Sail Date: July 2019
We Carefully Choose viking Orion for our Alaska cruise when first available in 2016 because of ships open vista views and as a small ship also very importantly the itinerary and full package details . As our first Viking voyage we have ... Read More
We Carefully Choose viking Orion for our Alaska cruise when first available in 2016 because of ships open vista views and as a small ship also very importantly the itinerary and full package details . As our first Viking voyage we have been very satisfied and loved the ship it’s ambience decor space and lovely staff. With the amazing Alaskan scenery and fantastic wildlife and wilderness al around us we had one of our best ever holidays thank you viking, We started with a pre cruise in Vancouver lovely city, wonderful hotel by the bay , the pre cruise tour and lunch alfresco after boarding and sail out was lovely with seaplanes landing and taking off around us , and boats of all descriptions paddle steamers , sailing and small pleasure cruising craft to other ships then the cruise up the inside passage humpbacks sighting wonderful scenery sunsets and all enhanced by the ship! Really very good food right through the voyage onboard Orion majority of our meals we ate seafood,. Enjoyed all of the restaurants onboard, open seating only waited the once for a table but seated in restaurant reception with offers of drinks! There’s also a bar in the restaurant where you can have a pre dinner drinks . We enjoyed all our ports of calls and trips with only one complaint about the lunch on our Haines bear search and wildlife tour which was dealt with with a small refund to compensate however no bears seen but then that’s wildlife although we were probably not going to see any as Haines had hosted the state fair a few days earlier, trip highlights amazing Juneau glacier helicopter and dogsledding and glacier and whales trips , Valdez sail out amazing beautiful weather swimming in the infinity pool and hot tub and escorted out by high speed coast guard rigid inflatable with machine gun mounted and manned past all the Valdez salmon fishing fleets which were laying nets ! A James Bond moment! Dinner that evening a favourite with to start soft shell crab , lobster Thermidor and desert a lovely soufflé , with lovely wines and all made exceptional by Alaska delivering with beautiful scenery and Orca’s seen alongside during dinner !!! A Most memorable evening I must also thank the staff on Orion Nearly all were fantastic except for the future cruise lady? The shows on board such a small ship were all delivered by the Orion team and were excellent thank you to Jade And Karine and speedy and the viking band also bar waiters stewards Ivan and Corrinia ? Overall a fantastic holiday experience one of our very best highly recommend this voyage and ship if viking can keep price correct Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We had been on many of the cruise lines in the past but really preferred the river cruise to the save my pool lounge chair mentality. So we thought we would give Viking Ocean cruise a try due to the number of people. We are so glad we ... Read More
We had been on many of the cruise lines in the past but really preferred the river cruise to the save my pool lounge chair mentality. So we thought we would give Viking Ocean cruise a try due to the number of people. We are so glad we did... specialty dining was so great. Easy dealing with food allergies too. The World Cafe was our choice most of the time. Great selection and after a full day of excursions we enjoyed cocktails and casual dining. The spa is the surprise. Beautiful facility open for all for free without scheduling a service. We enjoyed that daily. We also took advantage of the silver package. The wines and top shelf vodka was such a deal!! We are planning our next and will be going with Viking again. Alaska vista was indescribable, the captain did an amazing job getting us so close to Hubbard glacier and rotating 360 so everyone had a front row seat! Thanks to all Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have cruised on numerous ocean cruises over the past ten years including Princess, Regent, Oceania, and National Geographic. Viking Ocean will now be our "go to" cruise line unless we are seeking an expedition cruise. ... Read More
We have cruised on numerous ocean cruises over the past ten years including Princess, Regent, Oceania, and National Geographic. Viking Ocean will now be our "go to" cruise line unless we are seeking an expedition cruise. Everyone's cruising style is different, but Viking is perfect for us. Our reasons include what they don't have, no children, no casino, no Vegas style shows, no butlers, and no formal nights, to what they do have - sleek, Scandinavian design with room for everyone, focus on educational lectures, focus on classical music, the most amazing spa and fitness center at sea, fabulous food with no charge speciality restaurants, and wine and beer with lunch and dinner. We had a penthouse veranda and it was wonderful. Maybe a bit more closet space would have been nice. The bathroom was our favorite ever with it's roomy shower and heated floor. I would chose the same cabin when we cruise with them again. As mentioned by others, Viking needs to work on their shore excursions. We were on a new itinerary so maybe that was part of the problem. They definitely need to invest in new listening devices. But overall, we have found our new favorite cruise line and can't wait to sail with Viking again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
If you want a ship with a casino, climbing wall, giant water slide, etc., ignore this review and Viking Oceans. If you seek a family cruise with you and your (non-adult) children, look elsewhere. If you like cruising with thinking people ... Read More
If you want a ship with a casino, climbing wall, giant water slide, etc., ignore this review and Viking Oceans. If you seek a family cruise with you and your (non-adult) children, look elsewhere. If you like cruising with thinking people and a remarkably intelligent, attentive crew visiting an itinerary of a lifetime on an impeccable, smallish ship, read on. We are just back from Viking’s Grand Pacific Explorer cruise that traced all around the Pacific, roughly following the Ring of Fire from New Zealand through Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Russia (Siberia), across the Bering Sea, and down through Alaska to Vancouver. Portions of this 93-day itinerary were also available in smaller chunks of 15 to 23 days. As we came to realize, the guests on shorter legs were taking a cruise on the ship. We lived there. And it was fantastic. There were roughly two dozen of us who traveled the entire way and another fifteen or so who embarked in Sydney for 79 of the 93 days. All tolled, we traveled 19,919 nautical miles on the ship. Convert to statue miles and add on the air travel, and our adventure went far beyond the distance around the globe. What we learned: You can be happy on a Viking Oceans ship for a long time and still be happily married. Although our Penthouse Veranda was not the smallest stateroom, several of the Grand Voyagers were in the standard size (all veranda) staterooms, and there was at least one couple who survived and celebrated their 50th anniversary just afterward. The secret is the many varied public spaces on the ship. The Explorer’s Lounge is great 24/7, and you don’t have to order any booze to just sit and enjoy the view and read. Or converse in comfortable seating clusters. Add the quiet reading area in the deck 1 library, the exterior wings outside the Winter Garden, and various nooks and crannies. There is always somewhere to go. Crossing the equator and the International Dateline can be fun. Viking made sure we celebrated on both occasions. May 14 happened TWICE (thus 93 days, not 92)! The seas are never what you expect. Yes, the Tasman Sea can be “lively,” as can the Bass Strait above Tasmania, but even the Bering Sea is not necessarily going to be bad. If you count on good or bad seas, you won’t get them. It’ s pure luck. Siberia did kick up a ruckus for us for one day, but the Bering Sea was crazy calm! You will get to know the crew very, very well. They will bring you just about anything, anytime. Room service delivers ANYTHING on their menu for free anytime. Ask for the things you don’t see but crave. This applies to those on the ship for two short weeks or for three months. “Another latte, madame?” “A scone from tea in the Wintergarden?