2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Enjoyed the cruise! Ship was in excellent shape, for the most part the staff was extremely helpful. Everything went smoothly on the cruise. A few complaints: Staff at the front desk very less than personable. Seemed to resent anyone ... Read More
Enjoyed the cruise! Ship was in excellent shape, for the most part the staff was extremely helpful. Everything went smoothly on the cruise. A few complaints: Staff at the front desk very less than personable. Seemed to resent anyone approaching them. Meet guests with a frown. Majority of the personnel were delightful, going the extra mile to please. Buffet food was warm at best. Forget the concept of hot. Forget the Oceania port tours (True of most cruise lines) Ports of call were great, with the exception of the Canary Islands. Felt too much time spent there and would have preferred an additional stop in Morocco. Entertainment was fair. The cruise lines own entertainment troupe was great, as were the flamingo dance group that was brought on board. Disappointing (to be polite) was the young singer and ‘one man band’, both of which appeared two nights each as the ‘entertainment’. All in all, this cruise with Oceania is definitely a step up from those on Princess, etc. This being stated we can see a change in Oceania since being purchased by Norwegian. Great smaller ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
Cruising OCEANIA is always a great pleasure. We left Civitavecchia for a 14-night cruise to the Mediterranean, with unique ports of call ( Naples, Sicily, Haifa (Israrel), Cyprus, Rhodes, Gytheon, Malta, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona ), ... Read More
Cruising OCEANIA is always a great pleasure. We left Civitavecchia for a 14-night cruise to the Mediterranean, with unique ports of call ( Naples, Sicily, Haifa (Israrel), Cyprus, Rhodes, Gytheon, Malta, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona ), – what made us choose this cruise in particular. Four specialty restaurants – Red Ginger ( Asian food ), Toscana (Italian ), Polo Grill ( meats ) and Jacques ( French ) offer superb food and service. You feel like having a fabulous dinner in a starred restaurant. With only four sea days, there is a chance of getting to know places one would not normally choose to go. Since embarkation until the last good-bye, you feel welcomed and cared for. It´s a good feeling, no doubt about it! The crew works hard, and apparently with pleasure, to provide us with the time of our lives. It is NOT a ship for children, it aims adults. I was surprised to know that, with less than 15 years of existence, there is a great number of passengers that have travelled more than 20 times with Oceania Cruises. I know why ! :-) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We are a couple in our mid to late fifties having cruised on many different lines with thirty plus cruises under our belt, we were highly anticipating this cruise as it was a visit to the "Holy Land". We cruised on the Oceania ... Read More
We are a couple in our mid to late fifties having cruised on many different lines with thirty plus cruises under our belt, we were highly anticipating this cruise as it was a visit to the "Holy Land". We cruised on the Oceania Riviera last December in the Caribbean and had a great cruise and became converts! Our go to cruise line has been Celebrity for years but Oceania has got it figured out! There is no comparison necessary, Oceania takes it to a new level! How both Riviera and Marina ships which are almost identical in every way could be so different blows my mind. We were happy with the Riviera last December but after cruising for 15 days on the Marina...my goodness, the food, service, management and staff are to be congratulated on the job they are doing. The restaurant staff as well others on board new our names by the second day. Always greeting us with professional courtesy. The wine stewards, even if they were not serving us would come up to us and greet us as they remembered us the night before in the restaurant. The Phillipino and Indonesian staff are the best, always greeting us with a smile and politeness seldom experienced. If there was an issue, they quickly corrected it. The staff and management on this ship could not do enough to make sure everything was right. There was also a lot of South American hosts and wine stewards that were simply awesome! The ironic part to this cruise was the heavily anticipated visit to Israel which we have been trying to visit for the last several years. It actually turned out to be the disappointment of all the ports. We enjoyed, Sicily as usual, Cypress, Rhodes, Malta for Gozo and Palma de Majorca. The only port we missed due to high swells was Gythion. The weather was excellent throughout the cruise, very comfortable, not short weather but light clothes was all you required. Great touring weather. We enjoyed all the specialty restaurants, favorites being Jacques and Toscana with Red Ginger and Polo Grill very close. We only ate in the main dining room for dinner twice, one night was great the other a disappointment. Breakfast was always excellent in the main dining room as well the occasional lunch. It is befitting of a dining room in some 5 star hotel in Europe..simply beautiful. The Terrace Cafe and Wave Grill was always very good. The ship has a capacity of 1250, but the ship only had approximately 1000 persons on board. The ship has been maintained well however the rooms are in need of a refreshing as wear and tear is somewhat noticeable. We would certainly consider a Penthouse suite next time as the extra space would be welcomed especially in the clothes closet as in the staterooms it is an annoyance trying to access and move around. Cabin stewards were pleasant and were efficient. Concierge was helpful to us and followed up when there was an issue. The gym and spa area were excellent with sauna and steam rooms. Never busy, the Terrace deck was a private sanctuary which we enjoyed! The only difference with this private enclave is the Riviera has an Infinity type therapy pool as opposed to the Marina with two separate whirlpools. We enjoyed La Reserve by Wine Spectator, Food wine pairing event one night. The Odyssey menu, we had tried this on the Riviera and was blown away and the repeat experience lived up to our original encounter. A special treat for sure! All in all a great cruise, one of our best! Looking for our next Oceania cruise or two for next year. Enjoy! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We loved the itinerary and booked it with 16 friends, Fabulous time had by all. Dining was exceptional and we were able to have many premium dining experiences in the premium restaurants. Staff were attentive and outstanding, service is a ... Read More
We loved the itinerary and booked it with 16 friends, Fabulous time had by all. Dining was exceptional and we were able to have many premium dining experiences in the premium restaurants. Staff were attentive and outstanding, service is a 10! Oceania is our cruise line of choice, love the small ships and luxury accommodations. The amenities are great and being a multi time cruiser has earned us some special benefits. In the lux plus market they are the best and the standard. Cruising on other lines means you are just going on a cruise, on Oceania you are definitely cruising in style and experiencing the finest cuisine at sea. It may cost a bit more than the Princess's and Celebrity's but the Value exceeds the cost, the best hands down. The staff makes you feel like family and you leave the ship looking forward to your next trip with your new family. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
My wife and I are experienced cruisers (over 40 cruises) and Oceania in particular (over 15 cruises). I will start out by saying we love Oceania and have 4 more cruises on them currently booked. I will not comment on my last cruise since ... Read More
My wife and I are experienced cruisers (over 40 cruises) and Oceania in particular (over 15 cruises). I will start out by saying we love Oceania and have 4 more cruises on them currently booked. I will not comment on my last cruise since the ports are well covered elsewhere. Rather I will comment on Oceania in general. I am always confused by people who are not happy with an Oceania cruise because the items they complain about are exactly what Oceania is all about. They usually just did not do their homework. Here is what, in my opinion, is good about Oceania. Oceania’s raison d’être is food – and it almost never fails. It’s hard not to get an excellent meal at any of the venues. The specialty restaurants (especially Red Ginger on the two larger ships) are great. However, it seems the food has gone down a notch (particularly in the Main dining room) since Oceania was acquired by NCL The ships are small (4 Regatta class -600 passenger vessels and 2 Oceania class -1200 passenger vessels). They go to some unusual ports that the larger ships can’t get to. So you get itinerary’s that are better than most. The ships’ common areas are comfortable and have an elegant feel to them. The ships are uncrowded – no waiting on long lines like the larger ships. You don’t need reservations to eat except at the specialty restaurants. But you are guaranteed a certain number of reservations depending on the length of the cruise. Depending on your perspective – almost never any children. The passengers tend toward experienced travelers. Everything is usually included, even the specialty restaurants, except for alcohol. Their rewards program is very good – as you cruise more the benefits can be extraordinary (large ship board credits, free internet, free gratuities, and ultimately free cruises). The service is always excellent. Excellent fitness center (although crowed at times) and the wonderful Canyon Ranch Spa. Here is what, in my opinion, is not so good about Oceania: The entertainment is third rate. (except the small on-board entertainment staff are usually quite talented). The shows for the most part are just OK – and can’t compare to the shows on the larger ships. The ships are starting to show their age – the 4 smaller ships are old Renaissance Cruise Line R-Class ships built in the 1990s that have been refurbished (several times). Even the Marina, which was built 2011 needs a little freshening. The “new” Sirena is just an old R-class that became the Ocean Princess before finding its way to Oceania. We were on it recently and it’s hard to distinguish it from the other 3 Regatta class ships. The in-room entertainment system is just awful – you can get better on your flight to the cruise. By now they should have upgraded to on on-demand system. The Wi-fi is terrible – but this may be unavoidable since it goes through a satellite. The tours offered by the ship are grossly overpriced. You need to plan ahead and book you own tours. Depending on your perspective – the passengers tend toward seniors. Again - depending on your perspective – there are not a lot of ship board activities – the most common being ship board lectures and cooking classes. So – Oceania offers a specific cruise experience – and if it’s for you great Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
