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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise because of the smaller ship experience and the claims about the food (gourmet). We have cruised back in the classic days of cruising (e.g. the 1970's on Homeline's Oceanic which was 5 star) as well as in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the smaller ship experience and the claims about the food (gourmet). We have cruised back in the classic days of cruising (e.g. the 1970's on Homeline's Oceanic which was 5 star) as well as in the late 80's on Celebrity (which was not as good as Oceanic days but pretty darn close). We have also sailed on Carnival, NCL, and MSC. Our last cruise (late last year) was on MSC and comparing MSC to Oceania Insignia is like comparing a buffet at the Golden Corral to dinner at a 5 star gourmet restaurant (Oceania Insignia being the latter). First the ship: no complaints. Classy, clean, simple to navigate, and well organized. We find the very large ships to be extremely difficult to navigate and find your way around. Insignia was perfect. You could get from your cabin to any venue within a minute or two. I liked that very much. However, be aware that with a smaller ship comes more motion during rough seas. The internet was the best I've experienced on a ship. Cabin: we had a concierge level veranda cabin in the back of the ship with a view of the ship's wake. Loved this room and balcony,. The refrigerator was refilled every day and there was no charge to drink the sodas or water in the room. Ice bucket was filled at least once a day if not twice. Carpeting, room temperature, and everything else about the room was just perfect. The cabin stewardess (Dyana) was always available, did her best to make us happy, and ALWAYS made sure to address us by our last names, a classy move. In fact, all staff on this ship were amazing. They did their best to address us by our names and ALWAYS said hello in passing with a smile and a "yes sir or madam." This ship, unlike most of the larger ships of today, was all about class, class, class. It was classy but not pretentious or snobby. The dining was simply amazing. Caviar with dinner, gourmet food at every turn, always hot food, excellent taste, helpful and extremely professional wait staff (Budi from Bali was amazing), classy tableware, etc. etc. We chose to sit at the same table every night and this was great because our waiter got to know us and our likes and dislikes. He truly seemed interested in pleasing everyone at our table and he went out of his way to make our cruise particularly special. The food in the specialty restaurants was also very good and we particularly enjoyed the steakhouse. The specialty restaurants are also included in your fare which was a particularly nice touch. The buffet was one of the best I have ever experienced on a cruise ship. It was more like being at a wedding venue in that all food is served to you from the staff. Not only was this classy but it also cuts down the chances that one might be exposed to germs or bacteria (from the utensils). The food was definitely gourmet quality. I was particularly impressed that the head chef (yes, he actually came out to socialize from time to time with the passengers as did the captain of the ship) told us he bought fresh lobster while we were docked in Maine and served it in the buffet. Entertainment and Activities were a bit minimal but we liked this as we do not like the frenetic pace of the mass cruise lines and/or ships. The comedian was very good but we did not attend any other shows. We tended to go to bed after dinner and wake up early to enjoy the ship during the day. But I did attend a lecture by the cruise historian and really enjoyed her talks on the ports we would be visiting. The service was beyond our expectations. As mentioned earlier, always a yes sir, no sir, yes madam, no madam. Every staff member greets you in passing with the above statements and a broad smile. We rarely if ever had to look for a staff member to serve us as the staff to guest ratio ensured that someone was always available or right there when needed. Oh...and there were ALWAYS seats available in the buffet or by the pool. Staff members seemed genuinely interested in making you happy. If you asked for one of something, they would give you two. If you asked for another, they would give you three. If you were seen carrying a plate of food to your table, a staff member would often offer to carry the plate for you and accompany you to your table. Simply amazing service. No nickel and diming. I particularly liked not being hounded by photographers who want to take your pictures at every turn and then sell them to you. The drinks had real liquor in them (not watered down like on mass cruise lines that offer the free drink packages). Lastly, the staff have the patience of saints. I watched waiters serve some truly rude people and still did so always with a smile. Another nice touch is this line allows you to bring on wine (and bring liquor back to your room while in port) which was a really nice (and generous) touch. I had a problem in the past doing this on an NCL cruise (and the sommelier on the ship that confronted me when I brought a tiny bottle of liquor from a port in Greece was particularly nasty and rude). This was NEVER an issue on Oceania. Ports and shore excursions were also excellent. We got to sail through the Cape Cod Canal (which I didn't even know existed) and this was a lot of fun. We enjoyed our excursion but found that finding our own entertainment or excursion was a better deal financially rather than purchasing the ones offered by the cruise line. Staying overnight in Bermuda was a great idea for the line as this made our stay in St. Georges particularly enjoyable and relaxing. We did not travel with children and particularly enjoyed the fact that there were VERY few kids on this ship. Kids, in general, will not enjoy this ship as there is really not a lot for them to do. One of the people in our party did have a young teen with her and he seemed to be bored a lot of the time (but I think he still enjoyed himself). We would DEFINITELY sail again with Oceania. In fact, we booked another cruise while we were onboard and enjoyed the discounts offered from this method of booking. I have to say that Oceania restored my faith in cruising. I had been very disappointed by the mass cruise line experiences of the past few years but Oceania was nothing like those lines. Yes, you do pay at least twice as much to be on an Oceania cruise but it it well worth the additional cost. This fact was also why the other guests on this ship were of such nice quality. There was no pushing and shoving at the buffet, people were very polite (but not snobby or stuck-up), there were no (or very few) lines or overcrowded venues, and I enjoyed conversing with many of the other passengers. The dress was always (in the dining venues) country club casual which I also enjoyed and found relaxing. You never had to wear a jacket, tie, or suit (yet it was still extremely classy or eloquent). No fake, chintzy formal nights. As long as Oceania does not change to the style of the mass cruise lines, we will ONLY sail with them. But if you like partying, loud people, buffets where your goal is to pile on as much mediocre food as possible, large crowds, chintzy formal nights and photography sessions, bling, 24 hour entertainment, lots of loud children (and lots of activities geared toward children), you won't like Oceania. Try the larger, mass cruise lines like Celebrity, NCL, MSC, etc. For us, we will stick with Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Jacques Pepin is the chef who drives the food on this cruise. Enough said, in that it was excellent! Service was almost one to one ratio, so you can imagine how that feels. In the buffet, you are served- it's not a free for all ... Read More
Jacques Pepin is the chef who drives the food on this cruise. Enough said, in that it was excellent! Service was almost one to one ratio, so you can imagine how that feels. In the buffet, you are served- it's not a free for all where everyone is grabbing stuff. We met quite a few people who were extremely happy as well. Some we met are the type that would probably find fault no matter what. I don't recommend going if you are looking for a lot of excitement. Shore excursion was cancelled in SItka due to technical issues with boat. Would have been nice if we knew that prior to getting off, but we just found other things to do. Pack for EVERY kind of weather- hot cold, rainy, windy, you name it- it will change on a dime! Having been on NCL, Royal Caribbean and Carnival- there's no comparison. Price is also higher than those above. Also, be very sure of drink package purchased- it is NOT the norm in that it only includes wine with dinner unless you upgrade. I'd do another Oceania cruise, although probably not Alaska due to the fact you only see the ports, which is an iota of the state. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Having Cruised on 5 other lines before was expecting more from a Concierge level room/experience. Selected itinerary due to fixed dates - some ports a repeat others new. Easy embarkation / disembarkation Ship layout went from well ... Read More
