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Sail Date: September 2019
To spend seven days on the Baltic as guests with the Nautica-crew as host is unique. It is the experience of a week in a floating five-star hotel. Everything, with a small exception, was perfect. The accomodation, the infrastructure, ... Read More
To spend seven days on the Baltic as guests with the Nautica-crew as host is unique. It is the experience of a week in a floating five-star hotel. Everything, with a small exception, was perfect. The accomodation, the infrastructure, the maintenance of the rooms and, last but not least, the great choice of excellent food, cannot be toppled. The major experience, nevertheless, is the disponibility and the kindness of the crew, from 41 different nations! All men and women, from the Captain to the single sailor, are kind, very attentive, helpful and friendly. The standard of the rooms is superior and the available space generous. The crew shows and lives an "esprit de corps" and a "unité de service". One point has to be improved by the management: it is not acceptable, nowadays, that a couple can only dispose of one free WLAN account and has to pay (a lot of) money for further accounts. A couple, today, has two cell phones and to tablets/computers. At least three accounts have therefore to be included in the basic offer! Please adapt this NOW. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I first experienced "Your World, Your Way" service on the Riviera in 2017. A 21 day Med cruise, It was fantastic! This was largely due to the fact that Peter Roberts was the Cruise Director and his partner Jason Parsons was the ... Read More
I first experienced "Your World, Your Way" service on the Riviera in 2017. A 21 day Med cruise, It was fantastic! This was largely due to the fact that Peter Roberts was the Cruise Director and his partner Jason Parsons was the Assistant Cruise Director, they were amazing. The food and service on Riviera was also amazing and due to this experience the folks that I met on the Riviera decided to book Insignia 14 day Caribbean. Thank goodness we were with 6 other friends, or we could not have bared the thought of 2 weeks on this ship. Where to start...let's start with the biggest problem, the cruise director! We disliked him so much, we can't even remember his name, we believe it was Ray. We heard the guy on the loud speaker announcements daily and didn't get to see him until day 5. We tried to be friendly with him and one person in our party went over to him to see if he was going to sing at karaoke or not - the Cruise Director was staring at this phone all through the event. He looked up at the person in our group and very sarcastically said - "I hire singers, I don't sing", then went straight back to his phone. All of us were dumbfounded! Believe it or not, it got worse, he then went over to the bartenders and started pointing and laughing at our group - we had no idea why, perhaps he thought his sarcastic remark to a gentleman in our group was funny???? Disgusting!!! Remember, when traveling as a group of 8 on Oceania we spent over 50K for the two week cruise - this type of behaviour should not be tolerated. School children are better behaved! The food quality, in my personal opinion, has dropped since we cruise on Riviera in 2017. On Riviera, the quality and selection were extremely good - especially in the specialty restaurants. On Insignia however they were marginal. My entree in Toscana was horrible - how on earth can you mess up a plate of pasta? The pasta in the buffet was 100% better. I went to culinary school for 2 years, and believe and am qualified enough to remark on the food quality. * The buffet was mediocre and repetitious. * The main dining room was the best place to eat, but again, the quality was not up to par * Bar Services at all venues were quite good This ship underwent a dry dock very recently and it appears they just concentrated on the cabins and updated the furniture and carpet in the public areas. On the pool deck the boards were loose and warped. I watched more than one person take a stumble on it. There were very elderly people on this, you would thing that Oceania would spend the money to fix the teak deck. The ship also looks tired on the outside - lots of rust and Overall - Your World, Your Way - I think not. This will be our last Oceania Cruise. The cost associated for this trip was NOT fulfilled in any way. We have paid much less on Princess, Celebrity and Holland American and no longer see the benefits of this marketed "UPSCALE" line. This line needs to re-think their approach, it's not working any longer. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
In summary: - mainly cold og luke warm food in most restaurants - totally un-usable internet, and only one user at the time per stateroom - not acceptable in 2019 - Insulting missing invitation to captains coctail . although I ... Read More
In summary: - mainly cold og luke warm food in most restaurants - totally un-usable internet, and only one user at the time per stateroom - not acceptable in 2019 - Insulting missing invitation to captains coctail . although I have sailed with this ship twice before -they have no clue about former guests . a lot of errors in pour group booking, ended up in costing us over 600 USD extra - no will to sort this either from the ship og from the cruise line - arrogant reception crew - totally unsocial captain - Furniture too big for dining room - lest no room for walking in between Ship came from dock, and the cleanliness in the cabins was way below par - also a lot of noncense with the extra drink package that our group were promised - this cruise line are not keeping to their word. We were 44 people in our group - we will not travel with this cruise line again! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Sirena Cuba Cruise Why this cruise? In a word – Cuba. We had never been there; and were unlikely to make a second visit given our advancing years; so, when Oceania offered this trip we were quick to grab it. This would be our 7th ... Read More
Sirena Cuba Cruise Why this cruise? In a word – Cuba. We had never been there; and were unlikely to make a second visit given our advancing years; so, when Oceania offered this trip we were quick to grab it. This would be our 7th Oceania cruise; and the second on Sirena. It would be for only 7 days with two days in Havana, one in Cienfuegos and one in Santiago de Cuba so it seemed like a good idea- which proved to be true. The ship Sirena is the most recently acquired of four identical former Renaissance ships owned by Oceania. It is small, 684 passengers, but reasonably spacious at 30,277 tons for an above average passenger space ratio of 44. It was completely re-done after Oceania acquired it in 2016, so it has a new appearance. There is a lot of dark wood, and varied furniture looking like the 1940s. There are two elevator banks of 2 elevators each; but they seemed to do the job well. The basic plan is to have entertainment forward and food aft, with the center used for management, shops, the casino, library, pool deck and lounging areas. Decks 6, 7 and 8 are all for staterooms; with about half of Deck 5 and a small portion of Deck 4 for passenger cabins also. Deck 5 forward has the show lounge; Deck 9 the Canyon Ranch Spa, and Deck 10 the Horizon Lounge. The main dining room is on Deck 5, the Terrace Buffet on 9, and Deck 10 has the 2 specialty restaurants, Red Ginger and the Tuscan Steak Grill. All in all, Sirena is a well designed ship; easy to navigate, and very attractive in its appearance. Living Aboard Our stateroom was 8046. The prime motif was dark wood, with light grey textured walls, a large mirror on one wall, and a nice, modern painting above the sofa. The desk arrangement was convenient, and next to it was the decent sized sofa. There were two arm chairs and a small table, probably adequate for room service (which we never use on any cruise). The verandah was good sized with two adjustable cane arm chairs that could be fitted with a padded seat and back cushion. There was a small table and a faux teak deck. The bed had two gooseneck directed focused reading lamps as well as normal wall lamps. These focused lamps made reading in bed very easy. We also enjoyed the full glass wall with the door leading out to the verandah, as it provided nice light all day. The bathroom had a full sized, obviously new shower, with both a rain shower head, a hand held spray head and a towel rack holding huge bath towels in addition to the normal sized bath towels and other towels on racks in the bathroom. There was a single sink, but cabinets and drawers on both sides providing all the room needed for toiletries. The closet was good sized with an easily sufficient number of nice quality clothes hangers provided. As usual on board ship, there was more than enough drawer space for all we brought aboard This was a Penthouse Suite. It is about 304 square feet compared to the somewhat small “normal” Verandah Suite; which we had experienced on other Oceania small ships. We have used the Penthouse Suite on most of our cruises for the ease of use and room. It also offers faster embarkation, free internet, free laundry service and a butler who was very nice, but not used at all. We had enough food without afternoon canapes, thank you. Dining Oceania is a fine dining cruise line. Their larger two ships have 4 specialty restaurants, but the four smaller ones do very well with the 2 noted above. There is no charge for using any of these specialty venues. Overall, with 42 cruises to date on 13 cruise lines; 10 ocean and 3 river cruises; we would rate Oceania’s dining performance as superior to all cruise lines except Crystal cruises; and it is quite close to that line’s