3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Our first Oceania Cruise was on the Marina and we were so “wowed” we booked the Sirena to sail 5 months later. We did not come back from this one overwhelmed with a sense to book the next one ASAP. First, the things that were a ... Read More
Our first Oceania Cruise was on the Marina and we were so “wowed” we booked the Sirena to sail 5 months later. We did not come back from this one overwhelmed with a sense to book the next one ASAP. First, the things that were a little less than fantastic The spa deck was very small and hard to find a seat on some days. So, the concierge upgrade was not really worth the money. The bathrooms were very tiny and, we knew going in it was a smaller ship but, if you are on the toilet with the door closed it was sideways sitting. The room stewards were not as intuitive as to what we needed. For example- on day one we had champagne in a bucket that we didn’t drink on boarding as in it was more fun after sail away. When we came back to the room to drink- the bucket was gone and the champagne on the counter. We had to call to get the bucket back. The buffet restaurant was not quick with water, tea or coffee. Most breakfasts we had to flag someone down to get us more. There was link flexibility in changing restaurant dinner times even with empty tables. The good- heck it is still a fantastic line! The food is fantastic and who doesn’t like grilled lobsters. Honestly, the best food you can have at sea. The main dining room and speciality restaurants had great service. The ship is very clean. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My room was in bad need of repairs, which should have been done, before I stepped aboard. I had to spend the first 3 days, asking for repairs. This was a concierge room. The lunch was only open until 2pm, and if you left to go ashore ... Read More
My room was in bad need of repairs, which should have been done, before I stepped aboard. I had to spend the first 3 days, asking for repairs. This was a concierge room. The lunch was only open until 2pm, and if you left to go ashore , you returned to only a grill by the pool. Food should be supplied to everyone especially lunch on a fancy cruise. the ice cream closed at 4pm for the day. Who doesn't want ice cream at night. The shows were mediocre at best. Not professional , like on a big cruise. The food was just ok. the excursions were not planned well, and we barely got water upon returning from each excursion. The customer service desk, was not very helpful, and the excursion desk was always closed, so you couldn't ask questions. This was not worth the money, and I paid a fortune. I asked for a partial refund and was denied. I can go on and on with many other issues on this boat. It was not well prepared for guests, and not customer friendly. I did like the spa, although the changing room was not kept up , and was always flooded and dirty. Nothing to ever do at night. No disco, no nothing. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We were looking for the cruise of a lifetime, in the best cabin. It was our first cruise with Oceania, but our 7th overall. There was a lovely mix of nationalities, mostly American and Canadians, then Brits like us, Aussies and others. ... Read More
We were looking for the cruise of a lifetime, in the best cabin. It was our first cruise with Oceania, but our 7th overall. There was a lovely mix of nationalities, mostly American and Canadians, then Brits like us, Aussies and others. English was the majority main language. We are in our 50s and found we were amongst the youngest onboard. The median age was around 70. Our fellow cruisers were sophisticated, gentle, friendly, polite people who were well travelled. There were absolutely no children on board We treated ourselves to an Owners Suite ....wow! It was stunning, beautifully equipped, with lovely welcome gifts, like champagne, a set of Bulgari toiletries, a tote bag and a beach bag with fluffy towels to take home. Our butler, Abhi, had been well trained and was friendly and professional, arranging anything we needed, even before we knew we needed it. He made us feel so special and so spoilt. Meals were served in suite from any restaurant on board, so we often ate in. There is a bar setup for some suites, so we had a choice of spirits or wine, which was great. We used the suite far more than we would normally because it felt so lovely .....it was like a Manhattan apartment. We thought the standard of food was generally very high.The main dining room was very good, buffet had plenty of choice and was good, Waves grill was OK, Tuscan was variable and Red Ginger was excellent with great food and service. Special mention must go to the Maitre D’ in Red Ginger, Hula from Cape Town who was outstanding. Baristas coffee bar was our first port of call each morning...a lifesaver The small ship was much more intimate than larger ones which meant no queues for getting on and off the ship. We also liked the country club casual dress code and found that people generally dressed up for the evenings. The captain and crew were often seen around and were very friendly. The Captain’s cocktail party was a lovely evening and it was nice to see staff being rewarded for long service. We also enjoyed the farewell from the crew, where we were able to clap them onstage and they, in turn, clapped us out of the lounge. We didn’t really do the shows so can’t comment, neither did we use the bars or enrichment activities. The library was amazing - leave your books at home, there are plenty to suit all tastes. The spa was expensive but I did get a good manicure and my husband had a relaxing massage. We did 6 shore excursions, having bought a discounted package. I disagree with previous poor comments, as we had nothing but good experiences. The tours were professional, with a fair standard of English and buses far exceeded our expectations. Our cruise was from Buenos Aires to Lima, taking 3 weeks. It was amazing, despite a couple of days of bad weather, which is so much more obvious on a small ship. Thank goodness for seasickness patches! There were quite a few sea days, but that is the nature of the distances covered On the negative side, I burnt my hand due to ill fitting lids on takeaway coffee cups and found I was not alone. I cursed myself for having left our reusable cups in the cabin that day! Please get lids that fit or give guests reusable cups, which would be a greener option. Also the vibrations at the back of the ship were terrible and the cabin shook and rattled when going at speed. We did get used to it, but it would put me off spending that kind of money again on that suite. We would absolutely travel on Oceania again and we loved this trip. My husband commented that if he were a billionaire he would employ our butler Abhi in a heartbeat. We can dream...... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Three couples from their 60-80s wanted to see Cuba in luxury . This cruise overnights in Havana ( could have used another day) and had two more interesting ports. We had been on the Sirena when it was owned by Princess. We took the same ... Read More
Three couples from their 60-80s wanted to see Cuba in luxury . This cruise overnights in Havana ( could have used another day) and had two more interesting ports. We had been on the Sirena when it was owned by Princess. We took the same cabin ( now called penthouse suite) on Princess in Tahiti it was called a mini suite. It is a large lovely room with a renovated bathroom. The other two couples took A1 thinking their cabins would be like the new Marina. They spent the whole cruise complaining about the tiny shower with a flapping curtain. My cabin had a terrific walk in glass enclosed shower with great storage and wonderful bed and bedding. Towels are fluffy. Bring an electric surge protector as there are limited outlets. Balcony is skinny and the two wicker chairs have no footrests . I stuck my feet thru the railings. The food is very good, especially the two specialty restaurants Tuscan Grill and Red Ginger. The miso sea bass melts in your mouth. The main dinning room has service shortages. They are running around like chickens without heads. The buffet is ok and Waves makes a great burger at lunch. Ice cream is everywhere. Entertainment is poor. The Sinatra show the best. The young singers try hard but except for a funny ventriloquist it is pretty bad. The cruise director runs a great cut throat trivia that we found fun. The real problem are the excursions. Oceania messes up royally. We spent hours picking our tours and booked the passport collection. Very pricey as you cannot legally go off on your own. The ship gets the $75 visa for you. There are two US government officials on board watching. Some people did it anyway and took their chances. Tours were canceled the day before. Some were flipped from morning to afternoon then the morning tour came back late and you couldn’t go. No time to take a ride in the cars unless you book it as a $450 excursion. No reimbursement or apology. Told it was Cuba’s fault but I paid my money to Oceania! The best was the Tropicana nightclub . And you can take phone photos no charge. Spectacular!! The young tour guides spoke English well and just want the Embargo over. The country is very poor. Beautiful colonial buildings so shabby . The classic cars fabulous to see. A very interesting trip. Great hot room service breakfasts on port days. I would definitely go back. And a cruise makes it a comfortable way to see it. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This was our first time on Oceania. We've done a bunch of Caribbean cruises over the years, and kinda got burnt out on it, but the lure of Cuba made this cruise of interest to me. I know Oceania makes a big deal about their food, ... Read More
