7 Auckland to South Pacific Oceania Marina Cruise Reviews

The ship is in excellent shape now that it has aged a bit. The cabins seem smaller than the 242 sq. feet advertised. Oceania is now being cheap with soap and shampoo--not exactly what you expect from a luxury cruise. Other than that, the ... Read More
The ship is in excellent shape now that it has aged a bit. The cabins seem smaller than the 242 sq. feet advertised. Oceania is now being cheap with soap and shampoo--not exactly what you expect from a luxury cruise. Other than that, the cabin steward was efficient. Since this is the 3rd time on the Marina for us, there were no surprises until the last day. The food and service in the specialty restaurants is superb and you can eat there almost every night if you wish. Just phone reservations at 9 AM and you will get a seat. The MDR had a lot better food than last cruise but the service is spotty. Entertainment is a weak point for Oceania. One great show featuring Tahitian dancers the last night was it. Anyone who buys one of Oceania's shore excursions has more money than brains. They were often less well done than ones you arrange through Cruise Critic roll call or by yourself and 4 times the price. Ridiculous. This was my second time in the South Pacific and other than New Zealand, prepare to be hot and humid. Its OK at sea but on land, it is really draining. Oceania's air deviation service was a total rip off. I booked to take off at a cost of an extra $350 for the 2 of us with Air France in the morning. Somehow, even though I had a seat, they were overbooked and was bumped to the flight at midnight I was trying to avoid. Complaining to Oceania's Guest Relations has resulted in no response whatsoever. With the ship overnighting in port, They basically abandoned us to fend for ourselves in 90 degree heat We missed our hotel at LAX and our connection the next morning and with all flights booked for the rest of the day, spent another night in LA. What a terrible end to what had been a nice cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
The service on this ship was outstanding! Staff were very friendly and very helpful. However the general operation of the ship seemed to be sadly lacking. We rarely saw or heard from the captain other than to give us our compass bearing. ... Read More
The service on this ship was outstanding! Staff were very friendly and very helpful. However the general operation of the ship seemed to be sadly lacking. We rarely saw or heard from the captain other than to give us our compass bearing. Entry into some of the ports was obviously very difficult because of the reefs. We heard from another passenger than the reef around I believe it was Samoa was second only to the Great Barriere Reef in size. Nothing from the captain. We had 5 days at sea. The sea was not that rough but the Marina really rocks from side to side. Not a pleasant experience. I DO realize that we were in the middle of the Pacific Ocean but it seemed excessive for the roughness of the water. Although Oceania prides itself on its food, we were sadly disappointed. Red Ginger and Jacques were excellent but the other places to eat need improvement. I had the special of the day in Toscana - a white fish that tasted like mush. Of course they offered something else but not much fun eating by yourself when everyone else at the table is finished so I declined. We had dinner a couple of times in the Terrace buffet because they served Sushi. They had it only once at lunch. More often would be nice. One night I had paella in the Terrace Grill. Inedible and that was not just my opinion. Others said the same. On the last night aboard ship, we ate in the GDR so that we could finish in time to see the show. Wiener Schnitzel sounded lovely but was dry and absolutely tasteless. We asked for some type of condiment to help the taste and were told they had none. As it really was inedible, we left our dinner and went to the buffet for sushi. It is very lovely to have the ability to just go somewhere else but also very wasteful. Dress code in the dining rooms left much to be desired. If it is resort casual then that is what it should be. Not formal but not a tshirt either. I think the part that we disliked the most was the disembarkation process which started two full days before we were due to get off the ship. When we were still in Bora Bora, the ship info on the TV was all about how to disembark. WE STILL HAD ANOTHER PORT TO VISIT, There was not a word about Moorea or things to do there. Also two nights before we were due to leave the ship, they had the staff all come up on the stage as a Farewell. We still had another 36 hours on the ship. On the day we were in Moorea, the whole atmosphere on the ship seemed to change. They were now into gearing up mode for the next lot of passengers. On the final evening, the TV actually had a welcome greeting for the new passengers! The Tahitian dance show on the final night was wonderful! They could have had the staff come on stage that night and it would have been a much better farewell. Some ships have a wonderful deck party and staff parade on the last night which is much more of a send-off and a thank you to their departing passengers. Then of course there is the saga of the long wait in Papeete for flights home. This really isn't the fault of Oceania although when you book your fare includes air you do not expect to have to pay for a taxi to the airport. Needless to say we will Not be cruising with Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I haven't published a review in some time, as many of the major cruise lines have thousands of reviews already and what can I add? But Oceania doesn't currently have that many reviews up, and certainly not many of this particular ... Read More
