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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
The Riviera cruise (Oceania) was very satisfying on a number of levels, because of what they call ‘enrichment experiences’. On a culinary level, there is a choice between speciality restaurants serving some exceptional food (at no ... Read More
The Riviera cruise (Oceania) was very satisfying on a number of levels, because of what they call ‘enrichment experiences’. On a culinary level, there is a choice between speciality restaurants serving some exceptional food (at no extra cost) to the grand dining room that caters to the bulk of the passenger compliment. (The mass market) Service is attentive and exemplary but not the unobtrusive ‘British’ type of service that I prefer. Instead it is more of the false “how ya all doing, how was your day” introduction accompanied with an ear-to-ear smile. Dentistry on board, for the crew, must be of a high level??? On an emotional level it was satisfying. I know that I am over weight and am carrying 7 – 10 kg more than I should. The demographic on board makes me feel anorexic and there is no need to refuse that rich dessert. Yummy On a cultural level, there are all those ‘enrichment’ opportunities. An art school, a cooking school, educational guest speakers, karaoke (if that can be called enrichment), Trivia and a host of entertainment performances ranging from the exceptional to the ……. well let’s just say less than exceptional, with the opportunity of experiencing both giving the audience the opportunity of making their own judgement call.1 On a sight seeing level. Some tours started at 8:00 am and others as late as 12:00. This mix meant that on some days the alarm went off as the sun rose, and on other days one could enjoy a more relaxed morning. With all tours that we took, we were able to enjoy a scrumptious, not weigh limiting, afternoon tea. A custom that I could easily become accustomed to. No tour was full. (Very important) Busses were never more than about 50% full, by design. Some tours had multiple busses all only half full. This is important as the tour guides could talk to the group whilst out and about, without having to resort to having to use radio transmitters and earphones. This also reduces the risk of participants wandering off, causing delays for the rest of us. On an organisational level. ‘Herding’ over one thousand people can be an issue. At no time did I ever get that part of a herd impression. Boarding cruises as well as boarding the vessel initially, were all very well managed. On a financial level. They do not have a hand in your wallet at every turn. Most things are free with the exception of alcoholic drinks. (which are not cheap) Soft drinks, tea and scones, bottled water and entertainment are all available at no extra charge. On a relaxational level. My late mother had an expression ‘half baked’. Any person who came up with a dumb idea was ‘half baked’ Fortunately the ship provides ample opportunity for passenger to complete the baking process on sun loungers around the pool. Originating from colder northern hemisphere climes, perhaps they are not as much aware of the consequences as are passenger from Australasia. For those who prefer a more strenuous activity, there is a gym that I promised myself that I would visit frequently, but did not, as well as the usual deck games and golf putting. One afternoon, there was an on-selling promotional activity where guest were invited to listen to a presentation about future tours. One was ‘around the world in 180 days’ Six months of on-board life style would kill me! But a back to back cruise of perhaps 18 to 21 days? Well that is something to add to the bucket list. 1) During a song and dance routine, I had the impression that one of the dancers very nearly dropped another dancer. Not the way to ‘reject’ a lady’s advances in front of hundreds of on-lookers. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We went on a seven night cruise aboard the Riviera stopping in Key West, Trujillo (Honduras), Belize City (Belize), and Cozumel (Mexico). This was our first cruise ever (as a child I had once done an Atlantic crossing, but this was back in ... Read More
We went on a seven night cruise aboard the Riviera stopping in Key West, Trujillo (Honduras), Belize City (Belize), and Cozumel (Mexico). This was our first cruise ever (as a child I had once done an Atlantic crossing, but this was back in the 1970s), and we kind of splurged, celebrating my wife's speedy recovery from intensive surgery. We had an Oceania Suite, with over 1,000 square feet. The Riviera, simply put, is of pure elegance. She is not gaudy or over the top, but a thoughtfully put together example of fine design. The dining venues are wonderful, the staff and service highly trained and very international. The food choices were, to the most part, far better than very good. It was kind of funny - some people preferred, for example, the Red Ginger restaurant (Asian) over Polo's (steak house), so we did not go to Polo's with high expectations, only to be pleasantly surprised by the high quality. The Riviera is a more expensive ship, and therefore the audience that can afford to travel on her generally tends to consist on older retirees, so expect to see very few younger people. This has an adverse effect on the entertainment choices - musical selections in the Riviera Lounge, the only stage on the ship, were of a bygone era. Though the performers were very good, the actual productions simply failed to move us. Shore excursions ranged from so-so to very good. Trujillo still needs a lot of development - the town has just recently started to accept cruises. The glass-bottomed boat in Key West was a pure blast. We went to see the ancient Maya ruins in Belize - this was a very well put together tour, with expert guides. Cozumel was a lot of fun - this is the Caribbean's second-highest earner in cruise ship revenues, at the heels of St. Maarten. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We were quite disappointed with this cruise, as we have cruised Oceania a few times in the past and have always loved our stay on board. We joined the ship in Buenos Aires and sailed to Rio de Janeiro . To be fair, the ship had an ... Read More
We were quite disappointed with this cruise, as we have cruised Oceania a few times in the past and have always loved our stay on board. We joined the ship in Buenos Aires and sailed to Rio de Janeiro . To be fair, the ship had an outbreak of Noro Virus and the crew seemed to spend all their free time cleaning and sanitizing the ship, but unfortunately the virus lasted all cruise. We felt sorry for the crew having all this extra work, as they are all over-worked as it is. Needless to say this led to a very unhappy atmosphere on the ship. We are used to being made welcome with a smiling and friendly staff, but we felt unwelcome and just a nuisance. The front desk staff were the least friendly of any cruise we have been on, and when we had a query they made no attempt to get back to us and let us know the status of the issue. I requested a refund for the internet because we had been overcharged, and I showed them all the details, but they just ignored it. Fortunately there was not much money involved but it was just the principle of the thing. Food was excellent, as always, but the entertainment left a lot to be desired. We had the same two entertainers three times in the 12 days we were on board. They were good, but we all needed some variety. Two of the other entertainers were brought back twice! The singers and dancers for the other nights were delightful and a nice breath of fresh air. Some of the ports left a lot to be desired, but others, like Buzios in Brazil were a joy to visit. I do not like writing a negative review, and have never done so before, after 45 cruises, but I just do not feel Oceania is now up to the stand we had been used to. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
CRUISE ON THE OCEANIA RIVERIA DEPARING FEB 22, 2016. CABIN 7122 I have waited some time to reflect on this cruise, calm down and get over my disappointment and disgust. This was to be my first luxury cruise. As it turned out it was the ... Read More
