This cruise was to celebrate our 50th anniversary and we had always wanted to travel to Tahiti and French Polynesia, plus the stops in Hawaii were also of interest. We have been to Hawaii before and were looking forward to Maui as we have some favorite spots there we wanted to visit, plus had never been to Kauai.
This was the unfortunate cruise that lost power and sat in Honolulu for three days. I won't go into details as others have stated at length the problems that guests were subjected to when they wrote their reviews. When the revised itinerary was given to us their letter said there would be "only minor adjustments to our itinerary". Imagine our surprise when we realized that minor adjustments meant we would lose 3 of the 8 ports, or nearly 40% of our cruise ports!!! Minor??? They referred to the loss of power as "Technical Issues". I agree with others that this is more than technical issues, these are major problems and this ship either needs to be totally overhauled, or retired. It was frightening to think of the outcome if loss of power had happened when we were hundreds of miles away from any assistance!!
We spoke to the concierge on two occasions about compensation for the loss of such a big part of our cruise experience. On both occasions he told us to write to guest relations at the home office when we got home, to request compensation, implying that there would be something available, but not until the cruise was over. That was all fluff, he just wanted to get us away from his desk so he didn't have to listen to our frustrations. I believe he always knew Oceania would do nothing more than cruise credits. How dumb do you have to be to spend more money on a cruise line that fails to provide the trip that was promised the first time you traveled with them.
Because this was a special trip for us, we pulled out all the stops and reserved a Penthouse stateroom, plus a deluxe dayroom at a resort in Papeete while we waited for our flight back to CA. Considering everything we spent, flights to and from California, excursions, tipping of staff, hotel stays at both ends of the trip, our cost was upward of $20,000. So we felt we had a legitimate argument for some kind of compensation, if nothing more than to refund the port charges and taxes for the 3 stops that were eliminated. NOPE! They just wanted to give us a few more dollars in cruise credits. It was insulting!! Our travel agent also intervened on our behalf to request a refund, but they didn't even acknowledge her email.
As to what we received while on the ship, the food was OK but not the excellent cuisine that we had heard about with Oceania. They made a big deal about making reservations to the two specialty restaurants, but we did not find them to be exceptional at all. We actually preferred eating evening meals in the Grand Dining Room.
We were very pleased with the staff, our butler was absolutely wonderful, as were all of the housekeeping crew, servers in the restaurants, attendants on the pool deck, etc. They all gave us wonderful service for which we tipped generously.
Entertainment was mediocre most of the time, but we weren't expecting any broadway shows on a ship of this size with fewer than 600 passengers. We attended several of the evening shows, and also several of the daytime lectures, which were generally quite informative.
Public areas of the ship were attractive, but showing their age.
Our overall feeling after the cruise was relief to get home safely and sadly we felt we had spent alot of money for experiences we didn't receive. Instead of owning up to their responsibility to their guests, after the cruise was over, Oceania sent out letters with hollow platitudes and apologies, telling us our comments had been noted for Oceania's "reflection and future planning". How does that help the passenger who lost out on their trip?
Lastly I would like to comment on the onslaught of brochures and publications that Oceania continues to send us with the beautiful pictures of faraway places we might want to cruise to. We receive at least one or two per week. If they devoted even a fraction of their promotional budget to delivering what we were promised, they wouldn't have to work so hard to get new guests. Their existing customers would be coming back for add'l cruises. Every time we receive another mailing from them it is like salt in the wound. We would just like the forget this cruise!!!
Our cabin was more spacious than others we have had on past cruises, because we paid extra for the larger Penthouse stateroom. The carpet and furnishings were worn and needing replacement but certainly clean and serviceable. The bathroom wasn't big, but from past experience pretty typical of bathrooms on a cruise ship. We especially enjoyed sitting out on the balcony on our days at sea.