296 Viking Ocean Viking Orion Cruise Reviews

This cruise, "Far Eastern Horizens", was chosen as a logical extension of "North Pacific Passage", from Vancouver to Tokyo, where Viking kindly upgraded us to a forward Explorer Suite. Because we booked (a fully paid ... Read More
This cruise, "Far Eastern Horizens", was chosen as a logical extension of "North Pacific Passage", from Vancouver to Tokyo, where Viking kindly upgraded us to a forward Explorer Suite. Because we booked (a fully paid for Explorer Suite this time) some time after booking "North Pacific Passage", it was necessary to move to that Suite, being 3095, sitting aft starboard for this second cruise. The Orion staff, across all departments, is by far the most efficient, friendly and courteous team we have encountered in our thirteen cruises to date. We have sailed with Seabourn, Silversea, Oceania and Norwegian. "North Pacific Passage" was our first Viking cruise. Orion is a sleek, sophisticated vessel, enhanced by its generous and comfortable public spaces, and understated, soothing and elegant nordic decor. The entertainment was delightful: classical musicians, witty comedians and gifted vocalists. The enrichment lectures were articulately delivered, and although we did not get around to attending every single lecture, those we did were enjoyable and informative. Desk services staff were so helpful and attentive. The food, overall, was enjoyable, if not a little too salty, and some dishes were among the best we had tasted in their category. Unfortunately, Oceania deserves its reputation for the best cuisine at sea, and it is impossible not to compare Viking's fare with Oceania's cuisine. Many guests we chatted to on Orion had also experienced Oceania's offerings, and all, to a person, agreed that although there is nothing at all wrong with Viking's menus and plated servings, it falls well short of Oceania's standard. Having said all that, would we rebook Viking? Yes. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our 14th cruise with Viking (9 river, 5 ocean). So, obviously, we have been very happy with them. We have come to expect beautiful ships and helpful polite staff and this trip certainly lived up to our expectations in those ... Read More
This was our 14th cruise with Viking (9 river, 5 ocean). So, obviously, we have been very happy with them. We have come to expect beautiful ships and helpful polite staff and this trip certainly lived up to our expectations in those areas. Our cabin stewards and the waiters were hard working and cheerful. I love the sleek style of the ships. Our tour, "Far East Explorations" was actually 2 cruises. The first 2 weeks, "Far East Horizons" was an uneven experience. The second 2 weeks, "Far East Discovery" was much better. Full disclosure: We complained to Viking about 4 excursions after we returned home and they gave us shipboard credit for a future cruise equal to the cost of the tours. What could not be remedied, though, is the precious time that we wasted on these tours when we could have spent our time seeing other sights. From the start, the first part of the trip felt poorly organized. As someone else noted, they scheduled a stop in Korea on a national holiday. Of course, eventually they realized this and notified us of a change in the itinerary, but wouldn't you think they would know about this before they set up the cruise? They also notified us before the cruise that an excursion we had selected had been cancelled "for operational reasons" and that the order of 2 ports was being switched. The "Ultimate Hiroshima" tour took us to Miyajima to see the floating tori gate. It is being renovated and is covered up. This started in June and will likely continue for 2 years. I see in Viking's listings that they are still offering this excursion. (See photo) Be aware that you cannot see the gate. On the "Shimabara and Mt. Unzen" tour, we were driven about 2 hours from Nagasaki. The description we were given mentioned things we did not see at all, such as "beautiful carp streams and traditional teahouses." But the worst part was the hot springs. The description said "You can enjoy a dip at the nearest ryokan," but when the excursion director saw us heading to the outing with towels, he said there would be no time for that. The hot springs were mostly empty. What was visible was pipes carrying the hot water to nearby hotels and spas. (See photos) The "Hong Kong After Dark" tour started at 4:15 p.m.! It. Was. Not. Dark!!!! I don't know why so much went wrong on this part of the trip. It is not what we expect from Viking. I rated the fitness & recreation poor because the hot tub was broken 3 of the 4 times I tried to use it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Always wanted to do an Alaska cruise. As this year was our 50TH wedding anniversary we chose to celebrate by going to Alaska with Viking. We were not disappointed. Overall I would rate the cruise as excellent. Up to Viking standards, we ... Read More
Always wanted to do an Alaska cruise. As this year was our 50TH wedding anniversary we chose to celebrate by going to Alaska with Viking. We were not disappointed. Overall I would rate the cruise as excellent. Up to Viking standards, we had gone on a Viking River cruise in 2014 and had a great time. Couple of things - the excursion included for the Rocky Narrows Point was a bit thin, the native dancers were great. The dinner island cruise was a disappointment, we were promised a gourmet feast, the food was OK but not gourmet and we had to ear at 4pm. Consider changing this to a lunch cruise. The extended stay in Anchorage at the Hilton was not up to Viking or Hilton standards, the hotel was old and tired and the hallways were dirty. When it was time to get off the ship we were told we had to have our bags out the night before. This was a major inconvenience -- put this in the information kit that we get before we leave for the cruise as it was a surprise. But overall we had a great time and Viking did a great jog, food was great, staff were excellent, lots of good memories. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The ship is lovely, public spaces really well designed, and many of them. Lecture program was outstanding, if anything there were too many different lectures but they covered every possible aspect of the areas we travelled through as ... Read More
