Uneven Experience with Oceania: Marina Cruise Review by trevaann
Overall Member Rating
Uneven Experience with Oceania
Destination: South Pacific
Embarkation: Santiago (Valparaiso)
There are seven different restaurants; five are specialty which require reservations. Only one of the five, La Reserve, requires an additional charge; the rest are included in your cruise fare. The Grand Dining room and Terrace Café are both dine at any time restaurants. The Terrace Café, being the ships buffet restaurant, had a good selection most days and most selections were changed daily except there is little change at breakfast. A good and different experience was his ship's staff serve you at the buffet rather than each passenger serving themselves. We like the fact that several hundred people do not touch serving utensils but instead the ship's staff do with hands in protective gloves. Added to this protection is this ship has more than the usual number of antibacterial dispensers.
Of the four specialty restaurants that do not charge extra, the Red Ginger is the only one that is not located on the ship's perimeter; it is an inside restaurant. It, like the other specialty restaurants, is nicely decorated to match the restaurant's theme which in this case is Asian. It is not a Chinese restaurant. Jacques is not a French restaurant either but it does have French dishes on the menu. The Polo Grill has the lamb, steak and some seafood items you would expect. It was very good but the meat was not cooked to order twice. Toscana, the Italian restaurant was great, and like 4 other restaurants on the ship, has many tables for two along the window walls - very romantic. The Grand Dining room was our favorite and had good menu selections almost every day. Service in all restaurants was the best we have had on any ship to date. And we enjoyed the fact that restaurants were not loud; you could even hear the overhead music. One evening we did have a couple of issues in the Grand Dining room, aside from another steak that was not cooked to order. The supervisory staff handled and resolved the problems very quickly and did more than we expected. Again, it was great service. But the food was not to that level. We found the entrées at times with little taste. The bread and deserts were exceptional, however.
Oceania charges more than we are accustom to for its mixed drinks, wine by the glass and bottled wine. Sodas and bottled water are free. It also charges a lot more for its excursions vs. Cunard and Princess which were the last two cruises we took this past year before Oceania.
The veranda cabin we booked on the seventh floor was a nicest cabin we can remember. It was tastefully decorated and that, combined with a large granite bathroom with tub and shower gave us daily a feeling of space that made our trip more relaxing. We had an exceptional cabin stewardess. Every day our sliding glass door was washed so we could have a good view every day. Unfortunately, upon arriving at the ship on the first day we found that our deck had an obstruction which blocked the view on the lower 14 inches of the railing. We had booked an unobstructed cabin and Oceania assured us in making our booking that it was unobstructed. This was a big issue for us because a few years ago we booked and paid for another Oceania cruise in an unobstructed cabin and when we arrived at the ship found our cabin had 40% of its balcony obstructed by decorative sheet metal. In that case Oceana did nothing for us and we were stuck with a situation. In this cruise Oceana did give us a shipboard credit, but it did not make up for 18 days looking at the obstruction and again we were stuck with it. This really impacted our enjoyment of the trip for again the ship was full and we could not move. The trust factor was lost with Oceania as a result.
On this particular cruise we have a few more comments to pass on. Two days out on our 28 day cruise we were told the ship ran out of small US currency. It also did not have Chilean currency so we were in a little trouble for our stop at Easter Island because we had mostly large currency. Next, the ship's store is small for items such as toothpaste and suntan lotion. It was running out of items before we get on our 28 day cruise and we were told that it would not be replenished until the ship reached Sydney Australia; that's several cruises after ours. They had an art company on board providing art auctions on sea days. We purchased a couple of pieces and when we arrived home Oceania called us and said they were refunding our money as it canceled its agreement with the art company. We wish they would have advised us of this while we were on ship. On a positive note, there was a lot of tendering off the ship during our stops in the islands. The service was very well handled, efficient and safety was always the first order of business.
From our perspective, Oceania promotes itself as a luxury cruise line and prices its cruises accordingly. During our cruise the ship's staff tried very hard to measure up to a luxury line but Oceania is not there yet. Although the service and food were good, the price for the cruise and the higher costs for alcoholic beverages and excursions did not provide good value compared to other cruise lines taken recently. Less
Cabin review: 7051
This cabin has an obstructed view but it is not sold by Oceania as obstructed. Lower 14" or so of railing view obstructed by beam supporting the gangway
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