Sirena Review

Beautiful smaller ship with excellent crew

Review for Transatlantic Cruise on Sirena
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2-5 Cruises • Age 70s

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Public Rooms
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Sail Date: Feb 2017
Cabin: Veranda Stateroom

This was our first cruise on Oceania, the 12 day ‘Pure Polynesia’ on Sirena. We tend to be land based travellers, but some places are just better by ship. Sirena is a smaller ship, which we prefer. The ship, refurbished in 2016, is beautifully decorated and maintained, with lots of dark wood and brass, immaculately clean. Being a smaller ship there is not that much room for guests to spread out, and it started to feel a bit smal toward the end of the cruise. The pool area is especially small, and people wanted shade as it was so hot. The lounges were coveted real estate, and just like resorts, the lounge hogs reserve early in the day, and keep them all day. Sirena discouraged this, but did nothing to correct it. There are other areas on the upper decks where pool staff can place lounges, but this is done only at your request.

Embarkation and dis-embarkation were seamless. We actually arrived before our appointed time, due to hotel check out. We were checked in without any hesitation. Dis-embarkation was also smooth. Our luggage was picked up the night before & we left the ship after breakfast. We did all of our own planning, including flights, hotels before and after the cruise. We heard grumbling from passengers who had Oceania do the planning. Part of it was expense, but can’t comment further as this was not my experience.

There are three dining rooms, plus the buffet and pool-side grill. The grand dining room serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, as does the buffet. Specialty restaurants include Red Ginger, serving Asian cuisine, while Tuscan Steak is a steak-house with Italian flavor. Both are beautifully decorated, and at no additional charge. Given our status on the ship, we were entitled to pre-book one meal at each specialty restaurant. You can book additional dinners, based on availability during the cruise. Red Ginger was our favorite, but only by a bit! The food was incredible at both! The grill by the pool serves good burgers and sandwiches for lunch. Breakfast at the buffet served a varied selection, which became a bit routine by the end of the cruise. There are occasionally flow problems as the main walkway is narrow. The buffet offered a special breakfast, Eggs Benedict, or some variation daily. This was offered in the center of the buffet. It took 4-9 minutes to prepare your selection. Either you waited there, causing a bit of a log jam in the area, or the server could bring it to your table. But they had no organized way of identifying you, so the servers often wandered around trying to find you. A smarter method of doing this is needed. Lunch and dinner at the grand dining room were excellent. There were many (too many!) choices for dinner. The Jacques Pepin signature dishes were delicious. All was beautifully presented. Food is a big highlight of Oceania, so prepare to be fed!

Cabin Review

Veranda Stateroom

Cabin B1

We booked Veranda Stateroom 6068, on the port side of the ship. This offered some of the best views as we entered some of the islands. Our stateroom was small, mostly in width. There is a very narrow walkway between the foot of the bed and the wall. The wall at the end of the bed is mirrored to give the appearance of depth, but only one person at a time could pass through this area. The balcony is also small based on the width of the room, but still well enjoyed. The bathroom is fairly normal sized for a cruise ship. There was ample storage in the cabin & bathroom. The bed and linens were luxuriously comfortable, and wonderful for sleeping. A/C worked great and was well appreciated as it is very hot in French Polynesia in February!

Port Reviews

Tahiti (Papeete)

Papeete is a fun city to walk around. The market, and many local shops. Lots of black pearl shops.

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