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7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We booked this cruise as it included four countries we previously hadn't visited: Cuba, Belize, Honduras, and Guatemala. The timing worked well to have some family join us on this 7-night cruise. I would note that we are Oceania ... Read More
We booked this cruise as it included four countries we previously hadn't visited: Cuba, Belize, Honduras, and Guatemala. The timing worked well to have some family join us on this 7-night cruise. I would note that we are Oceania loyalists based on the cuisine, quality of the ships and their excellent crews, as well as the vast assortment of 7-12 day cruises on offer work for our busy lifestyle (in our early 40s and both working full-time). We're always being asked about being the youngest passengers on the ship (we are both fit and look like we're in our 30s), and our response is always "what's not to like, great vacations with interesting fellow passengers". One more disclosure - I'm Gluten Free (GF) and LOVE the way that Oceania tends to my dietary restrictions. Taking the stress out of eating all over the world is a game changer for me knowing that I can always have a safe breakfast and dinner in every port. This was our second time on Riviera and we really love this ship. The size works for us with the additional restaurants, cooking school, larger Baristas with great views, and larger cabins across all categories. We've previously sailed on Insignia and enjoyed the intimacy of the smaller ship but the PH cabins on these R-class ships are the size of standard veranda cabins on Riviera/Marina. The PH cabins on Riviera are as nice as our PH on a previous Regent SS Voyager cruise. On this cruise we took a cooking class "If it Swims" and really loved the class and the instructor - Stephanie Hersh. Stephanie was the long-time assistant of Julia Child and had great stories and a depth of knowledge that was greatly appreciated by everyone on the ship who interacted with her. We enjoyed the "La Cuisine Bourgeois" in La Reserve with wine pairings. We love the La Reserve team and the effort they put into these dinners. We also stopped in for a wine flight and they had excellent nibbles to go with that made it worth the supplement. The one thing we would do differently on the next Riviera/Marina cruise would be to go back to a PH on Deck 11. Being one of only 4 PHs on Deck 7 (all aft with huge balconies which is why we chose our cabin for this warm weather cruise) we felt a bit neglected as we rarely saw our butler. We also note that while it's not a written policy, passengers in suites tend to be seated at better tables in the restaurants. We noticed that unlike our previous cruises we found ourselves with less prime tables when giving a cabin number starting with '7' than '11' at the host stands. When I read Oceania reviews it seems like a lot of folks complain about NCL's ownership economizing on-board. I would note that it does seem like there's a bit less staffing in the MDR and around the pool, but we haven't noticed any other negative changes. We haven't noticed any cost-cutting in the food or prices for the wines by the bottle which are the key for us. I do wonder if Oceania will feel the need to match the included beer/wine with meals offered by Azamara and Viking as these main competitors have Oceania beat in this category. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Caribbean snorkeling cruise. Great space in the penthouse suite. Chose for the itinerary but wish they stayed longer in Bonaire. Did not like that we had to wear a life preserver is when taking the cruises excursion to snorkel. Food was ... Read More
Caribbean snorkeling cruise. Great space in the penthouse suite. Chose for the itinerary but wish they stayed longer in Bonaire. Did not like that we had to wear a life preserver is when taking the cruises excursion to snorkel. Food was quite good but wish there was more variety as 12 days I would’ve liked to seen different choices. Overall Oceania did a great job with organization embarkation disembarkation and meeting my requests. Pre-ordered particular juices ahead of time and we did indeed get them. Privee was very good. It was our third time booking Privee and it’s a fun evening. Jaques is way too creamy and rich. How could somebody possibly ruin escargot? By smothering cheese all over it. The easiest muster we ever did...thanks for that, luggage arrived by the time we entered suite... Crew friendly and helpful. Bingo run well until too many people ....had to stand in line for 30 min to purchase cards...unacceptable...Should have had several stations or areas to purchase cards to avoid long lines. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This was our tenth cruise and second with Oceania. We were on the Riviera last year and had a wonderful time. Much to our delight this cruise was even better than the previous one. For us, as good as the ship itself was and all it had to ... Read More
This was our tenth cruise and second with Oceania. We were on the Riviera last year and had a wonderful time. Much to our delight this cruise was even better than the previous one. For us, as good as the ship itself was and all it had to offer, the best part of the cruise was the people. We met so many amazing people on this cruise and had a delightful time with them from the minute we boarded to the moment we left. We’ve been on the big ships in the past, but we much prefer the size of the Riviera. We find it's a little more intimate, with a sense of community when the ship is not a floating mega-city! Also, and I don’t mean to sound like a stuffy snob, but the type of people that cruise with Oceania appeal much more to our age and tastes than some of the other cruise lines. As so many others have noted, the food is outstanding from the main dining room to the specialty restaurants to the Terrace Café buffet. The buffet selection was as good as any of the other restaurants. Beyond the buffet's amazing selection, what also appealed to us about the buffet was that we don’t touch the food – it is served to us and as a result it is so much healthier. Speaking of healthy, we loved the fact that every morning we could get fresh veggie juice just like we have at home. In all the restaurants there were all sorts of healthy eating alternatives. The room was cozy but large enough. The storage space was adequate. Of course, we loved the balcony where we spent a lot of time enjoying our books and having a drink and taking in the gorgeous views. Even the bathroom was great. It was roomy and we loved having a tub. As for the entertainment, we’re not big on the song and dance shows, but we do love comedy, and on this cruise standup comedian Tom Drake was featured. He did two hysterically funny shows as well as a workshop on comedy. We were very happy with the ports we went to this year. The ports were Aruba, Bonaire, Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Barts. The stays in the ports for the most part were all day so we never felt rushed. Most of the excursions we chose were good – some better than others. St. Kitts was probably our favourite. We loved the beach and the drive there was breathtaking at times. Beach day at Aruba was great. We visited a lovely beach with lots of shade which we appreciated, and there was very good snorkelling there. We not impressed with the Spice Beach club excursion on Bonaire. It wasn’t much