Viking Orion Cruise Review by montfleur
- Sail Date: April 2019
- Destination: Asia
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.
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