9 Oceania Marina Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Caribbean - All

Although we've cruised a dozen times or more, mostly on Celebrity, we booked a December 17 Oceania sailing over Christmas, mostly for the long (12 night) itinerary. Although the Marina holds 1250 passengers, we kept hearing that our ... Read More
Although we've cruised a dozen times or more, mostly on Celebrity, we booked a December 17 Oceania sailing over Christmas, mostly for the long (12 night) itinerary. Although the Marina holds 1250 passengers, we kept hearing that our sailing carried only 810 passengers, so we certainly received the benefit of excellent passenger:staff ratio!! The food was terrific, and since the ship was not full, we were invited to enjoy each of the four specialty restaurants TWO times. We were particularly impressed that the dinners in the main dining room were equally as tasty, creative and varied as those in the specialty restaurants. Dinner at Red Ginger was my personal favourite, but my husband swooned over both red meat meals at Polo SteakHouse. I liked that I could dress up, or down, and always felt in line with other passengers. An over-riding theme of this trip was rough seas! This was our first experience on a smaller ship, and the 'discomfort' of high rolling seas dampened my enjoyment for about half the cruise. Many nights, the dining rooms were almost entirely empty, and a couple of nights we didn't feel comfortable leaving the cabin. Some of the crew confirmed for me that these were unusually rough seas, but I would pause before booking on a small ship again, as I could definitely feel the rolling waves under my feet. We were also on the 11th floor, which contributed to the motion. My husband and I are not in full agreement about this, but I felt that with a 12 night cruise, the entertainment became repetitive, and I missed the multiple options/venues available on a larger ship. We did not attend any of the big show productions, as there was only one show per night (9:30pm) and that always seemed to conflict with something else going on. The casino tables were very well used, but the slots were usually quiet. The small size of the casino meant lots of repetition there, also. The pool area was great and we spent at least a couple of hours a day relaxing on the comfortable chaises. We liked the gym -- unexpectedly good size for the size of the ship and seldom too busy. We didn't do any shore excursions. The Oceania excursions were too expensive for our budget, and since we'd been to most of the ports, we often stayed onboard and enjoyed the quiet pool deck. Finally, I was surprised and slightly disappointed at the lack of emphasis on the holiday (Christmas) season. Other than a decorated tree, and a 10 minute appearance of Santa on Christmas morning, there was very minimal attention to this being a 'holiday' cruise. So if you were booking a Christmas cruise thinking it would be a good substitution for lavish holiday customs, I think you'd be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
The March 21st Marina sailing was overall very good. ! The cruise overall was as usual with Oceania very enjoyable with lots of great dining! I only have four negative comments. First and most offensive was the Asst. Cruise Director ... Read More
The March 21st Marina sailing was overall very good. ! The cruise overall was as usual with Oceania very enjoyable with lots of great dining! I only have four negative comments. First and most offensive was the Asst. Cruise Director who was rude and inappropriate in dealing with guests. He has a mistakenly very high opinion of self, but does not belong on Oceania, maybe a Carnival three day Bahama cruise! Second, if you purchase transfers from Oceania and arrive on a red eye flight, the last thing you want is a city tour of Miami!!! Never transfers again since the bus transfer to the port on disembarkation was a chaotic mess at the Miami airport plus a three hour wait for the flight arranged by Oceania! Third, two of the ship shore excursions in Havana overlapped the same sights, and were of marginal quality. Fourth, the service and food quality in Toscana on the Marina needs help! On the Regatta, it was excellent! Our cabin steward for #10085, Cristine, was friendly and outstanding! Our waiter in Jacques, Juan from Guatemala was outstanding! All of the dining in Red Ginger, Polo, Grand Dining Room, Terrace Grill was outstanding with great service and food! The Waves Grill food is good, but the smoothie/ice cream section is too small for personnel and many needed more assistance and training. The personnel overall in the Terrace Grill were attentive and well trained. Also, the afternoon tea in Horizons lounge was very nice as usual on Oceania. I would also like to compliment the young lady from Germany who worked as the hostess in the 9th deck Concierge Lounge! She was very helpful and friendly to guests! Although this was just our second cruise with Oceania, we hope to do many more. Most od our prior cruising had been with HAL, but their overall service and food quality has seemed to have lost quality! We are looking forward to more Oceania cruises! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We jumped on this cruise when we heard it was going to Cuba - the first of the Norwegian line ships to do so. It was also visiting some Central and South American ports we wanted to visit. We had already travelled with Oceania before ... Read More
