I chose this cruise as the dates coincided with my Winter break from school (I am a teacher). I live in the Midwest, so the warm weather itinerary was appealing, and the Panama Canal was on my bucket list. I was cruising Solo, (my boys spent the time with their respective in-laws), and I was more than a bit nervous.
Embarkation was quick and easy, with lots of helpful, smiling Oceania representatives. I was impressed. My room wasn't quite ready yet, so I went up to have lunch. A good selection of food was available.
I had a Veranda stateroom on level 6 - it was wonderful, with an extremely comfortable bed. YES, the bathroom was quite small, but adequate. My room stewards were very attentive, and really made sure my stay was everything I wanted it to be. I LOVED having a veranda cabin for this trip. I used it every day, and spent part of the time going through the Panama Canal sitting out there, sipping champagne. Lovely!
The lecturer was incredible. As a teacher myself, I was impressed with her ability to keep our interest, and her sense of humor added just the right touch to the presentations. She was extremely knowledgeable, and very approachable afterward for questions. The room was packed every time she spoke.
The only entertainment I can speak to is the string quartet, who played in the lobby each night before dinner. They were incredibly talented - and they also drew crowds whenever they played.
I never felt lonely or alone on this trip - I met SO many interesting, kind, friendly people, and plan on staying in touch with several of them. Our cruise had people from all over the world - one night I had dinner with a couple from Germany, the next from Scotland, and there was a family group from Australia. On this Holiday cruise, there were children aboard, but they were extremely well behaved and I rarely ever encountered them on the ship.
We had a lot of sea days (basically every other day), but I was never bored. I have read other reviews, talking about how there is "nothing to do" on Oceania, but I think that all is in how you view things. If you expect to be entertained every waking moment by other people, this is, perhaps, not the cruise line for you. If you appreciate interesting ports of call, less people aboard, good food, and plenty of opportunities to meet people and experience the world, then do try them out. I was so happy with my trip that I have booked two more (another on the Sirena in 2021, and one on the Marina this coming summer).
I did have an issue with another passenger, and the crew took care of this immediately. Other passengers also helped me out, and made sure I was safe and ok. Much of this was done without me having to say or do anything - people just kept an eye out for each other, and Oceania was right there when needed.
I never waited in line for anything (other than for my Tender color or number to be called - we had several Tender ports, but never an issue or really a wait). There were always available lounge chairs by the pool, and the library was a great place to curl up with a book for a bit. The weather was mostly sunny and warm, so it was great to spend so much time outside before going back to the cold, frozen tundra.
The food was outstanding - especially in the (included) specialty restaurants. The service in the main dining room (mostly during breakfast) needs some work - the senior staff was superb... but I think there were a lot of new trainees that had no idea how to serve food or drinks. At breakfast, getting a refill on coffee often took a LONG time, even if there weren't many people there. Hopefully, with practice they will get better!!
With that said, I overheard many people complaining on this trip about how the service has gone downhill, and was truly awful. I didn't experience that (except for my morning coffee!!!) but perhaps my expectations were different. The only thing I really took umbrage at was the Single Supplement they charge... but that's another issue :)
Anyway, I would HIGHLY recommend Oceania - I was pleased with my experience and as stated already, I will travel with them again.
It was lovely - and although yes, the bathroom is small, it was more than adequate for my needs (if you need a bigger shower, there are some available in the spa area).
Comfortable beds, lots of storage space (don't laugh - yes, I overpacked!!), and great room stewards