27 Oceania Marina Cruise Reviews for Repositioning Cruises to Transatlantic

This was to be the cruise of a lifetime. A chance for my wife to visit some of the many places I had visited while on business travel. Titled by Oceania “Museums to Mosaics” We called it the “Cruise from Hell” along with some ... Read More
This was to be the cruise of a lifetime. A chance for my wife to visit some of the many places I had visited while on business travel. Titled by Oceania “Museums to Mosaics” We called it the “Cruise from Hell” along with some other long time (29 Oceania cruises) cruisers. Things stated going downhill at our second port – Halifax. It was very cold and started snowing as were leaving the port. The next morning there was over a foot of snow on the swimming pool and deck. Many of the crew members had never seen snow and found it fascinating. The visit to St Johns, Newfoundland was canceled due to stormy weather. My wife had lived in Newfoundland 50 years ago and was anxious to see how it had changed over the years. All in all it was a very disappointing start to the cruise. Crossing the Atlantic in the heavy seas for five days did get many people quite queasy, which led to distributing barf bags by the elevators. It was rough enough that safety belts for the beds would have been appreciated. People had to hold on to the railings and walls to go along the corridors to keep from falling. When we arrived in Cork, Ireland the wind was very strong with sideways rain and very cold. Fortunately the Jameson Distillery tour was indoors. The visit to Dublin for the next day was canceled due to heavy seas and gale force winds so we spent the day in our cabin in Cork. The next disappointment was arriving in London/South Hampton on Good Friday. I had really wanted my wife to at least have a brief visit in London. This meant there was to be no visit after planning on it for a year and half (since we had booked the trip). We were not informed of the no London tours until I asked the Destination Services manager when we were going to be able to select them on the cruise. We had asked out travel agent prior to the trip when we were going to be able to schedule a London tour (like all the others we preselected) but were told we had to wait until we got on the ship. Then we then proceeded to visit Bordeaux on Easter Monday, which is a celebrated holiday in France, with practically everything closed. The next stop in Biarritz was canceled due to heavy seas in the Bay of Biscay (that precluded using tenders to disembark). I guess Oceania is not aware that the Bay of Biscay is notorious for rough seas. The last straw was visiting Malaga on May Day, May 1st – another holiday with the shops closed. The tour was supposed to be easy – the guide had very poor English skills and appeared to be trying out for the Olympic speed walking team. My wife had to sit down and wait for the tour to return with no available free rest rooms. To Summarize: Cruise Length 28 days Sea days 8 scheduled (11 total) Missed ports 3 total Stop not available due holiday 1 (London) Ports limited due to holiday 3 I understand that Oceania does not control the weather. However, they do control the scheduling. In previous years the “repositioning cruise” had been scheduled in May. If the cruise had been scheduled just a week later, Good Friday would have been at sea, Easter would have been in Cork and London would have been available for a visit. I had expected that Oceania would take holidays into account when scheduling trips and try to optimize passenger enjoyment. I guess I was wrong. The message this sends is that passenger satisfaction is a sorry second to revenue maximization. Oceania does many things quite well. The food is good albeit somewhat uneven in the specialty restaurants. The desserts in the Grand dining Room are superb and the crew members we interacted with were well trained, friendly and courteous. The entertainment was much better than previous cruises and the comedian (Martin Beaumont) was terrific in both his shows. We paid over $30,000 for what we consider a $15,000 cruise at best. I had hoped Oceania would have reached out to people who had done the 28 day cruise but after 2 ½ weeks we have heard nothing from Oceania. Never again do we plan cruising on Oceania or any of its’ related lines. Postscript: We did complain to Oceania thru our travel agent and received a very disappointing self serving reply offering a $600 total ship credit on another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The itinerary of this Trans Atlantic (Montreal - Southampton, starting May 8) was great. The Marina and Riviera are our favorite ships. Unfortunately the embarkation was in another port than planned. The dis-organization was complete ... Read More
The itinerary of this Trans Atlantic (Montreal - Southampton, starting May 8) was great. The Marina and Riviera are our favorite ships. Unfortunately the embarkation was in another port than planned. The dis-organization was complete there. No Oceania-crew visible. Long waiting and nobody taking care at our luggage. I decided to do that job myself and at the end I personally put my luggage in the bus. The food was ok but has been better in the past. Alas too often bread is dried out, cutting the sllzes too far in advance. About 50% of the fruit at breakfast was unripe. The 'fresh' orange juice was probably never fresh. Why not admit?! At dinner not much variation on the menu and the ingredients seem to be cheaper than in the past. Some waiters are not as friendly as we were used to in the past. The Barista was excellent as always, as were the smoothies. The entertainment was as usual: not very good. Too loud screaming 'soprano's' are even more annoying when we are trying to talk during happy hour. However, we are not really cruising for the entertainment. There was a very good lecturer fro GB. The officers, even including the CD are hardly visible. I saw an other review with the following complaint about that: "Whilst we don't normally participate in trivia and other activities, we are normally on nodding terms at the very least with the Cruise Director. This is the first time that I have NEVER seen a Cruise Director around the ship..... Activities, particularly on sea days, were uninspired". I can only say that being invisible was the best this CD could do: Who would like to meet this unfriendly and rude man when enjoying your holiday? Not me. Wer still like Oceania, but we hope the down grading will stop. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This cruise was listed as going from Montreal to Southampton and when we booked (end of 2016 onboard) we opted to take their air/ground package. We flew first to Brussels from Manchester and then onto Montreal. Coming home (to get back ... Read More
This cruise was listed as going from Montreal to Southampton and when we booked (end of 2016 onboard) we opted to take their air/ground package. We flew first to Brussels from Manchester and then onto Montreal. Coming home (to get back to the car) Oceania booked us a BA flight from T5. Surprisingly we were the only people on our inbound Air Canada flight although we met another passenger at Montreal from Birmingham (there was a coach load came in later in the day from LHR). It was at this point we discovered that due to the level of the St. Lawrence waterway Marina could not get under the Laviolette bridge at Trois-Rivières so the cruise would start there rather than in Montreal. We were informed that our package now covered the 2hr bus ride to the new location the next day and thus we were sent on our way to the Fairmont Chateau-Champlain for the night. [Apparently Oceania had known this since the previous Friday – this was Monday – and whilst I had received three emails saying ‘Book onboard’ from them I had heard nothing about the change in plans – either directly or via my agent. When I went online that evening the website had already been changed!]. Having arrived early in the afternoon we got out and made the most of the sun in Montreal – the same the next morning too before we had to check out. The coach transfer was interesting as we saw the flooded land all the way along the road. Trois-Rivières turned out to be a lovely town and they tried very hard to do everything for us. This was their first ever turn around and they did themselves proud. We were onboard by about 1pm and our cabin (Concierge level) was ready inside 30 minutes – just time to grab some library books and a bite to eat. With an overnight in this port we now had plenty of time and made the most of it with a walk the first afternoon to get our bearings and then a longer one the next day to Le Parc de l’île Saint-Quentin where we saw the flooding first hand and had close ups with the wildlife (woodpeckers, marmots, black squirrels, tree creepers to name a few). A lovely town and the people came down to see the ship from the promenade….. The next port was Québec. The ship parks near the centre and it is a short walk through the old port and up to round town (the only walled city north of Mexico!). We followed a tourist walk (avoiding all the road works/digging) and then did the Dufferin Terrace and the Governors Walk to the Plains of Abraham before returning to the ship through Petit-Champlain. Another lovely sunny day and lots to see, good chance to try French again….. The day after was Saguenay and what a change those miles east made. We started with snow flurries and in the wind it felt below freezing – it was a shame for the locals in that few ventured far, even in the afternoon when the sun got out (although it didn’t feel much warmer!) Still the shops sold a lot of thermal wear…. A sea day next and all the usual activities onboard a cruise ship (lectures, trivia, games) as well as Oceania’s specialities – the Cuisine Centre (fee charged) and the art classes (free). Corner Brook was our first stop in Newfoundland and again we met snow flurries but soon the sun shone and we were on the free shuttle to town where we did a small trail walk (Three Bears) with views over the city and then the Corner Brook Stream and Gorge Trail. Again it was cool and the small craft market in the local mall (Sunday) did a good line in woollen gloves/hats. The next day we were in France. St Pierre and Miquelon are a group of islands just off Newfoundland that is a self-governing overseas territory of France (spot the tricolor and EU flags). Today was sunny but with a cold wind and whilst we took a shuttle into town we walked back (Monday today and a lot of shops/services are closed). In the afternoon we climbed the hill behind the ship and did a hike to Cap a l’Aigle viewpoint and then beyond two lakes (Etang Frecker) into the country. Its quite bleak and grey beyond the treeline but the views were great. We then had to do another immigration into Canada to be able to call at St. Johns. St. John’s was much acclaimed by many onboard compared to the previous three ports (more to do, bigger place, more shops) but I’d enjoyed exploring the smaller locations and we had plenty to see and walk. We walked from the ship up Signal Hill and then round on a circular route past Ladies Lookout , Cuckold Bay – where Marconi’s message was received – and into Quidi Vidi village and harbour (very quaint) before heading back to town past the lake. We even manged to find a coffee shop for lunch with live local music – impromptu but fun. It was warmer here but strange to see so many homeless/beggars – including younger girls – they were all polite though. We left Canada at 2pm and then it was three days across the Atlantic. This was our first ocean crossing and we weren’t sure we would find enough to do (that we liked). The first full day was a bit bumpy but realistically it was a very smooth crossing – just grey and cool all the way. It was also quite windy – one day had a 30+knot wind across the deck and the upper decks were all closed for safety. This led to the walkers being inventive (indoors and out) to do their daily exercise! Finally, landfall at Cobh (for Cork). Immigration had to be completed (face to face) onboard before you could go ashore. Cobh is a lovely little place with lots to see, it was the last landfall of the Titanic of course. Cork is a train ride away (the station is next to the ship) but most people decided after their visit it wasn’t worth it – another ‘big city’. It also had a few demonstrations on – one in support of the Palestinians and then a couple both for and against the repeal of the 