13 Barcelona Oceania Marina Cruise Reviews

This is our second cruise with Oceania on the Marina this year, but unfortunately we won't be actively checking out Oceania cruises for our next trips - we really wanted to like them! The ship is nice, a good size, public areas and ... Read More
This is our second cruise with Oceania on the Marina this year, but unfortunately we won't be actively checking out Oceania cruises for our next trips - we really wanted to like them! The ship is nice, a good size, public areas and spaces are very well appointed and maintained. They also have some nice itineraries, and being a smaller/mid-sized ship can get into most places We travelled as a party of 4 and pretty much all felt the same post trip. I think the main disappointment, after all the hype, was food quality and unfortunately some aspects of service. The food was ok, not spectacular and pretty much what you see on most cruises. Our biggest issue was that they just cannot cook a 'well done' steak! I know most chefs cringe at the well done brigade, but when you even have a guide outside of each restaurant quite clearly showing what the different steaks should look like - we were hopeful. There were times when we had to have 3 attempts to get a steak that didn't have pink inside, surely this shouldn't be such an issue. This even happened in the Marco Polo steak restaurant! We eventually just stopped ordering steak, which we really shouldn't have to do Most staff in the restaurants were very good, but unfortunately not all, which was true of staff throughout the ship. It is the first cruise where we have ever felt disappointed by the cabin stewards, who do an amazing job. We are the sort of passengers who tidy up before we leave the cabin, don't leave any mess or make crazy requests - always treating the stewards very well, and showing our appreciation. But, we have to say the lead steward we had on the last ship just didn't want to be there. The room was cleaned quickly, but surfaces probably not dusted during our entire stay, water bottles left half full for days, and a range of things which did surprise us. I don't like moaning about cabin stewards, but this is how we felt It was great to have a choice of restaurants, all of which were pleasant - the Italian being our favourite Cabins are well appointed and comfortable - bathrooms are nice, but as most have a separate shower and bath, why is there a fixed glass screen across half of the bath, which also has a shower head - crazy as this makes getting in and out of the bath a challenge for some TV and films in staterooms, not the best with some quite inappropriate choices! Entertainment is not the best, but we were not expecting anything much better on a small ship Tours and excursions are far too overpriced, a problem with a lot of cruise lines. We just didn't bother and were able to entertain ourselves in each port We are still waiting to find that cruise line to become our go-to favourite - think we'll have to try Silversea next Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We are a “retired” couple in our late 60s (most passengers were in their 60s/70s) with more than 30 cruises with different lines (Windstar, Azamara, Celebrity, Princess, Star Clippers, Norwegian, and a couple more) ; however, this was ... Read More
We are a “retired” couple in our late 60s (most passengers were in their 60s/70s) with more than 30 cruises with different lines (Windstar, Azamara, Celebrity, Princess, Star Clippers, Norwegian, and a couple more) ; however, this was our first on Oceania. Of note, there were more than a handful of children but no children’s programs. We don’t imbibe much and don’t purchase drink packages, nor do we drink wine. These would be extra charges without the O’Life package which we did not choose (booked cruise only). We upgraded to a concierge level stateroom 10 days before sailing but failed to utilize the amenities included at that level much. The sailing’s 15-day itinerary was Barcelona (overnight), Valencia, Palma de Majorca, and Palamos (Spain), Toulon (France), Monaco (overnight); Antibes (France), La Spezia (for Cinque Terre Italy), Ajaccio (Corsica), Livorrno (for Florence/Tuscany), Sorrento/Capri, Amalfi/Positano, and disembarkation at Civitavecchia (for Rome), Italy. It did not have, any sea days We booked our own air and the cruise line’s transfer from the airport (would recommend finding other transfer or a taxi as it would have been about half-price). Booked a shared van transfer for disembarkation to the airport. We arrived before 9 am, but needed to wait for other flight arrivals before being transferred to the ship. Embarkation was not available until noon ; however, concierge level access to stateroom was at 1 pm. Embarkation was smooth except for the carryon items being scanned through security taking awhile due to the quantity of new passengers arriving about the same time. Buffet lunch was available immediately. Oceania’s policy in the Terrace Café (buffet) for breakfast and lunch is that all food is served by their staff. You cannot serve yourself even a roll. There is outdoor seating there. While dinner is also available there, we eat in the dining room or at a specialty restaurant for all dinners. Specialty restaurants are by reservation only and the main dining room is available 6:30-9:30 (anytime dining). There are four specialty restaurants where only one reservation per is available to book online prior to sailing. Additional dinners in these specialty dining rooms are available to book the day of your choice of additional dining there. Early times were hard to come by; the menu was always the same in each restaurant , but the menu options varied greatly in each. Jacques served French food, Red Ginger Asian, Tuscana Italian, and Polo Grill was a Steakhouse mainly. Food was good in all; however, we felt for a luxury line touted as a superb culinary experience, it wasn’t much above average to the lines we sailed, and not superb. The Grand Dining Room did offer more of a variety than most lines’ MDR. Stateroom – Concierge room was the same as a regular veranda with a king bed (282 sq. ft including balcony), loveseat and table, desk area, and plenty of closet space and drawers The marble bathroom with plenty of storage around the sink area (plus two shelves next to the toilet) was slightly larger than most premium/luxury lines as it had a separate tub with shower head and a regular shower with glass door (albeit small). The mini-bar with soda, bottled sparkling water, and other mixers is restocked daily if you ask the room steward to keep your favorites in there, You can remove those furnished that you don’t use. The line has converted to a glass container of water which is refilled as needed. When going ashore, bottled water in plastic containers is available when disembarking. Concierge class has a key-entry lounge available 24/7 with snacks, coffee and other beverages. We had room service for breakfast twice when we had early tours which came with a tablecloth en suite. Four suite categories are available with butlers. Public rooms – Public rooms were a generous size and furnished nicely as expected on a luxury line. The ship’s singers/dancers were excellent , the caliber of a Broadway show in NYC. Some of the other entertainment was not as good, especially the magicians. The pool deck was of sufficient size with padded lounge chairs and cotton coverings. Horizons Bar at the top of the ship had good entertainment by a trio who sang a variety of musical genre; and a string quartet who played nightly in another lounge area outside the Grand Dining Room. There was table-tennis and shuffleboard, as well as putt-putt golf. The spa and fitness center were large and my massage was very good. The Sanctuary area was available to Concierge level and above guests. Casino was small and on board shopping was as expected for a luxury line. Shore Excursions – Since my husband is lacking in physical mobility (not good on hills or uneven pavement and unable to stand or walk for extended time periods), we elected to purchase 7 ship excursions in advance as there was a special 20% discount for that quantity. Overall we were disappointed in those; although they were rated correctly for difficulty, IMHO they lacked good content. This is a very subjective topic, so maybe others enjoyed them We also took a few independent excursions arranged by cruise critic roll call members and as one would expect, they were better. Service – We found the service to be good, but no staff went above and beyond IMO and the room steward was lacking a bit, in our opinion. Ports of call – We were disappointed with a few, but it may have been we were unhappy with the excursion which tainted our opinion. Much of Italy we had previously visited and were excited to return to, as well as Monaco which we felt didn’t need the overnight, although one could take an excursion out of town to utilize the extra time there. Would we choose Oceania again? Probably not as we felt they didn’t meet our expectations which were high for the culinary and luxury aspects of the line. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We are well traveled and go to Europe quite often and have traveled to Asia. We chose this trip because of the great itinerary. From Barcelona to Rome the only disappointing stop for us was Corsica. The basics: We were on the Marina ... Read More
We are well traveled and go to Europe quite often and have traveled to Asia. We chose this trip because of the great itinerary. From Barcelona to Rome the only disappointing stop for us was Corsica. The basics: We were on the Marina in Room 9103. We liked our room but felt that it wasn't worth the money to pay for "concierge" level. The included free laundry service was nice, though. Dining: We liked the specialty restaurants, both for the food and the service. We don't particularly like cafeterias and found the buffet service was really chaotic in the mornings.. As a result, we often had breakfast in the Grand Dining Room. It was more enjoyable but service was slow. We ate there for dinner as well. Meals ranged from mediocre to quite good. The quality of service varied