We jumped on this cruise when we heard it was going to Cuba - the first of the Norwegian line ships to do so. It was also visiting some Central and South American ports we wanted to visit. We had already travelled with Oceania before on Marina's sister ship, Riviera, so we knew what to expect and had no difficulty in finding our way around. The quality of the food was uniformly excellent, though at times it seemed like the service was a bit slower and disorganized. I don't know if this was due to a shortage of crew or the fact that this cruise was overbooked. Ports we visited were very interesting, especially Cuba. We took two shore excursions in Havana and found them both very well done, despite a few delays by the Cuban officials. The Cuban people who we met were very happy and joyous to see us and we didn't feel that they were pushy as in some other ports. Other ports were very interesting with the exception of Cozumel. We had been there before and visited Tulsa, so we opted to just walk into town. There's not much there besides cheap souvenirs and pushy sales people. I must have said "No, gracias" over a hundred times in our hour-long walk. We visited the new private island of Harvest Caye in Belize. Our son asked us what Belize was like and I had to tell him I didn't think we had seen the country as the island is such a homogenized experience. A nice beach and pool experience though. This next item doesn't relate to the ship, but reflects on the overall experience: We were surprised how many crabby people we ran into on this cruise. Crabby with the crew, crabby with others and crabby with their spouses. We wondered why some of them were on vacation and what they must be like at home. We were also surprised how often we saw people on walking excursions who had trouble walking up the stairs to get on the bus. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
My mother and I traveled on the Marina to celebrate her 90th birthday. She lives near New York and usually takes a ship from there. For this milestone birthday, she decided to be adventurous and fly to Miami and try a new cruise line. ... Read More
My mother and I traveled on the Marina to celebrate her 90th birthday. She lives near New York and usually takes a ship from there. For this milestone birthday, she decided to be adventurous and fly to Miami and try a new cruise line. We spent a night pre-cruise at the Marriott Miami Biscayne Bay which was just lovely. The service could not have been better, the rooms were very comfortable and the location was perfect for an early morning walk. We had airport-> hotel and hotel-> port transfers, these were smooth and efficient. Embarkation was easy and quick. The rooms were not ready for about an hour after we had arrived on board which was a little difficult traveling with an older person who was ready to rest. Speaking of older, the average age on this cruise was probably 75 and it was white, white, white. Nothing wrong with that, in fact it helped me realize how much I appreciate the more diverse age/race/class communities I normally experience. Oceania advertised its' dreamy beds and I cannot disagree. The bed was exquisitely comfortable. We had basic veranda cabins which were perfectly adequate. The bathrooms were lovely although I'm still wondering why a bathtub, especially on a ship/cruise line that caters to older folks. Oceania also focuses on cuisine and it does not disappoint. Our meals ranged from excellent to spectacular and the service matched the food. We were on the ship for the Oscars and I appreciated that the ship held an Oscar viewing party in a beautiful lounge. Horizons is on the 15th deck forward, a gorgeous venue, this is also where they hold an exquisite afternoon tea each day. The art! I could have spent an entire day just deeply appreciating the artwork all over the ship. Sculpture, painting, glass, all displayed beautifully and creating a lovely ambiance. Part of the appeal was the itinerary. Our first stop was Grand Cayman and I did a snorkeling excursion, OK, nothing special. On Cozumel, I did an excursion to a national park which I enjoyed. Part of that excursion was supposed to be snorkeling but the weather and water conditions were too difficult for most of the participants who were not strong swimmers. We did explore the park and have a good lunch. Costa Maya....I did an all day excursion to (new to me) Mayan ruins. It was a long bus ride but entirely worth it as I find Mayan ruins utterly fascinating. I was glad I had an excursion planned