I had researched Oceania quite a lot before booking this cruise and it does what it says on the tin. The experience is based around service,destinations and especially food. All three exceeded our reasonably high expectations. We had only cruised once before, on the Royal Caribbean's Allure, a mega ship and although not impressed by the Caribbean,as a destination, we really enjoyed the cruise experience onboard. We are therefore cruising novices, which can be both positive and negative for a review perspective. It can be difficult to give comparisons re cruises but sometimes I get the perception that for some nothing is as good as it used to be. That may be absolutely true in some things but equally our evaluation of quality can become distorted over time and we can become "spoilt" or as we get older our ability to maximise our experience diminishes. Anyway that could all be my own nonsense but here goes re my review. From the minute we arrived at the Pireus terminal by taxi from Athens our embarkation was very smooth. We were met at the entrance,our luggage immediately taken and we were guided through the stages very quickly. As we boarded we were met by very pleasant staff who welcomed us warmly and advised us a buffet was available as was our cabin. As we had upgraded to concierge we were met in our cabin by a bottle of bubbly which was pretty decent. The cabin was very nice,certainly a cut above that on the Allure and the bathroom with Bulgari toiletries were very nice, although at 6. 5,a slightly bigger shower would have been nice but it was fine. The bed was excellent and the balcony was fine. Our cabin attendant Natalie introduced herself immediately and from then on she was first class organising diet drinks for our fridge, sorting our complimentary pressing, cases etc Throughout our cruise she was excellent, always very pleasant and helpful as was her colleague. Just a quick note re concierge class, is it worth it? With the access to the concierge lounge, the bottle of bubbly access to the spa terrace, the complimentary pressing and the toiletries, probably just yes. Then it began,the eating and drinking. The food on board varied from pretty good to excellent. From the terrace buffet to the MDR and specialty restaurants we really enjoyed the food, as did all the other people on board that we spoke to, and there were many, even marathon cruisers with 700+ nights under their belts. The odd choice we made was not ideal but that was our issue. Even had the much maligned onion soup which I thought was very nice.A particular treat, which I only discovered after a conversation over dinner with a wonderful couple from Yorkshire, was lunch in the MDR. Really lovely ambience and super food. Highly recommended. We had a premium beverage package and suspect we maximised the value out of it. The house wines were decent and you could drink almost anything else. Waiter service was very good both in the restaurants and at the pool area. I didn't have to keep asking for another glass as on the Allure. My glass was kept topped up as required and the somolliers often remembered our preferences from previous encounters which really impressed. We did the La Reserve experience while on board and it was extremely good, much added to by the head Bulgarian waiter, whom I met on several occasions afterwards. He really added to the evening and throughout the cruise I noticed his immensely pleasant and engaging interaction with numerous fellow passengers of all ages and nationalities. With regard to our fellow passengers, I suppose that is for many what really can make or break a cruise. We met a lot of really nice, interesting people on board. The vast majority were very friendly, the odd shy or odd indidual , but that is life. We are in our late forties and ewarly fifties, among the the youngest passengers on board, which can be a bonus. We met one guy , 87 initially on a tour and he was fantastic as was his lovely wife, so age is no barrier on Oceania, but maybe not ideal for the sub 40's and certainly not kids.At dinner, on tours, tenders in bars and especially among the smokers(not one myself) there was always interaction , this was much more the case than on the larger Allure. No cliques or snobbery detected , as some people explained occurred on other lines. The itinerary was the main reason for booking this tour and it was excellent. Israel was the highlight. We toured independently which was extremely good. The Greek Islands were beautiful. The tender service ran very smoothly, absolutely no complaints.. we didn't take any tours organised by Oceania. Service onboard was excellent, the staff were nearly always very pleasant and never unpleasant. Entertainment was limited and seemed a concern to some. Evenings were centered around eating and for those looking for entertainment or vibrant nightlife into the small hours, then dissappointment is likely. It was fine but much more limited,perhaps understandably, given the age profile and passenger numbers , as compared to a mega ship.The cruise director John seemed omnipresent and was always very pleasant. I suppose the real question is would we go back? Well it's 10 days since our return and yes tomorrow! We had a wonderful 10days on Riviera , not unattainable perfection but if your looking for, excellent service, food and company it certainly ticks the boxes.

Ticks All The Boxes

Riviera Cruise Review by Big Doc

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I had researched Oceania quite a lot before booking this cruise and it does what it says on the tin. The experience is based around service,destinations and especially food. All three exceeded our reasonably high expectations.

