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15 Night Asia Cruise from Dubai

15 Night Asia Cruise from Dubai

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    Abu Dhabi
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    Mumbai (Bombay)
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    Mumbai (Bombay)


Sirena - Oceania Cruises


Cozy, small ship with excellent cuisine


Standard cabins are small; weak enrichment program

Bottom Line

Port-intensive itineraries in an upmarket setting

Cruise Reviews

We just got back from 7 days on the Sirena and had a great time. It was our first time cruising with Oceania so didn't know what to expect. Pros: very nicely decorated ship and easy to find your way around. Very friendly staff and ... Read More
We just got back from 7 days on the Sirena and had a great time. It was our first time cruising with Oceania so didn't know what to expect. Pros: very nicely decorated ship and easy to find your way around. Very friendly staff and food was excellent. State room was very well organized with lots of storage. Very nice not having to pay extra for sodas, specialty coffees and specialty restaurants. There's a free laundry to wash clothes. There were no children running around and screaming. Efficient embarkation and debarkation. Cons: the cruise was much more expensive than what we're used to and not sure it was that much better. Food is not always available as on other ships. I went looking for something to eat about 3:30 in the afternoon and could find nothing. Most ships have at least burgers, hot dogs or pizza available 24/7. The bathrooms in the state rooms are very small. They say they are eliminating plastic from the ships but still have the little plastic bottles of shampoos, etc in the showers. We encountered several very grouchy fellow cruisers and have not encountered that before. I'm guessing it is because of the higher socioeconomic status of most guests. They seemed very entitled. The entertainment was average. Nothing really great. There were also very few places outside on the decks to just sit and relax and it was always difficult to find a seat by the pool. They cater to a much older crowd. All in all we had a great time but again, it was quite a bit more expensive than any other cruise we've taken and not sure it was that much better. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
First I'm going to give the good and the bad on my just completed trip on Oceania Sirena. I took my son on a 7 day cruise from MIA - MIA (Jan 6 - 13, 2020) on Oceania's Sirena with stops in Key West, Belize Harvest Caye, ... Read More
First I'm going to give the good and the bad on my just completed trip on Oceania Sirena. I took my son on a 7 day cruise from MIA - MIA (Jan 6 - 13, 2020) on Oceania's Sirena with stops in Key West, Belize Harvest Caye, Roatan, and Costa Maya. The ship is a small ship with only 684 pax. I can't speak about drinks as neither my son nor I drink. First the Very Good: We got to the ship around 1 PM and check in was quick and painless. I was able to go to my room immediately but my son's room as expected wasn't ready yet. We dropped our carry-ons in my room, introduced ourselves to our room stewardess and butler, and off we went to find lunch. The cabin while small for a PH cabin was pretty and well appointed with lots of storage drawers and were light and bright. The bed was extremely comfortable and my butler and stewardess were excellent. My son's cabin while very small was also well appointed with good storage and was also very light and bright. The ship had been recently redone and was quite attractive. The main staff, (reception, destinations, concierge, casino) were all excellent and were only too happy to try and please. They did an excellent job regarding concerns with food allergies. Hand washing stations were all over the ship and not just at the entrances to dining facilities. The ice cream was made onboard and was delicious. The OK and Not So Good: The Room: There was no sofa or love seat in the PH room. Only a club chair and two uncomfortable chairs at the dining table. If I had been traveling with my SO, it would have meant one of us would have had to sit on one of those chairs. Additionally when I am in the cabin, I like to sprawl out on a sofa or love seat. Normally when traveling in a PH on other lines there has been fruit in the cabin to pick at. There was none. I found the hanging space lacking. It was fine for myself for the one week cruise but if I was with my SO, it would definitely have not been enough room. Hanging space in my son's room I also found lacking. The bathroom was very small. To use the toilet, I had to angle my legs almost sideways or else I'd wind up hitting the shower door with my knees. And it was a single sink. They "upgraded" the PH shower to a rain