1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Transatlantic Cruises
  4. Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

5 Malta (Valletta) to Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

This was my 6th cruise with Oceania and my 2nd on a R class ship First the ship is a classic in design and style like a upscale British country hotel, Fine art, cherry paneling, fine carpets wrought iron and brass... class and ... Read More
This was my 6th cruise with Oceania and my 2nd on a R class ship First the ship is a classic in design and style like a upscale British country hotel, Fine art, cherry paneling, fine carpets wrought iron and brass... class and ambiance. at 30,000 tons she is very seaworthy and easy to get around on 500 feet not like the 1000ft + monster ships. With only 520 passengers it was a delight rather than the mobs of 3000 4000, 5000, 6000 of other ships. This is a ship for people who appreciate the romance of being at sea and travel by ship. It is NOT for fans of roller derby, rock climbing, aspiring ice skaters and circus performers. No water slides drive in movie theaters or performing clowns, dogs, mice or ducks to be found. The cabins, I have had in the past an Inside and this time we had an outside veranda about 200 sq ft. It sounded small and compact but in truth it was just fine, with 3 suit cases ( 26" rollies) we had storage space to spare, Great flat screed TV with 29 channels, a CD and VCR player, free CD's to choose from some 560 ! 6 first run movies shown daily 3 times . Great rfer whic was stocked daily with your choice of soft drinks. Large ltr bottels of water Ice, bar set up.... AND the most comfortable bed you have ever slept on ever...with 1000 thread count linen.. and 4 huge fluffy pillows. master controls for all lights on both side of the headboard... and a clock !!! A huge floor to celing slifing glass door and window to the balcony which was also quite large and comfy. ... we only used it 4 to 5 hours out of 17 days. The bathroom was efficient and the shower while not huge was more than adequate for me 6 ft 200 lbs Out cabin wa cleaned and made up 2 times per day... we wanted for NOTHING. We sent out all our laundry and for 17 days it ran us about $150 total... or $50 per week and you spenf more than that doing it your self. On deck 6 totally quiet but I understand deck 7 is the best. being an older ship the room showed a slight bit of age but everything looked and worked very well...no problems ever Dining,... Ate at all the venues and all are included at no charge, was impressed by the quality and presentation as well as the variety of fish, shelfish, meat, veg, ...oh heck everything. Some may not agree but I draw my opinion from having professional training and experiences trained by Cordon Blu Paris and Culinary Inst. of America in Napa valley. Have eaten at the finest Michline 3 stars from Paris to Napa and the cood and the kitchen on this ship as well as other O ships is not to be beat by any line I have ever seen at sea... and it beats 90% of the fine dining ashore in europe or north america...Everything even in the buffet Terrace was top class... Immigin a buffet that serves prime rib, grilled lobster, lamb chops, beef wellington, Lemon sole,m sushi and Grilled tuna or salmon... I could go on Imigine a pool grill that serves Kobe beef burgers, Lobster sandwiches, Tuna steak sandwiches, truffle fries.. Grilled Mahi Mahi and 8 oz angus burgers grilled perfect.... no tacos or junk pizza Yet in this garden of plenty I heard complaints... I listened and thought them funny and not grounded in reality.... but some will always complain...cause it makes them sound sophisticate ...OK ,,to me is showed quite the opposite. Bars/Wine expect to pay a 18% gratuity and a normal drink with bar stock about $15 with to p shelf $20 Wines 15-20 by the glass 32 selections The wine list is new and refelects many more modest price wines... fairly priced from 30 to 150...a bottle + gratuity 18% Corkage for your own wine is $25 a bargain as a brought a 82 Chateau Evangeline Pomerol ( A parker 100) which would have , ashore sold for 700+. They decanted and handled it perfect storing in the ships cellar till I wanted it. Dress. Is all country club casual collared shirts slacks, No formal nights or faux dress up. I did notice about 60-75 % of the men at dinner wore jackets, and in the specialties with tie... but only by choice. Entertainment.... Is you.. some people found that boring. there are no lavish shows, glitz blaring music and deck parties.. dining and conversing with the other fellow passengers who in a week you really get to know...are wonderful and interesting people likwe no other line. I dont know why but O seems to attract this low key friendly well mannered group... no kids or programs The age range was 60-85... very active and many of the 80's looked 60 ! or less. Most were retired professionals or well educated , well traveled people. People who want the party ship of celebrity, RCL NCL Carnival.... would not like the quiet and calm on the ship... Service.... Bar staff, wait staff Bartenders, all top notch and very professional from European and Asian ....not all one nationality. The ships doctor and hospital is better than many in the USA and other countries... I and my wife both used it she a former RN was very impressed. Ports were all fine missed Bermuda because of a hurricane warning, The small size of the ship ment no lines getting on or off, Bottle water offered free Security top notch and very very tight... We take our own tours so can only say O tours are expensive Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Review of Oceania (Insignia) Sept. 12 - Sept 29. Valletta, Malta to Miami Florida, USA This was our third cruise (our first repositioning) and the first with Oceania. We were a bit trepidatious signing up for this cruise as we were not ... Read More
