This was our 14th cruise with Viking (9 river, 5 ocean). So, obviously, we have been very happy with them. We have come to expect beautiful ships and helpful polite staff and this trip certainly lived up to our expectations in those areas. Our cabin stewards and the waiters were hard working and cheerful. I love the sleek style of the ships.
Our tour, "Far East Explorations" was actually 2 cruises. The first 2 weeks, "Far East Horizons" was an uneven experience. The second 2 weeks, "Far East Discovery" was much better.
Full disclosure: We complained to Viking about 4 excursions after we returned home and they gave us shipboard credit for a future cruise equal to the cost of the tours. What could not be remedied, though, is the precious time that we wasted on these tours when we could have spent our time seeing other sights.
From the start, the first part of the trip felt poorly organized. As someone else noted, they scheduled a stop in Korea on a national holiday. Of course, eventually they realized this and notified us of a change in the itinerary, but wouldn't you think they would know about this before they set up the cruise? They also notified us before the cruise that an excursion we had selected had been cancelled "for operational reasons" and that the order of 2 ports was being switched.
The "Ultimate Hiroshima" tour took us to Miyajima to see the floating tori gate. It is being renovated and is covered up. This started in June and will likely continue for 2 years. I see in Viking's listings that they are still offering this excursion. (See photo) Be aware that you cannot see the gate.
On the "Shimabara and Mt. Unzen" tour, we were driven about 2 hours from Nagasaki. The description we were given mentioned things we did not see at all, such as "beautiful carp streams and traditional teahouses." But the worst part was the hot springs. The description said "You can enjoy a dip at the nearest ryokan," but when the excursion director saw us heading to the outing with towels, he said there would be no time for that. The hot springs were mostly empty. What was visible was pipes carrying the hot water to nearby hotels and spas. (See photos)
The "Hong Kong After Dark" tour started at 4:15 p.m.! It. Was. Not. Dark!!!!
I don't know why so much went wrong on this part of the trip. It is not what we expect from Viking.
I rated the fitness & recreation poor because the hot tub was broken 3 of the 4 times I tried to use it.
Our cabin was as we expected. Functional, nicely appointed.