15 Barcelona Oceania Marina Cruise Reviews

My sister had taken a similar repositioning cruise a year ago (Lisbon to Rio) and said it was the best (out of 50 or so cruises), the food, the service, etc. We found the food exceptional, to the point that the diet began half way through ... Read More
My sister had taken a similar repositioning cruise a year ago (Lisbon to Rio) and said it was the best (out of 50 or so cruises), the food, the service, etc. We found the food exceptional, to the point that the diet began half way through the cruise, due to our weak will power in the early half. We did cheat occasionally on the crossing portion. The added-on amenities re gratuities, land-based tours, air fare, internet etc., all made it attractive. Loved the Barista coffee efforts and afternoon tea. At first we thought oceania was too secular with no Christmas/holiday decorations, then one night the staff did a fabulous job, trees, lights, wreathes, and had a big reveal of a life size gingerbread house up and running. There was a limited Sunday service on one Sunday, and a Hanukah candle lighting effort. We have travelled Holland America and know they make an effort to have a priest on board for religious services. With 1/3 or so of the ship empty, I would think that a great PR gesture would be to bump up passengers to a higher category, e.g. one or two above their booked arrangements. How to make a customer even more loyal! I challenge the entertainment people to help all with diets and discipline, e.g have a weigh in on the first and last day with simple prizes to the smallest gainers! I'm serious!!!! Accompanying that, the fitness area should have nutrition seminars, given the age demographics of the cruisers. There may have been something but I missed it and the concern that I would be hit by a big bill, e.g. my wife came back from a $200 massage that helped! I also think that in the dining rooms, it would be so simple to ask the size of the portion requested, e.g. small, medium or large, rather than waste food. I found the library weak on layout and titles, compared to the Nautica. Luckily, we both had loaded up our tablets. Given the size of the ship, on board (crossing) activities were limited, although we did enjoy 2 of the movies and the dance groups in the Marina. I regret not using the fitness area more. I appreciated the enrichment speaker, particularly her presentation on migration to America. As a semi-retired professor/teacher, I give her full marks. On a six day crossing, so much more (e.g. 2x a day) could be given on interesting topics, e.g. Christmas traditions across the world, academic opportunities to learn re other Oceania cruises to become better informed, e.g. about Britain and Brexit, Scandinavia, the Mediterranean countries, European locations re WW1 and WW2, history of early ocean/new world crossings, e.g. the Leif Erikkson and the Vikings, and the other early explorers, Vasco de Game, Magellan and the Portuguese, Captains Cook and Vancouver. I saw where the Chinese may have been to Kenya long before Europeans. Other aspects of major crossings, the slave trade, formation of hurricanes off Cape Verde, the gulf stream, pollution of the oceans with plastics. I found the early arrival costs inhibiting, e.g. the diversion fare to come a few days earlier, and the hotels that Oceania were advertising in Barcelona, e.g. $400+ per person per night as an example. Knowing that Barcelona with its recent terrorist strike, and separation referendum has plummeted tourism, it would have been a welcome move to make early travel more inviting and welcome to the Barcelona and Catalonian economy. Following the insider news on the situation, could have reassured potential passengers of the safety. Would we do Oceania again. By all means! Hopefully my thoughts are considered seriously. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I love the Marina due to its comfort level in all aspects--stateroom, dining venues, crew and staff. I was on the inaugural sailing, and the Marina remains the same outstanding ship. I have done multiple transatlantics, but knowing ... Read More
I love the Marina due to its comfort level in all aspects--stateroom, dining venues, crew and staff. I was on the inaugural sailing, and the Marina remains the same outstanding ship. I have done multiple transatlantics, but knowing this ship and very much needing a nice relaxing trip, I chose the Marina. You cannot beat the crew and staff. They are there for every part of your trip. Boris, Restaurant Manager, runs a near perfect department as does our General Manager. The Concierge Lounge is a lovely feature, and I take advantage of having the internet available there, coffee, late afternoon snacks if you miss lunch, newspapers, and port maps. I think this Destination staff were excellent, and their program seemed to be much smoother than some in the past. I like the free laundry as this is a new feature. I bought my laundry coins when I boarded and nothing was said about having the free laundry. They did; however, refund my coins, but it would have been nice to know about In advance. Guess I don't read things carefully. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Spain and Transatlantic on Oceania Marina We are a couple in our mid 50s and mid 60s, who were looking forward to trying something new after many years of cruising with Celebrity. We were looking for higher quality food and service than ... Read More
