3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our third Oceania cruise; but it will not be our last. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, with so many fascinating stops. Probably most passengers selected this particular line and cruise because of 3 days in St. ... Read More
This was our third Oceania cruise; but it will not be our last. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, with so many fascinating stops. Probably most passengers selected this particular line and cruise because of 3 days in St. Petersburg; but it was the embarkation port of Stockholm and disembarkation at Amsterdam that made it even better for us; as we spent a few extra days at both ends, visiting Swedish and Dutch friends/seeing what they were most proud about in their hometowns. We like the larger Oceania ships because of the wider choice of specialty restaurants, Red Ginger being our favorite. We like the variety in the Terrace Café; but not the crowds, and only went there when we knew most passengers would be off on shore excursions. Main Dining Room has upped their game, and we no longer feel disappointed to not get into a specialty restaurant - the meals in the MDR are pretty darned good. The treat of a window seat at breakfast in the MDR can't be beat, even if you are eating alone. Our only complaint regarding food was the quality of the beef on this trip. After a few disappointments in Polo, Toscana and the MDR, we stayed away from steaks. A few weeks before our sail date, we were offered an upgrade from Penthouse to Oceania Suite, 11080. My husband has recently been having some mobility issues; so the additional space was welcome and the upgrade price was not off putting. We are among the passengers who take advantage of the butler service, for hot in room breakfasts, shoe shines, in room specialty restaurant dining and all the little touches that a butler can add. Roger, from Goa, was splendid. He was VERY attentive, whether in our suite or in the hallways. He always anticipated our needs. Our steward, Ludavina, and her assistant, Ilsy, were equally efficient and friendly. We took advantage of the classes in the Culinary Center and were delighted to have Annie Copps as the instructor. We had Annie on a previous cruise on the Riviera and love her style of teaching. The classes have been shortened by a half hour; although Annie generally goes a bit over. Everything we made was delicious. In our three cruises, we have yet to make it to the evening entertainment. We do love the live music in other venues. We did go to High Tea several times - lovely service of sweets and savory with a good choice of tea. We tried LuggageFree.com this time, pre-shipping our larger, heavier suitcases. They were at the door when we arrived at our room at noon on embarkation days. Disembarkation using this service did not go as smoothly; as most employees in the Port of Amsterdam were unfamiliar with the service. In the end, all was well, and our bags arrived at home a few days ahead of the promised delivery. We will use this service again. We took only two shore excursions with Oceania, Helsinki Panoramic by Water and Panoramic Gdansk. The tour guide on the first was boring and a bit hard to understand, and the tour was generally disappointing. The guide in Gdansk was exceptional, knowledgeable, good English skills and the tour was interesting. However, the tour was listed as Easy, with little walking, which was not the case. One person of the 13 on the tour actually choose to stay on the bus and napped, because he could not walk distances. More than an hour into a walk on cobblestone, I asked the guide how much longer we were going to be walking; as many of us had chosen the excursion because it was listed as having minimal walking. She responded by letting those of us who wanted to shop or get something to drink separated for 40 minutes - 6 of us went to a sidewalk café and had a cold beverage, 2 went off shopping, and the other 4 stayed with the guide. We did the first day of the 2-day Comfort Tour in St. Petersburg with Alla. It was very well done; but the long morning in the crowded Hermitage nearly did my husband in, even with his walker. Lunch at a nice small restaurant was delicious, canal cruise was lovely, and there was just enough time for souvenir shopping (World Cup stuff for my grandchildren). We did Bruges on our own - sharing a taxi from port to town with another couple. Loved our day there!!!! Hop On Hop Off in Copenhagen was a bit disappointing; but the shopping adjacent to the dock was great for gifts and amber. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise based on its itinerary and a recommendation from a frequent Oceania cruiser. We’re glad we did. We loved it! It will most likely not be our last Oceania cruise. Embarkation: We arrived at the port in Stockholm ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on its itinerary and a recommendation from a frequent Oceania cruiser. We’re glad we did. We loved it! It will most likely not be our last Oceania cruise. Embarkation: We arrived at the port in Stockholm at approximately 1pm and we were on the ship in a matter of minutes. We were told our room was ready as well. Dining was available in the Terrace Café buffet. It was a little chaotic, but not as bad as I anticipated. By the time we finished our lunch and toured the public areas, our luggage had been delivered to our room. Service: We found the service to be uniformly excellent throughout the ship. Restaurant, bar, housekeeping, and desk staff were always friendly and accommodating. Dining: The Grand Dining Room and all the specialty restaurants were all excellent. Service was always very prompt. Unlike many of the reviews I’ve read, we never found the service to be slow or meals prolonged. Our favorite restaurant was Jacques, and we were fortunate to have eaten there twice. We enjoyed Waves Bar for lunch. The port-rich itinerary, however, prevented us from having many lunches on board, so we didn’t take advantage of this often. We ate all breakfasts at the Terrace. If the port disembarkation was early, it was often very crowded and, occasionally difficult to find a table. The weather was often nice, though, so we had many lovely breakfasts al fresco. We only ate dinner and lunch there a couple of times, and I thought the food was OK – better than other cruise line buffets, but not as good as the sit-down restaurants. Enrichment and activities: A well-travelled couple collaborated on port presentations covering history and points-of-interest. These were enjoyable presentations with good background information. The ship offered cooking and art classes, but we did not participate. The ship had daily trivia and other contests, but we seldom participated. My wife enjoyed a needlepoint gathering on our sole sea day. The pool area was pleasant, never crowded, and extremely well maintained and attended. Entertainment: The string quartet and pianist playing before dinner and in the lounges were very good. Having a cocktail and listening to them was always a good way to spend part of the day. The onboard singers and dancers were pretty good and the shows they put on were entertaining. Stage shows were presented at 9:30 each night, and we attended all but one. Peter Cutler, a singer with a comic bent, performed two shows. We thought his shows were average and his voice overshadowed by the band. “Five O’Clock Somewhere” also performed two shows, with the second having an Irish theme. We found them to be original and much more entertaining with emphasis on technology; they relied very little on the ship’s band. Samantha Ivey performed two shows as well. She had a strong voice, and we enjoyed both of her performances. Public spaces: Overall, the ship is beautiful. The lounges and bars are very nice. The library is quite large and well stocked with books and games. It was heavily used when we had the rare bit of bad weather. Disembarkation: We did rely on house staff to move our luggage. We went to one of the lounges at 8 to await our chosen 8:30 time. We were in the cab line at Amsterdam’s port within minutes of our group being called. There was no passport control. Ports: We thoroughly enjoyed all ten of the ports we visited. We did little in Klaipeda and Warnemunde/Rostock, but still enjoyed them. We took no ship-sponsored excursions. We used SPB Tours in St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Tallinn, and Gdansk. We used free walking tours supplemented by guide books in Copenhagen and Bruges. We stayed in Stockholm two days prior to the cruise. We took a Stromma canal cruise in Stockholm, toured Gamla Stan and visited the Vasa museum. At the conclusion of the cruise, we stayed in Amsterdam for three days. We used the HOHO bus, but found it inconvenient. We bought tram tickets and did much walking to tour the markets, Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank house, Flagship canal cruise, et al. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Overall the trip was pretty wonderful. My unfortunate experience in the infirmary (see below) marred an otherwise terrific voyage. We mainly dined in the buffet area, which we found to be very good or excellent with plenty of variety, ... Read More
Overall the trip was pretty wonderful. My unfortunate experience in the infirmary (see below) marred an otherwise terrific voyage. We mainly dined in the buffet area, which we found to be very good or excellent with plenty of variety, helpful/attentive staff and the some of best desserts we've ever tasted. So a special nod of appreciation to the dessert chef(s) and helpers. The ship in general was well appointed, decorated beautifully and kept quite pristine; 'ship-shape' as they say. Our starboard room was quite nice with a comfortable mattress, very nice bathroom facilities, with a small balcony. Our helpful steward offered suggestions about the ship and shore excursions. Plentiful brochures and daily activities sheets insured you know what was happening that day. Free internet was an extra plus, though we were sometimes out of range or it was just erratic. In contrast to other cruises I've been on, the explanation of its use was very clear. We did not attend the shipboard entertainment/Activities except the "Trivia" quizzes, which we enjoyed a great deal. The excursions we took were well planned with knowledgeable guides. Our tour to the Hermitage was well done but very crowded even on Monday when only cruise ship passengers are allowed. Don't miss a trip to a separate building which houses the Impressionists. It was far less crowded and felt much less frenetic. A general tour of Berlin was another highlight with time allowed to have lunch at one of the very pleasant outdoor restaurants. My further comments will be focused on my medical care experience aboard ship. I'm a retired Internal Medicine physician and the condition for which I went to infirmary is well known to me, having treated patients with it for many years. Suffice it to say I was over-treated and forced to stay in the infirmary overnight. I was told unless I submitted to this doctor's treatment I would be thrown off the ship at