Oceania's two new ships, Marina and Riviera are supposedly identical. They carry twice as many passengers as the older ones. The public space reflects the increase in passengers, the decks are spacious and well appointed, they have ... Read More
Oceania's two new ships, Marina and Riviera are supposedly identical. They carry twice as many passengers as the older ones. The public space reflects the increase in passengers, the decks are spacious and well appointed, they have lost nothing in the increased size, the service is just as wonderful and attentive as before. But, that being said, it is a lot more people than the traditional 650 or so on the smaller ships. You feel this only in the fact that you never meet the same people twice...the ship is BIG!!!
The embarkation and disembarkation was spotlessly organized with virtually NO waiting, so this was a surprise given the amount of people. As you enter the ship, you will be floored by the amount of Lalique crystal,and incredible Murano glass decorates the ship throughout. The furnishings are stunning, but not flashy...and the main dining room is a wonder to behold. Our stateroom was larger than any of the other ships we have cruised on (Crystal, Seabourn, Silversea and Radisson) and the furnishings were beautiful. Our butler was around ALL the time, but unobtrusively.
The room was lovely, spacious and beautifully appointed, a stall shower plus a full size bath, a large walk in closet with every amenity a human being could want. I SHOULD mention though....try NOT to book the 11th floor...take the 9th or lower as the overhang on the 12th is a good ten feet larger on each side and blocks out the possibility of sun on your terrace...this is a big minus for me, so next time PH3 instead of PH1.
We booked our dining reservations through the internet the day after we booked, to insure that we got what we wanted when we wanted. The specialty dining was lovely, Jacques (the French) is a wonderful experience and one not to be missed. Red Ginger (the Asian) also, a stunning dining room, with an innovative menu, a real experience!! Toscana was good, but very much like the other ships, an Italian with all the trimmings. The Polo grill on this ship was disappointing, the steak was mediocre at best, and the first course left a lot to be desired. This restaurant needs some serious work (in my opinion) BUT the MAIN dining room was wonderful....there was something interesting every night on the menu, the service was impeccable, the sommeliers VERY well informed and we looked FORWARD to dining in the dining room.
I can't really say, as I didn't take an excursion ( we like to do our own thing in each town) but the excursions seemed VERY pricey to me, I would consider carefully each destination and decide whether or not an excursion is really necessary. The destination services provide you with a plethora of info about each town and how to navigate it.
We enjoyed the enrichment lectures, and were sorry there weren't more... but there were a lot of ports and very little time. I wasn't crazy about the entertainment to be honest. We tried it once or twice, and apart from a lovely quartet of brass, piano and guitar, we felt that the ship comes up short in this department...especially the pianist who I found particularly irritating (no concept of harmony at all?????) This is not really a problem when you have so many ports in a short period of time, but if I was sailing for an extended period, this would be very very annoying, and I would want to find out about the entertainment before I embark (cruises of 21 days and more)
In short, Oceania is one of the better cruise lines out there, price quality, it can't be beat, the food, the destinations, the service....really unparalleled. Read Less