A five minute cab ride from our hotel, Crowne Plaza, and we were at the Darwin Cruise Ship Terminal. A few feet away Orion awaited us. The crew quickly relieved us of our luggage, gave us our ship card (which not only opened our cabin door but served as a charge card) and then we were shown to our cabin.

Our cabin had large sliding French doors and heaps of hanging space and drawers. Sandra was especially delighted with the marble bathroom and the complimentary toiletries.

We were soon summoned to the mandatory lifeboat drill on the aft deck, where we started to meet some of our fellow passengers. We were surprised to find that although we were on an expedition cruise, most of our fellow passengers were about our age (most qualified for seniors cards). Immediately there were good vibes as all on board looked as though they were out to have a fun cruise.

As we sailed out of Darwin Harbour we watched the sunset while sipping complimentary champagne and canapés.

Dinner hour was soon upon us. There was only one dinner seating each evening, which could be taken in the main dining room or, on most nights, an outdoor deck option was offered.

The evening menu consisted of creations by Serge Dansereau of Sydney’s famous The Bathers Pavilion restaurant. Each night there was also an alternative menu prepared by Orion’s Chef. We found both to be excellent and most passengers selected from each menu throughout the cruise. We loved the open seating as it meant dining with “new friends” each evening.