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Viking Orion, Tokyo to Vancouver


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The cruise was from Tokyo to Vancouver, 23 days. We had a Standard Veranda cabin which was okay.  Next time, and there will be a next time, we’ll probably try the next size up which is a Penthouse Veranda.  A few more square feet would have nice, but not essential.

 

The ship is new and was spotless. The interior design is very Scandinavian, clean lines with lots of very light-colored wood panels, white, and very sharp and crisp.  We would agree with the founder of the cruise line that it is things the ship doesn’t have that attract us (NO casino, fresh flowers, formal nights, facilities for children, and butlers.) No arguments there.

 

The interior finish of the ship was excellent.  Clean, exactly fitted panels, no ornamentation beyond what was absolutely necessary.  A style that my wife and I like.  However, there might have liked a few more signs such as where the restrooms are, etc., but I have no decor complaints.  Oddly there are two very, very large digital display screens, one by the pool and the other in the atrium. They didn’t seem to use these although there were always some pictures (of stamps, for example) that were there nice but of what use?

 

The planetarium was unique and was an excellent planetarium for looking at the stars.  The resident astronomer gave a great talk and used the Planetarium stars and graphics very effectively.  As a movie theater it was a dismal flop.  Either the films were of low resolution and carelessly made, or the star projection equipment was not up to the task.  We gave up after two and never went to the third.

 

Minor Problems: 

 

Our cabin door always needed an extra shove to close and lock and I heard others complaining about the same problem.. Still others complained that they couldn’t get their door open and would see a few people kind of pushing and shoving in the hallway trying to get into their own cabin.  Likewise, doors throughout the ship’s seem loose fitting and even under moderate vibration doors seem to rattle as did some of the interior features.  Also, the paneling in the massage treatment rooms rattled and creaked when the ship wasn’t dancing about. I did see several places where the door seals, from outside to inside, had failed and there’d been some leakage. One day with moderate seas two of the doors on the main deck from the promenade had water sloshing inside.  Just enough to get things wet. It just seemed odd to me that a new ship, wouldn’t have done a better job of putting doors in correctly and sealing them.

 

Arrival/Departure:

 

Departure arrangements were smooth easy and quick and more onboard in less than 30 minutes.

 

Arrival was a bit more difficult as there was not enough room at Canada Place for the Orion to dock. Early in the morning the ship did dock to offload luggage and take on supplies, but people disembarked using tenders and then a bus to a hotel where the luggage was waiting. Worked out fine but was rather clumsy.

 

Food:

 

Great main dining room, Manfredi’s had excellent Italian cuisine. Room service breakfasts are just what we ordered and the buffet restaurant had a very nice selection. I do have some suggestions 1) more sandwiches at lunch, 2) the menu in the buffet restaurant repeated about every two weeks and this was a three week cruise so a little more variety would have been appreciated, 3) the Cook’s table, a five course fixed dinner, looked interesting, but the first nine days straight (three days for each menu) were all Asian cuisine. A little variety would have been appreciated.

 

Service:

 

Great no complaints.  Waiters, room stewards, cleaners, customer service staff, or did their jobs efficiently and with never more than a short wait. Staffing seemed more than adequate.

 

So, we will be back to Viking.

 

The Itinerary:

 

My wife and I cruise by destinations, and the 2/3 of the ports on this cruise were new. 

 

  • ·         Otaru in Japan was interesting, and, for me, a great train museum.  We walked around on our own.
  • ·         The two Russian ports were just OK.  Rather grim, but more prosperous than I expected.  The Grumpy Cat has nothing or Russian immigration officers!
  • ·         Dutch Harbor, Valdez and, Seward were small, but each interesting in its own way and in each were a some really good museums. 
  • ·         Nice local guides and tours across the board.
  • ·         Sitka had no big ship piers, so it was by tender, but that also meant not another 12,000 (yes, 10,000) cruise ship passengers about.  We took a great walking tour of town, the Orthodox cathedral, Sitka National Historical Park, and the Raptor Center.  The Raptor center is the best we have ever seen!  That alone is worth the stop.
  • ·         Ketchikan earns the title of the northernmost ultra-tacky, Caribbean port with wall to wall gift shops.  Room for four 5000 passenger ships at the same time.  The day were there about 12,000. total.  Any ambiance or interest was destroyed!

 

Complaint: 

 

In most of the ports there was a tender/shuttle service.  There were not enough tenders and buses for the first few hours.  Independent travelers naturally had to wait for the scheduled tours and but adding one more bus/tender for the first few hours in port would have made this go a lot smoother.

 

No doubt I will take another Viking Ocean cruise.  I liked the ship and will repeat.

 

Finally, this cruise went from Tokyo to Vancouver and crossed the Bering Sea.  Three days of CALM and one day of SUNSHNIE.  They must use CGI to film Deadliest Catch!

 

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Dear @frickwg,

 

Welcome home, and thank you for taking the time to review your recent voyage through the North Pacific Passage, as well as providing the cruising community with your valuable post-cruise feedback. 

 

While we are delighted to learn you plan to continue exploring with us, we acknowledge that some aspects of the Viking experience you’ve described were not as enchanting as you’d envisioned; we would be happy to discuss your comments at TellUs@vikingcruises.com should you wish to share more.

 

We appreciate this chance to respond, and we hope to welcome you aboard again soon. Have a spectacular day!

 

Warmest,
Viking Cruises 
 

3 hours ago, frickwg said:

The cruise was from Tokyo to Vancouver, 23 days. We had a Standard Veranda cabin which was okay.  Next time, and there will be a next time, we’ll probably try the next size up which is a Penthouse Veranda.  A few more square feet would have nice, but not essential.

 

The ship is new and was spotless. The interior design is very Scandinavian, clean lines with lots of very light-colored wood panels, white, and very sharp and crisp.  We would agree with the founder of the cruise line that it is things the ship doesn’t have that attract us (NO casino, fresh flowers, formal nights, facilities for children, and butlers.) No arguments there.

 

The interior finish of the ship was excellent.  Clean, exactly fitted panels, no ornamentation beyond what was absolutely necessary.  A style that my wife and I like.  However, there might have liked a few more signs such as where the restrooms are, etc., but I have no decor complaints.  Oddly there are two very, very large digital display screens, one by the pool and the other in the atrium. They didn’t seem to use these although there were always some pictures (of stamps, for example) that were there nice but of what use?

 

The planetarium was unique and was an excellent planetarium for looking at the stars.  The resident astronomer gave a great talk and used the Planetarium stars and graphics very effectively.  As a movie theater it was a dismal flop.  Either the films were of low resolution and carelessly made, or the star projection equipment was not up to the task.  We gave up after two and never went to the third.

 

Minor Problems: 

 

Our cabin door always needed an extra shove to close and lock and I heard others complaining about the same problem.. Still others complained that they couldn’t get their door open and would see a few people kind of pushing and shoving in the hallway trying to get into their own cabin.  Likewise, doors throughout the ship’s seem loose fitting and even under moderate vibration doors seem to rattle as did some of the interior features.  Also, the paneling in the massage treatment rooms rattled and creaked when the ship wasn’t dancing about. I did see several places where the door seals, from outside to inside, had failed and there’d been some leakage. One day with moderate seas two of the doors on the main deck from the promenade had water sloshing inside.  Just enough to get things wet. It just seemed odd to me that a new ship, wouldn’t have done a better job of putting doors in correctly and sealing them.

 

Arrival/Departure:

 

Departure arrangements were smooth easy and quick and more onboard in less than 30 minutes.

 

Arrival was a bit more difficult as there was not enough room at Canada Place for the Orion to dock. Early in the morning the ship did dock to offload luggage and take on supplies, but people disembarked using tenders and then a bus to a hotel where the luggage was waiting. Worked out fine but was rather clumsy.

