65 Barcelona Oceania Marina Cruise Reviews

This was our first cruise on Oceania. We chose this ship because of the itinerary, and for that reason it was excellent. At 70, we were probably about average in age, if not on the younger side - there were very few passengers under 50. ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Oceania. We chose this ship because of the itinerary, and for that reason it was excellent. At 70, we were probably about average in age, if not on the younger side - there were very few passengers under 50. Dress was generally on the casual side of "country club casual", with women better dressed than men. The ship is well presented, but some maintenance issues persist - we had to call maintenance twice to fix a noisy rattle on the balcony that spoiled our sleep, and we were locked out of our room at one point because our door lock needed to be "reprogrammed". The food quality and service was superior to other (20+) cruises we've been on and we were able to dine in the excellent specialty restaurants several extra times (our formal allotment was only four) by making same-day reservations. Food was not perfect - we sent some some dishes back to the kitchen because they were too salty, too tough or just cold. Our cabin was clean and neat, but layout was not well designed for storage. Housekeeping staff was excellent, but we had some issues - personal items left behind by a previous passenger and some stains on linens. All staff was uniformly welcoming and efficient. Shore excursions were marred by language issues and a lack of radio/audio devices - some guides were hard to understand and we just couldn't hear them in large groups and noisy areas. We found this very surprising from an upscale cruise line. One Oceania excursion was only half completed (because of a disabled participant who shouldn't have been allowed to take an "strenuous activity" excursion and held everyone back) and we were disappointed to receive only token compensation when we asked for an adjustment. We, and many other experienced cruisers, had arranged three independent excursions at both lower cost and better quality. Despite the observations listed above, we had a very enjoyable cruise, and we will likely cruise with Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We loved the ship, the service was impeccable and the food was very good. I would have to say the food in the main dining was better than the specialty restaurants except for Red Ginger and Jacques which were excellent. The service on ... Read More
We loved the ship, the service was impeccable and the food was very good. I would have to say the food in the main dining was better than the specialty restaurants except for Red Ginger and Jacques which were excellent. The service on board was top notch. We were promised free unlimited internet but were never able to even get to the server and when we did it was impossible to get email and forget facebook unless you try at 3am. Oceania knows they do not have the capacity for all the guests but continue to market this feature. This was a huge disappointment and I felt fraudulent on Oceania's part. The cost of the excursions and wine onboard were insane. A $10 bottle of wine was over $70 on ship with VAT and gratuity. It felt like Oceania is trying to nickle and dime you to death. I would rather they charge a little more for the cruise and not make all the extra charges so punitive. The TV on board was terrible with almost no content of movies or shows, very noncompetitive compared to other lines. We sailed on Marina 2 years ago to Australia and the internet was usable and wine charges more reasonable. Thankfully Oceania allowed us to bring wine aboard which we did and payed the $25 corkage fee. This could have been a 5 star cruise but by trying to making a few extra bucks they soured the overall experience. If you don't have enough internet capacity don't market free internet to everyone. If you don't drink, don't care about getting online and book private excursions you would be very happy. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
First time cruising with Oceania and definitely won't be the last. The food was amazing, the staff was very attentive and with only one child onboard there was a whole level of calm that I have never experienced on a cruise before. ... Read More
First time cruising with Oceania and definitely won't be the last. The food was amazing, the staff was very attentive and with only one child onboard there was a whole level of calm that I have never experienced on a cruise before. I don't dislike children, but also don't want to vacation with other people's children, so there was an entire layer of chaos removed immediately. I could tell the moment we walked on that it was going to be a whole new experience. As far as other passengers go, I wasn't sure what to expect. Thought it could be a whole group of snotty rich folks, but everyone was very nice and friendly, and the "country club casual attire" was great, and was nice to not have an official formal night. There was never huge amounts of people in the pool and hot tub area, so nice and relaxing. The food in every restaurant was incredible, including the buffet. Everything was fresh and delicious. Was so great NOT to see large vats of food that have been sitting for hours. My favorites were the Polo Grill and Jacques. If you are a seafood fan, you can pretty much have lobster everyday. They even have a "surf n turf" sandwich in the Terrace Grill. My only criticism would be the production entertainers. The dancers were great, the singers not so much. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Loved this cruise itinerary, great ports. This was our 5th cruise with Oceania, all on the Marina. We noticed food to be exceptional as always in Red Ginger and Jacques but sub-par to what we have experienced previously in Polo and ... Read More
Loved this cruise itinerary, great ports. This was our 5th cruise with Oceania, all on the Marina. We noticed food to be exceptional as always in Red Ginger and Jacques but sub-par to what we have experienced previously in Polo and Toscana. Filet steak in Polo was mediocre and Veal Entree (Piccata) in Toscana was inedible (no flavor to the meat or sauce). Very disappointed... On a positive note, all our other Dinner meals outside of our 4 Speciality were spent in the Main Dining Room and were excellent!! In fact, I think the Main Dining Room stepped up their food several notches from our past cruises. Service was outstanding in MDR and food choices were of great variety and all served flavorful and hot. Terrence Cafe was wonderful and we utilized it for Breakfast and Lunch several days but very much enjoyed the Waves Grill most mornings. Less crowded and equally as good. Pizza in Terrace was delicious and fresh. The entertainment on-board (Song & Dance Group Productions) were better then ever. Entertainment was never Oceania's strong suit but this cruise it was very good. We had a wonderful, fun CD (Nolan) and his fiancé on board who was one of the entertainers and she had a fantastic voice. Our "Biggest Disappointment" of the entire cruise was the practical total inability to use the advertised Free WIFI. If you were lucky, you might get on but forget trying to open any applications unless it was 3AM. Forget trying to get on Facebook or post pictures unless it was in the middle of the night. I am of the opinion now that O gives free wifi out to everyone as a booking perk that they have not updated their wifi capabilities/ band width or on ship equipment to manage 1250 passengers + and they need to seriously relook at this as staying connected is very important to many travelers. We have never encountered this issue on past Marina cruises but it had been 2 years since our last O cruise. Not everyone had the free internet perk back in 2015. I certainly hope this is improved as there are so many good cruising options that do not experience this issue it can seriously have a bearing on picking cruises. I hope Oceania is listening to this. Dissatisfaction with the WiFi whether in Port or at Sea was a wide-spread general complaint spoken by almost anyone on board you talked to. Wine selections were ridiculously over priced for the quality of the wine and by the time they added on 18% gratuities and VAT, it escalated a $10 quality bottle of wine to almost $80-$100 with what they charge plus taxes. We had plenty OBC to use and in many Ports opted to buy our own reasonably priced wine ashore, bring on board and pay the $25 corkage fee from our OBC. We then had a much nicer quality of wine at a reasonable price and no VAT or 18% Gratuities added to it. The SPA services were excellent, I had 2 massages with a lovely Polish woman named Paulina, she was the best I have ever had on any cruise line for massages. Hope they keep her on Marina. Our cabin was always cleaned and well maintained and our Cabin Steward polite and courteous as was everyone we spoke to for the entire 12 days. We love Oceania and have been loyal cruisers with them but I hope they pay attention to some of my not so complimentary comments and provide resolutions. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We had a wonderful cruise on the Oceania Marina. Embarkation was fast and probably the easiest we have ever had. Once on board, all the crew were so very friendly. Not a single crew member failed to say hello or good morning or some ... Read More
