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Riviera Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
691 Reviews

WARNING: It's not the same Oceania as the past, huge disappointment

Riviera Cruise Review by bluewaterdan

18 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2019
  • Destination: the Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Concierge Level

Sixth Oceania cruise, just wanted a short escape before Christmas. We didn't care about the ports, we just wanted to relax and enjoy the ship. We were not expecting the worst service ever received on an Oceania cruise, and actually some of the poorest service I've ever experienced on any of my past 25 or so previous cruises My guess is that between having management raided by Viking Ocean cruises and others, and higher than normal turnover in staff, and procedural changes caused by the merger/takeover by NCL that the hotel side of the ship's operation is in chaos.

1) Embarcation - We were supposed to have expedited embarkation (paid for last-minute upgrade). Total disaster, lobby jammed with passengers, computers said to be down, took more than 1 and 1/2 hours for so-called expedited service. I couldn't find anyone from the ship's management to discuss the problem.

2) Finally boarded the ship, crew at the gate was cordial and welcoming. We went to the lunch buffet and were surprised at the general attitude of the crew. Not one person said hello, welcome to our ship, or anything else. Got the feeling that we were an inconvenience to them, not the folks that paid their salary. Very different than the past.

3) Cabin was spotlessly clean, but also very warm. Adjusting thermostat was of no help, had to call for maintenance to reset the controls in our cabin. Serviceman was cordial and fixed the problem.

4) Service in the bars and areas surrounding them was poor. We almost always had to ask for help and for additional service. Given that they charge $12 for Canadian Club on the rocks I expected that they might pour a decent drink. I was wrong, could not have been more than a 1 oz. pour.

Also, almost always seemed to be short-staffed and servers apparently had no idea what good customer service was. Cold at best, borderline rude at worst. Pianist on board the ship would have been better replaced by a player piano. NO personality, average ability and mostly annoying.

5) Specialty restaurants - Service was good, staff was attentive, food was excellent as in the past. I must say the overall quality of the food and it's preparation has not suffered with whatever else is going downhill.

Food in the main dining room was good, service seemed fine, the nights we dined there the dining room seemed to be about 1/3 empty.

6) In conclusion, there is something terribly wrong with Oceania if our cruise is any indication. They have forgotten customer service, we've had better treatment on almost every other cruise line we've traveled in the past (25+). I doubt that we'll ever return to Oceania. It saddens me to say that, but it's become just a bit above average at luxury prices.

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Cabin Review

Concierge Level

Very clean, excellent bed and bedding, we had a bathtub which seemed to have taken room away from the shower. The shower was tiny. Cabin attendant was outstanding.

Divider between our balcony and the next one came loose, called for service, was prompt but did not fix the banging on the wall in moderate to heavy seas.

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