Sail Date: March 2011
Our first experience with Oceania was at the Insignia. Then we missed the main attraction of the journey and the officers did not tell the truth about the reasons. See the review.Nevertheless we decided to try this company once more. This ... Read More
Our first experience with Oceania was at the Insignia. Then we missed the main attraction of the journey and the officers did not tell the truth about the reasons. See the review.Nevertheless we decided to try this company once more. This time a 10-day cruise in the Mediterranean. This time even 2 ports were canceled because of so called "swells". Again doubts if this was really necessary.We made two very nice excursions: Saint Paul and Lucca. The so called walking tours are much too expensive and you can easily do them on your own.Venice, Florence and Dubrovnik are so beautiful.....Then the ship Marina:The atrium and other public rooms are more beautiful and less kitsch than at other ships. Alas the cabin was smaller then expected. Also the beds are too small, but the quality is excellent. The bathroom is big enough, but the big bathtub takes too much room. Therefore the showerstall is too narrow.Breakfast and lunch are surely below standard level for xxxx-ships. Fresh orange-juice it not standard and fresh brown bread not available at breakfast.Very little variation at lunch and dinner. Quality of food in the diningroom is just poor. It's much better at the specialty restaurants, but then often served too fast and/or too cold.Oceania at its best moments can be compared to Azamara. The difference is that on Azamara this level is standard.Ths cruise-director was good, especially when compared to the irritating W.Aames on Insignia, who also kept back important information about the schedule of the ship.All together: I would not advise anybody to choose Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
As experienced cruisers, we enjoyed many aspects of our first Oceania cruise on the Marina in March, 2011. The food, the service, and the decor of the ship are much as described by other travellers. We were surprised to enjoy the nightly ... Read More
As experienced cruisers, we enjoyed many aspects of our first Oceania cruise on the Marina in March, 2011. The food, the service, and the decor of the ship are much as described by other travellers. We were surprised to enjoy the nightly entertainment as much and even more than many other, larger ships we've sailed on. The ports were fantastic, although we booked almost everything independently due to the limitations and the cost of the offerings of the ship. We would like to advise that cabin 9005, a concierge-level cabin, was extremely noisy at night with so many thumps, bumps, crashes and jolts that we finally had to move to another cabin on a lower floor. The seas were not exceptionally rough and certainly we have been in a variety of weather in our nearly 20 cruises, but we suspect that since cabins are put into a ship, during construction, as a whole unit, there must be something structurally lacking in 9005. We had never experienced anything like it and sleep was out of the question. We made our concerns known after the first night and happened to hear someone from another deck, voicing the same complaint to the registration desk -- the noises and jolts were enough to bring one up out of bed! We were all met with limited concern and the advice that if it happened again, we should call the desk right then and there. Not particulary reassuring. The second night we experienced an identical problem, called the registration desk at midnight, were met with casual concern but persisted, and were finally successful in getting moved on the third day. Our new stateroom did not have any of those sound and movement issues. Despite the luxury of the ship and its many good points, the rooms are not that well constructed, with chips in the "wood" of the closets and cupboards already (our cruise was in the second month of Marina's existence), bathroom tiles that let water seep through the grout of the floors and walls (noticed that in both staterooms and our room steward said it was a problem ship-wide), and flimsy walls that do nothing to keep the next room's conversations inside that room -- especially if you happen to be in a stateroom that could be an adjoining room. The closets rattled, the showers have been discussed enough already, and the balcony doors did not always open easily or close completely, despite a lot of effort. We especially wanted to warn people away from choosing cabin 9005. We enjoyed the rest of our cruise, but the construction issues are probably enough for us to avoid taking another chance on Marina. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
Oceania's new Marina is a fine addition to its small fleet. The enhancements are impressive; two new dining concepts, spacious bathtubs, an excellent performance space, bigger pool, wonderful artworks and a culinary school set it ... Read More
Oceania's new Marina is a fine addition to its small fleet. The enhancements are impressive; two new dining concepts, spacious bathtubs, an excellent performance space, bigger pool, wonderful artworks and a culinary school set it apart from its smaller siblings. But not everything has gone to plan.For example, the library area borrowed from the smaller ships has been split into a new reading area and coffee bar and neither work.But what Marina gains in the excellence of its facilities, it loses in hospitality and service excellence. It accommodates almost twice as many passengers as its other ships and this seemed to me to be the source of its problems. The pinch points that all cruise ships encounter as passengers congregate was never an issue on Insignia. It's a major problem on Marina. We never had to queue on Insignia. On Marina queuing was the norm for the Terrace Cafe breakfast, Grand Dining Room dinner and tendering.Transporting 650 passengers by tender or bus was largely hassle-free on Insignia but seemed a huge logistical issue on Marina. The tenders themselves are badly cramped and ill-designed. On Insignia there was a constant relay of tenders but on Marina the policy seemed to be to fill a tender to capacity and only then, send out another. Port side buses were the same. Passenger queues just to board the infrequent buses at the container ports sometimes took an hour. In time, Oceania may find itself squeezed. It is pretty dismissive of independent travellers in terms of convenience and meaningful information. And at the same time, punishing those wishing to book excursions with excessive pricing. An Oceania excursion around Guernsey costs $100. A local bus costs just £1.Oceania also seems to be playing a dangerous game in its literal descripton of destinations. Dover is described as London; Bordeaux is Le Verdon - 100 km away.Passengers become irritated on realising they are stranded a distance from their perceived port of call. Sometimes disembarking did not take place until 11am and naturally pre-booked excursions had priority. Therefore independent travellers sometimes did not get off the ship until an hour later, constricting time at the destination.In most instances the ports were not attractive harbours. They were featureless container/car ferry ports with little appeal. Perhaps the smaller Oceania ships can access more attractive ports more easily for either docking or fast tendering.The result of all these compounded frustrations seemed to generate a general exasperation amongst passengers, which in turn affected the crew who seemed lacking in confidence. Each was comfortable in their own narrow sphere of work, but could not respond to issues outside their responsibility.In the smaller Oceania ships there was a real sense of community, amongst both crew and passengers. On Marina this was not apparent and relationships that would naturally develop, were absent.Marina is therefore an unbalanced ship. It is much improved and more elegant than its smaller siblings but nothing like as satisfying. My advice would be to stick to those smaller vessels until Marina is able to redress its service delivery. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
Think of a new shopping mall - dazzling architecture - quality construction - fabulous press reviews - then when you get there you find the same old stuff for sale by the same old 'can't be bothered' sales staff. That sums ... Read More
Think of a new shopping mall - dazzling architecture - quality construction - fabulous press reviews - then when you get there you find the same old stuff for sale by the same old 'can't be bothered' sales staff. That sums up Marina for us although to be fair I must say most crew members were exceedingly nice, friendly and helpful - it was the supervisors, managers and crew that were not up to scratch. Pre-cruise communication with head office was poor - unacceptable would be a better word. Once on board, and the boarding process was excellent, we liked the ship and liked our suite. We'd read prior complaints about small showers, lack of power points, 'plastic' teak on the balconies, etc but overall we'd rate the suite at something like 98 out of 100. Regarding the size of the shower stall - I'm 6ft 200# and found it adequately sized - in fact in any degree of rolling sea I'd be glad it was the size and shape it was. Wearing a tail coat does not a butler make. Nuff said. Silly marketing idea. Restaurants - generally good food but ineffective service. Plenty of wait staff 'running' around but not achieving the basics of attentive service. Choice of food on menu decreased as cruise went on. We were promised "priority booking" in the specialty restaurants with our suite but our so-called butler could not get any booking earlier than 8.30pm, the latest available time, on any day. Twice we just turned up early and were accepted straight away. On one of the others we had to wait over 15 minutes, to 8.45pm, to get anyone to greet-and-seat us and did not get any food until after 9.30pm. General Dining Room was a disaster - tried it twice - never went back. Best service was in the self-service Terrace Cafe - that about says it all. Shore excursions - expensive and nothing special. We've certainly had much better on other cruise lines. Oceania's attitude towards shuttle bus services to the local towns was interesting - Head Office denied having any at all - but once on board the attitude was something like "We understand the local tourist office might have arranged something but you're on your own if you want to risk it". In fact they were run by the same bus companies as the formal tours. Hmmm! The ship is big enough that it could not enter three of the scheduled ports. (So why schedule them?) At two of them there was a slight swell so using tenders was considered too dangerous. Let me emphasize that again - a SLIGHT swell was considered too dangerous. The situation in both places would have been quite acceptable to any normally active person - senior citizen or not. I and others concluded that the small number of physically challenged and/or senile passengers on board affected the decision for all of us. Why could Oceania not manage it better so that the 20 or so who would have had problems did not ruin the day for the 1000 and more who could have handled it? Bottom line? Nice ship - nice staff - poor management - and with all the extras more expensive than a true luxury cruise ship. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
