I will begin by saying I have not cruised 50-100 times like many of the cruisers on cruise critic. But I like and know luxury and quality. Agree with some of the good things said about Marina, but also agree with weaknesses that when you leave always seem to stand out. I traveled with 2 other couples in a transfer back to Rome after the cruise and we all felt the same exact way, so I do not think I was being demanding or my expectations being too high for Oceania..
We literally walked on the ship alone. First time this ever happened. Was happy to not have the lines (we boarded after the rush, of course), but agree that no one was there to greet when you did board and provide some quick information (or champagne, perhaps). As others stated, cabins nice, small. Liked the granite bathroom and beds. Otherwise, amenities standard by our expectations. Do agree, the bed was most enjoyable after each full day of touring.
Once boarded, we went to get a bite to eat after reading the elevator and picking a floor. No dining available. In between meals. We found this consistent on our ENTIRE cruise. We would tour most of the days since this was a port intensive cruise and by the time we would return (around 9 pm-9:30) were told every night to order room service. Not my style for luxury. We had a suite on Equinox and could have a lovely serving any time of day. This was consistent with our schedule every time we wanted a bite to eat. Room service is an option once in a while, but the rooms are small and confining and you get tired of eating in it because Marina was "in between". This even happened on short tour days. Right at 2:00 pm. Were unable to change or add to specialty reservations.
They like the word NO on Oceania. Heard it ALL week, too. Like other reviewers here. Also agree that the staff seems to be more enthusiastic about the entrees. Lobster was tough every time I ordered it (3 times, then gave up). Did not like the effort of communicating to get food served to you at the buffet in the Terrace and agree that rude cruisers would just step in and demand while others waiting to be served. Change the policy. Service was poor many times and then excellent at others. Sporadic, not consistent.
Excursions---plan your own. you will be disappointed and frustrated. Considering cost and what we heard from so many people on the ship. Felt sad for them. Always witnessed upset cruisers at the destinations desk. Very sad to see on such a cruise line!
Entertainment-Better on the TV in your stateroom. Understanding that they are not know for their entertainment. I get it.
Cabin Butler-Excellent. Room always prepared upon entering and spotless cleaning. This expectation fully met. Lidvidia was very accomodating, even though we are the easiest of travelers. Do not require much attention.
One last observation-We had charges on our bill from a culinary class that was overbooked and we could not get in. We instead planned a private tour for this day and when we went to the desk to question, we were told to go to destination desk. Ok, no problem. Well, they made it seem like it was our fault and that they would start an inquest to see if the charges could be credited. Are you kidding me? The clerk made us feel like we were at fault. Even after clarifying and re-clarifying that it was their mistake. This is how we felt every time we asked for something. It was not like this ever on Celebrity, or Royal Carribean. Will try Crystal next time and, of course, continue the Aqua Spa Suite Class on Celebrity. They have it right. Fortunately, we like people and do not turn our nose up to having more friendly people on board with us as long as the service level does not suffer.
Spa- No indoor pool or inside "relaxation/meditation" area on the pool deck. We like to use the spa amenities whenever we travel. Couples massage is one of our favorites. Steam, sauna, aromatherapy, together. No co-ed on this ship. We were intimidated by the extremely high prices charged for services at the spa. Understanding that is "Canyon Ridge". But, $400.00 something dollars for a couples massage (50 minute??), manicures, upwards of 80-90.00?? this we cannot understand. Nor, would I subject ourselves to the overpayment. We, instead, waited for the Waldorf-Astoria Cavaleiri Hotel in Rome and indulged in our "spa fix" at a much more reasonable charge for all services. Perhaps, this subsidizes the cost of sending 16 brochures/marketing pieces each month to your home address. not sure.
All in all, nice cruise. Not the best ever, not the worst ever. Unimpressed.
We did stay at the Rome Cavelieri for a few days after the cruise and was able to experience at the Imperial Club level what impeccable service levels should be. And what a view off the balcony!!! Worth every penny! We do not mind spending the money when expectations are met and exceeded.
First time reviewer.