Spain and Transatlantic on Oceania Marina We are a couple in our mid 50s and mid 60s, who were looking forward to trying something new after many years of cruising with Celebrity. We were looking for higher quality food and service than Celebrity now offers, but also good entertainment, and some “new to us” ports, and this cruise with its Spain and Canary Island itinerary, plus a relaxing few days crossing the Atlantic sounded perfect to us. We spent four days pre-cruise in Barcelona at the Hotel 1898 which was excellent. Barcelona was uncrowded as we were out of season, so it was perfect for sightseeing. The Gaudi houses are a must-see and so is Sagrada Familia, which is a little closer to being finished than last time we saw it. We also took a private Montserrat and Cava tour with Barcelona Day Tours. There wasn’t a lot to see at Montserrat as the funicular was closed for renovation, and as it was bitterly cold we didn’t fancy any of the hikes. We did get to enjoy listening to the boys choir in the church there, and we did buy some excellent local cheese! Cava tasting at Art Cava was fun. On then to the cruise portion of our trip. We were in Concierge Class Verandah 10067, and had the O Life features of unlimited wifi, wine with lunch and dinner, and gratuities included. We are new to Oceania and had a wonderful first impression of the cruise line and the ship Marina. Check in was very quick and easy and we notice that no one was trying to sell us packages for drinks or specialty restaurants or even stopping us to take our photo. We were directed up to the buffet, which from past experience on other cruise lines has been a nightmare. Marina was much more civilised with staff serving the food for you and waiters carrying your food to the table for you. We actually enjoyed embarkation lunch this time! Marina is a smaller ship that we have been sailing on recently, but she is beautifully decorated and furnished, and spotlessly clean. We had a concierge level cabin and were very impressed with the layout, especially the marble bathroom, which had a proper bathtub with shower, as well as a separate shower cubicle. We liked the selection of Bulgari toiletries and the bath salts, and loved the abundance of soft towels that were provided. I had requested hypoallergenic bedding through my travel agent as I am allergic to feathers. Unfortunately there were feather pillows and bedding in the room, so the request had not reached Oceania. Our cabin attendant was very apologetic and said that she would make sure everything was changed during evening turndown service, and she did. We had very positive experiences with the food on Marina. I am not a person who likes to eat with strangers, so it was nice to have no problem getting a table for two. We typically ate breakfast at the buffet on sea days, and ordered room service on port days. Every time our room service order was exactly right, nothing was ever missing, which makes a pleasant change from other cruiselines we have sailed on! We ate lunch and dinner in the main dining room most days and the food was consistently good and the service was excellent. We had wines with meals included in our fare and found there was a good selection to choose from, although by about day five they were out of the french rose. Specialty restaurants on Oceania are included, and I easily made my reservations online before we sailed. In the end we ate twice at Red Ginger, once at Jacques and once at Polo Grill. The food was outstanding in all three. We had to cancel our Toscana reservation and never got round to rebooking as we enjoyed the main dining room so much. Afternoon tea was a wonderful experience, and the scones were delicious! We bought a package of assorted spa treatments, and had two couples massages, and two solo massages. They were pricy but enjoyable. The pool area was uncrowded and we had no trouble getting a sunbed, or ten! It really was deserted. Entertainment is where I felt things went a little awry. The singers and dancers were very talented, as were the live musicians, but, and it’s a big BUT, the music was not geared to my age group at all, it was aimed at much older demographic who like music from the 40’s, 50s and 60s and want to ballroom dance. Whether it was the production show “Songs of Peggy Lee” or “Music From The Brill Building” it was music from the same era. Only the “Dancing Fool” show gave a brief nod to the 1970’s. The Orchestra, The Party Band and Claude at the Piano all seemed to have the same repertoire. How many times can you hear Moon River, Route 66, Hit The Road Jack and Fever before you want to curl up and die? The string quartet were excellent and they, fortunately were allowed to play classical music, which made a welcome