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

Our First Cruise and Never Again!

Riviera Cruise Review by emmad

22 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Feb 2016
  • Destination: the Caribbean

We thought we would spend some extra money and book a highly rated cruise line with great service and food and amenities. Our expectations were shattered with this cruise! In a nutshell, this cruise line is too darn expensive for what we received!!

First, there was the scare of the norovirus. On the previous cruise, the ship did have the norovirus and came in 2 days early in order to take measures to rid the ship of it. We felt there was hardly any communication from our ship as to what we would see or endure as to getting rid of this potential virus. We saw the crew literally putting on the walls, elevator doors, tables, chairs, hand rails, etc.(everything a passenger or crew member would touch) this liquid that was dripping wet . . .running down the walls. Everything was sticky due to the liquid, the chairs especially. The liquid left a chalky film- made me nauseous looking at all of this. We "heard" our ship had 72 hours to get an all clear or probably the ship would have had to return to Miami. And if you read the reviews from previous years, this ship has had the virus before. We have taken about 17 cruises before this one, and we have never experienced this all out war on the virus.

We usually are not negative about a trip or cruise . . .we are easy to please. But this ship was not a good fit for us. (1) This cruise is expensive so it therefore caters to the retired and people who are wealthy . . .we like a smattering of ages and incomes. (2) We were expecting such great food and we would rate it 65-75% depending on which restaurant we were in. (3) The service was for the most part just ok. We heard some of the experienced staff had to get off the ship due to being sick, so inexperienced staff took their place. They were overwhelmed with the cleaning procedures and overworked (our cabin steward and helper had 25 cabins to clean!). (4) For a ship this size, the tendering was slow . . .the bigger ships do a better job. (5) The boutiques onboard are too high end - thank goodness we had ship board credit so we spent part of it on a jacket. (6) We never met the Captain of the ship- maybe because we were first time cruisers with Oceania.

For some positives, we liked the entertainment. We loved the comedienne (we needed to laugh!) and the singers and dancers did a good job for the size of the ship. Room service was excellent and the quality of the food for lunch was better than the dining rooms. Our cabin was quiet and the bed and the pillows were comfortable. We loved our bathroom- our shower had two shower heads and glass shower door that did not drip when we opened it. It was nice to have all the bottled water we wanted and soft drinks were available in our refrig in the room. The weather was great- warm and balmy and calm seas for the most part.

So to sum it all up, we were not impressed with this cruise line and what it had to offer for the amount of money we had to spend! This is our first and last cruise with Oceania and we caution future cruisers to really do your research and make sure this cruise line would be the right choice for you!

emmad's Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


There were three separate areas that we could take on the Hop On, Hop Off Bus. One section was nothing but viewing construction and "art work" on the walls of some buildings. We went on one other area and saw a better over view of the city.


The island is poverty stricken and then we wanted to see Atlantis . . .seems like this resort is just "plunked down" on the side of the island . . .fun to see in one day but very expensive!

San Juan

We walked around Old Town and for the most part it was fun and especially if you walk up to see the views of the harbor.

St. Barts

We have been here before and just walked around the beautiful harbor and found some fun souvenirs.

St. John (U.S.V.I.)

We walked around- we attempted to get to their open air market- was supposed to be very colorful and full of varied foods and fish but did not feel that safe in walking there and turned around. I found a beautiful handmade cloth bowl with a shell on it- only shop that did not have junky things to buy.

St. Lucia

We visited a "heritage house" that had a pretty nice view of our ship and then this broken down (remains) of a fort . . .no big deal.

St. Maarten

We went to Marigot and the shopping is not very good . . .the tour guides say "oh, this is the french side and it has great shopping" . . .no!

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