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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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
This is our 6th cruise with Oceania and 2nd time on the Marina and loved every moment. Embarkation in Southampton was efficient and we were quickly onboard. Our Concierge room was immaculate and as in past cruises the cabin staff were ... Read More
This is our 6th cruise with Oceania and 2nd time on the Marina and loved every moment. Embarkation in Southampton was efficient and we were quickly onboard. Our Concierge room was immaculate and as in past cruises the cabin staff were excellent and always greeted us by name. There has been discussion on some boards about the decline in Oceania food however, our personal experience was that we found in to be excellent (other than the Jacques Salmon in the GDR which was as before not great). All Speciality restaurants were fabulous and we managed a 2nd dinner at our favourite, Red Ginger. Enjoyed the Afternoon Tea and Baristas. We took O excursions and were excellent and then other days, did our DIY (Dublin and Portland). The only disappointment was that due to high winds we missed out on Glasgow so had another sea day (we love the library so found a good book or two). As expected, the weather at times was cool and moist so didn't use our veranda very much nor, pool area but, did manage lunch at Waves a few times and reading in the Balinese chair area which is somewhat protected. The ports were great and loved the Scottish HIghlands, St. Andrews and the Blarney area as well as seaside villages of Portland and Weymouth. Disembarking in Southampton was smooth no doubt due to the fact that we did not require a face-to-face immigration check as we had arrived back in England the day prior at Portland. We went directly to Heathrow and took our own luggage straight off at 7 AM. 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
Loved itinerary especially grateful for several sea days, which is a bit unusual for port-intensive Oceania. Wanted to escape the heat of the Mid-Atlantic and try a longer cruise. The service was stellar and loved having four specialty ... Read More
Loved itinerary especially grateful for several sea days, which is a bit unusual for port-intensive Oceania. Wanted to escape the heat of the Mid-Atlantic and try a longer cruise. The service was stellar and loved having four specialty restaurants available -- all were excellent and Red Ginger was our favorite. And those views from Polo and Toscana were amazing, especially when traveling through the fjords and coastline because it didn't get dark until 11pm. The staff and Martinis knew our names and orders right away and we became happy hour regulars. The staff at the Terrace does a great job managing the crowds and helping people find tables, bringing coffee, etc. However, we felt the food there wasn't the best -- not many light options and just wasn't very appealing for the "Finest Cuisine at Sea." Speaking of that, we loved the food but didn't feel it was that much better than other cruise lines on which we've sailed. Oceania sets the bar high and we didn't feel it matched their promises and higher price. Very good, just not better. We took 10 ship's excursions and were pleased -- the staff was excellent -- calm, organized and accommodating. Overall pros: excellent service, very well maintained and attractive ship. Overall cons: Entertainment wasn't great (Staff "Broadway-style" shows were good, guest acts were okay, non-hosted shuffleboard was listed daily -- really?) and not sure Oceania is worth the premium they charge. But overall, we had an excellent cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
GOOD - Nice Room with Butler/Concierge service, large bathroom and balcony, 24-hour room service. Main dining room and Toscana had excellent service staff and food was fantastic. Ship was nicely equipped and comfortable, albeit not very ... Read More
GOOD - Nice Room with Butler/Concierge service, large bathroom and balcony, 24-hour room service. Main dining room and Toscana had excellent service staff and food was fantastic. Ship was nicely equipped and comfortable, albeit not very large comparatively. BAD - Captain and officers were completely self-righteous and arrogant, to the point of being rude. The dining personnel in the "Polo Club" were incompetent and utterly unskilled in premier food service. We are not snobs and expect minor glitches in services, etc. However, the Polo Club is a "reservations only" establishment and one cannot simply enter at their leisure. The cruise was labeled "Gaelic Glory", but there was no glory about it. The theme was advertised as "Irish", but there wasn't an inkling of Irish theme aboard ship...no Irish food, music, or adornments...??? The entertainment was reminiscent of a theme park, with less than stellar performances. Shore excursions were offered by the cruise line at exorbitant prices, usually 3-4 times the amount charged by local companies at each port-of-call. If you did not book an excursion through the cruise line, you were not allowed to disembark the ship until all of those who purchased cruise line excursion packages had departed. This usually meant waiting 1-2 hours after arriving in port. The crew was extremely vigilant in enforcing this measure, to point of acting "Gestapo" like...very discourteous and unnecessary. I could list many more negative aspects about the cruise, but I think you get the picture. Overall...VERY DISAPPOINTED...!!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
The food in the main dining room was never hot and disappointing. Definitely not up to the standards we expected from a cruise line that is supposedly known for its food. Salmon which is a Pepin specialty was cool and tasteless. Paying ... Read More
The food in the main dining room was never hot and disappointing. Definitely not up to the standards we expected from a cruise line that is supposedly known for its food. Salmon which is a Pepin specialty was cool and tasteless. Paying $800 for concierge compared to a B2 was a rip off. There is no concierge lounge so therefore we paid $800 for a bottle of champagne and free laundry which took 4 days to return The room is the same size as a B1 B2 with only two feet between the bed and the wall. Seville was cancelled as Oceania shortened the stay in Cadiz and therefore there was not sufficient time to to Seville Oceania started three months before departure changing times in ports and also cancelled Porto Veecho to Propriano where only Costa goes and there is nothing to do or see. The cruise is definitely not worth the money Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our first Oceania cruise after having travelled with Carnival, Princess and Royal Caribbean previously. We had been to a couple of Oceania events where they spoke highly about their food and said it was the best at sea. The ... Read More
