We just returned from Oceania's Riveria 17 day cruise(Medieval Meanderings) from Barcelona to Rome. This was actually two cruises combined - July 3 cruise Barcelona to Lisbon and July 10 cruise Lisbon to Rome. This was our 5th Oceania cruise. We cannot say enough good things about how fantastic this cruise was including the Oceania staff, food, ports, excursions and ship. We used Oceania Air arriving and departing day of cruise. I was somewhat concerned about this but it all worked out well. They provided tickets from Miami-to-Atlanta to Barcelona returning from Rome directly to Miami. We lucked out going over because we arrived in Barcelona at 8:15 in the morning and only waited about 15 minutes to go through their airport passport review. We heard later that people arriving had to wait over 3 hours for this process. We took a cab from the airport to the ship which only cost $39 euros and not a problem getting a cab. Oceania transfers were far more expensive. I was concerned about the return flight since it left at 10:40 in the morning the day we arrived in Rome but we used Oceania transfers at 7:00 am. (expensive $139 each) and we were at our gate ready to depart by 9:05 a.m. so it was not an issue at all. Once arriving at the port around 10:30. They had chairs in the waiting area and we were so happy that we hadn't run into issues with the travel we didn't mind the wait at all while talking to other passengers also arriving early. Oceania started boarding around 11:00 and we were able to get on around 11:30 since we did not have one of the priority cabins. We could immediately go to lunch on the ship. I cannot say enough about the quality of the food on the ship wherever we dined, the service, our stateroom attendants (OLGA) and general customer service. We believe the food and service has even gotten better if possible than our previous cruises. We had an inside cabin which is 175 feet. Only downside is the shower is very small. Most of our prior cruises have been in balcony cabins but with this cruise all day almost everyday at a port we were very happy with our cabin. We was center of the ship, quiet and good use of space. The best improvement with Oceania from our previous sailing is that for us we each had seven excursions included with our price and we thought the excursions were terrific. Also some of the stops Oceania provided shuttle to town center which were excellent. Aliciante Spain - since we arrived the day before we did not want to book an excursion here. We enjoyed taking the free shuttle from the ship walking around town. Almeria Spain - Oceania excursion - Clisol Greenhouses & Almerimar Marina - Wonderful. We visited one of the largest greenhouses, the owner explained the planting and harvesting process and we had a tasting. Then we strolled through the coastal resort town of Almerimar. Gibraltar, UK - we booked an excursion with other people on cruise critic. We used Rock Tours Gibraltar. Fabulous tour including the rock, the caves, castle, monkeys, beaches etc. Only complaint is that the guide did not return us to the port. He dropped us off in town telling us it was a 10 minute walk to the port. Walking fast it was almost 1/2 hour and this is not what was promised when we booked the trip. Being tired after touring all day he should have taken us at least to the security entrance at the port. Casablanca, Morocco - Oceania Tour - Imperial Rabat - Fascinating. This was the only port that was poor and in sharp contrast to the rest of the trip. We saw Al Fez mosque, Kasbah area etc. Lunch was provided in a local restaurant in the Kasbah (chicken). The food was okay but paled in comparison to any meal we had on the ship. However, eating lunch in this area is essential to being part of the local culture. We heard some comments from other people touring with us that they did not like the tour while others loved it. For us we are so glad we did it to see the actual life in Morocco and this is difficult to go outside of Casablanca on your own. Seville (Cadiz Spain) - Oceania Tour Scenic Cadiz & Flamenco - One highlight of our trip. First a city walk then Flamenco dancing with Tapas. I thought it strange when we signed up that the dancing was in the morning but it turned out great. The dancers were wonderful and the atmosphere of the restaurant wonderful. Tapas was just cheese and ham (which we don't eat) and 2 soft drinks and beer. Lisbon Portugal - Oceania Tour - Portuguese Riviera & Sintra - Explanations as we drove out of Lisbon about 1 hour ride to Sintra which is a beautiful mountain town. Toured the Queluz Place and then a little time to walk around time. Stopped on the way back to Lisbon at a picturesque harbor area to take pictures. Since we had 2 days in Lisbon the next day we did the hop on and off bus which gave us a great detailed view of the city. Beware however the bus did not stop at all the stops in the brochure and even though we boarded the bus near the port we had quite a walk back on the way back because he did not go back to that stop due to construction. Malaga, Spain - We met friends and road a horse and buggy around town. It is a beautiful place and after our ride we walked around the city and enjoyed visiting the market. Cartagena, Spain - Easy walk into town and enjoyed exploring Roman ruins the shops and going to a craft market that had items made by local artists. Ibiza, Spain - Oceania tour - Island Discovery and all day tour seeing the entire island with lunch. Saw a lot . Only objection is we took a long time driving to the north end for lunch in Portinatx at a restaurant with a beautiful view of the water. Seafood Paella was served which we didn't like at all. We've had other Paella in Spain that we like. Even the ice cream for dessert was inedible with chucks of ice (low quality). We has seen so many beautiful towns on the way here we would have been better off eating elsewhere. Barcelona Spain - We've been here many times before so we arranged for an English tour of the El Palau de la Musica Catalana. Just fabulous! Another highlight of the trip. We walked from the shuttle drop off (Columbus monument ) (about 20 minutes). Provence (Marseille) France - Oceania tour Aix-En-Provence & Marseille. Walking tour of Aix but this was a day after the terrible Nice attack and we were surprised how crowded the city was. The tours to Nice were cancelled. Good way to get to around but finding our bathroom was a major issue. Oceania should have something arranged for people on this tour. Only one of 4 public bathroom was working with a long waits and not convenient to where we were touring. The guide told us to use a bar after purchasing a meal. Everything was extremely crowded and this took away from our enjoyment of the area. We loved Marseille, the views from the Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica and walking around the boat area. Monaco - Right at the port is the hop on and off bus (20 euros) and this took us all over town. Fabulous way to see the city. We also visited the Oceanagraphic (14 euros) which was crowded. But we hadn't been to an Aquarium for a while so we enjoyed it. What an exciting place to dock. Fantastic views of the city, and enjoyed eating and watching to boats. Portofino Italy - Oceania Tour - Scenic Rapallo and Sestri - We walked through part of Portofino first then boarded a modern boat (good bathroom on the boat )to visit the other town. Another highlight of the cruise. Portfolio is small and the shopping is expensive. Beautiful riding along Italy's coast and seeing life in the towns. The tour was very well run with just enough time in each of the town we stopped at to enjoy walking around. The boat left each place exactly when they said so beware to be back on time. We elected to remain on the boat the last day of the cruise to relax before the long trip home. We had toured Florence before. Every meal we had on the ship was a work of art with taste to match even in the main dining room. Except for one day you could also have lunch there. Afternoon tea is wonderful even though with the full itinerary we only attended once. I can't express enough how the staff went out of their way to help us. The last night after 10:00 pm I realized I had a problem with the private transfer I had arranged to the airport. Even though the destination service desk was closed they were able to get us on their airport shuttle from the ship at 7:00 a.m. the next morning. That says it all. Also the Internet was hit and miss. Not as good as home but even in our inside cabin one of us using at a time we could at most times access it. When not many people were on the ship it was speedy, other times slow but very usable. We also had use of the computers in the computer room with our free internet access one at a time. Lecturers on the ship were good discussions of the history of our various ports of call. If unable to attend the lecture I was able to watch it on the TV in the stateroom. We enjoyed many of the shows on the ship. Nolan Dean is the best cruise director at sea. We loved listening to Emmanuelle Adda and she did a fantastic show with the music of La Mome Piaf. Also, the World Beat show was one of the best shows we've seen at sea and we've sailed Royal Caribbean, Holland, Celebrity etc. One problem we've never had on an Oceania cruise before. It was summer so we expected some children on the ship. As a grandparent I love children around. However, some parents allowed their children to run up and down the halls at all hours. We did not complain but I know people across the hall called the reception desk. After their formal complaint the running in the halls ended. We've done many trips but we never enjoyed, saw so many beautiful places, fantastic food and customer service as this cruise.

Cruise of a Lifetime!

Riviera Cruise Review by Lorna Doone

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2016
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Inside Stateroom
We just returned from Oceania's Riveria 17 day cruise(Medieval Meanderings) from Barcelona to Rome. This was actually two cruises combined - July 3 cruise Barcelona to Lisbon and July 10 cruise Lisbon to Rome. This was our 5th Oceania cruise.

We cannot say enough good things about how fantastic this cruise was including the Oceania staff, food, ports, excursions and ship.

We used Oceania Air arriving and departing day of cruise. I was somewhat concerned about this but it all worked out well. They provided tickets from Miami-to-Atlanta to Barcelona returning from Rome directly to Miami. We lucked out going over because we arrived in Barcelona at 8:15 in the morning and only waited about 15 minutes to go through their airport passport review. We heard later that people arriving had to wait over 3 hours for this process. We took a cab from the airport to the ship which only cost $39 euros and not a problem getting a cab. Oceania transfers were far more expensive.

I was concerned about the return flight since it left at 10:40 in the morning the day we arrived in Rome but we used Oceania transfers at 7:00 am. (expensive $139 each) and we were at our gate ready to depart by 9:05 a.m. so it was not an issue at all.

Once arriving at the port around 10:30. They had chairs in the waiting area and we were so happy that we hadn't run into issues with the travel we didn't mind the wait at all while talking to other passengers also arriving early. Oceania started boarding around 11:00 and we were able to get on around 11:30 since we did not have one of the priority cabins. We could immediately go to lunch on the ship.

I cannot say enough about the quality of the food on the ship wherever we dined, the service, our stateroom attendants (OLGA) and general customer service. We believe the food and service has even gotten better if possible than our previous cruises.

We had an inside cabin which is 175 feet. Only downside is the shower is very small. Most of our prior cruises have been in balcony cabins but with this cruise all day almost everyday at a port we were very happy with our cabin. We was center of the ship, quiet and good use of space.

The best improvement with Oceania from our previous sailing is that for us we each had seven excursions included with our price and we thought the excursions were terrific. Also some of the stops Oceania provided shuttle to town center which were excellent.

Aliciante Spain - since we arrived the day before we did not want to book an excursion here. We enjoyed taking the free shuttle from the ship walking around town.

Almeria Spain - Oceania excursion - Clisol Greenhouses & Almerimar Marina - Wonderful. We visited one of the largest greenhouses, the owner explained the planting and harvesting process and we had a tasting. Then we strolled through the coastal resort town of Almerimar.

Gibraltar, UK - we booked an excursion with other people on cruise critic. We used Rock Tours Gibraltar. Fabulous tour including the rock, the caves, castle, monkeys, beaches etc. Only complaint is that the guide did not return us to the port. He dropped us off in town telling us it was a 10 minute walk to the port. Walking fast it was almost 1/2 hour and this is not what was promised when we booked the trip. Being tired after touring all day he should have taken us at least to the security entrance at the port.

Casablanca, Morocco - Oceania Tour - Imperial Rabat - Fascinating. This was the only port that was poor and in sharp contrast to the rest of the trip. We saw Al Fez mosque, Kasbah area etc. Lunch was provided in a local restaurant in the Kasbah (chicken). The food was okay but paled in comparison to any meal we had on the ship. However, eating lunch in this area is essential to being part of the local culture. We heard some comments from other people touring with us that they did not like the tour while others loved it. For us we are so glad we did it to see the actual life in Morocco and this is difficult to go outside of Casablanca on your own.

Seville (Cadiz Spain) - Oceania Tour Scenic Cadiz & Flamenco - One highlight of our trip. First a city walk then Flamenco dancing with Tapas. I thought it strange when we signed up that the dancing was in the morning but it turned out great. The dancers were wonderful and the atmosphere of the restaurant wonderful. Tapas was just cheese and ham (which we don't eat) and 2 soft drinks and beer.

Lisbon Portugal - Oceania Tour - Portuguese Riviera & Sintra - Explanations as we drove out of Lisbon about 1 hour ride to Sintra which is a beautiful mountain town. Toured the Queluz Place and then a little time to walk around time. Stopped on the way back to Lisbon at a picturesque harbor area to take pictures. Since we had 2 days in Lisbon the next day we did the hop on and off bus which gave us a great detailed view of the city. Beware however the bus did not stop at all the stops in the brochure and even though we boarded the bus near the port we had quite a walk back on the way back because he did not go back to that stop due to construction.

