693 Oceania Marina Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for it's Spain-intensive itinerary and no at sea days. This turned out to be a mixed blessing, as we did private tours (Spain Day Tours, which we greatly recommend). All of the tours involved van/bus rides of ... Read More
We chose this cruise for it's Spain-intensive itinerary and no at sea days. This turned out to be a mixed blessing, as we did private tours (Spain Day Tours, which we greatly recommend). All of the tours involved van/bus rides of 1-2 hours, and quite a bit of walking, so we were pretty tired and had no at sea days to recuperate and just enjoy the pool, spa, or the rest of the ship. This was our third Oceania cruise overall, and this time it was just me and my wife (no kid or parents). Even though we tend to keep to ourselves, we met a lot of amazing people during this cruise. At the specialty restaurants, we were required to share tables in order to get an earlier dining time. All of the people we met were modestly to wildly successful, loved to travel, and were a delight to spend an evening with! If you are this type of person, and aren't hypercritical about your room, food, etc. you are going to have a wonderful time on Oceania Marina. Just sit back and let it happen! Observations: - We didn't spend a lot of $$$ on alcohol. We did take advantage of happy hour drink prices at Horizon's, the captain's cocktail party, and discounted drinks each day at the pool (we only had time to use the pool twice though). - Free internet was greatly appreciated. I only used it to check personal email and do some photo editing. The wifi reception wasn't great in our room, but I'm an early riser and would go up for coffee and then sit with my laptop in the library where the connection was great. It's a charming and quiet place to sit. - There is no nickle and diming on Oceania to buy drink packages, buy photos, etc. Very relaxing. - There was more storage in our room than we needed. That was a first!! Unfortunately our oversize luggage wouldn't fit under the bed. - If pressed, we might have noticed a slight decline in the food quality since our previous Oceania visits. Friends we met on board thought so too and one had a pleasant conversation with the head chef about it. But we still enjoyed our meals immensely and this is not really a complaint. My favorite specialty meals seem to change every cruise. This time I liked Toscana the most; Polo Grill was my least favorite as my steak was just OK (loved the pork belly appetizer and the dessert sampler though!). - I would have liked to leave our balcony door open at night and sleep to the waves, but there is too much wind whistling for that. We slept very comfortably with the door closed. - There are plenty of hand sanitizing stations around the ship, and the staff won't let passengers serve themselves at the buffet (these are very good things!). The ship was spotlessly clean. We can't wait to go back to Marina or any other Oceania ship for that matter!!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We booked this cruise almost 2 years ago. We liked the itinerary very much, particularly the 2 days in Bordeaux and several other ports in France. We also saw that this would be a special culinary cruise with Jacques Pépin attending, so ... Read More
We booked this cruise almost 2 years ago. We liked the itinerary very much, particularly the 2 days in Bordeaux and several other ports in France. We also saw that this would be a special culinary cruise with Jacques Pépin attending, so that was of interest to us too. This was our fourth cruise with Oceania and our second in Europe with them. We have also done a number of cruises on other cruise lines, including principally HAL. This was one of the best cruises we have taken. The ports we visited on this port intensive cruise, i.e.12 different ports in 12 days, were all great with two exceptions, Brest and Ferrol - not sure why these are included in the itinerary but they allowed us some downtime. The service on the was excellent throughout. The ship is in great shape and is extremely well maintained. Everything is immaculate. We really liked our stateroom. Our cabin steward was wonderful and when we had requests she followed up on them right away. We only took in two of the evening shows but they were both very good. We didn’t go to a couple of shows because they were for an older demographic (and we are 64 and 63 years old!). We felt we were about average age for the general population on board. There were minimal activities on board during the day. Since this was a port intensive trip and during the day virtually everyone leaves the ship to visit the port or go on excursions, this wasn’t a problem for us. On the Marina the 4 o’clock high tea tradition continues and we very much enjoyed that. We made it back in time to the ship for high tea at least 3-4 times. The high tea in the Horizons lounge with beautiful views in every direction, the classical music quartet and delightful snacks - little sandwiches, pastries and scones with jam and clotted cream – is a real pleasure. Based on previous cruises with Oceania we had high expectations for the food. Overall I felt the quality of the food was very good. However, even though this was a special culinary cruise with Jacques Pépin there were very few cases where we "blown away" by dishes we tried in the MDR nor were there any special dinners in the MDR. There was a French menu night held at the Terrace Café but for some reason they did not do that in the MDR - strange. The specialty restaurants were all excellent, as usual. Breakfasts and lunches at the Terrace Café and Waves were fine. On the downside we tried the Terrace Café for dinner one night to eat outside and I had one of the worst steaks of my life there. So we didn't return to the Terrace Café for dinner after that. Also, Oceania advertised its new plant-based choices extensively so we were looking forward to trying that out. We were a little disappointed - we didn't see much difference in the number of plant based dishes on the menu as compared to previous cruises and some of these dishes we tried were not chef quality - we do better at home. We took a mixture of Oceania excursions (4) and excursions we organized on our own or with others (2). In other cases we explored on our own. Ports like Bordeaux are great for that. Also in several ports (La Rochelle, Bilbao, Ferrol) we took advantage of the free shuttle buses that Oceania provided, which took us into the heart of the city and from there we set out to explore. We found the Oceania excursions we selected were generally well organized and interesting but they are pricey - we used our O-Life option to cover the cost of 3 of the excursions. Standard complaints about the internet being very slow and spotty still apply. Hopefully they will be able to improve that next time the ship goes into dry dock for renovation. Overall our experience on this cruise was very positive and we hope to do another Oceania cruise sometime soon. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
2019 Oceania Cruise Line - Celtic Kingdoms (MNA190804) on the Marina Dates: August 4, 2019 through August 17, 2019 Ports of call: Embark at Southampton UK Edinburgh(Newhaven) Scotland Invergordon Scotland ... Read More
2019 Oceania Cruise Line - Celtic Kingdoms (MNA190804) on the Marina Dates: August 4, 2019 through August 17, 2019 Ports of call: Embark at Southampton UK Edinburgh(Newhaven) Scotland Invergordon Scotland Glasgow(Greenock) Scotland - Missed(did not dock due to weather conditions) Dublin Ireland Cork(Cobh) Ireland Portland UK Disembark at Southampton UK This was our second cruise and first time with Oceania Cruise Line. We opted for a PH Suite (11035) and a trip that left us at the same port from where we started to allow us to extend the vacation in London UK. We chose an upgraded beverage package which we probably will not do in the future unless there are a lot of days at sea. The location of our suite was very convenient, near the executive lounge. It was spacious, nicely appointed and quiet. The staff in all areas of the ship were a standout. The passengers were a bit more mature here than on the Norwegian Cruise Line, though one could still find beverage glasses left in inappropriate places. The cruise line is known for the dining and wine experience. The main Grand Dining room was exceptional in ambiance, cuisine and staff. In my opinion, it out performed two of the specialty venues - Jacques and The Polo Grill. Jacques and The Polo Grill were not particularly special meals or service. However, both Toscana and Red Ginger were outstanding. We returned to Red Ginger for a second evening meal. Meeting and enjoying the company of other passengers was much easier on the Marina than the Norwegian Dawn. The two wine tasting/lectures were every informative and enjoyable. Mary Ann and I both enjoyed the services at the Canyon Ranch. We took one cruise sponsored excursion in Dublin Ireland. Frankly, the River Cruise DUB-006 OS was a disappointment. The tour guide banter during the boat ride on the Liffey was fun but there was no time for any questions and answers. The excursion continued on a cramped bus that sat in horrible Dublin traffic along all the streets that paralleled and bridges that crossed the river. We fared far better on our own in both Dublin and Cork. Both cities are very conducive to walking and the shopping is great fun. Our time spent in Scotland with Highlander Tours (Andrew McAlindon) was by far the absolute acme of the trip in Edinburgh and Invergordon. We were not able to dock in Glasgow(Greenock) Scotland due to severe weather. We have posted a review of Highlander Tours on the TripAdvisor site. The Hotel Rubens at the Palace is a very nice place with nicely appointed rooms and baths. The location in London is convenient but the lobby is cramped. The staff is solicitous and the Curry Room has excellent Indian food. We managed to see "Hamilton" at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London - a real serendipitous treat. We lightened our wallets when we shopped and ate at Harrods but it was lots of fun. I purchased the quintessential long trench coat at Burberry on Brompton Road - very nice staff and a great all-weather coat. The flights on British Airlines were typical long distance air travel - forgettable if you are lucky. We were bumped from Premium Economy to Business on the return trip from Heathrow, but had to wait 45-minutes on the tarmac at Logan in Boston for a terminal slot to become available. The food is a bit better in Business class but I am not fond of the seating arrangement. We were not able to be seated together. C'est la vie. We have used Patty Dyer as our AAA Northeast Travel Consultant on other occasions and she provides stellar service. I have posted reviews on Goggle Maps for many of the places we visited during the trip. In all, this was a wonderful vacation trip, full of joy and lasting memories. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This is our 6th cruise with Oceania and 2nd time on the Marina and loved every moment. Embarkation in Southampton was efficient and we were quickly onboard. Our Concierge room was immaculate and as in past cruises the cabin staff were ... Read More
This is our 6th cruise with Oceania and 2nd time on the Marina and loved every moment. Embarkation in Southampton was efficient and we were quickly onboard. Our Concierge room was immaculate and as in past cruises the cabin staff were excellent and always greeted us by name. There has been discussion on some boards about the decline in Oceania food however, our personal experience was that we found in to be excellent (other than the Jacques Salmon in the GDR which was as before not great). All Speciality restaurants were fabulous and we managed a 2nd dinner at our favourite, Red Ginger. Enjoyed the Afternoon Tea and Baristas. We took O excursions and were excellent and then other days, did our DIY (Dublin and Portland). The only disappointment was that due to high winds we missed out on Glasgow so had another sea day (we love the library so found a good book or two). As expected, the weather at times was cool and moist so didn't use our veranda very much nor, pool area but, did manage lunch at Waves a few times and reading in the Balinese chair area which is somewhat protected. The ports were great and loved the Scottish HIghlands, St. Andrews and the Blarney area as well as seaside villages of Portland and Weymouth. Disembarking in Southampton was smooth no doubt due to the fact that we did not require a face-to-face immigration check as we had arrived back in England the day prior at Portland. We went directly to Heathrow and took our own luggage straight off at 7 AM. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have cruised many times with various companies and found the Marina is still a fabulous ship showing no signs of age despite a visit to dry dock being scheduled. We had a veranda cabin which had a full bath and separate shower and ... Read More
We have cruised many times with various companies and found the Marina is still a fabulous ship showing no signs of age despite a visit to dry dock being scheduled. We had a veranda cabin which had a full bath and separate shower and the cabin was the size of some penthouse cabins on other ships. The mattress and bedding were superb. Dining was excellent in all locations throughout the ship. Entertaining was excellent and varied. Service outstanding and friendly throughout the ship. The ports were all docked with no tendering despite the brochure showing there would be tendering at three ports. The internet was slow but one can easily use mobile data and a hotspot from your iPhone when in dock. We are aged in our 60’s and we’re middle of the age range. We didn’t take any ships tours and instead arranged our own. The local tourist offices provided a representative on board at each port and a courtesy bus to town if more than a short walk. The scenery was magnificent and best viewed from the ship while cruising through the Fiords. Oceania have a winning recipe with their O class ships We would definitely go again without hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Having sailed on sister ship Riviera in 2018 we were confident in what to expect on Marina. Excellent service, wonderful ports and great food and spirits. Marina did not disappoint. The ship is small enough that you can easily move ... Read More
Having sailed on sister ship Riviera in 2018 we were confident in what to expect on Marina. Excellent service, wonderful ports and great food and spirits. Marina did not disappoint. The ship is small enough that you can easily move around, yet large enough to have multiple entertainment and dining options. My wife likes the shows, I enjoy making an evening contribution to the casino. It is nice that they still have a craps table. Many ships have done away with them. We enjoyed the specialty restaurants and Le Reserve. The main dining room is beautiful, we really enjoyed a peaceful breakfast in the MDR. The buffet option can be crowded. We embarked in Denmark visiting; Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and disembarked in Sweden. St. Petersburg was fantastic. We hired a private guide and driver through TJ travel. Excellent choice. Slatvana Andrusheko, was encyclopedic in her knowledge of Russia. In another life she was a Russian History professor. It really made the trip extraordinary. We had her and the driver for 2 full days. It is a big plus having a driver ready to pick you up to take you on to the next site. Plus they have already acquired all entry passes to the venues you must see. She took us to local restaurants and markets. We got a real feel for St. Petersburg. Our first port, Warnemunde, Germany was a real surprise. Very nice summer vacation spot with a real small town appeal. Take the train to Rostock if you are inclined, very easy trip. We rented a car on the Island of Bornholm, Denmark. A very nice day drive. In many of the ports, we just jumped on the Hop-On - Hop Off bus for a great city tour. Helsinki was really a highlight too. Our cabin was spacious and very accommodating. No complaints about the food or drinks. We do purchase a drink package and find it to be a good value. We didn't book any of our tours with the ship, we found better value doing it privately. We are also a bit more adventurous and enjoy hunting out different sights. The only "negative" we found on the ship was my wife wanted to participate in the on-board art class, but this ship had more children on then usual and they were crowding the art class. Not a big deal. We do enjoy Oceania because it is primarily all adults. We love children, but we don't miss the screaming, crying and running. The literature and website is quite clear in this is primarily adults. No climbing walls, no slides, no big screen TV, no Mickey and Minnie. As a grandparent, we have taken our grandchildren on cruises, but more age appropriate lines. All in all, Oceania met our expectations. We put a deposit down on another cruise in 2020. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was a 10-day Baltic cruise from Stockholm to Copenhagen. It was our 4th Oceania cruise and first on Marina. We are a couple in our mid-60's which put us in the median age range on this cruise. As many people younger than us as ... Read More
This was a 10-day Baltic cruise from Stockholm to Copenhagen. It was our 4th Oceania cruise and first on Marina. We are a couple in our mid-60's which put us in the median age range on this cruise. As many people younger than us as older. Embarkation was smooth and quick. After lunch in the Terrace Cafe, our cabin was ready at 1:00. Our steward quickly introduced himself. We had very good service from him and the cabin attendant throughout the cruise. The Marina is in very good condition and is a beautiful ship. Oceania lived up to its reputation with serving excellent food. They did not disappoint. We ate in each of the 4 specialty restaurants once, dinner in the GDR a couple of times, dinner in Terrace Cafe a couple of times. Waves for lunch was excellent. Our dinner in Red Ginger was our favorite meal on the cruise. The only little negative we experienced was service in Terrace Cafe at dinner. It can be difficult to find a wine steward. By the time you order and get your glass of wine, you're halfway through the meal. The entertainment on the ship was good and the shows were well attended. The production show of singers and dancers were talented. Some of the musical selections were a little questionable, in my opinion, as they leaned towards the older age group. But still quite good. The vocalist, Elias Hendricks, was one of the best entertainers I have seen on a cruise. The band that played in Horizons at 10:30 was very good. Their Beatlemania tribute night was attended by 200 people - the most I've seen in Horizons that late. They also did an Abba tribute that was popular as well. The cruise director, John, did a great job. He was at ease with his job and was enthusiastic without being over-the-top. We went on the ship's shore excursions and found them to be good. I know that some people prefer private tours but I really cannot complain about any of the excursions that we took on this cruise. We had exceptionally good tour guides in St. Petersburg. Very articulate, knowledgeable, professional and friendly. You have to negotiate through the crowds at The Hermitage no matter if you're on a ship's excursion or private tour. At the Faberge Museum, our group was only 16 people. Gdansk was another port where we had an excellent tour guide. One word about the wi-fi on the ship. Terrible. This is something that Oceania should improve on if they think that being competitive with other cruise line's wi-fi is important. I just wanted to check my email and use basic internet for 20 minutes a day and this was very challenging. Disembarkation in Copenhagen was smooth and on-time. One word of caution if you're trying to grab a taxi and that is to be prepared to wait in line for an hour or more. We pre-arranged a private car with our hotel and it was well worth the bit of extra cost. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Just a quick review of the Oceania Marina Scandinavian Ballads 10 day cruise: While we have been on over 30 cruises, this was our first on Oceania. All in all, it truly exceeded our expectations due to the extraordinary food and ... Read More
Just a quick review of the Oceania Marina Scandinavian Ballads 10 day cruise: While we have been on over 30 cruises, this was our first on Oceania. All in all, it truly exceeded our expectations due to the extraordinary food and overall service. The food is by far the best we have had on a cruise and due to that fact, we will definitely cruise Oceania again. The service and attentiveness was unequalled in all the cruises we have done. We typically sail in smaller ships but we noted that even though this ship held 1,200 passengers, we never felt crowded or rushed. A couple of specifics: We stayed in Stockholm for 2 1/2 days prior to the cruise and while we truly enjoyed the Vasa Museum and Old town, it was a bit underwhelming compared to other European cities. We stayed at the Sheraton and we booked it independently from the cruise. It is a good location but be prepared for a crazy scene the morning of departure. We casually got ready anticipating an 11:00ish departure from the hotel and head to the ship. The lobby was crazy and the check-in was 10 deep(those that just departed the ship), thus not allowing you to easily check out. Tip: Use the Express Checkout and drop off your envelope and get out of the lobby!! This cruise was very port intensive and the ports were very good. We only did 1 excursion and we did it in St. Petersburg and we did it independently from the ship. We had a great tour operator, Allla Tours, and our group was limited to 16 people which made it manageable. The ships tours were much more crowded. Without going into a full review of all ports on this writing, I would tell you that most were very enjoyable and some were outstanding. The outstanding ports were: St. Petersburg, Tallin Estonia, Gdansk, Poland, and Copenhagen. The rest were very good but they did not hit the outstanding category. I will try and expand upon the cruise in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We choose to sail with Oceania as we had done so twice before & found them to be excellent. Everything is very well organized no matter what the aspect of the ship is - shipboard muster, restaurants, cleaning, tours, barista, afternoon ... Read More
We choose to sail with Oceania as we had done so twice before & found them to be excellent. Everything is very well organized no matter what the aspect of the ship is - shipboard muster, restaurants, cleaning, tours, barista, afternoon tea, activities, disbursement of nightly & daily information on ports, activities, weather, etc. The food was very good whether it was the buffet, the 4 specialty restaurants, the dining room, etc. We thought there was plenty of storage space. One should not bring 3 or 4 large suitcases & expect to have storage for all those articles of clothing, although that may??? possible. The ship was always VERY clean whether it was our stateroom or the ship in general. Many times we would pass the staff cleaning the walls, "public" bathrooms, hallways, dining areas, etc. We did not go to any of the shows so I can't comment on them. There were very few children on board & the few that were, were very young. Most people I would say were 60 years and older. Although we only took one of the Mariner's tours, the guide was very good and very informative. My one negative comment (on all Oceania's cruises that we have been on) is that we do think that the ship's tours are very expensive. Lastly, unfortunately on our May 3, 2019 from Barcelona to Rome (Civitavecchia) disembarkation was a nightmare. From what we were told, the Italian security or customs (I'm not sure exactly who/whom) was late in doing their job once the Mariner pulled into port. Consequently their tardiness, inefficiency (whatever the "issue" with the Italian officials) caused a real problem with the disembarkation of passengers. Needless to say people were anxious about getting to the airport on time, trains, etc. The first couple of colors & numbers on the luggage tags were announced, but after that it was out of control & a free for all. The process snowballed out of control due to the inefficiency of the Italian officials and then the Mariner inefficiency of not continuing with their sequence of disembarking passengers. Once off the ship the amount of people in the disembarkation hall was not manageable. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My husband decided that he wanted to go to Europe for our 20th Anniversary. Because he has mobility (balance) issues a walking tour would not work for us. After research we decided to do a Mediterranean Cruise. We chose Oceania because ... Read More
My husband decided that he wanted to go to Europe for our 20th Anniversary. Because he has mobility (balance) issues a walking tour would not work for us. After research we decided to do a Mediterranean Cruise. We chose Oceania because of the Itinerary and the size of the ship. Our only other cruise was 4 years ago on Princess to Alaska and both of us hated the size of the ship, 4,000 people was not fun for us. Ship and Cabin: As I said the size was great. Lots of seating in the common areas (although the Terrace Cafe got pretty crowded at dinner time). Our Concierge Suite was nice with lots of storage for our clothes and room under the bed for our suitcases. Saw lots of debate about Concierge cost vrs. perks but have to say that in this port intensive cruise we appreciated being able to have a hot breakfast delivered to us prior to our tours. Also we often did not get lunch ashore and missed lunch service so the little sandwiches in the Concierge Lounge were welcomed. I took advantage of the expresso machine in the lounge first thing every morning. We also took full advantage of the 3 free bags of laundry. So for us this choice worked well. Dining: We ate in all four specialty restaurants and our favorites were Red Ginger and Pollo. Red Ginger was delicious and everything was presented beautifully we were seated with another couple and had a good time. Our only cons would be the noise level in the restaurant was terrible and the seats had such a back slant that they were very uncomfortable - not surprisingly these comments repeated themselves when we talked with other passengers. Pollo was also delicious and we did not the same issue with noise and comfort. My husband liked Jacques but I was not such a fan. I would rate it okay. Really did not like Toscana - my veal scallopini marsala was a disaster, more like veal picatta that had been but in a different sauce. The Caesar Salad was tasteless. One thing that Oceania does with the specialty restaurants is you either have to chose dine with others or dine alone and that choice applies to all of the restaurants. At all the restaurants except Jacques we were seated with one other couple, at Jacques (which was on our Anniversary - something they knew in advance) we were seated with two couples one of which was a conversation dominator - it was the least enjoyable dinner of the cruise. Enjoyed the main dining room where we sometimes dined with others and sometimes dined alone. Terrace Cafe was my least favorite but I do not like buffets, my husband was fine with it. Had breakfast and lunch a couple of times at Waves and had the best rueben sandwich I have ever had. We also enjoyed the fresh juice bar in the morning and Baristas. Entertainment and Activities: After a full day we found we were too tired for the Evening Entertainment so we never made it to any of the shows. I did do one of the culinary kitchen classes and enjoyed it, I think if you like cooking you would enjoy these classes. Also went to a photography class that was supposed to be on using Photoshop - it was a complete waste of time. Stayed for the painting class which was fun, although I am definately no painter. Went to a "so called" scarf tying class, which taught me a few new ways but was more about selling scarves. Service: Great, we are pretty low maintenance but everyone was very helpful. My husband needed help at the Terrace Cafe and there was always someone to carry his plate for him from station to station. Ports and Shore excursions: We enjoyed all 12 different ports of call. Had nine excursions, 2 private and 7 ship tours. Of the ships tours only two were not great - Highlights of Barcelona and Montserrat was the worst - just a total bore (since it was the first tour of the trip we were very apprehensive about our next tours) and the one in Palma de Mallorca was much more intensive then stated (it was supposed to be appropriate for wheelchairs) and my husband was hard pressed to stay up with the guide. We really enjoyed our Valencia tour and the one to Herculaneum was a stand out alternative to Pompeii. We did one O select excursion to an Olive Orchard - when we arrived on ship we found out that the location had been changed but since we had booked a group of tours for the discount we we not allowed to make any changes. The new location did not have the same type of tour and while the host was great and the lunch delicious it was less than advertised and, in our opinion, way over priced. Our two private tours - one in Monaco to Eze, Nice (which was experiencing a government employee strike and had streets closed so we ended up not stopping) and St. Paul de Vence (my favorite stop for shopping) - we did this tour with a couple we met on Cruise Critic Roll Call and it worked out great; and a our second tour was in Liverno to Florence for the Ufizzi and L'Academia with a private guide. Both tours were through Papillon Services and we have nothing but high praise for them. We have nothing but high praise for Oceania's tender crews. We experienced some big swells and they managed to get us safely off and on the ship. Even my husband, with his balance issues, started to fall backwards once but the two tenders caught him as he was falling and helped him get is balance and get him seated. In Monaco it was so bad that they ended up cancelling the tenders around 6 PM, luckily the ship was already scheduled to dock later that evening and we were able to get on board once they docked. When the tenders were cancelled the officer told us "be glad we are shutting it down, it would have been the worse tender in your life" and the stories from the people on that last tender certainly backed his words up. Everyone was safely gotten on board but it was a very scary trip and only the tender workers skill kept everyone safe. Pre and Post Hotel Experience: This is were things kind of fell apart especially the Post Hotel. First of all Oceania really provides no information in advance. We were on our own in Barcelona our departure port. Luckily my husband requires wheelchair assistance and our wheel chair helper was familiar with where the Oceania Rep. would be waiting (although there were two locations and he was at the second one). We had our own limo and the Oceania Rep traveled with us to the hotel - it was a silent ride until I started asking questions and then the Rep started giving us an introduction to Barcelona, since the trip took an hour from the airport to the hotel his introduction was welcome. Our hotel was very nice (Ohala Eixample), Oceania had no pre stay events but we did learn that breakfast was included (and it was excellent). We were exhausted and in bed by 8. Rome Hotel was a mess. The ladies who greeted us were frazzeled. We were given one time for our departure (two days later) and then a different time was posted on the board and no one was there to ask (even though they said someone would be there). We ended up using the time on the board and it was an hour early - so there we are all checked out with no where to go. My husband and I were second in line to check in with them and they made us sit down and wait to be called. Then as more people lined up they started taking people in order - huh? Breakfast was just okay - a separate buffet from the hotel restaurant. Rome Airport was a whole other story. Our driver spoke no english, which he repeatedly told us, but we were greeted by an Oceania Rep who had a cart and walked us to our check-in. He dealt with the check-in, they noticed that no wheelchair had been ordered and they got one for us. I asked about security and shoes, electronics, toiletries ect. and he explained it all. Cudos to him and Oceania. If we go again I think we have learned that 12 ports is a couple of ports too many. I would not hesitate to use Oceania, all in all it was an unforgettable trip. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We selected this cruise based upon itinerary. We really wanted to sail around the Iberian peninsula and also have the opportunity to explore the Bordeaux wine area (this gave us two days in Bordeaux). The extra addition of Tangier in ... Read More
We selected this cruise based upon itinerary. We really wanted to sail around the Iberian peninsula and also have the opportunity to explore the Bordeaux wine area (this gave us two days in Bordeaux). The extra addition of Tangier in Morocco was also enticing and we loved our tour there. It was our second time with Oceania having previously sailed on the sister ship Riviera. These are the two "larger" ships with about 1200 passengers. The cruise appeared to be pretty full and sold out. This is the perfect size ship for us- I like that it has the four xtra restaurants yet not too large to get around easily. It is beautiful and well maintained. We flew in same day and left directly so utilized the ship transfers - they are expensive but it is not easy to get to Southampton.Two hours of crawling traffic all the way down. Other ppl we met booked driver on their own and got taken to the wrong port - taxi drove away and they had to find another way to the ship. I was not happy with the way all of the luggage was tossed together by the airport porters and not supervised by Oceania staff.Our two bags were together and got separated. We get into our cabin took until well after four PM until my husband got his suitcase - mine came right away. So the perc of getting early access due to concierge level was moot - you cannot get unpacked without you luggage. This time we opted for the Concierge level with a veranda. Last time we took one of the non-concierge level veranda rooms(they are very tiny verandas). on the 7th level (there are a few with extended verandas and that was awesome - I might do that again especially in a warmer climate). Two main reasons we chose concierge level was to be able to book the specialty restaurants earlier and to get the dates and times we wanted. Also, and people might not know this.....There is a difference in room service breakfast offerings. Concierge level includes hot breakfast options like omelets, pancakes, French toast and oatmeal. Non-concierge level gets continental breakfast only with only cold options. This was a port intensive trip with many early morning meet-up times for tours. We are not morning people and it is easier to get breakfast in the room then to trek up to the 12th floor, wait for elevators and such. Also, we selected a room nearby the concierge lounge (9046) and near the elevator and stairs and it was very convenient. Concierge lounge is great to run in for quick coffees, teas, light snacks at any time of day. There are no coffee makers in the cabins and not all that convenient to get to the other places on the ship that have coffee. You can run in in your bathrobe and many ppl did. As for the concierge himself - we did not interract with him all that much - he did make us one extra restaurant reservation but the two reasons just cited are the main reasons we selected it. I am not sure I would spend the xtra again esp if you are on a Caribbean cruise without a lot of ports. Considering the ship has been around since 2011 it looks extremely good - especially the common areas. The cabins are showing some wear and tear like bedskirts, carpet and drapes but overall ok. I am not a fan of the decorating or color schemes but I am not moving in permanently. There are no electric outlets in the bathroom so you have to dry your hair outside at the dressing table- hairs get all over the place ( I am a neat clean nut type) and did not like this. Another pet peeve is how they clutter up all of the counter areas and desktops etc with toiletries, papers, stuff we do not need or want - took it out and hid it inside our suitcases until we left - barely had room for our own stuff. The touted "Bulgari" toiletries were nothing special at all - just a name. Food on Oceania is absolutely awesome for the most part - very few thing were less than a home run. We are foodies and live downtown in a very food-centric city. We dine out often at some ot the best restaurants in the area and even the country. Main dining room is always changing up their offerings. Presentation is outstanding. We loved Polo, Toscana, and Jacques.... not a huge fan of Red Ginger... It seems that Red Ginger doesn't know what it wants to be. Trying to mix too many types and styles of food - they should stick to one. Sushi there not great. Sea Bass - sauce too heavy - nothing all that awesome. I thought this on the first cruise also. They should maybe try to update it with Korean robatayaki skewers, Japanese Izakaya style food, updated Chinese (they need to do some serious R & D). Come to Philadelphia and go to Royal Izakaya or Double Know for example. We mostly took excursions offered by the ship with one exception - (the tour to Alhambra from Granada was sold out and we went on this tour with Spain Day tours - it was very good). We selected the O life eight excursions as our option. We are not the type that like to spend so much time exploring and researching all these options. What some people might not realize when they complain that the Oceania tours are too expensive is the following. Once you have booked even six tours (three per person) - every tour you book after that is 25% off (If you book before sailing). The eight "free" tours satisfy this requirement - therefore if you take the eight tours as your O life Option (the include any tour up to and including $199.00 base price)... save some of the less expensive ones for those you will pay out of pocket and get them for 25% off. This is essentially a $1600 credit and a far better value in our opinion than only getting the $800 credit that was offered. As far as the alcohol and spirits package - it is ridiculously expensive - you would have to be a borderline alcoholic to consume that much booze and we like to have cocktails, drinks and wine as much as the next person. We always book our own airfare - if they do it - they can route you in inconvenient ways unless you pay 75 dollars per person which allows you to select your own flights. We always use the same airline due to points and got a first class upgrade on the way over which is hard to negotiate on the with the cruise line doing it. Common areas on the ship such as the pool area, barristas, library, etc are all really nice.We did not try the culinary center or painting classes but people seemed to lvoe it. Entertainment is mixed - we don't care - we didn't go on the cruise for that reason. They had a comedian who was British and very very funny - saw him twice. Most of the music sounds like it is for our parents' generation in their nineties and kind of corny - like Peggy Lee.m(Seriously?) We grew up with rock and roll. The sailaway parties are great and fun - but I think they should offer at least one free drink to all of the passengers that one time - they had drinks on trays but you had to pay for them. The band and singer in Horizons was great (they also played at the sailaway party) - we would've liked to dance but no one was dancing. Part of the reason is the stage and dance floor is kind of lit up and you feel like you're on stage alone. Hardly anyone was up there in the evenings. We were on smaller river boat in the past (Uniworld - also awesome) and had a chance to do a lot of dancing- this is not a dancing type of crowd - a little disappointing. Same thing on last Oceania cruise. All of the staff is pretty much friendly and very professional. However, on this cruise as compared to last one - it seemed some of the staff was very new and did not know certain things. The waiters in the past got to know us and connect with us and tell us some things about themselves - did not happen this time - they did not seem interested in engaging and were a bit more stiff and formal. That's fine. Age group on this cruise seemed to be average late sixties and seventies with many much much older. Saw two kids the first day but none after that. (wonder where they went?!) There is nothing for kids to do on this cruise. It was a bit too chilly to swim but we did have a few warmer days and was lovely relaxing around the pool in the sunshine. Our fellow cruisers that we got to meet were mostly very friendly. They also seemed to be a lot better dressed and less frumpy than our last cruise. I even found some nice things in the shops on board. Had no idea it would be so cold in Bordeaux, etc - had to buy a pullover sweater - had not packed one. Two weeks was a long cruise for us - was glad to be getting off the ship - cannot really understand how ppl do much longer ones - I would be a fat blimp. Hard living in such close quarters after a couple of weeks also. Also, we are not cruise-only type of ppl - we also enjoy going to hotels on land and having more time to explore at our own speed. With so many ports - no time to really dine ashore - never had a chance to get good tapas in Spain etc. Oceania needs to offer more cruises that feature two nights in each port rather than a new one every day. The write-ups in the daily "Currents" (the daily cruise list of activities and port info) tells you about all the things a specific port is known for (looks like they copied and pasted out of pre-written tour books) and it is not realistic that you will be able to do much independently in just one day -especially if you take a tour - they do not allow very much free time during the excursions. In Porto (which is gorgeous) we had only thirty minutes to shop or get a coffee at the "Ribiera" - first twenty minutes spent finding a bathroom. I would def sail with Oceania again but might also try Crystal - the latter includes everything other than excursions and has many shorter itineraries with multiple nights in port. Ports - Too tired after flying - we did not visit Guernsey - was a warm sunny day (few others at the beginning were - was great relaxing around the pool. Bordeaux - took two excursions - one to the St. Emilion area and one to Bordeaux to visit vineyards and have tastings. Both very good. The first included plenty of time to shop and tour the city of Bordeaux and have a bite at a cafe - just great. Could not tender at Biarritz - sea was too rough. This cruise had some very rocky days on board - I took Bonine most of those sailing days - it works - non- drowsy formula. (even a half a tablet works but take it in advance by at least an hour before sailing). Bilbao was a wow - spent two days there - loved the Pinxtos(Basque style tapas) we had on our own at the Plaza Nueva (arcade NeoClassical Square) near the old town - don't miss it - fun to walk around; La Coruna - could have skipped this one other than Hercules tower. Porto and Lisbon both great - did ship tours both days and went for a port tasting. These are both ports that need an overnight stay. Cadiz we went on tour that included Flamenco (was great) and some tapas ( they were far from great - have had much better at Jose' Garces reataurants in our home town and the Sangria was not good either). Overall, a wonderful fun cruise - did not get sick this time - had fun. Highly recommend Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We enjoyed this cruise very much. We have been on Oceania before, and chose this cruise for the itinerary of Lima to NYC. It was the middle leg of getting the ship from Tahiti, where it had spent the winter, to Europe, where it will ... Read More
We enjoyed this cruise very much. We have been on Oceania before, and chose this cruise for the itinerary of Lima to NYC. It was the middle leg of getting the ship from Tahiti, where it had spent the winter, to Europe, where it will spend the summer. We love O for the food, and the food was quite good. The new Dom Perignon events were great (separate charge, but great value for the money). The wine service has stepped up a bit - the wine stewards seem to have more training & knowledge than they used to (not a high hurdle, but much appreciated). Service in general was excellent - friendly, effective, welcoming. The onboard entertainment, a typically cited weak point for O - well, we can't comment, we tend to use dinner as our entertainment. We did not use any ship's tours; we did appreciate the free shuttles offered in Peru and Ecuador. The ship's activities were plentiful and interesting; one sea day I actually programmed the events I was interested in into my phone so I didn't miss any, although getting sidetracked or relaxing wouldn't be so bad either... We ate more times in the specialty restaurants on this cruise than ever before. A couple hundred people were on since Papeete (so had already had plenty of time to enjoy), the ship wasn't 100% full, and we did get into a code red (GI cases - apparently most likely from street food in South America). We enjoyed all the restaurants; the steak at Polo continues to be hit-or-miss - my spouse has decided that ordering something other than steak (lobster, veal oscar, etc.) is the way to go - although my ribeye was great. The main dining room (GDR) and Terrace Cafe were both excellent. There were a few small items in our room that needed fixing, but were fixed within an hour of mentioning (loose handle on door to veranda; mis-aligned closer on bathroom door). Our room stewards were top-notch. The lectures were interesting, with well-selected topics. The presenter quality was a bit mixed - one quite good, one very knowledgeable but not quite as engaging. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The occasion was our 20th wedding anniversary, and we wanted to have a luxurious cabin on a great ship with no hassles. We are older and can't be bothered. We did a lot of research, planned and saved for a couple years so we could do ... Read More
The occasion was our 20th wedding anniversary, and we wanted to have a luxurious cabin on a great ship with no hassles. We are older and can't be bothered. We did a lot of research, planned and saved for a couple years so we could do everything first class, and this cruise, and this ship, really hit the mark. Pre-cruise Papeete 3 days/4 nights Because our cruise would take us only to 3 other Tahitian ports, we wanted to spend our first few days on vacation in Tahiti in an overwater bungalow. We booked the Intercontinental Tahiti online at Expedia, which was a couple hundred dollars cheaper than booking direct with the hotel but very pricey. The overwater bungalow was fabulous, and the Intercontinental property was beautiful with an amazing lagoon swim-up bar ... We did a renewal of our vows on a little island in the lagoon that the wedding coordinator at the hotel arranged, and it was wonderful. Drawbacks of the hotel: Food and drinks are very expensive, and the snorkeling is not great. Although the ocean is warm and the water is clear, not many fish and no coral reef to speak of. I did a scuba dive with TopDive at the hotel and did see a LOT of sharks, so that was fun. If we did this again, though, I would take the ferry to Moorea to spend a few days. It looks like a quieter, prettier island than Papeete, although our room, and our view from the balcony across the water to Moorea, and our time at the Intercontinental were all delightful. Day One Embarkation My husband always wants to be everywhere early, so we arrived to the dock a half-hour before we could board, even with our 11 a.m. boarding time (suite people get to board early! La!). It was very easy to leave our bags and go aboard to the lounge where they had set out danish and coffee and tea and water for the many people who had already arrived and were waiting to board. Then we were surprised when they announced they were prepared to check people in and as we were there, they would begin -- and even more surprised to discover our room was already ready for us. We were in our room 15 minutes before we were supposed to even be able to check in. Do not be afraid of some kind of cattle call or long lines to board and get checked in; Oceania seems to have this well in hand. The ship is beautifully appointed! I loved the artwork everywhere which seemed whimsical and classical all at once. We chose a suite because we didn’t want any hassles ever. Only the Marina and its sister ship the Riviera have the particular suite we chose, the Oceania suite. We liked the looks of it when we saw the photos and layout on the website, and it had a champagne bubble tub on the balcony. Our cruise had a lot of days at sea, so I thought luxuriating in that tub would be perfect. As it happened, we stayed so busy, I only used it a few times! The amenities with a suite are lovely. There was a bottle of champagne on ice when we arrived, and we also were able to choose 6 bottles of spirits or wine for the rest of the cruise, which we never even finished them all. We also got 3 bags of complimentary laundry, canapes every afternoon, turn-down service with chocolates, and a butler who brought ice, kept the fridge stocked with soft drinks, brought newspapers in the morning and would make dining reservations, serve room service, and more. We had some friends over and he even brought a tray of snacks for them ... He was delightful. His name was Logesh, and he was from Madras, India. We loved him. The suite itself was amazing. I have cruised on Carnival, Princess, and Royal Caribbean, and never saw anything like this. The suite had a living room/dining room, including a nice sitting area where we put together a jigsaw puzzle. Again, I thought with the days at sea we would need something to do in the evenings, but as we came to the end of the cruise, I had to invite friends in to finish the puzzle with me. Which turned out to be great fun, actually. There was also a huge closet, a media room with TV and a huge selection of on-demand movies, a guest bathroom in the entry hall and a huge master bath with double vanity, separate shower and whirlpool tub. It was insane! When we cruised before, it was with children and grandma and economy was a priority, so we had to cram suitcases and kids everywhere … I could not believe the amount of space we had. We were seriously like gypsies in the palace in this place. Oceania seems to attract an older crowd; there were no children on board and very few young people. It’s also a smaller ship. It can take 1,250 passengers, and on our cruise, there were only 800 aboard, so there was never a crowd and never a wait for anything. And no blaring music or crazy contests or rowdy folks at the pool bar. Nothing at all for children or teenagers or wild young adults to get up to, but perfect for relaxing and enjoying the scenery and amenities. We took a knife skills class in the culinary center, which was excellent, and I had a spa day that was luscious on one of our days at sea. Plus we were pretty regular players of trivia and the beanbag toss, winning enough Big-O points to score 2 t-shirts, 2 hats, and a tote bag, I believe. Ship life was good for old folks! Day 2 Raiatea, French Polynesia All these French Polynesian islands are lush and lovely from what I saw! Bright sparkling blue water, gorgeous sandy beaches, and mountainous jungle-looking areas. Raiatea no exception. Here we docked, and this was good for my husband who is disabled and found it onerous getting on and off the tenders. We had booked a private tour with Excursion Bleu and Capt. Bruno. It was a whole day of snorkeling, a visit to a vanilla farm, a visit to a pearl farm, and lunch on the beach -- all by boat. The water was clear, we snorkeled with sharks, the beaches were beautiful, and the visit to the pearl farm was delightful. Learning how they get the beautiful Tahitian pearls was fascinating -- and of course my hubby doled out to get pearl pendants for me and his daughters who loved them! The lunch was fish and chicken with rice and breadfruit and plantains and coconut bread and all good things. Days 3-4 Bora-Bora French Polynesia Bora-Bora is amazing. The iconic view of those mountains from the sea ... It was stunning. Like you were sailing through a postcard. Our first day we had another snorkel adventure with BBQ and entertainment on the beach again. The company we booked with is Mahaoi Nui, and everyone said to do "Patrick's Tour." Patrick was booked up, so I decided on this snorkel tour with his same company and enjoyed it a lot. The dive guides played ukelele and sang as we cruised between the snorkel stops. Our first stop was in about 21 feet deep water, clear, warm, lovely to float in, and we were again snorkeling with sharks! It was amazing to see so many gorgeous black-tip reef sharks, so close at hand. Really enjoyed it! I think there were 3 snorkeling spots, total. At lunch there was suckling pig that had been cooking for hours in the oven in the ground ... It was like a luau, plus a bit of Tahitian dancing and fire dancing to entertain us. Next time (if we can ever go again) I will book earlier and get Patrick's tour, which includes a land tour rather than a boat tour, but I found this snorkel tour to be delightful. And the scenery amazing. On day 2 we used some of our shipboard credit to book Le Truck Tour, an open-air sort of bus that took is all around the island on land to see the amazing vistas, the remnants of WWII US military having been here, such as canon on the hillsides, and a short stop at "The World Famous Bloody Mary's," a beach bar named for the character from the South Pacific films. That was a fun photo opportunity. We also had a stop at a place where they make pareos, and it was fascinating to see how they dye them to get those beautiful colors and patterns. We enjoyed this tour a lot. I think we might've roamed around the main town afterward (a lot of our fellow cruisers did), but it was quite warm, and with my husband's disability, he finds it hard to walk far, so we were content to head back to the ship and relax that afternoon. Day 5 at Sea We had a lot of days at sea! They were all enjoyable because our cabin was like a little retreat for us, plus the activities and shows were fun. They have quite a good little entertainment troupe with some top-notch singers and dancers. There was also a magic show, and guest lecturers who were very good and entertaining! Also a "clean comedy" show which was quite good for all us uptight old white folks. Day 6 Fakarava, French Polynesia Another beautiful French Polynesian Island. In fact I think the beach we visited here may have been the most picturesque. It was one of those white sandy beaches, encircled by palm trees, but where the shallow water goes for yards and yards in front of the beach, so the water is so pale aqua it's almost white, and you can see where the water gets deeper as it's slightly darker ... It was stunning. We had booked another snorkel tour on the advice of Cruise Critic Forum members with Captain Ato. The first stop was quite a far boat ride, 40 or 45 minutes? I had read on Ato's website that there would be 6-8 people aboard, and there were actually 14, so the boat was a bit crowded. But most of the lovely cruisers we met were charming people, and some I even knew already from the Forum here, and so the crowd wasn't a big problem. Our first snorkel stop was in water I would say around 20-30 feet deep but with a beautiful patch of coral reef that came right up to the surface. There were 2 sharks, and a better variety of fish than I had yet seen in French Polynesia. Our next stop was, I believe, that beautiful beach. The boats dropped us off in water a couple feet deep, and we waded through the shallows into the beach. We were swimming or relaxing on the beach as the guides prepared the lunch. They broke the tops off coconuts for us to drink from, a true tropical picnic. The food was fish and sausage, rice and coconut bread, plus there was water and beer and juice ... Lovely lunch. Capt Ato told us the wind had changed so we couldn't get to the next snorkel stop he had planned for us, and he took us to a different beach, but the visibility for snorkeling there wasn't great; I sat out on the beach most of the time, enjoying the stunning scenery. I guess Ato was right about a change in the wind. As we left for the next snorkel stop, we were in bumpy water. Because of the crowd, I was right up at the front of the boat, and it kept riding up on the waves and then slamming down hard -- it became very painful by the time the day was over! The first four hours of this tour were terrific; the last hour was torturous! I am sure the change in wind and bumpy water were a surprise to Ato, and otherwise the tour had been great. Day 7-? At sea When we left French Polynesia, we had a lot of days at sea to Pitcairn Island (where we couldn't go ashore, and then on to Easter Island where we planned to go ashore). As I say, the days at sea were not bad at all. It did rain! We had several rainy days, so sitting by the pool wasn't so fun, but I had a luscious spa day one day, and suite guests get access to the spa deck where there are quiet and gently whirling thalassotherapy pools that I took advantage of, and of course, the champagne bubble tub on our balcony. And then there were the lectures! Gloeta Massie was the biologist who told us about the flora and fauna we would be seeing, as well as other astounding science stuff. Her lectures were hilarious as well as informative. If she's going to be on your ship, be sure you go to her talks! James Peterkin is an Easter Island expert who prepared us for both Pitcairn and Easter Islands with fascinating lectures on the history, culture, language, etc. His explanation of the Mutiny on the Bounty story was eye-opening and riveting. And his talks about Easter Island kept us all in suspense: what are those statues? why did they make them? why did they stop making them? what caused the collapse of Easter Island? He did a great job of preparing us for these stops! At Pitcairn the island is too tiny and infrastructure too small to accommodate a cruise ship full of people going ashore, so the islanders came to us. They set up shop with their handmade crafts, curios, t-shirts, postcards, stamps, etc. They were all very friendly and genial people and talented artists and craftspeople. One of them, an immigrant to Pitcairn, gave a talk about life on the island today which was quite interesting. We had more days at sea to Rapa Nui, which is what the locals call Easter Island. We were so ready to get a look at those statues! But we had been warned that there's no dock, and only a small harbor that's difficult to navigate, so it was possible our tenders wouldn't make it in if the weather was wrong ... So we did NOT get to set foot on Easter Island! This was the biggest disappointment of the entire cruise! We circumnavigated it, but did not get to see the moai for ourselves. Then it was back to see for a few more days. Let me mention the restaurants here. Oceania bills itself as having the finest cuisine at sea, and I can't argue. The Terrace Cafe, which is the buffet where you can always get any meal, was one of our favorites! They would grill you a lobster tail while you waited -- and some of their theme nights were terrific. Likewise one of my favorite meals was the brunch in the Grand Dining Room, which is the other place that's always serving with no reservations required. In fact, I think I enjoyed the food there every time we went. The specialty restaurants, where you had to have a reservation, were also quite good. The French restaurant, Jacques, has a menu by celebrity chef Jacques Pepin. I think Mike’s favorite was the steakhouse, Polo, and my favorite was the Oriental fusion place, Red Ginger. I had a trio of scallops there that was that perfect bite, where you put it in your mouth, and you have to stop and just sit a few seconds and let that deliciousness settle in … Lovely. There was also an Italian specialty restaurant, and surprisingly it was my least favorite of the 4. It did have WONDERFUL desserts, though. Definitely worth going. All the food was included in your fare, even the specialty restaurants, but those did require reservations, and I understand when the ship is full, it can be hard to get a reservation. We were guaranteed 2 reservations at each of the specialty restaurants because of our being in a suite, but we enjoyed Terrace Café and the Grand Dining Room nearly as much as the others; the food was all around very tasty. Day 16, Lima, Peru, Disembarkation Like everything on Oceania, disembarkation was easy. We did have to set our bags outside the door the night before like you do, but they took our bags to the JW Marriott where Oceania had a complimentary lounge for passengers who had to wait all day on their flight home, which we did. Our flight was at midnight that night. The service also included transfer to the hotel and from the hotel to the airport at the time of your flight -- I don't know if that was a benefit of our having a suite or if it was complimentary for everyone, but it was nice. To get a room at the hotel was about $350, and you couldn't even get into it until 3 p.m. I didn't want to spend the day at the hotel though and I had booked with ToursByLocals.com for a custom tour of Lima. We had read about Lima and decided we wanted to see the Inca market in Miraflores, the "Love Park" also in Miraflores, and the neighborhood of Barranco which is supposed to be scenic and touristy. Our guide had agreed to this and said she would also recommend a good place for lunch for us, and if there was time, show us the city center. Her regular half-day tour in Lima began in city center and included monasteries, museums and historic buildings that didn't interest us as much as the things we had prioritized. As the tour began, we were driven through horrendous traffic to the city center. I should have spoken up at that point and reminded the guide that we had arranged a custom tour with Miraflores and Barranco at the top of the list and the city center reserved for "if we have time," but I didn't speak up, so the rest is on me. The traffic as we took in the historic sites was atrocious, so the van stopped and starts in fits, and my husband got car sick! After a couple hours, I finally did say that we needed to stop by the hotel and let him get inside for a bit, but by the time we got there, he didn't want them to wait; he wasn't getting back in that van. So we didn't get to see the scenic sights in Lima we had hoped to see — and had paid to see! If you book with TBL, be sure you are clear on what you want to see and speak up if it is not happening. I should have. However we saw a bit of lovely scenery near the hotel. We walked across the street to a very modern and popular mall that's built into the bluff facing the coastline. It has a lovely children's playground and park on top, and all chic stores in the multi-level mall. It was a beautiful sunny day for a little stroll, so that was nice. But it still left us with hours to sit around the hotel until our ride to the airport and our midnight flight home. I fell asleep on the plane before it even took off and woke up when we were about 40 minutes outside of Houston … our dream trip of a lifetime was over! If you're looking for a cruise with a rock-climbing wall and a water slide on the ship, Oceania is not for you. But if you want to relax and enjoy great service and good amenities, I highly recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose the cruise for its itinerary. We wanted to got to French Polynesia and had never cruised across the South Pacific with such exotic locations as the Pitcarin Islands and Easter Island. The flight over allowed us to visit one ... Read More
We chose the cruise for its itinerary. We wanted to got to French Polynesia and had never cruised across the South Pacific with such exotic locations as the Pitcarin Islands and Easter Island. The flight over allowed us to visit one daughter & family in California out the way over and ended in New York where a second daughter lives. A bonus was a scheduled stop in Norfolk with even more family. Past cruises have shown us that Oceania really takes great care of its guests in the top suites. We were booked in a penthouse but wanted an Oceania Suite. About 3 months prior to sailing, an Owners Suite came available for leg one and in January the same cabin came available for leg 2. We call that cruise karma. From the moment we stepped on the ship we were treated with the best service available. We had the head butler at our disposal (he has only 3 cabins and supervises the other butlers). This gentleman made the cruise for us. He got us into the restaurants we wanted when we wanted and was always available for anything else. At 2000 square feet, the suite was larger than my wife's first house. We had a bedroom with a separate bath and his and her closets. The foyer was our favorite as it had a fully stocked bar, sofa and grand piano that was a modern day player piano. The living room had a desk, table for 6 and full sofa. Everything was Ralph Loren, right down to the drink coasters and candy trays. With the number of sea days and with poor weather in the first week after leaving French Polynesia, we found our suite even more enjoyable. Unfortunately everything did not stay perfect. First, we missed the port call at Easter Island. The weather was great but there were ocean swells entering the tender harbor. Many were mad but we understand that this was just bad luck and, having done our homework, we realized that this was a real possibility. We booked an independent shore excursion there and as a result lost half of our prepaid excursion cost. Lima was mid cruise change out day. All was well but unbeknownst to us, someone brought aboard the dreaded GI disease. This was not our first experience with GI and Oceania. It is not a pretty site. Within 2 days of leaving Lima we started to see items disappear like the sugar bowls in the coffee bar. Next comes the announcement that if you feel sick, see the doctor for a free consultation (buyer beware - they do not say free treatment - see one of my previous Oceania reviews to learn about how Oceania will completely empty your pockets if you visit the medical center. When they hit the high level - 20 -30 people sick, service stinks. When entering a restaurant, there is nothing but a bare table cloth. Anything you can touch that can be removed is. The putting green is closed, but interestingly, live goes on as normal in the casino and ad in any other retail or money activities. We retreated to our room and used room service a bit more than we had been. The really bad part of this is that they keep the ship at this "protocol" until the GI is eradicated. It was almost over in central america (after a week) but 2 more came down with the GI. The end result was that the ship went back to normal only 3 days prior to the end of the cruise, so the total time under the sad conditions was 12 days in total. I suspect that other reviews will point this out. On departure from Miami we were informed that we would skip Norfolk and put into Port Canaveral. Good call. A check of the internet indicated 26 foot seas around Cape Hatteras and we would not have enjoyed it. I missed seeing my sister in Norfolk, but such is life. Sail into New York was mid-day and was an event everyone should get to experience. We sat on our expansive back deck and enjoyed the arrival with a room service lunch. Our travel agent has always warned us that Oceania lacks in entertainment. It did. Lectures weren't great, save for the Easter Island resident historian who prepped us for the visit that did not occur. The on board cast and guest entertainers were mediocre at best with the exception of a Vegas entertainer aboard the last week who was heads and shoulders above anything we had seen the entire 34 days aboard. This is not a high priority for us as the show mainly keeps us from going to bed too early. Overall, I would rate the cruise at a 4.5 if I could. I have been very critical of Oceania in the past, we are not likely to go again on the older smaller ships, but this one was great save for the unavoidable missed ports and GI experience. We are likely to book the larger Oceania Ship again, but only if we can get one of the top suites. We normally travel with Regent, Crystal or Seabourn but this experience was equal to or better than those lines. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I have never been on Oceania before (only Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America and Regent) and after the experience I had, I am going to try and limit my cruise experiences to Oceania, if at all possible. The way I was ... Read More
I have never been on Oceania before (only Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America and Regent) and after the experience I had, I am going to try and limit my cruise experiences to Oceania, if at all possible. The way I was treated, the quality of the ship desgin and materials, the quality of the staff, the itinerary, and most importantly, the dining experience just set this cruise line above all others that I have experienced - and by a wide margin. The cabin (9110) had a large veranda and felt spacious. The bathroom was impressive with a full tub and a rainshower head in the shower. The water was perfect temperature throughout the cruise. Of course, the most important person we met was Lilya, our cabin stewardess and she was nothing short of magnificent - keeping everything so neat and tidy and it always felt the room was in perfect condition. Her warm demeanor meant everything to us and we will always love Ukraine after having her cheerful, professional and detailed assistance every day. We also loved Chrismerelda on our Concierge floor - such a lovely person and so responsive and helpful with our specific needs. In fact, we loved the entire Concierge floor experience - and the espresso machine was worth its weight in gold. We loved the speciality coffee bar on Deck 14 overlooking the pool. We loved the Waves sandwiches, the afternoon tea in horizons, the terrace cafe for breakfast and the Grand Dining Room for nightly dinners (though it was our least favorite experience). And that's because the specialty dining on this ship simply cannot be beat. Toscana was authentic and welcoming. Jaques was a delightful visit to France. Polo Club prepared perfect steaks (and a very inattentive woman as sommalier), and Red Ginger was our favorite of all - with special thanks to the Maitre D' who was nothing short of a true 'boss' - we are indebted to her for our service and experience there. The spa was much better than on other ships and we loved the Canyon Ranch products (especially the post-sun cooling product). Nice gym and very relaxing private spa deck. The theatre space was intimate, as was the lovely piano bar and we enjoyed that. In fact, the ship NEVER felt full (though it was 100% occupied). The artwork throughout the ship made a particular impression on me - from sculpture to paintings and of course the lalique everywhere. It felt more like a luxurious art gallery than a state-of-the-art disco and I appreciated the more sophisticated approach. Besides the speciality dining, I have to say that the approach of charging up front for coffees and sodas and not making me use a card every five minutes felt like a great indulgence and I much prefer that approach. And the specialty dining not having additional charge also made me more relaxed. We didn't purchase any shore excursions because the ports were all accessible and easy for us to navigate to blue waters and private beaches. I loved that the ship was the smallest of all my previous experiences and it felt size-appropriate for Tahitian islands. Embarkation was fast and professional - a tremendous team boarding and leaving. I would dearly love to sail on the Marina again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was our first Oceania cruise after many on Celebrity and Holland America. Our French Polynesia cruise was a charter so some of our experiences likely are different from a "regular" cruise so I'll try to stick to the ... Read More
This was our first Oceania cruise after many on Celebrity and Holland America. Our French Polynesia cruise was a charter so some of our experiences likely are different from a "regular" cruise so I'll try to stick to the parts I think you would find on both. First of all, we loved the size of the ship compared to the larger ocean liners. At 1,200 guests this made the ship much more manageable and easier to explore. We also loved that it seemed much less commercial than other ships -- no art sales, few shops, a tiny casino. This ship was built for relaxing. We had a penthouse suite which in a word was awesome. Tons of space, tons of storage (so much so that we probably didn't use half of the drawers) and a huge walk in closet. It was a perfect place to relax and unwind. Being in a penthouse suite gets you a butler -- he was very efficient and useful. We had him book our spots in the specialty restaurants but he was on hand for almost anything we needed. The food -- even in the main dining room -- was by far the best we have experienced on the 15 cruises we have taken before. The specialty restaurants in particular were terrific. We especially loved the French-themed one. Another plus was that at least for this cruise there was no surcharge for any of the specialty restaurants. We only ate in the main dining room three nights out of eight. Not great for the waistline but wonderful for the palate! Since this was a charter, most of the entertainment was brought on from the charter company so it's impossible to rate the Oceania's entertainment. Just understand that since this is a mid-sized ship the entertainment venues are not what you would get on a larger vessel. As for service, we generally had excellent service throughout. The one hiccup we had was resolved to our satisfaction and the staff bent over backwards to apologize and rectify the situation. Travel to French Polynesia is more expensive than other destinations but we were very happy with our cruise and with the Oceania Marina. I'd book Oceania again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
For the middle-aged and older crowd, this cruise was amazing! We arrived in Papeete a day early to insure we made the ship on time in case of any flight/weather issues. We stayed at the Intercontinental on Tahiti, which was very nice and ... Read More
For the middle-aged and older crowd, this cruise was amazing! We arrived in Papeete a day early to insure we made the ship on time in case of any flight/weather issues. We stayed at the Intercontinental on Tahiti, which was very nice and they also had a fabulous Polynesian show the night we were there. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, no problems. The thing I liked about Marina is that is is a smaller ship, so less people. No crowded, stuffed elevators, no long waits in line for food, and best of all, no kids! I think there were 2 kids on the ship, but it's not geared toward kids, so there's nothing for them to do really. The food was amazing, absolutely the best meals I've ever had on a cruise ship. It was eating a gourmet meal every time you sat down to eat, even upstairs in the café! The specialty restaurants were just as wonderfully delicious and very gourmet. All of the drinks anywhere on the ship were fantastic! There was actually liquor in them! On all our other cruises, we end up just not drinking because the drinks have so much juice, you can't tell it's a drink.These were top-notch! We had Mai-Tai's, Cosmos, Piña Coladas, and they were all excellent. On every other regular cruise line, I gave up and stuck to Rum & Coke, because the fancy drinks were just terrible. Service on this ship was impeccable. We never had to ask for anything, ever. Staterooms were always ready, clean, chocolates on the bed, mats on the floor by our bedside, slippers, robes, ice bucket filled. The entire staff was friendly and welcoming and very diverse. We were offered an upgrade at a reduced price from a balcony room to a penthouse suite a week before the cruise....we accepted and were so glad we did! Lots of room and plenty of shoe and drawer space! Walk-in closet, gorgeous bathroom with a tub/shower AND a shower. Always stocked. Always clean. There was a fantastic selection of excursions to meet anyone's tastes, from easy to adventurous. Tendering in and out of ports was excellent, fast, and always went smoothly. Never a problem. Although we did bring our own 24-hour hand sanitizer, there was plenty of stations all over and outside the ship, so no excuses for germs! The ship was spotless and someone was always cleaning it, even the outside! Entertainment was just okay.....geared more toward the older crowd. I would have liked to have seen a comedy show, but the shows we did see were great. We missed quite a few, because by the time they started (9:30pm), we were so exhausted from the day, we were in our stateroom reading and falling asleep! One thing that impressed me is that the cruise line had special get-togethers for the singles and even a gay-lesbian get-together. We did do happy hour every evening around 5:30-6 before dinner and one evening 2 of the 3 bars (our favorites) were closed for a promotional group, which we were not happy about. I look forward to going on another Oceania cruise and now I'm spoiled! I don't want to go back to the regular cruise lines! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Honestly, our best cruise yet. We had a concierge level cabin and it was worth the splurge . The food was awesome in every restaurant and the main dining room. The ship was awesome as in being the right size and not too big. The service ... Read More
Honestly, our best cruise yet. We had a concierge level cabin and it was worth the splurge . The food was awesome in every restaurant and the main dining room. The ship was awesome as in being the right size and not too big. The service was awesome. The only thing that was a bit off was the fitness center. Not well appointed but, we just spent our time walking and swimming in the Tahitian waters instead. Loved the coffee bar. Loved the homemade ice cream. Loved the daily fresh fruit smoothies and juice bar. Loved the daily lobster tail off the fan tail at night in the warm breeze. Loved the spa and Canyon Ranch hot tubs on the front. Red Ginger was our favorite restaurant and we loved the experience. We would save up to do Oceania again in a heartbeat. It is one line we would try to repeat again as it was expensive but, worth every cent. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I had taken Insignia last fall to the cottages and coves, and fell in love with Oceania. I was a die hard Windstar cruiser. This was my fourth trip to the French Polynesia and decided to take Oceania. We upgraded to the PH. 11009 and ... Read More
I had taken Insignia last fall to the cottages and coves, and fell in love with Oceania. I was a die hard Windstar cruiser. This was my fourth trip to the French Polynesia and decided to take Oceania. We upgraded to the PH. 11009 and we’re very pleased with our room and the services. The customer service from Oceania is by far the best in the industry. Thank you for another great cruise. You have yet again, exceeded my expectations. I’m not big on the entertainment though. While I believe Oceania does draw an older clientele, the music and shows I found were somewhat dated. The comedian was very good. Your customer service representative Rachael Ruebel who handled some of my daughters and my requests went above and beyond the call of duty, and she should be acknowledged for her talents and truly being one of your greatest assets in customer service. She, I would say was one of the main reason I am a committed cruiser on Oceania. In this day and age, when customer service seems to be lacking, your employees from the top, all the way to the not so top are exceptional. You treat your employees good, they bring your customers back. Great cruise. Thank you for making my daughter and my cruise amazing. See you on the next one. Just wish you had single cruises for us widow travelers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We just returned from our first Oceania cruise. (This is our 5th cruise). We did the South Pacific starting and ending in Papeete Tahiti for a 10 day cruise. We absolutely loved Oceania. We would sail Oceania again in a heart beat and ... Read More
