This was our second cruise with Oceania Riviera and we again enjoyed the facilities on board with a few exceptions.
We flew to Miami the night before our cruise and stayed at the Hilton at Miami Airport, the hotel was very good and had a shuttle in the morning to take us to the port of Miami. They charged 12 dollars per person for this.
We arrived just after 1215pm and the queue was quite large for check in, but we were soon taken in board, from leaving the shuttle to walking on deck was about 35 minutes, considering the amount of people we thought this to be a very quick check in procedure.
This time around we were on deck 8, the last time we had reserved a Concierge class stateroom on deck 9. There was no difference in the cabin at all, the only thing we had different were to toiletries in the bathroom and no champagne.
Because we knew the ship there was no need to do the usual exploring to find out where things were. We then went off to have lunch in the Terrace restaurant. This again was very pleasant and there was an array of food on offer.
When we returned to our stateroom our cabin stewardess came to introduce herself, her name was Kristina and her helper was Valentin. Both of them were very pleasant and the only criticism all cruise was the fact that very often they forgot to fill the ice bucket, even though I had requested that we had ice for our pre-dinner drinks. This is another plus for Oceania in that they let you take on board a bottle of alcohol to consume in your stateroom, unlike other lines.
Overall a very good cruise, the staff were exceptional as our other cruise, my only disappointment was the fact that they could not get the food hot in most of the restaurants. On the whole cruise we only had, what I would describe as hot food, on three occasions, these being 1 meal in Toscana, 1 meal in Jacques and 1 meal in the Grand Dining Room. This was after repeated requests to the waiter when they took the order, to put HOT on their check to the galley. In fact at one meal in the Polo Grill we actually sent the food back as it was cold. I think this is something that Oceania should try to address as I heard many people saying that it was such a shame that the food was only warm when it arrived.
The other thing I would like to mention is I tried on our last cruise to get a Ginger Beer from Waves Bar, only to be told that they don't stock such a thing. This was obviously picked up by Oceania and on the second day of the cruise the Housekeeper came to our stateroom with 6 cans of Ginger Beer and said if I required any more then just ring and they would be replenished. This is what I call Customer Service, and a great big THANK YOU to Oceania for such attention to detail, pity this is not replicated in the Hot food.
Ports of Call Visited.
One of the reasons we took this cruise was that we had not visited some of the Ports before on our many cruises. These were Belize City, Santo Tomas, Guatemala, and Roatan, Honduras. All very interesting ports of call and if you like snorkelling then Belize is the place to go. Santo Tomas, Guatemala was far too hot at 98 deg s and 78% humidity, but the port authorities put on a show of 8 men playing xylophones in the shed on the dock and the sound was amazing.
All too soon we were back in Miami and again the efficiency of the debarkation was very efficiently done. We were given a time of 9am to debark and at 1 minute to 9 we were called.
We have since booked another cruise on Riviera for May of this year and let us hope that the staff can get a 100% mark if we can get some HOT food in the dining rooms.