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4 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
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
The itinerary was the main attraction, plus decent reviews. I'll start with the positives. Embarkation was easy. Service in all areas was really good. End of positives. The ship rode poorly, even in fairly calm seas. ... Read More
The itinerary was the main attraction, plus decent reviews. I'll start with the positives. Embarkation was easy. Service in all areas was really good. End of positives. The ship rode poorly, even in fairly calm seas. Constant bumping noises & feelings for the first 2 days , for no apparent reason. Stateroom ( Concierge Veranda ) - lots of creaking noises - had to jam pieces of cardboard in several areas so we could sleep. Also way too small for the price. Veranda tiny. Cruise director - loud PA announcements as early as 7:45 - could not possibly sleep late if you so desired. Unnecessary announcements several times a day - just repeating the info in the daily newsletter. Food - sometimes very good, but quite a few times inedible. This was true in all dining rooms. Food mostly bland, possibly catering to the passenger makeup - average age was well into the eighties. Lunch buffet pathetic. If you wanted a drink pre-dinner, good luck finding a seat. Extremely limited. Shows - mediocre. One comedian was really good, all other shows no better than the lower priced ships. No way we would ever sail with Oceania again. Read Less
5 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: December 2018
The oceania riviera desperately needs dry dock updates & upgrades. The same carpet stains from last year's cruise were still there a year later. The carpet is in horrible condition and the wood on the ship needs touch-up's. ... Read More
The oceania riviera desperately needs dry dock updates & upgrades. The same carpet stains from last year's cruise were still there a year later. The carpet is in horrible condition and the wood on the ship needs touch-up's. The ship was scheduled to be in dry dock during 2018, but oceania elected to defer this update until april of 2019, and that poor decision is reflected in the environment on the ship. The internet connection speed on the oceania riviera was horribly slow. Oceania opened up "free internet to all" but should have upgraded their system before doing so to handle that bigger demand. We have been on other larger ships that have blazing fast internet speeds, so oceania needs to get their act together on this immediately. We hear the oceania riviera will be in dry dock in april of 2019, so this needs to be a priority upgrade. We were on the oceania riviera during christmas of 2018 and new years, when all of the bowl games were being played. The ship does not have espn and most other major network tv coverage. It's 2019 oceania - please get with the times and get major network coverage that your competition already has!! One port of call was roseau, dominica. This should not be a port of call due to massive devistation from a hurricane that happened over a year ago. Roads had been washed away during the hurricane and flooding, and two way traffic was trying to navigate a single lane on mountainous roads that were way too dangerous to travel on. There were washed-away sections of the road that had jagged edges from fast flowing water. There was a very dangerous mountainous road that could have given way and caused a shuttle van to fall several hundred feet, which would have killed everyone onboard the shuttle. This is an accident waiting to happen so oceania should remove dominica as a port of call. Much of the fitness equipment was old and in poor condition. The oceania riviera ship's staff tries hard to please, but we had a bad experience with the shore excursion staff, which has poor management and untrained staff. Since we cruised on this ship one year earlier, there was an overall downward shift in the quality of the ship's condition and the attitude/training of the staff. The oceania riviera ship has a lot of potential, but its future success depends heavily on oceania making good management decisions and the right update/upgrade decisions for the scheduled april 2019 dry-dock. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Embarkation was great & smooth (vs. disembarkation which was a rotten experience; later). Rio de Janeiro was interesting to see with beaches, Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf. The city is a typical Latin city that is overcrowded ... Read More
