Oceania offered a trip to ports which interested us, with a reputation for fine service. In most aspects, we were very satisfied. The cabin was commodious and well furnished, with a full bed, love seat, desk, two large closets, and a large bathroom tiled in granite which included both spacious shower and a tub. The Riviera had an elegant, low key color scheme of beige, gold, tan, and black accents, unlike the bright, gaudy decor on some other ships. Dining service differed from what we had experienced elsewhere: servers behind the glass counters dish out food at passengers' requests. Passengers may not help themselves to any food at the buffet. Often, ship employees offered to carry food and drinks to tables, so that passengers did not carry their own plates or cups.
We had not been told our cabin number at the time of boarding, so we could not tag our luggage with cabin numbers. As a result, it took several hours, longer than for most other passengers, for us to receive our luggage. The staff had to consult the office to look up the number. That was frustrating.
Quality and variety of food varied. Lunches offered the least variety for those of us who do not eat meat or shellfish. The hot vegetables were always steamed carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli medley. At the outdoor grill, we found freshly grilled fish with limited salad offerings. Dinners were generally good, although we would have liked more pasta choices and greater variety of local fish, especially when sailing in the Mediterranean. Very plain salmon was available daily. Seasoning was also generally plain Continental, except in the specialty restaurants. We did appreciate access to the specialty restaurants. Jacques, the French restaurant, disappointed. Dover sole was delicious, but the night's special entree, sea bream, tasted very fishy and over cooked. Salads and appetizers were also disappointing at Jacques. Tuscany, the Italian specialty restaurant, served Manhattan caliber food, with excellent service. Red Ginger had decent food, but not on a par with the Asian food that we enjoy in New York. The waiter was also brusque.
Biking Tour -- Skilled riding was required for navigating along narrow, very steep aclivities and declivities through towns, forests, along a beach. Scenery was dramatic.
We arranged our own activities, as we've been to Barcelona three previous times.