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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2019
Loved the ports of call. Love the size of the ship. We wanted to sail up the eastern seaboard. You feel like you belong to a family when coming on board an Oceania cruise ship. The crew are very helpful and can’t do enough ... Read More
Loved the ports of call. Love the size of the ship. We wanted to sail up the eastern seaboard. You feel like you belong to a family when coming on board an Oceania cruise ship. The crew are very helpful and can’t do enough for you. Embarkation was very easy and the ground staff were very friendly and helpful. One criticism is that the cost of the shore excursions are disproportionately expensive. The cabins are fairly well appointed but the balcony on this particular cabin was very exposed and it was extremely noisy and disturbing when the anchor was activated especially first thing in the morning.. At breakfast there was only an option of vegetarian sausage once in the ten day voyage. Generally the food was excellent. We love cruising with Oceania and will always look to cruise with them as our first option. Your cruise director was very entertaining and kept you well informed of what was happening on and off the ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
This was the smallest ship we have ever cruised on. There was no problem doing anything on board that we wanted to do. Even with only four small elevators (sign said max capacity of 10...realistically more like six), there was never an ... Read More
This was the smallest ship we have ever cruised on. There was no problem doing anything on board that we wanted to do. Even with only four small elevators (sign said max capacity of 10...realistically more like six), there was never an unreasonable wait time. The dining experiences were all over the top...service was excellent...wait staff were knowledgeable, attentive, and efficient (even though Oceania said tipping was not necessary, we did tip at meals and the bars, and the service was even better the next time we were there). The afternoon tea service was a very nice touch...excellent selection of teas...excellent selection of tea sandwiches, scones, and petite sweets, and there were ample times for seconds (or thirds...) The string quartet playing during afternoon tea made it even better. Probably the only thing that could have gone better would have been the embarkation process. I would easily put the average age of the cruisers on this trip at 60+. At the pre-screening area, there were only a handful of chairs to be had (and a lot of unhappy looking older citizens standing around). As each boarding class was called, they had to negotiate their way through a large group standing around the starting que. Then through the x-ray screening and magnetometer (only one being used of the six available), then the medical paperwork, then the actual check-in where you got your room key card, then on to the ship. There were a lot, and I mean a lot of chairs between the check-in area and the boarding door where lots of people could have been comfortably sitting instead of being uncomfortable in the pre-embarkation area. One day at sea we were notified that the verandas were going to be washed...another day we were notified that the woodwork on the verandas was going to be varnished. Veranda not available for use during these times. Disembarkation was a hurry up and wait process, but, at least there seemed to be enough seats for people. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Between me and my wife we have been on 5 ships: this cruise (the Insignia), Anthem of the Seas, Empress of the Seas, QM2 (Britannia Class), and Crown Princess. We have been in inside rooms through verandas. This review is based on both ... Read More
Between me and my wife we have been on 5 ships: this cruise (the Insignia), Anthem of the Seas, Empress of the Seas, QM2 (Britannia Class), and Crown Princess. We have been in inside rooms through verandas. This review is based on both mine and my wife's opinions. Each of the ships have their pros and minuses and each provides a different experience. While we both enjoyed the Empress of the Seas on a Cuba cruise I will not discuss it any further since Cuba is now off limits and I am not sure the experience would be the same. Overall the Insignia is an excellent smaller ship and provided a wonderful experience for our Bermuda cruise. If the itinerary and price was right I would definitely consider the ship for another cruise. However, if we were traveling with children would not consider this ship. Not much for children to do and we did not see many. Of all the ships listed the Anthem is dead last and would not travel on her unless it was practically free. What the Insignia does better than QM2 and Princess is food. The food on Insignia was definitely better than QM2 and Princess. Especially the buffet. On most cruise lines I try very hard to avoid the buffet. The buffet on Insignia is excellent. Sometimes better than the mail dinning room. Excellent sushi most nights. Cooked to order grilled steaks, lamb and seafood (lobster and shrip) plus other options. One night they had fresh grilled tuna and mussels on the buffet. Also on Insignia no matter what stateroom you are in you get a night at each of the 2 specialty restaurants (Italian and Steakhouse). While I heard another couple complain about the food they had in the Italian restaurant I was very happy with both. Breakfast was also amazing in the buffet for breakfast. The other thing I like about Oceania is they do not nickel and dime you for extras. Specialty coffee, non-alcoholic beverages, etc. are included without an additional fee. I thought the alcohol was reasonably priced and good. Also, one night was a captain's reception with free open bar. Service was wonderful everywhere. Loved the string quartet that played evenings. Absolutely wonderful. Now for some downsides that should be expected from a ship this size: - There is more rocking than on the QM2. - While I did enjoy the enrichment activities there are less than on a larger ship, the QM2 excels at this. The QM2 is the ONLY ship I would consider for a trans Atlantic crossing. - While we enjoyed the one show we attended, the ship is smaller and the show area reminds me more of a nightclub than a Broadway stage. - There was one small pool (I think it was heated) and two hot tubs that can get busy on sea days. Embarkation is strictly by level (and annoyance). Also, a bigger annoyance is that staterooms may not be ready until 3 PM. Pack your swimming attire in a carry-on. More important on this ship than others. Something that seems common to all ships, lounge chair hogs were ever-present. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this Baltic cruise for our Golden Wedding treat principally because it spent 3 days in St Petersburg, which I've never visited, and was a small ship. We flew to Copenhagen, a city we've both visited before, and spent the ... Read More
We chose this Baltic cruise for our Golden Wedding treat principally because it spent 3 days in St Petersburg, which I've never visited, and was a small ship. We flew to Copenhagen, a city we've both visited before, and spent the night there, giving us time to see several sights before our taxi arrived to take us to the port (via a delightful unscheduled whistle-stop tour of Copenhagen!) Embarkation was perfectly smooth, and we had a penthouse suite, on the 8th floor, which, though very expensive, was gorgeous - spacious, tasteful, soothing colours blending with the sea and sky outside, a lovely verandah, and extremely comfortable. The food throughout the trip was quite outstanding - we dined most evenings in the Grand Dining Room, where the menu (including at least 2 vegetarian options per course) changed each day, and every dish was beautifully cooked and prepared. We had breakfast on most days at the Terrace Cafe, which had a huge variety of delicious food, including masses of fresh fruit. Occasionally we had a meal in our room, elegantly served by our butler. Everything was kept spotlessly clean, and all the staff were unfailingly pleasant and polite. I was impressed with the attention to safety, and the fact that we had well-organised and thorough evacuation drill before we left Copenhagen. This also gave the comforting impression that other important and unseen matters were treated with similar care. I read comments about the Nautica being 'tired' and 'dated'. Perhaps. But it's like a grand hotel which has been very luxuriously fitted out in the first instance to high standards of craftsmanship and old-fashioned comfort, and scrupulously maintained thereafter. (OK - we're British. Perhaps we view things differently!) The public rooms were lovely - I particularly liked the sumptuously-furnished, panelled library with its splendid selection of interesting books; and we loved sitting in the lounge at the top of the grand staircase to listen to the brilliant string quartet each evening - their enormous repertoire wasn't repeated once during all the time we were on board, and they were stunningly good. In fairness, one disadvantage of a small ship is the pathetic size of the swimming pool! But there was plenty of room for sunbathers, even if enthusiastic swimmers might be disappointed. (I was, a little bit. But I coped ... ) As first-time cruisers we were very pleasantly surprised at the lack of queues. We never had to wait for more than a few moments for anything (apart from final disembarkation, where the ship was at the mercy of the customs authorities) and, amazingly, you could sometimes go on deck for a spot of sunset-viewing and find no-one else there - just like in the advertisements of cruises! This uncluttered ambiance was very unexpected - and that, despite the fact that the ship was absolutely booked up. The only real criticism I have is of the excursions, which were very, very expensive. In St Petersburg we took instead a 3-day independent Russian excursion for a small group, which was absolutely outstanding, and far better than anything Oceania had to offer, at half the price. We did in fact take some Oceania excursions because we had a deal that included free ones. Most were rather good, and included interesting insights into local life, but the Stockholm one was pretty pathetic (frankly I am NOT interested in having American-owned hotels pointed out to me at the expense of learning more about life in Sweden, and I'm not sure how thrilling even the Americans on the trip found it!). The onboard enrichment lectures were also variable in quality - we had a wonderful and fascinating one on amber, would you believe, and a couple of rather muddled ones on Stockholm and St Petersburg (historic dates, please, people, and clearer royal genealogies - it does so help to put things in context), so we stopped going to them after that, and relied on our guide books. My husband looked in on a couple of the evening entertainments, but reported raucous, rather flat singing, so we left this to those who enjoy that sort of thing (of which, I think, there were quite a few, so fair do's.) We didn't patronise the casino or card rooms; and deck shuffleboard didn't speak as an activity, but hey, that's fine. The few children on board seemed perfectly happy, but this is certainly not an ideal cruise for the average teenager (tho' the non-average one might like it!) It was, however, perfect for a well-travelled couple in their 70s who like comfort, good food, cleanliness, quiet, elegant surroundings - and meeting others who are similarly appreciative. Yes, it's very expensive; and I have nothing to compare it with in my experience. But as a treat it was really fabulous, even given the small caveats above, and it's a memory I shall treasure. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
For those interested in a comparison, let's look at the differences between Oceania and Princess. We were on the 18-day Dublin-Copenhagen segment. This was our first cruise with Oceania. We are elite with Princess. We chose this ... Read More
For those interested in a comparison, let's look at the differences between Oceania and Princess. We were on the 18-day Dublin-Copenhagen segment. This was our first cruise with Oceania. We are elite with Princess. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary: Norway and northern Russian ports. Oceania has considerably less merchandising pressure. There is no crew of photographers. The crew seems under less pressure to sell extras. There are no "cruise ship art" events. Speciality coffees and sparkling water are available without extra charge. Speciality restaurants are available without extra charge. On the other hand, the cheapest bottle of wine on Oceania is about $10 a bottle more than on Princess. That generally put wine above what I was willing to pay. The ship felt less crowded and there was never a problem finding outdoor seating (although the Northern itinerary may have had something to do with that). 650 passengers instead of thousands does make for a different (and pleasant) experience. Oceania does live up to its reputation for good food. The dining room food was consistently a notch better than Princess. The buffet food was also very good. However, the buffet was typically more crowded than I'm used to on Princess. Our cabin (C1 ocean view) was equivalent to what we'd expect on Princess. Surprisingly, the cabin steward was good, but not as good as is typical on Princess. There were two ship lecturers. We only went to the lectures by one, but she was outstanding (https://cruisethroughhistory.com}. I liked the smaller venue for ship shows, although the noise level (at times 90db or more) was louder than I'd like. Passenger demographics: Oceania is a bit older and fellow passengers are on average wealthier. They also have a tendency to provide lots of details on their previous exotic Oceania cruises. At first that was useful, since we've not been on Oceania before, but enough was enough.... Shore excursions are overpriced. We generally don't book ship excursions, but we took their tours to make life easier for the three Russian ports, and we booked the bird safari at North Cape (a mistake). In Lerwick we hired a cab for the day. I tried to rent a car, but waited too long. I'd recommend planning ahead and getting a car. Even if you feel a bit uncomfortable driving in the UK, traffic on Shetland Island is thin. We walked around Bergen, a lovely port. Instead of the Oceania excursion to Mt. Floyen, we booked in advance on-line (https://www.floyen.no/en). Efficient and lots less money. In Kristiansund, there is a company that takes off from the cruise dock and heads up the local fjord for a lot less than Oceania. The Russian tours were fine, although private packages would have saved money. North Cape was a good tour — but we could have done it for less than half the Oceania price on our own. My advice is to rent a car (there is a company at the pier that will rent a car for 1500 NOK). That would allow both the bird safari and a drive up to North Cape, and save a whole lot of money. Thee is also a public bus, although an expensive one, from the pier to North Cape. The tourist office at the pier has the details. Although the cruise to Flam is spectacular, I can't say I'd recommend the railroad trip — but if you do take it, don't book with Oceania. You can either book on-line in advance or buy a ticket once you get there. Flam itself is a town of about 500 that absorbs thousands of cruise ship passengers, and is entirely uninteresting on its own. Cabs in Copenhagen (Uber withdrew from the city) are readily available at the cruise terminal and will set you back less than the Oceania transfer. In sum, Oceania is about twice the price (or more). If I had a choice between them I'd take Princess assuming identical itineraries. However, Oceania's smaller ships bring one to places Princess doesn't. I wouldn't hesitate to book Oceania again — but only if the itinerary was one that Princess could not match. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We initially chose this Cruise and ship because of the itinerary. I have always wanted to see these Mediterranean cities, towns and historic sites we have read so much about. We chose Oceania's Promenades and Palaces on the Riviera ... Read More
We initially chose this Cruise and ship because of the itinerary. I have always wanted to see these Mediterranean cities, towns and historic sites we have read so much about. We chose Oceania's Promenades and Palaces on the Riviera because it included a visit to Valletta in Malta, which had a family connection. Also it was at a great time of year and the weather certainly justified our choice. Well we had a marvellous time, the experience of a life time.The excursions ashore were great because they were so well-organised. But the life on-board the Riviera was just as enjoyable. The Riviera is a beautiful ship with all the facilities one could need, but a highlight for us was the amazing service everyone received from every single staff member who simply couldn't do enough for you. The ship's reputation as having the best cuisine on the seas is undisputed after our trip. The atmosphere on the ship allowed us to make many new friends from a range of countries. I would recommend the Riviera to anyone. Peter McCudden (Australia) Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I thought the itinerary was varied and interesting with a few places we had previously visited and a few we had not. Noticed a decline in service especially in Terrace Cafe plus only one fresh vegetable served almost everyday, broccoli, ... Read More
