30 Viking Ocean Viking Orion Cruise Reviews

We have done 3 Viking River cruises and enjoyed them all. So, we decided it was time to try a Viking Ocean cruise. First and foremost, Viking needs to have BETTER included excursions. In just about every port the included excursion was ... Read More
We have done 3 Viking River cruises and enjoyed them all. So, we decided it was time to try a Viking Ocean cruise. First and foremost, Viking needs to have BETTER included excursions. In just about every port the included excursion was really no better than us getting off the ship to explore the little Alaska town we were in. In-fact, in Ketichikan we bought our own tickets to attend a "Lumberjack Show" (lasted just over 1 hr), and they cost $35pp. Why couldn't Viking have offered that as an included excursion? Bottom Line: Offer better included excursions and try and have more than 1 available in each port! Second, remove the curtains in the "Living Room", by the coffee bar and on the 2nd level. You can't see thru this material and it would be nice while your having a drink or coffee to see the scenery!! Third, you REALLY need to train your bartenders better. After trying two Pina Colada's and a frozen Daiquiri I gave up on any frozen offering. Each time the ice was not pulverized enough so when you tried using the straw, it would always get clogged. And yes, I went to THREE different bars and had the same very poor results. Hell, the first time my wife ordered a Banana Daiquiri, they brought it to her in a martini glass. No kidding, a Martini glass. Lastly, the entertainment was, for the most part, a joke. Every night a member of the ship's staff "entertained". The 4-some (2 guys, 2 gals) who did the Beatles show and the Abba show did a pretty good job, but the overall result was very un-polished and amateurish. We never (on a 10-night cruise), had a "head-liner" or a professional comedian or magician. Kudo's to the guys and gals who worked the stage EVERY night, but they should be "fill-in" acts not the main show each and EVERY night!!! If VIKING wants to compete with Azamara and Oceania they need to heed these words and I am sure the words of many other seasoned travelers. We have done one Azamara cruise, and VIKING isn't even close to them when it comes to food quality (and choices), entertainment, and overall service. We haven't tried Oceania yet, but have friends who have done both (Viking and Oceania), and MUCH prefer Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We booked this cruise directly through Viking in November 2017 - 18 months prior to departure. We were advised at that time we could upgrade flights as soon as flights became available. We duly did this through Viking. They organised the ... Read More
We booked this cruise directly through Viking in November 2017 - 18 months prior to departure. We were advised at that time we could upgrade flights as soon as flights became available. We duly did this through Viking. They organised the flights on our behalf. Five weeks prior to departure for Seward, Alaska we were contacted by Viking and advised that we would need an earlier flight to get us to Seward on time for the cruise. As we were taking a regional flight they advised that we could depart 24 hrs before the previous arrangements and spend a night and day at Heathrow airport. This was perceived as unacceptable. After much “discussion” we finally agreed to fly out to Alaska one day earlier than Viking had scheduled. Not an encouraging start to our cruise or to showcase their organisational skills. The cruise overall went well. Orion is a beautiful ship and our Stateroom on Deck 8 was very well appointed and we were looked after vey well by our Personal Stateroom Attendant. We were unfortunately disappointed overall with the standard of evening meals. Food in the Restaurant was as good as that in Manfredi’s but standards at the Chef’sTable were quite poor. Vegetables served were consistently overcooked in all restaurants and requests for veg to be served al dente were ignored. Evening meals were therefore variable. Service in the restaurants tended to be inconsistent and erratic. Requests for a pre meal drink whilst waiting to be joined by fellow travellers at the table took so long that the meal was alrady served before the wine arrived. We bought the premium wine package but standards of wine were no better than the standard package, although aperitifs / after dinner drinks etc were included in this plan. We were led to believe wine would be of a higher standard. We had the opportunity to make three reservations at the Chef’s Table. The one experience was enough - the menu was limited and standards not high enough. We booked extensive excursions, this being a once in a lifetime experience. Largely they were good but the Viking grading system was yet again inconsistent. Demanding, moderate, easy categorisation for excursions was variable. At Icy Strait Point we went on a “demanding” wilderness hike which compared with a gentle stroll so limited that the excursion leader stopped frequently to expand time taken. On our return we expressed concern with othe guests about our experience as on this occasion no evaluation sheets were dustributed. Viking staff reaction was disappointing. They did not want to know. At Juneau poor weather that had been forecast well in advance meant that our helicopter glacier trip could not go ahead. It was very obvious on that day that this would be the case though Viking required us to take the tender ashore, miss an opportunity to sign up for an alternative excursion only to be told that our excursion was cancelled as soon as we reached the shore. This experience could have been so much better if Viking communications were better. To be fair our trip was refunded but any valuable excursion in Juneau was lost. You will appreciate that we are unlikely to visit Juneau again so this was frustrating. When the cruise came to an end we had bought a post cruise extension organised by Viking in Vancouver. It cost £389 per person for 2 nights bed and breakfast. Our allocated hotel the Regency Hyatt was relatively disappointing particularly because breakfast was served to Viking guests in a large windowless conference room. The standard of food was poor but most importantly was diffferent to the standard of food served to non Viking guests in the main restaurant. For example the strawberries, fresh smoked salmon and extensive range were missing and replaced by cheap toast bread, melon as the only fruit available by way of example. Overall, the hotel on Burrard Street had a very tired feel although staff were very helpful. Viking did not ask for any feedback on this section if our experience. We gave feedback to the Viking rep at the Regency Hyatt who was lovely and very helpful but she explained we would have to contact Viking directly to complain. Despite this we enjoyed our tine in Vancouver it is a beautiful city. We tried to ignore our annoyance regarding lack of value for money. You may imagine we invested heavily on the cruise and prior to our experience were happy to do so. It did not overall live up to expectations. With hindsight we would have gone with another small ship provider or settled for a standard cabin as it was we were in a Junior Penthouse Stateroom (8003). As of writing we still have not received the refund from our abortive helicopter trip. Written contact via their contact form and a telephone call have unfortunately met with no response. We are not surprised given our overall experience of Viking Oceanic Cruises communications and organisation - or lack. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Viking have some beautiful ships. Well designed with a furnished by IKEA feeling. We'd travelled on Viking Sea previously and felt that as the line was new it needed some bedding down but that we ought to give it another chance. ... Read More