marvelous ships. The main dining room is traditional, with excellent service, open dining and a fine selection. Red Ginger is one of our favorite restaurants. Reservations are required, but we were entitled to two, which we took advantage of. We are not steak people (Edith is a vegetarian) so we skipped the Tuscan Steak Grill. The Terrace Buffet has a wide selection and offered some special daily choices by way of Cuban and Italian food. It can get a little crowded for breakfast, but we always found seats. The service is fine. There is a “Barista” café outside the main dining room which offers a free selection of various coffee treats; and a “Waves” sandwich, ice cream and hamburger bar near the pool outside the Terrace Café. Entertainment As a small ship, with limited options, Sirena was constrained in its offerings. There was a small “show” group with 5 singers and 2 dancers, a lady who played the trumpet and a ventriloquist. We only went to one of the “production” nights, and it was okay. The most attractive entertainment offering was Sandy Cares, the Enrichment speaker. We had seen her on an earlier Oceania cruise, and very much enjoyed her well informed and lively presentations on this cruise as well. Oceania is well served by her. There was a very nice string quartet composed of young ladies from the Ukraine, who played every afternoon at tea in the Horizon Room, and several sessions on Deck 5 as well. Unfortunately, these sessions often conflicted with other events as well such as dinner and some special meetings for frequent Oceania passengers. Extending their presentation until later in the evening would be a good idea. The Crew There are 400 crew members on this ship. With a passenger total of 684, the ratio is 1.71 passengers for each crew member. This is a very great ratio, exceeded only by a few of the small, super luxury cruise lines. The ratio on the large ships is more like 2.5 to 3.8. This means that the cabins are promptly and well cared for, the wait staff in all restaurants and the buffet are easily sufficient for fast and friendly service, and the entire operation of the vessel is smooth and pleasant. Embarkation and Debarkation As noted above, our Penthouse status gave us priority in boarding. The Miami cruise terminal set up has a fairly large waiting area. We got there about 10:30, and were among the first on board at 11:00 where, as usual, we had to wait until 1:00 to go to our stateroom. When we checked in we were provided with Cuban visas as promised (for $75.00 each). Of course this allowed us to have lunch in the buffet and to check out some books in the delightful library. Our luggage was at the room when we went there. Debarkation went pretty quickly also, although there is a lot of walking through the terminal involved. We were not required to fill out a customs form and easily got through the customs and border check. In Cuba We sailed away at 5:00 and arrived in Havana at about 8:00 the following morning. We seldom, if ever, use Oceania’s excursions due to their limited nature and very high cost. We had made e-mail contact earlier with a private tour guide, Yuri, whose e-mail is: yuri,arcayaborrego@nauta.cu. Using CruiseCritic we made contact with several people, and some others had made contact with Yuri also, so our group numbered 14. There was much discussion about how to pay for the services. Yuri said that his tour would be both days in Havana, then in Cienfuegos, and then in Santiago. His charges would be 350 cuc (Cuban money) per person for all four tours. Cucs are only available in Cuba. While the “formal” exchange rate is 1 cuc per 1 U.S. dollar, the exchange charges made the actual rate about 0.87 to 1; so 350 cucs would be about $402.00. However Euros had no such exchange premium; so 350 cucs were about 311 Euros. We already had about 280 Euros from prior trips, so we bought 550 more from our bank, and were on our way. We checked in through Cuban customs, showed our visas and were photographed. We then exchanged some Euros for cucs and met Yuri outside the port building. We had noticed on the way in that many port buildings were in very bad shape. This turned out to be true of many places in Cuba. It is a very poor country, with no solid economic base. We all had heard about the pre-Castro American cars preserved by the Cubans, and we saw a number of them, all in very good shape. Of course most of the motor transportation is vis European or Asian vehicles. and I was fortunate to get a new MG taxi with a working ac unit to fight the 87 degree heat. We saw a lot of Havana, including a stop for a very inexpensive lunch, and returned about 4:00 P.M. We were told that next day would be spent mostly walking, so I decided to skip it. Some people on the ship went to a night club show that night. The next day was spent in several museums. Yuri speaks very good English and made his comments enjoyable. The next day was a sea day and we then arrived in Cienfuegos at about 7:00 A.M. This tour was also a walking-museum tour which I skipped again, although it involved about an hours trip to Trinidad. The return to the ship was at about 1:00 since we sailed at 3:00 The final day was spent in Santiago de Cuba. This is a part of the country absolutely dedicated to Fidel Castro. It is where he landed to start his successful revolution, and where he chose to be buried in a rather simple grave. Since this tour also involved walking, Edith again did it alone. What was nice is that Yuri did not charge us for the three days I missed. We paid at the end of each day. As noted, Cuba is a very poor country, without many prospects for the future under its present form of government. Tourism is bringing in some money, but not much with few hotels or resorts, and a limited flow of visitors from the United States. The people are delightful, and very fond of US citizens (and, of course, our money). They make do with limited resources but have talent and energy and a “we will survive” attitude. In Phoenix, where we live we have an excellent Ballet company which has received praise in New York newspapers. 3 of the dancers, including a leading ballerina, learned their art at their home in Cuba. They evidently were allowed to leave, and at least one has returned home between seasons; so it is possible to leave. Concluding Thoughts This was a very worthwhile cruise, even though my limited walking ability severely restricted my ability to see and enjoy the country. There are supposed limits on what Americans can do in Cuba, and the ship uses a couple of the entertainers (who were the only US citizens) to act as OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control, a US agency) officers to keep people informed of the restrictions. However there was virtually no enforcement of these rules. Even the Cuban government, which was everywhere, did not man the entry point in Havana the second day, so anyone on board could simply go ashore and do whatever they wanted to do. We were supposed to go ashore in Santiago de Cuba to surrender our Cuban visas, but if someone did not, there was no follow up. So, if you want to see Cuba in comfort on a beautiful and immensely comfortable ship. Oceania Sirena is the way to go. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My attempt at a more objective and comprehensive review of Oceania Nautica: ITINERARY – London to Stockholm, 14 nights 1 sea days, 3 nights at St Petersburg - an excellent itinerary. • This is a port intensive cruise visiting ... Read More
My attempt at a more objective and comprehensive review of Oceania Nautica: ITINERARY – London to Stockholm, 14 nights 1 sea days, 3 nights at St Petersburg - an excellent itinerary. • This is a port intensive cruise visiting major cities like, Berlin, Helsinki and Copenhagen, Stockholm, St Petersburg whilst also visiting quieter destinations such as Kristiansand, Klapeida, Tallinn, Karlskrona, Riga (listed in order of increasing preference). • 1- 2 more sea day would be relaxing but we had to fly out. There were scammers who attempted to scam us at London and Berlin. • Mostly smooth sailing with minor waves at night time in the Baltic seas. We do appreciate good stabilisation system with deep hull in the ships. EMBARKATION – No lines, straight through at the later part of the day. ROOMS – Very neatly appointed, the smaller bathroom meant a larger ratio of living space. • The showers are small but have been told they will refurbish in the near future. • The cabin is kept clean and stewardess Rosario was nice. I personally like the current bed style a lot and find the new design of the proposed refurbishment a bit tacky. • The bed and pillows are very comfortable, probably the best I have had at sea. PUBLIC SPACE – Spacious, lots of elegant seating in different decks. A few other cruises I have been on, felt like you must buy a drink to sit in the bar area, or must purchase this to lounge at a corner, i.e. less inviting. This ship had a lot more “free” space that you can comfortably sit and have a chat with friends. Dining alfresco in the Terrace café is great when warm; the sunset view (quick photo) is worth the chilly wind! OTHER PASSENGERS – most demographics lean towards retirees from North America, Europe Australia etc. • Some passengers are very warm and friendly, some others were very discerning, a few were ageist and slightly chauvinistic towards non Anglos because there is hardly any non Anglo passenger on board – no wonder other Asian male passengers were mistaken for crew and there were lots of staring. • In Australia, we see a variety of nationalities like Middle East, East and South East Asia, Africa, South American people. Perhaps with a few of the passengers, they don’t see much of the greater world as much and developed more curiosity as such, hmm. • I have also witnessed a few passengers been rather rude to the crew and are quite demanding, my guess is there is a correlation between more luxury cruises with more discerning cruisers. Contrastingly, I have witnessed people pushing in lines at buffet…but you probably expected this on any cruise. • Passengers on other mass and premium lines saw happier looking passengers who are on holiday, Nautica passengers appears that this is the everyday life (probably because they cruised with Oceania a lot and this became their normal home). CREW – Mostly excellent and friendly: only some very minor hiccups with some waiter and lady at the bar near the casino area. John the cruise director was amazing and the chef (not sure of the name) grilling lobsters, steak and fish in the terrace cafe for most part of the cruise is a master, the best grilled lobsters I have ever tasted. The chef changed on the last two days, the lobster quality dropped significantly and not cleaned properly (accidental slice of the excretory glands by the chef when cutting the lobster meant a unique taste…). FOOD - Having cruised with Celebrity (same menu in different ships rotating), RCL, Carnival, Princess, this line has the best food out of the above. Celebrity and princess are still decent and I enjoyed my meals with them. Carnival was good value for money and fun, but RCL was cost cutting. 