… sure I will get that for you.” The only cost is if you elect to drink alcohol from the bar. Those with the Silver Spirits package pay nothing. Others like us paid very reasonable prices with no added gratuities if we chose to drink. Of course, the minibar in our PV cabin had standard level booze and mixers of our choice, so we could always carry our own drinks to the lounge. If we had brought a bottle of our own on board-- no problem. They’ll even provide the glass and ice. No nickels. No dimes. There is a bar waiter, Ardel, who introduced me to an excellent formula for a top shelf margarita, now dubbed the “Ardel Margarita” by several of us who enjoyed it! The senior officers are incredible. Kudos to the general manager for most of our cruise, Joaquim Scherz, and to the restaurant manager Gerome Venon, for making our group of voyagers feel especially welcome and for preventing monotony from EVER setting in – as if that could happen with such a rich itinerary! Even the entertainment team added some new performances so we could enjoy the talents of two different Viking Bands who were onboard during our tenure and especially the excellent ensemble of four young Viking Vocalists Aoibhin, Jorgen, Dan, and Beth, whom we got to know quite well. (These four, by the way, were the first to be awarded a new contract by Viking to stay together on their next cruise in the Caribbean.) Kudos to cruise director Spencer who rose to the role on this, his first cruise in the position. When Viking says they are a family, they are serious. That includes the passengers. They know you. They figure you out within a few days, and they are all eager to make the cruise p-e-r-f-e-c-t. Your cabin steward knows when you are likely to be out and about or when you have an excursion scheduled. The ice is there every day on time. The things you store in you bathroom are arranged exactly as you like them. After a few days, people know your names. (The general manager told us he actually looks over each guest list in advance and learns names and scans for those he has met before.) We learned much about the way Viking hires, trains, and rotates its crew and senior officers. We boarded Viking Orion and saw crewmembers we had met four years ago on Viking Star, now promoted to higher positions and happy in “the family.” The family extends to all the ships. When the Viking Sky encountered rough seas off the coast of Norway (while we were in Australia), every crewmember on Viking Orion was paying attention, praying, and even helping to send a video to the crew of Viking Sky in support and thanks for all their efforts. Family goes both ways. We Voyagers truly got attached to Joaquim and gave him a Viking umbrella salute send-off as he departed for a well-earned vacation. There were tears. Viking is truly fortunate to have such amazing people, and Joaquim is one who has been with VO since its launch. If he has any say about it, the quality will not diminish as the company expands. We sincerely hope his influence will keep things as good as they are! Speaking of family, our group of “Voyagers” definitely became one. People who take Viking cruises are fascinating folks with endless interests and stories. When you meet new people at home, you may see them once a week or a couple of times a month. When you make new friends on a ship, you see each other as often as three meals a day plus an excursion. Yes, we could avoid seeing them, but we enjoyed getting to know each other—really well! We avoided talking politics -- which was a refreshing change for over 90 days! We compared notes about our days (what excursion did you take?), drank a LOT of free wine (opened and closed the World Café many times), and watched out for each other when someone was “solo” on an excursion. These friendships will last for sure. We learned about the tons and tons of food they bring on board and when. We noticed that the chef went into town to pick up a few things while we were out on excursions – but only if he can find provisions that met Viking’s strict quality and safety standards. Within a couple of days, the cook at the breakfast fruit and yogurt bar handed me a bowl as I walked in each day and several times kept a few strawberries aside when the stock was dwindling before the next provisioning. He found the plain Greek yogurt that I like if it is not out on display. He was genuinely apologetic when the strawberries ran out in Siberia! If it wasn’t perfect, all we had to do was ask. Just when I was muttering to myself that there weren’t any chocolate options on the desert bar in the World Café, one of the supervisors offered to go down and get a chocolate mousse from the sit-down Restaurant downstairs…. “And where are you sitting, madame?” Or if the buffet choices were not exactly what we wanted, the chef custom-prepared a strip steak (“Medium? Four minutes, please.”) and delivered it to our table, with a potato and sour cream if that was what we wanted. All this in the “buffet” style World Café, our favorite venue for every day. Manfredi’s, the Italian specialty restaurant, is a gem. People seem to figure this out quickly, so be sure to book reservations as soon as you can. Book before you embark, as we did or stop by the laptop at the entrance to the world café to add more or make changes. We also learned that they will make every effort to change your numbers as you meet people and want a larger table. (Thank you, Ian!) Yes, we also ate in the Chef’s Table, but after trying each of the (mostly delicious) menus, we found we preferred the less formal and more flexible options elsewhere. We aren’t “The Restaurant” type people, though many of our friends were and enjoyed it just as much as we enjoyed the free-ranging exploration of the world Café – the same food, but you can graze and get up from your table at will. (Just hide your fork…. They clear TOO quickly!) The only nights I personally did not enjoy as much were the Indian Buffet theme nights, but my husband loved them. I just ordered a strip steak and tasted a few other things. I made the suggestion that perhaps not EVERYTHING had to be Indian… like the weird gelato flavors. We learned SO MUCH. The itinerary was loaded with places we had always wanted to see, and Viking offered many ways to learn about each one. The guest lecturers were great, and word gets out about which ones are REALLY good. The naturalist in the north Pacific and Alaska, the historian in Southest Asia, the archaeologist in New Zealand, the reef pilot on the Great Barrier Reef, and many others were terrific. If they can keep you awake in a darkened theater on a gently rocking sea, they must be good! The video replays on demand in the cabins were a MUST to keep up with the many things to learn. What we saw: It is a challenge to summarize forty-seven ports, but there were recurring themes: wildlife, history, religions, World Heritage sites, gardens, wine/beer/whiskey. We chose to take many optional excursions, mostly because we don’t like touring on buses much. A bus to GET somewhere is fine. We tend to like walking tours better. When we compared notes with our fellow travelers, we learned that by skipping some of the included excursions, we missed some good stuff. Some of the descriptions did not make it clear just how much time would be spent on or OFF the bus. As my husband says, the descriptions are a bit like real estate ads. Example: “Enjoy a panoramic tour.” Translate: bus ride. As Viking continues in these ports, we are sure the excursions will be refined and the descriptions edited for a better match to what is actually there. In the first season of a new itinerary, this is tough. We took this cruise knowing that would happen. Our priorities for tours may not be yours. My husband is a photo buff—both wildlife and street scenes, and I tend to enjoy culture, art, crafts, and people. Sometimes we split up to see what we liked best. We did not need to stay together every day of a 93 day cruise! Don’t miss the onboard cultural visitors. There were local groups who came on board in several countries to perform music and dance. ALL were amazing. Sometimes we did not find out about them until the day before or the day of. READ the Viking Daily! Port/excursion highlights: (Unless otherwise stated, all excursions/tours were VIKING offerings) Everything in New Zealand. Lots of wildlife and Maori culture options. We especially enjoyed visiting a sheep farm outside Napier, a foodie tour I did in Wellington, a seal watch my husband did outside Wellington, and wildlife cruises outside Christchurch and Dunedin. Others went to interior locations such as the Hobbiton tour. This may not be the best way to see interior New Zealand. I wish I’d had more time at Rotorua at the native (Maori) center there. Australia: Hobart, Tasmania. This port is right in town and we wish we had stayed MUCH longer. Just walk off the ship, and you were in a pedestrian area filled with shops and history. (Think Viking River Cruises.) We took a tour outside of town and