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19 Viking Ocean Trans-Ocean Cruise Reviews

We liked the itinerary. It hit several places on our bucket list, such as Petra and the pyramids. We really enjoyed the lectures that prepared us for every stop. The staff was amazing. We adored our steward who was very attentive. And ... Read More
We liked the itinerary. It hit several places on our bucket list, such as Petra and the pyramids. We really enjoyed the lectures that prepared us for every stop. The staff was amazing. We adored our steward who was very attentive. And we felt very safe, even when we were sailing by Somalia. The ship is lovely and very well designed. The interior decorating is very Scandinavian and comfortable. There were lots of places to relax. Even though there were nearly 900 people on the ship, we never felt it was crowded. The food choices were excellent, and we probably ate more than we should have! We really enjoyed having a variety of food venues and the option to eat both inside and outside. We liked the experience so much that we signed up on board for another cruise on the ORION in Nov. 2019 -this time to Southeast Asia. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I chose this cruise because I liked the itinerary and had not been to this part of the world. The Passage to India exceeded all of my expectations. The Viking Orion is a beautiful ship! The cabins are spacious, well laid out and ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I liked the itinerary and had not been to this part of the world. The Passage to India exceeded all of my expectations. The Viking Orion is a beautiful ship! The cabins are spacious, well laid out and comfortable. The common guest areas are decorated with comfortable furniture, unique accessories and art work. Dining areas provide lovely views and welcoming atmospheres. The food and drink are wonderful—fresh, delicious, tasty and plentiful! The shops provide a wide variety of merchandise with a range of prices. The merchandise is high quality, unusual, and hard to resist. What you purchase on the Orion you will not find any where else. The shops’ personnel are friendly, professional, knowledgeable and customer focused. The entertainment was outstanding and top notch. I loved the on board lectures and the chance to hear experts in person as well as watch their presentations in my cabin. The officers and crew are true professionals who care about you and want to ensure everyone has an outstanding experience on the Viking Orion! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our 3rd Viking Ocean cruise. Nothing beats Viking.kin we have sailed on Seabourn, Oceania, Azamara and Crystal Nothing compares to Viking. Included shore excursions are great. guides are super. Variety of food onboard ... Read More
This was our 3rd Viking Ocean cruise. Nothing beats Viking.kin we have sailed on Seabourn, Oceania, Azamara and Crystal Nothing compares to Viking. Included shore excursions are great. guides are super. Variety of food onboard is great. Public areas are comfortable. Staff is professional. Cabin service excellent. For our anniversary we received champagne and a cake in our cabin. While on a post-excursion for 5 days in India, we received celebratory gifts in each hotel. Magnificent treatment everywhere. Guides in all countries spoke excellent English. Main dining room lighting was too bright. Food great though. Marvelous cruises--- classy ship. Entertainment is not up to par. Repetitive entertainers, amateur stuff. Classical music venues are excellent. Cruise director Mark Bregnone is a pro. Terrific singer, entertainer, with a great personality and organizational skills. We feel at home on Viking. So many places to go.... such a great way to travel. Can't be beat. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Hadn't been to four of the countries and looked forward to seeing them. Have always enjoyed the Viking river cruises so wanted to try an ocean cruise. Some of the tours were a bit disappointing-a three hour plus ride and then spending ... Read More
Hadn't been to four of the countries and looked forward to seeing them. Have always enjoyed the Viking river cruises so wanted to try an ocean cruise. Some of the tours were a bit disappointing-a three hour plus ride and then spending 30 to 45 minutes to see the area and another 3 to 3 and a half hour bus ride to return to the ship. Petra was amazing as were the pyramids and Luxor too. The living room areas were very nice - there were so many areas to have quiet time. Enjoyed the high tea at 4pm each day. The pools were never crowded. Loved Mamsen's for the Norwegian foods. The Spa was great and interesting to have a snow room. Enjoyed the guests-found many interesting people with whom to chat. The Captain was the best! He was very friendly and approachable. The rest of the crew was very pleasant and helpful as well. Thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
What sold us about the cruise are the destination. The Viking Orion is beautiful with plenty public sitting and relaxing area beautifully Scandinavian furnishings. What impress us is how friendly the crew are. They are always smiling, ... Read More
What sold us about the cruise are the destination. The Viking Orion is beautiful with plenty public sitting and relaxing area beautifully Scandinavian furnishings. What impress us is how friendly the crew are. They are always smiling, say "hello" to you even you walk by them. We love the World Cafe, their food and services are better than the other dinning rooms.you can find king crab legs every night there. The order to cook oriental dishes there are great. The only thing is the storeroom services can be a little more efficient. They don't clean our room until after 10 a.m in the morning or prepare our beds after 9 p.m. I wish they can do it earlier. Maybe too many rooms to clean by 1 storeroom stewardess. Overall it was a great trip with some minor excursions mix up. Too many days in Mumbai especially for those with the 35days segment. They should have an overland excursion to the Tah Mahjai. Also, 1 day in Sri Lanka is enough. Overnight should be added to Penang and Singapore so passengers can enjoy the night food market and night life in both places. Too little time in these beautiful places. Also, entertainment can be brush a little bit. Aiden Soon 's performance is incredible, one of the best we saw in our cruises experience. Need more entertainers like him. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We had done 4 River Cruises with Viking and enjoyed them very much. The staff was friendly and had great Stewarts. We enjoyed most of the tours, except the Saint Catherine Monastery, which we felt it was not worth the time on the ... Read More
