Having taken three previous excellent cruises with Oceania (on Regatta and Nautica), we jumped at the chance to book a trip to see Australia and New Zealand aboard Sirena, a so-called "sister ship." Little did we know that Sirena is apparently the ugly sister of the bunch. We booked our trip in early February, 2016, and, since our desired Penthouse level was not available, we booked a suite on level 7, and were placed on the wait list for an upgrade to a Penthouse suite (level 8) at that time. Because of serious overbooking by Oceania, we never were able to secure the upgrade, and I can forgive Oceania for that problem. What I cannot forgive them for, however, is the way the overbooking problem was handled. Numerous passengers we spoke to were offered cash rebates (we heard of one couple offered $17,000 cash plus a free trip on another Oceania cruise if they would drop off the trip; offer received while couple was in Sydney; others received lesser offers to downgrade and/or drop off trip.) I had tried on numerous occasions to obtain a portside room, figuring our previous trips with Oceania would curry some favor, but we were not allowed at any point to enter such a request. When they made a request of us to downgrade our suite, my response was quite terse: "You made your bed--now sleep in it!" This ship does not measure up to either Nautica or Regatta, either in quality of service or quality of food in the main dining areas. (The premier dining rooms [Toscana and Red Ginger] are excellent, however.) We experienced surliness on the part of a couple of waiters, and a couple also reeked of tobacco while serving us in the Grand Dining Room. Most servers were pleasant and helpful, but we've never experienced the unpleasant attitude of a handful of service personnel such as we experienced on Sirena. Since we've always previously stayed in Penthouse suites (~322 sq ft), it's hard to compare with the smaller 7th-level suites (216 sq ft). These suites seemed almost claustrophobic, leaving very little room to unpack. As one of our traveling companions noted, "where else can you sit on the toilet with your feet in the shower?" (This is not an exaggeration, by the way.) Excursions are hit-or-miss. It is strongly suggested that participants read descriptions very closely, as many excursions have similar features (particularly gardens). Entertainment is typical of a 650-passenger ship--nothing great, eminently skippable, or, if one is easily amused, a way to postpone early bedtime. There is no lack of activities on board to entertain almost anyone: trivia, bridge, table tennis, putting contests, bingo, and more (most on a daily basis). The ship is definitely oriented to a 60+ age group, and children are few and far between (there are virtually no activities oriented toward them.) Would we go again? Absolutely not, for two reasons: 1) the ship was terrible (by way of comparison) and 2) we've seen Australia & New Zealand once, which was a great experience, but once was enough.

Disappointment on many counts

Sirena Cruise Review by CruiseCritic1940

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Having taken three previous excellent cruises with Oceania (on Regatta and Nautica), we jumped at the chance to book a trip to see Australia and New Zealand aboard Sirena, a so-called "sister ship." Little did we know that Sirena is apparently the ugly sister of the bunch. We booked our trip in early February, 2016, and, since our desired Penthouse level was not available, we booked a suite on level 7, and were placed on the wait list for an upgrade to a Penthouse suite (level 8) at that time.

Because of serious overbooking by Oceania, we never were able to secure the upgrade, and I can forgive Oceania for that problem. What I cannot forgive them for, however, is the way the overbooking problem was handled. Numerous passengers we spoke to were offered cash rebates (we heard of one couple offered $17,000 cash plus a free trip on another Oceania cruise if they would drop off the trip; offer received while couple was in Sydney; others received lesser offers to downgrade and/or drop off trip.) I had tried on numerous occasions to obtain a portside room, figuring our previous trips with Oceania would curry some favor, but we were not allowed at any point to enter such a request. When they made a request of us to downgrade our suite, my response was quite terse: "You made your bed--now sleep in it!"

This ship does not measure up to either Nautica or Regatta, either in quality of service or quality of food in the main dining areas. (The premier dining rooms [Toscana and Red Ginger] are excellent, however.) We experienced surliness on the part of a couple of waiters, and a couple also reeked of tobacco while serving us in the Grand Dining Room. Most servers were pleasant and helpful, but we've never experienced the unpleasant attitude of a handful of service personnel such as we experienced on Sirena.

Since we've always previously stayed in Penthouse suites (~322 sq ft), it's hard to compare with the smaller 7th-level suites (216 sq ft). These suites seemed almost claustrophobic, leaving very little room to unpack. As one of our traveling companions noted, "where else can you sit on the toilet with your feet in the shower?" (This is not an exaggeration, by the way.)

Excursions are hit-or-miss. It is strongly suggested that participants read descriptions very closely, as many excursions have similar features (particularly gardens). Entertainment is typical of a 650-passenger ship--nothing great, eminently skippable, or, if one is easily amused, a way to postpone early bedtime.

There is no lack of activities on board to entertain almost anyone: trivia, bridge, table tennis, putting contests, bingo, and more (most on a daily basis). The ship is definitely oriented to a 60+ age group, and children are few and far between (there are virtually no activities oriented toward them.)

Would we go again? Absolutely not, for two reasons: 1) the ship was terrible (by way of comparison) and 2) we've seen Australia & New Zealand once, which was a great experience, but once was enough.
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Cabin Review

Concierge Level Veranda Stateroom
Cabin A2 7087
Smallish, bed a little too low to allow storage of thick suitcase to fit beneath. Bathroom is tiny, and stepping down approximately 6" into suite is very uncomfortable, especially in dark of night.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews