196 Oceania Insignia Cruise Reviews

Oceania cruises are great for couples (nothing interesting for children or singles) This cruise was from San Franciso to Santiago Chile, i.e. a 22-day section of a world cruise. In addition to embarkation and debarkation, we visited ... Read More
Oceania cruises are great for couples (nothing interesting for children or singles) This cruise was from San Franciso to Santiago Chile, i.e. a 22-day section of a world cruise. In addition to embarkation and debarkation, we visited these ports: Santa Barbara and San Diego in USA; Cabo, Ixtapa, Acapulco and Puerto Chapas in Mexico; Puerto Quetzel in Gautemala, Acajutla in El Salvador; Manta in Ecuador; Salavery, Lima and Pisco in Peru; and Coquimbo in Chile. The excursions were well managed, although frequently the standard of English was poor and in El Salvador, incomprehensible (We nevertheless appreciated the tour for what we saw and visited). The excursions must be bought in advance, from a group of 5 or more outings ranging from $100 up. However, recently, the ships also take good care of passengers setting out on their own (free shuttle bus into town, briefings, information sheets etc). The food is a main selling point of Oceania, with excellent , free, French/continental cuisine in the main dining room and two or more (depends on ship) specialty restaurants (on Insignia, Steak house and Italian). The informal buffet (Terrace Café) is also excellent at noon, but in the evening it serves exotic foreign dishes which you may wish to avoid depending on your tastes. There is also a good "fast food" outlet (Waves Grill) close to the pool, open till 4PM, and useful when arriving back from an excursion without having had lunch. On days at sea, There are excellent lectures (geopolitics, history, geography of the region), and bridge, ladies activities (petit-point etc). In the evening there is dancing to a good jazz band (on Insignia) and Chamber music quartet to accompany drinks before evening dinner. There are evening shows as well, to entertain those who don't want to watch a film or the news on the ships's TV, in their cabin. The Internet, with onboard WIFI has greatly improved over the years. And, reading on the balcony, or beside the pool, at sea, is wonderful!. There are no crowds or line-ups, particularly on the small ships (600pax). On the negative side, the main issue is the incongruant "ambiance" on board what is supposed to be an almost-luxury cruise. Oceania ships and staff are most elegant (even the room stewards change into black uniforms to fix up your bed in the evening) and the cuisine is at the top of a 'Luxury" category. But this refined ambiance is destroyed by the lack of a serious dress code for passengers, which Oceania advertises as "country club casual" but means "anything goes". Oceania habitués will wear a jacket for evening dinner or a cocktail with the Captain, but up to half the diners, mostly newbys, will be in shirt sleeves, no jacket, and a signifiicant number of men will be wearing a baseball cap. It makes one question why you are paying a substantial price for an elegant decor, upscale service, gastronomic restaurants and sophisticated enrichment activities when you are rubbing shoulders with a crowd that is dressed for beer call at a sports bar. For this, I rate "poor" value for money! The movies in cabins on Oceania ships, formerly multi-lingual DVDs, are now replaced by TV screens that don't accept DVDs. One is left with a limited, unchanging selection of English-only children's cartoons, horor films,etc. Nevertheless you can get NBC, Fox, BBC, and Sky for your news. Many of the passengers had mobility handicaps, requiring walkers, motorized wheel chairs etc. The staff, and many passengers, went out of their way to accomodate their problems. But they frequently caused delay during activites on board, and particulalry on excursions. This is not fair to others and oceania should be more vigilant in accepting them for activities they are unable to adequately pursue. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My TA had been suggesting that I try Oceania as I liked Celebrity. The stars aligned just right and my oldest son and his girl friend got the nod for this trip. So glad I did. Did not want to get off. Just love the smaller ship. We ... Read More
My TA had been suggesting that I try Oceania as I liked Celebrity. The stars aligned just right and my oldest son and his girl friend got the nod for this trip. So glad I did. Did not want to get off. Just love the smaller ship. We have had good service on other ships, but this was as good or better than any others. So nice to not have to pay for fancy coffee, or ice cream, or soft drinks. Our room included a complimentary bottle of champagne which I easily exchanged for a bottle of house red which I preferred. No problem in restocking my room supply on my own at the various ports, They then kept the mini-refrig full of mixers. Everything is so relaxed. I am generally pretty hyper and I was chill for this trip. I did one ship excursion, a regatta on the 12-Meter Stars And Strips while in St Marteen. Wind sucked on our race, but do recommend this excursion for anyone interested in sailing as we were on the actual boat that won back the America's Cup. When we got to Martinique, it was New Years day and everything was shut down. However, we just took the water taxi to Trois Islets. For $20 we got an umbrella and beach chairs. This is a European beach and not like Florida, but was a very nice way to spend a day. Do be prepared as the local language is French, but this really was no an issue. At St Lucia, I snagged a Kayak trip to the Marigot bay area. Highly recommend this trip. Went with DFH kayaking. We went back into the mangroves which was truly a trip to a jungle. Surprisingly, there were no bugs. This was an adventure. St Kitts was nice. We went on one of the open air buses for a trip to the rain forrest. Wanted to go to the beach but the rain nixed that. Local driver made the trip very pleasant. Antigua was the prettiest beach we saw. Take a taxi to the nearest beach for $15. He drops you off where a guide takes you to a beautiful beach with beach chairs and umbrellas for $20. Then at the agreed upon time our guide returned to take us back to the taxi to return to the ship in perfect time. Made for another relaxing beach day, and a lot cheaper than the ship cruises. We hit San Juan the day before a bunch of earthquakes hit. Hope they did not hurt the town. It was a lot nicer than when we were there two years ago after two hurricanes. This was our third trip to San Juan. I do not understand why cruise ships seem want to just stop for just a few hours. Too much time to just shop the local stores, but not long enough to really see Puerto Rico. Last stop was Great Stirrup Cay. My only comment is why stop there. Beach is OK, but this is a basic company island. All in all am trying to figure out when I can do this again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We originally booked this cruise intending to spend the holidays visiting Cuba, but when those plans were disrupted we opted to stay on Insignia to visit the Caribbean. We are glad we did. Ports included St. Barths, Martinique, St. ... Read More
We originally booked this cruise intending to spend the holidays visiting Cuba, but when those plans were disrupted we opted to stay on Insignia to visit the Caribbean. We are glad we did. Ports included St. Barths, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and San Juan, Puerto Rico. We booked private tours ashore and enjoyed the ports. It was our first time on Oceania, and on a cruise with so few passengers. We were unsure what to expect, but found the experience very pleasant. Due to the size of the ship, there was a lack of some excitement and entertainment options, but convenience, relaxation and service made up for that in our opinion. This is generally not a ship for kids or those wanting lots of options for shows and daytime fun. But, if you want a more relaxing experience, we found there were always plenty of comfortable lounges at the pool, the spa was very nice and there were many quiet nooks to read, including an impressive library. The casino is very small but we had a fun time there nonetheless. The ship was recently renovated and was very nicely appointed. There were tasteful holiday decorations everywhere. Service was excellent. Boarding was quick and disembarking in ports was easy, given there were just over 600 passengers. We stayed in a Penthouse level 3 cabin. It was spacious and comfortable. There was plenty of storage. The bathroom could have been a bit larger, but the shower was nice and storage was sufficient. The TV was very large with an excellent on demand entertainment system. We enjoyed several recent movies during the trip. Oceania keeps the mini bar stocked with non-alcoholic complimentary beverages and provides plenty of drinking water. Service from our butler and room attendants was excellent. Oceania prides itself on food, and we found that to be accurate. We enjoyed meals in the Main Dining, Italian and Steak House restaurants and were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the buffet - breakfast, lunch or dinner. The pool burger bar was an excellent lunch time option with made to order burgers and other sandwiches, as well as a nice salad bar and ice cream. Overall, we were pleased enough with the Oceania experience to book another cruise for Spring on the slightly larger Riviera. For us, we found the overall value good, given that many things are complimentary rather than upcharges, as on other cruise lines: specialty dining, internet, soft drinks, laundry for Penthouse guests. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This year, we dumped Viking, after a decade, because of the recent cutbacks to their on-board experience. We were delighted to find none of those annoyances on Insignia. The food is outstanding. We enjoyed trying a lot of ... Read More