We had a wonderful cruise on the Oceania Marina. Embarkation was fast and probably the easiest we have ever had. Once on board, all the crew were so very friendly. Not a single crew member failed to say hello or good morning or some such greeting in the whole week we were on board and they all seemed genuinely happy to be there. We sure were! We did an upsell to a Penthouse Suite the week before we sailed and we were so glad that we did. The cabin was wonderful. We loved the extra space and the bathroom was so nice. Only problem with the cabin was that we are now spoiled. How will we go back to a veranda room? The food was top notch as always. Except for two nights in specialty dining (Polo and Toscana), we ate in the Terrace Buffet every night. The food there was so good that there was no need to go elsewhere. We loved the grilled shrimp and lobster available every night. After full days of touring, it was so nice to sit out on the open terrace and have a relaxing dinner as we sailed away from port. We had Prime Rib in Polo and it was outstanding. I had the lobster dish in Toscana and did not like it very much, but that was a matter of taste. It was too spicy for me but others liked it. We did not attend any of the entertainment. This was such a port intensive cruise that we were ready to relax in our beautiful cabin after dinner and get to bed early to get ready for a full day of touring. We did 4 of the Oceania excursions as they were included with our fare. We were pleased with all of them. The buses were comfortable and were never filled so we had room to spread out. All in all, this was a wonderful experience. We have cruised with several different lines, and Oceania is far and above all others in terms of service. We felt very special and enjoyed our cruise immensely. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise for the ports. We flew into Barcelona on Sunday before the Tuesday cruise. We loved the Hilton, and had a great time viewing the sites. I had requested wheelchair access transportation, which was prompt and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports. We flew into Barcelona on Sunday before the Tuesday cruise. We loved the Hilton, and had a great time viewing the sites. I had requested wheelchair access transportation, which was prompt and available at the airport. There was a delay getting to the ship, due to traffic. Our room was lovely, spacious and room for wheelchair turn around. there were 2 problems. Our adult daughter slept on the hide a bed, which had an uncomfortable bar in the middle. She put her mattress on the floor to sleep. Staff saw this and brought a second matress, which helped some. However, the sofa bed is just not comfortable. I had difficulties with the height of the bed. it is too high for a direct wheelchair transfer. Luckily my husband can help me, but this could be a problem for someone who has to transfer directly from chair to bed. The overall appearance of the ship is great. Lovely decor, everything is spotless. The service in the dining venues is prompt and friendly. The Asian restaurant did not seem to have enough staff the night we ate there. We did not participate in the ships shore excursions, since they were not accessible for a wheelchair user. We also did not go to the entertainment, as we were usually tired after a day of touring. We really appreciated the crew's assistance in helping me on and off of the ship, especially when the ramps were steep of stairs. The only real complaint was that the request for accessible transportation was not carried forward to leaving the ship to go to the hotel. This was a bit of an ordeal, but the staff did find a cab that worked for us. We had to pay for the cab, after we had paid for the transfers as part of the hotel price. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Had another strong experience with Oceania on the Marina. We didn't notice much difference between the Riviera and the Marina, given they are only one year different. The restaurants were excellent, the staff very service-oriented. ... Read More
Had another strong experience with Oceania on the Marina. We didn't notice much difference between the Riviera and the Marina, given they are only one year different. The restaurants were excellent, the staff very service-oriented. Embarking and disembarking all went smoothly. We took one of the cooking classes, which was a lot of fun, and we learned some valuable items. The fitness room was plenty large enough and was never difficult to get equipment. The two things that could be improved upon are the entertainment and the excursions. The entertainment choices were not ideal, e.g. pianist, soprano, and the vocal talent of the cruise team wasn't that strong. While the excursions are expensive compared to what you can arrange on your own, it might be worth it if they were consistently good. But the reports were mixed, so it's not worth paying three times the price for comparable tours. Overall, the value for the money was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We were on the Marina 3 years ago and was not wowed. This time it had improved tremendously. The food and service was much better. We had one bad meal in the Dining Room and the rest were either good to GREAT! My favorite dining ... Read More
We were on the Marina 3 years ago and was not wowed. This time it had improved tremendously. The food and service was much better. We had one bad meal in the Dining Room and the rest were either good to GREAT! My favorite dining experience was in Toscanno and least favorite specialty was Red Ginger. (It was the opposite last time) The only negatives were the high price of excursions. We did most on our own but had to do the Alhambra in Granada as we couldn't find space on a private tour. We paid $320.00 each for such excursion, while the private tours were running approximate $150.00 per person. The entertainment at night was not terrific, and most of the time we didn't bother going. The best capacino's are in the coffee shop near the library. (love the biscotti's) It is just such a beautiful ship, never had to wait for anything. The ship was kept ship shape! There is no nickel and diming like we have experienced on Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I did so much research in preparation for this cruise so wanted to add detail to help others who are considering Oceana Marina. Overall, I think the trick is to work around the weaknesses of this cruise to get the best experience but for ... Read More
I did so much research in preparation for this cruise so wanted to add detail to help others who are considering Oceana Marina. Overall, I think the trick is to work around the weaknesses of this cruise to get the best experience but for the very high price tag you should not have to do that. Pros: -- Excellent itinerary with no sea days, longer days in port, a mix of exotic and sure winner stops. This was our primary consideration when choosing a cruise and Oceana delivered on this. We loved every stop and were delighted to discover new favorites like Malta. It is worth a premium to us to arrive at a new and worthwhile destination every day and to not have to rush back to the ship. --Our penthouse room was very nice. The bathroom was large and well appointed, very like the bathroom of a nice hotel plus a large walk in closet that made the room very comfortable. The bed was literally the most comfortable bed I have every slept in away from home. The room was not huge nor was the balcony as large as most upgraded room balconies but roomy enough for great comfort, I really would not have wanted or needed more space. There was a mini fridge which was stocked daily but no one ever asked what we wanted stocked as was advertised. --Butler service and housekeeping was generally very good except that a bottle of opened wine from the last guest was left in our mini fridge which gives you a creepy feeling about how well the room was cleaned. However other than that the room was very clean, the housekeeping staff very friendly and accommodating as was the Butler service. We did ask our Butler to get us an extra reservation two nights in specialty restaurants and he was able to get us an individual table one night and a shared table on another night. --No photo taking, art shows, constant announcements, pressure to constantly buy drinks you see on the mid tier ships. Cons: --Food! Would you believe it? We selected this cruise in large part and were willing to pay the premium price (almost double Azamara Club) because it was reputed to have the best food at sea. I would consider my husband and I foodies, however we are fine with simple freshly prepared food too. Bottom line is you would get better food by taking a Celebrity Cruise at half the price and paying the fee to eat in speciality restaurants every night which on Celebrity or Royal Caribbean are generally better than Oceana specialty restaurants (maybe paying the upgrade keeps the service and food at a higher level). The main dining room on Marina is pretty awful and on our ten day cruise we were only allowed to eat in specialty restaurants half the nights despite our expensive room. As an example, I ordered a strip steak in the main dining room which as about 3/4 of an inch thick and tough; literally a normal restaurant strip steak cut lengthwise in half. A lobster dish was tough, tasteless and overcooked. On one night, no one at our table liked their food and most of it was simply left uneaten. There is nothing special at all about the food in the main restaurant, no nice touches. The service is however far better than in most specialty restaurants. The Terrace cafe is always an option for self serve food but I was so surprised at how not special breakfast was. Omelettes were just like on a mid level cruise, tiny minced veggies and very thin omelettes-- again for the price and food reputation I would have expected large fluffy omelettes with nice big chunks of veggies and an impressive selection of fillings. The canadian bacon and ham were only available on one station so you had to stand in line twice just to get omelette and meat, but the quality of the canadian bacon and ham was very poor and they were sitting in hot water so not at all crispy and freshly grilled. Even on mid tier ships I'm used to fresh carved ham for breakfast. Never any turkey or chicken sausage. Again, nothing at all special about breakfast unlike a river cruise where there is always a fun special made before your eyes or fillings that change daily. You can also eat dinner on the Terrace of the terrace cafe which is nice in terms of being able to sit outside and the food is pretty good, you can stand in line and order lobster, fish, shrimp freshly grilled. However, who wants to stand in three or four lines to get their dinner? One line for salad, sit and eat, then get a couple of appetizers sit and eat, then wait fifteen minutes in line for your grilled food. Also, the service on the Terrace was the worst of all restaurants. They flatly refused to leave a pot of coffee on the table at Breakfast when I asked, but also did not come around enough to refill my cup. Several times my husband or I had to get up and ask someone to bring more coffee and there was no self serve. If you came to breakfast toward the end of the time, they would not reset the nice tables on the rail with the best views but tried to force you to eat at the tables that were already set which were closer to the wall and not as nice view wise. This was just lazy and focused on their own convenience rather than the wishes of the customer. Whoever manages the Terrace Cafe should be replaced. --Specialty Restaurants were a particular disappointment. We ate at Red Ginger twice and mediocre would be a kindness. The famed sea bass was overly sweet and mushy both times I ordered it, the menu was very limited and pretty much like any mid level asian restaurant with curries, etc. A shrimp appetizer was definitely not made with fresh shrimp and was small, plus you could only taste the very sweet sauce. This must have gone downhill recently from what I have read. Literally there were few protein choices on the menu and everything was over cooked and overly sauced. Service at Polo was the worst, they were so overcrowded. This was a problem consistently, the specialty restaurants were severely overbooked so service was scattered and food quality suffered. At polo I ordered french onion soup which came at room temperature. I asked if I could have a hotter bowl. What I got back was no much hotter but the bread was completely soggy and the cheese not nice and melted and in fact was not the appropriate cheese for this type of soup. Definitely a soup that had been sitting around for a while and was not freshly prepared. No apology at all for bringing tepid soup. My side of mushrooms was equally as shockingly bad. It seemed unlikely they were fresh, they were severely overcooked tiny pieces of white button mushrooms that I would guess had certainly not been cooked that night. I would compare this to a specialty restaurant on Celebrity or Royal Caribbean where if you order a side of mushrooms you receive a just roasted pan of mixed wild mushrooms with fresh herbs. Tuscana was more mixed in terms of quality. The first time we tried it, it was fine. We got a nice bread basket, a crab cake starter and a decent veal chop plus charming service. The second time however, it was so crowded that when our table was not immediately ready to order the waiter left in bad humor and did not show up again for 45 minutes until we sent someone to find him. My veal chop was so tough I literally could not cut it with the steak knife provided. The one gem of the restaurants in terms of both service and food was Jaques and I hope they take that restaurant manager and put him or her in charge of all food service on the ship. This was exactly what we expected from the amazing fresh bread basket, to the thoughtful well paced service to absolutely wonderful, freshly prepared, top quality food in terms of cut of meats and technique which did not cover up with sauces as they did in the other restaurants. Unfortunately we did not try this until the last night or I would have begged to eat there every night. --Tea service? This is just weird. They serve high tea with string quartet every day at 4:00. The string quartet is the only decent music you will ever hear on the ship. The waiters are in tuxedos and come around with big silver carts. The sandwiches are good as are the sweets-- in fact the only time at any meal you will get quality dessert. The scones are not quite real cream scones but not bad. However, the entire effect is ruined and made comic by the fact that they give you one low end grocery store quality tea bag and you have to put the bag in your pot of hot water. It is the same tea they serve at breakfast with very few varieties to choose from. Of course loose leaf is what you expect at a high tea especially with all the formal appearance and at a minimum maybe a high end mesh tea bag or a hand tied tea bag, etc. This entire setup for a Twinnings green tea bag? It just feels silly. Wine-- shockingly low end selections at crazy high prices plus automatic 18% tip. We started out by paying over $100 a night for a $20 bottle of wine but ended up following the advice of many on this forum to buy decent bottles on shore and simply pay the $25 corkage fee. This worked out much better especially when visiting Italian wineries-- using this method we averaged about $50 a night for wine and had much higher quality. Be careful if looking at the package deal of$42 a bottle including tip if you buy 7 bottles-- some of those bottles included are literally $7 bottles of wine. Note that we buy a lot of wine on cruise ships and have never had trouble with the markup but this was just so off the charts in terms of quality vs. price. Entertainment-- the absolute worst imaginable. Really bad production numbers with young people who can generally stay in tune but don't actually have voices you would want to listen to. For two nights there was a pitchy soprano and for two nights an old school, not funny comedian who might be at home in the Catskills thirty years ago. A big topic of conversation on the ship was laughing at how bad the entertainment was and talking about walking out on it. Seriously, whomever is in charge has no ear for music or understanding of entertainment in general. Excursions-- by now I'm sure you know to avoid the ship provided excursions at all costs. They are grossly overpriced and terribly crowded but also tend to be short and see very little. It was very easy to use tripadvisor to choose my own vendors and then get on cruise critic roll call to find others traveling on my own ship to fill 6-8 seats. Or many providers also simply send a van to ships so you just have to add your name to their shared tours. So small, high quality tours with greater variety for half the price of being on an overcrowded bus where you will be following a guide with a megaphone holding a number. I can't tell you how many times we were departing a small town we had to ourselves just to see 5 or 6 busses and hundreds of Oceana people pour out. They never seemed happy. Tenders: I deliberately picked an itinerary where we were mostly docked, but the one tender we had was awful in terms of process and organization. No one could tell you how long it would take. You had to go to the main theater and no one helped you figure out what was going on. You could ask and were then told where to take a seat and you would be called in order. You could not leave or get a ticket and come back at a specific time. So on a beautiful morning we spent well over an hour sitting like cattle with a bunch of annoyed passengers. Anyone on a company sponsored tour went first, then the rest of us (never mind that we had paid a premium price for our room). On the way back no one was monitoring the many rude passengers who flagrantly cut in line so they would not have to wait for another tender. How simple it would be to come up with a better process where you would be called five minutes before your tender. Even just better communication would have helped. If the ship arrives at X, then allow X time to get ashore. Bottom Line: we had a great time due to the itinerary, the friends we had networked with prior to departure on cruise critic and a very nice ship/ room. However, we paid over $1,200 a day for two and in no way received enough value for that money. The ships excursions, wine, food and entertainment were substandard even compared to mid range ships costing half as much. We could have booked luxury rooms with amazing food plus paid for land transportation between destinations for this money. We were obligated to plan all our own tours and buy our own wine due to poor quality options on Oceana. I would not do Oceana again unless I bought it last minute at half price. To Oceana and Competition: Guess what? There is a huge market for luxury cruises for the 45-70 age group who want excellent, unusual itineraries that you are missing out on. We can't tolerate the old school entertainment or the veneer of good food or tea service without the actual quality and we are not going on huge bus tours to be walked around like sheep. Also, we do the research and compare prices and quality so the days of crazy mark ups are over. Come up with a new model that works for the new generation of cruisers because I don't think there is one out there right now. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Overall experience Only good - for the price we paid I felt that the cruise was average. The ship is elegant, but very dark. Food standards are good but not what you read on the reviews. Room We went concierge class which ... Read More
Overall experience Only good - for the price we paid I felt that the cruise was average. The ship is elegant, but very dark. Food standards are good but not what you read on the reviews. Room We went concierge class which on reflection isn't really worth the extra. A bottle of bubbles on arrival which was average, and access to lounge which is tiny. Canyon ranch deck is good, but can be very windy. Bed was lovely and comfortable and the bathroom more than adequate. Staff were great. Considering we had a lot of movement on this cruise the sleep was still good Food Best restaurant is Red Ginger - followed by Toscana. Grand Dining was good, but nothing to rave about - The Terrace Cafe whilst well decked out, the food was average to say the least. Having been on Celebrity I have to say their experience stands out especially being able to use Blu exclusively on concierge Entertainment First night show was very good, very good singers and dancers. But then even though the show changed - their singing style didn't so it became a bit ho hum. We didn't bother going to the last night. The cruise director certainly drives you dotty with her drawl and jokes. A disappointment overall. Other entertainment onboard - string quartet - very good but again same after same each night. its all a bit Hidy Hi with bingo, trivia etc. The Bars are ok but nothing like celebrity. Horizons lounge is so huge its unwelcoming, and overnight we froze with the air conditioning. Spa Well - what an experience - gel nails and pedicure ending up costing USD 400 (thought it was $200)- with the extras she just kept doing without letting me know the price! Excursions Be careful - some were great - others were very average. We couldn't go to Cinque Terre because of the weather so they put us on a ferry to a small village which was ok, but we paid us 179 each, when the ferry was around EU20 - the guide wasn't worth the extra. Gym Excellent - great equipment Enrichment We didn't attend the cooking or art classes - they looked good though if thats what your after - we would rather visit the country Medical My husband was taken ill and the medics were great. Note however that Marina do not seem to be as strict on using the antiseptic gels, and the number of people who got bad coughs seemed rather high Overall Would I use them again - probably not - when there are options like celebrity even though they are a bigger ship - I would go with them again anytime. We never felt crowded on celebrity (nor Marina), and I thought a smaller ship may have felt different but not So do your research - it seems there are a lot of Americans that love Oceania - great for them its just not our style - plus they seem to get free air fares and extras which we didn't? Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We chose this itinerary because we were in port every day (hate those 'days at sea!'), sailing from Barcelona to Venice. Oceania are impressively efficient: if they said we would be berthed in Marseille/Livorno/Naples at 8am, ... Read More