Viking have some beautiful ships. Well designed with a furnished by IKEA feeling. We'd travelled on Viking Sea previously and felt that as the line was new it needed some bedding down but that we ought to give it another chance. Little had changed. Viking pitches itself at the same customers as Azamara and Oceania so needs to stand comparison with them. The ship is larger (930 rather than 694 pax) and has a wonderful feeling of light and spaciousness in the public areas with many places to sit and read. While I can understand the World Cafe buffet being laid out like a hotel coffee shop, disappointingly The Restaurant feels much the same. It was always difficult to find an empty table in the buffet. One of the problems with inclusive tours is that most people opt for them and tend to eat at the same time. The range of dishes in the buffet was less than its two competitors. Service in the restaurant was patchy. The food was an improvement on our previous Viking cruise but still not as good as its competitors. If the itinerary had been better designed we wouldn't have had to pass through immigration in Japan twice. On one occasion it took two hours resulting in the tours running late. The quality of the tours matched what one would expect for "inclusive". Many tours returned at the same time and boarding the ship was not helped by opening only the one bag scanner. Customers should not be expected to queue on the gangway in heavy rain. A larger entrance foyer would have overcome this. To sum up, lovely ship but the customer experience still needs working on. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Just returned from a Cruise on the Orion from Hong Kong to Tokyo chosen mostly for the destinations. We wanted to travel to Japan and given the fact that Japan is EXPENSIVE, this seemed like a good choice as the ports visited were on our ... Read More
Just returned from a Cruise on the Orion from Hong Kong to Tokyo chosen mostly for the destinations. We wanted to travel to Japan and given the fact that Japan is EXPENSIVE, this seemed like a good choice as the ports visited were on our bucket list and meals and accommodation were paid for. Unfortunately unbeknown to us , and our fault it was Golden week in Japan, a 10 day holiday period as well as the crowning of a new emperor. Every place was unbelievably crowded, and on occasion difficult to walk due to the crowds at temples and other places of interest. We have been on many cruises in the luxury category on smaller ships which is our preference. We are not Brand loyal as we enjoy trying different things in life. Given this, it was difficult for us to reconcile the fact that Viking Ocean was voted #1 in many categories. We actually realised why this is the case, as many of our fellow passengers, were on the fourth of fifth Viking Cruise, and had never tried anything else to compare. The liked the Viking new ships and felt comfortable as they knew exactly what to expect. I call it "the Holiday Inn" syndrome. There are so many better cruise lines in this category. I would rate Viking 4th or 5th. in every Category. I might add that the ships are lovely and most of the staff "willing and pleasant" but need more training. Our cabin located at the rear (Deluxe Veranda) was quite comfortable with a larger balcony and the bathroom is excellent. Best shower that I have had on a Cruise ship, ony to be beaten by those that have a Bath and a shower. I like to shower and my wife prefers to bath. The Best bathroom ever is the Spa Suite on the Azamara ships. A tad more expensive, but worth it. We dis not have a great choice of cabins, even though we booked it 2 years ahead and only and a choice of 4 cabins as everything else was booked.. Our cabin was on deck 5 below the infinity pool and was plagued by noise coming from the Infinity pool pump, located across the hall in a service room. We didn't get one night of uninterrupted sleep due to this intermittent pump cycling every 10 minutes or so. Surely Viking have heard of sound insulation!!! We complained to no avail, and on the 9th night they offered to move us to a cabin on deck 3, which we rejected as we were leaving the ship for a 21/2 day trip to Kyoto and rejoining up the coast in Shimizu. I did learn something though - many passengers book and pay the $100 deposit as soon as the cruises are published and then drop out at the 120 day point where they have to empty their wallets. So many people we spoke to, booked at 120 days or less and had a greater choice of cabin. The food was very good at Manfredi's and mediocre/acceptable elsewhere, except for the pool grill. Always a great choice of items so it was easy to find something acceptable, but certainly not the quality of Seabourne or Crystal, and even the special restaurants on Oceana were a cut above those on the Orion. We have actually had our finest meals at the Chef's Table on Azamara. $$$ but well worth it. Entertainment was also mediocre as were the included tours. I am 72, but found our fellow cruisers (most of the same age group) to be a little beyond it. They booked for tours which required a a higher level of exertion (noted in the brochures), only to complain when they got to the destination. They also couldn't figure out which channel to use on the VOX, even though it was always the same # as the bus they were assigned too. And frustration with the questions they asked of the guides even after the guide had already addressed the issue. Perhaps they were hard of hearing! I paid for a couple of additional tours with a US $ credit card, only to find that Viking charged the card with additional foreign exchange charges.I am Canadian and booked in Canada. Also did not get a statement at the end of the Cruise as is customary and found that I was charged for items that were not shown on the cruise account on the monitor in our cabin, even though I disputed these with Guest Services, who had agreed to deduct those charges. Still trying to get resolution with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I was attracted by the destinations and the hype surrounding Viking Ocean Cruises. The ship is beautifully equipped with all modern facilities. Like a beautiful woman until the true character is exposed. The Ship lacked Soul. ... Read More
