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Viking Orion -Reviews for excursions getting worse???

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I have been on cruises along the Australian east coast on 3 different ships. The excursions are provided by local operators, all guides are native English speakers, some of them with a sense of humor. No tour was bad. Sometimes they can only show what they have. We also explore on our own. If you only find exciting cities like Hongkong and Singapore appealing, small ports will have a hard time competing.

 

But I must say that I have been on tours in other parts of the world where I gave negative feedback to the excursions department on the ship. I recommended to have a staff member participate the next time to experience it themselves.

 

In China, we have had the best tour guides and the worst guides in all our travels. The range of expertise and language skills is huge.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Floridiana said:

 If you only find exciting cities like Hongkong and Singapore appealing, small ports will have a hard time competing.

 

 

 

BRAVO! Probably the most insightful comment in this whole discussion. Viewed another way, if all you have traveled with Viking are the ports of Europe, then the smaller ports of the less American/European tourist-focused nations will have a hard time competing.

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35 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

BRAVO! Probably the most insightful comment in this whole discussion. Viewed another way, if all you have traveled with Viking are the ports of Europe, then the smaller ports of the less American/European tourist-focused nations will have a hard time competing.

 

One of our favourite itineraries has been Croatian/Dalmatian coast. Stunning. The issue with many Asian and Australian ports, other than Sydney, is that they were built to be industrial ports and not cruise ports. Very unattractive. And Asian cities are super crowded with traffic at all times. So there is often a great distance to get anywhere interesting. And with limited times in port that means wasted time. 

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What constitutes a cruise port?

 

Darwin, Cairns, Port Douglas, Airlie Beach, Mooloolaba are  in walking distance to the pier/tender pier. None of them industrial. Brisbane, you can take a cat to the CBD. When we wound up in the industrial port, the ship provided a shuttle bus.

 

In the review, tour groups had to unexpectedly walk in the heat in Cairns. This is something I would immediately address with the tour department on the ship after my return from the tour. They can talk to the tour provider and inform cruise line headquarters .

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Viking, thank you for answering the concerns via this forum. We are (very shortly) embarking on the Viking Orion 2/24 to 3/26 from Auckland to Bali. Several months ago I expressed my concerns to you via email regarding the excursions. I am happy that you have been looking at the problems and we are really hoping that we have some really nice tours. One of the reasons Viking is supposedly superior to other cruise lines is the included tour in each port. Sure, we could book our own (as we did on over 50 mainstream cruises), but a big lure to Viking was the included tours. Sure hope that they get better! For the price that we are paying, the included tours sure figured in. We don't have unlimited vacation funds (sure wish we did!! still working!!)

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Viking, I too thank you for answering the concerns of the cruisecritic family.  We will be on the Far East Discovery in September and I've been very conflicted about the excursion comments from previous travelers. We loved our Viking River Cruise and are so looking forward to trying the ocean cruise.  It's comforting to know that your headquarters are aware of and are trying to correct these problems.

 

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After reading all the bad reviews on my Far East Discovery cruise in September I was regretting booking it. 

Now things have got worse.  My DV6 cabin has been reduced  by $700 Australia per person plus free airfares added.  It  evens works out dearer for me as I have to convert from New Zealand dollars. I have paid $5600 for premium economy airfares.

This had better be a brilliant cruise, as at the moment I am not feeling good about it.  I had to work hard to convince my husband to go on an ocean cruise, as he only likes river cruises.

  To late to cancel as I  have paid for my airfares and would lose my cruise deposit.

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Also on the Far East Discovery cruise in September and somewhat concerned about the comments on the various land tours.  Glad to hear some of the positive post-cruise comments about staying in Beijing what we are doing.

As Ike stated about, I hope Viking will be addressing the tour concerns for this itinerary. 

 

Mike

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