We chose this itinerary because we were in port every day (hate those 'days at sea!'), sailing from Barcelona to Venice. Oceania are impressively efficient: if they said we would be berthed in Marseille/Livorno/Naples at 8am, then we were berthed at 8am, with port clearance and the gangway down. By the time we had finished breakfast and put our walking shoes on, the shuttle buses would be waiting to take us into the city centre. Although the ship caries 1200 passengers, we never found ourselves queueing for anything except the tender in Taormina bay. Sea conditions meant that we could not be at anchor in Antibes or Sorrento so we went into port at Monte Carlo and Naples instead ( a huge improvement, to my mind) and everything was swiftly re-arranged to cope with this. The food was mostly excellent, with the Italian restaurant, Toscana, perhaps stealing #1 slot. Not always so great in the buffet, despite serving the same menu from the same kitchen as the Grand Dining Room, but it did have the benefit of the open-air terrace. A special treat was afternoon tea in Horizons with a panoramic view out front. The cabins (sorry, staterooms) are big and comfortable and have masses of storage. We were right by the main bank of lifts and I feared it might be noisy but had no problems at all. Negatives: maybe it's because I'm British but I found the service OTT; the ratio of staff to passengers is such that it often felt as if I were running the gauntlet of staff demanding that I have a nice day. The best service is service that the customer barely notices and that is definitely not what Oceania provides. It wouldn't put me off travelling with them again, but next time I'd be prepared for the staff being constantly in my face. The other thing I find off-putting is the sheer pettiness of some of the charges. Can they really not provide tumble driers without charging $2 for it? The main bugbear, is that we had to go to reception every time to get a token for the machine. Wifi is also very expensive. I get the impression from subsequent mailings from the company that this will be included from next year and not before time. The pool was disappointing, mainly because it was all two metres deep and therefore out of everyone's depth. As someone who does Aquacise three times a week at home, I was hoping to get a few exercises in, but I need to be able to have my feet on the floor for most of them. The hot tubs were welcome after a hard day's sightseeing The shore excursions are, to my mind, ridiculously expensive. The only one we took was a trip up Etna and I was disappointed by the poor command of the English of the guide provided. Far more positives than negatives, though, and I recommend them. Four stars out of five.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was my first Oceania cruise. Previous to sailing on the Marina, I have sailed on Holland America, Princess, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. My husband and I have probably been on 30 cruises. I have to say that this was the best cruise ... Read More
This was my first Oceania cruise. Previous to sailing on the Marina, I have sailed on Holland America, Princess, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. My husband and I have probably been on 30 cruises. I have to say that this was the best cruise I have ever been on. I enjoyed so many things about this cruise that I am already thinking about booking my next one! This was the Princes and Palaces Cruise – 10 days embarking in Barcelona and disembarking in Lisboa, Portugal. It was a very port-intensive cruise – no sea days, which was fine with us. On some of the days, we came back from shore in the early afternoon and enjoyed the ship’s many amenities. Ok, so that is a brief summary. Here is the detail: The ship is beautiful. The décor is understated and elegant. You never feel crowded, except upon embarkation in the Terrace Café. You can always find a lovely place to sit, including by the pool. The veranda cabin was lovely, with more than enough storage. I have read on this site people complaining about the shower size, but honestly, it was fine (how much time do you spend in a shower anyway?). I liked the fact that there was more room in the bathroom rather than making the shower larger. The ship is a nice size, small enough to dock in all the ports, which is my preference. The shuttles from the ship to downtown and back were dependable and appreciated. We never had to wait long. The food on the ship was excellent. We enjoyed all the specialty restaurants and the main dining room for our dinners and lunches and breakfasts in the Terrace Café. I enjoyed the wide variety of choices and everything was prepared as I requested. I have heard on this site people complaining that wine or liquor is an extra….frankly; I like to drink wine and have drinks before dinner. But I would say I am a one glass of each a day kind of person and I therefore think the non-inclusiveness of the ship appeals to me as I am not subsidizing others who may like to drink more. We learned that the excursions offered by the ship were extremely expensive in advance. So, we teamed up with others on the “roll call” to book independent excursions. We were not disappointed. We met some wonderful people online and at the meet and greet and enjoyed going on excursions with them. I really enjoyed the people I met along the way; at the meet and greet the excursions and the shared dining. It was a lot of fun. I met a lot of people that were interesting and loved to travel, drink good wine and eat great food. As I noted above, this was a port intensive cruise; therefore, we were so tired by the end of the day that we weren’t looking for much entertainment after dinner. This was good, because short of the typical cruise line show, there really wasn’t any other live entertainment until 10:30 pm. A piano bar would be nice or something else for those of us who do not like cruise line shows. The ports were wonderful. I really felt like I had a good taste of Spain with a little France, Portugal and Morocco thrown in – The service was incredible. Everyone was helpful and couldn’t do enough to make our vacation wonderful. The management is to be commended on their training program and the leadership of their officers on board. We consistently had a great experience with the crew on this ship. Finally, just a short paragraph of comparison of Oceania with the other cruise lines mentioned above. We generally had good cruises on those lines; and they were a lot less money. But, you pay for what you get. Oceania delivers a different type of cruise, which I really enjoyed. The crew to passenger ratio was higher, so there was a better service delivery; the ship was smaller and more intimate; the food was excellent and varied; the passenger mix was primarily adults over 45; the itinerary was excellent because the ship was smaller; and, a spaciousness and luxury that I have never experienced on another cruise line. I know that in the future I will be hard-pressed to go back to the cruise lines I have previously sailed on.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Just got home from a lovely cruise with Oceana. First the good... great food especially in the specialty restaurants. This is the best food I have ever had on a cruise, hands down, and we have been on multiple cruises.. The quality and ... Read More
Just got home from a lovely cruise with Oceana. First the good... great food especially in the specialty restaurants. This is the best food I have ever had on a cruise, hands down, and we have been on multiple cruises.. The quality and preparation were fabulous. Next positive is the staff. They are so welcoming and friendly. It really makes you feel good to be on the ship. Suggestions: Make the Concierge Level worth it. Right now you get almost no significant advantages for this. Other cruise lines offer much better benefits. Speaking of benefits, if you are paying a serious premium to travel on the cruise line, and you do, throw in Internet and drinks. It is completely aggravating to pay so much and then get squeezed every time you turn around. Great ports of call, great staff and food, and we had a great time. Please make some adjustments in either prices or services included, (and in concierge), and we will be back. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This was our second cruise. Service, cleanliness, cabins all tip top. Food plentiful, mostly good, but bland. Desserts beautiful but tastes and contents are similar. The menus for the theme restaurants do not seem to change from cruise to ... Read More
This was our second cruise. Service, cleanliness, cabins all tip top. Food plentiful, mostly good, but bland. Desserts beautiful but tastes and contents are similar. The menus for the theme restaurants do not seem to change from cruise to cruise, so if you liked "Red Ginger" on your last cruise you'll see the same things on this one. They do take you to smaller ports that bigger ships can't get to. The several down sides to this line are: nickel and diming: everything is an extra charge from Wi-Fi to wine. Very annoying. And the so-called cooking lessons are a rip off. Tours are expensive and of very mixed quality. The land tours are also only about 4 hours each and it is difficult to get two tours a day because of timing. The boat is usually docked far from downtown and shuttles between there and the boat are erratic. If you want to take one tour per day and spend the rest of the day on the ship you'll be pleased. Otherwise, not. Also, the shipboard activities are really limited, mostly swim, exercise, pay a fortune at their Spa, do bridge or play trivia. If you want something more exciting, or like lectures and discussions, you won't find much of that. The so-called entertainment is mostly amateurish. Think carefully about this line before you book. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I sailed on the Oceania Marina on November 10, 2013. The first 5 days went very well. All of the ships employees met expectations. The food was very good and gourmet. The accommodations in a balcony room were spacious, luxurious and ... Read More
I sailed on the Oceania Marina on November 10, 2013. The first 5 days went very well. All of the ships employees met expectations. The food was very good and gourmet. The accommodations in a balcony room were spacious, luxurious and comfortable...... Then the bombshell. I became ill and had to see the M.D...or what passes for an M.D. I was in sick-bay for approx. 3 hours and had to receive I.V. fluids. At one point when I questioned the treatment because my hearing is not superb the M.D. said "If you don't like the treatment here you can go to a hospital in Palermo where the doctors do not speak any English." Was this a threat I ask you. At the end of the 3 hours the price was a mere $1,792.00 for which I have yet to get paid. I have not gotten paid from my insurance company because the M.D or so-called M.D. did not use the proper coding. This experience has so soured me against cruises that I do not think that I will every cruise again even though this was my 7th. (first on Oceania). I wrote to Oceania and they refused to accept any responsibility. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Recently returned from Treasures of the Ancients cruise from Barcelona, Spain. Very impressed with Oceania and Marina as it was our first cruise with this carrier. Prices were very good and dealings with the Oceania staff very ... Read More
Recently returned from Treasures of the Ancients cruise from Barcelona, Spain. Very impressed with Oceania and Marina as it was our first cruise with this carrier. Prices were very good and dealings with the Oceania staff very satisfactory. The hotel included in the package was vastly overpriced. Would make own arrangements for hotel in future. Used the flight deviation option and travel agent arranged very satisfactory flights with British Airways and KLM. Would definitely recommend this option. Flights very long. This was our first "overseas" flight and we would certainly do another differently. Stops along the way, more days in first port before embarkation, would ease the jet lag. As we flew from Western Canada, there was an 8 hour difference in time zones and miles and miles of travel. Very exhausting for us (60's age). Cruise was wonderful. Each port was unique and so interesting for us as we come from an area where nothing is really "old" except our Rocky Mountains. So much to see. As a result, it was very tiring. We wanted to see everything we could, so took excursions at every stop. As I say, wonderful, but a lot to take in. Weather at this time of year, mid-November is iffy. Spain was warmer than usual with temps in high 20s C. But cooler as we got into Italy. Still nice, just had to adjust our clothing and be prepared. Prices of excursions were high, but we still preferred to have them in place before going as we are totally unfamiliar with this area and we were very pleased with the tours and the tour guides. The ship ... well, what shipboard experience is not wonderful. Oceania met our expectations and more. Was great to have free water and soft drinks. Alcoholic beverages prices were high, but also expected that. Also, nice to have laundry room available. Dining experiences were wonderful. Great variety and service in specialty areas and always consistent in general areas. The internet service was not adequate. Ours was free along with a laptop, but we used our own laptop as it was easier for us. Service was VERY SLOW! Would not pay for this service. Other areas on the ship were not used much as we were off each day and then tired in evenings. Would maybe have taken in more shows were they not so late. Shows did not start until 9:45 pm, and we were ready for bed by then. Did use the spa, nice to have access to sauna and steam room complementary. The boutique area was very expensive, only very top end merchandise so did not use that. We had upgraded to Concierge and would recommend this also ... just a few nice added perks. Service by all staff was impeccable. Cannot say enough about the way we were pampered. Would definitely cruise with Oceania again. But maybe closer to home next time! Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Having cruised before mostly on Celebrity we thought we would try Oceania for a different experience. The idea of a smaller ship "best food at sea" and some ports in the Mediterranean that we hadn't visited before. The food ... Read More
Having cruised before mostly on Celebrity we thought we would try Oceania for a different experience. The idea of a smaller ship "best food at sea" and some ports in the Mediterranean that we hadn't visited before. The food was Excellent, there were a couple nights its was ok in the Grand dining room but in comparison to Celebrity the food was definitely a step up in comparison. (Jacques Especially excellent). We are a couple in our early 40's no kids so we enjoy being on a boat with no children while on vacation. Oceania definitely met that expectation. This Voyage was definitely an older crowd (mid 60's and up) and the energy level was very low key. There was not as many entertainment options as other lines and would have liked a bit more energy and feel that we may have been on Oceania 25 years too early. We did make the best of it but overall I am not convinced the extra cost was worth the good food and less crowded ship considering for the same money we could have booked a suite on another line and had a few more options of things to do. We never do any ship excursions on any line so this was not an issue. One more thing that Oceania Advertises is their shuttle service to city centers where other lines charge. However they do not mention that sometimes its limited service that runs every 45 minutes, so in some port we heard others saying they waited for 3 buses but the line was so long people got angry and were shoving and trying to board the bus obviously frustrated after waiting an 1 1/2 hours and still not being able to get on. We saw the line and realized we wouldn't make the bus and had to take a cab back. A couple of nice things about Oceania, No constant up selling. On Celebrity it seems like every time you turn the corner someone is trying to sell you on a specialty restaurant or a photograph. No such thing on Oceania. The service was excellent Plenty of nice towels and they change your bedding regularly. Never seems crowded although if you don't make your reservations for the specialty restaurants before you go good luck getting in one they are packed every night and when we inquired about visiting one again we were told many guests have not even been able to try them because they did not make reservations pre-cruise. Also embarkation and de-embarkation are a breeze. Since there are so many less passengers you can get right on and get right off. It was nice the last day to still get room service to help get us going before we got off the ship and then just be able to walk off when you wanted and not have to sit in some area and wait for your group to be called. So to sum things up All in all it was a good time. We did get free gratuities and free internet and a $500 shipboard credit with Oceania but it was still $2000 more than a Celebrity Cruise we did 5 months ago for the same time frame in a Concierge level balcony cabin, where we also got 2 free drink pkgs, free gratuities and a $250 shipboard credit. Sometimes you just have to try things and see if its a good fit for you. Hopefully this review helps you make your decision Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
My husband and I chose this cruise to meet two requirements– he wanted to go to Rio and I wanted to go on a cruise! Based on that requirement and the time we were able to go, only Oceania and Regent had itineraries that worked (and they ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise to meet two requirements– he wanted to go to Rio and I wanted to go on a cruise! Based on that requirement and the time we were able to go, only Oceania and Regent had itineraries that worked (and they were identical). So based on our TA’s recommendation and our own preferences based on what we’d read on Cruise Critic about both lines, we chose the Marina for our cruise. Before boarding the ship, we spent a few days in Paris and a few days in Barcelona. In Paris we stayed at the Best Western Premier L’Horset Opera, conveniently located close to the Opera Garnier and the Louvre. Advice: go to the Louvre first thing in the morning, and use the entry that is in the shopping center below the museum. You get in quick, and if you are lucky, as we were, you can see the Venus de Milo in a completely empty room, and the Mona Lisa with only 50 other people rather than 1,000. In Barcelona, we stayed at the Renaissance Barcelona Hotel on Pau Claris, again, really nicely situated for many sights, and shopping. Also easy access to the Metro. A must see in Barcelona was La Sagrada Familia. We made prior reservations online for entry and for a tower climb, but the weather was bad and the towers weren’t open. But we didn’t have to stand in line in the rain to buy tickets. Highly recommend getting tickets in advance. Embarkation to the ship was a breeze – we got there at around 10.30am, and were in our suite by 11.15am, with our luggage by 11.30. Super easy. The ship is everything that has already been said about it – beautiful and classy. And the staff is amazing. We were onboard for 19 days, and I can’t think of one time when service was below excellent. We had some issues with technical equipment in our suite, which was resolved by the ship buying new equipment in Gibraltar, since it turned out the glitch was because we were trying to use new technology and the ship is two years old (and therefore out of date!). But the efforts of our butler (Lector), the GM (Dominique) and the Concierge (Javier) were outstanding. We never felt unheard. Some observations on the ship: Clientele – upscale, well travelled. We heard some comments from long time Oceania cruisers that this itinerary had attracted some “overly entitled” folks, and we did see a bit of that, especially when it came to seating and access on the tour buses. A large contingent of more senior folks that sometimes behaved like high school kids without a chaperone…pushing and shoving and cutting in line. But overall, a relaxed, country club atmosphere. There was also a large number of LGBT on this cruise, including us, and we never had any concerns. The clientele is sophisticated, smart and accepting…..and we felt totally at home. The spa is fantastic, but the steam room is very small. The gym is great, but got very crowded on sea days. As is normal on ships, massages and other treatments were very expensive, but we enjoyed them anyways. Entertainment – we didn’t ever go to the Marina Lounge except to disembark for excursions. The Casino is small, and the selection of games is a bit weak. But the staff is very friendly and Nico did a great job making me feel at home. Food – there is little to say here except I want the cookbook. Red Ginger is amazing, Toscana and Polo are wonderful, Jacques is enjoyable. However, the lack of rotation on the menus at the specialty restaurants meant the choices got a bit repetitive. The Grand Dining Room – we ate there twice. The second time was for Thanks Giving Dinner, and I have to say it was the worst meal on board. I don’t think the chefs “got the concept”. We never ate at Waves Grill, and we regret that. We were told on our last day that it’s one of the highlights. Who knew? The Terrace Buffet was adequate, apart from never being able to find a table and sometimes the service was slow to non-existent, especially if you were seated inside towards the entry doors to the Grill. Butler service – if you are blessed to have one, USE it. We did course by course in suite dining, we did last minute reservations at Red Ginger, we did a cocktail party with canapés….we got advice and information on ports of call, we got laundry expedited…..you name it. Let the butler do his/her job. At first, it was a bit weird to have a hovering attendant during meals, but by the mid-point of the trip, he was becoming a highlight! Lector made a huge difference in our enjoyment of the cruise. Suite – an amazing space. We were in 12009 Oceania Suite. Glorious indulgence. The media room separate from the bedroom meant my husband and I could indulge in our different rest/entertainment needs without any issues. The