1. If food is important to you, as it is for me, you are likely to enjoy this cruise. 2. The only comment I will make is that the sashimi is not that great, i.e. powdery and breakfast was getting boring after 2 weeks of continental breakfast. This is likely because I am spoiled in Australia where the café brunch options are excellent and access to other cultures like Chinese dumplings, dim sums with congee and fresh sashimi etc. I am not sure how adventurous the other passengers are with trying “non-western” style breakfast. .. 3. The fruit options for breakfast are impeccable and fresh. I can’t rave enough about the grilled lobster done by that particular Chef in the buffet, simply the best, he needs a bonus. 4. The main dining room is mostly great, tip: the daily menus are better than the Pepin inspired ones. Miso glazed Sea Bass was delicious. 5. The Russian evening buffet was outstanding with lots of choices and interesting dishes. We really appreciated trying other cuisines and the culture, especially when the food is made nicely. 6. Desserts – I have not had a bad dessert on board and have gotten seconds, very nicely presented and produced. You will be eating with nice silverware and plates. Afternoon tea with string quartet is very good but often hard to find a seat. SHORE EXCURSIONS – • Did a private tour for SPB for Catherine palace + Peterhof and it was great. • The complimentary shore excursion to Hermitage was disappointing, I could only look and take pictures of the ceiling because it is too crowded to see artworks on the side. Perhaps I needed to grow a few inches taller. Good thing that the ceilings were intricately beautiful. Because of the massive crowds, I did not see the peacock clock. Your face is literally up behind someone’s back. It was like a battle against time and the 50-60k people per day to take a quick peak of some highlights and get out ASAP. Don’t get me wrong though, the rooms within the hermitage were very opulent. • The local guide who gets on board at the ports Is quite good – provides a local maps with tips and answers. Also the shuttle to city centre, both very nice touches added by Oceania. • The complimentary tours for the 3 cathedrals however, were very good. See the ports info below for tips. • In general the ship excursions and transfers are very expensive for what they offer. ENTERTAINMENT The lectures on history of the ports were interesting and John’s magic show and talks were excellent. You are more or less expected to entertain yourself on board, which is perfectly fine given the intensive itinerary. Take the extra time to recharge, read a book and relax somewhere. I will be more than happy if Oceania spends the money on other things to improve vacation experience. There was minigolf and a shuffle board. Summary of tips: take naps in the very comfy bed and deck chairs with good cushions, try the afternoon tea listening to strings, try Toscana, try the miso glazed sea bass, eat the desserts, relax in the public areas, read in the library and relax after a long day (30k steps per day sometimes) of sightseeing ! Baltic cruises are definitely not only for the retirees. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This is my second cruise on Oceania and true to form all of the amenities they mention and all of the service they brag about is truly only available on their concierge suites or higher. If you are in a regular room you will not get the ... Read More
This is my second cruise on Oceania and true to form all of the amenities they mention and all of the service they brag about is truly only available on their concierge suites or higher. If you are in a regular room you will not get the best service or opportunities on the boat. A couple of examples. They rave about their great "specialty" restaurants. Priority is given to the upper suite classes and by the time you get on the ship or can book a reservation on line for the most part all of the reservations are taken and the best you can get is an 8:30 PM reservation just before they close. Another example you are warned repeatedly that if you are off the boat on a private tour not booked by the boat and you return to the ship late the ship will leave you. Except if you are in a penthouse suite. Our boat left late after they announced one of the penthouse guests to please contact them if they were on the boat and then an hour later a limo showed up with a family that ran and got on the ship. So if you are in the Penthouse even the rules don't apply to you. I just feel that Oceania has an attitude that they only care if you book the higher suites and spend more money. We tried to book excursions only to be told they were sold out and they put us on a waiting list but they would not tell you how the waiting list worked so how would you know if you even had a chance for an excursion. They say they have the best food of all cruises but I did not find this the case. The food is OK but unless you again are willing to spend a fortune on their "gourmet" dinners I have had similar and at times better food on other cruises. I just feel they over charge you for basic service with no real advantage to enhanced services and they don't mind letting you know because you didn't book the penthouse. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Oceania is a "Class Act". You are treated like royalty. Food, service, friendliness, cabin size, cleanliness, choice of ports, etc. are wonderful. You cannot ask for a better cruise experience! All the Specialty Restaurants ... Read More
Oceania is a "Class Act". You are treated like royalty. Food, service, friendliness, cabin size, cleanliness, choice of ports, etc. are wonderful. You cannot ask for a better cruise experience! All the Specialty Restaurants are included in the cruise fare. Our favorite is the Polo Grill. If you like Ruth Chris' Streak House, then you will love the Polo Grill. You can even eat whole fresh lobster at no extra cost. We have sailed on approximately 50 cruises covering many different cruise lines, but Oceania has the best food and service of any of the cruises. Your are frequently greeted by your name and a lot of the staff know your needs even before you ask for something. I call it "Pure Luxury". The ships are small; less than 700 on the four small sister ships, and approximately 1,200 on the larger two sister ships. Thus, you receive very personal attention. The ratio of staff to passenger is very high. However, this is not a cruise line for young people or couples that want nightlife like Carnival, NCL, or RCCL. The shows and entertainers are enjoyable, but not spectacular Las Vegas type shows at all. The casino is very small with limited gaming.. There are no children facilities. There is no entertainment for teenagers. My husband and I will now only travel on Oceania and we are already booked for two cruises in 2019! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
I would have rated the cruise and Oceana as a 5 if it wasn't for the cheap flight arranged with the olife option. 2 stops each way totally unacceptable. Rest of cruise wad fabulous with incredible food and excellant shows. Around the ... Read More
I would have rated the cruise and Oceana as a 5 if it wasn't for the cheap flight arranged with the olife option. 2 stops each way totally unacceptable. Rest of cruise wad fabulous with incredible food and excellant shows. Around the World with the singers and dancers might have been one of the best shows we have seen. Not being continually hounded to buy photos -priceless. Embarkation was a nightmare, but that was not the fault of the cruise line. Disembarkation was one of the smoothest ever. Dinners at the specialty restaurants were over the top. The Horizon lounge was warm, friendly and very comfortable. Shops are very low key with no pressure selling, although selection was limited. Our cabin was very well appointed and the bed was one of the most comfortable we have ever experienced at sea. Overall, the cruise was very memorable and we would not hesitate to recommend Oceana. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We were on the Marina for 14 days, 6 of them at sea, and I have only high praise. The service was outstanding, everyone smiling and saying hello, the food was superb and the presentation of the dishes was truly over the top. Based on the ... Read More
