We had taken several trips to Europe and felt that we wanted to experience the Asian culture for a change. The cruise allowed us that experience. The ship provided us with very comfortable living quarters while learning on the several shore excursions we took. We began in Hong Kong with a brief tour of our own and then took a provided tour which was an excellent overview of the city. The demonstrations were occurring during that time, but we were not exposed to any of it. The tour director did a good job of taking us to areas away from them. Our embarkation was seamless. The ship was docked in the center of Hong Kong and the bus took us directly from the airport to the ship with no problems. Our cabin was ready when we arrived and was just as we expected---clean and homey as it could be.
The dining areas were quite nice. Manfredi's was our favorite restaurant, but the Restaurant was more than adequate. It provided a good mix of offerings each night. We were able to be seated with other couples most nights which allowed us time to meet people form other parts. Breakfast was always wonderful. They had plenty of variety and fresh offerings.
We had been on another Viking cruise (the No. Europe). We felt that the entertainment on this one (Orion) was superior to the one in Europe. The quality was more professional . On this cruise we spent more time in the lectures than before. This allowed us to learn the culture even more.
The free shore excursions gave a good overview of the city/area we stopped. We took one excursion---the water puppets---in Vietnam that we felt was a waste of time---too long of travel to get there for the value we received. But, most of the excursions were good. We took private excursions in Saigon and in Hoi An.
The problem with the ports where we stopped was that they were far from the city. For example, in Saigon, we had to travel an hour to get to the city. We were there three days.
I wish we could have gone to Chu Lai (near Da Nang), the area I served in when I was in the Army in Vietnam. But, it didn't seem plausible.
The trip/stop at Sihanoukville Cambodia was somewhat of a low point in the Cambodian stop. We had fairly long drive and didn't see much when we finally got to our destination. It didn't seem well organized. I am thinking they could have arranged a better stop or tour for Cambodia. Fortunately, for us, we elected to do the extension to Angkor Wat after the cruise. This took us to Siem Reap for 3 days. It was an excellent experience in Cambodia.
I think the trip could have included more time in Bangkok. In Bangkok, the ship docked 1-1.5 hours away from Bangkok.. We had just one day in Bangkok, and it seemed that much of it was taken up with travel to get there. I would recommend more time in Bangkok and less time in Cambodia.
In all, we wanted to experience the Asian culture. We did. We had not been exposed to third-world countries like we did on this trip. It was very enlightening.
We enjoyed our cabin. It was well kept. Our stateroom steward did an excellent job. We did have a problem of plugging in the hair dryer in the bathroom. We had to plug it in the bedroom. Not a big issue.