Sail Date: August 2019
2019 Oceania Cruise Line - Celtic Kingdoms (MNA190804) on the Marina Dates: August 4, 2019 through August 17, 2019 Ports of call: Embark at Southampton UK Edinburgh(Newhaven) Scotland Invergordon Scotland ... Read More
2019 Oceania Cruise Line - Celtic Kingdoms (MNA190804) on the Marina Dates: August 4, 2019 through August 17, 2019 Ports of call: Embark at Southampton UK Edinburgh(Newhaven) Scotland Invergordon Scotland Glasgow(Greenock) Scotland - Missed(did not dock due to weather conditions) Dublin Ireland Cork(Cobh) Ireland Portland UK Disembark at Southampton UK This was our second cruise and first time with Oceania Cruise Line. We opted for a PH Suite (11035) and a trip that left us at the same port from where we started to allow us to extend the vacation in London UK. We chose an upgraded beverage package which we probably will not do in the future unless there are a lot of days at sea. The location of our suite was very convenient, near the executive lounge. It was spacious, nicely appointed and quiet. The staff in all areas of the ship were a standout. The passengers were a bit more mature here than on the Norwegian Cruise Line, though one could still find beverage glasses left in inappropriate places. The cruise line is known for the dining and wine experience. The main Grand Dining room was exceptional in ambiance, cuisine and staff. In my opinion, it out performed two of the specialty venues - Jacques and The Polo Grill. Jacques and The Polo Grill were not particularly special meals or service. However, both Toscana and Red Ginger were outstanding. We returned to Red Ginger for a second evening meal. Meeting and enjoying the company of other passengers was much easier on the Marina than the Norwegian Dawn. The two wine tasting/lectures were every informative and enjoyable. Mary Ann and I both enjoyed the services at the Canyon Ranch. We took one cruise sponsored excursion in Dublin Ireland. Frankly, the River Cruise DUB-006 OS was a disappointment. The tour guide banter during the boat ride on the Liffey was fun but there was no time for any questions and answers. The excursion continued on a cramped bus that sat in horrible Dublin traffic along all the streets that paralleled and bridges that crossed the river. We fared far better on our own in both Dublin and Cork. Both cities are very conducive to walking and the shopping is great fun. Our time spent in Scotland with Highlander Tours (Andrew McAlindon) was by far the absolute acme of the trip in Edinburgh and Invergordon. We were not able to dock in Glasgow(Greenock) Scotland due to severe weather. We have posted a review of Highlander Tours on the TripAdvisor site. The Hotel Rubens at the Palace is a very nice place with nicely appointed rooms and baths. The location in London is convenient but the lobby is cramped. The staff is solicitous and the Curry Room has excellent Indian food. We managed to see "Hamilton" at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London - a real serendipitous treat. We lightened our wallets when we shopped and ate at Harrods but it was lots of fun. I purchased the quintessential long trench coat at Burberry on Brompton Road - very nice staff and a great all-weather coat. The flights on British Airlines were typical long distance air travel - forgettable if you are lucky. We were bumped from Premium Economy to Business on the return trip from Heathrow, but had to wait 45-minutes on the tarmac at Logan in Boston for a terminal slot to become available. The food is a bit better in Business class but I am not fond of the seating arrangement. We were not able to be seated together. C'est la vie. We have used Patty Dyer as our AAA Northeast Travel Consultant on other occasions and she provides stellar service. I have posted reviews on Goggle Maps for many of the places we visited during the trip. In all, this was a wonderful vacation trip, full of joy and lasting memories. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We selected this cruise based upon itinerary. We really wanted to sail around the Iberian peninsula and also have the opportunity to explore the Bordeaux wine area (this gave us two days in Bordeaux). The extra addition of Tangier in ... Read More
We selected this cruise based upon itinerary. We really wanted to sail around the Iberian peninsula and also have the opportunity to explore the Bordeaux wine area (this gave us two days in Bordeaux). The extra addition of Tangier in Morocco was also enticing and we loved our tour there. It was our second time with Oceania having previously sailed on the sister ship Riviera. These are the two "larger" ships with about 1200 passengers. The cruise appeared to be pretty full and sold out. This is the perfect size ship for us- I like that it has the four xtra restaurants yet not too large to get around easily. It is beautiful and well maintained. We flew in same day and left directly so utilized the ship transfers - they are expensive but it is not easy to get to Southampton.Two hours of crawling traffic all the way down. Other ppl we met booked driver on their own and got taken to the wrong port - taxi drove away and they had to find another way to the ship. I was not happy with the way all of the luggage was tossed together by the airport porters and not supervised by Oceania staff.Our two bags were together and got separated. We get into our cabin took until well after four PM until my husband got his suitcase - mine came right away. So the perc of getting early access due to concierge level was moot - you cannot get unpacked without you luggage. This time we opted for the Concierge level with a veranda. Last time we took one of the non-concierge level veranda rooms(they are very tiny verandas). on the 7th level (there are a few with extended verandas and that was awesome - I might do that again especially in a warmer climate). Two main reasons we chose concierge level was to be able to book the specialty restaurants earlier and to get the dates and times we wanted. Also, and people might not know this.....There is a difference in room service breakfast offerings. Concierge level includes hot breakfast options like omelets, pancakes, French toast and oatmeal. Non-concierge level gets continental breakfast only with only cold options. This was a port intensive trip with many early morning meet-up times for tours. We are not morning people and it is easier to get breakfast in the room then to trek up to the 12th floor, wait for elevators and such. Also, we selected a room nearby the concierge lounge (9046) and near the elevator and stairs and it was very convenient. Concierge lounge is great to run in for quick coffees, teas, light snacks at any time of day. There are no coffee makers in the cabins and not all that convenient to get to the other places on the ship that have coffee. You can run in in your bathrobe and many ppl did. As for the concierge himself - we did not interract with him all that much - he did make us one extra restaurant reservation but the two reasons just cited are the main reasons we selected it. I am not sure I would spend the xtra again esp if you are on a Caribbean cruise without a lot of ports. Considering the ship has been around since 2011 it looks extremely good - especially the common areas. The cabins are showing some wear and tear like bedskirts, carpet and drapes but overall ok. I am not a fan of the decorating or color schemes but I am not moving in permanently. There are no electric outlets in the bathroom so you have to dry your hair outside at the dressing table- hairs get all over the place ( I am a neat clean nut type) and did not like this. Another pet peeve is how they clutter up all of the counter areas and desktops etc with toiletries, papers, stuff we do not need or want - took it out and hid it inside our suitcases until we left - barely had room for our own stuff. The touted "Bulgari" toiletries were nothing special at all - just a name. Food on Oceania is absolutely awesome for the most part - very few thing were less than a home run. We are foodies and live downtown in a very food-centric city. We dine out often at some ot the best restaurants in the area and even the country. Main dining room is always changing up their offerings. Presentation is outstanding. We loved Polo, Toscana, and Jacques.... not a huge fan of Red Ginger... It seems that Red Ginger doesn't know what it wants to be. Trying to mix too many types and styles of food - they should stick to one. Sushi there not great. Sea Bass - sauce too heavy - nothing all that awesome. I thought this on the first cruise also. They should maybe try to update it with Korean robatayaki skewers, Japanese Izakaya style food, updated Chinese (they need to do some serious R & D). Come to Philadelphia and go to Royal Izakaya or Double Know for example. We mostly took excursions offered by the ship with one exception - (the tour to Alhambra from Granada was sold out and we went on this tour with Spain Day tours - it was very good). We selected the O life eight excursions as our option. We are not the type that like to spend so much time exploring and researching all these options. What some people might not realize when they complain that the Oceania tours are too expensive is the following. Once you have booked even six tours (three per person) - every tour you book after that is 25% off (If you book before sailing). The eight "free" tours satisfy this requirement - therefore if you take the eight tours as your O life Option (the include any tour up to and including $199.00 base price)... save some of the less expensive ones for those you will pay out of pocket and get them for 25% off. This is essentially a $1600 credit and a far better value in our opinion than only getting the $800 credit that was offered. As far as the alcohol and spirits package - it is ridiculously expensive - you would have to be a borderline alcoholic to consume that much booze and we like to have cocktails, drinks and wine as much as the next person. We always book our own airfare - if they do it - they can route you in inconvenient ways unless you pay 75 dollars per person which allows you to select your own flights. We always use the same airline due to