The ship is lovely, public spaces really well designed, and many of them. Lecture program was outstanding, if anything there were too many different lectures but they covered every possible aspect of the areas we travelled through as well as very interesting space topics. Food varied. Loved Manfredis but not impressed either time we went to Chefs Table, mainly service rather than food, and cancelled our third booking. Every night the buffet featured Alaskan crab, plentiful and beautiful. We often called in there for a drink and a snack before going to the show. Food in The Restaurant varied, but there is an always available menu so could always find sonething to suit. Unl8ke some cruis3 lines with included drinks, drinks were very generous and filled often. Included shore excursions varied greatly, in some ports you were given tickets to the attractions, in others you had to pay for youself. All 5he 'better' excursions you had to pay for which I had not 3xpected when I booked. Our only complaint was the cabin. Based on the official Cruise Critic review we chose a deluxe balcony cabin which they had praised.. Never before have I had to keep delving into my suitcase for things that would not fit in the wardrobe. Deluxe bacony and balcony cabins in all grades are exactly the same, just in different positions on the ship. Storage space is woefully inadequate, one narrow full length hanging space and another half length. Unfortunately you had to reach over the bedside table to access the main wardrobe door which was very inconvenient. Bedside tables had one drawer and the rest was just space! Thankfully there were other two sets of drawers. Had a look at the Penthouse cabin, and although the wardrobe space there was also inadequate I would recommend going for this if you can manage it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
With daughter and son-in-law to celebrate birthdays and anniversary. Daughter has serious food issues, and the crew took fabulous care of her. The food is good, especially liked the buffets. The chef made several beautiful chocolate cakes ... Read More
With daughter and son-in-law to celebrate birthdays and anniversary. Daughter has serious food issues, and the crew took fabulous care of her. The food is good, especially liked the buffets. The chef made several beautiful chocolate cakes for us. The ship is beautiful, and different from other ships we have been on. We loved our cabin, a penthouse suite. Loved the double sinks and large shower. The bed was wonderful. Enjoyed the planetarium shows, a unique feature. Enjoyed the shore excursions, but especially enjoyed sitting and reading in the afternoons. Since the was an inland passage crude, the view were wonderful. The onboard lectures were always top notch and very interesting and informative. ON the minus side, one night our Halibut was way over cooked, but that was just one occasion. The embarkation could not have been smoother. We also loved the public entertainment - very talented people. We would definitely sail again with Viking. PS loved the bird sounds in public bathrooms. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The Buffet restaurant was fantastic. The choice and quality of food was amazing. On several occasions I was moved to say this is the best ....... I have ever tasted. The main restaurant was not so good if you wanted to eat later. The ... Read More
The Buffet restaurant was fantastic. The choice and quality of food was amazing. On several occasions I was moved to say this is the best ....... I have ever tasted. The main restaurant was not so good if you wanted to eat later. The staff were a little slow with drinks even though we were on the package. The ship was spacious and spotlessly clean The cabin was very comfortable and again kept spotless on a daily basis. The disappointment for me was Alaska as apart from trees and glaciers there was not much to see. Every port was full of shops selling jewellery and tee shirts etc just like the Caribbean If I decide to go on an Ocean cruise again I would likely go with Viking as they are great quality although for the sake of my waistline I need to visit the buffet less often. I like the drink package too. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
my friend had not been to Alaska before plus the size of the ship was more to our liking the cabins were excellent, the dinning was great and the food was well prepared, the entertainment and activities were more than I expected and ... Read More
my friend had not been to Alaska before plus the size of the ship was more to our liking the cabins were excellent, the dinning was great and the food was well prepared, the entertainment and activities were more than I expected and were great and informative. the service was great and the people were a great help with all things and were always ready to help even if they had to go out of their way to help. the ports were interesting and the excursions were great. we liked the fact that we were with older people and not having worry about activities for kids. the security of getting off and back on the ship made us feel secure and safe. we would make another trip with Viking at another time. the number of people on board gave us a chance to get to know some of the other passengers. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
2.5 years ahead of time, it sounded great! Just to let you know - typical age range on this cruise was 70+ Don't expect the number of distractions on board as you might get on another cruise line or larger ship. There were ... Read More
2.5 years ahead of time, it sounded great! Just to let you know - typical age range on this cruise was 70+ Don't expect the number of distractions on board as you might get on another cruise line or larger ship. There were basically 4 selections for music on the ship that moved around. The entertainment was tailored more to the age group - think 'Rat Pack' entertainment. I personally liked the cruise director, but if you didn't go to the nightly events, you didn't see him, and this was reflected in the ratings he got, and he quit after our cruise. The assistant cruise director they brought in 1/2 way through the cruise was talented, but favored songs he sang in a foreign language (a big turn-off for me). The included shore excursions were OK, if all you cared about was totem poles, their stories, and their history. How many times must you be subjected to the same &*$P? Take a tip and book some non-included excursions. Our best was the sled-dogs of the Iditerod in Seward. Wish we had done some others. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our 4th Viking Ocean cruise and it pains me to only give the Orion a 4 star review. The Orion is definitely NOT an example of the Viking Ocean quality we have experienced on past cruises. Many new cruisers we talked to said ... Read More
This was our 4th Viking Ocean cruise and it pains me to only give the Orion a 4 star review. The Orion is definitely NOT an example of the Viking Ocean quality we have experienced on past cruises. Many new cruisers we talked to said they would not sail Viking again. Viking did a terrible job with communication. Our cruise documents stated we were sailing out of Yokohama, we sailed out of Tokyo Bay which created problems for those who booked hotels in Yokohama. Apparently due to the cruise being advertised as 23 days (it was 22 days) many had flights out of Vancouver the day after we arrived, plus Viking didn't have a berth for the ship so they offloaded our baggage in the middle of the night and then anchored in Vancouver Harbor. We had to tender for disembarkation. It was not as bad as it could have been but the next cruise pax were not allowed to board until 5:30 pm. that evening. FOOD: Manfredi's: food was sub par at best with entrees being so overcooked they were mostly inedible. The service was absolutely terrible. We ate there three times and cancelled our 4th reservation. Chef's Table: We had 4 meals there and most were excellent (didn't like the California one). The service was superior. For a 22 day cruise there were only 6 different menus so the choices were minimal. World Cafe: Eggs benedict under warming lights, no longer cooked to order. Omelette station nice, but the wait, long. The selection for both breakfast and lunch was tedious with most entrees tasting the same. All curries tasted alike. Sandwiched were no longer made to order. Main complaint however was the service with most waiters really not knowing what to do. At most breakfasts and lunches we were not offered beverages until our meal was almost finished. Restaurant: Most meals very good with a good selection to choose from. We would have liked to see some local offerings like Alaska Salmon, since we were in Alaska but none was offered. The service here was very spotty, some nights excellent, some nights not. In general most supervisors in the different restaurants seemed untrained and lazy, not really seeing the problems. Entertainment: Very good Port Talks: OK Enrichment: Very Good Cabin Stewards: Excellent Embarkation: Very good Disembarkation: Tenders Excursions: Nothing exceptional, except for expensive optional tours, mostly which were good. Planetarium: Interesting but a bit over hyped. Explorer's Lounger: Excellent servers We have signed up for another Viking Ocean Cruise so haven't given up on Viking. We just feel the crew in general needed more direction and training. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our third cruise with Viking ocean. We chose this trip for the itinerary. We had never been to Asia and liked the ports in both Asia and Alaska. Crossing the Int’l Dateline added to the attraction. We were in the Orion in ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Viking ocean. We chose this trip for the itinerary. We had never been to Asia and liked the ports in both Asia and Alaska. Crossing the Int’l Dateline added to the attraction. We were in the Orion in Jan-Feb visiting New Zealand, Tasmania and Australia. This crew was better trained and worked well together. We were pleased with most aspects of the ship. A few little things need work, but nothing major. You know what you get with Viking-it is an older crowd but activities/entertainment were sufficient for us. While some of the entertainment was the same, they did a good job at adding new entertainers. As Viking enters new parts of the world they are learning their way with shore excursions and local customs. Shore excursions were well managed. They do a good job at calling people at the right time and keep waiting times to a minimum. Checkin staff did a great job. Local guides were good. A sufficient level of activities were offered. EMBARKATION a breeze. You can arrive well before your checkin time. You are greeted with a glass of champagne and invited to use the open restaurants. Your luggage will be in your room by your assigned checkin time. DISEMBARKATION-we had a curve thrown as we could not stay in port because of too many ships in Vancouver. Luggage was offloaded in the middle of the night. We didn’t hear a thing. We disembarked via tender according to flight times. Full breakfast services available. You had to be out of your stateroom by 10am. Tenders left according to schedule with staff assisting everyone. Our