We chose this cruise because it had an interesting itinerary (Cape Verde, Dakar, St. Barts etc) for a transatlantic crossing, and because as a TA it was very cost effective on a per-day basis compared to some other O cruises. This was our 5th cruise on Oceania, so you can tell the line is a good fit for us. The food was very good, with some slightly updated items on the menus (not just your mother's food) and a lot of 'special' events for the TA (6 themed dinners in Terraces, Gala Tea, Sunday brunch in the main dining room, etc.). Specialty restaurants uniformly high quality. Marina is very well maintained, with traditional and transitional (not contemporary, but not stuffy) decor in high quality materials. Beds and linens wonderful. Service friendly and professional. Really appreciate (and take advantage of) the corkage policy that allows you to bring your own wine to dinner for a $25 corkage fee. Bar and sommelier staff offered several special tastings (old vs new world wine, scotch/whiskey, and much more). Lecturers quite good (better than some in the past), plenty of activities to choose on sea days. Can't speak to entertainment, we are early to bed types. TV offerings nothing amazing, but plenty to choose from as long as you don't need lots of US sports coverage. There are more movies on offer than a few years ago (when it seemed like there was a 3 or 4 day cycle, now more like a couple weeks' cycle), and you can always check out DVDs from a large menu at the front desk. Internet adequate for a cruise ship, did cut out for about 10 hours overnight one night due to ship's position apparently. Made some new friends, and found lots of interesting folks to talk with. Weren't sure if 21 days and 11 sea days would be "too much", but as it turns out we had nothing to worry about and would have been happy to stay on longer :)

Could get used to longer cruises :)

Marina Cruise Review by babysteps

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2017
  • Destination: Transatlantic
  • Cabin Type: Verandah Stateroom
We chose this cruise because it had an interesting itinerary (Cape Verde, Dakar, St. Barts etc) for a transatlantic crossing, and because as a TA it was very cost effective on a per-day basis compared to some other O cruises.

This was our 5th cruise on Oceania, so you can tell the line is a good fit for us. The food was very good, with some slightly updated items on the menus (not just your mother's food) and a lot of 'special' events for the TA (6 themed dinners in Terraces, Gala Tea, Sunday brunch in the main dining room, etc.). Specialty restaurants uniformly high quality.

Marina is very well maintained, with traditional and transitional (not contemporary, but not stuffy) decor in high quality materials. Beds and linens wonderful. Service friendly and professional. Really appreciate (and take advantage of) the corkage policy that allows you to bring your own wine to dinner for a $25 corkage fee. Bar and sommelier staff offered several special tastings (old vs new world wine, scotch/whiskey, and much more). Lecturers quite good (better than some in the past), plenty of activities to choose on sea days. Can't speak to entertainment, we are early to bed types.

TV offerings nothing amazing, but plenty to choose from as long as you don't need lots of US sports coverage. There are more movies on offer than a few years ago (when it seemed like there was a 3 or 4 day cycle, now more like a couple weeks' cycle), and you can always check out DVDs from a large menu at the front desk. Internet adequate for a cruise ship, did cut out for about 10 hours overnight one night due to ship's position apparently.

Made some new friends, and found lots of interesting folks to talk with. Weren't sure if 21 days and 11 sea days would be "too much", but as it turns out we had nothing to worry about and would have been happy to stay on longer :)
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Cabin Review

Verandah Stateroom
Cabin B4 7014
Cabin compact vs a hotel room but very roomy for a cruise ship and well-designed. Bed super comfortable, sheets amazing. Nice wool carpet, plenty of storage especially if you include the under-bed space. I did bring some magnetic hooks and document holders which helped keep us organized and de-cluttered.

On Marina as of Apr 2017, the outlets at the bedside tables are both European style 220 (there is a dual 110/220 outlet in the bathroom, two 110 plugs at the desk and two 110 plugs on the wall near the desk, one of which is used by the TV). The plugs at the desk are next to each other in a slimline format, so it is difficult to use them both at the same time for most chargers. Light switches have been simplified (this is a good thing), I could swear that you used to have to 'toggle' through main cabin light settings on a single switch, now each switch is "on" or "off" for an unchanging set of lights.
Deck 7 Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Antigua
    We rented a car on the spot, no reservation (ask at the Tourist Booth at the base of the cruise dock and they will call a local rep to come walk you to a car, just a couple blocks). Took the suggested clockwise tour of the island. Devil's Bridge is scenic but you will want to be comfortable with gravel/dirt roads for the last mile or so. Nelson's Dockyard (including Shirley Heights etc) a highlight. Roads are pretty well signed but have plenty of potholes, the locals know where the bad ones are so be aware and follow suit. Local practice includes lots of passing, but also folks stopping to let entering traffic in. Allow plenty of time to return to St. John's, traffic can get busy downtown in the afternoon (it was a market Saturday which was probably more traffic than usual).
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  • Barbados
    Took a taxi to The Boatyard and had a lovely beach day, including swimming with the turtles. If you're not a big fan of cheap punch mix, use your "free drink" chit for water and pay for a nice local rum drink.
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  • La Palma
    Rented a car online through Cicar, very convenient right at the cruise port. Dramatic scenery and - if you do the north end of the island - some pretty twisty roads (car rep suggested south loop - less twisty, more accessible). The national park website is a bit confusing (somehow it was tough to figure out where the visitor center was...but it was super clear on the Cicar map) and you might want a tour to go to the overlooks (otherwise you need a reservation and/or a high tolerance for narrow twisty roads).
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  • Lanzarote
    Rented a car through Cicar online the prior day, they are right at the port and very easy to use. Drove around on our own including the National Park (lots of volcanic activity, excellent and free visitor center), wineries (if you have a car stop at the ones the buses can't fit in), the Manrique Foundation (lots of fun for architecture buffs) and a loop around to the north end of the island and Mirador del Rio. Had a great time in some very interesting and impressive landscape.
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  • Madeira (Funchal)
    Took the cruise port shuttle to the center of Funchal, strolled around and tried Madeira wine at a couple of places - the Sao Francisco wine museum is the Blandy's operation, right downtown. D'Oliveras is just uphill from the main square. Took the cable car up to Monte, strolled around and enjoyed the views very much. There is a quickserve cafe with a great view below the Monte cable car station - great place for a glass of wine.
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  • Miami
    Our flight got in early so we arrived at Terminal J before boarding had started. Waiting area was very organized and there was juice and water available. Called categories in turn starting about 11am and all categories were welcome by 11:30 or so.
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  • San Juan
    Easy to just stroll off the ship and walk right into Old San Juan. The day we were in port the free trolley was running a bit slow and so was crowded - consider a taxi if you aren't wanting to walk and the line at the trolley stop is long.

    Old San Juan is wonderful, we had been to Puerto Rico many times but hadn't spent much time there. Hilly with cobblestone streets and some narrow sidewalks, but wear your walking shoes and soak up the centuries-old atmosphere. Lots of online info for DIY walking tours, and many historic buildings have detailed signs telling their stories.
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  • St. Barts
    Tender dock is right at the edge of Gustavia's tiny but classy downtown. Fun window shopping, we walked over to Shell Beach, had a lovely swim and then a pricey (but not out of whack with NYC or Hamptons pricing) lunch al fresco under a shade awning with our toes in the sand at Shellona (in what used to be to Do Brazil space).
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  • Tenerife
    Walked to the Fundacion tram stop and took the tram to La Laguna (Trinidad stop). The tram ride is pretty scenic, with views back toward the port and up into the mountains.
    It is only about half a block from the tram stop to the historic section of town in La Laguna. You can buy a tram ticket at machines right at the tram stop (or download the app and use your phone as your ticket - not sure if that works for single rides or not). Tram system was new in 2007 or so and is very modern and clean.

    Strolled around the picturesque & historic center, enjoyed some wine and cheese at a sidewalk cafe in one of the many small plazas. La Laguna has many historic buildings labelled in Spanish and English, making a self-guiding tour easy. The historic streets are a mix of pedestrian-only and cars/ped. mix, but narrow enough that the cars go pretty slowly and the locals just stay toward the wall if there is a car passing.

    Right in Santa Cruz, the hop on -hop off bus does stop right where you meet the Plaza Espana when you exit the cruise terminal (we didn't take it, but there were reps right there)
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