Excellent ship and great food equals a very good holiday!: Riviera Cruise Review by carolroy1

Riviera 5
Member Since 2010
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Overall Member Rating

Excellent ship and great food equals a very good holiday!

Sail Date: August 2012
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Venice
This was our third cruise with Oceania. The Riviera is their newest ship. Everything was bright and shining. The staff are so helpful and cheerful.

Embarkation: We flew from London to Venice and were taken directly to the ship. Check-in was very easy and someone showed us to our cabin. Our luggage arrived quickly. We had some light lunch on arrival.

The washers and dryers are at the other end of the ship. Everything seemed to be at the other end so if you do not want a long walk, get a cabin with a lower number.

Cabin: We chose a cabin that has concierge services and Bosco, our butler, was all that one could ask for. Dining reservations? No problem. Fruit? No problem. DVD not working? No problem.

Restaurants: We had pre-booked three of the four restaurants. Oceania would not allow us to book for the same restaurant twice. We did not want to eat in the Asian one. A minor complaint, I admit, but still as we were entitled to pre book four More why not allow us that?

The main dining room is vast. That one and the buffet do not require reservations. We actually preferred the buffet because one could overindulge in grilled lobster tails!

The other three, French, Steak House, and Italian are a bit pretentious but fun none the less. Loved the selection of olive oils in Toscana and that and their bread basket would have been a perfect meal!

They serve tea every afternoon at 4pm. Sandwiches and cakes and a string quartet playing Bach as well as popular tunes. Lovely.

We had breakfast every morning and lunch as well in the buffet restaurant. We like sitting outside. The breakfast had practically everything you could desire to eat if you were from the West. What the Chinese and Japanese guests thought of the breakfast I do not know. Perhaps Oceania could cater for them at breakfast and then the rest of us could have dim sum instead of eggs!

Passengers: On our two previous Oceania cruises, the passengers were almost 90% American. On this cruise this was definitely not the case. It was a much more international group and we met people from many different European countries as well as Asian countries. It made the cruise seem much more cosmopolitan.

Pool Area: There are many lounge chairs though in the afternoon it would be difficult to find a place to sit. There are places to sit to avoid the sun with very comfortable chairs. The staff are ever helpful in bringing drinks.

Our only complaint was that they did insist on playing music, and sometimes music with words, which makes it almost impossible to read.

We used the fitness room in the afternoon. It is small with very up-to-date equipment. It got very crowded in late afternoon. They provide you with water and towels. I loved the newness of the bikes which enabled me to play Patience while doing my exercise. The 30 minutes flew by! I am quite spoiled now.

There is an extensive library there. Very quiet with cosy chairs.

We had access to the Executive Lounge where they had current copies of The Times and other papers. I liked going there for a cup of tea.

We did not go on any organised tours. The places we were visiting did not warrant such an extravagance, as the tours are very expensive and the places are easy to see on one's own.

Disembarkation: We left the ship at Civitavecchia which is about an hour away from Rome by car. They close breakfast at 8am and expect you to be off the ship by 8:30am. Less

Published 08/31/12

Cabin review: PH211070 Penthouse Suite

We were in Cabin 11070 which had a nice balcony with two very comfortable chairs and a table. We used it a lot mainly to escape from the music they insisted on playing near the pool. The bed was very comfortable. The bathroom was nicely furnished. The shower was small but adequate. We would have preferred no tub and a bigger shower. The washers and dryers are at the other end of the ship. Everything seemed to be at the other end so if you do not want a long walk, get a cabin with a lower number.

Read All Penthouse Suite (PH2) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Again, we took the shuttle and walked around. There is not much to do there. It was nice to have the walk.
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The main reason we chose this cruise was to go to Dubrovnik, Croatia and Kotor, Montenegro. We were not disappointed. Again, we did not think a guide was necessary even though we had never been to this place before. We took the shuttle bus to the centre. We bought tickets to walk the walls. Dubrovnik is a walled city and the walk is very interesting. It was around 38c (106f), and it was more like "Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun"! We were not the only ones doing this walk! The walk is easy even though I use a cane. We drank two full bottles of water doing that walk! After the wall walk we walked through the town and came upon ethnic dancers. It was interesting and fun. Do not miss this city.

A friend who had been on a similar cruise advised me to not miss the entry into the port. So I got up at 05:45hrs and went outside. It was worth it! A beautiful port entry with islands and gorgeous scenery. That is really the best part of this place. We took the shuttle to the city centre and walked around. Not much to see. The Cruise Director brought to people's attention that if they had not seen the entry into the port they should certainly watch the exit!
Read 454 Kotor Reviews

It was boiling hot in Monte Carlo. We walked from the ship along the harbour and then got on one of the touring buses which is a "get on get off" trip. It was very interesting. It is difficult to explore by foot because everything is on a slope there! Actually, it was the only organised tour we took. Expensive but worth it.

We did not get off the ship because we had spent a week at this port in Sicily a few years ago. Well worth exploring if this is your first time.

Venice is a fantastic place to be. We had been to the city several times before so just left the ship and used the shuttle bus to the centre and walked around St. Mark's and fell in love with the city all over again. I do not think a guide is needed. Perhaps it is just my age, but I no longer feel I have to know when a building was built! It is fun to walk around the city and discover for oneself the hidden parts. A magical place not to be missed. It was very hot and crowded so be prepared to cope with the ever moving mass of people. Worth it!
Read 1127 Venice Reviews

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Member Since 2010
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