2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We have cruised many times with various companies and found the Marina is still a fabulous ship showing no signs of age despite a visit to dry dock being scheduled. We had a veranda cabin which had a full bath and separate shower and ... Read More
We have cruised many times with various companies and found the Marina is still a fabulous ship showing no signs of age despite a visit to dry dock being scheduled. We had a veranda cabin which had a full bath and separate shower and the cabin was the size of some penthouse cabins on other ships. The mattress and bedding were superb. Dining was excellent in all locations throughout the ship. Entertaining was excellent and varied. Service outstanding and friendly throughout the ship. The ports were all docked with no tendering despite the brochure showing there would be tendering at three ports. The internet was slow but one can easily use mobile data and a hotspot from your iPhone when in dock. We are aged in our 60’s and we’re middle of the age range. We didn’t take any ships tours and instead arranged our own. The local tourist offices provided a representative on board at each port and a courtesy bus to town if more than a short walk. The scenery was magnificent and best viewed from the ship while cruising through the Fiords. Oceania have a winning recipe with their O class ships We would definitely go again without hesitation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Loved itinerary especially grateful for several sea days, which is a bit unusual for port-intensive Oceania. Wanted to escape the heat of the Mid-Atlantic and try a longer cruise. The service was stellar and loved having four specialty ... Read More
Loved itinerary especially grateful for several sea days, which is a bit unusual for port-intensive Oceania. Wanted to escape the heat of the Mid-Atlantic and try a longer cruise. The service was stellar and loved having four specialty restaurants available -- all were excellent and Red Ginger was our favorite. And those views from Polo and Toscana were amazing, especially when traveling through the fjords and coastline because it didn't get dark until 11pm. The staff and Martinis knew our names and orders right away and we became happy hour regulars. The staff at the Terrace does a great job managing the crowds and helping people find tables, bringing coffee, etc. However, we felt the food there wasn't the best -- not many light options and just wasn't very appealing for the "Finest Cuisine at Sea." Speaking of that, we loved the food but didn't feel it was that much better than other cruise lines on which we've sailed. Oceania sets the bar high and we didn't feel it matched their promises and higher price. Very good, just not better. We took 10 ship's excursions and were pleased -- the staff was excellent -- calm, organized and accommodating. Overall pros: excellent service, very well maintained and attractive ship. Overall cons: Entertainment wasn't great (Staff "Broadway-style" shows were good, guest acts were okay, non-hosted shuffleboard was listed daily -- really?) and not sure Oceania is worth the premium they charge. But overall, we had an excellent cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Having sailed on sister ship Riviera in 2018 we were confident in what to expect on Marina. Excellent service, wonderful ports and great food and spirits. Marina did not disappoint. The ship is small enough that you can easily move ... Read More
Having sailed on sister ship Riviera in 2018 we were confident in what to expect on Marina. Excellent service, wonderful ports and great food and spirits. Marina did not disappoint. The ship is small enough that you can easily move around, yet large enough to have multiple entertainment and dining options. My wife likes the shows, I enjoy making an evening contribution to the casino. It is nice that they still have a craps table. Many ships have done away with them. We enjoyed the specialty restaurants and Le Reserve. The main dining room is beautiful, we really enjoyed a peaceful breakfast in the MDR. The buffet option can be crowded. We embarked in Denmark visiting; Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and disembarked in Sweden. St. Petersburg was fantastic. We hired a private guide and driver through TJ travel. Excellent choice. Slatvana Andrusheko, was encyclopedic in her knowledge of Russia. In another life she was a Russian History professor. It really made the trip extraordinary. We had her and the driver for 2 full days. It is a big plus having a driver ready to pick you up to take you on to the next site. Plus they have already acquired all entry passes to the venues you must see. She took us to local restaurants and markets. We got a real feel for St. Petersburg. Our first port, Warnemunde, Germany was a real surprise. Very nice summer vacation spot with a real small town appeal. Take the train to Rostock if you are inclined, very easy trip. We rented a car on the Island of Bornholm, Denmark. A very nice day drive. In many of the ports, we just jumped on the Hop-On - Hop Off bus for a great city tour. Helsinki was really a highlight too. Our cabin was spacious and very accommodating. No complaints about the food or drinks. We do purchase a drink package and find it to be a good value. We didn't book any of our tours with the ship, we found better value doing it privately. We are also a bit more adventurous and enjoy hunting out different sights. The only "negative" we found on the ship was my wife wanted to participate in the on-board art class, but this ship had more children on then usual and they were crowding the art class. Not a big deal. We do enjoy Oceania because it is primarily all adults. We love children, but we don't miss the screaming, crying and running. The literature and website is quite clear in this is primarily adults. No climbing walls, no slides, no big screen TV, no Mickey and Minnie. As a grandparent, we have taken our grandchildren on cruises, but more age appropriate lines. All in all, Oceania met our expectations. We put a deposit down on another cruise in 2020. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was a 10-day Baltic cruise from Stockholm to Copenhagen. It was our 4th Oceania cruise and first on Marina. We are a couple in our mid-60's which put us in the median age range on this cruise. As many people younger than us as ... Read More
This was a 10-day Baltic cruise from Stockholm to Copenhagen. It was our 4th Oceania cruise and first on Marina. We are a couple in our mid-60's which put us in the median age range on this cruise. As many people younger than us as older. Embarkation was smooth and quick. After lunch in the Terrace Cafe, our cabin was ready at 1:00. Our steward quickly introduced himself. We had very good service from him and the cabin attendant throughout the cruise. The Marina is in very good condition and is a beautiful ship. Oceania lived up to its reputation with serving excellent food. They did not disappoint. We ate in each of the 4 specialty restaurants once, dinner in the GDR a couple of times, dinner in Terrace Cafe a couple of times. Waves for lunch was excellent. Our dinner in Red Ginger was our favorite meal on the cruise. The only little negative we experienced was service in Terrace Cafe at dinner. It can be difficult to find a wine steward. By the time you order and get your glass of wine, you're halfway through the meal. The entertainment on the ship was good and the shows were well attended. The production show of singers and dancers were talented. Some of the musical selections were a little questionable, in my opinion, as they leaned towards the older age group. But still quite good. The vocalist, Elias Hendricks, was one of the best entertainers I have seen on a cruise. The band that played in Horizons at 10:30 was very good. Their Beatlemania tribute night was attended by 200 people - the most I've seen in Horizons that late. They also did an Abba tribute that was popular as well. The cruise director, John, did a great job. He was at ease with his job and was enthusiastic without being over-the-top. We went on the ship's shore excursions and found them to be good. I know that some people prefer private tours but I really cannot complain about any of the excursions that we took on this cruise. We had exceptionally good tour guides in St. Petersburg. Very articulate, knowledgeable, professional and friendly. You have to negotiate through the crowds at The Hermitage no matter if you're on a ship's excursion or private tour. At the Faberge Museum, our group was only 16 people. Gdansk was another port where we had an excellent tour guide. One word about the wi-fi on the ship. Terrible. This is something that Oceania should improve on if they think that being competitive with other cruise line's wi-fi is important. I just wanted to check my email and use basic internet for 20 minutes a day and this was very challenging. Disembarkation in Copenhagen was smooth and on-time. One word of caution if you're trying to grab a taxi and that is to be prepared to wait in line for an hour or more. We pre-arranged a private car with our hotel and it was well worth the bit of extra cost. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Just a quick review of the Oceania Marina Scandinavian Ballads 10 day cruise: While we have been on over 30 cruises, this was our first on Oceania. All in all, it truly exceeded our expectations due to the extraordinary food and ... Read More
Just a quick review of the Oceania Marina Scandinavian Ballads 10 day cruise: While we have been on over 30 cruises, this was our first on Oceania. All in all, it truly exceeded our expectations due to the extraordinary food and overall service. The food is by far the best we have had on a cruise and due to that fact, we will definitely cruise Oceania again. The service and attentiveness was unequalled in all the cruises we have done. We typically sail in smaller ships but we noted that even though this ship held 1,200 passengers, we never felt crowded or rushed. A couple of specifics: We stayed in Stockholm for 2 1/2 days prior to the cruise and while we truly enjoyed the Vasa Museum and Old town, it was a bit underwhelming compared to other European cities. We stayed at the Sheraton and we booked it independently from the cruise. It is a good location but be prepared for a crazy scene the morning of departure. We casually got ready anticipating an 11:00ish departure from the hotel and head to the ship. The lobby was crazy and the check-in was 10 deep(those that just departed the ship), thus not allowing you to easily check out. Tip: Use the Express Checkout and drop off your envelope and get out of the lobby!! This cruise was very port intensive and the ports were very good. We only did 1 excursion and we did it in St. Petersburg and we did it independently from the ship. We had a great tour operator, Allla Tours, and our group was limited to 16 people which made it manageable. The ships tours were much more crowded. Without going into a full review of all ports on this writing, I would tell you that most were very enjoyable and some were outstanding. The outstanding ports were: St. Petersburg, Tallin Estonia, Gdansk, Poland, and Copenhagen. The rest were very good but they did not hit the outstanding category. I will try and expand upon the cruise in the near future. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Initially I chose this cruise for two reasons, the itinerary around the Baltic and the 3 day stay in St. Petersburg. Additionally having been on two prior cruises with Oceania I was once again attracted to the cuisine as well as the level ... Read More
Initially I chose this cruise for two reasons, the itinerary around the Baltic and the 3 day stay in St. Petersburg. Additionally having been on two prior cruises with Oceania I was once again attracted to the cuisine as well as the level of service offered in concierge and generally throughout the ship. I was very disappointed in the food this time ( with a couple of exceptions in the speciality restaurants) I felt the quality had declined and the menus seemed tired and needed some fresh input from a culinary standpoint. Essentially what I had on my first cruise was now the same over a 10 year period. Of note are the “scrambled eggs” they were more like scrambled soup. The bacon, ham, sausage, cold meats etc. were poor quality and the fruit was tasteless. Additionally the wait staff were poorly informed as to what some dishes actually were. I purchased the full beverage package and so did my wife, it is convenient and I like convenience, the wine by the glass is generally good so no complaints in that regard. However competing for a decent drink during the daily “Happy Hour” was virtually impossible and impossible to get a seat. The crowd takes over the Martini Lounge like a gas station running out of gas and the person who paid for a full beverage package ends up subsidizing the rest with drinks from the “well” The system of “Happy Hour” needs to be revamped to accommodate those paying full price. Many drinks were not delivered correctly and not with the liquor of my choice. The wait staff did their level best to keep up with the hoards of cheap well drinkers who ordered 2-3 drinks prior to the cutoff time and sat there for another hour. It should be noted that Oceania is registered in the Marshall Islands and that the labor law rights of those working this ship are virtually non existent (so I doubt that management gets many complaints for fear of dismissal) It has been noted by several people that the $16.00 per day per person in gratuities does not trickle down to the staff as a whole and that is just another way for Oceania to improve their bottom line at the expense of the hard working crew. I felt that many of the crew seemed to feel they were like indentured servants working for less than when gratuities were handed In cash to those deserving it. It does not make for an ideal environment for many of these hard working people who otherwise have no options from the countries they come from. Oceania is the only cruise line registered on the Marshall Islands and for good reason.They can avoid taxes, safety as well as labor regulations and justice. Think twice before you decide on this company. The third time was not a charm and the country club atmosphere has definitely disappeared in exchange for the look and feel of a Holiday Inn in need of an overhaul. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We were booked in a concierge level cabin and it was kind of a disappointment. The bathroom was quite small and was tight on storage. Our cabin steward was not the friendliest and hardly spoke to us. The only benefit we had of the ... Read More
We were booked in a concierge level cabin and it was kind of a disappointment. The bathroom was quite small and was tight on storage. Our cabin steward was not the friendliest and hardly spoke to us. The only benefit we had of the concierge level was the use of laundry facilities. Internet was sketchy much of the time and we had even purchased a $299 internet package. We found a lot of the staff to be not always considerate of the passengers - frequently we had them walk across right in front of us, without as much as an excuse me. Breakfast and lunch were like on any cruise we’ve been on and dinners were very good, especially in the speciality restaurants. The Grand dining room was also good, but some nights the menu was hard to find something appealing. We did shore excursions in every port and most were very good. A couple of them made us very aware that the guide can make or break a tour. Sometimes the departures seemed a bit unorganized. Overall the ship seemed a bit tired and could use some updating. The passengers overall weren’t as friendly as on other cruises. The alcohol packages were ridiculously expensive. A cooking class was a highlight of the cruise. Our disembarkation experience was less than stellar. We left the ship with our assigned group and when we went to get our luggage, one piece was missing. We asked for help and they didn’t seem to know what to do. After a frantic 45 minutes of looking a lady came in with the luggage that she had taken without verifying that it was hers. It seems like there could be some way to prevent this from happening. Overall, I doubt we sail with Oceania again. For the money we had a much, much better experience with Viking Ocean. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We are a “retired” couple in our late 60s (most passengers were in their 60s/70s) with more than 30 cruises with different lines (Windstar, Azamara, Celebrity, Princess, Star Clippers, Norwegian, and a couple more) ; however, this was ... Read More
We are a “retired” couple in our late 60s (most passengers were in their 60s/70s) with more than 30 cruises with different lines (Windstar, Azamara, Celebrity, Princess, Star Clippers, Norwegian, and a couple more) ; however, this was our first on Oceania. Of note, there were more than a handful of children but no children’s programs. We don’t imbibe much and don’t purchase drink packages, nor do we drink wine. These would be extra charges without the O’Life package which we did not choose (booked cruise only). We upgraded to a concierge level stateroom 10 days before sailing but failed to utilize the amenities included at that level much. The sailing’s 15-day itinerary was Barcelona (overnight), Valencia, Palma de Majorca, and Palamos (Spain), Toulon (France), Monaco (overnight); Antibes (France), La Spezia (for Cinque Terre Italy), Ajaccio (Corsica), Livorrno (for Florence/Tuscany), Sorrento/Capri, Amalfi/Positano, and disembarkation at Civitavecchia (for Rome), Italy. It did not have, any sea days We booked our own air and the cruise line’s transfer from the airport (would recommend finding other transfer or a taxi as it would have been about half-price). Booked a shared van transfer for disembarkation to the airport. We arrived before 9 am, but needed to wait for other flight arrivals before being transferred to the ship. Embarkation was not available until noon ; however, concierge level access to stateroom was at 1 pm. Embarkation was smooth except for the carryon items being scanned through security taking awhile due to the quantity of new passengers arriving about the same time. Buffet lunch was available immediately. Oceania’s policy in the Terrace Café (buffet) for breakfast and lunch is that all food is served by their staff. You cannot serve yourself even a roll. There is outdoor seating there. While dinner is also available there, we eat in the dining room or at a specialty restaurant for all dinners. Specialty restaurants are by reservation only and the main dining room is available 6:30-9:30 (anytime dining). There are four specialty restaurants where only one reservation per is available to book online prior to sailing. Additional dinners in these specialty dining rooms are available to book the day of your choice of additional dining there. Early times were hard to come by; the menu was always the same in each restaurant , but the menu options varied greatly in each. Jacques served French food, Red Ginger Asian, Tuscana Italian, and Polo Grill was a Steakhouse mainly. Food was good in all; however, we felt for a luxury line touted as a superb culinary experience, it wasn’t much above average to the lines we sailed, and not superb. The Grand Dining Room did offer more of a variety than most lines’ MDR. Stateroom – Concierge room was the same as a regular veranda with a king bed (282 sq. ft including balcony), loveseat and table, desk area, and plenty of closet space and drawers The marble bathroom with plenty of storage around the sink area (plus two shelves next to the toilet) was slightly larger than most premium/luxury lines as it had a separate tub with shower head and a regular shower with glass door (albeit small). The mini-bar with soda, bottled sparkling water, and other mixers is restocked daily if you ask the room steward to keep your favorites in there, You can remove those furnished that you don’t use. The line has converted to a glass container of water which is refilled as needed. When going ashore, bottled water in plastic containers is available when disembarking. Concierge class has a key-entry lounge available 24/7 with snacks, coffee and other beverages. We had room service for breakfast twice when we had early tours which came with a tablecloth en suite. Four suite categories are available with butlers. Public rooms – Public rooms were a generous size and furnished nicely as expected on a luxury line. The ship’s singers/dancers were excellent , the caliber of a Broadway show in NYC. Some of the other entertainment was not as good, especially the magicians. The pool deck was of sufficient size with padded lounge chairs and cotton coverings. Horizons Bar at the top of the ship had good entertainment by a trio who sang a variety of musical genre; and a string quartet who played nightly in another lounge area outside the Grand Dining Room. There was table-tennis and shuffleboard, as well as putt-putt golf. The spa and fitness center were large and my massage was very good. The Sanctuary area was available to Concierge level and above guests. Casino was small and on board shopping was as expected for a luxury line. Shore Excursions – Since my husband is lacking in physical mobility (not good on hills or uneven pavement and unable to stand or walk for extended time periods), we elected to purchase 7 ship excursions in advance as there was a special 20% discount for that quantity. Overall we were disappointed in those; although they were rated correctly for difficulty, IMHO they lacked good content. This is a very subjective topic, so maybe others enjoyed them We also took a few independent excursions arranged by cruise critic roll call members and as one would expect, they were better. Service – We found the service to be good, but no staff went above and beyond IMO and the room steward was lacking a bit, in our opinion. Ports of call – We were disappointed with a few, but it may have been we were unhappy with the excursion which tainted our opinion. Much of Italy we had previously visited and were excited to return to, as well as Monaco which we felt didn’t need the overnight, although one could take an excursion out of town to utilize the extra time there. Would we choose Oceania again? Probably not as we felt they didn’t meet our expectations which were high for the culinary and luxury aspects of the line. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We choose to sail with Oceania as we had done so twice before & found them to be excellent. Everything is very well organized no matter what the aspect of the ship is - shipboard muster, restaurants, cleaning, tours, barista, afternoon ... Read More
We choose to sail with Oceania as we had done so twice before & found them to be excellent. Everything is very well organized no matter what the aspect of the ship is - shipboard muster, restaurants, cleaning, tours, barista, afternoon tea, activities, disbursement of nightly & daily information on ports, activities, weather, etc. The food was very good whether it was the buffet, the 4 specialty restaurants, the dining room, etc. We thought there was plenty of storage space. One should not bring 3 or 4 large suitcases & expect to have storage for all those articles of clothing, although that may??? possible. The ship was always VERY clean whether it was our stateroom or the ship in general. Many times we would pass the staff cleaning the walls, "public" bathrooms, hallways, dining areas, etc. We did not go to any of the shows so I can't comment on them. There were very few children on board & the few that were, were very young. Most people I would say were 60 years and older. Although we only took one of the Mariner's tours, the guide was very good and very informative. My one negative comment (on all Oceania's cruises that we have been on) is that we do think that the ship's tours are very expensive. Lastly, unfortunately on our May 3, 2019 from Barcelona to Rome (Civitavecchia) disembarkation was a nightmare. From what we were told, the Italian security or customs (I'm not sure exactly who/whom) was late in doing their job once the Mariner pulled into port. Consequently their tardiness, inefficiency (whatever the "issue" with the Italian officials) caused a real problem with the disembarkation of passengers. Needless to say people were anxious about getting to the airport on time, trains, etc. The first couple of colors & numbers on the luggage tags were announced, but after that it was out of control & a free for all. The process snowballed out of control due to the inefficiency of the Italian officials and then the Mariner inefficiency of not continuing with their sequence of disembarking passengers. Once off the ship the amount of people in the disembarkation hall was not manageable. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We are well traveled and go to Europe quite often and have traveled to Asia. We chose this trip because of the great itinerary. From Barcelona to Rome the only disappointing stop for us was Corsica. The basics: We were on the Marina ... Read More