Tallinn, Estonia, our next stop. I was told I would be forced to take an ambulance to Tallinn to be examined by the doctors there unless my condition (a heart rhythm disturbance) abated. Thru this entire ordeal, I emphasize to the readers of this review I was in no way acutely ill. I only required oral medication to control my heart rate which I had forgotten. Fortunately the condition abated and I was finally discharged the next morning. And given the oral medicine (Cardizem) I should have received at the outset. IMO, this doctor produced a phony-medical emergency situation, either because he did not understand the condition or because of the fees he would charge...see below. Trying to be fair, the charge for this entire episode, which involved NO: x-rays, consultations, MRI or CT scans and and only scant blood work was outlandish. There was only minimal and inexpensive IV medication, a few EKGs and overnight monitoring. The fee IMO should have been at most $1000-1500. The fee for these services was, in fact, over $8000. So draw your own conclusions as to which of the two possibilities above is more likely. My Warning is this: 1. Count on exorbitant fees for anything but the most minor medical care. 2. If you are elderly don't even think of boarding a ship without supplemental medical insurance that also covers preexisting conditions (which, of course, are the ones most likely to cause problems). 3. Consider getting the names, in advance, of doctors you can see in the various cities on your trip, should the need arise. 4. Try hard to stay out of the infirmary. 5. Double check you've not forgotten any medication you might need. P.S. We had Allianz insurance,as recommended by our very experienced travel agent, and so the costs were largely covered. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Chose Oceania because of the itinerary (combination of Baltic Sea and Norway) and reviews. The itinerary was perfect. All ports were very interesting and added to our knowledge base (not one "bad" or "boring" port.) ... Read More
Chose Oceania because of the itinerary (combination of Baltic Sea and Norway) and reviews. The itinerary was perfect. All ports were very interesting and added to our knowledge base (not one "bad" or "boring" port.) The ship itself was perfect. Calling it "ship shape" would be doing it a disservice. Every inch of the ship was spotless, had beautifully decorated public rooms (including the bars), and was decorated with modern art (all over!!) Food was wonderful. Got to eat in each of the 4 specialty restaurants twice. Toscana was our favorite with Pepin's and Red Ginger a close second. The Polo Grill needed help with service. We are not buffet people but with the choices and special evenings at the buffet, we ate more dinners in the buffet area than the main dining room. In Vegas you would pay at least $50 per person for something like Marina's buffet. By the way, sign up for the galley tour - fascinating! Cabin was a Penthouse Suite (#11060). Perfect - - cleaned twice a day, Butler (Roger was great), large, and comfortable. Embarkation and Disembarkation was as easy as checking out of a hotel. Smooth. Only negative (and a major one for us) - - the Port and Shore Excursions. This trip was for "old" people with the average age being at least 70. Unfortunately, a lot of them are "infirmed" in some way and going on excursions slows down and limits what you are able to see. A 4 hour excursion is more like a 3 hour excursion - - people have trouble getting on/off the bus, in/out of their seats, slow walking, trouble hearing. Our best excursions were the ones we booked ourselves through the internet. My suggestion would be to book as many "private" tours as possible. With all this said, I would certainly cruise with Oceania again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I travel the world, but am new to luxury cruise market. We chose Marina based on itinerary, the size and the food. We didn't want too big, but not too small. It fit the bill. This was a rare cruise that stays in St. Petersburg for ... Read More
I travel the world, but am new to luxury cruise market. We chose Marina based on itinerary, the size and the food. We didn't want too big, but not too small. It fit the bill. This was a rare cruise that stays in St. Petersburg for 3 days. We were fairly satisfied with the cruise, but there were elements that prevent me from calling it 5 star. Therefore, I doubt that I will cruise Oceania again if there are better choices around. Pros: - 2 weeks before embarkation, Oceania offered $500 per person upgrade to Suites, and we took it. Cabin was spacious, and well decorated. Walk-in closet was to die for. Bathroom was huge, with the bathtub, but shower was relatively cramped. - Overall, the staff were amazing. Especially room steward and dining room staff. - We ate at all specialty restaurants. Toscana was best, Jacque was decent, Polo Grill was so so. A lot of people like Red Ginger, but I have very high standard for Asian food. - Afternoon tea. Lovely tradition. We participated almost everyday. Cons: - I didn't like the fact that they charge $600 extra per person for liquor package, calling themselves as luxury cruise. Beverage service was horrible. Whenever you are seated in a restaurant, you need to be taken drink order first. We always had to flag down so-called sommeliers (later we learned that they become sommeliers after 1 week of training), well after dinner order was taken. When we finally flag down sommeliers, they usually start recommending bottles of wines; as soon as they hear that we have