I haven't published a review in some time, as many of the major cruise lines have thousands of reviews already and what can I add? But Oceania doesn't currently have that many reviews up, and certainly not many of this particular cruise leg on Marina. This was our first cruise with Oceania. We were traveling with my spouses parents, who have been on 50 or so cruises, mostly on the majors. They are (to be blunt) jaded. We wanted this cruise to be special, as we go on relatively few cruises ourselves. The big question we had prior to setting sail was "is the increased cost of a line like Oceania worth it?" If so, we would prefer to go on fewer cruises and have a better experience. Did it end up being better? I will attempt to answer that question in this review. *The Package* It seems the big difference between Oceania and other cruise lines is the way they package their cruises for sale. 2 for 1 cruise fares. Airfare included. Free this. Free that. I think this is a big part of their value proposition. However, whether someone feels this is an actual value may differ from person to person. We had the free airfare, $400 per cabin shipboard credit, free wifi, and maybe a couple other minor concierge-level things. Soft drinks are free for everyone. There are no charges for the specialty restaurants. So with everything included, it seems the price was comparable to some Holland America cruises, where you make all those other arrangements yourself, and you pay extra on board for the other services. The cruise itself was free of the constant begging and upselling which can be a real nuisance on some cruise lines (looking at you, Celebrity!). One good thing about letting Oceania do all of the travel arrangements for you is that once you book your cruise, they will send you notices about upgrades, alternative itineraries, etc. which you can take advantage of if you haven't already made travel arrangements yourself. We were tempted to chose an alternative cruise offer (which would have given us a higher class of stateroom and some cash back), and the Oceania travel agency would have made all the changes for free. Plus, if they make the arrangements and there are delays or other problems, they fix it. The bad thing is that you are hostage to their arrangements, and you really have no say in when you leave, what seats you get, what airline, etc. If you value these things, and I do, it drives you crazy to be so powerless. You can have more control if you do their "Deviation Request" but this will cost extra. Bottom line: if you like having someone else in control of the arrangements, this is a big convenience and they do an OK job. If you don't want to sit in the cattle section, pay for the business class upgrades. If you want to fly in a couple days early, pay for the deviation request. Their travel agents are competent and able to fulfill most any request...for a price. *The Food* Oceania makes much of the fact they "spend the most per passenger on food!" Perhaps they do. There sure is a lot of food. On the 3 larger ships they have 4 specialty restaurants. Pre-cruise you can make one reservation for each restaurant online. Then you can make additional reservations by the day. We had pretty good luck getting in to all of them. Red Ginger - Asian - People seemed to really like this restaurant and they talked about it a lot with their fellow passengers. The first time we went I thought the food was too sweet. Fruit in everything. Sweet sauces. The second time we went it was better. I had the Malaysian Paenang one night which was very good. Overall I thought Red Ginger was so-so but others liked it better than I did. Polo - Steakhouse - Our party really liked this restaurant. The beef was high quality. The appetizers and sides were excellent. The service was great. Jacques - French - Namesake of famed French chef Jacques Pepin. This was by far our favorite of the four specialty restaurants. The lamb loin was easily the best dish I have ever had at sea. Fantastic service. Toscana - Italian - In our opinion the weakest of the four. I ordered a pasta entree one night, it happened to be the special of the day, and I received 4 small ravioli on a huge plate covered with a little tasteless sauce. Disappointing. They had some fresh fish dishes that were good, but otherwise, all the pasta tasted the same. Aside from the four specialty restaurants, the Main Dining Room had a fairly extensive menu. The buffet was actually pretty good, and they had a casual cafe, Waves, out by the pool. We ate breakfast