badly that we missed the 2 day pre excursion we had booked.& would be delayed. We sat in the airport while 5 guys tried to get us a taxi.The taxi driver took us the long way to the hotel as we would not pay the tolls on the freeway.all this in the middle of the night. The Viking personnel were overwhelmed at the hotel. We finally got on a bus to the ship only to be told that it had to have luggage removed from the previous group. We loaded on a busy street with cars and motor bikes whizzing past. Three days at sea..not enough interesting activities to relieve the boredom. No complaints at all about the quality of the service, the food, the crew or the ship itself or the food we had while off the ship on excursions. If you are going to offer city tours, you need the time to actually see sites, & take some photos from a place other than through bus windows. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise due to the itinerary. Unfortunately, this cruise lasted only 4 days for us. My wife and I left the cruise in Sri Lanka on day 4 since she had to go to the hospital due to a serious infection to her left leg from a ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the itinerary. Unfortunately, this cruise lasted only 4 days for us. My wife and I left the cruise in Sri Lanka on day 4 since she had to go to the hospital due to a serious infection to her left leg from a laceration that happened in Delhi. The Viking ship and facilities were outstanding. The medical staff tried to due all they could to stem the infection - it ended up being beyond their capabilities with the antibiotics they had available. The Director of Cruise Services was a terrible failure - no compassion or customer service focus. Cabin was spacious and balcony was nice. Unfortunately we spent most of our time in the cabin for 4 days since my wife had to have her leg elevated and could not walk. We used room service for most of our meals. The menu was good and the food was delivered timely and arrived hot. I'd choose this again for the great itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
All of the food was top notch. The only issue was the fact that the Chef's Table had a different menu each night. We do not eat DUCK so we had to cancel. There needs to be more of a selection at the Chef's table. The ... Read More
All of the food was top notch. The only issue was the fact that the Chef's Table had a different menu each night. We do not eat DUCK so we had to cancel. There needs to be more of a selection at the Chef's table. The excursions could have been improved if there were handicap assistance provided off and on the ship. Also the excursions were great but could have been improved if wheelchairs could be made available for the elderly and handicapped. The ship was terrific and the crew for the most part was outstanding with only a few exceptions. I would go on Viking again but I would review the restaurants food service more carefully. As for the wine selection, it was adequate but I would suggest at least provide more of a variety each night and make wine available at all areas of the ship free of charge unless you want a more premium wine. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The countries were those we hadn't been to. Most of the excursions were great. The rooms are spacious and clean. The service was excellent. We especially liked the 4X4 driving in Montenegro, the Fortification Walk, the National ... Read More
The countries were those we hadn't been to. Most of the excursions were great. The rooms are spacious and clean. The service was excellent. We especially liked the 4X4 driving in Montenegro, the Fortification Walk, the National Forest/Falcon Place, Olympia and the Murano Glass. We were with another couple and liked that there were tables for four. We liked the Italian dining room and the Chef's Table was good, but we would have preferred a few more choices (although we realize one menu is the point). The pools were lovely and the sitting area connected to them was awesome. Embarking was good and simple. Disembarking was disorganized and long. We did not care for the excursion where the boats going into the little caves. Not really much of an experience. Overall a great experience that we would recommend to others. Only thing I would do differently is choose a time that was less hot. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was my very first cruise experience. And While I thoroughly enjoyed the quality of the food, the service, the amenities, the decor, I had a difficult time understanding why the entertainment was so lacking. Starting with the ... Read More