change. After a few nights we gave up trying to stay up for the late night happy hour at 10:30pm so maybe we missed out on more up to date music then, I don’t know. Daytime entertainment was very low key, with trivia, needlepoint and coffee, spa lectures and a guest speaker. We have done Transatlantic crossings before so were prepared and amused ourselves with books and puzzles we had brought with us. I also spent many an hour soaking in the bathtub, reading! I have to say I was a bit dubious about how good the wi-fi would be, especially if a large number of passengers had unlimited wifi included with O Life, and also because we were crossing the Atlantic. It was in fact really good. I was even able to download ebooks from my local library in the USA when we were half way across the Atlantic! Our itinerary had three ports in mainland Spain and two in the Canary Islands. We looked at ship tours but they didn’t really have anything that looked interesting to us and very few tours under $300 per person, so we booked small group semi-private tours through Spain Day Tours instead, for around $100 per person. From Alicante we visited Guadalest, from Malaga the Alhambra in Granada, and from Cadiz the Alcazar in Seville. We travelled on comfortable new coaches and had really good english speaking guides. In Tenerife we took a tour up to the top of the volcano and it was really interesting seeing the difference between the beach level, the forest area and the lava fields. Again this was organised through Spain Day Tours, and again the guide was good but this bus wasn’t as nice as the others. Our final tour was a ship tour on the island of La Palma. It was a bit disappointing. We did a short hike around the caldera, then visited an old house with wine and tapas to taste and then a church. It was low key and a bit boring compared to our other tours. At the end of the cruise it was refreshing to not experience waiters and cabin attendants grovelling and guilting you into ranking them a 10 whether or not you felt their service deserved it. Perhaps the Marina staff knew they would be getting 10s anyway because they really had provided exceptional service. Disembarkation was really easy. We were among the last groups called and were off the ship very quickly. In conclusion, the cruise was very nice, but we were really looking forward to getting off in Miami. Marina is a lovely ship, the food is outstanding, and the crew really go out of their way to please you, but I don’t think I have found my new cruise home yet. It’s a trade off and at this point I don’t think I am ready to give up livelier entertainment and more modern music in favour of a quiet more sedate experience with better food. Perhaps in 20 years time when people my age might be their target market, I’ll try Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Enjoyed the cruise! Ship was in excellent shape, for the most part the staff was extremely helpful. Everything went smoothly on the cruise. A few complaints: Staff at the front desk very less than personable. Seemed to resent anyone ... Read More
Enjoyed the cruise! Ship was in excellent shape, for the most part the staff was extremely helpful. Everything went smoothly on the cruise. A few complaints: Staff at the front desk very less than personable. Seemed to resent anyone approaching them. Meet guests with a frown. Majority of the personnel were delightful, going the extra mile to please. Buffet food was warm at best. Forget the concept of hot. Forget the Oceania port tours (True of most cruise lines) Ports of call were great, with the exception of the Canary Islands. Felt too much time spent there and would have preferred an additional stop in Morocco. Entertainment was fair. The cruise lines own entertainment troupe was great, as were the flamingo dance group that was brought on board. Disappointing (to be polite) was the young singer and ‘one man band’, both of which appeared two nights each as the ‘entertainment’. All in all, this cruise with Oceania is definitely a step up from those on Princess, etc. This being stated we can see a change in Oceania since being purchased by Norwegian. Great smaller ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Seeking early winter sun near home in U.K.Could have spent more time in Canary islands where it is warm rather then returning to Spanish ports where it was predictably cold - December. Enrichment program inadequate with distinct signs ... Read More
Seeking early winter sun near home in U.K.Could have spent more time in Canary islands where it is warm rather then returning to Spanish ports where it was predictably cold - December. Enrichment program inadequate with distinct signs of cost control. Port and shore excursions too expensive and the charge for airport transfer is a multiple of reliable taxi fare. Also pre or post cruise hotel costs are around double of what a comparable hotel (and sometimes the same hotel) would cost booked on line. Another criticism relates to the high cost of alcoholic drinks with an excessive 18% service charge on top. It is cheaper to buy good wine on shore and pay the $25 corkage charge to bring it in to the dining room. Overall Oceania is in danger of pricing itself out of its market slot when all charges are added on, Seabourn and other 6 star lines are now competitive On the plus side, food and general ambiance are excellent and that is what brings loyal guests back year after year Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Have sailed on Oceania 4 times before. Once before on Marina. Ship size is small, which is nice. Customer Service across the board is always exceptional. Quality of food on ship is always superior to other cruise lines. Water and ... Read More