I was attracted by the destinations and the hype surrounding Viking Ocean Cruises. The ship is beautifully equipped with all modern facilities. Like a beautiful woman until the true character is exposed. The Ship lacked Soul. Furnishings were like Ikea on steroids. There were few activities apart from some excellent speakers and an outstanding performance by 4 dancers and singers. appearing only 3 times in 15 days. Another evening a Kabuki dance by locals was fascinating. People just hung out in corners of the ship reading and relaxing. They were entertained by 2 violinists and at other times by a pianist. Some passengers looked like they had passed away. Nothing much else to do. Excursions were disappointing. The one we looked so forward to going on was cancelled due to low support and the others didn't flow particularly smoothly. Food was the redeeming feature. It was excellent. Service was friendly and almost efficient. Our cabin attendant was very good. Embarkation was smooth and well organised. It would appear that Viking may be growing too quickly since there was what appeared to be inefficient administration processes. On one of our excursions we were instructed in the Newsletter to present in the Theatre for re-direction to our Buses. We had to meet by 1.45pm. Some 50 passengers turned up. But at 2pm when our Bus was due to leave, no staff appeared. A passenger then rang Guest Services to see what was going on and was then told we were supposed to meet on the Pier. No one told us!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Chose this cruise for the destinations, which were wonderful. Ship was very clean and overall staff very friendly and attentive. Speciality Restaurants were of a very good standard. Spa was excellent. Entertainment shows were very ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the destinations, which were wonderful. Ship was very clean and overall staff very friendly and attentive. Speciality Restaurants were of a very good standard. Spa was excellent. Entertainment shows were very good. Live music being played during day and evenings in Main Foyer was repetitious. Main Dining was at times “ hit and miss”. Felt they had skimped somewhat on the seafood offerings. Buffet selection was limited and very few salads. Hardly any healthy options or sugar free or low carb dessert alternatives. Wine list was very limited as were range of drinks on offer with a silver drinks package. No premium bottled spring water on offer even with drinks package. Ship layout was similiar to that of River cruises. Ship also vibrated throughout the cruise. Had to wedge paper between doors on wardrobe to prevent noise from keeping us awake at night. Disappointing for a new ship. Bed vibrated from the ship shuddering. Captain did a great job of staying ahead of Cyclone at the top of Australia. We did miss seeing Thursday Island and the shore excursions we paid for well before we sailed in March. Quite understand the importance of staying ahead of the Cyclone however we were promised to be refunded the US$278 at the end of our cruise. Home one month now and still have not received a refund! Poor processing and customer service Viking . Overall value for money was not there with Viking. Azamara, Celebrity, RCL offer a better deal, wider variety of food at a higher standard. Have also cruised on Crystal which were faultless. This was our 12th cruise and we would not cruise with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose the Viking Ocean cruise because we had done two Viking river cruises which were exceptional. So we were expecting the same on an ocean cruise. Not to be, alas! The ship itself, Orion, about 8 months old , is very well decorated ... Read More
We chose the Viking Ocean cruise because we had done two Viking river cruises which were exceptional. So we were expecting the same on an ocean cruise. Not to be, alas! The ship itself, Orion, about 8 months old , is very well decorated and spacious. Our room , a penthouse suite with veranda, suited us perfectly: spacious and lots of drawers. The bed was not comfortable: hard as rock. But when I told our cabin steward about this, he offered a topper...which made it a bit softer. Another drawback was a head shower that kept on swirling around every way but the right way! Like taking a shower with an attacking cobra!!! My husband took care of the problem by putting a bandaid on the collar of the shower head and forcing it to stay in the right position. Food was average. Sometimes awful: we asked for a hamburger well done. Came back almost raw. Included excursions were very disappointing. We were expecting guided tours but the guide was the bus driver. So he would stop and let us out on our own to explore. He would stay with the bus. Entertainment was very good. The personnel is absolutely marvellous, solicitous and caring. They treat you like royalty! But they have trouble speaking and understanding english. I would do another Viking river cruise but never another Viking ocean cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Could not get the flight I wanted, even though I took Air Plus. Flight home was delayed 2 hours, so United dumped all luggage at LAX stopover and cancelled all connecting flights. We had a scheduled 3 hour layover, so there was plenty of ... Read More
Could not get the flight I wanted, even though I took Air Plus. Flight home was delayed 2 hours, so United dumped all luggage at LAX stopover and cancelled all connecting flights. We had a scheduled 3 hour layover, so there was plenty of time to catch our original flight. But, instead we had to rebook and ended up with crummy seats in the back of the plane. Many excursions were filled up before I was allowed to sign up. Much waiting in line for everything; this ship could not accommodate this many people! Had to go to everything a half hour early to get a decent seat. Restaurant service was very slow - waited in hall half an hour to be seated - by ourselves (we wanted to meet other travelers and the best time to do this is at dinner), then another half hour to order, then another half hour for food to arrive, for a total of 2 hours to eat - ridiculous! On previous river cruises, we had open seating (seated ourselves) and had food in 10 minutes, except France (took about a half hour). Why do you wait until 7:00 p.m. to open the restaurant? If you opened earlier (5:00), people could be served more efficiently. Food was not all that good either. We were so frustrated with all the waiting, we resorted to the World Cafe to eat the remainder of our meals, where the food was even less tasty - resembled cafeteria food, and there wasn't much variation in the menu. When I go on a cruise, I want to be pampered and waited on; not serving myself - I can do that at home.The only thing I had that was good was the stir-fry (offered only once). Breakfast was always the same. The apple pie in the explorer lounge was very good, as were the burgers at the pool grill. I liked the room arrangement - plenty of storage space. Entertainment - not much variety. I'd prefer something different each night. Bring in more local talent. Not much to do on sea days. Lectures were boring; Aida movie put me to sleep. Slow computers; difficult to use - took me 2 hours to print air check-in for return flight so I missed sailing into Sydney Harbor - something I really wanted to see. More help needed in the future cruise area - could not get an appointment until the second last day - best rooms were already gone. Also more help needed at help desks for booking excursions - another line to wait in. Very pricey for what we got; I could have gone on this same cruise with another cruise line for half the cost. I did book another cruise on this ship, so I hope you'll forgive my negative comments; I offer them as areas that could use improvement. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My travel partner and I had New Zealand and Australia on our must-do list. Previous Viking experiences in China and Germany led us to choose this cruise when it first became available. The food was extremely disappointing and NOT up to ... Read More