liquor package, their service gets rushed. This was probably the most unpleasant experience in this cruise. - One thing I cannot understand was, compared to all the staff who work so hard to satisfy customers, the officers, managers, and captains are so disinterested in customer service. We only saw captain having dinner with his own family. I called dining manager and general manager one day to complain about something; nothing substantial got done. - Entertainment was truly sub par. - Shore excursions were extremely expensive. I went with my own arrangement with TJ Travel and SPB Tours, and I was very satisfied. Oceania charges premium price and the experience was not quite premium. They really don't care about post cruise survey either. I don't think their quality will improve. They certainly will not retain us as repeat customers. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose Oceania because of its reputation, and the smaller size of ship which allowed a more port-intensive cruise (No "at-sea" days in the Baltic). We spent more money than we normally would and booked Oceania Suite 11080 - ... Read More
We chose Oceania because of its reputation, and the smaller size of ship which allowed a more port-intensive cruise (No "at-sea" days in the Baltic). We spent more money than we normally would and booked Oceania Suite 11080 - about 1,000 square feet at the back of the ship, with a wraparound balcony. It was our first Oceania cruise after 3 Celebrity cruises + 3 river cruises (2 with Viking and 1 with Scenic). The first thing that struck us was the different approaches to handling your choices for alcohol programs, specialty dining, etc. There are pros & cons to all, and maybe they equalize in that way, although I got the sense that drinks on Oceania were more expensive than other cruise companies we have experienced. Having 4 specialty restaurants to choose from at no extra cost, each either once or twice depending on your length of cruise and cabin class, was nice due to the variety. However, it does prevent the type of relationship building we experienced at Luminae on the 2 Celebrity cruises where we booked a suite. The service in all restaurants was very good, and the food was very good (except for the first night in Polo where both my wife and I had our steaks over-cooked. That did not happen again) The butler and room service was excellent!! Ports of call were good, and excursion offerings were varied and plentiful. One of the great bonuses was the ease of disembarking and embarking with this 1200-passenger ship compared to the larger Celebrity ships we have sailed on (about 2200 and 3000 passengers) LOWS: 3 free bags of laundry for suite guests was great, but the quality of how they returned the clean laundry was awful - shirts and pants folded, and folded improperly, so that some "new seams" were created!). Sadly, the other low was the extremely limited comfortable usefulness of the massive wraparound balcony: Because the railing slants inwards, it removes over 1/3 of the depth of the balcony as useful space! (I measured from the balcony door: 70 inches deep for the wooden balcony, 78 inches if you include the metal water trough, but only 45 inches from the door to the edge of the railing! There was no place where we could have our lounge chairs side-by-side). In fairness, the balcony is 8-10 inches deeper away from the door, but the furniture arrangement was still greatly constrained. Being at the back of the ship, and on deck 11, had two other disadvantages: The noise from the engines (located at the back) and the noise from table chairs scraping across the floor at the Terrace Cafe on deck 12 (This was particularly bad on the night before the end of the cruise -- the staff must have been cleaning the Terrace Cafe floor at 4:30 AM, with LOTS of chair scraping!!) We will travel with Oceania again, but will stay away from the stern cabins, especially on Deck 11. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This is my second cruise on Oceania and true to form all of the amenities they mention and all of the service they brag about is truly only available on their concierge suites or higher. If you are in a regular room you will not get the ... Read More
This is my second cruise on Oceania and true to form all of the amenities they mention and all of the service they brag about is truly only available on their concierge suites or higher. If you are in a regular room you will not get the best service or opportunities on the boat. A couple of examples. They rave about their great "specialty" restaurants. Priority is given to the upper suite classes and by the time you get on the ship or can book a reservation on line for the most part all of the reservations are taken and the best you can get is an 8:30 PM reservation just before they close. Another example you are warned repeatedly that if you are off the boat on a private tour not booked by the boat and you return to the ship late the ship will leave you. Except if you are in a penthouse suite. Our boat left late after they announced one of the penthouse guests to please contact them if they were on the boat and then an hour later a limo showed up with a family that ran and got on the ship. So if you are in the Penthouse even the rules don't apply to you. I just feel that Oceania has an attitude that they only care if you book the higher suites and spend more money. We tried to book excursions only to be told they were sold out and they put us on a waiting list but they would not tell you how the waiting list worked so how would you know if you even had a chance for an excursion. They say they have the best food of all cruises but I did not find this the case. The food is OK but unless you again are willing to spend a fortune on their "gourmet" dinners I have had similar and at times better food on other cruises. I just feel they over charge you for basic service with no real advantage to enhanced services and they don't mind letting you know because you didn't book the penthouse. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We picked this cruise mostly because of the itinerary. We wanted at least 3 days in St. Petersburg and this one gave us that, and also allowed us to see some of the less visited Baltic ports. There were no sea days and we were off the ... Read More
