Mayan Mystique 10-20 Dec 2012
Pluses; Spa, Public Rooms, Food
Minuses - shower, disembarkation, Tuscan Grill
We are a couple in our 40's and accompanied family who are older than us, but nevertheless we think the average age of our fellow passengers was 60's and younger than we expected. Even if the passengers were in fact older they were generally fit and active Americans, judging by the number who used the gym.
The Spa was excellent (and expensive) and the hydrotherapy pool on the outside deck right at the front of the ship on level 14 was fantastic.
We had an inside stateroom and apart from the miniscule shower (you literally could not turn round or bend over), the bathroom was fine and the bedroom area although small quite acceptable. As space was tight it did mean you had to shut the bathroom door so that the wardrobe door could be opened.
Our family had an Oceania Suite which was fantastic and we could enjoy their space too, such as being on their balcony when sailing out of Miami the first night.
The design of the public areas is elegant and quite understated.
We enjoyed the evening shows in the theatre.
The food was the best bit of the cruise; we had excellent experiences in all restaurants EXCEPT Toscana. We ate there twice. The first time there was obviously a problem in the kitchen as three courses (which were all good) took 2.5 hours. The second time not only was the service slow but the main courses (except one main of pasta) were over salted and poor, which indicated more significant problems in the kitchen. When our family complained the senior staff could not have been more apologetic.
We enjoyed Polo Grill, Red Ginger and Jacques especially.
Service in the Grand Dining Room also tended to be slow but we only went for the breakfast service.
The main buffet was also excellent for all meals taken there; breakfast had an excellent choice of fresh fruits, lunch had different things every day and there was always sushi and grilled lobster available at dinner.
Disembarkation when tenders were required was a bit chaotic. The day we were in Belize we were late gaining immigration clearance and the tender was 25 minutes to shore. The staff controlling the process from the main lounge stated that priority was not given to Oceania own excursion guests but this was patently not true and more than 10 groups were called before an independent groups of guests was called. Really this added insult to injury.
Oceania excursions were extremely expensive but with the exception of Guatemala we found it easy to research and book independent, private tours on the internet before we sailed and all at considerable less expense.
In particular we would recommend:
In Belize - Cave Tubing. BZ run by Vitalino Reyes. Whilst they specialise in cave tubing we took a private tour to the mayan ruins at Alta Ha which was fantastic.
In Costa Maya - Chacchoben Mayan Ruins with The Native Choice run by Ivan Cohuo. Again we had an excellent private tour of the ruins.
In Roatan, Honduras - island tour with Rony's Tours which was extremely eye opening and our driver/guide was very flexible.