Several months ago, my wife and I decided to do a transatlantic crossing. Having cruised with Oceania before, we decided to book the crossing on the Riviera. Our preference is typically small to medium size ships. The Riviera (as well as the Marina) are a little larger than we typically would book but for the crossing it was perfect. The booking experience as easy and convenient. Specialty restaurant reservations were easy to make on Oceania's website. Cruise documents arrived 30 days before the cruise. Checking in on embarkation day was very easy. We arrived at the Miami port at noon and were on board by 12:20 pm. Our cabin (PH 11049) was ready at exactly 1:00 pm. By 2:00 pm, we were completely unpacked and ready for our journey. Oceania made it very easy for us! Having cruise on the Oceania Marina before, the Riviera's sister ship, we did not have to spend much time getting re-acquainted with facilities and layout of the vessel. Our cabin was a Penthouse on the 11th deck - 11049. It was very comfortable, clean and well appointed. We did notice a little bit of wear and tear on the carpet and several cabinets with small scratches. The crew did a great job keeping the room nice and clean with stocked with the appropriate beverages, canapés and bathroom supplies. A word of caution is that cabin's on the 11th deck are right below the swimming pool deck and, sometimes, one can hear deck furniture being moved. This was only an annoyance in the early evening as the crew re-stacked the lounge chairs. The ship is in great condition. Oceania is clearly focusing on ensuring the vessel is well maintained. All public areas were very clean. The crew was constantly cleaning and performing maintenance. Great to see this level of care and attention. Our dining experience was very good to excellent. Prior to the cruise, we booked four dinners at the four specialty restaurants as well as one evening at La Reserve. We are "foodies" and Oceania's Riviera did not disappoint. Service and food quality in the specialty restaurants was excellent. La Reserve was a terrific 3 plus hours of good food and wine as well as the social aspect of the evening - well worth the price of admission. On two evenings we decided to just go to The Terrace for dinner and have a light buffet dinner. To our surprise, the buffet was very well done (wonderful salads, fresh sushi, lobster among other delicacies). The Grand Dining Room was very good with the exception of one evening in which the service and food quality was not as consistent. A consistent and enjoyable start of the day (everyday!) was a visit to Baristas. Lastly, during the cruise, we were able to book additional evenings at the specialty restaurants. Since our voyage required a lot of sea days, the crew of the Riviera had to plan and execute a lot of activities during the day. Since this was our first transatlantic crossing, we were concerned about this cruise being too slow. Well, this concern was not an issue. Corey Powell (Cruise Director) and his team worked tirelessly to keep everyone engaged. One of our favorite activities was to attend the chats with Sandy Cares - a terrific speaker. We also attended several Wine Tastings and cooking class - both always fun! In terms of wellness, we used the health and fitness center almost daily, it has excellent equipment, never overly crowded and very clean. We also enjoyed the Canyon Ranch Spa - a bit pricey but the massage and facial services were excellent. Regarding, entertainment, it was better than we expected. It is clear that Oceania has been listening to passenger and reviewer feedback. Among our favorites was the string quartet. Also, the Riviera band played some nice Jazz. The Riviera singers and dances are very talented and did a nice job to keep everyone entertained. Oceania also brought in a several guest stars for entertainment that we would rate from fair to very good (magician (fair), violinist (very good), pianist/singer (good) and comedian (fair) . In terms of ports, our scheduled stops were Bermuda, Ponta Delgado (Azores), Tangier, Mallorca and Barcelona. We typically prefer private or semi private tours since we like to have the flexibility to move quickly and adjust the day as we go; however, for this trip, we decided to take three Oceania offered tours. In Bermuda, we joined a small group totally 16 on a small bus in which we visited Hamilton and St. George. Unfortunately, due to bad weather, we were not able to dock in Ponta Delgada. As for Tangier, our group was a bit larger (20 or so) but the 4 1/2 hour excursion was well done. Mallorca and Barcelona we did on our own. Overall, we were pleased with the Oceania tours we joined. The disembarkation process in Barcelona was a breeze. We were scheduled to disembark at 7:45 am but were able to do so at 7:40 am. We were on a taxi to our hotel by 7:50 am! Lastly, we want to recognize the Riviera's leadership staff. The Captain and his Officers were very visible and approachable. Furthermore, we really enjoyed how they recognized members of the crew with 5 Year Service Anniversaries. And, a night of celebration in which over 300 crew members were brought into the Riviera lounge to celebrate to appreciate the passengers. What's interesting is that it was the passengers that celebrated the crew for excellent service. These actions speak volumes of the culture of the company and leadership. After all, cruising is about people! We will certainly continue to cruise and plan to be back with Oceania in the near future.

