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

Still a wonderful ship

Riviera Cruise Review by scotcanus

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

I agree that things have slipped a little with food since we were on the maiden voyage of the Riviera a few years ago, and I noticed that on another Oceania ship last year as well. However, the ship itself is still like-new and lovely, with a more understated elegance than many cruise ships. We did not notice any wear or need for updating. Oceania is not aiming to top the entertainment options of the mega-liners, but I think it has forged out an excellent niche for people who are turned off by the glitz of other lines. We particularly enjoyed Polo Grill and Toscana. The free painting lessons were fun. We used a mixture of O LIfe included tours and planning our own day tours with fellow passengers through Cruise Critic Roll Call. I see no reason to upgrade to Concierge cabins on the Riviera--the few add-ons are not worth it over a regular balcony cabin. I still think Oceania, if not as perfect as before, still beats the competition in what you get for your money, particularly if you watch the deals through some of the discounters and TravelZoo. In response to one of the reviews below, there were literally no children on our recent cruise, and we have never had more than a couple at a time. We were in 8133, and I noticed that the rooms directly below that section offer a double-sized balcony for less money--something I will remember if we schedule another Riviera cruise!

scotcanus'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 B2 8133

Everything was great! I loved having a tub as well as a separate shower in our lovely marble bathroom. There was even a retractable clothesline, which I used as we only had carry-on luggage (there was also a laundry down the hall had we needed it). We had a sofa and desk and extra chair, and the TV was situated to be watched from either the sofa or the bed. Closet and drawer space was ample. A safe is provided, as well as free stocked mini-fridge. We had robes and slippers and umbrella also. Our cabin stewards kept the room spotless and we enjoyed room service coffee each morning.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


As we had been here before, we just did a brief city tour followed by a visit to the Oceanographic Institute--much like SeaWorld, with an enjoyable dolphin show. We enjoyed seeing local families out enjoying it on a Saturday.

Flamenco Show

As we had walked the city on a previous trip, we opted for the Tapas and Flamenco. The tapas were unexciting and the dancing was well done but unbelievably loud (taps on dancers' shoes) and aggressive! The tour did take us out into beautiful countryside though, as well as through the city.

View All 16 Flamenco Show Reviews
Malta (Valletta)

We just walked on our own and explored. The cathedral is absolutely stunning!

Palermo (Sicily)

We took a private day tour to Cefalu and Monreale. Cefalu is a cute little beach town and Monreale has some tremendous views and a truly beautiful cathedral. Our guide took us into Palermo for lunch, which took way too much time. In retrospect, I wish we had had more time to just walk by ourselves in Palermo, maybe just taxiing to Monreale for a quick visit. I was expecting these towns to be more like the small towns at the other end of Sicily, Taormina and Castelmolo.


We booked a private day tour to Positano and Pompei. It was probably too short a shore day for both, though if we had not gone into Sorrento for lunch we would have had better time management. It would have been better to just grab a quick sandwich or pizza near the Pompei ruins. We had to rush through Pompei--and we wished we had sprung for a guide there.

Florence Walking Tour

We opted for the cruise line bus into Florence with all of the time to walk on our own. This was far superior to following a guide with a sign! We followed recommendations from reviews online to visit less crowded spots and that worked perfectly.

View All 136 Florence Walking Tour Reviews
Monaco (Monte Carlo)

We had been in Monaco before, so opted for a private day tour that took us to small hill towns and we had a wonderful day!


We had a private day tour to Les Baux and St Remy--lovely little towns and our guide knew when things would be less crowded than usual.

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