Marina Cruise Review by ffnole: Venice to Rome
Member Since 2007
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Venice to Rome
This was our fourth cruise in Europe in past five years. Took private port tours throughout so no perspective on Oceania value in that regard.
Will keep this high level and hopefully simple to follow. Will try to be very objective in summary thoughts. Arrived in Venice several days before the cruise which was quite enjoyable but still crowded for October. Stayed over this past weekend in Rome...and it was typical crowded as well. Had great weather in both cities and throughout the cruise except for one day in Corfu, a complete wet and windy washout but got out there touring anyway. Missed Montenegro due to the port being closed for high winds. Got involved in a late afternoon wild hail storm in Dubrovnik but our touring for the day had ended. Tendered twice.
Overall- Very impressed with food and overall service throughout the cruise and the beautiful Marina. The vast majority of cruise passengers we talked to had a great time. In fact talked to not one soul who had More major issues. Rate it 4.7 stars on a five scale/nothing is perfect but this was pretty close. We had a Penthouse 3 suite. High percentage of passengers from the US and very high english speaking population.
Food- As most everyone has mentioned, the food on this ship is outstanding. Hard to imagine anyone could find reason to complain with the multitude of choices. Terrace Cafe was a jewel for all three meals but a surprise at dinner. How can you top grilled lobster tails, steaks, kabobs and vegies every night. Ate at all four specialty restaurants and loved them all. Beautiful designs, great service and wonderful tastes and preparation. Also thought La Reserve was the highlight of the cruise and worth the $75 upchage. I have paid $500 for two in NY for a five course meal with wine pairings at a great Mario Batali Italian restaurant that was no better. Great value for a terrific three hour evening with interesting people. Main dining room was very good the two times we tried it.
Service- With a few minor exceptions (noted below), service from our butler, room attendent and in all the restaurants was excellent. Lots of smiling faces around the ship, including the cruise director. Front desk cashes euros at a reasonable exchange rate (adds to your bill).
Ambience- Ship is drop dead beautiful and easy to navigate. I liked the size much better than the 2000+ ships we have been on before. We hit the track and exercise room but not the spa. Took the stairs whenever possible to counter balance all the lobster tails.
Country Club Casual- I liked it...no ties which I wear for a living. People dressed well and appropriate for the most part. Very nice well educated and well traveled crowd on the ship.
The Beds- best we have had on a cruise ship. Better than home. The Penthouse 3 was great.
Boarding and Departing was a breeze. I like getting off whenever you feel like it...not color code tags with assigned times.
Guest Lecturers- Spent time with cameraman extraordinaire (just ask him) Joe Dimaggio in his camera workshop classes. Very interesting guy. Fun times.
Culinary School- had a hard time going at 430 with all the day touring but did attend the pizza making class and had a blast. What a great concept.
No kids (just one) and very limited smoking areas. For us that was a home run. Like the concept of an all adult cruise with active passengers. We did our Disney time.
Room for Improvement-
Entertainment- no reason to expand on what others have said. Just not a place Oceania puts a lot of money or effort but not missed on a cruise with no sea days. Not surprised after all after the comments here and no big deal imo. People that went to shows seemed to enjoy themselves.
Spa- we didn't have much time for the spa anyway with a busy schedule. Prices were double what we have paid on other cruise ships. That was the only observation.
Conceirge- on level five was a "grump bag" to most passengers. Actually sort of funny after a while...the guy was at least consistent. How he got that job i have no idea but a change is in order. This was the rare exception to otherwise exceptional service.
Penthouse 3 Shower- felt like I was in a car wash albeit a tiny one at that. It worked but could have been better designed. Loved all the storage space in the bathroom.
Executive Lounge- has no limited access so anyone can wander in and use it. Attendent was rarely on duty. It was a nice perk but have seen better.
Overall I highly recommend Marina and will be cruising it again next August to the Baltics. Had a great time. Less
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