We had done 4 River Cruises with Viking and enjoyed them very much. The staff was friendly and had great Stewarts. We enjoyed most of the tours, except the Saint Catherine Monastery, which we felt it was not worth the time on the bus (7 hours) for a 30 minutes tours of the monastery. Waste of time and money. Enjoyed the tours in Greece and Jerusalem. Petra was wonderful, the pyramids was fabulous, Luxor was great and had a wonderful time the days at sea. The food was excellent through out the restaurant with a varaity of choices. we also enjoyed the scandinecvian restaurant, Mamsens, and trying those Norwegian delights made my wife very happy. She is Norwegian descendant. We also enjoyed the high tea, the spa and the specialty restaurants. Overall we were very impress with Viking Ocean cruises and have already reserve two additional trip for 2019 and 2020. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We sailed from Athens to Bangkok on a 36 day cruise called the Voyage of Marco Polo. Certainly a grand name, and the voyage lived up to it. I captured my full journey on Instagram on my billwscott account. Embarkation After ... Read More
We sailed from Athens to Bangkok on a 36 day cruise called the Voyage of Marco Polo. Certainly a grand name, and the voyage lived up to it. I captured my full journey on Instagram on my billwscott account. Embarkation After arriving in Athens we were picked up by staff from the Viking team, quickly guided to our bus and before we knew it were in our stateroom with Malaya & Teresa explaining all the features of the Penthouse Veranda. The first evening we had a wonderful outing to get a quick panoramic look at Athens and then a delicious dinner in a quaint restaurant in the heart of Athens. The next night the Captain's welcome was warm and funny. Ship The Viking Orion is just an absolutely stunning ship. Forward on the 7th floor is the Explorer Bar next to Mamsen's. In addition to having a full sweeping view, the delicious desserts at Mamsen's had us coming back again and again. We spent many afternoons and evenings there reading and relaxing or listening to entertainment. The Atrium is a 3 story open air area that was also a favorite of ours. My wife was constantly at the jigsaw puzzle table on the second floor of the Atrium. The ship size is perfect. About 900 guests and 450 crew. Never, ever felt over crowded. Most of time it felt expansive and roomy. Stateroom The Penthouse Veranda was exactly the size room we needed. It had a full sofa, table, desk area, king size bed, nice size bathroom with large shower. While there are larger rooms, I never ever felt cramped. It felt just right. We had 4 very large suitcases and they fit under the bed easily. Out of site and out of mind. Malaya & Teresa kept our room new each day and turn down service every evening refreshed our room as well as receiving the Viking Daily. Dining Everything is made from scratch and fresh. The breads, desserts and ice cream (made fresh on board) was off the chart. The World Cafe provided a really deep assortment of food that was varied enough to never feel like you were getting the same food. The food there was A+. Every night there was sushi and many nights crab legs. The Chef's Table is the gourmet restaurant and the food was pre-selected by the Chef and each time we dined there was a real treat. Manfredi's is another reservation only restaurant (World Cafe and The Restaurant are walk-in) that specializes in Italian fare. With a portion of the menu fixed and another portion changing with the cruise, we always felt it was a cut above. The Pool Grill made amazing burgers, hot dogs and ahi ahi and always had an amazing assortment of salads. Beer & Wine is free during any meal time hours whether in the restaurants or in the bar. Entertainment & Activities We didn't spend a lot of time with entertainment though the special talks and the magic shows were top notch. What we did spend a lot of time with was the Spa. LivNordic runs the spas for Viking Ocean Cruises and it is definitely my favorite spa concept. Following Nordic Bathing Rituals, the spa has: dry saunas, steam sauna, snow grotto, hot tub, cold plunge pool and swimming pool. The service is free. I became massively addicted to the dry sauna and cold plunge. In addition, I had some great Yoga & Pilates/balance classes with Anna & Pricillia. Speaking of Pricillia, she is the best massage/physical therapist I have ever worked with. Trained in Nordic, Swedish, Thai (she spent several months training in a Thai temple) and Busquet (a french whole body method). The latter really transformed my body. Charlotte & Sophie are gems in the salon. They provide great haircuts and styling, manicures, pedicures, facials, etc. The gym is definitely fully equipped and I enjoyed a session with Dejan (trainer) for a small charge. Service WOW. Just WOW. While other cruises seem to want to nickel and dime you, there is very little that you have to pay for as it is really all inclusive. All the coffee, sodas, tea, water you want. Beer & wine are free during meal time throughout the ship. Other drinks come at a reasonable charge. What this means is the staff is focused on serving and not upselling. You won't find art auctions, casinos, photographs to buy, water to