This was my very first cruise experience. And While I thoroughly enjoyed the quality of the food, the service, the amenities, the decor, I had a difficult time understanding why the entertainment was so lacking. Starting with the complimentary tours-some of the guides were quite lackluster and not attentive to the group in terms of their need to maybe slow down or knowing whether or not everyone is keeping up. I don’t know that I was aware of any resource (besides Guest Services or booking an excursion) that I could utilize to locate points of interest at each of the ports. When I did approach guest services regarding things to do in a given port, all the person did was Google it. They didn’t seem to have any information readily available to relay. To me, it’s important to talk to people who have been to these ports, who have had experiences there, who have genuine recommendations for where to go. My favorite part was the bartenders and most of the wait staff at the bars. We found ourselves at the bar quite a lot because there wasn’t much else available in the evening that we enjoyed. The singers were doing their jobs but were rather cheesy. We found ourselves some nights just making the best of it. Having to shrug it off, laugh about it, then just try to enjoy it. I appreciated greatly the efforts to keep things and people clean and sanitized. Embarkation and disembarkation were always smooth and never any lines like I’d heard happens with other cruise lines. There were a few people who really stood out for us in terms of service. Zoran, Boban, Nicola, Martin, Vadim, Stefanjia. They were always smiling and happy to see us. Remembering our names, room numbers, what we liked to drink but they went over and above and we felt like we were their friends and they were welcoming us into their home. These people were more memorable to us than the ports we visited. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Just returned from the Viking Orion in the Mediterranean in July. Great ship, great service. A few minor issues.But here is the rundown.... 1, No coffee in the room because of a power issue. 2. Rooms were spacious and great ... Read More
Just returned from the Viking Orion in the Mediterranean in July. Great ship, great service. A few minor issues.But here is the rundown.... 1, No coffee in the room because of a power issue. 2. Rooms were spacious and great storage,. 3. Ask for additional hangers. 4. Food was good overall, but the specialty dining was disappointing, I would not be concerned if you cannot get in. However, every night there were empty tables. 5. Not much to do at night, a little stuffy. One night was dancing under the stars which was a big hit ( more of those needed) 6. Drink package was worth is, however free wine was decent. 7. Outside eating was our fav place! Excursions 1. Our first port Sete was just terrible...we went to the spa in the afternoon, however my husband went to the 8 hour medeival town and just loved it!! 2. Marselle was good..just walking mostly 3. Monaco we had signed up for a walking tour and when the guide starting talking about the parking garage we left here and took the hop on bus around Monte Carlo which was great!The walking tour is boring! 4. St. Tropez was our favorite...just walked shop and ate. 5. Florence we hired a private driver and went on a pasta cooking class and wine tasting set up by my travel agent. The best day of the trip. 6, Florence the next day was very crowded, but fun. All in all a great ship and great crew. A little sleepy for my 25 and 26 year olds. Sometimes the mature crowd was a bit crabby for us...but we knew that going in. If you are looking for night life and gambling this is not for you! I love kids, but not having them on the ship was nice. Also, not many smokers on board which was also a treat. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose it because of Viking’s reputation. Also we really wanted to visit the countries on this trip. I learned quickly that all staff were eager to please. We had an awesome steward and housekeeping person. The cabin was small but ... Read More
We chose it because of Viking’s reputation. Also we really wanted to visit the countries on this trip. I learned quickly that all staff were eager to please. We had an awesome steward and housekeeping person. The cabin was small but well appointed. The beds were delightful, and the bathroom shower and sink worked well. The included tours were a bit variable, some were great at giving you a taste of the local flavor, while others seemed to be focused on dropping people off to shop in select areas. A visit to a Tuscan farm/winery was one of my favorites. All the travelers onboard were so nice. Food was excellent overall. I have several dietary restrictions which they accommodated without a glitch. We took the silver spirit package which was worth the cost to have many selections. Entertainment was fabulous. My favorite was Dancing Under The Stars, but everything we attended was excellent. It seemed that the band could play every genre possible. Now for the negative. My husband bought me a ring during a jewelers event. The paperwork identifies Harding Retail (main jeweler on cruise lines) as the seller. The problem is, I was not informed sufficiently about getting the VAT returned. This was over $1,000 US. Harding retail will not pick up the phone or return a call to see how a return of the VAT can be made. Viking has indicated that this is not something they could help with, and I find this disturbing since the jeweler was allowed to operate on their ship. My husband and I had booked another trip with Viking, but we are having doubts about following through with this plan. I invite Harding Retail and/or Viking to respond and resolve this problem. I will gladly post a retraction if either finally solve the problem. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We have done four riverboat cruises with Viking and I liked the look of the Orion, fancied a Mediterranean cruise, so decided to try it. The first day, we flew from our nearest airport, Leeds/Bradford, but had to change at Schiphol. ... Read More