We were on the Marina for 14 days, 6 of them at sea, and I have only high praise. The service was outstanding, everyone smiling and saying hello, the food was superb and the presentation of the dishes was truly over the top. Based on the itinerary, Barcelona to Miami, the shore excursions were as interesting as they could be although we thought they were overpriced. The classes at the culinary enter were a life saver on the days at sea and Chef Karlis is a great instructor and chef. Shipboard activities were well geared to the age level of the passengers and the evening entertainment was well attended most of the nights. No disco, no photographer, no children taking over the pool, plenty of lounge chairs and no signing a ticket every time you wanted a soft drink or cold water or a specialty coffee A high class operation, beautiful décor and furnishings. Oceania provides so many "little touches" that make a big difference.. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Itinerary was exactly what was wanted for a Baltic cruise. 3 days in St. Petersburg is a must. The other ports were excellent. One port allowed us the opportunity to meet family we had located and only corresponded with for years. ... Read More
Itinerary was exactly what was wanted for a Baltic cruise. 3 days in St. Petersburg is a must. The other ports were excellent. One port allowed us the opportunity to meet family we had located and only corresponded with for years. September sailing was decent weather. Rain for short bursts of time during one or two tours but sunny and pleasant other days. Tour guides from Oceania and private tours spoke and understood English. The history and life style philosophy of the various countries was explained and discussed by and with the tour guides. As for Russia...Despite the concerns, we elected to take a private tour of both St. Petersburg and Berlin. Price was excellent and did include the the Russian Visa. Going through customs in SPB was not an issue. Just show your printed tickets sent prior to the cruise. It had dates and times. The tours were full days on all 3 days in SPB. Berlin was also a full day. Be prepared with good walking shoes in all ports. Food: average to poor. Main Dining Room Maine lobster was very dry. Menu the same on the nights we looked for options. Entries needed to meet the spice rack. Buffet: Better option. Shrimp and FL lobster tail cooked to order. Desserts looked beautiful had no flavor. Sorbet best bet. Only did Italian speciality restaurant. The Asian servers could not pull off the Italian accent. They did try. Food was average at best. Other specialities restaurants booked. In the Buffet, plates and cups were attempted to be removed when plates half eaten with coffee or tea cleared up as others still eating at our table. Other nights could not wave down a person for adult beverages or servers. More so in the evening than breakfast. Tables were available for other diners during these time. Servers in the buffet and on the tables spoke English but need work on their comprehension. Many of the people seemed to be on their first contract in need of more orientation. Entertainment: Singers and dancers obviously had talent. The shows were a disappointment. No performances until 9:30pm. Very late when the tours started at 8am or earlier. Activities: Lecturer on TV was good. Did not attend bean bag toss or Bingo on the sea day. For being labeled a "premium/luxury cruise experience", average is a very generous rating. Would think long and hard about rebooking on this cruise line. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This cruise was organized by Michigan State University and Go Next travel. All big ten schools were included for this cruise. We enjoyed stops in Alaska and excursions planned by Go Next. We had sports dignitaries on board and enjoyed ... Read More
This cruise was organized by Michigan State University and Go Next travel. All big ten schools were included for this cruise. We enjoyed stops in Alaska and excursions planned by Go Next. We had sports dignitaries on board and enjoyed panel discussions. We stopped in Wrangell, Sitka, Juneau, Hoonah, Skagway and Victoria. Our meals were delicious,the staff friendly and efficient and the voyage was fantastic. The atmosphere was casual but dinner required country club casual.The terrace could be crowded especially at lunch. The staff was exceptional and learned our names quickly. The spa services were very expensive and the transfer costs to the airports were very expensive. I liked the size of the ship and we are planning on another cruise in several years. I would recommend Oceana and the Regatta to friends and family. I would have enjoyed a yoga and Zumba class or other fitness activity offered onboard. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
Itinerary was one we hadn't done before. Had a really good time on board and in the U.K. and Ireland. The ports were very interesting and the weather was really good for northern England and Scotland. The rough seas were almost ... Read More
Itinerary was one we hadn't done before. Had a really good time on board and in the U.K. and Ireland. The ports were very interesting and the weather was really good for northern England and Scotland. The rough seas were almost un-noticable the night we had them. The ship was very comfortable through that night. The captain was among the best in keeping all well informed throughout the cruise. He was very approachable and explained everything. One day as we were disembarking we saw him leaving the ship with his bike for a ride around the port. The food on board was terrific as usual on Oceania. The food on board is the main reason we frequently look at the itineraries that Oceania offers. We always meet very interesting people on board. This trip was no exception. Exploring out of the way places in Dublin and the Beatles tour was a highlight. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We initially were made aware of this cruise by Go Next which was actively promoting this cruise last year, however we ended up booking it through our own travel agent for a slightly better deal. As others have mentioned, French ... Read More
We initially were made aware of this cruise by Go Next which was actively promoting this cruise last year, however we ended up booking it through our own travel agent for a slightly better deal. As others have mentioned, French Polynesia is beautiful, remote, and quiet. It was extremely hot and humid when we visited, but we enjoyed it immensely. Oceania did promote this accurately as not for children, and in fact only 1 lonesome child was on the ship, which was nice for those of us who need a break from grandchildren. We had never cruised Oceania before, so my remarks will compare it and the smaller ship adventure to our previous cruises with larger ships and other cruise lines. Our package included the cruise, flights, WiFi, gratuities, and 4 excursions, which made it so much easier when it came to the final bill. Soft drinks and bottled water were included, the bar fridge was stocked with soft drinks, and bottled water was included as we disembarked each day. drinks were very expensive at over $11 for a mixed drink, and $7 for beer, so if you are a big drinker, you might look into the drinks package. The gift shops had only high end items, one of the two shops was dedicated to a brand of high end jewelry and the other had minimal, but high end clothing. Embarking the ship was easy and smooth. Tendering was easy with only 600+ passengers, also no photographers, no art auctions. On the negative side, the buffet was small and limited, but very good. Entertainment was limited with a large lounge instead of a theatre without tiered seating. The ship also seemed to ride a bit rougher with its small size, even though the seas were calm, more of a bounce in the fore and aft where the dining room and entertainment were located. It was a real bonus that the specialty restaurants were no extra charge. The Tuscan Grill was so so, but we loved Red Ginger with excellent food and service and a great maitre d'. As on many cruise ships lately the food, service and staff were excellent. The cabins were slightly smaller than we have had, with the bathroom noticeably smaller, but they were well appointed with a super comfortable beds and bedding. Our Oceania experience was great, but not better than we have had on other cruise lines. The small ship experience was good for this itinerary, but we probably prefer ships with 1000-1800 passengers. This itinerary was wonderful and relaxing, just what we were looking for; however we could have missed the 3 days that it took to get up to Nuka Hiva, as on a small ship there isn't a lot to do on sea days. We would recommend this cruise for the quiet adventure, and the ship to those who prefer to do without all the hype and hassle of the huge ships. Passengers on this cruise were mainly American and well travelled. We enjoyed sharing a table at meals and hearing new travel stories. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We were a group of 9 family and friends traveling together. My DH and I had been to French Polynesia before but the others had not. We chose this itinerary because we're avid snorkelers and family members like to get out of Wyoming ... Read More
We were a group of 9 family and friends traveling together. My DH and I had been to French Polynesia before but the others had not. We chose this itinerary because we're avid snorkelers and family members like to get out of Wyoming Winter in February! Most of our cruising has been on Regent or Silversea so I'm sure that has biased my observations some. Other family members have mostly done Celebrity. Consider that as you read this review. Ship: Overall ship was very nice. Only surprise was several of the common area restrooms are configured for only one person at a time (for privacy you had to lock the door on the way in). While the public restrooms outside the MDR and Terrace Café could service multiple users, I still found this a bit odd. Cabin: We were in 4044, a Deluxe Oceanview. The location is really excellent! Close to Reception and MDR, amidships and low (DH gets seasick sometimes), and nothing that makes late night or early morning noise above or below. Cabin was viewed by everyone as small (even though I tried to manage everyone's expectations). That said, everything fit nicely and bathroom, while small was fine for two. We have tripled up on Regent and Silversea in the past, but this would not be possible here. Everything in the cabin worked and our room steward was excellent. Dining: Everyone's favorite was Red Ginger. Second favorite was Terrace Café. Overall everyone thought food was excellent. Only issue with MDR was that it took about 2 1/2 hours to have dinner. Several in our group are big lobster fans, so being able to have "All You Can Eat" lobster was a big hit for the Terrace Café. I liked the "All You Can Eat" sushi; so Terrace was a Group hit. The surf and turf sandwich at Waves was also a big hit. Brother even took to ordering Surf and Turf, hold the turf and hold the bread! In my opinion the best steak I had on the trip was the turf part of the Surf and Turf sandwich. Only "real" negative comment regarded the Ice Cream/Milkshake bar next to Waves. While it opened at 0630 (who eats Ice Cream or a milkshake at 0630?), it closed at 1600. So, if you came back from an excursion after 4PM and wanted a milkshake you couldn't get it. Wasn't available from room service either. Even though "creamed spinach" (my personal favorite) was not on the MDR menu, I was able to get it every nite we ate in the MDR. A special shout out to Gluten Free folks. My DH is GF so we let O know before hand. This worked out really nicely. Most dishes in the MDR and Red Ginger could be prepared GF with the one day notice using the menu provided in our cabin.. DH was even able to have a "standing order" for GF Escargot for lunch in Jacques. DH could always get GF bread in the MDR, and at the Terrace Cafe (though it took a few minutes longer there) and thought was good! DH even insists on making GF bread at home as we don't care for most "store bought." So I considered this a significant endorsement of O's GF products. Though Home Office couldn't tell me before hand, they do have GF soy sauce available at Red Ginger, but only in the Red Ginger. Brought our own for use in Terrace Café. Not sure why if GF Soy Sauce was available in Red Ginger why it wasn't available at MDR. Entertainment: The production show staff were solid, maybe voices weren't as strong as I would have liked, but generally solid. The guest entertainers: comic, magician/comic, and singer were OUTSTANDING! All three were great in their craft and talented showmen. Activities. The "usual" putting, shuffleboard, ping pong, bean bag toss and trivia games were all well executed and fun. One of the Guest Lecturers was mediocre at best. O would have done better to find someone local (like Polynesian Anthropologist Mark Eddowes) than lawyer/professor from DC. That said, the ship's Navigator gave a lecture on navigation that was just OUTSTANDING. Could have used one or two more from him. Service in all venues was generally outstanding. There were occasional lapses but they were generally rare. All pre-arranged requests were honored (GF, Diet Mt. Dew or Coke Zero). Special requests in Dining Venues (see above) were met (except my brother's request for beef Wellington every night.). Ports and Excursions: I agree O's excursions are overpriced; but, we did opt for the 4 included excursions per person and enjoyed them. That said, I'm sure glad I didn't pay list price for them! As expected, the ports made this trip. We had "private" tours in Fakarava, Bora Bora and Raiatea. The Bora Bora and Fakarava snorkel trips were the highlights of the cruise. Truth Teller: We booked another O cruise while on board. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Chose this cruise for itinerary + the Iowa State Alumni group. We arrived at the Los Angeles Port at 6:30 pm after a cross country flight and 1 hour 15 min transfer. It was rather dark, one man met the shuttle saying, "it's ... Read More
Chose this cruise for itinerary + the Iowa State Alumni group. We arrived at the Los Angeles Port at 6:30 pm after a cross country flight and 1 hour 15 min transfer. It was rather dark, one man met the shuttle saying, "it's late and everyone has gone home, you'll have to handle all your own luggage, no carts available" and pointed to a door. It didn't get better, no smiles or information! Fortunately from that beginning, the rest of the experience was wonderful!! We enjoyed all restaurants, had 2 reservations for Toscana and Polo Grill (outstanding service and cuisine choices), The Terrace restaurant was great for all meals plus the outside provided wonderful views. We had an issue 2 hot items that were cold the first few days, let them know via written comment, the next day it was resolved! (even a apology from the head chef!) Loved that we had NO formal nights! Entertainment was very good for the size ship, Activities plentiful. Service excellent. Ports of call mixed, shore excursions very expensive. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
Oceania always provide good services, food and entertainment. The only disappointments were the cancellation of Istanbul and Cairo within the lists of Port of Call. Those cities were the reasons for the initial booking of this cruise. ... Read More
Oceania always provide good services, food and entertainment. The only disappointments were the cancellation of Istanbul and Cairo within the lists of Port of Call. Those cities were the reasons for the initial booking of this cruise. Some travelers mentioned receiving shipboard credit after complaining to Oceania (which would need confirmation). If that was true and correct, Oceania should have done across the board for all passengers. During the passage of the Suez Canal/Red Sea, the ship was attacked by flies. The crew had to do extra duties every night to fumigate the Terrace Cafe and other public areas. Oceania is very concerned of the safety of the passengers especially when sailing through the potentially high-risk areas. The captain advised all blinds or curtains would need to be pulled together after dark to avoid the attractions of the privates and the open decks were closed for public access. Closing the deck after dark caused some inconvenience because some passengers such as myself would normally have their exercise walks after the big dinners. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Great venues and wonderful food. Definitely higher end as far as cost, but you get what you pay for... Liquor prices and packages are high and the sommelier actually advised against the wine package. I had done some research on the wines ... Read More
Great venues and wonderful food. Definitely higher end as far as cost, but you get what you pay for... Liquor prices and packages are high and the sommelier actually advised against the wine package. I had done some research on the wines offered and agreed - $9 wines with mediocre ratings for $47.50 a bottle. We also found that there was no problem buying a bottle of wine or liquor in port and bringing it to your room. We splurged and got a penthouse suite. It was considerably larger than a regular suite but I didn't find their "butler" service to be much more than a regular concierge. The size was, however, worth it. We highly advise to build in extra days in the first and last locations to get your full value on the trip. If you book those through Oceania, you get all extra travel and connections covered which is very nice. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
This was our second cruise on Oceania. We received a lot of press on the new Sirena. We booked a Penthouse SG2 with no specific stateroom. This was a first for us not having a Stateroom; one of their promotions. We were going to be in ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Oceania. We received a lot of press on the new Sirena. We booked a Penthouse SG2 with no specific stateroom. This was a first for us not having a Stateroom; one of their promotions. We were going to be in Europe so all seemed good; bad decision. We did not realize nor did our travel agent, that Oceania advises you of your stateroom the day before sailing. Thus you options to select another stateroom or cancel was not an option. My recommendation would be never to book a cruise without you knowing where you will be. As to the ship, the Sirena is a 17 year old ship and it still looks like it. Other than make all the staterooms smaller to gain more revenue, it is a mystery as to where the money went. The biggest shock was the size of the Penthouse. It had no closets and very limited space to put your clothes. Any cruise over 12 days would be an issue. The bathroom is a joke. You can almost take a shower, go to the toilet, and shave without moving. The width of the bathroom is so small it is hard to describe it. The shower is approx. 3’X 4’ I feel sorry for the passengers that did not have penthouses. On the positive side, the food was great. The ports we visited were great. The disappointment was their decision to stop in a great port on Sunday when 90% of the sights were closed. They stayed there the full day loading ship supplies. Making things worse, is the ship hit an underground cable due to a Pilot error. We had to stay another day in port and miss a great port that was on the itinerary. They offered everyone a $200.00 shipboard credit on a future cruise; they can keep it. I strongly recommend you stay from this ship if you want to experience a great cruise; there competitors offer such better choices Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We have cruised many times on other cruise lines. We chose Oceania because of the destination and previous positive Oceania experiences from friends. The cabins were very comfortable , refrigerators well stocked, and the food was ... Read More
We have cruised many times on other cruise lines. We chose Oceania because of the destination and previous positive Oceania experiences from friends. The cabins were very comfortable , refrigerators well stocked, and the food was outstanding! I love to take baths so the full size bathtub was much appreciated. We liked the size of the ship-- easy to disembark/ embark for excursions. We never felt crowded or rushed . Getting into a dining room was always easy. In the Terrace Cafe, we appreciated the waiters/ kitchen staff dishing up the plates rather than each person serving himself. This seemed much more sanitary and appealing. Room service was always prompt. One comment I would like to make is there is no place open after 11:00 if you want a late night sweet. Having returned from the theater about 10:45, I couldn't find any place to get ice cream or desserts. I had to settle on a cookie in the conscierge room. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
Interesting to read other (negative) reviews of this same cruise. We found the service staff to be extremely helpful and friendly. Our housekeeper introduced herself right after boarding and thereafter greeted us by name every time we ... Read More
Interesting to read other (negative) reviews of this same cruise. We found the service staff to be extremely helpful and friendly. Our housekeeper introduced herself right after boarding and thereafter greeted us by name every time we passed in the hall. The stateroom (PH1) was kept immaculate. We ate in all four specialty restaurants and found them all excellent, especially Red Ginger. The private meal in the Wine Spectator dining room was outstanding, with excellent wine pairings. We ate in the Grand Dining room several times, especially for lunch, and found that to be excellent as well. Embarkation was simple and fast, and we were being served lunch within minutes of boarding. Stage entertainment was scheduled too late for me, and the one show I did attend was mediocre at best. But I didn't take this cruise for that purpose. Shore excursions were expensive and low value, but for the most part we arranged our own, which worked very well. We did take one which happened to be at an anchorage port and we enjoyed that one. We both agreed that we would consider another Oceania cruise if it came up and worked with our schedule. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We thoroughly enjoyed our first Oceania Cruise on-board the Regatta! I had read some of the reviews, and to be honest, wondered if we had made a mistake. The answer to that is a resounding NO!!!! From the moment we boarded the ship ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our first Oceania Cruise on-board the Regatta! I had read some of the reviews, and to be honest, wondered if we had made a mistake. The answer to that is a resounding NO!!!! From the moment we boarded the ship in Miami, it was like we were somebody special! We were treated with the utmost respect by everyone on the staff! The food was excellent - and we especially liked the Terrace Cafe and the staff there! I don't understand what else people would have wanted...well, wait...they didn't have biscuits and gravy or grits! But, I can get those at most everywhere else! The entertainment was a nice variety from classical quartets to comediennes to magic acts. I would have liked a bit more "goldie oldie" music, but that's just me! There were things to do, if you wanted to do them...but we took the trip to enjoy going through the Panama Canal and seeing the countries of Central America. We were most content to just rest and relax! The ocean motion was a bit rough on the last two days, and the captain did an superb job of getting us through that. We were late getting into San Francisco, and Oceania did an excellent job of getting hotels and rescheduled flights for the passengers! This ship is more for the more mature age folks - so there is nothing for children to do. The shore excursions were wonderful! I just wish I could remember all the info that the guides told us! Food was usually included on those tours, and it was very good. If I had a complaint it would be that the cost of internet was too high...I didn't think I needed to pay $30 a day to check, so I didn't. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2013
I sailed on the Oceania Marina mid June with a group of 10 friends that I met through Cruise Critic over the years. I have already published a comparison of my "observations" on Oceania vs. Azamara, on the Oceania board. I have ... Read More
I sailed on the Oceania Marina mid June with a group of 10 friends that I met through Cruise Critic over the years. I have already published a comparison of my "observations" on Oceania vs. Azamara, on the Oceania board. I have reset my expectations and had a little "cooling off" period so I am hopeful that this review will be fair and balanced and will only deal with the Marina experience. Firstly, the ship is gorgeous! She is clean and bright and cheerful and the works of art onboard are amazing. It was a delight just to stroll around her. I arrived too early to embark but my luggage was taken away quickly and I was free to wander or sit or snack. The port in Stockholm is a working port, as were all the ports on the Baltic cruise, so the terminal was a prefab unit but was just fine. There was a small gift shop with coffee and snacks and water. There were quite a few folks there already but it was not crowded. It was cool outside so the temperature in the terminal was pleasant. There were enough seats to handle the number of passengers so all was well. At around 1:30 am they began herding us all towards the security check point. Since there was a bit of a crush - they began to call the Suite passengers first, then PH, then Concierge and so on. This created a bit of a fuss since there were lots of folks already in line. It seemed a bit disjointed. One still had to go to the check-in counter and line up in the appropriate line before being allowed to board, so it seemed strange that they wouldn't just let the line clear through security and let the Concierge and above board after check in. The entire process from line up to check-in to boarding took less than 25 minutes. Pretty good! Suite wasn't ready so I proceeded to the Terrace Café for a bite and a drink...I was impressed by the variety and the quality of the food, along with the presentation. I managed to secure a table on the aft deck. Weather was wonderful and I was enjoying the view! After snacking and downing a perfectly prepared martini - I popped down the one floor to see my room. Very lovely - spacious and well appointed, clean and bright. I had flowers from some friends that had been delivered so the smell was lovely UNTIL ..... I entered the bathroom. :-( Where I was greeted by the smell of sewage. Yikes ---- I thought I was imagining it until my cabin steward came in a told me this was a known issue and they had been struggling to keep it under control. Bottom line - I smelled it off and on for the duration of the cruise. My friends and I also noticed it in the hall out side my room. I know that they were pouring lots of water in and using heavy duty chemicals but the issue was never really resolved. Luckily - my room smelled so lovely from the flowers, I didn't notice it in the room. It seemed to be worse during the day - at night I think I was just so exhausted, I didn't notice. The balcony is a nice size with comfortable chairs but I could have used a table for dining out there as that is what I love to do each morning. The walk in closet is totally decadent .... I could have rented it out, all I needed was a blow up mattress! The tv was a good size with lots of news stations (no CNN).... the cordless phone was a great touch --- used it in the closet!!!!! The upmarket amenities were excellent. The smell was also very noticeable at the shuffleboard court. So much so that my friends stopped going there. They also put away the sports equipment precisely at 6 - although the sun didn't set until midnight. We returned from touring around 5 pm each night as did most people. The food in the Specialty restaurants, Terrace Café, Waves and Room Service was excellent....really well done with lots of choices. Service was great too. Red Ginger had a great manager and I can't remember her name but she was also at Waves and you could see that she REALLY knew what she was doing. She was also really kind to her staff and that was nice to see. Table turnover for the buffet was good. Only one day where it was so busy that you couldn't find seating. I didn't get a chance to go to Toscana, but my friends thought that it was the best dinner they had onboard. Red Ginger came in second. Not that the others were bad...they weren't. I don't think I had a bad meal anywhere EXCEPT the GDR. The food and service there was spotty everytime I went there for breakfast or dinner (with the exception of dining at the Captain's table). We tried it several times and we were always disappointed. Food wasn't hot and when it was sent back, it came back cool again. If it can be good when dining with the CAptain, it should be as good as that for all guests I think. I have recently adopted a gluten and dairy free lifestyle. I was accommodated in every way possible and managed to get very tasty alternative foods! I must