points and got a first class upgrade on the way over which is hard to negotiate on the with the cruise line doing it. Common areas on the ship such as the pool area, barristas, library, etc are all really nice.We did not try the culinary center or painting classes but people seemed to lvoe it. Entertainment is mixed - we don't care - we didn't go on the cruise for that reason. They had a comedian who was British and very very funny - saw him twice. Most of the music sounds like it is for our parents' generation in their nineties and kind of corny - like Peggy Lee.m(Seriously?) We grew up with rock and roll. The sailaway parties are great and fun - but I think they should offer at least one free drink to all of the passengers that one time - they had drinks on trays but you had to pay for them. The band and singer in Horizons was great (they also played at the sailaway party) - we would've liked to dance but no one was dancing. Part of the reason is the stage and dance floor is kind of lit up and you feel like you're on stage alone. Hardly anyone was up there in the evenings. We were on smaller river boat in the past (Uniworld - also awesome) and had a chance to do a lot of dancing- this is not a dancing type of crowd - a little disappointing. Same thing on last Oceania cruise. All of the staff is pretty much friendly and very professional. However, on this cruise as compared to last one - it seemed some of the staff was very new and did not know certain things. The waiters in the past got to know us and connect with us and tell us some things about themselves - did not happen this time - they did not seem interested in engaging and were a bit more stiff and formal. That's fine. Age group on this cruise seemed to be average late sixties and seventies with many much much older. Saw two kids the first day but none after that. (wonder where they went?!) There is nothing for kids to do on this cruise. It was a bit too chilly to swim but we did have a few warmer days and was lovely relaxing around the pool in the sunshine. Our fellow cruisers that we got to meet were mostly very friendly. They also seemed to be a lot better dressed and less frumpy than our last cruise. I even found some nice things in the shops on board. Had no idea it would be so cold in Bordeaux, etc - had to buy a pullover sweater - had not packed one. Two weeks was a long cruise for us - was glad to be getting off the ship - cannot really understand how ppl do much longer ones - I would be a fat blimp. Hard living in such close quarters after a couple of weeks also. Also, we are not cruise-only type of ppl - we also enjoy going to hotels on land and having more time to explore at our own speed. With so many ports - no time to really dine ashore - never had a chance to get good tapas in Spain etc. Oceania needs to offer more cruises that feature two nights in each port rather than a new one every day. The write-ups in the daily "Currents" (the daily cruise list of activities and port info) tells you about all the things a specific port is known for (looks like they copied and pasted out of pre-written tour books) and it is not realistic that you will be able to do much independently in just one day -especially if you take a tour - they do not allow very much free time during the excursions. In Porto (which is gorgeous) we had only thirty minutes to shop or get a coffee at the "Ribiera" - first twenty minutes spent finding a bathroom. I would def sail with Oceania again but might also try Crystal - the latter includes everything other than excursions and has many shorter itineraries with multiple nights in port. Ports - Too tired after flying - we did not visit Guernsey - was a warm sunny day (few others at the beginning were - was great relaxing around the pool. Bordeaux - took two excursions - one to the St. Emilion area and one to Bordeaux to visit vineyards and have tastings. Both very good. The first included plenty of time to shop and tour the city of Bordeaux and have a bite at a cafe - just great. Could not tender at Biarritz - sea was too rough. This cruise had some very rocky days on board - I took Bonine most of those sailing days - it works - non- drowsy formula. (even a half a tablet works but take it in advance by at least an hour before sailing). Bilbao was a wow - spent two days there - loved the Pinxtos(Basque style tapas) we had on our own at the Plaza Nueva (arcade NeoClassical Square) near the old town - don't miss it - fun to walk around; La Coruna - could have skipped this one other than Hercules tower. Porto and Lisbon both great - did ship tours both days and went for a port tasting. These are both ports that need an overnight stay. Cadiz we went on tour that included Flamenco (was great) and some tapas ( they were far from great - have had much better at Jose' Garces reataurants in our home town and the Sangria was not good either). Overall, a wonderful fun cruise - did not get sick this time - had fun. Highly recommend Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Husband's Big 80 birthday - chose Oceania as previous experience on Riviera was very good. Love our food. Very nice itinerary, so we thought, out of Southampton finishing up in Barcelona. Ship - very similar to Riviera. ... Read More
Husband's Big 80 birthday - chose Oceania as previous experience on Riviera was very good. Love our food. Very nice itinerary, so we thought, out of Southampton finishing up in Barcelona. Ship - very similar to Riviera. Beautifully decorated and spotlessly clean. We had Penthouse Suite which was excellent. Very good design. Everything worked except WiFi which was dreadful and you could only have one device working (if it did!) at any one time. Cabin staff were excellent - always cleaned and ready for when we returned. Butler was helpful but we don't really use the Butler. Concierge was awful, rude, arrogant, ignorant both to me and about other guests. Overall the food was good as you would expect from the Cruise line that advertises "The best food at sea..." However........service was slow and seemed disorganised in the Grand Dining Room, the buffet area you had to have everything served to you, often not what you really wanted, which slowed down the process. Often plates were taken away before you finished your last mouthful which I hate! It was over busy at times - I think because the Grand Dining Room was certainly not up to standard. When we did go to the GDR for breakfast there were issues. The worst kipper and smoked haddock I have ever seen - so awful we walked out! Speciality restaurants were good but we were not keen on the Italian Restaurant. Polo Grill, Red Ginger and the French restaurant were all good. There was little coordination between the booking systems and the actual restaurants. Wine was very expensive. The added on gratuities plus another Spanish tax made it a ridiculous price. Entertainment was mixed - some excellent and some awful. Art loft..... well I've never seen such awful examples of a tutors work. The sessions were ok but overcrowded and chaotic. The Culinary Centre was good. Fun and informative . The Special Dining in Prive was an experience, interesting and the food delicious. There were some booking issues for other guests though - they were not happy! Gym was good, classes limited. Front Spa area not serviced, loungers uncomfortable, jacuzzi far too hot on one occasion and outside shower not working. Ports were very interesting - we do not do Ships excursions as we prefer to be independent. Transfers to the ship however were poor in a number of the ports and trying to get accurate info difficult. This did cause us issues as often long waits for buses without any seated waiting areas - my husband cannot stand for long. Some very long unnecessary walks off the ship into the port - little consideration for anyone with any disability. Other Cruise lines seem to have far better in port service. We had a number of Public Holiday days in ports which meant access to attractions was limited and shops closed. The 2 nights in Bordeaux was not 2 nights as they moved the ship on the second day making any independent excursions very difficult especially as it was a public holiday. We saw the Captain once during the whole cruise. He did not attend his drinks party nor did he attend the Thank you parade for the staff. Poor! Would we travel with Oceania again?. Sadly I very much doubt it. I think if we go 6 star again we will try another company. The rudeness of the Concierge was unacceptable. Oh and they got our final account wrong... so beware - we have never had that on a cruise before they are normally spot on! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I really tried to enjoy Marina she comes with a great reputation however overall I was disappointed. 1. The decor is very dated I know she was refurbished only a couple of years ago, but why make her look so dull, old fashioned and ... Read More
I really tried to enjoy Marina she comes with a great reputation however overall I was disappointed. 1. The decor is very dated I know she was refurbished only a couple of years ago, but why make her look so dull, old fashioned and over-done? 2.The enrichment and shore information was non existent. No lectures, no on screen information just an overview in the daily news letter. Every day the local TA would be available on the ship - that's it. 3.We were hoping to dance while on the cruise but we found the band in the horizons lounge to have a repetitive repertoire with a thin sound. They also looked most of the time pretty disinterested. 4.The shuttle buses were a disaster in most ports. Long queues, long waits, lots of frustrated guests, us included. Lots of statements that the shuttle buses are provided by the local authorities and Oceania takes no responsibility. It seems to me that if Oceania advertise that their ship is visiting a locatation then they should make it their business to ensure their guests are able to get there. 5. In in room information services whilst providing next to no information about the ports spend a lot of time advertising (paid) services at the spa, the shops. 6. We went to a couple of the stage productions and they were really good. The dancing music and singing were terrific. Other nights we would walk in to see what was playing and walk out again disappointed. 7 The food was overall of a high standard in the buffet restaurant. The wines offered on the most part were very good also. 8. The coffee in Barista's is terrible.I wouldn't care so much but they make such a big deal about having proper baristas on board 9. Of the specialty restaurants we had one fabulous dinner at Red Ginger, and the second time it was average. The Polo Grill was nothing special, we had a great Italian meal In Toscano however Jacques was a real disappointment. Was that dry chicken breast with thickened mushroom sauce meant to be coq au vin? I question the (french) waiter and he agreed with me and then said: "what can I say, the chef is Canadian!" 10. The staff everywhere on this ship are terrific, friendly, nothing too much trouble 11. Internet was painfully slow (2KB a sec) and only allowed one device at a time per cabin Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was my first, and will be my only Oceania cruise. Overall, the cruise was very disappointing, especially considering how much money we paid. The good: - The rooms were spacious with lots of storage - The food was quite ... Read More