pay for, etc. The staff is just so helpful and friendly. About a dozen we got to know pretty well. Ports of Call/Excursions Many wonderful ports: Athens, Haifa, El Said, Aquaba, Goa, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand made for a widely varying cultural exploration. A few suffered a little from being a bit far from the attractions. Recommended Yes, yes, yes. I have booked a Viking River cruise in 2020 because I feel so strongly about Viking. BTW, there are no kids under 18 on the ship. I like kids, but I loved being on a ship without them ;-) Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our first cruise with Viking but I am sure it won't be our last. Previous cruises have been on much larger ships so were looking forward to discovering the difference. From day one we were blown away by the spaciousness of ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Viking but I am sure it won't be our last. Previous cruises have been on much larger ships so were looking forward to discovering the difference. From day one we were blown away by the spaciousness of the ship.The decor is wonderful and restful. No where was crowded and you could relax anywhere. The cabin was of a good size with plenty of storage space. Bathroom was great with seperate shower and heated floor, not that we need that as everyday was hot. Our cabin stewards were excellent and nothing was too much trouble. Free laundry was a real bonus. Just had to make sure got back in time to remove from machines as they were in high demand. Having said that, I never has to wait to use one. The restaurants were of a high standard but we chose to eat mostly on the Aquavit Terrace as was so pleasant in the morning and evening. It also meant that our friends could always find us!!! The pools were never crowded and the water was usually warm but sometimes a little too warm due to the very high temperatures we were travelling in. Unlike other ships there was never a problem finding a sun lounge. Spa was fabulous and a lot of fun. We tried the golf putting greens which were a real challenge. Entertainment was of a fairly high standard but didn't perhaps have the variety of larger ships.We enjoyed every performance we went to.The enrichment talks were extremely good and we learnt so much from the varied subjects presented. Trivia was always fun even though no prizes but that didnt stop the competitive nature of the players. I think Viking will have learnt a lot from this cruise about the shore excursions. We found the included tours to be very hit annd miss and unfortunately mostly a miss.This was the first time the ship had been to many of these ports. The tour guides were sometimes very hard to understand and the itineraries lacking in substance. A lot of the ports on this cruise were a long way from the city which we were visiting which meant a lot of travelling time in very hot weather. We organised a lot of private tours which worked very well and were more cost effective. In summary Brilliant ship. Excellent staff everywhere on the ship. Fabulous itinerary. Met wonderful people who hopefully we will be able to catch up with again in the future as we had so much fun. Missing it all already Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My friends were going on this trip and I was sure it was a lifetime opportunity to see countries I would never see on my own Every detail of the ship was first class and beautifully designed. My cabin spacious and with view over bow of ... Read More
My friends were going on this trip and I was sure it was a lifetime opportunity to see countries I would never see on my own Every detail of the ship was first class and beautifully designed. My cabin spacious and with view over bow of ship from bedroom window. Additionally I had a deck to the side and got up to watch sunrise and entry into each port. I liked not feeling claustrophobic. The service was immediate and continuous for any personal need. Staff friendly. Room service free at any time. The food was varied in choices and artfully prepared and delicious. There was always varied entertainment, or spa available as well as lectures on subjects related to the tours. There was a great choice in tours and I was able to snorkel in two ports. I viewed the Pyramids, Sphinx, Taj Mahal, WadiRum, and a lot of famous old forts. I always felt safe on tours and sailing around the horn (Somalia) as additional measures were taken. I would have preferred more shopping experiences in port, frequently taken to state run shops that were terribly expensive and limited, and we were given maybe 15 minutes to hurry and choose with staff breathing down our necks "to help". We all preferred to shop in regular venues on the streets. I did love the factories in India for rugs and clothe, to see demonstrations handmade goods. Although I am not a fan of busses but they were ok. Sometimes I felt crowded for leg room as mine are long. A few of the tour guides were not great and disappointing, but on the whole they, the guides were good. For the amount of people onboard there were no long lines and the ship was extraordinarily clean!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
After 20 plus cruises on several cruise lines, we wanted to go to new places and to try Viking Ocean. We weren't disappointed ! The itinerary covered ten countries and a trip thru the Suez Canal. The ports/cities were often not ... Read More
