With their newest ship, Riviera, Oceania has managed to keep most of the qualities that make them a good choice for people who like to meet others, relax with a good book, eat excellent food and not have to clean up afterwards, enjoy low key entertainments like trivia games, and not be hassled to keep spending money.
With their open seating, and option to share tables, one is almost certain to meet lots of friendly and interesting fellow guests, with no obligation to get together again, but always the option to do so. They have four specialty restaurants, which have slightly differing styles, and must be booked ahead (on a quota system), but do not cost extra, which is a nice feature of the line. But altogether the food is excellent no matter where you eat. We didn't like everything but there was always a huge choice and the large bowls of fresh fruit, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and others available at breakfast were a real treat. Lots of areas where food, on a changing menu, was cooked to order, were well run and moved along briskly. Afternoon tea was sinfully good.
One disappointment: On the Regatta the previous fall, there was a bridge director and regular duplicate bridge games, but that feature was eliminated on the equally long Riviera cruise, to the dismay of quite a few passengers who had expected games.
Cabins and balconies were very nice, spotless and kept that way by the staff. There was also constant cleaning going on around us, stair railings were being polished, chairs and tables wiped down between users--I was impressed at the effort made to keep transmittal of viruses to a minimum.
And while I dislike tendering, the ship does have the system down to a fine art which does not involve standing in long lines.
I also really like having soft drinks and water included in fare, so we were not being nickel and dimed at every turn.
The pool area was kept spotless, and towel were put on chairs so we didn't have to line up to sign them out, a nice display of trust in the maturity and honesty of the passengers.
One real benefit of Oceania is the way they have beach towels and bottled water waiting by exit doors for one to gather as one goes ashore, no fuss, no bother, no charge.