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We are taken many cruises and this was our first experience with Oceania. A wonderful experience and we will definitely sail with this company again. Of course the occasional hiccup but this did not cause us to dislike the cruise. 1. Embarkment was fast and easy. Buffet luncheon was exceptional and we then toured the ship on our own. Public rooms are all well appointed and much polished wood and brass. The decor is Edwardian/Traditional and very appealing. 2. Stateroom - We were in Concierge level but rooms were the same as the Veranda and much smaller then Regent Seven Seas. The bathroom was tiny. To be blunt, we never got used to sitting "sidesaddle" on the toilet! But again the room was appointed nicely, our stewardess, Aida was outstanding and wonderful. Everything was perfectly cleaned daily including the balcony and the windows. When we left for breakfast each morning she was in the corridor with a warm "good morning" and a smile. Our room was cleaned while we were at breakfast every day. (Oh by the way, all the staff are friendly, professional and make you feel like family. 3. Luggage - Our luggage didn't arrive till after the fire drill, about 5:30 pm. And only in the corridors. All the guests had to walk up and down the corridor looking for their luggage and lug it back to the cabin. Weird to say the least. 4. Food - With just one or two exceptions the food and menus were wonderful. We couldn't understand the Jacque Pepin thing in the dining room. Three of his dishes was posted on the menu every night, the same three. But there was such an abundance and variety on the menu why is he even listed? The head chef and all his assistants did a great job and Pepin isn't necessary at all. The main dining room is well appointed and the staff were great. We made a point of only sitting at Judaidi's work station. He and his staff are amazing and helped to make each evening wonderful. We usually had a table for two but many nights sat with friends at table for 4. Service was always great. But I do understand some reviewers that complained about bad service at large tables. 6 or more at a table and there were many complaints about long waits. The alternative venues, Polo and Toscana were small and intimate, each maitre d and his staff did a wonderful job each every night we were there. 5. Terrace Cafe - We found this daily buffet venue good but also odd. The two maitre d's from Polo and Toscana were supervising the serving in specific areas of the Cafe and service was outstanding. These two gentlemen also served and cleaning up when their areas were busy. They were hands on and you could see the staff loved these guys. But if you couldn't find a table at their stations then you had to sit with the supervisors that we dubbed: Mutt & Jeff. They constantly were yelling at each other, talking on the phone or yelling at staff. If I needed a cup of coffee I would ask one of them and they went around the room looking for someone to give it to me instead of realizing his staff were busy and just get it himself. 3, 4 or more tables would be dirty and these two would never think to clean up and set up for more guests. They yelled at staff to drop what they were doing and clean up, even if the server was getting coffee, water or assisting a guest already. For the entire 36 days these two unprofessionals got away with treating us guest shabbily and treating the staff deplorably. In the real world these two jerks would have been fired after the 1st week. 6. Entertainment - Two wonderful comedians was about it. There were several vocalists or musicians but for the life of me I can't remember their names or even anything about their performances. The Entertainment Dept. uses their own staff, one at a time, for many entertainments night. Our asst. Cruise Dir. John, was a wonderful magician and comedian.Other then that nothing memorable. And many nights just a movie in the main lounge. So Oceania is like most other companies and spend very little on entertainment. They had a great little band but only one set at noon each day at the pool. Why not several more sets, they don't show up again under after-dinner dancing. It took longer to set up the band at the pool then the actual musical set! 7. Excursions - Like most other cruise lines, the excursions are way, way overpriced for what you get. After the Caribbean ports of call (we did our own thing), all ports were new to us so we booked the ships excursions. The ports were depressing. Poverty everywhere and not many cruise ships even stop at them (as we found out later). Little to see but we sure tried to educate ourselves to these new places. We never had head sets and with large groups they were necessary so for the most part, walking tours were a waste of time unless you stood next to the guide. As we have found from other cruise companies, do you own research and do your own tours. You will save hundreds and enjoy them more. 8. Enrichment - Two lectures but we would have loved one lecturer at least to speak about the countries we were to visit. Not about the stars and celestial navigation. There was an Artist Loft and Pat was the instructor. She had standing room only for her classes. 9. Spa - Canyon Ranch is here too. Overpriced and fair service. Overall: The cruise was all new experiences for us and we met so many wonderful people on board. A friendly crowd of 600 guests. The staff went out of their way to insure us all a great cruise. Although many of the ports were depressing and poverty severe, we learned much about these developing countries and we are so thankful that we are Americans. We have booked our second cruise with Oceania for next Jan. 2017, Cape Town to Singapore and look forward to many years of enjoying cruising with them.

