This cruise was our first time on Oceania. The ship had about 600 passengers, so a little over half capacity and the COVID restrictions were in force. So I'm not sure if it was a "normal" cruise and that may have contributed to our less than perfect experience.
We arrived in Rome a few days early. I had used Oceania Custom Air because airlines were cancelling and changing flights due to covid and I just wanted to be sure that we could actually get to the cruise. There were many changes in itinerary before the flight, but the Custom Air department was incredibly helpful and the cost was less than if we booked ourselves.
Embarkation was very easy. We showed up at the pier and there were literally no other cars/vans at the curb. Porters took the bags and we we had to show our passports and vaccine cards (one of the MANY times we had to show it the vaccine card throughout the week). Then we waited a short time for our turn for the COVID test. After testing, we waited about 15 - 20 minutes for the test results, then went to the check-in desk to receive our cards and other information. It was probably the easiest check in I have ever had on a cruise ship.