Riviera Cruise Review by quartermaster
Check-in was a breeze as we arrived at the terminal late and there were few passengers waiting to board. We found our cabin and our luggage arrived soon after we checked out what was to be our home for the next twelve days. The cabin was nicely decorated, the furniture was not worn the bathroom was spacious with a shower and a tub with a shower. I could not understand the shower in the tub as you could not take a shower without the water spraying out of the tub area because there was no enclosure or shower curtain. There were two chairs on the veranda and a small table. Unfortunately, over the next day, we found that the closet door was broken, the water would not drain from the bath tub and the refrigerator leaked water. It took Oceania three days to fix the refrigerator. Oceania is supposed to be known for their quality food. At least that was the hype when we were checking out possible cruises. We were very much disappointed with the food on the Riviera. If you like Steak and lobster, you shouldn’t have a problem with their menu. The food on the cruise lacked creativity, presentation was poor and they don’t know how to cook vegetables. It seemed that the only thing that they knew how to do when it came to vegetables was steam them until they are mush. In addition, the service at their specialty restaurants, with the exception of the Asian restaurant, is abominable. As an example, we ate at their prize winning French restaurant, Jacques, and had to wait 45 minutes until we saw any food, not even bread. When they finally brought out the first dish, it was not what we ordered. One of the appetizers that my wife ordered was a cheese soufflé. When it was served, the inside of the soufflé was liquid egg. I will spare you the details, but the rest of the meal was a disaster. We had a similar experience at Toscana, but we only had to wait 40 minutes until we saw our first course. At Toscana, the soup that they brought me was cold. They took it back to the kitchen and microwaved it. The way I know it was microwaved is that I added parmesian cheese to the soup after it was served and it was still in the soup when they brought it back. They did not bring me a fresh bowl. Nothing was ever offered to make for all of the significantly below standard service that we received We usually ate breakfast and lunch in the buffet. From day to day there was almost no variation in what was offered. The quality of the food at the buffet was low compared to the reputation that they promote. The cost of Wine, on board souveniers, and excursions is outrageous. As an example, the same bottle of wine they were selling for $56 we bought at Costco for $16 a couple weeks before the cruise. The one bargain is the happy hour that they have from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM where drinks are two for one at the various shipboard bars. An other example are hand painted Greek bowls that we purchased for less than $2.00 on shore were $8.00 on the ship. The cost of excursions were similarly priced. Based on our experience on Oceania, we would never consider another cruise with them again.
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