Embarkation and disembarkation procedures are rigidly adhered to at the start and end of the trip and are handled well. Though we arrived earlier than suggested, the ship's crew accommodated all arrivals well.
The best thing is that the ship's decor is most impressive. The restaurant facilities and food do not disappoint, though Oceania's food offering is not overly more or less than what is provided on any other good shipping line. The speciality restaurants, as an inclusion in the cruise price are definitely perceived as an advantage as the choice available is interesting and most comprehensive. Not a bad drop was discovered on the wine list and the Wine Package was generous.
Cabins do not feel cramped and are well arranged. Being such a new vessel, I was surprised that the stateroom TV sets were not interactive. A person had to visit the Destination Services desk or Reception to book a tour or check one's account at any stage. Having a web site that is so interactive, allowing pre-booking of excursions etc, it would have been nice had the level of technology been extended as a facility to the staterooms.
We resided in a B4 non-concierge veranda stateroom. On Oceania, at this level, service is definitely not akin to some other companies offerings. Friends we travelled with, were in a Penthouse and had a butler and therefore had a level of service that was commensurate with that level of accommodation. On other cruises lines, either at Suite level, Concierge level or simple Veranda Stateroom, we have enjoyed a more comprehensive level of personal service throughout all levels without a noticeable fall off in service provision. With Oceania we did not find this to be the case. To me it seemed that if you did not take the level of Concierge or above, the service offered by stateroom stewards was noticeably less and delayed. We have not found this on either Celebrity, nor Princess. Norwegian or Costa Cruises also. Service on these lines was excellent at whichever level we chose to participate in at the time. It was a surprise that with Oceania, at Veranda Stateroom level, follow up was lacking in attention to detail.
All crew and staff on board were warm, friendly individuals. they also seemed happy to be working with/for Oceania as an employer.
Two problems arose for us during our time on board. Our room stewards constantly failed to replenish the 'price inclusive drinks' in our mini bar fridge. Often they had to be reminded. We had a daily shortage of what we requested and a fridge full of ginger ale. The same situation occurred daily. It did not change. In addition, used towelling face cloths were removed but not replaced. Constantly I had to go on the hunt for replacement face cloths for our cabin.
The excursions on Oceania ships seem to be more expensive than other lines we have travelled with. During the early phases of the voyage, assembly and dispersal of excursion participants was handled very badly, but this did improve with time and subsequent organisation of disembarkation for excursion participants was running quite well towards the end and for final disembarkation.
The standard of entertainment on board was from Fair to very good.
The air-conditioning in the public areas was often fierce.
Any negatives mentioned here have not deterred us from making further bookings with Oceania, though we would not use them solely for our cruise holiday requirements as many seem to do.
The ship itself when docking at ports, seemed to make very loud and groaning mechanical noises. The ship was fine but it did not sound normal.
It is very nice to have most beverages included in the price of the cruise, unlike many other cruise lines. The Barista facility is a nice experience and not having to worry about acquiring a supply of drinking water each day is an asset to one's peace of mind.
The $49.95 per cruise day alcoholic beverage package was a good offering. Being partial to a glass of champagne, the offering was Perrier Jouet NV, the wines, beers and spirits listed for consumption within the package were all very good, through to excellent in style, choice and quality.
The Country Club Casual approach is very comforting. There are no 'gala' nights during the various sailings, which a lot of people seemed to like. Many did dress more elaborately but it was not necessary if so desired.
The beds, pillows and quality of the linens used and towelling in the bathrooms were fabulous. Highly recommended.