This year, we dumped Viking, after a decade, because of the recent cutbacks to their on-board experience. We were delighted to find none of those annoyances on Insignia. The food is outstanding. We enjoyed trying a lot of "luxury" foods that we don't have at home: oysters Rockefeller; caviar; lobster, escargot, filet mignon, etc. And we enjoyed the wide variety of fresh fruits, especially the berries. We cruise for the destinations, and on this trip they were excellent. Our favourites were Manaus, Alter Do Chao, Devil's Island, and Trinidad. Just cruising on the largest river in the world was spectacular. There was lots of variety in evening entertainment in the theatre; some suited our tastes while others did not. However the quality overall was excellent. The staff musicians were the best we've heard on any cruise ship: Constantin was amazing on piano; the jazz quartet with saxophone was superb, as was the string quartet. Sandy Cares does all the enrichment lectures and port talks and is exceptional. Service throughout the ship was attentive and professional. We appreciated that staff members approached their jobs with a quiet competency. Everyone was friendly, but there was none of the gushing, effusive greetings that we heard from Viking's staff all day long. We were most impressed that Oceania hired several people who were able to sign for a group of about 30 deaf people who came on this cruise. As a result, those handicapped guests were able to enjoy everything that happened on and off the ship as much as anyone else. We spent a lot of time on deck 10, the sports deck, and enjoyed being able to run on the track, and play shuffleboard and nine hole mini-golf. We also liked the various lounges throughout the ship. Most contain high back chairs that are very comfortable to sit (or snooze) in. The library is huge and is absolutely magnificent. It is well-stocked with hundreds of hard-cover books, many of them being recent best-sellers. As well, there is a whole bookcase of Lonely Planet travel books dealing with all of Oceania's destinations. Certainly, the cost of an Oceania cruise is higher than with HAL, NCL, etc. However, that's to be expected when you are on a ship that holds 625 guests instead of a few thousand. And we also like the fact that we are not two-bitted for basics such as WiFi, all day non-alcoholic drinks, use of the laundry room, and specialty restaurant bookings. Any negatives worth mentioning are caused by the ship's design. There are sometimes long line-ups in the buffet restaurant and at the gangway while trying to embark the ship after shore excursions. That's because of the narrowness of the aisles in those areas. As far as the staterooms go, you get what you pay for. We hate reading negative comments from people who choose a cheaper room and then complain that they don't like the size. Everyone can read the exact square-footage of every room on the ship before they book. A deck 3 porthole room was fine for us because we were only in it to sleep and shower. Contrary to some of the exaggerated reviews we've read, although the bathroom is small, you don't have to leave the door open in order to sit comfortably on the toilet (unless perhaps you're a 300 pounder). Two years ago, Oceania did a superb job of renovating the entire ship. Everything is sparkling new and now, Insignia is one of the most elegant cruise ships we have been on. We would recommend Oceania without reservations, and are booked on cruises with them in 2020 and 2021. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
i actually did not choose this cruise. we were joining friends, who had chosen this cruise for its cuba itinerary. we were quite reluctant to sign on because oceania charges SO much for their cruises, and the price was very very high! ... Read More
i actually did not choose this cruise. we were joining friends, who had chosen this cruise for its cuba itinerary. we were quite reluctant to sign on because oceania charges SO much for their cruises, and the price was very very high! when the itinerary was changed, and cuba was no longer included in the route, the price dropped significantly, and even though oceania would have given us a full refund had we chosen to cancel, we opted to stay on board. we had already booked a holland american cruise out of fort lauderdale to combine with the oceania cruise. so, we thought it would be interesting to compare a luxury line (as oceania claims it is) with a mainstream experience on holland america we got to the port around noon. even though we were told that boarding would not be till 3pm, we were quite surprised that we were able to walk right on (btw, there is no welcome glass of champagne upon boarding) because it was early we were surprised to see hosw crowded the ship was. staterooms were not yet ready, so we were told that we could sit in the terrace cafe and enjoy lunch. well, good luck with that! the buffet area was completely packed with people...there was not a seat to be had. for most of the cruise, the weather was often rainy. not having the outdoor areas available for seating, made public areas on the ship crowded. oceania includes some perks that other lines often do not. our cruise came with two free perks: free wifi is automatically given as one of the perks, and you can choose free shore excursions (many of the excursions do not qualify in the "free" excursions list) or free classic drink package or $200 shipboard credit. we chose the drink package as our second perk. the classic drink package has limited value, because only house wine/beer/spirits are included AND only at lunch or dinner. we upgraded to the premium package as soon as we boarded the ship ($20 per person per day extra). having self service laundry was very much appreciated. there is no charge for the specialty restaurants, but guests only can dine in these venues a set number of times depending on length of cruise. we had dinner in the polo grille the first night onboard. the food was somewhat better than average , however the service was rushed. i think that because every passenger has the opportunity to dine in the specialty restaurants, these restaurants are very full...it is actually quite difficult to get a reservation at a decent time. it felt like servers just wanted diners to get in and get out so they could reload, with one course not even being finished and the next being placed in front of you as well. there are not many places to have a drink before dinner. basically only two options. most nights we had to lurk a bit, waiting for someone to leave, so we could grab their seats. sandy cares was the enrichment speaker. she was full of life and we enjoyed her talks and her enthusiasm. the cruise director led a sweet and simple church service on sunday morning, and we thought it was great that this was available. food, overall, was pretty much the same quality as we experienced on holland america and other ships we've been on. oceania definitely could improve its options in the food department. the menu in dining room often repeated options day after day. and cookies in the coffee shop offered no variety, but were the same each day. the atmosphere on oceania is not festive, but quite sober. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
First off we are loyal Holland America customers. On average spend about four months a year on Holland. But the food quality has been slipping so bad we thought let's try another cruise line. Oceania claims to be the best food at sea. ... Read More
