We are in our mid fifties, very active, and chose this 23 day cruise because of the itinerary. It is a repositioning cruise, with 9 sea days. I was a bit nervous that I'd be bored during the sea days. In fact, I wish we'd had more of them!
The ship is beautiful. There are relaxing places to hide away, yet plenty of activities if you wish to be social. Make sure to do your research about the ship's facilities so you don't miss out on the many pleasures. So many people I spoke to had no idea the Nordic spa facilities existed - such a fabulous place and totally free of charge.
Viking Orion caters for people who are intellectually curious, prefer reading books to gambling, and like a relaxed ambiance. The 7 lecturers on this cruise gave stimulating insights into geopolitics, nature, history, astronomy, art, and space travel. They made our sea days special. We particularly enjoyed Dr Jeffrey Hoffman, an ex NASA astronaut, who gave awe inspiring talks on his role with NASA, Hubble telescope, Mars exploration, and effects of space travel on the human body. Given that we were travelling the Pacific Ring of Fire, it might have been interesting to have had some talks about local Volcanoes, geology etc. Other daytime activities include Trivia ( great way to meet other people, we had several Trivia team Dinners), Bridge lessons, Dancing lessons, bean bag challenge, craft group, plus usual mini golf, shuffle board etc. The gym was well patronised.
We felt there was enough space to move around, relax, and feel happy to spend time in our cabin. Hotel rooms in America seem to be huge, so American passengers may find these cabins modest in comparison. Our cabin steward Wayun, gave us a thorough introduction to the cabin facilities. He looked after us efficiently throughout the cruise, always with a smile.
Our immediate neighbours were quiet. Didn't hear TV or voices. Air con worked well.
We travel with one suitcase each, so storage space was sufficient. There is not the storage space such as that on Princess ships, but there are clever spaces. The vibe on this ship is relaxed - you don't need all those fancy dresses for every night of the week, and there is free self service laundry ( laundry was a social hub - sofa, TV, and lots of laughs)
Bathroom nicely appointed. No issues with water pressure or temperature. Shower is spacious with a glass door. Loved the no-fog mirror, and heated floor. Freya toiletries are full size and include shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and shower gel. Shower cap, cotton balls, Q-tips, and tissues also provided. The sanitary towel bags were a bit optimistic given the ship's demographic. Still water was refreshed daily. Coffee pod machine handy. We brought up fresh milk from the buffet and stored it in the fridge. The lady who replenished the minibar was happy to be flexible with contents, and added extra chocolates if you asked her. (Ritter Sport minis - yum!)
The balcony table is large enough to accomodate the spectacular room service breakfasts.
Stayed for 3 nights in Vancouver, and 2 nights in Victoria on Vancouver Island. Caught V2V ferry from Canada Place straight to Victoria. Visited Butchart Gardens with Prince of Whales Tours and took their high speed catamaran back to Vancouver from Butchart Cove. Liked Vancouver, but found the visible drug issues off putting (lots of Oxycodone addicts sleeping on streets in broad daylight)
Walked around Kodiak. Visited Baranof Museum ( now called ? Kodiak Museum). This used to be the old Munitions store, then a family home. Great little museum that details how both Russian and American involvement in the area, and their effect on native people.
Viking didn't go out their way to promote this port. The locals put on a bus service for us, which went to 2 museums. Visited the WW2 museum - our American passengers came away having learnt some sobering and little known facts that unsettled some. We climbed Mt Ballyhoo, next to the ship, and after a strenuous walk, found the old WW2 battery. Well worth a climb if you are capable. There is also a very large and well equipped Safeway. Shopping mecca for the crew, and last stop to buy Chocolate until you get to Russia.