My husband and I are not cruise people but were looking for a special trip to celebrate our 30th anniversary. We certainly found it on our cruise to the Mediterranean on the Riviera!
I enjoyed reading Cruise Critic reviews in the months before our trip and found some of them very helpful. I hope to 'return the favor' to someone else as they plan their trip.
As is true in any travel experience, we had some glitches but many more perfect moments.
First, the ship is lovely, the food was always good and occasionally exquisite and the service was excellent. The specialty restaurants were beautiful and the food, especially at the Red Ginger, was wonderful. We took advantage of room service breakfasts on several days and really loved the convenience and quality of the product but also enjoyed Waves and the Grand DR.
We went on the cruise as part of a Food and Wine tour so had the added advantage of several fun and informative onboard activities. We didn't go on any of the excursions offered through Food and Wine because we'd never been to the Mediterranean and didn't want to limit our experience to wineries. Overall, I found it very easy to plan excursions independently and found lots of suggestions on the Roll Call. Our trip to Pompeii was incredible, especially because of the efforts of our guide - Gaetano Manfredi. The Amalfi Coast is as lovely as one hears but must be seen to be believed! We stayed for an extra 2 days in Rome at the end of the cruise and wished we'd had more time.
The glitches I mentioned earlier were all involving port changes. We were to sail from Nice but got notice enroute that embarkation had been changed to Marseille. The Oceania staff was fairly organized at the airport but they boarded already exhausted people on marginal buses ,without food or drink, and sent us on a 2 1/2 hr bus ride! There were 2 other port changes during the trip, the worst of which left us in Monaco on a Sunday - the town is essentially closed!
Would we cruise again? Absolutely! And probably with Oceania :)
The cabin was much more spacious than I'd anticipated and beautifully laid out. The balcony was fabulous.