Malaga, Spain - We met friends and road a horse and buggy around town. It is a beautiful place and after our ride we walked around the city and enjoyed visiting the market.

Cartagena, Spain - Easy walk into town and enjoyed exploring Roman ruins the shops and going to a craft market that had items made by local artists.

Ibiza, Spain - Oceania tour - Island Discovery and all day tour seeing the entire island with lunch. Saw a lot . Only objection is we took a long time driving to the north end for lunch in Portinatx at a restaurant with a beautiful view of the water. Seafood Paella was served which we didn't like at all. We've had other Paella in Spain that we like. Even the ice cream for dessert was inedible with chucks of ice (low quality). We has seen so many beautiful towns on the way here we would have been better off eating elsewhere.

Barcelona Spain - We've been here many times before so we arranged for an English tour of the El Palau de la Musica Catalana. Just fabulous! Another highlight of the trip. We walked from the shuttle drop off (Columbus monument ) (about 20 minutes).

Provence (Marseille) France - Oceania tour Aix-En-Provence & Marseille. Walking tour of Aix but this was a day after the terrible Nice attack and we were surprised how crowded the city was. The tours to Nice were cancelled. Good way to get to around but finding our bathroom was a major issue. Oceania should have something arranged for people on this tour. Only one of 4 public bathroom was working with a long waits and not convenient to where we were touring. The guide told us to use a bar after purchasing a meal. Everything was extremely crowded and this took away from our enjoyment of the area. We loved Marseille, the views from the Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica and walking around the boat area.

Monaco - Right at the port is the hop on and off bus (20 euros) and this took us all over town. Fabulous way to see the city. We also visited the Oceanagraphic (14 euros) which was crowded. But we hadn't been to an Aquarium for a while so we enjoyed it. What an exciting place to dock. Fantastic views of the city, and enjoyed eating and watching to boats.

Portofino Italy - Oceania Tour - Scenic Rapallo and Sestri - We walked through part of Portofino first then boarded a modern boat (good bathroom on the boat )to visit the other town. Another highlight of the cruise. Portfolio is small and the shopping is expensive. Beautiful riding along Italy's coast and seeing life in the towns. The tour was very well run with just enough time in each of the town we stopped at to enjoy walking around. The boat left each place exactly when they said so beware to be back on time.

We elected to remain on the boat the last day of the cruise to relax before the long trip home. We had toured Florence before.

Every meal we had on the ship was a work of art with taste to match even in the main dining room. Except for one day you could also have lunch there. Afternoon tea is wonderful even though with the full itinerary we only attended once.

I can't express enough how the staff went out of their way to help us. The last night after 10:00 pm I realized I had a problem with the private transfer I had arranged to the airport. Even though the destination service desk was closed they were able to get us on their airport shuttle from the ship at 7:00 a.m. the next morning. That says it all.

Also the Internet was hit and miss. Not as good as home but even in our inside cabin one of us using at a time we could at most times access it. When not many people were on the ship it was speedy, other times slow but very usable. We also had use of the computers in the computer room with our free internet access one at a time.

Lecturers on the ship were good discussions of the history of our various ports of call. If unable to attend the lecture I was able to watch it on the TV in the stateroom.

We enjoyed many of the shows on the ship. Nolan Dean is the best cruise director at sea. We loved listening to Emmanuelle Adda and she did a fantastic show with the music of La Mome Piaf. Also, the World Beat show was one of the best shows we've seen at sea and we've sailed Royal Caribbean, Holland, Celebrity etc.

One problem we've never had on an Oceania cruise before. It was summer so we expected some children on the ship. As a grandparent I love children around. However, some parents allowed their children to run up and down the halls at all hours. We did not complain but I know people across the hall called the reception desk. After their formal complaint the running in the halls ended.

We've done many trips but we never enjoyed, saw so many beautiful places, fantastic food and customer service as this cruise.
Lorna Doone’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Inside Stateroom
Cabin G 8080
Marble bathroom. Small shower. Outstanding stateroom attendant. Adequate for our needs. 175 square feet. Great location.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cartagena (Spain)
    Easy walk into town and enjoyed exploring Roman ruins the shops and going to a craft market that had items made by local artists.
    View All 435 Cartagena (Spain) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Cartagena (Spain) Cruise Port Review
  • Rock of Gibraltar
    We booked an excursion with other people on cruise critic. We used Rock Tours Gibraltar. Fabulous tour including the rock, the caves, castle, monkeys, beaches etc. Only complaint is that the guide did not return us to the port. He dropped us off in town telling us it was a 10 minute walk to the port. Walking fast it was almost 1/2 hour and this is not what was promised when we booked the trip. Being tired after touring all day he should have taken us at least to the security entrance at the port.
    View All 96 Rock of Gibraltar Reviews
  • Island Tour
    Island Discovery and all day tour seeing the entire island with lunch. Only objection is we took a long time driving to the north end for lunch in Portinatx at a restaurant with a beautiful view of the water. Seafood Paella was served which we didn't like at all. We've had other Paella in Spain that we like. Even the ice cream for dessert was inedible with chucks of ice (low quality). We saw so many beautiful towns on the way here we would have been better off eating elsewhere.
    View All 8 Island Tour Reviews
  • Sintra Walking Tour
    Portuguese Riviera & Sintra - Explanations as we drove out of Lisbon about 1 hour ride to Sintra which is a beautiful mountain town. Toured the Queluz Place and then a little time to walk around time. Stopped on the way back to Lisbon at a picturesque harbor area to take pictures. Since we had 2 days in Lisbon the next day we did the hop on and off bus which gave us a great detailed view of the city. Beware however the bus did not stop at all the stops in the brochure and even though we boarded the bus near the port we had quite a walk back on the way back because he did not go back to that stop due to construction.
    View All 15 Sintra Walking Tour Reviews
  • Malaga
    We met friends and road a horse and buggy around town. It is a beautiful place and after our ride we walked around the city and enjoyed visiting the market.
    View All 466 Malaga Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Malaga Cruise Port Review
  • Aix-en-Provence
    Aix-En-Provence & Marseille. Walking tour of Aix but this was a day after the terrible Nice attack and we were surprised how crowded the city was. The tours to Nice were cancelled. Good way to get to around but finding our bathroom was a major issue. Oceania should have something arranged for people on this tour. Only one of 4 public bathroom was working with a long waits and not convenient to where we were touring. The guide told us to use a bar after purchasing a meal. Everything was extremely crowded and this took away from our enjoyment of the area. We loved Marseille, the views from the Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica and walking around the boat area.
    View All 110 Aix-en-Provence Reviews
  • Monaco (Monte Carlo)
    Right at the port is the hop on and off bus (20 euros) and this took us all over town. Fabulous way to see the city. We also visited the Oceanagraphic (14 euros) which was crowded. But we hadn't been to an Aquarium for a while so we enjoyed it. What an exciting place to dock. Fantastic views of the city, and enjoyed eating and watching to boats
    View All 490 Monaco (Monte Carlo) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Monaco (Monte Carlo) Cruise Port Review
  • Rapallo Walking Tour
    Scenic Rapallo and Sestri - We walked through part of Portofino first then boarded a modern boat (good bathroom on the boat )to visit the other town. Another highlight of the cruise. Portfolio is small and the shopping is expensive. Beautiful riding along Italy's coast and seeing life in the towns. The tour was very well run with just enough time in each of the town we stopped at to enjoy walking around. The boat left each place exactly when they said so beware to be back on time.
    View All 2 Rapallo Walking Tour Reviews
  • Flamenco Walking Tour
    Oceania Tour Scenic Cadiz & Flamenco - One highlight of our trip. First a city walk then Flamenco dancing with Tapas. I thought it strange when we signed up that the dancing was in the morning but it turned out great. The dancers were wonderful and the atmosphere of the restaurant wonderful. Tapas was just cheese and ham (which we don't eat) and 2 soft drinks and beer.
    View All 8 Flamenco Walking Tour Reviews