1-We dined at the main dining room the 2nd night and had a terrible caesar salad and tough duck. The next day I went to the services desk on the 5th deck and told them. They said that they would have someone call me. I never received one. ... Read More
1-We dined at the main dining room the 2nd night and had a terrible caesar salad and tough duck. The next day I went to the services desk on the 5th deck and told them. They said that they would have someone call me. I never received one. 2- Cigar smoke was blowing onto the chairs along side the pool from the smoking area. I moved as did several others one of whom said that they had been on the Marina before and had complained. 3-The meals in the specialty restaurants and main dining room were no more than average. The best meals I had were in the Terrace Cafe except that many times there were no tomatoes in the salad area. 4-A few weeks before the cruise I received a call from Keith in what I think they call their Special or Concierge Services in their Miami office. In the next few weeks I called him 2X about a problem,left him a voice mail but never received a return call. There were a few other problems that should not have happened on a ship of this caliber that charges more per day than most ships.A few days before departure my wife and I wrote comments and placed them in the comment box. A few times we were reminded to fill the comment slips out;this was a waste of time as we still have not heard back from them. I wil now sail on other lines that are less expensive and probably have all around better services and food. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
First getting on board, our cabin would be ready only by 3:00 pm not the case on my other cruises. Plus I have asked twice for two single beds not a King size bed with separate bed covers. The Verandah cabin 8001 situated in front of the ... Read More
First getting on board, our cabin would be ready only by 3:00 pm not the case on my other cruises. Plus I have asked twice for two single beds not a King size bed with separate bed covers. The Verandah cabin 8001 situated in front of the Ship and more expensive B1 is not worth the money. In my opinion it is more narrowed and impossible to have distance between single beds. I would not suggest this cabin to anyone, for the pounding crashes of the waves at night and the morning sound of theanchors. I have never been in a Verandah cabin so noisy. Plus sitting down on the verandah you see a wall...you have to stand up to see better. But a specialthanks to Maria for attending to our cabin always smiling and helpful. The Marina is a beautiful ship . The food in the Grand Dining was good but often warm and not very hot by the time it reaches our table. I would say Jacques Pepin was my favorite restaurant. Thank you Elizabeth Nunes (concierge), for this special evening at the Grand Dining Room. It was a delicate attention to reunite for super the minority of French guests attending this cruise. The excursions are just OK but not worth paying this much for a Bus tour. Many times we are left after a short walk with the guide on our own. My favorite was Livero Wine Tasting Varramista and Volos in Mt Pelion. Overall, I would not return for another cruise on Oceania. I think with so manycompetitive ships people can have a less overpriced vacation Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We wanted to see Greece on this cruise. We like the food the best on this ship. We liked the specialty dining places that are included. The tours seem expensive so we did mostly private tours. The tender stops were difficult and time ... Read More
We wanted to see Greece on this cruise. We like the food the best on this ship. We liked the specialty dining places that are included. The tours seem expensive so we did mostly private tours. The tender stops were difficult and time consuming. They took so long in one port that we missed a private tour of the French Riviera that was paid for ahead of schedule. Several people got hurt on the tender transfers including my wife because of rough docks and rocking of tender boats. Greece was beautiful. The houses are all painted white. We did a private tour of Athens which was a highlight of Greece. The comedy shows were funny that they had in the evenings. We did not like the internet service since it was either slow or non working. The cabins were adequate but the jacuzzi tub takes up too much space and makes the shower and sink area too small. A double sink would be more desirable. No educational lectures on the ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We have cruised with Oceania seven times so that speaks for itself how we regarded this cruise line. After visiting the Van Gogh museum and generally walking around Amsterdam we commenced our 23 days on Marina from 24 September to ... Read More
We have cruised with Oceania seven times so that speaks for itself how we regarded this cruise line. After visiting the Van Gogh museum and generally walking around Amsterdam we commenced our 23 days on Marina from 24 September to Barcelona, disembarking on 16 October. We thoroughly enjoyed the nightly entertainment and, as usual the dining experience was excellent, including the times we had breakfast in our room. Most ports of call were enjoyable with a couple offering nothing at all. Think they were just a stopping off point for Oceania's excursions. As we had to cancel a cruise on Sirena last year we decided to upgrade to a Penthouse Suite for this trip which was disappointing as it is actually only an extended Concierge level room with butler service. Definitely not worth the considerable extra cost. All was well until the very last night when I stupidly left a whole drawer full of clothes behind. We packed the night before, left our cases out for removal to the pier the next morning and flew straight home to Melbourne the same day. Upon my return home I realised so many items were missing, including items I had bought during the trip, still with their tags on as well as items bought specially for the cruise. I realised I had left them in a particular drawer in the room. I immediately contacted Customer Services in Australia by email (unable to speak to anybody on the phone) and long story short, after a fortnight of emails flying back and forth I was informed the items could not be found and the case was closed and we look forward to seeing you again on Oceania! Hmm. My question is - how could a drawer full of clothes disappear into thin air? Is this an acceptable outcome? Is this normal? Whilst onboard we were treated well by all members of staff, as was reflected in our comments on the questionnaire issued by the cruise company, but once off the ship it appears to be a different matter. To use the word disappointing is an understatement. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We had sailed previously on Rivera and loved the size and choice of restaurants so it was and easy decision to do a Baltic cruise on the sister ship Marina. We were not disappointed. We met some amazing people along the way and thanks ... Read More
We had sailed previously on Rivera and loved the size and choice of restaurants so it was and easy decision to do a Baltic cruise on the sister ship Marina. We were not disappointed. We met some amazing people along the way and thanks to John and Paula were able to spend a lovely evening viewing their amazing Owners suite. Wow very impressive. Oceania staff are very attentive at all times. The restaurants were good although we did not think the steaks in Polo or the Terrace were perfected. Entertainment could do with a little improvement although we often didn't make it to the shows due to the wonderful company on many a mixed table which is fun. The itinerary was the reason we chose this particular cruise and we were not disappointed especially with St Petersburg. The ship shore excursions were expensive and not as good as the private tour we did Alla tours which was exceptional. Thanks John for your advice. On the whole we had a wonderful cruise yet again with Oceania. Read Less
37 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This review is for the Marina Baltic “Viking Homelands” trip commencing in Copenhagen on September 12 and ending in Amsterdam September 24, 2017. We were first time Oceania customers. Previously on RCL, Cunard and Celebrity from ... Read More
This review is for the Marina Baltic “Viking Homelands” trip commencing in Copenhagen on September 12 and ending in Amsterdam September 24, 2017. We were first time Oceania customers. Previously on RCL, Cunard and Celebrity from 1992 to 2015. Overall, 9/10 for our first Oceania experience; we are very pleased. We were in a regular veranda # 8075. We will book again with Oceania when circumstances permit; what Oceania offered met our requirements and our expectations with a few exceptions noted below. We chose Oceania this time because this itinerary had different ports for departure and arrival and the best selection of destinations for a Baltic cruise we have ever seen; including Oslo and smaller ports like Tallinn and Visby. This selection of ports and trip itinerary is not provided on the mass cruise lines. We did not use Oceania excursions - we used TJ travel for St. Petersbury and Berlin. TJ travel was excellent and would use them again. Trust this review will be of interest/assistance to those on the Oceania board as well as other Cruise Critic members. SUMMARY Our review is based on Oceania marketing materials – their statement of their product. The review is based on what we experienced versus what Oceania stated they would provide, the “O” Life Difference. Your assessment may be different. Please know, we are very skeptical consumers – We believe nothing in writing and wait to see what actually happens. We are not loyal to any service provider and monitor exactly what product is received from cruise lines, restaurants, hotels etc. We are “value for money” consumers – price is only one analysis component. “The Finest Cuisine At Sea” – Hard to evaluate unless you have cruised a lot on most of the lines. Will say most of the food was very good; high quality, large and varied selection in the theme restaurants, well prepared, good presentation. As expected of a premium line, in Tallinn, the chef was able to get fresh sea bream and it was served in Toscana. Super excellent. The breads and sweets were of the highest quality – especially the pain au chocolate which was real French pastry not bread dough like on the mass lines. The example of the food that typified the quote above was the dessert lollipop – a small cone wrapped in gold foil. It had a sugar cone and inside was a fresh strawberry, raspberry etc. with chocolate ganache on top and icing. This was available most lunches and dinners in the Terrace buffet; do not see that on a mass line. Little things matter. One of the things that drove us away from Celebrity was they started to put a fake coffee creamer on the breakfast tray (vile to say the least). The breakfast tray on Oceania was exceptional – it was over the top. Real cream in a stainless steel container. WOW. Could not be more pleased. Please see below under negatives regarding food. “A Variety Of Distinctive Open-Seating Restaurants, all at no additional charge” – That statement is somewhat misleading. All cruise ships have a minimum of one (1) open seating, included in the fare, the pool deck food venue. What was different from the mass cruise lines was the open-seating Grand Dining Room with no charge. This venue was excellent from size, location, tables, service, fit and finish. “Gourmet cruise created by world-renowned Master Chef Jacques Pepin” – His “every day favorites” in the Grand Dining Room were not so special frankly. The plated products we were served were mass cruise line quality. A piece of naked salmon and green beans supplemented with your choice of sides in separate dishes. His food in Jacques was a slightly better quality than we have had on Celebrity. You need to try harder Oceania in this regard. “Epicurean enrichment programs” – Yes, very well patronized on sea days. Seemed high end with very engaged chefs and enthused guests. “Award winning itineraries” – Tried to find out who gave Oceania an award – nothing. Will say their itineraries are well beyond the mass lines – Oceania does not repeat an itinerary, and they usually leave and arrive at different ports. You definitely get more value on Oceania voyages versus the mass cruise lines when you factor in the effort and cost to fly these days. The “Viking Homelands” itinerary was the best of the Baltic season across all cruise lines. “Intimate, luxurious ships catering to just 684 to 1,250 guests” – This is a big difference versus mass cruise lines. A huge advantage and worth paying for. “Exceptional personalize service” – received all that. We were in a regular veranda stateroom. Our dear stewardess put a white towel down by either side of our bed every night. Our slippers were put there. When you undress at night, you are on this special towel, not the carpet. It was worth so much to have this – the little things make a huge difference. “Country club casual ambiance” – Delivered. I would say that with a few exceptions, guests dressed country club style, with significant high end golf wear. “Acclaimed Canyon Ranch Spa Club”- Did not patronize Regarding entertainment, was good quality and appropriate for the target market. Good singing ability and costumes. Entertainment aimed at target market; baby boomers. No lavish vegas style productions. The port lecturer was from a California university - fact based and dry but ok. This is an adult cruise line, there were no children present nor are there any services available to support same. NEGATIVES As is typical of life, there is usually a few items that are at variance with expectations/advertisement. Room noise. Two sources of noise. Given the cruise line, we had expectations of acoustical quiet with the exception of the inevitable door slamming. Not provided on Marina. First, there was constant “banging” from the staterooms on either side. Why? Because the drawer/closet drawer closers were so strong they pulled the drawers/closets back into place with a huge “bang”. Repeatedly over and over at all times of the day and night depending upon the schedule of our neighbours. We were awoken every morning early with “bangs” beside our head while lying in bed. We made sure to manually close all our drawers so there was no “banging” from our stateroom. We have to say that it was most disturbing because it was random and loud. This is obviously a systemic design flaw in the ship creating noise – because never had this before on any other ship. Second, the acoustical application in walls/ceilings seemed poor because we constantly heard foot falls above us and TV sounds from both sides – again, never experienced this on other ships. To summarize, we were not pleased with the stateroom acoustical privacy and it is a show stopper for us regarding another booking on Marina. We assume that other guests have heard this so really do not know if this is an issue for other guests. Concierge. Guest Relations recommended we speak with Concierge regarding the noise issue. We submitted a form. Received a call and had a short discussion. We were dismissed by both the employee and the supervisor. No interest or empathy happening with this business unit. Terrace Café – Given this is a premium cruise line and the stated “finest cuisine at sea”, we were disappointed at the limited range of food in this venue. Half the café had the same food so there was much less choice than you would think. Things like only a single style of pasta offered (not a pasta bar with multiple inputs), no “ethnic” food bar rather some nights had a theme menu given the day’s port etc. There were more limitations on choice than we thought. Grand Dining Room – As mentioned earlier, the Jacques selections were not impressive and not in compliance with “finest cuisine at sea”. Further, some entrees like sea bass pasta and fried avocado were awful and cheap and should never have been presented on Oceania. Other entrees were acceptable but to be frank – not generally any better than the entrees on our last Celebrity cruise in the MDR. So Oceania, the Grand Dining Room menu was not totally in compliance with “the finest cuisine at sea”. HIGHLIGHTS Small Vessels – What a total joy and privilege to be on a 66,000 ton vessel. It was manageable and simple to enter and exit. We lacked for nothing but had everything. Were able to see other guests and staff often. A total joy and we are pleased to pay for an intimate experience of a ship this size. Inclusiveness – This is big item for our household. Notwithstanding suites and their lounge; everyone on the ship mingled. Everyone ate in every food venue – there were no guests segregated in a separate dining area as is increasingly the case on the mass cruise lines. This is a reason we moved from Celebrity to Oceania. We enjoy meeting everyone on the ship over drinks and dinners. If Oceania changes this, we will remove our patronage. Many guests we spoke with felt the same. Guests – The class and decorum of the guests simply outstanding. A significant step up from Celebrity guests over the years. Gracious, knowledgeable, dressed well, not fixated on booze. Service – No words to describe the excellent service by the staff (except Concierge noted earlier). Every staff member we interacted with were classy, gracious, pleasant, enthused, would look you in the eye and many, many smiles. When a plate was done, it was gone between 10 to 30 seconds. Outstanding. The level of service and personalized service was simply amazing. We are more than pleased to pay for this level and quality of service. Totally spoiled now. Compliments to all those wonderful hard working staff. Themed Restaurants – Simply the best food dining arrangement we have experienced. So much better than assigned to a single dining venue and having to pay extra per the mass lines. Oceania you have a winning concept here. This will bring us back to Oceania. Had dinner at 4 different themed restaurants with outstanding food and service. Were able to book additional nights beyond our base of 4, so that was excellent and efficiently handled. The food and service was outstanding in each restaurant. Cruise Director – Nolan Dean was excellent. Professional, courteous with humour and energy. Nothing forced here, a genuine professional enjoying his job. Class from beginning to end. High Tea – Outstanding, oh my. Blows the high tea on QM2 out of the water. Total quality and care and class. Watching the chefs assemble the servers and describe each food item was outstanding. This was well attended by guests and we can see why. Room Attendant – We had a delightful room stewardess and assistant who kept our room perfect. These staff were not performing their work with the agitation and franticness that we have experienced on other cruise lines. Coffee Bar and Library – Excellent layout with the coffee bar, sandwiches and sweets section than followed by the library then followed by the card room – an excellent layout which was highly patronized. RECENT OCEANIA THREADS Bland Food - We have no previous experience with Oceania so can-not say. Will say the food tasted good overall considering most of it is probably previously frozen and produced in somewhat mass quantity. Found the food in Red Ginger (ate there twice), a bit bland. Asked for more spice and sure enough it tasted “alive”. We met numerous repeater guests and asked them this question. Most said the food was of poorer quality and taste a couple of years ago but has improved since. COMPARISON TO MASS CRUISE LINES I have been a CC member for over 15 years and have seen and experienced much related to cruising. Oceania is not suitable for every cruise guest. Oceania is not a high energy, high entertainment experience. We believe the focus is on quiet enjoyment, excellent food and service, relationship with the sea and guest interaction. Oceania does not try to keep you entertained all the time and does not encourage loud activities and behaviors. There is limited to no upselling. Oceania keeps the scale of their product at the low end with smallish ships which encourages intimacy between guests and crew and guests. It is a fairly simple on board product which is executed very well and with pride. Since 2010 or so, the mass cruise lines focus on product cheapening, booze, nickel and diming, mega ships, class favoritism, “ship in a ship”, inward ship design, minimizing itinerary in favour of on board revenue generation, shorter itineraries, gimmicks like magic carpets (celebrity) and in many cases abandoning the long-time guest in favor of the millennial. This appeals to some and repels others as to be expected. Pleased to say, Oceania appears representative of the golden age of cruising prior to 2010. Celebrity is our previous cruise provider and the Oceania product (and guests) are simply the previous Celebrity (and well beyond that) before Celebrity changed their product. On Marina, around the pool were staff offering flavored ices like I enjoyed on Solstice in 2013. The high tea was like I enjoyed on the Zenith in 1992 and Century in 1998. There were petite sandwiches in the Marina coffee bar like on Solstice in 2013. In the Marina Grand Dining Room, you were able to choose your sides just like I previously enjoyed on Celebrity. Regarding service; we have considerable empathy for the staff on the mass cruise lines given the cutbacks and increasing complexity of the ship experience. This class and that class and that class dining only for lunch but not dinner and on and on in a complex matrix of delivery requirements. Met numerous staff on Marina who were quite open about leaving Celebrity, RCL and Princess in particular because it was impossible to do a good job given the reduced staff levels combined with increasing complexity and having to deal with customers who were constantly demanding more and more and explanations on differences in class amenities. Oceania seems to have a straightforward product which makes it easier for staff to deliver and guests to understand and evaluate. We appreciate that and it must be so much better for the staff considering their circumstance. Fortunately there is considerable choice in cruise service providers, so hopefully each consumer can find a good fit. We believe that with the constant change in the industry and the cruise line chase for increased profit, it is becoming necessary to reduce brand loyalty. Hence why we moved to Oceania for now. For the moment, our decision analysis has been rewarded. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
The service on the Oceania ship is over the top. Whatever you want/need, the cheerful and eager staff will bend over backwards to make passengers happy. Actually every wish is anticipated. Everything was beyond our expectations. We ... Read More
The service on the Oceania ship is over the top. Whatever you want/need, the cheerful and eager staff will bend over backwards to make passengers happy. Actually every wish is anticipated. Everything was beyond our expectations. We chose to join a 'Roll Call' with Gina Raio Bitsimis, which we found on Cruise Critic. We connected with her group on board and excursions (roughly 10 per bus) were organized with them...at a much more reasonable price than the ship's expensive excursions of large bus loads. The reasons why we switched from Princess to Oceania are: 1. no high pressure advertising 2. the meals which are all of the highest quality and flavour. The only negative (besides the pillows!) was the debarcation at the end of the cruise which took 45 minutes of standing in line after picking up our suitcases outside the ship waiting for a taxi. We loved our Oceania Baltic cruise experience and recommend it highly. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Cruise had a fabulous itinerary visiting 7 ports in 10 days including 3 days St Petersburg. The ship Marina was super with Oceania's classic service and excellent food. A great region to travel filled with history, culture and ... Read More
Cruise had a fabulous itinerary visiting 7 ports in 10 days including 3 days St Petersburg. The ship Marina was super with Oceania's classic service and excellent food. A great region to travel filled with history, culture and interesting sites. If u want a private tour of St Petersburg and Moscow try Alla-Tours. A value added tour company who provides a great service to its clients. Cruise critic enabled us to chat with fellow members as to the cruise which assisted all of us and was followed by a meet and greet onboard the ship. The service on board was as usual, excellent in all categories. Since the itinerary was so intense on a daily basis, we had little time for the nightly entertainment but did have excellent meals and also participated in Tea time The only issue was when disembarking to St Petersburg, it took an exceedingly long time for processing people which delayed the start of the tours. This should be reviewed so the passengers can leave the ship in a timely manner Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was our 5th cruise with Oceania. Once again, Oceania delivered an excellent cruise experience. Of course, not everything is perfect, but close enough to perfect to give them an excellent score. The embarkation process was a little ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise with Oceania. Once again, Oceania delivered an excellent cruise experience. Of course, not everything is perfect, but close enough to perfect to give them an excellent score. The embarkation process was a little backed up this time, but I think that was the cruise port, not Oceania, as they did not really have the facilities to accommodate the check-in process. All in all, we are on the ship within 45 minutes - not so bad. Disembarkation was quick and painless. Food: Oceania continues to be top notch for food, though I did have a few meals that were not quite up to their usual standards. The Terrace Cafe was great, with a good variety every day. Waves Grill was also great. I am usually a big fan of Red Ginger's Sea Bass, but this time, it lacked flavor. Everything else was good, except for the fish. Same at Toscana. I enjoyed everything except my main dish, the veal osso buco, which also lacked flavor. I actually feel bad complaining because overall the food was just fantastic. This time, we ate at Privee - what an experience! If you have the time, you should try to do it. It was simply elegant and a special experience. A few suggestions for the Executive Lounge and afternoon canapes: you may want to change it up a bit. You have had the same food since we took our first cruise years ago. Service: This is where they really excel. I had an allergy issue in our room. The Chief Housekeeper was there in 10 minutes. Within the day, they cleaned and steam-cleaned the entire room and changed all of the bedding to hypo-allergenic bedding. Problem solved! I can't say enough about how perfectly they handled the situation. Staff everywhere were friendly and helpful, though I really got annoyed at them for trying to take my plate in the Terrace Cafe to walk it to my table. I was perfectly capable of taking it there myself. Our butler was awesome and our housekeeper too. Shore Excursions: We used a mix of free Oceania excursions and excursions we booked on our own with others. The Oceania excursions were fine (though I would not pay full price for them - too pricey!). Only one complaint with one tour where they took us to an awful shopping place. Entertainment: Well, they are not really known for it so don't expect too much. That being said, the shows were not bad and I thought the entertainers worked very hard Overall, I still give Oceania an excellent rating - they consistently provide a superior experience. We are booked already for next year! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose Oceania based on the ports for this cruise. We wanted to see the Baltics, and we were well rewarded! The stops included Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia; plus Helsinki, Finland; and St. Petersburg, Russia. Oceania is a classy ... Read More
We chose Oceania based on the ports for this cruise. We wanted to see the Baltics, and we were well rewarded! The stops included Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia; plus Helsinki, Finland; and St. Petersburg, Russia. Oceania is a classy experience, where the passengers are treated very well by the crew and the chefs especially. The best parts of the ship were the special restaurants, like Jacque's (Jacque Pepin), the interior decor (spectacular), well-designed staterooms, and the smooth organization of getting folks on and off in port. To compare to our experience earlier this year with Viking Ocean Cruises, I have to say that Viking had better food, much better pastry (you can see where my priorities are), better coffee (also important), and a better arrangement for getting a glass of wine. Oceania, overall, seemed rather costly. You get what you pay for, but some of the costs were a little much (like $28/day for internet; $10,000 for two people; just two examples). I did learn, at the end, that some of our fellow passengers lined up tours separately, with companies ashore. That seemed to work out: better treatment, tailored to their interests; more comfortable; and more for the money. I'll try that next time. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I write this from the perspective of a 47 year old cruiser who has sailed with Oceania 7 times. My cabin experience has always been a PH2 or PH3 on deck 10 or 11 on Riviera/Marina and deck 8 on the R Class ships. For reference and point ... Read More
I write this from the perspective of a 47 year old cruiser who has sailed with Oceania 7 times. My cabin experience has always been a PH2 or PH3 on deck 10 or 11 on Riviera/Marina and deck 8 on the R Class ships. For reference and point of view purposes I have sailed on most major mass market lines. In recent years my taste has changed and strongly desire smaller ships with less passengers and a more inclusive experience where you are not nickel and dimed. Therefore, lines such as Oceania, Crystal, Seabourn, Azamara, Regent and Silversea have been strongly preferenced. The condition of the Marina is tip top shape - especially for a ship built in 2011. Food remains outstanding. Cruising on Oceania is more akin to staying in a really nice floating hotel as opposed to a true cruising experience. Highlights not only include the dining room and specialty restaurants, but also tea time and the strings. I also believe Oceania and Regent have the best pool areas at sea. Unfortunately, I feel strongly that Oceania has lost ground compared to the competition - so much so that we just booked our first Viking Ocean cruise as reviews seem to compare the two lines as apples to apples with Viking Ocean being the better apple. Unfortunately, Oceania's apple has become a bit rotten. Here's why: Despite a beautiful ship and producing excellent food something is missing on Oceania and has been progressively more noticeable. That "something" is service and absolute lack of personalization. I've noticed on my last few Oceania cruises that the crew does not engage with the passengers and it is clear they are there to do their job and that's it. There is frequent talk in front of guests about "when my contract is up". No similes, no being addressed by name, no remembering preferences. In fact, for the most part no warmth. For example, my wife and I kept bumping into a social hostess we met at a captain's function the second day of the cruise and we would always say hello and try to engage. She would not give us the time of day. A social hostess! Another example - this one from the top - the captain's cabin was just in front of ours and I would frequently see him in the corridor. It was painful for him to return a simple hello. Staff were regimented and inflexible. All decisions - no matter how minor - had to come from the top. There was no willingness or ability to even make small decisions to cater to guests on their own. For example, at the juice bar I asked for bananas, oranges and ice. The employee said he was only allowed to make what was on the preset menu despite all the ingredients and a blender sitting right in front of him. Sounds picky? Not really when every aspect of any small request is treated this way. The overall lack of flexibility and unfriendliness of the staff is unfortunate. Part of what makes cruising enjoyable is the staff. When the staff is miserable and stupidly rigid it impacts the overall experience. In summary - regarding the staff - they walked around like creatures from the Walking Dead and did not seem happy. Unless you bought a drink package getting an honest drink is impossible on Oceania. All drinks are measured pours and quite stingy. Even the "doubles" are weak. A double top shelf (i.e. Kettle One or Grey Goose) martini costs north of $22 before tip is included. Bartenders have zero flexibility to think on their own and actually some are worried about their pours because they are "scrutinized" according to one. Remarkably, Celebrity - a mass market line - makes much more honest and better drinks without the measured pour. Oceania shore excursions are consistently awful. I would not waste your money and instead visit sites such as tours by locals or Viator to arrange your own tours. Not only will you have a more customized experienced and skip out on painful bus journeys, but you will save a ton of money. As an aside, I think Oceania would benefit from increasing their prices slightly and making drinks all-inclusive. They should get rid of O Life promotions and just make every sailing with included WiFi, beverages, gratuities and lastly not insult guests by requiring tokens for the laundry. Those inclusions coupled with some serious Ritz Carlton style customer service training would potentially put Oceania back in the running. On all my previous Oceania cruises I booked future cruises. Not on this one. I am done with Oceania for the foreseeable future as I've tried other options and liked them better; hence the danger of trying other things as you might just like them better and change your spending habits. Sorry Oceania - what was once a fabulous product is just fair now when compared to the competition in the market. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
My wife and I cruised on Marina, from Southampton to Copenhagen, in August of 2017. We had originally booked on the Concierge level, but when offered an upgrade for an additional fee, we upgraded to a Penthouse Suite. We were not too ... Read More
My wife and I cruised on Marina, from Southampton to Copenhagen, in August of 2017. We had originally booked on the Concierge level, but when offered an upgrade for an additional fee, we upgraded to a Penthouse Suite. We were not too impressed with some of the issues we faced while on the cruise and the way some of the ship’s staff responded to these matters. Before getting into detail on the issues, we must stress that our butler, the housekeeping staff, and the restaurant and dining room staff did a fabulous job, were attentive and courteous, and are not related to the issues we encountered. Additionally, the Penthouse Suite itself was very well-appointed, a good size compared to the Concierge rooms, had lots of storage and a walk-in closet, and a sizeable washroom (the shower can feel a bit tight, however, when you’re over six-feet tall). Now for the issues we encountered. The first one concerned a bottle of 18-year-old Scotch ordered for our suite. The Oceania website indicated that this was a one litre bottle, but when we opened the box containing the Scotch, it was only a 750 ml bottle. When asked, our butler pursued the matter with other staff on the ship, but it took two days before I was informed that they did not have one litre bottles, at which time the original bottle was returned to me. During the two days that elapsed, there were a couple of differing stories about what was happening. In the end, I was offered four shots of the Scotch in any of the restaurants in addition to the smaller bottle, which still did not match the one litre quantity originally described on their website. I accepted this, only because I was getting tired of how long it was taking them to handle the matter. Given this is an error, I wonder if Oceania and their marketing folks will correct their website to reflect the fact that Glenmorangie 18 Year Scotch is not available in a 1 Litre bottle. Two other matters related to shore excursions. First, we had originally booked eight excursions each in March, choosing them to fit our schedule based on our preferences for dining on the ship. When we arrived on the ship, we received a letter indicating that one of our tours had been cancelled. After reviewing alternatives for this port, we could not find a suitable tour as a replacement. When I tried to get an answer from a supposedly higher level person, I was told that the excursion had been cancelled because “only 4 people had signed up” for the tour. If that were the case, why didn’t Oceania recognise this well in advance (say in July), and inform us at an earlier date, rather than after we arrived on the ship. For a supposedly premium cruise line, they should do better than last-minute advice. The other tour issue was related to an excursion where the time was arbitrarily changed from morning to afternoon. We didn’t notice this until the day before the excursion when we pulled the tickets out. Someone on the ship stated that the ticket pack included a warning that time could change, which may cover their posterior, but they should inform customers more actively when such changes occur. Perhaps Oceania needs to recognise that when people arrive on the ship, customers are actively trying to unpack while receiving communication about W-Fi, booze upselling, cruise details, etc., and may not check all details assuming that Oceania would be properly informed of such changes. The next problem was related to the canceled excursion. We advised the ‘Destinations’ people that we could not find a suitable alternative, and then asked the individual if the refund would be applied as a credit to my wife’s credit card. The individual responded in the affirmative. However, a few days before the end of the cruise, we checked with the ‘Reception’ people to confirm this, and were told that the refund was a shipboard credit that was required to be spent on board Marina. My wife and I told them in no uncertain terms that we had been advised differently, and it there was no way that we would be spending the amount onboard. At the point we checked, the credit and not even been applied to our shipboard account. I then asked to whom I should speak to escalate the issue, and was advised to return later to discuss with the assistant purser. When I returned to discuss with the assistant purser, she then agreed that they would refund the amount in US cash, but that she would need to talk to the “Destinations” people to have them process the refund. The assistant purser, then called me later to advise that a $100 per person amount would be applied as a ‘goodwill gesture’ – an amount less than what the excursions actually cost. So I pushed back again, and talked to the ‘Destinations’ people, who frankly were not very customer friendly, but who finally agreed to an amount that reflected the actual out-of-pocket cost for the excursion. I was then advised by the assistant purser that processing the refund would occur overnight, and we could see it on a preliminary statement the next day. When I went to check the account the next day, Oceania had added significant amounts for gratuities – gratuities which we had prepaid months before the cruise. We insisted that we had prepaid the gratuities, and the assistant purser agreed to check in the matter – the next day, the charges for gratuities were removed from the next preliminary statement. In the end, we finally received the amount in US cash. However, the lack of consistency and answers from various staff, the back and forth to resolve the issue, and the additional erroneous accounting charges were what I would call a classic ‘Gong Show’. The last item was related to our baggage upon disembarkation. The website description for the Penthouse suite specifically listed ”Last minute luggage collection” as one of the services exclusive to the suite. However, when we received our letter outlining luggage preparation, it stated. “Please place your luggage outside her sweeper statement by 10 PM the night” before disembarkation. Again, another visit to talk to the staff in ’Reception’ confirmed the 10 PM deadline – I showed them a printed copy of their webpage, and still got a deer in the headlights look. Obviously, Oceania links to upsell people to premium suites with promises that are blatantly misleading; the definition of last-minute to most reasonable people would be most couple of hours prior to disembarkation. Regarding the restaurants and the food, there were some items in Red Ginger that were ‘Wows’ (the Spicy Duck and Watermelon Salad, the Miso Glazed Seabass, and the Twice-cooked Crispy Chicken). Polo Grill was comparable in quality to most steak houses at which I’ve eaten, albeit not as good as higher end steakhouses. The Caesar Salad was definitely mediocre compared to most restaurants – while it’s prepared ‘tableside’, the dressing appeared to be prepared in advance, rather than the dressing ingredients being combined at tableside. Overall, I would rank the food as better than average, but not consistently as great as Oceania implies in their marketing materials. Additionally, in the Penthouse Suite, we were entitled to nightly canapes; however, there were a limited number of choices, and the choices never changed during the entire cruise. Oceania provides a survey for passengers to complete at the end of the cruise and I overheard one of the people in ‘Reception’ stated that they take these and customer feedback seriously. I did not complete the detailed survey as intended, as I was so frustrated with the above, but I did complete the free form section firmly requesting that someone with some authority contact me at home to discuss the several issues that we encountered on the cruise. To date (over fifteen business days since returning home), Oceania has not made contact, so it appears that they’re not interested in customer concerns or feedback, nor do they appear to be interested in making changes to avoid such problems in future. Perhaps Oceania should consider reducing the number of direct mail pieces trying to sell future cruises, and divert these funds so they can focus on responding properly to customer issues and improving communication and training to improve the customer experience. Given they purport to be a premium cruise line (and are often described as ‘upper premium’), our experience demonstrates that they seem to overpromise and under deliver. As someone who has spent several decades in the consumer and business-to-business marketing, communication, advertising, and web realm, dealing with customer issues is something that I was passionate about, and to which I responded extremely quickly. Oceania’s standards and resolution, or lack thereof, do not come close to the standards I would expect from a brand that purports to be a premium (or upper premium) cruise line. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We always wanted to cruise on Oceania but never really wanted to pay the higher price. My husband is always looking for deals so when he came across this cruise and figured out everything that would be included this turned out to be a ... Read More
We always wanted to cruise on Oceania but never really wanted to pay the higher price. My husband is always looking for deals so when he came across this cruise and figured out everything that would be included this turned out to be a wonderful deal. Because this was our 1st Oceania cruise we decided to do everything through them (airline and transfers) once we arrived at the airport an Oceania representative was right there to greet us and took us to breakfast at the airport hotel. There was a wonderful lounge at the hotel we were able to use while we waited for the bus to take us to the pier. Embarkation was smooth and before we knew we were in our cabin. Needless to say Oceania did not disappoint, everything was fabulous. The food from the buffet to the specialty restaurants was the best I've ever had on a cruise ship. The service in the restaurants was top notch, they couldn't have been any more attentive. The cruise staff was so friendly I felt like I had known them forever. I will be sailing Oceania many more times. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our first cruise with Oceania on the recommendation of our travel agent after an extremely disappointing Christmas/New Year Cruise with Seabourn earlier in the year. After 8 cruises with Seabourn our loyalty was trashed and we ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Oceania on the recommendation of our travel agent after an extremely disappointing Christmas/New Year Cruise with Seabourn earlier in the year. After 8 cruises with Seabourn our loyalty was trashed and we needed to look elsewhere. We enjoy good food, good service and wine and Oceania exceeded our expectations on all levels. Embarkation and Disembarkation was as smooth as you would expect and we were delighted to board this beautiful ship. Original artwork graced the walls throughout, lots of beautiful spaces are available to relax and generally the décor was very pleasing. We never felt crowded on this ship or had trouble finding a table in a restaurant or by the pool. The cabins are smaller than the Seabourn suites but this did not worry us in the least. We had a balcony and were not short on room. The food and the service were nothing short of excellent. The variety of cuisines available with the four specialty restaurants was wonderful and apart from these the dining room was always good as was the buffet in the Terrace. Oceania definitely provided us with the best dining experiences we have had at sea. We had internet and a beverage package included in our fare which meant we did not have to put our hand in our pocket for anything other than shore excursions if we chose to partake. We are not big on entertainment with regard to shows when we cruise as we are so busy throughout the days exploring new ports that it would be unfair to comment regarding the quality of the entertainment. As far as we were concerned the shore excursions were good when we decided to utilise them. Overall we loved our first cruise with Oceania and have put down a deposit for our next adventure. The more casual atmosphere they provide is a welcome change for us as we are so over formal nights and it was a delight for my husband not to pack the dinner suit. We embarked on this cruise with no expectations and we were thrilled with our experience on all levels. Thank you Oceania! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We have been to London many times, but have not been around the British Isles very much. We read the reviews and looked at the brochures and felt we would have great time. The first issue was the WiFi, speed less than 1Mbps and often ... Read More
We have been to London many times, but have not been around the British Isles very much. We read the reviews and looked at the brochures and felt we would have great time. The first issue was the WiFi, speed less than 1Mbps and often down, despite the recent "upgrades" A lot of people on the ship complained, but all we were give was excuses. The food was very good and decor nicely decorated. Cabins (Penthouse) a little smaller that we are use to, but the service was very poor. The tours from the ship were poorly handled and some of them involved a two hour bus ride to see the remnants of a roman wall or fort. Best tours were in Ireland and Scotland. The entertainment was poor to okay. It appears you have to go to the larger ships for entertainment, but that's not as important as the overall service which suffered. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose the British Isles as our itinerary this time on Oceania. We wanted to go in August so hopefully it wouldn't be too cold. We were lucky in that mother nature cooperated and it was only cold and rainy in Edinburgh. We had ... Read More
