While my wife and I enjoyed our cruise overall, there were a few shortcomings we must point out. There were 4 sea days on an 11 day cruise, and the few lackluster live entertainment and enrichment lectures, not to mention entertainment venues, none of which seemed to run more than an hour or so at a time, left us a bit disappointed. The book as well as DVD library are fine and there are some art and cooking classes available.
We were pleased with the variety of choices, dish presentations and table as well as stemware in all the restaurants, but the mediocre execution and organization of the specialty restaurants was a surprise. This is supposed to be one of Oceania's high points, but many of the preparations were poorly executed and in some cases differed little from what was offered in the main dining room. Tough as shoe leather so-called prime grade dry-aged beef left four of us diners disillusioned; a soggy crusted, flavorless "foie gras" dish; a bland soggy "tarte tatin", More
and tough mutton like lamb chops; or soggy flavorless pasta and risotto dishes are not our idea of fine dining. The Oceania policy of allowing only one reservation per restaurant is a moot point for us now. If we were to sail on Oceania again, we would certainly not even bother with the hassle much less look forward to the food to book any of these venues again. The main dining room and the grill/buffet venues are quite good; offering a wide variety, often unusual and well prepared choices.
Another quibble is the relative lack of offerings of snacks or light foods in the bars and lounges. The few times they were offered, there was little to recommend.
The staterooms are quite comfortable and well appointed. Some of the public rooms are fairly bland, while others are attractive, with charming decor and some unusually designed furniture.
While the spa is quite expensive, the personnel do a good job.
The pool area is well laid out, and the pool attendants remove and change the terry cloth slip covers on the deck chairs between users.
The shore excursion program offers few choices all of which are outrageously priced. We were able to find one shore excursion we booked through an outside agency that was priced at just about half of a comparable version from Oceania.
Service throughout was usually quite friendly if not always professional.
We have sailed on a number of large, mid-sized and smaller cruise ships rated from 6 to 4 stars, and would place the Oceania Riviera at around 5 stars. Less