quite a bit here. Wine: It was overpriced. We felt that Oceania was not happy when we would order just a glass of wine rather than a bottle. And, how could our $58 bottle of wine end up costing $74?? Between required tipping and added tax we felt ripped off. I've never seen Italy add tax on wine. Oceania had no problem in doing so. Shore Excursions: What a rip off. First, I don't understand why most of the excursions were half day tours. What with drive time there is little time to actually see a place. What is the point of having a 7pm sail away when the ship brings you back at 1pm? Please, do your homework - do not take the ship's offering and do your own excursions instead. The only intended excursion we signed up for was to Girona and Figueres. It was $225 each. Because of an injury the ship's doctor ordered me to stay back and have my foot elevated. The ship refused to credit me because I had only given two days notice when I needed to have given 4 days. I sent a letter to the president of Oceania about this. He hasn't given the courtesy of a reply. Because of my injury we decided not to go to Marseilles alone and instead took the ship's tour. I knew all of the places to see. While we did see the basilica the tour guide took us to a shopping mall so we could go to a chain department store. I do not travel 5000 miles to go to a shopping mall. This excursion was quite expensive as all of Oceania's appear to be. When complaining to the excursion desk I was told that the local guides get to do whatever they want. Apparently Oceania's role is to collect the money. Barcelona: Fabulous city. We keep returning to it - easy to do on your own. Valencia: This was new to us. We loved the city - did it on our own. Monte Carlo: St Paul de Vence was a combination of train and taxi and then going back a bus and train. Quite easy to do. The next day we also took the train. Antibes: We took a train and uber to Mougins. Fabulous artsy town; then we went to Biot before taking uber back to the ship. La Spezia: We have been to Cinque Terre several times so hired a driver to take us to Lucca. The ship's excursion there would have been mostly driving. Livorno: We took a private tour to Volterra and San Gimignano with other CC people. Would we go with Oceania again? No. When the head of the company can't be bothered to reply to my letter it's time to move on and go back to land touring. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I thought the itinerary was varied and interesting with a few places we had previously visited and a few we had not. Noticed a decline in service especially in Terrace Cafe plus only one fresh vegetable served almost everyday, broccoli, ... Read More
I thought the itinerary was varied and interesting with a few places we had previously visited and a few we had not. Noticed a decline in service especially in Terrace Cafe plus only one fresh vegetable served almost everyday, broccoli, cauliflower, zuchinni mixed vegetables! Almost as many supervisors in shirt and tie as server/helpers but doing very little to help! The dinner selections in the Grand Dining Room seemed of lesser quality than on prior cruises on the same ship or the Regatta. The entertainment overall seemed improved, but predominantly from the UK whereas the majority of passengers are still from the USA. Also, the afternoon Tea seemed to have fewer food choices. Both the Cruise Director and his partner and Assistant Cruise Director were both from the UK and little too flamboyant for our tastes. There were several tender ports. It seemed little attention was given to those who might not do well with stairs going down to the tender deck. Some tender operations seemed in need of a little more training in tender operation. Finally, I must say this Captain may do a good job, but was not particularly cordial to customers even dining at an adjoining table! The ABSOLUTE worst part of this cruise was the disembarkation on the final day! It was totally disorganized, no calling by color and number to disembark. a total stampede with no sign of any ship officers to thank the passengers! It was a horrible mess at too small a terminal facility for this ship too! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I chose this cruise on a combination of dining expectations,itinerary and luxury. Dining experiences were limited to your five special restaurants on a 14 day cruise. That meant main dining or buffet. The dining room was pretty but ... Read More
I chose this cruise on a combination of dining expectations,itinerary and luxury. Dining experiences were limited to your five special restaurants on a 14 day cruise. That meant main dining or buffet. The dining room was pretty but slow,the buffet was good but not what I paid all the $ for. Alcohol was exorbitant with mixed drink for $12 plus 28%gratuites and VAT. Decent bottles of wine in port went for $12 that the cruise charged 30 plus 28%. The service was just ok in restaurants. While leaving buffet I asked for a glass of juice and the maitre dee said I needed a table number. At a buffet! The WiFi is terrible. Do not expect to check on upcoming ports while at sea. The IT guy told me that too many people were on it and maybe if I left my room door open I could get a better signal. Luxury? Never called for disembarking either. Just sat there for two hours in public room and noticed every one was just leaving. I really wanted this cruise to be special and looked forward to celebrating my wife and my 60th on it. Disappointed with Oceania for calling this a luxury trip. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
First getting on board, our cabin would be ready only by 3:00 pm not the case on my other cruises. Plus I have asked twice for two single beds not a King size bed with separate bed covers. The Verandah cabin 8001 situated in front of the ... Read More
First getting on board, our cabin would be ready only by 3:00 pm not the case on my other cruises. Plus I have asked twice for two single beds not a King size bed with separate bed covers. The Verandah cabin 8001 situated in front of the Ship and more expensive B1 is not worth the money. In my opinion it is more narrowed and impossible to have distance between single beds. I would not suggest this cabin to anyone, for the pounding crashes of the waves at night and the morning sound of theanchors. I have never been in a Verandah cabin so noisy. Plus sitting down on the verandah you see a wall...you have to stand up to see better. But a specialthanks to Maria for attending to our cabin always smiling and helpful. The Marina is a beautiful ship . The food in the Grand Dining was good but often warm and not very hot by the time it reaches our table. I would say Jacques Pepin was my favorite restaurant. Thank you Elizabeth Nunes (concierge), for this special evening at the Grand Dining Room. It was a delicate attention to reunite for super the minority of French guests attending this cruise. The excursions are just OK but not worth paying this much for a Bus tour. Many times we are left after a short walk with the guide on our own. My favorite was Livero Wine Tasting Varramista and Volos in Mt Pelion. Overall, I would not return for another cruise on Oceania. I think with so manycompetitive ships people can have a less overpriced vacation Read Less
Sail Date October 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
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
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
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
Recently returned from first Oceania Cruise aboard Marina and was greatly disappointed. This was the May 12 cruise from Barcelona to Rome heavily promoted by Oceania as a tremendous culinary trip with Bon Apetit chefs and the noted Jacque ... Read More
Recently returned from first Oceania Cruise aboard Marina and was greatly disappointed. This was the May 12 cruise from Barcelona to Rome heavily promoted by Oceania as a tremendous culinary trip with Bon Apetit chefs and the noted Jacque Peppin. I signed up for many of the cooking classes and was told early that some of market tours and classes were reserved for a special group...so did not get those. But I did sign up for four of the Peppin classes in the Culinary Kitchen, paid the fees, but was notified only on the day of arrival with a not in the cabin that the classes were canceled. I never received an explanation or apology. The food aboard the ship was good but not great. Red Ginger and Toscano were very good but Jacques (served a spoiled and rotten shrimp) and Polo Grill were only fair. The other dining areas did not match the quality of the dining that we enjoyed on Celebrity or Windstar. Windstar was clearly superior. Oceania touts room service but beware. While we enjoyed hot breakfasts on Celebrity and even Royal Carribbean the fare on Marina consisted of bread, coffee, juice, cereal or yogurt. The day time room service was no better. What Oceania is best at is over hyping their products and offerings. Don't believe anything they print without checking customer reviews. I believe their publications and largely gross exaggerations. Entertainment aboard Marina is second-rate. I have seen and heard better high school performances. On two occasions for us, customers were forced to wait in the steaming sun so crew members could wait for more paying customers. Disembarkation was a zoo. It was raining in Rome and Oceania was totally disorganized and of no help. We had to drag our bags through the pouring rain with our any direction from the crew. We wandered around to find the bus with no help from the crew. On the other hand, Celebrity in a similar situation placed our bags on the bus and unloaded them at the airline counters in Amsterdam. Oceania is not a top rate cruise line. More than half of the cruisers were talked with had complaints about other issues. I will not sail with Oceania in the future. Celebrity and Windstar remain higher on the list. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
I will begin by saying I have not cruised 50-100 times like many of the cruisers on cruise critic. But I like and know luxury and quality. Agree with some of the good things said about Marina, but also agree with weaknesses that when you ... Read More
