204 Oceania Sirena Cruise Reviews

My wife and I have just returned from our first, week-long Mediterranean cruise with Oceania on board the Sirena. We are quite experienced cruisers and wanted to try Oceania as an alternative to our usual shipping line and because the ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned from our first, week-long Mediterranean cruise with Oceania on board the Sirena. We are quite experienced cruisers and wanted to try Oceania as an alternative to our usual shipping line and because the particular itinerary was interesting. The ship is very smart and comfortable but we found ourselves most confused by the system for charging drinks etc., which we felt was far too complicated and contradictory. At the time of booking, we purchased the House Select beverage package for US $39.95 each per day which gave us free wine, champagne or beer by the glass during lunch and dinner. According to the footnote in the brochure, this also included gratuities, which I assumed were to be distributed amongst the whole crew. Elsewhere in the brochure, it was stated that optional gratuities in the sum of US $16 per guest per day would be added to our shipboard account and that an additional 18% gratuity would be added to all beverage purchases, which are quite high in the first place with two vodka and tonics costing US $20, plus a $3.60 surcharge. I firmly expected that, having purchased the beverage package, these additional charges would not be levied. Although the daily charge was not applied, the 18% surcharge was applied to all drinks consumed outside of mealtimes. We were also very confused by the charging during Happy Hours, when I would have expected drinks to be half price, but it was a two drinks for the price of one arrangement and if we didn't want a large measure or second drink, then we were charged for two anyway. We really didn't want to have to make such complicated calculations whilst on holiday and, after discussing the issue with the Reception staff, made a written complaint. I was then invited to meet with the Food and Beverage Manager who explained that the gratuities with the beverage package went mainly to the sommeliers and that the 18% surcharge on drinks went only to the bar staff themselves as they did not receive a salary. I must say that I am quite disgusted with this practice in this day and age and it certainly explained why some of the bar staff were rather pushy in wanting to serve the more expensive drinks in double measures so as to increase their income. It also explained why, as soon as the sommeliers realised that we were on the package, their level of service deteriorated drastically and it was often difficult to get a second glass of wine, particularly at dinner even when they were not particularly busy. The bar service was also quite slow most of the time. When I pointed out that gratuities were supposedly at the discretion of the guest and not a mandatory payment, the Manager offered to remove the surcharges from our account When we got home. our travel agent explained that Oceania is American owned and that gratuities are one of the problems with American owned cruise lines from a European perspective. The culture in America is one of tipping led by low base salary or even no salary at all. Given that most of the crew, including the senior officers, were either from Eastern Europe, Asia or Central America, one does start thinking about exploitation. I must say that on our previous cruises in American owned ships, we have never had any problems or queries regarding crew gratuities. Generally, the food was of good quality and Oceania pride themselves on offering high quality cuisine but we both felt that there was insufficient variety. Typically, lobster bisque was on the dinner menu in the main restaurant every evening and other items were often repeated. The two speciality restaurants, Tuscan and Red Ginger were excellent and extremely popular to the extent that it was not possible to get a second reservation in either during the course of the week. Getting ashore, particularly in tender ports was handled well and there were never any delays. The personalised World Card had a bar code which the gangway staff scanned when leaving and returning to the ship, which was most efficient. It was unfortunate that this automatic process did not extend to paying for drinks and the card had to be handed over to be manually swiped by the bar staff on every occasion. Although we enjoyed the cruise and ports of call, in the light of these experiences it is unlikely that we will cruise again with Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because of an itinerary that included southern Italy, Greek Islands (including Santorini and Mykonos) and Venice. After we booked, the Santorini port was changed to Gythion. This was very disappointing since we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of an itinerary that included southern Italy, Greek Islands (including Santorini and Mykonos) and Venice. After we booked, the Santorini port was changed to Gythion. This was very disappointing since we considered Santorini an iconic Greek island that we did not want to miss. As it turned out, weather prohibited us from tendering into Mykonos, so we missed both of the islands we had been excited to see. The embarkation for the Sirena was very smooth and quick, with our luggage being delivered to the room very promptly. All of the crew and port staff were friendly and made us feel quite welcome. Our stateroom was an inside stateroom. The room was about the size you would expect, and had lots of storage. One drawback is that my husband's suitcase did not fit under the bed so he eventually shoved it under the desk area to get it out of the way. Although the room size was not bad, the bathroom size was very bad. My husband and I are both on the normal to slim side, and we could barely move around in the bathroom and the shower. We had to shut off the water in the shower in order to soap up and then turn it back on to rinse off. I hit my head on the cabinet above the sink when trying to brush my teeth. While it was less than comfortable for us, I cannot imagine how it would feel for those who are not normal to slim body types. The cabin steward did an okay job, although one evening he forgot to service our room at all. That meant we did not get an itinerary for the next day. It just so happens that there was a time change that evening. Even though he put the itinerary on the door the next morning along with a reminder for a spa appointment, we did not get them until later in the morning after we returned to our room. I ended up being an hour late for the spa because we had forgotten the time change. Room service was prompt and the food was good. We ate at the Terrace Café almost every morning and most days for lunch if we were onboard. The food was good and had good variety. We ate in the Main Dining room at night or at Red Ginger or Tuscan Steak. The recommendations of the staff turned out to be very good in most cases. All of the food was delicious. The entertainment...ugh! And the reason for the title of this review. The entertainment aboard the ship is very much geared to an older clientele. My husband and I are in our mid-fifties but found the entertainment to be way beyond our years. I am not talking about current pop or rock hits necessarily, but at least something that appeals to people below the age of 70! While we appreciate a string quartet every now and then, it would also be nice to have an area that offers more contemporary music in a more robust environment. Maybe a piano player that plays some more current music, please???There was a night of rock music, so we got our hopes up a bit, but the rock was played by the string quartet. Really?!?!? We had an unscheduled day at sea (when we missed Mykonos) and the first thing that the cruise director scheduled was a meeting of the needlepoint club. The cruise director was not the high-energy type of person you normally see on other cruise ships but the older clientele seemed to appreciate that and love it. We did enjoy a nice wine tasting, although the price was a bit steep ($75pp). We booked with the OLife Choice, and chose the free shore excursions. All of the ship excursions were run well and the guides were very knowledgeable. The excursions did seem to be priced quite high, and other than the free excursions, we only booked one other ship excursion and did the rest with outside companies. Overall, the experience was quite nice, with a high level of service and good food. Oceania's clientele seems to be an older (70+), affluent crowd and they do a good job catering to that crowd. So while we ate well and were treated very well, we found the boat to be a bit staid and too geriatric for us at this point in our lives. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We choose this as our first experience with Oceania, as it offered an itinerary to match an anniversary celebration. Travelling on a newly refurbished ship, and the marketing around service and food were deciding factors also. Up to now, ... Read More
