7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We took cruise since it was only one just going to Cuba on a 7 day cruise; Cuba was fantastic and would visit again; sirena and oceania probably not ; ship was weak in activities unless u like bean bag toss and a FEW other activities ; ... Read More
We took cruise since it was only one just going to Cuba on a 7 day cruise; Cuba was fantastic and would visit again; sirena and oceania probably not ; ship was weak in activities unless u like bean bag toss and a FEW other activities ; food was good to excellent ; everything seemed in slow motion on cruise ; we are seniors but still like many activities even though we don’t often participate in them ;ship was clean; small but just lacked something that we were used to on other bigger ships ; we went for Cuba and not the ship however; rooms were clean but housekeeping supplies were always stored by our room; they told us they had to store them by our room ; anyway Cuba is a must see and glad we took this cruise there; but felt that oceania is well overpriced for their return; Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Repeat Oceania customer. Spend the money on upscale so that getting left at the airport without transportation to the hotel doesn't happen. Spend the money so that the pre cruise hotel is not convenient, comfortable or helpful. ... Read More
Repeat Oceania customer. Spend the money on upscale so that getting left at the airport without transportation to the hotel doesn't happen. Spend the money so that the pre cruise hotel is not convenient, comfortable or helpful. Spend the money on an upscale cruise so that we are guaranteed a comfortable experience pre cruise without the bed on the floor and 1000's of revelers jamming the hotel, pool and restaurants. Spend the money and call the hotel a month in advance to ensure we had 2 beds. We did not. Spend the money on upscale cruise so that our concierge cabin has working air conditioning-a must when in the ovens of Guatemala, Belize and Cuba. A/C malfunctioned daily and nightly leaving us sweating and uncomfortable. Spent the money so that the cruise line does not lie to you about whether you can get off the ship while NOT on one of their excursions. (Yes you can). Spend the money so that the ship is accurate about the availability of internet in Cuba (yes) using dollars in Cuba (yes, they love dollars) and many other annoying issues. If not for a Chauffeur whose passengers did not show up in Miami, we would have had to cab it at our expense. Calling Oceania (also located in Miami) revealed that they did not give a damn about us being left with no transportation in Miami. The brochure stated there was a concierge desk at the Mondrian South Beach Hotel specifically for Oceania., There was not. I also have had no responses from e mails sent to the corporate officers. I guess being owned by Norwegian makes the adage you can't make a silk purse out of a pigs ear true. The cruise was taken at the wrong time of year when the weather was stifling and the humidity 100%. The ports were OK but quite commercial and uninteresting except for Havana which we toured with a Cuban guide. I don't know what more I can say about this experience except I would not want to repeat it. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Last week I traveled on the Oceania Sirena to Cuba out of Miami. This was my fourth Oceania cruise but the first in about ten years ago. I stopped cruising on Oceania for one simple reason, Destination Services. This is the part of the ... Read More
Last week I traveled on the Oceania Sirena to Cuba out of Miami. This was my fourth Oceania cruise but the first in about ten years ago. I stopped cruising on Oceania for one simple reason, Destination Services. This is the part of the company that handles the excursions for Oceania. Ten years ago Destination Services blatantly lied to me about an excursion and after explaining to them how this excursion was totally misrepresented they still would not refund my money. Now, fast forward ten years, and I find out nothing has changed with Destination Services. First, I purchased for almost $1700 the unlimited excursion package for my wife and I. First mistake! On day one I learn that morning while getting my bus ticket the most important feature of an all day excursion has be eliminated. Then I find out on the bus the second most important feature of this excursion had also been cancelled. In the end we spent 10 hours on a bus and really only spent 15 minutes viewing a pretty valley. Oceania spent this full day wasting 35 peoples time and not giving us the experience we all paid for ($558 per couple). Second mistake! The next day we had a morning and afternoon excursion booked. I find out by accident the day before the afternoon excursion has been cancelled and we can only take one excursion because of scheduling issues. Third mistake! On the 7th day we find out after getting off the ship and tendering to an island ALL excursions had been cancelled because of anticipated storms. What a surprise, the storms didn't arrive until 9 hours later all the excursions could have taken place. Fourth mistake! In the end I was charged $606 for excursion experiences which I not not receive. BUYER BEWARE! If everybody had my same experience you can multiply my loss by over 650 people on the ship and you have a pretty good scam going. From my point of view and many others I talked to on the ship Destination Services lacks credibility and I can not recommend Oceania as a luxury cruise line. They are a wanna be luxury cruise line and because they still nickel and dime on expenses, make you pay separate for premium liquor, excursions and gratuities they will never be in the same class as Crystal, Seabourn, Silver Seas and Regent. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
To start with, other people may feel very different about this cruise line. It really depends what you are looking for in a cruise. For us, it was just not a match. We did not like it as much as other cruises we have taken. The buffet ... Read More
To start with, other people may feel very different about this cruise line. It really depends what you are looking for in a cruise. For us, it was just not a match. We did not like it as much as other cruises we have taken. The buffet was much smaller then what we were use to (should be expected on a smaller ship) and the servers actually put the food on your plate so it's more like a cafeteria line or soup kitchen line then a buffet, again some people may like this, but not us. My wife is a vegetarian and the options for her were extremely limited. The servers and wait staff actually "reuse" food and drink which is just crazy. I saw our waiter pouring what was left of and old glass of orange juice into one of our glasses to "top it off" before he brought it to the table for breakfast, the same night I ordered pasta with red sauce at the "buffet" which they cook in front of you, and after they heated the sauce, and put the noodles in, they served the noodles to me in a small bowl, then put the remaining sauce back in the metal bin with the original cold sauce. Strange. So some things you may or may not like are that this ship has no photo staff. No pictures of any type are taken to sell by the cruise ship. No dinner photos, no port photos, nothing. There are no waiters walking around to sell you drinks on deck, the bars are very accessible so drinks are easy to get, but no one walking around asking "drinks?" The staff is very friendly, very helpful. The excursions were a complete mess. The times changed multiple times, the descriptions were not always 100% accurate of the places we visited, not to mention Oceania's excursions are priced insanely high. For example, private 8 hour all day tour through a local island company (included 3.5 hour walking tour, 3 hour car tour, lunch, drinks, etc) is $100.00 per person as a group tour or $130.00 per person as a private tour. Oceania charges $479.00 just for the 3 hour car ride portion (this is per car, not per person), another $89.00 per person for the 3 hour walking tour. By time you add lunch, it would cost about 4 times as much to book through Oceania. Unless you pay for the $439.00 per person to get the passport excursion collection, then you only pay $299.00 for the 3 hour car ride (still more then the entire day trip from the local company). I understand they need to make a profit, but sometimes it is just obscene. All the excursions meet on the ship, so our morning excursion ran longer than expected (even though we missed one of the advertised stops), we got off the bus and had to get back on the ship (through the metal detectors, etc) and get to the lounge to exchange our evening shore excursion tickets for bus numbers so we could go right back to the area we just left to get the bus for our evening excursion. The beds are comfortable and soda is included in the regular fare, which is nice. We did not like the shows, but we are not into singing and dancing type of shows. If you are ,you may like them. We prefer comedy, magic, etc. The decor on the ship did not match our taste. I didn't mind it much, but my wife said she just kept thinking it was decorated like the titanic. The pool is very small (only has one), but there is no issue at all finding chairs around the pool. It is nothing like other larger ships, there were always chairs available. One great thing that they had that other ships are lacking is a TV channel guide. Seems like this would be so easy to print out for guests, but this was cruise # 11 and the first one that has had it. They also had a guide that had what movies were playing on the three in room movie channels for the duration of the cruise. As I said, it was an OK cruise, but I don't think we will be going on Oceania again, at least not anytime in the near future. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Our mom treated us to this cruise.. We have been on many cruises almost every liner.. This was our favorite out of all of them.. The captain and co captain were the best especially going through the bermuda triangle.. It was ... Read More
Our mom treated us to this cruise.. We have been on many cruises almost every liner.. This was our favorite out of all of them.. The captain and co captain were the best especially going through the bermuda triangle.. It was smooth sailing all the way.. Best crew.. Our butler bento was the best i ever had.. He gave so much of himself to make sure we had what we wanted and plus so much more.. Our housekeeper a blessing.. I have a trendancy to scatter a few things around and she was amazing with what she did with the room.. Loved all the entertainers.. They were beyond talented.. Partied,hung out and danced with them after hours.. They were so much fun.. Each one wiere special in their own way.. They will be remembered for a lifetime.. All the wait staff were amazing in all the dining restaurants.. Great spa facilities.. Very talented staff.. Thank god for the fitness center & running track.. Everyone on this Ship were beyond Friendly, All in all the accommodations were the best.. Big rooms , sheets & comforter made for a cozy night’s sleep.. Everyone on the ship were so accomadating and we felt like celebrities.. I can’t say enough about this ship except how much i loved it.. My Name is Jillian D’Angelo I want them all to remember me as well. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
For us it was a good time to travel in this region. We expected a nice quiet room on the stern of the ship in between the owners staterooms on deck 7. However the vibration of the propellorshaft or engine are realy bad. It disturbs your ... Read More
For us it was a good time to travel in this region. We expected a nice quiet room on the stern of the ship in between the owners staterooms on deck 7. However the vibration of the propellorshaft or engine are realy bad. It disturbs your sleep. Your bed and room are shaking enormes. We did not have this problem before on the Insignia. And the explanation of the concierge sofar is that we are on a old ship.. We are halve way the cruise and hope to get a better explanation the coming days on the vibration. Anyway the rest is what you may expect from Oceania: good service, expensive excursions. Make sure you have everything in writing on your final confirmation so you have a good start when you embark. We enjoy traveling with Oceania although we get the impression that entertainment on the ship that does the 180 days is better. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We have been on many Oceania cruises and loved them all. We selected this 33 day cruise that started in Buenos Aires and ended in Miami, primarily because my husband wanted to experience the Amazon. The ship is almost exactly like the ... Read More
We have been on many Oceania cruises and loved them all. We selected this 33 day cruise that started in Buenos Aires and ended in Miami, primarily because my husband wanted to experience the Amazon. The ship is almost exactly like the other three smaller Oceania ships and the staff were really attentive and friendly. I didn't feel that way with the Officers. When I completed my mid-cruise feedback form, I really expected to hear from someone as I was pretty specific with my concerns. Never heard. My major issue with the ship...is really an Corporate/Operations Issue. They specially wrote in the cruise itinerary literature, and reconfirmed it when I called, that the itinerary would not stop in an endemic area that is experiencing Yellow Fever now. WRONG!!! According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) bulletins, we were visiting two ports that are considered Ground Zero for the recent rash of Yellow Fever in Brazil. Needless to say, based on their information, we chose not to take the vaccination and were pretty stressed when we were in these areas. The cruise itself. Although there were some interesting ports scattered through the itinerary, most of the port calls were boring with nothing to offer. Several resulted in a very quick turnaround back to the ship as there was nothing to see or do. And safety was an issue too. Brazil is not a place where you hail a cab. And police were telling folks not to walk here and there. There were WAY too many sea days, some scheduled, others because the ship couldn't anchor due to weather. Our 33 day cruise ended with almost 10 sea days. And Sirena does not offer any extra activities for those days. At one point we had 5 sea days in a row and everyone on board was ready to scream. Although we enjoy a quiet ship, there should be some exciting activities when having such a long stretch. Oceania food is noteworthy. Its one of the reasons we enjoy Oceania. But I have to say that although we have traveled on Nautica and Insigna many times, we didn't feel that the Sirena reached the same bar with food. It was good, usually, but not great. Even the two specialty restaurants were just ok. An example of lack of attention to detail is the coffee bar near the grand dining room. Great afternoon coffee, but the few snacks that are available there didn't change during the 33 days we were on the cruise. Yes, we could have gone to the afternoon tea and indulged in all of those treats, but we intentionally do not. But a good tasting cookie with the coffee was not to be had. Others who did indulge also offered the same tasteless comments. The Amazon. I guess our expectations were considerably different from the reality of our 1,000 mile cruise into and out of the Amazon. We were expecting a fairly narrow river with rainforest on either size...and monkeys and other observable wildlife with the aid of binoculars. The reality was that the river was sometimes 100 miles wide and never narrow enough so that you felt like you were in a jungle atmosphere. That required private excursions. The tiny villages we anticipated were good sized cities of up to 300,000 residents. Had we traveled the Amazon from the Pacific side (Ecuador or Peru), rather than the Atlantic, I think our expectations would have been realized. In summary, this is not an itinerary I will recommend to anyone! There are too many other fascinating places to see and enjoy to waste most of your time visiting insignificant ports with nothing to offer. I hate having such a negative report, but I was not alone in my analysis of this trip. I didn't speak to one person who thought this itinerary was worth traversing. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Our first cruises were on Riviera and Marina, both commencing in Barcelona. We chose this cruise to see Rio and escape the cold Canadian winter. Wasn't Sure whether the smaller Sirena would be as nice as Riviera or Marina, but I ... Read More
Our first cruises were on Riviera and Marina, both commencing in Barcelona. We chose this cruise to see Rio and escape the cold Canadian winter. Wasn't Sure whether the smaller Sirena would be as nice as Riviera or Marina, but I liked it even better. Beautiful European decor and all the same function rooms including a library to die for! The balcony stateroom was slightly smaller than Riviera and the bathroom has shower only but this was OK as far as we were concerned. First few ports...Rio Grande de Sul and Porto Belo were unimpressive but sailing in to Rio past Sugar Loaf at 5 am was a thrill of a lifetime. Food was wonderful, entertainment entertaining, shore excursions overpriced and not well co-ordinated by Oceania with local tour providers. That is my one criticism. That, and they should engage more qualified onboard lecturers in my view. but I cannot imagine cruise lines more luxurious than Oceania, certainly not better cuisine. The food and the libraries on Oceania will keep me coming back. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Lima is the worst embarkation experience ever. Our transfer dropped us off a Oceania pickup point filled with hucksters trying to help us with our bags. We were lucky when we got on the Oceania coach to take us to the ship. There were ... Read More
Lima is the worst embarkation experience ever. Our transfer dropped us off a Oceania pickup point filled with hucksters trying to help us with our bags. We were lucky when we got on the Oceania coach to take us to the ship. There were only two of us. The competition with shipping trucks was chaos. The backup for the port security guard to check our passport and sift through disorganized paperwork to find our name took and inordinate amount of time. Imagine the later coaches FILLED with passenger. The back up was horrible. My wife has special dietary restrictions. It took a third of the cruise before the came close to meeting her needs. The ship is tired and outdated. We went on the Basic City Tour Excursion in Iquique in the Atacama Desert. Oceania put 25 elderly passengers coming from winter in North America on an UNAIRCONDITIONED bus with temps in the high 80 in the . By the time we got to town, I was soaked with sweat. I told the tour guide he needed to get the bus fixed. We did a walk around and a tour of a museum and palace. When we met up with the bus, it was not fixed. I bailed on the excursion and walked back to take the shuttle back to the ship. I complained at the excursion desk. After a non-committal initial response, Oceania sent a second written reply giving us a 25% refund. HOW GENEROUS, he said facetiously. There was so much right and wrong about the cruise. When you can't use the toilet in your cabin and they can't get your wife's food correct, it spoils the whole cruise experience. Our previous experience on the Oceania Marina was entirely different. My final word for Oceania is this. Viking Ocean cruises is coming for you with a fleet a brand new ships and a base cabin that is better than this ship's veranda cabin. The days with you can compete with an outdated ship and an inferior cabin (bathroom) design ARE NUMBERED. The word is going to get out. A 'luxury cruiseline'. Not on this ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose the cruise because of the itinerary. Unfortunately, a number of people became ill early on and we were on red alert for 9 days! Not the fault of the cruise line, who handled the problem extremely well, but it didn't help ... Read More
We chose the cruise because of the itinerary. Unfortunately, a number of people became ill early on and we were on red alert for 9 days! Not the fault of the cruise line, who handled the problem extremely well, but it didn't help with the overall enjoyment of the cruise. The staff were super and friendly. The food in Red ginger was super flavourful and our favourite. However, twice I was sick after the dinner, most probably due to contamination from gluten (I am celiac) although the staff tried very hard, there is definitely an undetected ingredient. But the food in the main dining room was very spotty! Generally the appetizers were outstanding, the soups completely uninspiring, the salads ok, the vegetables boring (steamed broccoli and cauliflower! ) and the meat usually overcooked or undercooked! People we met after it was over said this was their 5th Oceania cruise and definitely the lowest quality of food preparation of them all. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Some stops were boring, food has gone down, quarantined without much consulting with nurse or Doctor and whole ship under watch for illness. Quarantined for 48 hours while some for just 24--communication was very poor about this issue. ... Read More
Some stops were boring, food has gone down, quarantined without much consulting with nurse or Doctor and whole ship under watch for illness. Quarantined for 48 hours while some for just 24--communication was very poor about this issue. Many complained about service in some areas especially the dining room and I felt the rooms needed a major cleaning especially the carpets But we still had some great people--our butler and room attendants were great. Some of the mater-dies were also great. Had dinner with the General manager and that was a delightful night We have been on 5 Oceania cruises and this one was very disappointing Items in the boutiques we very high end and too pricey. I would like to see them have more local items as some of the other ships offer. More souvenir items The speakers put most listeners to sleep and there were not many interesting things to do on the at sea days Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
This was our third cruise with Oceania. We chose it for the warm weather and ports of call. Food and service were excellent. Veranda concierge state room was great. Red Ginger restaurant was our favorite. Shore excursions were ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Oceania. We chose it for the warm weather and ports of call. Food and service were excellent. Veranda concierge state room was great. Red Ginger restaurant was our favorite. Shore excursions were very good We booked a cruise from Seattle to Alaska while on the ship. Only problem was avoiding over eating, particularly the great desserts but the Canyon ranch spa menu in the main dining room helped The variety of food was great with four restaurants and no added charge for the reservation only restaurants. We particularly liked the ice cream, milk shakes and smoothies available at the Waves Grill. The variety at the buffer was amazing. Service in the main dining room was very attentive. The barista had excellent drinks and snacks The library had an excellent selection of books and was a great place to sit and relax. The outdoor searing area in front of the spa was very scenic Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
WE chose this cruise to transit the Panama Canal Sirena Cruise (Oceania Cruises) We wanted to go through the Panama Canal so we got our agent to book a cruise that would do that and that would allow us to join another cruise from ... Read More
WE chose this cruise to transit the Panama Canal Sirena Cruise (Oceania Cruises) We wanted to go through the Panama Canal so we got our agent to book a cruise that would do that and that would allow us to join another cruise from Ushuaia a few days after completing the first Cruise. We arrived in Miami and joined the ship Sirena having booked a vista suite which turned out to be marvellous and spacious with butler service. We then looked forward to Oceania’s widely advertised “finest cuisine at sea”. As the cruise departed Miami we treated ourselves to a G & T from the complimentary bar in our cabin and prepared ourselves for our first dinner of the finest cuisine. The ship had multiple restaurants and we chose to eat in the Grand Dining Room. We arrived for dinner and were seated with great flourish by a maître d’ hotel and asked if we would like a drink to start. Of course thank you. It arrived and we ordered from the extensive menu, and were asked by the waiter if we would like wine, so said yes please. The wine list was extensive and focussed on Europe, USA and South American wines but WITH PRICES listed. And what prices! They would put most local Australian restaurant wine prices to shame and we know how expensive they are. What the hell we thought we are on holiday. So we had dinner with wine, but the whole experience was dulled by the expense of drinks and wine, after having paid a prestigious price for a prestigious suite. No one had told us drinks were not included but not guess as seasoned travellers we should have known! Well breakfast may be a better experience. Breakfast was the usual buffet with a reasonable choice of brekkie fare, but there were no sugar free or sugar reduced items such a yogurt, juice or pastries., may of the choices needed cooking while one waited and waited and …….. The toaster was, as is always the case everywhere, slow as a wet weekend and required several runs through to get nice golden toast. Butter was all unsalted. So the finest cuisine left something to be desired and the meal was very slow while one waited for eggs, toast, pancakes and so on. All the restaurants were catering for rather non-adventurous tastes and the food generally was under spiced and under salted. It is a great shame this was so because the food was good and beautifully presented but lacking in flavours unless it was something simple like a grilled steak or dessert. I do not think that Oceanic has