luggage was waiting at our terminal at the airport. One of the most efficient operations we have experienced. CABINS Deck 3. Be careful of location. Torshavn noise is audible almost every night. Not late into the night, but it may bother some. A very convenient deck. DINING-Dining room and World Cafe offered a varied selection. Soups could use some improvement. Replenishment of eating utensils/napkins was too slow. Chef’s table-staff could use better training. One visit we had two wine pairings and no food. The French menu was too rich; not a good balance between first and main courses. Manfredi’s was very good, but don’t try to have pasta as a separate course-throws them off! SERVICE in general was excellent. Lounges and bar waiters were great. Most were very personable-not long before they know your name and cabin #! Room steward was wonderful-Edwin. SHIP-beautifully appointed. Always spotless. This ship has a dome. I don’t think this is a feature that will be included in the rest of the fleet. Makes the 8th floor area very hot. Eliminates a nice viewing/drinking area. Don’t know if that is the reason why the 7th floor area of the Explorers lounge tends to be cold. The skins on the sofas are starting to shed. Most people rolled them back to protect their clothing! PORTS/excursions. Viking’s first visits to ports can present problems. Most of our excursions were organized. In cases where we took local shuttles the scheduled were mixed. We ended up seeing what we wanted to see. ACTIVITIES-a little more variety on sea days would have been good as this was a long cruise. Lectures varied and sufficient. Like the ability to view the port talk in your cabin on the following day. Very good selection of shows/movies on the in-room system. Free internet a great feature-reception was generally good. Suggestions-have hot water in the World Cafe for hand-washing. There were some illness problems. The internet system in the room for onboard account, reservations, etc needs immediate help. The ship can not control or correct any errors. The dining for Chef’s Table had the wrong info for almost 8 days. The general website also had errors for our trip. The map wasn’t corrected until a few days before we sailed. On board future booking-a great offer that we used. However, you need to book a specific cruise that you know you won’t be using. Mucks up the booking system for other Viking customers and the whole reservation system. Viking needs to keep its attention to detail at a high level as they release the rest of the fleet! We will sail with them again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Started with this 2-week cruise from Hong Kong to Tokyo, then a week in Japan on our own. We did a Viking River (Grand European) last year so wanted to try one of their ocean cruises. Loved the Orion. Beautifully designed public spaces ... Read More
Started with this 2-week cruise from Hong Kong to Tokyo, then a week in Japan on our own. We did a Viking River (Grand European) last year so wanted to try one of their ocean cruises. Loved the Orion. Beautifully designed public spaces without over the top, trying too hard of some of the other, bigger ships. True casual elegance. All very spacious, comfortable AND at the same time cozy. We liked this ship much better than the full size ships we have taken. Great space for passenger count. Sometimes felt almost empty. But not at meal times! Service was great. Except occasionally (again) not at meal times. A couple of "flubs" in main dining room when all passengers hit at once. Overall very good food and wine selection. Our two specialty restaurant meals were lovely. And buffet always a good alternative, fresh and appetizing, sometimes hard to find a seat though. Disappointed specialty restaurants and excursions so hard to book into beforehand. Because we were "only" DV category, things often sold out before we could book. Very frustrating. If we'd been regular veranda, even worse? Viking needs to adjust capacity or ...? Staff really did work hard to please. Pleasant, personable, and efficient. Appreciated enrichment and port talks before excursions. Learned lots. Some excursions were great. A few could be improved. I'd suggest more time AT points of interest, once bus gets you there. And info in description about travel/visit time ratio, (not everyone thinks to research maps.Google when selecting). Entertainment varied. Local dance group fantastic, musicians very good, some onboard singers excellent, others OK. But TURN DOWN the volume please!! Mics or control room? cranked up to excruciating levels sometimes. Didn't use spa but fitness suite exceeded expectations. Nice to keep up routines and offset some of those calories. Planetarium didn't do it for me. over hyped, with awkward viewing angle. And see more under cabin review about my "big" gripe: no pressure balance in shower. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Hong Kong to Tokyo 16 days. This was are Second Viking cruise as previously sailed on V.Sea. We found Orion to be a better experience this time around. Orion did not seem so bland as Sea, certainly more pop of colour around the ship. ... Read More
Hong Kong to Tokyo 16 days. This was are Second Viking cruise as previously sailed on V.Sea. We found Orion to be a better experience this time around. Orion did not seem so bland as Sea, certainly more pop of colour around the ship. We had a Penthouse Verandah on Deck 5. The room was bright clean and well looked after by our cabin stewards who were very friendly and always had a smile on their faces. Always plenty of places to sit and relax on this ship, never felt crowded except for the World Cafe where at times it was just ridiculous trying to find a free table. There just didn’t seem to be sufficient staff to cope with clearing away dirty plates and resetting the tables. I also got rather annoyed watching one particular wait person chatting away to a couple of passengers for far too long while his colleagues were run off their feet. Food was OK, some really good dishes and then again some very average ones. Manfredi’s was OK just a different venue from the Restaurant, same for The Chef’s Table. Shore excursions were not over priced with one included excursion in each port. Bar prices I thought were reasonable and compare to what I would pay back home. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Special birthday, new destinations, somewhere we have wanted to go for many years, a cruise seemed a good way to do it. Orion is a fabulous ship, the crew, facilities and comfort are first class. Travel arrangements were well ... Read More
