Marina Cruise Review by ccsuwxman
- Sail Date: July 2017
- Destination: British Isles & Western Europe
- Cabin Type: Concierge Level
We arrived at Southampton around 1 PM on departure day and quickly checked in and were shown to our cabin on the port side of Deck 9, Concierge Level. Our cabin attendant introduced himself as soon as we arrived, and his service, throughout the 12-day cruise was outstanding. The Concierge lounge was just down the corridor and served coffee, sodas, and snacks (small sandwiches/croissants and cookies) throughout the day. Daily newspapers from both London and the U.S.A. were available every day. Internet service, though free and unlimited for O-Life Choice guests, was often slow and sometimes not available at all.
We had a number of shore excursions booked. Most were pretty good, but the exception was our trip to the Edinburgh Castle. The guide on the tour bus was not very informative, and she escorted us into the castle (thus bypassing the long queue for tickets) and basically left us there. And it was raining quite hard at the time.
We really liked the port call at Kirkwall, in the Orkney islands, and the five ports in Norway, where we had unusually good weather, and spectacular scenery.
However, not all was perfect. The shows were of varying quality. The casino was very small, and the craps table was often not open. Onboard activities, for which one could earn "Big O" points (redeemable for merchandise at the end of the cruise) were plentiful. We actually had a good time with Trivia contests, Name That Tune, Cornhole, and golf putting and earned enough points to get two moisture-wicking Oceania T-shirts.
Food was very good, but not "fabulous," as we were lead to believe. The menus in the Grand Dining Room were varied, but there were times when I felt I had to settle for something that I might not otherwise have ordered. We dined in four of the specialty restaurants (at no extra charge) and they were all good. But Polo and Jacques were much better than Toscana and Red Ginger. The Terrace Cafe (buffet style) was great, with lots of choices. We especially liked that lobster tails were available EVERY night at the buffet, and they were delicious. Also, at the buffets, guests had to ask for everything they wanted, rather than reaching in and serving oneself. I had no problem with this as it seems the best way to avoid spreading Norovirus. Only the servers were allowed to put food on plates.
Lunch at the Waves Grill was also very good--great burgers and sandwiches.
Overall, we had a great time, but, considering the price difference between Oceania and other cruise lines, we're not so sure the cruise was worth that difference in cost.
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