3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 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
3 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
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
5 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Three ports in Cuba - having been to all the major islands in the Caribbean we decide on something different. Cruise food and staff were wonderful! As soon as you sit down anywhere they ask if you want water, coffee, drinks. Very ... Read More
Three ports in Cuba - having been to all the major islands in the Caribbean we decide on something different. Cruise food and staff were wonderful! As soon as you sit down anywhere they ask if you want water, coffee, drinks. Very friendly staff but not pushy. All non-alcoholic beverages are included. Food quality was great - lobster in the dining room, specialty restaurants and even a lobster sandwich by the pool grill. Small ship had a much more intimate vibe to it and nothing was crowded - no lines anywhere. There were lectures on the ports and history of Cuba every day. The lecturer was excellent. It is quite a lot more expensive than Royal or Carnival. Also, if you want glitzy shows and entertainment then it is not for you. It is laid-back and classy. Cuban people are so friendly! Recommend doing something local like the Buena Vista social club in Havana. Our private guide in Cienfuegos took us to a very good private restaurant where we had small shrimps, rice and beans and plantains. Guide (tonycubavacations@gmail.com) was very knowledgable and spoke perfect English. The cost of the all day tour was reasonable compared to the ship tours. All in all it was an excellent trip for someone who likes to explore and relax. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Three couples from their 60-80s wanted to see Cuba in luxury . This cruise overnights in Havana ( could have used another day) and had two more interesting ports. We had been on the Sirena when it was owned by Princess. We took the same ... Read More
Three couples from their 60-80s wanted to see Cuba in luxury . This cruise overnights in Havana ( could have used another day) and had two more interesting ports. We had been on the Sirena when it was owned by Princess. We took the same cabin ( now called penthouse suite) on Princess in Tahiti it was called a mini suite. It is a large lovely room with a renovated bathroom. The other two couples took A1 thinking their cabins would be like the new Marina. They spent the whole cruise complaining about the tiny shower with a flapping curtain. My cabin had a terrific walk in glass enclosed shower with great storage and wonderful bed and bedding. Towels are fluffy. Bring an electric surge protector as there are limited outlets. Balcony is skinny and the two wicker chairs have no footrests . I stuck my feet thru the railings. The food is very good, especially the two specialty restaurants Tuscan Grill and Red Ginger. The miso sea bass melts in your mouth. The main dinning room has service shortages. They are running around like chickens without heads. The buffet is ok and Waves makes a great burger at lunch. Ice cream is everywhere. Entertainment is poor. The Sinatra show the best. The young singers try hard but except for a funny ventriloquist it is pretty bad. The cruise director runs a great cut throat trivia that we found fun. The real problem are the excursions. Oceania messes up royally. We spent hours picking our tours and booked the passport collection. Very pricey as you cannot legally go off on your own. The ship gets the $75 visa for you. There are two US government officials on board watching. Some people did it anyway and took their chances. Tours were canceled the day before. Some were flipped from morning to afternoon then the morning tour came back late and you couldn’t go. No time to take a ride in the cars unless you book it as a $450 excursion. No reimbursement or apology. Told it was Cuba’s fault but I paid my money to Oceania! The best was the Tropicana nightclub . And you can take phone photos no charge. Spectacular!! The young tour guides spoke English well and just want the Embargo over. The country is very poor. Beautiful colonial buildings so shabby . The classic cars fabulous to see. A very interesting trip. Great hot room service breakfasts on port days. I would definitely go back. And a cruise makes it a comfortable way to see it. Read Less
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 3.6

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