8th amendment. Next day (Sunday) was Dublin and a chance to see the Book of Kells. I’d booked my tickets online before we left home and it certainly jumped the queue (even at 10am) but it was so busy. Lots of tour groups of course – some of whom didn’t seem that interested… The Trinity College Library is just awesome. Monday was Holyhead (Holy Island off Anglesey) and whilst most of the tours went to North Wales we made the most of the sun and warmth and walked the Anglesey Coastal path – friends went to Treaddur Bay on the bus. The shuttle here was provided by the town and it became swamped at lunchtime (especially as it coincided with a ferry loading for Dublin – traffic jam!). Much better result for the day than we imagined. Then our final half day at sea (working our way round Wales and Cornwall to Portland) so plenty of time to be packed before our trip into Weymouth. The town put on the shuttle again which dropped us near the old port. Again, it was a bit of an issue getting back at peak time, but the sun was shining, and it could have been worse – just a shame there was no drop off near Chesil Beach for a walk. Then overnight into Southampton and the easternmost pier (splendid view of all the cars for export!) and the start of the trip home. Disembarkation was easy and efficient. This was a great itinerary (interesting ports and a mid-Atlantic crossing) spoilt by the weather. We concluded that Marina with her open deck, no covered pool and constrained inside space is not such an appropriate choice where good weather is not guaranteed. I would however love to do these ports in Canada again later in the season when everything was open and active and see the ‘real’ region. Otherwise we enjoyed the cruise and met some interesting people. There were more Brits than usual (about 200 in 1230) but we were still well outnumbered by the North Americans. Quite a few had done the previous voyage as a back to back (from Miami up the eastern seaboard) and some were carrying on for the next voyage down the coast of France and Spain. We had over 800 Oceania Club (past passengers) members onboard and the highest ranking had sailed over 900 days at sea with Oceania. The food was very good although I’m glad to report portion sizes in the speciality restaurants had reduced slightly which I was all in favour of. The Grand Dining Room continued to shine with different menus every day. Many people made use of it for breakfast and lunch too. Afternoon Tea was usually busy and now features ‘special days’ such as Cupcake Tea, Éclair Tea and Chocolate Tea. The Vegan breakfast bar (for smoothies, juices and other non-dairy options) in Waves Grill worked well and I enjoyed the variety on offer. Staff were friendly and helpful although there were one or two small language issues across counters. The Terrace Café buffet was fully served which obviously helps control health issues and food wastage. We also noted toiletries were replaced based on consumption and thus there were times when you ran quite short until the next service; another small cost cutting exercise I presume. Restocking and refuelling seem to occur in various locations throughout the voyage and this seemed to work well as the fresh fruit held to the end (even if the natural Greek yoghurt ran out with three days to go). Rather than take a drinks package we chose the 7-bottle wine package (effectively half a bottle a day) and between that, buying the odd drink and the Captains Cocktail reception (free drinks for all on one evening for a couple of hours) that was more than enough for our requirements on the 15-day sailing. WiFi is available free to all (one item per stateroom) but it was very slow at times – especially on sea days. It also restricts access to streaming and video. You can pay extra for access to such sites – but then access doesn’t guarantee bandwidth to use them! The coffee shop, Baristas, was again well used and seemed a focus of the ship at times. The main crew were Italian females who worked in the mornings (doing service in Toscana in the evening). Other bar staff took the afternoon shift. Behind this is the library and I felt disappointed that there seemed less books than previously (we were on early and went straight there and allowing for the back to backers). I didn’t see that many new books and the shelf labelled New York Times Best Sellers was used for other purposes. The Guest Exchange had also disappeared – people dropped them wherever rather than in the Games Room where the shelf was designated but poorly filled. The Concierge Lounge was nearly always busy, and its coffee machine struggled for a while before breaking down under the strain. Eventually three engineers turned up to replace it with a new one. The Spa Deck to which we have access was used sparingly due to the weather – even some sunny times were closed due to the wind. The new Concierge inclusion of up to three bags of laundry (max. of 20 items per bag) worked well for us although I still did a big self-wash/dry on the last at sea morning so I came home with almost everything clean. This bundled laundry was offered across the ship on some days at a fixed price (circa $25), the launderette is still $4 for a wash and dry. The balcony was not used as much as usual because of the weather conditions but I did use it in port on a few days. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
My sister had taken a similar repositioning cruise a year ago (Lisbon to Rio) and said it was the best (out of 50 or so cruises), the food, the service, etc. We found the food exceptional, to the point that the diet began half way through ... Read More
My sister had taken a similar repositioning cruise a year ago (Lisbon to Rio) and said it was the best (out of 50 or so cruises), the food, the service, etc. We found the food exceptional, to the point that the diet began half way through the cruise, due to our weak will power in the early half. We did cheat occasionally on the crossing portion. The added-on amenities re gratuities, land-based tours, air fare, internet etc., all made it attractive. Loved the Barista coffee efforts and afternoon tea. At first we thought oceania was too secular with no Christmas/holiday decorations, then one night the staff did a fabulous job, trees, lights, wreathes, and had a big reveal of a life size gingerbread house up and running. There was a limited Sunday service on one Sunday, and a Hanukah candle lighting effort. We have travelled Holland America and know they make an effort to have a priest on board for religious services. With 1/3 or so of the ship empty, I would think that a great PR gesture would be to bump up passengers to a higher category, e.g. one or two above their booked arrangements. How to make a customer even more loyal! I challenge the entertainment people to help all with diets and discipline, e.g have a weigh in on the first and last day with simple prizes to the smallest gainers! I'm serious!!!! Accompanying that, the fitness area should have nutrition seminars, given the age demographics of the cruisers. There may have been something but I missed it and the concern that I would be hit by a big bill, e.g. my wife came back from a $200 massage that helped! I also think that in the dining rooms, it would be so simple to ask the size of the portion requested, e.g. small, medium or large, rather than waste food. I found the library weak on layout and titles, compared to the Nautica. Luckily, we both had loaded up our tablets. Given the size of the ship, on board (crossing) activities were limited, although we did enjoy 2 of the movies and the dance groups in the Marina. I regret not using the fitness area more. I appreciated the enrichment speaker, particularly her presentation on migration to America. As a semi-retired professor/teacher, I give her full marks. On a six day crossing, so much more (e.g. 2x a day) could be given on interesting topics, e.g. Christmas traditions across the world, academic opportunities to learn re other Oceania cruises to become better informed, e.g. about Britain and Brexit, Scandinavia, the Mediterranean countries, European locations re WW1 and WW2, history of early ocean/new world crossings, e.g. the Leif Erikkson and the Vikings, and the other early explorers, Vasco de Game, Magellan and the Portuguese, Captains Cook and Vancouver. I saw where the Chinese may have been to Kenya long before Europeans. Other aspects of major crossings, the slave trade, formation of hurricanes off Cape Verde, the gulf stream, pollution of the oceans with plastics. I found the early arrival costs inhibiting, e.g. the diversion fare to come a few days earlier, and the hotels that Oceania were advertising in Barcelona, e.g. $400+ per person per night as an example. Knowing that Barcelona with its recent terrorist strike, and separation referendum has plummeted tourism, it would have been a welcome move to make early travel more inviting and welcome to the Barcelona and Catalonian economy. Following the insider news on the situation, could have reassured potential passengers of the safety. Would we do Oceania again. By all means! Hopefully my thoughts are considered seriously. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Spain and Transatlantic on Oceania Marina We are a couple in our mid 50s and mid 60s, who were looking forward to trying something new after many years of cruising with Celebrity. We were looking for higher quality food and service than ... Read More
Spain and Transatlantic on Oceania Marina We are a couple in our mid 50s and mid 60s, who were looking forward to trying something new after many years of cruising with Celebrity. We were looking for higher quality food and service than Celebrity now offers, but also good entertainment, and some “new to us” ports, and this cruise with its Spain and Canary Island itinerary, plus a relaxing few days crossing the Atlantic sounded perfect to us. We spent four days pre-cruise in Barcelona at the Hotel 1898 which was excellent. Barcelona was uncrowded as we were out of season, so it was perfect for sightseeing. The Gaudi houses are a must-see and so is Sagrada Familia, which is a little closer to being finished than last time we saw it. We also took a private Montserrat and Cava tour with Barcelona Day Tours. There wasn’t a lot to see at Montserrat as the funicular was closed for renovation, and as it was bitterly cold we didn’t fancy any of the hikes. We did get to enjoy listening to the boys choir in the church there, and we did buy some excellent local cheese! Cava tasting at Art Cava was fun. On then to the cruise portion of our trip. We were in Concierge Class Verandah 10067, and had the O Life features of unlimited wifi, wine with lunch and dinner, and gratuities included. We are new to Oceania and had a wonderful first impression of the cruise line and the ship Marina. Check in was very quick and easy and we notice that no one was trying to sell us packages for drinks or specialty restaurants or even stopping us to take our photo. We were directed up to the buffet, which from past experience on other cruise lines has been a nightmare. Marina was much more civilised with staff serving the food for you and waiters carrying your food to the table for you. We actually enjoyed embarkation lunch this time! Marina is a smaller ship that we have been sailing on recently, but she is beautifully decorated and furnished, and spotlessly clean. We had a concierge level cabin and were very impressed with the layout, especially the marble bathroom, which had a proper bathtub with shower, as well as a separate shower cubicle. We liked the selection of Bulgari toiletries and the bath salts, and loved the abundance of soft towels that were provided. I had requested hypoallergenic bedding through my travel agent as I am allergic to feathers. Unfortunately there were feather pillows and bedding in the room, so the request had not reached Oceania. Our cabin attendant was very apologetic and said that she would make sure everything was changed during evening turndown service, and she did. We had very positive experiences with the food on Marina. I am not a person who likes to eat with strangers, so it was nice to have no problem getting a table for two. We typically ate breakfast at the buffet on sea days, and ordered room service on port days. Every time our room service order was exactly right, nothing was ever missing, which makes a pleasant change from other cruiselines we have sailed on! We ate lunch and dinner in the main dining