We are well traveled and go to Europe quite often and have traveled to Asia. We chose this trip because of the great itinerary. From Barcelona to Rome the only disappointing stop for us was Corsica. The basics: We were on the Marina in Room 9103. We liked our room but felt that it wasn't worth the money to pay for "concierge" level. The included free laundry service was nice, though. Dining: We liked the specialty restaurants, both for the food and the service. We don't particularly like cafeterias and found the buffet service was really chaotic in the mornings.. As a result, we often had breakfast in the Grand Dining Room. It was more enjoyable but service was slow. We ate there for dinner as well. Meals ranged from mediocre to quite good. The quality of service varied quite a bit here. Wine: It was overpriced. We felt that Oceania was not happy when we would order just a glass of wine rather than a bottle. And, how could our $58 bottle of wine end up costing $74?? Between required tipping and added tax we felt ripped off. I've never seen Italy add tax on wine. Oceania had no problem in doing so. Shore Excursions: What a rip off. First, I don't understand why most of the excursions were half day tours. What with drive time there is little time to actually see a place. What is the point of having a 7pm sail away when the ship brings you back at 1pm? Please, do your homework - do not take the ship's offering and do your own excursions instead. The only intended excursion we signed up for was to Girona and Figueres. It was $225 each. Because of an injury the ship's doctor ordered me to stay back and have my foot elevated. The ship refused to credit me because I had only given two days notice when I needed to have given 4 days. I sent a letter to the president of Oceania about this. He hasn't given the courtesy of a reply. Because of my injury we decided not to go to Marseilles alone and instead took the ship's tour. I knew all of the places to see. While we did see the basilica the tour guide took us to a shopping mall so we could go to a chain department store. I do not travel 5000 miles to go to a shopping mall. This excursion was quite expensive as all of Oceania's appear to be. When complaining to the excursion desk I was told that the local guides get to do whatever they want. Apparently Oceania's role is to collect the money. Barcelona: Fabulous city. We keep returning to it - easy to do on your own. Valencia: This was new to us. We loved the city - did it on our own. Monte Carlo: St Paul de Vence was a combination of train and taxi and then going back a bus and train. Quite easy to do. The next day we also took the train. Antibes: We took a train and uber to Mougins. Fabulous artsy town; then we went to Biot before taking uber back to the ship. La Spezia: We have been to Cinque Terre several times so hired a driver to take us to Lucca. The ship's excursion there would have been mostly driving. Livorno: We took a private tour to Volterra and San Gimignano with other CC people. Would we go with Oceania again? No. When the head of the company can't be bothered to reply to my letter it's time to move on and go back to land touring. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I thought the itinerary was varied and interesting with a few places we had previously visited and a few we had not. Noticed a decline in service especially in Terrace Cafe plus only one fresh vegetable served almost everyday, broccoli, ... Read More
I thought the itinerary was varied and interesting with a few places we had previously visited and a few we had not. Noticed a decline in service especially in Terrace Cafe plus only one fresh vegetable served almost everyday, broccoli, cauliflower, zuchinni mixed vegetables! Almost as many supervisors in shirt and tie as server/helpers but doing very little to help! The dinner selections in the Grand Dining Room seemed of lesser quality than on prior cruises on the same ship or the Regatta. The entertainment overall seemed improved, but predominantly from the UK whereas the majority of passengers are still from the USA. Also, the afternoon Tea seemed to have fewer food choices. Both the Cruise Director and his partner and Assistant Cruise Director were both from the UK and little too flamboyant for our tastes. There were several tender ports. It seemed little attention was given to those who might not do well with stairs going down to the tender deck. Some tender operations seemed in need of a little more training in tender operation. Finally, I must say this Captain may do a good job, but was not particularly cordial to customers even dining at an adjoining table! The ABSOLUTE worst part of this cruise was the disembarkation on the final day! It was totally disorganized, no calling by color and number to disembark. a total stampede with no sign of any ship officers to thank the passengers! It was a horrible mess at too small a terminal facility for this ship too! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I chose this cruise on a combination of dining expectations,itinerary and luxury. Dining experiences were limited to your five special restaurants on a 14 day cruise. That meant main dining or buffet. The dining room was pretty but ... Read More
I chose this cruise on a combination of dining expectations,itinerary and luxury. Dining experiences were limited to your five special restaurants on a 14 day cruise. That meant main dining or buffet. The dining room was pretty but slow,the buffet was good but not what I paid all the $ for. Alcohol was exorbitant with mixed drink for $12 plus 28%gratuites and VAT. Decent bottles of wine in port went for $12 that the cruise charged 30 plus 28%. The service was just ok in restaurants. While leaving buffet I asked for a glass of juice and the maitre dee said I needed a table number. At a buffet! The WiFi is terrible. Do not expect to check on upcoming ports while at sea. The IT guy told me that too many people were on it and maybe if I left my room door open I could get a better signal. Luxury? Never called for disembarking either. Just sat there for two hours in public room and noticed every one was just leaving. I really wanted this cruise to be special and looked forward to celebrating my wife and my 60th on it. Disappointed with Oceania for calling this a luxury trip. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My husband decided that he wanted to go to Europe for our 20th Anniversary. Because he has mobility (balance) issues a walking tour would not work for us. After research we decided to do a Mediterranean Cruise. We chose Oceania because ... Read More
My husband decided that he wanted to go to Europe for our 20th Anniversary. Because he has mobility (balance) issues a walking tour would not work for us. After research we decided to do a Mediterranean Cruise. We chose Oceania because of the Itinerary and the size of the ship. Our only other cruise was 4 years ago on Princess to Alaska and both of us hated the size of the ship, 4,000 people was not fun for us. Ship and Cabin: As I said the size was great. Lots of seating in the common areas (although the Terrace Cafe got pretty crowded at dinner time). Our Concierge Suite was nice with lots of storage for our clothes and room under the bed for our suitcases. Saw lots of debate about Concierge cost vrs. perks but have to say that in this port intensive cruise we appreciated being able to have a hot breakfast delivered to us prior to our tours. Also we often did not get lunch ashore and missed lunch service so the little sandwiches in the Concierge Lounge were welcomed. I took advantage of the expresso machine in the lounge first thing every morning. We also took full advantage of the 3 free bags of laundry. So for us this choice worked well. Dining: We ate in all four specialty restaurants and our favorites were Red Ginger and Pollo. Red Ginger was delicious and everything was presented beautifully we were seated with another couple and had a good time. Our only cons would be the noise level in the restaurant was terrible and the seats had such a back slant that they were very uncomfortable - not surprisingly these comments repeated themselves when we talked with other passengers. Pollo was also delicious and we did not the same issue with noise and comfort. My husband liked Jacques but I was not such a fan. I would rate it okay. Really did not like Toscana - my veal scallopini marsala was a disaster, more like veal picatta that had been but in a different sauce. The Caesar Salad was tasteless. One thing that Oceania does with the specialty restaurants is you either have to chose dine with others or dine alone and that choice applies to all of the restaurants. At all the restaurants except Jacques we were seated with one other couple, at Jacques (which was on our Anniversary - something they knew in advance) we were seated with two couples one of which was a conversation dominator - it was the least enjoyable dinner of the cruise. Enjoyed the main dining room where we sometimes dined with others and sometimes dined alone. Terrace Cafe was my least favorite but I do not like buffets, my husband was fine with it. Had breakfast and lunch a couple of times at Waves and had the best rueben sandwich I have ever had. We also enjoyed the fresh juice bar in the morning and Baristas. Entertainment and Activities: After a full day we found we were too tired for the Evening Entertainment so we never made it to any of the shows. I did do one of the culinary kitchen classes and enjoyed it, I think if you like cooking you would enjoy these classes. Also went to a photography class that was supposed to be on using Photoshop - it was a complete waste of time. Stayed for the painting class which was fun, although I am definately no painter. Went to a "so called" scarf tying class, which taught me a few new ways but was more about selling scarves. Service: Great, we are pretty low maintenance but everyone was very helpful. My husband needed help at the Terrace Cafe and there was always someone to carry his plate for him from station to station. Ports and Shore excursions: We enjoyed all 12 different ports of call. Had nine excursions, 2 private and 7 ship tours. Of the ships tours only two were not great - Highlights of Barcelona and Montserrat was the worst - just a total bore (since it was the first tour of the trip we were very apprehensive about our next tours) and the one in Palma de Mallorca was much more intensive then stated (it was supposed to be appropriate for wheelchairs) and my husband was hard pressed to stay up with the guide. We really enjoyed our Valencia tour and the one to Herculaneum was a stand out alternative to Pompeii. We did one O select excursion to an Olive Orchard - when we arrived on ship we found out that the location had been changed but since we had booked a group of tours for the discount we we not allowed to make any changes. The new location did not have the same type of tour and while the host was great and the lunch delicious it was less than advertised and, in our opinion, way over priced. Our two private tours - one in Monaco to Eze, Nice (which was experiencing a government employee strike and had streets closed so we ended up not stopping) and St. Paul de Vence (my favorite stop for shopping) - we did this tour with a couple we met on Cruise Critic Roll Call and it worked out great; and a our second tour was in Liverno to Florence for the Ufizzi and L'Academia with a private guide. Both tours were through Papillon Services and we have nothing but high praise for them. We have nothing but high praise for Oceania's tender crews. We experienced some big swells and they managed to get us safely off and on the ship. Even my husband, with his balance issues, started to fall backwards once but the two tenders caught him as he was falling and helped him get is balance and get him seated. In Monaco it was so bad that they ended up cancelling the tenders around 6 PM, luckily the ship was already scheduled to dock later that evening and we were able to get on board once they docked. When the tenders were cancelled the officer told us "be glad we are shutting it down, it would have been the worse tender in your life" and the stories from the people on that last tender certainly backed his words up. Everyone was safely gotten on board but it was a very scary trip and only the tender workers skill kept everyone safe. Pre and Post Hotel Experience: This is were things kind of fell apart especially the Post Hotel. First of all Oceania really provides no information in advance. We were on our own in Barcelona our departure port. Luckily my husband requires wheelchair assistance and our wheel chair helper was familiar with where the Oceania Rep. would be waiting (although there were two locations and he was at the second one). We had our own limo and the Oceania Rep traveled with us to the hotel - it was a silent ride until I started asking questions and then the Rep started giving us an introduction to Barcelona, since the trip took an hour from the airport to the hotel his introduction was welcome. Our hotel was very nice (Ohala Eixample), Oceania had no pre stay events but we did learn that breakfast was included (and it was excellent). We were exhausted and in bed by 8. Rome Hotel was a mess. The ladies who greeted us were frazzeled. We were given one time for our departure (two days later) and then a different time was posted on the board and no one was there to ask (even though they said someone would be there). We ended up using the time on the board and it was an hour early - so there we are all checked out with no where to go. My husband and I were second in line to check in with them and they made us sit down and wait to be called. Then as more people lined up they started taking people in order - huh? Breakfast was just okay - a separate buffet from the hotel restaurant. Rome Airport was a whole other story. Our driver spoke no english, which he repeatedly told us, but we were greeted by an Oceania Rep who had a cart and walked us to our check-in. He dealt with the check-in, they noticed that no wheelchair had been ordered and they got one for us. I asked about security and shoes, electronics, toiletries ect. and he explained it all. Cudos to him and Oceania. If we go again I think we have learned that 12 ports is a couple of ports too many. I would not hesitate to use Oceania, all in all it was an unforgettable trip. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We selected this cruise based upon itinerary. We really wanted to sail around the Iberian peninsula and also have the opportunity to explore the Bordeaux wine area (this gave us two days in Bordeaux). The extra addition of Tangier in ... Read More