of a beach, but the snorkelling was good. There was only one port we didn’t visit, St. Barts, because we would have had to tender there. We don’t like the tenders that Oceania use. They use their lifeboats, and they are just too rocky. We had a bad experience on one last year and decided to avoid it this year. We found more than enough to do on board – trivia, miniature golf, shuffleboard, cooking lessons, (okay we’re 65, what do you expect!!) The staff was top notch. Everyone from our cabin attendants to the severs in the restaurants to everyone else on board were helpful, courteous and friendly. I should also point out that on this cruise we had the best cruise director ever. Her name was Dottie and she was by far the best Cruise Director we have come across in our ten cruises. She connected with the guests so perfectly. She was always bubbly, funny and just downright nice. Embarkation and debarkation was unbelievably smooth and quick. We hope to go on another Oceania cruise next year. We understand that the Riviera is going to be getting a little refurbishing. We did see some people complaining in previous reviews that the ship looked a little worn. We thought the ship was totally charming. We had no complaints about the appearance or performance of the ship. Hopefully we'll see what is new next year. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We've cruised about 20 times and had sailed with Oceania twice in the past, including another cruise on Riviera. We absolutely loved it. Oceania had become our favorite cruise line. Not any more. We were among many passengers we spoke ... Read More
We've cruised about 20 times and had sailed with Oceania twice in the past, including another cruise on Riviera. We absolutely loved it. Oceania had become our favorite cruise line. Not any more. We were among many passengers we spoke with who felt the same way. Always known for outstanding food, that's no longer the case. Perhaps half of the time the food was very good, The rest of the time it was very average, far too frequently bland or over-cooked. The buffet was especially boring but even the speciality restaurants were disappointing. The ship itself was often unpleasant. It was so cold in many of the public areas that we simply couldn't stay in that venue even though we were dressed in warmer clothing. They actually were offering blankets to guests in Red Ginger restaurant. Our Concierge level Veranda cabin was fine. Bed was comfortable. However, the closet doors banged together all night and we had to shove towels between them to keep them quiet. I don't recall the bathroom being so small, nor do I remember that it had a bathtub with shower and a separate walk-in shower. The sink area was tiny. I don't understand why there were two showers in such a small space. Perhaps the walk-in shower was added to accommodate the elderly passengers. The average age on the ship appeared to be in the early 80's. I'm not young, but I felt as though I had been allowed on a ship chartered by a nursing home. Not exaggerating! Most of the crew members were extremely nice and accommodating, especially the cabin stewards. We chose not to participate in many activities, so I cannot rate that part of the cruise. According to our pre-cruise itinerary we were supposed to be in Cuba from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM. We booked a 3-hr shore excursion scheduled for 8:30. We weren't able to get on the bus until 10:30, thereby losing 2 hours in port. To make matters worse, the ship left at 5:00 instead of 6:00, meaning we lost another hour. We had to be back on the ship at 4:30, which left us with just 3 hours after our excursion to enjoy Havana instead of the 6 hours we had expected. We loved Havana and were sad that we had so little time there. We're unsure whether or not we'll sail with Oceania again. We may, but it won't be on Riviera. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was my 6 th cruise on Oceania, unfortunately is see the quality being eroded from past trips. Menus were repeated on a 10 day cruise, never had that before. Entertainment never a strong point with this line, generally that’s ok ... Read More
This was my 6 th cruise on Oceania, unfortunately is see the quality being eroded from past trips. Menus were repeated on a 10 day cruise, never had that before. Entertainment never a strong point with this line, generally that’s ok but this year was a repeat of the shows I saw last year. Quality of food was good, however it is never hot enough and I constantly had to request, send back etc dishes in all venues. Staff are still attentive but sometimes at breakfast waiting for coffee became almos am adventure. Smiles were a bit scarce too. Our trip to Havana less than great as we were not able to leave for our tour until after 11.00 due to the number of passengers booked on tours, something of a miscalculation on Destination Services part. Will be looking for another line next cruise to see if they are better. Sorry Oceania, time to oullup your socks and stop cutting corners! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this one over one that we had booked on the MSC Seaside because it included a stop in Cuba and one other country that we had not been to before in the Western Caribbean. We (my wife and I) also had her two brothers along for a ... Read More
We chose this one over one that we had booked on the MSC Seaside because it included a stop in Cuba and one other country that we had not been to before in the Western Caribbean. We (my wife and I) also had her two brothers along for a much needed vacation and we had wanted to see if Oceania cruises would live up to all the hype especially their cuisine. The food was very good, among the best we have had on cruises. Even though the choices on the buffet were limited what they had tasted very good and the sushi for dinner was the best that I had on any cruise. For breakfast I had to see how their lox (smoked salmon) stacked up against the best that I had on a cruise (Royal Caribbean 2006) and they came in a credible second to that one. Specialty restaurants didn't disappoint although they weren't the best we have eaten at they were good. At least the lobster I had on Oceania was better than that on board a recent Regent cruise. Our excursions were all enjoyable and nicely different from the typical cruise line fare. There were a couple of ports that Oceania didn't offer much if any that were exciting or even remotely interesting so we opted to get others from outside companies. The one we got for Cozumel, the Mayan Kun Che Park, was awesome and one that I would recommend to anyone who wasn't interested in visiting the ruins. This was the first time in several cruises that we didn't get a suite and I felt the squeeze in all aspects. We had a veranda room w/concierge and walk around room was minimal - the two of us couldn't go past the bed at the same time. Speaking of the bed, it was a queen bed, had no space under it to store our large suitcases. It has been decades since we shared one that small. The bathroom was large though and that could have had the bathtub taken out to add another 30 sq.feet to the room itself. As it was the only use the tub got was as storage for our suitcases. The staff was uniformly friendly, courteous and bent over backwards to accommodate our every need except for one exception - our concierge. First of all he never bothered to introduce himself when we arrived and a day or two into our cruise I noticed that one of our excursions was different than what we had wanted so I gave him a call and asked him if he would try to get it changed - a normal enough task for a concierge. His response: "You will have to go to Destination Services and ask them yourself." We went on a NCL cruise and had a concierge then who was outstanding. If I had asked him the same thing he would have wanted to know the numbers of both excursions and then would have gotten back to me within two hours with an answer. We never bothered this so called concierge again since it was obvious to us that he didn't want to do his job. I have to say this was the easiest disembarkation that we ever had. Even though we were given a time to get off the ship once we got down to the gangway level we were told that we could just leave - no muss, no fuss, no waiting for our tag color and number to be called. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. All in all, we enjoyed the cruise and if Oceania has another itinerary that we like will consider them again. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We cruised on the Oceania Nautica 13 years ago and have wanted to return to this line for a long time because of what a wonderful Mediterranean cruise we had. Our recent seven night cruise around Cuba was not the same as our prior cruise. ... Read More
We cruised on the Oceania Nautica 13 years ago and have wanted to return to this line for a long time because of what a wonderful Mediterranean cruise we had. Our recent seven night cruise around Cuba was not the same as our prior cruise. What was different? Most notably, the food. What was great on this cruise were the two speciality restaurants - Red Ginger and the Tuscan Steakhouse. The main dining room and the buffet were not even close. Some offerings were not eatable and we are not picky eaters! I hope in the upcoming remodel they "fix" the buffet area. It was too congested and chaotic as it currently is. There is also a lack of outdoor dining tables at the Terrace. Our other major disappointment was with the shore excursions. Fortunately, we booked a private guide in Havana and enjoyed our day there. We had four excursions through the OLife promo and for the most part those where not good. This was the first cruise we have been on which had no port talks! Unbelievable lack of information. Maybe the poor excursions were due to it being Cuba, but Oceania is not new here and they should do a much better job. Our complaints involved poor guides, (sadly we had the bad luck of getting assigned the same guide two days in a row in Cienfuegos), itineraries which were not like the actual tour, and cancelled excursions. All our guide really wanted was for us to shop and refer him to others. We really wanted to visit a cigar factory and when we boarded, destination services told us it was closed and we need to pick a different excursions. There is only one cigar factory in all of Cuba? Originally, Havana was to two be two days with an overnight. This was changed to one day, with two in Cienfuegos. This was a poor idea. The fittings of the ship definitely need to be redone. Much in our veranda cabin needed a refit from the love seat to the cabinets. Don't get me started on the tiny bathroom. I'm a small woman and felt cramped in the shower. All things considered, we have cruised with several other lines including Regent, Silverseas, Seabourn, and National Geographic, with a Viking Ocean cruise coming up in April. All of those lines were far superior to our recent experience on Oceania Sirena. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Nice ship. Love the size. Nothing to do during the day. The food was very good. Limited selection for breakfast and lunch, but what there was - was very tasty. Balcony room is very small...Bathroom is terrible, but will be redone in ... Read More
Nice ship. Love the size. Nothing to do during the day. The food was very good. Limited selection for breakfast and lunch, but what there was - was very tasty. Balcony room is very small...Bathroom is terrible, but will be redone in the near future. TV was the size of my computer screen, but also will be replaced in dry dock. Asked to be seated at a shared table and twice was sent to a table for four, and did not share. Enjoyed meeting people; do not like getting our request for a table for four or six not honored in the main dinning room. Red Ginger was okay. Cuba was interesting, but not yet ready for Americans. They even state this in their literature. The pool is very small. Four or five people and it is crowded. A bit hard to get into and especially out of the pool. No easy steps to get out... Very few shops. They need to offer more drug store style items. Almost no way to spend our money on this ship. The drinks were very expensive ($13.00 per glass+ tip). Embarkation and disembarkation was very easy. Delayed about 30 minutes because of a rainstorm, but then went very fast. We were lucky in that the weather was wonderful the entire week. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We just returned from circumnavigating Cuba, and the cruise was fantastic It was an older crowd, with no children on board. The ship was beautiful and the food was great, as were the entertainment and staff. We had superior educational ... Read More
We just returned from circumnavigating Cuba, and the cruise was fantastic It was an older crowd, with no children on board. The ship was beautiful and the food was great, as were the entertainment and staff. We had superior educational programs arranged by the faculty of the school we were traveling with. We don't tend to spend much time in our cabins other than to sleep, so the cabins were perfect for us. The shore excursions, especially in Cienfuegos and Trinidad, were a lot of fun. The Tropicana in Havana is not to be missed. The Cienfuegos and its nature excusion was a huge hit with everyone who went into the mountains to El Nicho. We had a terrible guide in Santiago de Cuba, and that really made the trip sour on our last day in Cuba. She was constantly rushing us, oppressively so. We had no opportunity to shop, other than at the trinket stalls by the port. No opportunity to eat. My wife wanted to buy a few gifts for our adult daughters back home, and if we had known the Santiago day would go the way it did, we would have done our shopping earlier in the trip. No such issues in Havana, Cienfuegos, or Trinidad. This was not the cruise lines fault, but I do hope they make passenger concerns known to the excursion operators. Also, customs is a bit of hit or a miss. One traveler bought art and tried to bring it on the ship after exchanging all his Cuban money into US dollars. It was his last chance to do so. The Cuban customs officer demanded payment in CUC's, and the passenger had to borrow some from a stranger. Again, not the cruise lines fault and no such issues in other ports, probably because all the Cuban money had not been converted back yet. Cuba is beautiful and the people are great. It is a unique experience. Pack some patience and understanding, and you will be enthralled. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Itinerary. After 21 cruises on O, and having been part of the christening and inaugural sailings, I was amazed at the decline of this lovely ship. The staff was AWESOME. They worked so hard as it was obvious there was a reduced staff ... Read More
Itinerary. After 21 cruises on O, and having been part of the christening and inaugural sailings, I was amazed at the decline of this lovely ship. The staff was AWESOME. They worked so hard as it was obvious there was a reduced staff serving. For example, if you arrived a bit early to the specialty restaurants, they couldn't accommodate you yet the dining room was half empty. Obvious they adjusted to staffing. The main dining room service was sooooo slow. Never saw the cruise director, John??? TV programming was years old. This was the first cruise on O that I did not book a future cruise. I decided from what I saw that I need to open up my options, and now was the time. Please O, come back to your original purpose and serving. The food was not very good, and I'm usually easy to please. Knowing that Claudette Pepin is the Godmother, I am shocked. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I’m an avid cruise enthusiast and a longtime reader of Cruise Travel Magazine. In planning our travels, I do a considerable amount of online research. This was our first trip with Oceania. Our cruise on the Sirena from Miami to Cuba, ... Read More
I’m an avid cruise enthusiast and a longtime reader of Cruise Travel Magazine. In planning our travels, I do a considerable amount of online research. This was our first trip with Oceania. Our cruise on the Sirena from Miami to Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Nassau was truly one of our better cruise experiences. Oceania’s four small sister ships, originally built for defunct Renaissance Cruises, do not earn high marks for their tiny bathrooms, so-so entertainment, and a very limited variety of shipboard activities while at sea. But as described in the company’s colorful and prolific advertising, these ships are intimate and luxurious. Their guests (us included) are typically seasoned travelers enjoying their Golden Years. Anyone seeking budget prices, a party atmosphere, Las Vegas-style entertainment, and/or children and teen activities will surely be happier on a different cruise line. For the Missus and me, the promise of an immersive itinerary and a high standard of service are what brought us to Oceania. Our itinerary featured FOUR days including one overnight in Cuba. At-sea days were nicely interspersed with port days; the former were a welcome opportunity to relax and savor onboard life. Not a fan of shuffleboard, Mahjong, etc., between ports I was content to sit on deck, keep up-to-date with email, and eat myself silly. Oceania touts the “Finest Cuisine at Sea” and theirs ranks among the more extravagant chow we’ve experienced on a cruise. The food in the Terrace Café, Waves Grill, and Grand Dining Room was generally very good and of high quality. We encountered a couple subpar dishes (watery pasta and tough steak) which our servers cheerfully replaced. Bear in mind that food onboard is typically prepared in “banquet” quantities. The exception is the food in the specialty restaurants—Tuscan Steak House and Red Ginger—which, along with the service, was absolutely outstanding. All of Sirena’s staterooms and public areas were scheduled to undergo a “sweeping array of dramatic enhancements” (in one word, refurbishing) during Spring of 2019. We don’t understand why this was necessary because the Sirena underwent a major revitalization in 2016 that gave it a fresh and elegant look. Oh, alright, the Grand Staircase with its faux skylight did look a bit cheesy. We had a few other nits to pick. The Cruise Director seemed aloof and seldom mingled with guests. The ship’s two boutiques, featuring high-end jewelry and fashion, offered relatively few moderately-priced-to-inexpensive items. We disputed two bar charges to our shipboard account. One was for “half-price sail-away mojitos” that were billed at full price; ditto “2-for-1 Happy Hour” drinks. Due to protocols, it took a while for our account to be adjusted. Apart from booze plus fees for some optional activities (e.g. Bingo) and services (e.g. Canyon Ranch Spa), Oceania is a welcome respite from companies that nickel-and-dime for every little extra. There are ZERO surcharges for alternate dining, steamed lobster, cappuccino, soda pop, ice cream treats, and room service. Internet (speed improved) is free and unlimited, a vital perk that other cruise lines have been slow to offer. Oceania’s OLife option includes roundrip airfare plus a choice of free shore excursions, free beverage package, or shipboard credit. My advice? Compare airfares first. Then, if you go for the option, request the shipboard credit (you can apply this towards gratuities) and make your own port arrangements for considerably less than the cost of Oceania’s overpriced and underwhelming shore excursions and transfers. In Cuba and elsewhere, visitors are under no obligation whatsoever to purchase the cruise line’s shore excursions. I seldom use the word “fantastic,” but this adjective perfectly describes the caliber of service we received from both our stateroom attendant and the servers in the various dining venues, all of whom were extraordinarily friendly and considerate. We celebrated a birthday onboard and the staff went far beyond the call of duty to make our occasion memorable. We’re looking forward to future cruises with Oceania. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have sailed with Oceania several times on the vessels same size as the Sirena always in Vista Suites. This time there was no Vista suite available and so based on the photos we saw in various brochures decided to go for the Penthouse ... Read More
We have sailed with Oceania several times on the vessels same size as the Sirena always in Vista Suites. This time there was no Vista suite available and so based on the photos we saw in various brochures decided to go for the Penthouse suite since we had read Oceania had done a $50 million refurbishment of the vessel. This suite was a disappointment and nothing like the modern versions shown in the brochures. The bathroom was ridiculously tiny probably no more than 6 ft. X 5 ft. although it had obviously been redone and had a glass enclosed shower instead of a bathtub a single sink and some storage space on either side. The stateroom was really a glorified balcony suite with a little extra space and by no means deserved the name "Penthouse". There was just one double door hanging closet and a single door closet containing 4 drawers and the safe and a short hanging space not long enough for shirts or pants doubled on a hanger. We had to leave about half our clothes in our suitcases. There was a cupboard that contained a mini bar behind one door with free water and soft drinks restocked daily and a 2 shelf same size space underneath. There was a very long desk with a cupboard underneath on either side supporting it one with shelves behind double doors the other with drawers behind the double doors which were a nuisance to open and close every time you took something out of a drawer. All the closets/cupboards were a drab dark brown varnish color and not the light colors shown in the brochures. The carpet was nondescript and looked soiled there was a light green sofa which had obviously been used a lot two rounded upholstered chairs which were extremely hard and a tiny table which could hold just about a tray and not a whole meal. The television was absurdly small and rolled out of the wall beside the bed it was the size of a monitor and you had to turn on your right side to see it from the bed and turn your head to the left to see it from the sofa any writing on the screen was so small you couldn't read it. The bed was comfortable as were the pillows and the headrest was a shade of blue/green. The balcony door had been redone and there were two upright wicker chairs no foot rests and another small metal table on the balcony which had railings and balcony dividers that had such wide gaps on both sides that you could see the neighbors' balconies and them sitting there - no privacy whatsoever. The Penthouse suites have a butler and a concierge desk. The butler realized we were really disappointed and unhappy with the stateroom and did his best to make our stay there as pleasant as he could and suggested we contact the concierge about it. We went to the concierge desk and spoke to the woman manning it politely about how we chose the penthouse based on the photos we saw and had no idea it would be so different. She dug out an old brochure and showed us a picture of our room and was very unresponsive and tactless and finally downright demeaning. We have never encountered treatment like this from anyone on any of the cruise lines we have traveled with and frankly we don't think she is the right person for that job. Speaking with other passengers we found several of them had the same impression as we did of the concierge and complained about her behavior. We found the rest of the vessel services and staff excellent as always. The food in the dining room was generally good the terrace café was hit and miss the specialty restaurants service and food was delicious the service exceptional. Some people complained about the quality of the steaks in Tuscan Steakhouse and did not like the merging of Tuscany and the Polo Grill because the menu is now reduced. We liked Red Ginger but not enough to go there repeatedly their tea was completely bland and insipid the tea in the Horizon's Lounge is much better. We enjoyed the ports and excursions and spent as little time as possible in that Penthouse suite. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
As this was our first visit to Cuba (but by far not our first cruise), we were a bit nervous about visas, licenses, etc. for US citizens. Oceania arranged for our Cuban visa, and we checked “Support for the Cuban People” on our license ... Read More
As this was our first visit to Cuba (but by far not our first cruise), we were a bit nervous about visas, licenses, etc. for US citizens. Oceania arranged for our Cuban visa, and we checked “Support for the Cuban People” on our license application. We had no trouble exiting the ship and finding our independently-arranged excursion guides. (We booked all of our tours ahead of time. Be sure to choose OFAC-compliant tours if you are a US citizen booking tours on your own rather than through the cruise line.) We were also a bit nervous about the condition of the ship, given some negative comments we’d read. We booked a concierge level veranda suite about 18 months prior to our sail date. The bathroom was remarkably small and not at all luxurious. The sleeping area is also very small, but of course, the Sirena is a relatively small ship with fewer than 700 guests. The bedding was very comfortable, especially after we requested a regular blanket. The down comforters are quite warm! Public rooms were in good condition, but we heard some complaints about missing tiles in the pool area. Don’t look for the bells and whistles of other lines. There are no photographers on board, the cabin attendants don’t create those clever towel animals, and from our perspective the activity schedule was very light. The lecturer, Sandy Cares, was phenomenal. We really appreciated that her lectures were recorded and available through the TV in the cabin. Food was a disappointment. We had high expectations, given how extensively Oceania promotes its culinary offerings. Presentation was careless, many dishes were bland, and several dishes either had extra ingredients or were missing ingredients. It was troubling to discover plates and utensils were dirty. On a luxury cruise line (on ANY cruise line, really) one shouldn’t have to send dishes back because they’re not as described or the serving ware is dirty. We’ve sailed on Regent and Silversea, and prefer their quality over Oceania. We absolutely appreciated the opportunity to visit Cuba, and the itinerary was excellent. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
There were several things that made this an attractive cruise: circumnavigating Cuba, sailing over New Years Eve, but being home for Christmas, and a 7 day cruise. We have sailed with Oceania a number of times, and all of their ships are ... Read More
There were several things that made this an attractive cruise: circumnavigating Cuba, sailing over New Years Eve, but being home for Christmas, and a 7 day cruise. We have sailed with Oceania a number of times, and all of their ships are excellent. They are spotlessly clean, the staff is pleasant and welcoming, and the food is excellent. This cruise was no different. We ate in all the venues, from the casual Waves, to the specialty restaurants Tuscan Grill, and Red Ginger. Each had good choices and we enjoyed them immensely. We treated ourselves to a penthouse suite, which was not extensively large, but very comfortable with good storage space, a very nice shower, and a roomy sitting area. Housekeeping and butler service were excellent. We are quite independent so did not use the butler service that much, but when we needed something, it was immediately looked after. Cuba is fascinating. There was an overnight in Havana, and we also docked in Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. We definitely felt we had stepped back in time. While there were some crumbling buildings, others had been restored or maintained. Hopefully with an increase in tourism, there will be more funds to look after the beautiful architecture. We saw Spanish Colonial, Art Deco, and of course Soviet style buildings. The old American cars were wonderful to see around every corner in Havana. There was a very comprehensive choice of excursions. Ours included a walking tour of old Havana, a ride in a beautifully maintained 1950 turquoise Chevy, a cabaret at the Tropicana (not to be missed!), a tour of colonial Trinidad which left from Cienfuegos, and a tour of sites in Santiago de Cuba, related to the revolution. Each was interesting and enjoyable in its own way. The tour guides were intelligent, spoke English well, and gave excellent information. We did have some difficulty hearing our guide in Cienfuegos. On board, there were informative and entertaining lectures given by Sandy Cares which, combined with the information on the tours, provided an insightful overview of the country. Local residents were all friendly, and many spoke some English. Entertainment was not our main focus but we enjoyed a hilarious comedian, and a talented string quartet. We did find some of the other clientele a bit rude and entitled, but we are able to hold our own. It may have been a function of the cruise being over New Years, and should not stop anyone from either sailing with Oceania or seeing Cuba. It is not typical of Oceania. Our only suggestions are that there should have been more done for New Years Eve, as this was a very expensive sailing, and more time and guidance could be given for shopping. Overall, an excellent cruise with a great itinerary. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We are experienced cruisers on both large (Celebrity, RCCL, NCL, Princess, Costa) and small (Azamara, Windstar) ships. I think our expectations were in line with the size of the ship, and of course I did quite a bit of research before ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers on both large (Celebrity, RCCL, NCL, Princess, Costa) and small (Azamara, Windstar) ships. I think our expectations were in line with the size of the ship, and of course I did quite a bit of research before leaving. We knew the bathroom was going to be small- but sheesh! The shower is REALLY small. I'm a small person and it still seemed tiny- I don't know how some people even manage to fit! The cabin itself seemed smaller than what I thought was the same cabin on the Azamara Quest. (6090, Aft) The cabin seeming small was not a big deal but what we were really disappointed in was the food and some of the policies. We had a concierge class cabin so had four nights in the specialty restaurants. I was looking forward to some nice prime rib at the Polo Grill. I ordered an "end cut" and wow-- what I got was a very under cooked (almost raw...) piece of end cut. It would have been better if they just said "sorry, we don't have any available." They took it back and "grilled" it which is not prime rib. They offered to switch it for something else but at that point I just ate the baked potato and called it a night. We thought the food was better at Toscana. I guess I heard to much about how good the food is and my expectations might have been too high. We found the service on the ship to be very good. The only other thing we were disappointed in was their so-called included laundry service for concierge class. You have to allow three days turn around time which on a 10 night trip seems a bit excessive. They do say the included laundry is only "fluff and fold" and boy was that correct! I used the included pressing of four items which resolved some of the fluff and fold problem but not all of it. When we booked our trip the only thing available was concierge class-- not sure it was worth the extra cost on the smaller ships but we were okay with it as we wanted this timing and itinerary. From what I have read most seem to enjoy the concierge lounge on the larger ships. My other issue was that their policy allows scooters or wheelchairs to be in the hallway. As long as the cleaning carts can get by they let them stay there. I mentioned this to the front desk as I seem to remember that most cruise ships do not allow this. If you hit rough seas they become flying missiles that could hurt employees or passengers. She said "they don't have enough accessible cabins so this is our way around it." When someone gets hurt my guess is they will change the policy,,,,,, They brought out Christmas decorations around the 15th of December which were very nice. I thought the entertainment was good for a small ship and the cruise director, Shawn Carter, was very good. He did some entertainment one afternoon and we enjoyed that quite a bit. I also really enjoyed Constantine Dragulov, a pianist and vocalist. All in all I don't think we'd return to Oceania. Some of the employees were terrific, (such as bartender Desi and sommelier Andre) and all were at least adequate. With that said, I don't want to be the one that has a scooter come flying at me! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We were pleasantly surprised by the outstanding cabin! Renovations are outstanding! Service and food the entire cruise was excellent --- no matter where we ate. The eggs benedict was outstanding at the Terrace Cafe! Fresh muffin, Canadian ... Read More
We were pleasantly surprised by the outstanding cabin! Renovations are outstanding! Service and food the entire cruise was excellent --- no matter where we ate. The eggs benedict was outstanding at the Terrace Cafe! Fresh muffin, Canadian bacon with freshly poached egg and topped with outstanding Hollandaise sauce. Yum! In fact all the selections in the Terrace Cafe were excellent --- spoiled by all the servers who were there to please. My husband fell in love with the extra thick chocolate shake in Waves. Grand Dining room had excellent food and service, but at times could be slow and a bit frustrating. If you needed something "out of the ordinary" it was hard to get the item. Polo and Toscano Specialty restaurants were both excellent! Entertainment was varied and good. The singers were extremely talented and the Frank Sinatra impersonator was outstanding! The Martini Bar piano player and entertainer at one of the big shows was excellent. Martinis were outstanding! The enrichment lectures could have been better --- we expected to hear more about Cuba's history and politics. The presentations were limited and bland -- that was disappointing. Excursions on Cienfuegos were the best; though the one going to Colonial Trinidad in Santiago was very interesting and good. The buffet lunch in one of the local restaurants was delicious. Time was limited in Havana ... would have been good if we'd been able to see a Tropicana Show there and had more shopping time to get cigars & local crafts.. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Three couples from their 60-80s wanted to see Cuba in luxury . This cruise overnights in Havana ( could have used another day) and had two more interesting ports. We had been on the Sirena when it was owned by Princess. We took the same ... Read More
Three couples from their 60-80s wanted to see Cuba in luxury . This cruise overnights in Havana ( could have used another day) and had two more interesting ports. We had been on the Sirena when it was owned by Princess. We took the same cabin ( now called penthouse suite) on Princess in Tahiti it was called a mini suite. It is a large lovely room with a renovated bathroom. The other two couples took A1 thinking their cabins would be like the new Marina. They spent the whole cruise complaining about the tiny shower with a flapping curtain. My cabin had a terrific walk in glass enclosed shower with great storage and wonderful bed and bedding. Towels are fluffy. Bring an electric surge protector as there are limited outlets. Balcony is skinny and the two wicker chairs have no footrests . I stuck my feet thru the railings. The food is very good, especially the two specialty restaurants Tuscan Grill and Red Ginger. The miso sea bass melts in your mouth. The main dinning room has service shortages. They are running around like chickens without heads. The buffet is ok and Waves makes a great burger at lunch. Ice cream is everywhere. Entertainment is poor. The Sinatra show the best. The young singers try hard but except for a funny ventriloquist it is pretty bad. The cruise director runs a great cut throat trivia that we found fun. The real problem are the excursions. Oceania messes up royally. We spent hours picking our tours and booked the passport collection. Very pricey as you cannot legally go off on your own. The ship gets the $75 visa for you. There are two US government officials on board watching. Some people did it anyway and took their chances. Tours were canceled the day before. Some were flipped from morning to afternoon then the morning tour came back late and you couldn’t go. No time to take a ride in the cars unless you book it as a $450 excursion. No reimbursement or apology. Told it was Cuba’s fault but I paid my money to Oceania! The best was the Tropicana nightclub . And you can take phone photos no charge. Spectacular!! The young tour guides spoke English well and just want the Embargo over. The country is very poor. Beautiful colonial buildings so shabby . The classic cars fabulous to see. A very interesting trip. Great hot room service breakfasts on port days. I would definitely go back. And a cruise makes it a comfortable way to see it. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
