2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Small ship had advantages and disadvantages: in rough seas the motion is much more of a problem and we had some very rough seas. Another advantage is that smaller ship can dock much closer to towns than larger ones: unfortunately, this was ... Read More
Small ship had advantages and disadvantages: in rough seas the motion is much more of a problem and we had some very rough seas. Another advantage is that smaller ship can dock much closer to towns than larger ones: unfortunately, this was not the case and we were shunted to ports much further than I expected. Cabins are incredibly small and they look large compared to the bathrooms. Again, the advantages of the small ship failed to make up for the small cabins: much larger on Marina size ship. Food was great but after a while menus became repetitive. Staff was terrific and everyone could not have been nicer. Tuscan Grill was our favorite but that is a personal choice. Most ports were great but could have done with overnight in Hobart and Melbourne even though that would have required us to miss either Eden or Broome. Shore excursions in New Guinea were confused to say the least: buses not on time and tour rushed due to same but great visit with villagers. Wine available on ship was overpriced and ended up buying wine in town and paying $25.00 corkage. Would travel with Oceania again but only on two larger ships. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2017
The crew was outstanding, making sure your every wish was met with a smile. We were concerned about taking a 34 day cruise thinking that it would be too long. We were wrong. The itinerary was great and our days at sea were filled with ... Read More
The crew was outstanding, making sure your every wish was met with a smile. We were concerned about taking a 34 day cruise thinking that it would be too long. We were wrong. The itinerary was great and our days at sea were filled with activities. I found it interesting that a large number of Australians choose this cruise to see their own country. The size of the ship allowed us to get into ports the larger ships are unable to. The food was outstanding and not having to pay extra for the speciality restaurants was a plus. It was also nice to get bottles of water when departing the ship and not having to pay for it. Having facilities to do your laundry was a plus. We experienced some rough seas even thought the Captain tried his best to stay away from the bad weather. While the room was adequate, the bathroom was a little tight. It was the crew and their smiling faces that really made the cruise enjoyable. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Everything (ship, staff, food, itinerary) was fantastic, just as we've come to expect from Oceania, except for their tour management. The tour write-ups posted on-line based on which we made tour reservations were frequently very ... Read More
Everything (ship, staff, food, itinerary) was fantastic, just as we've come to expect from Oceania, except for their tour management. The tour write-ups posted on-line based on which we made tour reservations were frequently very different from the description provided in the blue book and onboard and from the contents of the actual tour. We showed one guide what had been posted and he said "we've never done that". Apparently Oceania never had the posted write-ups reviewed or approved by the end vendor and does not hold them to these descriptions. Several tours were canceled last minute "Due to low participation". OK, they couldn't fill the bus (or boat, or whatever). But to cancel the tour I contracted with them months before at the last minute left me with the option of booking a tour I was not interested in or, possibly, a good one with a much higher cost. They make enough on these tours to subsidize the vendor and run the tour even with a half empty bus. And if they can't do that, they should discount my purchase of any alternative I select - they broke the contract and they expect me to suffer the consequences. On the positive side the crew was fantastic. United Airlines lost our luggage for 8 days, finally delivering it to the ship in Carins. The Executive Concierge took over working with them to find and deliver it, keeping us informed at all times, and the laundry washed our meager set of carry-on clothes every night for free ... in by 11pm and back by 7am. Bar tender knew what we drank and brought it to us every evening without us even ordering (although we did wave him down one night when we wanted something different). We ran into our favorite waiter in the Sydney airport (he was getting some well deserved time back home) and he ran over and hugged my wife we'd become such good friends. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2017
We chose this cruise because of price, destinations and timing. We have over 50 cruises mostly on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Princess. This was our first on Oceania. We stayed a week in Tahiti at the Intercontinental in an over water ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of price, destinations and timing. We have over 50 cruises mostly on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Princess. This was our first on Oceania. We stayed a week in Tahiti at the Intercontinental in an over water bungalow prior to the cruise. Embarkation was flawless and fast. Disembarkation was smooth in Sydney with the exception of taxi availability. It took 1-1/4 hours to get a taxi. Smaller ships that can fit under the bridge go to a new dock area which is further away from the city. There were three ships in port and the city taxi system can't handle it. The ship has been refurbished beautifully. We were impressed with all the dark woodwork. It made a great 1st impression which didn't fade throughout the cruise. The cabin was beautiful. We had an outside cabin with a window on deck 4. 4016 was near the elevator which was a perfect spot. Elevators had little or no wait. The room had a lot of storage. More than newer ships offer. If you go for outside cabin, ask for category that has window and not porthole . Bathroom is small but adequate. Shower curtains are not an issue as a lot of people seem to note in other reviews. Dining and service are what these ships are all about. They didn't disappoint. If that's what your looking for in a cruise you will be very happy. The grand dining is beautiful. No problem getting seating for 2 or any other quantity with no advance booking. Different and varied menu every night of the 17 day cruise. There is no charge for specialty restaurants. Tuscan was excellent with perfect steaks and real Maine lobster. Red Ginger was a real surprise. The sea bass was out of this world. The other offerings were all wonderful. Depending on your room category, you can pre-book these restaurants for 1 or more nights each. Outside cabins are allowed 1 each. You can then book one added night in each upon boarding. There are usually openings that allow for additional nights if desired. The service at the buffet is perfect in the morning. Servers handle all the dispensing of food. There are so many servers, you don't wait for anything. They deliver all coffees, juices and beverages and you are never looking for a server. All soda, and specialty coffee is free. All soda and water in your room is free. Bar service is perfect with plenty of staff. The only small complaint regarding food or drink is that they ran out of the most popular wines with 5 days left to the cruise. The problem with this cruise was the entertainment. Keep in mind that me and my wife are 70. We were bored before and after dinner. The entertainment consisted of a piano player in one lounge, a string quartet in the foyer and 45 minutes of dancing to the show band which doesn't have vocalist. Many people were sleeping as we walked in. The shows aren't great. They had 4 production numbers and some guest performers such as an oriental country singer who was a good musician but sang with an accent. It doesn't help that the show room is one level with a low ceiling, lots of posts and no elevated seating. If your not near the front you have difficulty seeing. They need a house band with a singer that can play dance music that gets people active. There is no pool deck live music. Their best night was called a deck night at the pool. 1-1/2 hours with the show band and the production singers as vocalists. If they had 3 more of them it would have helped. Casino usually had one table with $15 minimum. Usually played alone. Ports were good. Better to book your own. Their tours were way over priced. New Caledonia, Brisbane and Sydney were the best. We would go again but not any longer and maybe on one of their larger ships. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
