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Insignia Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
204 reviews
15 Awards

Insignia we will be back

Review for Insignia to the Baltic Sea
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10+ Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Aug 2016
Cabin: Deluxe Ocean View

It is important that everyone knows that the O'life promotion if you pick the free excursions they must be booked at least 14 days before sailing. Once on board you can not pick your excursions and will have to pay the full price of the excursions. I did not know that so I thought I would pass that information along. This ship Insignia had the best food of any cruise or land based restaurant I have eaten in. We live in downtown Chicago and eat at high end restaurants. The food was better than what we have eaten at top restaurants in Chicago including the Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton or the Four Seasons. The food exceeded what we ate on Regent and Seabourn as well as Windstar. This was not institutional food. Our itinerary included France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. Ingredients were fresh. Good selections of meats, fruits, vegetables and starches. The bread was delicious with home made bread sticks, rolls and pastries. Milk shakes, smoothies, specialty coffees were very good. The afternoon tea each day was a treat. We started off with an obstructed ocean view. Our cabin steward was exceptional. We upgraded to a superior ocean view and got a new cabin steward. He was good but there was a marked difference between the two. Prior to my cruise I had injured my leg. The first steward had buckets of ice delivered daily before we got back from tour because I always iced my leg when I got back and the room was spotless. The other picked up daily but I noticed dust on shelves, and would have to ask for ice if I wanted it before the nightly turn down - subtle but noticeable the difference between very good and exceptional. The cruise director didn't really speak to us which is different from other Oceania cruises we have been on where the cruise director got to know us and would greet us by name. The cruise hostesses who also sang didn't talk to us either which was different from other Oceania cruises. The shuttle service to town from the ports was nice. The restaurant service was exceptional. The cocktail service in the Horizon lounge was poor. My husband and I don't drink alcohol. It was clear that we were not going to get even "ok" service. People who came in after us were getting alcohol drinks and we would still be sitting there if we had ordered two diet cokes. In the other lounges we had the same problem. It is clear the first level of service goes to alcohol drinkers given they add an 18% tip. We ended up taking board games or cards with us and if we were really thirsty and the drinks didn't come I would get up and go to the bar and then they would bring them. The most conspicuous aspect of our cruise is that we found that many of the workers on the cruise used the horizon lounge as their own area to have drinks, relax and talk. It was unsettling that while we were vacationing not 5 feet away mid to upper level manager workers would be talking about what they did not like about the new management. One lady who managed the spa was let go while we were on board and was due to get off the ship. She was talking to several other women who worked on the ship and they were talking about how she had 10 years of service and so forth. How the new management wanted shorter spa services, how she was a reikki and if passengers wanted it she would provide it etc. And she was not happy about her termination. The women she was talking to also worked on the ship and we weren't trying to listen they were in a very public lounge discussing in normal tone how they did not care for the new management. The cruise director also would kick back with the other singers and people who worked on the ship and they would socialize. They did not interact with the guests and it seemed that they socialized more with each other than be hosts to the guests. They ordered wine and I would see them getting served while we couldn't get our diet cokes. We were on the ship for 19 days and this was a regular occurrence so much so that my husband and I used to joke about it. I got the feeling the management with regard to the entertainment and spa staff was in the air. The pool was clean and I enjoyed the pool deck area. I always got great service around the pool. The deck chairs were comfortable and there was never a problem getting a chair, towel or blanket. My husband used the gym and he likes the treadmills. The first five days of the cruise none of them were working due to a software issue. The security staff I felt went above and beyond. They were always very kind and offered assistance helping me get on and off the ship. I had injured my knee before coming on board and they were exceptional in offering me a hand and also helping me get my Luggie scooter on and off at each port. Traveling with my scooter was a breeze and when we would take the shuttle bus the driver would lower the ramp and on I would drive. I found that most public buses in France, Monaco and Spain had ramps for my scooter. Most of the streets had ramps except I found Livorno more difficult to navigate because there might be a ramp and then I would drive a little ways on the scooter and could find there was no ramp. However, I found overall that having the scooter was wonderful. Pisa was good for traveling with a scooter as was Bilbao, Bordeaux, Paris, London, and Barcelona. Portugal was ok but I did not attempt all the hills in Lisbon rather I got on the hop on hop off bus by the port and did not use the scooter much there. The same in Porto. Overall the ports were great, the food was great the servers in all dining venues were amazing, the entertainment was fine, the spa changed management while I was on the ship and it was a much better environment once the disgruntled employee who I believe was managing the spa when we got on left. The actual workers in the spa were wonderful. The cabin steward was fine and for the most part people were friendly. We didn't care for the concierge he was aloof and not helpful. We found the general manager Victor to be much more helpful than the concierge. Victor always said hello and addressed me by name. I would love to go on another one of his ships. There were three people who worked at guest services. The assistant purser from South America was exceptional. She would look into any concern and went above and beyond. The other two did not want to be bothered and dismissed me without listening and did not want to help me with any concerns. There were several issues because I initially had to cancel my reservation because of my injury but then restated my reservation. As such all my dinner reservations, excursions, and a room upgrade offer had been lost. Would not have been a problem but with the Olife promotion you need to book excursions 14 days in advance and since mine did not auto populate to my second reservation number they were lost as was the upgrade offer. I was getting charged full price for my and hubbies excursions. UGG. However, my TA took care of the problem when I emailed her. Victor the general manager and the assistant purser also helped me and I did get my room upgrade near the end of day three.. The concierge and the other two at guest relations didn't do much and just kept telling me no and they could not help me that it was the main office in Miami not them etc. Victor did correspond with Miami and the lovely woman who was the assistant purser handled crediting my account for the excursion issue. I will definitely travel on Oceania again. We felt this cruise was a great value for the money and enjoyed it despite a few hiccups.

Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean View

Cabin C1

We had 6037 which was an obstructed view but then upgraded to 4026. 6037 was very small and it was dark because there was a life boat in front of the cabin. Not a good cabin if you are going on a longer voyage. We were on for 19 days and there was not enough room for our clothes. We switched to 4026 which was a deluxe ocean view and it was really comfortable because we had more room and we would get sun light which I need.

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