head shower. My son had the standard shower head where you can adjust for the type of spray you prefer. I had no option and to add to that, the pressure was very poor. I have chin length hair and it took me over 5 minutes to wash the soap out of my hair because the pressure was so poor. I had no choice to change the shower head. In this case they fixed what wasn't broke. Lastly, there was no full length mirror in the PH! My son in his window cabin on deck 4 had a full length mirror but the PH has none? Public Washrooms: The one negative to the public washrooms was they used cloth napkins instead of actual hand towels to dry one's hands. Additionally there is soap but no hand lotion and no toilet seat covers. Public Rooms: What I found lacking was anyplace to gather to meet other people. Yes there was Martini's bar and Horizons but it was small and really not conducive to gathering. Internet: While the internet on Oceania worked fairly well for basic stuff, if one wanted to stream they had to upgrade and pay for it. Additionally one was only allowed one device per room! And to make matters worse, if I forgot to turn off the internet on my iPad and left it in the room, I was unable to turn it off from my phone, even though they supposedly gave you that option. However that option never worked on my phone. Tours: My son and I did a river rafting tour in Belize which was well done. We had signed up for the river tubing but not enough people signed up. While disappointing we had a wonderful tour guide and a fun time. We did a snorkel tour in Roatan which was probably the best snorkel tour ever in terms of the guides concern for our safety and well being. I was extremely impressed. We were supposed to do an ATV adventure in Costa Maya but because of strong currents we could not dock and had another sea day. My one negative about the tours was there was no one from the ship accompanying either of the two tours we were on. Each tour included either a long boat ride and/or bus ride to get to where we needed to be. I found the lack of someone from the ship on with us to be a huge negative. Dining: First the good. Red Ginger and Tuscan Grill were excellent and the service in both were top notch. Food in the MDR was inconsistent and definitely not the quality I remembered from 3 years ago on Marina. Our first night in the MDR, the only thing I found worth eating was the pasta with red sauce. (I am allergic to shellfish and do not eat red meat, lamb or pork.) The choices were definitely limited and one could not make substitutions. Additionally my son ordered the roast chicken which was supposed to be one of Jacques Pepin's specialties. It came out undercooked! I spoke to the dining room manager and was told I could ask for whatever food I wanted if I asked for it 24 hours in advance, so I asked the second night to have chicken scallopini sautéed in a lemon butter sauce. What I got was a thick hunk of chicken grilled, with the lemon butter sauce on the side! Service also was hit or miss in the MDR. I asked for red pepper flakes and cheese for on top of my pasta. Instead of the waiter going to get it immediately, he instead went to a table of 6 to take their order. Sorry but I prefer to not sit there staring at my food waiting for it to get cold before I eat it. Other misses were serving my son before me and my son having to ask the waiter multiple times to get his Sprite. This didn't happen once, but every time we ate in the MDR. Other very small things. I asked for almond milk for my coffee and it was served in a glass so when you went to pour it into your cup, the milk spilled all over. One thing Oceania touts is how if you don't choose to eat in the MDR, you can go up to the buffet for a more casual dining experience. However what they don't tell you is whatever they serve in the MDR is exactly the exact same food they serve in the buffet. So if there was nothing that I could eat or wanted to eat in the MDR, there was nothing in the buffet! (Yes they had lobster, shrimp and sushi but that first night I didn't want sushi and I am allergic to shellfish) On Thursday night, they had Caribbean night both in the buffet and the MDR. I found nothing to eat in either place and was then informed that the following night they were once again having Caribbean night! Two nights in a row! And no sushi on Caribbean night! I wound up going up to Red Ginger the first night and begging to be seated so I could have some sushi to eat. While eating in Red Ginger, the food manager came to my table since we had the issue of the undercooked food the first night and I explained about my food issues and how there was nothing to eat at the Caribbean buffet. As I said above, the head staff was wonderful. They managed to get my son and I a reservation in Tuscan Grill for the second Caribbean night so I wouldn't have to scrounge for something to eat the second night. Now having said that, at Tuscan Grill, they had on the menu veal scallopini. I asked if they instead could make me chicken scallopini. I was told no they could not, that they needed 24 hours notice. I did get my chicken scallopini the second night we ate in Tuscan Grill and yes, it was delicious. I finally knew to ask in advance. Lunch: If we wanted to eat a bit later or came back from a tour late, our only choice was to eat in the Grill. And in the Grill no chance to get a simple sandwich such as a tuna sandwich or a grilled cheese sandwich. In fact, even in the buffet and the MDR, there was no chance to get a simple sandwich. One day the buffet did have an egg salad sandwich but it was mixed with peppers, olives, onions and anchovies. There are times one doesn't want rich food that is overly heavy. Tea Time: I went to tea time once since it tended to be later in the day. Again the sandwiches were overly fancy. Egg salad with peas? Stilton cheese with radishes on what seemed to be a bagel? I think my son (31 years old so not a child) summed up the food very well. It seems like Oceania tries too hard to be impressive, forgetting that not everything has to be fancied up with food. Sea Day Activities: Oceania is sorely lacking. There was a total of one lecture a day from an outside lecturer. Other activities were baggo, ping pong, trivia, a lecture from the jewelry store, indoor golf putting, and unhosted bridge or mahjongg. You could go to a lecture on why you should book another Oceania cruise or you could pay $75 + 18% for a vodka tasting. Or you could pay to play bingo, or pay to play in a blackjack tournament, a slots tournament or a texas hold em tournament. We had 3 sea days (was supposed to have only 2 but the missed port) and all three days they had the same tournaments and the same lecturer. Evening Entertainment: Once again, Oceania is sorely lacking. They had a good comedian on 2 of the 7 days and then a harpest on 2 days, except the last day the harpest played at 5 PM. The evening's activity was a lousy movie on the last day. The Oceania show band and singers were definitely B rated. Now having written this, my son and I still managed to have a wonderful time and the best part was getting to spend a week with him. We also did meet some lovely folks who we hope to stay in touch with. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We choose the Oceania Sirena based on an itinerary that would not require us to fly anywhere, together with the line's reputation for outstanding cuisine and an upscale experience. This was our first Oceania cruise, but we have ... Read More
We choose the Oceania Sirena based on an itinerary that would not require us to fly anywhere, together with the line's reputation for outstanding cuisine and an upscale experience. This was our first Oceania cruise, but we have sailed on many other lines. Embarkation Embarkation was very easy as we decided not to arrive at the terminal until 3 pm. No lines and no problems, but 3 pm seems extraordinarily late for a cabin availability time given that the ship began disembarkation the same day at 8 am and passengers had to be off by 9. Our late arrival left just enough time to unpack before the lifeboat drill. Oceania handled this drill far worse than most lines. First you sat in a crowded lounge for 35 minutes, then you stood next to a lifeboat (not necessarily the one you would report to in an emergency) for another 20 minutes. Check is was manual, which was surprising given the badges readily available to be read to account for passenger. Large waste of time. We chose the Grand Dining Room for our first dinner, and was surprised at the size of the line of people for such a small ship. The maître d' staff was not very efficient in processing the line, in part because they were turning away everyone in jeans (I was not so dressed, and this did not affect me). Still, it lead to many arguments. I do understand that Oceania has a dress code for evenings in the Grand Dining room, but only jeans were reason for non-admittance. Athletic footwear and non-collard shirts were welcome despite being prohibited by the dress code. Either enforce the dress code or don't. Our room stewardess was friendly enough, but watching her during the week, we noticed that the number of rooms she was required to service appeared to be double the number serviced by room stewards and stewardesses on other lines. This obviously left no time for personal touches like towel animals, etc. Still, room cleanliness was satisfactory. As others have noted the rooms, even the balcony cabin we had, are very small. The bathrooms are child-sized. While I as somewhat heavier than the average for men my height, I am not enormous by any means. Yet the tiny shower required that I first rinse, then turn off