We selected this cruise based upon itinerary. We really wanted to sail around the Iberian peninsula and also have the opportunity to explore the Bordeaux wine area (this gave us two days in Bordeaux). The extra addition of Tangier in Morocco was also enticing and we loved our tour there. It was our second time with Oceania having previously sailed on the sister ship Riviera. These are the two "larger" ships with about 1200 passengers. The cruise appeared to be pretty full and sold out. This is the perfect size ship for us- I like that it has the four xtra restaurants yet not too large to get around easily. It is beautiful and well maintained. We flew in same day and left directly so utilized the ship transfers - they are expensive but it is not easy to get to Southampton.Two hours of crawling traffic all the way down. Other ppl we met booked driver on their own and got taken to the wrong port - taxi drove away and they had to find another way to the ship. I was not happy with the way all of the luggage was tossed together by the airport porters and not supervised by Oceania staff.Our two bags were together and got separated. We get into our cabin took until well after four PM until my husband got his suitcase - mine came right away. So the perc of getting early access due to concierge level was moot - you cannot get unpacked without you luggage. This time we opted for the Concierge level with a veranda. Last time we took one of the non-concierge level veranda rooms(they are very tiny verandas). on the 7th level (there are a few with extended verandas and that was awesome - I might do that again especially in a warmer climate). Two main reasons we chose concierge level was to be able to book the specialty restaurants earlier and to get the dates and times we wanted. Also, and people might not know this.....There is a difference in room service breakfast offerings. Concierge level includes hot breakfast options like omelets, pancakes, French toast and oatmeal. Non-concierge level gets continental breakfast only with only cold options. This was a port intensive trip with many early morning meet-up times for tours. We are not morning people and it is easier to get breakfast in the room then to trek up to the 12th floor, wait for elevators and such. Also, we selected a room nearby the concierge lounge (9046) and near the elevator and stairs and it was very convenient. Concierge lounge is great to run in for quick coffees, teas, light snacks at any time of day. There are no coffee makers in the cabins and not all that convenient to get to the other places on the ship that have coffee. You can run in in your bathrobe and many ppl did. As for the concierge himself - we did not interract with him all that much - he did make us one extra restaurant reservation but the two reasons just cited are the main reasons we selected it. I am not sure I would spend the xtra again esp if you are on a Caribbean cruise without a lot of ports. Considering the ship has been around since 2011 it looks extremely good - especially the common areas. The cabins are showing some wear and tear like bedskirts, carpet and drapes but overall ok. I am not a fan of the decorating or color schemes but I am not moving in permanently. There are no electric outlets in the bathroom so you have to dry your hair outside at the dressing table- hairs get all over the place ( I am a neat clean nut type) and did not like this. Another pet peeve is how they clutter up all of the counter areas and desktops etc with toiletries, papers, stuff we do not need or want - took it out and hid it inside our suitcases until we left - barely had room for our own stuff. The touted "Bulgari" toiletries were nothing special at all - just a name. Food on Oceania is absolutely awesome for the most part - very few thing were less than a home run. We are foodies and live downtown in a very food-centric city. We dine out often at some ot the best restaurants in the area and even the country. Main dining room is always changing up their offerings. Presentation is outstanding. We loved Polo, Toscana, and Jacques.... not a huge fan of Red Ginger... It seems that Red Ginger doesn't know what it wants to be. Trying to mix too many types and styles of food - they should stick to one. Sushi there not great. Sea Bass - sauce too heavy - nothing all that awesome. I thought this on the first cruise also. They should maybe try to update it with Korean robatayaki skewers, Japanese Izakaya style food, updated Chinese (they need to do some serious R & D). Come to Philadelphia and go to Royal Izakaya or Double Know for example. We mostly took excursions offered by the ship with one exception - (the tour to Alhambra from Granada was sold out and we went on this tour with Spain Day tours - it was very good). We selected the O life eight excursions as our option. We are not the type that like to spend so much time exploring and researching all these options. What some people might not realize when they complain that the Oceania tours are too expensive is the following. Once you have booked even six tours (three per person) - every tour you book after that is 25% off (If you book before sailing). The eight "free" tours satisfy this requirement - therefore if you take the eight tours as your O life Option (the include any tour up to and including $199.00 base price)... save some of the less expensive ones for those you will pay out of pocket and get them for 25% off. This is essentially a $1600 credit and a far better value in our opinion than only getting the $800 credit that was offered. As far as the alcohol and spirits package - it is ridiculously expensive - you would have to be a borderline alcoholic to consume that much booze and we like to have cocktails, drinks and wine as much as the next person. We always book our own airfare - if they do it - they can route you in inconvenient ways unless you pay 75 dollars per person which allows you to select your own flights. We always use the same airline due to points and got a first class upgrade on the way over which is hard to negotiate on the with the cruise line doing it. Common areas on the ship such as the pool area, barristas, library, etc are all really nice.We did not try the culinary center or painting classes but people seemed to lvoe it. Entertainment is mixed - we don't care - we didn't go on the cruise for that reason. They had a comedian who was British and very very funny - saw him twice. Most of the music sounds like it is for our parents' generation in their nineties and kind of corny - like Peggy Lee.m(Seriously?) We grew up with rock and roll. The sailaway parties are great and fun - but I think they should offer at least one free drink to all of the passengers that one time - they had drinks on trays but you had to pay for them. The band and singer in Horizons was great (they also played at the sailaway party) - we would've liked to dance but no one was dancing. Part of the reason is the stage and dance floor is kind of lit up and you feel like you're on stage alone. Hardly anyone was up there in the evenings. We were on smaller river boat in the past (Uniworld - also awesome) and had a chance to do a lot of dancing- this is not a dancing type of crowd - a little disappointing. Same thing on last Oceania cruise. All of the staff is pretty much friendly and very professional. However, on this cruise as compared to last one - it seemed some of the staff was very new and did not know certain things. The waiters in the past got to know us and connect with us and tell us some things about themselves - did not happen this time - they did not seem interested in engaging and were a bit more stiff and formal. That's fine. Age group on this cruise seemed to be average late sixties and seventies with many much much older. Saw two kids the first day but none after that. (wonder where they went?!) There is nothing for kids to do on this cruise. It was a bit too chilly to swim but we did have a few warmer days and was lovely relaxing around the pool in the sunshine. Our fellow cruisers that we got to meet were mostly very friendly. They also seemed to be a lot better dressed and less frumpy than our last cruise. I even found some nice things in the shops on board. Had no idea it would be so cold in Bordeaux, etc - had to buy a pullover sweater - had not packed one. Two weeks was a long cruise for us - was glad to be getting off the ship - cannot really understand how ppl do much longer ones - I would be a fat blimp. Hard living in such close quarters after a couple of weeks also. Also, we are not cruise-only type of ppl - we also enjoy going to hotels on land and having more time to explore at our own speed. With so many ports - no time to really dine ashore - never had a chance to get good tapas in Spain etc. Oceania needs to offer more cruises that feature two nights in each port rather than a new one every day. The write-ups in the daily "Currents" (the daily cruise list of activities and port info) tells you about all the things a specific port is known for (looks like they copied and pasted out of pre-written tour books) and it is not realistic that you will be able to do much independently in just one day -especially if you take a tour - they do not allow very much free time during the excursions. In Porto (which is gorgeous) we had only thirty minutes to shop or get a coffee at the "Ribiera" - first twenty minutes spent finding a bathroom. I would def sail with Oceania again but might also try Crystal - the latter includes everything other than excursions and has many shorter itineraries with multiple nights in port. Ports - Too tired after flying - we did not visit Guernsey - was a warm sunny day (few others at the beginning were - was great relaxing around the pool. Bordeaux - took two excursions - one to the St. Emilion area and one to Bordeaux to visit vineyards and have tastings. Both very good. The first included plenty of time to shop and tour the city of Bordeaux and have a bite at a cafe - just great. Could not tender at Biarritz - sea was too rough. This cruise had some very rocky days on board - I took Bonine most of those sailing days - it works - non- drowsy formula. (even a half a tablet works but take it in advance by at least an hour before sailing). Bilbao was a wow - spent two days there - loved the Pinxtos(Basque style tapas) we had on our own at the Plaza Nueva (arcade NeoClassical Square) near the old town - don't miss it - fun to walk around; La Coruna - could have skipped this one other than Hercules tower. Porto and Lisbon both great - did ship tours both days and went for a port tasting. These are both ports that need an overnight stay. Cadiz we went on tour that included Flamenco (was great) and some tapas ( they were far from great - have had much better at Jose' Garces reataurants in our home town and the Sangria was not good either). Overall, a wonderful fun cruise - did not get sick this time - had fun. Highly recommend Oceania. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise for a chance to try Oceania, who has a great reputation, especially for foodies. We had cruised on Celebrity several times, a mainstream line known for good dining, and Princess to Alaska. Oceania seems to really ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a chance to try Oceania, who has a great reputation, especially for foodies. We had cruised on Celebrity several times, a mainstream line known for good dining, and Princess to Alaska. Oceania seems to really have honed in on their target audience, with many travelers we met haven taken 10+ cruises with the line and some even 20+ (and many Oceania cruises are more than two weeks). My wife and I are in our early 70s and most of the passengers seemed a bit older than we were. Many were from England, Australia, etc and most were very well traveled. In general, they were a friendly bunch The ship is pretty in a subdued sort of way, mostly decorated in a traditional way. We preferred Celebrity’s more contemporary looks, but it certainly was nice and easy to navigate. The public rooms are showing a bit of wear and tear, however, although nothing dramatic. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze, possibly because of the relatively small number of passengers. Service was always cheerful, although not always as high a professional standard as you might expect. For example, waiters were great about greeting you and efficient about removing plates and silverware, etc., but often were unaware of how the food was prepared. To compound the problem, menu items were sometimes inadequately described or not what one would expect (deep fried veal picatta anyone?). The food in the main dining room was generally good to very good, although two nights we did not find any dishes to our liking. The specialty restaurants were better, with Jaques being our favorite. Be aware, however, that even initial reservations at the specialty restaurants are given first to those in the most expensive cabins/suites, so you must share a table with strangers unless you wish to eat at 8:30 or later. Lunches and breakfasts were about equal to those on Celebrity, but the dinners were better on the Marina. Chilean sea bass was spectacular in Red Ginger and the other restaurants as well Entertainment was mostly just OK, especially the production evenings and they were sparsely attended, compared to those on larger ships. We did two cooking classes on board and both were great. I guess one of the biggest pluses for passengers onboard Marina, was what the was NOT on board. No constant announcements or forced joviality poolside. No photo ops of passengers or small children running around. It’s pretty quiet on board, with most people just reading on sea days. Unfortunately we had cold, cloudy weather on our days at sea and several other days as well, so the pool was not used. This cruise was very port intensive, however, so we did not spend that much time aboard the ship during the day. Another thing Oceania does not do and is appreciated by their passengers, is stop at the regular main cruise ports, which can be a madhouse! Instead you get to see many places you may only be vaguely familiar with. As far as the ship’s excursions, we did not use them. They seemed to be 2-3x the price of the local ones and the tour groups were larger than the local ones. We used Spain Day Tours and thought they were excellent. So the question is, would we do Oceania again? The answer in “maybe”. We liked the smaller ship size and passenger mix on the ship and the food was very good, if not consistently excellent. Crystal and Silversea,etc., are quite a bit more expensive and it seems that Oceania’s main competition is Viking Sea. It probably would depend on the itinerary as to which line we would prefer for our next cruise. Happy sailing, everybody! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Husband's Big 80 birthday - chose Oceania as previous experience on Riviera was very good. Love our food. Very nice itinerary, so we thought, out of Southampton finishing up in Barcelona. Ship - very similar to Riviera. ... Read More
Husband's Big 80 birthday - chose Oceania as previous experience on Riviera was very good. Love our food. Very nice itinerary, so we thought, out of Southampton finishing up in Barcelona. Ship - very similar to Riviera. Beautifully decorated and spotlessly clean. We had Penthouse Suite which was excellent. Very good design. Everything worked except WiFi which was dreadful and you could only have one device working (if it did!) at any one time. Cabin staff were excellent - always cleaned and ready for when we returned. Butler was helpful but we don't really use the Butler. Concierge was awful, rude, arrogant, ignorant both to me and about other guests. Overall the food was good as you would expect from the Cruise line that advertises "The best food at sea..." However........service was slow and seemed disorganised in the Grand Dining Room, the buffet area you had to have everything served to you, often not what you really wanted, which slowed down the process. Often plates were taken away before you finished your last mouthful which I hate! It was over busy at times - I think because the Grand Dining Room was certainly not up to standard. When we did go to the GDR for breakfast there were issues. The worst kipper and smoked haddock I have ever seen - so awful we walked out! Speciality restaurants were good but we were not keen on the Italian Restaurant. Polo Grill, Red Ginger and the French restaurant were all good. There was little coordination between the booking systems and the actual restaurants. Wine was very expensive. The added on gratuities plus another Spanish tax made it a ridiculous price. Entertainment was mixed - some excellent and some awful. Art loft..... well I've never seen such awful examples of a tutors work. The sessions were ok but overcrowded and chaotic. The Culinary Centre was good. Fun and informative . The Special Dining in Prive was an experience, interesting and the food delicious. There were some booking issues for other guests though - they were not happy! Gym was good, classes limited. Front Spa area not serviced, loungers uncomfortable, jacuzzi far too hot on one occasion and outside shower not working. Ports were very interesting - we do not do Ships excursions as we prefer to be independent. Transfers to the ship however were poor in a number of the ports and trying to get accurate info difficult. This did cause us issues as often long waits for buses without any seated waiting areas - my husband cannot stand for long. Some very long unnecessary walks off the ship into the port - little consideration for anyone with any disability. Other Cruise lines seem to have far better in port service. We had a number of Public Holiday days in ports which meant access to attractions was limited and shops closed. The 2 nights in Bordeaux was not 2 nights as they moved the ship on the second day making any independent excursions very difficult especially as it was a public holiday. We saw the Captain once during the whole cruise. He did not attend his drinks party nor did he attend the Thank you parade for the staff. Poor! Would we travel with Oceania again?. Sadly I very much doubt it. I think if we go 6 star again we will try another company. The rudeness of the Concierge was unacceptable. Oh and they got our final account wrong... so beware - we have never had that on a cruise before they are normally spot on! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was to be the cruise of a lifetime. A chance for my wife to visit some of the many places I had visited while on business travel. Titled by Oceania “Museums to Mosaics” We called it the “Cruise from Hell” along with some ... Read More
This was to be the cruise of a lifetime. A chance for my wife to visit some of the many places I had visited while on business travel. Titled by Oceania “Museums to Mosaics” We called it the “Cruise from Hell” along with some other long time (29 Oceania cruises) cruisers. Things stated going downhill at our second port – Halifax. It was very cold and started snowing as were leaving the port. The next morning there was over a foot of snow on the swimming pool and deck. Many of the crew members had never seen snow and found it fascinating. The visit to St Johns, Newfoundland was canceled due to stormy weather. My wife had lived in Newfoundland 50 years ago and was anxious to see how it had changed over the years. All in all it was a very disappointing start to the cruise. Crossing the Atlantic in the heavy seas for five days did get many people quite queasy, which led to distributing barf bags by the elevators. It was rough enough that safety belts for the beds would have been appreciated. People had to hold on to the railings and walls to go along the corridors to keep from falling. When we arrived in Cork, Ireland the wind was very strong with sideways rain and very cold. Fortunately the Jameson Distillery tour was indoors. The visit to Dublin for the next day was canceled due to heavy seas and gale force winds so we spent the day in our cabin in Cork. The next disappointment was arriving in London/South Hampton on Good Friday. I had really wanted my wife to at least have a brief visit in London. This meant there was to be no visit after planning on it for a year and half (since we had booked the trip). We were not informed of the no London tours until I asked the Destination Services manager when we were going to be able to select them on the cruise. We had asked out travel agent prior to the trip when we were going to be able to schedule a London tour (like all the others we preselected) but were told we had to wait until we got on the ship. Then we then proceeded to visit Bordeaux on Easter Monday, which is a celebrated holiday in France, with practically everything closed. The next stop in Biarritz was canceled due to heavy seas in the Bay of Biscay (that precluded using tenders to disembark). I guess Oceania is not aware that the Bay of Biscay is notorious for rough seas. The last straw was visiting Malaga on May Day, May 1st – another holiday with the shops closed. The tour was supposed to be easy – the guide had very poor English skills and appeared to be trying out for the Olympic speed walking team. My wife had to sit down and wait for the tour to return with no available free rest rooms. To Summarize: Cruise Length 28 days Sea days 8 scheduled (11 total) Missed ports 3 total Stop not available due holiday 1 (London) Ports limited due to holiday 3 I understand that Oceania does not control the weather. However, they do control the scheduling. In previous years the “repositioning cruise” had been scheduled in May. If the cruise had been scheduled just a week later, Good Friday would have been at sea, Easter would have been in Cork and London would have been available for a visit. I had expected that Oceania would take holidays into account when scheduling trips and try to optimize passenger enjoyment. I guess I was wrong. The message this sends is that passenger satisfaction is a sorry second to revenue maximization. Oceania does many things quite well. The food is good albeit somewhat uneven in the specialty restaurants. The desserts in the Grand dining Room are superb and the crew members we interacted with were well trained, friendly and courteous. The entertainment was much better than previous cruises and the comedian (Martin Beaumont) was terrific in both his shows. We paid over $30,000 for what we consider a $15,000 cruise at best. I had hoped Oceania would have reached out to people who had done the 28 day cruise but after 2 ½ weeks we have heard nothing from Oceania. Never again do we plan cruising on Oceania or any of its’ related lines. Postscript: We did complain to Oceania thru our travel agent and received a very disappointing self serving reply offering a $600 total ship credit on another cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first Oceania Cruise. Past cruises with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Disney. I did a lot of research. We decided on the cruise because we have wanted to visit Ireland (this cruise docked on Cohn and Dublin) and the ... Read More
