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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and the fact that we had been on the Mariner before and had liked it. This time however we were sorely disappointed. The captain seemed to have difficulty communicating with the passengers and any ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and the fact that we had been on the Mariner before and had liked it. This time however we were sorely disappointed. The captain seemed to have difficulty communicating with the passengers and any major announcements were handled by the cruise director. There was no warning that we would be without internet or communication the last half of the cruise. The itinerary was poorly planned and the Easter Island draw had been been promoted on the ship as being a pretty sure thing, was a great disappointment to all. Even though it wasn't the fault of the ship that we did not get to go to Easter Island, it was misrepresented as 80% chance by their enrichment speaker and the staff. The food was off and on with some excellent nights and some nights we couldn't find anything desirable to eat. This is amazing on a ship with so many nice restaurants. Surprisingly the buffet turn out to be our best option several days. The exit off the ship was extremely and unnecessarily chaotic. The disembarkation problems could have easily been avoided since the cruise line knew our flight time and the conditions at the airport and Cruise dock , but insisted on holding us back from leaving until after all of their tours left before us. Therefore those with flights from Lima had to wait too long and therefore get in last at the airport lines and almost missed flights. Even with all this time we had the buses were still not ready when they told us to leave. Combine this with the fact that they did not service their printers or computers to print boarding passes Etc the days before we had to disembark, seem to convey they we're focused on getting their excursions going to Lima rather than on the needs of the passengers who were still on board. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Embarkation and disembarkation was relatively smooth. Don’t expect much hospitality. Employees are not excited about their jobs so don’t expect many smiles either. We spent much extra to stay in a (PHS) Penthouse Suite and was ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation was relatively smooth. Don’t expect much hospitality. Employees are not excited about their jobs so don’t expect many smiles either. We spent much extra to stay in a (PHS) Penthouse Suite and was advertised our own personal Butler, (which was shared by many other suites so personalized is the farthest from the truth.) He is given too many rooms to service. We also understood we would have preferred tendering, (which we were first to get tickets, but told we would be last. Yep, last to tender.) We almosted missed our excursion. Does the ship care? Nope! If you book through them then you are first to tender. *Know b4 you go! Next the food. Why does everyone rave about the food? Ugg! My wife got sick on the fish. It was not cooked though enough. The Caesar salad is soaked in dressing every time! It was gross! Our friends lobster was over cooked. The buffet breakfast is pretty good but basic. We ordered room service breakfast. The scrambled eggs were runny, boiled eggs inconsistent. The fruit was mushy & over ripe most of the time. If you wear a hat to dinner, be prepared to be kicked out!! We were late for almost every port with little time anyway. Then paying extra to be in a PHS and having to be last to tender. What a slap in the face. Bottom line: a PHS gives you nothing extra really! The laundry service is terrible it took four days to get 20 items back! Four tiny washer & dryers for the whole boat so get ready to stand in line!! Now Entertainment: (———.) that describes it. VERY limited, basically nothing. The butler &/or staff is always pressuring you to buy something like an excursion or wine tasting or martini tasting (they must be getting a commission!) It just sucks!!! The rooms are small and closets are too. We have sailed other cruise lines and not had such a terrible experience. Oceania is not for me. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I have never been on Oceania before (only Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America and Regent) and after the experience I had, I am going to try and limit my cruise experiences to Oceania, if at all possible. The way I was ... Read More
I have never been on Oceania before (only Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America and Regent) and after the experience I had, I am going to try and limit my cruise experiences to Oceania, if at all possible. The way I was treated, the quality of the ship desgin and materials, the quality of the staff, the itinerary, and most importantly, the dining experience just set this cruise line above all others that I have experienced - and by a wide margin. The cabin (9110) had a large veranda and felt spacious. The bathroom was impressive with a full tub and a rainshower head in the shower. The water was perfect temperature throughout the cruise. Of course, the most important person we met was Lilya, our cabin stewardess and she was nothing short of magnificent - keeping everything so neat and tidy and it always felt the room was in perfect condition. Her warm demeanor meant everything to us and we will always love Ukraine after having her cheerful, professional and detailed assistance every day. We also loved Chrismerelda on our Concierge floor - such a lovely person and so responsive and helpful with our specific needs. In fact, we loved the entire Concierge floor experience - and the espresso machine was worth its weight in gold. We loved the speciality coffee bar on Deck 14 overlooking the pool. We loved the Waves sandwiches, the afternoon tea in horizons, the terrace cafe for breakfast and the Grand Dining Room for nightly dinners (though it was our least favorite experience). And that's because the specialty dining on this ship simply cannot be beat. Toscana was authentic and welcoming. Jaques was a delightful visit to France. Polo Club prepared perfect steaks (and a very inattentive woman as sommalier), and Red Ginger was our favorite of all - with special thanks to the Maitre D' who was nothing short of a true 'boss' - we are indebted to her for our service and experience there. The spa was much better than on other ships and we loved the Canyon Ranch products (especially the post-sun cooling product). Nice gym and very relaxing private spa deck. The theatre space was intimate, as was the lovely piano bar and we enjoyed that. In fact, the ship NEVER felt full (though it was 100% occupied). The artwork throughout the ship made a particular impression on me - from sculpture to paintings and of course the lalique everywhere. It felt more like a luxurious art gallery than a state-of-the-art disco and I appreciated the more sophisticated approach. Besides the speciality dining, I have to say that the approach of charging up front for coffees and sodas and not making me use a card every five minutes felt like a great indulgence and I much prefer that approach. And the specialty dining not having additional charge also made me more relaxed. We didn't purchase any shore excursions because the ports were all accessible and easy for us to navigate to blue waters and private beaches. I loved that the ship was the smallest of all my previous experiences and it felt size-appropriate for Tahitian islands. Embarkation was fast and professional - a tremendous team boarding and leaving. I would dearly love to sail on the Marina again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This was our tenth cruise and second with Oceania. We were on the Riviera last year and had a wonderful time. Much to our delight this cruise was even better than the previous one. For us, as good as the ship itself was and all it had to ... Read More