Having Cruised on 5 other lines before was expecting more from a Concierge level room/experience. Selected itinerary due to fixed dates - some ports a repeat others new. Easy embarkation / disembarkation Ship layout went from well thought out to just odd. Inside smoking areas where the smoke can enter the bar as no door on the smoking room? Grand bar / Martini bar have obstructed views - so no where to enjoy a sunset cocktail. due to the excessive European heat - few places to sit back and watch the view in relative comfort. Crowd was fairly well traveled bunch that would have averaged 60'ish Food: Food in all restaurants (except Red Ginger - multi Asian cuisine that was of poor quality & confused the taste-buds) was of a very high quality and the wait staff both food and wine were exceptional (again Red Ginger disappointing - chaos all round for service and with a high number few Asian staff - was mainly staffed by Europeans - everything appeared ill-thought out). Oceania may also want to move to the all-inclusive price model - and / or allow the beverage package plus wifi to be included - rather than having to keep adding costs to an already expensive offering. Wifi - shockingly slow and only 1 device per room when majority of occupancy is 2? Would I cruise again - maybe - if the itinerary was right, certainly if the smaller ships had completed their refurbishments & reviews were positive - hoping that the larger ships will also get a refresh to match that of Viking (remains my preferred line). Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We booked this cruise primarily on destinations of the voyage. We enjoyed several days in Barcelona before the cruise. Boarding went smoothly. With a different port every day always something new to see. We didn't expect too much from ... Read More
We booked this cruise primarily on destinations of the voyage. We enjoyed several days in Barcelona before the cruise. Boarding went smoothly. With a different port every day always something new to see. We didn't expect too much from night time entertainment and to be fair it was a bit average. Food was outstanding. There was plenty of choice & we were always able to book one of the specialty restaurants. All the meals were presented to a very high standard. The ship was always very clean & well presented. The cabin was a reasonable size and the bathroom had both a shower & a bath. The swimming pool area isn't huge and did get a bit busy in the afternoons. All the staff were always friendly & helpful. Most definitely would cruise again on the Riviera. We did three ship organized excursions that were well organized, along with two culinary experiences which were exceptional. Probably not the ideal ship for younger kids, but that suited us. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our second cruise on Oceania. We chose it because of the food. While others may have had a different experience, on both of the Oceania cruises we took, the food was superior to Crystal and Silverseas. I have nothing against ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Oceania. We chose it because of the food. While others may have had a different experience, on both of the Oceania cruises we took, the food was superior to Crystal and Silverseas. I have nothing against either of these cruise lines and in some respects, they are superior to Oceania, but not when it comes to food. So, let me start with the food. There is an abundance of lobster, steaks, sushi, lamb chops, shrimp and tuna on Oceania. I found these expensive items lacking on Silverseas and Crystal. Every night you can order these items, in addition to a choice of dinner at a restaurant, buffet (where these items are cooked), and two other specialty restaurants. Similarly, the daily 4 pm High Tea has a selection of sweets and desserts not found on the other two cruise lines that I mentioned. Let me talk about where Oceania could improve. And other guests also felt the same about the following: 1. When we boarded the ship no one greeted us. The staff was very helpful in telling us what venues were available, but no official “ Welcome,” or glass of champagne—this seemed odd for such a high end cruiseline. There was a bottle in the room, however. 2. No choice of pillows. I’m sure this was available on request, but on Silverseas it was part of the registration process. 3. And this is the main (and only real, in my eyes) criticism of Oceania: a lack of activities onboard. Aside from Trivia at 5 pm, and of course the nightly shows, no cooking lessons, computer lessons, etc., during the day. Very disappointing. We found more to do onboard Seabourne. 4. Internet. It was hit or miss. For an extra fee, you can access YouTube and Netflix, but this does not increase the speed of other websites. I paid for high speed internet on Royal Caribbean and it was like being at home. Certainly a luxury cruiseline such as Oceania can offer the same thing, and the guests can easily afford it. 5. Swimming pool on this ship was comically small. Crowded if more than 12 people in the pool—seriously. 6. No real “ sail away “ parties. There was one, but they only cooked two dishes! I remember on Silverseas and Seabourne, the sail away parties were huge. 7. Very small shower—many guests commented on this— and TV. The TV in our room was maybe 20” diagonally . And a lack of movies to watch. I do think that DVD’s were available, however. 8. We never met the “ concierge” that we paid for. We don’t even know why we paid for this service and what we SHOULD have gotten. Another guest had the same experience and was told that many of what they were promised did not apply to this ship. This guest did meet their concierge but was not happy with the service that was provided. I admit that we should have followed up on this with the staff, but the fact that we had to, and that they did not offer the service we paid for was inexcusable and surprising. Bear in mind that Oceania does cater to an older clientele. We did not pay for any excursions this time, so I can’t comment on them. The entertainment did include a magician and comedian in addition to the standard musical productions found on all cruise lines. This was a nice change from other cruises which only featured musical productions. Staff is genuinely friendly and helpful. Very well equipped gym including spinning bikes and a variety of weight lifting machines. I think the ship was refurbished in 2016 and no complaints about the condition of our room, carpets, etc. Hope this review helps you. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Loved the itinerary - many locations we had not visited. However a horrible cruise overall. Booked our flight through Oceania as part of the cruise package and arrived at the airport to find out that our flight was cancelled the day ... Read More
Loved the itinerary - many locations we had not visited. However a horrible cruise overall. Booked our flight through Oceania as part of the cruise package and arrived at the airport to find out that our flight was cancelled the day before. No notice received from airline(Austrian Air) or Oceania - frustrating way to start a vacation. Thank goodness we arived early at the airport and was able to find a substatute flight. Booked a Penthouse suite and expected suite service. We entered our suite after the 10th floor suites were released to find out our bathroom had not been cleaned. Towels were changed but shower was littered with previous guest used ammenities and toilet was plugged. Butler service was all smiles and no service. With all the advertising bosting the "finest cuisine at sea" and endorcement by Master Chief Jacques Pepin, cuisine in main dining room was very ordinary and the specialty dining venues were not much better. Tuscan Steak house and Jacques are not worth going to, Polo Grill was just OK and the best cuisine was at the Red Ginger. The Terrace Cafe had the most consistant reasonablly good cuisine. On the last night in the main dining room I had a Ceasar Salad only to find a "fingernail" inbedded within the salad. I complained to the Mater'd who notified the chief. The chief had a "it happens" attitude and was upset that he was asked to make an appearance, suggesting the foreign object was a piece of plastic! Entertainment was non- existent. Would not recommend Oceania to a friend! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise primarily by the ports of call and the reviews re the onboard food. We struggled after booking with understanding the extra costs-primarily alcohol, very expensive, and gratuity on the alcohol (18%) The ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily by the ports of call and the reviews re the onboard food. We struggled after booking with understanding the extra costs-primarily alcohol, very expensive, and gratuity on the alcohol (18%) The “extras” on our room were $16 per day each which we were told we could change without problem by visiting reception; I had researched about this beforehand. We had decided to reduce this and pay at the end to the staff in cash whom we had had excellent service from. Well we were looked at at reception like we were dirt on someone’s shoe to say the least. Maybe cruise lines need to understand that some people do a “once in a lifetime” trip and save up exhaustively and that they should be respected as much as their (in this case American) counterparts. On a positive, (perhaps I should have written this first but am still a bit sore) excellent, friendly staff who can’t do enough for you. You can also tell that they all have a good relationship too. Amazing food but difficult to get into their specialty restaurants . Pool a bit too small and just had passengers sitting around the edge drinking. Very good gym but some equipment out of order for whole trip. Smooth embarkation and disembarkation. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We wanted to visit Norway again & since this cruise also had some new to us ports we booked it It was round trip Amsterdam which was also a good feature for us We took the cruise only fare & booked our own Bus class ... Read More
We wanted to visit Norway again & since this cruise also had some new to us ports we booked it It was round trip Amsterdam which was also a good feature for us We took the cruise only fare & booked our own Bus class seat on Air Canada ..wonderful lie flat seats we managed to actually sleep on the flight Embarkation: We we were in a B cabin so we arrived about 1:00pm minimal line up & we were onboard quickly went to the Terrace for a quick bite to eat amazingly it was not crowded like other embarkation days when our cabins were ready we dropped off the carry on bags then went wandering back to cabin to unpack before muster Muster was quick & painless as usual some people felt the drill was not for them after Muster we headed to Horizons after dropping off our life vests we had our Cruise Critic Meet & Greet A section was roped off with a sign for CC (Thank you Dominique) We had a good turn out I would guess about 50 + people as well as the CD Peter & GM Dominique after that dinner in the Terrace with our TA & a small group of her clients & a surprise guest Mr Bob Binder & his wife were also on the cruise The cruise was very smooth sailing we did have a issue one day one of the life boats had a leak so required us to stay later in port until it was fixed we were a little late getting into the next port but at least we made it there was some doubt the night before whether we would or just have a sea day The Oceania crew came through Food was very good with some hiccups but who is perfect all the time We ate in Red Ginger it was better than the last time we tried it but it was not that good sorry but 3 strikes we are done with Red Ginger For those that say the food there is not spicy enough ..you should have had my Green Curry ..I had no feeling in my mouth for the duration of the meal Oh Well we prefer the GDR any way & we did not starve The scones at tea are still not like they used to be but better than our last cruise The weather was very nice then the heatwave caught up with us in some of the ports It was uncomfortable for me so we did not do too much in those ports ..some we had been to before Overall the cruise was very good & we booked another on onboard (which we rarely do) Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We had always wanted to go to Alaska - chose 4 days pre cruise in Denali - expensivel rip off for 3 actual hours in park. They dont bother to tell you the Mtn is actually 90 miles away from park..... Restaurants so tightly packed you ... Read More
We had always wanted to go to Alaska - chose 4 days pre cruise in Denali - expensivel rip off for 3 actual hours in park. They dont bother to tell you the Mtn is actually 90 miles away from park..... Restaurants so tightly packed you can barely move......not enough staff - very haphazard service - overworked staff and not very personalized as they see you a couple of hours later and look right through you as if they have never served you.....menu looks amazing very well presented but does not taste that good - tasteless , badly cooked fish - food cooked way in advance......although some of the meals were good but not reliably so.... serve coffee with no spoon sugar and cream and have to wait 5 mins for someone to bring it in specialty restaurant...... did have 3 very nice waiters , excellent hostess in main dining room. Huge emphasis on drinking and gambling............shows mediocre and cruise director needs to retire. Cant hear any announcements from cabin. Book your own tours ridiculousy expensive - can book for ½ the amount on shore. Thing that really really pushed us over the edge was $89.00 transfer charge per person from ship to airport - transfers have always been included - very rude unhelpful destination services. Took taxi for $40 to airport for 2 people ......The service or food is NOT 5 star - have been spoilt by Viking River and Sea Cruises would not travel Oceania again. Great ports though. The first time I have not felt sad leaving. Not very personalized service like Viking. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit Israel and the Greek Isles. We spent 3 days in Athens before the cruise and 2 after the cruise. We have been cruising since the early 80's. We chose this ship because we aren't ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit Israel and the Greek Isles. We spent 3 days in Athens before the cruise and 2 after the cruise. We have been cruising since the early 80's. We chose this ship because we aren't comfortable with very large or very small ships. 1,250 passengers was just right for us. Embarkation and debarkation went very smooth. The ship is well laid out. The food in all venues was excellent. We visited the Terrace Buffet one evening and they were grilling lobster tails, lamb chops, slicing prime rib, and serving dover sole. It was excellent. The specialty restaurants were very good. Service was excellent in all restaurants. The ports; Crete, Haifa, Cyprus, Patmos and Santorini were excellent. We missed one port, Rhodes, because the winds were too strong. It added an additional day at sea which was nice. We didn't attend the shows. We turn in about 10:30. The casino was fun, glad to see they still have a craps table. I did feel somewhat sorry for children and teenagers on this ship. Oceania's target market is not children. It is a mature audience. Looking at their advertisement material, it never shows kids. Leave them home. It is a mature audience. This isn't a party ship. We met wonderful people from all over the world. Most of them experienced travelers. Many passengers were on extended stays or were repeat customers. We will definitely sail on this ship again. We did a suite, 1000 sq. ft. It was beautiful. Very comfortable, butler service was excellent. My only complaints are they need to improve internet connection. Also, the only area that seemed to be tired was the deck chairs in the outside pool area in the Canyon Ranch Spa. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the amenities. The passenger age definitely skews to the over 60 crowd. The food was among the best we have ever had on a cruise ship. The specialty restaurants offered a good ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the amenities. The passenger age definitely skews to the over 60 crowd. The food was among the best we have ever had on a cruise ship. The specialty restaurants offered a good variety of dishes. The Italian and French restaurants were the better of the 4. As New Yorkers, we have no shortage of good steakhouses or Asian restaurants so the bar is high. Food at the buffet was very good. Our only complaint was that they served the same entree (suckling pig) 3 nights in a row at the end of the cruise. The Oceania special excursions are very good. The other excursions are no different from any other cruise line. The cruise director is useless. The entertainment (or lack thereof) is limited to the stock "tributes to" variety. A comedian would have been nice. The WIFI was HORRIBLE. Do not pay for the enhanced WIFI, it is no better. Service was excellent. The staff was cheery and accommodating. Our butler Francis was a true gentleman. The buffet is not self service which is a good thing as you don't have to worry about passengers touching the food. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
When travelers rate a cruise, we can only compare it to others we've been on. For most of us, that means we have a limited perspective from which to judge a cruise, since none of us has traveled on all cruise lines, all ships, or all ... Read More
When travelers rate a cruise, we can only compare it to others we've been on. For most of us, that means we have a limited perspective from which to judge a cruise, since none of us has traveled on all cruise lines, all ships, or all itineraries. My limitation in this review of Oceania's Riviera July 4 - 12 cruise from Venice to Athens is that all my eight prior cruising experiences have been on Silversea ships (Spirit, Muse, Whisper and Shadow). In my case, I found that this Oceania Riviera cruise suffered badly in comparison to my Silversea experiences. This time, I was traveling with friends who persuaded me to join them. They were not cruising veterans and had imagined that a 5.5-rated cruise line would rival a 6.0 line like Silversea. Sadly, for me, it did not. Admittedly, I much prefer small ships, and the Riviera holds 1,250 passengers -- more than twice the capacity of the Spirit or the Muse and more than three times the capacity of the Whisper and the Shadow. I didn't think the difference would be as noticeable as it was, and I did not care for it. By comparison with Silversea's suites, the Riviera's were shabby, even seedy. I ordered room service once -- a Cobb salad for lunch -- and it was abominable, arriving with no salt/pepper, no silverware, and no dressing whatsoever (I'd ordered the dressing on the side). The buffet foods and table service in the Terrace Cafe and the Waves Grill were barely passable, where many wait staff seemed tired and avoided eye contact. I saw there little of the quality or geniality I'm accustomed to in all of Silversea's dining venues. Incredibly irritating was the fact that internet service promised by the Riviera for all guests was unreliable, unpredictable, and nearly half of the time simply unavailable -- something I was unprepared for, accustomed as I have been to Silversea's much better internet connectivity, even on transoceanic cruises. Most of all, the silliness involved in having one's room key checked for the level of beverage plan we'd been pressured to buy on top of the cruise fare whenever we ordered a cocktail or wine at dinner made me feel like I had "turned right" upon boarding the Riviera. In that vein, I observed a greater proportion of heavily inebriated passengers on the Riviera cruise than I've ever seen on a Silversea cruise, giving the impression that, after paying extra for a drinks package, some passengers were committed to "getting their money's worth." For the record, I prefer cruising with cultured people who've led interesting lives and can contribute to conversations on a wide range of topics, not hammer down drinks from morning to night. On the plus side, the food and service at specialty restaurants -- Red Ginger, Polo Grill, and Jacques -- were better than at the Terrace Cafe. The suite cleaners / butlers were competent and pleasant, as were all the reception staff. The two ship-sponsored excursions I chose were led by pleasant and knowledgeable guides. Nonetheless, I look forward to my return to Silversea. Going forward, I will appreciate the Italian small ship cruising experience even more than before. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our third Oceania cruise; but it will not be our last. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, with so many fascinating stops. Probably most passengers selected this particular line and cruise because of 3 days in St. ... Read More
This was our third Oceania cruise; but it will not be our last. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, with so many fascinating stops. Probably most passengers selected this particular line and cruise because of 3 days in St. Petersburg; but it was the embarkation port of Stockholm and disembarkation at Amsterdam that made it even better for us; as we spent a few extra days at both ends, visiting Swedish and Dutch friends/seeing what they were most proud about in their hometowns. We like the larger Oceania ships because of the wider choice of specialty restaurants, Red Ginger being our favorite. We like the variety in the Terrace Café; but not the crowds, and only went there when we knew most passengers would be off on shore excursions. Main Dining Room has upped their game, and we no longer feel disappointed to not get into a specialty restaurant - the meals in the MDR are pretty darned good. The treat of a window seat at breakfast in the MDR can't be beat, even if you are eating alone. Our only complaint regarding food was the quality of the beef on this trip. After a few disappointments in Polo, Toscana and the MDR, we stayed away from steaks. A few weeks before our sail date, we were offered an upgrade from Penthouse to Oceania Suite, 11080. My husband has recently been having some mobility issues; so the additional space was welcome and the upgrade price was not off putting. We are among the passengers who take advantage of the butler service, for hot in room breakfasts, shoe shines, in room specialty restaurant dining and all the little touches that a butler can add. Roger, from Goa, was splendid. He was VERY attentive, whether in our suite or in the hallways. He always anticipated our needs. Our steward, Ludavina, and her assistant, Ilsy, were equally efficient and friendly. We took advantage of the classes in the Culinary Center and were delighted to have Annie Copps as the instructor. We had Annie on a previous cruise on the Riviera and love her style of teaching. The classes have been shortened by a half hour; although Annie generally goes a bit over. Everything we made was delicious. In our three cruises, we have yet to make it to the evening entertainment. We do love the live music in other venues. We did go to High Tea several times - lovely service of sweets and savory with a good choice of tea. We tried LuggageFree.com this time, pre-shipping our larger, heavier suitcases. They were at the door when we arrived at our room at noon on embarkation days. Disembarkation using this service did not go as smoothly; as most employees in the Port of Amsterdam were unfamiliar with the service. In the end, all was well, and our bags arrived at home a few days ahead of the promised delivery. We will use this service again. We took only two shore excursions with Oceania, Helsinki Panoramic by Water and Panoramic Gdansk. The tour guide on the first was boring and a bit hard to understand, and the tour was generally disappointing. The guide in Gdansk was exceptional, knowledgeable, good English skills and the tour was interesting. However, the tour was listed as Easy, with little walking, which was not the case. One person of the 13 on the tour actually choose to stay on the bus and napped, because he could not walk distances. More than an hour into a walk on cobblestone, I asked the guide how much longer we were going to be walking; as many of us had chosen the excursion because it was listed as having minimal walking. She responded by letting those of us who wanted to shop or get something to drink separated for 40 minutes - 6 of us went to a sidewalk café and had a cold beverage, 2 went off shopping, and the other 4 stayed with the guide. We did the first day of the 2-day Comfort Tour in St. Petersburg with Alla. It was very well done; but the long morning in the crowded Hermitage nearly did my husband in, even with his walker. Lunch at a nice small restaurant was delicious, canal cruise was lovely, and there was just enough time for souvenir shopping (World Cup stuff for my grandchildren). We did Bruges on our own - sharing a taxi from port to town with another couple. Loved our day there!!!! Hop On Hop Off in Copenhagen was a bit disappointing; but the shopping adjacent to the dock was great for gifts and amber. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Chose Oceania because of the itinerary (combination of Baltic Sea and Norway) and reviews. The itinerary was perfect. All ports were very interesting and added to our knowledge base (not one "bad" or "boring" port.) ... Read More
Chose Oceania because of the itinerary (combination of Baltic Sea and Norway) and reviews. The itinerary was perfect. All ports were very interesting and added to our knowledge base (not one "bad" or "boring" port.) The ship itself was perfect. Calling it "ship shape" would be doing it a disservice. Every inch of the ship was spotless, had beautifully decorated public rooms (including the bars), and was decorated with modern art (all over!!) Food was wonderful. Got to eat in each of the 4 specialty restaurants twice. Toscana was our favorite with Pepin's and Red Ginger a close second. The Polo Grill needed help with service. We are not buffet people but with the choices and special evenings at the buffet, we ate more dinners in the buffet area than the main dining room. In Vegas you would pay at least $50 per person for something like Marina's buffet. By the way, sign up for the galley tour - fascinating! Cabin was a Penthouse Suite (#11060). Perfect - - cleaned twice a day, Butler (Roger was great), large, and comfortable. Embarkation and Disembarkation was as easy as checking out of a hotel. Smooth. Only negative (and a major one for us) - - the Port and Shore Excursions. This trip was for "old" people with the average age being at least 70. Unfortunately, a lot of them are "infirmed" in some way and going on excursions slows down and limits what you are able to see. A 4 hour excursion is more like a 3 hour excursion - - people have trouble getting on/off the bus, in/out of their seats, slow walking, trouble hearing. Our best excursions were the ones we booked ourselves through the internet. My suggestion would be to book as many "private" tours as possible. With all this said, I would certainly cruise with Oceania again. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
My wife Nicci and I opted to move up to a luxury cruise line because we were weary of the hustle and bustle found on mass market cruises like on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. While we previously enjoyed a Celebrity cruise to Bermuda, we ... Read More
My wife Nicci and I opted to move up to a luxury cruise line because we were weary of the hustle and bustle found on mass market cruises like on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. While we previously enjoyed a Celebrity cruise to Bermuda, we wanted to take a longer cruise in the Caribbean, our favorite vacation destination, that would still jibe with Nicci’s schedule as a school nurse but also would not have many children onboard. When I did research and found the Caribbean Palette cruise on the Insignia, that was most attractive; the additional perks of “the finest cuisine at sea” and having a couple of sea days mixed in with some ports we had never been to (originally Columbia on Independence Day, which was then thankfully later substituted by Havana) also made us very excited, despite the extremely high cost of the voyage. We had some initial concerns, as conveyed to us by our booking agent at Oceania, that we were among the younger passengers aboard (in our mid-to-late forties), but as we are old souls at heart (or so we thought!), that was of little problem to us. What absolutely sealed the deal for us was being able to sail home to Manhattan, thus needing to fly only one-way down to Miami. Overall, then, we had very high expectations for this cruise. I would say that, for the most part, these expectations were met. I will summarize individual facets below, but, despite overarching concerns besides cost that will lead us not to take another Oceania cruise for quite some time, if ever, the cruise was most pleasant and relaxing. Here are our reports and thoughts on what we experienced on the Insignia during our trip: Embarkation: Smooth and easy. As we had booked a Concierge cabin, we had expected to be onboard at noon, but we were able, surprisingly, to board much earlier, at 11:15. Briefly, on the flipside, debarkation was no worse in Manhattan than previously encountered, despite a great delay coming into port. Cabin: As we are used to Carnival-sized cabins, we had little problem, as otherwise seems to be expressed quite frequently in both reviews and on the Oceania boards, with the overall size of the Concierge-level cabin. While the cabin was far from luxurious, and in need of some freshening, there was adequate storage space for both clothing, effects, and luggage, and our aft-facing balcony was also a nice size, having room for a chaise longue, two chairs, and a table. Our mini-fridge was indeed stocked with our choice of beverages (only Coke for me, as Nicci does not drink soda), and there were always at least two large bottles of water left on our vanity with ice that we requested. We found that the air conditioning and room temperature for the first week of the voyage were far too warm, despite setting the thermostat on the lowest setting, and it took us a couple of occasions mentioning this to Housekeeping finally to get Maintenance to address the issue; even then, the difference was marginal, and the only way that we derived any comfort was from an oscillating fan that Housekeeping very kindly provided us. This warmth was also reflected in the water from the tap and shower, which never seemed to fall below lukewarm also despite being turned to the coldest possible setting. The biggest problem that we had, however, which we can confirm from previous reviewers, was the size and configuration of the bathroom, and most especially the shower: these were woefully inadequate and should be addressed in any refurbishment of the ship. The good thing was that our cabin steward Renan was most efficient and pleasant, always keeping the room neat and clean, and he was exemplary of the wonderful service provided elsewhere onboard. Food: Throughout the Terrace area, Grand Dining Room, and both specialty restaurants, the food mostly lived up to Oceania’s marketing hyperbole that they have the finest cuisine at sea. Things were always very fresh and nicely presented. It did seem that there was, surprisingly, a lack of variety of choices, as many dishes were only variations on a theme of the same staple ingredient (e.g., lamb, pork, or beef prepared in slightly different ways or with different sauces). Furthermore, there were times in the specialty restaurants that things could have run more smoothly, such as when we spent nearly three hours at our first night in Toscana or when either Nicci’s steak was most undercooked or I did not receive things that I ordered in Polo Grill. Furthermore, during lunch, the pizza (which, truthfully, I saw virtually no one else order) was mediocre at best. Also, breakfast service for late risers like me is nonexistent, with ample choices ending around 9am; the few times I did partake of breakfast in the Terrace, however, I must say that the omelettes were fantastic, made with freshly-beaten eggs. While these criticisms all may seem niggling, as this food is being provided by a cruise line that seemingly bases its entire marketing strategy on a flawless dining experience, passengers should be expected to have the best of everything. Since this is naturally impossible to achieve, then, let us just say that our expectations were met, but not exceeded, when it came to non-room service food on the Insignia. Turning quickly, then, to room service, I think this was the most pleasant surprise, with ample choices and a delicious Lombardy salad that I was surprised never to see offered anywhere else. I do think that Oceania did not do enough in our cabin to apprise us of the fact that we could have ordered an enhanced breakfast menu from room service, but since we had seen many rooms on our deck with such tags, it was more our fault for not making further use of this service. Finally, even though we made it there only once, the afternoon tea was fantastic, with great savory and sweet finger foods. Activity and entertainment: Our expectations were not high, given what we have read online here, and I think they were mostly met. As befits an older crowd, there was not much to do, with exceedingly low variety, during the day, with activities that never changed from needlepoint to poorly-attended bingo to trivia that we were not interested in at all. The performances of the entertainment staff were seemingly well done, but as we shall comment later on, we were obliged due to seasickness to miss one show completely and leave at the beginning of a second show, so this is most difficult to rate. Similarly, we never attended one onboard lecture except a cooking presentation by the executive chef that was very entertaining. The visiting artists (a singer, a magician, a comedian, and a guitarist) were talented and enjoyable, nothing to rave about yet quite pleasant to watch. What was first-rate was both the onboard band and, especially, the string quartet; the quartet’s skill, despite comments on the boards, was most evident, and they contributed towards our comfort both waiting for evening shows and during the afternoon tea. The casino was incredibly small, almost never full, yet very happily was smoke-free like virtually the remainder of the ship, and we actually came out ahead in our limited play there. The cruise director was adequate at his job, and we appreciated him keeping announcements to a minimum during the day, but Nicci found him not to be warm or genuine, and I will not dispute this assertion at all. We found it curious, as did fellow passengers (as we will expand on later), that there were no movies offered to watch during the day outside one’s cabin, such as in the lounge, until the last night of the voyage; I believe that this is something that Oceania should take heed of for future entertainment. I would say, then, that while we were happy not seeing any “sexy single parties” at the pool, there needed to be much more in the way of activities and entertainment onboard than was provided. Fellow passengers: Aside from the age of our fellow passengers, we did not quite know what to expect, even after having read comments on the boards and reviews. We found everyone very pleasant and easy to converse with, definitely on the more white-collar (and indeed retired) side, and, while we should not be surprised in hindsight, definitely more cosmopolitan: there was a high number of non-Americans aboard, including Australians and New Zealanders (which only makes sense if you think about it as they were escaping their winter). There seemed to be a somewhat-even mix of returning Oceania guests as well as first-timers like us, and what was astonishing was how many of these return passengers were dissatisfied with Oceania, perhaps this cruise in particular, stating that the high level of dining, activity, and the condition of the ship were not met as on previous cruises, whether on the Insignia or another Oceania ship. We appreciated their candor, but we also appreciated that they still found ways to enjoy their vacation and did not let their disappointment affect the experience of their fellow guests. Certainly, given what we saw at the Oceania future cruise desk, people were booking their next trips at a furious clip! I guess the biggest thing that I was surprised at was how similarly everyone dressed, at all times of the day, and while everyone seemed happy, there was also a distinct lack of what I would call whimsy, with no one ever seeming to laugh heartily but instead just seeming to be there, if you can get what I am driving at. Overall, if these people are representative of the Oceania norm, there are far worse cruisers to share a ship with. Ship: This is where our biggest problems lie. We knew that this ship, at around 30K tons, would be the smallest we had ever sailed on, but its lack of size definitely contributed to a lack of stability. So much so, in fact, that the relatively rough waters that we encountered on July 4th led to two-thirds of the ship (including some crewmembers!) to be laid out with seasickness – including Nicci, whom I have never seen ill in eighteen previous cruises with her. Unfortunately, I also had a repeat performance on July 13th, so I really lost two nights out of my cruise, and since I have been in much worse weather on bigger ships with no ill effects, I do indeed directly blame this on the size of Insignia. It seemed that the doors to the decks were always closed due to the high winds, which I understand is for safety, but this made exploring the decks difficult. Furthermore, this ship is in desperate need of refurbishment: tiles from the only pool onboard were flaking off at a prodigious and unacceptable rate, so that oftentimes I would find them sticking either on Nicci or on one of our fellow users. The entire ship seemed to be kept at a higher temperature, I guess to accommodate the older passengers who like to be warmer, and although the elevators mostly were uncrowded, they also tended to run on the smaller side. The décor was quite nice, harkening back to the classic era of ocean liners, and there seemed to be a great amount of public space, from everywhere including the atrium to the well-stocked library. Again, however, this can only provide so much comfort, and I think that not feeling stable while underway is a huge factor in why I would not come back to Oceania. Intangibles: I will skip over our ports of call, except to say this: Bermuda as always is my go-to vacation port, and I am very happy that we visited Havana, but this was a very intense stop only one day after embarkation, and we do not feel the need ever to visit Cuba again. Our other stops were fine, aside from Grenada, which felt distinctly unsafe, and Trinidad, an unscheduled stop (about which more in a second) that looked so unappetizing from onboard that we did not even bother to get off at the terminal to stretch our legs. I did not appreciate for one second that, while we understandably had to deviate stops in St. Lucia and Dominica because of Hurricane Beryl, in substituting Trinidad for these ports, Oceania did not even account for, let alone reimburse for, the refund in port charges for these missed stops, nor provide even a nominal onboard credit due to the inconvenience of adding in another sea day, as we received in the past from Carnival. This left a very bad taste in my mouth. As for other intangibles, I alluded before to the lack of whimsy and similarity in dress that our fellow passengers exhibited, and I guess this is why I always felt somewhat out of place onboard – I wanted to do more than just lie down next to the pool with a book or engage in pleasant banter but instead feel like I was sharing a good time and laugh and relax with like-minded passengers. Fortunately, Nicci and I were able to find one family (from very close to where we live) that similarly sought out fun, companionship, and enjoyment, otherwise this could have easily been a very somber and unpleasant cruise. I think, then, that Nicci and I need to strike a happy medium between the immaturity of Carnival cruises and the relative stiffness of Oceania cruises...for us, this seems to be on Celebrity. Lastly, I just feel that, even with the great service and overall high quality of the food, this cruise simply did not provide us with anywhere near the value that was expected from the exorbitant cost of the voyage. I wanted to write a more detailed review because I never really found anything on this site that would provide me the same insight and information as I hope I did here. I therefore hope that you will find this as useful as I meant it to be. Thanks for reading! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
First of all, bear this in mind: I really wanted to give Insignia a four-and-nine-tenths rating, but there's no button for that, so I settled for a four. Why not just go ahead and punch the fifth button? you ask. Well, a five is ... Read More
First of all, bear this in mind: I really wanted to give Insignia a four-and-nine-tenths rating, but there's no button for that, so I settled for a four. Why not just go ahead and punch the fifth button? you ask. Well, a five is perfection. Insignia is wonderful, but perfection is unattainable for any ship. So four it must be. DW and I are veterans of more than 50 cruises, mostly on Princess, where we are elite. We have enjoyed Princess a lot, but we wanted to step up a bit and have heard great things about Oceania, mostly centering on the food. And it's all true, folks. So let's start at the beginning of our 14-night Miami-to-New York cruise. Embarkation in Miami is painless because this is a small ship. Fewer than 700 passengers, so no unbearably long lines. Also, no ship's photographers to pose you in front of some hokey background picture of the ship set against a gorgeous sunset, or whatever. That can hold up the works, too. Once aboard there was a bit of a hitch. We were allowed to board at about 11:30 a.m. (exact time escapes me), but because we had a low cabin category we couldn't get into our cabin until 1 p.m. So we had to schlepp our carry-on baggage around with us for that time. Not a big deal but, as I said, perfection is unattainable. So what's the first thing you want to do on embarkation day? Explore your ship, right? Wrong. Eat, of course! This is Oceania, after all. So off we go to the buffet, known on Oceania as the Terrace Cafe. Way more than enough to choose from here. I'll talk more about the food later. It gets its own category. OK, so now it's 1 o'clock, we get into the cabin, dump the bags and meet our cabin attendant. Her name is Khachungla. There's one problem with Khachungla: I can't take her home with me. And boy, by the end of this cruise I really wanted to. Never had a friendlier, harder-working cabin attendant, I kid you not. Time to explore Insignia. This is a 20-year-old ship, remember, so comparing it head-to-head against a newer one would be unfair. It has to be judged on its own merits. It is maintained beautifully. Insignia is scheduled for a drydock soon, and a few of our fellow passengers said they could see a need for that. But I could not. No worn-out furniture, no threadbare carpets. Nothing obvious like that. Maybe some things behind the scenes that I was unaware of, but that's speculation. The decor is what I would call English country, but I'm certainly no expert on that. Lots of heavy drapery, dark furniture and deep carpets. Not exactly my taste, but that's just one guy's opinion. Yours may differ. What's important is that the ship is spotlessly clean at all times. One problem that we noticed right away: The elevators are tiny and unventilated. I imagine Oceania can't do much about the size, but when you cram half a dozen perspiring people in there after a summertime Caribbean shore excursion, it gets real ripe real fast. Now about the food (OK, maybe that transition's not the best, but you'll get over it). Simply put, the food on Oceania was the best we've ever had at sea and, as I noted, we've been doing this a long time. Each dish was perfectly prepared and served by a thoroughly professional staff. A few small examples: DW is diabetic, so she wants to know about no-sugar-added desserts. On the mass-market lines, you likely get one selection a night, take it or leave it. On Oceania, you get a no-sugar-added dessert menu with 10 items. DW says they all were delicious, too. I tasted the mousse. Sure tasted like sugar to me. But no. As for me, I need to be careful about my salt intake. Unfortunately, I love soup, which is notoriously salty. But not on Insignia. I know there's salt in there. Has to be. But it's not obvious. I had soup every night and never detected a salty taste. These chefs know how to cook without overloading everything with sodium chloride, and that's a skill missing on other lines. Another thing: the bread. I love it, and the bread and rolls that come with lunch and dinner are to die for. Yes, that's a small thing, but isn't luxury made up of a multitude of small things? We ate in the main restaurant most nights, but also tried Polo Grill, the steakhouse; and Toscana, the Italian restaurant. The latter was my favorite. I had the lemon veal scaloppini. My mouth still waters when I think about it. On Oceania, the specialty restaurants are included in the fare. So why not indulge? Outside the main restaurant is a terrific coffee bar. Fantastic espressos, cappuccinos, etc. Pietro, a barrista there (shouldn't that be barristo? Never mind), made an Americano for me and a breve latte for DW most mornings. Let me tell you, this guy knows what he's doing (as do they all, I suspect). Really got us off on the right foot each day. Mini-croissants and other goodies are right there for the taking, again no extra charge. You get the idea. Enough about food. Let's talk about shore excursions. This cruise included a stop at Havana, Cuba. Sadly, I was unable to leave the ship because of a health problem, but that was nobody's fault. That's right -- while everybody else was exploring Cuba I spent the whole day in bed. Aarrrgghh! I like it when we visit ports I've seen before so I can stay on board and have the ship to myself, but this was ridiculous. DW did take a tour. She thought Havana was unimpressive. "The whole place looks like a bombed-out city," she says. Cigar-factory workers make 80 cents a day. She bought two cigars for me at $10 each. So the factory's product costs 10 bucks and people who produce it get next to nothing. Quite educational. Also, the tour included "art," an alleyway with murals and folk dancers, and a rum factory, both of which she found adequate. Insignia also stopped in Aruba, Bonaire, Grenada and Bermuda. We were supposed to stop at St. Lucia and Dominica, but a hurricane scuttled those plans. We dodged that storm, of course, and got a sea day in lieu of Dominica and a stop in Trinidad instead of St. Lucia. The Trinidad stop happened on a Sunday when nothing was open and the ship docked at a commercial pier, so there was little within walking distance anyway. We looked around for about an hour and returned to the ship. About that hurricane: It was actually nowhere near us, but the sea was still kind of rough anyway, about 3 meters or 10 feet, the captain said. Now, Insignia is a