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9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Chose this cruise for the destinations, which were wonderful. Ship was very clean and overall staff very friendly and attentive. Speciality Restaurants were of a very good standard. Spa was excellent. Entertainment shows were very ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the destinations, which were wonderful. Ship was very clean and overall staff very friendly and attentive. Speciality Restaurants were of a very good standard. Spa was excellent. Entertainment shows were very good. Live music being played during day and evenings in Main Foyer was repetitious. Main Dining was at times “ hit and miss”. Felt they had skimped somewhat on the seafood offerings. Buffet selection was limited and very few salads. Hardly any healthy options or sugar free or low carb dessert alternatives. Wine list was very limited as were range of drinks on offer with a silver drinks package. No premium bottled spring water on offer even with drinks package. Ship layout was similiar to that of River cruises. Ship also vibrated throughout the cruise. Had to wedge paper between doors on wardrobe to prevent noise from keeping us awake at night. Disappointing for a new ship. Bed vibrated from the ship shuddering. Captain did a great job of staying ahead of Cyclone at the top of Australia. We did miss seeing Thursday Island and the shore excursions we paid for well before we sailed in March. Quite understand the importance of staying ahead of the Cyclone however we were promised to be refunded the US$278 at the end of our cruise. Home one month now and still have not received a refund! Poor processing and customer service Viking . Overall value for money was not there with Viking. Azamara, Celebrity, RCL offer a better deal, wider variety of food at a higher standard. Have also cruised on Crystal which were faultless. This was our 12th cruise and we would not cruise with Viking again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This was our second Viking Cruise. Loved it the first time we cruised with Viking Sea; all went according to what we paid for and what we got. Our Penthouse Junior Suite (PJS 8007) was what we asked for and that was exactly what we got. ... Read More
This was our second Viking Cruise. Loved it the first time we cruised with Viking Sea; all went according to what we paid for and what we got. Our Penthouse Junior Suite (PJS 8007) was what we asked for and that was exactly what we got. Based upon this positive experience, we booked a second cruise to New Zealand and Australia. We elected to add a pre-cruise extension in Auckland and love the vitality of the city. The hotel assignment offered comfortable rooms conveniently located to the city's highlights. The cruise lasted about 3 weeks and made all stops as per the itinerary. The ship handled very rough seas fairly well, and the ship's common areas were as advertised on the website. There were many "at sea" days. Meals in the dining venues allowed for decent variety. The restaurants are the same ones on all the ocean ships and, at Manfredi's, we saw the same things on the menu as we'd seen on the Viking Sun. Breakfast in the World Cafe offered a good variety. We saw one or two shows while on board. The Aboriginal show the last night was quite good. Some of the lecturers were outstanding and it was nice to be able to watch them in our room when we were not able to attend the lectures. The crew were helpful and performed their jobs well. There was not enough time in ports to really enjoy the areas. We would have liked more free time. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The Viking Orion is identical to any of the other Viking Ocean ships which made the entire experience very predictable. Our room was horrible. Our Viking Agent concealed from us that we were assigned one of the two "handicapped' rooms (room 6020) and we only learned about our room assignment until the day before departure. This handicapped room is grossly misrepresented as a Penthouse Junior Suite room. Viking's website contains not so much as one photo for this inadequate room (there are only 2 handicapped cabins on the entire ship). If someone needs wheelchair access, then 6020 or 6021 are the rooms to book. Otherwise, the access to the cabin's deck posed a serious tripping hazard. Furthermore, the room configuration further reduces any usable interior space. Our room had no sitting room (like every other room on the entire ship besides room 6021) and we needed to sit on the bed to watch TV. We needed to bring in the table from the deck whereas all other rooms actually had a coffee table, etc. Viking advertises this "handicapped room" (rooms 6020 and 6021) as consisting of 405 sf. but it is not. We measured the suite and deck; our suite 6020 fell so far short of 405 sq as to make this a case for a serious misrepresentation. The General Manager of our cruise wrote to Viking's head office telling them "we have had complaints with this room in the past" (so Viking had already known about previous problems with these rooms) when we told him about our concerns. He told us Viking would only deal with us when we returned home. Which they did. Just as an aside (and a heads-up), unhappy travelers who decide to settle their claims with Viking are required, by Viking, to sign a non-disclosure agreement with Viking that prohibits us travelers from saying anything negative about Viking or talking about our experiences. Ever. Go through a travel agent. Protect yourself and your investment. Your own personal travel agent is interested in having "you" return as a future customer to whom they will sell future travel business. We also have an official BBB claim in progress against Viking (with photos). Variety is the spice of life. There is little or no variety here. And the more ships Viking adds, the greater is the impact on quality control. One of the two main elevators did not function for the entire duration of our cruise. The main oven in the restaurant did not operate properly one night and the raw fish for dinner was apologized for with free bottles of wine sent to rooms of all those who dined there. The room greatly impacted our ability to enjoy the cruise. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because it included Australia and New Zealand. This is a beautiful, well appointed new ship. The crew was fantastic, the food, and the entertainment were very good. There is never a long wait for dining, and every ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it included Australia and New Zealand. This is a beautiful, well appointed new ship. The crew was fantastic, the food, and the entertainment were very good. There is never a long wait for dining, and every seat has a view.The shore excursions left something to be desired, but they are new to this itinerary, so I can forgive them. We had a few problems one night, however, when we went to the proper channels they were quickly correctly, and from that moment on, we were treated like royalty by the entire staff. The embarkation process at each port was very slow because it seem that every tour came back the same time, and they only had one entry to the ship. The included Wifi was great. No trouble communicating anywhere. Overall, we would be very happy to sail with Viking again. This was our 39th cruise, and our first on Viking. We are an older couple, so we wanted a quiet ship , so if you're younger, looking for excitement, don't go on this ship. No children under 18 yrs and there were no couples on the ship under 45 of yrs of age. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We booked this cruise because of our previous experiences with Viking River and to join some friends. The process pre-cruise with booking excursions was horrible as most of the tours were listed as sold-out by the time they were opened to ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of our previous experiences with Viking River and to join some friends. The process pre-cruise with booking excursions was horrible as most of the tours were listed as sold-out by the time they were opened to us (and we were not in the last group!). The boarding process was very smooth and our cabin steward was very nice and capable. Once on board we found out that a number of the tours we had hoped for were now listed as available so we were able to get on some we were hoping for. The first night in the dining room was terrible. It took forever to get our meal and I had to send mine back twice because the meat was so under-cooked! The second and third nights were not much better but then they got into a rhythm and it seemed okay. However for the final several nights, I think they had new staff on board and the service dropped again. Most of the menus were not very exciting and somewhat repetitive. We went to most of the shows they offered. This was the first cruise for the Viking Vocalists quartet and their first shows were just okay. They improved but I think the choreography lacked pizzazz. The special entertainment that they had come on board was lacking. The Argentine tango duo danced well but they had too much narrative to their show. The guitarist played well but had no stage presence and little to interact with the audience. The Gertrude Opera was good but, again, the narrative distracted from the performance. The final guest performance, by the aboriginal dance theater, was excellent! We enjoyed the trivia times and the musical name that tune. I didn't think the guest lecturers were very good but did hear some positives from other guests. The excursions that we did were good. I heard some complaints about the Southern Alps trip and the Kangaroos and Koalas trip, neither of which we were on. The Healesville Sanctuary trip was an add-on excursion which we took and thoroughly enjoyed! Zealandia was a good one, also. The Napier tour by Classic Car was fun. Debarkation was simple and very easy. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I liked the original itinerary on Viking and that's why I chose it. After I had booked it, they eliminated Rotorua, New Zealand which was the stop I was looking forward to the most. They did give us a $500 per person credit, but I ... Read More
I liked the original itinerary on Viking and that's why I chose it. After I had booked it, they eliminated Rotorua, New Zealand which was the stop I was looking forward to the most. They did give us a $500 per person credit, but I wouldn't have booked it if I had known. The included shore excursions, with the exception of Aukland, were terrible. Poor choices of what to see, boring details, and lasted far too long. I booked $1,000 worth of extra excursions and I enjoyed them. Also, I have cruised on both Crystal and Oceania and the food on both is excellent. Some meals on Viking were good, but most were only ok. The evening entertainment was also a disappointment compared to Crystal. The room I was in was noisy during sea days and nights. We were above a life boat and I believe that contributed to the noise. It may not have been fastened down securely and it was creaking. I did book a deep tissue massage and it was fantastic. Even though I wouldn't recommend Viking, everyone working on the ship was outstanding. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Our previous experience with Viking was the Midnight Sun. We were pleased with the quality of services and ship. We arrived 3 days early in New Zealand and stayed an extra 4 days in Sydney. Time allowed by Viking would not have done ... Read More
Our previous experience with Viking was the Midnight Sun. We were pleased with the quality of services and ship. We arrived 3 days early in New Zealand and stayed an extra 4 days in Sydney. Time allowed by Viking would not have done justice to these cities. We planned our own package with the help of our TA. We were very happy with the ports visited. Shore excursions need a little work - you almost have to book paid excursions to see what you want. Tours overlap so you must choose; you might take two if timing was better. Christchurch is still recovering from the earthquake. Many of their monuments will never be rebuilt. We appreciated seeing what they have accomplished. The tram ride and botanic gardens were very good. Even included a surprise tea in the trolley. We found all guides to be very friendly. Some were more informative than others. Tour times/departures were well organized. All were walk-off - no tenders! We especially enjoyed Napier (Art Deco-car ride) and Dunedin (Taieri Rail Trip). Our first trip to this area of the world. Would definitely consider again if it weren’t so far!! Viking should do a better job at getting detailed information to passengers BEFORE the online booking date. The online experience is tedious and requires that you print your own info. We did receive a detailed list, but too close to our departure. Tours should also include meals and snacks when offered. We had several tours that included a meal (large snack) ther we weren’t expecting. A tour that left at eleven a.m. required you to purchase a meal. Better if we know ahead what will be provided Room service was excellent. Juan Carlos deck 4 - did a great job. Moved the coffee machine to a higher cabinet as we don’t use the machine in the room. Dining room staff still seems to be learning their way. The automated ordering system seems to have some slip ups. Bar and lounge service was great. We are husband and wife traveling with 2 friends. Manfredi’s-dined there twice. Found the food to be good quality both times. Second service was a little sloppy. One in our party received his pasta as a separate course-the rest had theirs included with the main course. I think this is a problem with the way the menu appears on the ordering app. Chef’s Table-also dined there twice. Xiang and Asian Panorama. Both meals were good; wine pairings well-suited. Portions were not huge, but gave a good idea of flavors. Was a full meal. The Restaurant-we found a good selection of food. Meats were excellent. What is missing is any local seafood. Now that Viking is around the world, the need to offer seafood beyond the waters of Norway. Ship needs to fix the dinner in the second to the last night. Two shows plus the Captain’s Farwell meant that almost no one could eat in The Restaurant after the first show. World Cafe - we found a good variety of selections for each meal. Varied offerings for many cultures; you could always find something to eat. Nice to add in special grill offerings every few days - chicken schnitzel, lobster, etc. Back by the pool area. Entertainment /Activities - good variety in entertainment for us. Varied from night to night. Lectures available if you wanted and a good selection in your cabin if you missed a port talk. Sea day activities sufficient for us. There were 8-9 activities scheduled - we did expect Viking to be more in the quiet side. Embarkation/disembarkation-very smooth for us. Arrived 15 min. prior to scheduled time and were let right on. Less than 10 people waiting. Short wait in the ship-sipping champagne-and our room was ready. Luggage all delivered within 30 min. Same for leaving the ship. We were independent travelers. Had breakfast and left the ship by 8:30a.m. Taxis readily available and we were at our hotel in 20 minutes. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Overall I enjoyed our cruise on Viking Orion. My husband and I booked with Viking because we were tired of large ships with no private space and we didn't want to be nickled and dimed. We wanted an adult experience without casinos, ... Read More
Overall I enjoyed our cruise on Viking Orion. My husband and I booked with Viking because we were tired of large ships with no private space and we didn't want to be nickled and dimed. We wanted an adult experience without casinos, dress up nights or photos. We also chose Viking because we liked the itinerary, shore excursions were allegedly included and the ship spent longer in each port. We were also tired of fighting crowds on larger ships. Our stateroom was lovely and the service was excellent, except for some minor issues in the dining room. Two serious difficulties arose during the voyage. First, Viking eliminated a port call in New Zealand called Roatua. Viking did provide $500.00 in a ship board credit for both my husband and me as compensation. I used this credit to book shore excursions. There was a serious problem with booking the included shore excursions. The excursions could only be booked 65 days in advance of the cruise on line. However, the included cruises were immediately sold out. So, if you were in a lower category cabin, there was often no included excursion available. The optional excursions were far more interesting than the included ones. The included excursions often conflicted with the included ones. It was frustrating, especially since I had to book several private tours. Some of the included city tours were less than impressive. I did enjoy several of the excursions....notably the Gannet Safari, the Taleri Gorge Train Ride and the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. I also enjoyed the resident historian, the shore talks and the enrichment activities on board. I found plenty to do on sea days. I would have liked extra time in Hobart and an extra day in Melbourne. The sail into Sydney Harbour was lovely. The entertainment on board was good. The cruise director was an Australian child star (now an adult) who did an excellent job. He did a terrific performance. The four singers on board did a credible job. I wasn't expecting the large Broadway shows performed on larger ships so I wasn't disappointed. I liked the free Wi-Fi, the included wine with dinner, not having to contend with noisy children, the enrichment activities and the lovely quiet spaces on the ship. I never felt crowded and I could always find a quiet place to read and relax. I didn't like the elimination of a port, slow service in the dining room or the issue with booking shore excursions. I felt that Viking engaged in false advertising with stating that a shore excursion was included I every port. For the reasons stated above, the included excursions could not be booked. I enjoyed the cruise but I am still trying to decide whether or not it was worth the additional amount of money that we spent above what we would have spent on Princess......I think we will likely book a Viking River Cruise but I am not sure about another ocean cruise. Again, I will have to use a cost benefit analysis......overall pleasant, upscale experience with helpful, friendly staff. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We have been on a Viking River cruise and really liked it. Have always had Australia/New Zealand on our list, so decided to try their ocean cruise. It was a great trip. It did not have the high budget shows, or casino or big parties, ... Read More
We have been on a Viking River cruise and really liked it. Have always had Australia/New Zealand on our list, so decided to try their ocean cruise. It was a great trip. It did not have the high budget shows, or casino or big parties, but had the level of entertainment and activities suited to what we like. They had a wonderful pianist, creative guitarist, violin/cello duo and fun singing group, all who entertained every day somewhere on the ship. We took all the included tours, which are mostly city tours, which are all considered easy, and fit our walking ability. Mostly ate on the 7th floor buffet so we could look out at the cities. Got really lucky and started in Auckland on their anniversary day which was celebrated on the pier next to the ship. Lots of music and fireworks. Learned a lot about New Zealand on the trip, which was our main objective. Watched the Super Bowl in the middle of the Tasman Sea, which was technologically cool. The one suggestion we would make to Viking would be to have scheduled seating times in the Restaurant, and assigned seating with other couples. We have done that on a number of cruises and found it a great way to get to know other people. The best part of our trip was the post cruise extension, Best of Australia, where we want out to Uluru-kata tjuta National park and Alice Springs. Had a great tour guide and lots of interesting sites to see. Learned so much about Aboriginal culture and history, as well as geology. Overall a very relaxed, enjoyable trip. We liked the smaller ship and hope to take more Viking River and Ocean cruises in the future. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Whe chose to try the Viking Ocean experience because we have enjoyed several river cruises with them. Unfortunatley, they did not live up to the excellent quality of thecriver cruises. It felt that the crew needed more training. They ... Read More
Whe chose to try the Viking Ocean experience because we have enjoyed several river cruises with them. Unfortunatley, they did not live up to the excellent quality of thecriver cruises. It felt that the crew needed more training. They weren't overly friendly and missed the mark in cresting a great experience. Communication was not great once on the ship. Their app works ok but doesn't let you add anything such as upcoming events so you have to keep track of your schedule on paper woth the daily and in the app for dinner, spa reservations. It was confusing. The music groups and evening entertainment were good when they were planned, however it wasn't every night. A couple nights it was taped Opera...and a lotvof bean bag challenges. A couple nights they did provide old movies in the pool area. The most frustrating thing was that we missed two (2) ports that we really wanted to visit. On a 14 day trip with already 3 days at sea planned that made our voyage 5 out of 14 days (or over 1/3) of our trip at sea and therecqas really nothing to do. It was pretty boring. The excusions that they included usually consisted of a trip in a bus around a city. Not that great. Overall I think we will stay with other lines to do an Ocean cruise and leave Viking for rivers. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise as the itinerary seemed very good and it seemed as though it was good to have some excursions and beer and wine included during meal times. Having said that, we had a very rough traverse of the Tasman Sea from Hobart ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the itinerary seemed very good and it seemed as though it was good to have some excursions and beer and wine included during meal times. Having said that, we had a very rough traverse of the Tasman Sea from Hobart to Dunedin. The ship rocked excessively from side to side, especially overnight the second night crossing. We enjoyed the excursions in Dunedin with great views of the surrounding areas from Signal Hill and a hike up Mt. Cargill. Cancelled Port: We were supposed to then travel to Christchurch, but despite indication that the sea was not all that rough ( certainly not as rough based on weather forecasts and other indications as the crossing in the Tasman Sea ), Christchurch was cancelled, citing safety concerns. We find it odd that of the 4 Viking cruise sailings between Sydney and Auckland, 2 were cancelled. And there was no compensation for Christchurch being cancelled. Ship It is beautifully appointed and there was never really a crowded area. There was comfortable seating throughout the ship. We were impressed by the cleanliness on the ship and that there were attendants constantly cleaning public washrooms. The cabin: It was nicely appointed and we found the PV2 to be a perfect size. The bathroom and main part of the cabin had ample space, although the veranda seemed a bit cramped to sit out on. Downside: The bed was painfully firm. This bed did not provide a comfortable sleeping experience. Food Quality: Dining we found to be questionable. The food, especially in the World Cafe was often lukewarm and sometimes overcooked. Desserts were quite amazing and gelato bar very popular. We had to send back several items in The Restaurant, including a lamb shank that was tough and lukewarm and a steak that was ordered medium rare and was definitely medium to medium well. What they call baked potatoes are not what I would refer to as baked. They are peeled potatoes and what I would call roasted, More than once they were overly soft and mushy. THis is a relatively smaller ship with just over 900 passengers, so there is an opportunity to do more frequent batch cooking. Often at dinner opening, the food was overcooked. One example was extremely overcooked mushy roasted wedge potatoes. The food was not all bad, however. The presentation was always excellent and taste usually very good. Included WInes: I found all the included wines to be very good. I suppose it would be difficult to satisfy all tastes as wine tasting can be so subjective. I was very grateful that throughout the cruise there were no oaked wines as I don't like that flavour. I think the wines were selected very carefully. Well done! Chef's Table Specialty Restaurant: We went to a dinner at the Chef's Table Specialty restaurant and enjoyed the Lotus fixed sample menu. However, we signed up for that night for a Thai menu and it was changed without a reason given. Reservations: Our dinner reservation for one of the nights in the specialty restaurant, Manfredi's was dropped off our list of reservations without explanation and no suitable fix was offered. Advice: Print a copy of all reservations on your account! That was a mistake on our part and they did not correct it. Lack of Follow Up by Management: As I mentioned earlier, I thought that the cleanliness and safety/sanitation was for the most part a focus on the ship. However, I filled out a questionnaire about a practice that I believe worked against maintaining health and safety. The comments were passed on and responded to, suggesting that I would see a noticeable change, which never happened. In all food venues on board, except the World cafe, all glassware was face up on the tables. In the World Cafe, the glassware was face down on soiled vinyl placemats. There was a risk of contamination between the drinking portion of the glassware and the soiled table mats. This is not congruent with the other good practices on the ship. I DID NOT appreciate a response that was only lip service and not a true follow up. I also filled out a survey upon disembarkation, commenting on the lack of proper follow up and nobody followed up from this either. Entertainment: We didn't attend a lot of the shows on board, but the ABBA review was pretty good, although a bit hammy. On the final night, they showed the film Bohemian Rhapsody, which was great as it is an Oscar nominated film this year. Service was excellent. All staff members would sincerely greet us at all times in the public areas of the ship. I can't say enough about the crew and their customer service. Explorer Dome: What some refer to as a planetarium, isn't really one. It is a film venue where those films are projected partly or fully onto the dome in a theatre above the explorer lounge. This is available only on the Orion and Jupiter ships. I thought the Mars show was excellent, simulating a human landing on Mars with international participants collecting specimens and reporting back to Earth. I would not recommend the Dolphins and Whales show. It only covered part of the screen and although 3D was of poor production quality. Spa: This was included with no extra fees, unless booking massages or other treatments. There were so many facets to it. Sauna, cold plunge pool, thermal pool, steam room, snow grotto. It was very refreshing and relaxing. I highly recommend visiting this area. There are towels and robes provided and the lockers are controlled by your room card, which was very convenient. The spa employees were very friendly and helpful, offering advice on receiving the maximum benefit from all the facets of the spa. Value: Questionable for a Canadian traveller, with a significant surcharge of over 35% in Canadian funds over the US price. For a 15 day cruise that cost over $22,000 CAD, a nicely appointed room on other reputable cruise lines could be had for significantly less, even if factoring in excursions and alcohol. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Overall, the cruise portion of our Aus/NZ trip was good. The itinerary was appealing as it included Hobart, Tasmania, and smaller centers in NZ. We arranged our own flights. Viking Orion is a classy looking ship with wonderful, ... Read More
Overall, the cruise portion of our Aus/NZ trip was good. The itinerary was appealing as it included Hobart, Tasmania, and smaller centers in NZ. We arranged our own flights. Viking Orion is a classy looking ship with wonderful, friendly fellow passengers. The vast majority were Americans, average age was a good 70. Public areas were well used but comfortable. My partner used the spa and really liked it. We were in a Penthouse Veranda and it has a minimalist decor with lots of storage, small veranda and good bathroom. Kept very clean and stocked with your choices. We did have to deal with the scalding hot/cool oscillations in the shower. This can be mitigated by turning the head on full force and adjusting the temp down until it at least it no longer sears. The bed is a king, good linens but for me way too firm. My sciatica acted up. I'm aware of the issues around booking shore excursions by suite category but we were able to book exactly what we wanted. Spaces did free up eventually on many showing sold out originally. Unlike some reviewers, I thought the optional excursions were great! Can recommend "Kangaroos and Koalas at Sunset" in Melbourne, "Wildlife Conservation Park and Historic Port Arthur" out of Hobart, "Great Houses of Dunedin", "Sheep Station & Te Mata Peak" out of Napier, and "Geothermal Rotorua" out of Tauranga. The food was of high ingredients quality, varied and attractively prepared. Shame, because more often than not, it was marred by too much salt, over richness and tepid serving temperatures. Kudos to the sushi, steaks and roasts, afternoon tea and service! Included wines were mostly good and generously offered. One of our Manfredi's reservations mysteriously disappeared and the restaurant manager just shrugged. We were usually too tired for the evening entertainment but did go to the planetarium twice. Not recommended as it is really just a mini Imax theater showing short childlike films. We had a very rough two day crossing of the Tasman Sea and then Christchurch was cancelled based on "safety first". Of course I defer these decisions to the bridge but where was safety first crossing the Tasman in those conditions, and sailing out of Wellington harbour in 100+ km/hr wind gusts? A much smaller cruise ship, the Caledonian Sky, sailed out of Christchurch to our port, Dunedin, the night we stayed put. It couldn't possibly have been as bad as the Tasman! Oh, and no compensation. Anyway, as only my second ever cruise, and having enjoyed the Viking brand, I have decided cruising is not for me but I certainly see the appeal to the many loyal Viking passengers. We met some great people who were always interesting to talk to! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Before we departed on our trip, excursions were cancelled by Viking. So we arranged independent tours only to have to cancel these excursions because Viking cancelled 2 ports during our cruise. Imagine being on board and having to call ... Read More
Before we departed on our trip, excursions were cancelled by Viking. So we arranged independent tours only to have to cancel these excursions because Viking cancelled 2 ports during our cruise. Imagine being on board and having to call tour companies and tell them our port was cancelled and can we get our money back within a 24 hour notice of cancellation. This was a nightmare. Christ Church and Hobart, Tasmania were cancelled during our cruise. These cancellations caused disappointments for every person on board. Viking said they would give us a credit. You won’t believe what they offered us. A $250 voucher to use on another cruise. Seriously this was a very expensive trip and we missed seeing Mt Cook and Tasmania. Also our room was wrong. The photo on the Viking website was not the room we were assigned. Viking has corrected the photo our incident. This photo has been wrong for several of their ships. And the pricing was wrong too. I can’t tell you the number of calls to Viking that it took for us to get our refund. This is not our first trip on Viking. And there have been problems on every trip. This first Viking River Cruise we were stuck at a horrible port for 2 nights in Passau, Germany. We were given a voucher to use on another trip. That’s why we took another Viking cruise and only to spend more money with Viking. We have refused the Australian- New Zealand voucher because I refuse to give Viking anymore money. And if we accepted the voucher they wanted us to sign a non-disclosure letter. We decided to not accept the voucher so that we could share our disappointing experiences with Viking Yes the ship is gorgeous, but the customer service is horrible and you can not believe that what you buy from Viking will actually happen. Viking has no problems in cancelling excursions, cancelling ports and docking in crummy ports. And they will not refund you your money. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I picked Viking For my ocean cruise because they did such a wonderful job on my river cruise in Europe. Unfortunately they are beginners on the ocean. The cruise was disappointing On many levels to the point of me feeling I had wasted my ... Read More
I picked Viking For my ocean cruise because they did such a wonderful job on my river cruise in Europe. Unfortunately they are beginners on the ocean. The cruise was disappointing On many levels to the point of me feeling I had wasted my money. Unlike the river cruise which was leisurely with a pampered and elegant feel, the ocean cruise was hurried And low budget. We missed several ports of call because passengers got seasick and there was too much wind? Unlike other cruises that pass out nausea medication prior to hitting open sea, Viking waited until passengers got sick and then rationed seasick pills. Some bought them in the pharmacy. There were barf bags On every floor. I saw one passenger vomit in the dining room. I didn’t see any wind. I do get seasick without medication but the water looked fine to me.There were rumors that the crew Lacked Ability to get into the harbors. The staff were all very pleasant and agreeable but lacked real comprehension of English. I was told my laundry was included in my cabin but was charged for it. A communication misunderstanding. I qualified for a free pressing but not for free washing.At dinner the waiters explanation of the meal described a casserole but it was just a piece of roasted chicken. The gentleman who gave the daily slideshow presentation had such a thick accent that we understood little of what he said. We were stuck for several days On board with Little to do Unless you play bridge or drank all day.Even our TV didn’t work. It took four calls for maintenance for them to replace the remote Which we said was the problem during the first Maintenance call. Unlike my river cruise where my gluten-free meals were arranged daily by one wonderful staff member, there was no coordination of meals On this cruise. I had to ask at every meal for gluten-free options. Sometime I got a stare. Often I got a cold roll after I had finished all of my meal. One time I was told to go stand in line at another location, ask for the bread and then come back to get the rest of my meal. I was told at times that there wasn’t a gluten-free option. I got daily letters at my cabin addressed to Mr. But I am a woman not a man. They never did fix it. Considering how many thousands of dollars I paid for the trip you would think they could at least know that much about me. My brother got food poisoning after eating mussels in the restaurant. My sister made several trips to the infirmary From riding in the wheel well Of a Jeep during A long day excursion. They missed several day excursions and Viking would not refund what they paid for them. I wrote a detailed letter to Viking when I returned home listing all of the above problems and more because there were more. All I got was a voucher toward another cruise which expired in 12 months. Absolutely insulting! After a cruise like that who would want to repeat it ? Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My wife and I go on a cruise almost every year. We have cruised with Crystal, Regent, Ocena, Princess, Cunard, Holland America over the years. Crystal has always been our preferred cruise line. We chose this cruise for three main reasons: ... Read More
My wife and I go on a cruise almost every year. We have cruised with Crystal, Regent, Ocena, Princess, Cunard, Holland America over the years. Crystal has always been our preferred cruise line. We chose this cruise for three main reasons: (1) I badly wanted to visit my mother's grave in Hobart (Tasmania) and this cruise included Hobart in its itinerary; (2) we wanted to go to Australian Open tennis tournament after the cruise; and (3) we wanted to see the main cities of New Zealand and Australia. Additional considerations for us included the newness of Viking Orion, good reviews of Viking ocean cruises, being only for adults and no requirement for formal attire. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The ship was beautiful; eveything on the ship had been tastefully designed. Our cabin was on deck 6 and classified as deluxe veranda; its size was perfectly satisfactory, the bed was very comfortable and the bathroom was fine. There was an excellent fridge in the room and the WiFi signal was acceptable. In commen areas WiFi worked very well about 80% of the time (10-15 Mbps), which is excellent considering the remote areas we were sailing at. Dining: There were two specialty dining venues in addition to the main dining room and the "world cafe" where food was served buffet style. There were also three other locations where one can have open sandwiches, hamburgers etc. Entertainment: Compared to other cruises there was minimal entertainment of relatively low quality. Since we didn't much care about the generally low quality stage performances on cruise ships this was not an issue for us. The lectures were fine. Now, why do I give this cruise only 2 stars: The captain decided not to go to Christchurch and more importantly Hobart for weather related reasons. In his announcements he repeated that "our safety was his main priority" and provided only scant reasons for his decisions, which didn't satify anybody because weather, as far as we could determine, was not particularly bad at either port. That is two ports of call out of seven. I was very disappointed and angry as I wondered when will I ever have another chance to go to Hobart. So we ended up spending two extra days at sea and one extra day in Melbourne, which meant nothing to us because we were going to be in Melbourne for Australian Open anyway. The food was prepared by non-specialist cooks and the quality was in general quite poor. Our first dinner on board was just awful and I knew right at the outset we were going to have problems with food quality. Dinner on December 31st, New Year's Eve, was nothing special. They made no effort whatsoever to celebrate the arrival of the new year in the dining room. The variety of the food items included in the menus of the main dining room and the World Cafe became absolutely monotonous and boring. Fruit selection consisted of melon, watermelon, pineapple, apples, and strawberries all of which were tasteless. There was plently of meat but very little edible seafood. They even managed to cook salmon welldone! Shellfish was also plenty but tasteless. Imagine, you are travelling in the middle of summer in places that are well known for their vegetables and fruits (e.g. kiwi fruit, mangos, peaches, grapes) and none of them made an appearance at our dinner table. Same for seafood. The fish served were all of European origin and frozen - that's probably why they always cooked the fish until it was compeletly dry. Barista coffee was bad - we were told by one of the coffee baristas that the machines, not the coffee beans, were to blame. The staff clearly needed more training and better language skills. Often they did not understand what we asked for. Poorly selected music (rock, country etc.) played loudly on deck 7 where everyone congregated most of the time. The cover over Deck 7 would often be closed when the weather was hot with no wind making the place like a sauna and open when it was windy and cool. I mentioned this to staff and got no response. The included shore excursions were good. We received an email from Viking offering us $250 credit towards a future Viking cruise for missing out on two ports of call. I also received a phone call from a Viking representative after we returned home who tried to sell me another Viking cruise by offering "additional (to $250) cruise credit as further compensation". That is not an acceptable service recovery in my book. I will not go on another Viking Cruise and my wife feels the same. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I’ve had New Zealand and Australia on my bucket list for a long time. With such great reviews of Viking Ocean cruises and having been very pleased with Viking River, why not. It was a mix of good and bad. In the good side was the ... Read More
I’ve had New Zealand and Australia on my bucket list for a long time. With such great reviews of Viking Ocean cruises and having been very pleased with Viking River, why not. It was a mix of good and bad. In the good side was the ship, service, food, entertainment gym and spa, especially the Nordic experience of steam, ice, etc. However, you take a cruise for the above but especially to see things. We were extremely underwhelmed with the excisions. Non descript ports and tours. The combined driver/guides were also boring. We did not see the picturesque New Zealand you hear about. In addition, we missed two ports, Christchurch and Tasmania due to rough seas in the Tasmin Sea. I absolutely get safety and and won’t question it but their compensation for missing two ports was a $250 credit to a future cruise. $500 off I’m a $20K cruise excluding air; INSULTING. I question is I ever take Biking Ocean again. I also understand that this was a maiden voyage from NZ to Australia. I think they were learning along the way on our nickel. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose the Viking Orion cruise because we had wanted to see Australia. We left on December 30 out of Auckland. As mentioned above the communication prior to leaving was inaccurate and insufficient. I really don't think the people ... Read More
We chose the Viking Orion cruise because we had wanted to see Australia. We left on December 30 out of Auckland. As mentioned above the communication prior to leaving was inaccurate and insufficient. I really don't think the people organizing this cruise were prepared. We continually got the impression that they would meet somewhere and decide what to do next. The food on the cruise was good, but not great. There were not enough salads and they only knew how to cook steaks 2 ways: well done or rare! The 2 speciallity restaurants were not really special. Manfredi's had Italian food that was only slighly better than the Olive Garden. The atmosphere was not at all elegant as you would expect for a "speciality" restaurant. There were plastic placemats and the lighting and overall atmosphere was just not good. The Chef's Table was bad. It was presented as a "groumet" restaurant, but it was hardly that. It had 4 courses. We went on Mexican night and the 1 st course was a single round corn chip with a small teaspoon of chopped octopus on it! The rest of the potions were equally small and not at all good. They arrived barely warm and were very small portions. The main course was short ribs. It consisted of a 2 inch square of molded meat that was the size of a brownie. It was cold and tasted like it was made last week! This restaurant used the same plastic placemats - not the white table cloths you would expect! We had another reservation that we canceled. Then, there were the Excursions! The included excursions consisted of sitting on a bus with the drive rattling off things to look at out the window. This was poorly done and usually we could not see what he was describing before we drove past. The worst excursion was one one we paid $129 for. This was the Otaga Wildlife cruise. For this cruise we boarded a boat that was probably 50 years old! It had no comfortable seats and was enclosed with cloudy plastic zip windows. They passed out binoculars to everyone. We ride was really rough and the boat driver narrated a script and pointed out a few birds (hardly the expected wildlife) that we could observe flying by as the boat swayed back and forth and bumped along at a fairly fast clip. Most of us could not focus on anything and maintain our balance on the boat. It was awful! A few people felt sick! I don't think the person who planned this actually went on this trip. I am furious that we paid for this! This trip was really rough! We spent a total of 5 days on very rough seas! As we walked along the halls, we would sway from one side to the other holding on to the rails! It was difficult to maintain your balance. There were many people who were sick! We missed the stops at Christ church and Hobart and Tasmania because of the rough seas! I don't anyone quite understood what we missed Tasmania because the communication was poor, as usual. Anyway, missing this stop caused us to spend an additional day on the very rough seas. Because we missed Tasmania, we had an extra day in Melbourne. We were promised 2 things: added excursions and compensation when we got back home. First of all, there were added excursions, but they had only a few places, so most of the passengers were left in Melbourne on there own. There was almost no help or guidance from the crew of things to see and how to get there. People go on tours and cruises, so people can guide them in sight seeing, Viking failed to do this or us! When we got home we were offered a $250.00 voucher to use on another cruise. This is a pathetic offer for compensation for missing Tasmania which is one of the major attractions on this cruise! I have only one more thing to mention. During the "At sea days", there were very few activities planned. There were lectures and a bean bag toss, but little else. Luckily, we brought a deck of cards. Oh and I almost forgot the mention that the cruise director was part of the evening entertainment. He was not a very good singer. I think his time would have been better spent on planning and organizing the cruise activities! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose Viking Ocean for several reasons. First we were tired of the large crowds of people on the other cruise lines we have sailed. We were tired of the photographers, casino, and poor excursions. We were happy to pay a little more for ... Read More