We have done four riverboat cruises with Viking and I liked the look of the Orion, fancied a Mediterranean cruise, so decided to try it. The first day, we flew from our nearest airport, Leeds/Bradford, but had to change at Schiphol. After a long day, we arrived at the Orion after 6pm, the first of the “8 day cruise”. The boat was absolutely lovely and I have nothing but praise for the staff, our vegetarian food, our accommodation on board. The entertainment, in a splendid theatre, was a disappointment. Very nice though all the staff were, we were not expecting them to be the usual stage acts. The last night, they brought in a flamenco group and that was the best, though only lasted about an hour. As the boat is smaller than most cruises offer (which was great) there was less to keep us entertained on an evening, so I think a little more could be offered, though perhaps Viking see themselves as a little too upmarket. The inclusive trips to, for example, Pisa’s leaning tower were enjoyable, but we didn’t go on any non-inclusive tours because we wanted to enjoy the boat. The two swimming pools were small, as expected, but there was usually room for a swim and I loved the infinity pool. Move to the seventh day and we could not use our balconies all day because they were being washed down ready for the next paying guests. Day eight dawned, but we were already up, breakfasted, and on our way to Barcelona airport for a four hour wait for our plane to Schiphol. We then had a further three hour wait at Schiphol for our plane home, by which time we felt like we needed a holiday. I have taken this up with Viking as we could have had direct flights to Rome from Leeds/Bradford and direct return flights from Barcelona, but they insist on using KLM. I also think it is wrong to call it an eight day cruise when we had about six and a half days on board. The holiday was expensive but perhaps understandable due to the luxurious nature of the Orion. There was a library but also plenty of other books at various places on board. The choice was extensive and we found several to keep us interested during the cruise. So, although the Orion and the staff on board could not be faulted, because of Viking’s insistence that we fly KLM, we will not be sailing with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We had been wanting to try Viking Ocean as an alternative to our previous favorites, Windstar (yachts, not sailing ships) and Regent, so we chose this one week itinerary from Venice to Rome and were joined by long time friends for the ... Read More
We had been wanting to try Viking Ocean as an alternative to our previous favorites, Windstar (yachts, not sailing ships) and Regent, so we chose this one week itinerary from Venice to Rome and were joined by long time friends for the voyage. We were aware that this was only the second sailing for the Orion and that there might be some rough edges still to be worked out. Indeed there were. For starters we got three different versions of when cabins would be ready. The first was in the cruise documents that were mailed indicating that because we were in a Penthouse Veranda stateroom we would have access by 1 PM. The second was at the embarkation desk in the terminal where we were told we could get in by 12. The third was at guest services where we were told no, it would be 2 PM. It finally turned out that a mass PA announcement about 2 PM was the only way we, and presumably all the other guests, knew that all the cabins were ready. To back up a step, the reason we were at guest services right after boarding was because a large portion of the cruise cards that were created at the terminal desk at check-in didn't work! A large group of people had to have their cards re-issued which temporarily overwhelmed the guest services desks. The next, admittedly small, irritant was when our cabin steward oriented us to the stateroom and pointed out that the Nespresso machine would only dispense hot water. Bummer. I had been looking forward to some tasty coffee selections without room service or going out of the cabin. I would simply say don't advertise in your marketing materials that there is a Nespresso machine in each cabin if all they do is spew out hot water for the instant Nescafe provided. Our biggest ongoing hassle during the entire cruise was in regard to the Silver Spirits drink package. Most of the wait staff were simply not familiar with it. They would try to locate something on their high tech tablets they use and then would say it's not available or "we've run out of it". Had it not been for an extremely competent wine steward, Enea, this might never have been straightened out. Admittedly, things did get better as the week progressed. But this feeling of disorganization and lack of familiarity with things carried over into the main dining room. Every evening we ate there I would characterize the scene as frenzied...waiters rushing around, staring at their hand-held devices. Just not calm and relaxing. That's not a knock on the people themselves. All of them were friendly, helpful, and a delight to