 

Food:

 

Great main dining room, Manfredi’s had excellent Italian cuisine. Room service breakfasts are just what we ordered and the buffet restaurant had a very nice selection. I do have some suggestions 1) more sandwiches at lunch, 2) the menu in the buffet restaurant repeated about every two weeks and this was a three week cruise so a little more variety would have been appreciated, 3) the Cook’s table, a five course fixed dinner, looked interesting, but the first nine days straight (three days for each menu) were all Asian cuisine. A little variety would have been appreciated.

 

Service:

 

Great no complaints.  Waiters, room stewards, cleaners, customer service staff, or did their jobs efficiently and with never more than a short wait. Staffing seemed more than adequate.

 

So, we will be back to Viking.

 

The Itinerary:

 

My wife and I cruise by destinations, and the 2/3 of the ports on this cruise were new. 

 

  • ·         Otaru in Japan was interesting, and, for me, a great train museum.  We walked around on our own.
  • ·         The two Russian ports were just OK.  Rather grim, but more prosperous than I expected.  The Grumpy Cat has nothing or Russian immigration officers!
  • ·         Dutch Harbor, Valdez and, Seward were small, but each interesting in its own way and in each were a some really good museums. 
  • ·         Nice local guides and tours across the board.
  • ·         Sitka had no big ship piers, so it was by tender, but that also meant not another 12,000 (yes, 10,000) cruise ship passengers about.  We took a great walking tour of town, the Orthodox cathedral, Sitka National Historical Park, and the Raptor Center.  The Raptor center is the best we have ever seen!  That alone is worth the stop.
  • ·         Ketchikan earns the title of the northernmost ultra-tacky, Caribbean port with wall to wall gift shops.  Room for four 5000 passenger ships at the same time.  The day were there about 12,000. total.  Any ambiance or interest was destroyed!

 

Complaint: 

 

In most of the ports there was a tender/shuttle service.  There were not enough tenders and buses for the first few hours.  Independent travelers naturally had to wait for the scheduled tours and but adding one more bus/tender for the first few hours in port would have made this go a lot smoother.

 

No doubt I will take another Viking Ocean cruise.  I liked the ship and will repeat.

 

Finally, this cruise went from Tokyo to Vancouver and crossed the Bering Sea.  Three days of CALM and one day of SUNSHNIE.  They must use CGI to film Deadliest Catch!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

@frickwg

We are new to Viking  and not new to cruising. Looking at Viking because we may not get the sailing we want with Regent

IF the two are apples to apples and perhaps Viking can offer a better product--this may work. 

 

Can you share--

-of the verandas which level of veranda did you stay in

-excursions--since excursions are booked based on class of suite--were you able to get nice excursions (Deluxe veranda vs Penthouse veranda)

-airfare. Did Viking do your air-- We'd want to go Biz. With past air-cruise experience we got a great deal on the Biz air. How did it go with Viking?

 

TYIA

Edited by Fogfog
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1.  Here is a link to stateroom info.

https://www.vikingcruises.com/oceans/ships/viking-orion.html#noscroll

 

2.  Veranda and deluxe veranda are the same size - locations are different.  We stayed in a Veranda.  Our theory is pay for space, and not identical cabins in different locations.

 

3.  We got all the shorex we asked for.

 

4.  I had miles, so got own air.  Went is a day early - ALWAYS!!!

 

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We book cabins based on location - lowest deck with cabins both above & below, and also as close to m'ships. Being old school, we don't buy into the cruise line marketing hype of booking extreme fwd/aft suites, or those below the Sun Deck. We opted for a DV4.

 

Also don't buy into the hype on booking shore-ex. We will determine what we want and book either ship or private excursions. If the ship doesn't have any tours we want left at time of booking, it just makes the decision easier.

 

Our cruise includes biz flights, so with Air Plus, we will select our preferred Oneworld airlines for the points.

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