This was our first time on Oceania. We've done a bunch of Caribbean cruises over the years, and kinda got burnt out on it, but the lure of Cuba made this cruise of interest to me. I know Oceania makes a big deal about their food, and for the most part I would say that they delivered. The dinners that we had in specialty restaurants Red Ginger, and Tuscan Steak were outstanding (5 star). The Grand dining room was excellent too, but just not quite on the same level as the specialty rooms. The only complaint my wife had was about the "lobster bisque" which she ordered both in the Tuscan Steak, and in the main dining room. She said it tasted like fish soup, not lobster bisque. Now I know I'm being a bit picky here, and if this was our only complaint, well then things weren't so bad. The stateroom was adequate, with the bathroom being very small. I was prepared for this though, as I had previously read comments online regarding this. Decor on the ship itself was very elegant, but unfortunately Oceania is intent on mucking this up next year by refurbishing their ships using some sort of boring, modern, monochromatic gray color scheme that came from a Marriott hotel somewhere in Newark, NJ. Too bad that they are going to do away with the elegance of this ship. But for me the best part of the cruise was the 4 o'clock High Tea in Horizons. Just a surreal experience looking out at the ocean while the string quartet was playing, eating finger sandwiches and miniature tarts. Just grand. Would I cruise on Oceania again? You bet I would, but this time probably with a European, or Asian itinerary. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The ship stayed in Cuba for the entire cruise which was great. Absolutely loved Cuba. In Havana the city tour is a must in order to learn about life there. We also did a farm to table ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The ship stayed in Cuba for the entire cruise which was great. Absolutely loved Cuba. In Havana the city tour is a must in order to learn about life there. We also did a farm to table experience which was amazing. As far as the cruise experience we were so excited to take a “luxury”cruise! However, we found ourselves wondering when the luxury was going to start. An upgrade got us a bottle of champagne nothing more (most expensive champagne ever!). Average cruise meals, average cruise wines and to our surprise the “free” drink package was a total joke. It included wine at dinner only which was a shock!! What? The entertainment was average as were the specialty restaurants. Of course we had to pay another $160 to “upgrade”. There was absolutely no difference in that cruise than any other cruise I’ve been on. In fact I think Royal Caribbean is a much better cruise experience and the cost is half of an Oceania cruise. Also, FYI the ship is OLD and needs a refurbishment, and the pool was tiny. To sum it up, loved the destination but did not understand why Oceania claims to be a luxury cruise line. Lesson learned. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We selected Sirena and Oceania because the schedule was good for us and the itinerary just what we wanted. Sirena is a smaller cruise ship than previously booked and we wanted to see if size and quality of ship, as advertised, were ... Read More
We selected Sirena and Oceania because the schedule was good for us and the itinerary just what we wanted. Sirena is a smaller cruise ship than previously booked and we wanted to see if size and quality of ship, as advertised, were true. Sirena did not disappoint on either account. With only some 680 passengers the ship was well proportioned for this capacity and certainly there was never an issue with numbers or access to restaurants or facilities. We booked a Concierge Stateroom which was certainly big enough for us although the ensuite was compact, This is an older ship that doesn’t show its age yet has all the features of a stately ship. The ship was immaculately clean and the internal passageways and staircases were equally fastidiously maintained. Ship’s staff were excellent, attentive and ever-present to meet your every need. Food standards were exceptional! Day to day organisation was discrete-with brief rundown of events/activities broadcast once and then you went and did your thing. Everything was included in the cost except alcohol and shore excursions. There was no hassle Re photos or any other big ship pressures eg art sales etc. Perhaps the only - and often mentioned criticism- was the cost of shore tours. They were very expensive. We did our own research and booked tours independently ourselves. We selected the OLife option when booking to cover off internet and gratuities. All in all a very well presented ship with outstanding staff and exquisite food. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Sirena Cuba Cruise Why this cruise? In a word – Cuba. We had never been there; and were unlikely to make a second visit given our advancing years; so, when Oceania offered this trip we were quick to grab it. This would be our 7th ... Read More
Sirena Cuba Cruise Why this cruise? In a word – Cuba. We had never been there; and were unlikely to make a second visit given our advancing years; so, when Oceania offered this trip we were quick to grab it. This would be our 7th Oceania cruise; and the second on Sirena. It would be for only 7 days with two days in Havana, one in Cienfuegos and one in Santiago de Cuba so it seemed like a good idea- which proved to be true. The ship Sirena is the most recently acquired of four identical former Renaissance ships owned by Oceania. It is small, 684 passengers, but reasonably spacious at 30,277 tons for an above average passenger space ratio of 44. It was completely re-done after Oceania acquired it in 2016, so it has a new appearance. There is a lot of dark wood, and varied furniture looking like the 1940s. There are two elevator banks of 2 elevators each; but they seemed to do the job well. The basic plan is to have entertainment forward and food aft, with the center used for management, shops, the casino, library, pool deck and lounging areas. Decks 6, 7 and 8 are all for staterooms; with about half of Deck 5 and a small portion of Deck 4 for passenger cabins also. Deck 5 forward has the show lounge; Deck 9 the Canyon Ranch Spa, and Deck 10 the Horizon Lounge. The main dining room is on Deck 5, the Terrace Buffet on 9, and Deck 10 has the 2 specialty restaurants, Red Ginger and the Tuscan Steak Grill. All in all, Sirena is a well designed ship; easy to navigate, and very attractive in its appearance. Living Aboard Our stateroom was 8046. The prime motif was dark wood, with light grey textured walls, a large mirror on one wall, and a nice, modern painting above the sofa. The desk arrangement was convenient, and next to it was the decent sized sofa. There were two arm chairs and a small table, probably adequate for room service (which we never use on any cruise). The verandah was good sized with two adjustable cane arm chairs that could be fitted with a padded seat and back cushion. There was a small table and a faux teak deck. The bed had two gooseneck directed focused reading lamps as well as normal wall lamps. These focused lamps made reading in bed very easy. We also enjoyed the full glass wall with the door leading out to the verandah, as it provided nice light all day. The bathroom had a full sized, obviously new shower, with both a rain shower head, a hand held spray head and a towel rack holding huge bath towels in addition to the normal sized bath towels and other towels on racks in the bathroom. There was a single sink, but cabinets and drawers on both sides providing all the room needed for toiletries. The closet was good sized with an easily sufficient number of nice quality clothes hangers provided. As usual on board ship, there was more than enough drawer space for all we brought aboard This was a Penthouse Suite. It is about 304 square feet compared to the somewhat small “normal” Verandah Suite; which we had experienced on other Oceania small ships. We have used the Penthouse Suite on most of our cruises for the ease of use and room. It also offers faster embarkation, free internet, free laundry service and a butler who was very nice, but not used at all. We had enough food without afternoon canapes, thank you. Dining Oceania is a fine dining cruise line. Their larger two ships have 4 specialty restaurants, but the four smaller ones do very well with the 2 noted above. There is no charge for using any of these specialty venues. Overall, with 42 cruises to date on 13 cruise lines; 10 ocean and 3 river cruises; we would rate Oceania’s dining performance as superior to all cruise lines except Crystal cruises; and it is quite close to that line’s marvelous ships. The main dining room is traditional, with excellent service, open dining and a fine selection. Red Ginger is one of our favorite restaurants. Reservations are required, but we were entitled to two, which we took advantage of. We are not steak people (Edith is a vegetarian) so we skipped the Tuscan Steak Grill. The Terrace Buffet has a wide selection and offered some special daily choices by way of Cuban and Italian food. It can get a little crowded for breakfast, but we always found seats. The service is fine. There is a “Barista” café outside the main dining room which offers a free selection of various coffee treats; and a “Waves” sandwich, ice cream and hamburger bar near the pool outside the Terrace Café. Entertainment As a small ship, with limited options, Sirena was constrained in its offerings. There was a small “show” group with 5 singers and 2 dancers, a lady who played the trumpet and a ventriloquist. We only went to one of the “production” nights, and it was okay. The most attractive entertainment offering was Sandy Cares, the Enrichment speaker. We had seen her on an earlier Oceania cruise, and very much enjoyed her well informed and lively presentations on this cruise as well. Oceania is well served by her. There was a very nice string quartet composed of young ladies from the Ukraine, who played every afternoon at tea in the Horizon Room, and several sessions on Deck 5 as well. Unfortunately, these sessions often conflicted with other events as well such as dinner and some special meetings for frequent Oceania passengers. Extending their presentation until later in the evening would be a good idea. The Crew There are 400 crew members on this