I thought the itinerary was varied and interesting with a few places we had previously visited and a few we had not. Noticed a decline in service especially in Terrace Cafe plus only one fresh vegetable served almost everyday, broccoli, cauliflower, zuchinni mixed vegetables! Almost as many supervisors in shirt and tie as server/helpers but doing very little to help! The dinner selections in the Grand Dining Room seemed of lesser quality than on prior cruises on the same ship or the Regatta. The entertainment overall seemed improved, but predominantly from the UK whereas the majority of passengers are still from the USA. Also, the afternoon Tea seemed to have fewer food choices. Both the Cruise Director and his partner and Assistant Cruise Director were both from the UK and little too flamboyant for our tastes. There were several tender ports. It seemed little attention was given to those who might not do well with stairs going down to the tender deck. Some tender operations seemed in need of a little more training in tender operation. Finally, I must say this Captain may do a good job, but was not particularly cordial to customers even dining at an adjoining table! The ABSOLUTE worst part of this cruise was the disembarkation on the final day! It was totally disorganized, no calling by color and number to disembark. a total stampede with no sign of any ship officers to thank the passengers! It was a horrible mess at too small a terminal facility for this ship too! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We choose to sail with Oceania as we had done so twice before & found them to be excellent. Everything is very well organized no matter what the aspect of the ship is - shipboard muster, restaurants, cleaning, tours, barista, afternoon ... Read More
We choose to sail with Oceania as we had done so twice before & found them to be excellent. Everything is very well organized no matter what the aspect of the ship is - shipboard muster, restaurants, cleaning, tours, barista, afternoon tea, activities, disbursement of nightly & daily information on ports, activities, weather, etc. The food was very good whether it was the buffet, the 4 specialty restaurants, the dining room, etc. We thought there was plenty of storage space. One should not bring 3 or 4 large suitcases & expect to have storage for all those articles of clothing, although that may??? possible. The ship was always VERY clean whether it was our stateroom or the ship in general. Many times we would pass the staff cleaning the walls, "public" bathrooms, hallways, dining areas, etc. We did not go to any of the shows so I can't comment on them. There were very few children on board & the few that were, were very young. Most people I would say were 60 years and older. Although we only took one of the Mariner's tours, the guide was very good and very informative. My one negative comment (on all Oceania's cruises that we have been on) is that we do think that the ship's tours are very expensive. Lastly, unfortunately on our May 3, 2019 from Barcelona to Rome (Civitavecchia) disembarkation was a nightmare. From what we were told, the Italian security or customs (I'm not sure exactly who/whom) was late in doing their job once the Mariner pulled into port. Consequently their tardiness, inefficiency (whatever the "issue" with the Italian officials) caused a real problem with the disembarkation of passengers. Needless to say people were anxious about getting to the airport on time, trains, etc. The first couple of colors & numbers on the luggage tags were announced, but after that it was out of control & a free for all. The process snowballed out of control due to the inefficiency of the Italian officials and then the Mariner inefficiency of not continuing with their sequence of disembarking passengers. Once off the ship the amount of people in the disembarkation hall was not manageable. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because of the luxurious rooms and service, and the smaller number of people on board. We were very pleased with the service and accommodations, the food was superb in every restaurant, and the amenities such as spa, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the luxurious rooms and service, and the smaller number of people on board. We were very pleased with the service and accommodations, the food was superb in every restaurant, and the amenities such as spa, exercise room, butler service, etc was exceptional. We couldn’t ask for a better ship and crew. Our butler was extremely knowledgeable and helpful to us. All of the staff on the ship were very accommodating and pleasant at all times. We really felt like they were genuine in their actions. We took a cooking class and had a lot of fun learning how to cook Mediterranean food. The restaurants were exceptional and all gave a top class experience from the wait staff, food, wine, etc. the travel overnight to the next port was a great way to move from port to port each day. The embarking to port was easy and usually close to town for walking or catching a taxi. The tours were well planned and easy to access. A few shorter tours at each port (2-3 hours) would have been helpful to add to the tour options. Overall the cruise was exceptional and I will consider other cruises on Oceania! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because Oceania has smaller ships and their food is excellent. This was a South America cruise going from Lima Peru to Buenos Aires Argentina. Being the month of March in the Southern Hemisphere, we expected and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because Oceania has smaller ships and their food is excellent. This was a South America cruise going from Lima Peru to Buenos Aires Argentina. Being the month of March in the Southern Hemisphere, we expected and received September type temperatures like the Northern Hemisphere. Sirena is very well kept still clean and attractive though it will be renovated soon. I like all the colors and schemes she has now but that will disappear with the addition of gray interior decor. My only issue with the ship was the aggressiveness and interruptions of the wine stewards and waiters in the main dining room. Those personnel need to be trained to present themselves and be recognized. So many times they would interrupt the table guests which to me is rude. On the last bus tour in BA, there was a passenger that was coughing incessantly. I caught his cold and am still suffering from it. I wrote a separate letter to Oceania suggesting that their ship chaperon(s) on the tours provide disposable masks on those busses for the "coughers" and on the vessel too. There are sick people who come on the ship even though they are given a questionnaire prior to boarding. Passengers do not have to divulge that they have a cold. Anyhow, I would recommend the Sirena and Oceania. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The crew were for the most part pleasant and accommodating. Food was above average and the pastry chef was particularly good. Themed dinners were okay but too much Thai. Food not always available but 24 room service was pretty good. The ... Read More
The crew were for the most part pleasant and accommodating. Food was above average and the pastry chef was particularly good. Themed dinners were okay but too much Thai. Food not always available but 24 room service was pretty good. The tours were conducted by good English speaking instructors (Dalian to Lushun prison and Beijing to Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square). Internet was spotty. Room 6004 was a good size, beds comfortable with lovely sheets but the whole ship needs renovation. Do not reserve this cabin if you have any issue with motion sickness. It is in the forward part of the ship and it was awful in rough seas. It was also very noisy when the entertainment in the lounge was going on. Overall a good trip. The port agent in Kobe did a good job helping us to get back to the ship on time on one precarious occasion. The age range though really is 65-80. Read Less
7 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
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise because of the unique African itinerary. We have done about 20 other cruises. We are used to sailing with "older" cruisers but this was the first time we felt like we were in a retirement home. This was due ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the unique African itinerary. We have done about 20 other cruises. We are used to sailing with "older" cruisers but this was the first time we felt like we were in a retirement home. This was due to the boring "party" band. Almost everyone on board was in bed by 9pm. Maybe 10pm if you count the uninspiring guest performers shows. Luke's show was an exception, very well done. Niko is a great piano entertainer. The crew were excellent. Food in the Terrace Cafe (buffet) was amazing. This and Waves Grill were the only places we ate. The activities staff did a great job with mini golf, shuffle board, ping pong, trivia and other fun games. The itinerary was nice although we couldn't stop at Kenya for safety concerns. The South African stops are mainly safari starting points and don't offer much else to see. Madagascar, Seychelles, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Malayasia all proved to be excellent ports of call. We can't wait to go back to Seychelles for an extended trip. Singapore is always a great place to start or end a cruise a deserves a few days stay minimum to experience everything they have to offer. Overall we felt this cruise did not offer the value per dollar that other cruise lines offer. We don't see where our extra money was spent. Plus now that the itinerary is changing there are better and more economical options. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Itinerary was our priority and I fully understand missing Mombasa but from then on it went downhill. Due to currents etc.???, we battled to make ports on time, resulting in less and less time in port. There was no plan B with Nautica, ... Read More
Itinerary was our priority and I fully understand missing Mombasa but from then on it went downhill. Due to currents etc.???, we battled to make ports on time, resulting in less and less time in port. There was no plan B with Nautica, the currents are always there and the weather was not that bad. The itinerary was cut so fine. There was no give in the itinerary, at all, for conditions that are always going to be there. It felt like the cruise was cut short by one day in the initial planning. Oceania this trip, needs to have full days in port for the benefit of the guests. It felt at times that there was a rush and that we were shortchanged The ships entertainment troupe were fantastic, but the guest artists were tired and repetitive, with an occasional singer thrown in. They were not quality. Dining - The Grand Dining Room was a grand disappointment, cold food cold plates and tasteless food, many returned meals with no improvement. It felt like a cafeteria not Grand in anyway, except for the waitering staff, who make up for the quality of food. Tocannas and Polo shamed the GDR with their hot and flavoursome food Service - across the dining spectrum, the wait staff, were either brilliant and attentive or not. On observation, at many a meal, the supervisors stood aloof and were not attentive to what was not happening, leaving it to the good wait staff to try and rectify the poor service. Training was not as good as seen previous, an example, for 20 days we asked for spoons to be in “Waves” for breakfast and eventually it happened for the final 8-10 days. It seems if a guest suggests something you get treated as though you do not know what you are talking about, or know better than supervisor you spoke to. Finally, I would also like to make comment on the complaint process. It seems that complaints are always referred back to head office. A fellow traveler had an issue and wanted to see someone high In management, firstly to talk, before putting it in writing but was told that reception had to decide whether to forward the complaint. This is not a process, but a poor vetting system, where you get the feeling that we will wear you down, and then hope you will give up Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Ship's crew, staff, and officers were very friendly and competent. They took very good care of us and made us feel appreciated. Production team (4 singers/dancers, 2 fantastic dancers) were excellent. Overall food quality and ... Read More
Ship's crew, staff, and officers were very friendly and competent. They took very good care of us and made us feel appreciated. Production team (4 singers/dancers, 2 fantastic dancers) were excellent. Overall food quality and service was very good. Ken Beattie was one of the best guest lecturers we have ever had. We did the Oceania precruise out of Johannesburg which included Victoria Falls, and Chobe Marina Reserve (2 game drives and one river experience). Had a great time. We are very glad that we got to visit/experience these ports. Most were not the usual tourist ports which meant they didn't have as much infrastructure, but that was one of the reasons we booked this cruise. We have been to most of the typical tourist ports. It was great getting to interface with some of the locals and learn about totally different life styles. One of our best/favorite cruises (and we have cruised a lot (>800 days), due to the unusual/different nature of the ports, and the onboard experience. We have cruised most of the usual cruise lines, but this was our first on Oceania. We were very pleased and would be very pleased to cruise with them again. One item that was less than ideal was the showroom. Their are 8 sister ships of which this is one, and they were all built with a single deck/level showroom, which means most seats have a lousy/restricted view of the stage (especially frustrating for watching dancers). Lecturers, singers, etc. are not a problem since you can see the top half of the performer. Some evenings the entertainment was a movie. In my opinion they should have live entertainment every night. However, we still had a fabulous time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We booked this cruise because of the itinerary. It was a 14 day mostly southern Caribbean Cruise. 2 sea days out of Miami and two sea days coming back at the end with 8 stops in between and 5 of those were places we had never been to. The ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of the itinerary. It was a 14 day mostly southern Caribbean Cruise. 2 sea days out of Miami and two sea days coming back at the end with 8 stops in between and 5 of those were places we had never been to. The stops were all mostly great, except for 2 I would not go back to/ Riviera is a larger size ship in the Oceania line up but still pretty small in comparison to other cruise liners (approx. 1,200 passengers at capacity I believe although it was not at capacity on our cruise). Layout of the ship was good and the pool on the Lido deck is quite large compared to others I've experienced. 4 specialty eateries plus the Grand Dinning Room and of course the buffet give you lots of dinning options. The food was very good overall but I found the selection in the dinning room at dinner not much to my liking. The specialty places were better as was the buffet; surprisingly. We ate breakfast and lunch in the Waves Cafe which is a covered but open deck area on the Lido deck. It was faster and not as busy as the buffet, The buffet had more food options but the cafe was suitable for our needs. There was also a great ice cream place there where you could get milk shakes and well as ice cream in cones or in a dish, Smoothies were served there in the morning. Cabin and balcony were pretty standard although you could not fit an empty suitcase under the bed for storage, which is a first for us, You had to open them and lay flat to get them under the beds (very strange). The bathroom was the great part. Full tub with shower PLUS a stand alone shower as well with actual glass door rather then just a shower curtain! That set up was great! It's an older crowd you'll be sailing with so leave the kids and teens at home - they won't have much company if you take them along. We prefer sailing on small ships as you get to meet more people it seems, particularly if you choose to share a table at dinner in any of the eateries. One thing that I though was odd were the vibrations I could feel at certain spots on the ship. In the Grand Dinning Room (stern of the ship) and in the Waves Grill/Cafe (mid-ship) there was a noticeable and annoying vibration. I have not noticed that on any ship I have sailed on in the past. Overall, a very nice experience as service was excellent in all aspects of the cruise. Entertainment was good at times and poor at other times but that depends on your likes and dislikes I suppose. Read Less
5 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
I prefer cruises to interesting destinations. Caribbean cruises involve visiting tropical flea markets, but we enjoy the shipboard experience. We took an Oceania cruise to Alaska 6 months earlier and enjoyed it very much. The food ... Read More
I prefer cruises to interesting destinations. Caribbean cruises involve visiting tropical flea markets, but we enjoy the shipboard experience. We took an Oceania cruise to Alaska 6 months earlier and enjoyed it very much. The food quality in the main dining room was not as good as our Alaskan cruise. It deteriorated markedly. The food quality and menu selection were disappointing. The specialty restaurants were superb, but Oceania limits the number of visits during each cruise. Also, the quality of room service also deteriorated. For example, the French onion soup at the specialty restaurant was excellent but barely edible for room service. We had a balcony room. Because of its location, it was nearly twice as large as the others. The in-room television programming was terrible. Oceania cruisers are older and spend more time in the rooms. Three years ago, we took a Viking river cruise that had on-demand programming. Oceania needs to step up. The Internet service is sub-par. Other companies have upgraded transmission speeds, and Oceania should keep up. The gym is adequate. I suggest they invest in a variety of kettlebells. They also have a trunk flexion machine that damages the spine. I enjoy playing video poker, but their machines are a rip-off. Installing some 9-6 machines wouldn’t impact their bottom line. I won’t play their machines, so they have no chance to take my money. I like Oceania and have booked a cruise to Tahiti. However, if they don’t step up, we’re going to go with another company. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We were pleasantly surprised by the outstanding cabin! Renovations are outstanding! Service and food the entire cruise was excellent --- no matter where we ate. The eggs benedict was outstanding at the Terrace Cafe! Fresh muffin, Canadian ... Read More
We were pleasantly surprised by the outstanding cabin! Renovations are outstanding! Service and food the entire cruise was excellent --- no matter where we ate. The eggs benedict was outstanding at the Terrace Cafe! Fresh muffin, Canadian bacon with freshly poached egg and topped with outstanding Hollandaise sauce. Yum! In fact all the selections in the Terrace Cafe were excellent --- spoiled by all the servers who were there to please. My husband fell in love with the extra thick chocolate shake in Waves. Grand Dining room had excellent food and service, but at times could be slow and a bit frustrating. If you needed something "out of the ordinary" it was hard to get the item. Polo and Toscano Specialty restaurants were both excellent! Entertainment was varied and good. The singers were extremely talented and the Frank Sinatra impersonator was outstanding! The Martini Bar piano player and entertainer at one of the big shows was excellent. Martinis were outstanding! The enrichment lectures could have been better --- we expected to hear more about Cuba's history and politics. The presentations were limited and bland -- that was disappointing. Excursions on Cienfuegos were the best; though the one going to Colonial Trinidad in Santiago was very interesting and good. The buffet lunch in one of the local restaurants was delicious. Time was limited in Havana ... would have been good if we'd been able to see a Tropicana Show there and had more shopping time to get cigars & local crafts.. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our 4th cruise with Oceania so we are obviously biased. Although we have sailed on a few other ocean cruise lines and river cruise lines, we keep coming back to Oceania. The food is Fantastic, the service superb and the atmosphere ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with Oceania so we are obviously biased. Although we have sailed on a few other ocean cruise lines and river cruise lines, we keep coming back to Oceania. The food is Fantastic, the service superb and the atmosphere is very warm, casual and comfortable. It feels like a home away from home. We just completed an 18 day voyage (our longest cruise yet) and we wished we could have stayed longer. We met some very interesting and lovely passengers with whom we had much in common. Oceania seems to attract like minded customers. Information about ports and sites was timely and thorough. Local tour information was provided on board as well as on cctv. No guess work or Google searches required. There was plenty to do on board if one took the time to read the daily activity bulletin. Front desk staff were also very helpful when memory failed. Kudos to the staff, crew and management for a job very well done! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise after seeing the itinerary. Not only did this cover the east side of Australia, where a lot of cruises stay, but we were very interested in seeing some of Western Australia. The cruise also included two ports in Papua, ... Read More
We chose this cruise after seeing the itinerary. Not only did this cover the east side of Australia, where a lot of cruises stay, but we were very interested in seeing some of Western Australia. The cruise also included two ports in Papua, New Guinea and two in Indonesia. Since this cruise is during the height of summer, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia were very warm with high humidity. Papua New Guinea is not a tourist mecca, by any stretch. Darwin was very warn also. The tours that we took off the most part were very good to excellent. The tours we selected revolved mainly around the wildlife and we were not let down. We did get to see all the animals that most have heard of plus some we hadn't. The guides we had were very knowledgeable and really made the tours enjoyable. There were also tours that included going to the top of a lighthouse, the last whaling station in AU and many wineries.There were a few ports that we decided just to stay in town and do our own sight seeing. Along the way there were visitor information guides to assist. Also, the residents in Western Australia are very nice and quite friendly. They were willing to assist with any questions we had. We have cruised on Oceania many times and previously on the Regatta. The ship, is to get and entire rework under their 'Oceania Next' program which includes all new staterooms and penthouses by September of this year. Right now the ship is a bit worn, but kept in very condition. We look forward to seeing the 'new' ship in the future. This is one of the smaller ships of Oceania with only 684 passengers. The ports and excursions are the highlights with a few amenities on board. Most passengers were retired folks like ourselves and it is a much quieter environment that other cruises lines. There were very few children on board. since we were on the ship for 34 days on this cruise and doing a back to back on to New Zealand for another 14 we really enjoyed