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We sailed from Athens to Bangkok on a 36 day cruise called the Voyage of Marco Polo. Certainly a grand name, and the voyage lived up to it. I captured my full journey on Instagram on my billwscott account. Embarkation After arriving in Athens we were picked up by staff from the Viking team, quickly guided to our bus and before we knew it were in our stateroom with Malaya & Teresa explaining all the features of the Penthouse Veranda. The first evening we had a wonderful outing to get a quick panoramic look at Athens and then a delicious dinner in a quaint restaurant in the heart of Athens. The next night the Captain's welcome was warm and funny. Ship The Viking Orion is just an absolutely stunning ship. Forward on the 7th floor is the Explorer Bar next to Mamsen's. In addition to having a full sweeping view, the delicious desserts at Mamsen's had us coming back again and again. We spent many afternoons and evenings there reading and relaxing or listening to entertainment. The Atrium is a 3 story open air area that was also a favorite of ours. My wife was constantly at the jigsaw puzzle table on the second floor of the Atrium. The ship size is perfect. About 900 guests and 450 crew. Never, ever felt over crowded. Most of time it felt expansive and roomy. Stateroom The Penthouse Veranda was exactly the size room we needed. It had a full sofa, table, desk area, king size bed, nice size bathroom with large shower. While there are larger rooms, I never ever felt cramped. It felt just right. We had 4 very large suitcases and they fit under the bed easily. Out of site and out of mind. Malaya & Teresa kept our room new each day and turn down service every evening refreshed our room as well as receiving the Viking Daily. Dining Everything is made from scratch and fresh. The breads, desserts and ice cream (made fresh on board) was off the chart. The World Cafe provided a really deep assortment of food that was varied enough to never feel like you were getting the same food. The food there was A+. Every night there was sushi and many nights crab legs. The Chef's Table is the gourmet restaurant and the food was pre-selected by the Chef and each time we dined there was a real treat. Manfredi's is another reservation only restaurant (World Cafe and The Restaurant are walk-in) that specializes in Italian fare. With a portion of the menu fixed and another portion changing with the cruise, we always felt it was a cut above. The Pool Grill made amazing burgers, hot dogs and ahi ahi and always had an amazing assortment of salads. Beer & Wine is free during any meal time hours whether in the restaurants or in the bar. Entertainment & Activities We didn't spend a lot of time with entertainment though the special talks and the magic shows were top notch. What we did spend a lot of time with was the Spa. LivNordic runs the spas for Viking Ocean Cruises and it is definitely my favorite spa concept. Following Nordic Bathing Rituals, the spa has: dry saunas, steam sauna, snow grotto, hot tub, cold plunge pool and swimming pool. The service is free. I became massively addicted to the dry sauna and cold plunge. In addition, I had some great Yoga & Pilates/balance classes with Anna & Pricillia. Speaking of Pricillia, she is the best massage/physical therapist I have ever worked with. Trained in Nordic, Swedish, Thai (she spent several months training in a Thai temple) and Busquet (a french whole body method). The latter really transformed my body. Charlotte & Sophie are gems in the salon. They provide great haircuts and styling, manicures, pedicures, facials, etc. The gym is definitely fully equipped and I enjoyed a session with Dejan (trainer) for a small charge. Service WOW. Just WOW. While other cruises seem to want to nickel and dime you, there is very little that you have to pay for as it is really all inclusive. All the coffee, sodas, tea, water you want. Beer & wine are free during meal time throughout the ship. Other drinks come at a reasonable charge. What this means is the staff is focused on serving and not upselling. You won't find art auctions, casinos, photographs to buy, water to pay for, etc. The staff is just so helpful and friendly. About a dozen we got to know pretty well. Ports of Call/Excursions Many wonderful ports: Athens, Haifa, El Said, Aquaba, Goa, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand made for a widely varying cultural exploration. A few suffered a little from being a bit far from the attractions. Recommended Yes, yes, yes. I have booked a Viking River cruise in 2020 because I feel so strongly about Viking. BTW, there are no kids under 18 on the ship. I like kids, but I loved being on a ship without them ;-)

Experience of a lifetime!

Viking Orion Cruise Review by billwscott

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Trip Details
We sailed from Athens to Bangkok on a 36 day cruise called the Voyage of Marco Polo. Certainly a grand name, and the voyage lived up to it.

I captured my full journey on Instagram on my billwscott account.

