Here is another 5 star review for Oceania and the Marina. My wife and I are in our mid 60’s have cruised before, but this was our first time on Oceania. We have always wanted to cruise with Oceania, especially on the Marina or Riviera, but never found the right itinerary at the right time. Our travel agency had a pre cruise program in Lisbon and a post cruise program in Rio de Janeiro. But these were independent of the cruise line, so I won’t comment on them. This cruise from Lisbon to Rio was about 75% full. Nothing seemed crowded or full. You could always get a reservation in a specialty restaurant, especially if you were willing to share and a bit flexible on time. When we dined in a specialty restaurant, we noticed a few empty tables, especially tables of 8, but never tables for 2. We had high expectations for the food, and they were met. We dined in all of the specialty restaurants, and had room service with some of their offerings and were pleased with all of our choices. We liked them all, but if forced to choose, we enjoyed Jacques most of all – but it is hard to focus only on the food and not be influenced by the service. That said, we very much enjoyed the Grand Dining Room (GDR), so much so that when our butler offered to make a reservation in a specialty restaurant late in the cruise, we told him we wanted to eat in the GDR. The food was always delicious in the GDR, and lots of choice. Frequently we had breakfast and lunch there also. On longer voyages, there is a “Sunday Brunch” buffet in the GDR. They take out a number of tables in the centre section and do a wonderful display of delicious offerings. We did have the opportunity to eat in La Reserve, but chose not to, as the food (and wine) more that met our expectations elsewhere. Also I did walk through "afternoon tea" in one of the lounges. There was always an array of appealing small sandwiches and pastries (and drink - both tea and champagne), but I didn't indulge (you have to draw the line somewhere). We had a beverage package included in our cruise. We typically only drink wine with our meals on weekends, very few cocktails or mixed drinks. The “by-the-glass” program has some OK choices, and some not OK (to our palate). I don’t think we would pay for a beverage package if it had not been included. With our SBC we bought some of the higher priced wines from the wine lists (each specialty restaurant has a “private” list too). But that’s our choice. So think carefully about your drinking habits on the ship, as well as at home, before choosing the beverage package. My wife and I were “blown away” with the service; people remembering your name, officers willing to speak with you, and our butler Churchill was amazing. We didn’t think we would use/need a butler, but he anticipated our needs before we even had them! For example, after a day long shore excursion, he would have appetizers waiting for us. One night we had a reservation in Polo, but my wife had a bad headache, and wanted to lay low in our suite. He served a dinner from the various specialty restaurants. It was terrific. He was very personable and wanted to do everything he could to make our cruise a memorable experience. Boarding in Lisbon was a bit of a pain. That’s because we were a bus-load of people arriving at the same time. Lisbon has a series of tents to go through (the building is under construction). But once we were on the ship everything was fine. When we booked this cruise, we were concerned about crossing the Atlantic and how much movement there would be (and if we would get sea sick). But it was a piece of cake. The worst “rollicking” was the first night along the coast of Portugal, but nothing that disturbed our appetites, just trying to walk a straight line down the hall. Was it crossing the Equator, the ship's stabilizers or the luck of the draw? Who knows? While on the cruise, I read on Cruise Critic about gratuities. Our travel agent got us a great deal with a large Shipboard credit (SBC), free Internet, a beverage package and prepaid gratuities. There are refundable and non-refundable SBC. Towards the end of the cruise, we noticed that we would not be using up our SBC, and we asked about the options. They were non-refundable, so we “donated” the excess SBC to the gratuity poll, rather than the excess going back to the company. We didn’t attend many ‘enrichment” activities, but the few we did attend were fine. Same with the entertainment, we went to a couple of shows, but nothing was outstanding. They did have a silly ceremony to commemorate crossing the Equator, the afternoon before we crossed. We did not use the spa, but I did use the gym and it was adequate for my needs. The machines I used were available and I could use the fitness studio when I wanted (although I did plan to make sure it was free). We went on 5 Oceania shore excursions. They were all OK, except the one in Rio. He lectured us on the corruption of the Brazilian leadership/government for the first 20 minutes on the bus. The “redeeming” part was the stunning blue sky day we had to go up to the Christ the Redeemer statue (it’s magnificent) and the drive-by of the Ipanema and Copacabana beaches (they are stunning) and the Samba stadium. Disembarkation was flawless even though I had inadvertently packed my Oceania pass card in my luggage. And, yes, in case you were wondering, we enjoyed ourselves so much that we booked our next cruise on the Marina in the fall of 2017. I did notice that the Marina is sailing this itinerary again in 2018 with a couple of small changes and I would recommend this itinerary.

Amazing cruise with a few miscellaneous comments

Marina Cruise Review by andersas

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2016
  • Destination: Transatlantic
  • Cabin Type: Penthouse Suite
Here is another 5 star review for Oceania and the Marina. My wife and I are in our mid 60’s have cruised before, but this was our first time on Oceania. We have always wanted to cruise with Oceania, especially on the Marina or Riviera, but never found the right itinerary at the right time.

Our travel agency had a pre cruise program in Lisbon and a post cruise program in Rio de Janeiro. But these were independent of the cruise line, so I won’t comment on them.

This cruise from Lisbon to Rio was about 75% full. Nothing seemed crowded or full. You could always get a reservation in a specialty restaurant, especially if you were willing to share and a bit flexible on time. When we dined in a specialty restaurant, we noticed a few empty tables, especially tables of 8, but never tables for 2.

We had high expectations for the food, and they were met. We dined in all of the specialty restaurants, and had room service with some of their offerings and were pleased with all of our choices. We liked them all, but if forced to choose, we enjoyed Jacques most of all – but it is hard to focus only on the food and not be influenced by the service. That said, we very much enjoyed the Grand Dining Room (GDR), so much so that when our butler offered to make a reservation in a specialty restaurant late in the cruise, we told him we wanted to eat in the GDR. The food was always delicious in the GDR, and lots of choice. Frequently we had breakfast and lunch there also. On longer voyages, there is a “Sunday Brunch” buffet in the GDR. They take out a number of tables in the centre section and do a wonderful display of delicious offerings. We did have the opportunity to eat in La Reserve, but chose not to, as the food (and wine) more that met our expectations elsewhere. Also I did walk through "afternoon tea" in one of the lounges. There was always an array of appealing small sandwiches and pastries (and drink - both tea and champagne), but I didn't indulge (you have to draw the line somewhere).

We had a beverage package included in our cruise. We typically only drink wine with our meals on weekends, very few cocktails or mixed drinks. The “by-the-glass” program has some OK choices, and some not OK (to our palate). I don’t think we would pay for a beverage package if it had not been included. With our SBC we bought some of the higher priced wines from the wine lists (each specialty restaurant has a “private” list too). But that’s our choice. So think carefully about your drinking habits on the ship, as well as at home, before choosing the beverage package.

My wife and I were “blown away” with the service; people remembering your name, officers willing to speak with you, and our butler Churchill was amazing. We didn’t think we would use/need a butler, but he anticipated our needs before we even had them! For example, after a day long shore excursion, he would have appetizers waiting for us. One night we had a reservation in Polo, but my wife had a bad headache, and wanted to lay low in our suite. He served a dinner from the various specialty restaurants. It was terrific. He was very personable and wanted to do everything he could to make our cruise a memorable experience.

Boarding in Lisbon was a bit of a pain. That’s because we were a bus-load of people arriving at the same time. Lisbon has a series of tents to go through (the building is under construction). But once we were on the ship everything was fine.

When we booked this cruise, we were concerned about crossing the Atlantic and how much movement there would be (and if we would get sea sick). But it was a piece of cake. The worst “rollicking” was the first night along the coast of Portugal, but nothing that disturbed our appetites, just trying to walk a straight line down the hall. Was it crossing the Equator, the ship's stabilizers or the luck of the draw? Who knows?

While on the cruise, I read on Cruise Critic about gratuities. Our travel agent got us a great deal with a large Shipboard credit (SBC), free Internet, a beverage package and prepaid gratuities. There are refundable and non-refundable SBC. Towards the end of the cruise, we noticed that we would not be using up our SBC, and we asked about the options. They were non-refundable, so we “donated” the excess SBC to the gratuity poll, rather than the excess going back to the company.

We didn’t attend many ‘enrichment” activities, but the few we did attend were fine. Same with the entertainment, we went to a couple of shows, but nothing was outstanding. They did have a silly ceremony to commemorate crossing the Equator, the afternoon before we crossed.

We did not use the spa, but I did use the gym and it was adequate for my needs. The machines I used were available and I could use the fitness studio when I wanted (although I did plan to make sure it was free).

We went on 5 Oceania shore excursions. They were all OK, except the one in Rio. He lectured us on the corruption of the Brazilian leadership/government for the first 20 minutes on the bus. The “redeeming” part was the stunning blue sky day we had to go up to the Christ the Redeemer statue (it’s magnificent) and the drive-by of the Ipanema and Copacabana beaches (they are stunning) and the Samba stadium.

Disembarkation was flawless even though I had inadvertently packed my Oceania pass card in my luggage.

And, yes, in case you were wondering, we enjoyed ourselves so much that we booked our next cruise on the Marina in the fall of 2017. I did notice that the Marina is sailing this itinerary again in 2018 with a couple of small changes and I would recommend this itinerary.
andersas’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Penthouse Suite
Cabin PH3 10029
We chose a Penthouse 2 (PH2) on the 10th floor. We didn’t choose the 11th floor, as that was below the pool deck, and there is a large overhang. The balcony was fine, but I was surprised we used it less than I thought we would. There was loads of space for all your clothes. We did dine in our suite and the table was more than adequate. The bathroom was more than adequate for our needs.
We met a couple on the cruise with a Balcony cabin. We did go through their room and our suite. We could be fine in a balcony, but we appreciated the space in the PH.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews