5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because it included Australia and New Zealand. This is a beautiful, well appointed new ship. The crew was fantastic, the food, and the entertainment were very good. There is never a long wait for dining, and every ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it included Australia and New Zealand. This is a beautiful, well appointed new ship. The crew was fantastic, the food, and the entertainment were very good. There is never a long wait for dining, and every seat has a view.The shore excursions left something to be desired, but they are new to this itinerary, so I can forgive them. We had a few problems one night, however, when we went to the proper channels they were quickly correctly, and from that moment on, we were treated like royalty by the entire staff. The embarkation process at each port was very slow because it seem that every tour came back the same time, and they only had one entry to the ship. The included Wifi was great. No trouble communicating anywhere. Overall, we would be very happy to sail with Viking again. This was our 39th cruise, and our first on Viking. We are an older couple, so we wanted a quiet ship , so if you're younger, looking for excitement, don't go on this ship. No children under 18 yrs and there were no couples on the ship under 45 of yrs of age. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Our previous experience with Viking was the Midnight Sun. We were pleased with the quality of services and ship. We arrived 3 days early in New Zealand and stayed an extra 4 days in Sydney. Time allowed by Viking would not have done ... Read More
Our previous experience with Viking was the Midnight Sun. We were pleased with the quality of services and ship. We arrived 3 days early in New Zealand and stayed an extra 4 days in Sydney. Time allowed by Viking would not have done justice to these cities. We planned our own package with the help of our TA. We were very happy with the ports visited. Shore excursions need a little work - you almost have to book paid excursions to see what you want. Tours overlap so you must choose; you might take two if timing was better. Christchurch is still recovering from the earthquake. Many of their monuments will never be rebuilt. We appreciated seeing what they have accomplished. The tram ride and botanic gardens were very good. Even included a surprise tea in the trolley. We found all guides to be very friendly. Some were more informative than others. Tour times/departures were well organized. All were walk-off - no tenders! We especially enjoyed Napier (Art Deco-car ride) and Dunedin (Taieri Rail Trip). Our first trip to this area of the world. Would definitely consider again if it weren’t so far!! Viking should do a better job at getting detailed information to passengers BEFORE the online booking date. The online experience is tedious and requires that you print your own info. We did receive a detailed list, but too close to our departure. Tours should also include meals and snacks when offered. We had several tours that included a meal (large snack) ther we weren’t expecting. A tour that left at eleven a.m. required you to purchase a meal. Better if we know ahead what will be provided Room service was excellent. Juan Carlos deck 4 - did a great job. Moved the coffee machine to a higher cabinet as we don’t use the machine in the room. Dining room staff still seems to be learning their way. The automated ordering system seems to have some slip ups. Bar and lounge service was great. We are husband and wife traveling with 2 friends. Manfredi’s-dined there twice. Found the food to be good quality both times. Second service was a little sloppy. One in our party received his pasta as a separate course-the rest had theirs included with the main course. I think this is a problem with the way the menu appears on the ordering app. Chef’s Table-also dined there twice. Xiang and Asian Panorama. Both meals were good; wine pairings well-suited. Portions were not huge, but gave a good idea of flavors. Was a full meal. The Restaurant-we found a good selection of food. Meats were excellent. What is missing is any local seafood. Now that Viking is around the world, the need to offer seafood beyond the waters of Norway. Ship needs to fix the dinner in the second to the last night. Two shows plus the Captain’s Farwell meant that almost no one could eat in The Restaurant after the first show. World Cafe - we found a good variety of selections for each meal. Varied offerings for many cultures; you could always find something to eat. Nice to add in special grill offerings every few days - chicken schnitzel, lobster, etc. Back by the pool area. Entertainment /Activities - good variety in entertainment for us. Varied from night to night. Lectures available if you wanted and a good selection in your cabin if you missed a port talk. Sea day activities sufficient for us. There were 8-9 activities scheduled - we did expect Viking to be more in the quiet side. Embarkation/disembarkation-very smooth for us. Arrived 15 min. prior to scheduled time and were let right on. Less than 10 people waiting. Short wait in the ship-sipping champagne-and our room was ready. Luggage all delivered within 30 min. Same for leaving the ship. We were independent travelers. Had breakfast and left the ship by 8:30a.m. Taxis readily available and we were at our hotel in 20 minutes. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We have been on a Viking River cruise and really liked it. Have always had Australia/New Zealand on our list, so decided to try their ocean cruise. It was a great trip. It did not have the high budget shows, or casino or big parties, ... Read More
We have been on a Viking River cruise and really liked it. Have always had Australia/New Zealand on our list, so decided to try their ocean cruise. It was a great trip. It did not have the high budget shows, or casino or big parties, but had the level of entertainment and activities suited to what we like. They had a wonderful pianist, creative guitarist, violin/cello duo and fun singing group, all who entertained every day somewhere on the ship. We took all the included tours, which are mostly city tours, which are all considered easy, and fit our walking ability. Mostly ate on the 7th floor buffet so we could look out at the cities. Got really lucky and started in Auckland on their anniversary day which was celebrated on the pier next to the ship. Lots of music and fireworks. Learned a lot about New Zealand on the trip, which was our main objective. Watched the Super Bowl in the middle of the Tasman Sea, which was technologically cool. The one suggestion we would make to Viking would be to have scheduled seating times in the Restaurant, and assigned seating with other couples. We have done that on a number of cruises and found it a great way to get to know other people. The best part of our trip was the post cruise extension, Best of Australia, where we want out to Uluru-kata tjuta National park and Alice Springs. Had a great tour guide and lots of interesting sites to see. Learned so much about Aboriginal culture and history, as well as geology. Overall a very relaxed, enjoyable trip. We liked the smaller ship and hope to take more Viking River and Ocean cruises in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Overall I enjoyed our cruise on Viking Orion. My husband and I booked with Viking because we were tired of large ships with no private space and we didn't want to be nickled and dimed. We wanted an adult experience without casinos, ... Read More
Overall I enjoyed our cruise on Viking Orion. My husband and I booked with Viking because we were tired of large ships with no private space and we didn't want to be nickled and dimed. We wanted an adult experience without casinos, dress up nights or photos. We also chose Viking because we liked the itinerary, shore excursions were allegedly included and the ship spent longer in each port. We were also tired of fighting crowds on larger ships. Our stateroom was lovely and the service was excellent, except for some minor issues in the dining room. Two serious difficulties arose during the voyage. First, Viking eliminated a port call in New Zealand called Roatua. Viking did provide $500.00 in a ship board credit for both my husband and me as compensation. I used this credit to book shore excursions. There was a serious problem with booking the included shore excursions. The excursions could only be booked 65 days in advance of the cruise on line. However, the included cruises were immediately sold out. So, if you were in a lower category cabin, there was often no included excursion available. The optional excursions were far more interesting than the included ones. The included excursions often conflicted with the included ones. It was frustrating, especially since I had to book several private tours. Some of the included city tours were less than impressive. I did enjoy several of the excursions....notably the Gannet Safari, the Taleri Gorge Train Ride and the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. I also enjoyed the resident historian, the shore talks and the enrichment activities on board. I found plenty to do on sea days. I would have liked extra time in Hobart and an extra day in Melbourne. The sail into Sydney Harbour was lovely. The entertainment on board was good. The cruise director was an Australian child star (now an adult) who did an excellent job. He did a terrific performance. The four singers on board did a credible job. I wasn't expecting the large Broadway shows performed on larger ships so I wasn't disappointed. I liked the free Wi-Fi, the included wine with dinner, not having to contend with noisy children, the enrichment activities and the lovely quiet spaces on the ship. I never felt crowded and I could always find a quiet place to read and relax. I didn't like the elimination of a port, slow service in the dining room or the issue with booking shore excursions. I felt that Viking engaged in false advertising with stating that a shore excursion was included I every port. For the reasons stated above, the included excursions could not be booked. I enjoyed the cruise but I am still trying to decide whether or not it was worth the additional amount of money that we spent above what we would have spent on Princess......I think we will likely book a Viking River Cruise but I am not sure about another ocean cruise. Again, I will have to use a cost benefit analysis......overall pleasant, upscale experience with helpful, friendly staff. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I liked the original itinerary on Viking and that's why I chose it. After I had booked it, they eliminated Rotorua, New Zealand which was the stop I was looking forward to the most. They did give us a $500 per person credit, but I ... Read More
I liked the original itinerary on Viking and that's why I chose it. After I had booked it, they eliminated Rotorua, New Zealand which was the stop I was looking forward to the most. They did give us a $500 per person credit, but I wouldn't have booked it if I had known. The included shore excursions, with the exception of Aukland, were terrible. Poor choices of what to see, boring details, and lasted far too long. I booked $1,000 worth of extra excursions and I enjoyed them. Also, I have cruised on both Crystal and Oceania and the food on both is excellent. Some meals on Viking were good, but most were only ok. The evening entertainment was also a disappointment compared to Crystal. The room I was in was noisy during sea days and nights. We were above a life boat and I believe that contributed to the noise. It may not have been fastened down securely and it was creaking. I did book a deep tissue massage and it was fantastic. Even though I wouldn't recommend Viking, everyone working on the ship was outstanding. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We booked this cruise because of our previous experiences with Viking River and to join some friends. The process pre-cruise with booking excursions was horrible as most of the tours were listed as sold-out by the time they were opened to ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of our previous experiences with Viking River and to join some friends. The process pre-cruise with booking excursions was horrible as most of the tours were listed as sold-out by the time they were opened to us (and we were not in the last group!). The boarding process was very smooth and our cabin steward was very nice and capable. Once on board we found out that a number of the tours we had hoped for were now listed as available so we were able to get on some we were hoping for. The first night in the dining room was terrible. It took forever to get our meal and I had to send mine back twice because the meat was so under-cooked! The second and third nights were not much better but then they got into a rhythm and it seemed okay. However for the final several nights, I think they had new staff on board and the service dropped again. Most of the menus were not very exciting and somewhat repetitive. We went to most of the shows they offered. This was the first cruise for the Viking Vocalists quartet and their first shows were just okay. They improved but I think the choreography lacked pizzazz. The special entertainment that they had come on board was lacking. The Argentine tango duo danced well but they had too much narrative to their show. The guitarist played well but had no stage presence and little to interact with the audience. The Gertrude Opera was good but, again, the narrative distracted from the performance. The final guest performance, by the aboriginal dance theater, was excellent! We enjoyed the trivia times and the musical name that tune. I didn't think the guest lecturers were very good but did hear some positives from other guests. The excursions that we did were good. I heard some complaints about the Southern Alps trip and the Kangaroos and Koalas trip, neither of which we were on. The Healesville Sanctuary trip was an add-on excursion which we took and thoroughly enjoyed! Zealandia was a good one, also. The Napier tour by Classic Car was fun. Debarkation was simple and very easy. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Whe chose to try the Viking Ocean experience because we have enjoyed several river cruises with them. Unfortunatley, they did not live up to the excellent quality of thecriver cruises. It felt that the crew needed more training. They ... Read More
Whe chose to try the Viking Ocean experience because we have enjoyed several river cruises with them. Unfortunatley, they did not live up to the excellent quality of thecriver cruises. It felt that the crew needed more training. They weren't overly friendly and missed the mark in cresting a great experience. Communication was not great once on the ship. Their app works ok but doesn't let you add anything such as upcoming events so you have to keep track of your schedule on paper woth the daily and in the app for dinner, spa reservations. It was confusing. The music groups and evening entertainment were good when they were planned, however it wasn't every night. A couple nights it was taped Opera...and a lotvof bean bag challenges. A couple nights they did provide old movies in the pool area. The most frustrating thing was that we missed two (2) ports that we really wanted to visit. On a 14 day trip with already 3 days at sea planned that made our voyage 5 out of 14 days (or over 1/3) of our trip at sea and therecqas really nothing to do. It was pretty boring. The excusions that they included usually consisted of a trip in a bus around a city. Not that great. Overall I think we will stay with other lines to do an Ocean cruise and leave Viking for rivers. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise as the itinerary seemed very good and it seemed as though it was good to have some excursions and beer and wine included during meal times. Having said that, we had a very rough traverse of the Tasman Sea from Hobart ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the itinerary seemed very good and it seemed as though it was good to have some excursions and beer and wine included during meal times. Having said that, we had a very rough traverse of the Tasman Sea from Hobart to Dunedin. The ship rocked excessively from side to side, especially overnight the second night crossing. We enjoyed the excursions in Dunedin with great views of the surrounding areas from Signal Hill and a hike up Mt. Cargill. Cancelled Port: We were supposed to then travel to Christchurch, but despite indication that the sea was not all that rough ( certainly not as rough based on weather forecasts and other indications as the crossing in the Tasman Sea ), Christchurch was cancelled, citing safety concerns. We find it odd that of the 4 Viking cruise sailings between Sydney and Auckland, 2 were cancelled. And there was no compensation for Christchurch being cancelled. Ship It is beautifully appointed and there was never really a crowded area. There was comfortable seating throughout the ship. We were impressed by the cleanliness on the ship and that there were attendants constantly cleaning public washrooms. The cabin: It was nicely appointed and we found the PV2 to be a perfect size. The bathroom and main part of the cabin had ample space, although the veranda seemed a bit cramped to sit out on. Downside: The bed was painfully firm. This bed did not provide a comfortable sleeping experience. Food Quality: Dining we found to be questionable. The food, especially in the World Cafe was often lukewarm and sometimes overcooked. Desserts were quite amazing and gelato bar very popular. We had to send back several items in The Restaurant, including a lamb shank that was tough and lukewarm and a steak that was ordered medium rare and was definitely medium to medium well. What they call baked potatoes are not what I would refer to as baked. They are peeled potatoes and what I would call roasted, More than once they were overly soft and mushy. THis is a relatively smaller ship with just over 900 passengers, so there is an opportunity to do more frequent batch cooking. Often at dinner opening, the food was overcooked. One example was extremely overcooked mushy roasted wedge potatoes. The food was not all bad, however. The presentation was always excellent and taste usually very good. Included WInes: I found all the included wines to be very good. I suppose it would be difficult to satisfy all tastes as wine tasting can be so subjective. I was very grateful that throughout the cruise there were no oaked wines as I don't like that flavour. I think the wines were selected very carefully. Well done! Chef's Table Specialty Restaurant: We went to a dinner at the Chef's Table Specialty restaurant and enjoyed the Lotus fixed sample menu. However, we signed up for that night for a Thai menu and it was changed without a reason given. Reservations: Our dinner reservation for one of the nights in the specialty restaurant, Manfredi's was dropped off our list of reservations without explanation and no suitable fix was offered. Advice: Print a copy of all reservations on your account! That was a mistake on our part and they did not correct it. Lack of Follow Up by Management: As I mentioned earlier, I thought that the cleanliness and safety/sanitation was for the most part a focus on the ship. However, I filled out a questionnaire about a practice that I believe worked against maintaining health and safety. The comments were passed on and responded to, suggesting that I would see a noticeable change, which never happened. In all food venues on board, except the World cafe, all glassware was face up on the tables. In the World Cafe, the glassware was face down on soiled vinyl placemats. There was a risk of contamination between the drinking portion of the glassware and the soiled table mats. This is not congruent with the other good practices on the ship. I DID NOT appreciate a response that was only lip service and not a true follow up. I also filled out a survey upon disembarkation, commenting on the lack of proper follow up and