11 Oceania Marina Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to South Pacific

We chose this cruise based on recommendations from others who used Oceania and its reputation as an upscale cruise line. The service was incredible. I think the fact that we were in a large suite may have helped, don't know for sure, ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on recommendations from others who used Oceania and its reputation as an upscale cruise line. The service was incredible. I think the fact that we were in a large suite may have helped, don't know for sure, but the fact that we were greeted by name the first night at the specialty restaurants was impressive. The room was great, the butler Mani was fantastic, and everyone on board was friendly and helpful. It was our first "sea trials" cruise since my wife has an issue with motion sickness, but the Marina proved to be very stable in the Pacific. Only on one night she was a bit queasy on the long trip north to the Marquesas, but was not too bad. The service was better than I have had in any hotels and the wait staff as good if not better than any restaurants. We enjoyed it very much, so much so we booked 2 more cruises with Oceania. Houskeeping even arranged our shoes back in the closet! The food was great. We preferred the specialty restaurants and the magnificently decorated Grand Dining room. They were quieter and more relaxed than the buffet and we were not in a hurry, even for breakfast. We especially liked having our breakfast in the suite. The terrace cafe was too crowded and we felt jostled while trying to get food. There was a nice variety of food there, but people were standing over tables waiting for seats at times. People would sit there grazing for hours if they had no trips ashore or the ship was at sea and occupying all the tables. On those days we went to the Grand Dining room for breakfast or lunch as it was usually empty and much more relaxed, even if there were fewer menu choices. We like the quality atmosphere rather than quantity. You are afforded that choice. The suite afforded us more access to the specialty restaurants, Polo-Steak, Toscana-Italian, Red Ginger-Oriental, and Jacques-French. All were good but Jacques was some of the best French food we have ever had, even better than in Paris IMHO. The Chef Geno was a true "Genius". Do youself a favor, try Jacques even if you do not have a reservation included. Best French food EVER in my humble opinion.! In Tahiti, the ships excursions were good, convenient and planned well, albeit expensive I think. If you are not in Tahiti for Diving or watersports, there is only so much sightseeing available. If you are budget conscious, you may do better by renting a car or taxi, but the cruise ships pretty much use up all the local transportation. Divers on board seemed to do better booking their own trips onshore. One person paid a local in Huahine to drive him around for $20 he said. Even drop off and a pick up later at the beach? Caveat emptor. The scenery is gorgeous. The ports except for 2 require tenders which require a little more planning. The tender crews were efficient and accomodated the handicapped. Not a cruise for children or even teenagers. The onshore attractions are mainly scenic which is spectacular. Some of the others (see Trip Advisor) were a bit contrived and touristy, but ok for a few hours. I.E. One pearl farm was real, the other was just a gift shop, a vanilla farm was also a gift shop. I found better prices on pearls in COSTCO and NY, so unless you want a souvenir, do some research if you want a low price. Be aware that Oceania has a 36hr cancellation policy if you change your mind on shore excursions. There were excursions for limited mobility persons. Check the info on the Oceania website. The live entertainment on board, other than the culinary classes was just average. We are spoiled being so close to NY and Broadway maybe?. The entertainers tried hard, but "missed" a few notes. This combined with the fact that they start at 9:30 and we were usually tired, limited our participation. Some folks liked it, most others so-so. I would not cruise for the entertainment. We did miss the comic, which I heard was good. We did like the piano player in the Lounge and the afternoon tea with the Chamber music was delightful. The pastries were enough to satisfy anyone's sweet tooth. The Captains cocktail party was definitely worth attending. Our room was wonderful. Having a large room, although more expensive, allowed us some quiet privacy with enough space that we did not need to use a lounge to spread out. The hot tub on the deck with the TV was over the top too. It was windy on the front of the ship, and they tied down the furniture at night, but that was not an issue for us. Other folks did have an issue with this in prior reviews, but we did not. The staff was there in the am and set it out again every day. But being in the front of the ship and watching as we entered the next island anchorage was priceless. We did get "scolded" one night by the captain because we did not draw the curtains at night while underway. We were at dinner and were late so we forgot. We had a polite but assertive phone message telling us the captain was not pleased. Our room was directly below the bridge and the glare affected their visibility. The butler dealt with it, but were definitely "scolded". The room had a small excercise room with two machines which we used once or twice, but It became more of a storage room for the cushions, chargers, etc. Would be better as a bedroom or study I think. TV was limited but had nice previews of the ports. Also, Jacques Pepin had his own cooking channel which I liked, but we were not really there for TV except to check th News on CNN and MSNBC etc. Won't find your sitcoms, but we did have a library of movies. Liked the binoculars in the drawer, but found them by accident. Understand you are in the middle of the Pacific and the Internet is not what you have at home. UNLIMITED Internet means 24 hr unlimited access, NOT UNLIMITED BANDWITH. Streaming applications are not supported, video conference, etc. You are sharing the satellite connection with 1500 other guests and crew so if you set your expectaions and enjoy the ship and scenery and save the internet for home, you will be less dissapointed. ITS SLOW,,,,, PERIOD! Our houskeeping was great. Bulgari amenities nice, fruit everyday and welcome bottle of top shelf champagne. We had 6 bottles of top shelf liquor which sufficed so we did not get the