ship. With a passenger total of 684, the ratio is 1.71 passengers for each crew member. This is a very great ratio, exceeded only by a few of the small, super luxury cruise lines. The ratio on the large ships is more like 2.5 to 3.8. This means that the cabins are promptly and well cared for, the wait staff in all restaurants and the buffet are easily sufficient for fast and friendly service, and the entire operation of the vessel is smooth and pleasant. Embarkation and Debarkation As noted above, our Penthouse status gave us priority in boarding. The Miami cruise terminal set up has a fairly large waiting area. We got there about 10:30, and were among the first on board at 11:00 where, as usual, we had to wait until 1:00 to go to our stateroom. When we checked in we were provided with Cuban visas as promised (for $75.00 each). Of course this allowed us to have lunch in the buffet and to check out some books in the delightful library. Our luggage was at the room when we went there. Debarkation went pretty quickly also, although there is a lot of walking through the terminal involved. We were not required to fill out a customs form and easily got through the customs and border check. In Cuba We sailed away at 5:00 and arrived in Havana at about 8:00 the following morning. We seldom, if ever, use Oceania’s excursions due to their limited nature and very high cost. We had made e-mail contact earlier with a private tour guide, Yuri, whose e-mail is: yuri,arcayaborrego@nauta.cu. Using CruiseCritic we made contact with several people, and some others had made contact with Yuri also, so our group numbered 14. There was much discussion about how to pay for the services. Yuri said that his tour would be both days in Havana, then in Cienfuegos, and then in Santiago. His charges would be 350 cuc (Cuban money) per person for all four tours. Cucs are only available in Cuba. While the “formal” exchange rate is 1 cuc per 1 U.S. dollar, the exchange charges made the actual rate about 0.87 to 1; so 350 cucs would be about $402.00. However Euros had no such exchange premium; so 350 cucs were about 311 Euros. We already had about 280 Euros from prior trips, so we bought 550 more from our bank, and were on our way. We checked in through Cuban customs, showed our visas and were photographed. We then exchanged some Euros for cucs and met Yuri outside the port building. We had noticed on the way in that many port buildings were in very bad shape. This turned out to be true of many places in Cuba. It is a very poor country, with no solid economic base. We all had heard about the pre-Castro American cars preserved by the Cubans, and we saw a number of them, all in very good shape. Of course most of the motor transportation is vis European or Asian vehicles. and I was fortunate to get a new MG taxi with a working ac unit to fight the 87 degree heat. We saw a lot of Havana, including a stop for a very inexpensive lunch, and returned about 4:00 P.M. We were told that next day would be spent mostly walking, so I decided to skip it. Some people on the ship went to a night club show that night. The next day was spent in several museums. Yuri speaks very good English and made his comments enjoyable. The next day was a sea day and we then arrived in Cienfuegos at about 7:00 A.M. This tour was also a walking-museum tour which I skipped again, although it involved about an hours trip to Trinidad. The return to the ship was at about 1:00 since we sailed at 3:00 The final day was spent in Santiago de Cuba. This is a part of the country absolutely dedicated to Fidel Castro. It is where he landed to start his successful revolution, and where he chose to be buried in a rather simple grave. Since this tour also involved walking, Edith again did it alone. What was nice is that Yuri did not charge us for the three days I missed. We paid at the end of each day. As noted, Cuba is a very poor country, without many prospects for the future under its present form of government. Tourism is bringing in some money, but not much with few hotels or resorts, and a limited flow of visitors from the United States. The people are delightful, and very fond of US citizens (and, of course, our money). They make do with limited resources but have talent and energy and a “we will survive” attitude. In Phoenix, where we live we have an excellent Ballet company which has received praise in New York newspapers. 3 of the dancers, including a leading ballerina, learned their art at their home in Cuba. They evidently were allowed to leave, and at least one has returned home between seasons; so it is possible to leave. Concluding Thoughts This was a very worthwhile cruise, even though my limited walking ability severely restricted my ability to see and enjoy the country. There are supposed limits on what Americans can do in Cuba, and the ship uses a couple of the entertainers (who were the only US citizens) to act as OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control, a US agency) officers to keep people informed of the restrictions. However there was virtually no enforcement of these rules. Even the Cuban government, which was everywhere, did not man the entry point in Havana the second day, so anyone on board could simply go ashore and do whatever they wanted to do. We were supposed to go ashore in Santiago de Cuba to surrender our Cuban visas, but if someone did not, there was no follow up. So, if you want to see Cuba in comfort on a beautiful and immensely comfortable ship. Oceania Sirena is the way to go. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Background information: We are veteran cruisers with many years of cruising in different parts of the world on different cruise lines (includes Oceania, Disney, RCI, Celebrity, Princess, Holland America, Cunard). This was our 30th cruise, ... Read More
Background information: We are veteran cruisers with many years of cruising in different parts of the world on different cruise lines (includes Oceania, Disney, RCI, Celebrity, Princess, Holland America, Cunard). This was our 30th cruise, our longest cruise to date, our eighth on Oceania and our first on Sirena. I have done several other cruise reviews on Cruise Critic. This cruise was entitled “Voyage of Discovery” and was 28 days long, with embarkation in Athens, Greece and disembarkation in Miami, Florida. We booked this as a single Grand Voyage and not as two separate back-to-back Cruises. Sirena is one of the four R-ships currently owned by Oceania Cruises (along with 2 larger, newer O-class ships) and it has passenger capacity of 650-700 passengers and an international crew of nearly 400. The R-ships are scheduled for major renovations over the next few years. Oceania is a cruise company under NCL Holdings. Our trip began with flights on Delta Airlines from our home city through JFK to Athens, Greece. We purchased our own air. We also purchased transfers and a three-night Athens hotel package from Oceania. The hotel selected by Oceania was the Grande Bretagne, a beautiful five-star Marriott/SPG property located on Syntagma Square in the heart of the city. We thoroughly enjoyed the service and amenities at this hotel and its wonderful rooftop bar and restaurant with views of the Acropolis and other sites in Athens. Our pre-cruise activities in the city included visits to the Acropolis and Acropolis Museum and to the expansive Christian and Byzantine Museum, and we had a very enjoyable Greek cooking class in a Taverna, which we booked in advance through Trip Advisor/Viator. This was our first time staying in Athens and our second visit to the city. Embarkation: On the way to our ship, we selected an excursion from the Oceania representative at the hotel that included a bus trip to Cape Sounion and the Poseidon Temple, located south of Athens before heading to the port. It took mere minutes to be processed at the Piraeus cruise terminal and we were on-board Sirena having lunch. Our cabin was ready around 1:30 pm and our luggage arrived shortly after that time. Cabin: For this cruise, we selected an A3 category concierge veranda (cabin 7020, located on deck 7 forward on the port side). We are very familiar with this type of cabin, which has a total area of 216 square feet, including the veranda. The room was quiet and cozy, the bathroom is small but manageable, and the bed is heavenly (very, very comfortable). We did use our Veranda quite often on this cruise, with the hot weather. Our stateroom was maintained impeccably by our Room Stewardess and her assistant. The Concierge Veranda level comes with a new and very useful perk of three complimentary laundry services per sailing; since our cruise was composed of back-to-back sailings, we got six of these laundry services (maximum of 20 pieces per service). Public areas: The small size of Sirena limits the public spaces to a few areas - Library (popular with many folks but a complete waste of space in my opinion as I usually bring an electronic book reader), Deck 11 sports area, Pool Deck, Baristas/GDR bar (did not use), the Upper Hall (home of the string quartet concerts), Martini’s bar (strangely, a big favorite for us in the past but we only visited a couple of times on this cruise), a tiny casino, the ample Sirena Lounge (entertainment, lectures, trivia, and meeting place for excursions), and the beautiful and expansive Horizons Lounge on deck 10 forward (the Room with a View). There are two tiny boutique stores on deck 5 and a card room on deck 9. There is also a decent-sized gym/workout facility and the Canyon Ranch Spa area on deck 9 forward. The public areas are nicely decorated but the OceaniaNEXT project will certainly be welcome. Dining: Oceania is renowned for their cuisine and our experience ranged from good to excellent, with a couple of exceptions. We had most of our evening meals in the Terrace Cafe because of its convenience and outdoor seating, and the wide variety of offerings, including salads, pastas, grilled meats, specialty dishes, good side dishes, sushi, charcuterie, fresh breads, and desserts were superb. There were several special lunches or dinners in the Terrace, including Greek, Italian, Spanish, Mexican and Indian cuisine. Our breakfasts were divided between the Terrace Cafe (full breakfasts and cooked to order) and Waves Grill, which offers a continental style buffet. Waves Grill is also a great place for lunch (huge cooked-to-order burgers and sandwiches) and they have a salad bar, plus delicious ice cream and milkshakes. We ate a few times in the Grand Dining Room and enjoyed the selections, but preferred the more casual ambience of the Terrace Cafe and the ability to control portion sizes. The specialty restaurants on Sirena are Red Ginger and Tuscan Steak. We ate at Red Ginger once and Tuscan Steak twice. Red Ginger, specializing in Asian fusion cuisine, is not one of our favorites, but it was good. Unfortunately, my dinner at Tuscan Steak the first time we ate there was nearly ruined by an inedible ribeye steak. The first grey, over-salted, overcooked and tasteless steak I received was whisked away and replaced by another steak almost as bad. Apparently, the filet is a more “sure” thing; being from the western US, I am more of a fan of strip and ribeye cuts, but will not try most steaks again on Oceania. Everything else at that meal was excellent. Needless to say, my second meal at Tuscan Steak concentrated on the pasta selections, which were delicious. Another miss was the horrid lobster bisque in the GDR. Many folks complained about this over-salted and very fishy (in a bad way) soup selection. The service in the dining areas ranged from good to excellent; some minor issues with lack of service (set up, clearing of dishes) at the beginning of the cruise were rectified. Bar offerings, wine selection, and service: We did not buy a beverage package on this cruise. We tried to go to happy hour every evening to help with the costs. The drinks are very expensive, especially wines by the glass, and that cost is exacerbated by an 18% service charge. The wine selections were quite good, however, and we did buy a few bottles that can be stored on-board for more than one meal. Beer selections are somewhat limited (a negative with hubby, who is a craft beer aficionado). Mixed drinks are good to excellent. Service is very good to excellent from the bar staff and sommeliers. Most of our bar service experiences were in Horizons lounge or Waves Grill/Bar. Activities and Entertainment: We do not go on Oceania for their entertainment. The small entertainment staff is young and enthusiastic and the shows are fairly short and limited to one every evening at 9:30 pm, with a few guest performers in some shows. We usually head back to cabin to relax and read after dinner so we did not see most of the productions. The Sirena Show Band on our cruise was excellent and we heard them most often in Horizons before dinner. Other entertainment and activity options included enrichment lectures (did not attend most of them), trivia, bingo, sports activity contests, cooking demonstrations, and some pool deck contests (build a ship, country fair, crew contests). Our CD was Leslie Jon, who is very personable and an excellent announcer. Service: As noted in the other paragraphs, service ranged from very good to excellent and minor concerns were corrected immediately. This cruise also featured the best and most competent Destination Services staff we have dealt with yet on Oceania, a wonderful and helpful Oceania Club Ambassador (yes, we are going again), and very friendly staff at Reception and in Security. Officers are business-like, but approachable. Captain Vitaliy Silvachynsky was very professional and trustworthy. We called him Captain “Early” because he would often leave ports ahead of the departure time if everyone was on board. He also made the right calls on avoiding Hurricane Florence and other tropical storms that were brewing in the Atlantic; our 8-day crossing was very smooth. Ports and excursions: Separate port write-ups are included. This cruise was attractive because of its ports and the transatlantic crossing. We did ship excursions in almost every port and most were good to excellent. Sadly, two premium excursions we booked prior to the cruise that included gourmet experiences were canceled due to lack of participation. Our ports of call included Patmos, Rhodes and Crete in Greece; Limassol, Cyprus; Haifa, Israel (overnight); Valletta, Malta; Messina, Sorrento and Rome (Civitavechhia), Italy; St. Tropez, France; Barcelona, Cartagena, and Malaga, Spain; Funchal, Madeira; and Nassau, Bahamas. A planned overnight in Bermuda was replaced by a day in Nassau due to Hurricane Florence. We did not have any planned activities in Civitavecchia (Rome) as there were limited excursions on this cruise transition day and our choice of excursions was canceled, unfortunately. The top ports we visited were Haifa, Israel (two amazing and unforgettable journeys to Jerusalem on the first day and to Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee on the second); Patmos (beautiful island and fascinating history of St. John); Valleta, Malta (loved this unique and scenic small country); Messina, Sicily (we did a great excursion to Taormina, a lovely town south of Messina, and to a nice winery); Cartagena, Spain (a fantastic excursion to a Spanish horse ranch); and Funchal, Madeira (a gorgeous island with dramatic scenery and a fun city market). We also enjoyed all of the other ports and have good memories from each place we visited. Disembarkation: We disembarked very quickly in Miami and had a private transfer to Fort Lauderdale for our non-stop United flight home. Summary: Our overall experience on Sirena was excellent, with a few minor issues as noted in the details above. Usually, we are ready to go home, but we were reluctant to leave on our last day. We have already booked our next experience, a cruise on Nautica from Venice to Dubai in late 2019! We look forward to the renovated R-ships. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Oceania is a fantastic cruise line, up there with the best. The crew were second to none and the food is of course exemplary. We never had a problem finding sun loungers (despite many shaded sunloungers being reserved every day) and there ... Read More
Oceania is a fantastic cruise line, up there with the best. The crew were second to none and the food is of course exemplary. We never had a problem finding sun loungers (despite many shaded sunloungers being reserved every day) and there were many day beds available at all times too. The show lounge is called the Sirena lounge and it is more akin to a bar/lounge rather than the more typical double height theatre that you get on slightly bigger ships than Sirena. My comments on the cabin are below. We travelled as a family with four daughters and we were made especially welcome, particularly by the entertainment team who appreciated guests who were more similar aged to themselves! The ship was run extremely well and everything went smoothly. From the reception staff, the restaurant waiters to the room attendants, everyone made sure that we never queued for anything and it helped make our holiday superb. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our second cruise on Oceania. We chose it because of the food. While others may have had a different experience, on both of the Oceania cruises we took, the food was superior to Crystal and Silverseas. I have nothing against ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Oceania. We chose it because of the food. While others may have had a different experience, on both of the Oceania cruises we took, the food was superior to Crystal and Silverseas. I have nothing against either of these cruise lines and in some respects, they are superior to Oceania, but not when it comes to food. So, let me start with the food. There is an abundance of lobster, steaks, sushi, lamb chops, shrimp and tuna on Oceania. I found these expensive items lacking on Silverseas and Crystal. Every night you can order these items, in addition to a choice of dinner at a restaurant, buffet (where these items are cooked), and two other specialty restaurants. Similarly, the daily 4 pm High Tea has a selection of sweets and desserts not found on the other two cruise lines that I mentioned. Let me talk about where Oceania could improve. And other guests also felt the same about the following: 1. When we boarded the ship no one greeted us. The staff was very helpful in telling us what venues were available, but no official “ Welcome,” or glass of champagne—this seemed odd for such a high end cruiseline. There was a bottle in the room, however. 2. No choice of pillows. I’m sure this was available on request, but on Silverseas it was part of the registration process. 3. And this is the main (and only real, in my eyes) criticism of Oceania: a lack of activities onboard. Aside from Trivia at 5 pm, and of course the nightly shows, no cooking lessons, computer lessons, etc., during the day. Very disappointing. We found more to do onboard Seabourne. 4. Internet. It was hit or miss. For an extra fee, you can access YouTube and Netflix, but this does not increase the speed of other websites. I paid for high speed internet on Royal Caribbean and it was like being at home. Certainly a luxury cruiseline such as Oceania can offer the same thing, and the guests can easily afford it. 5. Swimming pool on this ship was comically small. Crowded if more than 12 people in the pool—seriously. 6. No real “ sail away “ parties. There was one, but they only cooked two dishes! I remember on Silverseas and Seabourne, the sail away parties were huge. 7. Very small shower—many guests commented on this— and TV. The TV in our room was maybe 20” diagonally . And a lack of movies to watch. I do think that DVD’s were available, however. 8. We never met the “ concierge” that we paid for. We don’t even know why we paid for this service and what we SHOULD have gotten. Another guest had the same experience and was told that many of what they were promised did not apply to this ship. This guest did meet their concierge but was not happy with the service that was provided. I admit that we should have followed up on this with the staff, but the fact that we had to, and that they did not offer the service we paid for was inexcusable and surprising. Bear in mind that Oceania does cater to an older clientele. We did not pay for any excursions this time, so I can’t comment on them. The entertainment did include a magician and comedian in addition to the standard musical productions found on all cruise lines. This was a nice change from other cruises which only featured musical productions. Staff is genuinely friendly and helpful. Very well equipped gym including spinning bikes and a variety of weight lifting machines. I think the ship was refurbished in 2016 and no complaints about the condition of our room, carpets, etc. Hope this review helps you. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Repeat Oceania customer. Spend the money on upscale so that getting left at the airport without transportation to the hotel doesn't happen. Spend the money so that the pre cruise hotel is not convenient, comfortable or helpful. ... Read More