We had only cruised once before, on the Royal Caribbean's Allure, a mega ship and although not impressed by the Caribbean,as a destination, we really enjoyed the cruise experience onboard. We are therefore cruising novices, which can be both positive and negative for a review perspective. It can be difficult to give comparisons re cruises but sometimes I get the perception that for some nothing is as good as it used to be. That may be absolutely true in some things but equally our evaluation of quality can become distorted over time and we can become "spoilt" or as we get older our ability to maximise our experience diminishes. Anyway that could all be my own nonsense but here goes re my review.

From the minute we arrived at the Pireus terminal by taxi from Athens our embarkation was very smooth. We were met at the entrance,our luggage immediately taken and we were guided through the stages very quickly. As we boarded we were met by very pleasant staff who welcomed us warmly and advised us a buffet was available as was our cabin.

As we had upgraded to concierge we were met in our cabin by a bottle of bubbly which was pretty decent. The cabin was very nice,certainly a cut above that on the Allure and the bathroom with Bulgari toiletries were very nice, although at 6. 5,a slightly bigger shower would have been nice but it was fine. The bed was excellent and the balcony was fine.

Our cabin attendant Natalie introduced herself immediately and from then on she was first class organising diet drinks for our fridge, sorting our complimentary pressing, cases etc Throughout our cruise she was excellent, always very pleasant and helpful as was her colleague.

Just a quick note re concierge class, is it worth it? With the access to the concierge lounge, the bottle of bubbly access to the spa terrace, the complimentary pressing and the toiletries, probably just yes.

Then it began,the eating and drinking. The food on board varied from pretty good to excellent. From the terrace buffet to the MDR and specialty restaurants we really enjoyed the food, as did all the other people on board that we spoke to, and there were many, even marathon cruisers with 700+ nights under their belts. The odd choice we made was not ideal but that was our issue. Even had the much maligned onion soup which I thought was very nice.A particular treat, which I only discovered after a conversation over dinner with a wonderful couple from Yorkshire, was lunch in the MDR. Really lovely ambience and super food. Highly recommended.

We had a premium beverage package and suspect we maximised the value out of it. The house wines were decent and you could drink almost anything else. Waiter service was very good both in the restaurants and at the pool area. I didn't have to keep asking for another glass as on the Allure. My glass was kept topped up as required and the somolliers often remembered our preferences from previous encounters which really impressed.

We did the La Reserve experience while on board and it was extremely good, much added to by the head Bulgarian waiter, whom I met on several occasions afterwards. He really added to the evening and throughout the cruise I noticed his immensely pleasant and engaging interaction with numerous fellow passengers of all ages and nationalities.

With regard to our fellow passengers, I suppose that is for many what really can make or break a cruise. We met a lot of really nice, interesting people on board. The vast majority were very friendly, the odd shy or odd indidual , but that is life. We are in our late forties and ewarly fifties, among the the youngest passengers on board, which can be a bonus. We met one guy , 87 initially on a tour and he was fantastic as was his lovely wife, so age is no barrier on Oceania, but maybe not ideal for the sub 40's and certainly not kids.At dinner, on tours, tenders in bars and especially among the smokers(not one myself) there was always interaction , this was much more the case than on the larger Allure. No cliques or snobbery detected , as some people explained occurred on other lines.

The itinerary was the main reason for booking this tour and it was excellent. Israel was the highlight. We toured independently which was extremely good. The Greek Islands were beautiful. The tender service ran very smoothly, absolutely no complaints.. we didn't take any tours organised by Oceania.

Service onboard was excellent, the staff were nearly always very pleasant and never unpleasant. Entertainment was limited and seemed a concern to some. Evenings were centered around eating and for those looking for entertainment or vibrant nightlife into the small hours, then dissappointment is likely. It was fine but much more limited,perhaps understandably, given the age profile and passenger numbers , as compared to a mega ship.The cruise director John seemed omnipresent and was always very pleasant.

I suppose the real question is would we go back? Well it's 10 days since our return and yes tomorrow! We had a wonderful 10days on Riviera , not unattainable perfection but if your looking for, excellent service, food and company it certainly ticks the boxes.
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Cabin Review

Concierge Level
Cabin A3 9027
Cabin very nice close to Concierge lounge and laundry room. No noise issues.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews