We had very high expectations for our first Oceania cruise, although we have cruised before.
We were told we would never cruise another line again and that the food would be like eating in a five star nyc restaurant every night. Both turned out to be false in our case.
We arrived in Istanbul 2 days prior and stayed at the hotel nena which was in the old section of the City. It was a very reasonably priced hotel with a great location and a great view from their roof top Restaurant. It was in walking distant of the sights and also near the tram which was fairly easy to use. The hotel arranged a guide for us and we pretty saw what we wanted to see. We arranged for the hotel to drop us off at the ship.
Embarkation- was easy and quick and we went to our room and then had a bite at the terrace grill. I had the surf and turf sandwich, which was medallions of lobster and steak. The steaks,was,delicious but the lobster not so much. Our bags arrived at our cabin which was an
Inside. It was very comfortable, although we were surprised that the desk was so scratched up The carpet looked It was ready for a cleaning and even the threads on the pillowcase were shredding. I expected high standards.
Ship - was beautiful, but low key, and many interesting sculptures and art work, the main dining Room was beautiful. We loved the lounges around the pool. The auditorium was small, and the entertainment was geared towards the late sixties and seventies which was the average age of the Ship. The gym was nice although I only visited it once as this was a very port intensive cruise. They did offer classes, ile yoga, stretch, spin. We did not use the spa but did tour it and it was Nice, but small.
Activities- they seem to have some. Ice cooking classes and art classes, but I can't comment as I did not participate.
Service - this is where we were disappointed... The staff worked hard , but definetly were not outstanding.
Food- favorite restaurant was red ginger ((the lobster pad Thai, was great) and we did like all the other specialty restaurants , although we felt that toscanno was understaffed. The dining room Was good. Our disappointment was at the terrace grill where it took 40 minutes to get a hamburger.
After 20 minutes I was told they were very busy and then had to wait another 20 minutes. As this was on our second day of the cruise at lunch, I wondered how oceania could claim to have such a hi ratio to passenger staff.
Ports - we did not take Oceania excursions because we like do it our selves. I will review the ports Which I could not find much information on Cc. Also they had a cruise lecturer who was excellent and Gave great info on the ports
Mittilini (lesbos) we were there on a Saturday and many locals were at the waterfront tavernas enjoying their day off. We went to the castle which is very close to the dock, then strolled thorough the town, and did some shopping and then ate lunch at a taverna facing the water. It was very Picturesque .
Marmaris, turkey - we walked through the market to the boats and for $25 pp we had a 3 hour boat
Tour. We stopped at a cove a jumped into the Aegean . It was great. Before boarding we stopped for Turkish bagels and bread some cheese and drinks and had a picnic on board..
Antalya , turkey - the ship provided a shuttle from the port which was about a 25 minute ride. We went to the anatalya museum and rented their audio guide which was very good. We also saw Hadrian gate and went to the. Market.
Kusadasi - used Ephesus shuttle and were very pleased. Ephesus was amazing. We did not like
The market in kusadasi as they were very aggressive.
Disembarkation - easy and quick. We had a taxi arranged to pick us up and bring us to the airport.
It was half the price of oceanias transfers for 2.
Marina was a great ship with a few blemishes. Oceania goes to great ports, we were very lucky with the weather it was An average of 70's to 80's with one day 92 degrees