mostly in the buffet. We didn't eat as many meals in the Main Dining Room as we do on other cruises. The Good Overall the quality of the ingredients was high. Preparation was mostly good as far as technique went. The restaurants and buffets are very clean - they didn't allow passengers to help themselves in the buffet. The Bad I think some of the menu options in the MDR tried too hard. Some were overly complex. I was surprised that a lot of the offerings were so tasteless. They could have used a lot more herbs and spices. More heat. When you order a spicy dish extra spicy, you want it extra spicy. When you order off the "Menu de Degustation" you expect it to taste like something more than what is offered at the Macaroni Grill. Also, maybe have some family favorites to order. Not every night has to be a 2 1/2 hour gastric extravaganza. Sometimes you just want a nice plate of spagetti and meatballs! *The Ship and Staterooms* Marina is a beautiful ship. Nicely appointed. Beautiful artwork. Some nice marble work. Spotlessly clean. She's smaller than most of the ships in the majors. I found Marina to be the perfect size. I liked the Canyon Ranch spa and the concierge level spa deck. Staterooms were okay. Supposedly they are more spacious than on other lines. The bathrooms are nice, but imo they should ditch the separate tub idea. The tubs take up a lot of room that could be used to make the showers bigger, and the staterooms a little bigger as well. The balconies were decently sized, but not overly large. The storage was adequate, though I thought the closet was a little small. The bed was fantastic! Another Oceania exclusive is the bed and bedding. First rate. Unbelievably comfortable and luxurious. *Dress Code* Country Club Casual. They mean it. I wasn't real sure. But if you have slacks/polos or khakis/oxfords for men, that's all you need. Women can wear sparkly tops over slacks or skirts and be right at home in the evening. Some people dressed up more but typically if you just follow the "no shorts, no jeans, no t-shirts" maxim for the restaurants and MDR you will be fine. Shorts and T-shirts ruled during the day. *Excursions* Excursions come up in the reviews I've read. Most people saying they are too expensive. I don't know about that. They seemed priced in line with the competition to me. One nice thing about booking the excursions through Oceania is the time guarantee. You don't have to worry about missing the ship. We were in port late one morning, and all the times of the Oceania excursions were adjusted accordingly. I imagine if you had made alternative arrangements all that would be up to you. I did think a couple of them were overpriced for what you got. The book description of a few were really over the top compared to what we actually saw and did. One in particular was especially egregious. We were supposed to go see a Sea Turtle Refuge, and the description was quite exhaustive and made it sound like this was a really special place. All eco-touristy, save the turtles. Well, it was actually a dirty pond off the main road, with no sea turtles in it. At first they were going to skip it, but it was the whole reason why we booked the tour in the first place and a lot of people insisted they stop. Otherwise, it was just an expensive excursion to go sit around by the pool at a Sheraton Hotel. So this particular one - bad. But overall, no better or worse than any other cruise line imo. *Itinerary* - quick notes. I may do separate port/excursion reviews sometime. New Zealand - Tauranga and Bay of Islands. Fantastic. Nothing like sailing into the Bay of Islands at sunrise, smelling the jasmine in the air. New Caledonia - Noumea. Good maritime museum. Isle of Pines - Beautiful. Good snorkeling. Primitive. Fiji - Fun place. Fijians are very entrepreneurial. I liked the orchid gardens. Apia, Western Samoa. Samoans are the friendliest people in the world. Pago Pago, American Samoa - Not as friendly as Western Samoans, but pretty friendly! Beautiful island. Bora Bora. One of the most beautiful islands in the world. Spectatular lagoon. Good beaches. Warm water. Moorea. Another beautiful island. Dolphin watching was fun. Tahiti. Interesting but not as compelling as other islands in French Polynesia. *Embark/Disembark* They really need to work on this. Very chaotic. By far the worst experiences of the trip. Embarkation in Auckland. Masses of people leaving the ship trying to get taxi rides to the airport while passengers from the first 3 Air New Zealand flights were trying to figure out where to go. There really was no place to go, as we were at the alternative cruise terminal. We ended up taking a harbor cruise to kill some time. It was nice! And by the time we got back a few hours later we could board the ship. Disembarkation in Papeete. Horrific. We had to leave the ship by 9:00 am. But the Air Tahiti Nui flights weren't until 10:30 pm and later. For us it meant 15 hours. We had arranged for a 5 hour circle island tour for the afternoon. Some people got day rooms. Most people were just cooling their heels in a "hospitality center" a few blocks from the docks. Communication was bad. Nobody to tell you