room most days and the food was consistently good and the service was excellent. We had wines with meals included in our fare and found there was a good selection to choose from, although by about day five they were out of the french rose. Specialty restaurants on Oceania are included, and I easily made my reservations online before we sailed. In the end we ate twice at Red Ginger, once at Jacques and once at Polo Grill. The food was outstanding in all three. We had to cancel our Toscana reservation and never got round to rebooking as we enjoyed the main dining room so much. Afternoon tea was a wonderful experience, and the scones were delicious! We bought a package of assorted spa treatments, and had two couples massages, and two solo massages. They were pricy but enjoyable. The pool area was uncrowded and we had no trouble getting a sunbed, or ten! It really was deserted. Entertainment is where I felt things went a little awry. The singers and dancers were very talented, as were the live musicians, but, and it’s a big BUT, the music was not geared to my age group at all, it was aimed at much older demographic who like music from the 40’s, 50s and 60s and want to ballroom dance. Whether it was the production show “Songs of Peggy Lee” or “Music From The Brill Building” it was music from the same era. Only the “Dancing Fool” show gave a brief nod to the 1970’s. The Orchestra, The Party Band and Claude at the Piano all seemed to have the same repertoire. How many times can you hear Moon River, Route 66, Hit The Road Jack and Fever before you want to curl up and die? The string quartet were excellent and they, fortunately were allowed to play classical music, which made a welcome change. After a few nights we gave up trying to stay up for the late night happy hour at 10:30pm so maybe we missed out on more up to date music then, I don’t know. Daytime entertainment was very low key, with trivia, needlepoint and coffee, spa lectures and a guest speaker. We have done Transatlantic crossings before so were prepared and amused ourselves with books and puzzles we had brought with us. I also spent many an hour soaking in the bathtub, reading! I have to say I was a bit dubious about how good the wi-fi would be, especially if a large number of passengers had unlimited wifi included with O Life, and also because we were crossing the Atlantic. It was in fact really good. I was even able to download ebooks from my local library in the USA when we were half way across the Atlantic! Our itinerary had three ports in mainland Spain and two in the Canary Islands. We looked at ship tours but they didn’t really have anything that looked interesting to us and very few tours under $300 per person, so we booked small group semi-private tours through Spain Day Tours instead, for around $100 per person. From Alicante we visited Guadalest, from Malaga the Alhambra in Granada, and from Cadiz the Alcazar in Seville. We travelled on comfortable new coaches and had really good english speaking guides. In Tenerife we took a tour up to the top of the volcano and it was really interesting seeing the difference between the beach level, the forest area and the lava fields. Again this was organised through Spain Day Tours, and again the guide was good but this bus wasn’t as nice as the others. Our final tour was a ship tour on the island of La Palma. It was a bit disappointing. We did a short hike around the caldera, then visited an old house with wine and tapas to taste and then a church. It was low key and a bit boring compared to our other tours. At the end of the cruise it was refreshing to not experience waiters and cabin attendants grovelling and guilting you into ranking them a 10 whether or not you felt their service deserved it. Perhaps the Marina staff knew they would be getting 10s anyway because they really had provided exceptional service. Disembarkation was really easy. We were among the last groups called and were off the ship very quickly. In conclusion, the cruise was very nice, but we were really looking forward to getting off in Miami. Marina is a lovely ship, the food is outstanding, and the crew really go out of their way to please you, but I don’t think I have found my new cruise home yet. It’s a trade off and at this point I don’t think I am ready to give up livelier entertainment and more modern music in favour of a quiet more sedate experience with better food. Perhaps in 20 years time when people my age might be their target market, I’ll try Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I love the Marina due to its comfort level in all aspects--stateroom, dining venues, crew and staff. I was on the inaugural sailing, and the Marina remains the same outstanding ship. I have done multiple transatlantics, but knowing ... Read More
I love the Marina due to its comfort level in all aspects--stateroom, dining venues, crew and staff. I was on the inaugural sailing, and the Marina remains the same outstanding ship. I have done multiple transatlantics, but knowing this ship and very much needing a nice relaxing trip, I chose the Marina. You cannot beat the crew and staff. They are there for every part of your trip. Boris, Restaurant Manager, runs a near perfect department as does our General Manager. The Concierge Lounge is a lovely feature, and I take advantage of having the internet available there, coffee, late afternoon snacks if you miss lunch, newspapers, and port maps. I think this Destination staff were excellent, and their program seemed to be much smoother than some in the past. I like the free laundry as this is a new feature. I bought my laundry coins when I boarded and nothing was said about having the free laundry. They did; however, refund my coins, but it would have been nice to know about In advance. Guess I don't read things carefully. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
If you are a foodie, or you just like to eat, then Oceania is the cruise line for you. We've taken 26 cruises on 11 different lines, and this was by far the best food we've ever had. Even at the buffets, the quality and variety ... Read More
If you are a foodie, or you just like to eat, then Oceania is the cruise line for you. We've taken 26 cruises on 11 different lines, and this was by far the best food we've ever had. Even at the buffets, the quality and variety were superior to other lines, including luxury lines. Four speciality restaurants, all free, all with large varied menus, all lovely inviting spaces. A different menu each evening in the Main Dining Room. And the poolside grill had the best burgers and hot dogs we've ever had on sea. All food experiences were comparable to good dining on land, sometimes comparable to highly-rated on land restaurants. Come hungry and leave satisfied. The features of the cruising experience worked well: Smooth and quick embarkation and disembarkation; easy exits at ports with free shuttles into town; very good to excellent service, especially from the bar staff; the best fitness center I've ever used at sea. The Marina is an attractive ship, in very good condition, with lots of uncrowded public spaces inside and out. The ship is loaded with valuable art and at times felt like traveling in a carefully-planned gallery. We slept in a Penthouse stateroom, so we had plenty of space with the walk-in closet, full bathroom, and comfortable seating and eating areas. Stateroom service was good. Entertainment was similar to most cruise ships: Small production shows featuring pop songs and a few featured performers. Some shows were entertaining, some not so much. Your basic cruise ship fare. My only complaint has to do with the lack of activities on board. There were the usual trivia and ping pong contests, one guest lecturer, a clever country fair one day, but mostly we were left to our own devices to entertain ourselves. I expected this, after reading CC reviews, and we filled our days with reading, painting, and exercise. Oh, and I should mention that this is not a ship for those who love night life. Most guests retired early, after an early dinner, and definitely after the show. By 11:00 PM you could find only a dozen or so about. We mostly take crossings, and this was a repositioning, so it fit our needs. We made an open deposit for a future cruise and will return when we find the right itinerary, probably for a crossing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We have taken a number of river boat trips and cruises on Disney and Princess. This was our first Oceania cruise and we were not dissappointed.. The food and service were excellent. Oceania clearly deserves it reputation. The specailty ... Read More
We have taken a number of river boat trips and cruises on Disney and Princess. This was our first Oceania cruise and we were not dissappointed.. The food and service were excellent. Oceania clearly deserves it reputation. The specailty restaurants were outstanding. The wi-fy workedmostly well though at times it was a bit slow. The ship was only 70% full so there were not any crouds. Fellow passangers were very friendly. My only complaint was that the guides for the excursions did not use voice/ whisper boxes so it was hard to hear the guides at times. The ship was spotless. The crew was exeptionally friendly. There was plenty of space to relax and read. There was good music in the various lounges. Frankly I thought crossng the Atlantic would allow for a lot of down time to read but there were too many things to do aboard the ship.. I would definitley cruise Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
A fabulous crossing from Barcelona to Miami. The absolute best cuisine at sea. Despite the December transAtlantic, the ocean cooperated with calm seas and mild weather. The ship, service, LaReserve, food & wine at its best! We ... Read More
A fabulous crossing from Barcelona to Miami. The absolute best cuisine at sea. Despite the December transAtlantic, the ocean cooperated with calm seas and mild weather. The ship, service, LaReserve, food & wine at its best! We enjoy sea days, having experienced 6 crossings. Marina (and sister ship) are the largest ships we ever cruise - a perfect size for us. Food quality is reliably superb. Wine selections generous by the glass - and good variety of premium wine for dinner venues. Barista's coffee bar is an early morning gathering place for cruisers. Fitness Center is busy on sea days mid-mornings; the band/orchestra played good jazz, easy listening, and dancing music. Pianist offered excellent arrangements and easy music for pre-dining cocktails. Wish we had booked a B2B and stayed on board for the next leg of the itinerary. Peaceful and beautiful relaxing cruise across the Atlantic Ocean. We'll be back! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise because it had an interesting itinerary (Cape Verde, Dakar, St. Barts etc) for a transatlantic crossing, and because as a TA it was very cost effective on a per-day basis compared to some other O cruises. This was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it had an interesting itinerary (Cape Verde, Dakar, St. Barts etc) for a transatlantic crossing, and because as a TA it was very cost effective on a per-day basis compared to some other O cruises. This was our 5th cruise on Oceania, so you can tell the line is a good fit for us. The food was very good, with some slightly updated items on the menus (not just your mother's food) and a lot of 'special' events for the TA (6 themed dinners in Terraces, Gala Tea, Sunday brunch in the main dining room, etc.). Specialty restaurants uniformly high quality. Marina is very well maintained, with traditional and transitional (not contemporary, but not stuffy) decor in high quality materials. Beds and linens wonderful. Service friendly and professional. Really appreciate (and take advantage of) the corkage policy that allows you to bring your own wine to dinner for a $25 corkage fee. Bar and sommelier staff offered several special tastings (old vs new world wine, scotch/whiskey, and much more). Lecturers quite good (better than some in the past), plenty of activities to choose on sea days. Can't speak to entertainment, we are early to bed types. TV offerings nothing amazing, but plenty to choose from as long as you don't need lots of US sports coverage. There are more movies on offer than a few years ago (when it seemed like there was a 3 or 4 day cycle, now more like a couple weeks' cycle), and you can always check out DVDs from a large menu at the front desk. Internet adequate for a cruise ship, did cut out for about 10 hours overnight one night due to ship's position apparently. Made some new friends, and found lots of interesting folks to talk with. Weren't sure if 21 days and 11 sea days would be "too much", but as it turns out we had nothing to worry about and would have been happy to stay on longer :) Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I chose for the itinerary and no-charge specialty restaurants. I travel solo and like the choice of several restaurants where I can eat alone or join others. The Penthouse on Marina is very roomy, and you can order dinner in from any of ... Read More