A wonderful transatlantic crossing

Riviera Cruise Review by Mike in AR

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2018
  • Destination: Transatlantic
  • Cabin Type: Penthouse Suite
Several months ago, my wife and I decided to do a transatlantic crossing. Having cruised with Oceania before, we decided to book the crossing on the Riviera. Our preference is typically small to medium size ships. The Riviera (as well as the Marina) are a little larger than we typically would book but for the crossing it was perfect.

The booking experience as easy and convenient. Specialty restaurant reservations were easy to make on Oceania's website. Cruise documents arrived 30 days before the cruise.

Checking in on embarkation day was very easy. We arrived at the Miami port at noon and were on board by 12:20 pm. Our cabin (PH 11049) was ready at exactly 1:00 pm. By 2:00 pm, we were completely unpacked and ready for our journey. Oceania made it very easy for us!

Having cruise on the Oceania Marina before, the Riviera's sister ship, we did not have to spend much time getting re-acquainted with facilities and layout of the vessel.

Our cabin was a Penthouse on the 11th deck - 11049. It was very comfortable, clean and well appointed. We did notice a little bit of wear and tear on the carpet and several cabinets with small scratches. The crew did a great job keeping the room nice and clean with stocked with the appropriate beverages, canapés and bathroom supplies. A word of caution is that cabin's on the 11th deck are right below the swimming pool deck and, sometimes, one can hear deck furniture being moved. This was only an annoyance in the early evening as the crew re-stacked the lounge chairs.

The ship is in great condition. Oceania is clearly focusing on ensuring the vessel is well maintained. All public areas were very clean. The crew was constantly cleaning and performing maintenance. Great to see this level of care and attention.

Our dining experience was very good to excellent. Prior to the cruise, we booked four dinners at the four specialty restaurants as well as one evening at La Reserve. We are "foodies" and Oceania's Riviera did not disappoint. Service and food quality in the specialty restaurants was excellent. La Reserve was a terrific 3 plus hours of good food and wine as well as the social aspect of the evening - well worth the price of admission. On two evenings we decided to just go to The Terrace for dinner and have a light buffet dinner. To our surprise, the buffet was very well done (wonderful salads, fresh sushi, lobster among other delicacies). The Grand Dining Room was very good with the exception of one evening in which the service and food quality was not as consistent. A consistent and enjoyable start of the day (everyday!) was a visit to Baristas. Lastly, during the cruise, we were able to book additional evenings at the specialty restaurants.

Since our voyage required a lot of sea days, the crew of the Riviera had to plan and execute a lot of activities during the day. Since this was our first transatlantic crossing, we were concerned about this cruise being too slow. Well, this concern was not an issue. Corey Powell (Cruise Director) and his team worked tirelessly to keep everyone engaged. One of our favorite activities was to attend the chats with Sandy Cares - a terrific speaker. We also attended several Wine Tastings and cooking class - both always fun!

In terms of wellness, we used the health and fitness center almost daily, it has excellent equipment, never overly crowded and very clean. We also enjoyed the Canyon Ranch Spa - a bit pricey but the massage and facial services were excellent.

Regarding, entertainment, it was better than we expected. It is clear that Oceania has been listening to passenger and reviewer feedback. Among our favorites was the string quartet. Also, the Riviera band played some nice Jazz. The Riviera singers and dances are very talented and did a nice job to keep everyone entertained. Oceania also brought in a several guest stars for entertainment that we would rate from fair to very good (magician (fair), violinist (very good), pianist/singer (good) and comedian (fair) .

In terms of ports, our scheduled stops were Bermuda, Ponta Delgado (Azores), Tangier, Mallorca and Barcelona. We typically prefer private or semi private tours since we like to have the flexibility to move quickly and adjust the day as we go; however, for this trip, we decided to take three Oceania offered tours. In Bermuda, we joined a small group totally 16 on a small bus in which we visited Hamilton and St. George. Unfortunately, due to bad weather, we were not able to dock in Ponta Delgada. As for Tangier, our group was a bit larger (20 or so) but the 4 1/2 hour excursion was well done. Mallorca and Barcelona we did on our own. Overall, we were pleased with the Oceania tours we joined.

The disembarkation process in Barcelona was a breeze. We were scheduled to disembark at 7:45 am but were able to do so at 7:40 am. We were on a taxi to our hotel by 7:50 am!

Lastly, we want to recognize the Riviera's leadership staff. The Captain and his Officers were very visible and approachable. Furthermore, we really enjoyed how they recognized members of the crew with 5 Year Service Anniversaries. And, a night of celebration in which over 300 crew members were brought into the Riviera lounge to celebrate to appreciate the passengers. What's interesting is that it was the passengers that celebrated the crew for excellent service. These actions speak volumes of the culture of the company and leadership. After all, cruising is about people!

We will certainly continue to cruise and plan to be back with Oceania in the near future.
Mike in AR’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Penthouse Suite
Cabin PH1 11049
Well appointed, plenty of space and always clean. Starting to show some wear on the carpet, a few cabinet scratches.
Deck 11 Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews