The Riviera is a new ship. Oceania has outdone itself with this beauty. Everything was perfection - food, wines, service, staff, decor, cabin, space, ports and smooth sailing. Bravo Oceania.
Let's start with the food. We know from past sailings on the best lines that Oceania has always had the best food at sea. Now with Riviera this is re-confirmed. Not just in the main dining room, where the food is delicious, service outstanding and the decor stunning, but throughout. From the casual Waves pool grill venue, to the new speciality restaurants. All under famous French chef Jacques 's overall supervision, from concept to decor to food and service, these places are amazing restaurants.
Jacques is not around of course, but his influence is felt. His signature place Jacques offers up some of the best French food my wife and I have ever had. And I am talking about Michelin rated restaurants in Paris and elsewhere in France where we have dined. Truly outstanding classic French cuisine. Toscana and Red Ginger also outstanding.
And now with the alcohol packages Oceania offers, this cruise line offers an equal dining and drinking experience with any of the so called all inclusive lines should one want to purchase the package, which is fairly priced for those who enjoy wines and liquor with their meals or anytime on the ship.
Cabins are very nicely sized and appointed. Concierge level one we had was nearly 300 sq ft. Nice sized veranda. Nice sized bathroom with separate stall shower. Everything built with high end materials. We really appreciated the construction of the sliding door window glass that must be insulated to keep out the severe Mediterranean sunlight and heat, and the AC was fabulous.
Staff is well trained and so pleasant. Oceania does this so well. Everyone we interfaced with throughout the cruise. And no language problem the way one cruise critic we read said they experienced. Staff always smiling and friendly. They go the extra mile in the dining rooms or elsewhere thigh out the ship. We have sailed close to 20 times before on the high end cruise lines like Silversea, which so many people we talked to see as slipping, Crystal and Regent, plus Cunard and HA, and Oceania staff are the best we have ever seen. Officers pleasant and available as they walk around ship or grab a bite in Waves or Barristas.
David the ship cruise director is simply the best we have ever seen. So on top of things.
Ports were interesting and excursions mostly very useful. embarkation and disembarkation so easy.
And finally the entertainment .....Oceania with the Riviera has set the new standard for itself and it's competitors.
They have engaged a top line outside production company to put on top professional productions with great talent. The dancers and singers are not just very attractive people but also very talented. We saw 3 different and spectacular production numbers. Complete with fabulous costumes, lighting and scenery effects and marvelous musicians. Everyone was raving about the troupe of performers they have engaged. Not like the semi talent shows we have seen so often on other ships. And in a beautiful new room without all those clumsy, get in your way glass topped cocktail tables and drinks being hawked throughout. Bravo again Oceania.
Pool and pool deck spacious. The interior decor of the ship is out of Architectural Digest, with each piece of artwork adorning the walls of every hallway and public are personally selected supposedly by the CEO. Well done. So tasteful and interesting to look at.
All in all, outstanding cruise and ship. Th Mediterranean very smooth this time of year, and the ship glided along without any vibrations or even a sense we were moving.