This was our first cruise on Oceania, the 12 day ‘Pure Polynesia’ on Sirena. We tend to be land based travellers, but some places are just better by ship. Sirena is a smaller ship, which we prefer. The ship, refurbished in 2016, is ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Oceania, the 12 day ‘Pure Polynesia’ on Sirena. We tend to be land based travellers, but some places are just better by ship. Sirena is a smaller ship, which we prefer. The ship, refurbished in 2016, is beautifully decorated and maintained, with lots of dark wood and brass, immaculately clean. Being a smaller ship there is not that much room for guests to spread out, and it started to feel a bit smal toward the end of the cruise. The pool area is especially small, and people wanted shade as it was so hot. The lounges were coveted real estate, and just like resorts, the lounge hogs reserve early in the day, and keep them all day. Sirena discouraged this, but did nothing to correct it. There are other areas on the upper decks where pool staff can place lounges, but this is done only at your request. Embarkation and dis-embarkation were seamless. We actually arrived before our appointed time, due to hotel check out. We were checked in without any hesitation. Dis-embarkation was also smooth. Our luggage was picked up the night before & we left the ship after breakfast. We did all of our own planning, including flights, hotels before and after the cruise. We heard grumbling from passengers who had Oceania do the planning. Part of it was expense, but can’t comment further as this was not my experience. There are three dining rooms, plus the buffet and pool-side grill. The grand dining room serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, as does the buffet. Specialty restaurants include Red Ginger, serving Asian cuisine, while Tuscan Steak is a steak-house with Italian flavor. Both are beautifully decorated, and at no additional charge. Given our status on the ship, we were entitled to pre-book one meal at each specialty restaurant. You can book additional dinners, based on availability during the cruise. Red Ginger was our favorite, but only by a bit! The food was incredible at both! The grill by the pool serves good burgers and sandwiches for lunch. Breakfast at the buffet served a varied selection, which became a bit routine by the end of the cruise. There are occasionally flow problems as the main walkway is narrow. The buffet offered a special breakfast, Eggs Benedict, or some variation daily. This was offered in the center of the buffet. It took 4-9 minutes to prepare your selection. Either you waited there, causing a bit of a log jam in the area, or the server could bring it to your table. But they had no organized way of identifying you, so the servers often wandered around trying to find you. A smarter method of doing this is needed. Lunch and dinner at the grand dining room were excellent. There were many (too many!) choices for dinner. The Jacques Pepin signature dishes were delicious. All was beautifully presented. Food is a big highlight of Oceania, so prepare to be fed! The ports of call were excellent on this cruise. We were at sea for a few days in the early part of the cruise heading to the Marquesas Islands. It was a bit rough and unbelievably hot at sea. The Captain reported the sea and air temperature as 89 degrees one day! There was no relief even in the wind! We enjoyed experiencing the remoteness of Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas. I picked up some amazing craft jewelry from the co-op by the dock. Wish I bought more! Sirena invited local dancers from the island to perform on the ship in the evening. It was an amazing show! We don’t usually attend the shows, so can’t comment much here…except the theatre is not tiered and can be hard to see for those of short stature! We found the excursions to be expensive, but wanted to experience as much of the islands as we could. We decided to book the unlimited passport package for $989 (each). A few excursions had an extra charge on top. Overall we were quite pleased with the excursions. Our focus was being on the water and snorkelling as much as we could. We swam with the stingrays and sharks, snorkelled beautiful coral gardens and did a sunset cruise in Bora Bora! Some passengers negotiated with locals for less expensive adventures when they came ashore. It seemed to work for them. But the ship will wait for you if you are back late from one of their excursions! The staff on the ship varied from young to very experienced. All of the staff worked extremely hard on Sirena, and did an amazing job to make sure the guests were happy. A few who really stood out include: Maitre’d Leandro, Susan (Red Ginger), Sara (Tuscan Grill); Bartenders Igor & ‘Joe’; sommelier Nicola; our cabin attendant, Vanessa. But there were so many who worked behind the scenes, or whose name I missed, that kudos go to the entire crew. We chose the premium drinks package. It was an extra $480 + gratuities. This gave us the option to drink anything they offered, with the exception of full bottles of wine. (Other cruise ships give a discount on full bottles with this package.) Overall we were quite satisfied with the package. All of the bartenders made excellent mixed drinks. The wine sommelier/stewards are in the dining rooms helping guests match wine with their meal. There are not enough wine stewards for the grand dining room and the wine sometimes arrived after the course it was meant for. These individuals are literally run off their feet doing their best to keep up, but there simply aren’t enough of them! We were absolutely not impressed when the ship ‘ran out of’ most wines we wanted the last dinner of the cruise…and the list was long! We requested a discount to purchase a full bottle of wine, and miraculously the wine we wanted was found. This did not end the cruise on a positive note. I would cruise with Oceania again. It was a notch above other cruises I’ve taken, but just a notch. Some passengers continued on to Australia. While the itinerary sounded great, I was ready to get off the ship! Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We initially were made aware of this cruise by Go Next which was actively promoting this cruise last year, however we ended up booking it through our own travel agent for a slightly better deal. As others have mentioned, French ... Read More
We initially were made aware of this cruise by Go Next which was actively promoting this cruise last year, however we ended up booking it through our own travel agent for a slightly better deal. As others have mentioned, French Polynesia is beautiful, remote, and quiet. It was extremely hot and humid when we visited, but we enjoyed it immensely. Oceania did promote this accurately as not for children, and in fact only 1 lonesome child was on the ship, which was nice for those of us who need a break from grandchildren. We had never cruised Oceania before, so my remarks will compare it and the smaller ship adventure to our previous cruises with larger ships and other cruise lines. Our package included the cruise, flights, WiFi, gratuities, and 4 excursions, which made it so much easier when it came to the final bill. Soft drinks and bottled water were included, the bar fridge was stocked with soft drinks, and bottled water was included as we disembarked each day. drinks were very expensive at over $11 for a mixed drink, and $7 for beer, so if you are a big drinker, you might look into the drinks package. The gift shops had only high end items, one of the two shops was dedicated to a brand of high end jewelry and the other had minimal, but high end clothing. Embarking the ship was easy and smooth. Tendering was easy with only 600+ passengers, also no photographers, no art auctions. On the negative side, the buffet was small and limited, but very good. Entertainment was limited with a large lounge instead of a theatre without tiered seating. The ship also seemed to ride a bit rougher with its small size, even though the seas were calm, more of a bounce in the fore and aft where the dining room and entertainment were located. It was a real bonus that the specialty restaurants were no extra charge. The Tuscan Grill was so so, but we loved Red Ginger with excellent food and service and a great maitre d'. As on many cruise ships lately the food, service and staff were excellent. The cabins were slightly smaller than we have had, with the bathroom noticeably smaller, but they were well appointed with a super comfortable beds and bedding. Our Oceania experience was great, but not better than we have had on other cruise lines. The small ship experience was good for this itinerary, but we probably prefer ships with 1000-1800 passengers. This itinerary was wonderful and relaxing, just what we were looking for; however we could have missed the 3 days that it took to get up to Nuka Hiva, as on a small ship there isn't a lot to do on sea days. We would recommend this cruise for the quiet adventure, and the ship to those who prefer to do without all the hype and hassle of the huge ships. Passengers on this cruise were mainly American and well travelled. We enjoyed sharing a table at meals and hearing new travel stories. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We chose this ship because it was sailing in French Polynesia and we are avid snorkelers so this was perfect for us. The ship met our expectations. It was much smaller than other ships we have been on but exuded charm. Because we were ... Read More
We chose this ship because it was sailing in French Polynesia and we are avid snorkelers so this was perfect for us. The ship met our expectations. It was much smaller than other ships we have been on but exuded charm. Because we were kept busy visiting many ports and with few sea days we were never bored. The entertainment was excellent and many of the senior officers were seen to also lend a hand outside of their regular position if needed. It was like a "family" always stepping in to help out. Our cabin was on on the small side but the price was right for us so we did not have any issues. The shower was ridiculously tiny but there were bigger ones to be used if needed off the gym/spa area. We really appreciated the servers dishing out everyone's food at the buffet as this really cut down on respiratory illness. It is the first ship we have sailed on that had a noticeable absence of passengers coughing and hacking over the food. I needed the services of the ship's Dr. on one occasion and found the staff to be excellent and very professional although very busy for the limited time the hospital was open for non emergency visits. I would consider sailing with Oceania again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We were a group of 9 family and friends traveling together. My DH and I had been to French Polynesia before but the others had not. We chose this itinerary because we're avid snorkelers and family members like to get out of Wyoming ... Read More
We were a group of 9 family and friends traveling together. My DH and I had been to French Polynesia before but the others had not. We chose this itinerary because we're avid snorkelers and family members like to get out of Wyoming Winter in February! Most of our cruising has been on Regent or Silversea so I'm sure that has biased my observations some. Other family members have mostly done Celebrity. Consider that as you read this review. Ship: Overall ship was very nice. Only surprise was several of the common area restrooms are configured for only one person at a time (for privacy you had to lock the door on the way in). While the public restrooms outside the MDR and Terrace Café could service multiple users, I still found this a bit odd. Cabin: We were in 4044, a Deluxe Oceanview. The location is really excellent! Close to Reception and MDR, amidships and low (DH gets seasick sometimes), and nothing that makes late night or early morning noise above or below. Cabin was viewed by everyone as small (even though I tried to manage everyone's expectations). That said, everything fit nicely and bathroom, while small was fine for two. We have tripled up on Regent and Silversea in the past, but this would not be possible here. Everything in the cabin worked and our room steward was excellent. Dining: Everyone's favorite was Red Ginger. Second favorite was Terrace Café. Overall everyone thought food was excellent. Only issue with MDR was that it took about 2 1/2 hours to have dinner. Several in our group are big lobster fans, so being able to have "All You Can Eat" lobster was a big hit for the Terrace Café. I liked the "All You Can Eat" sushi; so Terrace was a Group hit. The surf and turf sandwich at Waves was also a big hit. Brother even took to ordering Surf and Turf, hold the turf and hold the bread! In my opinion the best steak I had on the trip was the turf part of the Surf and Turf sandwich. Only "real" negative comment regarded the Ice Cream/Milkshake bar next to Waves. While it opened at 0630 (who eats Ice Cream or a milkshake at 0630?), it closed at 1600. So, if you came back from an excursion after 4PM and wanted a milkshake you couldn't get it. Wasn't available from room service either. Even though "creamed spinach" (my personal favorite) was not on the MDR menu, I was able to get it every nite we ate in the MDR. A special shout out to Gluten Free folks. My DH is GF so we let O know before hand. This worked out really nicely. Most dishes in the MDR and Red Ginger could be prepared GF with the one day notice using the menu provided in our cabin.. DH was even able to have a "standing order" for GF Escargot for lunch in Jacques. DH could always get GF bread in the MDR, and at the Terrace Cafe (though it took a few minutes longer there) and thought was good! DH even insists on making GF bread at home as we don't care for most "store bought." So I considered this a significant endorsement of O's GF products. Though Home Office couldn't tell me before hand, they do have GF soy sauce available at Red Ginger, but only in the Red Ginger. Brought our own for use in Terrace Café. Not sure why if GF Soy Sauce was available in Red Ginger why it wasn't available at MDR. Entertainment: The production show staff were solid, maybe voices weren't as strong as I would have liked, but generally solid. The guest entertainers: comic, magician/comic, and singer were OUTSTANDING! All three were great in their craft and talented showmen. Activities. The "usual" putting, shuffleboard, ping pong, bean bag toss and trivia games were all well executed and fun. One of the Guest Lecturers was mediocre at best. O would have done better to find someone local (like Polynesian Anthropologist Mark Eddowes) than lawyer/professor from DC. That said, the ship's Navigator gave a lecture on navigation that was just OUTSTANDING. Could have used one or two more from him. Service in all venues was generally outstanding. There were occasional lapses but they were generally rare. All pre-arranged requests were honored (GF, Diet Mt. Dew or Coke Zero). Special requests in Dining Venues (see above) were met (except my brother's request for beef Wellington every night.). Ports and Excursions: I agree O's excursions are overpriced; but, we did opt for the 4 included excursions per person and enjoyed them. That said, I'm sure glad I didn't pay list price for them! As expected, the ports made this trip. We had "private" tours in Fakarava, Bora Bora and Raiatea. The Bora Bora and Fakarava snorkel trips were the highlights of the cruise. Truth Teller: We booked another O cruise while on board. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
My wife and I choose this cruise as we both wanted to visit French Polynesia. We did explore other Cruise Lines but based on the itinerary we choose Oceana Cruise Lines. We had never sailed on Oceana before and were not sure what to expect ... Read More
My wife and I choose this cruise as we both wanted to visit French Polynesia. We did explore other Cruise Lines but based on the itinerary we choose Oceana Cruise Lines. We had never sailed on Oceana before and were not sure what to expect from them in regards to an overall cruise experience. After spending 12 days on the Sirena we concluded that we definitely made the right choice in regards to the ship and Cruise Line as the service provided by the staff on this ship surpassed all of our expectations. The food on the Sirena was excellent and the variety of food options provided in the Grand Dining Room was impressive. The staff in the Grand Dinning Room went out of their way and paid a great deal to detail to ensure our dinning experience would be memorable. The two speciality restaurants onboard the ship, The Tuscan and Red Ginger, were a gastronomical delight. Our favourite speciality restaurant was the Red Ginger whose selection of oriental food would satisfy any foodies expectations. What both my wife and I found refreshing was that no extra charge for eating in a speciality restaurant unlike many other Cruise Lines. What we found a little surprising aboard the Sirena was the size of the cabin and bathroom. Both rooms seemed to be a bit smaller than what we have experienced on other cruise ships. Specifically the bathroom was quite small with little space for toiletries and other personal items. The shower was very small and provided little space to move in. The plastic shower curtain was a bit out of place as it seemed that it really didn't present an image the cruise line is trying to project. The impression one gets from the interior of the ship was that it reflected more of an image of the elegant decor of the old Trans Atlantic Liners than that of a modern cruise ship. This is particularly evident in the public spaces. The overall appearance of the ship is very good as it seems to be very well maintained and clean. Due to the size of the ship one does on occasion find themselves running into the crew delivering goods and supplies to other areas of the Sirena. The entertainment onboard the ship is adequate and quite good. Due to the limitations of the show lounge it is unrealistic to expect major production shows on a ship this size. The entertainment was quite similar to what one tends to see on a cruise ship including comedians, magicians, string quartet ,singers and dancers. Based on the size and restrictions of the stage on the ship the performers put on very good shows. Activities on the ship again were quite similar to what sees and expects on other cruise lines. Bingo, dance lessons, cooking demonstrations, enrichment lectures, etc.,were quite evident and frequent throughout the cruise. The enrichment lectures were provided by a very informative and knowledgable quest speaker whose lecture topics were specifically about the Pacific Region. One of our favourite activities was the Traditional High Tea Service at 4:00PM which we attended and enjoyed on a number of occasions. Many of the Islands visited on this cruise provided limited options in regards to excursions. The majority of the excursions revolved around water activities or land tours. These limitations are a result of the lack of tourist resources on these Islands which are far from being fully developed in comparison to other areas of the world. The natural beauty of the Islands and the friendliness of the Islanders make up for many of these limitations. Shopping is limited to local artisan crafts and an ongoing supply of pearls. This cruise is not recommended for those whose focus is not on the above mentioned activities of water sports or sightseeing. It should be noted that access to these Islands is through tenders. The Sirena Staff were quite efficient in providing the tender service and overall the tender process appeared to go smoothly. Unfortunately persons with physical disabilities could find this cruise problematic in regards to overall mobility, specifically in regards to the tender process and lack of excursion options available on these Islands. Although our overall experience on the Sirena was very good there were some minor issues that created some concerns during the cruise. We arrived in Papeete around 10:00PM and by the the time we picked up our luggage and gone through French Customs it was around 11:00PM. We arrived aboard the Sirena around 11:15PM. We then went through the embarkation process on the Sirena. During this process we were advised that there would be a life boat drill shortly and to come down to the Show Lounge with your life jacket. After being on a plane for 10 hours and being in the middle of the night we felt that this was a bit unreasonable. Furthermore, we still had to unpack our luggage as it arrived in our cabin at the same time. We were also facing a 8:00AM shore excursion the next day which due to our arrival time on the ship had limited our time to get some rest. On disembarkation day the ships staff advised all passengers that they had to clear the ship by 9:00AM. What became a serous problem for many passengers was that the first flight out of Papeete that day was at 10:00PM. Those who did not have any post cruise arrangements where basically left on their own. Oceana had provided a day room at the local City Hall but those who went there advised me that there was limited seating and food. Furthermore, there were no facilities to shower or store their luggage. What is of concern is that the 10:00PM flight was a charter organized by Oceana. One has to wonder why Oceana was not able to negotiate a better time for a Charter Flight particularly for those left stranded in Papeete that day. Regardless of the issues regarding embarkation/ disembarkation both my wife and I had a fantastic experience on the Sirena and would have no hesitation in recommending the Sirena and Oceana Cruise Lines. The service provided by the staff of the Sirena was exceptional and the dinning a gastronomical delight. As a result of this experience on the Sirena we have booked another cruise on Oceana. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We wanted to see the Tahitian islands and felt this cruise, sponsored by Go Next for universityu alumni, fit our needs. After a long airplane trip from Boston, we were put up for 2 nights at the Intercontinental Hotel in Papeete, and we ... Read More