Embarkation was great & smooth (vs. disembarkation which was a rotten experience; later). Rio de Janeiro was interesting to see with beaches, Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf. The city is a typical Latin city that is overcrowded and dirty. Spent a lot of time in traffic. Food however was excellent; fast, tasty & uniquely served. The next port was a non+, pretty much a repeat of Rio without the great attraction. Two cities in Uruguay were like the Riviera, clean very safe. Buenos Aires was more of Rio. Walk with the penguins was good but a long drive from port & a lot more walking to the ocean. Great welcome center but the bathrooms at the park were HORRIBLE; 3 of 5 toilets were broken, stalls had no paper and toilets were barely usable with no flush water (TP was on ONE roll outside the stalls). For the money that goes into that park, they need to do a better job! Rode a great train in Ushuaia, a new, replica of a 0*1*1*0 Garratt. The first port in Chile was a nice walk in the Antarctic rain forest, along a river to a great water fall, + a wine tasting at the end. Disembarked in Chile at San Antonio and traveled to Santiago. We had to CLEAR the ship by 0900. There was one gang-way for entrance of new crew and departing passenger. There was no order and no one controlling exiting passenger; it was a group, screwed-up mess (Viet Nam vets have an expression that I cannot use here - like cluster...). Groups were called before there was room to accommodate them for disembarkation. Long walk to buses (& I mean long). We took a shore excursion since our flight did not leave until 950 PM. Drive into Santiago was nice, stopped for snack on the way a cute little restaurant. In the city, typical traffic & inability to stop to & see points of interest. One local craft market that was overpriced and then a fancy mall for lunch (on our own). We at seafood of Abalone, potato salad and greens; delicious! Then on to the airport. WE STOOD for two hours before we could even check in, THOUSANDS of disembarked ship's passengers. This was INEXCUSABLE! I will never depart from Santiago, Chile again!!! Worse than De Gaul in Paris. Overall life on ship was great, great staff, great food & VERY comfortable accommodations. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Let me start with a few positive comments that made me glad I was able to have this experience at least once. The finest thing about the trip was the bed. It was gloriously comfortable. Magical. I move a lot when I sleep and the bed seemed ... Read More
Let me start with a few positive comments that made me glad I was able to have this experience at least once. The finest thing about the trip was the bed. It was gloriously comfortable. Magical. I move a lot when I sleep and the bed seemed to make me comfortable no matter how much a moved around. Not too hard and not too soft. Cool. Like a dream cloud with support. Amazing. Fine linens, bedding. Pillows were divine. Still, you can buy the bedding and stay home. I'll explain. The ship is beautiful. Gorgeous lobby, etc. Of course, one doesn't dine or stay in the lobby. It was just nice to look at and pass through. Now for the not so nice stuff. First, the ship claims to have internet service which is technically true. In practice you will have spotty and poor service about 60 percent of the time. You will be completely without service the remainder of that time. The connection is very slow and not intended for viewing videos nor for working much with photographs. Stick to an email or message in text. And if you need to work on the cruise, this isn't really going to work for you. We travelled with the CEO of a company, and he had to wait until we were on an island or city on land to send and receive proper messages. That frequently meant a one or two day delay, and had to be accomplished with internet service not provided by the cruise line. If you are a millenial, you'd say there was no internet service at all. One kind lady told me that I was on vacation, and said that being connected to the outside world shouldn't be a priority. I suppose she's right, but I still believe in full disclosure. You will get fired from your job if you think you can work on the ship in a timely manner or are in IT and had planned on a work/play vacation. I rate the internet service and lack of disclosures at a 2 out of 10. Even the crappy service requires a long list of signing in and out and other manipulations that the average techy will find extremely cumbersome. The real killer, though, was the sales gig. There are many opportunities to spend money, but again they fail in lack of disclosure. If you bank with cash and a debit card, you'll be harassed for the entire trip. They prefer a credit card (I don't use "credit" cards) and they will pin notes to your door and ring your room at all hours of the day and night in a horrific collection attempt while you're still very much stuck on their freaking ship. They will tell all your other family members or persons traveling with you what you have or have not paid for, and which cards or cash you have used to pay or not pay for anything and everything. They will treat you like a thief and a threat. They will be unhelpful and impolite in their fervor for collection efforts. By the time I was ready to leave the boat, I had to borrow $300 dollars from a family member to pay off the various gratuities and undisclosed other charges while they treated me like a serial murderer on a cruise that cost 10K between one brother and myself. Why? When they book your airfare (assuming you get the airfare is in the overall package) they will book you on the cheapest worst most indirect flight on the wrong seat. They had me flying for two days from LAX to Miami in a middle seat in the back of the plane. By the time we paid for checked bags, additional fees for the seat, and a nonstop flight I was out another $500 just one the plane ticket fiasco. I still had to fly on an overnight flight, and spend 8 hours awaiting to "check in" after a night of no sleep on the plane. Yes, they treated to a breakfast at a local hotel. That helped for an hour of that time. I'm surprised the hotel they took us to during the daytime didn't have us all arrested for vagrancy. We all looked like half asleep zombies as we walked around the lobby in circles for six more hours. They should also disclose to passengers that EVEN IF YOU HAVE AN INTERNATIONAL DIALING PLAN, that you will still charge up your phone bill if you dare make an actual phone call during your trip. Those calls are not originating in the US and as such are $6 a minute....regardless of your "international dialing plan." Two, one half hour calls to my bank in France cost me $300 on my phone bill. If you like to count, you can see that I'm out over $800 bucks on plane charges and phone calls, without counting the $300 I took on board in cash for penny cash needs. And then the $300 I borrowed to get out of there alive before they had me sleeping in the halls or on a life boat which I offered to them as an alternative if they couldn't wait for me to get the cash limit on my DEBIT card raised for them and their tender CREDIT CARD preference on board.They really need to work on disclosing realistic cash needs on board PRIOR to boarding. This almost ruined my trip and caused petty fights among family members at Christmas time. I finally went down to the lovely Lalique filled lobby and chewed out the reception desk over their unscrupulous collection efforts on board, their skanky and undisclosed poor internet service, the missed ports (due to rain), and the extra charges and they offered me a bottle of wine... the off brand stuff. I'm giving the cruise an average rating because it was a horrible experience on board unless you were asleep or on land. The ship is a luxury ship and the 10K they collected up front on the room still had them acting like they would die for the last $300 bucks. I told them to stop the calls and notes, and to feel free to call the police if I tried to jump ship without paying. I guess all that money was for the bed. I can get that at Macy's without the pressure of a harassed existence on a ship with no internet that can't drop anchor when it rains. Had they acted better I'd have raised this review to a 4 out of 5 stars. As it is, I'm going to be nice and not lash out with a 1 star rating. Average.3 stars. That's fair. Take Oceania at least once. I'll say that. Oh, I met some nice people on board. The barista was gorgeous too. The restaurants are good and the service impeccable there. The entertainment was also good. The excursions were a cut above if expensive. Better ferries, better buses, etc. They do have a wine list that lets you know just how cheap the complimentary bottle was. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Manly booked this for the itinerary. It was a 12 night - Venice to Barcelona . 11-1-18 to 11-13-18. Excursions were not as described. The stops listed were not accurate. One location did not have the handicrafts village as highlighted. ... Read More
Manly booked this for the itinerary. It was a 12 night - Venice to Barcelona . 11-1-18 to 11-13-18. Excursions were not as described. The stops listed were not accurate. One location did not have the handicrafts village as highlighted. Another town was completely closed on the day we were there. Nothing to see at all! They return you back to the ship 2-3 hours before ship left port. Not enough time given to sights that were available. Big waste of money. The destination desk personnel were useless and could care less. This Cruise line is over rated. Horrible entertainment. It doesn't exist. First time on Oceania and probably the last. Expected more from a so called upper class sailing. This is also not recommended for any one who is handicap. All ports of call and the excursions we were part of would be a real challenge for those who are handicap. The food was very good compared to other Cruise lines. But do NOT touch anything or the food Nazis will repremand you. Sparkling water and soft drinks are all included. As for cocktails, way over priced. Friends were charged $56.00 for 2 drinks in the main dining room because he made the mortal mistake of ordering a " double" rum and coke. He only made that mistake once. The staff were very good and attended to all your needs in the beginning of this itinerary, but slowly declined as the days passed. It seemed as though many have had enough and were anxious to go home, as this was their final voyage for the season. As previously noted the worst was the " Destinations" personnel. They could care less about anything. For your O Life choice, do yourself a favor and use the ship board credit. The free excursions are NOT the way to go! Go with an outside company or explore on your own. It should also be noted that this was not a voyage for families with young children. They would be extremely board due to the lack of entertainment and the ports of call. It's catered towards the adults. For the fees charged on this line, we expected a little more. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
This is the first time we have used Oceania. We chose this cruise because it is about the only cruise line which circum navigates Cuba. This gave us the opportunity to visit 3 ports, Havana for 2 days, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. ... Read More
This is the first time we have used Oceania. We chose this cruise because it is about the only cruise line which circum navigates Cuba. This gave us the opportunity to visit 3 ports, Havana for 2 days, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. We also chose Oceania because we have friends who rave about Oceania service and the food. We boarded the ship with very high expectations. Firstly, let me say the staff on Oceania are second to none. They are friendly, helpful and hospitable. Our steward did a remarkable job keeping our cabin up to the mark. The food presentation is remarkable, all food including the buffet presented beautifully. However, the ship itself is old and tired. And it shows. We were told that 4 of Oceania ships are getting a $100 Million refurbish in the future, which will make a big difference. We bought the premium drinks package, and they do serve premium brands. At happy hour there was such a rush on drinks, we were able to wait until the bars had cleared and there was seating in the lounges because of the package. Otherwise there was always a queue of people waiting for drinks. The staff at these times are flat out, but other staff were not recruited to help out. The food itself was disappointing at times. Breakfast in the Terrace Cafe (buffet) was very good, and food was served by staff rather than helping ourselves (possibly because of contamination). Meals at Lunch also very good, both in the Terrace Cafe and the Main Dining Room. In the Terrace Cafe, at the salad bar, the same dressing was served every day when we ate there, no other choices offered. Service was always very good in these venues. Dinner at Red Ginger and the Steakhouse excellent. Dinner in the Main Dining Room in the evenings was a bit hit and miss. Two of my meals, the Osso Bucco and the Roast Lamb were practically inedible. The Osso Bucco was dry and stringy and the Roast Lamb, although rolled, was tough and dry. My husband also had Roast Lamb, his was much better, so we shared it. Mint sauce was not offered and when we requested it, never arrived. We liked the small ship concept of Oceania. However, the age of the ship did not appeal to us. Would we go on Oceania again? Possibly, if the itinerary was something that appealed. However, we went to the Future Cruises Talk and there is nothing new for us for the next couple of years. The one cruise we would have considered, from Santiago to Auckland NZ is available for 2019, but not 2020 when we would like to do it. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We choose this cruise for the itinerary and only one sea day. The food and service in the main dining room and the speciality restaurants was the worst we have ever had on any of the 49 cruises we have done. In the Toscana restaurant I had ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the itinerary and only one sea day. The food and service in the main dining room and the speciality restaurants was the worst we have ever had on any of the 49 cruises we have done. In the Toscana restaurant I had pasta which was tasteless we waited a good ½ hour between courses. In the Polo restaurant they had on the menu Kobe steak, when I ordered it I was informed that it was a Burger which means it could be any type of meat. I chose the Rack of lamb which i could not chew it was so tough. In the main restaurant i had a stir fry which consisted of a watery curry base with slices of carrot and cabbage which i did not eat.This was the first cruise where my wife and I came home the same weight as we left. The entertainment consisted of singers and dancers and a singing ventriloquist who performed twice he was very average . There were two stops which were cancelled due to sea as it was too rough for the tenders to take us in. We were told that we would have to see the US customs on board at 8am before we got off the ship so everyone was up early when the Captain announced at 8am that we would not be stopping. This wasn't a cheap cruise so we expected a lot more for the amount we paid. Never again will we cruise with this company. Read Less
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