My wife and I chose Oceania for the interesting itinerary - Bangkok to Athens via some exotic ports. Top on our list was Petra, Luxor and the Valley of the Kings.
We were on Deck 6 near the front on the Starboard side. The cabin itself was quite tiny and the bathroom even more starved of room. We did have a balcony so there was a little more breathing space but generally, we were surprised and disappointed with the size of the cabin. Our cabin stewards were excellent and kept the place clean and tidy.
We had a fair number of sea days on this voyage and unfortunately the activities on board were sadly lacking. The two male speakers lacked academic qualifications and their talks were predictably dull, lacking an overall theme. One of these gentlemen giving a talk on the Red Sea used diagrams straight from Google and tellingly pronounced Port Said as Port Siad!
Activities during the day included such things as bean bag toss, ping pong and golf putting. The library on the top floor is a nice feature - it's quiet and has a fair selection of books including a paperback exchange.
There was a daily quiz and all these activities revolved around Big 'O' points awarded to winners. At the end of each cruise segment, passengers could trade their points for anything from luggage tags to an Oceania top (90 points required). Having been on less expensive cruises, I expected better and was disappointed.
Food was another major disappointment. The specialty restaurants are limited but free. We tried these once and cancelled our other reservations. The Maitre d' of the Italian restaurant, Polo suggested to my wife that, "Maybe madam doesn't like Italian food". My wife being Italian told him that she did like Italian food and that was the problem.
The main dining room had overall very good service but as in the specialty restaurants, the food was pretentious and lacking in flavour. The mashed potatoes were good though. Waiters still have to bother you to ask if you want ground pepper.
Speaking of grinders, the buffet in the Terrace Cafe had salt grinders that would either fail to work or scatter large crunchy chunks of salt onto the food.
We usually had our breakfast in the Terrace Cafe. Luckily, the passenger load was substantially down and so line-ups were rare. Even so, organizing toast eggs bacon, hash browns etc involved stations on either side of the aisle. Yoghurt was low fat only.
The dining room is lovely and tables for two are by the windows so were usually able to score one of these which was nice. We liked that there were no formal nights although many passengers clearly enjoyed getting gussied up for the evening.
We tried the limited room service menu a couple of times and it was promptly delivered and well presented.
We didn't bother much with the entertainment on board or the TV.
In summary, we paid quite a lot more than an equivalent Holland America cruise for a smaller room, poorer activities and bland food. Some individual staff members were outstanding but were let down by others. We did mention our concerns after the first segment but other than an apology, nothing changed or could change.
Would we cruise with Oceania again? No. In fact this cruise will be our last for a while as this experience brought home to us what we dislike about cruising.
In a way, Oceania did us a favour.
Small with a giant mirror behind the bed. Small flat screen TV and DVD Player.
The air-conditioning fan is louder than we would have liked but we got used to it. Drawer space is a bit lacking although there are a couple of wardrobes with hangers that hold quite a lot. Balcony is a reasonable size with a small table and chairs. The bathroom had a very small shower with sink and toilet.
There is a small fridge and you can ask for items to be removed to make more room for your preferred beverages.