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Riviera Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
691 Reviews

Luxurious way to travel

Riviera Cruise Review by LDEE

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2017
  • Destination: the Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Verandah Stateroom

This was our 18th cruise, having cruised aboard most of the major lines (Princess, RCCL,Holland America) and we found the Rivieria to be the most comfortable and relaxing ship we have been aboard.

Our balcony cabin on the 8th deck had the usual grade of amenities, and a marble bath with a separate tub that also serves as a second shower. We found more storage space then we needed, and the mini-bar was stocked, free of charge, with non alcholic beverages. Cabin service was terrific. We lacked nothing.

With the exception of some slower-then-expected service in the MDR (main dining room) for breakfast, we never had a complaint. The buffet was never crowded and the selection was very good. Omelets to order! Fresh pastries every day.

We had three dinners in specialty restaurants and all were excellent. The only down-side is that you won't want to miss a meal! Its difficult to enjoy port restuarants when you know you have a first-class meal waiting for you on board- and you can dine whenever you wish.

We were at each and every show- every night at 9:30PM. Unlike larger ships, there is just one show and we never had to arrive early to get a good seat. The shows are OK, not terrific, not terrible.

The Riveria is just about the perfect size. It has all the advantages of a larger ship but is never crowded, and at 785 feet its not going to rock and roll at sea.

The weakest link were the shore excursions. Many seemed overpriced (although Oceania will no doubt include several in the pricing) and underwhelming. Frankly we did better on our own, but, in some cases, it was just easier to use Oceania. In Livorno, for example, its a long bus ride to Florence and Pisa, and its just easier using the Oceania excursions.

Embarkation and debarkation were painless.

One final note on dress codes. Over the years we have found the dress codes on cruise ships ignored to larger and larger extents. Oceania's literature refers to the no-tie, "country club" code. Ironically many men wore ties and jackets (despite the code) and an equal number wore blue jeans in the dining room and arrived at the speciality restaurants with simple button-down shirts. In short, I don't know what the dress code is anymore on any ship.

So, at twice the price of say Holland America, is it worth it? Well, you will meet well-heeled and well traveled guests but cruise ships have more in common with each other then differences. The differences are real, but subtle. If you seek a quiet ride in a relaxed envrionment I would not hesitate to recommend Oceania.

LDEE's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Verandah Stateroom
Cabin B1 8060

Quite comfortable and clean. Make sure the closet door is fully shut or the light will stay on.

Lacked nothing. Plenty of closet space.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Rome (Civitavecchia)

A charming sea-side town with a large harbor. Lots of restaurants and an outdoor market on the weekends.

Florence Walking Tour

Keep an eye on your guide as you travel through the city.

View All 136 Florence Walking Tour Reviews
Florence (Livorno)

A long day awaits as you travel to Florence and Pisa and buck the crowds but you did not travel this far to miss it.

Positano (Amalfi)

Our original tour was cancelled so we had a walking tour and a boat ride. The views from the boat are exceptional. The cliffs jut into the sea and the houses and hotels are spectacular. Plenty of shopping in town.

Taormina (Messina)

Band with others and grab a taxi up the hill. Walk through the town and enjoy spectacular views. Shopping again!


Not that much to see in the beach-resort island.


What a spectacular harbor. Carved by a glacier and surrounded by mountains. We climbed half way up the mountain (about 2000 steps and a 3 Euro charge) to visit the old church. After we took a boat ride to Our Lady of the Rock- a church on an island. This was on our own.


Viator has consistenly delivered for us. We walked through the old town and then our guide took us up the cable car. Much better priced then the ship's excursion.


A nice bus ride to a neighboring town (Peran) where dining outdoors and sipping wine seem to be the number one activity and who can blame them?

Boat tour

Its a bit of trip from the pier to downtown so we took the ship's excursion. We left directly from the ship pier by boat and visited the Murano Glass works (if you get out without buying let me know!) followed by a gondola ride. Quintessential Venice. Later, San Marco square and the Peggy Guggenheim Musuem. We opted to go back to the ship on our own- an 8 euro boat ride to the dock.

View All 49 Boat tour Reviews
Gondola Ride

How can you not? Almost like a Disneyland ride. So many boats going in circles and our gondoleer was texting and paddling at the same time. Legal in Venice.

View All 94 Gondola Ride Reviews
Murano Island

A short demonstration followed by a longer shopping spree.

View All 63 Murano Island Reviews

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