Riviera Cruise Review by hollyville: Nothing like the itinerary we booked and paid for!
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Nothing like the itinerary we booked and paid for!
Lovely ship, good food, good service but staff attitude a bit mixed.
We booked this cruise for the itinerary. We have not sailed with Oceania before, we are veterans of Cunard, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and P and O.
As we were leaving for the airport I checked my email and was informed via another passenger in the US (we are English) who I had met on line via Cruise Critic that we were not sailing from Monano the next day we were leaving from Marseilles! BIG PANIC!! Nobody from Oceania had informed us (or informed our travel agent).
We found out the following day it was to do with the weather. We had to do all the work and phoning round ourselves to find out exactly what was happening. Our travel agent in the UK managed to let us know as we were literally boarding our flight to Nice that we had to just turn up at Monaco port the following morning and a coach would take us to Marseilles.
We finally managed to speak to someone at Oceania who told us More to be at the port at 9am to get the coach, we did this and the coach left at 11am! They told us it was a 2 hour drive to Marseilles, it took 3 and a half hours! By the time we got on board the first day was more or less spoilt.
Thing could only get better..........or so we thought...........to cut a long story short we missed 3 ports out of 5!! In all our many years of cruising this has never ever happened with another cruise line. They said the weather was bad and it was too choppy to get the tenders, we ended up staying 2 whole days in Naples (where we shouldn't have docked at all and is a dump). The following day it was beautiful in Sorrento (where we should have been) because we checked the weather forecast, plus we found out the sea was like a mill pond.
We could have easily gone back to Marseilles on day 3 of the cruise (where we should have docked that day) as we were only in St Tropez which is so near but they chose to take us to Monaco (where many passengers had already spent a few days before getting on the ship as that was our original embarkation port).
Everybody was complaining about missing Marseilles as a full day port stop as they had arranged tours of Provence, which for many was the highlight of the cruise (us included) and we also missed Amalfi, another highlight.
We had to cancel all the trips we had booked and looked forward to and planned for (which we had booked independantly as Oceania trips are extortionate).
We totally accept issues around passenger safety but many people on board were questioning this complete change of itinerary when they found out the sea and weather was not anything like as bad as we were told.
In short - we would never have booked this cruise if we knew we were going to miss 3 ports out of 5 (and the 3 best ports of the cruise at that).
I have looked at other reviews on Cruise Critic and it looks like Oceania do change itineraries a lot.
We would be very nervous booking with them again if the cruise was chosen because of the itinerary, as this one was. Less
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