We've cruised extensively with Oceania starting with the Riviera maiden season in 2012. We were thrilled to have found Oceania as it met a niche for us that other cruise lines we had tried did not. Unfortunately, the product has declined dramatically over the last few years in so many areas. I won't be commenting on the itinerary in detail other to say it was fabulous!
Sirena was aquired by Oceania in 2016 and underwent a fairly extensive drydock at that time to bring her up to Oceania standards. Two months ago in May, 2019 Sirena undewent her biggest renovation ever as part of the much advertised Oceania NEXT program. The ship is gorgeous and absolulely looks better than new. Very impressive appearance. The cabins and bathrooms were gutted down to the steel and rebuilt using the same footprint. Unfortunately, that means standard cabins remain extremeley small and below industry averages for the premium cruise market. Even in the Penhouses bathrooms are VERY small and have poor ventilation. Air conditioning on the ship was consistently a problem - especially in the cabins. The new Oceania beds and bedding are heavenly as are the cushioned lounges with logo clad terry cloth covers.
So given the recent refurbishment you would think the Oceania Sirena has all necessary ingredients for a huge recipe for success. Despite all the expensive artwork, gorgeous decor and aesthetically pleasing touches Sirena suffers from a miserable crew which makes her very ugly. That being said, we certainly encounted a number of people on board who were exceptional (cabin stewardess Daniella) and interestingly a few confided in us that they are leaving for Seabourn, Viking and Crystal because "things have gone downhill since NCL purchased us". Many of the crew members remind us of the walking dead. Just zombies doing their jobs - at time begrudgingly. A smile or hello was tough to extract and never seemed sincere. The shore excursions staff and reception staff are indifferent, rude and nasty. Quite condecending actually. Getting a reception staff member to look up and acknowledge you is like pulling teeth and they are clearly annoyed to have to interact with passengers. Preoccupied with other things. Certainly, working on a cruise ship away from family and friends can be difficult for many as it is not a normal life. However, this is the hospitality business. I never encountered passengers being rude or demanding to the staff. Just the opposite. A really nice crowd on this cruise with a lot of kids - mostly very well behaved. Average age probably young 50's. We met many calm, even keeled passengers who lost their nerve over rude treatment on a vacation. A few people I never would have suspected really snapped (not at the crew), by venting to other passengers about their negative experiences and were clearly bothered.
Terrific refurbishment. Cabins were gutted down to the studs and rebuilt. Bathrooms are nicely appointed (see my live from Oceania Sirena thread on the boards with tons of photos), but VERY small - especially for a Penthouse Suite. Other than the small bathrooms A+ on the refurbishment. Very nicely laid out. Additionally, I love the sliding balcony doors as opposed to the ones that open out and slam all the time - often causing vibrations several cabins away. Electrical outlets and USB ports are plentiful. Lighting is excellent. Now all lights are LED. Bright white versus the darker yellow prior to refurbishment.
AMAZING!!! The ship cruised 75 miles up the river from the ocean to dock in the heart of Seville.
Great shuttle to center of town. We went through Viator and chartered a sail boat for six hours and then walked around the old town. Highly recommend.
We did an independent excursion to Nice and Eze. Fantastic! Hired a cab. $400 for the day for 6 people. Very professional driver.