liquor plan. We opted for a glass or bottle of wine at dinner. One nice thing the sommelier told us is that we could save the unconsumed bottle for the next night at a different restaurant. They vacumn sealed it and brought it the next night. This was good because my wife does not like red and I did not want to drink or waste the rest of a bottle, especially an expensive one. Also liked the wine tasting of the "old school" wines. They had a great selection, including Tignanello one of my favotites. Don't always see some top end wines at a tasting. The beverage director really knew his wines and regions. A nice upscale break from more local or touristy winery tastings. The wine markup was not outrageous for the higher end wines. A bottle of Tignanello, although pricey and retails for $90, was $140 on board for a reference. You can also get a decent chard in the $45 range. Boarding was fine. Transfers for our 8:30 am flight great. Although a suite is expensive, when you add up the perks, it helps defer some of that cost. Early boarding, more excursions, more specialty dining, liquor, butler service, really added to the experience. A splurge, yes, but when spending your kids inheritance, who cares! LOL The VISTA suite has all the perks, more than enough room, and all of the perks of the owners suite. Usually sells out first. Air Tahiti is not bad, but if you are tall its tight in coach. Sit on the outside. No Economy plus seating. Try for the newer plane. First class is good, but very very expensive. In summary, wonderful trip, great service, great food, great room, average entertainment for my taste.. Will go again, booked 2 more cruises. "Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than those you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Chose this cruise for itinerary. That was the only good thing. Embarkation in Lima was disgraceful. We arrived at port in taxi dropped off outside the port to be faced with a very large queue no shelter from the blistering heat, no staff ... Read More
Chose this cruise for itinerary. That was the only good thing. Embarkation in Lima was disgraceful. We arrived at port in taxi dropped off outside the port to be faced with a very large queue no shelter from the blistering heat, no staff present. We were then transferred to the ship by bus to be met with an even longer queue, waiting to embark,we even had to unload our own cases from the bus, no porters, no Oceania representatives,no organisation. From time we arrived at port to getting on board took us 3 hours no kidding. General manager eventually appeared claiming to lay blame on port of Lima for not having terminal building. Tendering service was another major issue .Easter island took us 4.30 hrs to get off ship, never experienced a tender service so slow,if you are not doing an excursion with the company you are treat like a second class citizen. After visiting the island and returned to the tender point we were faced with another long queue to get back on board 2.30 hours we waited to get on board. Once again general manager blamed conditions of sea and the clientele , not many spring chickens and various disabilities. Staff behind buffet counters in terrace cafe were very unenthusiastic ,didn't seem to be able to use initiative. Many times in waves grill we appeared invisible, took so long to have table set. Presentation of the food wasn't like it used to be. After rainfall, promenade decks were deadly, deckhands didn't seem to be programmed to clear the large pools of water they preferred to place a sign up warning you the decks were slippery when wet. Outbreak of gastroenteritis did not help matters either. Many of the facilities were closed, staff were also affected, restaurants appeared like staff canteens , paper table cloths, menus etc. TV and Movie channels were poor throughout the cruise. Speciality restaurants were excellent waiting staff there couldn't do enough for you. To sum up ,having cruised with Oceania a few year ago, the quality of the service has gone a long way down hill,does not warrant the premium price of the cruise. Will be very surprised if I am the only one with negative reviews. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Started in Lima den 16.01.2018 We booked the trip mostly because of the destinationstrip sounded good and free internet, :-( - The ship said it's on their website that the internet is bad??? That almost never worked, and ... Read More
Started in Lima den 16.01.2018 We booked the trip mostly because of the destinationstrip sounded good and free internet, :-( - The ship said it's on their website that the internet is bad??? That almost never worked, and it took so long to come across that I most often gave up The telephone connection was also a very very big problem..... Date 16.03.2018 in Lima It was not fun to stand in the strong sun and wait for access to the ship, which turned out to be a bus that carried us on to the ship, where we also had to stand and wait in the sun, no water etc. -........................ NOT WORTH a 5 * SHIP In our suite the waiter was okay, -but service at the buffet and at the bars could be better. Our suite lounge closed when the ship thought there were bacteria on board, I think it was closed 8 days In the buffet we had to beg for salt and pepper (often more than once) :-( There was just "closed down" for many things in a large part of the trip. Because the ship tried to "freeze me" by entry and exit of the ship + in the dining room, theater, waiting for tickets etc. (due to bacteria) I got sick (not bacteria) and got in treatment (like many others I could look at elastic bands as many used to the drops to needles in the arm) the medications were good and nice. BUT: My Insurance company wanted to pay to the ship or to the head office, but was not allowed for the ship to pay $: 9657- as it cost, for my visit 7 times at the medical department on the ship - The ship closed for my 2 payment cards because they could not withdraw the money, they said... I think it was UNFORGIVABLE of them. but anyway I said that was fine, because then I could not pay! :-) ......Unfortunately, ;-/ they opened my cards again within 2 days, without excuse, - and of course they've also pulled the money from my account So they could take the money anyway ... We arrived at Tahiti on Feb. 3 -2018 Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose Oceania because of the itinerary. We have never been to the South Pacific or Easter Island before. With only about 800 passengers aboard, embarkation was swift. We were early so we didn't have access to our cabin but ... Read More
