This was our fourth Oceania cruise. We sailed on the Marina when she was about 2 months old and decided on the Riviera because she was fairly new. New ships are our favorite for a variety of reasons. Our ages are 58 and 60. While we met people who had been on 50+ cruises, we have been on about 20. Age of fellow passengers is irrelevant to us as older passengers have interesting stories, and younger passengers are often entertaining. We usually eat by ourselves and always have a balcony so we don't interact much. Many shipmates embark highly stressed, and that colors their experience. We always arrive at the port a day before to avoid problems with flight delays and luggage.
We had some disappointments on Riviera, but were overall very pleased with the cruise. Ports were not important to us, we were there for the ship and food, so I won't review the ports.
Our cabin was slightly better than on previous Oceania cruises, as it had a separate shower and tub. However, the LOCATION of cabin 11000 was TERRIBLE. There was a crew access door next to our cabin which slammed closed all night. Prior to sailing, I called Oceania to make sure the location would be quiet. I was told that there had been no complaints. After the first night, I called reception 3 times to ask to move, but the ship was sold out. Other minor problems were a overflowing shower drain, and a toliet that clogged for the first 3 days. Reception was efficient in getting the engineer to repair it, but it took 3 attempts to get it right. Our butler Raj was outrageously good, not invasive but providing all that we expected including many meals in our cabin.
Oceania has not quite got it together on this cruise. I went looking for a bandaid and reception told me to go to the ships dr. The drs. office was closed as it was a port day. I found a medical officer who said reception had boxes of bandaids. I went back to reception and was told they didn't have any again. They sent me to the convenience shop area which was closed. I had to get off the ship to find a pharmacy to get a bandaid.
They have also cut back on staffing at the grill and buffet. On a previous cruises a waiter had told us that they were trained to remove dirty plates within a minute of a diner putting down their silverware. On this cruise, tables were left uncleared, people were wandering around looking for tables. We were discouraged from self serving our juices/ water and there were rarely glasses available, we had to ask 3 or 4 times to get a glass of water or a clean fork. Dirty dishes were not cleared when we went for desserts. By the time were were done with our meals, the previous plates were piled up high.
We have a minor complaint with the milkshakes. They were constantly out of glasses, and kept going back to the kitchen to get more. They must have been hot out of the dishwasher, as the malts were always warmish, not cold.
Food was exceptional although a little inconsistent.
We will sail Oceania again, but will be more careful in cabin selection.