CRUISE ON THE OCEANIA RIVERIA DEPARING FEB 22, 2016. CABIN 7122 I have waited some time to reflect on this cruise, calm down and get over my disappointment and disgust. This was to be my first luxury cruise. As it turned out it was the cruise from hell for the reasons listed below. Because of the reasons listed below it will also be my last on an Oceania cruise ship. 1. No notification that the prior cruise came in early due to norovirus, which had we known, we would have cancelled so that we would not be exposed to any lingering effects of the virus. 2. Long delay until we were able to get the room/more staff should have been on hand to handle the backlog that you knew would occur. Also water and snacks could have been served. 3. Bad crew attitude/unresponsive/little English 4. Our cabin was quite dirty with stained carpets and severe sweat stains on the chaise lounge chairs. We were told that the stains were due to the cleaner used to sanitize the carpets. No so. My boyfriend took a wet rag and black dirt readily came out of the carpet. This condition existed because the crew overlooked the dirt. Not what one would expect from a "luxury ship". We spoke with an individual who was able to get the carpets and chaise lounge seats cleaned while we were in Nassau. While it was better it was far from perfect. 5. Frayed robes 6. The common area carpets could use replacing-as could all the ships carpet and the comments thought the furniture looked aged. This ship is only 4 years old but looks 20. 7. What’s up with the thrusters?? We cruise a lot (9 in 14 months) and we have NEVER been so shaken awake at 8 am on 2 mornings as from the severe vibration when pushing into a dock. 8. Staff should clear prime window tables so others may use them. The dining room had a habit of saying none available instead of cleaning them right away—everyone wants a window seat so prepare for cleaning. 9.Wine menu expensive and not that good-We had a $55 bottle of Red Zin and it got worse as it breathed. Thought it was me but the guy next to me smelled it and didn’t even want to taste it. 10. We were the only couple told to finish eating and leave the buffet because it was closing while there were still people in the buffet line waiting to get food. There were some positives. The breakfast menu in the dining room is the best ever. The Red Ginger restaurant is superb. There were several crew members/servers who provided outstanding service. But the negatives still out way any positive. We have been on 9 cruises/3 different cruise lines in the last year and have enjoyed every one of them. Oceania is definitely not included in this group.They breached their contract to furnish a superior upgraded “luxury “ cruise failing to do so in many ways. It is sad to say that we have never wanted to leave a ship as much as we did when we hit the gangway to get off in Miami. We would have left in Nassau were we able to get our money back. Read Less
32 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Have to say. OCEANIA, honestly made our holiday " the holiday from hell..." Understand the NORO outbreak & the measures taken to help. At any time did they do try to make our life more comfortable or help. No staff. ... Read More
Have to say. OCEANIA, honestly made our holiday " the holiday from hell..." Understand the NORO outbreak & the measures taken to help. At any time did they do try to make our life more comfortable or help. No staff. to busy applying wet chemicals, no Concierge lounges, no cooking class, no art classes, no gym class.. try 15 min for a cup of coffee then another 15 for the staff to return with cream, so you need to start over again..so you can imagine all the other services Cabin service was delayed, They were to busy washing wall.. Canyon Ranch manager fumigating the walls.. Nice sight when your thinking of enjoying a day in spa.. If your going to apply this, then bring more staff on.. Food service was a joke... Hate at dinner or place settings? you needed to trip someone.. First time ever, I bought liquor & snacks for the cabin. Easier then dealing with this floating science lab& MIA staff staff had gloves & mask's. Never once were we asked? Wonder, if they kept saying the chemical applied was safe? why were they wearing these??? makes me wonder. best was to come in St. Marteen, the local health authority said, we could not leave the ship, finally after hours of delay we could. Only to come back to the Captains announcement he decided to go back to MIAMI and cut the cruise short for our health.. (was not the captains decision, it was the CDC) sailing get back ASAP.along with the Port of Nassau saying we could not come ashore. Then to come back to all land staff,customs agents, ports etc.. wearing masks again..as we were leopards, transferred to numerous hotels .. for the balance of our stay. So I ask is 25% refund enough? 1) no ammenties 2) cruise was bad from the start from the previous cruise outbreak, 3) no service? 4) no additional services 5) being exposed to chemicals daily? 6) every day was something else take away? 7)trip cut by 30% 8) hotel stay only paying for breakfast, not other meals as they should as if we were on board the ship? 9) no staff to busy cleaning.. In closing, i do understand the health & reasons why this was being done.. I have no problem with this. I do have have a problem, they did nothing to accommodate us during the time on board, help us or compensate the passengers... 25% is more a insult.. again... Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
To put it in a nutshell before our cruise on Oceania's Marina in the South Pacific, I was vehemently "anti-cruise." No more. At least not a relatively small ship such as the Marina. I'd sail on the Marina again in a ... Read More
To put it in a nutshell before our cruise on Oceania's Marina in the South Pacific, I was vehemently "anti-cruise." No more. At least not a relatively small ship such as the Marina. I'd sail on the Marina again in a flash. I can't think of a thing about which to be critical. We had a concierge veranda room. It was clean and spacious. The stewardess for our room was superb. Our room was made up and turned down each day. And, talking about superb, I can't think of one thing negative about any of the crew: stewards/stewardesses, servers, matre-ds, people at the "destination desk," at the dining desk, at what I'll call the main help desk, the concierges, bar and barista tenders, and the boutiques sales personnel. Everyone! Everyone was hospitable and gracious, and willing to assist us at the drop of a hat. I never saw anything but smiles, always greeted graciously by any crew member we met, and never heard a disparaging word. We used room service--which is free--each morning without a hitch. We never waited very long for the food to be served. I especially found the passengers congenial, even during the long, hot, and humid wait for our flights in the airport. Our embarkment and disembarkment went smoothly. The tendering at each port to carry us between the ship and ports of call was marvelous. The food was exquisite throughout the ship: specialty restaurants, grand dining hall, and more informal venues. The LaReserve food/wine matching was an experience to behold. Not being heavy drinkers, we didn't buy the daily drink package and brought our own three bottles of wine on board. Corkage was a one-time $25 per bottle. Sure, the onboard entertainment in the Marina Lounge left a lot to be desired, but nothing is perfect. The ship did have a marvelous native show which in port at Niku Hiva. The land tours admittedly were a tad pricey, but certainly bearable. In any event, we made our own tour arrangements on some of the islands and just walked around on others. And, because of my wife's physical limitations couldn't take advantage of the snorkeling and diving opportunities. I can't comment on travel arrangements or transference between airport and ship since my wife and I went into Tahiti four days before the cruise and thus made our own hotel, touring, and air arrangements. In fact, we had 12 hours between the time we had to be off the ship and the time we had to be at the airport. So, we arranged to have a guide for the day who also took us to the airport. It was a fabulous way for my wife and I to launch our year-long celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary. If I could give the Marina a triple excellent rating, I would. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Smooth embarkation at Singapore. Rooms compact but comfortable and very clean. Bathroom on the small size but adequate. Worth booking concierge or above for the extra perks ie free WIFI of 500 minutes and extra specialty restaurant ... Read More