Special birthday, new destinations, somewhere we have wanted to go for many years, a cruise seemed a good way to do it. Orion is a fabulous ship, the crew, facilities and comfort are first class. Travel arrangements were well organised and transfers were good. Stateroom is well appointed and very comfortable and has everything you could possibly want. All restaurants are exceptional, good choice and superb quality. House wines very good. Entertainment and enrichment talks very good. Unfortunately our cruise dates clashed with golden week/installation of the new Emperor, the whole of Japan was on holiday for the duration of time there. This did cause problems with a number of shore excursions and curtailed some time in port. This was the first time Viking had done this itinerary, we felt we were guinea pigs, and we were dissapointed with some of the content of the tours offered. The quiet boxes did not work very well, the guides difficult to understand. Some of the additional excursions are very expensive for what is offered, whilst we would definitely do another cruise (and are) with Viking we would be more cautious on how we spent our money. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We really loved our Viking cruise and as Viking regulars appreciated the familiarity and excellent service from the very friendly staff. I will get the negatives out of the way straight away - there are administrative shortfalls on board. ... Read More
We really loved our Viking cruise and as Viking regulars appreciated the familiarity and excellent service from the very friendly staff. I will get the negatives out of the way straight away - there are administrative shortfalls on board. These may be common to all the ships - there are many minor administrative errors between finance, guest relations and excursions. There has been some reorganisation since the early days and things have definitely gone backwards in this area. We had several finance errors on our account which needed resolution. On the other hand we do love Viking - the food on board was very good indeed - I don't think we had a bad meal in a month, We enjoyed all the restaurants several times. There were a few issues with room service breakfast on the first sector, and also the bar staff could be "variable". There were a lot of crew changes during the month we were on board and this could make things difficult I am sure. Our cabin stewards were amazing for the full four weeks. The entertainment is low key which we like but there is always something to do if that is what you want or a nice corner in which to read and chill. We went from Bangkok to Tokyo and enjoyed the schedule very much indeed. It can be a challenging programme and those with limited mobility should think twice before heading out into Asia . Overall we were very pleased and have no hesitation in booking with Viking again. We think the value for money equation compared to the competitors is excellent and are very satisfied. It could be really excellent if the problems are properly addressed. There is no point in expanding fast if the standards cannot be maintained. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This cruise was a little different from all the other ones that I've been to. It is more relaxing, and more intellectual. The ship is newly commissioned, mid size but spacious for the number of guests. Except in the main theatre, ... Read More
This cruise was a little different from all the other ones that I've been to. It is more relaxing, and more intellectual. The ship is newly commissioned, mid size but spacious for the number of guests. Except in the main theatre, and in the World Cafe where breakfast and more casual meals are served, I was able to find a spot all to myself. The ship has all the amenities that are expected, including a fitness centre, (free) Nordic hot and cold spa and whirl pool experience, and a mini planetarium. In room entertainment is excellent, consisting of many live TV stations, a wide variety of movies, TV series, recorded TED talks, and of course all kinds of music stations. The main shipwide entertainment include shows performed in the theater by a 4 members band and a 4 members singing and dancing group. On some nights local artists performed traditional dances. The ship also has a resident pianist, a guitarist, and two classical string instrumentalists. The planetarium provides three 3D shows, but unfortunately, after the first show, the 3D equipment did not work. What I enjoyed most was the lectures given by various speakers, some of whom are very knowledgeable, and spoke with lots of energy and passion. One of them spoke about the Vietnam war, which changed my perspective of what I used to believe - that the war was a struggle between communism and democracy. The performances in the theatre usually lasted about an hour, leaving me with enough time in the evening to finish watching all 10 episodes of the National Geographic series on Albert Einstein. The food was good, with the usual choices, and wine and beer and specialty coffee were included with every meal. I like the large selection of fruits, and the generous but not overwhelming portions of the sit down meals. There are two alternative restaurants which required booking. One of them pretended to offer oriental cuisine but I wasn't impressed. The menu consisted of a four course meal, each with a different choice of wine. The on board staff was efficient, very courteous, and eager to please. Service desk is open 24-7. Services were offered with smiles and humor. All my request for information and change of land excursions were resolved promptly. The itinerary includes a free excursion for each port visited, with a reasonably good selection of alternatives for additional fees. The ship stayed more than one day in most ports, which means that you will have plenty of time to explore on your own, if you do not sign up with the offered alternative excursions. However, some of the excursions were "sold out" as soon as booking became available. Many of the excursions lived up to expectation; the scenic boat tours of the beautiful Ha Long Bay were memorable. For some excursions, the descriptions on Viking's web site were more enticing than the actual trip, e.g., the "Ream National Park" trip in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, was no more than a long boat ride on a river. It was a relaxing ride, but I failed to see the flora and fauna mentioned in the Viking brochure, neither did the local guide point out any interesting features. Some of the land excursions took more than 2 hours to reach the destinations, because the ports were far from any interesting sites. I wish the long traveling time was clearly stated in the trip description. One of the excursions that I signed up was modified one day before the trip, without a clear explanation of the reason for the change. One of the places I really looked forward to visiting was Haikou, China, but this was taken out of the itinerary a month before the cruise started. The stated reason was "poor feedback from past guests" which I doubt was the true reason. My email to Viking requesting further explanation was never returned. Another feature which attracted me to this cruise was the advertised $600 deduction for air fare. Before I joined, Viking assured me that I could choose any airline, but in the end, they could not book me on the airline of my choice, and I had to forgo the $600 deduction. If you are looking for a relaxing cruise, with high quality enrichment programs and lots of free time, and don't mind paying a little more for the services, this cruise is for you. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We are loyal Viking River cruisers (5 trips) and decided to give Viking Ocean a try. We have traveled on other ocean cruise lines. Generally, things went pretty well for us, though there were a few bumps during the first couple of days. ... Read More
We are loyal Viking River cruisers (5 trips) and decided to give Viking Ocean a try. We have traveled on other ocean cruise lines. Generally, things went pretty well for us, though there were a few bumps during the first couple of days. We love the Viking Orion. With only about 900 passengers, it is small and intimate but still has everything we wanted. If you are looking for casinos or large Vegas-style reviews - the Viking Orion is not for you. The good: wine and beer included with meals, free internet, free launderette, free excursion in each port, heated bathroom floors, comfortable beds, adequate sized cabins, alternate restaurants included, outstanding lecturers and speakers, friendly & efficient crew, good food selection and preparation, verandas on all cabins, the "Explorer Dome". Ample storage in cabins. Certain class cabins get free minibar and laundry. Awesome use of state of the art technology everywhere on board. Spa area. Many quiet comfortable spaces to read and relax. Infinity pool. Musicians and singers were all good. What we thought could be improved: Dining Room was crowded - seemed like there were too many tables for the space. Excursions - We usually take the "Easy or Leisurely" excursions due to some mobility issues - Choices were limited. Need magnifying makeup mirror in bathroom or elsewhere in cabin. Itinerary - Bali to Hong Kong - Sihanoukville, Cambodia is awful. Dirty, polluted - No reason for any passenger to go there. Singapore - Needed an overnight there - not just one day. Vietnam, Singapore, Kuala Lampur, Bangkok, Bali, Hong Kong were all very good . Indonesian ports other than Bali were just okay - not great. We'll cruise again with Viking Ocean, but will carefully select the itinerary based on Mobility-friendly excursions. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Since we were so happy with our Viking River Cruise we figured that we could expect the same overall quality and amount of personal attention if we elected to do an ocean cruise with them. This was not necessarily correct. While ... Read More
Since we were so happy with our Viking River Cruise we figured that we could expect the same overall quality and amount of personal attention if we elected to do an ocean cruise with them. This was not necessarily correct. While Viking's amenities, food, housekeeping, etc., etc were as good as other cruise lines, there was nothing on this cruise that made it any better than say a Norwegian or Holland America cruise. An exception to the above is that Viking does offer an "included" excursion at every port. We were very impressed with the "Pre-Cruise" stay at the Maya Hotel in Ubud (Bali) and with the Shangri-La in Bangkok. The hotels and tours (especially the floating market) were outstanding. I think everyone agreed that the 2 days at Jakarta should be dropped. Singapore would be an excellent 2 day port. Jakarta's air quality was about as good as the burn pits we experienced in Iraq. As for on-board dining , I for one would like to see a Pasta Station and a Stir-Fry station where one would be able to interact more with the preparation of the dish. Essentially, at those stations, the chef simply plates the food after warming it in a skillet. There are few choices in what gets plated. Also, I was not impressed with the supervisor in the World Cafe who verbally abused one of the young ladies about her job performance right in front of us. Definitely bad for business! And last of all, Viking cheated us out of $250.00 on-board credit. We were supposed to have $250 each - I checked with our travel agent just today to make sure- but only had $250 total. That alone makes me think that my future sailings will be with other lines. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Have sailed on most lines over the past 25 years , most recently on Regent, Seabourn, Silversea. We were impressed with the consistently excellent service throughout the ship by the delightful crew. The ship’s ambience is quite serene ... Read More
Have sailed on most lines over the past 25 years , most recently on Regent, Seabourn, Silversea. We were impressed with the consistently excellent service throughout the ship by the delightful crew. The ship’s ambience is quite serene and decor just lovely and comfortable. Food overall is very good. We dined in all of the venues. Our least favorite was the main restaurant due to the noise, confusion, slow service. Guests are squeezed in like sardines and waiters appear breathless as they rush past you bringing plates to the tables. Not a relaxing environment. Our favorite venue was the Chef’s table. On our 5 visits, we received top notch service and food with wine pairings. Entertainment was tastefully done and we thoroughly enjoyed the classical duo. The 4 person dance and singing ensemble were also quite enjoyable and personable, as well. We especially enjoyed Bjorgen. Our steward, Yud, and his assistant were excellent. They kept our suite immaculate and always stocked with whatever we needed. Where Viking failed us is with our cabin (Explorer Suite) in terms of its size and general layout. See separate description as part of this review. Suffice it to say, the designers really failed on this one. We paid top dollar for such an accommodation and we would have been better off spending less and booking a PH category on deck 8. So disappointed being crammed into the over furnished space for two weeks. (And allergies flared up due to moldy massive cushions brought into already cramped space at night.) Included shore excursions were very good for the most part. Wand, of course, the NZ to Australia itinerary is outstanding. Such beautiful countries and the weather was great. Crossing the Tasman Sea (which I feared ) actually wasn’t bad, at all. The ship handles quite well in rocky seas. Overall, we very much enjoyed ourselves and the Viking experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Our previous experience with Viking was the Midnight Sun. We were pleased with the quality of services and ship. We arrived 3 days early in New Zealand and stayed an extra 4 days in Sydney. Time allowed by Viking would not have done ... Read More
Our previous experience with Viking was the Midnight Sun. We were pleased with the quality of services and ship. We arrived 3 days early in New Zealand and stayed an extra 4 days in Sydney. Time allowed by Viking would not have done justice to these cities. We planned our own package with the help of our TA. We were very happy with the ports visited. Shore excursions need a little work - you almost have to book paid excursions to see what you want. Tours overlap so you must choose; you might take two if timing was better. Christchurch is still recovering from the earthquake. Many of their monuments will never be rebuilt. We appreciated seeing what they have accomplished. The tram ride and botanic gardens were very good. Even included a surprise tea in the trolley. We found all guides to be very friendly. Some were more informative than others. Tour times/departures were well organized. All were walk-off - no tenders! We especially enjoyed Napier (Art Deco-car ride) and Dunedin (Taieri Rail Trip). Our first trip to this area of the world. Would definitely consider again if it weren’t so far!! Viking should do a better job at getting detailed information to passengers BEFORE the online booking date. The online experience is tedious and requires that you print your own info. We did receive a detailed list, but too close to our departure. Tours should also include meals and snacks when offered. We had several tours that included a meal (large snack) ther we weren’t expecting. A tour that left at eleven a.m. required you to purchase a meal. Better if we know ahead what will be provided Room service was excellent. Juan Carlos deck 4 - did a great job. Moved the coffee machine to a higher cabinet as we don’t use the machine in the room. Dining room staff still seems to be learning their way. The automated ordering system seems to have some slip ups. Bar and lounge service was great. We are husband and wife traveling with 2 friends. Manfredi’s-dined there twice. Found the food to be good quality both times. Second service was a little sloppy. One in our party received his pasta as a separate course-the rest had theirs included with the main course. I think this is a problem with the way the menu appears on the ordering app. Chef’s Table-also dined there twice. Xiang and Asian Panorama. Both meals were good; wine pairings well-suited. Portions were not huge, but gave a good idea of flavors. Was a full meal. The Restaurant-we found a good selection of food. Meats were excellent. What is missing is any local seafood. Now that Viking is around the world, the need to offer seafood beyond the waters of Norway. Ship needs to fix the dinner in the second to the last night. Two shows plus the Captain’s Farwell meant that almost no one could eat in The Restaurant after the first show. World Cafe - we found a good variety of selections for each meal. Varied offerings for many cultures; you could always find something to eat. Nice to add in special grill offerings every few days - chicken schnitzel, lobster, etc. Back by the pool area. Entertainment /Activities - good variety in entertainment for us. Varied from night to night. Lectures available if you wanted and a good selection in your cabin if you missed a port talk. Sea day activities sufficient for us. There were 8-9 activities scheduled - we did expect Viking to be more in the quiet side. Embarkation/disembarkation-very smooth for us. Arrived 15 min. prior to scheduled time and were let right on. Less than 10 people waiting. Short wait in the ship-sipping champagne-and our room was ready. Luggage all delivered within 30 min. Same for leaving the ship. We were independent travelers. Had breakfast and left the ship by 8:30a.m. Taxis readily available and we were at our hotel in 20 minutes. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Overall I enjoyed our cruise on Viking Orion. My husband and I booked with Viking because we were tired of large ships with no private space and we didn't want to be nickled and dimed. We wanted an adult experience without casinos, ... Read More
Overall I enjoyed our cruise on Viking Orion. My husband and I booked with Viking because we were tired of large ships with no private space and we didn't want to be nickled and dimed. We wanted an adult experience without casinos, dress up nights or photos. We also chose Viking because we liked the itinerary, shore excursions were allegedly included and the ship spent longer in each port. We were also tired of fighting crowds on larger ships. Our stateroom was lovely and the service was excellent, except for some minor issues in the dining room. Two serious difficulties arose during the voyage. First, Viking eliminated a port call in New Zealand called Roatua. Viking did provide $500.00 in a ship board credit for both my husband and me as compensation. I used this credit to book shore excursions. There was a serious problem with booking the included shore excursions. The excursions could only be booked 65 days in advance of the cruise on line. However, the included cruises were immediately sold out. So, if you were in a lower category cabin, there was often no included excursion available. The optional excursions were far more interesting than the included ones. The included excursions often conflicted with the included ones. It was frustrating, especially since I had to book several private tours. Some of the included city tours were less than impressive. I did enjoy several of the excursions....notably the Gannet Safari, the Taleri Gorge Train Ride and the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. I also enjoyed the resident historian, the shore talks and the enrichment activities on board. I found plenty to do on sea days. I would have liked extra time in Hobart and an extra day in Melbourne. The sail into Sydney Harbour was lovely. The entertainment on board was good. The cruise director was an Australian child star (now an adult) who did an excellent job. He did a terrific performance. The four singers on board did a credible job. I wasn't expecting the large Broadway shows performed on larger ships so I wasn't disappointed. I liked the free Wi-Fi, the included wine with dinner, not having to contend with noisy children, the enrichment activities and the lovely quiet spaces on the ship. I never felt crowded and I could always find a quiet place to read and relax. I didn't like the elimination of a port, slow service in the dining room or the issue with booking shore excursions. I felt that Viking engaged in false advertising with stating that a shore excursion was included I every port. For the reasons stated above, the included excursions could not be booked. I enjoyed the cruise but I am still trying to decide whether or not it was worth the additional amount of money that we spent above what we would have spent on Princess......I think we will likely book a Viking River Cruise but I am not sure about another ocean cruise. Again, I will have to use a cost benefit analysis......overall pleasant, upscale experience with helpful, friendly staff. Read Less
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
Sail Date January 2019
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
Sail Date December 2018
The ship was elegant as was the cabin. I enjoyed the choice of dining options and the housekeeping staff just awesome. Perhaps the only thing I feel could be improved upon were some of the free excursions. We felt that they could be more ... Read More
The ship was elegant as was the cabin. I enjoyed the choice of dining options and the housekeeping staff just awesome. Perhaps the only thing I feel could be improved upon were some of the free excursions. We felt that they could be more in-depth with more of a chance to explore the shops and perhaps to eat at the local restaurants. Otherwise the trip was worth the money and I would do it again. The trip allowed us to see another part of the world which was as beautiful as portrayed. I would recommend this trip to anyone wanting to see Australia/New Zealand. Viking delivered the experience of a lifetime. The entertainment and activities were of a wide range and enjoyable. Also, being on ship Christmas Day was even more special. The crew had all hands on deck for fun and enjoyment which was just awesome. If you are thinking of cruising consider Viking. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
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
Viking Orion Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.7
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 4.0 4.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.3
Family N/A 4.3
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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