I chose for the itinerary and no-charge specialty restaurants. I travel solo and like the choice of several restaurants where I can eat alone or join others. The Penthouse on Marina is very roomy, and you can order dinner in from any of the specialty restaurant menus. I like that buffet food is served to passenger's plate rather than self-serve which minimizes cross-contamination. On my cruise there were two main lecturers, one who concentrated on WWII and the other, more general on port stops and his travel experiences. entertainment is not lavish: singers and dancers and soloists (singers or musicians),who were quite good, and the occasional comedian. I have two complaints about Oceania: their shore excursions are greatly overpriced, and they are not totally inclusive: alcoholic drinks are extra +18%, and gratuities are extra. There are packages for drinks and excursions and usually a shipboard credit to help pay for extras. I didn't use the pool, but there seemed to be no problem getting a deck chair. Because of my itinerary Transatlantic and the time of year, there were no children on board. I don't think Oceania caters to children. I plan two future Oceania cruises which is the true test of satisfaction. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We have travelled on several other cruise lines which were less expensive on numerous occasions but never on Oceania. However, chose this cruise because of the itinerary and some good offers. Our cabin was very nice but similar to those we ... Read More
We have travelled on several other cruise lines which were less expensive on numerous occasions but never on Oceania. However, chose this cruise because of the itinerary and some good offers. Our cabin was very nice but similar to those we have had on HAL, Princess and even Carnival. Bedding was lovely. However, the service was excellent everywhere. Food was, on the whole, excellent, with plenty of choice though one or two disappointments in the speciality restaurants (most of the courses were wonderful, it was just a matter of either the starter or the main course not quite up to expectations). Temperature on the ship was pleasant all the time, even though we started in fairly cool Lisbon and ended in hot and humid Rio. We have been on cruises where we had to wear jackets indoors at the start or where the a/c was so high it was quite cold in the public rooms. Entertainment was what we expected and catered to a more discerning clientelle, though the song and dance shows performed by the ship's entertainment staff were lively and very well done. Met lots of pleasant passengers and generally had a great time. Like the idea of saving up Big O points to get a nice prize at the end of the cruise rather than a pack of cards or undrinkable champagne. We thought that the Oceania shore excursions looked rather expensive so chose to have the considerable shipboard credit offered to us and make our own shore trip plans. Did put average in the shore excursion box because we were not able to leave this blank. When we have saved up will go on Oceania again! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We prefer slightly smaller ships but in the same or better class. This was our first exposure to Oceania and we were comparing this experience to Seabourn. The ship was very nice and the Penthouse Suite was just a bit larger than the ... Read More
We prefer slightly smaller ships but in the same or better class. This was our first exposure to Oceania and we were comparing this experience to Seabourn. The ship was very nice and the Penthouse Suite was just a bit larger than the standard suite on Seabourn. Food was very good overall and the 4 specialty restaurants were a pleasant surprise--we tried all of them and a couple of them more than once. But I did notice they used a lot of salt in their menus--I would have preferred a bit less salt. Cooking classes were fully booked so I did not get to participate in those. Only one show per night was surprising for a ship with 1000 passengers (ship was not full so don't know if this was the norm). Decor and public areas were very nice but it took a bit to find those "special places" to hang out on sea days. Shore excursions on Cape Verde and Recife were marginal. We did an independent excursion from Cadiz to Seville which was much better than the one done by the ship (having compared notes with those who took that one). Overall a very good cruiseline--we would definitely take another Oceania cruise but Seabourn is a bit better. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Here is another 5 star review for Oceania and the Marina. My wife and I are in our mid 60’s have cruised before, but this was our first time on Oceania. We have always wanted to cruise with Oceania, especially on the Marina or Riviera, ... Read More
Here is another 5 star review for Oceania and the Marina. My wife and I are in our mid 60’s have cruised before, but this was our first time on Oceania. We have always wanted to cruise with Oceania, especially on the Marina or Riviera, but never found the right itinerary at the right time. Our travel agency had a pre cruise program in Lisbon and a post cruise program in Rio de Janeiro. But these were independent of the cruise line, so I won’t comment on them. This cruise from Lisbon to Rio was about 75% full. Nothing seemed crowded or full. You could always get a reservation in a specialty restaurant, especially if you were willing to share and a bit flexible on time. When we dined in a specialty restaurant, we noticed a few empty tables, especially tables of 8, but never tables for 2. We had high expectations for the food, and they were met. We dined in all of the specialty restaurants, and had room service with some of their offerings and were pleased with all of our choices. We liked them all, but if forced to choose, we enjoyed Jacques most of all – but it is hard to focus only on the food and not be influenced by the service. That said, we very much enjoyed the Grand Dining Room (GDR), so much so that when our butler offered to make a reservation in a specialty restaurant late in the cruise, we told him we wanted to eat in the GDR. The food was always delicious in the GDR, and lots of choice. Frequently we had breakfast and lunch there also. On longer voyages, there is a “Sunday Brunch” buffet in the GDR. They take out a number of tables in the centre section and do a wonderful display of delicious offerings. We did have the opportunity to eat in La Reserve, but chose not to, as the food (and wine) more that met our expectations elsewhere. Also I did walk through "afternoon tea" in one of the lounges. There was always an array of appealing small sandwiches and pastries (and drink - both tea and champagne), but I didn't indulge (you have to draw the line somewhere). We had a beverage package included in our cruise. We typically only drink wine with our meals on weekends, very few cocktails or mixed drinks. The “by-the-glass” program has some OK choices, and some not OK (to our palate). I don’t think we would pay for a beverage package if it had not been included. With our SBC we bought some of the higher priced wines from the wine lists (each specialty restaurant has a “private” list too). But that’s our choice. So think carefully about your drinking habits on the ship, as well as at home, before choosing the beverage package. My wife and I were “blown away” with the service; people remembering your name, officers willing to speak with you, and our butler Churchill was amazing. We didn’t think we would use/need a butler, but he anticipated our needs before we even had them! For example, after a day long shore excursion, he would have appetizers waiting for us. One night we had a reservation in Polo, but my wife had a bad headache, and wanted to lay low in our suite. He served a dinner from the various specialty restaurants. It was terrific. He was very personable and wanted to do everything he could to make our cruise a memorable experience. Boarding in Lisbon was a bit of a pain. That’s because we were a bus-load of people arriving at the same time. Lisbon has a series of tents to go through (the building is under construction). But once we were on the ship everything was fine. When we booked this cruise, we were concerned about crossing the Atlantic and how much movement there would be (and if we would get sea sick). But it was a piece of cake. The worst “rollicking” was the first night along the coast of Portugal, but nothing that disturbed our appetites, just trying to walk a straight line down the hall. Was it crossing the Equator, the ship's stabilizers or the luck of the draw? Who knows? While on the cruise, I read on Cruise Critic about gratuities. Our travel agent got us a great deal with a large Shipboard credit (SBC), free Internet, a beverage package and prepaid gratuities. There are refundable and non-refundable SBC. Towards the end of the cruise, we noticed that we would not be using up our SBC, and we asked about the options. They were non-refundable, so we “donated” the excess SBC to the gratuity poll, rather than the excess going back to the company. We didn’t attend many ‘enrichment” activities, but the few we did attend were fine. Same with the entertainment, we went to a couple of shows, but nothing was outstanding. They did have a silly ceremony to commemorate crossing the Equator, the afternoon before we crossed. We did not use the spa, but I did use the gym and it was adequate for my needs. The machines I used were available and I could use the fitness studio when I wanted (although I did plan to make sure it was free). We went on 5 Oceania shore excursions. They were all OK, except the one in Rio. He lectured us on the corruption of the Brazilian leadership/government for the first 20 minutes on the bus. The “redeeming” part was the stunning blue sky day we had to go up to the Christ the Redeemer statue (it’s magnificent) and the drive-by of the Ipanema and Copacabana beaches (they are stunning) and the Samba stadium. Disembarkation was flawless even though I had inadvertently packed my Oceania pass card in my luggage. And, yes, in case you were wondering, we enjoyed ourselves so much that we booked our next cruise on the Marina in the fall of 2017. I did notice that the Marina is sailing this itinerary again in 2018 with a couple of small changes and I would recommend this itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We just returned from our 16 day Crossing cruise. We have been on 2 other Oceania cruises which I thoroughly enjoyed. Those 2 cruises were on the smaller ships, Regatta and Nautica. On the smaller ships we had PH staterooms and they ... Read More
We just returned from our 16 day Crossing cruise. We have been on 2 other Oceania cruises which I thoroughly enjoyed. Those 2 cruises were on the smaller ships, Regatta and Nautica. On the smaller ships we had PH staterooms and they were wonderful. I really did not like the Veranda stateroom onthe Marina. I felt that the placement of the closet was awful. I lived out of my suitcase which I had placed on the sofa for the entire cruise. The room size was adequate but the design is awful. I would not go on the Marina again if I had to have a Veranda stateroom. Plus, we heard the slamming and bamming of the drawers and closet doors from our neighboring rooms that was also thoroughly annoying. I have never heard this noise on other cruises/ships. The bathroom is a lovely room which they ruined by trying to put too much into the space. A big tub and a small, small shower. As for the rest of the ship and cruise. The ship is beautiful. The atmosphere is sedate, low energy. The food is great. The specialty restaurants are wonderful, tho difficult to impossible to get in to, especially if you want to eat before 8 pm. The frequent cruisers know the tricks for getting their reservations early. The rest of the cruise is what is to be expected. Oceania is not about entertainment. It is about cruising and interesting ports. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Overall this was a most enjoyable cruise. Our(my wife and I) criteria for judging the cruise:- Embarcation. In this case it was a bit disjointed. So far our trips with other lines meant the suitcases were taken from the bus/coach and the ... Read More
