Prior to boarding the Marina for our January jaunt up the western coast of South America and through the Panama Canal, I read many reviews here that had me slightly concerned.
People complained that the portions were small in the specialty restaurants and that the food had deteriorated since our last trip three years ago. They complained about service in the main dining room (which I had experienced the last trip) that the buffet wasn't self serve and that portions weren't as large as when they go to Denny's. There were also a surprisingly number of complaint that the entertainment wasn't what it was on other lines.
There were a lot of complaints from people - who sounded - like they lamented that this wasn't a Carnival Cruise.
It wasn't; thank goodness.
Oceania is all about the food. The four specialty restaurants were very good, with three of them being better than our last cruise (Jacques, Toscana and the Polo Grill) with one of them not quite as good (Red Ginger). The main dining room was much better in terms of food and service, and overall, the wine was far superior in all areas of the ship.
Does this ship cater to children, or those who seek Las Vegas styled entertainment? In a word, no. There ARE excellent lectures focusing on the history and area of the world that you are in, there is a good string quartet, and piano player, library and games room. This is a cruise line that caters to food and wine snobs (of which I proudly acknowledge I am one).
The food and wine on this cruise (including the Dom Perignon tasting dinner) were absolutely outstanding. The quality and service everywhere on board was better than our last cruise with Oceania, and you can tell the staff are - for the most part - extremely well trained.
The ship is going in for a make-over in April of 2020, and I am looking forward to seeing improvements in decor and WiFi (the latter of which is truly dreadful)
We didn't go on any company excursions as they weren't accessible (my wife is in a small manual wheelchair) and stupidly expensive. We preferred to do our own thing.
If you like food, wine, literature, other educated guests, few children and well appointed rooms, the Marina is an excellent choice.
Want Denny's sized plates of food and Vegas shows? Look elsewhere.