Have sailed on Oceania 4 times before. Once before on Marina. Ship size is small, which is nice. Customer Service across the board is always exceptional. Quality of food on ship is always superior to other cruise lines. Water and soft drinks are inclusive. Itneraries include ports of call that other cruise ships do not visit. Their are no photographers lurking about to always want to take your picture. But you are definitely paying a premium for all of these features. On the Con side- Shore excursions purchased through the ship are extremely expensive. Passengers are often more knowledgeable about the port locations than the shore excusion staff on the ship. Ship transfers are more than double the price of other cruise lines in the same port. There are few activities available on board the ship. Ship does have a very nice libarary area, but the selection of current reading material has declined in the last few years. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We wanted to see Greece on this cruise. We like the food the best on this ship. We liked the specialty dining places that are included. The tours seem expensive so we did mostly private tours. The tender stops were difficult and time ... Read More
We wanted to see Greece on this cruise. We like the food the best on this ship. We liked the specialty dining places that are included. The tours seem expensive so we did mostly private tours. The tender stops were difficult and time consuming. They took so long in one port that we missed a private tour of the French Riviera that was paid for ahead of schedule. Several people got hurt on the tender transfers including my wife because of rough docks and rocking of tender boats. Greece was beautiful. The houses are all painted white. We did a private tour of Athens which was a highlight of Greece. The comedy shows were funny that they had in the evenings. We did not like the internet service since it was either slow or non working. The cabins were adequate but the jacuzzi tub takes up too much space and makes the shower and sink area too small. A double sink would be more desirable. No educational lectures on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
30+ cruises on various lines, second cruise on the Marina. We chose this cruise for the itinerary and were not disappointed. Great ports of call and plenty of time in port to explore the area. Ship: The ship was very clean and well ... Read More
30+ cruises on various lines, second cruise on the Marina. We chose this cruise for the itinerary and were not disappointed. Great ports of call and plenty of time in port to explore the area. Ship: The ship was very clean and well maintained. Public areas are beautifully decorated. Embarkation and disembarking were very smooth. The ship is well laid out and is easy to get around. We never felt crowded on the ship. Food: Overall, we felt the food was not up to the same level as the first cruise but the food in the Polo Grill was much better than before. We never ate in the main dining room as several friends told us it was painfully slow. The food in Red Ginger and Polo Grill was excellent! The food in Toscana was good. Both the food quality and service was down in the Terrace Cafe with two exceptions. The service and food at the grilling station and the pasta station was always excellent. The selections available for salads was also down and one night there was no salad available at all. (we had to go the our room and order from room service) The food and service at the Waves cafe was also excellent. (outstanding burgers, Reuben and potato salad)The worst food experience was in the breakfasts delivered to our room. The eggs were some of the worst in over 30 cruises. We tried scrambled eggs and they were either runny or cooked to death. The omelets were thin and also overcooked. They looked more like folded crepes. One omelet I actually had to use a knife to saw through. We also received regular coffee about half the time despite ordering decaffeinated. The room service food ordered from the specialty restaurants was excellent Service: Food: As noted above, the service in the terrace cafe was definitely down. We noted that the service ranged from fair (lunch) to poor (dinner) on the starboard side and from very good (lunch) to good (dinner) on the port side. Twice on the starboard side we ended up changing tables for desert as our dirty dishes were never cleared. One manager (a tall Russian) was rude to my wife when she inquired about getting a salad in the terrace cafe. Service throughout the Terrace Cafe had previously been excellent. The only outstanding food service was by Wiford in the Polo Grill and by the cooks at the grill station in the Terrace Cafe. Bar: While we did not use bar service very much due to the ridiculous prices, we did find the bar staff to be friendly and helpful. Other Service: Our Butler and Room Steward were both excellent. They were friendly, helpful and very efficient. The security staff at the gangway were always very engaging and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
