The South Pacific Islands and Easter Island had been on the bucket list for years, and we finally decided to take the plunge, sailing from Lima, Peru to Papeete, Tahiti on our favorite cruise line. Unfortunately it became apparent several ... Read More
The South Pacific Islands and Easter Island had been on the bucket list for years, and we finally decided to take the plunge, sailing from Lima, Peru to Papeete, Tahiti on our favorite cruise line. Unfortunately it became apparent several days into the cruise that some folks were suffering gastro illnesses, which turned into a full blown outbreak of Noro virus. The crew did their level best to staunch the spread, but, alas, we all know how insidious that illness can be. As I said, the crew did their best. And I'm happy to report that most of the passengers with whom I had contact made the best of a bad situation. Perhaps we were just lucky, but none of my new-found and old friends got sick. Guess we were careful about washing hands and using sanitizers provided everywhere on board. Just wish all had done so!
As I just said, we made the best of the situation and were able to enjoy a fabulous cruise, and we were not disappointed. As I mentioned, Easter Island (Rapa Nui, its traditional name) was on our itinerary for a two day opportunity to visit the island. We were fortunate to have as an on-board lecturer James Grant-Peterkin, a long time resident of the island. He was great, and each of his lectures turned out to be standing room only! And a group of CC members (ourselves included) had pre-booked the two day tour on EI with the tour company he owned, Easter Island Spirit, which certainly did not disappoint us in any way!
I'm sure many of you know just how 'iffy' it is to be able to go ashore on EI due to the sea swells usually encountered in this area of the Pacific, but I'm happy to report that the Marina was blessed to be able to accomplish this on not one, but both days. An experience not to be missed! Two days later we had the residents of Pitcairn Island board the ship with offerings made on the island. A great opportunity to meet these hardy folks.
Our on-board experience on this cruise was exceptional, which we have come to expect on Oceania (discounting the MINOR inconveniences of not having use of the self-service laundry and coffee machines). The entire staff who worked like dogs to control the noro, from cabin attendents through upper staff members, retained their cheerful, friendly attitudes. I'm sure the additional sanitizing duties had them all worn out, but you would never see it either in their faces nor their attitudes. They all deserved our gratitude, not our criticism!
The Marina was in her usual pristine condition - again discounting the noro, which was not the ship's fault, but rather the fault of those passengers who either picked up the bug on their flights or neglected rudimentary personal sanitation procedures.
All dining venues continued to please our personal preferences, and service was exemplary. Kudos to all!
Will we be back? OF COURSE!
In closing, I just want to point out a few items that folks here seem to blame Oceania for both of which are, and will continue to be, out of their control: boarding in Callao (Lima's port city) is not an Oceania shortfall; rather the blame lies with the port authority which owns/manages the port. And secondly, the outbreak of noro which is solely attributable to the passengers failure to practice hand washing/sanitizing, and to report illness promptly! Read Less