As this was our first cruise, we had no expectations other than what we read here on cruisecritic. We were offered an up-sell from a PH3 to an Oceania Suite, which I quickly took Oceania up on! VERY nice room (actually rooms), and even though I had never been on a ship before I could tell this was something very special. If you ever get the chance, take it!
Most of the specialty restaurants were excellent. Our only exception was Toscana, which I am certain we caught a bad night. Nothing bad, just not up to par with the rest. Terrace Cafe became the hang out for most other meals, and they do a terrific job!
Barista's was a perfect way to start each morning and the string quartet was an excellent way to end each evening. We did not attend any of the shows as we turn in rather early.
Due to Sandy hitting the east coast, Oceania decided to spend an extra day in Istanbul to let the 700 passengers that were delayed catch up. Good call on their part to allow those delayed to get there. We missed out on Vollos, which was one destination we were very much looking forward to, but stuff happens.
Only negatives were some of the other passengers not understanding that baseball caps on backwards or Cabela's gear at the specialty restaurants were not really country club casual, and our butler couldn't seem to get it that we really were not going to drink that bottle of champagne (took till mid week to get it out of the room....).
Our cabin steward was fantastic and most of the staff we met were outstanding. The culinary center was a hoot! I made 3 of the classes and had a ball at each one. We missed out on the final one, which was a full day culinary excursion as DW was not feeling well.
The 2 excursions we went on with Oceania were just fine for a group tour. I have no negatives on either one, and felt the cost was in line with how easy everything was.
Overall we were very happy with everything.