We chose Oceania because of the itinerary. We have never been to the South Pacific or Easter Island before. With only about 800 passengers aboard, embarkation was swift. We were early so we didn't have access to our cabin but there was plenty of room for our carry on bags while we had lunch in the Terrace Café buffet. All of the food was served to us, no guests handled any of the serving utensils to help curb the spread of illnesses, and that continued throughout the entire cruise. We were booked in a concierge level cabin and it was a little smaller than we expected and the balcony was not very large either. The closet was barely large enough for a long voyage but it contained drawers, a safe, as well as hanging space. The shower was tiny but we did also have a bathtub and plenty of storage space in the bathroom. Enough about the cabin - let's get on to the food. Food and service on board was fabulous. There are four specialty restaurants and there is no added cost to dine in any of them. Reservations are required because they fill up quickly. We enjoyed Chilean sea bass in Red Ginger, the Asian restaurant, and it was probably the best we've ever had. Lobster tails are available every night if you choose to dine in the Terrace Café. The Marina did have the finest cuisine at sea, as advertised. We had lunch in the dining room most days and enjoyed their around the world tastes that changed daily. There were seminars about our destinations and more, and hands on classes for art (free) and cooking (for a fee). We also used hand held audio guides to learn about the art on the ship (Picasso is one of the artists). The musical reviews on board were the same as other cruises, full of energy and talented young performers. A string quartet was excellent, as was a comedian who came on board for two shows. Shore excursions were adequate although quite expensive. The South Pacific isn't commercialized yet as so many other ports so choices were limited. We will definitely plan another Oceania cruise. The service and atmosphere were far superior to other cruises we've been on (29 past cruises with Holland American, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Carnival and a few others). Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
The service on this ship was outstanding! Staff were very friendly and very helpful. However the general operation of the ship seemed to be sadly lacking. We rarely saw or heard from the captain other than to give us our compass bearing. ... Read More
The service on this ship was outstanding! Staff were very friendly and very helpful. However the general operation of the ship seemed to be sadly lacking. We rarely saw or heard from the captain other than to give us our compass bearing. Entry into some of the ports was obviously very difficult because of the reefs. We heard from another passenger than the reef around I believe it was Samoa was second only to the Great Barriere Reef in size. Nothing from the captain. We had 5 days at sea. The sea was not that rough but the Marina really rocks from side to side. Not a pleasant experience. I DO realize that we were in the middle of the Pacific Ocean but it seemed excessive for the roughness of the water. Although Oceania prides itself on its food, we were sadly disappointed. Red Ginger and Jacques were excellent but the other places to eat need improvement. I had the special of the day in Toscana - a white fish that tasted like mush. Of course they offered something else but not much fun eating by yourself when everyone else at the table is finished so I declined. We had dinner a couple of times in the Terrace buffet because they served Sushi. They had it only once at lunch. More often would be nice. One night I had paella in the Terrace Grill. Inedible and that was not just my opinion. Others said the same. On the last night aboard ship, we ate in the GDR so that we could finish in time to see the show. Wiener Schnitzel sounded lovely but was dry and absolutely tasteless. We asked for some type of condiment to help the taste and were told they had none. As it really was inedible, we left our dinner and went to the buffet for sushi. It is very lovely to have the ability to just go somewhere else but also very wasteful. Dress code in the dining rooms left much to be desired. If it is resort casual then that is what it should be. Not formal but not a tshirt either. I think the part that we disliked the most was the disembarkation process which started two full days before we were due to get off the ship. When we were still in Bora Bora, the ship info on the TV was all about how to disembark. WE STILL HAD ANOTHER PORT TO VISIT, There was not a word about Moorea or things to do there. Also two nights before we were due to leave the ship, they had the staff all come up on the stage as a Farewell. We still had another 36 hours on the ship. On the day we were in Moorea, the whole atmosphere on the ship seemed to change. They were now into gearing up mode for the next lot of passengers. On the final evening, the TV actually had a welcome greeting for the new passengers! The Tahitian dance show on the final night was wonderful! They could have had the staff come on stage that night and it would have been a much better farewell. Some ships have a wonderful deck party and staff parade on the last night which is much more of a send-off and a thank you to their departing passengers. Then of course there is the saga of the long wait in Papeete for flights home. This really isn't the fault of Oceania although when you book your fare includes air you do not expect to have to pay for a taxi to the airport. Needless to say we will Not be cruising with Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We are in our mid 60's and have sailed 7 times in last 7 years. After 2 cruises on Celebrity Millenium ships we decided to go upscale and try Oceania Marina in 2011. One month prior to sailing, we were offered and accepted a bargain ... Read More
