This was our first Oceania cruise, having used Celebrity and Cunard in the past. We booked on the basis of the itinerary (Greek Islands) and the reputation Oceania has of being a solid notch above the mass market cruises. The cruise originated and ended in Istanbul. Embarkation was easy with a maximum of 15 minutes to drop off the luggage and check-in. Tip - if you are looking for well known Western brand hotels close to the cruise terminal, I would recommend the Grand Hyatt or Intercontinental, both close to Taksim Square and less than 10 minutes by taxi to the ship. Our Penthouse Suite (PH2) cabin was 11005. We were very happy with all aspects of the cabin, particularly with the walk in closet and lots of storage space. Tip - deck 11 forward is a great location. It's behind the bridge so is a dead-end and therefore has no corridor noise. Also deck 12 (pool deck) is wider than 11, that gives more shade/protection to the balconies on 11. Our cabin staff (Christina, Joe and Dean the butler) were excellent, attentive and always smiling. More-over, we would say that all Oceania staff were professional and in particular seemed a very happy bunch! Food/Drink - Oceania pride themselves on cuisine, while we were not at any point dis-appointed, we did not honestly feel the food standard was exceptional. In our view Red Ginger was the best, followed by Toscana, and the Main Dining room. The terrace buffet was perfectly good, but not "sumptuous" by any standard. In our view the Polo Grille Steak/seafood) was the earliest and we did not try the French restaurant as we live in France. Tip - we did not start making reservations in the specialty restaurants until late on the first cruise day, and found difficulty in obtaining good times.....so book early. Tip - my wife does not drink so we did not go with any of the daily beverage packages. Bottled beer prices ($6.50) and good wines by the glass ($10ish) we're reasonable to me. Tip - oceania allows purchased alcohol on board (sadly I only discovered this with 3 days left), and with the mini bar stocked daily with free soft drinks, it made cocktails in the cabin very affordable! Ports of call/excursions - I never understand shore excursion pricing, and we prefer to do our own thing in anycase. All ports of call (both docked and tendered) were close enough to town to not need prior arrangements. Ship facilities/entertainment - Riviera is a well appointed mid size ship, with all the usual ship-board activities on a mid-size, but nothing revolutionary (no climbing wall, simulators etc). Late afternoons on shore excursion days and all day when sailing, the pool areas and seating areas do become busy, but I have never seen a ship where this is not the case. We were pleasantly surprised by the cabin TV movie channels, with recent run films available free of charge. Dis-embarkation - Approx 15 minutes in the passport control queue, but the luggage was waiting for us, and plentiful taxis outside. Again I don't understand the pricing on offer for ground transport by Oceania, that was almost x10 the price of taking a regular taxi? Summary - happy with Oceania, particularly with great staff and excellent cabin.

Happy with First Oceania Cruise

Riviera Cruise Review by AndyandSu

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was our first Oceania cruise, having used Celebrity and Cunard in the past. We booked on the basis of the itinerary (Greek Islands) and the reputation Oceania has of being a solid notch above the mass market cruises. The cruise originated and ended in Istanbul.

Embarkation was easy with a maximum of 15 minutes to drop off the luggage and check-in.

Tip - if you are looking for well known Western brand hotels close to the cruise terminal, I would recommend the Grand Hyatt or Intercontinental, both close to Taksim Square and less than 10 minutes by taxi to the ship.

Our Penthouse Suite (PH2) cabin was 11005. We were very happy with all aspects of the cabin, particularly with the walk in closet and lots of storage space.

Tip - deck 11 forward is a great location. It's behind the bridge so is a dead-end and therefore has no corridor noise. Also deck 12 (pool deck) is wider than 11, that gives more shade/protection to the balconies on 11.

Our cabin staff (Christina, Joe and Dean the butler) were excellent, attentive and always smiling. More-over, we would say that all Oceania staff were professional and in particular seemed a very happy bunch!

Food/Drink - Oceania pride themselves on cuisine, while we were not at any point dis-appointed, we did not honestly feel the food standard was exceptional. In our view Red Ginger was the best, followed by Toscana, and the Main Dining room. The terrace buffet was perfectly good, but not "sumptuous" by any standard. In our view the Polo Grille Steak/seafood) was the earliest and we did not try the French restaurant as we live in France.

Tip - we did not start making reservations in the specialty restaurants until late on the first cruise day, and found difficulty in obtaining good times.....so book early.

Tip - my wife does not drink so we did not go with any of the daily beverage packages. Bottled beer prices ($6.50) and good wines by the glass ($10ish) we're reasonable to me.

Tip - oceania allows purchased alcohol on board (sadly I only discovered this with 3 days left), and with the mini bar stocked daily with free soft drinks, it made cocktails in the cabin very affordable!

Ports of call/excursions - I never understand shore excursion pricing, and we prefer to do our own thing in anycase. All ports of call (both docked and tendered) were close enough to town to not need prior arrangements.

Ship facilities/entertainment - Riviera is a well appointed mid size ship, with all the usual ship-board activities on a mid-size, but nothing revolutionary (no climbing wall, simulators etc). Late afternoons on shore excursion days and all day when sailing, the pool areas and seating areas do become busy, but I have never seen a ship where this is not the case.

We were pleasantly surprised by the cabin TV movie channels, with recent run films available free of charge.

Dis-embarkation - Approx 15 minutes in the passport control queue, but the luggage was waiting for us, and plentiful taxis outside. Again I don't understand the pricing on offer for ground transport by Oceania, that was almost x10 the price of taking a regular taxi?

Summary - happy with Oceania, particularly with great staff and excellent cabin.
AndyandSu’s Full Rating Summary
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