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Insignia Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
194 Reviews

Beautiful Ship, shame the food, service and entertainment don’t match

Insignia Cruise Review by Clholz

18 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Nov 2019
  • Destination: the Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Inside

After 45 cruises, the sale prices on Caribbean cruises due to the cancellation of Cuban cruises and the luxury, premier branding of Oceania convinced us to try the Insignia. The ship itself is truly a classic beauty! Unfortunately, we did not experience the premier service and the excellence of food that Oceania advertises. The food in the Grand Dining room was okay: choices were very limited when compared to other lines; meat quality was low and bordered on tasteless; and Seafood seemed to be prepared without any seasoning. The buffet was pretty much the same, as it serves the same food as the Grand Dining room. Service in the Grand Dining room was extremely slow and impersonal. Service in the buffet which has no self-service option, is also slow with servers often just staring into space while you wait to be served, The culinary highlights are the specialty restaurants, Toscano and Polo Grille, and surprisingly, Waves grille. Service was good to great in the locations and the food matched. They were the best specialty restaurants we’ve experienced! And Waves burgers were excellent!

The cabin was very good and comfortable except for the tiny bathroom and shower. Oceania includes free sodas in the cabin refrigerator, but we had to ask for refills. No mention was made of fruit in the room, which is a nice option on other lines.

The itinerary was okay. We weren’t able to dock in Roatan or Harvest Caye and had to tender. Tendering was handled well.

Cozumel excursions from the ship are very limited and the Destination Services desk knew next to nothing about beaches in the area. Thankfully, the WiFi was okay and we were able to research beaches!

The Jolly Roger Catamaran snorkeling tour in Roatan was fantastic. Clear, warm, blue water and a beautiful reef! The food served was good and the rum flowed.

Harvest Caye is the only private island that we’ve been to where there isn’t any free food or drink options. Oceania says if you want free food or drink, simply walk right back onboard since Harvest Caye has its own dock. But alas, there’s a giant NCL ship at the dock and Insignia tenders, The beach was overcrowded, the water wasn’t clear, but the zip-lines were great.

Costa Maya was okay, but given its limitations and crowds, it’s amazing that cruise lines still go there.

Onboard activities are next to nothing. Good luck finding something to do on a rainy sea day! In the evenings, there are no lounge bands in the bars. But there is a string quartet in the atrium. Really, are we waiting for an iceberg? The ships singers and dancers were good, but their voices were often drowned out by the band. The guest entertainment was an electric harpest. Interesting the first night, but 2 nights! Ugh! The comedian was a dud, with more people walking out than staying and she also got 2 nights! Oceania definitely needs to step up the entertainment onboard.

Clholz's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Harvest Caye

NCL’s new private island. Overcrowded, dirty water, no free food or drink options.


Visited San Francisco Beach club. Taxi $15 for 2 each way. Water was stirred up by storm so it wasn’t as clear as usual, but it was still warm, Caribbean water!

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