My travel partner and I had New Zealand and Australia on our must-do list. Previous Viking experiences in China and Germany led us to choose this cruise when it first became available. The food was extremely disappointing and NOT up to Viking standards. The breakfast buffet was the exact same many every day and lacked creative specialty dishes. Same for lunch. There were many days when we opted for pizza and ice cream because of the heaviness of the lunch choices. Restaurants were OK but often not prepared well and there seemed to be a serious shortage of waiting staff as there were long waits between courses, making us miss out on evening entertainment. The public areas were fabulous. There was so much available space that we felt we could have a private area of the ship to lounge. This was especially nice during the 4 days at sea. This itinerary had too many days at sea for my liking. One or two is OK, but we ran out of things to do after that. Booking the shore excursions was based on priority of how much you paid for your cabin. Sadly that left all the interesting excursions completely unavailable to us and there was no attempt to book additional groups for sold-out excursions. That was the most frustrating, since we came all the way to New Zealand and could not get to the things we really wanted to see and do. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I liked the original itinerary on Viking and that's why I chose it. After I had booked it, they eliminated Rotorua, New Zealand which was the stop I was looking forward to the most. They did give us a $500 per person credit, but I ... Read More
I liked the original itinerary on Viking and that's why I chose it. After I had booked it, they eliminated Rotorua, New Zealand which was the stop I was looking forward to the most. They did give us a $500 per person credit, but I wouldn't have booked it if I had known. The included shore excursions, with the exception of Aukland, were terrible. Poor choices of what to see, boring details, and lasted far too long. I booked $1,000 worth of extra excursions and I enjoyed them. Also, I have cruised on both Crystal and Oceania and the food on both is excellent. Some meals on Viking were good, but most were only ok. The evening entertainment was also a disappointment compared to Crystal. The room I was in was noisy during sea days and nights. We were above a life boat and I believe that contributed to the noise. It may not have been fastened down securely and it was creaking. I did book a deep tissue massage and it was fantastic. Even though I wouldn't recommend Viking, everyone working on the ship was outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We booked this cruise because of our previous experiences with Viking River and to join some friends. The process pre-cruise with booking excursions was horrible as most of the tours were listed as sold-out by the time they were opened to ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of our previous experiences with Viking River and to join some friends. The process pre-cruise with booking excursions was horrible as most of the tours were listed as sold-out by the time they were opened to us (and we were not in the last group!). The boarding process was very smooth and our cabin steward was very nice and capable. Once on board we found out that a number of the tours we had hoped for were now listed as available so we were able to get on some we were hoping for. The first night in the dining room was terrible. It took forever to get our meal and I had to send mine back twice because the meat was so under-cooked! The second and third nights were not much better but then they got into a rhythm and it seemed okay. However for the final several nights, I think they had new staff on board and the service dropped again. Most of the menus were not very exciting and somewhat repetitive. We went to most of the shows they offered. This was the first cruise for the Viking Vocalists quartet and their first shows were just okay. They improved but I think the choreography lacked pizzazz. The special entertainment that they had come on board was lacking. The Argentine tango duo danced well but they had too much narrative to their show. The guitarist played well but had no stage presence and little to interact with the audience. The Gertrude Opera was good but, again, the narrative distracted from the performance. The final guest performance, by the aboriginal dance theater, was excellent! We enjoyed the trivia times and the musical name that tune. I didn't think the guest lecturers were very good but did hear some positives from other guests. The excursions that we did were good. I heard some complaints about the Southern Alps trip and the Kangaroos and Koalas trip, neither of which we were on. The Healesville Sanctuary trip was an add-on excursion which we took and thoroughly enjoyed! Zealandia was a good one, also. The Napier tour by Classic Car was fun. Debarkation was simple and very easy. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Whe chose to try the Viking Ocean experience because we have enjoyed several river cruises with them. Unfortunatley, they did not live up to the excellent quality of thecriver cruises. It felt that the crew needed more training. They ... Read More
Whe chose to try the Viking Ocean experience because we have enjoyed several river cruises with them. Unfortunatley, they did not live up to the excellent quality of thecriver cruises. It felt that the crew needed more training. They weren't overly friendly and missed the mark in cresting a great experience. Communication was not great once on the ship. Their app works ok but doesn't let you add anything such as upcoming events so you have to keep track of your schedule on paper woth the daily and in the app for dinner, spa reservations. It was confusing. The music groups and evening entertainment were good when they were planned, however it wasn't every night. A couple nights it was taped Opera...and a lotvof bean bag challenges. A couple nights they did provide old movies in the pool area. The most frustrating thing was that we missed two (2) ports that we really wanted to visit. On a 14 day trip with already 3 days at sea planned that made our voyage 5 out of 14 days (or over 1/3) of our trip at sea and therecqas really nothing to do. It was pretty boring. The excusions that they included usually consisted of a trip in a bus around a city. Not that great. Overall I think we will stay with other lines to do an Ocean cruise and leave Viking for rivers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise as the itinerary seemed very good and it seemed as though it was good to have some excursions and beer and wine included during meal times. Having said that, we had a very rough traverse of the Tasman Sea from Hobart ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the itinerary