This was our first Oceania Cruise. Past cruises with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Disney. I did a lot of research. We decided on the cruise because we have wanted to visit Ireland (this cruise docked on Cohn and Dublin) and the transatlantic crossing intrigued us. We arrived early; at the dock 11:30 am. Embarkation in Manhattan was very easy, quick. We were on the ship in 10 minutes. A group of 6 adults, we headed to the Terrace Cafe for lunch which, though very crowded, fed us well. While at lunch, they announced our cabins were ready. We traveled Concierge level A3. Our cabin was spacious, spotless. Our luggage had been delivered. We quickly unpacked and set off to explore the ship. The fact that the ship was on the smaller side attracted us as well. It was easy to navigate. We saw the spa, met the artist in residence, saw the teaching kitchen. Muster drill was ...a muster drill. Dinner that night was at Toscana. While at lunch we were approached with an open reservation so we took it. It was delicious. So let’s just get the food out of the way. Dinner at all the restaurants was delicious, including the main dining room. We ate at Toscana twice, at Jacques twice, and at Pollo once. We passed on Red Ginger even though it was most highly rated, most of our group were not fond of Asian food. The rest of the cruise we ate in the Grande Dining room for dinner, many lunches and a few breakfasts. And this is Cruise was the only Cruise we actually had dinner at the buffet. And it was enjoyable. We also enjoyed the afternoon tea. Their service from stateroom attendants to all servers, bar service, every employee we had contact with, was excellent. The entertainment with 1 exception was adequate. The exception, Chuck Wagner was excellent. Now the reason for the title. Even with all the preparation and research, the weather had a severe effect on this cruise. Weather in Canadian ports was forecasted to be normally high 49s low 50s. It snowed in Halifax, so our stop in Newfoundland was cancelled. Snow accumulated on the decks and verandahs. 6 or more inches as well as deeper drifts. Access to the open decks was prohibited, though I do not know why you would want to go out anyway. Five straight sea days followed of rocking, crashing waves and rolling. We truly missed having access to an indoor pool on the ship. We grew tired of the movies. There were enrichment talks, usually 2 per day at 50 min. each, trivia but by sea day 4 we couldn’t wait for a port. Our day in Cobh, home of Blarney Castle was cold and rainy. We enjoyed our excursion but for the first 1/2 hour the windows were so steamed on our bus we could see nothing out of them. Wiping just gave us brief glimpses before they steamed up again. When we got back on board, we were informed that the weather was too bad and our Dublin stop was cancelled. We stayed in Cobh an additional night. The next day the weather was still so bad, it made walking into the small city undoable. We did enjoy the museum on Irish immigration and the Lusitania and Titanic in the welcome center 10E each and the small but well supplied shop as well. When we finally continued on our journey, the captain and crew were finally able to get us out of the rolling, rocking seas and we made the last two scheduled port stops, in Saint-Malo and Le Harve. We enjoyed the warm spring weather there and on our last sea day. We were content with our excursions. One aside, now that I’ve had the experience. We had never been to Paris and after discussion and research did decide to do the one day excursion from Le Harve into Paris through the cruise line, though it was pricey. It is 6 hours (3 to, 3 back) travel, another hour plus ride around the city to see the main sights, 1.5 hours on your own (20 min searching for a toilette) and 15 min photo op at the Effiel Tower. My opinion now...not worth it. Do something closer to Le Harve. On the whole, it was less than expected experience. Are we glad we went? Yes. We enjoyed much of the cruise. Had we been on RC or another line with a ship with more to do, the sea days would have been more easy to get through. If we were with our children and grandchildren, this is not the line we would have chosen. We knew that when we booked. On the up side, we can plan a British Isles-Ireland Cruise with the kids. Debarkation was a mess due the the face to face with British immigration and having to collect our passports before leaving the ship. We waited in lines that at times had no end. Seriously. No one knew where the end of the line was and the crew was not able to help the situation. Still they were pleasant with hundreds of seniors many of whom were acting like toddlers at Disney. We were in line with a gentleman who had an excursion at 8:30 am. It was 7:45 am. We did not get to the passport station until 9:15. I hope they held his tour. I don’t know who is to blame for that mess. We had a pleasant bus ride to the airport. All the air arrangements were made through Oceania and it was as pleasant as a day spent at Heathrow and an 8 hour transatlantic flight could be. Same movies as onboard. Some things you just can’t control. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The Ship: Well maintained and operated. The crew was very helpful and pleasant. After dealing with a nasty private porter in New York (we ignored him, not sure why Oceania allows this) once we got to deal with the Oceania we had nothing ... Read More
The Ship: Well maintained and operated. The crew was very helpful and pleasant. After dealing with a nasty private porter in New York (we ignored him, not sure why Oceania allows this) once we got to deal with the Oceania we had nothing but positive experiences for the rest of our trip. Embarkation was easy. Crossing the Atlantic in the spring can be a little rough. I give great credit to the captain for his wisdom and experience. We bypassed two stops due to bad weather. I appreciated that he put the comfort and the safety of all those on his ship above that of any schedule. Food: The best I have had on any cruise line. One of our party was celiac and gluten free. They handled this very well and they prepared excellent gluten free food that looked and tasted like what everyone else was eating. The bread in particular was great. We tried all of the restaurants – the Italian one stood out with the best food and the best service. I highly recommend the Baristas on the 14th deck. Great coffee (better than most expensive coffee bars), quick and pleasant service and you are right next to the library and computer center. Laundry: A small free laundromat on each floor made laundry a breeze. Everything was clean and worked and there was an ironing board there as well. Being able to have clean clothes was a treat. Entertainment: The ship’s singers and dancers stood out for their enthusiasm and energy. They were also used to help out on the ships functions giving them much more exposure to the passengers than most of the crew. Internet: Satellite sourced, I do not think any ship internet is very good. Oceania Marina was no exception. Getting on the system in the middle of the day is almost impossible. Only at night or very early in the morning is the speed good enough to check emails. Library: I love libraries, lots of books and good comfortable chairs to while away a few hours of reading. Wood trimmed, and located next to the coffee bar, this library was very good. The only problem I had was that a number of passengers seem to feel that it was ok to take over a chair and ottoman and have a long winter’s nap, not the purpose for a small ship board library where room can be tight. The Passengers: The average age of the passengers on this trip seemed to be somewhat older than I would have expected, in their mid 70s and many had mobility and medical issues. There were a few younger passengers but very few. Most of the passengers were professionals – doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc. I did hear that the subsequent trip had a younger crowd. Gym and Exercise: Great running/walking track on top of the ship. The gym had good equipment for a smaller ship and it was much appreciated. There is a separate room where there were classes, particularly yoga Medical: There is a full medical center on board with a doctor, nurse and a two bed ward. All seemed very competent. This ship had just experienced an outbreak of Norovirus. They were extremely good at washing everything down and constantly disinfecting. At the buffets, you are served – you do not serve yourself. This really reduces the chance of contamination. Despite this, I picked up a respiratory infection and pink eye which required a hospital visit after the cruise and a course of antibiotics to get me back healthy again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We choose this cruise for the ports. Unfortunately due to the seas we missed St. John’s and Dublin. Weather cannot be helped and everyone’s safety is most important. That is the risk whenever you cruise, you may not get to all the ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the ports. Unfortunately due to the seas we missed St. John’s and Dublin. Weather cannot be helped and everyone’s safety is most important. That is the risk whenever you cruise, you may not get to all the ports. I had cruised Oceania before years ago. The difference today, entertainment was horrible, especially doing a transatlantic you are waiting for it. You can also feel a change in the level of food in the terrace cafe. The cooking classes are probably the best on those cruises. Art classes were enjoyable too. But really not much more to do on board. The ships also need an indoor whirlpool. The spa was very nice and Florence gave excellent massages. Very professional! Overall, when doing transatlantic cruises be weary of weather and lots of sea action that is not fun. The onboard specialty restaurants were enjoyable and gave options. Know that you need to book early! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We enjoyed this cruise very much. We have been on Oceania before, and chose this cruise for the itinerary of Lima to NYC. It was the middle leg of getting the ship from Tahiti, where it had spent the winter, to Europe, where it will ... Read More
We enjoyed this cruise very much. We have been on Oceania before, and chose this cruise for the itinerary of Lima to NYC. It was the middle leg of getting the ship from Tahiti, where it had spent the winter, to Europe, where it will spend the summer. We love O for the food, and the food was quite good. The new Dom Perignon events were great (separate charge, but great value for the money). The wine service has stepped up a bit - the wine stewards seem to have more training & knowledge than they used to (not a high hurdle, but much appreciated). Service in general was excellent - friendly, effective, welcoming. The onboard entertainment, a typically cited weak point for O - well, we can't comment, we tend to use dinner as our entertainment. We did not use any ship's tours; we did appreciate the free shuttles offered in Peru and Ecuador. The ship's activities were plentiful and interesting; one sea day I actually programmed the events I was interested in into my phone so I didn't miss any, although getting sidetracked or relaxing wouldn't be so bad either... We ate more times in the specialty restaurants on this cruise than ever before. A couple hundred people were on since Papeete (so had already had plenty of time to enjoy), the ship wasn't 100% full, and we did get into a code red (GI cases - apparently most likely from street food in South America). We enjoyed all the restaurants; the steak at Polo continues to be hit-or-miss - my spouse has decided that ordering something other than steak (lobster, veal oscar, etc.) is the way to go - although my ribeye was great. The main dining room (GDR) and Terrace Cafe were both excellent. There were a few small items in our room that needed fixing, but were fixed within an hour of mentioning (loose handle on door to veranda; mis-aligned closer on bathroom door). Our room stewards were top-notch. The lectures were interesting, with well-selected topics. The presenter quality was a bit mixed - one quite good, one very knowledgeable but not quite as engaging. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I would like to highlight the positives first for this trip on Marina, from Lima to NYC. I am gluten-free. I told Roger, the Specialty Diet Coordinator that I pick cruises based on food and desserts. He introduced me to Pastry Chef ... Read More
I would like to highlight the positives first for this trip on Marina, from Lima to NYC. I am gluten-free. I told Roger, the Specialty Diet Coordinator that I pick cruises based on food and desserts. He introduced me to Pastry Chef Bruno, who then made sure I got a different dessert every day, to my liking. Everyone one of them was an art of work. Felt very pampered. The Terrace Cafe chef Viktor was also super nice and patient. He walked me through the food, and made me special dishes when asked. Yes, I am looking for Marina future cruises, see if I can enjoy the service of those 3 again. On a whole. (1) They seem to have centralized the operation so one gets same stuff in the Cafe and the Main Dining Room. A lot of people now prefer the Cafe (more choices, less time). (2) They changed some of the Specialty Restaurants’ menu. Red Ginger used to be the draw to sail on Marina. Now Favorite dishes are gone. The same with Jacques. No more incentive. (3) Wave Grill is still a major draw! Ate their food a lot. Very nice and accommodating staff. Deeno, who cleaned our room, was super too. Did everything we asked for, even chasing down our missing survey last minute. Now, he knew how to use persuasion and gentle touch. We stayed in a Concierge Veranda. No butler service, only gave us access to the Lounge. Concierge service was only available 8am-12, 4-8 pm, when we were mostly out or having dinner. How about longer hours? “The Concierge got to sleep some time!” was the answer. For a company bragging about service, that is down right bad. Add another person is my answer. As usual, the lectures were great! Loved those on Panama Canal. Oceania was known for their land tours, nice sites, classy, buses only 60-70% full, etc. But on this cruise, not sure if it was because the towns were just developing their tourism, or because of security concerns, some of the tours were down right terrible or lame. Cancelling Norfolk due to weather was really disappointing too. The Destination Staff, instead of being apologetic and accommodating, were pretty defensive in their attitudes. The sanitation lock down did not help either. Some of the staff members were down right hostile as though we brought them the disaster. Highly recommend that the management teach their staff how to gain the passengers’ cooperation with persuasion rather than enforcement. That is, if the Management knows how themselves. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My spouse and I are experienced cruisers. On this voyage we sailed from Lima,Peru to NYC via the Panama Canal. The trip was adversely impacted by an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness(probably Norovirus) which can't be blamed on ... Read More
My spouse and I are experienced cruisers. On this voyage we sailed from Lima,Peru to NYC via the Panama Canal. The trip was adversely impacted by an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness(probably Norovirus) which can't be blamed on Oceana. However, their response was a disaster. Numerous activities were curtailed or canceled, and venues closed,even those unrelated to food or bathroom services, such as art classes and the library. Non transparent, inadequate explanations and insincere sounding excuses were provided, but no compensation was offered for services not provided as advertised nor for the significant inconveniences incurred. Free laundry service and significant discounts on future cruises come to mind. Unrelated problems included especially poor service in main bar/cocktail areas and disjointed, amateurish service in main dining room, terrace cafe and terrace grill where food was adequate but certainly not "the best cuisine at sea". Specialty restaurants were better with the exception of Polo which was terrible. Inexcusable shortages of sport drinks, and quality fruits, which looked good but tasted bad, were additional problems. Enrichment program lectures were very poor except for those given by a fellow guest. Invited performers were generally good. The ship's ensemble were enthusiastic but amateurish with the notable exception of the excellent band. Embarkation and disembarkation were handled smoothly. Panama Canal and Puerto Limone, Costa Rica and Miami were notable ports of call. Other Central American and Caribbean stops were a waste of time except for the nice beaches. Harvest Caye, Belize and Costa Maya, Mexico were Disneyland replicas without the fun. Unfortunately missed Norfolk, Va because of weather concerns. All in all, a bad experience. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Had been with Oceania in 2011 and thoroughly enjoyed it. That cruise was a comfortable, fairly sophisticated experience, and was always was keen to repeat the experience. The company brochure is now really misleading. It shows elegant ... Read More
Had been with Oceania in 2011 and thoroughly enjoyed it. That cruise was a comfortable, fairly sophisticated experience, and was always was keen to repeat the experience. The company brochure is now really misleading. It shows elegant well dressed people, where in actual fact on this trip the majority of people were dressed in baseball caps, T shirts and dad trainers. We are in out late 60's and were very much at younger end of the guest age range. There are good dining rooms and a very good choice of menus but most seemed to eat in the café. Picked this cruise because of the itinerary 16 days in the South Pacific. There was some attractive offers namely 400 dollars ship credit free internet and cabin upgrades. I now know why. The ship was about two thirds full and mainly elderly Americans, with a few Canadians and fewer Europeans. The ship itself is fairly shabby, stained and worn furnishings and carpet throughout The dining rooms are excellent although in a sort of Disney/ Las Vegas way. The Grand Dining room is an enormous space decorated in a sort of Las Vegas Baroque. On our cruise it was largely empty few people using it. The speciality dining rooms also serve excellent food, although in Red Ginger blonde east European waitress in a sort of oriental costume add to the Disneyesque experience. There is a degree of pretension in Red Ginger and Toscana. Being offered a choice of colour of chop sticks is surprising and have not see that in Asia. In Toscana being offered a huge choice of olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dip your bread in is unlikely to be replicated in Tuscany. The Polo Grill and Jacques were a bit more realistic. However in Jacques there was a window in to the kitchen where you could see "Out of Order" notices on ovens. The window had a curtain but it was kept open. Why? Breakfast buffet was more or less standard, of course there was no back bacon only pork belly done to a crisp. Entertainment was not bad except that most of the shows were on in the late afternoon. Maybe because of the elderly clientele. It meant that there was not much in the way of things to do in the evening. Martinis should be a nice place to have a drink. However its use seems to be for party games such as quizzes and indoor putting. Happy hour is somewhat strange as in the main lounge the band don't start till after happy hour. Not many people actually came. The quietest place on the ship is the grand bar which usually had people sleeping or reading in it. A very good string quartet did play there though. The library has a lot of foot traffic going to the speciality coffee shop. There is good coffee although the place can be a hang out for ships staff in coveralls. Several times there was crew in boiler suits leaning against the bar. The library has a couple of once beautiful ship models now largely falling to pieces. The models are not encased and no doubt have been frequently prodded. It all sort of points to the general air of neglect. The free internet was also not much use as it was off for several consecutive days because of "local interference". In general however the staff are excellent. Except for Destination Services and Reception. They are supercilious bunch who don't listen. Only asked one thing from reception and was haughtily told that they could deal with it. They got it wrong. It took three visits to destination services to get my disembarkation correct. It would appear that they don't read the forms they ask you to fill in. All in all Oceania for all its pretentions seems to have become just a mass market cruiser albeit with very good food and mainly good service. However as a premium brand it seems have lost its way. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
The occasion was our 20th wedding anniversary, and we wanted to have a luxurious cabin on a great ship with no hassles. We are older and can't be bothered. We did a lot of research, planned and saved for a couple years so we could do ... Read More
The occasion was our 20th wedding anniversary, and we wanted to have a luxurious cabin on a great ship with no hassles. We are older and can't be bothered. We did a lot of research, planned and saved for a couple years so we could do everything first class, and this cruise, and this ship, really hit the mark. Pre-cruise Papeete 3 days/4 nights Because our cruise would take us only to 3 other Tahitian ports, we wanted to spend our first few days on vacation in Tahiti in an overwater bungalow. We booked the Intercontinental Tahiti online at Expedia, which was a couple hundred dollars cheaper than booking direct with the hotel but very pricey. The overwater bungalow was fabulous, and the Intercontinental property was beautiful with an amazing lagoon swim-up bar ... We did a renewal of our vows on a little island in the lagoon that the wedding coordinator at the hotel arranged, and it was wonderful. Drawbacks of the hotel: Food and drinks are very expensive, and the snorkeling is not great. Although the ocean is warm and the water is clear, not many fish and no coral reef to speak of. I did a scuba dive with TopDive at the hotel and did see a LOT of sharks, so that was fun. If we did this again, though, I would take the ferry to Moorea to spend a few days. It looks like a quieter, prettier island than Papeete, although our room, and our view from the balcony across the water to Moorea, and our time at the Intercontinental were all delightful. Day One Embarkation My husband always wants to be everywhere early, so we arrived to the dock a half-hour before we could board, even with our 11 a.m. boarding time (suite people get to board early! La!). It was very easy to leave our bags and go aboard to the lounge where they had set out danish and coffee and tea and water for the many people who had already arrived and were waiting to board. Then we were surprised when they announced they were prepared to check people in and as we were there, they would begin -- and even more surprised to discover our room was already ready for us. We were in our room 15 minutes before we were supposed to even be able to check in. Do not be afraid of some kind of cattle call or long lines to board and get checked in; Oceania seems to have this well in hand. The ship is beautifully appointed! I loved the artwork everywhere which seemed whimsical and classical all at once. We chose a suite because we didn’t want any hassles ever. Only the Marina and its sister ship the Riviera have the particular suite we chose, the Oceania suite. We liked the looks of it when we saw the photos and layout on the website, and it had a champagne bubble tub on the balcony. Our cruise had a lot of days at sea, so I thought luxuriating in that tub would be perfect. As it happened, we stayed so busy, I only used it a few times! The amenities with a suite are lovely. There was a bottle of champagne on ice when we arrived, and we also were able to choose 6 bottles of spirits or wine for the rest of the cruise, which we never even finished them all. We also got 3 bags of complimentary laundry, canapes every afternoon, turn-down service with chocolates, and a butler who brought ice, kept the fridge stocked with soft drinks, brought newspapers in the morning and would make dining reservations, serve room service, and more. We had some friends over and he even brought a tray of snacks for them ... He was delightful. His name was Logesh, and he was from Madras, India. We loved him. The suite itself was amazing. I have cruised on Carnival, Princess, and Royal Caribbean, and never saw anything like this. The suite had a living room/dining room, including a nice sitting area where we put together a jigsaw puzzle. Again, I thought with the days at sea we would need something to do in the evenings, but as we came to the end of the cruise, I had to invite friends in to finish the puzzle with me. Which turned out to be great fun, actually. There was also a huge closet, a media room with TV and a huge selection of on-demand movies, a guest bathroom in the entry hall and a huge master bath with double vanity, separate shower and whirlpool tub. It was insane! When we cruised before, it was with children and grandma and economy was a priority, so we had to cram suitcases and kids everywhere … I could not believe the amount of space we had. We were seriously like gypsies in the palace in this place. Oceania seems to attract an older crowd; there were no children on board and very few young people. It’s also a smaller ship. It can take 1,250 passengers, and on our cruise, there were only 800 aboard, so there was never a crowd and never a wait for anything. And no blaring music or crazy contests or rowdy folks at the pool bar. Nothing at all for children or teenagers or wild young adults to get up to, but perfect for relaxing and enjoying the scenery and amenities. We took a knife skills class in the culinary center, which was excellent, and I had a spa day that was luscious on one of our days at sea. Plus we were pretty regular players of trivia and