We are in our mid 60's and have sailed 7 times in last 7 years. After 2 cruises on Celebrity Millenium ships we decided to go upscale and try Oceania Marina in 2011. One month prior to sailing, we were offered and accepted a bargain upgrade from concierge to penthouse level. We were hooked and have booked penthouse ever since. First 3 cruises on Marina were excellent. Cruise on Riviera (Miami to Barcelona - April 2014) was great but food was down a notch (too salty) as was passenger respect for dress code. Latest cruise on Marina (Tahiti to Sydney - Feb 2016) was equal in food quality to Riviera, i.e. slightly less quality than 2008 - 2014, or perhaps we are getting more fussy. Respect for dress code has clearly deteriorated. I suspect that the recent competitive pricing has attracted those who normally cruise on Celebrity, Princess, Holland America, NCL and as such the guest mix has changed. Many passengers do not understand "country club casual" as they are likely not members of a country club. Lack of young families on Oceania is still a good draw for us. La Reserve and Privee as well as 4 specialty restaurants is a big plus. Excursions are over-priced and under- delivered but we realized that a few cruises ago, so we arrange our own. Lack of quality entertainment is a minus. String quartet was high quality, but pianist is still not up to par. Experience was such that we are now considering alternatives, from Celebrity Aqua Class to perhaps a 6-star experience (Regent, Crystal, etc) or perhaps Azamara that competes head to head at 5.5 stars. So in our opinion, Oceania is certainly good but no longer great. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We sailed on the Oceania Marina on a cruise of the Tahitian islands. We started and ended in Papeete on Tahiti and visited Moorea, Raiatea, Bora Bora, Nuku Hiva, and Rangiora. Although I thought of Tahiti as a single island in the middle ... Read More
We sailed on the Oceania Marina on a cruise of the Tahitian islands. We started and ended in Papeete on Tahiti and visited Moorea, Raiatea, Bora Bora, Nuku Hiva, and Rangiora. Although I thought of Tahiti as a single island in the middle of nowhere, there are three groups of islands: the Society Islands, Marquesa Islands, and the Tuamotu Islands. More island chains nearby. A cruise ship is an excellent way to see these islands. Only the Paul Gauguin cruises in these waters. There is a local ship that is half cruise ship/half cargo ship, but I have no info on that. Getting There We flew Air Tahiti Nui from LAX and landed at 6am. Customs took about an hour. Very few parts of the airport are air conditioned. We were with a group and had some extra perks. We drove five minutes to the Intercontinental and had a day room for a few hours. Slept a couple of hours, walked around the pretty hotel, then boarded a bus to the ship terminal. The Ship We had sailed on the Riviera, the Marina's sister ship, in the Caribbean last year. We liked the size, it's a medium size ship with only 1200 passengers. Plenty of room in the public areas. Never felt crowded. Hallways are relatively wide, lots of spacious bars, a dual level pool area, casino, and multipurpose auditorium. Great library. Near the library is a coffee bar with snacks. And an Internet room with terminals and (sometimes) a helper. We played a number of games: bags, trivia, and shuffleboard. Group trivia was especially fun. Winners get "O" points, which you can redeem for Oceania branded clothing at the end of the cruise. Never took in a show, but those who did were disappointed. Comedienne was good. Several bands at the bars and pool. Our favorite was the string quartet in the lounge near the casino bar - get there before six and get 2 for 1 drinks. The ship offered courses on Photoshop and art, given by a husband and wife. The Photoshop course was awful - I sat in the first one for 30 minutes and learned nothing except that simple photo editing tools are limited. Maybe it got better later, but I wasn't interested in spending any more time. Took a cooking class in their purpose-built culinary center. Excellent! Did not gamble on the ship, just a few folks did. There were lessons on craps and blackjack. There are small (three washers and three dryers) laundries on floors 7-11. Machines run on tokens which cost $2 each. Free detergent. Typically lousy satellite Internet on the boat. And, if you want help, prepare to wait at lease 1/2 hour. Probably the worst service on the ship. We had 300 free minutes and that was plenty. However, when first logging on, I had to "buy" the free minutes. Not intuitive. Speaking of service, we found the help everywhere to be first class. Nice touch - in addition to the daily Current showing tomorrow's events, you get a four page newspaper. Median age of the passengers was in the sixties. Greatest number were Americans, followed by Canadians and Europeans. Friendly folks all. For those in the concierge levels, there is a lounge on deck 9. Sodas, waters, coffee/cappuccino machine. A concierge to help with issues. And, daily newspapers (printed in big tablet form held together with a staple): WSJ, USAToday, Canadian, and European. They had a nice presentation on future cruises and we signed up for one. Big discounts for on board sign ups. Dining Terrace cafeteria was good for breakfast, good for lunch, and fair for dinner. There is a large outside area. For lunch until 4pm, Waves on the pool deck is great. Nice burgers and dogs, with a limited selection of salads. Grab a table, note the number, put your order in, and they will deliver. They will deliver to Terrace too. And, they will deliver burgers etc to Terrace. The main dining room (MDR) was good for dinner, did not try it for lunch or breakfast. The specialty restaurants were excellent. I rank them in the following order: Jaques, Polo, Red Ginger, and Touscana. I ranked Touscana last because we had a group dinner there with a limited menu. There is also La Reserve for complex dinners with wine pairings. Very expensive. We signed up for the basic drink package and found the selection of beer and wine to be good. The Cruise One of the best venues we have been on. These islands are spectacular. Twice as good as Hawaii. Outside of Papeete, not much development. Many of these islands are surrounded by coral atolls, so there is calm water between the reef and the island, perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Just imagine yourself in clear, warm, aqua water with hundreds of fish. Typically 3-4 feet deep. Pure heaven. Many natives speak Tahitian and French. Brush up on your basic French before you go. Papeete resembles a typical Carib island town - couldn't wait to leave. Moorea was beautiful, but since we were there for less than a day, and we would return at the end of the cruise, we stayed on the ship. Friends took a car ride around the island and enjoyed it. Raiatea is a beautiful atoll island. We arranged for an all day tour with L'excursion Bleue (Bruno Fabre owner - tahaa.net). Toma was