as the Costa Maya cruise ship complex is not my cup of tea. Roatan Honduras was my favorite port. I went to the beach and did some of the best snorkeling I have ever done in the Caribbean. In Guatemala, I did another excursion to hike at an eco-resort. That I also enjoyed. I spoke with a few guests who did not like Guatemala. The port was an active shipping port, not strictly designed for cruise ships and I actually prefer that authenticity to the sterile Disney-ish quality of Costa Maya. And then Belize, where we stopped at Harvest Cay, another of those fake, sterile cruise ship environments. This is not why I travel. I did enjoy swimming at the beach and walking, albeit a short walk, on the artificial beach but it was entirely too artificial to be enjoyable. Our last port was meant to be Key West but heavy wind and high seas kept us from stopping there, which was sorely disappointing as I was looking forward to a real place with real people after Harvest Cay. Disembarkation was also efficient and smooth. We spent the day post-cruise again at the Marriott and the desk staff was extremely cooperative in finding a room hours before checkin time as my mother was not feeling well and needed to lie down. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
The cruise on the Oceania Marina was excellent and I would be confident in recommending it to anyone, especially for “foodies”. The choices and variety of food were outstanding even at the Terrace Café which had both inside and ... Read More
The cruise on the Oceania Marina was excellent and I would be confident in recommending it to anyone, especially for “foodies”. The choices and variety of food were outstanding even at the Terrace Café which had both inside and outside seating available. Of the 4 specialty restaurants 3 were wonderful (Tuscana, Jacques and Red Ginger), and the fourth (Polo Grill) was good but not as special as the others in my opinion. At Jacques, the French onion soup and dover sole were perfect. The scallops melted in your mouth. The lavender crème Brule was unusual and wonderful. At Tuscana, the olive oil menu was a treat as were all the homemade pastas. Red Ginger has the most interesting menu although we had to rush through dinner there to make the 9:30 show since our reservation was on the later side of the evening. At the Polo Grill, we were not impressed with the steaks and prime rib. This may have been because our reservation was for a "shared table" which was a table of 8. My husband felt rushed. it would be a good idea to make reservations for the specialty restaurants before the leaving home which we did. The shows each night were at 9:30 and very entertaining. Of course, they are not the production shows of larger ships but they were perfect for us. The show band was great and the theater was comfortable. We enjoyed the enrichment lectures which were also rebroadcast on the in-cabin tv. The high tea had hors d’oeuvres which were passed around rather than a buffet so you could relax and be serenaded by the string quartet. The library was comfy and people were using it a lot. The barista was very popular with both hot and iced drinks. They also had little sandwiches and cookies available. There was not a huge variety of on board activities – there was bridge, painting, scarf tying, and the usual so passengers needed to be able to amuse themselves. Crew were friendly and our cabin stewards were outstanding and helpful. we had a veranda cabin. the other passengers were probably a lot more well travelled than us. Cabins had plenty of storage space and hangers in the closet, robes and slippers. The refrigerator came stocked with soft drinks which included Diet Coke with names like Ishmael and Maria which was a treat. The Bulgari amenities, soap, shampoo/shower gel and conditioner were generous sizes. The Waves Grill is a good place to go for your first meal getting on the ship as it is less crowded than the buffet. They have homemade milkshakes and gelato in addition to burgers, salads and sandwiches. The MDR was excellent and relaxing although we tended not to go at peak times. Workout facilities were clean and well maintained with vitamin waters and towels available. Classes cost extra and we did not participate. Key West was our favorite port on this Caribbean itinerary. My husband loved the trolley tour and the Truman White House tour. There were plenty of walkable areas in the city with bars, shops and street vendors. The only issue was that on arriving at the port, the porters who took the luggage were not attentive. They took our tip and then left the luggage. Embarkation and disembarkation was organized and efficient. We took a post cruise tour on the Miami Big Bus which was interesting and informative. They held our luggage and then transported us back to the airport for our late afternoon flight home. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We were ready to something different and upscale. We had taken many cruises on Celebrity, usually with friends , and had become a bit dissatisfied as the years went by. Have other long time Celebrity cruisers noticed the change? Oceania ... Read More