Repeat Oceania customer. Spend the money on upscale so that getting left at the airport without transportation to the hotel doesn't happen. Spend the money so that the pre cruise hotel is not convenient, comfortable or helpful. Spend the money on an upscale cruise so that we are guaranteed a comfortable experience pre cruise without the bed on the floor and 1000's of revelers jamming the hotel, pool and restaurants. Spend the money and call the hotel a month in advance to ensure we had 2 beds. We did not. Spend the money on upscale cruise so that our concierge cabin has working air conditioning-a must when in the ovens of Guatemala, Belize and Cuba. A/C malfunctioned daily and nightly leaving us sweating and uncomfortable. Spent the money so that the cruise line does not lie to you about whether you can get off the ship while NOT on one of their excursions. (Yes you can). Spend the money so that the ship is accurate about the availability of internet in Cuba (yes) using dollars in Cuba (yes, they love dollars) and many other annoying issues. If not for a Chauffeur whose passengers did not show up in Miami, we would have had to cab it at our expense. Calling Oceania (also located in Miami) revealed that they did not give a damn about us being left with no transportation in Miami. The brochure stated there was a concierge desk at the Mondrian South Beach Hotel specifically for Oceania., There was not. I also have had no responses from e mails sent to the corporate officers. I guess being owned by Norwegian makes the adage you can't make a silk purse out of a pigs ear true. The cruise was taken at the wrong time of year when the weather was stifling and the humidity 100%. The ports were OK but quite commercial and uninteresting except for Havana which we toured with a Cuban guide. I don't know what more I can say about this experience except I would not want to repeat it. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Last week I traveled on the Oceania Sirena to Cuba out of Miami. This was my fourth Oceania cruise but the first in about ten years ago. I stopped cruising on Oceania for one simple reason, Destination Services. This is the part of the ... Read More
Last week I traveled on the Oceania Sirena to Cuba out of Miami. This was my fourth Oceania cruise but the first in about ten years ago. I stopped cruising on Oceania for one simple reason, Destination Services. This is the part of the company that handles the excursions for Oceania. Ten years ago Destination Services blatantly lied to me about an excursion and after explaining to them how this excursion was totally misrepresented they still would not refund my money. Now, fast forward ten years, and I find out nothing has changed with Destination Services. First, I purchased for almost $1700 the unlimited excursion package for my wife and I. First mistake! On day one I learn that morning while getting my bus ticket the most important feature of an all day excursion has be eliminated. Then I find out on the bus the second most important feature of this excursion had also been cancelled. In the end we spent 10 hours on a bus and really only spent 15 minutes viewing a pretty valley. Oceania spent this full day wasting 35 peoples time and not giving us the experience we all paid for ($558 per couple). Second mistake! The next day we had a morning and afternoon excursion booked. I find out by accident the day before the afternoon excursion has been cancelled and we can only take one excursion because of scheduling issues. Third mistake! On the 7th day we find out after getting off the ship and tendering to an island ALL excursions had been cancelled because of anticipated storms. What a surprise, the storms didn't arrive until 9 hours later all the excursions could have taken place. Fourth mistake! In the end I was charged $606 for excursion experiences which I not not receive. BUYER BEWARE! If everybody had my same experience you can multiply my loss by over 650 people on the ship and you have a pretty good scam going. From my point of view and many others I talked to on the ship Destination Services lacks credibility and I can not recommend Oceania as a luxury cruise line. They are a wanna be luxury cruise line and because they still nickel and dime on expenses, make you pay separate for premium liquor, excursions and gratuities they will never be in the same class as Crystal, Seabourn, Silver Seas and Regent. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Our mom treated us to this cruise.. We have been on many cruises almost every liner.. This was our favorite out of all of them.. The captain and co captain were the best especially going through the bermuda triangle.. It was ... Read More
Our mom treated us to this cruise.. We have been on many cruises almost every liner.. This was our favorite out of all of them.. The captain and co captain were the best especially going through the bermuda triangle.. It was smooth sailing all the way.. Best crew.. Our butler bento was the best i ever had.. He gave so much of himself to make sure we had what we wanted and plus so much more.. Our housekeeper a blessing.. I have a trendancy to scatter a few things around and she was amazing with what she did with the room.. Loved all the entertainers.. They were beyond talented.. Partied,hung out and danced with them after hours.. They were so much fun.. Each one wiere special in their own way.. They will be remembered for a lifetime.. All the wait staff were amazing in all the dining restaurants.. Great spa facilities.. Very talented staff.. Thank god for the fitness center & running track.. Everyone on this Ship were beyond Friendly, All in all the accommodations were the best.. Big rooms , sheets & comforter made for a cozy night’s sleep.. Everyone on the ship were so accomadating and we felt like celebrities.. I can’t say enough about this ship except how much i loved it.. My Name is Jillian D’Angelo I want them all to remember me as well. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
WE chose this cruise to transit the Panama Canal Sirena Cruise (Oceania Cruises) We wanted to go through the Panama Canal so we got our agent to book a cruise that would do that and that would allow us to join another cruise from ... Read More
WE chose this cruise to transit the Panama Canal Sirena Cruise (Oceania Cruises) We wanted to go through the Panama Canal so we got our agent to book a cruise that would do that and that would allow us to join another cruise from Ushuaia a few days after completing the first Cruise. We arrived in Miami and joined the ship Sirena having booked a vista suite which turned out to be marvellous and spacious with butler service. We then looked forward to Oceania’s widely advertised “finest cuisine at sea”. As the cruise departed Miami we treated ourselves to a G & T from the complimentary bar in our cabin and prepared ourselves for our first dinner of the finest cuisine. The ship had multiple restaurants and we chose to eat in the Grand Dining Room. We arrived for dinner and were seated with great flourish by a maître d’ hotel and asked if we would like a drink to start. Of course thank you. It arrived and we ordered from the extensive menu, and were asked by the waiter if we would like wine, so said yes please. The wine list was extensive and focussed on Europe, USA and South American wines but WITH PRICES listed. And what prices! They would put most local Australian restaurant wine prices to shame and we know how expensive they are. What the hell we thought we are on holiday. So we had dinner with wine, but the whole experience was dulled by the expense of drinks and wine, after having paid a prestigious price for a prestigious suite. No one had told us drinks were not included but not guess as seasoned travellers we should have known! Well breakfast may be a better experience. Breakfast was the usual buffet with a reasonable choice of brekkie fare, but there were no sugar free or sugar reduced items such a yogurt, juice or pastries., may of the choices needed cooking while one waited and waited and …….. The toaster was, as is always the case everywhere, slow as a wet weekend and required several runs through to get nice golden toast. Butter was all unsalted. So the finest cuisine left something to be desired and the meal was very slow while one waited for eggs, toast, pancakes and so on. All the restaurants were catering for rather non-adventurous tastes and the food generally was under spiced and under salted. It is a great shame this was so because the food was good and beautifully presented but lacking in flavours unless it was something simple like a grilled steak or dessert. I do not think that Oceanic has the ‘finest cuisine” afloat, we have been on ships with significantly better food. The shore excursions were all pre-booked and fairly expensive. Our first was in Havana and was a nice walking tour after a short bus ride from the ship to downtown. An interesting tour with an informative guide, but not worth the money it cost. Several other tours were simply a joke. One to some ruins was all day and we spent most of the day in a bus. Waste of money! Going to dinner one night in the Tuscan Steak restaurant my wife slipped on the top deck (painted but not non-slip paint) twice, the second time breaking her humours quite badly. We sat in the restaurant entrance and the maître d’ called some officer and the doctor. The officer was quite brusk and immediately said to my wife that her shoes were why she slipped. He continued to be unsympathetic and hung around like a bad smell even when she was taken to the medical centre. It got to the point where I requested he had nothing more to do with us. The ships doctor took x-rays and confirmed the arm was broken but could offer no treatment other than pain killers and a sling. At our next port we were sent ashore to a small country hospital where locals congregated in the foyer chatting and eating and were seen by the resident who spent ages collecting data on my wife. After several hours an orthopaedic guy turned up and confirmed it was broken and that an operation would be needed to repair the break. At this point we left and went back to the ship. It was not the sort of hospital where we would have an operation, even though it may have been perfectly good. We carried on with the cruise until we got to Panama City and while we were having dinner we were informed we had to go to hospital and a driver was waiting. I grabbed passports and a few other essentials and away we were whisked. Half way to the hospital a call from the ship informed us we had left our luggage and that we had to return to get it. What was I to do, return and pack three suitcases and then go to the hospital again with all our luggage and a wife with a broken arm who could do little? So we continued. Big mistake, but then again we were offered No help by the ship. We had left the ship and our luggage. We fully expected to return and complete the cruise but these hopes were dashed by the ship refusing to accept us back on board. We got my wife repaired and arranged to fly home to Sydney which we did and in so doing missed our second cruise. But that is not the end of the story. On returning home one of the first priorities was to contact the ship for return of our luggage. Discussions via email continued for a month and eventually our suitcases were returned with only clothes minus shoes and underwear, at my cost (over AD$700). So back to the email saga,. I have some 20 emails with the ship and Oceania’s office in Miami. A month or so later another box was returned, again at my cost, but again not all our goods. They had kept everything of value. Back to the emails yet again. Another month and some valuables were forwarded, but again not all of them. Some of my critical medications were not returned. Finally the saga plays out with Oceania refusing to send the last two items because they might create customs problems. I think they had no right to make such a decision on my behalf and their actions are tantamount to theft. I had receipts for the items they refused to send showing they were bought in Australia so …….. In conclusion, Oceanic has nice cabins with great cabin service, very average food but beautifully presented, shore excursions that are not good value for money and slippery decks that are poorly signposted and senior staff who have no sympathy or understanding of their guest’s plight. Their advertising, in my mind, is not borne out in practice. Although I cannot recommend them, but, they have many devoted cruisers who always travel with them. Make up your own mind! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
This was our third cruise with Oceania. We chose it for the warm weather and ports of call. Food and service were excellent. Veranda concierge state room was great. Red Ginger restaurant was our favorite. Shore excursions were ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Oceania. We chose it for the warm weather and ports of call. Food and service were excellent. Veranda concierge state room was great. Red Ginger restaurant was our favorite. Shore excursions were very good We booked a cruise from Seattle to Alaska while on the ship. Only problem was avoiding over eating, particularly the great desserts but the Canyon ranch spa menu in the main dining room helped The variety of food was great with four restaurants and no added charge for the reservation only restaurants. We particularly liked the ice cream, milk shakes and smoothies available at the Waves Grill. The variety at the buffer was amazing. Service in the main dining room was very attentive. The barista had excellent drinks and snacks The library had an excellent selection of books and was a great place to sit and relax. The outdoor searing area in front of the spa was very scenic Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We wanted to see Cuba, the Panama Canal and Machu Picchu and this cruise had all three. It was the first time we traveled with dietary restrictions (my wife was diagnosed as Celiac). Overall the ship did a good job of providing gluten ... Read More
We wanted to see Cuba, the Panama Canal and Machu Picchu and this cruise had all three. It was the first time we traveled with dietary restrictions (my wife was diagnosed as Celiac). Overall the ship did a good job of providing gluten free food options, but it could have been better. Every single meal we had to ask the chef to point out what she could eat instead of simply putting a "GF" label on the cards describing each dish. She only was contaminated once when given inaccurate information. For the most part the servers and food preparers at the stations need additional training in preparing gluten free meals. They could also do a better job of having gluten free choices rather an a cookie at the tea or one dessert (if you were lucky) Tired of hearing fruit plate, salad and dry chicken. Now on to excursions. Oceana is gouging it's passengers with expensive, and just average tours. Don't get me wrong, some of them were great, but an equal number were under performers. We recommend you do your own research and book off the ship for half the price. We went from 90% cruise excursions to half this time and will go lower down the road. Best excursion - Machu Picchu. Drinks prices in an age where your completion offers free drinks is another gouge. (Bring some on board - they allow it) Best meal on board - red ginger. Worst meal on board - the dining room (got servered raw lobster one time and never went back) Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Cruise: San Diego to Rio de Janeiro on Oceania's Sirena - December 16, 2017 to January 20, 2018. Cabin - Concierge Balcony Category A1 This was our (my wife and I) 19th cruise and first one with Oceania. We chose this cruise ... Read More
Cruise: San Diego to Rio de Janeiro on Oceania's Sirena - December 16, 2017 to January 20, 2018. Cabin - Concierge Balcony Category A1 This was our (my wife and I) 19th cruise and first one with Oceania. We chose this cruise because we liked the itinerary and also because we had sailed on the R1 with Renaissance, around the turn of the century, and had fond memories of that sister ship. We are going to get rid of the sour taste in our mouth, up front, before we go on! LINGERING SOUR TASTE: The one area we were extremely disappointed with was the Destination Services area (Shore Excursions and Port Services). The excursion costs were exorbitant, excursion contents were way below par, some tour guides were high school students, some tour guides could speak very little English, the department staff had none or very little port information/assistance to offer and were totally unresponsive and tactless, almost to the point of being rude (including Gustavo Brasil, the manager ~ I have no Supervisor on the ship. Fill this form and complain to Miami office ~ who was almost never to be seen except when he came for his dinner). Waste of BIG money and waste of valuable opportunities on Oceania’s shore excursions! Ah, that feels better! On to the rest of our experience!! DEMOGRAPHICS: Most of the guests appeared to be between 65 to 85 years of age (few younger, some older). While there were people from several parts of Europe, Australasia and some other places, most of the people were from the US, UK and Canada. SHIP: In spite of its age, Sirena is a very beautiful, well appointed and generally well maintained ship (brass railings on the stairs need to be polished, though). However, the ship appeared to be under-powered for the itinerary and we found ourselves racing at maximum rated speeds many a times (sometimes even slightly above the maximum rated speed), presumably to catch up on time. The ship rocked way too much (the pitch - front to back, more often than roll - side to side), just about everyday. The Tender Service was very good. The SIrena, Regatta, Insignia and Nautica (the smaller 4 Oceania ships) do not offer as many benefits/amenities at the Concierge Balcony A1 level as Oceania's larger ships. The Cabins were small but well maintained and furnished tastefully with reasonable amount of storage space. The public places were very nicely decorated and well maintained. The Library - collection, furniture, decor and maintenance - was excellent. SERVICE: The Embarkation and Disembarkation were quite smooth with a minimal wait. The cabin was ready a bit ahead of time. The bags were handled carefully and delivered promptly. The Officers were quite visible, friendly and easily approachable. The staff was very friendly and generally very eager to please guests in almost all areas - Special Mention must be made of Housekeeping, Laundry Service, Entertainment and Restaurants' staff. Sirena held a mid-voyage survey about guest experience and they actually read the filled forms and followed through with responses/corrections right away - Impressive! The exception to the foregoing being the Destinations Services (Shore Excursions and Port Services) Department. FOOD: This is a mixed bag with quality of dishes, variety in menus, and service being inconsistent from restaurant to restaurant. (a) There are 2 Specialty Restaurants (Red Ginger - Oriental, Tuscan Steak - Italian Steak House) and there is no extra cover charge for either. Each offers its own exact same menu every day, from