National Geographic Orion Review

5.0 / 5.0
27 reviews

Arctic and Russian Far East - Expensive dinner cruise with not much else

Review for Russia River Cruise on National Geographic Orion
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6-10 Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Aug 2019

We have traveled with NatGeo/Lindblad on several occasions, Galapagos, Iceland, Africa (NatGeo solely), Alaska and now Wrangel Island. I had looked forward to this trip for almost 2 years. My expeditions were not met however.

Food: Plentiful and good as always.

Alcohol: Free flowing (I'm not a drinker, but it appeared it was free flowing).

Cabin Review

Cabin Category 6

- bathroom is 5'x3' - smaller than cabin of this category on other ships

- large soaking tub with window

- shower is 30"x32" with movable shower head

- one sink is smaller than usual, with little to no counter space

- small amount of shelving behind bathroom mirror in corner

- shallow shelving under the sink area

- robes provided

- despite advertising "110 volt sockets are also available in each bathroom" . . . that is not true. There is ONE 220 socket on the left hand side of the sink under the mirror.

- 4 separate 12" wide hanging "closets"

- about 6 hangers per person (I usually bring my own travel hangers)

- fixed safe in far right closet takes up shoe space

- ice bucket and glasses on fixed shelves in far left closet takes up shoe space

- very little counter space in cabin . . . top of desk and 2nd cabinet, i.e., if you have camera equipment to lay out, etc. Otherwise probably enough for someone without camera equipment, charges and the like.

- balcony is 14" deep; we like being about to open same for fresh cool breeze

- Picture of room is accurate; HOWEVER, area on right side of bed (as you are looking at picture) is a FIRE EXIT. There is a fire door that will close automatically separating your bathroom from your bedroom. So . . . if there is a fire and the door shuts and your important items are in the closet or bathroom . . . you will be cut off from them when the door closes. There is a door exit "force open" switch in the room, but who knows how that will really works when the doors close. That in itself concerned me. There is also a fire door that closes over the cabin entry door (yes . . . the entry door from the hall). This cabin is the ONLY room that has that. The entry door to this cabin is set back several inches to make room for this fire door. I was so concerned . . . that I actually asked the hotel staff about what happens if both the cabin fire door and the hall fire door close simultaneously (which I assume they would do) and I am therefore trapped by these automatic doors in the bathroom? I was assured that wouldn't happen. But. . . these doors are automatic. When we were in less than calm seas, you can hear these very heavy, thick fire doors thumping in the walls . . . back and forth.

IF these doors close automatically and IF you are not trapped in the bathroom . . . you must therefore exit through the very small EXIT door that you see in the far right of the picture next to the bed (hence no side table or outlets). This door leads directly outside to the deck (which also provides a source of noise if people are on the deck).

- the right side of the bed has no side table because of the FIRE EXIT.

- area on left side of the bed has a small side table, BUT it is taken up by the box and TV which are IMMOVABLE. In order to watch TV or view the cruise information on the TV . . . you must be in the couch opposite the bed.

- there is one European outlet behind the TV.

- because there are no side tables, there is no room for reading materials, glasses, phone, water or anything else you are used to putting on your bedside table at home.

- the only phone in the room is on the wall opposite of the bed. All other cabins have the phones on the center bedside table (which this cabin does not have). My daughter was not feeling well on a couple of days . . . and if someone tried to call us . . . or I tried to call her to check on her . . . you have to get out of the bed (which, during rough seas would be a challenge) to answer the phone. So . . . to receive your wake up call . . . you must get out of bed to answer the phone.

- more than 75% of the wall space is OUTLET FREE. There are no outlets behind the bed, next to the right side of the bed, along the balcony wall or along the opposite wall by the "desk". Therefore, plugging in electronics or chargers is next to impossible and annoyingly frustrating. There are 2 strips (one 110 and one 220) over the desk as compensation, but it's a bad place for them. And - those strips cannot be moved. And the only other outlet is the European one behind the immovable TV.

- wifi is practically non-existent and we went for days without connections. $100 for a day of wifi (you pay but connection not guaranteed or $200 for the entire trip).

I can only assume the tub was installed to compensate for the lack of outlets, lack of bedside tables, the myriad of fire doors and alternative "exit".

In the attached pictures of Cabin 502, which I located on the internet, the "X" designates the exit door location (you cannot see it, but it is on the wall to the right of the bed) and fixed TV. Other pictures are self explanatory. Definitely taken with a wide angle lens.

I was excited about this cabin prior to the trip . . . but I would not book this cabin in the future.

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