Oceania's Riviera Ship of Misinformation : Riviera Cruise Review by fpr451

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Oceania's Riviera Ship of Misinformation

Sail Date: December 2012
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
Looking forward to a Western Caribbean Mayan Mystic Cruse, was just that a Myth. Early on I went to Oceania's website to view Riviera's presentation videos and that was the 1st myth. In them were the scenes of dining venues, lounges and public areas all containing pictures of my contemporaries (mid 60s).
What I believe I observed were more people in their very late 70s to early 80s. The entire nature of the cruise reflected that age group rather than what I thought was represented by the videos. There were no bon voyage or sail always festivities nor any attempts to create a festive atmosphere throughout the cruise.

I have moderate disabilities and was not able to acquire a handicapped Cabin, however I was assured through contact with Oceania that I would be able to utilize the bathroom without much difficulty. Much to my surprise and annoyance was first a shower stall that was too narrow to accommodate a shower chair, as matter of fact Houdini probably could not More be accommodated, much like the old showers that you found in Europe in early hotels and inns. The Bathtub which was represented to be luxurious, in which the shower chair that I was provided with could not be in a position to have access without the assistance of my significant other in which she had to watch out for my safety on each entry and egress. Additionally. I believe if you were an elderly person you could not enter the bathtub sense it required jumping over the high hurdle of the depth of the tub to get in. And this is a brand new ship which you would have thought they took these things into design consideration. The closets made it difficult to have access to the bed from the outside and the control lighting was awkward to operate if you were in bed. Because of the package that we signed up for, many of the amenities were not inclusive. All alcoholic beverages were charged, even though we had a laptop in our cabin the Internet charge was so exorbitant that it was not worth the daily rate to subscribe. We had concierge level accommodations, its lounge was on a different deck so I never saw it. The so-called access to the health spa was there however you had to drop anywhere from 250 and above for any treatments.

The excursions that were outlined in the brochure were mostly for people who were very fit rather than
the majority of the passengers. Most of the information provided on the videos of the in ship TV network was product pushing for places onshore rather than for the cultural encounters you would have hoped to find. The best experience I had was on a boat tour found on the pier non-sanctioned by Oceania in Guatemala that was an enriching experience exposing you to the culture and people of the area. If you were looking for Mayan ruins, not of the highest caliber,there was plenty but little else. After checking the 1st site for the calendar end date there was no need to pursue the remaining.
There was nothing new about half of the ports that we called on. The Grand Cayman, Cozumel, were redundant with nothing to do. Belize City was an infrastructure catastrophe with poor roads leading in and out of the city and to the ruins. Coasta Maya was a another Mexican failure of development that offered nothing for an experienced traveler.

Onboard entertainment was marginal. The 1st night was a rendition of a clarinetist Lawrence Welk
medley. The ensemble of performers and singers was very good. There was a night in which a so-called
Opera singer meso soprano was totally off key and then had the audacity to introduce her son as a violinist who could not even play the 1st position. "My mother made me do it".

The highlight of the cruise was the cuisine. Food and service was very good, however the Asian food
was just okay. In cabin service and attendants was very good, staff was very accommodating and cordial.

I believe there was a stratification of the passengers based upon the number of times they sailed with Oceania. The passengers who I spoke with seemed to think highly of the line yet they have not experienced other luxury cruises. I felt that these people may have been on Carnival or Holland America and this was a step up. Dollar for dollar the Seabourn experience was superior and all inclusive. Less

Published 12/25/12

Cabin review: Ver

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