LOVELY SHIP, GREAT FOOD... BUT NOT A LOT ELSE: Riviera Cruise Review by CAIRN2
Overall Member Rating
LOVELY SHIP, GREAT FOOD... BUT NOT A LOT ELSE
Destination: Western Caribbean
I agree with previous reviews re restaurants, suites and general presentation of the ship so there is no point in duplicating this in my review.
Our first interaction with the customer service 6 weeks prior to sailing as we were unable to book either the excursions we wanted or get decent (not 6.30 or 9.30pm) reservations in any of the speciality restaurants. They did not seem to understand that these elements of the cruise were paramount to us booking in the first place. After several emails and telephone conversations we managed to secure our "guaranteed 4" dining options, but were unable to get 2 out of the 4 excursions we were looking to book. When my husband escalated our concerns he was told, quite firmly, that they would not be offering any compensation! We never asked to be compensated, only to have the More facilities in their own brochure made available to us. This left us feeling very nervous as to what we had actually booked and I'm afraid this dissociation with the customer is the main problem we encountered during our trip.
We took a penthouse suite, which was lovely and well serviced. The butler was excellent.
The main issue we had with the cruise was that we felt that the ship was without personality. The cruise director is very one dimensional and distant. He oozes insincerity and disinterest as do the other members of the entertainment staff. On other cruises we have taken, the entertainment team are very visible and engaging, stopping to talk to you, lead the evening entertainment and creating an atmosphere and vibrancy that makes the ship buzz. This ship is dead by 10.30pm. Some of that is down to the demographic (the average age is 65+) but in the main it because the entertainment staff do nothing to get things going after the main show. I
In the various bars around the ship the service is very slow, most times taking around 15 minutes from order to being served your drink. We found the drinks package comprehensive and the wines very acceptable, but be prepared to have to repeatedly try to catch someones attention to order another drink. Also, in the restaurants, you will need to ask the waiter to ask the sommelier to top up your glass during dinner and a lot of the time, we had nearly finished our plate before we received the wine.
The serving staff are quite different to the entertainment staff. We found them to be attentive and very pleasant. The maitre d's in all of the restaurants run very efficient and friendly venues.
If Oceania are looking to gain loyalty from the new generation of cruisers, they need to understand that they need to be more than just a floating restaurant.
On the excursions, they are well organised, but very over priced and the food offered is quite substandard. Less