visited a winery and the charming town of Richmond. Wish we could have done BOTH. We’d like to go back to Tasmania. The koala and kangaroo sanctuary outside Melbourne. Unlike many “sanctuaries” where the animals are caged or restricted, this one has animals on their own in the wild and shows visitors how to find and follow them respectfully. No koala cuddling, but fantastic naturalists who teach and let you participate in finding the animals. Sydney: Did a pub crawl in The Rocks on a HOT day. Saw lots of local color: weddings, crazy young professionals out having fun, and of course the Opera House right at Circular Quay. Since Viking Orion is small enough to pass under the Harbor Bridge, we were docked a short shuttle FERRY ride from Circular Quay. This could have been a pain, but it’s much more fun than a shuttle bus! We had a day on our own while others disembarked and embarked. Viking did offer an excursion for the in-transit passengers, but we elected to spend time with some new friends from Sydney whom we “met” here on CC. (They joined our cruise later in Hong Kong.) Great city. Almost anything you can do would be fun. Whitsunday Islands and Cairns: both are portals to the Great Barrier Reef. We went on a smaller catamaran out to snorkel in the Whitsundays and a very large one (but well managed) in Cairns. We are not experienced snorkelers and have never seen the reef before, so we enjoyed these. Experienced GBR visitors might like more private or selective tours, but these are hard to find and schedule within port time limits. Viking did managed the tendering in Cid Harbor (Whitsundays) very well. Thursday Island--- skipped because of an incoming cyclone! Darwin: wildlife options again. We saw Jumping Crocs, which we thought would be really touristy. It actually was fun. The Territory Wildlife Park was also good, though VERY warm. Take lots of water with you! Be sure to visit the aviary. Weaker Australia ports: Newcastle, Townsville. These are perhaps good ports for their access to other places inland, but we did not find the actual towns as interesting. Maybe with time? Indonesia: In general, Indonesia has bad traffic, hot weather, and lots of temples. The blend of religions is fascinating and varies from island to island. Get a taste by seeing some of everything. Komodo: The national park is going to be closed for 2020. We were lucky to see the dragons. Very hot, and the most aggressive vendors we saw on the entire cruise were in the tent as we left the park. Be prepared to be tough and to haggle. Otherwise just duck and keep on walking! TAKE WATER. Viking did an outstanding job of managing the tendering and keeping guests hydrated and safe. They were on the dock with COLD towels and drinks as we finished the tour. The really wanted everyone to drink and stay safe. Bali: another disembarkation/embarkation port. On the day on our own, we traveled by cab into Denpasar to visit the fabric street—a MUST for any quilter or sewing enthusiast. We did an evening dinner and performance that evening which was fun, though touristy. We enjoyed seeing Batiks being made and wood carvers in action on a Viking excursion the next day. Surabaya: We visited a temple that is actually within an amusement park. Though it looked like we were entering Wally World, the temple, right next to the water, was interesting. The seafood lunch served on the way was excellent though a bit crowded. Our highlight was a stop at a T-shirt place that had graphically bold shirts at very low (fixed) prices. Thanks to a good tour guide. We’ve gotten compliments on those shirts everywhere. Semarang: Entre to a daylong trip to Borobudur, a must-see. Don’t do the included tour. Not much there. The Rainbow Village is not as enthralling as they say. Those who went to Borobudur said the long ride was definitely worth it, especially with the police escort that accompanied the bus caravan, stopping the challenging traffic. Think presidential motorcade. Viking managed an unfortunate bus accident between two buses that were following too closely pretty well. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt. Jakarta: Interesting but not worth two days? Went on a tour that included an inside visit to a large mosque and Catholic cathedral and a walk through Chinatown Had some time on the second day to go into town on the Viking shuttle to a shopping mall that offered great shopping for authentic batik shirts and much more. I think half the ship bought batik shirts. Weaker ports in Indonesia: Lombok? We actually did not go into this tender port. Those who did said we did not miss much. We really should not judge. Singapore One day, and not enough. Unfortunately, immigration stole over 90 minutes of our day—through no fault of Viking. If there were way for the ship to stay two days and not have to do this each day, it would be worth it. We did a walking “Odyssey” tour and saw little India, Chinatown, and an area called Arab Street. I’d do that tour again. We had time to explore on our own, which we always like. I’d like to have seen the gardens at Singapore Marina Bay, but we did not have time. I’d REALLY like to swim in the world’s largest infinity pool on the rooftop there, but you have to stay in the hotel to do that… unless Viking has connections? Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) Our one day was a quick stop. My husband and I did separate tours. He enjoyed the Batu Caves and Pewter factory tour, managing to avoid having his hat stolen by the monkeys. I did the Blue Mosque tour, which was a misnomer. We saw a view of the mosque at a GREAT distance. We did enjoy a tour of several sites in the city and a FANTASTIC lunch at the Renaissance Hotel. Of course, the last thing we needed was more good food! We honestly cannot say whether Kuala Lumpur is worth more time. Thailand Bangkok: The port is VERY, very far from the city, at least two hours drive if traffic is not bad. We had three days in Bangkok, the middle one a disembarkation/embarkation day for other passengers. We did Viking’s Bangkok After Dark tour, which was twelve hours long! The heat was oppressive, and the guide kept a pace that was a bit too enthusiastic for the heat. It did take us to great things and included a much appreciated foot massage after a lot of walking. We had a local dinner of SPICY pad thai and time shopping in the iconic night market. The tour is good, but plan on being totally soaked with sweat. Pace yourself and carry water. We took a private tour on the ship’s changeover day, and that was smart. We had a small van with great A/C and endless water. We could get back into the cool van often. We split the tour cost with three other friends, so it was quite reasonable. We visited locations our first tour did not include. Day 3 took my husband on the Viking tour out to the Summer Palace and Ayutthaya. He declared that tour to be excellent, including the golf carts! (I rested and did much-needed laundry out of the heat.) Cambodia Sihanoukville: This is the toughest port to talk about. It is not pretty, and the people lack hope. This port sparked great debate among our friends onboard. In my opinion, Viking needs to be honest about what you will see (poverty, loads of trash, hopelessness). The contrasts of the hotel where Jackie Kennedy stayed (a claim to fame in this miserable town) and the life in a local fishing village are painful. The Cambodian Cuisine tour we took involved riding in tuktuks through dusty, dirty streets. I did not initially appreciate the mask they gave me to wear, as I have never had respiratory issues. In the end, I actually needed it. The market offered a realistic view of what people buy and eat. The beachfront barbecue food attracted too many flies for us to taste it. Then we went to the Jackie hotel and had delicious hors d’oeuvres and drinks while feeling hollowly fortunate. The second day we took the included tour, but we were warned by our friends to expect very sad scenes and sickening smells. They were right. The little children who should have been in school -- but had never even been REGISTERED to attend -- bore witness to the lack of hope of the Cambodian people. Yes, Viking should let us all see the realities, but the descriptions also need to be accurate. This port is a place to learn and think, not to enjoy. If the corrupt government is benefitting from Viking’s visits, perhaps this is not a good idea? Sadly, the countryside beyond the city has exceptional natural beauty, and the guides were very honest about their plight. Vietnam What a contrast to Cambodia. There is hope, and education is highly valued in this rapidly-growing economy. VERY. VERY. HOT. Ho Chi Minh City (known to the locals as Saigon): Three days. A fair distance from the port -- about an hour. Fantastic city