After 20 plus cruises on several cruise lines, we wanted to go to new places and to try Viking Ocean. We weren't disappointed ! The itinerary covered ten countries and a trip thru the Suez Canal. The ports/cities were often not upscale and the weather was consistently in the 90's and very humid. Despite that, the experience was excellent. We will likely never get back to countries like Oman, India, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia again. After some long, tiring, and very hot excursions, we always came back to the welcoming comfort of the Viking Orion. The Orion was only two months old when we embarked and it is a spectacular ship. The Scandinavian clean, uncluttered design is very appealing. The ship appears to be almost perfect size - big enough for some good entertainment at night and some choices of restaurants; and small enough to be personal and never crowded feeling. My wife's parents were born in Sweden - she loved the Scandinavian touches , particularly the design themes and the food at Mamsens. Embarkation in Athens and disembarkation in Bangkok were a breeze. We were in a basic veranda cabin and found it roomy enough. The bathrooms are much better than other cruise ships. The communication/information system on the cabin TV's is great and easy to navigate. The elevators are well located and you almost never wait for one ! Where is everyone ? We tried all of the dining venues but ate more meals in the Restaurant than in the others. Food and service was very good in the Restaurant. It is not as grand a venue as on larger ships, but it is comfortable. We never waited for a table and the host knew our names and preferences by the third day. The Italian restaurant, Manfredi's, has excellent food , but the venue is a little loud. It was sometimes difficult to book a reservation at a reasonable time for Manfredi's. When we showed up ahead of time, they normally accomodated us. We tried the Chef's Table three times and were reasonably happy. You had to check the menu ahead of time or you could be disappointed. It was easy to get into. Viking can probably do something better with this space. The buffet venue is overwhelmingly better than any that we have experienced. It is relatively uncrowded and the food is very fresh and tasty. Many travelers ate there for almost every meal. You had the option of eating outsides, although the hot weather on our cruise limited that. The small, production crew was quite good, but didn't do enough shows. The theater is a wonderful venue and was heavily used for enrichment lectures and port talks. These presentations were really well done and surprisingly well attended. Often more crowded than the production shows or the evening specialty entertainer. There are much fewer scheduled activities than a larger ship, but we certainly didn't miss having a casino. The exercise room was more than adequate and the free spa is outstanding. Service was uniformly great, the best we have ever experienced. Very good service in all restaurants and bars, but particularly noticeable in the buffet. Unlike most cruise lines, they do a great job of servicing the tables there. We were pleasantly surprised with the included excursions. I had read many critical reviews, but we did not feel let down. Many of our included excursions were ten hours long and would cost $150 to $200 on other cruise lines. We liked all the optional excursions we bought. We booked our next Viking Ocean cruise before we left the ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was a “bucket list” cruise for our 25th anniversary. We are so happy that we went! The tours we took were wonderful, informative, and frequently breathtaking. (The one exception was Jerusalem, where the guide was terrible, but ... Read More
This was a “bucket list” cruise for our 25th anniversary. We are so happy that we went! The tours we took were wonderful, informative, and frequently breathtaking. (The one exception was Jerusalem, where the guide was terrible, but still, Old Town Jerusalem was amazing). The lectures on the boat were more than we could have hoped for. In particular, the comparative religion guy was great—even-handed and informative. He especially good about how the religions interrelated historically and what they had in common or differed. It was so important to have that through the Middle East through Southeast Asia. By the time he finished his lecture series, it was standing room only. The dining was very good, particularly the special restaurants, which were great. The only two changes about the main restaurants that I’d make: 1) the “local” ethnic specialties (e.g., Indian curry while we were in India, etc.) were a little watered down, I guess so as not to scare us. This was not true of the extensions, where the food was truly authentic and amazing. 2) while the deserts were truly beautiful-looking and well-prepared, the flavor was a little bland. Overall though, the ingredients were top-notch, perfectly prepared. The rest of the food was terrific, and such a wide variety. Even with the two caveats, the food was better than other cruise lines. The entertainment was fun, particularly the trivia contests. The two cruise directors were very funny. The onboard entertainers were young and enthusiastic, with good singing voices. Homusianswever, their selection was a little dinner-theater-y. The cellists and pianist were really good musicians. The amenities couldn’t be better, and there were so many places to go on the ship, we never felt closed in. Finally, the massage therapist I had on the ship, Priscillia, was the best one I’ve ever had. I had had hip problems since I was a teenager, but she adjusted one hip, and now the whole thing is about 90% fixed! I guess she was so great because she was a licensed physical therapist. Who would have thought, on a cruise ship? Anyway, what a great cruise! We were happy the whole time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Background information This is our seventh cruise, and the first with Viking Ocean Cruises (VOC). We selected the voyage based on the itinerary, final destination, and time of year. This voyage allowed us to compare VOC with similar ... Read More
