RIVIERA CRUISE MAY 15TH TO May 25th, 2013
This was our third cruise on Oceania Riviera in the past twelve months.
This time we embarked in Athens and left the ship in Istanbul.
Flight to Athens was very comfortable, all in the cruise price with British Airways, again from London Heathrow. We stayed the night before our flight at the Sofitel at terminal 5 so that it was only a short walk from the hotel to the terminal on the morning of our flight.
All bookings were done through Lee Johnson and everything went very smoothly.
On arrival in Athens we had booked a private car to take us to Piraeus to join Riviera.
Once we arrived at the port our bags were taken from us and the next we were to see them was in our cabin. On arrival at check in there were no queues and we were soon through security and on board, from leaving the taxi to our cabin took approx 20 minutes.
As we knew the ship quite well there was no need for the usual wander around to see where things were, so we just chilled on the balcony to await our cases. It was not long before our cases and our stateroom attendant arrived and we were unpacked and ready for the Muster drill.
Our itinerary consisted of :-
Piraeus. Nauplion, Aghios Nicolas, Santorini, Marmaris, Rhodes, Mykonos, Kusadasi, Cruising the Dardanelles, and Istanbul for two days.
Unfortunately we did not go to Aghios Nicolas, but had a sea day, because of very high winds and we could not dock.
One thing before the cruise there was a lot of discussion about Turkish Visas, you will need one if you are over night in Istanbul but you can now get one on line as an E Visa. This is far cheaper than letting Oceania do it for you.
Another thing we have found with Oceania is that their excursions are very expensive, we therefore find it more convenient and cheaper to do our own thing in ports.
Because of the fact that we had sailed on the ship less than six weeks ago, we found that staff remembered us from our previous cruise, which was very nice.
We managed to get more bookings in the speciality restaurants than we were allowed. We found that if we went down to the reservations desk in a morning that people had cancelled and we took advantage of this. Overall we eat on 7 of the 10 days in the speciality restaurants.
Regarding the food, again it was very varied my only concern, and I put this in the mid cruise questionnaire, is that the food is not Hot but only warm.
And yet again I mentioned this each evening to the Maitre’d before we ordered. In fact we had one very good meal in Toscana, when we pointed out to Enzio, that our food had been a disappointment, regards the heat of the food.
I would hope that Oceania really look into this, as we found many passengers we spoke to had the same opinion, food not Hot but warm.
People who we thought should need a mention are. Dominique Nicholl, General Manager, only on for part of the cruise, a great asset to Oceania, also Miko one of the section heads in the MDR. The lady manager of the spa, could not do enough and went out of her way to be helpful. Also our Steward.
A very good cruise yet again and we look forward to booking a cruise on Nautica this coming September.