This was our second cruise on Nautica and 8th cruise on Oceania so we were expecting a certain level of service and quality. Many cases these were met but there were several, cases where they were not.
Obviously -- lots new staff on board, including the GM, CD and many of the officers and staff. Putting Insignia back in service with the company going from 3 ships to 5 ships and a doubling of the capacity has put a strain on staff and management.
Embarkation: Was smooth an efficient. At 1pm, we were on the ship and in our cabin in 15 minutes from reaching the port.
Safety Drill: Muster stations are in the GDR and Lounge. The first drill (we had two) was total CHAOS. After the drill we complained and had a one on one with the ships safety officer. The 2nd one was better organized.
Stateroom: We had a PH2 category and have had this several times. The cabin is rather small for a PH but was adequate. The new decor was definitely an improvement (lighter colors). Of course the bed and linens on Oceania are the best of any cruise line.
Food: We ate at all of the venues. The GDR was good and service was acceptable. Toscana was also good. However POLO was the worse. All of the steaks we had were horrible. Tasteless lumps of meat. We complained several times and there was no improvement. The Terrace was actually the best we had on on many cruises. The addition of the Grill is a plus. We did have an issue at the beginning -- no Lamp Chops, but Head Chef Maarten quickly resolved that.
The coffee in the Terrace was just plain horrible. The espresso/cappuccino machine was constantly broken. Eventually about 2/3 into the cruise they put a Barista machine and were making the espresso's manually for those that wanted them.
Service: Service was spotty in the GDR. However otherwise service throughout the ship was excellent. Our housekeeper was friendly and efficient. Our Butler Janos was the best we have had!
CD: As some others posted O is having issues with their CD's. Many have left and the new hires like "Bob" did not work out and was fired in mid cruise. So we were left without a CD until the end when Nolan Dean came aboard in Iceland. Nolan was first class.and we liked his English sense of humor.
Tours: We only took one "O" tour as we like our private tours. The one we did take the "Titanic Trail" was poorly organized and overpriced. We had a tour scheduled at the pump house in Belfast shipyard and the guide was 45 minutes late.
Baristas: The new coffee bar in former Grand Bar area was definitely a hit. The Baristas generally knew in mid cruise what we were going to order.
Disembarkation: We had an early departure from Gatwick so need to get off the ship by 9AM. We did at the head of the queue to leave and was delayed until all of the luggage was unloaded. Sort of defeats the idea or need to do a n early departure with towing our own luggage. We made our flight with time to spare.
Overall gave the cruise 4* --if Polo was better it would have gotten *5. Oceania needs to fix these specialty restaurant issues (We were not the only ones to complain).
Stateroom: We had a PH2 category and have this several time. The cabin is rather small for a PH but was adequate. The new decor was definitely an improvement (lighter colors). Of course the bed and linens on Oceania are the best of any cruise line.