Riviera Cruise Review by Linechoaz: Beautiful ship!
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It was a wonderful cruise on an absolutely beautiful ship. This ship is like a floating art museum. There are over 1000 pieces of art on the ship and there is art everywhere you turn. Paintings, sculptures, glass art, etc. If you get the chance, go on an art walk around the ship. I did it at around 3:00 on a port day when nobody was out on the ship. I mean there were no people in any of my photos and I walked from the top of the ship at one end to the bottom at the other. It was after lunch and before dinner and just before everyone had to be back on the ship from their port excursions. The stairway is a spectacular work of art created by Lalique and there is a plaque telling how many artists and how long it took to create. It's spectacular.
Keep in mind that this ship is not meant for children. There are absolutely no activities for kids and only one small pool. It's quiet and elegant and expensive. The food is quite refined. As a parent, I highly recommend you choose More another cruise line for a trip with kids. They will be quite bored on this ship!
That being said, something we really liked is that there no "formal" evenings. They recommend "country club casual" but for dinner dress up a bit. Flip flops are not permitted in the restaurants for dinner, except for the casual Waves which is an outdoor (but covered) grill by the pool.
The food was outstanding in each of the restaurants and the service was as wonderful as the food. I had one minor complaint when I wrote in the mid-cruise review that they ask passengers to fill out and they found us at dinner one night to address the issue! They could not do enough for us. Service was outstanding. We had three in a room and so used the fold-out sofa bed. It was uncomfortable, but we asked them for an extra mattress and they not only brought it, but they hid it behind the curtains by day when they made up the room and each night they made up the bed with the extra mattress for us and left chocolates on the beds!
One thing that I would agree with other reviewers on is the entertainment. There was one night with a very good show. It was a tribute to Andrew Lloyd Webber and it was really good. The rest of the nights the shows were not great. The cruise director Nolan was great, friendly, funny and very personable, but the others who ran the bingo, trivia, karaoke, etc. were not very good. They were too corny and/or boring. The exercise classes and gym and spa were great. I loved the thalassotherapy pool. It's like a big jacuzzi and I felt wonderful after using it!
I was lucky to take a cooking class in their culinary center and it was wonderful. I wanted to take the art classes, but missed the first two and you can't really start late as you build on what you learned in the previous classes.
The library is wonderful and there are so many nooks and places to sit and curl up with a book on the ship, it was really relaxing. Baristas coffee bar was great! I visited it a couple of times a day. There is no extra charge for food or drinks except alcoholic drinks. And if you look on the daily newsletter there are alcoholic drink specials every day. You can order a bottle of wine in any of the restaurants and if you don't finish it they will put it in their cellar and you can have it brought to you in any of the restaurants next time you want wine. All of the restaurants were wonderful and had their own special food and atmosphere. We didn't go to the private dining rooms that you pay extra for. There were so many specialty restaurants that we never had to wait long to be seated and there was never a crowd to fight through anywhere on the ship. The cruise was completely sold out and places filled up, but it never felt overly crowded. Public restrooms were great. Pretty and well appointed and each stall was completely private.
The bathroom in the stateroom was wonderful. Two showers and a full bathtub. Two fairly spacious medicine cabinets. Large bottles of shampoo, conditioner and lotion, but I found the lotion was too perfumed and gave me a headache. The stateroom was large enough for three of us to share and the balcony was a great little extra space to sit and enjoy your own private view. We found enough space with the closet, shelves and a desk to unpack all of our bags and stow the suitcases under the bed. We were on the eighth floor and the concierge level starts on the ninth floor so I cannot comment on the concierge level service and extra amenities. The cabin was exactly as it appeared in the pictures on the Oceania website and brochures. Beautiful.
There was a medical emergency with a passenger early one the morning and a helicopter came and took her away to a medical center. They updated us that evening in the showroom and told us that she was doing well without going into any specifics. The rescue put us behind two hours getting in to our next port, but they added two hours on to our port time to make up for it and we arrived at our next port on time. The captain apologized for the delay over the PA system but said that passengers health and safety is their number one priority.
I recommend that you sign up as early as possible before the cruise for any extras you want to do, such as the culinary classes, restaurant reservations, etc. There were lines to sign up for these things and people often did not get the activities or reservations they wanted.
The excursions and ports were great! We loved "The Baths" and "Devil's Bay" at Virgin Gorda and St Bart's best. Be aware that the currency on St Bart's is the euro and therefore can be quite expensive, although I bought a couple of silver rings that were reasonably priced. Also be aware that the caves at The Baths were quite a strenuous activity and only for the fit and walking up the path from Devil's Bay back to the parking lot was a good, but lengthy and steep path and also only for the fit. In short, don't do this activity if you have significant physical limitations or are just not fit, or leave plenty of time to return to the meeting place at the parking lot. My husband had to run and was dripping with sweat and he is fairly fit.
I highly recommend Oceania. Enjoy your cruise! Less
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Cabin review: 8031
The bathroom in the stateroom was wonderful. Two showers and a full bathtub. Two fairly spacious medicine cabinets. The stateroom was large enough for three of us to share and the balcony was a great little extra space to sit and enjoy your own private view. We found enough space with the closet, shelves and a desk to unpack all of our bags and stow the suitcases under the bed. We were on the eighth floor and the concierge level starts on the ninth floor so I cannot comment on the concierge level service and extra amenities. The stateroom looked exactly as it appeared in the pictures on the website. Really lovely.