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Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise because of an itinerary that included southern Italy, Greek Islands (including Santorini and Mykonos) and Venice. After we booked, the Santorini port was changed to Gythion. This was very disappointing since we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of an itinerary that included southern Italy, Greek Islands (including Santorini and Mykonos) and Venice. After we booked, the Santorini port was changed to Gythion. This was very disappointing since we considered Santorini an iconic Greek island that we did not want to miss. As it turned out, weather prohibited us from tendering into Mykonos, so we missed both of the islands we had been excited to see. The embarkation for the Sirena was very smooth and quick, with our luggage being delivered to the room very promptly. All of the crew and port staff were friendly and made us feel quite welcome. Our stateroom was an inside stateroom. The room was about the size you would expect, and had lots of storage. One drawback is that my husband's suitcase did not fit under the bed so he eventually shoved it under the desk area to get it out of the way. Although the room size was not bad, the bathroom size was very bad. My husband and I are both on the normal to slim side, and we could barely move around in the bathroom and the shower. We had to shut off the water in the shower in order to soap up and then turn it back on to rinse off. I hit my head on the cabinet above the sink when trying to brush my teeth. While it was less than comfortable for us, I cannot imagine how it would feel for those who are not normal to slim body types. The cabin steward did an okay job, although one evening he forgot to service our room at all. That meant we did not get an itinerary for the next day. It just so happens that there was a time change that evening. Even though he put the itinerary on the door the next morning along with a reminder for a spa appointment, we did not get them until later in the morning after we returned to our room. I ended up being an hour late for the spa because we had forgotten the time change. Room service was prompt and the food was good. We ate at the Terrace Café almost every morning and most days for lunch if we were onboard. The food was good and had good variety. We ate in the Main Dining room at night or at Red Ginger or Tuscan Steak. The recommendations of the staff turned out to be very good in most cases. All of the food was delicious. The entertainment...ugh! And the reason for the title of this review. The entertainment aboard the ship is very much geared to an older clientele. My husband and I are in our mid-fifties but found the entertainment to be way beyond our years. I am not talking about current pop or rock hits necessarily, but at least something that appeals to people below the age of 70! While we appreciate a string quartet every now and then, it would also be nice to have an area that offers more contemporary music in a more robust environment. Maybe a piano player that plays some more current music, please???There was a night of rock music, so we got our hopes up a bit, but the rock was played by the string quartet. Really?!?!? We had an unscheduled day at sea (when we missed Mykonos) and the first thing that the cruise director scheduled was a meeting of the needlepoint club. The cruise director was not the high-energy type of person you normally see on other cruise ships but the older clientele seemed to appreciate that and love it. We did enjoy a nice wine tasting, although the price was a bit steep ($75pp). We booked with the OLife Choice, and chose the free shore excursions. All of the ship excursions were run well and the guides were very knowledgeable. The excursions did seem to be priced quite high, and other than the free excursions, we only booked one other ship excursion and did the rest with outside companies. Overall, the experience was quite nice, with a high level of service and good food. Oceania's clientele seems to be an older (70+), affluent crowd and they do a good job catering to that crowd. So while we ate well and were treated very well, we found the boat to be a bit staid and too geriatric for us at this point in our lives. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
I've done three cruises with Oceania before this one and had pretty good times - in those instances there seemed to be some fun folks interested in mingling with the solo travelers and the smaller ships were more cozy and open to ... Read More
I've done three cruises with Oceania before this one and had pretty good times - in those instances there seemed to be some fun folks interested in mingling with the solo travelers and the smaller ships were more cozy and open to mixing people - there were always plenty of shared tables and lots of inclusion. For some reason, this cruise had a different vibe - perhaps because it was the time and place if nothing else. Most of the people were elderly and coupled. You had to be careful of your remarks so as not to start a row over the situation in England or the US or elsewhere. The ship's crew was OK but not as friendly as on the past few trips where I'd been - they seemed to get friendly with a few folks from previous segments and ignored the newer passengers other than to say hello. I felt that they could have done more to facilitate mixing at night by having a standing shared table with a couple of crew members or entertainers on hand to encourage participation. Instead, you had to be in with the crew to get an invite to a fun table other than two scheduled events that were pretty dull. Other cruise lines are doing a more sophisticated job of courting the next generation of traveler - but I didn't see that here. We were an afterthought. On Silversea, they have cocktails scheduled nightly for solo travelers with a couple of crew members who then offer to take them to dinner; on Seabourn they put an invitation in your door ever single night if you ask for that service and you are always at an interesting and eclectic table. The layout of my room was wasted space. The huge tub was ridiculous and while I was fine as a solo, I kept thinking this would be way better if the space was used for a walk in closet. I found the concierge staff to be well below par of the staff I'd dealt with previously - normally when they know you are solo, they work to get you in at night at a shared table - that only happened after I raised a complaint - which I hate to do. I paid twice what other folks paid and got about half the service. I've always tipped on top of the scheduled gratuities but not this time - I never had any sort of personal interaction with the crew to make it worthwhile. The atmosphere was more sterile - the upstairs coffee area is almost too big and impersonal. Also, the timing for the Internet cafe is off - if I grabbed a coffee and sat at a screen, inevitably an elderly person would approach me for help because the guy staffing it had bass akwards hours to assist people. There were a few of us who spent plenty of time assisting other passengers. I will say this - the entertainers with the ship's crew were very outstanding. Much better than any other ship and that young woman from the Netherlands was astoundingly good - but then they were focused just on entertaining at the shows - where on the smaller ships the entertainers did a lot more to intermingle with the passengers - maybe they didn't sing as well but they were more fun to be around.. So here, better entertainers but not as much fun. Here's a hint - don't just dance on the dance floor at night - look for people who need a dance partner and ask them to dance with you. Every single night. Also, I had a bizarre and nasty fitness room experience - mostly because for some reason this ship has but two regular eliptical trainers and pretty much every single person wants to use them. I had started an hour long workout in the middle of the afternoon when most people were off the ship and another gentleman was next to me doing the same thing. We were two of five people in the whole place. A woman walked up and demanded that we get off and give her our machines. She relentlessly harassed us for the next 40 minutes and then returned with a rough looking attendant who had taken her at her word that we were the wrong-doers. When I let the attendant know that I wasn't happy with the situation, she accused me of being unpleasant. The man got off his machine and the lady insisted that it was too dirty for her to use. Did the attendant step in and get someone to clean the machine? Nope - stood by hands on hips whilst the mathematics professor cleaned up the machine top to bottom. Hey - he was on vacation and paying. Finally here's a hint with outside entertainers - please ask them not to use the solo women travelers as the butt of their comedy routines - just saying. It was a bit unnerving having to sink down in my chair for fear that I would be called out. Don't get me wrong - I managed to have a good time, met some folks I'm still in touch with, and there were some good people and plenty of fun - but when I'm on vacation, I don't want to have to work for my fun. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Just returned from our second cruise this year and once again we had a fantastic trip. The ship is beautiful , the crew and serving staff are all positive and helpful and eager to make your cruise special. Any issue is quickly resolved as ... Read More
Just returned from our second cruise this year and once again we had a fantastic trip. The ship is beautiful , the crew and serving staff are all positive and helpful and eager to make your cruise special. Any issue is quickly resolved as was the case in Bordeaux when we were unable to get to the city centre due to protesters on a bridge. Dining is always a highlight and again all the venues hit the mark, our only poor experience being in the Polo Grill where our fillet steaks were really poorly cooked. One of the best things about Riviera in my opinion are the fellow guests who always make a big difference in the cruising experience, the American and Australian guests were a delight to engage with. The "Grey Matter" quiz team were fantastic, thanks for your company and for providing great banter every afternoon. Two weeks of great ports, great new friends and of course great food are now a memory but we will make next years booking a priority. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Have travelled on Sirena once before and also on Oceania's Riviera. Service on board apart from the drinks service was excellent. Food sadly was a let down. We sent back a total of five main courses. The menu at the Grand Dining Room ... Read More
Have travelled on Sirena once before and also on Oceania's Riviera. Service on board apart from the drinks service was excellent. Food sadly was a let down. We sent back a total of five main courses. The menu at the Grand Dining Room had shrunk considerably from our last cruises. Red Ginger and Tuscan Steak House menu's haven't changed in the past four years. Ports of call were handled well as was embarking and disembarking. We had the beverage package which is clumsily handled. Firstly you cannot buy prior to cruising, you have to buy on board which means queuing to request then the re issue of your cabin key card. Stupid. The staff have to retrieve your card and swipe it after you order your drink. It is hard enough finding a wine waiter in the first place and even harder to get one to swipe your card. Viking do it so much better were each staff member carries a hand held device that has your picture, room no, any packages etc. Once they confirm your room number that's it. Far, far better. Please look at my cabin review. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We recently returned from a cruise around Italy. We traveled with friends who made the arrangements using Oceania Cruise lines. The ship we traveled on is named Nautica. My wife and I have cruised with several different cruise lines on ten ... Read More
We recently returned from a cruise around Italy. We traveled with friends who made the arrangements using Oceania Cruise lines. The ship we traveled on is named Nautica. My wife and I have cruised with several different cruise lines on ten prior occasions. The Nautica is a small ship – 684 total passengers with a staff of 400. We came away feeling that the overall experience was at the bottom of our list. There were a few good points – a) The crew is well trained to be very friendly; b) Cabin and public spaces were kept very clean. c) There was an ample choice of shore excursions. d) The breakfast and lunch buffet always had a large assortment of food choices. Unfortunately, there were far more bad points – a) Any cabin below deck 8 is too small to be comfortably habitable. Below the 8th deck, the largest cabin is 216 square feet. Bathroom is so tiny it was difficult to shower. There was not enough proper space to put away clothing or store suitcases. b) Main dining room: Poor to fair. About five or six main course choices available at each meal – several were the same every night. c) Specialty dining rooms (2): Very nice. Problem is that reservations must be made well in advance of the cruise. Otherwise, tables are not available. d) Entertainment: poor to fair. A comedian performed twice. He was very ‘off color’ and not very funny. Entertainment director sang one night – just okay performance. A group of five very young, inexperienced people performed on all other nights. Would expect a better performance from high school students. e) Excursions: All guides apparently local to area. Many were very well versed and provided a lot of information. Some walked too quickly, not allowing for anyone to take in local sites. On most occasions, the bus windows were filthy. There was plenty of time for the driver to clean the windows while waiting for passengers to assemble and board. To summarize – I have no idea how much better Oceania’s other boats might be, or if the above negative points flow throughout their fleet. That being said, based on our experience I cannot recommend this cruise line, or at least not this particular boat. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise primarily for the ports included in the itinerary. In addition we wanted to try a smaller ship. We had sailed twice on the Oceania Riviera and in both instances had excellent experiences. We hoped that on a smaller ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily for the ports included in the itinerary. In addition we wanted to try a smaller ship. We had sailed twice on the Oceania Riviera and in both instances had excellent experiences. We hoped that on a smaller ship the service wold be even one notch higher. Overall we enjoyed the cruise. However we were a little disappointed with our experience on the Nautica. We thought the service on our previous cruises on the Riviera was more personal and friendly, the staterooms were nicer, there was a better selection of facilities and entertainment and even the food was better. For this cruise on the Nautica there were a number of things we liked, however, as well as some things we didn't like. The main positives and negatives were.... Positives: - ports (overall) - being on a smaller ship generally gives you direct access to smaller ports without having to tender - travelling in low season, at the end of the Fall in Europe - often we were the only ship in port, which meant smaller crowds everywhere. The weather is obviously more of a risk, however..... - embarkation & disembarkation were wonderful - we were on & off the ship in under 15 minutes. - transfers from the airport to the ship & back from the ship to the airport, which we took with Oceania, were well organized & efficient - of the 3 excursions we took with Oceania, 2 were very good - our room stewards were excellent - the folks at Destination Services, who had to scramble because of missed and changed ports at the beginning of the cruise, were cheerful and helpful. - overall the ship was immaculately maintained even if the decor is dated & the ship is due for a major reno - the High Teas at 4 pm each day were very enjoyable & the string quartet was very good - we had excellent meals at Toscana, the Italian specialty restaurant - the presentation of dishes in general was excellent and the quality of the dinners in the Grand Dining Room was generally very good; we had a couple of exceptional/memorable