talk with. The comment is really directed at management and the prior training of the staff in such things as the drink package. At sail away time the Explorers Lounge was understaffed, at times near impossible to get a drink. I observed one bartender who was so harried and overwhelmed that he picked up the phone and told his supervisor he needed more help. Then he decided it was time for his dinner break, I guess to escape the confusion. Many of the shore excursions were good to excellent. However, some comments were heard regarding the difficulty understanding some of the guides. My wife and her friend had the misfortune of being on the worst excursion of the week. It was titled "Alberobello, the Trulli Village". It was so disorganized and provoked so many complaints that Viking later sent a notice to the cabins saying they apologized and were giving a 50% refund. 50%? I'm not sure why if you are admitting the excursion was a bust you don't refund 100%, but anyway that was their decision. After spending over 600 words on the negatives, here are the positives. The ship is gorgeous! The cabins are generously sized with more than enough drawer and closet room. Bathrooms are relatively large and function well. All the public spaces are extremely attractive and spotless. The spa is first class. Entertainment, including the pianist, the string duo and the guitarist, was excellent. The stage band and the four entertainers who sang and danced were also quite good, especially the night they did the salute to Broadway. There are so many enrichment activities it's impossible to see them all. For example, we never made it to the observatory which was disappointing, but on a seven day cruise who has the time? The lectures were quite good and could be viewed on the TV later if you missed them. Being high-tech multimedia productions, the port talks were the best and most informative I've ever experienced. One of the attractions of this cruise for us was the more unusual ports we visited. Sibenik was the nicest, calmest Croatian port we've ever seen, probably because of the limited size of vessels that can stop there. Bari and Crotone are somewhat off the beaten track. Messina was okay. Naples was, well...Naples was Naples. The food was good to very good, but frankly not the best we've ever experienced. Being in a Penthouse Veranda we were offered two nights each in both specialty restaurants, the Chef's Table and Manfredi's Italian. I would not do two nights again at the Chef's Table, but would definitely repeat two dinners in Manfredi's. That was clearly the best food we had. As for service, again I will say that in general it was excellent. The crew was friendly, courteous, helpful and fun. Even the harried bartender in the Explorers Lounge was pleasant enough to the guests. He did not let his frustration spill over into his customer service. I would sincerely look forward to another voyage on Viking Ocean, whether the Orion or another of their ships. It might be interesting to see if the rough edges are worked out on the Orion, but whether it's Orion or another vessel next time I'd like at least a couple of days at sea to explore all that we did not get to experience this time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Had never been to most of the cities, had never cruised the Mediterranean or Adriatic. The brand new ship was marvelous in every way; great amenities, wonderful food, and friendly, helpful staff. Appreciated the changing menus, the locally ... Read More
Had never been to most of the cities, had never cruised the Mediterranean or Adriatic. The brand new ship was marvelous in every way; great amenities, wonderful food, and friendly, helpful staff. Appreciated the changing menus, the locally sourced food items, and the variety of food offerings both in the main dining rooms and in the special restaurants. The on-board lectures and entertainment were top notch. The Port Talks were very helpful, as were the talks on European history. It was wonderful and special to have an astronomer on board and to hear his lectures as well. We appreciated the ship's small collection of books, the comfortable lounge areas, and the swimming pools, spa and gift shops. Given the itinerary, we were prepared for and wanted to experience a "tasting menu" of ports. Even so, a bit more time in some of the ports would have been welcome. This was particularly true in Venice, where it took an hour to get to the morning tour start point, then we had an hour tour, then an hour to get back to the ship, a fifteen minute break, and then an hour ride back to the afternoon tour start point. There must be a way to let morning tourers stay downtown and meet up at a major city location to start the afternoon tours. Except for one location (Naples), the tour guides were engaged, friendly and knowledgeable. The tour guide who took our group to and through the Venice airport was particularly helpful, since that airport is an overcrowded, confusing, disaster. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Viking Orion Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 5.0 4.3
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 3.8
Enrichment 5.0 4.3
Service 4.5 4.6
Value For Money 5.0 4.1

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