My wife and I chose Oceania because the company had a good reputation among some of our friends, who are seasoned travelers. We had been satisfied with previous cruise lines, i.e., Crystal, but Oceania had the best travel time for us. Our ... Read More
My wife and I chose Oceania because the company had a good reputation among some of our friends, who are seasoned travelers. We had been satisfied with previous cruise lines, i.e., Crystal, but Oceania had the best travel time for us. Our excitement of seeing the Regatta from the outside gave way to gross disappointment when first taking in the so-called renovated interior. It had a very dated appearance, reminiscent of the first cruise we took 43 years ago. This view was shared by all of our many friends, whom we were fortunate enough to meet on board. Apparently, the other Oceania ships are nicer. That being said, the ship was spotlessly clean.
Our stewards were a highlight of the trip and basically served as our private concierges.
Otherwise, service was a mixed bag. By in large, it was excellent throughout, but with several glitches. For example, we requested morning coffee in our cabin. The waiters were as nice as could be, yet we often had to call several times because our order had been forgotten. In another instance, a sommelier had total screwed up our bill that we had to stay for an extra 20 minutes till he tried unsuccessfully to straight it out.
Many of our friends did not like the food, but we did. Helping size was small but typically we can always ask for more. We are both fish eaters and were astonished to find out that they rarely served fresh fish. As a result frozen lobsters were terrible. We complained to the head chefs in 2 restaurants, who noted that it was company policy? Yet, huge fish markets at most ports. Humm! The speciality restaurants (Polo and Toscano) were hardly special. All fluff with no stuff. Menus did not change. 2 bad entrees there! Indian and Asian buffets were exceptional with legitimate native choices. Wine was good with a large selection and rather inexpensive!
Passengers were disappointed that the ship did not dock at Akoroa (Christ Church) and we bypassed Milford Sound, ostensibly because of bad weather. No fault of of the ship unless the captain made a bad choice.
The costs of excursions were out of sight and inflexible. We booked only one trip with Oceania for a 10 hour drive along the Great Ocean Road in Geelong. Because my wife wasn’t feeling well, we had to cx, but they would not return money even though there was a waiting list. Shame on them! Fortunately, I had made reservations in all of the other ports with private companies at a fraction of the Oceania cost and greater flexibility We were very pleased with global Viator and local Zealandier. Both were communicative and provided great tour guides.
Opting for the WiFi package saved us a lot of money, but the bandwidth was weak and no more than one device can be used at a time. Ancient!
Entertainment was good to excellent, even though the showman always catered to an older audience. Enrichment activities were inadequate. The ship needs at least one nationally recognized presenter per cruise.
The laundry room was a disaster! Only 3 operating washer-dryers for 600+ passengers. 3 hours to wash underwear in a small hot room with guests who paid a lot of money needing to sit on the floor! Really?
The bottom line is that we like cruising will not ever use Oceania. The value is overrated! Read Less