Smooth embarkation at Singapore. Rooms compact but comfortable and very clean. Bathroom on the small size but adequate. Worth booking concierge or above for the extra perks ie free WIFI of 500 minutes and extra specialty restaurant bookings. Drinks are expensive, however Oceania is lenient when bringing some alcohol for cabin consumption onboard. Mini bar is loaded with soft drinks of your choice. The dining venues are varied with much choice of superior food. Afternoon tea was also a highlight with fine quality offerings. To balance all this, there is a small but well equipped gymnasium with modern machines and a gym supervisor, Adamir, to assist. Staff service throughout the ship at all times was first class including, Jacques, who patiently assisted with any internet queries. The shore excursions and private transfers were exorbitantly priced and best avoided. Better to register with Cruise Critic Roll Call and prearrange tours with other passengers. We would certainly cruise with Oceania again! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
This was our first commercial cruise. We have cruised extensively on our 43' sailboat, so we are used to boats. We are so delighted we chose Oceania and PH stateroom. The ship was lovely, the cabin spacious with a lovely balcony. Our ... Read More
This was our first commercial cruise. We have cruised extensively on our 43' sailboat, so we are used to boats. We are so delighted we chose Oceania and PH stateroom. The ship was lovely, the cabin spacious with a lovely balcony. Our butler Claudiu was wonderful as was the stewardess Snezanu and Manuel. There was not one person we came in contact on this cruise that was not gracious and helpful. The food was great with various choices including canapes in our stateroom. We enjoyed the string quartet and early dancing to the orchestra at Happy Hour. The Canyon Ranch Spa was awesome. The sun deck beyond the spa was so relaxing and one day we saw hundreds of dolphin at the bow. We booked snorkeling trips privately and had a wonderful time in Cozumel and Roatan. We were disappointed that Oceania cancelled the Belize snorkel tour as the Barrier Reef was of interest to us, and there were no local operators that we found that could accommodate a small group. Overall a fantastic experience worth every penny, a true vacation. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Our first experience and we could not be more pleased! The ship was spectacular, the service was outstanding and the amenities were the top of the line. The food was more than expected, and we are from New Orleans, in fact it was very ... Read More
Our first experience and we could not be more pleased! The ship was spectacular, the service was outstanding and the amenities were the top of the line. The food was more than expected, and we are from New Orleans, in fact it was very hard to come home. The excursions were easy and well organised, the staff....from the deckhands to the officers, the service staff, were a real credit to this cruise line. I had a broken ankle (skydiving, blindfolded, from top of Empire State bldg, er.......) and we were very well cared for in every way, from transportation to pre and post stays. I will always recommend this line simply from the experience we had. I cannot wait to see the other ships in Oceana as the art on this ship was like living in a museum. The glass vases, the Lalique crystal EVERYWHERE , the fragrance of the ship, the crew....the restaurants. We did it all, from the Privee to the room service. I cried when we left. Am still teary. And I have NEVER written a review before. We stayed at magnificent hotel in Athens and stayed in a wonderful Hilton in Barcelona and Oceana and our travel agent were the best. Will be doing this forever. Thank you Oceania Cruise Lines and crew and staff of Rivera , for the life memories! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
The Riviera is truly a magnificent ship, no expense spared in the furnishings and fittings. Everywhere on the ship is excellent, with staterooms beautifully furnished with the most comfortable beds, best quality linens and soft ... Read More
The Riviera is truly a magnificent ship, no expense spared in the furnishings and fittings. Everywhere on the ship is excellent, with staterooms beautifully furnished with the most comfortable beds, best quality linens and soft furnishings. Very soft gently colour schemes, with a very large balcony and comfy chairs, plus cashmere covers for cooler sailings. Staff have been wonderful – nothing is too much to ask for and requests are dealt with promptly and with good grace. Meals have been magnificent, everyone a treat and choice has been all too much. There are 4 speciality restaurants each with their own theme and all should be tried. There is also a Grand Dining Room, beautifully appointed with a la carte meals available. Can’t complain about lobster nearly every day. Never thought I’d be guilty of looking at a menu and asking “What else is there to eat other than bloody lobster”! Breakfast in the Terrace Café is also a treat with one of the best selection of fruits, cereals, all manner of eggs breakfast meats and breads I have ever seen. Staff here are also extremely efficient and helpful. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
My recent cruising of the Insignia, a vessel belonging to Oceania Cruises, was quite disappointing after having enjoyed several cruising trips on various vessels belonging to their sister company, Regent Seven Seas Cruises. The Insignia ... Read More
My recent cruising of the Insignia, a vessel belonging to Oceania Cruises, was quite disappointing after having enjoyed several cruising trips on various vessels belonging to their sister company, Regent Seven Seas Cruises. The Insignia is quite an old vessel completely refurbished with some sort of lavish splendor in their many sprawling, but almost always empty common areas. This is sadly and ironically paired with what was found in the living quarters, which gave the impression of being a more suitable size for the crew. I had in fact opted for a special cabin on the 8th floor, which Oceania labels a luxury suite, but this was a blatant case of misrepresentation, as for example the shower was so small that it was not even possible for me to stand completely upright. After spending over $35,000 for this cruise, from Barcelona to Dubai, I could not believe that Oceania would charge you for each time you would need to use the washer & dryer machines. The so-called suites, were also provided with in-room “free” Wi-Fi internet service. But it was so intermittent and erratic, that during the entire cruise a vast crowd of passengers would line-up daily at the ship’s communication center asking for assistance. In order to have a second internet line in our suite, the charge was $26 dollars/day. I would in no way call that a “deal.” Furthermore, Blackberry and cell phone service was disabled by the cruise scrambler and you had no choice but to use Insignia’s over-priced telephone service of at least $5/minute. Additionally, the over-priced costs continued with a simple visit to the on-board doctor for over $700. Also, after being used to free, decent wine and drinks on Regent, I was quite shocked to find out that the wine offered aboard Insignia, which would warrant a retail price of $10/bottle in U.S. or Europe, was sold aboard for over $40/bottle. During the weeks spent on-board, the Captain and other officers never arranged to join the passengers during meals, as is customary on the other cruise chips including Regent. In fact, while the general service aboard the Insignia was commendable, the management personnel in charge of the ship was not easily accessible, aloof, detached and impersonal. It was required to to make a special appointment, in order to speak with anyone of higher management or distinction on the ship. Lastly, compared with Regent Cruises, the lectures and entertainment offered on Insignia was at best modest to borderline mediocre. This was quite obvious by how many passengers would leave in the middle of the lectures. In many instances, I found out that the lecturer was highlighting the destinations where the excursions where offered, but without the lecturer having ever been there! After this very odd overall experience, where I felt that every minute I was taken for a very unpleasant ride, I doubt very much that I will ever return to the Insignia or any other vessel belonging to Oceania Cruises. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
My wife and I just completed a 12-night Baltic cruise on the Marina. Our previous cruise was a 12-night Med cruise in the summer several years ago on the Celebrity Solstice. I honestly have to say that the experience was as about the ... Read More
My wife and I just completed a 12-night Baltic cruise on the Marina. Our previous cruise was a 12-night Med cruise in the summer several years ago on the Celebrity Solstice. I honestly have to say that the experience was as about the same for both cruises. That is, until you compare prices. The Med cruise was about $2500 pp. This one was over $7000 pp. So, the price performance ratio was WAY out of whack. For this cruise, we were on the Concierge level, but didn't really see any substantial difference between what we just experience from what we had on the Med cruise. For this cruise, we had some friends on a lower level and, after comparing our room to theirs, didn't really see any difference, except for a few better toiletries. The food and wine were very good on both cruises. The on-shore excursions were, as per most cruises, a rip off. With a little homework and research, you can book any number of excursions on the internet for a lot less money. On the Med cruise, we often walked off the ship, jumped in a cab and had a great tour of a wide variety of sites for considerably less money. The last negative is the internet charges. This was true on both cruises. I heard this complaint from many of the passengers because they didn't understand why the charges were so high. If there is a hidden reason why there are charges, it would be nice to hear them. If it is because the ship is charged for satellite usage by the minute, then I might understand. The funny thing is that Oceania has published in their 2016 catalog that the internet would be "free". However, when comparing this year's pricing with next year's pricing, the costs have gone up. Hmmm... To answer the question if this cruise is 3X times better (based on price) than our Med cruise, the answer would have to be NO. Ocenaia has a really good marketing department which entices you to spend more than you really need to in order to have a great cruise to a lot of interesting destinations. The choice is yours. Buyer Beware. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
This was our first cruise, so we had nothing to compare. However, we did our research and chose Oceania because of the great ratings. The Riviera is certainly a beautiful new ship, and our amenities were excellent in our Concierge Suite. ... Read More
This was our first cruise, so we had nothing to compare. However, we did our research and chose Oceania because of the great ratings. The Riviera is certainly a beautiful new ship, and our amenities were excellent in our Concierge Suite. Don't think we would bother with the whole Concierge level again, as the advantages of paying more were not apparent. You get an extra lounge with tea coffee and that's about it! A standard verandah room would suffice. Loved the bathroom and the fact there was an actual bath. Also the Bulgari toiletries are a nice touch. Room service was impeccable. The food - have to say found the Polo Grill overrated - with limited choices. However, the Grand Dining room was excellent every time. Hated the way people "reserved" sun lounges even though they were directed not to. I guess it's embarrassing for staff to try and prevent this too. Awkward. We were disappointed that the Egypt leg was cancelled. Our Australian travel agent was extremely unhelpful and we only found out about the cancellation through this site and had to chase it up with them. However, given the troubles in the region, we appreciate the reasoning behind the change to the itinerary. We never received a welcome pack like other passengers either, including important luggage tags! Will not be booking with that company again. We arranged mainly private tours and were very happy with most of them in preference to the ship's options. The entertainment was pretty ordinary and on too late after long day's touring and given we would have been among the younger passengers on board I am sure this was an issue for many. The cooking classes are a fun addition and welcome distraction on sea days. All in all we had a fabulous holiday and are now converted to cruising as a holiday option. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
My husband and I sailed on Oceania's 1,200 passenger ship, The Riviera, from Barcelona to Rome for 10 days in late May 2015. It was our first cruise ever and it was utterly grand in every way. In retrospect we started right at the ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on Oceania's 1,200 passenger ship, The Riviera, from Barcelona to Rome for 10 days in late May 2015. It was our first cruise ever and it was utterly grand in every way. In retrospect we started right at the top! Prior to the cruise I read the Oceania forum here on CruiseCritic.com and learned a LOT of valuable information about what to expect. However nothing prepared us for the sheer fabulosity of Oceania's Riviera! We stayed in Barcelona for several days prior to the cruise. After embarking on May 22, 2015, we visited Spain's Costa Brava (Palamos), Marseille where we toured Provence, the French riviera (St. Tropez, Cannes, & Antibes), Monaco (Monte Carlo), and then Italy where we toured Portofino, Cinque Terre, Florence & Tuscany. Finally we disembarked in Rome. I'll review ports elsewhere; this review focuses on the ship. Overall Impressions: I highly recommend Oceania's Riviera for its luxurious and elegant ambiance; the fresh, top-notch and expertly prepared food & extensive wine selection; the many cozy corners (indoors and outdoors) throughout the ship; the pristine cleanliness of literally every space we saw; the Canyon Ranch Spa; the Culinary Center; and most of all, the service. The crew and staff were very friendly, welcoming, responsive, hard-working, competent and professional. They were outstanding in every way. Despite working long hours, they always greeted us with a smile. If you want to see excellence in action, observe the staff. The Demographic: adult (no kids), people mostly in their 50s, 60s, & 70s, and mostly Americans, then Brits and Aussies, with fewer Asians. A few passengers had limited mobility, using canes, walkers, wheelchairs and scooters. The staff were extremely accommodating, helping in every way possible. We were supposed to tender in only four ports but it ended up being six. This was not good for people with mobility challenges. There were of course many fit people on board, too. Most passengers were very nicely dressed, courteous, and friendly. We met many wonderful people on board and shared private tours with them. There was lots of laughing & comraderie - fun! Accommodations: Our suite was in the Concierge Level. The beds and linens are so crazy comfy that Oceania gives details on where to purchase because they get so many requests for this info. Bathrooms are marble and suites are beautifully furnished. Ours had luxurious fabrics in cream, bronze, and pale blue with a little chocolate for contrast. There were many lovely amenities such as Bulgari toiletries, bath salts for the soaking tub, cashmere lap robes for sitting out on the veranda, plush terrycloth robes, and much, much more. Our suite was made up twice a day. There were chocolates on our pillows every night. Our cabin stewardess, Mariana, kept our fridge stocked with water and diet ginger ale and resupplied our ice bucket several times a day. My husband enjoyed the freshly baked cookies from the Concierge Lounge a few times. OK, I did, too, ha ha... Food: To die for! Four specialty restaurants (at no add'l cost) and a Grand Dining Room plus the buffet (Terraces), afternoon tea (Horizons) and the pool grill (Waves). Special small dining venues with wine pairings. Creative menus, fresh food expertly prepared. A very extensive wine list. The single best thing I had (and it was a tough call!) was a crispy duck and watermelon salad at Red Ginger, the Asian fusion restaurant. The pool grill (Waves) had a surf & turf sandwich (filet mignon & sliced grilled lobster), Kobe beef burgers, fruit smoothies, salads, etc. The buffet (Terraces) had indoor & outdoor seating. There were tons of fresh fruit daily, beautifully cut up and displayed. A vast array of fresh baked goods daily. The croissants were works of art! Healthy stuff daily - grilled lobster & shrimp, fish, meat, vegetarian options, lots of different veg, and great salads. Specialty items like sushi, home made pasta, Thai food, and so forth. Countless desserts, many of which were reasonable (not gigantic) portions. Staff serve the passengers at the buffet, thus limiting the number of people who touch the serving utensils. We appreciated this measure! Afternoon tea is served daily at 4:00. 