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Riviera Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
691 Reviews

What happened to a once excellent cruise line?

Riviera Cruise Review by alanccrx

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2015
  • Destination: the Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Concierge Level

Last year my wife and I experienced a fine 10 day cruise with another couple. We appreciated the service and especially enjoyed our meals. Accordingly, we returned to the same ship and expected another excellent cruise. MISTAKE ! It seems the Cruise Line was purchased by Norwegian and everything has now changed. Our impressions were that the "bean counters" have taken over and cost savings are now required all over the ship with special emphasis given to lowering the quality of the food. What was once excellent food now is merely mediocre at best. Previously, Oceania Cruises prided itself upon a "gourmet culinary experience. Not now! The quality of the meals now offered left a great deal to be desired. Nightly Shrimp Cocktails were no longer offered or provided. Twice, the menu offered "Tiger Prawns". What was actually provided was not "Tiger Prawns" but instead just large shrimp.

Not even Extra Large or Jumbo Shrimp but just Large Shrimp! At" Toscana", an offering of "Mozzarella di Bufala Caprese" did not actually provide Bufala Mozzarella but offered an inexpensive poor quality regular Mozzarella. A serving of Pasta produced pasta that was badly overcooked and gummy. A meal at the "Polo Grill" offered a "Tomato and Sweet Onion" Salad. Instead of Sweet Onions, slices of cheap red onion was served. No Chef swhould serve red onion as a "sweet onion". The menu states that all meats are of "Prime Quality". Not true at all! My steak was full of fat and gristle and was neither peppered or salted. Just plain BAD! All in all, during the entire cruise, the meals offered are now bland, devoid of flavor, and were of poor quality.

As an indication of cost savings there is the issue of the Televisions in the cabin. All of them of low end brands of extremely poor picture quality. There was not a single day that there was full TV available. "No signal" was the rule each and every day rather then the exception. Of the five offered Movie Channels two were non-operable. As another indication of "cost cutting" the ship did NOT offer one of two NFL Championship games.

The cost of the license fee for a second game was beyond that of the Oceania to provide.

Guests were offered the "opportunity" to leave the ship and watch the non-provided game in a bar in Belieze. Upscale Cruise Line? I don't think so..

To be fair, let me say that most of the crew tries very hard to please. However, the service offered can not begin to make up for the deficiencies given the cost of a cruise.

One last item of concern. A booklet in the Cabin lists "Guide to Services" of the Canyon Ranch Spa Club on board. The information provided is out of date and not in effect as per booklet. There is no Spa Butler, no refreshments offered, and no snacks! An offered 100 minute massage is now 80 minutes but the price for the 100 minute massage is still being charged. Why? Who knows? Oh yes... the carpet in our Cabin (#9077) was absolutely FILTHY and obviously needed to be cleaned.

A final bit of information. The Cruise line wanted to confiscate and "hold onto" all passports upon departure. Why ? Who really knows. Not a nice "surprise" and I would not allow that to be imposed. After much discussion we were "allowed" to keep our passports!

In summation, this cruise showed a lack of style, cost cutting measures, and all in all, a diminished cruise experience. Would we ever sail again on a Oceania ship? I think NOT in this lifetime.

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Cabin Review

Concierge Level
Cabin A2 9077

OK.. nothing special... need more then a single outlet by sink.

Cabin's carpet FILTHY !!

Need another outlet in Bathroom near sink... only a single outlet provided with a night light inserted into it. Therefore need to remove night light to plug it "water Pik" or other device. That is just poor planning!

TV is poor!!!

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