our guide, first rate. Short walk from the ship. Twenty in our boat, we went to a pearl farm, coral garden for snorkeling, luau on a private island (excellent), snorkeling with sharks and sting rays, vanilla plantation, a drift snorkel, and a long way back because of the wind and tide. Recommended by TripAdvisor and me. Bora Bora is another gorgeous atoll island. We did a half day tour with Reef Discoveries by Pure Snorkeling (puresnorkeling.com). Seven of us in a nice speedboat with Fabien as our guide. We did another coral garden, "zoo" with lots of fish, sharks, and rays, a drift snorkel with packs of rays (Fabien towed the boat!), and a deeper channel snorkel where there were huge manta rays. Fabien was first rate - really helpful getting us off and on the boat, storing our gear, explaining where we were going. Excellent! At Bora Bora a second day, we toured around the small town. Found a great pearl shop - go down the alley next to the Police Station and look for the red roof - best quality and price. Down the street is the Aloe cafe where you can get decent wifi free with lunch or $5 without. That night they held the Captains Reception in the Horizons bar and three others. Free drinks and appetizers. Don't be bashful about asking for a drink of your choice instead of the passed drinks. Be sure to be up top when you cruise into Nuku Hiva - it's the most beautiful of all these islands. Nice small bay for tendering. We took a half day tour of the island with Richard (temarama.com) - fantastic! The roads were smooth except for one spot. Saw many beautiful vistas, an archeological site, small town (pit stop). Recommended. On the way back, we saw 40 vehicles lined up for the ship's tour - another reason to use a small operator. Ranjora was OK. We walked from the tender to the leeward side of the island and found a beach with both sand and rocks. More rays and fish! On the way back, stopped at one of the open air restaurants and got a local Hinano beer for $5. A word about tendering. I don't like it, even mild seas can make ship to tender dangerous. However, in those calm waters, it was pleasant. Ship excursions get priority for tendering. You can still get off just about whenever you want. Just show up in the lounge and get a color coded card. Not a big deal. Debarkation was at 8am and was smooth. They asked in advance where you are headed and gave you an exit time. Post cruise on Moorea. Well, if you are going halfway around the world, you might just stay another day or two, which we did. Spent two nights at the Hilton in Moorea in a bungalow over the water. Awesome. You can step down into the water from your own bungalow and be greeted by tropical fish. Very good snorkeling. These bungalows started in Bora Bora, but are now in lots of the islands. Recommended. The bad news. Scheduled to fly out on a midnight flight, the flight was cancelled at the last minute. Pure chaos. Air Tahiti Nui did a terrible job of informing passenges of the status. Adding to the problems, 30 of our group got on a delayed flight that left right after midnight, 12 of us were in the terminal, and the rest were outside. The plane finally left the next day at noon but our connecting flights were missed. Ugh. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
First time on Oceania but about 25 cruises under our belt ranging from Azamara, Celebrity, Princess, etc. We had really looked forward to this cruise based on the itinerary (Tahiti) and the Oceania's reputation for excellent food. ... Read More
First time on Oceania but about 25 cruises under our belt ranging from Azamara, Celebrity, Princess, etc. We had really looked forward to this cruise based on the itinerary (Tahiti) and the Oceania's reputation for excellent food. Unfortunately we found the menus to be repetitive, not too extensive and in many cases just plain mediocre. Indeed, we have experienced better food and choices on many other cruise lines. This was unfortunate as we are our lovers of good food and discerning but not snobbish critics. Even the specialty restaurants weren't that special, with a lot of too rich and over salted items. The steaks in all venues were not the prime one would expect and the lobster, fish and shrimp was usually stringy and either under or overcooked. I guess Jacques was the best but after our 4th visit there, we'd had enough. The Terrace is a nice alternative dining area but again the food choices were skimpy and on occasion quite poorly prepared. Top side by the pool is Waves which could always be counted on for a decent Kobe beef hamburger. On the other hand, the Marina is a classy, perfectly sized, clean and comfortable ship with large veranda cabins. Our only complaint was that, although only a few steps to the elevator and stairs, we were close to a service door that was constantly slamming shut at all hours. We pasted a notice on the offending door (that came in the daily activity sheet warning passengers be considerate about slamming doors), spoke nicely to a steward and finally mentioned the problem in a nice way to the Reception staff, all to no avail. Not the biggest problem. We arranged all our own excursions prior to sailing and as so many others have pointed out, these were better and much less expensive than the ship tours. Some highlights of the cruise include the daily High Tea accompanied by a talented string quartet and an accomplished concert pianist who played nightly in the Martini Lounge (and on one night, at his own special concert). We also found the crew to be the most friendly, capable, and genuinely happy group we've ever had the pleasure of serving us, from the stateroom staff to waiters and even deck hands, all smiling and saying hello. Our travel agent found a special deal for this cruise so everything considered, it was a very good time, especially meeting so many well traveled cruisers from so many different countries. Surprised though that for such a nice cruise line, we found many passengers very poorly, evenly sloppily dressed, and of course there are the ubiquitous clods who wear hats in the dining rooms. But because of the food issue which we said was a major surprise and disappointment for us, we're not sure we'd travel on this ship again. Oceania's recent involvement with Norwegian Cruise Line may be indicative of possibly lower standards in the future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We recently sailed on the Oceania Marina to one of our bucket list destinations, the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia. The great news first! FOOD, Without a doubt, Oceania has discovered the secret to great meals at sea. My ... Read More
