We chose this cruise because of the itinerary which started in china and included japan,vietnam,cambodia and thailand. Initially the weather was cold,nearly freezing but warmed up as we headed south finishing at 97 in bangkok. There was a lot more security than on previous trips, so check in took 20 minutes even though there were only a handful of people in front of us. We had our chinese visa before we boarded but the ship arranged for the cambodia one and charged our onboard account. Unlike us citizens we did not need one for vietnam.
as usual on oceania the food was excellent. We were able to book into the speciality restaurants as many times as we liked even though we had an outside cabin. We much enjoyed the grand dining room and toscana but thought the food in polo was not quite as good as on previous cruises. There seemed to be a lot of new staff in the restaurants and the service was consequently patchy. The cabin service on the first night was dreadful but improvrd to very good for the rest of the cruise.
the impression of the chinese ports was of the shear size of the cities with huge numbers of tower blocks. Vietnam and cambodia in contrast were poor and primitive. The on board lectures were excellent in explaining such things as the chinese one child policy and its consequences.the advantage of a small ship is that it can get to the centre of ports when larger ones dock way out. This was helpful in shanghai,saigon and bangkok but we were disappointed in hong kong to be at the new cruise terminal which was wholly inappropriate for a small ship. We had to walk 3/4mile just to get out of the terminal and no shuttle was provided. Ha long bay was a highlight and the excursion boats were docked at the ship's tender platform which saved an extra journey. The method of despatching the excusions resulted in unnecessary long lines in the nautica lounge. Marina does it better.the overpriced ship's excursions were of reasonable quality but the tour guides did not speak very good english. In chan may the guide gave a lecture on the history of vietnam which droned on far too long.
The ship was generally in good condition except that one of the four elevators was out of service for the whole cruise. Oceania have drastically raised their prices recently and the standard of service does not justify these new prices although it is a lot better than large mass market ships. We benefitted from the very generous loyalty programme which covered the costs of all the excursions we wished to take. Overall an enjoyable and educational experience.
The cabin was comfortable and gave a good view. A balcony was not a good idea on this cruise as it was too cold to sit out. The cabin was quiet and being low down and central minimised the ship's movement.
The bathroom is small but adequate. A door on the shower would be better thane a curtain. If the table had a folding top cabin space would be better utilised.