24-hour room service is available. Wonderful lattes, cappuchinos, and coffee at Baristas. So much more! Entertainment: A good pianist in the Martinis bar & lounge (with comfy couches and armchairs and the usual impeccable service), a string quartet (pretty good in my view), a lovely jazz trio, a violinist, a vocalist, and more. Two ballroom dancers performed and that was fun! There were 10 or 12 singers & dancers who performed but I didn't think they (or the material) were impressive. You had to appreciate their "heart," though.... The Spa: The treatments were excellent. I had the best facial of my life (Oxygen, 80 mins). My skin is still glowing! I got my first great haircut since moving out of DC three years ago. I got makeup advice and a massage. Expensive but totally worth it to me. The spa has a fitness center & many classes; quiet and very comfy areas for relaxing - indoors & outdoors, a "thalassotherapy" (sp?) pool which is basically a huge and fancy hot tub, a sauna and steam room, a private sun deck - so much more! Value: Overall the value was excellent. Drinks were expensive but on the other hand, we were glad they weren't included in the cruise cost; we prefer not to have to help cover others' drinking habits. We ordered what we wanted and enjoyed it. We liked being able to order bottles of wine and have them stored and then served to us at any dining venue. Oceania's shore excursions are very expensive and many of them are via bus. If you don't want to fuss with arranging or signing up for private tours and are not concerned about the cost, Oceania makes it easy for you. We participated in four private tours (for two to eight people) and all of them were superb. They were about 1/3rd of the cost of the ship's excursions. The private drivers and guides focus on the interests of the small groups and are very knowledgeable and flexible. We found them via reviews on TripAdvisor and CruiseCritic. The roll call for our cruise had lots of posts re: private tours. We weren't that interested in the on board casino so we don't know about the costs there. Other Stuff: We enjoyed the art and sculptures throughout the ship. It wasn't all to our taste but it was all interesting. We loved the on board library. Whoever chose the books did a terrific job. We were frequent flyers at Baristas, the on board coffee cafe. Massimo staffed it and we really enjoyed chatting with him. Our hands-on cooking class was fabulous! The chef gave great instructions, ingredients were pre-measured and set up at each workstation - it was wonderful. I learned some basics and some "wow!" moves. We ate what we prepared and it was all delish! Boarding and leaving the ship were always smooth processes. We liked that bottles of water were available every time we left the ship. I never made it to the Artists' Loft for lessons, to my disappointment. Also never made it to the Team Trivia games but we heard players laughing hysterically. We could have had bridge lessons & played bridge but we never made it to that, either. Ditto for most of the available fitness activities. We weren't interested in the Guest Speaker (a sports person). It sounds like we were the cruise slackers but we walked a lot in the ports! You could do a lot, or very little, on board. The Riviera accommodates about 1,200 passengers but I can honestly say that it never, ever felt crowded. The ship stabilizers worked well; there was very little motion. The waters were calm, too. I was worried about motion sickness but I took Bonine (an OTC preventative) and I never had one moment of discomfort. The Cruise Director, Leslie Jon, greeted us warmly and chatted with us a little; he was great. Overall, it was the vacation of a lifetime for us. We really don't have much desire to try another cruise line. We can't imagine being as satisfied with another line as we were with Oceania. I feel like other cruise lines would pale in comparison! Thanks to everyone on The Riviera for an absolutely wonderful experience that exceeded our (high) expectations. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
This was our first real cruise (did the Disney 3-day cruise in 2001 with small children - fun but mayhem in the common areas of the ship). We were able to upgrade at the last minute to an Owner's Suite and it was luxurious. We had ... Read More
This was our first real cruise (did the Disney 3-day cruise in 2001 with small children - fun but mayhem in the common areas of the ship). We were able to upgrade at the last minute to an Owner's Suite and it was luxurious. We had a butler and someone from housekeeping on call 24/7. Our 'kids' (ages 19 and 22) were in a Penthouse concierge suite and they had the same great service. We ate in all of the restaurants and really enjoyed the baristas (Hello Valentina!). The onboard Canyon Ranch spa was wonderful. If you are considering an Alaskan cruise I really recommend this one - the ship is small enough to get to areas the larger ships cannot. We spent several hours cursing the Hubbard Glacier and those are the scenes that will stay with me - it was like living a National Geographic special! We did not play any of the games on board and did not see any of the entertainment - our 'kids' are college age so we spent evenings together just watching the scenery glide by and talking. Very few young people on this cruise - a few babies but mostly adults 40-70. The only time we felt crowded was during the lifeguard drills - this ship only carries about 650 people - we never had to wait for an elevator or to get a seat for a meal or tea. Afternoon tea is a must-do! They have laundry service on board but it is expensive, and the laundry dryers took several cycles to fully dry the clothes. Other than that, we were delighted and will go on another Oceania cruise in ether 2016 or 2017 - GREAT discounts if you sign up for another cruise while you are on the ship! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
Even before we got on board the pre cruise service was great. We had a problem with our booking which was fixed immediately. Riviera looked pristine as we got on board. The welcome was as we have come to expect. As always we had the ... Read More
Even before we got on board the pre cruise service was great. We had a problem with our booking which was fixed immediately. Riviera looked pristine as we got on board. The welcome was as we have come to expect. As always we had the Kobe Burger in Waves Grill. Delicious. Our room was ready promptly and our luggage was waiting outside. We were greeted by our butler and room stewardess. A bottle of champagne was on ice. We love The Grand Dining Room breakfast, and it did not disappoint. The waiters and Maitre Ds were very attentive and added to the overall experience. We had a great experience in Red Ginger as always. Thanks Riviera for a wonderfully relaxing holiday. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
For a first time cruiser, I think this was an excellent ship to sail away on. For a vegetarian, maybe a culinary cruise, not so much. More on that later. I shared a PH suite with a friend, and we thoroughly enjoyed, and took advantage ... Read More