Embarkation

After arriving in Athens we were picked up by staff from the Viking team, quickly guided to our bus and before we knew it were in our stateroom with Malaya & Teresa explaining all the features of the Penthouse Veranda.

The first evening we had a wonderful outing to get a quick panoramic look at Athens and then a delicious dinner in a quaint restaurant in the heart of Athens. The next night the Captain's welcome was warm and funny.

Ship

The Viking Orion is just an absolutely stunning ship. Forward on the 7th floor is the Explorer Bar next to Mamsen's. In addition to having a full sweeping view, the delicious desserts at Mamsen's had us coming back again and again. We spent many afternoons and evenings there reading and relaxing or listening to entertainment. The Atrium is a 3 story open air area that was also a favorite of ours. My wife was constantly at the jigsaw puzzle table on the second floor of the Atrium.

The ship size is perfect. About 900 guests and 450 crew. Never, ever felt over crowded. Most of time it felt expansive and roomy.

Stateroom

The Penthouse Veranda was exactly the size room we needed. It had a full sofa, table, desk area, king size bed, nice size bathroom with large shower. While there are larger rooms, I never ever felt cramped. It felt just right. We had 4 very large suitcases and they fit under the bed easily. Out of site and out of mind. Malaya & Teresa kept our room new each day and turn down service every evening refreshed our room as well as receiving the Viking Daily.

Dining

Everything is made from scratch and fresh. The breads, desserts and ice cream (made fresh on board) was off the chart. The World Cafe provided a really deep assortment of food that was varied enough to never feel like you were getting the same food. The food there was A+. Every night there was sushi and many nights crab legs. The Chef's Table is the gourmet restaurant and the food was pre-selected by the Chef and each time we dined there was a real treat. Manfredi's is another reservation only restaurant (World Cafe and The Restaurant are walk-in) that specializes in Italian fare. With a portion of the menu fixed and another portion changing with the cruise, we always felt it was a cut above. The Pool Grill made amazing burgers, hot dogs and ahi ahi and always had an amazing assortment of salads.

Beer & Wine is free during any meal time hours whether in the restaurants or in the bar.

Entertainment & Activities

We didn't spend a lot of time with entertainment though the special talks and the magic shows were top notch. What we did spend a lot of time with was the Spa. LivNordic runs the spas for Viking Ocean Cruises and it is definitely my favorite spa concept. Following Nordic Bathing Rituals, the spa has: dry saunas, steam sauna, snow grotto, hot tub, cold plunge pool and swimming pool. The service is free.

I became massively addicted to the dry sauna and cold plunge. In addition, I had some great Yoga & Pilates/balance classes with Anna & Pricillia.

Speaking of Pricillia, she is the best massage/physical therapist I have ever worked with. Trained in Nordic, Swedish, Thai (she spent several months training in a Thai temple) and Busquet (a french whole body method). The latter really transformed my body.

Charlotte & Sophie are gems in the salon. They provide great haircuts and styling, manicures, pedicures, facials, etc.

The gym is definitely fully equipped and I enjoyed a session with Dejan (trainer) for a small charge.

Service

WOW. Just WOW. While other cruises seem to want to nickel and dime you, there is very little that you have to pay for as it is really all inclusive. All the coffee, sodas, tea, water you want. Beer & wine are free during meal time throughout the ship. Other drinks come at a reasonable charge. What this means is the staff is focused on serving and not upselling. You won't find art auctions, casinos, photographs to buy, water to pay for, etc. The staff is just so helpful and friendly. About a dozen we got to know pretty well.

Ports of Call/Excursions

Many wonderful ports: Athens, Haifa, El Said, Aquaba, Goa, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand made for a widely varying cultural exploration. A few suffered a little from being a bit far from the attractions.

Recommended

Yes, yes, yes. I have booked a Viking River cruise in 2020 because I feel so strongly about Viking.

BTW, there are no kids under 18 on the ship. I like kids, but I loved being on a ship without them ;-)
billwscott’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 6086
The Penthouse Veranda was exactly the size room we needed. It had a full sofa, table, desk area, king size bed, nice size bathroom with large shower. While there are larger rooms, I never ever felt cramped. It felt just right. We had 4 very large suitcases and they fit under the bed easily. Out of site and out of mind. Malaya & Teresa kept our room new each day and turn down service every evening refreshed our room as well as receiving the Viking Daily.