This was my first, and will be my only Oceania cruise. Overall, the cruise was very disappointing, especially considering how much money we paid. The good: - The rooms were spacious with lots of storage - The food was quite good, especially in the speciality restaurants The bad: - We paid for a conceirge room. Big mistake. The conceirge was horrible. When asked about short excursions, he said to go to the shore excursion desk. When asked about dinner reservations, he said to go to the restaurant. He just sat at his desk on his computer ignoring all the customers. To illustrate just how poor his service was, the door to the lounge on the port side was not working. Even though his chair was less than 10 feet away he would never get up to open it. You either had to go around or rely on other passengers to open it for you. (He also never called to get it fixed. Every day he would say, "I need to call on that".) - Docking locations. Our ship primarily docked in commerical shipping areas. We saw many other ships docked at the cruise ship terminals, but not ours. In Dublin our cab driver asked why our ship was docked next to the dump! Few transports were provided into town. Is Oceania cutting corners? - Tours. The Oceania tours were crowded and over-priced. Did much better with ViaTour. - Cooking lesson. This was something I was really looking forward to. My friend and I took a class on "Cooking on Fire". It seemed that the Chef only wanted to answer questions asked by the male guests. When a male pointed out that I had a question, it was responded to in a very condescending tone, calling me "sir". (I am a woman.) Needless to say, I did not take a second cooking class. The Chef's helpers were very good. The other guests who have traveled with Oceania before said this cruise was not up to their normal standards. They were spectulating that perhaps it is because they were recently sold. A number of them said they were going to try a different cruise line for their next cruise. For me, I would be much happier in a Conceirge level room on Holland America or in a balcony room on Azamara. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Our second journey on Marina in three years. This one 12 days vs 26 days on earlier cruise. This itinerary was very port intensive with no at sea days. For a 12 day cruise it was very manageable. We missed one port due to poor tendering ... Read More
Our second journey on Marina in three years. This one 12 days vs 26 days on earlier cruise. This itinerary was very port intensive with no at sea days. For a 12 day cruise it was very manageable. We missed one port due to poor tendering weather conditions at Biarritz, so Bilbao had us for an extra day. The food and service was as good as our previous cruise. We tended to use the Terrace Restaurant a lot when you have a port intensive itinerary, due to the simplicity of having a meal done in a decent time period, versus longer serve time meal in the Grand Dining room. Personal choice only. Service in both Terrace and Grand Dining Room was at the usual high standard of Oceania. Of the 4 other restaurant venues, Toscana was our odds on favourite. Polo Grill is the "steak" place and didn't fail our expectations. The Oceania Shore excursions was a cut above our previous experiences, in terms of quality of itinerary and guides. This cruise had a large of handicap passengers, which seemed odd as the ports we visited were by no means handicap friendly. Cobble stone streets and hilly areas, did not seem ideal. Just an observation ! The stateroom service staff were very accommodating and although we had been in Concierge on our other trips, the level of service difference was negligible. Our balcony stateroom was comfortable and spacious for our clothes, baggage and purchase we made during the cruise. We attended a couple of Entertainment events and they were of very high quality, but the intensity of port excursions made for long days and early mornings, so we bypassed the late night opportunities . We had booked this cruise very late and with the almost at capacity situation, we had a very tough time getting decent dinner reservations. Somehow this didn't make sense as we noted that even at the early "fully booked" restaurant times, there were quite a few vacant tables in each restaurant as we peeked in. 12 days with no at-sea days is quite manageable, but beyond that, at least one rest day break should be in the plan. Happy Hour 2-1 Martini's seemed to be a bit misleading, as we found that the drink sizes offered were were about half the size of a normal drink, so didn't rush into getting there for the Happy Hour....not a deal at all! Heads up ......on this sailing from Amsterdam, meant we were subjected to Dutch tax rules throughout our journey. Not sure what it would have been from another port, but I heard that there is a difference. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our first cruise on Oceania. We arrived at the terminal at noon. Embarkation was quick. Our luggage was collected. We got our seapass and were on the ship. We checked out the Terrace Cafe and Windows Grill. We had hot dogs and ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Oceania. We arrived at the terminal at noon. Embarkation was quick. Our luggage was collected. We got our seapass and were on the ship. We checked out the Terrace Cafe and Windows Grill. We had hot dogs and fries. Sat outside near the pool while we waited to get into our cabin. Oceania allows the higher level cabins earlier access. When you are allowed access, your luggage is outside your cabin. Our cabin was on deck 8 close to the elevators. It was nicely appointed with lots of good storage space. The bed was very comfortable. The veranda had 2 cushioned chairs and a table. The bathroom was large. Loved the walkin and separate tub/ shower combo. The Bvlgari toiletries were good. The public venues were gorgeous. Ate some meals in the Grand dining room. For breakfast and lunch we liked the offerings at the buffet or grill. Dinner in the Grand dining room was good. Dinners at the specialty restaurants were outstanding. Best was Jaques and Polo. The elegant tea was presented everyday at 4 pm. Loved the scones. Baristas made excellent coffee. Baristas served some pastry and sandwiches. The Library had an excellent selection. We took 3 included excursions. 2 were good. We enjoy booking private tours or exploring independently. Oceania excursions are overpriced. We shared a full day Wales tour with friends we met from our rollcall. We were a bit annoyed by the lack of "included" shuttles. Shuttles were only available in a few ports where the port provided them. We only tendered in Newhaven(Edinburgh). Tendering service was slow. We enjoyed some of the entertainment. The nightly entertainment was typical cruise fare. Liked the live music in the bars. Best was the piano player in Martini Bar. Disembarkation was well organized. We liked the cruise. While we did not book a future cruise, we will book again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
Book your own transport. It took well over an hour AFTER we had gotten thru customs and immigration control before the bus arrived. Then the bus stopped at two other Terminals in Heathrow to pick up passengers. At $130 per person ... Read More
Book your own transport. It took well over an hour AFTER we had gotten thru customs and immigration control before the bus arrived. Then the bus stopped at two other Terminals in Heathrow to pick up passengers. At $130 per person one-way, you can arrange a private van or limo that would be more comfortable, less expensive and reliable. Believe Oceania may want to seek another transport contractor at LHR. On-board ship entertainment was sub-par, even for Oceania. Liked the 12 dancers/singers in the production shows but other entertainers were average at best. Cabin attendant (Mikolina) was excellent and arranged to provide bath towels with more nap on them. Butler gave the impression that pre-paid gratuities were not sufficient. He did provide good service. Ate in all four specialty restaurants at prearranged tables for 8 with fine experience in each one. Malbec wine that I had ordered on 5 nights was unavailable about three days prior to the cruise ending. This shouldn't happen. Packets of cocoa were unavailable on the ship (including the Executive Lounge) about half-way thru the cruise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose the British Isles as our itinerary this time on Oceania. We wanted to go in August so hopefully it wouldn't be too cold. We were lucky in that mother nature cooperated and it was only cold and rainy in Edinburgh. We had ... Read More
We chose the British Isles as our itinerary this time on Oceania. We wanted to go in August so hopefully it wouldn't be too cold. We were lucky in that mother nature cooperated and it was only cold and rainy in Edinburgh. We had take on other Oceania cruise three years ago, then two Azamara cruises in between. We remembered Oceania as having better food, so we went with them this time. Although we were disappointed by some aspects of the experience, we would cruise with them again. Unlike the first time we cruised Oceania, the food was average. My prime rib in Polo was inedible, a pink slab of meet no marbling, dry, virtually inedible. Other dishes aboard the ship were outstanding such as the sea bass in Red Ginger. We found few of the desserts to be very special, baked potatoes were served with watery sour cream, very little butter unless we asked for more. The captain didn't show for his cocktail party ( this NEVER happened on Silversea or Azamara. We rarely saw any ship's officers ( unlike Azamara), the only time I spied any was when there were 3 trying on sunglasses in the gift shop. The crew by and large were not very friendly. The servers in general had smiles on their faces and at least pretended they were glad to see us. The crew that were at the embarkation and disembarkation spots at the ports were not friendly at all. The staff serving drinks during the captain's cocktail party for the most part acted as if they'd rather be anywhere else! We saw two pretty decent shows, the string quartet grew tiresome after 12 nights, and the guy in the piano bar was average at best. All in all, not as good an experience as last time on the Nautica. I hope they try and improve their food and customer service. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We have been to London many times, but have not been around the British Isles very much. We read the reviews and looked at the brochures and felt we would have great time. The first issue was the WiFi, speed less than 1Mbps and often ... Read More
We have been to London many times, but have not been around the British Isles very much. We read the reviews and looked at the brochures and felt we would have great time. The first issue was the WiFi, speed less than 1Mbps and often down, despite the recent "upgrades" A lot of people on the ship complained, but all we were give was excuses. The food was very good and decor nicely decorated. Cabins (Penthouse) a little smaller that we are use to, but the service was very poor. The tours from the ship were poorly handled and some of them involved a two hour bus ride to see the remnants of a roman wall or fort. Best tours were in Ireland and Scotland. The entertainment was poor to okay. It appears you have to go to the larger ships for entertainment, but that's not as important as the overall service which suffered. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
My wife and I are veteran cruisers, but this was our first cruise with Oceania. The ship was, at first glance, a bit underwhelming, especially as compared to the larger, and glitzier mass market megaships. But we quickly discovered that ... Read More
My wife and I are veteran cruisers, but this was our first cruise with Oceania. The ship was, at first glance, a bit underwhelming, especially as compared to the larger, and glitzier mass market megaships. But we quickly discovered that the Marina has a certain elegance that is not found on larger ships. And we appreciated this more with each passing day. We arrived at Southampton around 1 PM on departure day and quickly checked in and were shown to our cabin on the port side of Deck 9, Concierge Level. Our cabin attendant introduced himself as soon as we arrived, and his service, throughout the 12-day cruise was outstanding. The Concierge lounge was just down the corridor and served coffee, sodas, and snacks (small sandwiches/croissants and cookies) throughout the day. Daily newspapers from both London and the U.S.A. were available every day. Internet service, though free and unlimited for O-Life Choice guests, was often slow and sometimes not available at all. We had a number of shore excursions booked. Most were pretty good, but the exception was our trip to the Edinburgh Castle. The guide on the tour bus was not very informative, and she escorted us into the castle (thus bypassing the long queue for tickets) and basically left us there. And it was raining quite hard at the time. We really liked the port call at Kirkwall, in the Orkney islands, and the five ports in Norway, where we had unusually good weather, and spectacular scenery. However, not all was perfect. The shows were of varying quality. The casino was very small, and the craps table was often not open. Onboard activities, for which one could earn "Big O" points (redeemable for merchandise at the end of the cruise) were plentiful. We actually had a good time with Trivia contests, Name That Tune, Cornhole, and golf putting and earned enough points to get two moisture-wicking Oceania T-shirts. Food was very good, but not "fabulous," as we were lead to believe. The menus in the Grand Dining Room were varied, but there were times when I felt I had to settle for something that I might not otherwise have ordered. We dined in four of the specialty restaurants (at no extra charge) and they were all good. But Polo and Jacques were much better than Toscana and Red Ginger. The Terrace Cafe (buffet style) was great, with lots of choices. We especially liked that lobster tails were available EVERY night at the buffet, and they were delicious. Also, at the buffets, guests had to ask for everything they wanted, rather than reaching in and serving oneself. I had no problem with this as it seems the best way to avoid spreading Norovirus. Only the servers were allowed to put food on plates. Lunch at the Waves Grill was also very good--great burgers and sandwiches. Overall, we had a great time, but, considering the price difference between Oceania and other cruise lines, we're not so sure the cruise was worth that difference in cost. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We made a spur of the moment decision to go and it was one of the best last minute decisions. Our friends had already booked the cruise and because of their excitement about the cruise and it's destination ports,we went. Our ... Read More
We made a spur of the moment decision to go and it was one of the best last minute decisions. Our friends had already booked the cruise and because of their excitement about the cruise and it's destination ports,we went. Our experience started with the gracious and well trained staff that were always helpful. The accommodations were great with a lot of closet space. Our stateroom was generously sized with a veranda and a spacious bathroom. The bed was very comfortable ( best mattress ever )! Oceania is known for it's excellent cuisine and the Marina did not disappoint. We even had one of their special wine tasting dinners causing us to wish we had signed up for another one! We did dine in all of the specialty restaurants, and concluded that the Italian restaurant was tops. But, the food is so good that we really enjoyed all of the restaurants. We would definitely cruise with Oceania again. Only negative was the pricy shore excursions.The staff for the excisions ,in my opinion, should have done some homework regarding the ports as to whether or not there was construction on and around the sites, waiting time, length of time standing in line, and what was actually open. We should have done our tours privately! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
Oceania fouled up their shore operations again. Shuttles into Bilbao from ship around lunchtime were on a 40 minute to one hour schedule. We left our stateroom with sufficient time to debark, walk to the terminal and catch a shuttle. ... Read More
Oceania fouled up their shore operations again. Shuttles into Bilbao from ship around lunchtime were on a 40 minute to one hour schedule. We left our stateroom with sufficient time to debark, walk to the terminal and catch a shuttle. We were not informed that the gangway was being moved and we were held up for about ten minutes while the gangway was shifted to to tides. We missed the shuttle by 5 minutes. Next bus . . . 40 minutes later. We love the way they handle their on-ship operations but feel that they need to greatly improve everything about ground services. The food is superb. Waves grill has delicious lobster and steak surf and turf at lunchtime. the four specialty restaurants are each well worth dining at. Service for all ship based activities is top notch. Staff is as good as one could find anywhere. Oceania needs to improve the manner in which they coordinate the transition from ship to shore. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose this cruise because we have had great experiences on Oceania and liked the itinerary, Stockholm to Barcelona. On this cruise, the crew from the general manager on down was terrific. Attitude was "what can we do for ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have had great experiences on Oceania and liked the itinerary, Stockholm to Barcelona. On this cruise, the crew from the general manager on down was terrific. Attitude was "what can we do for you". Our cabin was perfectly maintained. Our major on board activity is dancing and there was plenty of opportunity everyday with music before and after dinner. The band in Horizons was great, played all kinds of music. No comments on shore excursions since we do independent touring but I will say Oceania is providing more and more information and assistance to independent travelers which we appreciate. Food has always been Oceania's strength. This was our 7th O. cruise and we thought the food in the main dining room was not as good or as varied as on previous cruises. It was not bad ( we are not discouraged from cruising again with O, we've signed up for 50 days in 2017) but it is not as good as it has been in the past. This was a port intensive cruise with one sea day so there were not many lectures. There was only one speaker who gave three lectures and he wasn't very good. On our previous cruises with O. the speakers were very good. Our one negative about the ship itself is about furnishings in public spaces. The tables in Horizons and the Terrace are much too close together. It is very difficlut to find a table where someone will not be bumped by servers or other guests. It is annoying. Also, the furniture in Martinis and Horizons, while looking great, is not user friendly. There is not a single chair (other than a barstool) we could sit on in Martinis. It is all low and soft. In Horizons all the window seating is big and soft. We found it uncomfortable and it also blocks the view from the more normal size chairs in the middle of the room. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose the 12 day Stockholm to Amsterdam Whimsical Waterways tour. We arrived one day early in Stockholm to explore the city and stayed at the Hotel Kungsträdgården, very will situated and excellent accommodations. Hotel breakfast was ... Read More