Overall this was a most enjoyable cruise. Our(my wife and I) criteria for judging the cruise:- Embarcation. In this case it was a bit disjointed. So far our trips with other lines meant the suitcases were taken from the bus/coach and the next we saw of them was in the cabin. This time we had to collect the cases and take them to the shed which proved a little difficult because of the surface of the pavement. The registration was a bit chaotic, principally due to the Ebola scare in effect, and not very smooth. Disembarcation was very well handled, although the port in Rio was a disaster zone because of road works. Itinerary. We are more interested in sailing than visiting cruise ports, thus chose the transatlantic trip. However I was also looking forward to visiting Brazil. As it turned out Cadiz was the most interesting stop, and I saw nothing in the three Brazilian ports( Recife, Salvador, Rio) that would cause me to go back. Accommodations. First class. We had a Concierge class stateroom, and wanted for nothing. The Cabin Steward was Kosta. He was excellent. We did get flooded out and had to move. This was due to a burst toilet pipe. In general there were several problems with the toilet flushing mechanism, and many times the plumbers were on the decks dealing with this. Dining. It can only be described as the acme of culinary delights. We had many meals in the GDR with no fault in the quality, apart from one instance when one of our group ordered the shrimp risotto with squid ink. It came with three tiny shrimp and should never have left the kitchen.The fresh fruit at breakfast was frequently hard ( contrasting with the fruit in the hotel we stayed in post cruise which was heaven on earth). We had a really substandard burger in the Waves restaurant and never went back there. We had bookings in all Specialty restaurants. The outstanding favourite of our group of six people was Polo, followed by Red Ginger, then Jacques and Toscana a distant last. There was a bizarre occurence while in Salvador.During the evening meal a large group of people ( we were subsequently told they were local travel agents) were led in and occupied the centre of the Dining Room. Virtually all service stopped for about 45 minutes and our main course took about one hour to arrive. Service. Overall very good. We had a couple of spotty experiences in the GDR but put it down to staff just arrived on board. The wine waiters were almost without exception superb, especially Andrii. We did have an unfortunate episode where a wine waiter argued with one of our group that the coloured liquer he delivered was Cointreau. The Maitre d' came over to apologise. The drinks servers were excellent and hard working in particular Rosslyn. Beverages. An eclectic drinks and wine menu. We could not believe the range of spirits. I felt almost any of the wines by the glass choices were excellent-- apart from the La Terre choice. A nice touch was to give you the shaker, with remaining liquid, in the Martini's bar, but only in the Martini's bar. Entertainment. We do not go on sea voyages and expect high class acts, and therefore were not disappointed. This was our first Oceania cruise and the pricing was most favourable. As usual the whole was marred by the flight arrangements and I wouldn't go through that again Summary. I would wholeheartedly endorse Oceania if this cruise is typical Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Background: My husband and I are experienced cruisers, having sailed on many lines, including Cunard, Regent, Silversea, Celebrity and Holland America. We enjoy sailing primarily to relax, and look for comfortable, spacious staterooms or ... Read More
Background: My husband and I are experienced cruisers, having sailed on many lines, including Cunard, Regent, Silversea, Celebrity and Holland America. We enjoy sailing primarily to relax, and look for comfortable, spacious staterooms or suites, excellent food, excellent service and interesting itineraries. This was our first sailing with Oceania. Summary: Although we found the food outstanding, the service excellent and the Marina a spotless, pleasant ship, we did not particularly enjoy this cruise. Our small, cramped, concierge stateroom was not conducive to relaxation. It was difficult to store our clothing and retrieve it due to the small closet and lack of drawer space. The shower was also very small and difficult to use. The bed was quite comfortable, and the lighting excellent. Servicing of the stateroom was timely and excellent. Public rooms were attractive but not always available for use when we wished to relax and read. For example, the lovely, forward observation lounge was set aside for art auctions on sea days and for travel agent presentations on port days. The chairs at the side of the room were pushed up against the windows to make room for scores of "art" pieces. I have never before experienced a large forward lounge being used for art auctions on a ship. Although many comments we read prior to sailing indicated the ship spacious, we found it crowded. Perhaps not having the observation lounge available for significant amounts of time contributed to the issue. The elevators, which are very small, were also an issue at many times. Just not enough of them. We have never before had elevator issues on a ship. The Library was also small and cramped, with seats filled every time we visited. All and all, we have decided to skip Oceania in the future, although we did think the food was outstanding, and the crew most professional and helpful. Our opinion is certainly not shared by all as over 1,000 passengers on this sailing were repeats. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
This was our first Oceania cruise, although we have cruised many times before on various cruise lines and locations. We had a great time and met many, many nice people. We especially enjoyed the Trivia games, the Bridge lessons and the Mah ... Read More
This was our first Oceania cruise, although we have cruised many times before on various cruise lines and locations. We had a great time and met many, many nice people. We especially enjoyed the Trivia games, the Bridge lessons and the Mah Jongg sessions! We made friends at all of these activities, and if you are reading this, you know who you are! We also enjoyed visiting the various ports of call. although it was disappointing that we have to cancel two ports of call, due to the bad weather/ice. But better safe than sorry. -- and we did see icebergs not very far away! The food was very good to delicious, and there was good variety. We liked the fact that we could get smaller meals/sandwiches at lunch, rather than more big, dinner-style meals. Thanks to all who posted advice/notices etc. on CC prior to the Cruise, as this was very helpful to first-time Oceania cruisers. I will definitely check out CC every time we cruise from now on. Thanks also to Mura and Ron and any others who organized the M&G. We took most of the ship's excursions, which were all quite good, but seemed more expensive than on other lines we have experienced. They were no better or worse, no more or less crowded than on the other lines. We met quite a number of fellow travelers who either arranged for outside tours or did not take any excursions at all. I think Oceania should look into the price of their excursions, as it appears that many fell that they are too expensive. Several similar cruise lines are now including excursions as part of their price. As for the enrichment activities--the talks by the outside lecturers were great, especially the music professor. The cooking classes were interesting and the Chef was very fun, with delicious recipes. We also liked the Bridge lessons and thought the teacher, Barbara, was very generous with her handouts and very knowledgeable and interesting in her presentations. All in all, it was a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
My husband and I chose this cruise to meet two requirements– he wanted to go to Rio and I wanted to go on a cruise! Based on that requirement and the time we were able to go, only Oceania and Regent had itineraries that worked (and they ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise to meet two requirements– he wanted to go to Rio and I wanted to go on a cruise! Based on that requirement and the time we were able to go, only Oceania and Regent had itineraries that worked (and they were identical). So based on our TA’s recommendation and our own preferences based on what we’d read on Cruise Critic about both lines, we chose the Marina for our cruise. Before boarding the ship, we spent a few days in Paris and a few days in Barcelona. In Paris we stayed at the Best Western Premier L’Horset Opera, conveniently located close to the Opera Garnier and the Louvre. Advice: go to the Louvre first thing in the morning, and use the entry that is in the shopping center below the museum. You get in quick, and if you are lucky, as we were, you can see the Venus de Milo in a completely empty room, and the Mona Lisa with only 50 other people rather than 1,000. In Barcelona, we stayed at the Renaissance Barcelona Hotel on Pau Claris, again, really nicely situated for many sights, and shopping. Also easy access to the Metro. A must see in Barcelona was La Sagrada Familia. We made prior reservations online for entry and for a tower climb, but the weather was bad and the towers weren’t open. But we didn’t have to stand in line in the rain to buy tickets. Highly recommend getting tickets in advance. Embarkation to the ship was a breeze – we got there at around 10.30am, and were in our suite by 11.15am, with our luggage by 11.30. Super easy. The ship is everything that has already been said about it – beautiful and classy. And the staff is amazing. We were onboard for 19 days, and I can’t think of one time when service was below excellent. We had some issues with technical equipment in our suite, which was resolved by the ship buying new equipment in Gibraltar, since it turned out the glitch was because we were trying to use new technology and the ship is two years old (and therefore out of date!). But the efforts of our butler (Lector), the GM (Dominique) and the Concierge (Javier) were outstanding. We never felt unheard. Some observations on the ship: Clientele – upscale, well travelled. We heard some comments from long time Oceania cruisers that this itinerary had attracted some “overly entitled” folks, and we did see a bit of that, especially when it came to seating and access on the tour buses. A large contingent of more senior folks that sometimes behaved like high school kids without a chaperone…pushing and shoving and cutting in line. But overall, a relaxed, country club atmosphere. There was also a large number of LGBT on this cruise, including us, and we never had any concerns. The clientele is sophisticated, smart and accepting…..and we felt totally at home. The spa is fantastic, but the steam room is very small. The gym is great, but got very crowded on sea days. As is normal on ships, massages and other treatments were very expensive, but we enjoyed them anyways. Entertainment – we didn’t ever go to the Marina Lounge except to disembark for excursions. The Casino is small, and the selection of games is a bit weak. But the staff is very friendly and Nico did a great job making me feel at home. Food – there is little to say here except I want the cookbook. Red Ginger is amazing, Toscana and Polo are wonderful, Jacques is enjoyable. However, the lack of rotation on the menus at the specialty restaurants meant the choices got a bit repetitive. The Grand Dining Room – we ate there twice. The second time was for Thanks Giving Dinner, and I have to say it was the worst meal on board. I don’t think the chefs “got the concept”. We never ate at Waves Grill, and we regret that. We were told on our last day that it’s one of the highlights. Who knew? The Terrace Buffet was adequate, apart from never being able to find a table and sometimes the service was slow to non-existent, especially if you were seated inside towards the entry