For a first time cruiser, I think this was an excellent ship to sail away on. For a vegetarian, maybe a culinary cruise, not so much. More on that later. I shared a PH suite with a friend, and we thoroughly enjoyed, and took advantage of, the extra space in the suite. The walk-in closet alone was well worth it, since we had packed for multiple events (dresses for evenings, board shorts and all for kayaking and swimming, casual wear for sightseeing and hiking). We did spend a bit more time in the room than expected because we took advantage of the lovely veranda, enjoying afternoon canapes in the room, and breakfast in the room on shore days. I found service to be spectacular, everywhere. Including in the buffet, which was quite crowded a couple of times. Sometimes I'd think I'd need something, and it would materialize. Having a butler at hand also added to the experience, I think, as well as access to the executive lounge (made getting that morning cup of coffee much easier!). I wasn't as impressed with the fact that we were tendered to shore one additional time (we were expecting to be tendered in twice, and that was not the case -- apparently being the last to arrive, or the smallest ship, meant we were to be tendered in and not docked. This was a bit of a disappointment as it did shorten the time we had on shore. Also was disappointed with the amount of time we had in Key West (due to the sunset celebrations and having to leave port so early). Having to also allow for the shuttle to/from the ship in Key West also cut into the time in port, and that really was a disappointment. Other activities for the shore excursions were well received. We did our own thing in Cozumel and that worked out well, with plenty of time to shop in Cozumel before returning to the ship late afternoon. In Trujillo, we returned to the ship earlier than planned, but that was simply because there was just not a lot to do in Trujillo (they are still working out the kinks there, but the Campo Del Mar half-day nature walk was lovely). The Lamanai Mayan ruins day long tour was fabulous, and they did accommodate me, as a vegetarian, for the lunch on our return. Now for the food. Apparently, most everyone seemed pleased with your food. And they did appear to try to accommodate me, by delivering menus two days in advance and I could circle the items I'd like to eat in the future. The problem was that the pickings were quite slim and honestly, how do I know what I want to eat two days hence? Two of the signature restaurants I could not eat a main meal at all (and instead had to eat appetizers for my main meal). This was very disappointing, and while they tried to make the apps look like a main dish, and they were delicious, it just was not a main dish. In the buffet, vegetarians were also largely ignored -- steamed vegetables and salad and rice were the main dishes I could have one night (I think I could have had a potato dish also). I think there may have been three vegetarians on board. If the others were treated as I was, I'm a bit appalled. I'm not a second class citizen. I was not impressed that I was not offered menus when seated at a signature restaurant, instead being told "my meal was being 'handled'." This made me feel "different" and I was asked why I wasn't given a menu by our dining partners (we shared tables at all of the signature restaurants). Really, not a fun experience. BTW, the culinary cooking classes? A waste of time if you're a vegetarian (yeah, I wouldn't be able to eat what I cooked). And I wasn't impressed with the "resident artist." But I love Baristas, and I liked the idea of the library and Internet cafe (although the latter two were not used). For the days that we were at sea, there was also an extraordinary number of chairs reserved at the pool, contrary to specific requests not to do so. This was quite rude by the other guests. The staff working at the pool were not enforcing this holding of chairs, and it was apparent they were uncomfortable in wanting to do so. Service by the pool was also spotty... the second day at sea I was not once asked if I wanted a drink when I was out by the pool for well over an hour. (Too bad, that attendant lost out on an extra tip.) Speaking of other guests, there was a lack of manners from some of the guests that I was a bit stunned by. For a luxury ship such as this, to see a man push past others politely waiting for an elevator so he could be first? This same person did this to get on the tenders also. There were several occasions when I would have thought better manners would prevail but I guess I was wrong. (And yes, he would have made it on to that elevator, so there was no need to push past those of us waiting.) Will I go on this ship again? Yes, because I loved the service and I absolutely LOVED the fact that there were (mostly) no children. But I will be a lot more particular about requesting vegetarian food. (When your best meal in 7 days is on a shore excursion in Key West, having a vegetarian Cubano sandwich -- and you've been on a luxury culinary cruise? Something is wrong.) Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
We booked this cruise almost a year in advance to celebrate our both being retired and now able to travel The cruise itself was, for the most part, wonderful. However, the travel service left us down. The ship and cabin were ... Read More
We booked this cruise almost a year in advance to celebrate our both being retired and now able to travel The cruise itself was, for the most part, wonderful. However, the travel service left us down. The ship and cabin were beautiful. The cabin did need some maintenance such as the grout coming loose in the bathroom. All staff that we came into contact were exceptional, and they are a large asset for Oceania. Food was also exceptional, and we enjoyed both the specialty restaurants as well as the main dining room. Much appreciated not having set time for seating and not having any formal nights (one of the reasons we are returning to Oceania, see below) Although we did not expect high entertainment, what was offered was a disappointment. In addition to the evening shows being amateurish, the television choice was poor. The music available in the cabin was also poor. Even choosing "classic rock" or "favorites", many of the selections were some weird music. This is an area Oceania should work on. Loosely related to entertainment, the library was pleasant and had an adequate selection. Our disappointment with Oceania comes with communication and travel service. This cruise disembarks one at 8 AM and the flight home was at midnight. We wondered what to do with out luggage all day long. When we called Oceania guest services they basically said "You're on your own" - spent some time looking into storage, etc. and eventually thought we'd just slough it along to the airport and rent a car to carry it around all day. To our surprise, once we were on board, it seems that Oceania would transport luggage to air port and keep it. Would have been nice if their guest service would have told us that. HOWEVER, the biggest disappointment came in our flight arrangements home. We had upgraded to business class. (This MORE than DOUBLED the cost of the cruise, but felt this would be a once in a lifetime indulgence) Everything went well over to cruise and back until we landed in LA and were surprised that the remainder of our flight to Philadelphia and then Pittsburgh was booked in coach. When we had originally received our flight information, all legs were in business (or first) class. Shortly before our trip, the last leg time was changed and no class was listed, but we had no reason to think that it had changed. Our travel agent has acquired a return (as a credit) of a small portion of the fee of the home trip upgrade cost. We are beginning a part of our life with time for a lot of travel. While on the cruise, we had decided to just stay with Oceania. However, having a surprise (and kind of a bait and switch) on the trip home, we were about to look into many of the other cruise lines out there. Because the cruise itself was the type we appreciate and with the credit, we have now booked another Oceania cruise for one more try. Not sure if we can trust the travel service. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