We chose the 12 day Stockholm to Amsterdam Whimsical Waterways tour. We arrived one day early in Stockholm to explore the city and stayed at the Hotel Kungsträdgården, very will situated and excellent accommodations. Hotel breakfast was included and well above expected with hot items, Swedish specialities, extensive breads, excellent fruit. Embarkation was smooth though delayed two hours. Disembarkation in Amsterdam was announced to be ahead of schedule and included about 1 hour total of waiting in lines to leave the ship and then to get taxis. Those using the more costly transport services provided by the Oceania were able to proceed much more quickly. We were upgraded to a B2 stateroom 7065 in the center of the ship. At no time did we experience seasickness though I am prone. This room is connecting. While locked, through the door we could hear toilet flushing and cans of soda being opened! The bathroom is spacious and the room well appointed. The bed is very comfortable with high quality sheets. The veranda is lovely and was enjoyable as we entered and left Oslo, for sunrises and sunsets etc. I made special requests for drinks in the fridge and they were able to find almost all of them. The With OLife promotion we selected 4 excursions, $400 OBC and internet. Having internet access on the ship was nice to check email, send photos, read the paper. To those who complain about connection speed, I would suggest looking up Louis CK's appearance on Conan O Brien under "Everything's amazing". We chose excursions in Helsinki, Oslo, Copenhagen and Gydnia. Of these, only Gydnia we could not have done on our own. It is an industrial port and would require some transport to either Gdansk or elsewhere to be worthwhile. Other ports including the three we did with Oceania excursions are possible to do on your own. We chose Guide Guru for St Petersburg and were very pleased with the excellent price for a small group tour, the pleasant tour guide, wifi on the van, comprehensiveness of visit and flexibility of small group (6). Food on the Marina was excellent in all venues. Service is sometimes slow in the Grand Dining Room and specialty restaurants, whether you eat degustation style with multiple courses or not. We notice that service begins to slow as the assistant waiter tends to take over for dessert service. In the GDR, Red Ginger and Toscano, waits for dessert and coffee were quite long. Terrace buffet has excellent food as well with lobster, steaks and sushi always available. During the cruise, there was a Russian night and a German night at Terrace which is nice considering that cruising does tend to limit opportunities to sample local cuisine. Terrace and Waves offer options to eat outdoors to enjoy views especially when sailing out of Stockholm, into Oslo through the fjords, etc. Each of the speciality restaurants has extras that make the experience more 'special' but the chopstick choices, hot towels, tea choices in Red Ginger seemed overly fussy. Having lived in Paris and having studied cooking, we found Jacques to be exceptionally good with French classics with excellent execution and service. Lobster thermidor, gratin dauphinois, terrine foie gras, all excellent. Some items were mistranslated though. Brandade de merlu is incorrectly translated as chilean sea bass. (The chilean sea bass in Red Ginger is excellent.) Afternoon tea is enjoyable. The finger foods do not vary much, but are done well. Tea service goes from 4 until 5pm where Horizons quickly transforms to Happy Hour. One leisurely afternoon, we stayed conversing with new friends from tea to happy hour. Unfortunately, no one cleared our table of tea service, even after our happy hour drinks arrived. The staff seem to be perfunctory to their duties with cocktail staff were unwilling to clear tea service from our table. We asked the server twice and then floor manager Vikram who seemed to be more interested in chatting and flirting with other servers than clearing the table, but were ignored. Entertainment is not a strength on Marina with shows every night in the Lounge at 9.30 or 9.45. Every other night, there is a production show. Other nights, there was live music, either vocalist, a musical duo or on one evening the ships classical pianist. This show was particularly disappointing as it turned out to be an interpretive jazz and contemporary concert with commentary. There is however a lending DVD selection and an excellent library. Live classical music in the lounges is quite nice. I attended one enrichment lecture on amber. The speaker was not the most vibrant, but the presentation was informative. No spotlight was ever put on the speaker, leaving me unsure of what he looked like! The fitness room is well equipped. I was able to get a machine every time I wanted. The fitness room fridge is stocked with cold water, Gatorade and Vitamin Water. The steam room and sauna are available to all guests at no charge. On the at sea day, these rooms were crowded, but otherwise, I was the only one each time I visited. These however close at 9pm at the same time as the spa, although I would have wished them to be open a little later. Though not perfect and perfect should never be the expectation, service is very good to excellent. Our steward Anna was lovely and although I say perfect is not to be expected, I found her service to be so. The crowd on this cruise was mostly older retired couples, but this is not to say exclusively so. There were a few families, a few 'younger' couples and a few group of friends. Everyone who enjoys cruising and good food in a relaxed atmosphere would be comfortable here I think. The value of Oceania is in the inclusiveness of most dining and beverages. I must admit, the Oceania forums on CruiseCritic being at times a bit snarky, that I was wary about meeting people on the ship, afraid there would sniping or putting down of others. I am happy to report that the cruisers I met do not seem to be those that are active on the forums and everyone we met on the cruise were quite nice, normal and down to earth. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Embarkation went very smoothly. As we had not been on a cruise before, we didn't know what to expect. Our first impressions of Marina exceeded our expectations. We were very impressed with what we found on boarding. A magnificent ... Read More
Embarkation went very smoothly. As we had not been on a cruise before, we didn't know what to expect. Our first impressions of Marina exceeded our expectations. We were very impressed with what we found on boarding. A magnificent staircase in front of us and a string quartet playing, which was a wonderful welcome followed by lunch in the Terrace Cafe which was wonderful and had such a large array of different foods to eat that were of the highest quality. We cannot speak highly enough of all of the staff on the Marina, who gave us some of the best service we've ever had. We went to all the specialty restaurants during our cruise and were very impressed with the food and the service. One thing that was a small negative was that being Australian, we are used to good quality Asian cuisine with strong spices and flavours. Red Ginger left us feeling somewhat disappointed that we had eaten much more authentic and flavoursome Asian food in Australia and in Asia itself. The food in Red Ginger was much more bland than what we are used to. We absolutely adored Toscana and we were also very impressed with the Grand Dining Room. We were also amazed that a sommelier waits on every table in every restaurant, including the Grand Dining Room. We enjoyed all on board activities that we participated in, including trivia, name that tune, and bingo. We also really loved spending time in horizons first thing in the morning, where a coffee corner is set up. It is very quiet as most people are the buffet breakfast or in the grand dining room. Horizons has some magnificent views first thing in the morning, especially when coming in to a port. We also used the ship's fitness centre on a number of occasions during the cruise, which was very good. Our shore excursions were all very good with our stand out favourite being the tour of Ypres - Flanders Fields. We had a lot of fun on board and enjoyed all of the bars, including Martini's the Grand Bar, Horizons and the bar near the pool. We also loved the casino. We didn't see many of the entertainment shows as these often clashed with our late dinner bookings, but those that we did see were quite good. While there were some children on board who were very well behaved, we were grateful for Oceania's policy that doesn't encourage children, as this keeps the atmosphere as a truly adult and mature experience. Overall, fantastic Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We had not cruised with Oceania before and were pleasantly surprised. The size of the ship was perfect- not too big, easy to get around and never a line anytime or anywhere. Not even on an elevator.The service from everyone was stellar. ... Read More
We had not cruised with Oceania before and were pleasantly surprised. The size of the ship was perfect- not too big, easy to get around and never a line anytime or anywhere. Not even on an elevator.The service from everyone was stellar. The bedding was luxurious which provided a good nights sleep. A regular cabin with a veranda was spacious with abundant storage, large tub and a small shower. Even on this size ship they made sure to include many lovely common areas and niches for cozy conversation. Arrival and departure were a breeze. Free shuttles at certain ports were an additional bonus and very appreciated. The fine dining ambiance was exceptional and the food excellent but the space is extremely limited. You can make a few reservations prior to sailing but dining in these restaurants after that is almost impossible. The buffet is transformed into a lovely dining area with a grill station which includes fish, chicken and meat but unfortunately they repeat the actual buffet recipes. We did not dine in the main dining room nor did many others. The excursions were over priced and we opted not to take any thru the cruise. The evening entertainment was not very enjoyable although we went hoping it would improve- it did not. It was obvious that this was not a priority for the cruise line. The drink package was very overpriced. I hope corporate reads this and changes their policy. We were fortunate to get a very good price for the cruise and that made this an extremley good value. We would go again and are willing to pay even more to sail on Oceania Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Having been impressed with a lunchtime ship visit in 2015, we found a local cruise at reduced price. The ship was very spacious and clean and well kept... as was the cabin (balcony) but as usual access the storage was not ideal although ... Read More
Having been impressed with a lunchtime ship visit in 2015, we found a local cruise at reduced price. The ship was very spacious and clean and well kept... as was the cabin (balcony) but as usual access the storage was not ideal although adequate (11 nights).....door opening in front of wardrobe, some drawers high up as was the safe. One of our, not overly large, suitcases wouldn't fit under the bed. The bathroom had a tub (unused) with a shower that of course sprays on the floor. The separate shower was good size as was the water pressure. The towels were thick but small ( being larger people ). Dining was excellent for food, service and choices. We tried all the speciality restaurants and were able to try three again as we were not fussy about times and sharing. I don't know if concierge level helped here. The seven course with seven wines, for extra, was more than excellent. In the casual restaurant you were served from the available choices, then at your table for drinks. I liked this method, although some people still used their hands to pick up food. Being smaller ships, embarkation worked well at Southampton.. we live close by. After a short time queuing you were confirmed to be a passenger, then the scanning, then the booking in and then onto the ship. All that was missing was a glass of champagne as you boarded. I didn't find any of the enrichment lectures appealing so didn't go! We only managed three evening entertainments, not really our style. The music around the ship was good. Never intended to try the gym, and didn't. The spa facilities looked good. The shore excursions seemed expensive. In most ports we were visiting friends so did our own thing. Disembarkation was through the tannoy, all off by 0900 It was a gourmet, relaxing cruise. I would go again for a special occasion. I was however disappointed with fellow passengers dress. Jeans and polos for dinner!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We are a retired couple that took the cruise for the 20 port visits, with the expectation that we would see and enjoy many new places. The ship itself was excellent. Embarkation was easy and the veranda stateroom was large enough to be ... Read More
We are a retired couple that took the cruise for the 20 port visits, with the expectation that we would see and enjoy many new places. The ship itself was excellent. Embarkation was easy and the veranda stateroom was large enough to be comfortable for the long cruise. The food and service was excellent and the fitness room was large enough for the number of people using it. Unfortunately, the support for the excursions was poor. A few weeks before embarking, Oceania notified us of a cut of 8 hours in five ports in the first part of the cruise, and 3 hours in 3 ports in the second. In addition, the ship was late in arriving a couple of times. Obviously, all of this reduced the time for the tours that were already purchased. We bought 10 excursions from Oceania to get the 25% discount and arranged 10 independent tours. Of the Oceania tours, one was excellent but the others were disappointing in quality, particularly considering that they were much more expensive than the independent excursions. Of the independent tours, five were excellent. Oceania is now bundling the sale of their excursions for about half of the ports of a cruise in the price of the cruise. Disembarkation was easy. In all, Oceania did not meet our expectations for the quality of the in-port experiences (including the operational issues mentioned), and their current policy of requiring the purchase of their excursions means that you cannot just arrange your own excursions. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
Long-time cruisers, first time on Oceania. CABIN: We were in Penthouse Suite 11058. BEST cabin for size and amenities: huge walk-in closet, so much storage space we had empty drawers - even with all the winter clothes we dragged ... Read More
Long-time cruisers, first time on Oceania. CABIN: We were in Penthouse Suite 11058. BEST cabin for size and amenities: huge walk-in closet, so much storage space we had empty drawers - even with all the winter clothes we dragged along for the wet, cool British weather. Bathroom with shower & a separate tub (wish it had been a whirlpool) was large with plenty of his/her medicine cabinets & Bulgari products. Location of the cabin not so great - lots of overhead foot traffic. Thank goodness for our white noise machine. SHOPPING/ENTERTAINMENT: OK - not quite big ship style but adequate. Our favorite was the piano & quartet playing at various times around the ship. Very relaxing & enjoyable. Casino is small & limited but at least there is one. Few boutiques & shopping was mediocre. LIBRARY: BEST of any ship we have ever been on. Very extensive and comfortable places to sit & read. FOOD: Really? This is supposed to be the best ship for food? I have never eaten so much bland, tasteless food. We finally avoided the main dining room & just went to the Terrace Cafe so we could sample lots of different food til we could find something really enjoyable. Breakfast was very boring after a few days . . same food, everyday. Scrambled eggs are out of a package so you have to ask for real eggs. Limited choice of cold cereal and the bananas were stored in the refrigerator so were mushy. The fresh fruit, especially, the cantaloupe & honeydew were DELICIOUS & SWEET. SPECIALTY RESTAURANTS: The Polo Grill, Toscana & Jacques were favorites. Many choices & flavorful food. Doesn't make sense why this ship can offer great food in the specialty restaurants, which do not cost extra, and not provide the same flavor & quality in the dining room. SHORE EXCURSIONS: The most over-priced tours. As a result, booked all of our own private tours in each port. Ended up seeing twice as much driving around in Mercedes comfort. Two days we had to anchor & take the tender to port. Clearly, the staff has no idea how to handle distribution of tender passes. This was a debacle and something Oceania needs to remedy quickly. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We sailed Oceania's “River Routes and Channel Crossings” aboard Marina from Montreal to Southampton in May and June. In some ways we had a fine trip, but Oceania fell well short of excellence. Checking in, and departing, took only ... Read More
We sailed Oceania's “River Routes and Channel Crossings” aboard Marina from Montreal to Southampton in May and June. In some ways we had a fine trip, but Oceania fell well short of excellence. Checking in, and departing, took only minutes. The ship is pretty from the outside and beautiful inside. Well decorated. Looks nearly brand new. The staterooms are attractive and comfortable, but are poorly designed, with cramped bathrooms and inaccessible storage space. Stewards were excellent. Food ranged from very good to excellent, sometimes superb. Lunch and dinner menus were adequately varied. The breakfast buffet didn't change much and needs enhancement. Scrambled eggs were substandard. Rolls and pastries, while good, were the same every day. Drink prices were somewhat reasonable. Restaurant service was sometimes good, sometimes slow. One evening in the main dining room we could overhear a disagreement between a waiter and a supervisor. Musical entertainment was good. The biggest problem on the cruise was poor planning and poor communication by Oceania. We arrived in one port on a local holiday, with shops and restaurants closed and few taxicabs available. Overall, the destination services desk provided little port information, couldn't answer basic questions, and once fibbed to us about the existence of a hop-on bus. Ship excursions were horribly overpriced. A television system in the staterooms often gave inaccurate information, or no information. Late in the cruise, in very legal language, we were advised that enteritis had infected some on the cruise. We were never told how many people were affected, how ill they were, what was done for them, and how the cruise would change. We noticed little impact. Crew were seen wiping chairs and the passenger laundry was closed, a great inconvenience. We were also told that because of “adverse weather” forecasts and “anticipated” winds and swells, the ports of Holyhead and Guernsey were canceled. Instead, we had a second day and evening in Dublin. Hardly a fair trade. Those two canceled ports were highlights for many passengers. We never did experience bad weather. Passengers were suspicious. Did Oceania include those ports to make the cruise more attractive, knowing that spring weather might very easily make them inaccessible? Did Oceania just want to save money by not cruising? Was Oceania overly cautious? We don't know, but we do know we did not get what we paid for. The captain could have explained things and offered everyone a couple of free drinks. But he was seldom heard from on the trip. Our main information source was a zany cruise director who offered little. She wouldn't even tell me how how many passengers were on the trip. Speculation was that 100 or more cabins were empty. In summation, while we had fun, this cruise could have been so much more. The management at Oceania is changing, and you have to wonder about the future. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We felt compelled to write a review after reading review after review of complaints!! Really folks! It's appears to this reader that many reviewers attitudes need to be checked at the door! First, how in the world can so many ... Read More