Don't jump to sail the new Marina. unless you prefer an itinerary on the Marina to one on the Regatta or Insignia, or other smaller Oceania. Having Cruised Oceania often, , we were disappointed with the Marina.But first, we have ... Read More
Don't jump to sail the new Marina. unless you prefer an itinerary on the Marina to one on the Regatta or Insignia, or other smaller Oceania. Having Cruised Oceania often, , we were disappointed with the Marina.But first, we have to applaud the STAFF.. They are fantastic, respectful, and bend over backwards to solve any problem you have. Our Penthouse cabin was spacious,,but under cafeteria.. couldn't sleep before midnight, nor after 5 AM due to hearing the noise of set up and clean up above. We were given another cabin on 10Th floor just to sleep in. ASK what is above you before you book the 11Th floor. and ask for a guarantee!! The penthouse is worth the difference in cost if you mind sleeping right next to the sliding closet door (as in the much smaller veranda rooms) with a light that goes on when opened. I get up earlier than my hubby so I would have had to be sure to get all my clothes ready at night so I wouldn't need the closet.in the morning. As it was, I could just sneak out of the veranda room and up to my PH suite in the morning. Or if you don't mind a bathroom for one. The shower, even in the PH is tiny.. Not one person on our ship appreciated the unused tub instead of a larger shower. (except for hanging clothes to dry) Then, the shower has a large celling rain spray.. Forget it if you are very tall, or want to keep your hair dry. You can't move away from it. Although, outside of the shower, , the bathrooms in the PH suites are comfortably larger for two to use. at the same time. The Staff was fantastic!! I can't rave enough about the way they try to make you happy. We did get a second, quiet room to sleep in.. but still can't believe that the most costly cabins PH are the noisiest. We did not make use of the butler.. To us, his being around so much is kind of a bother. If you like to eat snacks before dinner.. or have meals in your room, maybe he is for you..than he can bring that to you. We also had a couple bottles of wine and champagne gifted. they exchanged them for whatever we wanted when we brought them to dinner. We don't drink so we shared with table mates. All in all, we greatly preferred the newer Celebrity Solstice as far as PH cabins, food and night life. The itinerary is the itinerary, which ever ship you take. But for a newer ship, there is no comparison.The Solstice , in early 2010, had fabulous entertainment all night long, incredible theatre and performers, also late night entertainment is great.. Never wanted to go to bed..and we are site seers in our 70's. And don't' drink or gamble, or stay up late. As for the Oceania, we started cruising many years ago on the Renaissance.. we have to say, we GREATLY preferred the originals, Regatta, Insignia, etc. smaller Oceania ships, to the Marina. As did everyone we spoke to on our ship. NOT ONE person said they liked the Larger Marina. better. nor were impressed with anything about the newer version of the ship except for the glossy pamphlet sent out. Happy sailing!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
This may be a different style review. Our main point is to start by saying that we had a very good time and enjoyed the company of our friends and some unexpected surprises discovering old friends among those on the cruise. We however were ... Read More
This may be a different style review. Our main point is to start by saying that we had a very good time and enjoyed the company of our friends and some unexpected surprises discovering old friends among those on the cruise. We however were underwhelmed by this new ship and I really doubt we will ever book it again. We much preferred our previous three Oceania cruises on their smaller ships. So this is really a review of the ship more than that of the cruise which we fully enjoyed. The Marina is from beginning to end a design disappointment when you think the design team would have learned what it takes to improve things. This is just a minor list of disappointments: 1. Not enough elevators, to small for 1,200 people, long waits, every elevator has floor arrived at in different location. Only two elevators on back of the ship where everyone goes up and down to eat. Remember these are very heavy Senior and many disabled touring, one wheel chair and the elevator is taken. 2. The Library is the worst example of design failure. The smaller ships have great library where one could go and relax. This maze is crowed, poorly lit, and clearly an afterthought. (This leads to the question, where when its cold outside and you must remain inside the ship do you relax outside your stateroom? No single chair offered, and there are not many, is at all comfortable to sit and read for any length of time.) 3. Dinning: The food was okay, not up to standards of previous voyages especially in the terrace at lunch time. Breakfast in main dining room was the worst. But the big problem is to many people on small ship. The tables in all the restaurants, especially main dining room and terrace are placed so close together that one has a hard time getting up and returning to table. Several days at lunch NO tables were even available for the four of us to sit together. 4. Entertainment: How is it possible that Oceania can't get any entertainment worth watching. New theater is improvement. But if you compare to Celebrity for example... well Oceania get an F. They need to get inventive as more people attended history lectures than entertainment, which only plays once at 9:45. As to television the flat screen is poorly placed on wall and does not rotate. They do not offer CNN. Broadcasts are not in wide screen or in HD so quality of movies is poor to awful. 5. Shore Excursions: Book your own. Oceania's web page is a confusing. The confirm you, then say tour is canceled and refund your money. Then you find it was not canceled. Then no one can answer a question or return a phone call. And then at the last minute they offer the tour anyway. Three credit card charges, refunds later. Their large bus tours lack any local flavor and are far to expensive. We booked most tours independently and say far more at far less money. In Belfast we had a great tour with 20 Cruise Critic members for only $75 a couple, including admissions. The bargain of any tour compared to lessor tour on Oceania which would have cost over $300. 6. The crew: You always want to route for the crew. And this crew does a good job. But most told us they did not like working the ship and wanted to return to smaller ship where they could get to know passengers easier. I have no complains but do wish their was a way to enjoy better relationships with individual crew members. They all seemed so busy and rushed. 7. Specialty restaurants: Most were good and we enjoyed them. However, we had situation in Toscana where we had to ask were our main course was. We were told the order was lost and our meal would take an hour longer. The waiter took all the blame but we were surprised no one from the restaurant came by to say anything or offer any compensation (a bottle of wine or maybe a return visit). 8. Value: Really the bottom line is that Oceania has just gotten to expensive for what it is offering. We took a cruise along the coast of Norway two years ago on Celebrity's Century (just refurbished) and yes they have fixed dinner times, and dress up nights and all. But it cost, including air, some $6,000 less. For a room equally as good. One has to ask if Oceania is really worth it? At least on the Marina. 9. Luggage: Lastly when Oceania took one of our bags to dock upon departure they broke the pull handle on the bag. So far no one has responded to my request for payment. We had to buy a replacement bag while in London. (I found it interesting that they never gave us the parts...so someone knew what they had done but thought they would just slip it buy.) 10. Cabin: My wife did not like the overhead shower head. Or why so much space was used for a bath tub when it could have been used in the stateroom. The closet is in a strange space where two people can not stand in front of it at the same time, nor get out of bed on that side. 11. Laundry: This one they got very right. Coin Laundry is found on each deck. We used several time and no one else was using it. Also the ships laundry is very good and fairly priced. Overall we took this cruise because of our previous like of Oceania and the destinations. We were lucky on weather and really enjoyed all of the places we visited. Don't get my tell it like it is ship review convey the feeling that we did not have a good time, as we did enjoy the experience and all. Its just that in this competitive world others can offer the same or better for far less money. Our suggestion is to avoid the Marina and stick with one of the three remaining older ships. (And one further observation. We felt very young at 66 among the Marina's passengers and although I am happy to see those many years more senior traveling I would prefer a wider range of ages on board. I suggest you not consider if you taking children. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
We're just off the Oceania Marina's Tastes of Europe cruise, that ended in Rome yesterday, August 26,2011. The impressions are all fresh in our minds. Overall it was a satisfying experience but far from the original ... Read More
