Superb embarkation process, tip: arrive later than your time on ticket and avoid crowds; in Venice use the water taxis to get around from airports and hotels; our hotel was amazingly good (Londra Palace) and well located on Grand canal; hire local guide to do a personalized tour (avoid big group); familiarize yourself with the ship before you actually board - finding things is much easier! We were worried that 1200+ passengers would make Riviera less friendly and more crowded than Nautica or Regatta - this was dispelled very quickly with the cheeriness of both crew and passengers and the ample space to move around in. What a fast transition for us from one small R ship to another big R, Riviera. Everything was seemingly in a similar location to where it was on the Regatta, only more of it, so we were relieved and happy. Our cabin, a B2, forward was bigger than we expected and fine for us. Our dining arrangements for the specialty restaurants were all in order, the sail away was perfect, and the service given us was outstanding. The one item which we felt might improve was the shore excursions, but we had blended our own plans with some from Oceania, our own proved to be better with one exception - the Oceania culinary tours were top notch and although expensive, very rewarding experiences.
La Reserve was very good dining, do it. Red Ginger was best in my view, but she says Jacques was her favourite - you can't miss! We really liked the irish piano player and the string quartet but were never able to make the theatre shows - too busy enjoying the sea! If you get a really rude noisy group that ruin your dinner evening (we did once) the Maitre'D will arrange another night for you - that is going the extra mile to be of help. Oh, we did fly to the ship on an Airbus 380 and it was very good, but the fold flat beds were not as good as on a Boeing 777 for sleeping. We will continue to sail on Oceania's ships, you should, too!