seemed very good and it seemed as though it was good to have some excursions and beer and wine included during meal times. Having said that, we had a very rough traverse of the Tasman Sea from Hobart to Dunedin. The ship rocked excessively from side to side, especially overnight the second night crossing. We enjoyed the excursions in Dunedin with great views of the surrounding areas from Signal Hill and a hike up Mt. Cargill. Cancelled Port: We were supposed to then travel to Christchurch, but despite indication that the sea was not all that rough ( certainly not as rough based on weather forecasts and other indications as the crossing in the Tasman Sea ), Christchurch was cancelled, citing safety concerns. We find it odd that of the 4 Viking cruise sailings between Sydney and Auckland, 2 were cancelled. And there was no compensation for Christchurch being cancelled. Ship It is beautifully appointed and there was never really a crowded area. There was comfortable seating throughout the ship. We were impressed by the cleanliness on the ship and that there were attendants constantly cleaning public washrooms. The cabin: It was nicely appointed and we found the PV2 to be a perfect size. The bathroom and main part of the cabin had ample space, although the veranda seemed a bit cramped to sit out on. Downside: The bed was painfully firm. This bed did not provide a comfortable sleeping experience. Food Quality: Dining we found to be questionable. The food, especially in the World Cafe was often lukewarm and sometimes overcooked. Desserts were quite amazing and gelato bar very popular. We had to send back several items in The Restaurant, including a lamb shank that was tough and lukewarm and a steak that was ordered medium rare and was definitely medium to medium well. What they call baked potatoes are not what I would refer to as baked. They are peeled potatoes and what I would call roasted, More than once they were overly soft and mushy. THis is a relatively smaller ship with just over 900 passengers, so there is an opportunity to do more frequent batch cooking. Often at dinner opening, the food was overcooked. One example was extremely overcooked mushy roasted wedge potatoes. The food was not all bad, however. The presentation was always excellent and taste usually very good. Included WInes: I found all the included wines to be very good. I suppose it would be difficult to satisfy all tastes as wine tasting can be so subjective. I was very grateful that throughout the cruise there were no oaked wines as I don't like that flavour. I think the wines were selected very carefully. Well done! Chef's Table Specialty Restaurant: We went to a dinner at the Chef's Table Specialty restaurant and enjoyed the Lotus fixed sample menu. However, we signed up for that night for a Thai menu and it was changed without a reason given. Reservations: Our dinner reservation for one of the nights in the specialty restaurant, Manfredi's was dropped off our list of reservations without explanation and no suitable fix was offered. Advice: Print a copy of all reservations on your account! That was a mistake on our part and they did not correct it. Lack of Follow Up by Management: As I mentioned earlier, I thought that the cleanliness and safety/sanitation was for the most part a focus on the ship. However, I filled out a questionnaire about a practice that I believe worked against maintaining health and safety. The comments were passed on and responded to, suggesting that I would see a noticeable change, which never happened. In all food venues on board, except the World cafe, all glassware was face up on the tables. In the World Cafe, the glassware was face down on soiled vinyl placemats. There was a risk of contamination between the drinking portion of the glassware and the soiled table mats. This is not congruent with the other good practices on the ship. I DID NOT appreciate a response that was only lip service and not a true follow up. I also filled out a survey upon disembarkation, commenting on the lack of proper follow up and nobody followed up from this either. Entertainment: We didn't attend a lot of the shows on board, but the ABBA review was pretty good, although a bit hammy. On the final night, they showed the film Bohemian Rhapsody, which was great as it is an Oscar nominated film this year. Service was excellent. All staff members would sincerely greet us at all times in the public areas of the ship. I can't say enough about the crew and their customer service. Explorer Dome: What some refer to as a planetarium, isn't really one. It is a film venue where those films are projected partly or fully onto the dome in a theatre above the explorer lounge. This is available only on the Orion and Jupiter ships. I thought the Mars show was excellent, simulating a human landing on Mars with international participants collecting specimens and reporting back to Earth. I would not recommend the Dolphins and Whales show. It only covered part of the screen and although 3D was of poor production quality. Spa: This was included with no extra fees, unless booking massages or other treatments. There were so many facets to it. Sauna, cold plunge pool, thermal pool, steam room, snow grotto. It was very refreshing and relaxing. I highly recommend visiting this area. There are towels and robes provided and the lockers are controlled by your room card, which was very convenient. The spa employees were very friendly and helpful, offering advice on receiving the maximum benefit from all the facets of the spa. Value: Questionable for a Canadian traveller, with a significant surcharge of over 35% in Canadian funds over the US price. For a 15 day cruise that cost over $22,000 CAD, a nicely appointed room on other reputable cruise lines could be had for significantly less, even if factoring in excursions and alcohol. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose Viking Ocean for several reasons. First we were tired of the large crowds of people on the other cruise lines we have sailed. We were tired of the photographers, casino, and poor excursions. We were happy to pay a little more for ... Read More
We chose Viking Ocean for several reasons. First we were tired of the large crowds of people on the other cruise lines we have sailed. We were tired of the photographers, casino, and poor excursions. We were happy to pay a little more for better excursions (as advertised on air) and to have wine and beer at lunch and dinner, coffee all day without being nickled and dimed to death. We thought Viking would be a great way to see New Zealand and Australia. It wasn't. First what was good about the cruise, the ship was beautiful. Its new, launched in June 2018. The stateroom Deluxe Veranda was comfortable and the bathroom was roomy, especially the shower. The food was good to excellent and the service was spot on, everyone was attentive. What was wrong? It started with booking excursions. We had to book excursions based on cabin level, so we could not book anything until 65 days prior to departure. It turns out we we were closed out of all the excursions we wanted to take. You also had to book your included excursions by choosing the time you wanted. So if you were trying to book an early one in order to get a later extra one, forget it wasn't going to happen. Once