After 5 memorable cruises on Oceania we thought we would splurge on a 6 star-rated ship in honor of our 50th anniversary. By the end of the cruise we felt we had been on a 3-star ship.
We sailed from Fort Lauderdale to the western Caribbean. It became obvious that things were different at embarkation where we stood in 2 different lines for 45 minutes [never stood in line on Oceania].
In general, the food was average, portions small, presentation ordinary, and service slow to sometimes non-existant. On our first morning at the breakfast buffet there were no cereal bowls and no one around to ask. The selection of fresh fruit was very limited. Although we embarked from Fort Lauderdale there were no fresh berries other than strawberries and no grapefruit on the buffet. To get a second cup of coffee you had to get up to find a waiter. In fact, whenever asking the staff for anything the response was grudging and unfriendly.
Dinners took 2-3 hours to get served which meant missing the entertainment most evenings [which wasn't much to see anyway]. The impression that we and other passengers we spoke with had was that the ship was understaffed and the staff was overworked. They seldom made eye contact or gave you a friendly greeting as we were accustomed to on Oceania.
One day we returned from an excursion after 2 pm. The only place to get lunch was at the poolside grill but there was no one there grilling. Instead there was a platter of small sandwiches that had been sitting out there for who knows how long and a salad bar. On Oceania there are 2 people grilling hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken until 4 pm everyday.
The celebration of our anniversary became a comedy of errors that made us regret we even mentioned it. Although the cabin was quite comfortable, its location near the rear of the ship had us experiencing noise and severe vibration that could wake the dead, especially when we came into port early in the morning.
All in all, I can't wait to take another Oceania cruise where I know I will have wonderful food and friendly service, plus a good night's sleep.