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

An Exercise in Elegance

Riviera Cruise Review by Airspeed

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Mar 2016
  • Destination: the Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Oceania Suite

We went on a seven night cruise aboard the Riviera stopping in Key West, Trujillo (Honduras), Belize City (Belize), and Cozumel (Mexico). This was our first cruise ever (as a child I had once done an Atlantic crossing, but this was back in the 1970s), and we kind of splurged, celebrating my wife's speedy recovery from intensive surgery. We had an Oceania Suite, with over 1,000 square feet.

The Riviera, simply put, is of pure elegance. She is not gaudy or over the top, but a thoughtfully put together example of fine design. The dining venues are wonderful, the staff and service highly trained and very international. The food choices were, to the most part, far better than very good. It was kind of funny - some people preferred, for example, the Red Ginger restaurant (Asian) over Polo's (steak house), so we did not go to Polo's with high expectations, only to be pleasantly surprised by the high quality.

The Riviera is a more expensive ship, and therefore the audience that can afford to travel on her generally tends to consist on older retirees, so expect to see very few younger people. This has an adverse effect on the entertainment choices - musical selections in the Riviera Lounge, the only stage on the ship, were of a bygone era. Though the performers were very good, the actual productions simply failed to move us.

Shore excursions ranged from so-so to very good. Trujillo still needs a lot of development - the town has just recently started to accept cruises. The glass-bottomed boat in Key West was a pure blast. We went to see the ancient Maya ruins in Belize - this was a very well put together tour, with expert guides. Cozumel was a lot of fun - this is the Caribbean's second-highest earner in cruise ship revenues, at the heels of St. Maarten.

Airspeed's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Oceania Suite
Cabin OC 12011

I put a video showing the cabin on Youtube. Search for Riviera Oceania Suite 12011. The suite was superb.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


Stayed for two nights in Miami, did hop-on hop-off tour, a lot of fun.

Key West

Great views of corals, sponges, and fish. Highly knowledgeable guide.

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