day to day. The food and ambiance in both is mediocre with Tuscan Steak being a bit better than Red Ginger. The locations of the two restaurants is poor - Deck 10 Aft. Both are generally not crowded and service in both restaurants is good. (b) The Grand Dining Room (main restaurant) is spacious, has excellent decor and the food quality is good with a different menu every day but the service was extremely slow. If you didn't mind spending 2+ hours at a dinner table then this is your place. This restaurant also served Lunch as Jacques Bistro. (c) Terrace Cafe is a semi-casual buffet. This is a popular place and seating is tight, at times, for the demand. It has a large variety on the menu from day to day with lobster tails, steaks and shrimp (all cooked to order before you) every day. The service and food quality are both excellent. (d) Waves Grill is a pool side grill (under shade) and has a salad and dessert bar and cooked to order (limited) entrees. The food and service is good and this a good place for a quick lunch. (e) Room Service is at no extra charge and in addition to the three meals it is available for snacks in between meal hours. The menu is, of course, limited but the food is good. The quality of delivery service is somewhat sub-par with orders not being filled right or at times delayed (luke warm). The mini-bar in the cabin is stocked daily with soft drinks of your choice at no extra cost (charge for alcoholic drinks/snacks). (f) There are some nice special features like the Four O'Clock Tea in the Horizons Bar, two Cocktail Parties (more for repeat guests), Cake Decorating and Ginger Bread House Decorating Contests, Food Demos and Themed Dinners which sometimes include local fare. PORT INFORMATION & ENRICHMENT LECTURES: This is one of two areas that was sub-par (the other being Shore Excursions). In this case it was either because of bad/boring information or bad presenters. ENTERTAINMENT: The Serena has a small but a very talented and energetic entertainment staff headed by an excellent Cruise Director, Dotty. They have great personalities, work well together and also double up for a variety of other on-board activities. Special mention must be made of Frank, Gabriela, Hunter and Shandy, the vocalists. The orchestra does a good job! The String Quartet is excellent! The talent, quality and style of outside contracted artists/entertainers varied and could use improvement. Special mention must be made of the excellent Bridge Instructors/Tournament Directors team of Dave and Dianne who did an outstanding job! On-board Entertainment is Sirena's untold secret. SHORE EXCURSIONS: We should have done our research about Oceania's Destination Services (Shore Excursion and Port Services) prior to booking. As indicated above, this is a major shortcoming of Oceania and apparently quite well known, but we were not aware of that. This is a major Black-Mark on the image of an otherwise good ship/cruise line. Enough said about this area! THE BOTTOM LINE(S): On the whole, it was a good cruise but definitely over-priced for the value. Sirena is a beautiful, well maintained ship. But it was under-powered for this itinerary and therefore mis-matched for this cruise. It has an excellent entertainment staff and very good shows for a small ship. The food and restaurants are significantly over-rated. The cost of Shore Excursions was exorbitant and the content was terrible – they were the worst we have experienced in our 19 cruises. It has excellent officers and staff who provided excellent service (except Destinations Services/Shore Excursions staff). If you like a quiet ambiance and good service, can handle the daily rocking of the ship, you want lobster tails, shrimp and steak for every lunch/dinner, you get port information on your own and arrange port visits/excursions through your own vendors, or stay on board during port stops and and read a book in the wonderful library, or buy your favorite drink in a short/tall glass and lay by the pool, enjoy the sunshine and get a good tan, and, yes, you don't mind the cost of all this, then this is definitely your cruise and you will love it! Now we know what Oceania is all about and hope our above experience is useful to you! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We just returned from a 35 day cruise on Oceania's newest ship - Sirena. This is actually one of the old "R" ships which Oceania has 3 of already. Sirena is now the 4th "R" ship. When Oceania took over this ship ... Read More
We just returned from a 35 day cruise on Oceania's newest ship - Sirena. This is actually one of the old "R" ships which Oceania has 3 of already. Sirena is now the 4th "R" ship. When Oceania took over this ship from Princess, it was in deplorable shape and underwent a massive renovation. Horizons was redone completely opening up the room making it more functional. Princess had added men's and woman's bathrooms which is necessary as the old "R" ships don't have a bathroom on the 10th floor and one has to walk down one flight. The room now is much nicer. I hope they will add bathrooms to the other smaller "R" ships. The Penthouse cabins have been redone. The bathroom which had a small shower and tub, has been upgraded. They took out the tub and shower and made a much larger shower, which is great. We unfortunately were in one of the veranda cabins which doesn't appear to have been updated. But we visited a penthouse and the occupants really enjoyed the changes. Restaurants: The "R" ships have 2 nice restaurants aft on 10 and one Main Dining room on deck 5. Then there is the Terrace café on deck 9 which is a self serve lunch and dinner facility. The change that Oceania made was in the 2 restaurants on deck 10. Oceania's other "R" ships have the Polo Grill and Toscana on 10. Oceania turned these 2 restaurants into one for one of the restaurants on deck10 combining both menus. So we still get our lobster, and steaks, plus some of the great Italian dishes Oceania is famous for. This restaurant is called The Tuscan Grill. To be noted is that not all of the menu items that were in Polo and Toscana are offered. The trade off is the other restaurant on 10 was turned into Oceania's famous "Red Ginger" (which is only on their larger ships) and is absolutely beautiful. RG doesn't exit on the other R ships that Oceania owns. I really like this change because I enjoy RG. Then Oceania added Jacques for lunch in the MDR. This has been fabulous! Of course, now we're fighting the extra pounds we gained with all this wonderful food. The other services on Sirena are the same as all of Oceania's ships' services. The officers and staff are always wonderful. Ports of Call: It's important to research this before you book a cruise. If you enjoy luxury ports where the towns visited are clean and beautiful, don't book a cruise that goes to the Amazon. But if you want to learn about the primitive life along the Amazon and the history of this part of the world, then you will enjoy this cruise. Oceania always comes up with different and interesting ports to visit. Entertainment: I usually enjoy the shows that are put on by the hired entertainers but this cruise we only had 5 such shows for 35 days. The CD, Dottie who is fabulous, asked the 2 top entertainers to come up with a show on their own. This was the best show they played. The other entertainment is usually one person playing an instrument. While these people are usually good, it makes for a boring show in my opinion. I think for longer cruises, some of the main production shows should be repeated. Since they are always held at 9:30 sometimes people are not finished dinner yet, or are too tired to attend. This would give options. This cruise took place over the holidays, and it was the first time we've ever been away for the holidays. The ship was beautifully decorated and we enjoyed the festivities that Oceania created. We were also given a nice gift from Oceania. In close, I understand that Oceania put a lot of money into renovations of Sirena, but it seems to be a work in progress with a lot to still be done. I enjoyed the different feel of Sirena. I also enjoy cruising on their larger ships. Sirena adds a variety to the fleet with the changes Oceania has made. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary and we wanted to experience a smaller ship. We are glad we did the cruise, however, smaller ships are “not our cup of tea.” We did not think there was much to do and will stick to ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary and we wanted to experience a smaller ship. We are glad we did the cruise, however, smaller ships are “not our cup of tea.” We did not think there was much to do and will stick to Oceania and Regent’s larger ships. Here are out thoughts and opinions: Air Arrangements – GRADE F. We have never had such poor air arrangements. Oceania did not even book partner airlines for domestic and international travel. This meant 1) we could only check one bag each (we planned on checking our carry on too), 2) could only get boarding passes for domestic portion of air arrangements, 3) we had to take a bus from one part of terminal to another, 4) leave security and take a train from one terminal to another, 5) get new boarding passes for international flight and check two more bags, 6) our seats were next to bathrooms so paid extra to move forward away from bathrooms. On the way home, Oceania booked us a 10:30 p.m. flight even though we had to leave the ship at 9:00 a.m. They offered no tours with drop off at airport as most cruise lines we have taken do. On board ship they offered no help for the return flight home and suggested we book a hotel room for the day! Cabin – grade A. We were in a penthouse and the room was well appointed and quiet. However, the bathroom might be the smallest we have ever had. Food – GRADE B+ to A-. Steaks, fish and sometimes lobster tended to be under-cooked for our taste. Buffet food was not as good as the Mariner or Riviera, but better than other cruise lines. Offering lobster and steaks each evening in the buffet was very enjoyable. The main dining room offered good food, good service and for the most part a notch above other cruise lines. There are two specialty restaurants and both were excellent with friendly and helpful hosts. Staff- GRADE A. All staff and crew members were very friendly. This is a definite plus for the ship and Oceania. Oceania Shore Excursions – GRADE B. While the guides for the most part were good, there tended to be an over emphasis on taking people to shop for jewelry, glass, and other types of shops. While we did appreciate stops at local markets, many places had booths/stalls each selling basically the same thing. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We are seasoned luxury cruisers, based in Switzerland, and booked SIRENA because of the itiniary from Buenos Aires to Lima on the 11th of November 2017. Comparisions are with a view to other luxury ships, specifically to SEABOURN. The ... Read More