We recently sailed on the Oceania Marina to one of our bucket list destinations, the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia. The great news first! FOOD, Without a doubt, Oceania has discovered the secret to great meals at sea. My experience was that the specialty restaurants are unlike anything you,would experience on any luxury cruise. Polo serves ONLY prime beef. Prime cuts of meat deliver the way the cow intended, a beef that melts rather than having to chew. Wine selections by the bottle are superb. Asian Red Ginger is as fine as any New York or San Francisco Asian upscale, authentic restaurant I have had the pleasure to sample. Toscano delivers authentic, especially Northern Italian cuisine, and Jacques offers the inspired dishes of Jacques Pepin. What could go wrong? Special note for espresso junkies. A REAL three boiler San Marcos machine in the Barista Lounge. You simply,cannot get good espresso at sea, at least before your cruise with the Oceania Marina or Riviera. Warning, however: the smaller ships in the fleet don't have real professional espresso machines. COOKING CLASS. For the real foodies among us, please try at least one of the daily cooking instruction offered by a pretty amazing Chef on board. I took a French Country style class. The three dishes (Jacques herbed chicken, Quiche Lorainne and desert crepes) were incredibly simple when guided step-by-step, but the truly insightful instruction taught how to make fresh butter at home; what salts are verboten; how to properly hold and use a knife; the ways to use and not to use olive oils; easy clarified butter preparation... things that I remember from my earlier chef days, but had forgotten. AMBIANCE. Understated elegance without the gaudy, over the top stuff on mega ships. The staff is courteous and helpful, but I must admit nowhere near the family connection one finds on smaller ships, such as the Paul Gauguin. Nice size pool and hot tubs (two) on the pool deck. CANYON RANCH SPA. With the help of our great travel agent at Avoya Travel, Nancy DeWald, we paid an additional $100 to upgrade the week before the cruise to Concierge level. That decision carried multiple benefits including access to the private deck at the on board spa (Canyon Ranch). Positioned on the top deck of the bow, those in Owners, Penthouse and Concierge staterooms have privacy in double lounge chairs and, best of all, two hot tubs from which to view the evening stars before a late dinner. (8:00 PM closing at sea; 9:00 PM in port). My wife raved about the fitness coach, but neither of us were willing to cough up the mega-inflated rates for massage treatments ($169 for a 15 minute back and neck massage? Please!). A side note about Concierge: You also get access to a lounge with the ship's only large screen TV; access to the services of a Concierge, whom I never could seem to find; a free bottle of good Champagne in your stateroom; and in our case stateroom positioned in the Suites area of Deck 12 at the bow, affording guaranteed privacy on our surprisingly large veranda. Now for the not so great news. LIQUOR AND WINE. If you are willing to pay one and one half to two keystone prices for bottled wine, you will find any selection that fits your palate. For those not of the investment banker set, at first blush the seven bottle package ($42.50 per bottle) seems a realistic alternative until you peruse the selections. Rodney Strong Sauvignon at 42 bucks? I don't think so! NCL bought the privately held former company, and the cost cutting is beginning to show in this good, but disappointing idea. Perrier Jouet has been replaced by a mediocre Reims (Mountadon), and the only real wine by the glass choices are those same one and one half to two keystone rather underwhelming selections. Liquor brands are quite good. If you imbibe, the sixty dollar unlimited option makes sense as there is no,limit on consumption by the glass. Since the average charge is ten bucks plus 18% gratuity, drink four glasses of anything and you have reached the unlimited threshold. I behaved for the first five days of a ten day voyage and limited my intake, opting for a good bottle with dinner, then bought the unlimited package for the last five ($300). Finally, at the risk of being called an alcoholic, bring what you want on board. No one was challenged as far as I could tell. We were discrete and brought two New Zealand whites and a pint of my favorite tequila. Again, the website sets a no booze in your luggage policy, but it seems to be ignored in actuality. IMPORTANT! It is NOT true that you only have until the third day to buy the unlimited package. You can choose at any time, but you will be charged for the remaining days until the end of the voyage. The third day restriction applies to the unlimited Internet package, not booze. ENTERTAINMENT. Siglo band is the best offering. The evening shows will put one sleep (maybe a good thing after those incredible dinners!), but the violin quartet is a special gift. CONSISTENT INFORMATION. For some reason the gap between the actual policies and what I received from Oceania, both in reservations and on board, varied from person to person. First, you have to buy the prestige liquor package by the third day of the voyage (not true). Then, you can buy Internet access ($169 for 200 minutes, yikes!) at anytime. Nope, you must purchase by the third day. Concierge includes personal access to an on board Concierge. He magically appeared on the final day when I needed to book the ferry to Mo'orea for the final three days of our stay. Couldn't contact the ferry system, though we were next door to their docks, and sent me an out-of-date ferry schedule. Oh well. For those and other reasons, navigating the Oceania system REQUIRES that one use a TA. I found that most helpful agent, as mentioned above, who valiantly served as my pre-cruise Captain, simply not accepting "I don't know" or "No" for an answer. Even then, when on board I learned the truth, as mentioned above with Internet and Liquor policy. CONCLUSION. This was a French Polynesian cruise. If you are coming to this special part of the world for the first time and want a true immersion into Polynesia, I would recommend the Paul Gauguin. This 330 passenger boat is all inclusive. You pay a little more on the front end, but no gratuities, no tips, no envelopes, no worries. Do as much as you want and eat and drink as much as you want for one price. As a comparison, I paid only slightly less for the Oceania voyage and had to work hard to look at the best ways to work their system. In the end, the on board costs brought me to the same costs as on PG, and I worked hard to work their system. For those where money is no object, then by all means choose Oceania. For those who want the true Polynesian all-inclusive experience (entertainers from the various islands and host lecturers and the Gauguinnes dancers and hostesses), try the PG.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We were attracted to Oceania on the Islands to Incas Cruise because of the ports visited and the claims of outstanding food. Most of our Ocean travel has been on Holland America, with one Royal Caribbean and one Azamara. Our report is a ... Read More