where this hospitality center actually was. We knew the day would be a buzzkill, so that's why we booked the afternoon tour on our own. There was nothing offered by Oceania for this day tour wise. They did offer "airport transfer" for an outrageous price of $160 per person. For this, you got use of the hospitality suite all day. But you can use this anyway. Then they took you to the airport which is about 10 minutes away. In contrast our circle island tour was 44 Euros per person, and they dropped us off at the airport. The airport in Papeete is pretty bad. Open air. It was hot. People burning crap nearby. Not many places to sit. Had to wait for the ticket windows to open 3 hours before each flight. Don't check in too early because there are few places to sit once you get inside. Overall a brutal day, which ultimately made us a little less likely to cruise with Oceania again. *In Summary* Would we do it again? We are thinking about it! But it would have to be a deal. Otherwise, I still think I prefer Holland America. But even our folks are up for going again on Oceania even though they are Diamond on Royal Carribean and, as such, get lots of perks and extras. So overall, a success I think. If you are looking for a bargain, or deep value, or you are too focused on economy, you probably won't like Oceania. *Random Bits* * Air New Zealand - terrible seat configuration in Economy on the 777-300. 3-4-3. Virgin Australia is 3-3-3. There is no legroom. If you are tall like I am, the head of the person in front of you will be practically in your lap. Service is great! But so uncomfortable. Really, it's a nightmare for a tall person. Pacific Premium Economy or whatever it is looks pretty good. Upgrading outside of Oceania is prohibitively expensive. If you go make sure your package includes the Premium Economy upgrade. Ours did not. Or do the deviation request for it. It's worth the extra money belive me. * Air Tahiti Nui - The Airbus A340 is a rock solid transoceanic aircraft but it's getting old. Their legroom was no better than Air New Zealand. The armrests did not go up all the way. The seats are crammed together. Business Class didn't look so great, but it was a lot better than coach. They have 3 Boeing 787 Dreamliners set for delivery in 2017 so things should improve. * Only 2 yoga classes in 17 days. They need more yoga classes. The yoga and pillates classes were $11 each. Probably just to keep the numbers down, as the classroom is somewhat small. * The gameroom only has 4 tables. But there were other places to play games on the ship. * Beautiful library, with nooks and crannies for reading either alone or with your SO. * Demographics. Not as old as I expected, but only 2 teenagers on board and no kids (which is a plus imo). Largest number was from the 55-75 age range. * Country of origin - my guesses - maybe 45% from the US and Canada. 20% from Australia and New Zealand. 25% from Asia - Japan, Korea, and China mostly. 10% from the UK and Europe, and a smattering from Central and South America. * The exercise room was well equipped but small. But it was large enough for the number of people using it. So I guess, it worked out. * Excellent stateroom attendants. * We never saw the officers around. One thing I like about Holland America and Princess - you know who your Captain is. You meet the officers around the ship. And you feel like you have a connection to them. * Entertainment - you don't go on Oceania for the entertainment, but I was pleasantly surprised. The string quartet was good. I really liked the jazz band. The song and dance show was a lot less lame than I expected!! * Afternoon tea - a fun diversion. They do a good job. * The staff works hard. Since its a small ship you see them at the restaurant at 10 pm the night before, then there they are at 7 am the next morning at breakfast. The deckhands work all day every day it seems. Very competent staff, very hardworking. * Television was laughably bad. They did have a video library. But honestly, no reason to have such a poor selection on the TV in 2016. * Casino was very small and the machines were outdated. They had some tournaments which were fun. * Pretty strict hours on food service. After 9 pm your only option is room service. This only impacted us negatively one time. But depending on how you cruise, it could be an issue. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
The Marina is a classy ship that was kept spotless. The highlight of the Marina was the friendliness and service of the crew. Oceania's employee training program must be top notch because every crew member we encountered said yes ... Read More