the shower and open the two glass doors to provide enough room to soap up, then close the doors and rinse off. What an inconvenience. We did find the bed and couch to be comfortable, although for some odd reason, the stewardess adjusted the room temperature to 15 C every time she serviced the room. That translates to 59 degrees for those on the American system. Much has been made of Oceania's transition away from plastic bottles to a purified water system. The purified water is tasty, but Oceania leaves only 1 to 2 glasses in the cabin, and the heavy glass bottles are intended for pouring, not for drinking directly from. We were enticed to book Oceania in part by its promise of free internet. We boarded with the expectation that it would be slow, and it was very slow. What surprised us was that the internet was free only for one passenger in the cabin and only for one device. That limitation may or may not have worked well for the average Oceania passenger (more about the average passenger next), but my wife and I had a total of 5 devices on board. I had 3 as I am required to be reachable as part of my business. The cost to add other devices was enormous, and I ended up having to add Cellular at Sea, at a high cost (at least it was faster than the Oceania internet. As we have cruised frequently, we are accustomed to ships with average passenger ages in the 70s, and even though we are a decade younger than that, mingle well with that group. I would place the average age of the Sirena passengers at over 90 years old, probably 92 or so. Not surprisingly, Oceania tried to cater to the group that they had, and the effect was music and "entertainment" that we could not relate to throughout the week (e.g., a number where a singer changed the lyrics from "old man river" to "elderly gentleman river", what a comedian lol) and even worse, to temperatures in the entertainment venues usually exceeding 82 degrees F. We did not see any of the shows in their entirety as a result. Before boarding, I had reviewed the shore excursions and found them lacking, so I booked my own. Hearing from the other passengers, I am very happy that I did. We had a wonderful private tasting tour in Santa Ynez, a terrific trip to Muir Woods and a very informative behind the scenes tour to the Catalina Casino. The ship offered none of these. My wife and I like to walk, and we particularly like to walk around a deck after a big meal. Choices for walking on the Sirena were limited. There is no promenade deck, and the only walking space is a jogging track on Deck 10 that requires an amazing 13 laps to the mile. This deck would have been adequate except for one thing: Immediately below the jogging track on deck 9 is the open air smoking area. We rarely see any smoking areas onboard anymore, and perhaps we lack compassion towards smokers as we are not, but no one wants to breath tobacco smoke wafting up from the deck below while they are exercising. The placement of the smoking area was very poorly considered. We do join other commenters in noting the nearly complete lack of activities on board. The usual activities were trivia, bean bag toss, and a mensa quiz. Pretty boring. The enrichment lecturer not only lectured on areas having nothing to do with the cruise itinerary (someone may be interested in fish reproduction, but what does that have to do with the California coast), but featured humor that was corny at best. This brings me to the highly touted food. While the menu does offer what appears to be high quality dishes (lots of steak, lobster, veal, fish), neither the quality nor the quantity is there. Portions are small (two of the offered entrees appeared to be one restaurant entrée), and preparation was poor - I had overcooked chicken at least 3 times. Worse, the service was not good. If anything special was requested, the guest was treated with rudeness, and the item often never arrived at all. Water glasses and coffee cups were not kept full in any of the eating locations. We only ate at one specialty restaurant, the Tuscan Steakhouse, and were disappointed. My "20 ounce: porterhouse weighed 12 ounces cooked, which means it was likely on 14 ounces uncooked The onion soup was terrible, and the crab cake mostly filler. Our table companions did not enjoy the steamed lobster, and the Dover Sole was not well filleted as bones were present in quantity. Sauces were forgotten, one need to ask and then they were brought. The restaurant may have been inspired by a NY steakhouse, but it would not survive a month in the competitive NY restaurant environment. So what did we like? We, Oceania made it very easy to get off the ship and we were very thankful that they did, as we could not wait. Likewise, embarkation was easy. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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