Wonderful First Experience

Insignia Cruise Review by zak477

21 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We are taken many cruises and this was our first experience with Oceania. A wonderful experience and we will definitely sail with this company again. Of course the occasional hiccup but this did not cause us to dislike the cruise.

1. Embarkment was fast and easy. Buffet luncheon was exceptional and we then toured the ship on our own. Public rooms are all well appointed and much polished wood and brass. The decor is Edwardian/Traditional and very appealing.

2. Stateroom - We were in Concierge level but rooms were the same as the Veranda and much smaller then Regent Seven Seas. The bathroom was tiny. To be blunt, we never got used to sitting "sidesaddle" on the toilet! But again the room was appointed nicely, our stewardess, Aida was outstanding and wonderful. Everything was perfectly cleaned daily including the balcony and the windows. When we left for breakfast each morning she was in the corridor with a warm "good morning" and a smile. Our room was cleaned while we were at breakfast every day. (Oh by the way, all the staff are friendly, professional and make you feel like family.

3. Luggage - Our luggage didn't arrive till after the fire drill, about 5:30 pm. And only in the corridors. All the guests had to walk up and down the corridor looking for their luggage and lug it back to the cabin. Weird to say the least.

4. Food - With just one or two exceptions the food and menus were wonderful. We couldn't understand the Jacque Pepin thing in the dining room. Three of his dishes was posted on the menu every night, the same three. But there was such an abundance and variety on the menu why is he even listed? The head chef and all his assistants did a great job and Pepin isn't necessary at all. The main dining room is well appointed and the staff were great. We made a point of only sitting at Judaidi's work station. He and his staff are amazing and helped to make each evening wonderful. We usually had a table for two but many nights sat with friends at table for 4. Service was always great. But I do understand some reviewers that complained about bad service at large tables. 6 or more at a table and there were many complaints about long waits. The alternative venues, Polo and Toscana were small and intimate, each maitre d and his staff did a wonderful job each every night we were there.

5. Terrace Cafe - We found this daily buffet venue good but also odd. The two maitre d's from Polo and Toscana were supervising the serving in specific areas of the Cafe and service was outstanding. These two gentlemen also served and cleaning up when their areas were busy. They were hands on and you could see the staff loved these guys. But if you couldn't find a table at their stations then you had to sit with the supervisors that we dubbed: Mutt & Jeff. They constantly were yelling at each other, talking on the phone or yelling at staff. If I needed a cup of coffee I would ask one of them and they went around the room looking for someone to give it to me instead of realizing his staff were busy and just get it himself. 3, 4 or more tables would be dirty and these two would never think to clean up and set up for more guests. They yelled at staff to drop what they were doing and clean up, even if the server was getting coffee, water or assisting a guest already. For the entire 36 days these two unprofessionals got away with treating us guest shabbily and treating the staff deplorably. In the real world these two jerks would have been fired after the 1st week.

6. Entertainment - Two wonderful comedians was about it. There were several vocalists or musicians but for the life of me I can't remember their names or even anything about their performances. The Entertainment Dept. uses their own staff, one at a time, for many entertainments night. Our asst. Cruise Dir. John, was a wonderful magician and comedian.Other then that nothing memorable. And many nights just a movie in the main lounge. So Oceania is like most other companies and spend very little on entertainment. They had a great little band but only one set at noon each day at the pool. Why not several more sets, they don't show up again under after-dinner dancing. It took longer to set up the band at the pool then the actual musical set!

7. Excursions - Like most other cruise lines, the excursions are way, way overpriced for what you get. After the Caribbean ports of call (we did our own thing), all ports were new to us so we booked the ships excursions. The ports were depressing. Poverty everywhere and not many cruise ships even stop at them (as we found out later). Little to see but we sure tried to educate ourselves to these new places. We never had head sets and with large groups they were necessary so for the most part, walking tours were a waste of time unless you stood next to the guide. As we have found from other cruise companies, do you own research and do your own tours. You will save hundreds and enjoy them more.

8. Enrichment - Two lectures but we would have loved one lecturer at least to speak about the countries we were to visit. Not about the stars and celestial navigation. There was an Artist Loft and Pat was the instructor. She had standing room only for her classes.

9. Spa - Canyon Ranch is here too. Overpriced and fair service.

Overall: The cruise was all new experiences for us and we met so many wonderful people on board. A friendly crowd of 600 guests. The staff went out of their way to insure us all a great cruise. Although many of the ports were depressing and poverty severe, we learned much about these developing countries and we are so thankful that we are Americans. We have booked our second cruise with Oceania for next Jan. 2017, Cape Town to Singapore and look forward to many years of enjoying cruising with them.
zak477’s Full Rating Summary
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