Background information This is our seventh cruise, and the first with Viking Ocean Cruises (VOC). We selected the voyage based on the itinerary, final destination, and time of year. This voyage allowed us to compare VOC with similar Azamara (AZ) and Oceania (OC), which we used previously. I retired a year ago and my wife wanted to visit Hong Kong again. Ship information Orion was put into service earlier in the summer, so anything is new. We liked that VOC includes everything except tips, drink package (we don’t), optional excursions, Kitchen Table, and spa service (no need). The VOC provides minimal computer support because most people are computer literate by now. The VOC WiFi (which is free) security meets the security requirements of financial institutions. Streaming movies from the internet most of the time was not a problem in our cabin possibly because we were close to a router, though we heard other people were having problems. The Library shows up on Deck 1, but is spread out over Deck 7 (swimming pool area, the Lanai, Explorers Lounge) and Deck 8 (upper Explorers Lounge). The spa has numerous restrictions on use with anyone with medical conditions, so its use was lost on us. Activities We used the gym almost every day except on the days with all day excursions. The gym was equipment was excellent. The aerobic machines were crowded from 0600 to 0700, especially on sea days. The rest of the day, the equipment is open. The other parts of the gym were not busy during the day. During the sea days, we used the enrichment program after the gym and stream movies using the VOC WiFi (most of the time very good), or just lie around the Explorers Lounge with a an ebook. Service In general, the service throughout the ship was mostly excellent. For Housekeeping, the cabins were available earlier than the VOC stated times. Our cabin attendant did not just stop by to say hi, but went through the entire cabin to explain everything. More closet hangers, bath towels, and bottled water were provided without question. The cabin was well attended throughout the cruise. Well done. For dining, service was generally good everywhere with a few lapses due to staff inexperience and language problems. The World Cafe could use more servers at lunch and dinner. We had only one service breakdown in The Restaurant that required speaking to a manager. What we really liked about the World Cafe was the ability to talk directly to the line cooks to prepare foods to our liking, especially vegetables. They all were very eager to please. We can not say enough about the VOC port agents. I had an old medical condition that flared up in Ho Chi Minh City. The port agent: got me and my wife to hospital, found a reasonably priced nearby hotel for my wife, on short notice got us airline tickets from Ho Chi Minh City to Haiphong, and took us from the Haiphong airport to Orion. Extremely pleased. Excursions Port and shore excursions used a mix of Included and Optional excursions. The excursions were in Athens (GRE); Haifa, Acre, and Caesarea (ISR); Cairo, Luxor, and Sharm El Sheik (EGP); Aqaba (JRD); Salalah and Muscat (OMN); Mumbai and Goa (IND), Colombo (SRL), Georgetown and Kuala Lumpur (MAL), Singapore, Koh Samoi and Bangkok (THD), Sihanoukville (CAM), Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Long Bay (VTM), and Haikou and Hong Kong (PRC). Only two problems with booking: we were warned at the time of booking to get on the My Viking Journey web page at 0000 PST at 67 days prior to departure to ensure we would get the excursions we wanted. I logged on at about 0400 PST and found some excursions were already sold out. In addition, the multi-day overnight excursion to Angkor Wat site via Vietnam was not available. We were satisfied with the excursions we took. While most of the Included excursions were satisfactory, one needs to check the Optional excursions because they had the more interesting and/or more significant locations/programs. One of the problems was the distance from port to destination (Cairo, Luxor, Bangkok, Phnom Penh; sometimes 3+ hours on a bus each way, which left relatively little time for the the destination after accounting for bathroom breaks and lunch). One of the problems with the demographics of the guests was that people are not really aware of their physical condition when signing up for even moderately exerting excursions in hot humid weather from India to Hong Kong. From a VOC port agent, for example, we learned that six guests were removed from the ship to hospital in Sri Lanka. Travel to Embarkation Port We used Viking Air (via Air Canada) without upgrades. We were satisfied with the connections from Dulles (IAD) through Toronto (YYZ) which put us in Athens (ATH) at 0920, and return from Hong Kong (HKG) through YYZ to IAD (2200). We found the local VOC representative easily and were loaded into a bus the ship. Not as nice as the personal van on VRC. Only a passport is necessary for ID so we were on Orion quickly. VOC eliminated the paper tickets for transfers and embarkation. Next time, I will look into Business or Premium Economy. Air Canada is not too comfortable. Cabin We were in Deluxe Veranda 3 (DV3) #4083. The cabin was mostly quiet. The only noise was from the lifeboats/tenders during crew training or tendering on the decks below. We still could feel the diesels. Anyone for gas turbines? We thought that the cabin was much better than the AZ and OC small ships reflecting a newer design. The bathroom was far better the any AZ or OC. Not cramped at all. We had no difficulty with the amount of drawers even with clothes for a 50 day cruise. If we had known how good the laundry was, we could have brought less clothes. The ability of storing even the large luggage under the bed (unlike AZ or OC) provided more room. The space between the bed and closet was tight, but not a problem given the great design of the rest of the cabin. We did not understand the logic behind two chairs instead of one sofa in DV cabins. The E-safe is also much bigger than AZ or OC. A minor annoyance was VOC canceling our E-safe PIN in Mumbai and Bangkok embarkation ports that required ship security to reset. Dining For breakfast and lunch, we exclusively used the World Cafe on Deck 7. It is open longer, self-serve, and more choice of food. Because the choice of food in the World Cafe is more than The Restaurant on Deck 2, the was no point going to The Restaurant for these meals. We liked the layout of World Cafe with the spread out food service stations and seating areas to eliminate crowding. Not as cramped as AZ or OC. We liked the food in the World Cafe except for a little to much salt used especially in the soups (the same for dinner). The outside kitchen on the Aquavit Terrace for regional foods was good. We tried the Pool Grill and Mamsen’s, which we thought were great, especially Mamsen’s with the waffles. We attended the Afternoon Tea for about two weeks but stopped in the interest of decreasing our food consumption. On Orion, you needed to get there about 15-30 minutes before 1600 or there were no more seats. To get around this, we would go later, ~1630. There would always be a place by then due to people leaving. We especially liked the live music provided. For dinner, we used The Restaurant, Manfredi’s, The Chef’s Table, and World Cafe. Dinner was not as pleasant an overall experience as we would have liked. We found ourselves eating at the World Cafe more than the other venues. If there were many dishes on a given night in The Restaurant that we really wanted to try, we would go to the World Cafe where we could get a smaller portion of each dish. You can also see the line cooks make final food preparations, make requested modifications, and present the food so you knew exactly what you were getting. No surprises to be sent back and another dishes ordered (AZ). The other food in The Restaurant was very good. Now for the really subjective opinions. We were not particularly impressed with The Chef’s Table; only five cuisines with the chefs interpretation. The food was not bad, but limited with a little too much salt. Manfredi’s was a big disappointment. Our first meal main dishes were somewhat dry with a little too much salt. The best part was the excellent custom chocolate cake prepared for my birthday. The second meal was awful. My pork dish was very salty and loaded with fat rending half inedible. My wife’s main dish was worse. Even though we were entitled to one more meal there, we would not go into Manfredi’s again without significant changes in cooking style. All the table breads, muffin, and bread sticks has a very cheesy flavor that was annoying; not the Italian bread that I remember from the Italian bakeries at home. We would not eat the bread again. In the end, we informed a manager of our problems. If you don’t tell them, they will not know. The OC Toscana and AZ Aqualina are far better restaurants. The OC was far more generous with some foods such as lobster. We had lobster for either lunch or dinner every day on OC Marina. Orion had boiled lobster in the The Restaurant only twice in 50 days and Lobster Thermidor once (not very good with too much filler sauce). The VOC fruits were great especially after Mumbai where the more unusual fruits to the USA [dragon fruit (white and red), star fruit, for example, and others we have never seen before but tasted great] from southeast Asia countries were available. The VOC should be commended for portion control for desserts in the World Cafe seeing that passengers are mostly 60+ and some not in the best of shape. Desserts were in small size pieces with many choices. When a cake or pie was provided, it was smaller in diameter and thickness than AZ or OC. This did not deter an obese couple from consuming half a chocolate cake. Odd crowd behavior: the port side World Cafe was more crowded than starboard side, so the the greeters at the entrances several times requested that we use the starboard side. The food is the same on both sides except for ice cream and gelato, and stir fry (port), and pizza and doughnuts (starboard). The VOC has aerosol hand sanitizers throughout Decks 1, 2, 7, and 8 that are built into the bulkheads. The entrances to the World Cafe also have sinks with liquid soap and hand towels. Unfortunately, there was an outbreak of GI problems on the way to Mumbai, which necessitated eliminating self service at the World Cafe and implementing other protective measures for a few days (not the majority of the cruise as claimed elsewhere). In summary, we think the food was better on OC, especially the Marina size with more diverse restaurants. However, itinerary, destination, and timing are more important, so we would not hesitate to use VOC. And the destination oriented foods was also a plus. Entertainment We did not attend much evening entertainment in the Theater due to a lack of interest in the programs offered. What we did see was very good. The VOC did not appear as big on entertainment as OC based on the programs offered. Enrichment We attended the astronomy movie series in the Explorers Lounge theater exclusively on the Orion Deck 8 (which does not show up on the generic deck layouts and virtual tour on the VOC web site). Be advised that the theater is very small (26 people) and very cold as is the entire Explorers Lounge on Decks 7 and 8. Be sure to book the theater ASAP at the start of a cruise to get a seat for the three separate movies, and ensure that you a blanket because the theater is so cold. I don’t know why the Explorers Lounge is also cold all the time. (It was nice of VOC to put thick furry animal skins and blankets on the sofas.) The astronomy was enhanced by a resident astronomer who lectured several times and also lead open ended discussions on astronomy in general, space exploration, black holes, etc, during each cruise segment. Very well done. There was star gazing lead by the astronomer on Deck 9 weather conditions permitting, In general, from Athens to Oman had good conditions. Mumbai to Hong Kong had more haze so it was limited. If you are on Orion and are interested in astronomy, be sure to download to your smart phone a star map app with GPS capabilities to find stars, planets, satellites, ISS more quickly. BTW, the darkest part of the ship at night outside for stargazing is the outside platform at the starboard exit from the Explorers Lounge Deck 8. The VOC also has a resident historian (or diplomat) to cover the diplomacy, history, economics, warfare, etc., of the regions visited in formal lectures that we attended and roundtable discussions on the same or different subjects later. Very well done. Disembarkation Disembarkation was very easy. We stayed over in Hong Kong (HK) handling our own arrangements. The benefit of this is we were the last group required to leave the ship at 0845 so you can have a more leisurely breakfast. Luggage was easy to find in the dock terminal being clearly marked in groups. In HK, the disembarkations started as early as 0400 to catch flights. Check your airline arrangements from VOC Air and revise if necessary. The HK airport is very efficient in moving people through security to catch flights. The VOC cruise and air fare includes the HK airport departure and expansion construction fees. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We were looking for a cruise to the Middle East and had traveled with Viking on a river cruise. Their itinerary most closely matched our plans. The ship, its amenities, the crew were all outstanding. The excursions had a few bumps — ... Read More
We were looking for a cruise to the Middle East and had traveled with Viking on a river cruise. Their itinerary most closely matched our plans. The ship, its amenities, the crew were all outstanding. The excursions had a few bumps — it’s a difficult region for problem free visits, and the August weather temperatures were very challenging. The guides were well prepared and knowledgeable; there was a good selection of both included and optional tours, but logistics were complicated. I would have enjoyed more evening entertainment on the ship. The food and restaurants on board were great. Our cabin was spacious and comfortable. The common areas were beautiful and luxurious. I have traveled with other cruise lines and I think Viking is absolutely the best in customer service; every member of the staff was friendly, competent, helpful, and cheerful — all of which contributed to a most memorable experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
When I was in high school, I read a lot geography around the suez canal, red sea, and indian ocean. It is very interesting and I am glad I get this one in my bucket list. The excursions is actually more than I expect traveling Egypt, ... Read More
When I was in high school, I read a lot geography around the suez canal, red sea, and indian ocean. It is very interesting and I am glad I get this one in my bucket list. The excursions is actually more than I expect traveling Egypt, Israel, Jorden, and Mumbai in one trip. Of course, the ship is the top of the class in service. This is better than other ships which I had travelled before. The quality of food is also above other ships except the Chef Table. I went three night in this dinner and I just like the french food only. The equipment in the exercise room are in good condition and also because it is max. 930 persons in the ship, therefore, it is not crowded in the exercise room and spa area. I used the spa every day at sea. the Scandinavian Bathing is highly recommended to utilize in the trip. I also love so many sea food in the menu in this ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our first cruise ever, so we chose Viking because of our great experience on the Viking river cruise. The ambiance of the ship was classic and elegant; our room was luxurious; and the staff was so attentive that we felt like ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever, so we chose Viking because of our great experience on the Viking river cruise. The ambiance of the ship was classic and elegant; our room was luxurious; and the staff was so attentive that we felt like royalty! Every day we had excellent food in wonderful surroundings. There were plenty of private nooks and crannies so that we never felt that there were many others on board. The 24/7 room service was a really big hit with our group. No matter what time we returned to the ship, we knew we could always have a fabulous meal. Even the buffet had many "made to order" items that made us feel special. The excursions were excellently organized and we always felt that we knew where we were to go and how to get back. This was our first extended family vacation that included married spouses, but will definitely not be our last. We are already planning our next Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We choose this cruise, due to the many interesting ports, we'd not visited. Viking Oceans is trying to do, too much, too fast, and losing sight of the small details, involved in "Luxury Cruising". We'd sailed on ... Read More
We choose this cruise, due to the many interesting ports, we'd not visited. Viking Oceans is trying to do, too much, too fast, and losing sight of the small details, involved in "Luxury Cruising". We'd sailed on Viking River Cruises numerous times and on Viking Star, loving everyday. Not so with this cruise, Bay of Bangle, involved a different 'hurdle' daily. Embarkation in Mumbai was a total NIGHTMARE! No-one at the 'Guest Service' desk knew the definition of 'guest services'. We arrived late into ports, and therefore had the planned excursions rush. There wasn't any entertainment, as had been present of other Viking cruises. The food was, good. The service was delayed by staffing problems and a general lack of experience. We were given two days in Gao, India and one day in Singapore. Go figure! We had a three hour bus excursion in Georgetown. We drove around the same circle five times, without any potty breaks. There was a fort and a Palace, we couldn't get out and explore. Saving on port fees, we were two hours out of the city of Bangkok. This meant five hours on a bus, day one and 2 1/2 hours back the next day to the airport. Not a happy finish! We're going to give Viking Ocean more time to pull their act together, before any additional travel, on them. The ship is beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This cruise followed the route of the Vikings to the New World, from Norway, to the Shetland Islands, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, Quebec City, ending in Montreal. Incredible route and fascinating land tours of areas ... Read More
This cruise followed the route of the Vikings to the New World, from Norway, to the Shetland Islands, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, Quebec City, ending in Montreal. Incredible route and fascinating land tours of areas of our world not often considered for a vacation. Viking's nightly enrichment talks added immensely to our understanding of this harsh northern environment. The Viking Star is a gorgeous ship. All well appointed staterooms are on the outside with balconies. The staff are all exceedingly friendly and helpful. We sincerely hope to encounter some of them again on future Viking cruises. There were a couple shows that were fun and well done. Viking kept us entertained even on the sea days between docking. Even tho there were roughly 1000 passengers aboard, it never felt crowded. Ample places to explore and rest! Dining was always a treat. Featured items included food items of the areas we were visiting, plus the 3 speciality restaurants could rival the best of those found on land (the Italian Manfredi's steak is superb! We definitely will miss it!) We'll done, Viking Star. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
An e-mail designated the cruise which seemed fabulous. An immediate phone call to a Viking representative indicated a hot demand requiring an immediate signing up. We received the same cabin as last year. It is a wonderful cabin, ... Read More
An e-mail designated the cruise which seemed fabulous. An immediate phone call to a Viking representative indicated a hot demand requiring an immediate signing up. We received the same cabin as last year. It is a wonderful cabin, No. 4011. Malitza and Danica were absolutely fabulous cabin stewards attending astutely to every problem and need. There also provided friendship and humor greatly prized by us. Our best tours were seeing a water fall you could stand under, creating rope and an artisan building boats, and eating at a fruit farm outside Bergen. The Iceland and Greenland and Newfoundland tours were culturally inspiring. Quebec City was a great tour with an excellent guide! The Shetland Island tour showed us what was there, but nothing special. Saguenay should be eliminated. The tour and guide were not up to Viking standards.The wine tasting event was so stingy you perhaps were drinking something priceless. The performance of the evening celebrating Saguenay while making a fascinating panorama was not up to par. Something that was up to par was the musicals performed by the Viking singers and dancers along with the fascinating use of graphics and staging. They were great! I did not see many lectures, but those I did participate in were very good, The World Cafe was excellent as always. We had two great evenings at the Italian Restaurant. We did not enjoy our experience at The Chefs Table. We only liked the main coarse. Everything else did not suit our palates and the wine pairings were weird. We cancelled our second night During the infamous storm in the Atlantic two men from the restaurant escorted my wife Kathy back to our room. She has trouble maneuvering because of surgeries. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
After all the publicity regarding the Viking Sky off the coast of Norway and the impact on the passengers, it appears that it is not widely recognized what happened to us on the Viking Star in early October of 2016. Our captain, and I am ... Read More
After all the publicity regarding the Viking Sky off the coast of Norway and the impact on the passengers, it appears that it is not widely recognized what happened to us on the Viking Star in early October of 2016. Our captain, and I am sure Viking, went directly in a significant storm when sailing from Iceland to Greenland in the North Atlantic. According to the captain, who I spoke with directly after we had come through this ordeal, the seas were as high as 45 feet and the winds were gusting to 90 mph. The captain said that they had to strap him into his chair since he had fallen off the chair and hit his head. Why would he not turn around and weather the storm in Reykjavik harbor is beyond me? Everything that was not secured fell or was smashed. It started when we were in the dining room and our table kept moving into a table closest to a wall. A door in the dining room blasted open and had to be held closed by a person from the crew until it could be jammed closed with a piece of wood. An entire tray of desserts in the kitchen fell over as did a large wine rack. In our room a pitcher and glasses were swept of a table and our sliding door closet doors hit the frame so hard they cracked the wooden frame. I was on the deck with the buffet later in the evening and could barely stand as I was thrown around. Stacks of dishes smashed on the floor. Talking to other passengers the next day, one woman said that she was bounced out of bed with her mattress and I heard that someone had a broken leg. Apparently this disaster was kept quiet and never reached the notoriety that the Viking Star has reached. In addition to this harrowing event the clock system was not working for two days waking people up two hours earlier than requested among other little issues. We were in the last group to be tendered to a major Viking site in Canada when the captain aborted the tender operation. He later apologized and said that we could have safely been tendered to shore and back. The Star is a beautiful ship and many of the amenities are great, yet Viking was not ready for ocean cruising and it seems it still is not ready. For all what happened and other screw ups during the cruise, we were offered a $100 credit per person, which is a joke and something we would never use. Viking should stay on the rivers and out of the ocean. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
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