This was our first Oceania cruise after having travelled with Carnival, Princess and Royal Caribbean previously. We had been to a couple of Oceania events where they spoke highly about their food and said it was the best at sea. The food on our cruise was not as good as they claimed. Some cuts of meat were very fatty, almost inedible (even at Jaques and the Polo grill) . A pad-thai in the main dining room was horrible and some ice creams had so little flavour, we couldn't tell what they were supposed to be. On the other hand, some food was really good and we loved the Illy Crema at Baristas. There is a well equipped gym, a free sauna and steam room and a jogging track. Art classes and craft sessions were very enjoyable. There is a well stocked library and there are free self-serve laundries with washing, drying and ironing facilities. As we found with other first time Oceania cruisers, we all overpacked formal clothing and didn't bring enough casual clothes. Except for dining rooms at dinner time, t-shirts (or polo shirts) and shorts or jeans were all that were required. Some entertainment was really good. The ships' singers and dancers were good and the magician was very entertaining. The service on the ship was great, there were staff everywhere and they were very helpful and friendly. Most of our shore excursions were fine. They were all Oceania tours. The only problem was that not enough time was allocated to look around museums or visit other attractions. We may go on another Oceania cruise in the future. Maybe we will wait to see what their new Allura class ships will be like. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because we had not been to several of the the port stops before. We were disappointed in the food. We live in Houston, dine out frequently, and expected the food to be better. My steak in the Polo was over cooked, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had not been to several of the the port stops before. We were disappointed in the food. We live in Houston, dine out frequently, and expected the food to be better. My steak in the Polo was over cooked, not impressed at all. The Red Ginger was a real disappointment. Did not care for it at all. Much better Asian in Houston. We really liked Jacques and Toscana. As for the main dining room, it just wasn’t as good as we expected. We stayed in a concierge level cabin. We were impressed with the room, bathroom and the cabin steward. Probably the best in our 20 cruises. Loved the linens, towels, toiletries and room layout. We did not take the ships excursions. I thought they were really expensive. Our group of 4 hired a private guide in ports for the same per person price as the least expensive tour offered by the boat. We also heard several people say they were disappointed in the tours. We loved every excursion but we arranged it ourselves. The staff was excellent. The Gym was great. Did not use the spa. We only had one sea day. We bought the drink package and the bar service was very good. Venice. We took the large water taxi to Piazza San Marco. Bought ticket for round trip right outside the cruise ship. Venice was very crowded. We walked around and took a gondola ride through canals and rode by the Rialto bridge. Back to ship. Watched as we sailed away from Venice listening to Andrea Bocelli. Dinner at Polo Restaurant. - Dubrovnik, Croatia. Arrived at 1:30 pm. Found taxi driver outside the port who drove us around the outskirts of town and up the mountain for a panoramic view of Dubrovnik. Then to visit Fort Imperial which houses a museum of the Croatian war of Independence in and a short film about the war. I hope hunk it was 50 euros. Then he dropped us at the town of Dubrovnik where many scenes of Game of Thrones were filmed. Walked around town and took a taxi Back to the ship. Drinks in the piano bar and dinner in Grande dining room. - Kotor, Montenegro. Met at the port by Nikolai with Mont Travelers at 8:30. He drove us for an overview of Boka Bay where our ship was docked and took a boat ride to see the Our Lady of the Rocks. Then we went to see the town of Perast which is on the water with beautiful sea views. We drove back to Kotor and visited a fish market to see all the different seafood from Kotor. Followed by a drive to view Jaz Beach and a walking tour of the old town of Budva. Drove back to Kotor for a walking tour. The tour was awesome. 280 euros for 4 people. Nikolai was fabulous and a very safe driver. Dinner in Grande dining room. cruised around Italy - Malta. Did a Small group tour Simply Malta with 12 people from the ship we arranged through cruise critic roll call. A drive to the south of the island of Malta to see the Blue Grotto. The grotto and neighboring system of sea caves are home to brilliant phosphorescent marine life. The boat ride showed us the incredible beauty of this natural wonder. It was wonderful. Then we traveled through the Girgenti valley and on to the west coast seeing the Dingli cliffs. We drove to Rabat for a walking tour of Rabat and the old town Mdina, once the capital of Malta until Valleta was built. Mdina was where scenes from season one of Game of Thrones was filmed. Back to Valletta, Malta. We got back on board and Dinner in Toscana - Italian. - Sicily where we could see Mt Etna in distance. We got a taxi at the port to drive us to Taormina. I think it was 25 euros. Our driver told us it looked like fireworks coming out of it at night. We walked around town. Then we found a taxi driver in town named Vincenzo Franco (+39 338 850 1413) who drove us to scenic view points around the outskirts of Taormina and back to the ship. He was awesome and I would call him and arrange for him to drive me if I go again. Dinner in Grande dining room. - Amalfi. Picked up at the port by for a full day tour of the Amalfi coast by Sorrento Top Driver, Di Coppola Antonino +39 3392207065. He drove us along the Amalfi Coast stopping for pictures and on to Positano. Parked while we shopped and walked around the town. Then drove us back to Amalfi and on to Ravello for lunch overlooking the sea. Back to ship. Really great day with Tonino. Dinner in Jacques - French. -Rome. Picked up at the dock at by Enrico with Rome in limo. A full day of seeing the sights of Rome. First stop for coffee and pastries then to a hill with a great view overlooking Rome. Next a walk through Trastevere where we went into a church during a Sunday service. On to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Piazza Navona (where the Italian Air Force flew over leaving a trail of red, white and green smoke because it was a national holiday, saw the Trevi Fountain, Spanish steps, Pantheon. Enrico stopped to let us out, wait for us and drive to the next stop. Giving us lots of info as we went. Dropped us off at a small restaurant for great lunch. Toured the Catacombe Di San Callisto of and dropped us back at ship about 5. We had spent a few days in Rome on another trip so we didn’t plan on going to the Vatican. Seafood extravaganza in the Waves. -Tuscany. Picked