We chose to sail on the Marina because we always enjoy cruising during the Christmas Holidays. This was our first time with Oceania and we were very impressed with the service in our Concierge Veranda Stateroom and in the dining venues. The ship is immaculate and in top-notch shape.
However, after all of the "hype" about Oceania's cuisine, we were quite disappointed with the food overall. We did enjoy a terrific meal in "Red Ginger", the Asian specialty restaurant. Everything in "Red Ginger" was superb, especially the sea bass. We enjoyed some nicely seared scallops in "Chez Jacques", the French specialty restaurant, but the green beans which accompanied the dish were overcooked and cold. The so called "signature" Jacques Pepin apple tart was tough and tasted stale. The best part of this meal and every meal was the French baguette bread. Kudos to the baker on the Marina for his baguettes, croissants, and homemade bread sticks. Absolutely fantastic!
The meals in the main dining room were generally good and the service was exceptional throughout the cruise. We enjoyed the informal Terrace Buffet; however, the food was not always hot enough temperature-wise. The vegetables were often cold and overcooked to the point of being mushy. The soups were always excellent and served hot, so we learned to avoid the cooked vegetables! We were very pleased when the chef offered an East Indian buffet one evening. However, most of the dishes were very bland and tasted like something you would offer to "seniors from Iowa". Granted, we are "curry lovers" and we probably like our food spicier; however, I heard the same comment from many of our fellow passengers. The quality of the beef in the "Polo Grill" steakhouse was very disappointing. The hamburgers served in the "Waves" grill by the pool tasted like they had added a filler to the ground beef. "Toscana", the Italian themed restaurant was not what I would call authentic in any way.
On a positive note, we absolutely loved the educational talks provided by Dr. John Freedman and Terry Bishop. We appreciate Oceania bringing these two on board. We never missed their entertaining and excellent lectures. We enjoyed the shore excursions overall; however, be aware that on the Marina the excursion team does not provide live port talks highlighting what is included. Most people on this cruise line select their excursions before leaving home and I would recommend this.
Very nice cabin next door to a suite. Our veranda was large with a wrap around area that allowed us to view the full length of the ship. The cabin was maintained in excellent condition by Yana and Christopher, a fantastic duo.