We picked this cruise mostly because of the itinerary. We wanted at least 3 days in St. Petersburg and this one gave us that, and also allowed us to see some of the less visited Baltic ports. There were no sea days and we were off the boat every day. It was an amazing trip. We did Oceania tours for three ports (Tallinn, Helsinki & Warnemunde) and Alla Tours for St. Petersburg, Riga, Klaipeda and Gdansk. The Alla tours were better: more intensive, were small groups, and were cheaper. St Petersburg was great, although I wish I had been able to more time (i.e. days) in the Hermitage, and I saw perhaps one too many gilded baroque palace and very little that dates to after the revolution. Riga was a very pleasant surprise as the Art Nouveau district was fantastic. The Curonian Spit and Malbork Castle were impressive and impressive. They were long days and long walks but I highly recommend them. The wife has celiac disease and we thought a smaller ship which focused on food might be a pleasant experience for her. We hit the jackpot and the cruise formed the heart of the best trip we’ve taken. Unlike our cruise last year on princess we didn’t get a menu for the next day’s meals. Instead we just had to ask the Maitre-D and he/she would tell us which were safe and which weren’t. They was usually a decent choice. This even worked in the Terrace cafe and we ate there often. Three of the speciality restaurants were good, similar to what we have seen on other ships, but the fourth, Red Ginger, was the best. The only negative note was the limited room service menu and hours for breakfast. WiFi was included and it was a relief not to worry about wasting precious minutes on unreliable login and logout systems. Streaming is blocked but we had downloaded enough content to get us through. The long satellite delays caused other services, like photo cloud syncing, to fail. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We normally cruise on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. We were invited to join a Wine Makers Cruise aboard Marina. The embarkation for this cruise was like none we had ever experienced, it was fantastic. There were no lines and ... Read More
We normally cruise on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. We were invited to join a Wine Makers Cruise aboard Marina. The embarkation for this cruise was like none we had ever experienced, it was fantastic. There were no lines and the staff could not have been nicer. When we booked we chose a balcony cabin and were told there were cabins available at the rear of the shift with an extended balcony. Research on Cruise Critic revealed these are very nice cabins to have. They are twice as big with 2 lounges and 2 chairs and a table. Our friends had the cabin next to us so we were able to open the panel to allow access to both balconies. The cabin was large with plenty of storage in the closet and many drawers. The temperature in the room could be adjusted to our liking. The bathroom was spacious and beautiful. My favorite thing is the bathroom has a light switch inside. On all other ships I have been on the switch is on the outside so you must turn it on and it lights up the whole cabin during the night. Great feature. The dining was overall a "10" . The food was fantastic, especially in the specialty restaurants which are no additional fee. Service in these restaurants was perfection. My only food complaint is the Terrace Cafe. This is a buffet with very good food but they must serve you the food and there is no queue for the lines. It is people jockeying for position and taking cuts without thinking about it. There is a beautiful back outdoor area to eat your food, very comfortable if not windy with great views. The Waves grill is very nice, you order and sit and they bring you your meal. Excellent food there. Afternoon tea in Horizons was lovely. Fantastic wait service and excellent food to pair with your tea. The ship is overall in perfect condition. I only had a few complaints- a hair dryer with only low speed. Complained early on and by the end of cruise got one with two speeds. The bottle of VO I ordered came as a cheaper Seagrams 7. This error was fixed quickly. The toilets were out of order for a full day on a large portion of the ship. It smelled quite a bit that day. They made no announcement on it and no apologies were made. We know this can happen on cruise ships but please acknowledge the problem and let us know you are working on it. Also let us know which areas are not affected so we can use those facilities. The toilet in our friends cabin overflowed and the staff did nothing to apologize for this inconvenience. The Entertainment is good, they had entertainers that sang and danced and they used them several nights in the showroom and spotlighted a few other nights in Horizons. I think they started the dance hour too late in Horizons, as with the travel we did it would be nicer to allow dancing at 9:00 for those who wanted to. There was trivia, golf putting, food classes and of note the casino was smoke free. That was literally refreshing as it kept the ship smoke free. My husband won money on the slot machines which for a cruise ship is rare. I used the gym and while small it had wonderful equipment. I did not use the spa or salon due to the usual high cruise pricing. They did have the ceramic lounges and a steam/sauna available to all. The one day I went to use the steam, it was being worked on so not available. Ty, the concierge, was a great help. We purchased OLife as we wanted Wi-Fi. So we picked excursions with it just to get the WiFi. After we booked I read there is now complimentary Wi-Fi. We complained that we in essence paid for something that was now free. Ty worked with us allowing us to cancel 2 of our 3 shore excursions and we were credited the charge for those. Very accommodating. The Wi-Fi on board was better than most ships. Only one person from your cabin allowed to be on at one time which is standard. You can purchase an additional person but it is costly. The desktops and internet area were very nice. The library was excellent and was in constant use. The game room had lots of choices of games. There is ping pong, shuffleboard, croquet, a putting green, paddle board and a netted one person driving range. The pool is beautiful and there were at least two spas. The chaise lounges by the pool were comfortable and each covered with attached towels. The crew works so hard every morning get it to look great. Ports: Oslo, Norway- It was quite crowded as traffic was President of Solvakia was visiting and we had trouble getting around. We visited the Ice Bar, I would say one and done. Probably not worth going to. Copenhagen Denmark - Just beautiful. We took a wonderful canal tour and loved the sights. Later we stopped by an amazing Tivoli Gardens, what a fun place but not enough time to see it all. Berlin- We took a tour with Alla Tours and had a great guide from Ireland. It was a long but pretty 3 hours bus ride. Our tour group was only 12 which made it easier. The Berlin Wall was amazing. Visited Checkpoint Charlie, stopped at a nice food court to eat and returned in time to the ship. Thank you guide Daniel Flaherty. Visby - Visby is an island, so serene and beautiful. We took the ship's Excursion- Visby by Bicycle. It was a nine mile ride. We had a great time. There were some long hills and the bikes were heavier than we are used to. Overall everyone made it and it was very enjoyable and a great way to see a good portion of Visby, the only City on the island and a tourist destination for Scandinavians. We could see why it is so popular. Helsinki - We began with a boat cruise which was just beautiful . After we walked to the Uspenski Cathedral. A nice walk and a beautiful place. We visited Senate Square and the building was closed for a wedding. Very beautiful. We missed Rock Church but saw unique photos from others. We ate lunch at a fabulous restaurant on the way back to the ship. Salutorget- a Scandanavian Bistro. Fabulous hamburgers and french fried potatoes, not to mention the best Gin and Tonics on our trip. St Petersburg- Our port for 2 days. You must be on a guided tour to get off the ship. Our group signed up for a two day tour. Day one we visited Catherine's Palace and Peterhof Grand Palace and Fountains. An amazing sight to see. Our guide, Anna with TJ Travel, was fantastic. It is a crowded difficult place to get around but she made sure we got up close to things we wanted to see. Day Two - we decided to stay on the ship. Others in our group went to Hermitage Museum (it was three hours and I am not a huge museum person). I enjoyed the ship and relaxation. I must admit it was frustrating not to be able to go ashore from the ship due to Russian Restrictions. Also I thought we would be able to see the lighted bridges during the White Nights in Russia from the Ship. Due to were they dock this is not viewable. Highly recommend you take an evening tour of the canals. I sure would have if I had known. I think we really missed some beautiful views. Tallin Estonia- A very unique beautiful port, but due to the size it is a extremely crowded. Old Town is the #1 destination and the streets are all cobblestone. The churches are very beautiful but getting in and out of them is a real challenge due to the crowds. We did the hop on hop off bus and enjoyed seeing the sights along the way. Stockholm- We ended our cruise in Stockholm. We stayed on 3 days and are glad we did. What a wonderful city. I have never seen such great transportation (and I know London is good), but the artwork in the underground is amazing. The people are friendly and helpful. We visited the Vasa Museum, unique story here; Abba Museum (you must be a big fan) and it was wonderful. We got 3 day pass for the underground and the hop on hop off boats and bus. Great way to get around, exception: Hop on Hop Off bus just too crowded to even get on. We took a wonderful boat ride to Fjäderholmarna, which is only 25 minutes away. We spent an hour walking the island. I would recommend more islands if time allows. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This cruise was listed as going from Montreal to Southampton and when we booked (end of 2016 onboard) we opted to take their air/ground package. We flew first to Brussels from Manchester and then onto Montreal. Coming home (to get back ... Read More
This cruise was listed as going from Montreal to Southampton and when we booked (end of 2016 onboard) we opted to take their air/ground package. We flew first to Brussels from Manchester and then onto Montreal. Coming home (to get back to the car) Oceania booked us a BA flight from T5. Surprisingly we were the only people on our inbound Air Canada flight although we met another passenger at Montreal from Birmingham (there was a coach load came in later in the day from LHR). It was at this point we discovered that due to the level of the St. Lawrence waterway Marina could not get under the Laviolette bridge at Trois-Rivières so the cruise would start there rather than in Montreal. We were informed that our package now covered the 2hr bus ride to the new location the next day and thus we were sent on our way to the Fairmont Chateau-Champlain for the night. [Apparently Oceania had known this since the previous Friday – this was Monday – and whilst I had received three emails saying ‘Book onboard’ from them I had heard nothing about the change in plans – either directly or via my agent. When I went online that evening the website had already been changed!]. Having arrived early in the afternoon we got out and made the most of the sun in Montreal – the same the next morning too before we had to check out. The coach transfer was interesting as we saw the flooded land all the way along the road. Trois-Rivières turned out to be a lovely town and they tried very hard to do everything for us. This was their first ever turn around and they did themselves proud. We were onboard by about 1pm and our cabin (Concierge level) was ready inside 30 minutes – just time to grab some library books and a bite to eat. With an overnight in this port we now had plenty of time and made the most of it with a walk the first afternoon to get our bearings and then a longer one the next day to Le Parc de l’île Saint-Quentin where we saw the flooding first hand and had close ups with the wildlife (woodpeckers, marmots, black squirrels, tree creepers to name a few). A lovely town and the people came down to see the ship from the promenade….. The next port was Québec. The ship parks near the centre and it is a short walk through the old port and up to round town (the only walled city north of Mexico!). We followed a tourist walk (avoiding all the road works/digging) and then did the Dufferin Terrace and the Governors Walk to the Plains of Abraham before returning to the ship through Petit-Champlain. Another lovely sunny day and lots to see, good chance to try French again….. The day after was Saguenay and what a change those miles east made. We started with snow flurries and in the wind it felt below freezing – it was a shame for the locals in that few ventured far, even in the afternoon when the sun got out (although it didn’t feel much warmer!) Still the shops sold a lot of thermal wear…. A sea day next and all the usual activities onboard a cruise ship (lectures, trivia, games) as well as Oceania’s specialities – the Cuisine Centre (fee charged) and the art classes (free). Corner Brook was our first stop in Newfoundland and again we met snow flurries but soon the sun shone and we were on the free shuttle to town where we did a small trail walk (Three Bears) with views over the city and then the Corner Brook Stream and Gorge Trail. Again it was cool and the small craft market in the local mall (Sunday) did a good line in woollen gloves/hats. The next day we were in France. St Pierre and Miquelon are a group of islands just off Newfoundland that is a self-governing overseas territory of France (spot the tricolor and EU flags). Today was sunny but with a cold wind and whilst we took a shuttle into town we walked back (Monday today and a lot of shops/services are closed). In the afternoon we climbed the hill behind the ship and did a hike to Cap a l’Aigle viewpoint and then beyond two lakes (Etang Frecker) into the country. Its quite bleak and grey beyond the treeline but the views were great. We then had to do another immigration into Canada to be able to call at St. Johns. St. John’s was much acclaimed by many onboard compared to the previous three ports (more to do, bigger place, more shops) but I’d enjoyed exploring the smaller locations and we had plenty to see and walk. We walked from the ship up Signal Hill and then round on a circular route past Ladies Lookout , Cuckold Bay – where Marconi’s message was received – and into Quidi Vidi village and harbour (very quaint) before heading back to town past the lake. We even manged to find a coffee shop for lunch with live local music – impromptu but fun. It was warmer here but strange to see so many homeless/beggars – including younger girls – they were all polite though. We left Canada at 2pm and then it was three days across the Atlantic. This was our first ocean crossing and we weren’t sure we would find enough to do (that we liked). The first full day was a bit bumpy but realistically it was a very smooth crossing – just grey and cool all the way. It was also quite windy – one day had a 30+knot wind across the deck and the upper decks were all closed for safety. This led to the walkers being inventive (indoors and out) to do their daily exercise! Finally, landfall at Cobh (for Cork). Immigration had to be completed (face to face) onboard before you could go ashore. Cobh is a lovely little place with lots to see, it was the last landfall of the Titanic of course. Cork is a train ride away (the station is next to the ship) but most people decided after their visit it wasn’t worth it – another ‘big city’. It also had a few demonstrations on – one in