We chose Viking Ocean for several reasons. First we were tired of the large crowds of people on the other cruise lines we have sailed. We were tired of the photographers, casino, and poor excursions. We were happy to pay a little more for better excursions (as advertised on air) and to have wine and beer at lunch and dinner, coffee all day without being nickled and dimed to death. We thought Viking would be a great way to see New Zealand and Australia. It wasn't. First what was good about the cruise, the ship was beautiful. Its new, launched in June 2018. The stateroom Deluxe Veranda was comfortable and the bathroom was roomy, especially the shower. The food was good to excellent and the service was spot on, everyone was attentive. What was wrong? It started with booking excursions. We had to book excursions based on cabin level, so we could not book anything until 65 days prior to departure. It turns out we we were closed out of all the excursions we wanted to take. You also had to book your included excursions by choosing the time you wanted. So if you were trying to book an early one in order to get a later extra one, forget it wasn't going to happen. Once on board we found out that we were in the majority with regard to issues with booking excursions. Many people were up at 3:30 am EST in order to get the jump on booking on line. Many had gone and booked private tours with other tour groups in port. Image spending all this money and still going through this expense. The included excursions were not great, Auckland was terrible and the rest not much better. Just driving around in a bus seeing the city. The bus driver was the tour guide. Nothing like the excursions seen in the ads. Most passengers had traveled Viking before on river cruises and all were surprised at the poor quality of the ocean cruise excursions, nothing like the river cruise. We lost 2 ports due to poor weather. The sun was shining, but it was windy and the captain chose, for safety reasons, not to enter the port for Christchurch NZ. The sea was rough, so he slowed down to try to minimize the rocking and we could not make Hobart Tasmania on time. So it was cut out. They gave us an extra day in Melbourne and set up more excursions for the extra day. By 8 am the following day, all extra excursions were full. Surprise!!! Days at sea were BORING!!! No fun games, nothing. Just a bunch of passengers sitting around in all the reading nook areas reading. Pool was empty, sun deck too windy to play games, too rocky for bocce. Evening entertainment was so-so, 2 off ship performers were good but the last night in Sydney with the aborigine tribe was pathetic. It all sounded and looked the same from song to song. The planetarium show was a joke. A grade C- movie about a launch to Mars. All made up with the worst acting ever!! Overall for an ocean cruise, I could have stayed with Princess, cheaper, endured the crowds and gotten the same poor shore experience. We traveled so far and saw so little. SAD. They gave us vouchers towards our next booking to make up for the inconvenience. I called to complain on the amount and they increased it but it still does not make up for my loss. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Having cruised all major shipping lines over the past 30 years, I was thrilled to find Viking Orion cruising from Australia 30th December, 2018. Having heard the standard of this ship was equal to the best I had travelled on previously, ... Read More
Having cruised all major shipping lines over the past 30 years, I was thrilled to find Viking Orion cruising from Australia 30th December, 2018. Having heard the standard of this ship was equal to the best I had travelled on previously, I booked & paid top price for our accommodation onboard. By the end of the cruise, I was so disappointed with so many aspects of the cruise, I actually cancelled another booking I had for later in the next year. My biggest disappointment was that, because it was a New Years Eve cruise, a date I cruise every year, to celebrate, I couldn't believe how little was offered on the night. There was a countdown clock on the outside deck pool screen showing the time & then the wording Happy New Year displayed - & that was it. No balloons, no party hats, no whistles, no deck food etc - all the little things that go into making it a great night. The worst NYE I have ever experienced onboard a cruise ship. No flowers, fruit, chocolates on pillow in stateroom. Buffets with so little choice, it was difficult to find something worth eating. 2 ports of call were missed out due to "bad weather". I feel so sorry for people who had travelled halfway around the world to see Australia & New Zealand & ended up mainly having sea days. Why, when we couldn't get into Lyttleton (for Christchurch) didn't we go to the safe harbour of Akaroa near by - as did one of the larger Princess cruise ships on the same day. Viking, you have a great reputation with River Cruises - perhaps you should stick to them. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose the Viking Orion cruise because we have wanted to go to Australia and New Zealand for a long time and because of the excellent reputation of Viking ocean cruises. We will not take another Viking cruise. Although we have no ... Read More
We chose the Viking Orion cruise because we have wanted to go to Australia and New Zealand for a long time and because of the excellent reputation of Viking ocean cruises. We will not take another Viking cruise. Although we have no complaints about the ship or our cabin, we were shocked by the lack of worthwhile activities and the poor quality of the included excursions. The so-called enrichment lectures were a total bore and the speakers were not at all interesting or entertaining. One of the speakers never looked up from her prepared presentation which she read word for word. During the four sea days there was very little to do. We spent most of our sea days watching TV in our cabin. However, we did enjoy the 30 minute dance classes taught by one of the young Viking singers and the trivia game that was run by the assistant cruise director. We were disappointed that trivia games were only held on sea days. On other cruise lines that we have traveled with (I.e., Oceania, Crystal and Regent), trivia games were held on every day of the cruise. We went on two of the included excursions on the first ports, but the tour guides were so bad that we decided to explore other ports on our own. I thought that the food was generally good but my wife was very unhappy with the poor quality of salads in the buffet. On a positive note, the entertainment in the evening was very good, especially the shows that were put on by the cruise director, the assistant cruise director and the Viking singers. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
A bucket list destination with a line we trusted, we are probably more disappointed because of our expectations. We feel "betrayed" by poor communication prior to the trip and then repeated disappointment with excursions and ... Read More