say - they watched me like a hawk and I had to tell them that I wouldn't die if I had any gluten or dairy in fact the only thing that might happen is that I just might contribute to the nasty smell we were noticing around the ship!!!! LOL AND NO the nasty smell wasn't me ... I CHECKED!!! :-) The entertainment onboard was nothing special - but this has been noticed by many reviewers for some time. The ports were very intensive and most folks retired early. If you ate dinner past 7:30 it was usually impossible to see the show that started at 9:30. My friends and I aren't notable night crawlers - so it was usually a quick boo at the show's tail end and off to bed. We danced one night and the duo were good. The guitarist was spectacular!!! He did two shows and we wish he had done more. Magician was good too. The Spa onboard is beautiful - but get ready to shell out HUGE bucks for treatments. The Sanctuary turned out to be the biggest disappointment for us all as there was very little maintenance done on it. Used towels, long abandoned by their users, lay on the loungers. New clean towels were sometimes not even available. In the change room, baskets overflowed with used towels and amenities were not replaced. Locker keys were given out and when opened there were still used robes in them. The beautiful heated stone loungers in the Serenity room had used towels on them and the tables were littered with used cups and soda cans. What a shame. My friends and I went up there every day and always had the same experience. When we asked the Spa desk about this - we were told that they are not responsible for cleaning the areas. It was Oceania's job. Hmmmmmm. The gym was well appointed and all the machines were in service everytime I went. But again, there was an issue with tidying up. The disinfectant cloths were empty or turned over and bleach spilled out on the counter for hours! My butler and his staff were excellent - shout out to Sonu and Liliya! Every night he presented himself to escort me to dinner as he felt it was necessary that a single woman should not enter the dining room alone! That was lovely. I wish I could remember the names of all the people who were so wonderful on board. The crew were all so friendly and kind - it was a pleasure to see their smiling faces each day. In summation, I would say that Oceania is a solid 5 star cruise experience. The issues I have mentioned could be fixed very easily and I hope that it has already been taken care of. Based on my previous travels with many other cruise lines, I would say that my experience would have been enhanced if there were just a couple of things that had been there that I missed. Anyone in mid or senior management to say hello/goodbye each day at the gangway. Cold towels and a refreshment at the gangways after tours returned. Anyone in a senior management position to Welcome guests onboard and maybe a sparkling wine? A more proactive greeting from Mid or Senior Management or officers when walking about the ship. I always felt that I had to do a little "dance" to get someone's attention or even to say Hello. It became a bit of a joke as we started counting the number of times we had the practiced "avoidance" coming towards us. Just because we are troublemakers at heart...we boomed out hello to everyone walking by! They always returned our hello with a smile.....with one exception. ;-) What it comes down to is that little things make the difference between meeting expectations and exceeding them. Many new or "upmarketing" cruisers onboard felt that their first Oceania experience was extraordinary having nothing else in the 5 star region to compare it with. To that end and in that market Oceania has achieved and possibly exceeded customer satisfaction. I would hope that delighting the customer would extend also to passengers who have experienced other cruise lines competing for the same market share. I am sure that Oceania values this highly prized group and from all I have seen of their spectacular shoreside service and the exemplary attention I have had from some their senior management, meeting expectations is not the goal. It will be my pleasure to cruise again with them in the future and will feel confident that the experience will be solid 5 star approaching 6!   Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
Quite frankly the thing about Oceania that most impressed me was the hand-holding they provided during travel to and from Papeete, Tahiti, our point of embarkation/disembarkation. We checked our bags in Pittsburgh, and three flights later ... Read More
Quite frankly the thing about Oceania that most impressed me was the hand-holding they provided during travel to and from Papeete, Tahiti, our point of embarkation/disembarkation. We checked our bags in Pittsburgh, and three flights later we got off the plane in Papeete. Oceania chartered an Air Tahiti Nui Airbus A343 for the flight from LAX to Papeete. A brief stop in Papeete at immigration and we were given a flower lei and directed to a bus. We arrived at the dock, boarded the ship, got our ID/Cabin Keys and went to our room. Before we unpacked and stowed our carry-on items, our bags showed up. Sweet! Oceania had people at LAX to direct us to the Tom Bradley International terminal, and at Bradley to direct us to the gate for our flight. These people had lists with our names, and they checked us off, so they weren't just Walmart greeters. Ditto for the return flights, except that we had to claim our bags at LAX and go thru US Customs. We then put our bags back on the belt and we next saw them in Pittsburgh. All this air travel was included in the cost our trip. We've traveled enough that we don't exactly need this level of hand-holding, but it sure was nice and relieved any stress that we may have had. The second thing we most liked about Oceania was the food. We ate in all four of Marina's specialty restaurants, and we liked them all. It's hard to pick a favorite, although Red Ginger and Polo Grill slightly bested Toscano and Jacque's. We only ate in the Grand Dining room twice, once for breakfast on a rainy morning, and once for dinner. The rest of our meals were enjoyed in the more casual Terrace Cafe where we could dine outside in the warm Polynesian weather with gorgeous views of whatever island we were visiting. Great sushi & sashimi in Red Ginger and the Terrace Cafe. We also spent a fun rainy day in their Bon Apetite culinary center taking a cooking class and eating our Zdelicious (if I do say so myself) results. My wife gained 7 pounds on this cruise, and she's the careful one. I'm afraid to get on a scale. The Verandas on Marina are wonderful. You can sit down and enjoy an almost unobstructed view of what's out there. Very nice design with only a varnished wooden handrail at the top and several slim metal rails below. RCCI's Explorer of the Seas, on the other hand, was more metal than view from our Grand Suite. But this aspect would very greatly from ship to ship rather than from line to line. If you like to sit outside and take in the views, you'll like your veranda on Marina. Now for the complaints. On-board entertainment wasn't much to speak of, other than Tom Drake a funny comedian and music by the Orpheus String Quartet, a "name" chamber music group who performed throughout the cruise in various venues. We also enjoyed the Marina Band. But compared to what we've experienced on Royal Caribbean or Princess, the entertainment was only so-so. But that wasn't why we came, so not a big deal. Wine & drink prices are too high. A pour of wine might cost just slightly less than a bottle back home. I ran the numbers after we got home and even with the gouging, buying by the bottle or glass still saved us a ton over what we would have paid by buying one of their ridiculously priced drink packages. Royal Caribbean's wine package is much more flexible and reasonably priced. Land Tours are really overpriced. While this won't come as a shock to anyone who reads the boards on CruiseCritic, it seemed a shame. We signed up for none - zero. No one begrudges Oceania a profit on a service provided, but a simple 3 hour excursion that one could do for $35 per couple would cost well over $100 thru Oceania. I don't know how many of their offerings actually sold out (some certainly did), but if they lowered the prices we would have booked thru them rather than going ashore and finding our own. While I'm tempted to say its not about the money its about refusing to be taken advantage of, in reality its both. The bathroom (design). Our bath was striking visually. We had both a tub with a European style partial glass partition, and a walk-in shower. We used the shower. My wife showered in the tub once to try it, but used the walk-in after that. The only problem with the walk-in was the size - very small. I don't know about you, but I haven't taken a bath since I was a child. I don't know anyone who bathes. Tubs are so yesterday. Now I'm sure that some people do bathe. But why on a virtually brand new ship couldn't they have fitted at least a portion of the stateroom with only a shower? Removing the tub would have allowed them to increase the size of the walk-in shower by, say 50%, and enlarge the stateroom with the remaining space. If they had done this for say 10% of the staterooms, and identified these rooms as shower only on the deck maps showing staterooms, I would bet these would be the first to sell out in their category. I would predict that if they had tried this, after time and retrofits, eventually rooms with tubs would become the exception rather than the rule. I also wonder why bath tubs on cruise ships seem to have higher sides than at home. On our previous cruise on RCCI's Explorer of the Seas, we almost needed a ladder to get in and out. There we had no walk-in shower option. I'm guessing this is so the water wouldn't splash out in rough seas. Dump the tub! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
