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Coming off of a RSSC cruise on Voyager, also in Scandinavia, expectations were high. Oceania, while not the same all-inclusive experience, offered better dining and an altogether better value proposition as well as a more lively crowd. Our PH1 suite, 8030, was extremely well located, quiet, clean, and well maintained though wardrobes and bathroom were a bit small, at 6'3" had to duck to use the shower. Early embarkation was a breeze and luggage delivery was less than one hour after getting access to our cabin. Specialty dining at Polo and Toscana were great and offered twice in each restaurant as suite passengers on the 10 night cruise. In MDR suite status seemed to ensure (not an advertised perk) seating at prime 2-top tables by the windows unless we requested group seating. We opted for top-flight beverage package based on number of sea days, but wouldn't opt for this again as we felt "pressure" to make the most of it. Have read other reviews that pan this ship, I understand that there was an unfortunate fire and norovirus outbreak on the ship which seem to have pushed down the overall score. Our experience was top-notch and we would have no reservations about booking on Insignia again. In fact we enjoyed the cruise so much we booked another on Riviera for next year.

First Oceania Cruise Exceeds Expectations

Insignia Cruise Review by Holmesie

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Trip Details
Coming off of a RSSC cruise on Voyager, also in Scandinavia, expectations were high. Oceania, while not the same all-inclusive experience, offered better dining and an altogether better value proposition as well as a more lively crowd. Our PH1 suite, 8030, was extremely well located, quiet, clean, and well maintained though wardrobes and bathroom were a bit small, at 6'3" had to duck to use the shower. Early embarkation was a breeze and luggage delivery was less than one hour after getting access to our cabin. Specialty dining at Polo and Toscana were great and offered twice in each restaurant as suite passengers on the 10 night cruise. In MDR suite status seemed to ensure (not an advertised perk) seating at prime 2-top tables by the windows unless we requested group seating. We opted for top-flight beverage package based on number of sea days, but wouldn't opt for this again as we felt "pressure" to make the most of it.

Have read other reviews that pan this ship, I understand that there was an unfortunate fire and norovirus outbreak on the ship which seem to have pushed down the overall score. Our experience was top-notch and we would have no reservations about booking on Insignia again. In fact we enjoyed the cruise so much we booked another on Riviera for next year.
Holmesie’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Penthouse Suite
Cabin PH1 8030
A few more details: able to store large suitcases under bed when left "open" as they were too thick otherwise, storage in bathroom at a minimum, nice toiletries re-stocked frequently. Two chairs and table by veranda and sofa made for comfortable areas for reading and in-suite dining with butler (mostly took advantage of this for breakfasts on early tour days). Balcony was a bit small with two chairs, no ottoman, though the horizontal bars of the metal railing allowed for a place to rest one's feet.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Akureyri
    Well intentioned tour-guide provided lots of detail on even the most mundane things like public swimming pools and gas stations. Santa's house is a shopping experience, nothing more, but not bad for what it was.
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  • City Tour
    Booked through a private tour company operated by two young British gentlemen after taking the Oceania bus to/from the port. Met us at our drop-off point and packed a lot in to our 5 hours in Berlin. Had our tour guide also book a car and driver to make the most of our time which worked out great as there were storms that day.
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  • Tivoli Gardens
    Nice tour of Rosenborg Castle and walk around Tivoli. We ultimately decided to leave the tour early as a number of (ill-informed) people on our tour insisted on complaining that Tivoli Gardens was an amusement park with lavish landscaping rather than a botanical garden. This was clear in the Oceania materials but didn't stop them from complaining the entire time. Walking around on our own through the garden and town was a great decision as Copenhagen is a charming city.
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  • Oslo
    We did most of the highlights of Oslo on our own with a combination of walking and an Oceania hop-on-hop-off bus (free). We had an "extra" excursion to use as part of an OLife package so we decided to use it to visit the ice-bar. It's a gimmick, but it was fun and provided an opportunity to take some great pictures.
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  • Reykjavik
    Booked a private tour with a driver in a 4x4 who picked us up directly from KEF airport and took us on a 10 hour tour which included the Golden Circle highlights as well as a snowmobile ride on a glacier. Well worth the high price - 217,000 ISK as it was a once in a lifetime experience and made the most of our ~24 hours in Reykjavik.
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  • Stockholm
    This was our last stop on our 10 day cruise. Took an Uber from the terminal to our Hotel, the Sheraton Stockholm then did a self-guided walking tour. It was Gay Pride week so the city was decked out in rainbows and had a vibrant atmosphere.
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