We felt compelled to write a review after reading review after review of complaints!! Really folks! It's appears to this reader that many reviewers attitudes need to be checked at the door! First, how in the world can so many people remember everything they ate? Did they have a recorder at each meal and do they work for competing cruise lines???? Marina is an awesome vessel with awesome staff and crew!!!! The food is delicious! If one finds a complaint with a dish, simply ask for something different or a replacement. Wait staff will gladly accommodate ! If this is not handled,simply ask for Maître D! We were at a table where after eating three fourths of a steak, the guest said that it was cold!!!! We told the wait staff and they replaced it in a timely manner.... Room service is outstanding! Always yummy and on time breakfast ! Brendan and Ann always going above and beyond!!!! Room Stewards always kept room spotless and supplied twice a day!!!! Always kept us informed and never,never rushed us!!! Officers approachable ! Concierge's Jeff and Javier always accommodating BUT you have to ask if you have a need. Do not assume they know your needs!!! Special shout out to Emma and Lisa Excursions are very expensive if purchased from ship!!! Aside from the expense, the procedure for joining excursion is horrible !!! It's like a cattle call and then stampede to get to bus!!!! Alaska on Regatta was different and wonderful for each excursion! That being said, DESTINATION SERVICES ON THIS CRUISE WAS THE BEST WE HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED! We did ports on our own, many times using free shuttles! DESTINATION SERVICES STAFF WERE ALWAYS THERE TO HELP OUR EXPERIENCE ! And the disembarkation directed by this department was the smoothest LOUISA OF DESTINATION SERVICE IS ONE OF THE MOST SINCERE AND HELPFUL STAFF MEMBERS AND ALWAYS WITH A SMILE We were able to connect to the internet and never kicked off. In Dublin , due to port authority we could not connect, but there was lots of free wifi in Dublin. Ship internet is expensive and not lighting quick but not as slow as all the complaints!!! Entertainers were really trying to please the audience ! We realize it's not Broadway and many could complain about that!!! The orchestra , band and string quartets outstanding ! Guest lecturers great, especially Dr Rodger Cartwright engaging and informative! Cruise Director Julie James outstanding. Church services were held every Sunday! The staff and crew on this cruise was A+. Always polite ,many calling us by name at every turn! We felt community and family!!!! Hats off to you Hilde Crankshaw, Oceania Cruise Representative for helping us with all the particulars of this trip! You are always there for us! Bravo. Bravo. Bravo Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
We are the sort of cruisers who bring our own water bottles, a 12 pack of water and flavored drink packets to avoid the $4.50+ bar charge most cruise lines impose on passengers for just a bottle of water. Oceania is a different ... Read More
We are the sort of cruisers who bring our own water bottles, a 12 pack of water and flavored drink packets to avoid the $4.50+ bar charge most cruise lines impose on passengers for just a bottle of water. Oceania is a different "animal". We were delighted to find that bottled water, smoothies, malts & shakes, espresso and latte were all part of the cruise price. The Ship was clean, well maintained and easy to navigate around. We really enjoyed the speciality dining and the food portions were perfect. Our inside cabin was adequate in size, beds comfortable and the shower just a little too small for my Texas size husband. Cabin service was excellent. We never felt the ship move. All staff were very well trained and friendly. We met the most interesting people who were well traveled, mostly retired and primarily Canadian or American. Many of them had been on the ship on the New York to Dover cruise, were doing the Dover to Copenhagen, and then continuing on into the Baltic Sea. This not a ship for families with teens or younger as they have no scheduled activities. We will definitely cruise with Oceania again, but will opt for a larger cabin. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2013
Oceania Marina, Cultural Connoisseur, September 27, 2013 – A Review About Us: My husband and I, both in our very early 50’s, booked this cruise aboard the Marina to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We have both cruised ... Read More
Oceania Marina, Cultural Connoisseur, September 27, 2013 – A Review About Us: My husband and I, both in our very early 50’s, booked this cruise aboard the Marina to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We have both cruised extensively on many different lines in the past, but this was our first “O” experience. We have usually cruised with our daughters and extended family. This was the first time in a very long time that we cruised with just each other. We initially had some reservations as to how we would fit in with the passenger demographics on the ship. I can now honestly report that, although we were probably among the youngest 10% or 15% of the passengers on the cruise, we never felt out of place and we met the most wonderful people onboard ... some of the most interesting people that we’ve had the pleasure of meeting in a long time. There was always a good conversation to be had, and we left the ship with many new friends who we hope to be able to travel with again in the future. We participated in the Roll Call for our cruise here on Cruise Critic (again, something we had never done before), and arranged, and/or took part in, private excursions in every port. We had incredible private guides in every port. It would be very hard to pick a favorite. I’ll go into more detail below. I recommend getting involved in your Roll Call thread. I can’t even begin to explain how much better of an experience it is to take part in small, private tours of 6-8 people, as opposed to the big bus tours that the cruise line sells. Not to mention that the private tours end up being less money. Pre-Cruise: We booked our air through Oceania, taking advantage of their air-included offer. We also paid the $150 per person deviation charge, in order to fly in a day early and fly home two days after disembarkation. We got to choose the exact flights we wanted, with no issues whatsoever. We arrived at Gatwick on Thursday, September 26 and took the train to Winchester, where we spent a leisurely day getting over the jet lag. We stayed at a great bed & breakfast, the Old Vine, and had a private transfer on Friday morning for our 30-minute ride to Southampton. Weather: We were blessed with beautiful weather throughout our vacation, with very little rain along the way. It ended up being warmer than we had anticipated, so most of our sweaters and such ended up being unused. The Ship: The 2 year-old Marina is impeccable. It is the most elegant and one of the most beautiful ships I have ever seen. And, I’ve seen A LOT of cruise ships. Day and night, you would find the crew hard at work, polishing and scrubbing, to make sure that Marina was always at her best. The ship’s crew is happy and friendly. They are genuinely happy to be there to help you have the most amazing cruise experience possible. Their friendly conversation never seems forced or fake. They seem to truly care about each passenger and remember you from day to day and from venue to venue. On our last morning aboard, when we were having breakfast at The Terrace, many of the servers who we had had the pleasure of meeting during the course of the cruise stopped by our table to wish us safe travels home and to ask how our cruise had gone. I was amazed that they remembered and touched by the gesture. Our Stateroom: This was our cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, and so we splurged on a Penthouse Suite. It’s a perfect stateroom and was extremely comfortable for us. The closet is a walk-in and provides ample storage. There are also plenty of drawers in the dressers in the stateroom. The bathroom is beautiful, although the shower could stand to be just a tad larger. We loved the Bulgari amenities. The bed!!! It’s the most comfortable bed we’ve ever slept in. Period. End of Story. All the linens in the bedroom and bathroom are awesome. Our stateroom attendants did a fabulous job of keeping our room very clean. There was never an occasion when we had to call them back in for something that was overlooked or forgotten. With the Penthouse comes a butler. I can’t say enough good things about Churchill, our butler. Friendly and full of information, he was able to give us the inside scoop on all the best dishes to sample at the restaurants. He also graciously and with a smile served us a full, hot breakfast in our stateroom on almost every morning of the cruise. And we had some pretty early starts because of all of our private tours. One night, we had dinner brought in to the stateroom from Toscana. He served it course by course. Wonderful! There are so many things that he did to make our cruise better. There’s no way to go into it all here. Suffice it to say that he spoiled us. And we loved it! Dining: The food quality and the dining experience onboard Marina are so far and above anything we’ve experienced on any other ship! A comparison to previous experiences is almost impossible. The only thing that is in the same league is our dinner at Remy aboard the Disney Fantasy. And that’s a $75 per person surcharge, without wine. Each and every venue aboard the Marina was outstanding, from Waves to The Terrace to the Grand Dining Room to the specialty restaurants. We also had the pleasure of dining one