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Marina Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
713 Reviews

The most rewarding cruise experience

Marina Cruise Review by slcdann

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Feb 2019
  • Destination: the South Pacific
  • Cabin Type: Verandah Stateroom

I have never been on Oceania before (only Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America and Regent) and after the experience I had, I am going to try and limit my cruise experiences to Oceania, if at all possible. The way I was treated, the quality of the ship desgin and materials, the quality of the staff, the itinerary, and most importantly, the dining experience just set this cruise line above all others that I have experienced - and by a wide margin.

The cabin (9110) had a large veranda and felt spacious. The bathroom was impressive with a full tub and a rainshower head in the shower. The water was perfect temperature throughout the cruise. Of course, the most important person we met was Lilya, our cabin stewardess and she was nothing short of magnificent - keeping everything so neat and tidy and it always felt the room was in perfect condition. Her warm demeanor meant everything to us and we will always love Ukraine after having her cheerful, professional and detailed assistance every day.

We also loved Chrismerelda on our Concierge floor - such a lovely person and so responsive and helpful with our specific needs. In fact, we loved the entire Concierge floor experience - and the espresso machine was worth its weight in gold. We loved the speciality coffee bar on Deck 14 overlooking the pool. We loved the Waves sandwiches, the afternoon tea in horizons, the terrace cafe for breakfast and the Grand Dining Room for nightly dinners (though it was our least favorite experience). And that's because the specialty dining on this ship simply cannot be beat. Toscana was authentic and welcoming. Jaques was a delightful visit to France. Polo Club prepared perfect steaks (and a very inattentive woman as sommalier), and Red Ginger was our favorite of all - with special thanks to the Maitre D' who was nothing short of a true 'boss' - we are indebted to her for our service and experience there.

The spa was much better than on other ships and we loved the Canyon Ranch products (especially the post-sun cooling product). Nice gym and very relaxing private spa deck. The theatre space was intimate, as was the lovely piano bar and we enjoyed that. In fact, the ship NEVER felt full (though it was 100% occupied). The artwork throughout the ship made a particular impression on me - from sculpture to paintings and of course the lalique everywhere. It felt more like a luxurious art gallery than a state-of-the-art disco and I appreciated the more sophisticated approach.

Besides the speciality dining, I have to say that the approach of charging up front for coffees and sodas and not making me use a card every five minutes felt like a great indulgence and I much prefer that approach. And the specialty dining not having additional charge also made me more relaxed. We didn't purchase any shore excursions because the ports were all accessible and easy for us to navigate to blue waters and private beaches.

I loved that the ship was the smallest of all my previous experiences and it felt size-appropriate for Tahitian islands. Embarkation was fast and professional - a tremendous team boarding and leaving. I would dearly love to sail on the Marina again.


slcdann's Full Rating Summary
Cabin
Onboard Experience
Value For Money
Embarkation
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Cabin Review

Verandah Stateroom
Cabin B2 9110

The cabin (9110) had a large veranda and felt spacious. The bathroom was impressive with a full tub and a rainshower head in the shower. The water was perfect temperature throughout the cruise. Of course, the most important person we met was Lilya, our cabin stewardess and she was nothing short of magnificent - keeping everything so neat and tidy and it always felt the room was in perfect condition. Her warm demeanor meant everything to us and we will always love Ukraine after having her cheerful, professional and detailed assistance every day.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Tahiti (Papeete)

The most populated island by a wide margin, the island appears exceedingly poor, but it is the only true international airport, so it must be visited. We stayed at Sofitel and found it to be excellent for water/beach and lagoon experiences and the Le Carre Restaurant is exceptional at sunset. People are very kind here. We also walked next door to Java Express for a very authentic island meal and we had an extraordinary experience in downtown Papeete at Villa Thai in their upstairs dining room. People in the shops were kind and we stocked up on groceries at the local supermarket.

Moorea

One of our favorite islands, the beach was pristine and a five minute taxi from the pier ($5). Beautiful water and stunning features (rock formations).

Rangiroa

Walked from pier for five minutes to the beach where the water was blue and rough. We bought coconuts and a local family shared their freshly-caught whitefish lunch. So memorable.

Bora Bora

Best island experience thanks to shopping and infrastructure. We went both days to Maitre beach and enjoyed the warm water and hospitality of the snack shacks. Transportation from the pier was $5 each way and very frequent. One of the best t-shirt shops ever right next to an elegant shop with wood and Thai style in the same mall.

Raiatea

We loved meeting the locals in the shops here. Beautiful coconuts and necklaces and well priced as well.

Huahine

Walked to a private cove and found our paradise in the water. a 15 minute walk from pier.


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slcdann
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