This was our first cruise. We travelled for more than 30 hours to reach Sydney and then were told that we could not board the ship for 5 more hours. We were exhausted and just wanted to get to our cabin and crash, not spend 4 hours on a ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We travelled for more than 30 hours to reach Sydney and then were told that we could not board the ship for 5 more hours. We were exhausted and just wanted to get to our cabin and crash, not spend 4 hours on a bus tour of Sydney. The ship was very good and offered a variety of activities and dining options. The cabin service was also very good and the staff was very hospitable. The restaurants had interesting menus; the wine lists were touted, but were limited. The onboard barista was terrific as were the chef instructor and cooking classes. The port and shore excursions were a BIG disappointment. Many were no better than field trips for elementary school children. The excursions usually included large groups of people herded onto buses for long drives with few stops and limited guidance/education regarding the activity. The shore excursions were NOT AS ADVERTISED. Most activities on the cruise were a la carte and the dollars added up quickly. Internet connectivity was a joke while on board. Airline connections were terrible and did not allow for different travel options. On the whole, we will probably not choose another cruise unless the size of the ship and passenger complement is much smaller. We do better with less structure and with making our own arrangements for excursions. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
Last year my wife and I experienced a fine 10 day cruise with another couple. We appreciated the service and especially enjoyed our meals. Accordingly, we returned to the same ship and expected another excellent cruise. MISTAKE ! It ... Read More
Last year my wife and I experienced a fine 10 day cruise with another couple. We appreciated the service and especially enjoyed our meals. Accordingly, we returned to the same ship and expected another excellent cruise. MISTAKE ! It seems the Cruise Line was purchased by Norwegian and everything has now changed. Our impressions were that the "bean counters" have taken over and cost savings are now required all over the ship with special emphasis given to lowering the quality of the food. What was once excellent food now is merely mediocre at best. Previously, Oceania Cruises prided itself upon a "gourmet culinary experience. Not now! The quality of the meals now offered left a great deal to be desired. Nightly Shrimp Cocktails were no longer offered or provided. Twice, the menu offered "Tiger Prawns". What was actually provided was not "Tiger Prawns" but instead just large shrimp. Not even Extra Large or Jumbo Shrimp but just Large Shrimp! At" Toscana", an offering of "Mozzarella di Bufala Caprese" did not actually provide Bufala Mozzarella but offered an inexpensive poor quality regular Mozzarella. A serving of Pasta produced pasta that was badly overcooked and gummy. A meal at the "Polo Grill" offered a "Tomato and Sweet Onion" Salad. Instead of Sweet Onions, slices of cheap red onion was served. No Chef swhould serve red onion as a "sweet onion". The menu states that all meats are of "Prime Quality". Not true at all! My steak was full of fat and gristle and was neither peppered or salted. Just plain BAD! All in all, during the entire cruise, the meals offered are now bland, devoid of flavor, and were of poor quality. As an indication of cost savings there is the issue of the Televisions in the cabin. All of them of low end brands of extremely poor picture quality. There was not a single day that there was full TV available. "No signal" was the rule each and every day rather then the exception. Of the five offered Movie Channels two were non-operable. As another indication of "cost cutting" the ship did NOT offer one of two NFL Championship games. The cost of the license fee for a second game was beyond that of the Oceania to provide. Guests were offered the "opportunity" to leave the ship and watch the non-provided game in a bar in Belieze. Upscale Cruise Line? I don't think so.. To be fair, let me say that most of the crew tries very hard to please. However, the service offered can not begin to make up for the deficiencies given the cost of a cruise. One last item of concern. A booklet in the Cabin lists "Guide to Services" of the Canyon Ranch Spa Club on board. The information provided is out of date and not in effect as per booklet. There is no Spa Butler, no refreshments offered, and no snacks! An offered 100 minute massage is now 80 minutes but the price for the 100 minute massage is still being charged. Why? Who knows? Oh yes... the carpet in our Cabin (#9077) was absolutely FILTHY and obviously needed to be cleaned. A final bit of information. The Cruise line wanted to confiscate and "hold onto" all passports upon departure. Why ? Who really knows. Not a nice "surprise" and I would not allow that to be imposed. After much discussion we were "allowed" to keep our passports! In summation, this cruise showed a lack of style, cost cutting measures, and all in all, a diminished cruise experience. Would we ever sail again on a Oceania ship? I think NOT in this lifetime. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2014
This was our first cruise ever. We subsequently went on four additional cruises in 2014. One with Celebrity, two with Viking (never again under any circumstance) and a final cruise on the Marina in the Mediterranean. I expected more on ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever. We subsequently went on four additional cruises in 2014. One with Celebrity, two with Viking (never again under any circumstance) and a final cruise on the Marina in the Mediterranean. I expected more on the Marina, but in comparison to the other cruises, it was far better than they were. The Suite (Penthouse) was huge in comparison, but we did pamper ourselves on the second trip on the Marina.The food was excellent (I react badly to High-Fructose Corn Syrup, & I only was in contact with it once at the milkshake bar). We went to Jacques Restaurant, the meal was superb, the Polish waiter was obnoxious (Only he, & he alone could select our meal.... it did not work). The Polo Grill served too much food, but it was soooo good. The food & service at the Terrace was wonderful. We spent a lot of time at the overpriced Spa, the land version of Canyon Ranch is superior. Mike Sterling from the London West-end is a terrific tenor and his duet partner Natasha Kemball was amazing as well, I only wish that we could hear them again. Perhaps we will as we are booked for another Oceania cruise. We did not partake in any of Oceania's onshore trips as we had arranged our own guide(s) and chauffeur(s). We only fly business or first-class & business class within Europe is pure garbage (Frankfurt to Stockholm). We spent four days in Stockholm in an executive suite at the Radison-Blu Waterfront in Stockholm prior to the cruise. We arranged this ourselves and will definitely go there again. (We subsequently found out that Oceania books there as well) Their breakfasts were terrific (& for those interested, they have gluten-free as well as lactose-free buffets). We disembarked in Copenhagen, and felt we were hurried off the ship (more like driven). I complained, and on the second Marina cruise disembarkation was friendly & efficient. We did not fly home immediately as we toured Copenhagen and eventually took the train to the Hook of Holland, a ferry to the UK and then a Celebrity Fjord cruise and then home. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Had sailed on Riviera, Marina's sister ship, last September in the Mediterranean. This cruise, which began in Copenhagen and visited Warnemunde, Germany (Berlin); Gdansk, Poland; Tallinn,Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, ... Read More
