Marina Cruise Review by californication: Oceania First Timers
Overall Member Rating
Oceania First Timers
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Having cruised before mostly on Celebrity we thought we would try Oceania for a different experience. The idea of a smaller ship "best food at sea" and some ports in the Mediterranean that we hadn't visited before. The food was Excellent, there were a couple nights its was ok in the Grand dining room but in comparison to Celebrity the food was definitely a step up in comparison. (Jacques Especially excellent). We are a couple in our early 40's no kids so we enjoy being on a boat with no children while on vacation. Oceania definitely met that expectation. This Voyage was definitely an older crowd (mid 60's and up) and the energy level was very low key. There was not as many entertainment options as other lines and would have liked a bit more energy and feel that we may have been on Oceania 25 years too early. We did make the best of it but overall I am not convinced the extra cost was worth the good food and less crowded ship considering for the same money we could have booked a suite More
on another line and had a few more options of things to do. We never do any ship excursions on any line so this was not an issue. One more thing that Oceania Advertises is their shuttle service to city centers where other lines charge. However they do not mention that sometimes its limited service that runs every 45 minutes, so in some port we heard others saying they waited for 3 buses but the line was so long people got angry and were shoving and trying to board the bus obviously frustrated after waiting an 1 1/2 hours and still not being able to get on. We saw the line and realized we wouldn't make the bus and had to take a cab back.
A couple of nice things about Oceania, No constant up selling. On Celebrity it seems like every time you turn the corner someone is trying to sell you on a specialty restaurant or a photograph. No such thing on Oceania. The service was excellent Plenty of nice towels and they change your bedding regularly. Never seems crowded although if you don't make your reservations for the specialty restaurants before you go good luck getting in one they are packed every night and when we inquired about visiting one again we were told many guests have not even been able to try them because they did not make reservations pre-cruise. Also embarkation and de-embarkation are a breeze. Since there are so many less passengers you can get right on and get right off. It was nice the last day to still get room service to help get us going before we got off the ship and then just be able to walk off when you wanted and not have to sit in some area and wait for your group to be called.
So to sum things up All in all it was a good time. We did get free gratuities and free internet and a $500 shipboard credit with Oceania but it was still $2000 more than a Celebrity Cruise we did 5 months ago for the same time frame in a Concierge level balcony cabin, where we also got 2 free drink pkgs, free gratuities and a $250 shipboard credit.
Sometimes you just have to try things and see if its a good fit for you. Hopefully this review helps you make your decision Less
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In comparison to other ships we have been on built the same year as Marina the cabin was a bit bigger but all that space was in the Bathroom. The Granite was beautiful but the shower was entirely too small and Not sure how many people really need a bathtub on a cruise. I would have preferred a larger shower and vanity and some more space in the room where you spend the majority of your time. The decor was fine the tv was a bit odd in that it barely turned towards the bed and was positioned more towards the sitting area. Storage was ample, lighting was nice but other than those few items I wouldn't consider it a big selling point over other ships we have sailed on. Also room was positioned right above the gangway on the 7th deck so the noise from crane that raised and lowered it was right below us. In addition to this noise we had to endure the power washing motor as well that started at 9 a.m. everyday we were in port as they washed the saltwater off the side of the ship. I realize this is part of maintenance but we were on vacation and some days we would have liked to slept in and would have a appreciated this being done a bit later in port even an hour would have been nice.
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