on board we found out that we were in the majority with regard to issues with booking excursions. Many people were up at 3:30 am EST in order to get the jump on booking on line. Many had gone and booked private tours with other tour groups in port. Image spending all this money and still going through this expense. The included excursions were not great, Auckland was terrible and the rest not much better. Just driving around in a bus seeing the city. The bus driver was the tour guide. Nothing like the excursions seen in the ads. Most passengers had traveled Viking before on river cruises and all were surprised at the poor quality of the ocean cruise excursions, nothing like the river cruise. We lost 2 ports due to poor weather. The sun was shining, but it was windy and the captain chose, for safety reasons, not to enter the port for Christchurch NZ. The sea was rough, so he slowed down to try to minimize the rocking and we could not make Hobart Tasmania on time. So it was cut out. They gave us an extra day in Melbourne and set up more excursions for the extra day. By 8 am the following day, all extra excursions were full. Surprise!!! Days at sea were BORING!!! No fun games, nothing. Just a bunch of passengers sitting around in all the reading nook areas reading. Pool was empty, sun deck too windy to play games, too rocky for bocce. Evening entertainment was so-so, 2 off ship performers were good but the last night in Sydney with the aborigine tribe was pathetic. It all sounded and looked the same from song to song. The planetarium show was a joke. A grade C- movie about a launch to Mars. All made up with the worst acting ever!! Overall for an ocean cruise, I could have stayed with Princess, cheaper, endured the crowds and gotten the same poor shore experience. We traveled so far and saw so little. SAD. They gave us vouchers towards our next booking to make up for the inconvenience. I called to complain on the amount and they increased it but it still does not make up for my loss. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I’ve had New Zealand and Australia on my bucket list for a long time. With such great reviews of Viking Ocean cruises and having been very pleased with Viking River, why not. It was a mix of good and bad. In the good side was the ... Read More
I’ve had New Zealand and Australia on my bucket list for a long time. With such great reviews of Viking Ocean cruises and having been very pleased with Viking River, why not. It was a mix of good and bad. In the good side was the ship, service, food, entertainment gym and spa, especially the Nordic experience of steam, ice, etc. However, you take a cruise for the above but especially to see things. We were extremely underwhelmed with the excisions. Non descript ports and tours. The combined driver/guides were also boring. We did not see the picturesque New Zealand you hear about. In addition, we missed two ports, Christchurch and Tasmania due to rough seas in the Tasmin Sea. I absolutely get safety and and won’t question it but their compensation for missing two ports was a $250 credit to a future cruise. $500 off I’m a $20K cruise excluding air; INSULTING. I question is I ever take Biking Ocean again. I also understand that this was a maiden voyage from NZ to Australia. I think they were learning along the way on our nickel. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose the Viking Orion cruise because we had wanted to see Australia. We left on December 30 out of Auckland. As mentioned above the communication prior to leaving was inaccurate and insufficient. I really don't think the people ... Read More
We chose the Viking Orion cruise because we had wanted to see Australia. We left on December 30 out of Auckland. As mentioned above the communication prior to leaving was inaccurate and insufficient. I really don't think the people organizing this cruise were prepared. We continually got the impression that they would meet somewhere and decide what to do next. The food on the cruise was good, but not great. There were not enough salads and they only knew how to cook steaks 2 ways: well done or rare! The 2 speciallity restaurants were not really special. Manfredi's had Italian food that was only slighly better than the Olive Garden. The atmosphere was not at all elegant as you would expect for a "speciality" restaurant. There were plastic placemats and the lighting and overall atmosphere was just not good. The Chef's Table was bad. It was presented as a "groumet" restaurant, but it was hardly that. It had 4 courses. We went on Mexican night and the 1 st course was a single round corn chip with a small teaspoon of chopped octopus on it! The rest of the potions were equally small and not at all good. They arrived barely warm and were very small portions. The main course was short ribs. It consisted of a 2 inch square of molded meat that was the size of a brownie. It was cold and tasted like it was made last week! This restaurant used the same plastic placemats - not the white table cloths you would expect! We had another reservation that we canceled. Then, there were the Excursions! The included excursions consisted of sitting on a bus with the drive rattling off things to look at out the window. This was poorly done and usually we could not see what he was describing before we drove past. The worst excursion was one one we paid $129 for. This was the Otaga Wildlife cruise. For this cruise we boarded a boat that was probably 50 years old! It had no comfortable seats and was enclosed with cloudy plastic zip windows. They passed out binoculars to everyone. We ride was really rough and the boat driver narrated a script and pointed out a few birds (hardly the expected wildlife) that we could observe flying by as the boat swayed back and forth and bumped along at a fairly fast clip. Most of us could not focus on anything and maintain our balance on the boat. It was awful! A few people felt sick! I don't think the person who planned this actually went on this trip. I am furious that we paid for this! This trip was really rough! We spent a total of 5 days on very rough seas! As we walked along the halls, we would sway from one side to the other holding on to the rails! It was difficult to maintain your balance. There were many people who were sick! We missed the stops at Christ church and Hobart and Tasmania because of the rough seas! I don't anyone quite understood what we missed Tasmania because the communication was poor, as usual. Anyway, missing this stop caused us to spend an additional day on the very rough seas. Because we missed Tasmania, we had an extra day in Melbourne. We were promised 2 things: added excursions and compensation when we got back home. First of all, there were added excursions, but they had only a few places, so most of the passengers were left in Melbourne on there own. There was almost no help or guidance from the crew of things to see and how to get there. People go on tours and cruises, so people can guide them in sight seeing, Viking failed to do this or us! When we got home we were offered a $250.00 voucher to use on another cruise. This is a pathetic offer for compensation for missing Tasmania which is one of the major attractions on this cruise! I have only one more thing to mention. During the "At sea days", there were very few activities planned. There were lectures and a bean bag toss, but little else. Luckily, we brought a deck of cards. Oh and I almost forgot the mention that the cruise director was part of the evening entertainment. He was not a very good singer. I think his time would have been better spent on planning and organizing the cruise activities! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Having cruised all major shipping lines over the past 30 years, I was thrilled to find Viking Orion cruising from Australia 30th December, 2018. Having heard the standard of this ship was equal to the best I had travelled on previously, ... Read More
