To put it in a nutshell before our cruise on Oceania's Marina in the South Pacific, I was vehemently "anti-cruise." No more. At least not a relatively small ship such as the Marina. I'd sail on the Marina again in a flash. I can't think of a thing about which to be critical. We had a concierge veranda room. It was clean and spacious. The stewardess for our room was superb. Our room was made up and turned down each day.
And, talking about superb, I can't think of one thing negative about any of the crew: stewards/stewardesses, servers, matre-ds, people at the "destination desk," at the dining desk, at what I'll call the main help desk, the concierges, bar and barista tenders, and the boutiques sales personnel. Everyone! Everyone was hospitable and gracious, and willing to assist us at the drop of a hat. I never saw anything but smiles, always greeted graciously by any crew member we met, and never heard a disparaging word.
We used room service--which is free--each morning without a hitch. We never waited very long for the food to be served. I especially found the passengers congenial, even during the long, hot, and humid wait for our flights in the airport. Our embarkment and disembarkment went smoothly. The tendering at each port to carry us between the ship and ports of call was marvelous. The food was exquisite throughout the ship: specialty restaurants, grand dining hall, and more informal venues. The LaReserve food/wine matching was an experience to behold. Not being heavy drinkers, we didn't buy the daily drink package and brought our own three bottles of wine on board. Corkage was a one-time $25 per bottle.
Sure, the onboard entertainment in the Marina Lounge left a lot to be desired, but nothing is perfect. The ship did have a marvelous native show which in port at Niku Hiva. The land tours admittedly were a tad pricey, but certainly bearable. In any event, we made our own tour arrangements on some of the islands and just walked around on others. And, because of my wife's physical limitations couldn't take advantage of the snorkeling and diving opportunities. I can't comment on travel arrangements or transference between airport and ship since my wife and I went into Tahiti four days before the cruise and thus made our own hotel, touring, and air arrangements. In fact, we had 12 hours between the time we had to be off the ship and the time we had to be at the airport. So, we arranged to have a guide for the day who also took us to the airport. It was a fabulous way for my wife and I to launch our year-long celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary. If I could give the Marina a triple excellent rating, I would.
clean, spacious, well tended, nice size bathroom, romantic veranda. Beds made and room tidied up twice a day.