We have been on a three Viking River Cruises and wanted to try an Ocean Voyage. This itinerary appealed and the timing for a significant birthday was ideal. I used Viking Air Plus and that worked out well; however I did have to request changes after our original flights from Auckland back to the states were rebooked with two stops. We spent a week in Sydney on our own over New Year's Eve (a highlight) before boarding the ship. All-in-all it was a wonderful experience.
The Orion is a gorgeous ship and the staff was exceptional. The evening shows were top notch, too. We weren't overly impressed with the food, especially in the World Cafe. The Restaurant was good, Manfredi's and Chef's Table were excellent, however the menu at Chef's Table is limited and you have to hit it on a night that appeals to your palate. We found the buses used for the excursions were tight. My husband is 6'4" and long treks were uncomfortable. For the most part all our guides were friendly and very knowledgeable. We were fortunate that we were able to dock in all the promised ports. We did have to leave Melbourne early and that was a disappointment. This was due to the need to clean and inspect the hull for biohazards that have plagued a few ships in this region. Other ships have been denied access due to cargo ships as well.
We enjoyed all our excursions except one - the Bay of Plenty included tour in Rotarua. There was only one stop where we couldn't book our preferred excursion. However, two of our excursions were canceled - one well before sailing and one shortly before sailing. I will note that after three years of avoiding Covid both my husband and I contracted Covid towards the end of our trip even though we wore masks on most of our bus tours. Fortunately we weren't very sick but it did have us dragging for a few days. We thought it was allergies since we weren't very ill and tested positive when we got home. The shop on the ship sells many motion sickness remedies but nothing for colds or coughs. A solid 4 or even 4.5 and I do recommend it with few reservations.
We were in cabin 5076. Our cabin steward, Kris, was fabulous. Bathroom was spacious compared to river cruise ships. Plenty of room under the bed for our 4 bags. We didn't use our balcony often, but it was still nice to have. There is a Nespresso coffee pot in the cabin which we didn't use. We did need more hangers which Kris delivered promptly.