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My husband and I were on the Insignia July 1-19 for the Northern Crossing trip from Miami to Reykjavik. Overall, what a wonderful cruise; we really enjoyed the ship, several sea days, the ports and, most especially, staying in Reykjavik for a few days after disembarking. But this is about the ship. We had sailed previously on the Marina (three weeks around South America in 2013). We also have sailed on Regent's Voyager three times and previous to that on Holland America and Costa a few times. The Insignia was very well maintained; I didn't see any torn or stained carpet in the public areas; the ship gleamed every day from continuous thorough cleanings. Staff we encountered were not only unfailingly polite but, in most instances, also very warm and genuine in wanted to assure your positive experience and providing you a great trip. We stayed in a Vista Suite, Cabin 7004, at the front of the ship. We were directly below the bridge so heard almost nothing except an occasional footstep. The suite has 1 and 1/2 baths which is a particular reason why we chose it--no fighting in the morning for space! The bedroom did not have a walk in closet; instead it had wall units around two walls which provided more than adequate space both hanging and drawers. There was also a desk in the bedroom and two small bedside tables (just enough to hold our cell phones at night). The living room had a large piece of furniture which was a bar and storage space for glasses, napkins, menus and a small refrigerator. There was also a small dining table with four chairs, a sofabed, two chairs, two side tables and a coffee table. More than enough room! Our balcony extended across the front and had enough room for two loungers and a table with four chairs. We really liked this suite. We had wonderful room attendants. Victoria and Nilesh provided superb service promptly and efficiently. They were never too busy to stop and chat for a few minutes. I think they had eyes in the back of their heads because when we left the cabin in the morning for breakfast the room would be thoroughly cleaned by the time we got back. They were just amazing. Mishra, our butler, was also incredibly service oriented. He never failed to give us more information about what was going on in the ship than I would have imagined he would know. He knew about the laundry routine for cleaning our clothes, he knew the weather forecast and would recommend how to dress when we were going out for excursions, he would tell us about the menus in the dining room, the specials that evening in the Terrace--he was just incredible and so very, very kind. We used the balcony quite a bit in spite of getting the headwinds and a bit of "jostling" on afternoon on our way out of Halifax. There were several days/nights when the furniture on the balcony was tied down due to wind. However, there were other times when we could stand/sit on the balcony despite the wind and feel perfectly safe that we weren't going to get blown overboard. Dining on board was delightful. We found the food very good to excellent (with one exception which I will get to shortly). There was plenty of choice regardless of the venue and we felt all dining rooms were well staffed and service was of very high caliber as well. Our favorite dining room was the Grand Dining Room. I know this flies in the face of many Oceania regulars but our experience was that there was plenty of choice every day we ate there, the service was excellent, the ambiance was elegant and classy and the overall experience was truly one of grand dining. My husband defines me as high maintenance as I usually ask for some change to my meal from how it is described on the menu. For example, at lunch one day, I asked for the Nicoise salad if I could have it with grilled chicken instead of tuna or salmon (which were the choices listed). No problem. Many times I would ask to have the starch deleted and add a second vegetable--no problem. Mercy, the hostess in the GDR, did an outstanding job. I think she remembered everyone's name by day three of the cruise! Walter, the waiter we had most frequently, remembered our desires after only the second time. The food was always well prepared, hot when it was supposed to be hot, room temperature if it was supposed to be so and my, did it taste good! I do not enjoy the Terrace Dining Room at all. The food is usually not at the appropriate temperature, the choices to me were uninteresting and uninspiring in general, the grill which many rave about provided about the toughest steak I have ever had and the most dried out lobster tail I ever experienced. I hated the experience of trying to find a table. I found numerous other guests pushy and demanding from the staff unlike any other bar or restaurant on the ship, and the overall experience for me in the Terrace was very "Golden Corral" level of dining and I do not mean that as a compliment. Give me the level of service and food preparation in the GDR; I think we ate only three times in the Terrace Dining Room during the entire trip. My criticism of the Terrace does not extend to the Waves Grill. We loved their sandwiches when that was our mood and the warmth and courtesies delivered by all of the staff whose daily job was the Waves Grill. We ate twice at Toscana and twice at Polo. We actually had reservations for one additional time at each (because we were in a suite and due to the length of the cruise we had the opportunity for three reservations in each specialty restaurant). We ended up cancelling the last two reservations of the six because we enjoyed the GDR so much. There was nothing wrong with either Toscana or Polo; we thought the quality of the food was very, very good. However, we received the same level of attention and quality of food with more choice in the GDR. We both really love sea days because the opportunity to enjoy the ship is so special on sea days. By the way, once we got north of New York City (July 6 onto July 19) the weather became much cooler (it was heat indexes of over 100 degrees in Cape Canaveral, Charleston and New York). From Bar Harbor on we wore sweaters and slacks every day for excursions or on sea days; it was quite refreshing! Anyway, back to the sea days. Oceania doesn't offer a lot of activities and the schedule doesn't vary much on the sea days. Having said that, we did Bingo every sea day and I actually won $80 one day. Then my husband always went to the Blackjack and Texas Hold 'Em Tournaments every day; he didn't play he just enjoyed watching and talking with the folks. I went to some of the enrichment lectures--Joseph Campbell did an outstanding job and we both had massages and haircuts on the ship. We were pleased with the quality of the spa services. I am a voracious reader so I found the library quickly and loved the room. There was plenty of choice among the books offered. We also attended a couple of cooking demonstrations and really enjoyed the humor of the executive chef (and, of course, the recipes). So what didn't we like about the ship? Having sailed first on Marina, we missed the cooking classes and the greater choice of specialty restaurants that one has on the larger ships. We were in an Oceania suite on the Marina and liked that size and décor much better than the décor on Insignia; the décor on Insignia was too fussy for me. Given the weather on this cruise, we couldn't enjoy the decks very much. We did know that was likely going into this cruise so this is certainly not a fault of Oceania or the ship, just an observation. On the days when we could use the decks it was hard to find loungers. We also were supposed to have a dedicated tablet (IPad like electronic) in our cabin for our use. Although the equipment was there we were unable to use it because Oceania had not updated the software to make them usable--this we got from the Computer Room guru on the ship. I thought this was very tawdry and cheap of Oceania to use in their marketing when they knew the tablets were unusable! How can they be so elegant in the classiness of their ships, the quality of the food, the outstanding training they provide to staff and be so cheap as to pretend they are offering this great advantage to us and then just refuse to update it to make it usable--unbelievable! I should mention here that Internet was not available many days due to the lack of satellite access-not an Oceania problem or responsibility. Contrast this with how they handled a cancelled excursion which we received "free" due to the OLife offer of five "free" excursions. When it was cancelled, Oceania made an adjustment in our shipboard account to add back $100 credit. Now that was classy! We had the Prestige Drink Package and I disliked having to show my card every time I wanted a drink. I get why Oceania does this--I just don't like it and find it cumbersome. You can see that my dislikes are far smaller than my likes. I still really enjoy Oceania and would choose it again for another cruise. I loved the itinerary and enjoyed all of the Canadian ports as well as the three Greenland ports and Iceland. Who knew I would find Greenland so charming and Iceland so spectacular?! I loved the cool weather. If you have finally read this far I am amazed as this is probably way too much detail. Thanks to all of you who provided me with such fun reading over the last three years and helped me plan a great trip on Oceania.

Great, Positive Experience on Oceania's Insignia in July, 2016

Insignia Cruise Review by haskinskj

14 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2016
  • Destination: Transatlantic
  • Cabin Type: Vista Suite
My husband and I were on the Insignia July 1-19 for the Northern Crossing trip from Miami to Reykjavik. Overall, what a wonderful cruise; we really enjoyed the ship, several sea days, the ports and, most especially, staying in Reykjavik for a few days after disembarking.

But this is about the ship. We had sailed previously on the Marina (three weeks around South America in 2013). We also have sailed on Regent's Voyager three times and previous to that on Holland America and Costa a few times. The Insignia was very well maintained; I didn't see any torn or stained carpet in the public areas; the ship gleamed every day from continuous thorough cleanings. Staff we encountered were not only unfailingly polite but, in most instances, also very warm and genuine in wanted to assure your positive experience and providing you a great trip.

We stayed in a Vista Suite, Cabin 7004, at the front of the ship. We were directly below the bridge so heard almost nothing except an occasional footstep. The suite has 1 and 1/2 baths which is a particular reason why we chose it--no fighting in the morning for space! The bedroom did not have a walk in closet; instead it had wall units around two walls which provided more than adequate space both hanging and drawers. There was also a desk in the bedroom and two small bedside tables (just enough to hold our cell phones at night). The living room had a large piece of furniture which was a bar and storage space for glasses, napkins, menus and a small refrigerator. There was also a small dining table with four chairs, a sofabed, two chairs, two side tables and a coffee table. More than enough room! Our balcony extended across the front and had enough room for two loungers and a table with four chairs. We really liked this suite.

We had wonderful room attendants. Victoria and Nilesh provided superb service promptly and efficiently. They were never too busy to stop and chat for a few minutes. I think they had eyes in the back of their heads because when we left the cabin in the morning for breakfast the room would be thoroughly cleaned by the time we got back. They were just amazing. Mishra, our butler, was also incredibly service oriented. He never failed to give us more information about what was going on in the ship than I would have imagined he would know. He knew about the laundry routine for cleaning our clothes, he knew the weather forecast and would recommend how to dress when we were going out for excursions, he would tell us about the menus in the dining room, the specials that evening in the Terrace--he was just incredible and so very, very kind.

We used the balcony quite a bit in spite of getting the headwinds and a bit of "jostling" on afternoon on our way out of Halifax. There were several days/nights when the furniture on the balcony was tied down due to wind. However, there were other times when we could stand/sit on the balcony despite the wind and feel perfectly safe that we weren't going to get blown overboard.

Dining on board was delightful. We found the food very good to excellent (with one exception which I will get to shortly). There was plenty of choice regardless of the venue and we felt all dining rooms were well staffed and service was of very high caliber as well. Our favorite dining room was the Grand Dining Room. I know this flies in the face of many Oceania regulars but our experience was that there was plenty of choice every day we ate there, the service was excellent, the ambiance was elegant and classy and the overall experience was truly one of grand dining. My husband defines me as high maintenance as I usually ask for some change to my meal from how it is described on the menu. For example, at lunch one day, I asked for the Nicoise salad if I could have it with grilled chicken instead of tuna or salmon (which were the choices listed). No problem. Many times I would ask to have the starch deleted and add a second vegetable--no problem. Mercy, the hostess in the GDR, did an outstanding job. I think she remembered everyone's name by day three of the cruise! Walter, the waiter we had most frequently, remembered our desires after only the second time. The food was always well prepared, hot when it was supposed to be hot, room temperature if it was supposed to be so and my, did it taste good!

I do not enjoy the Terrace Dining Room at all. The food is usually not at the appropriate temperature, the choices to me were uninteresting and uninspiring in general, the grill which many rave about provided about the toughest steak I have ever had and the most dried out lobster tail I ever experienced. I hated the experience of trying to find a table. I found numerous other guests pushy and demanding from the staff unlike any other bar or restaurant on the ship, and the overall experience for me in the Terrace was very "Golden Corral" level of dining and I do not mean that as a compliment. Give me the level of service and food preparation in the GDR; I think we ate only three times in the Terrace Dining Room during the entire trip.

My criticism of the Terrace does not extend to the Waves Grill. We loved their sandwiches when that was our mood and the warmth and courtesies delivered by all of the staff whose daily job was the Waves Grill.

We ate twice at Toscana and twice at Polo. We actually had reservations for one additional time at each (because we were in a suite and due to the length of the cruise we had the opportunity for three reservations in each specialty restaurant). We ended up cancelling the last two reservations of the six because we enjoyed the GDR so much. There was nothing wrong with either Toscana or Polo; we thought the quality of the food was very, very good. However, we received the same level of attention and quality of food with more choice in the GDR.

We both really love sea days because the opportunity to enjoy the ship is so special on sea days. By the way, once we got north of New York City (July 6 onto July 19) the weather became much cooler (it was heat indexes of over 100 degrees in Cape Canaveral, Charleston and New York). From Bar Harbor on we wore sweaters and slacks every day for excursions or on sea days; it was quite refreshing!

Anyway, back to the sea days. Oceania doesn't offer a lot of activities and the schedule doesn't vary much on the sea days. Having said that, we did Bingo every sea day and I actually won $80 one day. Then my husband always went to the Blackjack and Texas Hold 'Em Tournaments every day; he didn't play he just enjoyed watching and talking with the folks. I went to some of the enrichment lectures--Joseph Campbell did an outstanding job and we both had massages and haircuts on the ship. We were pleased with the quality of the spa services. I am a voracious reader so I found the library quickly and loved the room. There was plenty of choice among the books offered. We also attended a couple of cooking demonstrations and really enjoyed the humor of the executive chef (and, of course, the recipes).

So what didn't we like about the ship? Having sailed first on Marina, we missed the cooking classes and the greater choice of specialty restaurants that one has on the larger ships. We were in an Oceania suite on the Marina and liked that size and décor much better than the décor on Insignia; the décor on Insignia was too fussy for me. Given the weather on this cruise, we couldn't enjoy the decks very much. We did know that was likely going into this cruise so this is certainly not a fault of Oceania or the ship, just an observation. On the days when we could use the decks it was hard to find loungers.

We also were supposed to have a dedicated tablet (IPad like electronic) in our cabin for our use. Although the equipment was there we were unable to use it because Oceania had not updated the software to make them usable--this we got from the Computer Room guru on the ship. I thought this was very tawdry and cheap of Oceania to use in their marketing when they knew the tablets were unusable! How can they be so elegant in the classiness of their ships, the quality of the food, the outstanding training they provide to staff and be so cheap as to pretend they are offering this great advantage to us and then just refuse to update it to make it usable--unbelievable! I should mention here that Internet was not available many days due to the lack of satellite access-not an Oceania problem or responsibility. Contrast this with how they handled a cancelled excursion which we received "free" due to the OLife offer of five "free" excursions. When it was cancelled, Oceania made an adjustment in our shipboard account to add back $100 credit. Now that was classy!

We had the Prestige Drink Package and I disliked having to show my card every time I wanted a drink. I get why Oceania does this--I just don't like it and find it cumbersome.

You can see that my dislikes are far smaller than my likes. I still really enjoy Oceania and would choose it again for another cruise. I loved the itinerary and enjoyed all of the Canadian ports as well as the three Greenland ports and Iceland. Who knew I would find Greenland so charming and Iceland so spectacular?! I loved the cool weather.

If you have finally read this far I am amazed as this is probably way too much detail. Thanks to all of you who provided me with such fun reading over the last three years and helped me plan a great trip on Oceania.
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Cabin Review

Vista Suite
Cabin VS 7004
About 700 square foot cabin at the front of the ship. Lots of space including wall units for clothes (no walk in closet) but wall units more than adequate. Cabin has one and a half baths which was much appreciated by us. Balcony is right at front of the ship so we had great viewing for coming into ports and the day we went through the fjord. Bridge was directly over us so very quiet. Seventh deck is great location as we could use the stairs instead of the elevators. You will feel more motion in this cabin than mid-ships but I would choose this cabin again.
Deck 7 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins