Exceptional food, great time!: Riviera Cruise Review by beasleybird

Riviera 4
Member Since 2009
114 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Exceptional food, great time!

Sail Date: February 2014
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
Embarkation in Miami was smooth and efficient. We booked concierge cabin so bypassed the short line for embarkation. Room was not ready but we had lunch and afterwards our room was ready for our arrival. We attempted to modify one of our specialty restaurant reservations and lines were fairly long for reservation support. Strongly advise booking all specialty restaurant reservations before embarkation and as soon as you are allowed to. Staff on ship advised us they only save 10% of the Time slots for on board reservations so choices on board are extremely limited. We reserved our specialty dining two months before the cruise on the first day allowed for concierge class cabins. Even then, choices were only available for late (8pm) or early (5:30/6pm) dining. Apparently higher level cabins scoop up the 7/7:30 reservations. However food is exceptional in all locations including the terrace cafe and main dining room. I had lobster in some fashion everyday. In the terrace cafe, crabs seems More to be available each evening in some format, either claws or legs. We ordered room service for breakfast each day and food was promptly delivered and was great, including the lamb reb chops I occasionally ordered.

Ports-in Tortola, we went to the baths, using the speedy ferry service. They had a package that included the ride to the baths beach and return which helped remove some uncertainty around transportation. Baths were scenic although there is a gap in ferry schedule in the early afternoon so we spent more time at the baths than we preferred. In Antigua, we browses around the skips at the pier which were very convenient. In Barbados, we did an island tour thru a local cab driver. Was pretty disappointing and might have been better off booking something in advance. He took us to what he claimed was the best beach on Barbados and boy, was that disappointing. In st Lucia, we caught the only rain showers on the cruise so we cancelled our prearranged tour. When weather cleared, we left the ship and were accosted by local entrepreneurs looking to sell us their services. They were the most aggressive we have ever come across and we quickly reboarded the ship. I recommend pre-booking for st Lucia so you can avoid the independent guides. When we got to Miami, we had a 11am flight so disembarked in one of the first groups. We found luggage, got thru customs, and after a short wait for a cab, were headed to the airport. From disembarkation until airport arrival, it was one hour total so no trouble making our flight.

Service-service was generally very good. Oceania does a mid cruise cus sat survey and they will try to rectify any issues you flag in that survey. I give them credit for checking your satisfaction while they can still fix problems. Service in the terrace cafe during dinner is pretty sparse and finding someone to take a drink order during dinner in the terrace can be tough. During the day however, poolside service for drinks is prompt and available. Our cabin steward and service were great. We did find the many passengers abuse reserving pool chaises with books/hats and then disappear for maybe hours... Pool staff does not appear to police these abuses at all although Oceania has a stated policy of not allowing reserving for long periods of time. When I could not find an available chaise, I would ask the pool attendants to find me one. When they reported they were all taken, I asked them to clear some abandoned chaises and they got a supervisor who did find or clear a chaise for me. So they did oblige with some prompting.

Cabin-well appointed and very comfortable. Full sized tub and separate shower in concierge cabins. Great, comfy bed!,

Entertainment-staff singers/dancers were an experienced team and were fantastic. Showroom seating was never a problem with plenty of seats. Guest entertainers were varied.

Overall-food quality is the real differentiator on Oceania and the food is absolutely great. Ship is very nice and still new. Itinerary was great as we had four days at sea to enjoy all the amenities. We will definitely be back on Oceania. Less

Published 04/22/14

Cabin review: Concierge balcony

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