the ‘finest cuisine” afloat, we have been on ships with significantly better food. The shore excursions were all pre-booked and fairly expensive. Our first was in Havana and was a nice walking tour after a short bus ride from the ship to downtown. An interesting tour with an informative guide, but not worth the money it cost. Several other tours were simply a joke. One to some ruins was all day and we spent most of the day in a bus. Waste of money! Going to dinner one night in the Tuscan Steak restaurant my wife slipped on the top deck (painted but not non-slip paint) twice, the second time breaking her humours quite badly. We sat in the restaurant entrance and the maître d’ called some officer and the doctor. The officer was quite brusk and immediately said to my wife that her shoes were why she slipped. He continued to be unsympathetic and hung around like a bad smell even when she was taken to the medical centre. It got to the point where I requested he had nothing more to do with us. The ships doctor took x-rays and confirmed the arm was broken but could offer no treatment other than pain killers and a sling. At our next port we were sent ashore to a small country hospital where locals congregated in the foyer chatting and eating and were seen by the resident who spent ages collecting data on my wife. After several hours an orthopaedic guy turned up and confirmed it was broken and that an operation would be needed to repair the break. At this point we left and went back to the ship. It was not the sort of hospital where we would have an operation, even though it may have been perfectly good. We carried on with the cruise until we got to Panama City and while we were having dinner we were informed we had to go to hospital and a driver was waiting. I grabbed passports and a few other essentials and away we were whisked. Half way to the hospital a call from the ship informed us we had left our luggage and that we had to return to get it. What was I to do, return and pack three suitcases and then go to the hospital again with all our luggage and a wife with a broken arm who could do little? So we continued. Big mistake, but then again we were offered No help by the ship. We had left the ship and our luggage. We fully expected to return and complete the cruise but these hopes were dashed by the ship refusing to accept us back on board. We got my wife repaired and arranged to fly home to Sydney which we did and in so doing missed our second cruise. But that is not the end of the story. On returning home one of the first priorities was to contact the ship for return of our luggage. Discussions via email continued for a month and eventually our suitcases were returned with only clothes minus shoes and underwear, at my cost (over AD$700). So back to the email saga,. I have some 20 emails with the ship and Oceania’s office in Miami. A month or so later another box was returned, again at my cost, but again not all our goods. They had kept everything of value. Back to the emails yet again. Another month and some valuables were forwarded, but again not all of them. Some of my critical medications were not returned. Finally the saga plays out with Oceania refusing to send the last two items because they might create customs problems. I think they had no right to make such a decision on my behalf and their actions are tantamount to theft. I had receipts for the items they refused to send showing they were bought in Australia so …….. In conclusion, Oceanic has nice cabins with great cabin service, very average food but beautifully presented, shore excursions that are not good value for money and slippery decks that are poorly signposted and senior staff who have no sympathy or understanding of their guest’s plight. Their advertising, in my mind, is not borne out in practice. Although I cannot recommend them, but, they have many devoted cruisers who always travel with them. Make up your own mind! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
It was our first Oceania cruise and it will not be the last ! The Sirena is a small intimate elegant ship and it was a very different cruise from Miami to Lima. The ports were interesting but what made this cruise different from the 20 + ... Read More
It was our first Oceania cruise and it will not be the last ! The Sirena is a small intimate elegant ship and it was a very different cruise from Miami to Lima. The ports were interesting but what made this cruise different from the 20 + other cruises was the ship. It was small but never boring and the cruise director, Dottie, was a pro. Because of the smaller amount of passangers,600, you never wait anywhere, there is always room by the pool, at the show , at the dining room. No crowds ever which is a nice change. However the shows are not as spectacular and the pool is very small. The grand dining room is outstanding, the food and the service were unbelievable, the specialty restaurant Red Ginger is outstanding and full of nice surprises, however the other one, Tuscan Steak fails miserably both with food and service.... The free shuttle to town could improve as well, not enough and does not always go to the right area, I guess they want to push their expensive excursions. The décor is a bit old fashioned but very tasteful, brings us back to an era that promoted elegance. We also appreciated the inclusion of soft drinks, specialty coffees and specialty restaurants, all things taken into account it was not much more expensive than the big ships. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We wanted to see Cuba, the Panama Canal and Machu Picchu and this cruise had all three. It was the first time we traveled with dietary restrictions (my wife was diagnosed as Celiac). Overall the ship did a good job of providing gluten ... Read More
We wanted to see Cuba, the Panama Canal and Machu Picchu and this cruise had all three. It was the first time we traveled with dietary restrictions (my wife was diagnosed as Celiac). Overall the ship did a good job of providing gluten free food options, but it could have been better. Every single meal we had to ask the chef to point out what she could eat instead of simply putting a "GF" label on the cards describing each dish. She only was contaminated once when given inaccurate information. For the most part the servers and food preparers at the stations need additional training in preparing gluten free meals. They could also do a better job of having gluten free choices rather an a cookie at the tea or one dessert (if you were lucky) Tired of hearing fruit plate, salad and dry chicken. Now on to excursions. Oceana is gouging it's passengers with expensive, and just average tours. Don't get me wrong, some of them were great, but an equal number were under performers. We recommend you do your own research and book off the ship for half the price. We went from 90% cruise excursions to half this time and will go lower down the road. Best excursion - Machu Picchu. Drinks prices in an age where your completion offers free drinks is another gouge. (Bring some on board - they allow it) Best meal on board - red ginger. Worst meal on board - the dining room (got servered raw lobster one time and never went back) Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We are experienced cruisers with more than 50 cruises. This was our second cruise with Oceania. The first one was, 10 years ago. This review is about a 35 days cruise on the Oceania Sirena from San Diego to Rio de Janeiro including the ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers with more than 50 cruises. This was our second cruise with Oceania. The first one was, 10 years ago. This review is about a 35 days cruise on the Oceania Sirena from San Diego to Rio de Janeiro including the Amazon River. During our trip, I have also had a live thread, which can be seen on the Oceania Forum. We had a wonderful cruise on board Oceania Sirena. The cruise came to an end and we are back home now. About the ship The ship was familiar from the beginning, because we have cruised before many times with Azamara, which has the same type of ships. Standard Cabins are small and bathrooms are tiny. The ship and cabins are well maintained and kept in a pristine condition. An area of improvement could be to add or renew the filter for the type of smoke that comes out of the ship, when in movement. That smoke was for us, many times, annoying when sitting at the Terrace outside for lunch. It has a peculiar smell. Nevertheless our overall impression of the ship is very positive. About the itinerary We have chosen this cruise because we were interested in cruising the Amazon river. As a matter of fact if Oceania would not have offered that possibility, we would have not taken this cruise. The ship started in San Diego, which for us, international guests, is more complicated than Los Angeles or Miami. The ports of call in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean were as good as any port in those areas. Our favorites were Tobago and Curaçao. I would have preferred to stay overnight in one of those ports and maybe skip Bridgetown. The crossing of the Panama Canal as usual spectacular. An interesting port, because of the historical implications was Devils Island. The cruising of the Amazon river did not disappoint us. On the contrary, we had lowered our expectations, thinking that cruising there with a large ship was not going to be that good. We were surprised by the diversity of the ports and we have enjoyed most of them. I did not like Santarem very much because I found it very loud, with loudspeakers everywhere. We have enjoyed Manaus, Parintins and Alter do Chao. The other Brazilian ports outside the Amazon, were all known to us: Fortaleza, Recife, Salvador Bahia and Rio. We like Salvador Bahia the most and we were surprised by a different aspect from Recife. Rio de Janeiro was our disembarking port and having been there many times we did not stay. Overall, we are satisfied with the itinerary. About the entertainment on board There were plenty of activities on board: bridge, golf putting, knitting, pilates, etc. We have appreciated very much the enrichment lectures, specially from Dr. Don Klein. We have learned a lot through those lectures. The production shows on small ships like Oceania Sirena are not particularly inviting. I do appreciate the efforts of the young entertainers but somehow, those shows are not to our taste. Maybe because we do not know the music being played. We have liked single performances like the one from Jamie Stewart: music from Frank Sinatra and friends. Our favorite entertainers were the Panache string quartet and the Band. We have tried not to miss their performances. About the food and wine Yes, we do think Oceania has the best dining experience in comparison to other ocean cruise lines. We found the house select package a good choice as part of the Olife offer. Now, this was a long cruise of 35 days, so there were many repetitions of food. Since Oceania offers many restaurants we have tried to avoid getting bored by changing venues as much as we could. Our favorite restaurant is the Red Ginger. The wines included in the house select package, were all quite good imho. Now, some were better than others and unfortunately those better wines would disappear quite soon. It was confusing because the lists of available wines were not updated. I imagine that it is a matter of logistics. This is an area of improvement since it has caused many complaints not only during this cruise but we remember having seen it also before our cruise in discussions of Oceania cruises at the Cruise Critics Forum. Despite of this, we are very satisfied with the quality of food and wine during our cruise. About the shore excursions I guess the main complaint about the shore excursions with Oceania are the prices and that the excursion’s team is not really interested in providing port information unless you have booked an excursion with them. We have booked only two ship excursions and they were fine. Since we have done many things on our own in the ports, we could see that prices of excursions when bought locally were half the price. I am not sure who is getting the overheads for those inflated prices for excursions. Anyhow, we consider this a weakness. About the shops and the services at the Spa Similar to the shore excursions, the prices at the Spa are very expensive even comparing to other ocean cruise lines. So we did not use those services. The shops unfortunately, did not have in our opinion, a good selection of products. We were lucky that we did not choose the option of non refundable on board credit as part of the Olife offer. We would have been in trouble spending it. About the officers, the crew and service on board We are very satisfied with the excellent service on board the Sirena. The restaurant managers, sommeliers, waiters and cabin attendants were efficient and friendly. We did not experience any situation, in which who could have had a reason to complain. The Manager, Rafaelle Cinque, the Cruise Director and the Concierge were always available and taking corrective action in case of need. We are happy to have cruise with such high qualified and friendly officers and we hope to meet them again. A BIG thanks to all of them. They have made us feel at home and have treated us, as if we were very important persons. Our overall assessment of our cruise with the Oceania Sirena is that it was a very good cruise. We would certainly now actively look for Oceania offers when we are looking for future cruises. Our thanks go also to the cruise critic members, who have followed my live thread. You have encouraged me with your interest and comments to share our experiences with you. It was not always easy, since I was some days lazy, but you an me, made it together. Have happy cruises! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We just returned from a 35 day cruise on Oceania's newest ship - Sirena. This is actually one of the old "R" ships which Oceania has 3 of already. Sirena is now the 4th "R" ship. When Oceania took over this ship ... Read More
We just returned from a 35 day cruise on Oceania's newest ship - Sirena. This is actually one of the old "R" ships which Oceania has 3 of already. Sirena is now the 4th "R" ship. When Oceania took over this ship from Princess, it was in deplorable shape and underwent a massive renovation. Horizons was redone completely opening up the room making it more functional. Princess had added men's and woman's bathrooms which is necessary as the old "R" ships don't have a bathroom on the 10th floor and one has to walk down one flight. The room now is much nicer. I hope they will add bathrooms to the other smaller "R" ships. The Penthouse cabins have been redone. The bathroom which had a small shower and tub, has been upgraded. They took out the tub and shower and made a much larger shower, which is great. We unfortunately were in one of the veranda cabins which doesn't appear to have been updated. But we visited a penthouse and the occupants really enjoyed the changes. Restaurants: The "R" ships have 2 nice restaurants aft on 10 and one Main Dining room on deck 5. Then there is the Terrace café on deck 9 which is a self serve lunch and dinner facility. The change that Oceania made was in the 2 restaurants on deck 10. Oceania's other "R" ships have the Polo Grill and Toscana on 10. Oceania turned these 2 restaurants into one for one of the restaurants on deck10 combining both menus. So we still get our lobster, and steaks, plus some of the great Italian dishes Oceania is famous for. This restaurant is called The Tuscan Grill. To be noted is that not all of the menu items that were in Polo and Toscana are offered. The trade off is the other restaurant on 10 was turned into Oceania's famous "Red Ginger" (which is only on their larger ships) and is absolutely beautiful. RG doesn't exit on the other R ships that Oceania owns. I really like this change because I enjoy RG. Then Oceania added Jacques for lunch in the MDR. This has been fabulous! Of course, now we're fighting the extra pounds we gained with all this wonderful food. The other services on Sirena are the same as all of Oceania's ships' services. The officers and staff are always wonderful. Ports of Call: It's important to research this before you book a cruise. If you enjoy luxury ports where the towns visited are clean and beautiful, don't book a cruise that goes to the Amazon. But if you want to learn about the primitive life along the Amazon and the history of this part of the world, then you will enjoy this cruise. Oceania always comes up with different and interesting ports to visit. Entertainment: I usually enjoy the shows that are put on by the hired entertainers but this cruise we only had 5 such shows for 35 days. The CD, Dottie who is fabulous, asked the 2 top entertainers to come up with a show on their own. This was the best show they played. The other entertainment is usually one person playing an instrument. While these people are usually good, it makes for a boring show in my opinion. I think for longer cruises, some of the main production shows should be repeated. Since they are always held at 9:30 sometimes people are not finished dinner yet, or are too tired to attend. This would give options. This cruise took place over the holidays, and it was the first time we've ever been away for the holidays. The ship was beautifully decorated and we enjoyed the festivities that Oceania created. We were also given a nice gift from Oceania. In close, I understand that Oceania put a lot of money into renovations of Sirena, but it seems to be a work in progress with a lot to still be done. I enjoyed the different feel of Sirena. I also enjoy cruising on their larger ships. Sirena adds a variety to the fleet with the changes Oceania has made. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise rather last minute when we had to abandon plans for a land tour due to a number of reasons. We are so glad we did. This cruise embarked 60 miles from our home making it easy to get to with no prior arrangements. ... Read More