dishes during the cruise but a few disappointments as well - eating al fresco on the terrace of the Terrace Café at lunch time on sunny days when we were in port was lovely - I can't think of a nicer setting - salads and hamburgers at Waves Grill were great - specialty coffees from Baristas Bar (in front of the Grand Dining Room) were excellent. - even though the Internet was slow & balky, at least it was free - on cruises we took on other cruise lines it was also slow & balky but you had to pay for it! Negatives: - port of Durrès - no idea why we stopped in Albania as there was very little of interest to see and do in this port and the surrounding area. - one of the 3 excursions we took with Oceania (Secret Corners of Venice) was a complete waste of time - entertainment choices are limited and geared to a much older crowd - we had a poor dining experience in the Polo Grill, the steakhouse specialty restaurant, which was very disappointing - servers in the Grand Dining Room (GDR) seemed under pressure at dinner time, were having difficulty dealing with the large number of guests at peak times - even though we were "concierge", our friends and us were given less-than-desirable tables at dinner in the GDR on a number of occasions (e.g. next to the noisy waiter sections) even when there were tables available nearer to the windows. In one instance our friends specifically asked for a table in a better location and we were assigned a table next to a waiter station, even though there were numerous better tables available. Grrrrrr..... - lack of variety of dishes at the Terrace Café for breakfast and particularly at lunch (as compared to the Terrace Café on the Riviera) - service in the Terrace Café was hit and miss; there were some nice servers but others seemed glum and disinterested in serving guests - Concierge Services - we asked the Concierge once for help making a change to dinner reservations at a specialty restaurant and were told to call Dining Services ourselves later - we found that "concierge" verandah on the Nautica was not good value for money - the things we appreciated the most as "concierge" guests on the Riviera, i.e. the concierge lounge, help from the concierge, access to a nice area at the front of the ship (with cold non-alcoholic drinks) were either unavailable or limited on the Nautica. - Oceania (the captain & crew) did nothing to acknowledge the rough start to the cruise - we missed the key port on the 1st day (Amalfi) and had to change the port on the 2nd day as we experienced very rough seas and bad weather during the 1st 2 days of the cruise. We had missed ports occasionally on other cruises but this was pretty exceptional. Nothing was said about this, nothing was offered to the guests - a small token/acknowledgement would have been appreciated. If this cruise on the Nautica had been our first Oceania cruise I am not sure we would sail with Oceania again. However, given our earlier morte positive experiences on the Riviera, we had already booked a cruise on the Marina next Fall and we are looking forward to that. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was an college alumni organized cruise and I had a group of friends that went with me on a cruise of the Mediterranean (Spain, France and Italy). The ship service and food was very good. Our cabin was kept spotless. The crew was ... Read More
This was an college alumni organized cruise and I had a group of friends that went with me on a cruise of the Mediterranean (Spain, France and Italy). The ship service and food was very good. Our cabin was kept spotless. The crew was extremely well-trained and helpful. However, I was very disappointed in the shore excursions. They were very touristy, and lacking in depth. I have cruised with Seabourne, Silversea and Windstar, and their shore excursions were much more in depth and immersive--with VIP special arrangements for getting around the crowds and into the sights around all of the other tourists. The descriptions were often not in keeping with the actual excursion. Oceania also nickels and dimes for everything--beverage packages, service charges added to the fare, etc. Competitor cruises charge a higher flat fee, but then you are not charged for anything else, the fare is all-inclusive. Also, the internet service offered by the ship was low-grade, and the crew member assigned to assist with this was unhelpful. I don't think I will said with Oceania again, having had better experiences with competitors. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We sailed on the Riviera from Rome to Barcelona. Some background: we ar a couple in our early fifties from Canada. We sailed previously on Celebrity, RCI, Princess, HAL, Cunard, Costa and Carnival. This was our first Oceania cruise. ... Read More
We sailed on the Riviera from Rome to Barcelona. Some background: we ar a couple in our early fifties from Canada. We sailed previously on Celebrity, RCI, Princess, HAL, Cunard, Costa and Carnival. This was our first Oceania cruise. Things we liked: Embarkation was very smooth and quick. Literally few minutes we wee on board. The size of the ship is perfect. Not too big and not too small. No lines, not crowded. Food is outstanding. Definitely few levels above Celebrity or Princess. Specialty restaurants were excellent as well. Service is excellent. Very efficient and quick. Room is cleaned very fast. When we go for breakfast and come back after half an hour, it is already clean. No formal nights which is perfect for us. At the same time people dress up nicely, you won't see short on dinner or evening show. Very relaxed atmosphere. Open seating at dinner. You can select if you want separate table or share with someone (perfect for those who want to meet new people). No lines at all. Never an issue to find a table at buffet or at the pool. Free soft drinks, soda, water and specialty coffee and tea. Free internet (more about it later). Most of the excursions were very good. We asked to change couple tours, no issues, even after we missed the deadline. I like the flexibility. Also booked three specialty restaurants, asked to change all three reservations. No problem. Really liked the customer service. Things we didn't like (or liked less than Princess or Celebrity): Entertainment is good but not as good as on most big ships. Guest entertainers were excellent, but the in house cast has some room for improvement. The theater is relatively small, with smaller stage, so don't expect those big shows with acrobatics that they have in big stages on Celebrity or Princess. Not enough activities during the day (maybe related to the fact that there are no sea days). Basic free internet is very slow, almost useless. If you want to be able to do anything, you need to upgrade. Upgrade is $10/day which is reasonable, but the speed is still pretty low. Not the worst I experienced at sea, but one of the worst. For a company like Oceania, it is hard to justify such poor internet experience. 1.5M download speed as measured by Speedtest on the pool deck. This is pretty miserable I would say. The inside stateroom that we booked is very small. Which is not a big deal, but the shower is ridiculous. Really uncomfortable. This was probably the biggest issue on this cruise. Spa: we did couples massage, which was good but not great. For $320 plus 18% service charge, we expected better. Overall great experience. Definitely few levels above Celebrity or Princess. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We are seasoned cruisers and chose this cruise for a convenient way to travel home from Rome after attending a wedding in Malta. Past Transatlantic experiences have been exemplary on Cunard. We cruised on the Marina last year and ... Read More
