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

Lovely Ships; Issues with Certain Items

Riviera Cruise Review by mlarocca

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jun 2014
  • Destination: the Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Verandah Stateroom

We have sailed three times with Oceania. Once on one of the smaller ships, once on Marina and once on this sailing on Riviera. We are booked to sail again on Riviera on a 10 day sail through the southern Caribbean in January of 2017. Oceania is a very nice cruise line. We have sailed with Viking, Norwegian, and Celebrity as well as on many other small cruise ships. Oceania has beautiful ships with excellent staff.

We also like the small size of Riviera (1,200 people) compared to the monster cruise ships that are standard in the industry. Muted colors and upscale design in the common areas. Very nice well appointed cabins (we always book a veranda as we enjoy the balcony) that are well laid out and make the most of the small cabin space that is a normal part of cruising. Embarkation is always smooth, but once they are done with you and you are not spending any more money, the service level drops dramatically and getting off the ship is always an ordeal. They just want you off and are not of any help if you have not booked their transfer to the airport, or the extension at the end of the cruise (which are also very over priced). Also, avoid their outrageously priced excursions. Three times the price of the same excursion on any other cruise line for the exact same excursion. But, they do usually run free shuttles from the ship to the center of the city you are visiting which is a nice perk.

The food and service in the restaurants is always excellent. If you live in a major city, you will not enjoy the Asian specialty restaurant - you will have enjoyed much better Asian food at home. We like Jacques the most of all the specialty restaurants. If you want to book, use a travel agent that is used to dealing with them. We have always used a travel agent to book with great success. He has gotten us perks and pricing that is not available otherwise. Also, a travel agent is essential in dealing with their "free air" offers. They will put you on the worst flights with insane routings if you don't have a travel agent fighting on your behalf. Last comment, the prices for bottles of wine are ridiculous and of course they do not allow you to carry on your own liquor. So, it used to be that we bought the drink package to contain the cost, but as of late, their drink package is only drinks at lunch and dinner. This is useless since you are generally not even on the ship at lunch. Our answer has been to take the cabin credit and put that cash towards your drink bill. Gratuities are automatically added to your account each day, per person. The cabin credit helps to pay these bills as well. We have always paid our cabin steward extra cash at the end of the cruise as their services have uniformly been excellent. Overall, watch your wallet, use a travel agent to get the best deal, and enjoy these beautiful ships.

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Cabin Review

Verandah Stateroom

Very nicely appointed with a balcony.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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