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8 Viking Ocean Beijing Cruise Reviews

We just got back from our first Viking cruise that departed Beijing and ended in Hong Kong. We traveled with another couple and had a great time. We loved China and Hong Kong. However, I am not sure I would select Viking again. ... Read More
We just got back from our first Viking cruise that departed Beijing and ended in Hong Kong. We traveled with another couple and had a great time. We loved China and Hong Kong. However, I am not sure I would select Viking again. Here’s why: 1. For the money, the room sizes were ridiculously small. Nicely appointed but for the thousands of dollars spent, We expected more. 2. We were very disappointed in the food. Breakfast and lunch dishes were warm not hot. Some egg dishes in the am were actually cold. Dinner was hit or miss. We had a few meals that were excellent but then other ones that were “blah”. The desserts were disappointing in general. The cookies were horrible. Our meal in Manfredi’s was very disappointing. Slow slow service and mediocre food. 3. Service was very spotty. Our cabin steward was excellent..one of the best we have had. The bar servers were also great, especially in the Explorer’s lounge. However the food servers were disorganized. We would have plates stacked up and nobody would pick up. Coffee was sometimes almost impossible to get. It was also terrible coffee unless you used the cappuccino machines. Food sometimes took forever to get even when we ate early before the rush. While everyone tried they reminded me of new employees who didn’t have a lot of experience. I wouldn’t describe the staff as experienced professionals. 4. Other staff- spa staff were great. Very helpful and friendly. Guest services ok. The personnel in the two stores were terrible. I would have fired both. The cosmetics store person was down and out unfriendly and seemed like she was in a forced labor camp. The person working in the clothing store couldn’t understand English very well and didn’t know about the products she was selling. Also not friendly. The port talks were not very helpful. Entertainment was ok..about what you would expect for a smaller ship. 5. Pool areas - excellent. We loved the first floor pool and ice baths/sauna/steam rooms. 6. Shore excursions - hit or miss. The free ones weren’t very good. As one other person reviewed, we would be dropped off and told we had an hour when 5 minutes in some cases would be enough. Why would you take people to a shopping area with high end stores that we have here in the US and give us an hour? We can get those products back home. That’s not why we took this cruise. 7. Elderly and disabled - the most frustrating part of the cruise was having to deal with all the walkers and people with mobility issues on shore excursions. Viking needs to ensure that all people signed up for the excursions can walk, get up stairs, and go two hours without going to the bathroom. If they can’t, then there should be modified excursions for those with mobility issues. Why in the world would someone sign up for a castle tour if they can’t go up steps with their cane? Same for the Great Wall and other ports. All in all we had a great time despite these annoyances. However, we will check out other cruise lines for our river cruise we plan for next year. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Just did Beijing to Hong Kong (October 2019). The Viking Orion is a beautiful machine, and the crew is superb. The food quality, preparation, and presentation are not good. Many of the meat dishes were not edible. The talk of the ship ... Read More
Just did Beijing to Hong Kong (October 2019). The Viking Orion is a beautiful machine, and the crew is superb. The food quality, preparation, and presentation are not good. Many of the meat dishes were not edible. The talk of the ship was: 'how can the #1 cruise line put out such a poor food product?' Guests who were staying on the ship for more ports in Asia were plotting pizza delivery to the ship. Particularly striking was the excellence of the non-food crew who were uniformly excellent. The ship remained perfectly on schedule. The passenger interfaces were excellent. The excursions were a 50-50 kind of thing -- half good and half poorly executed. In hindsight, I should have gone with recommendations from Trip Advisor. Particularly vexing was a repeated plan of dropping guests in some site that deserved ten minutes and saying 'we will have one hour free time now'. Cannot imagine that Viking can retain such a high rating with such poor food service! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
First time on a Viking ocean cruise. Great ship. Great staff. Great food. So organized! The daily tours took us places we probably wouldn’t have ventured to on our own. The tour guides were very knowledgeable. The food was excellent ... Read More
First time on a Viking ocean cruise. Great ship. Great staff. Great food. So organized! The daily tours took us places we probably wouldn’t have ventured to on our own. The tour guides were very knowledgeable. The food was excellent with several restaurants to choose from. The only thing I would not do again, would be the Chef’s Table. I would turn that into a steakhouse, and make Manfredes (sp) more Italian. We always had excellent service in all the restaurants. No request was ever denied. Plenty of beer and wine was offered. Afternoon tea was lovely! Our cabin was lovely with plenty of space for clothing. Actually, more than enough. Loved the makeup mirror. Loved the mini bar. Very comfortable and spacious room. The entertainment was excellent. We got to know the entertainers. Nice variety. Onboard lectures were varied and enjoyable. Planetarium is a nice touch. Tours were so well organized. Pre and post cruise tours and accommodations were EXCELLENT! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Cruise provided 1) enjoyable and educational excursions. 2) a lot of history. 3) a good understanding of modern China. 4) a great sense of hstory of Okinawa. All accommodations,food, spa and exercise equipment were impeccable. We ... Read More
Cruise provided 1) enjoyable and educational excursions. 2) a lot of history. 3) a good understanding of modern China. 4) a great sense of hstory of Okinawa. All accommodations,food, spa and exercise equipment were impeccable. We enjoyed numerous on board lectures: history, shipping, and NASA/space travel. We did a river cruise on Viking Rurik, Waterway of the Czars (Oct 2018). W e really enjoyed that trip. We were very pleased with the Viking experience. We wanted to try an ocean cruise in Asia. Our experience on Viking Orion was as satisfying as the trip on Viking Rurik. We anticipate we will take another Viking cruise in the 24 months. The variety of excursions was wonderful. We did as many as we could. We visited temples, mosques, markets, local restaurants for lunch and dinner, acrobat show, tallest buildings, and night light shows. We traveled on mag-lev train (252mph), funicular rail (30 degree incline) and sampan (30’ ). Talking with tour guides and Viking staff really made the trip a warm and welcoming experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The cruise was everything we hoped it would be. From the moment we arrived in China Viking handled everything for us. The hotel in Bejing was first class. The tours provided were wonderful and the guides did all they could to ensure we had ... Read More
The cruise was everything we hoped it would be. From the moment we arrived in China Viking handled everything for us. The hotel in Bejing was first class. The tours provided were wonderful and the guides did all they could to ensure we had a good time. Once on board the Orion things only got better. The Penthouse Veranda was absolutely spectacular. Plenty of room and lots of storage. Excellent size bathroom with a large walk-in shower. Our room stewardess did an outstanding job the entire cruise. The dining experience was superb. Excellent food choices, the dining room was elegant. The service was perfect. We tried both specialty restaurants during the two week cruise. Getting reservations was never a problem. Our favorite was Manfredi's. Food and service was exceptional!! We also enjoyed the Chef's table but was not has impressed as we were with Manfredi's. The food was a bit to exotic for our taste. Would probably by pass the Chef's Table the next time we cruise. Overall, Viking knocked it out of the ballpark on this cruise. This was our third experience with Viking and once again we were not disappointed. Our next Viking experience is in September 2020 and highly looking forward to it! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My husband and I were looking to do something special to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We wanted a memorable event, and particularly a cruise. So we narrowed our choices down to travel to the Galapagos or travel to China. ... Read More
My husband and I were looking to do something special to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We wanted a memorable event, and particularly a cruise. So we narrowed our choices down to travel to the Galapagos or travel to China. After doing our research it seemed almost a no brainer to choose the Viking cruise with so many excursions included, the quality of the ship and the excellent service and amenities reported by previous travelers. We are avid travelers, but frankly like to stay in 4 or 5 star resorts. So, for us luxury at a good price is important. We've travelled on many other cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, Disney, Carnival, Princess and MSC. However, this cruise far exceeded our expections in so many ways. We departed out of Beijing and ended in Hong Kong, a 14 day trip. The embarkation process was fairly easy with no surprises. Our luggage arrived very quickly (within 90 minutes of our arrival) which was a far cry from what we've experienced on other cruises. We were greeted by an enthusiastic and very friendly staff. It seemed like everyone anticipated your every need. The crew consistently greeted us wherever we went onboard. The cabin was very comfortable (we were in DV2) which was spacious enough to store luggage and lots of compartments for clothing. The ship was absolutely beautiful with so many places to sit. Everything was in working order at all times. You never felt like there were alot of people around until it was time disembark! The pool deck was cool with the retractable roof. Meals and movies were great here. Speaking of meals, the food was absolutely superb. Loved the idea that you could making dining reservations at the restaurants in advance and that they were included in your cruise price. I think that was the best thing about the cruise, you didn't feel like you were nickled and dimed about everything. Most everything was included. Excursions were terrific and the guides were superb. We did so many tours and learned so much by the resident docents. All in all, this was one of the best vacations we've ever been on. We definitely look forward to our next Viking cruise once we are empty nesters! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Our son and his wife were recently posted to China, we were going to wait a few more months before going but our very good friends had booked this trip and asked us to join them. We had done a river cruise with Viking but this ship, the ... Read More
