This was our first Oceania cruise which was recommended by our travel agent. We have previously cruised on Celebrity, Azamara, Carnival, Uniworld and Silversea. We choose this itinerary as it has long been on our bucket list to see Australia/New Zealand. Flight arrangements were made with Oceania with air deviation to arrive several days ahead of time in Sydney and to stay an extra night in Auckland. With air deviation the extra cost involved was an additional $1500. to our fares. We had booked an A2 concierge cabin on the 10th deck aft. Due to weather we missed the South Island of New Zealand which was a disappointment but realize that it was for the safety of all concerned.
We were impressed with the decor of the ship and the space in our cabin. There was adequate space for everything but having the closet open next to the bed was a bit tight at times. We did not feel that extra cost for concierge was worth it as all the veranda staterooms are the same size and the only benefit that we enjoyed was being able to book restaurants at an earlier date. The concierge lounge was on deck 9 forward and it was easier for us to go Terrace Cafe for morning coffee then to the lounge.
Service was good most of the time but inconsistent, one staff would tell you something was included and another would tell you something else. Also it was difficult to get to know all of the waiters as they sit you at a different table each time you go to the dining room. We did not get the beverage package and spent far less than what it would have cost us and still enjoyed martinis before dinner, a bottle of wine at dinner and occ. drink at lunch or after dinner.
The food was excellent the majority of the times and we enjoyed the Dining room most nights and esp Red Ginger and Toscana. The Terrace Cafe was good but could be crowded at times. We esp enjoyed Waves Grill for breakfast on warmer days and occ. for lunch when not off the ship.
Excursions on Oceania are overpriced and we were able to book excellent excursions on our own at a much lower rate than Oceania. Enrichment lectures were enjoyable and cooking demonstrations on sea days fun. Entertainment, we only went to 2 shows, one was excellent, a pianist and one average performer who sang pop opera numbers.
Overall, we enjoyed our cruise but much preferred having the all inclusive aspect of Silversea and being on a smaller ship. With all costs involved there was little difference in price between Oceania and an all inclusive cruise.