We chose the British Isles as our itinerary this time on Oceania. We wanted to go in August so hopefully it wouldn't be too cold. We were lucky in that mother nature cooperated and it was only cold and rainy in Edinburgh. We had take on other Oceania cruise three years ago, then two Azamara cruises in between. We remembered Oceania as having better food, so we went with them this time. Although we were disappointed by some aspects of the experience, we would cruise with them again. Unlike the first time we cruised Oceania, the food was average. My prime rib in Polo was inedible, a pink slab of meet no marbling, dry, virtually inedible. Other dishes aboard the ship were outstanding such as the sea bass in Red Ginger. We found few of the desserts to be very special, baked potatoes were served with watery sour cream, very little butter unless we asked for more. The captain didn't show for his cocktail party ( this NEVER happened on Silversea or Azamara. We rarely saw any ship's officers ( unlike Azamara), the only time I spied any was when there were 3 trying on sunglasses in the gift shop. The crew by and large were not very friendly. The servers in general had smiles on their faces and at least pretended they were glad to see us. The crew that were at the embarkation and disembarkation spots at the ports were not friendly at all. The staff serving drinks during the captain's cocktail party for the most part acted as if they'd rather be anywhere else! We saw two pretty decent shows, the string quartet grew tiresome after 12 nights, and the guy in the piano bar was average at best. All in all, not as good an experience as last time on the Nautica. I hope they try and improve their food and customer service. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We have cruised with Oceania several times over the past several years and it is apparent that Oceania is in decline as an organization. We just competed two cruises on the Marina (Norway and British Isles), and though there are lots of ... Read More
We have cruised with Oceania several times over the past several years and it is apparent that Oceania is in decline as an organization. We just competed two cruises on the Marina (Norway and British Isles), and though there are lots of good staff on the Marina, there seem to be corporate decisions that are having a strongly negative impact on the service we received lately. First, there were numerous situations for which there were not enough staff to handle things, in restaurant/wine staff, housekeeping staff, and security staff. Individual Marina staff members were wonderful, but when you don't have enough security staff assigned to the gangways during a time period when lots of passengers are coming from excursions and heading to excursions, you end up with serious bottlenecks. Also, I don't know how many times we had to wait for a wine steward to come to our table to take our order, while the first course of food was being brought to the table. We'd look around the room and see only one wine steward trying to serve the entire specialty restaurant. Oceania is not providing sufficient staff for the cruises anymore. The wine lists are a scam. We repeatedly were given a wine of newer vintage, even though the wine list said they had an older one, with sometimes as much as five years in difference. Yet, the wine list only listed the older vintage and the newer wine was sold at the same price as the older with no notification about this difference in vintage. This is a serious problem, given the partnership between La Reserve and Wine Spectator. Also, La Reserve has gotten stale, in their menus and service. The staff didn't seem all that interested in our experience this last time on the Marina, and the food was pedestrian. We no longer purchase the Oceania excursions, because they are wildly overpriced and have not been very good lately. We booked private tours on this last trip, and that worked fine. Finally, we sent an email to Oceania Guest Services regarding various issues about our cruise, as soon as we got back from the cruise. Two weeks later, we have yet to receive even an acknowledgement of our email. They simply are not interested in customer service anymore. It is very unlikely that we will use Oceania again. It seems that getting bought up by Norwegian made some major changes to the corporate philosophy, and Oceania is now into pinching pennies, rather than striving for better customer service. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This was our first cruise on Oceania and we are officially spoiled. Marina is a beautiful ship and the service and cuisine were excellent. We were impressed with the spacious public areas as well. Even on sea days there was always a ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Oceania and we are officially spoiled. Marina is a beautiful ship and the service and cuisine were excellent. We were impressed with the spacious public areas as well. Even on sea days there was always a place to sit with friends. The staff were courteous and pleasant at all times and our cabin was always immaculate. We dined at all four specialty restaurants and found them all quite good with the sea bass at Red Ginger the standout entree for everyone in our party. MDH said it was the best he's ever had. The Main Dining room and the Terrace Grill were both very good options. The grilled lobster at the Terrace was wonderful when we chose to go for a more casual dinner one evening. Turning to the ports of call, the fjords were breathtaking as we were fortunate to have mostly clear weather after the morning mist and fog lifted. We enjoyed all the ports in Norway with the exception of Stavanger where there wasn't much to see. We did not use any of the ships excursions preferring to go at our own pace. We bought our tickets online, months in advance, for the Flam railway which was one of the major highlights of our trip. Edinburgh was fogged in so the tender service was delayed until afternoon so we decided to stay on board. We've done it before and it's one of the most unpleasant lifeboat rides ever. Anyway, loved the ship! Also, disembarkation was the smoothest in our experience. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for embarkation - with all the Americans arriving from the airport quite early we were herded into a waiting room for almost two hours and then had to wait in a line until "priority " passengers were allowed to check in without standing for more than a minute. Rather unfair to those of us with blue tags who were left to stand and wait in a very long line. Improvements are needed there. With the exception of embarkation, this cruise on Marina was excellent and Oceania is our new favorite cruise line. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
My husband and I have been on many cruises, but decided to try Oceania for the first time. We just returned from the Baltic cruise onboard the Marina. For the positives, the ship is very pretty, nice size and the food is good...I ... Read More
My husband and I have been on many cruises, but decided to try Oceania for the first time. We just returned from the Baltic cruise onboard the Marina. For the positives, the ship is very pretty, nice size and the food is good...I wouldn't say fabulous. Several of the meals in the "specialty dining" couldn't even prepare a steak to medium rare. It was either to done, or still bleeding. The best was the Red Ginger and the regular dining room. We tried this cruise because there are fewer people, but not knowing with that there is literally nothing to do. There is a show in the evening that is OK, but not up to the standards of the other lines. The casino is pathetic. They rarely had the crapps table open even during peak times, the slots never paid out, just took your money, and the blackjack tables (there were 4-5) only had the 15$ and 25$ tables open with a couple people playing....the 5$ tables were ALWAYS closed...so if you wanted to play just for fun forget it. Now for the biggy, The WiFi was something out of the 70's.. Really a company that is a multi billion a year can't do better.... worse yet is that only one device can be on at a time. When questioning the computer expert on board he had a "just the way it is" attitude. And, they charge you a fortune for a daily package. We even spoke with the main desk and his reply was curt as well, giving us some explanation like we were 3 year olds and didn't know how to use a device. Even the employee at reception told us that we needed to line up our post and wait until between 3-4AM to log back on and send them... And, if you wanted to send pics (like facebook) you should only do 2-3 at a time...REALLY! The water in our cabin NEVER got hot, only luke warm and that was after seriously running the water for 20 minutes. I called and they sent someone up to fix it, but it remained spotty following throughout the cruise. Our cabin steward Edwin was Fabulous though I have to say that. Perhaps we just had a bad start, but none the less, we will never cruise on Oceania again. My husband and I are both in our early 60's and very active and maybe we just aren't cut out for this cruise line. We were both extremely disappointed from the beginning and it just didn't get any better. The 9 countries we visited were great though. The 3 free excursions we took on Oceania were overcrowded and middle of the road. The other 6 were on Alla Tours and they were fabulous with only a max number of 8-16 depending with great guides...and much much lower in price, the buses on Oceania excursions were 35-40. We will be returning to Princess for upcoming cruises. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We sailed Oceania Marina for 10 days from Copenhagen to Stockholm, doing the Baltic. Our ports included Warnemunde, Klaipeda, Riga, Helsinki, 3 days in St. Petersburg, Tallinn and one sea day. We have sailed the smaller Oceania ships ... Read More