This was our tenth cruise and second with Oceania. We were on the Riviera last year and had a wonderful time. Much to our delight this cruise was even better than the previous one. For us, as good as the ship itself was and all it had to offer, the best part of the cruise was the people. We met so many amazing people on this cruise and had a delightful time with them from the minute we boarded to the moment we left. We’ve been on the big ships in the past, but we much prefer the size of the Riviera. We find it's a little more intimate, with a sense of community when the ship is not a floating mega-city! Also, and I don’t mean to sound like a stuffy snob, but the type of people that cruise with Oceania appeal much more to our age and tastes than some of the other cruise lines. As so many others have noted, the food is outstanding from the main dining room to the specialty restaurants to the Terrace Café buffet. The buffet selection was as good as any of the other restaurants. Beyond the buffet's amazing selection, what also appealed to us about the buffet was that we don’t touch the food – it is served to us and as a result it is so much healthier. Speaking of healthy, we loved the fact that every morning we could get fresh veggie juice just like we have at home. In all the restaurants there were all sorts of healthy eating alternatives. The room was cozy but large enough. The storage space was adequate. Of course, we loved the balcony where we spent a lot of time enjoying our books and having a drink and taking in the gorgeous views. Even the bathroom was great. It was roomy and we loved having a tub. As for the entertainment, we’re not big on the song and dance shows, but we do love comedy, and on this cruise standup comedian Tom Drake was featured. He did two hysterically funny shows as well as a workshop on comedy. We were very happy with the ports we went to this year. The ports were Aruba, Bonaire, Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Barts. The stays in the ports for the most part were all day so we never felt rushed. Most of the excursions we chose were good – some better than others. St. Kitts was probably our favourite. We loved the beach and the drive there was breathtaking at times. Beach day at Aruba was great. We visited a lovely beach with lots of shade which we appreciated, and there was very good snorkelling there. We not impressed with the Spice Beach club excursion on Bonaire. It wasn’t much of a beach, but the snorkelling was good. There was only one port we didn’t visit, St. Barts, because we would have had to tender there. We don’t like the tenders that Oceania use. They use their lifeboats, and they are just too rocky. We had a bad experience on one last year and decided to avoid it this year. We found more than enough to do on board – trivia, miniature golf, shuffleboard, cooking lessons, (okay we’re 65, what do you expect!!) The staff was top notch. Everyone from our cabin attendants to the severs in the restaurants to everyone else on board were helpful, courteous and friendly. I should also point out that on this cruise we had the best cruise director ever. Her name was Dottie and she was by far the best Cruise Director we have come across in our ten cruises. She connected with the guests so perfectly. She was always bubbly, funny and just downright nice. Embarkation and debarkation was unbelievably smooth and quick. We hope to go on another Oceania cruise next year. We understand that the Riviera is going to be getting a little refurbishing. We did see some people complaining in previous reviews that the ship looked a little worn. We thought the ship was totally charming. We had no complaints about the appearance or performance of the ship. Hopefully we'll see what is new next year. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
For the middle-aged and older crowd, this cruise was amazing! We arrived in Papeete a day early to insure we made the ship on time in case of any flight/weather issues. We stayed at the Intercontinental on Tahiti, which was very nice and ... Read More
For the middle-aged and older crowd, this cruise was amazing! We arrived in Papeete a day early to insure we made the ship on time in case of any flight/weather issues. We stayed at the Intercontinental on Tahiti, which was very nice and they also had a fabulous Polynesian show the night we were there. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, no problems. The thing I liked about Marina is that is is a smaller ship, so less people. No crowded, stuffed elevators, no long waits in line for food, and best of all, no kids! I think there were 2 kids on the ship, but it's not geared toward kids, so there's nothing for them to do really. The food was amazing, absolutely the best meals I've ever had on a cruise ship. It was eating a gourmet meal every time you sat down to eat, even upstairs in the café! The specialty restaurants were just as wonderfully delicious and very gourmet. All of the drinks anywhere on the ship were fantastic! There was actually liquor in them! On all our other cruises, we end up just not drinking because the drinks have so much juice, you can't tell it's a drink.These were top-notch! We had Mai-Tai's, Cosmos, Piña Coladas, and they were all excellent. On every other regular cruise line, I gave up and stuck to Rum & Coke, because the fancy drinks were just terrible. Service on this ship was impeccable. We never had to ask for anything, ever. Staterooms were always ready, clean, chocolates on the bed, mats on the floor by our bedside, slippers, robes, ice bucket filled. The entire staff was friendly and welcoming and very diverse. We were offered an upgrade at a reduced price from a balcony room to a penthouse suite a week before the cruise....we accepted and were so glad we did! Lots of room and plenty of shoe and drawer space! Walk-in closet, gorgeous bathroom with a tub/shower AND a shower. Always stocked. Always clean. There was a fantastic selection of excursions to meet anyone's tastes, from easy to adventurous. Tendering in and out of ports was excellent, fast, and always went smoothly. Never a problem. Although we did bring our own 24-hour hand sanitizer, there was plenty of stations all over and outside the ship, so no excuses for germs! The ship was spotless and someone was always cleaning it, even the outside! Entertainment was just okay.....geared more toward the older crowd. I would have liked to have seen a comedy show, but the shows we did see were great. We missed quite a few, because by the time they started (9:30pm), we were so exhausted from the day, we were in our stateroom reading and falling asleep! One thing that impressed me is that the cruise line had special get-togethers for the singles and even a gay-lesbian get-together. We did do happy hour every evening around 5:30-6 before dinner and one evening 2 of the 3 bars (our favorites) were closed for a promotional group, which we were not happy about. I look forward to going on another Oceania cruise and now I'm spoiled! I don't want to go back to the regular cruise lines! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Honestly, our best cruise yet. We had a concierge level cabin and it was worth the splurge . The food was awesome in every restaurant and the main dining room. The ship was awesome as in being the right size and not too big. The service ... Read More
Honestly, our best cruise yet. We had a concierge level cabin and it was worth the splurge . The food was awesome in every restaurant and the main dining room. The ship was awesome as in being the right size and not too big. The service was awesome. The only thing that was a bit off was the fitness center. Not well appointed but, we just spent our time walking and swimming in the Tahitian waters instead. Loved the coffee bar. Loved the homemade ice cream. Loved the daily fresh fruit smoothies and juice bar. Loved the daily lobster tail off the fan tail at night in the warm breeze. Loved the spa and Canyon Ranch hot tubs on the front. Red Ginger was our favorite restaurant and we loved the experience. We would save up to do Oceania again in a heartbeat. It is one line we would try to repeat again as it was expensive but, worth every cent. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
The food and service on this cruise were fabulous. I could really not have asked for more or better. I was sad that we missed stopping in Huahine because of a heavy rain but that could not be avoided and I absolutely would recommend this ... Read More
The food and service on this cruise were fabulous. I could really not have asked for more or better. I was sad that we missed stopping in Huahine because of a heavy rain but that could not be avoided and I absolutely would recommend this trip to anyone! We expected bad weather and really had hardly any rain. The locals were wonderful, did a beautiful job welcoming the ship and the guests to each port. The food in Red Ginger might be the best food I have ever eaten in my life. I had the Lobster Pad Thai and my husband had the Chilean Sea Bass, both were delicious. We stayed at Chalet Tahiti one night on either end of trip and host, Jean Denis was amazing as well. If you stay in one of the other hotels you are better off booking it yourself rather than through the cruise line. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Third time on Oceania, first time on the R-Class Nautica. Had a great time on this 30-day cruise up the east coast of Africa and then Asia seeing some out of the way places but meeting some great people onboard. The biggest detractor on ... Read More
Third time on Oceania, first time on the R-Class Nautica. Had a great time on this 30-day cruise up the east coast of Africa and then Asia seeing some out of the way places but meeting some great people onboard. The biggest detractor on this cruise was time and how long it takes to get from point A to point B. Itinerary Planning - This is a shared responsibility between Oceania Corporate and the Captain of the ship. These itinerary’s are made years in advance and must be executed by the Captain at the helm. Durban - 3 hours late, Maldives - 5 hours late, Phuket - 5 hours late - Unacceptable. The reason given, currents were bad or wind was high. This tired ship can only do about 18,5 knots, we didn’t have high seas or storms to contend with, this was an example of poor planning and not having enough time reserve between ports of call. The skip of Mombasa for terrorist threat is understandable but could have been communicated sooner, the add of Praslin in the Seychelles deserves an “At a boy”. Ship - Loved the size of the ship and the old world charm but its time for an upgrade. The common areas were in good shape and are still receiving the TLC they deserve. Would like to see Toscana and Polo combined to make room for Red Ginger with the scheduled refurbishment. The Nautica Lounge has a nice layout to it but when the entertainment uses the dance floor instead of the stage it can be difficult to see what is going on. Didn’t see a lot of activity in the casino, this space could get better utilization. Enjoyed the spa deck on the front, a quiet space for reading, and the hot tub there was great. Dining - Ate in all the venues and service level was top notch. This was really evident in the Terrace Grill. During the morning rush there were countless “Good Mornings”, tables were reset quickly, and beverage servers ever present. Enjoyed the regional specialty nights especially the game night of Kudu, Springbock, Crocodile, and Impala. For the GDR did not experience the same quality as previous sailings, the deserts were routine. Saw the same menus in Toscana and Polo as year prior, shouldn’t these change a bit. Entertainment and Activities - You can’t expect the same performance level that is received on a 2500+ passenger ship. With that said this group or entertainers and dancers held there own and then some. You got to know these performers throughout the 30-day cruise as they were the ones hosting the various activity games onboard. I think you will see Paulina and Luke have their own headline acts soon. John’s comedy/magic show should become a regular act. He was pretty darn good at having fun at the daily trivia forum. Was glad to see bridge lessons being offered as corporate had said they wouldn’t prior to the cruise. Bridge should be expected on a cruise of this duration. The string quartet every evening in the atrium was well received and glad to see them get two headline shows. The off-board entertainers and lecturers were pretty good. Ports and Shore Excursions - Took this cruise mainly for the itinerary and was not disappointed. Arranged mostly private tours with the CC forum prior to embarkation. These were well done and received a more intimate experience than the Oceania sponsored trips. The tendering process was orderly with a sensitivity to private excursions. Oceania needs to cut their fees in half to be competitive. Met some interesting fellow travelers from various points of the world. By sharing evening dinner or Happy Hour you get to exchange in some great conversations. We enjoy Oceania and will return. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Let me start with the entertainment. First Rate. 12 Person very high end team dancers and Singers. Great shows. We saw three different shows in ten days. So well produced and choreographed. Beautiful costumes with many changes. And ... Read More
Let me start with the entertainment. First Rate. 12 Person very high end team dancers and Singers. Great shows. We saw three different shows in ten days. So well produced and choreographed. Beautiful costumes with many changes. And excellent recorded music. Sets and background video images on screens. Of the forty cruises we have been on, on Cunard, HA, Seabourn, Silversea, Regent and Celebrity, and Oceania, this is the best set of shows we have ever seen and the most talented entertainers. We have sat through some real snooze cruise shows over the years and honestly we were so impressed with this team and the shows themselves. Handsome young men and beautiful girls, all well choreographed, talented and produced.I cannot enough. The pool deck chairs, while packed in like sardines, are very comfortable. Very thick chair pads and towel covers. Unlike some competitors, who provide no chair pads. Oh my aching back. Food on board Oceania is said to be the best at sea, and the 4 specialty restaurants of Asian (Red Ginger), Jacques the signature French of Jacques Pepin, the Italian Toscana and the grill Polo Lounge all provide really knockout and authentic meals. High end ingredients used and great chefs that produce truly fine dining experiences. The MDR itself is also very good, and service superb throughout the ship's restaurants. Very attentive and competent waiting staff. Buffet in the Terrace is so dull and boring, although many onboard could not wait to fill their plates and stomachs. Speaking of which, many oversize anatomies on board. Growing worse we have observed over the years. The cabins are very nice. We had any A class cabin, and while the bathroom is small, the size of the cabin and balcony was fine for a ten day cruise of the Caribbean. Anything longer we would have opted for a more spacious P cabin with a walk in closet and more interior space.. Officer staff removed and not very passenger interactive or friendly. Not a good mark for Oceania. Captain made his daily announcements but was a ghost. The ship itself is only 5 or 6 years old and very modern. Very open with lots of public space and bars. Martinis is the place for cocktails. Ship sails well, but the Caribbean seas were calm throughout the ten days. The drinks packages offered were fair priced, and the wines included drinkable if not great. All typical of what passes for wine lists on all cruise lines today. Bottle a la carte prices exorbitant for the product available. Horrendous boarding experience in Miami. Oceania should be ashamed, even though some of it was caused by the unfortunate death of a crew person and ship's late arrival.. But no command presence on the ground to handle the huge backed up crowd waiting to board, and very poor communications. It almost got out of control. Not a bright spot on this cruise, but fortunately it was not a harbinger of bad things to come as many feared. All in all Oceania continues to do a very good job, even under NCL ownership. Many fears have been allayed. The product is the same as it first was for us ten years ago when we first sailed with Oceania, which is very good indeed .And the ships size of 1250 passengers while large for us was not too problematic, except for sea days when the sardine factory on the pool deck was overactive. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
There were some islands on this cruise we've not been to before, which is the reason we took it. That & the wonderful food on board Riviera. We do need to stress that entertainment is rather bland on this ship. The food IS the ... Read More
There were some islands on this cruise we've not been to before, which is the reason we took it. That & the wonderful food on board Riviera. We do need to stress that entertainment is rather bland on this ship. The food IS the entertainment. We're both in the food industry & this is a reason we've done 2 cruises on the Riviera. We'd have gone back in 2020 for another 14 days, but the only cruise is a 14 day "midweek" type cruise. We hate getting back midweek. We like that 2 day relaxing affair that a Fri-Sat cruise ending affords. Unpacking etc. winding down from the enjoyment & getting ready to be back to work(Uhhgg!) We've noticed with lots of cruises, that the quality starts to slide each year. Not so on Oceania. Our cabin was 8100, which is a great cabin. You hop off the elevator & you're right outside your door. NO noise issues at all. The only thing was, that a prior guest had "bent" the shower door a bit, so it didn't close properly. This allowed water to get out, which wet the floor allowing for the floor tiles to get wet & "pop" up. We notified our attendant about this...It looked like it had been going on awhile as you could see new grout in the floor. This time they fixed the problem & no more issues after about day 3. The room itself was very nice. Fairly large for a Veranda type cabin. With a decent sized Veranda, that you could actually relax on. If there is one thing about Oceania that we've noticed, it's that they really don't offer much to the LGBT community. There was one & only one get together & it was set right at dinner time. Needless to say we didn't attend. Last year we share a table with a Texas couple In Polo Grill, who upon "figuring" us out, just totally "clammed" up for the rest of the meal. Not a good experience for us or them. This Year we had to again share a table(this time in Jacques)The couple saw us & immediately came up with the excuse that the table was too close to the entrance(not at all!) So we had a 4 person table to ourselves & thoroughly enjoyed it. It's obvious to the reader that we try to not share tables to avoid making us or other tablemates uncomfortable. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise for its itinerary. We could “Safari” without sleeping in tents! We also wanted to escape the winter weather in the US. Ports were interesting except for Maputo, Mozambique. Oceania should skip it...very 3rd ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary. We could “Safari” without sleeping in tents! We also wanted to escape the winter weather in the US. Ports were interesting except for Maputo, Mozambique. Oceania should skip it...very 3rd world. We didn’t feel safe and was the only port that required us to take malaria medicine. We were surprised Oceania offered a 2 hour walking tour. DON’T TAKE IT! Street vendors aggressively follow you and pressure a sale. Streets are dirty. We were only allowed to take photos when given permission. Definitely not worth stopping. As for ship: Food and service were outstanding. Loved the “dine anytime” arrangement. It was fun to share a table and meet other guests but we always had the opportunity to dine alone. Being in the Owners Suite gave us special privileges and we were able to eat in specialty restaurants whenever we requested to do so. Stewards were exceptional! Entertainment not quite as elaborate as other cruises but I suppose that’s due to size of ship. On shore: the Belmont property, Mount Nelson Inn, is fabulous! If you are staying in land pre or post cruise, make a reservation! And don’t miss Table Mountain and The Cape. Two spectacular sites in Cape Town. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We very much enjoyed our first experience with Oceania on the Marina for the January 2019 Chile to Papeete cruise. We thought the value for the money was great. We had 9 sea days on our 18 day cruise and I found interesting things to ... Read More
We very much enjoyed our first experience with Oceania on the Marina for the January 2019 Chile to Papeete cruise. We thought the value for the money was great. We had 9 sea days on our 18 day cruise and I found interesting things to do everyday. The lectures offered (morning and afternoons) were informative and give us a better understanding of the region and its history. I loved the cooking classes, I attended 7! The evening entertainment was so/so but with friends along we had no trouble having fun talking, listening to music and enjoying adult beverages. We had a verandah cabin. While it was smaller than what we've sailed in previously (HAL Signature Suites) it met our needs. The furnishings were in good order and we thought the bathroom was well laid out and a good size for the cabin category. The only negative in my opinion was the location of the closets so close to the bedside, that was inconvenient at times. The cabin attendant did a good job but was the most crabby cruise ship employee I have ever encountered. It was the only time I have ever left a negative comment about an individual on a comment card. I really appreciated not having to wait for any type of seating. Whether it was a dining area, in a bar or around the pool there was always available seating. Beverage service was excellent with the exception of the indoor area of the Terrace Cafe. The food was wonderful with only a couple of misses the entire cruise. We ate in every restaurant with the exception of the couple extra fee venues. Service was prompt and friendly. Overall a very enjoyable cruise! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We took in a 12 day cruise from Miami to Miami, and explored several Caribbean islands, with two sea days on either end. Exploring Miami If you're new to cruising from Miami, I would recommend arriving a few days early and ... Read More
We took in a 12 day cruise from Miami to Miami, and explored several Caribbean islands, with two sea days on either end. Exploring Miami If you're new to cruising from Miami, I would recommend arriving a few days early and spending the time to take in the city. I can imagine that summer is pretty hot, but in December it was balmy. Highlights included South Beach, downtown, a harbour cruise and the visit to the Everglades. We stayed downtown, but the port is easy to get to, so any decent hotel should not be an issue. Embarkation Is easy and painless. All told, it probably took less than 10 minutes. It does help to arrive early, even if your stateroom is only accessible later in the day, as this enables you to avoid the crowds. It's easy to see that Miami knows how to handle cruise crowds. About Riviera This is our second Oceania cruise, with the first being on Riviera's sister, the Marina. We like the upmarket yet casual atmosphere, the food, as well as the gym/spa. Oceania does not cater for children, but does not forbid them. There were no children on our cruise, however. While the vessel remains upmarket (but not luxurious), Riviera is shown a few signs of wear and tear. Most of the loungers on the private spa terrace were broken, and it's clear that some of the bar stools have been scratched and not repaired over the years. Look beyond this, and you will most certainly have an amazing experience. Dining One tours with Oceania for, among other things, the food. There are three restaurants for breakfast and lunch, and an additional 5 for dinner (if one includes La Reserve.) During a cruise, you should definitely make an effort to dine at each of the speciality restaurants. During this cruise, our favourites were Toscana while Jacques and Red Ginger are a close second tie. Polo Grill is also superb and difficult to fault, but if one has to make a choice... Sadly, the Grand Dining Room did not live up to expectations on this cruise. We dined here twice for breakfast, and while the setting is grand indeed, the service falls short. Dinner at the Grand Dining Room remains exceptional, however. If you do it only once, afternoon tea is a must. It's a lovely setting in Horizons with the quartet playing. One feels very sophisticated. If you like a glass of wine with your meal, or a cocktail around the pool, it's worth taking the beverage package. It makes the surprise at the end of the cruise a little less unknown! Entertainment On this cruise, Oceania treated us to a few outside entertainers. Both were exceptional, while the standard crew are also very good. In addition, make time for the string quartet playing in the evenings near the casino. Service For the most part, service is very good. We had a butler, being in a penthouse suite, and this eases logistics somewhat. Waiters are extremely attentive in all the establishments. Sometimes, however, we found ourselves straining as it's clear that English is not their first language. Sommeliers are generally good, but sometimes are a little scarce during lunch in the Terrace Cafe aft. Cabin This was our first time in a Penthouse Suite. It's recommended for two reasons - the ability to dine in-suite from one of the speciality restaurants as well as the large walk-in closet. We specifically chose a cabin that was below the 12th floor cabins, and not the sun deck, and are grateful we did. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
2nd cruise on Oceania Riviera, 24th Cruise. First sailing was Amalfi Coast, beautiful but - no sea days to enjoy the ship. We very much enjoyed the ship this time. The ship is the perfect size for us, 1250 PAX with beautiful public ... Read More
2nd cruise on Oceania Riviera, 24th Cruise. First sailing was Amalfi Coast, beautiful but - no sea days to enjoy the ship. We very much enjoyed the ship this time. The ship is the perfect size for us, 1250 PAX with beautiful public spaces decorated with large scale holiday decorations, Lalique glass, Art Deco interesting furnishings, Artwork, and lots of seating areas scattered inside and out. Embarkation was quick at about noon and lunch at Waves and Terrace cafe — no, we didn’t eat at both but they are both great choices. The Terrace has a wonderful assortment of choices and the steak and seafood at the grill were great. The nice sized Balcony cabin has good storage and fine linens, comfortable bed, makeup mirror, lots of outlets, marble bath with deep sinks, small shower with wand and rain head good pressure, and big tub with another shower with wand. Loved the Bulgari toiletries. Our steward was very good, supplies replaced and always lots of ice and needed nothing. Spotless. There was no lack of activities though my favorite was my kindle and feet up on my balcony or on the leather chairs in the library after another cappuccino in Baristas cafe. There was mini golf, needlepoint, bracelet making, art classes (fun but I have no talent), lectures were excellent with Adam Tanner, cha cha classes, movies, and much live music. Others played bridge, trivia and more. The show band was wonderful, production singers and dancers exceptional and string quartet very good. Loved the group Ardor in Horizons and the Ukelele player/comedian better than that sounds. There were many performances in evenings and once in a while in afternoon. Do not miss afternoon tea with strings. Specialties- Polo 5 stars, Jacques 5 Stars, Tuscana husband 4 stars, food a bit of a disappointment for me after great food last time and best of all Red Ginger — I had the best meal ever with edamame, greens with peanut dressing, tempura vegetables and filet entree & bounty cake dessert. Husband had red snapper and loved it. Service was great. Not so happy with Grand Dining room dinner especially beef. But breakfast was wonderful. Also prompt and handy is room service although no hot breakfast in balcony cabins. Kudos to all the service people onboard who had such great attitudes. I can’t say that we loved the ship excursions but In Grenada there was an excursion we liked to a plantation with Gorgeous vegetation, interesting owner and natural products. The ship did not feel crowded except for some scarcity of chairs in the shade — but the pool attendants were removing towels and clearing space. Nice cushions and seating around the pool. And not only are non/Alcoholic drinks included but I can go to the cappuccino machine myself any time and press the button for a quick to go pick me up. I can’t say enough about this sailing— I wish I could repeat it many times over. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We decided on taking our first cruise and for sure this is the LAST one and for sure the LAST one on Oceania Nautica. Room was tight and two people cannot move in it. Food is TERRIBLE and it seems they rotate the same ingredients over ... Read More
We decided on taking our first cruise and for sure this is the LAST one and for sure the LAST one on Oceania Nautica. Room was tight and two people cannot move in it. Food is TERRIBLE and it seems they rotate the same ingredients over and over again. All seafood served is farmed and not wild caught. WAY too much hidden sodium in all the food, evidenced by the fact that we work up continuously every night to drink water. It's amazing folks don't have a heart attack eating the stuff they serve. Overly pretentious considering food is lousy. Out room maid was very nice though. Shore excursions are WAY over-priced and you can get the same thing on shore for a small fraction of the price they charge. Also, the management is constantly finding ways to squeeze more money out of you. For example, it's stated that there is free WIFI, however that applies to only ONE device. If you wish to connect a second device to your room's router, it's a charge of $250 per extra connection ... FROM THE SAME ROUTER! The management should be ASHAMED of themselves. We could not wait for the cruise to end. STAY AWAY!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We were a little nervous booking this particular cruise due to the ship going into dry dock immediately after. We figured the weather would be iffy due to the time of year (11/2-11/18) and did have a few chilly, rainy days. We missed only ... Read More
We were a little nervous booking this particular cruise due to the ship going into dry dock immediately after. We figured the weather would be iffy due to the time of year (11/2-11/18) and did have a few chilly, rainy days. We missed only 1 port, Bar Harbor, due to tender issues. For the most part, the ship was in good repair and other than some slightly worn upholstery it was well kept and all areas very clean. Our stateroom, 8000, is considered a suite and was lovely and included a 3 cushion full sized sofa, 2 club chairs and a glass table in addition to a very comfy bed. There was plenty of storage and the bathroom must be larger than other levels as it was plenty big. Oh, and the live orchid in the room was a lovely touch. A slight disappointment was the main dining room with their menu of sameness. Oh, there’d be a special few items thrown in daily but it wasn’t exceptional. What WAS fabulous was The Polo Grill and the grilled lobster tails and grilled shrimp every evening in the buffet. We found the Italian restaurant, Toscana, to be just okay. Husband returned one entree, a veal dish. I tasted it and agreed it wasn’t good either in texture or taste. I will say staff immediately swooped in and expedited his new order. The buffet is handled very well. No cruiser touches the food. You indicate what you want and staff prepare your plate THEN, more often than not, another staff member steps in and carries your plate to your table. There’s no self serve of food or drink. Another true highlight is tea time which is a lovely event served with a background of a string quartet. The house band was good with one member being exceptional. Staff was fabulous. The cruise director, Shawn Carter, was one of the more engaging CD’s we’ve met. All service staff were quick with their greetings and generous in their thank you’s. The only flaw we encountered was a rather disengaged front desk staff but that blip was more than made up by the butler who couldn’t do enough for us. He was so well trained and seemed sincerely vested in our enjoyment. I wasn’t expecting much in the way of entertainment but was surprised—pleasantly. In addition to several enrichment talks (on the ports of call, on the history of where we were traveling, to an marine biologist giving talks on various sea life) the evening show included a comedian, a magician, several singers, a fabulous guitarist, a pianist. True, there’s no production numbers like you find on larger ships but the shows are more like lounge acts. Very intimate and entertaining. There was the usual bingo, trivia, karaoke, bracket making. WiFi was usually good—not speedy but adequate save one day the satellite wasn’t functioning well as some streamed newscasts on the TV were not working either. So would I sail Oceania again? Yes!!! I enjoyed the quietness of the ship, the lack of rowdy games, loud music or intrusive photographer. Fellow passengers were a mature, well traveled group which made for interesting conversation. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Oceania's detail to service was excellent - the staff were clearly all there to ensure all passengers were satisfied and happy (although some people are never happy). -Our Cabin was in the A1 Concierge level and was midship. Our ... Read More
Oceania's detail to service was excellent - the staff were clearly all there to ensure all passengers were satisfied and happy (although some people are never happy). -Our Cabin was in the A1 Concierge level and was midship. Our cabin attendants were very attentive to our desires and need for service. -The Dining was the best I've had on any cruise ship (have sailed Cunard, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Holland American and Norwegian). The specialty restaurants were very good and one must make reservations way in advance of the cruise sail date if you wish to get the preferred times such as 7:30 pm and to be dining alone (we were a party of 2). otherwise, you will have later times and shared tables which worked out for us regardless. We met very pleasant people at our shared dining tables which actually enhanced the cruise for us. The main dining room and buffet menus were excellent and no complaints in that regard. Would have liked some food available between the 4 pm to 6:30 pm which was typically the times we were returning from our long day shore excursions. Many ships we sailed on have 24 hr. restaurant availability. My feeling is that there should be food available (other than room service) at all hours on a cruise. -The entertainment was amateurish and did not compare to the larger productions offered on the larger ships/cruise lines. Our itinerary was very busy and we did not attend the entertainment for the most part and others advised us the shows improved as the cruise progressed. We used the fitness center and the Spa deck for an afternoon of rest and relaxation on our sea day - were very nice and clean. We did not participate in any "enrichment activities." -The ports were all places we wanted to see except Koper, Slovenia which was a quiet, sleepy port with little to do - not sure why this is part of the cruise and would have preferred an extra night in either Florence, Rome, Sorrento or Venice. -The shore excursions were good for the most part, but you need to make sure you book way in advance of the cruise sail date as they fill up fast (we missed out on booking a Capri tour which was disappointing. I would highly suggest booking some of your port excursion on your own (many people we spoke with on the cruise used this forum ahead of their cruise with others). We also spoke with a travel agent who was on the cruise with a group she was leading and advised us that the mark-up on the ship tours was about 40% which we did find to be true. Once you get off the ship, there were usually tour companies standing by to take you on tours at a cheaper price, but the caveat is to get off the ship as soon as open for debarkation as those tours filled up fast as well. -One HUGE issue we found was the internet access. It was minimal at best even with the upgraded version. And we both got international cell phone service (we had Verizon and AT&T) and that was spotty, especially when during sail times, but, better in the ports). -As