Marina Cruise Review by EmsMom: Northern Interludes
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The Marina is truly a beautiful ship with a fantastic crew. The main downside of the trip was the bad weather which, of course, was no fault of Oceania. We had a Concierge Level A3 Cabin which was mid ship. Although we hit some rough seas, we felt like the ship handled it well. The cabin was spacious and very well maintained. My husband really liked the Concierge Lounge and thought it was worth the extra money....I didn't really care as I rarely used it. We had a mini refrig in our cabin which was stocked with beverages.....the soft drinks and Perrier were free.
We booked all of our own excursions....the cost of the Oceania excursions was ridiculous but in addition, to that, we don't like to be with a large tour group. We heard mixed reviews about the ship's excursions but I can't comment personally. There was a free shuttle at every port that wasn't right in town and we were also provided with maps of the towns. A local tourist information person was brought on More board at each destination and they provided additional information and maps. I also found the concierge in the reception area very helpful when we had port questions.
The food was excellent, We ate at the four specialty restaurants as frequently as we could, but we were unable to secure additional reservations on several of the evenings. My personal favorite was Jacques and my least favorite was the Polo Grill but I think that was just because of my personal taste in food. They were all excellent. The Terrace Cafe was usually quite crowded at meal time so we tried to avoid it whenever possible. Unfortunately, there are those who don't understand the concept of waiting their turn and I found it really annoying to have them cutting in the line. We ate in the Grand Dining room several times for breakfast, lunch and dinner and found it not only beautiful but the service and food were also excellent. The only issue we had with the dining room was the vibration from the engines at the very back. This was easily dealt with by getting a table near the front of the dining room. We used room service several times for breakfast and it was great. They also gave us a phone call before the delivery which was nice, especially in the morning.
The service on this trip was probably the best we have ever had and we found that all of the Oceania Crew greeted us whenever we encountered them. The crew seemed happy and were very friendly, helpful and congenial. The boarding and disembarkation procedures went well with no problems at all.
We only went to a few shows but the ones we saw were okay...They weren't the best we have ever seen but certainly not the worst. The port lecturer was quite interesting and the information was quite helpful at the various destinations. We didn't do any of the on board classes but it appeared that they were well attended. They also had Trivial Pursuit twice a day. Unfortunately, the second game was at 8:45 while we were still at dinner so we never made it to the second go around. It was very well attended and there were some very astute players which made it a lot of fun. The gym was spacious, well equipped and very clean. My husband attended the spinning class whenever he could but the timing of the class didn't work for me as it was usually right before dinner.
The in room entertainment could have been a little better as it seemed like the same movies over and over again. They did have CNN, Fox, BBC and ESPN so we could keep abreast of the world news. We would have liked to dance in the Horizons lounge in the evenings after the show but even though the disc jockey was playing the right tunes, there was no one else dancing and there were only about ten people in the lounge each night. That may have been because of the age demographic, however.....The average age was probably about 80 (at least it seemed that way).. It really was a very elderly crowd.,,,,,lots of walkers, canes, etc. There were a couple of children on board but they were well behaved and we seldom saw them. The main downside of the cruise for me was that it often seemed crowded. It just seemed like there were a lot of people everywhere. This didn't ruin the cruise for us but it was probably the thing I liked least about the ship. Less
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