We wanted to see the Tahitian islands and felt this cruise, sponsored by Go Next for universityu alumni, fit our needs. After a long airplane trip from Boston, we were put up for 2 nights at the Intercontinental Hotel in Papeete, and we were given a 4-hour tour of the city and area before being dropped off at the pier. Oceania's Sirena holds fewer than 700 passengers. so the ship was manageable and we became friendly with many passengers. Service was impeccable- several times a day our room with veranda was attended to.. Food was excellent, supervised by chef Jacques Pepin- several buffets, a fine dining room, and two specialty restaurants. Food was constantly replenished, and servers gave you all the food at the buffet, so no others' hands were on the food. Alcoholic drinks were the only additional cost- the soft drinks and the specialty restaurants were free. The entertainment was excellent- no big shows, but quality ship's musical cast, several individual musicians, one comedian. The excursions were varied- numerous snorkeling and boat trips, which we enjoyed. On the last day, as most passengers had to wait until evening to fly home, we were able to use the facilities of Le Meriden Hotel all day- this was an amazing perk! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We sailed from Los Angeles on 2 cruises back to back to Hawaii and to the French Polynesia. This was our first cruise on Oceania and it will be the only cruise line that we will be sailing on in the future. The ship was an older ship ... Read More
We sailed from Los Angeles on 2 cruises back to back to Hawaii and to the French Polynesia. This was our first cruise on Oceania and it will be the only cruise line that we will be sailing on in the future. The ship was an older ship that was refurbished, so the bathrooms are quite small, which didn't matter to us. The bedding and linens are very comfortable and we never have slept so good. The public rooms are very grande and nicely decorated. The officer were very personable from the Master Captain down to the restaurant workers. They knew our first and last names. Even the crew members that worked in the restaurants, bars and in the cabins were very pleasant and always had a smile on their faces. The food was fabulous and delicious. I could probably count on one hand on a dish that I didn't like basically because it had bell peppers in it, which is not my preference. We ate mostly at the buffet for breakfast and dinner so I could see what I wanted to eat and we didn't need to wait for the 7 courses at the fine dining rooms. We did dine in the grande dinning room and the specialty restaurants and the food and service was impeccable. Also, the times for dining in every restaurant are posted daily in the Current Flyer so you can eat at whatever time you wanted to and with whom you wanted to dine with. If the restaurants were closed you do have 24 hour room service with no extra charges. The drinks are pricy but they do have happy hours posted each day for buy one and get one free at Martinis and the Horizons. Not having the drink package made me not drink as much. There is a small pool and 2 hot tubs. There are lounge chairs around the pool and fresh pool towels. On the sailing days, we did have trouble getting lounge chairs people would put their belongings on the lounge chairs and leave for the day, which the cruise staff asked you not to do. We enjoyed the massages on Canyan Ranch and then used the Thalasso Spa, Steam room and showers. Both Embarkation and Debarkation was a simple process. We paid for the transfer from the airport on embarkation day and we had no problems. We also paid for a day room at the Le Meridian on debarkation day, which gave us another full day in Tahiti. Our luggage was picked up outside our cabin the night before and then we claimed the luggage at the airport the next evening. Remember to pack your daily needs in your carry on bag. We are early risers and early to bed, so we did not attend any of the shows. We did not book any shore excursions, except for the transfers and day room at the end of the cruise. We are adventurous and went about on our own exploring every island. Now that we are home, we do miss being on the ship. But we do have something to look forward to is our next cruise that is already booked on the Marina. This cruise was worth every penny (thousands) we paid. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Chose this particular cruise for the destination ports of call - Hawaii and the French Polynesian Islands. Trip of a lifetime and a celebration of a big birthday for my husband. * Poor entertainment considering so many days spent at ... Read More
Chose this particular cruise for the destination ports of call - Hawaii and the French Polynesian Islands. Trip of a lifetime and a celebration of a big birthday for my husband. * Poor entertainment considering so many days spent at sea * Eye wateringly expensive on shore tours * Really expensive drinks - $28 for two glasses of wine! * Complicated and frustrating wifi system - if you can access it at all! * No swimming pool - just a plunge pool * Passengers literally fighting over sunbeds. Seriously! There just weren't enough. * It took is 48 hours to travel home due to the appalling travel itinerary from Oceania - It was all about the cost with no thought whatsoever to comfort of their clients. We felt that the Sirena was too small a ship to sail the South Pacific. The weather was rough for several days, the ship tossed about quite a bit, resulting in many passengers suffering sea sickness. On the plus side the staff were fantastic and the food was excellent. Neither of these however made up for the disappointment of the overall Oceania cruise experience. We were promised a 5* cruise and were badly let down. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2017
We left LA on January 4th. I was somewhat concerned about the Sirena as many reviews were not very positive in one way or another. The ship was beautifully appointed, as was our Penthouse room. Granted smaller than the PH3 on the ... Read More
We left LA on January 4th. I was somewhat concerned about the Sirena as many reviews were not very positive in one way or another. The ship was beautifully appointed, as was our Penthouse room. Granted smaller than the PH3 on the Marina. I packed a different outfit for the 21 days including purses, shoes and jewelry. We actually had two empty drawers once we were unpacked. Shower over bath tub: I don't take a bath typically on a cruise and appreciated the larger shower. We ate in every venue. 8 specialty restaurants and room service from Red Ginger. We managed to snag a window seat for two during or meals Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner in the Grand Dining Room. We enjoyed Jacque's Bistro on Sea Days....loved the Salad Nicoise. We upgraded our drink package...which allowed us to pair wines and champs with our meals. Service outstanding..... in every venue. Our Butler Ashok was the best in all our voyages. Attention to detail...Elegant, thoughtful and well spoken. We ate most Breakfasts in our room. Always served on time and delivered with a smile by Ashok. I became very ill on the ship. The medical service was excellent and my Ship Dr.... arranged for me to see the neurologist in Honolulu. Ashok was aware of my issue and again very thoughtful to be sure that I had everything I needed. Caroline and Christian who assisted Ashok were all very detail oriented. Caroline always a smile and good wishes. Enrichment, I started with Bridge as a beginner. On the third day I was too ill to continue...but much to my surprise the ship offered art classes. I have enjoyed the Art Classes on every Marina voyage. My husband joined me as well. We did enjoy 5 excursions. Value based. We booked a back to back on the Marina in the summer. We love Oceania Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We travelled the pacific visiting Hawaiian & Polynesian Islands in January 2017. The communal areas of the ship are of excellent standard, most are very grand & opulent. We had a veranda cabin which was comfortable but very dark in ... Read More
We travelled the pacific visiting Hawaiian & Polynesian Islands in January 2017. The communal areas of the ship are of excellent standard, most are very grand & opulent. We had a veranda cabin which was comfortable but very dark in design and could be a bit gloomy. The Shower/bathroom was the smallest I have ever seen in my life and the fittings were of poor quality - a plastic shower curtain for goodness sake!!! Meals were usually of an excellent standard although we did have a couple of poor quality meals. The service in the Grand dining room was mostly very slow. It wasn't unusual to wait 20mins before a Sommelier took our drinks order but once food & drink were ordered, the service improved. The tours offered were expensive, so we booked 2 local tours from the UK prior to our trip & the rest we took from the many tour operators/taxis usually situated just at the docking point. The ship is quite small - only 650 passengers and we feel it was too small to cope with the rough waters of the pacific at this time of year. A great deal of passengers and crew suffered motion sickness and this didn't really improve during sailing times. Our lasting memory of this holiday wasn't the wonderful places we visited but the abysmal service we received pre and post cruise. Pre - we were provided a room at the Westin (LA) and firstly we weren't told there was a complimentary breakfast on the 1st floor and paid $50 for breakfast, then the transfers to the ship were totally dis-organised. We were told to wait in reception at 10am but didn't actually arrive on board until 3.30 pm, it was a shambles. Post - we had to disembark at 8am and our check-in luggage was sent straight to the airport. We were taken by bus with our hand luggage to City Hall where Oceania had a provided a room for us with only hard back chairs, water & soft drinks, nowhere to safely store luggage and only a toilet & hand basin. Our flight was at 10.30pm!! That's 14.5 hours without proper facilities!! Any 4 or 5 star hotel would provide a courtesy room to enable guests to shower & change before their flight. It was extremely hot & humid, we were lucky we had booked a hotel a couple of days prior so that we could at least rest, use the pool and shower before our flight. Oceania did offer us the use of a day pass at a local hotel but at the exorbitant cost of £258. We will not be using Oceania again & would not recommend. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
To fulfill a bucket list item for me (to be on a ship during the holidays); we booked this cruise. We were also anxious, as Oceania fans, to try Sirena. The ship is wonderful; much like the other R ships. Most of the PH3 suites are on ... Read More
To fulfill a bucket list item for me (to be on a ship during the holidays); we booked this cruise. We were also anxious, as Oceania fans, to try Sirena. The ship is wonderful; much like the other R ships. Most of the PH3 suites are on the floor below Waves Grill and the Terrace Cafe. The noise (of the workers) late at night and in the wee morning hours was bothersome to us. The suite itself was lovely. The TV seems too small for the room and it has terrible sound. We found the food quite good but not quite up to what we have experienced before. We were not as impressed with Red Ginger or the new Tuscan Steak (supposedly a combination of Toscana and Polo Grill) as previously. Nice touches include a large walk-in shower; a nightlight in the bathroom; and a magnifying mirror at the vanity/desk. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
The length, West Coast Departure and Xmas and New Year. The public areas of the ship were nicely appointed but the showroom is a flat level and one can not see the feet of the dancers from about a few rows back. One is obliged to view the ... Read More
The length, West Coast Departure and Xmas and New Year. The public areas of the ship were nicely appointed but the showroom is a flat level and one can not see the feet of the dancers from about a few rows back. One is obliged to view the presentations on a large screen TV's that are located at the front of the showroom. Dining was very average and the menus were mostly in French and Italian. During the two weeks, we felt that the Menu except for the last night was repeated again. The two specialty restaurants were all show and fluff. The lobster portions were bit size. There was no turkey, ham and/or trimmings to be had on Xmas day.The goose served instead was not appealing or tasteful. As to entertainment, the acts were very dated. A male singer in one production show sang two complete songs off key. The hot tub was not even bath water temperature. If one wanted hot water the shower in one's cabin was the place to go. On rough sea days the very deep pool over flowed onto the decks. The water overflow was not moped up and became a hazard. The best musical group on board was a classical string quartet from Poland. The best asset of the ship is it's crew. However, many of them are originating from the former Soviet bloc countries and they have a mindset of they are right and y'all are wrong. We personally witnessed and heard waiters from the east bloc counties arguing with passengers at two separate times. One over the temperature of tea water in the Red Ginger. Our worst experience was over a Champagne bottle which upon opening exploded and spayed approximately 1/2 to 1/3 of the bottle into the air and the waiter from Serbia told me to kiss off when I asked for a replacement and then that was followed by his supervisor from Brasil when I complained to him. Weather wise fog in the first two ports of call. Cold days at sea and high waves in Cabo MX Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was our third Oceania Cruise, our previous two being on Regatta to Alaska. We chose Oceania this time due to an excellent experience on Regatta last July. I will be concise here as compared to my previous reviews. Overall I would ... Read More
This was our third Oceania Cruise, our previous two being on Regatta to Alaska. We chose Oceania this time due to an excellent experience on Regatta last July. I will be concise here as compared to my previous reviews. Overall I would rank this cruise a B+ on the school grading scale. 1) The Ship/Cabin: We never sailed the Sirena when she was a Princess ship, but the $50 million dollar upgrade looks well spent. Hard to believe it was a 17 year old ship. She is beautiful: New and better furniture, marble public Bathrooms. computer screens in the elevators. Nearly a carbon copy of Regatta, but quite a bit newer feeling. Beds and linens brand new. Still need to get used to the small cabins on R-ships, but the public areas are immaculate. 2) Dining: We may not be a good source for this. We ate exclusively @ the Terrace Cafe with a couple stops @ Waves Grill. I was told that the table service at the Grand Dining Room was quite long (slow). We typically eat dinner early (5-6 pm) so we decided not to wait. That being said, the Terrace was excellent with a great assortment of food cooked to perfection. The new Tapas selections were particularly wonderful. Waves was just okay; nothing spectacular. Reminded me of an upscale Dennys. Fries were great however. We unfortunately did not reserve any specialty restaurants, and were going to wing it on board. Very difficult to get a seating this way as both restaurants were fully booked by the 3rd day of a 10 day cruise. I am sure if we pressed, we could have gotten a seating, but my wife was satisfied with just eating at the Terrace. Frankly, I was just as happy. After 25 cruises on several lines, in our experience, nothing compares to the food quality on Oceania in terms of buffets. It is astoundingly good. Most of the dishes in the Dining Room were served here as well, but it was warm and ready to eat instantly @ 630pm when Terrace opens. Rarely a crowd here for dinner. 3) Service: As always, Oceania excels in this department. No problems whatsoever. As we do eat early, out room stewardess and steward were right on the ball making up our room spotlessly in record time. Excellent. Bar Service and Terrace service were equally excellent. 4) Ports: We have done the Mexican Riviera many times, so nothing new here, except for La Paz which was really nice. If you go, check out the Whale Museum in the heart of the Melancon. We also went to their local Anthropology Museum and had a nice guided tour. We did somewhat boring excursions in Cabo and Ensenada. Ensenada has great wines in case you did not know. 5) Entertainment: The Activities Staff did wonderful with a somewhat grouchy crowd. The String Quartet and House Band were great. We listened to the quartet extensively. They are amazing. Afternoon Tea was also excellent, with the Quartet being the centerpiece. We missed most shows as we are early crashers Casino staff were wonderful. My wife actually won. The Enrichment lecturer was quite good and very professional. Overall Expression: Sirena is not quite up to the par of Regatta, or perhaps the other O-ships. 90% excellent, but it was the little things. Something was lacking. The Cappuccino machines were sometimes malfunctioning or not being maintained. Towels were sometimes not available in the bathrooms. A public toilet or two was not flushable, as was ours once (they fixed it immediately). Water and soft drinks would be available for bingo, but no glasses (once). The bingo machine died halfway through the cruise. One of the early morning cleaning guys had significantly bad B.O. and he would clean the library while I was reading and leave a NASTY presence. I was not sure how to address that, but clearly the Hotel manager should do so or at least notice. Little things kept reminding me of a certain lack of attention to detail. Christmas cookies would be out along some displays, but the next morning empty plates and a disastrous spread of cookies was sitting there way too long. Little things like that. Even Dottie, the cruise director, wasn't as bubbly and nice as previously. Our fellow passengers consisted of a large number of whiners and complainers which sort of put a damper on our experience. The demographic on this particular cruise was a bit older than I expected. There was only one child on board. Don't get me wrong; we had a GREAT cruise, but not the best cruise. Still, we got what we wanted: a nice relaxing 10 days off to relax, to do nothing and to overeat some outstanding food. We were well pampered and well satisfied. Sirena is only 6 months into her life as an O ship. Still working out the bugs I suspect. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Oceania Sirena Baja California – Mexico Cruise December 11-21 2016 Why this cruise? We are experienced cruisers with 34 ocean and 3 river cruises over the past 17 years, enjoying ... Read More
Oceania Sirena Baja California – Mexico Cruise December 11-21 2016 Why this cruise? We are experienced cruisers with 34 ocean and 3 river cruises over the past 17 years, enjoying Crystal, Oceania, Celebrity, Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Commodore, Azamara, Princess and Holland America ships, as well as Viking, Avalon and Ama Waterways river boats. We have always enjoyed the “small ship” cruises we have done on Azamara Quest as well as Oceania’s Insignia and Nautilus. We do not particularly enjoy the pre-Christmas commercial rush and noise, so this seemed like a good opportunity for a relaxing time. Getting there and Embarkation. We considered driving from our home in Phoenix to a Long Beach CA hotel and leaving our car there until our return. We did this on our first cruise with Carnival in 1999, but finally decided that since we could avoid the crowds and confusion of LAX by flying directly into the Long Beach Airport on Sunday morning, we would do that. This airport is quite small and easy to navigate, and had only one other flight on the ground; so this proved to be a good way to go. The timing was virtually perfect and we went through the embarkation process at the Los Angeles Cruise Terminal in a few minutes. While waiting for the elevator upon boarding, we were pleased to hear that our deck’s staterooms were ready and available so we dropped our carry on belongings off, went to the buffet for lunch and then proceeded to the beautiful library on deck 10 to pick up some reading material. Since Sirena has only been sailing since the spring, the book selection was very up to date. Our Stateroom. The eight identical Renaissance ships; named without much imagination as Renaissance I through Renaissance VIII; were built between 1998 and 2001. So they all suffer from the somewhat dated design ideas of 20 years ago. This means that the “standard” verandah cabin is rather small, 204 square feet including 34 square feet of verandah. The Penthouse suite has 332 square feet which includes 66 square feet of verandah. We had chosen this suite for our initial cruise from Manaus out the Amazon to Barbados on Insignia, and been upgraded by Oceania to this class on a Mediterranean cruise. Our third Oceania trip was in a standard Verandah class, but since this seemed cramped we opted for the larger suite on Azamara Quest, (an identical Renaissance ship), in 2015, and chose it again for this trip. Our stateroom was 8010. The prime motif was dark wood, with light grey textured walls, a large mirror on one wall, and a nice, modern painting above the sofa. The desk arrangement was convenient, and next to it was the decent sized sofa. There were two arm chairs and a small table, probably adequate for room service (which we never use on any cruise). The verandah was good sized with two adjustable cane arm chairs that could be fitted with a padded seat and back cushion. There was a small table and a faux teak deck. The bed had two gooseneck directed focused reading lamps as well as normal wall lamps. These focused lamps made reading in bed very easy. The desk held a good sized laptop with internet service, which due to our suite status and prior sailing record, was free. I normally used the available computers in the Oceania @Sea computer room on Deck 9, since I like a mouse. We also enjoyed the full glass wall with the door leading out to the verandah, as it provided nice light all day. The bathroom had a full sized, obviously new shower, with both a rain shower head, a hand held spray head and a towel rack holding huge bath towels in addition to the normal sized bath towels and other towels on racks in the bathroom. There was a single sink, but cabinets and drawers on both sides providing all the room needed for toiletries. The closet was good sized with an easily sufficient number of nice quality clothes hangers provided. As usual on board ship, there was more than enough drawer space for all we brought aboard. The additional room provided in a suite meant that the stateroom was easy to navigate and well designed for relaxation. We liked Oceania’s layout better than the jazzy new design for these suites that we experienced on Azamara Quest on our cruise to Norway in July 2015. We had the prototype of this suite, and this meant that it was visited by the company CEO to show to a group of travel agents on our full day in port in Edinburgh prior to sailing. But the Azamara version has an open space between the closet and the desk, which is located all the way over to the verandah wall. This means that there is no sofa. In addition, the Azamara cabin chairs were less comfortable. In short, we think Oceania’s Penthouse suite on the ships is a good idea for a more comfortable journey with some nice amenities. However, if one really wants a great ship’s cabin experience the penthouse suites on Oceania’s Marina and Riviera, with more than 400 square feet, are a most delightful way to sail away. The ship itself. Sirena was launched as Renaissance IV in 1999, purchased by Princess Cruises and sailed as Ocean Princess for that line until bought by Oceania in 2015. Its “maiden sailing” for this line was in April 2017. The refurbishing done in connection with this acquisition shows up in many ways. Virtually all the furniture is new, as are some of the bathrooms, such as ours. The carpeting is new and the art work along the corridors and stairwells also, reflecting a very nice taste in non-objective art (if you like this art, as we do). Apparently the poolside decking was replaced also, as it looked very new and attractive. There were one or two blemishes or “dings” in two of the elevator doors, but we don’t know if these occurred before or after refurbishment. The essential layout of the ship remained the same, of course with its handy concept of “eat aft” and “enjoy forward”. The one exception to this rule was that the daily tea was served in the delightful Horizon Room, forward on Deck 10. This site offers excellent views, forward, port and starboard from comfortable seats, with a small dance floor in the center. It is used for some daytime activities and ship sponsored gatherings, as well as late night music and dancing. The center section of Deck 10 is open to the pool below, with a walking deck leading aft. This is where you find the two specialty restaurants, Tuscan Steak and Red Ginger, as well as the most attractive small library at sea. Deck 9 has the buffet aft, the pool area and the Spa and Gym forward. Decks 8, 7 and 6 are all cabins, with the bridge, forward of course, on Deck 8. Deck 5 has the show lounge forward, the casino, shops, the main bar, “Martinis” an “Upper Hall” seating area and the main dining room aft. Deck 4 has cabins and the Reception Desk, Destination Services and the Concierge, as well as the Medical Center. There are a few cabins on Deck 3 as well as the tender exits. Generally speaking the ship was well taken care of, with crew members frequently in evidence maintaining furnishings and ensuring cleanliness. All in all, Sirena is a compact, nicely designed, easily navigated and attractive vessel. Dining and such. Oceania has a well deserved reputation for providing a quality dining experience. Our personal favorite remains Crystal, and to be fair, we have not sailed on Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn or Silverseas ships. But Oceania comes in as our second favorite dining cruise line. It should be noted that Marina and Riviera, with four rather than two specialty restaurants, are a cut above the other four Oceania Renaissance class dining venues. Oceania does not have any added charges for its specialty restaurants and I believe that this is true for the other three high end cruise lines referenced above. All of the other major cruise lines have a range of extra charges for food venues beyond the main dining rooms and buffets. Sirena offers 5 dining options in four locations. This arises from the creation of “Jacques’ Bistro” as a separate lunch option in the main dining room. We tried it once and it was quite nice with an orientation to French food as might be expected in a restaurant named after Oceania’s cuisine supervisor, Jacques Pepin. The buffet offered a pleasant dinner option having the tables set up with linen table cloths and nice tableware. I have mentioned the specialty restaurants on Deck 10; Tuscan Steak and Red Ginger. The menu for the latter is Asian fusion, while the former, as one might expect from the name, features beef and Italian dishes. Without going into detail about our meals, it is enough to say that we were very satisfied. If Crystal scores 97 out of 100, and Marina 95, Sirena would reach 93. The range of ships in the Celebrity line would make it a little more difficult to reach an exact rating, but we think the probable score would be around 90. Azamara would come in about the same level, although, like Celebrity, it has additional charges for its specialty restaurants. We especially loved Red Ginger, dining there three times. We did not visit Tuscan Steak since we are not into that style of food. We did hear that the service there was not that great, that they tried to sell ordinary lobster tails as “Maine Lobster” but that the small filet mignon was great according to one diner. The main dining room has one level, and is a trifle noisy. The staff worked hard and was very pleasant, with no glitches in delivery. Open seating is the rule everywhere, and we used both the option to dine by ourselves or with others with no problem. Since the dining rooms open at 6:30 each night, there were lines at that time, but the maître d’ handled the rush very well. The menu selection was good with very little duplication of choices over 10 days. As noted, we ate at Red Ginger three nights. We loved this venue on our two Marina cruises, and were not disappointed here. The hostess; Alina, I believe, was charming and efficient, and the overall service level very high. The décor is very attractive and the venue quieter than the main dining room, with just enough bustle and activity to make it a charming experience. We ate one luncheon at Jacques’ Bistro, where the menu is fashioned after a Paris bistro, and thought that this was a great idea with a small but excellent menu and equally fine service. It was not too crowded, but probably draws enough patronage to justify its continued place in the dining firmament. We ate every breakfast and most lunches at the buffet. The “small ship” limitations was evident here in that the size of the service area was limited and that limits the extent of the menu. Despite this, the food was generally extremely good, and the selection broad enough for most tastes. The selection of fruit for breakfast was as large and good as on any ship. The service here was occasionally spotty. Edith liked to order cappuccino for her breakfast coffee, and sometimes delivery was slow. It should be noted that the tableware in all venues was first class. The dining room featured Rosenthal Versace dishes, and all other venues used well designed ware from Schoenwald. This is “hotel” china, and not porcelain of course, but I used to sell fine china in a school job long ago at a classy Georgetown D.C. store, and have kept my love of good tableware ever since. The glass ware and utensils were of equal quality. One other change from our prior Oceania experiences was the switching of the small bar next to the main dining room to a Barista serving cappuccinos, lattes etc. all day long without charge. Since this location is on Deck 5, fairly close to the main bar, Martinis, it made sense to skip the duplication and provide a new and pleasant choice. Entertainment. There were four forms of entertainment aboard. A pleasant lady offered some good lectures on sea days, all connected with Mexico and our ports. Martinis has a pianist “in residence” providing appropriate cocktail lounge music. There was a string quartet from Eastern Europe playing largely classical music in the evening in the Upper Hall near the boutiques on Deck 5, and every day at 4:00 in the Horizon Lounge for afternoon tea. They were enjoyable. Then there were the main shows every evening in the Sirena Lounge on Deck 5. The problem affecting these shows is that the lounge has two levels of flat floor, so most of the seats are directly behind other seats, limiting the view somewhat. This did not make a lot of difference for the solo singer, nor I would guess, the comedian whose shows we skipped. But it did limit views of the “production shows” and I would think, the magician, who we also chose not to see. The other issue we had was the schedule. There was only on show each night, and that was at 9:30. This was simply very late for us, and we were often tired, especially after shore visits. We thought that the production shows, with three singers and three dancers were entertaining in a simplistic way; about par for the cruise ship course. The solo singer, Dale Kristien, had been the lead female singer in the Broadway production of Phantom of the Opera as well as the original Los Angeles production; and performed it over 1700 times. She was very good, and had a nice selection of songs. We don’t enjoy comedians, and as noted, were simply too tired at 9:30 for the magician, despite that fact that I enjoy these acts. Overall we found the entertainment about what you expect on a small ship. Only Crystal seems to have its act entirely together as far as entertainment and enrichment go, even though their ships are not exactly huge, Crystal Symphony carrying slightly less and Crystal Serenity slightly more than 1000 passengers. The crew. By and large their performance was exemplary. Our cabin attendant, Carolina and her assistant had our cabin made up every morning by the time we returned from breakfast. Our butler, Dorian, was efficient and helpful, although we did not use him very much and could have done without the $14.00 daily gratuity. We really did not need the 5:00 P.M. daily serving of peanuts, and could have managed the reservation at Red Ginger ourselves. All the rest of the staff was usually smiling and friendly. We were told by the Captain that while there were 14 different nations represented by the 599 person passenger complement, the 400 crew members came from 46 different countries. There were a few minor language difficulties, but all needed communications were accomplished. The Itinerary. This was not the most adventuresome trip we have done, but had enough places of interest to be enjoyable. Our initial sailing was “26 Miles Across the Bay” to Santa Catalina Island, where we had never been before. We took a local bus ride with a somewhat strange driver, but still enjoyed this unique place and the cozy little town of Avalon with its plethora of four passenger golf carts. Cabo San Lucas was a partial tour failure. This was not a ships tour, and we did reach Todos Santos up the Pacific Coast for an abbreviated excursion. We received partial reimbursement. La Paz on the Sea of Cortez side was about 11 miles from where we docked, but again a free shuttle was provided. We spent an hour or so there, and the waterfront with its Malecon is attractive. Our private tour into the hills outside Matzalan was very worthwhile. This city has grown a lot, and the north waterfront area has a wide range of newer hotels, condos and apartments. The interior was more typical of rural Mexico, and we enjoyed walking in on a three baby baptismal ceremony in a local church. Since many of the relatives were using their cell phone cameras, we felt comfortable in using ours. Another church in our final destination, Copala, was built in 1565, and still dramatic. There was another tour mix-up in Puerto Vallarta. But we did arrange a short tour downtown, with a full refund of our pre-paid charge. Since it was a Sunday, many stores were closed, but once again, the stunning growth of this area in the 16 years since our first visit was remarkable. Summary. This was largely an enjoyable trip. One very pleasing facet of the small ship experience is the higher degree of contact with your fellow passengers. If you are cruising on a 5000 passenger Royal Caribbean monster, and have dinner with a nice couple, the odds that you will ever run into them again are miniscule. On a 600 passenger ship you will probably see them at the buffet, a show, or tea or in a boutique some other day. This makes for a friendly and cheerful atmosphere. We also noted that almost all our fellow passengers were very experienced cruisers. While most were from the United States, there was a contingent, as always, from Canada, and some from Australia, as well as Europe. We were mostly senior citizens, and while Oceania does not have a children’s program, there were two young – about 10-12 years old – persons aboard, and they seemed to be doing fine. We would recommend Sirena for any cruise up to 21 days. Beyond that its size limitations might make the sailing grow a little tiring and boring. But it is a first class ship and rates very highly among our cruising favorites. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
My mom and I were on the December 11, 10-day "Coast to Canyons" cruise on the Sirena. We traveled as part of a larger group. Other than a transatlantic cruise on the Queen Mary 2, Oceania is the highest-end cruise line either of ... Read More
My mom and I were on the December 11, 10-day "Coast to Canyons" cruise on the Sirena. We traveled as part of a larger group. Other than a transatlantic cruise on the Queen Mary 2, Oceania is the highest-end cruise line either of us had been on. I was a bit nervous coming into the cruise, having read some negative reviews of the ship. However, overall it was one of the best cruises I've been on, especially for the food. Embarkation and Debarkation: The Sirena was by far the smallest cruise ship I've ever been on—Holland America's Maasdam was the smallest until now. With only 599 passengers to board, and no other ship at the Port of Los Angeles on our first or last day, getting on and off the ship was incredibly easy. It took barely 20 minutes from the time our group was called on the last morning to having our luggage and waiting for the bus home. The Ship: Sirena was incredibly easy to get around. You could walk from one end of the ship to the other in just a few minutes. One night we had dinner at Tuscan Steak on the 10th deck and didn't finish until 9:20, and we were down the elevator and across to the Sirena Lounge on the 5th deck just after 9:30 and in time for the show. Our cabin, Stateroom 6017, was right above the Sirena Lounge but we never heard any noise from there, even during one of the production shows. I also didn't notice any signs of wear and tear with the furnishings. All the chairs were very comfortable, though I would suggest having chairs that are slightly less heavy in the Sirena Lounge to make it easier to arrange them for trivia. The boutiques were small but we made good use of all our shipboard credit. I was surprised that they don't sell bottles of liquor in the boutiques to take home. The Cabin: Ok, this is the one big issue I had. The cabins were just too small. I knew going in the bathroom would be tiny, and it was. And I know that Oceania couldn't do anything about the cabin size. However, it was still a huge shock to open the door and see how little room there was to move about. I lost count of how many times I walked into the beds or makeup table. We did have enough space for all our belongings, by using every drawer and hanger available to us. We also used the laundry facilities once, and they would be a must on a longer cruise. But the beds were incredibly comfortable, and our cabin attendant Zin and her assistant were fantastic. We also appreciated having a minibar. The Passengers: Befitting the higher cost compared to most ships that sail out of Southern California, the passengers on the Sirena were largely older. I'm 43 and was probably in the bottom 10 percent in terms of age. There was one little girl traveling with her grandparents, but no other children. We had a good mix of different cruising experiences, from Carnival through Seabourn. People were by and large very friendly and dressed nicely for dinner. I still can't figure out what country club casual is, though. The Food and Drink: The food on the Sirena was easily the best part of the cruise. There were a few items we didn't like as much—my mom was disappointed by her monkfish in the GDR one night, as was I with the roast chicken, and our entrees at Tuscan Steak were overdone—but those were rare missteps. It's too hard to list all the highlights, but some of the best meals and dishes we had were the miso seabass at Red Ginger, all the breakfast pastries in the GDR and Terrace Café, the ice cream at lunch and dinner, the veal Bolognese in the GDR, and the omelettes. And I must give a specific shout out to the holiday cookies they started putting out midway through the cruise. The cocktails and wine by the glass selection were also very good, though we weren't able to get Moscow Mules in the Horizons Lounge one night because they had already run out of ginger beer. My favorite drink wound up being a sparkling wine cocktail, the Hugo. The Activities and Entertainment: I do wish there had been more activities on port days, especially because these are ports that the heavily West Coast crowd had likely visited numerous times. Morning trivia would be nice, or perhaps other choices beyond putting, shuffleboard, bean bag toss, and spa seminars. I did enjoy the lectures we attended on sea days. The bright side was I got a lot of reading done on the port days where we didn't take excursions. The nighttime entertainment was very good and high quality. My mom enjoyed being able to understand the production show singers, and Dale Kristien was excellent. After a two-hour dinner and show, we were too tired to go up to the Horizon Lounge, so I can't speak to that. The Excursions: We took three excursions, one each in La Paz, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. I liked the La Paz tour, which mostly took us around the city, and the Puerto Vallarta excursion, which included a tour and tasting of a tequila factory. However, the Mazatlan excursion was disappointing. It was an hour shorter than scheduled, and the guide did not make it clear when we were in the Gold Zone. Also, both the Mazatlan and PV tours included long stops in jewelry stores. I would expect a little better from Oceania. The Service: Next to the food, this was the best part of the cruise. It helped to have 400 crew members to 599 passengers. The staff was always very helpful without ever being obtrusive. I loved not being asked over and over again if I'd like something to drink. The staff at the Terrace Café was always on top of things. I thought being served at the buffet might be inefficient but it worked great. A special nod to Valentina, who was always really kind and helpful, and very generous with desserts. The Value: I have never been on a cruise before, excluding a riverboat, where so much was included. No charge for coffee drinks, or for lobster, or for ice cream. It's hard to judge how much we saved compared to sailing on Princess or Carnival or Celebrity, because I wouldn't have indulged like this on those ships. However, given the level of service and all that's included, I think Oceania is a much better value than I anticipated. I don't know when the opportunity to sail with them again might arise but I would certainly consider it. Overall, I would give the Oceania Sirena very high marks but perhaps wouldn't mind trying an Oceania ship with larger cabins next time. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Chose Oceania because of friends recommendation , in filling out registration, we made the HUGE mistake of missing part that they wouldn't accept U.S. passport card even though completely valid on this particular cruise. Sadly, travel ... Read More
Chose Oceania because of friends recommendation , in filling out registration, we made the HUGE mistake of missing part that they wouldn't accept U.S. passport card even though completely valid on this particular cruise. Sadly, travel documents to be reviewed before cruise came 3 days into cruise, sent overnight by Oceania,hmm. They wouldn't let us board ,so we had our passport books overnighted and met up with ship in Ensenada. When being turned down in LA ,the person who was rude ,indifferent ,cold, uncaring, absolutely unapologetic to our dilemma turns out was ships officer in charge of...Customer relations! When on board ,no attempt to say a "Glad you made it! " or even a welcome. The rest of cruise after that was OK at best. The crew/help seemed overworked,trying to keep a smile .The port stops were way to short,the ship was boring, too small. Oceania is trying to cram too much in a cruise to seem as good as the higher end lines, but in doing so fail to give that great cruise feeling we had from previous cruises. Lesson learned , spend the extra money and be hating to disembark instead of having a feeling you did not get what you paid for! Never say never unless you're talking about cruising on Oceania! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
It is our favorite line and this cruise with the great cruise director and her fabulous husband enhanced the experience. Sirena's crew were great the dining venues superb and the cabin attendants were wonderful. The extra sea days ... Read More
It is our favorite line and this cruise with the great cruise director and her fabulous husband enhanced the experience. Sirena's crew were great the dining venues superb and the cabin attendants were wonderful. The extra sea days were great as a result of the a recent hurricane The Captain was aware of possible dangerous conditions and made sure our safety came first. General manager was attentive and pro active. As a frequent cruiser we felt at home and there were many familiar faces from the crew. Food was fabulous as always. Panama canal crossing was quite inspiring. When you think that the btechnolgy is over a 100 years old it amazes. The new restaurants are excellent additions to the culinary experience you experience on Oceania. All in all it was one of our best cruises we have ever had on Oceania and we booked two more while on board. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I really didn’t want to be too effusive about this cruise but I have to admit that I just can’t help myself. Embarkation and debarkation were both efficient. We have cruised Oceania many times and have always loved the quality ... Read More
I really didn’t want to be too effusive about this cruise but I have to admit that I just can’t help myself. Embarkation and debarkation were both efficient. We have cruised Oceania many times and have always loved the quality of their cruises but this time we were treated to a ship that was not full; there were about 400 passengers for this 28-day cruise from New York to Miami via the Amazon River. This gave Oceania the chance to shine even more and it succeeded in doing so. Firstly, we picked this cruise because of its itinerary. We had not been to these ports but, more importantly, we also wanted to better understand the Amazon’s place in the world’s ecology. What we discovered is that there is no way to describe the Amazon without being there. It is more than just the largest, longest, highest volume, etc. river; it is amazing. But, don’t forget, it is on the equator. There is no easy way to describe just how hot it was there with the humidex included. Day after day of exhausting heat. Now, back to the cruise itself, I just can’t say enough because we had such a wonderful time. We felt busy every day and never felt bored. The food – well what can I say except that it was beyond spectacular, as was the service in the restaurants. Many of the other passengers that we met were ‘our crowd’ so again we just felt comfortable on this cruise. Our cabin was maintained to the highest standard. The entertainment we attended was entertaining. The lectures we attended were instructive. The martinis at happy hour were yummy. I’m sounding effusive again, sorry. If there was one thing I would change, it would be to cancel the Boca da Valeria port of call. It felt a bit exploitive. To end this, I want to say a big thank you to Yvan for his wonderful service and to his helper Aleksander (and to Spike, Yasa, Nyoman, Carlos, Cliton, Plamon and to too many others to mention but especially to the pizza chef) for making our dining experience on the ship so comfortable. Thank you to Esther and Charan (baristas) and to Igor and Angelie at Martinis. Thank you to our room attendants Alize and Aki. Thank you to the restaurant managers, Charnae, Faustin, Rinaldo, Susan, Georgio and Andrea. Thank you to Daniel in reception and to Mike in excursions. A huge thank you to Jennifer, Oceania Hostess, and to Gary for his wonderful cooking. (To all of you, I know that I have probably made a complete mess of spelling your names, please forgive me.) Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise because the Amazon river was on our bucket list and because of the cuisine aboard Oceania. We were a little bit hesitant because of initial reviews of Sirena suggested that the refit from Princess left something to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the Amazon river was on our bucket list and because of the cuisine aboard Oceania. We were a little bit hesitant because of initial reviews of Sirena suggested that the refit from Princess left something to be desired. However by the time of our embarkation (oct 28th) these problems had been ironed out and the ship was in superb condition, easily as nice as the other R ships. Possibly as a result of the initial reviews and the expense of Brazilian visas (and zika virus worries) the ship was not sold out and had only 402 passengers out of a capacity of 680. As the captain pointed out there were more crew (403) than passengers. Service aboard was excellent and by the second or third day we were usually greeted by name by staff. Food aboard was possibly even better than we had previously experienced with Oceania. Our favorite was Red Ginger where the calamari, sea bass, and lobster pad thai were great. We enjoyed our 4 visits to both Red Ginger and the Tuscan steak house. As has been pointed out by previous reviewers the cabins and bathrooms are smaller than usual. This is typical of R ships and if this is a problem you should probably stick with the Marina or Riviera. Television channels are limiited (as with most ships). The one complaint I had in regard to this was the only sports channel was skysports (british). If your favorite sports are cricket and soccer you will be happy. There was no coverage of U.S. sports, despite the vast majority of passengers being from the U.S. Hello Oceania-ESPN? Entertainment aboard was typical of smaller upscale ships-no extravagant productions, singers, comedians, etc. The library was a highlight of the ship-very beautiful (in old english manor style) and had a terrific selection of recent best sellers. We had no children aboard ( a 28 day cruise during the school year so no surprise there) Average age was probably about 70. Embarkation and disembarkation were both seamless and took about 5 minutes. 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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