up at the port of Livorno by Alessandro Cammilli. www.alessandrocammilli.com Drove for about an hour to San Gimignano where we toured the town and had gelato and coffee at outside cafe. Drove to Castelllina in Chianti, Greve in Chianti and the Chianti countryside of Tuscany. Stopped for lunch in Lamole at a restaurant on an outdoor terrace on the top of a hill with wonderful views of wine country. We stopped by a WWII memorial and cemetery where 4400 American soldiers were buried. Then drove to see the leaning tower of Pisa and back to the ship about 5. Dinner in Toscana - Italian. - Monte Carlo. Took a small train around town to see the sights. Then took the bus along the Mediterranean Sea to Nice and back by train to Monaco. This was the only thing we wish we had done differently. We would get off the bus at the stop BEFORE Nice it was too big and not very appealing. The town before nice looked beautiful and easy to navigate. Can’t remember the name. Dinner in Grande dining room. -Toulon, France. Took a small train from the port around Toulon. Got off in town. Took the bus to Mt Faron and a cable car to the top of the mountain. Dinner in Red Ginger - Asian. Stayed three nights in Barcelona. 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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
April 2019 - My wife and I have been on numerous cruises (22+) throughout the world on various cruise lines over the years. This was our fifth cruise with Oceania; the previous cruises were the Northeastern Seaboard, Bermuda, Cuba, India, ... Read More
April 2019 - My wife and I have been on numerous cruises (22+) throughout the world on various cruise lines over the years. This was our fifth cruise with Oceania; the previous cruises were the Northeastern Seaboard, Bermuda, Cuba, India, the Middle East and Europe and Southern Africa cruises. The 17-day Rio to Barcelona Cruise started on April 18, 2019. Our trip actually started on April 14, with our flight landing in Rio on April 15. Our pre cruise Rio de Janeiro tour included a few days at the Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel & Resort, which is located on the beach just west of Ipanema Beach; a great location. The hotel had great food and a very nice HUGE pool. It also had free car service to the city. We toured the HStern manufacturing offices and store (free tour from the hotel and back … worth the time to see how they manufacture jewels), Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf. The Oceania pre tour provided a lot of time to visit the local area on our own and also, the hotel pool area (nice pool). The hotel arranged for us to enjoy a Samba Dinner Show. The dinner was at a local restaurant and the show was near by. Both were wonderful. Boarding the ship was very easy. Our room was at the front of the ship on deck 6, room 6014. This was a good location as we were near the entertainment areas and the Spa, Game and Computer Rooms. The primary sources of food are in the rear; decks 5 and 9. Most points of interest are on 5, dining room at the rear and the Sirena Lounge at the front. Deck 9 has the computer room, card room and spa. The ship is a few years old but was very nice; very clean. It will be remodeled after our cruise. The staff was great and the food was excellent. Coffee, including specialty coffees, was available 24/7 on Deck 10 front and also, during select hours on Deck 5 rear. The ship provided complimentary water and soft drinks. The Program Director provided information about basically everything you needed to know on a timely basis. The ship had a cast of great entertainers on board and also a great band. They were very professional and excellent musicians. The cruise line provided two speakers who covered a wide range of interesting topics on the locations we visited and also, sea life. The passengers and the crew were all very nice people from all walks of life. The people on the ship made the cruise interesting and enjoyable. The only real negative was the price of alcoholic beverages; they are a little pricey. I signed up for the Scotch Tasting (around $20). They provided 11 bottles of Scotch to taste but only allowed 3 tastings. Three very small tastings. The bottom line … Don't do it. Take your $20 and go to the bar for your own glass of one or two Scotches. We had a lot of fun playing games and competitions to earn Big O points. We earned over 400 points which were cashed in on the last full day for Oceania merchandise. The visited Ports of Call follow. First, While in Brazil, the ship charges a 25% tax on purchases. RECIFE, BRAZIL – Our first port was located north of Rio, just south of the Equator. Recife is a quiet little city. The tour included a nice view of the city from the high point in the area, a pretty little chapel, a free coconut drink in the market and generally, a nice tour of the city with nothing spectacular to offer. It was a good introduction to life in Brazil outside of a big city. NATAL, BRAZIL – We took the Highlights of Natal tour. The drive out into the countryside was very nice and the world's largest cashew tree interesting (the tree is huge, covering more than a soccer field in area but only maybe 20 feet high). We stopped at an old prison that now is a market. The tour included a lot of time on the bus. Again, it was a nice tour of the area with nothing spectacular to offer …. oh, the cashew tree was interesting …. the highlight of the tour. Crossing the Equator was fun. Those of us who had not crossed the line before on a ship were transformed from a Polliwog into the Ancient Order of the Deep through a Special Ceremony not to be discussed further. The Atlantic Ocean was relatively came the entire cruise. MINDELO, CAPE VERDE – Cape Verde is sort of the middle of the North Atlantic, west of the African coast. The Mindelo – The Cultural Capital tour included a tour of several markets and the a liqueur tasting. The rum was great. This tour included a lot of walking through parts of Mindelo. SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, CANARY ISLANDS – We took the Canada Del Teide tour. This was a wonderful tour that included a great lunch in a beautiful old monastery. This is a beautiful island with many interesting buildings and natural wonders. This was a very nice tour of the island. ARRECIFE, CANARY ISLANDS – The Southern Lanzarote & Wine Tasting tour presented a completely different perspective on the Canary Islands. This island is volcanic! The tour included an extensive tour of volcanic areas of the island, a ride on a camel and a meaningless wine tasting, although the vineyards were interesting. The high point of the island is the treeless volcanic areas. It's like being on Mars. This was an interesting tour. TANGIER, MOROCCO – The Highlights of Tangier tour was a fun time in a beautiful city. We visited a mountain top vista that overlooked the city and then drove down to the coast to walk into the Hercules Cave. This was interesting. We then toured the