We choose this as our first experience with Oceania, as it offered an itinerary to match an anniversary celebration. Travelling on a newly refurbished ship, and the marketing around service and food were deciding factors also. Up to now, we had only cruised Seabourn (4), Silversea (3), Crystal (1), Sea Dream (1). We enjoyed the cruise very much, but unfortunately some areas did disappoint. The marketing of this brand is excellent, but in my opinion, over promises in some areas, and under delivers in reality. THE SHIP The ship refurbishment in most areas was beautiful, but it was just a pity that they seemed to miss some areas. Specifically the Terrace restaurant which we found cramped in the buffet area, and the furniture and lighting is dated. The ambience was dreary. The serving areas very dated too. We would not sit inside, and were lucky to always find a space outside, albeit often sharing a table. All other dining venues were very pleasant on the whole, although personally we felt that the main dining room would have benefited from lighter window treatments, to make it a little more contemporary. Our penthouse suite was beautiful and I much preferred it to similar size accommodation on Seabourn/Silversea. You may have a smaller bathroom and no walk in closet, but storage was ample, and never using the bath, I appreciated the larger shower. We really enjoyed the width of the cabin and the light. All appointments were excellent. We visited a verandah concierge suite which was extremely cramped in my opinion. You have to remember that these ships are 20 years old, and even after refurbishment, they still don't come close to the modern style and layout of say the modern Seabourn and Silversea ones, with their wider spaces, light and modern stylish spaces. THE SERVICE We found the vast majority of staff to be cheerful and helpful The predominant asian waiting staff were efficient and cheerful, but sometimes things got lost in transition, and culturally it was not possible to build rapport over the week as we were able to do with the higher ratio of European staff on Seabourn/Silversea. Our butler was excellent and efficient. The cruise director - well.... he just made announcements and opened/closed the entertainment, and to be honest little else. A waste of a salary in my mind. I think that we must have been on auto pilot for much of the time also, because I have never been on a cruise with such invisible officers, if they actually existed. In fairness we did not go to the introduction evening, but usually officers interact, or are at least visible, throughout the cruise. This certainly did not happen. THE FOOD Ranged from average to excellent, but I'm sorry, Oceania most certainly does not offer the finest cuisine at sea. The Terrace restaurant was the biggest disappointment. Breakfast felt chaotic, and variety was lacking. We gave up on fresh egg orders, and those from the griddle. As with breakfast, the lunch variety was lacking. It looked good, until you realised that the buffet was a mirror image in parts with items repeated each side. I commend any attempt to reduce waste in buffet restaurants, but I also don't expect to be served basically everything and to be asked how many prunes I want, how many pieces of melon etc, not at the price we paid. This was annoying, and slowed everything down, adding to the chaos at times. Dining at the speciality restaurants was very enjoyable and we managed to change and secure extra reservations. Main dining room, was good - service extremely efficient. Waves grill was good, but again, lacked variety with the same menu board on the wall each day. Afternoon tea was excellent. In our opinion, the Terrace Restaurant should stay open 30 minutes longer for lunch and dinner. It would make a big difference to the feeling of being rushed, and having to rush in to get dishes before they closed. On the food side, I expected a lot more I'm afraid. PORTS All good and arrival/departure was handed well. EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION All efficient and quick. On reflection, we would possibly choose Oceania again, but only in a penthouse suite, and with more realistic expectations around service and food. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We booked this trip because each day we were visiting a different port which we had not been to before. Embarkation was relaxed and very straight forward in Monaco. Our penthouse suite was beautiful. We normally book larger suites on ... Read More
We booked this trip because each day we were visiting a different port which we had not been to before. Embarkation was relaxed and very straight forward in Monaco. Our penthouse suite was beautiful. We normally book larger suites on similar ships but found the size, bathroom with large shower and wardrobe space more than adequate. I believe the ship had been recently refurbished and looked lovely throughout. We ate in Red Ginger and Tuscan both of which were really good. We took afternoon tea on a few afternoons where we enjoyed trolley service for sandwiches, cake and tea along with the string quartet. We found dining in the main dining room a little disappointing. The menu choice was not as good as other cruise lines we have used. Quite often the service was slow for food and drinks. We felt that the waiting staff seemed to have little direction, and we were normally not aware of any management involvement. We enjoyed lunch and breakfast buffet dishes. Once again the service was not consistent. We also noticed that the better wines/champagne appeared to start running out on day 2 which was disappointing. Perhaps we could understand this towards the end of a cruise but not at the beginning. Our room stewards and butler did a great job of looking after us and kept the suite immaculate. We enjoyed the entertainment and felt they did a good job and there was a fair amount of variety for a small ship. We did not do any port excursions as it was so easy to wonder around seeing the sights on our own. Disembarkation was the quickest and easiest we have ever experienced. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Have travelled on Sirena once before and also on Oceania's Riviera. Service on board apart from the drinks service was excellent. Food sadly was a let down. We sent back a total of five main courses. The menu at the Grand Dining Room ... Read More
Have travelled on Sirena once before and also on Oceania's Riviera. Service on board apart from the drinks service was excellent. Food sadly was a let down. We sent back a total of five main courses. The menu at the Grand Dining Room had shrunk considerably from our last cruises. Red Ginger and Tuscan Steak House menu's haven't changed in the past four years. Ports of call were handled well as was embarking and disembarking. We had the beverage package which is clumsily handled. Firstly you cannot buy prior to cruising, you have to buy on board which means queuing to request then the re issue of your cabin key card. Stupid. The staff have to retrieve your card and swipe it after you order your drink. It is hard enough finding a wine waiter in the first place and even harder to get one to swipe your card. Viking do it so much better were each staff member carries a hand held device that has your picture, room no, any packages etc. Once they confirm your room number that's it. Far, far better. Please look at my cabin review. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Our first Oceania Cruise was on the Marina and we were so “wowed” we booked the Sirena to sail 5 months later. We did not come back from this one overwhelmed with a sense to book the next one ASAP. First, the things that were a ... Read More
Our first Oceania Cruise was on the Marina and we were so “wowed” we booked the Sirena to sail 5 months later. We did not come back from this one overwhelmed with a sense to book the next one ASAP. First, the things that were a little less than fantastic The spa deck was very small and hard to find a seat on some days. So, the concierge upgrade was not really worth the money. The bathrooms were very tiny and, we knew going in it was a smaller ship but, if you are on the toilet with the door closed it was sideways sitting. The room stewards were not as intuitive as to what we needed. For example- on day one we had champagne in a bucket that we didn’t drink on boarding as in it was more fun after sail away. When we came back to the room to drink- the bucket was gone and the champagne on the counter. We had to call to get the bucket back. The buffet restaurant was not quick with water, tea or coffee. Most breakfasts we had to flag someone down to get us more. There was link flexibility in changing restaurant dinner times even with empty tables. The good- heck it is still a fantastic line! The food is fantastic and who doesn’t like grilled lobsters. Honestly, the best food you can have at sea. The main dining room and speciality restaurants had great service. The ship is very clean. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We've cruised extensively with Oceania starting with the Riviera maiden season in 2012. We were thrilled to have found Oceania as it met a niche for us that other cruise lines we had tried did not. Unfortunately, the product has ... Read More