A bucket list destination with a line we trusted, we are probably more disappointed because of our expectations. We feel "betrayed" by poor communication prior to the trip and then repeated disappointment with excursions and most off ship experiences. Included excursions were minimal quality, including poorly informed guides (except Sydney). When a Port Douglas extension (to see the Great Barrier Reef) was fouled due to a storm, there were no appropriate substitute provisions. We spent most of the time traveling and confined to the hotel. Final insult was attempt to charge for luggage for domestic flight back to Sydney. Beyond the subpar included excursions, there were inadequate spots on the expensive paid excursions. So, for example, we actually never saw a kangaroo because by the time we attempted to book that (single) excisions, on first available day, the excursion was full. And then there were the transfers. On first arrival to Sydney, we had a five hour layover before the flight arranged to Cairns. Five hours is long, but after flight from eastern US, it was an eternity. Upon return to Sydney, we were left to handle our luggage for several blocks between the terminal and the buses to the ship. In gale force, literally (Cyclone Owen), winds my rolling luggage escaped me. On the final day of the cruise, we disembarked at 7:10 in the morning and were transported to a hotel conference room to sit out the rest of the day, meals on our own, until our 8:10 flight that night. We did receive a transport to the airport where we discovered because our carrier had changed from the trip over, we owed $500NZ for baggage in excess of their allowances. We hope Viking has not tried to expand their ocean cruise market too fast to maintain their famous quality. We'll look harder before we leap again... Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The Viking Orion is a beautiful new ship we have been on 1 Of it’s sister ships The food was very good to outstanding The housekeeping was excellent The problem lies in being treated As a second class passengers If you are not ... Read More
The Viking Orion is a beautiful new ship we have been on 1 Of it’s sister ships The food was very good to outstanding The housekeeping was excellent The problem lies in being treated As a second class passengers If you are not in suites Luggage dragged in airport? No help with luggage at embarkation Lack of communication with guest relations Almost all excursions sold out Before we were able to get on line Had to have security transport us to Port gate after trying to have Viking staff help us to get to private tour This inspite of accessibility issues Included tours at best mediocre And could never get early times No currency exchange on ship A 5 star cruise is more like a 3 to 4 for people in non suites Staff never apologized for anything Booking of tours and restaurants Needs work Outdoor pool usually closed roof Making it almost a sauna The majority of staff did an outstanding jobless Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The positive points are as follows: beautiful ship, laid out very nicely, and very clean; crew personnel were very friendly, polite, people oriented, caring, and a great asset for Viking; entertainment staff were excellent and we greatly ... Read More
The positive points are as follows: beautiful ship, laid out very nicely, and very clean; crew personnel were very friendly, polite, people oriented, caring, and a great asset for Viking; entertainment staff were excellent and we greatly enjoyed their performance, and their interaction with the passengers; cabins were very comfortable especially the bathrooms which were very spacious and loved the heated floors; restaurants offered great selection and service and food were excellent with the exception of the Chef Table - we were very disappointed with the food choices and service in the Chef Table. Our negative points are as follows: for the most part, the excursions (most of them were ones that we paid for) failed to meet our expectations. Several excursions were rushed and passenger's time were cut short or rushed to maintain schedule. Based on our experience, we feel the excursions were too pricey for what we received. We would be glad to provide specifics and those that we feel were not worth the money and failed to meet our expectations. We also feel that our last day in Auckland could have been better planned to provide more opportunities to see more of Auckland prior to our departure, rather than sitting in a conference room in a hotel for 6 or more hours. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The ship was elegant as was the cabin. I enjoyed the choice of dining options and the housekeeping staff just awesome. Perhaps the only thing I feel could be improved upon were some of the free excursions. We felt that they could be more ... Read More
The ship was elegant as was the cabin. I enjoyed the choice of dining options and the housekeeping staff just awesome. Perhaps the only thing I feel could be improved upon were some of the free excursions. We felt that they could be more in-depth with more of a chance to explore the shops and perhaps to eat at the local restaurants. Otherwise the trip was worth the money and I would do it again. The trip allowed us to see another part of the world which was as beautiful as portrayed. I would recommend this trip to anyone wanting to see Australia/New Zealand. Viking delivered the experience of a lifetime. The entertainment and activities were of a wide range and enjoyable. Also, being on ship Christmas Day was even more special. The crew had all hands on deck for fun and enjoyment which was just awesome. If you are thinking of cruising consider Viking. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The new ship was great. The crew was exceptional. The food was great. One day while at sea from Tasmania to New Zealand, all passengers on Decks 2 and 3 were requested to meet on Deck 1 at 9 AM to complete and review their New Zealand ... Read More
The new ship was great. The crew was exceptional. The food was great. One day while at sea from Tasmania to New Zealand, all passengers on Decks 2 and 3 were requested to meet on Deck 1 at 9 AM to complete and review their New Zealand Declaration Documents. The line was way too long and the wait was way too long. Many passengers were very disappointed. This situation was evidence of very poor planning on someone's part. With today's technology it seems that each cabin should have good WIFI Service. That was not the case for our cabin 3032. We had very little if any WIFI service. Hopefully this deficiency can be resolved for you future passengers. I have to give Simba, Bruno and Ivana took very good care of our foursome while at the Poop Deck Par. They really made us feel at home. Thank you very much. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Our 4th Viking Ocean cruise (on four different ships). It's been interesting to see the minor 'tweaks' to each edition of ship that Viking has rolled out. But overall the Viking Ocean ships are amazing in our ... Read More
Our 4th Viking Ocean cruise (on four different ships). It's been interesting to see the minor 'tweaks' to each edition of ship that Viking has rolled out. But overall the Viking Ocean ships are amazing in our opinion. Not a huge 'mega' ship with thousands of passengers, but still offering excellent dinning choices and impressive stage/auditorium facilities. Always have interesting guest lecture series. And I am a big fan of their spa facilities. Specifically on this ship, the Orion, Viking has installed a small planetarium which was a nice option for entertainment (although they need to improve the 'caliber' of what they show as to content. One show 'Mission to Mars' may entertain a 8-10 year old, but to the average Viking passenger..... I'm not so sure. Try harder to entertain in the planetarium. To score the planetarium itself, I would give the facilities themselves a 100% score. Content to the movies shown inside? A score of around 75%. Always wanted to go to Australia/N. Zealand area. From someone who has had multiple Viking Ocean cruises, the one common area that I see they need improvement in is excursions. I'm not saying they are horrible. In comparison with other areas of the ship that I would grade between 95-100%, excursions would be graded in the 85-95% area. That's why I scored as I did. Read Less
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