We were ready to something different and upscale. We had taken many cruises on Celebrity, usually with friends , and had become a bit dissatisfied as the years went by. Have other long time Celebrity cruisers noticed the change? Oceania has some of the old Renaissance R ships which we had been on in Europe in year 2000 and enjoyed. We wondered exactly what an "upscale " cruise would do to earn that claim and we were pleasantly surprised and satisfied with what we discovered. Embarkation and disembark were the best ever and we have cruised a lot. Food was excellent, especially for vegetarian at dinner. Service in all restaurants outstanding in every way. Lunch service particularly nice at the buffet on deck 12 very nice, table clothes, tables set, no cattle call feel. Ship never felt crowded, very nice. Entertainment and shows very good with one exception. Based on one cruise we can certainly recommend Oceania! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We travel with three other couples four of us were on Deck 9 and two others were on deck 7. The Internet was better than the last time I cruised on the Marina. The Marina also has a Laundromat. There is only one entertainment show a day ... Read More
We travel with three other couples four of us were on Deck 9 and two others were on deck 7. The Internet was better than the last time I cruised on the Marina. The Marina also has a Laundromat. There is only one entertainment show a day in the evening. We missed some of the entertainment because of late reservation in the specialty dining rooms. The Port of Call to Grand Cayman was canceled because of rough seas. We had an extra sea day because of the change in the itinerary. There is entertainment through out the days in some of the public rooms. The main dining room has opening sitting for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The buffet on Deck 12 serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and has extended hours. Room service is available 24 hours per day. There is free bottle water and soft drinks in the rooms and some public areas of the ship. There is no movie theater but there is an extensive list of DVD available. The Television has some business channels and major news channels. The port visits getting on and off the ship was orderly. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was our 8th Oceania cruise over 13 years. We saw this cruise line rise to excellence, then fall recently under the holding company to low levels, and now is back to it excellence. The food is by far the best on the seas. We recently ... Read More
This was our 8th Oceania cruise over 13 years. We saw this cruise line rise to excellence, then fall recently under the holding company to low levels, and now is back to it excellence. The food is by far the best on the seas. We recently did a two week cruise on Seabourn Quest and it fell well short on cuisine, service, entertainment, and value when compared to Oceania. Seabourn only exceeded Oceania on the quality of the lowest level staterooms offered and the aloofness of its clientele which may be unmatched outside Seabourn. Dining: This is where Oceania once again excels. I could write pages on this, but I suggest you just experience it once for yourself. Service: After declining significantly under the holding company the service is not only outstanding, but non intrusive. Entertainment: Outstanding guest and resident entertainers. They perhaps could know there clientele preferences better, but still excellent. Itinerary: All stops were very nice with good excursion opportunities. Embark/Disembark: Seamless. We have over 450 sea days on 12 different lines and we have pretty much decided this is our line of choice; however, we do have one Silver Seas Cruise already booked for next month, so look for a follow-up. Positives: Many, as noted above. Negatives: Their wine choices are impossible to sort through. I took most of mine on and paid $25/bottle to open which worked great for me because you cannot see the wine lists ahead of time and when you get on most wines are foreign and it is totally impossible to know every wine in the world and whether you might like it. There food deserves great wines and I bring them on. Hopefully this option will continue as that would be a deal breaker for us if I cannot have the lists in advance. I have no issue at all with corkage fees, I think we had 11 in 7 days. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
As a biased "R" vessel cruiser with Oceania and in the past Regent I found the Marina to be very different in regards to crew, design and passengers. This was our first cruise on either of the the 1250 passenger O class ... Read More