narrow streets of the city stopping in a market and a spice demonstration. The spice demonstration was very well done and worth the time. Tangier is a very interesting city with many different ethnic areas. Again, while in Spain, the ship charges a 10% tax on purchases. ALMERIA, SPAIN – We toured the area on the Mojacar & Cabo De Gata tour. The bus ride to Mojacar was very long but worth it: Mojacar is very similar to Santorini with white buildings (no blue roofs) built up on a hill top. The views are fantastic. The tour included a nice walk around the hill top city with some free time to walk around or purchase a beer, wine or whatever. The drive through Cabo De Gata reminded me of the hillsides of Southern California; dry. The tour is generally on the bus and the views are beautiful. ALICANTE, SPAIN – We took the Alicante, Novelda and Wine Tasting tour. Alicante is a beautiful city. The tour took us to a beautiful hill top church with a organ being constructed of stone; stone is abundant in the area. We then visited the Bodega Heretat de Cesilia winery. The tour of the winery was very nice and the wine tasting … worth the wait! The wines were very nice and free flowing. Most of us purchased a bottle or two to take home. The winery is small but the grounds are large. A beautiful place to drink a few glasses. This was one of the better tours on the cruise. BARCELONA, SPAIN – We left Barcelona immediately on a bus for Madrid. Getting off the ship was easy … you just had to wait your turn. Our tour guide was standing next to our baggage and when we all were accounted for, we left on a small bus. There were only 10 of us on the port cruise tour. Our first stop was at the Poblet Monastery where most of us generally froze. We were not dressed for a tour of a cold stone fortress. The tour was very nice and worth the stop though. From there, we continued to Montblanc for a FANTASIC lunch and city tour. Then we continued to Zaragoza for the night. Our guide took us out for a beer and snack. We were then left on our own to walked around. This is a very interesting place … beautiful by night. The next morning, were toured the city including the El Pilar Cathedral …. unbelievable!!! On the road again, we stopped at Madinaceli for a quick tour and another FANTASIC lunch. That night, we were at the Melia Madrid Princess hotel. The hotel was in a great location and was very nice. The next day we took a tour of the city with the afternoon on our own. We arranged to go to a Flamenco Dinner Show. We walked there and back with several other couples. Great dinner and show. The next morning we were picked up and driven to the airport. All of our tour guides were very good. They all spoke English well and were very approachable. Overall, the cruise was educational and enlightening … no security concerns anywhere. Overall, the cruise was great and the pre and post trips fantastic. You will see many different types of architecture, topography, and vegetation. You will meet many very nice people on the ship and also, tour guides and locals. Oceania really took good care of us; they were always there to make sure everything was taken care of during the cruise and also, during the pre and post trips. They really seemed to care. A great trip. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The Ship: Well maintained and operated. The crew was very helpful and pleasant. After dealing with a nasty private porter in New York (we ignored him, not sure why Oceania allows this) once we got to deal with the Oceania we had nothing ... Read More
The Ship: Well maintained and operated. The crew was very helpful and pleasant. After dealing with a nasty private porter in New York (we ignored him, not sure why Oceania allows this) once we got to deal with the Oceania we had nothing but positive experiences for the rest of our trip. Embarkation was easy. Crossing the Atlantic in the spring can be a little rough. I give great credit to the captain for his wisdom and experience. We bypassed two stops due to bad weather. I appreciated that he put the comfort and the safety of all those on his ship above that of any schedule. Food: The best I have had on any cruise line. One of our party was celiac and gluten free. They handled this very well and they prepared excellent gluten free food that looked and tasted like what everyone else was eating. The bread in particular was great. We tried all of the restaurants – the Italian one stood out with the best food and the best service. I highly recommend the Baristas on the 14th deck. Great coffee (better than most expensive coffee bars), quick and pleasant service and you are right next to the library and computer center. Laundry: A small free laundromat on each floor made laundry a breeze. Everything was clean and worked and there was an ironing board there as well. Being able to have clean clothes was a treat. Entertainment: The ship’s singers and dancers stood out for their enthusiasm and energy. They were also used to help out on the ships functions giving them much more exposure to the passengers than most of the crew. Internet: Satellite sourced, I do not think any ship internet is very good. Oceania Marina was no exception. Getting on the system in the middle of the day is almost impossible. Only at night or very early in the morning is the speed good enough to check emails. Library: I love libraries, lots of books and good comfortable chairs to while away a few hours of reading. Wood trimmed, and located next to the coffee bar, this library was very good. The only problem I had was that a number of passengers seem to feel that it was ok to take over a chair and ottoman and have a long winter’s nap, not the purpose for a small ship board library where room can be tight. The Passengers: The average age of the passengers on this trip seemed to be somewhat older than I would have expected, in their mid 70s and many had mobility and medical issues. There were a few younger passengers but very few. Most of the passengers were professionals – doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc. I did hear that the subsequent trip had a younger crowd. Gym and Exercise: Great running/walking track on top of the ship. The gym had good equipment for a smaller ship and it was much appreciated. There is a separate room where there were classes, particularly yoga Medical: There is a full medical center on board with a doctor, nurse and a two bed ward. All seemed very competent. This ship had just experienced an outbreak of Norovirus. They were extremely good at washing everything down and constantly disinfecting. At the buffets, you are served – you do not serve yourself. This really reduces the chance of contamination. Despite this, I picked up a respiratory infection and pink eye which required a hospital visit after the cruise and a course of antibiotics to get me back healthy again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We choose this cruise for the ports. Unfortunately due to the seas