Great 14 day break from a bad NYC Winter: Riviera Cruise Review by hypercafe

Riviera 4
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Great 14 day break from a bad NYC Winter

Sail Date: March 2014
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
This was our second cruise on the Riviera, we have been on 25+ trips on a mix of lines.

We got to Miami a day early and stayed at the Sonesta in Connut Grove. Very nice hotel although pricey. Took a cab to the port, 20 minute ride. As we had a B1 cabin we got there at 1pm as the pre cruise docs advised and were on the ship in ten minutes. Oceania boards the ship in the order of your room type so we were last.

We were in B1 cabin 8105. All the A and B cabins are the same as are the ocean view expect instead of a sliding door they have a floor to ceiling window. Our cabin was ready at 3pm as the boarding letter stated. Again Oceania gets the cabins ready by room type so we were again last. The cabin is very nice with plenty of storage, comfortable furniture and bed, nice size veranda with two comfortable chairs. Large bathroom with good storage. It was by the aft stairway, quite and convenient. The B cabins and below get Oceania brand bath products, no tote bag and no More thanks for cruising gift. They also get no hot items for breakfast from room service. The room was always kept clean and still looked new.

Service in all areas of the ship was excellent, the crew is very hard working, knew their jobs and seemed efficient. They all were pleasant however too busy to talk much. As an example we did not meet our room person until day 3. Her and her helper took care of 24 rooms, one of which was the owners suite. The ships officers showed little interest in the passenger's, in fact when one passed they seemed to go out of their way not to make eye contact.

The ship still looks new, is very clean, easy to get around and never seemed crowded except around the pool. It is built and furnished with high quality products. A disappointment is the fact it has no promenade deck at all and the way the open decks are built the only was to sit outdoors by the rail and watch the sea go past is your veranda.

We ate in all the restaurants expect La Reserve. I made my specialty restaurant reservations on the first day I could at midnight. I got what I wanted in all but Jocks, here I was locked out and had to share a table. Ok but not what I wanted. Oceania lets the better cabins have more reservations and get them earlier on line and once on the ship the better cabins can go to a separate place at 11am on the first day to make them, while to lower ones must wait till 1pm. We had a B cabin so again last. This is the Oceania class system at work.

Food was good all around, personal tastes vary so what I will say is we never had a bad meal, very high grade products are used and things like steak, lobster, chops etc. are out every day cooked to order. Service in all the dinning rooms and the terrace was excellent and at a pace to match yours.

There was a show each night at 9:45. I thought this was a little late as last time they were at 9:15. Between dinner and the show there is little to do so it can be boring. They had 4 large shows with the whole cast witch was 6 dancers, 4 singers, a lead singer and a dance couple. We found them to be very good. They also had a magician, singer who was the asst. cruise director and 2 different comedian's. They showed a movie by the pool on three nights and had late night music in Horizons. I felt it was all good to very good. The problem this ship has is the show lounge. It is small, the stage is one foot high, very poor sight lines and the most uncomfortable seats I ever sat in, reminds me of grade school.

The age group on this trip was a disappointment. I am 66 years old and I feel 90%+ on board were my age or older. I really prefer to be with a cross section of age groups. By the end I felt I was at the senior center for two weeks!!

We went to ten ports in the Southern Caribbean, all were good, just what you would expect. One was a tender port and that went fine. We did not use Oceania shore trips as they are 2 to 3 times the going price.

There were two guest speakers on board, one did a talk on each island we visited and the Titanic, the other did a 4 part talk on the civil war. Both were top quality. My wife went to the artists loft each day for a two hour art class which she felt was great. We did not use the culinary class this time.

Overall we had a very nice time. I will say that the things that are not included in the fare are, in my opinion, very overpriced. We are not locked into one line, I would use them again and I would recommend them to others. For now we will try a few other lines. Less

Published 03/27/14

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