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Sirena Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
230 Reviews

Not All It's Cracked Up to Be!

Sirena Cruise Review by AtA

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2020
  • Destination: the Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Penthouse Suite

First I'm going to give the good and the bad on my just completed trip on Oceania Sirena.

I took my son on a 7 day cruise from MIA - MIA (Jan 6 - 13, 2020) on Oceania's Sirena with stops in Key West, Belize Harvest Caye, Roatan, and Costa Maya. The ship is a small ship with only 684 pax. I can't speak about drinks as neither my son nor I drink.

First the Very Good:

We got to the ship around 1 PM and check in was quick and painless. I was able to go to my room immediately but my son's room as expected wasn't ready yet. We dropped our carry-ons in my room, introduced ourselves to our room stewardess and butler, and off we went to find lunch.

The cabin while small for a PH cabin was pretty and well appointed with lots of storage drawers and were light and bright. The bed was extremely comfortable and my butler and stewardess were excellent.

My son's cabin while very small was also well appointed with good storage and was also very light and bright.

The ship had been recently redone and was quite attractive.

The main staff, (reception, destinations, concierge, casino) were all excellent and were only too happy to try and please.

They did an excellent job regarding concerns with food allergies.

Hand washing stations were all over the ship and not just at the entrances to dining facilities.

The ice cream was made onboard and was delicious.

The OK and Not So Good:

The Room:

There was no sofa or love seat in the PH room. Only a club chair and two uncomfortable chairs at the dining table. If I had been traveling with my SO, it would have meant one of us would have had to sit on one of those chairs. Additionally when I am in the cabin, I like to sprawl out on a sofa or love seat.

Normally when traveling in a PH on other lines there has been fruit in the cabin to pick at. There was none.

I found the hanging space lacking. It was fine for myself for the one week cruise but if I was with my SO, it would definitely have not been enough room.

Hanging space in my son's room I also found lacking.

The bathroom was very small. To use the toilet, I had to angle my legs almost sideways or else I'd wind up hitting the shower door with my knees. And it was a single sink.

They "upgraded" the PH shower to a rain head shower. My son had the standard shower head where you can adjust for the type of spray you prefer. I had no option and to add to that, the pressure was very poor. I have chin length hair and it took me over 5 minutes to wash the soap out of my hair because the pressure was so poor. I had no choice to change the shower head. In this case they fixed what wasn't broke.

Lastly, there was no full length mirror in the PH! My son in his window cabin on deck 4 had a full length mirror but the PH has none?

Public Washrooms:

The one negative to the public washrooms was they used cloth napkins instead of actual hand towels to dry one's hands. Additionally there is soap but no hand lotion and no toilet seat covers.

Public Rooms:

What I found lacking was anyplace to gather to meet other people. Yes there was Martini's bar and Horizons but it was small and really not conducive to gathering.

Internet:

While the internet on Oceania worked fairly well for basic stuff, if one wanted to stream they had to upgrade and pay for it. Additionally one was only allowed one device per room! And to make matters worse, if I forgot to turn off the internet on my iPad and left it in the room, I was unable to turn it off from my phone, even though they supposedly gave you that option. However that option never worked on my phone.

Tours:

My son and I did a river rafting tour in Belize which was well done. We had signed up for the river tubing but not enough people signed up. While disappointing we had a wonderful tour guide and a fun time.

We did a snorkel tour in Roatan which was probably the best snorkel tour ever in terms of the guides concern for our safety and well being. I was extremely impressed.

We were supposed to do an ATV adventure in Costa Maya but because of strong currents we could not dock and had another sea day. My one negative about the tours was there was no one from the ship accompanying either of the two tours we were on. Each tour included either a long boat ride and/or bus ride to get to where we needed to be. I found the lack of someone from the ship on with us to be a huge negative.

Dining:

First the good. Red Ginger and Tuscan Grill were excellent and the service in both were top notch.

Food in the MDR was inconsistent and definitely not the quality I remembered from 3 years ago on Marina. Our first night in the MDR, the only thing I found worth eating was the pasta with red sauce. (I am allergic to shellfish and do not eat red meat, lamb or pork.) The choices were definitely limited and one could not make substitutions. Additionally my son ordered the roast chicken which was supposed to be one of Jacques Pepin's specialties. It came out undercooked!

I spoke to the dining room manager and was told I could ask for whatever food I wanted if I asked for it 24 hours in advance, so I asked the second night to have chicken scallopini sautéed in a lemon butter sauce. What I got was a thick hunk of chicken grilled, with the lemon butter sauce on the side!

Service also was hit or miss in the MDR. I asked for red pepper flakes and cheese for on top of my pasta. Instead of the waiter going to get it immediately, he instead went to a table of 6 to take their order. Sorry but I prefer to not sit there staring at my food waiting for it to get cold before I eat it.

Other misses were serving my son before me and my son having to ask the waiter multiple times to get his Sprite. This didn't happen once, but every time we ate in the MDR.

Other very small things. I asked for almond milk for my coffee and it was served in a glass so when you went to pour it into your cup, the milk spilled all over.

One thing Oceania touts is how if you don't choose to eat in the MDR, you can go up to the buffet for a more casual dining experience. However what they don't tell you is whatever they serve in the MDR is exactly the exact same food they serve in the buffet. So if there was nothing that I could eat or wanted to eat in the MDR, there was nothing in the buffet! (Yes they had lobster, shrimp and sushi but that first night I didn't want sushi and I am allergic to shellfish)

On Thursday night, they had Caribbean night both in the buffet and the MDR. I found nothing to eat in either place and was then informed that the following night they were once again having Caribbean night! Two nights in a row! And no sushi on Caribbean night!

I wound up going up to Red Ginger the first night and begging to be seated so I could have some sushi to eat. While eating in Red Ginger, the food manager came to my table since we had the issue of the undercooked food the first night and I explained about my food issues and how there was nothing to eat at the Caribbean buffet. As I said above, the head staff was wonderful. They managed to get my son and I a reservation in Tuscan Grill for the second Caribbean night so I wouldn't have to scrounge for something to eat the second night.

Now having said that, at Tuscan Grill, they had on the menu veal scallopini. I asked if they instead could make me chicken scallopini. I was told no they could not, that they needed 24 hours notice.

I did get my chicken scallopini the second night we ate in Tuscan Grill and yes, it was delicious. I finally knew to ask in advance.

Lunch:

If we wanted to eat a bit later or came back from a tour late, our only choice was to eat in the Grill. And in the Grill no chance to get a simple sandwich such as a tuna sandwich or a grilled cheese sandwich. In fact, even in the buffet and the MDR, there was no chance to get a simple sandwich. One day the buffet did have an egg salad sandwich but it was mixed with peppers, olives, onions and anchovies. There are times one doesn't want rich food that is overly heavy.

Tea Time:

I went to tea time once since it tended to be later in the day. Again the sandwiches were overly fancy. Egg salad with peas? Stilton cheese with radishes on what seemed to be a bagel?

I think my son (31 years old so not a child) summed up the food very well. It seems like Oceania tries too hard to be impressive, forgetting that not everything has to be fancied up with food.

Sea Day Activities:

Oceania is sorely lacking. There was a total of one lecture a day from an outside lecturer. Other activities were baggo, ping pong, trivia, a lecture from the jewelry store, indoor golf putting, and unhosted bridge or mahjongg. You could go to a lecture on why you should book another Oceania cruise or you could pay $75 + 18% for a vodka tasting. Or you could pay to play bingo, or pay to play in a blackjack tournament, a slots tournament or a texas hold em tournament. We had 3 sea days (was supposed to have only 2 but the missed port) and all three days they had the same tournaments and the same lecturer.

Evening Entertainment:

Once again, Oceania is sorely lacking. They had a good comedian on 2 of the 7 days and then a harpest on 2 days, except the last day the harpest played at 5 PM. The evening's activity was a lousy movie on the last day. The Oceania show band and singers were definitely B rated.

Now having written this, my son and I still managed to have a wonderful time and the best part was getting to spend a week with him. We also did meet some lovely folks who we hope to stay in touch with.


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