We've cruised extensively with Oceania starting with the Riviera maiden season in 2012. We were thrilled to have found Oceania as it met a niche for us that other cruise lines we had tried did not. Unfortunately, the product has declined dramatically over the last few years in so many areas. I won't be commenting on the itinerary in detail other to say it was fabulous! Sirena was aquired by Oceania in 2016 and underwent a fairly extensive drydock at that time to bring her up to Oceania standards. Two months ago in May, 2019 Sirena undewent her biggest renovation ever as part of the much advertised Oceania NEXT program. The ship is gorgeous and absolulely looks better than new. Very impressive appearance. The cabins and bathrooms were gutted down to the steel and rebuilt using the same footprint. Unfortunately, that means standard cabins remain extremeley small and below industry averages for the premium cruise market. Even in the Penhouses bathrooms are VERY small and have poor ventilation. Air conditioning on the ship was consistently a problem - especially in the cabins. The new Oceania beds and bedding are heavenly as are the cushioned lounges with logo clad terry cloth covers. So given the recent refurbishment you would think the Oceania Sirena has all necessary ingredients for a huge recipe for success. Despite all the expensive artwork, gorgeous decor and aesthetically pleasing touches Sirena suffers from a miserable crew which makes her very ugly. That being said, we certainly encounted a number of people on board who were exceptional (cabin stewardess Daniella) and interestingly a few confided in us that they are leaving for Seabourn, Viking and Crystal because "things have gone downhill since NCL purchased us". Many of the crew members remind us of the walking dead. Just zombies doing their jobs - at time begrudgingly. A smile or hello was tough to extract and never seemed sincere. The shore excursions staff and reception staff are indifferent, rude and nasty. Quite condecending actually. Getting a reception staff member to look up and acknowledge you is like pulling teeth and they are clearly annoyed to have to interact with passengers. Preoccupied with other things. Certainly, working on a cruise ship away from family and friends can be difficult for many as it is not a normal life. However, this is the hospitality business. I never encountered passengers being rude or demanding to the staff. Just the opposite. A really nice crowd on this cruise with a lot of kids - mostly very well behaved. Average age probably young 50's. We met many calm, even keeled passengers who lost their nerve over rude treatment on a vacation. A few people I never would have suspected really snapped (not at the crew), by venting to other passengers about their negative experiences and were clearly bothered. Cut backs since NCL aquisition are evident everywhere. Bar service by the pool is quite limited as is the liquor selection (all over the ship). Food quality and offerings have dropped off significantly. On a bright note, Oceania still does one of the best jobs with room service. Bar drinks are expensive if you don't have a drink package and an "honest" drink (think Ruths Chris Vodka Martini) requires a double bringing the price of an "honest" martini that fills an appropriate martini glass to around $27. A few bartenders (Allen and Baptiste) were exceptional, but most were non-communicative, miserable, rude and don't listen. We were the only ones by the pool one morning starting at 11 and no other passengers showed up until noon. I had to go to the bar to ask for an iced tea (I know first world problem) and was treated as if I was inconveniencing the bartender who was doing some cleaning behind the bar. Not a good feeling. Simply put, we didn't feel like welcome guests on Sirena which is unacceptable for any cruise line, but especially for one who markets themselves as better than the rest and premium. We have sailed with this cruise director before. In my opinion he is a lackluster cruise director who fails to set a vibe or personality for the ship. He vanished quickly from his mandatory appearances and it seemed he did not want to be seen by the passengers or mix and mingle. Same can be said of the rest of the social staff on board - I guess the fish stinks from the head and leads by examples (sometimes bad ones). Absent. The ship has no essence or personality which can only come alive with a happy and engaging crew - particularly a social staff that has the ability to take the lead. Over the years Oceania has hired many more Filipinos and Indonesians for what I'm told is 1/3 the cost of hiring a European or South African. I believe these hard working employees are exploited victims of an underground that is not so underground, but right in front of our face and just as unconscionable as sweat shop labor. I had exensive conversations with a fwe crew members who were very open and honest about this issue. Compared to lines like Seabourn where it is not uncommon to have a cabin stewardess who has gone to college to train in hospitality and is fairly paid the Filipino and Indonesian crew are hired without experience, limited English and purely for financial reasons - certainly no fault to these human beings who deserve better, but take the jobs out of desperation. It's not fair to these crew members or the passengers as they are programmed to fail. I can perhaps understand the cheaper labor for mass maket lines, but it is not compatible for a cruise line that markets an ultra premium or perhaps even a luxurious experience to have such a service disconnect. To me Oceania is no different than my cell phone carrier that outsources its calls to the Phillipines because it is cheaper labor. Don't get me wrong - I love the Phillipines and all people. Essentially, my cell phone carrier is telling me I'm not worth talking to a more well compensated and well trained employee in the United States (or elsewhere). Anyone who has experienced these call centers knows it is not a satisfying experience and quite the insult. Likewise Oceania! In summary, if you are looking for a pretty hotel with above average food to transport you from port to port and have no expectations of a "cruise experience" and don't mind being treated as persona non grata Oceania beats the mass market competition - especially when you consider their ships hold 600-1200 passengers compared to 6,000 passengers. There is a benefit to fewer passengers, but keep in mind Sirena has more than 600 passengers at 30,000 tons while Seabourn's Odyssey Class vessels only accomodate 450 passengers at 30,000 tons. So despite the fewer number of passengers one must consider passengers per ton and passenger space ratios. My wife and I just can't get past the rude, zombie, indifferent factor as we enjoy more personalized, interactive and sincere service that should be inherent to near luxury and luxury cruises. It's no fun to be treated rudly and is really irritating and unncessary. Fortunately, we all have choices and for us cruise fanatics there are lines like Seabourn and Crystal that offer this level of service. The beauty of cruising - there is something for everyone and this review is just my two cents. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The food in the main dining room was never hot and disappointing. Definitely not up to the standards we expected from a cruise line that is supposedly known for its food. Salmon which is a Pepin specialty was cool and tasteless. Paying ... Read More
The food in the main dining room was never hot and disappointing. Definitely not up to the standards we expected from a cruise line that is supposedly known for its food. Salmon which is a Pepin specialty was cool and tasteless. Paying $800 for concierge compared to a B2 was a rip off. There is no concierge lounge so therefore we paid $800 for a bottle of champagne and free laundry which took 4 days to return The room is the same size as a B1 B2 with only two feet between the bed and the wall. Seville was cancelled as Oceania shortened the stay in Cadiz and therefore there was not sufficient time to to Seville Oceania started three months before departure changing times in ports and also cancelled Porto Veecho to Propriano where only Costa goes and there is nothing to do or see. The cruise is definitely not worth the money Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We sailed on Sirena May 29, 2019 out of Venice. Although Sirena did an overnight in Venice, our flight didn't arrive until late afternoon. I used Oceania for my air. They booked us through Copenhagen from Boston with a five hour ... Read More
