This was the Autumn Colors cruise which went up as far as Cornerbrook and then was supposed to go to Bermuda but Hurricane Sandy got in the way but I will get to that in a minute.
First a review of the ship itself. The decor is beautiful, old world elegant, our PH1 Penthouse was spacious, well appointed, comfortable and quiet. The restaurants all served very good food, better than on any other cruise ship. The library is the loveliest common area space on board. The fitness center was well equipped and attended. We thought the piano player, Adam, was truly world class. The cast entertainers were all talented and first rate, the special performers were all good, but not great.
But, unless you arrive at the MDR at 6:30 there can be a lengthy wait. During cocktail hour, very early at 5 to 6, it is impossible to find a seat unless you arrive early, and if you want to go to Horizons you best arrive early for the tea which precedes cocktail hour because those people just stay at their table through tea and cocktails. We learned to forgo the special cocktail hour pricing and arrive at 6:45 when seats are available.
Servers in the MDR, Horizons and the Terraces are barely OK. Many items forgotten, interminably long waits for wine or cocktails...then one arrives but not the other, etc.
Also, at these prices the peanuts and few potato chips at the bars are a joke. The sometimes-you-get-them, sometimes-you-don't canapes were bad.
Horizons port side rear area is the smoking section and the smoke permeates all over the port side of Horizons. They need to work on clearing the air there.
And the tv selection is very limited...not one sports channel and the World Series was on!
We have never seen so many really old people on a cruise before. Walkers, wheelchairs and canes everywhere. This might be th nature of the NYC to NYC cruise but it was overwhelming.
Our embarkation was supposed to be @ 11:00 a.m. But when we arrived we were directed to a particular area to wait. No explanation at all until rumors started flying and then at about 2:45 an announcement was made that we would begin boarding @3. Measly tea sandwiches and bottled water were offered around 1:00. Someone should have made an announcement about the eletrical problem that was causing the delay instead of allowing rumors to fly. Poorly handled.
And then hurricane Sandy. Again, rumors flew and nothing official until they told us that instead of Bermuda we would have 2 overnights in Charlottetown, PEI and then head back to NYC for an arrival a day early, which would have been Thursday...just - 3 days after Sandy hit? Then, after one night in C-Town we were informed that we were heading back to Halifax for one night an then on to NYC for a Friday morning arrival as scheduled. At this point we thought the captain was nuts and got off the ship and drove to Montreal for a flight back to SFO, which cost us thousands of dollars extra.
We understand the wrath of mother nature but seriously questioned heading back to Halifax. We would like to hear how the rest of the trip went including the final debarkation port change to Boston because the Port of NYC would still be closed on Friday.
It is not Oceania's fault that our routing was changed but their handling of the situation was bad..not even a free cocktail!
We will give Oceania a try again in the future should there be a route we really want to travel but we have to say that we were disappointed in the senior staff.