Having cruised all major shipping lines over the past 30 years, I was thrilled to find Viking Orion cruising from Australia 30th December, 2018. Having heard the standard of this ship was equal to the best I had travelled on previously, I booked & paid top price for our accommodation onboard. By the end of the cruise, I was so disappointed with so many aspects of the cruise, I actually cancelled another booking I had for later in the next year. My biggest disappointment was that, because it was a New Years Eve cruise, a date I cruise every year, to celebrate, I couldn't believe how little was offered on the night. There was a countdown clock on the outside deck pool screen showing the time & then the wording Happy New Year displayed - & that was it. No balloons, no party hats, no whistles, no deck food etc - all the little things that go into making it a great night. The worst NYE I have ever experienced onboard a cruise ship. No flowers, fruit, chocolates on pillow in stateroom. Buffets with so little choice, it was difficult to find something worth eating. 2 ports of call were missed out due to "bad weather". I feel so sorry for people who had travelled halfway around the world to see Australia & New Zealand & ended up mainly having sea days. Why, when we couldn't get into Lyttleton (for Christchurch) didn't we go to the safe harbour of Akaroa near by - as did one of the larger Princess cruise ships on the same day. Viking, you have a great reputation with River Cruises - perhaps you should stick to them. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
A bucket list destination with a line we trusted, we are probably more disappointed because of our expectations. We feel "betrayed" by poor communication prior to the trip and then repeated disappointment with excursions and ... Read More
A bucket list destination with a line we trusted, we are probably more disappointed because of our expectations. We feel "betrayed" by poor communication prior to the trip and then repeated disappointment with excursions and most off ship experiences. Included excursions were minimal quality, including poorly informed guides (except Sydney). When a Port Douglas extension (to see the Great Barrier Reef) was fouled due to a storm, there were no appropriate substitute provisions. We spent most of the time traveling and confined to the hotel. Final insult was attempt to charge for luggage for domestic flight back to Sydney. Beyond the subpar included excursions, there were inadequate spots on the expensive paid excursions. So, for example, we actually never saw a kangaroo because by the time we attempted to book that (single) excisions, on first available day, the excursion was full. And then there were the transfers. On first arrival to Sydney, we had a five hour layover before the flight arranged to Cairns. Five hours is long, but after flight from eastern US, it was an eternity. Upon return to Sydney, we were left to handle our luggage for several blocks between the terminal and the buses to the ship. In gale force, literally (Cyclone Owen), winds my rolling luggage escaped me. On the final day of the cruise, we disembarked at 7:10 in the morning and were transported to a hotel conference room to sit out the rest of the day, meals on our own, until our 8:10 flight that night. We did receive a transport to the airport where we discovered because our carrier had changed from the trip over, we owed $500NZ for baggage in excess of their allowances. We hope Viking has not tried to expand their ocean cruise market too fast to maintain their famous quality. We'll look harder before we leap again... Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The Viking Orion is a beautiful new ship we have been on 1 Of it’s sister ships The food was very good to outstanding The housekeeping was excellent The problem lies in being treated As a second class passengers If you are not ... Read More
The Viking Orion is a beautiful new ship we have been on 1 Of it’s sister ships The food was very good to outstanding The housekeeping was excellent The problem lies in being treated As a second class passengers If you are not in suites Luggage dragged in airport? No help with luggage at embarkation Lack of communication with guest relations Almost all excursions sold out Before we were able to get on line Had to have security transport us to Port gate after trying to have Viking staff help us to get to private tour This inspite of accessibility issues Included tours at best mediocre And could never get early times No currency exchange on ship A 5 star cruise is more like a 3 to 4 for people in non suites Staff never apologized for anything Booking of tours and restaurants Needs work Outdoor pool usually closed roof Making it almost a sauna The majority of staff did an outstanding jobless Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The positive points are as follows: beautiful ship, laid out very nicely, and very clean; crew personnel were very friendly, polite, people oriented, caring, and a great asset for Viking; entertainment staff were excellent and we greatly ... Read More
The positive points are as follows: beautiful ship, laid out very nicely, and very clean; crew personnel were very friendly, polite, people oriented, caring, and a great asset for Viking; entertainment staff were excellent and we greatly enjoyed their performance, and their interaction with the passengers; cabins were very comfortable especially the bathrooms which were very spacious and loved the heated floors; restaurants offered great selection and service and food were excellent with the exception of the Chef Table - we were very disappointed with the food choices and service in the Chef Table. Our negative points are as follows: for the most part, the excursions (most of them were ones that we paid for) failed to meet our expectations. Several excursions were rushed and passenger's time were cut short or rushed to maintain schedule. Based on our experience, we feel the excursions were too pricey for what we received. We would be glad to provide specifics and those that we feel were not worth the money and failed to meet our expectations. We also feel that our last day in Auckland could have been better planned to provide more opportunities to see more of Auckland prior to our departure, rather than sitting in a conference room in a hotel for 6 or more hours. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Combining factors reduced this cruise/tour to nearly unpleasant experience. The two factors were our lack of due diligence studying the time of year for down-under travel and Vikings failure to provide their reputed excellent service with ... Read More