We chose this cruise rather last minute when we had to abandon plans for a land tour due to a number of reasons. We are so glad we did. This cruise embarked 60 miles from our home making it easy to get to with no prior arrangements. And, the itinerary included a couple of destinations that were high on our TO See list. This ship isn't really equipped for or caters to children. So I would not think it would be a good choice for families. The string quartet was excellent and we enjoyed their music before dinner every evening and at afternoon tea when we added that to our busy schedule. The staff on board was attentive, friendly and very approachable. Food quality, selection, preparation and presentation in the Terrance Buffet, Main Dining Room, and in the specialty dining Red Ginger and Toscan Steak House is exceptional and better than on any ship on which we have cruised. The ports were all interesting and most of.our excursions were made through folks on Cruise Critic. The ship tours were disappointing, but we had only a couple of them. They were rushed, had too many people and were held up by folks who were mobility impaired resulting in considerable loss of valuable siteseeing time at the various stops. Also, many of the guests on the ship tours chat endlessly so that it is hard to hear the commentary of the local guides. We avoid ship tours for those reasons. We will sail again on the Sirena or other Oceania ships and look forward to doing so. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
The itinerary. We have traveled a lot & truly enjoy venturing to different countries. We like to engage with the locals wherever we visit to find out what the heartbeat of the community is & what makes it tick, On this ... Read More
The itinerary. We have traveled a lot & truly enjoy venturing to different countries. We like to engage with the locals wherever we visit to find out what the heartbeat of the community is & what makes it tick, On this particular trip we met people who were aghast at some of the ports & extremely poor communities we visited. We found the mindset of these people had expectations that it was just like home & could not believe that Oceania would take them to such places. The reason to travel is to broaden ones horizons & see how the rest of the world lives & copes with their lot in life. Everyone has a story & it is so important to listen??? The naysayers complaints were 1st. world country & I truly hope that when they returned to their homes that they would take a few minutes to reflect on the hardships of others. The Sirena crew were wonderful---they would do anything to please their guests & from the captain right down to a deck hand they fostered a wonderful ambience that felt like one big family. My hat is of to each & everyone who were part of our wonderful journey---thank you from the bottom of our hearts & we look forward to joining you again in the near future. The only thing that we would fault Oceania on were our flights. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose the cruise for the Itinerary and based on Oceania's reputation. Well yes the food exceeded expectations, so much so it was too fancy and by the end of the cruise we were looking for plain and simple. The Entertainment was ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the Itinerary and based on Oceania's reputation. Well yes the food exceeded expectations, so much so it was too fancy and by the end of the cruise we were looking for plain and simple. The Entertainment was very, I mean very poor with old and has been entertainers, a lot of repetitive entertainment and a poor use of the ships own entertainers. Do not cruise Oceania if you want to be entertained you will be disappointed. Shore excursions, we did only do 2 Ships excursions but both lacked content and were vastly over priced. Passengers .. the vast majority of guests were great and this helped to at least make the sea days bearable as although they offer activity's its the same old boring stuff over and over again. Crew .... The Room Stewards, Waiters, Drink staff all worked their butts off and were excellent. The Officers were aloof and did not really mix or respond to the passengers, preferring to mainly look the other way when they walked past. And lastly if you happen to book and get a BEST PRICE Guarantee, don't count on it we found it was not worth the paper it was printed on due to the FINE PRINT. We will most probably not be back, having cruised in excess of 60 times with other much better lines, Goodbye Oceania and Good Riddance. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our first cruise with Oceania, ship Sirena, for 35 days, 2017-2018. Picked this cruise line to experience a smaller passenger venue and interesting itinerary. Before the cruise, we stayed at the Best Western Bayside Inn in San ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Oceania, ship Sirena, for 35 days, 2017-2018. Picked this cruise line to experience a smaller passenger venue and interesting itinerary. Before the cruise, we stayed at the Best Western Bayside Inn in San Diego, very close to the ship terminal. This hotel picked you up at the airport and also took you to the cruise terminal. Bonus! Staff was very friendly and helpful. Room was very clean and more than adequate for a stopover. Bought our bottles of wine for our ship cabin at a new store called, Roma, a short walk away. It is an Italian deli style atmosphere so you could buy a meal, drinks or snacks if desired. Embarkation was painless, efficient and welcoming. Cabin 6016 was nicely appointed, plenty of closet, drawers and bathroom shelf space. Used fabric packing cases for the first time and they measured 9"wide x 12"long x 4" deep (could be 2" longer if you want) and they fit right into the drawers for easy access, also for final packing. In the beginning, we had A/C issues which were taken care of immediately. Our only complaint was the swaying of the ship which could really be felt. It took a little bit of time to adjust to the motion. We were not overly impressed with the food but you could always find something to eat. On the other hand, other passengers were very pleased with the cuisine. One thing that stands out for me, on two occasions, the lobster and shrimp were mushy to the taste in the Grand Dining Room. I had a better cooked lobster and shrimp at the Terrace Buffet. A special thanks to Uptal and Rangit for their expert cooking of it. We appreciated the Terrace Cafe Buffet method of serving food. All food was served by staff to avoid cross contamination. Kudos to the person who had that idea! Also, if you wanted to eat outdoors, there was a very nice area outside the dining room on the back deck. Tours? We did it ourselves. For our first stop, it was Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Since we had vacationed here before, we got off the ship, approached the local tourist information booth at the bottom of the gang plank and asked questions. The artisan' s market nearby was our focus, no lengthy tours. There is a shuttle that transports you, for free, to the market. Just ask the representative for directions. Across the road from the terminal is a Walmart, Sam's and a huge shopping mall. We replenished our room wine supplies and picked up some mosquito repellent and other toiletries. Beautiful Chilean and Argentinian red wine cost $6.00 to $8.00 U.S. a bottle. I booked one city tour in Nicaragua with "Julio Tours Nicaragua." I did so on line. No money up front, to be paid after the tour. For a van, it was $60.00 U.S. per person for a city tour of the colonial city of Leon. Refer to his web site for details as prices will fluctuate over time. -Entertainment was okay. Some shows were better than others. Overall we had a good time because the Oceania staff were exceptional and we met a lot of fun people to tour with. A special thanks to Nancy and Cal from California, John and Denise from Barrie, Ontario, Margaret and Mesfin from Geneva, Joy and Mike from Callander, Ontario and Kevin and Margaret from New Zealand for helping to create beautiful memories. Pros: -nice cabins-plenty of storage space-toiletries-outstanding Maid-Veronika and Cabin Stewart-Wayans who anticipated our every need-example:wine