We sailed Oceania Marina for 10 days from Copenhagen to Stockholm, doing the Baltic. Our ports included Warnemunde, Klaipeda, Riga, Helsinki, 3 days in St. Petersburg, Tallinn and one sea day. We have sailed the smaller Oceania ships before, but this was the first time on Marina. We booked a Concierge level balcony and a cruise-only package as we like to do our own excursion planning. Embarkation was extremely easy and we received a cordial welcome. We went up to the Concierge Lounge, but no one was there. We ate lunch in the Terrace Café and walked around exploring the ship until our cabin was ready. Marina is a really beautiful ship, with great, comfortable public spaces, a wonderful library, large observation lounge, and never felt crowded, although the ship was full. The only design change we would add is an additional bank of elevators as the ship is long. When we got into our cabin about 1:30, we were pleased to see it was spacious, very clean, had a good sized bathroom with separate tub and shower and an adequate balcony. There was plenty of storage, the bed and pillows were good and our stewards did a great job keeping everything clean and replenished. We had a bottle of champagne waiting and were surprised but pleased to find that we had free internet throughout the cruise and three separate cards with shipboard credit. That amount easily covered all the alcoholic beverages we drank, with room to spare. The Concierge Lounge was just down the hallway. Although we would go to the Lounge for coffee just after waking, we did not find it worthwhile. The Concierge never looked up or offered to help when we entered, and never said hello. The snack offerings there were below what is found on other cruiselines. Food for the most part was very good, particularly in the main dining room. After a first evening with spotty service, we found a table with Jose as our waiter and asked for his area each time we were in the dining room. He was excellent, friendly and helpful and, because the food on the ship is very heavily salted, he assisted us in getting our dishes with less sodium. Jose was a real professional and we appreciated his care. As for the specialty restaurants, Jacques was excellent – heavy, but a real treat. Service was attentive and pleasant. The foie gras and lobster Thermidor were spot on. In Polo, I was served one of the best prime ribs I have ever had. The other steak, a Porterhouse, has no filet meat side at all with it so it turned out to be a strip steak. The entrees and sides were very good, the appetizers and salads less attractive. Service was excellent but when we ordered a bottle of wine, the sommelier kept trying to upsell us and we ended up with a wine not to our taste. Our fault for listening to him. Red Ginger was a different experience. We were the second table seated and sat for 30 minutes before anyone approached us. We had to ask twice to order a bottle of wine. We gave our orders and then sat again waiting while all the tables around us filled and were served food. The sea bass was very good but we did not want to spend so much time in the restaurant. We had to flag down a waiter to ask to order dessert. While the atmosphere was lovely and we liked the menu, it was not worth 3 hours to sit at a table waiting for food. We did not eat at Toscana because the last time we did, we had to send the food back because it was so oversalted. We preferred the main restaurant and our orders always came up properly cooked. The ship wine list definitely needs improvement. We had a difficult time finding a decent red wine to enjoy, no matter the price. We had a lot of shipboard credit but had trouble finding anything to our taste. The ship has very basic, inexpensive wines that were marked up significantly. Happy hour drinks were watered down and the waiters learned to just make one double with less filler liquid to make the drink palatable. And adding 18% automatic service charge to all alcoholic beverages adds to the injury. Waiters in the bars, however, were very friendly and helpful. The shops were high priced with little merchandise of interest. The shop workers never said hello or offered to help. When they set out displays in the lobby, the goods were overpriced and some very cheaply made. The matryoshka dolls were twice the price found in St. Petersburg itself and of lesser quality. The Faberge egg pendants that were $29 onboard were easily found ashore (even at the port store) for $10 and included a necklace. Buy ashore. A good market is the one next to the Church on Spilled Blood. The major issue we had, and the main complaint we heard from many passengers, concerned the Terrace Café. Because the cruise was port intensive, the main restaurant was not open at convenient hours for us to have breakfast. Therefore we went to the Terrace each morning. We found, as did other passengers, that it was chaotic, poorly managed, and had some of the worst service we have ever experienced. We had to ask three or four times just for a table set-up, knives and forks, napkins, milk for coffee, and requested juice never showed up during the whole cruise. We ended up going to the coffee machine ourselves each morning because we could not get a cup of coffee served to us. We got our own juice. The café is buffet which is served by the staff. Therefore, one small piece of whatever one wants is put on a plate. You had to ask for more. Most mornings there were only old looking strawberries for berries. Fruit was not ripe. Plates were removed while we still were eating. This kept happening over and over, as if they wanted us out of the restaurant. Staff was sullen and did not say good morning. They were robotic. A waiter slammed into me with a hot cup of coffee, burning my hand and never stopped to say “sorry” or see if I was ok. The second to last morning, there was a large bowl full of raspberries. I walked up to be served some berries which I was craving. A man from Australia stepped in front of me and said,” I want raspberries.” The server took a bowl and filled it and he said, “no, I want them all.” She took the entire serving bowl and gave him all the raspberries. There were none for any other passenger and when we asked for the waiter to find some he said, “he took what we had.” This is truly unacceptable! Orders from Waves showed up wrong, although they made good milkshakes. We spoke to two different head waiters about the poor service, they listened, but nothing changed. We hated going in there. We heard this from many fellow passengers. And, because Oceania adds tips to the bill at the end of the cruise - $17 per person per day in Concierge Balcony, $24 per person per day in Penthouse, for example, one expects better service than this. We were told later by a number of passengers that they had tips removed from their bills due to this poor service. They instead individually tipped those who did give good service. We did not take ship excursions, but booked our own private tours. In St. Petersburg we used White Nights travel and they were superb in crafting a personalized tour for the two of us at half the price of the ship tours. The ports were great and we enjoyed each one despite the rain that came early in the cruise. In Helsinki, don’t miss the outdoor market near the marina, which has crafts and local specialties. In Riga, the main square has beautiful buildings, buskers, and the architecture of the city is magnificent. It was raining a lot in Klapaida but we enjoyed walking into the city and visiting at the local market and along the riverfront. Tallinn is gorgeous, with great restaurants, shops and is a very walkable city. In Warnemunde, we walked to the train station and took the train to Rostock for 5 Euros. It is a former east German city with lots of shops and picturesque waterfront and restaurants Oceania provided shuttles in Helsinki and Tallinn but passengers had to walk in all other ports. This proved to be difficult for many as the cities were more than 1.5 miles from the ship and the streets were cobblestone and uneven. Oceania should provide a shuttle in each port in these situations. Internet worked better than we expected and we were able to keep in contact with our ipad and wifi during the cruise. The television in the room had MSNBC, FOX, SKY, BBC and movies. On occasion, a movie was shown in the theater in the afternoon. We did not go to evening shows, but did enjoy the Edith Piaf tribute show one late afternoon and the ship orchestra and string quartet. Nolan is an excellent cruise director and made the few shipboard activities fun. We had a very affable team of trivia players and managed a number of wins. We also had a great Name That Tune Team in the evening and also pulled off some wins. The items available to purchase with O points from winning the games were above average. The amount of other shipboard activities revolved around sales schemes for jewelry, amber, Faberge knockoffs, etc. There was one speaker on Russia but her talk was so basic it could have come from Wikipedia. More lectures and less selling would be a benefit. Fellow passengers were very friendly, tended to be older and there were about 20 well behaved children. Many times we walked into Martini’s and were asked by other cruisers to sit down and have a drink. We did, and met many lovely fellow guests. Officers were non-visible, unlike Seabourn. Disembarkation was a breeze. When we arrived in Stockholm, we self-carried our luggage off the ship at 7:45 am with no wait or line, got into a taxi and went to our hotel. Overall, the ship is lovely but we prefer Seabourn and Crystal. Service and customer orientation take a back seat to process on Oceania, based on our experience. While pleasant, it does not have the WOW factor of staff using your name or automatically arriving at your table with your favorite drink or a special treat, as on the two cruiselines mentioned above. Too much emphasis is on selling to make it a luxury experience. If the itinerary were right, we would consider sailing Oceania again. But it does not jump to the top of our list. Read Less
Marina Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.5
Dining 4.5 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 3.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 1.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 5.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 3.9

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