Smaller ship with a feeling of space: Riviera Cruise Review by B55

Riviera 4
Member Since 2011
13 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Smaller ship with a feeling of space

Sail Date: July 2012
Destination: Middle East
Embarkation: Barcelona
Embarkation and disembarkation procedures are rigidly adhered to at the start and end of the trip and are handled well. Though we arrived earlier than suggested, the ship's crew accommodated all arrivals well.

The best thing is that the ship's decor is most impressive. The restaurant facilities and food do not disappoint, though Oceania's food offering is not overly more or less than what is provided on any other good shipping line. The speciality restaurants, as an inclusion in the cruise price are definitely perceived as an advantage as the choice available is interesting and most comprehensive. Not a bad drop was discovered on the wine list and the Wine Package was generous.

Cabins do not feel cramped and are well arranged. Being such a new vessel, I was surprised that the stateroom TV sets were not interactive. A person had to visit the Destination Services desk or Reception to book a tour or check one's account at any stage. Having a web site that is so More interactive, allowing pre-booking of excursions etc, it would have been nice had the level of technology been extended as a facility to the staterooms.

We resided in a B4 non-concierge veranda stateroom. On Oceania, at this level, service is definitely not akin to some other companies offerings. Friends we travelled with, were in a Penthouse and had a butler and therefore had a level of service that was commensurate with that level of accommodation. On other cruises lines, either at Suite level, Concierge level or simple Veranda Stateroom, we have enjoyed a more comprehensive level of personal service throughout all levels without a noticeable fall off in service provision. With Oceania we did not find this to be the case. To me it seemed that if you did not take the level of Concierge or above, the service offered by stateroom stewards was noticeably less and delayed. We have not found this on either Celebrity, nor Princess. Norwegian or Costa Cruises also. Service on these lines was excellent at whichever level we chose to participate in at the time. It was a surprise that with Oceania, at Veranda Stateroom level, follow up was lacking in attention to detail.

All crew and staff on board were warm, friendly individuals. they also seemed happy to be working with/for Oceania as an employer.

Two problems arose for us during our time on board. Our room stewards constantly failed to replenish the 'price inclusive drinks' in our mini bar fridge. Often they had to be reminded. We had a daily shortage of what we requested and a fridge full of ginger ale. The same situation occurred daily. It did not change. In addition, used towelling face cloths were removed but not replaced. Constantly I had to go on the hunt for replacement face cloths for our cabin.

The excursions on Oceania ships seem to be more expensive than other lines we have travelled with. During the early phases of the voyage, assembly and dispersal of excursion participants was handled very badly, but this did improve with time and subsequent organisation of disembarkation for excursion participants was running quite well towards the end and for final disembarkation.

The standard of entertainment on board was from Fair to very good.

The air-conditioning in the public areas was often fierce.

Any negatives mentioned here have not deterred us from making further bookings with Oceania, though we would not use them solely for our cruise holiday requirements as many seem to do.

The ship itself when docking at ports, seemed to make very loud and groaning mechanical noises. The ship was fine but it did not sound normal.

It is very nice to have most beverages included in the price of the cruise, unlike many other cruise lines. The Barista facility is a nice experience and not having to worry about acquiring a supply of drinking water each day is an asset to one's peace of mind.

The $49.95 per cruise day alcoholic beverage package was a good offering. Being partial to a glass of champagne, the offering was Perrier Jouet NV, the wines, beers and spirits listed for consumption within the package were all very good, through to excellent in style, choice and quality.

The Country Club Casual approach is very comforting. There are no 'gala' nights during the various sailings, which a lot of people seemed to like. Many did dress more elaborately but it was not necessary if so desired.

The beds, pillows and quality of the linens used and towelling in the bathrooms were fabulous. Highly recommended. Less

Published 08/05/12
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Cabin review: B47015 Verandah Stateroom

Cabin 7015 is on the starboard side fore of the ship. Far away enough from the elevators for it to be a quiet area. Technically it is 7013 as 13 is omitted, going from cabin 7011 to 7015 with no 7013 in between. The location of the laundry is on the Port Side. It was mentioned that the F ore of the ship was for 'F u n' and the R ear of the ship is where the 'Restaurants' were located. Category B4 cabins on this deck 7, have larger verandahs at the very fore and aft of the ship. Not so with this cabin. If you are in this class of stateroom do not expect tip-top in-cabin service.

Read All Verandah Stateroom (B4) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

City Tour

Alexandria was the dirtiest city I have ever visited. There did not seem to be a sense of pride that one might find say in India. Could not wait to get out of Alexandria.

Wonderful port with plenty to do, eat, see, experience.
Read 1729 Barcelona Reviews


The Pyramids get the score of 5 alone.

Sakkara Walking Tour

Saw this last and it was a very long day, also very hot in Cairo. Interest was flagging by this stage.

Charming port to wander around.

Easy port to navigate.
Read 93 Ibiza Reviews

Once of the world's most fascinating cities and yet again (fourth visit) it did not disappoint. Also the ship docked in Haifa - a nice city and excellent Bahai Gardens and proximity to Acre. Had I not been ill I might have seen some of it up close. Limassol in Cyprus, another easy port to walk around but not a great deal to see. Unable to join an excursion due to being ill. Docking in the port of Kusadasi enabled us to visit the Unesco World Heritage Sites of Miletus and Didyma, briefly, in between bouts of trying to maintain decorum, due to severe gastro intestinal distress as a result of visiting Jerusalem.
Read 403 Istanbul Reviews

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

A wonderful place to visit. A wonder to behold in every nook of this building.

City Tour

Excellent but long day seeing the sights of Jerusalem. Due to it being Shabat, and due to it being Ramadan, the tour was restricted somewhat. A subsequent bout of food poisoning or such like, as a result of lunch during the excursion tended to mar the experience somewhat.

Jewish Quarter

Mostly we saw the Jewish Quarter. Our Israeli guide did not want to take us into the Muslim Sector. I don't blame him but it was disappointing, as it was during Ramadan that we attended. Armed guards abounded and were omnipresent on this particular day.

Via Dolorosa

Getting from A to B. Interesting.

Western Wall

A good experience in the Jewish Quarter.

Sadly we docked on a Sunday and mostly everything was closed.

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Member Since 2011
13 Forum Posts
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