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Oceania cruises are great for couples (nothing interesting for children or singles) This cruise was from San Franciso to Santiago Chile, i.e. a 22-day section of a world cruise. In addition to embarkation and debarkation, we visited these ports: Santa Barbara and San Diego in USA; Cabo, Ixtapa, Acapulco and Puerto Chapas in Mexico; Puerto Quetzel in Gautemala, Acajutla in El Salvador; Manta in Ecuador; Salavery, Lima and Pisco in Peru; and Coquimbo in Chile. The excursions were well managed, although frequently the standard of English was poor and in El Salvador, incomprehensible (We nevertheless appreciated the tour for what we saw and visited). The excursions must be bought in advance, from a group of 5 or more outings ranging from $100 up. However, recently, the ships also take good care of passengers setting out on their own (free shuttle bus into town, briefings, information sheets etc). The food is a main selling point of Oceania, with excellent , free, French/continental cuisine in the main dining room and two or more (depends on ship) specialty restaurants (on Insignia, Steak house and Italian). The informal buffet (Terrace Café) is also excellent at noon, but in the evening it serves exotic foreign dishes which you may wish to avoid depending on your tastes. There is also a good "fast food" outlet (Waves Grill) close to the pool, open till 4PM, and useful when arriving back from an excursion without having had lunch. On days at sea, There are excellent lectures (geopolitics, history, geography of the region), and bridge, ladies activities (petit-point etc). In the evening there is dancing to a good jazz band (on Insignia) and Chamber music quartet to accompany drinks before evening dinner. There are evening shows as well, to entertain those who don't want to watch a film or the news on the ships's TV, in their cabin. The Internet, with onboard WIFI has greatly improved over the years. And, reading on the balcony, or beside the pool, at sea, is wonderful!. There are no crowds or line-ups, particularly on the small ships (600pax). On the negative side, the main issue is the incongruant "ambiance" on board what is supposed to be an almost-luxury cruise. Oceania ships and staff are most elegant (even the room stewards change into black uniforms to fix up your bed in the evening) and the cuisine is at the top of a 'Luxury" category. But this refined ambiance is destroyed by the lack of a serious dress code for passengers, which Oceania advertises as "country club casual" but means "anything goes". Oceania habitués will wear a jacket for evening dinner or a cocktail with the Captain, but up to half the diners, mostly newbys, will be in shirt sleeves, no jacket, and a signifiicant number of men will be wearing a baseball cap. It makes one question why you are paying a substantial price for an elegant decor, upscale service, gastronomic restaurants and sophisticated enrichment activities when you are rubbing shoulders with a crowd that is dressed for beer call at a sports bar. For this, I rate "poor" value for money! The movies in cabins on Oceania ships, formerly multi-lingual DVDs, are now replaced by TV screens that don't accept DVDs. One is left with a limited, unchanging selection of English-only children's cartoons, horor films,etc. Nevertheless you can get NBC, Fox, BBC, and Sky for your news. Many of the passengers had mobility handicaps, requiring walkers, motorized wheel chairs etc. The staff, and many passengers, went out of their way to accomodate their problems. But they frequently caused delay during activites on board, and particulalry on excursions. This is not fair to others and oceania should be more vigilant in accepting them for activities they are unable to adequately pursue.

Pleasant escape from Winter, along Pacific coast of Central & South America

Insignia Cruise Review by Overthewaves

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2020
  • Destination: South America
  • Cabin Type: Concierge Level Veranda Stateroom
Oceania cruises are great for couples (nothing interesting for children or singles)

This cruise was from San Franciso to Santiago Chile, i.e. a 22-day section of a world cruise. In addition to embarkation and debarkation, we visited these ports: Santa Barbara and San Diego in USA; Cabo, Ixtapa, Acapulco and Puerto Chapas in Mexico; Puerto Quetzel in Gautemala, Acajutla in El Salvador; Manta in Ecuador; Salavery, Lima and Pisco in Peru; and Coquimbo in Chile. The excursions were well managed, although frequently the standard of English was poor and in El Salvador, incomprehensible (We nevertheless appreciated the tour for what we saw and visited). The excursions must be bought in advance, from a group of 5 or more outings ranging from $100 up. However, recently, the ships also take good care of passengers setting out on their own (free shuttle bus into town, briefings, information sheets etc).

The food is a main selling point of Oceania, with excellent , free, French/continental cuisine in the main dining room and two or more (depends on ship) specialty restaurants (on Insignia, Steak house and Italian). The informal buffet (Terrace Café) is also excellent at noon, but in the evening it serves exotic foreign dishes which you may wish to avoid depending on your tastes. There is also a good "fast food" outlet (Waves Grill) close to the pool, open till 4PM, and useful when arriving back from an excursion without having had lunch. On days at sea, There are excellent lectures (geopolitics, history, geography of the region), and bridge, ladies activities (petit-point etc). In the evening there is dancing to a good jazz band (on Insignia) and Chamber music quartet to accompany drinks before evening dinner. There are evening shows as well, to entertain those who don't want to watch a film or the news on the ships's TV, in their cabin. The Internet, with onboard WIFI has greatly improved over the years. And, reading on the balcony, or beside the pool, at sea, is wonderful!. There are no crowds or line-ups, particularly on the small ships (600pax).

On the negative side, the main issue is the incongruant "ambiance" on board what is supposed to be an almost-luxury cruise. Oceania ships and staff are most elegant (even the room stewards change into black uniforms to fix up your bed in the evening) and the cuisine is at the top of a 'Luxury" category. But this refined ambiance is destroyed by the lack of a serious dress code for passengers, which Oceania advertises as "country club casual" but means "anything goes". Oceania habitués will wear a jacket for evening dinner or a cocktail with the Captain, but up to half the diners, mostly newbys, will be in shirt sleeves, no jacket, and a signifiicant number of men will be wearing a baseball cap. It makes one question why you are paying a substantial price for an elegant decor, upscale service, gastronomic restaurants and sophisticated enrichment activities when you are rubbing shoulders with a crowd that is dressed for beer call at a sports bar. For this, I rate "poor" value for money!

The movies in cabins on Oceania ships, formerly multi-lingual DVDs, are now replaced by TV screens that don't accept DVDs. One is left with a limited, unchanging selection of English-only children's cartoons, horor films,etc. Nevertheless you can get NBC, Fox, BBC, and Sky for your news.

Many of the passengers had mobility handicaps, requiring walkers, motorized wheel chairs etc. The staff, and many passengers, went out of their way to accomodate their problems. But they frequently caused delay during activites on board, and particulalry on excursions. This is not fair to others and oceania should be more vigilant in accepting them for activities they are unable to adequately pursue.
Overthewaves’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Concierge Level Veranda Stateroom
Cabin A2
Insignia is recently renovated, but in a cold, chrome, Norwegian nordic style. The classic former look of cabins has been lost. The mattress maintains Oceania's tradition of comfort. The bathroom now has glass doors on the shower that makes one wonder how obese passengers close them. The movable furniture iin the cabin and on the balcony is more solid than formerly which is good in a heavy sea. The TV is a step backwards (no DVD, or USB). The electronic outlets, even for American plugs, are inadequate. Passengers should bring gadgets to multiply their access to electricity. Otherwise, it was liveable, with a nice, relatively private, balcony.
Deck 7 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

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