2 Seward Viking Ocean Viking Orion Cruise Reviews

We have done 3 Viking River cruises and enjoyed them all. So, we decided it was time to try a Viking Ocean cruise. First and foremost, Viking needs to have BETTER included excursions. In just about every port the included excursion was ... Read More
We have done 3 Viking River cruises and enjoyed them all. So, we decided it was time to try a Viking Ocean cruise. First and foremost, Viking needs to have BETTER included excursions. In just about every port the included excursion was really no better than us getting off the ship to explore the little Alaska town we were in. In-fact, in Ketichikan we bought our own tickets to attend a "Lumberjack Show" (lasted just over 1 hr), and they cost $35pp. Why couldn't Viking have offered that as an included excursion? Bottom Line: Offer better included excursions and try and have more than 1 available in each port! Second, remove the curtains in the "Living Room", by the coffee bar and on the 2nd level. You can't see thru this material and it would be nice while your having a drink or coffee to see the scenery!! Third, you REALLY need to train your bartenders better. After trying two Pina Colada's and a frozen Daiquiri I gave up on any frozen offering. Each time the ice was not pulverized enough so when you tried using the straw, it would always get clogged. And yes, I went to THREE different bars and had the same very poor results. Hell, the first time my wife ordered a Banana Daiquiri, they brought it to her in a martini glass. No kidding, a Martini glass. Lastly, the entertainment was, for the most part, a joke. Every night a member of the ship's staff "entertained". The 4-some (2 guys, 2 gals) who did the Beatles show and the Abba show did a pretty good job, but the overall result was very un-polished and amateurish. We never (on a 10-night cruise), had a "head-liner" or a professional comedian or magician. Kudo's to the guys and gals who worked the stage EVERY night, but they should be "fill-in" acts not the main show each and EVERY night!!! If VIKING wants to compete with Azamara and Oceania they need to heed these words and I am sure the words of many other seasoned travelers. We have done one Azamara cruise, and VIKING isn't even close to them when it comes to food quality (and choices), entertainment, and overall service. We haven't tried Oceania yet, but have friends who have done both (Viking and Oceania), and MUCH prefer Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We booked this cruise directly through Viking in November 2017 - 18 months prior to departure. We were advised at that time we could upgrade flights as soon as flights became available. We duly did this through Viking. They organised the ... Read More
We booked this cruise directly through Viking in November 2017 - 18 months prior to departure. We were advised at that time we could upgrade flights as soon as flights became available. We duly did this through Viking. They organised the flights on our behalf. Five weeks prior to departure for Seward, Alaska we were contacted by Viking and advised that we would need an earlier flight to get us to Seward on time for the cruise. As we were taking a regional flight they advised that we could depart 24 hrs before the previous arrangements and spend a night and day at Heathrow airport. This was perceived as unacceptable. After much “discussion” we finally agreed to fly out to Alaska one day earlier than Viking had scheduled. Not an encouraging start to our cruise or to showcase their organisational skills. The cruise overall went well. Orion is a beautiful ship and our Stateroom on Deck 8 was very well appointed and we were looked after vey well by our Personal Stateroom Attendant. We were unfortunately disappointed overall with the standard of evening meals. Food in the Restaurant was as good as that in Manfredi’s but standards at the Chef’sTable were quite poor. Vegetables served were consistently overcooked in all restaurants and requests for veg to be served al dente were ignored. Evening meals were therefore variable. Service in the restaurants tended to be inconsistent and erratic. Requests for a pre meal drink whilst waiting to be joined by fellow travellers at the table took so long that the meal was alrady served before the wine arrived. We bought the premium wine package but standards of wine were no better than the standard package, although aperitifs / after dinner drinks etc were included in this plan. We were led to believe wine would be of a higher standard. We had the opportunity to make three reservations at the Chef’s Table. The one experience was enough - the menu was limited and standards not high enough. We booked extensive excursions, this being a once in a lifetime experience. Largely they were good but the Viking grading system was yet again inconsistent. Demanding, moderate, easy categorisation for excursions was variable. At Icy Strait Point we went on a “demanding” wilderness hike which compared with a gentle stroll so limited that the excursion leader stopped frequently to expand time taken. On our return we expressed concern with othe guests about our experience as on this occasion no evaluation sheets were dustributed. Viking staff reaction was disappointing. They did not want to know. At Juneau poor weather that had been forecast well in advance meant that our helicopter glacier trip could not go ahead. It was very obvious on that day that this would be the case though Viking required us to take the tender ashore, miss an opportunity to sign up for an alternative excursion only to be told that our excursion was cancelled as soon as we reached the shore. This experience could have been so much better if Viking communications were better. To be fair our trip was refunded but any valuable excursion in Juneau was lost. You will appreciate that we are unlikely to visit Juneau again so this was frustrating. When the cruise came to an end we had bought a post cruise extension organised by Viking in Vancouver. It cost £389 per person for 2 nights bed and breakfast. Our allocated hotel the Regency Hyatt was relatively disappointing particularly because breakfast was served to Viking guests in a large windowless conference room. The standard of food was poor but most importantly was diffferent to the standard of food served to non Viking guests in the main restaurant. For example the strawberries, fresh smoked salmon and extensive range were missing and replaced by cheap toast bread, melon as the only fruit available by way of example. Overall, the hotel on Burrard Street had a very tired feel although staff were very helpful. Viking did not ask for any feedback on this section if our experience. We gave feedback to the Viking rep at the Regency Hyatt who was lovely and very helpful but she explained we would have to contact Viking directly to complain. Despite this we enjoyed our tine in Vancouver it is a beautiful city. We tried to ignore our annoyance regarding lack of value for money. You may imagine we invested heavily on the cruise and prior to our experience were happy to do so. It did not overall live up to expectations. With hindsight we would have gone with another small ship provider or settled for a standard cabin as it was we were in a Junior Penthouse Stateroom (8003). As of writing we still have not received the refund from our abortive helicopter trip. Written contact via their contact form and a telephone call have unfortunately met with no response. We are not surprised given our overall experience of Viking Oceanic Cruises communications and organisation - or lack. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Viking Orion Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 4.0 4.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.4
Family N/A 4.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 5.0 4.3
Service 4.5 4.6
Value For Money 5.0 4.1

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