We're just off the Oceania Marina's Tastes of Europe cruise, that ended in Rome yesterday, August 26,2011. The impressions are all fresh in our minds. Overall it was a satisfying experience but far from the original expectations built up by the heavy advertisements in press and via internet. The passengers have the opportunity to fill in a feedback document, that we decided against submitting but it does serve as a good template for organising the comments below. We had a Penthouse cabin provided with butler services. The accommodations were satisfactory along with the Stateroom maintenance. Too bad that the cabins are rather poorly built with squeaky doors and hissing sound from the wind outside, that the maintenance crew tried to prevent but didn't succeed entirely. The bathroom facilities were adequate and the towel service was prompt and unobtrusive. The services provided were rather poor. To start with, most of the service desks, the travel desk, the reception etc would not answer directly and one should have expected to be called back in order to register the specific requests. After being denied service for a number of times (related to trip planning, concierge service and another time a special request for room service), we asked to speak to the cruise director. The request did not even generate a call from the director. Instead of it we had our complaints acknowledged by the respective service staff ?!. While we had access to the Executive Concierge service, it was almost impossible to get to the sole person who was supposed to provide them. The line up could take literally over ½ hour at any time of the day. The concierge was only available during limited intervals of the day (about 8 hours). Generally the reception and destination staff and management were 'lost at sea' looking for excuses rather than trying to do their job well. Totally uninformed about the locations we docked at, not ready to resolve any issues on the spot without going for 'approval' (this refers to mistakes in the billing) The cruise staff was rather efficient but annoyingly eager to acknowledge the passengers at all times. This created an impression of artificial courtesy. The same comment goes for the Red Ginger and Toscana restaurant staff. One values one's privacy during the dining experience and a non intrusive, while attentive staff. It does get really annoying being asked 8 times during dinner if everything is all right ! The culinary experience was of a high quality. The specialty restaurants were well appointed (we actually dined twice, at each of them) with a wide choice of on each restaurant menu. The Far Eastern, Red Ginger restaurant was somehow disappointing, by trying to please all tastes but not able to concentrate on any of the far eastern cuisine well. It wasn't either a Chinese or a Japanese or a Thai restaurant, but had a dish from each cuisine . La Reserve's food was of a good standard but the wine pairings were mostly off (their excuse was that the Wine Spectator picked up the pairings ??!! ). The Grand Dining Room was OK.,. The butler service proved worth its price after the first day when our calls were not returned for lengthy periods of time. We had a 'friendly talk' with the butler after which he got 'religion' and probably started servicing us ahead of other passengers. The entertainment was of a very poor quality except for Bruce Parker who did a good job singing the tunes and getting the audience involved. The shore excursions were a real disaster ! The group sizes varied from 40-50 people, the guides were impossible to be heard unless one was at a foot distance away and the tour content was extremely poor. We ended up going of 3 of these but heard the same comments from other passengers who went on other ones. We ended up actually renting a car in three locations, namely in Saint-jean-de-luz, Cadiz and Livorno. The prices charged for the shore excursions were a total rip-off. Overall not a bad experience but it won't bring us back to the Oceania again. Lots of regrets to lose the good food experience (thanks to Jaques Pepin ?...who was on the cruise himself and I caught him ordering at lease 3 times hot dogs for lunch !!!) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2011
The Marina is a beautiful new ship, if you've sailed on Oceania's other ships you feel at home right away. The Grand Dining room is very bright and the two new restaurants are a welcome addition. The Red Ginger food is ... Read More
The Marina is a beautiful new ship, if you've sailed on Oceania's other ships you feel at home right away. The Grand Dining room is very bright and the two new restaurants are a welcome addition. The Red Ginger food is fantatistic. Unfortunately, Pepins was nothing special. The library is a disaster - tiny disjointed alcoves along a hall with giant furniture. Impossible to open the cabinets without banging the furniture. Artists loft with artist and digital camera guru is another nice addition, as was the cooking school. Loved the walking area around the funnel of the ship. Bad thing is the number of children this cruise is attracting. For the second year is a row, Oceania has implemented a Junior Cruisers program = which is contradictory to their own publication stating they do NOT provide for children's entertainment or supervision. One of the activities was making and sailing paper airplanes through the lobby. Children were eating and drinking in the spas and pool. Running around throwing water and ice. Diapered babies were in the pool; e-coli anyone? They were running around during the evening entertainment -disrupting the show. No parents or cruise staff 'noticed'. If you are looking for the Oceania product that they advertise in their brochures, avoid the Miami to Miami Holiday sailing. This cruise is a family cruise with the children running the show - literally. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
This was our 23rd cruise; the first on Oceania. We have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Princess, NCL, Holland America, and Celebrity. Oceania is not a line we can typically afford because we prefer to use that money to cruise two or three ... Read More
This was our 23rd cruise; the first on Oceania. We have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Princess, NCL, Holland America, and Celebrity. Oceania is not a line we can typically afford because we prefer to use that money to cruise two or three times per year, but this was a great deal and a great itinerary so we booked it. We learned a few things on this cruise: if you prefer balconies, stick with them. We would have been miserable in an inside cabin for 12 nights, especially with the movement on this ship. Also, size does matter. The Marina is about 66,000 tons, and after sailing on Royal Caribbean's Oasis and Allure, we really felt the movement on this ship. We had sailed on a small Princess ship in 2006 and loved it, but subsequently got spoiled on the larger vessels, so keep that in mind when selecting your cruise. Passengers: The average age appeared to be about 75. We met mostly Americans, along with some Canadians and Brits. We saw a total of 2 children. Passengers were very friendly. We also expected that the "country club casual" dress code would mean that we had to dress very nicely, but found that everyone dressed just as they would on any other cruise line. It was GREAT not to have formal nights! Embarkation and Disembarkation: Quite smooth. We boarded at 1:00 p.m. Cabins were not ready until 3:30 -- on other lines we are usually in our cabin by 1:00 p.m., but we went to the Terrace Cafe and had a great lunch. Disembarkation was smooth as well -- off the ship and into the car within 20 minutes. Cabins: Small, but elegant. The bed was very comfortable with luxurious bedding, and the towels are thick. Storage is adequate, but the closet is in a very awkward place and is difficult to access. The safe is a nice size; an iPad will fit, but not a laptop. The shower is horrible. It is the smallest shower I've ever seen on a ship. The bathtub is huge, but the separate shower has a rainshower head with nowhere to move out of the way, so you have to keep turning it on and off. Good luck if you want to bend over to shave your legs. The shelf is tiny; there is not enough room to put shampoo, etc. on it, so most things are on the floor, where you can barely get to them IF you are small and can bend over in the tiny, cramped shower. The shower did not drain well. The shower is the worst feature of the ship. The cabin was also cold at times, and turning the thermostat to the warmest setting didn't do anything. The noise in the cabin was nearly as bad as the shower. The first night, it sounded like a loose tin flap was banging above the ceiling. The next day, they fixed it, but it was very windy throughout the trip and the wind whistled through the balcony dividers and rattled them so loudly it kept me awake. There was also a lot of creaking, and on the last few nights, an irritating pinging kept me awake. We were told that the cabins on the Regatta are even smaller, so again, keep that in mind when booking. Unless you upgrade to a suite, expect very, very small cabins on this cruise line. Cabin Service: Adequate for the most part, until the last night. The refrigerator is stocked with free soda and bottled water, which is terrific, but we did have to ask for restocking a couple of times. We ordered juice from Room Service a few times and it arrived right on time with friendly service. Unfortunately, when we were at dinner the last night, our cabin stewardess dumped all of the sheets, robes, etc. on top of our good clothes, preparing for the next morning. She took the robes we were using, soap, shampoo, and everything else out of our cabin. We were not happy. On disembarkation morning, we went to an early breakfast, and put the "privacy" sign on the door to let her know we were not vacating the cabin yet -- it was 6:30 and we didn't have to vacate until 8:00 a.m. When we returned at 7:15, she and other stewards had their cleaning supplies strewn all over the room and all of the dirty linens were piled on top of our open suitcases. We asked for privacy to use the restroom and assured her we would be out much earlier than required --within minutes, and she didn't want to give us that privacy. She got angry, and when we finally asked her to leave, she told us that there "is no privacy on disembarkation day" and we had no right to hold her up from "turning the cabin around by 1:00 p.m." We tried to convince here that we just needed a few minutes, but she was awful. She finally left and yelled some name at us in a foreign language, slamming the door. We complained, and the housekeeping manager couldn't have been nicer, so we felt better, but we have never been treated so rudely on a cruise -- ever. The manager assured us she would be disciplined and this behavior is not up to their standards and would not be tolerated. The Ship: Very elegant, but it lacked a central meeting and people-watching spot, which we always enjoy on larger ships. The theater's seats are not very comfortable. We felt a lot of movement on this ship, and the sea did not look that rough; it was windy but no more than usual on this Caribbean route. Numerous passengers commented on this; we have been in much rougher seas with less ship movement, and that remains a mystery. The aforementioned noises were very annoying. The Internet on Deck 14 was terribly slow. Dozens of us complained. The Internet staff used every excuse they could think of, including interference from Cuba. The Internet in the cabin didn't work at all until day 8, and then it worked for that day and reverted back to dial-up speed for the remainder of the trip. Internet access is VERY expensive on this ship: 80 cents per minute is the starting point. I purchased 800 minutes for $400, and wasted tons of time the first several days getting bumped off and having extremely slow connections. The Guest Services staff was downright rude about it when everyone complained. I finally got about 150 minutes credited by the Internet Manager. On days 6 and 7 they tore out the ceilings in the passageways to install "more access points," "more bandwith," or "newer antennas" -- depending on whom you asked. After day 8, when I went to Guest Services to inquire about the slow Internet again, they just said that they were frustrated, too. No matter whom we asked, nobody was willing to tell us the truth. On day 10, contracted engineers arrived at our room to test our wi-fi connection and they told us the ship planned to upgrade the satellite, confirming that what they had was terrible. I used all 800 minutes plus the 150 doing about 300 minutes of work. For a new ship, this one just had too many issues and they definitely detracted from the experience; so much that we have cancelled a future cruise on this ship. Many passengers we spoke with had sailed on the Regatta, which is less than half the size of this ship, and loved the intimate atmosphere. I can only imagine, though, how bad the Internet is on a smaller, older ship, and I don't want to experience all that movement and ship's noises. Staff: the dining venues all had wonderful, cheerful staff. This was the best dining service -- in all venues -- we have ever had on a ship. The waiters genuinely seemed to like what they were doing. They couldn't have been nicer or more attentive. The reception desk staff, however, was completely unimpressive. If anyone had an issue, they just stonewalled or lied. We talked to several passengers who had this same impression. They need to promote some of their waiters and put them at the front desk because the Guest Services people were crabby, inattentive, and acted like they absolutely hate people. Dining: The main dining room is comfortable, pretty, and has great service along with great food. There are plenty of choices and the waiters were extremely attentive. The casual venue, the Terrace Cafe, also had fantastic food selections and service. A highlight of this cruise was the free lattes/cappuccinos any time you want one. The buffet selections were not vast, but they were really good. I am a vegetarian and I didn't have any trouble finding choices. The Waves grill, between the casual Terrace Cafe and the pool, has fantastic lunch food, including a surf and turf sandwich, and an ice cream bar that also serves malts, shakes, and smoothies. Cappuccinos, lattes, etc. -- all at no extra cost -- are served throughout the ship. The food and food service on this ship were by far the best we have ever had. The cruise fare included one night in each of four specialty restaurants. Red Ginger has great Asian food with wonderful service; Jacques has French food with fantastic service, Polo is a steakhouse with unbelievably good food and wonderful service, and Toscana serves Italian food -- the service and food was good there. One nice feature of the cruise is that the bar service was wonderful but we never felt like they were constantly hovering and pushing drinks on us. Entertainment: We enjoyed the comedian Tom Drake's shows. There is only one show per evening at 9:45 p.m., so we missed all the other ones because we were just too tired to stay awake. The cruise director, Dottie Kulasa, was absolutely fantastic. She made everyone feel at home, always took time to chat, and really made the cruise enjoyable. A guest lecturer from NOAA had some interesting presentations. We did not visit the Casino. Photos: There are no photographers on this ship. It was nice not to constantly be bothered by them; on the other hand, we always purchase our embarkation photo because they have the ship's name, date, and itinerary on them and we keep them in a cruise album, so we missed that. The Spa: Ridiculous prices. It is a Canyon Ranch Spa and you pay for the name - $182 for a 50 minute Swedish massage. I didn't even think about doing that. Shore excursions: Typical. A bit over-priced. After the first two, we cancelled the rest. Overall: There is not a lot to do on this ship, so it is definitely the right ship for those who just want to eat great food, have great dining service, don't need to use the Internet, don't need to be entertained, and want a very slow, relaxed pace. The Internet and cabin fiascos absolutely put a damper on our experience. The free bottled water, soda, smoothies, and lattes are nice extras, and you will sleep in a very comfortable bed. This line's itineraries are terrific. However, if you like more choices in entertainment, people watching, and a more lively, upbeat atmosphere, this probably is not the ship or the cruise line for you. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
I will begin by saying I have not cruised 50-100 times like many of the cruisers on cruise critic. But I like and know luxury and quality. Agree with some of the good things said about Marina, but also agree with weaknesses that when you ... Read More
I will begin by saying I have not cruised 50-100 times like many of the cruisers on cruise critic. But I like and know luxury and quality. Agree with some of the good things said about Marina, but also agree with weaknesses that when you leave always seem to stand out. I traveled with 2 other couples in a transfer back to Rome after the cruise and we all felt the same exact way, so I do not think I was being demanding or my expectations being too high for Oceania.. We literally walked on the ship alone. First time this ever happened. Was happy to not have the lines (we boarded after the rush, of course), but agree that no one was there to greet when you did board and provide some quick information (or champagne, perhaps). As others stated, cabins nice, small. Liked the granite bathroom and beds. Otherwise, amenities standard by our expectations. Do agree, the bed was most enjoyable after each full day of touring. Once boarded, we went to get a bite to eat after reading the elevator and picking a floor. No dining available. In between meals. We found this consistent on our ENTIRE cruise. We would tour most of the days since this was a port intensive cruise and by the time we would return (around 9 pm-9:30) were told every night to order room service. Not my style for luxury. We had a suite on Equinox and could have a lovely serving any time of day. This was consistent with our schedule every time we wanted a bite to eat. Room service is an option once in a while, but the rooms are small and confining and you get tired of eating in it because Marina was "in between". This even happened on short tour days. Right at 2:00 pm. Were unable to change or add to specialty reservations. They like the word NO on Oceania. Heard it ALL week, too. Like other reviewers here. Also agree that the staff seems to be more enthusiastic about the entrees. Lobster was tough every time I ordered it (3 times, then gave up). Did not like the effort of communicating to get food served to you at the buffet in the Terrace and agree that rude cruisers would just step in and demand while others waiting to be served. Change the policy. Service was poor many times and then excellent at others. Sporadic, not consistent. Excursions---plan your own. you will be disappointed and frustrated. Considering cost and what we heard from so many people on the ship. Felt sad for them. Always witnessed upset cruisers at the destinations desk. Very sad to see on such a cruise line! Entertainment-Better on the TV in your stateroom. Understanding that they are not know for their entertainment. I get it. Cabin Butler-Excellent. Room always prepared upon entering and spotless cleaning. This expectation fully met. Lidvidia was very accomodating, even though we are the easiest of travelers. Do not require much attention. One last observation-We had charges on our bill from a culinary class that was overbooked and we could not get in. We instead planned a private tour for this day and when we went to the desk to question, we were told to go to destination desk. Ok, no problem. Well, they made it seem like it was our fault and that they would start an inquest to see if the charges could be credited. Are you kidding me? The clerk made us feel like we were at fault. Even after clarifying and re-clarifying that it was their mistake. This is how we felt every time we asked for something. It was not like this ever on Celebrity, or Royal Carribean. Will try Crystal next time and, of course, continue the Aqua Spa Suite Class on Celebrity. They have it right. Fortunately, we like people and do not turn our nose up to having more friendly people on board with us as long as the service level does not suffer. Spa- No indoor pool or inside "relaxation/meditation" area on the pool deck. We like to use the spa amenities whenever we travel. Couples massage is one of our favorites. Steam, sauna, aromatherapy, together. No co-ed on this ship. We were intimidated by the extremely high prices charged for services at the spa. Understanding that is "Canyon Ridge". But, $400.00 something dollars for a couples massage (50 minute??), manicures, upwards of 80-90.00?? this we cannot understand. Nor, would I subject ourselves to the overpayment. We, instead, waited for the Waldorf-Astoria Cavaleiri Hotel in Rome and indulged in our "spa fix" at a much more reasonable charge for all services. Perhaps, this subsidizes the cost of sending 16 brochures/marketing pieces each month to your home address. not sure. All in all, nice cruise. Not the best ever, not the worst ever. Unimpressed. We did stay at the Rome Cavelieri for a few days after the cruise and was able to experience at the Imperial Club level what impeccable service levels should be. And what a view off the balcony!!! Worth every penny! We do not mind spending the money when expectations are met and exceeded. First time reviewer. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
Recently returned from first Oceania Cruise aboard Marina and was greatly disappointed. This was the May 12 cruise from Barcelona to Rome heavily promoted by Oceania as a tremendous culinary trip with Bon Apetit chefs and the noted Jacque ... Read More
Recently returned from first Oceania Cruise aboard Marina and was greatly disappointed. This was the May 12 cruise from Barcelona to Rome heavily promoted by Oceania as a tremendous culinary trip with Bon Apetit chefs and the noted Jacque Peppin. I signed up for many of the cooking classes and was told early that some of market tours and classes were reserved for a special group...so did not get those. But I did sign up for four of the Peppin classes in the Culinary Kitchen, paid the fees, but was notified only on the day of arrival with a not in the cabin that the classes were canceled. I never received an explanation or apology. The food aboard the ship was good but not great. Red Ginger and Toscano were very good but Jacques (served a spoiled and rotten shrimp) and Polo Grill were only fair. The other dining areas did not match the quality of the dining that we enjoyed on Celebrity or Windstar. Windstar was clearly superior. Oceania touts room service but beware. While we enjoyed hot breakfasts on Celebrity and even Royal Carribbean the fare on Marina consisted of bread, coffee, juice, cereal or yogurt. The day time room service was no better. What Oceania is best at is over hyping their products and offerings. Don't believe anything they print without checking customer reviews. I believe their publications and largely gross exaggerations. Entertainment aboard Marina is second-rate. I have seen and heard better high school performances. On two occasions for us, customers were forced to wait in the steaming sun so crew members could wait for more paying customers. Disembarkation was a zoo. It was raining in Rome and Oceania was totally disorganized and of no help. We had to drag our bags through the pouring rain with our any direction from the crew. We wandered around to find the bus with no help from the crew. On the other hand, Celebrity in a similar situation placed our bags on the bus and unloaded them at the airline counters in Amsterdam. Oceania is not a top rate cruise line. More than half of the cruisers were talked with had complaints about other issues. I will not sail with Oceania in the future. Celebrity and Windstar remain higher on the list. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
Much hype, not so much substance. First the good - great cabin stewards and fantastic friendly staff - (not sure of officers - never saw them). The itinerary was great, although one port was aborted (Visby) because of rough water - ... Read More
Much hype, not so much substance. First the good - great cabin stewards and fantastic friendly staff - (not sure of officers - never saw them). The itinerary was great, although one port was aborted (Visby) because of rough water - this was the only tender port. The cabins were nice - bathtub a nice touch. Clean, good maintenance and very comfortable. Avoid the stern however as we were woken every morning by the dropping of anchor - so loud and so much vibration that we thought we were attached to the anchor. And for the "not so much". * FOOD * The dining certainly not what I would have expected given the all the promotion about finest dining at sea. The specialty restaurants were no better than the buffet. One would have thought the Italian restaurant could "do" pasta, but no better than bad cafeteria food. Steak in the Grand Dining Room was so tough we could not cut or chew it. The "memorable" quality of the food was that it was just not great. On the up side, the portions were modest and in the buffets all food was served to guests avoiding waste and the spectacle of guests staggering to their tables with plates heaped with food - a frequent site on most cruises I've been on. * ENTERTAINMENT* Entertainment was also a disappointment, given what had been advertised. We sat through 2 shows and stayed only because we felt it would be rude to walk out. TV schedule was simply awful - most of the channels dedicated to Oceania promotion and those that were not played 3rd rate sit coms (two and a half men and two broke girls??) and over again. A few movies repeated at random. Some dark sci-fi stuff - no idea about what it was. No information about what was on when, so it you watch TV to decompress you will see the same stuff over and over again. Would be an idea to list TV schedule daily - but this could be embarrassing for the ship to do as it would illustrate how little thought went into this. * SHORE EXCURSIONS* I feel so sad for people who book through cruise lines. Itineraries are ordinary, large groups are so not the way to see anything or be able to listen to a good guide. And EXPENSIVE .... please people, do a tiny bit of research and book local guides. For 2 people you can hire a private guide and a driver for less than the cost of a tour offered by the ship for a group of 40. Be adventurous - pick up a taxi on the pier or rent a car. Take public transit. Anything except joining a large gaggle where the most often heard phrase is "what did she/he say?". * SHOPPING* Ship shops not great, and sales help in main shop so unwelcoming and bitter that I avoided shopping on board. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2012
As with anything everyone has a different taste so what appeals to one may not please another, so this is our personal opinion of the cruise. To us it appears Oceania's target market is somewhat older than us and less mobile (average ... Read More
As with anything everyone has a different taste so what appeals to one may not please another, so this is our personal opinion of the cruise. To us it appears Oceania's target market is somewhat older than us and less mobile (average age on our cruise was announced at 72) this influences everything on the cruise from setting the pace for excursions, food selection and preparation , entertainment and the constant Muzak played on deck. We put some of the fault on our Travel Agent as well as the cruise industries brochures. It would be a good idea to adopt some of the practices of the Coach Tour brochures and have a true indication of who a particular cruise line would appeal to. For example, a fair disclosure on this cruise would be that Oceania is geared to appeal to non-independent travelers in the over 65 age range who prefer a leisurely pace. As soon as we arrived home we sent emails to Oceania requesting we be removed from all their mailing lists as it's obvious we aren't in their market. Stateroom Our stateroom was very spacious for a cruise ship and very comfortable. There were more than enough drawers and hangers for our clothes. We would have preferred a larger shower stall as we didn't use the bathtub. The ship staff was very pleasant and efficient but no better or worse than we have experienced on NCL or Carnival (not as good as Uniworld) who tend to be our benchmark). We probably expected more from Oceania given their supposed premium rating and price. We found the laundry room on each deck to be a pleasant surprise and feel it should be mentioned more proximately in the brochure Dining Our meals were often served not hot, entrees marked as spicy were mild at best. Red Ginger was the best for a change of pace but even there I had to send back an entree that was supposed to be spicy and served not even mild. Finally our server brought out a portion of the spices used and I was able to make it more to my taste. The only choices of vegetables offered at any of the dining rooms are steamed variety of broccoli, carrots and cauliflower or green beans and shallots. This became quite boring after a while. They had the same cuts of meat at all the dining rooms just prepared differently. Wine prices are very outrageous for example a bottle of $7.00 California wine was $54.00 on Marina. We found the house wine from Chile to be acceptable and only selected wine by the bottle on occasion. Since they allowed you to have wine in your cabin purchased off the ship we purchased several fine local wines while in port that we sipped on our balcony. We really enjoyed Baristas and it wasn't long before the barista knew what we wanted before we asked. Unfortunately it closed at 6PM and there was nowhere to have a coffee or tea outside of picking it up in the Terrace Cafe or a bar, we didn't always feel like room service and sitting in our cabin. Ports Stops in Egypt were our main reason for choosing this cruise so its cancellation was a major disappointment. I contacted Oceania by phone upon being informed of the change of port, while I realize the decision to change ports had to be made in advance I feel the port chosen was a very poor substitute. I don't think very many people would look and say "I have to take this cruise it stops in Antalya." Also it took us well off the original course resulting in really only a half extra day in Ashdod. A stop in one of the Greek islands or Piraeus (Athens) would have kept the ship closer to Israel. Other than that the ports were pretty much as advertised. Shore excursions and the Destinations desk on the ship We found the excursions while expensive were pretty much hit and miss. We had very good guides in Ibiza and Istanbul, not so much in Israel. People who commented on the guides who didn't go in the museums should realize that some museums have their own guides would have been paid separately from the tour guides, we didn't have enough time to warrant hiring one so I don't think looking by yourself at your own pace was a bad choice. We didn't use Oceania's excursions in several ports or our pre-cruise in Barcelona. If you weren't buying an excursion the staff at the desk was not helpful at all nor was the representative in Barcelona. We had planned Barcelona but still had a few questions the only thing they offered was a coach tour of Barcelona on the morning of the day we sailed. When we declined her attempt to up sell us, suddenly we were the last people arriving and she was going home. The receptionist in the hotel was very helpful and gave us maps and directions as well as pointing out some significant landmarks we could use if we lost our way. When we asked at shore excursions for information on Antalya once again the only thing offered were the Oceania excursions, we had decided with some research to just take the shuttle bus and sight see ourselves. We were surprised that as soon as we declined the excursions the Destination staff's reply was that it was the first time they had stopped there and they really had no other information except the excursions. As it turned out there was a tourist information booth as soon as we got off the shuttle bus and we found our way around and saw everything that was on the walking tour. As well we had 2 hours to spend in the Archeological Museum ( audio headsets were available at a reasonable price so we had a good explanation of the displays as well) while an Oceania tour that arrived while we were there was whisked through in a minimum of time. Entertaiment and Activivities We only attended the show on the first night and only stayed for about fifteen minutes. The entertainment appeared to be aimed at a target market older than us, watching the highlights of the shows on the TV in our room confirmed this simply not our thing. There was nothing else offered in this time period and we felt that it would have been a good time to offer some lectures on the ports of call or repeat some of the day's activities that were only offered while active people were ashore. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2012
In early October 2012, my Partner and I booked and paid a 20 Day Valparaiso -- Papeete Oceania Cruise sailing aboard Marina on December 27, 2012. My Partner was departing from Miami, and myself departing from Valparaiso, both ... Read More
In early October 2012, my Partner and I booked and paid a 20 Day Valparaiso -- Papeete Oceania Cruise sailing aboard Marina on December 27, 2012. My Partner was departing from Miami, and myself departing from Valparaiso, both returning Papeete -- Los Angeles on Atlas Air an Oceania charter flight. We were booked on a Veranda Suite and were offered a possible space available upgrade to better accommodations. At that point we confirmed our cruise reservations. Soon after, I received an E-Mail from Oceania offering me an upgrade "first come first served" to a Concierge Level Suite for USD$500 additional per person. Although Oceania had said the upgrade could happen at "no cost" I decided to pay the USD$1000 and confirmed the Concierge Level Suite. I specifically requested before making payment, a MidShip port side cabin and we were assured by our reservations agent that our accommodation confirmed, Suite 10094 was at MidShip. Air Accommodations, were confirmed on LAN Chile for my Partner flying from Miami to Santiago and confirmed reservations were made for both by Oceania on Atlas Air, Oceania's charter flight. Aisle seats were requested and confirmed seats were made before final payment was done. When Full payment was completed, we requested that both travelers would be E-Mailed with all forthcoming Information and confirmations. That never happened, even though we called our Booking Oceania Reservation Agent to request this .Only I, in Chile was sent all information & confirmation. When I noticed that Documents were not received in the USA, I asked my Partner to call Oceania. At that point, we were told that documents had been mailed, which we had never received. After two more calls, documents were received with the wrong information, wrong Suite number and my Air & Seat Reservations had been cancelled by Oceania. We had to fix our own Air Reservations and paid extra for the American Airlines Seat Reservations from Los Angeles to Miami. If we had not called Oceania's Reservation, before departure (having a hard time to get in touch with someone in Reservations as no calls were returned ... ), the Coos experienced in Papeete Airport would have been even more significant as experienced at the Airport in Papeete, as there was no adequate Oceania Representation. When we sailed Valparaiso, we experienced that our Suite was not what we had requested & confirmed as Midship. The Suite arrangements for two persons did not justified the square footage highlighted by the Oceania marketing material. It was very difficult for two people to have access to the Suite closet space. The closet door would open during the night. In addition, door slammings from neighboring Suites and their bathrooms would not permit a comfortable night's rest. At early morning the door slammings will be heard from the neighbors and also made from the cleaning crew. This was noticeable at all times when we were in the Suite. At the fourth Port of Call, my Partner & I developed a cold & coughing. Earlier, we had noticed that many other passengers had same problem. We went to the Medical Center to ask if there was a Virus or a possible Bacteria that was going around the Marina. As we entered the Medical Center, there were passengers being treated with medications in their hands and others waiting at the Doctor's Office. When we asked if there was a problem ... We were told that we could not be given any information as it was confidential medical information. The same answer was given to us by the person at the Reception Desk who advised that a report would be filed and we would be contacted. We were not contacted. It appeared that maybe half the passengers and some of the crew were experiencing viral/flu like symptoms. Two of the passengers had to be taken away from the ship in a helicopter. Yet, Oceania's Management had no communication to the passengers about this happening and treated it as "confidential information" and offered no special health instructions. For the end of the cruise and our arrival in Papeete, we paid for a Transfer. We were told by Oceania's Reservation Agent that as the Atlas Flight, Oceania's Charter from Papeete to Los Angeles was an evening flight, that we would be taken to a hotel where passengers paying Oceania's Transfer fee, would have a "Lounge Room" with shower available(there was a USD$10 charge at the hotel to take a shower), and the use of the Hotel facilities. The temperature in January in Papeete is humid and can be over 90F. We departed the Pier, and there was no representative in the transfer bus from Oceania. We arrived at the Radisson Hotel Papeete and were directed to a "musty" meeting room were there were small tables & chairs. With discontent, and with no Oceania Representative to ask and get advise, especially, after passengers had paid for a Transfer to a Hotel and to wait at a "Lounge Room", it was difficult for a group of more than 80 passengers to be at a Lounge Room for more than 3 hours. Thus, everyone, left the room and searched for their own accommodations around the hotel. When departure time from the hotel arrived, we were informed by the person from the transfer bus that Oceania's Atlas flight had been delayed for one hour. When we finally were transferred to Papeete Airport (a very small & Non-Air Conditioned Airport) the Bus Driver had to wait 45 minutes at the airport to let us get off the bus. When we got off the bus, there was no Oceania's Representative at the Airport to meet us & give us information. The boarding of Oceania's Atlas Charter flight was a Chaos. Departure, which was scheduled for 11:45pm did not occur until 1:45am. Although there were Oceania Representatives at the Los Angeles Airport, everyone had to run to meet our connecting flights and many had to reschedule their connecting flights Oceania Cruise Line restaurant food was good and its restaurant service crew was excellent. In resume, Oceania needs to work in giving attention to exercise and deliver what is expected and featured in their extensive "Pre-Cruise" marketing material. Oceania Cruise Line, is far away from achieving what they are promising its consumers. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2013
We are in our early 60's and have been on the Marina last January for 12 days in the Caribbean along with 40 other cruises on 9 different cruise lines. This is an overview of our 16 day adventure to a wonderful place in the world ... Read More
We are in our early 60's and have been on the Marina last January for 12 days in the Caribbean along with 40 other cruises on 9 different cruise lines. This is an overview of our 16 day adventure to a wonderful place in the world where the people are kind and friendly and the scenery is spectacular. The embarkation was so easy because the ship overnight-ed in Auckland. Beware of the hotel Oceania offers, it is 4 times the cost per night of booking it yourself and the transfers are far worse than the shuttle bus offered by the airport at 6 times the cost. With the jet lag, it is wise to show up a few days early. The ship is as clean as it was last January, well decorated with no wear to speak of. It has library second only to the Queen Mary II but a few things fall short. There are only 2 elevators aft compared with 4 in the front. With 1200 passengers and almost all the dining areas aft expect long waits during mealtimes. The casino is barely used because it is terribly small with limited staff and a silly miniature golf course takes up prime real estate high on the bow. Although this cruise was cooler than expected, the pool is far too small for a ship this size. We really noticed this last January. The Stateroom was 10th floor middle A1 with a wonderful full bath but was cramped with small additional shower. 1st class toiletries were provided. The bed and pillows were very comfortable. Sadly the storage space is far to small and some drawers are so tiny as to be useless. The lighting is also terrible in the bathroom, around the desk and makeup mirror and we needed the crew to fix the closet door to stop that light from coming on during the night. Dining is great if you avoid the MDR. The main dining room is worse than budget cruise lines. I had only 3 meals there and all had inedible entrees with poor service to boot. The good news is although you can only reserve each specialty restaurant once, on a 16 day cruise there are a lot of open seats. Only on one night did we get shutout. Talk to your concierge or dial #8 at 9 am. We ate at these 10 nights and enjoyed 3 others at the excellent buffet. My favourite was Toscana were the Italian food was perfect with real professional Italian waiters who do double duty up in Baristas in the morning with 1st class coffees. My wife just loved Red Ginger with its variety of Asian specialties. Jacques was better this time but the Polo Grill while having still great steaks, their seafood has really gone downhill. The activities can become a little stale on a 16 day cruise. Trivia every day, bingo every day and of course nobody wins the jackpot until the last day. On the bright side, the artists studio was excellent, the cooking classes were fun but at $69 each in a group a bit too large was a bit too expensive. The guest speaker was a New Zealand ambassador in various parts of the world. Ambassador Cotton was the best entertainment on the ship. Which brings us to a serious flaw with the Marina. With only 4 dancers and 4 singers, a weak cruise director and a few less than mediocre performers, nights were really boring on this cruise. With 1200 souls on board, Oceania might make a small attempt at amusing us. This ship was far worse than ships half its size and the worst in over 40 cruises for us. The ports of call were all great except for Timaru, there is nothing there. Why not Dunedin. When it comes to shore excursions, Oceania has a corporate mindset that its clientele is willing to pays 4 times the going rate for little excursions. Case in point. Their 3 hour tour of Napier--$205 for 40 person bus ride. On shore, a 4 hour tour doing same itinerary plus a bit more in a 20 seat bus--$40. In Hobart, a tour to a wild life park with another Big bus load was over $300 each when you could take a cab for $12 each way plus $24 admission and stay as long as you like. This happened at every port and remember that Oceania provides free rides away from the docks to the I-Sites or downtown. I know other lines charge extra but Oceania has set new standards for greed. Their pricing on wine is no different. Only the QM2 can equal the markup that Oceania provides then add 18%. Luckily we were in NZ where some of the great white wines of the world are produced and the Marina has a relatively easy going policy of bringing wine on board. Fortunately, many of these very expensive add ons are voluntary hence self inflicted for those not travel savvy. One elderly gentleman was shocked when his post cruise bill was well above $5000. Finally, I'd like to discuss the passengers themselves. This was by far the oldest group I have ever sailed with. No more jokes about HAL or Cunard. I am 64 and NEVER in 16 days ate dinner with anyone younger than me. The cruise reminded me of my mother's retirement home only more walkers. One lady was over 100. The other thing I noticed is that this cruise must have been marketed heavily in Florida and Georgia. My guess is that 75% came from those 2 states. I met only 1 couple from the Northeast and a few from California. Only 1 Kiwi and no Australians. Virtually no Europeans or Asians. There was a surprising number of Canadians on board, enough that they had their own cocktail parties. It was disappointing not to engage with others from around the world when you're halfway around the world. The fares for the same cabin categories varied wildly. While I paid $6300 for both of us including air, the people next to us paid over $17000. He was not pleased. I feel Oceania preys on this elderly crowd and that's why you don't see the diversity on board. I'll be headed back to sea on another line as soon as I cancel my Oceania booking for next January. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2013
We decided to take this cruise specifically for the itinerary. It started on London went to Norwegian Fjords and Ireland (as well as other but wanted to see these ports. We have cruised 9 times on the "usual suspects" of cruise ... Read More
We decided to take this cruise specifically for the itinerary. It started on London went to Norwegian Fjords and Ireland (as well as other but wanted to see these ports. We have cruised 9 times on the "usual suspects" of cruise lines before this. People would always ask "so how was the food". For us, cruise food has always been mediocre - not many ways you can do a buffet. Oceania has set the bar when it comes to food. A+++. Where else can you get grilled lobster tails and huge shrimp at the casual grill every night. Service was also top notch. They failed us the same places so many have noted. Excursions. A total rip off for what you get and so far out of line when it comes to pricing. Entertainment - there really isn't any at night. One fellow guess who has sailed with Oceania in the past pointed out that the majority of entertainers and signers, etc are actually cruise ship workers. The person serving you breakfast in the morning will be the one signing and dancing for you tonight. And they are just plain bad. It is also clear that Oceania has made this a conscious choice.I did not a fellow cruiser on this trip that did not complain about the exact same things. Most all of them have also told them this on their feedback forms and yet they still do nothing about it. It is clear they made the trade off for excelling on the food and service areas and not wanting to be better in these other areas. Bottom line: If you want to go on a cruise where the food is world class and go to be after dinner ever evening then this cruise is probably for you. However, if you are interested in any form of night life or entertainment, then even the great food will not make up for this huge weak spot. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
This is a wonderful ship with a great ports of call. My question is "why so expensive?" The cabins are almost identical to Celebrity or Holland American new builds. This is a foodies cruise and the food was wonderful. Each ... Read More
This is a wonderful ship with a great ports of call. My question is "why so expensive?" The cabins are almost identical to Celebrity or Holland American new builds. This is a foodies cruise and the food was wonderful. Each dinning room has a unique menu. It is somewhat complicated to get reservations. Do not waste money an upgrade to concierge level because you receive very little. We asked for help twice with dinner reservations and received nothing. Shore excursions are three times the price you can get an shore. Airport transfers offered by ship should be ignored. Example: In Barcelona ship offered bus transfer to the airport for $79 per person. Cab fare is less than 40 euros. WHY? In Venice ship wanted $139 per person. Bus from airport to within one mile of ship 6 euros per person followed by an 11 euro cab. At the time of our booking cruise line was offering prepaid gratuities and $500 on board credit. When we got our bill at the end of the cruise we received neither. Upon returning home we were told we had a" Special" fare and these percs were not included. All literature and the web site did not make any mention of "Specials" They had my money and did not care what I thought. Overall very good cruise but not worth the money. Stick with Celebrity!!! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
Not as good as we had heard. Have cruised several times from Carnival to Seabourn. Landed in Papeete 5:45 AM. Got to ship to leave luggage at 7:30AM. Brochure stated that as we were Penthouse level we could board at 11AM and our cabin ... Read More
Not as good as we had heard. Have cruised several times from Carnival to Seabourn. Landed in Papeete 5:45 AM. Got to ship to leave luggage at 7:30AM. Brochure stated that as we were Penthouse level we could board at 11AM and our cabin would be ready for us then. WRONG. Very tired and hung out on ship all day-couldn't buy anything as they wouldn't let us check in-had buffet lunch. Were permitted to check in at 4 PM - 5 hours from what they said in info pack and 8+ hours after being onboard. (They were NOT going to let us on ship till 1 but I insisted and got on at 10 or so ---concierge at ramp said early boarding did NOT apply to Papeete--where was it going to apply??? . Cost of tours was outrageous and wine and liquor pricing more expensive than good restaurants on land. Many passengers were on trip from alumni associations in Midwest universities. "Country Club Casual" went out the window as did feminine shapeliness other than moderately obese and above. Seabourn is Seabourn.   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
I liked my first few cruises on Oceania ships, Marina and Riviera. I think that it was because Oceania was still trying to establish itself in a competitive industry then but it is not the case anymore :(. My last cruise did not go well: ... Read More
I liked my first few cruises on Oceania ships, Marina and Riviera. I think that it was because Oceania was still trying to establish itself in a competitive industry then but it is not the case anymore :(. My last cruise did not go well: service went down the hill across the board - too many untrained rookies. At the French restaurant a waiter made a mistake ordering a wrong entree. He agreed to bring a correct entree only if I would first eat a wrong one - amazing! Another waiter there strongly insisted that I absolutely have to order a desert. I promptly canceled my second reservation at this specialty restaurant. Reception desk service was spotty and heavily depended on who was working there at a time. After a few unpleasant dealings with a particular employee, I would wait longer in line just to avoid her. Information coordination about the bookings between the Corporate and the ship is very poor, with long delays and is practically non-existent on weekends. If you were lucky enough to have a complementary perk with your booking, it does not mean that you actually get it. Though this perk was clearly stated in my booking invoice from the travel agent, I had to fight for it with the reception desk while being mistreated in the process by the above mentioned employee and her supervisor. A day or two later this mistake was finally corrected but no apologies were offered. Temperature inside throughout the ship was not balanced: too hot and stuffy some days or very cold and windy other days. How is it possible to get a wind blowing across all the inside stairs? We were prevented from using a balcony for the duration of our cruise: we were told that it was being varnished, then washed. It was a note in our cabin warning us not to go on a balcony. This note was still there on the last day of our cruise. Does it sound like a luxury line? IDo not think so! I am not a fan anymore :(. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
This was our second cruise with Oceania - both on the Marina. (This was my 12th cruise overall.) This is a beautiful ship. Still very well taken care of. No real signs of aging anywhere. They take very good care of it - especially in high ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Oceania - both on the Marina. (This was my 12th cruise overall.) This is a beautiful ship. Still very well taken care of. No real signs of aging anywhere. They take very good care of it - especially in high traffic areas. The front line staff are amazing. Very, very friendly and many recognized us from our last cruise (8 months prior). They really do whatever they can to make sure you are happy. That being said, I didn't find the officers or supervisory staff (maitre d's, etc) to be friendly at all. They were very standoffish. I had an issue and needed help from the Oceania Club Ambassador. As soon as she found out I wasn't there to book a future cruise and had an issue with the program, she lost all interest in me. (We had sailed a few times with Azamara and found all their officers, etc to be amazingly personable. They would never walk past you without saying hello or starting a conversation.) This time we booked a Penthouse Suite. Very spacious. Great walk in closet. Love the bathroom - with plenty of marble everywhere. Bulgari amenities are very nice - including the Bulgari bath tea bag. Afternoon canapés were ok - nothing special. Butler service was nice. The butler couldn't do enough for us. We had bought some caviar on shore and the butler brought us all the fixings to go with it (crackers, cream cheese, onions, capers, etc.). He even toasted bread we bought in Russia to go along with it! The Executive Lounge was a nice touch. Always available for coffee, sodas (although you already had them in your mini fridge in your cabin), and snacks. The concierge in the lounge wasn't particularly helpful but they tried. Food on the ship continues to be the best I've had. Three of the four specialty restaurants were outstanding and one was just ok. Toscana - the Italian one - was the best. Artichoke Parmesan Timbale appetizer was amazing. Polo Grill surf and turf did not disappoint. Red Ginger beef teriyaki was most tender beef ever. Didn't really care for Jacques. Had the lobster thermidor and it was just ok. Grand Dining Room was mixed reviews. Three nights on this cruise. Had an amazing Beef Wellington cooked perfectly! This was only a 7 night cruise - so could only get into each specialty restaurant once - which was disappointing. We wanted to eat at Toscana a second time but no luck! The spa was disappointing. We booked two massages in advance via Canyon Ranch. Once onboard found that they changed our times. When I asked why, they said that Canyon Ranch corporate doesn't have a clue about the staffing on each ship, capabilities, etc. Facility is nice - as is the gym. The only issue with the "private" spa deck is it seems like nobody is responsible for it. The spa staff doesn't do anything with the towels but the pool deck staff doesn't come through there at all either. In many ports, there were shuttle busses. Most went ok but there were issues in a few ports (Warnemunde and Helsinki) and Oceania didn't care about the issues at all. They say they are provided by the port and they have nothing to do with it. I don't believe that for a second. I've been on ships when the port provides the shuttle bus. They are shared among all the ships in port, etc. These were for Oceania only - so Oceania should have taken a more active approach in making sure they worked as planned. Instead, they just wanted to distance themselves and wouldn't even hear about the issues. Kind of concerning. While I really enjoyed Oceania - there are some issues that continue to bother me. Little things, but enough that I would look at Silversea or Azamara before booking Oceania. First, Oceania segments their customers more than the two other lines I mentioned. For example, regular cabins get limited breakfast room service, concierge level gets continental breakfast room service, and Suites get full, hot breakfast room service. Canapes only in suites and higher. Second, they make little things sound like they are big things. "Signature" chocolates are mints like you would get at a Marriott but they are stamped with the Oceania logo (I guess that's what makes them signature). Finally, they advertise suites have special check in lines. Not the case. One long line for everyone.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014
We sailed on Marina early September 2014 for 12 nights Amsterdam to Barcelona. We have cruised thru the years since 1979 mostly on RCCL and Celebrity. We thought for our 35th wedding anniversary we would splurge with a higher end cruise. ... Read More
We sailed on Marina early September 2014 for 12 nights Amsterdam to Barcelona. We have cruised thru the years since 1979 mostly on RCCL and Celebrity. We thought for our 35th wedding anniversary we would splurge with a higher end cruise. Our impressions : The Ship: Marina is a beautiful, understated vessel, we secured a well appointed standard balcony cabin which was larger than industry norm with a tub/shower and separate shower stall.This was helpful during a time crunch, we could overlap getting ready, to head out for a tour or dinner. The cabin was kept up nicely. Arrival: We availed ourselves of the included airfare (without change) ( I did call the airlines to improve our seat location, this took some effort) The flight brought us into Amsterdam 8:15am. We were hoping, because we booked the flight and bus transfer through Oceania we would embark "Marina" early. Instead, they met us at baggage claim and took us on a complimentary tour lasting several hours without water, snack or dedicated bathroom break. Once we arrived at the pier... the embarkation queue was long, only one scanner was operating to check carry ons. No celebratory welcome as we boarded. Food: The food was fine although we found it often a bit salty. At the buffets, they would serve you, allowing them better control. The main dining room had short hours for lunch. The "Cafe Terrace" longer hours but sometimes only the "Waves" was open for a bite to eat after tours that return around 2pm. High tea was nice but the teas could have been more "special" and we enjoyed the string musicians but they stopped 15mins before the hour long event ended. We enjoyed all the speciality restaurants. We were allowed four advance reservations, one for each of the four, after that, you had to "work" at securing additional reservations, on the day of. They had a desk and you had to give your room number and they would usually put you on a wait list. Conclusion… for us, I would rather pay extra and know I have the specialty restaurant we want, before boarding the ship. Also pay attention to the level of the wine if you leave your bottle in their care for another meal. Entertainment: This was the greatest disappointment for us. We felt little creativity or authentic excitement with the shows. There were missed opportunities to create a celebratory spirit on board. No entertainment reference to the countries we visited (example: flamingo dancers in Spain, would have been nice) The "house" singers/dancers were overly visible, obviously availing themselves of the benefits of ship amenities and tours. When they would have live music, it was too short, usually 45mins. The fountain at the pool is shut off late afternoon, why? Unlimited Passport Collection: We bought this and used it to the most advantage. It got us up and out at every port, sometimes passengers without an" Oceania Tour" had to wait to disembark until the tour groups were off. Complimentary bottled water is available as you disembark. Some tours were better than others based on the tour guide assigned to your bus. All the buses, in all the ports, were great, most had bathrooms on board, most guides were thoughtful to the needs of the group. We liked the stress free nature of a ship sponsored tour, no worries of late return to ship. Our final impression… Oceania is not for us. Although professional, there was a non joyful controlling attitude of the staff. Back to Celebrity for us! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014
This was our second cruise. Service, cleanliness, cabins all tip top. Food plentiful, mostly good, but bland. Desserts beautiful but tastes and contents are similar. The menus for the theme restaurants do not seem to change from cruise to ... Read More
This was our second cruise. Service, cleanliness, cabins all tip top. Food plentiful, mostly good, but bland. Desserts beautiful but tastes and contents are similar. The menus for the theme restaurants do not seem to change from cruise to cruise, so if you liked "Red Ginger" on your last cruise you'll see the same things on this one. They do take you to smaller ports that bigger ships can't get to. The several down sides to this line are: nickel and diming: everything is an extra charge from Wi-Fi to wine. Very annoying. And the so-called cooking lessons are a rip off. Tours are expensive and of very mixed quality. The land tours are also only about 4 hours each and it is difficult to get two tours a day because of timing. The boat is usually docked far from downtown and shuttles between there and the boat are erratic. If you want to take one tour per day and spend the rest of the day on the ship you'll be pleased. Otherwise, not. Also, the shipboard activities are really limited, mostly swim, exercise, pay a fortune at their Spa, do bridge or play trivia. If you want something more exciting, or like lectures and discussions, you won't find much of that. The so-called entertainment is mostly amateurish. Think carefully about this line before you book. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Embarkation: As the previous poster mentioned: a bit chaotic. Having a concierge level room presented no advantages (we were in line with everyone).Cabin: Looks better in photographs. Nice bathroom. Closet and drawer space not adequate in ... Read More
Embarkation: As the previous poster mentioned: a bit chaotic. Having a concierge level room presented no advantages (we were in line with everyone).Cabin: Looks better in photographs. Nice bathroom. Closet and drawer space not adequate in comparison to other lines I've sailed. Ports: Cadiz, always nice. I have been there over six times. This time we rented a car at train station and visited three white villages. Tangier: Did a private tour to Chefchaouen. Nice trip. Pretty town and good guide. Cabo Verde: Did tour with CC group. That is about the only thing to do on this poor island with children shouting"money" at you. Scenery is nice but dry. Recife: Hired a taxi driver to Olinda and a beach. He was a bit of a crazy driver. Nice town, but poor again. Tenerife: Another cc group trip.Went to Mt. Teide. This a great trip . Do not miss. Downtown is a let down. Salvador. Some good local color. Poor. Buildings dilapidated. Depressing. Some interesting sights,but would not go back Rio: My favorite. Could have skipped the cruise and just spend a week in Rio. Food. Breakfast viennoiserie great! Fresh fruit of every kind! Terrace grill with unlimited lobster tails, great!! Foie gras items in dining rooms great! Desserts Okay! Good truffles and macarons. Bread good. Specialty restaurant were good but not great. Food was not hot. Veal chop breaded in Toscana a bit soggy. Should be crispy. Red Ginger tasty but not hot. Liked when they had fresh fish from port;you could taste the difference. Liked the 2 cooking demos. Should be more. Art class was a disappointement. 16 days to learn how to paint a vase of flowers, please!!!! Service and personnel always kind and helpful. Overall atmosphere was a bit boring. No one drinking. Shows put me to sleep. Perhaps when I'm 80, I will enjoy this kind of cruise. Right now , I prefer to eat in an authentic restaurant in a foreign country. Met some nice people ,saw nice sunsets. Nice library and free coffee. Do the math and see if you are getting your moneys worth. If you are not adventurous then this type of cruising is for you.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
We boarded in Buenos Aires and with a PH1 we soon had our cabin. It was large, with an excellent bathroom and spacious but because of the itinerary an almost useless balcony, The bed was quite comfortable and the walk-in closet was great. ... Read More
We boarded in Buenos Aires and with a PH1 we soon had our cabin. It was large, with an excellent bathroom and spacious but because of the itinerary an almost useless balcony, The bed was quite comfortable and the walk-in closet was great. Service from the butler was wonderful, as he constantly reminded us of all the services he could provide; and we enjoyed eating breakfast that were "off the menu" in our cabin and avoiding the mad scramble for seats in the buffet.. We ended up eating in the specialty restaurants 7 times, and could have eaten there more often; but the only memorable meals were in Red Ginger; Jacques and Polo were disappointing. The food in the main dining room was boring with few choices and small portions. Two lunches there were memorable; the excellent salad nicoise with halibut, and an awful inedible fish they claimed was grouper; it was so bad I told the maitre'd that they would not serve this on Princess! The public rooms were in great shape and immaculate. We took a mixture of private and ship tours. The best ship tours were the hike down from the Andean Club in Ushuaia (even though the bus was in such poor shape that it took 30 minutes to go 8 kilometers!) and the Ponte Arenas tour in the private park. We had excellent results in our private tours; particularly in the Falklands. The weather was far better than we had feared. The weather was beautiful in most ports (including Port Stanley!) and there were two moderately rough days at sea the whole trip; although we could not tender in to Punta D 'El Este. The large number of sea days demonstrated who poor the activities were most of the time. Except for an amusing lecturer and occasional Latin line dancing there was nothing to do that we liked. There were no ballroom dance lessons, and most of the time the ship's two bands played dance music from undanceable (unless you wanted to do 1030's foxtrots) to mediocre. The ship's dance group was laughable in their clumsiness and inability to sing. Most high school productions have better performances; and the selections they performed were at times bizarre (i.e. a "Las Vegas" themed show which was entirely centered around Sinatra; and a California Surf show that almost looked like a satire.) The tender service was chaotic, with people pushing and shoving and bullying the staff to get 12 or more tickets for their private groups, as other were forced to wait. Disembarkation was a mixture of organized confusion and rush. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
This was our first cruise. We travelled for more than 30 hours to reach Sydney and then were told that we could not board the ship for 5 more hours. We were exhausted and just wanted to get to our cabin and crash, not spend 4 hours on a ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We travelled for more than 30 hours to reach Sydney and then were told that we could not board the ship for 5 more hours. We were exhausted and just wanted to get to our cabin and crash, not spend 4 hours on a bus tour of Sydney. The ship was very good and offered a variety of activities and dining options. The cabin service was also very good and the staff was very hospitable. The restaurants had interesting menus; the wine lists were touted, but were limited. The onboard barista was terrific as were the chef instructor and cooking classes. The port and shore excursions were a BIG disappointment. Many were no better than field trips for elementary school children. The excursions usually included large groups of people herded onto buses for long drives with few stops and limited guidance/education regarding the activity. The shore excursions were NOT AS ADVERTISED. Most activities on the cruise were a la carte and the dollars added up quickly. Internet connectivity was a joke while on board. Airline connections were terrible and did not allow for different travel options. On the whole, we will probably not choose another cruise unless the size of the ship and passenger complement is much smaller. We do better with less structure and with making our own arrangements for excursions. 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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