balcony and Jacuzzi were an indulgence that we used a lot. The only issues I’d have with the suite was the overly complicated lighting (we never did work out what switch did what, and in the middle of the night trying to turn on one bathroom light, we sometimes got a Vegas style light show instead), and the glass doors which negated the isolation of the bedroom from the rest of the suite (particularly during said Vegas light shows). Some observations on the itinerary: Cartagena – didn’t really do much here. Went ashore and walked around. Gibraltar – wonderful experience. Did the “Walking Tour of the Upper Rock” excursion, and the guide (Karen) couldn’t have been better. We got so much out of this tour, we forgot the outrageous cost for excursions that Oceania charge. Lanzarote – it was raining, and our submarine tour was cancelled due to lack of interest. Also, scheduling a port stop on a Sunday in a place that closes down on Sundays was never a good idea. The place was shut. Tenerife – amazing tour “Canadas del Tiede”. The bizarre Martian landscape of the volcano was worth every penny, and the House of Balconies in La Oratavia was wonderful. The lunch we could have skipped. Cape Verde – don’t get off the ship. Really. Recife – unless you go to Olinda, another “why?” port. Again, this port stop was scheduled for a Monday, a day that all the museums in the city are closed. Bad timing by Oceania since this information is publically available. Salvador de Bahia – we enjoyed this very much, and will return. We did the “Highlights of Salvador” tour, and it was worth it to get a sense of place and geography, so that on the second day, we wandered around on our own and got a more in depth look at some of the places on the tour. Buzios – we did the “Swim by Schooner” tour….but the water was too cold for real enjoyment. Afterwards, we took a cab to a different beach away from the town, and had a relaxing beach afternoon. Beautiful. Rio de Janeiro – we did the “Best of Rio” 8 hour tour. Again, the lunch could have been skipped. Sugarloaf and the Corcovado was basically the rest of the tour. We had two more days in Rio, and went back to Corcovado again, when it was sunny. It was a lot less expensive and pretty simple to do by ourselves, but probably again partly due to the fact that we had some familiarity from doing the tour. Disembarkation – we were off the ship by 9am, and we organized our car service through our hotel – a cost of about $100, compared to Oceania asking for $395. We stayed two days at the JW Marriott at Copacabana – which was great, but after being away for a month, we were both a bit “tired of touring” so we stayed inside and watched movies for the most part! Flights – all arranged with Delta, not using Oceania. We used points and flew Business Elite – and now we can never do coach again. Overall observations: Oceania is not for you if you want exciting entertainment and partying. It’s not for you if you have young kids. If you want an upscale resort experience, excellent service and food, to return home feeling relaxed and rejuvenated….and maybe a little wiser about the destinations you’ve been to….then Oceania is a good choice.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
For us, this was a alternate Oceania cruise because of medical problems that occurred just before a Oceania Cruise we had book three years ago. We used Oceania air deviation and flew via BA through Heathrow to Barcelona. We spent two ... Read More
For us, this was a alternate Oceania cruise because of medical problems that occurred just before a Oceania Cruise we had book three years ago. We used Oceania air deviation and flew via BA through Heathrow to Barcelona. We spent two evenings there at Jazz Hotel (great price through Hotel.com and great Hotel, buy the breakfast when booking). We did a day trip to Montserrate which was worthwhile. We then flew independently via Easyjet to Geneva to spend a weekend with friends we had meet last year Alaska back to back cruise. Weather was perfect for sightseeing (Guyeres chees Factory, Caillers Choclate Factory, and Frieberg Castle, and the Toblerone Mountain all great sites.. We then flew back to Barcelona and again stayed at Jazz for two nights. In Barcelona we saw the La Sagrada Familia church via Viator and took both hop-on hop-off bus tours of the city. The hotel is a 7 minute walk from the Airport Bus drop point. On the 20 we headed down to the Dock via cab (15 euros with tip) and were on Marina within 25 minutes. They send you to Horizons to eat while your room is prepared. We toured the Ship after unpacking and had heard that you should attempt to get a specialty restaurant booking as there are usually available the first night. We were easily able to. We had Concierge Suite 9010. Our Room Seward Rita was suburb during the cruise. Room had more that enough room and the balcony was comfortable when we used it which was about 5 hours over the length of the cruise.. We often used the concierge lounge for snacks, reading the Canadian National Post, and the services of Michelle our concierge. She was most helpful in providing answers to port questions, ship policies, and booking additional specialty restaurants. We had bought 4 bottles of Spanish wine on board, left them in the open and were never questioned. We did buy six bottles of Organic Chardonnay with meals, making most bottles last two meals. FOOD: Reviews we read before did not do justice. Food as beyond wonderful. Special requests were never rejected. If it were not for the walking in ports, we would have put on a lot of weight. The specialty restaurants are equal to the Grand Dining Room and the Buffet meals, just they had a different menu. We actually believe the grill in the Buffet does better Lobster on demand then the other restaurants. The Portions are enough for the Largest eater, and you can always get seconds. Main meals also on request can be ordered as appetizers. EXCURSIONS We prearranged most of our port tours through CRUISE CRITIC roll calls or with other CRUISE CRITIC members on board. Cartagena: We walked with other CC members to see the museum and roman coliseums. A lot of steps to maneuver but the views are breath taking. Take the elevator down or up to cut down on the walking. Gibraltar: A private CC tour that covered almost all the sights possible. I never knew how many tunnels had been created in the rock over the last 300 years. Arrecife/Lanzarote: Another CC tour took us around the Canary volcanic island with almost no vegetation. The use of the private tour had the ability to reverse the normal tour agenda which avoided the rain on the mountain for those who took the ship tour. A must see is the Cesar Manrique Museum, a home built in the volcanic air bubbles. Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Another Canary island and another CC tour. While Lanzarote was barren, this island was so lush it was overwhelming. Due to weather, we did not see the volcano here, but instead our tour guide arranged for a typical lunch which was impressive and filling. Our guide covered the normal tourist points but was also had a hidden talent as a horticulturalist which several members of the group appreciated. Mindelo/Cape Verde: Using the free ship shuttle we went into town and walked. We saw the unsanitary (to North American or European standards) fish market, the flea markets, vegetable market, and West African market. We were back on the ship in three hours. Not a great tourist site, but a nice break after a few sea days. The worst seas encounter during our trip were 8.5 feet (2.5 meters) so almost no side to side ship movement. Recife, Brazil: We arranged for a CC tour during the next 3 sea days. We ended up going to Olinda and it was worth while. Churchs appear to be the major tourist draw in all Brazil. Salvador Brazil: Day one we did a walking tour with one other couple, taking in the market, elevator and upper city. Day two we took a CC van tour and covered most of the tourist highlights Buzio, Brazil: Our only anchor port on this cruise. After breakfast on board, we only had to wait 8 minutes to get into the tender to be taken ashore. Walked around town, actually bought a few jewelry items and then headed back to the ship. Rio De Janeiro: We had arranged with two different CC tours for the last two days of our trip. We saw the usual tourist sights. The Redeemer and Sugar Mountain are worth the visits. We had arranged with tour on second day to store our luggage and deliver us and the luggage to the airport. ENTERTAINMENT: The on board entertainment is targeted to the 50+ demographic. Overall we felt it was good to very good. We thought the regular signing/acting group was good. They had a Woman Fiddler who was excellent and a bit of a comedian. The Juggler and Magic couple were very good. Almost all evening shows started at 9:45 and were over by 11:15. ACTIVITIES We got addicted to the twice daily trivia game. The Old Time Fair was wonderful. Crossing the Equator event was well done. We also took two cooking classes (our son's a chef) and actually learned new skills. Casino has limited games, but the poker games paid off for us. DISEMBARKATION Was very smooth and efficient. Our requested slot was provided and we were on the port shuttle 5 minutes after our time slot. RIO AIRPORT One of the worst international airports I have gone through. We flew back AA and they have no one at airport until 7:00 pm for a 10:45 flight. We waited around the airport from 5 pm with all our luggage. To make things worst, Dallas was closed and all those going through Dallas were being rerouted to AA so the line ups was terrible. Once in the gate lounge, the only food was a small shop whose prices seemed to be 4 times the normal. OVERALL Loved the trip and would go Oceania again. Loved the ambiance and the other guest on board. We usually eat with others at sharing tables and never meet anyone who was not friendly.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
My partner & I are seasoned cruisers. We like to swop around the various cruise companies but always search for venues. Oceania cruise on this occasion were chosen just on venues being visited. We boarded in Barcelona after short ... Read More
My partner & I are seasoned cruisers. We like to swop around the various cruise companies but always search for venues. Oceania cruise on this occasion were chosen just on venues being visited. We boarded in Barcelona after short flight from UK. As the cabins were not ready for release we were invited on board to lunch. My immediate reaction was how pleasant the staff were and the quality of the buffet. The 4 speciality restaurants on board this ship are available to all without extra charge, we were on a B2 Veranda Stateroom and were allowed one booking at each restaurant. We took up two bookings one in Polo and one in the Italian themed Toscana. The Quality of the food & service were 5 Star and without fault. I have a catering background and believe me I know good food when on offer. Most of our other meals were in The Grand Dining Room, The Grill and the buffet.. The quality of service in every venue is first class as is the food. I have never heard of a Beefburger being made with KOBI Beef dressed with Truffle Sauce, Had two they were so good. Menu's in Grand Dining Room changed daily, Lobster & Fillet Steaks were in abundance. The Staterooms are really large compared to other ships we have been on. Full sized bath with shower and a separate shower cubicle opposite bath. The cabin was as big as any five star hotel room. Plenty of luggage space although the position of the wardrobe made us dance around each other when access was required. The public rooms and bars are beautiful with artwork everywhere. Had drinks package which appeared exspensive but if you drank Champagne turned out cheap in the end. Only gripe was price of excursions. You really need to research the places being visited before you commit to any trips. We only used two bookings for trips due to venues. All the rest we used Hop On Hop Off buses at ports and bargained with local firms to go to other places. Good example of this is Naples. For 220 Euro's for two a private car will take you to Almalfi, Positano & Sorrento for a whole day out. Stay as long as reasonable and ended with tour around Naples. Had we chosen trips on board that would have cost three times as much. Overall I will say that Marina & Oceania Cruises can be very proud of themselves we were both very sad to leave such a lovely ship & crew. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
This was our first cruise with Oceania, and we couldn't be more thrilled with them. From the moment we were greeted at our hotel in Barcelona, we only experienced outstanding customer service. The embarkation process was smooth. Our ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Oceania, and we couldn't be more thrilled with them. From the moment we were greeted at our hotel in Barcelona, we only experienced outstanding customer service. The embarkation process was smooth. Our stateroom with a balcony was huge, especially by typical cruise ship standards. There was ample closet and drawer space. The bathroom had not only a shower, but also a full size bathtub! Throughout our 10 days onboard, every single staff member of Oceania truly made us feel like welcome and honored guests. We can't say enough about the unbelievably high quality food that was served in every dining venue. Lobster tails, filet mignon, sushi, eggs Benedict, lamb chops and decadent desserts were among the daily offerings, among many other choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The four specialty restaurants were particularly excellent in both service and food quality. An example: I was wearing black outfits in two of the restaurants. When the wait staff first came to our table, they asked if I would prefer a black napkin rather than the standard white (to avoid white lint on my outfits)!! With Jacques Pepin as the cruise's top chef, you know food will be outstanding, but this so exceeded our expectations. The average age of this cruise was about 60, which was perfect for us as a couple in the same age group. Other passengers we encountered were very friendly. This cruise was well worth the expense, and we would eagerly cruise Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
My partner and I have just returned from 20 days on Marina. We took back-to-back cruises, the first from Barcelona to Rome, and the second from Rome to Venice. This was my second time on Marina and I would return in a heartbeat. I was ... Read More
My partner and I have just returned from 20 days on Marina. We took back-to-back cruises, the first from Barcelona to Rome, and the second from Rome to Venice. This was my second time on Marina and I would return in a heartbeat. I was first attracted to the ship because of the Bon Appetit Culinary Center. It offers hands-on cooking classes on a variety of themes. On this cruise, it was combined with shore excursions to allow participants to shop in local markets, experience local wineries, then return to the ship with the purchases. Back on board, we learned new recipes and techniques, using the items we had bought. At first glance, these were very expensive - $300 or more on average. But they turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip and worth every penny. Chef Annie proved to be an excellent host. Each guest was given Euros and a shopping assignment for the dishes we would prepare later. On one tour we visited behind the scenes in a local bakery where we were guided in filling our own cannolis, which we got to eat afterward. We had beautiful lunches at the wineries, along with generous servings of wine. The tours were always in immaculate modern buses with local guides who spoke excellent English. There was no skimping and we wound up wishing we had arranged for one of these tours in every port when they were available. We spent a lot of time in the fitness center, part of the Canyon Ranch Spa. The equipment was modern and well maintained. Crew was consistently warm, friendly and helpful. Food was beyond description. We ate mostly in the Terrace and Waves Grill (for lunch). Afternoon tea was magnificent and elegant. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
This back to back combination of two journeys from Barcelona via Istanbul to Athens was our fist experience with OCEANIA. With some 20+ cruises on board of ships from Cunard (QM2), Hapag-Lloyd (Europa) Regent and Seabourn our curiosty was ... Read More
This back to back combination of two journeys from Barcelona via Istanbul to Athens was our fist experience with OCEANIA. With some 20+ cruises on board of ships from Cunard (QM2), Hapag-Lloyd (Europa) Regent and Seabourn our curiosty was piqued to OCEANIA's new ships and the disgner-styled large suites there. Pre-Cruise Arrangement: Unfortunately we booked a pre-cruise arrangement with OCEANIA, what we never would do again! The Boutique-style hotel (1898) was really nice, but the small room with nearly absence of any day-light which was booked for us reminded to be more a broom-closet than a stateroom. With lack of any further assistance or support, except a small general information sheet, the guaranteed transfer to the port did not happen. Hence we organized our transportation to the ship by ourself. Embarkation: Smooth, efficient, fast and no lines! After arrival at 11.30 am our Suite was ready for occupation without any delay. The downside: from Pier to Suite our luggage made a 5 hours journey. This is really not "prority delivery within one hour" as advertised! Suite: The Owner's Suites on Marina are an Interiors Designer's delight and absolutely marvellous and to die for! Spanning from one side to the other at the ship's stern it is all about space and style and guarantees the privacy of a large yacht as well. Travelling in such a phantastic setting is hardly to beat. The most spacious and best equipped Suite we ever enjoyed on baord of a ship! Our Cabin-Stewards Joseph and his young assistant did a phantastic job. Charming, smiling, friendly, always just in time: perfect! Ravi, our Butler, first had some minor problems as he tended to forget his orders. But by the end of the cruise his service was really much more improved and we had been rather more satisfied. With Suite 10111 there is only one problem: the fall-out of carbon black out of the ships chimney (unbelivable for a 'Green Ship')and, much more, the garbage thrown down from the Terrace-Cafe two decks above. Nearly every second morning our balconies had been covered with napkins, paper, fruits, korks, crackers and even broken bits of glass(!)and fixing pins. If you prefer having breakfast on your private terasse, it has to be cleaned first. Sometimes you had to be careful if the Terasse-Cafe was cleaned after Lunch: without any warning some water splashed down. For our next cruises on 'Riviera' we booked the Owner's Suites on Deck 8 and 9 which - as it was told - are not as problematic as Suite 10111. Restaurants: Famous for its dining expierience, OCEANIA fullfilled all our exspectations. The quality of meals in all of the restaurants we tried was - with one exeption - of top quality. Even in the Grand Dining Room the the kitchen worked excellent. Not our style, we did not try 'Waves' and the 'Terrace' for dinner. Service ranking: 'Polo Grill' and 'Jacques': excellent, 'Toscana', 'Red Ginger' and 'Grand Dining Room': very well, 'Terrace Cafe'(for lunch): sometimes ok, sometimes poor. The service at 'La Privee' seems a little bit over exposed - you do not have a chance for private conversation without beeing interrupted by the waiter. Shore-Excutions: We booked onboard two private cars with guide for Israel and one for Istanbul: perfectly organized but extremely expansive. Otherwise we made our private arrangements, which worked extremely well. Disembarkation: We booked onboard a private car to the Aiport. Even with 4(!)cruise ships arriving at the same time and regardless the hughe crowds we never expirienced such a well organized disembarkation before. After leaving the ship at the scheduled time a personal guide and a porter exspected us with our luggage, showed us the way and accompanied us right to the waiting car: perfect! Summary: The 'Marina' is a marvellous ship: spacious, elegant and stylish. Regarding the pictures, sculptures and some decoration this is not only pure Interior Disigner's routine: you feel, that there must be an OCEANIA excecutive, who personally tooks care of it. Having some fears about the size of the ship, as - with the exception of a Transatlantic Crossing with QM2 - we never sailed on such a large vessel,it was really a surprise: the 'Marina' absorbes its 1200 Passengers very, very well. One never had a cramped feeling or the atmosphere of beeing in a hughe crowd. At some places the ship feels homy and intimate. Even the tender-service works extremely well and is better organized than on all smaller ships we travelled. Only in terms of individual attention, the 'Marina' lacks the personal atmosphere of smaller ships. This applies not for the restaurants, where you mostly are personally wellcomed by name. Otherwise at the reception you feel more treated with the unpersonal routine of a call-center (we apologize, we double-check, we try...). Regarding our 'garbage' problem, absolutely nothing happend! Trying to get an appointment with the Marina's GM was such a hard task, that I gave it up! It seems to be easier to get a reception with the Emperior of China than with Monsieur Lacroix himself! After nearly four weeks onboard 'Marina' the GM was only virtually excisting. Observing how some of the decks personal are operating and with quite a little experience on board of other ships, you get a feeling, that the attention to details and guests could be improved by the 'Marina's management. Overall: this was a very good experience, which we highly recommand. Maybe it will be even better next time: we are looking forward to our next three journeys onboard 'Riviera'. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
I can't believe I am the first to review this fabulous cruise! Been home four days, and am still glowing. Background information: I am a mobility challenged traveler, but very adventurous. Being dissatisfied with Oceania shore ... Read More
I can't believe I am the first to review this fabulous cruise! Been home four days, and am still glowing. Background information: I am a mobility challenged traveler, but very adventurous. Being dissatisfied with Oceania shore tours on two previous cruises, I arranged private tours for us in most ports, but my husband did take 2 Oceania tours that I did not. Getting to the port of embarkation, Barcelona from our lovely quiet Hotel Gaudi was a snap of a short taxi ride. Embarkation was handled smoothly, including getting our luggage to our room in good shape promptly. No fuss; no hassle, great lunch awaiting us 12 ish. Our Stateroom, 8125 was not far from the rear elevator, which turned out to be a big plus for me: most dining spots, the bridge/card room were located in that end of the ship. This was the largest, nicest stateroom of our three Oceania tours, and we didn't even use all the storage space for a change.Dining? As close to perfection as you can get, including the Terrace Cafe, all four specialty dining rooms, and the Grand Dining Room.For a foodie to make that statement is saying a lot. Tasty, varied menus, consistency, hot food hot, cold food cold; from soup to dessert the food was top notch. We enjoyed eating alone sometimes, but whenever we wanted a table for 4 or 6, we met interesting fellow travelers. Service was outstanding in all respects. The ports on this cruise were much to our liking: Malta, Rhodes, Barcelona, Israel, Crete, Cyprus, and the crown jewel: Istanbul, where we spent 4 days on our own, post cruise. I'm going to mention the private guides we had in most of those ports before I get to the criticism of the Oceania shore tours. Ram_dreng@yahoo.com made Istanbul come alive for us; can't recommend him highly enough. (Ramazan Guloglu)We took taxis everywhere in Istanbul, and they were comfortable, very inexpensive and fun. In Malta: Rita Fsadni: ritafsadni@gmail.com; in Rhodes: Nicholas of Rhodes (taxi) nick-ax@rho.forthnet; in Israel: Mickey of info@guidedtoursisrael.com all did a super job of catering to my mobility limitations while giving grand tours for our small groups we put together, using cruise critic to get other passengers to join us. A quick word about our one complaint: my husband's Oceania tours in Emphasis and Knossis in Crete were sadly lacking. Other passengers complained bitterly about the ship's tours in other ports. One Canadian friend we met muttered "never again!" after an extensive tour of Istanbul at the end of the cruise. There were so many complaints about the quality of the tours that the expensive side of them didn't get as much mention as the poor quality. Back to the positives:a new feature on this cruise were the Culinary Center programs. I took two, and enjoyed the chef/intructor, the recipes, the facility, the reasonable cost of 69/small group hands-on instruction. Other passengers were very pleased with the entertainment; we were just too tired by the end of dinner to partake. String quartet aboard was excellent; we enjoyed the tea most afternoons. Tiny complaint: the chairs in the Marina Lounge were too low and could use replacement. Service on this ship was outstanding in all respects: friendly, helpful, cheerful. We had a prepaid gratuity credit from our travel agent, but we did tip in addition due to total satisfaction with our cabin attendants. Disembarkation handled smoothly on the ship, but it was a madhouse waiting for taxis that we were not involved with, as our Istanbul arranged for a private pickup for us. A caution re Israel: Jerusalem is quite far from Ashdod port; private tours with small vans can get into places the large buses cannot. The Egyptian ports were cancelled due to caution on Oceania's part, but Cairo is VERY far from Port Said, and imho only Oceania tours would be a good idea for future Lands of Time sailings. We've done about 15 cruises previously, but for us, this was the best overall. The ports were wonderful without exception, and no tender service was required. Oceania's Marina crew had its act together, and that added to the experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
As with anything everyone has a different taste so what appeals to one may not please another, so this is our personal opinion of the cruise. To us it appears Oceania's target market is somewhat older than us and less mobile (average ... Read More
As with anything everyone has a different taste so what appeals to one may not please another, so this is our personal opinion of the cruise. To us it appears Oceania's target market is somewhat older than us and less mobile (average age on our cruise was announced at 72) this influences everything on the cruise from setting the pace for excursions, food selection and preparation , entertainment and the constant Muzak played on deck. We put some of the fault on our Travel Agent as well as the cruise industries brochures. It would be a good idea to adopt some of the practices of the Coach Tour brochures and have a true indication of who a particular cruise line would appeal to. For example, a fair disclosure on this cruise would be that Oceania is geared to appeal to non-independent travelers in the over 65 age range who prefer a leisurely pace. As soon as we arrived home we sent emails to Oceania requesting we be removed from all their mailing lists as it's obvious we aren't in their market. Stateroom Our stateroom was very spacious for a cruise ship and very comfortable. There were more than enough drawers and hangers for our clothes. We would have preferred a larger shower stall as we didn't use the bathtub. The ship staff was very pleasant and efficient but no better or worse than we have experienced on NCL or Carnival (not as good as Uniworld) who tend to be our benchmark). We probably expected more from Oceania given their supposed premium rating and price. We found the laundry room on each deck to be a pleasant surprise and feel it should be mentioned more proximately in the brochure Dining Our meals were often served not hot, entrees marked as spicy were mild at best. Red Ginger was the best for a change of pace but even there I had to send back an entree that was supposed to be spicy and served not even mild. Finally our server brought out a portion of the spices used and I was able to make it more to my taste. The only choices of vegetables offered at any of the dining rooms are steamed variety of broccoli, carrots and cauliflower or green beans and shallots. This became quite boring after a while. They had the same cuts of meat at all the dining rooms just prepared differently. Wine prices are very outrageous for example a bottle of $7.00 California wine was $54.00 on Marina. We found the house wine from Chile to be acceptable and only selected wine by the bottle on occasion. Since they allowed you to have wine in your cabin purchased off the ship we purchased several fine local wines while in port that we sipped on our balcony. We really enjoyed Baristas and it wasn't long before the barista knew what we wanted before we asked. Unfortunately it closed at 6PM and there was nowhere to have a coffee or tea outside of picking it up in the Terrace Cafe or a bar, we didn't always feel like room service and sitting in our cabin. Ports Stops in Egypt were our main reason for choosing this cruise so its cancellation was a major disappointment. I contacted Oceania by phone upon being informed of the change of port, while I realize the decision to change ports had to be made in advance I feel the port chosen was a very poor substitute. I don't think very many people would look and say "I have to take this cruise it stops in Antalya." Also it took us well off the original course resulting in really only a half extra day in Ashdod. A stop in one of the Greek islands or Piraeus (Athens) would have kept the ship closer to Israel. Other than that the ports were pretty much as advertised. Shore excursions and the Destinations desk on the ship We found the excursions while expensive were pretty much hit and miss. We had very good guides in Ibiza and Istanbul, not so much in Israel. People who commented on the guides who didn't go in the museums should realize that some museums have their own guides would have been paid separately from the tour guides, we didn't have enough time to warrant hiring one so I don't think looking by yourself at your own pace was a bad choice. We didn't use Oceania's excursions in several ports or our pre-cruise in Barcelona. If you weren't buying an excursion the staff at the desk was not helpful at all nor was the representative in Barcelona. We had planned Barcelona but still had a few questions the only thing they offered was a coach tour of Barcelona on the morning of the day we sailed. When we declined her attempt to up sell us, suddenly we were the last people arriving and she was going home. The receptionist in the hotel was very helpful and gave us maps and directions as well as pointing out some significant landmarks we could use if we lost our way. When we asked at shore excursions for information on Antalya once again the only thing offered were the Oceania excursions, we had decided with some research to just take the shuttle bus and sight see ourselves. We were surprised that as soon as we declined the excursions the Destination staff's reply was that it was the first time they had stopped there and they really had no other information except the excursions. As it turned out there was a tourist information booth as soon as we got off the shuttle bus and we found our way around and saw everything that was on the walking tour. As well we had 2 hours to spend in the Archeological Museum ( audio headsets were available at a reasonable price so we had a good explanation of the displays as well) while an Oceania tour that arrived while we were there was whisked through in a minimum of time. Entertaiment and Activivities We only attended the show on the first night and only stayed for about fifteen minutes. The entertainment appeared to be aimed at a target market older than us, watching the highlights of the shows on the TV in our room confirmed this simply not our thing. There was nothing else offered in this time period and we felt that it would have been a good time to offer some lectures on the ports of call or repeat some of the day's activities that were only offered while active people were ashore. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
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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