We sailed on Sirena May 29, 2019 out of Venice. Although Sirena did an overnight in Venice, our flight didn't arrive until late afternoon. I used Oceania for my air. They booked us through Copenhagen from Boston with a five hour wait for our flight to Venice. The next day the ship departed at 3:00pm. Useless port unless you arrive at least a day early. The ship just finished a total renovation. I was not impressed. It did not look elegant. The cabin (concierge) was extremely small. No afternoon appetizers. The luggage couldn't fit under the beds so we had to deal with it the entire time in the cabin. One could barely walk by the bottom of the beds. I also thought concierge was an upgrade from a balcony. I honestly did not feel there was any difference between balcony and concierge. Nothing special. As a matter of fact, I left a precious hand painted piece of artwork on the desk upon disembarkation. Upon arrival home, I immediately contacted Oceania via email as there was no phone number provided for this. From guest services I received a response that they checked with the vessel's Concierge, Chief Housekeeper and the Reception Desk, however, the artwork was not found nor returned to lost and found. I asked that they talk with the cabin steward as he would have found it and he would be able to tell them what he did with it. Oceania has not responded. Very disappointed with their response. We made excursion reservations prior to embarking on the cruise. Upon arrival in our cabin there was a letter informing us that one of the excursions was cancelled. We visited with the excursion staff but the new excursions we chose were unavailable and we were sent back to our cabin to choose additional choices. Many of our fellow cruisers were affected with cancelled excursions. We spent more time arranging new excursions than enjoying the cruise. We were so looking forward to the Greek Islands but the ports were so crowded you could not move on the islands. The highlight of this cruise was the food. They do an exceptional job in all the restaurants. One feels very special. The entertainment was below par when compared with larger cruise lines. There were very few children onboard. Having been on Oceania before, and being so impressed with the line, I talked a girlfriend into this cruise. It was an embarrassment for me. I spoke so highly of Oceania to her prior to the cruise. I am sorry to say I would not cruise with Oceania again. There were too many problems to call this a vacation. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My room was in bad need of repairs, which should have been done, before I stepped aboard. I had to spend the first 3 days, asking for repairs. This was a concierge room. The lunch was only open until 2pm, and if you left to go ashore ... Read More
My room was in bad need of repairs, which should have been done, before I stepped aboard. I had to spend the first 3 days, asking for repairs. This was a concierge room. The lunch was only open until 2pm, and if you left to go ashore , you returned to only a grill by the pool. Food should be supplied to everyone especially lunch on a fancy cruise. the ice cream closed at 4pm for the day. Who doesn't want ice cream at night. The shows were mediocre at best. Not professional , like on a big cruise. The food was just ok. the excursions were not planned well, and we barely got water upon returning from each excursion. The customer service desk, was not very helpful, and the excursion desk was always closed, so you couldn't ask questions. This was not worth the money, and I paid a fortune. I asked for a partial refund and was denied. I can go on and on with many other issues on this boat. It was not well prepared for guests, and not customer friendly. I did like the spa, although the changing room was not kept up , and was always flooded and dirty. Nothing to ever do at night. No disco, no nothing. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We have sailed with the line before and the overall experience is on a downward slope. We sailed from Vienna to Lisbon, departing in late May. The ship had come out of dry dock a couple of weeks earlier, which may account for some of the ... Read More
We have sailed with the line before and the overall experience is on a downward slope. We sailed from Vienna to Lisbon, departing in late May. The ship had come out of dry dock a couple of weeks earlier, which may account for some of the issues. It is a smaller ship, and the cabins were fully occupied. On the plus side the crew were without fail helpful, friendly and when you could get their attention, attentive. The cabin was well kept and the stewards frequently inquired if we had any issues or needed anything. We could get our empty suitcases under the bed, I noted someone else mentioned an issue with this. We did find the staffing levels seemed inadequate on many occasions. It was difficult to get service in the Terrace Cafe during all meals. On many occasions the grill area was in chaos,unable to keep orders straight, as well as not cooked in the manner requested. I heard several other passengers voice concerns over the level of service. The upside was no matter how busy the servers were they always remained cheerful. The bar staff in Martini's was also unable to keep up with the flow of people, with slow service experienced throughout the cruise, even though we did raise the issue more than once with hotel managers. I speculated that as they now sell so many drink packages they cut back on bar staff because it's not as much a revenue stream. There are only two specialty restaurants (vs. four on the larger ships). Service in those was very good, as was the service in the main dining room. I found the entertainment was good, and the entertainment team was engaging and interesting. The line charges a premium price, and for that I do expect a superior product. I don't feel as if it was delivered on this cruise. Hopefully it's a one off! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Ports: We chose this cruise mainly for the ports... and they were beautiful. For Santorini, 5 ships were there, was really crowded, and long wait to come back down on the cable car. Otherwise, we had great weather and enjoyed the ... Read More
Ports: We chose this cruise mainly for the ports... and they were beautiful. For Santorini, 5 ships were there, was really crowded, and long wait to come back down on the cable car. Otherwise, we had great weather and enjoyed the cruise. Ship: Just remodeled in Marseilles France May 2019 so looked great. The decor has all been upgraded, all new cabins, and mostly new public spaces. The ship is small by today's norms but was a good size for getting around and also seeing folks you met along the way again. Cuisine: Although the lead tag is "Finest Cuisine at Sea," for this cruise, it fell short... at least compared to cruise we took on their Marina December 2017. There is much to pick from as far as selection... maybe too much ? I had cold eggs in the Terrace Cafe, lukewarm coffee at high tea one afternoon, tough lobster in Tuscan steak, dry and tasteless salmon in the main dining room, etc. I realize perfection is not possible over 10 days and so many passengers, but it was overall much better on our Marina cruise. We indeed had some decent dishes over the 10 days, but not great. `1 Specialty Restaurants: Waves Grill must be noted as doing the best job on consistently good food (burgers, grilled salmon, smoothies, shakes) but the other spots need to get to that level. Red Ginger was better on this cruise than Marina; not great but better. Tuscan Steak was o.k. Service: seems to always be a bit unpredictable but the best was from seasoned employees who have been with the company for many years. Ship was full... totally booked... so that maybe affected overall food and service ? Entertainment: Cruise Director Julie James is a bundle of energy and did a great job. Six singer/dancers, five piece band, and four strings, and a few guest appearances managed to hold down the fort and keep us entertained. This is a small ship, so if your big thing is activities and entertainment, go on a big boat ! Cultural/corporate: The company is (understandably) extremely marketing focused. We constantly receive very slick brochures, promotional e-mails, etc. Maybe some of this effort needs to be shifted towards details of the passenger experience, however. I think one way to improve here is to have more women in higher ranks on the ships as ours had maybe two in their very large group of ship leadership when they were introduced. There seems to be some progress being made on this in the industry, but that that was not the case here. As younger folks eventually start taking cruises, they will notice this, it will matter, so I think it would behoove Oceania to improve on this, which would likely also improve the quality of the passenger experience. Overall: Very good company, would cruise again in the future, but maybe temper my expectations a bit. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
April 2019 - My wife and I have been on numerous cruises (22+) throughout the world on various cruise lines over the years. This was our fifth cruise with Oceania; the previous cruises were the Northeastern Seaboard, Bermuda, Cuba, India, ... Read More