First off we are loyal Holland America customers. On average spend about four months a year on Holland. But the food quality has been slipping so bad we thought let's try another cruise line. Oceania claims to be the best food at sea. So it seemed like an obvious choice! First off is the ship itself. Honestly, they have done an amazing job refurbishing the ship and it is truly gorgeous. The interior design is a real wow! Everything they use from the dishes to silverware to glassware is of high quality. The cruise line didn't seem to cut any corners when it came to the actual ship and hard finishes. The ship is small but has everything one needs. The staff does not match the quality of the ship. Overall I felt the staff was cold and distant. Nobody seemed to have a clue about what they were doing. Service in the dining room was scattered and always in a panic. No coffee refills, the time between courses was completely inconsistent and cold food!! It was like nobody there had ever worked in fine dining before. Throughout the ship, I wouldn't say I ever felt welcome or attended to. Ignored most of the time on purpose. Poolside nobody ever helped you, offered a drink or even bothered to acknowledge your existence. Our room attendant never knew our name and barely ever even greeted us. When she did, it was obviously painful. Over the course of one week, I was never once acknowledged by name by anyone. On Holland your room attendants always greet you by name, the dining room manager always knows your name and cabin number. The cabin was literally a closet!! It was so small you could not move! Literally to sit on the toilet you had to leave the bathroom door open as the toilet is angled towards the door. The shower is so small no reasonable size person could fit in it. The bed linens were nothing special. our mattress was lumpy and feather pillows couldn't have been more flat. Now the food they rave about so much. Trust me there is nothing to rave about. It's all mediocre at best. The food is cold, there are no vegetables anywhere, and the portions are tiny. The dining room serves the same stuff every night as does the buffet. The worst meals were the specialty restaurants. Polo grill was beyond disgusting. A tableside ceasar salad with dressing from a jar? What's the poiint!!! Escargot with no shells? Clam chower was like water. I could go on for days on how bad the food was. I have no idea what person thinks they have award-winning food! The fellow passengers on this cruise were not at all what I expected. Looked like a trailer park took a cruise. Most had never even been on a cruise and dressed like a bunch of slobs. Nobody followed any dress code rules and the staff totally overlooked it. It was embarrassing and irritating for those of us who did follow dress code. Overall Don't make the mistake of going on Oceania!! It's a complete ripoff and you will be sorry. Low-end cruising with high-end pricing. Complete joke. Never again! We will go back to Holland America any day over Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
After 45 cruises, the sale prices on Caribbean cruises due to the cancellation of Cuban cruises and the luxury, premier branding of Oceania convinced us to try the Insignia. The ship itself is truly a classic beauty! Unfortunately, we did ... Read More
After 45 cruises, the sale prices on Caribbean cruises due to the cancellation of Cuban cruises and the luxury, premier branding of Oceania convinced us to try the Insignia. The ship itself is truly a classic beauty! Unfortunately, we did not experience the premier service and the excellence of food that Oceania advertises. The food in the Grand Dining room was okay: choices were very limited when compared to other lines; meat quality was low and bordered on tasteless; and Seafood seemed to be prepared without any seasoning. The buffet was pretty much the same, as it serves the same food as the Grand Dining room. Service in the Grand Dining room was extremely slow and impersonal. Service in the buffet which has no self-service option, is also slow with servers often just staring into space while you wait to be served, The culinary highlights are the specialty restaurants, Toscano and Polo Grille, and surprisingly, Waves grille. Service was good to great in the locations and the food matched. They were the best specialty restaurants we’ve experienced! And Waves burgers were excellent! The cabin was very good and comfortable except for the tiny bathroom and shower. Oceania includes free sodas in the cabin refrigerator, but we had to ask for refills. No mention was made of fruit in the room, which is a nice option on other lines. The itinerary was okay. We weren’t able to dock in Roatan or Harvest Caye and had to tender. Tendering was handled well. Cozumel excursions from the ship are very limited and the Destination Services desk knew next to nothing about beaches in the area. Thankfully, the WiFi was okay and we were able to research beaches! The Jolly Roger Catamaran snorkeling tour in Roatan was fantastic. Clear, warm, blue water and a beautiful reef! The food served was good and the rum flowed. Harvest Caye is the only private island that we’ve been to where there isn’t any free food or drink options. Oceania says if you want free food or drink, simply walk right back onboard since Harvest Caye has its own dock. But alas, there’s a giant NCL ship at the dock and Insignia tenders, The beach was overcrowded, the water wasn’t clear, but the zip-lines were great. Costa Maya was okay, but given its limitations and crowds, it’s amazing that cruise lines still go there. Onboard activities are next to nothing. Good luck finding something to do on a rainy sea day! In the evenings, there are no lounge bands in the bars. But there is a string quartet in the atrium. Really, are we waiting for an iceberg? The ships singers and dancers were good, but their voices were often drowned out by the band. The guest entertainment was an electric harpest. Interesting the first night, but 2 nights! Ugh! The comedian was a dud, with more people walking out than staying and she also got 2 nights! Oceania definitely needs to step up the entertainment onboard. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Heard about quality of this cruise line and price was right. The food was as good as promised. The specialty restaurant (free) Toscana was simply outstanding. The grand dinning room and the buffet were also above average. The ship ... Read More
Heard about quality of this cruise line and price was right. The food was as good as promised. The specialty restaurant (free) Toscana was simply outstanding. The grand dinning room and the buffet were also above average. The ship was nicely appointed and the crew was very good. The small size (680 passangers) was both an advantage and disadvantage. More crew to passangers, but entertainment was limited and sometimes not good. The boarding and disembarkment were very smooth. Our Taxi was right in front of our exit and was available when we got off. The Balcony (Concierge) cabin was rather small (216 sq.ft.). The shower was incredibly small and I'm only 5'10". We had the absolutely best Cruise Director of the 15+ cruises, Carson Turner. He put on a show of his own about Broadway and he had a great voice and even better banter with the audience. It was the highlight of the cruise. The lecturer on Mayan and Aztec civilations was quite good ( Susan Cares) We toured a Mayan ruin when we were in Costa Maya. The guide was really good and the ruins were impressive. This culture has been an interest of mine. All in all I would cruise Oceania again if the price is right. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this as an add on cruise after going transatlantic on celebrity silhouette which was great. We had been on Crystal in February and had been highly recommended Oceania by friends so We thought Wed try it and compare. ... Read More