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
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
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
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
Perhaps our expectations were too high but being our first supposed "luxury" cruise line we were disappointed with the overall quality of food and service we received from Oceania. First the positives. The ship itself is ... Read More
Perhaps our expectations were too high but being our first supposed "luxury" cruise line we were disappointed with the overall quality of food and service we received from Oceania. First the positives. The ship itself is gorgeous. The decorating is understated but very rich and elegant looking. We loved the size of the ship (1200 passengers). It was very quiet and never seemed crowded in any area. The room staff was very pleasant as were the wait staff in the dining rooms. Oceania is known for its specialty restaurants and we ate in all four of them. Unfortunately, with the exception of Red Ginger we sent food and/or drink back in the other three. We are not "foodies" and I can't remember the last time I sent food back before this. The quality was fine (not exceptional)but the food was not hot. My potatoes in Jacques (their signature restaurant) were actually cold in the middle. We were continually sending back cappuccino because it was usually lukewarm to cool. The main dining room was worse. Twice we received the wrong food and while the waiters argued at their station about the order the correct order was still with them getting cold. Twice we were placed between two tables of twelve who were loud and over-served and when they tried to put us there a third time I refused and said I would wait for a window table. The wait staff was very pleasant but the maitre d's and hostesses were quite cool and disinterested. We found the same attitude at the Destination Services desk and the Dining Reservations desk. These staffs were professional but not personable and no one seemed interested in going out of their way to help. The standard answer was "everything is booked and there's nothing we can do. In talking to a number of passengers on the various tours we went on we found most felt the same way. Based on this experience, while I liked the size and ambiance of the ship I would not book with Oceania again. Their food quality and level of service was no better than I've experienced on Celebrity or Royal Caribbean and at Oceania' price point I expect more. I do like the smaller ships and will explore the other luxury/near luxury lines because Oceania did not meet that level on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Almost Perfect... We had the pleasure of sailing w/the Marina on the 'Tuscan Artistry' sailing (Jacques Pepin sailing). By no means are we seasoned cruisers (only 2 previously w/Regent and 1 with a now defunct European line), ... Read More
Almost Perfect... We had the pleasure of sailing w/the Marina on the 'Tuscan Artistry' sailing (Jacques Pepin sailing). By no means are we seasoned cruisers (only 2 previously w/Regent and 1 with a now defunct European line), but we do love to travel internationally and do so frequently. Initially I was concerned that going from Regent (6*, all inclusive) to Oceania (5*, not all inclusive) may be a step down to what we have experienced previously but Oceania was pretty much fantastic and in some ways, better than Regent. Here's a summary of our experience. Food -- living in the NYC metro area has its advantages, one of which is access to a plethora of excellent dining choices (both fancy and simple). I was really looking forward to the cuisine and it did not disappoint. All meals were good to excellent. Hubby's favorite was Red Ginger by a long shot, mine was Jacques, where I felt the theme was simplicity at its best. While Red Ginger gets the edge for artistic interpretation, I felt it was trying too hard to be creative and make it all work, for example, the chocolate lemongrass crème brulee. For me personally, the dessert combo didn't work, I think they would have been better off combining lemongrass w/vanilla as the chocolate was strong enough of a flavor to compete and detract from the subtle flavor of lemongrass. I did try the duck and watermelon salad and that hit the spot -- excellent albeit a bit salty. Polo and Toscana, while very good, were nothing special to us since we have very similar restaurants in our local area. I've read many blah reviews about the Dining Room (food and slow service) and while the meals weren't out of the world great, they were still very good and I was surprised how quickly everything was served (only one night we had to wait a bit for our dishes and that was the last evening when the dining room was jammed). Perhaps I had low expectations since I read so many complaints prior, who knows, but we enjoyed our time there. The wonderful thing about the dining room was that I truly felt welcomed as the staff were so especially hospitable and seemed happy to have some diners. The Terrace Grill and Waves were consistently good and the Terrace Grill in particular had a very good variety of dishes (breakfast was the same every day though). Don't miss the Baristas, I enjoyed enough cappuccinos and lattes to last me several months. Staff -- Oceania's staff are wonderful -- every one of them! We would be greeted each time we were seen in the hallway returning to our stateroom and after a while, I felt guilty telling them about our splendid adventures since they obviously were stuck indoors working. Kudos to the entire dining and housekeeping staff for their excellent service and hospitality -- they made our stay great. I didn't see much presence of the officers but that is not something that is important to me so I didn't mind. The staff are what make Oceania great, I hope Oceania realizes this and rewards them accordingly. Excursions/Entertainment -- we pretty much did our own thing by taking advantage of the roll call and met some really great people. I discovered that even with a private tour, we were still paying about half of what Oceania would charge for a whole busload of people. We couldn't stay up late enough to take advantage of most of the entertainment but from what I understand, did not miss much based on Oceania's reputation in this area. We managed to catch 'Beatle Mania' which was fun and thankfully offered at the beginning of our cruise when we had more energy to stay up! Ports -- we really liked this itinerary (Barcelona, Sanary-Sur-Mer, Marseilles, St. Tropez, Monte Carlo, Portofino, Florence, Amalfi, Sorrento/Capri, Rome) and took a ½ day private tour w/Dream Tours while in Monte Carlo to visit Eze, Nice, and St. Paul de Vence. I thought Dream Tours was just ok -- by all means, the guide was very friendly but I was expecting him to go w/us to the actual villages of Eze/St. Paul de Vence and tell us about them. Instead, he dropped us off at the villages and allowed us free time to roam/do shopping -- I do believe parking is a challenge and this could be one reason for this. He did talk about the villages briefly in the car so it's not as if he didn't do his job so it was just me not realizing how the tour would flow. There was another group using Dream Tours as well but their tour was all day. Turns out that guide also dropped off the passengers at the villages rather than accompanying them so just be aware of this if you book with them. Our itinerary was also supposed to have included a stop at the famous flower market in Nice but we ran out of time. I wish we would have known that upfront. When I liaised w/Dream Tours, I was under the impression that this itinerary could easily been accommodated in a 4 hour tour. The villages by the way are quite charming and worth the visit. The biggest surprise for me personally was Nice -- I didn't realize how beautiful the water is, it has the same aqua hue of the Caribbean!! The other tour was with Rome in Limo for the Amalfi drive arranged by a fellow CC member and that was one was great. Our driver/guide was friendly and engaging and made a good recommendation for an authentic lunch that wasn't a tourist trap. Cabin -- we had an ocean view statement and it was very nice. I thought they could have included more outlets as a few of our charges took up so much room that you could only fit one at a time. I did bring an extension cord which worked out well. Ocean view rooms have the tenders immediately below so while they don't technically block the view, as soon as you walk over, you will see them and at times, a worker will be standing on the tender and will have full access to your cabin so do cover up! The shower was indeed quite small as others have commented, but we managed just fine...just don't drop the soap! Our cabin location was midship and normally I wouldn't expect the Mediterranean to have very rough seas, but on one night, it was very bad and one couple commented that the screws on their safe were knocked out since the rocking was so bad. This is when I was extremely grateful I didn't give in to the upsell to pay more for a balcony (assuming it would be aft or forward since it was near to our sail date) since I am usually very prone to seasickness and I was ok during the rough seas. Fellow passengers -- I have to admit, being that we were on the younger age bracket for the typical passenger (40 & 48), I thought we might be feel like we were in a nursing home after hearing a comment about Oceania making HAL look like a college campus! On our particular sailing, yes, the typical age was