Our son and his wife were recently posted to China, we were going to wait a few more months before going but our very good friends had booked this trip and asked us to join them. We had done a river cruise with Viking but this ship, the size and number of passengers, the amenities, was outstanding. Everything is so well organized and bureaucratic difficulties (this was China, you know) never impacted the professionalism of the crew. Our cabin was huge with plenty of storage, even the bathroom was roomy. We had a balcony and enjoyed beautiful views in ports as well as being amazed by the constant water traffic on the seas. Our friends had been on a similar ship so we quickly learned the ropes - there are three pools! excellent speciality dining!! great shows!! and lectures!!!! and you can catch up from the room - or watch movies, TED talks. I found it hard to leave and loved at sea days as much as the days in port. We four spurged on the drink package (which is a deal compared to other lines) which made bottle selections at dinner more fun. We had great knowledgeable people helping us and even if another bottle had to be opened, there was no fuss. The sommelier wasn't actually drinking with us but we could feel his/her pleasure in our enjoyment. It was so hard to leave the ship!!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were on the 15 night Far East Discovery cruise from Beijing to Hong Kong! SHIP - Brand new and very luxurious. The decor suits the Viking brand and the crowd that these ships attract. One never feels like there are 930 passengers ... Read More
We were on the 15 night Far East Discovery cruise from Beijing to Hong Kong! SHIP - Brand new and very luxurious. The decor suits the Viking brand and the crowd that these ships attract. One never feels like there are 930 passengers aboard. There is never a crowd anywhere. The longest line was when people are getting off the ship in the morning to catch buses for excursions. The 2nd longest line was at the ice cream counter in the World Cafe after lunch and dinner. (Ice cream is made fresh on board and the flavors change daily!) There are numerous sitting areas where you can go to be by yourself. The retractable roof above the main pool is a nice feature, but on some sea days the roof could not be opened due to weather or smoke from the ship's stack blowing back into the pool area. When the roof is closed, the pool area heats up and it becomes like a sauna and is almost too hot to lounge around the pool. The free launderette on every level is a great feature. Free soap is dispensed by pushing a button on the wall after starting a washing machine. I worked out on the stationary bike and washed my workout gear and did an additional load on every sea day. We only had to wait for a machine on one occasion and then for only 1/2 an hour. We had 20 ft swells for a couple of hours due to the remnants of typhoon Yutu and Viking Orion handled them very well. But, we were in the middle of the ship, so we did not feel the up and down movement that those in the very forward and aft cabins must have felt. Lots of people used the 1/4 mile walking track on level 2. Passengers are mostly retired folks from the US, UK and Canada. CABIN - Every cabin is bigger than average for a cruise ship and has its own balcony. The smallest cabins have 270 sq ft and this is the size of the majority of the cabins on the ship. We found that we had plenty of space. Closet space is well laid out and the bathroom is very spacious. Showers are plenty big enough for the average sized person. DINING - Food is excellent and there is plenty of it. Reservations are required at Manfredi's and The Chef's Table. Manfredi's is the Italian restaurant on board and it has excellent pasta and steaks. The Chef's Table has a set menu with smaller portions and the menu changes every few nights. Often after excursions, people are too tired to get dressed up, so If you don't have a reservation at either, just show up and ask if they have an available table and you will probably get seated. It helps if you are willing to share a table with others. We found some of the offerings in the Chef's Table to be a little strange for our taste. The Restaurant does not require a reservation and has great food, also. All of the above are supposed to be evening casual, but I did see a couple of people with blue jeans and one lady in tights. While a few gentleman had jackets and ties on, the vast majority did not. I brought a sports jacket and wore it only once. The World Cafe is the on board casual