We chose this as an add on cruise after going transatlantic on celebrity silhouette which was great. We had been on Crystal in February and had been highly recommended Oceania by friends so We thought Wed try it and compare. Embarkation didn’t go smoothly as neither the travel agent or the cruise company let us know where they were leaving from and we were asking all up and down the docks and no one seemed to know. We booked an outside cabin and we felt it was tiny. Hard to get in and out of the shower. The entertainment was poor and they didn’t change the entertainers...citing, back by popular demand for the comedienne...we had already walked out of her first show. The best show was about the life and journey of the entertainment director. A member of staff in the little buffet beside the pool was extremely rude to us and we had missed breakfast so were a bit confused about getting something to eat. The food was our biggest complaint. One of us is dairy free , something most ships take in their stride, but this ship would wait till I was sitting at the table(and I filled in my menu 48 hours in advance) and tell me that almost everything I picked was not possible!!! Can’t be bothered more like. This ruined many mealtimes for me and I’ve never felt like that on Cunard celebrity or p and o...who will let me know way ahead if something can’t be done and recommend something else....finally I blew up but had to wait three hours before I could even speak to someone from pursers...not THE purser...who as I expected said sorry I’ll bring it up at the next meeting. I’ve had no written apology whatsoever or any further comments...not what you expect from this class of ship. Room service was great and 50% of restaurant staff okay...most don’t know basic things like checking if your food is okay and if it isn’t asking if they can get you something else...this happened when we both ordered lamb chops and couldn’t get them cut...so we went hungry.. Ports were caribean and the two tender days it took so long to get off we didn’t even bother. At night going for drinks the only music is in the piano bar but there are only about 30 seats so we could never get a seat so we would go upstairs and there was no music. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Originally scheduled for Cuban ports, Insignia had to change its itinerary. We were offered a big discount to sail to the Western Caribbean. Cozumel, Roatan, Belize and Costa Maya were substituted. None of these ports was very ... Read More
Originally scheduled for Cuban ports, Insignia had to change its itinerary. We were offered a big discount to sail to the Western Caribbean. Cozumel, Roatan, Belize and Costa Maya were substituted. None of these ports was very interesting. Because of the change each port of call was mobbed with 3 or 4 mega ships already docked. In two ports we had to tender. We chose to stay onboard several times. The ship has just refitted and looks beautiful. Our PH cabin was classified as “obstructed view”. A very small upper corner of our veranda was cut off. This was hardly noticeable and provided extra privacy since we abutted a suite and we had a solid wall separating our balconys. The cabin was quiet - almost no food traffic outside our door. Dining in Toscana and Polo was outstanding. The Terrace cafe was excellent, providing grilled lobster tails, shrimp and lamb chops every night. The Grand Dining room is lovely but the menus are just not thrilling. Sometimes we were at a loss as to what to order. For breakfast we had our butler serve in our cabin. It was great. He did a beautiful presentation and the food selection was good. Entertainment was what we anticipated for a small ship. The musical productions were very good. The cruise director, Carson, did an excellent musical show. We didn’t care for the comedian and left after 5 or 10 minutes as did many others. Since we usually sail on Riviera we missed the other two specialty restaurants and I missed the Culinary Center where I always take one of the fun classes. Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived at 11:00 and were dining at Waves grill by 11:20. Disembarkation was equally easy. Our bags were ready and a porter took them to our car in the lot across the street. Service throughout was polite and cheerful. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise to join friends. The ship is lovely, the service is impeccable, and the food is DELICIOUS!! However, when they say free WiFi is included, don't get excited. Only one device can log into WiFi at a time and it is ... Read More
We chose this cruise to join friends. The ship is lovely, the service is impeccable, and the food is DELICIOUS!! However, when they say free WiFi is included, don't get excited. Only one device can log into WiFi at a time and it is painfully slow. This made it difficult to communicate with each other. Of course, you can upgrade for a price. :) One small issue is the need for late night food. It would have been nice to have pizza or snacks offered after 10 p.m. That being said, room service was available. We had everything we needed in our state room and the bed was luxurious! We slept well each night. Disembarkation went smoothly at every port. We were provided with all the excursion information we needed as well as beach towels and bottled water. I was pleased to find an umbrella in the closet which we used for the blazing Caribbean sun. It's a small ship so there weren't as many activities on board, but the entertainment was quite enjoyable. I want to give a "shout-out" to specific staff members. We received impeccable service in the dining room from Eric, Sara, and Madaleidy. We also received wonderful service at the pool from Alejandra and Naveen. In reality, EVERYONE on the ship was well trained to give amazing service. We could not have asked for better. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this ship for the size, since we do not like the mega-sized ships. It did not disappoint! Never lines, never felt overly crowded. Everything was wonderful. The decor throughout the ship is lovely. It is elegant, but not stuffy, ... Read More
We chose this ship for the size, since we do not like the mega-sized ships. It did not disappoint! Never lines, never felt overly crowded. Everything was wonderful. The decor throughout the ship is lovely. It is elegant, but not stuffy, with plenty of lounges, etc. The casino was a nice size too, although it did not seem that many used it. The staff worked so hard to make our trip special and everyone was very attentive. Our meals were excellent. Only one night I ordered a fish dish that was not very good. Other than that, we enjoyed the food. Portion sizes were just perfect. The buffet had many varieties of dishes to please everyone. I particularly liked that the staff served everything from the buffet -- much more hygienic. Everything ran smoothly. This cruise line definitely is geared toward an older crowd. I am in my late 50's and I was one of the younger passengers. For us, it was no bother. Everyone we met were well-traveled and very interesting! This was our first Oceania cruise and it will not be the last!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Just off Insignia from an 11-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary. This was our 44th cruise overall, but first on Oceania. While there were some things to like on this cruise, we were underwhelmed overall. We do not plan on cruising on O ... Read More
Just off Insignia from an 11-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary. This was our 44th cruise overall, but first on Oceania. While there were some things to like on this cruise, we were underwhelmed overall. We do not plan on cruising on O again, and certainly not on the R-class ships. Details follow; see near the bottom for comments on accessibility (ADA) features: The Good: Service was very good to excellent, reminding us of what Celebrity used to be like 15 years ago or so. Many of the wait staff and bar servers knew us by name and also knew our preferences before the cruise was half over. There were a couple service errors, but the experience was quite impressive on the whole. Despite its small size, Insignia rarely felt crowded. There was plenty of space for everyone in the lounges and the Terrace Cafe. Oceania also actively polices chair-hogging on the pool deck. I could head up at 1 PM on a sunny sea day and find an available lounger. I will miss that on future cruises – on most other cruise lines the pool deck loungers are 100% full with books, towels, beach bags – but no people – by 8:30 AM. Pool loungers also come with thick padding and armrests. Towels do not need to be signed out. There was a very good selection of wines by the glass, along with dedicated sommeliers to serve them. The bed was very comfortable and the pillows were fine. The oversized sheet was appreciated. The duvet was much too heavy for a tropical itinerary, but Insignia is not the only ship we’ve been on that has this problem. The A/C in the cabin worked very well; this is the first Caribbean cruise I can recall where we did not have it set on maximum cool for the entire cruise. That said, the cost-saving habit of reducing the A/C in the middle of the night is alive and well on Insignia. News flash: many older folks don’t sleep as well as they did when younger. We were up in the middle of the night and felt the lack of cooling. I’m guessing that we were not the only ones. The enrichment lecturer, Sandy Cares, was both entertaining and informative. One of the best we’ve encountered. The Not-So-Good: Despite the Caribbean itinerary, there was very little fun to be had on this ship. Let’s face it folks, the Caribbean is not the right part of the world to feature cruises where destination is the primary focus and onboard activities are (very) secondary. But that is exactly the product that Oceania delivered. Entertainment was scarce and mediocre. There was an adequate string quartet. There was a pianist who never sang or interacted with the “crowd.” The Insignia singers