We chose this cruise due to the itinerary since it focused heavily on Italy’s west and east coast. We had cruised Oceania three years ago seeing the Mediterranean. The Sirena was still fresh and beautiful from her refit in May. Love the new decor in the staterooms. We had a concierge balcony which was a guarantee. Oceania was oversold on this cruise and offered us an upgrade to a penthouse and on board credit to sail in November on another itinerary which would have meant we had to change flights as well as cancel tours. We didn’t accept the offer. We were placed in the same concierge balcony we reserved and were on the starboard side all the aft next to an Owners Suite. The balcony had an iron facia that covered up a small part of our view to the right looking aft, but it wasn’t anything we couldn’t live with or obstructed the view unless looking directly outside.
We boarded in Venice, Italy and had one night on the ship in Venice before sailing. We went into Venice three days early and stayed at the JW Marriott before boarding the ship. The Venice Film Festival was taking place while we were there so traveling to the port to board the ship meant transportation was more challenging. We opted for the private boat transfer at the hotels recommendation for 90 euros. A beautiful wooden boat pulled up to the hotel and whisked us away to the port. We pulled in literally right next to where the attendants were checking luggage in. We were escorted inside the cruise port and walked up to the concierge lane. It was nice to have expedited checkin while seeing other Oceania passengers in line. Even better was the Ponant Cruise line was in port also. All their guests were standing in one long line. I can’t believe they allowed their customers to stand in long lines waiting to checkin and register with the staff.
We boarded around 3:00 pm as we wanted to spend time at the hotel since we paid $450 per night to stay there. Our room was ready upon arrival. Our luggage arrived about an hour after we boarded. We immediately went to eat a late buffet lunch. We sat outside since the restaurant was aft.
Watching all the boat traffic go back and forth while we were in Venice overnight was amazing. The ships location to Venice made it easy to get on and off and go to town. We felt same the entire time in Venice. The day we sailed out of Venice, Oceania had an expert on the 9th deck informing all on the 9th deck of building and landmarks we were seeing as we sailed past St Marks Square and he provided history about Venice, the surrounding islands, and spoke about rising waters in Venice and how the port authority was looking to handle the mass of cruise ships coming to Venice as to would they be able to port in town as they do now, or would they be forced to port further outside of town and the impacts to tourism this may cause. Very informative speaker.
The ship handed out bottled water at every port as we got off. They had water when getting back on as well.
The ports of Anacona, Bari, and Crotone were nothing great. I would rather have sailed to Croatia. Anacona, we rented a car and drove to San Marino. A little country nestled in Italy with its own Army and currency. Charming town but our day was limited to this one experience. Bari was the better of the three stops as we rented a car and drove to an olive grove which had excellent olive oil. We shipped it home and have ordered more upon returning home. Crotone was a ghetto in the looks of walking downtown from the port. We spent 5 minutes in town and walked back to the ship.
Elba was beautiful and we went Scuba diving and spent time in town looking and shopping. Bought the famous perfume from Elba and love it! We rested on the ship the rest of the day. I read a book on our balcony and watched the people, cars and boat traffic to my delight.
Taromina Sicily was nice. We took a taxi up to the town to go to the ancient amphitheater. The taxi was $25 one way. the town was charming, filled with people but not so much we couldn’t enjoy the sights and sounds. The walk to the amphitheater was somewhat long given the day was warm, but worth it. We stayed in town until 3:00 and took another taxi back. It wasn’t hard to find taxis either direction.
Amalfi was to be out next port but due to rough waves we rerouted to Naples. We had been to Amalfi three years ago and were disappointed this time as we had to cancel a tour with a personal guide we had before. He understood and didn’t charge us anything. In Naples we decided to go to Pompeii as was the plan from Amalfi. We found a taxi driver outside the port and for $100 he drove us there and waited two hours while we toured Pompeii. He then dropped us off in downtown Naples at a recommended pizza restaurant. Pizza was wonderful and we dined outside eating with locals and visitors. Charming. Pompeii is vast and takes days to tour. Hope to return.
Rome was our next port and we had seen Rome three years ago so we took the train from the port to Rome. The walk from the port to train station seemed far but when walking it back to the ship that evening it was a 15 minute walk. We walked 8 miles that day and saw what we wanted to see this trip. Trevi, had to throw my coins again, Vittorio Emanuele II Monument and climbed the steps for an AMAZING view of the city in all directions, Pantheon and we dined in the Piazza there.
Portofino was a nice stop, and our second visit here. We walked the city. Not much to do unless you want to book a tour, go for a hike or boat tour. The city is charming and relaxing. An easy day for shopping and exploring spots not seen three years ago. Lost my drivers license and debit card while taking the tender over to Portofino. I think I lost it on the tender.
I reported it to the Oceania staff manning the tender station in Portofino. They allowed me to go on all three tenders but I never located it. I immediately canceled my debit card online while sitting in Portofino. I also went to the local police and asked if it had been turned in but it hadn’t.
Upon reboarding the cruise ship I informed the officer on deck 2 and he pulled up my name, which tender I was on and when I got on it to go into Portofino. He said they would look for it. The next day we arrived in Moscow the Carlo to get off the ship and I inquired with the reception desk and they had not received it. Five weeks passed and this week I got an envelope from Oceania in Miami with my drivers license! I was shocked yet I expected if it was found Oceania would mail it to me.
This is the second time Oceania has come to my rescue. Two years ago we were on Sirena for 18 days from Tahiti to LA. I left an expensive camera lens in rental car in a tiny town, Huahine. Upon getting on the ship I realized I had left it in the rental car. The Oceania staff called the rental car and spoke French and they found the lens. The rental car company was going to ship it to our next port. Oceania said we may incur a $75 fee and I was fine with that. They said they would call to see if it was at the airport where we were sailing to and if so, they would send an employee to drive over and get it. It didn’t make it there nor the next port or the next one. However, a week after arriving home I received the camera lens via Fed Ex to my home. I can’t tell you how relieved I was. Oceania is amazing and it’s staff are amazing. Most other cruise ship staff wouldn’t go to this level of care and concern for its guests. Their staff are to be commended and I know Oceania costs more than other lines but you get what you pay for.
The food was wonderful as always, the staff amazing and they truly want to know each guests and make an effort to do so. This goes for everyone from housekeeping, the wait staff and the officers. One restaurant staff member remembered us from two years ago! If you want to cruise with family then cruise with Oceania.
Cabin redo was beautiful with whites and blues. Room was spacious and plenty of storage. Bath has a shower that looked very small but when using was large enough without hitting my arms at 5’10. Plenty of warm water, toilet worked with no malfunctions and room temp was very good. The bed was oh so comfortable.
Wandered the city On foot.
Wandered the city and visited the ancient amphitheater
Took train to Rome and wandered the city.
Two hours at Pompeii wasn’t enough.View All 26 Pompeii Reviews
Scuba diveView All undefined undefined Reviews
Excellent olive oil from Galantino.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Ok stop. Glad I visited San Marino being a single independent country within Italy. Got a passport stamp for San Marino while there