the extra space a Penthouse. It is well appointed. It comes with a mini fridge stocked with complimentary soft drinks, a safe, hair dryer, with a few extras The cabin was 322 sq. ft. that includes a three cushion sofa, a small table and two comfortable chairs. The dining rooms were very good, as usual.with Toscana and Polo being excellent. Probably the most important thing to comment on is the staff. We couldn't have enough kind words to describe the level of service, from our butler, cabin attendants, servers, hostesses, barista, sommeliers and maitre d's.We truly enjoyed the level of service provided by all and the entire trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Three ports in Cuba - having been to all the major islands in the Caribbean we decide on something different. Cruise food and staff were wonderful! As soon as you sit down anywhere they ask if you want water, coffee, drinks. Very ... Read More
Three ports in Cuba - having been to all the major islands in the Caribbean we decide on something different. Cruise food and staff were wonderful! As soon as you sit down anywhere they ask if you want water, coffee, drinks. Very friendly staff but not pushy. All non-alcoholic beverages are included. Food quality was great - lobster in the dining room, specialty restaurants and even a lobster sandwich by the pool grill. Small ship had a much more intimate vibe to it and nothing was crowded - no lines anywhere. There were lectures on the ports and history of Cuba every day. The lecturer was excellent. It is quite a lot more expensive than Royal or Carnival. Also, if you want glitzy shows and entertainment then it is not for you. It is laid-back and classy. Cuban people are so friendly! Recommend doing something local like the Buena Vista social club in Havana. Our private guide in Cienfuegos took us to a very good private restaurant where we had small shrimps, rice and beans and plantains. Guide (tonycubavacations@gmail.com) was very knowledgable and spoke perfect English. The cost of the all day tour was reasonable compared to the ship tours. All in all it was an excellent trip for someone who likes to explore and relax. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We have been on several cruises mainly around the Mediterranean and wanted to try the Caribbean. We normally cruise with Cunard, but they hadn’t any sailings when we were free so decided to try Oceania as we do like our food! We had ... Read More
We have been on several cruises mainly around the Mediterranean and wanted to try the Caribbean. We normally cruise with Cunard, but they hadn’t any sailings when we were free so decided to try Oceania as we do like our food! We had three days in Miami first as we hadn’t been there before. Miami is great for a short break, but I wouldn’t want to stay much longer as not a lot to explore once you have done the Ocean Drive and South Beach area. The ship is fantastic and well presented. Our cabin was spacious and the butler service second to none. Just as good as Cunard. We loved the restaurant choices and had excellent meals in every one apart from a tough rib eye in the Polo Grill. Red Ginger was the best by far. The breakfast in bed was superb. We had the upgraded wine package which was good, but I would have preferred a wider selection of wines. We didn’t do much in onboard entertainment other than the quizzes, but there was plenty to do and other passengers seemed to enjoy it. Service and cleanliness was top notch. The range of ports we visited was good. The excursions, as with all cruise lines, were pricey so we only did one. We found getting a taxi with a knowledgeable driver gave us more flexibility and better value for money. The booking people on the phone were not brilliant. Definitely would cruise with Oceania again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise because we haven’t been to the Canary Is., and were looking forward to visiting. As explained earlier, we still haven’t visited them.. The Captain Did the right thing by avoiding the 70ft waves that hit Tenerife. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we haven’t been to the Canary Is., and were looking forward to visiting. As explained earlier, we still haven’t visited them.. The Captain Did the right thing by avoiding the 70ft waves that hit Tenerife. The Company did the wrong thing by not crediting our accounts or offering some compensation for the missed ports and fuel savings. it was also wrong to not totally reimburse passengers for the price of booked tours. Embarkation and disembarkation were handled efficiently. We will not let Oceania book our airfare again. this was their second chance. this time we travelled for 21 hours joining the ship in Barcelona from Phoenix. we actually enjoyed the 8 sea days with no schedules to keep or ABC tours to take. did a bus tour on our own in Malaga, a very lovely town. entertainment on board was to our liking. Yes, the production company is young. But, unlike some, the singers can indeed dance, and the dancers also can sing. a few flat notes here and there. If you want Broadway caliber, those BIG ships or Broadway are the Place for you. all on board staff, except one front desk guy seems to be happy doing their jobs and were very kind. We did meet two women who enjoyed soaking In their tubs. Most of us wish the showers had taken the place of those tubs which just took up valuable space. How small? well, If you dropped your soap you had to open the door to be able to bend down and retrieve it. Hubby says this is the best food at sea, Regent is right there in the running too.we enjoyed all the specialty restaurants. Food at Jacques, as you may guess, is very rich. the main dining room offers a fine selection each meal as well as the waves grill and the big buffet. the special brunch buffet featured all the ice carvings and specialty desserts, and beautiful fruit and.vegie displays. Read Less
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