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Riviera Cruise Review by chachcha

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Member Name: chachcha
Cruise Date: November 2013
Embarkation: Istanbul
Destination: Mediterranean
Cabin Category:
Cabin Number: 8018
Booking Method:
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Member Rating   4.0 out of 5+
Dining 5.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Cabins 5.0
Entertainment 5.0
Spa & Fitness 5+
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 3.0
Embarkation 1.0
Service 5+
Value-for-Money 4.0
Rates Not Rated
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Ship Facts: Riviera Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Riviera Deck Plans
nice but......

Having done 44 cruises throughout the world, we deem ourselves as experienced cruisers though this was our first Oceania cruise experience.

Our first port of call and embarkation was Istanbul - good thing the ship was in dock for two days - we checked in at 8:45 PM on the first day. Needless to say, by the time we checked in, we were exhausted after going thru three airports and the layovers. So not impressed with the air arrangements thru Oceania.

There are four specialty restaurants, one grand dining room and the buffet. The specialty restaurants are free of charge but reservations are mandatory - which are difficult to obtain as there are so many passengers on the ship. One night, we showed up at the "Red Ginger", without a reservation, in hopes of a possible cancellation. We waited for 10 minutes before the Maitre'D decided to grace us with her attention and then we were rudely told that, "no reservation, no service". So not impressed with her stuffy attitude.

Subsequently, we had our chance to dine in the Red Ginger Restaurant (Asian Fusion) - excellent cuisine.

My French onion soup from the specialty French Restaurant was served lukewarm. The grease from the cheese sat like a film on top of the soup.

This trip was port intensive therefore many times, we returned from our shore excursions well after 2 or 3 PM. After 2PM, the ONLY place one could have lunch would be in the Wave Grill - which is a burger/sandwich joint with a small variety of salads for the afternoon. One can only eat so many burgers with fries.

We ended up dining in the buffet most of the evenings due to the unavailability of reservations in the specialty dining rooms. The buffet has an excellent choice of sushi (rolled to perfection), all-u-can eat lobsters, steak, prime rib, organic roast chicken and a large selection of appetizers, a chocolate fountain with assorted fresh fruits and beautiful desserts. We did notice that the entree selections lacked anything spicy so if you like curries or Sichuan, forget it. Their soups and pizzas were unpalatable - nursing home style.

We love to dance and they had two excellent bands on board. We especially enjoyed the band called "Siglio" - they played ballroom music to tempo which pleased us no end.

The shows were good - just don't expect the productions that you normally see on Princess or Carnival.

We enjoyed the gym facilities and we liked being able to help ourselves to bottles of Vitamin water or Gatorade. The gal who taught the stretch classes was very personable, yet very professional and knowledgeable in her presentations.


Publication Date: 01/14/14
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