I will begin by saying I have not cruised 50-100 times like many of the cruisers on cruise critic. But I like and know luxury and quality. Agree with some of the good things said about Marina, but also agree with weaknesses that when you leave always seem to stand out. I traveled with 2 other couples in a transfer back to Rome after the cruise and we all felt the same exact way, so I do not think I was being demanding or my expectations being too high for Oceania.. We literally walked on the ship alone. First time this ever happened. Was happy to not have the lines (we boarded after the rush, of course), but agree that no one was there to greet when you did board and provide some quick information (or champagne, perhaps). As others stated, cabins nice, small. Liked the granite bathroom and beds. Otherwise, amenities standard by our expectations. Do agree, the bed was most enjoyable after each full day of touring. Once boarded, we went to get a bite to eat after reading the elevator and picking a floor. No dining available. In between meals. We found this consistent on our ENTIRE cruise. We would tour most of the days since this was a port intensive cruise and by the time we would return (around 9 pm-9:30) were told every night to order room service. Not my style for luxury. We had a suite on Equinox and could have a lovely serving any time of day. This was consistent with our schedule every time we wanted a bite to eat. Room service is an option once in a while, but the rooms are small and confining and you get tired of eating in it because Marina was "in between". This even happened on short tour days. Right at 2:00 pm. Were unable to change or add to specialty reservations. They like the word NO on Oceania. Heard it ALL week, too. Like other reviewers here. Also agree that the staff seems to be more enthusiastic about the entrees. Lobster was tough every time I ordered it (3 times, then gave up). Did not like the effort of communicating to get food served to you at the buffet in the Terrace and agree that rude cruisers would just step in and demand while others waiting to be served. Change the policy. Service was poor many times and then excellent at others. Sporadic, not consistent. Excursions---plan your own. you will be disappointed and frustrated. Considering cost and what we heard from so many people on the ship. Felt sad for them. Always witnessed upset cruisers at the destinations desk. Very sad to see on such a cruise line! Entertainment-Better on the TV in your stateroom. Understanding that they are not know for their entertainment. I get it. Cabin Butler-Excellent. Room always prepared upon entering and spotless cleaning. This expectation fully met. Lidvidia was very accomodating, even though we are the easiest of travelers. Do not require much attention. One last observation-We had charges on our bill from a culinary class that was overbooked and we could not get in. We instead planned a private tour for this day and when we went to the desk to question, we were told to go to destination desk. Ok, no problem. Well, they made it seem like it was our fault and that they would start an inquest to see if the charges could be credited. Are you kidding me? The clerk made us feel like we were at fault. Even after clarifying and re-clarifying that it was their mistake. This is how we felt every time we asked for something. It was not like this ever on Celebrity, or Royal Carribean. Will try Crystal next time and, of course, continue the Aqua Spa Suite Class on Celebrity. They have it right. Fortunately, we like people and do not turn our nose up to having more friendly people on board with us as long as the service level does not suffer. Spa- No indoor pool or inside "relaxation/meditation" area on the pool deck. We like to use the spa amenities whenever we travel. Couples massage is one of our favorites. Steam, sauna, aromatherapy, together. No co-ed on this ship. We were intimidated by the extremely high prices charged for services at the spa. Understanding that is "Canyon Ridge". But, $400.00 something dollars for a couples massage (50 minute??), manicures, upwards of 80-90.00?? this we cannot understand. Nor, would I subject ourselves to the overpayment. We, instead, waited for the Waldorf-Astoria Cavaleiri Hotel in Rome and indulged in our "spa fix" at a much more reasonable charge for all services. Perhaps, this subsidizes the cost of sending 16 brochures/marketing pieces each month to your home address. not sure. All in all, nice cruise. Not the best ever, not the worst ever. Unimpressed. We did stay at the Rome Cavelieri for a few days after the cruise and was able to experience at the Imperial Club level what impeccable service levels should be. And what a view off the balcony!!! Worth every penny! We do not mind spending the money when expectations are met and exceeded. First time reviewer. Read Less
Sail Date March 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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