We sailed aboard Oceania Marina from Lisbon to Monte Carlo Sept 29 – to Oct 6 2019. Our expectations and excitement for the journey as well as the Marina were high based on much research and Oceania’s marketing. Our cruise experience was not five star/luxury, intimate, personal, or warm.
Cabin and Concierge Service
Cabin service was average, but not personalized or attentive beyond usual clean up and prep. Examples: used more than one bucket of ice nightly, but always had to ask for second one. Superior service would have inquired proactively. Turn down service often clashed with when we were preparing for dinner (8:30p reservations). Superior service would have had our reservation schedule and worked the evening cabin duties accordingly. The patio cushions were removed in the evening but not replaced in the morning. Our attendant and assistant were both pleasant, but seemed to have too large a base to serve for the entire trip. Per Oceania’s marketing, we expected more focused attention (smaller crew to passenger ratio). Concierge service was lacking. Although attended, not welcoming or personalized, even though we used service daily. Recognition and acknowledgement would have elevated the experience. Deck door between our cabin deck and our neighbor’s cabin deck was not secure/firm and would rattle and clunk during the night.
Food and Beverage Service
Drink service at bars was often slow regardless of number of patrons. Bartender acknowledgement, even if busy with other tasks, is expected and was rarely given. Weather was warm, and deck service was never offered on the three occasions I chose to utilize the various areas, to include spa terrace, main pool area, and conversation areas. We dined at Waves Grill for lunch three times and the steak and lobster was superb, as was the ahi tuna. The other sandwiches were average. Waves Grill table service was lacking. Water service was immediate, but bar service was slow and inattentive. It also lacked personalization. I had a premium beverage package and ordered wine with lunch with ice. Never was I recognized or asked proactively if I wanted wine again with ice – this would have been superior service and not just average service.
Sommelier service in the buffet was slow as well, but only used it on the first day. It is noted the buffet table service on the port side of the Terrace Buffet was far superior to what we experience elsewhere (breakfast).
Red Ginger was superior in service and food quality.
Barristas was very good as well, but table service in the library would have been excellent/superior (or at least to be asked once settled).
Jacques food quality was lacking. Lamb was overcooked, sent back, and overcooked again. In fact the waiter even mentioned that my barely pink lamb was indeed medium rare versus offering something different or even preparing again, which I would have expected from Superior service. Sommelier service was good/attentive.
Our first Grand Dining room service seem strained. Our waiter indicated 9p couldn’t come soon enough. Service throughout the evening wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t excellent. I had to ask for refill of wine when needed.
Our second Grand Dining experience was similar to our first. The escargot was very good, lobster bisque lacked any indication of lobster, and crème brulee was grainy and of a pudding/undercooked consistency rather than custard. Table service did not inquire why it wasn’t eaten or if it was satisfactory or if we wanted something else. Superior service would have been more aware of our experience.
Tuscany grill was average for food quality, sommelier service, and table service. Not bad, but not 5 star.
Our last night was Polo Grill. Initial table service was commendable, but bar service and sommelier was extremely anxious and stressed and virtually non existent, even as the volume of people diminished (we had 830 reservations and were there at 825). Had to ask repeatedly for wine/refill and table service seemed not to know our understand how our experience was going or being paced to facilitate beverage/wine service – they did not seem to partner with the sommelier or kitchen very well. We were virtually ignored for an hour by our table service (other than water). The main course never came and no one spoke to us about delays or gave any indication that they were even aware of delays. Around 9:30 my husband sought the maître de and still no one came to talk to me or refresh my service. By 9:40, I was upset and left the restaurant with my husband in order to pack and prepare for departure tasks. Only at that time did there seem to be any concern about our service and experience. Although apologies were given and alternatives offered, at that time is was far too disappointing and too late to repair.
I had planned on using the artist’s loft (one of the reasons I chose Marina), but it was never attended nor any products or amenities available to use other than the 4p class which conflicted with excursion timing. A self service option would have been lovely to use for sunset sketching or morning activity.
After much research, I chose Oceania because we enjoy a casual, resort environment with outstanding amenities, focused service, and five star cuisine and culinary experience. The service and quality aboard Marina was inconsistent and impersonal, not superior or intimate. I am very disappointed to have paid more than twice what I have on other cruise lines while experiencing less service, quality, attentiveness, and appointments (including Celebrity, Carnival, and A-Rosa River cruises). It is noteworthy to mention I have not received a follow up directly or indirectly from Oceania for feedback as of 17 October (11 days after disembarkation).
Was average. Cabin attendants had too many cabins to provide personalized or intimate service awareness. Concierge wasn't attentive or of particular value.