support of the Palestinians and then a couple both for and against the repeal of the 8th amendment. Next day (Sunday) was Dublin and a chance to see the Book of Kells. I’d booked my tickets online before we left home and it certainly jumped the queue (even at 10am) but it was so busy. Lots of tour groups of course – some of whom didn’t seem that interested… The Trinity College Library is just awesome. Monday was Holyhead (Holy Island off Anglesey) and whilst most of the tours went to North Wales we made the most of the sun and warmth and walked the Anglesey Coastal path – friends went to Treaddur Bay on the bus. The shuttle here was provided by the town and it became swamped at lunchtime (especially as it coincided with a ferry loading for Dublin – traffic jam!). Much better result for the day than we imagined. Then our final half day at sea (working our way round Wales and Cornwall to Portland) so plenty of time to be packed before our trip into Weymouth. The town put on the shuttle again which dropped us near the old port. Again, it was a bit of an issue getting back at peak time, but the sun was shining, and it could have been worse – just a shame there was no drop off near Chesil Beach for a walk. Then overnight into Southampton and the easternmost pier (splendid view of all the cars for export!) and the start of the trip home. Disembarkation was easy and efficient. This was a great itinerary (interesting ports and a mid-Atlantic crossing) spoilt by the weather. We concluded that Marina with her open deck, no covered pool and constrained inside space is not such an appropriate choice where good weather is not guaranteed. I would however love to do these ports in Canada again later in the season when everything was open and active and see the ‘real’ region. Otherwise we enjoyed the cruise and met some interesting people. There were more Brits than usual (about 200 in 1230) but we were still well outnumbered by the North Americans. Quite a few had done the previous voyage as a back to back (from Miami up the eastern seaboard) and some were carrying on for the next voyage down the coast of France and Spain. We had over 800 Oceania Club (past passengers) members onboard and the highest ranking had sailed over 900 days at sea with Oceania. The food was very good although I’m glad to report portion sizes in the speciality restaurants had reduced slightly which I was all in favour of. The Grand Dining Room continued to shine with different menus every day. Many people made use of it for breakfast and lunch too. Afternoon Tea was usually busy and now features ‘special days’ such as Cupcake Tea, Éclair Tea and Chocolate Tea. The Vegan breakfast bar (for smoothies, juices and other non-dairy options) in Waves Grill worked well and I enjoyed the variety on offer. Staff were friendly and helpful although there were one or two small language issues across counters. The Terrace Café buffet was fully served which obviously helps control health issues and food wastage. We also noted toiletries were replaced based on consumption and thus there were times when you ran quite short until the next service; another small cost cutting exercise I presume. Restocking and refuelling seem to occur in various locations throughout the voyage and this seemed to work well as the fresh fruit held to the end (even if the natural Greek yoghurt ran out with three days to go). Rather than take a drinks package we chose the 7-bottle wine package (effectively half a bottle a day) and between that, buying the odd drink and the Captains Cocktail reception (free drinks for all on one evening for a couple of hours) that was more than enough for our requirements on the 15-day sailing. WiFi is available free to all (one item per stateroom) but it was very slow at times – especially on sea days. It also restricts access to streaming and video. You can pay extra for access to such sites – but then access doesn’t guarantee bandwidth to use them! The coffee shop, Baristas, was again well used and seemed a focus of the ship at times. The main crew were Italian females who worked in the mornings (doing service in Toscana in the evening). Other bar staff took the afternoon shift. Behind this is the library and I felt disappointed that there seemed less books than previously (we were on early and went straight there and allowing for the back to backers). I didn’t see that many new books and the shelf labelled New York Times Best Sellers was used for other purposes. The Guest Exchange had also disappeared – people dropped them wherever rather than in the Games Room where the shelf was designated but poorly filled. The Concierge Lounge was nearly always busy, and its coffee machine struggled for a while before breaking down under the strain. Eventually three engineers turned up to replace it with a new one. The Spa Deck to which we have access was used sparingly due to the weather – even some sunny times were closed due to the wind. The new Concierge inclusion of up to three bags of laundry (max. of 20 items per bag) worked well for us although I still did a big self-wash/dry on the last at sea morning so I came home with almost everything clean. This bundled laundry was offered across the ship on some days at a fixed price (circa $25), the launderette is still $4 for a wash and dry. The balcony was not used as much as usual because of the weather conditions but I did use it in port on a few days. Read Less
Marina Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 5.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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