We expected a wonderful and special birthday and holiday cruise on Oceania - highly recommended by our travel agent. While the staff were terrific and most of the dining was very good, we felt that the accommodations, entertainment and ports of call could have been better planned and improved. While the bed was very comfortable, the bathroom was not - the shower was so small that you could barely turn around, let alone pick up dropped soap or shave legs. Instead of an awkward bathtub, half sealed in by a solid glass panel, why not have a walk in shower. You had to climb into the tub to put up the clothesline or to access the water because of the glass pane. The tub was also not level with the floor, so getting out was a real trick of balance. Space around the bed was very narrow - a fellow traveller told us that the bathroom tub took up the extra room space - would agree with that.
Even though we sailed on Dec 10th, there were no holiday decorations on the ship - lots of More
passengers asking about that and the cruise director would announce that they would eventually appear. They did not put any up until Dec 17th - we have taken December cruises before and they were always much more festive from day 1. The entertainment on board was hit and miss - the dance/singing group was good - quite a few people walking out of other evenings' shows. The artist loft and Culinary School were really nice to have.
The shore excursions were expensive and given the poverty of the local stops, not sure where our money was spent - not on quality buses. Costa Maya, Mex and Roatan, Honduras were created to entice cruise lines and did not have much to offer except diving and more strenuous activities. All the stops had the same stores and Oceania was good at pushing products at us - art, jewelry, wine.
Oceania needs to think about their target market and their guest's experiences throughout the crew. If they want a bath tub, they should at least also have a usable luxury shower. Seems like they are not geared up for the number of people that were on this ship. Slow drink service, very congested disembarkation and a reception that did not seem to understand English every well. Luggage should be delivered before departure, the emergency drill and the first dinner - we were in concierge class and it was late - just glad it was on board. Instead of daily product pushes, provide us with maps of ports and attractions and not just maps of where the same stores are. We hardly saw the captain or officers; there was no departure celebration/toast; elevators were crammed - they needed a couple more at the back of the ship.
For the price, the overall experience should have been much more pleasing and fun. Less