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Riviera Cruise Review by vacationerny

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Riviera
Riviera
Member Name: vacationerny
Cruise Date: July 2012
Embarkation: Venice
Destination: Western Mediterranean
Cabin Category: P
Cabin Number: 10017
Booking Method: Local Travel Agency
See More About: Riviera Cruise Reviews | Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews | Oceania Cruise Deals
Member Rating   5+ out of 5+
Dining 5+
Public Rooms 5+
Cabins 5+
Entertainment 4.0
Spa & Fitness Not Rated
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions Not Rated
Embarkation 5+
Service 5+
Value-for-Money 5+
Rates 5.0
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Ship Facts: Riviera Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Riviera Deck Plans
Riviera Venice to Barcelona
This was my first cruise on Oceania and it isn't my last. I chose the line because of its dining reputation and the casual ambiance in the dining rooms. I've had my fill of black tie dinners. The Riviera fit the bill perfectly; a new ship with a great itinerary.

Embarkation 5+

Very quick and efficient. We arrived about 11:30 and were on the ship in 15 minutes

Public Rooms 5+

Absolutely gorgeous ship. Beautiful artwork throughout. Restaurants were beautifully appointed. Martini's reminded me an upscale cocktail lounge in NYC.

Cabin 5+

We were in a Penthouse Suite and it was beautiful. The walk in closet was a real joy. Bed was extremely comfortable. Bathroom was very spacious especially for a ship. Cabin was just very comfortable.

Enrichment 5

We took a cooking class and it was very enjoyable. Made scones and fritatas. Beautiful state of the art kitchens.

Dining 5++

I can't say enough about the food in the specialty restaurants. We live in NYC and certainly have an abundance of fine restaurants. Each specialty restaurant can hold its own with with the restaurants in NYC and that's saying a lot. Choosing your chopstick type in Red Ginger was a nice touch as was choosing from a selection of olive oils and balsamic vinegars in Toscana. The 32 oz prime rib in Polo is something to behold. Tender as butter and perfectly cooked. The food in the Main dining room was not up to these lofty standards. We ate there twice and while it is very good, it's not the caliber of the specialty restaurants. The Terrace Cafe on the other hand has a vast selection for all three meals and all very well prepared. Waves Grill was great for lunch by the pool. Their Wagu burgers are excellent and the milk shakes!! Make sure you loose some weight before cruising on this ship. There is one other thing I need to talk about and that is Privee. For those not familiar this is a private dining room situated at the stern right between Toscana and Polo. It can seat up to 10 and it can be reserved for a small fee for the evening. You choose from either menu, Toscana or Polo mix and match. We had two cabins and reserved it for two nights. The first for my birthday celebration and the second just for fun. We had filled it with people we met on the ship and it was an outstanding experience. Allessio and his team do a fabulous job of taking care of you.

Entertainment 4

The entertainment on Oceania has been much maligned but the Riviera is much improved. I'm not much for making it to the showroom but my better half said she really enjoyed the singers. They even had two late shows in Horizons which was great. I believe this was a new policy started on our cruise. Hope they continue it. I also can't say enough about Jerry Blaine. He plays piano in Martini's before dinner. Don't believe there is a song he doesn't know. He put on an audio/visual show in the main showroom about the history of music in the movies. I made sure I saw this and it was fantastic.

Service 5+

Outstanding everywhere. Very friendly professional crew. Amazing how well the ship was running considering its maiden voyage was only a few months earlier. Great wait staff, great bartenders and great housekeeping staff.

We did not use any of the ship's excursions so I can't comment on the quality but they do seem

expensive.

One last thing I want to comment on is the Premium Liquor Package. For us this was a no brainer. Every alcohol at the bar is included except Louis XIII cognac and Johnny Walker Blue scotch. This includes single malt scotches and XO cognac. The wines by the glass are very good and they pour Perrier Jouet Champagne which is $20 + tip by the glass. Doesn't take much to reach $50.

In summary this was an outstanding experience and that is why we will be back on Riviera next winter in the Caribbean.

Publication Date: 08/13/12
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