Review of Oceania (Insignia) Sept. 12 - Sept 29. Valletta, Malta to Miami Florida, USA This was our third cruise (our first repositioning) and the first with Oceania. We were a bit trepidatious signing up for this cruise as we were not enthralled with our previous two experiences (NCL and Royal Caribbean). However, we were bowled over with the excellent standards on Oceania Insignia in all areas - Food, Service and Cleanliness. The staff were very professional, friendly and helpful and it was a pleasure to be on board. The food was generally very good to excellent. The inventive composition and sheer variety of the menu was staggering. Everything was beautifully plated and extremely fresh (despite having been at sea for seven straight days). Sometimes we felt the spicing was a bit muted and tailored for an older (and tamer palate). We had spoken to quite a few passengers that were repeat cruisers with Oceania and they felt that the standards (both service and food) had gone down a bit (since the merger with NCL). That being said, the food and service was the best we have experienced on any cruise line. Both Mercy (Grand Dining Room Manager) and Russlan (the Grand Dining Room Bartender) provided wonderful service and made you feel so welcome! Our cabin, 6064, was very comfortable and beautifully maintained by Yessinia and her assistant. They took great care in cleaning our room perfectly every day! One area that we felt needed a bit of improvement was the Entertainment. To be fair, we missed most of it, as we were usually still dining when the programs started at 9:30 pm. While professional, we found the content mostly targeted to more elderly passengers. Maybe a club room for dancing and a stand-up comic geared toward a slightly (60’s/70’s) younger audience :) …..although we do appreciate the aim of Oceania in trying to maintain an on-board ambience of elegance and higher level of appeal. We were so impressed with your attention to every detail. Many thanks for all your efforts Oceania! We have found our cruise line! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We liked the itinerary. But we're quickly disappointed by things onboard starting as soon as we saw our Penthouse Stateroom. Nothing was different from 4 years earlier and now the decor was tired and the room overall outdated. Then ... Read More
We liked the itinerary. But we're quickly disappointed by things onboard starting as soon as we saw our Penthouse Stateroom. Nothing was different from 4 years earlier and now the decor was tired and the room overall outdated. Then as soon as we pulled out of port we were informed that we were on a "sick" ship. A number of the crew and passengers had norovirus and the onerous sanitation processes had to continue until no one had reported these sick symptoms for 72 hours. This went on for the entire first week of the cruise. The food we were quick to discover, was not of the same high quality we had experienced on our 4 previous Oceania cruises. The quality just wasn't there. And, the crew were often surly and short with the guests. NOT ACCEPTABLE. Then, due to weather issues, instead of the final port before returning home being Bermuda, we docked for 2 days in Nassau--the poorest, cheapest port Oceania could have selected. Everyone was fed up by then. I heard many, many complaints from the passengers--many of whom had never before traveled with Oceania--say never again. Back to Crystal!! How sad. Oceania, you owe your long time supporters an apology. Your major distinction was high quality food and service, and you have lowered your standards to a level that you will lose your image and position in the cruise world. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
It is very difficult to take reviews on any subject and make a personal decision based on them. We are given an opinion from others based on their reviews/needs/rewards/expectations, and use them accordingly. If we try and decide based ... Read More
It is very difficult to take reviews on any subject and make a personal decision based on them. We are given an opinion from others based on their reviews/needs/rewards/expectations, and use them accordingly. If we try and decide based on good reviews, we will find ourselves reasons to pick the bad ones apart, and visa versa. Much of the decision is trying to find the middle ground because there may be many other factors you can't know about. Someone may give a glowing review because they got such a good deal that the cruise seemed almost a freebie, so they would obviously love it. Someone else may have been treated like royalty on another ship, and didn't feel they got the same on this trip. Someone else may love the cuisine on previous ships, and not love it on this one. The truth is that we are not all the same, with the same likes and dislikes. We may all make mistakes in our choices if we base them entirely on what others think because we are not those people. We have to choose something on what we hope is fact, to suit our needs and expectations. Insignia may have a lower rating, and it could be said that this is only a few opinions based on about 2% of the travellers, but the fact is that Insignia is lower than even its sister ship Regatta, which is the same in almost every way. We were on the transatlantic cruise from Malta to Miami Sept 12-29. It wasn't the best cruise we've had with Oceania that much is definite. It was different, and with a lot of problems. Firstly, it was transatlantic. You have to consider that and all the other factors because it's not the usual port intensive cruise Oceania does. We picked up in Malta after the ship had previously done a leg where there was sickness on the ship. What irked many of us was that Oceania knew this and had time to inform the passengers getting on at Malta, and they didn't. Norovirus or similar can be bad for many of a certain age, and on this ship on the transatlantic leg, there were very many of a certain age. Also, if you get sick, you get quarantined, and you and your spouse are stuck in your cabin - both of you losing out on much of your vacation. Many were. However, they didn't get the option to cancel at the last minute had they wanted to. When we got to the ship at Malta, we were only met by one person on the other side of the street, who directed us in to the tunnel to security. This wasn't normal based on previous times, because Oceania usually have many staff members around even going into many areas at the terminal. There was nobody outside security, or to guide you out of the gift shop, or the walk up towards the ship. No big deal, but it was unusual, and I think it was perhaps because there were staff shortages, due to the illness on board. I noticed immediately the plastic covering on the elevator buttons. Not a good sign. It is not Oceania's fault they get Norovirus, but it does tend to diminish your experience. In this case, many were sick, crew and passengers, and the crew were working more hours, double shifts, and were washing down walls, elevators, railings, constantly. They tried so hard to sanitize every bit of the ship people put their hands on. Everything was a little sticky, but that was the disinfecting material they had to use. As mentioned by the other reviewer, the library was closed down, the cards, bingo, laundry, mile and sugar and salt and pepper on the table removed, so a lot is affected. It had to be done, but again, this is part of what you want and pay for on your vacation. It's a disappointment when you don't get it. The staff were amazing working to try and get this cleared, but they must have got very tired. This was our 7th cruise. We've been on Insignia before, and Regatta, and Marina. But since they were taken over by NCL, we just felt things in small ways just were not the same. Just little things I couldn't really say even specifically in some cases but that I noticed had gone down a little. Lack of more "on the ball service"; cutlery having to be asked for, orders messed up, small stuff but it was just different from before, almost like some were not fully trained. The staff though for the most part are wonderful, and the food continues to be very good, although it saddened me to see so much food waste go in the garbage this cruise. I know everyone thinks they pay for it, but it's still such a waste. The other thing I will say was this cruise was not for us. For the first time we tried transatlantic, and it was not our favourite cruise. Normally we choose Oceania because it's port intensive and we get to see so much in such a short time. But we decided to try it anyway and relax on the way over to Miami but it didn't work out that way. Because of sickness, many things changed on board, but we still managed to meet many lovely people. We noticed there were "very mature oldies" on board in large numbers. We were told by a staff member that on our cruise 1/3 of the passengers were over age 84 and some much higher, at least 200 of them. Transatlantic cruises are popular with very mature passengers, and some even admitted it was cheaper than a high end home, with better food and hands on service and they don't even have to get off the ship if they don't want to and it ends up in Miami - so who can blame them? And it was the only cruise we've been on where so many people got sick, not just the Norovirus, but heart attacks, a death on board, accidents through fits and falls. Code Mike is the medical call on board, and we heard it called a lot. I've never been on board and heard that code alert before. We are in our late sixties and felt like teenagers. There were many passengers with difficulties who needed mobility scooters, walkers, wheelchairs, canes, some with Alzheimers, and many of the passengers who could hardly get along the corridor, far less in a lifeboat if needed. And again before anyone gets mad at the only way I can think of to describe the age differences or difficulties they had, I'm not being discriminatory here, just stating facts. These are factors that may affect your decision to take this cruise. For instance, it takes more time on tours to get folks on and off, and in and out of locations, if there are more passengers with physical difficulties. It can cause delays and the tour can run out of time to complete. This cruise had a distinct amount of older mature passengers who found it difficult to get around as much but for all that, they would continue to try and get round the track and keep as active as they could. One day we may be similar, and if so I'd like to know I could get on and off a ship or a lifeboat or even down the corridors if action stations is called. Some folks love to travel when they are in their very mature years, but we'd worry about falls and so on just moving around ship, ports, tours, tenders. It's not easy getting injured abroad, and you better have really good insurance. A few of those who did get sick found that out. Up front payment for the medical on board and also ambulance and hospitals ashore. Claim it later..........but make sure your credit card limit is up there. The diversion from the hurricane was necessary but Oceania could have perhaps thought of somewhere better. Nassau is not the greatest of places. The downtown trashy, and the beach near the dock with rip off beach chair artists. Atlantis is just okay, but Nassau is not a place to go for two days, especially when you arrive with about 16,000 others in dock at the same time. Most passengers were off and back on in a very short while, and I think that Oceania could have perhaps taken us