glasses for our room -food is okay-Terrace Buffet offers enough variety that you can find something to eat, lobster and shrimp almost every night was a real treat -Staff serving you in the Terrace Buffet eliminates cross contamination, food waste and food was served hot as well -service is excellent by all waiters on board-a special thank you to the Terrace Cafe staff where we ate most of the time-Dianne, Shane, Mary Jane, Joy, Sue, Alina, Jimmy, Juan, Uptal, Rangit, Yusseff, tall Milos, Ariel, Erik, Louisa, Maritisa just to name a few. -very interesting itinerary for the 35 days, enjoyed the sea days to recuperate after touring -shuttle bus almost at every port to transport you to the terminal, city central or artisan market -being able to bring wine on board for your cabin was a bonus-check out Puerto Vallarta's Walmart for great wine prices (no problem bringing "large" amounts on board) and beautiful, reasonably priced t-shirts-also purchased some reasonably priced, beaded, local crafted jewelry and colourful cotton pants at the Artisan market near the pier -excellent library facilities-no need to bring reading material -extra curricular activities during sea days if you wished to participate-Bingo, Bridge, Trivial Pursuit, Needlepoint, cake decorating, Ping Pong, Shuffleboard, Golf Putting, Bean Bag Toss, Canasta, Mah Jongg, Country Line Dancing etc. -live music playing everywhere on the ship at different times -4:00 pm. Horizon Tea Time is very elegantly served with a music ensemble -embarkation and disembarkation were very efficient and easy -thoroughly enjoyed the food and service at the Tuscan Steak Specialty Restaurant. -very clean ship in all areas -port side cabin seemed to be the best when docked for viewing and shade on the balcony -issue with A/C at the beginning of our voyage. The repairman was prompt and addressed the problem efficiently -Tourist table was set up inside, near the gangplank so you could secure a map or information before exploring. Bonus! Cons: -a big concern for people who suffer from seasickness-totally unexpected was the extremes of ship motion especially on the ocean segment and I don't get seasick-may have to insist on mid-ship cabin to avoid most of the turbulence -tours were outrageously expensive that were offered by the ship-arranged our own with local guides and with another couple on board for safety-see my descriptions of different tours,especially Manaus. -very few port talks about what to see outside the ship tours to familiarize yourself for independent exploring-ship information was dated at these talks and tourist bureaus at each port were overrun with passengers from other ships and English was limited-suggest you do your own research of each place prior to the cruise so independent touring is easier -beware of a ship doctor visit-could cost as much as the cruise itself-LOL-**take your own cold/cough medication, Cipro antibiotic, seasickness prevention -Destination Desk staff were very aloof and not very helpful especially in regards to ship to shore help at the end of the voyage. $519.00 U.S. for a van to take you to your hotel is unreasonable to ask. No guidance was given regarding reliable taxis at the terminal- fortunately, we found our own gypsy cab outside the cruise terminal, very reasonable, took U.S. money, $80.00 to Copacabana Beach, Golden Tulip Hotel Rio Leme Hotel (see review), good, safe driver, father and son enterprise, great help with our heavy suitcases, "Nascimento Tour" cell: (55+21) 99701-2813 97058-8820 -regular taxis wanted $100.00 U.S. -did not enjoy the Red Ginger Specialty Restaurant. Service was excellent but the spice cilantro, garlic were used heavily in everything you ordered. You have to like those spices. -stores on board were lacking in variety-overkill with jewelry promotions -passengers were mainly very elderly people who did not appear happy for the most part-if you laughed at meals you received disapproving stares from the old folk around you-we are seniors but I felt overwhelmed by the sadness of the older people, on the other hand, no children aboard and we met some like-minded people to party with. -"free" internet was very spotty and you kept losing connection Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Cruise: San Diego to Rio de Janeiro on Oceania's Sirena - December 16, 2017 to January 20, 2018. Cabin - Concierge Balcony Category A1 This was our (my wife and I) 19th cruise and first one with Oceania. We chose this cruise ... Read More
Cruise: San Diego to Rio de Janeiro on Oceania's Sirena - December 16, 2017 to January 20, 2018. Cabin - Concierge Balcony Category A1 This was our (my wife and I) 19th cruise and first one with Oceania. We chose this cruise because we liked the itinerary and also because we had sailed on the R1 with Renaissance, around the turn of the century, and had fond memories of that sister ship. We are going to get rid of the sour taste in our mouth, up front, before we go on! LINGERING SOUR TASTE: The one area we were extremely disappointed with was the Destination Services area (Shore Excursions and Port Services). The excursion costs were exorbitant, excursion contents were way below par, some tour guides were high school students, some tour guides could speak very little English, the department staff had none or very little port information/assistance to offer and were totally unresponsive and tactless, almost to the point of being rude (including Gustavo Brasil, the manager ~ I have no Supervisor on the ship. Fill this form and complain to Miami office ~ who was almost never to be seen except when he came for his dinner). Waste of BIG money and waste of valuable opportunities on Oceania’s shore excursions! Ah, that feels better! On to the rest of our experience!! DEMOGRAPHICS: Most of the guests appeared to be between 65 to 85 years of age (few younger, some older). While there were people from several parts of Europe, Australasia and some other places, most of the people were from the US, UK and Canada. SHIP: In spite of its age, Sirena is a very beautiful, well appointed and generally well maintained ship (brass railings on the stairs need to be polished, though). However, the ship appeared to be under-powered for the itinerary and we found ourselves racing at maximum rated speeds many a times (sometimes even slightly above the maximum rated speed), presumably to catch up on time. The ship rocked way too much (the pitch - front to back, more often than roll - side to side), just about everyday. The Tender Service was very good. The SIrena, Regatta, Insignia and Nautica (the smaller 4 Oceania ships) do not offer as many benefits/amenities at the Concierge Balcony A1 level as Oceania's larger ships. The Cabins were small but well maintained and furnished tastefully with reasonable amount of storage space. The public places were very nicely decorated and well maintained. The Library - collection, furniture, decor and maintenance - was excellent. SERVICE: The Embarkation and Disembarkation were quite smooth with a minimal wait. The cabin was ready a bit ahead of time. The bags were handled carefully and delivered promptly. The Officers were quite visible, friendly and easily approachable. The staff was very friendly and generally very eager to please guests in almost all areas - Special Mention must be made of Housekeeping, Laundry Service, Entertainment and Restaurants' staff. Sirena held a mid-voyage survey about guest experience and they actually read the filled forms and followed through with responses/corrections right away - Impressive! The exception to the foregoing being the Destinations Services (Shore Excursions and Port Services) Department. FOOD: This is a mixed bag with quality of dishes, variety in menus, and service being inconsistent from restaurant to restaurant. (a) There are 2 Specialty Restaurants (Red Ginger - Oriental, Tuscan Steak - Italian Steak House) and there is no extra cover charge for either. Each offers its own exact same menu every day, from day to day. The food and ambiance in both is mediocre with Tuscan Steak being a bit better than Red Ginger. The locations of the two restaurants is poor - Deck 10 Aft. Both are generally not crowded and service in both restaurants is good. (b) The Grand Dining Room (main restaurant) is spacious, has excellent decor and the food quality is good with a different menu every day but the service was extremely slow. If you didn't mind spending 2+ hours at a dinner table then this is your place. This restaurant also served Lunch as Jacques Bistro. (c) Terrace Cafe is a semi-casual buffet. This is a popular place and seating is tight, at times, for the demand. It has a large variety on the menu from day to day with lobster tails, steaks and shrimp (all cooked to order before you) every day. The service and food quality are both excellent. (d) Waves Grill is a pool side grill (under shade) and has a salad and dessert bar and cooked to order (limited) entrees. The food and service is good and this a good place for a quick lunch. (e) Room Service is at no extra charge and in addition to the three meals it is available for snacks in between meal hours. The menu is, of course, limited but the food is good. The quality of delivery service is somewhat sub-par with orders not being filled right or at times delayed (luke warm). The mini-bar in the cabin is stocked daily with soft drinks of your choice at no extra cost (charge for alcoholic drinks/snacks). (f) There are some nice special features like the Four O'Clock Tea in the Horizons Bar, two Cocktail Parties (more for repeat guests), Cake Decorating and Ginger Bread House Decorating Contests, Food Demos and Themed Dinners which sometimes include local fare. PORT INFORMATION & ENRICHMENT LECTURES: This is one of two areas that was sub-par (the other being Shore Excursions). In this case it was either because of bad/boring information or bad presenters. ENTERTAINMENT: The Serena has a small but a very talented and energetic entertainment staff headed by an excellent Cruise Director, Dotty. They have great personalities, work well together and also double up for a variety of other on-board activities. Special mention must be made of Frank, Gabriela, Hunter and Shandy, the vocalists. The orchestra does a good job! The String Quartet is excellent! The talent, quality and style of outside contracted artists/entertainers varied and could use improvement. Special mention must be made of the excellent Bridge Instructors/Tournament Directors team of Dave and Dianne who did an outstanding job! On-board Entertainment is Sirena's untold secret. SHORE EXCURSIONS: We should have done our research about Oceania's Destination Services (Shore Excursion and Port Services) prior to booking. As indicated above, this is a major shortcoming of Oceania and apparently quite well known, but we were not aware of that. This is a major Black-Mark on the image of an otherwise good ship/cruise line. Enough said about this area! THE BOTTOM LINE(S): On the whole, it was a good cruise but definitely over-priced for the value. Sirena is a beautiful, well maintained ship. But it was under-powered for this itinerary and therefore mis-matched for this cruise. It has an excellent entertainment staff and very good shows for a small ship. The food and restaurants are significantly over-rated. The cost of Shore Excursions was exorbitant and the content was terrible – they were the worst we have experienced in our 19 cruises. It has excellent officers and staff who provided excellent service (except Destinations Services/Shore Excursions staff). If you like a quiet ambiance and good service, can handle the daily rocking of the ship, you want lobster tails, shrimp and steak for every lunch/dinner, you get port information on your own and arrange port visits/excursions through your own vendors, or stay on board during port stops and and read a book in the wonderful library, or buy your favorite drink in a short/tall glass and lay by the pool, enjoy the sunshine and get a good tan, and, yes, you don't mind the cost of all this, then this is definitely your cruise and you will love it! Now we know what Oceania is all about and hope our above experience is useful to you! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Superb time. Food and service were impeccable, as always; excursions were mostly excellent. Updates made to Sirena were nice improvements. The ideal cruise for mature adults (not recommended for children). Staff attentive, ... Read More
Superb time. Food and service were impeccable, as always; excursions were mostly excellent. Updates made to Sirena were nice improvements. The ideal cruise for mature adults (not recommended for children). Staff attentive, knowledgeable, helpful, pleasant, and engaging. Our cabin was always immaculate and well-stocked; our butler anticipated our every need. String quartet was the best we've encountered on Oceania. Lots of on-board activities, day and night: Bridge classes & afternoon social and duplicate play, Bingo, Team Trivia, great enrichment lectures, cooking demonstrations, variety of music shows, country fair, golf & ping pong, etc. One can be as athletic or couch-potato-ish as desired. But you're always going to have excellent food and drink. We were too pooped at the end of each day's activities to take advantage of the evening - and late evening - activities! Dining options are different on Sirena: Grand Dining Room essentially the same, but at lunch-time has a French Bistro vibe and menu. Toscana and Polo are combined into a Tuscan Steak House to make room for Red Ginger (as in the larger ships). Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary and we wanted to experience a smaller ship. We are glad we did the cruise, however, smaller ships are “not our cup of tea.” We did not think there was much to do and will stick to ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary and we wanted to experience a smaller ship. We are glad we did the cruise, however, smaller ships are “not our cup of tea.” We did not think there was much to do and will stick to Oceania and Regent’s larger ships. Here are out thoughts and opinions: Air Arrangements – GRADE F. We have never had such poor air arrangements. Oceania did not even book partner airlines for domestic and international travel. This meant 1) we could only check one bag each (we planned on checking our carry on too), 2) could only get boarding passes for domestic portion of air arrangements, 3) we had to take a bus from one part of terminal to another, 4) leave security and take a train from one terminal to another, 5) get new boarding passes for international flight and check two more bags, 6) our seats were next to bathrooms so paid extra to move forward away from bathrooms. On the way home, Oceania booked us a 10:30 p.m. flight even though we had to leave the ship at 9:00 a.m. They offered no tours with drop off at airport as most cruise lines we have taken do. On board ship they offered no help for the return flight home and suggested we book a hotel room for the day! Cabin – grade A. We were in a penthouse and the room was well appointed and quiet. However, the bathroom might be the smallest we have ever had. Food – GRADE B+ to A-. Steaks, fish and sometimes lobster tended to be under-cooked for our taste. Buffet food was not as good as the Mariner or Riviera, but better than other cruise lines. Offering lobster and steaks each evening in the buffet was very enjoyable. The main dining room offered good food, good service and for the most part a notch above other cruise lines. There are two specialty restaurants and both were excellent with friendly and helpful hosts. Staff- GRADE A. All staff and crew members were very friendly. This is a definite plus for the ship and Oceania. Oceania Shore Excursions – GRADE B. While the guides for the most part were good, there tended to be an over emphasis on taking people to shop for jewelry, glass, and other types of shops. While we did appreciate stops at local markets, many places had booths/stalls each selling basically the same thing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We had a wonderful time and met a lot of really nice people. I would highly recommend this cruise. The only thing is didn't like is I felt they needed more activities on days at sea. The activities were all revenue based. The ... Read More
We had a wonderful time and met a lot of really nice people. I would highly recommend this cruise. The only thing is didn't like is I felt they needed more activities on days at sea. The activities were all revenue based. The food was delicous. The specialty restaurants were especially good. The Miso Sea Bass is absolutely fabulous. There were so many good choices it was hard to decide. We liked the ports. But some of the ports were far from the activities. It took up to 2 hours to get to see the important sights. The drivers in these countries are awful so we are glad we had drivers. The staff was wonderful aboard. Everyone went out of their way to be friendly and nice. The ship was decorated for the holidays. They did a lovely Chanukah service every night for those who wanted to particiate. The entertainers were very nice to everyone too. Read Less
Sirena Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.8
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 3.5 3.3
Public Rooms 5.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 1.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 2.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.5

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