Overall, it was a fantastic cruise - 26 days through Eastern Caribbean and 1000 miles up the Amazon to Manaus. The itinerary was imaginative, including islands only accessible by smaller ships like the Regatta. And a visit to Devil's Island off French Guiana.
Food, to our taste, has been over-rated. We found it quite bland and ordinary. Burgers at Waves Grill were precooked and warmed on the grill. The corned beef hash and the beans at breakfast were canned stuff! In general, not up to the superior Jacques Pepin cuisine advertised. A disappointment, for sure. The Toscana speciality restaurant was very good but again, little things like orange-ish tomatoes served with the buffalo mozzarella were not up to par. They ran out of things a week before the end of the cruise - like cream for coffee, lemon for tea and did not replenish enroute for some reason. While all dining staff in all venues were very helpful and friendly, the Terrace Cafe/Tapas Restaurant seemed always short of More
staff. Pasta of any kind was consistently superior. The fresh breads great, too.
The lecturer, Don Klein, was tops. We attended every one of the 15 offered. He was thorough and very interesting with great audio-visual stuff and a reading list at the end. Did not attend the entertainment because there was only one show time offered at 9:45PM. We are early risers and would have attended shows had there been another earlier as well as the late one.
Our cabin was very nice - clean and always kept tidy by the stewards. They went out of their way to meet our needs. The bed and linens were wonderful and as advertised - comfy and luxurious.
The public areas tend to be a bit crowded because it is a small ship. The bars and meeting areas, including the library, were always full and at times not enough seating for everyone. I noticed there were no bar snacks. A small thing perhaps. But I had expected some. Not available even when we asked.
But the really awful occurrence was at embarkation. Their system is way off kilter. Not enough staff to meet the need and to keep everything orderly. They at one point moved a couple-three hundred of us into a side room when they were unable to deal with the crowd, and then seemed to forget about us. We could see new arrivals walk in off the street, go right through the check in line and off to the ship. While we waited more than 2.5 hours in that side room with no attention. There were elderly, disabled, diabetic and just plain cranky passengers in that room and we were put off time and again despite requests. We saw "supervisor" types walking around with clipboards and other papers who did not offer to help check in all the passengers. There were only three lines for suite clients and two for other clients. Not near enough. I would call it "client abuse" - thoughtless and disorganized to the max.
Again, it was a great cruise. There was just room for improvement. I would sail with Oceania again if the itinerary were interesting. Less