smallish ship, only about 30,000 tons, so, to be honest, it doesn't handle rough water all that well. If you're on one of the newer megaships, you likely wouldn't even feel waves that big. But a 30,000-tonner kind of bobs and weaves like a cork. Many people were seasick that night. Insignia is billed as "charming" and "cozy," and indeed it is, but if you're prone to seasickness, then yes, it can be a problem. But this was just one night out of 14, so factor that into your plans, too. Our last stop was Bermuda. We docked in St. George's and took a bus to Hamilton, the capital, for shopping. We were in Bermuda overnight, so on Day 2, we just explored St.George's, a small but picturesque town. Lots of brightly painted buildings. I thought it was more fun than Hamilton. After leaving Bermuda we had some rough water again, not as bad as before but bad enough to make us late getting into New York, our port of disembarkation. That meant that disembarkation didn't go all that well, and I'm sure some people missed flights home. That didn't affect us because we stayed in NY for a couple of days. Regarding entertainment: It's a smallish ship with a smallish theater, but the shows were fine. Only problem here is the flat floor. There are two levels, but neither is sloped, so sight lines are not too good. I attended one port lecture in this venue, which was excellent. I can't recall the gentleman's name, but he told us all about Bermuda before we arrived there. Regarding the spa: There's an excellent, large steam room which is hot enough to make you sweat plenty but not so hot that you'll have to flee after 30 seconds. It's complimentary. No dry sauna, though. Oceania cruises are aimed at the 50-and-older crowd. Most pax were retirees like us, and there are no facilities specifically for kids. There were a handful of youngsters on this cruise but no small children, which is how we like it. It's another reason we chose Oceania. So, in summary, we loved this ship and cruise. Except for the rough-water problem, it's hard to find any serious negatives. We fell in love with Oceania, and will try one of the larger ships next time. I welcome your comments. KK Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This is our third Alaska cruise on Oceania's Regatta. My husband tried for years to get me to go on a cruise, and I always refused because the thought of being on a huge ship with 3,000 people was not at all appealing to me. Then I ... Read More
This is our third Alaska cruise on Oceania's Regatta. My husband tried for years to get me to go on a cruise, and I always refused because the thought of being on a huge ship with 3,000 people was not at all appealing to me. Then I found out about Oceania, with its smaller ships (Regatta carries just 680 passengers and 400 crew), and its reputation for having some of the finest cuisine at sea and beautiful ships. We took our first Alaska cruise 3 years ago, and we both enjoyed it so much that we took another Alaska cruise last summer, and just returned 2 weeks ago from our third. We've already booked the same cruise for next summer; we may take a Mediterranean cruise the following year. There is so much we love about this cruise line and Regatta -- first, the incredible food! It's like eating in a fine restaurant at every meal; the Grand Dining Room is beautiful (Versace china is a nice detail), and the two specialty restaurants, Polo Grill and Toscana, are beautiful as well (no extra charge to eat at them). The breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets at the Terrace Grill are also excellent. And Afternoon Tea, served daily at 4 p.m. in Horizons with trolleys laden with fabulous desserts made by the French pastry chef and his team, waiters bringing china teapots to each table, and the string quartet playing classical music, is a real highlight of Oceania cruises for us. I listened to 3 of the 4 daily performances of the string quartet; all excellent musicians. We stay in the least expensive inside cabin (G class) on Oceania since we spend little time in our cabin. The rooms are small, but laid out very well with lots of storage space, and they are very comfortable. The beds and 1,000 thread count sheets are like sleeping in a cocoon (the beds and linens are so popular that you can buy them). The ship is beautiful -- from the furnishings (I was surprised to learn that an upholsterer is on each cruise in case something needs to be repaired) to the artwork to the lounge areas and the restaurants. Just class all the way. Oh, and the entertainment is also excellent -- my husband has cruised in the past on another major cruise line and said the quality of the entertainment on Oceania was far superior. There is even a naturalist on board to give presentations on the wildlife that might be seen, and he was always looking for whales, seals, orcas, etc. to point out. We saw about 50 humpback whales and many seals, dolphins and other wildlife. I wouldn't recommend Oceania to the younger crowd or couples with children; it's definitely aimed at middle-aged and older guests. Being summer, there were some grandparents with their kids and grandkids, but the overwhelming majority of guests are in their 50s and older. We don't do any excursions so I can't comment on those, but the big majority of guests did get off for excursions at the different ports and seemed to really enjoy their activities. We just like to relax and enjoy the quiet on the ship when most guests are off, or we get off and walk around the small towns on our own. I can't imagine us ever taking a cruise on any other cruise line! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I travel the world, but am new to luxury cruise market. We chose Marina based on itinerary, the size and the food. We didn't want too big, but not too small. It fit the bill. This was a rare cruise that stays in St. Petersburg for ... Read More
I travel the world, but am new to luxury cruise market. We chose Marina based on itinerary, the size and the food. We didn't want too big, but not too small. It fit the bill. This was a rare cruise that stays in St. Petersburg for 3 days. We were fairly satisfied with the cruise, but there were elements that prevent me from calling it 5 star. Therefore, I doubt that I will cruise Oceania again if there are better choices around. Pros: - 2 weeks before embarkation, Oceania offered $500 per person upgrade to Suites, and we took it. Cabin was spacious, and well decorated. Walk-in closet was to die for. Bathroom was huge, with the bathtub, but shower was relatively cramped. - Overall, the staff were amazing. Especially room steward and dining room staff. - We ate at all specialty restaurants. Toscana was best, Jacque was decent, Polo Grill was so so. A lot of people like Red Ginger, but I have very high standard for Asian food. - Afternoon tea. Lovely tradition. We participated almost everyday. Cons: - I didn't like the fact that they charge $600 extra per person for liquor package, calling themselves as luxury cruise. Beverage service was horrible. Whenever you are seated in a restaurant, you need to be taken drink order first. We always had to flag down so-called sommeliers (later we learned that they become sommeliers after 1 week of training), well after dinner order was taken. When we finally flag down sommeliers, they usually start recommending bottles of wines; as soon as they hear that we have liquor package, their service gets rushed. This was probably the most unpleasant experience in this cruise. - One thing I cannot understand was, compared to all the staff who work so hard to satisfy customers, the officers, managers, and captains are so disinterested in customer service. We only saw captain having dinner with his own family. I called dining manager and general manager one day to complain about something; nothing substantial got done. - Entertainment was truly sub par. - Shore excursions were extremely expensive. I went with my own arrangement with TJ Travel and SPB Tours, and I was very satisfied. Oceania charges premium price and the experience was not quite premium. They really don't care about post cruise survey either. I don't think their quality will improve. They certainly will not retain us as repeat customers. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and our previous experiences on the Regatta. The three star rating is an average between excellent food and dining experience, poor stateroom accommodations and very poor service with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and our previous experiences on the Regatta. The three star rating is an average between excellent food and dining experience, poor stateroom accommodations and very poor service with luggage delivery upon embarkation. One of our suitcases was not delivered because the room tag had fallen off. When we inquired about it we got excuses and downright lies, but no apology. It was a challenge to get staff to bring out undelivered luggage so that we could identify ours and get unpacked prior to sailing. The destination staff were not well informed about the shore excursions and provided poor advice for our excursion in Juneau. In general, we think we could have done better arranging our own excursions. When we last sailed on the Regatta in 2006, our experience was completely positive. We have sailed on the Regatta since it was owned by Renaissance. The food and service in the dining venues was excellent. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Oceania Regatta was our choice because of the size of the ship, the itinerary, the length of the cruise, and the reputation for excellent food. The cruise delivered on all fronts. The restaurants, particularly Toscana, were excellent. I ... Read More
Oceania Regatta was our choice because of the size of the ship, the itinerary, the length of the cruise, and the reputation for excellent food. The cruise delivered on all fronts. The restaurants, particularly Toscana, were excellent. I haven't had so much foie gras in years -- always in a different preparation each night. The entertainment was very good. As good or better than Vegas cabarets. The itinerary was goof and we very much enjoyed our helicopter excursion to the top of Herbert glacier. The Whale watch at Hoonah/Icy Straits was a winner -- saw both orcas and humpbacks. Glacier Bay was amazing. And Butchart Gardens in Victoria lived up to its reviews. The ship's decor is a bit tired but everything is clean and operational. The service crew was first-class. Maybe they could use one or two more people in the Main Dining Room. We did have a couple of slow meals. The only thing that was irritating was that the people who went to Martini's, the bar on the same deck as the Main Dining Room, congregated in two large groups watching sports on laptops and hooting and cheering for their teams. Maybe it was because of the World Cup, but it made things difficult for other guests. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was wife and my first cruise on Oceania’s Regata. The entire experience was a delight. Our stateroom, a deluxe ocean view cabin, was comfortable and maintained perfectly by our cabin steward. The food was amazing—all the ... Read More
This was wife and my first cruise on Oceania’s Regata. The entire experience was a delight. Our stateroom, a deluxe ocean view cabin, was comfortable and maintained perfectly by our cabin steward. The food was amazing—all the food—in every restaurant and dining room. The Grill offered not only the usual burgers and hot dogs, but also lobster and filet mignon! The service was extraordinary, in the bars/lounges, dining room, and on deck. There wasn’t a single ship’s photographer aboard which we found refreshing after running the gauntlet of photographers on other cruise ships we’ve sailed on. The entertainment was great, especially the fantastic string quartet that performed several times each afternoon and evening. The Regatta herself was a little jewel box, with elegant/comfortable furniture, beautiful artwork, wood paneling, and soaring domes over the elegant staircases. We were hoping that we wouldn’t enjoy the cruise much more than on one of the larger ships we’ve always sailed on previously. Instead, because we enjoyed it so much, we’ve already booked another cruise on Oceania’s Insignia. If you like smaller scale cruising on an elegant ship with superb food and service, the Regatta’s your ship! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
The Ship, Cabin, Dining, Entertainment & Service were Excellent. Unfortunately, Travel that far is also about, if not mainly, the location and that experience. Ireland and its people were a found Treasure in spite of the shore ... Read More
The Ship, Cabin, Dining, Entertainment & Service were Excellent. Unfortunately, Travel that far is also about, if not mainly, the location and that experience. Ireland and its people were a found Treasure in spite of the shore excursions Nautica offered, not because of them. For a Ship of this caliber and cost I expected hand picked and above average Excursions. 2 out of 3 Excursions were Horrible (Kinsale & Bantry) and we gave a detailed written complaint to the excursion manager. Their attitude was, "Too Bad, no one else complained." We’ve asked to be taken off their mailing list as other options at that level of travel will be explored. Cork/Kinsale: The commentary was cute and entertaining while on route. Town was a big disappointment. Basically a Tourist trap, overloaded with Buses, wasted time with tea and scones in a Hotel with no atmosphere. Walk to the City Centre was a challenge for some. After visiting a few shops, noticed the long bathroom lines around the block at the Tourist Information Center that took up rest of the time allowed. Basically a frustrating Pit Stop. Bantry: "Spectacular Beara Peninsula": Long drive at breakneck speeds. Cannot open windows on a large Tour Bus and when A/C isn't working, it's miserable. Tour Bus used for Giants Causeway showed us what a clean, well maintained, WC on bus, excellent driver and Excursion should be. The comparison was Night and Day. IMHO all Excursions should have been at this level. Independent walks of Ports of Call would have been better use of our time rather than those two horrible Excursions.We don’t expect travel to be PERFECT but expected Oceania to handle the complaint PERFECTLY. I suggest avoiding the OCEANIA sponsored excursion. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was our fourth cruise on Oceania, and second on the Insignia. Check-in in Los Angeles was a breeze, and I had no trouble bringing on board 6 bottles of good quality wine, for which I payed the high corkage fee of $25 per bottle; yet ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise on Oceania, and second on the Insignia. Check-in in Los Angeles was a breeze, and I had no trouble bringing on board 6 bottles of good quality wine, for which I payed the high corkage fee of $25 per bottle; yet I would do this again considering the very high prices they charge for wine. Food in all the restaurants and buffet was outstanding, and service was excellent, except for my cabin attendant who had to be reminded to do things. I really like the size of the old 'R ships', but the cabins, although in good repair, are way too small. While the ship had no dance or zumba lessons, the five piece band was outstanding, and there were usually five or six couples dancing each evening. Another high point was the wonderful bridge lessons taught by Harold; a very gifted teacher, and there was almost bridge play at several levels each afternoon. The internet was far-faster than any other ship we were on. There were never any lines for the restaurants or the tendering. There were some negatives besides the tiny concierge cabin. This was the last stage of the around the world cruise; avoid booking any segment of an around-the world- cruise; you'll be a second class citizen. Some of the staff seemed 'burned out' and exhausted. While the Panama Canal is excellent, the other ports are quite bad. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We have cruised with other lines, Cunard, Celebrity, Azamara and wanted to try Oceania as we had heard the food was so good.....they did not disappoint, but more of that later. Also we have been to Alaska before but not Sitka or Prince ... Read More
We have cruised with other lines, Cunard, Celebrity, Azamara and wanted to try Oceania as we had heard the food was so good.....they did not disappoint, but more of that later. Also we have been to Alaska before but not Sitka or Prince Rupert. We made our own arrangements for hotels and stayed near English bay, got a taxi to the port which was $11. Embarkation was the easiest we have ever had, filled out one form and we were on, it is all very low key, two people directing people to the buffet as our cabins were not ready. Had a wonderful lunch, they announced at 2pm all cabins were ready, our cases were inside when we got there. Plenty of room for two ladies sharing to hang and put away all the clothes, our cases fitted under the beds, but the steward can take them if yours is too big. We all know the showers are tiny and so is the toilet, I am tall and could not fit on the seat!!!! From the very first meal, to the last the food was wonderful better than most Michillen Star Restaurants we have been too! I am vegetarian but also have a food allergy, they could not have been kinder asking me to choose and offering to cook something different if nothing on the menu was suitable, I did have to do this the night before but did change my mind on arrival at dining room which was never a problem. Our waiter Jeffrey was the best. The food in the waves grill and the buffett were all good and the milkshakes are out of this world! Everything was served hot, the two meat eaters and 1 person who ate fish all had excellent meals, we could not fault it. The shows are low key, but all of the entertainers had good voices and could dance. Dottie the cruise director was brilliant. We really enjoyed the ensemble playing classical music they were excellent.The quizzes were good fun and I liked the little gesture of O points to win prizes.you could always get a chair on deck in the sun it was never crowded and the weather was very hot all the time. The service from every member of staff was the best we have ever had, everyone said hello, smiled and asked if we were having a nice time. The shore excursions were a mix, some I thought were a little overpriced and I wish we had done a bit more research and done our own thing, the trip to the valley to see the bears was the best day out, worth every penny. We were lucky to have a lovely mix of ages on this trip, as I understand it is often older people who go, we were aged 59-65, it made for a fun trip, one of the best we have ever had, I would book again and recommend it especially if you like good fun & nice service. 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
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