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Riviera Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
707 reviews
2 Awards

Expected More, but still very good

Review for Riviera to the Southern Caribbean
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2-5 Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: May 2016
Cabin: Concierge Level

My husband and I chose this cruise because of the advertised reputation of Oceania and because it embarked in Venice, which was a place we wanted to return to, and it had a stop in Antibes that would allow us to see the French Riviera for the first time. We are not expert cruisers, having only cruised twice before, once with Royal Caribbean and once with Celebrity. We were also drawn to Oceania because of the smaller ship size. We felt like the price was reasonable, especially considering the perks being offered on our particular cruise. After we booked the cruise directly with an Oceania representative, we found all of the talk online about norovirus having been on this ship, the Riviera, 4 times during the period of November 2015 through April 2016. We were extremely upset at not having been informed of this prior to our booking, but we discovered the cruise line had no obligation to do so. We then worried ourselves sick about the possibility of not just getting sick, but about the changes aboard ship that would be occurring should other passengers or crew become ill with the virus. This is not a good way to begin what was supposed to have been a relaxing luxurious vacation. We sent numerous emails and questions concerning the outbreaks and asked what had been done by the cruise line to ensure the elimination of the norovirus to no avail. They would not even tell us if our assigned cabin had housed guests who had been diagnosed with norovirus during the recent outbreaks. They had our money, and we were stuck. To my knowledge, and according to the CDC, the Riviera has not had an outbreak since April 2, 2016, which was about 6 weeks prior to our cruise in May 2016. The Riviera was not full during our May 21--June 2 cruise, which was probably why we had been given such a good price. We found many return cruisers, so obviously this cruise line has a good reputation. Several of the return cruisers commented that the ship did not feel full. In the end, we were satisfied with the ship (beautiful and easy to get around), crew (top notch), and dining. (Room service was excellent as well.) Our Concierge level room was very nice, had plenty of room, and the beds were good enough to have at home. We thought the ports of call were weak overall--Venice, Zadar (Croatia), Kotor (Montenegro), Sicily, Rome, Florence, Antibes (France), Marseille (France), Port Vendres (France), and Barcelona. We had to cancel our full-day French Riviera tour from Antibes due to inclement weather; we lost another scheduled tour when the Captain chose another port over Port Vendres due to choppy seas. So that left only Venice, Rome, Florence, and Barcelona that had (in our opinion) something to offer on the 12-day cruise. We are a couple in our mid 60's and wanted to see things; we think that a lot of Oceania cruisers (on this cruise) had either already "been there." We may have been toward the lower end of the age bracket on this cruise, which did not matter to us at all. The entertainment was ok, but not as good as what we experienced on RC and Celebrity. A final note is that we packed for country club casual, but felt a little underdressed for dinner most nights. A lot of the customers chose to wear more cocktail attire than country club casual. The shore excursions offered by Oceania were over-priced and the transportation provided by the cruise line seemed disorganized in several ports, especially in Zadar, Croatia. All that said, we would probably cruise with Oceania again if the ports have more to offer.

Cabin Review

Concierge Level

Cabin A3

Cabin # 9124 had plenty of room; excellent beds, nice amenities. The shower was tiny, but there was also a bath tub with another shower. We felt very little motion and the room was quiet. Our unlimited internet was extremely difficult to connect to until we complained on day 4 of the cruise. After that, access was much improved except for extremely busy periods during the day. Our cabin steward could not have been better. We found the television programming to be sufficient.

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