The Marina is a classy ship that was kept spotless. The highlight of the Marina was the friendliness and service of the crew. Oceania's employee training program must be top notch because every crew member we encountered said yes with a smile to whatever we requested. Our cabin stewardess, Sergia, was the best we have ever experienced in all of our cruising. Also, Palu a waiter in Martini's bar was wonderful. The food was good to excellent in all locations. In our opinion Red Ginger was the best specialty restaurant. One of the disappointing meals we had was the lobster dish in Toscana. In Polo Grill the prime rib was outstanding. The selections in the main dining room and buffet were varied and quite good. One of the disappointing things for us was that we couldn't get more specialty restaurant reservations even though we were concierge. I am a celiac and had no problems because everything was prepared to meet my needs. The entertainment other than the production shows was poor. The singers and dancers in the production shows were good and the entertainers were quite visible around the ship when not performing. The classical string quartet was quite good. The only disappointing island was Fiji (dirty and not much to see). Not enough time was spent on Moorea. To leave at 3pm was ludicrous. We were docked in Tahiti by 6pm even though we didn't exit the ship until the next morning. There is so much to do and see on Moorea that a full day is warranted. We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise and booked with Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We booked this cruise almost a year in advance to celebrate our both being retired and now able to travel The cruise itself was, for the most part, wonderful. However, the travel service left us down. The ship and cabin were ... Read More
We booked this cruise almost a year in advance to celebrate our both being retired and now able to travel The cruise itself was, for the most part, wonderful. However, the travel service left us down. The ship and cabin were beautiful. The cabin did need some maintenance such as the grout coming loose in the bathroom. All staff that we came into contact were exceptional, and they are a large asset for Oceania. Food was also exceptional, and we enjoyed both the specialty restaurants as well as the main dining room. Much appreciated not having set time for seating and not having any formal nights (one of the reasons we are returning to Oceania, see below) Although we did not expect high entertainment, what was offered was a disappointment. In addition to the evening shows being amateurish, the television choice was poor. The music available in the cabin was also poor. Even choosing "classic rock" or "favorites", many of the selections were some weird music. This is an area Oceania should work on. Loosely related to entertainment, the library was pleasant and had an adequate selection. Our disappointment with Oceania comes with communication and travel service. This cruise disembarks one at 8 AM and the flight home was at midnight. We wondered what to do with out luggage all day long. When we called Oceania guest services they basically said "You're on your own" - spent some time looking into storage, etc. and eventually thought we'd just slough it along to the airport and rent a car to carry it around all day. To our surprise, once we were on board, it seems that Oceania would transport luggage to air port and keep it. Would have been nice if their guest service would have told us that. HOWEVER, the biggest disappointment came in our flight arrangements home. We had upgraded to business class. (This MORE than DOUBLED the cost of the cruise, but felt this would be a once in a lifetime indulgence) Everything went well over to cruise and back until we landed in LA and were surprised that the remainder of our flight to Philadelphia and then Pittsburgh was booked in coach. When we had originally received our flight information, all legs were in business (or first) class. Shortly before our trip, the last leg time was changed and no class was listed, but we had no reason to think that it had changed. Our travel agent has acquired a return (as a credit) of a small portion of the fee of the home trip upgrade cost. We are beginning a part of our life with time for a lot of travel. While on the cruise, we had decided to just stay with Oceania. However, having a surprise (and kind of a bait and switch) on the trip home, we were about to look into many of the other cruise lines out there. Because the cruise itself was the type we appreciate and with the credit, we have now booked another Oceania cruise for one more try. Not sure if we can trust the travel service. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Our debut for Oceania and the M/S Marina. Very impressed with the ship and her crew,from overall condition, decor, and attentativeness. The trip itself was spectacular at the begining and the end, while interesting in between (glad we saw ... Read More
Our debut for Oceania and the M/S Marina. Very impressed with the ship and her crew,from overall condition, decor, and attentativeness. The trip itself was spectacular at the begining and the end, while interesting in between (glad we saw it but not worthy of a "do it again"). Stayed in Aukland for a couple of days prior to embarkation seeing the sights of downtown, the west coast with the black sand beaches and chartering a sailboat for the day sailing the harbor and neighboring islands (fantastic)! Lots of sailboats in the harbor with a couple of Americas Cup boats out for the day. Lots to do on the ship if you seek it out. The culinary center was top-notch and we scheduled several classes there prior to departure. The artist loft was fun as well, you need to get there early on the sea days. It would have been nice to know what classes were on the schedule there so as to de-conflict with the other ship events. Was hoping for photography but not avaiable. Made some new friends in the 4:30 trivia with Ray as the host, know your squirrel trivia before boarding. Got into a routine with group, trivia, happy hour, hot tub, and dinner. This was our first introduction to freestyle dining and we prefer that style now, much more convenient, and no formal nights (cuts down on the luggage). The specialty restaurants were great with no upcharge. Enjoyed Red Ginger the most and Cantalinos the least. Canyon Ranch Spa was not the WOW we had anticipated. Treatments were as expected though a bit on the pricey side. The layout was poor, small dark changing rooms and only one shower. The shower lacked the multi-spray heads, colors, and music of a land based Canyon Ranch. The spa deck shut down too early in the evening and it did not have the hydro-therapy pool as depicted on the Marina deck plan, just a couple of hot tubs. Entertainment was adequate, guest entertainers better than the home grown. We were told that should improve with the recent acquisition by NCL. Time will tell. All of our excursions were done independantly but one. Oceania does double or triple the price as do other cruise lines and I just don't see the value. Get together with other Cruise Critic folks, have a more customized trip at significant savings. Disembarkation went smoothly since we arrived the night before, everything was waiting dockside and no group call outs. Just leave when you want. Stayed a couple of days extra in Moorea and so glad we did. Moorea is really special, similar to Bora Bora but a more relaxed pace. Overall a superb experience with Oceania, definately a cut above HAL, RCL, and Princess. We booked another trip in 2016, same ship, same cabin. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
First let me say we are in our 50's, I think this is important because a review from someone my age may be very different from someone in their 70's. We are also from the US. We allowed Oceania to make our flight reservations so ... Read More
First let me say we are in our 50's, I think this is important because a review from someone my age may be very different from someone in their 70's. We are also from the US. We allowed Oceania to make our flight reservations so we flew from San Francisco to Auckland (main flight) and the captain had us in Auckland 1 hour earlier than expected. We were on Air New Zealand and I don't have any complaints. We booked Super Shuttle before we left home to get from New Zealand airport to the ship. This was an easy inexpensive way to go. Embarktion in Auckland was a breeze, disembarktion in Papeete was also very easy. We dropped our luggage off at the ship, changed clothes and bought a tour from the information desk right outside the ship. We toured Auckland for the day and we were very impressed, a beautiful city. This is our second Oceania cruise and we had an A4 cabin. We were right down the hall from the lounge so it was great to go to the lounge for coffee every morning. The cabin 9008 was starting to show a little wear with the linens but other than that no complaints with the cabin. Our cabin steward however never introduced herself and didn't tell us how to have our garments pressed for free, we found the cards at the end of the cruise. I honestly had no intention of using the service since it takes 1-2 days but it would have been nice to know. As usual with any cruise line the breakfast gets old very quickly. How about some ethnic foods for breakfast just to mix it up? A couple of nights we weren't all that impressed with dinner in the Terrace Cafe and we never ate dinner in the Grand Dining Room. We went to as many specialty restaurants as possible. We even ran into some crew from the Rivieria in 2013. Maria in Red Ginger is the best. Red Ginger is my favorite restaurant on any ship. Of course the entertainment in the Marina lounge was terrible. I have never read a positive comment about Oceania's entertainment so I can't figure out why they don't do something about the quality. I'm pretty sure entertainers who work on cruise ships don't charge an arm and a leg for their services. The ports of call were great and we booked almost every tour before leaving home. Tauranga was our first stop and we bought a tour from Learning Journeys, Michele was our guide and the tour was incredible. We stopped at a beach, the kiwi shop, the geysers and a Mauori cultural show. Her website is www.learningjourneys.co.nz. We were in a passenger van with a total of 6 passengers I believe. Our second stop was Bay of Islands and we had a tour on a Zodiac style boat with Tango Island Boat Tours. We were the only ones on the tour and it was fantastic. We had him drop us off in Russell then we took the ferry back to the ship. The tour was $260 NZD. Our third stop was New Caldonia we took a boat to Duck Island that we purchased ourselves for maybe $30 USD a piece. The snorkeling was amazing. There is a bar and restaurant there, the chairs and umbrellas were about $15 USD. Bring water shoes to get in the water it is very rocky and lots of coral. Fiji, finally we arrived and it was pouring rain. This was the only excursion we booked thru the ship the river by long boat. As we left the port we left the rain behind. We took a bus to a cultural center enjoyed a show, had lunch and then on to our river boat ride, Fiji time. We took the boat up the river about 40 minutes to a waterfall and swimming hole. The island is so friendly and the people are truly so nice. The next day we were still in Fiji just a different port, Lautoka. We had arranged a tour with others from the ship to Beachcomber Island. The water is spectacular and we had a great time snorkeling and lunching with our group. Again, water shoes are needed here for the rocks near the beach. We did have a small boat take us out to a snorkeling spot. We definitely did not want to leave. Our next stop was Samoa and when we arrived it was raining. We weren't sure what we were going to do but had found out thru the ship's Currents newsletter about Senegal Beach Resort. We called them when we arrived and they had a van picking up other passengers so we got on that van and made the drive to the other side of the island where we had sunshine the entire day and access to the resort for $60USD per person. Our next stop was American Samoa where we took a cab to 2$ beach just past Tisa's and the beach actually cost $5. The beach was larger than the one at Tisa's but had quite a bit of glass on the beach. We just spent the day hanging out and our cab driver picked us back up at the end of the day. After 2 days at sea we finally arrived in Bora Bora. This was the most spectacular port and the scenery does not disappoint. The first day we had a tour with Reef Discovery called Pure Snorkeling. Fabian was our guide for the day and he was great, loved his sense of humor. It was too bad we had to put up with a woman who had a phobia of wearing fins. This was the most spectacular snorkeling we have seen any where in the world. We went to 4 stops and if you like snorkeling book this tour, www.puresnorkeling.com. Fabian has the best office in the world. Our second day in Bora Bora we had a tour with Natura Discovery and did a 4x4 tour in a open air jeep. They do have an option for an enclosed air conditioned car but we didn't see anyone taking that option. This tour was $140 USD for two and Daniel was our guide and he did a spectacular job. He really educated us on the island and how they live. Yes, the tour is bumpy and hot but plenty of stops. We had him drop us off at a beach and caught a shuttle back to the ship. I wish I had thought to rent an over the water bungalow for the night. We met some couples who did spend the night in Bora Bora. Unfortunately we had to leave Bora Bora for Moorea where we rented a roadster for the day. Their website is www.moorea-fun-roadster.com we had so much fun and drove the entire island. We just stopped at beaches, the juice factory and shopped near the roadster shop. We wished the day had been longer. Off to Papeete where it was raining. We got off the ship that night, walked around the food trucks and found out where Avis was DT as we had a car for the next day. Avis DT was close enough to walk from the ship with our luggage. We drove the entire island stopping when we wanted and had a day room at Le Meridian. We arrived at the hotel around 2pm and hit the pool for the rest of the day. We had dinner at the hotel where the food was good and the service was terrible. We headed for the airport at 9:15 and waited for a long time to check in sweating because it is outdoors. We finally got past security where we thought it would be air conditioned but more heat. There was a place open to buy water but they only had one person working with a very long line. All in all it is our favorite cruise and a great part of the world for a cruise. The people are on all of these islands are very friendly and gracious. I was not disappointed in any of the tours we chose and really only disappointed in the entertainment on the ship and the options of food at breakfast. Oceania charges way too much for their shore excursions and transportation, I guess they are catering to those too uncertain to book their own? I would encourage everyone to look into independent excursions that are probably a fourth of the price Oceania charges. The Destination Services staff was wonderful and very accommodating. Another thing they could improve is the selection in the shops, the toiletry selection was very limited especially on over the counter medications. The ladies clothing selection was what I would term old lady along with the purses. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Marina Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.5
Dining 4.5 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 3.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 1.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 5.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 3.9

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