My husband and I were on Oceania Marina for the Baltic cruise a few years ago, so we expected similar experience this time even though it's a different ship. Somehow Sirena did not turn out as good as Marina. Even though Sirena was ... Read More
My husband and I were on Oceania Marina for the Baltic cruise a few years ago, so we expected similar experience this time even though it's a different ship. Somehow Sirena did not turn out as good as Marina. Even though Sirena was refurbished two years, it still shows some wear and tear. The bathroom is a bit small. But the bed and pillows are very comfortable. Food in the Grand Dining Room is not as good as Marina, so are the Specialty Restaurants. Red Ginger is a disappointment as the food is too salty. Service-wise, the crew and room attendants are very friendly but not as personable. I do not know whether it is due to a shorter cruise this time. We only joined one ship excursion in Santiago de Cuba. It is very disappointing as the guide brought us to watch a traditional Cuban performance which was not listed on the description. The time would have been better spent in the historical city center. Besides, when we were at the Morro Castle, the guide just dropped us off to wander around, without giving any information about the different areas of the castle. We chose Oceania mainly because of itinerary and the anticipated good food served on the ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Three ports in Cuba - having been to all the major islands in the Caribbean we decide on something different. Cruise food and staff were wonderful! As soon as you sit down anywhere they ask if you want water, coffee, drinks. Very ... Read More
Three ports in Cuba - having been to all the major islands in the Caribbean we decide on something different. Cruise food and staff were wonderful! As soon as you sit down anywhere they ask if you want water, coffee, drinks. Very friendly staff but not pushy. All non-alcoholic beverages are included. Food quality was great - lobster in the dining room, specialty restaurants and even a lobster sandwich by the pool grill. Small ship had a much more intimate vibe to it and nothing was crowded - no lines anywhere. There were lectures on the ports and history of Cuba every day. The lecturer was excellent. It is quite a lot more expensive than Royal or Carnival. Also, if you want glitzy shows and entertainment then it is not for you. It is laid-back and classy. Cuban people are so friendly! Recommend doing something local like the Buena Vista social club in Havana. Our private guide in Cienfuegos took us to a very good private restaurant where we had small shrimps, rice and beans and plantains. Guide (tonycubavacations@gmail.com) was very knowledgable and spoke perfect English. The cost of the all day tour was reasonable compared to the ship tours. All in all it was an excellent trip for someone who likes to explore and relax. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We previously sailed on the Insignia. We have never been to Cuba before and the cruise stopped at three ports in Cuba. The embarkation was a little slow for a smaller ship. The dining was very good in all the restaurants on board. The Wi ... Read More
We previously sailed on the Insignia. We have never been to Cuba before and the cruise stopped at three ports in Cuba. The embarkation was a little slow for a smaller ship. The dining was very good in all the restaurants on board. The Wi Fi access is free one device per cabin. The speed was very slow at times and some websites would time out before I could login. The cabin size was okay with a veranda. There was limited desk space. There were cabinets and shelves all around to store clothes and personal items. The bathroom was small with a shower and limited shelves. The lightning in the cabin was very good. There were USB ports on both sides of the bed and on the desk. There was one 220 V and 110 V outlet on the desk. There are two banks of elevators on the ship one aft and one forward. The ship was was recently remodeled. The entertainment was very good one show per night. There were activities every day, There is a full casino and bars on different decks on the ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
What a great opportunity and way to experience Cuba! We had the over-the-top comfort and dining of Oceania, and lots of time to experience this interesting country. With an overnight in Havana, we packed more excursions and time ... Read More
What a great opportunity and way to experience Cuba! We had the over-the-top comfort and dining of Oceania, and lots of time to experience this interesting country. With an overnight in Havana, we packed more excursions and time ashore than would have been possible with other lines that only spend a few hours in the port. Then, getting to experience two cities on the south side of the island provided a unique contrast. While the onboard crowd was a tad bit 'older' than we prefer, the ship's activities fit the bill. And the entertainment was the BEST we've ever experienced on a ship!! The cast worked so well together, have fantastic vocal harmony, and made excellent choices when it came to musical numbers. The couple that provided dance numbers were also soooo good. Then we had sessions where that couple taught us several ballroom dances (now I just need to practice!). Oceania also provided excellent Enrichment talks about Cuba and the history of the area! We highly recommend not only this cruise line, but this itinerary! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This was our first time on Oceania. We've done a bunch of Caribbean cruises over the years, and kinda got burnt out on it, but the lure of Cuba made this cruise of interest to me. I know Oceania makes a big deal about their food, ... Read More
This was our first time on Oceania. We've done a bunch of Caribbean cruises over the years, and kinda got burnt out on it, but the lure of Cuba made this cruise of interest to me. I know Oceania makes a big deal about their food, and for the most part I would say that they delivered. The dinners that we had in specialty restaurants Red Ginger, and Tuscan Steak were outstanding (5 star). The Grand dining room was excellent too, but just not quite on the same level as the specialty rooms. The only complaint my wife had was about the "lobster bisque" which she ordered both in the Tuscan Steak, and in the main dining room. She said it tasted like fish soup, not lobster bisque. Now I know I'm being a bit picky here, and if this was our only complaint, well then things weren't so bad. The stateroom was adequate, with the bathroom being very small. I was prepared for this though, as I had previously read comments online regarding this. Decor on the ship itself was very elegant, but unfortunately Oceania is intent on mucking this up next year by refurbishing their ships using some sort of boring, modern, monochromatic gray color scheme that came from a Marriott hotel somewhere in Newark, NJ. Too bad that they are going to do away with the elegance of this ship. But for me the best part of the cruise was the 4 o'clock High Tea in Horizons. Just a surreal experience looking out at the ocean while the string quartet was playing, eating finger sandwiches and miniature tarts. Just grand. Would I cruise on Oceania again? You bet I would, but this time probably with a European, or Asian itinerary. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My husband and I love the small ships and have sailed on the old Rennaisance line ships under Princess and Azamara as well as Oceania. The Regatta is scheduled for renovation, and it is sorely needed. They HAVE to do something with the ... Read More
My husband and I love the small ships and have sailed on the old Rennaisance line ships under Princess and Azamara as well as Oceania. The Regatta is scheduled for renovation, and it is sorely needed. They HAVE to do something with the main showroom but it will be a challenge. This cruise was very relaxing, from Miami through the Panama Canal to LA. And we live close to LA so disembarking in Los Angeles is one of the wonderful features of this cruise. Both the service on the ship and the food were terrific. The Entertainment staff was extremely talented and did a great job. If I had a complaint it might have been that both the speakers were covering mainly the same topic, and since there were seven sea days, a little variety would have been appreciated. Also, the ship's choice of movies was dismal, and with seven sea days, a first run movie in the afternoon would not have cost them very much but might have been quite popular. Unfortunately the Ship's personnel had to give us all the government issued warnings on our trip to Havana, such as no "person to person" contact etc. We were scared into taking a bus tour of Havana, one of the ship's excursions and we regretted the choice. It was as bland as it could be. We heard everything the young man was told to tell us, there was no music, no food, no contact with a Cuban other than the guide, no chance to view all the artwork available in the markets. It was boring. We spent over 1/2 hour at the cemetary and that was one of the highlights. Some of the passengers went off on their own and did quite well. We envied them. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We are a couple in our mid-50s. The demographics on this cruise, and likely most Oceania cruises, are a small number in their 50s or younger, with the majority who are retirees in their 60s and 70s, and likely a few in their 80s or older. ... Read More
We are a couple in our mid-50s. The demographics on this cruise, and likely most Oceania cruises, are a small number in their 50s or younger, with the majority who are retirees in their 60s and 70s, and likely a few in their 80s or older. We saw a lot of walking canes, one oxygen cart, handful of wheelchairs, and that's OK - live life to the fullest and don't let anything hold you back. We like Holland America and have cruised a number of times as a couple with them but also with our children when they were young and then as teenagers. The comedian made a joke about the geriatric crowd on Holland America but seriously, the demographics on this were not much different. To put our comments into perspective, we are experienced cruises on our 43rd cruise, having sailed previously with Cunard (Platinum), Princess (Platinum), Holland America (3-star Mariner), Disney (Gold Castaway) and 4 cruises with Celebrity (Classic level, I think), two with Royal Caribbean and a river cruise with Vantage. We have some older neighbours (in their early 70s) who have been regulars with Oceania and were disappointed at how the standards have gone down over the years and have now moved on to Crystal. We therefore went into this with low expectations but we must say that this cruise greatly exceeded our expectations and we had a wonderful time. We know that there are many who are loyal to Oceania and for them, there is just no other line to travel with. Our experiences with a vast variety of cruise lines have allowed us to see that each has its strength and weaknesses, and that remains the case here with Oceania. First, the strengths. The slogan “Finest Cuisine at Sea” was accurate as far as our experiences were concerned. Of the 6 lines we have cruised with, we would definitely rate this #1 for cuisine. Celebrity (Solstice class) and Disney come next, followed by Princess, HAL and Cunard in the third tier and Royal Caribbean at the bottom. The Main Dining Room with unique such as Jacques Bistro and the Taste of the World sampler plate at lunch, with unique offerings from dinner, including items from Tuscan Steak and Red Ginger was thoroughly enjoyable. We also enjoyed the few times we ate at the buffet at dinner time to take advantage of the cooked-to-order fish, steak, lamb chops and lobster tails. The library, the unlimited sodas, smoothies, specialty coffees was especially nice treat. We dined once at Tuscan Steak and Red Ginger. Both are great atmospheres although the ribeye was tougher than I expected. The weaknesses are not a big issue. We really like the entertainment on large ships with huge productions but the one show each night at 9:30 pm is good for the size of ship. Great vocals overall, one dancing couple, great music from the ship`s 5 piece band, supplemented with the string quartet at times. We were in a C2 category Deluxe Oceanview in stateroom 4000. While the rooms are on the small size at about 165 sq ft., these bathrooms are the smallest we have ever experienced, not just the shower but the entire layout was very unfriendly. We went to Great Stirrup Cay, nice and compares ok with other ship private islands but nothing close to meeting the standard at Disney's Castaway Cay. Cuba was interesting. The $479 (for two) cost of the "Modern Havana in an American Classic" which included a 90 minute classic car ride as part of a 3.5 hour tour was outrageously costly. Depends on how important it was to do this excursion. Overall, a very nice cruise and a pleasant way to see Cuba. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The ship stayed in Cuba for the entire cruise which was great. Absolutely loved Cuba. In Havana the city tour is a must in order to learn about life there. We also did a farm to table ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The ship stayed in Cuba for the entire cruise which was great. Absolutely loved Cuba. In Havana the city tour is a must in order to learn about life there. We also did a farm to table experience which was amazing. As far as the cruise experience we were so excited to take a “luxury”cruise! However, we found ourselves wondering when the luxury was going to start. An upgrade got us a bottle of champagne nothing more (most expensive champagne ever!). Average cruise meals, average cruise wines and to our surprise the “free” drink package was a total joke. It included wine at dinner only which was a shock!! What? The entertainment was average as were the specialty restaurants. Of course we had to pay another $160 to “upgrade”. There was absolutely no difference in that cruise than any other cruise I’ve been on. In fact I think Royal Caribbean is a much better cruise experience and the cost is half of an Oceania cruise. Also, FYI the ship is OLD and needs a refurbishment, and the pool was tiny. To sum it up, loved the destination but did not understand why Oceania claims to be a luxury cruise line. Lesson learned. Read Less
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