Riviera, twice the passengers of Regatta, still a good choic: Riviera Cruise Review by roch342

Riviera 5
Member Since 2011
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Riviera, twice the passengers of Regatta, still a good choic

Sail Date: November 2012
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
With their newest ship, Riviera, Oceania has managed to keep most of the qualities that make them a good choice for people who like to meet others, relax with a good book, eat excellent food and not have to clean up afterwards, enjoy low key entertainments like trivia games, and not be hassled to keep spending money.

With their open seating, and option to share tables, one is almost certain to meet lots of friendly and interesting fellow guests, with no obligation to get together again, but always the option to do so. They have four specialty restaurants, which have slightly differing styles, and must be booked ahead (on a quota system), but do not cost extra, which is a nice feature of the line. But altogether the food is excellent no matter where you eat. We didn't like everything but there was always a huge choice and the large bowls of fresh fruit, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and others available at breakfast were a real treat. Lots of areas where food, on More a changing menu, was cooked to order, were well run and moved along briskly. Afternoon tea was sinfully good.

One disappointment: On the Regatta the previous fall, there was a bridge director and regular duplicate bridge games, but that feature was eliminated on the equally long Riviera cruise, to the dismay of quite a few passengers who had expected games.Cabins and balconies were very nice, spotless and kept that way by the staff. There was also constant cleaning going on around us, stair railings were being polished, chairs and tables wiped down between users--I was impressed at the effort made to keep transmittal of viruses to a minimum.
And while I dislike tendering, the ship does have the system down to a fine art which does not involve standing in long lines.
I also really like having soft drinks and water included in fare, so we were not being nickel and dimed at every turn.

The pool area was kept spotless, and towel were put on chairs so we didn't have to line up to sign them out, a nice display of trust in the maturity and honesty of the passengers.

One real benefit of Oceania is the way they have beach towels and bottled water waiting by exit doors for one to gather as one goes ashore, no fuss, no bother, no charge. Less

Published 01/02/13
2 Helpful Votes

Cabin review: B28020 Verandah Stateroom

8020--Roomy, plenty of storage space, bath and shower, bedding not my choice as rather overwhelming, individual temp. controls for room, new and clean.

Read All Verandah Stateroom (B2) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Found a cab, went to a beach, snorkeled, came back in plenty of time
Read 1191 Antigua Reviews

Catamaran Tour

Again, booked thru Island Marketing Ltd, and very satisfactory. Two snorkel stops, first to see turtles (in the rain), then a wreck and reef which was enjoyable and plenty long. Ocean water was warmer that the rain! Drinks were available.

There's a nice free trolley that runs around old San Juan, so first we walked around the docks a while, chatting with tall ship residents, then up to nearby fort for a look around (if you are a senior, take your national parks membership card and you get in free). From there we took trolley to second fort, toured again, then walked back to the port, browsing shops en route. Felt safe, enjoyed the views, maps from the ship were a great help. Later, my husband left ship again and took ferry ride across the bay to San Juan, returned on same ferry and enjoyed the outing.
Read 2945 San Juan Reviews

Walked from port to Shell Beach where we have snorkeled before, and had an enjoyable time--about 15 mins each way, and easy to find. Wear shoes of some sort for walking on beach.

Excursion we had booked on web (no deposit) fell thru for lack of numbers, so we hired a taxi who took us to a beach about 30 mins from port and stayed to wait for us for over an hour while we snorkeled a couple of times. Returned to ship for lunch.
Read 1134 St. Lucia Reviews

Booked an excursion through Island Marketing Ltd, on the web, St. Maarten's Trade Winds Sailing with Passat: snorkeling on a 100 year old Dutch schooner, with lunch and wine included. Good pick up arrangements, no snafus, fair snorkeling, excellent lunch, good companions, lots of laughs. Entry to water by narrow, rusty ladder was only really difficult part.

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Member Since 2011
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