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

Not as Good as Expected

Riviera Cruise Review by peoplewhoneedpeople

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Mar 2018
  • Destination: the Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Concierge Level

Embarkation went very well. Quick, organized, efficient and we were able to board earlier than anticipated, which was nice. Toured the ship before anyone got on and got fabulous photos. The Riviera ship is beautiful. Not a bad word could be said about the decor, cleanliness, furnishings, finishings, etc. Just beautiful. The disappointment came at our first dinner. The waiter rushed us and we were done with dinner in 40 minutes. It was awful. We were not thrilled with the food or menu options in the Grand Dining Room. Everything was too done up. Some simpler items would have been well received. You know you eat so much food on a cruise, that it gets sickening after a while, let alone when everything is prepared with so much going on. We started to enjoy the food more when we discovered that the simpler items like grilled lobster tails, lamb chops, rib steak, grilled shrimp, etc., were being done nightly in the buffet a la minute. It was disappointing however, that we had to eat in the buffet to get items that we preferred. The food overall was bland. Things that should be crispy were soggy. No one could cook a potato anywhere. The mashed potatoes were like soup, they were so runny, they were almost comical. The boiled potatoes were always soggy, water logged and overcooked. I was so excited about the food on this cruise, as all you hear about is how it is the best dining at sea. Wrong! After returning from a Regent cruise the month prior, there was just no comparison. I suppose if you are used to mid range cruise lines, then you might have enjoyed the food on Oceania, as it is a step up, but as foodies and regular travelers, this food was a big let down to us. The specialty restaurants are a tad better, but still not up to par for what I was expecting. The service is very efficient, however, I found many of the crew not to be very friendly. They weren't bad by any means, just not as friendly or smiley as one would have hoped for. The cabin was decent, tho the wooden furniture and closet was a little rickety and dated. The activities were not good at all. Scarf tying? Really?! The production cast was quite good. The singing and dancing was enjoyable, however, having only musical entertainment every night of the cruise (10 days), got to be a bit much. There should have been some variation with a comedian, magician, ventriloquist, or something other than music every night. Plus 2 of the acts, were repeated on two nights. Seeing them once was more than enough. The pianist was excellent, but he should not be allowed to sing. It was dreadful. The age range is 60-80 as a whole. Not a good ship for children, but we knew that going into it. Daily trivia was always fun, and we met nice people there. Spa services were good and the private spa terrace (with our concierge cabin) was a nice retreat. The price was very good for this sailing and we are glad we went. Would I sail with them again? Probably not. The food is very important to me on a cruise, and it just wasn't to my liking.

peoplewhoneedpeople's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Concierge Level
Cabin A3 9039

Clean. Well kept. Dated furniture and crickety closet. Small bathroom with small stand up shower. Separate tub with shower as well. Not much counter space. Nice veranda.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Santo Tomas de Castilla

We did a private tour with a car and driver of the two nearby cities. It is another poverty stricken island that doesn't have much to offer a tourist. The port side shopping complex is full of local handicrafts and the vendors are very pushy and the prices are highly inflated. And I mean highly. Items they asked $40 for, I got for $10. You must really bargain. I like to help them and buy from them, but it's a little ridiculous.

Harvest Caye

Harvest Caye is absolutely beautiful. It is all man made and commercial, but it is an exquisite beach with all the amenities you could want. The pool is beautiful too. There are shops and restaurants. The food we had was terrible. I knew I shouldn't eat there, but I did, and it was a bad mistake. We rented an electric float boat and it was fun on a little lagoon. People were very nice and helpful and friendly.


Was just at all these ports 2 months ago, so we didn't do any shore excursions this time.

Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Was just at all these ports 2 months ago, so we didn't do any shore excursions this time. We did take a taxi however, and went to the turtle farm. It was just okay.


Was just at all these ports 2 months ago, so we didn't do any shore excursions this time. We did rent a car and driver and had him take us all around the entire island. It took about 2 hours and we enjoyed the drive, altho there is not much to see. The dolphin swim was a wonderful experience last time.

Costa Maya

Was just at all these ports 2 months ago, so we didn't do any shore excursions this time. It's just a man made commercial port with touristy shopping and pushy vendors.


Didn't even disembark at this port. Had enough of it on the last cruise a couple of months ago. Absolutely nothing here worth seeing.

Key West

Been here twice in the last year, so just did our own thing and walked around. Then we rented an electric car and it was fun to drive around the little streets that you wouldn't normally see.

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