doors to the Grill. Butler service – if you are blessed to have one, USE it. We did course by course in suite dining, we did last minute reservations at Red Ginger, we did a cocktail party with canapés….we got advice and information on ports of call, we got laundry expedited…..you name it. Let the butler do his/her job. At first, it was a bit weird to have a hovering attendant during meals, but by the mid-point of the trip, he was becoming a highlight! Lector made a huge difference in our enjoyment of the cruise. Suite – an amazing space. We were in 12009 Oceania Suite. Glorious indulgence. The media room separate from the bedroom meant my husband and I could indulge in our different rest/entertainment needs without any issues. The balcony and Jacuzzi were an indulgence that we used a lot. The only issues I’d have with the suite was the overly complicated lighting (we never did work out what switch did what, and in the middle of the night trying to turn on one bathroom light, we sometimes got a Vegas style light show instead), and the glass doors which negated the isolation of the bedroom from the rest of the suite (particularly during said Vegas light shows). Some observations on the itinerary: Cartagena – didn’t really do much here. Went ashore and walked around. Gibraltar – wonderful experience. Did the “Walking Tour of the Upper Rock” excursion, and the guide (Karen) couldn’t have been better. We got so much out of this tour, we forgot the outrageous cost for excursions that Oceania charge. Lanzarote – it was raining, and our submarine tour was cancelled due to lack of interest. Also, scheduling a port stop on a Sunday in a place that closes down on Sundays was never a good idea. The place was shut. Tenerife – amazing tour “Canadas del Tiede”. The bizarre Martian landscape of the volcano was worth every penny, and the House of Balconies in La Oratavia was wonderful. The lunch we could have skipped. Cape Verde – don’t get off the ship. Really. Recife – unless you go to Olinda, another “why?” port. Again, this port stop was scheduled for a Monday, a day that all the museums in the city are closed. Bad timing by Oceania since this information is publically available. Salvador de Bahia – we enjoyed this very much, and will return. We did the “Highlights of Salvador” tour, and it was worth it to get a sense of place and geography, so that on the second day, we wandered around on our own and got a more in depth look at some of the places on the tour. Buzios – we did the “Swim by Schooner” tour….but the water was too cold for real enjoyment. Afterwards, we took a cab to a different beach away from the town, and had a relaxing beach afternoon. Beautiful. Rio de Janeiro – we did the “Best of Rio” 8 hour tour. Again, the lunch could have been skipped. Sugarloaf and the Corcovado was basically the rest of the tour. We had two more days in Rio, and went back to Corcovado again, when it was sunny. It was a lot less expensive and pretty simple to do by ourselves, but probably again partly due to the fact that we had some familiarity from doing the tour. Disembarkation – we were off the ship by 9am, and we organized our car service through our hotel – a cost of about $100, compared to Oceania asking for $395. We stayed two days at the JW Marriott at Copacabana – which was great, but after being away for a month, we were both a bit “tired of touring” so we stayed inside and watched movies for the most part! Flights – all arranged with Delta, not using Oceania. We used points and flew Business Elite – and now we can never do coach again. Overall observations: Oceania is not for you if you want exciting entertainment and partying. It’s not for you if you have young kids. If you want an upscale resort experience, excellent service and food, to return home feeling relaxed and rejuvenated….and maybe a little wiser about the destinations you’ve been to….then Oceania is a good choice.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
This was our 20th cruise . We started in 2007, and have travelled with Celebrity, (Elite) HAL and Regent, amongst others. Embarkation was quite slow.We appreciated NOT having the often seen picture-taking employee. We noted that there was ... Read More
This was our 20th cruise . We started in 2007, and have travelled with Celebrity, (Elite) HAL and Regent, amongst others. Embarkation was quite slow.We appreciated NOT having the often seen picture-taking employee. We noted that there was no welcoming sparkling wine ( I dislike seeing people refer to champagne when it is not), possibly because Oceania frequent travellers get a bottle of sparkling wine in their cabin.We had booked a guaranteed balcony cabin,and our cabin was very well positioned, a few steps to the elevator,one floor up from the MDR, with no issue whatsoever with noise. We found the service excellent; neither familiar,nor pompous or obsequious. The food was delicious,well prepared and presented, and the portions were not obscene. The specialty restaurants were very good as well. Food preferences are objective; no need to comment. We found the cruise director,Roy Perez, somewhat lacking in easy- going and sunny personality. Mind you, the poor fellow had to defend against ethnocentric jabs from Americans who objected to his"accent". Entertainment was so so,but the classical quartet,a regular feature on the ship, which welcomes you upon arrival, was lovely. Two excursions were cancelled. Considering that they pride themselves on unique destinations, it makes me wonder about the reliability of the itinerary.. L'Anse aux Meadows was one, apparently because of potential icebergs. This was a disappointment, as it was one of the salient reasons for our choice. This is the area where you find the earliest Viking presence(11th century) in North America. The second cancellation still baffles us. This was Falmouth. There were numerous sail boats out. The ship log noted small waves of 4.9ft and wind speed of 18 knots. As a sailor,I scratched my head when hearing the captain say that it was not safe to tender.... Some of us found unusual that he had to back out of the Dublin port, seemingly having difficulty making a forward exit. I am not sure how to say this delicately, but our trip was marred by the rudeness of some passagers, all from the same area of the US. Other passengers had warned us, but we had to experience it to believe it. One of them, for instance, came to us as we were seating in a lounge, and asked us to move as it was "his" seat. I will not waste my time with other examples,too many for us.Despite the cancellation of the port prior to disembarkation which allowed the ship to sail early , and an announcement that we would be in Southampton at 4:30am, the ship only docked at 7am. There was some mechanical problem which delayed the luggage being put to shore. It did not bother us as we travel with our carry on only,having experienced too many luggage issues before such practice. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Embarkation and disembarcation. Due to the time I had to leave my hotel and other factors, I arrived at the pier in New York shortly after embarkation began. I waited in line 45 minutes to get to check-in. From there the process went ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarcation. Due to the time I had to leave my hotel and other factors, I arrived at the pier in New York shortly after embarkation began. I waited in line 45 minutes to get to check-in. From there the process went quickly. The receptionist took an impression of my credit card, my photograph, and some other details and in almost no time I had my Oceania card and was on the Marina. The line was considerably shorter as I walked on the ship than when I started, emphasizing that to avoid lines one is often best advised to be at the pier no earlier than a couple of hours after embarkation is scheduled to begin. One piece of luggage was waiting when I arrived at the cabin, and there was the usual mysterious pause until the balance arrived. Disembarkation was a breeze. My group was called on time. I walked off the ship, picked up my luggage, and was on my way to the airport in minutes. The Ship. This was my second sailing on the Marina. She is a beautiful ship and has been well maintained. Unfortunately art auctions were a feature of the cruise, and some of the art work being sold was exhibited in the corridors, especially on the fifth deck. It would be charitable to say these paintings do not complement the dEcor of the Marina. It would be more accurate to say they detract from and cheapen the experience of being on a lovely ship. I don't know how much money the auctions make as a result of displaying the artwork in passenger areas, but I doubt it is worth the esthetic price. On this cruise, and to me, it seemed as though the smoking regulations were adhered to strictly. I know other people have had other experiences on other cruises, but the only time I so much as sniffed a cigarette was once when I walked through the smoking area near the pool. Other times in and near smoking areas I smelled nothing, suggesting the cleaning personnel are doing a good job, which I appreciate. Cabin. I have no objection to the size of the veranda cabin, but I wish there was more drawer space. The shower stalls are still a little cramped, but past that the bathrooms are fine. Ports. I found some of the ports we visited in Canada to be uninteresting and wonder why they were on the itinerary. The best or worst example of this was Corner Brook where one participant in a ship's tour returned complaining about "a three-hour tour in a 15-minute town." I saw Corner Brook on my own and agree with that assessment. Halifax and Sydney were almost as unimpressive. In my view the cruise would have been better if an overnight or two in Quebec or Montreal had been substituted for the Nova Scotia and Newfoundland ports except for L'anse aux Meadows. Located at the tip of Newfoundland, L'anse aux Meadows was the site of a Viking settlement of about the year 1000 which has been recreated. Unfortunately, an iceberg at the port made it too risky to go there so I can say little about L'anse aux Meadows except the literature made it look promising. Passengers could not disembark at Falmouth due to rough seas. In both cases it was the captain who made the decisions, and as far as I was aware there was no grumbling from the passengers, although Lavenderrabbit1 who reviewed the Transatlantic on Cruise Critic said he did not think the seas were too rough to use the tenders in Falmouth. The captain may have been acting from an abundance of caution, but I think he did the right thing considering the criticism he and the line would have been subjected to had any passenger been injured by a misstep into a heaving tender. I signed up for the cruse knowing that we would arrive in Amsterdam at 2:00 pm and Copenhagen at noon. We were at both ports until late in the evening, but a number of museums and other places close at 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm and for me afternoon arrivals resulted in rushed days. This was particularly true in Amsterdam where there was a further delay to have passports stamped after leaving the ship. I think it would have been better to have overnighted in Amsterdam and Copenhagen and left late the next afternoon. This would have made for a longer cruise but a better use of time. Evenings in St. Petersburg were a delight, particularly because we were there during the white nights of mid-summer. I had a Russian visa and saw St. Petersburg largely on my own, which I highly recommend. In addition to giving one the freedom to make detours and follow interesting paths it affords some look at life in the city, everything from watching people sunning (and making out) to seeing what daily shopping is like. On several occasions I noticed Petersburger -often young people--who unasked helped the elderly in the metro with packages or luggage. The excursions offered by Oceania seemed to me to be even more overpriced than usual. Travel on one's own in St. Petersburg is much cheaper. The 158 bus runs from the cruise terminal past the Primorskaya metro station from which one can get to major attractions. Rubles in denominations the bus driver will accept are available at ATMs in the cruise passenger terminal. Passengers. My fellow passengers were high points of the cruise. They were uniformly friendly and interesting. A good conversation could be started with any of them and at any place. Some of the