We chose this cruise - our 4th on Oceania ships - for the September timing and the itinerary. We explored Venice for a few days prior to embarkation (is there a better port for a sailaway?) and were delighted to combine old favorites (Sorrento, Civitavecchia, Monaco and Barcelona) with new-to-us ports like Kotor, Montenegro, Corfu and Taormina. This was our second cruise on Sirena, and the experience was even better. First, we thought the ship excursions were better organized and for the most part had excellent guides. Being used to independent travel, we would not have taken ANY ship excursions had they not been included in our fare - but our view has tempered somewhat after this cruise. Tours in Taormina - where we were able to enter the Greek Theater despite a Dalai Lama event - and in Cannes to Gorges du Loup and Gourdon - were extremely worthwhile and worry-free. If travel wasn't so fraught with delays and misadventures, I would cruise - on Oceania ships - more often. Second, the food was back to the level we have come to expect on Oceania after a somewhat disappointing Panama Canal cruise last December. We dined twice in Red Ginger, thus were able to sample several items between us. I did have to order that wonderful Ginger Lemongrass tea from Tea Forte when we got home. Tuscan Grill, the combination of Toscano and Polo Grill from the O-class ships, just doesn't work as well for me as well as having the two venues separate - it's simply too difficult to choose between entrees, much less appetizers, salads and desserts. Service, from our amazingly telepathic cabin attendant to the Terrace Café servers who remembered us from a cruise nine months earlier (I DO love my desserts) and everyone in between was stellar. I gave our cabin - a regular veranda stateroom - only 4 stars because of the very small bathroom. We're both average size - but that shower is tiny! The O-class ships have much bigger bathrooms in the same stateroom class, if that's important to you. Other than that it's amazing how much storage space there is in the room, love the veranda, and don't forget to pre-order your favorite (non-alcoholic) beverages for your refrig before you leave. Since this was a port-intensive cruise (NO sea days) we were up early and off the ship every single day, usually doing something active. For us, that means bedtime before the ship's entertainment begins. We don't miss it, since it's low on our priority list (seriously, it's not EVEN on our priority list). We also didn't make it to many enrichment lectures, though the few we attended were very well done and very helpful for the itinerary. The lectures ARE taped and replayed, but we maximized our time ashore and never watched. Will we be back? Absolutely: we have our third cruise on Sirena coming up in May, then two more on her sister ship Nautica! Happy travels to all!

11 Days Between Venice and Barcelona

Sirena Cruise Review by Jan.and.John

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We chose this cruise - our 4th on Oceania ships - for the September timing and the itinerary. We explored Venice for a few days prior to embarkation (is there a better port for a sailaway?) and were delighted to combine old favorites (Sorrento, Civitavecchia, Monaco and Barcelona) with new-to-us ports like Kotor, Montenegro, Corfu and Taormina. This was our second cruise on Sirena, and the experience was even better.

First, we thought the ship excursions were better organized and for the most part had excellent guides. Being used to independent travel, we would not have taken ANY ship excursions had they not been included in our fare - but our view has tempered somewhat after this cruise. Tours in Taormina - where we were able to enter the Greek Theater despite a Dalai Lama event - and in Cannes to Gorges du Loup and Gourdon - were extremely worthwhile and worry-free. If travel wasn't so fraught with delays and misadventures, I would cruise - on Oceania ships - more often.

Second, the food was back to the level we have come to expect on Oceania after a somewhat disappointing Panama Canal cruise last December. We dined twice in Red Ginger, thus were able to sample several items between us. I did have to order that wonderful Ginger Lemongrass tea from Tea Forte when we got home. Tuscan Grill, the combination of Toscano and Polo Grill from the O-class ships, just doesn't work as well for me as well as having the two venues separate - it's simply too difficult to choose between entrees, much less appetizers, salads and desserts. Service, from our amazingly telepathic cabin attendant to the Terrace Café servers who remembered us from a cruise nine months earlier (I DO love my desserts) and everyone in between was stellar.

I gave our cabin - a regular veranda stateroom - only 4 stars because of the very small bathroom. We're both average size - but that shower is tiny! The O-class ships have much bigger bathrooms in the same stateroom class, if that's important to you. Other than that it's amazing how much storage space there is in the room, love the veranda, and don't forget to pre-order your favorite (non-alcoholic) beverages for your refrig before you leave.

Since this was a port-intensive cruise (NO sea days) we were up early and off the ship every single day, usually doing something active. For us, that means bedtime before the ship's entertainment begins. We don't miss it, since it's low on our priority list (seriously, it's not EVEN on our priority list). We also didn't make it to many enrichment lectures, though the few we attended were very well done and very helpful for the itinerary. The lectures ARE taped and replayed, but we maximized our time ashore and never watched.

Will we be back? Absolutely: we have our third cruise on Sirena coming up in May, then two more on her sister ship Nautica! Happy travels to all!
Jan.and.John’s Full Rating Summary
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