for getting the beverage package - we, unfortunately pre purchased the upgraded Prestige Select for $59.95/day ($1200 for cruise). We are not big drinkers, but experience has proven that the cost on the cruise ships of alcohol can be quite high - a beer at the bar on this cruise was $8 which included gratuity). On this particular cruise and being in port every day, but one, and the tour itinerary being very busy and we did time to really spend on the ship and the amenities. We also did back to back 10 hour tours which left little time to actually enjoy time after dinner. Therefore, would have maybe gotten the House Select beer and wine with dinner package at lower price of $39.95 ($800 for cruise), but after the cruise, we figured out our alcohol bill would have been under $500 for the entire cruise given the busy itinerary and human fatigue. We did overhead a few people try to get out of the drink packages they purchased for the very same reason and we unable to do so. SO, the point is, if you are doing tours on the cruise every day, would not get the Prestige package, but if you are spending more time on the ship than doing tours, it may be worth it. Also, something new to us - there were no photography services on the ship Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Many people told us about the great food and service on Oceania. The service was very good. The staff, for the most part, went out of their way to say hello and help in any way they could. This was the best part of the service. ... Read More
Many people told us about the great food and service on Oceania. The service was very good. The staff, for the most part, went out of their way to say hello and help in any way they could. This was the best part of the service. Unfortunately, the rest of the cruise was quite bland, including the food. We had one really great dinner in the steakhouse. Most of the other dinners were quite forgettable. More emphasis was put on the "presentation" instead of on the "substance". Buffet breakfast was okay, but they didn't seem to have enough servers to efficiently dish out the food during the buffet breakfast and lunch. I do have to admit that the hot cinnamon buns are incredibly addictive. Breakfast in the dining room was very good. Buffet lunches were very disappointing. We were fortunate to be off the ship for most lunches. "Tea time" was actually very nice to come back to the ship for after touring at 4:00. The string quartet music was very pleasant and the snacks were very nice. Entertainment in the evening was actually quite good. It only lasted about 45 minutes each night and this was fine, considering that we'd been touring during the day and likely had another early morning the next day. The entertainment was usually musical and humorous . Cabins were okay. We had a balcony cabin with about 215 square feet of space. Space was well used. We have been on a number of other cruise lines. This experience was not really any better overall than the others (Celebrity, Princess, Holland America, Royal Caribbean). Oceania promotes itself as an upscale cruise line. I pity the poor soul who paid full price for any of their cruises, considering they are almost always advertising 2 for 1 pricing. That practice in itself should be outlawed. This is just misleading advertising. In summary, the cruise was nice. Nothing special. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We selected Sirena and Oceania because the schedule was good for us and the itinerary just what we wanted. Sirena is a smaller cruise ship than previously booked and we wanted to see if size and quality of ship, as advertised, were ... Read More
We selected Sirena and Oceania because the schedule was good for us and the itinerary just what we wanted. Sirena is a smaller cruise ship than previously booked and we wanted to see if size and quality of ship, as advertised, were true. Sirena did not disappoint on either account. With only some 680 passengers the ship was well proportioned for this capacity and certainly there was never an issue with numbers or access to restaurants or facilities. We booked a Concierge Stateroom which was certainly big enough for us although the ensuite was compact, This is an older ship that doesn’t show its age yet has all the features of a stately ship. The ship was immaculately clean and the internal passageways and staircases were equally fastidiously maintained. Ship’s staff were excellent, attentive and ever-present to meet your every need. Food standards were exceptional! Day to day organisation was discrete-with brief rundown of events/activities broadcast once and then you went and did your thing. Everything was included in the cost except alcohol and shore excursions. There was no hassle Re photos or any other big ship pressures eg art sales etc. Perhaps the only - and often mentioned criticism- was the cost of shore tours. They were very expensive. We did our own research and booked tours independently ourselves. We selected the OLife option when booking to cover off internet and gratuities. All in all a very well presented ship with outstanding staff and exquisite food. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
I chose this cruise as I missed our New England coast, and haven't been to Bermuda since I was a child. This cruise was right before the Insignia went into dry dock, to be completely refurbished. It was still very pretty. It’s a ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I missed our New England coast, and haven't been to Bermuda since I was a child. This cruise was right before the Insignia went into dry dock, to be completely refurbished. It was still very pretty. It’s a great size, not too big. Embarkation was a breeze, the only problem being that, our cabins weren’t available til 3 PM, so we were all in the buffet dining area, and seating was impossible at first. My cabin, small window on 4th deck, was just fine, except TV was small, which I’m sure they’re changing during dry dock. Amenities were lovely, INCLUDING hair conditioner, which didn’t used to be included, and was mentioned in an old review. The reception staff were great, and there was never a long line. Getting on an off for excursions was quick and painless. The pool was lovely and warm the first three nights, then, not so much. I had a terribly negative experience with their one hairdresser, on the first day, who refused to do my hair, insulted me, and pretended to be scared of touching it. It was bizarre, insane, rude, hostile and completely illogical, and colored my perception of the cruise, day one. I had made my appointment 2 months before and had been eagerly looking forward to having my hair done at sea. Actually, quite traumatizing. I then went back to the Spa, to ask the young woman there in which port I could now find a last minute hair salon, this person, was snooty, (she had straight, short black hair, sort of like Vidal Sassoon used to do in the 60’s), and she said Bermuda was expensive, and Halifax was my best bet, as Bar Harbor was a hick town. Bar Harbor is, in fact, absolutely beautiful and charming, and I found a hairdresser there who could take me, last minute, and she did a great job- easy-peasy. I don’t understand why this girl had an attitude? Another weirdo. The rest of the staff at the Spa were lovely. The food was plentiful, to say the least, and being we sailed up the New England coast, we had Lobster coming out of our ears! I adore lobster, and at so much, I actually grew tired of it- a real treat. The food in the main dining room was sometimes simply amazing, and other times, a flop. I had a Boeuf Bourginon, which was Heaven, a Dover Sole done and presented to perfection, and a Vacherin dessert, which was nearly too lovely and delicious to be believed. However, the Croque Monsieur at lunch was dry as a bone, and the service was not great either. My first night, the menu offered a fancy French desert, but upon arrival, it was just a dish of ice-cream. The hamburgers at the pool grill left much to be desired, using fake cheese, etc., while you could also get a lobster tail there, which was amazing, however, I ordered a brisket sandwich, and the toast was badly burnt. The dining in the Italian specialty restaurant was lovely, but it took 3 hours, and the Caprese salad had pale, hothouse tomatoes, and no fresh basil leaves. The specialty steak restaurant was nice, but my filet was tiny, and the meat was not great quality, plus they got our orders mixed up, and one lady at the table sat with no food while we ate, then, her replacement steak was burnt as well. The buffet food was very good, especially as it was buffet. The waiters, throughout, though there were some mistakes, worked incredible hard and did a great job. In fact, most everyone was amazing. Jenifer and Min, who took care of my cabin, were as sweet, smart, polite and helpful as could be, and took great care of me. The musicians who played on the 5th floor, were great, and soulful, and a delight to listen to. I checked out the comedian, and he was one hard worker, and people were laughing- not an easy job. I didn’t attend the other entertainment, as I grew up in an acting family, and it just makes me miss my parents. I didn’t get to do any of their excursions, as Hurricane Flo diverted us from Bermuda. Sadly, so many ships were being diverted, sort of last minute, as no one could predict Flo’s path, that we ended up all the N in St. John, New Brunswick, which was cold getting there, windy and rainy, so no swimming possible, then, a very boring town, that looked like a Mars Space station, seemingly built with legos or 100% IKEA. Personally, I didn’t care for Halifax either - for me, no character, and boring, but with crowds, pigeons and cigarette smoke. Bar Harbor was incredible, as was Newport, Rhode Island- charming and interesting and clean. Leaving St. John, we stopped in rainy Portland, which was pretty interesting, though not on our original itinerary, and again, foggy, rainy and colder. I had one issue- I returned to my cabin after swimming, and found a new phone had been installed. I checked with house-keeping, and they hadn’t reported a problem, so was told it might be part of the coming refurbishment. However I received no notice that maintenance was coming, so my purse, phone, passport, credit cards, were all on my desk. I knew when house-keeping came, so I hadn’t put them in the safe, as no one would be entering while I swam. I think they need to alert us when maintenance is coming. Also, having grown up in NYC, and cruised out of there as a child, teen, and in ’13, I was aghast at the sight I encountered at disembarkation. 9 AM, rush hour, 12th Avenue, between 48th and 49th, two way traffic, plus bike lanes, plus a mega ship next to use disembarking at the same time- it was a scene from Hell. I’ll never do it again. All I kept thinking was: “GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!!” WAY too many people. Except for the hair dresser, the pool getting colder, having to head N because of Flo, freezing, without any cold weather clothes, and not being able to swim, and missing Bermuda, it was good, and my fellow passengers were a nice bunch. But the mood changed drastically, half way trough, when we realized we weren’t going to Bermuda.This wasn’t the Captain’s fault, or Oceana’s, but I do wish they’d kept us further South- ANYWHERE South, not New Brunswick. At least then, we could have swam. Pretty grim, the last half. I did email guest services, re getting a discount on a future cruise, or some kind of remuneration, but no one ever contacted me. I think that shows very poor form. Eassily reached to place a new booking, or make a payment, but a query or complaint, is utterly ignored. That’s not the way to do business. It shows incredible disrespect. Even if the reply is that they can’t do anything. Just reply. So I’m not sure if I’d go again. Customer service is extremely important. Finally- PLEASE don’t book a cruise going anywhere near the Caribbean in September. September 10, is LITERALLY the HEIGHT of hurricane season. Traveling anywhere near there, including the US S/E coast, and/or the Gulf of Mexica, is a risk, a BIG risk. And even if you avoid the sea, you can encounter flight problems. Never again. 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Very happy with our first Oceania experience. Excellent staff and service and the food exceeds anything we’ve experienced on RCCL. Cabin was very nice and always well kept. Food in the specialty restaurants ranged from good (Polo Grill ... Read More
Very happy with our first Oceania experience. Excellent staff and service and the food exceeds anything we’ve experienced on RCCL. Cabin was very nice and always well kept. Food in the specialty restaurants ranged from good (Polo Grill & Tuscana) to excellent (Red Ginger). Onboard activities are limited compared to the larger party barges but they maintained your normal trivia and few other activities. The talent was average at best. The ports as a whole were very good. Venice for 2 days was very nice. The stop in Slovenia was a pleasant surprise. We took an excursion to Ljubljana, I highly recommend this trip along with seeing Lake Bled. Dubrovnik should be on everyone’s bucket list. We took the Mt Etna excursion from Catania and it was very good but could have been fantastic if the weather would have cooperated. The float into Montenegro was just beautiful but the port itself is filled with pushy sales people pawning sunglasses and excursions so buyer beware!! Argistoli unfortunately is nothing but a giant souvenir shop, 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
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
The Marina is a wonderful ship with exemplary service and dining geared toward adult travelers. We spent four pre-cruise days in Amsterdam and a week post-cruise in London. Be sure to make your own arrangements from Southampton to London ... Read More
The Marina is a wonderful ship with exemplary service and dining geared toward adult travelers. We spent four pre-cruise days in Amsterdam and a week post-cruise in London. Be sure to make your own arrangements from Southampton to London before disembarking. Taxis are available if you don’t, but are expensive. Experiencing the Banksy and Van Gogh museums, Scandinavian fjords, Oslo Sculpture Park, reindeer sausage, fish market in Bergen, everything Beatles in Liverpool, Edinburgh Castle, having tea and scones at Windsor Castle and seeing the shows ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ in London and ‘The King and I’ at The Palladium were some of the highlights. The ship excursions are somewhat overpriced so we research the ports and like to self explore. The historic significance of Irish, Scottish and English churches, catacombs, and castles I omnipresent. Westminster Abbey is a must do experience. Do not let the line/wait deter you. Embarking and disembarking is a breeze on The Marina. We’ve already booked a 180 day around-the-world cruise on the Regatta for 2020. Read Less
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