We are seasoned luxury cruisers, based in Switzerland, and booked SIRENA because of the itiniary from Buenos Aires to Lima on the 11th of November 2017. Comparisions are with a view to other luxury ships, specifically to SEABOURN. The much advertised food on SIRENA is a fact in the dining room and speciality restaurants, somewhat less so on the buffet, but still good. The meals are well selected and offer a good choice every day. It is somewhat difficult to get a reservation at the two speciality restaurant though, because unless one has booked before the cruise even starts, it becomes very hard. The ship itself is like an elegant older lady, which means that staterooms are somewhat smaller than usual, but are always well cleaned. The public areas are certainly nice in the "grand old style", but don't expect modern or the "glass look" seen on many newer ships. The passengers are older, about 50+ to about 75, which could also be due to the 21-day trip outside a holiday period. The major downside are the excursions. Nearly all are vastly overpriced, especially compared to SEABOURN, and totally unflexible. For instance our friends booked on a "standby" tour, which looked unlike it would go, so they booked another tour as back-up. The ship forced payment on the stand-by, although itslef it had the option to cancel for any reason. We booked all private tours of either 2 or 6 pax and prices were always less than half of the ships tours with far superior quality. Satisfaction is absolutely NOT guaranteed and OCEANIA will always refuse to adjust. This is in stark contrast to SEABOURN, where 5 pax out of 15 of our bus tour, was unhappy with the ship tour in Malta, and the ship refunded 100% of the tour, even for passengers like us, who did not complain. Nothing like such a servive will ever happen on OCEANIA. We recommend taking the shipboard credit and not the "free excursions" because the interesting ones all come with a surcharge that is typically more than a private tour, Entertainment is good for a ship of that size, and the staff everywhere are very friendly and competent. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
My wife and I had a great time on our cruise to Rio de Janeiro from Miami. Our first time on an Oceania ship, we loved the food, the service and the refined atmosphere. Unexpected pluses were the string quartet, the quality of ... Read More
My wife and I had a great time on our cruise to Rio de Janeiro from Miami. Our first time on an Oceania ship, we loved the food, the service and the refined atmosphere. Unexpected pluses were the string quartet, the quality of entertainment for a small ship, the the quality of the band on board, especially the bandleader and saxophonist, and the nightly opportunities for dancing.While the dinners in the dining room were uniformly very good to excellent, the surprise to us was the quality at the dinner buffet. Steaks, chops, chicken and fish grilled on requested, to lobster tails, and very good quality sushi, quiet atmosphere, at least for a buffet, was a big plus. Also, included specialty coffees available at the small bistro on deck 5 were wonderful, as were the smoothies at the Wave dining area poolside. I also recommend the wave for made to order burgers, grilled surf and turf and sandwiches. While we had a few more sea days than we would have liked, especially just before getting to Rio, the Brazilian ports were quite interesting, as was Devil's Island. We especially enjoyed the Recife/Olinda stop where we had a private tour. While we never booked a ship tour, we did hear many complaints about them and my decision to forego the O-life option of 8 excursions in favor of $800 of OBC. I did buy a 7 bottle wine package using the OBC for $47.50 a bottle (includes tip) but found these bottles fair at best. The one bottle guests seemed to enjoy, A Mondavi red blend ran out about halfway through the cruise. we had an outside cabin on deck 4 midship very conveniently located, and apparently better for passengers susceptible to seasickness. For many people the humid weather is not conducive to sitting out on a balcony.Almost forgot, the laundry room worked very well and $4 OBC used for a wash and dry was great. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Reviews. Only large shallow bottom to do Amazon made this our girst Oceania cruise. our experience was excellent. We were in a penthouse but we found everything superb except s couple of shore excursions . I feel like we were on a ... Read More
Reviews. Only large shallow bottom to do Amazon made this our girst Oceania cruise. our experience was excellent. We were in a penthouse but we found everything superb except s couple of shore excursions . I feel like we were on a different ship than some of the reviewers. We are active 69 and 70 year old. Food was excellent if a bit repetitive after 21 days. I actually hugged our butler and maid on the last day. We have booked a cruise for this October. This is definitely for seniors or retirees. Because of size of ship and our choice to dine with others (some nights we vhose to dine alone) we met fascinating seniors and conversations were intellectually stimulating. Having no children (while i love my grandkids) and with only people who held their liquor, we enjoyed pleasant dining. We also appreciated the efforts made to keep down shared germs with plenty of hand stations etc. never saw one sick person on board in three weeks time. Just lovely! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
The Mighty Amazon River has long been on our bucket list, & the newly refurbished Sirena's 34-day sailing from Miami to Buenos Aires sounded like the way to go!! The first week at sea was uneventful & unexciting, as we ... Read More
The Mighty Amazon River has long been on our bucket list, & the newly refurbished Sirena's 34-day sailing from Miami to Buenos Aires sounded like the way to go!! The first week at sea was uneventful & unexciting, as we bypassed devastated Puerto Rico, & visited St Kitts, Antigua, & Barbados! We enjoyed the day we spent exploring the ruins of Devil's Island, the former penal colony off the coast of French Guyana. Unfortunately, we were totally taken by surprise as it was announced that almost all purchases aboard ship for the next 3.5 weeks (as we sailed thru Brazilian waters) would be subject to an extra 25% tax. (We solved this problem quite simply, by halting all unnecessary shipboard spending!!) Almost everything was included in our ticket price: air, gratuities, 7 shore excursions per person, internet package. There were no art auctions & no pushy shipboard photogs to contend with. We were not nickled and dimed over soft drinks, specialty coffee, & bottled water. Since the Sirena drew only 20 feet of water, We were able to travel 900 miles upriver to Manaus in the heart of the triple canopy Amazon rainforest. While the destination speakers for the Amazon region were well chosen, the Oceania home office staff of millennials let us down when it came to providing suitable movies that might have dovetailed with our journey!! As we entered the River Platte, it would have presented a great opportunity to view "The Battle of the River Platte". It would have also been timely to have watched "Evita" again, as we neared Argentina. Instead we were subjected to current, inane films, such as one depicting Breaking Bad actor Cranston hiding out in his garage for several months!!! We manged to dine in Sirena's Specialty restaurants on numerous occasions - especially in their magnificent Red Ginger Asian Fusion spot. Afternoons the main dining room was converted into Jacques - a specialty French Bistro - with mixed results. The Waves grill by the pool closed way too early @4PM. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Absolutely incredible!!!! The room size was great as was the size of the bathroom. The Bulgari amenities are a lovely touch. You event have a choice of the scent that is placed in your room. Sirena is a lovely ship and her crew ... Read More
Absolutely incredible!!!! The room size was great as was the size of the bathroom. The Bulgari amenities are a lovely touch. You event have a choice of the scent that is placed in your room. Sirena is a lovely ship and her crew ensured that we had a perfect experience!!! We are so happy with our sailing we have rebooked with Oceania on the Marina for 2019. The ports were wonderful on this sailing except for Nassau. It would be so much nicer if we had an overnight in one of the Spanish ports or Madeira and skipped that port all together. There were 6 other ships in dock that day (4 Carnival, 1 Disney, 1 Royal Caribbean). The enrichment sessions were wonderful and we went to almost every one! Entertainment was intimate and very good. Dining is excellent. We found the food in the Terrace Cafe and Grand Dining room to be excellent. Such attention to detail by Razvan and his dining room staff as well as Chef and his team!. Read Less
Sirena Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.8
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 3.5 3.4
Public Rooms 5.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 1.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 2.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.5

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