We selected this cruise based on the itinerary. We wanted to spend some time in Portugal before boarding the ship. We also appreciated the fact that the airfare was included in the cruise package. We were able to change our flight departure for a nominal fee to accommodate the five pre-cruise days spent in Porto and Lisbon. We were also able to fly to a different city at the end of the cruise, at no additional cost.
Once on board, we thoroughly enjoyed the service and amenities offered on the Riviera. Staff was most accommodating, dining options were plentiful and shipboard activities, especially those offered through the Culinary Center, were most enjoyable. Also had the opportunity to be pampered at the Canyon Ranch Spa - delightful!
We did not book our excursions through Oceania as we have had much success using the Forum through Cruise Critic. We have met wonderful people from all over the world who share our love for travel and food. These friendships have extended beyond our days on the ship - an added bonus.
We do want to encourage passengers to take advantage of the specialty restaurants on board the Riviera. Unlike other cruise lines, there is no additional cost to enjoy these intimate dining experiences. We ate at all four and thoroughly enjoyed each meal. In addition, we had an amazing night celebrating our anniversary at La Reserve.
Lots of storage.
Large bathroom with both a stall shower and separate bathtub.
Small area with couch and desk.
We spent three days in Lisbon before the cruise. We loved every minute. As an amateur photographer, we were able to spend a day with a photographer (Lisbon Photo) exploring the Alfama and neighboring areas. As real foodies, we spent four hours tasting many of the traditional Portuguese "staples". We are addicted to natas and cod cakes!
We booked our own tour to Seville. Enjoyed our walking tour of Seville as well as the tour of the Alcazar.
We discovered Spain Food Sherpas. Since we had spent time on the Gold Coast in the past, the opportunity to shop at a local market and cook at a cooking school with a local chef was fabulous. After learning how to cook several tapas, we got to enjoy the fruits of our labor with wine!,,
Took advantage of Murcia Trike Tours to explore Cartegena. It was so much fun cruising the area on a motorized trike. The views were spectacular and our guide, most knowledgeable.
This port was a disappointment as it began with Legend Motorcycles cancelling our Vespa tour and leaning us waiting at the port for an hour before we were able to connect with them. We did go up to the fort and walk around the area but could easily have substituted this port for a day at sea.
Loved Barcelona - too much to see in one day but definitely enough to know we will be returning. We booked a tour with Spain Day Tours that took us to Montserrat and a walking tour in Seville that included Park Gruell, Casa Mira and Familia Sagrada. Thoroughly enjoyed the vibe of the city and the architecture.
Did a private tour with two other couples to Provence. An added bonus was catching the lavender fields in bloom. The small villages were charming and fun to explore. Did not regret skipping Marseille as the port area is quite industrial.
Enjoyed the day exploring the Italian Riviera as we had visited Eze, Saint Paul and Nice on a previous cruise. Loved Menton and Dolceacqua - very quaint. Could easily have spent a day in each. Also visited San Remo but the markets were not open on our port day so just walked around the old town.
Portofino is beautiful. Very much an extension of Cinqueterra which we thoroughly enjoyed. Visited Santa Margherita on our way to Genoa. Although it was interesting to visit Genoa, we would have enjoyed spending the time in Santa Margherita and the beach area in Portofino.
Took a private tour to Volterra and a winery. Loved exploring that hilltop village. Wonderful shops and, of course, lots of alabaster. Lunch at the winery, overlooking the vineyards was wonderful - a true Chianti experience.
This was where we disembarked. Keep in mind that the port is quite a distance from the airport as well as Florence. We arranged our own transportation to the airport as we could do it more inexpensive,y and did not have to be in a bus with lots of other passengers all checking in at the same time.