What an exciting concept see Istanbul with all its highlites and chance to see the Eastern Roman Empire and the changes that took place when Constanople became Istanbul...We arrived 3 day early so as to experience the city on our own...We ... Read More
What an exciting concept see Istanbul with all its highlites and chance to see the Eastern Roman Empire and the changes that took place when Constanople became Istanbul...We arrived 3 day early so as to experience the city on our own...We booked our own room and transportation and we very pleased with the hotel and its location with its proxsimity to the highlites of the city... What I am going to disscribe in my following comments was sent on to the President of Oceania Lines in an attempt to get a refund for what was a disaster on board the ship which included all phases of food, service, and advertised features of the ship. To begin with we were delayed one day in port to pickup delayed passangers who were straned on the East coast due to a hurricane...So we missed a port and the ship steamed nowhere. Once on board we meet the butler on our floor and he promptly told us what he wouldnt do, that being the last we saw of him during our cruise. We bought a drink package, non-refundable, as we could see why based on the service we received by the staff once they saw we didnt have to have a service charge on our order, so they in most cases ignored us. And you would have though they drinks were coming out of their pockets. The various resturants were excellent (Red Ginger) to poor the (Terrace Dining) service was slow the food marginal and in the case of the Terrace we just picked up our drinks on the way in and on occasion set our own table...The staff was short handed, and in some cases didnt understand 'English. The Spa which we were to have exclusive access to in parts of it, was not helpful and were to the point of ignoring you if you didnt have a schedualed appointment for a treatment. We were suppost to have access to the exclusive reading room for our level of room and our pass card never worked...When we would go to the desk down on the main deck usually there was no one who could help us with the problem so we went throughout the cruise without access. The dress code was never inforced and on one particular occassion one of the passangers wore a tee shirt with F/U on it all over the boat... There was no offer from the company after numerous complaints through Visa and with correspondence to the company..There letters never fully addressed our complaints and no offer of a refund was offered due to a lost sailing day...We have travel with this line 4 times and this is the final one, hence the title of my review...NEVER AGAIN Read Less
Sail Date: September 2012
And a great time was had by all! Just returned from our cruise on Oceania Riviera - itinerary was Barcelona-Majorca-Valencia-Motril (Granada)-at sea-Funchal (Madeira)-Santa Cruz de la Palma-Arrecife (Lanzarote)-Agadir ... Read More
And a great time was had by all! Just returned from our cruise on Oceania Riviera - itinerary was Barcelona-Majorca-Valencia-Motril (Granada)-at sea-Funchal (Madeira)-Santa Cruz de la Palma-Arrecife (Lanzarote)-Agadir Morocco-Casablanca-Cadiz (Seville)-Lisbon with an overnight in Lisbon on board. We had a lovely time. Was our first time on such a large ship - previously had been on a 110-ish passenger expedition ship in Alaska and 250-ish passenger ship in the Baltic. Best for: folks who want to explore ports & be pampered on board Spouse is particular & he gave Oceania the seal of approval! Itinerary/ports: great. We didn't use any Oceania tours; port info people on board were generally very good and shuttles quite helpful (shuttles are provided by the ports but coordinated with Oceania). Schedules were clear & adhered to (if using port shuttles, beware of driver lunch breaks!). We had a wonderful time and even without much pre-trip port research it was easy to find activities that interested us. Hint: we didn't bring computers & used our smart phones for email through wifi in the various ports; the port/tourism representatives were generally very helpful in directing us to wifi spots. Not sure if it was because it was a Sunday, but the port/tourism person in Arrecife (Lanzarote) was not up to the other ports. Cabin: wonderful. We were in a B-4 (lowest "Veranda" category) and it was appointed nicely. We had an extra-deep balcony and our steward brought us a second pair of chairs when we asked - 4 chairs meant we could entertain guests easily. The shower is compact, but there is also a shower in the tub (shower head in tub is adjustable/mounted on vertical bar/detachable with hose). Plenty of storage, total of 20 clip/pants/skirt hangers and 20 shirt/blouse/jacket hangers (er, "regular hangers"). Plenty of hooks in bathroom & entryway, compact but useful desk, coffee table just big enough for 2 people to dine. 3 sets of curtains (sheer, blackout, decorative) can move independently, and the curtain ties can hold any combination of the curtains that you wish. Electrical asides: the light switch with a little light in it (entry, each side of the bed) toggles through the general lighting. The 110 outlets at the desk are designed so that a large plug (ie phone charger) may turn on the light around the mirror. Our steward was great!! Food & Wine: very good. We are foodies, so our standards are (perhaps oddly) high. Food in GDR (grand dining room), casual spots (Terraces & Waves), specialty restaurants and room service all very well done for a large volume operation. Quality generally quite consistent from one spot to the next (that is, GDR food isn't really 'below' specialty restaurants). In each case where we requested a given done-ness, the meat came done just right (this is quite a trick on a ship). Hint: fish is done to an 'American' doneness (opaque/flaky), if you like 'French' (a bit glossy), request it when ordering. One of the executive chefs explained that much more of the ship is dedicated to food/food service & storage than on other lines. We didn't eat at La Reserve but heard rave reviews from fellow foodies - hint: the same chef told us that the connoisseur menu at La Reserve is the most technically advanced on the ship. They handled my gluten-free restriction very well. Service can be a bit varied, some staff are more experienced than others. Wine list is a bit inconsistent on prices (some good deals, most quite reasonable, a few oddly high vs. retail). Wine service generally good, the 'follow you' bottle service a nice touch (if you don't finish a bottle it will find you at your next dinner or you can request it anytime/anywhere - well, except 3-5:30pm the cellar is closed one sommelier told us). Ability to bring on & drink your own alcohol in your room for no fee & just $25 corkage for your own wine in restaurants a GREAT feature. Room service very accommodating, we were always requesting specific glasses (4 brandy snifters, 6 red wine, etc) in our room and they appeared cheerfully & promptly. Note: for dinner, specialty restaurant & La Reserve menus are set & unchanging. GDR has nightly specials in addition to base menu, these specials are also available at Terraces. Even got nuts with my yogurt one morning thanks to a write-in request! On-Board amenities/activities: excellent. We spent a lot of time at the pool & one day in the spa. Pool deck has plenty of chaises & lounge beds, these can get quite popular after 3 most afternoons and starting about noon on our sea day. The pool temp is perfect (not too hot or cold), it is salt-water (so easy on the skin) and it is big enough for mini-laps (better in the morning unless you like swimming in traffic). If you want to eat poolside, you can walk over to Waves (breakfast or lunch) and walk food back to your chaise. They may ask gently 'where are you sitting' if you are in your robe, as that doesn't quite make even the casual dress code for sitting in Waves - but if you answer 'by the pool' there is no problem! Spa we enjoyed very much. Our cabin category did not include spa terrace access but we did get massages one day (which include terrace access). Note that *everyone* gets unlimited locker/exercise/steam/sauna access. Your in-room spa menu has no prices, ask at the spa desk and you will get prices *and* the schedule for all the free & fee exercise classes for your entire cruise. Spa staff excellent. Steam & sauna quite nice. Our massage day was a port day, we went early (9ish) and didn't see another guest until *after* our noon massages. We moved a double-chaise across the deck to get the shade...was quite the private retreat. 3 chilled water choices (plain, cucumber, melon, strawberry & pineapple, etc) and a samovar for tea are always on offer. Activities, we didn't do too much beyond eat/drink/swim, but the few things we did attend were very well done. There were certainly plenty of things to choose from every day. It's a nice touch that the lectures are re-broadcast on one of the tv channels. An in-the-know travel agent on board mentioned that on TA cruises the level of activities really ramps up. On board email seemed to be not working 100%, so we didn't try to use it. The ship had just had a satellite system upgrade the prior week (according to someone on a B2B) and there may have been some lingering issues. Many folks were grumbling about internet, the in-the-know travel agent said it was fine and actually better than most ships, but that the more people were logged in the slower it got & you were better off using it first thing in the morning. Read Less
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