We just returned from our first Oceania cruise. (This is our 5th cruise). We did the South Pacific starting and ending in Papeete Tahiti for a 10 day cruise. We absolutely loved Oceania. We would sail Oceania again in a heart beat and most of the fellow travelers we talked to felt the same. The staff are plentiful, kind, caring and sensitive. They serve the food in buffets to keep you safe. They change the linens on lounge chairs to keep everything safe and comfortable. I have never had such consistently wonderful service on a cruise. I felt spoiled each and every momment. I had to go to the medical clinic and received excellent service (ok the bill was pretty high-like USA healthcare prices!) The rooms, the amenities, the food and the service were all spectacular! The bed and bedding were just dreamy. We did not sample the entertainment. We find our entertainment by watching the natural beauty so cannot report on the ships entertainment. We booked last minute within a month of sailing date. We booked a concierge suite with a balcony and had no regrets. We could have taken better advantage of the very wonderful (and free to us) concierge. The concierge can help you with anything! The fridge in our room and the concierge lounge is stocked with free beverages. No charges for coffee (including specialty coffees), water bottles, soft drinks, room service 24 X7 was wonderful and quick. The food was FANTASTIC! All specialty dining is included in the cruise fare. You need recommendations and we got reservations into all 4 ahead of time (that may be the limit-1 reservation in all 4). For general dining we loved the Grand Dining Room. In the Terrace Cafe you can get grilled lobster, fish, steaks every evening with an outdoor table. One night we ate lobster while watching the sunset in Bora Bora. I had serval surf and turf sandwiches in the patio grill near the pool. Ice cream, malts, shakes, and smoothies are free and delicious. So much fresh fruit and veggies! It was easy to eat healthy. I am gluten free/Celiac and never had a better experience with help with food. I could eat at every venue and stayed completely safe. That is a real accomplishment for a 10 day cruise. The wine and drinks by the glass were fantastic and cost 10 dollars or less. My husband does not drink so I just paid as I went and used my onboard ship credit for alcohol. All of the oceania excursions were closed when we booked late-so we arranged our own excursions. Some ahead of time, many at the peer! We paid Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The food and service on this cruise were fabulous. I could really not have asked for more or better. I was sad that we missed stopping in Huahine because of a heavy rain but that could not be avoided and I absolutely would recommend this ... Read More
The food and service on this cruise were fabulous. I could really not have asked for more or better. I was sad that we missed stopping in Huahine because of a heavy rain but that could not be avoided and I absolutely would recommend this trip to anyone! We expected bad weather and really had hardly any rain. The locals were wonderful, did a beautiful job welcoming the ship and the guests to each port. The food in Red Ginger might be the best food I have ever eaten in my life. I had the Lobster Pad Thai and my husband had the Chilean Sea Bass, both were delicious. We stayed at Chalet Tahiti one night on either end of trip and host, Jean Denis was amazing as well. If you stay in one of the other hotels you are better off booking it yourself rather than through the cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We very much enjoyed our first experience with Oceania on the Marina for the January 2019 Chile to Papeete cruise. We thought the value for the money was great. We had 9 sea days on our 18 day cruise and I found interesting things to ... Read More
We very much enjoyed our first experience with Oceania on the Marina for the January 2019 Chile to Papeete cruise. We thought the value for the money was great. We had 9 sea days on our 18 day cruise and I found interesting things to do everyday. The lectures offered (morning and afternoons) were informative and give us a better understanding of the region and its history. I loved the cooking classes, I attended 7! The evening entertainment was so/so but with friends along we had no trouble having fun talking, listening to music and enjoying adult beverages. We had a verandah cabin. While it was smaller than what we've sailed in previously (HAL Signature Suites) it met our needs. The furnishings were in good order and we thought the bathroom was well laid out and a good size for the cabin category. The only negative in my opinion was the location of the closets so close to the bedside, that was inconvenient at times. The cabin attendant did a good job but was the most crabby cruise ship employee I have ever encountered. It was the only time I have ever left a negative comment about an individual on a comment card. I really appreciated not having to wait for any type of seating. Whether it was a dining area, in a bar or around the pool there was always available seating. Beverage service was excellent with the exception of the indoor area of the Terrace Cafe. The food was wonderful with only a couple of misses the entire cruise. We ate in every restaurant with the exception of the couple extra fee venues. Service was prompt and friendly. Overall a very enjoyable cruise! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
There are now so many awful cruise reviews that despite not usually writing a review I am forced to do so to redress the balance Having read the reviews of Marina over time I believe that some people only go on a cruise so that they can ... Read More
There are now so many awful cruise reviews that despite not usually writing a review I am forced to do so to redress the balance Having read the reviews of Marina over time I believe that some people only go on a cruise so that they can complain about it afterwards whereas my only complaint for the trip as a whole is that it would have been much better had a number of ignorant, rude and objectionable passengers stayed at home. This is how I found the cruise. Ship We found the ship to be in excellent condition, well ran and well maintained. All of the staff we encountered went out of their way to be helpful and ensure that we were having a good time. We were in a Concierge Cabin on deck 9 Mid Ship and did not suffer from Vibration, excessive noise or too much rock and roll although at the front of the ship it was noticeably more so. Concierge lounge was good for early morning coffee and cake. There were a small number of children on board however this was not a cruise suitable for them. Cabins. Clean, comfortable and spaceous with sufficient storage and size of bathroom to satisfy most people. Despite the huge range of termperatures on this cruise it was neither too hot or too cold was always keep very tidy by the room attendant and suffered from no external noise problems. The bed was particularly comfortable and the choice of amenities of a good standard. Ideally, it could have had coffee making facilities but my only real complaint was the fact that during rough weather the closet rattled so much I had to wedge it closed. Restaurants We eat at all of the restaurants and found the food to be of a very good quality throughout. Service was equally good and there was a real desire by the staff to please the passengers on board. Alcoholic drinks were sometimes a little slow arriving however this was more to do with how this is organised with the Sommeliers being responsible for wine and therefore being fewer in number than the general waiting staff I had booked one visit to each of the speciality restaurants beforehand and was able to obtain additional bookings on board, 2 more at each, without problem. Our favourite was Red Ginger because of the exemplary levels of service as well as excellent food. Of note also is the Waves Grill which served excellent Sandwiches at lunchtime. Bars Most days we frequented the pool bar and in the evening Martinis. The service in the pool bar was great and staff again excellent. Martinis had an amazing Pianist called Andre Mieux who was by far the best entertainer on board the ship and the cocktails particularly the Big O, very good. We purchased the Prestige Select drinks package for the cruise and found that it was for us value for money particularly when a 25% surchange was applied to all drinks whilst in Brazilian waters on top of the 18% gratuity normally added to each drink Entertainment Proved to be a bit of a mixed bag with some which we liked other no so good Most people found that the shows are not the same on a small ship as in the West End or Vagas so will always generate comment. Personally I would have liked to have seen a little more local culture rather than acts such as An Evening with Allen. Enrichment Lectures I fell asleep at the only one I attended Shore Excursions Generally handled well by the staff on board with the booked tours getting off the ship first. Generally, they are expensive and most people we met preferred to take the chance and book their own. We did a mix of both however careful research is needed for a private tour and this takes time. Getting on and off. Mostly hassle free on embarkation less so on disembarkation due to the onward travel arrangements and large number of people. Overall this was an excellent cruise which was good value for money and I will definitely book another in future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We have traveled on Oceania before and loved it....and we still do! Everything about the crew, service, ship, etc was great, but the food left a bit to be desired. Certainly not bad, but not the finest. It was our only disappointment. ... Read More
We have traveled on Oceania before and loved it....and we still do! Everything about the crew, service, ship, etc was great, but the food left a bit to be desired. Certainly not bad, but not the finest. It was our only disappointment. Our Butler was incredibly attentive to our every need and the bartenders were great. We didn’t do any of the ship excursions cause we were fortunate to find wonderful friends and groups via cruise critic. We thought the entertainment was excellent— I don’t think one should expect a broadway show level of entertainment, cause you’re not going to find it on a small ship. For the size of ship we were very pleased. You find a lovely group of travelers of the socio economic level one would expect at this price point. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was our 4th cruise with Oceania so we are obviously biased. Although we have sailed on a few other ocean cruise lines and river cruise lines, we keep coming back to Oceania. The food is Fantastic, the service superb and the atmosphere ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with Oceania so we are obviously biased. Although we have sailed on a few other ocean cruise lines and river cruise lines, we keep coming back to Oceania. The food is Fantastic, the service superb and the atmosphere is very warm, casual and comfortable. It feels like a home away from home. We just completed an 18 day voyage (our longest cruise yet) and we wished we could have stayed longer. We met some very interesting and lovely passengers with whom we had much in common. Oceania seems to attract like minded customers. Information about ports and sites was timely and thorough. Local tour information was provided on board as well as on cctv. No guess work or Google searches required. There was plenty to do on board if one took the time to read the daily activity bulletin. Front desk staff were also very helpful when memory failed. Kudos to the staff, crew and management for a job very well done! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
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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