As a biased "R" vessel cruiser with Oceania and in the past Regent I found the Marina to be very different in regards to crew, design and passengers. This was our first cruise on either of the the 1250 passenger O class vessels and our 5th on Oceania. I approached it with an open mind being there would be more people on board, a more modern vessel and my bias for R class . We had a Cabin on the Concierge Level(deck 9). We embarked in Callao(Port of Lima). The reason for doing this cruise on Marina was Oceania's itinerary as it covered some of our "bucket list" requirements. The itineraries are a major feature of Oceania for us. Note we had already spent 10 days in Chile, Peru and Bolivia prior to boarding. Embarkation. First thing we notice is the glitz, bright paintings, and glassware and the cavernous lobby area. I will compliment Oceania on the original art, a lot of which I was informed was done by many painters and the Murano glassware which is some cases is quite amazing. Embarkation went fine Checkin was fine and quick(priority boarding always goes well). The strange part was that we were only casually asked if I had the Entry Form(RSTE) for the USA(being Australian, I need one). Did not have to show proof which we found a little odd. Lunch on the terrace available in the Terrace Cafe. Food quality was great. There are some differences in the layout. Cabin available on time and bags in the corridor waiting to be delivered. Think there had been a problem on the wharf with the local stevedores and not knowing how the system worked as I watched them when we arrived on the pier. Cabin On entry the cabin did not seem to feel that much larger than the one on "R" except for the bathroom. Storage was useless. There was a lack of drawers. On R vessels for the same length cruise last year around South America had found it easier to store things. Some of the drawers on Marina were very deep but short in length and only came out 2/3 of the way so clothes difficult to put in there. The cupboard for hanging up clothes seemed to be quite small and the doors would open at the slightest movement of the boat and the light would come on. I used a shoe to stop that happening. The area near the sofa and little table was not much bigger than the R class boat. Balcony seemed to be similar in size. Some of the issues mentioned have been raised by previous cruisers Bed was fine except it did not appear to be a large King bed and it seemed to be a little short in length. Bathroom was fine apart from shower area(not the one in the bath) was a little small or should I say cosy. However, still managed to use it ok. Once everything stored the cabin was fine, clean and functional and suited our needs. Restaurants In general restaurants were great. Oceania are really making an effort to meet the special dietary needs of some passengers. My partner is vegan and in generally they met the requirements. This area has been improved dramatically I wish to say thanks to Oceania for this. Red Ginger We had read so much good about this in cruise reviews and CC that we reserved a seat for 2 of us on second night of the cruise. Expectations were high considering we enjoy Asian food especially Japanese. I have also worked and lived in Asia previously before retiring. This restaurant was major disappointment. Restaurant beautifully setup, décor very Asian even if a little over the top. First impressions great on entry great. Quite dark though. The staff members who served rattled off the special and it was delivered in the tone of a robot. Turn on the key, turn off the key. Everything was so mechanical. Also with the number of Asian crew working in the food serving areas on the Marina you would think that Oceania or whoever is responsible would utilise these people more in this type of restaurant. Also they have some personality about them. Very strange. We counted only 3 at the time we there. Horses for courses, as they say. Lots of fancy chopsticks offered(presentation), but not natural ones. Saki(excl. 1) was served chilled(word on menu) when in most parts of Asia is starts out as warm or hot whenever I have been in various parts of Asia. Person next to me ordered a Japanese Beer. First one delivered was a brew from Canada, the second one was a Chinese Beer so he took that. Food was an attempt at Asian Style. Felt for the Chefs who have to cook the food this way. The Imperial Spring Rolls are too big to use chopsticks with(Terrace Restaurant serve the right size), Beef Carpaccio is meant to be finely cut slices of meat yet they are served a small clumps of meat, tempura batter was not very light and see through, the pork dish I had could only be eaten with a knife and fork, chopsticks were a waste of time and no steamed rice was offered. I am not sure any visiting Japanese or Asian Guests would not have been to impressed with the standard. Actually, spoke to a couple from Asia later in the cruise and they said the same thing. Asian food can also be Vegetarian but they even struggled with this and the food was quite bland. Our 3 courses were all served in less than 45 minutes. So had one glass of wine and managed to