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Riviera Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
688 reviews
81 Awards

Disappointing Experience With Embarkation and Tenders

Review for Riviera to Canada & New England
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10+ Cruises • Age 70s

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Sep 2019
Cabin: Concierge Level

We loved Oceania so we booked a trip from Iceland, through Greenland, Canada, and the coast, to New York. Plenty of headaches leaving and returning to the ship because of the tenders. Lots of ineptness by the staff. Plenty of "hurry up and wait." We arrived in Reykjavik at 6:30 a.m. and were taken to a hotel but first, we waited for an hour at the airport as the staff tried to find our names and cross them off separate lists. Sounds simple but each staff person (3) had to cross our name off of their own lists and thus caused a delay. Then, instead of waiting in the warmth of the airport, they sent us outside, temps in 40's, and made us wait for busses that arrived 30 minutes later. Next, we went to a hotel and waited in a conference room for four hours until they brought us to the ship. It would have been nice to drop us off in a shopping district but we all sat around waiting. When we got to the ship, we all waited outside in the rain in one long line. No cover. Poor start. We signed up for six excursions. They have you arrive in the Riviera lounge 15 minutes before the star of your tour. Twice we waited because of tender trouble. All four tenders were not operating. We sat in our seats for two hours. Those with private tours were screwed. When you stay in a port for 7-8 hours, such delays are inexcusable. In St. John, we arrived for our tour 90 minutes late. The highlight was returning to the ship in a heavy downpour. Lightning, hail, an inch of rainfall. The bus stopped and our tour guide said, "Please stay on the bus, the weather is bad but it will usually clear up in ten minutes." OK. I'll sit. An Oceania representative showed up and said we had to leave immediately because the tenders are waiting for us. All 40 of us, some with walkers and canes, made their way to the dock some 75 yards away, sloshing in an inch of water as lightning flashed above us. When we got to the dock, there were no tenders. NO TENDERS! She lied to us to get us off the bus so we could hurry up and wait. We all waited outside, under a roof, cold, wet and pissed, for a half hour until the tender arrived. It stopped raining in ten minutes. Thank god no one was struck by lightning. This was inexcusable and showed that Oceania had no concern for people's safety. The other thing we noticed is that, unlike other cruises, the wait staff didn't return and ask if you wanted refills of your beverages if you didn't have the alcoholic beverage package. I'm a water and iced tea drinker. The experience with the tenders has soured our view of returning to an Oceania cruise. It is one of the most expensive cruise lines and you shouldn't have mistakes like this.

Cabin Review

Concierge Level

Cabin A2

Neat. Small. Served our needs. At the back of the ship so you get your exercise walking to activities in the Riviera lounge at the front of the ship.

Port Reviews


Nice people.


Took a shuttle into town by the wharf and did my own walk to Old North church, lots of cemeteries, old Italy, Freedom Trail, Boston Commons and had lunch at Real Seafood. Lobster roll was perfect with a Sam Adams Boston ale.

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