April 2019 - My wife and I have been on numerous cruises (22+) throughout the world on various cruise lines over the years. This was our fifth cruise with Oceania; the previous cruises were the Northeastern Seaboard, Bermuda, Cuba, India, the Middle East and Europe and Southern Africa cruises. The 17-day Rio to Barcelona Cruise started on April 18, 2019. Our trip actually started on April 14, with our flight landing in Rio on April 15. Our pre cruise Rio de Janeiro tour included a few days at the Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel & Resort, which is located on the beach just west of Ipanema Beach; a great location. The hotel had great food and a very nice HUGE pool. It also had free car service to the city. We toured the HStern manufacturing offices and store (free tour from the hotel and back … worth the time to see how they manufacture jewels), Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf. The Oceania pre tour provided a lot of time to visit the local area on our own and also, the hotel pool area (nice pool). The hotel arranged for us to enjoy a Samba Dinner Show. The dinner was at a local restaurant and the show was near by. Both were wonderful. Boarding the ship was very easy. Our room was at the front of the ship on deck 6, room 6014. This was a good location as we were near the entertainment areas and the Spa, Game and Computer Rooms. The primary sources of food are in the rear; decks 5 and 9. Most points of interest are on 5, dining room at the rear and the Sirena Lounge at the front. Deck 9 has the computer room, card room and spa. The ship is a few years old but was very nice; very clean. It will be remodeled after our cruise. The staff was great and the food was excellent. Coffee, including specialty coffees, was available 24/7 on Deck 10 front and also, during select hours on Deck 5 rear. The ship provided complimentary water and soft drinks. The Program Director provided information about basically everything you needed to know on a timely basis. The ship had a cast of great entertainers on board and also a great band. They were very professional and excellent musicians. The cruise line provided two speakers who covered a wide range of interesting topics on the locations we visited and also, sea life. The passengers and the crew were all very nice people from all walks of life. The people on the ship made the cruise interesting and enjoyable. The only real negative was the price of alcoholic beverages; they are a little pricey. I signed up for the Scotch Tasting (around $20). They provided 11 bottles of Scotch to taste but only allowed 3 tastings. Three very small tastings. The bottom line … Don't do it. Take your $20 and go to the bar for your own glass of one or two Scotches. We had a lot of fun playing games and competitions to earn Big O points. We earned over 400 points which were cashed in on the last full day for Oceania merchandise. The visited Ports of Call follow. First, While in Brazil, the ship charges a 25% tax on purchases. RECIFE, BRAZIL – Our first port was located north of Rio, just south of the Equator. Recife is a quiet little city. The tour included a nice view of the city from the high point in the area, a pretty little chapel, a free coconut drink in the market and generally, a nice tour of the city with nothing spectacular to offer. It was a good introduction to life in Brazil outside of a big city. NATAL, BRAZIL – We took the Highlights of Natal tour. The drive out into the countryside was very nice and the world's largest cashew tree interesting (the tree is huge, covering more than a soccer field in area but only maybe 20 feet high). We stopped at an old prison that now is a market. The tour included a lot of time on the bus. Again, it was a nice tour of the area with nothing spectacular to offer …. oh, the cashew tree was interesting …. the highlight of the tour. Crossing the Equator was fun. Those of us who had not crossed the line before on a ship were transformed from a Polliwog into the Ancient Order of the Deep through a Special Ceremony not to be discussed further. The Atlantic Ocean was relatively came the entire cruise. MINDELO, CAPE VERDE – Cape Verde is sort of the middle of the North Atlantic, west of the African coast. The Mindelo – The Cultural Capital tour included a tour of several markets and the a liqueur tasting. The rum was great. This tour included a lot of walking through parts of Mindelo. SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, CANARY ISLANDS – We took the Canada Del Teide tour. This was a wonderful tour that included a great lunch in a beautiful old monastery. This is a beautiful island with many interesting buildings and natural wonders. This was a very nice tour of the island. ARRECIFE, CANARY ISLANDS – The Southern Lanzarote & Wine Tasting tour presented a completely different perspective on the Canary Islands. This island is volcanic! The tour included an extensive tour of volcanic areas of the island, a ride on a camel and a meaningless wine tasting, although the vineyards were interesting. The high point of the island is the treeless volcanic areas. It's like being on Mars. This was an interesting tour. TANGIER, MOROCCO – The Highlights of Tangier tour was a fun time in a beautiful city. We visited a mountain top vista that overlooked the city and then drove down to the coast to walk into the Hercules Cave. This was interesting. We then toured the narrow streets of the city stopping in a market and a spice demonstration. The spice demonstration was very well done and worth the time. Tangier is a very interesting city with many different ethnic areas. Again, while in Spain, the ship charges a 10% tax on purchases. ALMERIA, SPAIN – We toured the area on the Mojacar & Cabo De Gata tour. The bus ride to Mojacar was very long but worth it: Mojacar is very similar to Santorini with white buildings (no blue roofs) built up on a hill top. The views are fantastic. The tour included a nice walk around the hill top city with some free time to walk around or purchase a beer, wine or whatever. The drive through Cabo De Gata reminded me of the hillsides of Southern California; dry. The tour is generally on the bus and the views are beautiful. ALICANTE, SPAIN – We took the Alicante, Novelda and Wine Tasting tour. Alicante is a beautiful city. The tour took us to a beautiful hill top church with a organ being constructed of stone; stone is abundant in the area. We then visited the Bodega Heretat de Cesilia winery. The tour of the winery was very nice and the wine tasting … worth the wait! The wines were very nice and free flowing. Most of us purchased a bottle or two to take home. The winery is small but the grounds are large. A beautiful place to drink a few glasses. This was one of the better tours on the cruise. BARCELONA, SPAIN – We left Barcelona immediately on a bus for Madrid. Getting off the ship was easy … you just had to wait your turn. Our tour guide was standing next to our baggage and when we all were accounted for, we left on a small bus. There were only 10 of us on the port cruise tour. Our first stop was at the Poblet Monastery where most of us generally froze. We were not dressed for a tour of a cold stone fortress. The tour was very nice and worth the stop though. From there, we continued to Montblanc for a FANTASIC lunch and city tour. Then we continued to Zaragoza for the night. Our guide took us out for a beer and snack. We were then left on our own to walked around. This is a very interesting place … beautiful by night. The next morning, were toured the city including the El Pilar Cathedral …. unbelievable!!! On the road again, we stopped at Madinaceli for a quick tour and another FANTASIC lunch. That night, we were at the Melia Madrid Princess hotel. The hotel was in a great location and was very nice. The next day we took a tour of the city with the afternoon on our own. We arranged to go to a Flamenco Dinner Show. We walked there and back with several other couples. Great dinner and show. The next morning we were picked up and driven to the airport. All of our tour guides were very good. They all spoke English well and were very approachable. Overall, the cruise was educational and enlightening … no security concerns anywhere. Overall, the cruise was great and the pre and post trips fantastic. You will see many different types of architecture, topography, and vegetation. You will meet many very nice people on the ship and also, tour guides and locals. Oceania really took good care of us; they were always there to make sure everything was taken care of during the cruise and also, during the pre and post trips. They really seemed to care. A great trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We arranged this cruise to South America whilst on our previous Oceania cruise which was on Marina. We were prepared for the smaller ship and looked forward to the experience. We were in stateroom 7076, a Concierge room. We had previously ... Read More
We arranged this cruise to South America whilst on our previous Oceania cruise which was on Marina. We were prepared for the smaller ship and looked forward to the experience. We were in stateroom 7076, a Concierge room. We had previously read how small the bathrooms are, believe it, they are tiny. The ship is about to be refurbished and shower curtains replaced with doors. I cant imagine how anyone on the slightly larger side will get in and shut the door. Most of the ports were interesting especially Paracas and Punta Arenas. We enjoyed seeing many different penguins, birds and sea lions. This is very much a nature, rather than a cultural cruise. Evening entertainment was variable, but on the whole good. There were many sea days with very little going on. There were 2 lecturers, one on wildlife and one on Ocean sustainability. Both were good, but that still left too much time with nothing going on. As a Bridge player I appreciated the supervised Bridge, my husband did a lot of reading. On sea day when the weather was inclement it was difficult to find somewhere to sit and the Terrace restaurant was mayhem. They should open the Main dining room for much longer. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise because Oceania has smaller ships and their food is excellent. This was a South America cruise going from Lima Peru to Buenos Aires Argentina. Being the month of March in the Southern Hemisphere, we expected and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because Oceania has smaller ships and their food is excellent. This was a South America cruise going from Lima Peru to Buenos Aires Argentina. Being the month of March in the Southern Hemisphere, we expected and received September type temperatures like the Northern Hemisphere. Sirena is very well kept still clean and attractive though it will be renovated soon. I like all the colors and schemes she has now but that will disappear with the addition of gray interior decor. My only issue with the ship was the aggressiveness and interruptions of the wine stewards and waiters in the main dining room. Those personnel need to be trained to present themselves and be recognized. So many times they would interrupt the table guests which to me is rude. On the last bus tour in BA, there was a passenger that was coughing incessantly. I caught his cold and am still suffering from it. I wrote a separate letter to Oceania suggesting that their ship chaperon(s) on the tours provide disposable masks on those busses for the "coughers" and on the vessel too. There are sick people who come on the ship even though they are given a questionnaire prior to boarding. Passengers do not have to divulge that they have a cold. Anyhow, I would recommend the Sirena and Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The itinerary was spectacular from hot Buenos Aires to chilly Falkland Islands, around the Horn into icy Patagonia, then back into warmer climate into Peru. So, we did not use outdoor spaces much for about half the trip. Favorite stops ... Read More
The itinerary was spectacular from hot Buenos Aires to chilly Falkland Islands, around the Horn into icy Patagonia, then back into warmer climate into Peru. So, we did not use outdoor spaces much for about half the trip. Favorite stops were Punta Del Este, Falkland Islands (so many penguins), Amalia Glacier in Patagonia, Chilean Andes from Coquimo, Orsorno Glacier from Puerto Montt, Valparaiso, Ballestas Islands from Pisco, Barranco district of Lima. We made it safely and without incident to every scheduled port. Naturalist on board was good and some of the entertainment, musicians were really special. The staff was great and it was nice to return to a sparkling room every day and night. The restaurants were good but Red Ginger was outstanding. The menu in the main dining room was different most nights. Buffet is great for breakfast, outdoor grill is nice for mid-afternoon snack after a day on tour. Baristas was very nice for a leisurely coffee and pastry. Martinis was a fun place to gather with new friends before dinner. Never used the casino and we did not participate in many on-board activities except for the single malt tasting which was fun. Note: organize land tours with a small group (8-12 people) on your own as we did. These land excursions can be the best part of the experience. An excursion with 25 folks on a bus is quite limiting, and the prices for small group ship tours are quite high. Final analysis: we would definitely cruise with Oceania again and look forward to it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We were looking for the cruise of a lifetime, in the best cabin. It was our first cruise with Oceania, but our 7th overall. There was a lovely mix of nationalities, mostly American and Canadians, then Brits like us, Aussies and others. ... Read More
We were looking for the cruise of a lifetime, in the best cabin. It was our first cruise with Oceania, but our 7th overall. There was a lovely mix of nationalities, mostly American and Canadians, then Brits like us, Aussies and others. English was the majority main language. We are in our 50s and found we were amongst the youngest onboard. The median age was around 70. Our fellow cruisers were sophisticated, gentle, friendly, polite people who were well travelled. There were absolutely no children on board We treated ourselves to an Owners Suite ....wow! It was stunning, beautifully equipped, with lovely welcome gifts, like champagne, a set of Bulgari toiletries, a tote bag and a beach bag with fluffy towels to take home. Our butler, Abhi, had been well trained and was friendly and professional, arranging anything we needed, even before we knew we needed it. He made us feel so special and so spoilt. Meals were served in suite from any restaurant on board, so we often ate in. There is a bar setup for some suites, so we had a choice of spirits or wine, which was great. We used the suite far more than we would normally because it felt so lovely .....it was like a Manhattan apartment. We thought the standard of food was generally very high.The main dining room was very good, buffet had plenty of choice and was good, Waves grill was OK, Tuscan was variable and Red Ginger was excellent with great food and service. Special mention must go to the Maitre D’ in Red Ginger, Hula from Cape Town who was outstanding. Baristas coffee bar was our first port of call each morning...a lifesaver The small ship was much more intimate than larger ones which meant no queues for getting on and off the ship. We also liked the country club casual dress code and found that people generally dressed up for the evenings. The captain and crew were often seen around and were very friendly. The Captain’s cocktail party was a lovely evening and it was nice to see staff being rewarded for long service. We also enjoyed the farewell from the crew, where we were able to clap them onstage and they, in turn, clapped us out of the lounge. We didn’t really do the shows so can’t comment, neither did we use the bars or enrichment activities. The library was amazing - leave your books at home, there are plenty to suit all tastes. The spa was expensive but I did get a good manicure and my husband had a relaxing massage. We did 6 shore excursions, having bought a discounted package. I disagree with previous poor comments, as we had nothing but good experiences. The tours were professional, with a fair standard of English and buses far exceeded our expectations. Our cruise was from Buenos Aires to Lima, taking 3 weeks. It was amazing, despite a couple of days of bad weather, which is so much more obvious on a small ship. Thank goodness for seasickness patches! There were quite a few sea days, but that is the nature of the distances covered On the negative side, I burnt my hand due to ill fitting lids on takeaway coffee cups and found I was not alone. I cursed myself for having left our reusable cups in the cabin that day! Please get lids that fit or give guests reusable cups, which would be a greener option. Also the vibrations at the back of the ship were terrible and the cabin shook and rattled when going at speed. We did get used to it, but it would put me off spending that kind of money again on that suite. We would absolutely travel on Oceania again and we loved this trip. My husband commented that if he were a billionaire he would employ our butler Abhi in a heartbeat. We can dream...... Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We just returned from circumnavigating Cuba, and the cruise was fantastic It was an older crowd, with no children on board. The ship was beautiful and the food was great, as were the entertainment and staff. We had superior educational ... Read More
We just returned from circumnavigating Cuba, and the cruise was fantastic It was an older crowd, with no children on board. The ship was beautiful and the food was great, as were the entertainment and staff. We had superior educational programs arranged by the faculty of the school we were traveling with. We don't tend to spend much time in our cabins other than to sleep, so the cabins were perfect for us. The shore excursions, especially in Cienfuegos and Trinidad, were a lot of fun. The Tropicana in Havana is not to be missed. The Cienfuegos and its nature excusion was a huge hit with everyone who went into the mountains to El Nicho. We had a terrible guide in Santiago de Cuba, and that really made the trip sour on our last day in Cuba. She was constantly rushing us, oppressively so. We had no opportunity to shop, other than at the trinket stalls by the port. No opportunity to eat. My wife wanted to buy a few gifts for our adult daughters back home, and if we had known the Santiago day would go the way it did, we would have done our shopping earlier in the trip. No such issues in Havana, Cienfuegos, or Trinidad. This was not the cruise lines fault, but I do hope they make passenger concerns known to the excursion operators. Also, customs is a bit of hit or a miss. One traveler bought art and tried to bring it on the ship after exchanging all his Cuban money into US dollars. It was his last chance to do so. The Cuban customs officer demanded payment in CUC's, and the passenger had to borrow some from a stranger. Again, not the cruise lines fault and no such issues in other ports, probably because all the Cuban money had not been converted back yet. Cuba is beautiful and the people are great. It is a unique experience. Pack some patience and understanding, and you will be enthralled. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We cruised on the Oceania Nautica 13 years ago and have wanted to return to this line for a long time because of what a wonderful Mediterranean cruise we had. Our recent seven night cruise around Cuba was not the same as our prior cruise. ... Read More
