I am in my 50's and my husband is in his 70's with some mobility problems. So we were looking for a small ship that would limit how far he had to walk, and we didn't want children running around. I mainly wanted to relax and didn't care that much about the ports. So we chose this cruise to be pampered and paid a lot more than I'm used to paying for a cruise.
Let me start with the good. Our penthouse suite stateroom was all we could have asked for. The butler took great care of us bringing us hors d'oeurves every afternoon whether we ordered them or not. We tend to spend time in the stateroom and enjoyed watching some good movies on the stateroom television. There was plenty of storage for clothes, and the room was comfortable. The staff was great! As soon as we left the room, the beds were made and the room tidied. Both specialty restaurants were excellent, and we enjoyed the grill by the pool. Also, at lunch, the pizza in the buffet by the pool was good, and one day they were making and serving homemade pasta at the luncheon buffet. It was excellent! Also, afternoon tea is a must.
Overall the food was good but too rich for our tastes. We are particular about food and enjoy a good meal. As much as I like french food, it got to be too much. Toward the end I was happy to order just a steak and fries -- something simple.
The entertainment was disappointing. We enjoyed the string quartet at afternoon tea and before dinner, but their skill level was more of what I'd expect of good high school musicians. The shows were amateurish. We were spoiled by the quality of shows on Royal Carribbean, and this didn't even come close. The first night they had a juggler who had an almost impossible task considering how much the ship was rocking. We did enjoy the Russian female pianist. I have always enjoyed playing bingo on cruises, but here there was little participation and no snowball bingo. The pots barely covered the cost of playing.
On the way down to our first port we heard one of the engines broke. Instead of reaching port in the morning, we did not arrive until mid-afternoon. Most excursions were cancelled. Did I mention the ship rocking?! About 1/3 into the cruise there were lots of seasick people even though the seas did not look that rough. Then we heard the rocking was because one of the ship's stabilizers broke. When my elderly husband started vomiting we went to the medical staff. The doctor injected him with something that caused him to immediately slump in the wheelchair. It took 3 of us 15 minutes to get him out of the wheelchair and into bed in the stateroom. Then he started hallucinating and I had trouble keeping him in the bed. It was a nightmare! When we went back to the doctor the next day and told him what happened he replied that that can happen. Well thanks for warning us! And for this we were charged $500!!! All-in-all a very bad experience. Then going through a doorway he scraped his arm badly from the ship rocking. Although we got two calls from staff inquiring how he was, they failed to follow up with any written report. After being charged $500 for seasickness we dared not go back to the medical unit. So I spent most of my time in the ports tracking down first aid supplies to bandage him.
Most of the ports were terrible. Since this was a small ship, I did not expect to have to tender this much. I think we only docked at 2 ports. All the rest were tenders. I have been to much of the carribbean before, and we didn't chose this cruise for the ports. That being said, some of the ports have something to offer. In Virgin Gorda I went to the "Baths". This is a beach area with huge stone boulders that form caves and grottos to explore. This is not a trip for anyone with mobility issues. The walk down to the Baths is not easy, and it takes some balance and skill to walk and crawl through the grottos. But for those who like some adventure, this is worth doing. St. Bart's is interesting to walk around and explore the shops, but don't expect any deals. This is like shopping Rodeo Dr. or Worth Ave. -- very pricey. The Dominican Republic was most disappointing. There was a free shuttle from the ship that took us to a shopping area in town that was total junk. We were acosted walking through there with vendors trying to get us to buy plastic junk. Everyone from the ship was warning others not to bother going -- total waste of time. I had signed up to go horsebackriding on the beach, but that excursion was cancelled for lack of interest.
If I were to ever consider an Oceania cruise again, I would stay away from these smaller ships.