Had sailed on Riviera, Marina's sister ship, last September in the Mediterranean. This cruise, which began in Copenhagen and visited Warnemunde, Germany (Berlin); Gdansk, Poland; Tallinn,Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; and Stockholm, Sweden, appealed to us for its fascinating itinerary, and we knew from our previous experience that the ship would be superb. Although this is not within anyone's control, the weather was unbelievably beautiful every day - clear and sunny, calm seas. A total joy. About us and our expectations: we are not party cruisers, in fact, would hate a ship with that emphasis. We love reading, music, quiet reflection and conversation on the balcony, exercise walks around the deck, rejuvenating spa treatments, full-out touring during the day and a good meal and restful evening to prepare for the next day. We enjoy meeting friendly like-minded people who are mature and cultured. We didn't care about the casino or the lounge (though we did love listening to the charming and talented Romantica String Quartet from Belarus most evenings in the Grand Bar). In short, Marina's low-key ambiance, marvelous food, hospitable staff, refined (by this I do not mean stuffy, snooty or pretentious-- rather, gracious) fellow passengers, and beautiful appointments suited us just fine. Some reviewers have said that the shore excursions, hotels and airport transfers arranged through Oceania are overpriced -- we used them all and were pleased with the convenience and felt that we got good value. In St. Petersburg we did arrange an evening out with a local company, balletandopera.com, and attended a wonderful performance at the Mariinsky theater -- but the driver who took us there and brought us back was downright scary, raising thoughts of the fate of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed. There is a measure of quality control and accountability when you use the ship's vendors that reassures new cruisers like my husband and me. You know, for instance, that you won't miss the ship if your tour runs late. However, it must be said that in Helsinki the shuttle bus arrangements made by the ship were disastrous, resulting in confusion about the pickup point and a queue that required an hour's wait at least - a huge waste of time given the short time we had in that port. Wonderful service, lovely stateroom, beautiful veranda. One quibble - I know that maintenance has to be done during the voyage to keep the ship in the top shape that it is, but when our balcony had to be varnished and painted on Day 9 it was a pain - looking at something on shore I stepped in the fresh blue paint at the edge of the balcony and tracked a little onto the teak. I was sorry about this but on the other hand felt that I should not have had to worry about freely using the balcony we had paid so much for. Our criticisms, thus, are very minor. Overall, good value and a memorable experience. I actually spent some time writing detailed port reviews below but a technical glitch eliminated them all - so, suffice it to say that all were memorable in a good way. St. Petersburg was mixed but fascinating - the dark Russian soul and legacy of Soviet oppression still evident - we'd rate it a 4 but paradoxically it was a highlight of the trip, esp. an independent outing to the Kirov Ballet at the fabled Mariinsky Theater.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2013
Our cruise went Barcelona to Lisbon via Casablanca. The Spain section consisted of daily drop-ins to several Spanish Holiday islands followed by a day in Gibraltar. Then it was off to North Africa and Morocco. The lure of Casablanca was ... Read More
Our cruise went Barcelona to Lisbon via Casablanca. The Spain section consisted of daily drop-ins to several Spanish Holiday islands followed by a day in Gibraltar. Then it was off to North Africa and Morocco. The lure of Casablanca was strong and turned out to be completely different to other parts of Southern Europe. WE also went to see the old city of Rabat mainly to visit the souks and old forts. The it wa soff to Lisbon as the final port. We would strongly recommend Lisbon and Portugal - great sights as a discounted cost to Spain. The trams in Lisbon are magical. The Riviera is a top class ship with all the bells and whistles. We found the food and dining room service exceptional and other facilities enough to keep us happy for the time we were actually on the boat. Evening entertainment starts late and is hard work if you have spent the day sightseeing on land. The only major gripe was the cost of Internet facilities. The cost was real penny pinching considering the quality of other services and the cost of the cruise in general. P.S. Ricks Café was shut. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
We were very excited to sail on the Riviera. Check- in for our Concierge Class cabin was a breeze followed by a leisurely lunch at the Terrace Cafe. Cabins are small, as expected, but the bathroom is much more luxurious than other lines ... Read More
We were very excited to sail on the Riviera. Check- in for our Concierge Class cabin was a breeze followed by a leisurely lunch at the Terrace Cafe. Cabins are small, as expected, but the bathroom is much more luxurious than other lines we have sailed. Our luggage appeared promptly and our room steward came to introduce herself as soon as we arrived. Dining was the best part of the cruise! The main dining room is gorgeous and the four specialty restaurants served interesting, delicious food. The public spaces are comfortable - especially the library and Spa Deck. Service everywhere on the ship is superb. There was not much in the way of night life on the Riviera once the evening show ended. The passengers were much older than we anticipated and everywhere you looked there were motorized scooters, canes and walkers. Several times my husband had to assist guests who were struggling with steps on excursions. The ports of call on the Mayan Mystique were not the greatest. Belize City is difficult to navigate with many detours and closed roads. The drive to the ruins at Altun Ha was not for those with back or neck problems, although once we were there the sights were very interesting. There was not much to do in Santo Tomas which was really a very industrial shipping port. In the other ports we made arrangement on-line prior to sailing. That turned out to be for the best. We had a great time in Cozumal with a private driver and in Costa Maya at a beautiful beach. Overall, we had a lovely time and would sail on Oceania again but we would look for an itinerary that appealed to a slightly younger demographic. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2012
As this was our first cruise, we had no expectations other than what we read here on cruisecritic. We were offered an up-sell from a PH3 to an Oceania Suite, which I quickly took Oceania up on! VERY nice room (actually rooms), and even ... Read More
As this was our first cruise, we had no expectations other than what we read here on cruisecritic. We were offered an up-sell from a PH3 to an Oceania Suite, which I quickly took Oceania up on! VERY nice room (actually rooms), and even though I had never been on a ship before I could tell this was something very special. If you ever get the chance, take it! Most of the specialty restaurants were excellent. Our only exception was Toscana, which I am certain we caught a bad night. Nothing bad, just not up to par with the rest. Terrace Cafe became the hang out for most other meals, and they do a terrific job! Barista's was a perfect way to start each morning and the string quartet was an excellent way to end each evening. We did not attend any of the shows as we turn in rather early. Due to Sandy hitting the east coast, Oceania decided to spend an extra day in Istanbul to let the 700 passengers that were delayed catch up. Good call on their part to allow those delayed to get there. We missed out on Vollos, which was one destination we were very much looking forward to, but stuff happens. Only negatives were some of the other passengers not understanding that baseball caps on backwards or Cabela's gear at the specialty restaurants were not really country club casual, and our butler couldn't seem to get it that we really were not going to drink that bottle of champagne (took till mid week to get it out of the room....). Our cabin steward was fantastic and most of the staff we met were outstanding. The culinary center was a hoot! I made 3 of the classes and had a ball at each one. We missed out on the final one, which was a full day culinary excursion as DW was not feeling well. The 2 excursions we went on with Oceania were just fine for a group tour. I have no negatives on either one, and felt the cost was in line with how easy everything was. Overall we were very happy with everything. Read Less
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