We have had excellent trips on Oceania and were on the Riviera three years ago. We had particularly enjoyed the food and the very excellent service from a dedicated and well trained staff so we eagerly chose Oceania/Riviera again. Unfortunately, Oceania had been bought over by NCL recently and the change in management was very evident. The food was still very good to excellent, the cabin category we chose, penthouse 1 was still very well appointed, clean and comfortable. What was really different was the quality of the service. We had always been impressed by the helpfulness, kindness, speed and efficiency of the Oceania service. The NCL management seems to be saving on staff. Everywhere, the staff was rushed, harassed and seemingly uncomfortable. In the Terrace and Grand dining room, the service was seriously understaffed leading not only to longer wait times for food delivery but also to less personal attention. On earlier trips, Terrace staff immediately would see me, an older person, and rush to carry my plates. On this last trip, that happened only occasionally - perhaps not because of the service staff but because they were all rushed off their feet most of the time. Friendly chats with staff which we had enjoyed on earlier trips were really not possible. The housekeeping staff did their jobs very well but it took longer for cabins to be cleaned in mornings because there didn't seem to be enough of them to do the job. And, finally it seemed to us that many of the staff no longer had happy, smiling faces but seemed to be unhappy, going through the motions of service while counting the days to their next home leave.
NCL has a different philosophy of cruise ship management catering to a different and younger clientele but applying the same criteria to Oceania has led to a downgraded service. We are not sure if we will choose Oceania again