buffet and there is poolside dining that consists of hamburgers, hot dogs, salads, etc. We used the included room service when we had an early excursion and on sea days before going to the spa to workout. Room service always arrived within 5 minutes of the requested time.There is afternoon tea around the pool, but we were either busy or never had an appetite at the time it was offered. ENTERTAINMENT - We only attended 1 lecture on China, but it was excellent. People that we spoke to who attended other talks said they were all very good. There were two persons on board who gave lectures on Asian/Chinese culture and history and one person who was giving scientific talks. There was a Haloween party around the pool and the band played till 10 PM. A magician was on board and gave 2 really good shows. He was as much a comedian as a magician. The band and vocalists did a Beatles/Abba tribute one night. SERVICE - Every person on board the ship bends over backwards to meet all needs of the passengers.The entire crew has a smile on their face almost always. The rooms are cleaned top to bottom twice daily. PORTS - The ports that are visited are basically the ones where China has opened a cruise terminal that Viking Orion can get into. All of the cities are interesting and have their own offerings. We had to skip the Japanese islands of Okinawa and Ishigaki due to typhoon Yutu, so we had an extra sea day and an extra day in Hong Kong. Due to missing two ports, Viking gave us an on board credit while on the cruise of $150 per passenger and a $250 credit per passenger on all future Viking ocean or river cruises. The port talks were very informative. EXCURSIONS - This is where the disappointment is. While in China, be ready to visit a temple, a garden and a market in every city. The guides in Qingdao and Xiamen could barely speak English. They could answer only the simplest of questions. They had memorized a script and could really not offer much else. They are all very young and most of them tried very hard, but their inexperience at controlling a group and lack of language skills made it very difficult for them and frustrating for the people on the excursions. After the excellent guides we had on a Scenic Danube river cruise the previous year, this was a great disappointment. However, due to Hong Kong's association with England, the guides in Hong Kong were more mature and they spoke fluent English. Most of the included excursions had a market as one of the stops. There was NEVER enough time included in the schedule to really see these markets. In Xiamen, there is a pedestrian shopping area that we were only given 20 minutes to visit. It had hundreds of shops and stalls. I think the included excursions with market stops should be extended by an hour each to give passengers more time if they desire. On two excursions, meals were provided. On the included Great Wall excursion, the meal was in a hotel exhibition hall and was very 2nd rate. On the last night in Hong Kong, the meal was in a restaurant in a large shopping mall and again the food and service was only 2nd rate. The Peking duck was fatty and all our table got was pieces of skin. Both meals were similar to a cheap Chinese restaurant in the states. In Hong Kong, we were each allowed only 1 glass of wine or 1 beer or 1 soft drink with the meal. Not what you would expect on a 'luxury' cruise. BUSINESS DEALINGS - When we called to inquire about the cruise, the telephone sales rep informed us that since the port terminal in Dalian was not ready, Dalian had been removed from the itinerary and we would get a $150 on board credit per passenger due to this. After booking and receiving an email from Viking with our booking info, we logged into MyVikingJourney web site and immediately we got an alert telling us about the Dalian situation and again promising $150 on board credits. After we were on the ship for one week, the $150 credits had not shown up on our account, so I visited Guest Services and the young lady stated to me that since Dalian had been taken off the itinerary before we booked, we were not eligible for the credits. I informed her that we SHOULD get the credits since the sales rep had promised it to us AND we got an alert on MyVikingJourney that confirmed what he had said. It was apparent that she wanted me to just go away, but I stood my ground until she said she would look into the matter. A day later the credits did show up on our on board account, so I did not have to make a 2nd visit to guest services. Although this is advertised as a Beijing to Hong Kong trip, you won't see Beijing unless you do the extension. Upon arrival at Beijing airport, there is a 3 hour drive straight to the cruise ship terminal, which is actually in Tianjin. You never go into Beijing itself. We would definitely do another Viking ocean cruise. This was our first luxury cruise and I don't think the on board experience could be any better. I can only guess that the poor quality of the excursions is due to 1) Chinese ports just being opened up to western cruise lines, 2) these are the initial visits to these ports for Viking, and 3) experienced tour guides are non-existent since in most cities, only the youngest Chinese speak any English at all. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
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