Combining factors reduced this cruise/tour to nearly unpleasant experience. The two factors were our lack of due diligence studying the time of year for down-under travel and Vikings failure to provide their reputed excellent service with regard to air arrangements and shore excursions. Many other reviews refer to the shore excursions both free and paid-for so no real need to reiterate. We believe Viking learned a great deal from the negativity which we found to be quite vocal on this trip. Do not do an outback at this time of year, and Viking does need to look at their tour providers more critically. We were upgraded to a wonderful cabin, 8011, far above our pay-grade and that alone increased our rating and eased the other discomforts, but not enough to move to above average. We received four free special dining reservations which provided a lovely variation to main dining. Don't recommend "food-court" except for lunch. One really bright idea: the Maya Ubud Resort which hosted the 3-day pre-cruise. One not so good was Komodo Island which might handle a 200 passenger ship--they were overwhelmed with our numbers. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Have enjoyed previous Viking River Cruises so much we wanted to try the Viking Ocean Cruise and wanted to see Australia before we got too old to travel that distance. We found the Viking Ocean Ships professionalism is not up to par with ... Read More
Have enjoyed previous Viking River Cruises so much we wanted to try the Viking Ocean Cruise and wanted to see Australia before we got too old to travel that distance. We found the Viking Ocean Ships professionalism is not up to par with the River Cruises. My wife is gluten free with some other food allergies which we had informed the Viking booking agent but the available foods for her on ship were below par. The ship was beautiful and functioned well but much of the staff seemed confused and inexperienced. A few of the tours, especially Komodo Island, where unorganized and actually dangerous as the steps necessary to access the docks were old and hazardous and times to load on the return exceeded one hour in very hot and sunny environment. Many were showing signs of heat exhaustion. Once again, the ship and the cabins were very nice. The entertainment was nice. There were many different food offerings as long as you do not have any food issues. The Viking booking agent made changes to our itinerary that the Viking Ship staff and we were unaware of that affected our post cruise itinerary causing us much distress.60 Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We loved our Viking river cruises. On this ship, the corridors were kept so cold so that, returning from outside temps of 85 to 95 degrees, we felt chilled. the food was good but people did send food back. The last two nights, the ... Read More
We loved our Viking river cruises. On this ship, the corridors were kept so cold so that, returning from outside temps of 85 to 95 degrees, we felt chilled. the food was good but people did send food back. The last two nights, the ocean was rocky and we heard a tapping all night and the crew told us it was the way the ship was constructed! The arrangements for getting us back from Komodo Island were poorly done and two people fainted waiting in the hot sun for another tender. The staff was good otherwise, particularly the housekeeping crew. viking does have a large medical center with good equipment. they have an EKG machine and EMT equipment. The doctors and nurses were interested in your problems. the cabin was clean and checked twice a day. Enrichment lectures and the planetarium were very interesting. The beds were just okay as we are used to Oceania's wonderful mattresses. The noise all night long would keep me away from this ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Chose countries I was interested in exploring...Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. I have traveled on Viking Riverboats twice before, and I was disappointed in the ocean cruise experience with Viking compared to other lines (I have ... Read More
Chose countries I was interested in exploring...Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. I have traveled on Viking Riverboats twice before, and I was disappointed in the ocean cruise experience with Viking compared to other lines (I have traveled on Holland America, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and Silver Seas). Overall, I felt the excursion experience lacked attention to the travelers, as excursions sites were poor, and we spent most of the time on the bus driving around. The local tour guide companies were less than well experienced, and the guides themselves were simply not helpful beyond the script they read to us. I realize that several ports were primarily for commercial travel with few amenities geared to the passenger ships, but Viking did little to compensate for that. When we exited the ship there were no personnel in the 'tents' at the bottom of the gangway, and as a passenger you were on your own to find your way to the terminal or to the buses (somewhat dangerous in an unknown country). The preparation for off-board travel lacked useful information also. I must give complements to the onboard staff who were wonderful, taking good care of my roommate who contracted the 'noro' virus and was isolated in the room for 2 days. In my opinion, the overall experience was 'not up to Viking standards'. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, not knowing that Haikou, China and Sihanoukville Cambodia would be terrible stopovers. Lost 2 full days at places no cruise ship should go to. The ship itself is fine (we sailed on the Viking Sea 2 ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, not knowing that Haikou, China and Sihanoukville Cambodia would be terrible stopovers. Lost 2 full days at places no cruise ship should go to. The ship itself is fine (we sailed on the Viking Sea 2 years ago to Norway - a far better trip). The food at the speciality restaurants was very good, at the world café just average and very repetative. Pre cruise information from Viking was misleading, uninformed and as for the so-called "required" China visa, just plain untrue. There were couples who did not get a China visa, did not get off the ship (good move) and nothing happened. The included tours were for the most part drive bys and the paid tours over priced. If you insist on doing this cruise get a group together to do private tours. Our 6 private tours in Vietnam were wonderful and we saw and did much more for far less than the ship's paid tours. The Hong Kong and Bangkok half day included tours were good overviews. Viking is a step above Royal Carribean, Celebrity, Azama but not at the level of Regent Seven Seas, Seabourne, Silvers Seas, Oceania or Crystal. If we had known how awful Haikou and Sihanoukville were, we would have looked for a better itinerary on a more luxurious ship considering the cost. Many experienced ocean voyage travelers we met felt the same way and Viking lost quite a few prior passengers with this cruise, including us. Read Less
Sail Date November 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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