finish that. Actually mentioned in a cruise review document issued by Oceania on 3rd day of cruise and had 4 phone calls to the cabin within 24 hours asking further questions. Never went back there. Jacques Brilliant. Great décor, light and bright and the Maitre De was actually French, the staff were absolutely superb and some of the other French wait staff were also utilised here. Great escargots, frog legs and meat dishes. All food was presented and cooked as it should be in a pseudo French style on a American vessel even though some passengers complained there was not a lot on their plate. Even, the young lady who did the crepes went and got some rum and made Rum Crepes for me as these are a favourite of mine when I visited Paris. Went there 3 times. Polo Grill. The same as on the R class vessels. The Oceania prime rib is still one of the best I have had(lived in the USA also), Eye Fillet is great(rare or blue). Staff great as always and some great personalities. Went there 3 times. Toscana's The same as R class vessels and the food is great as always. Great to see Maitre De was from Bari, Italy. The staff again worked well and food presented well. One item of interest was an young Italian guy from a village on the east coast of Italy was providing the Oils and he knew what he was talking about. Nice touch. Went there 2 times. Grand Dining Room. Because of our experiences on R class vessels(wrong food served, service to fast, meat served in a vegans meal(my partners lunch one day) we swore off the GDR. Tried it in Marina and it was great. Went there for dinner only. Decor was again nice and light, high ceilings, large windows at stern of vessel providing more light before darkness set in. Food was fine in all visits which was 3 times. Service very quick though. Terrace Restaurant As always good for breakfast, lunch and dinner(when not in speciality restaurants). However, not sure if it was my imagination but it appears Oceania has cut back on what is offered for breakfast. There seemed to be less food available. Also seems to have issues when dealing with large numbers of passengers attending at one time. There did not seems to be much room around the food area. Waves No different to other Oceania vessels. The only strange part and they have no control over the cooking is that when the vessel tied up in an American Port(Puerto Rico and Charleston) the chefs were only permitted to provide well cooked meat yet at sea we had the way we wanted it. Caused some angst amongst some non-American passengers including myself. Baristas Great place and the young Italian chap behind the counter and his assistant were kept busy making coffees. Great Innovation and they made good double espressos etc. Loved it and a great innovation. Overall, the food was brilliant to very good depending on where you ate, excluding Red Ginger. They still have some of the best pastry chefs on the oceans. Concierge Lounge This was great for us as I could venture down to the lounge to read the newspapers from Australia, have a coffee, get some extra cold drinks, have a snack on a 24 * 7 basis. It also meant we did not have to go Horizons or Terrace for the morning coffees and pastries in the cabin. The lounge was very rarely crowded. We utilised it often especially early mornings. SERVICE. This was an interesting aspect of the cruise and the way the staff operate on this vessel compared to the R class vessels. The service generally was way to fast. This applied especially to the GDR and Terrace. There were any number of times when you were just finishing the last bite of your plate and someone was there whisking the plate away. They would also whisk the plate away even if the other person at the table was still eating their part of the meal. Also it was not unusual for 4 staff to come by one after the other and ask if you wanted another drink even though you had ordered one. We had never encountered this on the R class vessels. Polo Grill, Toscana's and Jacques were still quick but would wait till all people had finished eating that course. We also accept the fact that they are dealing with many nationalities on a vessel and the majority of whom like fairly quick service. I also noticed during the whole 21 days that there was a lot of pressure put on the wait staff by the folks in the white shirts and black ties(EG Governors in the terrace) to keep the table clear and make sure you were asked if you needed another drink(maybe why you get asked 4 times). The other issue was that in the Terrace you would have a person look after you for 5 minutes, then they would be sent somewhere else and another person would take over. This occurred constantly. The Governors and their management need to be trained in utilisation of staff. If it was a restaurant ashore who would you tip. Actually, the governors should realise they can also smile and they are not running a boot camp(a little harsh but cannot think of another word at this time). Some of these governors we have seen being trained on R class vessels and it was never like this. Also in the Terrace the governors and the staff did not seem to be a happy bunch as most of the Phillipinos and Balinese wait staff very rarely smiled and did not want to spend much time talking to you. These same staff were completely different in the speciality restaurants. Complete opposite to R class vessels where they smiled and chatted all the time. We also came to realise most of the staff had not worked on the R class vessels previously. The other point to note these people are the front line staff and are there to make the cruise enjoyable but to us and some others we spoke to the staff in the Terrace were not a connected group. Staff Staff generally were very and ectremely helpful. However, in some areas there seemed to be a disconnect between members of the crew in the hospitality area. I am not sure if there was a major change of crew in Callao or Papeete but in a lot of cases there was not a lot of teamwork. Even saw a Governor tick off a senior chef in front of passengers in the Terrace. Also the staff serving in the Terrace did not understand the contents of some of the food being served and as my partner is vegan was told there was no meat in a dish yet, found some minutes later when taking a mouthful there was. The chefs on the Terrace(one can see them all the time) seemed to be under pressure always and some of the backup chefs were not quite there when it came to carving or making omelettes. As I said there was a disconnect there and other places of the vessel. This was confirmed by some of the European Passengers I spoke to. Cabin Steward was very rarely seen but was always there to ensure our cabin was done. That was good. Passengers The passengers on this cruise generally seemed to be slightly older overall. The Marina is a much bigger boat with wider corridors and the ability to handle people with any physical disabilities much better than the R class vessels. This is very good as it allows people to get out there and do the travel and see things that may not be able to do on much larger and crowded vessels or the smaller and narrower R class vessels. Someone indicated average age as 70 for the cruise. Also, to us there were many passengers on board who were not the ones you find on the R class vessels and who do their own thing. The breakdown was interesting with Americans the most, followed by Australia, Canada, New Zealand and then Europe. There was also some 660 repeat cruisers and some 300 doing their 5th or more cruise. Entertainment We very rarely go to any of the entertainment(that applies to being on land also) and the same applies to this cruise. I did attend 2 presentations by a lady who had 24 years experience in the travel industry and she provided a great amount of information on using the travel industry to help you with the minimum of cost. The chap doing the Panama Canal description was also very informative. My partner attends cooking, fashion, sales and some other subjects if they are being presented. The Crossing the Equator function was hopeless. Activities We did all own shore excursions either as a couple or with another small group on a private tour. The library on Marina is a great place also. I spend a lot of time on sea days downloading photos, sorting them out and classifying them as well as completing a travel diary of what I have seen and what I am seeing at that moment. I generally do not get involved in any of the day to day activities on board. Ports of Call. - Salaverry , port not much but some impressive sand dunes to see whilst heading to Trujillo did private tour to Trujillo, and Sand Pyramids and the Sand Palaces - Manta , Very large Tuna Industry Port, amazing trawlers to be seen caught a taxi went through narrow streets of market, on the beach to see the local fish sales, visited boat builders, Montecristo and back again in 2 ½ hour for around $USD40 , taxis are controlled at the town piazza/plaza but there are a lot of touts offering all sorts of things , just say no and they leave you alone - Panama Canal , amazing 8 hour journey for those who are interested in how it operates - Cartagena , Port with a lovely cruise terminal setup, arrival seems a little strange as the city seems to be a lot of high rise buildings sitting right on the waters edge Caught a cab to old town(the taxi fare negotiated at the terminal but driver will ask for more at end of journey around ($USD15 , 20_) , old town is an amazing area just to walk around , streets full of amazing houses and hotels and renovations , just walk where you want - Orangestad, Aruba , cruise terminal building is on its wharf and has a coral reef protecting it from the ocean Being Dutch there are items relating to Queen Willihemina and Anne Franck, some older buildings in the back streets, lots of shops and shopping(expensive) malls, go further back 2 blocks and walk along the street where the new tramway is going in , one is never far from the cruise terminal - St. Georges, Grenada , dock near centre of town One can walk to the local market which has all sorts of food, spices, local beautician parlours, watch mending etc. Great place to visit and the people are extremely friendly and not pushy , walk up the stairs to the fort and then around and down to the Carnege , again enjoy the walk around with all the different activity happening before heading back thru the tunnel this time , never used any vehicles for travels here , also being a person who understands the game of cricket was able to see some of the grounds and names of their heroes - Castries, St. Lucia , docked near centre of town Had a 6 person cab out front of cruise terminal takes for a tour over the hills to the back area of the island , good value and an interesting island - Bridgetown, Barbados , cruise terminal a little out of the town centre Had a 6 person cab takes for a great trip through Bridgetown, over the hills to the end of the island and back along the coast , great trip , quite an amazing island , also some amazing sights re : cricket - Gustavia, St. Barts , tender port This is a totally French based town , and amazing place , most people walked through shopping area and stopped to have coffee or went to the beach we went around to the other side of the marina from where we were dropped off and saw the locals area, French Bakeries and some local French Restaurants , only locals here and just a few other cruise passengers , lovely place - San Juan, Puerto Rico , cruise terminal in town Our second visit here but we walked around the back streets and the architecture, cafes, shops and people were great , enjoyed this immensely , walked for hours then shopped - Charleston, South Carolina , Terminal in Town Caught the city shuttle to the main information centre and then walked back along many streets all the way to the other side of the city enjoying houses, hotels, cafes, offices and the associated architecture , this was our second visit and it is still a wonderful city to visit Disembarkation All was well sailing into NYC seeing the Status of Liberty and Ellis Island. Moored on time. Breakfast was a little shambolic with only one person cooking egg dishes. However, we were not able to disembark until sometime after 9:30am(out of rooms at 8:00am) due to some issues with Customs and Immigration in NYC. Not sure who's problem it was but 1250 people congregated on 2 decks in 2 areas. Once off it was a shambles with getting cabs as it was Memorial Day weekend and also another extremely large vessel had moored and disgorged it passengers at the same time. Worst disembarkation we have faced ever. Weapons This is a comment from an Australian where the sight of weapons on a vessel bothers us. We have been to Israel, Egypt, sailed in Middle East and pirate area, Malacca Straits between Indonesia and Malaysia and have never seen weapons in public areas. I know they are on board for these circumstances. Yes, our guard on the Trip to the Pyramids in Giza packed an UZI at the back of his suit, Israel had armed soldiers etc. in the dock area but they were never seen on a vessel in public view. However, on arrival in Puerto Rico(our initial USA entry point) we go to immigration in Horizons and all I see are officers from various areas with Flak Jackets, Tasers, Pistols etc. This to me was quite scary especially when later an officer walks through the Terrace Restaurant amongst 30 or more people with no idea that someone can grab the pistol. Does anyone in their right mind believe that all of us retired people are going to cause an incident. Found this to be quite disconcerting. Summary Marina is much larger, roomier(was told it could take 2,000 passengers if deigned internally differently), more glitzy and will suit many people. It provided us with what we needed from an itinerary. However, if there is a choice between R or O the R class will always win. One other major aspect is that it sails a lot smoother and quieter than the R class but there is eerie feeling sometimes at night when you wake and you are rolling slightly back and forth. The other difference is that when say sitting in Polo Grill or Toscana the vessel flexes and it feels quite strange. Just to show we are still cruising with Oceania we have a cruise on Nautica booked for early 2014 and Marina later in 2014. Also once on baord one only has to pay out for alcohol and/or tours(excl. Canyon Ranch) so you know where you stand. Also the ability to have a bottle from shore occassionally helps out. As one says "you get what you pay for " and Oceania does not require much add-ons.' Also simple things like shuttle buses in ports where it is required, water to take ashore, mini fridge with soft drinks, coffees etc. are there incl. in the cost. Also Oceania is a great cruise line as could be seen by the repeat the custom they get. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
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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