We were attracted to Oceania on the Islands to Incas Cruise because of the ports visited and the claims of outstanding food. Most of our Ocean travel has been on Holland America, with one Royal Caribbean and one Azamara. Our report is a mixed bag. Oceania provides transfers from the airport to the ship but are extremely overpriced. The 7 mile trip from Papeete Faa'a airport was $129 per person. I contracted directly with a company called I Hate Taxis for $79 for the two of us. Guess what? We were on the same bus as those who paid the $129pp tariff! We had a Concierge Level Verandah stateroom on Deck 9. The room was roomy enough for the two of us. They advertise that these staterooms each have a PC for your use. The PCs are locked, no access to the drives, the USB ports, etc. They are set up simply as a terminal for their wireless internet service and have Microsoft Word that you can use to prepare notes for your email. We fortunately brought along a laptop so that we could download our pictures and videos and process photos for email to family and friends. I had an on-going business transaction and I had forms emailed to me that I had to complete and sign and return. I took the PDF file to the Computer Center where the administrator printed the pages for me. After I completed the forms, I took them to the Reception Desk and they emailed them for me for $4.95. I copied myself on the email and the pages were transmitted promptly. All the staff is very friendly and helpful. Most nationalities are represented, many Eastern Europeans as well as the usual Filipino and Indonesian. Food was not exceptional contrary to their claim to fame! About on a par with HAL in that they had a good selection of entrees. Other passengers have stated the same. Best for me was the Filet au Poivre in Jacques specialty restaurant. The meat was thick, cooked right, but sauce was not as peppery as I like. The wife's favorite was the grilled Norwegian salmon in the Grand Dining Room. Breakfasts were good wherever we eat. Waves on Deck 12 had the best hamburgers we've ever had on a ship. The meat was loose (fresh) whereas on HAL they are hard compressed frozen patties. We ate in 3 of the specialty restaurants (Jacques, Toscana, and Polo). There is no charge to dine there unlike HAL. We did not like Toscana, the food was almost poor. The other two were fine but certainly not exceptional. The TV movies were horrible, four channels only and the selections stunk! The DVD collection was great and were free. They have an extensive library. You can take books anytime of the day and night. The books are categorized into 10 or 12 types so items are interest are easily located. The music channel 29 was labeled Country. It was soft jazz. Checked all the other music channels and none had anything remotely country. Cash advances were easy but they charge a 5% fee. The laundromat was good - one on each passenger deck. $2 to wash a $2 to dry a load. The excursions are grossly overpriced, at least 2 to 3 times what you can buy yourself. Their allocation of tender tickets absolutely sucks. You had to go to the Marina Lounge on Deck 5. If you had ship's excursions you were immediately given seats and given tender tickets to make their scheduled departure. Those of us with our own tours (independents) were assigned a few rows of seats and the rest of us had to stand in a line for as long as 2 hours before we got a seat, bear in mind that the vast majority of passengers are 60+ years old. The ship's tours had priority whereas the independents had to wait until the ship's tours were disembarked. We were over 3 hours late for our tour in the first day at Easter Island. To put it into perspective, Azamara tours were priced about 2 times the actual cost but they allow you to get a 50% discount on all their tours as long as you commit prior to sailing. With this discount, the prices were fair and we used ship's tours on every day in port on the Azamara cruise. One of the reasons we picked this cruise was because it was advertising a landing on Pitcairn Island,. the island where the Bounty mutineers settled. Up to the night before, we were led to believe we would be able to go ashore, they even provided walking trail maps of the island. The next morning they announced that we were not going to land and that the islanders were aboard setting up shop to sell souvenirs! The single engine motor whale boat they used to come to the ship was open and carried 42 people to the ship. They could make it out and back but the ship's tenders that have dual engines and props could not (the tenders are enclosed and can carry twice as many passengers.). Jaqui Christian, an islander gave a presentation onboard. Someone asked how many people make it ashore. She said that season they had fourteen cruise ships anchor and only 80 people actually got ashore (equating to probably about 1%). IMHO, it is criminal to advertise this when they know 99% of the time they do not land! They have Happy Hour in three of the bars daily from 1700-1800, two for one drinks. I usually drink Grolsch Beer with is $7.50 a bottle plus 18% gratuity. At Happy Hour, they were half price. I finally figured out - buy your daily beer supply at Happy Hour and keep them in your stateroom refrigerator. They specifically permit you to bring wine aboard from the ports for room consumption. I brought local beers back in my backpack and even saw one fellow who carried a twelve pack in the open and it was no problem. Kudos to Oceania on that informal but fair policy! Bottom line - Oceania is very good due to the ports they service with the sole exception, on this cruise, of Pitcairn Island. Their claims to outstanding food is vastly overstated. Their staff is capable and friendly. Their tours are way overpriced.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