night at La Reserve. We had the Exploration Menu, which was wonderful! It’s the only surcharge restaurant aboard (not counting Privee, which is more of a dining room where food is brought in from other restaurants) and was well worth the additional fee. Course after course, each paired perfectly with wine. It was a three and a half hour experience that I would love to repeat again! Entertainment: We did not attend any of the shows on Marina. Our very enjoyable entertainment consisted of the wonderful dinner conversation we had with new friends in the varied restaurants onboard. Ports: This cruise was very port intensive and visited places that, for the most part, neither of us had been to before. Bruges: We joined the private taxi transfer arranged by another person on our Roll Call. I believe the company was Taxi Snel. We were picked up at the gate to the port at 9 AM and returned to the ship at 5 PM. Once in Bruges, we followed a walking tour that was posted online by Brentjes. It was a great tour, very detailed, with lots of information of what you are seeing and easy to follow. The tour as printed begins at the train station. We started it at Markt Square and followed it around backward. It was pretty much the exact tour being followed by the ship’s expensive walking tour of the city. Great day in a beautiful city. I’d love to return someday. Le Havre: I arranged for a private tour for 8 through Overlord Tours. Our guide was Oliver, and he was fantastic!!! We went to Omaha Beach, the American Cemetery, Point du Hoc, Saint Mere Eglise, Utah Beach, Angoville au Plain and to some secluded places that we would have never been able to find, or enter, had we ventured out on our own. Oliver made the landing beaches come alive for us. I can’t recommend Overlord or Oliver enough!! St. Malo: We joined a private tour arranged by another person on our Roll Call. The tour was with Westcapades and our tour guide was Marc. We went to Mont St. Michel, Dinan and had a very brief visit to St. Malo. There were six of us on the tour. Marc was very good. Mont St. Michel is fascinating! It’s a place that everyone should visit at least once. Dinan was beautiful! I enjoyed our time there and the local pastry, Kouign Amann, that we got to sample. I would definitely recommend Marc for a great day out of St. Malo. L’Orient: I had arranged a private tour with Marie-Laure at Brittany Visits. The plan was for us to visit Quimper, Pont Aven and Concarneau. The night before we arrived in L’Orient, I received a message from the Purser that Marie-Laure’s husband had been hospitalized and that she would not be coming the next day. I was sorry to hear that her husband was ill, and I truly hope that he has recovered. The timing of the cancellation really did not work well for us to be able to arrange anything else. We decided to take the free shuttle into town and explore. L’Orient is pretty much a regular mid-sized modern French city with not a whole lot to see and do. There is a U-Boat yard that was used by the Germans during WWII. After a little while in town, my husband and I chose to go back to the ship for lunch and a relaxing afternoon. Le Verdon: I arranged a private tour with Maryse at Bordeaux Excursions. She is fanastic!!! We visited 3 Chateaux (Gruaud-LaRose, Pichon-Longueville, and Lynch-Bages) with a brief stop at Chateau Mouton-Rothschild and a beautiful lunch at Chateau Pomys. The harvest was just getting underway in Le Medoc. It was a spectacular day, planned to perfection. I recommend Maryse wholeheartedly. I hope to visit the Bordeaux region again and will definitely book with Maryse to show me the other areas of the region. Bilbao: We took the free shuttle that Oceania provided into town. We visited the outside of the Guggenheim, and its gift shop and then walked along the riverfront to the “Casco Viejo”, or old town. It was very picturesque and it was nice to just wander the streets here. We enjoyed a very inexpensive lunch of pintxos (what tapas are called here) and the local wine, Txacoli. We took a taxi back to the ship from the old town. La Coruna: We booked a private tour to Santiago de Compostela and La Coruna for 6 through Luca Renzini of Best Private Tours. Our guide was Anton. He was excellent! Anton showed us all the sights in Santiago de Compostela. The star of the show, of course, is the cathedral. Unfortunately, we did not get to see the Butafumeiro swing in the church. We had a lovely lunch in the old town here. We then went on to La Coruna, which was a very nice place, too. The weather had cleared up and we had magnificent views from Hercules’ Tower. I was a bit nervous about our arrangements in this port, since there were no posted reviews of Best Private Tours or Luca. I would recommend booking with him in the future. He is able to arrange tours out of most European cruise ports. Had I had a few more hours of notice, I would have contacted him about booking something after our Lorient guide cancelled on us. Oporto: We joined a tour booked by one of the others in our Roll Call through Tours by Locals to the Douro Valley. Our guide was Orquidea. She was very good and very nice. This tour is beautiful, with jaw dropping sights at every turn. There is a lot of driving involved in getting down to the valley floor from Oporto. It took us over three hours to reach Pinhao. We had beautiful, clear weather. Had it been raining, it would have been a really scary ride. There are many, many curving narrow roads with sharp, hairpin turns. That being said, I loved this day! We had a spectacular lunch at Quinta do Portal. The setting for this lunch was beautiful! The food delicious, and the company of our guide and the others in our tour was lovely. We then went to the winery for a port tasting. Who knew that port wine came in three colors! They were all delicious, too! As long as you’re aware of all the driving, this is a very worthwhile tour. Lisbon: I arranged for a private tour with Alex at Top Ten Tours. Alex is a wonderful guide! Another best guide for this trip! We went to Sintra, Caiscais, and Lisbon. The van he used is brand new and has wi-fi! This was yet another day that we had spectacular weather! The Pena Palace above Sintra is a really beautiful place! Our pictures there are incredible. I think if I had it to do again, I would skip Caiscais and spend more time in Lisbon. I do want to go back to Lisbon again. If you have a chance to book a day with Alex, do it! He is really wonderful! Cadiz: We took the train from Cadiz to Seville with two others from our Roll Call. The train station is located right across the street and around the corner from the port. It couldn’t have been more simple. The people we travelled with arranged for a walking tour of Seville with Marta Casals. She was very good! We were with her for three hours and we visited the Plaza de Espana, the Cathedral, the Alcazar, and the Barrio Santa Cruz, among other places. Marta made the very most of our short time with her. She is another of our “very best” guides for this trip. Post-Cruise: Sadly, our time aboard Marina had to come to an end. We spent two nights in Barcelona, at the Catalonia Catedral Hotel in the Gothic Quarter that was located right across the square from the old Cathedral. We had been to Barcelona before, and this was our favorite part of the city. Our first day was spent wandering the curvy streets of the Gothic Quarter. On our second day, we booked a full day trip to Montserrat with Spanish Trails. They are awesome! Our guide, Dan, was yet another amazing guide. Montserrat is unbelievably beautiful! We had an amazing lunch at a restaurant in the national park at the foot of Montserrat. We then visited a vineyard for wine tasting. We ended our day at the overlook at Montjuic, with Barcelona spread out at our feet. Our day included all expenses. I recommend Spanish Trails very highly. I will be booking some of their other day trips when we return to Barcelona. Overall Impressions: The Marina is an exceptional ship and this itinerary was fantastic. We enjoyed every second of our vacation and have already booked our next trip aboard Marina.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2013
We decided to take this cruise specifically for the itinerary. It started on London went to Norwegian Fjords and Ireland (as well as other but wanted to see these ports. We have cruised 9 times on the "usual suspects" of cruise ... Read More
We decided to take this cruise specifically for the itinerary. It started on London went to Norwegian Fjords and Ireland (as well as other but wanted to see these ports. We have cruised 9 times on the "usual suspects" of cruise lines before this. People would always ask "so how was the food". For us, cruise food has always been mediocre - not many ways you can do a buffet. Oceania has set the bar when it comes to food. A+++. Where else can you get grilled lobster tails and huge shrimp at the casual grill every night. Service was also top notch. They failed us the same places so many have noted. Excursions. A total rip off for what you get and so far out of line when it comes to pricing. Entertainment - there really isn't any at night. One fellow guess who has sailed with Oceania in the past pointed out that the majority of entertainers and signers, etc are actually cruise ship workers. The person serving you breakfast in the morning will be the one signing and dancing for you tonight. And they are just plain bad. It is also clear that Oceania has made this a conscious choice.I did not a fellow cruiser on this trip that did not complain about the exact same things. Most all of them have also told them this on their feedback forms and yet they still do nothing about it. It is clear they made the trade off for excelling on the food and service areas and not wanting to be better in these other areas. Bottom line: If you want to go on a cruise where the food is world class and go to be after dinner ever evening then this cruise is probably for you. However, if you are interested in any form of night life or entertainment, then even the great food will not make up for this huge weak spot. Read Less
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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