We previously sailed on the Viking Idi/Viking Kvasir on the Rhine Getaway river cruise in June, 2016 and had such a great time we immediately booked the Alaska and the Inside Passage cruise on the Viking Orion as soon as this itinerary ... Read More
We previously sailed on the Viking Idi/Viking Kvasir on the Rhine Getaway river cruise in June, 2016 and had such a great time we immediately booked the Alaska and the Inside Passage cruise on the Viking Orion as soon as this itinerary became available in April, 2017. We were not disappointed. We have sailed on two previous ocean cruises (before Viking Ocean ships were launched) and this was by far the best. From every aspect, from trip planning and booking through shore excursions, dining, cabin, embarkation and disembarkation, our trip was virtually flawless.
My wife has celiac disease and is therefore strictly gluten and soy free. We made this aware to Viking early on and Viking ensured that no matter where we dined onboard, from the Restaurant, though the World Cafe, Manfredi's and the snack bars, she was accommodated. Our restaurant manager, Ariel Aribella, ensured that no matter which venue we dined in on a particular day, my wife as able to view the next days gluten free options and select her meals in advance.
The ship itself was beautiful and spotless. I have read virtually every review of the Orion since its maiden voyage and was frankly surprised at some of the negative comments. Most negative comments, not all, seemed to reflect personal preferences of the reviewer, such as food quality, cabin layout, excursion locations and guides, etc. We experienced none of these issues, except for one minor problem on the Juneau included excursion, which we believe was incorrectly described. More on that later
We selected our excursions the day they became available after creating our wish list on the My Viking Journey website and each of these was available. We chose three optional and four included excursions. The best ones were the optional excursions in Sitka, Icy Strait Point, and Skagway. Our only disappointment was as stated above, the included Salmon Hatchery and Mendenhall Glacier Experience. The salmon hatchery was fine, but our only view of the Mendenhall Glacier was from an observation point five miles away and the only way we knew it was the glacier and not a cloud was because our guide told us it was. Other people on this tour had the same comments and we made our issue known to Viking Guest Services. They acknowledged they had had similar complaints and we received a phone call the next day from Viking promising to address the issue. All of our other excursions were great, from the History and Native Animals of Sitka, to the Bear Search in Icy Strait Point, and especially the White Pass Railroad in Skagway. The outstanding weather during the last two added immensely to our enjoyment of these excursions.
Cabin: From our virtual exploration of the Orion on the My Viking Journey website, we pretty much knew what to expect from our Penthouse Veranda Stateroom, and we were not disappointed . The cabin was spacious for our needs, the storage spaces were more than adequate, even for our way overpacked suitcases (lesson learned). The bathroom was well laid out and we never felt crowded. The balcony was large enough and had plenty of space. Our cabin attendant, Romantino and his assistant were outstanding. Every need was immediately attended to and the cabin was spotless each time we returned.
The cruise director, Spence Robson was fantastic. Not only was he constantly available around the ship, he introduced all of the activities, including the port talks, the entertainers, and the production shows, he also is a great performer. We enjoyed the production shows by the Viking Oasis show band and the Viking Vocalists. They were very professional and enthusiastic. Read Less