to visit! We did the Saigon Cooking Class, which was excellent in both organization and fun. We shopped in the market, cooked, learned a lot, and enjoyed our own cooking. The next day we enjoyed a special visit to the Hotel Reverie with our fellow Voyagers (NOT an excursion) for high tea. This was arranged by the general manager and restaurant manager just for our group. WOW. If you have a chance to do this high tea on your own, DO IT. We’ve never, ever seen anything like it! Try the iced Vietnamese coffee. It’s addictive. The third day we did Viking’s “Iconic Ben Thanh Market” tour which was disappointing. We spent more time being served food than exploring the market (allowing NO time for this). I expect Viking will be clarifying expectations with the tour operator on this, as several of us spoke to the ship about it. Chan May (near Danang): Excursion to Ancient Hoi An. This city was swamped with tourists, and the tour was too commercialized for us. We had hoped for an interesting walking tour. We were herded into places to buy things, stopped ever so briefly amid the crowds to take pictures of landmarks with said crowds. Little to no time on our own as was advertised. Other guides were apparently more flexible, and our friends enjoyed their tours. Ha Long Bay (overnight): Wow. This place is drop dead gorgeous. Even the included tour is amazing. We did a longer, slightly different boat tour of the bay, including a stop at a floating village. Great tour! We also went outside the city to the mountains and Yen Tu Monastery. What a wonderful change of pace. We meditated and talked with the leader of the monastery, a man with remarkable charisma. The tour also included a delicious dinner at a resort hotel in the mountains. A winner! Hong Kong (3 days) Another changeover port. The included tour was good- Victoria Peak (in clouds), sampan ride in Aberdeen, and Stanley Market with free time. Spent our “off day” on our own with a friend who lives nearby then did more exploring on the third day with some fellow travelers. We then did the Hong Kong by Night tour which was OK but went back to some places we had already seen on our own. It would be great for people just starting out in HK. Taipei (Keelung port)- one day We did the tour to Yehliu Geopark with its amazing rock formations. Great photo op if you can go early enough for smaller crowds. Then went to mountain village of Jiufen. Cute, though filled with tourists. There were some nice places to have tea with a great view. The Taiwan landscape is very pretty! JAPAN! Japan was perhaps the biggest “surprise” of our trip. We had heard that it was beautiful, but it was MORE beautiful than we thought. We had also heard about the crowds during Golden Week—extended this year due to the installation of a new emperor. It was more crowded in some places than we could ever imagine. AVOID Golden Week. This was Viking’s first visit to the Japanese ports, so ALL of them did something special at the port: bands, dancers, etc.! Lots of fun. Japanese weather was a welcome relief from the heat in previous ports. Kagoshima: Great tour to Kamikaze museum and Chimai samurai historic district with classic Japanese gardens. Terrific intro to just some of the subtleties of Japanese culture. Nagasaki: (separate excursions). Imari and Arita pottery tour was outstanding. Learned a LOT about the aesthetic, the history, and the processes. Beautiful scenery en route. Husband did Historic Nagasaki tour for the atomic bomb story and more. Korea (a one day stop in Busan in the midst of Japan ports): Beomosa Temple and Fish Market tour was good. Lots of walking up hill. Fish Market is a true cultural experience, especially on the weekend! More Japan Hiroshima (2 days): Sobering as you would expect. The included tour to the Peace Park is good at hitting highlights on foot, though it was pouring rain. The museum would have been interesting, but the line stretched around a half mile! Optional tour to Itsukushima Shrine was great. Crowded because of Golden week. Go as early in the day as you can. We were on the 7 am ferry. Great photo ops of the floating torii gate you always see on brochures. Be sure to try some maple leaf shaped cakes. Osaka (Kyoto): We took the tour that traveled to Ancient Kyoto. Worst crowds we have ever seen. Heel to toe and shoulder to shoulder in a mob. Easy to lose the guide. (Others shared pictures taken by friends on “regular” weekdays showing NO crowds.) DO NOT GO during Golden Week. Very long path of thousands of torii gates, but too packed to enter. Scary crowded! The Golden Palace late in the day was less crowded and saved the day for us. Shimizu: (day and a half): Nice city with very friendly people. They had quite a welcome for us at the port since this was Viking’s first visit there. Amazing views of Fuji that cleared off for us. I went to Hiroshige Utagawa Museum. Speechless how good it was. Included tour also good… good photo ops. Tokyo ( 3 days): Port is immediately next to the Olympic Village they are building for 2020! This was our last disembarkation/embarkation port getting hundreds of new passengers onboard. Kamakuri tour to three shrine and temples very good but again crowded. 43 foot Buddha! Took Viking’s shuttle to downtown on the middle day, a Sunday, and discovered that NO ONE was in town during Golden Week. Walked to Iperial Palace Grdens (beautiful) and around the area near Nihonbaski Mitsubishi. The department store is worthy of a visit on its own, very old school and filled with amazing things, including a full basement are of food. See where people custom order their $50K silk kimonos! Third day took Edo-Tokyo Museum and City Tower tour. City tower not that great. The sky tower is better, I think, if you like that sort of thing. Museum and smaller local garden were nice. Tokyo is a gorgeous city, and SOOO clean! Be sure to try every Japanese bathroom. After Indonesia and others, they are a delight! Sapporo/Otaru: Beautiful location on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido. We took the optional tour to Nikko whiskey. Lots of fun. It SMELLED of whiskey when you walked onto the grounds. Friend told us the included tour was also very good. Much cooler here. The cherry blossoms were out, as this part of Japan is weeks behind the more southern areas. Russia (Siberia) Koraskov: Did the included tour. Damp, cold, and cloudy/drizzly. Not much here, and quite sad after Japan. The people are clearly longing for the good old days of the USSR. The performance was fun, and the vendors selling crafts there were very genuine. Most are happy to take USD, though they may cheat a bit on exchange rates! Petrapavlosk-Kamchatsky: This city benefits from the large Navy base (out of sight from the port). Volcanoes abound. We did the military history tour. Too much talking at you. Choose a different one, perhaps just the included. Orthodox cathedral is less than ten years old! Someone showed us video from the helicopter tour over the volcano, and it was amazing. (But I don’t think I’d go with a Russian pilot in a Russian-maintained helicopter! Very pricey, too.) USA Dutch Harbor, AK: No tours offered, but there was a shuttle (school) bus into town. The locals are VERY friendly and talk on the buses. Go to the Alaska Ship Supply for fun, and perhaps to Safeway just to see how the locals live. Bald eagles everywhere—like pigeons! Take a hike or a walk. If you’re an American who’s been away for a long time, stop in a local bar for American bar food… nachos or a cheeseburger? If you watch Deadliest Catch, you’ll recognize many locations. Kodiak, AK: Nature photo cruise was a real highlight. Small boat with only 6 guests and a very knowledgeable couple guiding it. WELL worth it! Small town with simple self-guided (walking) tour and a shuttle bus. Very genuine. Seward, AK: Kenai Fiords cruise was incredible. Whales, dolphins, eagles, and a glacier thrown in. Entire pods of orcas! This was a MUST MUST MUST DO, even on a drizzly day. Stay in town for a visit to the Sea Life Center or some shopping, A regular shuttle goes back to the ship. Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), AK: This small town with its native tribe of 760 people owns the port through a small corporation that benefits the tribe. They market it well, with many activities and tours. The whale watch cruise we took was actually done by a separate company that cooperates with the corporation. It was excellent. Great photos of humpbacks, including mama and baby. Sea lions, and more. Another keeper! Warning: the bridge you walk across into the port area is COLD because of the wind, but the temps are much nicer around the corner and out of the wind. Wear layers. Friend did the zipline and loved it. Sitka, AK: Busier port with another ship in port at same time. Cute, smallish town. Walking tour went 5+ miles to see historic sites, totem area, and Raptor Center. All are worth seeing. Wish we’d had longer in totems and Raptor Center. People who took included tour said it was good, too. Note: if you are looking for the post office, you have to go outside of town, They closed the location right next to the port! Ketchikan: VERY, very touristy. We saw a total of FIVE other ships in one day, one of whom was waiting for us to pull out. Downtown is all shops, some owned by other cruise companies. We went out of town to a Fishing lodge for a crab feast. It was fun, including the boat ride out to the island. Good wildlife and newspapers-in-the-picnic-table crab boil. Dress for the weather because you are on an outdoor deck. You also get a walk in a temperate rainforest at the lodge. If you want nothing but shopping, stay in town and walk off the ship. Some ships dock a bit outside of town. Vancouver, Canada: Kudos to Viking for handling the challenge of disembarking over 900 passengers by tender! It went quite well. We were off the ship and on our way to the airport ahead of schedule. We hope everyone’s bags went to the right place. Ours did. Viking, you made a difficult good-bye palatable by keeping it smooth and easy. Suggestions for Viking: Consider changing the itinerary for Jakarta and Singapore. Maybe steal a day from Jakarta and add it to Singapore? You could play with some of Indonesia, perhaps. What about Lombok? Semarang is not great, though you need it for Borobodur. Think about solving that? Think about how you want to “sell” your port call in Cambodia Continue to refine the excursions. We know you do this because of wise changes that were made after Viking Ocean’s first summer in the Baltic. Suggestions for future Grand Voyagers: Plan for HOT weather and extreme high humidity on this itinerary of traveling Feb-May as we did. We live in the southeast US and know humidity, but this is FAR worse. Plan to change your clothes from the skin out 2-3 times a day in many of these ports. Take enough clothing so you can do that. If you are on a long cruise with people getting on and off for various shorter :legs, “ ask the management to gather the “voyagers’ for cocktails and /or dinner and get everyone’s first names and cabin number while they are at that first gathering, That way you will know where to find each other! Emails help, too, if you want to be able to contact everyone. The ship management cannot give you this info. Thanks to TL from our group who spearheaded this! A long cruise is a marathon, not a sprint. If one excursions or day is lousy, just look to the next one. Share your feedback in a constructive manner. It goes much further, and the crew will always want to help you. Vary your excursions. Don’t book too many temples, street market visits, or anything else. You’ll get tired of it! READ the Viking Daily—before you go to bed! Get accustomed to giving laundry advice in Viking’s free launderettes. You know how they work, and you don’t want the newbies to break the machines! 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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I have sailed a lot, probably close to100 cruises. On Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, I have spent over 360 days. But I was so impressed with everything about this voyage, I’m not sure I ever will go back to any other line; I think I have ... Read More
I have sailed a lot, probably close to100 cruises. On Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, I have spent over 360 days. But I was so impressed with everything about this voyage, I’m not sure I ever will go back to any other line; I think I have found my new home on the seas. embarkation and disembarkation both went very smoothly, a benefit of sailing with only 900 other passengers. This was not only the first and last day of the cruise but also for every port we visited. We were in Suite 4000, a ES1 category. Before sailing, I looked at the diagram for the owner’s suite on deck 7. I wondered if I would have wanted or needed everything provided in that cabin. Once we boarded and were settled in our suite, I was perfectly happy and would not have wanted to move upstairs. Heck, even the lowest standard cabins on Vining Ocean are better than many higher-level cabins on other cruise lines. I have often been a Grills passenger on Cunard. The Queen’s Grill on QM2 is considered by some to be the best restaurant at sea. Although Wiking does not offer dishes prepared table side, the quality and presentation and variety is equal to the food on other ships. Open dining was a delight and we never had a wait, It was nice to have the alternative dining restaurants and not have to pay extra. The rotating menu at the Chef’s Table was a deal. We ate there five nights during the month we were on board. Wine (which was not bad) and beer (which I don’t drink) were free during meals and I never paid for non-alcoholic beverages and coffee away from the restaurants. I consider it a benefit not to have a casino on the ships, photographers always wanting to take your picture, and on the shops on board lining the hallways as they apply their wares. I loved not having announcements every hour. The lecturers were very good and well-versed to discuss their topics, especially the port talks. Evening stage shows were above-average and well attended, but not the glitzy performances produced on larger ships. At least one excursion is free in every port. I participated in some of those and they were fine. The optional, paid excursions were well run and educational. Good variety of options. The gym is good, plenty of machines. Never crowded. A great spa and - since the line is Norwegian - great sauna, jacuzzi, ice water buckets AND a snow grotto. Imagine a snowball fight in the Suez Canal, I can’t say enough to complement the Viking professionals who made this such an enjoyable adventure. I liked it so much that I already have booked a one month journey next summer. I am sold on Viking! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
It was our 25th Anniversary and we wanted something special. We had heard great reviews about Viking Cruises and they lived up to all of it. We stayed 4 days in Venice to visit relatives prior to the cruise. Embarkation and Disembarkation ... Read More
It was our 25th Anniversary and we wanted something special. We had heard great reviews about Viking Cruises and they lived up to all of it. We stayed 4 days in Venice to visit relatives prior to the cruise. Embarkation and Disembarkation were VERY smooth. We did not wait like we have in the past on other cruise lines. Ports and shore excursions were very good! We really enjoyed the fact we had extra time to do shopping or sightseeing on our own in most of the ports. Our cabin was perfect! We loved the space and king size bed! The Orion was new in 2018 and you could tell! Clean and comfortable! It was very cozy to lie on the deck or in the Explorer's Lounges with cozy blankets and amazing views. The staff really paid personal attention to us! Entertainment was good- band and Pablo but ended early. The Viking Spa and Bathing experience was also amazing! However we really did not discover it until last couple days. The welcome aboard with champagne and cool cloths was very refreshing especially since the temperatures were in the 90's! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
1st Viking cruise. Travelled Adriatic Sea from Venice. Did the pre cruise hotel stay at Hilton Molino Stucky and enjoyed the hotel and location despite it not being in Venice proper. Embarkation was smooth and we enjoyed our first ... Read More
1st Viking cruise. Travelled Adriatic Sea from Venice. Did the pre cruise hotel stay at Hilton Molino Stucky and enjoyed the hotel and location despite it not being in Venice proper. Embarkation was smooth and we enjoyed our first meal in the World Cafe. That became our favourite venue for dinner as the aft deck was wonderful to sit out for dinner and catch the sail out and the sunset every evening. We did have a gourmet dinner at Manfredis one night but could not resist sampling the delicious offerings at the World Cafe. The supervisor Casper came around each evening to make sure we were enjoying ourselves and had what we wanted as did the rest of the wait staff. The ship is stunning from bow to stern. We tried to check out each area and the Explorer's Lounge was a favourite for a relaxing drink while following our path. Viking has thought of everything a cruiser might want and some they don't even know they want. Our cabin was starboard 3rd deck. We treated ourselves to room service every morning and enjoyed coffee on the balcony as the sun rose in all our ports. Our cabin attendants Arvin and Rustille kept our room spotless and were in tune to our needs for sure. Lots of storage space in the cabin and bathroom. I took a hanging storage item but really did not need it. Amenities were wonderful and plentiful . Lots of USB ports and plugs. We had a mix of included tours, optional tours and private tours and were pleased with all we chose. They were very organized to get us all off the ship and in our proper busses and one day they had a big dance party to welcome us back! Always provided water to take with you and cold cloths to welcome you back. I really can't speak about the entertainment as we were always too tired to attend the events. Up by 6, breakfast at 7 and off the ship by 8. The heat necessitated a rest and a shower prior to dinner which always ended at 9 when the sun went down. After that it was back to the cabin to enjoy a drink on the balcony and look at the stars. The port talks are available on the TV which we watched at our leisure and they were repeated in the theater as you waited for your tour to be called. All the staff could not have been more professional and hospitable. Smiling as they go about their day offering to help you in any way. I trust they enjoy working for Viking. Do not hesitate to travel with Viking however do your research to determine the type of cruise you desire. If it's a huge pool and recreation, gambling and glitzy shows look elsewhere. If you want personal service, gourmet dining, relaxation and top notch port excursions then consider Viking. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our first ocean cruise after having enjoyed two river cruises with Viking. The standards of high quality were across the board. Really enjoyed the entire cruise experience. The ship was outstanding. Loved the Explorer’s Lounge ... Read More
This was our first ocean cruise after having enjoyed two river cruises with Viking. The standards of high quality were across the board. Really enjoyed the entire cruise experience. The ship was outstanding. Loved the Explorer’s Lounge and pool areas. We liked the general dining even more than the restraints requiring reservations, which I think speaks to the general quality of the food offerings. The amenities and services were the quality we’ve come to expect Fromm Viking. Love all of the decorating and fine finishes, especially our room. Our room steward room wonderful care to ensure that things were tended to properly. Also enjoyed the room service feature which we used to enjoy breakfast from our veranda as we pulled into port each morning. The excursions are nice but I wish there was an accelerated option. We like to move through things a bit faster. The only disappointing part of the trip was the post extension hotel selection. Did not care for the Athens Hilton. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit the destinations of Venice, Croatia and Greece and explore the Adriatic region. Every detail of this trip exceeded our expectations. Our cabin , the penthouse veranda, was beautiful and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit the destinations of Venice, Croatia and Greece and explore the Adriatic region. Every detail of this trip exceeded our expectations. Our cabin , the penthouse veranda, was beautiful and spotlessly clean. Food onboard was excellent and plentiful and the wait staff is superb . We met so many wonderful young people from many nations working together to meet our every need. Shore excursions were well planned and the tour guides were so, so good and ready to answer any question and shared from their personal experiences in their homelands. The Orion was only 2 months old when we sailed so it was sparklingly beautiful in every way. I cannot say enough that would do justice to our wonderful experience celebrating 40 years of marriage with the Viking family. This was our very first cruise ever and we are ready to “set sail” as soon as we can! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise because my wife's family if Serbian-Croatian and we wanted to visit her ancestor's homeland. The trip exceeded our expectations in every way. The Viking staff; from arrival at Venice airport, to our ... Read More
We chose this cruise because my wife's family if Serbian-Croatian and we wanted to visit her ancestor's homeland. The trip exceeded our expectations in every way. The Viking staff; from arrival at Venice airport, to our departure in Athens, could not have been more accommodating and helpful. Seamless transfers to and from the ship are always welcomed; be it the days of embarkation or debarking or the day trips available through Viking. The food; oh my, the food. Spectacular at every meal and every venue whether it was room service breakfast, sit down dinners at the Chefs Table, or (my preference) cruising the buffet at every meal. The Viking staff cannot be surpassed; everyone was courteous and knowledgeable. I have even exchange emails with one of your staff since we have returned home and hope to keep in contact with him in the near future. Thank you Viking for making our experience so memorable. We cannot wait to cruise with you again! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
The cruise was fantastic. The room was comfortable, the crew was amazing, the food was great, the excursions were absolutely phenomenal. We had only been on a river cruise and were concerned that the bigger ship may mean long lines and ... Read More
The cruise was fantastic. The room was comfortable, the crew was amazing, the food was great, the excursions were absolutely phenomenal. We had only been on a river cruise and were concerned that the bigger ship may mean long lines and waiting. We needn't have worried. No lines and no waiting. It's difficult to choose a favorite stop: the many hued houses of Burano; the glass making in Murano; Krka national Park with the beautiful water falls (Do take this excursion. It's a pleasant foil to the old towns.); the old walled towns in Split, Dubrovnik (wow) and Kotor (what a view up the mountain!); and classic ancient Olympia and Athens! Make sure to add on the two days in Athens. I don't know what could have been better. The gentleman who took care of our room and the young lady whose area we sat in for meals were absolutely professional and wonderful.The excursions were well organized and all were very interesting. All the Viking employees are pleasant with a nice greeting every time you passed one in the hall. The entertainment in the central lounge was exceptional. Loved it while enjoying a drink after dinner. Didn't matter whether it was classical, piano, or jazz. Don't miss the hot tub after all the walking during the shore excursions. Wonderfully relaxing. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
A friend of mine recommended Viking as a way to visit Italy. I'm so sorry this is the path we chose. Onboard- jr. Penthouse is a fantastic room and clean. Other than that, I am NOT impressed and more than dissatisfied with the ... Read More
A friend of mine recommended Viking as a way to visit Italy. I'm so sorry this is the path we chose. Onboard- jr. Penthouse is a fantastic room and clean. Other than that, I am NOT impressed and more than dissatisfied with the service, & ship amenities. The pool is EXTREMELY small, no casino, no evening entertainment (other than various musicians in areas of the ship), restaurant and buffet hours are limited & CLOSE EARLIER THAN HOURS LISTED. The guest services personnel ARE not informed of the various tours available & "waitlist " you if a tour is full. Waitlist means nothing other than you'd like to book it but can't. They have no regard for the traveler with limited time in ports, & do not attempt to assist in alternate arrangements. Having cruised on Princess and Royal Caribbean, and paid half the price; this cruiseline does not compare. This will be my last viking cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We had done two Viking River Cruises and wanted to experience a sea cruise. We were happy with our choice and the whole experience was wonderful including the food, the crew and the wonderful ship. We were impressed with the furnishings ... Read More
We had done two Viking River Cruises and wanted to experience a sea cruise. We were happy with our choice and the whole experience was wonderful including the food, the crew and the wonderful ship. We were impressed with the furnishings and the books were much appreciated as well as the extras such as blankets and cushions. We felt that we were very safe and cared for and that is important as we are seniors and far from home. Everyone on the ship were friendly and helpful. The entertainment was amazing and we think it surpassed any others we have had on vacations. The choices of music and dance were very good and also we do like the talks you gave us on our venues and some of the history. We really appreciated the Viking presence at the airports, the hotels for extensions and also in Venice at the ferry boats. We felt that though in a strange city we were always able to get advice and help when needed which is a great comfort. The cabin ard was very helpful and kept our state room amacculate and made sure our provisions were always replaced. Thank you for a wonderful experience. We hope to make another cruise in the near future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We lived Viking River Cruises so we thought we would try an ocean cruise. Traveling around the boot of Italy sounded like a great first Ocean Cruise. We heard Viking’s Ocean Cruises were No. 1 so we decided t go with it. Great ... Read More
We lived Viking River Cruises so we thought we would try an ocean cruise. Traveling around the boot of Italy sounded like a great first Ocean Cruise. We heard Viking’s Ocean Cruises were No. 1 so we decided t go with it. Great decision!!! People were so nice, food was delicious, tours beautiful and the whole trip a wonderful experience. We highly recommend it to everyone we talk to. Breakfast was always very tasty and friendly service everywhere. When we had lunch onboard we always had choices around the ship. Dinners were the best! Special restaurants were available with gourmet meals and wines! Entertainment was always available with so much talent. Special bars were located all over the ship with very friendly and helpful bartenders. The pools were fun to jump into at the end of very hot days. Overall I just have to say that it was the best trip we have ever been on. Thank you for a trip of a lifetime! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
Orion was immaculate, a new ship and the crew was together just two months prior to our sailing; so in essence, everyone was "new" onboard. In true Viking fashion, everything went very smoothly (for us). We essentially sailed ... Read More
Orion was immaculate, a new ship and the crew was together just two months prior to our sailing; so in essence, everyone was "new" onboard. In true Viking fashion, everything went very smoothly (for us). We essentially sailed what's now called Mediterranean Odyssey (Barcelona to Venice). Our cruise was somehow overbooked, so the ship seemed more crowded than usual, full capacity I'm sure. (We've cruised with Viking several times, both River and Ocean.) Nonetheless, they asked for daily real-time feedbacks and seemed to make adjustments along the way. Overall, the trip was very enjoyable. Unfortunately, just about every port we went to was extremely hot. The walking tours would have been wonderful strolls otherwise. Nevertheless, we saw and learned so much. The trip gave us what we wanted: an overview of the land for future visits. Things that were unexpectedly outstanding: the cruise director and the entertainment. The cruise director was very personable and talented. He also mixed with the crowd. We found the singing/dancing by the four young people at the theater totally amazing. When not performing, they greeted us at the theater doors, and impressed us as ordinary people, all from the UK. When on stage, however, they transformed into professional performers who sang ABBA, Beatles, and Broadway songs. Their choreography was excellent. I was transported back to the 60s/70s. Parts of the Broadway songs even brought tears to my eyes--just wonderful performance. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose it because of Viking’s reputation. Also we really wanted to visit the countries on this trip. I learned quickly that all staff were eager to please. We had an awesome steward and housekeeping person. The cabin was small but ... Read More
We chose it because of Viking’s reputation. Also we really wanted to visit the countries on this trip. I learned quickly that all staff were eager to please. We had an awesome steward and housekeeping person. The cabin was small but well appointed. The beds were delightful, and the bathroom shower and sink worked well. The included tours were a bit variable, some were great at giving you a taste of the local flavor, while others seemed to be focused on dropping people off to shop in select areas. A visit to a Tuscan farm/winery was one of my favorites. All the travelers onboard were so nice. Food was excellent overall. I have several dietary restrictions which they accommodated without a glitch. We took the silver spirit package which was worth the cost to have many selections. Entertainment was fabulous. My favorite was Dancing Under The Stars, but everything we attended was excellent. It seemed that the band could play every genre possible. Now for the negative. My husband bought me a ring during a jewelers event. The paperwork identifies Harding Retail (main jeweler on cruise lines) as the seller. The problem is, I was not informed sufficiently about getting the VAT returned. This was over $1,000 US. Harding retail will not pick up the phone or return a call to see how a return of the VAT can be made. Viking has indicated that this is not something they could help with, and I find this disturbing since the jeweler was allowed to operate on their ship. My husband and I had booked another trip with Viking, but we are having doubts about following through with this plan. I invite Harding Retail and/or Viking to respond and resolve this problem. I will gladly post a retraction if either finally solve the problem. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise for our honeymoon and could not be happier with our choice!!! The ship was absolutely breathtaking, everything we could imagine was available and then some (ex. The bathrooms in the staterooms have heated floors and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our honeymoon and could not be happier with our choice!!! The ship was absolutely breathtaking, everything we could imagine was available and then some (ex. The bathrooms in the staterooms have heated floors and mirrors...). The amenities on board kept us entertained an interested, and we didn't even get to try everything. The dining was fantastic, specially restaurants were amazing and even the casual buffet style dining was better than we've ever experienced anywhere. The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful at all times, they always had a smile and were more than happy to help with anything we could ever want. The shore excursions were absolutely delightful and so very interesting!! Every one of them was inspiring and exciting. The tour guide companies Viking contracted with were wonderful, they were not difficult to understand, the headsets made it so nobody had to yell or strain to hear, and the guides always had more information than you could imagine. We haven't stopped talking about our cruise since we returned home and have even made purchases of household items that are similar to on the ship so we can pretend we're still there. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our first cruise. We fell in love with the Viking experience and have already spoken of future locations to look into..... All around fantastic experience, couldn't imagine cruising with another line. We chose the Junior ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We fell in love with the Viking experience and have already spoken of future locations to look into..... All around fantastic experience, couldn't imagine cruising with another line. We chose the Junior Veranda Suite and could not have been happier. Very roomy and the bathroom was well appointed and had more than enough room. Bed and furniture was quite comfortable and lines were very nice. Our cabin was cleaned twice a day and the free laundry service was fantastic. The dining was superb. From the World Cafe to The Restaurant you will not have a bad meal. We did dine at the Chef's Table and Manfredo's multiple times and our favorite was Manfredo. Food was excellent and authentic Italian. Simply loved the bread and olive oil paired with the hard parmeigiano reggiano cheese. Crew was personable, professional and above all, friendly! A wonderful experience from start to finish and I cant wait to book another trip!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
While many in our group had visited most of the ports previously, we all wanted to visit the scheduled ports.We greatly enjoyed out pre-cruise in Madrid. The change of itinerary, costing us a night in Barcelona, was disappointing, though ... Read More
While many in our group had visited most of the ports previously, we all wanted to visit the scheduled ports.We greatly enjoyed out pre-cruise in Madrid. The change of itinerary, costing us a night in Barcelona, was disappointing, though Sète was lovely. The other ports were fantastic and the excursions, both included and optional, were well run and educational. We were a bit disappointed in the wine tasting at Valmagne Abbey (extremely limited amounts of wine to taste and quite discourteous servers), but the tour guides were all excellent and the locations provided great adventures and experiences for all of us. Toilets on all tour buses, regardless of length of tour, would be an improvement. One of the best things about the cruise was having an astronomer in residence; his expertise during star and planet gazing and when the international Space Station passed over the Orion was an amazing experience! We utilized and loved the included areas of the spa, including the cold room. The food and included wine was great and meals were leisurely, well served affairs. Both the spa and meal service are areas where Viking's luxury treatment of guests shines. The on board entertainment was good to adequate and provides Viking with an area in which to improve. We are looking forward to our next cruise with Viking. Our only real complaint stemmed from the flight arrangements going home. Viking needs to find a much better way to do flight arrangements, one that gives Viking far more control and the ability to provide much better customer service for dealing with problems and issues. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose the cruise because we enjoyed the river cruise we took in May of 2017. We also wanted to compare the ocean cruise to Princess ocean cruises. We liked the smaller ship, loved the free laundry. The entertainment was good for a ... Read More
We chose the cruise because we enjoyed the river cruise we took in May of 2017. We also wanted to compare the ocean cruise to Princess ocean cruises. We liked the smaller ship, loved the free laundry. The entertainment was good for a smaller ship. Princess entertainment is extravagant in comparison, due to the fact that they have been around longer and are experienced in it. Their sets are well designed and we enjoyed meeting the actors, seeing their rooms and finding out about what it takes to be an entertainer on Princess. We loved eating at the Chef's Table, Asian Panorama. We enjoyed the Winter Garden, the spa with the Snow Gratto. We enjoyed dancing on the deck under the stars and at the night club, danced from 8:30 PM until it closed. It was such a wonderful experience that we booked another Viking Ocean cruise in May of 2019. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We really liked our Viking River Cruise and were excited to be one of the first to sail on the Viking Orion Ship! When we saw the western Mediterranean, we knew that was the one to take. We loved the fact that this is a smaller vessel! ... Read More
We really liked our Viking River Cruise and were excited to be one of the first to sail on the Viking Orion Ship! When we saw the western Mediterranean, we knew that was the one to take. We loved the fact that this is a smaller vessel! Hate those giant “floating cities”!!! And because of this fact, we were able to port in smaller places and take advantage of some very quaint and unique cities, towns, and sites Sete, Marseilles etc...! Loved the towns of Nice, Eze, Cassis and the Calanques, and spent two days in the the port of Livorno so extra time in Florence and Pisa. This Ship was absolutely Amazing!!!! Loved the spa area...giant spa, Steam room, saunas, cold pool, heated lounge chairs and especially the snow grotto!! Also the outdoor pool features a retractable roof so it was always available to hang out and relax. They also had more private lounging/cabana areas that over looked the Sea. The Orion also features an Astrological and Norse themes, events, decor....featuring a Planetarium! So were beautiful and fun! Everything is State-of-the-art....down to several Large interactive touch screen tables! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
I had heard that Viking Cruises provided a higher cultural experience than other lines. I find that to be true. The music, lectures, art on board all lend to a extraordinary experience. The spa and fitness center are excellent. There ... Read More
I had heard that Viking Cruises provided a higher cultural experience than other lines. I find that to be true. The music, lectures, art on board all lend to a extraordinary experience. The spa and fitness center are excellent. There is no casino, water slides, blaring music or kids. The amenities included (WiFi, shore excursions, drinks at dinner) are well worth it. The free shore excursions are all walking tours of whatever port we are in. Those that we booked I found interesting. If you are in the last group that gets to book excursions you may find the best times sold out. The paid excursions are excellent especially if you like exploring the food and wines of the regions visited. Many excursions focus on these aspects of culture. On board activities and entertainment was good and varied with something for everyone. It ranged from lectures about upcoming regions, an ABBA music revue, Jazz concert, various musicians playing each night. I have already booked another cruise for 2020. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
My wife and I just returned from a eight day Viking Western Mediterranean cruise. The ship is brand new (June 2018). It was beautiful and had lots of modern amenities. In addition, the Viking staff were wonderful. We loved our cabin ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from a eight day Viking Western Mediterranean cruise. The ship is brand new (June 2018). It was beautiful and had lots of modern amenities. In addition, the Viking staff were wonderful. We loved our cabin attendant, the wait staff, kitchen staff, tour guides, entertainment, etc. The Food and dining choices were excellent. Also the Spa and Workout area are top notch. As to ports, we visited Pisa (one of our favorites), Florence, Monaco, St. Topaz, Marseille, and Barcelona. The ports were a bit 'stick' from heat, but I blame that on July and not Viking. As the ship was brand new, there were a few 'glitches'. Our in room coffee maker and built in USB recharge ports were non-functional. Also, the ship had frequent elevator issues were one or more of the six elevators were always down. Also, our mid ship cabin had an extremely weak WiFi signal. We had to go to a common area in order to access the ship's WiFi. Tips: 1) BOOK YOUR EXCURSION EARLY! We were used to Vikings River Cruises were you would book your excursion once you got on the ship. Not so with the Ocean Cruises. Book early or you are unlikely to get the excursion you want. 2) Book dinner at one of the specialty restaurants as soon as you board the ship! We were slow on the draw here and could not get a formal reservation at either of the two specialty restaurants, however you can always just show up and depending on demand, they may be able to seat you. 3) Download the Viking App before you arrive. It will help you quickly book your tours and dinner reservations, as well as act as daily guide to activities. Bonus Tip! The ship has free on board laundry facilities (including detergent). Four washer/dryers per deck. You don't have to overpack knowing you can do a laundry run mid week! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
All inclusive excursions, no days at sea, fully stocked mini bar included (with chocolate and nuts!), no extra charge for specialty restaurants, no children permitted and very reasonable beverage upgrade package were all very important ... Read More
All inclusive excursions, no days at sea, fully stocked mini bar included (with chocolate and nuts!), no extra charge for specialty restaurants, no children permitted and very reasonable beverage upgrade package were all very important factors in our cruise decision to sail with Viking Ocean cruises. Staff were always eager to help out. Restaurants were very accommodating as to dinner schedule, food choices, beverage choices, pace of dinner, table selection and food allergies. Movies included on the room TV were just right. Lots of choices and easy to navigate. The pool was very nice with endless towels and helpful staff. Afternoon tea was a real treat! Next cruise we will be there every day for the tea! Pre-cruise days in Rome worked out well. Hotel selection was great. Embarkments was super fast - maybe 5 minutes in total. Our cabin was ready when promised and our cruise was off to a great start! Read Less
Viking Orion Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.4
Family N/A 4.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 5.0 4.2
Service 4.5 4.5
Value For Money 5.0 4.0

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