The Marina is a beautiful ship with large open areas. Even when the ship is completely full, as it was for us, you do not feel crowded anywhere. On the top of the ship is a running track and below it and above the pool another walking ... Read More
The Marina is a beautiful ship with large open areas. Even when the ship is completely full, as it was for us, you do not feel crowded anywhere. On the top of the ship is a running track and below it and above the pool another walking area. Unfortunately, both are without cover and provide the only options for walking outside since there is no promenade deck on this ship. Also, on the top deck you will find an 18 hole putting course, a golf driving net and a very nice coquet and shuffleboard courts. The showroom is lovely, but aside from 4 good ship company singers, the shows were not exceptional. The ship has one pool which could be larger for the number of passengers Marina carries, 1200. Unfortunately for us, this ship had no photo department nor any photographers to take pictures other than your own. Had it not been for a crew member loaning us a camera cord, we might have been very restricted in the number of digital pictures we could take and not download to our laptop. There are seven different restaurants; five are specialty which require reservations. Only one of the five, La Reserve, requires an additional charge; the rest are included in your cruise fare. The Grand Dining room and Terrace Café are both dine at any time restaurants. The Terrace Café, being the ships buffet restaurant, had a good selection most days and most selections were changed daily except there is little change at breakfast. A good and different experience was his ship's staff serve you at the buffet rather than each passenger serving themselves. We like the fact that several hundred people do not touch serving utensils but instead the ship's staff do with hands in protective gloves. Added to this protection is this ship has more than the usual number of antibacterial dispensers. Of the four specialty restaurants that do not charge extra, the Red Ginger is the only one that is not located on the ship's perimeter; it is an inside restaurant. It, like the other specialty restaurants, is nicely decorated to match the restaurant's theme which in this case is Asian. It is not a Chinese restaurant. Jacques is not a French restaurant either but it does have French dishes on the menu. The Polo Grill has the lamb, steak and some seafood items you would expect. It was very good but the meat was not cooked to order twice. Toscana, the Italian restaurant was great, and like 4 other restaurants on the ship, has many tables for two along the window walls - very romantic. The Grand Dining room was our favorite and had good menu selections almost every day. Service in all restaurants was the best we have had on any ship to date. And we enjoyed the fact that restaurants were not loud; you could even hear the overhead music. One evening we did have a couple of issues in the Grand Dining room, aside from another steak that was not cooked to order. The supervisory staff handled and resolved the problems very quickly and did more than we expected. Again, it was great service. But the food was not to that level. We found the entrées at times with little taste. The bread and deserts were exceptional, however. Oceania charges more than we are accustom to for its mixed drinks, wine by the glass and bottled wine. Sodas and bottled water are free. It also charges a lot more for its excursions vs. Cunard and Princess which were the last two cruises we took this past year before Oceania. The veranda cabin we booked on the seventh floor was a nicest cabin we can remember. It was tastefully decorated and that, combined with a large granite bathroom with tub and shower gave us daily a feeling of space that made our trip more relaxing. We had an exceptional cabin stewardess. Every day our sliding glass door was washed so we could have a good view every day. Unfortunately, upon arriving at the ship on the first day we found that our deck had an obstruction which blocked the view on the lower 14 inches of the railing. We had booked an unobstructed cabin and Oceania assured us in making our booking that it was unobstructed. This was a big issue for us because a few years ago we booked and paid for another Oceania cruise in an unobstructed cabin and when we arrived at the ship found our cabin had 40% of its balcony obstructed by decorative sheet metal. In that case Oceana did nothing for us and we were stuck with a situation. In this cruise Oceana did give us a shipboard credit, but it did not make up for 18 days looking at the obstruction and again we were stuck with it. This really impacted our enjoyment of the trip for again the ship was full and we could not move. The trust factor was lost with Oceania as a result. On this particular cruise we have a few more comments to pass on. Two days out on our 28 day cruise we were told the ship ran out of small US currency. It also did not have Chilean currency so we were in a little trouble for our stop at Easter Island because we had mostly large currency. Next, the ship's store is small for items such as toothpaste and suntan lotion. It was running out of items before we get on our 28 day cruise and we were told that it would not be replenished until the ship reached Sydney Australia; that's several cruises after ours. They had an art company on board providing art auctions on sea days. We purchased a couple of pieces and when we arrived home Oceania called us and said they were refunding our money as it canceled its agreement with the art company. We wish they would have advised us of this while we were on ship. On a positive note, there was a lot of tendering off the ship during our stops in the islands. The service was very well handled, efficient and safety was always the first order of business. From our perspective, Oceania promotes itself as a luxury cruise line and prices its cruises accordingly. During our cruise the ship's staff tried very hard to measure up to a luxury line but Oceania is not there yet. Although the service and food were good, the price for the cruise and the higher costs for alcoholic beverages and excursions did not provide good value compared to other cruise lines taken recently.   Read Less
Sail Date December 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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