somewhere better as an alternative. Nassau was probably en route, and way cheaper to use for docking fees. Insignia states it has an Artists loft. There was no artist on board to do classes although our TA was told there was going to be. From the Oceania website it states that it's only on World Cruises but our TA specifically called and enquired of Oceania for this voyage and was told there was an artist on board, in fact even gave the name of the artist. There were no classes or artist. A volunteer passenger did do Origami in the afternoon to share with other passengers. But for the most part, if you wanted to use it for art, the Artists loft is not always even available to do art in, especially in the mornings, which was one of the reasons we booked. I thought we'd be able to have classes and paint at leisure while going across the Atlantic, but instead it got used for seminars for hair, make up, massage, foot care, back care, all seminars leading to marketing and selling items for the spa. Even on world cruises I don't know how they manage to have an artists loft with no access to water, no sink, nothing much there for anyone wanting to do any art type thing on a voyage except drawing or origami. So, if you want more on the artistic line, choose their other ships with a real larger Artists loft. Entertainment, well it is okay for the most part. Bear in mind this is not Broadway, never will be. The stage is small, and the lounge actually doesn't help performances, as often the sound seems to vibrate and slightly echo, giving an unfair performance to the artists. It's a lounge or sound problem that sounds worse with anyone who has a really strong certain pitch of voice. They sound like they are screeching. The crew entertainers are just young and try hard. The others try very hard to measure the audience and fit their acts in to the age groups and other factors but it can't be an easy task. If you want party and shows, do the larger ships. We would go to Happy Hour in the upstairs lounge (two great barmen up in Horizons, one from Bali, lovely guy, and his buddy), and then have dinner in time to manage to fit in the shows. If you don't like them, you can always walk out and go watch a movie. And speaking about the stage, and the theatre lounge, a word of warning for booking a stateroom on deck 6 forward. It's above the stage, and every day the lounge and stage area is used. Sometimes for Bingo, or Trivia, and then the crew have rehearsals, and then the sound checks. Don't pay a lot for a suite up front if you want a quiet cabin, because you don't have to go to the show.....you can hear it before it starts, sometimes twice a day. Currently we are not booking again with Oceania. I've asked them not to continue to send me their daily mailings, because I want to save at least one forest this year. I do think if they feel they need to save money, they could try sending out less brochures. After we got off this time we felt we've done as much as we want with Oceania right now. I hope these insights, good or bad, help you in your choice. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was our first time on Oceania. I had heard only good things about this cruise line. We were told that food was excellent, service great and ship lovely. Most of the aforementioned did not hold true. During the life raft drill, ... Read More
This was our first time on Oceania. I had heard only good things about this cruise line. We were told that food was excellent, service great and ship lovely. Most of the aforementioned did not hold true. During the life raft drill, before we even left port, we were told that this was a sick ship and that there was Norovirus on our ship. They then said safety measures would be in place. This entailed cleaning the entire ship constantly-wiping floors, ceilings. railings and outdoor tables and chairs. At dinner we were giving salt and pepper paper packets. This went on for a week. The library was sealed. No cards were given out, no games were available. The laundry was closed. The cruise people worked extremely hard, but we should have been told before we boarded the ship in Malta that there was sickness aboard. Cabin-- Our cabin was fine-great storage, but rundown looking. Our sink was chipped and the air did not work properly. It took 2 days and 4 people to fix the problem. The head of housekeeping tried to repair our sink. Our stateroom attendant was not efficient and it took the head of housekeeper to rectify our problems. We couldn't get ice on time when asked for three days and toiletries were not replaced until I went to reception. The Social director, Erica, was wonderful and adorable and extremely helpful. Our cruise was supposed to go to Bermuda, but was diverted due to an approaching hurricane. I feel that there must have been better options for Oceania to substitute Bermuda than with Nassau. Nassau is not a port you would go to for two days. There had to be a better port that was out of the path of the hurricane. Dining--Polo and Tuscana had an electrical problem one evening and the restaurants were closed- this also affected the Terrace restaurant. The food was good and Ryan was excellent. The ports, except for Nassau were great. They were interesting and worth a stop. Nassau was worth a 20 minute stop, definitely not a two day stop. The entertainment was ok. Oceania is not know for their entertainment, but Erica and Sam did there best and were enjoyable. The shops were just fair. The sundry part of the shop had nothing for colds or sore throats except and drops. All in all I don't think we will cruise on Oceania again. Except for the food, nothing was worth the cost. Oceania took the easiest way out by sending us to Nassau, instead of a more interesting port in the area. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click