nobody followed up from this either. Entertainment: We didn't attend a lot of the shows on board, but the ABBA review was pretty good, although a bit hammy. On the final night, they showed the film Bohemian Rhapsody, which was great as it is an Oscar nominated film this year. Service was excellent. All staff members would sincerely greet us at all times in the public areas of the ship. I can't say enough about the crew and their customer service. Explorer Dome: What some refer to as a planetarium, isn't really one. It is a film venue where those films are projected partly or fully onto the dome in a theatre above the explorer lounge. This is available only on the Orion and Jupiter ships. I thought the Mars show was excellent, simulating a human landing on Mars with international participants collecting specimens and reporting back to Earth. I would not recommend the Dolphins and Whales show. It only covered part of the screen and although 3D was of poor production quality. Spa: This was included with no extra fees, unless booking massages or other treatments. There were so many facets to it. Sauna, cold plunge pool, thermal pool, steam room, snow grotto. It was very refreshing and relaxing. I highly recommend visiting this area. There are towels and robes provided and the lockers are controlled by your room card, which was very convenient. The spa employees were very friendly and helpful, offering advice on receiving the maximum benefit from all the facets of the spa. Value: Questionable for a Canadian traveller, with a significant surcharge of over 35% in Canadian funds over the US price. For a 15 day cruise that cost over $22,000 CAD, a nicely appointed room on other reputable cruise lines could be had for significantly less, even if factoring in excursions and alcohol. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Overall, the cruise portion of our Aus/NZ trip was good. The itinerary was appealing as it included Hobart, Tasmania, and smaller centers in NZ. We arranged our own flights. Viking Orion is a classy looking ship with wonderful, ... Read More
Overall, the cruise portion of our Aus/NZ trip was good. The itinerary was appealing as it included Hobart, Tasmania, and smaller centers in NZ. We arranged our own flights. Viking Orion is a classy looking ship with wonderful, friendly fellow passengers. The vast majority were Americans, average age was a good 70. Public areas were well used but comfortable. My partner used the spa and really liked it. We were in a Penthouse Veranda and it has a minimalist decor with lots of storage, small veranda and good bathroom. Kept very clean and stocked with your choices. We did have to deal with the scalding hot/cool oscillations in the shower. This can be mitigated by turning the head on full force and adjusting the temp down until it at least it no longer sears. The bed is a king, good linens but for me way too firm. My sciatica acted up. I'm aware of the issues around booking shore excursions by suite category but we were able to book exactly what we wanted. Spaces did free up eventually on many showing sold out originally. Unlike some reviewers, I thought the optional excursions were great! Can recommend "Kangaroos and Koalas at Sunset" in Melbourne, "Wildlife Conservation Park and Historic Port Arthur" out of Hobart, "Great Houses of Dunedin", "Sheep Station & Te Mata Peak" out of Napier, and "Geothermal Rotorua" out of Tauranga. The food was of high ingredients quality, varied and attractively prepared. Shame, because more often than not, it was marred by too much salt, over richness and tepid serving temperatures. Kudos to the sushi, steaks and roasts, afternoon tea and service! Included wines were mostly good and generously offered. One of our Manfredi's reservations mysteriously disappeared and the restaurant manager just shrugged. We were usually too tired for the evening entertainment but did go to the planetarium twice. Not recommended as it is really just a mini Imax theater showing short childlike films. We had a very rough two day crossing of the Tasman Sea and then Christchurch was cancelled based on "safety first". Of course I defer these decisions to the bridge but where was safety first crossing the Tasman in those conditions, and sailing out of Wellington harbour in 100+ km/hr wind gusts? A much smaller cruise ship, the Caledonian Sky, sailed out of Christchurch to our port, Dunedin, the night we stayed put. It couldn't possibly have been as bad as the Tasman! Oh, and no compensation. Anyway, as only my second ever cruise, and having enjoyed the Viking brand, I have decided cruising is not for me but I certainly see the appeal to the many loyal Viking passengers. We met some great people who were always interesting to talk to! Read Less
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
Viking Orion Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family N/A 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 5.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0

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