We are seasoned cruisers and chose this cruise for a convenient way to travel home from Rome after attending a wedding in Malta. Past Transatlantic experiences have been exemplary on Cunard. We cruised on the Marina last year and anticipated a similar positive experience on the Sirena. The ship is tired at best and in need of updates. Tiles surrounding the pool were missing and cracked. Oceania makes a very bold claim to have the finest cuisine at sea. Only Red Ginger was able to live up to that expectation. The other venues were just average at best with most food too salty. Booked a Concierge level room with no advantage over a standard room except for the laundry service. There was significant vibration at the rear of the ship. There seemed to be no plan for a change in itinerary due to hurricane Florence and 8 straight days at sea. The layout of the theater means that only the front row gets a clear view of the stage. All other seating is obscured. The Horizons lounge offered afternoon tea, and karoke and dancing later in the evening. It is unlikely I would cruise Oceania again. I'll continue cruising Transatlantic itineraries on Cunard and favor other premium cruise lines for other cruise vacations. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose to do our first Oceania cruise based on the itinerary, the ship and the cuisine. We booked directly with Oceania and our Cruise Concierge, Sydney was most helpful throughout the process. We were sailing from Rome to Monte Carlo ... Read More
We chose to do our first Oceania cruise based on the itinerary, the ship and the cuisine. We booked directly with Oceania and our Cruise Concierge, Sydney was most helpful throughout the process. We were sailing from Rome to Monte Carlo for 7 nights and chose a Concierge Veranda stateroom. We arrived at Civitavecchia by transfer with Rome Cabs, at 11.30 and with no queues, everyone was being allowed on board at they arrived. The Riviera, one of the fleet's larger ships, with 1200 guests, it in fantastic condition throughout, our cabin was larger than those we have been in before on other lines and had excellent storage. The room stewards kept it in immaculate condition and kept the mini-bar stocked. All the venues were beautifully decorated, the Grand Dining Room has a high ceiling with tall windows, creating a great sense of space, the Terrace Cafe is the best buffet we have seen with made to order eggs, steaks, fish and pastas. The staff pick and serve the food for you, with he portions being as generous as you want. The burger bar, Waves was another favourite, their Kobe Beef and the Maguro (tuna) burgers were stunningly good. There are four Specialty restaurants on board, all of which are included, so no additional fees. Jacques (French), Red Ginger (Oriental) and Toscana (Italian) served some of the best food we have had at sea, and each provided a memorable experience. The Polo Grill (Steak House) served great food, but somehow didn't quite deliver the occasion that the others did. The coffee shop, Baristas, was a great place to a leisurely cappuccino and biscotti. A "must do" is the Afternoon Tea in the Horizons Lounge, relaxing with a cup of your favourite tea, some finger sandwiches and a slice of cake is a great way to unwind when you come back onboard from you port visit. We don't go to the shows, but did attend a cookery demonstration in the Riviera Lounge given by the head chef Alban and Oceania's culinary director Franck, who were most entertaining. My wife also attended one of the classes in the Culinary Centre, which she found to be both informative and fun. Corey the Cruise Director, is great fun and very approachable, his staff ran the various activities during the day, apart from the show there is also music and dancing in Horizons and our favourite place was Martini's where the piano player sang and played but did not drown out conversation. We had the basic O Life Drinks with meals package, but we upgraded to the Prestiege package once onboard, the $20 per head per day makes this a no-brainer. Throughout the ship the staff were warm and welcoming, providing great service with a smile. This Med voyage had guests from a large age group, some in the 30s and other older, the Oceania experience is calm and relaxed, on this port intensive cruise there were always sun beds available, and I did notice that sunbed blocking was discouraged, no bad thing. We visited Portofino (a place we can never visit enough), Olbia, which was more interesting than I expected, try a visit to the Panorama Hotel's rooftop terrace for a view over the city and a glass of vino, we had high winds on the day we were meant to tender into Bandol, so it turned into a sea day, which gave an opportunity to enjoy the ship itself. Toulon we found to be somewhat disappointing and if there again would do a tour, St Tropez, people watch in a waterfront cafe, walk up to the Citadel for the views over the bay and have an ice cream Barbarac and our final day & night in Monte Carlo provided memorable sights, the Palace, the cars and people, a drink in Cassino Square at Cafe de Paris, and return to the ship using the Bateau Bus ferry across the harbour past all the beautiful yachts. Oceania provided a great voyage, in a lovely ship in the company of fantastic people, we will be back Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We recently returned from an eleven day cruise from Rome to Venice on the Oceania's Sirena. We picked this cruise because of the itinerary. The Oceania did an excellent job of getting to every port as scheduled so we had ample time ... Read More
We recently returned from an eleven day cruise from Rome to Venice on the Oceania's Sirena. We picked this cruise because of the itinerary. The Oceania did an excellent job of getting to every port as scheduled so we had ample time at each port to explore. My only complaint is that we tendered twice, and the tender boats were very uncomfortable with no fans and very hot. We have been on four cruises, twice with the Princess, once with the Azamara and now the Oceania. In comparing the cruise lines, we found the rooms very similar. We did not have a balcony on the Oceania since the additional cost seemed very high but the porthole was a very nice size. The Princess does not charge nearly as much for a balcony. I think the bathroom/shower was best planned on the Oceania and the staff cleaned the room promptly. The Oceania advertises that they are famous for their food. I actually found the food disappointing. Buffet breakfast was fine although I did not like their orange juice. We did not have lunch since we were touring. However, based upon our room status we were only entitled to make reservations for two nights at the specialty restaurants. Red Ginger is indeed special. From the moment we were seated, we were treated royally. The menu was quite interesting, and it was truly a delightful dinner. We also enjoyed the Tuscan Grill but the overall experience was just not as special as Red Ginger. We were lucky to be seated at the front of the ship in that restaurant and had a stunning view as we left the port. My disappointment was with the main dining room. I found the portions very small, and I did not find the overall quality exceptional. Once I ordered sea bass and it was not very good. Another night I ordered steak which was not a good cut. You could order as many sides as you wanted but I would have preferred a better overall meal. On the Azamara they would serve free interesting wines with dinner and that certainly helped the overall atmosphere. I just did not find the staff all that engaging on the Oceania. The Sirena offered less entertainment than the other cruise lines. There was an evening show but the problem was it was a small stage without any slope in the theater so unless you were up front viewing was difficult. We had a singer twice(he was fine), a comedian twice(better the first night) and a mime /magician (poor). The troupe of eight also performed and they were enjoyable. The Princess being a larger boat had a much more professional theater and show. The only sports offered was one outdoor ping pong table, a shuffleboard court on a rubber surface making it unplayable, and a small putting green. There was also a small running/walking track. The pool was tiny but there were two Jacuzzis. Since every day was sunny and over 90 degrees the pool was used. The card room was very small and there were no organized games. The Sirena did have an excellent lending library. I found the gym to up to date modern equipment. Children are not encouraged on the Oceania and there were no organized activities for them. Some of the other cruise lines hire guest lecturers to talk about the upcoming ports. I think the Sirena was very weak in this area. There was trivia every afternoon and this was popular. I probably would not go on the Oceania again unless the itinerary was one I could not find elsewhere. I think other lines give you more value for less money. Finally, since I prefer modern , I found the décor of the Sirena not that attractive and tired looking. However, since I picked this line for the itinerary of the cruise I was not disappointed by the cruise since I enjoyed our ports of call. I find that part of the fun of travelling is planning the trip so I do a lot of research. I never sign up for excursions provided by the cruise line since they are over-priced. My travel agent suggested using Shore excursions but I also found this company to be too expensive. A third alternative is to use Viator which partners with local tour companies and offers more value for your dollar and more variety of tours. However, we made the decision to find private tour guides where possible. This can be expensive if it is just one couple because usually the cost of adding two more people is nominal. We mentioned our planned tours on our cruise line blog and were lucky to find another couple to join us and the four of us thoroughly enjoyed the tours. Day 1 Amalfi- I had always wanted to visit Pompeii. Unfortunately, I did not find any tours leaving from Amalfi going there. I found a company called Benvenutolimos.com that would arrange to give us a driver for eight hours who would take us to Pompeii and Positano and tour the Amalfi Coast. They arranged for a private tour guide inside Pompeii. Giovanni was an excellent driver. He first took us to the scenic town of Rafello for a short stop. His English was excellent and we learned about the Amalfi Coast and its history and culture as he made hairpin turns through breathtaking terrain. He then took us to Pompeii where we met our tour guide Salvatore. As we strolled along ancient Roman streets, Salvatore described what is was like to live in Pompeii 2000 years ago. Pompeii is amazingly preserved. After this tour, we drove to Positano to get a brief glimpse of this upscale beach town. It was a full 8 hours of touring, and I compliment Benvenuto tours for planning a very enjoyable day. Day 2-Sicily- we docked in Taormina for our tour of Sicily. We arranged to be met by Luca from info@sicilylife.com. and again our driver was very professional. We first stopped at a local honey farm, and then we drove to Mt. Etna. Cars are limited to about 7000 feet and from there you can plan hiking excursions. We took a small hike and admired the incredible landscape where gorges were cut into the mountain from lava flows. After Etna, Luca took us to a local winery where we spent a very pleasant afternoon tasting local dishes and sampling wine. We enjoyed our day with Luca and would recommend his company. Day 3-Malta- we docked in Valletta, Malta and were met by Karl from Karlito's Way, and by the end of the day we felt we had a great understanding of Malta. Karl wanted to show us traditional Malta whether it was taking us to traditional neighborhoods, restaurants, or vistas. During the course of the day we circled the entire island seeing all of its most beautiful areas while we talked politics and philosophy. By the end of the day we felt Karl had become a friend as well as a tour guide. We consider our time in Malta very special and would highly recommend using Karl. Day 4-at sea. Day 5 Argostoli-Greece-we could not find a private tour guide so opted to use Viator. Although we were in a bus and the tour was not nearly as personal, the tour was a successful. We visited a monastery, a cave which was actually used for concerts, a fishing village, and the most impressive stop was a rowboat ride in an underground lake/cave. The island was quite picturesque so this port was well worth a visit. Day 6 Durres, Albania. We used a Hong Kong company called tour HQ which has a lot of host tour guides throughout the world. Basically, HQ gives you a list of potential local guides and their biography and then you select one. Although I selected a guide months before and had the trip confirmed, he cancelled just prior to my trip. Luckily, HQ did assist in finding me a replacement guide. Durres was probably the only port we visited which was not scenic especially where we docked. Since I knew very little about Albania I was hoping to get a well planned itinerary from our guide. We went to Kruje which was an interesting medieval city. There, we visited an historical museum. We also visited a bazaar. Then, we had a terrible lunch. The countryside we saw was not that pretty and our guide Marjen was quiet so the touring was not as interesting as our other stops. After Kruja we went back to Durres to see some Roman ruins and a Venetian tower. This did not take too long to view. We ended the tour early, because there did not seem to be much to see or do. I would suggest that our guide should revise the tour to see more sights in the future. Day 7- Kotor, Montenegro. We used a company called M Tours which was highly rated on Trip Advisor. We had met another couple on the cruise who joined us so that Aleksander our tour guide led 6 of us through the enchanting countryside of Montenegro. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of Montenegro history and culture. It was a full day of touring-we went to Budva, then drove to Cetinje, and then went to Njegusi village for lunch at an old, local and a tour of their smokehouse. All of these places had both religious and historical significance. I never realized what a beautiful country Montenegro is, and it certainly is a country I would love to see again. I would highly recommend using M Tours. Day 8-Split Croatia. We used Viator and were lucky because only the four of us signed up for the tour so we had a private tour. We were very happy to have Sandra as our tour guide. She was vivacious and loved showing us Trogir, a medieval city. After Trogir, Sandra led us on a walking tour of Split where we marveled at the ancient Roman Palace. Sandra made the day enjoyable and I would recommend her company Croatian Trails. Day 9 and 10-Venice. We decided to do Venice on our own. In the morning we walked the whole city until we reached St. Marks Square. We then took a water taxi to Murano to do shopping. We really enjoyed Murano since it was much less crowded and the shops had beautiful glass items perfect for gifts. We also found a terrific place for lunch called Cicchetteria Pizzeria with a large courtyard where we had a delicious pizza and prosecco. Afterwards, we returned to Venice to take a 45 minute gondola ride. If you do not mind sharing, the cost is reasonable since you are paying for the ride which seats up to six. Although touristy, we enjoyed it. All in all it was a great trip with many memories. One final note, we had arranged our transfers prior to the trip and they worked out and were much more reasonable than cruise rates. I recommend both venutoinside.com(Venice Port to airport) and civitavecchiatoroma@gmail.com(Rome airport to Port). 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
My husband and I were on the Nautica for the 10-day Western Europe Escapade. We sailed from the Port of Rome to Barcelona and then visited Cartagena, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Oporto, Portugal; Bilbao, Spain; and Bordeaux, France. It ended ... Read More
My husband and I were on the Nautica for the 10-day Western Europe Escapade. We sailed from the Port of Rome to Barcelona and then visited Cartagena, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Oporto, Portugal; Bilbao, Spain; and Bordeaux, France. It ended in Southhampton, from which we were bused to Heathrow. The very beginning of our cruise was also the worst part of it. I thought it would make things easier to let Oceania book the flights and airport transfers. The flight from Seattle to Heathrow was long but not too bad. We paid extra for premium economy. Then it was a couple-hour flight to Rome. We were supposed to be met by Oceania representatives once we cleared customs and retrieved our checked bags. We did find the people, but they accused us of being "late" and said the bus had already left. Believe me, we had come through as quickly as we could, not even stopping to use the bathroom. We and one other hapless couple were told we would have to wait until there were more people for a fuller bus. By this time we were exhausted, hungry and getting very irritated. After about two hours, just when we were about to find private transportation, we were told we could get on the bus. Ninety minutes later we were on board, sipping Champagne in our stateroom. We found the ship quite stately and attractive, especially the artwork that was everywhere. The public rooms were beautiful and pleasant. We particularly enjoyed Martinis Bar and Horizons at the top of the ship. It was fairly warm for our first couple of days in Spain, and I did get a chance to enjoy the very small swimming pool. But for most of the cruise, the pool and all the lovely lounges around it sat empty. It was too cold and windy even to sit outside, much less swim. I loved the weightlifting equipment in the gym and spent a fair amount of time on the treadmills and stationary bikes. Although Oceania boasts it has the finest cuisine at sea, I found the food uneven. For example, one evening, at the buffet I had sliced roast turkey, which was moist and quite good. Another day I tried the roast beef, which was tough and inedible. The main dining room featured many choices, but some were disappointing. For example, I sometimes like to order Eggs Benedict, but these were way overcooked, more like hard-boiled than poached. Possibly the best food was at the grill, which mostly served simple burgers and the like. But since it was partly open to the air, and it was so cold much of time, we couldn't eat there very often. I did appreciate the 24/7 "coffee bar" at Horizons. We didn't go to any of the evening shows, but my husband and I really enjoyed the string quartet that played for afternoon tea at Horizons and at other times. We also liked the jazz piano player in Martinis. Best of all was the lecturer, Dr. Stephen Wesley. He did a good job of preparing us for the many architectural styles to be found in Barcelona and for the classical underpinnings of so much of modern Europe. Service was excellent. Our room was made up promptly twice a day and was always immaculate. The only problem was keeping it that way since it was so small our stuff tended to get strewn about. This was a good itinerary. We especially loved Cartagena, Oporto, Bilbao and Bordeaux. Probably our best single day was our first day in Bordeaux. We got there a little before noon, got off the ship and walked into the town. Even though it was raining we found it quite beautiful and soon found a little place to have lunch. That evening we had a very special excursion to a chateau in the Haut-Medoc. The winery owner led us on a tour of the cellars, including the "secret cellar" where the best wine was hidden during the Nazi occupation during World War II. Then she escorted us to the dining room of her chateau, where we had a very French dinner (including foie gras) with appropriate wines throughout. Would I go again? Probably not on Oceania. For the approximately $20,000 we spent (including $500 each for that tour and dinner at the chateau), I think I could do better. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this cruise to compare to Azamara Club Cruises, another 6-star line. But Azamara wins hands down for the quality of its staff, staff training, cleanliness on the ship, quality of food, etc. Riviera’s design is that it’s cafe ... Read More
We chose this cruise to compare to Azamara Club Cruises, another 6-star line. But Azamara wins hands down for the quality of its staff, staff training, cleanliness on the ship, quality of food, etc. Riviera’s design is that it’s cafe is on Deck 14, which looks out onto the pool deck, crescent-shaped, so quite small, whereas the library next door is huge by comparison. The night’s entertainment means there’s only the one show, scheduled at 9.45 p.m. The theatre is quite drab compared to the rest of the ship. On the plus side, our cabin was quite spacious and the size of the bathroom was good. In the main, staff were pleasant but not as friendly as on other cruise ships. Seemed ‘surprised’ when you said ‘hello’, and were unsure as to how to respond. The speciality restaurants served good quality food, and the Terrace Cafe too, but the food was not outstanding by any means. They served mashed potatoes as slop! In the evening, large areas of the ship seemed to be devoid of music. No cosy lounges only long ‘corridors’ of furniture. Wouldn’t recognise the Captain if I fell over him! Definitely would not choose Oceania again and have unsubscribed from future mailings. Ports included Sicily (why?) and Cephalonia (only one step up from Sicily), Split (Croatia),Kotor (Montenegro), Koper (Slovenia) especially nice, Venice was as mad as ever! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This was our 8th Cruise on Oceania. We sailed May 17, 2018 from Rome to Venice on an 8 day cruise. We've always felt in the past sailing on Oceania was worth the extra cost over some of the mainstream cruiselines. However, changes ... Read More
This was our 8th Cruise on Oceania. We sailed May 17, 2018 from Rome to Venice on an 8 day cruise. We've always felt in the past sailing on Oceania was worth the extra cost over some of the mainstream cruiselines. However, changes that Oceania made on this cruise different from other European cruises in the past on the Riveria makes me question which cruise line I will use in the future. The ship, the food, the service as good as in the past. Oceania shore excursions were exceptional. The ports were visited were fabulous. My disappointment is following. 1. As before there is only one show on the ship at night. Now the shows are at 9:45p.m. We had shore excursions daily around 8:00a.m. so we did not attend any of the shows. I understand they are trying to wait but in the past show at 9:00 worked for most. 2. Oceania advertises free shuttles at many ports and in the past they had a shuttle from the Venice port to St Marks Square. On this cruise no free shuttle was provided and no clear instruction on how to use the shuttle at the cruise port (which only ran within the port). We had to walk over 1/2 mile to the people mover which we paid for (not an issue) and then we were about 1 mile away from St Marks Square. We had excursions booked at every other port but Venice but I did not see any Oceania free shuttle at the other 5 ports either. A few were very close to town. 3. In the past the main dining room was open everyday for lunch which is why I've been recommending Oceania to our family and friends. On this cruise it was closed at lunch on most days. 4. Oceania has done nothing to improve the casino with old outdated slots. On many of the cruiselines they have modern machines. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Excellent food in all the restaurants, including the Terrace Cafe, which was buffet style. It was not your typical buffer, however, with sushi, lobster and other stations hosting delicious food. All of the staff was very friendly and ... Read More
Excellent food in all the restaurants, including the Terrace Cafe, which was buffet style. It was not your typical buffer, however, with sushi, lobster and other stations hosting delicious food. All of the staff was very friendly and helpful. The pool deck was plenty big and they put comfortable lounging and seating around the entire ship. This ship is geared towards older adults and as 50 something's we thoroughly enjoyed the on-board events and entertainment. The wine tasting event we attended was great. Although we did not attend a cooking class/demonstration, they were very popular. We also used the Canyon Ranch Spa and got excellent massages and the entire spa was wonderful. We enjoyed the coffee bar as well, each morning and the fitness center was well-appointed. The port destinations were all great. Instructions, organization and procedures for excursions or going ashore on your own were excellent. I would not hesitate for a second to cruise on the Riviera again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
The cruise went to some ports wr hadn’t been to and it ended up in Miami. We typically sail Princess and Celebrity, which we enjoy. We were very disappointed in this cruise. The food in the dining room was fair at best, the service ... Read More
The cruise went to some ports wr hadn’t been to and it ended up in Miami. We typically sail Princess and Celebrity, which we enjoy. We were very disappointed in this cruise. The food in the dining room was fair at best, the service was annoying, they would interrupt your conversations constantly to ask if you wanted more water or pepper on your food. Just pour the darn water and ask one blanket question about the pepper. The speciality dining was good. Red Ginger the best. The servers were often confused as to who got what and where to put things on the table. The entertainment was fair at best, the best one was the comedian. You couldn’t understand the port lecturer due to his accent and he would keep repeating himself. They only had one enrichment lecturer on board and she was ok. I enjoyed the art program. I guess we just expected a lot more and it was disappointing for what we paid. We upgraded to Concierge class and really got nothing for it, I wouldn’t bother with it. Over all, I’d only said Oceania again if they were going somewhere other ships didn’t go that I wanted to see. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
Oceania's Riviera and Marina, by our account, do have the best cuisine of any cruise line. Add their culinary classes and they're a foodie's choice in cruising. Its not a perfect experience, the entertainment, communication, ... Read More
Oceania's Riviera and Marina, by our account, do have the best cuisine of any cruise line. Add their culinary classes and they're a foodie's choice in cruising. Its not a perfect experience, the entertainment, communication, shipboard decor, all fall behind other luxury brands. But for the price and what's included they are hard to beat. Of the five alternative dining venues, all are very good with the exception of Polo [surprisingly poor steaks] and Le Reserve [an under-delivered 2nd rate food and wine pairing with the only extra fee]. The cabins, including our penthouse suite, are spacious, well designed and offer competitive amenities at great prices. Target demographic seems to be 70+ years. Almost no one under 60, partly due to length of cruise. This transatlantic cruise had an ideal combo of European and Caribbean ports. Excursions sponsored by the ship were extraordinarily expensive [a huge complaint by passengers] and much better booked direct or at the port.The ship"s interiors and public rooms are starting to look a bit dated and old-fashioned, but are very well maintained. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
Our first ever ocean crossing, on Riviera was as effortless as could be. Smooth seas and fine weather. Aside from a kitchen that couldn’t keep up one evening in the main dining room, service was great throughout the ship and over the ... Read More
Our first ever ocean crossing, on Riviera was as effortless as could be. Smooth seas and fine weather. Aside from a kitchen that couldn’t keep up one evening in the main dining room, service was great throughout the ship and over the whole trip. No complaints that made any difference to the enjoyment of our trip. A few observations that Oceania might consider but it’s really about fine tuning. 1. The ship, while in tip top shape, feels like it needs someone to go through it and fine tune the details. Things tend to drift over the years or even from month to month I suppose. For example furniture placement contrary to original design, burnt out or turned off lamps, crooked lamp and light shades, could all be fine tuned, when these details add up things start to look sloppy. As I said not life changing but it adds or detracts from overall impressions. 2. Same for the Spa and fitness facilities, needs a good fine tuning. 3. In the fitness and change facilities add-on cheap latches where locks were, need to be addressed. 4. The men’s change room shower floods the whole change room if used when the ship is sailing. Installation of a simple lip would prevent this rather than dozens of towels daily. 5. The outdoor ceiling fans on deck 14 ( Sanctuary) have understandably fallen prey to sea air and salt, they need to be oiled or replaced. 6. My only real complaint is Baristas, a great little spot and always busy, needs, no, MUST extend its hours into the EVENING. it makes no sense for it to not be open. We live in a Starbucks world on land. All in all as I said just observations not complaints. Riviera still delivers, Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
As usual, we chose this Oceania cruise for the itinerary, the food, and the service and it did not disappoint. Venice is a wonderful city to explore when you get away from the crowds around San Marco square. Other highlights on this ... Read More
As usual, we chose this Oceania cruise for the itinerary, the food, and the service and it did not disappoint. Venice is a wonderful city to explore when you get away from the crowds around San Marco square. Other highlights on this itinerary included Malta, Rome and Barcelona. Although Oceania’s shore excursions are pricey and we are not fond of large group tours, we booked quite a few of their excursions for this cruise because I was too busy to research independent tours. I did not enjoy some of their excursions because none of the guides provided headsets and some did not even use a microphone, which makes it difficult to hear them unless you barge your way to the front of the group. But we really enjoyed Oceania’s culinary tours in Corfu and Barcelona with Chef Kelly, which included a walking tour with a local guide. Chef Kelly has a great personality and we liked the smaller group sizes of these excursions. The food on this cruise was also excellent, especially the fish and seafood, and the crew was very friendly and attentive. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
The cruise was superb, nice stops , great service, cleanliness at the highest level. The food everywhere was superb, highlights were Jacques first, Red Ginger a close second, Toscana s and Polo. The best salad certainly was the ... Read More
The cruise was superb, nice stops , great service, cleanliness at the highest level. The food everywhere was superb, highlights were Jacques first, Red Ginger a close second, Toscana s and Polo. The best salad certainly was the Watermelon and Duck salad served at Red Ginger. The Tournedos Rossini at Jacques was incredible as well as the Mille Feuilles dessert. At Toscana s I had The Filet mignon covered with a Gargonzola cheese sauce. I literrally cut my filet mignon with my fork. The tiramisu there was to die for. Anyway not a bad meal or a bad choice anywhere, the food was great. The Suites was great , the bedding and towels were first class. I could not find fault anywhere. The few things missing, more flowers or flower arramgements on the tables . One small annoyance was the fact that they did not have any way for you to verify your credit statement in your cabin, the only way is to go down to the customer service desk and ask for a printout. The other bugaboo was that they do not put the charge for daily tips on your invoice until the last day. Entertainment was not great but its a small ship. Small ships have many advantages, like no lineups, elevator when you want them, availability everywhere but one thing that suffers is usually entertainement Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise on Oceania (Ancient Footsteps) because of the itinerary and our prior outstanding experience on a past Oceania cruise. The facilities, room, service and cuisine were outstanding. Also, most of Oceania's shore ... Read More
We chose this cruise on Oceania (Ancient Footsteps) because of the itinerary and our prior outstanding experience on a past Oceania cruise. The facilities, room, service and cuisine were outstanding. Also, most of Oceania's shore excursions were outstanding. Especially excellent were the shore excursions at Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Ancient Lindos on Rhodes. (In addition, the weather was also outstanding, with balmy days and calm seas, except for one day of rain and mildly rough seas.) After reviewing the Oceania excursion selections for Israel and Barcelona, we opted to do private tours. In Israel, we used "Guided Tours of Israel" (two day tour). In Barcelona, we used "Spain Day Tours" (half day tour). Both were outstanding and exceeded first-class service. We have been using private tours for years, and Guided Tours of Israel was the best private tour we have ever experienced in all of our travels. There were two major Oceania problems (deficiencies) regarding the cruise. 1. Oceania promised internet service but didn’t deliver. They promised “unlimited” internet. What we got was unlimited frustration, anxiety, and stress. This opinion seemed to be universally shared among the passengers trying to use the service. I try to minimize my internet use on a vacation. However, when an office need arises, I have to be connected. To my detriment, I believed their promise of unlimited internet. I have traveled the world on business and vacation, and experienced many forms of internet service over the years. However, the service on the ship was the worst internet service I have experienced in many years. It was very slow, prone to disconnect, and erratic. 2. In Israel, Oceania should have docked the ship at Ashdod instead of Haifa. Haifa was hours by car or bus to and from the major Israeli attractions, such as Jerusalem, Jericho, Bethlehem, the Negev Desert, the Dead Sea, Qumran, and Masada. The port at Ashdod is much closer to such attractions. We opted to schedule a two-day private tour and spend Sunday night in a hotel in Jerusalem, thereby maximizing our excursion time. But we spent over two hours driving from Haifa to Jerusalem on Sunday (12 Nov.) and over three hours driving from Masada to Haifa on Monday (13 Nov.). That is not unusual for Israeli traffic. Many of our ship companions spent long hours in buses traveling to and from the ship in Haifa on both days, and in some cases having limited time at sites and arriving back at the ship late at night. Extremely poor internet service and docking in Haifa instead of Ashdod were not the signs of a "commitment to excellence." Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
Cruising OCEANIA is always a great pleasure. We left Civitavecchia for a 14-night cruise to the Mediterranean, with unique ports of call ( Naples, Sicily, Haifa (Israrel), Cyprus, Rhodes, Gytheon, Malta, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona ), ... Read More
Cruising OCEANIA is always a great pleasure. We left Civitavecchia for a 14-night cruise to the Mediterranean, with unique ports of call ( Naples, Sicily, Haifa (Israrel), Cyprus, Rhodes, Gytheon, Malta, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona ), – what made us choose this cruise in particular. Four specialty restaurants – Red Ginger ( Asian food ), Toscana (Italian ), Polo Grill ( meats ) and Jacques ( French ) offer superb food and service. You feel like having a fabulous dinner in a starred restaurant. With only four sea days, there is a chance of getting to know places one would not normally choose to go. Since embarkation until the last good-bye, you feel welcomed and cared for. It´s a good feeling, no doubt about it! The crew works hard, and apparently with pleasure, to provide us with the time of our lives. It is NOT a ship for children, it aims adults. I was surprised to know that, with less than 15 years of existence, there is a great number of passengers that have travelled more than 20 times with Oceania Cruises. I know why ! :-) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We are a couple in our mid to late fifties having cruised on many different lines with thirty plus cruises under our belt, we were highly anticipating this cruise as it was a visit to the "Holy Land". We cruised on the Oceania ... Read More
We are a couple in our mid to late fifties having cruised on many different lines with thirty plus cruises under our belt, we were highly anticipating this cruise as it was a visit to the "Holy Land". We cruised on the Oceania Riviera last December in the Caribbean and had a great cruise and became converts! Our go to cruise line has been Celebrity for years but Oceania has got it figured out! There is no comparison necessary, Oceania takes it to a new level! How both Riviera and Marina ships which are almost identical in every way could be so different blows my mind. We were happy with the Riviera last December but after cruising for 15 days on the Marina...my goodness, the food, service, management and staff are to be congratulated on the job they are doing. The restaurant staff as well others on board new our names by the second day. Always greeting us with professional courtesy. The wine stewards, even if they were not serving us would come up to us and greet us as they remembered us the night before in the restaurant. The Phillipino and Indonesian staff are the best, always greeting us with a smile and politeness seldom experienced. If there was an issue, they quickly corrected it. The staff and management on this ship could not do enough to make sure everything was right. There was also a lot of South American hosts and wine stewards that were simply awesome! The ironic part to this cruise was the heavily anticipated visit to Israel which we have been trying to visit for the last several years. It actually turned out to be the disappointment of all the ports. We enjoyed, Sicily as usual, Cypress, Rhodes, Malta for Gozo and Palma de Majorca. The only port we missed due to high swells was Gythion. The weather was excellent throughout the cruise, very comfortable, not short weather but light clothes was all you required. Great touring weather. We enjoyed all the specialty restaurants, favorites being Jacques and Toscana with Red Ginger and Polo Grill very close. We only ate in the main dining room for dinner twice, one night was great the other a disappointment. Breakfast was always excellent in the main dining room as well the occasional lunch. It is befitting of a dining room in some 5 star hotel in Europe..simply beautiful. The Terrace Cafe and Wave Grill was always very good. The ship has a capacity of 1250, but the ship only had approximately 1000 persons on board. The ship has been maintained well however the rooms are in need of a refreshing as wear and tear is somewhat noticeable. We would certainly consider a Penthouse suite next time as the extra space would be welcomed especially in the clothes closet as in the staterooms it is an annoyance trying to access and move around. Cabin stewards were pleasant and were efficient. Concierge was helpful to us and followed up when there was an issue. The gym and spa area were excellent with sauna and steam rooms. Never busy, the Terrace deck was a private sanctuary which we enjoyed! The only difference with this private enclave is the Riviera has an Infinity type therapy pool as opposed to the Marina with two separate whirlpools. We enjoyed La Reserve by Wine Spectator, Food wine pairing event one night. The Odyssey menu, we had tried this on the Riviera and was blown away and the repeat experience lived up to our original encounter. A special treat for sure! All in all a great cruise, one of our best! Looking for our next Oceania cruise or two for next year. Enjoy! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We loved the itinerary and booked it with 16 friends, Fabulous time had by all. Dining was exceptional and we were able to have many premium dining experiences in the premium restaurants. Staff were attentive and outstanding, service is a ... Read More
We loved the itinerary and booked it with 16 friends, Fabulous time had by all. Dining was exceptional and we were able to have many premium dining experiences in the premium restaurants. Staff were attentive and outstanding, service is a 10! Oceania is our cruise line of choice, love the small ships and luxury accommodations. The amenities are great and being a multi time cruiser has earned us some special benefits. In the lux plus market they are the best and the standard. Cruising on other lines means you are just going on a cruise, on Oceania you are definitely cruising in style and experiencing the finest cuisine at sea. It may cost a bit more than the Princess's and Celebrity's but the Value exceeds the cost, the best hands down. The staff makes you feel like family and you leave the ship looking forward to your next trip with your new family. Read Less
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