the beanbag toss, winning enough Big-O points to score 2 t-shirts, 2 hats, and a tote bag, I believe. Ship life was good for old folks! Day 2 Raiatea, French Polynesia All these French Polynesian islands are lush and lovely from what I saw! Bright sparkling blue water, gorgeous sandy beaches, and mountainous jungle-looking areas. Raiatea no exception. Here we docked, and this was good for my husband who is disabled and found it onerous getting on and off the tenders. We had booked a private tour with Excursion Bleu and Capt. Bruno. It was a whole day of snorkeling, a visit to a vanilla farm, a visit to a pearl farm, and lunch on the beach -- all by boat. The water was clear, we snorkeled with sharks, the beaches were beautiful, and the visit to the pearl farm was delightful. Learning how they get the beautiful Tahitian pearls was fascinating -- and of course my hubby doled out to get pearl pendants for me and his daughters who loved them! The lunch was fish and chicken with rice and breadfruit and plantains and coconut bread and all good things. Days 3-4 Bora-Bora French Polynesia Bora-Bora is amazing. The iconic view of those mountains from the sea ... It was stunning. Like you were sailing through a postcard. Our first day we had another snorkel adventure with BBQ and entertainment on the beach again. The company we booked with is Mahaoi Nui, and everyone said to do "Patrick's Tour." Patrick was booked up, so I decided on this snorkel tour with his same company and enjoyed it a lot. The dive guides played ukelele and sang as we cruised between the snorkel stops. Our first stop was in about 21 feet deep water, clear, warm, lovely to float in, and we were again snorkeling with sharks! It was amazing to see so many gorgeous black-tip reef sharks, so close at hand. Really enjoyed it! I think there were 3 snorkeling spots, total. At lunch there was suckling pig that had been cooking for hours in the oven in the ground ... It was like a luau, plus a bit of Tahitian dancing and fire dancing to entertain us. Next time (if we can ever go again) I will book earlier and get Patrick's tour, which includes a land tour rather than a boat tour, but I found this snorkel tour to be delightful. And the scenery amazing. On day 2 we used some of our shipboard credit to book Le Truck Tour, an open-air sort of bus that took is all around the island on land to see the amazing vistas, the remnants of WWII US military having been here, such as canon on the hillsides, and a short stop at "The World Famous Bloody Mary's," a beach bar named for the character from the South Pacific films. That was a fun photo opportunity. We also had a stop at a place where they make pareos, and it was fascinating to see how they dye them to get those beautiful colors and patterns. We enjoyed this tour a lot. I think we might've roamed around the main town afterward (a lot of our fellow cruisers did), but it was quite warm, and with my husband's disability, he finds it hard to walk far, so we were content to head back to the ship and relax that afternoon. Day 5 at Sea We had a lot of days at sea! They were all enjoyable because our cabin was like a little retreat for us, plus the activities and shows were fun. They have quite a good little entertainment troupe with some top-notch singers and dancers. There was also a magic show, and guest lecturers who were very good and entertaining! Also a "clean comedy" show which was quite good for all us uptight old white folks. Day 6 Fakarava, French Polynesia Another beautiful French Polynesian Island. In fact I think the beach we visited here may have been the most picturesque. It was one of those white sandy beaches, encircled by palm trees, but where the shallow water goes for yards and yards in front of the beach, so the water is so pale aqua it's almost white, and you can see where the water gets deeper as it's slightly darker ... It was stunning. We had booked another snorkel tour on the advice of Cruise Critic Forum members with Captain Ato. The first stop was quite a far boat ride, 40 or 45 minutes? I had read on Ato's website that there would be 6-8 people aboard, and there were actually 14, so the boat was a bit crowded. But most of the lovely cruisers we met were charming people, and some I even knew already from the Forum here, and so the crowd wasn't a big problem. Our first snorkel stop was in water I would say around 20-30 feet deep but with a beautiful patch of coral reef that came right up to the surface. There were 2 sharks, and a better variety of fish than I had yet seen in French Polynesia. Our next stop was, I believe, that beautiful beach. The boats dropped us off in water a couple feet deep, and we waded through the shallows into the beach. We were swimming or relaxing on the beach as the guides prepared the lunch. They broke the tops off coconuts for us to drink from, a true tropical picnic. The food was fish and sausage, rice and coconut bread, plus there was water and beer and juice ... Lovely lunch. Capt Ato told us the wind had changed so we couldn't get to the next snorkel stop he had planned for us, and he took us to a different beach, but the visibility for snorkeling there wasn't great; I sat out on the beach most of the time, enjoying the stunning scenery. I guess Ato was right about a change in the wind. As we left for the next snorkel stop, we were in bumpy water. Because of the crowd, I was right up at the front of the boat, and it kept riding up on the waves and then slamming down hard -- it became very painful by the time the day was over! The first four hours of this tour were terrific; the last hour was torturous! I am sure the change in wind and bumpy water were a surprise to Ato, and otherwise the tour had been great. Day 7-? At sea When we left French Polynesia, we had a lot of days at sea to Pitcairn Island (where we couldn't go ashore, and then on to Easter Island where we planned to go ashore). As I say, the days at sea were not bad at all. It did rain! We had several rainy days, so sitting by the pool wasn't so fun, but I had a luscious spa day one day, and suite guests get access to the spa deck where there are quiet and gently whirling thalassotherapy pools that I took advantage of, and of course, the champagne bubble tub on our balcony. And then there were the lectures! Gloeta Massie was the biologist who told us about the flora and fauna we would be seeing, as well as other astounding science stuff. Her lectures were hilarious as well as informative. If she's going to be on your ship, be sure you go to her talks! James Peterkin is an Easter Island expert who prepared us for both Pitcairn and Easter Islands with fascinating lectures on the history, culture, language, etc. His explanation of the Mutiny on the Bounty story was eye-opening and riveting. And his talks about Easter Island kept us all in suspense: what are those statues? why did they make them? why did they stop making them? what caused the collapse of Easter Island? He did a great job of preparing us for these stops! At Pitcairn the island is too tiny and infrastructure too small to accommodate a cruise ship full of people going ashore, so the islanders came to us. They set up shop with their handmade crafts, curios, t-shirts, postcards, stamps, etc. They were all very friendly and genial people and talented artists and craftspeople. One of them, an immigrant to Pitcairn, gave a talk about life on the island today which was quite interesting. We had more days at sea to Rapa Nui, which is what the locals call Easter Island. We were so ready to get a look at those statues! But we had been warned that there's no dock, and only a small harbor that's difficult to navigate, so it was possible our tenders wouldn't make it in if the weather was wrong ... So we did NOT get to set foot on Easter Island! This was the biggest disappointment of the entire cruise! We circumnavigated it, but did not get to see the moai for ourselves. Then it was back to see for a few more days. Let me mention the restaurants here. Oceania bills itself as having the finest cuisine at sea, and I can't argue. The Terrace Cafe, which is the buffet where you can always get any meal, was one of our favorites! They would grill you a lobster tail while you waited -- and some of their theme nights were terrific. Likewise one of my favorite meals was the brunch in the Grand Dining Room, which is the other place that's always serving with no reservations required. In fact, I think I enjoyed the food there every time we went. The specialty restaurants, where you had to have a reservation, were also quite good. The French restaurant, Jacques, has a menu by celebrity chef Jacques Pepin. I think Mike’s favorite was the steakhouse, Polo, and my favorite was the Oriental fusion place, Red Ginger. I had a trio of scallops there that was that perfect bite, where you put it in your mouth, and you have to stop and just sit a few seconds and let that deliciousness settle in … Lovely. There was also an Italian specialty restaurant, and surprisingly it was my least favorite of the 4. It did have WONDERFUL desserts, though. Definitely worth going. All the food was included in your fare, even the specialty restaurants, but those did require reservations, and I understand when the ship is full, it can be hard to get a reservation. We were guaranteed 2 reservations at each of the specialty restaurants because of our being in a suite, but we enjoyed Terrace Café and the Grand Dining Room nearly as much as the others; the food was all around very tasty. Day 16, Lima, Peru, Disembarkation Like everything on Oceania, disembarkation was easy. We did have to set our bags outside the door the night before like you do, but they took our bags to the JW Marriott where Oceania had a complimentary lounge for passengers who had to wait all day on their flight home, which we did. Our flight was at midnight that night. The service also included transfer to the hotel and from the hotel to the airport at the time of your flight -- I don't know if that was a benefit of our having a suite or if it was complimentary for everyone, but it was nice. To get a room at the hotel was about $350, and you couldn't even get into it until 3 p.m. I didn't want to spend the day at the hotel though and I had booked with ToursByLocals.com for a custom tour of Lima. We had read about Lima and decided we wanted to see the Inca market in Miraflores, the "Love Park" also in Miraflores, and the neighborhood of Barranco which is supposed to be scenic and touristy. Our guide had agreed to this and said she would also recommend a good place for lunch for us, and if there was time, show us the city center. Her regular half-day tour in Lima began in city center and included monasteries, museums and historic buildings that didn't interest us as much as the things we had prioritized. As the tour began, we were driven through horrendous traffic to the city center. I should have spoken up at that point and reminded the guide that we had arranged a custom tour with Miraflores and Barranco at the top of the list and the city center reserved for "if we have time," but I didn't speak up, so the rest is on me. The traffic as we took in the historic sites was atrocious, so the van stopped and starts in fits, and my husband got car sick! After a couple hours, I finally did say that we needed to stop by the hotel and let him get inside for a bit, but by the time we got there, he didn't want them to wait; he wasn't getting back in that van. So we didn't get to see the scenic sights in Lima we had hoped to see — and had paid to see! If you book with TBL, be sure you are clear on what you want to see and speak up if it is not happening. I should have. However we saw a bit of lovely scenery near the hotel. We walked across the street to a very modern and popular mall that's built into the bluff facing the coastline. It has a lovely children's playground and park on top, and all chic stores in the multi-level mall. It was a beautiful sunny day for a little stroll, so that was nice. But it still left us with hours to sit around the hotel until our ride to the airport and our midnight flight home. I fell asleep on the plane before it even took off and woke up when we were about 40 minutes outside of Houston … our dream trip of a lifetime was over! If you're looking for a cruise with a rock-climbing wall and a water slide on the ship, Oceania is not for you. But if you want to relax and enjoy great service and good amenities, I highly recommend it. Read Less
Marina Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.5
Dining 4.5 4.5
Entertainment 3.0 3.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 1.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 5.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 3.9

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