best talks I had were in the laundry room, where life, history, and politics were among the topics. Most passengers seemed to be in their 60s, with those on the transatlantic tending a little older, but we had about half-dozen or ten teenagers on each cruise. I normally suggest that parents not take their teens or younger children on Oceania where there are no regular programs for young people and the atmosphere is geared to adults. The teens I met or observed were polite and well-behaved. As far as I could see they made no trouble for the adults. There was no reason to object to their presence aboard ship or ashore. I could not vouch, however, for how good a time they had, although the ever-obliging cruise staff put together a few events for the youngsters on these cruises. Food. Meals on the Marina matched or bettered those of highly-rated restaurants ashore. Many items are made on the Marina, including bread and ice cream (you wondered where those great flavors came from?) My favorite restaurant is Red Ginger, and my long-time favorites have been the sea bass and seafood grill. Based on the recommendation of a fellow-passenger I tried the crusted lamb, and I now have three favorites. The best single dish I had on the cruise, though, may be the veal Oscar in the Main Dining Room, and the best soup is possibly the onion soup in Jacques. And in good weather, nothing beats breakfast on the aft deck at the Terrace Cafe. Each cruise had one lavish breakfast buffet. The food was good, but the displays were not as artistic as I recall from prior cruises that featured simulated waterfalls of food and flowers carved out of fruit. And what happened to the ice carving demonstrations when a member of the mess crew would show how blocks of ice become ice sculptures? Service. As usual, service was impeccable. It even extended to crew members volunteering a few minutes from their own shore plans in St. Petersburg to make sure I could get from the public bus to the metro station. I did not need their help, but I appreciated the genuine concern for others that prompted the action. Our concierge, who was from Germany, was expert in getting us reservations at specialty restaurants and providing his own tips on the ports we visited. Our cabin steward, Ebner, quickly caught on to our rhythms and, for example, had ice delivered at the same time every afternoon. Entertainment and Lectures. I am one of the many passengers who tour during the day and only want a good dinner and a good bed at night. On sea days, however, particularly on the transatlantic, I enjoyed afternoon Trivia with our cruise director, Roy Perez, whose light touch and clever commentary kept the action moving and funny. You had to be there to understand the humor in the entire audience claiming to be from Sri Lanka! An oceanographer, Dr. Nolan or Knowland, gave consistently informative lectures on the sea including a series on the construction and launching of the Titanic. He also delivered what amounted to a short course on Russian history. I look forward to hearing from him on future cruises.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
IF you are looking for a cruise line with lots of parties, big time entertainment, lots of bars to "booze cruise", lots and lots of "stuff yourself mediocre buffet food and extreme high energy...".well this isn't ... Read More
IF you are looking for a cruise line with lots of parties, big time entertainment, lots of bars to "booze cruise", lots and lots of "stuff yourself mediocre buffet food and extreme high energy...".well this isn't your cruise line, so read no further. IF you enjoy peace and quiet, top quality food and service, good lecturers, fabulous High Tea and wonderful ports, this IS your cruise line and read on. We have enjoyed transatlantic cruising as we enjoy being with each other and can always find things to do. This cruise was excellent (with only a slight glitch that I will mention later). We really loved the size and wonderful style of this ship. Marina is beautiful in all aspects, from the lobby to the restaurants to the little nooks and crannies that make her what she is. We found that even at 60, we were still some of the youngest people on this cruise. Perhaps the 14 day excursion, perhaps the price or just perhaps this is the age group that is well travelled and sophisticated enough to enjoy this lifestyle. Many walkers and wheelchairs, that's for sure. The persons who we did come in contact with were delightful and shared many of the interests that we do. We enjoyed the cabin we had selected, which was a lower veranda concierge cabin, amidships (9086, deck 9). Although we used the concierge room once or twice (and it was excellent), I don't know that I would book again as the amenities everywhere on the ship were just as good. We have read complaints about the size of the drawers and the shower, but found everything ok with us. Yes, the shower is a bit tight (certainly the Solstice ships have this beat), but having a tub with bath salts beat it out! The shower pressure was great and we thought the bathroom very good for our needs. We always take a few light weight hangers with us, so we had no problems whatsoever with space for our three bags of clothes. The lap top computer was nice, but again, as a concierge amenity, could be done without. We thoroughly enjoyed the free bottled water each day as we consume quite a lot. Our room attendant was always there, making sure all our needs were attended to. We liked the Internet area and the Espresso bar (free!) and thought the Library area one of the best at sea! We did use the pool hot tubs and enjoyed it as well (the pool is also heated; nice touch). There are very few bars and lounges on this ship, but we did think they were great. The entertainment at each was well thought out and very pleasant. Now, let's get down to the food! We are avid foodies (I have been in charge of 30 restaurants and 40 bars in my profession). I KNOW how hard it is to have top quality food and service, especially onboard a vessel. We have tried all kinds of cruise ships (27th cruise) and truly think this is some of the best food at sea! Crystal, Holland America and Celebrity are the other ships we truly like, but this was very good to outstanding. Main Dining Room: The food and service in this room runs the gamut from okay to superior. As on any big cruiser, the service dominates how your food is going to come from the kitchen. We found the food product itself to be well seasoned and of superior quality than most ships. The food was not hot sometimes, but really depended on our server and the time we ate. IF we ate early (6:30-7:00 p.m.), our service was extremely good with all of the superior service you would expect (frenching the bread, attentive service, excellent attention to detail. IF you ate later and the servers had too many tables, most of this fell apart. Food missed, soups cold as they are brought out with your appetizer and left on the side stand). All in all though, we really enjoyed eating in the MDR as 90% of the time, they did a great job. The restaurants, all except La Reserve, are included in your fare, were truly outstanding. We ate each night at 7:00 in these outlets and found our food and service to be of superior quality. I have nothing bad to say about JACQUES, RED GINGER, TOSCANA or POLO GRILL. IF I had to put them in order of MY preference, it would be Toscana, Red Ginger, Jacques and Polo Grill. This is just my taste and in NO way lessens the quality of the meals we had. IF you ate in these outlets each night, you would have a meal as good, if not better, than most great NYC restaurants. We ate at LA RESERVE twice! This is a cost plus dining experience (about $120 per person by the time you are finished). They change this wine dinner each week, so we went to both. This DR only seats 24 persons and was never filled to capacity on our voyage (Too bad for those who missed it!). The seven course meal was outstanding, along with the wine pairings with them. The staff was superb in their service and deserves great kudos for the job they do! The buffet serves very good food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We never did get around to having dinner there, but enjoyed our other meals there. The selections, again, were of top quality. I especially enjoyed the cheese cart, with all of the wonderful French cheeses each day. Desserts and breads on most cruise lines are usually the worst part of the culinary experience. The Pastry chef on this line makes some of the best desserts on the sea. His breads, especially the croissants that are baked each day, were as good as if eating in a cafe on Paris! Finally, the pool grill, which I didn't think we would eat at much, was great. Imagine a Kobe Cheeseburger or a Filet Mignon and Lobster Tail Burger! Yes, they are there, along with handmade milkshakes (all at no extra cost!). Bravo to all of the chefs and service personnel on board! We will book again because of YOU! IF you want to have a really fun time and love to cook, want to learn, or just go and watch, please try out the Culinary Arts classes. Both Chefs, Noelle Barille and Annie Copps, put on a great 2 hour class that we really enjoyed. We went to three different classes and had a ball. I have a lot of respect for these two ladies, as this kitchen lets people put knives in their hands (Yikes). IF you want to enjoy yourself, while having top notch professionals teach and entertain you, this is well worth the price. Excursions: I will make this fast as there weren't too many. Bermuda: Not so sure what the hype is about Bermuda. We took and island tour and it was okay. Yes, the beaches are beautiful, but I, myself, would prefer the Caribbean. Funchal: Again, did an excursion through the ship and had a nice time here. Tangiers: Another excursion thru the ship and was truly surprised that I liked Morocco so much, It's a destination that I would like to go back to and explore more of the country. We stayed two extra days in Barcelona (which I find close to Paris as one of the best European food experiences). Stayed at the Hotel MAJESTIC, which was as good as any Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons in the world. Debarkation was a snap and our trip home through Delta airlines (booked by Oceania) was great. So my final IF....IF you want a great trip in the air, DO NOT USE AMERICAN AIRLINES!! ) Anytime we have used American, bad things happen, or the service and food is ghastly! Oceania needs to work with some other airline. Yes we booked through Oceania as they include the airfare in the price of the cruise. I would NOT do that again! We ALWAYS book our own air, and anytime we go on any cruise experience, we stay one day early in the port of departure, Didn't do it this time and it almost ruined our cruise. Won't get into lengthy detail, but just to say that American plane malfunctions forced us to be 3 hours late to Miami and we were told that we would have to find our own way to Bermuda to board the ship. As it happened, the ship left two hours late and we were able to board. It was the most stress we have ever incurred on a cruise, and I learned a lesson. THIS was the only thing that we thought was poor on the part of Oceania. Not the malfunction, but the way we were treated by their representatives at the Miami airport. Clearly NOT the service standard that we had hoped for. Thank goodness that the ships' crew shined on and our experience was saved. IF you worry about what this cruise line costs then you probably shouldn't be on their ships. I can only state that we felt every dime we paid out was well worth it and the Price/Value was extremely good for what you receive. Although our next voyage is back on Celebrity, we have booked for next year on Marina again. We look forward to the exceptional services that we enjoyed this time and hope that it will be as good the next. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
Crossing the Atlantic on Oceania's Marina Looking for a real vacation with minimal running around and maximum of peace, quiet, water and sky, my husband and I decided to book a trans-Atlantic cruise. We were familiar with ... Read More
Crossing the Atlantic on Oceania's Marina Looking for a real vacation with minimal running around and maximum of peace, quiet, water and sky, my husband and I decided to book a trans-Atlantic cruise. We were familiar with Oceania's cruises from a previous Mediterranean cruise, and also we were very tempted by the much reduced price of trans-Atlantic cruises, when ships were repositioning from the Caribbean to Europe, or vice versa. Our choice fell on Marina, the newest ship of the company, a mid-size (about 1200 passengers) new vessel leaving from Miami and arriving to Barcelona 14 days later, after stops in Bermuda, Madeira and Tangiers. I am not sure what to praise first. Let's start with the ship. Very nice cabins -- we chose a regular veranda cabin with no butlers and other fancy appendages. The bathroom was incredible, I wish I had such a bathroom at home. All marble, separate tub and shower, many little drawers and shelves for all necessities. Plenty of storage in the cabin as well, a perfectly comfortable bed, a sofa, desk, TV, and wide doors opening on a veranda with direct access to the skies, the clouds, the sun, the moon and the ocean. Just plain luxury! The staff was multinational, and we ended up befriending the chambermaid, the waiters, the bartenders, the deck people, whose languages we knew or we tried to learn. The food was delicious, many choices of restaurants with no extra charge. My favourite place was the terrace opening from the buffet-style restaurant. Sipping my espresso there was the sublime restful moment of the day. Of course, plenty of chaise-longues everywhere to read or snooze, or chat with friends. Daily lectures on everything connected to our journey, entertainment, quizzes, music, I can't list all the amenities, there were so many. However, if you wanted quiet and relaxation, there were many little hidden places to enjoy your own choice of time. We loved coming to the highest deck with the whole wide night sky all around us. Every night we had a celestial show, with the moon, Jupiter and Venus changing places on the navy blue sky, among the ocean of stars reflecting in the ocean of water below. The three stops on the itinerary gave us insight on places we had not visited before. In Bermuda, we took the local bus and explored by ourselves the whole island, stopping for coffee or lunch, or just for an opportunity to do some walking, and then continuing on another bus. I am not going to describe Bermuda, probably most of our Trip-Advised have been there before. If not, please go. The colours of the houses and the flowers in the brilliant light are just amazing. Also there is a lot of history to investigate as well. People are friendly and helpful. Madeira, a Portuguese island, earns its name of Island of Flowers. Climbing on the side of a mountain, the capital city of Funchal houses one of the most colourful Botanical Gardens, as well as a captivating industry of home made embroideries. The views are superb, especially form the top part of the town with a wide view of the houses clinging to the sides of the mountain, the rich vegetation and the expanse of the ocean below with ships, sailboats and yachts adding their colours to the turquoise blue of the water. Our last stop was Tangiers, one of the main cities of Morocco. It was our first time on the African continent and we chose to take one of the ship's guided tours. A different world opened up, with crowded suks (markets), narrow alleys with people trying to sell you anything at any price you chose. Bargaining became a sport and, as expected, I ended up with some gorgeous local jewellery and long Moroccan gowns at seriously bargained prices. A young enterprising boy followed our group throughout the walking part trying to sell some copper bracelets. He was very cute and pushy in a polite way, and we all ended buying some from him, nice filigreed delicate bracelets. The journey ended in Barcelona. Many travellers probably chose to spend some time there, we had to return home, and so from the ship we were taken straight to the airport. Thinking back on this first crossing of the ocean, I am trying to think of my favourite parts. Of course, the ship, as comfortable and beautiful as can be. Of course the stops in places which left us with such memories of natural beauty and of exciting history. For my travel photographer husband, an immense richness of photography opportunities, of ever changing colours, shapes, shades, reflections... The best for me? The ocean, the sky, the clouds, the stars, being part of this immensity with no traffic, no noises, no overcrowding, no phones ringing. Just the ocean, the sky, the clouds and the stars. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
We've traveled on Oceania before and are always pleased with the quality of fellow passengers. On any transatlantic, the average age is 75+. We were in a concierge veranda room, which gave us access to daily newspapers and last minute ... Read More
We've traveled on Oceania before and are always pleased with the quality of fellow passengers. On any transatlantic, the average age is 75+. We were in a concierge veranda room, which gave us access to daily newspapers and last minute reservations at specialty restaurants. We received one evening each per our contract but could book any morning through the concierge. Our favority was Toscana, Red Ginger, Polo and Jacques in that order, but all the food was excellent. The room was large and it was great having access to a computer, although the shower was tiny. Europeans often prefer bathing and this ship was designed in Italy, but the passengers were overwhelmingly American. We visited Key West before the trip, Bermuda, Madeira, Tangier, and landed in Barcelona. On Bermuda we purchased daily transportation passes near the terminal. The highlight was St. Georges, as it was too cold for snorkeling. On Madeira I booked excursions for 6-8 people (recruited people onboard) with Happy Tours and on Tangier with Tifo. Both were much better and cheaper than cruise excursions. Trip ended in Barcelona, so there were many sea days. The lecturers were horrendous and I gave up after the first day to play bridgeeven though this was my first time to ever play duplicate. The food was so good that I had to concentrate on not gaining weight and worked out in the futness room every sea day. The room for group exercises is so small that it reminded me of my shower. I didn't realize until halfway through the cruise that you can purchase fitness room tickets for all group exercises and get reservations before other PAX. The nightly shows were generally good expecially the song and dance events. The violin concerto was excellent except it coincided with happy hour and drinking passengers were loud with no interest in classical music. Overall a very good cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
This is a late posting however, it somehow fell between the cracks in my schedule. We are long time Crystal Cruisers and we enjoy the uncrowded Crystal ships with their very personalized service and attention to detail. We decided on ... Read More
This is a late posting however, it somehow fell between the cracks in my schedule. We are long time Crystal Cruisers and we enjoy the uncrowded Crystal ships with their very personalized service and attention to detail. We decided on this cruise to both try Oceania and the timing was right for our schedule. We did the transatlantic crossing on 11/24/2011 from Rome to Miami, a 16 day voyage. I see Oceania as a Crystal quality wannabe but they have a long way to go. Although the ship has wonderful appointments and outstanding specialty restaurants, most of this is only of value to the passengers when the service matches the environment. Their specialty restaurants were all very good, main dining room was huge and we felt lie we were sitting down in a hole. Open seating was excellent and we met lots of nice folks. The staff had to constantly hustle due to the passenger: crew ratio and it showed in their response to passenger needs. Squeezing 1100 some people on the Marina is not exactly luxury. The Terrace restaurant allows for about 20% of the seating outside so on poor weather days, everyone is holding a tray looking for a table. Tables we seldom cleaned during breakfast quickly and it was obvious they were understaffed. The staff in the Terrace worked hard but there was no way they could handle the number of people on a rainy day. Too many times we saw nice window tales vacant with dishes and napkins piled on them forcing us to choose an inside table with no view. This brought back memories of army basic training but the food was much better. The rooms offered large couches and a few more square feet then Crystal but noticeably less storage space and only one sink in the bathroom. Each room came with a laptop computer so I decided to leave my laptop home and I brought my work on a memory stick. Surprise, there is no software on the Oceania provided laptop; no MS Word, excel, not even a text editor to type a brief message we could put in an email. Add $500+ for your internet bill on a 16 day cruise. We could use the laptop only to access the internet via their wireless network which only worked in the main computer room and a few select locations throughout the ship. Publishing this laptop in their brochures is purely a marketing ploy and has no functional value to the passengers. When using the internet, we needed to be logged on to simply type a text message or reply to an email. It became very expensive to communicate with the outside world while traveling on the Marina. This is not a cruise I would recommend for a business person who needs to get some work done while cruising. Better for a senior citizen who doesn't know how to use email yet. The tour advisors were clueless about many of the tours, had no idea what you would see other than the info published in the brochure. As a Rotarian, I called the front desk to ask about a service meeting on board. She had never heard about service meetings. I went to the front desk, asked again and found front desk personnel struggling to answer basic questions as they were in training. I finally found the service meeting as it appeared in a daily bulletin. . Lounge chairs around the pool were usually fully occupied during sunny days. Our first day at the pool, we waited for one hour before a waiter offered us a drink. After the first 30 min, my wife finally went and got her own hot chocolate. The lanes of chairs we lined up with little space between the lanes requiring passengers to walk carefully when moving around the lounge chairs. One day a women, I'm guessing in her 50's, tripped on the rear legs of the lounge chair and broke her foot or ankle. The medical team was quick to respond and she was taken to the medical room. We had lunch at the Grille; again we had to find a waiter to clean the table. Hamburgers were delivered lukewarm with no chocolate chip cookies to be found. The gelato was excellent. The cruise director was very annoying announcing every little thing, shades of our one and only Carnival cruise. We arrived at the Captain Welcome party 20 minutes late. There were no seats available and they ran out of wine glasses, hence no wine and we stood up along with about 50 other passengers. 11/26 Barcelona and the cattle call began as we stood waiting 30 minutes for the 2nd buss. Very poor planning. 1100 passengers and not enough buses. 11/27 -- Breakfast in the Terrace, better food than Carnival and the army but everything else was the same. Lunch in the Terrace was mobbed. We could not find two seats as we carried our trays of food. I finally asked the manager to help us. He walked the entire restaurant and finally found 2 seats at a table for four and asked the other passengers if we could join them. We asked 3 waiters for water before one of them finally got 2 glasses of water for us. 12/4 -- we had to call for soap. Our cabin steward forgot to leave soap for us. 12/5 -- Our room did not get cleaned until after 11AM. At 5PM today, as we were getting ready for dinner, our AC vent in the ceiling fell down from the ceiling missing me by one foot. It is a shame to see the staff try so hard, were well intentioned but just poorly trained. My advice to Oceania would be to start at the top and hire some top notch service executives and they could then deliver the service they profess in their brochures. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Marina Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.5
Dining 4.5 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 3.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 1.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 5.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 3.9

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