over 60 however there was definitely a smattering of younger guests (30s/40s) and many that were over 60 were actually in better physical shape than their younger counterparts. We found that for the most part, everyone is very friendly, highly educated and non-pretentious. The fellow CC passengers were especially fun to be around. I was very dismayed, however, by some guests who felt the need to be first or who rudely expected others to give up their seats (or take another seat where the view was poor) so that they could sit together for a cooking demo rather than plan ahead better so they could arrive on time. Honestly at their age, I expected better social graces, but unfortunately experience and age are not necessarily synonymous with good manners. Oceania did fall short, however, when it made one very serious mistake on our trip. We happened to be in a situation where we needed to call the emergency number while in Italy. Passengers are given a newsletter with all the port information as well as emergency contact numbers if you run into a problem. Well, we ran into a problem and needed help and guess what? Neither numbers that were provided did not work! I work in a global function and know how to dial international numbers, but assumed I must have been flustered and couldn't dial correctly, so had the local police dial, both from their cell phones and also from the local station and again, they could not reach the emergency contact either! The first number was to the local Italian affiliate's office and we got a recording in Italian saying the number was discontinued. The other number was a local representative's mobile/cell number and that kept ringing and ringing with nobody picking up. Can you imagine if someone were truly in a medical or other serious emergency? Thankfully we were able to make do but as soon as we were onboard (whew, just made it!), we went to the excursions desk and told a rep of our experience. If anything, having an accurate emergency contact is a critical detail all cruise lines need to get right, but with Oceania's high standards, their mistake was simply unacceptable. One last thing....as I mentioned, this was a Jacques Pepin sailing and the reason I booked this was since I (wrongly) assumed he would be hosting cooking classes. Apparently many others felt the same way since both of my culinary classes were cancelled due to overbooking. I attended the culinary center open house and the chef told me right away that she was teaching the classes and not him (which I knew before the start of the cruise) and I'm sure many were disappointed. He did have one general cooking demo but I was surprised as the choice of dishes since the recipes were on the simple side, as if it were for people who had very little cooking experience. Nevertheless, the session was entertaining enough and there is an opportunity to purchase a book for him to autograph. The cruise was indeed popular (sold out) and more expensive than a similar sailing (w/out Jacques Pepin) so for those contemplating whether or not a JP cruise is worth it....well, a similar itinerary will probably be just as good and you can save yourself some money. Hope you found this review helpful and happy sailing, you may be spoiled once you sail with Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
On our recent voyage on the Marina my wife and I were very pleased with the general layout of the ship as well as the dining choices. We found the steak house and the Italian specialty restaurants to be excellent. Two design flaws ... Read More
On our recent voyage on the Marina my wife and I were very pleased with the general layout of the ship as well as the dining choices. We found the steak house and the Italian specialty restaurants to be excellent. Two design flaws detracted from the experience. First, each cabin has a tub and a separate shower. That sounds like a benefit, except that making room for the tub necessitated making the triangular shower infinitesimal. Not one fellow passenger that I spoke with even considered using the tub. The designers should have omitted the tub and fashioned a decent size shower. Second, the wifi system (when used in the cabins) is very weak. Even the ship's computer guru admitted that guests needed to come to the computer center to get a good signal. For a brand new ship, such performance is very disappointing. Again, the designers should have done better.A last word about tours; Although not unique to Oceania, the prices of their tours are very high. For example, a tour of Florence and Pisa (admittedly a long, 8 hour day) that included NO admissions at all was over $200 per person. We had to pay our own admission fees to the church and baptistery in Pisa, as well as the one church in Florence that we had time (during lunch "on our own") to visit. Paying a premium price for a premium excursion is fine. Paying a premium price for a less-than-ordinary excursion is unacceptable. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
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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