First time on Oceania: Riviera Cruise Review by coverpoint
Overall Member Rating
First time on Oceania
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
We have just returned from a 10day Eastern Caribbean cruise on Riviera - our first time on Oceania. We had one night pre-cruise in the JW Marriott hotel in Miami and transfers arranged by Oceania. These all worked out very well and embarkation was very quick.
Our Penthouse suite was spick and span and a chilled bottle of champagne was waiting. First impression was that the balcony was on the small side but this may have been due to our location - next to stern on Deck9.The ship is less than two years old and was immaculate. We did notice the lack of a wrap round promenade deck so if you wanted to walk on board, it was rather restricted.
Like many other cruisers, I imagine, we were attracted by the write ups on the food on board. We tried all the restaurants and, on the whole, were impressed. Our favourites were Red Ginger and Jacques and the special More meal we enjoyed in La Reserve was the highlight. The MDR was disappointing on two of the three occasions we went there, while Polo was good it was not up to the standard of a good steakhouse at home.
Obviously, food is very subjective but we were rather disappointed on the two occasions we dined at Toscana. The Terrace kept up a very high standard for a self service eatery and the hamburgers and milk shakes at Waves were excellent. A special mention for Barrista - also excellent.
We had four sea days and found it strange that there were virtually no lecturers. Also on sea days we found it extremely difficult to find two sun loungers together, either on the pool deck or on the Spa terrace. It was obvious that there was a lot of bed "hogging" taking place. This is a difficult one for the staff on any ship. There seemed to be a lot of wasted space round the pool, which, surprisingly to us, was a uniform depth - no deep/shallow end!
We had purchased the drinks package which probably meant we drank too much. Ah Well! We did not do any ships tours as they were grossly overpriced. We thought that the entertainment was good - especially the singers and dancers. The ships officers were conspicuous by their absence (apart from stage appearances) and we could have lived very happily without the services of our butler.
Disembarkation was well organised and we were back in the JW Marriott for a three day post cruise stay by 9.30am - and our Bayview room on Floor 32 was ready!
Would we cruise with Oceania again? Possibly, if the price/itinerary were right but I suspect we will more likely return to Silversea or Queens Grill on Cunard. Less
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