We are a couple aged 59 and 63. This was my first cruise ever; my partner's umpteenth cruise. He had always cruised on the big ships so we looked forward to this new experience.
We chose this cruise mostly because of the itinerary. Few other cruise lines offered the ports of Sitka, Homer, Seward, Wrangell and Anchorage. As we learned more about Oceania, we greatly anticipated the food, service and general ambiance. Sadly, our expectations were not met in all of these areas.
The ship itself is absolutely gorgeous. The dEcor is tasteful and immaculately maintained. I never saw so much as a speck of lint on the carpet or a finger smudge on the brass or the woodwork. The library is breathtaking, the grand dining room is elegant, Martini's Bar became a favorite spot. The bathrooms were spotless always.
Our stateroom staff, Madi and Alex, were outstanding. All requests were graciously fulfilled and our stateroom was immaculately maintained. Even when we had some plumbing problems, they were dealt with quickly and efficiently and we were even treated to a bottle of champagne to apologize for our inconvenience.
The cocktails onboard are expertly prepared and our favorite bartender, Leo, deserves special recognition. We enjoyed martini tasting and wine tasting.
We booked almost all our excursions through Oceania and with only one exception found them to be satisfactory. The "Winderness ATV excursion" was a $200 expensive misrepresentation. It was basically taking an ATV up a hill as if one were on a test ride at a dealership before buying the ATV.
Terry Breen, the onboard expert, made the trip especially enjoyable and her knowledge and commentary were most appreciated.
The entertainment onboard was disappointing. String quartets for the duration? Oceania needs some better choices. The goal may be to create a sophisticated ambiance, but a steady diet of the same old thing of anything is boring. Some more lively music would be appreciated.
The Polo Grill is excellent and, frankly, what we expected to find throughout the cruise. That was not the case.
Unfortunately, the wait staff is somewhat inconsistent. Errors were made at nearly every dinner. Water glasses weren't promptly re-filled. Incredibly, breakfast at the Terrace Cafe means that cream or half & half for coffee is only available by special request and then it takes an extraordinary amount of time to have the request fulfilled. Many mornings the Terrace staff walked past us focused on re-setting tables even when we raised our hand or waived to get noticed.
Most disappointing was the complete lack of fresh Alaska seafood on the menu. In 12 nights, we had Alaska salmon only 1 time. No Alaska King crab. No fresh Halibut. We were stunned and very disappointed.
Dinner at Toscana was adequate, but not extraordinary. The baby lettuce salad and carpaccio appetizer were good, but the Oso Bucco and Veal Chop main course were very disappointing. We live in the NY metro area. We dine out often. With all that we had read about the food on Oceania, we expected better.