Oceania's Marina has the best quality food of the 8 cruise lines we traveled on, but there are major problems in entertainment and excursion policies. We were booked in a Concierge cabin and dined 6 times in specialty restaurants. All served superb food, especially Jacques. All pax get 4 free reservations and our Concierge was able to arrange two extra dinings. The 4pm tea service and violin concertos were excellent. The service quality in all areas and room were outstanding -- no complaints about the ship or its personnel. It was my 2nd cruise on the Marina.
However, Miami HQ has major policy flaws. Passengers (pax) are given a choice of on-board-credits or free excursions; however, the OBC can only be used after departure. All of our excursion requests were fully booked by other pre-cruise pax and the prices are about 25% more expensive than other cruise lines. If you book five pre-cruise excursions, the price is reasonable. HQ simply doesn't arrange enough excursions to meet demand. To use our OBC we booked two $193 massages and paid for tips. Other OBC pax bought liquor or items in the boutiques. You should not select the OBC option.
There is only one show at 9:45 pm every night and that is past our bed-time for early next day events. The reason is dining only starts at 6:30 pm and specialty restaurants also offer 7:30 and 8:30 options. On average dining took 2 hours 45 minutes, so there can only be one late show. All but one other cruise line we traveled on had an early show that Oceania refuses to offer.
This voyage started in Southampton thru Copenhagen. Since we couldn't book excursions, we arranged our own thru cruise critic blog or per trip advisor recommenda-tions. We visited most ports before and enjoyed all of them. The lectures by a Professor were academic, but didn't help much for independent travelers. We never knew what berth we were docked in or that free shuttles were provided to city centers in Zeebrugge, Goteberg, and Copenhagen.
There were continual problems with accessing online wifi especially in late afternoon. I used the fitness center and group lessons. On my prior Marina trip the fitness classes were too crowded, but not this time.
The location was excellent and right across from the Concierge Lounge and laundry. We ignored three discounted offers to upgrade to a Presidential Suite since they were for cabins not near the Executive Lounge. Jeff, the Concierge, provided great assistance, especially handling computer issues and dining reservations, as the internet attendant was always busy helping other pax. The room has its own computer, but it is always quicker accessing my gmail account from my cell phone. The bathroom wastes space with a separate tub and tiny shower at the cost of insufficient closet space.
We took a National Express bus from LHR's terminal 3 to Southampton's bus depot and taxi to berth. It was much cheaper that the Oceania transfer.
We booked an independent excursion to Giverny and Rouen that was arranged with other cruise critic pax.
This was an excellent two hour free walking tour at Bruges. Oceania provided a free shuttle to a train station from where there was a Bruges City bus on 3rd stop to the central marketplace.View All 32 City Tour Reviews
I bought HOHO cruise tickets and spent 4 hours at the Rijhts art museum.
Our German family members gave us a tour of the countryside.
We took a tram ride through the city, but there was no verbal description. The Cathedral offers an organ concert whenever there is a cruise ship in port. It is a pretty town.
The main tourist information office provided a 5 Euro walking tour guide that took about 4 hours.
We bought the Oslo Pass which provided free bus/ tram travel and museum entrances. We toured the Cathedral, Kon-Tiki museum, Hendrick Ipsen museum, City Hall Nobel Peace exhibit, and the Folk museum. The later was the best folk museum I have ever been too.
We booked a HOHO bus and cruise ticket since the shuttle left us off at the Opera and it was far from the ferry to offshore islands. It is a large city with limited attractions, but we enjoyed walking thru the Haga old town. On my last trip here, the ship berth was near the ferry to Southern islands.
Been here 4 times before, so we were content to visit the Christianberg Palace. On the last trip we bought a Copenhagen Pass and traveled by rail to many palaces outside of town.