were enthusiastic and had their moments, but there was ultimately nothing outstanding or memorable there. Finally, there was the show band. Their sets were short and heavily oriented towards jazz or classic dance music (tangos, rumbas, cha-chas, etc.). There was no island music to be had. Anywhere. Jazz sets on the pool deck? In the middle of the day? In the Caribbean? Yep. Now we come to the food, one of Oceania’s major selling points. Some of the food was indeed better than what is available now on Celebrity, Holland America, Norwegian, Princess, Royal Caribbean, or Carnival. But the truth is that nothing stood out as all that much better. The difference was either incremental or nil. Some of the selections would have been very hard for us to distinguish from food on these other lines. And, as many frequent cruisers will acknowledge, food quality better than that on the larger cruise lines is a pretty low bar to clear these days. If we were served the typical fare on Insignia in an upscale land restaurant we would not publicly complain, but we would also not return. Miscellaneous (neither good nor bad): Insignia is the first ship we’ve been on where the Captain did not really fit the stereotype of a suave brand ambassador. He was much more a working Captain who did not seem entirely comfortable interacting with the passengers. I don’t believe that there was a Staff Captain on Insignia which may be a partial explanation. Similarly, we’ve never been on a ship before where some of the crew had more than one job. The singers doubled as social-hostesses and assistant cruise directors. Sommeliers worked as baristas in the mornings. And some of the folks serving behind the line at the Terrace Café during breakfast and lunch morphed into waiters or assistant waiters at dinner. Interesting. Accessibility: My wife has long grappled with MS and has reached a point where she requires shower seats, grab bars, and room for her mobility scooter. Accordingly we always sail in cabins with ADA features. Our cabin was well-outfitted with such features, including one of the best ADA showers we’ve encountered on a ship. There was virtually no leakage onto the bathroom floor (which completely floods on many ships) and the seat was positioned in a manner that made the shower controls easily accessible while seated. Kudos to Oceania for thoroughly thinking these things through. Unfortunately, the only cabins with these features are insides on Oceania’s version of the R-class. We would have paid up for a better category had there been a choice. Plus, this particular cabin was completely decorated in various shades of gray, with no art on the walls to break the monotony. Overall a depressing experience – like being in a large, dimly lit closet. Outside the cabin, accessibility fell short. The elevators were very small and barely accommodated my wife’s scooter. And the doors to the open decks/pool deck had very high jambs to get over, high enough that my wife was concerned that she would damage her scooter (which we own) by driving over them. For that reason, she never went on the pool deck, which was a significant limitation. Yes, the R-ships are quite old by today’s standards. But reducing the accessibility barriers to the open decks could have been addressed during her recent refurbishment. The accessible cabins were certainly upgraded at that time. Conclusions: Oceania often sails to more unusual or exotic ports. For those cruises, positioning the ship as an upscale floating hotel makes a certain amount of sense. For the Caribbean, however, the floating hotel model simply does not work IMO. You need a floating resort with lively music (and island music!), games, piano bars, etc. In short, Caribbean cruises need to be fun. And whatever else this cruise may have been, it cannot be described as “fun.” If the food had really been head and shoulders above that of the large cruise lines then the combination of food and service might have been enough to save the day. But alas, the food was either pretty much the same or only slightly better than the offerings available elsewhere at sea. Although the service onboard was clearly better than on other ships, that in and of itself was not enough to tip the balance for us. We will return to the larger lines/ships, enjoy the fun, and set our food & service expectations appropriately for today’s cruise reality. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We have cruise many times with Oceania and have never been disappointed. In fact, whenever we cruise with another line, we can't wait to get back to Oceania. The crew and staff on the Insignia make the trip a most relaxing, care ... Read More
We have cruise many times with Oceania and have never been disappointed. In fact, whenever we cruise with another line, we can't wait to get back to Oceania. The crew and staff on the Insignia make the trip a most relaxing, care free and enjoyable experience. Service is second to none and you rarely see a crew member without a smile on their face or a pleasant greeting. The cabins are very comfortable with great beds and more than ample storage. Love the new decor after the recent renovation...very bright and pleasant. Even though the bathrooms are small, there is again good storage space. The new glass shower door is an improvement, however the shower is still tight. After a few showers, you figure out the best way to position yourself. The cuisine is awesome. The Grand dining room, Polo and Tuscana are wonderful, but our favorite is the Terrace Cafe. The Terrace is a buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner, hardly ever crowded, can eat either inside or outside, the selections are many and varied, can get made to order lobster, shrimp, steak or fish, can try small portions of several items and the service is impeccable. Waves grill is an outdoor venue specializing in made to order burgers, dogs, cubans, reubens, salads, smoothies, shakes, malts and ice cream. Went to the shows every night. The ship's and guest entertainers are very good and the shows enjoyable. More singing of popular songs and not as much dancing from the ship's group which we like. Afternoon Tea is very nice and relaxing...would highly recommend. Twice nightly happy hours at Martini's and Horizon is a nice touch. Self service laundry on board. Bottom line is that a cruise on the Insignia or for that matter, any Oceania vessel, might just be the perfect cruise experience. Thanks Oceania for thinking of all the right moves. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was my first cruise on any line. My sister and I traveled together. We are both close to 60. I chose Oceania because friends said that the big cruise ships require standing in long lines, and I have some health issues that ... Read More
This was my first cruise on any line. My sister and I traveled together. We are both close to 60. I chose Oceania because friends said that the big cruise ships require standing in long lines, and I have some health issues that won't allow me to do that. In fact, we just walked through the embarkation process with no line at all! Our cabin was beautiful in colors of blue and silver. The bed was the star of the trip! The mattress and linens were spectacular. Our cabin maid was happy to change our pillowcases every night, at our request. The food was always good and often exceptional. We enjoyed all the fresh fish and seafood. It was easy to make healthy choices with a wide selection of salads, vegetables, fruit and fish. There was always a vegetarian choice, a gluten-free selection and a dessert that had no-sugar-added. We appreciated that portion sizes were moderate and desserts were small. Since we could always request more, it made it easy to eat well. The service was exceptional in every venue. The entertainment was somewhat limited, but entertaining. The string quartet and the show band were very good. The enrichment lectures with Sandy Cares were a highlight for me. I loved learning about the places we would be visiting. She was funny, lively and very interesting. I had a wonderful walking tour of Old San Juan following her suggestions. The cooking demonstration by the head chef and the chef for Toscana was not only fascinating, but also very funny. The service was very attentive and responsive to complaints and suggestions. There were ample staff to be very personalized. The staff members were all friendly and eager to serve. The spa was expensive, but good. We found the Oceania-sponsored excursions to be well worth the money. They were well-organized and the guides were excellent. We spend a day or two on our own ashore. We would certainly go again! It was a relaxing and memorable time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our first cruise with Oceania. We knew it was going to be an exceptional cruise when we breezed through check in. There were no lines at the terminal. Our room was ready as soon as we stepped on board and our luggage was ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Oceania. We knew it was going to be an exceptional cruise when we breezed through check in. There were no lines at the terminal. Our room was ready as soon as we stepped on board and our luggage was delivered in minutes. What a surprise it was to find my husband's favorite Coke Zero already chilling in the mini refrigerator! The room was beautifully furnished in shades of blue and there was plenty of storage space. The bed was very comfortable. Soft-closing drawers and cabinet doors, no-fog mirrors, plush robes and slippers were nice extras. Our room steward was friendly and polite, and we were always amazed to come back from meals and excursions to find our room made up and our beverages re-stocked. The food in all the venues was outstanding. Polo Grill and Toscana were so memorable that we tried (but failed) to get another reservation to either one. The selections were extensive in both the Main Dining Room and at Terrace Cafe (buffet). We appreciated that there were always vegan, gluten-free, and "healthier" items at every meal. Food in the buffet was plated for you, which I thought was more sanitary than self-service. Everything I had was so delicious. My husband indulged in prawns, lobster and caviar, which made him feel like a king. The staff in all dining areas were always so attentive. Our water glasses and coffee cups were refilled constantly. We loved going to Baristas for juice, lattes, and sweet or savory snacks, and experiencing our first English tea time in Horizons. Lectures by Sandy Cares were very informational and the topics were surprisingly eclectic. Who else could make pirates and bananas so interesting?!! The evening performers were quite entertaining. We marveled at the magician and laughed till we cried with the comedian. His lecture on the history of comedy was insightful and funny. The singers and musicians were very talented. This cruise lines skews towards a more mature crowd. We saw only two passengers below 13, and they were traveling with their parents and grandparents. They seemed to be enjoying the trip, even without water slides and climbing rocks. We had such a wonderful time on insignia that we booked our next cruise while onboard, and we can't wait till we get another opportunity to be treated so well. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
There were three stops on this cruise that were not worth one hour much less a day!Trois Rivieres,Quebec, Corner Brook,Newfoundland to name two. The food in the main dining room was mediocre at best and the service there was poor. I ... Read More
There were three stops on this cruise that were not worth one hour much less a day!Trois Rivieres,Quebec, Corner Brook,Newfoundland to name two. The food in the main dining room was mediocre at best and the service there was poor. I have cruised Oceania many times and felt this is no longer a first class experience. On sail aways, like from New York, all they had was a band and no wine or champagne like they used to. The food in the two special restaurants was excellent...Toscana and Polo. The service in these was excellent but you are limited to two nights at each on a 17 day cruise! The Concierge "Suites" in this ship, Insignia, are very small..especially for a 17 day or linger cruise. Note that if you take the 8 "free" excursions and you are a couple that means on four excursions each! Any additional and you pay extra. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this cruise because of the ports it included specifically Quebec City, Charlottetown, New York, and Bermuda. The rest I didn’t really care one way or another. Both Charlottetown and Bermuda were cancelled - not Oceania’s fault ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the ports it included specifically Quebec City, Charlottetown, New York, and Bermuda. The rest I didn’t really care one way or another. Both Charlottetown and Bermuda were cancelled - not Oceania’s fault for Bermuda - weather was bad. Substituted Corner Brook,Nfld for Charlottetown- not impressed - never heard a reason. 2 other Canadian ports were cancelled due to high winds and they were tender ports. I am travelling solo and this is not the ship to do that on. Entertainment is boring - music is boring. Most passengers are very “old.” I am a senior too but most of the passengers were “old” even for me and everyone was in pairs. Some people were friendly others were not. They had a meet and greet for solo travellers - 2 of the men that showed up were cousins travelling together - both were married - so not solo. One man and one woman were travelling together - so not solo. Just because they weren’t married doesn’t mean they were alone. 3 that showed up were part of the entertainment group - and knew each other well - so not solo. I don’t mind being alone but the staff made you feel awkward sometimes because you took up a table. I guess some people don’t understand those of us that like to be alone. The problem was because the weather was cold no one was using the outside tables. Everyone seems to like Oceania’s food but I wasn’t overly impressed. One chef they had working the grill was not very pleasant - and lucky me - he was the one I always got to take my order. They had too many waiters sometimes - clearing plates before you were finished with them. The hours their restaurants serve is too restricted. Breakfast ends too early - if you don’t eat by 10 am you have to eat at lunch. And, if you are late for lunch because you went ashore your only option was the outside grill if it was before 4 pm. They had 2 nights with a red ginger theme - and I ate in my room the second night because I didn’t like anything on the menu. Never used my reservations for the specialty restaurants- couldn’t imagine sitting there by myself. They often had snacks in other areas but they were all carbs - pastries, cakes. I have read other reviews about the passengers on the world cruise being cliquey- and I agree. They have games they play just for them. Cabin bed and linens are great. The steward looking after my room was great - very efficient. But after a few days I started to smell a “sewer like” smell on my floor. ?? Not sure what that was all about. Very limited shopping available. Sell on-board cruises like crazy. Most other people seemed to like Oceania- so maybe I am the odd one. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was 3rd Oceania Cruise, second on this ship. The selections in the Main Dining Room were very good on our previous Oceania Cruises so we expected a similar experience on this cruise. This was not to be. The food was good generally, ... Read More
This was 3rd Oceania Cruise, second on this ship. The selections in the Main Dining Room were very good on our previous Oceania Cruises so we expected a similar experience on this cruise. This was not to be. The food was good generally, the buffet and specialty restaurants were excellent but getting additional reservations in the specialty restaurants beyond the Two which came with our cabin category was impossible except for very late seatings. The Main dining room food was generally tasty BUT the choices on the menu were very limited with prime rib, lobster or other expensive cuts very seldom being seen on the menu. The Oceania Accountants have seemed to taken the position that if you want the good food you better buy the expensive cabins so you get more seatings in the specialty restaurants. Never let the bean counters run the menu! The rest of the cruise was fine except the weather caused us to miss three of the ports which was not the fault of Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First off, I want to congratulate Oceania on the updated interior of the Insignia, The interior decorators did a fabulous job making the ship brighter and warmer. We had a Concierge verandah and the cabin, though on the small side, was ... Read More
First off, I want to congratulate Oceania on the updated interior of the Insignia, The interior decorators did a fabulous job making the ship brighter and warmer. We had a Concierge verandah and the cabin, though on the small side, was extremely comfortable with a great bed, linens and towels. With the addition of shower doors, the small shower was a non-issue for us. This was our 3rd Oceania cruise(Nautica and Riviera previously) and we thought the food was the best of all 3! We ate 4 times in the speciality restaurants and for the 1st time I finally had a delicious steak in Polo(other several times on previous cruises the steaks in Polo were almost unedible). We ate the rest off our dinners in the GDR and thought the food and service was excellent. Yes,the waiters seemed somewhat overworked, but overall we enjoyed the GDR over The Terrace because it was less hectic. The menu is smaller, but if it didn’t appeal to us, we ordered the Jacques Pepiin salmon or chicken.(The chicken was perfect). The ship was incredibly clean and housekeeping did a great job keeping our cabin(7041) spotless. The cruise itself hit a lot of ports(Boston, Bar Harbor and Quebec were are favorites) It would be fantastic if the ship overnighted in Boston and Quebec City and missed some of the minor ports(we didn’t go to Sydney to outrun Dorian). The only entertainment we went to was the comedian who was very funny. Out of our approximately 35 cruises(about 20 on Celebrity) we thought this was one the very best! Again, Bravo Oceania! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Loved the ports of call. Love the size of the ship. We wanted to sail up the eastern seaboard. You feel like you belong to a family when coming on board an Oceania cruise ship. The crew are very helpful and can’t do enough ... Read More
Loved the ports of call. Love the size of the ship. We wanted to sail up the eastern seaboard. You feel like you belong to a family when coming on board an Oceania cruise ship. The crew are very helpful and can’t do enough for you. Embarkation was very easy and the ground staff were very friendly and helpful. One criticism is that the cost of the shore excursions are disproportionately expensive. The cabins are fairly well appointed but the balcony on this particular cabin was very exposed and it was extremely noisy and disturbing when the anchor was activated especially first thing in the morning.. At breakfast there was only an option of vegetarian sausage once in the ten day voyage. Generally the food was excellent. We love cruising with Oceania and will always look to cruise with them as our first option. Your cruise director was very entertaining and kept you well informed of what was happening on and off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Worse cruise I have ever been on. Choose Insignia for the 8 day trip to Bermuda to celebrate my husband's retirement, During embarkation the ship does not except *Credit Debit*cards as form of payment for any on board charges. So ... Read More
Worse cruise I have ever been on. Choose Insignia for the 8 day trip to Bermuda to celebrate my husband's retirement, During embarkation the ship does not except *Credit Debit*cards as form of payment for any on board charges. So we had to cancel most of our shore excursions to have credit applied to our room to pay for crew tips. The casino was very small and never had enough staff to operate the roulette table. I was expecting amazing food because they promoted it so strongly. Most food was average, but a lot was so terrible and uneatable, I sent it back and went up to the buffet. The food was the worse part of the trip, but a very close second was activities on the boat. Worse cruise director that I have and anytime. Never saw him at all. No activities at all. Such an incredible boring time!! No ice carving, no fruit carving, nothing to do at all. All shows were scheduled very late, mostly 10 or 11 pm?? Can't really think of anything good about the trip. Don't waste your money for the promise of luxury and best food on the sea--because it is all a disappointment!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We booked this cruise as a less expensive alternative to flying down and staying a few nights in a $1200 a night room in one of the resorts down in Bermuda. The itinerary was perfect-- 2.5 days in St George and a day and a half in Hamilton ... Read More
We booked this cruise as a less expensive alternative to flying down and staying a few nights in a $1200 a night room in one of the resorts down in Bermuda. The itinerary was perfect-- 2.5 days in St George and a day and a half in Hamilton and well away from the large ships in the Dockyard. A well positioning floating hotel near all the things we like to go and do on the island. It was our first time on Oceania-- we have cruise a bunch and have run the gamut but our more recent experiences have mostly been on Seabourn. Impression: The ship was coming off a refurbishment and the overall impression was that it was tastefully done-- keeping the clubby atmosphere from before but updating it a bit to be a little more modern. It was on par decor wise with a newer Ritz Carlton. Everything seemed quite new and the ship itself appeared to be a very good condition-- literally the only maintenance fault I could find was the little muster station frame on the back of our cabin door was slightly damaged. Cabin: We opted not to get a verandah on this drip due to the large amount of time we planned to spend ashore. As many have mentioned, the bathrooms on this class of ship are notoriously small. The shower doors are quite clever in that they open in or out to give you more working space in the bathroom but the bottom line is that you are showering in what amounts to a small telephone booth. Refurbishment of the rest of the cabin was top notch-- tons of storage space for its size. The bed was also one of the most comfortable we've had on a ship. The cabin was quite small though and I think in hindsight I would have booked a larger one had I known (even though the verandah wasn't a big selling point). Ours was also forward on the ship and the first night out we had rough seas-- it was the first time I've ever gotten seasick. I would have picked one much more amidships looking back. Dining: Oceania gets very high marks for dining and they aren't totally undeserved, but there are nuances. Overall the food is very good. The complimentary alternative dining rooms Toscana and Polo Grill are the best venues aboard for overall quality. - Grand Dining Room: Overall was very hit or miss. We had one good dinner there, one mediocre. The food is not cooked to order so it does have that banquet hall quality to it-- frankly I was expecting a bit more from them here. - Polo Grill: I went in thinking this would be my favorite with the clubby wood paneling and dark leather chairs-- it looks like a steakhouse in Manhattan from central casting. We had dinner there one night and it was very good. My New York Strip was well prepared but cut thinner than you get in a shoreside establishment. The others in our group were indifferent to their filets but enjoyed the appetizers and sides. Its a very filling meal so best to skip lunch the day of. - Toscana: This ended up being our favorite and we were able to score a second reservation the last night (you are guaranteed only one at Polo and Toscana each cruise). The food was uniformly good and it was fun getting to order around the menu and put pastas in as mid courses. A lot of sharing. - The Terrace: The buffet overall was of a high quality but was lacking in options. What looks like a large buffet (at least as large as it could get on a ship this size) is actually a mirror image of itself on the other side. This is most apparent at lunch where the options are limited. It would be fun if they added more. Breakfast was quite good here with a made to order omelet station. - Waves Grill: We ended up eating lunch here quite a bit as it was open on embarkation day as well as being next to the pool (where we spent most sea days). The burger is quite good as is the reuben sandwich. The Cuban sandwich left a little to be desired. Ice cream, milkshakes, and a smaller buffet of cold items are also available here and very tasty. - Room Service: Overall your standard shipboard room service. The only downside to our cabin was that we were not entitled to hot breakfast which was a bit of a disappointment. The two times we ordered continental breakfast it was delivered on time. Their baked goods, particularly croissants, are far and away the best at sea and beat out some much more expensive lines like Seabourn and Regent. We ordered hot items when we got back to the ship late one night-- the club sandwich and pizza were perfectly adequate. - Baristas: The coffee shop off the Grand Dining Room was a popular spot and overall was very good. They have miniature baked items like croissants etc off to the side during breakfast hours. The only head scratcher was the lack of quality of the to go cups which were generic (no branding?), small and would quickly fall apart-- time to get some proper paper cups in their Oceania! Entertainment and Activities: We made good use of the bars on board-- mostly the Waves Bar by the pool but also Martinis which is on Deck 5 near the Casino. Everyone was super friendly. A note on the beverage package-- if you drink more than 3 drinks a day just get it. The drinks listed in the menus are single pours which are much smaller than standard in the US. If you want a drink that looks like you would get back at home you have to order a double which can get the drink price to $18-22 a pop. The beverage package saved us a lot of money. Entertainment overall was good but not spectacular. Highlights were the cruise director Carson, the dancers, and the band was really quite good and would play by the pool in the afternoon. Low point was the comedian they brought on who had two shows. To be fair to her it felt like she had to cut out or tone down a lot of her material to not offend people. There was a broadway revue that was good but could have skipped it. The casino was not well utilized and overall the ship went to bed quite early. Horizons up on Deck 10 was the late night venue although it wasn't heavily used. Service: Generally it was very good, well intentioned, and unobtrusive. Our cabin staff were very good and everything was spotless when we got back to the cabin every time. Service in the Grand Dining room was a bit mechanical. Dining service was much better in Polo and Toscana and on par with what you would expect in a land based fine dining restaurant. Everyone made a good effort to make you happy. Spa: Canyon Ranch runs this and it was impressive given its small size. The changing area has two showers, a disproportionally enormous steam room, and bottled water and gatorade are provided in small coolers. The changing room opens onto a nice private deck with a large hot tub overlooking the bow. The spa service I got (50 min deep tissue massage) was very relaxing but it was more like a very enthusiastic Swedish massage rather than true deep tissue. Overall the spa is overpriced for what you get but hey, its vacation! Ports: Bermuda was the main attraction for this cruise and candidly we would have booked whatever was the smallest ship going from the Northeast that was docking at St George and Hamilton rather than the Dockyard-- it just happened to be this one. We spent the vast majority of our time off the ship at beaches and in town and actually didn't return to the ship for dinners, rather eating them ashore as well. The Insignia as a floating hotel was perfect and it was nice moving over to Hamilton the last day to make shopping a little easier and bring you more central to things on the island. Overall we were very impressed with Oceania. Small bonus for this trip was there were absolutely no kids aboard (I'm thinking owing to it butting up against Labor Day weekend). I would sail them again for the right itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We're in our 60's and have cruised on many lines over the last 40 years. Favorite cruise ship right now would be Celebrity Equinox. We booked Oceania Insignia for its smaller intimate ship size, highly recommended cuisine, and ... Read More
We're in our 60's and have cruised on many lines over the last 40 years. Favorite cruise ship right now would be Celebrity Equinox. We booked Oceania Insignia for its smaller intimate ship size, highly recommended cuisine, and itinerary to Hamilton and St. George Bermuda. We truly miss the ability of the newer mega ships to dock there. They are too large to fit in Hamilton, and much too large to enter St. George through "the cut" - a very small entryway into the harbor and one of the best views you will see. Docking in Hamilton is perfect because you walk off the ship onto Front Street - where upscale shops and restaurants are plentiful. We choose an outside cabin on deck 3 with only a porthole - like the ocean liners of yesteryear. We had looked at other cabins, but the price increase for a picture window or a veranda cabin was not worth it to us. Cabin sizes were no larger and you were at most only a few floors higher. Cabin was nice enough, but the porthole was recessed into the hull, so the views and daylight were impacted. Beds were very comfortable, but the bathroom and shower were the smallest I can recall on any cruiseship. The toilet was angled towards the door because it wouldn't fit any other way. The shower was glass enclosed by 2 swinging doors, but you could not turn around in it. We loved the small size of the ship - 30,000 tons or so. Our fellow cruisers were mostly seniors and very well behaved compared to many other lines we've been on. The highlight of the ship experience for us was the ambiance of the dining room. Tables were spaced out enough to give you privacy - you know how other cruise lines put tables so close to you that you can't have a private conversation! Not so here. And tables for 2 were plentiful and placed around the perimeter of the dining room, affording beautiful ocean views. Did I mention Versace china and stemware (for both red and white wine) were always waiting for you? Service again was excellent. The atmosphere was beautiful. Not so the food. And this was the biggest disappointment of the experience. It was certainly edible for the most part, but no WOW factor. The lobster tail was soft and mushy with little taste. Texture is important and I like my tails crunchy and juicy. Steaks had no wow factor as well - certainly not up to what you'd get in any upscale steakhouse. Even their Polo grill NY strip was sent back. It was served medium rare as requested, but lacked any taste and strangely lacked any juice oozing out of it just a little. It was also only about 1/2 an inch high, and steaks need to be a bit thicker to properly sear and retain juiceiness. The Queens Cut prime rib that replaced it also appeared to be medium rare, but again had no moisture in it and was quite chewy. I'm guessing grass fed which is a cheaper option. The lemon chicken for lunch on the last sea day was inedible - tough. The pieces had the look of meat that had been reheated too many times. Again they were quick to bring a second plate, but the result was the same. Those were my 2 sendbacks. On the other hand, there was a leg of lamb entree that was delicious and full of flavor, but those entrees were few on this voyage. I was truly astounded that the food quality was subpar because this was, after all, Oceania! I wonder if this sailing was just one of those off weeks? We may try Oceania again to see if that's the case, because the atmosphere and table spacing in the dining room are huge plusses. Toscana served a very good veal osso bucco. Overall, I'd give the Dining 5 stars for how it's setup and 2 stars for food quality, so a generous 4 star combined. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was the smallest ship we have ever cruised on. There was no problem doing anything on board that we wanted to do. Even with only four small elevators (sign said max capacity of 10...realistically more like six), there was never an ... Read More
This was the smallest ship we have ever cruised on. There was no problem doing anything on board that we wanted to do. Even with only four small elevators (sign said max capacity of 10...realistically more like six), there was never an unreasonable wait time. The dining experiences were all over the top...service was excellent...wait staff were knowledgeable, attentive, and efficient (even though Oceania said tipping was not necessary, we did tip at meals and the bars, and the service was even better the next time we were there). The afternoon tea service was a very nice touch...excellent selection of teas...excellent selection of tea sandwiches, scones, and petite sweets, and there were ample times for seconds (or thirds...) The string quartet playing during afternoon tea made it even better. Probably the only thing that could have gone better would have been the embarkation process. I would easily put the average age of the cruisers on this trip at 60+. At the pre-screening area, there were only a handful of chairs to be had (and a lot of unhappy looking older citizens standing around). As each boarding class was called, they had to negotiate their way through a large group standing around the starting que. Then through the x-ray screening and magnetometer (only one being used of the six available), then the medical paperwork, then the actual check-in where you got your room key card, then on to the ship. There were a lot, and I mean a lot of chairs between the check-in area and the boarding door where lots of people could have been comfortably sitting instead of being uncomfortable in the pre-embarkation area. One day at sea we were notified that the verandas were going to be washed...another day we were notified that the woodwork on the verandas was going to be varnished. Veranda not available for use during these times. Disembarkation was a hurry up and wait process, but, at least there seemed to be enough seats for people. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019

Top Oceania Insignia Itineraries

Insignia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.9
Dining 5.0 4.2
Entertainment 4.0 3.2
Public Rooms 5.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 2.5 3.7
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.2
Enrichment 3.5 3.4
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates N/A N/A

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