We are an active middle aged couple, accustomed to traveling and relatively new to cruising. We find it an effective, comfortable & safe way to get from point A to point B. We have sailed exclusively on the R ships and wanted a change, so we booked this trip on the Marina. We were apprehensive about the size and style of the Marina possibly affecting the intimacy and quality of service that we enjoyed on the smaller ships. Marina did not disappoint us, on the contrary, we found the ship to be airy and stylish, beautifully appointed with interesting artwork and comfy, textured furnishing throughout. There were many places to lounge and relax and we never once felt the increase in passengers. We enjoyed having more specialty dining and we were able to get a nice table for 2 without exception. The lengthy discussions on CC regarding.....the small showers, uncomfortable chairs, strangely shaped library etc. etc.....really folks?? really??....It is a beautiful ship and we would not hesitate to book another cruise on the Marina.
*RollCall:We had a very active RollCall, which is a great source of help and information. We shared most of our tours with persons on the R.Call. This is very cost effective and the people we toured with were fantastic. We had a Meet&Greet the 1st night, where we got acquainted with persons we spoke with for close to a year..
*Pre & Post Cruise: we booked our own hotels and transfers, much less expensive. Shared the London-Dover transfer with people from our R.Call. Used a private service from Heathrow to Westminster-35pounds.
*Service: the Reception staff was excellent. Destination service set up a table each day with maps and useful port info. I would recommend doing your own research on the ports, most O passengers arrange their own tours, therefore the destination service is not elaborate.
*Ports: Most ports (far from town center) had a shuttle bus service dropping us off at a tourist info center. There were 2 tender ports (StMalo&Concarneau) At these ports we had to queue up in the Marina Lounge to get early tender tickets, the system was very orderly.
*Stateroom: Comfortable beds and nice linens. Ample storage in bathroom, clothes line in tub area convenient. The tub was a great luxury after a long day touring. The shower was NOT a problem. A magnifying mirror was lacking. The closets were a good size. If storage is a problem for you, you brought too much stuff!
*Dining: This topic has been endlessly covered. We were glad to have fantastic menu choices & excellent service...we witnessed some of the worst passenger behavior at meal times ex: passenger berating the server at the omelet station for not preparing her eggs to her satisfaction, at Red Ginger someone turned away each course saying it was uneatable, a passenger insisting the Ginger ale was not real Ginger ale and to bring them the container it was poured from, passengers complaining that the sommelier left them waiting too long and so on....these were not random events (ruined our dining experience) therefore including them in our review.
*Passengers: Over 60, active, well traveled, upper mid-class. Most were very interesting, well mannered people who are serious about travel. They come well prepared, having researched the itinerary and are eager to visit each port. More than half the passengers were Repeat Customers and some never missed the opportunity to recite the number of cruises they've taken, giving themselves a patronizing air of importance. This type of passenger pushes the 'Your World Your Way' cruising to the limit, they are pretentious, pompous cruisers who lament about every little thing. 'The Ship' is their destination and they want to be waited on. We found them to be to be only negative part of our trip.
*Conclusion: Oceania delivers an excellent product, Marina is a beautiful ship and we hope to have the good fortune to sail with Oceania again.