We cruised on the Oceania Nautica 13 years ago and have wanted to return to this line for a long time because of what a wonderful Mediterranean cruise we had. Our recent seven night cruise around Cuba was not the same as our prior cruise. What was different? Most notably, the food. What was great on this cruise were the two speciality restaurants - Red Ginger and the Tuscan Steakhouse. The main dining room and the buffet were not even close. Some offerings were not eatable and we are not picky eaters! I hope in the upcoming remodel they "fix" the buffet area. It was too congested and chaotic as it currently is. There is also a lack of outdoor dining tables at the Terrace. Our other major disappointment was with the shore excursions. Fortunately, we booked a private guide in Havana and enjoyed our day there. We had four excursions through the OLife promo and for the most part those where not good. This was the first cruise we have been on which had no port talks! Unbelievable lack of information. Maybe the poor excursions were due to it being Cuba, but Oceania is not new here and they should do a much better job. Our complaints involved poor guides, (sadly we had the bad luck of getting assigned the same guide two days in a row in Cienfuegos), itineraries which were not like the actual tour, and cancelled excursions. All our guide really wanted was for us to shop and refer him to others. We really wanted to visit a cigar factory and when we boarded, destination services told us it was closed and we need to pick a different excursions. There is only one cigar factory in all of Cuba? Originally, Havana was to two be two days with an overnight. This was changed to one day, with two in Cienfuegos. This was a poor idea. The fittings of the ship definitely need to be redone. Much in our veranda cabin needed a refit from the love seat to the cabinets. Don't get me started on the tiny bathroom. I'm a small woman and felt cramped in the shower. All things considered, we have cruised with several other lines including Regent, Silverseas, Seabourn, and National Geographic, with a Viking Ocean cruise coming up in April. All of those lines were far superior to our recent experience on Oceania Sirena. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Nice ship. Love the size. Nothing to do during the day. The food was very good. Limited selection for breakfast and lunch, but what there was - was very tasty. Balcony room is very small...Bathroom is terrible, but will be redone in ... Read More
Nice ship. Love the size. Nothing to do during the day. The food was very good. Limited selection for breakfast and lunch, but what there was - was very tasty. Balcony room is very small...Bathroom is terrible, but will be redone in the near future. TV was the size of my computer screen, but also will be replaced in dry dock. Asked to be seated at a shared table and twice was sent to a table for four, and did not share. Enjoyed meeting people; do not like getting our request for a table for four or six not honored in the main dinning room. Red Ginger was okay. Cuba was interesting, but not yet ready for Americans. They even state this in their literature. The pool is very small. Four or five people and it is crowded. A bit hard to get into and especially out of the pool. No easy steps to get out... Very few shops. They need to offer more drug store style items. Almost no way to spend our money on this ship. The drinks were very expensive ($13.00 per glass+ tip). Embarkation and disembarkation was very easy. Delayed about 30 minutes because of a rainstorm, but then went very fast. We were lucky in that the weather was wonderful the entire week. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I’m an avid cruise enthusiast and a longtime reader of Cruise Travel Magazine. In planning our travels, I do a considerable amount of online research. This was our first trip with Oceania. Our cruise on the Sirena from Miami to Cuba, ... Read More
I’m an avid cruise enthusiast and a longtime reader of Cruise Travel Magazine. In planning our travels, I do a considerable amount of online research. This was our first trip with Oceania. Our cruise on the Sirena from Miami to Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Nassau was truly one of our better cruise experiences. Oceania’s four small sister ships, originally built for defunct Renaissance Cruises, do not earn high marks for their tiny bathrooms, so-so entertainment, and a very limited variety of shipboard activities while at sea. But as described in the company’s colorful and prolific advertising, these ships are intimate and luxurious. Their guests (us included) are typically seasoned travelers enjoying their Golden Years. Anyone seeking budget prices, a party atmosphere, Las Vegas-style entertainment, and/or children and teen activities will surely be happier on a different cruise line. For the Missus and me, the promise of an immersive itinerary and a high standard of service are what brought us to Oceania. Our itinerary featured FOUR days including one overnight in Cuba. At-sea days were nicely interspersed with port days; the former were a welcome opportunity to relax and savor onboard life. Not a fan of shuffleboard, Mahjong, etc., between ports I was content to sit on deck, keep up-to-date with email, and eat myself silly. Oceania touts the “Finest Cuisine at Sea” and theirs ranks among the more extravagant chow we’ve experienced on a cruise. The food in the Terrace Café, Waves Grill, and Grand Dining Room was generally very good and of high quality. We encountered a couple subpar dishes (watery pasta and tough steak) which our servers cheerfully replaced. Bear in mind that food onboard is typically prepared in “banquet” quantities. The exception is the food in the specialty restaurants—Tuscan Steak House and Red Ginger—which, along with the service, was absolutely outstanding. All of Sirena’s staterooms and public areas were scheduled to undergo a “sweeping array of dramatic enhancements” (in one word, refurbishing) during Spring of 2019. We don’t understand why this was necessary because the Sirena underwent a major revitalization in 2016 that gave it a fresh and elegant look. Oh, alright, the Grand Staircase with its faux skylight did look a bit cheesy. We had a few other nits to pick. The Cruise Director seemed aloof and seldom mingled with guests. The ship’s two boutiques, featuring high-end jewelry and fashion, offered relatively few moderately-priced-to-inexpensive items. We disputed two bar charges to our shipboard account. One was for “half-price sail-away mojitos” that were billed at full price; ditto “2-for-1 Happy Hour” drinks. Due to protocols, it took a while for our account to be adjusted. Apart from booze plus fees for some optional activities (e.g. Bingo) and services (e.g. Canyon Ranch Spa), Oceania is a welcome respite from companies that nickel-and-dime for every little extra. There are ZERO surcharges for alternate dining, steamed lobster, cappuccino, soda pop, ice cream treats, and room service. Internet (speed improved) is free and unlimited, a vital perk that other cruise lines have been slow to offer. Oceania’s OLife option includes roundrip airfare plus a choice of free shore excursions, free beverage package, or shipboard credit. My advice? Compare airfares first. Then, if you go for the option, request the shipboard credit (you can apply this towards gratuities) and make your own port arrangements for considerably less than the cost of Oceania’s overpriced and underwhelming shore excursions and transfers. In Cuba and elsewhere, visitors are under no obligation whatsoever to purchase the cruise line’s shore excursions. I seldom use the word “fantastic,” but this adjective perfectly describes the caliber of service we received from both our stateroom attendant and the servers in the various dining venues, all of whom were extraordinarily friendly and considerate. We celebrated a birthday onboard and the staff went far beyond the call of duty to make our occasion memorable. We’re looking forward to future cruises with Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Itinerary. After 21 cruises on O, and having been part of the christening and inaugural sailings, I was amazed at the decline of this lovely ship. The staff was AWESOME. They worked so hard as it was obvious there was a reduced staff ... Read More
Itinerary. After 21 cruises on O, and having been part of the christening and inaugural sailings, I was amazed at the decline of this lovely ship. The staff was AWESOME. They worked so hard as it was obvious there was a reduced staff serving. For example, if you arrived a bit early to the specialty restaurants, they couldn't accommodate you yet the dining room was half empty. Obvious they adjusted to staffing. The main dining room service was sooooo slow. Never saw the cruise director, John??? TV programming was years old. This was the first cruise on O that I did not book a future cruise. I decided from what I saw that I need to open up my options, and now was the time. Please O, come back to your original purpose and serving. The food was not very good, and I'm usually easy to please. Knowing that Claudette Pepin is the Godmother, I am shocked. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
There were several things that made this an attractive cruise: circumnavigating Cuba, sailing over New Years Eve, but being home for Christmas, and a 7 day cruise. We have sailed with Oceania a number of times, and all of their ships are ... Read More
There were several things that made this an attractive cruise: circumnavigating Cuba, sailing over New Years Eve, but being home for Christmas, and a 7 day cruise. We have sailed with Oceania a number of times, and all of their ships are excellent. They are spotlessly clean, the staff is pleasant and welcoming, and the food is excellent. This cruise was no different. We ate in all the venues, from the casual Waves, to the specialty restaurants Tuscan Grill, and Red Ginger. Each had good choices and we enjoyed them immensely. We treated ourselves to a penthouse suite, which was not extensively large, but very comfortable with good storage space, a very nice shower, and a roomy sitting area. Housekeeping and butler service were excellent. We are quite independent so did not use the butler service that much, but when we needed something, it was immediately looked after. Cuba is fascinating. There was an overnight in Havana, and we also docked in Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. We definitely felt we had stepped back in time. While there were some crumbling buildings, others had been restored or maintained. Hopefully with an increase in tourism, there will be more funds to look after the beautiful architecture. We saw Spanish Colonial, Art Deco, and of course Soviet style buildings. The old American cars were wonderful to see around every corner in Havana. There was a very comprehensive choice of excursions. Ours included a walking tour of old Havana, a ride in a beautifully maintained 1950 turquoise Chevy, a cabaret at the Tropicana (not to be missed!), a tour of colonial Trinidad which left from Cienfuegos, and a tour of sites in Santiago de Cuba, related to the revolution. Each was interesting and enjoyable in its own way. The tour guides were intelligent, spoke English well, and gave excellent information. We did have some difficulty hearing our guide in Cienfuegos. On board, there were informative and entertaining lectures given by Sandy Cares which, combined with the information on the tours, provided an insightful overview of the country. Local residents were all friendly, and many spoke some English. Entertainment was not our main focus but we enjoyed a hilarious comedian, and a talented string quartet. We did find some of the other clientele a bit rude and entitled, but we are able to hold our own. It may have been a function of the cruise being over New Years, and should not stop anyone from either sailing with Oceania or seeing Cuba. It is not typical of Oceania. Our only suggestions are that there should have been more done for New Years Eve, as this was a very expensive sailing, and more time and guidance could be given for shopping. Overall, an excellent cruise with a great itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We have sailed with Oceania several times on the vessels same size as the Sirena always in Vista Suites. This time there was no Vista suite available and so based on the photos we saw in various brochures decided to go for the Penthouse ... Read More
We have sailed with Oceania several times on the vessels same size as the Sirena always in Vista Suites. This time there was no Vista suite available and so based on the photos we saw in various brochures decided to go for the Penthouse suite since we had read Oceania had done a $50 million refurbishment of the vessel. This suite was a disappointment and nothing like the modern versions shown in the brochures. The bathroom was ridiculously tiny probably no more than 6 ft. X 5 ft. although it had obviously been redone and had a glass enclosed shower instead of a bathtub a single sink and some storage space on either side. The stateroom was really a glorified balcony suite with a little extra space and by no means deserved the name "Penthouse". There was just one double door hanging closet and a single door closet containing 4 drawers and the safe and a short hanging space not long enough for shirts or pants doubled on a hanger. We had to leave about half our clothes in our suitcases. There was a cupboard that contained a mini bar behind one door with free water and soft drinks restocked daily and a 2 shelf same size space underneath. There was a very long desk with a cupboard underneath on either side supporting it one with shelves behind double doors the other with drawers behind the double doors which were a nuisance to open and close every time you took something out of a drawer. All the closets/cupboards were a drab dark brown varnish color and not the light colors shown in the brochures. The carpet was nondescript and looked soiled there was a light green sofa which had obviously been used a lot two rounded upholstered chairs which were extremely hard and a tiny table which could hold just about a tray and not a whole meal. The television was absurdly small and rolled out of the wall beside the bed it was the size of a monitor and you had to turn on your right side to see it from the bed and turn your head to the left to see it from the sofa any writing on the screen was so small you couldn't read it. The bed was comfortable as were the pillows and the headrest was a shade of blue/green. The balcony door had been redone and there were two upright wicker chairs no foot rests and another small metal table on the balcony which had railings and balcony dividers that had such wide gaps on both sides that you could see the neighbors' balconies and them sitting there - no privacy whatsoever. The Penthouse suites have a butler and a concierge desk. The butler realized we were really disappointed and unhappy with the stateroom and did his best to make our stay there as pleasant as he could and suggested we contact the concierge about it. We went to the concierge desk and spoke to the woman manning it politely about how we chose the penthouse based on the photos we saw and had no idea it would be so different. She dug out an old brochure and showed us a picture of our room and was very unresponsive and tactless and finally downright demeaning. We have never encountered treatment like this from anyone on any of the cruise lines we have traveled with and frankly we don't think she is the right person for that job. Speaking with other passengers we found several of them had the same impression as we did of the concierge and complained about her behavior. We found the rest of the vessel services and staff excellent as always. The food in the dining room was generally good the terrace café was hit and miss the specialty restaurants service and food was delicious the service exceptional. Some people complained about the quality of the steaks in Tuscan Steakhouse and did not like the merging of Tuscany and the Polo Grill because the menu is now reduced. We liked Red Ginger but not enough to go there repeatedly their tea was completely bland and insipid the tea in the Horizon's Lounge is much better. We enjoyed the ports and excursions and spent as little time as possible in that Penthouse suite. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
As this was our first visit to Cuba (but by far not our first cruise), we were a bit nervous about visas, licenses, etc. for US citizens. Oceania arranged for our Cuban visa, and we checked “Support for the Cuban People” on our license ... Read More
As this was our first visit to Cuba (but by far not our first cruise), we were a bit nervous about visas, licenses, etc. for US citizens. Oceania arranged for our Cuban visa, and we checked “Support for the Cuban People” on our license application. We had no trouble exiting the ship and finding our independently-arranged excursion guides. (We booked all of our tours ahead of time. Be sure to choose OFAC-compliant tours if you are a US citizen booking tours on your own rather than through the cruise line.) We were also a bit nervous about the condition of the ship, given some negative comments we’d read. We booked a concierge level veranda suite about 18 months prior to our sail date. The bathroom was remarkably small and not at all luxurious. The sleeping area is also very small, but of course, the Sirena is a relatively small ship with fewer than 700 guests. The bedding was very comfortable, especially after we requested a regular blanket. The down comforters are quite warm! Public rooms were in good condition, but we heard some complaints about missing tiles in the pool area. Don’t look for the bells and whistles of other lines. There are no photographers on board, the cabin attendants don’t create those clever towel animals, and from our perspective the activity schedule was very light. The lecturer, Sandy Cares, was phenomenal. We really appreciated that her lectures were recorded and available through the TV in the cabin. Food was a disappointment. We had high expectations, given how extensively Oceania promotes its culinary offerings. Presentation was careless, many dishes were bland, and several dishes either had extra ingredients or were missing ingredients. It was troubling to discover plates and utensils were dirty. On a luxury cruise line (on ANY cruise line, really) one shouldn’t have to send dishes back because they’re not as described or the serving ware is dirty. We’ve sailed on Regent and Silversea, and prefer their quality over Oceania. We absolutely appreciated the opportunity to visit Cuba, and the itinerary was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Sirena Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.8
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 3.5 3.3
Public Rooms 5.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 1.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 2.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.5

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