we missed St. John’s and Dublin. Weather cannot be helped and everyone’s safety is most important. That is the risk whenever you cruise, you may not get to all the ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the ports. Unfortunately due to the seas we missed St. John’s and Dublin. Weather cannot be helped and everyone’s safety is most important. That is the risk whenever you cruise, you may not get to all the ports. I had cruised Oceania before years ago. The difference today, entertainment was horrible, especially doing a transatlantic you are waiting for it. You can also feel a change in the level of food in the terrace cafe. The cooking classes are probably the best on those cruises. Art classes were enjoyable too. But really not much more to do on board. The ships also need an indoor whirlpool. The spa was very nice and Florence gave excellent massages. Very professional! Overall, when doing transatlantic cruises be weary of weather and lots of sea action that is not fun. The onboard specialty restaurants were enjoyable and gave options. Know that you need to book early! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This is my second cruise, aboard the same ship Riviera. However it was my first time as a solo traveler. The ship itself and everything included in it was wonderful! However, the service was very poor. As a solo traveler, I was virtually ... Read More
This is my second cruise, aboard the same ship Riviera. However it was my first time as a solo traveler. The ship itself and everything included in it was wonderful! However, the service was very poor. As a solo traveler, I was virtually ignored when it came to service. So badly so, that after the first two reservations in the specialty restaurants, I cancelled my future reservations since I did not want to go through such treatment again. If you are seated by yourself, you will be waited on, eventually. But only after you say something to the Manager. Even after that the service will be slow, the wine steward will not wait on you, and forget having your water refilled or even asking you if you would like dessert. They make it obvious that Oceania simply does not want you there as a solo. In the buffet it was not much better. You serve yourself and always have to get your own drinks. For several days I would get my own water and coffee and then a head waiter saw me doing this .and asked if he could help. I explained to him that I knew if I wanted anything I would have to get it myself. He was apologetic, but full of excuses as to why I was ignored. After that, I did notice a small improvement in the service. I can only assume he must have said something to the staff. This treatment was everywhere on the ship. Everywhere!! If you were seated by yourself, you were ignored. I did find a bartender that was the complete opposite and treated me like everyone else, so there were exceptions. But if you are a solo, do not travel on Oceania. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our fifth cruise on Oceania and our second on the Nautica. It is beginning to look a little worn, but that should be addressed with the scheduled makeover. The service and food remain impeccable. In every restaurant and bar you ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise on Oceania and our second on the Nautica. It is beginning to look a little worn, but that should be addressed with the scheduled makeover. The service and food remain impeccable. In every restaurant and bar you are greeted cordially and made to feel special. We never had a bad meal. Our cabin attendant and her assistant took great care of us. The cabins provide plenty of storage space and are well laid out. If the bed frame were just an inch higher it would make storage of suitcases much easier. The bathroom in anything but the suites, to put it mildly, is compact but functional. The shower is especially tiny and is our only major complaint. The guest lecturer was excellent giving insight into the history and attractions of the area and the ports we were visiting. We were disappointed that Nagasaki was substituted for Incheon on our itinerary but understand that this was something beyond the control of 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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Had been with Oceania in 2011 and thoroughly enjoyed it. That cruise was a comfortable, fairly sophisticated experience, and was always was keen to repeat the experience. The company brochure is now really misleading. It shows elegant ... Read More
Had been with Oceania in 2011 and thoroughly enjoyed it. That cruise was a comfortable, fairly sophisticated experience, and was always was keen to repeat the experience. The company brochure is now really misleading. It shows elegant well dressed people, where in actual fact on this trip the majority of people were dressed in baseball caps, T shirts and dad trainers. We are in out late 60's and were very much at younger end of the guest age range. There are good dining rooms and a very good choice of menus but most seemed to eat in the café. Picked this cruise because of the itinerary 16 days in the South Pacific. There was some attractive offers namely 400 dollars ship credit free internet and cabin upgrades. I now know why. The ship was about two thirds full and mainly elderly Americans, with a few Canadians and fewer Europeans. The ship itself is fairly shabby, stained and worn furnishings and carpet throughout The dining rooms are excellent although in a sort of Disney/ Las Vegas way. The Grand Dining room is an enormous space decorated in a sort of Las Vegas Baroque. On our cruise it was largely empty few people using it. The speciality dining rooms also serve excellent food, although in Red Ginger blonde east European waitress in a sort of oriental costume add to the Disneyesque experience. There is a degree of pretension in Red Ginger and Toscana. Being offered a choice of colour of chop sticks is surprising and have not see that in Asia. In Toscana being offered a huge choice of olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dip your bread in is unlikely to be replicated in Tuscany. The Polo Grill and Jacques were a bit more realistic. However in Jacques there was a window in to the kitchen where you could see "Out of Order" notices on ovens. The window had a curtain but it was kept open. Why? Breakfast buffet was more or less standard, of course there was no back bacon only pork belly done to a crisp. Entertainment was not bad except that most of the shows were on in the late afternoon. Maybe because of the elderly clientele. It meant that there was not much in the way of things to do in the evening. Martinis should be a nice place to have a drink. However its use seems to be for party games such as quizzes and indoor putting. Happy hour is somewhat strange as in the main lounge the band don't start till after happy hour. Not many people actually came. The quietest place on the ship is the grand bar which usually had people sleeping or reading in it. A very good string quartet did play there though. The library has a lot of foot traffic going to the speciality coffee shop. There is good coffee although the place can be a hang out for ships staff in coveralls. Several times there was crew in boiler suits leaning against the bar. The library has a couple of once beautiful ship models now largely falling to pieces. The models are not encased and no doubt have been frequently prodded. It all sort of points to the general air of neglect. The free internet was also not much use as it was off for several consecutive days because of "local interference". In general however the staff are excellent. Except for Destination Services and Reception. They are supercilious bunch who don't listen. Only asked one thing from reception and was haughtily told that they could deal with it. They got it wrong. It took three visits to destination services to get my disembarkation correct. It would appear that they don't read the forms they ask you to fill in. All in all Oceania for all its pretentions seems to have become just a mass market cruiser albeit with very good food and mainly good service. However as a premium brand it seems have lost its way. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose the cruise for its itinerary. We wanted to got to French Polynesia and had never cruised across the South Pacific with such exotic locations as the Pitcarin Islands and Easter Island. The flight over allowed us to visit one ... Read More
We chose the cruise for its itinerary. We wanted to got to French Polynesia and had never cruised across the South Pacific with such exotic locations as the Pitcarin Islands and Easter Island. The flight over allowed us to visit one daughter & family in California out the way over and ended in New York where a second daughter lives. A bonus was a scheduled stop in Norfolk with even more family. Past cruises have shown us that Oceania really takes great care of its guests in the top suites. We were booked in a penthouse but wanted an Oceania Suite. About 3 months prior to sailing, an Owners Suite came available for leg one and in January the same cabin came available for leg 2. We call that cruise karma. From the moment we stepped on the ship we were treated with the best service available. We had the head butler at our disposal (he has only 3 cabins and supervises the other butlers). This gentleman made the cruise for us. He got us into the restaurants we wanted when we wanted and was always available for anything else. At 2000 square feet, the suite was larger than my wife's first house. We had a bedroom with a separate bath and his and her closets. The foyer was our favorite as it had a fully stocked bar, sofa and grand piano that was a modern day player piano. The living room had a desk, table for 6 and full sofa. Everything was Ralph Loren, right down to the drink coasters and candy trays. With the number of sea days and with poor weather in the first week after leaving French Polynesia, we found our suite even more enjoyable. Unfortunately everything did not stay perfect. First, we missed the port call at Easter Island. The weather was great but there were ocean swells entering the tender harbor. Many were mad but we understand that this was just bad luck and, having done our homework, we realized that this was a real possibility. We booked an independent shore excursion there and as a result lost half of our prepaid excursion cost. Lima was mid cruise change out day. All was well but unbeknownst to us, someone brought aboard the dreaded GI disease. This was not our first experience with GI and Oceania. It is not a pretty site. Within 2 days of leaving Lima we started to see items disappear like the sugar bowls in the coffee bar. Next comes the announcement that if you feel sick, see the doctor for a free consultation (buyer beware - they do not say free treatment - see one of my previous Oceania reviews to learn about how Oceania will completely empty your pockets if you visit the medical center. When they hit the high level - 20 -30 people sick, service stinks. When entering a restaurant, there is nothing but a bare table cloth. Anything you can touch that can be removed is. The putting green is closed, but interestingly, live goes on as normal in the casino and ad in any other retail or money activities. We retreated to our room and used room service a bit more than we had been. The really bad part of this is that they keep the ship at this "protocol" until the GI is eradicated. It was almost over in central america (after a week) but 2 more came down with the GI. The end result was that the ship went back to normal only 3 days prior to the end of the cruise, so the total time under the sad conditions was 12 days in total. I suspect that other reviews will point this out. On departure from Miami we were informed that we would skip Norfolk and put into Port Canaveral. Good call. A check of the internet indicated 26 foot seas around Cape Hatteras and we would not have enjoyed it. I missed seeing my sister in Norfolk, but such is life. Sail into New York was mid-day and was an event everyone should get to experience. We sat on our expansive back deck and enjoyed the arrival with a room service lunch. Our travel agent has always warned us that Oceania lacks in entertainment. It did. Lectures weren't great, save for the Easter Island resident historian who prepped us for the visit that did not occur. The on board cast and guest entertainers were mediocre at best with the exception of a Vegas entertainer aboard the last week who was heads and shoulders above anything we had seen the entire 34 days aboard. This is not a high priority for us as the show mainly keeps us from going to bed too early. Overall, I would rate the cruise at a 4.5 if I could. I have been very critical of Oceania in the past, we are not likely to go again on the older smaller ships, but this one was great save for the unavoidable missed ports and GI experience. We are likely to book the larger Oceania Ship again, but only if we can get one of the top suites. We normally travel with Regent, Crystal or Seabourn but this experience was equal to or better than those lines. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
I have cruised on Oceania numerous times and never had an experience quite like this cruise. The captain has a reputation on the ship of only going to ports he wants to go to and not what is on the schedule and what is best for the ... Read More
I have cruised on Oceania numerous times and never had an experience quite like this cruise. The captain has a reputation on the ship of only going to ports he wants to go to and not what is on the schedule and what is best for the guests, under the auspice of weather or other conditions as an excuse. We ended up with 10 days at sea because of this. Over all the cruise was good (not great) and I still like Oceania. What I do like about Oceania are the speciality restaurants - Polo Lounge, Tuscano, Red Ginger and Jacques. These restaurants are really great especially Tuscano and Jacques!!! I also like the fact that room service is available 24/7, bottled water is provided and the in room refrigerator is available to guest without additional charges. Also that coffee, cookies, ice cream and soft drinks are available without additional charges - so many other cruises nickel and dime you once you are on the ship with upscales. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise based on itinerary, since we wanted to visit several islands. I had read rave reviews of the food, but that’s so subjective I didn’t have real expectations. The food was very inconsistent; great in day and not ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on itinerary, since we wanted to visit several islands. I had read rave reviews of the food, but that’s so subjective I didn’t have real expectations. The food was very inconsistent; great in day and not so great the next. The fish was awful - other than the tuna, I found bones in EVERY fish dish I ordered. We ignored the entertainment, as it just wasn’t for us. The staff are for the most part their bright spot - they learn your name immediately and make you feel very at home. I wish they didn’t try to sell you so many extras - one day we had 5 different staff members try to get us to sign up for a wine tasting within 30 minutes!!! Clearly there is a commission/bonus involved. Our butler was overworked and it showed - I think he had at least 10 staterooms he was attending to, if not far more. Our stewardess was an absolute gem!!! The cruise director, some guy named Shawn, needs improvement! Tendering was a mess - I’ll leave the details out but it was super disorganized. We were constantly late to port. I guess when they say “in port at 0800” they mean entering the harbor then. So when you see the times in port when booking your cruise, subtract at least 2 hours. Spa services were inconsistent, with one masseuse good and another terrible. We enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people, as the smaller size of the ship facilitates meeting and interacting with other guests. In a nutshell, Oceania isn’t for us. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Embarkation and disembarkation was relatively smooth. Don’t expect much hospitality. Employees are not excited about their jobs so don’t expect many smiles either. We spent much extra to stay in a (PHS) Penthouse Suite and was ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation was relatively smooth. Don’t expect much hospitality. Employees are not excited about their jobs so don’t expect many smiles either. We spent much extra to stay in a (PHS) Penthouse Suite and was advertised our own personal Butler, (which was shared by many other suites so personalized is the farthest from the truth.) He is given too many rooms to service. We also understood we would have preferred tendering, (which we were first to get tickets, but told we would be last. Yep, last to tender.) We almosted missed our excursion. Does the ship care? Nope! If you book through them then you are first to tender. *Know b4 you go! Next the food. Why does everyone rave about the food? Ugg! My wife got sick on the fish. It was not cooked though enough. The Caesar salad is soaked in dressing every time! It was gross! Our friends lobster was over cooked. The buffet breakfast is pretty good but basic. We ordered room service breakfast. The scrambled eggs were runny, boiled eggs inconsistent. The fruit was mushy & over ripe most of the time. If you wear a hat to dinner, be prepared to be kicked out!! We were late for almost every port with little time anyway. Then paying extra to be in a PHS and having to be last to tender. What a slap in the face. Bottom line: a PHS gives you nothing extra really! The laundry service is terrible it took four days to get 20 items back! Four tiny washer & dryers for the whole boat so get ready to stand in line!! Now Entertainment: (———.) that describes it. VERY limited, basically nothing. The butler &/or staff is always pressuring you to buy something like an excursion or wine tasting or martini tasting (they must be getting a commission!) It just sucks!!! The rooms are small and closets are too. We have sailed other cruise lines and not had such a terrible experience. Oceania is not for me. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I had been researching around the world cruises for the last four years, in preparation for giving myself one as a retirement gift. After comparing many, I selected this one for its outstanding itinerary, which no other ship came even ... Read More
I had been researching around the world cruises for the last four years, in preparation for giving myself one as a retirement gift. After comparing many, I selected this one for its outstanding itinerary, which no other ship came even close to. The ship was just refurbished weeks before we embarked, and was like new. The crew was excellent, with superb service. The entertainment was very good, considering the smaller size of this ship. Both Cruise Director's, first half, Leslie, second half Ray, were wonderful, each in his own way. As were the ship's entertainment staff. The enrichment lecturer's were wonderful. The guest entertainer's were mostly very good. I really love the layout and public room's on this ship. It is the perfect size for a port-intensive world cruise, and can get into many ports that the larger ships can not. Yet it is large enough to handle the weather really well, although we had for the most part, excellent weather. I am not a 'foodie', so the fancy menu's were 'wasted' on me...I am satisfied with plain 'meat and potatoes'. Which I certainly did enjoy in all of the food venues. The special events held for the ATW guests were very well received, but I don't feel like those on segments were neglected, at all. My friends I made from the 'solo' group welcomed all to our nightly dinner's, and we made good friends with many doing just segments. The ship held Captain's cocktail parties, and Oceania Club parites, for ALL passenger's on each and every segment. We also mixed well with segment passenger's who attended all of the "Big O Points" games and triviia ....half my team was made from segment passenger's. We also had a Cruise Critic M&G party, on the first sea day of each segment for all the newbies joining the cruise. There was some poor behavior at the needlepoint kit distribution by some, but the staff quickly changed procedures to solve that problem. The crew was simply amazing...friendly, competent, and seemed to know everyone by name. This cruise was life-changing for me in more ways than one.... First, Dr. Boris, and his 2 nurses literally saved my life when I suffered a heart attack on board, and saw to it that I received immediate care in a Bordeaux hospital. I recovered enough a couple of weeks later, that I was able to reboard the ship in Halifax, and complete the voyage to Miami. But the best part, was meeting the love of my life, Betsy on the second day on board, and in front of about 250 of my shipmates, marrying her right on board, with two days to go to the end. It just doesn't get any better than that....:) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Embarkation was great & smooth (vs. disembarkation which was a rotten experience; later). Rio de Janeiro was interesting to see with beaches, Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf. The city is a typical Latin city that is overcrowded ... Read More
Embarkation was great & smooth (vs. disembarkation which was a rotten experience; later). Rio de Janeiro was interesting to see with beaches, Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf. The city is a typical Latin city that is overcrowded and dirty. Spent a lot of time in traffic. Food however was excellent; fast, tasty & uniquely served. The next port was a non+, pretty much a repeat of Rio without the great attraction. Two cities in Uruguay were like the Riviera, clean very safe. Buenos Aires was more of Rio. Walk with the penguins was good but a long drive from port & a lot more walking to the ocean. Great welcome center but the bathrooms at the park were HORRIBLE; 3 of 5 toilets were broken, stalls had no paper and toilets were barely usable with no flush water (TP was on ONE roll outside the stalls). For the money that goes into that park, they need to do a better job! Rode a great train in Ushuaia, a new, replica of a 0*1*1*0 Garratt. The first port in Chile was a nice walk in the Antarctic rain forest, along a river to a great water fall, + a wine tasting at the end. Disembarked in Chile at San Antonio and traveled to Santiago. We had to CLEAR the ship by 0900. There was one gang-way for entrance of new crew and departing passenger. There was no order and no one controlling exiting passenger; it was a group, screwed-up mess (Viet Nam vets have an expression that I cannot use here - like cluster...). Groups were called before there was room to accommodate them for disembarkation. Long walk to buses (& I mean long). We took a shore excursion since our flight did not leave until 950 PM. Drive into Santiago was nice, stopped for snack on the way a cute little restaurant. In the city, typical traffic & inability to stop to & see points of interest. One local craft market that was overpriced and then a fancy mall for lunch (on our own). We at seafood of Abalone, potato salad and greens; delicious! Then on to the airport. WE STOOD for two hours before we could even check in, THOUSANDS of disembarked ship's passengers. This was INEXCUSABLE! I will never depart from Santiago, Chile again!!! Worse than De Gaul in Paris. Overall life on ship was great, great staff, great food & VERY comfortable accommodations. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
There are now so many awful cruise reviews that despite not usually writing a review I am forced to do so to redress the balance Having read the reviews of Marina over time I believe that some people only go on a cruise so that they can ... Read More
There are now so many awful cruise reviews that despite not usually writing a review I am forced to do so to redress the balance Having read the reviews of Marina over time I believe that some people only go on a cruise so that they can complain about it afterwards whereas my only complaint for the trip as a whole is that it would have been much better had a number of ignorant, rude and objectionable passengers stayed at home. This is how I found the cruise. Ship We found the ship to be in excellent condition, well ran and well maintained. All of the staff we encountered went out of their way to be helpful and ensure that we were having a good time. We were in a Concierge Cabin on deck 9 Mid Ship and did not suffer from Vibration, excessive noise or too much rock and roll although at the front of the ship it was noticeably more so. Concierge lounge was good for early morning coffee and cake. There were a small number of children on board however this was not a cruise suitable for them. Cabins. Clean, comfortable and spaceous with sufficient storage and size of bathroom to satisfy most people. Despite the huge range of termperatures on this cruise it was neither too hot or too cold was always keep very tidy by the room attendant and suffered from no external noise problems. The bed was particularly comfortable and the choice of amenities of a good standard. Ideally, it could have had coffee making facilities but my only real complaint was the fact that during rough weather the closet rattled so much I had to wedge it closed. Restaurants We eat at all of the restaurants and found the food to be of a very good quality throughout. Service was equally good and there was a real desire by the staff to please the passengers on board. Alcoholic drinks were sometimes a little slow arriving however this was more to do with how this is organised with the Sommeliers being responsible for wine and therefore being fewer in number than the general waiting staff I had booked one visit to each of the speciality restaurants beforehand and was able to obtain additional bookings on board, 2 more at each, without problem. Our favourite was Red Ginger because of the exemplary levels of service as well as excellent food. Of note also is the Waves Grill which served excellent Sandwiches at lunchtime. Bars Most days we frequented the pool bar and in the evening Martinis. The service in the pool bar was great and staff again excellent. Martinis had an amazing Pianist called Andre Mieux who was by far the best entertainer on board the ship and the cocktails particularly the Big O, very good. We purchased the Prestige Select drinks package for the cruise and found that it was for us value for money particularly when a 25% surchange was applied to all drinks whilst in Brazilian waters on top of the 18% gratuity normally added to each drink Entertainment Proved to be a bit of a mixed bag with some which we liked other no so good Most people found that the shows are not the same on a small ship as in the West End or Vagas so will always generate comment. Personally I would have liked to have seen a little more local culture rather than acts such as An Evening with Allen. Enrichment Lectures I fell asleep at the only one I attended Shore Excursions Generally handled well by the staff on board with the booked tours getting off the ship first. Generally, they are expensive and most people we met preferred to take the chance and book their own. We did a mix of both however careful research is needed for a private tour and this takes time. Getting on and off. Mostly hassle free on embarkation less so on disembarkation due to the onward travel arrangements and large number of people. Overall this was an excellent cruise which was good value for money and I will definitely book another in future. Read Less
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